Friday, April 29, 2011

The Friday Roundup

If you’re reading this, you’re still alive.  Unless they have the Internet in the afterlife.  If there even is an afterlife.  My money is on nothingness.  Anyway, we currently exist so we might as well check out the Friday Roundup.

This Week in Mindsilt
Tuesday:
It was Guilty Pleasure Night on Dancing With the Stars.  I reviewed it harshly, of course. 
Thursday:

Tweet of the Week
This week I’m giving you two tweets of the week.  One from a celebrity and one from a pH celebrity.
Your kids won’t turn left-handed if you teach them that some people are left-handed. #Gayokay
See it here

From Rob Anderson
Jesus wasn’t born in America, yet you don’t see Republicans trying to keep him out of government.
See it here

From the Mindsilt Archives
I discuss getting older

Video of the Week
From the good folks at Schadenfreude.  Not sure why I haven’t posted their stuff before.  Probably because I don’t truly appreciate their willingness to let me rant about bad TV on their site.


****

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Week 6 - A Review

It’s fitting that the Czech went home after America Week.  You can always count on America for some good old fashioned xenophobia.

It’s Guilty Pleasure Night.  I’d make some joke about how this is my guilty pleasure every week but I don’t feel guilty for making fun of these idiots nor do I take any pleasure from this show.

Once Tom Bergeron announces that it’s Guilty Pleasure Night he immediately throws it to Hanson.  Yes, Hanson, the band of formerly little kids.  They’re all grown up now and they play “MMMBop” with disdain.  Like we’re supposed to appreciate the deep tracks from Middle of Nowhere or something.  Go join Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” pity party, you little jerks.

Kirstie Alley — Samba
She’ll be dancing to “Hit Me Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.  This week Kirstie’s partner starts pulling out his regular asshole routine.  She stands up to him and finally breaks out of her “I feel sorry for myself” slump.  Slump implies that there has been a time when she hasn’t felt sorry for herself.  I should have written “life.”  

When they come back from the break, Hanson is playing Lionel Richie’s “Hello.”  This doesn’t smack of desperation at all.

A poop colored dress is exactly what I expected for a dance to a Britney Spears song.  If only she’d shaved her head to go with it.  When the gay judge stands up and wiggles around and says something ridiculous, the people in the crowd behind him seem to be legitimately surprised and delighted by his behavior.  He does this every week after every dance.  Are these people goldfish?

My score: Score for what?

Chris Jericho — Tango
When Chris is given “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey he looks surprised.  If the stars aren’t choosing their own guilty pleasure songs, that means Dancing With the Stars is dictating to us what is a guilty pleasure.  I’m sorry, Dancing With the Stars, but your pop culture credibility disappeared with last week’s Amercia Week — if not with Season 2.  While I’m ranting about DWTS being the arbiter of pop culture, they reveal that Chris is also in a rock band.  Absolutely no one is shocked by this.

If they really wanted to make this a true guilty pleasure, they would have brought in the Glee kids to sing the song.  “Guilty pleasure” implies that the song is terrible and there’s nothing worse than Glee.  Except Wendy Williams.  

Tango must mean slow motion.  In fact, the dance was so strange that even the pro looked awkward for most of the dance.

My score: Chris broke dancing.

Romeo — Waltz
This time, we return from the commercial break to Hanson playing “Achy Breaky Heart.”  I thought the stars were sad for agreeing to do this show.

Romeo will be dancing to “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.  He claims that Titanic made him the romantic that he his today.  I’d say that his buddies will give him hell for saying that on TV, but he’s the kind of guy who pays his friends to constantly tell him he’s cool.  He’s shooting for 10s and he tells Hines Ward to “move over, there’s a new MVP.”

As the familiar strains of the pan flute opening fill the ballroom, the smoke machine kicks into high gear and Romeo puts on his best “romantic” face.  My wife sums it up perfectly when she says, “He bothers me.”  At the end of the dance he forcefully kisses his partner.  I can imagine it’s not the first time in his life that has happened.  The lady judge calls his dance “magical” which means he’s getting a 10.  The old judge likes it and the gay judge makes some barely understandable pun and everyone chuckles like they understand.  During the interview Romeo gets a reluctant Brooke to give him a kiss as well.  It all feels like a prelude to date rape.

My score: Can we arrest him?

