A place for anything and everything that comes to mind.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Just tell me, is it October 4 yet? Oh, no it's not. It's August 30, and I just spent another Wednesday watching re-runs.

At least Season 2 comes out on DVD next Tuesday, so I can watch that awesome finale again and get super psyched for Season 3! C'mon, Locke and Desmond: LIVE!!! (Well, you must, since you're on the Season 3 poster. YES!)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Guilt is So Pleasurable

You knew I would watch. This fact was absolutely inevitable. (Hey, if I sit through the Emmy's, I'm gonna watch this.) And, let me tell you my friends, FOX's Celebrity Duets was absolutely rock-solid-C-list-celeb gold! Now, let me take a moment to figure out where to start...

Well, Jai Rodriguez was absolutely phenomenal. This may be due to the fact that he is actually a singer and part of an off-Broadway recording of Zanna Don't: A Musical Fairy Tale (which sales are going infinitely up after tonight's show), but I'm sure everyone can ignore this fact for this amateur singing contest. He rocked it with Gladys Knight! Alfonso Riberio (aka Carlton) was pretty enjoyable in a mediocre sort of way with Michelle "I'm the Only Destiny's Child without a Record Contract" Williams (oh, that wasn't needed). Hal "I'll do Anything for VH-1" did an unusual rendition of "Tracks of My Tears" with Smokey Robinson: while Smokey crooned, Hal screeched. It still worked in a very odd sort of way.

Now, however, the ladies did not fare quite as well. I'm just going to go ahead and skip to gold medalist Carly Patterson, who was one of the worst amateur singers I've ever heard. She was off-pitch, breathy, squeaky, and vibrattoey (yes, it's a word!) all at once. Her duet on "Somewhere Out There" with James Ingram was painful, and I just want to say that Mya Brown and Mike Layman did a much better job at Champaign Central High School's 1995 fall concert extravaganza "Earth Tones." For some reason, however, the judges decided to keep her on and kicked WWE star Chris Jericho off. He's a rocker, with his own band, but they decided to give him a duet on a country ballad with Lee Ann Womack. He wasn't great, but he wasn't off pitch either. I think this was a scripted effort to keep one of America's golden girls on the TV a little while longer. (Jericho is Canadian dontcha know?)

One final note: the judges. They couldn't have found a more rag-tag bunch of misfits. Marie Osmond, Little Richard, and David Foster. There's enough plastic and teeth on that panel to make a dozen new Barbie dolls. Little Richard is frightening to watch, and none of them want to be mean to these "celebrities," who are barely household names.

Just bring on the Richard Marx guest spot, but if that Carly girl gets to sing with him, I quit. (What I quit I'm not sure, but I'll quit it, I swear.) Oh! And Alfonso said if he gets to the finals he'll do the Carlton Dance. Suh-weet!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

13 Episodes of Glory

I still don't think I have the right words to discuss the topic of this entry with any validity other than adoration. Tomorrow is the day the final season of "one of the greatest comedies in the history of television" (, Editorial Review, Bret Fetzer) is released on DVD. "Arrested Development" Season 3 will be released in its puny entirety (only 13 episodes).

I will confess now that I missed much of the last season. Just like when I heard "Freaks and Geeks" was going to get the ax, I lived in denial. I missed the last four episodes of "Freaks and Geeks" when it originally aired, and I believe I missed the last six of "Arrested Development." Am I ashamed of this? Yes. Do I blame myself for cancellation? No. FOX made up their minds a long time before this one viewer retreated into her closet of denial and despair. From the outset of Season 3, they cut down their order from 24 to 21, then down to 18, finally calling for a pitiful 13 episode run.

Nothing's going to bring this show back, but maybe that's the way it was supposed to be. If you watch the Jason Bateman clip on Amazon, he says that he knew the show wouldn't last. Let's face it: I knew the show wouldn't last, too. It's far too clever, too advanced, if you allow me to reference Klosterman's theory again, for most people to get, let alone understand and appreciate. Bateman's hangdog character, who tries everything in his power to keep the family that walks all over him together, is an homage to James Stewart's Mr. Smith or George Bailey, if you ask me. Maybe that's why I loved the show so much: it beckoned to an era of unselfishness that is not known in our society today.

In "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," Clark W. Griswold is referred to as "the last true family man," but if you ask me, Michael Bluth owns this persona better than any fictional character ever created. His neverending quest to bind his rag-tag, money-hungry family together gives new meaning to the word perseverance. It's also breathtaking and reassuring that a man like that would still exist in a Hollywood script. If you still haven't, please check out this short-lived masterpiece. Pay attention to the wonderfully smooth narration that becomes a part of the script and dialogue, never detracting from either. Look out for some of the quirkiest and best supporting characters ever penned in television history. George Constanza and Kosmo Kramer ain't got nothin' on GOB and Buster Bluth. Finally, don't forget to note perhaps the most skin-crawlingly accurate portrayal of teenage awkwardness and loyalty to one's father (he really didn't have to wear those shirts, did he?) ever filmed in George Michael Bluth, Michael's obedient and caring son. You'll also be impressed with all the other supporting characters, sub-plots, and guest stars along the way (Liza Minelli with vertigo? CLASSIC!). Enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Severely Underwhelmed: A Follow-Up

"My name's Mariska. I'm hot, I just had a baby, and I just won an Emmy!"

I was right. It's not even over yet, and I can't wait for it to be done. The Emmy's have been, well, zzzzzzzzz, oh, um, let me wake up. A few highlights:
1. Colbert cursing Barry Manilow winning over him for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. ("At least Wolverine could have beat me! His hands are claws!")
2. Thinking...
3. Still thinking...
Well, the other two highlights will come to me. If "Arrested Development" wins in 30 seconds, I'll be thrilled......
And, it didn't. How's that for real time, folks? At least my other child, "The Office," won.

I'm going to go read my new book, "The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls." At least this will keep me awake and interested until Thursday's MTV VMA's. Oh, those will be AWESOME! And, after reading my book, I'll know why all those booty dancers and young, impressionable girls want to bikini wax and wear slutty clothes.

What Did I Do to Deserve This???

I just received some amazing news last night from

Less than a year after his last release, "Intensive Care," Robbie Williams will be releasing a new album on October 23, 2006!

The new album is entitled "Rudebox '74," and from what I've read, it will be a theme album, much like his masterpiece "Swing When You're Wininng." It sounds like he is exploring and working with musical heroes from his youth. I'm expecting a lot of disco-ey, 80's techno beats. But that's just the impressions I get from the articles and the look of the website, You can also visit his official website for more info on "Rudebox '74" ('74 being the year he was born if you're still wondering). I must admit I'm very intrigued what his two tracks "The '80's" and "The '90's" will sound like.

I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Coloring is one of the most therapeutic and relaxing things you can do for yourself. When was the last time you colored a picture? When was the last time you went out bought yourself a big box of brand new Crayola Crayons and a new coloring book, full of empty, colorless pictures that you can fill in any way you like? If it's been more than 10 years, or even 1 year, this is the book for you!

