Saturday, February 26, 2011

From the Archives: Gotta Love Those TV Theme Songs!

"We're gonna make it after all!"

One of the most popular things Darren Marlar ever did on his morning show was TV Theme Song Day. The lines were jammed with people making their requests, and Darren valiantly tried to find each and every song. This was originally posted on March 29th, 2005:

Every once in a while, we just do something silly and fun on the Marlar in the Morning show on101qfl. Yesterday, we talked about TV theme songs, and the phones rang off the hook as listeners requested their favorites. It ended up being a wonderfully nostalgic walk down memory lane.

However, I have a quibble with the "official" list of the top 10 TV theme songs of all time. Any list that doesn't include the themes to Mary Tyler Moore, the Beverly Hillbillies or M*A*S*H has really got a problem!

Here's the list compiled by Robert Berry of RetroCrush:

1) Sanford and Son
2) The Brady Bunch
3) Gilligan's Island
4) Batman
5) The Jeffersons
6) Mission: Impossible
7) Star Trek
8) Twin Peaks
9) Spongebob Squarepants
10 Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

OK, I can agree with seven out of 10 of those (although not necessarily in the order Berry ranked them.) But, Twin Peaks?!? And SpongeBob Squarepants has NOT been around long enough to achieve "best of all time" status. I don't think Fat Albert belongs in the top 10, either.

Oh, and wait! Where's Andy Griffith's familiar whistle?

I can think of a few that, while not classic enough to be on the top 10, deserve a brief mention. Who can resist Will Smith's catchy "Fresh Prince of BelAir" rap? And for sheer novelty, there's always the Garry Shandling Show theme from several years ago:

"This is the theme to Garry's show.
The theme to Garry's show.
Garry called me up and asked
Would I write his theme song?
I'm almost half-way finished,
How do you like it so far?
How do you like the theme to Garry's show?

This is the theme to Garry's show.
The opening theme to Garry's show.
This is the music that you hear
As you watch the credits.
We're almost at the part
Where I will start to whistle..."

And I'm pretty sure I could come up with all the lyrics for "Petticoat Junction" and "Green Acres"!

Listeners called in requests for their own favorites; everything from "The Dukes of Hazzard" to "I Love Lucy" to "Welcome Back, Kotter."

How about you? Do you have any favorites? Let me know in my comments section.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thursday 13: Thirteen Stars of Old Hollywood

Here are pictures of 13 stars of Hollywood's Golden Age. How many of them can you identify?

I'm participating in the Thursday 13 meme! Go here to participate.
Glenn Ford, Grace Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, June Allyson, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Ginger Rogers, Gregory Peck, Barbara Stanwyck, Fred Astaire

The Biggest Loser Update: There's No Love Like a Parent's Love

Listen to my 2 min. 32 sec. update by clicking on the player, or just read the post below it!

Well, that was an interesting turn of events!

The show really laid it all on the line last night...the red line, that is. Early on in the show, Alison told the black team that the person who fell below the red line (with the lowest weight-loss percentage), would be immediately ousted...while the losing team at the weigh-in would have to vote off one of their own.

I had a feeling the red team would win, just because the black team has killed them more often than not in the past. But I admit I never guessed why the black team would lose the weigh-in.

As it turned out, Deni, Marcie and Jesse purposely gained weight so their children would be safe from elimination.

This saved Jennifer, who actually wasn't the child of any of them...but she had gained two pounds, obviously UNintentionally, and was on the chopping block until the weight gains of Deni, Marcie and Jesse insured she would NOT fall below the red line.

As I've said before, The Biggest Loser often touches my heart and brings a tear to my eye. Last night was no exception, as these parents expressed their sacrificial love for their children. Each of them--especially Jesse, I think--would liked to have stayed on the ranch, but they were more concerned about their offspring.

Deni actually gained 8 pounds to insure that her daughter Sarah would not be in danger. Apparently, Sarah's weight had caused her to be unable to sustain a pregnancy in the past. Deni wanted to make sure Sarah is able to lose the weight so she can have a baby in the future.

