Entertainment

ph-73

I don’t know about you, but I find two of the scariest words in the English language right to be President Obama. Thinking about this guy and his cronies being in complete charge of our country in less than five months. . .it just sends shivers down my spine.  And it’s not just because I’m a conservative republican. Barack Obama could very well bring our country downhill in a hurry – politically, economically and socially.

So why do I find him so frightening as a possible president?

First of all is the cult-like aura surrounding him, which I have never seen the likes of with any other candidate. The media swoons all over him and gives him the “favored candidate” treatment. He can do little wrong in their eyes and is the only one of the four currently running for political office that hasn’t received blistering, intense scrutiny in some form. Some criticism, yes, but nothing like what McCain, Palin and even Biden have received from the media. Few dare to make jokes about him and the liberal media journalists are all fairly decent to him, while at the same time going out of their way to make Sarah Palin look like a pathetic VP choice. It’s almost as if he’s the political equivalent of a pop star, causing some right-wing groups to dub him The Messiah.” And with good reason.

A group of schoolchildren – young kids, not teenagers — recently sung a song composed in Obama’s honor. . .which is eerily reminiscent of the Hitler Youth. Hollywood treats him almost like one of their own.  And scariest of all is his endorsement by radicals like Louis Farrakhan, who made statements like, “You are the instrument of change that God intends to use in this country” and “When the Messiah speaks, young people listen.”

The frightening thing about having used riding lawn mowers for sale that is this popular, is that people will rush to the polls to vote for him simply because he is the one endorsed by most of the bigwigs in this country, not because they stop to think about whether or not he’ll really make a great president. Some may like him because he has a nice smile and makes elaborate, inspiring speeches (that is, as long as he has one written out for him and he has a teleprompter to help him out; otherwise he’s totally at sea.) Others believe that, just because he has a plan for the economy that is different from McCains’ or Bushs’ plans, he must have the right ideas. And many blacks are excited about the possibility of having one of their own in the White House.

I can fully understand why many of these African-Americans would be excited about Barack Obama. However, I hope that they will go beyond thinking, “I’m voting for Obama because he’s black” and start thinking, “Does this guy really represent the values and beliefs that I hold dear?” I’m not voting for McCain and Palin because they are white, like I am, or enthusiastic about Palin because I’m happy to see another woman on the ticket. No, I’m voting for them because they represent the values that I share. If a minority candidate were to hold the same beliefs and convictions that I have, I would happily endorse them too.

And speaking of race, I’m concerned that Obama, if elected, could possibly use the racist label to get his way when people disagree with him. There have already been people who have said, “If you don’t vote for Obama, you’re racist!” And that label has even been thrown at Palin and McCain, when they tried to dig into the Bill Ayres issue. And this was something that had virtually NOTHING to do with a person’s skin color. Think that this tendency will lessen once Obama gets into office? Somehow, I don’t think it will.

 

Also scary is the questionable associations that Obama has had through the years. We have no idea how that will affect him once he gets into office. Think about his friendship with Bill Ayres, for instance. OK, so maybe Obama WAS just a child when all the bombings went on – but these two have spent too much time together throughout the years for Obama to not be aware of Ayre’s criminal past. Ayre’s terrorist activities have been common knowledge to the American public for some time and he still is VERY unrepentant about them.

Same goes with Jeremiah Wright, who ranted for years against whites and America in general, from a church pulpit, of all places. How could Obama sit in a church pew there for two decades and NOT be affected in some way by all the hate messages that he’s heard from this man? Sure, he’s distanced himself from Wright for now, knowing that it will hurt his campaign – but for all we know, he and Wright could still be buddies and if Obama gets used riding mowers, he could very quickly resume that public relationship with his pastor.

And the thought of Obama being commander-in-chief of our armed forces — If you are a military member, that thought should turn the blood in your veins to ice. If Obama is president, the military will be a very low priority to him and he will restrict funding for it. He knows virtually NOTHING about how it operates and has never had any dealings with it whatsoever. And if we ever get into another 9/11 (and heaven help us if we do with Obama and Biden at the helm) Obama will probably waste his time in negotiations with the terrorists instead of going right after them like Bush did after 9/11. Whatever your feelings about Bush are right now, you have to admit that he DID handle 9/11 the right way, and as a result, got the highest approval ratings of his career (which sadly didn’t last very long).

