Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dancing With the Stars... Week THREE! (DOUBLE ELIMINATION WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

This is being watched after getting home from a Nets game... a Nets game that had two players on the Bucks beating the entire Nets team after three quarters... Naturally... we left.

We are now LIIIIIVEEE... on DVR...

On tonight's episode... we have TWO new dances that have never been on the show before... The Argentine Tango and the LindyHop. Fun.

David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson dance first... and they are the first people to do the Lindy Hop. This is a dance that is apparently a lot of fun and energetic... so they go and watch it live at a hall. Time to dance live... and DAG isn't as funny as he could be. I find Kym's faces so infectious... and DAG ain't so bad himself... It all seemed good to me... The judges are up and Bruno looks like he fell into a tanning booth and slept there for three hours. They thought it was nice, but some of their timing is off. Carrie Ann is of course glowing over her former In Livin' Color star... The scores are 8, 7, 7 for a total of 22.

Samantha has a cold and her voice is deep and awesome... speaking whatever language she is speaking ...

ABC is kind to me and gets Lil Kim out of the way for me early... as... Lil Kim & Derek Hough dance second. I can't help but notice that Derek Hough's hair keeps growing and growing... I am a Lil Kim hater... and my name is Smelmooo (Hellooooo Smelmooooo.... ) They are learning the dance together and it drives me nuts to listen to this woman!!! (Catty little bitch side comes out again... ) They dance the Argentine Tango... and... I yawn. Bruno adored it... of course... The scores are 9, 8, 10 for a total of 27. (I hate Bruno...)

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough dance third and they are doing the Lindy Hop. The video montage comes up next and we see an interesting and sissy side of Chuck Wicks. He hates landing on his head and is totally scared. She changes the choreography and all is good in teh world.... They look silly as waiter and waitress and kick and jump and wail and hop. :) I digress. It was fun with lots of flipping and high energy stuff. Carrie Ann wants her to go ove rthe edge more... he's too safe. Len agrees. The scores are 8, 7, 7 for a total of 22.

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska are up to dance the Argentine Tango. They are having a hard time practicing this because LT cannot visualize it so they bring in Edyta's hubby to help him visualize it. He is just so nice sounding that I might actually start liking this brute. They do a sweet dance... even though the music is just plain horrible... My one main complaint is that Edyta did all the dancing around LT, but we shall see...The judges are all ove rthe place with their criticism. The scores are 7, 5, 7 for a total of 19.

Just remember that next week is a double elimination and we will hve a bottom three dance off!

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower dance fifth... They quickly recount their slip last week and Ty was a hero... Let's get it into the dance... The high energy Lindy Hop! Mr. Excitement is going to need a lot work dacing with high energy. It's a great start. And I am more pleased with this than I thought I would be. Nice dance... and I mean that. Carrie Ann is so excited in her praise that I am actually scared... The scores are 9, 8, 8 for a total of 25.

Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff are doing the Hump Dance. His video montage is awkwardly funny and makes me laugh. They are doing the Argetine Tango and the first third is done on a chair. uh oh... time for the judges who were just brutal last week. Still brutal. The scores are 4, 4, 4 for a total of 12.

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani dance fifth to last... and I want to remind you... again... SHE IS NOT A STAR... Melissa and Tony are friends, brothers, and instructor/teacher. Tony is just so damn nice. They are going to dance the Lindy Hop... and I am worried that they are going to get all 10's. HA! There was a couple mess ups. The scores are 10, 9, 10 for a total of 29.

Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin dance eighth. We are reminded that Holly hurt her ribs last week. She only strained her muscles. She's going to fightr through the pain and work it girl! They are dancing the Argentine Tango. The Fem-Bot is really trying hard during the dance, but it makes me uncomfortable for some reason until they come to a realllly interesting twist and turn move near the end. Bruno hated it.... and so did everyone else. The scores are 5, 6, 5 for a total of 16.

Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer whack their bag and remind us how bad they were last week. Steve-O can't stop beating himself up... so Lacey makes him dress up as a clown like the old days and they practice in that. Hopefully... that will loosen him up for the Lindy Hop. Carrie Ann hated it. Len and Bruno did too. It wasn't a great dance... The scores are 5, 5, 5 for a total of 15.

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke IS NOT A STAR and yet... he remains so incredibly handsome and the ladies love him. He had a video and I was distracted by something shiny. He did his dance and I was distracted by Tucker... but because of his handsomeness... he got good scores from Carrie Ann and Bruno (wink). Carrie Ann is fanning herself with a book... so there. The scores are 10, 10, 10 for a total of 30.

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas dance last and have to dance after the first perfect 30 of the season. Shawn is going to do a bunch of flips and jumps during the Lindy Hop. They do a lot of practicing in the gymnastics realm... so now it's time to practice in the actual studio. It sure is a fun dance to watch even though they totally dressed her in an outfit that isn't really appropriate for a 17 year old. Bruno starts it off and likes it, but thinks she should have danced more. The other two agree.... The scores are 8, 8, 9 for a total of 25.

