Archive for May, 2011

Slimed

May 31, 2011

Back to work today. We had our first camping trip of the season and it’s both comforting and aggravating to know we haven’t lost our touch. I’m talking about the rain factor. We arrived a little later than we normally like to on Friday but got down to work right away setting up camp. This time around we had some friends joining us and had two other tents to set up. Which means, jumping ahead to the conclusion of the weekend, taking down three soaked tents, all the tarps both on the ground and used as awnings…it would be easier to say the only things not wet were what were inside the truck.

It rained all three nights from Friday to Sunday, but the days were sunny and warm. Of course with the dampness came the mosquitoes that were rather enjoying their fresh feast, even through the layers of bug spray. The meek shall inherit the earth? Quite possibly. And there was that one snail, or I guess slug (no shell) that bit my leg. The last rain was Sunday night that started around 2am or so and relentlessly continued for the next several hours. I’d say around 6 it ended and we finally got some sleep, a welcome change from taking turns jumping up and down every few minutes to push off the belly of water that kept collection on the rainfly which caused the teeniest yet most torturous drip right over our heads.

The capper of the weekend was that after we’d loaded up the truck and were drenched with sweat and collected muddy waters, the truck wouldn’t start until we finally found someone to give us a jump start.

This morning I remembered suddenly upon waking we never put up one of the tents to dry out so I took care of that, folded up the air mattresses and sleeping bags that were drying out over night. I put up the last tent on the patio and so it wouldn’t retreat and nest itself only to get squished when I rolled up the tent later, I tried to move a rather large slug trailing along the pavers. How was I to know it would leave an almost impossible coating of slime on me? It finally took a toothbrush and some Avon Skin So Soft to get it off.

Now all I have to do is wait for that phantom vertigo to kick in, that feeling of falling forward in my desk chair, a residual of spending the weekend on the side of mountain, where you literally go uphill no matter where you’re going or where you are coming from.

All in all, seeing everyone again, catching up since last September, sharing a few beers, and few more, and whatever else was available,  made all the discomfort worth it.

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I was pretty much out of the loop, technologically speaking, having very limited and intermittent internet access so I need to catch up on the status of the soap war. I’m assuming the situation is status quo so:

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Teachers Who Fix Their Hair

May 26, 2011

122 million votes, an all time record will determine the winner of this year’s American Idol. The two finalists, Scotty and Lauren came out and a remote of each one’s hometown was shown in the background. Scotty had such a huge crowd and it was determined by us, the revelers, that most of the people in Lauren’s hometown, which recently suffered a tornado, got blown into North Carolina, into Scotty’s camp. The reunion of the idols came together for the final Brady Bunch moment singing, once again (yawn….) Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.

James then joined Judas Priest for a performance and he was in his glory. Jacob sang with some guy playing the piano (sorry, I was multi-tasking) and Gladys Knight with her Pips. She never leaves home without them. Well, that one time, but we won’t talk about that. Oh, it was Kirk Franklin, the piano player guy.

Next up was Constipation Casey AND Jack Black (a perfect pair if ever there was one) singing Fat Bottom Girls. Jack Black’s a singer? For that matter…. Constipation Casey’s a singer?

The girls of the Top 13, all dressed in red came out and sang Put A Ring On It and To The Left and something I didn’t recognize (I’m assuming a Beyonce song) and If I Were A Boy… alright already, where is Beyonce herself, this medley is getting tiresome. Ah, there she is and, oh man, those shoes….HOT!!!!! And she’s got legs all the way up to there.

During this little break, while they’re saluting Steven Tyler’s first year on Idol, let me interject with this ridiculous asinine quote and see if you know who said it : “Serials, for the most part are baby boomer programs…”.

Speaking of asinine, the coupling of Haley and Tony Bennett, for instance. Well, what does he care? He’s 85, he’s left a legacy and still going strong and his Duets 2 album will be out in September. Gotta put that on my Amazon wishlist. Or maybe my birthday wishlist. Little John (L’il John?) came bouncing out followed by TLC singing Waterfalls. LOVE that song.