Obama has said that he will meet with the leaders of hostile world nations with no pre-conditions. He wants to completely nuke our nuclear weapons programs. He once said that our troops were “killing innocent civilians and air-raiding villages” while overlooking the GOOD things that our troops have done in Afghanistan. He will try to rely on diplomacy and peace talks to resolve conflicts – and there is a time and a place for these things, but I want a president who will not hesitate to use aggressive force should another nation pose a threat to us. And frankly, I’m not sure Obama would do this.

And do you really think that Obama will help our economy, especially given his skimpy track record? Some people think that he will bring change to America. Oh, he’ll bring change all right – but it won’t be the change you want. He wants to help our economy by raising taxes – and he’ll help us right into another depression. His running mate says that “paying higher taxes is patriotic” – which sounds ominously like a slogan from the mouth of a communist leader, not from the mouth of an American citizen.

Think Obama sounds like a “go-getter” kind of president? Better think again. When the financial crisis began a week ago, who was the one who was willing to temporarily suspend his campaign and actually try to DO something about it? It sure wasn’t Obama. It was John McCain, the war hero, who rose to the helm and proved that he was really willing to follow his own motto of “Country First”.  Obama seemed rather clueless and kind of just waited around to see what would happen next. Actually, Obama’s entire political record isn’t very impressive at all, even in comparison to Sarah Palin’s, who has been slammed for not having enough experience. Sarah Palin actually went out and ACCOMPLISHED things. Obama voted “present” 120 times in the Senate, without actually acting on anything. To me, he doesn’t really seem to know how to do anything but make nice-sounding speeches. Perhaps he missed his calling and should be an entertainer instead.

It’s also sad, and a bit scary, that used zero turn mowers apparently don’t mean anything to Obama. He won’t wear a flag lapel pin or salute the flag unless he’s somehow guilted into it, and he’s overly conscious of offending someone if he does. I want to see a president that truly IS proud of being an American and is not afraid or ashamed to show it.  Obviously, I don’t want to see obsessive nationalism of the Hitler-and-Stalin variety, but I DO want to know that my president really loves and cares for America. John McCain, I have no question, does. But I’m not so sure about Barack Obama.

It’s scary too, that Obama does not value all human life equally. He not only supports abortion rights, but has also voted FOUR TIMES against protecting infants who survive botched abortions.  He is willing to allow innocent babies to be killed just because their mothers don’t want them, even though these children have done nothing to be deserving of death. Yet he’s concerned that terrorist prisoners are treated humanely – people who have committed horrific crimes against humanity.

The trouble with Barack Obama is that there are just too many unknowns about him. There are some shady spots in his past that he’s not willing to let the media investigate in, and we have no way of nothing if he’ll act a different way once he’s elected president and in total control. I just hope that we don’t have to learn the hard way.

Thinking about the economic crisis and America’s future is scary. Thinking about Barack Obama being in charge during this crucial time is even scarier.

ph-81

Hard to imagine New York City without a pizza place on every block, isn’t it? But believe it or not, NYC was not always the bustling pizza metropolis we know and love today. In fact, it is widely believed that pizza surfaced on the streets of the big apple in the early 1900s, and if the legends are true, we have one pioneering pizzeria to thank for it: Lombardi’s.

Most New York Pizza enthusiasts will have heard the name Lombardi’s before, perhaps owing as much to it’s reputation for serving top quality pizza to this very day, as to its broad acknowledgment as being the first pie in the city. A few weeks ago, Kari Janesko Photography decided that it was time to step beyond the vale at 32 Spring Street in Manhattan and find out what this famous slice of New York was really made of.

