Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ControlTV: Outstanding Production and Entertainment

Hello blog, Face Book, and Twitter Nation. Here I sit, in Charlotte NC, nursing a hot cup of Starbucks (had to splurge today)and contemplating if there really is life after ControlTV.

I never realized just how much a person can go through in six weeks time. I took a look at my own life six weeks ago. Compared to now, I think I have made monumental changes in my life. I also believe that I have seen Tristan Couvares grow as an individual. Like many of my generation, I thought he was just another hot shot IT guy looking for a change in jobs and lifestyle. I quickly learned that it was more complicated then that. Tristan was and is a complex, scrutinizing (to the point of being very skeptical), and compassionate person. That, again, was not my first opinion of him. My view of him has changed from that first time I saw him on camera. I got to know him as a person. He got me to relate and understand the world as it is seen through his eyes. And his world, in the loft, was not an easy one to live. I believe Tristan has persevered and learned to be a stronger person through this entire project. He let us into every aspect of his life. Not all of it was pretty, nor was it easy to watch sometimes. But this was LIFE. You deal with what is thrown at you on a daily basis and learn from it. Tristan, I commend what you have lived through and look forward to seeing you become a success, at whatever you you, in Hollywood.

Now, how do I make it through the day without my daily fix of ControlTV? I haven't figured that one out yet. ControlTV had become a part of the routine in my house. It is going to be hard not to be watching it on a daily basis. There is going to be a big gap there. But, with life, you learn to roll with changes. I have a feeling that we're going to see ControlTV pop back up again. As a working member of the entertainment industry, I can normally sense when something has what it takes to be a success in Hollywood. I believe that the creators have caught on to something here that has not been previously explored in any broadcast medium. They've achieved the careful balance between reality television and true entertainment. You have been successful when you can hold an audiences attention, on a daily basis, over a period of six weeks. That is unheard of in the television industry. Sorry, guys, I know this is the web. I'm a little old school television and motion pictures. So, this medium, for this old fella, was originally hard for me to catch on to. However, I now see that this is the future of broadcasting television. I sincerely believe that this is a view the future of television entertainment. Kudos go out from the top down. EP's, directors, producers, field producers, camera and sound, administrative and creative departments have all excelled at ControlTV. All of you can be very proud at what you have done and achieved over the last six weeks.

Okay, I know, you're probably snoozing yourself by now. I myself have been rolled up into the term "Controller". Avid daily viewer, voter, Twitterer, and chatter. I become involved, interacted with, and have been very much entertained with ControlTV.

I, myself, plan to introduce, based on my viewing of ControlTV, a project called "LifeCast". That is a term I have learned from Jen Friel, who I consider to be a leader in the future of social networking. I am invigorated and pumped up about lifecasting through my viewing of her site, TalkNerdytomelover.com, her Tweets, interactions with people, and her insights into daily life. Keep up the great job, Jen. I truly believe that I have been living the life as a nerd for 34 years. Is that what they mean by coming out of the closet? No, I am not Gay, just a nerd and proud of it! I truly believe that being a nerd is the new sexy. My wife would tell you that is true. #NerdsUnite!

Well, that is what I have to say. ControlTV, we will miss you. But we'll still be around in chats at Dreamupdates.com/chat. And I am sure we will continue to Tweet about it. I will continue to produce ControlTVPod cast, as long as there is an interest. Plus, all of us will keep on the producers about season 2. We want to be involved (looking for the audition and casting call) with the next season. We also hope that all the original playas will be back in production. We'd also like to see Tristan back in some form to help the next "victim" cope with life that has become known as "ControlTV".

Leave y'all with the words of a very wise being - "Do, or do not, there is no try."

Randall Melton

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ControlTV: Best Entertainment on the web

Greetings one and all. You've probably noticed that I have not blogged for some time. I used to blog fairly often when If I Can Dream (IICD) was running. Sort of taken a break since the demise of IICD. That is the subject of an entirely different blog to come.

I wanted to hold off on blogging on the new web-based series, ControlTV, until it was near the end of their six week run. I guess I just wanted to make sure that they stuck around for the entire six weeks. Many of us IICD viewers were stunned when IICD just up and stopped the feed without warning. I now know I can offer my view of what I have part a part of for the last six weeks. Six weeks is along time to hold my interest. As a part of the entertainment business, I am very selective in what I watch. So, for me to watch anything, continuously, over six weeks, had to be entertaining.Plus, I found the interactive part of ControlTV very appealing. We had a little taste of that with IICD. ControlTV went far beyond anything that IICD did.

Our star (and yes, I consider Tristan Couvares a star) started out a little rocky. As I watched, I found the premise of the show very appealing and different from anything I had seen on the web. I was not sure what the appeal was at first. I had just learned (yes, at age 52, I can still learn something new)Twitter while watching IICD. So, I plugged in ControlTV to my TweetDeck and proceeded to have the time of my life. I found myself watching at home and at work. In fact, I have configured my laptop to boot up to TweetDeck and IE with ControlTV as the home page.

The interactivity just just didn't stop at the use of Twitter. Tristan actively participated in one on one responses with viewers. We offered our options and Tristan honestly told us his thoughts. Dream Updates, who had offered updates on IICD, now did updates on Tristan and his activities. I found myself making Dream Updates as part of my morning routine. Dream Updates also offered a fully interactive chat room for us "Controllers". That also became a part of my daily routine. I eagerly looked forward to participating in the up front, straight forward conversations with other viewers, Tristan, guests, and the production staff. At first, Tristan didn't come into chat much. Toward the end, Tristan has made the chat room a nightly activity.

I will first tell you that I know that I could not have done the job that Tristan has done in the "loft". I am a behind the scenes guy in production. I do not like being in front of the camera. I also highly value my privacy. I can't imagine the psychological effect that those cameras would have. Tristan, buddy, you have done well to tolerate our invasion to your personal privacy. I admire you for signing up for this kind of constant coverage. Plus, the constant picking apart of of your decisions. Well, I know I would not have handled that very well.

We have seen Tristan on dates, at parties, possible job opportunities, nights on the town, and evenings with his friends at the loft. All under our, The Controllers, contact watching and comments. Again, we have been afforded the chance to see life in Hollywood. It isn't as easy as it looks.

