Monday, October 30, 2006

And then, Tyler & James Got Lost...

Sunday night's episode of the Amazing Race was a bit of a blur for me, as we were in the midst of some commotion here at the Young house. Just about the time the show started, Kara, Chris, & Caden arrived to spend the night, because they had no power at home. And someone was a little cranky and did some heavy-duty howling. Then someone got a little tired, and I had to crank the volume down wayyyyy low so that he could sleep.

But here's a re-cap of what I did catch:

With my boys Tyler & James departing last for this leg of the race, they had some serious ground to make up. At first, it seemed hopeless, as all the other teams effortlessly made it to the Roadblock, while Tyler & James travelled around in circles and got lost. Apparently, following directions is not one of their strong suits.

The alliance of Kentucky, the Bama girls, and the Cho brothers adopted a new and annoying group name for themselves - as if their individual team nicknames aren't annoying enough - and they shall henceforth be known collectively as the Six Pack. I don't know why this bunch get under my skin, but they do. Truthfully, I think Dave & Mary are sweet people who probably deserve the money more than anyone. The Cho brothers are down-to-earth guys who are taking the time to enjoy the experience, and I admire them for that. The only team I truly detest in that alliance is the Bama girls, and they've tainted the entire group for me. They seem to have bickered with everyone who isn't in the Six Pack, and they kicked off this episode by getting into a rather animated argument with my hot boys. Don't mess with my men, ladies, or you'll have to deal with me!

Back to the race...At the Roadblock, teams had to swim out to some boat and get their next clue from the skipper or someone like that. Fortunately for Tyler & James, who arrived at the Roadblock long after all the other teams had jumped into the water, some of the teams weren't very masterful in the art of swimming, so they were able to make some quick ground right off the bat.

I'm not sure what happened between that and the Detour, (although I'm pretty sure Tyler & James got lost again), so I'm going to skip right ahead to what happened at the Detour. Teams had to chose between digging through some big mountains of salt for a salt shaker, or they had to take a boat ride out to an island where they would search for a sail for their boat with the help of a very vague-looking map.

(Oh, and by the way, if you're wondering what part of the country the kids were in this week...I have no flippin' clue. Wherever they were, the people seemed to be pretty fluent in English).

Beauty Queens Dustin & Kandice chose to search for their sail, while the rest of the teams opted to dig through piles of salt. However, they quickly discovered that while there were many shakers hidden in the snow-like heaps, most had pepper in them instead of salt. It didn't take long for most of the teams to change their minds and head for the island in search of sails; only Dave & Mary decided to stick with the task of digging through salt. Until Mary freaked out and told Dave she was going to do the other task, with or without him. But by this time, they were already well behind.

On the island, you'll never guess what happened. Tyler & James got lost. Again. However, they already had enough of a lead on the rest of the group - with the exception of the Barbies who were already on their way to the Pit Stop - that they were able to gain some ground anyways. But first, they flopped in some deep hay in front of the sails. Ah, yes, a good ol' fashioned boobie-trap. See, this year's Amazing Race is so lame, they've stooped to adding in these silly little obstacles that have the racers giggling rather than crying out in frustration. It really hasn't been a very interesting show so far, except that I get to see two hot boys for an hour every week.

Tyler & James hit the mat in second place, effectively returning them to the upper echelon of contenders for the $1 Million dollar prize. They were followed by Rob & Kimberly, the Bama girls, the Cho brothers, and in last place came Dave & Mary. I was shocked, however, when Phil offered them a reprieve for the second time! Definitely didn't see that coming again so soon! So next week, Dave & Mary will once again be marked for elimination and will have to finish in first or else be whacked with a 30 minute penalty. Those people must have horseshoes up their butts or something.

It's going to get interesting to see what happens when the Six Pack are forced to turn on one another. We got a glimpse of that this week, with the three teams duking it out in the bottom half of the rankings. With the Cho brothers in the lead of the Six Pack, Dave & Mary were following, just ahead of the Bama girls, and Mary was heard saying, "When we get there, we're gonna wait on the girls" - I don't think any team has ever held back to purposely tie for last place with another team. I would have loved to see how that would have been dealt with. However, it never happened, because the Bama girls jumped ahead when the Chos and Kentucky both stopped to get directions. And there was no way they were going to wait for anybody to catch up to them. As much as I dislike those girls, at least they understand that they're in a race! You're not there to make friends, people! Come on!

My only other observation was that, while my early impression of Rob was that he was a complete dickhead, I really do think I might have been wrong about him. He did flip out a little this week, but I'm starting to think he has reason to get frustrated with Kim. She can be a real ditz when she wants to be. You'd think at times she was deliberately trying to make him spaz out. He's a pretty strong guy for not trying stick her back up on a horse and directing her into another tree branch.

So that's enough yapping about the Race. I hope everyone has a spooky Halloween with lots of tricks & treats!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Friday Night In Safe Hands

My neighbourhood is a pretty small little section of town - just a cluster of homes in the suburbs of Quyon. Not much happens around here; it's usually pretty quiet.

But we do have a claim to fame, and that would be the band In Safe Hands, featuring Randy Frobel on vocals and guitar, Troy Cluff on lead guitar, Tyler Coté on bass, and Troy Kilbride on drums. Two of the current members (and one ex-member) of the punk-rock band originate from the Stanton Road area, and as far as I know, band practices are still held at the Frobels' house just around the corner & up the road. Oh, and "band manager" (and rockstar-wannabe), Bucky Fleck, is also a resident of Stanton Road.

I still feel a bit nostalgic when I get the opportunity to hear the guys play. It doesn't seem like all that long ago I was paying fifty cents to get into Patti & Randy's garage to watch the guys do their dance routines to Backstreeet Boys songs. Wait, that's not being fair to the Troys. The only In Safe Hands members who ever partook in those performances were Randy & Tyler. But I do remember Randy's mom Doris warning me, "You know, someday these guys could be famous, and you can say you saw it all begin right here in this garage."

Alright, so they're still far from the big time, but I must admit, they've come a long way. The last show I went to, they were very much an amateur band playing to a very small crowd at the RA Hall in Shawville. Then, about two years ago, I was invited to sit on a few practices at the Frobels', and they were working on some new tunes for their upcoming album. Since then, that album has come to fruition (and it's a professional, unique, and thoroughly enjoyable 5-song compilation of original In Safe Hands material), and the guys have continued to play shows in the Ottawa area. Friday night's Halloween extravaganza featured three other bands, with In Safe Hands as the headliners, and all proceeds going towards getting In Safe Hands back in the studio to record a new album for their growing legion of fans.

I arrived on the scene at the Lion's Hall shortly after 8 pm, narrowly missing the opening set from Harmonic Distortion, a band based out of Shawville, who give credit to In Safe Hands for giving them the inspiration to form their group and helping them get gigs. Then, a new band called Hopeside took the stage, and they were decidedly pretty bad. However, as Randy explained to me later on, they were once an up-start band that needed a few breaks, and there were bands who gave them a stage to gain experience and work out their kinks, which is exactly what the kids in Hopeside need right now, so kudos to the guys for allowing them to do so. And they did do a wretched cover of Hinder's "Lips of an Angel", and although it thoroughly sucked, at least I could sing along to a song I knew. (That's a rarity for me at one of these shows. Would you believe I'm not much of a punk fan? I like Fallout Boy and Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World. That's about as punk as I get.)

The next band to take the stage was a group called Lights Over Arkham (I think. I prefer to call them the Knights of Columbus, 'cause it's easier to remember). There were a few handsome boys in this band, once I looked past the punk attire and weird hair-do's. To be fair, they very much blended in with the crowd. I was the one sticking out like a sore thumb. Aside from a few parents, I was likely the oldest person there, and I just don't own any clothes suitable for blending in at an In Safe Hands show. Nevertheless, these boys were kinda cute. And their showmanship was excellent. Their banter between songs was hilarious, as they encouraged the young crowd to get their butts to the back to buy In Safe Hands merch and help get the boys back in the studio. And then one of the guys said, "But if you don't like their shirts, and you don't like their songs, just hand them fistfuls of cash, okay?" I wasn't a huge fan of the few songs they played, but they seemed like genuine guys with good hearts. Plus, I think the lead singer (who looked like Chris O'Donnell with bushy hair) was making eye contact with me. That set my heart a-flutter.

And then, it was finally time for the long-awaited set from In Safe Hands. In the spirit of Halloween, the boys had dressed as an '80's hairband, donning big wigs, bandanas, tight jeans & vests. Tyler wins the big prize for most daring costume - aside from his spiky black wig, he managed to wriggle into a pair of skin-tight leather pants and he went bare-chested beneath a shiny black leather jacket. For those of you who remember that I had a crush on Tyler not all that long ago...yes, this costume did delight me.

Thanks to having my copy of their CD "And the Memories Last Forever" in regular rotation in the Rav, I was able to sing along to a few of their songs, including "For Everything You'd Say" and "The Last Song". It was weird, because I was there to witness those songs being born a few years ago at their practices at Frobels'. Now those songs are staples at their live shows, with many of the kids in the crowd singing every word. I was also excited to hear a few of the new tracks that they're going to have on their new album. Quite appropriate for their wardrobe selections, they closed out their set with a high-energy, crowd-pleasing cover of Motley Crue's "Kickstart Your Heart". (And it was great to see the guys of the Knights of Columbus standing on the sidelines near the front, leading the crowd in the over-the-head-clapping thing).