"Let's Paint the '90's!" is my favorite new coloring book. It has wonderful pictures you can color, or paint (since it's equipped with a FREE water color set). Some of my favorite blank pages to adorn are Let's Paint Baywatch!, Let's Paint Kris Kross!, Let's Paint the Macarena, and Let's Paint Hugh Grant! (that infamous mugshot). Each picture also has the date the subject was at it's 1990's peak. Also included in the book are tons of activities, like the Elian Gonzalex Ocean Adventure Maze, a Hannibal Lector Connect the Dots, One-Hit Wonder Word Search, and, my favorite, the O.J. Simpson High-Speed Freeway Maze.

Run out/log on and buy this RIGHT NOW!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Why Am I Not That Excited?

Maybe it's the fact that in the last three days I've spent three 11-hour days at school this week and all I want to do is sleep. Or, maybe it's the fact that I watch "24" a season behind on DVD and have to dodge the clips for nominees (what a hassle). Perhaps it's the fact that I really just wish "Lost" was back on...and actually nominated for Best Drama Series. What I'm getting at is I'm really not that excited about Sunday night's Prime Time Emmy Awards.

I used to relish every awards show on: I even got pumped for the Nickelodeon Awards and the Teen Choice Awards (I caught literally 45 seconds of that last week; what a doozy!). I actually used to love the American Music Awards, because New Kids on the Block won two of them in one year (go Beantown Boys!). Now, however, the only two I can seem to put up with are the Oscars and the Golden Globes (my favorite one).

Don't get me wrong, it's all okay. I know I'll sit through the Emmy's. I'll even sit through this week's horribly long, I-wish-I- was-really-digging-my-eyes-out-with-a-spoon MTV Video Music Awards (just to see the production of "SexyBack"). The Emmy's just don't grab me like they used to. I think I'm probably just an award's show snob. I mean why would I want to watch an show that could possibly give an award to Jamie Pressly for playing Jamie Pressly? The only nominee who puts less effort into his work is Charlie Sheen. C'mon, Charlie! You could tape t
hat crud you "perform" on set and send it in it's so cold and sterile. At least Ducky, I mean Jon Cryer, finally got a nod, too. He deserves an award just for putting up with that schlock you turn in daily as acting.

I'll be watching the show for one thing: "These hands, Michael!"

Will Arnett better run away with that Supporting Actor award for everyone who didn't get nominated on "Arrested Development". (Yes, folks, you read that right: Sheen gets nominated and Jason Bateman doesn't.) I hate FOX for cancelling that show. In fact, all FOX personnel who had a hand in that cancellation deserve to rot in the deep, fiery pits of Oprah's hell (cause she's the devil, see?). One day I'll blog about the intelligent beauty that was "Arrested Development," but it's not time for that yet. The words of adoration and applause for that one must be chosen carefully. And if "Arrested Development" could actually beat out "The Office" for Best Comedy (though for me choosing which one should win would be akin to picking out a favorite child), I'll be the first to write a very petty "I told you so" letter to FOX. (Not that they'd listen, cause "Prison Break" is just so darn good.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Virtually Unscathed?

Those who know me best know that the cast of "Full House" is probably the very last thing they'd see on my blog. But, for some reason I've been thinking a lot about the Tanners lately. It all started about a month ago when I saw the E! True Hollywood Story of the favorite family sitcom. The ooey-gooey, feel-good show ran from 1987-1995, so it garnered a two hour THS. As I was watching, I began thinking about the cast: they seem virtually unscathed from their eight seasons in this heartwarming, cringe-inducing sitcom (are you cringing from just looking at that picture? I am). What's the deal!?!?

OK, so Stamos can't buy a hit show ("Thieves," "Jake in Progress"), and his ex is completely bonkers for leaving him and his awesome head of hair. One of the Olsens had a bout with an eating disorder, but we all knew at least one of them would. And, maybe Saget's only hired for other dad roles in his failed show ("Raising Dad") that was even shorter-lived than Uncle Jesse's. (But did you see "Half Baked?" Priceless!) But the thing is they all seemed so okay with all this.

Jodie Sweetin and Candace Cameron seemed so happy and normal on the THS interviews. Sweetin is married and getting a teaching degree (go Steph!). Candace, sister of Kirk, has like three cute-as-buttons kids with her Russian ice hockey playin' husband, and is hosting great countdown shows with Keshia Knight-Pulliam. Even Dave Coulier seemed content with his stay in the "Surreal Life" house with my mortal enemy Flava Flav (yes, he may have even taken Oprah's place). Lori Loughlin was also still beautiful (and I still want her hair). Perhaps the most amazing thing to me was how nostalgic they all sounded when talking about this show, this show filled with sugar, spice, and etheral music when the lesson was about to be dropped on your head like a nuke. They all sounded genuinely happy about their experiences on the show and spoke of each other fondly, and almost longingly.

This show type-cast them for LIFE. This show was my generation's "The Brady Bunch": it will run everyday in syndication for forever. Andrea Barber will always be annoying Kimmy Gibler, perhaps the worst best friend ever created for television, and while she didn't speak on THS, she's probably still okay with this (and the residuals that roll in monthly). This cast could be complaining constantly about how they're a Tanner and only known as a Tanner (a la Maureen McCormick from "The Brady Bunch"), but they don't! I just don't get it. How are these people not stuck in a Hollywood Blvd. gutter, high on coke and heroin after this show, espcially the youngsters (well, we don't actually know what happened to the twins who played Jesse and Becky's twins)??? If Mary-Kate/Ashley only have to worry about a 6-week stint in rehab for anorexia, the members of this family staple have remained virtually unscathed. And that, my friends, proves there is a God.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Oh, Cruisazy :(

First his wife dumps him, then his publicist dumps him, and now Paramount is dumpin' him. Yahoo reported that the Wall Street Journal reported (wow, I feel like I'm back in middle school already) that Paramount has cut ties with Tom Cruise after 14 years.

I'm just getting more and more depressed about this Tom Cruise situation, and I guess I really can't ignore it anymore. The talented (YES, I said talented) actor was a childhood crush of mine. I first saw "Top Gun" when I was seven, and there was no turning back. I'm serious: some of his work has been absolutely phenomenal, and he's never done anything but make entertaining films. So he's gone a little nutters: woos a girl who used to have a crush on him (Katie's my age, y'all), jumps up and down on couches (Oprah's no less), and won't show his baby (though he's under no obligation to do so). Oh, and he's a Scientologist. But isn't this just a case of people making fun of and shying away from something they don't know and don't want to understand? You're right: his comments about Brooke Shields were TOTALLY inappropriate, and they displayed his own ignorance about what females go through during and after the beauty that is childbirth. However, by making fun of him, aren't we just doing what he did to her?

