Thursday, February 28, 2008
(unrelated Frangela clip)
It started with this appearance on NPR: How to Revamp the Oscars: A Genius Plan.
Then came this: Listeners Fed Up with Frangela and Kvetching. Scroll to 37:20 on the clip to hear the complaints.
For those of you who can't access the audio for whatever reason--i.e., you're at work or you have computer issues--Frangela said that while watching the Oscar telecast, they were blinded by how many white people were on the screen. The next day, listeners wrote in comparing Frangela to Don Imus and calling for the two women to be fired. I don't think Frangela actually works for NPR, but no matter. Another listener wrote, "imagine if the comments were reversed, and someone said the MTV Awards were too black."
One: Which MTV Awards? The Movie Awards or the VMAs?
Two: I'm so sure the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is thrilled to be compared with the network that brought us My Super Sweet 16 and A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.
Frangela also said that the "98-year-old man" who received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award should have done so at an earlier ceremony, because his acceptance speech went on "for a lifetime." Ha ha! I didn't even see the show, but that's funny.
Finally, one woman got upset because to her, the Oscars are "American royalty" and the thought of revamping the show "depressed [her] as much as anything [she] had heard on NPR today."
Really? As much as "anything" you heard on NPR that day? Because on this very clip, right before the kvetching about Frangela, there is a story about a doctor trying to deal with seeing his patients die. This doctor has been diagnosed with cancer of the appendix himself. At one point, he holds his daughter while she weeps for him, then goes outside and cries by himself. Now me myself personally, I think that slightly more depressing than two comedians pointing out the undeniable fact that this year's (and pretty much every year's) Academy Awards ceremony is painfully slow and chock full of white people.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I'm watching quarterlife right now. To compare this piece of trash to My So-Called Life is heresy. This show isn't even October Road-quality. Instead of my Jake/Bryan, there's a Matt Dillon lookalike, an Anthony-Rapp-in-Rent lookalike, and a Sam Huntington lookalike. Because the producers couldn't afford the actual guy who played the third Caveman from the left.
Also, someone got their first Letter to the Editor printed! Yippee skippy! It was in response to this article: Dear Generation Y: stop the violence, by Kathryn Rose at The Penn.
Although why is the occupation listed as "student"? I told them about the book! Was "author" too much?
Sunday, February 24, 2008
School Ties, by Bill Keith, Out magazine.
Josh Schwartz just needs to write that Very Special Episode episode where Chuck and Nate introduce Dan to the Long Island Ice Tea, and include him in their secret love that dare not speak its name.
What? It's already in the books, sort of!
I do have one qualm with the article: Chuck has not "bedded both leading ladies". That was Nate.
Also, look, Marco's out!
Well, I do.
That's what I said, Tina Fey! We do get things done!
Also, Mike Huckabee needs a hug. Not from me, though.
btw, beside Carrie Underwood's performances, the rest of the episode was pretty bad. Fred Armisen as Barack Obama? Lorne, no.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I am this close to renaming this site Henry the Penguin. Why did my friends try to hide this show from me for so long? Oh, they didn't? Okay.
Ooh, also, good morning, Baltimore! And, we're your Dreamgirls!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
From the files of Ms. Shirley Strawberry, Mr. Nephew Tommy and Mr. Steve Harvey. A universal sic is implied:
STRAWBERRY LETTER FOR TODAYDate: 02/21/2008
Subject: My Husband Stole my Wedding RingIn Love w/ My Babies’ Daddy and My Husband’s Stepfather
In Love w/ My Babies’ Daddy and My Husband’s Stepfather I am having an affair with my husbands step father who is the father to our baby girl. He and I want to come out...... but maybe we should not because there is to much AT STAKE. I only slept with him four times. Once on xmas, twice two days when were on a family reunion trip, and of course two weeks after my husbands departure overseas. I was so lonely and my mother is dead .
My mother-in-law is so mean. She never really speaks to me. My father-in-law is so nice and kind to me. My father-in-law is the man of my dreams. He will not have anything to do with me romantically ever again because he feels guilty, but I don't. I am really hurt and now so lonely. For he is the love of my life.