Chelsea Kane — Quickstep
Chelsea is assigned “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves.  Wow.  Once you’ve been Disneyed you aren’t easily un-Disneyed.  Her partner challenges her to bring out her competitive spirit but she claims to have none.  She also reveals that she was a cheerleader.  How did we not know this scandalous piece of information before?  Oh wait, we’d already guessed as much.  When her partner asks her if she wants to be the best, she can’t answer him so he starts a water fight.  There is nothing more competitive than a water fight.

There is a moment of tension before the dance when they reveal that Chelsea’s partner sprained his ankle in the dress rehearsal.  He dances anyway.  They come out in 50s inspired schoolboy/girl garb.  The old judge likes it and the lady judge calls it “magic” again.  The crazy gay judge is becoming background noise to me at this point.  Instead of letting Brooke talk, they show the clip of his partner twisting his ankle.  Good move.  I’d rather watch someone get injured than listen to Brooke Burke.  For the second dance in a row, the lady judge gives out a 10.  She’s totally overcompensating for making Kendra feel like a slut.

My score: Be a man, Chelsea.

Kendra Wilkinson — Samba
Kendra gets “Livin’ la Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin.  They make a big deal about how she’s going to shake it during the dance.  If the rehearsal is any indication, this dance consists entirely of shaking it.  The producers need to stop making the stars talk trash at the end of their clips.  You believe it from Chris and Romeo, but Kendra and Chelsea just can’t pull it off.

She comes out in a tiny, tiny yellow dress and ends up shaking it on the judges’ table at the end of the dance.  All of the judges are completely flustered — especially the lady judge.  The old and gay judge love it.  The gay judge even asks for a lap dance.  How is this less offensive than the lady judge’s “afraid of elegance” comment?  In retaliation, they show Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” video in which the gay judge was a dancer.  An even gayer dancer than he is a judge.  I’m pretty sure he was wearing a thong as some point.

My score: Profound confusion.

Hines Ward — Viennese Waltz
Hines’s guilty pleasure song is “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men.  His partner wants to show his romantic side so we see a number of clips of him bumping her head into a wall and hitting her in the face a few times.  That way, we’ll be shocked when he’s actually graceful on the dance floor.  Dancing With the Stars: insulting your intelligence for 12 seasons.  We also see clips of him in his apartment diagramming the dance and practicing with a pillow.  How does the world deal with such an eccentric?

They always make the ladies wear more during the Waltz.  It’s disappointing.  Especially when it’s a boring dance.  The old judge loves boring things and this is no exception.  The gay judge does his crazy thing and for the first time ever the lady judge doesn’t drool over Hines.  

My score: My mental health depends upon seeing Kym in tiny outfits.

Ralph Macchio — Paso Doble
They pick a song that fits Ralph perfectly, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C&C Music Factory.  His partner — who will soon appear in Playboy — urges him to be sexy for this dance.  Instead of working on being sexy they mostly work on trying to incorporate the wax on, wax off move into the routine.  

During the dance, Ralph’s partner falls down hard.  Due to the camera angles we don’t actually see the fall, only the aftermath.  They take a little while to recover but eventually they get back into it.  The judges commend them for recovering after the fall.  During the interview, we see the replay and Ralph’s ridiculously enormous coat tripped her.  I hope the cheesy jerks in the wardrobe department feel terrible about it.  She’s going to have bruises for her Playboy shoot.

My score: Nothing Photoshop can’t fix.

****

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Friday Roundup

Thank god Congress just passed that bill that made Fridays the third day of the weekend.  Wait, what?  Those partisan assholes killed it because of some stupid corporate lobby?  I guess we all have to go to work after all.  At least we still have the Friday Roundup.

This Week in Mindsilt
Tuesday:
It was America Week on Dancing With the Stars and it was even worse than you can imagine. 

Thursday:
I wrote an open letter to AT&T after my experiences with their technical support department. 

Tweet of the Week
From Rob Delaney
Watching an episode of “Khloé & Lamar” carries the same karmic pricetag as kicking a sleeping homeless person in the face.
See it here

From the Mindsilt Archives
In honor of this week’s open letter to AT&T, I’m throwing back to an open letter I wrote to Senator John McCain.  

Video of the Week
BBC Human Planet: The Douche



****

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Open Letter to AT&T

Dear AT&T-
I know that you are used to having open letters written to you.  Typically, they are about how you are screwing up the iPhone or iPad.  This is not one of those letters.  This letter is about how you are screwing up your DSL Internet service.  

