Friday, May 30, 2008

SYTYCD Blew It Big Time

I am extremely disappointed with SYTYCD last night. The judges treatment and subsequent dismissal of Anthony Bryant is absolutely inexcusable and has really cost me some interest in this program. The kid graduated from Juliard in three years for Christ sakes! To not put him through to Vegas is a travesty, and frankly I feel it undermines their contention that they are looking for exceptional dancers. I understand not wanting to make the competition all about technique - that would really punish all of the street dancers who are genuinely talented but haven't had formal training. But to then ignore someone who is pretty much technically perfect because he lacks a "spark" of performance is offensive. I agree that Anthony was not the most dynamic in terms of performance quality - I would most likely not advance him into the top twenty. But to not even let him get past the first round - and in fact to force him to participate in the choreography part - was ridiculous, and I have to believe that there is some other prejudice working against him. I get that dancing with the ribbon season one was a mistake. I was a rhythmic gymnast for 10 years and even I wouldn't use a ribbon in an audtion of this type. But the judges immediate reaction to him was completely disrespectful and indicative of a complete refusal to give him a chance. Immediately Mary was pointing out his outfit and not even watching him, and Nigel rected to a small loss of balance on his somersault with the same disgust typically reserved for the total losers who can't do anything at all. As someone with a background in dance, I can usually see the judges points on most dancers, and agree with them. But this was a huge mistake. They were rude and innappropriate towards this dancer, and failed in their jobs to select dancers who are the most talented and versatile. If they are willing to cut slack for b boys who don't know a rond de jamabe from a grand jete, then they should also allow the people who do a little leeway on performance characterization. I will most likely continue to watch this show because I do love dance, but I will do so with great distaste for the judges who no longer deserve my respect.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lincoln "Needs To Join The 21st Century" Tech

I must be watching some really bad daytime television because I have just seen a commercial for Lincoln Technical Institute. Or, to be more specific I should say I have just seen THE commercial for Lincoln Tech. This is the exact same ad that has been airing for the past twenty years at least - probably quite a bit more. Is it to much to ask that we get a new ad? These students have got to be nearing retirement by now. You can keep the same format, but at least film new people with modern haircuts and clothing on - it is hard to find much confidence for a school that says it can teach me about PC Systems and Support when no one in their commercial has even seen a cell phone, much less and ipod. And I get that the people featured are supposed to be the ones in need of the school, and so maybe looking out of touch with the times is actually a clever way of demonstrating that Lincoln Tech is what they need to bring them into the present, but really get a new ad. Any ad that used to run during afternoon reruns of Gilligan's Island has been on way too long.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mentos Are Stomach Turning

I have seen a new commercial for Mentos claiming that they are mouthwatering, and it is completely disgusting. A guy is sitting next to a watercooler eating mentos. A girl comes up and, ignoring that watercooler, drinks right out of his mouth. It is totally gross, and more than that, it doesn't even make sense. Maybe if she put on of those little paper cups in front of his mouth and tweaked his nose to get some water it would be slightly amusing and I could perhaps overlook the whole drinking saliva factor. But are we supposed to believe that if he hadn't been sitting there she would have drunk directly from the nozzle on the watercooler? Who does that? Weird and gross and stupid, and I like mentos a little less now. Especially since they used to have such weird (in a good way) foreign commercials from somwhere like Sweden or something that were amusing and oddly pleasing. And of course there is that whole mentos in soda fountain thing - that is cool too. But this ad is definitely not.

addition: I have seen this ad again, and it is for Mentos gum, thus relieving me of the pressure of not wanting to buy a candy I enjoy because the ads are so bad. I could care less about gum. it also leaves the Mentos candy legacy of humorous ads intact. Phew

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mommybloggers Unite!

