Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Scene With My New Family

*Based on real life events*

CHARACTERS
JEFF — new father, dog owner, loving husband.
DEE — new mother, dog owner, amazing wife.
SCARLETT — 5 day-old baby, super adorable.
RUTHIE — wiener dog, self-appointed protector of our home.

THE SCENE
SCARLETT sleeps in her bassinet, DEE naps on the couch.  JEFF has just brought RUTHIE home for the first time since SCARLETT has come home from the hospital.

SCARLETT: I think I might be hungry.  Wait.  YES!  I’M DEFINITELY HUNGRY!
RUTHIE: What was that?  ALARM!  ALARM!  Something is in my home!
JEFF: Ruthie, quiet.
(JEFF picks up SCARLETT)
RUTHIE: Whoa.  What is THAT?
JEFF: Ruthie, it’s your sister, Scarlett.
RUTHIE: I don’t understand.
JEFF: She’s our little baby, she’s going to live with us now.
RUTHIE: I’m scared.
DEE: ZZZzzzzzzz… Are you… Wha… ZZZzzzzzzzz.
JEFF: Don’t be scared, she won’t hurt you.
RUTHIE: But she’s so hairy.  Is she a dog?
SCARLETT: (flails) I’M STILL HUNGRY!
RUTHIE: Whoa.  I’m going to hide.
JEFF: (gives SCARLETT her bottle) Here you go.
SCARLETT: ‘Bout time.  NOM, NOM, NOM.
DEE: It’s time for me to pump again.
JEFF: Again?  How much sleep did you get?
DEE: I don’t know.  Three minutes?
JEFF: That’s twice as much as last time.
DEE: I know, I feel refreshed.
SCARLETT: (burps)
RUTHIE: (pops head from under blanket) Was that a monster?  It makes sounds like a monster.
JEFF: It’s okay, Ruthie.
RUTHIE: THIS IS NOT OKAY.  (Hides under blankets.)
SCARLETT: (loudly poops.)
RUTHIE: Seriously?  This is my life now?
JEFF: Ruthie, are you hungry?
RUTHIE: YES!  FOOD!  I LOVE FOOD!  EVERYTHING IS RIGHT AGAIN!

****

Monday, May 30, 2011

This Happened

On Wednesday, May 18 this little bundle of adorable came into the world.


That's why I haven't been posting since then.  I'm going to do my best to get back on my regular posting schedule, but I'll make no promises.  This little girl has proven to be unpredictable.

Another programming note: I won't be reviewing this season of The Bachelorette.  The kind folks at Schadenfreude.net have found it in their hearts to let me have this season off.  I plan to be back in time to review The Bachelor Pad, however.  Never fear, having a child has not reduced my snark levels.  I'll try to find something to fill your Tuesday mornings with my special brand of commentary.

****

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Finale - A Review

Ralph and his gimpy knee went home last week.  I don’t have a Karate Kid reference for this.  I’ve already used the no pain in the Dojo reference about seventy times.

The remaining three “stars” will be performing two dances.  The judges choose the style for the first dance and the final dance is the highly-anticipated Freestyle.  I say highly-anticipated because it’s all finally over after the Freestyle dances.  Thankfully, this episode is only an hour long.  Unfortunately, it’s because they wanted to make time for The Bachelorette.

Chelsea Kane — Samba (Judges’ Choice)
The lady judge goes to rehearsal to help Chelsea become more sensual for this dance.  That involves dressing Chelsea in a sports bra and making her writhe around.  The lady judge is pleased with Chelsea’s progress.  Is there any doubt she’s already getting a ten?

Chelsea is dressed like they usually dress Kym — only with more fringe.  They do this weird monkey dance in the middle that I’m pretty sure has nothing to do with the Samba, but has everything do to with her partner’s ego.  The old judge likes it except for the monkey dance.  I guess he and I are more alike than I want to admit.  The gay judge loved it and did the monkey dance for emphasis.  The lady judge also loved it but we knew she would.