I've still seen his films since the Cruisaziness has broken out of Cruise. I enjoyed "War of the Worlds," and I thought his portrayal of a dad who has NO idea who his kids are and what they are about, yet still shows a fierce love for them, was moving. I also liked "Mission: Impossible III," although that ending was a COMPLETE sell-out (but that was more J.J.'s fault than his). And, guess what??? I'll still go see his films. What it comes down to is this: ever the optimist, I truly believe Thomas Cruise Mapother IV has gotten the short end of the stick. Is it fun to make fun of him? Yeah, sometimes. Is it fun to just ignore his body of work because he's gone through a little mid-life craziness? I don't think so. (Don't you even throw Michael Jackson out at me. What he's done is so much worse than Tom Cruise.)

Anyway...I know this will be most controversial post yet, and most of you will disagree with me wholeheartedly. I know my cousin will email me and tell me I'm crazy (I still love ya, cousin). But, I just had to stick up for my boy. He still has that gazillion watt smile, and he still entertains (me, at least). If you haven't had enough Cruise News, read the IMDb bio or the Wikipedia bio. You could even check out my Top 5 below.

Tom Cruise Top 5:

(I have a brief explanation. It was REALLY hard narrowing this list down, but I want to stick to a Top 5 format on this blog. I picked the films I would watch over and over AND over again. This is why some of his more powerful and moving performances [like "Magnolia" and "Born on the Fourth of July"] have been ommitted. [If you watched those two over and over again, you'd go insane with sadness and melancholy.] We can also argue about that later.)

1. Jerry Maguire (Where's the Oscar?)
2. Rain Man (One more 'gain: WHERE'S the Oscar?)
3. Top Gun (The beginning.)
4. A Few Good Men (You try to match wits with Jack Nicholson as cooly as Mr. Cruise.)
5. Interview with a Vampire (Best Lestat EVER...and Anne Rice wanted Rutger Hauer. Humph!)

Sunday, August 20, 2006


As I type, I am watching the Roast of the Shat on Comedy Central. Farrah Fawcett has just made another mind-boggling performance as a drunken, high, I-don't-know-where-the-shizzle-I-am-has-been. This makes me sad, because this night is supposed to be about the Shat, one of the most influentially talented actors and song interpretists of our time. This show isn't supposed to about another Fawcett-style meltdown.

Seriously, folks, I think I may want to take this time to follow George Takei's lead and come out. I think what my husband has always wished, hoped, and prayed for may have come true: I'm becoming a Trekkie. I've started to gain more respect for the "Star Trek" franchise: I've been watching the movies, viewing the Original Series, and learning much too much about Star Trek lore and episodic aliens. But, I'm also starting to enjoy it. I even have a favorite character, Dr. McCoy (or, Bones). At the beginning of each episode, I ask Martin if it's a Bones episode, and if it isn't I get a little disappointed. As we are watching the Original Series, we've also started to tread in the deep, murky waters of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (or, DS9), which I've been assured gets really good at the end of Season 2.

Anyway, I'm out; I'm a Trekkie albeit in my infant stages. My brother is so upset about this he can't see straight. I, however, find it liberating to let you all know. OK, I still love making fun of it, but Martin does, too, so it must be okay. Also, how could you watch those stunning late-60's sci-fi sound stages and not rip 'em apart? (Or, Shatner's acting for that matter?) It can't be done. So, in good humored fun, I advise you to not be a hater; give it a shot. Try out the Trek, for you might be liberated soon, too. You'll be watching one of Canada's most famous sons in what was really one of the most ground-breaking shows in television history. And, I'm not just saying that as a newly-minted Trekkie; I'm saying that as a self-proclaimed TV historian, who has spent hours and HOURS studying series, mini-series, and even commercials.

Two more things:
1. I really think you should follow that Comedy Central link above for some seriously funny Shatner roasts. I think I wet myself twice whilst watching.
2. Get more AWESOME "Star Trek" Inspirational Posters here. They are high-larious.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm in Trouble, Y'All

First off, imagine me saying that in a Paula Deen voice. Secondly, I have to point out that this will be my first post that is about me and not some part of pop culture. Finally, let me tell you why I'm in trouble.

I came home tonight after viewing Samuel L. Jackson's blockbuster, "Snakes on a Plane," and I found myself somewhat depressed. Actually, a lot depressed. I couldn't understand it: I had spent lunch at Dos Reales with family and friends, the afternoon visiting the beautifulest baby ever, sweet Aubrey, and reading a good book over again (John Bellairs' "The Curse of the Blue Figurine"), and then we went and saw "Snakes on a Plane" (one of the most important and pivotal films ever made in film history). How could I be depressed???

I decided to assess the situation. Is it cause school is about to start? Is it cause my dear friend, Kristy, fled our school and won't be with us anymore? Or maybe it's those pesky teacher dreams that are increasing nightly? Heck, maybe deep down it's even the fact that Hilary and Halie Duff's new movie, "Material Girls," actually got made and released yesterday.

Well, I kept pondering my anxiety and depression through an episode of the first season of "Angel." (I had forgotten about this episdoe, called "She," and it was very terrible and tres boring, though the rest of the season is quality.) I continued contemplating during "Ace of Cakes," FN's newest series about gourmet wedding and event cakes made by Baltimore's Duff Goldman. (It was exceptional! Check it out, FN Addict!) Then it happened. I was horrified with what I found out during the commercial break.

Jif had a commercial for some PB&J, and I thought, "Hummm...I could go one of those." I trotted downstairs, slapped together some Meijer wheat bread, Peter Pan peanut butter (not Jif), and Beef House jelly. I also got me some Reduced Fat Ruffles (the best kind). I chomped that down, and instantly, I began to feel better. I realized I hadn't had many veggies today, so then I ate a salad I had pre-made for a lunch. I continued to feel even better; I was almost ship-shape even.
So, here I am, tummy full, but I began to panic. Is this all I am? Some depressed being who feels better after wolfing down a sammie and some chips? Is this why I'm "pleasantly plump and good humored"? All's I'm thinking is I'm in trouble. School's starting, and there's always a greater tendency of being depressed during those 9 months.

This recognition of the depression-eating food relationship is a good thing, I think. I can now be aware of it and try to curb my need to eat when I'm depressed during the next 9 months. What can I do instead, though, fair readers? I can't go exercise during school hours, but this is when I do the most snacking derived from a depressive state. So, any ideas would be helpful. Well, I guess I thought I was in trouble, but now maybe I can conquer this habit.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Thank You, Food Network

Well, summer is almost over for this teacher. This is my last official day off of the summer, and I just wanted to thank Food Network for the hours spent on my russet red couch watching all my favorite chefs, day in and day out.

