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Weekly Update for Oct 24th

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Tattooed

I got a tattoo Friday. It’s my first tattoo and probably my last because it hurt like a SOB. I don’t like pain. PERIOD. But to show my support for Breast Cancer awareness, the pain was worth every minute. My daughter and I both got the Breast Cancer awareness pink ribbon in honor of my Grandma Marcella (who passed away in 1981) and my Aunt Rita (who is now in remission).

Job

I was finally hired by the Disability Determination Division of Social Security and started Oct 1. Work provided me with CART (Computer Assisted Real-time Transcription) for training and it’s helping me so much. Many times, the speakers tend to wander away from the front of the room or need to demonstrate something on the computer and I can’t see them anymore. It’s a complicated situation because we have computers in front of us and until they find a place to put us in the building, we’ll be doing our actual work in the training room.

Disclaimer: NO I cannot look up your case on my work computer! We are only allowed to look up the cases we are assigned. And yes, they do keep tabs on where we’ve been in the computer system.

Cochlear Implant

As part of my new job, I recently learned that Cochlear Implant recipients are considered disabled by Social Security for a period of one year following the implantation just like any other organ transplant. I had NO idea and this is a fairly new change. It was effective Aug. 2, 2010.

I tried using an ALD (Assistive Listening Device) during training, but the processor doesn’t seem compatible with the ALD. I used one when I had a hearing aid and thought it would help to use it in training, but the ticking noise was overwhelming and I can’t use it. I’m going to be looking into this over the next few weeks and have my audiologist recommend some products.

Cooking

Now that I’m working full-time, Charlie is taking a more active role in meal preparation. At least he’s making sure the kitchen is clean and helping me choose what to cook. We discovered McCormick’s Recipe Inspirations recently. I absolutely love the Sage Porkchops and Apples and the Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes. Each one has a reusable recipe card so all I have to do is stock up on the spices in the future. This week we’re going to try the Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas and the Spanish Chicken Skillet.

Advanced TV

Cox finally upgraded OKC to Advanced TV and I love it! I’ve been able to catch up on my shows and even watch a few shows I’d never seen before. We can only record 2 shows at a time. Plus now we can search by typing in the name of the show instead of having to SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL through the listings.

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Written by ChattyCathy867

October 24, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Mrrreowww…Catfight Season on Real Housewives of NYC

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Bethenny Frankel of Bravo's Real Housewives of NYC

I’m a great fan of all the Real Housewives shows on Bravo, but my favorite is the Housewives of NYC.  This season seems to be catfight after catfight with the majority of the “housewives” taking sides in the Bethenny vs. Jill showdown.  What happened between Bethenny and Jill seems to be a horrible misunderstanding blown out of proportion by Jill.  Yet, instead of sitting down and having a conversation about her feelings with the woman that was her BFF for the past few years, Jill decides she’s too high and mighty to reconcile and tells Bethenny they are no longer friends.  After finding out Bethenny and Jason are engaged, Jill suddenly tries to “make nice” and congratulate them.  For Bethenny, this appears to be a case of “too little too late”. 

Kelly Bensimon of Bravo's Real Housewives of NYC

Tonight’s episode featured Kelly suddenly breaking down and getting nasty with Bethenny, stating that she is a horrible person.  Somehow, Kelly got the idea that Bethenny pulled some kind of stunt in the media and caused irreparable harm to Kelly’s children.  I have NO idea what that is about and Sonja made several comments tonight that Kelly has never offered any proof that Bethenny did anything wrong.  Hopefully next week there will be more details on exactly what in the world caused Kelly to melt down like she did tonight.

Written by ChattyCathy867

May 14, 2010 at 12:47 am

Miami Won’t Get You…It Has No Rhythm

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Shannon McCoughYou’d think with all the Latino culture to grace Miami, American Idol would find some decent talent. But no, the show opens with the Belching Butcher aka Shannon McCough. Hideously dressed like an 80’s flashback in a green dress with a pink sequin belt and gloves and black sequined beret, Shannon just could not believe they didn’t think she was a good singer. After all, she was the local singing contest winner and has her pictures plastered all over her daddy’s butcher shop.

