Wednesday, February 27, 2013

No One Is Screaming Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer the 37 year old female, wunderkind, CEO of Yahoo has achieved much success in her young life.  What an incredible achievement in a world that has so few female CEO's running companies.  When she first was hired for the position, she was pregnant. Another huge hurdle to overcome in a man's world.  How did she manage to do it?  She announced she'd take two weeks maternity leave.  There was an outcry from many women that she was setting an unrealistic example, but she delivered her child and returned in two weeks.  

In her short reign at Yahoo, she has turned the stock around and it's on the upswing.  That's all shareholders care about.  That's all the board of directors care about, so whatever she does is fine as long as everybody is lining their pockets.  The new kerfuffle is she is taking away her employees rights to work from home. Now, that may not sound like a big deal, but that is why so many people are able to work.  Marissa Mayer is worried that she isn't getting the production she needs.  I understand that, but shouldn't that be a case by case situation?  Couldn't they slowly take that right away from people over time.  Many of these employees are juggling children at home and it has been a God send to have fantastic employment and not have to go into an office. Now, there is a drop dead date.  All employees need to be in the office or lose their job.  I understand that she is trying to turn a company around.  Really, I do.  I hope that she continues to have success, but she is getting a huge salary with benefits.  Ms. Mayer will get some fantastic golden parachute if she gets fired.  She has a nursery on the Yahoo premises for her baby.  Doesn't hurt her a bit.  Feels like another slight to women.

Speaking of things not hurting...members of Congress couldn't give a rats ass about the Sequester.  It is a blame game and a game of chicken.  I can't stand the lot of them.  Can you imagine if the first budget cuts in place were to Congressional salaries?  How cavalier they are with the livelihood of thousands of other government workers.  They throw around their machismo and their faux philosophies without any personal stake.  How can we change that?  Maybe in the next budget discussions, the members of Congress should be the first to suffer, instead of the Country.  Maybe that would put them into discussions and panic.  Shameful and disgraceful.  They should be making sacrifices, not Americans.  

Sidebars:  The Bachelor is down to two.  Letting the third girl go was painful, but I was really grateful that she was pissed off and not all weepy and groveling to Sean.  I can't really imagine whom he will pick.  The Biggest Loser is down to the final five.  Next week is makeover week.  It's always the highlight because the contestants get to realize how far they've come with new hair, makeup, and clothes. Some seasons it has been shocking how little they were.  Also, always bugged me that they never reveal the height.  Huge consideration in health and well-being.  I am a latecomer to NCIS.  Don't know why I never jumped on board, but now I can't get enough.  I decided I should watch because it's the highest program year in and year out.  No one ever told me that Ilya Kuryakin was a regular. I loved me some Man From U.N.C.L.E.  Also, Mark Harmon is always great.  The entire cast is fun.  I just can't believe that many crimes happen to navy men and women.  Give it a try sometime.  That's it from here, for now.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar, Oscar

I have to write about the Oscars.  I was more excited by this year's Oscars because I saw most of the movies nominated and it was such a good year in movies. The announcement of Seth MacFarlane as the host was unexpected and curious.  I don't watch any of his shows.  I didn't see TED.  I have seen him on talk shows and panels on TV and have thought him to be very smart, quick-witted, and talented, so maybe he'd do a good job.  God knows he would be irreverent.  

After 3 hours of red carpet viewing on E and ABC, it was time.  The opening of the 85th Oscars ceremony was here.  It started off with a bit of promise.  Seth MacFarlane brings on William Shatner as Captain Kirk with reviews of his performance in the future.  You had to be there or maybe not.  His opening went on far too long.  Fifteen minutes. I don't have any idea why Sally Field said yes to a bit about losing to Anne Hathaway before it happened.  Wasn't funny.  I expected that much of the humor would be sophomoric, but I was surprised that it was misogynistic and anti-semitic. I may have laughed a little but bit, but then things would sink in and it didn't feel great.  Seth MacFarlane said this would be his only time hosting.  Lucky that he made that decision in advance.  

