Archive for March, 2008

Giggle Fits
 

imag008.jpg So after reading my infomercial post, Emily introduces me to the GT Xpress 101. What is it? Just the most amazing piece of crap, I mean cooking invention ever! You can make eggs, pita pizzas, chicken cordon bleu and so much more in it. Oh and did I mention it also makes stuffed soup! That right there is a reason to own it, even if you don’t know what stuffed soup is (and trust me, you don’t want to know).

So I had to go look it up and read about it, of course. While there were some good reviews for it and people did like it, others of course can’t stand the thing. These are some of my favorite quotes from online reviews . . .

. . . . that lady (Cathy Mitchell) can take her bull$%!& product and shove it up her a$%.

I don’t know why I bought the product really, as there’s no way I’d ever serve up half moon shaped meals to my guests.

. . . .. the woman from the infomercial obviously doesn’t have 4 kids, otherwise I’d have to ask her some questions. It can be useful, but who wants everything they eat to be half moon shaped?!

While those reviews should make me want to run from the contraption, they only make me want it more! Silly I know. For some reason I couldn’t get those quotes out of my head and when I went to go to bed I busted out laughing. I mean tears streaming down my face, tried to hold it in, had to leave the room and come downstairs and just laugh hard. I don’t know why, it really isn’t that funny. I think I just needed a good hard laugh, something I haven’t done in awhile for various reasons, and this was the facilitator.

Oh and by the way, yes I still want a GT Xpress :) If I can find one at Kohls or the “At Seen On TV Store” I am going to buy it. If I can find one then Emily and I are going to have our own little GT Xpress cooking party. Maybe we’ll film it and make our own infomercial for it.

As Seen On TV: Stuff You REALLY Need!
 

home-pitcher.jpg I’m such a sucker when it comes to infomercials. Recently our kitchen sink broke and parts needed to be replaced. The BF put in a whole new spigot. Unfortunately because of this, we lost our water filtration system. It was this large metal canister that sat next to the sink and a hose basically attached to the spigot and diverted water to it when you chose to have filtered water. He needs to now find the right washer or something to make it work again, and as usual is taking his sweet time. Besides, I was never fully convinced this contraption really worked. It’s one of these “industrial” filters that supposedly only needs to be cleaned and changed every five years, and you have to send it in to have it serviced. Hmmm.

So I figured that I would just buy a water pitcher with a filter. We used to have a Brita system, but honestly I don’t even know where the pitcher is anymore. Plus I never liked it, the little charcoal bits always fell into the pitcher and that grossed me out. On TV they advertise this Z-Pitcher thing, which you can also but at Walgreen’s. It’s a bit more than Brita and even the Pur filters, but I’m a sucker for the infomercial and got one. Plus it comes with this great water tester thing to test how much contaminants are really in your water :) Anyway I got it, set it up, now we have nice clean taster water.

Have I mentioned yet that I hate water? Yeah, I hate water. The only time I’m able to drink water is if I’m at the gym working out or if I’m outside walking around in the heat. Otherwise, I don’t want to drink water. I don’t like it. I know that is very weird. Most people ask how it is I don’t like water? I say I don’t like how it tastes. Most say it doesn’t have a taste! My response is it definitely has a taste, one I don’t like! However I know I need to drink more water, so I spent the whole 40 bucks on this pitcher and by damn I will drink the water! I will probably have to put lemon slices in my glasses, that way I get a little flavor in it.

Other infomercial crap I have? The Vidalia Chop Wizard (LOVE this thing), the Magic Bullet (a birthday gift from friends, just used it today to mince up herbs) and the George Forman grill. Okay I don’t use that unless I’m cooking a burger. The BF recently got Sham-Wow and the Sham-Wow mop. Oh I think he got the Ped-Egg too. He also got the Jack LaLane Juicer last year, which he no longer uses and needs to be moved cause it’s taking up valuable countertop room. I really want the Vidalia Slice Wizard to go with my Chop Wizard, but resisted getting it (though I could have bought it today for only $19.95!).

When I was in high school every morning I would watch “Amazing Inventions” before school. I think that’s what it was called. One of the best shows ever! I had no furniture I needed to strip, but man they used to sell this power paint stripper that just looked fun to go around and pour on stuff. I also still need the Popeal Pasta Maker and Ronco’s Showtime. I have no need to cook an entire rotisserie chicken mind you, but I just want to “Set it and forget it!”