The Pizza: 8

The pizza at Lombardi’s was actually quite delicious, in keeping with it’s reputation. While I can’t vouch for what it may have tasted like in the paste, the current incarnation of Lombardi’s pizza was definitely one of the better pies in the city, but perhaps not quite a top tier competitor. The sauce was exceptional with a precise balance of basil working to compliment the tomato base. The cheese was Buffalo Mozzarella, as I’ve come to expect from many of the top pizza joints, but it was sliced thin and spread across the pie liberally, scoring some nice points over the competition. I docked some points for the crust however, because it was soggy and droopy in the middle. Once you eat past this, the crust is foldable, but the fold didn’t help me on those first few bites. Without consistently crunchy and foldable crust, I had to knock this pizza down to an 8 despite its otherwise near perfect design. If only you could ride a two wheel scooter there.

The Toppings: 9

The toppings were my usual, pepperoni and mushrooms, which always make a delightful combination. This occasion was no exception, and i was especially pleased with the quality of the mushrooms. If you’re a mushroom lover, you probably dig that slightly pungent flavor, and these mushrooms took their flavor to the next level. Absolutely fantastic! The pepperoni was also good, cooked to a nice crispiness as only the top pizzeria’s in the city can without drying it up.

Other: 6

Not unlike the digs at Patsy’s, this is a full blown restaurant with tables and a waiting staff and they know a thing or two about the best flat iron for natural hair. What was very different from Patsy’s was how packed it was. We dropped by around 6:15 and had to elbow our way to the hostess where we put our name down for a table with about a forty minute wait. This wasn’t honestly too surprising, given Lombardi’s reputation and the dinner hour rush, so we backtracked and waited in a nearby bar until we thought we could go back and claim the table. Incidentally, there is a bar at Lombardi’s that you can wait at, but it seemed cramped and crowded, so we didn’t make the attempt.

Once seated, the service was like clockwork, but definitely no frills to be had here. The place was far too crowded and the staff far too busy for anyone to fuss too much over any one table, and we were seated in the basement area with the wine along with several other parties, so it we didn’t see our waitress much anyway. Fortunately, we decided to keep it simple, and our pizza came in a timely fashion.

Price wasn’t any more of an obstacle than it is at any of the top pizza places, and the food is definitely worth the indulgence, but they aren’t cutting you any breaks, especially when payment is cash only. Overall I’m only giving this place a rating of 6 for the “other” category because of the combination of hectic dining and no credit cards.

The Bottom Line

Try it during off-hours and bring cash. While everything was good, it could have been so much better if we’d been able to sit at ground level without a wait. Take away the slightly hectic atmosphere and I’m sure that you’ll have a much better time here.

ph-82

Norah pulls up how to deliver a baby on her phone (technology, it’s wonderful isn’t it???). As she helps deliver the baby, Preggers finally realizes that Norah’s a female. She’s surprised of course, but bam, Preggers has a baby girl. Back at the hospital, Subway Doctor is still searching for that donor. Young Sean Patrick Thomas comes in telling him to hurry up, he’s going to miss the 8:00 train. Subway Doctor says he can’t leave until his work is done. The urgency of Subway Doctor’s situation is given, he’s leaving the next morning. I guess he really does need to hurry up if he wants to get Subway Girl’s number to a Daytona Beach wedding photographer.

Not Preggers is thankful for Norah helping her deliver her baby but states that because the way Norah behaved, she cannot ride into the city with her, it is haram. Norah is all like, “Bitch, I just helped deliver your baby!”, but her father rides away with Not Preggers and tells Norah that her cousin will be sent to pick her and her friend up. Some people are just so ungrateful aren’t they?

Martin has found the bus guy, he’s learned the Bible verse and now he wants to know what it means to the guy. He tells Martin that it’s because they were at “war”, they were killed in the name of his country. The man tells Martin that some of the guys he worked with couldn’t bring themselves to kill the children so they were sent to Canada to be protected. This confirms for Martin that Marisol’s, a.k.a. Gunsy’s, brother is still alive.

