Jacquelyn: Were You At “The Taste 2” Finale?

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin...

English: Jean Claude Szurdak and Jacques Pepin (right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest judge: Chef Jacques Pepin. In the finals, Marina, Lee and Louise.

The season of “The Taste” is over. As I’ve stated in earlier posts my highpoint of the show was when Jacquelyn exited mid-show, literally walking off stage. She is my Norma Rae. Nigella seriously needs to learn to play with others.

The first test was to make something for the poor and for the rich. It was so uninteresting it really didn’t matter what they made. Basically for the “rich” they added a lot more butter, truffles and caviar. For the “poor,” they all made a stew or soup.

Many past contestants in the audience: I see Cassie and Sarah, Shellie and Don, Audrey and Jay, among others; I am not making this up or exaggerating, I swear, I didn’t know who Audrey was because she didn’t mention “her fans” and she wasn’t complaining.The one person I wanted to see but DIDN’T was Jacquelyn. What, no invite? You people have NO sense of humor.

Final challenge: “Basic cooking: Make me breakfast, lunch and dinner bites that showcase your most dazzling skills.”

They tried. They did TRY.  I didn’t really think anyone made anything over the top that the judges actually swooned over. We’ve all seen good before, the last few episodes missed “stunning and amazing.”The finale did not break the “just ok” pattern. Shame.

Lee: Breakfast: Parmesan flan with bacon quail egg. He forgot that he left his parmesan flan in the oven but remembered at the last second. He saved his behind and put them in the cooler (not his behind, the flan) with bacon, eggs. Pure luck. Lunch: crab cake (he wastes a lot of time trying to get the crabs out of the shell) with avocado. Dinner: strip steak, cauliflower purée..” He was absolutely frazzled,or should I say fried?   Lee plates too soon doesn’t listen to Chef Jacques Pepin who advises him to plate later. Lee is acting cocky, doesn’t listen to the guest Chef.  Poor judgment. Dinner: Strip steak, parmesan tulle, mustard demi glace. Even with his fan favorite girlfriend Cassie giggling (did anyone else notice that rapid fire laugh) nothing could stop him or slow him down.

Marina:  (Chef Pepin looked a little befuddled around her) Marina starts with an (English muffin,?) quail egg, onion, fig and bacon. (“well executed”) :Lunch: Fried spring roll, oyster and pork, deemed (“not that successful.”) Dinner: short ribs, rice, kale, port wine.  She forgets to taste her own food, a definite no-no. Marina won’t take advice from anyone,she listens to no one, she prides herself on that. Marina used chicken testicles and pork blood. She certainly is imaginative. Have you cooked with chicken testicles and pork blood? Me either.

Louise: Breakfast: Fried quail egg with tomato sauce, (similar to Chef Pepin’s model that he displayed.) Lunch: fried oyster po’ boy sandwich, Dinner: steak with red wine sauce (which Chef Pepin salvaged)  potatoes, makes food look beautiful (she is also a food stylist.) She touches the steak and isn’t sure it is ready, Chef Pepin touches it and says 5 more minutes, in it goes. She is more needy and ready to listen to Jacques Pepin and believe me it shows. Her sauce breaks, she can’t use it. Chef Pepin helps her find a teaspoon of meat drippings again. Lousie feels like the underdog (again) and complains about something, was it brioche again? Much to everyone’s surprise, including Louise, she won “The Taste.”  As if she was in “Survivior” Louise flew under the radar, bothered no one, smiled a lot and portrayed herself as the victim.

3rd place LEE, 2nd place Marina, First place Louise

Congratulations? I mean, Congratulations.

The show is over. I’m done. We are all grateful. Would I watch it again? Probably.

*any error of description of food was unintentional and due to extreme fibromyalgia tiredness. I still am annoyed at the amount of alcohol on TV, just sayin’ sponsors?

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“The Shark Tank” And Me (Pop Cop)

Shark Tank 6

Shark Tank 6 (Photo credit: Sakurako KitsaOh

I know, I’m overdue for a snarky post. You want one? You’ve got one. Let’s discuss “The Shark Tank”, a show that my husband and I happen to like and watch.  I’d just like to point out some of the characteristics of the said “sharks.” Who should go first? Come on, play along with me.

Mark? Okay. I actually like him, because beneath his arrogant exterior I can tell he has a heart, especially when it comes to children so I can usually predict how interested he will be in a deal. He’s likely to go for the underdog. Deep inside the cigar smoking ego maniac, I think there’s just a cool, nice guy. Plus, if I was thirty years younger (OUCH) okay maybe twenty, I would have a mad crush on him. Girls, sorry, women, are very fond of the good guy and bad boy type. It works, it always works. As Meredith Gray from “Gray’s Anatomy” would say and I quote “Seriously? “Seriously.”

