Saturday, December 20, 2003


12/20 1:30 PM ET


12/20 5:00 PM ET

Kansas City -3

12/20 8:30 PM ET

New England -3

12/21 1:00 PM ET


Baltimore -3




New Orleans

N.Y. Giants
DALLAS -10.5

Tennessee -6

12/21 4:05 PM ET

San Diego

San Francisco


12/21 8:30 PM ET


12/22 9:00 PM ET

Green Bay -4.5


For the third straight week, Piker prognosticated on his own, and for the third straight week Piker achieved a 10-6 record. Consistent, if unspectacular. The season mark currently stands at 108-92-8. After sitting out Week 1 with a variety of disorganization and psychosomatic injuries, Piker is shooting for a 130-win season, while attempting to keep losses under 100. Those are pretty lofty goals and in all likelihood Piker will probably fall short. Just like Piker's beloved (and behated) Miami Dolphins. The December descent has struck the warm-weather Dolphins once again and it is now highly doubtful they'll be receiving an invitation to the NFL's Playoff Party. In all honesty, they don't deserve it. Underachievers need scapegoats. Count Piker among the humidity-laden fair-weather fans of South Florida in calling for the extra large head of one Dave Wannstedt. And as much as Piker enjoys the fact that his favorite football team is quarterbacked by a Long Island Jew who attended the same high school as Piker's mother, Piker knows in his pigskin heart that the Dolphins will never contend for a Super Bowl title with Jay Fiedler at the helm. While we're playing the blame game... Norv Turner has done an awful job calling plays this season, failing to take advantage of his best offensive player. Why he's not buying into Run, Ricky, Run and insisting on finding creative ways to get Ricky the ball in the open field is a baffling mystery to me. In addition, the 'Phins desperately need to upgrade an undersized and undertalented offensive line and acquire a defensive philosophy that utilizes their team speed and great athletes to cause problems for opposing offenses. With all of these lingering issues, the Dolphins just aren't good enough to beat the better teams in the league. Piker is sick and tired of getting fooled into thinking otherwise by their early season performances year in and year out. Wannstedt Must Walk and Ricky Must Run.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


The 2003 Golden Globe Nominations are out. As the loyalist of loyal Piker enthusiasts know, Piker loves to handicap the Oscars. I'm not sure why this is a favorite pastime, but it is. So, in that spirit, before I make my preliminary predictions, you can check out the full list of nominees and catch up on David Poland's Oscar Rankings.



1. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2. Cold Mountain
3. Mystic River
4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
5. In America

Snub: Lost in Translation


1. Peter Jackson - LOTR: Return of the King
2. Anthony Minghella - Cold Mountain
3. Clint Eastwood - Mystic River
4. Jim Sheridan - In America
5. Peter Weir - Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Snub: Sofia Coppola - Lost in Translation


1. Sean Penn - Mystic River
2. Ben Kingsley - House of Sand and Fog
3. Jude Law - Cold Mountain
4. Russell Crowe - Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
5. Bill Murray - Lost in Translation

Snubs: Tom Cruise - The Last Samurai, Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean


1. Charlize Theron - Monster
2. Nicole Kidman - Cold Mountain
3. Naomi Watts - 21 Grams
4. Samantha Morton - In America
5. Gwyneth Paltrow - Sylvia

Snubs: Jennifer Connelly - House of Sand and Fog, Diane Keaton - Something's Gotta Give


1. Benecio Del Toro - 21 Grams
2. Ken Watanabe - The Last Samurai
3. Tim Robbins - Mystic River
4. Albert Finney - Big Fish
5. Alec Baldwin - The Cooler

Snubs: Sean Astin, Sir Ian McKellan - LOTR: Return of the King, Djimon Honsou - In America


1. Scarlet Johansson - Lost in Translation
2. Renee Zellweger - Cold Mountain
3. Marcia Gay Harden - Mystic River
4. Holly Hunter - Thirteen
5. Shohreh Aghdashloo - House of Sand and Fog

Snub: Hope Davis - American Splendor


1. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2. Cold Mountain
3. Mystic River
4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
5. Big Fish

Snubs: American Splendor, House of Sand and Fog


1. Lost in Translation
2. In America
3. 21 Grams
4. Love Actually
5. Dirty Pretty Things

Snub: The Last Samurai

All right, that's about all the juice I've got right now. It's late (at least on East Coast time it is) and I've got a big giant day tomorrow. Real quick -- I think Lord of the Rings: Return of the King will win Best Picture and Peter Jackson will win Best Director, I'll go with Poland's Picks of Sean Penn for Best Actor and Charlize Theron for Best Actress, Albert Finney for Best Supporting Actor and Scarlett Johansson for Best Supporting Actress, Lord of the Rings for Best Adapted and Lost in Translation for Best Original Screenplay. This year will feature three Belles of the Ball: Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, and Sofia Coppola, but only one King: Peter Jackson.