Freestyle
Chelsea’s partner decides to go all out for the Freestyle dance.  Surprise.  He’s trying to win an Emmy as hard as he can.  They come out on a bicycle and then he throws her around for two minutes.  She does not look like she’s enjoying it.  Oh, they also have light up shoes.  So there’s that.  The old judge says that he likes it because it was so much fun.  The gay judge predictably called it “electrifying.”  Then he actually calmed down enough to give actual notes.  Too bad there’s no more dancing.  Instead of using her words, the lady judge just stands up and gives them a bunch of pelvic thrusts.  Three tens.

My score: Hang in there, me.  It’s almost over.

Kirstie Alley — Samba (Judges’ Choice)
The gay judge goes to rehearsal to give Kirstie advice.  It’s mostly about making your hands super gay.  Who knew?

Apparently, the Samba requires the weirdest music you could possibly choose.  For Kirstie, it also means that you dance half as fast as Chelsea.  The gay judge liked it but chastised her for looking at the floor too much.  The lady judge liked it, but wasn’t thrilled.  The old judge thought it had “naturalness” but thought it could have been crisper.  It’s clear that Kirstie is going to win this simply because she’s the worst dancer of the three.


Freestyle
Kirstie’s partner decides that they are going to do lifts no matter what.  No matter what?  You mean because Kirstie is overweight?  What else could there be?

They dress Kirstie like a monk.  Barefoot and everything.  Then she whips off her dress to reveal a bodysuit.  Please tell me you’re smart enough to see that coming.  Then she does a cartwheel.  The gay judge loves that she attempted lifts and said, “Respect girl, respect.”  The lady judge said that the lifts had an “alley oop” feel to them, but that she is a model of how life should be lived.  Life should be lived insecure and whiny?  

My score: Let’s just end it here, shall we?

Hines Ward — Quickstep (Judges’ Choice)
The old judge goes to rehearsal to help Hines get his feet sharp.  He actually gives Hines dance advice and then makes a crack about how buff Hines is and then makes a gay joke about the gay judge.  

It’s weird that proper dance form involves not looking at your partner.  Especially when your partner is Kym.  The crowd loves it — mostly because there’s a whole crew of Pittsburgh Steelers there watching.  The lady judge said that his dancing makes her forget that she’s supposed to be judging.  She’s in love.  The old man liked it but said it “wasn’t quite there yet.”  The gay judge said it was “like watching a mega-production on Broadway.”  Which is exactly how the gay judge lives his life.


Freestyle
Kym rehearses with Hines while wearing a neck brace.  They choose the song “Drumline” because she wants to make it like a halftime show.  

Hines is dressed as a drum major and the band dresses up in marching band costumes.  They do a marching band themed routine, then Kym rips off his sleeves and they dance to a marching band version of “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5.  Kym has the guts to do some serious stunts.  The lady judge said, “It wasn’t really a halftime show, it was the whole Super Bowl.”  The old judge said that he’d “just given his all.”  The gay judge stands up and calls it a “crowd pleasing event.”  Brooke loads up with is what she thinks is her best question of the season, “You didn’t win the Super Bowl in February.  How did that motivate you here tonight?”  The correct answer is, “The Super Bowl means something to me, this does not.”

My score: Sweet, sweet relief.

****

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dancing WIth the Stars Week 9 - A Review

My faith in our country has been restored.  You did it, America!  You sent Romeo home.  We are free of his enormous douchery.

They have to fill two hours so the dancers will perform three dances this week.  The first two dances will be standard individual dances and the third will be a winner-takes-all Cha Cha competition for 15 extra points.  You know, the points that mean absolutely nothing.

Ralph Macchio — Argentine Tango
Ralph’s knee is still sore, but he’s fighting through it and struggling more with shaking his ass.  His partner decides that he’s going to have to wear underwear with extra butt padding so that he can have a booty to shake.  Having a butt doesn’t mean you can shake it.  Someone take her to a logic class.

They dance to what feels like the theme music to some sort of cop show.  He looks a little stiff but his partner sells the hell out of it and he just kinda tosses her around the stage.  I think they also gave him a new hairpiece.  Old judge thought it lacked emotion but that could just be because he’s old and lonely.  The gay judge didn’t feel like there was enough “Latin lover.”  The lady judge asked for more emotion in his feet.