On to the next Shark, yes you, cutie pie, sweet, Robert with that trusting face. You are my personal favorite. AWWW, I just want to hug you? With those sweet blue eyes, you are absolutely adorable. All of the good guy, none of the bad. You try to speak, to make a deal and that (dirt bag) Kevin will just shut you up without a thought or a glance. Oh, and believe me, we KNOW you must have been a shark in business to be up there with those other tigers but you seem too nice. Robert, honey, you were the boy best friend every girl wanted and HAD,  but no, sweetie, not in THAT way.  As far as sex, I’m sorry, you were like an older brother to me and to everyone else. However, we all LOVED you and still do. I know it stings but we will Best Friends Forever. Promise ❤ xoxo

Going from the sublime to the ridiculous we head straight over to Mr. EgomaniacalHimself what’s his name, oh yeah, Kevin; or as he has proclaimed himself, “Mr. (gag) Wonderful” excuse me while I projectile vomit. I know there has to be a bad guy in every show but really, Kevin? So rude, so nasty, all the time? You’ve become a caricature of YOURSELF.  Money grubbing, penny, saving, no-heart banker? I guess even in the Shark Tank every shark has a dominant nasty shark, and so we are stuck with you. Yeah! You are entirely dislikeable and maybe you are a real doll in life (doubt it) but even your pointy, arrogant face bothers me. You may have the most experience in certain fields but I don’t think I would enjoy partnering on any deal with you, even if it was a better offer. I’d rather partner with someone else JUST so it would bug you or to see you beg. I love it when you lose. It gives me pleasure.

Daymond (Sorry, I thought it was Damon), you are one cool guy! What can I say that you don’t know yourself? I think you are not as cool as you play but just cool enough and quiet too. I’m sorry I had never heard of you or FUBU before but I’m quick study, I know now. Call me sheltered (and poor) I shop at Kohl’s and Target, T.J. Maxx is quality for me, not everyone has your good taste and let’s face it, money.” I probably could not afford to buy a handkerchief from your FUBU line. (What does that stand for anyway I’m dying to know)? If I could afford to buy one, it would be an honor, you have an amazing smile and a great sense of humor, also incredibly bright, sometimes a bit snippy but usually well deserved.

Barbara, you and Lori switch off, I wish you both were on at the same time, is it not good for the ratings? First of all, Barbara totally commands respect from the other sharks but Lori, and this is of course only my impression, those other sharks look at you like lunch meat. That’s not saying that I DO, but those money hungry men do, they look at selling over the internet as beneath and that is just not right. It’s as if they live in Manhattan penthouses and you are shlepping in from New Jersey. Nothing Wrong With Jersey, just The male Sharks’ condescending stares. Can you feel all the women’s love and the Sharks’ condemnation? It’s like how the theater actors talk about the television actors in today’s society. Is it fair? NO. Does it exist? You bet. I love that you stand up to them and are the perfect person for the right products, which inspires me to say “You go, girl. ( I apologize if that is not politically correct anymore.) If I had the right product for your brand of internet selling,  Laurie, I would run to you.

Barbara, of all the Sharks, you are the most elusive. We see you walking down from some stairs, you allude to a daughter but you are the ice queen and that is probably WHY you are so successful. If I went into business and wanted a well-connected shark, I’d probably pick you, just because you’re a woman, because you understand. I could be Norma Rae with you, because of you, thanks to you. Young women now take it for granted, but I don’t. We had to fight for everything and I bet you have to work longer and harder than any of these male counterparts. I so hope you have more money than Kevin, you have no idea! Barbara, I look up to you, and if I ever come up with the perfect idea, you would be my favorite shark. I have plenty of ideas, I just need to get my act together, I’m really more on the creative end. All I need are the right connections. Barbara? Want to mentor me? If not, is Daymond available?

*Shark Tank is the property of ABC, all legal rights belong to them. This was just a parody. And a good one at that.

My Teenagers Are Meanies

The Meaning to Life

Image by Lel4nd via Flickr

Oh sure, we are always supposed to give our thanks for what we have and do gratitude journals and write down five things every day we enjoy. No. I won’t do it today. I’m mad and cranky and I’ve had my fill of just about everybody except my dog (and my husband). My two teenagers, (that speaks volumes in itself) 16 1/2 and 18, have been making fun of me and teasing me non-stop. At least that’s what it feels like. We were sitting around the kitchen table and my daughter told my son something”stupid” I said and my son joined in with another mistake I made and proceeded to “text” dad with something I got mixed up with, Texas, Tennessee, whatever.  What I felt like doing was having a nutty, exploding and screaming things like “Shut up, you ungrateful brats I’ve had enough” but I didn’t; I regret that now.

I feel like “Mommy Rae” and want to stand up on the kitchen table with a sign that says there should be “A Union For All Moms.” I did tell my children that they were taking advantage of me and I was sick and tired of it. I was ready to cry, explode or yell (which would not have been a bad thing) but instead I left the kitchen table abruptly so they could probably make fun of my lack of sense of humor or whatever else they were dissing me for. (note to people who don’t have teens: to diss: to make fun of or put down.) I escaped, stomped up the stairs and stayed in my bedroom and watched a DVR’d version of one of my favorite shows, Top Chef. I did not go down to “make dinner”early because I had my limit of “what do you want, and what do YOU want” since my daughter is a vegetarian and my son thinks good food consists of ring jells and mixed fruit cocktail in jello. I kid you not.