I think it's possible I might be starting to get a wee bit amped.


Right now, I'm not sure if I'm coming or going. The long and short of it:

Spent a whirlwind weekend in San Francisco, flew back to Los Angeles on Sunday night to have people over for the Survivor Finale, started work on Will & Grace on Monday and Tuesday, then flew to Durham, North Carolina on Wednesday for the holidays.


Flew out of Burbank on Southwest, which I must say was an all-around hassle-free trip. Rented a car and drove into the city to eat some phenomenal Chinese food at Brandy Ho's. Checked into the Fairmont Hotel, courtesy of Salon, who was flying My Girl up so she can attend the their Holiday Party. So, attend we did. The affair was held at a swank apartment in Alta Plaza, next to Pacific Heights. Great view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, beautful and tasteful Asian art all over the apartment, a few decent trays of hors d'oeuvres, and some truly interesting and fun people. The party was winding down kind of early, way before the people were actually winding down, so My Girl and I held an impromptu after-party in our hotel room at the Fairmont. And we partied like Internet rock stars. One would have thought it was the halcyon days of 1999, what with all the gusto and fervor with which we threw down. David Talbot, the CEO and an honorable gentleman and scholar to boot, insisted we stay at the Fairmont for the entire weekend, but My Girl would have nothing of it. Instead, we checked out and drove to Our Fantastic Friend's fantastic apartment in an industrial building off Divisidero. Needless to say, Our Fantastic Friend is a fantastic guy with fantastic friends who always treats us with the utmost hospitailty. I mean, the guy gives up his bed for us when we come to town... A real mensch, which incidentally was a recent answer in the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle. And so Our Fantastic Friend introduced us to his Fantastic Friends and took us to an art opening, a hip-hop party in Oakland, a party at an old school bar that triple-booked parties that night (including a Santa Party and a Hat Party), and a late-night party in Bernall Heights (which didn't end until we took a cab back to Our Fantastic Friend's fantastic apartment at 5:30 in the morning). We slept a couple of hours and then caught an 11:30 am flight back to Burbank.

Backtracking slightly -- We also managed to have dinner with another couple whose wedding we attended last year in Marin County. Their first baby is due to arrive any minute. And we spent some quality time with one of my good friends from LA who relocated to Pacific Heights and is now married to a helluva guy, who I met for the first time, and has the most gorgeous and special eight and half-month old baby girl named India. They're teaching her sign language and trying at all costs to avoid ever having to say the word "no" to her. I love that.


I'm so glad Johnny Fuckhead nee Fair Play didn't win. I hate that guy. I know he wanted me to hate him, but that only adds to the overall amount that I hate him. I'm glad Sandra won. Out of all the yahoos left, Sanda was by far the most likable. Besides aligning with Rupert, Sandra didn't seem to play the game all that well, but judging by recent winners, you really don't have to. In fact, if you win too many challenges, you get voted out in the middle somewhere, and if you scheme too much, you make it to the final three before getting voted out. I have to admit I'm kind of psyched for the all-star edition.


I finally got a job on a hit show. It's like a foreign world to me. Things run so smoothly. The writers are efficient and, with the exception of show night, don't work past 7:30. The actors are talented and hit their lines and have fun doing it. The stories work, the scenes work, and the jokes work. The director is great, the crew is great, and the show has money to spend and is generous with it. I had the misfortune of starting work when the holiday gift-giving was full on and everyone was getting piles of presents except me. Not that I thought I deserved gifts after working on the show for a couple of hours, but it's weird when everyone is cashing in and you're left out in the cold. However, I did get to enjoy one gift. Megan treated the people on the show to a taco truck on Tuesday and hired a mariachi band to play during lunch. I had the surreal feeling that this is the kind of stuff I had been missing all these years working on first-year sitcoms that never got out of the gate. Looks like I'll be having myself some fun on this show, and I won't have to give up my social life to do so.


Well, we're home for the holidays. My Girl's Home, actually. We flew in Wednesday night, getting picked up by Super Shuttle at our house in Eagle Rock at 9:30 am PST and arriving at Raleigh/Durham at 10:30 EST. Long, long day. But, I really like My Girl's Family a lot and they're extremely welcoming to me, so there isn't any weirdness. In fact, Babs (My Mom) and Norms (My Gram) are flying up tomorrow to spend the weekend here and meet My Girl's Fam. All parties involved are very easy to get along with, so I'm sure everything will go swimmingly. This holiday break, besides hanging out with My Girl and our families, I plan to do an immense amount of reading, movie viewing, and PlayStation 2 playing. Maybe I'll squeeze in a little shopping and perhaps, if the gods smile on me, some writing while I'm at.

In case this is my last post of the year, (I'm not saying it will be, but just in case), I want to thank the six of you for your loyal readership and wish all of you pikers a Happy Hannukah, a Merry Christmas, and a Damn Good New Year.

Peace. We out.