Scores... Just a reminder!

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke -- 30
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani -- 29
Lil Kim & Derek Hough -- 27
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower -- 25
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas -- 25
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough -- 22
David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson -- 22
Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska -- 19
Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin -- 16
Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer -- 15
Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff -- 12

Monday, March 30, 2009

Book 22 of 52 -- Laura Pedersen's Going Away Party

I dove into this after enjoying Pedersen's wonderfully heartbreaking but humorous novel "Last Call."

Now we move from Brooklyn, NY, to the Midwest.

Anyone who has ever been a teenager or attempted to raise one will love "Going Away Party," which sums up so many of the conflicts inherent in coming of age today.

Technology and the high cost of education have changed the landscape and not always for the better.

It also contains a romance with an age difference that serves to show how our perspective on life changes as we mature.

What I especially enjoyed was that drugs, abuse, and violence were not needed to make the passage to adulthood dramatic and fraught.

It's angst filled enough without those and Pedersen also uses deft humor to keep things moving toward a surprising and touching ending.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Love You, Man Movie Going Experience

Nice quiet movie during a peaceful New Jersey rainy Saturday.

Silence is Golden

Star Trek -- Oh boy....

Dance Flick -- Oh boy times two...

Funny People -- Judd Apatow AND Adam Sandler... how good can that really be?

Year One -- I do like Michael Cera...

Observe and Report -- Ergh

Crank 2 -- You thought the first one looked over the top....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Survivor Tocantins -- Week 6 of the Game!

So they tricked me.

There wasn't a REAL episode...

Bastards tricked me.

Tucker’s Nuts
Tyson Apostol (4)
Deborah “Bubbles” Beebe (5)
Joe Dowdle (8)
Brendan Synnott (9)
Benjamin Wade (13)
Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (16)
Spencer Duhm (12) -- Wrongfully booted Week Five
Jerry Simms (1) -- Unfortunately... he basically quit in Week Three.

Stephen Fishbach (2)
Sierra Reed (6)
Sydney Wheeler (7)
James Thomas, Jr. (10)
Erinn Lobdell (14)
Sandy Burgin (15) -- BOOTED WEEK FOUR!!!!
Candace Smith (11) -- BOOTED WEEK TWO!!!!
Carolina Eastwood (3) -- BOOTED WEEK ONE!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dancing With the Stars -- Week 2 Results

Let's start off the show with what? A RECAP!!!! If you are one of the awesome people reading this, then you should know where to read an awesome recap. :-P

Time to fast forward through the recap...

Fascinating... Tom lets us know that next week... there will be a "Dreaded Double Elimination!"

My prediction? Someone gets hurts... bails... and it will be a single elimination.

They are getting right into it with saving people... since we have the Dance Off function/component/aspect to get to!

The first four couples saved are:
1. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
2. Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke
3. Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
4. Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff -- NICE! America really likes them and when they announce the by far last place performer for the week in terms of judges scores... Karina screams louder than I have ever heard.

How do we first kill some time? We get Samantha whose grasp of the English language keeps getting worse with each passing week... interview two non-stars, adorable pre-adult Shawn Johnson and then super duper geek and lovable dork Steve Wozniak. Of course, Steve is funny and charming in his own way.

Let's save four more!

5. Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska
6. David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson
7. Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough
8. Lil Kim & Derek Hough -- Dammit... Blech... Gross...

We learn that they are adding two new dances... the Lindy Hop and Argentine Tango. In an interesting piece, we get the dances shown to us by Corky Ballas and Cloris Leachman... It's funny and Len basically does voice over of film of the other two as they basically perform in a silent film style movie.

Darryl Hall and John Oates are performing and I am sure as shit NOT fast forwarding for them. I will admit this to you... my readers... I like them a lot... They aren't doing as well as I would like them to, but hell... it's fun.

Is their drummer Admiral Adama? (Yay! Geek humor...)

Adele is up singing her "Chasing Pavements". No fast forwarding here either... She can sing and Edyta is on... in one of her classic outfits and she's dancing with her hubby Alec Manzo. Not bad to all... even though Adele looked really distracted as the audience reacted loudly to some of the moves of the married couple...

Video montage to apparently tell us ... the audience ... that the dance off is important. Heh heh... No shit Sherlock.

Time to reveal the two last people saved and the two in the dance off...

9. Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer -- Huh? Oh well. :)Not Denise.
10. Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower

The two couples in the dance off are... Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin and Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She looks sooooo pissed off!)

Dance Off!!!!!!

Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin dance first. They are re-doing the Samba and got a 17 last night. Let's see if they can do it. They practiced all day and she has more confidence! Good for them... silly video packages... She sems to have improved some, but is still somewhat unsure and wooden... I am rooting for her though... :) The judges thought it was better and seemed to like it. The one thing I am not keen on is Holly's nervous laugh. It kind of makes me nervous. Her scores are 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18. (One better than last night!)

Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance second. Denise was in the confession and seemed to blame it on her shoes? So they rehearse some more and it isn't fun to watch. She's not fun to watch. She just seems horrible and Maksim seems to want out, but oh well. She starts her dance and it's just so wooden.... but I am jaded by it. She got a 16 last night. Bruno thinks she was tons better... Dammit... Denise liked her better too. Blech. Len thought she deserves to stay too. ARGH. Her scores are 6, 7, 7 for a total of 20... an improvement of 4 points.

The couple getting booted is... Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

God bless you America... I adore you and I thank you for putting her in the dance off... giving her a chance to improve greatly and then... booting her ass...

Thank you America!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birfday Smelmooo's Sistah....

Dancing With the Stars -- Week 2

Last week we saw Belinda Carlisle "go go " out of the ball room... REALLY TOM?... REALLY?


They all walk down the stairs... and "ALL" is the operative word since no one is too injured... GIlles fell a bit down the stairs... sucker...

Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance first and I can get my anomosity out of my system pretty early since I still can't stand her or him (sorry Megan *tag* and Lori). Maksim also wears a funny pink dress... uhh... Looks like you will never get him.... Lori... Megan..... :-P. They are dancing the Samba and I know I don't like her, but I am not impressed wit it at all... and the singing from the band... is just bad. Len liked it? GO BRUNO!!!! He hated it...and so did Carrie. The scores are 5, 6, 5 for a total of 16.

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough dance second. We are reminded that he is a "potato farmer" and I am reminded that I don't like him because he is dating my girlfriend. TW is totally not jealous of this at all... Julianne speaks so nice of him... and is mean to him. They dance the Foxtrot and the music drives me nuts tonight. It's just bad! The dance ... to me was a big improvement for him. The judges felt that it was an improvement but still not great. The scores are 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23.

Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin dance third... and she looks fabulous. Of course she does... She is learning the Samba and we see lots of footage of her and Charlie Chaplin argue. It's somewhat entertaining... She has trouble being jiggly... really???? Her dance starts and she shakes her tassled boobies all around and the crowd goes nuts... (Yeah... it's the crowd...) Seriously... the crowd really does seem to like her and that is interesting to me. Carrie Ann didn't like it. Neither did Len or Bruno. The scores are 5, 6, 6 for a total of 17.

Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer decide to actually dance in the show! Steve-O has the most forced comment of the night... "I don't want to rest... I want to dance!!!!" Wow... that didn't sound forced or odd or anything... They are dancing the Foxtrot... yum yum... You can tell half way through the dance that he is in an incredible amount of pain and sort of pulls up. The judges think he started off so well... and then lost it. Backstage, we learn that he tried "too hard" and blanked during the dance. The scores are 5, 5, 5 for a total of 15.

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska dance next and I still think that Edyta is the best... She is teaching LT the Samba... and he is stressing out big time. He seems to like it and wants to do it right. So he even gives up his golf game... and it makes me actually laugh out loud... :) and I never laugh at a New York Giant... :-P The judges like him for the most part... giving him some criticism, but it is something he will listen to anyway. The scores are 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20.

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas is just toooo cute. We see her talk to her friends online and she is then stuck in a prom dress to dance the Foxtrot for a national audience. It's elegant, but I must really criticize the producers for dressing her in that dress. It's a bit too much adult for a 17 year old. Regardless... it was a super nice dance... and the judges agree... The scores are 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27.

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke dance next and must I remember you all that Gilles is not a star? I didn't think so. We meet Gilles French mother... and she watches him dance. He dedicates the dance to his mom. It's a bit early for the Mom.... Gilles. Time to dance the Samba... and he looks hot doing it and the ladies all show their excitement. Great dance and the judges like it a lot. The scores are 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27.

David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson dance next and they are going to try really really really hard and impress the judges. They are dancing hte Foxtrot... (Editor's note -- they got uber hosed last week with the judges and this week beter be better!) I liked it. Bruno liked it too. Carrie Ann gave him two snaps up. (Get it? They were both on In Livin' Colour)... The scores are 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24.

Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff were in the dance off last week. He is having such a nice time doing this and it's somewhat infectious. During the video... we see him get ambulanced out. He pulled his hamstring.... and likes it so much that he dances through the pain. Here comes his live Samba. It's just not good, but damn... he enjoys himself. The end was a train wreck... with Wozniak doing the WORM. You read that right. He did the Worm. The judges are just horrible. The scores are 4, 3, 3 for a total of 10.

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani are third to last and she is NOT a star... but I suppose she will get tons of votes from the chicks that feel spurned... it's an audience I suppose. We get to see her actually say goodbye to her work and more. They are dancing the Foxtrot... and I am reminded again that she is not a star... Of course it is a good dance... of course. Judges like it and Carrie Ann brings her down to Earth a little bit. Good for her. The scores are 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27.

Lil Kim & Derek Hough are up second to last. I dislike her more than Denise. *SIGH* She is dancing the Samba. The judges liked her. *SIGH* The scores are 8, 8, 9 for a total of 25.

