April 29, 2008

Bend and Snap

I'm a little behind in posting the latest DWTS blog - forgive me internet. It's Guitar Hero's fault I swear!!

Last night's episode was a lesson in judge hypocrisy, and while not as ridiculous as the Jason Taylor blow out that I will probably never stop talking about, it was pretty stupid.

Overall, I was underwhelmed by last night's performances. I think they were all a little shocked with the whole 2 dances in one week and the judges over scored people, which I think is pretty stupid. They were also shying away from the criticism.

Marissa & Tony -
I think Marissa has just about run her course. She's peppy and squeaky and not a natural dancer, which I guess is the point of this whole shebang, but I'd say she's done next week. Unless....

Christian & Cheryl -
Poor Christian. I thought he did pretty well in his first dance, but his second dance spelled disaster. Literally. Midway through he hurt his muscle near his elbow, tried to finish the dance, kinda did a crappy job and sort of flopped on top of Cheryl at the end. The judges said they would judge his performance only before his injury - which I thought was fine, maybe a 25? - no. A FREAKING 21. What?!
He went to the hospital but is still in the competition. His doctor apparently told him that he would postpone surgery so that he could stay in the competition. Now, I get that it's television and all, but would a doctor really do that? Is it just California doctors that say to hell with your organs, go dance your heart out! I don't know that I buy it. Not to mention the fact that I think it's going to be incredibly difficult for him to dance with one arm. I mean, he's strong, but still.

Kristi & Mark -
It seems the judges forgot how to score people until Kristi and Mark. I don't really see how they can inflate everyone else's scores, not criticize them and then give Kristi a 26 for a dance as good, if not better, than Marissa. I don't understand. Their second dance was good but the judges disagreed (CA & Bruno vs. Len...of course) on whether or not it was too new/hip/fresh/unboring. Tom, bless him, waxed over the whole incident (yelling match) referring to the 3 stooges as "2 hip judges and 1 cranky pants in the middle." Yeah, I'd say that's about right.

Mario & Karina -
Len told him he wasn't very elegant. Duh.
Also, Karina won the barely dressed award of the night (beating Cheryl somehow) and during their second dance my roommate and I turned to each other at the exact same moment and said "does she have a tramp stamp?!" No joke.
And yes, she does.

Shannon & Derek -
Len (I think) said her tango was the best dance of hers yet. I think he's said that before to her and I agreed then, but not so much now. It's not that it was bad, it just wasn't that good. She never really gets into the character and she looked constipated and mildly annoyed during her tango. The second dance was forgettable.

Jason & Edyta -
I still just don't really like Jason. His quickstep (or foxtrot? I really should take notes...) was good, but I didn't think it deserved a 29. Then he did a paso doble to the Monday Night Football theme. I kid you not. While it was sort of funny, but mainly just corny, it was waaaay to much for me. I liked Christian's paso doble better. I think he got into character more than Jason did last night.

Best quote of the night goes to... Len (big surprise)
He said (to Bruno), "I think your hot air has a lot to do with the global warming."

Did I mention I was underwhelmed? Yeah, not the best, but certainly not nearly as bad as whatever Bruno said that was bleeped out during the sex dance last week.

In the end, Def Leopard rocked out, (really. they did. I swear) Samantha was an idiot, there was more bicep drama and Shannon went home. I wasn't that surprised or disappointed, but certainly America is. After all, she and Derek never really answered the are you or aren't you question and because we will no longer see Derek wear that stupid hat sideways anymore.
Oh well. I guess there's always next year.

April 27, 2008

Things Written Down

I usually carry a small notebook with me, and I write things down that people say - strange expressions, interestingly phrased statements, whatever. I think they make an interesting poem all together, so here they are.

use simple words to explain complex things*
so many things
black holes of silence
bolts in the hubcaps of cars
her life was not a rose garden
flutes in the evening
I think everything is serendipity
waiting for glasses for 2 years
A person is a person through other persons
90% of war casualties are civilians - mainly women and children
la vida plena
we don't have a democracy, we have an auction
passing the something

And now, a quick story:

This weekend I was at my aunt's house in Brainerd. We had a good time, (except for the fact that it SNOWED) had a good dinner, watched some movies, and today went to church. Afterward, while waiting to meet my ride back to the cities, I said hello to the pastor. She remembered my Mom's name and asked if I was her daughter. I said yes and she responded with "Oh yes, you look so much like her. Especially in the eyes, right?"
Let me say now that while I do look a little like my mom, I have always thought that I looked more like my dad, especially in my eyes. We both have blue. My mom has brown. Not really the same. At all.