I’ve been an AT&T DSL customer for over eight years.  Until last Thursday, your service had worked just fine.  On Thursday, April 14, 2011 your DSL service stopped working without notice.  I believe the technical term for this is “shit the bed.”  Your service shit the bed.  At first I thought this was just some small issue with the modem or possibly my computer, so I restarted them both.  Everyone that has ever dealt with technology knows by now that the first step is to restart everything.  That did not solve the problem.  I happen to be fairly tech-savvy, so I did a few other troubleshooting steps but they did not solve the problem, either.

That’s when I decided to call your technical support line. (Insert ominous music here.)

The first person I talked to started to tell me to restart everything and when I told her that I had already done so, she passed me along to the Level Two Support.  A cheerful Indian woman named Monique answered the phone and asked me how she could help me.  Let’s pause and address the issues I have with this one simple action:

1) This woman is Indian and her accent is thick and noticeable and yet she calls herself “Monique.”  I have no problem with the fact that she is Indian or in India.  I understand that many companies outsource their technical support.  However, don’t make her call herself “Monique.”  Don’t try to fool me in to thinking that she’s sitting somewhere in Alabama trying to solve my problems.  I’m not an idiot, don’t treat me like one.  Let her use her real name and let’s drop the charade.

     1a) Also, why would I trust anyone who is obviously giving me a fake name?

          1aa) I never trust anyone named John Smith. 

2) She asked me how she could help me.  I had already explained my issue to the previous tech.  I shouldn’t have to explain it again.  Thanks to computers and the Internet (which I didn’t have at my disposal at that moment) we can transmit data over long distances in very little time.  The new tech should be familiar with my issue before she answers my call.  Hell, I’d even be willing to wait while she read up on the issue.  Instead, I had to start all over from the beginning.  

“Monique” promptly asked me for a callback number in case we happened to get disconnected.  I gave her my number.  She confirmed it.  After a bit of troubleshooting she had still not solved the problem and she was clearly grasping at straws.  I was about to suggest that she pass me on to Level Three Support when my call dropped.  I waited for five minutes for her to call back.  She did not call me back.  I had spent over 45 minutes on the call with your support team and I really, really didn’t want to start all over a third time.  It seemed I had no choice.

I dialed your technical support line again.  I admit, that one is on me.  I’m a glutton for punishment.  I quickly explained my issue and my situation and was passed along to Level Two Support again.  It was a new Indian fellow named “Tom.”  I had to explain everything to him again.  He was of no help.  Once he finally realized that he was not helping, he offered to pass me on to Level Three Support for a small fee of $49.95.  Again, let’s pause:

1) Your service shits the bed (technical term) and you want to charge me so you can try to fix it?  I asked “Tom” if my $49.95 comes with a guarantee that AT&T will resolve the issue.  He then read me a disclaimer that stated the exact opposite.  AT&T would NOT guarantee that this service would result in a solution.  I declined.

     1a) I know I just used a lot of italics, but I’m trying to make a point, here.

2) Tom?  Really?  He’s not even trying.  At least Monique sounds a little exotic.  Tom is just openly mocking me at this point.

     2a) At one point I told “Tom” that he could call me “Ramit.”

As I discussed the merits of paying AT&T to fix one of your very own broken DSL lines, my phone dropped the call.  At this point, I gave up and went to dinner with three people whose names I actually knew.  I drank several beers.  I think you might understand why.

On Friday, I decided to give it one more shot.  This time, I started from the beginning and I had a stilted, yet interesting conversation with your automated voice system.  In fact, your automated voice — who I can only assume is named Ravi — ran some tests and informed me that he discovered a problem with my line.  Pause:

1) Five different humans could not discover the problem with my line.

2) Your computerized voice discovered the problem within two minutes.

3) I was the only living witness to this bit of information.

When I was finally connected to a human with a memory, she could not confirm the issue with the line before the call was dropped.  Once again, she did not call back.    

I had things to do on Saturday so I did not delve into your Escher-esque phone support system.  However, I did realize that simply finding a new provider was the best way to both solve my issue and avoid your impossible maze of phone support.

I was right.  I talked to a friendly fellow at RCN named Chris (and I believe that is his real name) and he got me set up for faster, cheaper Internet the very next day.  One call, one person, one answer.  Delightful.

Happily Internetting Again (With No Help From You),
Jeff Ford
****

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Week 5 - A Review

It seems like Sugar Ray Leonard should have gone home earlier.  Then I looked again at who went home before him.  Looks like this was just right.  Way to go, America.

