Monday, October 15, 2007

Kaitlyn Parrots Grandmother and This May Not Be a Good Thing; TV review-Carpoolers, Cavemen and Lifetime's Psychic Reality Show

Kaitlyn Mae is almost four years old and she's already picked up some of Grandmother's expressions.

It's cute in a way, but unnerving, to hear the toddler recite back at you those phrases used so often without thought that the little pitcher's got big ears.

Also, TV reviews of ABC's "Carpoolers" and "Cavemen", two shows that serve no purpose whatsoever.

Plus, dig this TV reality contest...Who Is America's Best Psychic.

We checked out this Lifetime offering and, wow, it's cool.

Plus a Weekly Whisper about the Democrats' suggestion that staffers get innoculated before mingling with the riff-raff at the NASCAR races.

Pic of the Day
Painted Cats

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So okay, according to ABC’s “Cavemen”’s official site :
Joel is a sophisticated and intelligent man who has a beautiful girlfriend, a decent job and shares an apartment with his younger brother, Andy, and his best friend, Nick. Nick is wary of the Homo sapien world and feels like he's running away from his heritage. Andy, on the other hand, looks at this new world with his eyes wide open and is willing to take risks in order to learn and to live life to the fullest.

Wow. Is the above deep or what?

Understand that this series sprang entirely from a car insurance commercial, GEICO to be exact. And while it’s an amusing commercial, this does not a comedy series make.

I watched the episode aired on Tuesday, 10/9/07. There was not one laugh line in the entire show, or at least nothing that even made me smile.

Three cavemen live together. There’s no explanation as to why these cavemen still exist what with the state of current human evolution. I wondered, did someone find them in an excavation somewhere and bring them back to the United States? If some scenario like this was the case that was not explained.

Montage of caveman stars

We have three cavemen living together and the viewer should just accept this.

Two of the cavemen are brothers and one is a poetic soul who does not march to everybody’s drummer. When the only working cavemen gets the poetic soul a job at his company, things do not work out. The poetic soul does all manner of things on the job, not one of which includes any actual work. Eventually Joel manages to sneakily get poet caveman Nick fired. Nick then files an unlawful termination suit.

The remainder of the story is unbelievable. Joel’s company asserts that discrimination suits are a joke. Joel takes exception to this notion, insert MORAL here, and demands that his company take it back. Discrimination is everywhere, including against lazy, lackluster caveman employees.

Well I’m not going to write anything else. This is just the dumbest show and waste of good time …

Cavemen belong in commercials, maybe in prehistoric movies. As subjects in situation comedies…not so much.

ABC’s-”The Carpoolers”

Right after suffering through the cavemen drivel, on 10/9/07 I remained seated and watched ABC’s “The Carpoolers”.

Oncit upon a time, for an eight year span of time, I too belonged to a carpool. In fact, I was but a sweet, young thing and carpooled with two very nice men. My carpool buddies were very kind and chivalrous with me and thus, well I have some notion of how carpools work and how co-carpoolers can grow an affection for each other.

I will say this…ABC’s “The Carpoolers” is not near as bad as those stupid cavemen. This series has some interesting characters although the storyline is a bit weak. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll watch this show again, especially since it’s at the “thirty” in an hour and I’m not willing to watch the preceding show, which would be those dopey cavemen.

ABC’s Web Site of “The Carpoolers”.

On the evening of 10/9/07, we had one carpooler sneakily taking off right after the four guys arrive at the job. Another member of the carpool follows him, only to discover that he’s rented a room at a hotel. He explained that he had to use up his sick days per his boss (would any business really encourage the use of “sick” days like this?) and he considers a peaceful day in a hotel room to be preferable to a day in the midst of his loud and raucous family.

Montage of stars of Carpoolers

The handsomest of the carpoolers is recently divorced and he gets it into his head that he wants to win the affections of a single lady who will only date married men. So, even though single and available, the divorced fellow borrows a fellow carpooler’s wedding ring and pretends to be married.