In addition to all the activities, we have seen a large step forward in the technology used to broadcast (not sure that is the right term)a project like this. As a geek, and yes, Jen Friel, a nerd too, I am excited to see this technology used for a new form of entertainment. Everyone involved in the technical operation of the project has far exceeded anything I have seen on the web. You all can be extremely proud of the job you have done. You have set the standard for all other web shows to follow. I was very happy to finally see someone get mobile (in the Fiesta) video as good as they have done. I realise that the tech side of a production offer goes uncredited and unthanked for what they do. Again, all of you should be proud at what you have accomplished.

I also managed to get myself, and my personal life, tied up into the daily interactivity. It was fun to be able to share special times with all The Controllers, Tristan, and the production staff. I received a lot of personal encouragement for everyone. I can't tell you how that made me feel. I truly felt like a member of the ControlTV "family".

I also assisted Anders in producing a weekly half hour PodCast on the activities of ControlTV. We got the opportunity to talk to Jen Friel, Marni Battista, and Maurya Couvares. They allowed us to get a glimpse of what it was like to be involved in this tend setting project. Thank you for giving me that opportunity.

Now they are at their end of this six week experiment. Have they accomplished what they set out to do? Well, if it was to entertain, they did accomplish that. I have laughed, cried, yelled, giggled, and talked to (might need a little therapy) the monitor on many occasions. Both Alina and I have found ourselves fully engrossed with ControlTV. I also believe they set out to educate both Tristan, and us, of what life is like in the entertainment field. They surpassed my expectations.

So, in closing, I would like to thank Tristan. I hope you find your path through what you have learned during this past six weeks. Doug, Ryan, Matt, Seth, Ken, Orlan, Corey, Marco, Kristan, Kimberly, Shayna, Shara, and to anyone I might have forgot, thank you for keeping my life exciting. You all have done an excellent job. We all certainly expect to see good things out of all of you. If can ever help, any of you, just ask.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

IICD to the past, ControlTV to the future

Well, here it has been, one week since the demise of IICD. Yes, I said demise. I don't believe that we will see IICD return in its current form. It will probably be retooled to a 30 minute TV series on Fox next year. The way that this was announced (not really announced -just quit) was a slap in the face to its many dedicated viewers. 19 should have given this cancelation alot more thought than they did. It was wrong just to suddenly announce - to viewers and Dreamers alike - to stay tuned for season 2. In the television business, you just don't burn an entire group of viewers and expect them to return for the next season. What goes around, comes around. That is very true for the television business.

I will miss watching Ben, Kara, Alex, and Gig on a daily basis. I wish them all the best in their futures in the entertainment business. I credit them with inspiring me to persue my dream of going to work in the television business. I owe that to them.

I did recently discovered Seth Green's www.controltv.com while suffering through my IICD withdrawl symptoms. I have found that it is very entertaining to just watch one person, Tristan Couvares, wander his way through L.A. for the next six weeks. Viewers get to frequently vote on what Tristan should do next. The producers have created an excellent environment for their star. I have found that both Tristan, and the producers, seem to be very open to viewers suggestions and ideas.

Well, that is all I have time for. I will try to get myself on a better blog schedule.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Dream Continues . . .

Yeah, I know, it has been too long since my last post. As I said before, I don't post unless I have something contructive to say. I don't write just to see my own words up on the screen.

I have just watched episode 17 of If I Can Dream - Go Nude or Go Home. I really feel that my respect for Kara and Alex has increased. It is the organization that Gig, Ben, and Justin should question. I felt they jumped in without knowing who they were getting involved with. Sometimes

PETA is widely known, amoung the humane organizations, as an extreamist, far left animal rights group. So, you're asking where do I get off talknig about them like this? I have been running a no-kill, animal rescue and adoptin shelter for the last seven years. Plus, I also speak of my personal dealings with PETA.

Two years ago, PETA came to Halifax County North Carolina, to rescue unwanted cats. That is how they represented themselves to our community. Both young and old people gladly gave up their unwanted cats to this PETA couple. These two representatives were operating out of PETA's Norfolk Virginia world headquarters. They told all who they received animals from that the cats would be taken back to Norfolk and be adopted out. We, as naive as we are, believed them. However, what they did was 180 degrees opposite.

These two PETA representatives (remember what PETA stands for - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)took over 45 cats, illegally put the animals down, placed them in trash bags and tossed them into a supermarket dumpster. First of all, neither rep was a licensed vet. In North Carolina, you have to be a licensed vet to put an animal down. Second, what they did constitues animal abuse - which is a felony in all 50 states. We all felt betrayed when we learned this. People lost their trust in us - because we recommended our friends to give up their animals to them. I, for one, and our organization, Down East Animal Refuge, does not like to be made fools of.

We approached the national PETA leadership regarding this issue. They NEVER denied that this was their intention. However, they deceived people into giving up, sometimes their loving pets, to PETA, thinking they were going to get loving homes. So, you'll understand why I question PETA's motives.

I understand that PETA is looking the animal rights issue from a much bigger picture. However, it is the princple of this issue. Animals are animals. You can't have it both ways, PETA. You either protect ALL animals, or, you don't protect them at all. You can't pick and choose the animals you want to protect. Killing animals for their skin is wrong. So is putting loving pets down and deceiving people. PETA does all these high impact, controversial ads. They spend millions on getting their word out. It is too bad that PETA can't funnel that money into our communities to support local shelters.

Okay, okay. I'll get off my soap box. Tell me what you think? Do you think that Justin, Ben, and Giglianne had the right intentions? Do you feel that they picked the right organization to go with? Let's hear it. Again, kudos to Kara and Alex for standing their ground.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Week 14 in the If I Can Dream House

Remember what I said about my blogging? I only blog when I feel like I have something useful to say. It has been about two weeks since my last post. Nothing since then, in the house, has inspired me to blog. However, during the last two weeks, I have made some observations. Thus the reason for this post. Again, I do not write for writing sake. I do love to see my stuff in print. I am certainly not going to write and just ramble on.

First notable observation from the last two weeks - the lack of Justin Gaston and Alex Lambert's presence in the house. I realise that most of what they might have to do takes place outside of the house. Being out of the house also means that you are being productive. We can't be sure of that because we can't see that process. However, I look back at when If I Can Dream first started. We did see songwriters and musicians in the house with Justin. Now, we rarely see Justin in the house working on his music with others. So, we do know that he can work on his art in the house. But, for some reason, Justin has migrated that process out of the house and out of the sight of his fans. Is this because of the strict requirements of coming into the house? Is it just a personal perference of Justin's? We don't know. No one has ever asked him and Michael has never addressed it. Well, if IICD wants to keep all those Justin Gaston fans happy, then it might be wise to speak up about this.

