Wednesday, July 26, 2006

PBS Kids' Show Host Fired for Video

I can't believe that neither Corndog nor MysteryMommy have posted this yet, but if you and your toddler watch PBS Sprout and night and you've been wondering what happened to Melanie, here's the answer.

Apparently late last week, Melanie Martinez, the host of "The Good Night Show" on Sprout, was fired due to a video she had done about seven years ago. (Note #1: SHE brought the video to PBS's attention. I'm not sure why she waited till the second year of her contract, but kudos to her for voluntarily making them aware of it.) You can
read the article on MSN and also read PBS's official statement. Then you can watch the video here (probably not the kind of thing you want to watch at work, however).

Now at first glance I guess I can see where PBS is coming from. The material certainly isn't appropriate for children... but kids shouldn't be watching this sort of video in the first place! (And if they are, their parents need to be more vigilant about their children's web surfing!) Then my wife forwarded me an email talking about other kids TV stars with risque shows/films in their bio, and one name that jumped out at me was George Carlin. Wait a second! Isn't George Carlin the narrator in some of the Thomas the Tank Engine episodes, a show that plays a VERY prominent role in Sprout's "Good Night Show" programming? Is PBS now going to pull all Thomas episodes where Carlin is the narrator? And if they do, I'd argue that all of Alec Baldwin's episodes need to be pulled too, as he has certainly played roles more risque than Melanie's 30-second PSA spoof.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The next John Mayer?

I know it's not Monday, but I just had to blog about this artist I learned about tonight. Teddy Geiger, a 17-year-old singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist, was featured on tonight's America's Got Talent results show. There aren't too many songs that I hear and fall in love with immediately, but These Walls was fantastic. I don't know if this is the song that's already tearing up the charts, but if not, it will be soon! The other two songs on his website were excellent too. If you haven't heard him yet, be sure to check him out!

You know you're a dork when...

... your wife doesn't understand a dork cartoon and you explain it to her without hesitation.

(She didn't know what a D6 and D20 referred to.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bubbles and tigers and bears, oh my!

Two weeks ago I posted about the new words Little Miss has started using. Well last week she seemed to turn her vocabulary drive up to warp three. It's crazy the number of words she's come up with in just a week! Some of her favorites are:

bubbles ("bo-bo")
bath time ("bah tah")*
banana ("nana")*
socks ("doss")
Zuzu (our dog's name)
Pooh ("boo")
... and the one that surprised me the most last week:

I'm not sure if she really knows what a backpack is, or if she just associates the word with Dora the Explorer. She has a Dora backpack, but she also said "backpack" when I gave her a Dora sticker... but there WAS a picture of backpack on the sticker too.

She's also started putting words together into sentences, such as "bye-bye dada", and some unintelligible sentences too ("ah ga gah ga tiger da da"). And she's really started responding to our sentences, such as "Could you put that in the trash?" or "Please pick that up." The best was at the chiropractor's when she actually put the doodle-pad back on the toy table without a fight. It's such a neat age.

One last funny thing... most toddlers learn the word "no" very early and love to use it, right? Not ours. For some reason, she's decided to say "uh uh" instad. But it's cute, and I guess it's less abrasive than hearing your toddler say "NO!" all the time!

In case you've forgotten, in three days Little Miss will be 18 months old.

* She's actually been saying these for a while but I forgot to list them in my previous post!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Last Comic Standing and Rock Star Supernova

As if we don't use the DVR enough (with a toddler and all), Tuesday night is now the battle of the reality tv shows -- Rock Star: Supernova vs. Last Comic Standing. Jen and I were both huge fans of LCS (and even saw Ralphie May and Ant in Vegas a few years back) and huge fans of last summer's Rock Star: INXS. So being such a big reality TV fan, I said "well why the hell aren't I blogging about these shows every night?" So here we go.

Last Comic Standing -- first, I can't believe they decided to elimintate TWO finalists each week and basically cut the competition portion of the show down to four weeks. I want to see MORE of these comics each week! On the other hand, they did cut down on the house soap opera antics... although they kinda had to in order to have time for three performances each night.