I loved the selflessness of these parents. What a contrast to Biggest Loser winner Helen of a few seasons ago, who not once, but twice allowed her daughter to be thrown under the bus and ousted from the ranch.

So, the show is really heating up as the black-versus-red team rivalry continues, and each week brings changes in how these contestants look.

What are your thoughts? As a parent, would you have sacrificed yourself to make sure your child got to stay on the ranch? I'd love to hear your feedback!

If you'd like to read a detailed recap of the episode, go here

Monday, February 21, 2011

From the Archives: I'm Fascinated with Names

a song that was popular around the time I was born

(originally posted May 2005)

I'm fascinated by names, and have been since I was a little girl. The way they sound, their origins, their meanings.

I've loved the names of my three children--Jonathan, Justin and Elizabeth--since I was literally a child.

Why do people choose the names they choose for their children? I'm intrigued by the process, although I've gone through it myself, with my husband, three times. A given name is so important, so major.

I teach a Sunday School class of third-grade girls, most of them African American. One recent Sunday, I was amazed when I took the roll and found:


Oh, and there was also a Kayla and a Maria. Boring in comparison, huh?

I've noticed that many names once considered "old-fashioned" are resurfacing and being considered cool--Sophie, Isabella, Ava--partly thanks to movie stars. Will Julia Roberts' "Hazel" and Gwyneth Paltrow's "Apple" launch a trend?

I am Cynthia Susan, named for my mother Cynthia Anne, and she was named for her aunt Cynthia Pearl. I used to think "Pearl" was so passe, but now I think Cynthia Pearl sounds really lovely.

Just as I'm drawn to all things Irish, I love names of Celtic or Gaelic origin. Granted, they often sound nothing like they look--Sean, Siobhan, Tighe, Aislinn. But I'm a sucker for anything with an "O'" or a "Mc" or "Mac" in front of it, and love the way they roll off the tongue: McDonough, McCullough, McNamara, O'Shaughnessy.

What names do you love? How did you select your children's names? My inquiring mind wants to know.

If you love books, check out my book blog, Cindy's Book Club, where I'm featuring a fun little book meme!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Touch of Spring

I've had enough of blizzards and freezing temperatures and falling snow and piled-up snow and even ugly melting snow. Today is actually a beautiful day in Northern Illinois, but it's not spring...and I'm longing for spring! So I thought I'd decorate my blog with some images that make me think of spring. I've heard that there have been a few robin sightings...but I know that where I live, winter isn't over until it's over...and it's not over yet.

all photos from tumblr

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Biggest Loser Update: Red vs. Black Drama

Listen to my Biggest Loser update (less than 3 minutes long), or just read the post below!

Red Team versus Black Team drama continues--with the Red Team being the former "unknowns," who trained in a different location for four weeks, and the Black Team being the team who stayed on the ranch, training with Bob and Jillian.

Am I the only one having a hard time rooting for the red team? Thanks to the show's device, I've never really been able to bond with the red team members. It's not that I dislike them, I still just don't feel like I really know them.

So I find myself pulling for the black team members during challenges, like the train challenge tonight.

I will say this: Last week, I was getting really annoyed with Red Team "leaders" Justin and Rulon. I've always thought they were really heavy-handed in their criticism of their team-mates, and last week Justin especially was on my last nerve.

However, both Justin and Rulon came across as much more likable and sympathetic this week. Rulon had issues, and trainer Cara tried to draw him out, but she was pretty unsuccessful in doing so. I have a sneaking suspicion that if it had been Jillian doing the counseling, SHE would have had Rulon spilling his guts in no time! :)

And then there's Arthur of the black team. I have kind of a like/dislike relationship with Arthur. He often comes across as a bit of a slacker, and he makes really questionable decisions--like sending Jay and Jen over to the red team last week.

But when he lost 20 lbs this week (!!!), I couldn't help but be happy for him, and it was fun to watch the exuberance of his team members and trainers. Again...because I'm a black team fan.