Come on. That plot line is right outta some lamebrain writer’s head, probably a man. Very few single women are going to intentionally seek out married men for God’s sake. Yes, there are Moonbats but how likely would it be for a woman to turn down this very handsome single fellow just because he’s NOT married?

Ah well. There is one very exceptional thing about this series. At the beginning and the end of the show, all of the carpoolers engage in singing a song while riding the freeway. They sing together quite well and these two parts of the series, at any rate, are very enjoyable.

A short video clip of one such group sing-song below.

Lifetime’s “World’s Best Psychic”

I’m a bit of a reality show aficionado, I admit. If it’s a contest and no one eats live bugs, I’ll tune in.

So when I chanced upon this rather unique reality contest my interest was piqued.

A contest to find the best psychic in America?


Psychic iconWhich is not to say I believe in psychics, or, rather, that I’d ever given the matter much thought. It’s always occurred to me that if psychics really existed they should tell no one about their talent, purchase lottery tickets across the fruited plains, using their psychic talent of course, win big money and retire quietly to a life of wealth and opulence.

But a contest to find the BEST psychic? Well surely these contenders would have to actually perform spontaneous psychic tasks, no? This I had to see.

So on the night of Saturday, 10/13/07, I tuned in to Lifetime’s psychic contest.

Indeed the psychic contenders this week had to perform psychic tasks, spontaneously and, we assume, with no warning.

There were four in contention this week: Karyn, Jamie, Zenobia, and Jackie. They had three psychic tasks. For each they would receive points. The two psychics with the lowest points would be sent home. The other two would continue on to compete against other psychics.

The group’s first task was to find an individual located in an empty hospital, formerly an insane asylum. This individual was in Room 215 and to my surprise, almost all of the psychics did hone in on that room. Remember there were many rooms in that old hospital so for these folks to almost immediately sense the presence of a living human in the area around Room 215 was surprising. Only one of the psychics chose Room 213 and got ten points for choosing a room adjacent to Room 215. The other three chose rooms close to Room 215 but not adjacent.

The second task involved bringing out a Lifetime celebrity psychic. The psychic contenders were given an item from the celebrity psychic and from this they would recite things the personal item told them.

This was interesting as well. One of the psychics said that the celebrity psychic had some issues with a recent “overcharge” and when revealed, the celebrity psychic said that just this morning there had been issues with charges made on her car repair.

The other psychic contenders picked up such things as the celebrity psychic’s English heritage and other items that impressed me.

The psychic contenders final task was to visit a house owned by a family who had lost a son due to a murder. The psychic contenders received points based on how much they could “sense” about the crime, including who was killed, how he or she was killed, the relationship to the homeowners, etc.

Two of the psychics were very good at getting many of the details. Psychic contender Zenobia got a full 40 points for the details she revealed. Zenobia and Jackie got the highest points and will be moving on to be tested against other psychics.

I will likely tune into this reality series again as I am intrigued. The only problem I have with this show is how do we know a lot of it isn’t staged?

Because a lot of the information these psychic contenders deduced based on their psychic talents I sure couldn’t have ascertained. In fact, at various points during the show the audience was invited to test their own psychic power and I wasn’t even close.

Still, what’s to stop this reality series’ producers from giving those contending “psychics” hints at things they couldn’t possibly know?

Yes, I know it’s a psychic contest but, well I’d like to invent my own psychic game and have them try it out, with no forewarning. Then I’d be more believing.


Focus on TV Posts of Fame

Those Wacky TV Chefs. Includes Rachel Ray and the sexiest chef of them all.

TV News Pundits including Russert, spitting Matthews and the one I adore.

"Dancing with the Stars" of 2007, reviews, pics and videos.

American Idol 2007 and The Bachelor. One night's review with links to all the others.
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Learning Grandmother’s Wise Words

I do consider myself a bit of a wordsmith. Of course this is a self-assessment but I’d argue that none other than three year old Kaitlyn Mae herself validated this assessment during her recent visit in early October 2007.

Before the word anecdote, an amusing tale of where Grandmother and Granddaughter went during that most enjoyable visit.

