Friday, March 30, 2007

Inspiration for the Week - Photographer Christopher Voelker

Photographer Cristopher Voelker's work has been seen on the cover of magazines and often features headshots of the blazing Hollywood set. Yet his personal story if far more inspiring and impressive than the jetset he photographs. Check the story out on DarynKagan.com.

Vonage Woes

Maybe this could explain the really pitiful Vonage service I've been getting the past few days: Read the Bloomberg report here. Just when my damn Time Warner Cable was acting halfway stable, my Vonage acts like it is on crack. Is this a C-O-N-spiracy or WHAT?

Peace out,

Samara Leigh

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Signs of a Fractured Mind?

I watched Closer with Julia Roberts (my favorite actress), Jude Law, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman (also becoming a fast favorite). I liked the movie a lot. I enjoyed the tale of intrigue between four strangers that become inextricably connected; that fall in complete lust, love, and obsession with one another - despite the fact that they really don't know each other. Not nearly as well as they think.

I have also discovered that I love movies that are shot in an unorthodox fashion, particularly out of chronological order like: 21 Grams, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Crash and Closer.

Does that mean I have a fractured, unorthodox mind? What do you think?

Namaste,

Samara Leigh


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Michael Landes - The Wedding Bells


Michael Landes is smokin' hot man candy. Why do I not remember him as Jimmy Olsen from Lois & Clark?

Not a horror movie fan, so I didn't see him in Final Destination 2. However, I have been watching Fox's The Wedding Bells for the past two weeks. So far I'm liking the show with the exception of a couple of characters that are more like caricatures. I won't hate on them just yet. I'm hoping that is one of those things that the writers and actors will work out in the first season.

The Wedding Bells comes on Fox Friday night at 9PM EST. Let me know what you think.

Namaste,

Samara Leigh

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Elliot Yamin-ecine

Stephanie Edwards, Voted off of American Idol this week.


This year's American Idol is shaping up really strangely (read insane). Sanjaya Malakar keeps hangin' on through the grace of tone deaf teeny boppers and a crop of voters with extremely questionable judgement and perhaps non-functioning hearing aids. But, enough about that.

I am self-medicating to get over my mini-depression over the loss of Stephanie Edwards, who I was sure would be one of the final three or four. No, I'm not hitting pills or booze (though I could make a good case for an extra glass of Moscato). Instead I've opted for a healthy dose of Idol Blast from the Last...season, that is. I've been listening to Chris Daughtry's CD - excellent - and I just picked up Elliot Yamin's new CD at Target this morning. Our "funky white boy" has had a makeover. Soft, tousled curls, straight teeth. Boyfriend looks pretty hot and he sounds better than ever. Take a listen below.


Namaste,


Samara Leigh

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

San-Why-A?


Sanjaya Malakar
One of the Top Twelve on American Idol Season 6

First of all, does this guy have great hair or what? LOVE the hair. Now, let's get real for a minute. Why the hell is this kid still here? "He is love," "He has a light within," yadda, yadda, yadda. To borrow Simon's oft-repeated line... "This is a SINGING contest." Indeed it is my friends. Or so they tell us. So again I'll ask... why is Sanjaya still here?

"Unlistenable" as Randy said, is the perfect word for many of Sanjaya's performances. Nothing personal. I really, really, really like this kid. He's got great hair. A great fashion sense. Beautiful smile. He can do the hula. If American Idol were about any of those things I'd vote for the guy in a heartbeat (yes people, I am over 30 and I DO VOTE most weeks, and I'm not ashamed to say it).

As hair-rific, light-bearing, adorable and fashion-forward as Sanjaya may be, he just doesn't belong on the stage anymore. His vocals are far below those of the other contestants. Unlike the happy dance I did when Antonella Barba finally went home, I will actually be a little sad to see Sanjaya go. I definitely won't be joining J, who started a My Space page called, Starvation for Sanjaya. She refuses to eat until Sanjaya is voted off the show. She feels he is making a mockery of the show. Sorry J. Me likes me vittles a little too much. Besides, I'm not quite as confident that America, and all points east, will come to their senses as quickly as they should.