But the second contestant, “boy bander turned rocker” Robbie Caprico, was good enough to get the first ticket to Hollywood. He even has his own fan club complete with firecrackers and fiesta string that scared Ryan.

GalebGaleb the Venezuelan Gypsy looks oddly familiar…almost like a Latino version of Balki from “Perfect Strangers” (remember him?). Galeb gets brownie points (and a golden ticket) for singing something DIFFERENT for a change, a Marc Antony (J-Lo’s hubby) song. He needs work on his accent, but he has a nice voice.

BrittanyMeet the “Manhunters”, or as Ryan introduced them, Corliss and Brittany. Great personality and great banter with the judges, but from experience, I’m thinking the flashier they are, the less likely they have any singing talent. But like Jeffrey and Michelle, I was pleasantly surprised with both ladies.

Brittany’s version of “My Guy” blew me away (and no it wasn’t from the high winds pummeling Central Oklahoma right now). I couldn’t help but root for them; they were so energetic and vibrant.

Samantha Toon and Ramiel Maubai both won a trip to Hollywood. Samantha wowed the judges with her sultry sexiness and seductive voice. Then, Ramiel surprised them by singing “Natural Woman”. The judges didn’t expect such a big voice from such a little girl.

Syesha Mercado

But Syesha Mercado, who probably had the best smile on Idol so far this season, overwhelmed them with her version of Aretha Franklin’s “Think”. (I thought it was a bit loud, but I’m hard of hearing, so I guess she was trying to make sure I could hear her?)

Julie DubelaThe last contestants featured in Miami were perfect examples of what NOT to do during an audition. Richard Valoy sang through his nose, while Julie Dubela was full of herself and proved she is an overindulged brat who’s never heard the word “no”.

Brandon Black aka Bran BFinally, Bran B managed to succeed in doing nearly everything you should never do:

  1. Don’t run in like an idiot.
  2. Don’t come on to Paula (unless your hawt).
  3. Don’t sing in a bad falsetto.
  4. Don’t start taking your clothes off (unless you’re buff and Paula is in the mood).

Shockingly, only 17 Miami contestants won tickets to Hollywood. Well, one more city left next Tuesday, when Idol auditions in Ryan’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

Written by ChattyCathy867

January 30, 2008 at 9:43 pm

The Queens of Omaha

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For the first time ever, American Idol holds auditions in Omaha, Nebraska. And after an hour of watching the few auditions featured, I asked myself, who knew there were so many queens in the Cornhusker State?

Chris BerhneisalThe first contestant, Chris Bernheisal, declared this to be the greatest moment of his life and even brought bribes, oops! I mean, gifts for the judges. Chris effeminately described American Idol as a second chance for people to pursue their dreams and started getting weepy. His audition was a combination of bad singing, weird dancing and shaky handstands while Randy and Simon laughed. After Chris demonstrated his “red carpet” announcement, Simon ordered him to tell the local FOX affiliate to send him to Hollywood for the Finale and he can be the Next Seacrest (Oh and be sure to tell Seacrest Simon said so).

Jason RichWhile waiting for Paula to show, Jason Rich, a small town boy who works part-time as a farmer, performed and got stuck after the first line. And the second. And the third. Finally, he remembered enough of the song to give a Simon and Randy a reason to send him to Hollywood. Simon warned him there are no second chances in Hollywood if you forget the lyrics.

Rachel WickerPaula finally arrived and we met Rachel Wicker, a six-time arm wrestling champion. After defeating most of the contestants and a stalemate with Ryan, Rachel offered to wrestle Simon, but he turned her down (BAWK! BAWK!). Rachel sang a country song complete with what Randy described as a “half-yodel”, then “strong-armed her way into Hollywood” by arm-wrestling Paula.

Lady MorgueBut Rachel wasn’t the only wrestler in the crowd. Sara Whittaker, a former professional wrestler known as “Lady Morgue”, sang what Simon described as “the soundtrack to this town” in a voice that did NOT match her personality. After Sara left, Ryan entered the audition room complaining Sara was not happy about being turned down.

