Archive for April, 2011

A Bright Spot

April 29, 2011

No matter how I coaxed, The Ghost of Commander was adamant about not doing his recap, so it’s up to me. I hope I do him proud. I know he’ll be reading this.

First of all, Ariel and I were trying to determine where Steven Tyler is buying his clothes and he thought it was the International Male reject warehouse. I, on the other hand, think it’s Carly Simon’s closet.

Then, the six remaining contestants did a horrendous job with a Carole King medley; that aside, I’m just flabbergasted that so many songs that are so familiar and have been around forever are all hers.

Crystal Bowersox, who really should have won last year, America, sang “Ridin With The Radio”. And then the obligatory “pad the hour” with silly stuff and it was question and answer time for the contestants.

Finally time for the results. First up, Haley. She’s safe. WTF? Really! Sorry, Commander. I guess I’ll be here next week, as well. Next is Scotty, but Ryan made him sit and wait a while longer for his results. Then it was Lauren’s turn. And she went back to the couch without her results.

Constipation Casey was next. And back to the couch. Finally, a true result, James is safe. And now it’s Jacob’s turn and Lauren, Constipation Casey and Scotty came back to the stage. Lauren is safe.  And the world waited while Bruno Mars whined through some song or other. Ugh.

So, it was the three remaining boys; Jacob, Scotty and Casey.  Double ugh… Jacob is safe. And between Constipation Casey and Scotty, the person who got voted off was CONSTIPATION CASEY! YES!!!!!! Scotty is safe! That should give Commander a little consolation.

~~~~~~~~~~********~~~~~~~~~~~

 

So, there’s a new rumor going around concerning the battle to save One Life to Live and All My Children. I wasn’t sure if mentioning it would be a jinx or not, but I’m seeing it posted almost everywhere, and quite frankly, I’m too excited about the prospect to keep hold onto it. This is a definite bright spot in an otherwise dismal abyss.

Considering this latest bit of news, maybe this rumor may just come to be fact.  One Life To Live tied for second during the week of April 18-22, winning over 263,000 viewers, beating General Hospital in total viewers–the show Brian Frons was going to “keep around” because it was doing so well. But then rumors began to spread that even GH was going bye-bye. Super Genius just wants to kill the “soap”.  Wouldn’t this proposesd acquisition be a huge ostrich egg in Brian Frons’ face!

So, come on, dear readers, I repeat what I said a few days ago, watch an episode or two,  it won’t kill you. Tell a friend to tune in. SAVE OUR SOAPS!

And I’ll close out the week with this short, but nonetheless hysterical video. It’s a few years old, but it came into my mind yesterday and I found it and so here it is. You all have a great weekend.

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Jiggity Jig

April 28, 2011

Home again, home again. It’s good to get away but it’s always nice to come home again, be in my comfy red chair, sleep in my own bed, trap and dispose of the stink bugs without their emitting their defensive, well, stink, a skill I’m getting quite adept at and deal with the population of the east coast.

Case in point: I went to pay my property taxes yesterday afternoon and all hopes of returning home within the hour. I still had to go get milk because mine died while I was away. I was fifth in line while ChaCha McHenry was taking her sweet time taking care of each person in line. When it was my turn, I handed her my check and the payment stub, but she alerted me in a frustrated tone she needed the other half still in my hand. Then, horror beyond horror, the check wasn’t signed and I found that out as it came flying back at me with a reprimand and a pen she reluctantly lent me that slammed down on the desk a few beats after the check. Then, as I waited for my receipt, she gave me that side eye and with a huff told me I had my receipt, that it was stamped on the back. I was just waiting for a receipt like she gave everyone else. Meanwhile, while stopping for breakfast on the road during our travels, and seeing that my mother was absent from the table, the waitress took her order back to the oven to keep warm until she returned. Yes, it’s good to be home. Here’s another story, a clear example of culture shock,  from another trip west. Actually, to get the most of it, there are two and they should be read in this order: Endora and Home Sweet Home. It’s a lot of reading, I know. It’s not homework, but there will be a quiz.

So, you know, the day before we were due to leave here, an F3 tornado ripped through my father’s town, a half mile away from his house, in fact. It just missed the only grocery store in the area that serves 3 neighboring towns. On the way from my niece’s to my father’s on Saturday morning, with no one behind us on the road, with random music playing on my Droid, I decided to shoot a little video of the devastation. It wasn’t until the next day, when we watched it on YouTube after I downloaded it, we found a little unintentional humor in the lyrics of the song that also recorded.