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower dance last. Alright... he's got such a simplistic charm that you have to like him. I just wish the cowboy hat wouldn't look so big on his head.They are dancing the Foxtrot tonight... and Chelsea looks nice... that's weird... Low middle of the pack and he's got maybe three to four weeks left... Carrie Ann thinks he is the most improved. The scores are 8, 8, 7 for a total of 23.

Scores... Just a reminder!

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas -- 27
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke -- 27
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani -- 27
Lil Kim & Derek Hough -- 25
David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson -- 24
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough -- 23
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower -- 23
Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska -- 20
Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin -- 17
Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- 16
Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer -- 15
Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff -- 10

Monday, March 23, 2009

Book 21 of 52 -- Bruce Campbell's Make Love: The Bruce Campbell Way

This is a great new book from Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell, star of the Evil Dead films. This is quite different from his first title, "If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a 'B' Movie Actor." Campbell's great sense of humor lifts this title above the average Hollywood trash. Plus, he played Ash, so ya gota love him.
While "Chins" was autobiographical, "Make Love" picks up where his first tome left off - present, day real life.

"Make Love" starts in real life, but quickly takes a hilarious, fictional detour through the life of an "A" movie actor. It reads very much like the first book. It is in the first person, but nothing in MLTBCW actually happened. Bruce gets a part in a move with Richard (A**BAG) Gere and Rene Zellweger (sp?). He makes all sorts of very funny faux pas while researching the role (including an old-fashioned southern duel of all things). All the great comedy is there, and Campbell flashes back to many of his other films and TV shows, all within a fictional context.

A must read for any BC fan, especially if you liked "Chins." Campbell's Hollywood insight and humorous situations (and funny photos and graphics) make this a page-turner from start to finish.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book 20 of 52 -- Stuart Woods' Mounting Fears

Stuart Woods is a skilled author, creative and interesting story lines.

He is creating the impression that he , like James Patterson are turning out "quickie" books, because they will sell and make money.

I would suggest that a return to the more detailed and deeper stories of the earlier Stuart Woods and fewer books will prevent Stuart Woods becoming just another mass producer of novels.

"Mounting Fears " was a good read but lacked some depth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dancing With the Stars -- Week 1 Elimination

Hey Kids!!!! We are about to boot our first dancer this seasons... this year... and it is time to woo hooooooo....

Before we begin... there is a new rule this season... it's a "Dance Off." Here are the official rules on the abc.com website. **On results night, the two couples with the lowest combined score from judges and viewer votes will compete in a "Dance Off" in the first weeks of competition. Their original set of judges scores will be tossed out and they will perform the same routine again for a new set of judges scores. The new set of scores will be combined with their viewer votes and the couple with the lowest combined total will be eliminated.

It's a neat idea... so let's get to the show!

The show starts off right away with Big Bad VooDoo Daddy performing... fun... but that is what fast forward is for...

It's time to hear from Steve-O to hear about his condition... he gave us an update and he is back and ready to dance. The images of him on the stretcher are common to many of us. Samantha WAS HORRIBLE IN THAT INTERVIEW... Argh...

It's time to save four couples...
1. Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska
2. Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
3. Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough
4. David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson

Commercial... and then FOUR MORE SAVED!

5. Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy TRIPLE BLECH!!!!
6. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
7. Lil Kim & Derek Hough -- BLECH!
8.Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

We are treated to a Celebrity Survival Guide from Cameron Matheson... who offers a bunch of advice to the contestants. It is an attempt at humor and makes me cringe slightly.

We come back to the hosts and Samantha sure seems to have enjoyed it... so much so that she can't say the frigging word... CHOREOGRAPHY...

Jewel sings... and dammit... my distaste gets stronger since she butchers Somewhere Over the Rainbow... (No talent hack who only succeeds on other people's writing... You go Steve Poltz!)

Our next video package features the stars talking about their opponents... There are some interesting comments... and then... Lil Kim speaks and I want to gouge out my eyes. I like it when Holly speaks. *swoon*

Let's see who is lastly saved and won't be in the dance off...

9. Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin
10. Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower
11. Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer

In the dance off, we have... Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts VS. Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff

Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts are up first and are going to their Salsa again. We get a cheesy video montage and then their dance starts again. Jonathan Roberts is not a great choreographer... I agree with someone who said that to me recently. There are a number of mess ups in the dance... and we see why they might not be in the top 10. They got an 18 in this the last time. Their scores are 5, 6, 6 for a total of 17.

Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff dance second. They got a 17 on their Quick Step last night. It seems like Karina and Steve are getting along better. He's doing better tonight I think. Soo... I am now qualified to be a judge.... I thought it was actually better than last night. The judges rave about his enthusiasm. Their scores are 6, 5, 6 for a total of 17.

Who will be booted?

Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dancing With the Stars -- Week 1.5

They danced last week... we voted last week... they get to dance AGAIN this week... and we get to vote again this week... that's a lot of points and votes to count...

There are a ton of rumors that maybe more of these pseudo-stars might be hurt like reformed Jackass.. Steve-O, but we shall see what is going on... on the show itself...

