messin’ with sasquatch

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that’s the problem. It’s not the photographer’s fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that’s extra scary to me. There’s a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Look out, he’s fuzzy! Let’s get out of here!  

~Comedian Mitch Hedberg~ 

I cannot make this stuff up.

From the time I was about 11 years old, I’ve been terribly fascinated with monsters.  Or more precisely Creatures That No One Knows About (Yet) versus the ones lurking beneath my childhood bed.  The Under-the-Bed Monsters elicited an entirely different response for me. 

However, the fascination with unknown creatures came from the time I checked out a book on the Loch Ness Monster from the school library.  

It was all downhill from there. 

I gobbled up that book then trekked to the public library and checked out all their Nessie books.  Because y’all know the library is way more accommodating in that they let you check out more than one book at a time.  For Pete’s sake, who reads only one book at a time?  Life is short, folks.  

Damn those stingy school libraries to hell. 

When I read all I could on the Loch Ness monster, I moved onto Bigfoot aka Sasquatch aka Yeti aka Abominable Snowman aka … okay, y’all get it. 

And Bigfoot?  Well Bigfoot became my Main Fascination which remains with me to this day.  Imagine my glee when the History Channel made the decision to add ‘Monsterquest’ to their already-intriguing cable line-up.  And.  Even better, they’ve done several episodes now searching for the elusive Sasquatch. 

Who has a better life than yours truly? I mean really. 

So. 

Sure looks like a big ol' Sasquatch to me.

This week’s episode of ‘Monsterquest’ featured the ‘Hillbilly Monster’ from Kentucky aka the Yeti’s Southern Relatives.  Part of the episode focused on identifying a captivating creature that was photographed in the Autumn of 2009 on the outskirts of a garden in Louisville, Kentucky.  The landowner, thoroughly annoyed by critters eating goodies from his plot, decided to set up a motion-sensor camera to catch the culprits.  

Why look.  Deer.  Raccoons.  Birds.  

SASQUATCH. 

The resulting photograph and story was titillating enough to be reported on CNN.com. 

WAYBIGNEWS. 

Now.  

I have a love-slash-hate relationship with ‘Monsterquest’.  Because while I dig all the time and effort they put into searching for the truth, I always feel that disappointing harumph of let down when those 57 minutes of edited research end in failure.  And folks, the verdict in this particular investigation was utterly distressing. 

Y’all show me the photo above and I totally see Sasquatch. Or conversely, a gorilla.  Neither of which I’d want to find prancing around in the vicinity of my vegetable garden.  

The ‘Monsterquest’ team … disgressing here, but how do you get such a cool, paying job like that?  

Anyhoo.  

To root out the truth, the ‘Monsterquest’ team had the photographer’s son recreate the scene of the crime with an outstretched tape measure.  This allowed the photo analyst to overlay that photo of the ‘known’ with the Sasquatch photo.

Messin' with Sasquatch

TOTALLY DEBUNKED. 

This last photo is not for faint-hearted Sasquatch seeker. 

You’ve been forewarned. 

I really think there oughta be a law against CROWS IMPERSONATING SASQUATCH. 

It just seems so … WRONG.

can’t find a better man

Everything we do, we do for the kids.

Jon & Kate Gosselin

Jon Gosselin moving on on with his life.  3-1/2 weeks after they filed for divorce.  I am his biggest fan.

Jon Gosselin 'moving on' on with his life a mere 3-1/2 weeks after he and Kate filed for divorce. I am his biggest fan. I knew I couldn't say that and pull a straight face. Sorry.

 

I would pay a million bucks to get my paws on the J&K Gosselin’s Official Dictionary to see their definition of ‘everything?’  

Clarification.  If I had a million bucks

I’m quite certain I don’t have enough offspring nor drama in my life to warrant my own television series, so unfortunately I haven’t yet accumulated that much cabbage. 

For my kids, of course.

Okay.

I realize I previously stated I wasn’t going to ruminate further about Jon & Kate Plus 8 because I deemed them to just be Tedious and Tiresome News.  

I lied.  I humbly beg your forgiveness.

But.  Y’all know they just just had to go and get my back up again. 

So. 

This blog is being brought to you courtesy of Jon Gosselin and
I Am a Waste of Good Skin Enterprises.

The last Jon & Kate Plus 8 episode I endured was the Divorce Announcement a few weeks ago.  At that time, Kate commented in a solo  interview that she couldn’t get Jon to communicate and that … along with a troublesome myriad of other undisclosed issues … was the reason she was filing for divorce.  

At that revelation, I quirked an eyebrow in the general direction of the television screen.  Well.  As best as I could since I can’t really quirk an eyebrow.  I hear twitches and contortions like that are hereditary, and I don’t believe anyone in my family can raise one eyebrow without hitching up the other.

ANYWAY.