Speaking of America, this week is America Week.  The dancers will be dancing to songs that pay tribute to America.  Of course, Tom Bergeron opens by saying, “So let’s bring out our stars… and stripes.”  Mercifully, they are only subjecting us to an hour and a half this week instead of the full two hours.

Ralph Macchio — Samba
Ralph will be dancing to “Sweet Home Alabama.”  You know, that tribute to America that defends pro-segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.  Next up, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.”  Also, his partner is Russian.  Why don’t we put her on trial while we’re at it?

Strangely, the cowboy outfits combined with a Brazilian dance set to southern racist rock is a nearly perfect tribute to 2011 America.  For some reason the judges just don’t like Ralph.  They must be annoyed by his likability.  The gay judge goes so far as to say, “Give me sex, man.”  He’s not even being subtle anymore.  

My score: Pimping With the Stars?

Chris Jericho — Viennese Waltz
Chris is dancing to “America the Beautiful” because it’s got such a good beat.  He does a bad impression of the old judge and basically begs the old judge to give him an 8.  His partner, Cheryl, refuses to take him to a wrestling ring to loosen him up and instead insists on practicing dance.  Imagine that.

He comes out in a mock military uniform, gives a salute and then launches into the king of boring dances.  So far he’s doing everything right to curry favor with the old judge.  The old judge begins his critique by saying, “It’s America Week and I’m glad to see that Cheryl has decided to show off the Rocky Mountains.”  Creepy.  He also tells Chris that he’ll get an 8 when he deserves an 8.  The old judge gives him an 8.

My score: Everyone saw that coming, right?

Petra Nemcova — Quickstep
Is it bad that I can spell her name without looking it up?  She’s dancing to “Viva Las Vegas.”  She admits that she didn’t know who Elvis was when she was growing up because she lived in the Czech Republic and they didn’t allow any “western influences.”  She dedicates the dance to America because of all the opportunities that it has provided her.  Nice try, but your body provided you with opportunities.  America just took advantage.

I almost forgot how bad the band was.  Almost.  It took a dude trying to sing an Elvis song like Elvis.  I’ll never forget again.  The gay judge is impressed, but the other two judges are clearly trying to be as polite as possible.  Petra takes every opportunity to pimp whatever it is she’s trying to pimp.  Unfortunately, her incoherent Czech accent leaves us all guessing.

My score: Just send your donations to me.

Romeo — Foxtrot
He’s proud that he outlasted his dad on the show, but he really wants to be “number one.”  He gots to be numba one.  That’s the American spirit!  He’s dancing to “New York, New York.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone aside from Frank Sinatra sing this song and now I know why.  Only Frank can pull of these lyrics.  Try to sing “these vagabond shoes” without sounding like a douchebag.  You can’t do it.  The old judge calls Romeo “charming.”  During the interview, Romeo pulls the whole, “I’ve got a friend who was just diagnosed with cancer and I’m dedicating this dance to her because she’s watching it in the hospital right now.”  Blatant pandering is what passes for charm now?

My score: I’m calling him Pander Bear from now on.

Hines Ward — Rhumba
Hines is dancing to “Proud To Be an American” and his partner wants him to make it romantic.  Instead, they keep crashing into each other but not in that super-romantic Dave Matthews song way.

Hines also dons a mock military uniform while Kym wears a dress that has been through the shredder, though I ain’t mad at her.  Not only do the judges love him, at least two of them are in love with him.  The old guy even says it’s the best dance he’s done.  Is he falling, too?  During the interview, Brooke reveals that Hines practiced with a pillow when Kym wasn’t around.  Hines replies, “I was making pillow love.”  I knew he was hittin’ that.

My score: Shredded dress!

Kirstie Alley — Foxtrot
Really?  “American Woman”?  C’mon.  How is a song about telling an American woman to go away a tribute to America?  Do they have the Internet at Dancing With the Stars?  Due to the mishaps during her last two dances, Kirstie decides to bring in a “dance doctor” in the hopes of solving their problems.  Who is the dance doctor?  John Travolta.  You’re telling me that after Patrick Swayze, John Travolta is the next most famous dancing celebrity?

Aside from Kirstie’s strange outfit, there are no major catastrophes during this week’s dance.  The lady judges calls it her “best dance ever,” the old judge doesn’t like it because it wasn’t boring enough and the gay judge doesn’t give any notes, but he hits on both Kirstie and her partner.  

My score: He actually offered them money for sex.