Scottypants and Tim McGraw duetted with Live Like You Were Dying. Go Scotty. And Jennifer Lopez turned up missing (uh…oxymoron much?). She must be gonna sing. Must be gonna sing; oh, Mac would have my head for that one.

Let me finish that quote while we revisit some of the year’s misguided idol hopefuls. “…and as Boomers are out of the key selling demographic, we need to look at alternatives.”. Need a hint? His name rhymes with Jackass. Yes, it was Brian Frons. Not gonna get into analyzing that one, not now.

Well it wasn’t J-lo, but Marc Anthony who appeared at the top the stairs, singing some hip-gyrating rhythmic song accompanied by Sheila E. on the drums, of course and oh yeah and J-lo, shaking her money maker for hubby Marc.

Oh dear, and then the boys came out, lead by Stefano (making it evident it was a wise move he got voted off) singing a Prince song (made sense with Sheila E being there) and then Paul sang a Tom Jones song, as did the rest of the boys, and I remembered that The Voice had once covered Prince, so he should be out shortly and here he is, all tan and looking spiffy singing It’s Not Unusual.

Speaking of Lady Gaga, here she is in a bedazzled modified revolutionary war hat.

Lauren’s turn, singing Before He Cheats, the Carrie Underpants, er, Underwood version, not the hyped up club version by Jackie O. So, could Ms. Underpants be far behind. Thanks for that one, Pocono Bob! R.I.P.

And one more time with Beyonce who can’t say algebra. But then again, who uses the word algebra in a song? Well, Rose Nylund wanted to use intrauterine in a song about Miami… you’re cuter than, an intrauterine…so I guess all bets are off.

Bono and The Edge, amid a huge Spiderman set, including a flying Spiderman (which one is this, the one with the broken ribs or the broken back?) failed to impress me with Rise Above.

Our own Steven Tyler suddenly appeared on stage tickling the ivories to Dream On. I hear tell he performed solo because the rest of Aerosmith has shunned him for being a judge on American Idol.

And now comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Dim the lights… Come on Scotty…….

It’s Scotty!!!!!  Scotty is the new American Idol.  And Lauren seemed as genuinely happy as she could be and that other creep that got voted off last week is still scowling.

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I Say F That!

May 25, 2011

I turned on the TV yesterday morning to watch my daily dose of Headline News with Robin Meade and the Casey Anthony trial was being shown live. I guess it was Linda Drane Burdick, the Assistant State Attorney who was in the middle of her opening statement and at one point, while she was reading testimony, she read aloud some quotes and one of them contained the “F” word. Well several seconds later, Robin Meade chimed in with an apology for the coarse language being used and they went to a commercial. When they came back, she announced they were going on a delay so that in case any more F bombs were let loose, we’d be spared. Then I thought, that sucks. How is the news channel responsible for the language in the trial? Did they sugar coat the quotes the attorney read for the sake of the jury and spectators in the courtroom?  Kind of a sad state of affairs when even the news cannot be reported as it happens. I guess we really do live in a sterile bubble because someone of some importance deems it so.  I say phuque that!

We set up a series of inline sprinklers with a timer for the garden last night and set if for a virgin run and it turned on and turned off and there was happiness here at Leaning Pines. There was also chicken salad sandwiches and penne with vodka sauce. There was also a tear to the eye, but I’ll get to that after.

Wow, I almost forgot, I needed to leave room for American Idol. Lauren was tanked up on meds to help her get passed a strained vocal cord. She injured herself during rehearsal, but the doctor assured everyone she would be alright for the night. Round one would be each contestants’ favorite song of the season, round two, the idols’ Idols picking songs for them  and round three would be each one’s first single.

First up was Scotty doing Gone and of course he was our beloved Scottypants and Lauren chose Flat On The Floor. In spite of her voice being in jeopardy, she sounded good. There might have been a moment when she sounded a little compromised and a look of concern came to her face, and they cut to J-lo who also looked on a little distressful.

George Strait chose Check Yes Or No (his own song) for Scotty. And Carrie Underwood chose Maybe It Was Memphis  for Lauren’s second song.

