I am always saying that because I have such a hard time believing some of the things people and say do, and the things I see. Since my mission when I'm on the air is to play as much music as possible, this is where I can kinda let it all hang out (my thoughts, not my bits and pieces, ya perv) and let you get a look into the mind of Cindy Miller. (It's a scary place to be....)
Okay....final round-up of new shows coming to a TV near you. This time, CBS is in the spotlight.
"The Crazy Ones": A comedy starring Robin Williams as the owner of an advertising company, who hires his daughter to be the creative director. Sarah Michelle Gellar is playing the daughter. (Robin Williams? Might have to watch this one)
"Hostages": A "conspiracy thriller" about a surgeon whose husband and children are taken hostage right after she's selected to operate on the President. She's then ordered to KILL the President during the surgery to keep her family alive. (I fail to understand how this can be an ongoing show, rather than just a mini-series or a made for TV movie)
"Intelligence": A drama starring Josh Holloway from "Lost". He's playing a guy who has a microchip implanted in his brain that allows him to access the internet, hack computers, run facial recognition, and recreate crime scenes in his head.It also stars Marg Helgenberger from "CSI" as the head of a fictional agency called the "U.S. Cyber Command". (I have missed Marg ever since she left CSI, so this one will be on my Tivo list!)
"The Millers": A sitcom starring Will Arnett as a divorced news reporter whose mother moves in with him. Beau Bridges is playing his father, and the show also features J.B. Smoove from "Curb Your Enthusiasm". (Meh)
"Mom": A sitcom starring Anna Faris as a "newly sober" single mother, who's trying to rebuild her life. She moves in with her mom, who's played by Allison Janney from "The West Wing". It also stars French Stewart, who was on "3rd Rock from the Sun" and Matt Jones . . . a.k.a. Badger on "Breaking Bad". (Probably not for me, but it might be funny since it's a Chuck Lorre show. He's the guy behind "Two and a Half Men", "The Big Bang Theory" and "Mike & Molly".)
"We Are Men": A comedy starring Jerry O'Connell, Tony Shalhoub from "Monk", and Kal Penn from the "Harold and Kumar" movies as three guys trying to help their new neighbor after he gets dumped at the altar. (Possibly)
The following mid-season replacements were also picked up:
"Friends with Better Lives": A sitcom about a group of six friends who, quote, "covet each other's lives." The two most famous stars are: James Van Der Beek, who's playing a successful gynecologist, and Kevin Connolly from "Entourage", who's playing a happily married dad. (Pass, thank you)
"Reckless": A legal drama starring Cam Gigandet. It's about, quote, "A gorgeous Yankee litigator and a charming Southern attorney, who must hide their intense mutual attraction as a police sex scandal threatens to tear the city apart." (Sounds like a doap opera to me....pass, thank you)
The shows CBS is NOT bringing back next season include: "CSI: New York", "Golden Boy", "Made in Jersey", "Partners", "Rules of Engagement", "The Job" and "Vegas". (I'll miss Mac and the crew of CSI:New Yrok)
The shows they ARE bringing back include: "2 Broke Girls", "48 Hours", "60 Minutes", "The Amazing Race", "The Big Bang Theory", "Blue Bloods", "Criminal Minds", "CSI", "Elementary", "The Good Wife", "Hawaii Five-0", "How I Met Your Mother", "The Mentalist", "Mike & Molly", "NCIS", "NCIS: Los Angeles", "Person of Interest", "Survivor", "Two and a Half Men" and "Undercover Boss". (Yay - I watch a ton of these shows! I do wonder about Survivor - I didn't think many people still watched it, but it appears that they do. It's never been my thing, just don't really dig reality shows.)
More TV shows have been announced....Fox has, as I'm sure you've heard, confirmed that "24" and KIEFER SUTHERLAND will return for a limited run next summer, and a miniseries from M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN that will be similar to "Twin Peaks". (I never watche dthe original "24", did I miss out? Should I get it on DVD?)
Here's what else Fox has on tap for us:
"Almost Human": A drama set in the year 2048, when every L.A. police officer is paired with a ROBOT partner. The show was created by the guy behind "Fringe", and it's being produced by "Lost's" J.J. Abrams. (I like J.J. Abrams, but this sounds like "Robo Cop" to me)
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine": A sitcom starring Andy Samberg as a goofball detective, who has to deal with a tough, new, by-the-books boss. Andre Braugher from "Homicide: Life on the Street" is playing the boss. (Possibly on my list....I still miss "Barney Miller")
"Dads": A live-action comedy created by "Family Guy's" Seth MacFarlane. Here's the premise: Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi star as successful founders of a video game company, whose somewhat stable lives are upended when their fathers move in with them." (I need more comedy in my life, so I may try this one)
"Enlisted": A comedy about three very different brothers who work together at a small Army base in Florida. (Not a lot of fino to go on here, and that makes nervous)
"Gang Related": A drama about, quote, "An elite police task force in L.A. that's charged with suppressing gang activity, but that sometimes falls on the wrong side of the law." It stars Terry O'Quinn from "Lost" and rapper RZA from the Wu Tang Clan. (Hey, it's almost the A Team)
"Junior MasterChef": A spin-off of Gordon Ramsay's "MasterChef" featuring younger "chefs" that range in age from eight to 13. (Pass, thank you)
"Murder Police": An animated comedy about an incompetent police force. (Not a big fan of the animated shows)
"Rake": A drama starring Greg Kinnear as, quote, "a brilliant but acerbic criminal defense attorney, who's great at his job but speaks his mind too freely and whose self-destructive behavior has left him with problems with gambling, the IRS, and an ex-wife." So it's a little like "House" . . . only with a lawyer instead of a doctor. (I loved Greg Kinnear in "As Good As It Gets"!)
"Sleepy Hollow": A supernatural thriller based loosely on Washington Irving's "Sleepy Hollow" story. In this one, Ichabod Crane is somehow resurrected in the present day, where the Headless Horseman has resumed his murders. (Hmmmmm....I don't know about this, but most liekly a pass)
"Surviving Jack": A comedy starring Christopher Meloni from "Law & Order: SVU". It's based on a book called "I Suck at Girls", which was written by the dude behind the infamous @[Crap]MyDadSays Twitter feed. (Not enough info to make a decision)
"Us & Them": A comedy about a young couple trying to make a long distance relationship work after meeting online. It stars Jason Ritter, Alexis Bledel and Jane Kaczmarek from "Malcolm in the Middle". (Pass, thank you)
The shows Fox is NOT bringing back next season include: "Ben and Kate", "Fringe", "The Mob Doctor", "Touch" and "COPS", although "Cops" will continue on Spike. The shows they ARE bringing back include: "American Dad", "American Idol", "Bob's Burgers", "Bones", "Family Guy", "The Following", "Glee", "Hell's Kitchen", "Hotel Hell", "Kitchen Nightmares", "MasterChef", "The Mindy Project", "The New Girl", "Raising Hope", "The Simpsons" and "X Factor". Fox still hasn't decided on the future of "The Cleveland Show". (There are waaaaaay too many cooking shows on TV for me)
Another installment of what's coming to your TV.....here's a rundown of ABC's new shows for next season:
"Back in the Game": A sitcom about a divorced single mom, who "reluctantly moves back in with her estranged father, who's a former baseball player." She starts coaching her son's little league team, and finds herself, quote, "drawn back into the world of sports she vowed to leave behind." James Caan is playing the dad. Maggie Lawson from "Psych" is the single mother. (Meh)
"Betrayal": A drama about a woman who starts having an affair with an attorney, but then finds out that her lover is going up against her husband . . . who's also an attorney . . . in an upcoming high-profile murder trial. (How can this be spun into an entire series????)
"The Goldbergs": A sitcom about an "in-your-face mother" and a "hot-tempered father" who are raising three kids in the 1980s. It stars Wendi McLendon-Covey from "Bridesmaids" and Jeff Garlin from "Curb Your Enthusiasm". (There was a show called "That 80s Show" that failed miserably.....will this be better?)
"Killer Women": A drama about the only female member of the Texas Rangers . . . the law enforcement agency, not the baseball team. It stars Tricia Helfer, who was Cylon Number Six on "Battlestar Galactica". (Meh)
"Lucky 7": A drama about seven gas station employees in New York who win a multi-million-dollar lottery jackpot. (And did they play numbers they got from a mental patient, then crash land on a spooky island in the ultiamte sturggle between good and evil?)
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.": The first live-action TV show set in "The Avengers" universe. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is a major character on this show . . . even though he pretty clearly DIED in the "Avengers"movie. (I'm not a big follower of movies and whatnot based on comics)
"Mind Games": A "quirky," confusing drama starring Christian Slater and Steve Zahn as brothers, who start an agency that solves people's problems, quote, "using the real science of human motivation and manipulation." (I do like Christian Slater)
"Mixology": A sitcom about "a group of 10 singles looking for love at a Manhattan bar over the course of a single night." That's right, the ENTIRE show will take place during just one single evening. (Even "24" was given an entire day, and it had insanely complicated plots. This show is BEGGING to be canceled after two episodes.)
"Once Upon a Time in Wonderland": A spin-off of "Once Upon a Time" that features an "Alice in Wonderland"-type storyline. John Lithgow will provide the voice of the White Rabbit. (I don't watch "Once Upon A Time", so I'll porbbaly pass on this)
"The Quest": A FANTASY reality show where competitors engage in various challenges in, quote, "a land of magic and malevolence, where mythical creatures lurk in the woods, agents of darkness stir in the shadows, and mystical beings infiltrate the keep." (Yeah . . . your guess is as good as mine.)
"Resurrection": A supernatural thriller set in a small town, where dead people begin showing up on their loved ones' doorsteps, looking exactly like they did on the day they died. (Not zombies, but kind of zombies?)
"Super Fun Night": A sitcom starring Rebel Wilson from "Bridesmaids" about some female friends who like to have fun on Friday nights. (Chick TV, but I did like "Bridesmaids")
"Trophy Wife": A comedy about a "reformed party girl" who suddenly becomes a "trophy wife," after marrying a divorced man with three manipulative children. (Pass, thank you)
The shows ABC is NOT bringing back next season include: "666 Park Avenue", "Body of Proof", "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23", "Family Tools", "Happy Endings", "How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)", "Last Resort", "Malibu Country", "Private Practice", "Red Widow" and "Zero Hour". The shows they ARE bringing back include: "20/20", "America's Funniest Home Videos", "The Bachelor", "The Bachelorette", "Castle", "Dancing with the Stars", "Grey's Anatomy", "Last Man Standing", "The Middle", "Modern Family", "Nashville", "The Neighbors", "Once Upon a Time", "Revenge", "Scandal", "Shark Tank", "Suburgatory" and "The Taste". The shows that are still up in the air include: "Bet on Your Baby", "Splash" and "Wife Swap".
Let's talk TV! All the networks are announcing their new shows for the 2013-2014 season, as well as shows that are being dropped. There are a ton of them, so today I'll start with NBC.
NBC has announced that JAY LENO will leave "The Tonight Show" the week the 2014 Winter Olympics begin. JIMMY FALLON will be introduced during the Games, and will officially take over the week after the Olympics, just before the debut of "Late Night with Seth Meyers".(No big deal here for me - I never stay up this late, hee hee!)