I napped my intense anger away and when my husband came home and I thought that he was the only one on my side and that’s what it felt like. When he gave me a big hug, I didn’t want him to go. To Buffalo. (no offense to those who live in Buffalo) On Sunday. For six weeks. I thought to myself “how am I going to live with these two monster teenagers alone?”  I still don’t have the answer but I am going to lay down the law and tell them to step up and help out. The fact that I have a chronic pain disease does really not seem to affect them, hey, they are feeling good, isn’t everybody? NO, chronic pain means pain ALL THE TIME, I have the amount of energy as a dead tick does. I’m tired, I feel like crap. LISTEN TO ME!

I refuse to pick my daughter up late at night for the next six weeks because I fade at 3pm not to mention 12 midnight. She will have to make plans, get it together. Help out. Think of me. (I scoff). Teenagers, by design, do not think of anyone but themselves. My son will have to man up and help out with things too, he can pick up his sister late at night and take part in whatever is needed for the family. The what? The family, you know, the one that is supposed to be a joint unit, each of us helping each other. (I scoff again).

I’m doing the best I can, that’s what parents do. They try and try and hope that they make the right decision because they only want the best for their children. Do children appreciate that? A resounding NO. I have said the old stand-by to them: “I can’t wait till YOU have teenagers.” Does it make a difference to them? Of course not!!! It just makes me feel a tiny bit better and that is better than nothing.

9 and A Half Minutes, Episode 2 (Interviews)

Virtual Resume & Letter

Image by Olivier Charavel via Flickr

I apologize. I’m supposed to talk about things that annoy me but I can’t today. That’s just way too mild for a topic that’s making me feel totally infuriated and incensed. I’m steaming. Literally. I feel smoke coming out of my hair follicles and anything near me could burst into uncontrollable flames.  I want to talk about a practice that I absolutely hate with a passion. Today I am talking about the job market and I’m NOT talking about President Obama or the economy. I’m talking about people. Specific people. You should know who you are but since you are so out of touch with reality, I’ll tell you.

I want to blast the inconsiderate Human Resource people or “People Person” as some call themselves now AND Hiring Managers that don’t take the time to give a candidate an answer, a final decision. I’m not talking about someone who has just sent in their resume, I’m talking about a candidate who has been in for an interview, not to mention four separate times for interviews. I’m talking about interviews leading up to talking to the CEO of the company and then…. hears nothing. NOTHING, bupkes, zip, nada. This is not only extremely rude and hurtful. It’s inhumane.

What happened to simple common courtesy? I was a Human Resources person way back when and not only did we acknowledge every resume that came in with a letter but we called each candidate that interviewed and gave them an answer. Did we enjoy turning people down? No. Was it a hard call to make? Yes. But, at least we gave the candidate the courtesy, they so rightly deserve, of a phone call to tell them the decision. If we couldn’t reach the person, we sent a letter, an authentic letter with the company’s letterhead and our signature; because people have the right to know, one way or the other.

Today? They don’t acknowledge you or reject you, they do absolutely nothing. Do these interviewers and hiring managers think that because the economy is so bad and that they have so many applicants it makes it okay to just let things slide. It is not okay, it is never okay; it is wrong. Gee, I guess after several months and no return phone calls you assume you didn’t get the job.  Don’t they know that it’s the waiting that is torturous?  In this scenario, “silence is not golden” silence stinks, it’s a cop-out, it’s cowardly. Tell me, just try to tell me that these hiring managers or employment representatives don’t have thirty seconds to either pick up the phone (what am I thinking?) or at the very least send an e-mail. An e-mail would give the candidates closure but no, job seekers don’t even get that. Why not? To me, it’s totally unacceptable and nobody can convince me that you can’t write an e-mail that says “thanks but no thanks, we selected someone with more appropriate experience and blah blah blah”. PEOPLE NEED CLOSURE so they can dust themselves off and try again. Apparently this is too much to ask for.

In my opinion, there are no excuses, it’s just plain rude and demeaning. What kind of world are we living in now? What have we become? Don’t give me the excuse about the volume of resumes either. I worked in HR for 25 years and we had resumes coming in by the hundreds. Sure, we were busy every minute but we made the time to call and let people know the hiring manager’s decision. People are stronger than you think, they just want to know, one way or the other.  So, turn on your computer, or ask your assistant to do it for you, write a courteous note, click send and give people their dignity back.  There are no excuses. Just do it. People are going through enough of a hard time trying to find a job. You are just being rude and inconsiderate. If I could, I would start a movement against this. That’s how mad I am. Very truly yours, “Norma Rae.”