Posts Tagged ‘Guiding Light’

Through The Fog

September 17, 2010

Show of hands! How many out there remember those anti-smoking commercials not too long ago where people who no longer smoked found it insanely impossible to do ordinary tasks, like backing the car out of the driveway or eating? I always thought they were so ridiculous. But I think I can say that I get it now. I get the point they were making. Not in such a crucial way, as in being concerned about one’s health, I’m not disputing that, but rather just functioning, or trying to, with a certain stimulus no longer present. Perhaps it’s a silly comparison, but getting through the first days brought those commercials to mind. I have my daily self-imposed cattle herding-like, cookie cutter routine; start work by 7:30 or 8, turn on the NJ news at 9, watch CNN Headline news at 9:30, switch to the Hallmark Channel for The Golden Girls until 11 and then I Love Lucy until 1 when I take my lunch break. Well, thanks to the channel’s new line-up, Martha Stewart is in those time slots. I don’t watch Martha Stewart. I don’t have the desire to learn how to make napkin rings out of hollowed out tree branches. So, I scrambled all week trying to get a new routine, which in essence is like having my own babysitter. It’s Friday and I’m still not sure what I’m doing. But I’m getting better. I’ll muddle through.

News on the house front! The brick is done, as you can see below, but it still has to be grouted and also the ledges for under the front and attic windows have to be put in place. I didn’t think I was going to be able to get this shot because just after they called it a day the skies opened up and it was thundering and lightning and it was so dark. But it blew over and I was able to get my shot. But that’s not the news. The walls will probably be painted today–the ceiling was done yesterday. The floor will be going in, he said, I think, this week, which means either today or tomorrow and by next week he wants to break through the existing walls for the doorways. Oh, and the plans for the patio were discussed, as well as one tiny other project that’s been long in the coming and it’s looking good, according to Lou that it can be all be done by the winter.

Remember how earlier this week we played Bingo for charity? Well, we’ve got one more charity event coming up this weekend, but I don’t want to talk about it just yet so I don’t jinx myself. I’m a little nervous about it, but I made up my mind several weeks ago to do it. Tickets are bought. Our group is gathered. The meeting place and time is all set and I can’t back out now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to blog about it on Monday, since the event is Sunday and will run late into the night, but by Tuesday I will have the story. And more progress pictures of the house, no doubt.

And sadly, after 13,858 episodes, the world will stop turning later this afternoon for the residents of fictional Oakdale, Illinois on As The World Turns, the longest running television-only soap opera that debuted April 2, 1956. It was decided last December to cancel the sudser due to declining viewership and is ranked as the least watched of all the remaining soaps. Coincidentally, a year ago tomorrow marks the first  anniversary of when Guiding Light went off, the 72 year old soap that started on radio, then was broadcast on both radio and television before making the exclusive jump to TV. In ATWT’s place, there will probably be some game show or yet another talk show. This is what you want, dear television viewing public, so have at it! Just leave my story alone! Long live One Life To Live!

On that note, it’s National Apple Dumpling Day. Rejoice!

Whoops, sorry, I just got this in. Herbert and The New Shazzam wanted me to tell you they’re still on the job and  they asked to me quickly tell you the latest out of the American Idol camp and they’re sorry they missed letting you know about J Lo and Steven Tyler being the new judges. To celebrate the 10th season of American Idol, online auditions will be accepted from those who cannot make it to the try-outs. Each hopeful has a 40 second shot with only one entry per person allowed. I would imagine with several different email addresses each would try more than once. They can sing songs only from a select list of approved songs and submit them through “Idol”‘s mini MySpace page until October 6. The ones that make it will move forward to the call back round in Los Angeles.

Tune In Tomorrow…?

