Category Archives: TV

Enough Already with the F$%#@! "Path to’s!"

I’ve mentioned before that I love self-help books. Oh yes, there isn’t a self-help book out there that I haven’t longingly flipped through hoping to find all the answers to all my questions. I should also mention that I am quite far along in my recovery… from self-help books. I no longer have a tall stack of these marvelous literary works sitting next to my couch just waiting for my perusal.

That’s not to say that I no longer read self-help books. I just am controlling my impulse to buy every fucking book that has “…the Path to…” in the title. “The Path to Enlightenment,” “The Path to a Healthy Back,” “The Path to a Great Self-Esteem,” “The Real Path to the Right Path…” AGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! Sorry, I think I just had an enlightened moment.

Unfortunately, recently I had a relapse. I gave in to the temptation and bought several self-help books. But, before I get to those books I need to say something. Hang on just a second while I compose myself…

Ok, everyone take a deep breath now. And exhale. I am about to say something that is probably going to get me banned from blogger.com. Wait for it… Wait for it… I’m ready. I am sick of Oprah. I am sick of all the “big gives.” I am sick of her “favorite things.” I am sick of the trips to Africa. And, most of all I am sick of “The Oprah Book Club.” Fuck. I feel better, but now I have to explain. First of all, she’s the self-appointed Mayor of Narcissist Village. That’s enough to drive anyone crazy. I think it’s swell that she wants to make the world a better place. Lovely. But, the Oprah franchise is getting just a little out of hand, don’t ya think? The show. The magazine. The schools. The online courses. It’s pretty sad that her stamp of approval is like winning the world series for a writer. It guarantees an immediate trip to the top of the best seller’s list.

I have to come clean, though. I am guilty of buying books because I saw them on her show. And, I am also guilty of enjoying some of them. For instance, I loved “Eat, Pray, Love.” But, after recently buying “The Secret,” “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth,” I am over it. First off, let me tell you just how much I hated “The Secret.” It’s Awful. Horrendous. I was so offended by that book that I got rid of it after reading just about 4 chapters. I gave it all the chance it deserved to prove to me it was good. And, it failed. I love the concept that there is power in positive thinking and even in negative thinking. But, to take it to the level of blaming the Holocaust on the Jews and cancer on one’s own negative thoughts, well now, that’s just fucked up. Sometimes bad things just happen. Or, sometimes they happen because an evil, inhumane ruler decides to try and wipe out an entire group of people.

Oh, crap. I’m really on my soapbox today. I had better watch my “stinkin’ thinkin’.” All I will say about the other two Eckhart Tolle books I purchased is that I about choked on the amount of conceited, self-congratulatory back-patting that I found in the introductions alone. According to the books, I guess I’m just not “enlightened” enough to be ready for them. In the words of Chelsea Handler, one of my favorite comedians, Mr. Tolle can “suck it, suck it real hard.” There.

I guess I’m not as evolved as I thought I was.

Saint Dominique

Look out Mother Teresa, there’s a new girl in town. And she’s hungry. Well, not in a Calcutta sort of way, but more like an ANTM sort of way. This is the type of shit I live for. I mean seriously. I sit watching America’s Next Top Model just waiting, hoping for someone to give me some precious jewel that I can take and run with. So, I’m just gonna get straight to the good stuff.

And, I quote…

“I wanna be like freakin’ Mother Teresa, but in a diva kind of way, okay?!”

–Cycle 10 contestant, Dominique

Wow. She said this shortly after she’d named several others whom she wanted to emulate. People such as Donald Trump, Oprah, etc… This girl from Columbus, OH, has got some serious narcissistic issues. To the point of being completely delusional. I love it. And to think that all the girls on the show hate her. This is where reality TV is really great, because you can’t edit this stuff in. No matter what context you put that clip into, Dominique just looks like an ass. I think I’m really starting to like her.