As for Sanjaya, even he admitted this week that he knows he isn't the best singer on the show. Maybe his fans will come to the same realization, too.

No worries. He will probably get his own show on Nickolodeon.

Gotta go. The phone lines are only open for another 45 minutes.

Peace out.

Samara Leigh

Monday, March 19, 2007

CAVS Fans Reality Check



Cleveland has some of the most passionate fans on earth. Did I mention that the only football game I attended at the new stadium was the notorious bottle-throwing incident? Nuff said. So, this plea may very well fall on deaf ears. But, I'm an optimist so I'm going for it anyway:

First of all, let me preface this by saying I've never been a Carlos Boozer fan, per se. He played for us, so I rooted for him. When he was gone, he was forgotten. Now, to all of the fans who were carrying signs spitting venomous hatred at Carlos Boozer - probably highly paid execs and their indoctrinated kids - let's have a reality-based chat, shall we?

How many of you love your current place of employment SO MUCH that if someone came along and handed you an extra $20+ M-I-L-L-I-O-N to do said job you would say, "Never!" Hell, I'd venture that most of you would venture to another job for what amounts to an extra buck an hour. So where do we get off condemning someone else for making a smart financial choice for their future?

Secondly, I'll bet any of those same fans would leave their job as peons, or even as "Robin" to be "Batman" somewhere else. Sports players do it all of the time. Heck, Justin left N' Sync for the exact same reason. He didn't want to be leader of the pack, he wanted to be the show. More power to him.

We have a fantastic basketball team that is really beginning to gel. True contenders. We have so many reasons to celebrate our team. We don't need to spend countless hours on how much we hate former team members. That's just sad. Makes us sound like a bunch of Loozers.

Peace out,

Samara Leigh

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Recommended Reading: Vertigo

I loved the way author, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, documents her character's decline as she gets drawnly more deeply into the mire. I thought she did a particularly wonderful job of exploring how the decline begins to effect your relationships, your attitude and behavior. Before you know it her life is turned inside out and she's not even sure how it happened. There a lots of interesting twists and suprising subplots, as well.

What do you think?

Friday, March 16, 2007

When Did ET Become All Anna Nicole All the Time?


Okay, I tried to let this ride. I thought if I just ignored it the whole thing would blow over, or at the very least, they would run out of manufactured angles for this entire sad tale. I was wrong. So here it goes:

I have long been a fan of Entertainment Tonight, since way back in the John Tesh day. No age jokes, please. I've always considered the show to be the definitive answer to my entertainment questions. More legitimate than all the others. Yet the show's constant fixation on the sadder-by-the day Anna Nicole story has pushed me over the edge. I just cant stomach the show anymore.

Their obsession started with the birth of Dannielynn Hope, Anna Nicole's daughter. Every day the show teased another "new development" "breaking news" or "an interview you'll only see here." I'll admit it: I was hooked. They strung me along like an Anna Nicole junkie for at least two weeks before I stopped watching the show.

Then Anna Nicole was found dead - which was shocking, yet not surprising, if that makes any sense. I was sucked right back into the ET vortex. Every single person who could even possibly muster a connection with Anna Nicole was called upon to add their testimonial to the ET misery parade. At some point the parade would end, I thought. Not with the cast of sorry characters currently awaiting their 15 minutes of fame.

Estranged mothers with ridiculous exhumation requests. Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband with his paternity contest, dizzy landlords, bodyguards, nurses, the lady who once made Anna Nicole a smoothie... you get the picture.

So now it's time to make my dramatic plea:

Have a little respect for the dead, Entertainment Tonight. Anna Nicole's diary? OMG! I bet you wouldn't want anyone making headlines out of your personal diary Mary Hart & Mark Steines!

I'm not asking you that you never report on the Anna Nicole story again. I am, however, asking that you remember that despite her sensational life, she was a human being who deserves a little peace, if only in death. Not to mention the fact that there are other entertainment stories that deserve our attention. How about focusing on some of the stars who make headlines by "getting it right" a bit more often?

