Tuesday, June 29, 2010

True Beauty Episode 5—6/28—Change My Score!

This week, there are six candidates remaining and still hoping to win the fictitious contest for, "The Face of Vegas."

Last week, David was eliminated. Craig returns to the group low-key, and tries to act like that was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do. His new strategy is playing the sympathy card. The kids all go out to party and experience the Vegas night life. Craig and Liz connect on the dance floor, but everybody else thinks it's gross.

This week's assignment is to play the part of a guide on a double-decker tour bus. They are given a 10-page pamphlet of facts about Vegas, to read before morning. This soon becomes a daunting task, as apparently, most of them haven't read ANYTHING in quite a while. The best quote came from Amy: "Do I look like a book person to you?"

The next day, the "tourists" on the bus dutifully listen to each candidate's attempt to pass him or herself off as a tour guide. They then fill out comment cards after each tour; ranking the candidate on enthusiasm, presentation and appearance. Only Taylor actually offered much in the way of information about Vegas. He did a very good job; and in the end, won the assignment. Craig didn't offer much of anything, but his good looks and enthusiasm won over the tourists. But, as always, the true test for the players was something else — whether or not they would be tempted to cheat on the feedback cards handed in by the tourists, by changing the scores. Liz was the only one who cheated. Uh-oh!! Very bad move, because unfortunately, she wound up in the bottom two and along with Michelle, headed for the face off room and possible elimination.

Liz was ready to give up after that, and just wanted to go home. She knew that practically everyone in the house was against her and she didn't have any fight left. Craig talked her out of leaving, and convinced her to at least plead her case at the face off.

The judges decided that Michelle should be given a second chance and Liz would have to go home. When she is shown the tape of all the dishonest and humiliating things she has done during the competition (stealing her entire costume, revealing the secret to the magic trick, peeking at the interview questions, not helping the woman look for her lost ring, cheating on the comment slips); she just walks out.

The judges act surprised (really??), but her reaction makes them feel better about their decision. Ahhhhhh......

Friday, June 25, 2010

There Are No Coincidences

Recently, while visiting a friend, we chatted casually about places we would like to visit someday. He mentioned Morocco. Now, that is unusually significant to me because, Morocco is a place I have always wanted to visit.

I have never forgotten the day I first heard the story of Morocco while listening to a classmate make an emotional oral presentation in the fifth grade.  At the time, I was attending private school and most of my classmates were Air Force kids, so they had already traveled the world, and I was terribly impressed.  This particular classmate had just moved to Ohio from Morocco and was without a doubt, "homesick."

I don't remember the specific topic that we were assigned to present, nor do I remember anyone else's presentation—I just remember that he talked passionately about how much he loved Morocco, and I decided at that moment, I would absolutely have to visit there some day.

In the evening of the day my friend and I talked; I happened to catch Sarah Jessica Parker interviewed by David Letterman about her movie "Sex and the City 2" and she gushed about the shoot location—Morocco. The movie got horrible reviews, but that is beside the point.  It was a freaky/weird coincidence.

Those who claim to know, say, there are no "coincidences."  If that is so, then what does it all mean?  Is it fate?  Is it destiny?  Or, is it just a seed, planted into my subconscious, germinating for a very long time, and now, it has decided to emerge?

I hope the answer sprouts soon.  I have a growing need to know.  LOL.

Unhindered Living

Here are some more things to ponder:
  1. When was the last time you questioned whether the status quo is right?
  2. Do doctors really know what they are doing?
  3. Are schools really the best place for children?
  4. Is marriage really a healthy institution?
  5. Is our food really safe to eat?
  6. Is it really necessary to go to church or belong to an organized religion?
  7. Who decided what is "normal" behavior?
  8. Why do we have to work for someone else to provide for ourselves?
  9. Why should I accept someone else's idea of how to live?
When we let go of some this "standardized" thinking, it makes it much easier to trust ourselves; to feel confident that we do have good ideas, that we know what is best for us and that we can make our own decisions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If You Think You're Freaking Out.....

