Sunday, November 30, 2008

The power of advertising

As I was making breakfast this morning, my son runs in from the living room, where the tv was on, and says to me:

"Did you know that you can spend less at Walmart, so you can buy more? Save money, live better. Walmart!!"

Then, he runs back to the tv.

Yes, thank you. I feel much better now that I know Walmart is definitely looking out for my best interest...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and took a little time to appreciate the things we are thankful for. And if you don't celebrate the turkey holiday... well then, hope your Thursday was ok!

I found this on a friend's blog and it just struck me as interesting.

What part of Thanksgiving are you?

Take the test and see:

I am.... the stuffing!

You Are The Stuffing
You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Hmmmm. Not sure I get it, but it's ok.

I think I'm skipping the Black Friday shopping this year.... just not in the mood.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The British Are Coming

No... actually, the British are HERE. You probably just don't know it.

Then again, maybe you do.

The British invasion may have started back in 1964 with the Beatles. But they have been "invading" ever since then, and still do - through your television.

You see, there are a ton (and I mean a TON!) of televisions shows currently airing on the 3 major networks that have been (to put it mildly) ripped off from the good ol' BBC. Some of them you may be aware of. Some of them probably not. But, I think it's safe to say that you should turn towards the east and bow to the Queen and thank her for quality programming.

Let's discuss a few current shows with origins in the UK:

(Not saying that I'm fond of them, or even watch them. But they are being aired.)

Hell's Kitchen - Foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsey is obviously not from the South. The show originated in Britain, and then brought stateside.

The Office - funny, funny show. But do you know what's funnier? The original British version. Try it sometime. I give props to Steve Carrell. But Ricky Gervais is better.

American Idol - Of course you knew this. This show started (and continues as) Pop Idol in the UK.

Dancing With the Stars - airs in the UK as Strictly Come Dancing. And the kicker of it is, 2 of the judges, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, judge the shows both here in the US and in the UK. And yes, the shows air concurrently, so they are traveling quite a bit.

And here are a list of shows that are not my favorites at all.... but deserve mention: The Eleventh Hour, Supernanny, Weakest Link, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Wife Swap, Trading Spouses, Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear, etc. Heck, half the stuff on TLC is a british rip-off, really.

And, while not currently airing or in production, another show worthy of mention is Whose Line is it Anyway? - Specifically the British version with Clive Anderson. Then again, it really doesn't matter because most of the comedians/improv artists on this show were on both the UK and US versions. This show ROCKS. I love it. I don't care if I've seen the show in repeats 20 times, I'll watch it again anyway. Soooo funny.

What you may not know is that this "borrowing" of ideas is nothing new. It's been going on for years, with many well known titles like Three's Company, All in the Family, Too Close for Comfort, Welcome Back Kotter, and Sanford and Son, etc.

What I want to know is...


Why do our big 3 networks feel the need to remake all of these programs? Why not air the originals? After all, they were "good enough" or successful enough in the UK to warrant bringing the idea to the US. Then, why can't you just bring the whole damn show? Why do we have to Americanize it? And in the "americanization" process.. the show usually loses some of that something that made it originally successful. Some of the remakes have been downright dreadful.

What's funny is that I've seen recent commercials on BBC America that address this "problem" at it's heart. BBC America... the birthplace of American television.


Currently, ABC is doing a version of Life on Mars, which was originally produced by the BBC with actor John Simm. Honestly, if you haven't seen the original, please make time to do so. For the love of Pete, please.

But I do have a message to the big 3 (and I don't mean the auto makers...)

I hear you have plans to Americanize Top Gear. Just... don't. Don't go there.

And don't go there with Primeval either.

And whatever you do....

Hands off of Doctor Who.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wednesday Rewind

Did ya miss the rewinds? Huh? Did ya? I did!

Ok... lets share in one of my true loves...

Sesame Street.

Because let's face it, if you're from my generation, SS was a BIG part of your life. And if you care to admit it, you still love the show.

I was going to pick something more mainstream, but ran across this video. I chuckled for a good 5 minutes and ran around going yip yip yip yip for awhile. Got my son involved too!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Part update / part book review

Did ya miss me?!

Oh, who am I kidding. I don't think anyone reads this thing anyway! LOL

Anyway, I think my life has calmed down enough for me to add another "commitment" of sorts, and get back to blogging. It's amazing to me when just one aspect of your life goes through change, how much it sends *everything* out of whack.

To give you the Reader's Digest version:

Old job closed down.
A few of the old employees were retained to carry on for a new company.
I was not asked to stay.
I found another job.
While serving out my remaining time for old company, a co-worker (who was hired to stay for new company), who probably has a mental problem (not kidding) and went all ape sh*t on me.
I decided to leave early.
Started new job.
New job ROCKS beyond belief.
After being at new job for one month, I'm asking myself why I didn't leave old job sooner.
(And from what I hear from remaining employees - mental problem is still a problem.)

Really. No kidding. New job is awesome. I love it. I was concerned at the start because it was definitely a change in job responsibility compared to the previous job. But... no problem!

Which brings me to the book review part of my post...

I'm in a book club who meets every other month. We've been going for about 7 (?) years now. And because of this book club, I've read many, many books that I would have never picked up otherwise. Most books have been great. A few became instant classics (to me, anyway). And some.. well, some I didn't like. But that's to be expected. You're not going to love every single book you read, anyway.

The last book club selection was Life's Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard. From the official website:

An enchanted amusement park is the magical setting for personal transformation in this inspirational parable in the tradition of The Alchemist and The Five People that You Meet in Heaven.

(taken from

Let me first say that I loathe inspirational/self-help/motivational novels. Really. Don't care to read them AT ALL. In book club, we previously read The Alchemist and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Hated The Alchemist. Was ok with Five People... But other book club picks like Conversations with God I couldn't even finish. So, when this book was picked I immediately groaned and thought "no way". Not really the best attitude to go into a book with.

To be honest, the book, from a motivational standpoint, was kind of preachy, and epitomizes exactly why I don't like motivational books. But from a fiction standpoint - this book was pretty good.

But the MAIN reason I mention all this in the first place, is that one of the "rules for admission" in getting into the amusement park in the book is... "I agree to give up my belief that change equals pain."

I just thought how timely that is. That is me, in a nutshell. Change = pain. The last 2 times I've had to switch jobs, I've fought them both tooth and claw. And they both ended up being what was best for me at the time. But I fought nevertheless. Wasted time and effort on my part.

Hopefully since I've done it TWICE, I will remember the lesson I've learned and not fight so hard in the future. Think that's possible?

Anyway - if you have some time, give the book a shot. Most everyone in my book club liked the book and thought it worthwhile.