Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dancing With the Stars -- Week 2 Results!

I just got home from the Yankees game where the Royals kept it close, but the Yankees pulled it out in the last inning! Fun.

We are LLIIVVEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the recap, we get to the replay dance of Mya & Dmitry Chaplin which was still a fun dance.

It's time to save some couples -- three in fact.

First saved -- Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson

Second saved -- Mya & Dmitry Chaplin

Third saved -- Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff

Some wacky chick named Joss Stone sings and she makes me uncomfortable for some reason. (Put some shoes on weirdo.)

Hey! Video showcase! It's about the new training center and everyone can practice there. *yawn*

Three more couples to save!

Fourth saved -- Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer

Fifth saved -- Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo

Just to rub it in... they tell Debi and Maks that they are still in jeopardy... That seems kind of mean.

Selena Gomez sings and I ... FAST FORWARD!

Sixth saved -- Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough

Seventh saved -- Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova

Eighth saved -- Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya

Ninth saved -- Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas

Tenth saved -- Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel

Another video package! The professionals have to fix the bad habits of the celebrities... *yawn*

Up next is a pretty cool dance scene with the USC Trojans marching band doing a "Stomp the Yard" kind of thing with some professional break dancers. High energy and fun.

Joss Stone is back... and she still hasn't found her shoes... even in a new dress.

Eleventh saved -- Tom Delay & Cheryl Burke

Twelfth saved -- Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower

It's time to have tons of drama and look at the bottom two! Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani and Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Thirteenth saved -- Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Booted Loser!

Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dancing With the Stars -- Week Two!

Hey kids! It's time for the second week of Dancing With the Stars and we are already seeing the effects of an extra show on Len Goodman. He's not on the show tonight. Baz Luhrman is the guest judge. Their explanation of why Baz is relevant is too long and distracting.

Samantha Harris has the worst dress that she has ever worn on right now. UGH.

Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough is up first and they are doing the Jive. They have great chemistry and are hoping to have a blast out on the dance floor. Don't forget their scores were the best last week. She is wearing extensions that almost touch the floor. The dance is energetic and except for one second or so... I thought it was fun. The judges thought she was energetic but was missing a lot of good footwork. Their scores are 6, 7, 7 for a total of 20.

Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo is up second and the Queen of the Chlorine is dancing the Quickstep. For this dance, we learn that she can't breathe since it isn't natural to her in her real world job of swimming. Her dance was interesting and I am not sure. Bruno goes weird for a few minutes... MINUTES and haters will turn off the show. Carrie Ann thinks she is one of her favorite competitors. Lots of "potential" discussion... so it can't be great scores... Their scores are 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21.

Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya are up third and we haven't had a break yet. Chuck has to get in touch with his feminine side and he has been asked to dance the Tango. "The Tango is as close to his world as possible..." and something about it being down for the count. Oh boy. The dance starts and Chuck is incredibly rigid and creepy... but I don't know anything at all about this stuff. Baz gave a weird description of what he thought. Carrie Ann was scared, but loved it. Bruno complimented the work he put into it. Their scores are 6, 7, 6 for a total of 19.

Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas are up fourth and my wife groans in ugh. They are dancing the Jive and it requires MJH to have more fun and be energetic. This could be a train wreck and the video shows a ton of mistakes. The dance itself is missing something and I think it is filled with tension and being silly and goofy just isn't in her nature. Any time she has to be excited... she opens up her mouth. They show her daughter who seems to do the same thing. The judges pointed out that her feet were a mess but her energy level was picked up. Their scores are 7, 6, 6 for a total of 19.

Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova are up fifth and they are reviewing how last week was an abomination in the video. They are dancing an awful lot... sunrise to sunset. There is lots and lots of drama in the music! Blech. The song starts and Tucker is not pleased. He is wondering how Michael Irvin was able to get out of his parole to be on the show. Good one Tucker. The judges were happy that he gave them content which didn't happen last week. They have improved. Their scores are 7, 7, 6 for a total of 20.

Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy are dancing the Tango tonight and during the video, Debi hates being talked to like she is an idiot... so lots of crying and drama ensues. I want to watch the dance, but OH MY GOD... they have murderered Roxanne by the Police for this dance. She was good. The judges agreed too, but thought she was slightly shaky. Their scores are 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21.

Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower are up right before the halfway point. This couple is just too damn sweet. They are dancing the Jive and teh video was just plain adorable. I thoroughly enjoyed the dance. Carrie Ann likes the joy in his dancing. Bruno is tougher on him because he has the ability and can do more. ALmost seems unfair. Baz likes the "story" and has liked or disliked the story in every dance... boring. Their scores are 6, 7, 6 for a total of 19. I disagree with this scoring.

Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff are dancing eighth and we are reminded that he was the best male dancer last week. As soon as he starts to talk, I am reminded what I didn't like him at all. There is a TON of tension in their video and they are not the best of friends at all... but in the end... they love and adore each other. The dance is starting with band being hijacked by Animal from the Mutppets as they dance the Quick Step to the theme of the Muppet Show. Seemed good to me and I can't stand it. It ended with Gonzo with the judges playing his horn. That was cute. Bruno LOVED it. Baz loved it. Carrie Ann thought it was a pleasure. Their scores are 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27.

Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani and Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel and Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer dance and I wrote stuff, but they were all lost for some reason. Sorry... but Mark was the best of them all for sure. See scores below.

Mya & Dmitry Chaplin are up 12th. There is so funny business about their scores and the controversy last week and it seems like that was a very short video. They are dancing the Jive. It starts off with plenty of props and goofiness and then kicks into gear and it is a very good dance. The judges were in love with it. Their scores were 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27.

Tom Delay & Cheryl Burke are up second to last and I want to poke my ears out. Not at Tom, but at all the conservative and liberal comments by Tom... ick. We learn that Tom has a "pre-stress fracture" but the doctor says he can dance. This week? It's the Tango. The dance was going fantastically and then the end came and Tom looked like he seriously hurt himself and almost dropped Cheryl. Carrie Ann liked it. Bruno agrees. Baz loved the story. Their scores were 6, 6, 6, for a total of 18.

Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson are up last and they are going to dance the Jive. Donny... is in his 50s and maybe... he can go by the name Don now? He will be good and Kym has the worst hair ever and I thought Krupa's hair was horrible. Now... the dance. Donny was frigging amazing. Kym's choreography was spectacular. The judges scores are 8, 9, 8 for a total of 25. I totally disagree with that.

Scores... Just a reminder!

Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff -- 27
Mya & Dmitry Chaplin -- 27
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson -- 25
Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer -- 21
Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo -- 21
Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- 21
Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough -- 20
Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova -- 20
Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower -- 19
Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya -- 19
Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas -- 19
Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel -- 19
Tom Delay & Cheryl Burke -- 18
Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani -- 18

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book 55 of 52 -- Brian Haig's The Hunted

I thought I'd miss Sean Drummond .... but after reading Brian Haig's latest, I'm convinced I'd like anything he would write.

This book is simply a wonderful story, rich with assorted, believable characters - those you love and those you love to hate - and a fascinating plot that keeps you engrossed until the end, then wishing there was more. You can not help but wonder, as the tale unfolds, which parts are truly factual and which are the product of a creative writer.

For readers of suspense/mysteries/thrillers and those that like a little legal thrown in, plus possibly some foreign intrigue, this book is the one of the best of the year - thoroughly recommended.

Book 54 of 52 -- Kathy Reichs' 206 Bones

After several books that provided some background on Tempe (her sister, Harry; her family background)it was fun to read about her estranged husband's family, a lively bunch of Latvians!I found that this book, like the others, pulls me in, and what I anticipate will be "just a chapter or two" of reading invariably ends hours later, when I have finished the book, and the day is gone.The plots move quickly, and I just have to know what happens next, much to the detriment of my plans for the day. There have already been several reviews that discuss the plot; I see no point in belaboring that, except to say that there is always new knowledge to be gained, but the story line is fast paced and never preachy.I like that the author's passion for her profession comes through.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Survivor Samoa -- Week 2!