Salsa
Instead of a second practice clip, we’re getting background info on each of the contestants.  Ralph’s clip is pretty boring.  He’s just a normal dude that got famous for a little while but didn’t get sucked into all of the trappings of fame.  If it’s possible, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than we already thought he was.  Doesn’t that make you hate him more?

They dress Ralph as a pimp and his partner comes out in a leopard print body suit as his prostitution whore (as they would say in his home state of New Jersey).  The old judge thought it was too wild.  The gay judge said that he was, “Too rough with his pussy,” and is completely confused when the audience turns on him.  Aren’t foreigners great?  The lady judge liked it because his feet were so emotional.

My score:  Smile with your feet, Ralph.

Kirstie Alley — Viennese Waltz
Kirstie is eating meals and sleeping this week.  That’s big news, everyone.  They cut straight to her partner telling her to stop being negative while he screams horrible things at her.  She screams like a little child and storms out of the room.  I could tell she was actually mad because I could see it in her feet.

For this dance, she was painted orange and wore a prom dress from the 1970s.  I was waiting for Marty McFly to show up.  I think the gay judge loved it but his crazy ranting was mostly drowned out by the crowd.  The lady judge liked her performance — just like every week.  The old judge thought she did a wonderful job.  The reviews had the feel of three straight tens, but she only got nines.


Paso Doble
Kirstie did a lot of cocaine when she was 24.  They don’t mention if she ever really stopped doing cocaine.  They hint at it, but I’m still not sure.  She mentions that Cheers was the best time of her life.  We know that.  

The gay judge calls the dance an “erupting volcano.”  The lady judge called her “the queen of the Paso Doble.”  The old judge told her she got the two toughest dances and that she danced them well.  Still no tens.

My score: Can she have Brooke’s job?

Chelsea Kane — Argentine Tango
Chelsea’s partner, Mark, is not going to put up with her joking around this week.  He even calls her “dead weight.”  You immediately see every insecurity she’s ever had show up on her face in that moment.  I know you’re short, Mark, but that’s no reason to make others feel small.  Leave that to me.

She tries so hard to be sexy, but she just can’t pull it off.  She’s too cute to be sexy.  The lady judge decided to be picky and actually give notes for once.  The old judge thought her legs weren’t strong but it was still clean and precise.  The gay judge loved it because he loves to hear the crowd cheer.  Also, he feels up the old judge.


Rhumba
She grew up in Scottsdale, AZ and was a theater kid her whole life.  She went to L.A. to meet with a sleazy, fake manager but she stayed there and got famous anyway.  Her “fame” has something to do with the Jonas Brothers.  I’m not sure anyone cares.

This is another one of those dances where her partner is trying to win an Emmy for choreography which means it’s weird.  The lady judge loved it.  The old judge said, “Tonight you have fulfilled your potential.”  The gay judge called it “romantic and erotic.”  Someone get this dude laid.  She gets all tens.  Brooke looks into the camera and says, “If you have haven’t yet voted this season then, you’re lame.”

My score: We may be lame, but we’re good at our jobs.

Hines Ward — Argentine Tango
Before they show the practice clip, they warn us that the injury Kym suffers during rehearsal is hard to watch.  While practicing a trick Hines falls on top of her when her head is tucked under her.  She loses feeling in her arms.  As she’s laying on the stretcher in a neck brace she talks about how she’s worried that they’re not going to have enough time to practice.  Hot and tough, I like this girl.

Despite the injury, Kym dances.  Her tiny little dress makes it clear there is no damage to her body — which is the real concern here.  After the dance, Hines cries.  Probably because a Federal judge reinstated the lockout.  The old judge said, “That is a Tango.”  The gay judge stood up, did a strip tease and said, “It was like good sex, you never want it to end.”  The lady judge cried.  They were saving their tens for this.


Salsa
Hines was born in Seoul, South Korea to black father and South Korean mother.  He wasn’t accepted in South Korea because of his mixed race and they had to come to America where his mother raised him on his own.  His family and friends laughed when they heard he was going to do the show.  His mother said, “You know nothing about dance.  Maybe you go one week, you fail.”  I like this lady.

