Friday, September 5, 2008

The Price is Right........C'mon down!!!!

So yesterday I told you the story of appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show twice. And when we went to the last Ellen show in April of this year, during the same trip we also went on The Price is Right. I told you that leading up to the taping of the Ellen Show is a long doesn't even compare to The Price is Right. So this is how it goes....
We had 4 tickets for the show and myself and daughter were planning on going...I had mentioned to a friend of mine what we were doing on this vacation and that we had 2 extra tickets for The Price is Right. My friend said that she had always dreamt of being on the show and in her dreams she made it all the way to the showcase showdown, so she and her daughter (who lived in SoCal) were going to attend the taping with us.
So the morning of the show at 5:30 the 4 of us met at the CBS lot and were given a number...we were to return again at 8:00.....we got back at 8:00 and everyone was lined up on benches according to your number. This was definitely a wait, wait, and wait some more situation, but the people that are waiting in line for the The Price is Right are totally different than those that had waited for the Ellen Show. These people were crazy....excited...enthusiastic..., many had been there before and made their shirts bigger and better to get everyone's attention.
There were young people that worked for the show that went up and down the line and wrote everyone's name on a name tag with a corresponding number attached. The they came along with a polaroid camera and took your picture (I guess to see how you look on camera (?)
Something to keep in mind with both of these shows is that they always overbook the that there are no vacant you never know until you are seated in the studio that you are going to be on. So your in a state of anxiety all day wondering if you are gonna be booted at the last minute.
After you get your number you are moved to another area on the lot (closer to the studio) again...lined up on benches...and the producer of the show, along with an assistant takes everyone in groups of 6 and asks everyone just a couple of questions.....this is how they determine who they are picking for the show. So they want to see you enthusiastic, excited...etc. They ask basically where you are from, what you do for a living, just general questions like that.
After this you wait some more...(of course)...then everyone is lined up single file (just like elementary school) you go thru security, leave your cell phone (because you know there is always some idiot that can't follow instructions to turn it off), and they lead you into the studio.
The studio and set really surprised was totally OLD was the same props, chairs, everything that they had been using for like 40 years. Contestants row seemed really cheap and made of cardboard, really as did everything there. And I have no idea where they kept the cars and see absolutely nothing waiting for the show and inside of the studio. And, the studio is very small...maybe a hundred people or so.
Once everyone is in the studio they start playing some great dance music and everyone gets up, starts dancing and singing to get warmed up (we did that also at the Ellen Show...they actually have dance contests before the show and during commercials) everyone is getting excited.
Then the announcer comes out, introduces himself and tells us all a little bit about himself and how he got the job. Then he tells us if they call your name it is going to be so loud in may not hear there is a place on the stage where they will hold up a card with the name on it....just in case. Then they count down to the show and it starts just like you see on tv.
Another thing that is different about this show from Ellen is that Drew Carey stays on the stage during commercials and talks to the audience, tells jokes..answers questions. He was absolutely adorable and seemed so friendly and nice and he genuinely wanted everyone to win. Ellen does not mingle with her audience...what you see on tv is what happens...during the commercial break her set goes dark and they touch up her makeup, hair, clothing...etc.
When the show started 2 of the first contestants chosen where sitting right next to us....we were sitting about 4 rows directly behind contestants row.
Then on about the 3rd item up for bid....the next name called was...MY FRIEND...yep, just like her dreams!!! She didn't get up on the stage right away...but eventually won the bidding and got on stage. When she got on stage she had the opportunity to win a car...but ended up losing the car and winning money in a piggy bank...three hundred or so dollars....
Then when she spun the wheel to get into the showcase showdown.....yep....SHE HAD THE HIGHEST NUMBER AND WAS CHOSEN!!!!
When it came time for the showcase showdown...the first package contained a computer, some other things (don't really remember) and TWO CARS!!!! The first contestant passed on this package and my friend was to bid on it...
Now one very important note friend, although she always dreamed of being on the show had not watched it in many she was unfamiliar with alot of the games and how the bidding works...and I in preparation for going to the show had tivo'd the show during the day to watch at night in preparation...just in case I was she was looking to me every time she had bid.....except this time......and she bid two thousand dollars more that I had told her.
When time came to reveal if anyone had won....she had overbid by fifteen hundred dollars!! So she lost not one, not two, but three cars that day!!! But, because she had not watched the show, she thought that she won because she was closer than the other bidder, but she went over. So poor thing, was still a little shocked when they shuffled her off the stage.
It was an awesome day...very long....when we walked out of the studio it was about 3:00. They told all of us that if we wanted to stay for a second taping there were some seats was very tempting...but we were exhausted...we went out to an awesome lunch and cocktails....of course my friend picked up the tab!!
I know that pictures always make the story more exciting...but due to the size of this post...I'm gonna let you use your imagination.
P.S. We are planning to go again in April....woo hoo!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ellen DeGeneres Show....times two!!