I think though by far my favorite infomercial is the one that aired a few years ago for this cooking system. There were two competing varieties and two infomercials , one hosted by Florence Henderson (Carol Brady) and the other by Carolin and Marilyn, better known as the comedy team “The Mommies.” It was this crock pot like thing that cooked all your food for you, it never burned the food and everything ALWAYS cooked perfectly and was never over done. You could, according to the commercial, throw in dry pasta, a jar of salsa and some frozen chicken and come home to a Mexican fiesta. You could also cook a cake in the same device above the Mexican pasta. Yes, two different foods that normally cook at two temperatures in the same pot! WOW! Don’t you want to go get one now?

Happy Birthday! Got Playboy?
 

playboybunny.jpg Tonight I went over to the farm and found a party being set up in the conservatory. I HAD to go check things out when I noticed on every table was the Playboy Bunny head! I get in there, the room looked great (grr I should have taken my camera over!). Each table had the bunny, some weird flashing lights and of course balloons. There was also a large banner with the bunny on it hanging up and a person’s name, which was one of those ambiguous names that could be a male or female. I won’t say the name, cause heaven forbid this person decides to Google their party later on and ends up here!

So I ask the party coordinator what it going on and find out it’s a birthday party . . . for a woman. Not only that, it’s a surprise 40th birthday party from her husband! I’m standing there like . . . . wow . . . . okay. Later I suggest maybe she was an old playmate? I mean that kinda would make sense. Honestly, it’s the only thing that makes sense to me at this point! As it turns out, no she wasn’t a playmate, apparently her husband and some of his male friends thought the playboy bunny would just be a cute theme. I will find out tomorrow what the wife’s reaction to this surprise party was. Something tells me her public reaction and later her private reaction might be very different!

Dear Madonna
 

4minutes.jpg Oh Madonna. I’m not sure what to say to you in this letter! In about one month your new album “Hard Candy” drops. The news came out awhile ago that this was going to be your R&B album, much like “Confessions” was your dance album. You are the mother of reinvention, but in this case I’m not so much sure that you are reinventing yourself as much as playing up to what the trends of the market are right now.

Your “Confessions” album was such a breath of fresh air for myself and probably many. I know it probably didn’t get the airplay you might have wanted, but the album was amazing. Yes it was 80s-disco-retro, but that is not a bad thing. The Scissor Sisters are too and in my opinion one of the best new bands in years out there (and I swear I’m not playing favorites here). Unfortunately they have not broken through in the US as they have in Europe. I believe I have said it before, I often agree more with Europeans’ tastes in music lately, except Germany because cause they seem to really like David Hasselhoff there.

But Madonna, this new album, really! Aside for going for some serious airplay in a Clear Channel dominated market, what were you thinking? Yes I know I have not heard it, and I really should reserve judgment until I do. However I have heard three leaked songs from it, two of them of course being early demos as far as I know. I wasn’t really that impressed. They sounded so much like what I hear every time I turn on the radio, which is usually why I usually now have the “oldies” stations on. Regardless, I did pre-order your new album on iTunes and have been listening to your new single “4 Minutes.” It took awhile, but it is a catchy tune, and I really like the parts when your actually singing as opposed to Justin once again singing like he’s Michael Jackson or beatboxxing.

I’m no fan of hip hop, I’ve made that clear on this blog before. I think at this point its taken over most of the music market to the point that grunge/alternative once did. I for one am over it. Madonna, will your album be a huge success, or will it be like Ethel Merman and Kiss’ disco albums . . . the nail in the coffin for hip hop? If it’s the later, I will applaud you.

(Running to hide from Justin’s fans, who will probably descend on me sooner or later screaming at me! See my infamous Jessica Simpson post)

To listen to “4 Minutes (To Save The World) Here it is on YouTube

The Beat Goes On . . .
 

Okay so I’ve gotten some comments and questions about the blogs. First up, even though I’m not doing the soap site anymore, my blogs and other domains/sites I own are still mine and I will be keeping them. WizardWorks.net was the first domain I ever owned and I’ve done lots of things with it over the years. Some might remember when I had the soap pages on it, I also had my personal blog on it before here. Right now it’s mainly a linking hub to my other pages.

This blog is my main personal blog where I share aspects of my life, whatever pops into my mind or I think is neat and feel the need to tell people about. Unfourtunately as of late I haven’t updated it as much as I used to and haven’t had much really to share. The past several months the whole soap site ordeal and trying to finish school and deal with deadlines has stressed me out like never before. I’m still working at the school part, so I’m afraid my life might be a little boring right now. But I’ll do my best to update more and share as much as I can about anything going on and stuff I find interesting. You might not find what I find interesting of course :)

I’m also keeping and continuing with The Primetime Dish. This is my blog dealing with primetime TV, hence the name. I do hope to expand it some more, but later when I have the time (and school is done). As my friend Shannan put it, I can’t really be without some kind of site :) She was convinced the minute the soap site was gone I’d start up something else like a “Desperate Housewives” site. I told her I already have my primetime site to keep me entertained!