Kendra Wilkinson — Foxtrot
Kendra was really upset about the lady judge telling her that she’s “afraid of elegance.”  Kendra said, “Carrie Ann made me feel like trash when she said I was afraid of elegance.”  Fortunately, she’s dancing to “Yankee Doodle” so she won’t have to worry about elegance at all.  Who would have guessed that a former stripper and Playboy model would struggle with being thought of as trash?    

Kendra gets the honor(?) of dancing the 1000th competitive dance on Dancing With the Stars.  She and her partner are dressed like they just jumped off an Uncle Sam poster.  At least twenty American flags died to make their outfits.  Her partner is even wearing a fake goatee.  They don’t even pretend to have taste on this show.

My score: It’s like America barfed on them.

Chelsea Kane — Samba
Chelsea will be dancing to “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus.  She she wants to break every rule for this dance, but her partner, Mark, decides that he finally wants to keep it traditional.  Traditional?  How are the producers going to fit in their cheesy bits?  They don’t.  Thank god.  

Chelsea comes out in another Uncle Sam outfit.  How many American flags must die for this show?  I don’t know if Mark is afraid of Chelsea or what, but they never seem to dance with each other, only at each other.  The judges love it and give her high marks for her hair extensions alone.

My score: Is this what people think America is?

****

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Friday Roundup

I’ve overcome long odds to bring this to you today.  Be thankful.  Be glad.  Be light on your feet.

This Week in Mindsilt
Tuesday:
As usual, my review of Dancing With the Stars.  Complete with Alzheimer’s jokes. 

Thursday:
A month from the due date, I determined that I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to have this kid

Tweet of the Week
From Rob Delaney
Kobe called a ref “faggot” last night. Apparently he felt the ref’s lifestyle of CONSENSUAL anal sex made him look bad.
See it here

Video of the Week
Paganini for Face.  You’ll see what I mean.



****

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Month Left

If everything goes according to plan, I will have my first child in exactly a month.  If you read my earlier post then you may be wondering if I am finally into it.  Am I feeling connected?  I think so.  I’ve felt her kick, I’ve felt her hiccup and I’ve felt her move around.  Sometimes I talk to her.  We even have a little inside joke — I put my hand on Dee’s belly and she goes completely still.  Then we laugh and laugh.  Man, this kid is hilarious.

Plus, every time I see a baby I want to hold it.  Then I want to run away cackling and stow it under my bed for safe keeping.  Don’t worry, people with children, I won’t actually steal your baby.  Only because I don’t want my daughter to grow up with her father in jail.  I still want to keep your adorable baby, though.

So, yeah, I’m into it.

——

If I am to believe everything that I’ve ever been told about having a child, it’s going to be the worst thing that ever happened to me and the best thing that ever happened to me.  I won’t get any sleep but I’ll love those moments when she falls asleep in my arms.  I won’t get to do anything for myself anymore but I won’t care because she’s now my number one priority.  I will get poop on my hands but I will like the taste.  And so on.

I don’t know how much of that I can believe but I don’t really think it matters.  In the end, it seems like you’re never really ready to become a parent until you are one and then you figure it out along the way.  I guess it’s good that my one real skill is that I’m pretty good at figuring things out.

****

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Week 4 - A Review

The loss of Wendy Williams is bittersweet.  She’s horribly annoying and a terrible dancer but she’s also really easy to make fun of.  Somehow I think I’ll survive.

This week is Classical Week.  They’ve decided to add an entire classical orchestra to cover for the worst band ever.  It doesn’t matter, this show is like a bad haircut.  No matter how you style it, it’s still terrible.

We then see clips of the pros telling the “stars” that they can’t let the orchestra take over the performance.  One of the pros calls it “the best orchestra in town.”  How many orchestras are in L.A.?  They’ve also added the dude from the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” so he could play his golden “rock ’n’ roll” fiddle.

Romeo — Paso Doble
We’re shown the clip of the old judge telling Romeo he took a step back last week and Romeo responds by saying, “I love when people stomp on me.  It motivates me.”  To do what?  What do you do?  His partner spends their practice time trying to get him to be passionate and aggressive.  She seems to have forgotten he has no feelings.  Instead of giving up on him (which I’m urging America to do) she takes him to the gym so we can see him play basketball.  Makes complete sense, right?

