Category Archives: Television

Glee-ful reminder!

gleeDon’t forget — there’s something good on the tube tonight! Check out Glee. It premieres tonight on Fox at 9/8c.

Edited at 10:05 pm to add: Did you like the premiere as much as the pilot? When I watched the pilot, it seemed so fresh, so hilarious. But the premiere, not so much.

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Don’t stop believin’!

I’d given up television.

On the one hand, we have the serial dramas. But I just don’t think it’s good for a person’s psyche to become immune to watching murders in slow-motion, detailed autopsies and horrific abuse of children night after night after night after night after night. Okay, you get my drift.

On the other hand, we have reality-television serials. I’ve noticed a slew of new ones added to the stock standards of “American Idol,” “Survivor” and Big Brother” (I digress: I was horrified to learn recently that my best friend and her husband watch every episode of Big Brother 11. Every. Episode).  These latest reality entries include “16 and Pregnant,” “Supersize and Superskinny,” and “I didn’t know I was pregnant.” I’ll freely admit that I’ve tuned into these new ones purely because of the titles. I mean, who could resist? It’s like the National Enquirer shouting “Baby born with 3 heads!” at you while you’re bored senseless in the grocery aisle — you just gotta take a look. But after a moment or two, I just start to feel all wrong about it. Why these people allow television cameras in on their lives’ most intimate moments is beyond me.

But there’s always HBO, right? Oh, except when one’s satellite provider’s only package with HBO is the most ridiculous, 1,000-channel option that is three times the price of my basic pack.

So, I’d given up.

But on Wednesday night, I encountered “Glee.” If you saw this show, you know how absolutely darn gleeful I am right now! And if you haven’t, this posting is a public service announcement for you: don’t miss the next episode! Glee will continue to air on Wednesday nights on Fox.

It combines high school angst, tunes a la Air Supply genre and some fabulous twisted humour. It’s from the genius that is Ryan Murphy, creator of “Nip/Tuck” (also twisted, but in a much different way).  And it goes like this:

An optimistic school teacher decides to resurrect the Glee club (i.e. a singing club). His principal agrees on the proviso that he, the teacher, pay the school the $60 fee that the school could otherwise garner for renting the rehearsal space out to the public. Mr. Optimistic agrees, despite worries about how he will pry the $60 from his meagre budget, already stretched to the limit supporting his wife’s Pottery Barn ‘Christmas closet’. The kids in the Glee club are a stereotypical mish-mash of high school misfits. They’re the underdogs. And who doesn’t like to root for the underdog?

The theme song of Glee is an 80s’ classic: Journey’s “Don’t stop believin’.” I just can’t get it out of my head now. So go to YouTube and get a listen. It’ll get your day going on a great note. 

(P.S. I know, I should have embedded the You Tube video for you, but I can’t work out how to do it in less than 2 minutes. I’ve got deadlines — you know, those things that pay my bills — to hit, so this is a short coffee break. Have a great gleefully delicious Friday my friends!)

Sept 5th am: Now cross-posted on Blissful Buzz.

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I blame Dora

Although I like to blame Dora the Explorer for my daughter’s pinata fascination, the truth is that it’s become a bit of a cherished tradition around here.

The 'Rough Dog' Pinata

The 'Rough Dog' Pinata

It all started on her fourth birthday (yes, that time when all children exposed to a shouting girl in a jungle become madly infatuated and start learning Spanish at amazing speed). We were in Australia at the time and the only thing that Stella requested for her birthday celebration was a pinata. Her grandmother and I set out with her to a party-supply store to hunt one down. We found some, but the pickings were slim. Stella examined each choice carefully and decided upon what she called a “rough dog.” The rough dog was actually a bull, so it’s no wonder it didn’t look like a “cute dog” to her! (To this day, she doesn’t know that it was actually a bull and not a dog. She really likes dogs, so I don’t want to stomp on this nice memory.)

You’d certainly be forgiven for thinking that pinatas, like Dora, are of Mexican descent. Instead, China is said to have been the original creator of this paper mache treat.

It goes like this:  On his travels, Marco Polo came across pinatas in 13th century Orient. The Mandarin people would celebrate holidays with animal effigies made of paper and ribbon. These effigies would be filled with seeds and hung from a tree branch. And just like today, sticks were used then to beat open the pinata and release the seeds. When Marco Polo returned to Italy, he brought this pinata tradition back with him. From Italy, the fun was spread to Spain, and then from Spain to the ‘New World’ of North America.

Of course, these days, you’d never find something as healthy as a seed inside a pinata. But that’s the New World for ya.