I don’t know what made that resonate with me so strongly. Maybe it’s the fact that she is putting Donald Trump and Mother Teresa in the same category. And then, to suggest that’s what she wanted for herself. Bless her heart. Dominique has such a healthy ego. Her version of self denial (if she even knows what that means) is restricting the number of times she compliments herself a day to less than 30. Also, I doubt that Mother Teresa ever had aspirations of being a Top Model. I could be wrong, though. I mean, they do share a certain man-ish quality. A certain je ne sais quoi. And, maybe late a night when she was all alone she practiced her wide-eye squint. So, Let’s compare photos:

Here’s our Blessed Mother Teresa looking fierce…

And, here’s the fabu St. Dominique…


I will admit that I did have to look hard to find a picture of her that was less than flattering. Damn Photoshop, damn you to hell.

I guess it’s not fair of me to single out St. Dominique when there are so many other seriously odd looking/behaving girls on the show. She just has made herself such an easy target. Which is the reason that I absolutely will never ever be a contestant on ANTM. I, too, have man-ish charateristics. As Tyra (or least I think it was her…) puts it, “There is a lot of ugly in the business of being pretty.” Truer words have never been spoken, Tyra.

Miss America…LIVE!

Yesterday, Jeff and I made ourselves sick with the amount of TV we watched. I hate when that happens. I just didn’t know when to quit. I think this is how Jeff put it: “I feel gross.” And frankly, I did too. I think what really pushed it over the edge was watching Miss America…Live!, the culmination of a 4-week Miss America reality show and 2-hour re-creation of the Miss America Pageant.

Let me start by saying that I love beauty pageants. I grew up watching the Miss America pageant. And, I loved every minute of it’s plastic glory. I dreamed of saying:

“I’m Tyler Lee, a 5th grader majoring in music, and proud to be from Pleasantville, IOWA, the town where the name says it all and the state where the corn is tall! And, I want to be your next Miss America!”

I would sit in overly-eager anticipation waiting for the real Miss Iowa to take her turn at the microphone. I would sit and think, “Now she has a chance!” And, every year the title would go to some bimbo from Oklahoma or Texas or California. Oh, Miss Iowa often made it to the final 10, but the crown would inevitably go to someone who could sing “opera” or play the “violin,” never to Miss Iowa, who could only juggle flaming ears of corn. Have you ever juggled flaming ears of corn?

I didn’t think so.

And, I wasn’t disappointed last night to see that Miss Iowa was just as plastic as always–even after the 4-week reality series that was aimed at teaching the contestants how to be more real. I knew it would never work. Miss Iowa wouldn’t crack. She was totally a Stepford Wife. Minus the husband, of course. And, she was a finalist. But, alas, she didn’t win. But, she could have, if they hadn’t made this ridiculous push to make the contestants “real.”

I guess “real” to whomever runs the pageant means that girls wear jeans and tank tops, and that they are allowed to do their best stripper walk during the swimsuit competition. I kept on waiting for someone to drop it like it’s hot. Oh yeah, we also got to hear why they chose their evening gowns. Which, just made them seem more annoying and less worthy of the title Miss America.

I think what I always loved about the pageant as a kid was the fact that they didn’t quite seem real. I think that they called it “poised.” I would sit and wait for someone to mess up or trip or stutter. Then, I would think…Amateur. But, those days are gone. They’re all amateur. Except for good ol’ Miss Iowa. Tough as nails, nothing could wipe that smile off her face.

Here’s a great clip from the 80s. Do you remember when they would actually sing the opening song? This has everything that was great about the pageant…

The Wide-Eye Squint

Several years ago my friend Jaclyn and I were on TV. It was super exciting. We were roommates at the time, making a routine trip to the store. The camera crew was waiting for us outside with the news reporter pointing a mic in our faces demanding we answer his questions. Once we found our mark and the lighting “sweet spot,” we each began to share our New Year’s resolutions. Being blinded by the fame and glory that surely awaited me once it aired, I don’t fully remember what I said. I think it was something totally cute and adorable, yet important enough to make people question their own resolutions. Jaclyn told the world that she didn’t really make New Year’s resolutions.

I happen to think that I am totally photogenic. The camera loves me. It’s a problem really. Perhaps, a curse. Anytime someone points a camera in my face, I pose. “It’s like a gift from God, or something.” (Thank you, Drop Dead Gorgeous) It just always feels like I should turn my head slightly and pucker just a little. Or perhaps, give the wide-eye squint that I learned from Tyra Banks (ANTM). And, you know, sometimes I should give the camera my right side, it really is my better side. Ok, I am totally obsessed with modeling. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually think that I could or should be a model. I find it totally amusing. I’m just fascinated by the whole modeling world.

