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The Real Delusional Housewives of New York City

I have this mini obsession with The Real Housewives of New York City because I was one once and my life was nothing like their lives.  The one big difference was that I actually was a housewife only working inside my apartment, whereas when this show started, most of the ladies had jobs and one wasn’t even married or a mom yet.  Regardless I’ve watched the last 3 seasons and can’t wait for the reunion show this Thursday which I will tape and watch and then discuss ad nauseum with my friend, Cindy.

Here’s what I find the most fascinating about these ongoing reality shows that make stars out of regular, every day people.  The pattern goes like this:

  • They start out gracious, slowly getting more cutting edge and offensive to get air time.
  • Then once they forget that cameras are around them, they slip up, doing or saying something bizarre or out and out mean, allowing their true selves to come out.  Since the producer caught it on tape, he/she can use these soundbites to begin casting for the roles of “villian, victim, asshole, etc.”.
  • After the first season airs and these ladies see themselves on TV, if the show is renewed, adjustments can be made.  PR people can be hired.  External appearance can be altered with boob jobs, new hairstyles and makeup palates while investing their earnings into a better wardrobe.  And if one doesn’t like the look of their home, they can cut a deal with someone to remodel or redecorate on camera at a discount in trade for free national marketing.
  • The ladies also quickly figure out a way to capitalize on their new fame, by creating a product of some sort, writing a book, or finding a record producer to autotune their voice so they can drop a dance single and badly lip sync it during the season finale.
  • After all of this occurs, one of 2 things happen:
    • They without shame, fall for their own hype, hook, line and sinker and make complete asses out of themselves erroneously believing they are celebrities on par with real ones.
    • They truly understand where they are on the celebrity food chain, openly work the system to their advantage without buying into the hype, while using what they’ve learned from watching themselves on television to make internal improvements.  They become better listeners,  communicate more clearly in the first place, treat their spouses and kids differently, or simply think before they speak and act instead of focusing only on getting more air time.

So you’d think that after 3 seasons, these ladies would’ve fine tuned the above.  Sadly this isn’t the case so instead of using the reunion special to own whatever bullshit they’ve put out there by humbly trying to repair their reputations, many will simply dig their own graves even deeper.

Kelly will continue to make the St. John’s trip an anti-bullying after school special instead of owning the fact that she’s by far, the worst verbal communicator on the planet and clearly had some sort of mental breakdown on national television.  If she could express herself in photographs or write articles in lieu of having conversations she’d maybe have 1/2 a chance with these gals.  Instead she goes toe to toe with Bethenny who arguably has the quickest wit of all reality TV show stars combined.  Kelly stupidly starts most of the arguments which I also find fascinating as it would never occur to me to piss off an expert Samurai with sword in hand, if I only had sling shot to defend myself.  I’m shocked that someone in her life that cares deeply for her hasn’t pulled her aside and explained this to her.

LuAnn brought her on the show so I’m not sure why she doesn’t do it.  I guess she’s too busy becoming a pop star since most divorced, Countesses with teenage kids and that have branded themselves as an etiquette expert often do go on to make music videos of themselves in corsets rolling around with men half their age singing about how elegance is learned, right?

Jesus H.

My prediction is that instead of seeing her musical interlude as a one time, fun way to earn money for charity, LuAnn will mistakenly use the reunion to talk about her next single making it clear that she actually believes she is a singer and thus, might be more delusional than Kelly! But don’t take my word for it.  MTV noted that:

It’s kind of like if Emily Post hooked up with T-Pain to record a spoken word jam at a late ’90s Bar Mitzvah jam.

Going on to say

The Countess’ dance number is catchy and all, filled with Auto-Tune and etiquette advice, but it’s the song’s bridge that really requires our attention. That’s where we learn the following:

» Life is all about elegance and flair and savoir-faire.

» You don’t have to be rich and famous to be unforgettable.

» It’s not about where you’re from, it’s about what you’ve learned.

She kind of has a point, doesn’t she? I’m ready for her follow-up, which hopefully will include tips on how to properly eat an artichoke, if May 1 is too early to wear white and if you can throw things at the help if they make a mistake.

As for Jill, I have no idea what will happen.  When she screws up she owns it – EVENTUALLY – but she doesn’t seem to learn from it.  If anyone has fallen too far down her own personal, PR rabbit hole, it’s poor Jill who throws an ice skating party (good idea) and then decides that she should don a pink, sequined ice skating outfit to perform for everyone (bad idea) because everyone knows that you throw a holiday party to treat your friends and loved ones not to showcase the fact that you used to skate when you were 9.

Here’s what I think happened to Jill.  Since she had been cast as the mother hen of the group during season 1, she fell for the hype and erroneously took this to mean that she was somehow the matriarch of the posse, which is different.  A mother hen, nurtures, fusses and overprotects which is annoying but can be laughed off and overlooked.  A matriarch dominates, makes demands and throws a fit when said demands aren’t followed which as we’ve seen this season results in friendships ending…badly.