Along with the pretend raising of said eyebrow, I immediately thought well maybe he tried to talk to her and maybe … just MAYBE … she was being Typical Mean Ol’ Kate and when he asked the question ‘Can we talk?’ she smacked his cheek and sent him off on an errand.  On foot.  Ten miles away with instructions he’d better get there and back in five minutes or he’d see what a real beating was all about.

But, honestly.  Gosh.  She looked so forlorn when she said it I’ll shamefully admit it became one of those fleeting moments where I actually felt a wee bit o’sympathy for Mrs. Gosselin.  Cause she wasn’t being Mean Ol’ Kate.  She was bein’ real. And she seems much nicer when she’s bein’ real.

I know. It’s a ruse.

But.

I’d also be lying if I told you I wasn’t feeling mighty bad for Jon too.  See?  It was a terrible quandary for me and those Television People.

Poor Jon was sitting there, all slouched down, alone and teary eyed as he spoke about the demise of his family.  However.  As the interview progressed … ironically …. he started to just flat-out piss me off

I’m sure not knowing me personally, that wasn’t truly his intent.  But.  I give him kudos.  He succeeded in brilliant fashion.

The point in the interview when Jon made an angry, bitter comment about how the media twists everything to be something 180 degrees from the truth … I’m paraphrasing.  Please don’t try and look up that quote because you won’t find it.  

This is Lisa’s Recall and Opinion on Things. 

So.

When Jon went on to say they can’t live a ‘normal’ life because of all the paparazzi, I wanted to give him a Good-and-Hard Kate Gosselin Smack ™.  Or a really solid, well-aimed wooden baseball bat swat to the forehead.   I swear, I’d have knocked those free hair plugs right out of his pointed head.

My jaw dropped.  Yeah. I can do that for real.  Jaw dropping apparently is not hereditary as most people I know can do it.

But.

At that point I had to seriously ponder if Jon was living in some parallel universe or had some yet-undisclosed mental impediment that he couldn’t rationally connect the dots.  For goodness sake, talk about being a Ginormous Hypocrite, Mr. Jon Gosselin.  The media attention and the show is exactly why you earn the Big Bucks.  And the too-numerous-to count Big Vacations.  And the Really Large Ritchie Rich Mansion.  And why you live the opulent, I-Don’t-Even-Have-to-Work-Now life.

DAMNALLTHATMEDIAATTENTION.

And it’s refreshing to see that y’all stood your ground and backed all that media-hatin’ rhetoric by cancelling your show so to get back to some semblence of a normal life.

Because I know y’all do everything for the kids.

Folks, please keep that point-of-fact in mind as we continue.

So.

This week the supermarket tabloids boldly presented Exhibit ‘A’ revealing Jon Gosselin … after a lengthy separation consisting of a smidge less than four weeks … and his new-new girlfriend, 23-year old Hailey Glassman lounging about the French Riveria.   I’m not sure what happened to Deanna Hummel who was the alleged girlfriend who broke the camel’s back a few months ago.   Maybe she’s glad she got away.

Someone should ask her that, ya know?

Oh.  And for the record.  Hailey, current girlfriend, is the daughter of Kate’s plastic surgeon who performed her tummy tuck. 

I mean, really.  I defy you to find a more upstanding guy that Jon Gosselin.

Playah.

In his defense, Jon was quoted as saying that he had to ‘get on with his life’.  And really.  Who could deny a 34-year old still-married father of 8 cherubs the opportunity to get on with his life globe-hopping with a 23-year old party gal courtesy of The Gosselin Children’s Bankroll? 

Y’all are so harsh.  Geesh.

Especially, when he said he … and this is a direct quote … ‘thought about his kids every ten minutes or so while he was there’.  And.  Told a funny little tale about how Maddy, one of the older children, thought he was in Canada instead of the French Riveria.  Oh my gosh, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at the Cute Things Kids Say.

Hailey Glassman, complete with brilliantly classy friends and a weed pipe (note left hand).

Hailey Glassman, complete with brilliantly classy friends and a weed pipe (note left hand).

Hardee har har.

UTTERLYTRAGIC.

And if you take a gander at the photo stage right, y’all sleep easy tonight once you see that  Jon picked only the creme-de-la-creme when he decided to ditch his wife and 8 children.  I hereby dub this A Match Made in Heaven.
Further.
I read today that Jon is buying a Manhattan penthouse.  As in New York.  As in 140 miles away from his children in Pennsylvania.  With their money.  From the show about them. 
I see. 
Everything they do is for the children.
Cause they got mad parenting skillz.

there’s hippos in yonder water

(left-to-right)  Journalist, Henry Morton Stanley and Explorer, Dr. David Livingstone

Journalist, Henry Morton Stanley and Explorer, Dr. David Livingstone

 Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

 

I’m sure y’all know by now I loves me my history. However.  I will, with great reticent, admit that there are particular areas of the past in which I am either unschooled … 

Wait.  Did I just hear you gasp? 

