Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bigger Than When I Trick-Or-Treated

I thought the holiday rush was supposed to be for Christmas? Which - by the way - I am totally on top of this year. Presents, planning, trips, cards, food and programs I am all over.
So when did Halloween become such an eventful holiday? Not one, not two but THREE parties to be involved with this week. The one tonight I am not sure who is charge, so that makes my overly developed need for control flip out completely. Last night went well I think. So cold, relatively, that I didn't get a good picture of our costumes, but don't worry there are at least two more chances before Saturday.

This is me, running around again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

That Was A Real Green Dress

This week the DWTS results show had Taylor Swift and Tiempo Libre as musical guests. The latter were okay, but since I didn't understand what they were singing and they weren't taking their shirts off, it wasn't spectacular. The former's first song was also okay, but the second had the professionals dancing in really great costumes - I am surprised at how excited I was that Anna wore green instead of red or pink or orange or one of those colors they always put redheads in - and it really made the number I thought. It was 'Love Story' one of Taylor's big hits and the dance really made it more than the sum of it's parts I think. I was impressed.
As for the eliminations, it's a double one this week - which always adds a level of anxiety - but I feel like one of the couples gets a short stick because everyone is waiting for the "last one." I thought Melissa's outfit and hair looked fantastic - better than anything else she'd worn in this competition - so it was a bummer that she didn't get to dance anything.
The dance-off is back and I don't know if I like it any better with the new rules. It seems an awful waste of materials to have everyone in new costumes and develop new dances but have only two couples ACTUALLY perform them. (And only for 30 seconds? That's not enough time.) Isn't it bad enough that they are dancing for the chance to come back next week - talk about nerves - but does it have to be a new dance as well? That has to be degrading all of the dances overall. Less time = less precision.
I would think.
Michael's samba was good - probably better than anything he'd done before - and Louie's jive was great, although he did mess up in the middle.
WHAT was WITH that elimination method? The paddles were weird and the decision process was so...odd. Not like the usual dramatic pause and then "group AWWWW."

This is me and they're messing with the show again.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rise And Fall

Does it feel like a long time since I've posted anything about Dancing With The Stars? It sure seems like more than a week. Perhaps it's the complete reversal of weather patterns here in The Jungle since last week. Or maybe that there's been a lot of activity - birthday you know - or maybe it's just been a looooong week. Who knows?
Still, it's Monday and Monday means the discussion - i.e. my critique - of the celebrity dancers.
I don't see how the jitterbug and the waltz can be opposite each other. They're not similar dances, especially in skill requirements. So that's weird.
Mya's jitterbug was not as big as it could have been, and they spent way too much time on the opening bit.
I hated Melissa's dress and if she has posture problems that dress was not the way to fix it. Her waltz was awkward. Mark's hair was GIGANTIC.
Mark - the other Mark - had the energy that the jitterbug requires for sure. Lacey's outfit was nasty but she doesn't dress well very often. There were a lot of tricks and I think there could a been a tiny bit less of those and a tiny bit more content. Just my opinion.
Aaron's waltz did not suck. Karina's dress did a little bit, the top mostly, I liked the skirt.
Michael's waltz was lovely. Anna's dress was shedding feathers everywhere but it was soft and careful. His posture was poor, his shoulders hunched but the character was there.
Kelly's jitterbug was correct, but not terribly big and that seems to be what separates the jitterbug from the jive. She and Louis were SO CUTE though. And I want her to be great.
Louie is another one I really want to do well - he's so adorable - and the energy was awesome. Chelsie's dress was cute too. He missed some steps in the middle though and I'm not sure if he was supposed to leave Chelsie on her butt or not...
Joanna bugs me for some reason that I can't pinpoint. Don't know why, since her waltz was lovely. Derek does a good job in the choreography and it looked great. Maybe it just didn't feel right for me.
Donny's jitterbug was really cute. He's such a performer and he sells it, no question. It wasn't as big and wild as the others but Donny's a lot older than them too.
Can I just say that I love the marathon idea? They can't have planned the ENTIRE dance, since they don't know how long it will go, so there's got to be some following and leading going on and that's a spectacular idea.
In execution, it was nearly as good as I imagined. I thought that the judges didn't see it precisely right -they missed some key stumbles in my opinion - but I guess a real competition would have the same difficulties. I thought Mya did the best, especially near the end when they were all more tired, but it's not my paddle to use. Aaron did really good I thought and so did Donny. Kelly was weak and I thought she should have been excused before Louie who was holding his own.
Nice addition to the competition.