I’m sure Thursday’s show will be a train wreck, which says a lot about how I spend my free time.  Sadly, I predict this next season will be the one in which the show jumps the shark.  With Bethenny leaving, there’s not enough blunt, comic relief to balance out the false pretenses and craziness so unless Sonja can take a bigger comedic role (I think she has it in her) this particular franchise is either going to crash and burn or get so nasty and underhanded that no one’s going to be able to stomach watching it any more.

Be careful Andy Cohen.  You big wigs at Bravo are at the same crossroads.  Do you believe your own hype or are you smart enough to see the big picture here?  Because if you continue to go the Jerry Spring route with your programming, your other really great shows like Top Chef or your old one, Project Runway, wont be enough to save your reputation.

I’ll guess we’ll have to watch what happens to see how this all plays out.

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5 Guys

MSNBC spent a day following around President Obama which included a burger run to Five Guys.  When I first moved to the DC area, I was thrilled to discover Five Guys, a burger joint that other fast food places should emulate:

  • They only sell hamburgers, hot dogs and fries.  No McRib sandwiches or breakfast burrito jazz at this joint. And you won’t need 15 minutes squinting to read the menu and decide what you want to order once you get there.  You simply ask yourself, “Do I want a hamburger or a hot dog and do I want fries with that?” Pretty simple.  
  • There are no freezers inside a Five Guys.  Everything is fresh.  
  • All toppings are free.  
  • There are only two sizes available:  Small and Large.  Although the large is WAY too big, the small is just right, so order a small burger for your kid AND yourself.  

Five Guys has been Zagat survey rated since 2001 and has earned the Washingtonian Magazine’s “Best Burger” award since 1991. In 2003 Five Guys expanded nationwide, so you might have one in your backyard.  If you don’t, find one the next time you’re in or around the nation’s capital.

Five Guys is a friendly reminder that the KISS concept, Keep It Simple, Stupid, is always the way to go.  Focus on one thing and do that one thing well.

Fembot Future: Favorable or Fiasco?

Usually when I get an idea for a blog, I need a moment to determine how I feel about an issue.  However, when I saw this video clip, featuring Le Tung’s female android creation, Aiko, my issue wasn’t what to write as much as where to begin.

As a scientist, I’m pretty impressed with the fact that such a realistic android has been invented.  But I gotta tell you, as a parent I’m disturbed by how young Aiko looks.

What kind of creep makes a 12-year-old looking fembot?

She's looks like she's 12-years-old! Does anyone else find that to be creepy?

As a feminist, I’m grossed out by the way in which the inventor chose to illustrate his creation’s understanding of perversity.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As a pretty blunt and straightforward person, I’m annoyed that when asked if he has sex with his creation he replies, “Yes, Aiko has sensors in her body including her private parts, and yes even down there.  AND yes Aiko is still a virgin, AND NO I do not sleep with her.”

Listen Le Tung.  If you’re smart enough to invent a robot, you’re smart enough to say the word “vagina”.  And if you took the time to put sensors in said vagina and give her a G-spot, don’t tell me that you’re not having sex with her.  And on the off chance that you are telling the truth and Aiko has turned you down, then at least admit that you hope to market her as a sex toy.  Why else would you have this picture of Aiko on your homepage?

Clearly, they're just friends.

Clearly, they're just friends.

My final annoyance comes from Le Tung’s “wish list” of Aiko’s future skills and abilities that he hopes for her to master:

  1. Facial Expressions
  2. Make tea and coffee
  3. Feed me sushi
  4. Make simple breakfast: eggs and bacon
  5. If I lie my head down on Aiko lap, have her clean my ears with a Q-tip.
  6. Ability to massage my shoulders and neck.
  7. Able to do print and write
  8. Clean the windows
  9. Dust the shelves
  10. Clean my toilet. (I hate cleaning the bathroom, might as well have someone else do it for me)

Hey, I’ve got one.  Let’s teach Aiko to puncture his eardrum with her Q-tip and then shove it up his ass.  She’s a high functioning, bilingual computer for Christ’s sake.  The bitch can do calculus.  The selfish bastard could at least have her working on the cure for cancer while she’s clipping his toenails.

But the more I explored my outrage with Le Tung, I wondered if perhaps he was more than a computer genius, but also the answer to our pervert and pedophilia ending prayers.  Could realistic looking androids be created and given to all of the psychos out there?  Would sick bastards leave real kids alone if they had fake ones?  Would rapists steal fembots to dominate instead of pulling living and breathing women into bushes?

Considering that 90% of sex trafficking involves women and girls, 50,000 females are trafficked into the United States and 2 million children worldwide are in forced into prostitution each year, would fembots do for the sex industry what automation did for the car industry?

Imagine the productivity and profit margins.  You don’t have to feed a fembot – just charge her batteries.  No more smuggling humans across state lines – just buy one at Costco.  She certainly wont run off and if she dies you don’t have to bury the body,  just recycle her parts.  An android could probably service twice if not three times as many Johns as a real woman and from a public health standpoint, you could disinfect Aiko, “down there” and voila,  no more sexually transmitted diseases.