As far as highlights and lowlights...Catherine Zeta-Jones looked great lip synching a song from Chicago.  Following her was Jennifer Hudson singing I'm Telling You, I'm Not Going and sang live, killed it, and got a roaring standing ovation from the audience.  Then, the cast of Les Miserables came out and sang live, too.  It was fantastic and kind of thrilling to see it as if it were Broadway and not a movie cast. Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy truly sucked.  Not funny.  Went on too long. Bombed badly.  The James Bond "tribute" was a disappointment.  It was more of a "tr," though Shirley Bassey was stellar singing her only song, Goldfinger.  Adele was fantastic singing the theme to the current James Bond movie, Skyfall, only to be followed by receiving the Oscar. 

The piece de resistance, Barbra Streisand.  Announced to be performing on the Oscars a few weeks ago, there was only one reason that she'd get dressed up and participate...Marvin Hamlisch.  Marvin Hamlisch's photo was the final photo in the "In Memoriam" montage and then Babs appeared.  She sang their Oscar winning song, The Way We Were.  She sounded great and looked fantastic!  She was giving a nod to her Barbra Joan Streisand days.  I loved her look so much.  James Brolin is one lucky man.  

As far as the awards themselves, I was fairly happy.  I was a tad bitter because I was convinced by "experts"  not to pick Christoph Waltz as best supporting actor.  I thought he was the hands down best performance of the year and I listened to others. I picked Robert DeNiro on my ballot instead.  Grrrrrrr.  Other than that, I was right on all the big awards.  Now I have to see Life of Pi, don't I? Thrilled about Argo.  So happy for Ben Affleck and feel so proud of the man he seems to have become.  Love, love, love Jennifer Lawrence!  Daniel Day Lewis made a great speech and felt authentic.  Anne Hathaway, sad to say, just bugs me.  Doesn't seem authentic at all in any of her speeches.  

The Oscars ended earlier than I expected and it was still too long.  The producers just can't get it.  The Golden Globes have it all over the Oscars in terms of television entertainment.  The closing number after the Best Picture award with Seth MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth was only tolerable because they were running all the credits over it.  I've never been grateful for credits before.  Hosting the Oscars has proven to be the most difficult job.  The only successful people have been Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and Billy Crystal.  What will they do next year?  It is such a fine line to walk and most don't know how. 

Sidebars: Didn't write it last week, but I think Obama golfing with Tiger Woods was/is a mistake.  Haven't been able to write about politics because it's just too bleak for me right now.  Monday night, The Bachelor and The Biggest Loser.  Tonight The Bachelor episode is the fantasy suites with the ladies.  If the tabloids are right, Sean Lowe will not be having sex with his ladies.  He reclaimed his virginity.  LOL!  The Amazing Race was a little bit torturous last night for the non-swimmers and non-ocean lovers.  Why would you go on the show if you weren't able to swim?  Why would the producers make so many water events if they know about the contestants?  It's the first time in so many seasons that I really felt uncomfortable.  You can push past fear of heights, but you either can swim or not....Beautiful Spring like weather hitting NYC.  If you are near, get out and enjoy the weather.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Around the Dial

I have to begin with the most saturated night for me, Sunday.  Amazing Race premiered.  I understand that the ratings were down, but who at CBS thought it was a good idea to premiere its new season opposite the NBA All-Star game and during a long weekend.  Doesn't make good sense to me, but I was happy it was back.  The Good Wife returned with a new episode and the producers and Julianna Margulies should fire the writers or maybe the producers.  They have taken what was a highlight of the television week and turned it into bad, absurd, unbelievable writing.  Crushing to know what it was and what it has become.  I have said it for months and they still haven't listened.  The Mentalist is still hanging in but not sure how much longer the show can go on.  