I know there's a lot of awful stuff going on right now.
The list is endless if you really ponder it:

No money
No jobs
No groceries
No roof over our head
The War
The Economy
British Petroleum
The Republican filibuster of UI
The building super who doesn't do his job
The crazy neighbors
Dirt and litter on the streets and sidewalks
Noise pollution
Air pollution
Heat and humidity
High utility bills
Cutbacks on bus routes
The threat of a subway/bus fare increase
Cigarettes going up to $10 a pack (what?!?!)
Increasing crime and violence
Unseasonable and unexpected weather patterns
Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, mud slides, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail storms, astral anomalies, the wrath of God (not likely)

And yes, most of us feel like we have no control over any of this stuff.

But next time the urge to lose control starts to take over, remember the words of America's most famous philosopher:

What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman

True Beauty Episode 4—6/21—Finding the Ring

Tonight's challenge required the remaining seven contestants to create a photo ad for a buffet, using different types of food, placed strategically on their nearly-nude bodies.  The shoot went better for some of the contestants than others; but as we have already learned, that wasn't the real challenge.

An opportunity was presented to each of them as they waited to be called for their shoot.  Each candidate was in a room alone with a cleaning woman who claimed to have lost her engagement ring in the garbage, and she begins to pull things out of the garbage bag in an attempt to find it.

Four of players helped her look for it and three didn't.  As the scenario played out, the three insensitive players also turned out to have the least appealing photo ads (could the judges have been prejudiced?  Duh!!) and were faced with the possibility of elimination.  One was saved, and two were headed to the elimination room.  Since they were exactly equal in their failure to pass the "morality" tests (they both stole, bad mouthed others, didn't help a woman who asked for help and didn't help the cleaning woman look for the ring), it was a tough decision for the judges.

They gave each candidate a final test:  On their way to the elimination, each was stopped by a couple who asked them to take their photo in the hotel lobby.  One candidate blew them off completely, and the other gladly took the photo for them.

BUT, the decision was totally determined on the remote possibility that one of them had more redeeming qualities than the other and should be given at least one more chance to show them whether or not they existed.  And so, in the end, David (even though he took the time to photograph the "random" couple) was eliminated and Craig was spared.

But, my personal opinion:  David had already gotten on my last nerve!!

No love loss there.  

I can hardly wait to see what is going to happen next week.

Talk later............

True Beauty—Summary of Episodes 1–3

Episode 1—The Stealing Challenge

The 10 contestants are given $200 to spend on items needed to create a costume for an iconic Vegas character. They are sent one-by-one to a store that is set up with hidden cameras and the saleswoman is part of the show; however, the items they would really like to purchase, are far more expensive than their budget allows, so they are forced to settle and put some items back.

Before they each leave the store, the saleswoman calls them aside and offers to let them steal the items that they had to put back, saying, "I want you to have this. No one has to know." Some of the contestants say "yes" and others say "no." In the end, the decision to steal or not to steal the item, will be used for or against them as needed.

On The Strip, passers-by are given $1 tokens to vote for whom they think represents the essence of Vegas. The two contestants with the least number of votes at the end of the challenge are called to the elimination room. The final decision is made as to whom will leave the show; and in the end of the first competition, JD is eliminated.

The judges justify their decision by showing JD the tape of himself stealing and acting badly.  Playing into the superficial, narcasistic theme of the show, JD is heard commenting that he still doesn't get it, because he thought he was the total package.

Episode 2—The Secret

Vegas magicians, Penn and Teller are enlisted to participate in the next challenge.  Each of the candidates is taught a simple magic trick which they will practice and then perform for Penn and Teller.  They are told that the challenge is how well they perform the magic trick and the reward is, participation in that evening's performance as a magician's assistant. They are also told during the demonstration, that they are NOT to reveal the secret to the magic trick to anyone.

Of course, the real challenge is:  Will they reveal the secret?

