Going Back to Go Forward — Hilary Duff Style

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She’s back!

 

Yes, Hilary Duff has come back into the world of entertainment.

 

In the 8 years that she has been gone, she has gotten married, had a child, got tattoos (which she said at one time she would NEVER do), and gotten a divorce.

 

While she has never really been off the radar screen, she has not been doing anything in the entertainment field for quite a while.

 

However, this doesn’t mean that her return to the entertainment world has been stellar.

 

In the last few months she has costarred in the TV Land series “Younger”.   Honestly I do not like this show at all because it seems to be just a watered down version of shows like “Sex in the City”.  I could live without all the sex talk that this show has and this show is not the least bit funny to me.  Unfortunately this show will have a second season whether I like it or not.  Maybe I am just not the show’s target audience.  However, I don’t think that Hilary’s fans are the target audience for this show either.  I would have preferred a “Lizzie McGuire” sequel show sort of like what happened to “Boy Meets World”.  Well, maybe someday it might happen.

 

Now we have the release of her new cd that happened in the last week.  While I have not heard more than a couple of tracks from the cd, I must admit that she sounds like the same sort of kid style music that she released years ago.

 

While the lyrics may sound adult, the singing itself sounds like she did 10 years ago.  Whether this is a good thing or a bad one depends on your perspective of her.  Certainly her audience has matured and so should her music and her voice, but it seems someone is manipulating her voice to sound the same as it did back then

 

This leads me to the major issue that I have had with a couple of live performances that she has recently been on in the last week.  Both “Live with Kelly and Michael” and “The View”, it appeared that she was lip-syncing her song “Sparks”, which she performed on both shows.  On both shows, the performance sounded exactly the same with no change in pitch or any other inflections in sound.

 

However, after the “Live” show, the hosts quickly interviewed her after the performance and it was apparent that the microphone that she was holding was not working because it had a hollow sound when she spoke.  Of course, being a live show maybe they thought nobody would ever notice the difference.

 

While this is not the career-ending type of appearance that Ashlee Simpson made on “SNL” a few years ago, it does however bring up the long-standing question as to whether she lip-syncs her songs or performs them live.  I used to be part of yahoo groups that made this a major discussion and the consensus was that she was lip-syncing her live performances.

 

Quite honestly, I would love for her not to have to resort to this type of behavior, but it seems that this is the way she is always going to perform her music.  I will say that I like the song and the bits of other songs that I have heard but I have to give the performances a score of 3.

 

As far as the cd itself is concerned, I have not had a chance to listen to the whole cd yet I refer fans of hers to buy the deluxe version at Target, which has a couple of bonus songs for the same price as other stores have it at.  Just a note, that this edition will probably be available while supplies last only, so if you want it don’t wait until the holidays to buy it as I don’t think it will be around then.   So I will not grade this item at the foreseeable future.

 

Overall, Hilary Duff’s return is a mixed bag.  She is trying to perform like she did as a child, but her grownup role just doesn’t work.  If only shows like TRL on MTV were still around to make her more relevant to today’s kids.  But then again MTV is not relevant anymore either.

 

However, the early 2000’s are not dead for girl group Dream is reuniting to perform together again.  If they sound like they did back then, I think my head is really going to explode not that it hasn’t already done that.  Stay tuned.

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Predictions of 2014 and 2015

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Well, it is that time of year again where I dig out my crystal ball and look back at the 2014 predictions and make new ones for 2015.  I reported that at least 3 would come true – let’s see how close I came.

 

Here are the predictions and the results in parenthesis:

 

  • Justin Bieber will go to jail.  (It happened at least once maybe more.)
  • Kim Kardashian will admit that “Baby North” really never existed and that her pregnancy was fake.  (No, it did not happen.)
  • Kim Kardashian will marry and divorce Kanye West all within the year.  (No, it didn’t happen.)
  • RadioShack will be out of business.  (No, it hasn’t happened yet.)
  • JCPenney will be out of business.  (No, it hasn’t happened yet.)
  • Kmart will be out of business.  (No, it didn’t happen.)
  • Amanda Bynes returns to TV in a new comedy show, but will also do an interview with Oprah describing the last few years.  (No, it didn’t happen.)
  • Time Warner Cable will be sold and broken up into pieces leaving smaller markets such as where I live without any providers at all.  This means that many small independent cable operators will start up after many years.  (No, in fact a possible merger with Comcast might happen instead.)
  • Lady Gaga will do a Playboy layout proving that he/she is dual gendered leaving many fans disgusted. (Thankfully, this didn’t happen.)
  • Nickelodeon will scrap “Sam & Cat” and Dan Schneider will leave the network and produce shows for rival Disney.  (The first half is true, the second is not.)
  • Hilary Duff will divorce and sister Haylie will marry.  (Not quite on both.)
  • ABCFamily cancels that horrible “The Vineyard” and “Twisted”.  (Fortunately, yes to both.)
  • Fox News fires Karl Rove after making offensive statements that the network hates.  (No, it didn’t happen.)

