Sunday, February 28, 2010

And now back to my reality tv addiction...

Celebrity Rehab 3:

I swear to God. If I saw Kari Ann Peniche on the street I would run up and punch her right in the mouth. I know that's a horrible thing to say, especially about someone who has been SO DAMN DAMAGED by sexual and verbal abuse and drugs, but good lord, she's a horrible human being. As much as I love Dr. Drew and his reality tv programs, if this bitch shows up on another one making things miserable for everybody, I will stop watching his shows altogether.
Ok, who am I kidding? That's not true, I'm addicted. I need my own 12-step program to get out from under the powerful hold that crap reality television has over me.

I meant it about wanting to punch Peniche in the face though.

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villians
Once again I'm only half-assed watching this season of Survivor because I'm in the office pool (last season which I won). I actually like this mix of past season All-Stars for the most part. But I have a question? Y'all, what is it about Parvati Shallow (suitable last name) that makes people lose their damn common sesnse?
She's not that pretty. She isn't. She has a cute figure I guess, but not anything special. And she has that annoying Valley girl-hippie chick voice and an even more annoying manipulative streak. Watching married and supposed "master manipulator" himself Russell Hantz, playing footsie, giggling and flirting with Parvati this past week was totally gross. And even though practically everyone on her team agrees that she's a threat and has some sort of scary dangerous hypnotic power in her bikini-clad ass, they all decided to keep her in favor of getting rid of odious Randy. It's dumb moves like that that will have people rooting for her to win because she outplayed your foolish asses.

The Amazing Race 16:
I love Jeff and Jordan, but omigawd they have to stop being so stupid or they're going to get themselves eliminated. I loved how Jeff told Jordan that they shouldn't reproduce because they're so dense. Hee hee

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Wrap-Up

I really can't say it any better than journalist Dan Wetzel's commentary about the 21st Winter Olympiad.
I'm a huge Olympics nut, and this was seriously one of the best that I've seen in my lifetime.

First, a belated congrats to the US 4-Man Bobsleigh team's gold medal win Saturday:

Uh, how hot are Steve Mesler and Justin Olsen? Yowza!

Some of my other favorite moments of these games:

The US Nordic Combined team - Before Vancouver, our Nordic combined team had not won a single Olympic medal in this sport; that's since 1924 folks.

But that's all changed now thanks to Johnny Spillane's silver in the indv short hill, his 2nd silver along with Bill Demong's gold medal in the indv long hill, and the Team Combined silver, where Spillane picked up his third silver of the Games along with teamates Demong, Todd Lodwick, and Brett Camerota.

All this for a sport that's never received much attention in this country. As someone who's been a fan since at least the 84 Sarajevo games, it's nice to see Nordic Combined get some respect.

Regarding USA Hockey's silver medal "loss" to Canada on the last day of the Games. It's so bittersweet for me. I really wanted the US guys to win the gold, but one of my favorite hockey players, Pittsburgh Penguins' Sydney Crosby scored the winning overtime goal for Canada.

Finally, why were people at the closing ceremony forced to wear those weird paper-like snuggie ponchos? Pretty great closer though.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Olympics wrap-up for the week

First up? ART! Two of the coolest photographs I've ever seen, showing Olympic speedskaters in practice training.

Other things that made me smile this week:
I almost got my North American sweep of the medals in Ice Dancing. Oh well, too bad about Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto having to settle for 4th place, I was estactic for Canadians Scott Moir & Tess Virtue, and the US team of Meryl Davis & Charlie White. Also, I still am having a love affair with Charlie White's hair.

Charlie and Meryl did this crazy move (on the left) in their Phantom Of The Opera themed long program.

Scott and Tessa were simply breathtaking and graceful everytime they stepped on the ice.

The pure joy that Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue brought to everything they did in Ice Dancing this week was a sight to behold. Especially watching Scott sing "Oh Canada" at the top of his lungs, with tears of happiness streaming down his face.

In other figure skating news...
- Once again my boy Johnny Weir proves to be the classiest man on the planet.

I did get to go to Vancouver for a short 12 hour period and got to experience some practice run for the Women's Aerials. Kind of amazing that sport. Also, I kind of love the Men's aerialists outfits. Those fetching wool pants with the belts and suspenders, paired with the turtelnecks? Kind of hot.

Things that wiped the smile off my face this week:
- Julia Mancuso getting screwed in the women's Giant Slalom and also getting criticism for not being Lindsey Vonn.