This is me, and Boo. Yah.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plus Three - Part 3

And the final chapter of the birthday festivities concludes with many thanks all around and of course, presents! First, thank you to all the lovely people who commented on my Facebook page. I even got an email from Roofus.
There were birthday cards from family:
This one cracks me up but Tarzan thinks it's a little annoying:
maybe because I opened it ten times in a row when it first arrived...maybe.
And there were cards from friends:
Sunday we went to my parents for dinner which was excellent, but also way more than I had expected. Who needs seven - that's right SEVEN - kinds of ice cream to choose from?
Apparently I do, and it was really hard to pick.
Then came PRESENTS:
That's the next book by the man who wrote Wicked - totally NOT the same as the musical, so if you read it, don't expect the funny light hearted comedy that is the stage production. The two are definitely not the same - a new water filter situation for the fridge and The Music Man with Kristin Chenoweth as Marian the Librarian. Again, a word of warning - Matthew Broderick is no Robert Preston and though everyone else plays it beautifully I wonder why they would be suckered in by this guy who doesn't even believe himself - but for Kristin, it's a good showpiece.

This is me, and that was a good birthday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From 1918, Iowa

Base to Shoulder: 150 feet
Right arm: 340 feet
Widest part of arm holding torch: 12 1/2 feet
Right thumb: 35 feet
Thickest part of body: 29 feet
Left hand length: 30 feet
Face: 60 feet
Nose: 21 feet
Longest spike of head piece: 70 feet
Torch and flame combined: 980 feet
Number of men in flame of torch: 12,000
Number of men in torch: 2,800
Number of men in right arm: 1,200
Number of men in body, head and balance of figure only: 2,000
Total men: 18,000

This is me, impressed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Come Away With Me

So Norah Jones didn't suck in either of her performances. I haven't really heard her before, on purpose, but it wasn't bad. I was sad to see it was Natalie who got voted off tonight. I think the viewers have a grudge against Alec for being so hot. What other reason could it be? They also hate his wife Edyta.
Otherwise the DWTS results show was much as I remember it used to be before all the "reality" hype got stuck in it for ratings. The professionals do a number the guest sings and we send someone home. If it ain't broke...
The Michael Jackson tribute had a little too much crotch grabbing for me, but we've already decided I am an old fogey.

This is me and that that's all folks.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Once More Like You Mean It

Taking a break from, well, me, let's discuss what I thought - okay, sort of a break from me - about the celebrities on Dancing With The Stars.
First, wow. That was some hair on Samantha Harris. Little too long with the curling iron? (Though Carrie-Ann's hair is all poofy too.)
I thought Natalie and Alec's paso doble was odd - and maybe that was all the music, which was weird - almost stiff. She is precise, very, but I don't know that she feels the dance.
Aaron definitely reined it on his Argentine tango, which is good, and the girl is supposed to be the focus of the dance, so it was good that the eye was drawn to Karina, but it wasn't as "manly" as he said it was supposed to be. I wanted more authority out of him, especially in his feet. The guys particularly need to put their feet down as if they mean it.
Michael's paso doble was interesting - it kept throwing me off because Anna's hair was brunette not blond as usual - he did have the power and strength and he put his feet down like he meant it, but his posture suffered from time to time I felt. The final move was a little violent, yes?
I want to hate Mya, but I can't really because she's so good and her Argentine tango was no exception. It was hard to tell that she was not the celebrity.
Mark had a very cute paso doble - he's a cute little man. I hated Lacey's outfit and her hair, but Mark had the posture and the authority. There seemed to be a lot of Lacey but when Mark moved, he meant it. It was my favorite of his so far.
Donny and Kym's Argentine tango was good, Donny sold it as usual. I thought he was a little hesitant at the beginning and then settled into it more. The ending sequence was really good though.
Louie should always wear his hair slicked back like that - have I said this before? He just looks older and in more control. He's one who needs to out his feet down like he means it more often, but still his Argentine tango was good. The emotion was there, and they sold it.
Melissa's Argentine tango was musically spot on, the little kicks and flicks were right on the beats and it looked like it would have been really great had she not messed up the steps.
Louis seriously has to stop wearing such dark eye makeup. It looks like Kelly has belted him - twice - once in each eye. I felt really bad for Kelly when she missed the steps in her paso doble because it started really great and then fell apart in the middle and luckily she pulled it out at the end, mostly.
Did Joanna trip or did Maksim? I really like Maks so I am probably more forgiving of the routine than I would have if it had been Derek. I would be EXTREMELY nervous but also VERY excited to get to dance with Maksim.
Now the first group dance - the hustle - was mighty entertaining - especially the clothes. Well, all the group dances are entertaining since they have to dance together and try to show up each other while also being friends. But holy smokes - the 70's would cry if they could see how they are represented in this decade. What was on Alec's head exactly?

