Thursday, April 26, 2007

And the Oblivi-Bubble Expands

Dan Froomkin has this little tidbit in the Washington Post this morning, from an interview with Ann Curry of the Today Show (sorry, Thomas):

First Lady Laura Bush said this morning that "no one suffers more" than the president and she do when watching television footage of the carnage in Iraq -- potentially opening her up to charges that the first family is too removed from the anguish of American troops and their families.

The first lady was on NBC's Today show mostly to talk about the president's malaria initiative, but at one point Ann Curry showed some video from Iraq and asked Bush, in a hushed, solicitous tone: "You know the American people are suffering, watching --"

The first lady replied: "Oh, I know that, very much. And believe me, no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this. And certainly the commander in chief who has asked our military to go into harm's way --"
Sigh. And just when you thought that there was at least one sane person left at the White House.

Is There Lead in the Water?

The President "doesn't remember," or "doesn't believe that he ever said that."

The Vice-president "can't recall," or "never said that."

The Vice-president's chief of staff "can't recall," doesn't remember" and "has no recollection."

The Attorney General "can't recall," "doesn't remember," "wasn't precise in his choice of words," "has no recollection," and "doesn't dispute that the decision was made but doesn't recall making the decision."

Maybe it's time for the EPA to run tests on air, soil and water samples taken from the general vicinity of the White House. I wonder if they have a test for plain old bull-shit . . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Girly Girl: 1; Mom: 0

One day last week, I was sitting on the front steps watching the girls play in the sunshine.

After a few moments, Hannah climbed up to my perch; she lovingly put her hand on my denim-clad knee and gently tucked the strand of pearls into my blue oxford cloth shirt.

“You are so sweet,” I said as I bent to kiss the top of her head. “Were you protecting Mommy’s necklace?”

Kissing me on the nose, Hannah shook her head solemnly and said, “No, I’m hiding them. You dress like a boy and boy don’t wear pearls.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hannah's Gallery

Since there was no way that I was going to be able to keep up with--or physically store--all of Hannah's drawings, I decided to open an online gallery for her. Prints are not for sale and may or may not still exist. (Ask Charlotte about that one.)

So if you want to see what the four-year-old set is drawing this year, check out Hannah's Gallery! There's also a link in my Blog Roll.

NOTE: I have been informed by the artist that I did not choose the right drawings for the first collection, but she was too busy creating new ones to offer guidance. So, these are my selections. I especially like "Windy Day."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Get Me to a Nunnery

Or anywhere that enforces a vow of silence.

I only want to go for a week or two.

Maybe three.

Hannah has reached that age where, if she is awake, she is talking. She talks to Charlotte while getting dressed--even if Charlotte is still sleeping (or pretending to). If there is no response, she'll talk to her stuffed animals. Some mornings, she'll help me start my day with a cheery "Good morning!" followed by a recitation of last night's dreams, activities she's planned for the day, which animals are coming to the tea party, whether Charlotte is invited, followed closely by asking if it's alright if she colors, if she can watch Wubzy, if there is school today, whether it is sharing day yet, may she please have orange juice in her Tinkerbell cup . . .

And then she asks if I'm going to get up and make her breakfast.

If Thomas is home, he gets it first and I try to sneak in to the kitchen while Hannah has a mouth full of cereal. If I'm lucky--and fast enough--I can get in a gulp or two of coffee before she starts again. This makes it a little easier to follow her trains of thought.

I wonder if all of the kids in her class are at the same stage. If so, I know why her teacher had to take a week off . . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hoping for Divine Intervention

So I'm catching up on the Amazing Race--I TiVo it and wait until Thomas gets back in town since it's so much more fun to watch it when he's here. So anyway. I'm not usually into wanting people booted off of shows. But this is a special case. Charla and Mirna must go away. I hated them in their first trip around the world and I detest them now. Especially Mirna. She is hateful and oblivious. And if we are to know people by how they treat other people, the people whose help they need, she loses big time.

She uses a fake accent, and no matter which country they're in at the time, it's the same accent.

She asked a Polish cab driver if he liked sausage.

She says inane things like "As an attorney, I can tell when people are lying to me." I had NOT idea they taught that in law school!

So here's my little prayer:

"Dear God: Please make her go away. Make her stop using her cousin as a prop in The Mirna Show." Mirna likes to say that they "want to show people that it doesn't matter if you're short (Charla) or super thin (Mirna), you can still do things."

Um, what? I can understand the part about being a little person. But when was the last time someone whined about not being able to do something because they were thin?

As my favorite advice guru, Carolyn Hax, likes to say, "Chips in bowls, not on shoulders, please."


Crap. They're still in the race.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy (?) Hunting. It's All About Location

At the Redwood City egg hunt:500 kids were expected. 2500 kids showed up. There were 5000 eggs. Guess how many the girls got?

That's right. One. Each. We waited for the four-year olds to go in and, by that time, the older kids had gone in from the other side. It was like watching a herd of locusts--the egg line kept receding into the distance. Our neighbor, Lisa, took two from her son (1-year old; he was happy to oblige).

So we did an egg hunt in the back yard the next morning. 12 eggs, 2 kids, 1 nosy dog. Much better odds.

Ah--all better.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More on Studio 60

From Lisa de Moraes's column in the Washington Post today:

"From the beginning, '30 Rock' has proven to be the kind of quality comedy that doesn't come around very often and we are very pleased to have this show back for a second season," NBC Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly said in yesterday's announcement. "We expect it to continue to build its increasingly loyal audience and become another of NBC's classic comedy series."

