Sunday, December 31, 2006

Countdown to 2007

I can't believe it's already New Year's Eve!! Where the heck did 2006 go??

We're going to my Aunt Marion's today for dinner and to celebrate Kara's big 3-0, then returning to Quyon to ring in the New Year chez Gav's. Wherever you are and however you're celebrating, I hope you have a blast and make New Year's Eve memorable!!

See you all in 2007!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day Boredom

*Note: I wrote this Blog yesterday, but for some reason it didn't here it is now, a day late, but like anyone out there is reading anyway!! ;o)

Happy Boxing Day!! I do realize that most of you are sharing the holidays with your families, and probably your last thought is to log on to Jill's World, but to be quite frank, I'm bored to tears, so I thought I'd come here and talk to myself.

It's been a recent revelation of mine that Christmas Eve is actually the best part of the holidays, and this year was no exception. Everything else kind of pales in comparison. (Okay, the Christmas morning hype around here with breakfast, stockings, and presents is pretty cool too.) But Christmas Eve was rockin' this year. Probably the best Christmas Eve in the past few years.

We went to Patti's, as usual, and I think that almost everyone was there. Even my cousin Jim, who had threatened to go South for the holidays. I took many photos, and if I show any of you the snaps, you'll get a pretty good indication of how much fun we all had...and how buzzed I got. I was mixing my own rye'n'cokes a little strong. Then there was the Tequila Rose (which I at one point licked off Randy's bar), and the Jagermeister (no idea how to spell that!)...Lots of guitar, lots of the Coconut Song, lots of good food. When Brandon, Kayla, Jim, Chris, Luke, Kristen, and I were the last to stumble out around 1:30, all I could think was what an awesome party it had been. I barely even noticed that there was no snow to frolick in!

So I figured I'd be able to sleep in Christmas morning, after all that alcohol consumption, but apparently that had no effect on my Christmas Spirit, because my eyes fluttered open a mere four hours later, at 5:30. I forced myself to doze on and off for another two hours before I heard Ma stirring in the kitchen, so I joined her for coffee. Kara, Chris, and Luke were next to rise, so we had sticky buns and mini quiches while we waited for Dad & Caden to wake up. By 9:30, the stockings had been opened and we were working on gifts. Highlights for me were the black puffy vest I've been asking for for three years, another season of Friends, a Karaoke machine, the game Cranium, the new Hip CD, the Rockstar Supernova CD (still love Lukas!!), Dirty Dancing, and a black half-zip fleece.

But then, that's when the Christmas let-down comes in. I've basically been lazing around ever since, snacking, watching movies, and being bored. We don't have any family functions to go to now, and while Luke has been gone with Kristen to her family stuff, I've been stuck doing nothing. It's called the Boxing Day Boredom. And I'm now sharing that with all of you!!

I hope Santa was good to all of you and that you continue to enjoy the holidays!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!!

Well, this will likely be the last Blog before the Big Day, so I would just like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and all the best in 2007. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy (or not-so-busy) days to visit Jill's World, and for all the fun chats we've shared for the past few months.

I may post a few Blogs over the next week if I have the time, but if not, I will definitely be back (hopefully with some great reviews of CD's and DVD's that I get from Santa) in the New Year.

I hope this holiday season finds you in the company of family and friends; that you have a few "festive drinks", eat some yummy seasonal treats, sing a few of your favourite carols, and enjoy both the giving & receiving of gifts.

And don't forget...Sing the Coconut Song. It'll just put you right in the mood. If you don't know the words, let me know and I'll email you a copy.

Hope to see you all over the holidays, and best wishes to you and yours!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Hey guys!

Well, as you may have noticed, yesterday we had some "Mystery Bloggers" showing up, and while nothing they wrote was offensive or inappropriate, I prefer to know exactly who is visiting Jill's World and posting in the Comments Section. We're a fairly tightly-knit group here, and while I do invite new posters, I would like to know who is reading and writing amongst us!

So I have taken Kenny's advice and changed the settings so that everyone must register as a member of this Blog before they can post. I have no idea how this works (I'm already registered, so I don't know if it's a complicated process), but if it is a great inconvenience for any of my "regulars", please let me know via email and I'll try to figure out some other options. The key here is that I would like people to post their actual names to erase any confusion or suspicion. The only other option, if this one proves too difficult, is to simply remove comments that don't come signed by someone I know. If this registration thing is too much of a pain for my faithful Bloggers, I'll try doing that instead.

But for now, I'm testing this out! If it fails, I'll look at other options...But I hope you all take the time become full-fledged Jill's World members, and that we continue mingling together here in the Blogosphere!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Tale of Two Hockey Teams

Remember that hockey team I boasted about last week? The one that beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2, and the goalie absolutely stood on his head?

Well, they played again Saturday night. Only this time, it was the Buffalo Sabres they beat, and once again, that same goalie stole the show.

So, what I'd like to know, as a fan of that team, is who the hell was playing the Boston Bruins last night? Or the Nashville Predators, or the Columbus Blue Jackets in recent days? You know, that team that lost 7-2, 6-0, 6-2 (or something along those lines).

That certainly wasn't my team. Not that well-oiled, smooth-running, red-black-and-gold machine with the hot young 'tender between the pipes. Instead, every second game, these other bums keep showing up. These lazy, nonchalant, far-too-fancy, lackadaisacal bunch of flunkies, who are not turning my crank.

It appears to be a severe case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. From one night to the next, we the fans have no idea which one will be making an appearance. How can they play so hard against some of the best teams in the league, and then be a complete bust against teams they should be beating? At this level, at this stage in the game, when fighting in an air-tight Eastern Conference for a playoff position, every game should be huge. They should be "getting up" for every opponent, no matter how mighty or lowly. Motivation should not be a factor - they should be giving their 110% every night. Every night.

So why, then, are they not?? Emery cannot be faulted; he has had no support, especially last night. And on a night when it should have all been about making The Big Z regret leaving Ottawa, it would appear that Mr. Chara got the last laugh.

I'm completely discouraged and disenchanted with my Sens. One night, I'm thinking They're back!!! and the next they've got me thinking What the...??? Consistency has been an issue all season long, and it has especially become a problem in the past two weeks. People were blaming it on the absence of Alfie, Schaefer, and Redden. Well, last night, the only piece missing from the puzzle was Wade, so that's no longer an excuse.

I was wrapping presents last night while watching the game, and it was putting a serious dent in my Christmassy mood. I'm getting a little sick of wondering Which team is going to show up tonight?? We've now hit a part of the schedule in which we will be playing 15 of 20 games at home, and I'm going to be in attendance for two of those games, so I'm justifiably starting to worry that it could be a huge waste of my money.

The only good thing about it all??

The Leafs lost last night too. And that always brings a smile to my face.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What's Shaking in Genoa City?

Good morning, gang!

Well, I know I have a few Young & the Restless fans out there, so this Blog is for YOU!! I'll admit, I've been an on-again, off-again fan of the show for years, and I haven't paid a whole lot of attention over the past year to what's been happening in Genoa City. However, last week I started watching more faithfully again, and boy, did I pick a good week to start tuning in!

As an ice storm hit the city, it seemed like everyone was dealing with trauma. Half of the town was stuck at Indigo where the Art Benefit was supposed to be held, including JT, who was worried about Colleen trying to get from the school to Indigo in the treacherous conditions. Little did JT know that Colleen was not only safe & sound at the school, she was also getting better acquainted with Professor Korbel. I detest the new Colleen and this cocky professor dude. Poor JT's at Indigo on his cell, trying desperately to reach her, and she's ka-noodling with her teacher. Ugh. JT and Colleen are one of my favourite couples on TV, but I really hate where their story arc is taking them.

Meanwhile, Phyllis, who is way overdue with her baby, got trapped in an elevator with her ex Jack, and of course she goes into labour. It's daytime drama, people. Did anyone think she wouldn't go into labour?? Personally, though, I think this storyline has been overused. It's already been done many times, including on Saved by the Bell, when Zack delivered Mrs. Belding's bouncing bundle of joy while trapped in an elevator. But back to Phyllis...She had sent hubby Nick home to get her hospital bag just as the storm hit, but do you think he had a smooth trip? No. He came upon an accident, so he stopped to help. Naturally, it was Phyllis' son Daniel and his wife Lily, and Daniel was in bad shape, so Nick had to rush to help them.

So now we have Phyllis giving birth in an elevator with her ex-husband Jack acting as her coach and doctor, while her new husband Nick is rushing her son Daniel to the hospital with his wife Lily giving him CPR in the back of Nick's car.

Of course, I'm only giving you a few of the plots that are unfolding here. There's also Brad and Sharon, and Victor and Nikki and Victoria, and Kevin and Janna, and so many more. It's almost as bad as Passions! (Okay, not quite...)

By the end of yesterday's episode, JT had picked Colleen up at the school and had no suspicions of the naughty rendez-vous his girlfriend had just had with her prof...But if I get my way, JT will find out soon enough and kick her booty to the curb. Then I'll step in as his new love interest. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

Jack had safely delivered Nick & Phyllis' baby girl in the elevator, and they arrived at the hospital shortly after Nick arrived with an unconcious Daniel and a frantic Lily. Moments later, Lily announced that Daniel was going to be fine and the CPR Nick had instructed her to give Daniel had saved his life. After Lily thanked Nick for rescuing them, he was whisked away to meet his new baby daughter.

Just another day in Genoa City!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Survivor Showdown

Good Monday morning, one and all! I hope you all had as wonderfully festive weekends as I did. Only 7 more sleeps!!

To kick off the Week Before Christmas, here's your Survivor Finale recap:

Before I begin, I must apologize, because this recap is going to be incomplete, as I missed the first hour. By the time I tuned in, Adam was already on the jury, and the rest of the gang were already at the next TC, where Becky and Sundra were competing in a fire challenge to break a deadlocked vote.

I was terribly disappointed, as I had high hopes of Adam blowing this whole thing out of the water and making it to the final three (where I was positive he'd have the votes to win the whole damn thing). However, I thought Ozzy, Yul and Becky were all deserving of their places in the final three.

