When TV collides with life: Trump, House of Cards, FBI & CSI Cyber

Standard

Quick note to start – yes, I am still training and fundraising. In fact, it would be fabulous if you would throw in $30 to the cause. I pretty much need $30/day for the rest of the time to meet the minimum. Also, things are starting to hurt a little. I’ll save that for another update (really!).

Project Athena Harbor to Harbor – $1,800 needed, please help!

And now, on to the main event!

These are the thoughts rattling through my head in recent weeks.

The first, I realized while watching the story about the FBI and Apple unfold that my impression of the whole scenario was being influenced not by any actual knowledge I have, but by the TV shows I watch! As I would read how the FBI needed Apple to create a back door hack into an iPhone that had been used by one of the San Bernadino terrorist attackers, all I could think was “But why? Can’t they just hack it themselves?! They do it ALL THE TIME on CSI Cyber!” You know, just throw the phone at Crummy and he’ll just type away madly on a keyboard for 20 seconds and VOILA! Phone unlocked! That’s all real isn’t it? Seriously I have just been SO unimpressed with the the REAL agents did here – asking the county to change the password and somehow not knowing how to get the backed up data or perhaps even locking themselves out of it? Meanwhile, since it was the guy’s work phone, not his personal one, I seriously doubt there’s anything on it worth having. At this point I am pretty much leaning towards being happy that Apple is standing their ground. Makes me feel pretty good knowing that darn little pass code I have on my phone is so impenetrable!

As an aside, can we talk about how damn awful CSI: Cyber is? I got suckered into watching it since my son and I are addicted to all things CSI and we were feeling major withdrawals when the original one wrapped up. I liked that they transitioned the Ted Danson character over form Vegas to DC, but from the absolutely atrocious episode that aired most recently, it looks like he is now out of there. I swear he probably went to the producers and said “Dear god, please write me out! The writing and acting are pitiful! I don’t need a paycheck this bad!” I mean, CSI: Miami was not anything fabulous either, but at least they seemed to be writing that one with tongue firmly planted in cheek. That’s why the Horatio meme of making a dramatic statement and then sliding on sunglasses is still going strong on the internet! But Cyber has NO CLUE they are bad. They are just…really really bad.

Meanwhile….House of Cards Season 4 dropped. WOW. No spoilers, but I pretty much think I loved this one as much as Season 1. Like most I totally binge watched, though I did spread it out over 3 nights. Here’s the thing though: some of the “Holy shit did they just DO that?” bite was somewhat diminished by what is happening in our very REAL election this year!! Every time I would think “No Presidential candidate could get away with THAT sort of theatrics/scheming etc.”, I would think to myself “Oh yeah. Trump.” That man has broken every single rule of class, decorum, leadership, respectability….whatever you want to call it. At this point I don’t even care what his policies are, I am just stunned at what he says, the vitriol he incites, and now the way his own supporters are behaving at his events. I mean (and this isn’t a spoiler)…there is a segment on House of Cards when an old picture of Frank Underwood’s father standing next to a Grand Master of the KKK is blown up and draped over a billboard in his home state of South Carolina. As always, Frank wiggles out from under what would normally be an End Of Your Campaign moment. But THEN…I immediately flashed to Donald Trump being endorsed by David Duke (he of the modern day KKK/White Supremacy movement). I remembered the many times when he, personally, has re-tweeted statements made by known White Supremacist leaders. Just today there is an NPR story about a family who has never been involved in politics who is now phone banking for Trump. The images show the woman with tattoos on her hands depicting the Hitler 88 symbol and the white supremacy associated star. And is ANY of this sticking to Trump in a negative way to devalue his campaign? He claims he doesn’t know about “any of that” and he simply manages to bluster louder than the people who deign to question him. And does it impact his campaign? Hell, from where I sit it seems to be HELPING him to have latched onto these sorts of voters because damn if he didn’t win a bunch of states again yesterday!

Please take note that in House of Cards, it was about the character’s FATHER’s association with Klansmen. This is directly about the candidate himself. In real life!

I just….really…don’t understand how the GOP 2016 campaign has turned into something LESS shocking than House of Cards! Are we living in a reality TV show?

Please tell me a President Trump would really NOT be worse than a President Underwood?

Just my .02 – I’ll go back to either working or walking now.

 

 

 

Glee + Adam Lambert = ??

Standard

Glee_Adam

 

That’s the Facebook status I just posted – oh I am so conflicted!

On the one hand: Yay ADAM!! A weekly taste of him singing and getting to see him act too? LOVE LOVE LOVE. I think he will inject a much needed spark into that show and well, we all know he can outsing any of them currently on there WITHOUT any autotuning (except maybe for Lea Michele).