So... it's before the show starts and I am intrigued by all the people that I talked to that hate the white Russell. I love that he is making the show really interesting...

So let's get into the viewing of the show!


Russell Swan has to go far if they keep spending so much time on him and almost the first 15 minutes was all Russell Swan.

Russell found the immunity idol without clues! How frigging awesome!

Ben tripped a guy and got kicked out of the immunity challenge... funny.

Mike can't take the outdoors. Bye Mike!

Ben likes chopping wood at all hours of the day and night. What a weirdo...

Yasmin is a wanker and needs to be smacked.. immediately.

Jaison is a classy fella....

Dammit Betsy!

Tucker's Nuts
Ashley Trainer (3)
Elizabeth Kim (7)
Brett Clouser (10)
Kelly Sharbaugh (11)
Mick Trimming (14)
David Ball (15)
Shannon Waters (18)
Laura Morett (19)
Betsy Bolan (2) -- Booted Week Two
Mike Borassi (6) -- Pulled out In Episode Two (Illness)

John Fincher (1)
Ben Browning (4)
Erik Cardona (5)
Monica Padilla (8)
Russell Hantz (12)
Natalie White (13)
Russell Swan (16)
Yasmin Giles (17)
Jaison Robinson (20)
Marisa Calihan (9) -- Booted Week One

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dancing With the Stars Premiere Week Results Show

The damn DVR didn't tape it... so we watched it online...

The two couples relieved of dancing duties were:

Ashley Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska

And for the ladies... it was...

Macy Gray & Jonathan Roberts

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dancing With the Stars -- Premiere Week -- Night 2


As we did last night, we get a hot intro, but with the female professional dancers.

Eventually the 200 person parade of stars is here and I thought Natalie Coughlin and Macy Gray were going to fall down the stairs. Tom Delay is having so much fun. I almost tempted to vote for him just so we can watch him make a silly face of himself.

Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy are up first. This could be he most interesting pairing since both of them are rather strong personalities. Cool... Please melt down. :) She's funny and talks a lot... Their Salsa is Salsay. You can tell she is trying hard, but she has a series of subtle mess ups and she could smile a bunch more. She doesn't seem so sure of herself. The judges think she has some potential, but she is quite there yet. Her scores are 6, 5, 5 for a total of 16.

Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas are up second... and I am reminded that she was Sabrina the Teenage Witch for SEVEN FRIGGING YEARS? She's no longer a teenager and that's what I am supposed to get from this since she has a deep voice now and two babies. They are dancing the Viennese Waltz. IF Mark is good at anything, it is choreographing -- and I don't have to like him personally though. The dance was nice. That's all I have. They though she did it right, but it was missing something because she was tense. Her scores are 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18.

Mya & Dmitry Chaplin are up third and she thinks that she is awesome because she sings well. She seems pretty vanilla to me. She has tap danced a lot but never ballroom so that means... she is a dancer and will do well. Dammit. Her dance is confident and it is just a Vienese Waltz. It is the nicest dance so far tonight. The judges agree since it is a statement, but LEn hates what Chaplin choreographed and it gets very loud and very contentious. Her scores are 8, 5, 8 for a total of 21.

Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani are up fourth. She admits to letting herself turn into aa huge fatty. That was a surprise. She seems sweet and I am inclined to like her. I am not sure she is going to do well though. They are dancing the Salsa. I also forgot how tall she is. I thought that overall, it was good, but there was some unfortuante dancing in the middle. The judges agree so I expect some mediocre scores. Her scores are 6, 5, 5 for a total of 16.

Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo are up fifth and I am reminded that she is endearing but boring. She has to "sink or swim." She is doing the Sals and I am actually impressed by it even though there is some uncertainty to the whole thing. The judges again say... "Good, but not quite there... " That is boring me too. Her scores are 7, 6, 6 for a total of 19.