Perhaps, it’s the fact that none of it is real or attainable. I mean, seriously, normal people don’t look like models. And who decided that a morbidly thin girl with impossibly high cheek bones and sunken eyes was the epitome of sexy? Maybe, being part of the misfit clique in high school made me the way I am. It would be interesting to see if any of my misfit friends enjoy making fun of the modeling world the same way I do. There is just an arrogance about it that is totally hilarious to me. So, I make fun of it.

Some of my favorite movies and TV shows are based on this subject. Take, for instance, Zoolander. “Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?” It’s one of those movies that I could just keep quoting forever. And then, there is America’s Next Top Model or ANTM, as it’s fans refer to it. It’s funny to me to listen to the judges critique the contestants. It really embraces everything that I find funny about the modeling world. But, my latest obsession is Make Me A SuperModel. There is just something ultra-satisfying about watching pretty people fight over who is the prettiest.

However, the real gem for me this winter has been Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants. This reality TV show/mother-daughter beauty pageant/cat-fight contest has provided me with such laugh out loud moments of glee. I owe it big time for all of the material it’s given me. It puts me in my happy place. But, now I have completely digressed.

Oh crap. This post was going to be about New Year’s Resolutions. I was going to segue from my TV moment into my resolutions for this year. Fuck that. Oh yeah, I wasn’t gonna say fuck so much this year. Oh well, maybe next year.

How do you like my wide-eye squint?

Now, just a tilt…

Ok, now that’s too much…

…looks like my face is about to implode. I totally just cracked myself up with this
“photo shoot.” I seriously need to be on medication.

I’m a victim.

I’m a victim. Yeah, yeah…I know everyone thinks that they are a victim. But, seriously, I am a victim. Jesus. There, I said it. I feel soooo much better. Wait…actually, now that I said it, it doesn’t sound quite right–I am a survivor. There. I like that much better.

I am a youth choir survivor. This may not initially sound like a big deal, but, it is. You know, youth choirs…think cheesy music and choreography. Sort of like Up With People, just not as “polished.” My first (that’s right, there was more than one!) choir was called Harmony, Inc. It was a youth choir that got together for a month every summer to rehearse and tour and evangelize the vastly pagan area of our country called the Midwest. Of course, we had thousands of converts. 😉

It was during one of these tours that I met a brassy soprano named Laura. Laura was everything a young gay boy could hope for in a “girlfriend.” She was big, both in size and personality. She styled her overly-curled blonde hair so that the back of her hair was hanging over her forehead. She was sort of like an early 80s version of Madonna, only on steroids. Clearly from the moment we met, we were destined to be together. In many ways, she was one of the most bizarre looking people I had ever seen. Laura was a misfit–truly, one of my peeps. So, of course, we instantly hit it off. Most important to this story, however, Laura was a drama queen. Literally. She was the president of her Thespian troupe. So, it is no surprise that our whirlwind relationship had all the workings of a Shakespearean tragedy. Our love was not to be…

Following a particularly emotional choir rehearsal, she approached me and said, “We’ve lost our spark.”

“Huh?” (I was like totally articulate in high school)

“You know, when we first met, there was a spark between the two of us…well, it’s gone.”

“Are we breaking up?”

“Let’s just be friends.”

It was at this point that I first mastered the fine art of holding a grudge. I also learned how to so completely ignore someone that it caused them acute pain. At least, in my head, that was the case. I continue, to this day, to excel at both of these skills.

If Laura wanted to “just be friends,” I would kill her with my glares or lack thereof. I’d teach her a real life lesson: Don’t mess with a confused gay teenage boy. I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one to teach her that lesson. Somehow, I managed to survive the following weeks by pouring my angst into the music. I could force the tears out at the height of a song. Unfortunately, so could my ex-girlfriend. It became a weeping contest. All would see that I was truly a spiritual person who had been through a lot–more than Laura. It all was really great drama. At least, until the director approached us after one of our concerts and asked if we could “control our emotions” just a little bit. How embarrassing for him–trying to stifle our pain. I’d direct my venom at him.

That would free me from being mad at Laura. We bonded over our hatred of the choir director. Of course, we became best friends.

