Monday, June 29, 2009

Big Brother 11 House Photos Revealed

The CBS website has photos of the new Big Brother house right here. There still isn't any word on the new cast. But when I know, I'll get the skinny and their photos!

Sorry this is so short and sweet, but I've been out being a tenant activist (or something to that effect). I went from work to grabbing a bite to eat to attending a City Hall meeting. I met Bernice, the local blogger, too! And, I was jokingly offered a job by the building inspector when I showed him some of my photos of building violations. I did tell him I can freelance!

More BB news as it comes in!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance 6/25 Results Bulletin

Osuka is gone for the girls.
Jonathon is gone for the guys.

I think that's about right, don't you?

Rest in Peace, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson

It's a sad day in the entertainment world today as we lost two very iconic figures. Farrah Fawcett died at 62 years of age while Michael Jackson was only 50. Farrah made her battle with cancer very public and showed admirable courage. As for Michael Jackson, it was cardiac arrest. He might have had his scandals and oddness, but his talent cannot be denied.

May they both rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So, What's New on TV Tonight?

A feral cat poses for my camera near the Plainfield (NJ) Train Station.

Ah, it's dilemma time. Although I do really consider I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here to be shoddy entertainment at its best, tonight is the finale. Add in the fact that America's Got Talent is airing its second show of the season after it ... and there's a block I kind of sort of would like to watch.

But, So You Think You Can Dance is on FOX opposite of those two NBC shows. Yes, it's two hours. Since this is the show I'm most likely to follow until the end of the season, it wins my live in person viewing time. I'll record the other two and may peek in on the first one to catch the winner.

Hmm ... then there's the 10 PM (ET) hour. Now, The Philanthropist on NBC is new but the whole premise of the show isn't quite grabbing me. ABC is having a health care question and answer Primetime with President Obama. I realize that's probably what I SHOULD watch. There's a new Real World on MTV. A&E has two new episodes of Tattoo Highway. Bravo has a new Top Chef Masters.

Decisions, decisions. What will you be watching?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Big Brother 11 News

Today was media day for Big Brother 11. They showed off the new house to press folks. And, here it is! Okay, I lie. It's a vintage Metro North train car I saw sitting when I headed into the city for dinner last week. If you click on it, a large image will open in a new window.

Anyway ... here's the skinny I picked up from folks who were invited to the media event --
  • Allison Grodner said it's going to be an interesting cast (doesn't she always say that?).
  • The media event had people from media, television, print, and the Internet living a week's worth of events in one day while in the new house.
  • Remember, I wasn't invited. (Sniffle)
  • The cast is all but finalized. They're not sequestered pre-show yet. I'm thinking we might get some official announcements perhaps midweek next week or Friday (July 3) at the latest.
  • This season's twist is supposed to be unique, but something everyone can relate to. Um, okay. I'm not so sure I can always relate to her brilliant ideas, but ...!
  • The house is eco-friendly and green this year.
And that's the big news. Just a teaser, I say!

People are waiting in anticipation of Big Brother 11.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Belated Bloggy Bits

Finally! I've been trying to post an entry since I got home from work! Blogger has been out of order and I couldn't even get a comment on my last entry to post.

But I have to talk about my dinner with two fine blog friends last night. It never fails that when I meet folks I've befriended online, they're people who I find truly enjoyable to be around. Of course, meeting up with a bad element from online is what we all see on the news. And that certainly happens. But it all depends on the venue involved.

Last night's dinner with blog friends RBennie and Becky could have been dangerous. Yep. We could have stayed out all night talking until we were hoarse. We could have eaten far more calories than humanly possible. We could have gone shopping! We could have giggled until we started hiccupping or something.

It makes me feel so good inside that this blog has created such a fantastic community of really GOOD people. We may all live in various places around the country, but when we meet up ... it's like we've been "in person" friends for years. RBennie in person has that voice of reason with humor thrown in (but that voice of reason within couldn't stop her from having at least a bit of the triple chocolate cake!). Becky is such a firecracker (which is a good thing)! She kept us in giggles all evening ... I love it!

Both Becky and RBennie are exactly the kind of friends I like in my life -- kind, interesting, witty, intelligent women with whom you can have a good time. I have a feeling they also might be good shoulders to cry on, but we did no crying last night. Lots of giggling.

I don't want to just slap up photos taken of us last night. I myself am always a bit camera shy. But here's a bit of my journey --

Newark Penn Station ... where is my train? That's not my train. Why is my train late? I need to get to Midtown!

Finally, New York City, just as I pictured it ... skyscrapers and everything. Oh, wait. That's from a Stevie Wonder song ("Living for the City"). It's been horrible with rain this month here. However, the skies stopped for our Ladies Evening Out. All that was left was the fog. It usurped the Empire State Building.

