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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Exploring My Scottish Roots: Scottish Festival & Highland Games

I am a Wallace. If you’ve seen the movie Braveheart you may have heard the name. Last weekend I went to the Scottish Festival & Highland Games in Ft. Lauderdale. I had heard about it for some years and always wanted to go so I dragged two of my writer friends with me. Appropriately, it was a cold and blustery day, which was a rarity in South Florida this year as it’s been a warm winter so far.  There was a big crowd, which was surprising since I didn’t know there were that many Scottish folks running around South Florida. There were booths selling kilts and scary looking daggers, vendors with Haggis, meat pies and Scottish eggs.

 

I bought a scarf with the Wallace tartan.  Scottish families organized into clans for protection…and well…fighting. Each clan has its own tartan colors and design, as well as its own crest and motto. The Wallace clan motto is “For Liberty” and the crest features a hand brandishing a sword. So again…lots of fighting going on.  My scarf came with a brief family history. “The name Wallace is thought to be derived from “Walensis”, meaning a Briton from the Strathclyde region of Scotland. A Richard Walensis is recorded in Ayrshire in Southern Scotland in the 12th century. One of his ancestors was the famous William Wallace.”  (Note: This information was according to my scarf so if I’m wrong blame the scarf, not me.)

The Wallace Clan tartan

The Wallace Clan tartan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretched out beside the field where the games were to be held were booths representing the various Scottish clans…Campbell’s, Stewarts, etc. And there in the middle was the Wallace booth, with actual Wallace people.  These folks were from St. Augustine and they made the trip just for the festival. A couple of them were marching in the Opening Ceremony. And speaking of…there was an Opening Ceremony with bagpipe bands and all the various clans marching onto the field.

 

My People...Wallace Booth

My People…Wallace Booth

 

 

 

 

 

My people...in kilts...getting ready to march in the Opening Ceremony.

My people…in kilts…getting ready to march in the Opening Ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bagpipe Bands marching in the Opening Ceremony

Bagpipe Bands marching in the Opening Ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the highlight of the day began…the Caber Toss. You may have seen this before. The object is basically to pick up a tree and toss so it rotates end over end. I’m not sure why anyone would think to do this. I suppose the men thought it was manly to toss trees. These days men drive sports cars and whistle out the window. Back then they tossed trees…for fun!

 

There were about 6 guys competing and my friends and I quickly nicknamed each one. There was “Fabio”, representing romance cover models everywhere with his long, flowing blond hair. (Okay it was tied back in a ponytail, but it was long and blond); “Mr. Miami/305” he of the sunglasses and tattoos; “Beer Gut” so named for the…well you can probably guess; and “Tree Trunk” who was several inches taller than the rest of the guys. Being romance writers we, of course, cheered for “Fabio”. Come on, how could we not? He was actually good, too.  After a failed first attempt (in which none of them flipped the tree), he managed to flip every other time.  “Beer Gut” had the advantage of his belly to help hold the tree and he did well, too. “Mr. 305” also acquitted himself well. Sadly, “Tree Trunk” never did manage to do more than lift the tree off the ground.  Apparently, height is not an advantage in Caber Tossing. The center of gravity must be too high to pick up the tree and then get back up again. Frankly, it’s amazing that anyone can flip a tree so hats off to those guys who did it.

Here's Fabio as he attempts to toss the Caber. He did it, too!

Here’s Fabio as he attempts to toss the Caber. He did it, too!

 

The girls got in on the act, too. They used a slightly shorter Caber, but several of them did manage to toss it to hats off to them!!! As my friend said, between the three of us we “might” have managed to pick up said tree. Tossing it would have been beyond us.

 

 

It was a great experience and cool to learn a little bit more about my background. Now, if I can just get to the actual Scotland….

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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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Anthony Weiner and Twitter…Ooops

Poor Anthony Weiner. Apparently not realizing that sending dirty pictures of oneself over Twitter could possibly fall into the wrong hands.  This is a U.S. Congressman.  A man who’s supposed to be trusted to make laws.  Someone whose life calling is telling the rest of us how we should live.  And yet it never occurred to him that putting pictures of his…er…weenie…into cyberspace would have no consequences.  Now that’s the kind of guy I’d want representing my district.

