Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dr. Phil and the Return of Mr. Mom

Roger here...  I love the way that the sunset reflects off the side of our motor home in the picture above.  The sunsets here in Acton CA have been spectacular.

Today is a dark, wet, cool, and dreary day - a good day to catch up on our blogging. 


Last Wednesday Dianne and Robyn went to a taping of the Dr. Phil Show at Paramount Studios.  We had reserved the tickets on line before Thanksgiving.  Wait a minute.  Robyn was supposed to go, but got very busy at work.  Guess who got to go instead?  I was thrilled (definitely sarcasm).  In order to get to the studio for the 9:30 a.m. taping, we had to get up at 4:30 a.m.  Had to clean up, walk the dogs, eat breakfast, and go to the bathroom one last time.  The online tickets said to arrive 45 minutes early.  From our America's Funniest Videos experience, we knew to arrive even sooner than that.  

Paramount does not provide on-site parking like AFV and Warner Brothers, so we had the choice of a parking garage or on-street parking in a questionable neighborhood in Hollywood.  We chose the garage.  We soon discovered that all studio experiences are not equal.  We had a good experience at AFV and a great experience at Warner Brothers.  It was not the same at Paramount, but interesting, and free, nonetheless.

We were among the first 40 people to arrive, and were immediately ushered into a Disney-esque queue, where we stood for an hour and were frequently asked if we had cameras and/or cell phones.  At that time I was only able to identify three other men.  I spent the hour telling others in the line that our daughter was supposed to be there, and that I was the reluctant second choice.  Dianne rolled her eyes, but it made me feel better.

I noticed that several people (later identified as VIP ticket holders) were ushered around the line.  No big deal.  We were far enough in the line that we had to get in.  At that point my main concern was finding a restroom  (morning coffee and no place to pee during the two-hour rush hour drive).  Lots of other people were asking about restrooms and were assured that they were around the corner and easy to find after check-in.  When the line started moving about 45 minutes prior to the show,  I watched as people checked in and went through security screening.  It seemed pretty simple.  When we arrived at the table, we were told that our on-line ticket did not guarantee us a seat at the first of the two tapings.  Other people had different kinds of tickets.  Heaven knows how they got them. This was a surprise that was not explained anywhere on-line or on  the ticket.  

We were told to join another group of disgruntled people over to the side while they checked in EVERYONE else and were assured that there would probably be enough seats for us to attend the first show.   Realizing that we would be waiting another half-hour, I asked about the restrooms and they allowed Dianne and I to bypass security, pee, and return.

As others progressed through the line, other third-class ticket-holders were identified and escorted to our holding area, where people were mumbling and one lady was yelling.  

Eventually, we were told to form a new line.  Our early arrival meant nothing at that point.  Soon a third line was formed that included the really late arrivals.  The pages then began checking us in.  At that point the late arrival line surged in front of our line, amid some yelling and shoving.  No one from the studio attempted to stop them.  The lady who was yelling earlier, began yelling again.  

We did get in (75 people did not) and were among the very last people to be admitted to yet another holding area, where we were given t-shirts.  

There were six different colors.  Our color was green.  We waited as the light blue people were called, then the dark blue people....   Finally, they called for the green people.  We were taken to great seats on the front row of the second tier.  After almost two hours, things were finally getting better.

Everyone was told that wearing the t-shirts was mandatory.  I am not sure why we were told to dress in business casual.  I put on the t-shirt under my sport coat.  Just before the taping, everyone was told that despite the cool temperature in the studio, everyone must take off their jackets and coats.  No big deal for me, but I did feel sorry for a few of the elderly ladies who were in their best Sunday clothes and shivering under their coats.  One lady draped the t-shirt over her blouse and refused to put in on.  She was told that she would be on camera and that she must actually put it on over her ruffled dress.  She responded by saying that she would need to be moved to a less conspicuous seat, because she was not going to put it on.  Surprisingly, they did allow her to do this.

Finally, the show began.  Dr. Phil walked directly in front of us as he made his way to the stage.  The taping was interesting and held my interest.  I really enjoyed it when the audience members shouted encouragement and insults at the people on the stage.  I am really not sure what the premise of the show was, so Dianne will explain that part.