Oh.  Sorry.  That was me.

Anyhooo.

Shall we continue?

There are some bits of history that I’ve got nothin’ for y’all.  A large, gaping, lonely void there, folks.  Some bits of the past I have not (yet) delved into and/or there are certain events-slash-eras that simply do not inspire me to dig any deeper. 

For instance, to me military history is an immense yawner.  While I love Revolutionary War-era history (read:  Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the like) … I do not have much knowledge of the actual war whatsoever.  I can give you the basics such as dates, the reasons behind the war, and why the flag originally had 13 stars … but puhlease don’t ask me about battle strategy. 

Cause y’all know I’ll only lie, pretending I know something and all.

DON’TMAKEMEEMBARRASSMYSELF.

I also love Civil War-era history.  But.  Quiz me about the actual battles and scrimmages … and, again I’d only be able to give you the Clown College version of those events. 

‘Umm. Yeah. The North fought the South. 
They carried guns. They ate hardtack.’
 
‘The End.’

If I’m going to be introspective about my Love of History I’d have to deduce that the core of my passion for the subject comes from my curiosity about the people themselves.  The dynamics of their relationships.  The differences (and similarities) between the life I know now … and how people lived … and sometimes merely survived … in other points in time, in other places on the globe.

So.

All that being said, I think one of the greatest advancements in cable television was the introduction of the History Channel.

I DO DECLARE.

Someone better have gotten a promotion for that brainchild.

AMENANDHALLELUJAH.

I honestly think we ought to celebrate such an important accomplishment with an official, governmentally-recognized anniversary every year.  Oh yes.  And to get into the mood we could eat Wild Boar Acorn Brittle and drink Ye Olde Pond Water from pewter mugs.

But.

Tripping around the History Channel I found a new summer-filler series,
‘Expedition Africa’.   

Now. I know nothing about African history other than what I’ve read about our oldest living ancestor, ‘Lucy’, whose wee little 3.2 million year old bones were dug up somewhere near Ethiopia.

Oh.  Well yeah.  

There are also all the times we’ve taken family trips to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and done the whole safari trek ride in which we ultimately (every time!) manage to save the baby elephant from Evil Fake Poachers.

Or the early mornings where we sprawled in lawn chairs on the balcony of our well-appointed hotel room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge sipping coffee in Mickey Mouse cups watching the employees feed the giraffes grazing on the man-made savanna.

Beyond that.  Hmpphh.  I guess you’d say my well is dry.

I see vast opportunities in ‘Expedition Africa’. 

I do.

The premise of  ‘Expedition Africa’ is built around the true story of the travels of two gentleman, Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley.  British missionary-slash-explorer Dr. Livingstone traipsed about Africa in the mid 1800’s on various expeditions, for a myriad of reasons.  Notably, he was the first European to view the Mosi-oa-Tunya waterfalls in Africa, which he subsequently re-named ‘Victoria Falls’ after Queen Victoria. 

Cause y’all know that’s just so much easier to pronounce.

Livingstone did lots of other interesting, historically-important things in his time, but for purposes of this blog we’re going to skip ahead somewhat.  During what would ultimately be his last expedition, Dr. Livingstone apparently lost all contact with the outside world. 

For six years. 

A mighty long time.

So.

In 1869, the New York Herald newspaper dispatched journalist, Henry Morton Stanley, to go to Africa to track down the good, albeit elusive-and-could-actually-be-dead Dr. Livingstone.  I wonder how far down in the pecking order Stanley had to be to pull that assignment? 

‘Whoah.  Sorry, buddy.  Short straw again.  Sure sucks to be you.  Welp.  C’mon, Ed.  Let’s you and I go down to Broadway and catch up with the showgirls and do some manly-type carousing and let our man, Hank, here get off to his business.’

So.

After trekking nearly 1,000 miles over Hell’s Half Acre, the ending to the story is that Stanley eventually finds Dr. Livingstone, alive but unwell, suffering from malaria and dysentery, in the African town of Ujiji. 

Phonetically pronounced You-Gee-Gee.  In case you care.

You may not. 

I’m just sayin’ …

Then Stanley utters the now-famous words, ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?’

Blah blah blah.

Flash forward.

‘Expedition Africa’ takes four explorers with various outdoorsy-type skills (a navigator, a survivalist, a wildlife expert and a journalist) … and of course, the requisite camera crew …oh … and I’m fairly certain there are some off-camera emergency medics and whatnot … and re-traces what they believe to be the trail that Stanley took to track down Dr. Livingstone.  The four explorers are also tasked with hiring local porters to haul their goods and enlisting the services of two incredible Maasi warriors from Tanzania.

Now. 

If there is one thing that has far-and-away impressed me about the show are the two unlikely ‘stars’, the Maasia warriors.  And. I’m sayin’ this all serious now, CROSSMYHEART.

