Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve On My Couch

So if you wonder what Colleenie does on New Year's Eve, I'll tell you. I watch "The Twilight Zone" marathon on the SYFY network. I've been doing this for years. Before SYFY picked up the duty, a local TV station would run the marathon. I never grow tired of these gems.
To Serve Man
The Howling Man
Time Enough at Last
Next Stop Willoughby
I Sing the Body Electric
The Living Doll
It just goes on and on. Come on, I'll let you squeeze in on the couch. Join me tomorrow as I talk about some of my new features for 2010! Actually, I might be a little tired. I'm going to be up pretty late!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Colleenie's Couch wishes you a wonderful day filled with awesome Rankin Bass specials and classic movies. Don't forget to spin some of your favorite Christmas tunes. At my house we'll enjoy some fine food and then settle down to a viewing of "Charlie Brown Christmas." There's nothing better. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thanks iTunes!

I just want to extend a heart felt thanks to iTunes. This morning I logged on to my iTunes account to check out what's new. Since my children are always hogging the computer, I can only spend time with my iTunes account on weekend mornings when they are asleep.

I often download the free songs because, hey, they are free. I've actually found some great new bands/singers through their offerings. I also grab the "Pick of the Week" cards from Starbucks and download those songs too.

This week however, iTunes didn't have just a free song but a whole album of various artists Christmas tunes...for free! Each year I treat myself to a new Christmas album, but as is true for many of you out there, this is an extra tight Christmas. Getting to add to my extensive Christmas music collection for free, makes me feel like I received an early present!

So thanks iTunes, you made my day. This album is being offered for a full week. It started on the 8th, so that means there's only three days left, get on over there and collect your free holiday cheer!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Glee Finale

So FOX is really going to cut me off from Glee? Last night was the last episode until April. It’s rare that a television show can permeate other areas of your life like Glee has.

On my lunch hour yesterday, I was walking around actually worrying about Finn. How crushed would he be if he found out about Quinn and Puck? I’m actually feeling like these are real people!

The finale did not disappoint. Scandal, tension, revenge, sex…this show truly has it all. Then there are the songs. I’m not a fan of “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” but dang, that Lea Michele can belt out a tune.

I wish I could hug Mr. Shue. What a great teacher. To see him teary-eyed for his glee club…this show leaves me feeling so happy and tingly. My daughter and I were screaming and high fiving! I haven’t been this excited in front of the tube since Kris won American Idol. Shout out to me, because I picked up on the “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” hint. My daughter had no clue when I told her they we’re going to sing The Rolling Stones. She thinks I picked up on that because I’m old. It’s really because I’m the Queen.

It’s going to be a long four months. I miss you already Glee!

*Note to the writers – If Mr. Shue is the Spanish teacher, do you think we can get a hot salsa number going?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Buble Song

I kept hearing this song on the radio the last couple of weeks and I couldn't quite put my finger on why it was bugging me. I've got it! It sounds like the theme song for a bad sitcom! Something that would star John Stamos or Scott Baio. This is too bubbly, even for Buble.

Falling Off the Couch

Well I did fall off my couch for awhile. My brain is constantly spinning with reviews and things to recommend to all, but I seriously lacked “butt in the chair” time. You guys know how it is. Sometimes it all snowballs. I’ve crawled back on up and I’m ready to roll again!

I have to be honest; the economy has hit everyone hard, including yours truly. Even simple entertainment, like taking in a flick with the family, can add up to a large chunk of change.

Recently, my family went to see Disney’s A Christmas Carol, and the total ticket price for five was $57.50!

Still, I’m trying to keep up on music, TV, books and films. Once the kids are back in school, the reading thing gets difficult too! I did read a good chunk of books over the summer that I didn’t review yet, so I can hook you up with those.

Even when I’m not blogging, I’m thinking about great things for my blog. 2010 is going to be a fabulous year for Colleenie’s Couch. In the next couple of week’s I’ll be unveiling some new regular features, so check back often so you don’t miss anything!

First up, next year will bring Idol Chatter, the best place to talk about American Idol. Last year I was honored to be one of six panelists to blog about American Idol for my local newspaper The Contra Costa Times. I had a blast and now I’m accustomed to my opinions going live as soon as the telecast wraps. I’m hoping some of you out there will join me in rooting for your favorites and blasting the appallingly horrific. With the addition of Ellen and the departure of Paula, I’m sure we’ll all have lots to talk about!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Glee - Bust A Move

Can I just say in these tough times, it's so wonderful to have such a fun, vibrant, show that you don't even need basic cable to watch! During this scene, I was dancing on my sofa! I'll admit it! This show also speaks to my wide musical taste. Bust A Move and Sweet Caroline in the same episode? I gotta tell you, I love em' both and apparently I'm not the only one!

Parks & Rec - Amy Poehler

I love watching this over, and over, and over again!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Catch this before Episode Two!
“Okay, if you have been on Lost, please follow the green arrows in this line. You will be asked to fill out some forms, and then you will be cast in ABC’s new puzzling drama, FlashForward.”

This is how I felt when I sat down to watch the first episode. Not only did I see Charlie and Penny, I also saw the woman that Sawyer conned! It’s weird to see so many of the same actors jump ship to another show. If you’re a huge Lost fan, you can’t help but wonder, “Does this mean something is going to happen to Penny?” She is a major character in this new show, and I’m not sure she will have time for both roles.

And what was Seth McFarlane doing in this show…the creator and voice of Family Guy in a tense drama? Apparently, he’s a friend of the co-creator. I have to admit it was a bit disruptive. The scene was all serious, and then Seth just popped up! My daughter and I had a good laugh though.

I’m happy to see the gorgeous Josesph Fiennes on a weekly basis. He’s a great actor who recently fell off the radar. I’m glad he’s on a solid-looking drama.

So far, I’m in. I don’t like the crime, medical, or lawyer dramas. For me, it needs to be a bit displaced from reality. That’s why I enjoy Lost. I know I would like Fringe, but I didn’t think that show would get picked up, and now I’m too behind. I recommend you jump on this one now. I put the entire first episode up so you can watch before Thursday. I think it’s a keeper.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

These filmmakers are definitely using an interesting approach. Screenings in colleges and depending on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out, it's the new way for unknowns to do business.

I don't know. I think the last movie that really scared the crap out of me was Silence of the Lambs. The Ring was lame! Blair Witch Project was a cool project, but it didn't scare me. Will this be the one? I keep searching. All the slasher flicks are just gross and not worth my time. If this plays anywhere near me I will make the trek and let you know. If I tell you it's scary, it is!

Monday, September 21, 2009

How I Met Your Mother

Fall Premiere

Well maybe they didn’t win the Emmy last night, but this show is gaining ground. I personally can’t understand why this show is not more popular. For those TV watchers who say the sitcom is dead I give you a sarcastic… “Hello?”

This show has been delivering great comedy since day one. The cast is top-notch and Neil Patrick Harris is, legend - wait for it - dary! I go to work every Tuesday morning and spend the day amazed that co-workers are not making HIMYM references. Why is everyone missing this gem?

When I come home from toiling in an office all day, I don’t want to see C-list celebrity has-beens dancing, find out what peculiar ailment has befallen someone, or what white-teethed teen is banging what other white-teethed teen. I want to do one thing, laugh. For that one simple request, HIMYM comes through smartly, sweetly and better than most of the thinly disguised third rate poser comedies out there.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

VH1 Divas Live

The only worthy pairing of the show. These two kicked ass! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bursting with “Glee”

Well, Fox hyped this show like crazy all summer. There’s no way it could have lived up to the expectations thrust upon it…but it did!