The Making of the Dino Pinata

The Making of the Dino Pinata

Speaking of the New World … when her fifth birthday hit and we were back in Canada, no simple ‘rough dog’ was going to suffice when my husband came on task. He took it upon himself to create a pinata from scratch in whatever particular vision Stella had in mind. Dinosaurs were a bit of an obsession by this point. (And I’m not exaggerating when I use the word ‘obsession.’ She insisted that we, and everyone at her daycare, call her Yellow Dinosaur and not Stella. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen the dino exhibit at the Museum of Nature.) 

I really couldn’t tell you how many hours went into making this dinosaur pinata. It was clearly a labour of love (although my husband would probably claim money-saving advantages).

Completed Dinosaur Pinata

Completed Dinosaur Pinata

The irony of spending hours and hours on something only to smash it to smithereens is not lost on me. Personally, if I had made this masterpiece of a pinata, I’d probably have thrown my body on top of it as soon as the stick and blindfold were brought out.

But no, this didn’t happen. Instead, we all eagerly took turns whacking it with a stick until its insides released sugar-laden goodies all over the grass.
We’ve just celebrated another birthday here. A 7th birthday. Stella, although still somewhat enamoured by dinosaurs has transferred her obsession to Pokemons. And yes, we’re in obsession territory here again. Anyhow, she picked a Pokemon by the name of Chancy to be the lucky effigy.
Chancy the Pokemon Pinata

Chancy the Pokemon Pinata

I tried to find an image of Chancy to share with you because, honestly, this pinata is a work of art! But alas, I could not. (However, if you have Pokemon fans in your home, a Pokedex is surely close at hand!) 

We spent the special day at Cosmic Adventures with a friend and then welcomed our family to our home for a BBQ. All this was nice, sure, and even the Pokemon cake was good. But the big highlight of any birthday for Stella is pinata time. When the big moment arrived, each child lined up to have their turn smashing Chancy three times. And I tell ya, this Chancy is cute and all, but man, is he tough! Each child had several turns before the goods started to seep out of Chancy’s belly. And then finally – bang! – every toy and goodie flew out. Chancy’s days were over.
After the party died down and we were tidying up, Stella told me she felt a bit sad about Chancy. She said she really didn’t like him get wrecked. This, I could understand. She and her father had invested a great deal of time in creating this Pokemon pinata. I gave her a hug and wondered if our family pinata tradition had shreeched to a halt.
Chancy doesn't stand a chance!

Chancy doesn't stand a chance!

Then I shook myself back to reality. I remembered in vivid detail how she clearly cherished her time pummeling poor Chancy to an untimely death.

So I’m hoping that our little pinata tradition is safe and sound until next year.
It’s hard to resist traditions — even the most illogical —  isn’t it?

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SYTYCD

If the initials SYTYCD mean nothing to you, then move along. I won’t be offended (just this once).

As for the rest of you fellow So You Think You Can Dance Addicts … well, our season is now coming to an end.

Here’s what I’ll miss:

  • Brandon’s dancing. That boy is an absolute machine. I mean, really! He has not missed one step the entire show — completely flawless technically and performance-level too. Just a pleasure to watch.
  • Mia Michaels choreography. It’s always bound to be a great dance when you hear her name behind it.
  • Jeanine keeps getting better and better each show, so I’ll miss not seeing her progress. (Plus, she has curves! So rare in a dancer and a beauty to behold.)
  • The group dances. They’re always a treat (except that Bring in the Clowns one — booooring.)
  • Nigel and Mary’s flirty looks and side-talk — am I missing something? I didn’t notice anything between them in past seasons. I kinda like it though.

What I won’t miss:

  • The wierd over-enunciating, suck-up talk going on between all the choreographers. Let them do choreo; don’t let them speak.
  • Brandon trying to be modest. I know he has to appear humble and all to garner votes, but it’s a bad acting job. (Not that I blame him, mind you. He is an extremely talented dancer. He knows it. Big deal.)
  • Nigel’s “sly” references to the female dancers on their sexy outfits. Yes, senior citizens have a right to a healthy sex life but the vast age difference between he and these 20-year-old girls makes him come off like a “dirty old man” stereotype. 
  • Evan. He reminds me of that guy in high school who everyone knew had a crush on you and he’d look over at you with doe-eyes and you’d just feel…yuck. It was all just awkward and you just wanted it to all go away.

And then there is the big question mark: who will win?

The Final Four

The Final Four

I’ll put my money on Jeanine. You?

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