My father sent me an article about the phenomenon of "mommybloggers" as well as various opinions on them. As I had nothing else to write about today, I thought it would make afantastic entry. It is interesting to me obviously as a mother who blogs, even though I don't typially talk about my kids or day to day life (frankly it just isn't that interesting). Of course, my first thought in reading the article is "who the hell cares what Kathie Lee thinks?" and in fact that was mainly my thought at seeing she was returning to tv (seriously - what benefit could you possibly think she would bring to your show?). My second thought is that it is pretty cool that women who might have gone completely overlooked and unheard in the past now have a great forum to express their thoughts and share stories. When I was younger I always wanted to have kids and stay home to raise them, but that was not something you told other people without earning looks of pity or doubt that you might not be in control of your faculties. Well guess what - it's a pretty important job people, and it's nice to know there are otehrs out there who value it. It's also nice to get advice from mothers who have been there recently - and share stories that only another mother can appreciate. Seriously, the audience who is going to find stories of poop tracked all over your carpet is pretty much limited to moms, hence the exclusion of that particular recent experince from my blog. I am not one of the fools out there that believe you can have it all - typically you are going to have to make a choice at some point. Do you want a career, perky boobs and poop-free carpets, or do you want kids? I made my choice, and its nice to have evidence that there are others out there who unapologetically have made the same one.
read the article here

Monday, May 26, 2008

Smile, Everyone Say Blink

Nikon coolpix camera is apparently the “ only camera smart enough to tell you if the subject has blinked.” Okay. Is this a feature we really need? I get that this would have been a useful feaeture back in the ye olde days of film, when you couldn’t review your pictures immediately after taking them, but in this, the digital area I’m pretty sure I don’t need anything to tell me the person in the picture has blinked. That is what my eyes (and the preview feature) are for. Maybe it has a voice feature for all of the blind photographers out there? Of course, they probably don’t care what their pictures look like.

Friday, May 23, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

Hip Hip Hooray - three cheers for my favorite summer show!! I love dancing, I like when reality shows involve actual talent, and this show has both - along with typically sweet choreography and judges/ host. cast appearances that are more charming than annoying. I don't even really mind Mary's scream any more - although I don't think I would ewver want to sit right next to her. One criticism - the results shows always feature guest performances by... singers. How about some guest dancers or dance companies? Attention producers: you are a program that showcases dancers - why not give us some professionals and let people see how it is really done? That seems more in keeping with the theme of the show. And this actually matters to me because unlike most results shows which have nothing of value and therefore I don't even bother to watch, this one has fresh. new dances by the contestants in danger of leaving so I have to watch and therefore suffer through terrible perfomances by iffy popstars. Last year Savion Glover did a performance one week and it was awesome - here's hoping they make a slight format tweak and have more guest dancing rather than random bad singing. Or at least make the singers have back up dancers - anything. Seriously. Think about it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Idol Finale

Yay, David Cook won. I think he really has a good chance of being the first male Idol to actually be successful. But the real question of the night was "what is up with Carrie Underwood's sleeves?" When did ruffled sleeves that attached to each other become a good idea? I would imagine it must be kind of hard to get that thing out of the way when you visit the restroom, among other issues. It was so weird and distracting that it took me three verses to realize how amusing the lyrics were to the song she was singing. See the video here

in a related note: apparently sleeves are attaching themsleves randomly all over country music - here is another example of this freakish phenomenon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Uno Electric Bike

And I thought Segways were cool.

get more information here or Google uno electric bike

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Put The Pen Down And Step Away

I like the Visa commericals that feature various shops moving in smooth procession and then grinding to a halt when someone decides to write a check. Each variation has a different degree of success - some are lamer than others, but in general I like them. However, I must say that the one in the garden nursery is by far the best. First of all, you've got to love anything that uses the theme from Brazil, great music from a great movie and I love hearing it pop up. Second, whereas in most of these spots the check writer only cause people to bump into each other or be otherwise inconvenienced by the slow down, in this one she actually causes the sun to dim and flowers to wilt. That is a serious consequence there. Yeah, it is annoying to be behind the lady at the grocery store who takes a month to write out a check (hint, you can sign it and fill out the name of the store while your stuff is getting swiped - try it next time), but really - does it cause a planetary disruption? Or kill vegetation? I'm not sure I even want to carry my check s around anymore if they can wield that kind of influence.

Monday, May 19, 2008

And On The Ninth Day, The Aliens Landed

This weekend while watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on the SciFi channel I saw a commercial for an album of the "ultimate power ballads of the Christian faith." At first I thought this was sort of a strange forum for such an ad; I was hung up on the science part of the title - thinking that viewers with a deep interest in science aren't likely to also be staunch Christians (although I supposed that doesn't preclude an interest in Christian rock). Once I figured in the fiction part though I realized that it actually fits quite nicely. I mean, when you boil it down to its basic elements, the whole Creationism thing is a pretty great work of science fiction, and people that love to believe in alternate universes might be exactly the kind of people who want to believe the universe can be created in seven days. Now obviously Im not suggesting that Christians are all idiots who refuse to believe any sort of scientific evidence (after all, they do call it creation SCIENCE), or that they can't also be interested in the natural world, but I'm interested to see if there are many Christian rock albums being advertised on the Discovery Channel.

