Category Archives: Entertainment

Billy Joel And Michael Pollack: The Vanderbilt Piano Man

Don’t know if you’ve seen this video yet. If not, watch it. If you have, doesn’t hurt to watch it again.

The story behind it is that Billy Joel had come to speak to music students at Vanderbilt University. During the Q&A, one student, Michael Pollack, stood up and asked if he could play “New York State of Mind” with Billy. After a beat, Billy answered “yes”. So Michael went up on stage and accompanied the “piano man”.

I found this so cool. Not just because it must have been an amazing experience for Michael, but because of the courage it took him to ask in the first place. If you watch the video you can tell he’s scared to death when he stands up. Still, he asked. He took the risk, and it paid off in a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as appearances on The Today Show (which is where I first saw the story). I’m sure he appeared on other shows, too.

Aside from the awesomeness of performing with Billy Joel (which come on…would be AMAZING!) there is also a life lesson we can all learn from this young man. I wonder how many of us fail to take that big risk? How many of us are too scared to ask for more? How many of us miss opportunities because we sit back and do nothing? I wonder what we miss by being like all the other students in that room who DIDN’T ask such an extraordinary thing? You know they ALL wanted to, but only Michael Pollack did. I know I’m guilty of the being more like the latter. I’m comfortable being “comfortable”, if you know what I mean. I tend to take the path of least resistance and once I’m comfortable I’m staying right where I am.

What do you think? Have you ever done something like this student? Or are you like the other students who could only applaud while the other guy got the glory?

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The Property Brothers…A Burning Question

On the Subject of The Property Brothers

 

Do you ever watch that show on HGTV called ‘Property Brothers’?  I love that show. The brothers are pretty hot, though I prefer to designer brother over the realtor one, which doesn’t make much sense since they’re twins. (Speaking of shows with hot male relatives, HGTV has started a new show featuring cousins called ‘Cousins On Call’. Must be the new trend.)

 

But I do have one burning question…Do the people who go on the show ever watch it?  I’m serious.  Have they seriously never watched?  Because every episode is the same. I mean, exactly the same.  They take the couple to the “fancy” millions dollar house.  Make them fall in love with it…then tell them they could never in a million years afford that house.  The couple acts surprised.

 

Only they do this every episode.  Why is the couple they surprised that the first house they’re shown is not one they could buy?  Then they’re taken to absolute dumps and they act horrified.  They refuse to believe that the dumps could ever match the brilliance of the million-dollar home.  Again…have they never watched the show?  Because  that’s what they do every single episode.  The dump house will turn out amazing in the end.  Even if they try to fake everybody into thinking it won’t work when they find a sneaky water pipe that no one expected to be behind that wall or secret wiring that wasn’t supposed to be here.

 

So are the people “required” to act like they don’t know the scoop?  Is that in the contract?

 

“You must act surprised when they tell you the House Beautiful home will never be your home.”

 

“You must pretend to believe the ugly duckling home will never be transformed into a beautiful swan home.”

 

“You must be appropriately amazed that they do exactly that.”

 

Just wondering…

 

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Super Bowl Equals Super Commercials

The dirty truth about the Super Bowl is that more than half the audience watches for the commercials. The commercials have become as important as what teams are playing each other. Super Bowl commercials have become a huge deal, and buying airtime is hugely expensive. A 30 second spot can cost millions to air.  This is ironic considering we’re in the age of DVR recording when most people skip over the commercials while watching their favorite shows. Since I work in advertising as a Copywriter I actually do watch commercials for the most part. And on Super Bowl Sunday I usually care more about what happens when the game goes on break.

So here are some of my favorites…

Taco Bell/Viva Young – Old people getting into hijinks is always a winner. Note: It took me most of the spot to recognize the “We Are Young” song, which permeated the radio last summer.

Best Buy/Amy Poehler – Along with making her a permanent host of any award show, Amy should also be in every commercial possible. She’s simply awesome. Love the “50 Shades of Grey” line.

Doritos Fashionista – Nothing funnier than men dressing up in women’s clothing. Just ask Tom Hanks.

Plus, is it my imagination or are the guys in the Fashionista spot the reunited cast of “Nerds”?

Hyundai Sonato Turbo/Stuck – I need this when I get stuck behind the 2,000 bike riders clogging up the 2-lane Old Cutler Road when I’m trying to get to church on Sunday morning.

Coke Chase – These are all serious rip offs of movies from Mad Maxx to Lawrence of Arabia to Priscilla Queen of the Desert, but still funny. Love the purple glitter cannon from the queens.

Budweiser Clydesdale Foal – I dare you to watch this and NOT cry.  No really, I dare you.  The kicker is the song.

So….what was your favorite commercial?

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Proposing a ban on all mention of Lindsey Lohan

This was the headline on a facebook post by WSVN Channel 7 today.

“Lindsay Lohan has arrived for a court hearing in her misdemeanor reckless driving case. More at…”

My response.  Do I care?  Have we not had enough of Lindsey Lohan?  This girl – although she’s not a girl anymore – needs help.  If not she’s going to end up like Whitney and Michael and all the other loss souls couldn’t get their lives together.  Can we just stop talking about her?  And stop covering her endless court dates?

