Monday, July 30, 2007

Come Sail Away

Saturday MSH, Spaces, Vincent and I went to One Eyed Jack's in the Quarter to see the Running With Scissors' production of "The Titanic Adventures of the Love Boat Poseidon". I love disaster movies and this seemed like a perfect blend of disaster and melodrama heavily peppered with campiness. I honestly didn't know what to expect. After two margaritas (um, Bloody Mary's...I called them Margaritas after about 1 1/2 Marys), the show was extremely funny . Marys or no Marys the show was funny. I loved the actress who played Rose with a fancy New England 1940s accent. It didn't sound forced . I also loved the two Mrs. Braunsteins. They sound like a Stefanie Powers miniseries. Loved them!Afterwards, the gang and I stumbled(*I* mostly stumbled) outside the bar/cabaret to meet up with Lloyd. We then walked over to Spanish Plaza near the river to see Styx in concert. They were there as part of the Arena Bowl festivities. Despite the humidity and the number of people there, I actually enjoyed myself. I wish I new their songs better. Msh is working on that by making me a mix CD. I mean all I really know is "Mr. Roboto". Sue me. It's all I heard in middle school.

Taking our cue from the last big drum roll and the turning on of all the stage lights, we went on a hunt for a big greasy burger.

Vincent insisted we try the burgers at ????( I forgot the name, sorry! I'll blame it on the Bloody/Margarita haze). We trekked back to the heart of the Quarter for a DeeLicious burger...a half pound of ground meat goodness. It sopped up most of the alcohol. So much for trying to eat healthy, but a greasy burger is all you can you think of after you've stopped drinking.

Our evening ended after Lloyd's disappearing act down a side street, sending Vincent off to work, and then dropping Spaces off at his car that was parked near Whitney and Crack.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Take A Little Time to Enjoy The View

Oh, you have no idea the joy I felt on this dreary Friday when I linked my way to this article. Oh, the joy!
You can also make your own happiness page @



July 24, 2007 -- IN her four years on “The View” - ABC’s exceptionally dysfunctional morning talk show - 30-year-old Elisabeth Hasselbeck has become a source of morbid curiosity for viewers and critics alike, who can’t quite figure out how she still has her job.

She may seem like a girl right out of a Tom Petty song (blond, all-American, married to a jock) but she has, as the show’s lone conservative voice, been criticized as a rigid, often incoherent thinker. This on a show where rigid, incoherent thinking has been vocalized by many a co-host - from Star Jones to Joy Behar to Rosie O’Donnell. So: No small feat.

And yet Hasselbeck - a former reality-TV star - has outlasted news veteran Meredith Vieira (who quit for the “Today” show), original cast member Jones (fired) and, most recently, O’Donnell, who quit the show early after that infamous, explosive on-air screamfest with Hasselbeck in May (an incident neither would discuss).

So, she’s outlived seasoned broadcast professionals . . . how?

“That’s a very tough role to fill on ‘The View,’ and she’s got enough nerve to hang in there,” says TV Guide senior correspondent Stephen Battaglio, who adds that ABC’s research shows Hasselbeck is popular with young mothers in red states. “She does her best. Do I think her next job is going to be as a political correspondent? No.”

Sarah D. Bunting, co-editor-in-chief of the Web site Television Without Pity, says Hasselbeck’s presence has become key: “Even if people are watching to hate her, it’s showing up on YouTube, it’s showing up on industry blogs, advertisers are getting the eyeballs,” she says. “She could have an IQ of 170. I doubt it. She’s taking advantage of the power vacuum, and they’re not gonna move her. This is what she’s there for right now: to get kicked.”

In fact, Hasselbeck is often such an inept debater that she’s been the subject of conspiracy theories: The show’s otherwise liberal co-hosts wanted a mockable lightweight. She’s a Stepford wife parroting the beliefs of her equally conservative husband, New York Giants third-string quarterback Tim. She’s fed talking points by the show’s right-wing executive producer, Bill Geddie.

“I’m not back there briefing her,” Geddie says. Her appeal cuts across all age groups, and her fans, he says, don’t care about her politics. “She has many thoughts that are shockingly conservative to me.”