The decision to give an early green light to Fey's show for a second season, rather than Sorkin's, was a no-brainer.

For instance, NBC pointed out that, season to date, "30 Rock" is averaging 2.7 percent of the country's audience of 18-to-49-year-olds. That's the age bracket advertisers pay a premium to reach and NBC therefore targets with its entertainment series.

"Studio 60" is averaging only 3.6 percent of the audience in that age bracket.


Well, how about this: "30 Rock's" overall audience, season to date, is a solid 5.8 million viewers, NBC says in its announcement.

"Studio 60's" season-to-date overall audience is just 8.5 million.

[Crickets.] Upscale -- "30 Rock" is very upscale. NBC likes upscale. According to NBC, "30 Rock" is one of the most upscale comedies on television. In fact, NBC says, it rates 28 percent higher among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100,000-plus incomes than it rates among all adults 18-49.

"Studio 60"? Well, "Studio 60" rates 28 percent higher among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100,000-plus incomes than it rates among all adults 18-49.

Now that it's become so transparent why one show got picked up but not the other, it's barely worth mentioning that NBC Universal 2.0 owns "30 Rock" but not "Studio 60" -- that's owned by Warner Bros."

Now don't get me wrong. I like 30 Rock. Once I got past Tracey Jordan's scratching-fingernails-on-chalkboard personality, I was able to appreciate it for the sometimes smart and funny show that it is. But it will never be as good as Studio 60. And I LOVE(ed) Studio 60.

I Think I Hate NBC . . .

For years, it seemed that most of my favorite shows were on NBC. The shows were smarter. The writing seemed to be crisper. The acting was generally better. Even the production values were better. But the peacock seems to have lost its way. So here are a few reasons I am coming to rue my love affair with NBC, as well as a few that keep me hanging on. Let's just go through the weekly schedule, saving the bright spots for last. (NOTE: I started this post awhile ago, so the lineup may have changed.)

1) Studio 60 (follow the link and you'll see they've already buried it)--The smartest, best written show on network TV--went on hiatus while NBC introduced us to The Black Donnellys--which is now being cancelled. Even though it had been expected for months, I was so annoyed about Studio 60 being put on the shelf that I can't bring myself to be interested in The Black Donnellys. Someone let me know if it's actually worth watching. Today, I hear that Studio 60 will not be returning. Not to NBC anyway. Maybe someone else will pick it up?

2) Deal or No Deal--I sort of like Howie Mandel, but not enough to make this "must see TV." It was fun for about 5 minutes and then it just got old. And more of a bad thing does not a good thing make.

3) Replacing Studio 60: Thank God You're Here, which NBC says "showcases the improvisational skills of a group of four brave actors each week, as they walk into a live sketch without a script, their only armor and unforeseen and unexplained wardrobe change." One assumes that hilarity ensues, mostly because NBC assures us that it is, indeed, hilarious. And it opens with back to back episodes!

1) Dateline NBC--This show could have been so much better. An entire hour when they could talk about something that matters and instead they have a creepy guy luring more creepy guys in so they can get an arrest--and hopefully a confession!--on camera. They tell themselves that they are ding a public service, but hows about we let the police do they job?

Of course, that's not all Dateline does; lately they've also treated us to: "The Battle for Anna Nicole Smith's body"! (Our local NBC station carried the funeral live--the genesis for this post.); "Are We Hung Up On Celebs in Free Fall?" (who do they mean by "we?"); How clean/safe are your schools/restaurants/ grocery stores/fast food chains . . .

Surprise! I actually have nothing bad to say about Wednesday. I stopped being a regular viewer of Crossing Jordon when they went all supernatural a few seasons ago, but I've caught snippets since then and don't detest it.

Love most of this (see below) so hopefully there will be at least one night they won't mess up.

Sweet mother of god. 1 vs 100 AND Identity in the same night? Oh wait--they've moved them around again. It's just Identity. And Raines. I like Jeff Goldblum, but I don't know. I just not buying him as a homicide detective. Or as a star of the small screen, for that matter. Some people seem to have been made for TV and some for the silver screen. Jeff Goldblum=Movies. David Carouso=TV.

Thank god for TiVo, Center Ice and House.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Pets vs People: Pets Win Again

I love my dog, Argus. I would be devastated if anything happened to him. But I still cannot comprehend why the tainted pet food story has taken the lead on our local newscast every night since the story broke--with the exception of a brief "breaking news" story on the tsunami in the Solomon Islands last night.

Over the weekend, six more US soldiers died in Iraq, and it was the third or fourth story, rating not more than a few seconds. And--I've looked three times but perhaps I missed it--the San Jose Mercury News said nothing about the deaths at all, either yesterday or today. There was, however, a long piece on The Sopranos (which perhaps could have been in the entertainment section?) and the profile of an immigrant family, all but one of whom are legal. Front page, above the fold.

In other front page news: Bush on the captured British sailors and the index (Sunday). What, you were expecting more? And today, in order of space given: Update in the works for hidden gem--Face lift for a waterfront park; Reused water draws scrutiny at play fountains; VTA bus service faces shake-up; U.S learns of Al-Qaida rebound with dismay; and Airline quality continues to drop. While I don't question the newsworthiness of any of these stories, I obviously question the placement they were given.

But I suppose it's a no-win for newsrooms: Prominently publish the numbers of dead and wounded and, while half of the people may be satisfied, the rest will assume that you are mocking the administration and disrespecting the dead. Silly me for thinking it more disrespectful to hold pets in higher regard than the people fighting and dying in Iraq.