Deal of the Day April 1, 2008

No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

We’ve had our TiVo for 5 years now, and we bought the lifetime service (they don’t normally offer in any more). It’s well worth it to get it when you can!

If you don’t have TiVo yet but covet it, now is the time to jump in. For a limited time TiVo is offering a Tivo HDTV DVR, TiVo Wireless Adapter, and – here’s the best part – lifetime TiVo service (for the lifetime of the DVR, anyway!!!) ,all for only $698.99, including shipping.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Why I Should Not Watch the News

I’m generally a light-hearted person. I find humor in most things, and thank goodness for that. I used to have a slight fascination with the macabre, but since becoming a Mom even benign troubles can make me teary, or irate, or send me much deeper into introspection than, oh, 99% of the population. At least I hope that’s true, for the population’s sake.

That’s why I should really never watch the news. When I do, instead of

this: I’ve Finally Found the Line,

this: Using My Frugality Against Me, and

this: Death By Chocolate

you get to be on the receiving end of

this: A Miracle For One Family, Heartache For Others,

this: Is Your Decision Not to Vaccinate Your Child More Important Than the Population’s Health at Large?, and

this: Will the Real Baby Daddy Please Swab Up.

Oy.

I think I’ll avoid watching this week.

You can thank me later.

And whoever sent me the Prozac article, thanks but no thanks.

Three Cheers for the Sadistic Killer!

A few years ago I read a book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, about a serial killer who only kills other killers. His foster father had discovered his proclivity for taking life, and instead of turning him in or getting him treated, he trained him to kill only those who are so depraved they don’t deserve to live. He’s a sadistic killer with a bad childhood, and he is so devoid of feeling he fakes every social interaction. A perfect solution to so many nasty little problems, no? So, he was an antagonistic protagonist, sort of.

I find myself fascinated with this character. He forces me to challenge my own beliefs about what’s right and what’s wrong.
What’s moral and just? How does this sit in the biblical context of an eye for an eye?   I feel empathy for his bad childhood, and he really seems to want to do as his foster father asked and kill no innocents. But still it bothers me that a stone cold killer is the supposed good guy, on our side. We can’t cheer him on as he’s cutting a child molester to pieces! Or can we?

On one hand, what a great way to bypass a little thing called due process. On the other hand, am I really going to cry if nasty people who know how to manipulate the system are exterminated?  But even the roaches I loathe aren’t killed by the exterminator by being chopped up in little pieces (though I really don’t know any exterminators so I can’t really say that with any degree of certainty).  And does it really matter if the extermination is humane?  Dead is dead.   And then, of course, I start thinking about the death penalty and, well, now you have a little glimpse into how my mind works.

Like many books I’ve read in my lifetime it’s stayed with me, and every once in awhile I’ll think about it, ponder the issues it ignites, and put it away. I like it that way. I wonder if other people are as disturbed as I am, and I argue each side. My own private little debates, most of which have no resolution.

My private little debate is going public, though. Why? Because they’ve created a television series based on the character, Dexter. It’s disturbing and powerful and pushes many envelopes. But will it start a dialogue similar to my own inner debates?

It makes me wonder what everyone thinks of this book, this show, this “solution”.

What say you?

A Treasure Trove of Trash TV

Tonight I found myself in a place I’ve never been before.

There are two trashy reality shows I want to watch. At the same time.

My first contender is American Idol. They go to Hollywood this week, where all of the arguably talented contestants compete to make it to the top 24. This year some people get passes from the first round to the final day. For the rest they have to prove themselves, making for tons and tons of good drama.

AI is a perennial favorite of mine, and as such I set the TiVo before the season even started to catch every last dramatic drop. I even set it to stop recording five minutes late, as many people I know were left hanging last year when the finale ran late. I answered more than one frantic phone call wondering who the heck won.

Then, today, as I was sitting Tornado vigil, I happened to look at the TV listings to see what unlucky shows the networks pit against AI. There among the poor ratings victims was Big Brother 9.

What? That’s a summer show!!!! What the heck are they doing starting that in February, for goodness sake! And then I realized… we’re in February sweeps. You know the sweeps – when the networks pull out their ratings busters in an attempt to increase their viewership so they in turn can charge more for advertising all of the stuff we mostly don’t want or need.

I can’t say I watch BB religiously. But one cannot miss the first show. No. Absolutely not.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Luckily, I have TiVo. I also have three televisions. Most importantly, I have a husband who is willing to either play on his computer or use the little TV in the guest bedroom so I can watch BB9 and TiVo AI’s second hour. I think he’s only letting me do this because AI running two hours means House is not on, but I’m not asking. I shall just assume it is out of the kindness of his heart.

So, I will get to watch all of my trash TV tonight. And then Husband and I will together watch the only TV show we both really love: Boston Legal.

There is joy in Florida, despite the tornadoes.

Denny Crane.

American Idol Shows A Kinder, Gentler Simon Cowell

At least to their faces…

I’ve been greatly looking forward to this year’s American Idol.

I watched both episodes of the auditions, and I have to say that I’m whelmed. Not overwhelmed, not underwhelmed. Just whelmed.

There was the usual collection of good, bad and truly horrible singers. There was a freak or two (Paul Marturano, the creepy Paula-stalker guy who sang, “If she were a bathtub, I’d caulk her.”  It was a joke, right?  Right?) and lots of background on various hopefuls.

Some of the backstories even brought me to tears, like Angela Martin, mom of a girl with Rett Syndrome. Ugh. Great voice, and I’m glad she got through. There were several people with potential to do well, but to me no absolutely fantastic standouts.

I could not help but notice that Simon went very easy on most people. He was downright kind to Temptress Brown, a truly horrible singer with a very sad life. She takes care of her morbidly obese mother, who is on oxygen and has a myriad of medical problems. Heck, watching that backstory had me starting a diet today.