They decided to dress Kym as a Lifesaver candy.  I’m not complaining.  It was the strangest dance I’ve ever seen.  The old judge loved it because he “danced for joy.”  The gay judge said, “You’re just beautiful, man.”  The lady judge gushes and tells him that she gets so much joy from him dancing.  He gets three tens again.

My score: There’s no crying in football.

Winner-Takes-All Cha Cha
The winner-takes-all Cha Cha is like the NCAA Tournament.  The couples are seeded based on their scores and paired against each other.  The judges determine who gets the meaningless 15 points.


Round 1 — Hines Ward vs. Ralph Macchio
Hines and Kym dance first and Kym still looks great.  Ralph’s partner decides that she’s going to do most of the dancing.  All of the judges loved Hines.  The lady judge thought Ralph stepped it up but that Hines was “in it to win it.”  All three judges chose Hines to move on to the next round.


Chelsea Kane vs. Kirstie Alley
Chelsea is dressed like a slutty leprechaun.  Her partner danced so hard that he made Chelsea look bad.  Kirstie screws up at the very beginning of her song.  All three judges choose Chelsea to move on.  There was no doubt.


The Final — Hines Ward vs. Chelsea Kane
They are given their music before the break and they flip a coin to decide who dances first.  Hines calls tails and when it lands on heads, Brooke offers Hines the first choice.  Everyone is confused for a second and then Hines informs Brooke that Chelsea should get to choose.  Eventually Chelsea says that she wants to go last.  This will finally get Brooke fired, right?  Right?!

Both dancers do the same choreography they did in the first round.  Why did they even bother to dance again?  The gay judge said it’s “like picking between diamonds and pearls or lemon and cream.” Lemon and cream?  What about shoes and tacos?  All three judges choose Chelsea to receive the 15 points.  If only it meant something.


Friday, May 13, 2011

The Friday Roundup

I received a fortune last night that read: “Sell your ideas they are totally acceptable.”  Unfortunately, no one wants acceptable ideas, they want awesome ideas.  Guess I’ll stay broke.  At least there’s the Friday Roundup.

This Week in Mindsilt
Monday:
I wrote about why I write.  Right? 

Tuesday:
They broke out the “instant” dances on Dancing With the Stars this week.  I reviewed it

Tweet of the Week
If you’re just medium cute, then I don’t have a moment for greenpeace.
See it here

From the Mindsilt Archives
My wife is about to have our baby so I thought I’d remind everyone why I love her

Video of the Week 
My friends Dan and Tristan are in a new web series called Matrimonious.  The third installment, Coffee, is embedded below.  You can see the first two here and here.  Check it out and send it to your friends.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Week 7 - A Review

The news of Kendra’s ouster is coupled with a warning that your favorite dancer will go home if you don’t vote.  Must Dancing With the Stars resort to fear-mongering?  It’s not even America week.

This week the “stars” will be performing both individual and instant dances.  For the instant dance, they will receive their song and have twenty minutes to create a routine to that song.  It has the potential to be a delicious disaster.

Chelsea Kane — Waltz
Chelsea tells her partner, Mark, that she was disappointed with what happened last week after the dance.  She doesn’t want his poor attitude about the judges “inconsistent” scoring to rub off on her.  He made it about him, which is exactly what he always does.  After their little talk he decides that he is going to make this dance all about Chelsea but that he doesn’t want to dance a Waltz that “people will want to snooze through.”  

The dance opens with an overhead shot of them lying on the floor while breaking waves are projected onto the floor around them.  My eyelids are getting heavy.  He kisses her to bring her to life and they start dancing.  My head is nodding.  About halfway through, I’m in full snooze.  The Waltz can’t be de-snoozed.  The old judge didn’t like the story stuff, but he liked the rest.  The gay judge loved it and babbles incoherently.  You know how he do.  The lady judge said that Chelsea “earned perfection.”


Instant dance: Get Busy by Sean Paul — Salsa
I’m calling shenanigans.  They choreographed the entire dance during the week and they just have to sync it up with the music in the 20 minutes they have to rehearse.  That’s no instant dance, it’s just instant music.  While rehearsing the dance during the week, they bring in Kyle Massey from last season to wear a funny hat and declare that they will be great.  Welcome back to TV, Kyle.  Don’t get used to it.

