Archive for September, 2011

Time To Walk Again

September 30, 2011

I really don’t have much of a blog today, it’s that time of the month and my sense of creativity has flown out the window. But because time is marching on with a deadline fast approaching and I haven’t yet done so, I wanted to get in here with my yearly plea for donations to sponsor Lucille, who once again will be walking against breast cancer. You can click on the pink ribbon below and you’ll be taken directly to her page. This year it’s even easier to navigate and there’s a place to click if you want to make a cash or check donation. And thanks in advance.

And that really is about it. That All My Children replacement show has dropped in ratings already since it’s “promising” premier episode. I guess people also don’t have time to sit for an hour and listen to whatever it is they are selling, much like the claim they don’t have time to sit for a “story”.

One quick note. You might have noticed the little “follow” button on the bottom of this page. Well, if you click on it and enter your email address, you can get notified in your email anytime I post something new. It helps take the guesswork out of it.

This weekend we are seeing “Book of Mormon” with house guests Tim and Shane who arrived last night from Toronto, where, as it turns out, a local radio station is having a contest where someone can win a baby. Well, three free in vitro treatments.  Anyway, they are here until we go into the city tomorrow and they will continue their stay in a hotel; we will be taking our second gratis night at “that” hotel….hopefully not room 112.

Have a great weekend.

Chew On This

September 27, 2011

The results are in for the premier episode of the show that replaced All My Children. Known throughout the vast population of soap fans as The Spew and The Cud, to name a few, The Chew was panned by critics The New York Daily News to Entertainment Weekly, basically saying the show was disappointing, loud, in respect that all the “food experts” just talked over each other and that there was just no common thread to anything on the overstuffed foodie gab-fest. Click here for the full article.

The link to the article from the Washington Post was posted by one of the Facebook groups. In the article was another link to the Huffington Post’s “Five Most Awkward Moments”.  I am relying on what I’m reading because I’m not watching that show. I had the misfortune enough to catch the last 30 seconds or so that overlapped into my DVR setting for One Life To Live which I could not fast foward through fast enough!  Nor will I be watching what is replacing One Life To Live come January, the Revulsion, otherwise known as the Revolution. Here are the awkward moments as described by Huff Post:

That mention about Carla Hall (which by the way was a character name on One Live To Live played by Ellen Holly) getting cheered by the audience for using toothpicks kind of sounds like how Emeril gets applause for telling the audience he’s about to wash his hands.  Cheesy cheesy cheesy. Must be the way he washes his hands.

After I read that article it reminded about the article on the ABC Upfronts back in May, the gathering of advertisers and TV execs to discuss possible sponsoring of new shows and the ad people weren’t all that thrilled with The Cud even then.

Well, I got a picture, a political statement, in an email from a friend of mine this morning and how timely, because I was able to retrofit the Politicians/Voters with:

The Fall Of…

September 23, 2011

…2011. As of 5:05 this morning, fall befell us like bowl of pea soup. Ugh, the air is so thick and still it’s just gross. It’s a different kind of humidity than you expect and can almost tolerate during the height of summer. And, from what I hear on the radio, we, at least us here in NJ are in for a lot of rain and more flooding is possible. But remember about what I said the other day, we’ll find out tomorrow if it really rained today or not and how much fell. And of course, in the winter, which this year begins in, as of this writing at 7am, 89 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes, we always hear (the next day), that blizzard took us completely by surprise.

Speaking of predictions, that UARS satellite is predicted to fall sometime today but the location is still yet unknown though prognosticators are saying it won’t hit North America. Well, that’s fine, but what if it does hit some other civilized place? We just have to hope it doesn’t hit NJ because otherwise we’ll probably get taxed for it.

And, sadly, another chapter of television history is coming to a close. After 41 years, All My Children, which debuted on January 5,1970,  is going off the ABC airwaves.

Originally conceived by Agnes Nixon in the 1960’s, All My Children was declined by first NBC, then CBS and once again by NBC when Proctor & Gamble had no available space in the network’s lineup. All My Children was put on hold. Using a few ideas from her AMC ‘bible’, Agnes Nixon created storylines and characters for Another World, on which she served as head writer.

Wanting a show with a more contemporary tone, ABC approached Nixon and she created what came to be known as One Life To Live, which debuted in 1968 (and is also slated to leave the airwaves in 2012). With the success of the Llanview, Pennsylvania based show, ABC asked Nixon for another show and, dusting off the ‘bible’, All My Children and iconic Erica Kane were born.