January 6, 2010

Now they’re saying the cameras weren’t functioning properly the day of the security breach at Newark airport. Hmm, well, then they should dock the cameras’ pay.  How’s this for an idea?  An in-terminal sequestered hotel, beyond the first set of checkpoints, where passengers are held, say, three days before a flight, to make sure everyone is free of any contaminant; water, baby formula, book, blanket, shoe, underpants…

Well, this might not be a rant, as such, but more of an observation and a disgruntled one at that. I was watching television the other night, in my state of semi-consciousness with my head cold and after all the stuff we had on the DVR was over, I turned on a show called Conveyor Belt of Love. Did any of you see it? The basic premise of this show was that a panel of 5 obnoxious women (overly made up and in most instances under dressed) and either 30 or 35 guys (including one musclebound specimen in a Speedo carrying his Pomeranian dog…I kid you not) who were presented before them, with a chance of impressing each of the women. Some came out with a simple introduction, while others sang, or danced or performed some specialty like a magic act. Each of the women held up a two sided sign (interested/not interested) accordingly. If a guy impressed two or more of the women, it would then be up to him which woman would get him. As each guy was chosen, he’d stand over on a podium at the marker with that woman’s name and would remain there until such a time that woman might be smitten with someone else and he would then bump the previous guy. This took up 3/4 of the one hour show and the remaining 15 minutes (including commercials) was a brief recap of each of the women’s dates with their date choices and whether she would see him again or not. Huh?

By contrast, the soap opera, an grueling imaginative art form is facing imminent demise. Guiding Light, as you know was cancelled after 72 years–an American icon–and now, As The World Turns will be off the air next fall. And One Life To Live, the one I’ve been watching since 1968, is mired in threats of cancellation. Scoff if you will, that the soap opera is the lowest form of acting (as I’ve often read and heard), but as a writer, I can appreciate the intricacies of plot lines that get cranked out on a daily basis. I read an article recently that explains this sudden downturn. They say it’s because audiences today are too busy to take time to sit for an hour to tune into the goings on of their favorite fictional city. Well, that’s a bunch of bull. I make time to watch my story each day. I even bring a VHS tape and extra wires when I go on vacation in the summer. With today’s busy lifestyle and the advent of DVR’s, I wonder how many shows are watched when they are actually aired. So, the making time angle doesn’t cut it with me. What it is actually, is that soap opera audiences are getting older and are less desirable to advertisers and it is not cost-effective to produce them. So, what are we “oldsters” supposed to watch? The Jersey Shore? I think not. Networks just need to have a little more respect for their audiences and put a little bit back into their shows to keep them worth watching. I know it’s a numbers game, but, come on, don’t years of loyalty count for anything?  So now, daytime television will be rife with programs that are easier and more economic to produce, like inferior like more talk shows, more courtroom shows and probably game shows. But, if no one is watching daytime television as it is because of time constraints, what makes anyone think any of this nonsense will change the tide?

Okay, that rant is over for now. You know I’ll be staying on top of this. Meanwhile, here are some Mummers pictures. I hope they’re worth the wait. Hover over each for a description and click on each to open bigger.











A Wave Of The Future

October 2, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, we lost the soap opera Guiding Light after 72 years. Yesterday, I read that by next year, MY soap opera, One Life To Live, which I’ve followed since the very beginning, in 1968, is being threatened with cancellation. All My Children is relocating to L.A. and OLTL is moving into their vacated studio which is about 40% larger. Reports state that the reason the announcement of the impending cancellation wasn’t made when it was announced AMC was moving to the west coast is because there wasn’t a ready replacement show. Some of the characters on OLTL are slated to move to “Pine Valley” and the rest and the entire show will be canceled. No, I won’t accept that. People, we can’t let this art form die. Before you know it daytime television will be nothing but talk shows, each one talking about the same damn things, with host cackling and clawing at each other or ridiculous courtroom shows. Sorry, Judge Judy, but enough is enough. As a writer (unpublished…hint, hint to anyone out there), or at least one who enjoys writing, I can appreciate the tenacity with which soap opera pen masters crank out a five day a week show. Hopefully this is just a rumor but if it’s not, I’m actually feeling poised to ban ABC from my television, even though it’s the network most of the shows I watch are on. It would surely free me up big time. I might even have time to dust off my bookshelves.