October of the year is a wonderful month here in the swamps of Delaware. The weather is still warm and the tourists have all gone home. While the weather is normally balmy and pleasant, during this most recent visit by Kaitlyn temperatures soared into the low 90’s. I decided it was high time Kaitlyn and I become tourists for a few days.

“Tomorrow, we’re going to the beach,” I told Kaitlyn, who responded with a big grin, some handclapping and jumping up and down.

I told husband that I would be donning my tight pink flowered Capri pants and my electric blue top. Armed with a suitcase full of beach toys, Kaitlyn and I were going to single-handedly take over Rehoboth beach.

And we did!

Only I wore my bathing suit covered with a loose dress while Kaitlyn wore her suit under a pair of shorts. We parked the Jeep just a few spaces from the wonderful Atlantic Ocean with no bother to feed the meters then closed for the year.

“It’s time for the LOCALS to take over the beach, Kaitlyn Mae,” I announced to the child as we wheeled our container of fine beach stuff over the sands of the beach.

There were a few people on the beach that hot Tuesday in October but not many. God had provided us world weary locals with a day as suitable for the beach as any in mid-July. Without, I must emphasize, any of the crowds one would find in mid-July.

Kaitlyn sported a pair of “water-wings” and the two of us went directly into the Atlantic ocean, me up to the neck.

Yon readers Kaitlyn and I played in that ocean for one solid, wonderful, enjoyable, amazing hour. I would “launch” Kaitlyn toward the shore and she would gleefully paddle her feet while the water wings held her head above the water. I anxiously cupped my hands around Kaitlyn’s little body, worried senseless that a rogue wave would sweep the child away from me. For her part, Kaitlyn continually pushed my anxious grandmother hands away from her body. The child had the entire Atlantic Ocean around her and she wanted to swim, damn it.

The waters were warm after the long, hot summer. There were few people in the water so there wasn’t the constant jostle against strange bodies due to the crowd.

“Dolphins!” someone cried out. I looked up to a small group of people on shore pointing out to the sea. I turned around and there was a pod of about a dozen dolphins. They were leaping out of the sea, their bodies in an arch as they went back into the ocean. My breath caught in my throat so amazed was I by the sight. This pod of dolphins was only about 50 feet or so from where Kaitlyn and I were so happily playing in the ocean. I held Kaitlyn high and she too watched the pod of playful dolphins as they jumped out of the water then back into the water, those pretty fins cutting through the ocean waves fluidly.

“I see it,” Kaitlyn shouted, her eyes shining at the intriguing water show the dolphins put on for us mere humans.

10.11.07-Beautiful Kaitlyn montage

Second 10.11.07 beautiful Kaitlyn montage

That hour I spent immersed in the Atlantic Ocean was the best hour I’d spent all summer. Kaitlyn and I frolicked in the waves, we ducked under the water, we swam and laughed and went round and round. The tourists were gone. The weary locals finally had their chance to play in the sea.

Kaitlyn and I then spent a few hours on the beach. I listened to Rush Limbaugh while Kaitlyn played in the sand with the toys I’d brought along.

The next day, with nothing special on the agenda, I decided Kaitlyn and I would continue to be tourists. We both dressed up beautiful and as I told Kaitlyn, we were going shopping.

Indeed Rehoboth Beach in Delaware is known for its many outlet stores. Delaware itself has no sales tax so this also attracts those who would shop rather than swim. I do enjoy the outlet stores and often go down to shop for a purse or other essential female “must-have”.

Kaitlyn enjoyed her curls and pretty outfit. Together we took off for an afternoon of shopping. I visited a Dress Barn and a Lane Bryant. I found a few tops. Kaitlyn brought a Cinderella pocketbook at a Disney store with grandmother’s money. We had a wonderful day topped by an Icee at the Wawa on the way home.

Below, a short video montage of our weekend highlights.

Throughout the visit I’d noticed Kaitlyn repeating a few of my favorite phrases.