I may be a bit biased, but of all the bands I heard play, In Safe Hands were definitely the most polished and professional, and they have a radio-friendly sound that really resonates. They're not quite mainstream, but I don't think they want to be. That being said, I can see why they've gained respect on the local music scene, and while they may never be a huge hit, I think they'll only garner more popularity with their upcoming disc and more shows in the Ottawa area.

I also truly admire the fact that this show was an all-ages alcohol-free event. It allowed many younger kids to attend - including my little neighbours Brittany & Cowan - and gave them something exciting to do on a Friday night. In Quyon, there's not a whole lot of excitement for the kids who are too young to get into Gavan's (and even then, calling it "excitement" is a bit of a stretch). Many of the kids came in costume, and the hall was decorated for Halloween, which added to the atmosphere. I was one of the lucky winners of a bucket of candy, and I also coughed up $15 for one of the new In Safe Hands t-shirts. Overall, I definitely had a good time & I was really glad I went.

Check 'em out on-line:

Friday, October 27, 2006

Battle of Ontario: Round 4

It's going to be hard to re-cap the Sens game last night, seeing as how I was only able to catch the third period, and by then the Sens were in mid-ROMP!! ...But I can't just let it slide by without commenting on what I did see.

Of course, I was conducting Church Movie Night in my basement with my mom, the minister, and my Aunt Mona. Trust me, it was all I could do not to tell them all to go home 'cause I had a hockey game to watch!! With all the hype surrounding this game, I was sure I was missing possibly the most exciting game of the year. And it's still only October.

So I set up a system with my dad and Luke - stomp once for an Ottawa goal, stomp twice for a Toronto goal. It took awhile, but when they started stomping, they didn't stop. You would have thought they were dancing up there or something.

They reported back to me afterwards that in the first 10 minutes of the game, Ottawa ran Darcy Tucker steady, which did my heart good. God, I hate the little puke-face. Apparently there was a little scare after Ottawa went up 3-0, when T.O. answered back with 2 goals, but after that, the Dany Heatley Show began, as he pumped in a hat trick to send Ottawa on its merry way to victory.

The third frame was actually quite boring. With the score 6-2, the game was out of reach for the Laffs, and the Sens were on "coast mode". Jason Spezza did score a beauty - after waiting and waiting, he was almost on the goal line before snapping one in from an impossible angle.

So the night ended with a 7-2 score for the Sens, and according to the boys, there were no fights in the game, although if Chris Neil had had his way, he would've tangled with Mother Tucker right off the opening face-off. But the little twerp really is a chickenshit, so he ran the other way.

And I'd like to know how come I'd never heard of this Joe Corvo guy until my team picked him up - 1 goal, 4 assists last night, and man, is he fitting in nicely! My only great concern right now is that Wade Redden has yet to show up for this season, and he left the game last night with a "lower body injury" (which, in Sens-speak, means he pulled his already-tender groin.) All the goals in the past 3 games, and all he has to account for himself is one assist. I have faith that he's going to pull through this personal slump and establish himself as our #1 defenceman; he just needs a little time.

I'm so glad to have my team back. They really did give me a scare those first few weeks, but it appears the slump is officially over, and all it took was a few nice romps over the Devils & the Leafs to get us back in SENATORS MODE.

What a relief!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jillian's Halloween Treat

I've had a love/hate relationship with scary movies for a very long time. It started when we were kids, and around Halloween my dad would take us to St. Laurent's Video Store to rent our traditional favourite - Disney's Halloween Treat. It was a series of snippets of Disney villains in action, a few short films of Donald Duck and Co. running into ghosts, and then the feature presentation of The Legend of Sleepy Hallow. It was a cartoon, but I never could watch the whole way through. About the time that hawkish Ichabod Crane started his venture into the woods, I would shut off the VCR, leap off the couch, and literally fly up the stairs to safety.

The trend has remained the same. To this day, I watch scary movies through the cracks between my fingers with hands over my eyes, wishing I'd never gotten into this mess, and lying in bed afterwards thinking every shadow in my room is a ghoul, monster or ghost.

In the spirit of Halloween, I'm going to count down my top ten favourite scary movies. You may start going through the list and wonder where most of the classics are, such as The Exorcist, Halloween, or Psycho. I either haven't seen them, or I saw them so long ago that I can't remember them. Most of my picks probably wouldn't earn many stars from the critics, but they are stand-outs in my mind nonetheless! So here we go...

10. Idle Hands - This may be the silliest choice on the list, so that's why I put it way back at #10. With Devon Sawa starring as the lazy stoner Anton whose hand is suddenly occupied by the Devil himself, this movie may have held more laughs than scares, but it did bring to life the saying: "Idle hands are the Devil's plaything". Scariest Scene: At the very beginning, as Anton's parents are going to bed, when his mom turns off the light and lies back on her pillow to find the words I'm under the bed glowing on the ceiling.

9. Signs - M. Night Shylaman's alien invasion story had Mel Gibson playing the role of a former minister, raising his children with the help of his brother following his wife's tragic death. Suddenly, there are crop circles appearing in their corn fields, and before long, strange creatures from outer space are moving in on the family. The movie played with the fear of being trapped, isolated in your own home with no one to help you but yourself, trying to protect yourself against an unknown evil. Plus, it is one of the big reasons why corn fields creep me out. Scariest Scene: Joaquin Phoenix's character is sitting in the closet watching the news coverage of the invasion, and they show a home video taken at a Brazilian child's birthday party. The kids are all screaming and pointing, and suddenly the alien walks across the screen. Just try not to jump. I dare you.

8. Pet Sematary - From horror master Stephen King comes the story of a young family who move in near a burial ground for the neighbourhood kids' pets killed on the highway. However, an elderly neighbour lets them in on a secret - beyond the Pet Sematary is a place where things, once buried, can return to life - except they're not quite normal. It's a deep question, one I've often pondered. If you lost someone you loved, and you knew there was a way to bring them back, would you do it even if you knew they might not return the same? Even if you knew there was a chance they could return in the form of evil itself? Scariest Scene: When baby Gage returns from the dead and is hiding in neighbour Judd's bedroom. Judd follows the sounds of Gage's sweet giggles into the room, and when he sits down on the edge of the bed, the baby's hand reaches out and slits the backs of Judd's ankles with a scalpel.

7. I Know What You Did Last Summer - With an all-star teen cast including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Ryan Phillipe, the movie told the story of a group of friends who accidentally kill a man and after disposing of the body, they make a pact to never speak of it again. That is, until the next summer when they start receiving messages that someone knows what they did. And that someone won't rest until they have paid for their crime. Scariest Scene: When Jennifer Love Hewitt is running from the killer and locks herself inside a cooler full of ice. As she slides around amongst the ice cubes, she discovers the bodies of all of her dead friends and lets out a blood-curdling scream with each discovery.

6. Carrie - Another classic from Stephen King, this film from the '70's stars Sissy Spacek as the introverted oddball Carrie, who is slowly realizing she has telekinetic abilities. Carrie's classmates plan a vicious prank on her at the prom, and when she's crowned Queen, they douse her in pig's blood, causing her horrifying powers to come full force as she destroys the entire school and burns it to the ground with all the students still inside. Scariest Scene: Obviously, the whole climatic burning-of-the-school scene was pretty traumatic, but for me the scariest scene was right at the end, when one of Carrie's only friends is visiting her gravesite. Suddenly Carrie's hand reaches up out of the ground and grabs hold of the mourner, pulling her down. Holy heebie-jeebies.

5. An American Haunting - The most recent scary flick I've seen, it recounts the tale of the only case in American history where a spirit was blamed for the death of a man. Based on the Bell Witch legend, a family from the late 1800's is bombarded by a spirit in their home, believed to have been sent to torment them by a neighbouring witch who had a dispute with John Bell over land. It's one of the most powerful ghost stories I've ever heard of, and knowing there were hundreds of eye-witnesses who actually documented the poltergeist's shenanigans makes it all the more creepy. Scariest Scene: When young Betsy Bell awakens to see her quilt being inexplicably pulled off her by an unseen being, then an impression of the edge of the bed indicates that the ghost has sat down beside her. The ghost then grabs her by the hair, yanking it and then dragging her by her hair across the room before suspending her in mid-air and slapping her face repeatedly.

4. Frailty - A low-budget film starring Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey that tells the story of a single father raising his two boys in a quiet suburban setting. One night, the father is visited by an angel of God, and he believes the angel told him to carry out God's will by killing all the people who have sinned. When he starts bringing his boys along for the gruesome chores, it becomes increasingly disturbing. Ending with an unexpected twist that will leave your mouth hanging open, it definitely reaches it's viewers on a psychological level and leaves you with a great many questions to think about. Scariest Scene: When Bill Paxton's character drags his two boys into the dungeon he has created to carry out his disgusting deeds, and then attempts to force the eldest boy to kill a man with an axe. When he chickens out, he grabs the axe from him and murders the man with the two boys watching in horror only a few feet away.