And then I won’t have to worry so much if I misplace my remote control. I might not have to worry about that anyway according to a new technology that’s being developed. With a sort of special type of camera, a depth perception sort of contraption, you will no longer need a remote control because by the waving your hand or rotating it in a circle (while standing in front of your set) will turn the set on and off, adjust the volume, fine tune it and when you get a pesky disruptive phone call, you can pause live TV so you can answer a few question about foil pouch food products and then wave your TV back to play. And what if you’re an armchair symphony orchestra conductor. You’d be all into your favorite Tchaikovsky violin sonata and the music would stop and start, stop and start, stop and…

Here, push play and hear for yourself. I don’t have an actual video like I had for the remote control shower.

                                   play button

For all that effort, wouldn’t pushing a button on a remote be just as effective? And if I have to be  close to the TV, why would I need a remote at all? Like the old  days when you would have to endlessly get out of your chair to actually turn the dial, raise and lower the volume, turn that secondary dial just beyond the channel selector to get as sharp a picture as possible and even answered the phone without knowing who was on the other end and then finding someone else in the house to call you on a pretense to get off the phone because the TV program was in it’s final minutes I threw that one in there just because. I have my Tivo-lite DVR and I would be lost without it, quite frankly–it’s like, sliced bread and the DVR, the two best inventions of mankind–and I have caller ID on my phone. I remember the days my father would just stand in front of the TV, but that might have been because he didn’t want to sit down.

‘Tis the weekend and (wow, this blog is getting long) here is the final forecast for my weekend getaway. Just clouds today with an increased chance for thunderstorms tomorrow, but it will be a degree warmer than first expected.

philly weather 3

And finally, here is a combination feel good/quote of the week video. Quote of the week will be obvious and the laugh you get will make you feel good.


Have a great weekend.

A Little Egg, A Big Smile

September 18, 2009

Before I get things rolling this morning, I’m afraid I have to wipe egg off my face. In my rush to shove a bite of my omelette into my mouth this morning, while it was loosely dangling from my fork, I inadvertently missed. It was a good one, too. Simple, but good. Crumbled bacon bits and cheddar. And in my haste to condemn the latest “rehabilitation” plan for I-287 yesterday, I realized this morning that I believe I was wrong about the actual section they’re working on now. Yes, perhaps there will be some overlapping in the exit 5 (or so) area, but the construction I was lathering up about yesterday is an entirely new project.

And that puts the kibosh on the rant I wanted to initiate today. It’s the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Floyd which devastated Bound Brook, NJ, just one town north of where I am, and approval of the federal stimulus money ($13 million of the original $787 billion, President Obama instituted) for the final stage of the flood wall and levee project was only just approved, also out of the stimulus package the funds for the I-287 work is coming from. I wanted to compare the importance between the two and ask why it’s taking this long to safeguard Bound Brook for the future, but now with the highway thing being a new project, it just blew my rant out of the water. Damn it!

And then there’s NJ Senator, Barbara Buono, who wants a TOTAL ban on cigarette smoking in parks and all sections of all beaches in NJ. She doesn’t like to jog in the park and breathe in cigarette smoke. How much cigarette smoke is there in the air while you’re jogging? Does it come after you like the aroma of a rabbit stew in a Bugs Bunny cartoon? I don’t know, I think the initial ban on cigarette smoke was just the start, chipping away slowly at our rights. Of course, smoking is a dirty and health endangering habit, but it’s not illegal, and with all the education out there about the ill-effects, it should still be up to the individual whether to do it or not. Watch out, before you know it, you’ll be ticketed for smoking in your own car and then in your own home.  Well, at least, for now, we can still order runny eggs in a restaurant.