The cast is brilliant, and we already find ourselves hoping that Rachel and Finn will get together, that Kurt will embrace his sexuality, that Will will realize his wife is insane and rush to Emma’s arms and, of course, that Coach Sylvester will crash and burn.

The musical numbers are fantastic and songs that you think will be embarrassing like Don’t Stop Believing are extremely cool. And just when you think they can’t pull off something like Gold Digger, they do that too.

I don’t know if a show can maintain such a high momentum, but it’s already a must in our house. Right now, there’s nothing I would change about this show. For years they have been trying to bring a musical show to TV, and this is the best shot I’ve seen yet. If this ragtag team of misfits can’t win your heart, well, you’re dead inside.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Travers

Jet Plane to Heaven

Mary Travers, of the trio Peter, Paul and Mary, passed away today at the age of 72. The folk trio of the 1960’s that had such hits as, Puff, the Magic Dragon and Leaving on a Jet Plane, brought folk music into the mainstream pop music scene.

When I was in the 5th grade my teacher wanted to teach the class Puff, the Magic Dragon. She kept stumbling over the words and I took over. “How could you not know all the words?” I wondered.

I had the pleasure of seeing Peter, Paul and Mary live in the early 90’s. That reunion concert holds a special place in my heart.

I attended the concert with my father. It was because of him that I knew groups like Peter, Paul and Mary and the Kingston Trio. I still have all my Dad’s vinyl albums in my garage (I know not the best place). He beamed with pride that night as we sang along and he saw that I remembered all the songs he played for me in my childhood.

My dad passed away just a couple of years after we attended that concert. I thank Mary Travers and Peter and Paul for the wonderful memories they gave to me. At my wedding I had a special request song for the dance with my father. You guessed it, Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Maybe right now they’re hanging out in heaven and she’s singing for my dad. I know he’d join in.

Rest in peace.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Song of the Week

Just Don’t want To Be Lonely – The Main Ingredient
Everyone knows, “Everybody Plays the Fool” but I always felt this song takes the trio to a new level. First it’s as classic, old-school soul as you can get. Every great soul song has talking in it and this song delivers that right off the bat. I smile every time this song comes on because it reminds me of when my son was little. He used to refer to it as, “The Lonely Song.” Even on the classic soul radio stations, this doesn’t get enough airplay. Maybe it’s a good thing, because I still get very excited when this song comes on. If you think you don’t know this song, you probably have just forgotten, so treat yourself to a spin. If you really never heard it, add it to your list of all-time great slow jams.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jay Leno

Well Leno couldn’t have asked for a better premiere episode. To snag Jerry Seinfeld was one thing, but to have already booked Kayne West and then to have the VMA controversy the evening before, it almost seemed planned.

As a show, Leno brought nothing new and I don’t think NBC wants him to. I can’t say I wish Leno the best. Frankly, I would like his show to crash and burn. He had his day in the sun and he needs to step aside. He’s over saturating the night-time talk show market.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Conan in the earlier Tonight Show time slot and I don’t want Leno to sour audiences away.

I also don’t want this to become a trend. If you’re going to have writers coming up with jokes for all these TV hosts, couldn’t they band together to revive the sitcom? This is exactly why viewers are turning to cable. I really have to rework my budget and get my premium cable turned back on.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

VMA Tribute to Micael Jackson

<a href="" target="_blank">Janet Jackson's Tribute To Michael</a>

Oh man, Janet hit it outta the park...enough said, watch!

The Daily Show

Jon Stewart, I need you!

Finally, my life returns to normal tomorrow night at 11pm. The Daily Show has been on hiatus for three weeks and I've been going crazy! I've been forced to watch actual news broadcasts in the evening. Some may say that's a good thing, but I really need the balance of news events and comedy. The real news can rile me up and have me so pissed off by 11:30 that I can sleep. Stewart and the gang give me the top stories with a bit of honey. If I can laugh, I know I'll get through it. The team is back just in time to make me laugh about healthcare! Luckily, the Joe Wilson story is still fresh enough to get a good trashing from Stewart. I look forward to falling asleep with a smile instead of a scowl.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ellen on Idol

I just heard the news that Ellen Degeneres will sit in Paula Abdul’s empty seat on the upcoming season of American Idol.

An odd choice, to say the least. At least they chose someone extremely likable. I’m sure some will tune in solely to see how Ellen fits in with a singing competition.

I’m disheartened that producers of the show could not come to an agreement with Abdul. It’s really a mirror of the state of the country these days. It’s all about the bottom line and corporations fail to see the worth in individuals. The, “Your lucky to have a job,” mentality is even prevalent in Hollywood!

Idol is such a juggernaut in the ratings it’s improbable to think they’ll be impacted by Paula’s departure, but I hope they are, if not this season, but over time.

Yes, I’ll watch. My main concern was the lost of nice factor and I think that’s where the choice of Ellen comes in to play. You know she’s not going to be mean to anyone. She’ll be the mama bear to replace Paula’s cougar mama!

Don’t get too big for your britches Idol! Remember the viewing audience will drop you too, in a heartbeat, just like you did Paula, and they won’t look back.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Song of the Week

Bizarre Love Triangle – Frente!
This song rounds out a dozen picks now. Hopefully, you’ve found some new gems to add to your iPod. This week’s track is a wonderful cover of the original New Order song from the 80’s. The Frente! Version is slowed down and the effect is a perfect blend of familiarity with a tasty difference. I wish this would get radio play. I hear the original often on my local radio stations, but this fine cover seems to have been forgotten. It’s a very short song that leaves you wanting more. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I don’t sign off on a lot of covers; believe me I don’t recommend them lightly.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Flight of the Conchords - Season Two

DVD Review

It was complete torture for me to wait for Season Two to be released on DVD. Everyone has been hit hard by these tough economic times, and I’m no exception. To finally accept the fact that after all these years I needed to give up my premium cable channels was a tough pill to swallow. The irony, of course, is now I’ve launched this blog, and it would be beneficial to have access to these shows and give more timely reviews. For now, I’m regulated to DVD releases! It’s already hard enough to not get invited to special screenings or have studios send me private DVDs!

I’ve watched Flight of the Conchords - Season One several times. I watch clips of their stage performance on YouTube all the time. I have all of their songs accept, “Too Many D**ks on the Dance Floor,” (why is that not available?) and I went to see them live in concert last May. So basically, I consider myself their number one fan!

The launch of Season Two brings high expectations for fans like me. Can these two keep coming up with absurd comedy and catchy tunes? Let’s just say there’s no sophomore slump here. These guys deliver the goods. I have to recommend watching the 10-minute “making of” documentary in the special features. It’s easy to forget that these guys write the show and all of songs. The songs are all real fully fleshed out tunes. That alone is quite an accomplishment. If they continued at their pace, it would equal a new album every year.

The rumor mill is high that the boys are bowing out after this season. For my own selfish entertainment, I naturally want them to keep going. The burnout factor, though, must be quite high, and I’m willing to cherish two years of brilliant television and not force these guys to produce less they top-notch work.

The weakest episode this season is The Prime Minister, but other shows could take a lesson, because their weakest efforts far surpass most of the crap the networks try to pass off as comedy these days. In episode two, The New Cup, we witness comedy gold, as Brett sends the couple into a downward financial spiral by purchasing a $2.79 teacup without first checking their bank account. The episode delivers huge laughs and slips into the absurd, while still remaining grounded. This is also the episode featuring their song, “Sugar Lumps,” so it’s pretty much as perfect as it gets. If I was to recommend one episode for someone to get a good feel for this show, this would be the one.

