Hang in there, Bret Michaels

I’ve got my fingers crossed for Bret Michaels.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s explanation of Bret’s hemorrhage on “Larry King Live” last night  – which also featured commentary by Bret’s “Celebrity Apprentice” castmate Darryl Strawberry and “Rock of Love Bus” winner Taya Parker – made it sound like he might pull out of this OK.

But from the sound of reports today, the Poison frontman and reality-television star is in really, really bad shape. According to an Entertainment Tonight report I just read on Twitter, Bret will soon be undergoing surgery to relieve swelling around his brain. The entertainment program’s unnamed source also claims that Bret’s condition is “deteriorating.”

Of course, until this information is confirmed by Bret’s people, we should really take it with a grain of salt. Still, the fact that Bret’s reps haven’t supplied fans with an update yet today (which they’ve been doing religiously on Twitter and Facebook) is quite worrisome.

At this point, it sure doesn’t hurt to send him good vibes.

Though I’ve never met Bret in person, I interviewed him in 2008 for an article about the second “Rock of Love” season. (Read my article here.)  He was gregarious and jovial, just like he seems on TV. Watching Bret on TV is like seeing an entirely different side of him – and I’m glad he was given the opportunity to continue doing that on “Celebrity Apprentice” this season. That show has been downright entertaining, and Bret is the main reason for it. Just check out this clip from this week’s episode:

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I hope we get to see more of Bret working with teammates Sharon Osbourne and Maria Kanellis. They make a great team.

And before I forget, did anyone see People’s recent story about Bret? It featured great photos of him with his daughters and their mother, Kristi Gibson. Bret seems like a very involved, sensitive father, judging by the way he talks about his daughters on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Just a couple of episodes ago, Bret was despondent at the thought that his daughter, Raine, might be diabetic:

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In the meantime, here are some photos from the People magazine article:

Bret shares custody of his daughters, Raine (top) and Jorja, with their mother, Kristi Gibson./All photos by Justin Stephens for People

If you have a Bret Michaels story to share, please do!

“Superman” saves New Jersey

I was thinking about references to and quotes about New Jersey in films, and this one from “Superman” (1978) popped immediately into my head:

Tip of the hat to Hackensack.

When he wasn’t busy screaming “Miss Teschmacher!!!” hilariously evil villain Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) reveled in the chaos he created. Unfortunately for him, it frequently backfired… and in this case, Superman kept his promise to Miss Teschmacher (Valerie Perrine) and saved Northern New Jersey from certain annihilation.

If you think about it, “Superman” is a double homage to New Jersey, because its star, Christopher Reeve, lived in Princeton as a child.

What are your favorite Garden State movie references?

Where in the world is “Jerseylicious” now?

Forget about Carmen Sandiego. Aren’t New Jerseyans at least a little curious about where the cast of  “Jerseylicious” is every week?

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The Style Network reality show about the faces behind Green Brook’s Gatsby Salon was filmed all over the Garden State last year. Where have they been in recent episodes? Let’s take a look:

Episode 4

New Jersey Life Health & Beauty: The bimonthly magazine sends a secret shopper to the Gatsby to determine whether it will be a finalist in its search for the best salon in the state. Hairstylist Tracy is positively ga-ga at the thought of being on the cover of a magazine: “This magazine won’t just like be a big thing for the salon, it’ll be like a huge deal for me cause I could be on the cover. Like the Gatsby would be there, too – they’d be like behind me somewhere, but like I would be on the cover. Just me.”

Anthony Robert Salon (Verona): The only male hairstylist featured on “Jerseylicious,” Anthony Lombardi is working at Gatsby while his own salon is being remodeled. A crisis at his salon has Anthony bolting from Gatsby in the middle of an appointment – which just happens to be with the secret shopper from New Jersey Life Health & Beauty magazine.

Muscle Mill (Milltown): Tracy’s boyfriend Lorenzo (who also happens to be makeup artist Olivia’s ex-boyfriend) pumps iron while Tracy receives RSVPs for her “Safari” themed birthday party and gloats about not inviting Olivia. “You love preying on the weak,” Lorenzo tells her. “That’s why it’s a safari party.”

Olivia and Briella describe their AVE Somerset apartment's party decorations as "jungle-licious."/Photo by Ava Gacser

AVE Somerset (Somerset): Olivia and her best friend Briella’s apartment is the site of their “jungle” themed spite party to annoy Tracy. “I can’t wait to hand out my invitations tomorrow at work cause you better believe that I’m giving Tracy an invitation,” Olivia gloats. When hairstylists Gigi and Anthony point out to her that Tracy’s birthday party is the same day and safari-themed, Olivia feigns ignorance: “I had no idea. I wasn’t invited to her party.”

Meow!

