Saturday, September 10, 2011
Do parents like these really exist? WTF is wrong with them? And how on earth does a 2 month old baby
win a pageant? The least amount of drool? Best pacifier? Carried the best by parent? I'm confused. But I digress.
Apparently the format is that each episode follows several kids and their severely in need of therapy parental units as they prepare for and then compete in some type of child's beauty pageant, with the end of the show being the crowning of the winners.
This episode of T&T begins with the unforunately named Brystol of Lexington, South Carolina who is 18 months old and has supposedly won top prize in every pageant she has competed in. Before you snort and wonder how many pageants she could possibly have competed in, Brystol has been in the pageant circuit since she was 2 months old. Uh-huh. Brystol's mom Brook informs us that Brystol "will win" the pageant this coming weekend which, reality ho addict that I am, makes me realize that we are in for a flaming burnout. I can't wait.
Brystol also has a pageant coach on staff full-time. Her name is Miss Tara, she looks like Barbie with a 30-35 year old spread and sounds like she hits the helium tanks off camera. Miss Tara quit her full-time job so that she could devote all of her time to Brystol's pageants.
Brystol's beauty dress cost the family right at $4,000. Yes, $4,000. Brook works four days a week to support their "pageant habit" and says that if they needed to take a second mortgage out on the house to pay for Brystol's pageants, they would. Yep, the crazy train definitely stops on a regular basis at Brook's station.
Then we meet Chloe, from Humble, Texas. Yes, the name is humorously ironic. Chloe is 2 years old and has about as much personality as a grape. She is also a serious daddy's girl; so much so that father Brandon is a self-confessed pageant dad. She wants absolutely nothing to do with mother Sarah. Sarah can't practice the pageant walk with Chloe, can't get her dressed and can't put on her Lee nails. Brandon even spray tans Chloe. Yes, they definitely spray tan the little pageanters.
Next we go to Woodstock, Georgia (yay, Georgia!) and meet 3 year old Victoria who has a beautiful smile, at least according to her. Victoria's mother Tammy informs us that Victoria will win the judges' hearts this weekend. Tammy has a huge smile - - she really should be doing advertising for a dentist or a tooth whitening company. She doesn't seem loco - - yet. Victoria's older brother Matthew informs us that Victoria's personality is "spoiled". Dad Nick slaves over the sewing machine to make Victoria's pageant outfits.
I'm floored by how many dads apparently get into this pageant business. Let's cut to the chase. As expected, because every single parent here thinks their child will sweep the competition, they go down in flames.
Brystol spends most of her stage time crying - - either because mom Brook banged her head on a door (and then worried more about makeup to cover up the bruise rather than comforting her child) or because there was someone dressed up as the Big Bad Wolf. She does manage to come in fifth in her group but crazy pants Brook says anything that's not first place sucks ass and she wants nothing to do with that puny little trophy.
Chloe is so tired she falls asleep while getting her hair and makeup done because she was up until 1 a.m. Sarah and Brandon's solution? Daddy's special super juice, which is Red Bull, cola and apple juice. Really. There are just so many things wrong here - - what is a 2 year old doing up until 1 a.m.? Parents really fill their toddlers up with energy drinks and colas so they can perform at a pageant? Isn'this some kind of child abuse or neglect? Chloe ends up not placing at all because her beauty dress is too dark according to a judge and her personality sucks. Ouch.
Victoria got fourth runner up and mom Tammy was actually happy with Victoria's place. Wow, she doesn't fit in here at all.
The big winner of the pageant overall is the stupidly named Paisley, who was dressed as Julia Roberts' character from Pretty Woman. Yes, the prostitute. And little Paisley wore the blonde bobbed wig, the white tanky top, the blue short skirt and the thigh high eff me boots.
This show is crazy as all hell but I will probably watch again for the trainwreck factor alone. Most of the parents appear to be complete whack jobs if they put so much money and hope into baby beauty pageants. Ugh!
Friday, September 9, 2011
|Steven Woods - Wrongfully convicted|
If you haven't heard of Steven Woods, check out http://www.texaskills.com/ . Be prepared to feel a mixture of shock, dismay, outrage and disgust. .
Steven Woods was convicted of capital murder in 2002 for the shooting deaths of a Denton, Texas couple and was sentenced to Texas' Death Row. From the moment of sentencing, Mr. Woods has been in solitary confinement - - no phone access, no computer access and no human contact. Is this normal? Does Texas normally keep its Death Row inmates in solitary confinement?
Anyhow, there is no physical evidence that ties Mr. Woods to the scene. A latex glove the prosecution presented to the court, claiming his DNA was on it, has been tested and guess what? No DNA match. This glove was stricken from the court's protocol, which means that Mr. Woods cannot use it as new evidence to garner a new trial.
If that's not sickening enough, three months after Mr. Woods' conviction a man named Marcus Rhodes stood up in court and took full credit for the murders, stating he had done so knowingly and intentionally. Backpacks belonging to the victims were found in the trunk of Rhodes' car. His car was littered with shell casings and the guns found in his parents' home matched ballistics and had Rhodes' fingerprints on them. Should be the end of it, right? Not quite.
Marcus Rhodes got a life sentence. Steven Woods not only remains on Death Row but is sentenced to be executed for these same murders on September 13, 2011.
How is that possible? The courts acknowledged Rhodes' testimony, as well as his confession. Rhodes never mentions Woods, never states he had an accomplice. In fact, he claims he committed the murders alone.
What is wrong with our justice system when (1) there is reasonable doubt as to someone's guilt and they are still sentenced to death?, (2) an irrefutable confession is made by someone else, along with physical evidence to match and the convicted innocent remains in prison and on Death Row?, and (3) the individual confessing to the crimes, again with physical evidence to match, is given a lighter sentence than the innocent person?
I encourage everyone to visit the website linked above and read about this case. It's a travesty and a huge miscarraige of justice, not to mention a massive blight on our judicial system. Follow the links on that site to Texas Governor Rick Perry and send him an email and/or letter, asking him to delay/reconsider Mr. Woods' execution.
Steven Woods' Support Group Facebook page can be found here.
Why hasn't 48 Hours or Dateline been all over this???
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
However, when I first heard of Downsized, a show that premiered last summer, I wanted to give it that good old college try because the circumstances seemed especially fitting given the economic craphole this country seems to be falling into.
If you haven't heard of Downsized, the show is about a family who, having lost "everything" due to the economic downturn, finds itself having to downsize in all aspects in order to survive. I thought the show would be helpful not only in that "we're not the only ones in this boat" way but also maybe light some creative fires for those of us who were looking for ways to conserve and save money.
Negatory! This show is nothing like that and yet I still find myself obsessively watching every Tuesday. Why? I have no idea because frankly I think the Bruce family are a bunch of whiny tools. Okay, not all of them. After all, Danielle is something like 7 years old so I guess she's entitled to some whining. And kids Heather and Levi, father Todd's kids from a previous marriage, seem relatively sane and aware of the fuckery that's going on. Even Rex, the youngest of mom Laura's triplets from a previous marriage, is fairly intuitive. It stops there though.
Confused? Here we go. Todd was married previously and has two kids from said previous marriage. Laura was also married previously, with five kids to her womb's credit. Todd and Laura were neighbors of some sort and at some point, Todd's marriage broke up and Laura's marriage broke up and they ended up getting together. So now they have Heather, Liam (Todd's kids), Bailey, Whitney, Dylan, Rex and Danielle (Laura's kids). And oh yes, they also have Todd's dog from the previous marriage, Bailey. Not to be confused with Bailey the Girl.
Todd was a contractor in Anthem, Arizona when business was booming. When the economy took a dive, his business basically died and the Bruces, who were living high on the hog, lost their primary residence, their rental property and Todd's work vehicle. Laura is a teacher but as she rather ignorantly pointed out, because her salary is so low, she might as well be working for free. Tell that to the many people who are unemployed, Laura, and looking for work for free.
I know, they sound sympathetic, right? Todd loses the shirt off his back (it seems literally because this guy appears shirtless way too much) and they have nine freaking kids to support. But it's hard to feel sympathy for a couple who are whining about not being able to eat out anymore (they claim to have eaten out 3-4 times a week prior to the downturn), Laura whining about having to cook for such a large family (how can you not know how to cook when you have an entire litter of kids?) and then crying because she can't afford to drive her Mercedes to the local Starbucks daily to pick up her coffee. (And not because she doesn't have the Mercedes anymore because she does). Oh cry me a river, Laura. Let me wipe away your tears while I carry my travel mug into work from my Honda.
These two assclowns are so financially inept and challenged that an episode last season showed they couldn't pay their rent on time and burdened the entire family with their worries, causing Dylan to sell his prized baseball glove for the money and a few other kids to dumpster dive for recyclables in order to kick in for some rent money. Todd and Laura's contribution? Todd told Laura she could not ask her parents for help and then bought Laura a travel mug for her coffee since she could no longer rendevous with her precious Starbucks. Laura sent Bailey the Girl to the grocery store with a government assistance food stamp-like card but Laura being the genius she so obviously is did not keep track of how much they previously spent so Bailey the Girl was stuck in the checkout line with a cart of food that she couldn't pay for.
It takes special people to be parents like this, doesn't it?
So the first season ended with them trying to stay afloat with their army of kids, Todd having a potential job in Kansas and Laura freaking out because it would mean that Todd would be gone for SIX. MONTHS.
I am the first person who sympathizes with families who are separated and I know from firsthand experience that six months can seem twice as long during the separation. However, if your kid is selling his possessions to keep you from being evicted and you are taking money out of your kids' savings accounts to put food on the table, you do what you gotta do.
Unless you're Todd and Laura Bruce.
So season two kicks off this summer and we find out that Todd either didn't get or didn't take the job in Kansas. He's still looking for work. Apparently at the gym because all he seems to do is work out. Laura, meanwhile, is still working (for free) at the school and she also waits tables in the evenings at the same pizza joint Bailey the Girl slings food at. Let's just call a "whoooooaaaaa" right here. Why is Laura holding down two jobs while Todd currently has none? And if you didn't catch it the first twenty or so times Laura mentioned it, she also suffers from MS. So I would think that out of the two parents in the home, despite Laura's lack of homemaking skills, she should not be the one working two jobs.
To make matters worse, Todd goes to get a painting job from a house flipper and . . . he doesn't. Why? Not just because he's a general douche but because he starts figuring insurance, travel, materials, etc. into his estimate. What a moron. You are no longer a contractor, Todd. The house flipper was expecting you to paint the house, not contract it out to others and take pay. Is he really too stupid to see that? And to see that maybe this one painting job could lead to others? Really, it should be no surprise that this family finds itself in the situation they are in.
Furthermore, I've noticed it pointed out on t.v. forums that Bailey the Girl is sporting $150+ jeans and Todd is never seen without his UnderArmour attire (not cheap, by the way). Were these gifts? Product endorsements? Because it would be yet another reason to lack sympathy for this family who claims to be struggling.
I am disappointed, WE. I wanted to like this show. I wanted to relate. I can't relate to these idiots you put on your show. The only positive is that the show provides me with plenty of snarky entertainment value and teaches me what not to do.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Really, isn't that how Katie Holmes gets all her parts nowadays? We know it's not due to her talent (acting, singing, dancing - - does homegirl have any discernible talent other than shopping or eating cupcakes?) and I don't think threats will work at this point given that Tom doesn't have the power he used to. But he does still have some bank and I'm guessing that he's spending a pretty penny to try and make Katie Holmes happen.
Newsflash, Einstein. It ain't gonna happen. First, Katie Holmes is too fricking old. At least in Hollywood terms. She's 32, which is ancient to an industry and city that thrives on youth. If you haven't made it by 30 and you aren't Sir Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren or Marie Dressler, forget it. You get my point, right? Second, and perhaps most importantly, Katie Holmes is boring. Bor-the-fuck-ing. If Suri isn't with her, does anyone give a rat's ass? I didn't think so. She does absolutely nothing of note. She hasn't lost her mind and shaved her head (although who would blame her, given that freak she allegedly co-habitates with). She hasn't shown up panty free (thank God). She hasn't come stumbling out of a bar drunk off her ass late at night and fallen down. She has come out of a restaurant late at night with Suri but again, here is the Suri factor. Katie with Suri = somewhat interesting. Katie without Suri = yawn. Third, Katie is void of any personality or talent. She can't act. Bitch, please. You can't make me believe for half a second that you and your "husband" share the same zip code, much less the same bedroom so no way am I going to buy you as the girlfriend/wife/whatever, whatever of whatever part Tom has just bought you. She can't dance. I saw that so-called homage to Judy Garland. Shame on everyone involved. And no more guest judging. Not only is Katie woefully underqualified but her "judging" consists of "amazing", "magnificent", blah, blah, blah. Did she give everyone a cupcake after the show?
So now she turns up at MTV's VMAs. Because her connection with music and singing is . . . Tom's checkbook! It's the only answer because I refuse to call what she did to my eardrums on Dawson's Creek as music or singing.
So here is the third Mrs. Cruise, putting on her smirkety smirk, wearing some hideous booties and doing that asinine bendy thing she does with her legs. Okay, I stand corrected. Maybe the bendy thing can be considered a talent.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
|Sitting like a lady . . . Will?|
What I found interesting about the alleged Smith/Pinkett-Smith separation was that Jada Pinkett Smith is probably the most vocal celebrity when it comes to declaring how amazingly wonderful their marriage is and, in particular, how active and satisfying and nonstop their sex life is. This amount of oversharing is generally a big old red flag that when someone finds the need to overshare and overcompensate, they are making up for something. As my grandmother used to say, those who talk the most, get the least. Or, thou doth protest too much, in a sense, Jada.
I'm not saying that Will and Jada didn't have the most amazing sex life (although I don't think any of us need to know about the backs of limos on the way to awards shows or throughout their house or even commenting about it in front of their children). I'm just wondering if this amazing sex life was being shared with the other.
Despite their denials of same, I firmly believe that Will and Jada are Scientologists. They may not be daily practicing Scientologists of the "If you don't like Scientology, then fuck you" variety Tom Cruise but Will reportedly gave out Scientology personality test gift cards to the crew of his film Hancock. Bear in mind that these so-called personality tests are administered free by the Church of Scientology (wow, thanks for the gift, Will) but the COS will always find a personality flaw that they sure can fix. For the right price, of course. Just ask Tom Cruise.
Furthermore, the school that he and Jada founded, The New Village Academy in Los Angeles, uses instructional methods pioneered by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Or should I say "instructional" because Scientology surely doesn't prepare kids or people for adulthood and the real world, unless couch jumping and declaring AIDS a state of mind is a requirement of life.
So maybe Will and/or Jada claim they aren't Scientologists but they are free about applying Scientology tenants to at least the lives of others.
Soooooo . . . despite denials that Will and/or Jada are Scientologists, despite Scientology's track record for arranging bearded marriages for those Scieno celebrities who want to appear like the perfect heterosexual family man/woman, despite rumors that Will and Jada fall in this last category, if the separation rumors are true, why are Will and Jada splitting after 13 years?
Let's start with the separation rumors. Where there is smoke, there is fire, people. In Hollywood, once a couple announces their split, you can rest assured that the actual separation happened about six months earlier. Because these people aren't your average John and Jane Smith; they have publicists that must be notified and then a plan of action needs to be put into place. They can't separate and go about their daily business. Their joint images and reputations must be considered, the future of any television shows or movie franchises are in play and then it must be decided who goes to People with their tale. Many factors!
So if this story has legs, Will and Jada actually separated shortly after the first of the year. I have no idea what may have happened then but the rumor mill is currently spinning that Jada got involved with her HawthoRNe co-star, Mark Anthony, which not only caused a rift in her marriage but spelled the end of his with Jennifer Lopez. It's also rumored that Will's publicist butted heads with Jada's publicist and they did not have common goals in sight for their clients.
Interesting. What's interesting is that Will and Jada did not share the same publicist.
I'm wondering what role, if any, Scientology plays in all this. After all, are there are any truly happy Scientologists out there? Are there any successful celebrity Scientology marriages? John Travolta and Kelly Preston have been married for nearly 20 years so I guess you would consider that successful but we've all heard the rumors and let's face it, John isn't looking so happy these days. Despite that gorgeous little baby.
|Those crazy Scientologists|
Back to the Smiths. What happened? I thought for sure that Tom and Katie Show would implode before Will and Jada. Are Will and Jada really finished? Or is this a slick PR move in advance of Men in Black 3?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
We supporters have been saying for years that The Three at the very least didn't get fair trials and at most are flat out innocent of the murders they have been accused of. Freedom from incarceration has been the main goal for years and I am thrilled that the day finally came last Friday. It is discouraging, however, that Damien, Jason and Jessie had to take an Alford plea in order to secure their releases. In other words, they had to admit that the State of Arkansas had enough evidence to convict them in a retrial while still maintaining their innocence. The State of Arkansas, totally speaking out of their ass, claims that they indeed have enough evidence to re-convict in a retrial but released the men, despite their alleged guilt, for time served.
In case you don't know, the above is a bunch of bullshit. If the State had enough evidence to re-convict the men - - one of them, two of them or all three of them - - they would never agree to a plea deal. Why should they? Damien Echols was on Death Row. Jason Baldwin and Jessie Miskelley both had life sentences. If their case was so damn strong, why let them out? After all, the State claims these men were brutal children killers.
So . . . legally the three men are convicted felons. They could possibly receive pardons from Arkansas Governor, Mike Beebe, but Beebe says "Hell, no." Okay, maybe he didn't exactly word it like that but he says that he doesn't plan on issuing pardons in the case unless evidence shows that someone else is to blame for the crimes.
And that, my friends, will never happen. Want to know why? The State of Arkansas and the West Memphis Police Department have continually shown their bullheadedness in this case since 1993. They fucked up from the beginning when , for inexplicable reasons, they chose not to fully investigate the families of the victims. In any homicide case involving a child, the parents and immediate family are the first people the authorities investigate (or should investigate). In this case, there were serious issues in the homes of two of the three litte boys. John Mark Byers, the stepfather of victim Christopher Byers, had a problem with drugs and was said to have an issue with violence. The West Memphis PD gave him a pass because he was one of their drug informants. Uh-huh. You can't make this stuff up. Victim Stevie Branch was known to have an abrasive relationship with his stepfather, Terry Hobbs. Furthermore, Hobbs had differing alibis for the times the boys went missing and when they were likely killed and he was seen washing his truck clean of mud during the time the boys were missing and before their bodies were found. Perhaps not a huge fact unless you consider that the boys' bodies were found in a muddy, swampy area of the local woods known as Robin Hood Hills and it was speculated the boys were killed elsewhere and their bodies dumped in the woods. Makes you go hmmmm . . .
But wait! It gets better. Further testing done about five years ago revealed that the bite marks found on Stevie's face did not match Damien, Jason or Jessie. Shortly thereafter, John Mark Byers had his teeth surgically removed. DNA testing of hairs found on one victim and at the crime scene by the bodies matched not Damien, Jason or Jessie but Terry Hobbs and his best friend, David Jacobi. You might expect a stepfather's hair or DNA to be found on the stepchild, sure. But the DNA wasn't found on Stevie Branch, it was found on Michael Moore. Dum, dum, dum.
Additionally, victim Christopher Byers' mother, Melissa, was found dead in her home after filing for divorce from John Mark Byers. The medical examiner labeled her death "unclassified". Sound suspicious?
The filmmakers of the wonderful documentary Paradise Lost received a pocketknife as a gift from John Mark Byers. They noticed blood on the blade and turned it in. The blood was determined to be human and the type and DNA matched his stepson, Christopher.
Stevie Branch had a pocketwatch that he supposedly never let out of his possession. It was not found with him when his body was discovered, nor found at the crime scene or at the homes of Damien, Jason and Jessie. It was, however, found with Terry Hobbs. And Hobbs had no explanation for why he had it.
Gee, it certainly sounds to me like there was reasonable doubt in this case. And certainly justification for checking out the families before going after three teenagers whose jumped on the police's radar because they listened to Metallica and wore black t-shirts.
So back to why someone else being charged with the murders will never happen. Because the State of Arkansas and the West Memphis PD would have to admit they made a mistake. A big fucking mistake. Not the "oops, I forgot to pay my electricity bill" mistake but the kind of mistake that results in three men being sentenced to prison as teens and spending eighteen years in there. And they will never do this. If they were still sticking to the ridiculousness of having enough evidence to reconvict while letting the men out, they aren't about to have their asses handed to them on a platter (and publicly) by someone else being charged for the murders they swear were committed by Damien, Jason and Jessie.
Arkansas is a dirty, corrupt state. Period. Don't believe me? Read Mara Leveritt's books. Mara is a journalist and has written aboutt this case ini a book called The Devil's Knot. She also wrote a book called The Boys on the Tracks, which deals with yet another miscarriage of justice in Arkansas. There is a reason that Bill and Hillary Clinton are from Arkansas, people.
Shame on you, Arkansas. You should be expelled from the country for what you've done. All in favor?
Monday, April 11, 2011
So because Tom cannot stand it if "leaks" from the set aren't telegraphed immediately to the media, we hear that he's been working with Axl Rose's vocal coach. So much confusion here. Does Axl Rose need a vocal coach to sound like that? I could sound like that if I screamed for hours on end after a three day bender. And I say that with all love and niceness because I like Axl Rose. "November Rain" is one of the best songs ever. But I digress.
So Tom is allegedly working with a vocal coach so he can sound authentic, I guess, when he pulls on some leather pants and teases his hair and assumes the position (of Stacee Jaxx). The
Shankman does further ass kissing duty by claiming that he was present at Tom's first
If you're still interested, this is the basic
Ho hum. Been there, done that a million times before. Cinematically, that is. I predict a huge bomb.