Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raise The Roof

There's something sadly ironic about the promise of "social security" considering the instability and uncooperative nature of the people who are supposed to make sure it's secure. The dealings in Washington are nothing new; irresponsible and childish, each side points fingers and throws congressional-sized tantrums while this country's credit and credibility are in danger. Common sense and reality never seem to play a role in our lawmaker's decision making processes. Save more, spend less. This is what us regular folk have to do when the money is running low. When there's a real financial emergency, we alter our spending habits. We buy store brand instead of name brand. We call the cable company and get rid of that big movie package, we limit our cell phone usage and turn off the lights when we're not using them. We may even have to move to a less expensive home and drive a simpler car. You would think our leaders would be the ones we look to for guidance in these hard economic times, but perhaps when it comes to financial responsibility, our government needs to take a page from our books. Perhaps the millions upon millions of dollars raised for presidential campaigns and attack ads can be donated towards the debt, whoever raises and donates the most gets to be president. Sound silly? Living off of money that doesn't exist and allowing our debt to rise to an amount that threatens our children's future sounds even more frivolous. At this point, Republican or Democrat matters not and blaming one side or another isn't going to get the job done. There should be a consequence for holding out and prolonging progress. It's no wonder so many young people don't get politically involved or refuse to vote. They have no one to look up to, a respectable group whose lead they can follow. We need our government to agree on something other than disagreeing. We need to feel secure in knowing that while there are so many threats and potential hazards regarding this country's foundation, money will not be the one thing that ultimately brings us down.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Accepting Amy

Tragedy strikes the world of riches and fame and it always seems more lurid and eye-opening than any local news blurb or personal loss. The media in this country is powerful like that and it giveth and taketh away. The most infamous character is "in" one day and "out" the next and sometimes with no explanation. And we the people follow the pendulum. Every swing and sway of the camera, we're there, never stopping to blink in the flashing lights. We watch the birdie, we idol the idols, and we go cold when they're no longer hot. Most of us remember Amy Winehouse for her song "Rehab" and the catchy "No, no, no" in the chorus. We remember her black matted hair piled into a 60's style bouffant. But I would hope that her number one attribute, the trait that first comes to mind when we hear her name or her music is that voice. That scratchy, bluesy, jazzy, gritty, grimy voice. No matter your preference of music, it's a voice that should never have been denied. And it wasn't. She won grammies. She toured the world, she collaborated with your favourite artist and she captivated the American audience. A one woman British invasion, she was different and we liked her style. But then the dark side of Amy Winehouse reared it's drug addicted head. She was battered and abused, she was in an ugly relationship, she was photographed looking crazy and acting even crazier. She was Britney Spears' meltdown and Lindsay Lohan's arrest sheet, mixed with Charlie Sheen and Dennis Rodman. It was time for us to either ride the train wreck or act like we didn't see it coming. Hearing that the life of this talented 27 year old was lost this morning, most likely due to her habits and addictions, saddened me. I did not know her, I was a fan. I recognized her abilities. I, like many others, wanted her to get well. And then I watched the footage from her last concert in Serbia. She appeared dizzy and befuddled. Her eyes were the windows to a souless life (or perhaps a lifeless soul?) She tripped over herself and her words. She couldn't keep still or focus and all along her band robotically played. Her background singers sang and danced. The audience cheered. Everyone was doing exactly what you would expect them to do at the right place at the right time. Except for Amy Winehouse. And no one did anything. No one stopped the show. The guitarist kept on strumming and the video kept on running. Almost exactly one month ago today, we got a preview to the end. And now, just as with every other fallen artist, the music will live on in her place. Her songs will have to stand strong where she was unable to. (R.I.P.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Rookies Make a Sound