Okay, so, one more mention about Guiding Light. Today is the last show. I’ve been debating whether to watch it live, sort of ceremoniously, or wait until later, when I’m through with work for the day and can relax in my red chair, armed with a box of Kleenex, as opposed to getting my work all soggy. You know I’ll be shedding a tear. Here’s a link to an interview with Kim Zimmer, who plays Reva Shayne Lewis.

Is it true that next Tuesday is the first day of autumn? Was it always in September? I’m perplexed. Why am I drawing a blank on this?

Alright, let’s close the week on a high note, or two. The first has GOT to be the quote of the week:



And this has GOT to be the feel good moment of the week.

The little girl’s innocent action is gasp-evoking and the father’s reaction is just priceless. The Phillies, however, graciously replaced the ball, but this moment is a classic, one for the books.

Now, the sooner I get started working, the sooner my weekend can start, so I’ll see you all next week.

GuidingLightWhiteLogoKeep the light burning!

Shaking Things Up

September 17, 2009

Thanks to those of you who read my blog yesterday for the great feedback you gave me, either here, or from the Guiding Light Facebook fan page. I am going to post that same blog again today on Facebook so hopefully another batch of people will see it. One of my Facebook friends, Jennie, forwarded the blog to CBS and when I realized she had done that, I thought I had better do the same thing. I tried to get to Proctor & Gamble, but that’s virtually impossible. I did find (and I posted) through my network of phone calls a number to the Guiding Light Hotline where you can call and voice your opinions, thoughts, suggestions and just get your anger off your chest. I called and since they don’t have the means to accept any communication other than by way of telephone, I basically read yesterday’s blog to the woman on the other end of the phone. The phone number to call is 1-866-695-1859. It’s inconceivable to let this patch, out of the fabric of Americana, die away. 72 years…

On to my next issue. As of 8pm tonight, a $29 million (stimulus money) reconstruction..sorry, rehabilitation… job on Interstate 287 will begin between exits 5 and 12 and is expected to last until the fall of 2011. Lucky for us, they’ll be working at night, to alleviate traffic tie ups. But what perplexes me (there’s that word again) is that the reconstruction job (if I have my facts straight it was at a cost of $40 million) they began in 2007 which, at times, had north and southbound lanes intersecting each other, is scheduled to be complete this coming November. And the kicker is, it ‘s the same stretch of the highway. Well, I have an email out to the NJ-DOT as of this morning asking why yet another recon….rehabilitation job.

Okay, so now for a little fun. I saw this video the other day on the Ellen Degeneres show and laughed until I cried. Then yesterday, she gifted each audience member with one of these items and presented it by having a display stand wheeled out from backstage with both women and men using it. If your imagination takes you to “wrong” levels when you watch the video, just imagine where your mind will soar watching the men on that platform during the product demonstration.


I don’t know, but I have a hunch, you can even use it while wearing your zebra or leopard print Snuggie.

And lastly, last night we lost another two celebrities (and Ariel and I lost points to Bobby); Mary Travers (she left on a jet plane) and Henry Gibson (who finally got the flying fickle finger of fate).

And that’s really all I got for you today. Have a nice day.

Guiding Light…One Fan’s Idea For A Fix

September 16, 2009

I just hope it’s not too late and I hope someone of some importance gets a chance to read this today, or if you know someone who has any say, or just want to rally fellow fans, spread this around. Every little bit helps.

I have been a fan of Guiding Light ever since 1992, when Fiona Hutchison, who gave stellar performances as Gabrielle Medina on One Life To Live, moved to the CBS soap as cat burglar, Jenna Bradshaw. I had intended to follow only her storyline, but, one thing led to another and before I knew it, I was hooked.

I have been lamenting the demise of Guiding Light ever since one of my Facebook friends started a petition back in April when the announcement came that CBS was canceling the 72 year old soap opera. I signed the petition like a good “do bee”.