I haven't really watched Dr. Phil since Roger retired, but I used to have it on as I cleaned our stix and brix house.  Evidently a very popular theme this season has been Dr. Phil's Housewives.  He has followed six women on Tuesdays this season.  Our colored T-shirts corresponded to each of the six "housewives," who were all going to be on the stage together for the first time.  By luck of the draw, our green color corresponded to Gloria, one of the most controversial of the six housewives.  I think that's why we were given such good seats.

Even though we hadn't followed it this season, there was enough background in the taped segments that we got up to speed.  We were sitting in the same row as Robin, Dr. Phil's wife, (she's incredibly tiny, by the way, and more beautiful than she looks on TV.) 

  Sometimes my view was blocked  by a cameraman and huge camera when he took position right in front of me.  I didn't care at all, though, because to me it was more interesting to watch him film, and watch the red lights come on in his camera viewfinder to indicate what he was filming.  

Dr. Phil did walk right in front of us.  He had on a lot of makeup, but looked pretty much like he does on TV.  We're assuming this show will air some Tuesday in January, but we were never told.  Roger is right, America's Funniest Videos does do a better job with the audience.  It must just depend on which studio is in charge.  Back to Roger now.

Back to the fun.  When the show ended, the director (I think he was the director) hopped onto the stage and told everyone that the second show would be really good and would begin shortly.  When asked when the shows would be broadcast, he did not know.  (AFV was very clear about the broadcast date.)  When asked about the topic for the next show, he refused to comment.  He then began dismissing people by sections to go outside.  He gave no indication about what was to happen next.

We walked through a room of angry-looking people who were seated in rows (the 75 people who did not get into the first taping) and found ourselves in an outdoor area next to the restrooms.  We stood in what we thought was a restroom line for a few minutes, only to find out that it was a free coffee and snack line.  Nice touch.  Wish someone had told us what it was.  Soon they began calling people in by the colored cards they were given at check in.  We were not given a colored card, so we were told to return to the queue where we had stood for an hour earlier in the day.   (Remember the nerdy rushees in the movie Animal House, who were always herded back to the same area with the other nerds so they would not mingle with the "cool" people?  That was us.) 

 After a while, a page came out to tell us that they needed to seat all the people who did not get into the first show taping before we would be admitted.  We stood in line for a half-hour.  I spent the time giving Dianne suggestions of things to shout out during the next taping, like:  

"You go, girl!"
"Stick it to the man!"
"You are a bully!"

Then the page returned and told us we may not get in, but the first people in line would probably make it.  (We were fifth in line, so it looked good.)   He then returned again and told us that the show was completely filled, had already started, and none of us would be admitted.

I said (probably too loudly), "I am devastated!"  (sarcasm, again)   A few people chuckled.  Most grumbled as they walked away. 


For the past couple of days, Robyn has been extra busy with her job and Dianne started a project.  As you can see, Jasper and Charlie helped supervise the work.  When Dianne does a project, she works straight through without breaks.  Recognizing that she was in that mode, I volunteered to do the laundry and fix dinner (a wise choice on my part).  I also did a couple of manly things, that included standing on a ladder to fix a couple of screens and adding distilled water to the house batteries.

The laundry....   Dianne has often accused me of being so "concrete sequential" that I alphabetize the items in the pantry.  NOT TRUE, but I do put the things that I use most frequently in the front, and I do put things back in the same place so I can find them the next time :-).   (Groan; he'd alphabetize the refrigerator if I'd let him -- D.)

Anyway, as a joke, I alphabetized the clean laundry  as I arranged it on the bed.  I then labeled each pile with a letter of the alphabet, and arranged them alphabetically - of course.

B = bras
D = dish rags
H = hand towels
P(aj) = pajamas
P(an) = pants
S = socks
T = t-shirts

I did not tell Dianne I was doing this and left the arrangement on the bed for her response.  I was not disappointed.  :-)

Ladies, let me warn you that your husbands might revert to their playful, boyish selves after they retire.  Also, a tip for you future fulltimers with cats, note the sheet over the bedspread.  Really helps to be able to just throw the sheet in every laundry day and save the bedspread. -- D.

