Monday, December 27, 2010


The recent bad weather in the Northeast has stranded me in Dallas, TX . I was supposed to come home on Sunday, but of course, those flights were cancelled. Then I was supposed to go out on Monday, but they cancelled those flights as well. Now they have "conveniently" put me on their next available flight, which is Thursday at noon, which means I am now waiting five days to get home. FIVE DAYS!!!!

You can just imagine how angry this might make me. Especially since the Continental Airlines reservations lines are all tied up and they never answer. For the past 48 hours, no one answers their phones, and they basically tell you they can't take your call. When I finally got through, I was on hold for over an hour, before I decided to make a special trip to the airport to see if I could get something earlier. The very unhelpful superviser told me that the only way I might get on an earlier flight was to come to the airport at 6 am and wait around on stand-by for any available flight that might suddenly (and miraculously) open up. But of course, there was already a long line of twenty or more people on stand-by for every flight. And since I am not an Elite Class member, I have no clout over any of the people who are waiting ahead of me.

So I asked the very unfriendly Continental superviser on duty how I was going to be compensated for my wait. Would they pick up my hotel and rental car fees for the next three days? No, of course not. They take no responsibility for anything. No vouchers, no discounts, no future discounts on flights. They basically say "f*ck you" to their customers and don't really care.

The rental agency Advantage was also just as helpful, as they jacked up my rental car price more than 75% a day for extending my car until my plane flight on Thursday. Yes, the weather was not their fault...but their customer service experience is. And to guoge stranded passengers like that is really not showing any kind of Advantage. In fact, I will NEVER deal with this company again.

What recourse does the average flyer have? When did airlines become so impersonal and pathetic in their customer service? It makes me never want to fly again...or at least not on Continental airlines.

Sorry for the rant, but I needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for reading. And if you have a choice, NEVER USE CONTINENTAL AIRLINES or ADVANTAGE in the future.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cat Clips -- Buccaneer Boots

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In this episode, Trey and Tuck carry out their plan to make Tipi suspicious of Boots' intentions. Please click on the photo above to watch this video.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cat Clips -- Christmas Conspiracy

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In this episode: When Tipi and Boots sneak off to the basement to be alone, Tuck and Trey lament about their lack of Christmas spirit and romantic entanglements. To watch the video, please click on the photo above.

Don't forget to get order all your Cat Clips swag at

And remember, the Cat Clips Tipi and Tuck Treasure Hunt is still on. Five new prizes will be added each Friday until the end of the year. To find out how to win, be sure to watch Cat Clips #153.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Spiderman $65M Broadway Musical Needs A Hero To Save It

Last night I went to see the new mega Broadway musical "Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark," directed by Julie Taymor, with music by Bono. And despite all the bad press it was getting, I was very excited to see this huge $65 million dollar monster, and how they would bring this story to life.

Now granted, it was only the 8th preview (opening night is January 11th, I think), but this musical needs so much help, I'm not sure how long it will actually run.

Here's what I liked:

1. The design elements and the visual look of the show are stunning. The use of huge, hydraulically lifted set pieces was impressive and the masks and exagerrated costumes are incredible.

2. The flying sequences over the audience are thrilling.

Here's what I didn't like:

1. The use of four obnoxious teenagers to narrate the entire show. You know you're in trouble when the classic story of Spider-man needs to be narrated. Whoever came up with this concept should be shot. Every time they came on to move the so-called plot along, you could feel the audience give a collective groan. (Even with the presence of a recent Amazing Race alumni as one of the four, I couldn't stomach their constant interruption.)

2. The music by Bono is slow and tiring, and by the time the 10th ballad is sung in the second act, most of the kids around me were asleep. Has Bono ever seen a musical? Has he ever written a funny lyric or an upbeat tune? Because this score is so depressing that I don't think anyone into Broadway musicals will want to buy this album. It's particularly "telling" when none of the songs got much applause when they were over, and some didn't get any. I think the audience was just confused. Were we watching Spider-man or a Bono concert? (Did I mention all the self indulgent and unnecessary ballads?)

3. The main characters are bland. The guy playing Spider-man never moves past the pathetic wimpy stage, even after he gets super powers. You never feel anything for him, or for his equally dull girlfriend Mary Jane. (Do these people have any life in them, because it seems it was all sucked out by the giant set-pieces.)
4. The super villain costumes are very cool...but except for one, we never really see them do anything except pose on stage. Most of their "fight sequences" are implied, or illustrated with giant images of them exploding. (They are introduced in a "fashion show" runway --literally-- and that is about all we see of them.) The Swiss Miss costume was my favorite, as she looked like a gargantuan version of Grace Jones -- and who wouldn't be afraid of that?
5. The book of the show. It's like they spent all the money on dazzling special effects and design elements, and forgot the basic element of a show. The story. Without a compelling story and 3-dimensional characters, there's not much for the audience to hold onto. So instead, we just sit back and watch a three hour parade of overproduced spectacle that doesn't have much heart. (I even liked "Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown" better than this, and that has a whole bunch of problems as well. But at least it was funny, and you could actually hum some of the tunes as you left the theater.)
At the end of the show, no one in the audience stood up. No one even clapped that enthusiastically (except for the guy who played the Green Goblin, the only character with any flair). I think we were all trying to process what we just saw. Was this a show or a tax write-off?
I hate to sound negative or nasty, because there were actually elements of the show I liked. But the overall impression was that it was a lot of visuals with not much underneath.
As I said, they have a month to work on this show before it opens. So hopefully they will bring in a show doctor to help tighten it up. But unless they decide to throw out half of the score and completely rewrite the book, this musical should be retitled "Spider-man: Turn off the Set".

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cat Clips --The Social PETwork

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In this episode: As the relationship between Tipi and Boots get closer, Trey decides to use a different tactic to split them up. Meanwhile, Tuck decides to contact some old classmates. This episode also includes a special appearance from our Dialogue Contest Winner kelsi000. Well, actually her cat Misha. (To watch the video, please click on the photo above.)

Don't forget to get order all your Cat Clips swag at

And remember, the Cat Clips Tipi and Tuck Treasure Hunt is still on. Five new prizes will be added each Friday until the end of the year. To find out how to win, be sure to watch Cat Clips #153.