Thursday, February 22, 2007

Redemption for American Idol

The show redeemed itself in my eyes last night when the ladies took the stage. The ladies this season have bars. My top four picks:
Lakisha Jones

Melinda Doolittle

Stephanie Edwards
Sabrina Sloan

I think these screamers have the best chance of going home:

Haley Scarnato
Antonella Barba

Alaina Alexander

Did you have a favorite? Check out the contestants at

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some Random Ish...

Brandy was hit with a second lawsuit over the car crash she caused back in December.

Britney takes another break from rehab. In even stranger news, the Daily Mirror is reporting that Brit shaved her head because she had a bad case of head lice. Gross….

Heather Mills is going to show the world even an amputee can, “walk it out.” Okay, so that was bad. Still, she’s set to get her groove on in the next season of ABC’s, “Dancing with the Stars.”

Kim Kardashian has filed a law suit against Vivid entertainment over the distribution of her sex tape with ex-boyfriend, Ray J.

Note to Ray J.- making a tape with Kim, okay. Making a tape with Whitney, NOT OKAY.

American Idle

I've never really been a huge American Idol fan. I didn't watch the first two seasons and always felt really left out when it was the only thing people could talk about. So I began watching the show in it's 3rd season; arguably the best season yet. Seasons 4 and 5 came and went without much ado. I didn't really give a hoot who won. So now the show is in it's 6th season and unlike wine, it's not aging very well.

Last night's episode could have been called American Idle. Never have I wasted my time more than I did sitting through what can only be classified as two hours of karaoke hell. At one point my husband shouted to me, "Hey, you should go on this show." Trust me when I say, that's not a compliment!

Where do I begin? Let's start with a few words for the judges:

"Randy, please get yourself a thesaurus! I can't be the only one that notices your overuse of the word pitchy. Please get a clue and a new word. For the most part, every contestant in this competition will have a pitchy performance. Quit stating the obvious and offer some feedback these kids can actually use!"

"Paula Abdul, why are you even on this panel? Your career reeks of luck, the same kind of luck that gave some fortunate Bay Area residents the foresight to purchase property in the early 90's. Now their investment is worth millions with very little effort on their part. You had the opportunity to build your career during a time when the world had a taste for tacky. Lately your antics are borderline Britney Spears-ish, yet you are old enough to know better. Every time you open your mouth I think, 'get ready for Paula to say more of NOTHING.' Lastly, I don't think anyone actually believes you've never been drunk. If that's true, how do you explain this picture?"

"Simon Cowell, I don't have anything negative to say because really, your advice seems to be the most honest of the three (which isn't saying much but still)."

To all three, "Damn you for picking this sorry ass cast of people that can't sing!"

"Ryan Seacrest- you're secret is out. The whole world knows so it's okay to stop pretending."

Lowlights (instead of highlights):

President of Jack Osbourne fan club, this guy picked a fight with Simon Cowell. Bad move, my friend. In that fight there can only be one winner and it won't be you.

This guy actually had the nerve to sing a Luther Vandross song. No one reprimanded him for pissing on Luther's memory with his sorry ass performance. Don't attempt to do Luther unless you can actually sing. Stick w/ Frankie B. songs.

This guy is the Biggest Loser of the night. At some points during his performance you couldn't even hear him. Sadly, he's from San Jose so he was repping the Yay Area. Yikes!! This guy will go first, trust me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day

Think you’re too old or savvy for Valentine’s Day? Pooh on you. So what if the holiday oozes commercialism. We all have an innate desire to feel special and there is nothing wrong with feeding that emotion. From elementary school Valentine’s Day cards to roses and chocolate, the holiday matures for each generation. I like to think that you can celebrate this holiday regardless of your relationship status. Seriously, it’s not just for the newly dating. Whether you’re single or have been in a relationship with someone for so long that it’s customary to fart in each other’s presence, there are ways to celebrate the day. When I arrived at work this morning my co-worker was in the lobby signing for a beautiful floral arrangement. I asked him who they were from and he said his husband of 18 years! He went on to tell me that 18 years was easy, it was the second date that was hard. I made a list of favorite’s that would delight even the most cynical person. Lavish yourself or someone else today and I bet you won’t regret it.