They dress Chelsea in next to nothing and they spend the whole time just shaking it.  Mark has decided that this dance will be all about him.  He sells it just a little too much.  The old judge said, “the Waltz was cool but the Salsa was hot.”  The gay judge thought they set the bar very high, but the lady judge did not feel the connection to the music.  That’s probably the band’s fault, lady judge.

My score: It’s really about love of dance.

Hines Ward — Foxtrot
Kym informs Hines that he’s going to propose to her.  Not in real life, for the dance.  Go dry your panties, people.  Then they break out game film of Ralph Macchio dancing the Foxtrot.  Not sure how this helps, but it reminds everyone that Hines is a football player and that football and dancing are practically the same thing.

Hines must have incriminating pictures of the judges.  He looks terribly awkward for the majority of the dance, but the judges love it.  The gay judge goes crazy and lady judge likes it because he danced like a dude — whatever that means.  The old judge gives him a small note about his feet but otherwise loves it.  It’s the same thing every week.  I can’t stay mad at them because it just means that I get to see more of Kym in skimpy outfits.


Instant dance: Chantilly Lace by The Big Bopper — The Jive
Hines gets frustrated because he usually relies on the music to learn the choreography.  If each of the performers rely so much on the music to learn the dance, why don’t we ever hear music during the rehearsal segments? 

This seems like one song that the band could really nail until they get to the improvised banter in the middle of the song.  Then it becomes comically bad.  I guess not having the music wasn’t that hard after all.  He nailed the dance.  The gay judge said he danced a bit like a penguin but the lady judge thought that he did an amazing job because she’s in love with him.  The crowd turns on the gay judge after he gives them an eight.  It’s gettin’ rowdy in the ballroom.

My score: Get ready for a ballroom slap fight.

Romeo — Tango
Romeo and his partner decide that they have to take this seriously.  That’s always a recipe for disaster — especially with children this age.  

Romeo’s partner wore a red vinyl dress reminiscent of something worn in The Matrix.  Her strategy was to make the ballroom so dark that the judges couldn’t actually see them dance.  The lady judge loved it and called it “one of your best routines ever.”  The old judge told him that he “stepped up his game.”  The gay judge said that “he danced like a real man out there.”  Yes, a real annoying man.  During the interview, Romeo said that “this competition is just like life.”  Indeed, they are both terrible.


Instant dance: Tequila by The Champs — Salsa
He claims that he can dance to any song the DJ plays in the club so he should be able to handle the instant dance.  A little overconfidence never hurt anyone, right?  His partner takes him to a salsa club and tells him to ask someone to dance and lead her through the salsa.  He does his macho thing and I black out from anger.

He tries to hard to shake his hips but he just can’t pull it off.  Luckily, his partner has decided to feature herself instead of actually making him dance.  The lady judge thought they were a little off.  The old judge liked it because “they danced.”  Indeed.  The gay judge tried to say fluidity without sounding drunk.  During his post-dance interview, Romeo claims that he was celebrating his new movie with that dance.  That’s got to be the final straw, right America?

My score: SEND.  HIM.  HOME.

Ralph Macchio — Viennese Waltz 
Old man Ralph’s body finally starts to break down.  He goes to the doctor to get an MRI.  He has no muscle, tendon or ligament damage, but he ruptured a cyst in his knee.  The doctor tells him he can keep dancing.  When he gets back into the practice room he immediately goes down with more pain in his knee.  They are only able to work in nine hours of practice.  Cue the sad tuba music.  

Ralph’s partner’s strategy is to fill the whole studio with fog so the judges can’t see them dance and then distract the rest of us by wearing a see through dress.  To his credit, he doesn’t looks like his knee hurts at all.  There is pain in this dojo, you’re just not allowed to show it.  After the dance, he limps over to be judges.  The judges are kind and the lady judge tells him that he has inspired people again — just like he did in Karate Kid.  Does that mean Romeo will sweep the leg in the instant dance?  