Now, back to that fire challenge I mentioned - the girls were given kindling, flint, and a machete to start their fires, which had to go high enough to burn through a rope stretched across overhead. It's the standard Survivor break-a-deadlocked-vote challenge, but apparently Sundra & Becky had never started a fire before, and they spent an hour just trying to get a spark, while the jury members and Ozzy and Yul all had a nap. Finally, Jeff allowed them to use matches, but that really didn't speed up the process. An hour and a half into the challenge, Sundra ran out of matches and was resigned to sitting there and watching Becky finally build a big enough fire to burn through her rope. The win put Becky into the final three with Yul & Ozzy, but both of those girls should be ashamed of their poor skills at starting a fire after 39 days on Survivor.

Back on the beach, Yul, Ozzy & Becky celebrated their Final Three-dom with a feast that was delivered by two Hawaiian chicks in grass skirts. I'm not sure how far away Hawaii is from Treasure Island, but I'm sure it was a long paddle for the poor girls, and those selfish Survivors didn't even ask them to join them for awhile to let them rest. Tsk, tsk. I know if Adam had been there, he definitely would have extended an invitation. Adam's smooth with the ladies like that.

At the final TC, the usual process unfolded of the Survivors making opening statements, then they were posed questions by the Jury. This was the first season that there were three people going before the Jury, but they might as well have just cut Becky anyways, because she drew very little attention from the Jury members. Most questions and comments were directed to either Ozzy or Yul. It seemed only fair, as the two of them really were the stars of this season, with Ozzy dominating physically and Yul a master of the strategic game.

Jeff grabbed the votes and then marched off to LA where a studio audience had magically appeared and all the Survivors had gained about 50 pounds, but that's what happens every year, so it's no longer a shock. I'm just really glad they've cut out that cheesy segment where Jeff hopes on a helicopter and flies in a matter of seconds from their tropical location back to the U.S.

Jeff began reading out the votes, and after eight votes, Ozzy and Yul were tied with one vote left. And that vote went to...........

drumroll please...........


While I was rooting for Adam all the way through, I really don't think anyone could argue that Yul and Ozzy were the best Final 2 this game had ever seen. Quite often someone ends up there that just rides coat tails, but both of those guys worked their butts off. In any other season, Ozzy would have been crowned king of the jungle, but unfortunately, he happened to be up against Yul, a guy who could probably convince anyone to do anything. I do believe Yul may be the best player to ever compete in Survivor.

Yul mentioned several times throughout the season, and again last night, that part of his reason for going on Survivor was to erase some of the sterotypical ideas people have of Asian Americans, and I can tell you that Yul definitely succeeded somewhat in doing so with me. Not that I've ever had anything against Asians, but I've often thought that I've never been attracted to Asian men. Even though I never included Yul as one of the Hot Young Studs on the show, I couldn't help but think he was a handsome dude, especially last night once he was back in LA and carrying some extra weight.

Ozzy didn't go home empty-handed, so don't go feeling sorry for him - he won the on-line poll to determine who was the most clever Survivor, and he received the keys to a new car. Other notes: Adam & Candice are no longer an item, JP is now a model (Hot Young Stud!!), Nate didn't sell out his race and he and "Poverty" had feelings for each other, "Poverty" is a model boxer (I always knew there was a reason why I hated her), Cao Boi is still talking to much (did ya catch the little shake of the head Jeff gave him when he tried to over-take the Reunion show??), Jonathan is still annoying and loud, and Billy was just caught up in the moment when he declared his love for Candice on Episode # 2, so Candice does not have to get a restraining order after all.

Overall, it was a fairly entertaining season, and it looks like Probst is taking us to Fiji in the new year, and I'm already looking forward to it!

Have a good week, everyone!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Why I Can't Trust My TV

You all have likely heard about the problems I've encountered with my TV in the past few months. First, Global messed up the Rockstar:Supernova finale, then CTV showed episode #2 of Grey's Anatomy when it was supposed to be the season premiere. Because both shows were of high importance to me, I was completely frustrated with both mis-fires.

Well, last night I suffered through another TV catastrophe. As I mentioned yesterday, it was the Quyon UCW Christmas Potluck, and I was attending with my mom as her guest. Before departing for the party, I set a tape for The O.C. Chrismukkah episode at 7 PM, knowing I would be home in time to re-set the VCR to catch Survivor at 11 PM.

Upon returning home, Luke was in the midst of watching a miserable hockey game, where that hero Ray Emery that I was bragging about just a few days ago apparently couldn't stop a beach ball. (Wait - that's not being fair. I didn't see the game, and judging from what Luke said, the loss could not be blamed solely on him. Apparently the absence of Daniel Alfredsson & Wade Redden, as well as the fact that several players were playing sick, was really their downfall vs. Nashville).

In any case, I asked him if it would ruin his life terribly if I interrupted the hockey game to watch the episode I had taped of The O.C. His reply: "The O.C. wasn't on tonight." Uhhh...yeah, it was dumbass. "No, it wasn't. When I went to where The O.C. was supposed to be on, it wasn't on." So I rewound my tape a bit and found a wonderful episode of Jeopardy in progress. Rewind a little further, and there's E-Talk Daily.

So by this point, it's 10 PM, and another channel was showing The O.C., but when clicking on it, it was actually E-Talk Daily again. I was ready to scream, so I turned it to Santa Claus Is Coming to Town and that calmed me down a little.

Now, both The O.C. and Survivor were scheduled to air again at 11 PM, so I decided to stay up and see if it was actually going to be The O.C. Chrismukkah episode, or yet another exciting tandem of E-Talk and Jeopardy. If The O.C. did not air, I was planning to switch over to Survivor. Because I promised our lovely Blogger friend Sharon that I would tape The O.C. for her, I had to honour my commitment, and skip Survivor if The O.C. was actually on somewhere.

At last, at 11 PM, after Kris Kringle had wed Jessica and the Burger Meister was de-throned in Somberville and the legend of Santa Claus was in full swing, I was finally able to find a channel airing The O.C. So the Chrismukkah crisis was averted. However, I still have no clue what happened on Survivor, so if anyone watched it and can provide me with a detailed re-cap, it would be much appreciated.

Finally, the moral of the story is this: Do not trust your TV. They're messing with my mind. They're ruining my life.

It's a good thing it's almost Christmas and I'm in a cheerful mood, or else I'd be trying to sue their asses!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Top 22 Holiday Mix

Alright, so with the melting snow, we all need a little more Christmas cheer, so yes, I'm providing you with yet another Holiday Blog. I've been listening to Majic 100 at work, which is our local Holiday Station, and I've been taking note of the songs that I like the most. I've taken the opportunity to play DJ and I have compiled a list of Christmas Favourites to share with you. So here, in no particular order, is my Top 22 Holiday Mix:

Merry Christmas, Baby by Bruce Springsteen - They've been playing the live version, and it just makes me want to get up and dance. Bruce's voice is at it's hot & raspy best, and it's an awesome song to have playing at a Christmas Party...with lots of festive drinks!

White Christmas by Bing Crosby - I love this song. Of course, around here, the guys are singing "Green Christmas" and that's depressing. But even if there is no snow on the ground on the 25th, this song will lift my spirits no matter what.

O Holy Night - It's quite possibly my favourite Christmas song, when sung by a strong voice (they've been playing Josh Groban, but he's not my favourite). If you've got the pipes, it's a good one to belt - it starts off so softly, but gets increasingly dramatic, and it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

New York City Christmas by Matchbox 20 - I believe the boys in Matchbox 20 wrote this song after 9/11 to bring a city some Christmas spirit when they were desperately in need of some. I love the line: "And the sidewalk angels whisper 'Hallelujah'" - it captures a moment of hope amidst so much fear.

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town by the Pointer Sisters - It's upbeat, it's fun, and it's all about knowing the Big Guy is watching you all year long. I heard the Pointer Sisters' rendition yesterday, and it's my new favourite. "You better watch out, you better not cry..."

What a Miracle by Gail Gavan - This is the title song off Gail's Christmas Album, which I listen to every year while wrapping gifts. She's a Quyon girl, so of course she had to make the list. It's an uplifting song and it puts me in the Christmas mood everytime I hear it.

Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band-Aid - Seems like every music superstar from the '80's got together to do this track to raise awareness that people are starving in Africa everyday. While we're sitting down to our big festive dinners, it's important to remember those who are less fortunate, and to make every effort to give them support year-round.

Away in a Manger - Almost every year at church, the kids get up to sing Away in a Manger, and it's always a highlight. It's a sweet lullaby for Baby Jesus, and you can almost imagine a group of children standing by the manger singing it to Him.

Little St. Nick by the Beach Boys - It's next-to-impossible for me to imagine spending Christmas on a beach, but if I were to be stranded on some desert isle for the holidays, I would hope I'd have this Beach Boys tune with me to keep me feeling festive!

Frosty the Snowman by Gene Autry - I think it may be the only Christmas song my dad could ever play on the guitar, and I'm not sure he or Uncle Garry actually know the words, but when all else fails, they can just give 'er the ol' "Thumpity-thump-thump, thumpity-thump-thump"...and nobody even notices.

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey -I just heard this song for the first time last year, and I love it! It's kind of a tongue twister, and I giggle everytime I hear it. I tried singing it to Caden last year and he just cried, so I'm hoping for better results this year.

Christmas Time by Bryan Adams - I'm a fan of Mr. Adams, and I really like his seasonal offering. When he says, "It makes me wish it was Christmas all year long," I can't help but think, "I'm with ya on that, Bry."

Christmas in Sarajevo by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra - This is the rockin' instrumental from the Home Alone movies that is supposedly one of the most requested songs for radio play during the holidays. Once it's in your head, you won't be able to shake it. It's almost like a head-banging song...Awesome.

Old Toy Trains by Roger Miller - I learned this song last year on the guitar to sing to Caden on Christmas Eve. Of course, it didn't mean much to him last year, but I have the feeling this year when I sing, "Little boy, don't you think it's time you were in bed?", his mommy & daddy might be thinking the same thing...

Christmas in the Valley by Wayne Ronstadt - You know the tape. You've all got one, or your moms do. The original that spawned so many volumes here in the Ottawa Valley has become a local classic. It's about the only Wayne Ronstadt song I know, and he even played it at Jam Fest a few years ago. In July.