The Maasia are very, very remarkable men.

If they’ve given their names in the show, they have long-since eluded me. 

However. 

These are two young men who ought to be role models in every sense of the word for our young men today.  They present themselves with confidence … without any trace of arrogance.  They are respectful without giving away any of their own quiet pride in the exchange.  They are beautiful, graceful, brave, highly-skilled, multi-lingual warriers who exist in one of the harshest environments on the planet without an iota of complaint. 

It is just incredibly fascinating to watch them.

Okay. 

Back to our story already in progress.

‘Expedition Africa’ follows the group through widely diverse African terrain on their 970-mile journey to Ujiji.  The jungle treks, river crossings, and mountain climbs are interesting to watch.  The march across the arid deserts, quite a bit less so.  

I mean, really.  How much barren landscape, sweltering sun (read:  120-degree temperatures at high noon), and non-stop ruminations about losing the water-carrying donkeys can one mere viewer be asked to bear?

But. 

In one recent episode they trek out of the frying-pan flats and happen upon a lake filled with an army of roly-poly hippos.  The Maasai warriors soberly warn the group that hippos are the leading cause of death-by-animal-attack in Africa. That, in essence, y’all think they’re these cute, chubby, cartoony beasts … but given their girth and ornery disposition … you’d be best served to keep right on walkin’.

Well.

It wouldn’t be an exciting reality show if they heeded Good Advice, now would it?

The group’s cantekerous leader, Pasquale, deems the land adjacent to … and encompassing … the very-clearly-marked hippo trail their new campsite.  Then in a stroke of what can only be described as sheer genius, he sends the others down to collect drinking-cooking-clothes-washing water from the hippo swimming pool.

The fact they all actually went without a murmur of dissent … well … that surely shocked the pants off of me.

However. 

Upon seeing the water close up … filled with not only ginormous bathing mammals but also their … shall we put this delicately … large quantities of excretement … the group finally … FINALLY … pulls long, concerned faces.  They then proceed to move to another location and fill their water-bearing vessels with water that is merely milky in color and contains the Good Luck Charm of abundant tadpoles.  The presence of said tadpoles means the water is ‘clean enough’ to support life.

Where’s a good bottle of Dasani when y’all need it?

The group presents the water to Pasquale who blows a lid… stopping a lion’s-whisker short of calling them pansies … and marches them back to the not-so-sanitary hippo hole.  He proceeds to show them how they can filter the water using a big ol’ hole of ‘clean sand’.  Umm.  Sorry, Pasquale, but this viewer wouldn’t drink anything that hippos have even remotely come in contact with.

But.  I wonder what else he could get them to do? 

Amazing.

And where, pray tell, are the Maasai warriors when you need them?  Oh that’s right.  Having adequately warned their employers of Nearby Hippo Danger  … they are now required to stand an all-night vigil around the bonfires to keep the hippos from attacking their ill-positioned camp, that’s where.  I’m sure they were also pondering the ancient, perplexing mystery of Large Groups of Stupid People.

I believe the next episode is called ‘Expedition Kenyan Hospital Emergency Room’.

I’ll keep you posted …

when good tv goes bad

I do believe my TiVo has gone rogue.  Although in fairness, I also suspect that the Bad TV Program Schedule Updater Person needs to be held equally culpable in the matter.  Someone should get a good, old-fashioned punch in the chops.

WHYIOUGHTA

I set up my TiVo scheduling every few weeks as TiVo has the ability to ‘see’ future programming within a two-week time frame.  Unfortunately.  What TiVo is not smart enough to catch is when programming changes once it’s been scheduled to record.

Sometimes what you ultimately end up recording instead of what you really wanted to see is something you’ve already seen (read:  total bummer), something terribly ridiculous (read:  an infomercial featuring Montel Williams hawking a blending contraption), or something that if you watch it, will render you sleepless for the next week.

Which is, as one might imagine, A Very Bad Thing.

So. 

Rule #1, Page 3 of Television Viewing Handbook

“Thou shalt not watch programs that one did
not intend to record in the first place.”  

Ever.

Case in point.
I record quite a bit on the National Geographic channel.  Well.  That would actually be ‘Nat Gee-oh’ for all y’all cool, hip hop explorers.  I’m so not kidding.  That’s how they advertise it.   ‘Next on Nat Gee-oh …’ 

Break it down.  Brown-chicken-brown-cow.

Say it fast. You’ll get it.

Anyhoo.

Huang, Chinas Elephant Man, with his surgeon.

Partial photo of Huang, China's 'Elephant Man', with his surgeon.

I checked my TiVo playlist the other day expecting to find something on elephants or volcanos or puppies on Nat Gee-oh and instead unearth the most ghastly program I do believe I’ve ever seen.  Really.  Folks, there are some things that just should never see the light of day.

