Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Well, it's that time of year again. So, I thought I'd post a few Halloweeny pics that I took while I was home in Ohio to help put you in the mood.

I hope you all have a fun weekend and don't forget to set your clocks back an hour on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Everyone enjoys an extra hour of sleep, right?

And, of favorite scare of the past decade....

Tom Cruise electrocuting Oprah. makes me laugh!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No fruitcup

Well, it finally happened...

Cloris Leachman was voted off of "Dancing with the Stars" this week. I'm actually surprised that it didn't happen much sooner. However, I will say that she was always entertaining and, considering her age, I really admire the fact that she rehearsed daily, learned new dances each week and always performed them to their fullest in her own "special" way.

I mean...she is 82.

We should all be so lucky to have half her energy and enthusiasm at that age.

After being eliminated, she appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and, as usual, was hilarious and quirky as ever.

Take a look...

This won't be the last we'll see of Cloris...and that's a good thing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I love her music.

I found out last week that Enya has a new CD, "And Winter Came", coming out here in the US on November 11th and I couldn't be more excited. I think she has one of the most angelic voices I've ever clear and emotional.

Now, I do know that some people consider her "just elevator music" or "music to nap by" (which, to me, isn't a bad thing) and that a select few just hate "that kind of music".

But, for those of us who are touched in some way by her etherial voice...she's a welcome soothing calm in an, othewise, chaotic and unpredictable world.

Love her or hate her, you've gotta admit....she's done pretty well for herself. Here are just a few facts:

  • She started out singing with her other siblings in the group Clannad
  • She has won four Grammys
  • She has performed in 10 different languages
  • Her trademark sound is achieved by layering her voice as much as 80 times in one song (the most was 500 times)
  • She is a mezzo-soprano
  • She has sold over 70 million albums without ever going on tour
  • She is worth over 136 million dollars
  • She lives in a castle in Ireland
  • She has a full-time security team at her castle (which also has a panic room)
  • She's the sixth of nine children
  • She's 47 and has never been married
  • Her music is known to give chills and make people spontaneously cry
Well, I made up that last one...but it's true.

I pre-ordered my copy from Amazon yesterday (they're only $9.99 right now) and am looking forward to it wafting down from the heavens and into my mailbox soon.

Until is the video for the first single that will be released off of her new CD.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The next're out!

Well, the time finally came to make some DVR decisions and a few shows have been lopped off.

Grey's Anatomy

The past year has really been uneven on this show and, with fewer and fewer sympathetic characters to root dedication has been teetering. Then, my two least favorite characters finally did it in for me.

Last week's episode focused on Derek (he of the big hair) getting a magazine cover for a medical study that he and Meredeth (she of the show title) worked on for several episodes last season. Of course, Derek just gloated to Meredeth about how cool the article/cover was and never once suggested she should have been included or mentioned (which she wasn't). When Meredeth finally talked to him about it (in the annoying passive aggressive way all of the characters do), Derek, rather than realize he'd been insensitive and a jerk, decided to call her a baby for wanting any credit because HE is a doctor and she's just an intern.

If these characters had an ounce or reality to them, she would have shoved that magazine up his pooper and dumped him forever. But, of course, she didn't. She just moped, he got some advice from another character, then got her a stupid momento, thanked her casually, smiled and went on his McIdiot way..

As did this show...right off my DVR.


Since I enjoy JJ Abrams' "Lost" and know he directed the upcoming "Star Trek" movie, I decided to start watching his new "X-Files"-esque show (which I also enjoyed when it was on) and see how it was. I really liked the way "Fringe" was shot and their use of "where are we now?" graphics that were cleverly floating on screen.

However, what I quickly started to notice and, ultimately what did it in for me, was the weekly gore-factor of everyday people being subjected to horrific experiments by a mysterious organization. First episode, a plane load of people that had their skin melted off. Another week, probes shoved up people's noses into their brains to read their memories.

Then....last week.

A restaurant full of people with bleeding eyes and, then, someone's head exploding against the glass door....followed by lots of closeups of dissecting the, now headless, neck and torso.