I won’t waste my time berating ABC/Disney for their decision to cancel these two shows (and most likely General Hospital, which now holds the distinction the longest running soap opera still in production–April 1, 1963) in favor of cheaper, reality-type shows whose hosts have as little regard for the legions of bereft soap fans (‘get over it’ ~Mario Batali)  as the head cheese at the networks (‘the viewers need to be trained like dogs to accept [my] vision of the shows’ ~ Brian Frons)…emphasis on cheese.

But good old fashioned soap opera storytelling is not dead. Just like soaps made the transition from radio to television, now they will make the leap from television to the internet (and with any luck, a cable network) thanks to the folks at Prospect Park, who have leased the shows from ABC, which I’ve mentioned before.

There is no set date for production to restart on All My Children under the helm of Prospect Park, and Susan Lucci’s future with the show is still uncertain, though everything I’m seeing points to an Erica Kane-less resurrection. But remember this, for approximately 6 months between November ‘46 and June ‘47, Guiding Light was in between sponsors on the radio and it came back, went to television and had a total run of 72 years. Time will tell what will become of Pine Valley.

All that can be said is… Tune in tomorrow!

Not Your Father’s Acorn

September 21, 2011

Chicken Licken was afraid of an acorn, thinking the sky was falling when it hit her on the head. When The Man of Steel went soaring through the skies cries of birds and planes could be heard. But this time it’s NASA’s UARS (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite) and it’s heading your way. Or it could be. You have a 1 in 3,200 chance of getting conked on the head by this satellite, which has run out of fuel and is scheduled to hit earth the end of this month or early October. NASA has compared getting hit by this spent six-ton hunk of junk to getting hit by orbital debris with odds of 1 in 21 trillion. They’re sort of worried because most satellites that fall from the sky, which apparently are numerous since the dawn of the space age burn up during re-entry, but UARS is so huge and breaking apart and half-ton pieces may just make it to earth.

So, where will these pieces fall? They have no idea because the satellite is in an orbit with a radius of 57degrees north or south of the equator. So, somewhere in the States? Africa? Europe? An ocean? It’s all a crap shoot, which kind of makes me go hmmm, since they can put a man on the moon and meteorologists predict the weather, sometimes to the neighborhood (except the ones I listen to who tell me the next day what the weather was the day before) why can’t they follow this thing more accurately? But weekly updates and daily updates are planned until UARS makes landfall. So, until then, it’s best to stay alert and be prepared.

Here’s something to consider while you’re running for cover. Heinz is unveiling it’s newly designed “dip & squeeze” ketchup packet, the first new design since 1968.  Tearing off the “cap” end allow you to squeeze, just like the packet you’ve known all these years and the peel off “bottle” end allows for dipping your fries. It’s a cute idea, but I really don’t see the point, other than to showcase a new product. After all, there was nothing wrong with Coke when it seemed necessary to create the epic fail Coke II. But maybe in the scheme of things, it was just an advertizing ploy so Coke could thenceforth label their beverage “Classic”, without coming across as self-indulgent. But that’s the cynic in me and anyone who knows me knows I’m full of it. Cynicism!

As far as the new ketchup packet goes, which holds three times as much ketchup as the old relic that is soon to fade into oblivion, unless you’re looking on the shelf on my refrigerator door, I really don’t have a personal problem with it, but as they begin to appear in your fast food restaurant, I can’t help but think how they’ll store this heftier package.

A “Perry” Busy Weekend

September 20, 2011

Sunday night, donned in shirt, vest, tie and kilts, we went to the Perry Awards. Well, we had to wear ties, it was a formal affair, after all. And because it was a masquerade, we broke out our best masks, which garnered us several compliments, requests for pictures from perfect strangers and a photo shoot on the red carpet. Well, the red rug, really. And the picture on the red rug is from NJ ACT’s Perry Awards Facebook page which was uploaded last night.

We were there to cheer on Kelly Kline, who was nominated for Outstanding Youth Actress in a Musical. She is my friend Janet’s daughter and Janet and I have been friends since we were kids.

The ceremony had the air of running late and we thought after Kelly’s category was announced we’d skip out. Oh, that would have looked great, two men in kilts skipping through a hotel lobby, but we didn’t. Skip, that is! But we waited to go during intermission which came after her category and a performance from Annie by a second theater group. Unfortunately, Kelly did not win the award, and we are just as happy and proud that she was nominated. Keep up the great work Kelly!

  

Otherwise, over the weekend,  besides blanching  and freezing more squash and tomatoes, we kept busy with a new toy, a can of paint and a paint brush and roller. The new toy is a powerwasher and it was miraculous, if not embarrassing, the way it cleaned the front stoop and walk and the curbing along the driveway. And, it’s incredible what else that little machine and a fresh coat of paint could do for:

 

 

Now, all we need is to completely refurbish it, get some electric and water to it and we’ll finally be in business. I think after batting around several ideas of what we could do with it, we’ve decided to leave it like this, as opposed to a slate mountain waterfall or other such configuration. So, who knows? By this time next year, Lucky 13, or maybe sometime in between, we could finally have the fountain operational.

