Sunday, December 18, 2011


There are joys a’bounding in my life, but there is sadness hovering
nearby as well.  Which is a decent enough description of everyone’s
lives in these contentious, sometimes soul-crushing times.  While
I strive to keep the melancholy at bay, I assure you my occasional
gloominess has nothing to do with my health, my Sainted Wife Barb,
my kids, or, save in small measure, my employment prospects for the
coming year.  The last could be brighter, but, as I’ve mentioned in
other bloggy things, something always turns up.

The 2011 Holiday Herd Gathering took place last Friday.  With best
buddies Bob Ingersoll, Roger Price, and Thom Zahler, I ate at the
Inferno Gourmet Burger Bar here in Medina, Ohio.  Great food, great
prices, efficient and friendly and darned cute waitresses, and, of
course, the excellent company of my friends. In the parking lot, we
were asked about Inferno by a couple who’d seen us exit the place.
We gave it a glowing recommendation and, as we drove off, I saw the
couple enter the restaurant.

I confess I’m not much looking forward to either my 60th birthday
(because this time of year is busy enough for Barb without having
to worry about something that’s not a big deal to me) or Christmas.
I’m feeling the sadness of people I care about who have made awful
decisions and the insanity of the Tea Party Republicans.  I am far
more concerned about the latter than I’ve ever been about foreign
terrorists. Scary times.

But, as noted above, I continue to find joy in so many people and
things in my life. 

Let’s see what I have to write about today.


I fear my Sainted Wife Barb has a Bath & Body Works addiction. She
seems to come home with a bag of hand soap pump dispensers once
a week or so.  I may have to develop a hand-washing compulsion just
to keep up with her purchases.

For example, at this moment, there are four different hand soaps in
our upstairs bath: Blushing Mimosa, Cranapple Crisp, Marshmallow,
and Vanilla Bean Noel.  My son Eddie complains that he just wants
one “normal” hand soap there.  Does Bath & Body Works make a beer-
scented hand soap?

I’m okay with most of the scents, but I’ve never been a marshmallow
fan.  Since I rarely stop and see which of the four scents I use at
any given time, it is a bit disconcerting to wash my hands and end
up smelling like marshmallow.  Maybe they could combine the scent
with chocolate and graham crackers scents.

Since we’re all friends here, feel free to comment on your favorite
hand soap scents.  Don’t worry about being ridiculed.  Somebody who
smells like marshmallow has no right to mock you.


Hosted by Ty Pennington, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was
one of the first and only reality shows I ever watched on anything close
to a regular basis.  The show made its debut in December 2003 and
will end its run next month.  

Three things attracted me to the show.  First and foremost, I liked
the idea that, in every episode, Pennington and his crew would go
to the home of a family or individual going through seriously hard
times and build them a new home.  The homes were designed to answer
specific needs of these families or individuals.  In short, we got
to watch an enormously good deed every week. 

Second...I really liked Pennington and his crew.  They seemed to be
genuinely nice people who did not feign their concern for the folks
they helped. 

Third...Pennington and his crew built some amazing homes.  I would
have happily moved into most of them.

I stopped watching the show after reading too many reports of how
some families couldn’t maintain the homes or borrowed on the homes
to pay other bills or, most sad of all, were stupid with whatever
money and advantages they had been given by the show.  It took most
of the fun and warmth out of the show for me.

At the end of the day, ABC, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and Ty
Pennington’s band of cuddly contractors managed to do a lot of good
in a world that needs all the good it can get.  They couldn’t build
perfection in the lives of imperfect humanity, but they did a lot
of good.  Not a bad way to remember the show.


I don’t apologize for watching cheesy movies on the SyFy Channel.
When I sit down in the dark family room watching the network’s far-
from-classic offerings, it takes me back to my Cleveland boyhood.
Friday and Saturday nights watching monster movies hosted by Ernie
Anderson in his role of Ghoulardi.  I learned to love Godzilla and
other giant movie monsters from Ghoulardi and also, thanks to his
inventive comedy and prop humor, not to take them too seriously.
Some things in life are just supposed to be fun.  If they can rise
to the level or art or even craft, that’s a bonus.  Good movies and
bad, Ghoulardi made them all entertaining.

If I were in charge of the SyFy Channel - And, really, who better?
- I would expand its feature Saturday night movie showing from two
hours to three and add a comical and/or comely host to the evening.
I’d revel in the cheesiness of the movies.  Some things in life are
just supposed to be fun.

One of the many things that amuse me greatly about SyFy’s movies is
how many similarly-themed films it shows.  Yesterday, Saturday, it
had an entire day of storm disaster movies.  It has also aired days
of giant spiders, giant snakes, giant crocodiles and/or alligators,
giant sharks, giant creatures of myth, etc.  Name a cheesy
horror/monster movie theme.  SyFy doesn’t have just one movie of
that theme.  It has a dozen! 
So here’s to the SyFy Channel and all those Saturday evenings when
I can be twelve again.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.   

© 2011 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. My favorite Sy FY Movie was Sharktopus. It was fun to see a shark jump out of the water and eat the Golden Gate Bridge.

    I purchased three six packs of SY FY movies at Wal Mart, all from the Sy Fy channel. There was the Fantasy, Monster, and Disaster movies. They are all two disc packs. All of them are in the five dollar bin. It was good to see Sharktopus in the monster collection. I wasn't going to pay $14.99 just for one movie.

    I am waiting for the SY FY version of Thor to go to the five dollar bin. It was far more cheesy than the Marvel Thor movie.