Macy Gray & Jonathan Roberts are up sixth and I love that she is just odd and free. Jonathan Roberts is a bad ass as we all know and this is going to be a frigging train wreck. I think she's high as a kite right now. Her video is odd. They are dancing the Vienese Waltz and it doesn't start off well... Poor Jonathan Roberts. He always gets shit on. Carrie won't discuss technique, but thinks that her genuine-osity is sweet. Len calls it vulnerability and charm. Her scores are 6, 4, 5 for a total of 15.

Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough is up second to last and we are reminded that she is a strong personality. Of course... she wears a bikini top a lot of the time. They are dancing the Salsa and she has quite the flamboyant yellow frilly dressy. Derek can sure choreograph. She actually looks good out there, but I am sure that I am looking at it through rose colored glasses. Len liked it because it was actually a "hot smoking Salsa." Bruno and Carrie Ann agree. Her scores are 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24.

Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel are up last and she is a singer and the daughter of Kelly Osbourne. I think it is because she wants to show off her girlie side. In the video segment, they pull out Ozzy and Sharon for laughter. Ha ha... time to turn the tomboy into a lady. They are dancing the Vienese Waltz and there is a bit of awkwardness to the dance, but it isn't bad from my point of view. Actually... I liked it a lot... Her scores are 7, 8, 8 for a total of 23.

Before we get the Rally dances, let's get have a chat with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne right now who are incredibly happy and sweet.

Rally Dances!!!!!

The first set of four dancers is Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo, Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani, Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough. They will be dancing the Foxtrot. The video montage is just what I expected... and away we go... No one stands out to me... so that is tough for the judges.

The final results of the first rally dance are:
1. Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough
2. Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo
3. Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
4. Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani

The second of four dancers is Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas, Mya & Dmitry Chaplin, Macy Gray & Jonathan Roberts, and Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel. They will be dancing the Cha Cha Cha. The video montage is almost the exact same to me. Oh well.

The final results of the second rally dance are:
1. Mya & Dmitry Chaplin
2. Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel
3. Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas
4. Macy Gray & Jonathan Roberts

Tomorrow night... the lowest male and female stars scores and votes will be booted from the show!

We'll be at the U2 concert so don't tell us who got booted please.

Scores... Just a reminder!

Joanna Krupa & Derek Hough 24 + 10 -- 34
Kelly Osbourne & Louis Van Amstel 23 + 8 -- 31
Mya & Dmitry Chaplin 21 + 10 -- 31
Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo 19 + 8 -- 27
Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Ballas 18 + 6 -- 24
Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy 16 + 6 -- 22
Kathy Ireland & Tony Dovolani 16 + 4 -- 20
Macy Gray & Jonathan Roberts 15 + 4 -- 19

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dancing With the Stars Week 1 -- Show 1!


We go straight into a hot opening with all the make professional dancers doing a professional dance. It's a Chippendales reunion? Jonathan Roberts is just too masculine... I am telling you.

Tonight is NIGHT ONE OF a THREE NIGHT PREMIERE and they are going to have to do two dances! Woooo hoooo... but we get to meet the stars of Season 9 as their parade of stars makes it down the stairs...


Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff is up first. He's going to dance the Cha Cha Cha and is actually more charming than I thought he would be. His hair is totally spiky and he does a couple cool moves in his dance. He might be one of the people that i have to knock down right away because he has performing and dancing in his background. The ending seemed awkward. THe judges think he is full of potential and will be good later. His scores are 7, 8, 7 for a total of 22.

I'll say it. Carrie Ann Inaba's hair is atrocious... Ugh. She must have slept on it since she was hosting the TV Guide Red Carpet special the night before.

Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya are up second and the guy has tattoos on his head. I learn right away that he's a bad ass... but he is up against his match by meeting Anna who is a really tough teacher. He is rough... I get it. They are dancing the Foxtrot and the mohawk is covered with a top hat... You'll never guess how he dances... Stiff! The only saving grace is that he is obviously upset every single time he messes up. It wasn't good. Sorry Chuck. The judges thought it was good entertainment. Code for: Please don't kick my ass Chuck. His scores are 6, 5, 5 for a total of 16.

Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer is a longtime actor and a martial arts expert. He is very complimentary of Lacey who self describes himself as the Rebel of the Dance Floor. How much a rebel are you if you self describe yoruself that way? They are dancing the Cha Cha Cha to Everybody Is Kung Fu Fighting... uhhhhhh... The dance was perhaps a bit too gimmicky, but he is good and might go far. The judges were mostly positive. His scores are 7,7,7 for a total of 21.

Apparently.... this is the premiere season of the "Relay Dance." Tom explains it and TW and I are confused... perhaps they will explain later.

Ashley Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska are up fourth and Ashley is a bad ass since he does a lot of dangerous stunts so his body is young but limited. Edyta feels confident and she looks wonderful... as always. It was a nice little dance where Ashley didn't have to do much. The judges agree that is was missing something... His scores are 5, 6, 4 for a total of 15.

Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson dance fifth and I am sad that Marie OSmond's brother is dancing with one of my favorites... Kym Johnson. Donny seems to be one of those people that asks questions and questions and he's embarrassed when they do intimate moves. Behold the power of the MORMONS! BEHOLD!!!!!!!!!! They are dancing the Foxtrot to All That Jazz. Great song and he has enough flair and charm to make me intially like him.... dammit. He's having fun and more. That could get infectious. The judges agree that his theaterics were better than his dancing. His scores are 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20.

Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower are up sixth. He is a professional snowboarder who has never seen the show. Chelsie is small but tough... so we have two shorties who are strong willed. He's obviously a dufus with a lot of guts and no regard for safety, but he seems interesting. We'll see. His dance is the Foxtrot. The judges were rough but enjoyed it. His scores are 6, 7, 6 for a total of 20.

Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova are up seventh. She was the pro dance winner from last year and Michael Irvin is dancing because he wants to beat Jerry Rice. I am surprised that he is allowed to leave his home town. Isn't he still on parole? They are dancing the Cha Cha Cha. Jerry Rice got a 21... so Irvin just wants to get a 22. He thinks ballroom dancing is really hard. Duh... 8 seaons before you... and I picked that up my friend. It was smooth and seemed lifeless. Boring and full of holes. The judges hated it. His scores are 5, 4, 4 for a total of 13.

Tom Delay & Cheryl Burke are up last and before I even see or hear anything... I am glad to see that Cheryl won't win again since I turned on her last season. His nickname is "The Hammer." Tom is in better shape than I thought he would be. He is conservative... In case you didn't know that. Sooooo... the Cha Cha Cha is going to be tough for him. He is dancing to Wild Thing and almost falls down the steps. Interesting dance. It could have been worse. That's all I got........ seriously. The judges were... umm... ok with it? I can't quite tell... His scores are 6, 5, 5 for a total of 16.

Tomorrow night is the lovely women... and Joanna Krupa is looking phenomenal. Tom interviews most of them.

It's time for the relay dances... the 8 couples were split into 2 groups of 4. They will all dance the same dance. The judges will rank them 1-4. First gets 10 points, second gets 8, third gets 6, and fourth gets 4.

The first set of four pairs is dancing the Salsa. They are Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya, Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower, Ashley Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska, and Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson. We get a video package of all them practicing and talking shit to each other. It's funny and Louie Vito had the best line to Donny. "The only ghigh scores you are going to see are on your birthday card." The dances are completed and it seems that the judges liked Donny the best and he was the best...

The judges ranked them in this order:
1.Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
2.Louie Vito & Chelsie Hightower
3.Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya
4.Ashley Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska,

The second set of dancers are dancing the Viennese Waltz. The four pairs are Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnov, Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer, Tom Delay & Cheryl Burke, Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova. It's time to see the video package... and I smiled... uhhh... once. No one seems to really jump out at them... except maybe Mark.

The judges ranked them in this order:
1. Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnov
2. Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer
3. Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova
4. Tom Delay & Cheryl Burke

Scores... Just a reminder!

Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnov -- 22 + 10 = 32
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson -- 20 + 10 = 30
Mark Dacascos & Lacey Schwimmer -- 21 + 8 = 29
Louie Vito & CHelsie Hightower -- 20 + 8 = 28
Chuck Liddell & Anna Trebunskaya -- 16 + 6 = 22
Tom Delay & Cheryl Burke -- 16 + 4 = 20
Ashley Hamilton & Edyta Sliwinska -- 15 + 4 = 19
Michael Irvin & Anna Demidova -- 13 + 6 = 19

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book 53 of 52 -- David Baldacci's First Family

First Family is David Baldacci's follow-up to Simple Genius. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are summoned by Pam Dutton to instruct them on their next case. Before they can meet with her, however, they notice two men running from the scene firing their guns. As they investigate the house they notice Pam is dead, but, Willa, her eldest daughter, is missing. Subplots are plenty as Michelle, who is still struggling to come to terms about her mother's death, returns home to be with her father. First Family is a beefy book with twists and turns reminiscent of a roller coaster. Its politics and scandals are so complex that the reader stays in tune with the book from page one, and doesn't blink until the book ends.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Book 52 of 52 -- Stephen Frey's Hell's Gate

Stephen Frey, known for his fast-paced financial thrillers, turns 180 degrees into a more typical suspense tale that his fans will still enjoy. The hero's trust in people is shattered after the betrayal with only his brother as a person he can be rely on to have his back. He comes to town and quickly thinks Paradise but revises that to paradise lost as he now knows he has entered HELL'S GATE; with the infernos getting increasingly dangerous and the residents of this Eden obvious to him are keeping secrets. Hunter becomes a crusader with a belief in doing the right thing though the cost can be lethal. Still he is an everyman getting involved and by trying he becomes a superman even if he fails. Fans will appreciate Mr. Frey's latest venture as every man can become a super man if they only go for it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Survivor Samoa Premieres!!!

Holy smoly! 19 Seasons... I am so excited... Primarily.. for two main reasons...

1. Russell Hantz -- I have never seen a season where they are promoting the hell out of ONE person before a season even starts and if you believe all the hype, Russell is the biggest douche bag that ever existed. I heard about his "strategy" and it boggles my mind on paper, but may be fun in the middle of nowhere.

2. Return to the Beachy Island -- Amazon was fine... Rivers are fun... China was different, but the game is best when it is played in a beach setting. After 18 other seasons of this... I am most excited for the beach setting.

2a. Tribes are Pre-Determined -- No more pickem and that crap.

Galu (Purple) vs Foa Foa (Yellow) arrive and Jeff throws a wrench and makes them vote without ever talking to anyone. Galu decides on Russell who was in a close race with mullet wearing Shambo and Foa Foa decides on Mick, the guy who loves himself. Interestingly enough... they both are wearing suit coatish stuff and they are forced to make an immediate decision... they have to choose who is the best swimmer for the first challenge... and the strongest person... and the most agile person... and the smartest person...

The first challenge begins immediately for fire... the first leg is swimming and Foa Foa has the lead once the leg is over. The second leg is a strength leg and requries some lifting of heavy log bundles and Foa Foa maintains the lead. The third leg is a balance beam with a rope twisted around it and Foa Foa gives up some of the lead but is still leading which allows the final leg of a puzzle. The winner of fire is... Foa Foa!

It's time to get to meet each other and for the audience to get to know folks. Russell is setting up alliances with the "dumb short haired girl", "even dumber long haired blonde girl", and the brunette to create the "dumbass girl alliance." For good measure, he adds the older lady cop (Betsy) who rightfully doesn't trust him. Thank you Russell for living up to expectations.

We meet some other players and then... we get to Russell H. again. He tells the entire tribe about living in New Orleans and seeing his dog die in the hurricanes.. then he reveals that it was all a lie... and it makes me laugh. He then goes to everyone's canteens and empties them while they sleep because he wants to make it as miserable as possible for everyone... even by burning socks... He just wants to show how easy it is to win the game. I am in love with this asshole... and he is nothing more than an asshole.