Crybaby Hits Broadway
 

The people behind turning “Hairspray” into a Broadway musical are hoping to strike gold twice with another John Water’s film “Crybaby.” Like “Hairspray,” the movie has a very musical theme to it, so it will probably translate well to the stage. I honestly don’t know if it was the best pick though. I mean if the movie is on I usually will watch it, but it’s not one of my faves and is so incredibly cheesy. Personally I would have much preferred to see “Serial Mom” be turned into a musical. I mean can you just imagine how much fun the prank phone call song would have been? Let’s not even get into the pussywillows song!

For fun see: http://www.crybabyonbroadway.com/

There Is No Dustin . . . Only The Corporation
 

umbrella-corporation-10333.jpg The time has come for an even bigger announcement, one that will rock all you know and make you question everything. Dustin Cushman does not exist, he never did. Dustin was a made up persona, a pretty face for . . . The Corporation! The Corporation has run a variety of pages under the guise of Dustin, whose face actually belongs to the nephew of the president of The Corporation. The Corporation needed a humanizing face and personality that would clique with an audience and thus invented Dustin to run various pages they ran. We regret to inform you now that there is no Dustin, only The Corporation!

Okay I’m just kidding, not that you haven’t figured that much out. First let me say that those who left messages or sent email asking if I was okay, I was touched. The fact that people wrote in hoping nothing bad had happened to me touched me. These are emails from people who technically never met me, didn’t know me, but were concerned. It makes you realize that there is some hope for humanity! Second, I really wanted to post some explanation on the site, but as I do not own it anymore, I was unsure if it was my place to do so. As I have said before, I do expect announcements to obviously be made at some point soon about what is going on. Third, thank you to all who have left messages or sent emails of support of my decision. It means a lot to me. As I have said on here before, this decision was not an easy one at all for me, but something I knew I had to do. I knew the site wouldn’t and couldn’t last forever. I knew my decision would piss a lot of people off, but what can I do? I can’t please everyone, even though I did spend a long time to no avail trying to do so with some :)

Again, a lot of people are coming here from links and referrals around the net. For those looking for a more in depth explanation, I’ll refer you to this post on the Primetime Dish blog where I tried to pull several posts from here together about it all.

-Dustin

For Those Joining Us Already In Progress . . . .
 

Okay I’m getting a good number of referrals to the blog at this point, probably from people searching for some answers. This is a long story short. I chose to sell my soap site to former advertisers on the page, who were interested in taking it over from me. I chose to sell because I was over-worked and over-stressed, I need to finish grad school at this point and to be honest I needed to regain some sanity in my life. I had stayed on for a period of time to continue running the site, but that time has ended. The new owners will be taking over the page and the updates, which should begin happening any day now. I assume a formal explanation will also be posted on the site as to what is going on. The site is also going to get a sleek new design probably within a month or two. Sorry, I know this is a short and half-assed explanation. If you search through the blog you’ll find more in depth updates from me on the matter.

-Dustin

A Watcher Verses The Watcher In The Woods
 

So I finally finished the book version of “A Watcher In The Woods,” which Disney made into the movie “The Watcher In The Woods” back in 1980 (the book originally published in 1976). As I said before, the same basic premise is in both, that Karen Alywood is missing and it’s up to Jan to find her from the clues left by “The Watcher,” but it’s as if Disney and the book’s author had two completely different versions of the story from there on out. Since I know someone will probably find the old post at some point through Google, I’m listing the major differences here between the two. If you’ve never watched the movie and intend to, this will spoil it all! If you’ve watched the movie and are curious to know how much Disney mucked up, keep reading. Again, this is only a list of the major differences, there are too many to count!

In the movie, Jan, her sister Ellie and parents apparently move from the US to England. Her father is a composer and took a job as a pianist there (or something music related, possibly at a school, I can’t recall). In the book the family moves from Ohio to Massachusetts, the father is an English professor and took a job at a college.

In the movie Mrs. Alywood rents the house to Jan’s family because Jan reminds her of her daughter Karen. She later looks to the words saying to the watcher “They are staying, is that what you wanted.” The watcher rustles the leaves. In the book she sells the house to them because the watcher tells her to by nodding her approval when they arrive. Mrs. Alywood looks to the woods for a sign.