Congrats are in order. Rookies Jonna and Jasmine beat veterans Sarah and Katelynn in tonight's Jungle elimination. And I say good for them. Apparently, they were thrown into the jungle simply because they voted against the grain last week by choosing someone other than the BMOC's first choice. They stood by their vote and they went for what they believed in (or they voted for who they thought was the sexiest). Either way -- they not only showed the vets that they had a voice of their own and weren't afraid to use it, but that they could go into a brutal challenge and win. The majority of the vets disgust me. They only root for "their" side, they show no support to the teams they don't like and their faces are so sour and ugly when the opposing team does well. I've always hated the voting and the unwritten rule that everyone must vote the same OR ELSE. The veterans seem to forget season after season, that after the rookies are gone and the unpopular ones leave, they soon will have to turn on themselves. But as the years go by and these older players age and get rusty, the fresh new flesh may just get a chance to turn the tables by winning sooner and staying longer.

Hate and Basketball

The girls are in Italy on a "get away" of some sorts, I'm just not sure what it is they are trying to get away from since they packed all the drama and excess baggage and brought it with them. Royce is the only one excluded, which is, according to her, no skin off of her back. The rest of the ladies (term used loosely) are going to have to try to make it through this trip with their friendships and integrity still in tow. Meeka desperately tries to get Jennifer to affirm that their relationship is valid, but Jennifer refuses, stating repeatedly that she doesn't really know Meeka to make an opinion either way. Tami has already made her feelings known on that subject: she does not and will not ever like Meeka, nor will they ever break bread or be friends. And speaking of friendships, we are waiting in suspense for Evelyn to confront none other than Jennifer on something so shady and unexpected coming from one of these besties. Jennifer does a radio interview out of state and rags on Chad Ochocinco, Evelyn's fiance. She calls him a media whore and dishes on Evelyn's relationship choices. Ouch. Evelyn's handling of the betrayal is suspicious as she tells everyone but Jennifer about the interview and then once she hears it for herself, invites Tami and Shaunie to be there when she asks Jen about it. Evelyn's pent up anger is apparent as she plays the audio to a silent and long faced Jennifer. Jennifer tries to stick up for herself, telling Evelyn that this is how she feels and it shouldn't be news to Evelyn as she has told her these things to her face. Sorry Jennifer, but you're definitely in the wrong on this one. Jennifer looks like she is about to crumble to the earth as she bows her head in shame while Evelyn rips into her. She tells her their relationship will never be the same. While I can understand someone wanting the best for their "friend", and being concerned about a poor mate choice, I cannot see a reason to air out dirty laundry and give negative publicity to that situation. Not only has Jennifer been adverse to Evelyn's relationship, she's never even asked to see her engagement ring, which leads me to believe concerned might be the wrong word to use here. Jealousy might be a better way to describe Jennifer when it comes to Evelyn's engagement.

Troubled Teen Moms

This week Amber and Gary are playing cat and mouse with not only the local police department, but Child Protective Services as well. We all remember last season and the inflamed and out of control fights this young couple used to get into. Amber was highly volatile and would explode at Gary in a moment's notice. Gary would be quiet and sheepish and walk away after being verbally and sometimes even physically abused by the woman he loved and made a child with. Now those very actions are coming back to haunt Amber, and she can blame Gary all she wants but her behaviours prompted many viewers to be shocked and outraged. "If a man had punched and kicked a woman like that on television, he would be under the jail." So it looks as if Amber must lay in her bed of self-destruction and although Gary has done nothing but try to keep his family together, I believe a piece of him is satisfied that Amber may have to face some form of punishment for the hurt she has caused. Ryan and Maci made the mature decision to have Kyle and Ryan shake hands in a civil meeting. In the end, it is best for Bentley that these two be cordial and respectful of one another. I disagreed with Maci telling Kyle that he was more of a father than Ryan ever was. She has to give credit where credit is due. I take Ryan's age into account for his lack of support and demeaning attitude towards his ex, but as of late, I think he was shown some quality parenting and a great interest in his son. Farrah has to deal with her daughter's paternal family as she gets to know Sophia's grandfather and step-grandmother. At the same time, she is getting ready to fight her daughter's biological grandmother for grandparents' visitation. It must be difficult to hand your child over to people who appeared to show such lack of care and concern, but there may not be a choice, once DNA proves the child does belong to their deceased son, Derek, and the courts step in and hand over their orders. While I don't blame Farrah for wanting to keep her child to herself and her family, as long as Derek's mother has good intentions, she should open herself and Sophia up to meeting as many family members as possible. The more love you can provide to your child, the better. Catelynn and Tyler deal with Tyler's father, Butch, being released from prison and it still bewilders me that the adults in their storyline continues to smoke in front of that poor little boy. Next week we shall see what the rocky future holds for Gary and Amber and the rest of the Teen Moms.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Christmas in New Jersey