The next morning...e veryone is miserable and Russell H. is loving it... and so am I.

Immunity Challenge -- There's a whole lot of rope... running... ramps... and more... Galu takes a huge lead and it eventually evens out... the ramps get steeper and steeper... They then have to do a lot of pulling.... to pull the puzzle pieces closer... Galu is in the early lead, but the Foa Foa makes progress quickly. When it is all said and done... Galu wins immunity! Then they have an incredibly unsportsmanlikey chant and they go home.

The negotiating for staying and going is an interesting set of conditions... Russell H. is the puppetmaster and is making me laugh and he runs his mouth. With editting... it will be Russell H. (since some chicks don't trust him), Mike, Marissa, or Ashley. Ben is a cocky guy and the only other real memorable personality to me at the moment.

Time for the votes to come in... Jeff is going to "tally" the votes...

Marisa (5-3)

First person voted out is Marisa and we lose a smart and sweet person right away. Oh well... at least I didn't have her.

As we have done for the past 17 seasons, my buddy MB and I have drafted teams to see who will win. I had a good winning sreak going before Marc stepped in during the last season and toppled me.

Reminder: The parenthesis indicate where they were drafted.

Tucker's Nuts
Betsy Bolan (2)
Ashley Trainer (3)
Mike Borassi (6)
Elizabeth Kim (7)
Brett Clouser (10)
Kelly Sharbaugh (11)
Mick Trimming (14)
David Ball (15)
Shannon Waters (18)
Laura Morett (19)

John Fincher (1)
Ben Browning (4)
Erik Cardona (5)
Marisa Calihan (9)
Russell Hantz (12)
Natalie White (13)
Russell Swan (16)
Yasmin Giles (17)
Jaison Robinson (20)
Monica Padilla (8) -- Booted Week One

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book 51 of 52 -- Janet Evanovich's Finger Lickin' Fifteen

I'm still amazed at Janet's inventiveness with situations for Stephanie Plum, but this one didn't make me laugh as much as some of her earlier books. Although I love Ranger, I like Stephenie's relationship with Joe, and I enjoy their interactions more when they are a couple. I will admit to laughing out loud, as usual, while reading this. Hard not to in any situation involving Lula and Grandma Mazur and an open flame.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book 50 of 52 -- Faye Kellerman's Blindman's Bluff

You can't help but wonder how she does it, but Faye Kellerman has written another wonderful Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery that holds your interest the entire book. I love the characters and have learned so much about them and their family that I feel part of their extended family. I want to hear more about them each book I pick up. And I especially enjoyed the way that daughter Cindy was brought in, just as might occur in a normal family - or not. Is this family really normal? I think they might be for a police detective's family. You can't help but think they are. Loved the book!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Book 49 of 52 -- Laura Pedersen's The Sweetest Hours

In a series of short stories and novellas, author Laura Pedersen explores relationships between people and character growth. Pedersen's strong writing enlivens each of these stories, creating laughs and thoughtful moments with even familiar situations. The story of Gus the dog, for instance (Gus Hunts for a Job) didn't exactly plumb any emotional depths, but Pedersen constructed it strongly, with plenty of vivid images of a dog's life--and the life of a college fraternity. The nerdy camp councellor story (Second Nature) is a bit of wish fulfillment for nerdy book-people everywhere. I found the story of the bookstore sister (True to her Word) and of the sisters (Irish Twins) to be the emotionally strongest and most disturbing. Each of these dealt with people outside of the mainstream of the accepted--looking for ways to accomodate the world--or to make the world accomodate to them.

THE SWEETEST HOURS is universally well written and interesting. Some of the stories seem dated, and some may reflect Pedersen at a less mature emotional stage, but this is a compelling set of stories--well worth the read.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

(500) Days of Summer Moviegoing Experience‏



The Informant

Love Happens

Whip It


Really well told story and good movie.