Some (my brother) may call my summer life sad. I wake up around 10, go to the gym, and get home in time for Paula's noon showing. I'm stuck on the couch for the rest of the afternoon partaking in whatever Giada, Chiarello, Tyler, Paula & Giada agai
n, Ina (hooray for that Hamptons Hottie), Aunt Sandy, and RayRay have to cook that day. Whether it be meatballs, something with five sticks of butter in it, or a huge fillett of beef, I will watch every second and enjoy it. (Especially those cocktails from Sandra. How many different kinds of liqueur are there anyway? I think she brews them at home.) This may seem sad, but my culinary skills have excelled even beyond my own wildest imagination.

I will miss my summer days on the couch with my best friends glowing in front of me. I feel like I haven't learned enough Paula's Tips, practiced enough Ultimate dishes, or truly understood what makes Napa Valley Style, Napa Valley-esque. There's never enough time in the summer, but I'll always have next year. Yes, yes, I can watch the same line up on Saturday and Sunday mornings, like my dear friend, Food Network Addict, but it just isn't the same.

From my kitchen to yours...well, you can finish the rest.

P.S. If you want to buy the Food Network Favorites book pictured above, follow this link. While you're at it, see if you can find out who I should complain to about Wolfgang Puck's scary mug being on the cover instead of Aunt Sandy or my favorite, Ina. And, he does look VERY scary; child molester like even.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Illusionist vs. The Prestige

In probably the most random trend in recent movie history, two magician films are coming out in the next coming months. Now, I've had my Houdini and Copperfield phases, so I'm really excited about one of these films. Unfortunately, I think the other one looks like rubbish.

"The Illusionist" will hit theatres first; this Friday in selected cities and nationwide September 1. Not to give my opinion away too early, but this one looks like it's coming out first to cash in on the nostalgia of this trend. (Read between the lines: It looks terrible.) The previews have been playing pretty hot and heavy on the TV, but the plot looks weak and uninteresting. (Or that uninteresting aspect may just be the presence of Jessica Biel.) I'm not sure of the director, either, but it's from the producers of "Sideways" and "Crash," so it must be good?

"The Prestige," on the other hand, has a lot of things going for it. You've got Christopher Nolan at the helm, the mastermind behind "Memento" and director of the Dark Knight's return, "Batman Begins." You also have an absolutely STELLAR cast: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, and DAVIDfrickin'BOWIE! It also has a thing very important to a movie, which the other Houdini-esque film lacks: plot. It looks intriguing and exciting. There is one downer of the plot, though. Bale tries to take over Jackman's popularity and magic empire, with illusions that are increasingly difficult. In "The Illusionist," Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton try to match wits with new illusions. This makes "The Prestige" look like the poser, but my vote still goes to "The Prestige."

Basically, it comes down to this, folks: Christian Bale & Hugh Jackman vs. Eddie Norton. No contest for me. You be the judges, though. Check out the trailer links below.

"The Illusionist" trailer
"The Prestige" trailer

(Trust me, stick with the Bale and Jackman.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And the Winner Is...?

Well, Elvis Dead Day isn't over yet here: We got two and a half hours left in the midwest. I've finally gotten around to watching the 1988 mini-series "Elvis and Me," and I've been thinking about this topic all day.

Just who was the best Elvis? (Well, besides the obvious answer being Elvis himself.)

Now, I have many opinions on this subject. Michael St. Gerard was a nobody who did a stunning job in the short-lived TV series "Elvis: The Early Years." I don't have many memories of the series, because I was in 4th grade when it ran. I remember Millie Perkins ("Anne Frank") was Gladys, and she was much too beautiful to be Elvis' forlorn mother (unlike the appropriately cast Camryn Mannheim in 2005's "Elvis" mini-series). St. Gerard also reprised his role as Elvis for the penultimate episode of "Quantum Leap," Memphis Melody (one of my favorite episodes of course!).

Dale Midkiff played Elvis in "Elvis and Me." This was my first real introduction to Elvis, and after this I was truly hooked. He had the voice down, so eerily down. If you close your eyes, you think it's him, but then you open your eyes, and well, you see Midkiff. This isn't a bad thing, believe you me, but it's not Elvis. He is dark, brooding, and mysterious, though.
His performance is outstanding, and I think I like the fact that they didn't go to a whole lot of trouble trying to make him look exactly like Elvis, what with the pompadour, etc. Dale Midkiff was my favorite Elvis for the longest time, but as of last year, his crown has been in question. This all thanks to a little Irish boy from Dublin.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers (one of my cousin's boyfriends--she's such a playa) is perhaps hands down the best Elvis in any biopic. I admit when I heard he was playing Elvis, I was outraged. This skinny little boy with that thicker than coddled cream Irish accent can't talk like Elvis, let alone move like him. Oh my gosh, was I WRONG! He got the voice, the movements, the attitude, and the hair all perfect. The first part of the mini-series was wonderfully in-depth and accurate from all biographical accounts I've read, but the second part was horribly rushed and slapped together. It stopped at the '68 Special, but no real attention was paid to this pivotal moment in his career. Rhys Meyers took home a Golden Globe for his performance, and he was so sheepish and appreciative when he won.

So, folks, what do you think? Do you pick one of my conventional three, or do you want to think outside of the box? Maybe a Kurt Russell or a shadowy Val Kilmer? How about a huge-chinned Bruce Campbell Elvis? But if any of you stray so far off the beaten path to say Nicolas Cage or Kevin Costner, I will beat YOU.

Allow Me if I May...

Elvis recorded his first single, "That's Alright Mama," in 1954. He died on this day in 1977. What he did in those 23 small years, may never be duplicated by another solo artist, and the legacy that lives on most certainly can't be duplicated.

People always ask me why I like Elvis so much, and I just shrug. It's hard to put your finger on one thing. Those killer sideburns? Nah. Those hot gold-rimmed sunglasses? Not really. Well, it must be those form-fitting Vegas jump suits? Definitely not. What about that music that makes your feet tap without you even realizing, your heart thump with empathy or joy, and that deep, velvety voice that could also turn falsetto at the drop of a hat? Yep; that's the winner. It's simple, people: Elvis was the one that drove happy, poppy, be-boppy music that so many criticize me for sticking with. He originated it, perfected it, and no one can copy his one of a kind voice, though they constantly try...miserably.

Lennon said it best: "Without Elvis, there would be nothing."

If you're still with me, check out my Elvis Top 10 list below. You'll find it equipped with links to to purchase anything you might find interesting.