Jimmy Iovine announced Scotty’s first single I Love You This Big, should he win, to be his final song of the night. Then Lauren’s song was Like My Mother Does.

Though I’d love for Scotty to win, I think Lauren has a slight edge. But you know what? In spite of that, I’m choosing Scotty, though this year, I’m really torn and would be okay for either to win. Tonight is our annual American Idol finale party, which coincidentally serves as a combination birthday party for Ariel and our friend Sue. Their birthdays are about a week apart and if we don’t do it along with the Idol finale, it can get to be August or September before we do any celebrating. It has happened!

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The tear to the eye I spoke of earlier was because the opening scene of my story last night was Kassie DePaiva’s “Blair” rehearsing a song at Capricorn… Here’s what you do when you don’t find the rainbow’s end, this time. Here’s where you go when it looks like the rain won’t end, don’t cry. I’ll give you to-m”… and she abruptly stopped, slapping the sheet music down saying “This is depressing.” Those are the opening lines to the One Life to Live theme from back in the 80’s when Peabo Bryson sang over a montage of images of Llanview and its characters. So, it’s obvious we’re seeing the beginning of the… No, I won’t say it. I’m just gonna keep fighting.

Calling All Hands

May 24, 2011

I was in touch last night with one of the moderators, Kymba, from one of the Facebook groups I belong to, Save AMC & OLTL. Each day they post the information for different people from various places; advertisers, ad agencies, ABC/Disney people, etc. to contact, trying to get these people on our side.

Yesterday’s “task” was to email an arm’s length worth of ABC affiliates across the country and there was a scripted message to include in the email. I usually use my own words, but after reading through the script, it seemed like it might do the trick. Out of I don’t even know how many email addresses were in that list, I immediately got back about eight “out of office” replies. A few were sympathetic to our cause in that they knew they were on the verge of losing viewership should the soaps go off the air. One even sent me (and most likely everyone else but because it was addressed to me personally, I felt like it was to only me) a link to Disney contacts he suggested we try contacting, kind of like going straight to the heart of the matter. One also commented how my email was a verbatim carbon copy of the mass that he’d already received and that got me thinking that perhaps I should have used my own words as I have been. And this morning, Kymba addresses that very point in her blog, to use the script as a guide and make it our own.

So, with her permission, I am linking hers with mine so that those of you out there not on Facebook, can still lend a hand. Whatever you opinion is on the “soap opera”, remember, it’s still someone’s job on the line, not to mention someone’s entertainment. We might be fighting to save “just a soap opera” but in light of what’s taking its place and what is slowly taking over the landscape of television; cheap reality shows and cookie cutter shows that can be found on any other channel at anytime of the day, we might also be making a point that we television viewers want something of quality to relax in front of for a few hours during the day.

Still Here

May 23, 2011

The Rapture came and went and the only indication we had to prove Harold Camping’s prediction may have had any credibility was the splendiferous sunny day we had on Saturday; the one day in so many, including yesterday and even this morning, which were nothing but dismal, gray and rainy. Well, at least the garden is getting watered.

But, as glorious as Saturday was, Ariel and I once again proved our powers are infallible. We decided to go to New Hope for a pre-birthday outing. We were going to meet up with a friend of ours but a prior commitment had him otherwise engaged. And while we sat, swapping stories with the bartender and the only other patron in the place, the rains came. Only for a little while, but enough to reassure us we still had the gift. We then had a nice leisurely dinner, returned home for a quick change of clothes and headed out to while away the remainder of The Rapture at a club where another friend was tending bar.

Yesterday was a lazy day, thanks in part to the previous night and to the dreary weather, but we got done the things we needed to do like getting our camping gear in order for our upcoming first trip of the season. And, to bring things full circle, and to prove once again we are masters at what we profess…..

Of course it is only Monday, so we’ll see how that situation progresses. And it’s evident the Rapture period has ended. I woke up to the realization I have dentist appointment this morning.

And of course the soap war continues, and though it was a busy weekend, I did what I could with sending out letters of protest. And once again, here are the links. (Guy, is that you I see among the petition signatures?… if it is, pass the link on! If not, pass it on anyway.)