My husband sends all the financial support home, along with our investments. My lifestlye is very comfortable. This is more than enough,considering the fact that I am employed also.I really don't want to let go of my lifestlye.I want to get a divorce on ground of adultery for he is with other men .I really do not want to end his career for he deserves to be what he is. A man that serves his country and "other mens". THE GUY IS GAY, GAY ,GAY, he had an affair with his step brother for several years. They were caught by his mom who is in denial. My father-in-law told me. I found this out after we were married.
I don't know what to do. But I know I love my Step Father in law. I know this is all very disfunctional, but can you all please help me to get a better understanding of this mess I have gotten into. Sincerely, All mixed up in mess!!!!
Even if this letter is fake, as some of Steve Harvey's commenters have alleged, there are still people out there who have experienced one or more of these situations. Someone has had sex with their husband's stepfather. Someone has a child whom they are pretending is their spouse's. Someone has had an affair with their stepbrother. Someone has a gay partner in the military (scroll down past the Turkish oil wrestling).
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
First, Neil Patrick Harris Is The Greatest Fairy In All The Land, from Defamer. I do enjoy my NPH.
Second, today's Strawberry Letter 23 from The Steve Harvey Morning Show. There will be a different letter posted on the site tomorrow, so I will quote it here so you can read it, too. Emphases mine; typos, poor grammar and general insanity hers:
STRAWBERRY LETTER FOR TODAY
Subject: Bi-Sexual or Just Stupid
Dear Steve: I am a african american 39 year old woman and a working mother with 2 daughters. So here is the deal…I married my "soon to be ex-husband" 3 years ago. Before I married him, he told me about some legal issues that he needed to clear up. The legal issues at the time were burlary, and hit and run accident with another car. Once we were married, I found out that the burlary charge was due to him house sitting for a bi-sexual man with a wife and children. He said that he woke up to this man trying to touch him, and he was so angry that he left and came back with a buddy and burglarized his house.
The second incident was after we were married, we had an argument over me going out with some girlfriends with our kids to have 'mommy and kids' day. I came back after a day at the park and he was gone. After I realized he was gone, I went out myself only to come back in at 1:30am and my room door was locked. He forgot that I had a key, so I went on in after I did not get a response, only to find him butter-ball naked with his underwear and my underwear on the floor in the same spot, and he was knocked-out drunk. I woke this FOOL up and asked him why is he naked in the room with my underwear on the floor, this fool said that he had them on to feel closer to me.
In August 2005, he cheated but I didn’t find out until April 2006 when I went for my pap that I had a STD. So when I confronted him, he said that he cheated back in August 2005, with a crack-head. I just want to say that I was treated, and by the grace of God, cured. Then I found out that he told one of his co-workers that he was molested as a boy and that led to all this.
Look Steve and Shirley, I know that this is strange, and I am no longer in this relationship. I had to do what was best for my children and myself. Pastors alway preach on how God don't like divorce, but I do know now that when you choose someone on your own because of where you are in life at that moment, you will pick anyone, and I am so grateful to the Lord for my spiritual convictions, because I knew after forgiving and getting back with him so many times after that, I made a mistake. Me and my girls have a better relationship and we talk about things daily. Even though I made mistakes, I am honest with my girls because I don't want them making the same mistakes I made.
Now my question is after all that, from your male point of view, and yours too Tommy: Is my soon-to-be ex-husband bi-sexual? Give it to me.
Hee hee hee! I didn't read all of the responses, but here is my favorite one, unedited:
Name: Milton Hill
Radio Station: WBLS 107.5 FM New York, NY
I know you asked for the Morning Crew to give it to you straight but I'm gonna put my 2 cents up in here too.... Your question as for if your man is bi-sexual should not be asked. Your question should be..."WHERE CAN I FIND A DIVORCE LAWYER QUIK! Who cares if he says he is or is not. Bro Ham done went and creeped with a CRACK HEAD! That was more than enough of a hint for you to pack yo gear and BOUNCE! Not to be incredibly criticle but what kind of stupidity are you really workin with? Leave the town you and your kids are in and don't leave a forwarding address. Tell his family that you moves to Minnesota to be with Prince and the Revolution.