Namaste,

Recommended Viewing: Friends with Money

When I watched this movie, one of the first things that came to me is all of the people that probably wouldn't like it. Who'd hate it even. My husband, my best friends...the list goes on and on. But I really, really liked it.

There is no real plot. Just an invitation into the lives of a woman whose life has slowly sunk into oblivion and the lives of the people around her - her friends, all of whom have money and whose lives are vastly different from her own. Every moment with them is a constant reminder of her feelings of failure.

When the movie ended I was disappointed, only because I wanted more. I wanted to learn more about these people and to find out exactly how their stories end. Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Recommended Reading: You Don't Know Jack

I loved this book. Erin McCarthy keeps the story moving along, creates likable characters that you can easily relate to, and writes love scenes that will fog up your glasses, at the very least.

You'll love main characters, Jamie Peters and Jonathan "Jack" Davidson, and the remaining cast of quirky characters including an ex-con transvestite who foretells the future, a codgy old man, a teen-age misfit, and a homeless man that seems to be stalking her.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Recommended Viewing: The Prestige



How much do I LOVE this movie?

It has wonderful actors - Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine (love Michael Caine), Scarlett Johansson, Piper Perabo and I just discovered that David Bowie played one of the characters.

The story line is excellent and the editing is tight, almost stingy. There's not a scene or a single bit of dialogue wasted. If a character makes a statement, or if an object is shown, it will absolutely have a bearing later on.

I loved everything about this movie. Every character was convincing and Bale and Jackman are extremely intense as rival magicians. This is definitely one to add to the collection.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Counting Down the Days Until I Can Get Real Broadband

Okay, I am totally not one to beat a dead horse; but Time Warner is the soup du jour again today, my friends. Is it too much to expect reliable, constant service in return for the inflated prices we are paying? Evidently so. Here is an open letter to the Beast that is Adelphia/Time Warner Cable/SUCKY:

Let me take this opportunity to let you know how thoroughly disappointed I've been with your service over the past few months. For the past few months I've been playing technician far more than I've been using my computer. The service is pathetic, at best.

This would be intolerable at any price. But, to think I am paying for a higher level of service and I am now getting less than what I’ve enjoyed over the past two years is completely unacceptable.

What is even worse than the service, or the lack there of, that I have received these past months, is the non-chalant blame game that your representatives have been taught so well. “It’s not us.” It’s your router.” It’s Vonage.” “It’s the snowflakes.” “It’s the wind.” “It’s Mighty-Mouse.” Give me a break.

Please explain to me why my set-up that was working perfectly fine for months suddenly became “defective”? Please explain to me why I was under the impression that I am paying for 4,000kbps, but your not-so-nice rep this morning explained to me that it was “up to 4,000 kbps” and that “half of that is acceptable.”

“Acceptable to whom?” I inquired, rhetorically, of course. After all, by this time it is quite obvious that my satisfaction and ability to use the service with any consistency is not an issue for Adelphia/Time Warner.

For any customer this would be quite maddening. For me, a person who works from home and whose son goes to an electronic distance school, it is a death knell. Every hour I spend tinkering with connections, plugging and unplugging my service and calling tart reps and supposed managers robs us of valuable time. Time that translates to lost productivity, incomplete work, lost customers and lost revenue. I’ve already had to cancel two online meetings because my connection was poor and delayed. The people on the web meeting who had dial-up had less of a delay than I did.

There is already quite a Time Warner Fan club on the internet, of which I am now a member. However, I now feel it is time to take this to the mainstream media. Therefore, I’d like to get your “official” side of the story for an article I am currently working on and will be sending to several members of the local media later today.

Please call to discuss. If I don’t answer, it’s probably just because my internet service is down again.

Regretfully,

End of Letter


It's a shame when you select possible new homes based on which one will allow you to have service other than Time Warner; but that's what we are down to. Oh the days of Direct TV. (Sigh) What I wouldn't give for an NFL ticket and continuous internet service.

Peace and Constant Cable Connections to You and Yours,

Samara Leigh