Candy or rather chocolate is a Valentine’s Day staple. Check out Charles Chocolates, Charles a.k.a. Chuck, is the husband of my friend and former co-worker Shabana. Chuck’s gift with chocolate making is phenomenal. When we worked together, Shabana could be relied upon to grace the staff with treats like chocolate scones, truffles, and homemade hot chocolate brought to the office in a thermos. Chuck’s innovative approach to chocolate is definitely worth trying. His creations include chocolates hearts infused with Raspberry, Passion Fruit, and Mojito flavors or a chocolate tea collection with chocolates infused with lichee, jasmine, Formosa oolong, osmanthus, and roasted twig flavors. Items come in what else? An edible chocolate box! (see above)

Flowers are another must. Roses are most expected by why not pick a flower that will last longer than a couple of days? My pick is an orchid. If properly tended, they will last a long time.

Dining out? Try O’Chame in Berkeley. I became a fan of O’Chame years ago when I worked at the boutique next door to the restaurant. Located on a street where the pretentious thrive, this humble oasis serves as a breath of fresh air. When you arrive, you are warmly greeted, regardless of the purse on your arm or the clothes you are wearing. The interior of the restaurant is quite calming and unintentionally romantic. Stucco walls, teak wood furniture, beeswax candles and muted lighting, help to create a soothing ambiance. Typically, the owner’s wife will welcome you when you arrive. The menu is Japanese/Californian, serving treats like Crimini Mushroom and Green Onion Pancake, Blanched Spinach w/ Sesame Seed, Grilled Skirt Steak with Lacinato Kale, Portabello Mushrooms and Edamame Beans, and Caramel Balsamic Gelato. I’ve had many things on the menu and they always delight my palette.

If you go, be sure to make a trip to the restroom. The restaurant boasts a hand painted masterpiece on the floor.

If you’re single or just looking for a place to chill with girls, try Luka’s Taproom and Lounge in Oakland; inspired by the old restaurants of Belgium and France, Luka’s serves up wine, mussles, and one of the largest beer collections in the East Bay. The restaurant sits on the corner of 2212 Broadway in a building that used to be home to a hof brau.

If you are intent on being anti-Valentine’s Day, not to fret, there is still a a place for the haters in all of us. Check out the website,

Do you have ideas or suggestions for how to celebrate the day? What was your most romantic Valentine’s Day gift or memory?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Road Rules Viewers Revenge: Episode I

Tori is in and Veronica is out!

As I mentioned in a previous post, MTV is dusting off the Winnie and resurrecting its Real World counterpart, Road Rules. The producers have revised the show a bit in an effort to engage viewers and make them more familiar with MTV’s online broadcasting network.
The show begins with six Road Rules veterans that will live on the RV and compete in a variety of physical challenges. The team banks 10k in the winners’ pot for each challenge they successfully complete. The twist: after each completed challenge, the vets have to nominate two of their own, a male, and a female, to compete against a newbie in the Road Rules Pit. Waiting in the pit are six new comers to MTV. This is where the viewers’ revenge comes in. The viewers get to decide by voting online, which newbie and vet will compete for a spot on the Winnie.

Earlier I took a stab at the potential cast members and I’ll admit that I got it a bit wrong. The cast: Shane, Veronica, Abe, Keena, Suzie, and Adam from the veteran side, and 6 unknown reality wannabes that sit in the Pit. Fanatics will recall that Shane and Rachel (Veronica’s best friend) are very close. Veronica had a threesome with Rachel and Abe. Suzie and Keena had a heated exchange during one of the RW/RR challenges. So, there is intersecting drama in existence.

Some random observations in watching the first episode: Abe, Suzie, Shane, and Adam look exactly the same. You’d think that after a couple of years they might have changed their hairstyles, grown a beard, shaved a beard, gained, or lost some weight. But no, they all look just like I remembered them. Perhaps I should find this deja vu comforting but I am already bored. Keena is still sporting her Covergirl mascara in teal, a color that can only be purchased in the state of New Jersey. Veronica has changed her hair color and lightened up on the self-tanner. My sister thinks this look ages her but my opinion is that the more subtle approach works. She looks less like a JLo reject and more like herself. Only drawback is that she’s still sporting those tired ass t-shirts that are her bread and butter when she’s not working for MTV.

The first challenge is rather daring. The cast has to drive a car that’s harnessed to a bungee cord, off of a platform that’s suspended super high in the air. The car then does a nose dive into a lake and bounces in the air at a vertical tilt. Once the bouncing is less intense, the cast has to expel three suitcases that are in the backseat of the car, by throwing them out of the car window. Then they have to follow the suitcases by jumping out of the window, swimming with the baggage to shore, and running it onshore about 10 yards to a flagpole. The team has to go in waves of two (that’s three teams) and their cumulative time can’t exceed 5 minutes. If they can do it in fewer than 5, they win. Ya still with me?