Instant dance: Stuck In the Middle by Stealers Wheel — Cha Cha
We get to see more of Ralph with his injured leg propped up.  They just sit on the couch and talk about what they will do for their dance.  This is riveting television folks.

Ralph begins the dance by sitting on the steps.  When his partner gets up and starts dancing, he points to his knee.  She does the Mr. Miyagi rub the hands together thing to heal his knee and then he gets up and dances to the lamest version of “Stuck In the Middle” I’ve ever heard.  All of the judges admire his courage but they basically tell him that it wasn’t enough.  Somehow, I think he’ll earn enough audience votes to give him another chance.  America loves a comeback.  

My score: Don’t say goodbye, Daniel-san.

Kirstie Alley — Argentine Tango
At this point, I’m absolutely positive that Kirstie and her partner know that the show is quickly becoming the most boring season yet.  They turn on the drama.  Kirstie falls about fifty times and her partner finally stops the rehearsal because she’s not eating enough and she’s running out of gas.  

Again, I don’t get it.  She never really dances.  She just poses and relies on her performance skills.  The gay judge calls it “the ultimate seduction.”  The lady judge felt like she was watching real life playing out in front of her.  She does realize that this is real and that these are real people, right?


Instant dance: Cobrastyle by Teddybears — Salsa
Her partner has a breakdown during rehearsal and throws his mic because she’s just as absent-minded as she has always been.  Mmm, the sweet taste of  manufactured drama.  Now with fewer calories!

In classic Kirstie style, she looks completely lost the whole time and can’t stick with the rhythm.  After the dance, you hear her apologize to her partner.  The gay judge tells her that they lost sync and then apparently drops some dirty words as his audio is dropped.  Oh, those foreigners.  The lady judge likes it and says that is was slow and basic.  The old judge likes it because he thought it was “oily.”  Gross.  I’m going to go vomit on my shoes.

My score: Real life is disgusting.

****

Monday, May 09, 2011

Because I Can

Why do I write on this blog?  The simple answer is because I can.  The less simple answer?  Well, that’s not so simple.  I guess it mostly has to do with ego.  I must think pretty highly of myself if I’ve started a blog.  I must think I have something to say.  I must think that I’m unique and interesting enough for people to be entertained.  Sure, that’s part of it.  But what have I really said?  What unique or interesting thing have I posted?  Not much, really.  Yet, I continue to post.  

Why?

Mostly because I’m trying to figure out what it is that I have to say.  I’m trying to find that unique and interesting thing that makes people want to read.  I’m trying to find that thing that I do that makes me entertaining.  I don’t know that I’ve found it yet.  Maybe this random collection of posts is it.  A very large part of me hopes not.  That part of me wants me to be better.  That same part of me also tells me that I’m never good enough.  It’s a fine line to walk.

This isn’t a pity party.  It’s just a little bit of honest reflection.  It’s not something I do much here because it’s comes off as mopey.  I’m not moping.  I’m just trusting you with some of the thoughts I have while I’m working on this blog.  I’m going to keep posting because I still think that I’ll figure out what I want to say.  Even if I never do that, I still like writing and coming up with new ideas.  That’s why I really do this.  The icing is that people read and enjoy it.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled Dancing With the Stars snark.  You know, because snark is what makes me special.

****

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Friday Roundup

My computer allows me to so many things.  One of those things is create a Friday Roundup.  Here we go.

This Week in Mindsilt
Monday:
I gave you a list of things that are zombie proof

Tuesday:
They brought in some ballroom “legends” on Dancing With the Stars.  I reviewed it. 

Thursday:
I gave you a few of my thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden

Tweet of the Week
From Rob Delaney
I NEED SOMETHING NEW TO FEAR
See it here

From the Mindsilt Archives
My thoughts on free candy

Video of the Week
People on the Internet would do well to remember this.  Especially me.


****

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Thoughts on Osama bin Laden

I thought about writing this post on Monday.  However, I realized that it was way too early for me to formulate any kind of coherent post about the death of Osama bin Laden.  Now that I’ve had some time to think it all over, I’ll be able to give you an ever so slightly more coherent post about the death of Osama bin Laden.