We are.... LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! (not really... since we are watching it on DVR... a bit behind... )

It's a cold opening and Samantha Harris is wearing a god awful purple dress that totally covers an entire arm and exposes the monster muscle other arm. Time for the "stars" to walk in and Lacey walks in without her partner Steve-O... WHAT?!?!?!

Steve-O hurt himself earlier today... and Samantha forgot to remove whatever was in her mouth when she was speaking.

Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin are up first and it is good to see that Nancy O'Dell was replaced with a much hotter chick. Take that Nancy! They are going to learn the Quick Step, but they play a game of 20 Questions to get to know each other and learn that they are complete opposites... wow... so.. um... exciting. Her strategy is to have people look at her face... but I was watching her feet! and they were all over the place.... not in a good way... The judges were critical of her... but I bet they will give her decent scores regardless. The scores are (6, 6, 6 - 18) + 18 from last week for a total of 36.

David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson dance second. During his video segment, David is his normal hilarious self, but shows his willingness to learn and try things hard... so that's cool. It's the Salsa! (I like Tostito's with my salsa...) To my incredibly untrained eye... it looks great... but we shall see in about 30 seconds... The judges were rough... really rough... I cannot judge this shit. The scores are (6, 5, 6 - 17)+ 19 from last week for a total of 36.

Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy is third... and it kills me that they call her an actress, because she sucks... They are doing the Quick Step. She hates the creator of the Quick Step and frankly... shows me her shitty personality side.. since she wants to critique someone... Phew... She is dancing to Grease... I hate that too... Her mouth is open the entire time and my wife is yelling... "SHUT YOUR MOUTH!" and she's not even talking... pretty damn awkward dance... The judges liked that?!?!?! blech. The scores are (7, 7, 7 - 21) + 18 from last weekfor a total of 39.

Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts dance fourth. Belinda took last week's criticism a bit to heart and uber nice Jonathan Roberts talks her off the ledge. They are going to add some Go-Go's moves into their Salsa (which I like with Tostitos) to make her feel more comfortable. They are all blue!... What?!?!??!?!?!?? Now... I thought the dance was a bit stilted, but we shall see. Uber moderate criticism... The scores are (6, 6, 6 - 18) + 17 from last week for a total of 35.

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower dances fifth and the rodeo champion was "roped in" to do this... get it?... Tom is so awesome. He claims that his Cha Cha Cha was just a Cha since he forgot half of it. I watch Ty speak and I am reminded of the Larry the Cable Guy roast I watched earlier. Early on.. they try to high five and they missed.. oof... that is an auspicious start... For him... the rest of the dance isn't that bad... and the crowd really likes him. The judges liked him too. The scores are (7, 6, 7 - 20) + 14 from last week for a total of 34.

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas dance sixth and they are forced to show motion... and Shawn has to show a loose butt and hip... She can't do it. Mark dances female parts too... America is not surprised. More people would watch Olympic gymnastics if she wore outfits like that. The dance seemed fine, but not for first place... The judges think... it was good... The scores are (8, 8, 8 - 24) + 23 from last week for a total of 47.

Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff has at least one part of the pair who is enjoying himself tremendously. Steve... Karina doesn't seem to enjoy anything. Steve's foot hurts like hell and goes to practice anyway... even with a hurt foot... He dances the Quick Step... I think. He is soooo oenjoying himself... It's cute... The ending was awkward... The scores are (6, 5, 6 -17) + 13 from last week for a total of 30.

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough dance the hump dance of the evening. Here's the point in the show where one member of the real life relationship is trying to teach the other one how to be sexy. I want them to break up so I can poke them in the eyes. Chuck is having trouble dancing the feminine dancing style... why do I not beleive that? Julianne's pants are... ummm... horrific... it's basically Julianne dancing around him.... not good. They agreed and were pissed! The scores are (6, 7, 7 - 20) + 20 from last week for a total of 40.

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska dance ninth. LT was frustrated with his score... and announces that he will keep trying... and be there every week. He is dancing the Quick Step and Edyta is basically non existent in the video packaage. Edyta is completely covered in clothes... so I don't know what is going on... It seems good to me, but what the hell do I know tonight... The judges liked it better than last week. Good... even though I don't like him personally... I might actually change my mind. The scores are (7, 6, 7 - 20) + 16 from last week for a total of 36.

Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer are tenth. Tom announces that he hurt himself during the dress rehearsal by landing on his back... and landing on his microphone pack. He went to the hospital to get it checked out. We get to watch his video package. They are going to judge him based upon his performance during dress rehearsal. That almost doesn't seem fair. It's a Salsa and he does some weird things... but good for the most part... except for his couple of mess ups... They hated it... The scores are (5, 4, 5 - 14) + 17 from last week for a total of 31.

Lil Kim & Derek Hough are up eleventh... and I think I hate Lil Kim a great deal. Her speech pattern and her eyeballs annoy me. They are dancing the Quick Step. Good dance and the judges like it a lot. The scores are (8, 7, 8 - 23) + 21 from last week for a total of 44.