Here's where we had our dinner -- O'Reilly's Pub and Restaurant.

After leaving Becky and her friend at Penn Station to catch their train back to Long Island, I walked over to Times Square just for the heck of it. Er, not really for that reason. I had to go to Port Authority as I took a bus home. If I'm in the city late, I usually catch the bus back home as the bus stop is across the street from my apartment while the train station is six (dark and scary) blocks away. Port Authority is on 42nd Street right at the edge of Times Square. I peeked at the pedestrian mall bit, but I'm not impressed. Even without cars right at Times Square, it's still a sensory overload.

Becky and RBennie ... thank you for an enjoyable time last night! You're both sweeties! And fun, too!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tonight, Tonight

I won't be able to post the results for So You Think You Can Dance or I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here tonight because I'm heading into the city after work to meet up with blog buddies RBennie and Becky after work. We're going to have dinner (food is always a good thing) and I don't anticipate being home until the shows are over.

No, I won't be taking a taxi into Manhattan. I'll just take the train, thank you very much. I spotted this NYC cab in nearby Westfield on Monday. I have no clue what it would cost!

If someone would be so kind as to post who got the boot on both shows, please have at it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tonight's 'So You Think You Can Dance' ... and Stuff

"In the clearing stands a boxer ..." - "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel. Of course, this is more like The Boxer by Jackie. I met this dog this past Saturday. While I tend to have cats, I enjoy a good dog, too!

Speaking of cats, I finally spotted Roofus the Cat yesterday but I had grabbed the wrong camera going out of the door. Um ... I took the Pentax whose memory card was sitting in my computer. Argh! I haven't seen Roofus for quite a while and was relieved to see him. It would have been better with a working camera!

Onto the meat of the matter here tonight ...

It's the two-hour So You Think You Can Dance. None couples are taking the stage. And here's your place to discuss the action! Please feel free to share your thoughts on the show as it airs and afterwards, too. I'll be here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

At Least TNT Has Fresh Shows ...

... which aren't about pseudo-celebs in a jungle!

The Closer is new at 9 PM ET/PT ... and here's a peek --

Then, at 10 PM ET/PT, it's a new Raising the Bar --

I've already screened both of these episodes and, trust me ... much better than watching those fools in the jungle!

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's June 12; Do You Know Where Your TV Signal Is?

Wall Street has really taken an economical hit, eh? I took this photo in Plainfield, NJ.

Oh no! It's DTV Transition Day!
I hope everyone is either set with cable service, satellite, or have their DTV converter boxes and a good UHF/VHF antenna. Where I first moved when I came to NJ (about a mile from where I am now), I had actual reception with rabbit ears. I could pick up all of the NYC stations, all the Jersey ones, and even two Philly ones.

I was in the midst of moving here to this apartment when 9/11 happened. I had both places for a few weeks and found I had snowy reception of most of the NYC stations, no Philly. But then when the towers went down, I lost all reception as the transmitters for the stations were atop of one of the towers. So I've had basic cable ever since.

I didn't have any issues today and didn't expect any. Eventually I plan on getting a DTV converter and perhaps a decent in-home UHF/VHF antenna for one of my old unused 13" color televisions (or maybe the ancient 12" B&W one). It sounds like I might actually have reception with it. We'll see.

Off TV Topic, but sometimes money does fall from the sky
Oh, I'm not talking about a ton of money. I'm talking about $90. Yep, it fell from the sky. It seems I was part of a class action lawsuit with no knowledge about the lawsuit at all. If they sent me something previously, I probably shredded it as junk mail.

As it is, I was skeptical of the check I received yesterday. It was a lawsuit against an insurance company whose name meant absolutely nothing to me. I thought it was a scam -- you know, cash the check and get charged for some sort of never-ending deductions from your bank account.

So I went to the online URL in the letter with the check. The FAQ document cleared it all up. When I bought my last car over a decade ago, I paid it off a few years early. Although I had contacted the loan company for the exact balance owed, no thought was given to the insurance which came along with the car loan. I gave up the car more than a few years ago as it got all persnickity on me. Apparently the $90 check I received is thanks to someone named Poole who sued and started a class action suit against the insurance company. According to the paperwork, it's actually only 45% of my loss. But seeing as I didn't realize I lost anything, it's money from the sky.

Tonight, tonight
Right now as I type this, I have old reruns of Roseanne on from TVLand. At 9 PM I intend to watch Mental. It's the episode from earlier this week with David Carradine's last television performance. I missed it the first airing, so it's on the slate for tonight. That whole thing with his death is just plain old bizarre. I doubt that when I die it will be anything which compromises my integrity (I lead a boring life). But, sheesh ... I do feel bad for the family.

