Maybe there’s hope for Jesse James after all

In case you haven’t heard, Jesse James has gone to rehab.

People reports that rehab was “100 percent his idea,” according to his rep, and not because jilted wife Sandra Bullock gave him any ultimatum.

“Jesse checked himself into a treatment facility to deal with personal issues,” his rep told People in a statement. “He realized that this time was crucial to help himself, help his family and help save his marriage.”

The facility he checked into is in Arizona, says TMZ, and it also – ironically – was the same center Sandra visited while doing research for her role as a drunk in “28 Days.”

Yes, unlike some other male celebrities I could mention <cough> Tiger Woods <cough> David Letterman <cough> Jesse has decided to be proactive, take the bull by the horns and face his demons head-on.

I have to wonder if any of Sierra Tucson’s group therapy sessions look like the one depicted in this recent “South Park” scene (WARNING: THIS CLIP INCLUDES EXPLICIT LANGUAGE THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME VIEWERS – AND IT IS DEFINITELY NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK!):

Good for Jesse, I say. Checking himself into rehab is something  the *old* Jesse I remember from his “Celebrity Apprentice” days might do. Speaking of which, those of us who watched him on that show are well aware that he’s a recovering alcoholic who stopped drinking about 10 years ago. Let’s take a look back at how he forced teammate Dennis Rodman to confront his own drinking problem:

If Jesse been successful at keeping alcohol at bay for a decade, I’m hopeful he can beat this addiction, too. But in the end, it all comes down to how much he wants to beat it. And, I’m sorry to say, he can’t do it to get Sandra back. He’s got to do it for himself.

I wish him luck.

There’s nothing more “Jerseylicious” than… Franklin Township?

I knew “Jerseylicious” was filmed in the general vicinity – aka Somerset County, New Jersey – but I had no idea it was in my backyard.

Welcome to Franklin Township, the fifth best place to live in America!/All photos by Ava Gacser

In the first two episodes alone, the ladies of Green Brook’s Gatsby Salon have ventured into my neck of the woods a whopping three times.

The sign may be relatively new, but the Somerset Diner has been part of my stomping grounds my entire life.

In episode 1, Olivia and her new roommate, Briella, wolfed down “disco fries” (french fries with gravy and mozzarella) at the Somerset Diner on Easton Avenue. (Quick note about the Somerset Diner: This is THE diner in my town. I’ve known it my entire life and to see it on television is just, wow, surreal.)

But that was just episode 1. Little did I know “Jerseylicious” would be back this week, with two more stops in my lifelong hometown.

Franklin tip: If you're looking for apple cider vinegar with *the mother,* then Nature's Weigh is exactly where you need to go.

Next up was Tracy and boyfriend Lorenzo (who also happens to be Olivia/Snooki’s ex), who dropped by the health food shop Nature’s Weigh (which is located in Village Plaza, right next to the diner) to buy some creatine so Lorenzo can bulk up some more. While there the pair discussed Olivia and her faults. “She’s going to be late for her own funeral,” joked Lorenzo.

Then the show moved on to the new digs Olivia shares with Briella… which just happen to be a Korman Community called AVE Somerset on Pierce Street near Elizabeth Avenue (close to the Franklin/South Bound Brook border).

What strikes me as funny is that AVE Somerset is an upscale, fully furnished apartment complex for “short or long-term stays.” Somehow I doubt management would approve of the hot pink paint Olivia and Briella used on their living room wall, but hey, I’m sure the Style Network has that covered.

“We’re from Jersey,” Olivia said while picking up a paint brush. “We don’t pump gas and we definitely don’t paint.”

Another area establishment that was featured prominently in episode 2 was Alfonso’s Family Trattoria in Somerville (which may also appear on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” this season as Teresa Giudice was filmed eating there in September with her father), site of this ridiculous exchange between hairstylist Gigi, her boyfriend Frankie and some hapless waiter. All of them need serious acting lessons:

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Gigi and Frankie (who lives somewhere in Hunterdon County) are the embodiment of the typical Jersey love story (not): The pair met at Dunkin’ Donuts at 3 a.m. He made fun of her rhinestone-studded license plate cover. She sassed him back and that was it. “Who knew he was going to like me when I told him to go f*** himself?” Gigi jokes.

Other Jersey joints featured in”Jerseylicious” include the 46 Lounge in Totowa (episode 1) and Planet Chicken in Dunellen (episode 2), the site of Alexa, Anthony and Gigi’s lunch.