"About a Boy": A comedy based on the book by Nick Hornby, and the movie starring Hugh Grant . . . about a lazy, immature bachelor, whose life changes when a single mother (Minnie Driver) moves in next door with her young son. (Meh)
"American Dream Builders": A reality show hosted by Nate Berkus, which will have teams of professional designers and builders competing against each other in a home renovation contest. (I gotta be honest, I'm pretty bored with all the competition type shows)
"Believe": A drama about, quote, "A young female orphan with powers ranging from levitation to telekinesis . . . and a wrongfully convicted death row inmate, who's sprung from prison to protect her as she goes on the run." It sounds a little vague, but that's not surprising. It's produced by "Lost's" J.J. Abrams. (I like J.J. Abrams, so I might give this one a try)
"The Blacklist": A psychological thriller starring James Spader as a notorious criminal, who unexpectedly surrenders himself to the FBI and agrees to give up all his criminal friends . . . but, for some mysterious reason, he will ONLY work with a rookie female FBI agent. (I find James Spader creepy, and this one might work for me)
"Chicago PD": It's a spin-off of NBC's "Chicago Fire". Some of the new characters will be introduced on the season finale of "Chicago Fire" on May 22nd. (I tried to watch "Chicago Fire" when it first came on, but it wasn't my cup of tea, so I'll probably pass on this)
"Crisis": A conspiracy thriller starring Gillian Anderson from "The X-Files" . . . that involves the kidnapping of a U.S. President's son. The show also stars Dermot Mulroney. (How long can you drag out a kidnapping?)
"Crossbones": A "pirate drama" set in the 1700s, featuring John Malkovich as Blackbeard. (Love Malkovich, might tivo this one)
"Dracula": A supernatural drama starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula. (I thnk vampires are on their way out)
"The Family Guide": A sitcom about, quote, "an immature single mom, who finds herself becoming closer to her blind ex-husband." Parker Posey was supposed to play the woman, but she dropped out last week. There's no replacement yet. (Pass, thank you)
"Food Fighters": A cooking competition where amateur home cooks face off against professional chefs. Adam Richman from "Man Vs. Food" is hosting it. (Again, too many competition shows are on the air as far as I'm concerned!)
"Ironside": A remake of the late-'60s / early-'70s crime drama "Ironside", which starred Raymond Burr, a.k.a. "Perry Mason," as a paralyzed Chief of Detectives. The new version stars Blair Underwood. (Why???????)
"The Michael J. Fox Show": Michael J. Fox is starring as . . . well, himself basically. He's a news anchor who retired after being diagnosed with Parkinson's. But now, five years later, he's growing restless and is ready to restart his career. (I am curious about this because I love Michael J. Fox, will have to watch and see how it feels)
"The Million Second Quiz": A reality game show where contestants have to answer trivia questions in a 24/7, live event that takes place over 12 consecutive days from a public, "gigantic hourglass-shaped structure in Manhattan." (So this is a blend of Big Brother and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? I might have to watch out of curiosity because it sounds odd)
"The Night Shift": A medical drama set at a San Antonio hospital, during the graveyard shift. (Meh)
"Sean Saves the World": Sean Hayes from "Will & Grace" stars as a divorced, gay dad whose teenage daughter suddenly moves in with him. Thomas Lennon from "Reno 911" and "The State" is also in it. (I always liked Will and Grace, but a little Sean Hayes goes a long way)
"Undateable": Chris D'Elia from "Whitney" stars as a slacker who teaches his roommate's "undateable" friends the art of dating. (Pass, thank you)
"Welcome to the Family": A sitcom about two kids who fall in love soon after graduating from high school, and have an unplanned pregnancy. The show will focus on their families being brought together, and their "colliding cultures." One family is white, and the other is Latino. (Pass, thank you)
The shows NBC is NOT bringing back next season include: "30 Rock", "1600 Penn", "Animal Practice", "Deception", "Do No Harm", "Go On", "Guys with Kids", "The New Normal", "The Office", "Ready for Love", "Rock Center with Brian Williams", "Smash", "Take It All", "Up All Night" and "Whitney". (The only one of these I watched was 1600 Penn, because it was quirky. My heart's not broken about any of this)
The shows they ARE bringing back include: "The Biggest Loser", "Celebrity Apprentice", "Chicago Fire", "Community", "Dateline NBC", "Grimm", "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", "Parenthood", "Parks and Recreation", "Revolution", "The Sing-Off", "Sunday Night Football" and "The Voice". The shows that are still up in the air include: "Betty White's Off Their Rockers", "Fashion Star" and "Hannibal". (As if Sunday Night Football was ever in question. I love Grimm, so I'm happy about that. I am still on the fence with Hannibal, much like NBC is!)
The passing of George Jones, and the fact that he was the first person I ever interviewed, has had me thinking about all the cool people I've had the chance to meet in my radio career. I consider myself lucky to work in a field where being normal is not the norm; where we scream and yell and holler all day and run around the building like five year olds at recess; where conversations are continuous contests of who can get in the funniest comeback; where going to concerts and sporting events falls under my job description; where giving away concert tickets and prizes, or even just playing a song request, can put a smile on someone's face. Here are just a few of the cool memories I've stored away over the years.
REO Speedwagon: Used to do a show in our area every year, and I would always get to interview to Kevin Cronin the week before the show, then get on stage on intro the band. One year, we did our interview as usual, but when the radio station got to the show, we were told there would be no intro. Kind of a bummer, but we went about our business, and then realized the band was late getting on stage. A runner for the concert promoter came hustling over to where we were set up and asked for me to come with her. We went backstage where the band was waiting, and Kevin came over and hugged me and said "We couldn't go on without a Cindy Miller intro!". What a cool guy.
Robin Cook: Always loved his books, and was excited that he was in town for a medical convention, which happened to be at the same hotel where our radio station was setting up for a Mens Expo. Unfortunately, the medical convention was invitation only, so we couldn't get in. Our sales manager had brought a Robin Cook hardback book that she was hoping to get signed, and was sad that she couldn't get Robin's autograph. I took the book from her, went through the catering entrance, found Robin's table and asked him to sign it. He was very gracious and wrote a little note in the book for her. I told him we were finishing up next door, and were going to bar afterwards and I'd love to buy him a drink. He laughed.....but dang if he didn't show up in the bar later! We sat and talked for hours.
Queensryche: They were promoting a new album, and we were invited to hear it and have dinner with the band. It happened to be my birthday, and I didn't know that the record label rep told the band earlier in the day. We sat down to eat and they sang "Happy Birthday" to me!
Spinal Tap: Yep, I actually saw this band in concert. Yep, they were terrible.
Meat Loaf: Before "Bat Out of Hell 2" was released, there was a huge buzz around the album, and the record label planned a huge release party. They rented the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for a night, brought in radio people from all over the country and gave us free rein to run. We listened to tracks from the new album with Meat Loaf, had dinner, and then proceeded to drink ourselves silly!
Andrew Dice Clay: Saw him in concert back when he was still a hot ticket. Four of us had backstage passes (three guys from the station and me), and were taken into a very posh dressing room to wait. After about 20 minutes, a huge stereotypical bodyguard type came out, and in a no nonsense New York accent said "When I bring Dice out, no autographs, no pictures, and no stupid questions. Got it?" We all just nodded, wondering what would happen next. Dice finally came out, in a white hotel style bathrobe, smoking a cigarette, and stood staring at us for a long time. He walked over, walked along in front of us, and stopped in front of me. He finally looked at the guy standing next to me and said "She wit' you?". My friend nodded, Dice said "Too bad." and then walked away. Whew.
Aerosmith: Backstage at a show with contest winners, the band had a really nice room set up with food and drinks for all of us (you don't see that very often!), plus tables and chairs. The band came out with their "handlers", took pictures, signed stuff, then mingled with the crowd. The handlers were trying to round up the band and get them out of the room so they could get ready to go on, and I was chatting with Steven Tyler, asked about the song that he recorded for a Sesame Street CD - it was "I Love Trash". He said it was a blast to do, then he started signing it and dancing around. The handler was trying to get him to leave, but Steven was having none of it, so they guy finally picked Steven up, threw him over his shoulder and carried him out, still singing. Wanna hear the song? Of course you do!!!
I continually surprise myself with my ability to still be shocked at what horrible things people can and will do. I'm not even talking about bloody unfathomable things like murder and rape, I'm talking about scams and deceit; I'm talking about people who come around during destructive weather events and take money for work they never do, or people who think it's okay to just flat out lie in the most despicable way for money.
Not too long ago this photo moved me to tears - the compassion and caring shown by a police officer for another human being, as he bought boots, with his own money, for a homeless man.
Well, surprise, the homeless man isn't really homeless, and has over 30 pairs pairs of shoes. He showed no remorse when confronted after the fact about this photo, and this act of kindness. This is no way lessens the generosity of what the officer did, but it might make you question the honesty of the next person you run into who appears to be in need of help.
The latest affront to my sensibilities comes from Brittany Ozarowski, a woman with cancer trying to raise money for her treatment. A young girl, looking quite ill, who had business setting change jars on their counters, people putting together fundraisers for her, and even her own grandmother selling her home and giving her $100,000. Yes, a scam, and she scammed her own family, including her father, who went with her to various fundraiser and wiped out his own retirement account. Eventually, a couple that owned a non-profit foundation, whom she tapped for donations, questioned her - inquiring about her doctor. The girl refused to give them information and hung up the phone, which prompted the foundation to go the police. It was a very elaborate scam, made more believable by photos of the girl which were taken not recently, but after a car accident in 2011, to make her seem more sickly. This went of for two years before a 24 count indictment was handed down against her. And where did all the money go? Heroin.
Will these stories make me stop giving money to charity? Will they make me stop trying to help people when I can? No, but they might make me delve a little deeper, and ask a few more questions. Trust, but verify.
Read more about this story here
Let's talk about your neighbors - do they do anything that really drives you crazy? I was whining recently on my Facebook page, about some people a few doors down from me who have a light on the back of their house that is aimed directly across a couple other yards and right into my screened porch, makes me nuts. I've lived other places where neighbors were noisy and annoying, but I don't think I've ever lived next to anyone who completely put me round the bend. Hey, does that mean I might be the neighbor everyone complains about? I think my only violation might be yelling "BACON" in the middle of the night when the dog won't come in from the yard. Or maybe having the music a little loud when I lay out in the backyard during the summer. I guess I've been pretty lucky when it comes to neighbors, considering the story I saw today about some folks in Converse, which is in Spartanburg County, SC. These folks have decorated the outside of their house with all kinds of dolls, and not the cute, cuddly dolls that you might see little girls playing with, unless they're Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family. These are random dolls, most missing parts, and looking like they've been seriously abused and tortured, as you can see. (Photos courtesy of WYFF)
Okay, first let me say, this doesn't appear to be the most well kept yard to start with, but supposedly these "decorations" don't violate any rules or laws, but dang, they are disturbing! As you can imagine, the neighbors in this area are not happy about having to look at this every day, and I can understand where they're coming from. I totally believe that you should be able to do whatever you like on your own property, but isn't this going a bit far? I could understand if it was Halloween, and you had something like this up for a couple days or whatever, but I don't get this at all. What would you do if something like this popped up next door to you? (Suddenly the giant inflatables your neighbor puts up every year at Christmas don't seem so bad, do they?)
Want to read the whole story? More pictures and even an interview with the owners of the house can be found here
We have some pretty interesting conversations on the patio out in back of the WSFL studio, and the subject matter is always very diverse. Just had a conversation about shop-lifting, that had me remembering the one and only time I tried it. (How'd it go for me? Not too good!) I was probably 10 or 11 years old, and a lot of my friends talked about how they would go to the store and sneak a lip gloss or candy or something small into their pocket or purse. They talked about how easy it was, and how they never got caught.....I guess eventually someone had to get nabbed, and I was that someone.