3. Halloween:H20 - This movie takes place 20 years after the original, but if you've never seen the first Halloween, you don't have to - the opening credits fill us in with the entire back-story. Laurie Strode faked her own death to escape her terrifying past of battling her murderous younger brother, Michael Myers, now an inmate at an institution for the mentally insane. Starting out fresh, she is now the headmistress of a private school where she has managed to keep the secret of her deadly brother from her son, John (played by Josh Hartnett - major bonus!) But now it's Halloween, and Michael has escaped, and guess where he heads first?? Scariest Scene: John and his girlfriend, played by Michelle Williams, are running from the knife-wielding Michael, and he suddenly lunges out of the bushes and grabs John's girlfriend by her pretty blonde hair.

2. Scream - It took the slasher genre to new levels and introduced a whole generation to horror. A town is hit with a string of murders, and the white-masked cuprit seems determined to claim it's next victim in a teenage girl named Sydney. The movie was a smash success that spawned two more installments to Sydney's story, but none of them matched the whodunnit suspense of the original. Plus, it inspired me to write the jingle "Was it Stewey? Was it Dewey? Oh, I just don't know who-ey killed the whole cast of crew-ey of Screaaaaaaam! AH!" right on the spot while watching it for the first time. Genious, I tell you. Simply genious. Scariest Scene: When Sydney is in the school bathroom, and she gets the feeling the killer is in there with her. And then in the mirror she sees a pair of black boots slowly step down off the toilet seat to be seen below one of the stall doors.

1. The Sixth Sense - Bruce Willis stars as Malcolm Crowe in M. Night Shylaman's break-out sleeper hit, playing a psychiatrist who is trying to help a troubled young boy. Finally, Malcolm is able to get Cole to let him in on his secret: The kid sees dead people. They're everywhere. Oh yeah, now that's what you call chilling! The movie had one of the most dramatic, unexpected twist endings in cinematic history. I remember leaving the theatre thinking, "Dude, I gotta see that again." It's already gone down in history as one of the greatest ghost stories ever. Scariest Scene: Cole awakens at night and senses that he's not alone. He jumps into the tent he has constructed as his safe haven in his room, only to find the ghost of a little girl waiting there for him. Everyone in the theatre screamed. I still scream when I watch it.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Final Destination, Urban Legend, Silence of the Lambs, Se7en, The Hills Have Eyes, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Blair Witch Project, Stir of Echoes

So on All Hallow's Eve, if you get the urge to scare yourself silly, just watch one of these flicks, and I guarantee you'll have trouble sleeping that night.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Go Camel Go!

A few days late, but here's a re-cap of Sunday's episode of The Amazing Race.

With the last leg being a non-elimination leg, it left us still with 7 teams competing for the $1 Million grand prize: dating couple Peter & Sarah, dating couple Rob & Kimberly, models/recovering addicts/hot boys Tyler & James, friends Lyn & Karlyn, beauty queens Dustin & Kandice, brothers Erwin & Godwin, and coalminer and his wife Dave & Mary. Having finished last in the non-elimination leg, Dave & Mary were told they had to finish first this leg or else they would suffer a thirty-minute penalty that could prove to be costly in this close race.

The teams kicked it off by learning they would be flying from wherever the hell they were to Kuwait. In one of Phil's special little twists, they weren't given a written clue - just a cellphone (or Blackberry? not sure...) with a short video message from that silver-tongued devil himself instructing them to find some towers that were shown to them. Hmmm...How would they possibly figure this out? Oh yeah. The Internet. Or ask someone. Or look it up in a book. Gee, now that was hard, eh guys? Duhhhhhh!!

After teams found the location of the towers in Kuwait City, they had to ride the elevator to the top, and await for it to open at 11 am, which left all the teams logjammed together once again. After being allowed in to get their clue, they were given the option between a Roadblock or a chance at the Fast Forward. Dave & Mary had no choice - they had to go for the Fast Forward. The front-leading teams at the time were Peter & Sarah, Dustin & Kandice, James & Tyler, and Rob & Kimberly, and they all opted for the Roadblock. It dictated that one team member must climb an outer ladder up the side of one of the towers where they would retrieve a satchel of puzzle pieces that they had to put together back on the ground to discover the location of their next clue.

Despite their strong alliance with the Cho brothers and the Alabama girls, Dave & Mary clearly stated that no one was going to roll over and give them $1 Million, and they'd have to work hard and earn it. Apparently, they were wrong, though, because Erwin & Godwin purposely helped them get away from the towers and then told them that they weren't going to challenge them for the Fast Forward. Huh?? I mean, I like those guys - they seem like genuinely sweet people, who are all about the experience and not the money, but are they stupid?? The move left them in last place, and with the two of them fearing heights, it seemed like they were doomed.

The challenge once again proved quite easy for everyone, except for Erwin, who had to pep-talk himself through it, but he did make it. Back on the ground, Kimberly struggled with her puzzle, but I was extremely proud of Rob for not roaring at her. He seems to have really learned to control himself, and I'm liking him more and more each episode. And he's definitely getting cuter. The Barbies, the Hot Boys, and Peter & Sarah made quick work of their puzzle, and conveniently, there was a completely bilingual man nearby who told them what street their puzzle told them to go to.

Meanwhile, Dave & Mary were at the Fast Forward, and I still have no idea what exactly they had to do. They got all dressed up in astronaut suits and stood near a big fire. Then they got to go to the Pit Stop. Now that was difficult.

After racing around trying to screw each other up while looking for their next clue in a row of shops, teams were presented a Detour. They either had to fill up ten bags of camel feed in the hot desert sun and pile them on a pallet, or use a voice-controlled robot camel jockey and race a camel 100 yards or something like that. Is it just me, or are some of the challenges just ridiculous? Neither of these activites were difficult. Okay, so maybe working in the hot sun is tiring, but it didn't seem to be much of a challenge filling the feed bags (except for the Barbies, who missed the part where they had to fill their bags to a certain level, so they had to do some re-filling). The camel racing one was absolutely retarded. They had to strap this robot onto the back of a camel, then shout into a walkie-talkie to get the camel to run. It didn't matter what they shouted: "Go, Camel!" "Giddy-up!" "Sens Rule!" Whatever, it didn't matter, those camels just got up and lurched off and ran like the wind. Sooooo tough.

Once again, though, my hot boys did their best to make a mess of it. They got lost looking for the feed bag challenge, and ended up racing the camel, but by then, almost everyone else had completed their tasks. Fortunately enough, Peter & Sarah had a complete meltdown, as they argued steady and also got lost. They thought they had gotten lucky upon accidentally coming across the arrow to one of the challenges, only to discover they had landed at the Fast Forward, which was already long gone. They turned up on the mat in last place, where the Philiminator put the kaibosh on their Amazing Race dreams.

I think that's the first time I've seen a couple get tossed from the race where they both stated that they no longer wanted to be in a relationship with each other. Usually, no matter how much fighting and ridiculousness that goes on, at the end of the day they say they love each other and the race showed them how strong they are as a couple, blah, blah, all that mushy bullshit. Apparently not so for Peter & Sarah. Good for her - he was an inconsiderate, arrogant asshole, especially in regards to her physical disability. She'll be far better off without him!

So the Hot Boys finished in 6th place for the second week in a row. They'd better get their act together next week or I could be losing my favourite team! I have no idea how they're losing to teams like Erwin & Godwin or Lyn & Karlyn, or even Dave & Mary. Hopefully their luck will change next week!

Have a good day everyone!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The End of an Era

We're here for a good time,
Not a long time.
So have a good time -
The sun can't shine everyday.

It was a date I'd had circled on my calendar for a while now - a night that I was both looking forward to and dreading all the same.

The last night of Steve Agnew & Branded at Gavan's.

The last night of Steve Agnew & Branded ever.

I've had "Steve Agnew weekends" circled on my calendar for about four years now. We just happened to be at Gav's one night when they were playing one fateful winter night, and a group of us went up and starting talking to the guys during one of their breaks. They were so funny and friendly that they won me over right on the spot.

Okay, so I had a little crush on the bass player at the start. Who didn't? Chris was buff and hot. I got over it, though (after discovering he had a wife, and a's a long complicated story). After moving past the little schoolgirl crush that I had, it didn't take long to start thinking of all the guys - Steve, Rob, Chris, and Quentin - as friends. Maybe not friends I saw very often. And I only spoke to them basically at Gavan's. But they all had warm personalities that made me feel as though they actually were glad to see us and that they really did want to know what we'd all been up to here in the little town of Quyon.

For awhile, we "chased" the band - we went to McCann's Pub in Arnprior, Finnegan's in Renfrew, and even to some anniversary weekend in Campbell's Bay to see the guys. We weren't groupies - just fans who had a great time listening to them play and dancing up a storm. The "chasing" ended quite a while back, but we still made sure to head out to Gav's when the guys were in town. The past four years have held many memories and great times. A lot of things have happened in the past four years. We've all seen big changes in our lives. Somehow, though, the band was always one of the "highlights".

I still can't believe Saturday night was the last time we'll ever see them all together on stage again.

There were a few special moments from Saturday night. I missed seeing the "last clap" - in the Alabama medley, when the guys put their hands over their heads and clap to the beat - because I was deleting pictures off my camera. But I didn't miss hearing Rob singing the back up parts of "Here for a Good Time". (He pretended at first that he had to fix his mic, but he eventually pulled through and belted 'er out). It was also funny to watch all the wives and girlfriends take the stage as the guys challenged them to play a song. (Quentin's wife did a little drumroll, but the other ladies just hung those guitars around their necks and looked lost.) I got in a few good pushes on Rob's pedals. Then Sara took one last picture of me sitting on the stage. Sara and I even danced like Meg & Roxanne from American Dreams - just like the old days.