Kudos to Bob and Jillian for helping their team members achieve solid weight losses, despite the fact that losing a challenge meant the team lost the use of the gym for a week

I'm loving the fact that we're starting to see some real changes in these contestants' appearance--I love their transformations!

Since these are basically just my thoughts on the show, you may want to read more of a blow-by-blow account--here's a good site for that.

Meantime, I'd love to read your own thoughts and feedback in my comments section!

Please check out my book blog, Cindy's Book Club, where I'm reviewing Words by Ginny Yttrup!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A little treat from the archives: The Most Famous Lovers of All Time

In honor of Valentine's Day! From, the most famous lovers in literature and history. (Originally posted February 13, 2009)

1. Romeo and Juliet--portrayed at left by Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting in Franco Zeffirelli's movie adaptation of Shakespeare's famous play.

2. Cleopatra and Mark Antony

3. Lancelot and Guinevere

4. Layla and Majnun--OK, this one I admit I had never heard of, but you can read about them here

5. Tristan and Iseult (Isolde)--pictured portrayed by James Franco and Sophia Myles in the 2006 movie adaptation

6. Eloise and Abelard

7. Paris and Helena

8. Orpheus and Eurydike

9. Napoleon and Josephine

10. Cyrano and Roxane

11. Pyramus and Thisbe

12. Werther and Lotte

13. Odysseus and Penelope

14. Jane Eyre and Rochester--The romance from my favorite novel of all time! It gives hope to every young girl who isn't beautiful that the man of her dreams can still fall madly, passionately in love with her. Who can forget Jane's impassioned speech to Rochester, just before he declares his love for her:

"Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you."

15. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler--From one of my favorite books and movies, Gone With the Wind.

Got any favorites here--or couples that you think should be added to the list? Let me know in my comments section!

Check out my book blog, Cindy's Book Club, where I'm reviewing Jenny B. Jones' Save the Date!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sunday, February 06, 2011

From the Archives: Men in Ties

James Stewart

Cary Grant

On June 17, 2008, USA Today ran an article questioning whether men's ties were disappearing off the scene. Over two years later, ties are still going strong, and men are still looking great in them! Following is my original post:

Are neckties going the way of the buffalo?

Just after Father's Day--the day probably most associated with the giving of ties--USA Today questions whether the necktie will "hang on" much longer.

The story reports that "the recent decision by the Men's Dress Furnishings Association--the trade group for America's neckwear makers--to shut down has some folks tied up in knots."

Admittedly, we're living in the day of Casual Friday....and Monday...and Tuesday...etc. The tie is not the icon it used to be. The story cites a Gallup poll that found just 6 per cent of men wearing neckties to work each day, down from 10 per cent in 2002. More than two-thirds of the men surveyed said they never wear a tie to work.

However, there are still men who enjoy dressing up and looking sharp. "When you wear a tie it still says ... you're dressed for the occasion," the story quotes Amy Klaris, a retail strategist at consulting firm Kurt Salmon Associates.

I can sympathize with men who think a tie feels like a noose around their neck. I don't know if I would enjoy wearing one all the time, just as, being a woman, I wouldn't want to have to wear high-heeled shoes all the time. However, I do think my husband looks gorgeous when he's dressed up in a suit and tie...and I would hate to see the necktie die out completely.
Here are some photos of various famous men in ties.
What do you think?

Matthew Fox

Josh Holloway

Russell Crowe

(End of original post)

When I originally posted this story, I got some great comments from readers. Here are a few:

Kay: I love to see a man dressed up! But I have often wondered who first decided to tie a piece of fabric around their neck and call it fashionable... It is a strange practice, really.

Joel: I personally think neckties were designed by Torquemada.

Another problem I have. My neck is too large for the size shirt I wear. If I get a shirt with a large enough neck, the sleeves are too long. They used to have extenders for necks, but they're increasingly hard to find.

So I either wear turtlenecks or just an open shirt. I'll wear a tie to a funeral, but that's about it.

Randy (a former co-worker of mine): I will always believe in ties. Even when one of our co-workers at the station begged us all to go to tieless attire, I still wore one a lot. Maybe you remember that. I still believe that a tie is a standard of professional dress and should be. Sure, I did tire at times of them, but if a man wears the proper neck size shirt, you can get used to the tie. However, I come from the old school of thought.