Silent Night - Christmas Eve just isn't Christmas Eve unless Rolly Bernier plays this on his guitar with the lights dimmed at the end of the church service. It gives me chills every year. We all hold candles and sing along, and then he just keeps playing as everyone gets up and leaves the church. It's magical.

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee - What a festive, spirited song - you just can't stand still when you hear it. In that American Dreams episode I mentioned in the Christmas Special Blog, Kelly Clarkson kicks off the show by singing it on Bandstand as Brenda Lee, and I would have loved to have been in that audience for real.

Christmas Day by Dido - Dido's got such a hauntingly beautiful voice, and this song is perfect for her to sing. It's sort of a wistful, bittersweet song about a girl waiting for a boy, who has promised to come back for her on Christmas Day. It's another one that has recently become one of my all-time faves.

Jingle Bell Rock by Bill Haley & His Comets - It's like the Christmas version of Rock Around the Clock, and it's a great tune to dance around to. "What a bright time, it's the right time, to rock the night away..." Sounds like every Christmas Eve party I've ever been to!

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Corey Hart - OK, anybody singing this is fun, but they play Corey Hart's live version on Majic, and I love Corey Hart, so I'm picking that one for the list. Every kid loves this song, because you get shout out things, such as "Like a lightbulb!" and "Like Monopoly!" and "Like George Washington!"

Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley - You guys know I love the King, and this is one of my favourites, but if you're not an Elvis fan, you're guaranteed to split a gut laughing at the Porky Pig version. Recently, on the Team 1200, this song was in the running for worst Christmas song ever - not because of Elvis, but because of the loopy background singers. But seriously, who doesn't love to join in on the "Oooo-ooo-ooo" parts?

The Coconut Song - Bet you're saying, "Hey, that's not a Christmas song!" Wanna bet? Ever been to a Young Family Christmas Eve party? Lots of feet stomping, lots of roaring voices, and everybody belting "A-roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch!" It's just not Christmas without it. One more time!!...

And that, folks, is my Top 22 Holiday Mix. I know, I know, there's so many songs missing...But these are the ones I thought of in the past few days. Feel free to add to the set list in the comments section. If nothing else, I hope you were humming along at some point!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rayzer Worth $10.95

Last night, we paid up the $10.95 Pay-Per View fee to catch the Sens taking on the Detroit Red Wings in Motown, and it was definitely a worthy investment. The Sens won 3-2, and to say that Ray Emery was solid in nets would be an understatement. The Rayzer was positively stellar, stopping 43 of 45 shots, and he basically kept the Senators in a game they really had no right to be in.

They were extremely fortunate to escape period 1 with a 0-0 tie. Emery had to stand on his head, and all the Sens could muster were a couple of measly shots on net, compared to the 18 that the Red Wings fired on them. Things were looking pretty bleak after that first frame, with Emery being the only bright spot for the Sens.

However, the Sens opened the second period with a little more jump, and they took advantage of their opportunities. First, Jason Spezza scored on a break-away, and then Chris Neil re-directed a blast from Christoph Schubert past the Dominator - who, by this point, wasn't looking so Dominating. While Emery had kept the Sens in the game, good ol' Dom appeared to be letting his team down. Moments later, Spezza capitalized again, as the Red Wings defence basically let him walk to the net untouched, and he made no mistake.

Now, one would think we'd be free and clear with a three-goal cushion at the mid-point of the game, but Detroit didn't just roll over and die. 25 seconds after Spezza's second goal, they came storming back and took advantage of the Sens scrambling around in their own end. Before the end of the period, they added another goal, to bring them within one. This all set up a very entertaining third period. Once again, the Red Wings were coming hard at the Sens, but Emery was the star of the show, shutting them down, making stop after stop (and one was definitely highlight-reel worthy as he stuck his arm out on a Pavol Datsyuk shot that otherwise would have been a sure goal).

At the end of the night, the Sens skated away with the victory over their old buddy Hasek and his Detroit Red Wings, and the victory had to taste sweet for Ray Emery, who was certainly deserving of his "First Star" status. (The final shot count was 45-22 for Detroit, and the scoring chances were tallied at 18-8 for Detroit). The Sens were able to snap their three-game losing streak, they stayed out of the penalty box when it mattered, and the win provided hope that this team can survive without Daniel Alfredsson and Wade Redden - at least, for a little while.

I was so pumped after the game that I couldn't sleep, so I watched Friday Night Lights - and it was, once again, an awesome episode. With the Cheer America Championships approaching, Lyla was having trouble focusing on her cheerleading, with many of her teammates turning against her in the wake of the rumours of her cheating on Jason with his best friend, Tim Riggins. One girl even put some nasty stuff on the Internet about her, causing Lyla to crumble and quit the cheer squad.

Tim tried to make things better for her by joining her for lunch in the cafeteria, but it only drew the shocked stares of their classmates, and Lyla begged him to leave her alone. This led to Tim going to see Jason, who had just returned home from the rehab centre, and he explained to him how Lyla was going through hell, and that she loved him more than anything and that she'd made a mistake that deserved his forgiveness. Even though Tim loves her too, he sacrificed his own feelings for her, and pleaded with Jason to take her back. Then Tim went to Lyla and encouraged her to re-join the cheer squad, which she did just in time for the championship, and lo and behold, there was Jason in the stands watching. Tim stepped in and did what was right for his best friend and the girl he loves, even though it means he'll continue to suffer. I just love Riggins!!

And the other boy that I love, Matt Sarracen, was battling with the coach and Mrs. Taylor for the right to continue dating Julie. I'm not quite sure why the coach and his wife are so against Matt. He's so sweet and good-natured. He's definitely not your typical cocky high school jock. However, the coach did catch some of the guys joking about Matt and Julie in the locker room, which did not go over well, even though Matt wasn't the one doing the trash-talking. My favourite moment of the night, though, had to be when the coach crashed Julie & Matt's TV date, and of course, Matt jumped up to leave, not wanting to upset Coach Taylor. When he went to say bye to Julie, he stumbled and mumbled for a minute, then he reached out and shook her hand. It was so cute, and I had to laugh. It's a good thing Julie & Matt are determined to stick together, because they are an adorable couple.

So as you guys might be able to figure out, I'm more interested in the non-football part of this show - the relationship side of it all. Football really is only a small part of the storyline; most of the show is about what's happening off the field. I was disappointed that there were no scenes for next week, which likely means that FNL has gone on a Christmas hiatus, and that really sucks, because I can't wait to see what happens with Jason & Lyla, and Tim, and Matt & Julie, and Smash. I know I've said it many times before, but this really is the best new show on TV!

Have a good day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas House Tour 2006

Last night was the Quyon United Church's Annual Christmas House Tour. I know a few of you were on the tour, but for those of you who weren't, come along with me and I'll give you the tour right now! I'm not one to really critique home decor, but here were some of the highlights at each home:

Rick & Monique Lavignes' - This old stone house off the highway was so cozy and warm to go in to. Off the back of the sitting room was a closed-off porch that had Christmas balls of all shapes and sizes hanging from above. There were two beautifully-decorated trees, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room - I loved the pears that adorned the branches. The boughs decorated with berries and pine cones over every doorway were gorgeous and added a very elegant but simple touch. In the kitchen, snowflakes were hung from the ceiling, and daughter Virginia had hand-made giant snowflakes to hang in the windows. It just gave the feeling of "going home for Christmas".

Lorne Brady's - A log cabin nestled at the foot of the mountain, this home was filled with antiques and little bits of history. The tree was decorated with strings of popcorn, and the banister was strung with a homemade garland made of cinnamon sticks and dried fruit. I was shocked to see a china cabinet identical to the one in my grandmother's home. Shirley-Mae Davis' embroidery and quilting were on display all over the house. The upstairs loft was filled with antique dolls and Christmas decorations, as well as old beds, including a bassinet that came from the hospital in Shawville in 1961. I just felt like I was on Little House on the Prairie!

Bill & Susan Hamiltons' - At this home, we discovered the perfect balance between the sentimental crafts that children make and classy, elegant Christmas decor on display. Sue greeted everyone with glasses of cider or wine, dressed as Mother Christmas, while Bill played the piano in a wonderfully inviting atmosphere. Their tree upstairs was decorated in a musical theme with all of the kids' favourite Christmas storybooks on the floor beneath it, while the tree in the basement featured homemade ornaments that Jared & Lindsay had made as children, as well as one ornament that Bill had made in Kindergarten. The veranda also featured a manger scene and many candles to light the way. It was clearly a home that treasures old memories and invites new traditions.

Dave & Joey-Lou Bakers' - An old house that has been modernized, the Christmas decor was simple but so beautiful. Both the kitchen and dining room tables were set for Christmas dinner with gorgeous centrepieces and dishes. There were Christmas trees in the dining room, and both of the kids' upstairs bedrooms. (I was particularly fond of Michael's Senators-themed bedroom, while Ashley's had a tree decorated in pink to match the colour scheme of her room). I also fell in love with the bathroom, which was lit by candles and had several small Christmas decorations on display. Their backyard pool area may not have been intentionally set up for viewing on the tour, but peering through the window at the snow-covered pool and surroundings, it looked almost magical - like a winter wonderland!

Of course, the last stop on the tour was the church itself, where the basement was crowded with people sampling the refreshments and discussing the beautiful homes we had all just visited. As Sara & I always note, it's both an inspiring and depressing event - so many ideas, but we don't have our own homes yet to decorate, and even if we did, would our decor ever look that good? Probably not.

Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable evening, with lots of Christmas spirit and friendly faces. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

1 Stud + 2 Hot Boys = Very Happy Jill

Here's a Double-Shot Recap Blog to kick off the week:


Off to Treasure Island we go, where Adam and "Poverty" were fuming over the departure of Candice instead of the loud-mouthed Jonathan. At least Adam had fond memories of farewell make-out session with Candy. (A TC first, I believe). But "Poverty" was so pissed that she tried to cut her fingers off with a machete. However, the Survivor Medical Team made a special trip out to the island to save her fingernail, and then she and the rest of the gang made their way to the Reward Challenge.