  • When I first heard the news, I felt relieved.  Not excited, but relieved.
  • I was surprised by people celebrating in the streets.  It felt wrong to me.  However, no one I knew or loved was killed by Osama bin Laden.  My city wasn’t attacked by Osama bin Laden.  The possible threat of more of his terror wasn’t hanging as heavily over me as it might have been for some people.  I won’t begrudge anyone of their reaction to this news.
  • A dead Osama bin Laden is more valuable to our President politically than a captured and live Osama bin Laden.  No trial equals no ongoing political heat.
  • I guess I shouldn’t have sat on that bin Laden sketch for ten years wondering if it was still too soon.
  • We have troops in Afghanistan simply to track down bin Laden and root out Al Qaeda.  They can come home now, right?
  • Killing one man does not kill an ideology.  
  • This won’t mean anything if our leaders don’t learn change the behavior that created Osama bin Laden in the first place.  
  • A raid on a secret compound and a helicopter stalling as they swarm in?  How long do you think it took Michael Bay to whip up a script and pitch it to every studio in Hollywood?  One day?  Two?
  • My daughter will never know a world with Osama bin Laden.  She will, however, know one with Dancing With the Stars.
****

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Week 7 - A Review

Chris Jericho went home last week.  They tried to call it a shocker but who the hell else was going to go home?  Everyone else was better than him.

They don’t have a special name for this week, they are just bringing in three “ballroom legends.”  Since no one knows the names of any ballroom legends, I guess we’ll just have to take their word for it.  Plus, the stars will be doing both individual and team dances this week.  They’ve even dressed them up in team colors.

We are introduced to the “ballroom legend” who will be our fourth judge tonight.  We see some grainy video of him in his dancing days and they tout his credentials.  Instead of an introduction, it feels like they’re trying to convince us.

Team Chelsea — Cha Cha
Chelsea and Hines are designated as team captains and they get to choose teams, kickball style.  Chelsea chooses Romeo and Ralph.  Since Ralph hasn’t yet done the Cha Cha, Romeo and Chelsea try to give him tips while the pros work on choreography.  Eventually, they simply take turns threatening each other.  

Team Chelsea is dressed in all black and they are clearly playing up their youth.  They dance to “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga.  After the dance, Karina — who will soon appear in Playboy — fixes her top like she’s worried that her boob has popped out.  Like it matters.  Millions of people will see her boobs soon enough.  The gay judge thought they weren’t in sync.  The “legend” judge said, “I’ll buy it” which means absolutely nothing.  Way to take a stand, Dance Legend.

My score: Even “legends” can waffle.

Team Hines — Cha Cha
Hines chooses Kirstie and Kendra for his team.  The pros spend time working on choreography while the stars practice shaking their butts.  When they split of to work on their individual dances, Kirstie and her partner fall way behind the rest of the team.  Guys, this could be a total disaster.  Could this be the first time all six dancers crash at the same time?  I think so.  Why would these practice clips lead us astray?

They dance to “We Are Who We Are” by Ke$ha.  It’s a terrible choice for so many reasons, the least of which is that the band has no idea how to play the song.  Hines screwed up by not choosing any pro women for his team.  It’s the ladies that make the dance look good.  The old judge makes another boob joke.  He knows that’s seriously creepy, right?  

Both teams end up with identical scores.  Why did we do this again?

My score: At least Osama bin Laden is dead.

While the stars change into different outfits, they bring out undefeated latin dance pros to show everyone how it’s really done.  You know how your soul shares absolutely nothing in common with broccoli?  Well, your soul and broccoli have more in common than the stars’ dances have with this pro dance.  Why would they deliberately show us that we’re watching awful dancing?

We are also introduced to Luca Baricchi and Shirley Ballas.  They are dance pros who will be helping the stars with their routines this week.  Shirley Ballas also happens to be the mother of Chelsea Kane’s partner.

Chelsea Kane — Paso Doble
Chelsea’s partner explains to her that she is the cape of the bullfighter for this dance.  Shirley Ballas adds her insight by getting in Chelsea’s face for the entire practice session.  She even head-butts Chelsea in that loving mother kind of way.  Her point is that Chelsea needs to stop smiling.