It was all the rage to make your own jewelry - necklaces, bracelets, anklets - and my Mom finally relented and gave me money to buy beads and stuff. She took me to the little strip mall not far from our house, and dropped me off at the craft store while she went grocery shopping. There were so many cool beads! Plus you had to buy the string and the little clasps to make your jewelry, and the costs started to add up. I got what I could with the $10 I had, and when they handed me the bag, I thought "wow, there's not really enough stuff in here to make much. I bet I can take this bag back to the jewelry section and drop a few more things in and nobody will ever know." So, off I went with my brown paper bag, craning my neck and looking all around for store employees while I headed back to the jewelry section. I looked around, dropped a few more things in my bag very sneakily (or so I thought), and made my way to the front door just as my Mom was coming in. Perfect timing for the store manager to walk up and ask to see my bag, as he told my Mom that a stock boy had seen me stealing. I protested my innocence, heart pounding, as my Mom defended me, and the manager kept saying "my stock boy seen her do it". (This event is branded into my memory so thoroughly that, to this day, I remember the store manager using very poor grammar.)
Of course, I was made to open the bag, the receipt was compared with the goods, and I was found out. The store manager said he wouldn't call the police, but I was banned from the local Ben Franklin crafts store forever. My Mom was embarrassed, shocked and very very very angry. I knew that her anger was off the charts because she said these words to me that chilled me to the bone: "Wait till I tell your father about this." Crap.
Mom pretty much had to drag me into the house, where Dad was relaxing on the couch. She told him what happened, and he just stared at me with that steely gaze that struck fear into your heart, and didn't say anything for the longest time. I was terrified. Finally he said "Where did you learn to steal?". I knew how my Dad's mind worked, and I knew that if I said "all my friends do it", I would never see a single one of them ever again. So, being the quick-thinking clever child that I was, I replied "I saw it on TV" and thus, my punishment was set. "YOU ARE GROUNDED FROM WATCHING TV......FOR LIFE" were the next words that came out of my Dad's mouth. "FOR LIFE".
I did not watch TV for almost two years. Not at my house, not when we visited friends or family, and if I went over to play with one of my friends at their house, my Mom called first to inform the parents of my little friend that I was not allowed to watch TV. This was back in the day when there were no computers, no cell phones and no video games (except for a few very low tech handheld games), so what did I do with my time? I started reading more books and listening to the radio.....ah yes, this was when I truly discovered radio and when my love affair with music began.
After the Super Bowl we never really heard much controversy about the event, other than Joe Flacco dropping an f-bomb and NBC accidentally airing it, and, oh yeah, the lights going out. People either raved or complained about Beyonce's performance, but there didn't seem to be any huge issues....or were there? Personally, I would have liked to see a band perform with actual musicians - I am not a big pop music fan, but Beyonce is hot and has a nice voice. I understand that the NFL is trying to attract more viewers, and attract those viewers who wouldn't normally tune in for the game. We see the same thing with concerts, like when Van Halen toured with Kool & The Gang - they were trying to pull an audience from two totally different demographics in order to sell more tickets, but that's a subject for another day. Well, the FCC got thousands of letters after the Super Bowl, most directed towards the half-time show, but some addressing other things, like a few of the commercials. They're pretty entertaining to read, so here are a handful of verbatim things that people complained about to the FCC:
--"[The] commercial [that] showed a women kissing a nerd: It was disgusting!!! My grandchildren was watching that! I had to hurry up and grab the control!!! . . . And also that raunchy Beyoncé girating her v***a in front of the cameras, and that is entertainment!"
--"I am appalled at Beyoncé's performance . . . she basically humped the air, simulating sex for 13 minutes. Completely inappropriate as family entertainment."
--"[Beyoncé's] outfit looked like it came out of a sex shop or a [porno] video. Her breasts protruded out, her butt almost completely showed . . . she wore hooker boots . . . and danced like she was in a strip club . . .
--"Beyoncé was dancing in a stripper-like provocative way in erotica fashion, opening her legs multiple times right in the cameras so we could see her crotch in tight leather undergarments."
--"There is NO REASON whatsoever for pelvic thrust dancing on national television . . . ever, much less by scantily clad women."
--"The commercial with the old people making out & the old guy plastering his chest on the window of the restaurant was uncomfortable . . . another channel changer."
--"If this performance was family-friendly, why not allow it for the Presidential Inauguration festivities?"
More are posted here if you'd like to read them
I never finished watching "Lost" when it was on TV. I watched the first two or three seasons, caught a few episodes here and there over the next couple seasons, and then kinda moved on to other things. I always wanted to watch the whole thing, so my sweet baby has been picking up the DVDs when he sees them at resale shops and whatnot, and we've been making our way through the episodes. (One day we'll get through the whole series, bur we're in no hurry.) I'm sure that you, like me, have questions when you watch a TV show or movie - there are always discrepancies and odd things that you see that can't be explained, or where someone made a mistake in editing. One of the glaring errors that comes to mind is in "Pretty Woman" when Julia Roberts is wearing Richard Gere's shirt and eating breakfast in the hotel room and they show her eating a croissant, then when they cut to her again, it's a pancake. That stuff cracks me up, because you know that hundreds, even thousands, of people watched the scene and nobody caught it. I love that stuff. There's even a website devoted to this kind of error - Movie Mistakes - and you can search by title and see how many problems there are in each one.
My issues with "Lost" aren't really mistakes, they are observations, and they have nothing to do with the subject matter of the show, they have to do with pretty basic stuff. Maybe you had the same thoughts too?
*How come the women don't have hairy legs and underarms? I know some of the gals got to shower and clean up in the hatch, but not all of them made it there, and surely they didn't all have laser hair removal before their trip. And their eyebrows are always perfect. For that matter, how come all the guys didn't look like Grizzly Adams?
*Why didn't everyone who wasn't allowed into the hatch make a fuss? If there was a place to relax, out of the elements, with water and bathrooms and a kitchen, you can bet your butt that I'd be all up in someone's face about getting in there.
*Bathrooms - why are toilet issues never addressed? There were a lot of people on that beach....that's a lot of doody. Did they dig a latrine somewhere and I missed it?
*They're on what appears to be a tropical island. Why are people wearing long pants, warm-up jackets and long sleeved shirts?
*How come nobody ever had a sunburn?
*Why did the women continue to wear earrings and other jewelry? It was hot and sweaty and dirty, and that's usually one of the first things I dispense with when I'm working in the yard or at the beach. These people were cooking and cleaning and building crap and still wanted to accessorize.
*And then there's this:
Yesterday, on the WSFL Facebook page, we posted this:
Wow, that sure did bring back some memories. I used to sit in my room (I loved being sent to my room. My Mom sometimes punished me by telling me that I COULDN'T go to my room!) and read and listen to the radio. Living in Michigan, I could pick up stations out of Canada, and one of my favorites was an AM station, CKLW, out of Windsor. They had a countdown show in the evening, I think it was on a weekend, and I would write down every single song and what number it was in the countdown, because at the end, they would tell you to be caller eleventy billion and identify song #84 to win a prize. Sadly, the line was always busy - I got through one time, but I wasn't the right caller....sigh. I had a stack of notebooks filled with song titles and artists that sat on my desk. And yes, I would record all of my favorite songs on cassettes.
Last night I went home and rooted around in my stuff and found not one, but two, boxes of cassettes and various other bits and pieces of whatnot. Tons of tapes of my old radio shows - some from my very first paid gig on a dawn to dusk AM classic country station. Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Loretta Lynn, yep, I played them all, and it was the only time I worked a format other than rock. I even have the tape of my first big interview:
While I didn't find any of the tapes I recorded from the radio, (they are in my house somewhere - maybe that's a weekend treasure hunt project), I did find old radio photos, thank you notes from artists I played, old direct mail pieces from radio stations I worked at, signed photos and posters, and all kinds of cassettes that I collected over the years. Here's one box:
Great memories, and yes, I do still have a boom box with dual cassettes, so I was able to entertain myself for quite a while last night! I found some pretty unexpected things too, like comedy tapes from Steve Martin, Kip Addotta, Ray Stevens and Weird Al. My musical tastes mostly ran to rock with one or two surprises.
See, here you've got your VH, Foghat, Marianne Faithful, Alvin Lee, The Doors, Amboy Dukes, Don Henley, (ah, "Building the Perfect Beast", how I love "A Month of Sundays"), Janis Joplin, Loverboy, Johnny Paycheck ("Take This Job and Shove It" - hell yeah!), Journey, Trapeze. Holy cow - who else has a Trapeze cassette? Who else has a Trapeze anything??? But this, this right here.....cracked me up:
There's been a lot of talk about the airline industry lately, especially with the news that US Air and American might be merging, and the issues with the Dreamliner. I read some commentary online the other day about whether reclining seats should be banned from airplanes, and the writer said that is absolutely should, because the minor comfort it gives to the person reclining isn't enough to cancel out the major discomfort to the person sitting in the seat behind you. If the person in front of you reclines, then in order to have more room, you have to recline your seat, as does the person behind you, and so on....kinda like dominos. After flying to Michigan this past weekend, and having someone practically in my lap for a good portion of one flight, I would have to agree. In fact, there are a lot of folks who could use some air travel etiquette, so please, allow me to provide it, along with some basic observations.
*Before you travel, please shower, or at least investigate whether or not you smell funky, and then do something about it. Do not cover up your funk with cologne or perfume and call it good, because then you just smell like a funky flower. And along the funky lines - funky smelling food isn't the best thing to bring on the plane either.
*If you haven't flown before, or don't do it often, it might be wise to read up on what you can and can't take through security. Helpful info can be found on the airline/airport/travel booking website or by reading the 8 zillion signs posted everywhere in the airport or by listening to the TSA people who keep repeating instructions that you obviously have disregarded as you try to get through screening with a full bottle of water that you just bought before entering the screening line.
*Please keep track of your stuff while you are in the waiting area, and by stuff, I mostly mean your kids. Yes, it is a "secure" area, but that shouldn't lull you into such a false sense of security that you are comfortable letting your sticky 3 year old roam freely amongst other passengers, far away from where you are trying to take a catnap. Oh, and if your child is wearing a diaper, please, for the love of all that's holy, don't flip your kid onto the carpet and change that very aromatic diaper in the aforementioned waiting area where there are many other people who don't find your kid's "poopy" the least bit entertaining. They actually have changing tables in the restroom for that exact purpose. (Someone did this in Atlanta while I was waiting for my flight...ugh)
*Once on the plane, feel free to do as the flight crew says: "relax and enjoy your flight". Don't bounce around in your seat. Sleep, read, listen to music on your iPad, chat quietly with your traveling companion....don't keep wiggling and jiggling your seat - in case you hadn't noticed, they are all connected. And every time you bounce around, that tray table attached to the back of your seat bounces too, making it very difficult for the person behind you to keep their 17 airline peanuts on that tiny airline cocktail napkin...and don't get me started on how many times the little plastic beverage cup almost tips over every time you move.
*If you are in the back of the plane, please take your bag to the back of the plane with you and stow it back there. Don't jam your bag into the overhead bin at row 3 when you are sitting in row 37.
*What is the story with the priority boarding line? Elite flyers, first class, etc, get to board first from the right hand side of the velvet rope. Everyone else boards from the left hand side of the rope. The only difference I see between these lines is that on the right, there is a welcome mat. Does this mean that people on the left side are not welcome?
*Why do they board the front of the plane first? Wouldn't it make more sense to board from the back and move forward? This way, the people in rows 1-25 wouldn't get smacked in the head, knee and arm as overloaded passengers make their way down the aisle. Boarding sure would go more quickly. Of course, the first class passengers, (you know, the ones who get to walk on the welcome mat), would have to wait and we can't have that.
*Please put the armrest down. Unless you are sitting next to someone you know, that little armrest is all that separates us from total chaos. It's the border between my seat and your seat, and should be patrolled by the military.
*Be nice to others. Everyone wants to get where they're going in a hurry. Everyone is just as tired, excited, hungry and uncomfortable as you are. Act right.
*The airplane is not the place to take a stand with your kid. If little Bobby, Billy or Tiffany wants to go to the bathroom when Mommy goes, then take them with you. The rest of us don't want to hear you explaining for nine minutes why they can't go, what you're going to give them if they stay in the seat, or what's going to happen if they don't listen, only to be subjected to their wails the entire time that you are gone. Save the lessons for your next trip to Walmart.