And whaddya know, the loved ones were waiting there for them! They teamed up in a challenge where the blindfolded Survivors had to toss buckets of water towards their loved ones, which they would attempt to catch in their own buckets, and then dump into a barrel, that, once filled sufficiently, would raise a flag, indicating a winner. There was a whole lot of water flying around, and a few of the women started squeezing it out of their shirts and hair to fill their barrels, but somehow "Poverty" and her dad came cruising in out of nowhere and their flag flew first, so she was declared the winner. Then "Poverty's" dad had to choose two Survivors to go with them to a cave for a picnic, without any help from "Poverty". Adam looked like he was going to jump out of his shorts. Fortunately for him, "Poverty's" dad had hit it off with his dad, so he got to go along, as well as Sundra and her mother. "Poverty" also had the wonderful priviledge of kicking Jonathan off to Exile Island. Ah, sweet peace.

Once everyone was back at camp, they all realized how nice and quiet it was without Jonathan around, even his alliance members. So when Jon-boy joined them at the Immunity Challenge, there was some serious awkwardness. Nobody even said hello to him as he stumbled up the beach. Jeff talked them through the water obstacle course they would have to complete to win Immunity, then sent them out to slip off barrels and fall off planks. He might as well have just said, "Ozzy, you're the man - here's your necklace", rather than putting them all through the brutality, although Yul did come in a close second.

Back at camp, Jonathan had clearly become the outcast, and there wasn't a whole lot of mystery going into the TC. While his alliance was still touting Adam as the one to go, they went behind Jonathan's back and conspired to vote him out, but not after we had to hear him blah blah blah at TC about what a fine, upstanding man he is, not the cancerous rat that Adam and "Poverty" claim him to be. Now, I do think Adam and "Poverty" have a tendancy to be whiny brats, but seeing Jonathan go really made my day. I can't believe he lasted as long as he did.

Next week looks like it could be extremely interesting, as it appears that Adam and "Poverty" may be able to sway Ozzy over to their side. At this point, Yul is in the driver's seat, but if Ozzy made a switch, all hell could break loose, and Adam could live to see another day...yessssss!! The last Hot Young Stud may prevail yet!


Finale night - with the remaining three teams being: The Hot Boys - Tyler & James; Bama - Lynn & Karlynn; dating couple - Rob & Kimberly. Teams had to start by flying from Barcelona to Paris in this last leg of their journey.

Once in Paris, teams had to run to the Eiffel Tower to find their first clue. Bama hauled ass and made it there first, because their flight had landed at Orly Airport instead of Charles de Gaulle, giving them an early advantage because Orly was closer to the Eiffel Tower. However, Rob & Kim and Tyler & James weren't far behind. Next, they went somewhere to find the Roadblock, where one team member had to do a tandem skydive with a professional, while the other team member got to do a surprise nosedive in the plane. Rob was pouting because apparently the only reason he went on the race was to go skydiving, but because he had already done too many challenges, Kim had to take the plunge. By the end of the skydiving mission, all three teams were basically neck-and-neck.

Their next clue had them at the Detour where they had to choose between art or couture in Paris. Everybody chose couture, with the Hot Boys feeling they had the jump in fitting a jacket to a mannequin because they're models. Seemed like silly logic to me, but apparently they were right, because while the snooty judge kept saying, "No, no, no" to the other two teams, she took one look at Tyler & James' mannequin and handed over the clue. She may have just been dazzled by their hotness, though. Bama got theirs next, with Rob & Kim brining up the rear. And Rob was still sulking about not being able to go skydiving, which infuriated Kim. Like, dude...I'm pretty sure you can find a place to go skydiving in the States anyday. So when you get home, just go and quit freaking about it!

Speaking of the States...Teams discovered they were headed back to home turf with a final flight to New York City. Rob & Kim scored seats on the first plane, while the Hot Boys and Bama were put on the waiting list. Miraculously, Tyler & James made it on, while Bama had to take a later flight. And yes, boys and girls, that was the crucial moment in the Race.

Once in NYC, they had to find the News Building for their next clue. The Hot Boys hit an awesome cabbie who got them there lickity-split, while Rob & Kim got tied up at a toll bridge. At the News Building, they were given a picture of a sculpture to find in the East Village, and because of their familiarty with NYC, both the Hot Boys and Rob & Kim had no trouble finding it, although they did have to run about 30 blocks to get there. I had nasty memories of the New York trip in Gr. 10 and running for a gazillion blocks to catch our bus, just to avoid the wrath of Mrs. Conrod.

But back to this Race... A lovely young girl in yellow cap handed them their last clue: Get your asses to the finish line in rural New York, dudes!

Flash forward to the finish line, and guess who was running towards Phil wearing sexy smiles?? HOT MILLIONAIRES, BABY!! I was very proud of Tyler & James for winning the Race, as I have cheered for them all along, and it was fulfilling to see the recovering addicts make another huge accomplishment in their lives. Rob & Kim were a close second, and I'm not sure, but I think I heard Rob muttering, "Screw the million, man, I just wanted to skydive." Bama followed up in third, but also made a huge accomplishment in being the first all-female team to finish in the top three...Who woulda thunk it?

I did think the finale was a little anti-climatic, and not all that challenging, but I can't complain about the end result, so I guess I'll call it another successful season of The Amazing Race...Can't wait to see what Hot Boys I'll be cheering for next time around!!

That's a wrap on the Double-Shot Recap Blog. I hope everyone had wonderful weekend, and Happy Monday!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Team Spirit & Camraderie

No, today's Blog is not about favourite Christmas songs (but thanks for the idea, Kathleen - look for that in the near future!!)

Now that I finally have another Friday Night Lights fan on board, here's an FNL update. (Enjoy, Kenny!)

It's been awhile since I wrote about my new favourite show, so here's your catch-up: In recent weeks, Jason figured out that his best friend, Tim, was sneaking around with his girlfriend, Lyla, and in the last episode, he confronted the two of them about it. Lyla left in tears, and Tim left with a black eye. It was good to see Jason fight back, even though he's in a wheelchair. Meanwhile, that new favourite boy of mine, Matt Sarracen, was trying to woo the coach's daughter, Julie, while her parents were encouraging her to steer clear of football players.

So on Tuesday night, poor ol' Tim Riggins was having a rough time. Rumour had spread regarding his black eye, and his teammates suspected he had fought with Jason. Some of the guys visited Street at the rehab centre, and they coerced him into admitting that he suspected something was going on between Tim & Lyla, and that he had punched Tim. Because all the guys are still loyal to their fallen quarterback, they ganged up on Tim. When he arrived home one night, they emerged from the shadows with baseball bats and smashed his truck up while he cowered inside the cab. Then, the next day, while he was trying to fix his truck up, his on-again-off-again girlfriend Tyra showed up and slapped him across the face.

The strange part is this: While I don't approve of what Tim & Lyla did, and I completely understand everyone's anger and resentment over what happened, somehow I still feel very sorry for Riggins. I think he was so lost and confused and scared after Jason's accident, and the only person who understood how he was feeling was Lyla, because she was just as lost and confused and scared. They turned to each other for comfort, and it went too far, but I hope Jason is able to forgive them, because I think they really do regret their secret liasions. They never intended to hurt thim, and they love Jason too much for this to be the end.

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the night was during the football game, when the Panthers were in need of a spark, and the coach threw Riggins back into the game. After all that had happened, one might have thought his teammates would hang him out to dry, but instead, they rallied behind him and they went on to win the game. It was an amazing demonstration of team spirit and camraderie.

Of course, my FNL recap would not be complete without mentioning my boy Matt Sarracen. The boy is so sweet and wonderful. After Julie finally agreed to go out with him, Matt went to his buddy Landry looking for advice on how to impress her. Of course, Landry told him all the wrong things - to be cool, to act like the quarterback, to strutt his stuff. Just when it looked like Julie was ready to ditch his cocky ass, Matt got a call from Landry, who was at Matt's place taking care of his grandmother. You see, Matt's grandmother is sick - while it's never really been explained, it appears she's suffering from Alzheimer's, and with Matt's dad overseas fighting in Iraq, Matt has been left to care for her alone.

Something had gone wrong, and Matt's grandma had locked herself in a closet, and Landry couldn't get her to come out. So Matt and Julie had to go back to his place so that he could calm his grandma down. When Matt heard his grandmother crying in the closet and begging for her dead husband, Matt deepened his voice and pretended he was his grandfather, asking her to come out. Then he sang "Mr. Sandman" to her, twirled her around, and tucked her into bed, all the while still acting as if he was his grandfather.

I'm telling you, this scene just about broke my heart. It was so unsettling and awkward, with Julie and Landry watching it all in disbelief, and seeing the joy in Matt's grandma's eyes when she thought her husband had come back to care for her. And for the viewers there was the realization that this wasn't the first time Matt had to pretend to be his dead grandfather to bring his grandma peace...Absolutely heart-wrenching. To think that one teenage boy has such a huge responsibility, such a burden in his life, but because she's his grandmother, he has no choice but to be there for her. It's no wonder Matt always seems so troubled and nervous about everything. My dear Lord, I adore him...And I think Julie does too, despite her tentativeness. When he kissed her after the game, she ran away, but judging from next week's scenes, Julie won't be running for long.

The other big storyline this week was that Smash took the money his church raised for him and used it to buy stereoids to enhance his performance on the field. Going up against one of his childhood friends in his old hometown, he was feeling the pressure, and had a scare when he had trouble breathing while working out before the game. He ended up telling his sister that he's been taking "uppers", and I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time before Smash's secret comes out, and then there will be hell to pay. We also got a little insight into Smash's life this week, as we learned that the reason his family moved to Dillon was get away from the bad memories in the town where his father died. Smash is a lot like Riggins - there's so many reasons to hate him, but I can't help but sympathize with him. It will be interesting to see what happens next...

This show really is the best new show on TV this year. It's so awesome, I'm already planning to buy it on DVD if it ever comes out. You guys should all check it out!! SERIOUSLY!!