Opposite all of this was the season finale of Downton Abbey. If you haven't seen it yet, skip to the next paragraph.  I was sorely disappointed in the choices made.  I knew that Dan Stevens was leaving Downton Abbey.  Not happy about it and couldn't understand why he had to leave. Is he going to be the next David Caruso?  If it's good enough for Maggie Smith....I hated knowing that he had decided to leave because I kept waiting for tragedy and it finally came in the last few minutes.  Horrible.  A terrible way to end the season and so disheartening.  Though I heard that when Season 4 returns, it will be some time in the future so we don't have to go through another mourning period.  Maggie Smith was as always stellar.  She can do no wrong.  Did you catch the 60 minutes piece on her?  If you missed it, youtube it.  She doesn't disappoint.

Monday brought The Biggest Loser and The Bachelor opposite each other.  I will say it again and again, the reason that The Amazing Race wins year in and year out is because they edit it so well, that an hour is plenty.  The Biggest Loser is also losing a few steps, though it's getting down to the wire. Six contestants left, the makeover episode is coming up soon.  This year they had three children on the show, not as contestants but as ambassadors to all children to get healthy.  These three young people have come so far and have done an amazing job getting fit, learning nutrition, and getting the word out to their communities.  The Bachelor is down to the final four women.  Hometown dates.  First and foremost, the producers, network, editors promo'd an episode that really didn't happen.  It was the first time that I felt "had."  The dates weren't as disastrous as they had indicated.  One hometown date was horrible because of a sibling and it took her out.  Really sad and I thought she'd be one of the final two.  Hometown dates are always more interesting than all the other.  It speaks volumes about the women (or men) when you meet their families.   Tonight a special added episode of The Bachelor talking one on one with Sean Lowe, the bachelor, discussing the hometown dates.  Looking forward to it!  

The new David E. Kelley medical drama Monday Mornings is very dry.  I am a huge fan of David E. Kelley.  I always watch his series but this one is so dry that I'm not sure I can hang on.  It is a fascinating view but a little bleak about medicine.  Though a fabulous miracle in last nights episode, made it a happy ending. 

Wishing Charles Barkley a very happy 50th birthday. R.I.P. Jerry Buss.  You changed the face of basketball with the signing of Magic Johnson. A victorious reign began with the Los Angeles Lakers.  Ahhh, the good old days.  Smash is on tonight and though I didn't stay with it last season, Jennifer Hudson is on and is fantastic to watch.  Give it a chance.  I hate for it to get cancelled and it is on the bubble.  

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013


We have spent 22 long hours without cable or Internet. It has been a challenge on so many fronts. If one or the other had gone out, it would have been totally manageable, but both??? We are so dependent on technology now. Homework uses the Internet. Missed the president's State of the Union last night. Might have been relaxing, but I really like to watch and not miss possible drama. You see, if I had Internet, I could've watched on my computer. I heard Joe Biden's eye looked bad. Possibly a distraction to the viewer. I was appalled that the republican Senator from Texas invited the crazy ass Ted Nugent as his guest. The jabs and punches to Obama are disgraceful. Actually, I didn't even realize that Senators and Congressmen had guests to the SOTU. I thought only the President and First Lady got that honor.

Anyway, without cable and the Internet it has been a challenging period. Really quiet in the home. Really quiet. The gentle hum of NYC traffic outside. That's it.  Missed the police standoff with Christopher Dorner. I don't even know if it was shown here in real time. I will never know. It was on in Los Angeles, which, of course, makes sense.  

The communication addiction is so incredibly strong.  I didn't know what to do.  A big night of news and I didn't have control of the output and consumption.  In NYC, radio is not always easy to receive.  In the olden days, which was about 25 years ago, we used to get the late and early editions of the newspapers. Now we are lucky to get one edition.  Can't really re-capture the time away from the happenings, so a day missed.  It is fascinating how dependent we are on getting information immediately.  I have always suspected that I wouldn't find it relaxing to go to a fabulous, remote, luxurious hotel or vacation.  The last 36 hours really confirmed that.  I can handle losing television or cable, not both at the same time.  

