What makes Heidi and Spencer newsworthy? {Chelsea Lately}

June 10, 2008

Chelsea Handler featured a story about Heidi and Spencer on her round-table last night. Heidi and Spencer, who are a couple from an almost-reality TV show The Hills, and are also a couple in “real life” as well should feel honored that they are a topic of discussion on Chelsea Lately. Why are they under the impression they are similar to Katie and Tom or Posh and Beck? They aren’t actors or singers (although Heidi has tried), or sports legends. They are feeding the media with these lame little anecdotes about themselves and we are supposed to be interested. last night I learned that they bought guns. Now if they were a high powered paparazzi-chased couple, this could be interesting to some people who have a lot of time on their hands, or perhaps if they were kind of nutty (like Brittany) this might be scary. But as Chelsea said, these two are “officially idiots.” I hope Chelsea stops giving them commentary because I never want to become bored with Chelsea’s material. So go away, “Spidey,” I want forget about you.



Artist saves dog and wins hearts {Groomer Has It}

June 10, 2008

This week Artist “lost” the elimination challenge because his dog, Teddy, was the last dog out of four to be adopted. Once again, Reality TV has skewed my idea of a challenge and a challenge winner. The final four had to select a dog to groom at the Lange Foundation. Out of four dogs, one dog, Teddy, was an especially painful case. Teddy is a pure bread Shih tsu who had been rescued from a puppy mill along with his mate, Gertrude. Teddy had never been groomed and his coat was so matted, every time Teddy moved, he pulled fur off of his skin. Kathleen was the first one to choose since she she won the last challenge. Although her “heart went out to Teddy,” she picked Melody, a young sheepdog mix because “if you want to win, pass on that dog [Teddy].” It’s easy to pick on Kathleen–she is ambitious, abrasive, and self-serving; however, I can say with almost 100% certainty that Jonathan and Jorge would have passed on poor Teddy as well. Artist was the second in line and had no problems going straight over to Teddy because he felt it was the right thing to do. Artist set aside the whole competition, “to make a difference, to change his life.” Weather he won or not, what mattered to Artist was that “Teddy would be groomed for the first time in his life.” As expected, no one came in and picked Teddy. I want to believe that the producers realized that if they sent Artist home, fans would lose interest in this show. Presumably, most of us who watch Groomer Has It love dogs, and keeping Artist around for the right reasons showed that Groomer Has It can showcase more than dog grooming. Charity oriented programming on Realty TV give this genre credibility, and lessens its freak-show reputation. Teddy did get adopted four months after this episode was taped by Christopher and Jacklyn Brooks and their 12 year old autistic son, C.J. It’s nice when a show like Groomer Has It can be a means to a happy ending.


Lange Foundation documentary

“You wanna see scary?” Matt leaves Hell’s Kitchen

June 4, 2008

As I expected, Matt left Hell’s Kitchen this week. Ramsey made it clear that Matty was just a “fraction” worse than Corey and Christina . Matt and Christina had traded “shut ups” the entire day after losing the individual challenge. It was a close call between Christina and Matt and for a minute it looked like Ramsey was leaning towards sending Christina home, telling her that she needs more experience. But Christina stood her ground, stating that she is only getting better each week of the competition. Matt’s exit was memorable; there were flashbacks of his victories (the best Risotto in Hell’s Kitchen) and defeats (making Ramsey throw-up during the first episode) and then Ramsey waxed poetic with the following limerick:

There once was a boy named Matt,

whose kitchen performance fell flat.

He was far from neat.

He was miserable on meat.

So I kicked him out

and that’s that.

The other chefs offered their opinions about Matt this as well :

Christina : Matty, you’re driving me f***ing up the wall, bro. You’ve got to close that mouth sometime.

Bobby: Matt is like Full Metal Jacket. I’m worried about Matt.

Petrozza: I am relieved Matt’s gone. You know what? I’ll be relieved when Matt’s in a different state. Make sure you lock the door behind that guy.