Same goes for Alex Lambert. We have been seeing Alex's creative process throughout the last several weeks. Watching this process unfold on live stream has surely built up Alex's fan base. Plus, there are those of us who have always been interested in seeing how this creative process works. I now have a greater appreciation for what singer/songwriters have to go through. Now, Alex has seems to follow in Justin's footsteps and has taken some of that creative process outside of the house. Surely this is not what Simon Fuller had originally envisioned for this project. I have liked seeing Alex grow as a musician, singer, and as a person. But now I feel we, their loyal fans and viewers, are being left out. Again, I do not know if this is a choice that Alex has made, or someone has made for him.

Next, I have observed some tension between Alex and Giglianne. This all results from what I have just written about. Alex stated that all Gig does is lay on her bed all day in front of the computer. I think that comes from Alex not really being aware of what kind of time, effort, and work Giglianne has put into her dream. High fashion is just as competitive as being a successful singer or songwriter. Giglianne has been on alot of photo shoots, has networked with alot of people, and is making every effort to do what she wants to do. I think it is not fair of Alex to make comments about Giglianne's seemingly lack of work. Alex, take a look at what she has done and where she has come from since she first started. Being a model surely has alot more down time than being a singer/songwriter. You are applying your work ethic to her craft. You can't do that. Your two professions can't be more different. Plus, if you spent more time in the house, you might see that Giglianne does alot more work toward her craft than you may think.

Ben and Kara, our two actors. Like Giglianne and Alex's profession, being an actor is so diversely different from that of a model or a singer. Ben and Kara invest large amount of their time going over monologs, dialects, acting classes, and auditions. I truly admire the time that they have put into their craft. They are very dedicated and very concerned about the quality of their work. That comes across in their acting classes with John Kirby. I do think, more often than not, that Ben and Kara get "stuck" in the house alone. This has happened alot in the last several weeks. They have not wasted that time alone. Their time has been spent perfecting their craft. But I am a little concerned over their social, or lack thereof, lives. That may not be my business. As a loyal fan of them both, I feel like they are searching for something. Kara has has some core friends that come over. We haven't seen Ben go out on many dates or bring dates to the house. Hey, guys, we are here for you.

Michael, we need to hear from you a little more often. A Tweet session, maybe with you, Claire, and Kirsten might shine a little light on what you guys do, how you do it, and what it takes to keep this project running. I commend you all for an execellent program. And, as a geek, I would like to see more about those unsung people at 19 who work in the control room, garage, camera & sound people, and photographers. There is a story to tell there. Why not tell it?

Okay. Enough of this rant. Tell me what you think?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

If I Can Dream - Episode 12 - It is STILL a Dream

I'll be the first to tell you, episode 12 was not an easy episode to watch. I already knew what this particular episode was going to be about. Normally, with any other show, I would have probably steered clear of watching it. But, like my friends in the Dream House, you have to learn to accept the good as well as the bad news. That is part of of life. Unfortunately, being an actor, musician, or model, life is full of rejection and you learn to deal with the word "no". Okay, enough of that rant. Like an actor, I had to emotionally prepare myself to watch what I knew would be difficult scenes to watch. I traditionally watch the episodes early in the morning when it is quiet.

It is funny, even though I knew the outcome of this, I was still emotionally attached to the people in If I Can Dream. Some may say that is creepy. Well, I just like to see people doing what they love to do. I feel terrible inside when I see someone's dreams dashed. It wasn't any less emotional for me even though I knew how this story would end.

I think back to the morning that Michael appeared at the house, with camera and sound guys in tow, to have a meeting with all the residents of the Dream House. I knew something major was about to happen. Sometimes, even though there is a great distance involved, you can sense the emotional energy through the video. I watched the meeting and made a Tweet comment that this was one of those "I speak and you listen" meetings. And it was.

It was now good to finally see the portions after that mornnig meeting that we could see. It was like the viewers had seen the start and the end of a story. But had missed the bridge between the beginning and the end. Most of us knew that there are people in the house that are safe, meaning that, barring a major problem, would probably never be asked to leave. Michael has a keen sense of knowing where the bumps in the road were at. I watched as they individually came into this office to their meetings.

At first, I wasn't too attached to Ben or Kara. But, after this, and some of the events in the house, they have become my favorites. I could see that Ben very much wanted to be there. In my mind, Ben has come along way since he first got there. Michael agreed and Ben was going to stay right there. They all agreed that they had some weaknesses. But, as Giglianne is fond of saying, " I have to step it up," is so true of all of them. Gig has grown immensely in the last month of photo shoots. Justin is getting the opportunities of a life time and is heading road the right path. Alex is full of talent and drive. And, as Michael said, Alex still needs to grow up alittle. Finally, it was Amanda's turn. There was where I started to get tears in my eyes.

It was so difficult to see Amanda speak on what she had long remained silent on. We all knew from scenes in the house, that she had problems with the lack of personal freedom. I had Tweeted her once that after being in the Navy for 20 years, I knew what she was talknig about. It was difficult for her to admit. This is one of the things I like about Amanda. Is that she is not afraid to speak her mind. It was clear that this had been something she had been thinking about for a while. Michael handled the situation very well. That has as probably hard for him as well as it was for Amanda.

At one point, Amanda got in the Fiesta to head home, she turned to the camera and said, "Did I just F up my life?" Amanda, I have been theer many times. I felt that way the day I joined the Navy at age 25. But, I made that decision because it was what I felt was the right thing to do. I am sure that Amanda knew that this was the right decision for her. She is a fighter and we wil see her again in Hollywood. Sure, she may have to struggle alittle. But, that is part of life. We've all had times that we struggled in order to do the things we want to do.

Then she got home. I am sure that was the longest drive back to the house for her. Now she had to face her friends, people she had grown close to over the last several months. We have all been in her position once or twice during our lives. So, we could relate what she was going through. Once at home, the tears continued agian. I remember watch the feed on that Friday night. That is about the most emotion I had seen in the Dream House. And,as being on the receiving end of sad news like this, I also knew what Kara and Ben were going through. My heart went out to Kara. I knew that the two of them had formed an emotional bond. And they relied on one another for support. It was really sad to watch Kara and Ben deal with Amanda's leaving the house. But they dealt with it well. I respect them so much and appreciate that they are sharing this part of their lives with us.