On the other hand: Dammit! It took me half a season to finally break it off with Glee. Which was probably at least half a season too long. I made it through the Christmas episode last year and then finally deleted it off my DVR schedule. I was already using the fast forward button to get past any story line without Kurt and Rachel and it was getting hard to feel any sort of flow. Mostly I just scowled at the ever more trite and manipulative story lines with the “new” McKinley High glee club that was cobbled together after the original group graduated. It was all just the same stuff recycled with characters who didn’t have any appeal to me in the least. I did, however, really enjoy Kurt & Rachel in New York. I loved that their characters explored new relationships and creative challenges. Their songs were always my favorites. Rachel can flat SING and I would love to hear her voice paired with Adam’s. Kind of not sure who can hit and hold the higher note between those two :))

So fine, Glee – you win me back to get a weekly does of Adam. Just please don’t screw it up too much!

Oh, and don’t you DARE auto tune him. (guess I better load up my iTunes account too. Yes, I will fall prey to downloading the songs he is on!)

 

 

 

May 25th – Losing Steam

Standard

Uh oh – I guess I should be impressed that I maintained my motivation to write in here every day for this long!

I was literally in bed before I remembered tonight.

Can you blame me? It’s Friday. It’s been an intense week. I left work after FINALLY training with my co-worker on her tasks about as late as we possibly could today. If anything at all goes wrong in this upgrade process this weekend and we cannot start testing until after 2pm Sunday, then I have to cover two systems. That’s fine – but I haven’t worked on a daily basis in the Asset Management side in several years and I really needed a refresher. I’ll be fine, but let’s all of us out there in internet land cross our fingers for a smooth process ok?

Meanwhile, after spending every night this week heading out *somewhere* I was just thrilled to get home and not have to go anywhere.

The problem is that I did have to write. Just studying the first module of the web business design class has reinforced to me how much the site AND the ebook need upgrades. To my dear friend who amusingly pointed out that having the read the word “pergola” in every other sentence was jarring – I agree! Thankfully the focus on heavily laden keyword articles for SEO placement is falling away. Now I get to write for CONTENT, simply placing the keywords in more naturally occurring places. I was fighting that all along so this will be much easier. But, it also means yet more re-writing. Argh!

So after a rather disappointing Bistro Meal package dinner of shrimp risotto, I got down to the business of improving the business. Two new website articles and the first chapter of the ebook are revamped and I’ve got the new chapter titles and approximate order of them assigned.

After all that I watched the season finale of Glee 🙂 Needed the total focus shift. I still love that show. It’s more of a guilty pleasure now and other’s have fallen off the trendy bandwagon (especially since some episodes did sink into silliness), but I still laugh and cry and smile and sing along with the songs. Kurt’s dad doing “Put a Ring On It”? Utterly, perfectly, touching and hysterical. Love those two characters and their interactions.

Anyhow – a moment of beauty – no pictures today. That would have meant I prepared! But, as I was typing away in the blissful silence of the house because all other occupants were gone…well THAT was a moment of beauty for sure. Then off in s distant corner of the room I heard a faint sound that is even more fabulous than silence.

It was Chip. Drinking water.

I could hear his kidneys continuing to heal with each exquisite lap of liquid.

Dream on my friends!

Skin This!

Standard

Anyone who knows me well will see right away that this is pretty much an out of character post topic for me. However, this should perhaps be proof as to just how serious this is. As the parent who watches all the CSI programs, Glee, Modern Family etc with her teen, you know that I don’t censor very much in this house. Normally the idea of blocking a channel or of (horrors!) signing a petition from the Parents Television Council would be so foreign to me. And yet….let me start you off with a few links to do just those things!

How to block channels with: Directv, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable & Cox Cable

Parents Television Council Petition – this petition is not ecifically about MTV or the Skins show, but it is about cable channel CHOICE which I have always supported. Especially since MTV seems to have gone the way of Playboy – I would really rather not have my cable fees go to pay them. I have the choice to pay Playboy or HBO and I’d like the same choice with MTV since they have decided to go down this path.

What path is this you may ask?

Well, it started with the TV shows “Teen Mom” (1 AND 2) and regressed to an even worse show called “16 and Pregnant”. Because hey – nothing says entertainment for your kids like glorifying teen pregnancy right?! Compare that to the shows I watch with my son. Let’s choose the one perhaps closest to the MTV shows – Glee. Now, if anyone has watched Glee you know that the show is so over the top as to be about as FAR from reality as you can imagine. After all, in the same episode when Kurt’s character comes out as gay, he also orchestrates a football play where the entire football team dances and sings to All The Single Ladies in order to distract the opposing team. Yeah, it worked of course, as did Kurt’s reprisals of the song as he approached the ball to kick the game winning extra point. CLEARLY a fantasy right? CLEARLY nothing close to what real life is like in high school! Plus, they are all actors in their 20s depicting these kids. And the character who was pregnant? She loses her spot on the cheer squad as well as many of her friends and is kicked out of her house. Perhaps not the most caring way to handle that scenario, but also far from glorifying it.