If anyone can identify the deli Olivia and Briella ate huge subs at while plotting their jungle party or the exact Party City store where they shopped for decorations in this episode, please let me know!

Episode 3

46 Lounge (Totowa): This nightclub is the site of more than one showdown between rivals Olivia and Tracy. In this episode, the pair start yelling at one another and Tracy, via a voiceover, utters this gem: “This is my club, and you’re not welcome here. They took out the trash last night, so what the hell are you coming back here for?”

Olivia’s response, also via voiceover, is equally amusing: “Honestly, I don’t know who got whacked and made Tracy boss.”

My Bed To Go (Green Brook): A mattress store adjacent to The Gatsby Salon in Arthur’s Plaza. Salon owners Gayle and Christy hold auditions there for a television commercial they are creating to advertise the business. Tracy is less than impressed: “Our auditions are in a mattress store. I mean, really? In a mattress store?”

John Franco Photography (Union): A wedding photographer who is recommended to Gayle to film the salon’s commercial. He’s very touchy/feely with all of the women during the auditions. “I’m the director, I can touch anybody,” he says. Glam Fairy Alexa is less than impressed with his skills: “I don’t have people tell me what to do. Certainly not a director with a camera that I could go buy at CVS.” During the filming, Johnny takes Tracy up on her suggestions to include more shots of her in the commercial because she is mad Olivia is getting more screen time.

Swain’s Hardware (Cape May): Gigi thinks her boyfriend is taking her on a romantic weekend in Cape May (near Atlantic City), but Frankie has other ideas. As soon as they get into town, he heads to this spot to check out a motorcycle that he’s apparently contemplating buying. Still, he’s not to impressed with the quaint little town, which is full of Victorian B&Bs: “People come here to die,” he tells Gigi.

Liberty House Restaurant hosted Alexa's "trash the dress" event./Photo by TravelMuse.com

Liberty House Restaurant (Jersey City): Alexa holds a “trash the dress” event here and runs Olivia ragged. The idea, which Alexa calls the “next trend in bridal photography,” features brides basically messing up their wedding gowns for a creative, artistic photo shoot. This particular one involves the bride – and two obliging little girls – smearing melted chocolate, strawberries and assorted other food all over her dress in an artsy way. Olivia thinks it’s brilliant.

If anyone knows the name of the B&B Gigi and Frankie spent the night or the location of Mario’s Pizza and Italian Eatery they visited in this episode, please let me know!


Which places were featured in other “Jerseylicious” episodes? Find out right here and here. (Several places in my hometown are included!)

“Larry King Live” tackles Jersey girl Chelsea Handler

“Larry King Live” devoted an entire hour recently to Jersey girl Chelsea Handler, who was promoting her new book, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.”

(Chelsea’s dressing down of Kate Gosselin, above, is just one of the reasons I like her.)

Not surprisingly, at least if you are familiar with the three-time author and host of E!’s late night talk show “Chelsea Lately,” her conversation with Larry turned to the Garden State and the plethora of television shows about it. Their discussion went something like this:

Larry: What do you make of this Jersey thing?

Chelsea: Well, I mean I’m from New Jersey so I’m proud to be from New Jersey. I’m from a nice part. But there are parts of New Jersey that look like the “Jersey Shore” and what’s depicted on this show. It can be pretty crazy. So when people from New Jersey get mad about the depiction, and they say “Oh, how can you say that?,” well, I’m from there and it is like that.

Larry: Do you think it’s because it’s between New York and Pennsylvania?

Chelsea: Yeah, somebody told me that the other day. It’s kinda like a middle child of those states. Maybe. I didn’t see all of New Jersey like that. But these reality shows are all ridiculous so why not get New Jersey in the mix?

Larry: Where are you from in New Jersey?

Chelsea: Livingston.

Larry: Oh ohhhh. That’s upper class.

Chelsea: Well, it was upper class. But my parents were just below middle class.

“Sex and the City 2”: Be still my beating heart

I’ve been kind of on the fence about the new “Sex and the City” movie.

After being such a huge fan of the show, I was disappointed when the first film came out two years ago. (I know, I’m probably in the minority here.) I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but I wasn’t particularly fond of what I saw. I was annoyed that Carrie was willing to put up with so much from Mr. Big and forgive him again. I thought she possessed a stronger sense of self-worth than that.

Anyway, so the first preview for “Sex and the City 2” didn’t exactly thrill me. Abu Dhabi? Is this “Sex and the City” or a fairy tale? C’mon. While the beloved HBO series occasionally veered off into wishful thinking territory, most of the time it was planted pretty firmly in reality.

But now I just got a look at the second trailer, and I’m totally floored. AIDAN is back! Now this could get interesting:

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Forgive me for asking, but if Carrie married Aidan would her name be Carrie Bradshaw Shaw?

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