For me, a part of the night I'll always remember was during their last set when Steve invited me on-stage to sing with them. I've often grabbed the mic and shouted into it on the dance floor, but never got up on-stage. When I made Chris hand me down the mic this time, Steve asked me to get up with them, and I jumped at the chance. (Yes, I've got that little part of me that still wants to be a star. Fueled by the rye and having lost all judgment, I didn't hesitate. Someone really should have stopped me!) After a botched attempt at singing "Picture" where I completely blanked on the words, I then gave a really pathetic performance of "Free Fallin". There was no applause, there were no raucous shouts of Encore! The only shout I heard was Woermke yelling, "Jill, you can't sing!"

But it didn't matter to me. I got to be up there with Steve Agnew & Branded on their last night at Gavan's. Their last night ever. I had a blast.

When the last notes of "You Shook Me All Night Long" finally faded away, and the lights came on, we said our good-byes to Chris & his girlfriend Jodie, and asked them to say bye to the rest of the guys (who had disappeared outside or into the bathroom or something), and that was it. It was all over.

So many fun nights. All the dancing and drinking and hooting and hollering and letting loose and having fun. All of the jokes and singing and carrying on with the guys. All the times we helped to tear down (Sara wrapping chords with Chris while I had to lug around big amps or something with Steve). All the laughter and the memories.

Forgive me if I sound a bit melodramatic, but it really is the end of an era.

I really am going to miss those Branded Monkeys.

Friday, October 20, 2006

See Ya, Cao Boi & Christina

Today, it's gonna be a little Blog, folks.

For one thing, Luke so politely pointed out last night that I write way too damn much and he doesn't bother reading past the first paragraph. If everyone only reads one paragraph, then I should try keeping 'em short - and write fewer of them, right?

Second of all, the Sens lost night and the fans booed Jason Spezza and I don't feel like getting into all of that. All I know is that, even though I often want to choke the guy, I felt sorry for him. It's bad enough that he's had a crappy start to the year - now the fans are booing him in his own building. That can't be a good feeling for a young guy who's accustomed to being treated like a hero.

Oh, and I'm not going to re-cap Grey's Anatomy, because I'm slowly beginning to accept the fact that I'm the only one in the Blogosphere who watches it, and no matter how much I love the show, I can't force you guys to love it too. I can't say I'm never going to write about it again, but I'll give you a break this time.

So that leaves Survivor, so here's the rundown - but I really am going to try and keep it short...

Adam was hot. He made googly eyes at Candice at Tribal Council, and she mouthed the words "I love you". She really should have learned her lesson. The last time she did that, she ended up with a stalker in Heavy Metal Billy.

I think the only major fault I can find with Adam is that his head seems slightly too large for his body.

Adam had better watch himself, though, as he caused some friction at camp after calling Christina annoying at the last TC. Some of his tribemates agreed with him, but a few of them thought he was too harsh in his assessment of the cop. I think if Adam had played it smart, he would have kept his mouth shut. It's better to lay low and choose your battles wisely.

At the challenge, teams competed in an extremely physical activity that had two people ganging up and prying an opposing team member from a post stuck in the sand, and then dragging them across the beach to their line. These kinds of challenges always get a little vicious, and I'm surprised everyone emerged in one piece. Someday someone's going to get seriously hurt doing something like this. It reminded me of when Luke and I used to wrestle and then he'd twist me into a pretzel, shove my face into the carpet, sit on my back, and yank my head backwards until I pretended I was dying and he'd finally let me go. The Whatchamacallits won again. But it didn't matter, because both teams were headed to TC. All they got was some chunks of bread and lamb shanks. Ewwwwww....

So at Tribal, the Whatchamacallits voted out Cao Boi (no surprise there), and then they sat down to their grody feast while the Hot Young Studs voted out Christina (again, no surprise). The big "twist" was that Nate got "kidnapped" and joined the Whatchamacallits, saving him from the vote. Which means the Hot Young Studs are dwindling quickly, leaving only Brad and Adam. And I'm starting to think Brad might be gay.

And that's a wrap! I hope it's a little bit shorter. I tried hard. Everyone have a good weekend, and for those of you coming out for Steve Agnew & Branded's last night at Gavan's - see you there!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jill's Discovery of the Day: YouTube

For the past few weeks, people have been asking me, "Hey, did you catch Wade Redden on ET! Canada?" The answer to that question is no, I did not catch Wade Redden on ET! Canada a few weeks ago. It has bothered me a great deal. As one of Wade Redden's biggest fans, it troubled me to know that people across the country were invited into his home and given a sneak peek at his everyday life, but I, somehow, missed it.

Wade's been a hero of mine for years now, ever since he first laced up for the Ottawa Senators as an 18-year-old rookie. He turned twenty-nine this past June, so that means for eleven years I've clipped stories about him out of newspapers, visited fan sites on the Web to absorb every little detail that I can about him, taped interviews with him off of TV, and basically been obsessed with every teeny, tiny aspect of him. Finding out that he had been featured as one of ET! Canada's Hunks of Hockey, and that I had missed it, was devastating to me. I don't know if I've ever missed something of such high importance on TV.

Today, when I had a little downtime at work, I plugged the words Wade Redden on ET! Canada into my Google search engine, hoping maybe for some details of the interview, maybe even a transcript of what was said in the featurette. And that's when I found it.

Today's big discovery. A little sumthin'-sumthin' called YouTube, baby.

The entire inteview, the entire tour of Wade's home, the introduction to his new girlfriend, and the brief segment of him playing guitar and singing The Hanukkah Song - all right there, on my computer screen, for my viewing pleasure. All courtesy of my new best pals over at YouTube.

Do you guys realize how big this was for me? I mean, a two-minute segment on ET! Canada is not exactly something I could ever get back otherwise. It's not like they ever show re-runs of those entertainment/celebrity gossip shows, or that it will ever come out on DVD for me to buy. Finding the interview on YouTube was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. I was in heaven!

Alright, I'll admit it - today was not the first time I've ever heard of YouTube. I'm a frequent visitor to Dave Navarro's Blog, (for updates on Rockstar and Dave's band, The Panic Channel), and he frequently provides links to stuff he's found on YouTube. I never bothered checking any of it out, though, because I figured that without high-speed, it would take forever to upload.

It did take quite a while for the 2-minute segment to load, but it was well worth the wait. Wade pointed out some of the renovations he's made to his new Ottawa pad, introduced us to his new girlfriend Danika, and when the interviewer spotted his guitar sitting in the corner of the living room, she somehow convinced him to pick it up and play a bit of Adam Sandler's holiday classic. (Wade led into it by saying, "This is for all the Jewish people out there". I have no idea if he was joking or not, but it cracked me up. Oh, and people who saw the original airing warned me that Wade's a terrible singer - I actually don't think he was all that bad). Then, in closing, they asked him how it felt to be Canada's first hockey hunk. Wade got a little shy, and said, "Oh, I don't know if I'd call me a hunk...Maybe a hulk!" Then he squeezed his bicep, shook his head and laughed. And I swooned.

I couldn't have been happier to finally see this segment that I thought I'd never have the opportunity to view. I was especially pleased to see that Wade was looking happy and healthy. After his mother's death last spring, any photos or TV interviews I saw of him following that, he always looked tired and pale. Now, even through the grainy YouTube quality, I could tell that his cheeks were ruddy again, and his eyes had that old sparkle back. It may have taken the love of a woman other than me (which does make me an eensy-weensy bit jealous), but I was thrilled to see Wade back on his feet and smiling again. Last year was difficult for him, but I can tell that he's turned the corner, and it did my heart good to hear his deep laugh and feel his charm oozing through the computer screen. It reminded me all over again why I'm such a big fan of his.

For any of you who wish to check it out, click on this link:
And once again, my most sincere thanks to the folks over at YouTube. They really made my day!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oh Doctor, My Doctor

Tonight's blog is going to feature something a little different. I mean, I debated whether or not to re-cap the ridiculous hour I spent in front of the TV watching that doofus of a Bachelor last night, but I think I've already wasted enough time on him. So with this edition of the blog, I'm going to better acquaint you, my friends, with the characters on Grey's Anatomy, in the hopes that some of you might actually start watching it...And it also gives me yet another excuse to ramble on about my favourite show!

There's a question featured on the Grey's Anatomy official website, asking viewers which doctor on the show they would trust most. Variations of that question are often fired back and forth between Grey's fans: Who would you want to date? Who would you share your deepest secrets with? Who would you like to roll around with in the on-call room? Who would you trust with your life?

So tonight I'm going to do some choosing of my own: Which doctor would I want to be my boyfriend; which doctor would I want to be my best friend; and which doctor would I actually want for my doctor??

To do so, I'm breaking the MD's down into three groups: The interns, the residents, and the attendings. I'll give you all a little insight into each of their characters, and then at the end, I'll tell you which of the three win big with me!