Some, like Alex and Giglianne, were not so surprised that Amanda had decided to leave. Their words were slightly stinging, were truthful and sincere. That is where that respect comes in. I respect them both for being honest and straight with themselves and with us. I know it wasn't easy to hear Alex say that he felt that Amanda just didn't put the time into her craft. And it wasn't easy to hear Giglianne say that she would not miss Amanda. Again, I may not agree with them. But I respect their opinions.

Okay, now the episode is over and we're down to five in the house. Now everyone is back and is focused with the matter at hand. This is one of those emotional low points. We have them. We've all been through them. And we all have dealt with them. Everyone in the house has clearly learned a valuable lesson from Amanda's departure. One lesson, which I think sunk in even deep through this event, is that you have to make some personal sacrafices in order to get to where you want to be in life. All our Dreamers, Alex, Ben, Kara, Giglianne, and Justin have their eyes on the prize.

That my my blog for this Super Tuesday. I know, he's quiet all week until Tuesday. well, I don't write unless I have something to say. I guess that is the journalist in me coming out. After all, I spent 20 years as a journalist in the Navy. I wrote on alot of things that others wanted me to write on. Now, it's my turn. I want to hear what your thoughts are, good or bad. Speak your mind.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If I Can Dream Episode 11 - The Emotional Rollercoaster

First of all, to the editors and producers, that was the best episode of the series. I felt that this episode explored the entire range of emotions that make up the six members of If I Can Dream. I came away from the episode very emotionally satisfied. I laughed, cried, chuckled, and even tossed back some comments as the episode progressed.

We got to see emotions from Ben, Amanda, Giglianne, Alex, Kara, and Justin that we had not seen before. That gave me a sense that they were all human and had their breaking points. Some were diplomatic, like Kara's confrontation with Alex, to Alex's vocal reactions at the family meeting. We got to see the humorous side of Kara sneaking up on Amanda. Only to see later in the episode Kara running upstairs, crying, from Kristen's questions about Brandt. Then it swung back to the more serious with Kara's, Amanda's and Ben's audition. Even the preview of the next episode tugged on your emotions.

That preview really made my eyes tear up once again. It is funny how you react to seeing a story unfold that you already know the ending to. You could sense that Amanda had already been thinking some of things that Michael was talking about. It really hit home for her when he said if something isn't working, then we need to get rid of it. You could sense, just from that short preview, that there were emotions bubbling just below the surface. I am eager to see the next episode that explores those meetings. I am sure episode 12 will be as much as an emotional rollercoaster as this episode was.

Great job one and all. This episode only strengthens my reasons for watching If I Can Dream. You all have proven to be very likable, entertaining, professional, and, sometimes, very child like. There isn't anything wrong with that last quality, in moderation of course.

Something related to all this, I have found myself swinging back, looking at the MySpace auditions. I think it will be an interesting process of who next moves into the House of Dreams. It was a painstaking process to select the current six house mates. I am sure the creators and producers have all learned something during this last week. I know they will take all that in consideration when someone is selected. Surely the potential artists are also going to learn from the events in the house.

Finally, Executive Producer Michael Herwick reminds me of what would happen if you rolled up Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi together. His cannot be an easy job. Stay away from the dark side, Michael! Michael, keep up the great work.

Okay, enough of all that. Let's get some feedback on this and my other posts of this week.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Amanda gone but not forgotten

I sit here feeling like I have lost a member of the family. Strange that I would form such an attachment to a TV show and one of its participants. I did realize that I have alot of time invested in watching If I Can Dream. It is like the members in the Dream House are like my extended family. What happens to one sends ripples out to the viewers. Needles to say, Amanda's departure did bring a tears to my eyes. I guess I have grown acustomed to her presence, humor, work, and strenght. To me there seems to be a big gap in the Dream House now. Amanda fulfilled that carefully planned balance that brought all these people together for common goals. It is my sincere hope that the executive producer moves quickly to fill that gap. Because, if he doesn't, there may be people that might be finding themselves moving on from If I Can Dream. Sure, one person does not make a home or family. However, Amanda was a piece of that puzzle that brought the big picture together at times. Those are some big shoes that the producers have to fill.

It is my sincere wishes that Amanda eventually returns to Hollywood and finally achieves her dreams. Amanda, we want you to know that we're out here to support you, or, for you to lean on during a time of need. You will always have a place in our hearts and minds. I am sure that you have alot of fans that look up to you. I could not think of a better role model for young people to look up to than you.

I also found myself over on the If I Can Dream MySpace page looking at the auditions. I don't envy the producers. There is a lot of fine talent out there. While watching them, I knew, maybe a little, of what the judges on American Idol go through during auditions and the show. Who is going to make it and who is going home. Just as long as no one says I am Simon. Yo, Dawg! why do you diss me like that? - HaHa. We look forward to seeing some of these top ten visit the house. I certainly hope the viewers have a say so as to who is the next one to get their lucky break in the Dream House.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Week That Was

I just thought how strange it is for me to blog on the people in the If I Can Dream house and not my own life. Well, hell, I don't want to put people to sleep - HaHa.

Needless to say that some of my predictions inside the house held true this week. Some, not so good. I was wrong about Casey leaving American Idol. It was, instead, Aaron. I guess I better start taking a more feminine look on the elimination of Idols. Why would you vote to keep someone in based solely on their looks? No, surely the American public is not that shallow? Well, as Gomer Pyle would say, suprise, surprise, surprise.

The one other prediction - that Fridays and Tuesdays are key days in events that shape the Dream House, still holds true. This is evident from the events of Friday, May 8.

I should of sensed something major was up when I saw executive Producer Michael Herwick and the camera crew at the house at 9:30 yesterday morning. This results of this meeting would eventually effect the entire house and one of the Dreamers in particular.It was dead silence as Michael spoke for about 30 minutes. This was one of those "I speak and you listen" meetings. Michael said it was time for a reality check, to see what worked and didn't work. I have to appreciate Michael's job. He is the cog that makes the entire production run. He said it was evident, from the viewers, that some changes had to be made. If the viewers weren't happy, then viewers would not tune in. No viewers, no sponsors, no show.

Well, I didn't think much of it after the meeting was over. Michael would be having meetings throughout the day with everyone. I was sure that there would be another house meeting down the road to discuss what happened in those meetings. Everyone went on their way for the days activities.