ABC insists upon giving us two hours of this show regardless of the number of dancers which means that each dance is even longer.  Plus, they have to give us a good ten seconds of the orchestra before the couples begin to dance.  The old judge gets all huffy about Romeo taking off his shirt and rambles incoherently.  The old judge has full-on Alzheimer’s, right?  

My score: What’s a score?

Kendra Wilkinson — Viennese Waltz
Once Kendra discovers that the song she will be dancing to is sung in Italian, she is suddenly excited about dressing like a gangster.  You know, because Italians are all in the mafia.  I’m not being sarcastic.  That’s a fact.  Even Chef Boyardee is in the mafia.  Then she freaks out about doing tricks.  Dancing tricks, people.  Get your mind out of the gutter.

Wow.  They found a way to make it even more boring.  They added an opera singer to a slow, boring dance.  Kendra tries to hold back her tears after the dance.  I can only assume that she was bored to death, too.

My score: Stereotypes!

Sugar Ray Leonard — Viennese Walz
While talking about grace and beauty, Sugar Ray and his partner crack heads while dancing.  It’s a metaphor for their entire rehearsal process.  Eventually, she takes Sugar Ray to a ballet class.  He wears tights.  This is the kind of shit that old people think is hilarious.

What, no featured oboe player?  Where’s the rock ’n’ roll oboe player when you need him?  Sugar Ray managed to look surprised through the entire dance.  He can’t believe he’s still on this show.  I can’t figure out exactly what it is, but it’s clear to me that he’s doing it wrong.  Still, he gets his highest score yet.

My score: Boxers never know when to quit.

Petra Nemcova — Paso Doble
Petra struggles to make an angry face during rehearsal.  How did she ever get to be a model?  Isn’t it their job to look pissed all the time?  I feel like the producers are trying to convince us that these “stars” can actually do something else besides suck at dancing.

They dance to that one classical song that they use for comical chase scenes.  Her partner basically throws her around the dance floor while she clods around and furrows her brow.  I know it’s the gay judge’s thing that he stands up and waves his arms and says ridiculous things.  It’s great.  I love it, but he can’t do it every single time.  It loses its effectiveness.  Plus, he’s got to be tired.

My score: Who is voting for this woman?

Ralph Macchio — Waltz
Ralph spends his practice time talking about how sexy everything needs to be.  It’s kinda creepy.  He also worries about his “creepy spatula hands.”  I don’t know what that means, either.

As soon as the band hit its first note, I felt like someone had smacked me in the face with a boring stick.  Then the dancing started and the air around me turned to boring.  Of course, the crowd goes wild after the dance and the judges love it.  I’m starting to figure this out, you clearly get points for being boring.

My score: It’s better than Ambien.

Hines Ward — Paso Doble
Hines struggles with the fact that there are no lyrics for his music.  Plus, he’s traveling around or something that is supposed to make us think he’s at a disadvantage.  How much longer before his partner makes him catch passes to prepare for the lift they are going to do?  I feel like the producers half assed it on this one.

They dance to something that sounds a lot like the X-Men theme song.  However, Kym is wearing less than what most female super heroes wear.  Its my one moment of joy in this two hour entertainment desert.  After the dance, a whole section of Hines’s teammates wave Terrible Towels and basically scare the judges into good reviews.  Why didn’t Chad Ochocinco think of that?

My score: Can Kym be everyone’s partner?  Especially Petra Nemcova’s?

Chelsea Kane — Viennese Walz
Chelsea decides that she really wants to be pushed this week.  You know what that means.  Just boring shots of the couple practicing hard.

They dance to the theme from Harry Potter, I think.  Her partner is clearly trying to get himself an award for choreography.  He knows that he’s got a good partner so he can get away with going all So You Think You Can Dance on us.  When the old judge gets upset about all of the goofy choreography, the gay judge stands up and shouts “expelliarmus” over and over.  Can we just give the guy clown makeup and call it a day?

My score: Everyone knows what “expelliarmus” is, right?  Especially old people?

Chris Jericho — Paso Doble
Chris’s partner wants him to be arrogant and show aggression.  Instead of pulling some crazy stunt and taking him to a wrestling ring, they just show clips of him from his wrestling days.  (Does he still wrestle?)  Is it strange that he seems like the most normal star of the group?

If you’re going to make a wrestler dance, you’d make him do this dance.  He gets to throw his partner around and scowl and look as tough as anyone possibly can in gold lamé.  

My score: Gold Lamé Aggression, my new favorite band.