Samantha SidleyRyan and Simon bickered for awhile then Paula traded places Ryan during Samantha Sidley’s audition. From the start, it was obvious Samantha had confidence issues and the little girl sway she did while singing proved her lack. But the judges thought she was good and all four (if you count Ryan) said yes, with hopes that she’ll improve her showmanship, so Samantha is on her way to Hollywood.

Angelica PuenteLack of performance and showmanship seems to be a theme in Omaha, because the next contestant was also told she needed to work on her performance. Angelica Puente was told she has a promising voice but she needs to quit listening to the divas.

David CookInstead, start listening to…rockers? With the success of Season 5 runner up Chris Daughtry, more rockers than ever have been auditioning, including David Cook of my hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma. David managed to get a ticket to Hollywood but was told…what else? Work on your persona!

Johnny EscamillaJohnny Escamilla has plenty of personality, unfortunately it’s scary enough to get rid of Paula’s hiccups! He showed up wearing a sparkly gold jacket and was everything Simon hated. Johnny was the perfect example of “something ain’t right” just like the medley of bad singers featured after his performance.

Leo MarlowThank goodness, Omaha saved the best for last! Les Marlow impressed the judges with his friendly, outgoing personality. And he admitted his mother says she “raised the perfect homecoming queen; too bad it wasn’t one of her daughters.” Paula liked him so much, she wanted to take him home as a pet.

Only 19 contestants from Omaha made it to Hollywood week, but maybe more will be found Wednesday night as Idol “savors the flavor” of Miami.

Written by ChattyCathy867

January 30, 2008 at 8:37 pm

AMERICAN IDOL – Charleston Auditions 2008

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The first time American Idol auditions are held in Charleston, S.C. more than 10,000 contestants, from all over the country, show up to audition. Some of them even look like former Idols. Simon has no idea where he is ("Are we on the West Coast?" he asks.) and Ryan is running late(I’m sure the limo driver got lost and nothing more).

Just as auditions are about to open, Oliver Himan gets a call from his wife, whose water just broke at 37-weeks, so off he goes to take her to the hospital to deliver their baby.

Richard

The first contestant to audition is the "Black Clay Aiken" complete with an afro SuperFly would love. I’d compare him to a young Michael Jackson, but that would be tacky because his "moves" while singing "I Can’t Make You Love Me" were just pitiful. Randy thought he was "over the top". Paula said the theatrics were too much. And Simon compared him to a 70’s cruise ship cabaret act.(snickering at the comparison)

Deanna PrevetteThe next contestant, from Albemarle, N.C. hometown of Kellie Pickler, actually made me yearn for Pickles to return. Deanna Prevatte was rude, crude, just a little cranky during her audition. Might have helped if she could sing, but alas, even Pickles was better than her. Let’s hope the local shrink will take pity on her after seeing this and offer her free counseling to deal with her anger at the Sunday Customers who only tip a dollar after running her ragged with the all-you-can-eat. (Think she’ll have a job after this airs?)

Crystal Ortiz and Randy StarkThose of you who spend hours on the AI.com boards and blogs like I do should have gotten a kick out of the story of Crystal Ortiz and Randy Stark who met through the MyIdol Community. Neither of them can sing good enough for a ticket to Hollywood, but the judges loved the story of their romance.

Michelle LampkinJeffrey Lampkin Who are these people on my television screen and why is he wearing a tie on his head? Why, it’s the brother/sister team of Michelle and Jeffrey Lampkin, singing a very good duet to "I’m Your Angel" by R Kelly. Randy and Paula were smiling, and Simon declared them to be a breath of fresh air (after telling them they were slightly inappropriate at the end). Jeffrey is the better of the two, but Simon can’t split them up, so while Paula does her Oprah clap, Michelle and Jeffrey receive the first Golden Tickets of the day.

And now an update on Oliver: he’s on his way to the hospital with his wife but can’t seem to find his way around. Does that mean he’s lost?