The chef’s became one team (Black) instead of two (just like Survivor when the tribes merge). Ramsey paraded out two big bald guys dressed in Blues Brothers get-ups and carrying a quarter of a million dollars in cash in tow suitcases to get the chefs motivated to win. Jen won the first individual challenge (a Top Chef Quickfire) with her thinly sliced rib-eye. However, this challenge proved that this group had culinary skills. Jen chose Corey to accompany her to Vegas to have dinner with Chef Rock, last season’s winner. The rest of the group had to bring in the restaurants deliveries. Christina took charge which annoyed Matt. By the time, Jen and Corey returned, Matt had a migraine. The chefs still couldn’t communicate, so it was business as usual during dinner service: Cory burned her hand, blew oil on his face, Chef Ramsey yelled,”Raw Meat!” and made everyone come over and feel the difference between raw and overcooked meat. Then Ramsey threw a steak across the kitchen (yummy). Jen made an excellent batch of Risotto and then over-salted the next batch. Christina and Bobby seemed to share a brain when each of them cooked a combination of meat, chicken, or fish in the same skillet. Petrozza reminds me of Pigpen of the Peanuts characters. Ramsey said, “You work like a pig, yet you produce such amazing food.” It looks like the chefs won’t get a chance to team, start uniting as a team,” according to Ramsey, because next week they will be running a “cooking school” for scantily dressed models.


Dick Cheney’s West Virginia remark: rude and revealing

June 3, 2008

Were you offended by Dick Cheney’s West Virginia remark? Here’s what scared me about it–that politicians, unscripted, are that insensitive. I probably wouldn’t have been offended if a comedian said this, especially in context: Larry the Cable Guy would have gotten away with it, and so would Carlos Mencia, who makes fun of everybody. But I do expect more from leaders who are supposed to care about all Americans. He apologized at least, but remarks like this won’t help him get future gigs as a key note speaker.


Jasper sent home, Nemo growled at Westies {Groomer Has It}

June 1, 2008

The alpha groomers (Kathleen, Jonathan, and Jorge) are happy that they have “gotten rid of” the lesser qualified groomers (yeah, they still think they control the outcome). Unfortunately for me, the show has now become officially boring! This episode did have promise: Having pet psychic (oops, I mean pet communicator–darling), Sonya Fitzpatrick, determine the dog’s feelings about being groomed, and watching little Nemo growl at the Westies. Go Nemo! Jorge had another funny quote: “Everyone knows about Sonya Fitzpatrick. I was just hoping my dog had good things to say about me.” And watching Artist and Jasper’s friendship was heartwarming. I was sad to see Jasper leave, especially for a mistake on the ears of his Portuguese Water Dog. Jonathan didn’t do a great job either, and he had a “cheat sheet” which showed the proper lion cut. Wasn’t Jonathan supposed to prove that he could groom more than poodles? The judging on this show is as confusing as figure skating’s! Next week the groomers will groom shelter dogs. It looks like Kathleen will have a moral crisis: to pick a matted Shitzu she wants to save, or a dog that is easier to groom who will better her chances at winning. What do you think she’ll do? I’m still rooting for Artist to win!


Chef Spike could not revive his frozen scallops {Top Chef}

May 30, 2008

The Quickfire Challenge this week was a vegetarian’s nightmare. The chefs had to show their “butchery skills” at Allen Brother’s meat plant and cut seven chops with a “frenched bone” from an American raised long-boned rib-eye, USDA Dry Aged Prime Rib rack in 20 minutes. After returning to the Top Chef Kitchen, each of the five remaining chefs had to cook a tomahawk chop in thirty minutes. Spike, a grandson of two butchers, soared through both parts of this challenge, and as a reward he was able to have first pick of ingredients from Rick Tramonto’s kitchen in Rick Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood restaurant. For the elimination challenge, each chef had to create an original appetizer and entree. Chef Tom Collicico took on the role of “Expediter” for the dinner service. Tom’s quiet demeanor was quite a switch from Chef Ramsey’s famous freak-outs in Hell’s Kitchen. Previous Top Chef winners Harold Dieterle (Season One), Ilan Hall (Season Two), and Hung Hynh (Season Three) were invited as the judges’ VIP guests. (I must say that Ilan looked a little out of place wearing a brown tee-shirt)

Stephanie won the challenge with her Sweetbreads with Golden Raisins & Pine Nuts appetizer (she was proud that she could make sweetbreads taste like Chicken McNuggets) and her Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushrooms & Apple Sauce entree . Richard’s Hamachi with Crispy Sweatbreads, Radish, Avocado & Yuzu appetizer was the favorite dish of the evening, and Lisa’s Peanut Butter Mashed Potatoes was the best side dish. Chef Tom thought that Antonio’s entree tasted best out of all the steak dishes.