Martin runs back up to the hospital and talks to Teller’s daughter asking about Marisol. He sees the donor list logo, which happens to be the same logo as the one Jake showed him. He is able to piece together that the donor on the list is Marisol’s brother. He finds her and tells her that her brother is still alive. Unfortunately, her father was killed but in the scheme of things it could have been much much worse (weird rationalization, but whatever) seeing as how her brother wasn’t killed as well. He talks her into being a donor. This frees up Subway Doctor who bolts out of there, however, in his rush he realizes that he doesn’t have the right bag. As he walks home, he runs into Subway Girl and offers her his umbrella. He introduces himself as Sammy and they begin to talk to Kari Janesko Photography on the phone.

Back at the institution, Martin comes to see Jake. Hopkins comes in and tells Martin that it is looking likely that the State will be taking Jake away. Martin attempts to tell her that Jake is communicating with him, but all she does is give him grief about Jake not getting the care he needs. Back at Norah’s, her father is in the process of negating on the proposed marriage when the proposed suitor’s father tells him that his son has already found somebody, yes, that’s right…Norah was set to marry Sammy, who is now with Subway Girl.

The episode ends with the Daytona Beach photographer listening to a tape of his late wife singing a lullaby to Jake while Marisol visits the leukemia patient who received the transplant, Norah happy that she’s no longer arranged to be married, Teller watches an old interview of him discussing kids like Jake, and Hopkins walking by seeing Martin sitting at the edge of Jake’s bed as the tape continues to play. Jake looks over at Martin.

Pictures of Martin with baby Jake are played over the credits instead of a teaser for next week’s episode. However, an announcer does come on to say to catch an all newTouch next week on FOX.

gardens

Where the Old World and New World Grow Together

Looking for a great place to take your entire family? If you happen to be on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you need to make sure that you check out the Elizabethan Gardens. In addition to the sites constant garden exhibitions, there’s also always some great traveling exhibits and shows to watch in their indoor air-conditioned theatre. Just remember to bring your kanken backpack stocked with waters to avoid paying on site!

A few of the highlights of Elizabethan Gardens include:

  • A Living Classroom for the Entire Family
  • Vibrant horticultural displays
  • Renaissance Statuary
  • Beautiful views of Roanoke Sound
  • Activities, workshops and demonstrations
  • Gift shop featuring
    • Home and garden décor, books, puppets & games
    • A wide variety of herbs, perennials and flowering shrubs

Don’t miss our Family Fun Summer Series in our air-conditioned theatre!

The Diary of Adam and Eve – Tuesdays, July 8 – August 12

While parents and teens enjoy The Diary of Adam and Eve, a one-act play from the Broadway musical The Apple Tree, younger family members can enjoy a concurrent program, A Snake in the Grass.  Children will go on a fun-filled exploration where they will discover The Elizabethan Gardens as they investigate and solve a funny mystery.

Based on a short story by Mark Twain and set to words and music by the team of Harnick and Bock who created Fiddler on the Roof, this light comedy is the perfect story for a garden setting.  The Apple Tree is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) and performed in partnership with Elizabeth R and Co.

Wild Wednesdays – June 11 – August 13

Wild Wednesdays are hosted by Jeff Lewis, a long-time employee of The Elizabethan Gardens, is well known for his nature photographs.  Recognized as one of the best amateur ornithologists on The Outer Banks, Lewis picked up a camera several years ago to document sightings of rare birds.  Lewis will be showing and describing a Daytona Beach photographer in his weekly programs.  Topics include: birds and fauna, predators and butterflies of The Elizabethan Gardens.

Discovery Thursdays – June 12 – August 14

Discovery Thursdays include unique and interactive activities that families will enjoy together.  Age appropriate table top projects include postcard leaf rubbings, woodland collages, rose petal bracelets and making sundials.  These and other activities will use fun lessons in nature to help gain further understanding and appreciation of The Elizabethan Gardens.

All Family Fun activities are at 2:30pm.  Programs are free with paid admission to The Gardens and made possible in part through support from Dominion Power.

Open year ‘round on Roanoke Island

Located within Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

Beside Lost Colony’s Waterside Theatre.