Did I say this? No. I said yes.

Why? Because it doesn't really matter? Because I only see this person 3 times a year? Did I not want her to feel stupid that she's wrong? Maybe I'm the one that's wrong and my mother's and my eyes look similar. But I feel stupid that I didn't say something (I don't even know what!) about how I looked like my dad more. Is this a Catch-22 or am I just being weird?

Probably the latter.

*Originally said in Swedish.

April 21, 2008

Another Day, Another Dance

And here we are again. I have just barely recovered from the Latin dance-appaloosa, so here we go with another fun filled DWTS. Gird your loins, people.

Jason & Edyta -
They went to a hip-hop class to get into it, or something. Like all of Jason's dances, it was ok, not that amazing, he has really big arms blah blah...

Shannon & Derek -
Ok, so last week I said that there was definitely something going on between them. This week, whatever doubts about that have disappeared. Completely. They went to the beach to "practice". Derek, of course, ended up with no shirt on him and quasi wrestled with Shannon. Their actual dance was better than last week, since there was no way she could have been more stiff this time.
While waiting for scores (they got 24), Samantha decided to try to ask questions about their relationship. Predictably, she sucked it up big time, but thankfully DWTS has one thing that will always be going for it. Tom Bergeron.
Said the best host ever (of a competitive celebrity dancing show) "Next week Samantha will be grilling prisoners at Gitmo."
HA! America is indebted to him forever.

Marlee & Fabian -
The dance was pretty bad. They were a little off, and generally just trying too hard. The judges, who since the Jason stumbling debacle have been doing a decent job, made a big deal, again, of how inspirational Marlee is. You could tell she was losing patience. I don't understand why they sugar coat everything with her and then give her half assed criticism. She's still competing and wants FEEDBACK. Since they're judges, and they do this better with everyone else, this shouldn't be too difficult.

Christian & Cheryl -
I like Christian. He's basically, oh what's the term? Smoking Hot? Yeah, I think that's it.
They did a foxtrot. His footwork was great, he was wearing a pink tie, Cheryl was wearing an actual dress for a change (and it was the weirdest thing I've ever seen) and they got a 27. I thought he might have gotten a 10, but whatever.

Usually, the best line from the judges comes from the tripped out psyche that is Bruno Tonioli, but tonight Len was the man. This was his opening line to Christian.

"If you're in the bottom 2 tomorrow, I'll show my bum in the supermarket."

I almost want them to be in the bottom 2, not to see that surely grisly sight, but to know if Len has the guts to do it, and what supermarket he goes to. Does he really do his own grocery shopping? What does he buy? Ensure, at least...
Anyway, with any brilliant statement comes (inevitably) a brilliant comment from Tom.

"I hope you're in the frozen foods department."

I believe that is what we call a burn.

Marissa & Tony -
They seem to really enjoy each other during the rehearsal blurbs, even though Ken seems corny pretty much all the time. I don't really remember their dance, but it was pretty good, I guess, they got a 26, Marissa squeaked a lot...

Kristi & Mark -
Were you wondering when they would get a perfect 30? Well, besides the fact that they totally should have gotten it LAST WEEK CARRIE ANN, they got it and totally deserved it, tonight. I have a feeling that Mark basically is just choreographing for a pro at this point, their routines are that good. Mark was also wearing these giant glasses that made him look super nerdy and I really wanted him to say Lambda Lambda Lambda! more than I can possibly express.