And she wasn’t the only one. There were several people who had terrible voices and non-Idol looks that were really excited and enthusiastic and…horrid. He let them down easy. He was kind, and gentle, and showed a compassion I didn’t know he possessed. As a fellow human I was touched. After all, when I think about these contestants as people, and that they have to go home and watch themselves being poked at, I empathize with their humiliation.

Still, I must admit I was slightly disappointed. Part of me enjoys the poking, because I agree that they are horrible. Part of the fun of the audition process is watching Simon tell people what we’d tell them if we were there and had the guts. And lack of compassion. And tact. I especially enjoy it when the person is arrogant.

I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

In our real lives we don’t talk that way to people, and for good reason. Can you imagine if you worked in an office full of Simons? Or went to a mall full of Simons? Or married into a family of Simons? Or even just knew Simon?

On the other hand, I like to think I have enough of a grasp on reality to know that I have a lousy voice. I could not carry a tune if it was in a suitcase. With wheels. And a porter. Really, are some of these people that tone deaf? Do the dogs in their neighborhoods not howl? I know my abilities, so I won’t be appearing in any reality shows involving singing contests. Or beauty contests. No cooking contests, endurance contests, grace contests or dancing contests. As my sister once told me, “Extreme Makeover. Now THAT’S a show I could be on.”

American Idol, Rock My World

My favorite guilty pleasure makes a return to the airwaves tonight.

American Idol, with all it’s drama, talent, bad notes and overdone hair (and that’s just the judges) is finally back. The talent of a few and the watching-the-train-wreck-ness of many (hello Sanjaya) will keep me listening with at least one ear for the next few months.

I started watching the first season, but not until the last ten minutes of the finale. I poo-pooed it along with all of the other pseudo-intellectuals, but decided to watch “just the auditions” of season 2 to get a laugh.

And that, my friends, was the beginning of my downward spiral into a special kind of Hell.

I love it. I love the great singers, I love the William Hungs. I love Clay’s Mini-Me, and Paula’s possibly-pharmaceutically-induced weirdness (did anyone catch Hey Paula?). I love Ryan, and I don’t care if he’s gay. I love the outrage over contestants sent home too early, the tears of the little girls in the audience, the sultry come-hither looks of the Aces and the Constantines…
And I really love my TiVo, which lets me skip the commercials.

So, please join me from wherever you are, and watch the first show. 8pm Eastern time. I’ll bring the hot chocolate.

Guilty Pleasure – Tila’s Shot at Love Finale

Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

I cannot wait until tonight, when Tila Tequila lets us know which way her wind blows, at least for now.

Tila, someone famous for being on MySpace, for goodness sake, extended her 15 minutes of Warholian fame by signing on with MTV to become the Bi-chelorette on A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. The show’s hook?

Tila is bisexual. So twelve males and twelve females compete for a Shot at Tila. Yes. And as the prospective winners were winnowed down to the final two, they all had to sleep on one very large bed.

Yes.

So, now that Tila eliminated all but two, will she choose the mostly-male Bobby, a twenty-something student of…something, who apparently has stolen Richard Dreyfus’ voice? Or Dani, a firefighter with a somewhat odd forehead curl, who is decidedly NOT a “lipstick lesbian” (I just looove that term!), in whom she could theoretically get the best of both worlds?

And am I the only one who didn’t miss the irony that the two finalists have sexually ambiguous names?

Oh, yes. A very guilty pleasure. And I’m apparently not the only one, if the frequency of the reruns and the pre-finale hype are any indication.

My normally quite sane sister confided to me that she watches the show, and that she’s rooting for Dani. When I told her that Dani’s firehouse is less than a mile from my home she advised me to start a fire in the hopes that Dani would be the one to come and put out the flames, just so I could tell her my sister was rooting for her.

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

Not that I haven’t thought about dropping by the firehouse so that my son could see the fire trucks, and if Dani just happens to be there…but I SWEAR I was thinking about it even before I ever heard of Dani!

So, who am I rooting for? Bobby. Why?

I like Dani. I think she seems really, really sweet. And I think she deserves better than Tila, who still doesn’t know which way she’s twisting.

And I hate the haircut, Tila. HATE IT.

I will be watching tonight.

I know you will be too, you naughty, naughty guilty pleasure seeker, you.

Always the Bachelorette

Okay, I admit it.

I looooove reality shows. Apparently the more ridiculous show, the better I like it. But I do draw the line at I Love New York. As much as I enjoy watching a train wreck, I really don’t need to see a close up of the leaking bodily fluids.

My two favorites are Top Chef and Project Runway, even though haute cuisine and haute couture are only interesting to me as crossword puzzle answers. These two shows rarely have much real drama – it’s the competition that’s so intriguing.

Tonight I watched The Bachelor, as I have fairly faithfully all season. Some friends and I just love to snark about the casts of this show. Even if they have a few brain cells the producers and editors rarely fail in making them look like complete and total idiots. Complete and total. They are just so very snarkworthy.

Tonight The Bachelor made his choice, but in case you have it TiVo’d I won’t spoil the surprise for you.

I was struck, though, by what a cast-off Bachelorette said as she was being driven away after being kicked to the curb. Mystified as to why he sent her packing after singing her many praises, she said, “I’m sick of being the one that makes that guy perfect for the next one.”

Amen, sister. I have been that many, many times in my life.

When you find the right one, though, you’ll be reaping the benefits of the modifications made by some other woman who prepped Right Guy for you.

Unless you’re Mary Kay Letourneau. And she’s just creepy.

Another hint, dear. You weren’t likely to meet him on a show where he’s got to date 24 other women. Huh.

See my other post discussing The Bachelor here.

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