- The complete LACK of coverage on one of my favorite Olympic sports, the Nordic Combine. The American guys actually won the first medals EVER in this sport, and all we get is Bob Costas telling us about it afterwards. TOTALLY LAME!
- The sad news that actor Andrew Koenig's body was found in Vancouver's Stanley Park. My heart goes out to the Koenig family and Jimmy Pardo and the Never Not Funny crew.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thoughts on 2010 Olympic Ice Dancing

I love competitive ice dancing. It's always been my favorite Olympic figure skating event. Maybe because I grew up in the era of the fabulous Torvill & Dean, or perhaps because other types of figure skating had all of the jumps, and therefore all of the falls, and when I was little people crashing onto the ice would stress me out. Ice Dancing always seemed safe. And it has so many rules - and I love rules. Especially as a kid, I loved any sport that had a million things that you had to do precisely right or else you were eliminated. I had to be one of the few people that actually was sad when they removed the compulsory element from pairs and singles figure skating.
Ice Dancing still has compulsories. And as mind-numbing as it can be to hear the same song (often really cheesy and synthesizery) over and over, I love getting the chance to see the competitors having to complete the same pattern. It makes you feel like a real expert because you can easily compare whether one team does something superior. "Oh, the Italian pair did that spin in unison and with more speed than the French." "Oy, look at the knees on the young Canadian couple, they're not bent enough!"
The biggest controversy that happens in ice dancing is usually in the free skate, where the rules tend to be thrown out the window, and there are a lot of lifts and other moves teetering on the edge of being considered "dance" moves. So it was a surprise when several weeks ago at the European Championships leading up to the Olympics that I heard about the top Russian team committing a serious faux pas.

Competitive ice dancing is broken into 3 parts – compulsories, original dance, and the free skate. For the compulsory portion every team is given the same piece of music and assigned the same dance (this year it was the tango) with a specific set of moves and patterns that must be done. Oftentimes the original dance will also have some sort of theme assigned that the pairs can customize and make more their own, i.e. everyone has to do a 3 min waltz, but music choice is open.
This year, the theme for the ice dancing original dance was folk dancing. The dance was supposed to represent the "flavor" of a country or region. Some skating pairs, like the Israelis chose folk dances that represented their own country. Others like the American teams Davis & White and Belbin & Agosto chose to honor other cultures, India and Moldavia respectively.
When the Russian pair of Domnina & Shabalin decided to do an Aboriginal dance at the European Championships in January, they drew criticism from Aboriginal leaders who found the dance and costumes offensive. Domnina and Shabalin toned down their costumes and removed their face paint, but made no changes to the dance itself.

Though they claimed to have done research, the dance they did didn’t really seem Aboriginal. And watching the dance Sunday night, one can understand why Aboriginal leaders were offended. At times, Shabalin led Domnina around by her ponytail. They mugged, stuck out their tongues and mimicked the hand over mouth gesture that was once associated with American Indians. The whole thing made me really uncomfortable. AND cultural insensitivity aside, the dance wasn’t well executed. There were several areas where their footwork seemed off and they weren’t in unison. See it here and you’ll understand what I mean.

After the dance ended, the audience was underwhelmed to say the least. Yet they were still scored higher than Belbin & Agosto who did a lively, and respectful Moldovan folk dance.

My hope for the medal outcomes this evening? I want a North American sweep! I would love to see Meryl Davis & Charlie White from the U.S. take the gold. I find them humble and utterly charming (if a little robotic), and they are totally the future of this sport (also, I love Charlie White's hair!). I wouldn't mind the current leaders, Canadians Virtue & Moir to take the silver, and gorgeous Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto to take home a bronze.

I definitely don't think the Russian team, current world champions or not, deserve to be on the medal stand.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Olympics update - end of week 2

First, let's get it out of the way and talk about how my glorious sweetie, Johnny Weir, was f*cking ROBBED of a bronze medal in the men's figure skating Olympic championship. One of the few besides the gold and silver medalists to skate a clean, spill and error free program, his choreography and grace were the best of the night in the free skate. The way he was underscored by the judges was just a continuation of their jackassery from Tuesday evening's short program where his beautiful routine was scored low enough to put him in 6th place where he ultimately remained when all was said and done. Johnny Weir should be proud of himself and what he accomplished in Vancouver. And I hope to hell he decides to compete in 2014 in Sochi. Afterall, the Olympics will then be held in his beloved Russia. American Evan Lysacek went on to beat Russia's Plushenko for the gold medal. I wish Evan wasn't such a douchey asshole, because he makes it impossible for me to be happy for him and his phenomenal skating this week. Seriously, he was amazing but I still found myself hoping he would fall and tear his Draco Malfoy inspired "Slytherin on Ice" onesie costume he sported during his free skate.

Ice Dancing begins tonight. My two favorites pairs, who both happen to be American, will be competing along with the rest of the field in their short program which will have them all doing different folk dances. Evan Lysacek's "former girlfriend" Taneth Belbin and Ben Aguosto are the team I'm most rooting for, but seriously, I love ice dancing so much I never care who ultimately stands on the Olympic medal risers.

Finally, heaven help me. But I have lately been finding myself sexually attracted to 2-time gold medalist Shaun White. What the hell is WRONG WITH ME?!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Awww Alice Horton is dead!

Frances Reid, from the NBC daytime soap, Days of our Lives, who played matriarch Alice Horton for four decades, died Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010.
She was among the original cast of the soap opera, which premiered in 1965. Reid starred opposite Macdonald Carey, who played her husband until his death in 1994.
I loved Alice. She could always be counted on to give good counsel whether you were divorcing your 4th husband who turns out was really your first husband who you thought had died by falling off a cliff, or trying to decide if you should give the baby that you conceived with some evil warlord up for adoption. Alice was always there with a cup of tea and a homemade cookie telling you what's what.
It's no coincidence that I stopped watching Days in 2007, just after Reid left the show as a regular.