May's Loose Ends

*From what I can gather from the Bowery Ballroom's website, the US Air Guitar Championships-New York Regional is sold out. Bands all over Manhattan--many of them quite good and featuring actual guitars--play to less than a dozen people every night, and this sells out. I'm embarrassed for you, New York City.

*And, hey, speaking of live bands for you to see, Maybe Pete at Desmond's Tavern this Saturday night at 9 p.m. Actual guitars will be played. Fun will be had. You will be there. Right?

*Thursday night brings the finals of the National Spelling Bee to ABC prime time. And Stuart Scott will be serving as a reporter. As New York City's tenth best speller of 1990, I would like to express my dismay at this development. Haven't the kids suffered enough?

And while I'm expressing dismay, shame on the so-called contestants who misspelled the following words in the early rounds today: felony, fundamentalist, profane, pallbearer, inconvenient, fanatic, vicious, and adjective. Seriously, you study words for months in preparation and you crap the bed on "adjective"? Were you the only kid who entered the local spelling bee? Or did you just take a dive, in which case, I salute you.

Thankfully, Texas's Samir Patel is still alive in the bee. According to an AP article, the five-timer from Texas is "trying to avoid becoming the Dan Marino of spelling." Tinsel and Rot wishes you the best, big man. No pressure.

Oh, and one last thing. Clearly, the people in charge of the Bee are avid readers of the Marah message board. How else to explain "wilco" and "serge" being back-to-back words in Round 3? Secret's out, Scripps-Howard.

*If there's anything better than watching Armando Benitez commit two balks (even if the first one was highly questionable) and give up a game-winning home run in the 12th inning of a game against the Mets, I have yet to see it. We miss you, pal.

*Y'know, initially, I was going to insist that, you, the eight readers of Tinsel and Rot, pool your money together and buy me this actual "Family Feud" set when I read about it on the Pop Candy blog. Then I clicked on the link and discovered, it's the Louie Anderson/Richard Karn/John O'Hurley-era set. No wonder bids are still stuck in three digits. If you're offering the original set, with the cross-stitch theme, the old-school Big Money board, and the Tootsie Roll Pop trees, then you're onto something. Don't be fooled, America.

* The Last of the Breed tour, highly touted by Tinsel and Rot earlier this year, comes to New Jersey at the end of August, with dates at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel on August 28 (on sale Saturday) and the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on August 31. You should go. Tickets are even reasonably priced for both shows.

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