Celebrity Cafe

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Watching A Train Wreck - Reality Shows

Cable stations have reeled me in with TV reality shows with their marathon runnings. I don't tend to remember to watch a TV show on regular airing. However on a weekend, with the remote glued to my hand, I get sucked into TV reality stew pot. Here are a few with my couch potato editorials:

Bobby and Whitney - see, I can't even remember the title. This show brings out all kinds of emotions, including embarrassment. And why should I be embarrassed? Those two and the family aren't embarrassed or else why do a show where all your business is displayed. Am I embarrassed because people will think that black america lives this way or this is a prototype of our family? Not sure. Most of the times, I want to hit Bobby on the back of his head and tell him to put down that drink. My advice to Whitney? - I don't know. Really I'm not surprised by the behavior, although many considered her the sweet girl next door - this show didn't help the illusion. But the episode that had me laughing in horror was the camping trip. The episode that had me feeling sorry for Bobby was his Mother's Day breakfast plan. When Bobby sang on the evening show, I saw the talent that had catapulted him. But it was also a stark reminder to the effects of a raging ego, alcoholism, . . . did I say raging ego?

The Gotti Family - Again, I have a warped fascination for this one. There is a quote - It doesn't matter who my father was, it matters who I remember he was - Anne Sexton. This is the backbone principle of this show. At first, whenever Victoria spoke of her father in a loving way, my mind rehashed all his ill deeds. Now after a couple seasons (don't know how many) and the boys growing up, I figured - okay, in her world her father loved her, cared for her, provided for her. She is proudly carrying the family's name and drills it home into her sons' brains. And I suppose people must be thinking well, he only went after "bad" people. I did get tired of them screaming at each other and listening to her tell these spoiled brats to go to their rooms. But her sidekick Luigi cracks me up and I'm all for him pulling the stunts that he does. If she wants to pay a lunatic and have him hang around her house, so be it.

Sweet 16 - This one I could only stand two or three episodes. My main issue landed squarely at the parents' feet. I'm not the type of person to hold a grudge against a millionaire giving his daughter a Sweet 16 birthday bash. But when you teach your child to be nice to you or listen to you or do what you want because you're waving cash in her face, then I have to wonder if this constitutes some form of child abuse. What I see from that action, is a father teaching his daughter to be an emotional cripple. As for the girls who get mad over frivolous stuff, throw their butts into a helicopter with a day's ration and drop their whining behinds in some poor country. I shudder to think that these people and their generation will be the capitalists in power when I'm old.

Celebrity Fit Challenge or Club - Again, titles don't stick with me. This is mildly funny. Not the work out sessions, but the hurdles that some celebrities have to overcome to get their acts together. I do hope that their successes will continue even after the cameras have turned off and they are left to their own devices. Growing up in a family with overweight issues, I've seen the highs and lows.

Kathy Gifford - I like watching this. I have no idea why. It's not funny. I don't think she's funny or that my humor and her jokes coincide - for those who want political correctness. Yet, I like watching her transform with her makeovers to go on stage. I just remembered, I do laugh and that's when her parents are on. Her father is so darn funny. He says these one line zingers and doesn't laugh at all. I do feel sorry for her assistant Jessica many times and I hope that she's getting paid well.

I used to watch Real World. But some days, their issues and behavior were so immature and trivial that I refused to invest my attention to their cause.

Never got into the Big Brother, Survivor, or Amazing Race. Mainly I'd miss one episode and lose track and lose interest.

Now I was a diehard of Ozzie. Again - my horrified feelings drew me in. And what a train wreck that family is living - one thing after another with addictions galore.

Michelle Monkou

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Career Aspirations - From a Wee Girl to Now

I reflected on all the careers and job titles that I aspired to achieve from the time that I was a small girl. When I wrote them, I was amused at where my head was and sometimes, where my heart still is. I wanted to share them with you:

Flight Attendant, specifically for British Airways
Fashion Designer
Modern Dancer
Jazz Dancer
Runway Model
Hair Design Model
Speech Pathologist
Reading Specialist
Special Education Teacher
Neonatal Nurse
Import/Export Consultant
Movie Director

(As you can see, I never aspired to be a writer, although my school friends claimed that I did write stories all the time - I probably didn't see it as a career)

What were some of your dreams?

Michelle Monkou

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina Donations to Habitat For Humanity

Bestselling author, Nora Roberts, through her adwoff.com fansite, has issued a challenge that she will match any donations that they raise for Habitat for Humanity from September 6 through 20. Based on Nora's challenge and her giving spirit, I think that she'll be donating much more than whatever is raised. I know the staff at Turn The Page and feel comfortable with using them for this fundraising effort. Turn The Page is owned by Bruce Wilder (Nora's husband). If you'd like to see the daily tally that has been donated, go to www.adwoff.com.

Remember that these survivors will need homes, not just loans (even if it is low interest).

If you want to send a check, make it out to Habitat for Humanity.

Send it to: Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe
c/o Jeannie King
Boonsboro, MD 21713

If you want to make your contribution online, ADWOFF have set-up a PayPal account.
Here's how it works. Go to http://www.paypal.com/ , sign in, and then use the e-mail address of adwoffcares@verizon.net to send your contribution.

Thank you.

Michelle Monkou

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dirty Little Secret

The Storm
It took me a while to wrap my head around the horrendous images that befell the good citizens of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. I heard the warning to get out of the area on Sunday and knew that not everyone would or could. Having friends there I began calling to check on their safety. As the storm grew in size and strength I knew it was already too late. I turned on CNN as the storm hit on Monday, (I’ve never watched CNN for more than a few minutes) and watched glued to the set for the next five days. I finally turned away Friday evening. As the water poured in and terror began I watched helpless like the rest of America as Katrina did her worst. Three states hit by what looked like the wrath of God sent me to my knees.

The people
The shock and awe of watching the tragic event play itself out over the next few days was nothing less than heartbreaking. I can’t even begin to express my heartfelt grief for the survivors and my stunned silence for those who didn’t. In as much, I can’t even begin to imagine what they went through. Seeing the faces, hearing the stories and reading the reports stunned us all. Without food, without water, without supplies and without hope their courage and bravery stood out as unlikely heroes stepped up even as outrage within a nation and across the globe began. Our families, friends and fellows citizens had been betrayed.

The Outrage
I, like most, am appalled by my government and its response or rather lack of response to the Gulf Coast. Yes, world this is not shocking to most African Americans. We know our government well. Over a century of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and continued disdain have prepared us and instilled in us the reality of the truth. We are a people who have learned to survive and endure and once again, against all odd, we did and we will.

The Shame of Blame
We, the strongest, richest most powerful country in the world have inadvertently let out the dirty little secret that’s been kept hidden for centuries. We stand in judgment of China and other tyrannical nations without looking into our own closets. Days, weeks and months of committee meetings and congressional hearing will surely be played out for the public. Sound bites, photo ops and news conferences filled with self-righteous anger and outrage will be viewed but in the end the question will always remain, why?

At Last
It’s too late for possibly thousands. You can’t change the past but you can learn from it and do better for those who survived. Your thoughts?