Can I just start off by saying that the commercials for Real Housewives of New Jersey sometimes end up being more captivating than the show itself. And can I also ask a question? What exactly does Teresa's brother, Joe, do for a living? That house is like 7 episodes of MTV Cribs. Well, it's Christmas in July for all of us watching RHONJ and Joe and Melissa are having a huge holiday party. Their mansion is absolutely beautiful. The decorations are on point. The food is delectable and the guest list is perfect for an evening filled with tension and theatrics. Teresa's cousin Kathy knows that she and Teresa are not on good terms yet she makes it her number one priority to fight her way through a crowd to say "hello" to her. Though she may say her intentions were pure, she must have known that there's a time and a place for everything and this confrontation fit in neither category. Teresa blatantly brushes her off and Kathy runs off to cry and whine to anyone who will listen. Then you have Kim, who shows up with the lawyer who is suing Teresa and her husband. Why, Kim? Oh yeah, because you hate Teresa and you love the drama even more. That's why. Luckily, Joe and Melissa, as hosts to this event, did the right thing and politely requested that Kim and the lawyer leave, and they pretty much refuse! This is just Part 1 of this merry meeting, never fear -- the chaos will continue, and per usual, the scenes for next week are even better than tonight's full episode.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Marc and JLo Sure Do Put on a Good Show

So it's over for March Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. After seven years of marriage and 3 year old twins, the two are calling it quits. While there are much bigger things going on in this country and the world, I decided to comment because I just watched an entire season of these two frauds kissing and salsa dancing all over the American Idol stage. I just had to sit through them sharing flirtatious glances, and mutually bragging about each other in interviews and filler segments. Some say Jennifer made Marc relevant again. Some say he's the only talent between the two of them. All I know is they have a pair of twins that didn't ask to be born. It's sad how quickly these celebrities marry and divorce, cheat and go to rehab, etc., and as their lives play out for us in the media spotlight, their children are often forgotten. This is JLo's third go around and after seven years and two children, unless he was beating her or performing some extreme act of injustice within their marriage, one has to wonder... why? Why split up your babies' only home and life that they ever knew? Why break up only to have to find love again and possibly fail at it just as horribly or even worse? Does anyone even try anymore? While I know that I have no clue as to what was going on behind the Anthony's closed doors of their home, I just wish I knew what was so horrible that they have to throw it all away after appearing to be so much in love as recently as the American Idol finale. We've been duped and bamboozled once again by the false relationships and often media generated love fests that appear to be nothing more than two rich people coming together for the sake of status and style. Leave all substance and sanity at the door.  And don't get me wrong, I know this is none of my business, and I wish them the best as they move forward, but aside from the sensationalism of a celebrity divorce, at the end of it all, there are real children involved, who are rich, but don't know it... who are famous but couldn't care less. Children who I bet would probably trade in their trust funds for a stable home with unselfish parents.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unfinished Business: Mob Wives Reuinion