1. '68 Special: On December 3, 1968, Elvis never looked hotter, and he never sang better. After his string of horrible studio films, this let the masses know he was back. My mommy told me once this was the first time she sat up and really noticed Elvis.
2. Elvis: 2nd to None: I actually prefer this one to "Elvis: 30 #1 Hits." This has all my favorites, like "If I Can Dream" and "Kentucky Rain" that never hit #1. It also has my husband's favorite, "Viva Las Vegas," which we must listen to twice, cause it's too short to listen to just once.
3. Elvis and Me: This gives a gripping, and sometimes hard to take, look into Elvis' personal life with his only wife, Priscilla Beaulieu. Some may find it hard to swallow, but you must read this to know the true behind-the-scenes Elvis. The mini-series is also great, but you have to come see it at my house, since it's not available on DVD or VHS.
4. Elvis: That's the Way It Is: Oh my gosh, there isn't a better Elvis documentary EVER. This one is absolutely awesome, but the original version is no longer available. This is a pity, because there were some real characters interviewed and a performance of "Sweet Caroline" that were spliced from the re-mastered edition. They did insert more concert footage, though.
5. Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley: Peter Guralnick brought Elvis back from the dead for this book. He literally breathes and walks through the pages. Guralnick's writing is superb and eloquent.
6. Amazing Grace: His Greatest Sacred Performances: No Elvis CD collection is complete without Elvis gospel recordings. I prefer this 2-disc set to the single-disc reissue ("Elvis Ultimate Gospel") that came out in 2004. His voice is so deep and rich on his gospel performances that I dare you not to be moved.
7. If Everyday Was Like Christmas: This is the most comprehensive single disc Christmas Elvis CD out there. I got this one back in 1997 (mine came with a pop-up Graceland at Christmas--awesome!). There have been a lot of Christmas reissues since '97, but I still prefer this one above the rest. (The others have a lot of "alternate" or "B-sides" that aren't that great in quality.)
8. Jailhouse Rock: I think this is Elvis' best acting performance that I've seen. He thought his was in "King Creole," but I still haven't seen it. (Unfortunately, this isn't available new on DVD anymore. You can still purchase it used.)
9. Viva Las Vegas: The chemistry between Elvis and Ann-Margret is undeniable and unforgettable. They look and sound great together, and her screaming fit during "C'Mon Everybody" is the funniest thing ever.
10. Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Essential 1970's Masters: This is it, folks--the ultimate in 70's Elvis. So many prefer the early Elvis, but I love the way his voice and musical choice matured in the 70's. There are great gospel performances here and all my late faves, "Moody Blue," "Always on My Mind," "An American Trilogy," "I Just Can't Help Believin'", and even a rendition of "Danny Boy." It's worth every cent you'll drop on it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You've Lost, Ron Clark

I hope most of you missed the inspiring story of squeaky-clean Ron Clark this past Sunday on TNT. It was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and was strategically aired right before the start of school. I'm sure it was meant to get us teachers pumped up, ready to go, and re-inspired to take on the toughest of challenges: touching our students.

Yeah, I sat that one out. It looked fake, choreagraphed, and phony. Sorry, Matthew Perry, but you should have left that one alone.

But, I'm not gonna miss "Half Nelson." It's rated R, so I can't show it to kiddies, but I can show it to my co-workers. From the preview, which you must view, it looks like it shows teachers in a human light, not a saviour light (Dangerous Minds, Ron Clark Story, etc.). It looks gripping, raw, and real. Teachers want to be like Ron Clark, but we all have our human sides, our failings, just like the teacher played by Ryan Gosling. It was supposed to open last Friday, August 11, but it's not here yet. If you've seen it, drop me a line...and a review.

The Next Aunt Sandy?

Giada had her nieces on set today to help her make chocolate Nutella sandwiches and sweet strawberry bruschetta. Oh, such cute stories were told, like the one when Giada's mommy used to send her to school with chocolate sandwiches and the principal called home to make sure this would stop. Oh, those crazy Italians and their home packed lunches! Giada also whipped out a torch to caramelize the strawberries, this is almost as bad as Aunt Sandy boozing it up with her nieces and nephews around. One of her sweet nieces got a lot of air time with all of her improvised lines. I wonder if Aunt Giada liked that?

Family time continued when Mama De Laurentiis showed up and helped Giada make fried egg sandwiches. She was a hottie, just like Giada, with her trendy, skinny, whiskered dark blue jeans and tight black top. Food Network Addict has done research on how these petit women stay in such good shape. Giada says she "grazes" throughout the day, and she must have learned this from her mom.

The episode was quite enjoyable. Go to to get the recipes of all the sandwiches (six in total) she prepared. I'm constantly amazed at how everyday friendly Giada's recipes truly are. It's always refreshing to find truth in advertising. Her ultra-white teeth, over-pronounced Italian words, and slim wasteline may be annoying, but her recipes are delightful.

Monday, August 14, 2006

An Early Reminder

It's that time of year, folks. We're in the middle of Elvis Week, and it's my duty to remind you of a few important events.

1. Starting tomorrow evening at 9 pm central, you can view the Vigil Cast live from Graceland. It comes to you via the GracelandCams, which assures us will be positioned for optimum viewing.
2. You can also listen to the Vigil Cast live on Elvis Radio. This is for those of us who like to use our ears and visualize in our heads the people swaying, singing, and crying.
3. Wednesday, August 16, marks the 29th anniversary of the King of Rock and Roll's passing. For all the low down, photos, and other random facts of what's going on at Graceland and in Memphis, visit this Elvis Week link.
4. If you want to view one of the best biopics of Elvis ever, "Elvis and Me," starring Dale Midkiff and Susan Walters, come over to my house on the 16th around 4 p.m.
5. If you wanted to watch an Elvis movie marathon on TV on the 15th or 16th, think again. Neither TCM or AMC are having Elvis tributes. We used to be able to count on these two networks to give us our Elvis fix on January 8 and August 16, but they have been failing us miserably in the last few years. You can come borrow a couple flicks from me if you want to, though. Except for "Girl Happy." I'll be watching that gem myself!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Whatever Happened To...?


It's 9:42 p.m., clear skies outside, and a crisp, cool respite from the heat that's been smothering us. I've been in my room thinking: Whatever did happen to us? We were sailing along with our quirky characters, not to mention our plots and subplots which spiralled into each other. We inserted quaint locales in our investigations, and we made people crave donuts, hot coffee, and darn good pieces of pie. Our cult status is still alive in the publication of our monthly tome, "Wrapped in Plastic," and yearly fan club conventions (which I will never stoop to attend). But, we've hit a huge snag: DVD.

I don't know why, Diane, but we just can't get it together. First of all, we had trouble attaining the rights to our stellar 2 hour pilot episode. We decided to pass on all the trouble and release the first season without this jaw-droppingly-makes-you-want-to- watch-more episode, much to the chagrin, disappointment, and literal cries of protest of our loyal fans. The fans, though, so upset with this loss, didn't give up. They bought the first season on DVD anyway, kept buzz alive on their fan forums, and patiently awaited the second season on DVD.

Diane, it's been almost five full years since the release of our first season, and I don't know how much longer our fans will hold out. They constantly visit for news of the release, and each year they read that it will come out next year...maybe. Now, they're hoping, waiting, praying that it will happen this November, but Diane I'm a realist. You know I wish to be an optimist, I've even visited Tibet to become more enlightened and hopeful, but I've seen too many things in my line of work to hope this will come true. Will these fans of ours ever get what they want? Will they ever get what they so much deserve? After their years of loyalty, will their time ever come to see Billy Zane again as the pilot that sweeps Audrey off her feet, Heather Graham as my barely legal love interest, and my maniacal performance in that last chilling scene of TV's most beloved, irreverant cult classic? I'm just not sure.