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani dance second to last. Ok... here's my normal rant. SHE'S NOT A FRIGGING STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shouldn't even acknowledge her, but she's actually pretty good so I better pay attention to her. She's really good and her Salsa seems the best of the night... and the judges agree... The scores are (9, 8, 9 - 26) + 23 from last week for a total of 49.

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke dance last. Also... HE IS NOT A FRIGGING STAR EITHER. He is the guy who was sexy in a movie.... a chick flick. That doesn't make him a star... They are dancing the Quick Step... and of course he takes his shirt off... Also.. he hurt himself. Blah blah blah... pretty boy. It has a neat Superman theme and ends with him stripping. The scores are (9, 9, 9 - 27)+ 24 from last week for a total of 51.

I hate that the two people who are the LEAST on the level of stars... are the two front runners. It's just plain bullshit.

Scores... Just a reminder!

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke -- 51
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani -- 49
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas -- 47
Lil Kim & Derek Hough -- 44
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough -- 40
Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- 39
Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska -- 36
David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson -- 36
Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin -- 36
Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts -- 35
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower -- 34
Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer -- 31
Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff -- 30

Monday, March 16, 2009

Book 19 of 52 -- James Patterson's Run For Your Life

When I read Step on a Crack, the first novel featuring Michael Bennett, I did not know it was the start of a new series. Michael Bennett is a character that is easy to like. He's a dedicated police detective, but sometimes fantasizes about a career change. He's determined to make the streets of NYC safe. At the end of the day, Detective Bennett wants to be a great dad to his ten children. Having just lost his wife to cancer, Mike tries to pick up the pieces and move on while dealing with his grief. He stumbles and sometimes makes mistakes, but his family is his first priority.

While taking care of his sick children, he's also dealing with a serial killer: the Teacher. At first the string of murderers appear to be random, but soon Mike learns the victims were targeted. The question is why? As Mike races to find the answer to this question, little does he realize the Teacher just added a new name to his list.

True to Mr. Patterson's style, Run for Your Life is packed with suspense and twists and turns. The chapters are short, so it's easy to find yourself reading 50 pages before you know it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Survivor Tocantins -- Episode Five!

Tucker’s Nuts
Tyson Apostol (4)
Deborah “Bubbles” Beebe (5)
Joe Dowdle (8)
Brendan Synnott (9)
Benjamin Wade (13)
Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (16)
Spencer Duhm (12) -- Wrongfully booted Week Five
Jerry Simms (1) -- Unfortunately... he basically quit in Week Three.

Stephen Fishbach (2)
Sierra Reed (6)
Sydney Wheeler (7)
James Thomas, Jr. (10)
Erinn Lobdell (14)
Sandy Burgin (15) -- BOOTED WEEK FOUR!!!!
Candace Smith (11) -- BOOTED WEEK TWO!!!!
Carolina Eastwood (3) -- BOOTED WEEK ONE!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Book 18 of 52 -- Joe Torre & Tom Verducci's The Yankee Years

Though not the definitive look at the Yankees and how they have become the highest valued American sports franchise, this book is important and enjoyable. Should be read by all baseball fans. Torre comes across as, as you would guess, likable but a bit thin skinned, as he takes shots at players like A-Rod and Carl Pavano as well as current Yankee GM Brian Cashman. Come to think of it, Torre has very little good stuff to say about his former GM. That may be the number one reason that the man took off for the West Coast: the lack of support from his main connection to an unstable front office.

Very little insight is offered into George Steinbrenner's reign of terror. How was a man so universally disliked so successful? No insight is offered herein by either Verducci or Torre. The sporting world awaits the definitive bio of Yankee owner Steinbrenner. It's a big job, but hopefully someone can come along to tackle it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book 17 of 52 -- Janet Evanovich's Plum Spooky


She wrote this one for the paycheck...


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book 16 of 52 -- Bruce Campbell's If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor

Okay, sure... you get some interesting insight into the struggles it takes to be a working actor in Stage, Film, TV and that spore-infested place called Hollywood. I certainly enjoyed anecdotes about the Evil Dead films, Brisco County Jr., Congo, Hercules, Xena, the X-files and more...

But lets face it, Bruce Campbell brings one thing to his roles that got me interested enough to buy the book in the first place: a sense of fun. And *that* is represented in his writing in spades. For proof, I merely had to catch my wife (whose usual reaction to any Bruce Campbell masterpiece is to groan in despair) happily reading this book herself... This turned out to be fairly easy, since every other page had her laughing out loud.

I didn't complain, since I had already finished it... I read the entire thing cover to cover (a fairly meaty 300 pages) within a couple of days. It's written in such a lively, engaging style that it was never put down for long.

If you're interested enough to read these reviews, then you're interested enough to buy the book and enjoy the heck out of it.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Dancing With the Stars Season Premiere!

So... here we are... at the beginning of another season and I am glad to see that ABC isn't doing a 40 night season premiere... Just one simple episode...