And lest you think I’m a terribly uncaring person, let me state for the record, I have the utmost sympathy for ‘China’s Elephant Man’. 

Seriously. I do

He seems like an awfully nice man in an unbearable situation.

However.

I am not exaggerating one itty-bitty iota when I tell you I cannot even post a photo of Huang from the program because it’s so unnerving.  Boggles the mind.  Go ahead.  Google it.  But be forewarned you should not be simultaneously partaking of your lunch when y’all go poking around for a peek.

That’s the only warning y’all are gonna get.

Don’t ask me why I actually watched portions of  ‘China’s Elephant Man’.  I have no good answer other than morbid curiousity.  Honestly?  It kept me awake for two nights after.

Then.

A&E got into a little program shuffling of their own and I ended up with two half-hour episodes of their new program ‘Hammer Time’.  Yes, MC Hammer of the ‘Can’t Touch This’ era.  Okay.  I liked MC Hammer in the day.  Not a fan per se, but hey … he’s kinda catchy.

A&E’s ‘Hammer Time’ is anything but catchy.  What a yawner.  A big fat piehole-gaping yawner.  Please take a moment to refer back to Rule #1 … never watch programs you didn’t intend to record. 

Stanley Burrell aka MC Hammer seems like an attentive family guy.  Four (five?) kids, a live-in teenage nephew, and longtime wife whose name has eluded me.  Mmm. Not so memorable. 

Sadly?  They’re all normal.  Not exactly a clever recipe for edge-of-your-seat reality television.

First episode we take a trip about Ye Olde House with Hammer and spend five minutes of valuable airtime searching for his lost cell phone.

Then.  We watch Hammer update Twitter via new-found cell phone. 

Momentary pause while I take a shot of whiskey to get through the next 10 minutes.
That being said, I will give the man credit.  He is one rippin’ typist. 
Can’t touch that.

Beyond that, I got nuttin’. 

Well.  Other than ten minutes of the family spring cleaning.

Mercymeohmy, willyalookatthat.  Hammer’s famous baggy pants, replete with Bedazzled jacket, are miraculously ‘discovered’ in the back of the closet during said cleaning.  Insert five more minutes of painfully uncomfortable viewing while Hammer and wife turn mushy over fond memories.

Oh.  And then in the whole mess there was some contrived studio dancing with Cousin Marvin, the sweaty Barry White clone.  And.  Well.  Gosh, if there was more to that initial episode, it has dribbled right back out of my head. 

Oh yes. 

Engaging.
All the errant program recording of late almost makes the current painfully awkward episodes of ‘Jon & Kate Plus 8’ seem Walton-ish charming. 
I said almost.  

outwit, outlast, outplay

As a family, we have a long-standing tradition of watching CBS’s ‘Survivor’ together.  Because … well maybe we just don’t have anything better to do on Thursday nights. 

Please don’t feel sorry for us.  We feel pitiful enough.

So.

Some seasons of Survivor are better than others.  And sometimes, some seasons of Survivor … 

Wait.  Just for grins, say that 10 times fast.

EDITOR?  WHEREISMYEDITOR?!

Oh.  That would me be.

Anyhoo.

Sometimes we don’t even watch the Survivor finale show because the last two or three blockheads that made it through the 40-day ordeal don’t deserve the million dollar prize.  We are passive protesters.  I’m quite certain that Mark Burnett is feeling our viewing absence in a very painful way.

Although.

Some seasons are really engaging.  And every season we sit in the comfort of our living room, wiping pizza crumbs off our faces, and ruminate on how we’d play the game.  What would be my shtick? 

After 9 seasons, I’ve determined I would be labeled as The Gullible One Who Talks Too Much and would probably get voted off … ohgosh … maybe in the span of the first three tribal councils.  And that would probably be stretching it.  My biggest fear would be getting voted off first.

Ouch.

Think of the stigma.  People you don’t even know … people you’ve just met 24 hours prior … develop such an aversion to you in that short amount of time that they elect to send you home as the worst of 15 other people who they don’t know any better than they know you.

AWKWARD.

And in the reunion shows, who ever remembers the First Person Voted Off?  Hmm. I suppose that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

After 9 seasons, I’ve come to the realization that I could never apply, much less accept an invitation, to be a contestant on Survivor.   As much as I love the show, it’s just not a good fit.  Truly.

My Top 5 Reasons …

Reason #5
I hate to sweat.  Loathe, abhor, detest perspiration.  I hate the feeling of being sweaty, coupled with being dirty.  Because y’all know in the 9 seasons they’ve aired Survivor, I haven’t seen a single episode with an air conditioner in the shelter, nor anyone get too cozy with a bar of anything even remotely resembling soap.  

Further. 

I’m pretty dadgum sure it’s offensive to your own snoot to be hanging about with an agglomeration of other people who are in the same unhygienic predicament. 