Oh, before I go. This has also been bothering me: Just what was Captain Kirk feeling for Miri? I constantly hope it was just a father-daughter bond he felt for her, but I'm never quite sure as I watch that episode.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Goddesses in My Country

Jem is truly outrageous. Truly, truly, TRULY outrageous!!!!

I love Jem! At one point, I almost loved Jem more than I loved Barbie. Her show was the best thing to unwind to after a tough day in 2nd and 3rd grades. (Man, it was hard learning how to do cursive and multiplication!) Jerrica/Jem had the best wardrobes EVER. I loved Jerrica's timeless bob, but I also revelled in Jem's rebel pink 'do. Jem and the Holograms' songs were to die for, too. They spoke of true love's triumphs and struggles. It was like she was speaking for me...if I had had a boyfriend at age 8 (I suppose Ricky Schroder and Kirk Cameron didn't count).

I still own a few of their cassettes; a new one came with each doll you purchased (or, um, each doll your parents bought for you). The Jem dolls were bigger than Barbie dolls, so you always had to choose who you were going to play with on any particular day. Jem was too tall to date Ken. Sometimes you could pull off Barbie dating Rio, but his head was larger than her chest, so it was a bit awkward. I was allowed to get the Glitter and Gold Jem and Rio; that was it I think. My parents probably thought I, sorry again, THEY, invested too much into Barbie to switch products, and they were ultimately right. I still loved playing with my Jem doll, though. And do you know what the absolute, most fantabulous part was??? There was a switch on her back to turn on her earrings. "Showtime, Synergy!"

Jem, you still are truly outrageous, glamour, excitement, fashion, AND fame. You are one of the goddesses of Manna Country, because of the above reasons. You were also the best alter ego ever, doing tons of selfless acts and benefit concerts for the foster kids at the Starlight Foundation. The only thing we are upset about in Mannaland, and we're sorry we can't change this, is the Jem DVD sets have already been put out of print. I was going to supply you with a link to amazon to buy them, but the cheapest you can get them is $99.99. I'm so glad I still have my VHS copies from Blockbuster!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Boys are Back in Town

I didn't mean for it to be an NSYNC kinda day, but when I saw JC's 30th birthday posted on EOnline, I had to do a twofer. I just hope Martin can find some way to forgive me.

Well, it was seven years ago this month I saw my first NSYNC concert. My good buddy, Catherine, called me in my dorm room and said, "Do you want to see Jordan Knight open for NSYNC?" How could I resist? I got to see my old flame, Jordan the Tawrus, open for what would soon be my newest boyband fave, NSYNC. Oh, what one wink can do to some gals. (I also got to see Joey McIntyre solo in concert, Donnie Wahlberg in his screen debut, and the best gosh darn tour of LA ever thanks to XMASELF.)

It seems like the boys really got down for JC's 30th...well, all but Joey. He's probably too busy at home with the wife and kid. JC has certainly come a long way from licking the hidden floor cam on "Digital Getdown," huh, girls? Lance, being loud, proud, and gay, brought his buddy, Reichen, and a group of "fratish guys." For the full rundown of the party, follow this handy dandy link. The writing is dull, but if you're really interested, you can check it out.

I was just a bit nostalgic when I saw the pic and wanted to reminisce about those bygone NSYNC days. Ahhh...OK, I'm done.

September 12, 2006

What did that disco ball ever do to you, Tumberfoot?

Some of you aren't in the know, so now you are. The new Tumberfoot disc, "FutureSex/LoveSounds," "drops" on September 12, 2006. He'll also be performing his song, "SexyBack," on the 2006 MTV VMA's on August 31. According to his website, he'll be "debuting" this song. Um, but I've already heard it? So, how is it a debut? Oh, those crazy entertainment people and their pedantics! Anyhoo, run and put those two dates on your Breakfast Club and 16 Candles calendars. (Yes, I have both. Thank you, Super Wally World.)

If you want to pre-order the CD (32% off at $12.99) at amazon, follow this link. If you want to know why JRT made my husband's On Notice board, you'll have to ask him. (Actually, it's probably because he knows it will be the only thing he'll hear in the car and kitchen for the month after it's released.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Is This as Close as He'll Get?

It's just been announced that Robbie Williams added a tour date in Mexico City for October 21. It's also been announced that Inner Sanctum fan club members (such as myself) can purchase early tickets to his show tomorrow morning. But, um, hello??? I can't afford to go to Mexico City, especially in the middle of October when I'm supposed to be molding young minds. This so-called world tour is really getting me down. This is the third one in five years, and yet again there are no US tour dates. If I've said it once, I've said it a million and six times:

When will Americans wise up and start to give Mr. Williams the respect he deserves, so us old timers who have been on to him since "Millennium" debuted on Carson Daly's TRL in 1999 can see him????

I'm just getting sincerely fed up with the fact that I haven't seen this entertaining fellow live yet. I'm this close to faking a disease, so that dream I have of him coming to our house and just hanging out will come true. Wait, that's horrible; I would never do that. But seriously, this sucks. Why do we (Mr. Bill, Kendra, & Cori) have to be so advanced (see: Chuck Klosterman's "Advancement Theory") in our musical tastes to enjoy someone everyone else ignores? Why must we suffer whilst the masses run out to buy their poser CD's, by such famous poser artists as: Pussycat Dolls, Lindsay Lohan, Nelly Furtado, and Gwen Stefani.

Rant: fin.

What's "On Notice" for You?

Colbert has made lists fun again. He's now made them democratic, too, because you can go to this website and customize your own On Notice board. And if there's one thing Colbert loves, it's democracy. I want to print out my On Notice board, enlarge it, and post it in my classroom. The kids really need to note #3 and #5 (#3 for obvious reasons, and if any little brat disses "Superman Returns" in my presence, he/she shall fail).

Come on, go do one. It's Colbertish fun at it's finest. I think the man who created the word "truthiness" will appreciate the fact that I just made his name an adjective. Make sure to tell him I did if you see him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Who Are We?

More importantly what are we from? You may have seen us looooooooooong ago, but we've grown up...a lot. We'll give you hints to see if you can figure out what we're from.

1. We both starred in a 1986 horror classic.
2. I am Ashley Bank on the right. I was one of the cutest things that ever walked. I also co-starred in Dolly Parton's unforgettable holiday film, "Smokey Mountain Christmas."
3. I am Andre Gower on the left. I made a few appearances in Teen Beat and whatnot after my splash in the aforementioned 1985 film.
4. Here is our most classic banter from the film:
"Mom says you have to let me in or it's prescription."
"That's discrimination, jerkoid. Prescription's for drugs, and you're wrong if you think you're gettin' up here."
5. One of our most notable co-stars in the film was Jason Hervey, who would be cast as Wayne Arnold in TV's smash hit, "Wonder Years."
6. In our film we needed a Harry Truman guy, we mean a scary German guy, and a "vershen" to help us. In the end, we also relied upon Frankenstein's muscle to pull Dracula into the limbo-thing where Van Helsing was waiting for him.
7. Amanda first saw our yet-to-be-released-on-DVD film when her aunt absentmindedly recorded it off HBO. She would sit around in the dark with her cousins watching it at her grandma's house. (Eventually, her aunt gave her the copy of our film.)
8. Finally, let us tell you this: When the Ghostbusters don't show up on time, you can always count on us, cause we're the Monster Squad.