Something occurred to me while watching the cast interview on this past weekend’s 60 Minutes. If you missed it, you can find it on YouTube  and it’s in two partsI wondered if taking Guiding Light in one more extremely bold direction might not help save the show. What if the producers and all the powers that be were to reduce the show back to a half hour. There’s nothing wrong with being a small fish in a big pond, as long as you keep swimming. (Or, how about, The Little Engine That Could?) Not only could it help in production costs but stories, which had pretty much begun to lose their “edge of your seat” factor, could be better concentrated on. If you have a bunch of thin stories and you try to keep them flowing over a longer period of time, they get  threadbare and uninteresting.

I remember such storylines as Annie Dutton (one of the best plots ever as far as I’m concerned) and I couldn’t wait for each episode to find out what Annie was up to. But as of late, it was apparent there was a problem with creating hardcore storylines. But like any true fan of a soap, where you must be able to suspend belief at a certain level, you can forgive just about anything that happens on a washboard weeper.

I realize reversal is not considered progress, but if it’s a question of quality over quantity, especially for a show as revered as Guiding Light, hardcore fans, if given the opportunity, may just go for it. With today’s accelerated lifestyle, with hardly any TIME for anything, viewers might welcome having to spend only 30 minutes in front of their televisions with a higher quality story rather than for 60 with a lackluster production.

As of this Friday, September 18th , after 15,762 televised episodes, and that’s not including the nearly 4,000 radio episodes, Guiding Light will be off the air. But if someone of some importance is reading this please consider this: Back on August 14th, (click here) when I blogged about the history of Guiding Light, unless I’m reading incorrectly, it looks like the show had an approximate six month hiatus between November 29, 1946 and June 2, 1947 while the broadcast was in between sponsors. So, maybe after this Friday’s episode, the town of Springfield can be considered to be on a “restructuring hiatus” during which time, a new home for a newly revamped Guiding Light can be found, perhaps even as a weekly nighttime soap, in the tradition of Dallas or Dynasty. There, the possibilities for cliffhanger storylines from our favorite Springfield residents can once again be told.

You can also click here for info on Guiding Light and all your other favorite soaps.

GuidingLightWhiteLogoKeep the light burning!

Happy Trail Mix Day

August 31, 2009

It’s true! August 31, National Trail Mix Day. I had a few things I thought I could blog about today, but the weekend seems a good place to start.

We had gotten tickets to a show for yesterday from our friend Purdy who was unable to use them because he was going up to visit his family and he offered them to us. The show is called “The Retributionists” and is playing at the Playwrights Horizons Theater on 42nd Street. Right next door is Chez Josephine named after singer/actress/dancer Josephine Baker and run by her sons Jean-Claude and Jarry. The place has been recommended to us by other friends of ours and since it was just a few steps away from the theater, we decided on brunching there. The atmosphere was cozy, the wait staff courteous as could be and my Manhattan was poured with perfection. My escargot appetizer was delicious and oddly, in a French bistro, the French Onion Soup failed to thrill me. But the rest of my meal, and Ariel’s, from what I understand, was worthy of praise.

The Retributionists“, the story of Jewish freedom fighters trying to right the wrongs perpetrated against their people during WWII. The basic plot was intriguing. The execution got a little muddled and the acting at times was stiff and monotonous but through it all the first act succeeded in setting up the premise of the story. The second act began with a flashback and when once again in “present” time, 1946, sub-plots starting popping up out of nowhere and the play seemed to turn towards a different theme. It wasn’t a super bad production, but I felt it could use a little tweaking and a little more energetic and convincing acting.

After that brunch at Chez Josephine, we were still a little bloated to enjoy dinner so we walked around a while and when the heat was getting the better of us, we stopped into a neighborhood bar for a few drinks with some of the locals, before heading to our favorite haunt, Playwrights II Irish Pub. And the oddest thing, while we ate, I was looking outside and noticed the busses that stopped in front, were lowering and rising as people got on and off and that fascinated me. Ariel thought it was the most hysterical thing that I’d never seen that before. He said they are called kneeling busses. Ha, you learn something new every day.