Have a good weekend, gang!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jill's Holiday Special

It's that time of the year again, when the TV schedule is full of Christmas shows and movies - and I tried to sit down and come up with a "Top Ten", but I just couldn't. I love too many of them. I have managed to narrow it down to fifteen of my all-time favourites, so if you get an opportunity to catch any of them, you should. Chances are, many of them are already favourites of yours, too. So grab a cup of hot chocolate, a bowl of buttery popcorn, your coziest blanket, and curl up on the couch to enjoy some holiday magic!!

15. The Polar Express - This computer-animated movie is a recent addition to my holiday line-up of favourites. Tom Hanks is the voice of the conductor of a train taking children to the North Pole, and they run into many crazy adventures and obstacles along the way. I guarantee you, the sound of bells jingling will forever give you chills after watching this movie.

14. A Flintstone Family Christmas - Who doesn't love the Flintstones? It was a noon-hour tradition when I was a kid. In the Christmas special, Bam Bam & Pebbles are all grown up and married with kids of their own, and they return home to celebrate the season with Fred, Wilma, Barney & Betty. I always knew those two crazy stone-age kids were meant for each other!!

13. The Family Stone - I'm not sure this movie was meant to be considered a "Holiday Classic", but because it is set at Christmastime, I'm including it in my list. Starring such big names as Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, and Sarah Jessica Parker, it is the story of a family reunited at Christmas, only to learn that their family is about to change drastically, in more ways than one. Just try not to cry in the last scene. I dare you.

12. American Dreams: JJ's Return - OK, so this is just an episode of a cancelled TV show and it probably shouldn't even be counted, but I've watched it every Christmas for the past three years. It has become one of my holiday staples. The Prior family is dreading the holiday season without their son and brother, JJ, who is missing in the midst of the Vietnam War. When they get the call on Christmas Eve to tell them JJ has been found and will be returning home safely, it just gives you the warm & fuzzies. Plus, JJ's dad gets him the '66 Mustang for Christmas - now that's what every hero deserves!

11. A Garfield Christmas - There's something about the Garfield Christmas special that reminds me of my own family. No, we don't have any crazy pets like Garfield and Odie, but the excitement of Jon and his brother on Christmas morning reflects that of the youthful exuberance with which my siblings and I still greet Christmas morning. Plus, Garfield's gift to Grandma is a touching moment that few cartoons could ever accomplish.

10. Eight Crazy Nights - Adam Sandler's animated movie in the spirit of Hanukkah tells the story of a misguided, troubled young man who is headed down the wrong path until he is taken under the wing of one of the local characters, Whitey, who has dedicated his life to volunteering and helping the children of his hometown. It's got Broadway-style songs, big laughs, and some tear-jerking moments that only Adam Sandler could combine into one festive package.

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas - It's not Christmas without Charlie Brown! It's one of those old cartoons that is on every year, but you just can't miss it. All of the Peanuts gang is preparing for the class Christmas pageant in which they are recreating the Nativity story. And then there's that tree. The Charlie Brown Tree. You know what I mean. Everyone's either got one or at least seen one. It's not Christmas without a Charlie Brown Tree!

8. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The story of Santa Claus in claymation, and narrated by Fred Astaire - who could ask for more? It tracks the origins of Kris Kringle from the time he was an orphan adopted by a family of elves, and how he grew up to bring cheer into the lives of children under the oppressive reign of the Burger Meister, who had banned toys from the town. I never miss it!

7. Mickey's Christmas Carol - It's Disney's take on Charles Dickens' classic story of the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge, who is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, & Future. Mickey stars as Bob Cratchit, with Donald Duck playing the young Ebeneezer, and Goofy as Jacob Marley, and many other Disney characters also appear. It's the only version of A Christmas Carol I've ever been able to sit through. Little Tiny Tim always chokes me up.

6. The Santa Clause - Tim Allen stars as a deadbeat dad who accidentally steps into the Big Guy's shoes and learns how to juggle his new duties with being a good father. It has spawned two sequels, and all three movies are worth a look. You can catch the latest installment, The Escape Clause, in theatres now.

5. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - I'm talking about the original cartoon, not the crappy remake with Jim Carrey. That old Grinch, with a heart that is two sizes too small, disguises himself as Santa Claus and descends upon the Whos down in Whoville with plans to make Christmas disappear. And he almost succeeds, too. But even the Grinch can't hide from the holiday cheer as he realizes Christmas is not just about gifts, food, and Santa Claus - it's about being with the people you love. Just watch that Grinch's heart grow!!

4. Miracle on 34th Street - Christmas just isn't Christmas without watching the original black and white version. Susan is a little girl whose mother does not believe in filling her daughter's head with such silly notions as Santa Claus. So when jolly ol' St. Nick himself befriends Susan, she struggles to convince her mother that Santa really does exist. Doesn't matter how old you are - after watching this movie, you will believe.

3. Frosty the Snowman - It's the classic cartoon that my friends still tease me about. At a sleepover when we were kids, I threw a fit because no one would let me watch it. I argued with everyone that it was tradition - that I had to watch it! To this day, one of them will inevitably joke about the night I made them all watch Frosty. And to this day, I still never miss it.

2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - There's an elf that wants to be a dentist. There's an Island of Lost Toys. There's the Winter Worlock. And there's an outcast reindeer with a glowing red nose. Everyone loves this Christmas special! Rudolph is one of the greatest heroes ever - he saves Christmas by guiding Santa's sleigh through the fog with his bright red schnozz. Who cares about Dasher and Prancer and Comet and Blitzen? Rudolph's the only one with his own theme song!

1. Elf - That's right, folks. Buddy the Elf won my heart a few years ago and climbed to the top of my list of Holiday Favourites. Will Ferrell stars as the bubbly, sugary-sweet Buddy who leaves the North Pole to find his real father in New York City, and along the way he finds a lot of people who need some serious convincing when it comes to the idea of Santa. It's absolutely hilarious, and it will warm the cockles of your hearts as Buddy connects with his new family and teaches an entire city to believe.

So there you have it - my Holiday Special Blog, all wrapped up for you to enjoy! Feel free to mention your Christmas favourites in the comments section and let me know if I missed any! If I wasn't in the Christmas spirit before I started this Blog, just thinking about all those great shows and movies has done the trick now!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's the Zamboni's Fault

What up, dawgs!

Yep. That's my lame attempt at sounding cool today. I like to pretend I'm cool sometimes. Anyways, as you might have already guessed, I have nothing to write about again today. I still want to do my holiday special Blog, but once again, I just don't have the time. You see, the Sens game is starting in just a few minutes, and I'm trying to think of something short & creative to write about, and there's just nothing.

Except for this: Did you know that the Toronto Maple Leafs really are the stupidest team in hockey?? Now, I know I've been trying to get this point across for many years now, and some of you get it and some of you don't, but they really are the stupidest team in hockey. You want to know what that bunch of losers is up to this week? On Saturday night, they were beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 or 4-0 or something like that, and Montreal (God love 'em) came back and tied the game, first sending it to Overtime, and eventually to a Shoot-Out, much to the delight of their hometown crowd at the Bell Centre.

For those of you who aren't familiar with how things work, once a game is sent to a Shoot-Out, the Zambonis come out and make a pass up and down the centre of the ice, removing the build-up of snow from the third and OT periods, clearing it up for the shooters.

Montreal went on to win the game in the Shoot-Out, much to the chagrin of Leaf Nation. (The rest of the world was doing one gigantic happy dance).

So now that bunch of jokers out in T.O. are actually claiming that the Zamboni drivers rigged the Shoot-Out. Like, SERIOUSLY!! Are they absolutely retarded?? Paul Maurice, coach of the Laffs, has apparently stated that the Zambonis did not properly clear the snow from the Montreal end, making it more difficult for the Leaf shooters. Now, I used to like Paul Maurice, but apparently he, too, has been tainted by the Blue & White. It's like they have something in the water there. It turns people stupid. It's too bad, he seemed like a good guy before he stepped behind the Toronto bench. Another one bites the dust.

The really ridiculous part is that the NHL is actually investigating his allegations. I just can't believe it. Even if the Zamboni drivers didn't "properly clear" the front of the Montreal net, does anyone seriously believe that the Leafs would have won the game anyways?? They're such a pathetic bunch of clowns.

Man, I hate the Leafs.

Now that I'm all fired up, I'm gonna go watch my boys pummel the Islanders. (Fingers crossed...)

Have a good day, dawgs!!

Mission: Accomplished

Sorry that it's taken me so long to get the Blog up this morning, guys! It's been a hectic morning, trying to get caught up on my emails and actually trying to do some work.

And to be very honest, I have no idea what to write about today.

Last night, Ricky recommended I write about what a great guy he is or something like that. But then I thought, That's not fair. What about all the other great people who read the Blog? So, my apologies, Ricky, but I just can't write a Blog about you. (But you did get your very own special shout-out, so you're special!!)

Then I thought I'd do a list of my favourite Christmas movies/specials, in keeping with the holiday season, but I really don't have the time this morning to devote to that kind of Blog. It will be coming up someday soon, though, so that's something for all of you wonderful Bloggers to look forward to!

So I guess I'll quickly tell you about my satisfying day of Christmas Shopping yesterday. We started off by hitting Bayshore, and we had lunch at Moxie's, which is the restaurant in the mall if you prefer to skip the craziness of the food court. (That was definitely the highlight of my day. I love that restaurant. If you're there in the next few weeks, you should try the Turkey & Bacon Ciabatta off their holiday menu - simply to die for!) Then we zoomed around Bayshore some more, and I got my glasses fixed for free (nice bonus!)

Around 2 PM, we departed for Michael's, and after a half-hour there, we headed back into Hull for a whirlwind trip around Wal-Mart and Rona. By the end of the day, I had absolutely all of my shopping completed, with the exception of one gift for Mom that I couldn't pick up with her in tow, and another item that isn't available until the week before Christmas. So I'll likely have to make one more shopping trip before the "Big Day", but for the most part, I'm ready to wrap!!

'Tis the Season to be Jolly...Fa la la la la la la la la...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hot Giant Chicks

Anybody else have a boring-ass weekend? 'Cause I did. Nothing exciting happened at all. But last weekend was so busy that this weekend was bound to be a let-down.