Kirstie Alley — Waltz
I’m disappointed.  Kirstie’s partner, Maks, is known for being an asshole to his partners.  He seems to genuinely like Kirstie.  It’s no fun at all.  During practice, Kirstie suffers a hip injury but she’s determined to fight through it which means she’s faking it.

During the dance, she slides forward on the floor and one of her shoes comes off.  She struggles to put it back on and doesn’t miss a beat.  This lady is constant drama.  What will happen next week that will have all the old people talking?  She freaks out about it during the interview with Brooke “The Bad Interview Robot” Burke.

My score: Always end the show with whining.

****

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Friday Roundup

I screwed up and didn’t get out a Friday Roundup last week.  Don’t worry, it’s back.  I said stop worrying.  It’s here and everything will be okay.  Sheesh.  Well, stop reading this and get to the good stuff already.

This Week in Mindsilt
Monday:
I caught my dog, Ruthie, while she was writing her novel

Tuesday:
I reviewed Dancing With the Stars and I didn’t take the easy way out and make fun of Kirstie Alley falling. 

Thursday:
I gave you 10 reasons why you should try Yoga and several of them are sexy. 

Tweet of the Week
From Alec Sulkin
Shit. Just lost $200 on Mellencamp +13.5 vs. Authority.
See it here

From the Mindsilt Archive
A conversation between two dudes who want to hit on a girl

Video of the Week
It’s a really cool wooden music making machine that is built in the middle of a forest.  Unfortunately, it’s also a commercial but that only hits you in the last three seconds.  It’s worth it.



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Thursday, April 07, 2011

10 Reasons To Add Yoga To Your Routine

1) It will improve your flexibility.  Flexibility is useful in many situations.
2) You learn how to stand on your head.
3) It will improve your core strength.  Abs of steel, my friends.
4) It's relaxing.  You get to lay on your back and chill at the end.
5) You don't have sweaty socks to wash afterwards.
6) It will improve your balance.  Balance is useful in many of the same situations flexibility is useful.
7) You learn how to do handstands.  Not very useful, but always an impressive trick.
8) The people are really nice.  Not like those sweaty douchebags in the weight room.
9) For the guys, there are always a lot of hot chicks in your class.
10) For the ladies, there are always a lot of hot chicks in your class. (Okay, so maybe that’s for the guys, too.)

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Week 3 - A Review

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Mike Catherwood went home last week.  There was no weeping, only cold, cold acceptance.

This week each dance will tell a “personal tale” and will be danced to a song chosen by the contestants.  Brace yourselves for a cry-fest and a whole lot of awful music.

They still need to fill two hours so they open the show with the pro dancers giving us examples of the various dances.  It’s good to know that the dancing is still uninteresting when it’s good.

Wendy Williams — Foxtrot
She decides to tell the story of the beginning of her career as a radio DJ.  Basically, there is no story.  She’s just going to dance to “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” by Indeep.  I was certain she was going to tell the story of her sex change.

The show is called Dancing With the Stars; she should be required to dance.  She is either refusing to dance or her partner isn’t familiar with choreography.  The judges go easy on her during the critiques but then give her all fives.  They can’t wait to be rid of her.  During the after-dance interview Wendy’s partner said, “She danced a great Foxtrot,” and she responded by saying, “You made a great choreograph.”  Nice try, Wendy.

My score: I make Internet words.

Chelsea Kane — Cha Cha
Chelsea tells the story of a boy in a band who wrote a song for her.  Her first love.  You know, because she doesn't have any life experience.

She dances to the actual song, I think.  It’s a pretty terrible song that just repeats her name over and over.  She’s also wearing next to nothing but I can’t get excited about it.  She’s too close to the same age as my unborn child.  Old Judge Crazy Quote Alert: “My first love, Old Sally Frosty Knickers, looked nothing like you.”  It appears the old judge grew up in Monty Python sketches.

My score: I feel dirty.

Chris Jericho — Rhumba
Chris tells the story of his mother who was in an accident.  He decided to quit wrestling to take care of her, but she wouldn’t let him.  Eventually, she passed away.  He promises that there will be no character, no mask, just Chris from before he became a wrestler.  Man, it just got real in here.

He chooses “Let It Be” by the Beatles.  The lady judge gets choked up after the dance but the other judges don’t love it — because they hate dead people.  Grow a heart, judges.

My score: Wrestlers have feelings?