We got home close to 9:30 and sat for way too long in front of the TV, watching the Daytime Emmy Awards, which was a circus-like production. It started out smoothly, but ended up a rushed affair, in that while one winner was accepting an award, the announcer was stepping on his or her (or their) acceptance speech with the next category. I was rooting for Bree Williamson, who plays Jessica Brennan on One Life To Live to at least win her category, Best Supporting Actress, which I felt was demeaning since she brilliantly carried a storyline for over a year. Susan Haskell, though I love her as Marty Saybrook, was nominated, and won, for Best Lead Actress, but her storyline was anything but lead material. And Betty White introduced a tribute to Guiding Light which she said she watched faithfully from the age of 6 in 1779.

And now it’s Monday morning and it looks like through all my planning of this blog, I’m going to be late with it and with my start time for work, so on that note, let me get to the publishing end of all of this. It’s also McGinty Monday. Oh, by the way, that issue that was to be resolved by last Friday still isn’t. But I worked around it. It’s what I do.


Press 1 To Cancel

August 28, 2009

It must be Friday, there’s cinnamon in my coffee. And with it I’m having an olive oil and garlic coated linguini and cheddar omelette.

So, I’m catching up with Guiding Light last night–I’m watching the last few weeks of its run as a show of respect to it and I was once a rabid fan–and I had to watch two days’ worth because I was in NY on Wednesday night. At the very beginning of the recording was the tail end, literally the last 30 seconds of President Obama’s speech about Teddy Kennedy and after that the camera switched to a split screen of  two news commentators, whose names I don’t remember. The woman said (more or less) “I could hear the emotion in his voice.” The man said (more or less) “It was from the heart, just like we were told it would be.” What the hell  kind of ridiculous and plastic non-analytical comment is that?

Quickly, speaking of soap operas, I read yesterday that Erika Slezak’s contract was renewed on One Life To Live. There were rumors all over the place the show was going to do away with “Viki” and that would have been the end of that for me.  And I will add, that I’m sure my letter I sent in protest added to the decision.

Last Friday, as you may remember, I had those computer issues in that while I was just finishing up trying to post my blog, first Internet Explorer went down, then my Internet connection fell from the cable company. I called and was told they were getting calls about it from people in my area, but so far no notification came through about an “official” outtage.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday. My phone ran several times during the afternoon and all from the same 800 number before I finally relented and answered. I was super busy with work and I figured it was someone trying to sell me something, like a block of tickets to the symphony or for Broadway shows. But that would have been odd because that kind of call doesn’t usually come until after we’ve shoved the first forkful of dinner into our mouths. It was an automated message from my cable company that my service call for Thursday was for between this time and this time. Huh? “If your service is working properly and no longer need this service press one to cancel.” I pressed. “To confirm your cancellation, press 1.” I pressed. “Thank you.” The phone rang again, this time, appropriately while we were eating dinner and it was the exact same canned message which I handled in the exact same way. And believe it or not, soon before I had to get ready to catch my train into the city on Wednesday, the same call…and I had a funny feeling it wasn’t over.

11:08 yesterday morning (Thursday) my phone rang. It was a local number I didn’t recognize. I answered. “Hi, this is (let’s say his name was Bertram…I know, right? Silly! It was probably more like Jose or Paul or something like that.) “Hi, this is Bertram confirming your Comcast service call.” “My what?” I asked, already bored with the entire matter. I explained to Bertram/Jose/Paul that yes, I had called to find out if there was an outtage…a WEEK ago but that I never scheduled a service call. “So, do you want me to cancel it?”

No walk again today. It’s raining like mad and three days isn’t dedication enough to not care about a slight incumbrance such as rain. When I was walking steadily a while ago, I relished rainy days because it was an adventure. I just worried when there was lightning that it would find me and my iPod.

Well, it’s time for me to reconfirm that it’s Friday. I need another cup of coffee. Have a great weekend