So I guess I'll go ahead and re-cap this week's Amazing Race episode while it's still fresh in my memory!

You may recall that the Barbies finished in last place when we last all met at the Pit Stop, but they were given a second chance and marked for elimination in this leg. They are my least favourite team still in the competition, so I was really rooting for their demise tonight.

Teams went winding down the Morrocan mountain roads - way scarier than our local Mountain Road - and that was when Kimberly made the observation that she was not fond of all the dogs in the mountains. Then she said, "Oh wait...They're lambs." Rob then corrected her by saying that they were actually goats. This led to him point out a field of cows and sarcastically ask: "Hey babe...What kind of animal is that?" Definitely one of my favourite moments of the show.

Teams then flew to Barcelona, Spain, with all of the groups teaming up against the Barbies, despite their desperate plea to Tyler & James to let them pass them if it came down to a race between them first place. Pfffttttt! said the Hot Boys. As if!! (Okay, they didn't say that...Then they really would've sounded gay. But that was what they meant). Tyler & James are smart boys, though - they know that when it comes down to a foot race, they can beat Bama with much greater ease than the Barbies. The Barbies must go!!

At the Roadblock, one team member had to find a butcher, take a bunch of camel meat to a café, grind up the meat, spice it up, skewer it, cook it, and eat it. The Hot Boy loved it - he said it tasted like a really good burger. It didn't appear to be that difficult a task. Lyn had to put up with Karlyn yammering away at her to eat faster, and I thought the Sistahs were gonna pound each other over it, but they made it. Kim gagged a few times, but I didn't understand why she was eating the camel to begin with. If I remember correctly, when they were eating the cow lips a few weeks ago, Rob finished much more quickly than Kim, but for some reason, he absolutely refused to eat camel. So Kim was allowed a few gags.

By this point, all the teams were completely flabbergasted to find the Barbies all caught back up to them and chasing the Hot Boys for first. It was pissing me off too.

Somewhere in there, everybody raced around in a big maze. I'm not sure why. At the Detour, teams either had to dress up like giants and parade around Barcelona looking for another giant to give them their clue, or search through a mountain of tomatoes for the clue while being pummeled by locals tossing more tomatoes at them.

The Hot Boys and the Barbies both chose to slug it out in the hot & heavy giant get-ups, while Rob & Kim and Bama went with the tomatoes. Kim had a little freak-out when she started getting hit with tomatoes, and she spent a lot of time screaming at Rob that she wanted to go to the other task. Rob, however, seemed completely oblivious to her shouts of protest. He was far too busy chucking tomatoes at their assailants.

Now, I'm not quite sure what happened next, because I switched over on commercial to Video On Trial over at Much, and I was shocked to see one of the "jury members" was Pete Zedlacher, who performed with Yuk Yuks at the Lions Hall here in Quyon a few years ago. (For those of you who were with me and remember, he was the dude who I bought a DVD from. And he's hilarious). I watched Pete for a few minutes, and by the time I returned to the Race, Rob & Kim were jumping onto the mat at the Pit Stop in first place. I guess Kim must have composed herself enough to find the clue in the tomatoe mountain. Either that, or they made quick work of the giant race! In any case, we got to see the sensitive side of Rob as he broke down in tears - I absolutely loved it. I absolutely love Rob.

Bama found their clue in the tomatoe mountain fairly quickly as well, despite some serious whining by Karlyn, who wanted to bail too. Good thing they perservered. They landed in second place.

So that left my Hot Boys and the Barbies duking it out in their giant outfits for last place. All of the mystery was taken out of the grand finale, though, as they were neck-and-neck, and knowing the Barbies would be suffering a 30-minute penalty no matter what, they were guaranteed to be eliminated. But it was seriously funny to hear one of the hot boys proclaim from beneath his giant's skirt: "I'm a hot giant chick!"

As it turns out, they finished in third, with the Barbies hot on their heels, but it was finally time to say good-bye to the Beauty Queens. And no, girls, we never thought you sat around and played with your tiaras all day.

Can't wait for the finale next week! I'm still rooting for Tyler & James, but I wouldn't mind if Rob & Kim won. But judging from the clips they showed in the teaser for next week, the smiles on the faces of those Hot Boys as they dashed for the finish line were the smiles of a couple of Hot Millionaires!!

One closing note: I'll be absent from the Blogosphere on Monday - I have the day off to do my Christmas shopping, so Mom & I are heading to Bayshore. Hope you all have a great day!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's December!!

Happy December 1st, everyone!

Reasons why today is a happy day:

  • It's Friday
  • It's almost the weekend
  • The Sens won last night
  • It's officially - OFFICIALLY - the Christmas Season
  • They're calling for snow
  • Christmas is only 25 days away (or 24, depending on how you figure it)
  • If you have one of those chocolate Advent Calendars, you get to start it today

Yes, it would appear there are plenty of things to smile about!

I'm just glad it's almost the weekend. I've had a long week. I'm ready for some rest. I thought once Murder Mystery was over, things would return to normal, but I seem to have been in a bit of a tailspin all week long. Not that anything major has happened...Just strangely busy with little things.

I'm looking forward to getting some more Christmas shopping done tomorrow. I still need to plan a day for Bayshore, but Saturday will be another Wal-Mart safari. I have a few ideas for some of the people left on my list, so I should get the majority of it done tomorrow.

Anyways, I hope you all have a lovely December weekend, and maybe there will even be some white stuff on the ground by nightfall!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Stay Tuned

Okay, so my ol' buddy Wilbur (or Wilburgh or Webber or whatever other names you guys would like to call him) emailed me back, very apologetic about the omission of the Murder Mystery story from this week's edition of the Equity. He contacted the editor, and she claims it was an accidental editing error. I guess those things happen, so I won't hold it against them.

Stay tuned...The story will appear in next week's Equity!

So last night I had a pleasant surprise. Upon returning home from work, I noticed there were two extra places set at the table for supper. As it turns out, my Aunt Linda is home for the week from Oakville, so she and my grandmother joined us for dinner. We had a great visit, and Mom and Aunt Linda got into all their spooky little ghost stories that they like to tell. I love sitting around when my mom and my aunts start going over all the little "spiritual encounters" they've had or heard of over the years.

After that, I watched One Tree Hill, and it was an awesome episode. I know that none of you watch it, so I won't bore you with the details, but have I ever told you guys how much I love Chad Michael Murray? The dude is smokin' hot. I really wish there were some Chad Michael Murray's around here.

Anyways, not much else to report on at this point! The Sens are playing Florida tonight (and Sharon, you'll be happy to hear that Ray will be in nets) - and I also have Survivor and Grey's Anatomy on for tonight's schedule. I've already dropped the O.C. from my TV line-up. It's too hard to watch three shows in one night, and I kind of lost interest during the episode when Summer was having her identity crisis.

I hope you all have a jim-dandy day!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Mystery Continues...

That's me in the Murder Mystery! However, an even bigger mystery has unfolded...The whole story is missing from the paper! There's a picture on the front page of Lynn & I with a caption saying See story on page 3...But there's no story there, or anywhere else! I have an email in to Mr. Wilbur McLean seeking an explanation. Don't worry. I'll solve the mystery!!

Gerber's Fresh Start

I confess, when I heard on the radio yesterday that Martin Gerber would be starting in nets last night for the Sens in the game vs. the Carolina Hurricanes, I felt a little bit queasy. While my team has been on a bit of a roll lately, Gerber has been on the bench, taking a back seat to Ray Emery, who has looked poised and strong between the pipes for the past few weeks.

However, a glitch on Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning resulted in a 3-1 loss, giving Coach Bryan Murray the opportunity to rest Emery and once again give Gerber another shot at what was supposed to be his job as #1 goalie for the Sens.

In the papers yesterday, they were talking about how it would hopefully be a fresh start for Gerber, who has been nothing short of disappointing since donning the Red-Black-and-Gold. It would be an opportunity to put behind him all those dismal outings, the soft goals, the blown leads, and all those lost chances. It would be an opportunity to return to the Great Martin Gerber who starred for the Canes for most of last season.

And yet, I wasn't feeling the vibe. I was nervous as hell. The truth is, despite getting a few points in the W column lately, I still think this is a very fragile team, and I had nightmares of Gerber being shaky, losing the game, and returning to that ramshackle, desperate club that we were less than a month ago.

Things didn't start off well. I missed the opening minute of the game, and as I came charging up from downstairs to take my spot on the couch in front of the TV, I realized they were already showing a replay for a goal scored by the Hurricanes.

So much for that fresh start. It sure looked like the same ol' Marty Gerber that I've been used to seeing all year long. Pathetic.

However, after that, a sort of miracle occurred. He actually stopped a few pucks. And within minutes, Patrick Eaves had driven a goal into the Carolina net, evening the score. Yes, there were small but deep breaths of relief all around.

Then, all of a sudden, my Sens of old were back again. They were playing as if it was Ray Emery in nets. Hell, they were playing as if it was Dominik Hasek in nets. He made the big saves. And they made it count on the scoresheet. They were looking like that well-oiled machine that had me dreaming of Stanley Cup victory last season. Perhaps those dreams aren't dead after all.

By the end of the night, Christoph Schubert, Chris Neil, and Mike Fisher had all capitalized, with the final score being 4-1 for Ottawa. Martin Gerber was named first star of the game, and I'm sure there was no one more relieved that the Gerbinator himself. He got his fresh start, and he was successful.

Now let's just hope this continues...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Beauty Queens Make Me Scream

Okay, so I am way behind in my recaps again, but rather than try to catch up on all of them, I'm just going to give the lowdown on the Amazing Race, as it is the one most fresh in my memory. For those of you who enjoy the Survivor & Grey's recaps...Sorry!

I missed last week's episode when we bid farewell to the Cho Brothers, so I was once again a little disconnected from what was happening. The four teams left in the running included: My Hot Boys, James & Tyler; the Barbies, Dustin & Kandice; the Bama girls, Lynn & Karlynn; and Rob & Kimberly, who apparently do not have a team nickname. At least not one I can remember right now.