So, they successfully complete the mission and go back to the Winnie all the while discussing which vets will be sent to the Pit. Here’s where it gets interesting. Shane and Veronica feel safe because they are BFF’s outside of all this. However, the cast isn’t so cool with their alliance and they are the first ones targeted. Adam says that Suzie and Keena are his best friends and he’d feel betrayed if either of them voted him in. Huh? When did they get all tight? Abe says that Veronica’s lied to him multiple times so she gets his vote. I wonder what she’s lied about. Maybe that she’s a lesbian? Or wait- does she just want the world to think she’s a lesbian? I digress….

Upon learning they would go to the Pit first, Shane and Roni hosted a heated debate amongst the group. Veronica wanted to know why Adam was being defensive and why she was voted in; Shane wanted to know why Suzie couldn’t look him in the eye and why he was voted in; I just wanted to know why Keena continues to wear that ugly mascara and why I still watch this shit. Eventually Veronica and Shane accepted their fate, and were dropped off at the Pit. As the Winnie pulled off, Veronica flipped them the bird. She then told the camera that the group decided to play the game with the girl that created the game. Okay, now I’m really confused. I thought that MTV created the game? And Veronica wasn’t on Season 1 so how did she create anything? Oh well…

You couldn’t have seen the next part I am going to tell you about unless you went to MTV online and watched it on their new online channel. The viewers determined it would be Veronica that would have to defend her spot on the RV against newbie Tori, a southern girl, and Ms. Teen (who gives a rat's ass just insert any red state here). Their challenge was to race each other while harnessed to bungee cords (great that MTV is educating us on the many ways one can use a bungee cord). The person to reach the flagpole and obtain the flag first wins. Tori effortlessly beat Veronica in back to back races and claimed her spot on the Winnie. Veronica is now forced to sit in the pit at the viewers’ mercy for an opportunity to rejoin her old cast members on the RV. The upside to all of this? Veronica can educate the newbie’s on how to “play the game.”

I wish MTV would bring back bible toters Chad and Holly along with crazy mama Balou. Now that would be some funny ish.

I Don't Know Karate but I Know Crazy...

Wow! From American Idol to Nasa, women are losing it over men. This is the second morning in a row that I've woken up to a story about Lisa Nowak, the astronaut that is suspected of attempting to murder her romantic rival. Then I arrive at work and read that one of the contestants on American Idol, Ashlyn Carr (the cute girl from San Antonio, Texas that made all those funny faces during her audition, all the while sounding like a relative of Gladys Knight) was arrested for putting sugar in her ex-boyfriend's gas tank. It left me wondering why these talented women would jeopardize their future for a man?

Lisa Nowak, astronaut and mother of three, drove 900 miles from her Houston, Texas home to Orlando, Florida to confront Colleen Shipman, someone Nowak considered to be a romantic rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut. She confronted her nemesis in a parking lot, and attacked her with pepper spray. The story grows more bizarre as authorities say Nowak was wearing a wig to disguise her appearance and a diaper to avoid bathroom breaks while driving. She also carried a compressed air pistol, a steel mallet, a knife, pepper spray, four feet of rubber tubing, latex gloves and garbage bags. When interviewed, Nowak said that she brought along the air pistol to entice her rival into talking. Hmmm... so much for small talk.

Authorities believe that the items Nowak brought with her would have caused serious injury or death to Colleen Shipman and consequently, they charged Nowak with attempted murder. She was arrested at Orlando International Airport following her attack on Colleen.

Ashlyn Carr's story is a bit more mild but the actions she took were extreme enough to land her in jail. On Nov. 1 a student reported that his car had sustained engine damage on campus as a result of sugar placed into his gas tank. The student provided police with a list of potential suspects. When called in for questioning, Ashlyn confessed to the deed and was charged with Criminal Mischief, a state jail felony because of the estimated property damage.

I am puzzled by the course of action these women chose following the dissolution of their relationships. I mean most of us can relate to an extent, the internal suffering women experience when their man does the dirty. How many of us have been lied to, cheated on, ignored, taken advantage of, abused, abandoned, manipulated, even exploited, by men? History tells the story time and time again. Yet, we're always surprised when we fall victim to the dirty and our actions following such betrayals can take some very strange twists and turns, that are completely out of our character.