This is me, watching the dancing show.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Plus Three - Part 2

In the continuing saga of my birthday week, Tarzan, ATL and I went to dinner tonight at one of our favorite restaurants, CPK, and remembered why it is one of our favorites. Because the food is awesome. Tarzan chose the Cobb Salad:
Which says a lot right there, because given the choice between salad and pizza, Tarzan is more of a pizza guy.
ATL and I split the Thai Crunch Salad:
and the Greek pizza:
All so good.
Then we went to Pinkberry because none of us had ever been and it's the cool thing to do these days. It was too much for Tarzan - the yogurt is really tangy - but I kind of liked it. Not as a substitute for ice cream but in addition to.
I was so full they almost had to roll me home but it was awesome.

This is me, celebrating some more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ode To The Other Sexy Libra

Rocketgirl is turning 30 today. I could sympathize with her about how getting older sucks but that's not at all entertaining for the rest of you, so instead I give you a lot of pictures of Rocketgirl demonstrating her ability to not get old. Oil Of Olay is for pansys.
Exhibit 1:Exhibit 2:Exhibit 3:Exhibit 4 could be misinterpreted since she did give birth twice, but consider how she looks after doing it:Exhibit 5:Exhibit 6:Exhibit 7:Exhibit 8: Exhibit 9:

And all of those were taken in the last year or so. So there. You can't look like that and consider yourself old. It's in the script.

This is me, wishing her a


P.S. Tarzan made me put the 'other' in the title.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Plus Three: Part 1

Rather than the traditional whining about how old I sound - not feel because I don't feel the way 33 sounds but sound because 33 sounds old no matter what comparisons people make - and what I don't have, let's skip all that and move directly to what I have accomplished since last we met this way.
  • Led the group in planning and executing a surprise party for Tarzan's mother
  • Celebrated with Tarzan, our 8th wedding anniversary
  • A few weeks later, celebrated my blog second anniversary
  • Moved ATL. Twice
  • Lost two cats and quasi-adopted another
  • Served on a jury for a misdemeanor
  • Went to The Happiest Place on Earth with a whole lot of family and met my niece Rosy
  • Went to QC's wedding ON Tarzan's birthday
  • My team won the Rose Bowl. Again
  • Visited The Frozen North not for a happy reason but with great company
  • Saw Celtic Woman live in concert
  • Spent a LOT of time in a dentist's chair but the upside is I think it's fixed for real now
  • Attended the wedding of one of my best friends
  • Spent a lot of time caring for Tarzan's grandfather and then attended his funeral
  • Saw Topol live in Fiddler On the Roof
  • Bought a new dishwasher - and it's awesome still
  • Went to Circus World
  • Saw Spamalot with Tarzan
  • Planted and actually harvested some tomatoes and cucumbers off the back porch
  • Visited Rocketgirl in The Land of Cheese, played with Sunshine and met Woody only a few hours old
  • Cleaned out the shed
  • Spent a week with my family in The Real Desert and canned a lot of pickles
So it's not as dire a picture as I thought when I began the list. I'm not a completely lazy bum. And now, some picture-age of the party today.
These three ladies sang Happy Birthday the minute I walked in the door:
These are possibly the sweetest people on the planet:
They brought the cake:
Turtle ice cream cake. Sooo gooey and good. This is The Boss:
He's actually a doll too and really fun. This is the guy who works with me most regularly but he doesn't like having his picture taken:
Good thing it's my birthday and I get what I want:
Today is the actual birthday but more partying will come this weekend so stay tuned.

This is me, 33.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In The Order Known As No Particular

So, Shakira not so much, but her drummers were crazy good. Her hips weren't bad but I'm pretty sure she didn't sing most of that song.
Apparently there was no Macy's Stars of Dance number tonight since it was all professionals and Shakira. Kind of low on the insane factor chart and I'm okay with that.