The Fall TV Line-Up

Ahhhh, after a summer filled with too many reality TV shows, finally, the fall TV line-up is here! And, I just gotta say, I am giddy with glee. Although, once again, I am confronted with my addiction. (Check out My Latest Addiction)

It is very exciting. And, since Jeff and I don’t watch anything live anymore, we have to negotiate our TV schedule. We have to decide what things we are going to watch together and what things we’ll watch alone. And, since my DVR only can record two things at once, sometimes we have to prioritize what we want to watch. Hopefully, there is time left in the weekend for things like meals and friends.

Perhaps a warning sign that we are consumed with television can be found in the fact that we talk so much about TV when we aren’t watching it. Last night, after watching the season premiere of Heroes, Jeff and I got into a discussion about the super powers we would like to have. While Jeff opted for the cheerleader’s ability to heal herself, I opted for a more dangerous one. I would kill people with my “winning smile.” It’s not that I would want to kill people. God no. You see, I can’t control it. I flash my pearly whites at people, and whammo…they’re dead. I’ll have to learn how to channel it. Maybe just toward evil people…

Ok, now, I know that I probably shouldn’t watch Dexter. Although, maybe that’s why Jeff chose to have the ability to heal himself, since, his boyfriend would kill him every time he smiles at him. This whole “look” thing may stem from my newest love, America’s Next Top Model. Let me tell you, if anyone can kill you with a smile or a “look,” it would be those girls. There is some serious venom flying around that show. This season they are “going green” and the girls are not allowed to smoke; so, all I have to say is…bitch alert. It’s gonna be good.

With all this drama, it’s a good thing that I watch 30 Rock and The Office to even me out. Jeff doesn’t really care for those shows, or maybe he just realizes that it is not feasible to watch 17 hours of television in a week. So, those are my onion peeling shows. When I get home from a trip I need to peel off the layers that I’ve put around me, sort of like an onion. So, I watch those shows to help me soften up before I see Jeff.

After writing this, I am amazed that I could center an entire article on the TV shows that I watch. The sad thing is that I didn’t even mention them all. But, I need to end this, because, I need to go get my fix. It’s been over an hour since I last watched TV, I’m sorry I gotta go…

The Unsung Hero…


I am so thankful for Britney Spears. There. I said it. I don’t know what I would do without her. Just when I thought that things were getting just a little boring in the world of pop culture, Britney saved the day by giving one of the worst “live” lip sync performances ever. I would have loved to have posted the video, but, there are all kinds of copyright issues right now. One of the only places I think that you can still see it is on MTV.com. Click on the link and wait through the advertisement. Jeff and I watched it last night and I’ve recreated my expression to the right (yes, I am sporting a new do!).

Not only does she not even attempt to make the lip-syncing look “real,” but she also seems a little unstable on her feet. My favorite part is when the camera pans to the celebs in the audience. There is this look of “oh shit, is this for real?” on their faces. Oh, yes indeed, my friends, it is for “real.” The song itself isn’t horrible. Britney is at least smart enough to hire people that can make her tracks sound decent. Once again, though, she has proved that you don’t need talent to be famous. I actually take that back. Britney does have two large “talents” in front and one “talent” a little lower that she likes to show off, especially while getting out of cars.

Speaking of being famous with no talent, you should check out Chris Crocker’s “leave Britney alone” video on Youtube. She is the self-proclaimed “Queen of Complaining.”
——
Here’s how I looked when the video started…

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This was my look when the video finished…

All I have to say to that is this: I love video blogging. This video post is from the “famous” Chris Crocker. Chris was on the Jimmy Kimmel show last night via iChat and is famous only for her ranting video posts. I don’t know, she seems just a little “unstable” to me. But, I have to admit, I did laugh. I should also mention that Ms. Crocker is actually Mr. Crocker, but since he seems oblivious to that fact, I will respect that and call him Miss. If you go to youtube.com you will be able to see her many posts including one on PMS, which is most enlightening.

I’ll say it again. I love video blogging. It brings out the crazy in everyone–including myself. For a better example, please view my post Meet My Chirren. I, too, have my unstable moments. Nobody is perfect. My mama raised me right, though. You save those unstable moments for your loved ones to experience, and then you blog about it later.