It’s rather amusing to watch the episodes where they bring the contestants’ family members in for a night at the camp.  You can just see the change in demeanor as the family member gets closer to their over-ripe loved one.

First comes the blubbering and tears, then outstretched arms as they stumble across the savannah.

‘Girl, I have so missed you … you are lookin’ … ‘ 

Ten feet away, arms go rigid. Smile freezes into a grimace.  One sniff. 

If they’re brave, two.

‘Yeah.  Umm.  How’s it going?’ 

Hand shake.  Cameras pan away as family member covertly wipes contaminated hand off in disgust.

I swear.  It happens every season.

Reason #4
I get very cranky if I don’t sleep well.  REALLY CRANKY.  No blankets.  No pillows. Wild animals lurking in the dark.  Bugs and slugs.  Laying on a painfully-hard bamboo platform with other stinky, unwashed people I know significantly less than I know my Tim Horton’s drive-thru lady. 

I just shuddered at the thought.

Ewww.  

And. 

This circumstance would be greatly compounded by the fact I wear ear plugs to get to sleep.  Y’all have to know know that on Survivor if you wear ear plugs … all your ‘friends’ are gonna be talking about you behind your back.  Heck.  They talk about you when you’re awake and fully alert.  It’s be a pow-wow of epic proportions if you would accommodate them by willfully blocking your own auditory senses.  Nightly.

Maybe that could be my shtick? I could be The Accommodating One.  Hmm.  Worth a deeper ponder I suppose.

Reason #3
I’d get too awfully emotional if people promised me something … and then back stabbed me.  Just bein’ real.  I would make alliances too quickly.  I’d buy into what I was told every time (read:  sucker).  At Tribal Council I’d be the first one to say, ‘BUT YOU TOLD ME … FILLINTHEBLANK!?’.  And then they would laugh.  They’d stop laughing of course, when I took the flint and set their hair on fire. 

It’s all fun and games until someone loses their fur. 

Reason #2
I’m vastly uncoordinated.

Folks, I simply cannot stress this enough. 

When I was of the pre-kindergarten age, I broke my pinky finger at the grocery store by pointing with the small digit through the crack of the freezer door.  Said door shut … with my pinky in the hinge.  What I was doing pointing with my pinky finger totally escapes me.  Perhaps I thought I was a wee British child rehearsing for the afternoon tea party. 

Perhaps I was just stupid. 

Evidence it all started when I was very young.

Anyway.

Several years later, I proceeded to break my ankle while running at the art museum. You know.  All that clutter they keep about and the generally unsafe conditions of an art museum.  Terribly hazardous.
 
Then we won’t even go into the multitude of times I’ve driven mini-bikes, three-wheelers … blah blah blah … into the side of barns, water towers, concrete steps.  Stationery things that don’t necessarily have the ability to jump in front of you.

Uncoordinated.

While all the Survivor challenges do not necessarily demand coordination … puzzles, for instance. Puzzles I could do.  They don’t do enough puzzles on Survivor. 

They so don’t.

But flashes of how it would all go down at the challenges when one tribe is lopsided and they are asked to ‘sit one member out’ makes me physically quiver.

‘Jeff, we’ll sit Lisa out.’   

Shocker.

Jeff Probst would flash his million-dollar smile and kindly remind the Ornery Tribe People they can’t sit out the same person in back-to-back challenges, or conversely, every challenge.  My Ornery Tribe People would look at each other with a knowing eye and I’d be the next Evictee  De Jour.

Reason #1
And the number one reason I won’t appear on Survivor …

Y’all look the worst you can possibly look in your life.  No make-up.  Beastly hair.  Y’all are sleep deprived, starving, terribly rancid, and emotionally high-strung (read:  full-gallop hysterical) because ya’ll know everyone is talking about you and being all mean-like. 

And they film it. 

Then.

Broadcast it weekly in front of millions of people.

Oh sure.  Sign me up for that safari.

make it work

This weekend I perused my TiVo ‘wishlists’ to schedule program recording for the next few weeks. I am sad to report that TV land has hit a long dry spell. You would think out of 300-plus channels something entertaining would urp up.

IGOTNUTTIN’

Yawn.

So I checked out the Internet in search of encouraging announcements on new-shows-slash-new-seasons air dates.  First up, ‘Project Runway’, that ended its last glorious season a (painfully) long time ago.  Okay. I’m going to pause here a moment and give you some valuable information. 

I know.  ‘Valuable’ is a subjective term.

But. 

For those of you who have never watched ‘Project Runway’, I highly recommend that you take a moment to deposit your tush on a couch cushion and watch just one itty-bitty episode. 

Just one. 

Promise it won’t kill you.

I first got hooked on ‘Project Runway’ a few years ago when I was miserably incapacitated with the flu.  The day at home, ill (read:  dying … it was awful), relegated to bed, fatefully was a day that BRAVO was running back-to-back episodes of the first and second seasons of ‘Project Runway’. 