Mario & Karina -
This performance in one word: Overrated.
I don't hate Mario or anything, but really? Let's Get it On as a song?! Come on. First of all, no one can do a cover as well as Jack Black. Second of all, they BARELY DANCED. It was a lot of crap that was supposed to be sexy, which, sure whatever, but where were the FREAKING DANCE MOVES?!?! I didn't understand it. Len didn't like it either, but still gave them a 9 (28 total) which doesn't make any sense to me. Bruno was being a little risqué and had to be bleeped out. Oh and Carrie Ann said it was better than good sex. I kid you not.
Speaking of kids, isn't this a family show?

Tonight saw the first group number. It was kind of a yawn fest with a western theme (sheriffs vs. outlaws) and a little solo section for each couple. Kristi was the head Sheriff (seriously, she was, even though that title makes NO SENSE) and Jason was the head Outlaw. Again, outlaws have a leader? They faced off at the end and Kristi shot Jason, unfortunetely not for real, and the Sheriffs were victorious in that completely staged but "unpredictable" way.

Who's going home? As much as I hate to say it, probably Marlee. I think Shannon maybe has a chance too, but what with the developing relationship/masterful editing, people will probably just keep them in hopes that they'll end up making out at some point. Welcome to America.

April 14, 2008

How Inappropriate Can Television Possibly Get?

Not nearly as much as you'd think without Adam Corolla. Still, I thought the whole set of DWTS was trying to outdo him. If only they knew it would never happen....

Anyway, back by request is an in depth (except not) analysis of Dancing With the Stars. This week I will include random things I notice along with the quasi recaps you've come to know and love. Ready?

If this were Iron Chef America, this episode would be called Battle Latin. Seriously, ask Ted Allen (his blog is high quality, fyi). The dances tonight are the Samba or the Rumba. Oh, and the women are probably just going to be wearing bikinis. No joke.

Mario & Karina:
I still don't like them very much, but I missed the beginning of this episode so all I know is that they got a 27 and danced to A-Tisket A-Tasket which, by the way, is one of my favorite Ella Fitzgerald songs. Moving on...

Priscilla & Louis: 21
Louis has a very wide and square jaw. Also, a strangely shaped head. And that, my friends was the most interesting thing concerning this couple. An overall boring dance, bad song choice and harsh judging, except for the part when Bruno said, "You're available, but reassuringly expensive." Len kinda went overboard with the Mr. Grumpy Gills comments, but that's to be expected.

Marissa & Tony: 24
I felt that Marissa and Tony were breakin' it down a *little* too much, what with the gyrating every, oh 2.3 seconds. Stop shaking and DANCE already. I was a tad annoyed. Also they had probably the weirdest music choice yet, which is quite a feat since they ALWAYS have the weirdest music choice. I don't think of "Tambourine" when I think of Brazil. I think of Brazil when I think of Brazil and, fittingly, Samba music WITH A SAMBA.
Also: Tony is the most Ken-looking dancer. If only his hair was a tad lighter...

Christian & Cheryl: 23
Cheryl appears to be wearing nothing but sparkles, and it's because of her flesh toned bikini con skirt. Normally, the band does a really good job, especially with the crap songs they have to play. "If You're Not the One" is not something they should EVER play again. Seriously. It was terrible. Oh and CA said erotic about 5 too many times. Not cool.

Wow, it's already 7:46...

Marlee & Fabian: 22
Most interesting rehearsal week yet. This was the first week they actually got frustrated with each other during rehearsal, because of communication issues, but they're pros and got through it. Fitting music, but it was pretty obvious that they were off a few times with steps. Of all the couples, they seemed the most into it and having fun, but this was not their best dance.
The judges were weird with Marlee this week. So far they've only mentioned that she's deaf before going on to tell her to work on her arm position like any of the other dancers, but this week they decided to make a HUGE deal about how amazing it is that she can dance without hearing the music. They know she can do this. They saw her Viennese waltz last week. It made Carrie Ann cry. I'm kinda pissed that they tiptoed around her - it's not like they don't know how to criticize someone.

