On Tuesdays and Fridays I particularly enjoy coming home as these are the days my maid has visited and I love returning to a sparkling clean apartment. I also love to turn the television on to see what she’s been watching. The days when she’s had MTV on, I have to wonder if she’s been dancing around the house while mopping the floor, or if she just wanted some up-tempo background music.
When I turned on the TV this evening, I could see that she had been watching a local channel, probably some afternoon drama. But the program being shown this evening was Vietnam’s answer to the Home Shopping Channel. And I was captivated by these two silly men who (I’m assuming) were debating the value and quality of this chair. I immediately whipped out my new camera and snapped a few shots (see below).
To you and I, this would be just a lawn chair that we keep folded up in the garage and take out when we have a party in the backyard, a picnic in the park or head to the beach for the day. But for folks in a developing country like Vietnam, this is a piece of furniture which may or may not end up in the living room, kitchen or a top floor balcony.
The guy in red must be some television personality. After the chair demonstration was over, the show cut to him live in a studio, in a different pair of silk pajamas, but same towel, glasses and hat. A lady had joined him in the studio to describe and promote a television stand (which was a very retro black plastic with frosted glass shelves). Folks, I am easily entertained. ; – )
Fortunately for me, the Star World channel replays the shows of the week on Saturday and Sunday. I just caught the first episode of GLEE, which will now be shown every Wednesday night after American Idol. My friends Mette and Sarah both watch this show on Wednesday night when it first aired and said that they thought it had potential but that it wasn’t what they expected. It sure has been played up a lot this month, so I thought it must have fallen short of the hype. But for me – OMG – I loved loved LOVED the first episode and cant WAIT to see the rest of the season!
What some of you may or may not know about me is that I was a theater kid when I was young. I’ve posted a couple photos below from my performances. I loved taking the drama or voice classes and remember all too well the auditions for the plays. I never got a lead role, but Mr. Russell, the theater company director was always so kind to call me and congratulate me on my role as the townsperson or bunny rabbit or whatever other general role I was chosen for. I practiced so very hard for auditions, but when the moment of truth came, I was so nervous, I failed to sing the song how I practiced, and would undoubtedly fall out of my singing voice.
Fast forward to high school. I was an all-American girl. I played sports but was also a cheerleader. I was part of the popular group of kids. I went to school dances and proms with the greatest enthusiasm. And I also watched every performance of Ensemble.
Mixed Ensemble was a group of 32 students, half girls and half boys. The concerts would being on a classical note and grow progressively toward pop tunes and big song and dance numbers. At our school, this vocal group drew not only musicians, singers and dancers, but football players and basketball stars, cheerleaders and tennis champions. It wasn’t dorky to be in Ensemble, it was beyond cool.
I never found the courage to audition for Ensemble in the first three years at school. The group was so talented. I never thought I would be good enough. But my senior year approached, and I realized it was my last chance. I nervously made my way to the audition to sing for Joretta Wright, our teacher and director.
The audition was tough…you couldn’t bring a song to sing, she just asked you to sing well know tunes, patriotic songs and even some children’s music. I sang America the Beautiful and Mary Had a Little Lamb. I sang confidently and sincerely, hoping to secure a spot in the group. The next day, I went to the Ensemble room to look at the paper on the door. And my name was on it. I made it.
Ensemble was by far one of the highlights of high school. I loved the music and the choreography. I met one of my best friends in my life, Holly, and one of the greatest loves of my life, Hap. I loved being on stage and performing and when we went to Boston and New York on tour, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Ensemble was cool.
GLEE may be off to a slow start for my friends here, but as I watched it today, I was overcome with emotions and memories of a very fond time in my life. I can’t wait to follow the storyline and see what other memories come to light. For today, I’m content to go through my day humming some of the songs we sang back then. I still remember them all.
Pointed Toes! – That’s me my senior year at Valhalla High School with my then-boyfriend and Ensemble partner, Hap.
He’s a prince! – This was the play “Cinderella” and that was the prince, Pat Merrill. I was in 8th grade and he was a senior in high school. And I had the hugest crush on him! Leave it to me to fall in love with the prince!
The Trouble with Angles – Forget the costume I’m wearing! How about that gold color palette in our house! Yikes!
So what do you do when you have a group of friends who are a mix of American Idol fans, some singers and musicians and good friends who just like to have good time? You through an American Idol party!
AI airs just one day after the US and a few of us follow it just as religiously. We are excited to see if there is the same level of talent as in Season 8.
The channel Star World brings “the best” of American television to the region. I’m not so sure why they schedule programs like “America’s Greatest Dog” or “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here” but I am sure thrilled that they show American Idol!
I gathered the girls at my place, ordered a bunch of pizzas, the gals brought wine, and we sat and watched and chatted and laughed. We had a great time. I’m sure I’ll host a few more parties as the season progresses. Especially when the contestants get to L.A. or into the finals. It’s good to have good girlfriends to be silly with and who are just as excited for a light-hearted, entertaining program. Thanks girls
I’m lucky to have a TV. I’m lucky I can catch CNN and BBC, The NatGeo Channel and Discovery. HBO, Cinemax and the Hallmark channels often have a decent movie on. Soccer and sports channels are prominent and CNBC is a good one, too.
BUT BUT BUT…for television programs, there is only the Star Channel. And for God-knows-what reason, they have decided that this asinine program is a good one to import. Oh yeah, great choice. Just the program we want to represent America. The previews are enough to know that this is pretty much the stupidest TV show EVER EVER EVER.
For crap sake, take the damn thing off the air! Pull the plug and leave those stupid people in the jungle to fend for themselves. The world would be better off without them and this stupid show. Yuck. Blech. Icky. Ugh.
On the Bright Side,
When I lived in Japan, I didn’t watch television except for movie rentals. It was good for me. It forced me to find other methods of entertainment which usually was writing. I never felt bored.
I didn’t expect that my apartment in Hanoi would come with a television, but I’m sort of glad it did. The channels in English are that much, but I do get to watch American Idol. It is my one guilty pleasure. I’m lucky that if I miss it during the week both the performance and the results shows are repeated on the weekend…Saturday AND Sunday! Ha!
While I may get HBO and Cinemax, also NatGeo and Discovery, I find that I still don’t really watch that much television. It’s one habit I’m glad was broken. Just don’t take away my Idol!
On the Bright Side,