Summer TV Update (with Vampires, guilty pleasures, cooking, movies, AGT, and more)

Fall is just around the corner. I know that because I am painfully aware that books for the fall quarter for two college aged kids will run around $1,600 – $2,000, maybe a little less if they are lucky enough to get used books. But on a good note, the summer TV season is still in full swing.

I know I’m not the only person on the planet who is NOT watching Game of Thrones. I was turned off the first season by all of the gratuitous doggy style sex in every single episode. Really? Come on folks mix it up. I think that is an HBO thing. Seriously it gets annoying after a while (like after the first five or six times within an hour.) There were also a couple of other annoying things. I tried to read the first book and couldn’t get through it due to the writing style. It was well written, but I just couldn’t get into it. Hey, I have read a lot of fantasy, more than most, and a lot of difficult literature (which I loved) but I couldn’t get into Game of Thrones. Sort of like I can’t get into any Wally Lamb book (sort of like waiting in Hell, I mean on hold with any technical support department with any cable company, phone company, or eBay.) But if you like it then go for it. Have fun. As us Vampires say, “sink your teeth into it.” And there are dragons. Dragons are always exceptionally cool.

I also don’t watch Dr. Who. Never have. Never will. I will not discuss the subject. Period.

By the way, I have a funny bit. This morning my husband answered the phone at some early still-dark hour. He said, “Microsoft Technical Support,” and presto – the caller was gone. HA HA HA. I love that man.

So what stupid things have I been watching this summer? Not a lot. Mainly movies. Mainly small indie films. I’ll do another post for summer theater films (maybe) later. This is what I’ve watched and highly recommend that I’ve seen on cable.

Juliette’s Short List for Summer Movies You Can Watch On Your TV or Computer:

  • The Fundamentals of Caring
  • Shimmer Lake
  • I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
  • Tangerine

Note: All of these are small Independent films. Good stuff. None of them will make you want to strangle me after you see them. Please see the ratings and descriptions before you watch them with kids. 

 

The Bachelorette

Late one night, while I was alone, I discovered The Bachelorette. I discovered Rachael. Who couldn’t love Rachael. She is a beautiful, lovely, charming, sweet woman from Texas.

I usually don’t get hooked into this stuff but I did. I watched it in secret without family or friends. I wouldn’t admit to anyone that I was following Rachael’s adventures. But I couldn’t stop watching it.

You know, if it was a guy picking out a girl from the usually room full of chicks in too high of heels and too tight dresses I wouldn’t have watched. But this was different. This was so different. I’m not going to even try to explain today. Maybe later. Not today (I have stuff to do and need to finish this post.)

She started out with about thirty guys who all wanted to marry her, or at least get the chance to find out if they wanted to marry her. Each week she’d give a rose to the guys she wanted to keep in the running. The guys all stayed together in a stable, I mean house. Some were nice. Several were real douches. Some spent their time back stabbing other guys. That got them nowhere. In the meantime Rachael went around the world having romantic adventures with the fellows and FINALLY picked the last THREE. Oh what a heart break and what a sweet ending.

She picked…one of my favorites…the right choice… Bryan. Woo Hoo. I wish them a long happy life together.

I hope it works out for them when reality sets in. You know the reality I’m talking about. How will they handle it when one of them gets sick our injured? How will she deal with his weird high school friend Kyle? What about their morning routines, holidays, decorating styles, views on how they’ll raise their kids, where they’ll raise their kids, morning coffee breath, what they watch on TV and a variety of weird things? Life after dating can get complicated – yes, that is what marriage is. Marriage is rewarding but it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, and it isn’t always romantic.

I still can’t believe I got sucked into this. Awww, must be the romantic in me. Hey, Peter, dude, you blew it.

America’s Got Talent

This is my flagship show. What I mean by that is that when I first started this blog back in 2012 I started blogging about this show every single week during the summer. All of us (me, family, friends) would gather around and watch. I publish comments from the peanut gallery – unfiltered and unapologetic. The honest truth. The show is good this year and now in the judges cuts for the top acts. I’ll be posting on it again… and YES WITH COCKTAILS. Do a search for previous blog posts on this show.