Indeed, Hasselbeck has argued on-air that adulterers can’t be good parents, that the morning-after pill is tantamount to abortion, and that, “especially in a time of war” (one of her favorite phrases), torture is necessary. She typically responds to information she finds discomfiting with “I’d like to research that.” She has used the nonexistent word “desperacy” more than once. She has brushed off U.S. casualties of the Iraq war as “unfortunate,” while noting the U.S. has an all-volunteer Army.

“This is what liberals are afraid of - that the conservatives in the rest of the country believe this stuff without a well-considered view,” Bunting says. “If you are on TV just squeaking your way through an argument that has cost America thousands of lives, the conclusion is: She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

Interestingly, Hasselbeck says she never wanted to be any kind of pundit (she studied design at Boston College) or have a career in television: “If I had written out my plan,” she says, “I didn’t think I would be doing this.” Yet exec producer Geddie remembers things differently: “I got major pressure from her agent, saying, ‘You have to see this girl.’ ”

“She is a walking dichotomy,” says her former “Survivor” castmate Jeff Varner. He says when they first met, “I thought she was incredibly creative, honest, a sweet girl - but there was something underneath those eyes that was not that. She’s very shrewd. I always thought she would make the call that was best for Elisabeth.”

Still, they bonded. After “Survivor,” they both got gigs at the E! network and talked twice a week. He remembers her freaking out over whether she’d get the seat on “The View.” “I think I got one e-mail from her after she got hired on ‘The View,’ and that was it,” Varner says. “She dropped me. I sent her a gift when Grace was born. Never got a thank-you.” He pauses. “I’m hearing that Rodger [Bingham, a fellow “Survivor”], who was really close to her, is not hearing from her. Maybe an e-mail at Christmas.”

Funny - at a recent taping, an audience member asked Hasselbeck if she was still close with Bingham; she said yes, but it was hard, given that he’s a farmer and is up early in the fields.

“He’s not a farmer!” Varner says, laughing. “He works for the Department of Agriculture in Kentucky.”

“I talked to her over Christmas,” says Bingham, reached by cellphone one Sunday after church. “We send her little girl presents. She sends us ice cream every Christmas. A couple of pints, comes frozen every December.” Which perplexes Bingham, as he doesn’t particularly like ice cream: “If it’s around, I’ll eat it.”

Bingham, 60, memorably sacrificed himself on “Survivor” so that Hasselbeck could stay - and reap an extra $20,000 in prize money. He says they never really discussed that. “She really didn’t know that at the time, I don’t think,” he says. He takes a long pause. “Uh . . . you know, I guess she would’ve - she would’ve seen that on the show. I think she mentioned it to me once, and I said, ‘Well, you would’ve done the same for me.’ ”

“She’s a smart girl and a smart businesswoman,” says Varner. “But I never trusted her. And I don’t trust her today.”’

Hasselbeck grew up in Providence, R.I., (though she speaks with a faint “Fargo”-esque accent). She credits her architect dad, Kenneth - “the coolest, most creative man I’ve ever met, ever” - and Elisabeth, her “freethinking” mom, a lawyer who “started the first female fraternity at her college” - as the sources of her indefatigable self-esteem. “They never laid down any sort of foundation of, like, prejudice.” She has one brother, Kenneth, “two years younger, but much wiser,” and, she says, her polar opposite, politically.

Hasselbeck herself didn’t become politicized until a few years ago: “You know when we were in Australia for ‘Survivor,’ we had, I was supposed to fill out my absentee ballot. For the election. That was the controversial Gore/Bush, the whole Florida fiasco. Um, and I . . . I didn’t. I was, like, too busy. And I think it was Nick Brown who was out there with me, said, you know, ‘You didn’t fill out your absentee ballot? Like, how do you not fill out your absentee ballot?’ And then I realized what I had missed out on. So I really started a, an investigation, like why I was such an idiot as to not fill that out and partake in something that, you know, the women in Iraq just got a chance to do for the first time. You know, why? Why wouldn’t I take advantage of a right that’s granted to me? That wasn’t always there? And I kind of recommitted to, um, reading as much as I could and learning as much as I could about, um, politics.”