If the show ends here, fans were given a stand-in conclusion in the season finale. The story line also easily leaves the boys’ situation as an easy fix, if they choose to continue.

So, I have my two DVD sets, and they may have to sustain me forever. I’m sure the boys are launching themselves into bigger and brighter things. Does Jermaine Clement deserve his Emmy nomination? Absolutely! Season Two had him turning to prostitution to pay the bills and a musical number where he grabs two cooing pigeons from the window…well that has Emmy written all over it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Song of the Week

Verdi Cries – 10,000 Maniacs
The final track on the 1987 In My Tribe, is a haunting tune that truly showcases Natalie Merchants beautiful voice. This is that rare album that you can play from beginning to end and every song is a joy. I have this on vinyl and it’s taken a spin on my turntable many times. Merchant’s voice has such a unique quality to it; I just don’t know anyone who sounds quite like her. Her music may have become more “adult contemporary” since going solo, but I still enjoy the new music she puts out there. I have to be honest though, I don’t think she’ll ever be able to top this album for me and beautiful tunes like this one.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Wolfman Trailer

Thanks Hulu! I had a hard time finding a site with an embed for this trailer. I can't just talk about. You have to see it! This looks fantastic! I'm a little wary though. I was burned in 1992 by Bram Stoker's Dracula. That film looked incredible, had a kick-ass opening segment and then dragged me to boring town. Still, I'm always hopeful and I'm marking my calendar for February 12, 2010.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Song of the Week

Do You Wanna Hold Me – Bow Wow Wow
When I purchased my 1983 Bow Wow Wow album entitled, When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going, let’s just say I was feeling pretty punk and cool. This album holds up and many of the tracks on this album are great for your current workout mix. Back in the day, it was quite scandalous that the lead singer, Annabella, was only 14 when the band started. All the attention went to I Want Candy, but this was always my favorite song. I still have the album. No, this isn’t the one where she’s sitting naked in the park, I guess I wasn’t quite that cutting edge, but I can still try to look cool.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nice Rumor

So the buzz around Hollywood is that Robert Downey Jr. is being tapped to play Lestat in a film adaptation of the Anne Rice book, The Vampire Lestat. I hope this rumor is true. I’d be one of the first in line to see Robert as the hot and sexy Lestat.

Book fans (myself included) freaked out when Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat in the 1994 film version of Rice’s first vampire chronicle, Interview With The Vampire. Cruise ended up doing an adequate acting job, but he just doesn’t bring the sexy for me. Even if you do find him attractive, you’d have to admit that he doesn’t have that smoldering, dangerous quality that Robert Downey Jr. carries around effortlessly.

I’ll be keeping my eyes, ears and neck open awaiting this news!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Song of the Week

Right Down the Line – Gerry Rafferty
Ah, I love this song. Rafferty is more famous for Baker Street, and I’ll admit to forgetting about this song myself. This, of course, is why it’s my duty to remind you of it. Credit goes to my big sis for putting this on a mix CD for me several years back. As soon as those first few notes come out, you feel it. “YES! OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS SONG!” It’s impossible for me to listen to this one time. I always hit repeat and it’s a minimum three timer. This is such a wonderful mood. It’s far superior to Baker Street. It’s in constant rotation on my iPod and is on about three of four of my playlist.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

Lost In Translation

I have this book. I always have the book, but in true Colleenie style, I never got around to reading it. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, yet fearful that once I did, I’d never read the book.

This is the first time I feel compelled to immediately read this book, because I have a hunch that this is one of those great books that totally did not translate well to film.

The basic premise is Claire (the absolutely lovely Rachel McAdams) is in love with Henry, (Eric Bana) who unfortunately time travels against his will. This of course makes for a complicated relationship.

Some scenes are quite touching, but all the jumping around leaves you lacking emotion for any of the characters. I’m sure in the book you can get into the deeper feeling of lost and isolated that we all feel in our lives. Fantastical subject matter tends to work better on the page as we picture things the way we want and need them to be so that we can accept the storyline. Unfortunately, when someone else is in charge of bringing our imagination to page, it’s almost always going to fall short.

This also seemed to be more of a mood story. You have to get in the heads of these characters and really walk in their shoes. There’s not much happening per se. Reading can transport us and dispel what we know is real once you’re in the right groove. Although I don’t need my films to be heavily plot driven, I found this movie to be extremely boring. I kept checking my watch as the story plodded along. I just wanted them to solve their little dilemma, for better or worse, and release me back into the world.

Away We Go was a quiet little film where not much took place, but I loved those characters and wanted to hang out with them long after the film was over. I never felt connected to the characters in The Time Traveler’s Wife. I have a feeling this is one of those movie adaptations that has left the author reeling.

My husband liked this film. We rarely disagree in our movie taste, but this worked for him. He could get into these characters and their problems. As for me, I have to fall back on the crying factor. I cry at EVERYTHING! I recently cried at the movie trailer for Precious. That’s right; within two minutes I was bawling. The Time Traveler’s Wife…dry as a bone.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I have a short little rant here. I believe in freedom of speech and Sony Pictures has the right to make any movie they want. John Cusack has the right to star in this flick, and you, the movie paying audience, has the right to run and see it on November 12th.

What I want to know is, who the hell thought it would be a good idea to pair this trailer with Harry Potter? Are they also sending reps from Sony Pictures to calm down all the kids when they’re freaking out? C’mon, what were they thinking?

I really don’t care that Harry Potter is rated PG-13. We are not stupid. Everyone knows there are a slew of eight and nine years olds in the audience and you have successfully scared the crap out of them.

I personally found the trailer quite disturbing. The special effects are top-notch, which makes it all the more real when historic landmarks are collapsing and crushing people all over the world. I have no plans to see this movie. I’m not into the “we’re all gonna die” genre. Usually, if I’m plunking down $10 bucks for a movie ticket, I want to be entertained.

It was poor taste and bad judgment to attach this trailer to not only Harry Potter, but a summer flick in general. How am I supposed to gear my kids up for back-to-school when they think we’re all going to die away? Thanks for making my job a million times harder Sony Pictures!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Night Ranger

I recently found two old cassette tapes. I began making a summer mix tape in 1983. Over the years, this went from a cassette to a disk and now a playlist on my iPod. Some summer mixes were better than others. Often, I included an entire soundtrack from a summer blockbuster movie.

The two tapes I uncovered were the first two I ever made: Summer 1983 and Summer
1984. I thought it would be fun to re-construct these as playlist on my iPod. The Prince songs and big 80’s hits were easy. A large portion of the songs I already owned and merely had to move them over to a new palylist. Then there were some sucky songs I don’t want to remember listening to like, How Do You Keep the Music Playing. Oh well, most songs I still enjoy, even if they are considered tacky now.

Case in point: Night Ranger’s, When You Close you Eyes. First of all this was not even my type of music. I always referred to bands like Night Ranger as “white boy bands.” From time to time though, these songs sneak onto your playlist and there’s little you can do but to embrace them. I did not own this song anymore, but I easily found and downloaded it from iTunes. I have to admit, I’m once again hooked on this song. I’m going to lose all musical creditability! It washes me over with nostalgia and I keep listening to it over and over again.

