Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saying No to The EVENT; Yes to Dress!

Okay, I saw the second episode of "The Event" last night, and athough the jumping back and forth in time still made me nuts, I did "get it"--aliens among us...yada, yada, blah, blah. I don't think I am going to be a fan.

My latest fave is "Say Yes to the Dress." And this Friday they will debut a "Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss" for Big Women! (I am waiting for my spin-off: Say Yes to the Dress for Plump Petites -- or as I call people built like me: "Jumbo Shrimps.") I am sure they will get around to it eventually.

I don't know what it is about "Say Yes." I just can't stop watching it. These women who (until Friday's new spin-off) were all thin and gorgeous, seem to be marrying such schlubs. And who would spend $10-25,000 on a dress you wear once? I don't know what this show says about our culture, but I know it says something. Maybe it's the Disney Princess syndrome run amok. Or maybe it's just in our genes to like this stuff.

All these women say they dreamed about their wedding dress since they were little girls. I never did. Did you? Please take my poll. Say yes to taking my poll!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Event Conspiracy

I agree with Betty White, who said after she found out what Facebook was, she realized it was a "colossal waste of time." I have about 53 friends on Facebook, only because I am too much of a wus to "not friend" anybody who asks me. My kids just sent me an email to confirm that I am their mother. What the  %$#@? Is that so if they get in trouble, I have to make bail? I almost never go to my Facebook page, because, well...I don't get it. And I know I don't get it because I'm too friggin' old to get it. 

I don't know how to text because I don't get that either. I'm too friggin' old to get it. (And my thumbs are too fat.)

Scene from The Event, NBC
However, there has always been one media outlet that I could depend on to keep me feeling part of the contemporary world: Television. I have been a television baby since I was born, and even if I don't like some of it, I can get it. But now the TV is out to exclude me, too. It started with "Lost," which was aptly named. But this season I was determined to make more of an effort and see if my TV brain cells still had it. So I watched the premiere of "The Event." Maybe it's a test to see if you have Alzheimer's. I didn't get it, and I know I don't get it because I'm too friggin' old to get it.

I think this is the real EVENT: in a hidden compound in the wilds of Burbank a group of 19-21-year-old writers are writing shows that will eventually make everyone over 40 think they are brain dead. These hapless souls will end up in special homes with TV's that have "child controls" instead of parental ones.  

I am just too friggin' old to get it, but I'll give it another try tonight. If you can figure it out, let me know. Maybe your brain cells are younger.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Mystery of Memories

Remember the show, Columbo? He was the quintessential detective who looked too sloppy and stupid to be able to solve the crime. And in a classic twist, we knew who the criminal was from the get-go. The fun was watching Peter Falk stumble in, guffaw, cajole, pester and finally ensnare the crook who was inevitably done in by his or her underestimation of Columbo's brilliance. How was it possible that this grungy, goofy guy could remember and notice the details that a mastermind criminal forgot?

Memories are like that. What we remember about our lives should be prime clues to our substance. What we remember should give a picture of who we are --because they should tell us of who we were. But I have an inner Columbo who keeps stumbling around in my brain. I remember the day a teacher yelled at me in second grade but can't recall the first words my twins said. Of course, photos help. And now that we live in an age in which we can digitally document every moment, most memories can be frozen forever to delight or indict us.

What makes me think so fondly of Columbo is that he is responsible for giving me one of my happiest memories. Well, okay, it wasn't really Columbo. It was a gifted actor and writer named Michael Pasternak, who began his career as a Columbo "impersonator." It was about 1988, and it was my father's 85th birthday. My parents came out from Baltimore to visit us here in California. We wanted to have a little party to celebrate. My sister and her husband and kids came out, too. My mother loved Columbo, and so did my dad. So when I saw the ad for Pasternak, I called. Quickly I realized that Pasternak was no ordinary celebrity impersonator. He spent about an two hours on the phone with me getting all kinds of details about the 85-year-old birthday boy--the more embarrassing, the better.

Susan and Erik Amerikaner, Hilary, Phil & Ilene Spector, Columbo, Jeannette and Fred (my parents)
We had just finished dinner that night when the doorbell rang. In sauntered Pasternak/Columbo. At first he seemed to be in the wrong place, but then he took out that notepad of his and started to give details about the life of Dr. Fred Glass that left the good doc, my mother and my whole family in complete hysterics. It was such a surprise. And surprises--good ones--are so hard to come by.

Of all the photos that were stuffed in boxes, this one above literally fell into my hands when we moved here to Leisure Village. I cried when I saw it. Look at my mother. Isn't she beautiful? Isn't she happy? What I didn't know was that it would be the last time I would see her alive. I now have the photo above my computer.

Recently I reconnected with Michael Pasternak.  I wanted him to know how he touched my life. I think you do a mitzvah (a good deed) when you let people know that. And guess what? He remembered me. And he is still doing Columbo as well as other unique, unforgettable entertainment for parties. He is a big success, and I am not surprised at that...because he probably has touched many families in similar ways. I don't want to give away the other entertainment Pasternak provides, because, as I said, surprise is key. You will have to go to http://www.pasternakproductions.com/ to see for yourself. I am no Martha Stewart, but if I were planning a party, I would want something that touches the soul instead of the palate. And you just never know what that will be...