It's the end of another season of yet another exciting and emotional reality series, Mob Wives. The last episode left us with Drita on top of Renee on top of Karen. Carla was in her usual role, off to the side; dull and unmemorable. It was expected that host Wendy Williams would ask about the fight, and even more expected that we would hear the name Lee come up repeatedly. Karen and Drita still refuse to agree on what their friendship is or was when Drita married Lee. I don't think either one of them could come up with a general definition of the word friendship itself. Renee answered questions about her cosmetic surgery obsession. She often tweets about seeing her plastic surgeon and brags about getting work done. If I was anywhere near Renee's plastic surgeon, I would tell him to drop the knife, I would then tell her to get some help. Wendy asked a pretty obvious question of the ladies: how can you all afford to live and maintain this "lifestyle"? Karen was most honest and answered by saying she has gotten a book advance and money from doing the show. Renee basically told America to mind its business and not to worry about her money. Carla updates us on her relationship with her now-free husband, Joe. They are not together and will only remain friends. She has, however, broken up with her boyfriend from the show -- "The Groper". She didn't make herself out to be any more intelligent or respectable by defending his actions yet again and brushing it off that he may or may not have touched her friends inappropriately. And how hilarious was it that she was willing to accept that he might have "handled" everyone on the cast EXCEPT for Renee. Oh no, he would never touch her! Last but not least, we learn that Drita is going to end her marriage to the unfaithful and ever-incarcerated, Lee. And I'm sure we will see that and even more drama play out in the anticipated Season 2!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Judgment Day

I'm not sure if I'm ready to write about this yet, not sure if I have even digested the news. Casey Anthony is not guilty on all counts concerning the death of her daughter. The girl who left her parents' house on June 16th, never to be seen again until July 15th... without her daughter. The daughter who was mysteriously found 6 months later in a swamp basically, completely decomposed, reduced to a bag of bones and a dirty pair of shorts. They say you can't deliberate based on emotion, but when the jury got this case yesterday at noon, I could have sworn they had much than emotion to work with. It's a circumstantial case, yes, but the average Joe would never do the things Casey Anthony did during those months when no one knew where her daughter was. I suppose one could conclude that the jury sent a message today. 'Give me more.' 'We need more.' 'So what if she's a liar? A liar does not a murderer make.' Of course we don't know for sure what that jury was thinking, as they blew off the media and boarded their bus to take the four hour trip back to their homes. By next week, I'm sure they'll all have their agents and PR personnel. They'll be ready to write their books and give their interviews by then. And by then, I won't be interested in what they have to say. Since they weren't capable of handing down the correct verdict, God will do their jobs instead. I gather that's the way it should be anyway. People get away with murder. It happens. That's where the saying come from, I suppose. He's so spoiled, his mother lets him "get away with murder". She's a teacher's pet, she "gets away with murder". So Casey Anthony becomes this decade's OJ Simpson. You can play the race card, you can blame the media, you can say there was no proof. But I know where my kids are and I know they're safe and if God forbid they ever get hurt or disappear, I'll be reaching for the nearest phone to call 911, not for the nearest garbage bags and duct tape.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Real Life Reality TV: State of FL vs Casey Anthony