Does Prince know she's coming?
Monday, February 18, 2008
here is a pretty cool article for you:
Feminist of the Day: Ellen Page, by Jessica at Feministing. There's a 50/50 chance she'll actually read this post.
For my dirty old (straight) lady readers, here is the cuteness:
Zac Attack (I know, right?), by Simon Dumenco, Details magazine.
And for me, Mr. Tumnus in W Magazine. One of my friends had to burst my bubble on Saturday by telling me that James McAvoy is married. But we were supposed to have interspecial faun babies together! I probably should have returned his calls . . .
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Some of them weren't questions so much as observations, but I will address them anyway.
What I felt the book was missing were slice-of-life descriptions of the locales in which it is set. I wanted to be more immersed in the sensual experiences of L.A. and the Virgin Islands, especially in the juxtaposition of a smog-filled metropolis and a tropical paradise.
Bianca doesn't make deeper descriptions of LA and St. Thomas because she has grown accustomed to them, similar to a fish not knowing what wet means. However, in Book 2, Hot Penguin Action, there will be more descriptions of LA. The entire book takes place in the city, and readers will some perspective on Southern California living through Mike, since he hasn't been there before. Also, Book 4 takes place almost entirely in St. Thomas during the December holidays, and it includes a couple of characters who are eager to learn all about the island.
Also, the author, like her heroine, has a lot to say about the state of affairs in the world, whether it be entertainment or politics. However, I would have liked these opinions to have been less transparent within the context of the book. On a couple of occasions in the story, the characters became mouthpieces, and it clunked up the flow of the novel a bit.
She also has a warm, affectionate and sexy connection with a guy she knows only online, not in real life -- and somehow, she tolerates the fact that he says he'd never date her because she's black. I thought it was strange and interesting that Bianca was still able to be close with him despite this basic rejection of who she is.
It is strange and interesting indeed. As mentioned in the comments, their relationship is a complicated one. It becomes quite the sticky wicket by Book 5. But at the heart of it, Bianca is friends with him because he actively cares about her life and her well being, whereas other people in Bianca's life should care about her, but don't.
One day I will learn not to provide explanations for why I write what I write. But that day is not today.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This morning I was feeling bummed because I am alone, as I have been for the past 26 years. And like Josh's mom, someone had the nerve to ask me what I had planned for tomorrow. As if I were going out on the town with the same imaginary person who had impregnated me with the food baby that my mother thought I was carrying at Christmas.
(I should really have a blog post to link to there. To make a long story short, last Christmas Eve my mother finally noticed my poochy tummy that I had been complaining to her about for a month. Then she said to me with a straight face, "Your belly is protruding. It looks like you're pregnant. Are you?")
Later I felt better when one of my friends emailed me today with positive, supportive thoughts. Also, other people in my were nice to me, and they made my day happy. :)
In unrelated news, I found this on Defamer: The Cosby Kids Reunite On Oprah, on Jezebel.
Quoi?! No one told me about this development. This was a total Black History Moment, and none of the advertising bothered to target me. Hello!
I was previously frowning because as I have been telling my friends, book promotion is hard. But now I'm smiling because I have new reviews to report!
Check! Out! My! Friend! Wednesday!, by Catherine Avril Morris at Of Course I Write Romance Novels. She is very complimentary, and no, I don't pay her. She described Steve the Penguin as An enjoyable read on the Amazon page.
A critical eye, by Manda at Whoa, Camel!. Manda also wrote Real Girl, Real World on the book's Amazon page.
Has it Been Ten Years Already?, by Shavon Williams of APOOO BookClub, on the Amazon page.
Also, Maria Bamford and my pal N.S.B. have each emailed me their thoughts on Steve the Penguin, so I will put them up here:
If you like fun, funny romantic comedies, then trip attractively over to your local quirky independent bookstore in your funky scarf - and while not noticing the diamond-in-the-rough, nerdy cashier who really likes you - flirt with the unavailable, self-absorbed zine-writer shoplifting organic chocolates by the cash register- and BUY THIS BOOK!