The weather hasn’t been as hot a usual this summer and I’ve been able to take walks on my lunch hour. This is prime iPod time for me. I found myself walking on a sunny day, feeling the Night Ranger and reminiscing about summertime when I was young. I kept hitting replay, just so I could hold on to that feeling a bit longer. Oh that chorus:

When you close your eyes, do you dream about me?
When you close your eyes, do you dream about me?

I love the emphasis on the second your.

So my mind is lost somewhere in a 1984 haze when suddenly a mini van whizzes by me. It’s going way too fast on a suburban neighborhood street. I was far enough away, but I was on more of a dirt path than an official sidewalk. Faced instantly with my own mortality, I had a flash of that van taking the turn just a smidge too fast and possibly wiping me out! I would be laying there and, you guessed it, the papers would say I was listening to Night Ranger right before I bought the farm! Oh the horror.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Paula? Big Mistake!

The decision not to have Paula Abdul back for season 9 of American Idol is wrong on so many levels.

Paula equals entertainment. Yes, the judge banter works my last nerve often, but it’s the producers who want this, not Paula Abdul. For as much credit – and money- as they like to give Simon Cowell, it’s Abdul that creates the water cooler moments. How many times have you gone to work on Wednesday saying, “What was Abdul even talking about last night?”

I think the show is under the impression that they are at a higher caliber than they really are. This is a major “jump the shark” move on their part.

To Paula’s credit, she has always been the only judge who really understands her place. For all the negative comments you can say about Paula, she has always been grounded about her talent limitations.

I was there for Paula’s rise to fame. I remember that she was a dancer/choreographer who happened to be adorable. In the age of MTV, the decision came to make her a pop star, even if she couldn’t sing. Paula doesn’t break out into song like Kara does, because she knows she needs her synthesizers! This is why she is so sweet to everyone who has the guts to get up on that stage. Paula is the only one who knows what it really feels like to be up there, and I’ve always respected her for not forgetting where she came from.

Do you remember American Idol’s first season? They hired Paula as a judge because the show was set up to find a new pop star similar to her. They wanted looks over talent. Just like Greg Brady’s turbulent Johnny Bravo incident. They just wanted someone “who fit the suit!”

Thankfully, Kelly Clarkson somehow snuck in, and no matter how hard they tried to push her to the background, the audience actually had ears and the course of the show changed forever. C’mon, remember Ryan Starr? They were clearly going for looks over substance. Kelly’s vocal talent was so out of whack with the other contestants that it wasn’t even a fair game. Unless, of course, Simon kept trying to remind everyone about forgettable you were.

Paula keeps the show grounded and helps us remember its humble beginning. Don’t think for a minute that people are going to take this show as high caliber entertainment. This is a fun, cheesy search for a POP STAR. Hello, POP STAR! We’re not looking for the next Mozart.

This is a bad move and the beginning of the end for American Idol.

Song of the Week

Every Day – Stevie Nicks
Okay, I know I flaked out last Tuesday on Song of the Week, but let’s be honest…did you even notice. Um, thought so. So, this week’s choice comes from the Stevie Nicks 1991 solo album, “Timespace.” I remember a short period in 1991 when my husband had his alarm clock set to radio instead of buzz. It was a nicer way to wake up. Often, this song was playing when it clicked on at 6am. I really like this song. I must say though, if you don’t like Stevie Nick’s unusually gravely voice, this song is not going to change your mind. If you’re a mild fan and haven’t heard this one, check it out.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home Safe

Book Review - Home Safe
Elizabeth Berg

This was my first foray into audio books. I listen to “This American Life,” and “Grammar Girl” podcasts, but an entire book is a completely different arena.

Right now, it’s summer vacation for my kids, so I have a silent car ride to and from work. It’s nice. I can listen to whatever I want. I decided to give an audio book a try. This was one read by the author and was eight hours long.

There are definitely some adjustments to audio verses print. First of all, it takes me a while sometimes to get character names down. I often spend the first couple of chapters flipping back and forth until I get everyone nailed down. Then, at one point, she said a word I’d never heard of. What was the word? I’ll never know. If I saw it in print, I could have looked it up. Or maybe I do know that word, but never heard it pronounced. Regardless, a minute after she said it I forgot it, and I’m driving, so it’s not like I can write it down.

This was the story of a woman (Helen) who lost her husband when she was 59 years old. Helen is a writer who lives a somewhat sheltered, though satisfying, life. Prior to her husband’s passing, she would have had few complaints about her life and her future. His death not only forces her to look at what kind of person she wants to be now, but to also look back honestly at her past and her marriage.

Helen finds out, after his death, that her husband spent most of their retirement money; only at first she doesn’t know what he spent it on. The reader (or in this case, the listener) will find out. This book does tie up quite neatly, maybe a little too much so, but it was a nice story.

As someone who has not reached that age yet, it was interesting to see the mother and adult daughter relationship unfold. It was also disturbing to put yourself in Helen’s situation. To suddenly be without your spouse and your children are grown…you can feel Helen’s loneliness.

However, her character was quite as needy as the author wanted you to think. She was a successful author who went on book tours and taught classes. She had ventured more than her own back yard. She also wasn’t quite the overbearing mother either. To have her daughter be so upset because she’d buy her a sweater seemed to more illustrate that the daughter was a spoiled brat than that Helen was an overbearing mother.

This was a fun, light read that I enjoyed. I’m not sure I would read another book by this author, but the descriptions of Helen and the other writers she encounters, were the most vibrant portion of the book.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

500 Days of Summer

Are there enough joyous, happy, wonderful adjectives to describe 500 Days of Summer? This movie was funny, touching, had an adorable cast, a kick-ass soundtrack and a musical number! Forget Harry Potter; this is the summer movie that has it all.

Zooey Deschanel is taking over as the new indie Parker Posey. Her lipid blue eyes and kewpie doll pout demands that you look at her every time she’s on screen. It’s almost like no other actor could compete with her until…Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He has a tour-de-force performance here as the poor lovesick shlub to Deschanel’s free-spirited nymph.

The narrator tells us from the beginning that the story of Tom and Summer is not going to be a happy one, but the ride is still enjoyable.

We watch as Tom (Gordon-Levitt) tries to win Summer (Deschanel) over to be as madly in love with him as he is with her. This seems like a lost cause, as Summer is as free-spirited as her names implies. She doesn’t believe in love at first sight, marriage, or soul-mates. She’ll never be able to give Tom what he needs or wants in a relationship, but that doesn’t keep him from trying to convert her.

This is really Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s movie. If his character comes off as too much of a loser, he’ll just be pathetic to the audience. Instead, Tom is funny, smart and the new person I want to keep in my hip pocket. He’s the kind of guy you want to fix up with your friends because he’s so sweet. He’s so into Summer, and the fact that she’s distant makes him want her all the more. In typical fashion, if she was as available as he wanted, he probably wouldn’t be as obsessed.

We watch as their relationship jumps around from day 1 to day 260 and all across the board. We see good times and bad times. We see scenes of their relationship that we don’t understand at first, but then as the other days build, or we are glimpsed to the past or future, it all makes sense. All the jumping around is not a distraction; rather, it becomes a well woven web, a kaleidoscope of when things go right in a relationship, and also when they go horribly wrong. When we reminisce, it’s certainly not in chronological order.

It’s been a long time since I wanted to see a movie again, but I’m trying to find an excuse to run back to the theater for another 500 days with Summer…and Tom.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Away We Go!

I had an independent film buff’s dream by seeing Away We Go and 500 Days of Summer on the same day.