All This, And Tomatoes Too

May 20, 2011

Okay, I’m getting right to it today. There’s an issue at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Wyckoff, NJ. There are naked pictures of a 13 year old female student on just about everyone’s mobile phone. When its existence was discovered, a warning letter was sent to the parents by the school  and the students had 2 days (ending yesterday) to delete any copies of the photo, or anything else inappropriate on their phones. If any student was found with any inappropriate image afterwards, he or she would be arrested and face criminal charges for the distribution of child porn. Okay, great. However, why punish an entire school for the act of one? That one? The girl herself! She took the naked picture of herself and sent it to another student. Let’s see, Junior High (that’s old school for middle school, and I’m old …. school) boys with a picture of a naked girl, armed with the technology to share it with the masses (unlike the old days,  having to gather his buddies into his father’s toolshed like college kids piling into  Volkswagen, to do what boys do when they discover dad’s Playboy magazines. Somehow, that’s a rite of passage; this is a criminal case. I’m going out on a limb here and saying the only guilty party here is the girl herself. Or perhaps her parents for possibly not telling her there’d be repurcutions of such actions.  Ah, what the heck, let’s lump that one friend into the blame pool as well.  But then, at that age, one hasn’t really been in the world long enough to wisely call someone  a friend. So, should the pictures be removed? Yes. Out of repsect for the girl and for the assumption it was just a silly mistake. Will they be removed?Probably some, but not all. They’ve probably already been uploaded to home computers and encrypted and otherwise tucked safely under lock and key.  And if there was no face or other incriminating details in this picture, then I say just let it go. It’ll be forgotten as soon as the next nudie shot surfaces. There, I’ve said my piece.

So, tomorrow is Doomsday. Yeah, that just figures. After so many years of waiting, I finally  have real garden and as of yesterday I have CORN growing…Damn it!  Still waiting on the new tomato seeds I had to plant to sprout, but I also have squash, poppies, red basil, thyme, oregano, peppers (I think it’s the peppers) all doing very well. Alas.

Over to American Idol now; over 95 million votes, more than 15 million more than last year’s Top 3 vote decided last night’s elimination. And come on, what was with that crown in Haley’s hair? Barf-a-roni! The first half hour plus was devoted to the homecomings and some performances by a young Italian trio, Il Volo, who really sounded fantastic, and Nicole Scherzinger with 50 Cent debuting her new single. Il Volo far surpassed the Pussycat Doll. And Scotty had me all misty-eyed with his homecoming segment.

Here we go, the first person staying for next week’s finale is…. SCOTTYPANTS! And LAUREN is his competition! And oh man, if looks could kill. Haley is not amused. Commander!!!!!!  I wouldn’t be surprised if her camp demanded a recount. There must be hanging chad somewhere. There IS a God!

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On the One Life to Live front: It’s been reported that Robin Strasser, aka. Dorian Lord will bow out of the show at sometime before it (allegedly) ends in January. According to her tweet, she will be undergoing back surgery. She also has an out clause in her contract. That’s really distressing, A) because of such a health issue, and B) because she is the quintessential “bitch”. I always felt Alexis Carrington was modeled after Dorian Lord.

A quick update from an article I read this morning: Adverstisers were largely impressed with the Upfronts, giving enthusiastic  nods to NBC and CBS for their presentations of new shows for the coming season, liking the fact they are appealing to a somewhat older demographic, which the advertisers are looking for and they deemed ABC down and dirty, providing little insight for their new line up and saying what they are looking to sell is aimed at the younger set. 

But our battle rages on with emails and phone calls to ABC executives, advertisers, marketing agencies. We’re not going down without a fight.  Oh, and hey, God….if you’re reading this…..

With This Ring…Whoops!

May 19, 2011

I was out on my own last night. It’s official; The Ghost of Commander has left the building. Beyonce was last night’s mentor and her first charge was Scottypants who sang “Amazed” by Lonestar. His performance was decidedly better (with the usual Scotty smoothness and confidence) than his rehearsal.