Dinner...  I don't mind doing the laundry, but I have to admit that, at times, I think cooking is fun. I looked in the fridge and found a dozen eggs in the fridge and some left-over ham.  Omelets!  Yum!

I assembled the ingredients and chopped up some onions, pepperonis, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, a very very very spicy habenero-stuffed olive,  and part of a green pepper.  (I did not add the doggie Dingo Dental Sticks that you see in the picture :-).

After stirring up seven eggs (These are three-and-a -half egg omelets), I added the ingredients, along with two kinds of cheese.

Somehow, I managed to kind of flip the omelets. You can kind of tell that there are two different ones in the pan.  Kind of.

I topped them with New Mexico Green Chile and a spoonful of Greek Yogurt.  Not too bad.

Today is our last in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.  Tomorrow, we are moving to Malibu for a week, where we have a spot overlooking the Pacific.  It should be a great place to spend Christmas with our daughter, Robyn.  (Her work schedule should be light, so we're hoping she can stay with us on Malibu Beach next week.)

A final sunset shot from our campsite and the whippet picture of the day,  Jasper taking a nap under the covers.  (That is one very, very spoiled dog.  Good thing he doesn't shed and doesn't smell like a dog.  He makes a great bed warmer. -- D.)


Margie and Roger said...

You both have a lot of patience to stand in lines for so long! The sunset photos are really spectacular! Maybe you want to include a video of the whippets...just so we will know they actually move sometimes, ha ha.

Travelwithwhippets said...

Ha, Margie! You're right, seems like all they do is sleep. You should see them run, though! Expect a video snippet soon!

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

You should have worn a life jacket to the Dr Phil show & explained that you are parked on a bluff hoping the rain won't wash you away. Maybe that would have gotten you in :) Then he could have analyzed your crazy butt for free and you would have been on tv! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I stumbled across this blog while searching for other blogs related to the Dr. Phil Housewives. I was actually at that same Dr. Phil taping, and I really enjoyed reading about your experience as an audience member who had NO CLUE what the show was about when you got there. I was probably one of the "VIP ticket holders" that went around the line that you were standing in. The reason was because I was one of the featured audience members who spoke during the show (I'm the weird "single guy" who blogs about the Housewives), so the crew had to prep me and the others beforehand, to fit us with lapel mics, powder our faces, and give us basic instructions about our parts in the show. I'm not sure what the deal was with the rest of the ticket holders who got sent in before you, but my guess would be that they were fans of the Dr. Phil Housewives who specifically requested tickets for that show.

Anyway, if you haven't been informed already, I just found out yesterday that the show will air NEXT TUESDAY, January 11th! So you can tell all your friends to look for you in the green "Team Gloria" section!

Travelwithwhippets said...

Thanks, Celebok!! Of course I remember you from the taping. I noticed you even before the show started, because you seemed to "know your way around." I've been watching for the show, and I really appreciate the info for next Tuesday. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Woah, cool. Hehe, that was my first time ever attending any talk show taping, much less being ON one, so I had no idea what to expect. I was just going where they told me to go. It certainly was a fun day, and I can't wait to watch the show next Tuesday! (I'm just not sure how I feel about OTHER people watching it! Hehe.)

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just now remembered that I had told you about today being the air-date of that Dr. Phil episode that we went to. You've probably already realized it by now, but that show is not on today. It's been bumped by that homeless dude with the announcer voice. But don't worry, I've been told by a reliable source that the Dr. Phil Housewives episode will air NEXT TUESDAY, January 18th!

Brandon said...

grr, I wanted a Gloria shirt! They gave me a Jennifer one, same as Wayne. But at least after the show, Gloria ran up to my girlfriend and hugged her and then me! I totally wasn't expecting that! But it's cool that the ladies have a presence on Facebook and have been able to get to know so many of their fans. Can't wait to see the finished product, and I'll be watching for you in the audience.