But the MTV shows are “Reality TV”. Now, have I watched them? Heck no! I have no interested in seeing that! Technically, I lived it, so no, I don’t need to see it. Also? Why is that entertaining?

Now, I am damn lucky that my boy has no interest in this channel up to this point. I’ve seen him channel surf and thankfully MTV is not amongst his selections. And you know what? It wont be. I blocked it. The final straw is the new shows Skins.

Quite frankly I only had a vague notion about this show before. But then my friend Stefanie wrote this post over on the SDMomfia site.  Go read it please. I’ll wait……

Eye opening eh?

Did you click on her link to the TV show’s website? Because I agree with her that we should NOT “check it out” and give them ratings. But you should check out that website.

Let me share with you which part of it disgusted ME the most – it’s called the Where It Went Down section:

Description of the purpose of the section

Overview map of where it went down

See those little symbols? Imagine the most R-rated translation of those symbols as you can (aimed at teens remember!). It’s worse. If you can’t handle explicit language, I’m sorry, but I felt like this needed to be exposed for what’s happening here. And remember – this is a TV show starring underage kids, aimed AT underage kids. So you can imagine the ages of the people reporting in on this section.

After the main map loads on the front page of the site, it starts scrolling through these postings. I did not have to click any link to see these

Also, as they scroll, you can click for details. No sign up necessary. No controls on content for age.

Sure, those top level entries seem innocuous. Disturbing, but not horrifying right? So, as I said, anyone visiting the site can go ahead and click for details on any of these listings. So I clicked on one titled “Invisible Condoms” This is where it gets graphic:

No sign in required to see this. No proof of age. Just one click away on a website for a TV show aimed at OUR TEENS on a channel geared for OUR TEENS

Pretty shocking eh?

Now some may say that raising a stink only makes it more desirable for our kids. I know. But this tv show and this website cannot just be wished away. Where is the line when parents say “No More!”

Well, this is my line. MTV is blocked. Which makes me so sad. I grew up on this channel. Back when they were, you know, MUSIC television. I pulled all nighters watching videos just for fun. Have they always pushed the envelope? Sure, but before it was under the guise of bringing music and new artists to people’s attention. This has nothing to do with art. Or music. Or entertainment!

This is about showing kids that you can gain fame by being bad. That it’s cool and hip and fun – damn the consequences! And not just with a fictional show starring teens about teens. But with interactive programs like Where it Went Down that ENCOURAGES them to misbehave and then REPORT it!

Line crossed. Line drawn. No more “I want my MTV”. Now it’s “Skin THIS and BLOCK my MTV!”

Glee stars GQ photo shoot – eh?

Standard

So apparently there is some raging debate going on about the photo shoot that three of the stars of Glee did for GQ

Bear in mind here, that the ladies are both 24 and the gent is 28. ADULTS here folks. ADULTS! Fully capable of choosing what they do.

According to this article though, The Parents Television Council has formally complained about the photo shoot. Beyond the fact that I almost never agree with any sort of Parents Council type group (you know where those sticks are, right?), I have another couple of points to add to the fact that those actors are, well, actors and also – ADULTS!

  1. Glee is a family show only if you consider it to be for middle schoolers and up. It’s not, and never has been and never was intended to be a G rated family show. It’s pretty much borderline on the PG rating some episodes (hello – Finn experiencing premature ejaculation in a hot tub and then believing that’s how Quinn got pregnant?!!) As the article I linked to indicates, the creator of the show has always been open about the adult content. So, as a parent, if you are allowing your kids to watch this show without being totally aware of what they will see/hear, then the problem lies with you – not these photos!
  2. Is GQ a family magazine??? Not the last time I checked! So please, Parents Television Council – please tell me why you are so concerned about little Billy or Betty seeing these photos? I mean, the raunchiest of them are INSIDE the magazine. The cover is tame by today’s standards. Unless mommy or daddy buys this magazine and then shows them to the kiddies, I just don’t see how THEY would even see it. So again – the responsibility here lies with….say it with me now – THE PARENTS!

I know, I sound harsh, but these sorts of things always make me laugh at the absurdity of it all. Seems to me people are being much to quick to get their hot pink panties in a wad 🙂

Blog Post of the week with bonus (we love Twitter) edition

Standard

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

May you be blessed with good weather and the time to enjoy some of the beauty around you. Remember to give thanks and honor those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice for all we treasure here.