All was well into the afternoon. Amanda had her a reverse Tweet session. Which was very proactive of her to do. Amanda has been a real trouper through the last two months. The day fell apart when Amanda returned from her meeting with Michael. My first inclination that something wasn't right was when I heard both Kara and Amanda crying. I turned my attention back to the monitor and clicked into the living room. It took me only a minute to realize why the two of them were crying. I was able to hear Amanda say she had decided to leave the house voluntarily. I thought, "Oh, my, God, what in the world?" Amanda stated that it had become too restrictive inside the house. All of this stemmed from not being able to go out when she wanted and restricted to the house on certain days.

Alright, you're going to say I shouldn't have let this effect me the way it has. I really hate to see someone give up on their dreams. Well, at least the way they were going about obtaining that dream. It saddens me that Amanda has given in to her lack of independence. My only hope is that she has given this alot of thought. This is a life changing decision. That decision surely could not have been an easy one for her. I fear her decision may have come without alot of thought. I wondered if she had talked to Dan. If it had been me, I would have wanted someone to talk me out of leaving. In my opinion, I think Amanda made a decision based on the moment and her emotions. I really feel that she may long regret her actions of yesterday. I know that Dan will support and help her.

So, now you're probably wondering where I come off saying all this. Well, I speak on this based on experience. First of all, I grew up in L.A., worked my summers interning at Disney, Warner Brothers, and NBC Television studios. I saw what the actors life was like. I realized then I wanted to move from in front of the camera to behind it. Second, I spent 20 years in the Navy. I know what it is like to have my freedom severely limited, do things I don't like to do, and go places that I would have perfered not to go to - like combat zones. Once in boot camp, at age 25, my first thought is, "what the hell am I doing here?" Then, I wanted to quit. Well, you learn that you just can't quit the military. People told me if I could make it through the next six months, then I could make it through 20 years. It was rough. I learned to build up my self-confidence and learn from my mistakes. The other rough part was being constantly separated from my family. Another thing I can relate to what Amanda is going through.

Well, Amanda, you know that your fans will remain true to you. This is just one small hrudle you have to get over. You have to pick yourself up, brush of the dirt, and move on. We all know you have what it takes to be a sucessful actress. Only advice, based on my experience with Hollywood, is the you have to toughen up that exterior. Rejection is very hard to accept. But, it is part of being an actress. We'll stay with you, amanda, like you stayed with us.

Okay, that is my rant for the day. Please leave your comments. I want to know what y'all are thinking.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Super Tuesday

Well, here it is Tuesday again. My, how time flys when you're having fun! I wanted to make some comments about the current IICD episode and the preview of next week.

I thought that Ben and Giglianne came across as natural talent. Did they never burn it up. Who'd a thought it? Casting director had a good sense of pairing the right people for the video.I am eager to see the video. I have no doubt that both Giglianne and Ben with be succesful at whatever they do.

I love to see the passion that Alex has for his music. It is inspsiring to see someone go after what they want with such gusto. I may disagree with his attitude and actions in the house. But, I respect his talents and abilities. He will make it big. I just hope he gets the right talent agency to represent him and get a good manager.

Nice to see Justin getting a chance to perform at some concerts this summer. I think Usher gave him some very good advice. Now he has to go about picking his band. I don't envy him.

I didn't think the episode was too fair to Amanda. It showed her texting while Ben was trying to reherse. It kept cutting back and forth between Ben and Amanda. Being a 20 year Navy veteran, I understand what long distance relationships are like. They aren't easy. But, if you love one another, then it can only make that bond stronger. You go, Amanda. You're a fighter and you don't pull any punches. We all love yo uthe way you are.

Wwe didn't get to see much of Kara this time around. Only saw her in the audition for the video. I did see her in the previews for next week. I am not gonig to rehash or dig up the stuff that happened last week. However, from the previews, I think it will dredge it all back up again. It wil ldepend all on how it is edited. And I know editors. Stay strong, Kara. I love the way you are able to foregive people. A true quality that is missing from alot of people.

The best part of last week was Kevin Sorbo. Boy, what a wealth of information that man is. I know they were all listening to what he had to say. I liked him in Hercules and Andromeda. I like him even more for his straightforwardness.

To end the week, I found out I have won a video shout out from the house from the Flobots promotion. I enjoyed that. Now they have a 35 member SuperFan promotions department to call upon. Boy, you couldn't pay for that marketing.

That's all for today. Tell me what you think. Hey, please follow my blog if you like what you see.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

When Practical Jokes Have Gone Too Far

I normally don't play into this one on one upsmanship on practical jokes. Hey, I like a good practical joke here and there. While in the Navy, I had my fair share played on me. And I participated in several too. But my friends and I all knew where to draw the line at being funny and personally injuring someones health.

Let's talk about the escalating practical jokes inside the Dream House. I am not sure if some of these practical jokes would be as funny if there wasn't 60 cameras streaming it out to the world. I am sure that is some of the motivation behind these humorous pranks.

I do know that these jokes have increased since Alex LAmbert has moved into the house. Sure, there were some minor pranks before that and we all got a good laugh out of it. Now, it seems that the practical jokes have turned a little vindictive and mean. Sure, it started with the bed wetting practical jokes, followed by Alex getting water and chocolate pudding dumped on him. All relatively harmless pranks. You laugh at it and then move on. Not so in the case of Alex.

We have seen Alex sneaking around the house trying to get back at Gig. Some appear relatively harmless. But, this last one, peeing into a bottle of shampoo, definately shows signs that it is getting out of hand. This one, unlike the jokes played on Alex, is endangering the health of several people. Someone needs to take that young man and deliver some common sense to him. If not, this will end with someone really getting hurt.

I ask that someone Alex looks up to, a mentor, or executive producer perhaps, sit down with him and explain the consequences of his actions. I have nothing but respect for Alex's talents. However, his personal life, and how he interacts with everyone, has alot to be desired.

Okay, my rant has gone on loog enough. Please, post a comment and tell me what you think?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday in the House of Dreams

News on the home front. Kristen Kelly is up to her old tricks again., Many of us viewers can no longer tolerate it. Several dedicated watchers have decided to quit watching because of Kristen. She did drive Kara to tears this morning. I have the distinct feeling that KK is under marching orders from the producers. I doubt that anyone can be the rude, crude,and abusive that KK was toward Kara without guidence from her bos. She was trying the same with Ben and Giglianne. You're right, just walk away for it next time. I just can't believe that KK does not do what she does without the express permission from Michael Herwick, the Executive Producer.I've seen KK drive Gig to tears too. I am not easily shocked anymore. I know other viewers are uncomfortable with her line of questioning.