 

So last year I once again scored 2 ½ right out of a possible 13.  I barely missed my goal of 3 correct, but I was close.  Now let’s gaze into the crystal ball for 2015 predictions:

  • The merger of Time Warner Cable and Comcast will be placed on hold as both companies would have to discharge some of their market holdings.
  • The possibility of a Staples/Office Max (Depot) merger is canned as neither side can agree on any merger details.
  • Given no merger, Office Max (Depot) shuts down at least half of their remaining locations.
  • As well, Staples shuts down an additional 300 stores as the hack attack of 2014 grows larger.
  • On the brink of bankruptcy, RadioShack is saved by a last minute investor who wants to merge it with another big box retailer.
  • Walmart suffers a major hack attack, which causes millions of credit and debit cards to be compromised.
  • The E! Network finally cancels everything Kardashian as the network struggles to survive.
  • Adam West, TV’s 1960’s Batman, will be the voice of an aged Bruce Wayne on an episode of the Fox series “Gotham”.
  • California will suffer a substantial earthquake in the area north of Los Angeles.
  • Keystone pipeline will be defeated in Congress.
  • MTV will cancel “Eye Candy”.
  • My ex Tanya will get a divorce and return back to Maine wanting to search me out and try and patch things up. Of course, I accept (what choice do I have?).
  • I will either get a new job or a new girlfriend in 2015, but not both.

Out of my 13 predictions for this year, I predict only 2 of them will actually happen.  Maybe it is time for a new crystal ball.

Next time, I expect that my 2 blogs will each have their own unique content again.  At least that is my plan for now, but I can’t make any promises because I can’t predict what happens in the world especially given my seemingly defective crystal ball.

An Open Letter to Tanya Lee H.

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Writer’s note:  I am writing this week’s post to all my blogs as I feel that it is important not only to me, but also to those who have those long unanswered questions about me.  Some of the information presented here may be offensive to some people.  Reader discretion is advised.

 

Dear Tanya Lee H.:

 

In 11 days on May 25, 2014, you will be getting married in some place called Diamond Bar, California.

 

The bad news is that it is not to me.

 

The worse news is that I feel that it is a HUGE mistake.

 

Of course, you could say that I am jealous that it is not me that you are marrying.

 

However, after stalking your future husband’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, it appears that this guy is nothing but a self-centered jerk.  I am basing this solely on what I have read and seen online of this guy.  I feel that this wedding is more of a matter of social convenience rather than the true love that we (yes, us) could and should have had.

 

Let me now rewind the story back a few years ago when we first met.

 

I had been working with your brother Rob for a few years when you started working as a cashier at Staples.  During your employment with Staples, we talked all the time when we weren’t busy.

 

We learned a lot about each other.  So much so that I felt like we belonged together.  I thought that possibly that you felt the same way.

 

But something bothered me.

 

There were some things that you said to me that disturbed me.  While I don’t want to mention them here, I internally questioned your social stability.

 

After having been through other toxic relationships in the past, I was personally scared of what life would be like if we were alone together on a date or something like that.  I really wanted to be with you, but felt that working together would violate company policy and I think you felt the same way.

 

Then the day came.

 

You decided to quit the company.  I dreaded this day ever since I learned it was going to happen.  I was bothered that I was losing my best friend and confidant.

 

It was on that last night together that you hugged me and gave me your telephone number.

 

This was actually 2 firsts.  Nobody had ever hugged me before.  Don’t laugh – it is true.  The funny thing was I finally felt loved for the first time in my life.

 

The second first was that Tanya gave me her telephone number.  Again nobody has ever given me their number before much less a female.

 

However, and it was a big however, was she said to me “call me if you want”.  These words became etched in my head like as if she really was interested, but may not be interested.

 

To say I was confused by this would be an understatement.  I was actually set back as if she was pushing me away while at the same time wanting me.

 

Then the worse thing happened.  I lost her phone number.  Make that I misplaced it and it got cleanly washed away.

 

So I could not call her.  The phone number was not in the book and I had no way of reaching her.  All of a sudden my life turned to crap.

 

For weeks, I was hoping that you would return back to Staples so that we could talk about getting together.

 

But it didn’t happen.

 

Disappointment was mounting.

 

Then one Tuesday, while at the mall, I saw you at the late Waldenbooks store sitting on one of the benches looking at a book with a female friend.  I tried hard not to be seen by you as I did not want to embarrass you or your friend.

 

Luckily, I was able to leave the store without being seen.

 

About a half-hour later, my luck ran out.  I was at Best Buy with my mother shopping and you were alone and noticed me.  I remember I was looking at “The Mummy” DVDs and you focused your radar on me.

 

This is where everything went wrong.  You asked me why I didn’t call you.  I tried to be diplomatic in my conversation with you especially since I had my mother with me and she did not know about you.  I tried to tell you that I wanted to talk later someplace alone.  It appeared that you wanted none of that.

