Will Hillary and Barrack really unite for change? {The Today Show}

June 28, 2008

Saturday morning I watched a segment of the Today Show when Lestor Holt interviewed (via satellite) two campaign face-people who said each camp is putting on a united front against the common enemy, John McCain. Holt’s bottom line was that these two senators have been campaigning against each other for months now, so has either one altered his or her platform? Has Hillary Clinton publicly conceded yet? From the stage in New Hampshire, Senators Obama and Clinton looked like equals on the Democratic Presidential ticket, and honestly I couldn’t tell who was running for president and who would be the running mate. I felt Hillary showed more confidence in herself and her party than with Senator Obama. It was strange because I got the vibe that Hillary felt that she could still win, or that Barack Obama could win only with her support. I guess I was hoping for a show of humility and honesty from Hillary, but from my perspective it was another exercise in the Clinton family’s self-importance in American History. I don’t think Hillary will be satisfied as Vice President, even if she would be the first woman Vice President. She wants a larger role on Capitol Hill, and if Barack Obama doesn’t realize this, he’s in for a rude awakening. I don’t think he’s that naive: offering to help Clinton pay down her campaign debt was a brilliant political move; it highlighted her enormous debt and made him look sympathetic. (I’m sure his gesture drove Hillary crazy) Senator Obama declared, “She Rocks!” in New Hampshire, but I don’t think he’d say that if their positions were reversed. There is so much at stake for the Democrats in the upcoming election and so much opportunity to make history. I will miss Hillary and Barack campaigning against each other. I only wish Jon McCain could have had the opportunity to verbally spar with a strong Republican opponent.

PJ

The following video illustrates why I question if the new “Unite for Change” rhetoric is genuine.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BARACK

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Jessica sent home becuase of an “easy” Golden Retriever {Groomer Has It}

May 26, 2008

For the “On the Cover” elimination challenge, groomers found dogs at the Long Beach Recreational Dog Park to model for a chance to be featured on an upcoming cover of Groomer To Groomer magazine. Jessica was sent home this week because she chose a Golden Retriever named Puget who, according to the judges, was “too easy to groom” for a “Western Dog” themed photograph.

Groomer To Groomer magazine features “editorial” cover photographs, and I learned from watching America’s Next Top Model that “editorial” means artsy and fashion-forward. According to eliminated grommer Sarah Grace’s blog, guest judge Emily Willis,Vice President of Creative Services for Groomer To Groomer, “explains that they want to show a professional groom on the cover, but also one that demonstrates creativity.” However, on the Groomer To Groomer web-page, there are two past covers that don’t feature creative cuts (the third is a dog groomed to look like a basketball).

Aside from the winner, Kathleen, whom Artist said her “Circus Dog,” Scruffy, looked like he had been dipped in acid, the judges had negative feedback for everyone. In the end, Jorge squeaked by based on his results in past challenges. Not only did Jorge do a poor job of grooming Chloe, an American Cocker Spaniel, but he appeared to have “walked his dog through paint” according to Jessica. (Personally, I would have selected the Harlequin Great Dane (below left) that was at the dog park for a “Formal Dog” themed photo shoot because his coat had tuxedo colors)

Despite the judges’ criticisms about Jonathan being a poodle-only groomer, Emily Willis liked Jonathan’s “Disco Dog” themed poodle the best, even though the fur resembled a big cloud of blue cotton candy. Jonathan also trimmed the head of his poodle in an attempt to create an afro. (Huh?)

Jasper and Artist put forth the most effort this week: Jasper groomed and painted his Terrier mix to look like a “Super Football Fan,” complete with a “hairy chest and hairy back.” The hairy chest/back feature thoroughly grossed out metro-sexual judge Xavier, but proved that Jasper can be creative. Artist challenged himself by choosing a Briard, a breed of dog he has only seen once in South Central for a “Rock and Roll” themed photo.

I can’t wait for next week because the dogs will judge the groomers (via a pet psychic) to select a winner. This will be a first for Reality TV!

PJ



Fergie’s “Baracuda” performance more suitable for Red Light District {The Today Show}

May 24, 2008

Fergie, the lead singer form The Black Eyed Peas, sang her version of Heart’s rock anthem “Barracuda” on the Today Show. Fergie is so hip, Meredith Vierira had to read her intro off an index card. Fergie performed three songs at Rockefeller Center on May 20th, but “Barracuda” should have been performed at 2:00 a.m. at Times Square, or Fergie should have substituted her stripper-pole choreography for a more appropriate routine. Kids remember this song from Shrek the Third, when it was a call to arms for Princess Fionna. The under twelve members in the front row of the Today Show stage looked dumbfounded when faced with the singer, live.