One final comment, KK should not be in a position of contact with people in the house or be on camera. Not sure sacking her would help. The results of all this? A possible bad image for the show, the producers, and the company the is producing the show. Bad image, no interest; no interest, no viewers; no viewers, no advertisers; no advertisers, no show.

This is all on top of our disagrements with what Chef Caitlin is doing and the way that Lindsay Jones was ushered out as chef. I can't imagine that IICD ca nafford to lose viewers. There such thing as counter word of mouth - people will start saying you shouldn't watch that show. We don't want to see that happen. We have truly grown close to our friends in the house. We are concerned of what happens to Amanda, Ben, Kara, Giglianne, Justin, and Alex. They are already under enough stress as there is. Why let a member of our own staff deliberately cause more friction in the house? Okay. That's my two cents worth. Lets hear your side.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Life as I see it

Good Sunday morning all. I have a little time before heading out to Mass this morning. I always have to go early because of confessional. I think the Father is a little weary of asking me if I have sinned this week. We'll, some weeks are better than others. I also believe that confessing is good for your soul. I better get off the topic of religion. I know how this topic can be so non-pc these days.

I am still watching the If I Can Dream house. I am amazed that alot of what I see there, as far as interaction, conversations, emotions,and love are all things I experienced at that age. It all brings back good memories. I also think it is interesting to watch as someone else's life plays out in front of a worldwide audience. God help them if there were cameras here. Big snooze fest - LoL. In any case, one of the big conversations of the week, besides Tim Urban, was what Chef Caitlin did one night last week. The results from what she did are interesting, humorous, and may have some serious consequences down the down for several people. Everyone who watches is familar with what happened. It will condense it here.

Chef Caitlin came in on Wednesday with a half dozen bags of groceries. She opened the refer and freezer and soon found that there was not enough room to put said groceries away. So, her next logical step was to start routing through the food on both sides. She tossed foods that she deemed unhealthy into the trash (with help from Justin). She said she would donate some of the tosseed items to a food bank. The rest of it went into the trash.

Well, her heart may be in the right place. But how she went about this was completely inappropriate. She first of all, she exercised her beliefs on the rest of the people in the house by tossing the food that had been personally bought. Out went Ben's salad dressing, some of Amanda's food, and almost all of Alex's frozen food. If I were her, I would have told everyone that what was in the refer and freezer was it. After this, she would, without notice, toss unhealthy food out. That way everyone would know about it and prepare for it. Second, everyone in the house are adults (don't say it). They can handle this. Life is full of these little set backs. If she had a little respect for their personal wants, then this would have come off as a good teaching lesson. It instead is going to come back to bite her (I know, poor choice of words).

How has everyone reacted to this? Well, maybe we're making a mountain out of a molehill. But, it is the princple of the matter. Justin should have spoken up when Caitlin was tossing food he knew people had paid for. He should have asked her to hold off until everyone was there. However, she selected a night when Justin and Alex were the only ones present. Ben was the first to discover the stuff that was tossed. I know he was too pleased that his dressing got tossed as being unhealthy. Ben promptly put it all back in the freezer. Well, Ben, come on. That stuff had been sitting out for five to six hours.I certainly would not have put it all back in the freezer. Again, you heart was in the right place. But someones stomach could have paid the price of eating that stuff. Alex, well, probably could have cared less. He said no big deal and went about eating it anyway. So much for tossing it, huh Caitlin? I don't beleive that either Giglianne or Kara had food in there. But we know that Amanda did.

We all love Amanda for her straightforwardness and not pulling any punches. We always know that Amanda is going to tell us like it is. That is a fine quality in any person. So few people speak their minds these days. If is refreshing to find one that does and isn't concerned what other people may think. I think Amanda has finally discovered what happened.I do beleive that Amanda can confront Caitlin, tactfully, about all this. If not, she can resort to speaking like a sailor (I understand those words because I was a Navy sailor for 20 years). If anyone in the house that can set Caitlin straight it will be Amanda. We love you, girl. Don't let Hollywood change you!

God, did I just go on for a full page about this - LoL! Well, it bothers me when adults resort to acting like kids to get their point across. It also bothers me that people do this type of thing behind everyones back, If Caitlin feels so strong about healthy food, she could have confronted all of them. And, as before, she could have turned it into a good teaching lesson.

I know, I am biased. Everyone knows I have a place in my heart for Chef Lindsay Jones. She truly made watching cooking fun again. Her style in the kitchen is made for this new project of Simon Fuller's. She is part of that genration that has and is growing up within this conencted society we live in.Caitlin, I have nothing but respect for your craft and what you do. It is your delivery methods I disagree with.

Okay, we got that out. Another life's lesson put in electronic bytes for the masses to read.

Remember, these are my thoughts and opinions. I know that we all don't share the same opinion. I'd like to hear yours. That is why I write this blog. I like social interaction. I beleive we would all learn from it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life and Times

Well, I continue to enjoy watching If I Can Dream.It takes the boredom out of the day and I find it very entertaining. I still can't bring myself to watch them sleep or even when they go into the bathroom. I have learned what you can achieve once you put your mind to it. All of those who are in the house have what it takes to be successful in Hollywood. They have all been given a great opportunity that most actors and musicians would kill for.No one, as far as I can see, has squandered this opportunity.There have been some hiccups. Recently there was talk in the house about the difficulty of keeping up with Twitter and Face Book. Some even said it was a distraction and others said they were going to stop using the social networking sites all together.As I told some of my other "SuperFan" friends on Twitter, contact with your fans is very important. You can't take it for granted that all of those who are following you today will follow you tomorrow. There could be fan backlash if you say that answering fans is too much of a burden. I realize that right now they may not see the importance of staying in contact with their fans. However, I believe that building a fan base right now will help them further their career. Casting directors and producers like to have actors with an already built fan appeal. That is going to sell tickets at the box office or have more people tune in.

The one thing I can say about each episode of If I Can Dream, it is definately getting better as time goes on. We are starting to see some of the other sides of the house guests that we have not seen before. I specially like to see the preparation involved with both Justin's and Brooke's Idol appearence and Giglianne's photo shoots. The one thing that you notice with all this is that you must have patience. It is alot of hurry up and wait. A week of preparation and it is over in three minutes. Same goes for the photo shoots. Hours and hours of preperation and only minutes in front of the camera. Oh, such is life in show business. Keep it up Amanda, Kara, Justin, Ben, Giglianne, and Alex. Great work. I know you all will be successful at what you do.