Faster Than You Can Say RachaelRayisTakingOvertheWorld...

...she has created another meatball recipe. I was watching the first half of the RayRay double bill at 5:00, and she was making another meatball dish (she is part Cicilian, ya know). This made me wonder: Just how many meatball dishes has she prepared on Food Network? Well, I did what any other curious FN obsessed fan would do:

I went to and counted.

I used the keyword "meatballs" and counted 13 meatball dishes and three other dishes she has endorsed on "$40 a Day" or "Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels." That'sa lotta meatballs! Why is she so obsessed with meatballs? Why am I so obsessed with the fact that she's obsessed with meatballs? We may never know the answers to either question.

I hope you enjoyed glancing through some of her fabulous meatball dishes. YUM-O!!! OK, you're right: they look gross. But, I am a bit curious about the second picture down, Veal and Sage Meatballs and Pasta with Gorgonzola-Walnut Sauce. It would either be flippin' fantastic or like a sweaty sock in your mouth. Try it and let me know.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ina, I Got It!!!

Either I watch too much Food Network or Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, thinks her viewers are dimwitted idiots. (And if we are, I want to add in our defense that she never actually dictates on her show what "good vanilla" or "really good dijon mustard" are.) ANYWAY, it's probably the former, but I still want to complain (just good natured complaining, because I love dear Barefoot).

Today I saw episode IG0606, Long Island Food, for the third time this summer. I now have memorized how to make fillet of beef sandwiches with homemade horseradish sauce. I also have the sickish sea green color of her friend's 80's-inspired turtleneck burned onto my brain. (What was he thinking? I thought he was supposed to be a fashionable, gay, Hamptons male.) Each time I've viewed the episode, I've asked Ina the same question: How much did that fillet of beef cost??? It's a beautiful piece of fine, red meat; it looks like it would melt in your mouth. I ballpark it at $50 (American, that is).
I've never seen the entire episode, though, because I really don't need to know how to make Montauk seafood salad. Icky. I'm not from Montauk, I don't plan on going to Montauk, so why do I care how they make their seafood salad? (Quick, where did the form of that line originate? My undying love and respect if you can tell me.)

If you want the recipe, and don't have it memorized like me, follow this link(especially if you missed the one above). It did look delectable all three times I saw it. I guess my main complaint is the lack of fresh Ina episodes (RayRay got married last summer, and she's still cranking them out, contributing to her magazine, and has a new devil-produced talk show on the horizon). Food Network Addict told me he saw a new one over the weekend, but I was too busy in Tennessee eating at the Western Sizzlin' to know about that.

Is it Just Me?

Seriously, is it just me, or are these two related? In case you don't know, the top image is Mark (Luke Skywalker) Hamill, and below him is Alton (I teach you everything you need to know about the science of food) Brown. Today while Alton was teaching me how to pick out an appropriate scallop (go for the dry ones, people, because too much added water make the scallops slimy, and you pay more with the added H2O weight), I was again struck by how much he reminds me of Luke Skunkwalker. Maybe you can't tell by the pictures (who knew it was so hard to find a picture of Mark Hamill grinning mischievously, a la Alton?), but the next time you watch "Good Eats," note the similarities (grins, thinning hair, laugh lines are just three) between Hamill and Brown and try to deny me the comparison.

Scorsese's Muse

Woody had Diane, Mia, and now, Scarlett. K. Smith has whoever he's dating (why, Schwalbach, WHY?). Spielberg has Hanks and Cruise (scarily enough). And, Scorsese has Giardono Capriati...or Leonardo DiCaprio to you. They've done it again, folks, but luckily this time DiCaps (as I shall call him from now on) got rid of his porn star moustache.

To be honest, I haven't seen either of the previous two Scorsese-DiCaps efforts. Cammy Diaz and that aforementioned facial hair got in the way. I may have to finally give in this time, though. DiCaps, Nicholson, Matty Damon, and Marky Mark star in this latest Oscar effort from Scorsees, but I have some queries. Well, I have one query:

Why is Leonardo DiCaprio billed above Matt Damon AND Jack Nicholson????

Matty and Jack have both won Oscars, and DiCaps, well, he hasn't. The preview, however, gives me two reasons to see this new remake of a Hong Kong classic (thanks for that info, husband): Damon's got his Good Will Boston accent back, and Mark Wahlberg's hair part is STUNNING. (I wish I had a picture for you, but if you follow the link to the official movie site, it leads you to the Warner Bros. movie homepage. Pathetic.)

The film's supposed to be out October 6 (please let there be a new poster first), but from the looks of the trailer, I don't think Scorsese will get that coveted, out of reach Oscar. Hey, there's always the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Gods in My Country

Well, folks, here it is: my second column. And, how could I not start this one with Will Ferrell??? It just couldn't be done. I did actually try to start with someone else, Michael J. Fox lets say, but after viewing "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" yesterday, my fingers would not let me write about anyone but Mr. Ferrell. (Hey, don't worry, my feminist friends; I'll also touch upon Goddesses in My Country, too.)

Where do I start? Oh, WHERE do I start? How 'bout, "smiling is my favorite"? Well, smiling IS my favorite, and I also love to laugh, both of which Ferrell helps me do. Will Ferrell is the best thing ever to fall out of Saturday Night Live, and the fact that he has embraced Christmas, 70's newsanchors (and moustaches), and NASCAR proves that he will do anything and everything to get me to the theater so I can give him money. I will, too. I'll see almost anything with Will Ferrell (I'm not watching a Woody Allen movie even for him). I'll even watch "Superstar." OK, I haven't watched it yet, but I would if it was on TV one afternoon. I even own two Will Ferrell tee-shirts. I smile when I put them on! He's workin' overtime for my laughs and doesn't even know it.

"Talladega Nights" is great, but I have to say someone actually stole the show from this God of Manna Country. GARYfrickinCOAL! Oh, my, he's really trying to become a god in my country, too. His campaign started with "The Brady Bunch Movie," and he's been working hard for consideration ever since ("Win a Date with Tad Hamilton," anyone?). His role as Reece Bobby, Ricky's dad, may have clinched him the title. I'll be honest: there were downtimes in "Talladega" ("Anchorman" was better), but it was still a great time at the races. That soul patch Ferrell sports is hot, too.