She says it took her a few years to build what she calls “a library of Web sites.” What does she read every day? “Um . . . I think anyone in my - obviously now for news, if you need something flashy, some celebrity or social news - it’s TMZ. You go there first. Ummm . . . you know, I like National Review online, um, I’ll go to, media research center - for pointed issues, you know? And not only those, because I love the New York Times, Sunday Styles, you know I love the opinion sections, because it’s a lot, a lot of the time things I’m not in full support of, want to get perspective on, or just want to hear - I just want to make sure I’m fresh on both sides of the issue.”

To that end, Hasselbeck says she considers herself a “contemplative conservative.” Meaning? “I constantly think and am saturated in my mind and heart about what these issues are and what it means, especially now,” she says. “I think the why is more important than ever. Why? Like, why do you believe that? Why do you think we should still or not be in Iraq. Why? And so, those questions, they haunt me.” She laughs. “I like to actively pursue the answers,” she continues. “As much as possible.”

So Hasselbeck doesn’t understand why she is still considered “The View”’s intellectual featherweight (this on a show where O’Donnell claimed the government was behind the collapse of 7 World Trade Center). But the show’s “Hot Topics” segments - in which the women spend the top 20 minutes of the show extemporaneously discussing anything from the Iraq war to Britney Spears - has become squeamishly entertaining for this very reason.

Just last week, after telling Hasselbeck “your head is under a rock,” co-host Behar lost it:

Behar: “Bush has just vetoed a bipartisan bill that would extend health care for 4.1 million children in this country! Now that is not a compassionate conservative.”

Hasselbeck: “I’d like to investigate that.”

Behar: “Well, go ahead. Here it is [shaking paper under Hasselbeck’s face]. Paul Krugman, the New York Times.”

Hasselbeck: “Where are the parents of these children?”

Behar: “They’re poor!”

This debate, such as it was, elicited outrage among viewers, who immediately logged on to “The View” ’s insanely popular forum on Television Without Pity. A sampling:

“Usually, I think Elisabeth is just ignorant and uninformed . . . she has a large mean streak.”

“When she said, ‘Where are these kids’ parents?’ she f - - - ing lost my support. WTF? They are poor.”

“No one can be this ignorant.”

“Bitsy seemed nutty, ridiculous, and uninformed as usual. But, dare I say it, I enjoyed her today. She talked back to Babs and did not completely trample over Joy.”

So, what does Hasselbeck think of this animus? “I, I think that . . . obviously it’s wrong,” she says. She thinks it’s a reaction to her youth and hair color: “I mean, I’m young, yes. ‘She’s young, she’s blond, she’s conservative - we hate her.’ Good! Well, I don’t hate you because you disagree with my opinions. I kind of dropped that in like the fifth grade.” She smirks. “I think we should be able to - especially now - not judge people based on political opinion and have such hate.”

And she does seem to elicit hate from broad quarters. Last season, an episode of “Law & Order” named a victim of rape and murder “Elisabeth Hassenbeck”; when she called the show’s producer to complain, he hung up on her. Guest stars routinely snub her. The endlessly quotable Donald Trump, fresh off his feud with O’Donnell, switched sides, calling Hasselbeck “one of the dumber people on TV” and “an imbecile.” On any number of blogs she is referred to as “Bitsy,” “The Ditz,” “Elisabitch” and “Hasselcrack.”

The pop-cultural tipping point for Hasselbeck came last year, when a clip of the women heatedly discussing the morning-after pill was endlessly posted, then wound up on nighttime entertainment shows; Hasselbeck, in the gleeful parlance of many blogs, “lost her s - - t.”

“Elisabeth, calm down,” Walters scolded. “I can’t!” Hasselbeck exclaimed. “This makes me so upset, Barbara!” She tearfully ripped up her index cards. Producers quickly cut to commercial, and when they came back, Hasselbeck was crying, curled up, on the sofa, in Walters’ frail lap.

“I, I - I think certain issues are so worthy of emotional high-voltage,” Hasselbeck says today. “I just think they are. So, that was a day, although maybe it was seen as a hard day, or bad day for me, that was a good day, because I feel as though that’s me.”