The Interns

Dr. Meredith Grey - As the main focus of the show, Meredith is one of the best future surgeons in the country, but she has her flaws. For one thing, after being jilted by Derek, she slept with half of Seattle in an effort to get over him. She then broke George's heart. And most recently, she broke Finn's heart. Some might call her selfish, but when it comes down to it, Meredith is always there for her friends - like for Cristina, when she lost her baby, and for Izzie, when Denny died. And even for Alex, when he had to study for the medical board exams. Most of the time, she's just sweet little Meredith, and even her enemies (ie: Addison) end up loving her.

Dr. George O'Malley - George is the epitome of the bumbling class nerd. He harboured a deep crush on Meredith, and once they finally slept together, she ended up in tears and George ended up turning forty shades of red. He's sort of like that hurt little puppy dog that you just want to cuddle. That doesn't mean George is a push-over - he's been known to stand up for himself, in the face of the intimidating Dr. Bailey and the cruel Alex Karrev. He may not be handsome in a conventional way, but he grows on me more and more each week. Plus, like Meredith, he's always there when his friends need him, as we saw last week when he blew off a romantic rendez-vous with Callie to comfort Izzie in her time of need. Gotta love him.

Dr. Cristina Yang - Cristina's the one with the edge. She holds people at a distance, and very few get to know the real her. While it may make her a terrific surgeon, it does mean she lacks severly in people skills. However, since her internship at Seattle Grace began, a few people have managed to crack Cristina - such as attending surgeon Dr. Burke, who became her boyfriend, and Meredith, who became her best friend. Cristina is abrupt, she can be rude, and she rarely holds anything back from her colleagues or her patients. But she knows that, and she takes pride it - so one must admire her for that.

Dr. Alex Karrev - Ah, yes...the studly Alex Karrev. One minute, you want to punch his lights out; the next, he flashes that crooked grin, and you're suddenly weak at the knees. While Alex may come off as a real jerk 90% of the time, the softer side of Dr. Karrev has also been glimpsed on occasion - he's extremely good with children, and really seems to connect with them so that they don't feel like they're talking to a doctor, but rather a buddy. And of course, Alex prying his former flame Izzie from her fiancé's lifeless arms after he passed away was perhaps the most bittersweet moment in TV history. I've always been a sucker for the bad boy with the soft heart - that's Alex, all the way.

Dr. Izzie Stevens- It's hard not to love Izzie. She's the blonde bombshell who posed nude to pay her way through med school, but as it turns out, she's got brains to boot. Like the other interns, she has a promising future as a surgeon, but Izzie's downfall is her tendancy to grow personally attached to her patients. Of course, the biggest example was how she fell for heart transplant patient Denny Duquette, who ultimately passed away, now leaving her at loose ends. At the moment, Izzie isn't even in the program anymore, as she took drastic steps to help Denny and when that failed, she was in hot water with the chief of surgery. But she did what she thought was best for the man she loved, and you have to respect that.

The Residents

Dr. Miranda Bailey - She's the one in charge of those wacky interns, and they call her the Nazi for her tough-love approach. But then last season, Dr. Bailey had a baby, and her maternal instincts have softened her a little. At the end of the day, no matter how much her "suck-ups" piss her off, she'll go to bat for any one of them. She can be a bitch, but you can't help but adore her anyway. Now in Season 3, it seems that her interns no longer fear her, but they do as she says anyways, because she has earned their utmost respect and admiration.

Dr. Callie Torres - Introduced in Season 2 as a love interest for George, Callie's the buxsom Latino orthopedic surgeon who was initially detested by the female interns, but even they eventually warmed up to her. She's smart, she's sassy, and she doesn't take any crap from anyone. But beneath that hard shell, she's another one of those softies. Her feelings get hurt when George chooses his friends over her, but she can't help but love him anyways. A real hopeless romantic at heart. But aren't we all?

The Attendings

Dr. Preston Burke - The head of cardiothoracic surgery at Seattle Grace, Dr. Burke is a stern but compassionate man with a kind bedside manner and a strong reputation for being the best of the best. He has a soft spot for Cristina that has resulted in a tumultous relationship between the two of them. Cristina once told him that, just like him, she is a surgeon first, and he returned with, "No, Cristina, I am a human being first." After being shot at the end of Season 2, he's struggling to regain the use of his precious hands, and one has to believe that eventually he will once again be the best of the best. After all, he is Dr. Preston Burke. The name says it all.

Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Sheppard - Gosh darn it, is there a sexier man on TV? In one of the very first episodes, Dr. Sheppard was in surgery with Meredith, who he had just met at the time, and he looked over at her with that whole doctor face-mask thingy on, and you could tell he was smiling. He was those amazing eyes that crinkle at the corners and just light up when he smiles. He has a way with his patients that allows them to trust him completely. He's smooth, he's soft-spoken, he's sweet...he's McDreamy. And yet, he has his faults too. His wife cheated on him, so in turn he slept with Meredith, fell in love with her, and turned her whole life upside down. He struggles to maintain his morals, and most often he's unsuccessful. But at the end of the day, I do believe he and Meredith are soulmates, and he'll eventually figure out how to make it work with her. Their chemistry on-screen is undeniable. And did I mention he's McDreamy?

Dr. Addison Montgomery-Sheppard - Derek's wife, who slept with his best friend Mark, thereby prompting his move to Seattle in the first place. And when she first showed up on the scene, everyone hated her for messing up the whole Der & Mer fantasy world. But as we got to know Addy, it became more and more difficult to hate her. She's the best neo-natal surgeon in her field, and her wonderful way with patients - both mothers and babies - is second-to-none. She tried desperately to make things work with Derek, but it appears she has failed. Her consolation prize? The delicious Mark Sloan. Yep, that's McSteamy. Not bad for second place!

Dr. Mark "McSteamy" Sloan - He's the new kid on the block, a plastic surgeon who was once Derek's best friend until he slept with his wife Addison, and that kind of killed the buddy comraderie. But he's turned up in Seattle now in Season 3 to try and win Addison's heart for good, and in the meantime, he's setting all the girls' hearts a-flutter. Like Addison, he was initially portrayed as a bad guy, but I get the sense he's really a nice guy deep down. We don't know a whole lot about him yet, so it'll be interesting to see what lies in store for McSteamy.

Dr. Richard Webber - Last but not least - he's the chief of surgery at Seattle Grace. That makes him the big boss man. He's trusted, he's respected, he's admired - but he has a few skeletons in his closet that only we, the viewers, know about. He's a recovered alcoholic. He also had an affair with Meredith's mother that resulted in her parents' divorce many years before, but he didn't have the nerve to leave his own wife. However, now, in the very early stages of Season 3, his wife issued an ultimatum for him to give up his workaholic lifestyle or lose her. He chose his work. There's a lot going on with Dr. Webber, but at the end of the day, he's the kind of guy you want to have in charge. After all that he's been through in the two-plus seasons I've seen - from bombs in patients to crazed men shooting up his ER - that man deserves a medal.

OK - so that's all of 'em. And now I get to pick my absolute favourites. It's tough, because I really do love them all. I can find pros and cons for all of them, but at the end of the day, this is who I'd pick for...

My doctor: I'll have to go with McDreamy. Not only is he hot, but he's great with his patients, and I'd love to see those twinkly eyes gazing at me when I wake up from surgery. He's calm and cool in the operating room, and he just seems like a genuine good guy. And his nickname is McDreamy...need I say more?

My best friend: It's a toss-up between Meredith and George, but I'll go with Meredith just because she's a girl and she'd understand more than a guy would. She's got an uncanny way of understanding her friends even when they don't understand themselves. And she always seems to know exactly what they need from her - a stern lecture, or a shoulder to cry on, or just a big bucket of ice cream. The scenes where she, Izzie and George just lie around with each other...they seem so relaxed - I want to hang with them too.

My boyfriend: I left this one til the end, because I'm all about the hot boys. And for this category, I just have to go with Alex. The safe bet would be George, because I know he'd treat me like a queen. But for some reason, I always go for the bad boy with the troubled past. And because I know Alex would protect his girl and take care of her, even though he needs someone to protect and care for him, too. I wanna be that girl. And he may not be McDreamy or McSteamy, but the boy's downright delicious. Plus, when he puts his arms around Izzie and holds her tight, I can almost imagine how good that must feel. Now, mind you, first time I catch him screwing another nurse in the on-call room, he's dead meat!! Ah, who am I kidding - one grin for Alex, and I'd be mush all over again.

I'm not sure, but this may set the record for longest blog yet. And I wrote it all in only half an hour. I love Grey's, I could write about it all day, every day. Anyways, maybe, just maybe, I've intrigued some of you to tune in and see what these characters are all about for yourself, 'cause Lord knows I'd love to have someone to talk to about it all!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Never, Ever Choose Paint-by-Number!

Without further ado, here is my re-cap of last night's leg of The Amazing Race:

Okay, I missed last week's episode, so I felt a little disconnected from where things were at last night. With the gay guys gone, that left seven teams still in the running: Dating couple Peter & Sarah, dating couple Rob & Kimberly, models/recovering addicts (and just generally hot guys) James & Tyler, friends Karlyn & Lyn, coalminer and wife Dave & Mary, beauty queens Dustin & someone (Kandice maybe?), and brothers Erwin & Godwin.