Folks, all I can is I love Will Ferrell. He gives more cowbell when needed, he shows us his pasty, white gut when not needed, and he can stay as "doofy" as he wants to be for as long as he wants to, Entertainment Weekly. And he does GOULET almost better than Goulet. Go to to buy this Top 5 now:
1. Elf
2. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
3. Old School
4. Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell
5. Wedding Crashers (yes, small, but INTEGRAL part)

Friday, August 04, 2006

He's Bringin' SexyBack

Well, those of you who know me know it was just a matter of time before I got around to Mr. Tumberfoot's newest single. MTV is whoring it, I mean SHOWING it, every 30 minutes in it's morning video block. Between that "video affiliate" and the 1, I've seen it three times in 50 minutes.

According to Rolling Stone's latest interview with the former NSYNCer (RS Issue 1004/1005, July 13-27, 2006), "The album's first single 'SexyBack' was Timberlake's attmept to harness the raw vocal emotion that he hears in singers like David Bowie, Michael Hutchence, and David Byrne." The 2nd most famous Memphis native (yeah, yeah Elvis was from Tupelo, but you get the idea) also notes that "his audience has grown up with him." First of all, I'm impressed our hip hop Michael Jackson obsessed boy knows who Bowie, Byrne, and Hutchence are. Secondly, just as we heard Michael laced throughout his first CD, "Justified," we can definitely hear the Bowie influence on this first single (think "Fame" as you encounter "SexyBack" and try to deny me this comparison). Finally, me likes. It's a far cry from anything on "Justified," which makes me jump for joy. He says his audience has grown with him, and I agree. He's movin' along and progressing, but nothing he's done has strayed so far from what first got our attention (remember, Catherine?) that we would want to abandon his efforts: He still makes our toes tap, our heads bobble, and our hips twist.

So, Tustin Tumberfoot (as my dad would call you), stay in the studio and out of the moving pictures. Go to to encounter "SexyBack" if you haven't yet. You can also watch the video, but you'll be as confused with this as you were after the first time you saw "Mission: Impossible."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Whatever Happened To...?

This will be the first of four columns I have in mind for my blog. Since I've been on such a Food Network jag, I thought it fitting and proper to start with one of my favorite pre-Food Network chefs: Graham "The Galloping Gourmet" Kerr.

Graham Kerr originally had a syndicated series that ran from 1968-1971, and boy would Ina and Paula have loved him! He used loads of butter, cream, and wine to create ultra rich dishes. He first came to my attention while I was in middle school (probably 1992'ish). I loved watching the PBS cooking shows on the weekend, and after Jeff Smith fell down in a scandalous, unforgivable haze of taking advantage of young male soux chefs, Graham swept in with his blazing knife and just as sharp British wit to renew my faith in cooking shows and their hosts. He was humorous, perhaps a little sauced (hey, wine's good for the heart), and presented healthy alternatives to his old, decadent dishes. My grandmother told me how she remembered watching him back in the day, and she thought it was unusual I got so much joy out of watching the Galloping Gourmet.

Anyway...Graham Kerr, I SALUTE YOU!!! You gave up the cream and butter to escape seasickness on your big boat (and your wife's unfortunate heart attack), but you actually bought a few extra years to affect the early years of my culinary career. (Too bad the Two Fat Ladies didn't get your memo. Make sure Ina and Paula get the message quickly.) Wherever you are today, I hope your dishes are still light, full of flavor, and bursting with the charisma only you could instill in them. Cheers!

How Do You Say "God" in German?

I need to chime in on the recent resurgence of the Hoff, as he has coined himself. (Um, can you even give yourself a nickname?) I loved "Baywatch." I tuned in every Saturday night at 10:30 on my local NBC affiliate. Heck, I even watched the first season on Saturday nights with my mom and brother when it was on primetime. When I was in German in high school, I got wind that the Germans loved Mr. Hasselhoff, so I bought and framed a postcard of him for our classroom. German was much more fun to learn with his baby blues and cheesy grin shining down upon us everyday. But, things have gone too far...

Don't get me wrong, readers: I cheered when he sang and danced as the Wall fell down. I don't know what he's trying to do right now with that stupid talent show he's on. It's too much for me. I caught tonight's episode as he "sang" his new smash hit, and I could only cringe. My wonderful Hollywood friend, Catherine, suggest that I write about the Hoff on this blog, but it brings more pain than joy...especially after tonight's horrendous show. I'd rather remember him behind the wheel of KITT, sucking in his late 30's belly on "Baywatch," and all the countless Germans he brought together than ever see such a catastrophe as tonight's song and dance again.

I love you, David Hasselhoff, but I can never enjoy your newest reincarnation of yourself. It's too much even for this queen of kitsch.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Another One!?!

The way this day is going, Ina and Aunt Sandy will do trifles, too. All's I know is that I was contentedly typing to you all about RW, and Giada starts to talk about her triflin' trifle addition to today's endless list. She says your dessert can be kept simple on this episode called Romantic Meal, and that's why a trifle is included in her menu (,1977,FOOD_9936_22314,00.html). Apparently, she finds trifles romantic while RayRay finds them elegant. I still imagine myself gagging as the fruit, cream, and cake squish together in my mouth.

Do You STILL Not Know?

Do you still not know who Robbie Williams is? Shame on you. My husband is convinced that I want to hook up with Robbie Williams, and this isn't true. I love my husband more than anything! I just want Robbie to be our friend, come over and hang out at our house, and sing for us--lots and loud.

Americans are stupid: We elect Bush TWICE, we buy Ashley Simpson CD's, we watch Flava of Love, and yet we have NO FRICKING CLUE WHO ROBBIE WILLIAMS is. Do yourself a huge, gigantic favor: Go to and look at these RW gems. You owe it to yourself to buy his latest, "Intensive Care." The opening track, "Ghosts," will hit you over the head, and you'll be so dazed at his first line, you'll want to listen for more.

He's cheeky, self-absorbed, and incredibly insecure. He's everything that we Americans try to deny that we are...maybe that's why you're ignoring him.

A Trifle is NOT an Elegant Dessert

I hate trifles. I think they look disgusting. Yesterday, RayRay made a trifle for the "big ta-da" of her Accessible Elegance meal.,1977,FOOD_9936_26895,00.html
Today Tyler is doing a low-fat, reduced calorie trifle on Food 911. It's supposed to look gorgeous, and you won't be able to know you're eating light. Ugh.,1977,FOOD_9936_26036,00.html
They are cheap, disgusting things that give me the willies. I don't like my cake soggy, and I don't want to see my blueberry juice oozing into the cream, making it look like a sick grayish delight.

Elegant my arse. Try cheap, skeezie, and trashy.

What Is This One Ablog...I Mean About?

To be honest, I don't even know. This is what I do know: Everyone and their mom has a blog, MySpace, online journal, whatever...except for me. I feel out of the loop, and after my dear friend, Jacob, started his blog, I've been inspired.

What will come next? I have no idea. Come along for the ride and find out...