Non-stop. 

ALL DAY LONG.

Tim Gunn made me forget all about my nausea.  Well.  At least for 15-20 minutes at a time.  The best bout of flu I ever had.

Anyway. 

I was hooked. They had me at hello.  Or the first time the ever-fastidious Tim Gunn narrowed a critical eye, pushed up his specs, flipped his wrist, and admonished, ‘Make it work!’.

Because I am in no way (no way … can’t stress that enough) talented in the realm of the arts, I absolutely love watching people who are so inclined. 

The premise for ‘Project Runway’ is ‘x’ number of contestants are given weekly fashion design challenges.  The contestant whose garment is rated the lowest by the judges … said panel includes Heidi “I Still Have A Slammin’ Body After 10,000 Children” Klum … is eliminated. 

The contestants are tasked with whipping up garments out of such materials as foliage, things found in a grocery store, or Hershey candy wrappers. And worse.  Folks, I can’t make this stuff up.  I’m always flabbergasted at what these people produce given the material, time, and cash constraints foisted upon them. 

AMAZING.

My spirit would have been crushed within the first 20 minutes of the assigned task.  Okay.  Twenty minutes is being vastly generous.  You want me to make a bathing suit out of tree bark?  Lisa begins to chortle uncontrollably and reaches for bottle of Valium. 

But these designers?  Pffft. They could do it blind folded with one hand tied behind their back.  They’d not only make the tree-bark bathing suit, they’d add a palm frond cover-up and coconut swim cap just for grins. 

So.

Checking the Internet I see that ‘Project Runway’, Season 6 begins on August 20th.  I shall beg your indulgence for a moment as I do a (badly executed) cartwheel.

Alright.

But here’s an interesting twist.  BRAVO has lost it’s license to air ‘Project Runway’.  After five highly-successful seasons, the ‘Project Runway’ series is now moving to the Lifetime channel. 

Cliff notes version of the whole debacle.

Lifetime was originally offered the series in it’s infancy.  Lifetime said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks. Our air time is strictly reserved for shows about women whose husbands use them as punching bags, 12-year olds with drug and pregnancy issues, and people dying of the disease de jour.’

Conversely, knowing a good thing when they see it, BRAVO opened its arms and said ‘HELLO TIM GUNN’.  Game on.

Sadly, several blossoming years later, BRAVO’s contract for ‘Project Runway’ expires. Ahhh.  Herein lies a major rub for BRAVO. When Lifetime initially passed on the programming, they (rather smartly) stipulated that at the expiration of BRAVO’s contract, Lifetime would receive right-of-first refusal on the next go ‘round.  Lifetime seized upon the cash cow and threw the show into their rodeo.

Then.  BRAVO took Lifetime to court. 

Lifetime got ‘Project Runway’ anyway.

Yeehaw.

Now.

Y’all know I’ll watch the show on any station.  But.  I have to say that the ‘fit’ on BRAVO seems to be a much more sensible scenario than Lifetime.  ‘Project Runway’ airing on Lifetime is markedly akin to airing ‘Blues Clues’ on the SciFi Channel.  Maybe in some parallel universe it makes sense.

Oh well.  It is what it is. 

Make it work.

i am not well handled

I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse. I am not well handled, Cromwell.  ~Henry VIII on Anne of Cleves, Fourth Wife~

OOOOOOOOH. 

Cromwell, you’re so gonna get it.

I have been a passionate fan of Tudor history for as long as I can remember,  so you can imagine my absolute delight when Showtime brought the Tudor story to life in their cable show, aptly called ‘The Tudors’. 

We are now nearing the end of the third season of ‘The Tudors’.  Katherine of Aragon has died a cast-aside, broken woman.  Anne Boleyn is minus a head which, of course, renders her quite dead as well.  And third-wife, Jane Seymour, has tragically died from complications of childbirth, just days after giving birth to Henry’s first and only (legitimate) male heir, Edward.

Enter stage right Anne of Cleves, the proposed fourth wife of Henry VIII.  Now here’s a woman for whom you really must feel more than a bit of empathy. 

Y’all do. 

Let me explain.

At this point in his life, Henry VIII does not exactly have a gossamer reputation in the world as, shall we say, particularly promising husband material.  

When Henry tired of his first wife, Katherine, who couldn’t give him a male heir, he hooks up with the vivacious and cunning Anne Boleyn.  When the Roman Catholic Church won’t permit Henry to divorce Katherine of Aragon to make it legal with Anne, he breaks England off from the Catholic Church and set himself up as Supreme Ruler of the Church of England. 

And grants himself the divorce.  Clever.

Anne must have been a real hottie, yes?

Anyway. 

Apparently having less than ideal karma, Anne first gives Henry a daughter, whom we will eventually come to know as Queen Elizabeth I.   Beyond that, no boys in Anne’s future. 

Well.  Okay.  That’s not entirely accurate. 