Chelsea dances like she’s still reeling from the head-butt.  The old judge is confused.  Not because he’s old but because he wasn’t sure what the dance was supposed to be.  The gay judge loved it because it was creative.  The lady judge loved the modern spin on the dance.  The “legend” judge didn’t really like it and called it “Hell’s Angels.”  Is Andy Kaufman writing for the judges?

My score: Popsicle, tires, meat.

Kendra Wilkinson — Tango
Kendra’s partner decides to make the choreography hard for her.  She immediately loses all confidence in herself.  Sure, there’s not much to lose, but now it’s completely gone.  When Luca Baricchi comes in to help her with the dance, his advice is simply an excuse to feel her up.  Feeling comfortable again, she has a breakthrough.

The lady judge clearly still feels guilty about the “afraid of elegance” comment and says that she is “so proud of her.”  The “legend” judge thought she did a great job with tough choreography.  The old judge refrains from making a boob joke.  They must have warned him at the break.  As if to remind us that she’s still the worst co-host on TV, Brooke cuts Kendra and her partner off in mid-sentence during the post-dance interview.  At least she’s consistent.  

My score: I’m also more comfortable when I’m being felt up.

Kirstie Alley — Jive
Shirley Ballas comes in to help Kirstie practice.  Kirstie loves her and I’m sure we’ll see them having tea together soon.  Once Shirley leaves, Maks really turns on the asshole.  Eventually, Kirstie breaks down.  She even carefully throws a plant across the floor to express both her anger and concern about plant life. 

They do a bit where they act like they can’t dance and then she kisses him and they start to dance for real.  The problem is that her partner is the only one who decides to dance for real.  The lady judge puts on her disappointed mommy voice and the old judge could “find very little to commend it.”  Even the gay judge was bored.  The “legend” judge loves it.  The scores range from six to nine and everyone looks confused.

My score: All of them!

Ralph Macchio — Quickstep
Ralph spends the entire practice package complaining about how much pain he’s in.  Suck it up, old man.  Pain does not exist in this Dojo.

They dress up as gangsters from the prohibition era and it immediately feels like the kind of dance Ralph can nail.  The “legend” judge makes a creepy sex reference that I didn’t really follow and the gay judge manages to stay seated for his entire assessment.  The lady judge gives him a ten and I’ve stopped trying to pretend that they even speak English at all.

My score: Ocho.

Hines Ward — Tango
Luca Baricchi comes in to help Hines with his character.  Basically, his advice always boils down to feeling the girl up.  Baricchi clearly became a dancer for the sex.  They continue to practice and then former Steeler Jerome Bettis comes in to watch him practice.  I’m not sure how someone who was once called “The Bus” could have any real insight on dancing but he sits and watches anyway.

Kym’s dress exposes her entire right side and seems to be held together by a single rose at the hip.  I was doing my best to burn that rose off with my mind the entire dance.  The old judge says the dance was “sharp and crisp like a pickle.”  The gay judge calls him a “panther on the prowl.”  The lady judge says “command” a lot.  The “legend” judge says that Hines “dances from his heart but uses his head.”  It’s like they watched an overwritten porn flick.

My score: Is behind the green door.

Romeo — Samba
Romeo is now so cocky that he wants to incorporate his own dance moves.  His partner is smart enough to veto that idea.  When Shirley comes in to help him learn the dance, Romeo immediately takes the chance to feel her up.  It’s become the theme of the night.  They spend the rest of the time “shaking it.”

Maybe Romeo shouldn’t have spent all that time copping a feel because he looks stiff.  The “legend” judge commends him on his progress but says that he “may have a party in his pants, but he has an earthquake in his shoes.”  Zing!  The old judge just complains about the campfire prop.  When the “legend” judge holds up the wrong number paddle to show his score, Brooke is forced to do math in her head and everything comes to a screeching halt.

My score: Math is hard.

****

Monday, May 02, 2011

Zombie Proof

In honor of another successful Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl (the fourth), I thought I would present you with a short list of things that are zombie proof.  Enjoy.

1) The MacBook Pro touch pad
2) Delicate knots
3) Degree deodorant
4) Touch lamps
5) Other zombies

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