In the movie Mrs. Alywood lives in a small servant’s cottage next to the main house. In the book there is no cottage, after selling the house she moves to a retirement community. However she does so knowing she won’t be staying there, that she would be reunited with Karen soon.

In the movie Ellie hears the watcher speaking to her, goes into trances and writes backwards on windows and mirrors. In the book she hears the watcher but only writes backwards on paper. Her father is the one who sees it and calls it “mirror writing.” The father and mother are much more integral in the book, learning about the watcher and helping Jan solve the mystery and reunite Karen and Mrs. Alywood.

In the movie Jan senses the watches is in the woods and even sees images of Karen in a broken mirror, an old church coffin and in a fun house mirror. In the book Jan does more than sense the watcher, she can feel what the watcher feels, when she’s happy, sad or frustrated. In the book Jan only sees Karen’s image once, in a hole in a large oak tree.

In the movie mirrors and glass crack in the form of triangles to represent the three friends that were with Karen when she disappeared. In the book mirrors crack in Xs. This is not fully explained why, but later it seems it is a countdown of days left to when the portal will open again.

In the movie Karen disappeared some 30 years ago during a special type of solar eclipse. She could be brought back during the next one, which was coming up in a few days. In the book Karen disappeared into a portal opened by aliens on another world who were sending a small child to earth to explore for the day. Karen was accidentally sucked into the portal, which is the hole in the oak tree. To the alien child, fifty earth years are but a day to her, so the portal is set to be open again on the 50th anniversary of Karen’s disappearance, or the next day to the alien watcher.

In the movie Karen’s friends are the ones who opened the portal. Will Keller, Tom Colly and Mary Flemming were inducting Karen into their secret society. They held hands around her to ask if she was worthy. The eclipse happened, lightening struck the church they were in and Karen vanished. They had opened the portal unknowingly and Karen and the watcher switched places. This is fully explained by the watcher at the end, speaking through Ellie. In the book it is explained by the watcher, using the family’s TV set, that her race on another world opened the portal for her to come through. The did so by all linking hands like in the movie. Karen was not supposed to be sucked through. When she was the people were startled, the link was broken and the door shut trapping Karen and the watcher. In the movie Karen was sucked through and trapped when Mary Flemming got scared and broke the circle of hands.

In the movie to bring Karen back, Jan gathers the original friends to hold the ceremony again at the proper time. In the book only Mary Flemming is a character, Will and Tom are nonexistant. Mary is still the mother of Jan’s love interest Mark (Mike in the movie). However she only serves the purpose to tell Jan the story of how Karen disappeared, which she learned from her mother as Mary didn’t even know Karen. In the book there is somewhat of a ceremony held by Jan, Ellie and Mrs. Aylwood at the portal tree, but not at the proper time. When they link hands they can all see (Mrs. Alywoods ability) hear (Ellie’s ability) and feel (Jan’s ability) the watcher. The watcher is a small humanoid child, short blond hair, a pointy chin, upturned nose and wears a long flowing white robe. The watcher explains to them that when the portal opens in a few days, Mrs. Alywood would be able to go in and rejoin with Karen, but she could not apparently return.

The movie ends with Jan and the original friends bringing back Karen. The book does not have such an ending. The book ends with the watcher explaining to them all that in a few days, the portal would open for Mrs. Alywood to go forth and find Karen. Jan explains in a final chapter that in a few days they would have to leave Mrs. Alywood alone at the portal when it was set to open, as if they all stayed and watched they’d all be sucked through with her just as Karen was. Mrs. Alywood would enter never to return, and the watcher would remain on earth for one more day before returning home herself, fifty years to them.

Is That The End? . . . Actually Janet, Yes It Is . . .
 

Sadly all obligations I have to the site have ended. I stayed on past when I was obligated to mainly out of concern and care for it, as it was my “baby.” However the point of selling was for me to be able essentially retire from the daily workings, the updates, the time consumption and the frustrations; to focus on school and moving on with my life. At this point my staying on as long as I have and any further is just defeating that purpose.

Open a new window,
Open a new door,
Travel a new highway,
That’s never been tried before;
Before you find you’re a dull fellow,
Punching the same clock,
Walking the same tight rope
As everyone on the block.
The fellow you ought to be is three dimensional,
Soaking up life down to your toes,
Whenever they say you’re slightly unconventional,
Just put your thumb up to your nose.
And show ‘em how to dance to a new rhythm,
Whistle a new song,
Toast with a new vintage,
The fizz doesn’t fizz too long.
There’s only one way to make the bubbles stay,
Simply travel a new high way,
Dance to a new rhythm,
Whistle a new love song,
Toast with a new vintage,
Open a new window ev’ry day!

-Auntie Mame