Last week when I had my Brighton Earring giveaway, I had a semi rant about some George Michael concert tickets that I had received on the Ellen Show...and actually one of the comments asked me to talk about being on the show.
Actually I have been on the Ellen Show twice!!
The first time was April oldest daughter and I attended a taping and spent 3 days in LA/Beverly Hills for my birthday. We had a blast...had dinner at the Ivy, hot dogs at Pink's, cupcakes from Sprinkles...saw a few celebrities...saw Giada DeLaurentis in a furniture store...saw Leesa Gibbons at Target. I have run into a few celebrities in my life and never really know how to act. I want to tell them how much I like them, or their work....but I don't want to bother them...I understand that they are people too....just like the rest of us. But it is pretty cool when you see someone.
We were seated on a end of the aisle and Ellen came up and danced by us. And the guest on the show was Leah Remini...who we love from King of Queens.

She was hilarious....Ellen asked her is she was pregnant again and Leah said..."YOU BITCH!!
Corrine Rae Bailey was the musical guest and we all received her CD.

Then in April of this year, my youngest daughter and I went again to attend a taping (we have now decided that this is going to be an annual trip for my birthday) and Forrest Whittaker was the guest, who was very cool..

And the B-52's sang "Love Shack" which was so awesome. It totally rocked the house. When the show started George Michael called in and gave tickets to his concert in LA....way cool...but we couldn't attend since it was in the middle of the week and LA is a 4 hour drive away (which prompted me to want to give them away...)
At this show Ellen's mom sat right in front of the end of the show I did ask her to tell Ellen thank you for such a great birthday present.Ellen's mom is adorable and seemed very nice.
During our trip we had dinner at the Chateau Marmont (saw Christopher Lloyd there, didn't realize who he was until we asked for directions). Did alot of shopping and spent alot of time on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Attending a taping of a tv show is a little surreal....there is alot of hurry up and wait. You typically wait several hours before even going into the studio and in the case of the Ellen Show, you don't even know if you will be in the audience until the last moment (you may end up in the riff raff room...which would be fine with me!).
So it is an all day thing....we were in line to pick up tickets at 6 am...back for taping at 1 pm, taping began at 4, and we were out of there around 6ish. Long day....but worth every moment of it...alot of the fun is who you get to know while you are waiting. My daughter and I became friendly with a lesbian couple who came from Australia....where they are HUGE fans...I think one of them had a crush on my daughter....
But the excitement of Ellen is quite different from the taping of THE PRICE IS RIGHT....yep we went on that show too.....I will tell you about that one tomorrow... stay tuned.....can you say....SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN????!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Scammers and caramel