I will be watching A&E's 11 PM showing of Criminal Minds. A lot of this series is fresh to me as I missed most of the shows on their initial airing. So, even if it's an old repeat, I probably haven't seen it.

More off topic
I stopped by yesterday and visited my physical therapist who dealt with my knee replacement. He finally has his website up and I invite everyone who has aches and pains to take a peek. And, if you're anywhere in the area and in need of physical therapy, I highly recommend him.

I've been loading a lot of my older photos to my Photobucket account (linked on the sidebar). If you want to take a slideshow gander, just head here.

That's it for now. I hope you all survived the DTV transition!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - June 11 Results Show

Yes, I know I set up a blog discussion post for the show (which you can find on the sidebar). But, by popular demand, I'll be making a post for commenting each show. I'm not sure how involved I'll be able to get into actually posting about the SYTYCD after Big Brother 11 starts on July 9. But we'll worry about that when the time comes.

The show is starting here on the East Coast. I'm going to miss whoever leaves tonight -- they all have so much to offer us. I think this season has the most talented dancers ever! I'll update this post with big news as it airs and everyone is welcome to hang out in comments. Bring your own bottles ... er, snacks, please.

Kayla and Max, Randi and Evan, Phillip and Jeanine are safe. (Yay, Phillip!)

Jason and Caitlin are safe (Bollywood). Melissa and Ade are safe. Ashley and Kupono are safe (crash test dummies). Tony and Paris are in the bottom three couples.

Vitolio and Asuka are in the bottom three. Brandon and Janette are safe. Jonathan and Karla are in the bottom three.

Paris is going home. Tony is going home.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm Being Entertained (not by I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here)

Cat in a window, Plainfield, NJ

Don't ask me what's going on with that screen. I believe the cat lives inside the house or maybe he just sits there for the view. I don't know.

I'm here to report that I'm finally having a great TV night! Am I watching pseudo-celebs eat bugs and have rats bite them? Nope! I'm watching the first night of the top twenty dancers on So You Think You Can Dance. What a fantastic group!

I think my heart is going to be with Phillip Chbeeb through the season. However, my favorite number was the crash test dummies dance. I'm glad I never vote on these shows. As I'm typing this, only one performance remains. Now, this is entertainment! I don't want to be a part of deciding who's going to go home. They should all stay another week!

The only drawback to the show tonight was my sucky Comcast cable. Similar to an incident last week in which all of my NYC stations lost signal, tonight's signal for all the NYC stations cut in and out, pixeled, froze, aired with no volume, etc. That went on for the first half hour. Grr.

A very little known fact about me:
My mother made me take tap dance starting at the age of five. That lasted until I took jazz dance at eight. Unfortunately, the only dance style I ever got to be good at was square dancing in backwoods upstate New York bars when I was a teen (with my parents and their friends and their friends' kids). These were the kind of places which had signs up which read "Dance at your own risk." Oh ... and I was also heavy into disco dancing on roller skates for a number of years.

But, to quote an old Genesis song:
No, I can't dance, I can't talk.

The only thing about me is the way I walk.
No, I can't dance, I can't sing
I'm just standing here selling everything.

But I can walk.

Um. Let's make that last line ... "but I can limp."

Someone asked me if I have a date set for the next knee surgery. Not yet. I'm thinking late fall. While I don't want it so late it would spread out my deductible into two years, but an overlap of years for the physical therapy insurance limitations would be a good idea. Since that's just a co-pay and the deductible doesn't come into play, it might be worth considering. The drawback is I'd be returning to work and going to PT on ice and snow. I don't know. I just know the knee can't make it through another winter.

Leather-clad dude on Plainfield (NJ) street corner.
No, that's not where Dog the Bounty Hunter works.
At least, I don't think so.

Monday, June 08, 2009

TV Doldrums ...

Is it just me or is television at its worst in a long, long time? One redeeming shiny gem could be the openings for The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Since I watch Letterman almost religiously, I try to catch the Ferguson openings before hitting the sack. It's always a delight when they're "special." I hear the two dancers are staff members, but don't ask me the story about the gay leather bondage little dude. Of course, the puppets are part of the scene. Last week when this opening in the above video played, I couldn't get to sleep right away. I kept singing the tune in my head.

So... what have I been watching? Hmmm ... I stayed up really late one night (perhaps the "Istanbul" night) watching Craig, but then flipped to Jimmy Fallon during a commercial. Oh my. He had Paul Simon and Steve Martin TOGETHER on the show. They interacted with each other, did a skit, performed. The only drawback is that Fallon hasn't gotten the hang of interviewing people down yet. Great guests; I'm just glad they talked to each other most of the time while Fallon was basically limited to dorky comments now and then.