Teams learned they would be flying to Morraco (I have no clue how to spell that), and despite the Barbies' attempt to swing better flights, they all ended up together in Morraco at the same time. Surprisingly, Bama found their clue first, proving the rest of the teams are severly underestimating these women. The other three teams tried to get directions from people on the streets, and then Rob & Kim and the Hot Boys bolted when a gang of Morrocan teens swarmed the Barbies' car. The girls were fine, though, and after they all found their angel pendants, they headed to the Roadblock, where the gates didn't open until 8 AM the following morning. So they were all deadlocked once again, with a Yield looming.

In a footrace to the Yield, Tyler & James arrived first, followed by Rob & Kimberly, with both teams choosing not to Yield anybody. The Barbies then beat Bama to the mat by a long shot and slapped their picture up on the board, forcing Lynn & Karlynn to tip over the hourglass and wait for the sands of time to run through before they could continue racing. That resulted in two severely pissed off black women sitting their grumbling away and flipping the bird at the Blondes. Can't say I blame 'em.

Meanwhile, in the Roadblock, one team member had to race around a track in a horse-drawn chariot à la Gladiator and snatch flags of a certain colour from overhead. For some reason, this proved a difficult task for my Hot Boy. He had to take an extra loop around to collect his flags, but fortunately, the boys were easily able to catch up with the other teams as they raced to the Detour.

Their choices were to throw clay pots - (and no, that does not mean you get to throw pots and smash them. It means you have to actually make them, on a pottery wheel...very tricky, so no one picked it) - or squish some olives with a big wheel and then scrape the gunk out of the barrel and fill up a bunch of sleeves with the stuff. The Barbies got lost on their way, so the rest of the teams made it there ahead of them, including Bama, who are absolutely amazing with directions. Because there were only 3 stations, the Barbies had to stand back and wait for the other teams to finish. That resulted in two severely pissed off white girls whining and bitching about how life's just not fair. Shut up, bitches!

Tyler & James were the first to make it to the Pit Stop; however, they forgot their angel pendant that they were supposed to bring with them in their car, so they had to make a dash back up the hill to get it. Bama arrived in plenty of time to beat them to the mat, but while they have great directional skills, they really can't run, and Tyler & James blew by them to land in first place after all. Their pendant matched the one worn by the "greeter", so they won something. What, you ask? I have no friggin' clue. Bama stepped in in second place, followed by Rob & Kim in third. I had already figured out that this was a non-elimination leg, so I was not surprised when Phil offered a reprieve to the last-placed Barbies, much to my chagrin. I really thought it would have been nice to see those Beauty Queen Smiles smacked right off their faces.

So with the Race winding down, my favourite team remains the Hot Boys, but if they can't pull it off (and with all the stupid mistakes they've made, I won't be shocked if they don't), I would like to see Rob & Kim take it. They've grown the most on this Race, I think, and Rob's transformation from Bad Guy to Sweetie Pie has been remarkable. Strangely, I grew a respect for Lynn & Karlynn this week, as they overcame the setback of the Yield and perservered to finish in second. I really hope they make it to the Final Three and that the Blondes are sent home first. With them tagged for elimination on the next leg, it would seem a likely possibility.

Well, that was a long one! Cheers, everybody! Have a good day!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It Ain't Me, Babe

Most of you already know by now, but if you didn't get it yet, the big excitement of my weekend was performing in the Quyon Lionettes Murder Mystery. I've had to keep it "on the down-low", as we try to keep the cast as secret as we can. For those of you who were there, I hope you had a good time and enjoyed the show!

Here's a little re-cap of how the murder and everything that came after went down:

This year, the play was set at Nick's Country Bar (which was a huge coincidence, with Nick Matechuck owning Gavan's just down the street - that was one detail of the original script we didn't have to change!) I played Mara Landers, a waitress at the bar. The rest of the cast included: Curtis Hudson as Jack Henry, the bartender at Nick's; Mark Richardson as Dennis Chase, aka Johnny Nash, the bar's entertainer; Kenny Fleck as Alec Blaney, the drunken magician; Adam Bernier as Sean Wells, aka Benny Lloyd, the crooked politician; Lynn Kearns as Chole Belisle, the barfly; Tracy Hamilton as Joy Darby, the bitchy psychic; Erin Hudson as Amber Welby, the snooty best-selling author; Kevin Trudeau as Jordan Woods, the dead guy; and Billy Young as Doug, the ex-football player-turned-private investigator.

If you've ever been to a Murder Mystery, you know how it works - somebody drops dead, the cop does an interrogation of each of the suspects, and then we spend the next four scenes pointing the finger at one another and defending ourselves. Only the murderer is allowed to lie, and the only person who knows who the murderer is is the murderer him/herself.

Of course, there's a little drinking along the way. Or a lot of drinking along the way. I don't know if there were any of us who weren't feeling pretty good by the time the show wrapped. There was even at least one person who doesn't even remember being up there for the last scene. (Not me. I remember being there, even if I was a little unsteady on my feet).

But let me tell you, what a rush! I absolutely love it. Sure, I was nervous as hell beforehand, thanks in large part to the fact that I had to do a brief duet with Mark to kick off the show. (If I ever hear the words It ain't me, babe, no, no, no, it ain't me you're looking for, babe again anytime soon, I might kill myself). But once that part was over, it was all fun and games. The ad-libbing was in full force, and it was absolutely impossible to sit up there and not laugh at some of the stuff the rest of them were coming up with.

So this year, my character was a little more fun to play than the bumbling clairvoyant I had to be last year. I got to do a little line dancing, talk with a twang, make fun of "Johnny", and do a little flirting all at the same time. It will take me a while before I stop greeting people by saying Howdy, y'all!! In the end, Lynn in the role of Chloe was the murderess - never saw it coming. I was floored. She did an awesome job; everyone did! I'm going to miss going to practices and hanging out with the gang - we made a good team.

Today, I've got a hangover and very sore feet from prancing around in my c'boys all night, but other than that, I think we can call Murder Mystery 2006 a success.

But now I really, really have to go to bed.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

It ain't me, babe. No, no, no - It ain't me you're looking for, babe...

Friday, November 24, 2006

"It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas"

My Christmas season has officially begun, folks!

Today is the Mountainview Christmas Party, being held this evening at Pine Lodge. Which means that today, I can start singing Christmas Carols! You see, I made a pact with a few of the guys here in the office after Halloween. They caught me singing "It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas", and I got the feeling that if I kept it up, they'd all be swinging from the ceiling fans by rope before too long. Now, I love the guys here, so I really wouldn't want them to get suicidal over me humming a few little holiday favourites.

That's when we made the pact.

No singing Christmas Carols until the Christmas Party.

And now that day is finally - FINALLY- here!!

Of course, they've already tried to convince me that I can't start singing until I'm actually at the party, but I beg to differ. I don't care if I'm not at Pine Lodge yet. Today is the Christmas Party, and I reserve the right to serenade them all damn day if I feel like it.

I swung through the doors this morning singing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland", and since then I've given renditions of "White Christmas", "Jingle Bell Rock", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". Strangely enough, Pat, Wayne, and Jared have all disappeared from the office. They haven't joined in the merriment. They still may be swinging from the ceiling fans by this afternoon. I really thought that if I sang loud enough, if I oozed enough holiday spirit, that it might warm the cockles of their hearts and put them in a Christmassy mood.

No luck so far. But I hope that by 11 PM tonight, they're all belting out "Jingle Bells" at the top of their lungs. If I have one goal today, it's to turn this bunch of Scrooges into Christmas Carol Singers Extraordinaire!

PS - As many of you know, tomorrow night is "The Big Show". For those of you who will be in attendance - I hope we don't disappoint! Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Best Thing I've Never Seen


Guess what, gang? The Sens won one game. The Sens won two games. And last night, we put together what is called a three-game winning streak!!!

Now, I'll admit, the game 3 win wasn't as pretty as it should have been. We were playing the basement-dwelling Philadelphia Flyers, who are pretty much considered a gimme this year in the NHL. Then, we went and spotted 'em a two-goal lead before the game was barely into the second period.

The game wasn't televised, so at this point, I stomped over to the stupid radio I was listening to in the basement, and shut it off. I couldn't believe it. After all that hard work, beating Buffalo - twice - and the Minnesota Wild, and now here we were, blowing it against the lowly Flyers. I was so frustrated, and I was already dreading the post-game backlash. Fire Muckler! Fire Murray! Trade Alfie! I'm not cheering for this dumb team anymore!! All that angst from a few weeks ago would come flooding back in the blink of an eye, and once again we'd be the Sad-Sack Sens, the most under-achieving team in the NHL.

I sat, stewing for a few minutes, chewing my fingernails and trying to find something good to watch on TV. But there was nothing. So I finally gave in and turned the radio back on.

And lo and behold, Mike Fisher had just capitalized on a powerplay, drawing us within one. I breathed a small sigh of relief.

With 30-some seconds left in the middle frame, Captain Alfie potted another, and we were back to a clean slate with the whole third period ahead of us. Things were looking up again.

I'll be honest - I didn't even listen to the third period, I was watching One Tree Hill. But on a commercial break, I checked in again to find the game in Overtime. With time winding down, I was pretty much convinced we were headed to a shoot-out, when suddenly Dean Brown's annoying voice screamed: ...And he scores!! Wade Redden!!

Music to my ears!

So now we're one game below .500 hockey, and things are finally rolling here in Sens Land.

That game was definitely the best thing I've never seen.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Computer-Free Holiday

Did you guys know that computers suck??

I know, that might seem strange, coming from me, your friendly neighbourhood Blogger. But a computer really is like a man - can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. And that really ticks me off.

This morning, I got up all bright'n'early to head in to work, and upon my arrival, I was met with the news that our Simply Accounting upgrade had essentially backfired. So until Jared could find time to figure out how to fix it, my computer was useless to me. Which is basically like telling me that there's nothing to do. So I got to come home.

Had it been a few months ago, it would have been busy enough around the farm for me to just answer phones and keep myself occupied with manual work. But this time of the year, the phone isn't exactly ringing off the hook, and I keep my basket basically empty at all times, so hence the unexpected holiday.

I've been up to Curves already, and I've spent the last two hours trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my day. Go Christmas shopping? But I still don't know what I'm getting for the rest of the people on my list. Scrapbooking? But I'm not in the mood. Go visit Caden, who is at home sick with my mom for the day? Ah, now there is good idea!