Friday, May 16, 2008

These Ads Deserve A Klondike

I love the ads for 'Klondike bars. They aren't new, but haven't been on in quite a while and I am glad they are back. They feature people performing extremely mundane tasks (a man managing to listen to his wifes rambling story, another man not looking at a hot girl that walks by his table) and then saying those people deserve a Klondike br for their heroic behavior. Love it. And of course, writing about these terrific ads is a quite a feat in itself - I think I deserve a Klondike bar. Or six.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Daydream, I fell Asleep Among The, Aaaaargh!

There is a new commercial for some phone company (maybe Sprint? Or maybe it is for the phone itself - I don't remember since I haven't seen it for a few days, which is actually amazing because I think it has been on every third commercial break for a month) that features phones blooming up out of flowers. It is a pretty stupid idea, frankly (what do phones and flowers have to do with each other anyway?), but I get that it is supposed to be evoking spring or something. Whatever. Clearly it is not that effective since I have seen it at least twenty times and can't remember what it is for. But man, the song is catchy. Seriously, that is one damn, catchy tune. I have been singing it for a week. I'm actually kind of mad I decided to write this entry since it is after my bed time and now I'm going to have it running through my head all night. Sweet. After all, if there is anything worse than staying awake with some song in your head, it has to be staying awake with some song from an irritatingly stupid commercial in your head. That's like the third circle of hell, right?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There's A Crack In This Promotion

This weekend, as we were driving along the highway in Denver, we saw a truck passing by with one of the most pointless promotions I have ever heard of. It was a truck for a windshield repair company, and the ad read "buy one, get one free." Now, perhaps this applies to some sort of credit arrangement where if you buy a windshield from them your next one is free, but if not it really makes very little sense. Who needs two windshields? As far as my experience goes, most cars only come with one, and I can't imagine there are that many households out there with multiple broken windshields at the same time. Maybe it is just a really good idea on the part of the company - the special will get people in the door, and the company won't actually have to give anyone free windshiled because no one needs two. I wonder how many time someone will have paid for their new windshield before they realize they have no use for the free one, and they just have to take it home and make a coffee table out of it. Cosmo Kramer and Homer Simpson are probably they only people who would fall for that one. D'oh!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Geico Jumps The Shark

It seems to me that Geico commercials are really going downhill. I have commented on the dancing cavemen ads, and now it seems they have chosen to kill off the series featuring celebrities "translating" for regular people. This was never the most awesome idea - I'm actually surprised that I don't find it more annoying than I do - but it had some moments. The one featuring Joan Rivers poking fun at her ridiculous face made me hate her a little less, and "take the train to happy town" is a lovely little jingle. But seriously, Mrs. Butterworth? she makes nice sytup, but I confess I am unsure as to how a plastic bottle is talking at all, much less why she is talking about car insurance. I do like the end when she says a logo has been placed over her face, but over all the whole idea is a terrible permutation of an idea that was pretty lame to begin with. I just hope Geico gets back on the ball with funny commercials, and doesn't do anything horrible to the gecko.

ps: for any one not in the know, "jump the shark" is a saying that refers to a show losing ground and credibilty and pulling ridiculous or outlandish stunts in order to recapture ratings. The origintaion of this phrase is an episode of Happy Days where Fonzie literally jumped over a shark on water skis.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Drink This

I have been seeing the following ad in magazines everywhere:

and I really hate it. (If you can't read it it says "an overly caffeinated world deserves a sensibly caffeinated water"). First of all, the eye bugging thing is not only totally gross, but also not quite used correctly. According to almost every cartoon that utilizes the eye pop, it is an expression of shock or disbelief- not anger and frustration as this ad implies. I mean, really, are we supposed to think that this woman is surprised that her kids are fighting over the video game? Doubtful - and seriously, if you are too stupid not to buy one for each kid you deserve all the wars that will result - if you can't afford two, buy none. Secondly, where exactly is the depiction of people being overly caffeinated? Is it saying the kids are fighting because they are all hyped up (and why is she giving her kids caffeine anyway?), or is the mom blowing her top because she had one too many double lattes? It's confusing and stupid. But the third and by far the most grievous error is the tag line. It is not only stupid, but completely contradictory. Yes, this world is over caffeinated, but are they actually suggesting that caffeinated WATER is the solution? That somehow drinking water with caffeine will provide a solution to being over caffeinated? Because I'm not sure how that works. Seems to me the solution to being overly caffeinated is to drink LESS caffeine (or God forbid, even NONE), not put it into products that don't naturally contain it. In my opinion there is a sensibly caffeinated water - it's called water, and it has nothing in it at all. Water doesn't need flavor, or vitamins, or coloring (I've discussed this before), and it certainly doesn't need to have caffeine in it. Stop kidding yourself that you are drinking something healthy just because it says "water" on the label. If you want a sugary, caffeine fix bite the bullet and drink a Coke. As for me, I'll be the one without a racing pulse drinking plain old water from the tap.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nothing Like Some Good Old Fashioned Bad Customer Service To Make Your Day

I have a problem with Netflix. (I also have a problem with my shift key in that the left one fell off and every time I try to use the right one I hit enter but that is unrelated except in the fact that I published this entry 5 times whie still typing it). Anyway - Netflix is great - I love getting my movies in the mail, and don't really ever have an issue with planning in advance to watch movies rather than being able to go directly to the store and rent one. And since my subscription is always given to me as a gift, it is basically free to me which is great too (thanks Rees and Jen). However, they have some issues with how their gift redemption works. First of all, you can't redeem a new gift subscription while you are still using an old one - you have to wait until the old one is over. Technically you are supposed to be able to apply the new one within the final month, but that fails to work either. So you are left with the option of waiting until your subscription runs out and your credit card gets charged for one month so you can redeem the new gift subscription (which is how over the years I have ended up not being able to use my Christmas gift until May), or you can check back every day and hope that it finally gets accepted. That was the method I chose to utilize this year, and let me tell you how it went. After checking every day for a few weeks, I finally got an email from Netflix telling me the exact date my subscription would end (so now I can just wait for that email every year - yay). I tried on the day it ended - nothing. I tried first thing in the morning the day after it ended - and not only did it not work, but they had already charged my card. Pissed. Then - I learned another ridiculous fact about Netflix - they have no email communication. That's right folks, a company that is completely web based does not have a customer service contact email. Wicked awesome, right? So I had to call them about this issue, which thankfully was fixed right away. However, in order to refund my card the only way they had to fix it was to cancel my account and then just immediately reinstate it with the gift subscription. This seems like poor planning to me, but I said okay because the woman assured me that nothing would actually change on my account. Well, she was either stupid or a liar, because, as you might expect when an account is cancelled, so are all of the movies saved in the queue. Super pissed. So now I have to try and remember all of the random movies I once thought sounded good and put onto my list - which let me tell you is not my forte. It sometimes takes me weeks to remember new movies to put on there despite seeing ads for them several times a dayand reading Entertainment Weekly, weekly. So I am pretty disappointed with Netflix - not enough to stop using them just yet, but enough to hope that millions of people somehow read this and boycott, forcing them to rethink the ineptitude of their customer service. They should take a note from one of my favorite shopping websites, Zappos, which says right on its home page that it is a service company that just happens to sell shoes, bags, clothes, etc. Clearly, Netflix is a movie company that is trying its best to ignore the fact that it is on the web.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Results, Right After This Brainless Blabbing

Last night I tuned in to the last few minutes of American Idol to see who was voted off (not that I really care too much since my favorites are already gone - who thought at the beginning I'd be rooting for David Cook?). Anywa, in those few minutes, Iactually got so bored that I had to change the channel back to Top Chef. I understand that shows like American Idol want to ratchet up the suspense by putting off reading the results of the elimintaion for as long as possible, but come on - it is really getting ridiculous. I would in all honesty rather watch commercials than Syesha talking about having a black or woman President. How is that even relevant? Is she actually trying to compare the American Idol to the highest position in our country, cause it's a good show in all, but not quite on the same level as Commander in Chief. I really didn't want to see either of the rejects talkin g baout anything unless it was Jason's next haircut or Sy-Jeeesh why am I still here-a discussing how much it cost her to buy more votes than Brooke and Carly. Seriously - she made the top 3? So not right. But to the point, can we please dispense with the blabber from these contestants. We obviously don't care about their personalities - they got the lowest votes for a reason. So just air more stupid banter between Ryan and the judges, or another terrible performane by the guest "mentor" (seriously, is it just me or do all the professionals they get on this show perform really badly?), throw in more commercials for So You Think You Can Dance (yay!!!!) and get on with giving the boot.

ps: Dear God - I would love to see a woman President at some point. Just please don't make it Hillary. I think she might actually signal the End of Days, and nobody wants the four Horseman of the Apocalypse appointed to the cabinet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Honey, This Here Talking Box Ain't Got No Ears!