Fergie on Today Show: ‘Barracuda’ Performance 5/20/08

As an artist, Fergie had every right to interpret the song as she saw fit, but I think she could have shown a little more class. Madonna often had similar criticism in the 1980’s and early ’90’s, but she always responded that she was attempting to be “ironic” and “provocative.” Will kids stop listening to Fergie? I doubt it, but hopefully they won’t make her too-tight leather pants the latest fad, either.

PJ


Will Wii Fit get me into the Mii Generation?

May 23, 2008

This morning I checked out the Wii Website, and found an answer to the question I had been looking for:

Why do I need Wii?

Wii is not just a gaming console, it’s a reason to get together with your friends and family and play today’s hottest games. Wii offers legendary Nintendo franchises like Mario, Zelda and Metroid, as well as all new classics like Wii Sports and Wii Play. Create your own Mii character to star in Wii games. Play friends online over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or use the Internet Channel to surf the net from your sofa. You can even download classic Nintendo games using the Wii Shop Channel. Take a look around and see why your TV is not complete without Wii.

The people at Wii know that keeping up with technology can be overwhelming; the atmosphere of their website minimalistic, uncluttered, and spa-like (the polar opposite of MySpace). I feel like I’m at IKEA with Feng Shui. The demonstration videos for the Wii Fit remind me of the scene in The Matrix where Morpheus trains Neo to live in the grid. However, Wii is not asking me to live in their world, but to reinvent my world with the Wii brand. Apparently, the future is now.

This change is not new. I remember eating my first TV Dinner in the early 70’s (a ready made dinner in an aluminum tray that was shaped like a TV set). Our family moved out of the dining room and into the living room to eat dinner in front of the TV Set. You were supposed to eat TV Dinners on a TV Tray. TV Trays were sold in sets of four and each tray folded out in front of you on a little stand. Thanks in part to the invention of the TV Dinner, I literally grew up in front of television. My grandmother liked to cook big Sunday dinners for us at her house and she never understood why we didn’t enjoy “dinner conversation.” In her day, family members looked forward to the eventing meal to catch up on each others’ lives and share town gossip. I remember my grandfather loved Soul Train and my grandmother had a hard time getting him to turn off the TV and come to dinner. Despite owning a big RCA Television Console, She held on to family dinner by never buying a TV Dinner or a set of TV Trays.

Now the Nintendo Corporation is asking families to leave their individual TV sets and video consoles and congregate together in front of the ole’ Family TV. Their motives are admirable, but do I need a Wii to have “quality family time?” Of course, sitting for hours in front of the TV is not good for you, so the makers of Wii have come up with the Wii Fit, so we all can stay active and remain together. I’m skeptical about the Wii Fit. Take a look at the Wii Fit Promo video vs. the Parody, and you’ll see why.

When I was little, we always had a bunch of neighborhood kids over at our house. Our backyard was small, but we had a sand box, a tree house, and something called a “whirli-gig.” We also shared a driveway with our next door neighbors so we could make a bike track out of chalk and ride around. We also had a kiddie pool which we set up as a bike wash. It seems that in order to have a house that kids want to come to, I need to own a Wii. A nearby park isn’t a gathering place anymore, and that makes me sad. My big Orwellian fear is that the outside world will become so undesirable, that Wii Fit is a necessity. I wonder if by purchasing a Wii, am I giving in to the possibility that I can’t think of anything else to do. Hopefully, there is a balanced middle ground. If I join the Wii/Mii Generation, I want it to be a positive change, and I welcome any of your stories and/or comments.

PJ


The best of both Davids {American Idol}

May 19, 2008

For the next two nights we’ll see the best of both Davids: David Archuleta is young, cute, and has those dreamy eyes. In my day, he’d be on the cover of Tiger Beat magazine with the caption, “Win a date with David” and “Inside, new David Archuleta trading cards–collect all 25!” David Archuleta looks like an American Idol. Yes, he’s a good singer, too. But the future of American Idol depends on fans wanting to watch American Idol, and David Archuleta is just the guy whose wholesome good looks can whip fans into a frenzy. I don’t think David Cook has that kind of charisma. He’s older, has an established style, and can play an instrument. He’s got the Zac Efron bangs going for him, but that’s not enough; David Cook has to play his music and sing to inspire his audience. His maturity and raw talent will help him establish a long lasting recording career, but they won’t make him an American Idol. I believe David Cook will go on to be memorable, like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Each finalist has a promising future, but I believe David Archuleta should become an American Idol first. American Idol has already launched David Cook’s career this season, he doesn’t need the title, nor would he represent brand as well as David Archuleta. Be sure to tune in.