Perhaps not as lost as the judges as they (and us) sit through a medley of bad auditions with everyone botching and some were actually making up the lyrics to "Before He Cheats". Keep the Louisville Slugger away from that angry lady in the red dress with the bad color job though. She looks like she’s had experience dealing with a cheating mate!

Amy Catherine FlynnThe next contestant has probably never had to deal with a cheating mate because she preaches abstinence. Sixteen-year old Amy Catherine Flynn, a Catholic school girl, dance team captain, and AI contestant shared her beliefs regarding teen sexuality and abstinence. (I’d rather listen to her than Milo.) After singing "Reflection", Paula tells "A.C." she has a pure, innocent, beautiful voice and Randy think she has mad potential. But Simon thinks she’s an annoying girl singing in a bedroom. (Am not. Are too. Am not. Are too. ) After declaring her the newest recipient of the prized Golden Ticket, Randy tells her to stay away from Ryan Seacrest and to "give him that speech, he really needs it." (My daughter rewound the DVR and made me watch A.C. again and again. Can we get on with it already? I want an update on Oliver’s new baby.)

FINALLY! She’s tired of watching A.C. and I get my update. Oliver found the hospital and away they go to bring their new daughter into the world.

London WeidbergAt the end of day one, only a handful of contestants have won the coveted Golden Ticket. Then, we meet full-time musician London Wiedburg of Charleston, who shared with us that after her father passed away, she was inspired to pursue her dreams. Her performance of a Billie Holliday song, "Good Morning Heartache" was enough for her to continue pursuing her dream of becoming the next American Idol.

Day two opens with me doing a double-take and rewinding the DVR. Is that Seacrest in the water? Sure looks like him!

Lindsey GoodmanShe can fly the C-17, a plane bigger than a football field, but can she sing? The judges were surprised that such a young, beautiful woman is a USAF transport pilot , but Lindsay Goodman informed them that there were lots of female pilots who put pageant queens to shame. Unfortunately, Lindsay has more nerves flying Globemasters than she does singing "Black Velvet". Her audition wasn’t good enough for Hollywood.

Aretha CodnerRyan segues with a comment about "bringing the big guns out". What is he talking about? Then I figure it out. Aretha Codner of Brooklyn has BIG UNS. She puts Dolly Parton to shame. And that big, wide, silver belt on a strapless blue dress does nothing except attract more attention to her décolletage. Simon thought she murdered Whitney Houston’s "I have Nothing". Randy liked the belt. To her everlasting shame, she will see herself on National Television making a fool of herself insisting "I Really Can Sing!"

Joshua BosunAmerican Idol auditions wouldn’t be complete without at least one reject rant, and we’re rewarded for our wait when Joshua Bosun starts rambling about how the show is fake and rigged and how the judges suck. He was so into his rant he walked out before the judges could tell him no.

Olilver HimanFinally, Day Two comes to a close and Oliver returns with his new daughter, Emma Grace. I’m going to make excuses for him because he probably hasn’t had much sleep and his audition didn’t go well. Simon said his rendition of "Get Here" was weird and old fashioned. All of the judges agreed he had too much falsetto and vibrato. At least he has a great story to tell his daughter when she grows up!

Out of 12,000 contestants in Charleston, only 23 managed to get a Golden Ticket to Hollywood. Maybe next week they’ll have more luck in Nebraska.

Written by ChattyCathy867

January 23, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Idol Embarrassment

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I’ve been working so much this past week; I didn’t even get a chance to blog about Idol. I was too tired to take notes and I had to go to bed immediately after Idol ended so I could get up at 4:30 in the morning. Fortunately, the mandatory overtime is DONE KAPUT FINISHED for the time being, and I can work a normal schedule and start living a more “normal” life. And don’t tell me to DVR American Idol. That’s kind of like trying to translate a joke into ASL (American Sign Language)…it’s just NOT the same.

But we simply HAD to record the “Stalker National Anthem”. Simon had it right when he called that guy “creepy”. Poor Paula is such a NUT MAGNET. I feel for her.