It's also to impress upon us that the dancing is incredibly dangerous and two people are already hurt... the anti-Christ Jewel (those who know me and my affinity for Steve Poltz... understand why I am saying that...) and the almost always endearing Nancy O'Dell. Let's get their pictures out of the way really quickly...


Ok... we are LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! So let's get through the superior rhetoric and crap to find out what the hosts are going to tell us they are going to do with these quitters... (As of the airing of this show... I do not know who or what ABC has in store for us...)

We get to meet the stars of Season 8... as they walk down the stairs!!!! oOOOohh... the extra fancy intro music and my expectations are here... and Shawn Johnson TRIPS!... Psst... Denise looks like a hooker... but more on that later.

Samantha is still stunning and I need a nap already... According to Tom... there are TWO brave stars who will be replacing them... but... that will be later in the show...

Lil Kim & Derek Hough bring in the season and Lil Kim is speaking to me as though she is a contestant on Flavor of Love... Skank. She learned to love the show when she was in prison and is dedicating her first dance to all her "girls" in the pen... I am not kidding folks... that seems like a pretty limited demographic to appeal to win this thingamajig. They dance the Cha Cha and Lil Kim's vacant eye stare... oh wait... I shouldn't say mean things... because I have a feeling that Chris Brown might kick my ass. Her dance is mediocre ... at best. The scores are 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21. The judges must be scared too.

Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts come in second and Belinda is looking fantastic for her age. They are dancing the Waltz first and Belinda isn't a great spinner. Muh wife is mocking Belinda's grammar and I am distracted by Jonathan Roberts' suprime machismo. She's the negative nancy of this season already and she's only second. The dance seems stilted and I thought she would be better... Bruno was brutal and yelled at the crowd when boo'ed. I loved it! The scores are 6, 6, 5 for a total of 17.

P.S. High definition television is just plain mean to women... and men don't suffer from age in HD.

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska are up third and Edyta is one of my favorite dancers (Take that MS!). Lawrence Taylor is trying to be charming already... and I can't seem to get my extreme anti-Giants sentiments out of my mind. Edyta is wearing one of her normal dresses, but there is a ton of clothing on the bottom... weird. The Cha Cha... LT has a long way to go and should be much better if he tries. The judges were not enamoured. The scores are 6, 5, 5 for a total of 16.

Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer come up next and I am completely expecting NOTHING crazy to happen tonight or any night with Steve-O on this show. Johnny Knoxville and Wee Man are in the audience. These two rebels are up first and it's going to be easy to hate them... even though Steve-O insists that he is doing this because it is "wholesome..." but claims that he is disadvantaged because he is "very caucasion..." That was funny. They are dancing the Waltz and for what he lacks in style and grace, he is actually trying really hard and smiling the whole time... Will I actually like him? Not yet missies! The judges make some Jackass references and overall, they... kind of liked him. The scores are 6, 5, 6 for a total of 17.

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke are up and Marini IS NOT A F&CKING STAR. I am not writing about him for awhile... Cheryl does keep tellign him that he looks like a woman. Cheryl is funny and she lost a lot of weight... and I only bring that up since she was on teh front cover of TV Guide announcing it. They are dancing the Cha Cha to Addicted to Love. His dance was classic Cheryl and very good. The judges... especially Carrie Ann liked them. The scores are 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24.

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough are a real life couple and Julianne is too cute and aging poorly. They are dancing the Waltz. They keep making funny boyfriend/girlfriend jokes and then Julianne finally starts yelling at him. This could be a very long season for them... The dance is pretty and twirly-y. LIFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not going to like her anymore if they make out after each dance. The judges were kind but negative mostly. The scores are 6, 7, 7 for a total of 20.

It's time to reveal the two replacement stars who will have an incredibly short period of time to perform their first dances. The two quitters are interviewed first.

The first replacement is Holly Madison and Demetri Chaplin and they are dancing the Cha Cha... Good for her and her doing this in a short period of time. The judges don't like it a lot and hope that next week's is a lot better. The scores are 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18.

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower are going to be intersting since Ty is going to pull the Aw Shucks element quite a bit and Chelsea is a whole bunch of annoyinf. She's from So You Think You Can Dance?.. . and ummm.... argh. Chelsea seems very young and although Ty is nice seeming... he probably own't win. He tried really hard though... and my wife groaned a lot during it. Bruno was rougher than he should have been. The scores are 5, 4, 5 for a total of 14.

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas are next and Shawn is the youngest competitor ever. She is a competitor. Before the season began, I get the feeling that she is going to win. She's only 17 years old... Jesus...I forgot how young she was. She's not even old enough to be in Playboy... and Sh&t! Holly's been on the cover four times! I thought their Waltz was really good. The judges did too. The scores are 8, 8, 7 for a total of 23.

Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff are not compatible. He's not going to be good at all, but his dorkiness is going to be funny and odd enough to make me smile. I am also enjoying watching Karina be completely grossed out and disgusted by him... and she sucks big hairy moose nuts for that. He is bad though... and it is kind of cute how bad he is. The scores are 5, 4, 4 for a total of 13.