PJ


My favorite Bill O’ Reilly spoofs… {Chelsea Lately and others}

May 17, 2008

I can’t stop laughing at The O’ Reilly dance remix. (Warning: Bill O’ Reilly says some form of the F word about 43 times) O’ Reilly should know that any “blooper,” especially one with swear words in it, will be remixed and posted on the net long after the original becomes mundane. O’ Reilly’s outburst stemmed from the fact he has not kept up with the times; he was embarrassed that he didn’t know what “play us out” meant when he read it on the TelePrompter. The stage manager (the voice counting “and 5,4,3,2,…”) just wanted to finish the segment, and kept his cool when O’ Reilly started acting up. O’ Reilly’s on-the-spot change was almost archaic. Who “cuts albums” these days? (There is still a huge record collection in our basement, but the turntable has been broken for years) See the entire piece of footage on You Tube where even Howard Stern was impressed with they guy O’ Reilly was yelling at.

Comedian Chelsea Handler spoofed the video last night on Chelsea Lately. In the clip, Chelsea takes it a step forward by ripping the shirt off one round-table guest revealing his red bra, pulling a wig off writer Heather Mc Donald, and shooting her assistant, Chuy, with a bow and arrow.

On the air, O’ Reilly appears more on-edge than edgy, like he’s sleep-deprived and has taken a few too many No Doz. His delivery is often sensationalistic like that of Dr. Phil, so here is a video that puts these two men’s sound bytes against each other.O’ Reilly vs. Dr. Phil

O’ Reilly should take a lesson from Bret Michaels, who thought the Saturday Night Live parody of his show, Rock of Love II, was hilarious.

PJ


Chef Matty’s in heaven on Hell’s Kitchen

May 14, 2008

Chef Matt Sigel soared high above Hell’s Kitchen this week, far from the the Blue Team and Wrath of Ben. After beating Ben in a blind taste test challenge and securing a win for the Red Team, Matt thoroughly enjoyed watching Ben, “getting his ass kicked tonight.” Matt did not hold back his comments: “You can’t cook, buddy” and “I love it when Karma bites you in the ass.” Matt was proud that Ramsey said his risotto was “the best risotto ever served in Hell’s Kitchen.” But Matt couldn’t have been happier when Chef Ramsey found out that Ben didn’t have the lamb ready:

Ramsey: What’s on that ticket? Come on!

Ben: 6:30

Ramsey: What time is it now?

Ben: 8:00

What were they doing for an hour and a half? The Blue Team couldn’t get it together, and aside from Louross working hard at the salad station, Ramsey watched the rest of the men go down in flames. Ben didn’t help by telling Ramsey he “couldn’t work in this system”; ironic because it was Ben who spearheaded the men’s system of incompetence.

I give the guests on the Blue side a lot of credit for their patience and tolerance. Some walked out the door, but one women broke out a Breakfast Bar and remarked, “This is really embarrassing, you know? I don’t want to have to eat a snack at a restaurant.”

In the end, neither kitchen completed their dinner service, but it was the men’s team who lost. Ben continued scheming by asking everyone to nominate themselves. This strategy worked for Petrozza whose “level of maturity” won praise from Ramsey, but it backfired on Ben and he was sent home.

Meanwhile, Ramsey asked someone from the Red Team to volunteer to move over to the blue team for the next challenge. Corey wants Matt to return; she’s been gunning for Matt since he switched teams. During the Red Team’s reward (spa treatments), she openly told Matt, “You’re the next to go.” But Matt didn’t let Corey get to him; from under his chocolate face-mask and cucumber slices, he reminded her that it was he who helped them win. Then he told the women (strategically, I think) that he only cared if Ben went home first. No one enjoyed the spa treatments more than Matt who was even served iced tea by Ben.

This week Jen and Rosann both faltered during the dinner service, but Ramsey singled out Jen to receive his Navy Seal training techniques. Jen was dumbfounded and went through a whole range of emotions, but her funniest comment was: “Chef Ramsey, he got it out for me. He supposedly likes vocal people. He want a leader, he wants somebody to stand down. Now I guess he on his period or whatever today, so he gets pissed off at me when I try to be vocal and be the leader.”

(Above: The drama continues with chefs Matt, Corey, & Jen)

PJ


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