The teams kicked off the leg by learning they were going to fly somewhere - I think it was India. Yep, definitely India. And almost the entire first half-hour of the show was dedicated to watching the teams working to score the best flights to their destination city. I'm not sure why so much time was devoted to watching them dicker with travel agents, trying to hide information from one another, and desperately trying to switch flights once they realized there were quicker connections. We usually get a glimpse of that each week, so why we had to sit through thirty minutes of it this week, I'm really not sure. It got kind of boring. And somehow, the Barbies and Peter & Sarah, who initially seemed to have the worst tickets, ended up in India first. Go figure.

I don't know how much I actually missed last week, but I seemed to be getting new insight into a few of the teams. It felt like a lot had changed. For one thing, after the last episode I saw, I detested Rob and strongly felt Kimberly should ditch him once the race is over. By contrast, I thought Peter & Sarah seemed like they had a strong bond, and I admired how supportive he was of her and her struggle to compete with the blown hydraulic knee of her prosthetic leg.

However, this week, Rob & Kimberly seemed to be getting along much better, and he seemed to have undergone a major attitude adjustment. I even found myself thinking he was kinda cute. On the other hand, Peter must've taken a nasty pill, as he not only bickered with other teams and did everything he could to make everyone on the race hate him, he also did his darndest to alienate Sarah (who could possibly be the most patient woman on the face of the Earth). It's quite obvious the girl is doing everything she can on a bum leg, and she's doing pretty friggin' well too, as far as I can see. Every week, they've finished in the top three I believe, and last night they landed on the mat in first place. But not without Peter ragging on her first for slowing him up, and trying to lay blame on her for missing a bus. He just seemed to be really annoying and cruel - almost as if he and Rob switched bodies or something! From what I've seen, Sarah seems to move more quickly on one leg than most of the other women do on two, so how Peter feels he has the right to blame her for anything, I do not know. What an ass.

At the roadblock, teams had to choose between wrestling crocodiles or filling in a huge, intricate pattern with a coloured powder made from wild rice. Most teams chose to wrestle the crocodiles, which appeared to be a fairly simple task, as their contact with the crocs was actually quite minimal and they also had the help of two professional wranglers, who did most of the work. Somehow, though, my hot boys had a bonehead moment and chose to do the big kid version of a paint-by-number. Throughout much of the race, I've thought Tyler & James have made smart decisions, and when they get behind, they usually make up time by picking physical tasks that they excel at. Not this week, and it almost cost them. Fortunately, Dave & Mary also picked the slow task of filling in the big pattern with coloured powder, so that gave my boys a better shot at finishing ahead of last place.

The detour, which they crammed into the last ten minutes of the show, had one team member taking India's driver's ed course and completing an on-road test to received their Indian driver's license. I'm not sure why they crunched this all into the last few minutes, because it provided the very few light, humourous moments of the night. You could tell a few of the guys were having a hard time keeping a straight face as their instuctor ordered them to blow their horns at children and animals, demonstrating with a big bicycle which he honked loudly in their faces. And the look on Rob's face when the instructor told him that under no circumstances should he ever drink & drive at the same time was absolutely priceless. Their road tests were a little more challenging it seemed, but because they barely showed them, it was hard to tell. However, we did get to hear several of the guys describing India's traffic as "absolute chaos". I think I probably would have freaked and driven into a cow or something.

Thanks to their dumbass decision to do the gigantic paint-by-number activity, my boys finished in 6th place, followed only by Dave & Mary. The coalminer and his wife got lucky with a non-elimination leg; however, Phil did pull out one of those big twists he promised in the first episode. He announced to the couple that they would not lose their belongings or their money, as has been customary in the past few seasons, but that they must finish in first place on the next leg or else they will suffer a thirty-minute penalty. It doesn't exactly spell doom for them, but sitting aside for a half-hour while other teams arrive at the pitstop could prove costly. And they haven't exactly been a first-place kind of team thus far. It'll be interesting to see how they respond to the challenge.

I keep waiting each week for this show to pick up in entertainment value, but I was left feeling a bit disappointed yet again. Oh, and another thing I took note of was how the pompous American attitude seeped out of the racers as they curled up their noses when around the Indian people, and grumbled about how they wanted to go to a rich country. And they wonder why other countries hate them! Idiot-sticks!

Well, that's all for now - have a good day, gang!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

That's One Jam-Packed Weekend Of Fun!!

Happy Monday Morning to one and all! To keep things "organized", I'm gonna break tonight's blog down into three sections, and we'll start with:


I promised a re-cap, and I'm gonna deliver! Thursday night's episode had Meredith coming down with her own medical emergency - she couldn't stop barfing. What they all initially thought was pregnancy turned out to be appendicitis. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes where Meredith was drugged up and babbling away about whatever crossed her mind. Especially entertaining was when she had McDreamy, Finn, and George all in her room, and she declared to Dr. Bailey, "All my boyfriends are here!" Fortunately, George scrubbed in on the surgery and managed not to kill her (as he almost did with the last apendectomy he performed). But that all came secondary to the main story line, because this week Meredith made her choice between Derek and Finn. And she chose....

...drum roll please...

Derek. McDreamy. Sheppard. Of course. Was there ever any doubt? Did anyone actually think she'd eventually pick Finn? Not that I would be opposed to that idea, because I love Chris O'Donnell and always have, and adding him permanently to the cast would be a dream come true for me, but for Meredith...well, Derek's her McDreamy. You don't just pass up a chance at happiness with your McDreamy. Ever.

This week was also the first episode for new Seattle Grace Attending Surgeon Dr. Mark Sloan, aka McSteamy. Wowzers, the dude is smokin'. I can't wait to see him every week on my TV screen. Naturally, his presence at the hospital was throwing everyone, particularly Addison, for a loop. If I were her, I'd be getting over it pretty quickly. The boy flew across country for her. For a booty call. And now he's staying and he wants to be with her. And Derek doesn't. So what's the problem here? If ya can't have McDreamy, there's no shame in gettin' it on with McSteamy! She's so flippin' lucky!

I know I say it every week, but I love this show. Really, really love it. And I really, really mean that. Seriously. But I'm sure you're already catching on to that one, huh?


Saturday was one of my most favourite days of the year: Quyon Lionettes Car Rally. My team consisted of Sara, Graham, Ricky and Stacy. We gathered Friday evening to get some of our car decorations ready, and then after meeting Saturday morning at Mohr's for breakfast, we returned to my place to get the Rav and ourselves all decked out. The theme this year was "Sports Around the World". After bouncing around a few ideas over the past few weeks - including one complicated scenario that had us turning Lady Linda into a Zamboni - we finally decided to go as the Canadian Winter Olympic Team on its way to Vancouver for the 2010 Games. With Sara as a figure skater, Graham as a skiier, Ricky as the curler, myself as the hockey player, and Stacy leading the way carrying the torch (because apparently there's no event for expectant moms!), we set out to win this thing.

And while on the rally route, I thought we had a darned good chance of doing just that. I had a hissy fit before we even left the parking lot when my kilometer counter thingy wouldn't re-set, but I calmed myself down, re-grouped, then we headed to my place where we collected most of the items for our scavenger hunt. We proceeded on, following the directions and finding the answers to the questions. The biggest challenges seemed to be hunting for the six clues we periodically came across. We finally abandoned the first one (as did most teams), and it took forever to find the second one. It ended up being the Original 6 NHL Teams, and we didn't even need the stupid little pieces of paper we made sure to collect and protect...arghhhh!

Aside from that, we didn't spend a whole lot of time at any particular question, and in most cases the answer was quite obvious...or so we thought. In retrospect, I think I underestimated the guys who coordinated the rally route, and I didn't believe they'd be into any trickery. As it turns out, they did many little things to throw our answers off, so in the end, we were actually one of the middle-of-the-pack teams, much to our chagrin. And of course, to rub salt in the wound, my mom, Luke, Kara, Chris and Kristen, who claimed to have done poorly in their answers, wound up in second place. Overall, though, we kept our arguing in the Rav to a minimum, and I think we could all agree that we had a blast! Graham was the rookie of our team, and he proved to be a strong member - we'll definitely do better next year!

Following dinner and the revealing of the answers, we went to Stacy and Ricky's to watch the hockey game. Which game, do you ask? Well, that's a tough one, as Ricky's Penguins, Graham's Leafs, and my Sens were all playing on different channels. With Pittsburgh down and out early in their game, Ricky basically flipped back and forth between the Toronto game and the Ottawa game for Graham and I. I had to sit through listening to the two boys running my Sens into the ground and making fun of me, and I almost cried a few times because I don't have a thick skin, and no, I can't take it. I'm a big baby about this kind of stuff. I know it, and I don't like it, but that's just the way I'm made. But I did manage to keep it together. Okay, so maybe I had one scuffle with Ricky over the remote when I thought I wasn't going to get to see the shoot-out, and Stacy and Sara were probably afraid that I was going to claw both of the boys' eyes out or something, but we emerged all friends at the end. (I think. I hope.) The Penguins lost, naturally, but the Leafs won in OT (who cares?) and the Sens defeated Montreal in a shoot-out (YAY, Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher!)

As the late Ada Daley would have written in the Equity's Quyon Notes, a good time was had by all!


My baby boy is growing up!

I still can't believe that it's been a year since Kara and Chris brought my little nephew into the world. Gosh, it's gone by fast. Saturday, October 14th, was officially one year for Caden Christopher Provost, and today Kara and Chris had both sides of the family to their place at noon for Caden's first birthday party.