We later took a ride through the back roads and it was just so sad to see such damage. A path of snapped trees, debris everywhere, tarps on roofs where shingles had blown off, one house reduced to nothing but the floorboards covering the basement where that family hid out. The fortunate thing is no one died, but a lot of livestock was lost.

And so now I turn this over to Commander for his recap on American Idol.

I told you, I’m done. Haley is still there, I’m done. When she goes, I’ll pick it up again.

I didn’t think you were serious.

As a heart attack! If you want to make the prediction, you can do the honors.

Alright then, if it’s up to me, I’m going to put these three in the bottom for tonight and look who I’m getting rid of, just for you.

  

 Add this name to your email list: roger.e.iger@disney.com . Email these people and tell them it’s a drastic mistake to kill the soaps.

Later The Next Day

April 19, 2011

The battle rages on trying to save One Life to Live, but before I get into that, I need to cover some other stuff.

This is a fun little story. I got an email about my credit card having been rejected for an online purchase. The purchase was made earlier in the year, the item was out of stock and in the meantime that card had expired so they wanted to alert me of the problem. I called the number and told the guy on the phone why I was calling and it seemed for a while there, he wasn’t going to let me finish saying what I needed to say. Finally, I got it through to him that it was the same card number, but a different expiration date. He said to me, “Perhaps I can take over the conversation now and explain something to you.” “Oh, sure, go ahead” I told him. “This number is encrypted to me. I cannot see it, therefore I need you to read the number off your card to me so I can re-enter it”. I said, “Oh, sure, no problem. I just wasn’t expecting you to be so rude.” But in the end we kissed and made up, I just better watch my credit card bills for any unauthorized purchases by Mike!

I’ve been wanting to show you this since last week when I got a fantastic video in an email from my sister and with Easter just days away it seems the appropriate time to show it. It’s a current take on an old story. Unfortunately for some reason, I can’t link it like a YouTube video, but click on the blue button and the player window will open. After a brief advertisement, the video will start. Please enjoy.

From the One Life To Live front:

It’s been discussed all over the internet that the decision to cancel One Life to Live and All My Children was a year in the making, which gives one pause as to how Barbara Walters can defend her… oh, right, her boss, of course… by announcing on the claw and cackle fest otherwise known as The View, after Whoopi Goldberg brought up the topic, undoubtedly meticulously choreographed, that Brian Frons was “almost in tears himself”.  But get this! A little over a year ago, I blogged about my concern over an article I’d read; the date was July 16, 2010 and this paragraph is just part of that entry: (Give me an e. Give me an i.)

I got a little nervous last night when I read an article that my soap opera, One Life To Live was rumored to be on the chopping block once again, like it was last fall. However, according to the article, Brian Frons, head of ABC daytime television said the network was committed to keeping all three of its soaps–All My Children, OLTL and General Hospital–on the air.

Really, liar?

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Hoover will discontinue sponsoring ABC as of this coming Friday!

Please help in the fight to keep the remaining soaps on the air. Watch an episode or two. Come on, it won’t kill you. Even if you don’t watch any of these soaps just think what television could be with nothing but reality TV 24/7 in place of your favorite television show. Just imagine it were one of your favorite shows; perhaps your cable company decided to pull the plug on all things Sci-fi, or comedy, or sports.  Just because the television  networks forcefeed us inferior programming doesn’t mean we have to like it. Write a letter to one, or both of these people and tell  them to save our shows.

One Life To Live

April 18, 2011

It’s no surprise I’m angry with Brian Frons and ABC for the decision to cancel One Life To Live, a show I’ve watched for nearly 43 years. Since the news came over the internet, I’ve joined the crusade to help save One Life To Live, All My Children and unfortunately, undoubtedly, all in due time, the remaining ones–General Hospital, Days Of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Here is the official announcement.

I could spend the entire blog extolling what I believe to be the values of the genre, but I’ve been doing that on every available message board, Facebook link and emails and letters to The Powers that Be at ABC on both coasts.

As someone who loves to write, I can appreciate the work that goes into fabricating these stories at a relentless pace and it’s just disgraceful to think all this hard work, this cultural fold of the fabric of Americana is being dismissed as a passing fancy.  

I can’t help but wonder how long before other favorite shows will fade into the landscape of cheaply produced reality shows and talk shows.

If you watch, or know someone who watches or just want to help save what’s left of daytime TV, here are two names you can contact:

Brian Frons, President, ABC Daytime, 2300 Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91506

brian.frons@abc.com 

Anne Sweeney, President, ABC TV, ABC Studios, 500 S. Buena Vista St, Burbank, CA  91521

Anne.x.Sweeney@email.Disney.com

Big Doin’s

April 15, 2011

Oh boy. Big goings on. It looks like I’m on my own tonight; Brian is busy writing letters of protest to the powers that be over at ABC Television for their decision to cancel One Life To Live, and All My Children. He is not a happy camper and I know he had things planned for the blog today, but I have a feeling he won’t be getting to that tonight. I know it’s a dark day for him. I think the only thing the might cheer him up a little is if Haley gets the boot tonight.

Speaking of which, let’s get this ball rolling. They did the same thing they did last week, having the contestants come out in pairs to sing before they learn their fates. First up was Scotty and Lauren singing Lady Antebellum’s “American Honey”. Casey and Haley then came out with Sarah Vaughn’s “Moanin’”. And of those four, Scotty was safe. Lauren was safe. Haley was in the bottom 3….YES!!!! Casey was safe.

Time for an intermission. Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean sang “Don’t You Wanna Stay”.

The remaining four contestants, Stefano, Paul, Jacob and James came then sang a Simon and Garfunkel medley; “Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson”. And their results are: James was safe, Jacob was safe. Stefano and Paul rounded out my trifecta from last night!

While we waited, we got to see Chaka Khan, who never seems to change; she looked fabulous and Anita Baker. Then Rihanna sang her single “California King Bed” amid a smokey and shrouded set. A standing O? Egads.

And the final results. Haley is safe. Okay, that’s it. I’m done! Is she someone’s sister? Niece? Squeeze? I just changed my opinion. SHE is this year’s Katherine McPhee. I’ve relieved Lauren of that status. Stefano is safe. Paul is going. Well, he was in my bottom 3, wasn’t he?

Brian will be back next week. I see him furiously finding people and places to write to about One Life To Live.

Until next time….

Movie Night

April 14, 2011

The media is still abuzz with the astounding elimination of Pia last week. I, too, say it was a mistake, but apparently you humans are hearing something in Haley that I’m not. I’m not going to dwell on it, I’m only going to keep wishing she was gone. And congratulations to Jenny from the block for being named People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman in the World.

Music from the movies was the theme last night and Paul was up first with “Old Time Rock and Roll”. You may not believe this, but I used to roller skate to this song. You never saw such teeny tiny skates…and four of them yet! Where was I? Oh, yeah, Paul. I think it’s his jumping around that adds to whatever the appeal is. He started off like a sleepy Rod Stewart and I was like…YES!, he’s bombing, and he eventually picked up the pace, but, alas, still wasn’t anything worth noting.

Lauren then sang “The Climb”, though I couldn’t understand what song she said through her mumbling. Nothing really special, weak…kinda. Safe, is what I think the judges should tell her. J-lo told her she has a tear in her voice. I have a tear in my eye from having to hear that.

Stefano, fresh from that close call last week, decided “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men was going to help him wipe out that memory. He has to be careful; that song has a special place in my heart. I’m sorry, and you know I like him, but he just didn’t do it for me. Could this be a prophetic choice tonight? And will those back up singers just please shut UP?

“Cross My Heart” was Scotty’s choice to get back “in touch” with his country roots. Really, Scotty? Typical Scotty; easy, smooth, confident, I just wasn’t sure about this veritible unfamiliar tune.

Indecisive Constipation Casey wavered between “Nature Boy” and “In The Air Tonight” but decided on “Nature Boy”. I still say the judges were premature in using their save for season.

Haley took on Blondie with “Call Me”. Oh, good grief. Right out of the gate…if she doesn’t go this week, I’m officially going off duty! She just made everyone else who sang tonight sound like a million bucks.

I was wishing Jacob wouldn’t have done that with his voice while he sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, dipping to that real low note that sounded almost comical, but as he sang, he kept building and building until he exploded in the end, giving us the best of the night up to this point.

Closing the show was James Durbin singing Sammy Hagar’s “Heavy Metal”. James held to his convictions that he was going to sing what he wanted and it paid off. He brought the house down.

Well, here goes:    

Until next time….

Come Into The Closet

April 12, 2011