Onward and forward with the day.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Well, Friday could not get here sooner. Weather is going to be very spring like today, mid 70's. Maybe I'll be in the mood to do that spring cleaning I have been putting off for so long. Going to prepare for our (Down East Animal Refuge) Wellness and Rabies Clinic tomorrow. Always a busy event in our small town. It is almost like a social event. I get caught up on all the juicy town gossip - LoL! Still making preparations on the Kentucky Derby Fundraiser. Plus, we're moving right along on our first ever Micro Chipping Clinic on June 26. Oh, my, 45 shows in my Hulu queue! Well, must be all that time watching If I Can Dream! Watching my friends Justin, Amanda, Giglianne, Ben, Kara, and Problem Child is worth it. Makes me feel homesick for Los Angeles. As my friends here say, once a Yankee, always a Yankee, no matter now long you have lived in the south! I'm from the south! Southern California that is! Make it a great day my friends. God bless.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dog Fighting

I saw something on the news last night that deeply, deeply disturbed me. Apparently a man (I use that term loosely here) was arrested in Duplin County NC for running the 5th largest dog fighting ring in the country. The report says that members of the Atlanta Humane Society, a private security firm, and local law enforcement busted the ring yesterday. Apparently over 33 fighting dogs were taken in and seen by vets before being transported to undisclosed locations. The report also stated that this may have been going on for over 40 years. Okay, here is one of the many things, besides it being dog fighting, that bothers me. How can something going on that long not be known to the surrounding residences? Why didn't his neighbors report this long ago? This man had a previous record for dog fighting. So, how some local law enforcement had not made a visit to this proeprty before yesterday? Certainly there was enough probable cause to issue a search warrant? Why did it take a private security firm and an out of state Humane Society organization to bust this ring? Certainly we have local organizations that should have been involved? So many questions and so few answers.Sometimes there just are not enough words to express my distaste for that evil sport of dog fighting. The dogs end up losing when this happens. As I told a friend, if I were a judge, I would sentence him to community service for life at an animal shelter. I'd make sure his cell was about the size of what he crated his fighting dogs in. Oh, I'm sorry, that violates the cruel and unuseal punishment law. Darn.

One more iteem before I get off my soapbox. Michael Vick.Here is a guy who I believe did not serve enough time for his crimes. Plus, he went back to the multi-million dollar job he had before with another NFL team. Makes me wonder whether anything was learned from this entire issue.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Shelter News

We had an eventful day at the shelter yesterday. We had two families come by to look at our available dogs. First family picked out our one of our long time residents, Misty. She is a beautiful dog who has a slight food agression problem. The other, Spud, is a small herding dog. He is constantly stress being in the shelter. But is good when he is in a single dog home. The other family is interested in Polly, our only hound dog.She is full of enegry and is amazingly agile for a dog her size. So the outlook is good to get them rehomed (the new word for adoption in the animal community). We also have someone interested in Blue, a male lab, who is just so full of himself. Full of energy and a loud mouth to boot. SOmeone asked me how do we match dogs with perspective owners? Well, we go by Cesar Millan's philosophy - high energy dogs with high energy people, medium, and low energy dogs match appropriately. It has worked out so far. We got them all wormed and treated yesterday. We have one more project ahead of us. Our former president has submitted a grant request to Halifax EMC for $5k to complete a second fenced in dog run. This will give us a run on both ends of the shelter. It will also allow us to let the dogs out more often during the day.

I came home and continued work on our two upcoming fundraisers (see www.downeastanimalrefuge.org for more info). Well, first had to get the smell of 40 dogs off of me. Must have stood in the shower for 30 minutes. My pit bull, Penny Sue, likes to lick my feet and legs when I come out of the shower. She must think I am not clean enough. I told a friend that someone needs to tell her that shes a dog. I'm not going to do it. 50 pounds of dog that pulls at 300 pounds of torque.

Our Kentucky Derby Fundraiser, the second year we are doing this, is going to be held on Saturday, May, 2010, 4:00 - 7:00. We'll have snacks, refreshments, and a full fried chicken dinner. Country cookin at it's best. It is $25 a ticket. We expect to sell out like we did last year. Members are selling tickets. But this year you can purchase tickets via PayPal on our web site.Donations are also accepted via PayPal at any time.

I am happy to say that our Micro Chipping program is finally getting off the ground. This is after three years of work. We have purchased 100 micro chips and have donated two hand scanners to the community and county. We're going to have the local SPCA, Humane Society, North Shoree Animal League, Best Friends Society (Dog Town), and material from the Cesar and Illusion Millan Foundation present. We've invited several other rescues and shelters to attend. I am happy to say that we will also have local law enforcement present to talk to the kids about the ills of dog fighting. Not to be out done, we will also have another fried chicken plate dinner, along with home made deserts and ice cream. We are only charging $25 per animalfor micro chipping. That will include the cost of the chip, injecting it, and permenent registration with AKC's Companion Animal Recovery program. We are planning this event for Saturday, June 26, 2010, Town Commons, Scotland Neck NC, 10:00 am to 3:00pm. Our travelling vet, Dr. Marty Edwards is being very gracious with her time.

I am also working on our week Rabies and Wellness Clinic which is scheduled for this weekend in Scotland Neck.

Feel free to contact me any time if you have any questions about these events. I can be reached at (252) 826-3965, Cell (252) 406-4184, Twitter @RandallCMelton, Email Randallcmelton@downeastanimalrefuge.org. Mail address is 1705 Main St. Apt 15, Scotland Neck NC 27874.

All this and I am working full time too!

Friday, April 9, 2010

If I Can Dream - my thoughts

I have been watching If I Can Dream since the beginning. I think the idea is innovative and shows where the Internet is heading. Simon Fuller is a visionary. The concept is sound and should be successful. However, once you throw people into a project like this, all this theory goes right out the window. When I first started watching, I first thought of Big Brother. Then, after a few days, I realized that this was nothing like Big Brother. People in the Big Brother house couldn't go out, had even more limited access to the outside, and, it appeared that they had even less privacy than our If I Can Dream house guests. So, I have stuck with the show because of it being unique in its presentation and what it is trying to portray.