This is me, thinking Aaron might be crying tonight too even though it was chuck who went home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Because It Isn't Hard Enough Already

There is a reason not all dances and dance styles are considered competition ballroom dances. Now I understand that the show wants to give the audience variety and all that, but a street dance, a slang dance if you will, really does not move to the competition floor well. And I'm not a professional in any sense of the word, but in my opinion, Dancing With The Stars ought to stick to the ballroom competition dances. They mess with those often enough for me - please see my multitude of rants against their definition of Viennese Waltz - that we don't need to add stuff that the professionals - who DO compete in real, honest to goodness ballroom dance competitions and win them - don't even know. Why make what is obviously a very taxing sport even MORE complicated?
I'm sure I don't know.
The Texas Two-Step has exactly two steps - hence the name - and so what's the point? Have you ever seen that dance done? It's usually in a bar with a bunch of cowboys who are drinking and no one has any skills. The guy just walks through it and the chick twirls around. That's the whole deal. Chuck did it exactly right but even knowing that it didn't look like much because the dance just doesn't have a lot of substance. It's not supposed to.
Melissa's Charleston looked like it was good. What's the deal with the camera aiding and abetting the opening? It's the stunts and tricks that the entertainment news was talking about the other day. Apparently the show ratings are down and they're hoping we are sucked in by the fluff. I will watch no matter what because I am a freak for dancing but I guess not everyone else is?
I don't know why I bother to Google the different dances since, as we all know, the show does whatever the heck they want with the steps, but I looked up the Bolero anyway so I would know what Natalie and Alec were supposed to be dancing. It was lovely, and lyrical - what was with the music ending so suddenly? - but I don't know that it was quite what the dance is about. Maybe I don't know anything after all.
Blah, blah, blah, the Lambada is the "forbidden dance." We know. But how nasty can it really be if it's danced alone, in pairs or in large groups? I'm just asking the tough questions people. I have to say, it's faster than I would have thought. And Karina was definitely into it but Aaron is the one getting judged and I really didn't notice him. Not until he missed the lift and dropped Karina that is.
As much as I want to like him, Mark is not a great dancer. His Two-Step was weird. His feet were out of sync and it looked odd. There were some okay parts but it made me squirm.
Please, please someone make Samantha stop asking questions.
Loved, LOVED Kelly's shoes for their Charleston. I thought it was fun and sharp. Louis' makeup was a tad overdone for me - really dark eyes - which was weird. But if it's the character of the dance they are judging on, I think this was a great one.
Oh for crying out loud. That was some gratuitous chest baring for the fans. I suppose it works, women vote and half naked Derek will make them vote but oy. As far as a street dance goes, it was that, and it was fast and no one tripped so I guess it was good. Whole lotta jokes I could have done without.
The Charleston was a "Donnie dance" but I still think he did a good job. Playing to strengths or not, he had energy and fast and good steps. I can't decide if I want Kelly's shoes or Kym's. Both really hot.
They had good lines and what was there was good but there wasn't a lot of Michael. Anna was putting forth all the effort and he was reaping the benefits.
Louie's Two-Step was not what I wanted it to be. He was too gentle and easy with it. It would have been appropriate had Chelsie also been easy with it. He needed to put his foot down with authority not just walking around. It could have been, if he'd done it like last week which was supposed to be easier than it was.
And of course, Mya would get the Lambada - does anyone else sense the dividing lines here? - but I think hers was the best of the night. They were a little shiny in the body paint area but it was rhythmic, the song was awesome, and it was all in control. That's what was missing in a lot of the dances.
*I* think most of the dancers were helped by the fact they didn't wear heels and these days practically no one knows how to WALK in heels let alone dance in them.

This is me, wondering who pays for the travelling all over the country.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gone To Alternate Entertainment Venues Every One

Where have all the posts gone? Of all the blogs that I follow there hasn't been a new post in two days. TWO DAYS! What is that all about peeps? I admit that I don't write every single day - except in November - but I am one blogger. I must follow twenty or so religiously and none of them posted in the last two days? Is there some celebrity funeral going on that I haven't heard about?

This is me, with little to read. -sniff-

Friday, October 09, 2009

Iron Man

Just saw Iron Man - thank you Netflix - and even with the funky goatee, Robert Downey Jr. is a pretty hot guy. It was definitely a guy movie - LOTS of things blowing up - but not completely devoid of story. Just right for a Friday night after a weird and convoluted week. And they definitely left it open for a sequel. DEFINITELY. It would almost be a crime to not make one with that ending.
Overall, I do not regret borrowing it, and I will want to see the second one.

This is me, watching a movie.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

How Do You Party?