So....there you have it, just a few observations and suggestions for your next plane trip. Reminds me of a great Bill Cosby bit from "Himself" - please enjoy, and thanks for flying Miller Time Airways!
I never cease to be amazed by the talent and creativity of artists of all kinds. The brilliant musicians whose melodies and lyrics inspire us, keep us company and remind us of people, places and things in our past blow me away. A sculptor who can look at clay or marble and see it come to life in his or her mind baffles me. People who design jewelry and clothes and furniture, geez I envy their abilities. And of course, painters and street artists, especially the ones that are unexpected and that you can watch while they do their thing. I came across just one of these individuals the other day and I wanted to share it with you. (Actually, my spouse like companion/boyfriend/love of my life/gentleman friend showed me this first video...just to give credit where credit is due. See blog post from 1-31-13 if you're wondering why I call my man such a funny name) Enjoy!
Next we move on to some pretty impressive 3D art
And finally...whenever you go to a big city you always see the spray paint artists out on the street
There were several good commercials during the game on Sunday, but one of the commercials really hit home with me because I had a similar experience. Did you see the Tide commercial? Check it out, then I'll explain:
Several years ago I was home for Christmas, and my Mom came up with the most excellent gift ever. Knowing what a huge Detroit Red Wings fan I am, she wanted to get me something special, and she sure did. When I tore into one of my presents, nestled there inside the box was a Steve Yzerman game jersey!!!! Are you freaking kidding me??? They are sooooo expensive! Mom said she had a story to tell me about how she got it. She had a friend who knew someone that worked in the Wings locker room, and that someone managed to snag this jersey, and he then gave it to his buddy, who then gave it to my Mom to give to me. Incredible! I was so excited, examining every inch of this jersey that had been worn by the one and only Steve Yzerman. Mom then said "There is one thing honey, and I'm really sorry about it, I hope you'll still like it after I tell you this. There's a stain on it." Yep, sure enough, a stain there on the front, near the bottom, which I inspected. Mom said "I guess Steve Yzerman got hit in the face and he wiped the blood on his jersey right there, and boy, did I really have to scrub to get the blood off." NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I had Steve Yzerman's DNA and my amazing, wonderful mother scrubbed it away! I love you, Mom. (You can still kinda see the stain there between the logo and the red border at the bottom)
I need a better word for "boyfriend". Whenever I introduce my "boyfriend" to people, I feel like I'm 16 years old and wearing his class ring. I worked at a place where we used "SLC" for "spouse like companion", and at a recent get together, I used that term and someone living an alternative lifestyle said "hey, I have one of those too!", so I wondered if maybe people thought I was riding sidesaddle when I said it. (Sidebar: I don't have any issues with people who choose an alternative lifestyle, and I am cool if they wanna get married. As a comedian once said, "why should heterosexual couples be the only ones who have miserable marriages?") Using the word "partner" sounds like we're gonna play some doubles on the tennis court later, or we're going into business together. "Domestic partner" is even worse....ugh.
A guy I worked with once introduced his girlfriend as his lover - he actually said "this is my lover, Amber" or whatever her name was. That just sounded odd to me. The word "beau" sounds too old-fashioned, as does "gentleman friend" - after all, it's not the 1940s, and "significant other" is too dry. I must confess that yapping with some of the gals here at the station, I have, on occasion, referred to my boyfriend as "my meat", which, yes, is very sexist, but kinda fun to say when you're among friends. It is not, however, the way I would choose to introduce my boyfriend at events and whatnot. Just saying "this is my man" also seems uncomfortable to me, and a strange way to introduce someone. Somtimes I find myself saying "this is my sweet baby", and I feel pretty okay with that, but it still seems like there should be a better term. On more than one occasion I've just gone with "have you met Kevin?", and let people assume what they will. Got a suggestion? Email it to me and I'll trot it out and see how it feels.
I love hockey. (I know that here in the South I am in the minority, but I have been chipping away at a few people here and there! C'mon, we've even got the Canes in Raleigh!) I was pretty bummed when the season was on hold, but have been catching games when I can since the boys got back on the ice. Why do I love hockey? There are so many reasons:
Half my family is from Canada - a love of hockey is in the water in the Great White North, and being from Michigan, which is practically a Canadian territory, it's what we do during the winter.
I ice-skated when I was growing up, and I tried to play hockey (I sucked). I think playing a sport makes you more inclined to enjoy watching it as well. If you've never put on a pair of skates, you really have no appreciation for how difficult it is, and these guys get up to something like 30mph when they're out there playing. And they're handling a stick and trying to hit a puck the size of a Copenhagen tin. And they're getting shoved and hit by other guys with sticks.
I watched hockey on TV with my Grandpa when I was little. In fact, he took me to a game, and took me down to the ice afterwards so I could touch it. Great memory. Watching hockey was also something I could do with my Dad, who most likely wished I was boy.....he taught me to throw a football, play catch, shoot a gun.
There are fights. In almost every single game. With blood. Yay! (Geez, I sound like a psycho)
These guys get paid less than athletes in pretty much every other pro sport, and honestly, I think they get beat up the most. (Discounting people who actually fight for a living, like boxers and whatnot)
There is always action on the ice. The game moves fast and the score can change in a matter of minutes. (Yes, I know, basketball moves quickly too, but there's hardly ever any blood)
A hockey player will take a 80, 90 or 100 mph slapshot to the face, get up, and continue to play.
How about a couple videos to show you what makes me love it?
Here's a compilation of some great hockey fights
The 1980 Olympic hockey "Miracle on Ice"
I love to read the Sunday New York Times - the actual paper, not an online version. I love to kick back on the couch with my tea and just page through it. The travel section makes me dream of amazing vacations in far off places, Chuck Klosterman's advice column makes me laugh, the fashion section has me saying "WTF?" and I always get a kick out of the penthouse apartments for sale for a zillion dollars. By far though, my favorite part of the paper is the marriage/wedding announcements. (No, it's not a girly girl thing, it's pretty funny!)
Anyone can send an announcement to the paper for publication...BUT....their policy states that they only have limited space, so they can't print every single one. (In my mind, this means they read through all of them and find only the uber-snootiest, which must be tough, because most of them are so bluebooded that they're practically royalty. Either that, or some money is changing hands somewhere down the line to get little Winnie's wedding into the paper.) I read an announcement this past Sunday that absolutely cracked me up, and I wish I'd saved it, but I think it went into the recycle bin before I decided that I needed to keep it. Let me see if I can explain it to you, or at least, the parts I remember.
Included in the announcement were the dates and names and whatnot of the marriage, along with the very important information that the bride would hyphenate her name. The column (and yes, it was more like a column than an announcement, it ran forever) also included the bride's entire school and work history (and I don't mean, that she went and that she works....I mean all of it, kinda surprised they didn't include her salary and how much is in her 401k); where the bride's parents went to school and worked (and yes, they were scientists or CEOs of a think tank or some such nonsense); the fact that the bride's grandfather was a judge, and where he presided (Should I be impressed? Um, not yet); and the fact that the bride's great-grandfather was a US ambassador to somewhere or other. (After reading this pedigree, I felt like someone should be showing the bride at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show...oh my, look at her papers! Bet they can hardly wait to breed her!) This nonsense was followed by the groom's important info, which was not nearly as officious as his bride's, but high mucky muck for sure. (I am guessing that this couple was not registered at Target....just a guess.)
Best part of the whole announcement? After all of that "look at the station in life that we've achieved", the very last sentence....of the entire announcement.....separated by a space....as a stand alone....."The groom's first marriage ended in divorce". (Seriously? This is how the new couple chose to close out their wedding announcement, the celebration notification of their happy and never-ending, till death do us part union in a major newspaper? By talking about the last time the dude got married and what happened then? I wonder if this is how the ceremony ended too?
No matter what kind of person you are, you like candy. Even grouchy mean-spirited horrible people like candy. People who don't, or aren't allowed to eat candy, still have a favorite candy. I don't care who ya are, there is a candy out there that you crave at some point. The ones I think about most are always the ones that are hard to find, or aren't made anymore. I used to love Choc-o-lite bars....and now they have these Aero chocolate bars, but dammit, they aren't the same!!
Slo-pokes? Hell yeah! They actually don't make them on a stick anymore, but you can buy a bar, which sure does make it a lot less fun. Geez, I tore up my teeth on those things. Pop Rocks have made a bit of a comeback, you see them on store shelves at various places. Razzles can be found....I never chewed it as gum, I ate it like candy....probably bad for me, but when you're talking about candy, what isn't? Always loved Zotz and I found these at Neuse Sport Shop of all places! (Sidebar - I need a new desk)
Sixlets!!! Oh, they were delicious! Wax bottles with that sugar water stuff inside, loved them, even the wax! And of course wax lips and teeth and whatever else they could make out of wax. Rock candy on a stick or a string. Bit-o-honey....the whole bar with each section wrapped in paper, not those tiny individually wrapped pieces you see now in the bulk candy section. Freshen-up gum always kinda flipped me out, but it was so "holy cow...there's liquid in the middle, you guys!" when it first came out. Candy cigarettes rocked before it became a no-no for kids to even pretend they were smoking. Willy Wonka candy - there's still some out there, but I crave Peanut Butter Oompas, and no, I won't settle for Reeses Pieces and I don't want the fruit chew Skittle type Oompas they made later. Sigh.
There are some stores that still sell classic candy, and some websites that you can visit too:
And wouldn't it be nice, if, when you did finally find your favorite childhood candy, it tasted just as good as you remembered?
The children from Sandy Hook Elementary are going back to school today, their first day back since the tragedy in Newtown on December 14. I can't even imagine how the parents of those children feel, hugging and kissing their kids goodbye this morning, and sending them off to class, but a return to "normalcy" has to be attempted. The kids will be attending a different school, Chalk Hill Middle School, in a nearby town, which has been fixed up with their old desks and other furniture, items that were left behind, like backpacks and coats, and even the school's pet turtle. Teachers and other staffers worked over the break to decorate the new school, and make it as welcoming as possible for the kids, and of course, extra security measures are in place. The old school remains a crime scene, and is still being investigated. I wonder what will happen to that building once the investigation is complete? Certainly they can't continue to use it as a school, can they? I know that at Columbine, they have a memorial library that replaced the one where most of the horrific acts occurred in 1999. What DO you do with buildings where unspeakable tragedies happened?
A reopening is happening this month at the movie theater in Aurora, where a mass shooting happened on July 20. That theater has been renovated and revamped, and is set to open on January 17, with a "special evening of remembrance", followed by a movie. (What movie could they possibly show after a solemn event like that??? Nothing with violence, not a comedy; I have no idea what they could put on the screen that would NOT make me uncomfortable.) I understand that business is business, and life goes on, but the theater apparently sent invitations to families of the massacre victims offering them free tickets for the reopening, which I personally feel was incredibly insensitive.....okay, actually what I said out loud was something that company policy forbids me from writing here. The families are outraged about the invitations, (as well they should be) and while a survey of citizens in Aurora found that a majority wanted the theater reopened, I honestly don't think that I could go there if I lived in that town. You can read the story here, and the response of the victims' families.
A few observations on Christmas.....
*I am constantly amazed at the inappropriate times and places that people choose to use their phones. I was at church on Christmas Eve and the guy sitting next to me was texting during the service. I am an admitted smartphone-aholic, but even I left my phone in the car. The disrespect of some individuals just blows my mind. BE WHERE YOU ARE AND BE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THERE WITH YOU.
*Isn't it awkward when someone gets you a gift and you have nothing for them? Or what about when they totally go over the top and get you something fabulous and you present them with a plate of cookies. I know it's the thought that counts, but it's uncomfortable when one party seems to be thinking a lot more thoughts than the other.
