Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

It’s 66 degrees in February.

My home state is crumbling under the weight of an ignorant governor.

A CBS News Correspondent was brutally assaulted last week in Cairo.

And then this?

Make the world go away.

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God I love Wisconsin and its wacky inhabitants. I also can’t stand the Palins. The crazy story below makes me one proud cheesehead.


Bristol Palin’s dancing on TV set off man in standoff, complaint says

According to the complaint, Cowan and his wife were watching “Dancing with the Stars” when Cowan jumped up and swore as Bristol Palin appeared, saying something about “the (expletive) politics.” Cowan was upset that a political figure’s daughter was on the show when he didn’t think she was a good dancer, the complaint states.


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I grew up in Wisconsin. (And according to my license, voter registration, and license plates I still live there.) Because I grew up in Madison, America’s favorite mid-western Liberal hub, I am about as blue as can be. As Kathy Griffin once said, “I’m for gun control during gay weddings.”

But I’m also a child of the ’90s, who watched way too much MTV, way too young. I was a huge fan of the Real World and Road Rules before they started doing those stupid challenges. In fact, my very favorite season of the Real World was Boston. Come on Montana? Genesis? That one guy from Boulder? They worked at a community center! It was epic. One of the by-products from that season was Sean Duffy, a competitive lumberback from Wisconsin. And in case you missed it, Sean Duffy just got elected to the House of Representatives. Yeah, beware America, there’s a Real World alum in congress.

This is where I’m torn. I love Wisconsin and old-school MTV. He married Rachel from Real World San Francisco for crying out loud! (Points for Duffy!) But I’m not crazy about his Republican politics (Boo Duffy!)

I do wish him well though. Politics aside, he seems like a good guy. Plus, the livelihood and continued success of my state and my country are now his primary responsibility. But at the first sign, the very first sign of idiocy, I’m out. “Wisconsin Liberal” me  trumps “Mid-90s Reality Show Fan Girl” me.

PS: I see why he won, his commercials were awesome.



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MTV is finally premiering a little show called College Life tonight. Four college freshmen were given handicams and told to document the happenings of their freshman year. Normally, a show like this wouldn’t warrant a write-up on this blog, but this is a special case…these kids attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

I graduated from UW in 2007 and I’m getting ready to graduate again (grad school) in just over a month. I work on campus, I live a quarter block from the dorms and I’ve considered (more than once) getting a Motion W tattoo. When I heard MTV was taking a crack at this place, I instantly thought bad things.

Editing is a vicious mistress, and even if these students were shooting the footage themselves, they can’t control the end product.

I’m not expecting a crystal clean version of this place, we’re far from perfect. I know showing world-renowned stem cell research and gorgeous lakes don’t make for compelling TV, at least over at MTV. It just sucks that people who don’t know this school, may only see this side of us.

When I tell people I graduated from Wisconsin, I don’t want them to think I vomited for six-years straight. Is that too much to ask? After reading some early reviews,  a kind of angry statement from UW communications, and watching this clip, I have a feeling this will not end well.

I’m starting the ep now.

Cue damage control.

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Mary Nolan has one of those “rise-to-fame” stories you only hear about on E! True Hollywood Story. Nolan, a 2004 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Journalism, moved to New York just a few weeks after commencement. Thanks to an internship at Madison Magazine and a stint in Tuscany learning about cooking, she landed a job at foodie bible Gourmet Magazine.

She worked at Gourmet for a few years before enrolling at the Institute For Culinary Education. With journalism and culinary chops, Nolan decided to make an audition tape for the popular Food Network reality competition, The Next Food Network Star. Despite having zero television experience, Food Network approached her about starting work on a pilot of her own.

Nolan’s show, Chic & Easy, premiered May 18. Her recipes focus on fresh ingredients, and simple elegant dishes. She seemed a little rushed and unconfident in the TV kitchen during the pilot. She might relax more on location. I can see her doing a food-travel show, maybe checking out the world’s best farmer’s markets? I don’t think Nolan will be the next big Food Network personality but she’ll probably be around for awhile.

Check out Nolan’s show on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM/8:30 central. Once you see it, let me know if you think Nolan just lucked out, or truly deserves her own show. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

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In Booming Johnny Gilbert Voice: This is Jeopardy!

“Are you ready to make some television?”

I was a kid in a candy store…no a flippin’ candy factory.

The Jeopardy College Championship is shooting in Madison this weekend and I attended tonight’s taping.

My friends Adam, Liz and I arrived at around 6 and because we had VIP tickets (Thanks Adam!) we were routed around the extremely long line and into the Kohl Center. We were told to turn our phones entirely off ( not silent, not vibrate, OFF!) androuted through a security screen. It was almost worse than the airport because there weren’t posted signs telling you what to do. There were bottle necks everywhere. We made it through and got to the VIP holding line. After 10-12 minutes we were ushered into the arena.

The Kohl Center was outfitted with a gorgeous set that looked like a traditional college building, complete with porticos, ivy and trees. The Badgers play basketball and hockey in the Kohl Center but you’d never know. Red and white drapes covered seats, boxes, and the jumbotron. You could hardly tell where you were.

The contestants did a rehearsal round to get used to the lights and microphones then Johnny Gilbert came out. Johnny Gilbert is officially my new favorite TV personality. He has sparkly jackets, does game show announcements and is old as hell. Johnny was the announcer on Price is Right…before Bob Barker. He also narrated the action on Supermarket Sweep (a fact he hid until we’d been there for 90 minutes) and he worked on the Dinah Shore Show. Yes, that Dinah Shore. The one born in 1916.

Anyway, Jonny warmed up the crowd and told us about when to be quiet and when to go nuts. Unfortunetely, there were some drunkies in the upper tier who missed the announcements. They cheered everytime the student from Wisconsin got a question right. Loved the enthusiasm, hated the crowd noise.

The show was great, just like you see on TV. Instead of commercial breaks, Alex Trebek would come into the audience for a few minutes and answer questions from the crowd. Too bad no one had good questions. My favorites were the ones when Alex cut lose. He’s a pretty funny guy. Very long winded and kind of introspective for a game show host, but I bet he’d be a fun grandpa.

Anyway. These were actual interactions:

Audience Member: How do you stay so fit?
Trebek: Drugs

Audience Member: (Yelling!) You da man!
Trebek: How do you know I’m the man? The surgery must have been a success.

So we saw two shows tonight. We clapped, we laughed, we cheered and we reveled in just how old Johnny Gilbert really is. You can’t really improve on that.

The College Championship episodes start on May 5th.

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Lost ABC 11/10C

    • It’s State Basketball Tournament time in Wisconsin which means my favorite ABC shows are pushed into the middle of the night so we can watch greasy teenagers hoop it up. I kid. While the tourney is always a great fun time I am a little upset about the late start for tonight’s episode. Please keep me spolier free friends!

There may be something I’m forgetting but I don’t think I’m recording anything tonight. I guess even the DVR gets a vacay some nights.

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