Lauren was next with “She’s A Wild One” by Faith Hill. She started okay, went a little flat in an attempt to reach some high notes, then brought it back.

The last contestant for this round decided on Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be”. To me, this alleged superstar sounded like Charlie Brown’s mother. And then she fell. It was hard to tell how she sang because the band played so loud on top of her.

Round two: “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” by Thompson Square is Jimmy Iovine’s pick for Scotty. Again, cool, confident Scotty.

Lauren’s round two song was “If I Die Young” by Perry. Did she miss a line? Again she sounded a little unsure of herself.

The third contestant sang “Rhiannon” by Stevie Nicks. Again, Charlie Brown’s mother.

Scotty’s final song was Kenny Rogers’ “She Believes In Me”. Scotty! Scotty! Scotty!

Lauren sang “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womak. Her best of the night.

The last judge’s choice is “You Oughtta Know” by Alanis Morissette. By far the worst of the night.

Okay, you know who I’m gunning for. I’ll be happy with a Scotty/Lauren finale! Let’s see what happens.

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Okay, time for a quick, yet uncomfortable video. It’s fairly self explanatory.

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And now the continuing saga of the Battle of the Soaps: My head is actually pounding while I’m writing this. Soap Nazi (thank you whichever Facebook group member who came up with that, I love that) Brian Frons waved and chuckled at protestors outside New York’s Lincoln Center on Tuesday after a meeting of ABC Upfront, a meeting between network execs and advertisers in preparation for the upcoming season. Chuckled? The man who allegedly was brought to tears when he made the announcement of the cancellation, an emotion confirmed by kiss-ass Barbara Walters?  He never thought he’d be the one to do that, he’s been known to say. He also was quoted as saying there is no chance the shows will be back. You’re so full of shit, Frons! And you know it! That’s him with the sunglasses and the smug look on his face!

Our groups on Facebook don’t have much more time until the Upfronts are over and we are bombarding current advertisers to try to get them to not sponsor the new shows. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but The Chew, or, how I affectionately refer to it as The Cud, is set to replace All My Children on September 26, 2011 and The Revulsion (what they’re calling The Revolution) is scheduled to replace One Life to Live beginning on Monday, January 23, 2012. Goodbye, ABC. 

Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) made this following statement:

United We….Stand?

May 18, 2011

Or: will the real terrorist please stand up? (I’ll get to Brian Frons in a bit). On July 1 of this year, a new bill will go into effect whereby all first responders to Ground Zero after the attack on 9/11 must be screened before getting treatment for illnesses incurred and other funding from the $2.5 billion set aside for such aide. Seems I left out the punchline; they must be screened, that is, to make sure their names are not found in the terrorist database. The thought behind it is to keep away those who are not really sick (or who may be terrorists looking to cash in on a good thing). So, while tens of thousands of policemen, firefighters, construction workes, etc await treatment and funding, they are guilty of terrorism until proven innocent. That’s a joke, when you consider the real terrorist is the adorable little baby in his carriage sucking on his bottle. See? You can’t trust anyone!

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Okay, on to some other terrorism:

I’ve got a new name for you to email:  gary.shanas@abc.com  Gary Shanas. He is the Vice President of Media Strategy over that at ABC.  I sent an email last night and got the same response as others did on our Facebook group, that he is currently OUT OF THE OFFICE., but at least we’re filling up his inbox. Or at least it gives us hope that’s the case. He’s probably sitting there chomping on a big fat cigar, with that message turned on, deleting  the messages as they come in. Well, we’ll just keep on sending them.  The same happened when I’ve repeatedly tried to contact my local ABC affiliate; I got back fatal errors that the email could not be sent. But I keep on trying.  And as always, here is the reminder for the other info:

Not Another Dog Act

May 17, 2011

Did I tell you I’m really liking my new glasses? I liken the experience to a time when I was younger, much, much younger and had my first pair of glasses and I realized the green on the tops of trees were, in fact, individual leaves. It was an exhilirating moment. Since then I just took for granted I was supposed to be able to see when I put on  a pair of glasses or contacts, completley discounting the aging factor. Or should I say “totally”?  “Totally seems to be running neck and neck with “amazing” all of a sudden. 