A Tale Of Two Spiders

September 16, 2011

There were a couple of things I had to leave out from our trip into the city and I probably could have done an entire blog on the changing world we live, technologically speaking, but I crammed it in there anyway.

And one of the other things that I could have talked about was how we got approached by a foursome of overly-tight jean-clad girls, (one in something spandex-y) each bending over and checking each other out and giggling the way girls do. As we approached them, they approached us and asked us who among them had the larger butt. Really? How does one answer such a question? And correctly without getting clobbered? So, diplomatically, we changed the topic while we walked with them to the entrance of the parking garage where the truck was and when I said to the one who paired off with me during our stroll that this was our stop and she got kind of insulted that we were “dumping” them. I assured her that wasn’t the case and in an attempt to bring our conversation full circle, I turned, raised the tail of my shirt slightly and suggested they tell us, who, between Ariel and me, who had the bigger butt. No one, not even Ariel, thought it amusing.

So, the spider thing, and you know how squeamish…alright, downright scared…I am about spiders.  As I said, we were at Hudson Eatery, relaxing, chowing down on our appetizers, admiring the decor and wondering what material the copper ledge my elbow was resting on was made of.  Seems silly to speculate, but I actually think it was Formica. It was at one point, when I looked out the window, I noticed it, a spider, on it’s back, (I never…) frantically flailing its legs trying to right itself. As if I had retro boosters, I flung myself to the outer end of the booth, taking my plate with me while Ariel annihilated the critter. It took a while, I but went back to my spot.

Then last night, I was settling in with Project Runway and a glass of milk with some chocolate chip cookies and as I sat back in my recliner, what did I see?  A spider sliding down a web from the shade on the table lamp next to me. And guess where I went? Well, I actually grabbed a tissue in an attempt to get it, but Ariel shot to my rescue and obliterated the monster.

You know how they say things come in threes? Rest assured, I’m on the lookout!

Hello, Hello?

September 15, 2011

My ears are ringing off the hook. Actually, I don’t know if they’re ringing louder than normal (a condition my ear doctor says not to worry about since they’ve done that as far back as I can remember) or it just seems that much more intense after last night’s assault. We went to see Erasure and it wasn’t until we left did we realize just how LOUD it was in there. But, wow, what a show. I lost track of time, and not sure how long they actually were on stage…I’m guessing an hour and a half, or close to it and it was non-stop energy and lead singer Andy Bell is just tireless. I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with most of the stuff they sang, but that didn’t stop me from dancing and having a blast. Thise were the best pics I got.  I don’t know why we didn’t bring the camera, the new super zoom camera we decided we needed for future concerts since  we saw Grace Jones and we were huffing and puffing in jealousy that all the other cameras around us zoomed in so closer her entire face filled the screen and we thought it would be a good thing to get with the times.  Alas and alack! 

 

Thankfully I quit drinking early on in the evening. I had a coupla brewskies at Rumours, an Irish Pub en route to find Terminal 5, where Erasure performed and then a few once we got there, but for fear of having to find the men’s room and not wanting to have to navigate that crowd for that or another lukewarm beer plus I didn’t want to wear it courtesy of  the manic crowd’s or my own  moshing. So the only thing going on as a result  is hearing things like they’re underwater with a constant heightened droning monotone of background noise of what sounds like metal grating on itself, almost like the muffled static of a morse code transmission. That’s the best I can do to describe it. Thankfully I know what Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred’s voices sound like so I can ignore that intimation that they’ve inhaled helium. At least I can find solace in the fact that everyone else from last night is dealing with the same condition this morning.

As we bore (bored? beared?).. suffered  the stifling humidity from Rumours to Hudson Eatery (gotta know that recipe for the appetizer I had which I don’t see on their online menu) a horse drawn carriage was approaching in the street. The driver was a slouching young man, dressed in a T-shirt and worn jeans with a Yankees ball cap cocked on his head. I thought, wow, that doesn’t seem so ‘romantic’ the image one might conjure from a ride in a horse drawn carriage. A few seconds later, another came into view and I could see the driver, an older gentleman, had on a vest, possibly part of a uniform and a hat to match and I thought, now that’s more like it, until he got closer and I saw he was texting on a cell phone.

Yes, it really is a new world and I’ve (we’ve) been thrust into it whether we like it or not or are ready for it or not.