*I always laugh when I send a Christmas card to someone, then get one back from them much later. I imagine that they are annoyed to have to waste a card on me when they hadn't planned on it. "Damn, she sent me a card....honey, do we have any cards left? Do I still have time to get it to her before Christmas?"
*I want to eat gingerbread cookies all year, not just in December.
*I was shopping and saw special gift boxes of deodorant and laughed hysterically. Seriously, who would buy that as a gift? This has never been on my Christmas list. My Mom sent two deodorant sticks for my Christmas stocking this year. They were my brand and I think she had a coupon. (I bought her some toilet bowl deodorizers. Hey, she asked for them! The stores where she lives don't carry the ones she likes)
*I didn't see "The Year Without A Santa Claus" this year!!!!! Or "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"! Or "A Dog named Christmas"! How did I miss Heat and Snow Miser?????
*How long after Christmas do most people leave their tree up? This morning my boyfriend asked if he should take the tree down, or if we were gonna do it this weekend. I gave a noncommittal answer. When I got out of the shower, the decorations were in their boxes and he was dragging the tree out back. Goodbye till next year, Christmas.
Watching the Hurricane Sandy benefit concert I was struck by the thought that whenever a disaster strikes, one of the first things people seem to think of is music, and holding a benefit show. It's a great way to collect donations and raise awareness, but music also has the power to bring people together and help them heal. It creates unity. We come together in our love and appreciation of something much bigger than ourselves, something all-inclusive. The equal rights demonstrations were always accompanied by music; weddings and funerals use music to celebrate and to mourn; the military has their marches; church has hymns. Almost every event in your life (and mine) is marked by a certain song, a favorite tune, that brings back memories. Sitting in the studio every day, I sometimes forget what a powerful force music is, and how it can change the way a person is feeling or what they're thinking about. Requests come in for a particular song and the person calling for it wants to hear it because: it gets me pumped up; I'm having a bad day and it'll make me feel better; it was a certain person's favorite; it's a dedication to my significant other; and the list of reasons goes on and on. Music is a great motivator, and it can sum up the emotions that you're feeling without you ever having to say a word. (Remember the old mix tapes you used to make?!) How many times have you been driving and that ONE song comes on the radio and changes your whole frame of mind? For me, there's a special memory associated with so many tunes, especially within the format of WSFL, where the songs and artists are some of the greatest of all time. They're not disposable, like so many of the artists of today - they are timeless jewels, associated with the highest (and sometimes the lowest) points of my life.
Tis the season, and I'm trying hard to get in the Christmas spirit, but it's tough this year, because I won't be going home for Christmas. This will be the first time in about 20 years that I haven't spent Christmas at my Mom's house, and it's gonna be weird for sure. I've delayed my trip till February because airfare is outrageously expensive this year, and my Grandma turns 100 in February (holy cow - 100!) and I want to be there for her big bash, so I think I have valid reasons to stay in NC for Christmas this year, but that doesn't make it any easier. We have special Christmas traditions in my family, I guess everyone does, and I will miss those. One of my favorites, from when I was a little girl, is that we open our cards first on Christmas morning, and everyone reads their card....out loud....as loudly as they can.....at the same time. I think that tradition dates back to an old SNL skit, "The Loud Family", but it's our tradition now, and it always cracks me up. Wonder if it will be just as funny on Skype on Christmas morning? Better yet, I wonder if I can teach my Mom how to use Skype before Christmas morning? How many days till Christmas? Hmmmm...probably not gonna happen.....
I love a good chocolate milkshake. You can't get one just anywhere, and the best one I've ever had comes from G.D. Ritzy's in Evansville, Indiana. Maybe it's the homemade ice cream they use, maybe it's the kind of chocolate syrup, maybe it's the old timey style blender....I don't know how they do it, but it is the BEST milkshake on the planet. I crave these things, and whenever I visit my best friend, she knows that we must make at least one, if not multiple, visits to G.D. Ritzy's. I've tried tons of shakes from other places in tons of states, and nothing even comes close. Why I am writing about milkshakes? Well, it's because of a TV commercial I saw recently for a place that was featuring a chocolate chip milkshake. Why???? I have an issue with this. A milkshake is a drink that you sip through a straw - when I order a milkshake, it is because I want to drink it, not eat it. Ice cream with chocolate chips is a nice frosty cold treat to eat with a spoon, or on a cone.....but when I order a milkshake, I am not in the mood to chew. (Call me lazy if you want, but this is serious) I don't want fruit or chocolate chips or anything else that's lumpy and chewable in my milkshake. Maybe I'm a milkshake purist. I gotta tell ya, I feel the same way about jello. I love the texture and smoothness of jello, and why anyone thinks that they can make it better with clumps of banana and whatnot is beyond me. When I see a jello mold filled with fruit and whatever else the creative cook thought would be fun to throw in, it just makes me cringe and all I can think of is Aunt Bethany's jello mold from "Christmas Vacation".
I lost a friend this week. He and I worked together for over six years. It was my first programming gig, and he helped me get through it, patiently answering my questions, and letting me vent about this or that. He was a great programmer, good to his employees, easy to work with and talk to, very laid back and friendly. I hadn't actually spoken to, or seen him in person in a long time, but we were friends on Facebook, and shared some messages and silly little things over the years. Like many others, I was shocked and heartbroken to learn that he took his own life, and I can't stop thinking about him. He was running two radio stations, married, kids, and outwardly nothing seemed to indicate that anything like this might happen. But then, having been down this road before with someone else in my life, that seems to be the case more often than not.
Everyone has tough times - when they're unemployed, lonely, sick, scared, depressed - but I am trying to imagine the complete and utter lack of any HOPE that would lead a person to think that this was the only way to stop the pain. I know that the holiday season is a particularly difficult time for many people, and I've spent holidays alone in cities where I didn't know anyone and didn't have anywhere to go, far from my family. The truth is, there is always someone who will listen, who will be with you, who will help...always. If you think that nobody cares or nobody will miss you, you are mistaken. You have touched someone's life, even if it's in some small way....and your absence will be felt. If you think that the world will be better off without you, let me assure you that it will not. If I can help, if you need someone to talk to, please call me in the studio, 252-633-1065. Email me - I check my emails even when I am not at the station, firstname.lastname@example.org. Call and talk to someone that understands what you are going through: http://www.suicidehotlines.com/northcarolina.html
You are needed and cared for, you are valued, there is worth to your life.
Rest well, Mark
Happy Halloween!! Yes, it's a fun holiday. No, I'm not dressing up. I admire the creativity and the planning that people put into their costumes, but before I got into radio I worked in a bar and we had weekly theme nights during summer and I had my fill of beach night, pajama night, 80s night, hippie night, bikini night, toga night and every other kinda night you can think of. When you hafta dress up for work on a regular basis, Halloween loses its luster.
I did love to dress up as a kid. I was a ballerina, a vampire, a cowgirl, an indian, a bellydancer, a beauty queen, a pumpkin, a bookend (don't ask) and my Mom could probably tell you about all my other costumes which have either been forgotten or blanked out for some reason. I do remember trick or treating with my Mom when I was little - we lived with my grandparents and went all over the neighborhood; we knew everyone because my grandparents owned a soda fountain/five and dime store that everyone visited. My Mom would follow along behind me with a pen and notepad as I went up to yell "trick or treat" and get my candy. As soon as I came back to the sidewalk, Mom would write down what I got and the address I got it from. This way, if I ate something that killed me, she would know where it came from. Now that I think about it, it seems kinda like closing the barn door after the horse gets out....I mean, I'd be dead, right? But I did get all kinds of candy, plus popcorn balls, cupcakes, candy apples (not caramel, but the real deal, the kind you break your teeth on) and all sorts of homemade goodies. Back then it was pretty common to get stuff like that since we knew everyone on our block and several blocks over. Today if someone gave a kid something that wasn't hermetically sealed, that someone would probably be reported to the cops and/or taken out back and pummeled about the head and neck. (Sidebar - do kids still trick or treat for UNICEF? I remember I did that one year, and collected several dollars in change. I was impressed that people would give me money, and thought it was hilarious when they had to scramble for change instead of the candy in the bowl at the front door. I did miss the candy that year though.) And as for trick or treating in the old neighborhood? I doubt anyone does it anymore.....my grandparents lived just off the infamous 8 Mile Rd outside of Detroit. You saw the movie, right?
How many more weeks till the election? I don't think I can take much more of the lying, the fingerpointing, the waffling, the name calling....it's just plain exhausting! And the debates, good grief, can't anyone answer a question? I am not sure that any candidate, anywhere, can actually give a clear answer on anything. I think it may be impossible for them to say "yes" or "no" or give a simple answer that people can understand and that actually answers the question posed to them. You could ask the President "Mr. Obama, is the sky blue?", and this is the response you would get:
Look.....(long pause).....there are a lot of different shades of blue. You've got navy, powder, slate, cornflower, midnight and more and I don't think that we, as a country, should differentiate between shades of blue.....they're all the same, they're all blue, just as we are all Americans. We are all entitled to a blue sky, regardless of the shade of blue, and when I took office I made the promise that we would all be able to enjoy a blue sky, and while we have had some sunny days, our work isn't finished, my work isn't finished. We still have 18% of days in the calendar year without blue skies, but we're on the right path, and my goal over the next four years will be to ensure that everyone gets to see a blue sky. Let me be clear.....(pause).....my sky policy will make it possible for everyone to see a blue sky, yes, there will be blue skies, but it's gonna take us a little while longer to get there.
And of course, you'd have to ask the same question of Mitt Romney, and this would be his rebuttal:
The President would have you believe that everyone is entitled to a blue sky, but 47% of the people in this country don't care if the sky is blue or not. If you work your whole life, looking for blue skies, you have that goal, and you get there and the sun is shining and the sky is blue, the President would tell you that everyone else should be able to sit back and relax and enjoy that blue sky with you. I think the real question here is, is the sky bluer than it was four years ago?
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE JUST ANSWER A QUESTION?
What is going on with the airlines??? As if air travel isn't nerve-wracking enough with the TSA, high prices, delays, lost baggage and missed connections....now we have to contend with craziness like this, from NBC News:
"On Saturday AND yesterday, American Airlines flights to Miami had ROWS OF SEATS come LOOSE during the flights and start sliding around the plane. Both flights made safe emergency landings. The sliding seats were blamed on subcontractors who didn't properly reattach the seats after maintenance."
Seriously? Are you kidding me? Some people blame things like this on pilots and flight attendants who deliberately tinker with stuff just enough to create an issue that costs the airline money in order to protest their own pay cuts and long hours - I don't know if that's the case in this situation, or if it's just one of those urban myths, but it certainly doesn't inspire confidence in the mind of the traveler.
Remember when air travel was a luxury? When it was a big deal to fly anywhere? People were dressed properly, (not in flip flops and pajamas), and were excited to head to the airport, where they were treated with respect and made comfortable in every possible way. Ah yes, the good old innocent days....real silverware, real hot food, an actual glass....and not just in first class. No charges for window seats, no baggage fees, bringing your own beverage into the airport and onto the plane.....but since 9/11 and the economic downturn those days are long gone.
Although there aren't many things worse than being stuck on a plane near an child who screams at the top of their lungs for the entire flight, I must applaud a couple who brought their tiny twins on board a recent flight with bags of candy and a note for all the other passengers - what a thoughtful and creative gesture.
Don't believe everything you read. Especially on the internet. (I know, you're reading THIS on the internet, so chances are it is full of lies, half-truths, made-up crap and incorrect information.) I get email from tons of people every day, and with the political season as hot as the surface of the sun right now, more and more ridiculous stories are making their way around the world wide web of misinformation, being forwarded by people to everyone in their address book and posted to every Facebook page ever created. Sometimes the stories sound as if they could be true, and a lot of times they are started with a grain of truth, then spun into wild fantasies to suit someone's agenda.
