David Cook’s performance worthy of Rock Hall venue {American Idol}

May 7, 2008

I started to feel as if I were in A Clockwork Orange watching American Idol last night; being forced to watch the red Coca-Cola trademark on a million TV screens when Ryan Seacrest interviewed finalists was mind-numbing. However, I was very impressed with David Cook’s soulful rendition of The Who’s classic Teenage Wasteland. Cook made this song “relevant” (to borrow a word from Paula Abdoul) for the times. I can actually admit I was wrong in my last post- an up-and-coming artist can perform a copy of an original recording. David Cook breathed new life into this old classic, claiming it for himself as a solo act. “He is back!” was all the judges had (thankfully) to say; the performance spoke for itself. Jason Castro did not sing that well this week and even Randy Jackson appeared offended. “That was a Karaoke BOMB,” said Jackson. He didn’t even say, “Karaoke bomb, DAWG.”

I have to end here… for some reason I feel that I need to drink a can of Coke.

PJ


Judge Judy is never short of one-liners

May 6, 2008

I’ve been watching Judge Judy on and off for 10 years, mainly to hear her one liners. I call them Judge Judy-isms. She reminds me of a grandmother, never short of opinions or old fashioned advice. I started writing a list:

1. Beauty fades; dumb is forever.

2. You have to put on your listening ears.

3. I am a truth-telling machine.

4. If you wallow around with pigs, you’re going to get dirty.

5. Where did you think you were coming, to a tea dance?

7. An 8 year old does not need a cell phone!!!

8. If you think that I believe anything you just said, then I’m 5’7″ and 42 years old. Don’t laugh.

9. ‘Uhhm’ is not an answer.

10. Do I look like I need any help from you?

PJ


Round #2 with mamma’s boy {Dr. Phil}

May 5, 2008

I had to wait until the end of the show to hear Dr. Phil say:

To crazy mom (Yolande): “I haven’t had a drink in 40 years, and I’m really thinking…”

To ex-wife (Amanda): “If I were you, happiness would be these folks in my rear-view mirror. I feel like they don’t have a plan for life.”

To adult son living with mom (Pierre): “You’re 40, able-bodied, and intelligent–get off your dead-ass and get a job!”

To audience (PJ et al.): “Am I the only one who thinks this is just really weird?”

No, but parading out a singe nutty family for an entire “update show” is boring, Dr. Phil.

Coming up tomorrow: Round #2 with “king of moochers.” I predict Dr. P will say…(see Comment #3). I’ll be ready with the remote and delete button.

PJ


Commercial Break {Poetry}

May 5, 2008

Every so often, I will write a post that has nothing to do with a particular TV show…we all need a break from our routines once in awhile. Here is a poem by Tim Seibles, whom I met a few years ago at a poetry reading. I remember Tim telling me “poetry is bread.” Comparatively, sometimes TV can have the same effect as “junk food.” Read on:

    Commercial Break: Road-Runner, Uneasy

    If I didn’t know better I’d say
    the sun never moved ever,

    that somebody just pasted it there
    and said the hell with it,

    but that’s impossible.
    After awhile you have to give up

    those conspiracy theories.
    I get the big picture. I mean,

    how big can the picture be?
    I actually think it’s kind of funny —

    that damn coyote always scheming,
    always licking his skinny chops

    and me, pure speed, the object of all
    his hunger, the everything he needs —

    talk about impossible, talk about
    the grass is always greener

    I am the other side of the fence.

    You’ve got to wonder, at least a little,
    if this could be a set-up:

    with all the running I do —
    the desert, the canyons, the hillsides, the desert —

    all this open road has got to
    lead somewhere else. I mean,

    that’s what freedom’s all about, right?
    Ending up where you want to be.

    I used to think it was funny — Roadrunner
    the coyote’s after you Roadrunner…

    Now I’m mainly tired. Not that
    you’d ever know. I mean

    I can still make the horizon
    in two shakes of a snake’s tongue,

    but it never gets easier out here, alone
    with Mr. Big Teeth and his ACME supplies:

    leg muscle vitamins, tiger traps,
    instant tornado seeds.

    C’mon! I’m no tiger.
    And who’s making all this stuff?

    I can’t help being a little uneasy.
    I do one of my tricks,

    a rock-scorching, razor turn at 600 miles an hour,
    and he falls off the cliff, the coyote —

    he really falls: I see the small explosion,
    his body slamming into dry dirt

    so far down in the canyon
    the river looks like a crayon doodle.

    That has to hurt, right?
    Five seconds later, he’s just up the highway

    hoisting a huge anvil
    above a little, yellow dish of bird feed —

    like I don’t see what’s goin’ on. C’mon!

    You know how sometimes, even though you’re
    very serious about the things you do,

    it seems like, secretly, there’s a
    big joke being played,

    and you’re part of what
    someone else is laughing at — only

    you can’t prove it, so you
    keep sweating and believing in

    your career, as if that
    makes the difference, as if somehow

    playing along isn’t really

    playing along as long as you’re
    not sure what sort of fool

    you’re being turned into, especially
    if you’re giving it one-hundred percent.

    So, when I see dynamite
    tucked under the ACME road-runner cupcakes,

    as long as I don’t wonder why my safety
    isn’t coming first in this situation,

    as long as I don’t think me
    and the coyote are actually

    working for the same people,

    as long as I eat and

    get away I’m not really stupid,

    right? I’m just fast.




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Amber is first groomer voted off the island {Groomer Has It}

May 4, 2008

Fans of Project Runway and Survivor felt right at home in the doghouse this week on Groomer Has It. Amber was sent home by two of her teammates because she did a superior job during the Challenge. Will, the winner of last week’s show, got to pick his own team of three for the Quick Sniff Challenge: designing a collection of three outfits for a Poodle from each breed class: standard (big), miniature (small), and teacup (tiny). Will also received the added advantage of putting the rest of the teams of 3 together. He should have picked judges’ favorites– show front runners Jonathan and Kathleen, but instead, chose Amber (for her creative ideas) and Jessica (who said dressing up dogs is “stupid”). The most entertaining team was Jorge, Jasper, and Artist; they had the least designing experience, yet won with their line of red and white satin poodle sportswear. They were picked by two “top designers in dog-dressing fashion.” (Stop. You mean to tell me that there exists such a hierarchy?) Jorge was impressed with Jasper’s cloth-cutting skills saying Jasper cut like “he’s been playing with dolls all his life.” Jasper, a man built like a tank, and who admitted his wife dresses him at home, “got in touch with his inner metro-sexual,” according to Jorge. Watching Jorge, Jasper, and Artist select their “models” grew funnier by the minute. Jasper picked Kenny, a black standard poodle “because he was easygoing and he let me play with his paws.” Artist picked the miniature poodle who had the most “testosterone.” Artist’s technique comprised of sniffing each poodle butt (this is a unique talent of Artist’s; detecting dog hormones was his method for identifying breeds while blindfolded in the first challenge). Ironically, this dog ended up wearing a cheerleading outfit. Jorge grabbed teacup poodle, Patches: “When I saw Patches, I said, ‘that’s the spirit I need today.'” (At the time, Patches was humping another teacup poodle). The contestants also had to create their own copy for the catwalk and Artist had the most original with his hip-hop inspired description: “We have here the tough traina. He does not like no complainas. He works hard, he has flair, his bling-bling is hot to wear. He gives us a sweatshirt with a team logo with matching colors–Oh no no!” Their ability to work together and have fun with a tough challenge won over the judges. Jasper, the MIP, (Most Improved Playa), was the overall individual winner.

Now for the bad news: Malissa was singled out by the judges as the worst groomer this week for a single act of shaving a poodle’s “top knot” too far back. You learn something new every week, and I learned that poodles are supposed to have bangs. Sweet Malissa responded by saying that “the eyes are the most beautiful part of a dog.” But she is safe for now because, as Artist had pointed out earlier, “grooming is 20% of this challenge.” Amber was sad to leave the show, but happy to return home to “build her business and her family.” As if to remind the viewers to keep life in perspective, she shared with us her happy news that she is pregnant.

What’s next? The groomers will be tested on their EMT skills. Can they perform CPR on a dog? There is more to the dog grooming profession than grooming!

PJ


Hell’s Kitchen’s “donkeys” and “darlings” finally succeed!

May 1, 2008

Chefs competing in Hell’s Kitchen are hazed, harassed, and verbally hammered by Chef Ramsey and this week succeeded at completing their first dinner service. Then men (who Ramsey insults by calling them “donkeys”) served up their own drama complete with tears, temper tantrums, and moments of pouty-lipped whining. Ben was mortally offended by Louross, accusing him of “being a little BEEP.” After the men lost the gourmet pizza making challenge, Louross put a towel over his head and paced around the kitchen weeping. Ben has become a little paranoid, claiming that Chef Ramsey hates him. (Wah). Ramsey drives home the point by making Ben deliver pizzas in a wobbly delivery truck. The men’s team would have fared much better if they focused more on the task at hand and less on assigning blame and conjugating the F word. Matt, in particular, had the worst time, pleading (like a little BEEP) for his team to work together. The team repaid him by nominating him to be sent home. In a hilarious moment, Matt rescued a charred beef wellington by slicing off the top layer and exposing the tender meat inside. Unknowingly, Ramsey accepted the dish as up to his standards and sent it out to the diners. An amused Louross exclaimed, “That was the most ghetto-est kitchen move I ever saw!” The drama-free women’s team soared through this weeks challenges, prompting Ramsey to call them”darlings” ten times more than usual. Unfortunately, Vanessa had to leave the show because her severely burned hand prevented her from cooking. She went up to Ramsey’s “office” to deliver the news, an office that looked like a bat-cave. What does Ramsey do up there, anyway? To reward the contestants for their successful dinner service, Chef Ramsey decided not to send anyone home. I hope the chefs are awake enough talk to eachother next week— otherwise the BEEP will BEEP, BEEEEEEP. —PJ


Why I’m yawning through American Idol…

April 30, 2008

On the last episode of American idol, the contestants sang Neil Diamond tunes. My 11 year old daughter had never heard of Neil Diamond, and after the show had no future desire to listen to Neil Diamond. She loves American Idol for its future stars. However, I’d prefer if the finalists sang their own music, not cover the “classics” because the original artists sang them better!!! I feel fortunate enough my age (44) to have been able to go to see these original artists as well as some amazing bands perform “LIVE” in concert. Back then a concert felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity (unless you were a Deadhead). If I’m getting too sentimental it’s because what I like about American Idol is the fact that its TV audience actually sits around a single television set (or plasma HD flatscreen) and watches this show together. Does anyone remember watching The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights with their family? So I will continue to tune in and tolerate American Idol for sentimental reasons, not because I think the show is fun to watch (its not).

PJ

p.s. I can’t end this post without suggesting how the producers can spice up the show: No more icons on IdolBarry Manilow, Julie Andrews, Josh Groban, and the cast of The Lion King are out. Bring in Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor, and David Lee Roth (finalists must wear spandex). I’d also be happier if each finalist could arrange their own version of a former one-hit-wonder. Until then, I’ll be yawning through American Idol and looking forward to next season’s hilarious audition episodes.

PJ


Surreal Life: White House Edition? {Chelsea Lately}

April 29, 2008

I wish I could have seen the “famous” Reality TV stars mixing and mingling at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. According to comedian Chelsea Handler, who hosts her own late-night show, Chelsea Lately, Heidi and what’s-his-name from The Hills were there as well as Jessica Simpson and Miley Syrus, who’s show Hannah Montana, is sort of real. Chelsea herself was surprised to be invited and remarked that she felt as if she were cast in The Surreal Life: White House Edition.

I’m uneasy about blending of Reality TV with Capital Hill. Chelsea thinks a change of administration will change the surreal-life atmosphere, but I’m afraid we’re on a slippery slope to the land of tacky. What’s next in short-run-series Reality TV Genre? Recording artist Carnie Wilson will star in her 4th(?) reality series, Celebracadabra where celebs compete to become the next famous magician. OK. Why not make it more interesting and have contestants tame tigers? I have fond memories of Circus of the Stars. A variety show like that could become quite twisted if there were elimination contests involved! Maybe the winner of Celebracadabra could make guest appearances on the upcoming shows: Jennifer Lopez juggles (or jiggles) motherhood with…all that is involved with being J Lo; sugar-sweet couple Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos show us their sweet selves; and Denise Richards dispells all the rumors about her (I forgot what they were). It seems the direction of Reality TV will be more star-studded in the future. But as a fan of biographies and memoirs, I know that famous people don’t always lead the most interesting private lives. I’ll have to see if any of these new shows get any attention.