It really has me thinking, does every woman have her breaking point? Is there a bit of crazy in all of us? And how do we keep that crazy in check?

Finally, does living in Texas have anything to do with the reaction of women scorned? Just think about how many women from the Lone Star state that have reacted in an usual manner when they are victims of the dirty.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Girlfriends Update

I have been a fan of the show Girlfriends for a few years. If you've never watched, the show is about four girlfriends, and how they deal with life's trials and tribulations, all the while, supporting one another and keeping their friendships in tact.

Back in the day the show was laugh out loud funny. Recently it suffered a set back when Jill Marie Jones, the actress that portrayed flamboyant Toni Childs, elected not to renew her contract. Her absence has left a serious void in the show. I may be a bit bias since Childs was my favorite Girlfriend. I loved the way her character was able to tell it like it was without resorting to ghetto clich├ęs. Her absence leaves a definite void in the clique. It's like watching Sex and the City without the Sex um, I mean Samantha. So why did Toni's portrayer Jill, bounce? In an interview w/ the LA Times, the show's creator Mara Brock Akil says,

"I would love for her to come back, but Jill doesn't want to return. I don't know 100% why she made this decision. She didn't tell me. All she said when we talked was that she felt it was time for her to move on. The door is not closed. We've asked her to come back and have offered different ways for her to return. But I completely wish her well. There's no drama involved."

It's been my experience when someone says "there is no drama involved" that there is definitely DRAMA INVOLVED.

Jill Marie Jones' publicist, Nicole Nassar, responded to the LA Times inquiry with:

"There really is nothing to say…."

Those two statements say a whole helluva lot. Clearly there is friction and one can't help but wonder if perhaps, Tracie Ellis-Ross is somehow involved. Is it crazy to speculate whether Ms. Ross has some diva-like tendencies passed down from her mama? Apparently not, as Tracie does her best to eradicate any potential rumors by making a statement of her own to Vibe Vixen in their fall issue:

"In order for the show to come back, the cast was not going to get the huge raise we dreamed of. So when the calls went out about the new contracts, Jill gave a quick 'no.'; it was her decision. Clearly, we all wanted to come back to 'Girlfriends' as we know it. However, like anything, the show is bigger than one person. The show is called 'Girlfriends,' not 'Jill and Friends,'" Ross said, before adding, "I think I was mostly sad that after six years, the call didn't come to me that said, 'Hey, I've decided to leave and this is what it's about.' But the show will go on.

So there it is. Jill wanted more money. Maybe she wanted the cast to work together like the cast of Friends to ensure a bigger paycheck for everyone. It really isn't a bad idea. These girlfriends may not realize what their show is worth. I just read an article about how advertisers looking to reach a certain demographic (read- BLACK), have difficulty doing that during prime time viewing hours, because programming targeted toward African American's is limited to a few shows.

One thing is for sure. If Girlfriends wants to stay on the air, they will need someone to come in and fill Jones' shoes pronto. They've attempted to replace Toni with Monica (William's fiance). Maya, Joan and Lynn aren't the only girlfriends struggling with this adjustment. I just am not feeling it. So, I've made a list of actresses that might qualify as her replacement:

Taraji P. Henson: Maybe she's an old college friend of Joan, Lynn and Toni.

Queen Latifah: I can see her as a record executive that works with Lynn.

Lucy Lieu: it would be funny if she opened a competing business near Joan's.

My number one pick would be Nia Long. I haven't seen her in much since Third Watch ended. She could be written in as Maya's new editor.

These actresses probably demand a salary that isn't realistic for the show's budget. Also, it's Tracie Ellis Ross' show, so I doubt she'd want someone else coming in and stealing her thunder. Still, it would shake things up a bit and breath some life into this fading program.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Favorite Dresses from the 2007 SAG Awards

Reese Witherspon looking utterly fabulous in this silver number. The cut really works for her slender frame. I love that she's not moping in a corner after Ryan's alleged infidelities. I mean, it's hard enough when you're man has cheated on you. I can't even imagine having that mess blasted on the covers of countless magazines; talk about embarrassing. However, rather than pull the covers over her head, Ms. Reese is doing her and you gotta love that.

Who says only the petite look cute? I love this dress on Jennifer Hudson. The color compliments her skin tone and I really like the detailed beading on the dress.

Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy) knows how to dress for her shape. I think she's absolutely gorgeous and I love that she chose a dress that accentuates her full figure rather than a dress to hide behind. Real women have curves, people!