I have to add one note about this season’s “golden buzzer” choices. A small girl with a big voice sang a lovely song and received the “golden buzzer.” My daughter looked the girl up on Google and found that she’d been in talent shows all over Asia. No wonder she was so good on stage, so slick, and utterly fantastic in a practiced and staged way. Her parents have made her into an industry – starting with what they named her (after a famous singer.) Unlike many of the other children we’ve seen on the show I feel this child is exploited by her parents. There is nothing natural about her. This isn’t talent. This is force fed performance – like a trained dog or monkey. She is their cash cow – raised to be a cash cow. By the time she is 23 she’ll be washed up, but who cares – mom and dad can retire in comfort. It is too bad the guest judge who pressed the golden buzzer couldn’t have seen through the blatant exploitation of a small child.

Vampire Cocktails – two parts mixer, one part blood. Cheers. And never drink and drive.

Next Food TV Star

This season had a bunch of likable folks (except two who were just annoying.) In my opinion it was the best season ever. They are now down to the last three. All men. All fun. All guys you’d want to hug and have as neighbors. All great. My bets are on Jason, a wonderful guy from Tennessee with an accent that will melt your heart away. I could just eat him up. This man can cook and entertain. Let’s see what happens.

If you don’t want to win on this show do the following:

  1. Refer to yourself as “Mama” something.
  2. Talk non-stop about a distant country you identify with, that nobody has ever heard of, even though you are 5th generation American. Then rather than educating us, and sharing with us the wonders of your beautiful family culture, be so confusing about it that nobody knows what the crap you’re talking about.
  3. Be totally clueless in the kitchen.
  4. Show the other contestants how ignorant and helpless you are.
  5. Act surprised that you’re going to be on TV and have to talk about your food.
  6. Don’t know what a vanilla bean looks like.
  7. Make the other contestants want to cry when they are paired up with you.
  8. Don’t follow directions.
  9. Act like a Martha Stewart wannabe.
  10. Make some sort of shrimp and grits for every single challenge. Yes, we know you’re from the South, but I know damn well that folks from the South eat a lot more than grits.

Preacher

I love this show. I fucking love this show.

Life Below Zero

I’m hooked. Love Sue. Love the others too. But I wish they’d show more than just hunting and fishing. I’d like to see other aspects of their lives as well. We get a hint, but I’d like more. OK I admit, I watch for the foxes at Sue’s and the puppies with everyone else.

Forged in Steel

People make knives. No drama. They are craftsmen and women. They are awesome. Wow. Check it out.

Ink Master

Yes, we’re watching this weird and wonderful train wreck of a show. This year is a team effort (teams of two in competition against each other.) There is less drama and better ink than on previous shows. Thank you producers for raising the bar a little. And did I say better artists? Yes, they’re better than we’ve seen in years. Like most shows this is just something we watch together, talk about while we watch it, and don’t take too seriously. It is family time. Don’t like to watch it alone cause it just wouldn’t be fun. And Dave is still hot.

If this Vampire wants to tattoo your image on his arm…you’ll have to check out his entire body first. Hey, look at the Vampire Maman tattoo (yes, he has a tattoo.) Is that me on his arm? Hell yeah!

 

So have a nice week everyone, and try to get outside too. Have fun – as only the summer can give you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

America’s Got Talent 2016 FINAL – With Cocktails & Vampires

AGT and Cocktails

AGT and Cocktails

Every summer since 2012 I’ve been posting about AGT and Cocktails – that is the television talent show America’s Got Talent, my husband Teddy’s cocktails, and comments from the peanut gallery (assorted Vampires and occasional “other” friends.)

Tonight we have my daughter Clara, Teddy, my brothers Max and Andy, and Lola here to watch and make their peanut gallery observations.

This year I’m skipping to the FINAL. I didn’t feel like blogging every single show this year. t have to admit it has been a good year. There have been a lot of talented people in the competition this year. I’m not crazy about all of the finalists but I like most of them. All are good. Anyone could win. There are no unlikable assholes, freakish contrived family acts, obnoxious Cha Cha dancers, precocious brats, or fart acts.

What we are watching are talented kids, talented adults, great singers, unique sleight of hand, a guy with tape over his mouth, a pretzel girl, a juggler from another time  and old-fashioned mind readers.

I’m not going to go into great detail about who these folks are. If you’ve watched the show all along you’ll know who they are. I’ll post a video of each from either the final or a previous show.

Sal Valenetti

The 20-year-old St. John’s University student brought down the house singing Mac The Knife like a seasoned pro. I love this guy.

Comments from the peanut gallery: He is just smooth. He crushed it. He nailed it. I could listen to this guy ALL NIGHT. Wow. And the judges loved him.

He could win.