So have fun at work or at school, wherever you may be. And try not to think of me on my computer-free holiday!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Double-Elimination Night, Baby!

I've been falling a bit behind in my re-caps, but I was finally able to watch last week's episode of Survivor yesterday afternoon, so here are my thoughts on what's shaking out on Treasure Island (or whatever the heck it's called).

At the Hot Young Stud camp, Jonathan was trying to prove his worth after narrowly escaping eviction at the last TC. His new tribemates were not as welcoming as he had hoped they would be following his mutinous flop to the other side, so he spent some serious time fishing and taking care of the dirty work around camp. They seemed very grateful for the provisions; however, I get the feeling ol' Johnny boy just doesn't fit in there - perhaps because he never has, nor ever will be, a Hot Young Stud.

At the Reward Challenge, the two tribes were given co-ordinates, then they had to find those co-ordinates on a big compass thingy on the beach. At the appropriate spot, they were to dig up chests containing nautical flags that matched up to a code they were all previously made familiare with to spell the word Victory. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not for the Studs. Jonathan was working with Becky (I think), and Adam was working with Candice. Adam and Candice sat and whined over the way Jonathan and Becky were digging, but when it was their turn, they sure didn't do much better. Then Jonathan and Becky whined about the way Adam and Candice were digging. They didn't even come close - the Whatchamacallits took it in a landslide.

So then the Whatchamas got to go to some big traditional native feast, where the locals boogied around and shouted and they all wore costumes that made them look like big bunches of bananas. They all had a few laughs when two very large native women sandwiched Yul between them and grinded against him. I just thought it was disturbing.

Meanwhile Candice was crying on Exile Island because she's mad the people she likes keep sending her away. like them? Really? That's why you bailed on them? Gimme a break, girlie. The only reason your pissed is 'cause you miss Adam's hotness. Paws off.

Bring on the next challenge, this time for Immunity. Jeff presented a tiny little bottle with an eensy-weensy scroll inside, and said the losing tribe would receive his little gift, but would have to keep it sealed until they got to TC, where they would open it after the vote.

The challenge was another one of those swim-then-solve-the-puzzle competitions. I've come to the conclusion that the Studs might as well not even show up for these ones, with Ozzy the Otter on the Whatchamacallit side - they don't stand a chance against him. The dude is seriously part jungle-animal, part deep-sea-fish or something.

So the Studs lost again. Surprise, surprise. Off to TC we go again. After deciding she offered nothing around camp or in the challenges, the group cut ties with Rebecca. So no more boobie shows for the boys. Such a shame.

Then Jeff finally let "Poverty" crack into the little mystery bottle. And guess what folks? DOUBLE-ELIMINATION NIGHT! I was sure Jonathan's ass would be on the line this time, but apparently Adam had spread the word well enough prior to TC that he had Becky next on his pecking order, and Candice, Jonathan, and "Poverty" sided with him. One has to wonder where that now leaves Nate in the tribe. Should be interesting to see his colourful reaction to what went down this past week - we all know Nate will have one!

Stay tuned next week as things heat up between Adam & Candice. Barf.

Friday Night Poker

Good morning, gang!

Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was quite entertaining. The big highlight was learning to play Poker on Friday night. Well, sort of. I'm not very good at it, and I lost $10, but it seemed like a game I could get good at if I didn't have to fork out cash everytime I wanted to get some practice in.

My fellow card players, all who had played before, ran a few practice hands with me before we had to dig into our pockets, so I was grateful for that. And once we started playing for money, I just figured I'd fold every time unless I had a "sure thing". However, after observing the rest of the group and the plays they were making persuaded me a little more gutsy, and I even tried bluffing. (Once, I was bluffing and I didn't even know it. I was going for a "small straight". Apparently that doesn't count unless it's in Yahtzee. But it worked. I won that hand.) I wasn't all that smart about it, though, and I was the first one out, naturally. That forced me into the role of Dealer. At least, until someone else went out, than I was demoted to Beer Bitch.

So the next day, I asked baby brother Lukey if only two people could play Poker. He said, yeah, certainly, why not? So I asked him what one would do if one had no Poker chips. He informed me that one cannot play without Poker chips. I asked him if, perhaps, I hacked into my piggy bank and used quarters, would that suffice? He said no. I think he could tell where this was heading. But I asked anyways: Please, Luke, if I figure out a way to play without chips, would you help me practice?

His reply?

"I only play Poker for money."

Yep, that's exactly what he said. As if he was some kind of high-roller or something. Some kind of Poker Master. Of course, he was the one who pocketed the pot on Friday night, and nevermind that he owes me $40 - he wouldn't fork it over.

But above all, he neglected his God-given duty to be a kind & supportive brother and help me learn to play.

But ya know what? There are other ways to learn how to play Poker. And I'm gonna figure 'em out. And before you know it, I'm going to be taking that money back from right underneath his nose.

If it's the last thing I do, I'm going to get good at Poker.

And my message to brother Luke is this: Keep yer head up, buddy.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm Baaaaack...

...Well, sort of! Word on the street is that I'm getting my computer back at work tomorrow, so that will be just wonderful. I've felt very out of the loop this week, especially since I haven't had time in the evenings to do any Blogging. I'm glad to hear some of you have also been missing the Blog. Makes me feel wanted!! ;o)

So, okay, the only really relevant thing that has happened to me thus far this week is that the Sens FINALLY won an important game, defeating the Buffalo Sabres, aka The Cream of the Crop, on Wednesday night. I was fully planning on witnessing another loss, so it was a pleasant surprise. Kind of gave me some hope that all is not lost just yet. They still have a little fight left in 'em. But I'm trying not to get too high with the win. It is, after all, only one game. If they don't follow it up with a few more big efforts, it will go down in the books as a fluke, or as simply an off-night for the Sabres. But at least for one night, I went to bed with a little smile on my face.

What else have I done that I can tell you about? Oh yes...Remember on Monday when I was telling my tale of "firsts"? The whole Sunday night rip thing? Well I did it again on Tuesday night - not quite as severe, but again I landed at Gavan's, and while a weeknight appearance is not unheard of, it is rare for me. And I had yet another first. I was informed that it was "Quart Night", and I simply had to get a quart. So I did. I don't ever recall actually going up to the bar and ordering a quart. Ever. For those of you fearing that I've become an alcoholic or something equally alarming, don't fret. Once "the mystery is solved", my social life will once again go back to being practically non-existant, and these uncharacteristic adventures to the local watering hole will just dissappear, I can assure you of that.

Anyhow, I really must be heading off to bed. My apologies, once again, for being a bad Blogger this week - I promise a return to normal next week, as long as my computer doesn't decide to get sick again. Thanks for your patience and for coming back to check things out, even when it's been so quiet!

Have a GREAT weekend, gang!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday Night Rip

My apologies to the faithful readers out there for no Blog today (for those of you who actually had to work today). But would you believe the reason there was no Sunday night post was because I went on a rip? I did. I really, really did.

OK, it wasn't a true rip. But I did have 5 beers in total in a rather short span of time, which gave me a pretty good buzz, and I even drank a 50. I've never drank 50 before that I can recall.

And I was at Gavan's. On a Sunday night. I don't know if I've ever been at Gavan's on a Sunday night.

You see, some of the people I was with last night did not have work today because of Remembrance Day, so I pretended I didn't have work today, but I really did. I was glad I prentended, though, because it was fun. Until 7:00 this morning when I woke up with a mini-hangover, and I think it was well after noon before I quit burping beer. That wasn't so pleasant. I don't think I've ever burped beer at work before, either.

So my Sunday night rip brought to a close a pretty good weekend.

Friday night I watched the Sens whoop the Pittsburgh Penguins. Poor Ricky. However, I'm really not in any position to be gloating, so we'll just leave it at that.

Saturday I got a good start on my Christmas shopping in the zoo that is otherwise known as Wal-Mart in Hull. Saturday night, I visited with the Beers, and Matthew met me in the living room wearing his Leafs tuque & mitts. But I can't be mad at Matthew, 'cause he's so darned cute. It's not his fault Graham has brainwashed him. And I tried really hard not to watch the Leafs whoop the Habs, so I focussed on chatting with Sara and ignored Graham's little jabs regarding the updates they kept flashing of the Sens losing to Boston.

On Sunday, following church, my family went to the restaurant for breakfast, where Caden toddled around, impressing all the diners with his fine footwork. Then Mom, Kara & I went to a shower for Mandy, aka the future Mrs. Ralph McColgan. And I reminisced of how I once dreamed of being the future Mrs. Ralph McColgan. I then stopped in at the baby shower being held just up the road for Stacy, and then I went back to her place to look at all the gifts she received. It really made me want to get married and have a baby. Like, soon. I know I've pretty well got the word out there already, but if anyone knows any single, semi-handsome, somewhat-intelligent men out there, please send 'em my way.

A few short hours later I was sitting at Gavan's, drinking a 50 and pretending I didn't have to work today.

I'll try to do a quick re-cap of Survivor and Grey's for you guys, but I watched them so long ago I barely remember what happened.

On Survivor, Adam was hot, Candice & Jonathan bailed ship on the Watchamacallits to join up with the Studs, who then proceeded to lose both the Reward & Immunity Challenge, and Brad took the fall at TC. That leaves Adam & Nate as the only remaining Studs, but because of my recent revelation that Brad is quite possibly gay, I guess he didn't really count anyways.

Grey's was a somewhat disappointing episode, considering it had loads of potential. The men of Seattle Grace went camping, but McDreamy whined the whole time, Alex & George had a slap-fight, and Joe the bartender's boyfriend hit his head on some rocks when he got in the way of the catfight between Alex & George. Other than that, there wasn't much to write home about.

And I would really love to give you an Amazing Race re-cap, but I missed the first chunk of it last night when I stumbled in at 11:20, and then I watched the rest in a buzzed state, so details are kind of fuzzy. My boys were in first, but I don't even think it ended with a Pit Stop - one of those Keep Racing! legs.

So that about puts a wrap on the weekend rundown! Hope everyone had a good one!