Away We Go touched my heart more than I ever expected, and that’s in large part to Maya Rudolph’s understated yet beautiful performance. She is a wonderful actress that brought rich texture to her modern mom-to-be character of Verona. Maya can be completely goofy, as clearly illustrated from her SNL years, but there’s no problem taking her performance and her character seriously. However, there is one scene in which Verona is telling a bedtime story to her boyfriend’s niece. She’s talking through the girl’s stuffed frog, and John Krasinski is the stuffed crab; their comedy backgrounds are exposed because both their voices had me in hysterics!

This is a simple story about a couple (John Krasinski of “The Office” and Maya Rudolph) expecting their first child. They travel around the U.S. and Canada, looking for the perfect home to raise their family. The screenplay was written by the writing couple, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. These two are pretty hip cats in the writing world, and I hope they have more movies in them. Their screenplay subtlety touches on our definition of what makes a family and true meaning of love, commitment and parenthood.

Do not misunderstand; most of this movie is a complete crack-up. The family and friends they visit are one of the nuttiest groups you’ll ever encounter in such a short film. Allison Janney almost steals the whole movie as Verona’s completely inappropriate ex-co-worker, whose mothering of her two young children should never be emulated by anyone!

At first, Krasinski and Rudolph seem like an odd pair, but by the film’s end, the viewer believes this couple is the real deal, and you’re rooting for them to make it.

This film avoids clich├ęs. There are no characters misunderstanding each other, a scene that puts the pregnancy in danger and a false breakup just to have the main players dramatically reconcile in the third act. This is a quiet movie about a family finding their place and I’m glad this movie can find its place too. Amongst the big special effect-laden blockbusters and raunchy comedies, it’s a treat to see this well thought out, smart, funny little film going to battle with the big boys.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Song of the Week

Drowning In Your Tears – The Rembrandts
Hey, do you happen have the 1995 CD from The Rembrandts entitled L.P.? You might, because it has the theme song from “Friends.” If you do, you’re in luck. Track 5 on that CD is “Drowning In Your Tears,” one of my favorite buried treasures. It’s a shame this duo will forever be associated with the “Friends” theme instead of great songs like this one. You know though, the theme from “Friends” isn’t a bad little pop song. See, I talk about that more than the fact that “Drowning In Your Tears” is a great song. So go listen to this song instead. These guys deserve it. I know you have that CD. Don’t try to hide it. Furthermore, I bet you never even listened to the whole CD. So do The Rembrandts a solid and go listen to it. You’ll be glad you did.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Brotherhood of Satan

Obscure DVD Review
You need to know a little background about my personal life to understand why I forced myself to watch this 1971 horror flick again.

I’m the youngest of three kids. Yes, that’s me, the baby. Sure, the baby gets spoiled, but often the baby must sit through things that they are too young for because everyone else doesn’t want to miss out. For me, it was my family’s love of horror films.

My mom loves horror movies. Even though they scared the crap out of me, I was told, “Just close your eyes.” This tactic did not work, as I would usually imagine far worse than anything on the screen. In 1971, I was dragged to see a little film called “The Brotherhood of Satan.” This film ruined me for years to come and set me up for a lifelong fear of dolls coming to life.

Please note that my dear mother is completely innocent in all of this. She was a woman who loved her horror movies and nothing more. She had no way of knowing that my baby doll would have a cameo appearance where she kills the parents of her little girl owner. How could Mom know? But the damage was done. My beautiful Drowsy doll who I loved so much, capable of such atrocities! As a four year old, I was scarred. I ran home and threw all my toys out of my giant cardboard toy box, took Drowsy off my bed and buried her at the very bottom. She stayed there for many years. I moved on to only owning stuffed animals, no more dolls.

Several years ago they re-issued Drowsy and I purchased one. I had to make my peace with her. You can see by our loving photo that we have put everything in the past. We’ve mended our fences and she’s paid her debt to society. Besides, she was possessed by the devil!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to watch “The Brotherhood of Satan.” I have not seen this film since 1971. Why would I subject myself to that? I rented it from Netflix and it sat here for months! I finally summoned the courage and popped it in the DVD player. Guess what? It was a pretty darn good horror flick. It made me miss the old fashioned scary movies where more was left to the imagination and you didn’t have all the blood and gore.

This took 70’s genre to the limit: dream sequences that seemed more like bad acid trips, sexy moms, the underbelly of a dark suburbia controlled by Satan, and a distrust of authority figures. It was all there, and above all, the story was creepy, but there was an explanation in the end. Our questions were answered, even if, in the end, it only posed more questions. At least it had more purpose than today’s theme of deranged-guy-who-wants-to-torture-people-because-that’s-what-he-does!

And as for Drowsy? Well, she did do some horrific things, but she was only on screen for a few minutes. Funny thing was, she strangled the family in the film, but in my experiments, her arms are way too short to capture the camera angles they showed. So you know what? There’s no way Drowsy did it. I’m glad I can move on now. Now if I could only summon the courage to watch the 1978 Anthony Hopkins film, “Magic.” I couldn’t sleep for weeks when the commercials for that movie aired!

*Update 9/14/10 Hi All! I'm currently participating in the Back 2 Blogging challenge with the SITS girls. Today we're posting something we wish more people read. This review gave a glimpse into my childhood.

The sponsors for our awesome week of blogging are Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances. Go check them out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Song of the Week

The Driver, Part 2 – Terry Reid Sadly, I cannot find this song on iTunes, but it is available through Amazon on the 1992 CD “The Driver.” I came by this song from a compilation CD I had called VH1 –EZ CD. I have no idea who Terry Reid is, but a Google search showed me that this singer has been around since the 1970’s! This haunting song should really be in a movie. Why it hasn’t been snagged up it beyond me. This is the type of song that can enhance a scene to memorable heights. It has the perfect combination of staying enough in the background that it doesn’t overpower you, yet begs for a “who does that song?” vibe. It’s a hard song to listen to once. You’ll find yourself hitting replay and kicking back.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Says It All

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Song of the Week

Love Me In A Special Way – El DeBarge
I’m sure you all remember the family band, DeBarge. C’mon “I Like It” and “Rhythm of the Night” was fun, fluffy puff pop music. El of course was the obvious star with his sweet smile and Jerri Curled hair. El had a short solo career, but some good songs came out of it. “Love Me In A Special Way,” is a sultry little number that slowly grows on you. With added accompaniment by Stevie Wonder, this one is worth a spin.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mediocre Movies, Now on DVD!

Well apparently I haven’t missed much. Time and money prevents me from going to see all the movies I want to in the theatres and even my Netflix subscription falls by the wayside when my kids are in school. So once summer is here, it’s my movie catch up time. Except, I’m finding it difficult to find any hidden gems in the movies I missed the first time around. Even Richard Gere couldn’t add sizzle to the molasses slowness of, Nights in Rodanthe. P.S. I Love You, was nowhere near as cute and charming as the book. Definitely, Maybe was cute but frustrating and Ghost Town was just painful. The best thing to come out of that film was the end credit song “Heart of Life” by John Mayer. This is my new obsession song and I’ve now listened to it about five hundred times. I’m actually listening to it right now!

Through this sea of mediocrity, have any films proven be better than I thought they would be? Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was laugh out loud funny and it was refreshing – if not awkward and uncomfortable- to have male nudity for a change. Jason Segal did not flash full-frontal once, but four times! Surprisingly, the chicks kept their clothes on and I for one appreciated that.

Role Models, was also a fun, inappropriately joke filled, Paul Rudd love fest. Paul Rudd’s dancing alone is always worth my time. Seann William Scott had some great one-liners, Christopher Mintz-Plasse proved he wasn’t a one trick pony after his Mclovin’ fame, and Bobb’e J. Thompson is a tiny Eddie Murphy, back when Eddie was raunchy and funny.