I have a problem with all of these new commercials suggesting people with antenna tvs buy a special box to allow them to keep their television when the airwaves start broadcasting digital. Why not just go to these people's houses and rob them? Clearly they are banking on anyone who still owns an antenna tv being stupid enough to pay for a completely ridiculous product - it's like selling adapters for those old 2 lb cell phones my dad had 20 years ago or Windows for an IBM 5150. But it still feels tacky. I mean, obviously these people are having serious issues with adapting to the modern age of technology - they are using ANTENNAS, after all - but c'mon, does that mean we have to totally rip them off? I think maybe we should do them a real service, let their ancient, ridiculous boob tubes die out and force them to enter into the new century by buying a new television. Maybe some of them will even get up off their rumps and learn to live without tv - who knows?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Damn You...

Damn you Vince Flynn. Damn you for writing such engaging stories that I stay up until 3 am reading and then am tired all day and can't properly play with my children. Damn you and all of your books that are so exciting that I have to finish them even when it is late and I am sleepy because I know that if I wait until the next day I will finish it too quickly and then will be upset because there isn't more to read. And damn you for not having more books because I have read them all and still want more. I am tired and grumpy and without exciting books to read now, and it is all your fault.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Gesund-Here's Some Medicine

There is a new product from Benadryl for children that has premeasured amounts in individual containers that makes it easier to give to your kids when you are on the go. In general I think this is a pretty good idea, however there are some issues. First of all, where are you going so often that you have to carry the Benadryl with you? I mean it lasts 6 hours, so you think you could probably avoid having to carry it with you at all times. Secondly, since it makes almost everyone drowsy (eveny the non drowsy versions send me into an antihistimine coma) do you really want to be giving it to your kids when you are at the park? They are likely to pass out and fall of the slide. But my main issue is with the commercial. It shows two moms at the park and one kids comes up and sneezes so the mom whips out the huge bag of medicine to give her kids something for the sneezing but she can't find anything in her mess of a medicine bag. The other mom's kid comes up and he sneezes, and she has this convenient single serving Benadryl so she gives it to her kid and lends one to the other mom as well. I think this commercial demonstrates a terrible sign of overmedication. I mean obviously we are supposed to think that these kids have demonstrated allergies before, but seriously - one sneeze does not neccessitate Benadryl. And I can't think of any reason to have an entire medicince cabinet in my purse unless my kids are terminally ill - in which case we are probably not playing at the park. People today are so desperate to alleviate any possible sign of illness - get over it people. Kids cough and sneeze sometimes - we all do. It doesn't mean we have allergies and it certainly shouldn't be met with an immediate application of Benadryl. All that is going to do is make your kids high, and possibly learn to fake it in order to get medicine. I know people whose kids start coughing every night in order to get cough drops. And you are crazy if you think overmedicating your kid is better than letting them get sick once in a while.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

That Coffee Looks Like A Sandwich

I saw a commercial for McDonalds coffee the other night during an airing of Bones. It featured a bunch of people in a park meditating with the typical "om" humming, and then pans over to someone who is humming "mmm" and eating an egg mcmuffin. Then it goes into the joys of McDonalds coffee. I fid it a bit odd that never once in teh commercial does anyone partke of the target item. If you look very carefully you can see that the guy has some coffee on the ground next to him, but he is mainly completely absorbed in his breakfast sandwich and at no time does he take a drink. At the end when he walks by and entices the meditaters (is that a word? it is now) by the smells of his breakfast - it is the bag that is the center of attention. And last I checked you don't usually put coffee in the bag. I found all of this pretty weird - I mean if the whole point of your ad is to feature the coffee, shouldn't that be what the people are enjoying and smelling and, hey call me crazy, drinking?