Ann-Marie: Josh Holloway would look good in a suit made out of garbage. But he looks extra yummy in a tie. (and no garbage)

So, how do YOU feel about men in ties? I'd love to get some more great comments!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Pink and Green Thursday

For the very first time, I'm participating in Pink and Green Thursday, hosted by Pink Preppy Lilly Lover. Click on the icon to find out more!

I guess some people have a theme, but I guess I'm just going to go with pretty things that are pink and green!

Biggest Loser Update: The teams unite!

Click on the player to listen to my 3 and half minute podcast, or just read the post below!

If you're not seeing a player, go here to listen

Well, we finally got to see the weigh-in that we didn't get to see last week. The team that's been on the ranch the whole time had to eliminate Don after he followed in his twin brother Dan's footsteps and sabotaged the weigh-in by gaining weight so he could go home.

Honestly, that annoys me. I have to agree with this blogger from

"...after watching I've decided I'm glad we didn't get the first weigh-in last week. I don't think I could have handled two weeks ending with Dan and Don throwing their weigh-ins so they could go home. Talk about infuriating as a viewer; I can only imagine what it must be like for those would-be contestants who just missed the cut."
OK, we get it--the ranch isn't for everyone. But I think you could determine that if you've EVER watched the show! I personally know that I could NEVER make it on the ranch, so I wouldn't try to take up space there, knowing there are other people who would give anything to be there.

The "Unknowns" Return

The other big event of the evening is the return of the "unknowns" to the ranch, complete with their trainers, Cara and Brett. (We need to find a different term for them, because they actually aren't unknown to us anymore.)

I'm finally feeling like I'm getting to know these people better. We were also able to see that the unknowns "family" doesn't feature complete solidarity...they obviously were just waiting for a chance to get rid of Q, who they view as a slacker.

However, they did listen to the pleas of both Q and his wife Larialmy to let him stay, and Larialmy went home.

Some random observations:

--The former "unknowns" seem to be firmly embedded in their identity as a family--but what do you bet the show shakes things up by doing something to integrate the two sides? I can totally see that coming!

--Justin and Rulon seem to be the leaders of the former unknowns, but as I mentioned earlier, I think they get a little heavy-handed in their motivational preaching/lecturing. (By the way, have you heard about the 1.5 pound "Rulon Burger" that he sells at his Wyoming restaurant?)

--Whatever Cara and Brett are doing to help their people shed the pounds, it's definitely working! Before they were able to be in the ranch's gym, it looked like they were mainly doing a lot of boxing.

--I noticed the trainers were absent at the final weigh-in last night. Wonder why? And did I catch a sense of some tension between the old and new trainers in the previews for next week?

I'd love to get your thoughts and observations in my comments section!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Stuff to tell you!

While my husband and I are holed up in our cozy basement TV room riding out the blizzard of 2011, I thought I would do something I haven't done in a while--a "Stuff to Tell You" post. It's a random potpourri of interesting information and link love. Enjoy!

--I've really been enjoying Alison Sweeney's re-vamped blog. It goes hand-in-hand with her job as host of one of my favorite shows,The Biggest Loser, and focuses mainly on healthy eating and fitness.

Recently Ali was looking especially lovely with a gorgeous updo. She explains how to get the look here.

--Successful blogging is often a case of quid pro quo--or as Jeff Roney calls it, the blogging boomerang. Basically it's all about the good things you do in the blogging world coming back to you. Good stuff!

--You know Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is a great quarterback--but did you know he plays the guitar to unwind?

--Is Facebook generating "online sociability fatigue"? That's one of the questions raised in this insightful article about the social networking phenomenon.

--If (like me) you're still mourning the loss of "Lost," you'll want to read this article by Carlton Cuse: Lost will never really be over.

--Oh, and one more thing--if you haven't yet checked out my book/reading blog, Cindy's Book Club, I do hope you'll do so now!
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