Kristi & Mark: 29
They also had an interesting rehearsal week. Kristi's family came to watch her practice and her daughters were wearing matching dresses. While I realize it was probably staged, it still was cute. Also, they literally didn't stop twirling in the studio which was probably the most adorable thing I've ever seen. Her husband was hilarious and made a high quality joke about her getting into it with Mark. Ok, that sentence was bad, but that was the point, wasn't it?
I truly thought this was a perfect 30 week before I saw how low the judges were scoring everyone. Still they got 29 and the 9 was from CA. Scandal! They also had a good song choice and lilac is truly a good color for both of them, but Mark was wearing purple shoes. Oh yes.

Shannon & Derek: 23
Things we learned this week about S&D: They're totally hooking up.
Also, Derek wore a baseball hat sideways in practice and he got food poisoning and almost DIED (ok, no) but he did almost miss the rehearsal. What will go wrong next?

This isn't to say there was no real entertainment from this part of the show. The best quote from Tom and the second best quote from Bruno came from this segment:

From Bruno: "Shake those maracas!" Yes, it most definitely is a euphemism.

And from Tom: "How do you get spray tan off a suit? Samantha?" Thank you, God.

And finally, the bane of my existence...

Jason and Edyta: 27

First of all, Jason Taylor looks like Xerxes from The 300, and second of all he was wearing a sweater and white shoes. If he got voted off, I would be fine with it. But he won't. Because America loves their balds. Nothing was that special about their dance, Edyta did these weird pose things at the end that didn't add anything to the dance and which Len totally slammed them for (Yay Len!).

And then CA said something I shall never forget.
"These weird sounds keep coming out of me tonight."


And with this, dear friends, I bid you goodnight. As for who will go home, I'm guessing Priscilla or Marissa, but I'm sure I'll blog about that, James Blunt and whoever gets the encore (it better be Kristi and Mark or I'll probably cry) tomorrow.

April 13, 2008

Happy April!

Ok, I know that it's been April for over 12 days, but I just found out today (or remembered, did I know this??) that April is national poetry month. In honor of this, and the fact that it's almost spring outside, here is my new favorite poem.

The Springtime by Denise Levertov

The red eyes of rabbits
aren't sad. No one passes
the sad golden village in a barge
any more. The sunset
will leave it alone. If the
curtains hang askew
it is no one's fault.
Around and around and around
everywhere the same sound
of wheels going, and things
growing older, growing
silent. If the dogs
bark to each other
all night, and their eyes
flash red, that's
nobody's business. They have
a great space of dark to
bark across. The rabbits
will bare their teeth at
the spring moon.

April 9, 2008

Consider Yourself Warned

This entry will be completely devoted to ranting about Dancing With the Stars.
Seriously, I'm not kidding.

I look forward to DWTS every week. Especially until real episodes of my faves return (The Office and 30 Rock tomorrow!!!!) It's something to look forward to.

This week, however, I was not thrilled.

Kristi & Mark :
Amazing, as usual. Not that surprised that Len didn't give them a 10, but I don't know if I quite buy the whole "not being emotionally into it" thing he's always spouting off. I'm a fan of Kristi either way so, yeah.

Priscilla & whoever her partner is :
Not a big fan of Priscilla. She's had waaaaay too much stuff done to her face. Any emotion coming from her direction whatsoever, let alone getting into "character", is a small miracle, but I will admit she's very graceful. She did a good job, and I thought it was good that Len and Carrie Ann docked points because of her illegal lift. Still, I thought her score was a bit low.

Which brings us to....

Mr. Adam Corolla and his partner who is the same age as me. (yeah.) :
Unicycle. That is all I have to say.

Marlee and Fabian: Marlee Matlin is probably my favorite person on this show, (besides Tom Burgeron, of course) so I will always be rooting for her. She did a great job, had some amazingly difficult steps and did them very well, especially with her balance problems. Judges? Carrie Ann was crying. I was expecting at least all 9's if not a 10 from CA who could barely say anything. She got a 24. Straight eights. WHAT THE HELL?!?! Ok, I'm not surprised about Len, but Bruno is Bruno and was wearing a sparkly suit so I expected a higher score, oh and did I mention that CA was CRYING????

Thus begins the hypocrisy of the judges.

And the wrath of Klue.