I’ll keep trudging through this morass of films and letting you know what’s worth your two hours. I have to wrap this up now because I’ve listened to “Heart of Love” about fifteen times.What’s wrong with me?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Song of the Week

Michael Jackson – Ben/Human Nature
This week it would be hard to talk about any other music except Michael Jackson’s I spent the weekend watching hour after hour of Michael videos on MTVJams. In keeping with theme of this regular feature, I’d like to focus on a couple of underappreciated Michael tunes. Ben was one of Michael’s first solo outings and he recorded it at thirteen! Ben was a theme song for a movie of the same name. A love ballad from a boy to his pet rat brings a tear to my eye. The emotion Michael can put behind this song is amazing. We’ll forget that this film was about a trained killer rat. When I hear this song today, I think of mine and my sister’s beloved rat, Vito.
Second up is the 1983 track, Human Nature off the mega-juggernaut Thriller album. This has always been my favorite off this album and I feel it’s stood the test of time better than songs like PYT and Thriller. It’s one of those songs that I refer to as an “ache” song. When it comes on the radio you’re washed over with nostalgia and the mind starts to wander down memory lane. Human Nature always makes me think of summertime and kickin’ back, sipping a Coke and enjoying that there’s no school tomorrow. In memory of Michael Jackson, I hope you’ll give these two songs a new listen.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson - A Tribute

I was simply stunned to hear of the passing of Michael Jackson. It was difficult for me, as I’m sure it was for so many Michael fans. Over the years he’s slipped into such a bizarre side show freak, it was difficult to see the King of Pop we loved our whole lives.

Now, because of such a tragic demise, we’ll forget all that. We’ll remember the music, the boy, the man and all he did for music. He made everyone take notice of R&B and broke ground for African-Americans on mainstream airwaves.

I was at work when I heard the news of his passing. Then my sister called me. Everyone was on the phone talking to someone. I was okay. It was shocking, but I really didn’t have any emotion behind it.

When I left work, I got in the car and started the engine. In a true serendipitous moment the car radio came on. I had left it on Alice 97.3 FM, a station that never plays Michael. Of all the songs they could they choose, it was my all time favorite, “Rock With You,” from the Off the Wall album. This will always be the greatest Michael album. I listen to that song at least once a week. I started to cry and then I cranked it.

I turned my radio volume to 60. I’ve never turned it that loud. I wanted to physically feel the music. It was there beating into me and I rolled down all my car windows and became the “Traveling Michael Jackson Tribute Mobile.”

On my way home I heard Thriller, PYT, Off the Wall…when Human Nature came on my hand went to my chest, oh the ache.

Remember the music and the times in our life it defined again and again. It was a strange and crazy trip.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

So how's Conan doing as the new host of The Tonight Show? I, for one, couldn't be happier. I finally have my perfect late-night lineup. I can brush my teeth, hopefully remember to put on eye cream and hop in bed. First I start with The Daily Show - I can laugh alittle - Jon Stewart can drop some knowledge on me and then I can click right over to Conan. When Conan took over for Letterman, I was one of the few who believed he'd make it. I'm so happy that NBC followed through on their hosting switch this time. Yet, they always seem to muck it up somehow. I'm completely against Jay Leno having a 10 p.m. show five nights a week. What's up with that? He's had his day in the sun and now he needs to politely step aside.

It's great to see the whole band, Triumph and Andy Ritchter! The only suggestion I have is to bring Andy out from that podium and let him sit on the couch. He's got great banter with Conan, but there's a coldness with him so far away.

Check out this hilarious clip from the show and tell me if Conan isn't bringing the funny to late night television.

Up - Movie Review

Pixar Does It Again!

What can I say about my experience seeing the new Pixar flick, UP? Look it’s no secret that I cry at everything, but my tears started during the short film, Partly Cloudy, and never let up. Once we were at the actual main attraction, the silent montage of the main characters life with his wife, was enough to have me so swollen eyed I might be unable to physically even see the rest of the movie!

Every time I think Pixar can’t pull another one out of their hat, I’m happily surprised. When I saw the promos for Up a year ago I thought, “Yeah, okay, old dude and a bunch of balloons. How is that possibly going to carry a whole film?’

The love and devotion that goes into each of their projects truly shines through. It gives me hope to see such a high caliber of children’s film after getting previews for Aliens in the Attic. Not even kids want to see crap. We all want to be told a great story with interesting characters. Pixar not only delivers, they exceed time and time again.

I did see this in 3-D and it’s certainly not necessary, but since I’m a huge fan of animation, I wanted to enjoy ever nuisance that technology could offer.

The only criticism I have is the talking dogs. While Doug the dog was perfect comic relief, the whole pack of trained dogs almost took me out of magical world and into too much to ask of my imagination. It’s a fine line so I’ll cut them some slack.

See this on the big screen. Take a kid, go with a friend, go by yourself, it doesn’t matter; just don’t miss the sweet, life affirming film.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Song of the Week

Go All the Way – The Raspberries
What a naughty little song from 1972. I inherited an extensive 45’s collection from my siblings (one of the perks of being the youngest) and this one probably belonged to my older brother. I remember putting this one on the turntable and thinking, “I probably shouldn’t be listening to this.” But in 1972, pop songs didn’t throw in an obligatory curse word or be extremely graphic in singing their tales. Instead we used our imagination to picture this sweet girl pleading her guy to go all the way. This is song that deserves a new listen. It actually still sounds great today and it is a great driving song to roll down the windows and crank it! I always thought this song should have been in a movie, or at least in Eric and Donna’s consummation episode of “That 70’s Show.” After all these years, it’s still a pretty sexy song!

Land of the Lost - Movie Review

Great Escape in the Summertime?

Once you decide to make a film version of the Sid and Marty Kroft’s classic Saturday morning kids show, you only have two choices. You could make a very dark dramatic film about a family trapped in time with danger at every turn, or you can cast Will Ferrell and camp it up for cheap laughs.

Choosing the latter is interesting because unlike The Brady Bunch or Starsky and Hutch, this adaptation would have work dramatically. The one thing that kept every kid coming back week after week was those Sleestaks! They were effectively creepy and the one element not changed in the screen adaptation.

If you’re expecting a remake of your beloved Saturday morning TV show, you’ll be greatly disappointed. If you’re looking for silly potty humor, cool effects, show tunes and tons of Will Ferrell, then this will fit the bill for you. Ferrell is not stretching himself as an actor here. He’s giving the same performance we saw in Anchorman, Talledega Nights and Old School. He’s a boob, but we love him anyway.

All Will Ferrell movies seem to come in at a solid “B” on the comedy level. A few huge laughs are guaranteed, but it never quite reaches the classic comedy level of a Young Frankenstein or Animal House. The exception to this is Elf. Elf is still Will Ferrell’s best work to date. He was able to transcend his character to lovable yet genuine no matter how unrealistic the plot seemed. It’s ironic that this is his most believable character when the ones with realistic jobs, come off so cartoonish.