Before I get into that, though, I must tell you this - yesterday, while out on Car Rally, I missed two big "firsts". In one afternoon. Unbelievable! Caden, who is turning into a real little parrot, actually uttered his first phrase: "Oh dear!" Now how cute is that?? And then he took his first real steps! (Last weekend, he was saying "yuck" and walking two or three steps between people, but somehow "Oh dear" and the fact that he was literally racing across the living room seem so much more important!) Of course, I got to hear him saying "Oh dear" and watch him do his speedwalk today, but I was disappointed I missed out the first time.

In any case, the party was a huge hit, and Caden was on his best behaviour. All of his aunts, uncles, grandparents, Great-Grandma, and even a few great-aunts and -uncles were there to celebrate with him. He smiled and clapped when we sang happy birthday to him, and he loved smashing his teddy bear cake all over his face. (He even ate some of it too, but apparently he's not a fan of icing, as those bites were spit back out all over the place). He was also pretty good at opening presents, considering the attention span of a one-year-old is not usually that strong. He opened almost all of them himself, with some help from Mommy and cousin Madison, and he even learned pretty quick to chuck the cards at Mommy to open. (Cards - and even the money inside the odd one - don't mean much until your well past age 10!!) In most cases, the tissue paper in the bags proved to be more entertaining than the gift inside, but he did spend a lot of time playing with his new tractor and farm animals from his Grandma Provost, and we all had fun sitting around and watching him.

I still can't believe he's already one. Where has the past year gone? I can't wait to see all that he's going to learn in the year to come. If one afternoon brought "Oh Dear" and walking, who knows what could come next??

So that about puts a wrap on the weekend re-cap. I hope everyone had a great weekend, and be sure to tune tune in Tuesday for my thoughts on tonight's episode of the Amazing Race!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Great Night, Bad End Result

Alrighty, so we lost again. 1-0 to the Calgary Flames. No point in sugar-coating it. But irregardless of the final score, we did have an awesome time last night at the Bank. Here's how everything went down...

I got off early from work yesterday afternoon, so I was able to fit in a quick nap. By the time I left Quyon, I was fresh as a daisy. I travelled behind a dump truck going 70 km all the way from Quyon to the 4-lanes, so that made me crusty. I met Luke at the McEwan's in Aylmer, and from there we headed out to pick up Kristen at Carleton U.

That's when things kinda got interesting. Brother-in-law Chris had given Luke directions on how to take a "shortcut" out to Scotiabank Place to avoid all the lights of downtown Ottawa. However, the first line of his e-mail told us to take Colonel By South. South. South. Hmmmm...No signs were there to indicate whether left or right was South, so Luke went right. Apparently that was North. After a few minutes of scrambling for maps and trying to place ourselves in relation to the setting sun, we finally got turned around and headed in the right direction. (For future reference, don't ever ask me to be your partner if you make it on the Amazing Race, guys. I suck at directions. Luke caught me once swirling my hand around and asked what I was doing. I was trying to figure out which hand I write with, 'cause ya know, I "write" with the "right". Oh boy....)

Anyways, Chris' "shortcut" was a long, roundabout way that took us through cornfields and more cornfields. Rural Ottawa, I guess, but I thought for a second we'd taken a wrong turn and ended up in Saskatchewan. We did avoid the lights of downtown, though, and in the end, I think his way was quicker, if we hadn't gotten lost right off the bat.

We dined at Burger King on Hazledean, then made our way to the arena, and Luke guided us with his Angel Eyes. Yes, that's right folks. I have bad eyes, but he kept saying that he knew what street we were coming up to long before any normal human being could possibly read the sign. When I pointed this out to him, he said, "Yes, but I have the eyes of an angel". (Perhaps inspired by the song "Lips of an Angel" playing on the Rav's CD player at that moment, but I can't be sure.) I warned you before, buddy - say something that dumb, and it's gonna end up in the Blog.

I'm sure you're wondering when the hockey part is going to come into the re-cap, right? Well...that would

The Sens kicked off the first period with a great scoring chance by Captain Alfie. I have no clue how he didn't score, though. It was a beauty of a play. Flames goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff was solid. Anyways, the first period was fast, there were lots of hard hits, and Ray Emery was hot it nets for the Sens. Being in the last row of the first level, we had pretty awesome seats, and I love being that close to the action. I could almost smell Wade's lilac-scented hair. The only other notable of that period was the crick in my neck that I got while trying to search two sections over for Kenny and Meghan, where Luke was positive they were sitting. I even picked a guy out that I thought was Kenny and everything, but Luke and Kristen didn't think it was him. Turns out, it wasn't, because Kenny had told Luke the wrong section that they would be sitting in and they were actually at the opposite end of the rink from us. Thank God they came to see us in the first intermission, or I might've had to wear a neck brace today.

The second period brought much of the same - hard hits, a fast pace, and good scoring chances for both sides. It definitely was a goaltenders' duel. I had fun watching this little boy sitting next to us. His parents were both Flames fans, and he was a Sens fan, so everytime the dad started shouting "Go Flames Go!" he was quick to start the "Go Sens Go!" chant. Even cuter was the little boy in front of us wearing a Sens jersey and a Toronto Maple Leafs hat - talk about confused!! I must commend the Flames fans at the game - there were quite a few of them in attendance, and overall they were friendly, polite, and funny. Not obnoxious like the Leaf or Habs fans I've encountered at games in the past. It was a great atmosphere.

I had a bad feeling when the third period rolled around and we still hadn't scored a goal. Ray Emery was literally standing on his head, and we were much better with our defensive coverage all game (especially Wade, who seemed to be getting his groove back), but the big guns just weren't lighting it up at the other end. I was nervous, and when I get nervous, bad things happen. Sure enough, with a little over 7 minutes left in the third, Jarome Iginla was left all alone in front of the Senators net, and a guy like that just doesn't make mistakes in that kind of situation. He put his team ahead by a goal, and even with two more power plays in the dying minutes, the Sens couldn't muster up enough offense to get one goal. Just one measly goal, and they couldn't do it.

So it was a disappointing end to what was otherwise a wonderful evening. Luke threw a hissy fit, saying he thinks it's our worst start to a season since 1993. And maybe he's right. But for too many years, we've had great starts and crappy finishes. I'm hoping maybe the reverse will happen this time around. That being said, a 1-3 record does not impress me. They'd better get it together Saturday night in Montreal, because they're digging themselves a hole that might not be so easy to get out of. I know, I's only been 4 games, relax. Lots of time to turn the ship around. I've got my fingers crossed. There's too much talent on this squad for them to just fizzle like this. I hope Bryan Murray has a plan up his sleeve.

We stopped at new Tim Horton's in Aylmer on the way home, and I send out big kudos to the staff there. The girl at the cash saw my jersey and said, "Oh, please, tell me they won...tell me they won!" I was sorry to have to disappoint her. Then the muffin boy came out to freshen up the shelves and after he glanced at Luke, he said, "Another tough one tonight, huh?" I liked that they took note of our shirts and bothered to ask!

So the Blog is already really long now, and even though I did go home and watch Grey's Anatomy before going to bed, I'll spare you that re-cap until some other time this weekend. It was a great episode, though. You might think I should have been wiped and pass out the second I got home, but I'd had an XL Hot Chocolate at Tim Horton's...which means I was all hopped up on one big-ass cup of sugar, basically. It's taken a toll on me today, but it was worth it.

Anyways - thanks to all of you for wishing me luck at the game, and have a great weekend! Check back soon for a Grey's update, thanks to Stacy for filling me in on Survivor, and I'll definitely have my weekend rundown on Monday - Car Rally, Caden's birthday...lots to talk about!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Time to Light it Up

Television is a fickle business. Every fall, new shows are introduced, they're hyped in commercials, and we're all encouraged to tune in to what is usually advertised as "the next big hit". However, more often than not, the show is cancelled, and for the average viewer, all of a sudden one day their new favourite program just disappears from the TV altogether.

Every so often, there really is a big hit - like Survivor, or CSI, or Lost, or Prison Break, or Grey's Anatomy - but more often than not, the "hot new shows" are flops. It's a business based on how many viewers tune in and how high their ratings are. Sometimes a show is just destined to fail, no matter how wonderful the actors are or how inventive the premise is. If it's put in a timeslot against a guaranteed hit, then the show has basically no chance of survival. People tend to stick with their tried and true favourites. It's disappointing to become attached to a new show, and get involved in the storyline, only to have it ripped away unexpectedly. For that reason, many viewers just don't even bother in the first place anymore.

I've been a victim of this unjust process more than once. A few shows in particular spring to mind: Jack & Jill, American Dreams, Jack & Bobby, and Reunion.

Jack & Jill was a show that I started watching in high school, and I immediately loved the characters. Jack was the girl, Jill was the (hot) guy, and each week I tuned in to see what they and their wacky friends were up to. At the end of season 2, we were left with a cliffhanger - Jack & Jill had a huge fight, and broke up, but the big secret Jack was keeping was that she was pregnant with Jill's baby. However, due to low ratings, the show never returned, and I was left feeling extremely ripped off.