- Maria Bamford
A review of Mahlena-Rae Johnson’s Steve the Penguin
By Nicole Bautista
Meet Bianca Reagan. You’ve never read anyone like her.
If I had to pitch this book, my logline would be: “’Steve the Penguin’ is the literary companion to ABC’s Ugly Betty.” That’s a compliment. Obviously.
What I think sets this book apart from most other contemporary literature of the same genre is point-of-view. You might find witty dialogue elsewhere. You might find tales of the willing peon struggling to make it in the cutthroat worlds of entertainment, publishing, fashion, or whatever the case may be. But where will you find a book for young women that combines all of these things with a unique and intelligent central character, a sense of social and cultural awareness that transcends the everyday, and an acknowledgement of the challenges that real people face when starting out in the world?
Tales of the glamorous life abound. Steve the Penguin is about what it’s like to be on the fringes – learning what it takes to get there, and coming to the realization that it’s just harder for some people than it is for others – mostly for reasons that are not in their power to change. That you should persevere in the face of it, and that if no one else, Bianca would understand – is the gift that the author will give to the empowerment of young women as individuals and as a collective in today’s progressive-but-still-not-quite-there-yet society.
Thank you to everyone who has been so kind to grace me with their words, including the critical words. I will have polite responses to the questions raised the reviews, because the observations and confusions are valid. Many of them will be addressed in the now seven sequels to Steve the Penguin, but those books will take a while to generate. So I will answer the current questions as soon as I have more time.
To other reviewers: please don't be afraid post your thoughts on Steve the Penguin because they might be critical. If you didn't like the book or you didn't understand something, I encourage you to state your feelings in your review. I look forward to learning and growing. Or, if you haven't read the book yet, fear not! There is still time to enjoy the 200 pages of prose, and then type your reactions.
I'm very excited!
Monday, February 11, 2008
I bring you Dominic Zamprogna. He is basically the only non-annoying straight guy on the show (scroll down to see him "representing") not to mention the only decent looking one my age. I first discovered Dominic on this episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? So I was super excited when almost fifteen years later, I saw his name on the end credits of this week's episode of The L Word. Coolness! He was also on this Canadian show called Edgemont, which The N really needs to get a hold of so that I can watch it; it's not on DVD. Also, Degrassi can't run forever like ER insists upon doing, and repurposed reruns of Kenan and Kel are not going to cut it.
btw, in last week's episode of The L Word, Dominic's role at the pool party may have been minimal, but it was definitely memorable (wink, nudge). Harvey Keitel-esque, if you will.
Do you readers know of any other obscure 90s heartthrobs getting work? And no, Joshua Jackson is not obscure, especially not in a J. J. Abrams pilot.
Friday, February 08, 2008
It's called "Ugly Betty." You readers may have heard of it. My friends have been secretly watching this program for the past two years and hiding its fabulousness from me.
Oh, what's that? My friends have been telling me I should watch Ugly Betty since the show's debut in 2006? And on Super Bowl Sunday, after I mentioned that young brown performers like Bow Wow and Omarion should appear on more TV shows, all of my friends started yelling at me at the same time about the episode they were both in? Then my friends continued to be horrified when I told them the show used to conflict with 30 Rock and The Office, so it would be hard for me to catch up with it now? And my friends were still indignant when I said I felt bad going to the ABC website to watch the old episodes while the writers' strike is still going on? Hmm.
Okay, so while I was sick this week, I made another Christopher Columbus-type discovery called "Netflix." I signed up, put the first season of Ugly Betty in my queue, and I just finished episode three, "Queens for a Day," featuring self-aggrandizing director Billy Walsh from Entourage. Fun!