 But, I’m getting used to these new multifocal ones, and the conscious odd positions my head needs to be in so everything in head-on in my line of vision. It’s a relief to not have to layer on separate pair of readers on top of my regular glasses, or have to take them off to see up close. Of course, wearing my contacts is a whole ‘nother ball of wax because I’ll still need readers for those.

You know what I haven’t posted in a long time? Celebrity birthdays and it just so happens it’s Fiona Hutchison’s birthday today. Somewhere in this house is a framed autographed picture of her, made out to Ariel, but kill me if I know where it is. I know where it was the last time I saw it and that was quite a few years ago. It’s in a matching frame I had a signed picture of Bette Davis (not made out to me specifically).

I know there are one or two of you out there who knows who she is but for those of you who don’t, she played Gabrielle Medina on One Life to Live. I’m putting this video up, which just happens to be a favorite scene of ours. It’s long, I know, but at least watch it up to the 4 minute mark.

Okay, now on to more soap business. Today I’m including a link to a petition to fire Brian Frons. I signed it. Ariel signed it. Our “signatures” appear at numbers 12,674 and 12,676. We did this at the bar the other night while chatting with Martha Wash’s manager using my phone. I’m asking you to first read the petition and then please sign it. I seen names of stars from the soaps listed, I see Melissa and Sara Gilberts’ names, and not sure if it’s the June Lockhart, but I see that name and considering she once appeared on General Hospital as Maria Ramirez between the 80’s and the 90’s, it’s most likely it is the one and only Ruth Martin/Maureen Robinson. And, to bring things full circle, while I’m at it, she also played the role of Isabelle in the Bette Davis/Charles Boyer “All This, And Heaven Too” from 1940.

And, as you can see, if you click through the signatures, your email address will not be visible. And as always there is also the Support Our Soaps link and the addresses for the 3 ABC/Disney execs. Thanks. We can do this!

The Wrong Tree

May 16, 2011

This past weekend we attended the Black & White party in Harrisburg, an AIDS benefit affair, hosted by Chuck and Greg King who also hosted the party we went to in York back in March. We got to our hotel and guest singer for the event, Martha Wash was checking in ahead of us. We actually arrived late to the venue because it was still early and we were looking for food (surprise of surprises) and ended up in the lounge for a pre-dinner libation and found ourselves in the company of Martha Wash’s manager. We struck up a conversation and before we knew it, we had to get hustling over the party.

Afterwards, back at the hotel, we went to the after party in the party hosts’ room and learned they had cleared over $15,000. So we toasted and continued to drink and be rowdy til well past 3. Suddenly we were “those” muckrakers that keep everyone awake. We returned to our room with a little trepidation, the memory of our recent New York incident still rather fresh on our minds.

I got this in my email over the weekend:

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My name is Haykanush. I hope we can find much in common. I am a young lady. My friends consider me to be interesting in communication, kind and sincere. I can cook it is tasty. I happen good companion in a society. I have neither husband nor children. I have serious intentions about my life.I am serious, responsible, caring, kind, honest, devoted lady. I am romantic and sensitive like any woman. I have an easy-going nature and I can be very supportive. I’d like to have a comfortable place to live, and a warm atmosphere at home. I would like to meet someone who can be honest, who knows how to take care of a woman, love her, treat her, who wants to have a strong marriage and a baby. I prefer strong men, who know what they want from life, who wants to stay with one woman and be honest with her. I would like to have an open relationship and if we do not like something in each other to speak about it, it’s nice to be lovers but also good friends and to trust each other, if you do something wrong, it’s better to say so openly. If you are interested in Me if you wish to see My photos please write to Me. I’ll send more of my photos and tell you more about myself! I hope to find an answer from you.

Haykanush

She also sent a picture which I didn’t click on because I figured that’s what probably contained a virus.

And speaking of barking up the wrong tree, tune in tomorrow because I’ll have the continuing saga of the battle of soaps. In the meantime…