You may think I don’t like Will Ferrell and that’s wrong. I enjoy all his movies and I think he’s hysterical. However, I’m ready for him to step up his game. I want him to go from making good comedy to great comedy. If you like Will Ferrell and low-brow humor, Land of the Lost is going to fit the bill for fun summer entertainment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Song of the Week

Just Missed the Train – Danielle Brisebois/Kelly Clarkson
If you’re a mature audiophile, like me, you may remember Danielle Brisebois from “All In The Family” and “Archie’s Place.” She was cast opposite Carroll O’ Connor in a classic “jump the shark” move for a dying sitcom. Add cute kid, crotchety old man, hilarity will ensue and the show will be revived. This never works. I also remember them trotting out Danielle’s singing talents on a regular basis. The whole Broadway Baby thing really got on my nerves. Having been in the original cast for “Annie,” she was qualified, but annoying. Later, Danielle’s claim to fame was being a member to the New Radicals. However, they really only had one hit with, You Get What You Give. I was curious though to hear what her voice sounded like as an adult so I took a bite and ordered a used copy of her 1994 CD, “All Over You.” I was pleasantly surprised. I listen to this on a semi-regular basis and I really enjoyed the track, “Just Missed the Train.” Then I found out Kelly Clarkson covered it on her debut CD. This solidifies my recommendation of this track. It’s not just me! I’m always a sucker for the original though, so although Kelly delivers a powerful rendition, I’m putting Danielle’s original cut as this week’s pick.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Song of the Week

I’d like to introduce my first regular feature. Every Tuesday, I’ll post a new/old song as my Song of the Week. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel I have awesome taste in music. This weekly feature will focus on a song you may have never heard, or one that you forgot about. Often, I find I like a song, only to become obsessed with it years later. I’m a “song stalker.” Once I zone in, I will hit the replay button over and over again. As an iTunes user, I’ll let you know if the song is currently available for download. Sometimes, though, I can’t help myself, and I must highlight a harder to find song. Seek it out; you won’t be sorry!

Bad Days – The Flaming Lips
Do not confuse this with “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter. The always obscure Flaming Lips probably came closest to pop success with this 1997 diddy. I heard this tune on the “Batman Forever” soundtrack and it was probably the only good thing to come out of that film. What an anthem for the working grunt. It doesn’t get better than lyrics about blowing up your boss! This is currently available on iTunes. If you’re familiar with this song, or if you download based on me, I’d love to hear your feedback. Sorry, I can’t promise to refund your 99 cents, but stay tuned for a continually eclectic array!

Friday, May 29, 2009

First there was Prince

Whenever I tell people I have the hots for Prince, I usually get one of two reactions. “Really?”
Or sometimes just an outright, “Ewwww!”

I really don’t care. Prince is fine and he’s been my honey baby for years. I was loving his weird “Tonight Show” performance the other day. What was the whole giant autograph thing he gave to Jay Leno? He kept scribbling in secret during the song; I thought I was going to be impressed with an amazing caricature or something! Poor Jay looked like he didn’t know how to act.

So why does Prince illicit the icks, but everyone just made a big hoopla about Adam Lambert? Prince was the original one rocking the Guyliner. He can hit decibel piercing high notes and sexy deep grovels. Don’t forget to add his virtuoso guitar and piano skills, mad dance moves and writing his own songs…why would you think it’s odd that I love Prince?

Sure he has long lapses into obscurity, but check this song out. He can still bring it when he wants to.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bret and Jermaine are My Sweetie Pies!

The last tour stop for Flight of the Conchords was tonight at the Berkeley Community Theatre here in the San Francisco East Bay.

My budget does not allow for many concerts these days, but in one of my most fortunate strokes of luck, I won two tickets from KFOG 104.50 FM.

My daughter happily accompanied me. It was her first concert and I’m afraid she’ll have to spend a long time trying to top tonight’s show.

We had some major delays because of fire alarm issues. There was also weird organizing of “will call’ ticket holders, regular ticket holders, a women trying to get in with her dog and a man shouting, “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD” from the sheer frustration of all the different things we were being told to do.

Once we were finally inside it was refreshing to see affordable merchandise, (rockin’ cool tote bag for $15 and underwear for $10) a mellow crowd and an intimate, if not slightly run-down, auditorium.

Our opening act was Arj Barker who plays Dave the pawn shop owner on the HBO show. The TV does not do this Marin native justice. He was hysterical! I did not realize till tonight what a funny guy he is. He’s a great edition to the tour.

When Bret and Jermaine took the stage in their homemade robot costumes, it was instantly worth the wait. They were so laid back and cool. Each song took about ten minutes, between all the talking and joking. But make no mistake, these two are top-notch musicians and there instrumental and harmonizing abilities were amazingly impressive. Just because their funny doesn’t mean they lack anything in the musical talent department. All their songs are catchy and well written, spanning across many different genres.

Their easy banter with the audience really gives an organic feeling to the show. Even though they are becoming wildly popular with each passing day, you have the feeling the guys are the same on stage as they were before all the YouTube hits and HBO series.

I can’t think of a better way to kick off my summer. Great show, talented guys and a number one fan forever!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kris Allen - Part 2

I knew there would be backlash. Why did Kris win instead of Adam? Look, it's simple math and I can only do simple math! The top 3 were Adam, Danny and Kris. Once Danny was voted off the Gokey factor went into affect. C'mon, fans of Danny weren't going to run over and vote for Adam. Now, if the top 3 were Adam, Allison and Kris, then Adam would've won.

I can't post the actually video performance, but Kris won with his performance of "Heartless." Think about it. This performance was a bigger risk than Adam ever took. Cute little white boy pulling off a Kayne West song and sounding totally believable with lines like, "I've got my homies." That night he sealed his fate as the next "American Idol."

In the finale, Adam sang three songs. Kris sang three songs and played guitar AND piano. So give credit where it's due. Maybe he wasn't your pick, but Kris is a talented guy who was just himself week after week, and I for one, am glad to see it paid off.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kris Takes It All!

Hey no backlash! Kris worked so hard this season. I'm so glad a little guy finally took the title. He could play piano, guitar, and this dude can sing! A laid-back attitude, with no indication of how hot he is, Kris just quietly kept delivering great performances week after week!

We don't have to worry about Adam. His dramatic ways are better served by not being chained down by the "Idol" producers. If you want true Adam, he needs to be free to do his own thing.

I loved watching Kris as he calmly won, was steady as a rock singing his song, smiled sweetly at the heavens above...nothing is going to break this guy! Thank God for the wife, she came onstage, hugged him and he LOST it! Adorable! Go Kris!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Blog of Interest

Want to read about the daily life of a globe trotting OB? Check out
Beans Travel & Life Blog
It just started, but it's already an interesting read.

Check it out!

Dom DeLuise - Comic Icon

Dom Deluise passed away today at the age of 75. He starred in some of my all-time favorite comedies. Although Dom could always bring the funny, my favorite has always been 1980 film "Fatso." If you've never seen this gem of a film, now is the perfect time to take a look at one of his best performances. This film was written and directed by Anne Bancroft, who also co-stars as Dom's sister. This movie is funny, but it's the tender side of Dom -as a character struggling with his weight issues- that makes you see some serious acting chops. Dom is giving the raw, close to home performance that Mickey Rourke would give 28 years later in "The Wrestler!" Treat yourself and rent this today.
We love you Dom!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bad Mother

Ayelet Waldman rocks! I'm counting the days till this book comes out!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kiss of Death for Reaper?

It is impossible for me to understand how network programming works. Case in point: Reaper. This is one of the best shows on TV right now, and certainly on a short list of great shows for the CW network. So why would you put this show opposite American Idol?

Reaper consistently brings scares, comedy and excellent writing week after week. This show never takes the easy way out with its story lines and fails to fall into the same old tired plotline trappings. One of the biggest joys when I watch Reaper is I never know what they’re going to do next. I’m someone who has watched an insane amount of television, and it’s difficult for me to find shows that are fresh and unique.