Because at one point Anne does give birth to a stillborn male child.  However. Said baby was described by court physicians as grossly deformed, which leads Henry VIII to suspect that he’s being cursed by his marriage to Anne.  This sets Henry’s Chief Minister, Thomas Cromwell, on a mission to dig up some dirt on Anne so she, too, can be properly set aside.

Y’all see a pattern here? 

Jewels and opulence notwithstanding, a wife of Henry VIII probably lived in mortal fear 99.9% of her married life. I’m guessing it wouldn’t be a position for the faint-hearted.

So. 

Thomas Cromwell, the sneaky bastard, not only tells Henry that Anne is having an affair but elaborates that it’s multiple affairs.  And.  That Anne is allegedly sleeping with her brother. 

Ewww. 

Based on heresy, because y’all know Cromwell has a tidy little agenda of his own to put said atrocities into play, Henry has Anne’s head neatly removed from her person.  Oh.  And then Henry seals the deal by also executing Anne’s brother, father, and a gaggle of other persons in her inner circle. 

Now.  So far, does this sound like a man you’d be jumping at the chance to share the rest of your (possibly short) life with? 

Methinks not.

Third-wife Jane Seymour is a quiet, demure, and relatively innocuous woman who was reputed to be the salt of the earth.  Probably because she didn’t cross him. 

Oh.  Sorry.  I didn’t realize I said that out loud. 

And a male baby in the form of Edward would certainly seemed to have enhanced the king’s professed undying love for her.  So when Jane dies just days after giving birth to Edward, the king is reported to be utterly devastated.

Which brings us to his choice of his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

After Saint Jane’s death, Thomas Cromwell starts scouring the world to find a suitable match for his king.  Unfortunately, you now have Spain, France, and Italy … all Catholic nations …  can we be blunt here? Well.  They’re really pissed off at England’s break from the Catholic Church.  So.  They’re not inclined to offer up any of their eligible Catholic women.  Cromwell, who was part and parcel of the Church reformation, wants Henry to marry a Protestant and create an alliance with the Lutheran League.

And there you have it.  Germany.  His answer is Anne of Cleves from what is now known as Germany.  A quiet, little Protestant country.

Cromwell has famous artist, Holbein, traipse over to the Court of Cleves and paint Anne in a manner which seemingly made her … ummm … a whole lot more attractive than she really was.  Henry gets the professional portrait, likes what he sees, and demands she be brought to him ‘with much haste’.  Chop chop!

Oh.  Poor choice of words, Henry thinks hearkening back to the ‘other’ Anne.

Ahem.

But it is a bewildered Anne of Cleves, who speaks scant English and is in no way schooled in the politics of the English court who arrives before the king.  The king, ever the gentleman (cough), meets Anne of Cleves … and immediately sets his lawyers to the assignment of breaking the engagement.  He deems Anne to be akin to a ‘Flanders mare’.  

And folks, he ain’t the least bit happy about it.

Nice. 

Because ya’ll know at this time in his life King Henry VIII himself is quite the stud.  Being grossly overweight and with an ulcerated leg that makes him perpetually ‘smell of pus and blood’, his rather checkered past with the ladies, and the fact he’s just flat-out cantankerous and more often than not, irrational … why, he should expect only the best for his next choice of wife, right? 

‘Damn that Flanders mare!’, says the tubby, smelly, nasty-ass King Henry VIII.

Okay.  This brings me to my conclusion that the producers of ‘The Tudors’ got Anne of Cleves way wrong.

WAY WAY WRONG.

So wrong that I want to start a petition to fire their casting people.  Yeah.  If I were smelly and mean myself, I would. 

Now that y’all know the history … please pay attention because this blog is nearing an end … would you ever, in a million years, cast singer Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves? 

I mean, REALLY. 

Maybe if you were on some really bad acid, it would seem logical.  But sober and alert, it just seems … dumb?  Far-fetched.  Ridiculous.  Absurd.  Folks, I have a thesaurus and could go on ad naseum with a plethora of  other adjectives. 

But I think you get the point.

I watched the second-to-last episode of this season of ‘The Tudors’ last night and I literally could not stop shaking my head. 

Joss Stone.  JOSS STONE.

You just can’t ugly that girl up. 

It is so implausible to believe the scene with Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Joss Stone in the marital bed where he repeatedly turns away from her in disgust, unable to consumate the marriage.  Honestly?  If those two historical figures looked like the actors in real life, Henry would have only turned away from Anne if he were gay.

I’m just sayin’.

Or conversely.  If he were impotent.  Ah ha.  Which, my friends, is what some scholars believe to be the truth of the matter.

Anyway.

I understand making ‘The Tudors’ sexy enough to make history interesting to people who don’t particularly ‘get into’ history.  I simply don’t understand them making the show so sexy as to be foolish.

See?  Told you I had a thesaurus.