Let’s ask Barbara Walters what she thinks. Hello, Ms. Wal - “Yeah whaddya want?” Walters barks. Well, when Elisabeth broke into tears and crawled on to your lap - “She is the most conservative member [of the show],” Walters responds tersely. “I think she’s pro-life. I think it was about stem-cell research. I’m very fond of her. By the way, I think she looks wonderful. She’s just so sunny.”

Walters does reiterate Hasselbeck’s appeal among young women viewers, who relate to her as a wife and mother (the Hasselbecks have a 2-year-old daughter, Grace, and are expecting their second child in November). “She tells whhooon-derful stories about her daughter,” Walters coos. “For example, on yesterday’s show, she told this adorable story about having to borrow her daughter’s diapers.” (The short version: Hasselbeck peed in two of them after a long car ride to Jersey.) “It was a wonderful story.”

And this may the key to Hasselbeck’s staying power on “The View” - she may be as gleefully ill-prepared as ever, but she’s not to be underestimated as a strategist. With Jones’ and O’Donnell’s seats still empty, Hasselbeck finds herself in an odd position of strength. That is, until the next moderator is hired, the group dynamic shifts once again, and Hasselbeck adjusts accordingly. “Rosie was really good because she was willing to engage with and challenge Elisabeth,” says TV Guide’s Battaglio. “I think they’re going to have a hard time finding a new moderator willing to do that. They might just say, ‘This is hopeless; why bother?’ ”

“If I were one of the women on this show, I would just be tired of her at this point,” says Television Without Pity’s Bunting. “Joy Behar, I think, is even done trying with her. But she does generate a lot of press.”

Hasselbeck, ever the strategist, knows who makes the ultimate call as to whether she returns after her maternity leave begins in November, and she misses no opportunity to praise her boss, Walters - often and on the air.

“She has a gift,” Hasselbeck rhapsodizes. “Her techniques are strong. She has a knack for interviewing people where she really hears what they’re saying. She can read prompter like nobody else. The amount of research that she does alone. I would never trade working with Barbara Walters every day with any, any course in the United States. Like, this is - it’s serious stuff.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Lesbian Mystique

Fascinating it seems only to me and lesbians...oh, well.

The L Word:

The Sev and Edie as the Flipping Dykes with the click, click, click of their Manolos:

More L Word...Makes no sense if you've never seen it, but I love the Pillow Talk split screen:

Guess Who?

Can you guess who this Ultra Glam duo is? (no double clicking to see who they are) It's not too difficult.

And Then There's Maude

God will get you for that, Walter.

I fell asleep last night and woke up early this morning with a nasty sinus headache.

Sinus headaches are not like regular headaches. Sinus headaches don't necessarily throb, they just sit there waiting for you to move. It just sits there waiting for its prey to move and then it pounces with its shooting pain. Ow, ow, ow! It hurts!

Anyway, I managed to exercise this morning and that gave me some relief because it opens up my sinus passages. Then I took a shower, got dressed and ate lunch. I had every intention to leave my apartment today, but I just didn't feel like it. You know...the pain.

Instead, I decided to watch Maude Season 1 on DVD. (I need to send it back to Netflix so I can get the next Big Love DVD.)

I'd seen Maude in reruns when it aired on Nick@Nite some years back, but I never caught it in chronological order. I always felt it was way too preachy and that Bea Arthur was too loud and overbearing. After six episodes, I still feel the same although it helps to see them in order because you can see the character development that you miss otherwise.

The first two episodes were so-so. Adrienne Barbeau, Bill Macy and Conrad Bain are Maude's daughter, husband, and husband's best friend. The addition of Esther Rolle, in the third episode, is what gives the series the spice that it lacked in the previous two.

I still say *give me Bea Arthur in The Golden Girls any day*, but in a pinch I'll watch Maude.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I was getting my daily fix of entertainment news over at (entertainment weekly), when I read about inmates from the Philippines(Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines) dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". It's an awesome sight.