It's hard to believe that after almost 3 years down to the day that Caylee Anthony went missing, we are finally at the end of the murder case against her mother, Casey. The defense presented their closing arguments today and although they did a decent job at reminding the jury why they feel their client is not guilty, nothing can make me or most of the people I know who have knowledge of this case, forget those 31 days. Those 31 days where we learned that Casey was partying, dancing, getting a tattoo, committing check fraud, stealing from her family and friends to get by. Those 31 days where her daughter was nowhere to he found, but Casey's behaviour and party girl style never wavered.  She was at every party, drink in hand, smiling like she was living a beautiful life. And that's exactly why she got that tattoo on her back: "Bella Vita". Casey seemed to be indeed living a beautiful life without her child. And whenever her friends would ask where Caylee was, she always had an answer. Those infamous 31 days that would have turned into 41 or 51 days, had her mother not gotten involved by calling the police. So when the police asked her the very same thing -- where is Caylee? -- it's no wonder that Casey had an answer for them as well. And now that she is being charged with her murder, Casey says her daughter drowned in the family pool on June 16th, 2008, yet she sat back and watched as the entire nation searched for Caylee, after leading her parents to believe the child was not dead but kidnapped by her long time nanny, Zanny. For 6 months the world became obsessed and some people downright fell in love with Caylee Anthony. Her bones were found in a dump site, literally a minute away from the home she barely got a chance to grow up in. Her mother is facing the death penalty, and though I don't think she'll get it, I believe this jury will find her guilty of first degree murder. There is no bloody weapon here, no smoking gun or eye witness account, Casey wasn't caught red handed and there will be no confession. But the one thing these jurors do have is their common sense. They will ask themselves, if their child died, would they be caught on camera that same night skipping through Blockbuster, renting videos with their latest beau. They will ask themselves if their child drowned in a swimming pool, would they stuff him or her in garbage bags and drive around with the body in their trunk until the smell of decomposition got so bad they ultimately dumped the body in the woods.They will ask themselves those questions and although they won't know exactly what happened to Caylee three years ago, they'll know and understand that she's dead and based on her bizarre actions and nonchalant character, only her mother could have had something to do with it. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's All About Family, Or Is It?

*this is pheleshia's newest addition to her Real Housewives of New Jersey re-cap. Make sure to watch every week and discuss it here!*

Thanksgiving.....a time for sharing traditions, stories and lots of food with family and friends.  As we experience this timeless tradition on RHONJ we see how lack of communication can continue to affect families.  Jokes aside, referring to the bull riding and the silly features of Kathy's husband (OK maybe that was a low blow but he looks funny to me), the show kind of left me feeling empty. There wasn't much substance tonight! I'm beginning to think that this family feud is being drawn out for all the wrong reasons, as with any reality show. How long does it take Joe to really reach out to his sister? How long are they going to keep talking about talking to each other then turn around and talk to others about each other? I can't imagine that no one inside the family has figured that out and tried to resolve the situation.  At this point I do have to give credit to Melissa though. She seems to be encouraging her husband to take a positive stand on reconnecting with his sister. She seems to be able to relate to the fact that family is important; especially siblings.  I think that Teresa's brother may hold onto the grudge.  I only hope that the encouragement that his wife is giving him works.  I would personally like to see them work it out, as I have said before.  However, if the childish antics continue then I would have to say that we may never see the beginning stages of reconciliation.  Keeping it real, let's revisit the fact that the family continues to go at each other "tit for tat" when they feel as though they have been wronged by the other.  What ever happened to speaking your mind, at the right place and time, instead of being passive aggressive?  There are more than enough children in this family that are in need of role models! It's too bad that there aren't any available for the children to look up too. I can't seem to think of anyone in the "Teresa" family that has been able to live up to the role model standard since the show has begun.  It's sad. As we begin to move on in the season I can only hope that we see a brighter future for this family.  However, if the drama doesn't continue I'm not sure what will be the future of the show in general.   

Parties, Punches and Politics as Usual

Week 2 of 'Challenge: Rivals' is here and the cast is ready to play hard and win some money. The girls are safe this week, so the pressure is on the boys to do well or get sent into "the jungle". There's nothing but game play on these guys' minds, as they basically all want to scheme on how to get rid of CT, the obvious threat to the entire group. I must say, being that I am so against these sort of football jock, captain hero, look-at-my-body types; it was nice to see Kenny lose the challenge and have to go into the elimination round. He came out clean as a whistle though, so I have to hand it to him for fighting hard and winning his way back into the game by beating Tyree and Davis in a tough, physical match. The girls decided they wanted to get rowdy in this episode, but not until they had their fill of the infamous MTV open bar. The altercation was pointless and immature. Someone called someone the wrong name and it was a screaming match after that. Young Princess Jasmine even decided to punch a mirror to prove that girls from Houston don't play that. Sigh. Next week CT uses his body and his brain to intimidate his competition. If he can do it without being drunk and belligerent, my respect level for him will only continue to rise. See you then...