Now, on to the topic at hand. As a mass communication/journalism major, I know that editing can make or break at story. We never edited to make the stories more sensational. The story had to stand on its own merits. We were also very careful not to edit where it would take what someone said out of context. I like the house because there is not opportunity to take back and or re-edit something. We see life as it unfolds. The Hulu If I Can Dream episodes are meant as a weekly synopsis of what went on in the house during that week. Of course, the editor exercises a certain amount of editorial views in the way the show is edited. The producers can't all the time control what the house guests say or do on the live streams. However, the episodes give the producers a chance to piece the story together as they see it. Those of us what watch the stream on a daily basis have seen things taken completely out of context in the episodes. The editing has portrayed several people in a very bad light. This editing puts undue and undeserved strain on the house guests. Because if I were there, I would certainly hesitate to invite my friends over. I certainly wouldn't want my friends to be made the fool at the producers expense. So, I think the executive producer needs to take a step back and look at the product that is being produced on a weekly basis.

Hiding from the camera or mics have other ramifications for our house guests. I certainly don't like it when they go running off camera and turn off their mics. I feel it detracts from the true meaning of the show. None of the house guests should feel like they need to whisper, shut off mics, or go to an area where the cameras don't cover. This project was meant to show what it takes in Hollywood to be succesful in the entertainment industry. We want to see it all, whether it be good or bad. We, as viewers, are not privvy to exactly what restrictions the house guests are under. It would be nice to know what restrictions there are for them. We might feel differently about what is going on now if we did know those things they cannot do or discuss. When they do this whispering or going out of camera range, it makes me think that they are talking about the production itself or the management. I wouldn't want to be discussing that on camera either. Common sense would dictate that it would be better to directly confrony the producers on these issues and resolve problems with them. Hiding from cameras or microphones is not the answer.

Lastly, complaining is directly tied to the hiding issue. Complaining about the rules does nothing but aggrevate the situation. That complaining also influences others on the show. Pretty soon everyone is grumbling. Again, as I stated about, the best way to resolve the complaining is to directly confront the producers. If not, the complaining could backfire on the house guests. I could say the day that the producers are adding more cameras and reducing the blind spots. That would be less privacy than they have now. I would hate to see them lose the rare privacy they get now. We all realize that they are under a strain to be on camera 24 hours a day. That in itself can cause strain between people. So, we have to udnerstand their situation. Again, my advise to the house guests - speak to the man in charge, the executive producer, about you concerns and complaints. He is the one man that has the power to make those changes and to make your life better.

Thank you house guests for letting us in your lives. Thank you Michael Herwick for making this entertaining, and thank you Simon Fuller for giving this project the light of day. May all of you be succesful in all your careers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fiction Writing

About five years ago, I started a Lara Croft action-adventure novel. It was my first stab at fiction writing. It was different for me because I had been a journalist for over 20 and always wrote other people's stories. Well, time has passed by and the story is still sitting there unfinished. Like a musician, a writer has to be in that special mood to write. And, when it hits you, you better be near a keyboard. I have re-read my story, now at 145 pages and think I have a clear vision to finish it. Okay, some of you are going to ask who is Lara Croft? Well, if you're not an avid gamer (yes, another geek trait), or movie goer (Angelina Jolie - another reason to go to the movies), you might not know who that is. Everyone has compared her character to that of Indiana Jones. Well, maybe. But I think Lara Croft could kick Indiana's Jones ass. Well, enough of that. I am excited and pumped to start writing again. This is my dream, to write an adventure novek and get it published. I will keep you posted as to my progress.

Shelter Happenings

Another monthly shelter meeting is under my belt. I think it went well. We have made the final preparations on our upcoming Kentucky Derby FundRaiser. Plus, our big micro chip clinic in June. I am very proud that our folks in New York adopted nine of our puppies last month. I know they have gone to good homes. All in all, I think I have had a great day.

Idol Rumblings

Well, what a strange night for American Idol. After watching the competition and hearing the decision, I almost shut the tv off. I glad I didn't. It sounds like the judges used their save wisely. Big Mike did NOT deserve to be voted off. What are poeople thinking? Are they watching another competition than I am? You wonder whether if regions of the country vote for an Idol based on where the Idol is from? Sometimes I have thought that. Other times, I have wondered whether the system that Idol uses to rally votes is working correctly. Sort of reminds me of Al Gore challenging George Bush in Florida. I want a recount. It must be the hanging chad. Oh, well. Next week, we'll see two Idols voted off. And, as before, the Idol cast offs end up over at the If I Can Dream house on Friday night.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

News from the Animal Shelter

I have just returned fro mthe animal shelter after an interview with a member from the news media. Something happened, positively, while I was being interviewed. A lady pulled as I was explaining the use of our micro chips and scanner. I walked out and asked if I could help. She said someone had dumped two young puppies off at her house. They looked to be malnurished and dehydrated (it has been averaging in the low 90's for the last two days). She asked if we, Down East Animal Refuge (DEAR), would take them. There is never any hesitation as to the answer to that question. Yes, we will take them. And all the time this was in front of a member of the electronic media. I could not have put all that into words to that reporter. He saw what we do best an DEAR. This is truly why we love what we do at the shelter. Thank you to that anonymous woman who took the time to pick those abandoned animals up and get them to us. You have saved two lives today. God bless you.

Thanks to Amanda Phillips

I want to put a special thank you out there to Amanda Phillips, one of the artists in the If I Can Dream House. Amanda made mention I was one of the "regulars" Which made me feel good. Just as long as it doesn't get creepy. I still can't watch them sleep. Something just not right about that. And, I beleive that those camera might be a little intrusive. I like Amanda because of her straight forwardness and honesty. We never have a problem understanding exactly the way Amanda feels about something. I always admire that quality in a person. Specially someone trying to get work in her line of work. You go girl!

If I Can Dream - Chef Lindsay

I guess I have found a good cause to get behind. I hooked early on to Simon Fuller's If I Can Dream project at IfICanDream.com. Well, like any project, it has gone through, and continues, to change. However, one of the changes, the replacement of Chef Lindsay Jones with Chef Caitlyn Levin was too painful to handle. I had to do something about it. So, along with several others, we started a petition to get her back to the house. Lindsay has been very supportive of our efforts. I think we stand a good chance of getting her back.

Hello and Welcome

Well, I feel like I have finally caught up to those 20 years younger than I. I now have a presence on Face Book, Twitter, My Space, and lastly, I have finally created my first Blog. Well, I feel like I am now fully connected. I got my iPhone, soon to haveiPad, my three computers, PS3, Dish Netowrk with HD DVR and Slingbox. God almighty, I might be too well connected - LoL