 

Then you stormed off out of the store.

 

At this point, I had a choice.  I could leave my mother in the store alone (mistake) or I could chase after you and talk to you right then and there (possibly a bigger mistake).  I decided to choose the former.

 

Sadly, at this point, I never saw you ever again.  Over the next couple of weeks, I continued to spindle downward with no bottom in site.

 

Then it happened.

 

I was driving home one night from work and I was listening to the radio.  This song came on the radio that struck me like lightning.

 

The song was “So Yesterday” by a girl named Hilary Duff.  Suddenly, this song related to what happened between me and Tanya.  This song wedged in my head so much that I could not shake it.  The more I heard it over the next couple of days, the more I related to it.

 

At this point, I decided to learn more about this Hilary Duff girl.  I found out that she was the star of a popular Disney Channel show “Lizzie McGuire”.  I decided to watch an episode just to get a feeling for what this girl was really like.

 

Then it happened.

 

I was hooked on Hilary.  Like a druggie, I could not get enough Duff.  I bought CDs, DVDs, magazines, books and anything else with her in it.

 

I was obsessed.  It became so bad that I asked Best Buy if I could have a large poster of her when they were finished using it.  I did the same at f.y.e. with a poster they had as well.   I also asked there if I could have the “Lizzie McGuire Movie” video display when they were done with it.  They allowed me to have it.

 

At this point, it seemed that I was completely obsessed with Hilary, even going to the point of carrying the lyrics of “So Yesterday” in my pocket and reading them when I was depressed.

 

I was also joining as many online groups as I could from Yahoo to feed my desire for pictures, comments or anything else related to Hilary.

 

It would be obvious at this point I was not only obsessed, but crazy about her.  Some online groups shunned people like me for being “too old” for being a fan.  I told them that real fans came in all ages.  Certainly, I was not alone in my beliefs.

 

Then the big one happened.

 

Lizzie McGuire was done, but my obsession was not.

 

I had to find a new outlet for social relief.

 

So I started watching other Disney shows at the time such as “Suite Life of Zack and Cody”, “Hannah Montana” and “Wizards of Waverly Place” among others.  I quickly became obsessed with these shows as well.

 

I would buy as many of the teen magazines as I possibly could every month even though I was really too old for them.  It became apparent that I needed an intervention.

 

Before that would happen, I started watching shows on Nickelodeon as the shows on Disney Channel became stale.  Once again, my obsession with kid and teen shows grew.

 

At this point, much of my thoughts had turned away from Tanya.  However, one day while on the old MySpace, I decided to friend her out of the blue.  It appeared she either rejected me or ignored me.  At this point, I also noticed that she was living somewhere in the Midwest.  This bothered me as it seemed she wanted nothing to with me at all anymore.

 

So with no future with Tanya and no intervention, I was further encouraged with my admiration for people like Hilary over the remainder of time that I remained employed at Staples.

 

After leaving Staples, I decided that I was finally going to join the new social media revolution.  I signed up for Facebook and Twitter.  Quickly some of my old work colleagues friended me on Facebook and soon I would be using Twitter extensively as well.

 

Then I decided one day to look up Tanya on Facebook and Twitter.  I noticed on Facebook that she had since moved to Sherman Oaks California.  On Twitter, she had an account, but she has never tweeted.  I am only one of four of her followers.  I wonder if she knows that I am following her there even though she has never tweeted anything.  I also noticed that another one of her followers was a guy named Dave V.

 

So I decided to investigate him.  What I saw I didn’t like.  Then I did more and more reading about him, the less I liked.

 

This brings us up to the last couple of months.  I decided to Google Tanya’s name and I found out that she was engaged to this Dave guy.  Imagine the fact that I was completely heartbroken beyond belief.

 

So she moved 3,000 miles away to get away from me and then get engaged to someone else.  It appeared that my chances with her were over.

 

However, I still needed an output for my emotions.  So, a few months after starting my anti-Staples blog, I decided to start a new blog discussing virtually any other topic.  Ironically, many of those postings have been about teen shows just to help me cope with my social loss.  I know that many people have always been confused why I discuss these types of shows more than adult shows, but now I hopefully have cleared up the method behind my madness.  It is just my way of producing my own intervention or something like it.

 

Overall, Tanya’s wedding will not have my blessing under any circumstances.  I feel that I was shortchanged in this relationship as she refused to listen to me that I really wanted her, but I could not contact her because she was not found in the phonebook or any other method.  I don’t feel that I was to be to blame for this relationship failure, but a huge misunderstanding between 2 people.

 

Lastly, I still have those posters of Hilary on my living room wall and the “Lizzie McGuire” is still in my bedroom filled with all those teen books and video tapes from back in the day.

 

Tanya, you may be so yesterday, but I still wish that you would be really part of my tomorrow.

 

I am hoping someday you will get to read this and know that I still really care about you despite being so far away.  I wish I could right the wrongs of the past.

 

Sincerely,

 

Louis Brown

(your best friend from Staples)