After they performed their trick for Penn and Teller, they are each interviewed by an actor posing as a reporter from People magazine.  He mentions their meeting with Penn and Teller, and presses them to reveal the secret of the magic trick.  Some of them spill and some of them don't.  In the end, Amy performs the trick even better than it was demonstrated to her, and she is chosen to be magician's assistant. Michael and Regina are the bottom two performers and must go to the elimination room.

Since the judges feel the two contestants are equal in their misdeeds and missteps that would qualify either of them for elimination, a final test is set up. As each is leaving the hotel, they observe a man who appears to have had too much to drink. He is carrying a six-pack of beer and getting into his car to drive away. He is actually an actor and part of the show. The test is: Will either of them try to stop him from driving?

Regina pleads with the valet not to allow him to drive, and so he doesn't.  Michael doesn't say anything.  In the end, guess who was eliminated:

Episode 3 — Grace Under Fire

The contestants are told they will be interviewing random passers-by on the street in front of the hotel.  They are given an envelope with the questions they will be asking, but are told NOT to look at the questions until they get to the street.  Each is observed as they ride down in the elevator.  ALL of the girls peeked at the questions, and NONE of the guys did (hmmmmm, interesting!).

After the interviews, a focus group is brought in to view the interview tapes and critique each of the contestants, as the players watch and listen from behind one-way glass. Their reaction to unflattering comments made by the focus group are duly noted by the judges.

Taylor and Liz were the contestants who performed at the bottom, as evaluated by the focus group, and were headed for the elimination room.  Both of them were grilled by the judges, but in the end were told they would not be eliminated.

One of the other contestants was observed breaking one of the strictest rules of the contest: Using a cell phone.

Regina was called in to plead her defense, but there were way too many negatives on her list and she was eliminated.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ABC True Beauty Summer Reality Season 2

I happened to catch this show last season and it was pretty interesting.  It is the ultimate, superficial, egomaniac reality show.  The second season already started May 31, but the premier somehow slipped by me.  I wasn't even aware it had aired until I saw the host, Vanessa Minnillo on one of the nightly talk shows, promoting it.  If you missed it, full episodes are on Hulu.com.

Executive producers Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher team up again to put their spin on beauty in Sin City.  Five gorgeous females and five hot men will live together at Planet Hollywood Hotel while they compete (they think) to become the “Face of Vegas.”  Unbeknownst to them, they’ll be deliberately challenged by moral situations to see if they really are kind, generous and compassionate and have what it takes to be truly beautiful inside and out.

One person will be eliminated each week based on their behavior and how well they ranked in each challenge, as they’re evaluated and critiqued by the judges.  At the end of eight episodes, one contestant, who has successfully demonstrated both inner and outer beauty will be declared the winner. That winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize and a feature article in People magazine.

Vanessa Minnillo returns as a host and judge, but only reveals herself to the contestants after they are eliminated.  Carson Kressley (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”) hosts as well as judges, and puts his spin on things, as only he can.  Beth Ostrosky Stern, a former model and the wife of the self-described “King of All Media” Howard Stern, makes her broadcast television debut and shares her opinion on beauty.

Check it out!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

OLTL—6/14/10—David Vickers Buchanan

Don't we all just love David!! And could this photo be any hotter?

Today it was Tuc Watkins's day to be cute and funny. He is so adorable with his "Little Bro" Matthew. But tomorrow, hilarity should ensue when we see how in the world Matthew's "date" is going to turn out. Uh-oh.......

Today was minor characters day. We saw multiple scenes with the different tweens. Matthew is depressed because Dani broke up with him. Dani spends some time with Nate at the quarry, and they find a hidden briefcase full of cash. Starr is intrigued by the crazy and dangerous James Ford with whom she has already had two accidental encounters.

As it turns out, the cash was hidden by James and that is why he is being pursued by the very scary guy who chased him from the hospital. James has decided to return the cash, and freaks out after he finds the briefcase, but the cash is gone. Oh-no.....