I watched Mental on FOX, the first episode. I didn't catch the second one. It wasn't bad, but not an instant hit with me.

The Bonnie Hunt Show is in reruns. It's been two weeks now. Does she get the entire summer off?

I watched The Tony Awards last night. I've actually seen one of the shows. Well, kind of, sort of. Hair was the first Broadway show I ever saw on my own. Alas, I saw it when I was 14 or so and it's not quite the same cast these days. Some of the men would have to be singing, "Hair, hair, comin' out of my ears" if it were the same bunch. I was very happy for the three boys who play Billy Elliot. Liza and Elton were their usual big shot selves. And, what was that suit that Neil Patrick Harris was wearing?

I also caught the season premiere of Gene Simmons Family Jewels on A&E last night. I think Nick and Sophie are the only two teenagers I like on TV these days.

It's going for 8 PM and I'm not sure if I'll watch I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. It's almost embarrassing that I've actually seen three of the four shows so far. It's two hours of my life I'd never get back.

There's a new episode of The Closer on TNT at 9 PM ET/PT tonight. That sounds much better.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

TV Stuff and Stuff

I'm a pseudo-celeb and I'm stuck in weeds ... get me out of here!

Yes, I watched the second night of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. I'm not proud. It seems that Heidi and Spencer are gone. I hope it stays that way. The next one I want out is that Janice. Not only is she annoying, but she looks a bit like that Cat Lady with too much plastic surgery. She was really a supermodel at one point? I find that hard to believe!

I find it a bit incongruous that the show was followed by an NBC special featuring President Obama's day in the White House. As I watched that one, all I could think was that if I had so much important for the world stress on my shoulders I'd be screaming, "I'm not really the President! I was joking! Get me out of here!" I'd definitely crack under the pressure. But the burgers looked good.

Tonight on Letterman it's Jack Hanna! I'm such a sucker for those segments. Not only do I find the animals so interesting, I enjoy the interaction between Dave and Jack. I took a nap. I will stay up! I peeked in on Conan last night on and off between Dave. He's got some good guests lined up, but nothing will take me away from Jack Hanna tonight.

On writing bits, I wrote up a brief article on I'm a Celeb, blah-blah for TV Squad. Yesterday TVS posted my short newsy bit about the upcoming Big Brother 11. It's been confirmed that once again I'll be posting live feed reports from the BB house on TVS. Of course, I'll still be posting them here, too. And, not the same reports. Also yesterday, my latest Reality Clack column for CliqueClack TV was posted.

Other than that, there's not much TV going on in my life. Tomorrow will bring us So You Think You Can Dance. I haven't really checked the schedule, but watching that over the pseudo-celebs is a given.

Today's musical non sequitur:
The monkeys stand for honesty,
Giraffes are insincere,
And the elephants are kindly but
They're dumb.
Orangutans are skeptical
Of changes in their cages,
And the zookeeper is very fond of rum.

-- "At the Zoo" by Simon and Garfunkel

I'm a pseudo-celeb and I'm stuck in poison ivy ... get me out of here!

Monday, June 01, 2009

I'm in New Jersey, Get Me Out of Here!

No! Really! I'm stuck on a NJ Transit train ... get me out of here! I'll be like the man who never returned. You know, Charlie on the M.T.A.! You do see I can't escape from television, not even on the train. That's an ad for Top Chef Masters which premieres on Bravo on June 10.

Okay. I lied about being stuck on the train and in New Jersey, too. I can leave. My cat would be upset, but I would come back. But, it's a tip of the hat to the show I just finished watching -- I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

Celebrities, eh? I know Lou Diamond Phillips, Stephen Baldwin, and Sanjaya Malakar. Well, not personally, mind you. And Sanjaya is more notorious than an actual celebrity. I don't watch The Hills, but hear a lot about it on The Bonnie Hunt Show. The one time Spencer Pratt was on Letterman, he was a jerk. Guess what? He still is.

Then there's Patti Blog , Blag ... um ... Blagojevich, the wife of the impeached husband with the hair. She sort of surprised me. I think I like her, but her husband irks me just with his hair alone, not even taking any crimes he may or may not have committed into consideration. He's a new age Trump hair man.

The rest of the celebrities, I haven't a clue.

However, I was entertained. I'm not sure if I'll watch its entire run. Four nights a week is a lot to ask of viewers. I came away from tonight's show thinking Spencer is so full of himself. He shouldn't accuse others of being non-celebrities when he's such a non-celeb in his own right. Sanjaya remains very eager and personable, much like he was on American Idol. I just hope he doesn't burst into song.

Did you watch the show? Your thoughts?

I'm now stuck in a flower! Get me out of here!