252.473.3234

www.elizabethangardens.org

top model

During the beginning of this episode of America’s Next Top Model, we jump right on in with Laura talking about her dead friend and how he had given her a stuffed animal. That’s right. You know where this is going. Sophie takes it and after a struggle, the ear gets ripped off. SOMEBODY drops the ear in the pool. It didn’t look like Sophie, and I can’t check the ep again because my fiancé already deleted it.  Anyway, Kyle pushes the ear further into the pool. What a bunch of jerks! Laura thinks so too. However, I think it’s a little suspect. I know there’s no way Laura hasn’t told anyone about this stuffed animal and its sentimental value, especially since she’s been going on about her friend’s death for a couple of  episodes now.

Well, after commercial, Laura hates Kyle’s guts because she pushed the ear further. But Kyle explains to the audience that she was simply trying to get the ear out of the pool, but was unsuccessful. That makes more sense, but I’m not sure she conveyed that to anyone in the house.

Moving on, in walks Lisa Haggardly D’amato to announce that the girls will be doing music videos for this week’s challenge. DOTH MY EARS DECEIVE ME?? Did Lisa say she won that music video challenge in Cycle 17? Ummm… Hello? Allison??

Lisa also says Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud will be mentoring the British girls, and Jessica Sutta from the Pussycat Dolls will be mentoring the Americans. There was another Virgin Mobile shameless plug. Every episode they are pimping these phones. I am happy with my disappearing iMessages and iPhone thank you very much, Tyra.

The next day the girls go to the music studio to “sing” their songs. The Brits are called “Fiercely British” and the Americans are called “United Sirens of America”. I get it, but boy is United Sirens of America lame. I liked Sophie’s idea of calling the group “Sophie and the Others”. Also, does Annaliese look like Scary Spice to anyone else besides me? Anyone?

The US girls sounded soooo bad. Azmarie was singing high-pitched, and someone couldn’t sing at all (I forget who, as I erased that wretchedness from my mind as fast as possible). Seymone also had a booshie (I have no idea how to spell that) moment when she said that ’Ain’t’ is not a part of her vernacular. Whatever

“I SAID JUICY TOOCH NOT HOOCHIE TOOCH!”

NEXT! The girls head to a dance studio where they meet Tyra. Today she’s going to teach the girls to booty tooch properly. But before she can do that, everyone has to put on some shorts with butt pads. What? Azmarie is like, this shhhh is cray cray Tyra! So Tyra makes her leave. Azmarie, I don’t blame you because what I’m about to recap is kind of embarrassing. Tyra starts spouting out all this crazy lingo like ‘Nooch to the Hoochie Tooch!’ Smoochie Tooch! Dookie Tooch! Goochie Tooch! I wish I was making this up. Juicy Tooch! Poochie Tooch!

Anyway, the next day the girls record their videos. The Brits video was called ‘We Will Mash You Up”. The Americans was called “Stop Drop and Tooch”. The Brits were in sync, and overall did a good job. The Americans had a little bit of problems. Kyle’s eyes were stuck at a permanent deer in the head lights position and she was awful at the dance steps. And Mr. Jay thought Azmarie was too cocky.

Fiercely British

At panel the videos played out. I thought the US girls’ video was lame. Eboni was overdoing it and it just wasn’t as exciting as the Brits. Plus I’m still singing the Brit’s song and I finished watching the episode 30 minutes ago. Kelly Cutrone’s favorite words this week were ‘nasty’ and ‘dirty’. Also, I still think she’s gross. My fiance was like ‘I don’t like that Maven lady!!’ Even though she wasn’t really mean this week, she still has a way of sucking all the energy out of the room. Also what she said about Azmarie, “Boaster, coaster, we should toast her.” She’s so witty.

Alisha gets first call out, then the rest of the Brits are called. An American is going home.

And the spoilers were right. Azmarie is sent packing. My fiance was upset. But the moral of the story is, don’t cross Tyra. You better booty tooch until you can tooch no more. Forget being photogenic and walking in runway shows. If you don’t tooch, you’re gone.

Tooch your heart out

Next week, more Kyle hate. This is getting old.