We Don’t Need No Stinking Rules

September 14, 2011

Not six days ago, after much debate, it was reported that nine-time Olympic gold medalist, Carl Lewis’ name was not to be included on the ballot for the New Jersey State Senate election because of the law which states that a candidate for such office must be a resident of the state for four years. This ensures the candidate knows the local issues and the people can become familiar with the candidate.  U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman refused to overturn the decision of Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who decided the olympian, who voted in California as recently as 2009, did not meet the state’s four-year residency requirement. Of Lewis, Hillman said, “The plaintiff is a man of great and inspiring achievement, justifiably held in high regard and possessed of promise for the future” and of his candidacy he stated, “residency requirements applies to all, regardless of economic status, race, creed, color, age, gender and political affiliation.

Then yesterday, in a 2-to-1 ruling, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Carl Lewis was put back on the ballot in less than a five hour deliberation, splitting hairs on when Lewis became a NJ resident, which they didn’t even consider to be the heart of the case, but rather that “the state has failed to demonstrate a compelling state interest” for leaving him off the ballot. And as far as residency requirements, and the aforementioned familiarization with local issues and the voters knowing the candidate that none of that would be a problem for Mr. Lewis as he grew up in New Jersey.

Yeah, well, I used to be able to drive a car without a seat belt and I used to be able to smoke in bars. But I am among the little people who must abide by what the big people say. Land of the free and all that. Not sure if it fits in this particular instance, but a friend of mine sent me this quote in an email recently: The reason politicians try so hard to get re-elected is that they would hate to have to make a living under the laws they’ve passed.

Okay, switching gears real quick, we’ve been on a Broadway diet for some time, since all the work on the house, and we are about to binge. Starting tonight, well, it’s not really Broadway, it’s more like a sort of a concert, we’re going to see Erasure in the city. In a couple of weeks, friends of ours, one of whom is a huge Broadway fanatic, are coming down from Canada and the four of us are going to see Book Of Mormon. I think we got front row, or close to it, but if you don’t ask me how we scored those tickets, I won’t have to lie. And then in October, we’re going to see, thanks to the flyer we got in the mail just the other day, Other Desert Cities. No other reason than because of the cast which includes Rachel Griffiths, Stacey Keach, Judith Light and Stockard Channing. Light and Channing….OUCH!  What better way to cap our brief foray back into the Broadway orgy?

All My Eggs…

September 12, 2011

Well, only four of them. I finally got around to testing out the Eggies we bought from TV and I have my review of them. My only regret was that I didn’t do a complete time test on my four Eggie hard boiled eggs (washing them out before their first use not included).

As you may recall from a previous blog or from seeing the commercial on TV they state “the non-stick interior means the egg slides right out…” Yes, well you have to make the interior non-stick with either cooking spray or oil, first applied to a paper towel and then wiped across the interior of your Eggie vessel. The vessel is comprised of four parts; the bottom compartment where the egg sits, the top, a collar that holds those two pieces together and a cap to close off the top that also serves as a handle.

Depending on the size of the egg-I was using large–you shouldn’t crack the egg into the open bottom compartment without the top being collared on. Yes, the wider open bottom is easier to direct the raw egg into the vessel, but it was just this close to spilling over. And if you’re using anything larger you’d be wise, while being careful, to try to dump your egg into the smaller top opening which is about 1/8″ wider than a quarter all around. So, that’s nerve-wracking.

Then you float your filled Eggies in a pot of warm water (to start) and cooking timing begins AFTER the water boils. The size of the egg determines the boil time. Mine had to go for between 15 and 17 minutes (as much as 19 for an extra-large egg) so I actually chose 16. It’s not like you can check mid-way to see if they’re done.

You’re supposed to let them cool before you take the cooked eggs but I was eager to see how they turned out and I was poised with a tool to help pry them out if needed, as according to the instructions…stick-free indeed!

The end result was the eggs cooked through but I was left with 16 pieces of egg-soiled plastic which thankfully are dishwasher safe, but they were  anchored down with my knives and forks in the silverware basket so they didn’t go flying around.

My final analysis: they ARE a fun novelty, I’ll give you that, but they are time consuming to use and then you’ve got 4 pieces to clean for every egg. Plus, if you don’t get that collar twisted on tight enough, you get some egg white escaping into the water, which I had.

My stepmother always says, the older it is, the easier a hard-boiled egg is to peel. So, I think the moral of the story is to always have a supply of eggs on hand. Or you can prepare a week in advance if you know you’re going to have to hard boil some hen fruit and keep them in the fridge, or if you want to use your Eggies, make a game out of it and enlist the entire family and make an assembly-line production out of it, or create a challenge and see who can prepare their eggs fastest. The loser has to clean all the parts.

Never Forget

September 11, 2011