It all reminds me of that game you played when you were a kid....the one where you whisper something in someone's ear, then they have to repeat it to the person next to them, and it continues down the line until the last person repeats the line aloud and it is totally different than the original line. Or the alternate version of that game, where, as the line is being repeated, each person adds something to it until it becomes a huge story that could well be the plot of a new movie starring Hugh Jackman and Jessica Alba.
It can happen so easily. Things get taken out of context, or in the course of a statement being passed from one person to another something changes, just one word or phrase can make the difference. Anything that isn't directly heard from the source, but is read on a web page, in an email or on FB or Twitter has the potential to be misinterpreted because you lose inflection in your tone. I have had people respond to an email that I sent saying "you're being sarcastic, right?" because it's really hard to convey that in an email.
Consider the source. Investigate. Think for yourself.
If I ever have a country I will call it Norwegia. I think it's odd that people from Norway are called Norwegians. Wouldn't it be easier to call them Norrs or the old timey Norse or Norwayans? Where did that letter "g" come from? It bugs me.(Seriously, this stuff keeps me up at night.) And the Netherlands, what do they have going on? They call themselves Dutch. Argh! People from the Philippines are Filipino, which makes no sense at all - it's not even the same freaking spelling! Here in NC we are North Carolinians, pretty easy...Virginians, Texans, Floridians...all simple. There are other states that I can't quite figure out. What do you call someone from Wyoming? The rumor is Wyomingite...that's just uncomfortable to say. That stupid "g" pops up again for Iowa - some say Iowegian, (um, eww) and some say Iowan. Would you like to be a Kansan? No, thank you. And how about Indiana? I lived there for a while, and I was a Hoosier. It was kinda cool to have a nickname like that, but what's it all about? The term Hoosier has been around since the 1800s, and nobody seems to really know where it came from. Some definitions: hill people (have they ever been to IN? Not really all that hilly), boat people (c'mon!), followers of a religious leader named Hoosier (maybe), a form of "who's there" (actually pretty funny), and the ever trustworthy Wikipedia says: In other parts of the country, the word has been adapted to other uses. In St. Louis, Missouri, the word is used in a derogatory fashion similar to "hick" or "white trash". "Hoosier" also refers to the cotton-stowers, both black and white, who move cotton bales from docks to the holds of ships, forcing the bales in tightly by means of jackscrews. A low-status job, it nevertheless is referred to in various sea shanty lyrics. Shanties from the Seven Seas includes lyrics that mention hoosiers. Hoosier at times can also be used as a verb describing the act of tricking or swindling someone. Okay, maybe not so cool to be a Hoosier after all.
At any rate, these words to describe citizens of a state, city, country, whatever, are called demonyms. I hope they don't invade your sleep as they do mine. Damn you people from Switzerland, I love your cheese, but why are you Swiss and not Switzerlandians?
I hate politics. I think I have mentioned that fact at least once in previous blogs. To think that 99% of the politicians out there have any clue about the daily life that you and I lead is just ridiculous....and I'm talking about politicians at a national level, not the small town mayor who lives in your neighborhood, he or she probably does shop at Walmart and worry about paying the electric bill. The presidential election is still months away and I am already beyond sick of both candidates. If I have to see or hear one more mud slinging, finger-pointing ad I might lose my lunch or breakfast or my mind. As soon as something, anything, comes out of one candidate's mouth, the other candidate has latched on to it and turned it against them, in many cases taking it out of context, using a short portion of a comment, or otherwise twisting it into something else entirely. STOP TELLING ME WHY THE OTHER GUY SUCKS AND TELL ME WHY YOU DO NOT. I don't really care what you think about the other guy....I already know you don't like him, you're running against him for crying out loud. Obviously you and your people aren't going to say nice things about your competition for the highest job in all the land. Please just tell me why you should have that job.....what are your qualifications, what are your plans, are you wearing boxers or briefs? Be a human being and not a political machine, if that's even possible. Talk about yourself and give me reasons to believe in YOU; stop looking for reasons for me to hate the other guy. Oh, and another thing.....I don't give a rat's ass who your celebrity endorsers are. I might buy clothes or drinks, try vitamins or other random stuff based on what someone I admire says about it, but when it comes to my one vote, it is my decision and nobody else's. My opinions and beliefs are my own, and there isn't anyone else that feels the exact same way that I do. I think Jon Bon Jovi is smokin' hot, and I'd snap him like a twig, but the fact that he supports Obama means less than zero to me...it has nothing to do with Jon's hotness level or singing ability. The two are separate. Dave Mustaine recently ranted at a show in Singapore against Obama and accused him of being behind the shootings in Aurora and that Sikh temple, and said maybe he would move to Singapore. Hey Dave, you're a great guitar player, but you're a fruitbat. Pack your crap and go, that's cool.....doesn't make you any less of a great guitar player, and I still love to crank "Symphony of Destruction".
Every time the Olympics roll around I always wonder who will be watching? Do people still care? Will I be watching? The answer is YES YES YES! When I was growing up it was always a huge deal to get the family together, have friends come over and watch the events. We talked about it for weeks before it started, we couldn't wait until the games came on the TV, and we talked about it for weeks afterward. It feels different to me now, because of the information overload and all the coverage you get online and every which way you turn. It's not until I start watching that I get swept up in the competition and the excitement, and hearing the stories of what these athletes go through to get to this level just blows my mind. (I will admit that I could do with a little less dressage....not so much handball....field hockey, really?.....and a few other sports that I personally don't find all that enthralling, but I still find myself watching)
There was a rower, I can't remember his name or even what country he was from....and he had never competed in the event before! Of course he finished last, as you would expect, but ya gotta give him credit for getting in the water. So many amazing stories - Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner", who had his legs amputated when he was young and now runs with special prosthetics; the table tennis player with one arm; the female weightlifter who has been living on $400 a month while training for the games. These people are living their dreams against enormous odds, working harder than you and I could ever imagine, and seeing someone who has thought about this and worked towards it since they were a kid stepping up on the podium to receive a medal just gives me goosebumps. I am not so impressed with watching Venus and Serena Williams or our basketball team.....people who have every possible advantage and zillions of dollars to train with don't move me when it comes to the Olympic games....I love the stories!
By the way.....why are we having the Olympic Summer Games in a country that doesn't really have a summer?
The Who is bringing Quadrophenia to the Greensboro Coliseum on November 9th! (I saw this tour in 1996...absolutely amazing) I've heard a couple people say "aw, it's not really The Who..." and I find this interesting. Technically they're right...it's only Roger and Pete, but if we're being honest, how many classic rock bands are really who they say they are anymore? Skynyrd? Nope. KISS? Nope. Van Halen? Nope. Molly Hatchet, Boston, Journey, Styx, Marshall Tucker...the list goes and on. There are still some original line-ups out there, like ZZ Top, Aerosmith, a handful of others, but as the years go by we lose more and more of our rock stars (RIP Jon Lord), and some of them either can't do it anymore, or choose not to. I suppose the decision to see or not see a band in it's current form depends on what's important to you. Do you just want to hear the songs? As long as the lead singer is the same it's okay? Everyone is motivated and moved by music and bands for a different reason. With the passing of Jon Lord, and so many great rockers aging, it has me wondering....which bands are gonna step up and fill those rock star shoes? There are some great songs out there from "baby bands", but so many of them are nameless and faceless because people just don't seem to commit themselves to the music as you and I did in years past. It's too easy to download a song instead of buying the album...errr, um...CD. I loved listening to the whole album, studying the artwork, reading the liner notes.....I felt like I understood more about the band. I knew every band members name and what they looked like. I waited impatiently for the release date, waited in line to buy the album, to buy tickets to a show. So few bands today generate that sort of passion....
After some recent visits to the beach, I feel obligated to share some basic beach etiquette. I love going to the beach, and normally I can tune out pretty much anything, but over the past couple weeks I have seen and heard things that nobody should ever see or hear, so these are some tips that maybe you can share with beach offenders.
*Even though the beach is outside, please use your indoor voice when talking on the phone or to your friends. I don't need to know about your mental, marital or medical issues. (Separate rules apply to children - they have no filters)
*If it takes you longer to carry and unpack your coolers, umbrellas, tents, bags, towels, rafts, kites, beach chairs, lounge chairs, pails, shovels, skim boards, hats, footballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, badminton sets, frisbees, balls and gloves, water wings, boogie boards, surfboards, radios, cameras, iPods, end tables, pillows, flip flops, cover-ups and sunblock than it takes you to actually sit at the beach enjoy it....you have a problem and you may need to talk to a professional.
*If you bring electronics (camera, iPod, etc) to the beach, it is possible that your stuff may get wet and/or sandy. It's a beach - that means water and sand. Please don't complain about it - it was here before you got here, and you knew that when you decided to come here.
*When choosing a spot to set up your stuff, please make sure that your umbrella and/or tent don't cast shade on the people who are set up in your general area, and were set up before you got there. (I generally walk out a ways to find a quiet spot, and when there are yards and yards of open sand, please don't feel obligated to set up directly next to me - I'm probably not lonely. You will get the same view of the ocean from 10 or 20 feet away. This is the same phenomena that happens when you park far away in a lot, and even though there are a zillion parking spaces, someone pulls in right next to you and dings your door.)
*If you need to shake out your towel or blanket, please step away from populated areas. Just because it's called a sandwich doesn't mean it should actually have sand shaken on it. (Anything you bring to the beach DOES get sand on or in it, but natural transfer is different...and Mother Nature doesn't require your help)
*Control your stuff - the actual stuff you brought to the beach, as well as your kids and your dog. I enjoy the antics of both at the beach, but that doesn't mean I want them joining me on my beach towel. Well, maybe the dog....hee hee.
So, Roger Clemens has been found not guilty of lying to Congress during an investigation about steroid use in baseball. Guilt is not the issue for me regarding this story; the issue is why was Congress involved in Major League Baseball in the first place? The Federally Controlled Substances Act regulates the use of performance enhancing drugs and MLB was granted an exemption to anti-trust acts by the government, which means that the government has a right to investigate and try to curb the use of steroids and other drugs in baseball. I understand that they want to keep the game clean and that pro players are often emulated by kids, but seriously, doesn't Congress have bigger things to deal with? My guess would be YES, yes they do. I fail to see how the time and taxpayer dollars put into this issue over the years is of more benefit than using those resources to pay teachers, cops, firefighters or to try to improve the economy, address poverty, take care of veterans benefits....I could go on all day.
Father's Day is tough for me....I have no problem finding a gazillion things for Mother's Day, but Dad is a little tougher. Every year I stress over finding something cool and different for my Dad, he's just really tough to buy gifts for. I hate doing gift cards for family members and close friends, because I feel like the thought I put into the gift is actually PART of the gift. Finding the perfect thing for the perfect person is always my quest. If you need some unique Father's Day gift ideas, may I suggest:
The "Daddle". I'm not sure his BACK will appreciate this one, but the kids might like it: It's a saddle you wear so they can ride you like you're a horse without falling off.
"Star Wars" Ice Cubes. Ice cube trays that make exact replicas of R2-D2, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader's head, and Han Solo frozen in Carbonite. Each tray is $10.
A Branding Iron for the Grill. This is JUST the kind of stupid thing dads love: It's like what ranchers use to brand cattle, but it's for burgers and steaks. They cost $20 nad come in every letter from A to Z.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!
In memory of Captain John Michel Nash, and all who made the ultimate sacrifice. I honor you, and I thank you.
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE – KELLY STRONG
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.
With Mother's Day on Sunday, I've been reminiscing about my Mom and some of the funny memories I have of my childhood. My Mom always was, and still is, pretty entertaining....and whenever I see her I always ask "how am I going to know when you get senile? You're nuts now!".