Today at 2pm, the systems all went back to full throttle.  I breathed a sigh of relief, did a happy dance, and getting back in the groove.  It gave me a chance to think about my dependence on television, email, Facebook, Twitter, and everything else that is related to cable and internet.  I missed playing Candy Crush Saga, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Song Pop, Lexulous, and communicating with friends near and far.  I have concluded that I'm okay with it.  I have grown up with television and the internet has just enhanced the experience.  I live in NYC, so clearly I love the hustle and bustle.  I could never be a country girl.  Now, the apartment is buzzing again.  Ahhhhhhhhh, love it!

Sidebars:  E's Fashion Police is always a laugh-filled hour.  If you can still catch it, it is worth it.  Tonight, American Idol: the girls only.  Law and Order: SVU has a new episode and if you are a Survivor lover, you know a new season begins tonight.  It's Valentine's Day tomorrow.  Always have mixed feelings about it.  Will commemorate in some way, but always feel every day you should tell the people that you love, that you love them.  Don't need a special day on the calendar.  That's it.  I am busily trying to catch up.  Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

The Grammys

Well, really CBS should just rename themselves the Country Music Broadcast Service.  The Grammys were so heavy on Country music the first hour that it was clear that they were using the Grammys to promote their next Country Awards show in a couple of weeks or they assume that far and away their audience is all CMA fans.  

I was excited for the Grammys because Bruno Mars was scheduled to perform, but before I got to Bruno Mars I sat through a lot of performances and outfits that caused me to pause.  I was introduced finally, to Ed Sheeran singing his big song with Elton John.  What a worldwide introduction that is, though kind of dull. Mumford and Sons sang. Justin Timberlake took the stage for the first time in years.  He sang his new song Suit and Tie and into an even newer song, Pusher Love Girl  with Jay Z.  Not sure about the songs themselves, but that Justin Timberlake is a great performer. Fun. was interesting.  Didn't love the song they performed, and wished they'd have sung We Are Young.

Finally, at 10:05pm EST Bruno Mars got the stage. He was joined by Sting and together they were great.  It was an homage to Bob Marley.  They dragged Rihanna out (after she already soloed earlier) with Ziggy Marley.  I think Sting and Bruno Mars were better as a duo.  The real highlight of the night though turned out to be the tribute to Levon Helm.  It was fantastic with Elton John (for a second appearance), Mumford and Sons, Mavis Staples, T. Bone Burnett, the female singer from Alabama Shakes, Zac Brown all singing The Weight.  I had to replay it.  It was the only Rock and Roll moment of the night.  

The worst and incomprehensible performance of the night was Frank Ocean.  I don't know his music or much about him.  He won two Grammy's last night, but haven't a clue why after his performance.  The only thing I know about him is that he came out of the closet and he had a fight with Chris Brown last week.  I have heard he has a beautiful voice, but seriously missed it last night.  Maybe he couldn't hear himself??  There must be a reason.  

I have a serious problem with Rihanna and Chris Brown.  I do.  I don't care about them, but I care about all of their fans and all the young girls that admire Rihanna.  If they want to be together, so be it, but do they have to flaunt it?  Can't they be somewhat discreet?  I feel there is doom all around them.  

As far as the fashion at the Grammys, CBS sent out that ridiculous memo about not showing too much boob, camel toe, etc.  It was laughable and half the reason people watch the Grammys is the outrageous fashion going all the way back to Cher's Bob Mackie fashions.  The Grammys are supposed to be scandalous fashion.  It's not the Oscars.  Jennifer Lopez showed her million dollar legs, Rihanna wore a totally see through red dress on the red carpet, then changed multiple times, Katy Perry showed lots of bazooms, and Kelly Rowland dressed risqué, but for the most part, the women followed the memo.  A bit disappointing for the viewers at home.  