Lisa and Spike wound up as the bottom two, Lisa was at the bottom for the fifth time. I think Padma saved her because she thought Lisa had “an amazing pallet.” The frozen scallops turned out to be Spike’s downfall. Spike tried for a long time to drain the water out of them with paper towels, but he still could not turn them into fresh scallops. Moreover, at the Judge’s Table Spike told Rick that he shouldn’t have had scallops in his walk-in that “weren’t high quality.” (Ouch) Rick rebounded with, “I’ll take that shot, bro. I had frozen scallops in my cooler, but you got to take the shot that you used them.” On the positive side, working in Rick’s hot kitchen made Spike remove his signature silly hat. I really hope he tossed it into the wood burning oven. Next week the four remaining chefs head off to Puerto Rico. Will there be an all women final three?


First family’s ranch could be Ellen and Portia’s wedding venue

May 28, 2008

On May 10th in Crawford, TX, the the first family let Jenna have her day away from the political climate in Washington, safely ensconced at the ranch surrounded by family, friends, and the Secret Service. I thought the first family’s first wedding would be a footnote in the mainstream press, but the May 26th edition of People Magazine featured the festivities on it’s cover. Jenna’s nuptials were given all the schmaltzy reporting schmooze of a celebrity wedding.

Although Jenna chose to have her wedding at the family ranch in Crawford, her plans to offer the ranch for weddings to her celebrity friends could generate the same excitement as White House weddings did in the past.

Check out ABC’s Jack Trapper’s blog post:

Political Punch

Power, pop, and probings from ABC News Senior National Correspondent Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper is ABC News’ Senior National Correspondent based in the network’s Washington bureau. He writes about politics and popular culture and covers a range of national stories.

Jenna Bush tells Ellen She Can Use the Ranch for Her Same-Sex Wedding

May 27, 2008 10:49 AM

–>People Magazine reports that in an appearance on Ellen to air this Wednesday, First Daughter Jenna Hager (nee Bush), sitting with her mother First Lady Laura Bush, tells Ellen DeGeneres that she can use the President’s ranch in Crawford for DeGeneres’ pending same-sex wedding with actress Portia de Rossi.

“So, the ranch was a great place to get married,” DeGeneres says, “it looked like nobody could fly over and get pictures or bother you, really.”

“Yeah,” says Hager, “that was really nice.”

“So, can we borrow it for our wedding,” DeGeneres asks. “Can we get the ranch?”

“Sure,” says Hager.

“Okay, great,” says DeGeneres.

– jpt

Jenna Bush is either a Republican Repel or an American Ambassador for Equal Rights. Hopefully, W will continue to support his daughter. Jenna’s post-wedding publicity tour for her charitable causes will most likely generate more press (both mainstream and tabloid) than her actual wedding.

It’s been 37 yeas since President Nixon’s youngest daughter, Trisha, had the first outdoor wedding at the White House.Trisha was featured on the cover of Life Magazine in 1971 as well in a multi-paged feature story showing off all her wedding gifts. In July of 1985, Life Magazine also featured Caroline Kennedy on the cover. She beat out Sarah, The Duchess York (aka Fergie) who wed Prince Andrew that month as well. There was synchronicity in both weddings in the same month: America had it’s royal family, too. Life reminisced about Caroline: how she rode her pony, Macaroni, on the White House lawn and how she posed for a wedding photo beside husband Ed Schlossberg on the beach where she “summered as a child.”

You can still get those happy feelings of yesteryear by reading blogs like dallasbrides.wordpress.com and weddingbee.com, whose writers have knit together past and present histories of family celebrations and American Presidents. I found the following links to be interesting:

1) The White House Weddings site

2) Family Life at the White House page at the official White House Website

3 ) NPR weighs in with their article White House Weddings: Fuel for Capitalism

4) Take a look at pictures of past white house wedding memorabilia (Circa. 1966 bag of rice, Circa. 1886 satin covered cake box) in the Life and Death at the White House page at The American Presidency website


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