My Mom is a big time country music fan (Dad was the rocker!) and some years ago she was very excited because some friends invited her to see Kenny Rogers. It was all she talked about for weeks. The day after the concert she was pretty bummed out, so I asked her if she'd had a good time. She said "No, he didn't play any of his hits...not The Gambler, not Lucille, not Lady...it was really disappointing...and it looked like he dyed his hair too". Odd.....I asked her if she had good seats, and she said they were kinda far away, and she handed me her ticket stub. I looked at it and said "Mom, you didn't hear any of Kenny Rogers' big hits because you went to see Kenny Loggins." I can't make this stuff up.
There was the year I wanted Meatloaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" for Christmas or my birthday or something, and when the holiday came and I didn't get it, my Mom felt she had to explain why. She said "I went to a bunch of different record stores and nobody had anything from a band called Meatballs". Seriously....not making it up.
The whole family went up north one winter, and we were walking through the woods in the snow all bundled up. Mom wandered away from Dad and I, then came rushing back all excited, yelling that she couldn't believe it, but she'd found some berries. She'd taken off her glove and was trying to warm them up in her hand so we could all try them. She held them out to Dad and he just looked disgusted and said "That's rabbit poop...frozen rabbit poop." It's amazing I survived my childhood without some sort of intestinal parasite.
I drove my Mom to very edge of madness when I was growing up, she even filled out paperwork to send me to a convent at one point....but I also laughed more with her and learned more from her (like what NOT to eat in the woods) than anyone else in my life.
Happy Mother's Day Mom - love ya!!!! ( And no, those don't go there.....)
Does this look like art to you???
Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, via Christie's
The reason I'm asking is because this painting, called "Orange, Red, Yellow" by Mark Rothko, is going up for auction and is expected to sell for $35-$45 million...yes, MILLION DOLLARS. To me, this looks like something a 2nd grader did in art class. Maybe I just can't appreciate fine art. I went to the Louvre some years ago, I saw the Mona Lisa, and I was equally unimpressed. (Actually, I thought it would be bigger - it's so small!) There were some amazing things in the Louvre, but there was a much larger number of paintings and whatnot that had me scratching my head, wondering why it was museum worthy and worth so much money. I don't think being old should necessarily translate to valuable, unless you're talking about my Grandma. I do like Monet - I have one of his water lilies prints hanging in my house because I find it calming to look at, but for the most part, the art I treasure most is personal. Photos of friends and family, photos of places that I've been, signed posters from bands - these are the things that are hanging on my walls. These things have value because the people or the places mean something to me, and when I see zillion dollar art or sculpture, it doesn't usually evoke any sort of emotion and I wonder why anyone would spend money on something like that.
Don't get me wrong - I love art - funky, quirky, unique art that's fun to look at. Weird lamps, handmade jewelry - I could drool over that all day. I guess I'm just missing the "fine art gene", and that's okay, because I don't have a "fine art wallet". By the way - if you wanna read more about the crazy money expected to be spent on art that I don't get...click here)
So the Nuge was interviewed by the Secret Service in regard to comments he made about President Obama at a recent NRA event. Ted seems to become more political and less musical with every passing year, which bums me out. I saw Ted a few years back and the time he spent ranting about the government was time that could have been filled with guitar shredding. Now his mouth has cost him at least one show ( he was pulled off a show at Ft. Knox), and supposedly made Styx and REO a little uncomfortable as they embark on a package tour. I totally believe that Ted has every right to think and say what's on his mind, but he also must live with the consequences. I don't seriously think that Ted would chop off anyone's head (unless it's some member of the animal kingdom), but it's the crazy stalkerish followers that worship at Ted's altar that worry me. (Didn't Hinckley try to kill Reagan to impress Jodie Foster?)
I love surveys...I find them interesting, informative and irritating....the three "I"'s. There's a new one out there that has to do with having fun. It says that 19% of the people in the survey don't remember the last time they actually had a good time. What? It's been so long that they can't remember? Did they survey people in jail? 82% of the people in the survey said that there are days when they don't do ANYTHING fun....nothing at all....no giggle, no laugh, no snorting milk out of their nose. EIGHTY TWO PERCENT didn't do anything fun today. I'm afraid that I would cease to exist if I didn't have even a tiny bit of fun every single day of my life. Without some humor, what's the freaking point??? Yes, I know....there are bills to pay, jobs that suck, bosses that suck even more, demanding kids and spouses, financial issues, but if you don't have some fun in your life, then how do you get out of bed every morning? I am lucky enough to work in a business where fun is a by-product of what we do, but even back in my days before radio I still dug up some fun every single day. I still have a hard time believing 82% of these people said there are days when they didn't do anything fun.....were they having surgery? If so, did they notice they way their backside hung out of the gown? That's pretty funny. Maybe they were at the dentist.....but even that's funny, just ask Bill Cosby. In fact, if you have a few minutes, go ahead and watch this Bill Cosby video - it's from the '83 "Himself" video. Go on...I'll wait....did you watch it? Did you laugh? Of course you did....and now you want more, so check out the chocolate cake bit that Cosby did. Yes, I'll wait. (I might run and get something to drink....but I'll be right back.)
why yes, thank you, I would like a snifter of Cointreau
It's easy to find humor in just about any situation....and if you can't, please call me. I'm happy to help.
There's a new survey out that says a LOT of people have trouble parallel parking. In fact, the survey says that three out of five drivers have given up and driven off because they just couldn't manage to wrangle their car into a parking space. One in four people have asked someone else to park for them, and 4% have asked a total stranger to do it! I gotta admit......I can totally sympathize.
I never learned how to parallel park. When I see a tiny space between two cars I feel the sweat break out on my brow, and I just keep driving. I have enjoyed many a long walk and many cruises around the block trying to find a space at the end of the street that I can just pull into. It's not my fault! The day we were supposed to learn how to parallel park in Driver's Ed, my instructor had other plans. Jackson Browne was coming to town, and the tickets went on sale that morning....(this was back in the day before Ticketmaster and online ordering and whatnot)....so when us kids arrived for our parking lesson, he announced that we were driving to the Pine Knob box office so he could get good seats. So, it's not my fault that I can't parallel park......it's Jackson Browne's. Blame him and stop honking at me dammit!!!!
Ah, the Easter egg hunt, a sweet memory from childhood...and now it is being ruined by greedy, obnoxious, pushy, competitive individuals. No, I'm not talking about the kids, I'm talking about the parents!!! An annual Easter egg hunt in Colorado was canceled this year because of the behavior of the parents last year - too many of them, bound and determined to make sure that their kid "got their fair share", jumped the boundary rope and scooped up all the eggs before the hunt even began. WTF? It's supposed to be a kids only event, the parents shouldn't even be out there involved, and now there won't be an egg hunt at all. Seriously, have you been to a big Easter egg hunt? The eggs aren't that hard to find - they're pretty much sitting right out there on the grass...and it's not like they're filled with gold nuggets, it's candy for crying out loud!!! Just another case of parents being overly involved.....kinda like the little league parents who scream and yell and can't shut up while their kids are out on the field. I love the fact that parents care enough to go to the games, and want to cheer for their kid's team, but the unsportsmanlike conduct definitely deserves a flag - they're kids, it's a GAME, it's supposed to be fun! (Why do I suddenly feel like Mad Max from the John Boy and Billy Big Show....seems like I should end with "now, sit down, shut up and stop ruining my life.)
Still reeling from Peyton Manning's departure from the Colts. I have been a Colts fan for years, and when they won the Super Bowl, I felt like I won it too. I think Tony Dungy was one of the greatest coaches ever, not only because of what he did with the team on the field, but because of the way he lives his life off the field. I've read all his books, and "Quiet Strength" is my favorite - he's an amazing individual. I feel the same way about Peyton. His leadership and skills on the football field are second to none, and is a true role model for children. His charitable efforts through his foundation are a testament to his character; his performances on SNL and his goofy TV commercials spotlight his sense of humor and his willingness to poke fun at himself, and this right here proves he's a stellar guy:
If you didn't see Peyton's entire press conference from 3/7/12, click here, to see and hear his heartfelt goodbye to the city of Indy, his team and Colts fans. This guy is a class act in a sports world that's just lousy with bad attitudes, controversy, drugs, lawbreakers and excess. While I think it sucks for Indy to release him, I applaud their decision to retire the #18. Wherever Peyton ends up, I will be there to be support him.
I think that 98% of everyone I know is on Facebook - what an amazing thing! I love that the WSFL page lets us keep in touch with you, entertain you, inform you, and find out what's on your mind. I love that I can connect with family, former co-workers and friends whenever I want, and share pictures and stories about stuff in the news and life in general. There are some things about Facebook that I find fascinating and I wanted to share them with you.....
*When there's a post that says someone has died, or RIP so and so.....why do people click the like button?
*Friend Collectors - this is what I call people who have an unusually large number of friends, and always seem to be on the hunt for more. Is it some sort of status symbol to be able to say "I have 847 friends on Facebook"? Just wondering how many of those 847 would give you a lift if your car broke down?
*Re-posters - yes, sometimes I find something interesting on a friend's page, and want to share it on my page, but there are some people out there who apparently have no original ideas or thoughts and re-post 20 things every dang day. And to be honest....most (not all) of the things that say "repost if you agree", are, in my opinion, about as welcome as a chain letter or email when I see them over and over again from the person in my updates. Hey - if you love your kids, your husband, your wife, your mom, your dad, the military, the cops....I think that's awesome, but can't you say it in your own words rather than just be a parrot for someone else? And I'm not fussing about the people who occasionally re-post, I am talking about the every single day offenders.
*TMI - there are no boundaries anymore, people share waaaaaaay too much information on Facebook. I don't need to know that you're "checking in" at the doctor's office to have a boil removed from your butt. If this is important information that you need to share with your family and/or close friends, please send them a private message or call them and keep it off my news feed. Again, just as with the re-posters, it seems to be a small group of repeat offenders who feel that it is of the utmost importance that all of their friends are updated, hourly, with their whereabouts, their mood, what they ate and what's going on. Wait a minute....on second thought....maybe that's okay, because now I'll never have to meet you for lunch because I ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING.
*I know Facebook games are hugely popular, but I just can't figure out where people find the time to play all these games! I like to have fun too, but how is it possible for you to be at work AND be looking for a pink and green polka dotted unicorn that you can ride into the castle and unlock the magic thingamajig? And by the way...if you were actually FARMING instead of playing Farmville, you could have fed your family, and probably the entire neighborhood, for a year by now.
*Why do people that I barely tolerated years ago want to be my FB friend now, when I have to ask other friends who the heck they are before I remember how annoying they were?
*People - if all you post is about how horrible or sad or unlovable you feel every single day....you don't need sympathy from invisible friends on Facebook, you need therapy. I'm serious. Call a doctor. Now. I'll wait.
Took the day off on 2/15 - sounds kinda nice having a day off in the middle of the week, what a treat! Here's how it went for me:
Slept in (yay)....20 whole minutes (boooo)....up on my day off at 5:50am. That's okay, I'll have plenty of time to relax later. (Sure I will.)