This morning I was reading my local newspaper and discovered an “Idol Recap” of Tuesday night auditions written by Tami Althoff of “The Daily Oklahoman” titled, “Embarrassment doesn’t deter ‘Idol’ hopefuls”. In the article, Ms. Althoff points out that some of the auditions should never have made it as far as they did, but I think the producers let these people embarrass themselves because it is “good television”, meaning it brings them ratings.

The judges (mainly Simon) constantly refer to some contestant performances as “bad karaoke”. I wonder how many of these “Idol hopefuls” actually show up at auditions thinking they can sing because they get drunk and sing karaoke all the time. These are the people without any experience of any kind, not even school chorus or church choir. Or do they actually sing in a choir and the director is too scared to tell them they can’t sing?

Flashback. I was in my junior high chorus because I love to sing. I mean LOVE it. As you know, I’m profoundly deaf and use hearing aids. But at 13 years old, I had NO idea I couldn’t hear myself sing. No one told me. Until one day, I was so off-key, the teacher was so frustrated she yelled at me in front of the entire class, “I know you can’t hear yourself sing, but you are way off.” I was so embarrassed I just sat there trying not to cry my eyes out. I never sang out loud in public again. Not that I let that incident stop me altogether. I learned sign language specifically so I could sing again.

I get embarrassed easily when I sing in sign language though, because people will stare at me and I can feel their eyes on me. This was at church when I still attended. But after church, several people would come up to me or talk to someone with me and tell them watching me “sing” touched them. I’ve even “sang” at karaoke while a friend was doing vocals to a song I knew. That was even more embarrassing to have all those drunks watching me!

Fortunately, I’m so much older than 28 now that I won’t even consider trying out for American Idol and embarrassing myself on national television. Scratch that statement. The age limit doesn’t mean anything to several of the people trying out. Just as that freak “Milo” who sang about “no sex allowed” while wearing a faux fur animal-print vest.

P.S. I think Weird Al needs to buy the “Stalker National Anthem” from the Paula Fan and record it!

Written by ChattyCathy867

January 20, 2008 at 11:03 am

Writer’s Strike

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HELIXHELIXHELIXAfter the announcement the Golden Globes would be revealed at an hour-long press conference Monday January 13, instead of a televised ceremony, I started thinking about how this WGA strike has affected me the last two months. Other than my disappointment that Heroes is no longer aired and the spin-off, Heroes: Origins, will not air until later this year (if at all), I can’t think of much to complain about. I either watch reality shows or movies on the premium channels, and they don’t seem to be affected by the strike.

So, does anyone care about the WGA strike besides Hollywood? Actors make MILLIONS of dollars for crappy movies that probably should never have been made. Writers probably don’t make millions, but I bet they make more per hour than I do. But, we lose out on watching our favorite shows because the WGA thinks they should get a cut of the profits for any shows viewed or sold over the internet.

Knowing I’ll be perceived as a “diva” (that’s being polite) for saying this, but the finished product belongs to the company that purchased it from the writer. Why should the writer get paid additional money because the show is aired or sold on the Internet? Do they already get paid extra for DVD sales of television shows? Do they get paid extra for syndication and reruns?

How many more minutes of commercials are going to interrupt our favorite shows now because the studios have to pay the writers more money?

My favorite show is Heroes. I love it. So does my son. But he doesn’t always find time to watch it because of school and sports. I tried to record it for him, but forgot to save with the protect feature on the DVR and lost all the shows. I found all the current season shows on the NBC website and (THANK YOU NBC) he was able to catch up.

I also download TV shows for him from ITunes. It gives him something to do while riding in the car every weekend for kid-exchange (two-hour commute every Friday night and Sunday night). Most TV shows cost $1.99 per episode through ITunes and I think that’s reasonable. How much is it going to cost once the WGA gets a cut for each episode sold?

With nothing new to watch on TV, I’ll be finding other things to do…like watch the new season of American Idol starting January 15!

Written by ChattyCathy867

January 8, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Posted in Television