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Simply Why…

Welcome to my new blog series called simply…WHY?

As in…

Why…is the sky blue?

No, not those kinds of “whys” (although maybe sometimes if I think the “why” might be interesting, lol)

No, it’s simply questions I ask myself that I’m sure (or hope) others have wondered about too. Or things they’ve complained about.

Burning questions like…

Why…do the Kardashians continue to show up everywhere I look?

Why…does Charlie Sheen continue to get hired?

Why…

So for my very first “WHY” post related to the Summer Olympics.

WHY…did they get rid of “10s” in gymnastics?

No seriously.  Why?  I hate the new scoring system.  I have no idea what the scores mean. Does anyone know? A 16.971 sounds great, but it might be bad. Then there are the little colored arrows and squares.  I need 10s.  I understand 10s.  Everyone understands 10s.  When someone asks you, “On a scale of 1 to 10…”  You know that a 2 is BAD but a 10 is GREAT!  I understand that a 7.5 isn’t really bad, but not great.

This new system is so confusing.  Are we NOT supposed to know what the scores mean?  I know that any event that has judges and gives out scores always has some sort of “suspect” tag.  Maybe it’s a holdover from the Cold War days when it was glaringly obvious that the judging was crap.  Like when the Eastern European block of judges (Soviet Union et al) always gave their competitors higher scores than the ones from the Western block (i.e. US) (and vice versa to be fair).  Or when ice skating judges took bribes to give certain competitors higher scores (hello France??)  So the governing bodies tried to make it all fair by instituting these complicated scoring systems that require a Ph.D. from MIT to decipher.

Not only is it confusing, I think it also has had unintended consequences.  Because here is what I understand.  I understand that we will probably never have another “Perfect 10” gymnastics routine again.  It simply doesn’t exist anymore.  Just last week American McKayla Maroney had an amazing vault that the TV commentary folks said was as perfect as they’d seen.  And yet she must have blinked wrong or exhaled at the wrong time b/c the judges still found a way to take points off.

Can you imagine a world where there is no perfect routine?  Just think how the whole history of gymnastics would have fared if there had never been 10s.  There would be no Nadia Comaneci b/c she would never have gotten all 10s.  There would be no Mary Lou Retton getting 2 perfect 10s on vault to win the gold medal. Would Carrie’s Strug’s bravery to clinch gold for team USA in 96’ have seemed as fairy-tale like if she’s gotten a 15.0976 on that second vault?

Somehow I don’t think so.  I say bring back 10s!

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Addicted To The Voice

It occurs to me that my previous posts were snarky & sometimes filled with venom.  So this week I want to talk about something I love.

Summer is here and most of my shows are on hiatus or showing reruns.  I’m ready for So You Think You Can Dance & America’s Got Talent, my summer staples.  Then NBC started airing The Voice.  I thought…great.  Another reality show.  On the heels of American Idol no less.  I’m not a fan of most reality shows.  I especially hate all incarnations of The Real Housewives of (fill in state or city).  The ones with the rich women who have nothing better to do but plan elaborate parties for 2-yr-olds & fight with each other all day.  Good to know there are plenty of women still willing to live up to the stereotype that all women are backstabbing, gossiping, whiny, %$#^.  Thanks Real Housewives.  I do like competition shows.  Doesn’t matter if it’s clothes designing, cooking or amazing (and sometimes bizarre) talent.

I didn’t think The Voice had much promise.  While the celebrity judge/coach thing seemed unique the choice of coaches (Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton & Cee-Lo Green) didn’t exactly excite me.  The talent seemed just ho hum at first, with the one exception of Javier ColonThe Battle Rounds didn’t sound much better, really.  In fact, it wasn’t until the first live show that I thought any of them had promise.  Then the live show happened & it turned out most could actually sing, and perform.  I loved the way the judge/coaches actually seemed to bond with their team members.  I felt bad for them when they had to choose who to let go.  I don’t know if it’s an act, but they do seem to genuinely care.  The contestants also seem to genuinely care about each other, too.  Will it last beyond the show?  Don’t know, but for now The Voice has been a refreshing change from the “back stage drama” stuff that often goes on in most contest shows.  I also actually LOVE all four finalists! Seriously, they’re all good.   

  Dia Frampton, who’s had her songs wind up on iTunes top sellers has  been a complete surprise. Got nothing from her in the early rounds & then she blew me away the first week when she played piano. That was magic. The song was ready to be on the radio.

 

 

Beverly McClellan is outstanding & has so much energy. She may be a sentimental favorite.  I like that she’s a bit older.  It’s nice to see someone finally getting a chance after struggling for so long.

 

 

 

Vicci Martinez has surprised too.  She grows on me. Powerful vocals & also a great stage presence. She puts on a show. Her Dog Days Are Gone was hot, especially the drum playing.

 

 

Javier Colon, who was my pick to win from the very beginning. Also had songs in the Top 20 on iTunes. What a voice. He’s special & his story is touching, too.  I don’t know if he can be beaten. He just makes everyone else seem amateurish. Plus, you can never discount the cute guy factor.

 

I’ll be eagerly awaiting the finale next week.

 

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