Blair and Todd had a very emotional scene at the hospital and she is forced to tell him that Tea is dying from a cancerous brain tumor. Todd is devastated and vows to use his money and connections to find someone who can cure her. Blair tries to prepare him for the worst and stresses that he doesn't have much time left and no longer has a choice, but to try and establish a relationship with his daughter, Dani before they lose Tea.

Jessica tells Kelly that she thinks she may have been the person who assaulted Ford, but she doesn't remember. (Her alternate personalities come in handy for a variety of scenarios in a soap opera.) Ford DOES remember that Jessica was with him before he was attacked, but he doesn't mention it to John McBain—or does he? In the final scene, McBain shows up at Kelly's office where Jessica is confiding her fears.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

OLTL — 6/11/10 — Langston and Markko

Langston confesses to John McBain that she attacked Ford, because she thinks Markko did it, and she feels SO guilty about her affair with Ford, that she is willing to go to jail for him. But Markko tells her he DIDN'T do it, and Langston is surprised, especially since she didn't do it either.

John McBain surreptitiously listens in on their conversation, knowing that IF Markko really is guilty, he won't let Langston take the fall. McBain is convinced that Markko is telling the truth, so he is released and Langston is dismissed, after McBain gets the call from the hospital that Ford has regained consciousness, and he rushes over there to interview him.

After arriving at the hospital, McBain asks Ford if he knows who did this to him, but he didn't answer yet--and they will make us wait until next week for that revelation, if there is one.

In the meantime, poor Jessica has been having flashbacks of being with Ford the night he was assaulted and thinks that maybe one of her alternate personalities might have attacked him and she just doesn't remember.

Then for reasons that we don't yet know, a very scary looking guy is chasing after Ford's brother, James, who coincidentally runs into Starr in the parking garage. After helping her get her car started, he yells at her "get in" and then he takes off with Starr and Hope as unwilling passengers, and they narrowly escape the very scary guy who is in hot pursuit.

This story line isn't holding my interest, but what can I do. It's a tween world and now we are forced to live in it.

Todd is starting to suspect that something is wrong with Tea—that she isn't telling the whole story—so he sneaks into Dr. Evan's office and pulls out her medical files. He'll know the truth soon enough.

P.S. David Vickers Buchannan is back in town and causing problems for Dorian by cozying up to Viki. Always good for a laugh. Til next week........

Thursday, June 10, 2010

OLTL—6/9/10—And now, back to the attempted murder mystery

Finally, it's official—they are, yet again, Mr. and Mrs. Bo and Nora Buchanan. The wedding was uneventful and a good time was had by all.

Now, back to our other story—the bludgeoning and attempted murder of Robert Ford. He's still unconscious, but he had several visitors today—just to make it interesting.

Hannah told him she was sorry, but he got what he deserved. She could have done it. Langston looked very shaken by his condition. Then she went to John McBain and confessed. But she very likely didn't do it. And Markko is being kept in jail, and tells his parents that he is completely innocent.

Ford's younger brother James showed up as a new character. Somehow he wandered upon Starr in the park studying and Hannah managed to get a cell phone snapshot of them talking. Next step, she'll take the photo to Cole.

Marty confronted Todd about whether or not he really pushed her down the stairs. Todd realizes that now, Marty is doubting Hannah's "eye-witness account" and she is swayed by Todd's theory about Hannah.  Marty decides to have a friendly chat with Hannah when she runs into her at the hospital (after visiting Ford), but it is obvious that Marty is suspicious of Hannah.

In regard to another secret, I have a feeling that eventually either Natalie or Brody will spill their guts and Jessica will find out about their drunken distraction. After all, it IS a "soap opera." Every secret comes out eventually.

P.S. Did you notice that Dorian was way too friendly with Charlie and why in the world is he being so nice to her?!?!?!