The real world is creepy enough (just read or watch the news) and full of wackos trying to figure out how to hurt need to make time to watch these fictional people abuse people like me in horrific ways each week in HD.

I'll just wait for "Lost" to come back and "Star Trek" to come out in May. As for this show...

All done. Bye, bye.

Samantha Who?

Another show that I wanted to like (cause I love Jean Smart) and, although I didn't love it...stuck with it to see if it would get better.

Unfortunately, it just hasn't. The writing is awful, the characters aren't that funny and the situations are always predictable and are quickly resolved for an unsatisfying ending.

Samantha, who deleted us?

I did.

Kath and Kim

I love, love, LOVE Molly Shannon.

I do, however, feel the complete opposite about her new show after three viewings.

I can kick and stretch and KICK....this show off of my DVR.


Monday, October 27, 2008


This movie is great!

I didn't know much about the film, other than it starred Angelina Jolie and was directed by Clint Eastwood. I knew nothing about the true story that it was based on, so I was prepared for anything.

You should be too.

Angelina plays Christine Collins, a single mom in the 1920's who comes home to find her son missing. The corrupt Los Angeles police department claims to be looking for her son and, when they don't find him, they try to get her to take a different boy (who claims that he is her son) instead.

It's a very interesting look at the time period (which is beautifully shot and costumed) and the sense of powerlessness, especially for women, that ran rampant for most people living here in LA during that time. The fact that it's based on a true story only makes the movie that much more involving and heart-wrenching.

Add it to your list of potential Academy Award nominated films.

I'm sure that Angelina and Clint (and likely, the always reliable John Malkovich) will be on top of every critic's list very soon.

Here is the trailer:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jennifer Hudson's family

This is terrible news...

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The mother and brother of singer and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found shot to death inside a home Friday.

Police have confirmed Hudson's mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, 57, is one of the deceased. The other victim has been identified as Jennifer Hudson's brother, Jason S. Hudson, 29.

The home where the bodies were discovered aruond 3 p.m. Friday is at 7019 S. Yale in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. Property records indicate the home belongs to Donerson.

A search is underway for a young boy who is missing from the home. Jennifer Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, has been missing since Friday morning, according to Area 2 Deputy Chief Joseph Patterson.

I don't know how someone is able to get through something like this...

I hope she can.

A message from the President

NBC should just create a new sitcom with Will Ferrell as Bush and Tina Fey as Palin, regardless of how the election goes.

I'm hearing the "Odd Couple" theme in my head...

Can they live together without driving each other crazy?

Thursday, October 23, 2008's ON!

Remember when I suggesed last week that, rather than all of these silly ads and debates, the candidates should have a dance-off instead? appears that the politicians agree with me.

See...there can be a better way to resolve all of the political mayhem going on around us each day.

Who knew Sarah Palin could rap?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Boo, Sammy!

They just don't make'em like they used to...

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought that I'd suggest you go out and get something really scary to help put yourself in the mood.

Something like...the "The Paul Lynde Halloween Special". I mean, can a TV show get much more frightening than this...

A rare TV appearance by The Wizard of Oz’s Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West (together with Witchiepoo from H. R. Pufnstuf). Florence Henderson singing a disco version of “That Old Black Magic.” Roz "Pinky Tuscadero" Kelly singing “Disco Lady” alongside the bare-chested members of KISS in full make-up.

Pinky Tuscadero singing "Disco Lady"?!

It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New TV season

After my trip, I came back to a DVR full of new shows, which I've spent the past week trying to catch up on.

Being a TV junkie, I've always looked forward to the new fall season. It's been like that ever since I was a kid and, as an adult, I find I still watch more television than the average Joe (not necessarily just the plumbers).

I was surprised that ER got rid of Mekhi Pfeiffer in the first episode. That was a shock and, adding to that, was the preview for the following episode which was promoted as "Abbys last day in the ER".


Maura Tierney's Abby was the only character that has kept me watching it this long. She, above everyone else, remained the sole relateable human on the show and now, as of last week, she's gone too.

I know it's the last season, but I'm not sure if I'm going to continue watching. Bringing on an angry Angela Bassett into the mix just doesn't cut it. I don't want to watch another cranky doctor barking orders at people week after week (until we find out, in a "very special episode", about the tragedy that lurks in her past that will change the ER forever).