Or would androids used for sexual satisfaction simply perpetuate more perversity in the world? Will fembots that never age, need no foreplay, and never say no (or can at least be unplugged if they do) create such an unrealistic feminine ideal that even more psychos and perverts will be created?  Will it merely take porn to even more unrealistic and dangerous, three dimensional level?

I really don’t know the answer but I think with guys like Le Tung having access to the technology that’s available today, we’re about to find out sooner than we thought.

more about “fembot“, posted with vodpod

“Prop 8 – The Musical”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about ""Prop 8 – The Musical"", posted with vodpod

Why Barack Obama? Part 3

Triathlon

I spent the weekend doing the Dewey Beach Triathlon.  I blame my post marathon relay high back in May for my being crazy enough to sign up for a triathlon when I cannot swim.  I started swimming in May.  By early July I still could not swim in the deep end of the pool so I switched gears and formed a relay team.  Maddie, God love her, did the swim,  Joanna did the bike and I did the run.  Because of my double concussion in July and the lingering dizziness I keep experiencing, my training went to hell.  I literally showed up this weekend and figured I’d be able to run 3 miles.  I did.  It was hot.  My back hurt.  My quads were tight, but I did it.  And due to my fabulous teammates we came in 25th place out of 40.

The moral of the story:  Training for things is better but even if you don’t train, your body can do more than you think it can.  It just hurts more days later if you don’t prepare.  I still can’t walk down steps or get into a seated position without grimacing.  I’ll survive.

I went to Dewey with 11 other women, 8 of which competed.  I am so proud of my friends and what they accomplished.

  • Donna has a bad knee AND a bad ankle and therefore never runs – she finished.
  • Karen doesn’t run at all – she finished – jogging across the finish line with Donna, thank you very much.
  • Kristin, who’s father, David Hall, tragically drowned in the ocean a few years ago, not only finished, but kicked the ocean’s ass and did one for Dad – amazing courage – I cant even imagine what that took to swim way out past the breakers like that!
  • Lynn lover of water and water sports, but without any swimming technique, taught herself to swim over the summer by practicing in the Potomac River – she finished – with the best time out of our group.
  • DeeAnn and Lindsey, long time runners, became triathlon machines training together for this event all summer – they finished.
  • Maddie and Joanna trained moderately (Joanna was also nursing a bad back) yet with ease had amazing times on their parts of the relay.
  • Jeanne, another gal from Frederick, also competed.  This would be the same Jeanne that qualified for this year’s Boston Marathon.  She came in 30th overall and placed third in the Novice Women’s Group at Dewey, her FIRST triathlon by the way.
  • These fabulous women are between 33 – 46 years of age.  Some have been exercising hard for years.  Others kicked up their fitness regimen just for this event.
  • And I can’t forget Ian, the lone Frederick Man that signed up. He did the entire tri with a pretty bad chest cold.  Unbelievable!

When we pulled into the parking lot the morning of the triathlon, a stunningly, beautiful women stepped out of the car parked beside us.  Her long flowing hair was almost completely gray and she had to be in her late 50’s / early 60’s.  She asked if this was our first triathlon then told us she was a returning Dewey Beach Tri participant.

“Last year I just told myself, ‘I don’t give a shit‘, she explained. “I don’t care if I’m last or the slowest, I’m just going to go out there, take my time, finish and have fun.”

I saw her later over by the relay transition area.  She looked fabulous in her wet suit, jogging in after her swim.  She handed off her ankle chip to a pretty dapper elderly gentlemen and he took off on his bike.  She peeled off her wet suit and then sat on her towel and caught some sun beams. She didn’t seem stressed or even winded.  She simply seemed, content.

I thought I’d see 1000 young, psychotically fit people.  I didn’t.  I saw every shape, size and age this weekend.  Some folks had all the high tech gear while others just threw on shorts and grabbed an old bicycle to participate.

Another Moral Of This Story:  Nike and that woman in the parking lot are right.  You’ve gotta just do it.  And while you’re doing it, don’t give a shit – just have fun and finish.  You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Seeing Old Friends

It was so nice to see the gals from Sex and The City on the big screen last night. If you’re a fan of the show – go. If you’ve never seen the show and think you’ll be lost – go anyway as you’ll be caught up on all things SATC before the opening credits are finished.

The reviews are mixed on the movie which bugs me. When I reunite with old friends I don’t need for them to have perfect lives for me to enjoy the evening. When I spend time with ladies that I love I want to hear about their lives, warts and all. A reunion is about connection – not slamming your gal pals for all of their choices (like many of the reviewers did). What’s the fun in that?

My suggestion is:

  1. Avoid all spoilers and movie trailers (which is why I didn’t link to the SATC site)
  2. See the movie with a group of your favorite ladies.
  3. Bring some tissues.
  4. Go out afterwards and talk about it.

I had a fabulous evening catching up with old friends and making new connections. My one neighbor had never watched the show and she loved it. We had a blast filling her in on some of the old story lines from the show and talking about our favorite scenes from episodes gone by.

We also LOVED seeing women our age on the big screen. They were beautiful, smart, sexual, powerful and funny. I hope the powers that be in Hollywood take note and start giving us more of this in the future.