As for the comics, I was really disappointed with about half of the finalists. I really don't know what anyone saw in Rebecca Corry. What's with the toilet humor? Not only are her jokes disgusting, but she's freaky-looking. And her kick-boxing antics tonight, along with her little pudge stomach sticking out, were just vile. I'm so glad she's gone. Kristen Key, on the other hand, had some great material in the audition rounds. Unfortunately she's so new that she must not have much written (and as we saw at the roast, she SUCKS at writing). She bombed tonight and deserved to go home, although I do feel bad for her.

So now we're down to five, and next week the TV audience finally gets to weigh in. Based on what we've seen over the weeks, I'm pretty certain the winner will either be Josh Blue or Chris Porter. I don't think the other three are even in the same league. I never thought Roz was very funny, and Ty Barnett is just ok. And I'm still not sure how Michele Balan managed to survive two head-to-head(-to-head) competitions.

As for Supernova... well, I missed the premiere episode last week but caught the results show, and tonight I was blogging about Last Comic while watching Supernova so I wasn't really paying much attention! I'm not as interested this time around since this is a brand new band rather than finding a new singer for an established band. Plus it's early, so I still have time to pick my favorites. Really nobody has stood out to me so far -- in fact a few times tonight I asked out loud "these are really the best singers they could find for this show?" Half of them are AWFUL! Last year there were three who stood out right off the bat -- Ty, Jordan, and Mig -- plus Susie McNeil, Marty Casey, and J.D. Fortune who turned it on later in the show.

Maybe next week I'll pay closer attention and see if anyone actually has any talent. But for now, my pick to go home this week is Chris Pierson. He was in the bottom three last week and an awful performance this week too. My other two picks for the bottom three are Zayra and Josh Logan. I have no idea what Dave Navarro was listening to when he said Josh could be one of the best singers he's heard. I thought he sounded like Kermit the Frog! Well hey, at least the house band kicks some serious ass!

By the way, if you like Rock Star: Supernova, be sure to check out Rock Star Go Home, where you can pick who's going home each week and compete for fantastic prizes!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Music Monday - Spamalot at the National Theatre

Last night Jen and I went to see Spamalot at the National Theatre. After the terrible seats we had for Les Miserables, I made sure we got orchestra level seats this time (row N). The show was hilarious and the cast was top-notch. This was also their last performance in DC, and the cast did seem to enjoy themselves and perhaps put a little extra energy into the performance.

Of course the draw of this "musical" isn't really the music, it's the comedy. (Although I was impressed with the music too.) You don't need to be a Monty Python fan to enjoy the show (although it helps), but I do think you must have at least watched The Holy Grail at least twice to have any idea what's going on, or why some of the scenes are so funny. I was especially impressed with how they managed to translate some of the funnier aspects of the movie into live theater -- the knight that won't die (I'm sure he has an "official" name... someone help me out here!) and the holy hand grenade/killer rabbit scene in particular.

I must say that after seeing the show, I am even more disappointed that I didn't get to see it during its initial run on Broadway. I would have loved to see Tim Curry, Hank Azaria, and David Hyde Pierce in the leading roles. But this cast was great too, and of course you can't help but leave whistling "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" all the way home!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

More words

Boy, I really do need to find more time to blog, don't I? Well life is crazy as always. I actually have my whole "10 best albums" list all typed up, just haven't had time to post it on a Monday! After all, you can't have Music Monday on Wednesday, can you?

Anyway, on to the point of this post... Little Miss is babbling more and more each day. She still doesn't have many "words" but she certainly has her favorite phrases and we can tell what they mean, at least somewhat. She has one that seems to mean "what is that" that basically sounds like "ah DAH dah!", and another that means "look what I have" that's just "ah DAH!"

She's also started mimicing our words, so it's tough to tell if she actually knows what a word means or if she's just mimicing. She can say sticker ("tick-aw"), daycare ("day-cuh"), and juice "jzhh jzhh", and tonight she said pizza which pretty much sounded like pizza from what I could tell. She definitely knows what stickers are... ask her if she wants a sticker and she'll hold out the back of her hand for you to put one on. The only thing that troubles me is some words she used to say really well (like "more" and "hi") have pretty much vanished from her vocabulary. It's very strange. But her favorite word now is "b-bye", which she says clear as a bell. Oh, and I swear she says "Trogdor".