Years ago, I’ll never forget it as long as I live, when my beagle was alive, I learned there was truth in Pavlov’s theory. On the first night after the basement was finished and the bedroom moved down there and it was time to hit the hay, Wiffy was nowhere to be found. Usually she was under my feet, whether I was sitting on the couch or trying to navigate on foot, going from one room to another, trying not to trip over her and certainly at bedtime she was in my spot, making herself so big, I had to squeeze into whatever space remained. So, that night, I found her, standing, with a dumbfounded WTF look on her face at the indentation in the carpet where the foot of the bed was just hours before. She knew it was bedtime, but hadn’t registered the move yet. I entered the room and all she could do was helplessly look to me for guidance until I convinced her to follow me to where she could once again make herself huge to the point there was room for only her on the bed.

Well, Ariel has that same look on his face when he tries to find his clothes. They’re no longer in the small closet. I shouldn’t pick on him though, he’ll get it eventually. I, on the other hand, after more than twelve years, still choose the wrong switch in a 2, 3 or 4 gang; the singles I’ve finally gotten the hang of.  And there’s the ever famous incident of wandering aimlessly into the living room, pondering my reason for being there, only to realize I meant to go into the bathroom. (I think that’s a different condition altogether, something Pavlov couldn’t help with). And then of course there’s the ribbing I get all the time about touching the wrong button on a remote control or the computer. As a matter of fact, while I was writing, I went to open Internet Explorer, hit the Start button and followed through without realizing what I was doing until the screen went dark. Duh!

I’m still working on transferring my music from iPod to iPod and as I’m working on it, I’m questioning whether there might not be an easier way but I’m having a good time doing it. It was bit of a convoluted process. First I had to realize that if I transferred my stored music files from my external drive to my iTunes library, all 6 thousand some songs would end up on my mSpot program on my Droid. So, with my PD Rescue program (which I recommend highly for anyone who’s got invaluable music files) I was able to input the contents of my old iPod into iTunes on my laptop (not associated with mSpot). I was able to pick and choose what got moved, so I eliminated four hundred and some Christmas songs from moving. Not that I don’t like Christmas music, but invariably, one of the umpteen versions of “The Little Drummer Boy”–one of my least favorite Christmas songs….EVER!!!–will play at an inopportune time. Plus, because the new iPod is an iPod Touch, I want to have album art for all my stuff and that’s taking some time to collect.

I don’t have a smooth closer so I’ll just show you this video I saw on Ellen last night.

It Never Ends

April 11, 2011

And enough already with the stink bugs! It’s getting warm now, stay outside and go back where you came from!

I see my blog got hijacked for two days last week so Commander could do his thing with American Idol. Boy, did he get blindsided or did he get blindsided? You’ll be glad to know the carpet went in as planned on Thursday and after I gave the installers a perfect score on professionalism and cleanliness, etc, and even I spoke to their supervisor on the installer’s telephone, giving them a glowing review, I learned from Ariel when he got home later that night they had left a huge bag of scraps (carpet and padding) on the bench by the garage. Telephone? Who says telephone anymore? On Friday after work, we moved in the dressers and the clothes are hanging in there. And the blind came in on Saturday for the closet window. So, that room is finished.

But then came time to replace the flourescent tubes in some of my overheads, in the garage, in my work area in the basement and turns out the fixtures themselves need replaced. What, do you think I am, made of money?

We ate at The Barge in Perth Amboy for the first time ever over the weekend. I’ll tell you why we were in Perth Amboy at a later date, with pictures, of course. The food was quite good; I had surf and turf and Ariel had prime rib. Ariel had a crabmeat cocktail and I had escargot. I haven’t had a good escargot recipe in a long time. There’s a place close to my house that used to have a killer recipe and it changed and I made it known to the owner I wasn’t pleased. But Saturday’s was delicious and because it came with props, I re-enacted, as best I could, the Paris At Last episode of I Love Lucy. I even asked for “Tomat!”

Right on the heels of that YouTube video of those two adorable babies chatting away came the one of the kid crying because he was too small to governor of NJ. Is it just me, or does anyone else think this was a put on? I certainly attracted the attention of  the powers that be, and the kid, Jesse Koczon was crowned “honorary governor for a day” and sat along side  honorary lieutenant governor, 4 year old twin brother Brandon and NJ Governor Christie for a press conferance.

More and more it seems YouTube is the new Schawbs drug store, where people get discovered almost on a daily basis;  maybe I need to make a YouTube video crying how I can’t get my book published.

Hall of Fame Results

April 8, 2011

Before we get into last night’s show, I have to admit that before you read my blog yesterday, I quickly changed one of my bottom three choices. I actually had James Durbin where Jacob’s picture now resides. Now that I’ve come clean on that, which I didn’t have to do, but I was really torn after the performances (unless of course it turns out my gut feeling was correct by the time we get to the results)n we can get on with last night’s recap.