All in all, it was just an okay Grammy show but the highs were so high that it was worth missing Downton Abbey.  Sting and Bruno Mars and The Weight were stellar.  Definitely worth YouTubing.

Sidebars:  So the last time a Pope resigned/retired was 750 years ago.  Shocking and so fast; announced he's outta there and done 2/28/13.  Another conclave to watch and wait for the white smoke, and I'm not even Catholic.  I wonder what the real story is.  I mean, John Paul II stayed until the end with all of his ailments....It's Monday which means that it must be The Bachelor tonight.  Oy!  Still watching but it is getting harder.  The Biggest Loser is on opposite.  David E. Kelly's Monday Mornings on TNT has it's second episode tonight at 10pm. Another shooting today in a Delaware court house.  There was a shooting at the Mardi Gras parade over the weekend.  Are shootings on the rise?  I will stay on this over and over and over again.  

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Thursday, February 7, 2013


Barry Manilow.  Just saying the name makes some swoon and others cringe.  He's definitely a polarizing musical performer.  The ones that don't, really don't like him.  He's not "cool," he's "cheesy," he's "ugly," he's "bubblegum music."  On the other side of that coin are the most devoted fans, self-proclaimed Fanilows.  They have seen him a multitude of times over multiple years.  They go more than once to each engagement.  They will defend him until the end.  

I, however, just love him.  Nothing too crazy and over the top, but love him.  I fancy myself a singer so I am always partial to any musician/singer that produce songs that I can sing along to my heart's desire.  Not sure how many different genres of music I love, but I am certain that if I can't sing to it, I am not a follower.  

Back to Barry.  I first saw Barry Manilow around my 13th birthday.  My sister got tickets to see Bette Midler in Berkeley, California for my present.  I was beside myself.  We got all dressed up in fantastic vintage clothing and drove to Berkeley.  At that time, no one knew who Barry Manilow was.  Bette Midler had just crashed through with her first album, The Divine Miss M, and was on tour.  Barry Manilow was her musical director.  In the middle of the show, she gave him the spotlight and he did about 20 minutes.  He sang Mandy, I remember that distinctly.  It was the first time anyone had heard it.  It was a great moment in time.  The entire concert was fantastic, but who would have ever thought that from Zellerbach Auditorium Barry Manilow would be a mega star 40 years later.  

I have had the joy of seeing Barry Manilow multiple times over the years.  No, I'm not one of the crazy Fanilows, but always know that you get your money's worth and he sings hit after hit after hit.  I've seen him in L.A. and many times in NYC. He puts on a tremendous show, and the experience of being in the room watching him and watching the fans is something to behold.  The fans can't get enough.  They love everything he does from beginning to end.  The blind devotion and love is palpable.  

I often feel mocked for liking him by those that don't.  I feel like I need to defend myself, but millions of people can't be wrong, it's just not your taste. To all the naysayers out there, until you've tried it, don't knock it.  

Sidebars:  American Idol is so tired.  Those time slots are ripe for the picking.  Do you hear that NBC, CBS, ABC, and every cable station?  Nicki Minaj still is the most interesting judge.  Randy Jackson needs to hang it up.  Celebrity Apprentice All Stars starts soon.  Maybe this will be it?  I can't believe anyone is still watching Donald Trump.  Fox News is down.  They're dropping "talent" left and right.  Maybe Roger Ailes needs to go????  Switching gears, the fact that the remains of Richard III were found is more exciting to me than Lucy.  Remember her?  Did you see the photo of his spine???  The scoliosis was so pronounced.  Google it if you haven't read anything about it.  Fascinating.  The end of the Plantagenets and the beginning of the Tudors.  I am sure there is more, but my mind has been swirling in complete disorganization.  Be well, stay warm and hoping we don't get a big Nor'Easter.  

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