Sophie Dossi

From the Peanut Gallery: What is she going to do. I want to see her eat her foot. She can pint her toe nails from this. There is nothing that gives me a wow from her. Any gymnast can do that. This just sucks. How does she do that. You seen enough? The one with the remote fast forwarded this one. Alice doesn’t care, then again she is a dog.

Linkin’ Bridge

From the Peanut Gallery: Great the first time but… The big guy is the one who can sing, I don’t know why they keep letting the other one do solos. That guy can sing too. They need to pick songs that are actually good to sing. They did it ass backwards – the solos were in the wrong place. But it doesn’t sound too bad. They are good but I’m not getting the wow I got the first time. Sort of like that wonderful first date and by the fourth date you’re kind of bored. Nobody liked the back up singers. Why do great singers and groups have to ruin it with backup singers. The original was such a good song. Sigh. They are about two carrots short of stew. Good but not quite. I could pick four random guys around a fire on a corner in Philadelphia and they’d do just as good.

Laura Breton

The Peanut Gallery was speechless. This is why people watch opera. She is so talented. With training…oh my goodness. Where does that voice come from? And angel. Only fourteen with a real natural beauty and sweetness. Such passion. She hits is perfect every single time.

The Clarivoynts

The Peanut Gallery: They’re creepy. I like them. They’re so pretty and charming and I know how they do it. Word cues. They have their own code just like the clairvoyants of the 19th century and before. Key words. Key words. Key words. But they do it with style.  This is county fair shit. This is awful. We’ve seen others like them but they’ve all been voted out. I’m done. She isn’t dressed like some skank. OK I’m done.

Brian Justin Crum

Ho Hum. I’m just not a fan. Then he did a Queen cover – is was, well, in my opinion, awful.

From the Peanut Gallery: This is awful. He’s announcing not singing. He changes the songs too much. He can’t hit the notes so he changes the songs. He can’t hit notes. A one trick pony. I didn’t even recognize that song. OMG that is Michael Jackson. No. The jacket is too tight. He sucks. The judges hyped him up so much. He’s horrible. That wasn’t even singing.

I have to say that my brother Andy is here. Andy is a professional opera singer. He just sort of rolled his eyes. Someone mentioned that one of the judges has the intelligence of a jelly bean.

Tape Mouth

I love him. Teddy is not a fan. He does stuff in New Zealand but under his own name without the tape.

Peanut Gallery: I got to admit that was pretty good. I wonder what he does when he isn’t so random. I wonder if he won if he’d break character and take off the tape. When you look him up he mentions that his ideas come from Charlie Chaplin and other silent comedians. The sight gags are goo. He just flashed the 21 Pilots symbol.

Victor Kee

Juggling like the Ballet Russe from the early 20th Century. He is from another time. I love his style. I love his look.

The Peanut Gallery: I can’t do a summersault. He isn’t as wonderful tonight as he usually is. Uh oh he dropped one. He is still beautiful to watch. I was hoping with the mountain/fire background that he’d do Hall of the Mountain King. Butt contour.

John Dorenbos

Peanut Gallery: He is so sweet. Do you remember him from when he was playing football? He still plays dear. He is so likable. He is but he’s used to being in the public eye. He has a good message. His presentation is what makes him. Magic that inspires. He is brilliant.

Don’t hate, don’t blame, and forgive. The magic is in every single one of us. I’m getting all choked up now. Awww man.

Gracie VanderWaal

And the winner is… she is only 12 years old. Wow. We love her. She could be opening for Never Shout Never, or 21 Pilots, or Fall Out Boy, or even Panic! at the Disco.

You can tell she is a good kid. You can tell she isn’t from some weird family who is trying to exploit her. She writes her own songs. She could be singing at Warped Tour. Cha Ching Simon.

Her style is Punk Pop (in the indie/alternative range), which by the way is what my kids love. Good job Grace for not buying into the commercial crap that is forced upon so many young minds and ears.

 

Who got our votes?

Sal, Laura, John, and Grace.

Who will win? Grace, John, or Sal.

We’ll see tomorrow.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Tonight’s Cocktail:

Kentucky Coffee

  • 8-10 oz Coffee (we used butterscotch carmel flavored beans, but you can use whatever kind you want, say a nice Etheopian blend.)
  • A dash of cinnimon
  • 1/4 cut milk
  • A shot or two of Bourbon
  • If you’re a Vampire add a shot or two of hot strained blood.
  • Mix it all in a mug and enjoy.

Ohhh, now it’s time for Ink Master. Tuesday night is when all the Vampires watch TV. Really. I couldn’t make this shit up.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

We've got plenty of talent.

We’ve got plenty of talent.