They also have a video called "Algorithm March". Here's the link:

I've also included Jennifer Garner's version of the same dance from the movie, 13 going on 30. Just because she's adorable in the movie. Well, except for those huge shoulders she has.


Felicity is:

  • waking up after 9 am and not worrying that you've overslept for work.
  • watching morning television while eating cereal and not worrying about much else.
  • opening your blinds or curtains and letting the sun's golden rays stream in to your home. I love the light of early morning.
  • watering my plants that I have managed to not kill since I bought them.
  • walking downstairs and opening my mailbox to find a new Netflix DVD.
  • La Madeleine's Raspberry Lemonade.
  • cooking a meal and then having others enjoy it.
  • taking a nap just cuz.
  • reading a good book.
  • cuddling with your boyfriend.
  • spending time with your family.
  • spending time with your friends.


Here's a visual example of Debbie's ludicrous misuse of words.

--> Smokes Like A Fish <--

Smoking Fish, Fort Clinch State Park: Fernandina Beach, FL
Thanks to Chas @
He says it's untouched and I'll just believe what he says.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Patriotism or Insanity?

What do you think? Is this too much?

Laws Require Flags to Be Born in USA

Published: 7/3/07, 11:05 PM EDT

ROSEMOUNT, Minn. (AP) - What's red, white and blue - and made in China? A move is on in state legislatures to ensure that the flags folks will be flying and buying this Independence Day were made on this fruited plain.

Minnesota has passed the strongest measure, a new law that goes into effect at year's end requiring every Old Glory sold in state stores to be domestically produced. Violations are a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

In Arizona, schools and public colleges were required starting July 1 to outfit every classroom from junior high up with a made-in-the-USA flag. Tennessee requires all U.S. flags bought via state contract to be made here, and similar bills are moving forward in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The Fourth of July is considered peak season for flag sales with millions of them lining parade routes and flying above back yard barbecues.

Most of the major domestic flag makers are privately held companies that don't release their sales figures, so it's difficult to gauge the inroads being made by foreign manufacturers.

The U.S. Census bureau estimates that $5.3 million worth of U.S. flags were imported from other countries in 2006, mostly from China. That figure has been steady over the past few years. The big exception was in 2001 when $51.7 million in U.S. flags were brought into the country, most on the heels of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Sandy Van Leiu, chairman of the Flag Manufacturers Association of America, said the imports are cause for concern even though U.S. companies still dominate the flag market.

"That door is going to keep opening," said Van Leiu, a sixth-generation executive at the family owned Annin & Co., a 160-year-old business that supplies retailers like Wal-Mart. "It starts small, then it gets big. You're just opening Pandora's box."

To help consumers identify the origin of their flags, the association created a certification program two years ago that bestows a seal-of-approval logo to flags made with domestic fibers and labor.

Whether Minnesota's law violates international trade agreements - and whether anything would be done about it - is an open question.

Under World Trade Organization standards, the U.S. government can't treat foreign products less favorably than those produced within its boundaries, said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland and the former chief economist for the U.S. International Trade Commission. How the rules apply to states is debatable, he said.

Morici said a foreign business harmed by the law would have to get its government to take action against the U.S. government. Robert Litan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank, said while the likelihood of Minnesota's law sparking a dispute is slim, the symbolic message is hard to miss.

"It's symptomatic of an anti-foreign bias moving through the country right now. It would not surprise me if other states copied it," Litan said. "It's hard to oppose politically."

When the bill was debated this spring, some legislators argued it sent the wrong message to close Minnesota's borders to foreign-produced flags.

"That flag should be made throughout the world because it is our message to the world that there is hope for freedom and justice," Republican Rep. Dan Severson said at the time.

The law's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Tom Rukavina, said the flag deserves extra protection. To celebrate his legislative victory, he plans to hand out 1,000 miniature flags at Fourth of July parades in his district.

"The biggest honor that you can give the flag is that it be made by American workers in the United States of America," he said. "Nothing is more embarrassing to me than a plastic flag made in China. This replica of freedom we so respect should be made in this country."

The new law doesn't spell out a penalty for violators. In Minnesota, the default punishment for prohibited acts is a misdemeanor offense, carrying up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.


On the Net: