Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Archive for the tag “entertainment”

Friday Potpourri Vol. 20

Roger Ebert died Thursday.

He made movie reviewing interesting along with his friend and colleague, Gene Siskel.  They had a long running tv show until Gene’s death several years ago.

They had a real passion for movies. As is evidenced by this clip:

My only complaint about Roger and his reviews was that you couldn’t really read one before you saw the movie.  He almost always gave away too much.

His last piece for the Chicago Sun-Times was two days ago.  It was filled with future plans.  I won’t quote from it here.  If you see it linked to on the internet, you should take a moment and read it.

In other news, I watched Lawrence O’Donnell’s show on MSNBC Thursday night.  He was touting the fact that Martin Short was going to be on.  I love Martin Short.  He is wildly funny. Quick and clever.  I thought this would be great.

Turned out there was a slight problem, Lawrence didn’t know how to get out of the way and let Martin do his stuff.

The last segment was supposed to be Martin Short talking about the late night talk show shuffle.

Instead, Lawrence spent most of it showing clips of Leno and Fallon.

I was outraged and took my complaint to Twitter where I said the following, “I like how Lawrence showed Martin Short  clips of other people attempting humor. He would show Rembrandt Bob Ross videos.”

Followed by this tweet,”Watch Rembrandt! See, he puts a tree wherever he wants.  Oops, we ran out of time to watch you paint.”

I shouldn’t be surprised  that an NBC station wouldn’t recognize the potential for comedy.

One last thing. I was looking at the obituaries as we old folks do, when a name popped up from my childhood.

My first babysitter passed away this week.  Sue lived next door to us with her family. I guess she was in high school when she babysat for us. The obit listed her age as 66 so she was ten years older than me.

She was always good with us. Always smiling.

I don’t remember seeing her after we moved away from there. So it was interesting to see that she had raised six kids of her own.  She had ten grandchildren. Worked at General Electric for 32 years. 66 is just too young to go.  You invest all that time in raising a family, there should be time to sit back and enjoy it.

She probably wouldn’t be amused that the people who wrote her obit spelled her maiden name three different ways. Or maybe, she would.

Anyway, you kids keep breathing. I can’t afford to lose any of you.



Friday Potpourri Vol. 15

Welcome to the rain that is falling as I type this.  We have been without rain for over a month now and the lawn is getting very crunchy.

The Olympic Opening Ceremonies are going on right now.  But I am not missing anything because they are being shown tonight on tape-delay.  It is 4 p.m. They could be shown now.  But as I predicted in a recent post, NBC doesn’t want us to see them live. I guess it makes it easier for them to slip in commercials. Of course, other countries are seeing them live and Tweeting about it so there will be no surprises when they are shown here.  And if they suck I imagine the viewer numbers would be affected.  Smooth move, NBC!

Has anyone noticed how difficult it is to comment on Blogger?  They require those hieroglyphic sign- ins to prove you aren’t a spam bot.  I was talking to someone this week that just avoids any blog that makes it so difficult to comment.  The spam filter here on WordPress has caught all of the spam before it makes it to the comment area.

In grandson news, we found something that he likes almost as much as Yo Gabba Gabba. We were channel surfing and my wife came across Xanadu.  Made in 1980, the musical stars Olivia Newton-John and , sadly, Gene Kelly.  It is a horrible mess of a picture with music by Electric Light Orchestra.  There is a big roller skating dance number in it.  The little one was fascinated by it.  He rarely watches anything on TV but he couldn’t get enough of this mess.  The combination of bright disco era clothes along with the music was all he needed.

I remember that time as a battle between Disco and Urban Cowboy music. Bars in my hometown had one or the other.

Disco balls.  Guys dressed like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever complete with open shirts filled with gold necklaces.

Or in the other bars. Mechanical bulls. Guys dressed like Travolta in tight jeans and new cowboy hats.

If they still want to dress like Travolta, they would need a fat suit and a toupee.

I made it onto a mechanical bull once.  It was in the afternoon and the owner, a wonderful slightly crazed Hungarian, decided to take the controls.  He thought it would be fun to learn how to run the bull by practicing on a few of the customers before the evening crowd came in.  I lasted about 3 seconds.

But the music for the western clubs was great.  Live bands from the area getting a chance to chase a musical dream.

(I should tell you that I am trying to write this and follow the BBC’s LIVE blog of the Opening Ceremonies.  That’s right!  Multi-tasking! Belgium just entered the arena. )

(Jamaica just came in)

Oops, sorry, you are still here.

Ahh, Dane Cook made an Aurora shooting victims joke and has apologized for it.  Which makes him an even more heinous person than I thought he was.  He was at the comedy club the night of the Daniel Tosh incident.  He knows how much publicity that received. So, he comes up with his own look-at-me moment.  Scumbag. Lowlife.

(Malta just entered.  This live blog is really great.)

Let’s wrap this up with a gentle reminder that Amy of LucysFootball fame has a book of poetry coming out on Aug. 1st.  Click on her name in my fancy new blogroll and find out all about it.  I can’t wait to get a copy.




Friday Potpourri Vol.12

Hi kids!

Today we are going to talk about a singing competition show.

Excited? No? Well, tough. If I have to sit through it, I may as well write about the experience.

(You want better topics. Let me know.)

The show we are going to talk about today is called Duets.

The premise is four singing stars pick two people to sing duets with. Each star takes turns singing with their two people and the other stars get to vote on the performances.

Still there? Great!

The four performers are:

John Legend–this man has amazing talent. He plays the piano almost as well as he sings.  Beautifully.

Jennifer Nettles–from the country group  Sugarland.  She has incredible range and a big voice.

These two understand music and are great for their amateur partners.

Kelly Clarkson–won the first season of American Idol. Can sing some. But in that annoying American Idol-y way.

Robin Thicke–I didn’t know who he was either.  His is the son of Alan Thicke, the dad on Growing Pains. He would be most comfortable singing into a mirror.

These two …..well, he seems to be a little preoccupied with himself and he had the first partner who got sent home from the competition because she had the lowest score.

In the first episode, Kelly Clarkson had to make some choices on her partners that broke down like this: She rejected one because the young woman was prettier than her and the other because she sang better than Ms. Clarkson.

BTW, I should mention that my wife concurs on these opinions.  In fact, some of this is taken directly from our conversations during the show. (You don’t think I watch this alone, do you?  Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in the beginning.  In exchange for all the sports I watch, we watch some of these type of shows together.  It’s called marriage, people.)

In any event, a few weeks from now, they will start to let the audience at home vote and eventually there will be a winner.  I don’t know what they win but they will win something.

It is worth watching just to hear John Legend sing.  The man is incredible.

But, watch out for that Clarkson woman, she is a snake.

When I was thinking about writing this, I was trying to remember what got me hooked on certain types of reality shows.  I am not counting Duets in that category.

Several years ago, on one of our trips to the Panhandle of Texas, we were sitting around my in-laws living room watching television.  My brother-in-law , much to my consternation, doesn’t care too much for watching sports.  So, we found our selves watching old episodes of Gunsmoke and then a little later a show came on that I found oddly captivating.

The name of it is Ice Road Truckers.

I had never heard of the Alaskan ice roads before.  The deal is these roads freeze over during the winter there and while they are frozen over, large and heavy shipments are taken by semi trailers to these remote destinations.  This all has to be done before the thaw and under some truly dangerous conditions. Melting roads. Blizzards. Whiteouts.

I didn’t think I was hooked until we got back home and I found myself tuning in to the latest edition of the show.  What?  I had to know how the season ended.

Not too many of these shows can hold my attention.  This one and Storage Wars.  Maybe Lizard Lick Towing. Or an occasional Parking Wars. But that is it.

I need something to watch until the election is over.





Friday Potpourri Vol. 11

Here we are again.

Let’s try some movie reviews this week for starters, shall we?

One thing you should know is, I don’t go to the movies very often.  Hardly ever. But in a weak moment, my wife and son talked me into watching The Avengers.  You might have heard of it.  It has made 20 bazillion dollars since it came out.  We went to the non-3D version. Our son had already seen it once and he said the 3D was a waste of  money.

Now, I am not a Marvel Comics guy.  Mainly because I am too old for comic books. When I was a kid D.C. Comics were my preferred brand. Superman. Batman. The Flash. Green Lantern. Aquaman.

Anyway, my review of The Avengers is that it was very entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  There were some funny parts.  The special effects were well done.

The actual theater experience had all the usual flaws.  I might be repeating myself here but I am not going back through all the previous posts to check on it. So, bear with me.

First of all, it cost me as much at the concessions as it did for the tickets.  Granted they are using Orville’s popcorn now. And there IS a difference.

Second, the movie theater had the volume turned up way too far.

Then, the movie started late.

One of the ads was for a new TV show coming out soon.  Bunheads: From the people who brought you The Gilmore Girls.  No it is not about a wacky family of bakers.  You might think that but you would be wrong. Any more guesses?  I’ll wait………………….Give up? It is about someone who opens a dance studio in a wacky small town.  She teaches ballet.  The students put their hair up in a bun, get it?  Bunheads!!  Genius I tell you!

The Warner Brothers would be turning over in their graves to see a TV show in the coming attractions.

Also, there was no cartoon.  How long have I been away?  Why wouldn’t you put a cartoon on before a movie that is essentially a live-action cartoon?

All in all, I think it was a good experience.  You would like it. Or not. There is no money back guarantee with this review. I told you I don’t go to movies very often.

On the other hand, on HBO, there is a movie called Hemingway and Gellhorn.  The next part has spoilers, so skip over the following five paragraphs if you want to be surprised by how the movie unfolds.

It is about Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn.  They are both writers that meet, fall in love, get married, and eventually she asks for a divorce. Right there I just saved you 154 minutes. That is how long the movie lasts. I looked it up.  I didn’t last anywhere near that long.

Clive Owen plays Hemingway.  The problem with that is he looks NOTHING and I mean NOTHING like Hemingway. If you can’t find an actor who looks like Hemingway, why not fictionalize the story so I won’t be distracted by the fact your lead actor looks nothing like Hemingway.

Nicole Kidman plays Gellhorn. I liked her in the brief time I watched.  But, Clive Owen made viewing the movie impossible.  Just wretched.

As was the case with I Walk The Line, another movie I detest, if you can’t cast the main character right, you have lost me.  And my annoyance in both cases comes from the fact that Johnny Cash and Ernest Hemingway are two artists that I admire.

Spend the 154 minutes reading A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. You will be glad you did.

Probably by the end of the day, I will have tweeted my 10,000 tweet.  Browsing through them, you could find at least a dozen keepers. You might have to look real hard but they are in there.

Also, today is our 21st wedding anniversary.  If you followed my series of posts called Finding Love, you know the story of how it all started.  We are still here, still in love.   It ‘s a nice feeling.

Until next time…






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