Frankly I don't care about Mario and Karina so I will say nothing.

Now, (the crapfest that is) Jason Taylor and Edyta:
Until this week I liked Jason Taylor. I daresay he was one of my favorites of the guys. No more, my friends, no more. The dance was ok, not as good as last week's, but HE TRIPPED AT THE END. While he, and more evidently, his partner recovered quite well, he still tripped. I truly believed, since they punished Priscilla for an illegal lift, at least Len and CA would dock him a point.

No. They decided to suck at their jobs and slobber over him and his stupid bald head.
CA said she forgave him for his little trip which is COMPLETELY UNFAIR since he did, in fact, trip, which is NOT A GOOD THING, DAMMIT.

He got a 29 and tied Kristi.
I am still bitter (just in case you, gentle reader, couldn't tell).

Cristian and Cheryl:
I liked their dance. Christian got really into it and it was a good paso doble with good music and choreography. Oh yeah, and Christian DIDN'T TRIP. They didn't get as good of a score as THE STUPID POSER WHO GOT AN INFLATED SCORE (see above) EVEN THOUGH THEY DESERVED AT LEAST ONE 10.

From then on I was just in a bad mood. Shannon did fine, even with Derek's neck drama and Marissa looked weird and kinda scary in her makeup and costume so nothing new there.

Adam got the encore on Tuesday, which I think is going to become the foreshadowing for the elimination every week since the Gute got it last week. Sheryl Crow sang a song which I'm still recovering from by listening to good music.


Goodbye Adam. I know I speak for America when I say that we will miss you and your borderline offensive and always politically incorrect jokes.

April 3, 2008

Not So Opaque After All

A while back I entered a poetry contest. By "a while back" I mean over a year ago. November, 2006. How things were different back then...

Anyway, I didn't expect anything to come from it, in fact, the poem I submitted I wrote on the spot in the little box they give you to copy and paste in your poem. I didn't even email a copy of it to myself or jot it down on a sticky note or napkin. I just filled in the blanks.

About nine months later I got a letter inviting me to a reception in.....Reno Nevada (yeah, classy). Apparently I had submitted one of the "better poems." I ignored it for several reasons. Beside the fact that I was 48% sure it was fake, it was over $500 to go (not including plane tickets) but it was in RENO NEVADA. Who the hell has poetry award ceremonies in RENO?!

A week after this packet (colored brochure included) I got an email containing - you guessed it - my poem. They wanted to include it in the book they make every year, because of its "better poem" status. I reread it, and actually sort of liked it. It's sad, but not the most depressing thing ever, and since I wasn't really putting much effort into the whole process of writing it, I was pretty happy the the result. All I needed to do was to mail a copy of the poem with any changes in case of any typos in order for it to be included in the book. The ultimate question was, however, would I pay the $24.95 to have my very own copy?

Why yes, yes I would.

I am slightly ashamed to admit that I truly wanted to receive this bound copy of the book, but what can I say, it sounded cool!

Well. Guess what?

Fake. Completely fake.

Am I mad at the people who organized it and took advantage of naive teenagers (I found this listing on Fastweb, the scholarship search engine) who merely wanted money for college and maybe just a little affirmation of their perceived talent?
Yes. Obviously.

But even more than that, I simply feel like an idiot for believing that it was real. After all, Reno????
I'd heard of people being taken by scams (former Nigerian dictator, fake lottery winners) but did I ever think that I would be one of them? No, of course not. After all, I'm smart and would see right through those kind of things.


So to usher in April I thought I would post a poem to commemorate my story, and hopefully (although, probably not realistically) redeem myself.

THE poem, in fact.

Everything Else

I sit here wondering about things.
My attention flutters from Christmas trees
To garden gnomes and their funny hats.
But never to you, never.
I never think about your face or the way you walk.
Or how I wish to say...
I wish to say nothing because I don't think of you
I think of everything else, because
What else would I think of?
The sound of your laugh,
Or the exact color of your eyes?
No, I sit here alone,
Without you,
Thinking about rubber ducks and lamp shades and rain.
And everything, anything else,
But you.