“Tonight, I’m making the rules,” Kaitlyn announced one evening as we settled in for a late night snack of apples and peanut butter. I’d told the child she could have two apple slices but after she’d have to get into the bed. Kaitlyn then took three apple slices after announcing her new role as rule maker.

I often make a set of “rules” for Kaitlyn for any activity then upon. So if we’re in the driveway I tell her the rule is she can’t go into the street. If we’re in a store, the rule is she must stay in the shopping cart. My ad hoc rules are often compiled right on the spot and depend on conditions then upon. “I make the rules,” I loudly announce to Kaitlyn that she knows who’s the boss.

“I’m tired that I don’t get to make the rules,” Kaitlyn petulantly told me that night she decided that a three year old should be given a chance to make the rules. Well, hell, I was game. I asked her what were her rules.

Kaitlyn’s rules included no specified bed time for little children, unlimited apple slices, “Sprouts” upon the TV for hours on end.


It was fun while it lasted but like I told Kaitlyn, no three year old on the planet gets to make the rules and neither does she.

“Am I right or wrong?” Kaitlyn asked me, hands on hips, during a walk around the neighborhood. I was surprised at her wording as this is a phrase I often use myself when making a rather forceful point to a three year old in the vicinity. For example, if I see Kaitlyn getting close to a danger in her surround, I might illustrate the possible dangers. So if the child skirts close to a hot stove I might push her away while showing how close she is to the steaming pots.

“Am I right or wrong?” I’ll ask her as an empty pot tumbles to the floor as part of my planned illustration. Kaitlyn’s eyes open wide because Grandmother is, as always, right again.

When Kaitlyn posed the same question to me during the walk I was quite amused. I don’t remember the scenario upon but there was some action Kaitlyn was taking to prove her three year old talking point. Damn if she wasn’t right.

“What’s the mightiest word in the English language?” I often ask Kaitlyn, almost always immediately after the child herself asked me for something or another.

The word is, of course, “PLEASE”, and while Kaitlyn is normally a very well-behaved and polite child, she does, in the impatience of children, ask for an action or item without adding that mighty word.

And every time, before I grant young Kaitlyn’s request, I ask her what’s the mightiest word in the English language. Most times Kaitlyn will shout the word “please” before I get my normal warning said. She knows I won’t fulfill her request until she says that mighty word.

“Mom-Mom give me a lollypop,” Kaitlyn requested during this past visit. Evidently I was in a hurry because I distractedly handed the child a tootsie roll pop without requiring that mighty word. Ah, but Kaitlyn didn’t forget.

“I didn’t say the mighty word, Mom-Mom, but I’ll say another mighty word…”Thank you”, Kaitlyn said as she took her prized candy. I was surprised that a)she realized she’d forgotten to say please and corrected her own self, and b)she knew that the words “thank you” were also mighty words.

I had to explain the word “mighty” to Kaitlyn as she complained she didn’t know what it meant. I clenched my fists and pounded my chest as visual illustration of the word. I’m not sure the child got it but I must smile. Well goodness, why on earth would the toddler know the word “mighty” unless someone explained it to her?

So thus it was during that happy visit in early October 2007. Kaitlyn and I made wonderful tourists. Kaitlyn got to “make the rules” for one night and the child now knows the meaning of the word “mighty”.

All is right between beloved grandchild and grandmother.


Kaitlyn Mae is what it's all about. No, not MY Kaitlyn Mae but her generation. For they are the children who we are charged with leaving a society and environment at least as moral and pristine as we inherited; ideally even better than we inherited.

So I document her life as one little American baby is born, grows and learns about life and the world around here.

Some examples below:

The intrigue of the pointy chins. While it's not unusual for human females to have triangular or heart-shaped faces while the human male generally has a broad, square jaw, the pointy chin in mine and Kaitlyn's family is an obvious and intriguing tale of chromosomes down through four generations.
Kaitlyn goes into politics. Indeed. And she's quite good at it.
Kaitlyn learns the power of "nuance" in the English language. For there is nothing more full of wonder than a human child learning to talk. We are the only animal who does. In this post, Kaitlyn learns that language has all sorts of caveats and conditions.


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