You know what else I have a real problem with? The judges. Yes, it’s a nicer environment without Simon constantly being the center of attention, but this new panel of judges, with the curious exception of Randy, is just coming across as filler for the other two seats at the judge’s table. Everyone is great, everyone “nails” their songs. No. No they don’t. Randy is the voice of reason this year, offering advice and constructive criticism and with out the condescending attitude Simon exhibited and the other two seem to be wallowing in the ether of being a judge.

The Brady Bunch moment was another mashup of “Sweet Home Alabama” and “I Love Rock and Roll”

Oh boy, here we go. Casey, Stefano and Lauren were up first. Lauren is safe. Casey is safe. Stefano in the bottom three. So far, 1 for 3 tonight.

Then Constantine Maroulis, from season 4 would have had you believe he was singing “Unchained Melody”, making it his own so to speak. Unfortunately he had to open his mouth and ruin a beautifully haunting musical arrangement.

Up next, Paul, Pia and Scotty. Scotty is safe. The lamb! Paul is safe and Pia is in the bottom three. My score, 1 for 3.

James, Haley and Jacob is the last group up. James is safe, and I apologize James for thinking otherwise. Haley is safe. WHAT!!!!!!!!!!! Jacob is in the bottom 3. Okay, so I’m 2 for 3. Haley is safe? And the look on all three judges’ faces was more than telling they felt the same way. So, I ask, why did they tell her they “nailed” her song the night before? How can they act so surprised?

Saggy Pop came out and…hmm? Oh, sorry, Iggy…Iggy Pop came out and gyrated and bounced  around shirtless through some song that apparently had some objectionable language because a couple of times the sound cut out. And really…what was that?

Now for the final results. Jacob is safe. So that means between Pia and Stefano, it’ll have to be Stefano. My other favorite since the auditions. Him and Naima! But no. Holy crap, NO!!!! It’s Pia who is going. Oh my God! Not my favorite, but I’m in total shock. And she held it as together as she could while she sang her final song, “I’ll Stand By You” and I had goose bumps along my little legs. Next week, Haley has GOT to go!

Well, looks like I used up all of Brian’s space for today. That’s the way the ball bounces I guess. He’ll be baack on Monday. I hear he’s got something to complain about.

Until next time…..

Cleveland Rocks!

April 7, 2011

Last night’s theme was songs from The Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. Will.i.am came in to coach the shenanigans and Gwen Stefani styled the girls. Holla Back!

Getting right into it, Jacob decided to change his original choice of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” in favor of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” because he didn’t feel it, singing about doing “it”. Well, maybe he should have stuck with doing “it” because his performance was just so-so, kind of flat and a little monotone.

Haley took on Janis Joplin’s “Take Another Piece of My Heart”. Please let this be her last week! That’s all I’m saying on that topic. She grunted more than Constipation Casey ever has. Speaking of whom…he was right after Haley with “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” by CCR. It would have been good, it actually started off kind of palatable, but then he got all…constipated and nasally with it.

Katherine McPhee, sorry, Lauren Alaina sang Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” next. I wanted not to like it, but I have to admit she did an admirable job on it.

James Durbin pulled it back with George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. I don’t think this was the right song for him to sing. He’s definitely more suited for a rocking performance.

Cutey-pie Scotty chose the perfect song to mix his country roots with the “rock” theme, the rockabilly sound of Elvis Presley’s “That’s Alright, Mama”.

Pia shrieked through “River Deep Mountain High” by Tina Turner. Hmm. It had its moments, but when she reached for those high notes, quite a few times, it took some doing and she was definitely straining almost like she had a throat full of chalk dust. She needs to reign in that over-enthusiasm just a smidge and this could have been the song of the night.

Stefano gave his all with Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman”, but I don’t believe it was enough. He started off very high, came back down to earth, went high again, came back down and coasted there, thankfully. It was good, not great, but I’ve said it before, singing loud is not singing passionately. And I’m afraid I didn’t feel that Stefano passion that seems to be losing ground week after week.

Helium inflated Rod Stewart, aka Paul McDonald closed the show with Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison”–a spirited rendition. Not one of my favorite contestants, but I enjoyed this performance.

So now who do I put in the bottom 3 and more importantly, who do I send home? I’m torn between 2 for my 3rd spot in the bottom 3 but this is what I’m going with.