David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson are up to make me laugh... for the right reasons. AND HE IS WITH KYM!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!! KYM. They are dancing the Waltz. Fantastic dance from the funnyman. BAM... I didn't expect that at all... so graceful. I am reminded that Carrie Ann used to be a Fly Girl. Len was the best... "Far more good in that than there was bad." The scores are 6, 7, 6 for a total of 19.

Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy are going to be the EASIEST TEAM IN THE WORLD TO HATE. Really... Lori... how can you really root for your beloved Maksim when he is dancing with this evil home wrecker? GO ahead... justify... or... accept defeat! I can't watch this or write about it. It's going to be all about her... isn't it? They are dancing the Cha Cha Cha and during the rehearsals she keeps saying "Sorry" so the tension is beginning... SHE IS ALREADY CRYING... Shut your frigging face... "COLON" It's Complicated. Thank god she isn't good. Her kicks are violent and I thought her leg ws going to fly off. The judges are confused... just like me. The scores are 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18. Very appropriate score of 666.

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani are up last and she is more of a star than Gilles. Tony is the nicest person in the world. She had 48 hours to practice and good for her. She is dancing the Waltz and there is no introduction video. For such a short period of time, her dance is lovely... The scores are 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23.

Scores... Just a reminder!

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke -- 24
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas -- 23
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani -- 23
Lil Kim & Derek Hough -- 21
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough -- 20
David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson -- 19
Holly Madison & Demitri Chaplin -- 18
Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- 18
Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer -- 17
Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts -- 17
Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska -- 16
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower -- 14
Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff -- 13

Early Predictions?

I have some high hopes for Shawn Johnson and I am hoping America does the right thing and gets rid of Denise Richards as early as possible.

Good night America!

Book 15 of 52 -- Ted Bell's Tsar

If you're looking for an easy read in a not-for-the-squeamish Tom Clancy meets Ian Flemming genre, then this is the book for you.

This is a present day cold war style story of Russian attempts to recapture the countries that were once part of the Soviet Union.

Lead by the behind the scenes "Tsar", Russia plans to expand beyond the old empire and is considering the rest of Europe too.

Enter Alex Hawke, a James Bond style character whose violence is a little more graphic, yet who womanizes and exudes that British secret agent charm that works so well in the novels.

A silent, mysterious man with a tragic past who is back on duty - the only man who can stop the Russians as he did the Soviet Union.

With Vladimir Putin in prison, any voice of reason has been silenced and the West is desperate to prevent their old nemesis from rising again.

The Evil Tsar has a flaw: his beautiful daughter...who just happens to have run into Hawke...and fallen for him...

As I said, while there are grains of modern day politics and current events in the book, it's a little far-fetched James Bond style where things come together when they need to...except does Hawke save the day?

You'll have to read more to find out.

If you're looking for an easy-to-pick-up and easy-to-put down novel that doesn't tax your brain too much, this might be good beach / vacation reading.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Survivor Tocantins -- Episode 4

With the beauty of the interwebs... I am able to watch Survivor a day removed while still hanging out here in San Diego ... yet again.

Alas... I get to go home tomorrow....

Tucker’s Nuts
Tyson Apostol (4)
Deborah “Bubbles” Beebe (5)
Joe Dowdle (8)
Brendan Synnott (9)
Spencer Duhm (12)
Benjamin Wade (13)
Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George (16)
Jerry Simms (1) -- Unfortunately... he basically quits in Week One.

Stephen Fishbach (2)
Sierra Reed (6)
Sydney Wheeler (7)
James Thomas, Jr. (10)
Erinn Lobdell (14)
Sandy Burgin (15) -- BOOTED WEEK FOUR!!!!
Candace Smith (11) -- BOOTED WEEK TWO!!!!
Carolina Eastwood (3) -- BOOTED WEEK ONE!!!!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Book 14 of 52 -- Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict

What could be better than the "Lincoln Lawyer" and Harry Bosch in the same novel?

That's what happens in "The Brass Verdict" when their paths cross in more ways than one.

Mickey Haller, however, doesn't operate out of the back of one of his Lincoln Town Cars this time.

But he is back, in a high profile murder case after two years away getting over an addiction to pain killers.

Just as he was about to return to the practice of law, Mickey Haller's former colleague, Jerry Vincent, is murdered, and the Lincoln Lawyer inherits all his cases, including the high profile defense of a rich movie mogul accused of shooting his wife and her lover.

Harry Bosch is seeking Vincent's murderer and he and Haller sort of work together in solving the crime.

Meanwhile, we are greatly entertained with an interesting trial and a surprising verdict.

The intricate plot includes the fact that Haller and Bosch are half brothers, so we may expect to see them teamed up again (and then again, maybe not).

More importantly, the premise of the book is that everyone lies (and expects to be lied to), whether juror or lawyer or judge.

These two favorite Connelly protagonists are matched evenly (in fact, they may be a match made in heaven).

Each provides the author with a uniqueness and the ability to write so many unexpected twists, that the reader can't stop turning the pages.

Highly recommended.