Also, how lovely is Jeremy Sisto in Law & Order this season? I didn't get Carrie's thing for the "Crazy Creepy Sisto" that she referenced in My Boys, but now I have my own thing for Detective Cyrus (huh?) Lupo, who's studying for law school in between murder investigations. He's trying to make a better life for himself. It's like a grown-up version of my infatuation with Charlie Conway from D2: The Mighty Ducks. I wasn't into Joshua Jackson. I was specifically attracted to his character Charlie in D2. Though not Charlie in The Mighty Ducks so much, and definitely not in D3. Charlie was such a loser in D3. And where was Brandon Adams? Was there only room enough for one black guy on the ice that time? No, I'm not counting Aaron Lohr because he is indeterminately ethnic. Why hasn't Aaron been on Ugly Betty?
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Rest In Peace Heath..., from Chelsea Talks Smack, via A Girl Named Boo.
Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy Nearly Prevents Elizabeth Hasselbeck's Voice From Being Heard On Super Tuesday, from Defamer.
Yes, I have been a sick teddy bear for the past few days. I'm feeling very Grumpy McCrankypants. Boo. :(
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Former St. Thomas resident reaches out to young adults with first book, by Ayesha Morris, The Virgin Islands Daily News.
First-time author Mahlena-Rae Johnson weaves the story of a 20-something-year-old television junkie turned Hollywood executive assistant preparing for her trip back to her childhood home of St. Thomas for a high-school reunion.
Bianca, the main character of "Steve the Penguin," must face her anxiety about being judged by her former classmates, and her fear of being the only one to show up without a boyfriend in the 189-page novel self-published by Mr. J Media.
Johnson draws on a bit of her own life story in the book. She was born in Arkansas, and moved with her mother, Edith Ramsay-Johnson, back to St. Thomas where she lived from age 4 to 17.
The 26-year-old went to V.I. Montessori School and was nominated vice-president of her sixth-grade class. She then attended Antilles School, where she was named "Most Likely to Kidnap a Backstreet Boy."
After graduating with a degree in film and television from Loyola Marymount University, Johnson decided to stay in Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a television production executive in Hollywood.
Thoughts about her upcoming high school reunion next year and watching movies on the subject inspired her to write the novel.
"I've always enjoyed writing. I just didn't stick to it that much," she said.
The book was also an extension of her website, www.stevethepenguin.com, which contains Johnson's commentary on everything from pop culture to politics.
"It comes from a passion to see people better represented," she said.
"The message I want put out is that it's OK to be yourself. One of the reasons I ended up publishing the book is that there are not many novels about people in their 20s who are just normal," Johnson said. "I wanted to create a more realistic, diverse cast of characters." . . .
The article goes on from there. Look at me: I'm famous!
Monday, February 04, 2008
. . . for a football player. You can find more on the New England Patriots' Wes Welker here and here and here. While everyone else was checking out the Mannings, or pondering the first name and/or facial hair stylings of Mr. Burress, I spent my Super Bowl Sunday sitting on my friends' couch, remaining entranced by the (relatively) small man on the losing team. FYI, friends: he's not 5'11"; he's 5'9". So there.
I hope Wes doesn't have any warrants out, or hasn't had any assault charges brought against him, because you know how professional athletes roll. That was totally my favorite episode of Law & Order: Trial by Jury. Unfortunately his headshot does look Scott Peterson-esque. I sure know how to pick them.
Friday, February 01, 2008
If I had been up on that stage, I would have gone off on this muckraker masquerading as a "journalist":
If you can't access the video, here is what Ms. Such and Such from Politico, whose name and title I won't bother to write inside this post, said to Hillary Clinton at the Democratic debate in California last night:
"Senator Clinton, your husband has set off several firestorms in the last few weeks in early primary states with the way that he has criticized Senator Obama.
Greg Craig, who was one of your husband's top lawyers, and is now a senior adviser to Senator Obama, recently asked if your campaign can't control the former president now, what will it be like when you're in the White House?"
If you peruse the transcript of the debate, you'll notice that there was no follow up question to Senator Obama asking him how he keeps his wife in line. In fact, there haven't been any such nasty questions posed about any of the other candidates' spouses in either party.
Hmph. This is not cool.
And, to make me even more upset about the state of crazy women talking about other women today, I read this post last night on Catherine's blog and this post tonight on Feministing. You know I had to leave comments on both. You have to scroll down really far for the latter one.