So, I'm gonna take it one episode at a time and see how I feel then.

On a brighter note, The New Adventures of Old Christine is still just as entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny as it was last season. They were smart to make Wanda Sykes a regular and, on top of that, have her marry Christine so she could remain in the country after her divorce.

The two of them together make for some priceless moments of hilarity that you can't help but crack a smile over.

Perhaps ER's Angela Bassett should add that to her TIVO season pass list. That character really needs to lighten up.

Brothers and Sisters is also a welcome return, although I'm starting to sense a bit more melodrama in these early episodes than were around in the past. But, I love me some Sally Field (and that house...I want her house!) and most of the other characters, so it'll remain a must-see for the near future.

Grey's Anatomy continues to teeter on the season pass removal ledge. I'm enjoying fewer and fewer of the characters (Dr. Baily better never leave!) and storylines (hey kids....why don't you try to date OUTSIDE of the hospital?).

They need to bring back Addison (just cancel the lame "Private Practice" already...another show where they only seem to date each other) and, on a "very special episode", have Grey go mute so no one has to hear her whine endlessly on about McDreary ever again.

Until that's week to week for them.

And last, but certainly not least....

Denny Crane!

I don't care how ridiculous the characters act on Boston Legal....the show is entertaining and, if nothing else, worth watching just for James Spader's captivating closing arguments as Alan Shore. I would buy a DVD collection that only featured those final speeches.

I would!

Unfortunately, this is also the last season for "Boston Legal", so I'm gonna savor ever last episode while I can.

Maybe Maura Tierney will show up at some point, now that she's "free".

That episode would definitely be worth two "Pops" and a hop on the Jerry Espenson scale!

Monday, October 20, 2008

9 to 5: The Musical

Violet honey, could you come back here for just a second?

I went to see "9 to 5: The Musical" in LA this past weekend and it was a hoot! If you enjoy the movie, you'll really enjoy the play.

It's almost exactly like the movie (same decade, same characters, same plot) and the cast is great. Allison Janney did a great job in the Lily Tomlin role and, although she doesn't have the same vocal skills of her co-stars (Megan Hilty, of "Wicked" fame, does a spot-on Dolly Parton all around), she can certainly carry a tune.

Dolly wrote all of the music and there are some really fun songs (besides the theme song that we all know and love) throughout the production. Plus, the set design alone is almost worth the price of admission.

It just closed its run in LA, but will be heading to Broadway in April, so if you're in the area and want to see a fun show....check it out.

You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tina meet Sarah

Another fine Tina Fey as Sarah Palin moment with special guest star....the real Sarah Palin.

I can't wait until "30 Rock" finally comes back on in two weeks.

It's always worth the wait.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dance off

I'd rather the elections were determined by having the candidates compete on a very special episode of "Dancing with the Stars".

It would be so much more entertaining to watch, less meaningless rhetoric tossed about and it's likely that we'd be spared having to hear the word "Maverick", "lipstick", or "Joe the Plumber" ever again.

Plus, if Cloris Leachman can do can John McCain.

Just putting it out there....

Also, if you'd like to see what it might be like if Palin were president, click on this link then, once you're on the page, move your mouse around and click on various things in the oval office (especially the telephone, the front parts of her desk, the windows).

It's very entertaining.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'm REALLY looking forward to the new "Star Trek" movie!

I've always been a "Star Trek" fan and have watched all of the film sequels and most of the spinoff TV series, especially enjoying "The Next Generation" and "Voyager" (Janeway and Breasts of Nine were great). I wasn't too thrilled with "Deep Space Nine" (didn't like most of the main characters) or "Enterprise".

So, when I heard they were doing a new movie that went back to the time before the original TV series, I was a little apprehensive. The "Enterprise" TV series went back there and it just seemed dull. After going so far into the future with technology in the other series, watching the crew deal with the "new" transporter" and using bulky phasers just seemed...blah.

But, with J.J. Abrahms directing and Zachary "Sylar" Quinto as Spock (I don't think they could have found a better choice to match Leonard Nimoy anywhere) and Eric Bana as the bad guy, my reservations have quickly turned to excitement.

The cast looks pretty good and I'm looking forward to seeing how they all ended up together. It also appears that the character of Uhura may have more to do than state "Hailing frequencies open, Captain.", which should be refreshing.

I'm glad they stuck with the original uniforms and will hold judgement on the updated glass-looking bridge until I see the movie....the original bridge set wasn't really created for wide screen enjoyment at the time.

May 8th can't get here quickly enough!

Here is a link to the Entertainment Weekly story, if you'd like to check it out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Power of goodbye

Well, it seems that the holiday is over....

Pop star Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie are to divorce, Madonna's UK spokeswoman, Moira Bellas, confirmed to CNN.

A statement e-mailed to The Associated Press from Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg says the couple has agreed to divorce, and asks the media to respect their privacy.

I'm sure it hasn't been easy doing the Mrs. Madonna dance for the past seven years.

However, after Guy gets his whoppin' settlement, I have a feeling he'll be vogue-ing all the way to the bank.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blustery days

I'm back in LA, but still in the autumn spirit.

I got in late Sunday night and spent most of yesterday getting caught up on stuff. It was nice to come back to windy cool weather (so much nicer than the 100 degree heat that was here when I left), very similar to what it was like back east during my visit.

Flickr has a nice variety of fall color pictures, if you (like me) enjoy this time of year and are starting to get into the buh-bye summer mood.

Time to unpack the sweaters and jackets again....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Smalltown boy

My favorite time of year....fall.

Yesterday was just about the perfect day. 80 degrees, clear blue sky, and a slight breeze to gently nudge you further down whichever path you happened to be traveling.

I spent three hours walking around my town with a camera, taking pictures of many of the historic buildings and landmarks, as well as the variety of vibrant fall colors that have popped out all around.

Growing up here as a kid, I was never interested in visiting historic places, checking out the unique architecture of older homes, or taking pictures of the beautiful falling leaves.

Kids only like visiting landmarks when it means a day away from school. Wrap around porches and crown moulding in homes just meant difficult places to dust and a bigger outside area to sweep.

The lovely fall colors of the leaves meant only one thing....something you had to constantly rake, bag up and either throw away or burn before any TV could be watched.

Now that I'm older, things are very different.

I've come to find my little town, with its one main street, charming and quaint. It's not too far away from seeming like a movie set on a studio backlot.

Those older homes that I used to rush by each day on the way to school are now beautiful, intricately detailed and full of character and personality (thanks to my obsession with HGTV and latent appreciation for detail and design style).

Those sporting fields, once a source of dread and personal embarrassment, are now just distant memories, replaced by my newfound appreciation for the excitement and hope that it gives for the many kids and adults, of all races, I now see in the area.

This weekend happened to be Homecoming for the High School and the "parade" (the band and several cars with kids) passed right by the front porch of my parent's house on main street.

The "there's nothing to do here in this boring town" feeling you have as a kid, is replaced by the "'s so nice and quiet here and a walk to the park would be lovely" feeling you appreciate as an adult.

And even the small-mindedness and prejudice that can seep into some of the minds and hearts of those that grow up here and, often, never leave, shows signs of forward thinking and progress.

As Martha Stewart would say...."It's a good thing".

Small or large, Democrat or Republican, Varsity or benchwarmer, Diary Queen or Coldstone Creamery....a town is always judged by the people who live there. What our city lacks in size, it makes up for in heart and kindness in the people who actually smile and make eye contact with you wherever you go.

Tipp City, Ohio may not be the largest spot on the map or the first stop on any travel plan, but if you're fortunate enough to happen by...

You may find yourself tempted to stay.

I saw this handpainted sign in the window of a restaurant that was open for its final day (they obviously had posted a daily countown at some point) and it pretty much summed up the time left for me visiting my family.

I fly out tomorrow and head back to my life in LA, where "traffic" means more than three cars on the road, where "crime" means more than "boy knocks over yard gnome", and where "friendliness" is usually indicated by which arrangement of fingers are raised when you ask someone to take their trash cans away from the front of your driveway.

There's no place like home....