I just want to share a story....last Friday I received my phone bill from AT&T...I normally don't really look at it, I have it set up on autopay..but I always open it just to make sure the balance is the same month after month (we have a separate long distance carrier). Anyway..there were two charges on there that were weird (for lack of a better word) one in the amount of $15.74 for Nationwide Voice 1X set up fee and the other in the amount of $14.95 for Voice Mail Professionals VM monthly fee.....EXCUSE ME...I DON'T NEED NO STINKIN VOICEMAIL...I AM UNEMPLOYED!!
Both of these were separate charges with 2 different companies and the number for each was listed on the statement. I called the VoiceMail Professionals VM first, the conversation went like this with a customer service rep:
Me: hello, I am calling in regards to an unauthorized charge that was placed on my AT&T bill
Him: Well, we will see about "unauthorized"
Me: Well, I know it is unauthorized because I do not need voicemail and don't want voicemail
Him: Did you on (such and such a date) click on a ad online for some coupons?
Me: Maybe, who knows....
Him: Is you address....., your mother's maiden name........, your home phone.....
Me: Ummmmm did you know that?
Him: We received that info thru the internet. When you clicked on the ad for the coupons there was fine print in the ad to sign up for voicemail and we sent you an email to confirm this and on the email there was a place to click on a link if you wanted to opt out...and well you didn't opt out.
Me: I never received an email from probably went into my spam....what right do you have to charge something to my phonebill without my authorization?
Ok...this conversation lasted over a half hour and to save you all the details...I will cut to the chase...
He hesitantly said that he would "meet me halfway on this" and charge me half of it. Of course...I said absolutely not, that if he couldn't waive it entirely then I would talk to his manager. Then I told him that this is how class action lawsuits get started (that seemed to get his attention). He waived the charge, they already got in on my next bill, said he would waive that and that I sould see a credit in 2 to 3 months. He ended his conversation by saying that if I ever respond to any type of ad on the internet to never give out my home phone number, that they can link to all kinds of information thru that. GEEZ!!
The second charge wasn't as difficult to resolve, but it apparantly was accessed on the internet also using my home phone number. Both of these calls had me on the phone for over an hour.
Then next I called AT&T...of course was on hold for nearly 40 minutes before I spoke to someone...told her what happened and asked what gives anyone the right to add charges to my bill? Is there some kind of block that I can put on to stop unauthorized charges? She said yes we could and I set one up with a code word that must be used. I have always been extremely cautious what I access on the internet, but on occasion my computer is used by my kids and who knows what is being accessed. Just a heads up to everyone ~~~

Ok.....breath in, breath out, cleansing breath.....ahhhhh
now for a sweetie...

Yesterday I made Peach Crisp for dessert along with caramel.
My Mother-in-law passed this on to me for "caramel". Ok, now don't get scared...I know I did at first....but what you do is take a can (in my case I did 3 cans) of sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand Milk) place in a saucepan and cover with water, enough to go at least 2 inches over the can. Bring to a boil, turn heat to medium and let boil for 4 hours....yes, I said 4 hours....I have done this for over 30 years and have never had an explosion and my mother in law probably did it another 30 years before me. Not to say it can't don't hold me responsible. If the water level drops, just heat water in the microwave or tea kettle to add to the saucepan. When the 4 hours is up, remove the cans and place in the fridge until well chilled. Open both ends of the can and slice. This is very sweet and super rich. I was really too much for the peach crisp I made, but my husband who has a huge sweet tooth loves it that way. My mother in law used to serve it on a bed of graham cracker crumbs with a slice of pineapple on top (to cut the sweetness). I took a picture...but I have to warn you it looks a little like......well you know.....ok fine, here it is really is yummy ~~

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ahhhhh....what a great weekend

Anyone that knows me, knows that I will only get up at 5:00 in the morning for two would be a great sale, (like the one they have the day after Thanksgiving)...and the other would be to go FISHING!! And this weekend, on Sunday we spent the entire day fishing. Nothing lowers my blood pressure faster, relaxes my entire soul, more than fishing. I have a low patience level for alot of things,but I could sit and fish all day and night, not get a single bite and not care.
So we got the boat ready to go...

It was an absolutely beautiful was about 90 degrees...not too hot, just right.....

I caught 3 hubby didn't catch any (he is used to that), and we lost quite a few....we hated to leave

But I am hoping to go again next weekend!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Winner, Winner, chicken dinner!!

First, thank you to everyone who stopped by and paid a visit to my blog this weekend. It was awesome to see so many responses and from so many different places.
We have a winner....and the winner is beccachristensen at hotmail dot com...she was chosen using a random number generator I found online (I would have taken a picture, but couldn't figure it out...ya just gotta trust me on this).
Congratulations to Becca.....Becca drop me an email with your address and I will get those earrings out to you.
Thank you to those that posted this contest on their blog, their myspace bulletin board and just plain got the word out. I appreciate it
Stay tuned we will have more drawings....I promise

Hope that everyone had a safe and happy weekend....I got to go fishing and it was awesome!!