The CW really underestimates this gem of a show. Here’s the nutshell: Sam (Bret Harrison) finds out on his 21st birthday that his parents sold his soul to the devil (Ray Wise). Sam is a good kid who works at a Home Depot-like store called “The Workbench.” He spends his free time hanging with his buds Sock (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez) and pining away for his friend with something more, Andi (Missy Peregrym).

Where this show is different is Sam doesn’t walk around with the horrible secret that the devil has ordered him to be his soul catching servant. No, Sam immediately runs and tells his best friends and they offer to help! The audience only has to wait an acceptable amount of time before Sam’s love interest, Andi, finds out what’s been going on. The payoffs are fast on this show, and it works because there is always something else around the next creepy corner.

Reaper does know how to bring the creepy, the funny and the feelings. It should also be noted that the cast is adorable, and if CW spent a bit of dough getting these young mugs out there, they could have the same demographic of Idol watchers tuning in here. Also, short guys are finally “IN.” Bret Harrison is one of the cutest short dudes on the tube right now. Put him in with Kris Allen (American Idol) and for the older crowd, Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) and us little women finally get to spend time with guys we could actually slow dance with!

In the meantime, thank God for TiVo and DVR’s. Set this show to always record so you won’t forget. You will not regret it.

Sources are saying Reaper is on the chopping block, so go to the CW’s website and let your voice be heard. While you’re at it, how about going to the SciFi channel’s website and tell them they should pick up this show if the CW is stupid enough to let it go.

*Think it's just a fluke that an old chick like me is into Reaper? This show appeals to all! Read what my 16 year-old daughter just submitted to the feedback section of the CW's website. You know, you could also go to the CW website and help save this show! I'm just saying...

As a 16 year old girl, I am ever loyal to the CW for Gossip Girl, possibly the best teen drama on television. However, this network also provides another show I couldn't possibly live without: Reaper. Reaper is the perfect mix of comedy, thriller, and romance. Even with an unbelieveable story line, the show portrays the lives of Sam, Sock, Ben, and Andi in a realistic way. Each character is vital to the show for various reasons. Sam, the protagonist, is sweet, funny, loyal and ABSOULUTELY ADORABLE. Brett Harrison is definitely someone people need to see on a regular basis. Sock, basically the opposite of Sam, is still important for comedic reasons. Viewers tune in every week to see what kind of shenanigans he will pull. Ben, the sweetie of the show, is always there to remind us of how pathetic people can be sometimes. Although very romantic, his relationship with Nina was obviously going nowhere. However, we love Ben for is naive manner, and can sympathize with him when things don't turn out the way he wants them to. Andi is a great female lead for Reaper; she is strong, intelligent, and fits in so well with the guys that we sometimes forget how gorgeous she is! However, she still shines amongst the rest of them, and is the perfect role model for women watching this show. And how can we forget the devil? Although he constantly gives you the creeps, the devil is necessary to the show, tempting Sam and trying to recruit him as a second-in-command. With such a great cast of characters, how could this show be anything less than fantastic? For this reason, I am writing to you to tell you that canceling Reaper would be a terrible mistake. Although it doesn't show in the numbers, Reaper has many devoted fans that would be terribly upset if this show were to disappear. Putting the show up against American Idol showed that you were basically trying to get rid of it. Either that, or you didn't know that Reaper and American Idol attract the same fan base. Well I'm here to tell you that it does. I am addicted to American Idol, but I know that I can always record Reaper. Also, Reaper is only in its second season. It still has time to develop a bigger fan base. Giving up on it now would disappoint tons of CW watchers. I am positive that if you keep Reaper, your viewers will go way up. I have written this so that you can take these points into consideration before canceling one of the best shows currently on television. Thank you for your time, and please don't disappoint viewers like me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I originally was trying to find Morrissey's performance on Jimmy Fallon last night, but I found this instead. I squealed like a little girl seeing Morrissey after all these years. Ah, I remember seeing The Smiths in Berkeley, California. A very tall young man offered to put tiny me on his shoulders. There I was, high above everyone else, stretching, stretching out to reach Morrissey. But alas, it was not meant to be.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hey Morrissey, Why You Cry?

Morrissey – Years of Refusal

Thank goodness that during these tough economic times, Morrissey arrives on the scene with Years of Refusal to further depress us.

It’s kind of amazing that Morrissey has been able to maintain such a huge level of depression for so long. Man, he’s sounded suicidal since the early eighties!

Don’t worry, his songs are as gut-wrenching, yet oddly earwig-ish, inducing as ever. The first track, “Something is Squeezing My Skull,” is an oddly catchy tune that you’ll find yourself humming soon afterward. Similarly, “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” will also crawl into your head. Morrissey’s lyrics have to be taken with a grain of salt. If family or friends ever felt you were taking him too seriously, they would probably stage an intervention.

There is comedy to be had in, “It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore.” How often would we like to say lyrics like: “It’s not your birthday anymore/did you really think we meant /all of those syrupy things we said?/It’s not your birthday anymore/there’s no need to be kind to you.” This is freakin’ hysterical!

Morrissey’s angst and biting anger certainly made a connection with me in my late teens. When you’re flipping the bird to society and all its entrapments, The Smiths, and later a solo Morrissey, were always there to commiserate with.

Still, Morrissey has become the depression cheerleader. He has done what we can’t. He is still on the edge with negativity and the unrequited love. For his fans, he’s always there when we are feeling sorry for ourselves, and isn’t that most of us these days? Hey, crank up this album while checking your 401K and let’s all flip the bird to the buggers in charge!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Better Choice for Lil

Talkin' Idol

Well, since Lil seems incapable of making ANY good song choices, I'll make it for her. Same movie,"The Rose," but much better for her voice. I forced my daughter to watch this whole clip. I had to show her what a badass Bette Midler was back in the day! I LOVED watching this. It's been (yikes)30 years!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Talkin' About "Idol"

So why don't I talk about American Idol on this blog? Because I talk about it here. Click this site to get the weekly low down from myself and the rest of the "Reader's Panel." Feel free to throw in your own 2 cents!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Amy's Having the BABY!

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Okay, I’m 41 not 14, but I can’t wait for tomorrow night’s season finale of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

What first started as me simply wanting to checking in on Molly Ringwald has since become a “guilty pleasure” that shot to the top of my must see list. ABC Family is catching everyone up with a marathon leading up to the finale, but seriously, if you’re watching this show, you have not missed a single episode.

Amy is now in labor, everyone is hooking up, sluts are re-evaluating their place in teen society and Ricky finally made it through an entire episode without trying to put the moves on anybody. Of course, though, he did in flashback!

The funny thing is I ended up caring about these characters a lot more than I ever expected. And a show that seems like it would have a short shelf-life actually can make it as we see the struggles a teen mother faces. If the show wants to make a social statement, it would better serve the teen community to see Amy try to navigate her way through motherhood as apposed to the squeaky music and blurry fade-out of Lifetime films.. “Ah, she’s keeping the baby. It’ll be tough, but she’ll make it through. She’s got moxie!”

If you really want to scare the teen population, show them how often you’ll miss social opportunities and how hard everyday life is when you have to put yourself in the foreground. Sure, the show is cheesy, but I do feel some of the messages are getting across.

Regardless, I’ll be glued to my set tomorrow night. There’s no way I’m recording this one. It’s going to be the Superbowl of teen dramas, and you’ve got to watch this one live!