PJ


Memo to Candidates: How far will you go to get my vote? {Best Week Ever}

April 28, 2008

I’m always up for a good laugh, but not when Presidential Candidates make a mockery of the democratic process. The commentators on VH1’s Best Week Ever remarked that Americans witnessed the end of democracy when Senators Clinton, Obama, and McCain made appearances (via satellite) on WWE. So I ask the candidates if they would consider a few more challenges? How far out of the box (or out of their minds) are they willing to go to get our votes? I drafted the following memo of future suggestions:

TO: The 2008 Presidential Candidates

FROM: An American Citizen and Registered Voter

SUBJECT: How far will you go to Get My Vote?

Dear Senators:

Thank you for participating in the latest WWE match aired on the USA network. Your appearances generated hope for Americans that you three will go to great lengths to make us want you to be our next president. How much farther are you willing to go? I have generated a list of possibilities for your consideration:

1) WWE will have a rematch at the Democratic National Convention. At the Republican Convention, John McCain, Ron Paul, and Mike Huckabee will hold a Dance Dance Revolution contest. The Independents will celebrate Earth Day again.

2) The Electoral College will be comprised of veterans, inner-city high school teachers, and Oprah’s Book Club.

3) The President will appoint a new Committee for Celebrity Assistance. Celebrities will be on call to visit victims of natural disasters and sign autographs.

4) The Inaugural Ball parties will focus on honoring the men and women who serve or have served in our armed forces. Note to VP: You will be required to serve punch.

3) Military bands will now be playing at the funerals of fallen soldiers and at US airports to officially welcome our soldiers home. If you insist that someone play Hail to the Chief when you walk in a room, hire your own DJ.

4) Televised debates are annoying, so the next debates will be between Nationally Syndicated Talk Radio hosts. This time you candidates will ask the questions and the media will just shut up for once.

5) The American taxpayers will no longer furnish your private apartments in the White House. You may bring your own furniture, or buy furniture off of Craig’s List like everyone else.

6) The exterior of the White House will remain white, but inside it’s all green, baby! (No more indoor plumbing).

7) All State Dinners will be Pot-Luck.

8) All flights on Air Force One must be corporate sponsored. I have to find money to pay for fuel, so why shouldn’t you?

9) Official speeches will be written by local 7th and 8th grade winners of the Power of the Pen contest.

10) The Department of Education will change to the Department of Homeland Citizenship (DHC). The DHC will be responsible for helping immigrants pass the citizenship test and receive the documents they need to go to college. You will have to trust elected officials of state and local government take responsibility of public education.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Cc: American Public


Small dog groomers had a leg up in challenge {Groomer Has It}

April 28, 2008

On Animal Planet’s Groomer Has It, dogs are people too. Puppy size mattered when volunteers handed over their puppies to Reality TV groomers for the third challenge. Will was awarded the “top dog” prize because he showered his Pomeranian puppy with hugs and kisses. The judges were sympathetic to Will’s transformation; last week, they poo-pooed Will for using the wrong brush on a Bearded Collie. This week Will was determined to show how much “he loves dogs.” Sadly Jon was told to “leave the doghouse” after “failing to meet the grooming standards of the puppy grooming challenge.” Never mind that Jon’s puppy was a Great Pyrenese and with the exception of the Leonberger, was the size of a full grown Labrador Retriever! Contestants who were given small dogs definitely had the advantage with the 90 minute time frame. But they had to please the owners of small dogs who are very picky about their dog’s appearance. Groomers of small dogs make house calls and call themselves “dog stylists” instead of “dog groomers.” Kathleen, the”Quick Sniff” contest winner, was the only groomer allowed to choose her puppy, a white Pomeranian named Princess who arrived wearing a little red skirt. The rest were given their puppies at random, and it took poor Jon a full hour just to dry fur of the giant Pyrenese pup. This left him little time for the actual “grooming/styling” phase. Jon chose to focus on styling the fur on the puppy’s head because did not have time take care of the other end. The judges offered him no sympathy and bolted from their chairs and headed right for the tail. It wasn’t fair that the judges didn’t scrutinize the other groomers, and I wish Jon could have summoned Tyra Banks to give his dog “a Brazillian Booty Facial.” The moral of the story? Who cares if there’s a Writier’s Strike when you have shows like Grommer Has It? Next week the contestants have to design doggy outfits–another contest where size matters. What does designing clothes have to do with dog grooming? It doesn’t really matter becuase until Project Runway begins, I’m watching Groomer Has It.

See ya’

PJ


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