Getting Serious For A Moment

Rep. Weiner isn’t the first powerful man to be embroiled in this kind of scandal, and he won’t be the last.  He joins an infamous club that’s already populated by a good number of other fellow weenies.  It makes me wonder about the kind of people who do this sort of thing. I know that at the core, it’s our sinful natures that cause all humans to do stupid, destructive & hurtful things.  To risk everything for an illicit lure. I know that cheating isn’t the exclusive realm of rich, powerful men.  There are plenty of “Joe Shmoes” who do the same thing.  For that matter there are plenty of “Jane Shmoes” who could join the club.  But it does seem like this “rich, powerful man” class of cheaters are especially prone to this kind of mischief. I can only think that the very traits that made them rich and powerful to begin with, make them think they can get away with such behavior.  Or perhaps be so caught up in their own “specialness” that they think they’re entitled to take their pleasure and never face consequences.  Plus, they always seem to be surrounded by a bunch of sycophants who help cover up their dirty deeds. 

Aaaaaand Back To Making Fun

Then you realize all that power, that confidence…and yes…that arrogance…doesn’t make them “that smart”.  In fact, it seems to make them even dumber.  Especially Anthony Weiner. Twitter?  Really?  The “www” tacked onto the beginning of web addresses actually means something.  So no thought that the WORLD WIDE WEB is just that…world wide?  No thought that the woman (correction womEn) could be media hoes who want their 15-minutes of fame? I Googled Congressman Weiner and found out he’s on the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations and the Subcommittee on Health. How appropriate.  It was an “oversight” on his part not to know that everything posted to internet STAYS on the internet…forever.  This isn’t Vegas.  And there may be some real mental health problems going on if he gets his thrills from “twittering” his unmentionables to women he doesn’t know.   

In looking at the Congressman’s website, I noticed an awesome double entendre called The Weiner Report.  I assume it’s actually a totally serious account of what he’s been up to in Congress, but that name is…just…so…perfect!  And, holy cow, can you imagine the report for the last couple weeks?  Ye gads! 

And that leads me to a new blog tradition.  I am so amazed and stupefied by Congressman Anthony Weiner’s “duhhh” moment that I am instituting…The Weiner Awards.  This special award will be bestowed at my discretion to any deserving individual (man or woman) who exhibits exceptionally stupid “duhhh” behavior…in other words Big Weenies. 

The very first Weiner Award goes to the Mr. Weenie himself.  I am also rewarding posthumous awards to the following…

Governor Weenie

 
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Infamous for impregnating his wife AND his housekeeper at the same time.  Somehow he managed to hide the extra child for 10 years.

 

 

Golfing Weenie

 

Tiger Woods – Infamous for apparently sticking his club anywhere he wanted with a variety of women. Managed to hide it for years, until the wife took a golf club to his head.

Presidential Hopeful Weenie

 

John Edwards – Infamous for being a giant douche by cheating on cancer-stricken wife. While running for President of the United States, no less.  Had a baby with the other woman, though he firmly denied it until a DNA test confirmed that…yes…he really was a Giant Douchebag.

 

Actor Weenie

 

Charlie Sheen – Infamous for a lifetime of destructive, asinine, wacked-out behavior, including drugs, alcohol, gross women & excess partying.  Also for being generally crazy and having an ego as big as a semi.

Stay tuned for the next Weiner Award. You never know when someone will do something “duhh” enough to earn it.

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Sound the Alarm! Hurricane Season is Here!

Yesterday was June 1st and in my part of the world, the day is marked with much hand wringing and pleas to “be prepared”.  In other words, the first day of Hurricane Season. Time to stock up on water, canned goods, batteries and the like.

It’s also the time of year when reporters become absolutely giddy with excitement at the prospect of wall-to-wall news coverage and a chance to show the viewers how committed they are to bringing you the story.  I’m talking about the annual ritual sacrifice of the poor hapless reporter who gets to stand out in the storm and tell us how hard the wind is blowing. I’m not sure when this practice started. Our local station WSVN Channel 7 may not have been the first to do it, but they perfected the art of standing in the howling wind, rain coming down like sheets, and pretending that all that drama really helps anyone.  Since then every news station (including the national ones) have gotten into the act.

Here are some awesome examples of stupidity…

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC doing his level best to get blown away. What makes this awesom is that it’s shot by another camera, not his “on-camera” one so you can barely hear him. Although you can catch that the wind is blowing 108 mph, which should be his first clue to go inside.

Reporter getting blown over during Hurricane Ike & is saved only by the quick action of a hearty shrub.

Look at this fool on a deck right over the waves during Hurricane Ike.

Never one to stay out of trouble, Geraldo Rivera of Fox News getting dumped on his keister during Hurricane Ike. Even acknowledges that this will wind up on youtube later.

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