So, my birthday is next week - not anything momentous like Rocketgirl, but still it's a birthday - and I am actually getting a few party opportunities. There will be one celebration with Tarzan - probably the Saturday after and he says he bought me a present already which is AWESOME - one on Sunday with my family and then one at the food bank where I volunteer every Thursday.
So the question for you, fair Internets, is WHAT should I do for each one? Should I try and host an additional party?
Should I have cake three times? (That's a lot of cake.) It's not exactly kosher to bring half a cake from the previous celebration I'm guessing. What about cupcakes? Is it cool to have a pie? Do I want a pie? Or ice cream cake? Or ice cream AND cake? What about additional/alternate food? Music? Balloons? How much planning should I really be doing for my own party? So I ask you to tell me what you would do if it were your situation.

This is me, getting ready for my birthday.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This Weeks' Results Are In

I think I've mentioned in previous episodes that I like Queen Latifah - despite her fame coming mostly from rap and hip hop and I not being that into the genre - and her performance tonight on the DWTS results show has not changed that opinion, even though I am not running out to buy her CD. She is a really nice person in any interview or appearance I have seen and she dresses well. (Clothes might really make the woman.) I think she's a classy person.
Jabbawockeez, on the other hand, was weird. They were all over the place with their style and it didn't make much sense to me.
When Maksim lets go and dances, that boy can move. He really holds back to showcase his celebrity partner. That became very apparent tonight when he was dancing with Cheryl for one of those exhibition numbers for which I really watch the show.
As for the actual dancers and professionals, not a big surprise who was saved and who was not. Tom Delay did a smart thing I think in dropping out, one can't really do much if both one's feet are broken. And if he gets better and comes back to dance the Two-Step I would be interested. Of all the dances it's one I think matches his persona. I voted for Debi and not for Michael so they aren't really listening to me, but when have they ever?

This is me, not surprised.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Some Kissing Going On

I am just not motivated this evening - and it's not the show - it's just the day. Some days are better than others, some start bad and get better, some are good and then take an awful downturn. Whatever it was it wasn't fun and I don't know how to shake the funk.
But it's a tradition and we all know that traditions are important. So my low-impact impressions of the dancing for the night are thus:
Mark was good, weird song though, and the belt on Lacey's outfit was strange.
Joanna was stiff and Derek's swing in on the rope was completely unnecessary.
The songs for the rumba seem to be a little faster than in seasons past.
Mark Ballas' hair was very puffy. Were the tiki lamps real?
Louie cleans up niiiice. He looks older and way more mature with his hair slicked back that way.
Debi took too long to build up to the actual number. And the boas on her skirt were extreme.
The Donny and Bruno bit right there was a little odd. He took Tom's microphone - that's not cool. And I am with Tom on the "this show just took an interesting turn."
Are they allowed smoke machines now?
Chuck isn't very good but I like to watch him anyway.
Holy smokes! I would do a lot to get smooched like that by Louis van Amstel. Never thought I'd envy an Osbourne but there we are.

This is me, wiped and in need of some sleep for the day tomorrow.

Friday, October 02, 2009

If Only It Were That Easy

RHM will likely send me a punch in the nose when she reads this BUT I will tell you anyway. I am watching a new show on the television these days.
Yes, another TV show for Jane to clog her DVR with...but really, is it a surprise that a show about people who sing and dance is a huge draw? Did you hear that - SINGING with DANCING - it's like the holy mecca for me. (The main chick, Lea Michele reminds me a bit of a young Idina Menzel.) And considering the special guests - Kristin Chenoweth people! - who have been on the show already - and it's only in it's fifth episode - I would continue to watch it for that alone, even if the storyline was horrific. And it isn't. Not really horrible.
Now, I understand irony and artistic license, which is emphasis for effect, and satire and sarcasm. I get that they are mocking the high school experience and not portraying it honestly but still. Really? It is amusing to be sure - the pilot was just incredible - but I am also sure that one decent club will not change all of their lives and make high school bearable.
Maybe I am a little skeptical because I DIDN'T have an angst-y high school experience. I had my friends and my activities and so did others and the twain did never meet, even in my Frozen North high school that had only 900 students. I never met all the other teenagers, I didn't know everyone in my CLASS, let alone the entire school. I didn't run into the same people regularly. If someone needed to be avoided, then it wasn't hard. I never went home in tears, I never fought anyone for a boy, there were very few confrontations in the hallway, I never dreaded the 6-7 hours a day I spent at high school. If my experience was unusual, then I am very sorry for everyone else because high school can be just fine.
And that is what I find a little hard to stomach in Glee. For the interpretation to be so dramatic, how bad is what is considered the normal?

This is me, loving the musical nature of the show but the storyline is beyond my ken. Did high school suck for you?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Silent Monks Sing Hallelujah

Some people just have more imagination than me. How do they think of these things?

This is me, super impressed.

From Whence You Cometh