As my political friends pointed out – nice timing for taking a giant step towards repealing Dont Ask Dont Tell – just before a weekend when we honor those who’ve served & died. Don’t kid yourself that they were all straight eh? 🙂

Well, there was lots of big finales on TV this week, but the one show that call all my friend’s attention was not even a season finale yet. Glee busted out probably it’s best episode of its short run – and there wasn’t even any Sue Sylvester in it! No, what made this episode an instant classic for many of us was one, critical scene. No, not even a song, but a fantastic rant by one character on behalf of another.

Erica dedicated a post just to this episode along with video of The Scene. I think she summarizes it certainly much better than I can 🙂  BGAI Together – He is my son (with special video clip from Glee)

She is right that if you have a heart, you will need a tissue.

The bonus blog post of the week is more personal – plus it has to do with Adam Lambert which makes it automatically glittery  🙂

Making a Teen Girls’ Dream Come True unfolded last night over Twitter.  My connection to Debbie is through DailyKos. I have never met her, but we have mutual friends who I have met. Clearly we all don’t tweet about just one topic though. Debbie has mentioned her niece’s love of Adam before and I’ve mentioned to her that I can relate! But then that switched from fun banter to – hey, she’ll be back in CA when Adam is in Orange County and where can I maybe get tickets for her? Well, I knew from experience that the initial online sales had been almost impossible through. The scalpers got nearly everything and were now re-selling the originally reasonably price seats for double. I got lucky because I had connections to someone who DID get through and grabbed tickets at face value. But I also knew there were still a few folks out there with extras so when Debbie asked, I immediately thought of swan2029 who has been on my Adam buddy list for a few months now and had face value tickets. Well, as you can see from Deb’s post, the hookup worked!

So now when I drive up to Orange County on July 28th, here is who I will be meeting or going with:

  1. My son (MM who has been completely corrupted with my Adam adoration)
  2. One of my young buddies from the Padres blog, who also has a love of Adam will be riding along
  3. Meeting Jan & Kathleen there (Fantasy Spring, Jan originally from American Idol tour stop)
  4. Meeting Swan2029 (might meet her before that actually as now there is a San Diego date & she’s driving in to get tickets onsite)
  5. Meeting a gal from Malaysia who I chat with a lot on twitter
  6. Meeting the lady from the Adam fan site who sold me my son’s ticket.
  7. Meeting Deb’s niece & whoever brings her to the concert.

All people who (other than my son & Padres pal) – I would NEVER have met if not for Adam Lambert! Crazy huh?

Priceless moments thanks to Glee

Standard

Oh, if only you had been on a fly on the wall at my house or in my car this week 🙂

Tuesday brought me much musical joy as Volume 3 of the Glee collection was released on iTunes. I promptly downloaded it and made a CD. I had been particularly eager to hear Chris Colfer’s rendition of Everything’s Coming Up Roses – or, in Glee’s version – Everything’s Coming Up Kurt (Hummel). It had been such a powerful moment in last week’s episode and the CD version is fabulous too. I had it on repeat in the car on the way home that night. So I walked in still singing it too myself. DS2 looked at me and asked what I was singing. I said “hang on” and then put the CD in the PC (best speakers in the house outside of DS1’s room) and blasted it. He immediately recognized it “Oh, Kurt’s song!” and was toe tapping and along with me. That was followed by Dream On which was done in this weeks’ show. It’s a great back to back set. (shoot, the whole CD is their best yet & I have not stopped listening to it but I digress..) We both got up to sing along with that one and then Safety Dance came on and we were dancing away. Yes, my 13 year old sang and danced with me in the middle of the house. How sweet is that? But wait, there’s more!

Being a 13 year old sport loving boy, DS2 is naturally rather reluctant in his Gleek status. He cops to it in certain settings, but plays it cool otherwise. Of course, he always makes sure he is sitting with me when it comes on Tuesday nights AND he makes sure that I save the DVR of it when he is with his dad. It’s kind of how he is about Adam Lambert too. He rolls his eyes at me, but then ques up the CD in the car and sings along to every song 🙂

Last night we went to work out together. This in itself has been a lot of fun and something I really love having him do with me. They love having him there and the trainer is really good about making sure he starts off slow with weights, but then pushes him aerobically because he can handle it. I’m hoping this will be some good prep for the training he will have to go through in the summer for high school football. It’s good for me too because having him there makes me push myself a little harder to show him that his 45 year old mom can kick his butt at some of the exercises (for now!)

On the way back last night since Glee was on the car stereo he requested Kurt – and then he pushed RPT so that we were listening and singing along 3 times in a row. Then he released the RPT and Dream On blasted just as we pulled into the garage. He puts his hand out and says “Do NOT turn off the car!” and we sat there in the garage, in the dark, singing and drumming and air guitaring to Dream On.

Can you just go ahead and freeze that moment in time for me forever?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.