Kendra Wilkinson — Rhumba
Kendra decides to tell the story of her relationship with her husband, Hank Baskett.  Apparently, his hometown took down a billboard honoring him when he announced he was going to marry her.  She claims they don’t approve of their hero marrying a stripper and Playboy Bunny.  I’m not buying it.  I think they’re just ashamed he fumbled away Super Bowl XLIV.  Look it up.

She dances to “You and Me” by Musiq Soulchild.  It’s as bad as you think.  She spends the first fifteen seconds of the dance enveloped in a cloud of fog and stumbles down the stairs when she emerges.  Like most of her life, it wasn’t well thought out.  The old judge isn’t thrilled, but the gay judge and lady judge loved it.

My score: Metaphors galore.

Romeo — Rhumba
Romeo is telling the story about his cousins’ deaths.  One was killed in a car accident and the other was jumped by a gang and beaten to death.  Instead of showing emotion, he complains about the heeled dancing shoes and throws them across the room.  At least he didn’t hit on his partner this week.

He dances to “I’ll Be There” by Michael Jackson.  So long as he can look pissed, he’s great at showing emotion.  The old judge simply says, “Last week was a huge step forward, this week was a huge step back.”  Every week is excruciating.

My score: Too cool for feelings.

Hines Ward — Samba
Hines tells the story of his mother raising him by herself in America even though she doesn’t speak English.  Luckily for her, Hines became a football player so he doesn’t have to speak English, either.

Can we all admit that the dances aren’t telling any kind of story at all?  They’re telling the whole story in the lead-in clip.  They should make us watch the dance first then have the judges try to guess the story.  I’m not sure that what he danced to could be considered a song.  I honestly can’t believe that this is the first time they decided to dress Hines in black and yellow.  Someone in wardrobe must have just discovered the Steelers colors are black and yellow.  They dressed in partner in next to nothing, however.  I approve.  They claim that the lady judge just got engaged, but I’m pretty sure she’s cheating on him with Hines every night in her mind.

My score: Thank god for Kym Johnson.

Petra Nemcova — The Waltz
Petra wants to tell the story of how the song “You Raise Me Up” helped her get through the tsunami.  Now they’re telling stories of the songs they’re dancing to?  I’m confused.

If you take a regular boring dance and make it even more boring, you have the Waltz.  Because Brooke Burke is a real pro, she asks the lady who can barely speak English to talk more than anyone else.  Petra is forced to repeat “I hope you can raise up,” over and over.

My score: 13-9, UConn.

Sugar Ray Leonard — Paso Doble
He wants to tell the story about him beating the odds for his comeback.  A boxer making a comeback?  That’s a story that’s never been told.

They bring out Michael Buffer to announce the dance and say, “Let’s get ready to Rhumbaaaaa… wait, Pasooooooo.”  Then Sugar Ray comes out with boxing gloves on and his partner aggressively pose at each other.  Then a heavy bag comes out of nowhere and he punches it to end the dance.  I don’t know what the hell is going on.  Did I mention he was dancing to Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative”?  This is one of those moments where I can’t believe what I’m seeing is actually on television.

My score: Is this real life?

Kirstie Alley — Rhumba
Kirstie tells us how her mother was killed in a car accident at the same time she got her first role in Star Trek 2.  Apparently, she can laugh about it now as that is all she seems to be doing.

She decides to dance to “Over the Rainbow.”  They start out well, but her partner’s leg gives out early in the dance and they fall to the ground.  Once he recovers, they get back into it and finish the dance.  The judges loved the part after the fall but I didn't see any of it because I was busy replaying the fall over and over.

My score: The last three dancers were pranks, right?

Ralph Macchio — Rhumba
He’s dedicating this dance to his wife.  There’s not really a story, just a dedication and lots of pictures from the late 80s.  Ralph has had a pretty easy life.  Good for him.

He dances to “Stay Gold” from The Outsiders.  Why does he feel like he needs to remind us of everything he’s done?  Next week he’ll dance to the theme from My Cousin Vinny.  Pro Marriage Tip: Don’t dedicate a dance to your wife when you are dancing with a half-naked lady half your age.  The old judge and gay judge hate it, the lady judge likes it and yet they all give him the same score.

My score: Has he done Law & Order yet?

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Ruthie, the Author



That's my dog, Ruthie, working on her novel.  She won't tell me what it's about but she has assured me that it's not about a middle-aged female doggy struggling with growing old in this modern society.  I'll give you a preview once she lets me read the first draft.

Because I know you're wondering, yes, she does have a special keyboard with Dachshund-sized keys.

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