“Anthony, very classy place,” Alexa cattily commented about the eatery. “I have white (wine) in a merlot glass.”

(If Anthony were super-quick on the uptake, he should have responded with this “Seinfeld” zinger: “Merlot? I never heard of it. Did they just invent it?”)

There’s no telling where on Easton Avenue “Jerseylicious” might take us next week.  Blockbuster? Stop N Shop? Unclaimed Freight?

I have no idea, but it sure is fun finding out.

My very own “Dog” day afternoon

Duane “Dog” Chapman was all about the Garden State yesterday.

Yes, Dog's tan is really as dark as person as it is in this picture./All photos by Ava Gacser

In addition to appearing on Livingston native Chelsea Handler’s late-night talk show, “Chelsea Lately” (check out the video below), the star of A&E’s series “Dog the Bounty Hunter” – along with his wife, Beth – stopped by Clifton to meet fans and sign copies of his new book, “Where Mercy is Shown, Mercy Is Given.”

I didn't realize at the time I took this picture of the arrival that I also managed to *capture* the Dog. Yay!

As you can imagine, it was pandemonium from the moment the pair walked into Barnes & Noble with an A&E cameraman in tow. Fans – who comprised wide array of ages – were told from the get-go that the event would be taped for possible use on the show. (I can only hope footage from yesterday will be shown!)

The line of fans waiting – which I heard was estimated at 500 – moved very quickly. Fans were told Dog could not pose for photos or personalize books. However, I found him more accommodating when it was my turn.

Two women directly in front of me moved aside and suddenly I was front and center. A security guard told me to go up to Dog, who was waiting, pen poised. I walked up to him, said hello and it was nice meeting him and extended my hand. He shook it.

Then he said (and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember it exactly), “Wow, you must be important if you got to cut the line. What’s your name?”

I told him, and he personalized my book.

And that was it; after a four-hour wait, it was over in a matter of seconds. But I don’t regret a minute of it.

After taking a few more photos of Dog, I moved over to greet Beth, who was chatting with fans and posing for photos.

I asked her to take a photo with me and she pleasantly complied. When I thanked her, she said, “It was my pleasure.”

It’s always nice to discover that people you admire on television are just as pleasant in person.

Here are two more photos I took of Dog:

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more about “Dailymotion – Chelsea Lately – Dog th…“, posted with vodpod

Jesse James: Oh no he didn’t!

I am totally bummed.

Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, rumors are flying that Jesse James cheated on his Oscar winner wife Sandra Bullock.

According to In Touch Weekly, the affair went on for nearly a year, and the woman Jesse allegedly cheated with is a tattoo model.

Michelle “Bombshell” McGee tells In Touch Weekly she and Jesse had sex numerous times while Sandra was in Georgia filming “The Blind Side.”  Worse yet, she claims he didn’t use protection.

This all seems so… sordid. And, despite Jesse’s past (which includes two ex-wives, one of whom is Janine Lindemulder, a porn star who served time in prison for tax evasion), he’s always seemed so devoted, loving, honorable and crazy about Sandra.

I’ve written about their apparent passion for one another numerous times – here, here and here – so this latest bit of disturbing news is especially upsetting.  And let’s not forget that Sandra has been instrumental in helping Jesse maintain custody of the daughter he shares with Janine.

Is there a chance that the tabloids have gotten it all wrong? Sure. But when Sandra goes and cancels her appearance at the London premiere of “The Blind Side” (for which she just won an Oscar), and Jesse abruptly deletes his Twitter account without a word, you’ve got to wonder.

Gotta love Gaby

I love Gabourey Sidibe.

It’s not so much about how great she was in “Precious” (which she was), but how much I like her every time I see her interviewed. Her personality is so fun and bubbly you just totally want to hang out with her.

And my opinion of her hasn’t changed in the slightest. In fact, I love her even more after the witty repartee she exchanged with hot-hottie-hot Gerard Butler on the Oscar red carpet.

I’m not ashamed,” Gaby told Gerard after Billy Bush got her to reveal her real feelings to him. “I’d hit that, I’m sorry.”

To which a  clearly flustered Gerard managed to spit out, “I’m here. I’m available.”

“I like where this is going,” Gaby continued, without missing a beat. “Maybe we should get a bottle of champagne and see where the night takes us.”

Bam! That girl’s got some moves!

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