Stay tuned!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ke$ha on SNL — Tik Tok

OK—I'll be honest—I didn't know who she was, and I was a little bit uncomfortable when she first started to sing/rap. I had this feeling she was going to do an Ashley Simpson. But the space-suited dancers in the background really got my attention and then Ke$ha won me over. I love this video!! Check out her bio—she's pretty amazing.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here's a real Barney Fife Moment!!

From the Enid News and Eagle
June 4, 2010

ENID, OK — Tornado sirens went off briefly in Enid around 7:25 a.m. this morning, giving several residents a surprising wake-up call.

Mike Honigsberg, emergency management director for the county, wrote on his Facebook that he accidentally set off the sirens this morning. “We programmed my hand-held radio and afterwards, I didn’t switch frequencies and leaned back against the wall . . .” he explained. “It keyed up my radio, which was on my belt. Sorry if I scared anyone.”

Skies this morning were sunny and clear, so there was no indication of any storm problems. The sirens sounded for about a minute.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

OLTL — Prelude to Bo and Nora's Wedding

Before I get into the latest happenings on OLTL, I wanted to share something interesting.

I forgot to mention a reference from "Step into the Light" — a review of the LOST Finale on the Entertainment Weekly website (EW.com) written by Doc Jenson. Maybe it was just coincidental, but I always find it significant whenever someone strings together the words "one life to live" in a sentence, regardless of what they are talking about. Here is the quote:

You only get one life to live, and the opportunity that the Sideways world provides is the chance to puzzle together and come to grips with the person you became while you lived it.
If you would like to read the article, it is from the section called "TOTALLY 'LOST'. Here is the link:  Step into the Light

So, back to our story (spoiler alert):  Bo and Nora are planning their second wedding for the anniversary of their first wedding, which was June 1.  The way the story seems to be progressing, there will be several days of lead up to the wedding. Everything that has happened on the show in the last two days was taking place on the morning of the wedding. Since the broadcast week was shortened by the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, the big "I dos" probably won't happen until next week.

So far, Nora has slipped in the bathroom and chipped a tooth and also poked herself in the eye, so she is wearing an eye patch. Before she even leaves Bo's apt. for her hair appt. she falls down and sprains her ankle and now she is on crutches.

When she gets to Foxy Roxy's, Roxy accidentally puts the wrong chemicals on Nora's hair and turns it bright green. Then in all the commotion, Roxy knocks the curling iron off the counter, it lands on the train of Nora's wedding dress, and the next thing you know—the wedding dress is on fire and completely incinerates.

Jessica is out looking for a dentist who will make a house call, Vickie and Gigi head out to find a replacement wedding dress and Roxy and Natalie stir up a remedy for the green hair. Oh, and I forgot to mention that there is a big storm coming, so the electricity went out in the downtown area, the stores had to close and Vickie and Gigi now have to come up with an alternate solution to buying another dress at Logan's.

Over at the church, a skunk has gotten in, destroyed all of the flower garlands and completely stunk up the place. Animal control is called in, but while Bo is attempting to help, he's in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets sprayed by the skunk. Then the skunk grabs Bo's tuxedo garment bag and makes a run for it.

Matthew is spraying the church with air freshener which causes an allergic reaction for the wedding singer and her throat swells up, so she won't be able to sing. John McBain is enlisted to find a replacement singer, so he heads over to Blair's. Blair is stunned to hear about the wedding, since she wasn't invited, but finally decides she will sing anyway. Rex takes Bo home and soaks him in tomato juice to try to get the skunk spray out. They start drinking Bloody Marys, so no telling how that is going to turn out.

There were a couple of side stories going on with Matthew, Dani and Destiny, but nothing that interesting. The brightest spot of the day was a surprise in the last minute of the show — one of our favorite characters is back!!

The writers are doing a great job of maximizing the hilarity, and since it IS a soap opera after all, everything will get cleaned up and straightened out, just in time. Bo and Nora excel at comedy and the writers definitely know their actors' strengths. Tune in tomorrow.