Check work emails. Play on Facebook. Feed the dog. Clean the yard - dang, the dog goes to the bathroom a lot. Notice dog has torn the arm off his stuffed monkey - distract the dog with cookies so I can throw it away without him noticing. Doctor's appointment. Grocery store. Back home to unload groceries. Play with dog. Let dog out. Yard is no longer clean. Start laundry. Make breakfast. Wash dishes. Check work emails. Load dog in car and go to Jackson Hewitt for taxes. Stop and buy dog a new toy. 125lb dog tries to climb in front seat to get new toy. Throw toy in backseat and have to listen to dog making love to new toy the rest of the way home. Not kidding - he "loves" that stuffed squeaky monkey and this is his third one. Put laundry in dryer. Organize towels in kitchen cabinet. Check work emails. Play ball with dog. Clean bathroom. Balance checkbook. Late lunch. Vacuum earlier remains of stuffed monkey #2. Might as well vacuum the rest of the house. Chase dog with hose attachment just for fun. Check work emails. Log on to office desktop and do some work. Do crunches and biceps curls. Take dog for walk - dog has lost his mind and forgotten how to "heel". Fold and put away laundry. 15 minutes of reading Stephen King book before I fall asleep. Boyfriend comes home. Get up and make dinner. Sigh......sometimes I think having a day off is almost more work that actually being AT work.
Let's talk Super Bowl commercials. Not about how good or bad they were, but about the fact that so many of them were leaked online before the game. In recent years, looking forward to the commercials has become more and more a part of the Super Bowl Sunday tradition, and people who might not care all that much about the game would watch just to be entertained by the commercials. As much as I love football, the ads were an added bonus - clever, funny, just plain silly. I know that many of the ads were posted online and got tons of views, which is great for the advertisers, who want to get their product out there, increase their web page visits, and garner the most attention.....BUT....dang, it really spoiled my Sunday!!! Knowing about some of the commercials in advance is like finding out that someone is throwing you a surprise party; it's like finding your Christmas presents in the closet before they're wrapped and under the tree on Christmas Day; it's like recording a game so you can watch it later and then someone tells you the final score......BOOOOOOOOOO. Part of the fun of seeing the ad for the first time is being thrown off balance and caught by surprise - once you've seen it, that element of "holy crap, did you see that????!!!" is gone and you just can't unring a bell. The first impression is the one that always sticks with me, and the early release of the commercials kinda spoiled it. There were still some great, really creative ads that stuck with me, and I'm sure they have been shared online since the game. I just wish they'd kept them all under wraps, so we could all watch, laugh and enjoy them together.
BIG BOWL BABY!!!!!! I love the Big Bowl of Rock and Roll - it is probably the most exhausting two weeks of the year, but it's also the most fun and the most interesting. Everyone has a favorite band and everyone has a band they hate, and it's great to hear from folks who are so passionate (one way or the other!) about their rock!!!!
The truly interesting part of the Big Bowl, from my perspective, is WHY people choose to vote for or against a certain band, and everyone bases their decisions on something different. Most people just go with their favorites, but some people have other reasons. They love Southern rock or they hate it; they love someone's non-musical persona (like Ted Nugent) or they hate it; they vote for the band that's more fun to listen to, rather than the band that may be more talented musically; they vote only for bands they think are stellar musicians; they vote out a band that beat their favorite last year; they look ahead in the bracket and try to force a "weaker" band to a win, so when their band meets that band in a match, their band will win; it was the first concert they saw; it was the first record they bought.....the list goes on and on.
I love the Big Bowl because it reminds me of why I work in radio - because I love music. I'm glad so many other people do too.
I gotta tell ya, I am so irate over this Italian cruise ship situation that I can feel my blood pressure rise every time I even think about it. The captain of this ship is a disgrace - his latest lame excuse for abandoning his ship (while passengers were panicking and ultimately some lost their lives!) is that he 'TRIPPED AND FELL INTO A LIFEBOAT". Are you freaking kidding me? This wackadoodle was responsible for his ship and everyone aboard, and if he wasn't prepared to take responsibility for all of that he should never have stepped foot on deck. It wasn't a case of being overly tired, weather, whatever.....and even if he had been in that area before with no probelms, the fact that he left the ship is damning. I honestly can't think of a suitable punishment for him, and believe me, I've thought about a lot of things that might work. I don't care if he loved the sea, if he'd been doing it forever or for just a short while, if his whole family was involved wirth sailing....when you choose this sort of career path you have to be understand the enormous responsibilty that comes with it. School bus drivers are responsible for the lives of the children; pilots are responsible for their passengers; heck, even us here at the radio station are responsible for the safety of our listeners during weather related and other life threatening events. (If ya think we all WANTED to sleep here for three days during Hurricane Irene, ya got another think coming! We did it because we were being responsible broadcasters and we wanted to make sure you had the info you needed) Bottom line....this man shirked his responsibility at terrible cost, and is now not only trying to justify it, but is also making ridiculous excuses to explain what I can only imagine is a total and complete lack of a soul.
A brand new year!!!! It seems like 2011 went by so fast, and the older I get, the faster time seems to fly. I had a little down time over the holidays to just rest and relax - read four books, watched some TV, just chilled. I have to admit that I amazed that Cialis is still using the same basic concept for their TV commercials and I still see those commercials everywhere. Now look, I don't have a problem with the medication, it gets two thumbs up from me (thumbs are all I have to put up seeing as I'm a girl and all); it's the whole bathtub concept that makes me CRAZY.
Yeah, it looks all romantic and whatnot, but seriously....how did those tubs get there on the beach?? Did some truck drop them off? Do they stay there all the time, and if so, wouldn't that be considered littering or something? I know if I owned property on the beach the last thing I'd want to see are a couple bathtubs plopped right out on the sand. There are no faucets, and it doesn't look like any pipes or hoses run to the tubs...are these people just kicking back and relaxing in empty tubs? And if water was brought in to fill the tubs, was it on a truck that kept the water heated, or did a bucket brigade of children pass down pail after pail of steaming water? And I think what bugs me the most is that Cialis is supposed to be used for "those special moments that can happen at any time"...in other words, when it's time to get horizontal.....and if that's the case, then why are these people in SEPARATE tubs?? Shouldn't they be in one together?
These are the things I think about.....
Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope that you're surrounded by the warmth of the Christmas season....(and I hope the warmth isn't coming from sitting too close to the fireplace)
I am not a particularly political person...I kinda figure that no matter which candidate wins we're still gonna get screwed. I am not a member of any political party - I don't generally vote FOR someone, I vote AGAINST the person I like the least. In my mind, your average politican has absolutely no idea what it's like to be an ordinary citizen. I read an article somewhere once that said before anyone is elected President they should have to complete a certain number of tasks: live on minimum wage, fill out Medicare and Medicaid forms completely, without help, shop at Walmart for a family of four on a budget, with coupons, etc...you get the idea, just so they would know what it feels like to be a normal everyday person. I do understand that it takes a certain sort of individual to run for office, and I know that I could never do it. (I pretty much speak my mind, and I have far too many skeletons in my closet - in fact, it's a walk-in!) I do like to think that I am very open-minded, and willing to consider another person's point of view or beliefs. I was blown away when I read a column in the New York Times (we get the paper cuz we love the travel section and book review) about Alfred E. Smith and his political run back in 1928, and the things that people were willing to believe about him simply because he was Catholic. As is noted in the first paragraph of the column, this was written in light of Mitt Romney's religious affiliation and how that might sway voters one way or the other based on his religion. (I'm not saying that Romney is the guy....I'm just fascinated by why some people think he's not the guy!) It's pretty interesting reading - please feel free to click here and read the column.
I read an article about Adam Carolla going off on the "Occupy" protesters, and it was pretty interesting, and while I honestly don't have much to say about the protesters themselves, I do think that Adam was on the money about many members of the next generation. Here are some excerpts:
"There's something that's come up in this country that didn't use to exist, which is envy. And it's a big issue.--"It was understood back in the day, and we are empowering, we're now dealing with the first wave of participation trophy, my own fecal matter doesn't stink, empowered, I feel so [effing] good about myself, everyone's a winner, there's no losers, we're dealing with the first wave of those [effing A-holes]."--He added, quote, "We've created a bunch of [effing] self-entitled monsters. And this has become the pursuit of my life where people are so far out of it in what they expect and what they think realistic is and what the set of rules that pertains to them versus the other guys . . . Because that's what the bottom line is.--"'I want my Most Valuable Player trophy.' 'Well, you're the slowest, fattest guy on the team.' Why should he get one and I don't?' 'Because he busts his ass and he runs a 4.4 40. That's why he gets one.' 'Well, this is bull[crap].'--"And then everyone gets involved and everyone gives everyone a participation trophy and then everyone feels good about themselves but it's not based on anything . . .--"[These are] self-entitled [jerks] who think the world owes them a living. And now we're getting the first wave of these douchebags.--"And now, they grew up . . . and it's fine if you grow up in this little snow globe of a life where everything is awesome and everyone gets participation trophies and there's no losers . . .--"But then you get out into the real world and you realize, 'I'm a [effing] loser.' You're not doing that well, you're not making that much money, there's no more participation trophies."
Now granted, there are plenty of good twenty somethings out there who are willing to work for what they have, but there are way too many who have that sense of entitlement that Adam is talking about. Every time I read about kids games where they don't keep score so nobody feels like they "lost", I wonder how those kids are ever going to learn to be a gracious loser or winner? How are we going to make them put forth any effort, try harder, when we reward everyone the same regardless of how well they do. It doesn't work that way in real life, and I got my feelings hurt and was pissed off plenty of times when I was growing up because someone else won a contest or got the highest score or beat me at a game...and that only made me double my efforts. I hate to think that we're raising a generation of wussies, but it certainly seems that way. Just writing that makes me feel old...holy cow....I've turned into one of those "these kids today...." kinda people. When did that happen? Oh....and stay off my lawn you little whippersnappers!!!
I was reading a story in the New York Times over the weekend about people who lost loved ones in the September 11th attacks and it really got to me, so I wanted to share it with you. Ten years after that horrible day, in the office of the New York City medical examiner, they are still working every day to examine and identify 22,000 human remains belonging to the 2747 people killed at the World Trade Center. I suppose I knew that there were still remains that had not been identified, but I guess I never really thought about the process, or who was doing it. When a bone or bone fragment is identified, the family receives a call - some families get multiple calls through the years; some families have chosen not to receive calls at all, having already "buried" their loved ones, either literally or symbolically, and grieved for them. Can you imagine the heartbreak of getting call after call, years after the fact, that another small piece of your son or daughter, mother or father, husband or wife, has been identified? In one case over 300 pieces were matched up to one single individual! How does a person deal with something like that? There has been much healing, many have moved on as best as they can, tried to rebuild their lives...but how difficult must it be, knowing that at any time, that scab can be ripped off with the ringing of the phone? Do these people wait anxiously for word, or do they dread it? I am not sure how I would handle it - I am amazed by strength and resilience of those who lost loved ones.
To read the entire story click here
11-7-11: The First Blog (so much pressure!)
Ah...a brand new website, and an opportunity to vent about it! We've been working on this puppy for a while, and I hope you're enjoying it. We've tried to make it user friendly, with as many funny, interesting, entertaining and thought provoking things as possible, and we've had a good time going it, but I gotta tell ya, there's been some stress involved - any time you're doing something new or working with something whose operation you don't really understand, you get into trouble. (Just ask Shank. You shoulda heard what came out of his mouth when we told him he had to write a blog!) If I had a dollar for every time in the past couple months that I've heard: #1 - "hmm, we're not seeing that on our end" or #2: "gee, we can't duplicate that", I would be able to afford a nice meal, a few snifters of Cointreau and a chocolate souffle for dessert. (Now I'm hungry.) I guess it's like when you take your car to a mechanic because it's making a funny noise and when you get there it stops doing it, then starts again as soon as you pull away. The only difference here is that you can usually pinpoint where the noise is coming from in your car - it's the engine, or it's coming from the backseat or whatever. For those of us who are computer-challenged, when we try to tell an IT person what the problem is we sound like three year olds..."whenever I click the little picture thingy it moves my pictures where I don't want them to go and when I try to use the little scissors it won't let me". Ugh. And the IT people almost always say "what browser are you using?", followed by #1 or #2 above. Then I have to reboot. One day I will break the whole dang internet and they'll all be sorry.