American Dreams was, and still is, one of my favourite shows of all time. Sara got me hooked on it in college. I tuned in initially just to see this guy that she raved about: Will Estes, who played the shy jock, JJ Prior. The show, set in the '60s, revolved around JJ and the rest of his family, including his sister Meg, who was a regular on American Bandstand. By the third season, JJ was off in Vietnam fighting for his country, while Meg was dating a bad boy and highly involved in anti-war protesting. At the end of that season, JJ had been returned safely home to his young girlfriend and the son he had never before met, while Meg was running away with her boyfriend. And there they left us. No more American Dreams.

Just a year or so ago, I happened to catch a few minutes of a new show called Jack & Bobby, and I was instantly hooked. At first, I was confused by the show. It was set in present day and followed the lives of two brothers - Jack, the high school stud athlete, and his younger brother Bobby, a shy and geeky boy who yearned to be cool like his brother. However, at the beginning and end of each episode, there would be a sort of inteview with some American politician, but the year was 2025. I eventually figured out that the show was a sort of "Back to the Future" kind of experience, and at the end of that first season, it was revealed that Jack would one day, many years later, be killed in a car accident, while Bobby would go on to be come President of the United States. And just as I was starting to grasp the show, it just vanished from my TV.

Last but not least is Reunion. I started watching it mainly because the gorgeous Will Estes, who I had last adored as JJ from American Dreams, had turned up again, but this time as a young man named Will caught in a sort of murder mystery. Each episode represented an entire year in the lives of a group of friends torn apart by the mysterious death of one of them. At the end of each episode, a new twist in the case was revealed, and it was to go on for 25 episodes until the murder was finally solved. Sounds interesting, right? It was. Unfortunately, not enough people thought so, and the show was cancelled after about 12 episodes. Talk about leaving a person hanging!

It's a cruel sort of punishment, to become enthralled in a show and its characters, only to have them torn away from you. It's disappointing, after investing so much time and energy into a storyline. That's why I tend to be very careful about the shows I "get into". For instance, I refused to tune into Lost or Prison Break because I was sure they were just going to be flashes in the pan. Now they've gone on to become super-hot shows that everyone watches, but I'm too far behind in the storylines to just jump in and get caught up. Even Grey's Anatomy was a bit of a fluke - I just happened to watch an episode one night last year with my dad - believing it to be just another one of those stupid doctor shows - and lo and behold, I loved it, so I continued watching, then filled myself in on the back-story by purchasing Season 1 and Season 2 on DVD this past summer.

So this all brings me to the point of tonight's blog: Two weeks ago, I watched the debut episode of a new show called "Friday Night Lights". I saw the movie a year or so ago, and loved it, so I took my chances on the show. Sure enough, I was very impressed, both in that first episode, and again last night. It focuses on the trials and tribulations of a small town high school football team that is the town's sole pride and joy. It's a town that literally shuts down on game nights - store owners put signs in their windows that say "Gone to Game", while teenage boys are in the spotlight much like pro athletes and movie stars would be. The show centers on these boys and their coach, and the pressures they are put under to succeed. The oppressive need to win and the expectations of everyone from the mayor, to their parents, to their girlfriends, and to the children looking up to them - it all weighs heavily on these boys, and how they handle it is indeed fascinating to watch.

I should have been more prepared today when I read on the Jam! Showbiz website that the show is pulling in low audiences and poor ratings. I should have known. But instead, I felt my heart sink. Once again, I'm destined to lose a show with a great storyline and intriguing characters. That's why I'm making this plea to you, my friends and fellow bloggers: Watch Friday Night Lights next Tuesday.

Give it a chance.

And if you like it, spread the word to others. I just think this show needs - no, deserves - a fair shot. Maybe, just maybe, if I can get word out that there's a hot new show on TV that everyone should be tuning in to, then maybe, just maybe, I won't have to get cut off in the middle of yet another story that I've already immersed myself in.

If it doesn't work...well, I'll always have the movie to watch over and over again. And perhaps this time, I might learn my lesson and not bother with that "hot new show" next year. It's just not worth it.

But I'm gonna give it one last shot. Check out Friday Night Lights. I promise, you won't regret it.

PS - There likely will be no blog Thursday night, as I'm heading out to Scotiabank Place to watch the Sens take on the Calgary Flames. However, I'll write on Friday about the game and I'll try to get in a re-cap of Survivor and Grey's at some point this weekend. It's going to be a busy one, with Car Rally on Saturday (yay!) and Caden's 1st birthday party on Sunday (holy crap, how fast can a year go?!), but I'll try to fit it all in. Until then...Have a great weekend, all!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Much to be Thankful For

Alright, I know you've all been waiting with baited breath to hear how my weekend was. To be very honest, nothing happened that was all that earth-shattering; nothing that shot me over the moon with excitement. However, while I will always have my pie-in-the-sky dreams, I'm teaching myself to enjoy the little things, and with it being Thanksgiving and all, I can tell you I have much to be thankful for.

We'll begin with Friday night: Lindsay and Jason were home from Guelph, so the three of us dined at Kelsey's in Kanata. As many of you know, Kelsey's is my favourite place to eat, and as usual, the Four Cheese Spinach Dip was to die for. It was nice to catch up with Lindsay, and of course she and Jason had lots of stories to tell me. Once we returned back home, we met up again at Gavan's, where the Quyon Ball Banquet was being held. Stacy, Ricky, Sara and Graham were all there, and so we sat around chatting & listening to the Rivals play (ah, the last great band to take the stage at Gavan's, it seems). We all got some good chuckles out of watching the drunks dancing. (My own unfortunate twirl on the dancefloor with one particular drunken boy will not go down in the books as the best dance ever.) With Lindsay's birthday approaching this week, Sara had picked up a cake and we brought it into Gavan's. Everyone sang happy birthday and we got to eat cake...Mmmm, it was good! (Thankfully, Jason was unsuccessful in his attempts to smash Lindsay's face in it, so we all got to enjoy it!)

Saturday morning, Stacy and I ventured into Ottawa to Michael's craft store. I spent $44.83 on stickers. That's almost $50. On stickers. Then we bounced all over Aylmer looking for turkeys that were allegedly on sale. Not only did we never find any turkeys that were on sale, we also barely found any turkeys at all. Then Stacy washed her car a few times - literally - before we came home. Saturday night, I watched the Sens/Sabres game with Mom and Dad - a bit better than the blowout to the Leafs, but still a 4-3 loss nevertheless. I put that behind me quickly, and again joined Lindsay and Jason at Gavan's, where I spilled Lindsay's drink all over the place. It was a much quieter evening chez Gav's, but we had a good time talking and laughing.

Sunday was my family's Thanksgiving celebration. We went to church in the morning, had breakfast at Mohrs', and then I spent the afternoon playing with Caden. Mom and I taught him to say "Yuck". Very cute. However, then I made the mistake of trying to teach him how to say "Wade." It didn't work so well.

Jill: Caden, say "Wade".

Caden: "Yuck!"

Thanksgiving dinner was a bit chaotic, what with Dad and Chris jumping up and running into the living room to watch the last laps of the NASCAR race every few minutes. By the time the girls were on to pie, the boys were just digging into turkey. Except for Caden, who apparently did not like turkey, or carrots, or potatoes, because his ended up all over the floor. He did, however, enjoy the tastes of pumpkin pie Grandma was giving him. That's what he had for supper - 2 Heinz baby cookies and bites of pumpkin pie. Lucky kid.

That evening, I joined the Beers for a bonfire at Sara's. It was absolutely the most perfect night for it - cool, but no wind. Unfortunately, Sara's Aunt Loretta used the sticks Matthew had picked out for roasting marshmallows to start the fire, which sort of put Matthew in a foul mood. He did tell me, though, that he really likes his teacher and she never shouts. ;o) Sara must really have a magic touch, because she even played with a skunk that evening, and it didn't even spray her. As usual, it's always fun sitting around with the Beers, and Sara's mom told us ghost stories - needless to say, I practically had to close my eyes while driving by the cemetary on my way home!

On Monday, I took two little girls to see "Open Season". (One of them, Katie, had won the trip in the chuch Talent Auction last year, and she brought her cousin, Delaney). Stacy came along, too, and we had a great time. The movie was one of the best kid's movies I've seen in awhile. Ashton Kutcher did the voice of the deer, Elliot, and Martin Lawrence was the voice of the bear, Boog. It was quite funny, and I might even buy it on DVD when it comes out. I especially enjoyed the part early on in the movie when Elliot breaks Boog out of his "home", and then the two of them sneak into a candy store, where they eat lots of junk. The sugar has the same effect on Boog that too much rye has on me - the scene where he arrives home "drunk on junk" is absolutely priceless! I highly recommend the movie!

So as you can tell, there was nothing overly exciting to report, but it was a fun weekend filled with good times, good food, beautiful weather, family and friends. And for all that, I am truly thankful. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and that you all spent time reflecting on what you are most grateful for.


Friday, October 06, 2006

I Hate Hockey

Just in case anyone misterpreted yesterday's post, I hate hockey. Absolutely hate it. The only good thing about getting blown out last night by the Leafs was that I had a nap in the third period so that I could stay up til all hours watching Survivor and Grey's Anatomy. Here's my take on things this week...


The only thing right now that I hate almost as much as the Leafs is that ditz "Poverty". I hate her big teeth, I hate her annoying voice, and I hate that she's worked her charms on Nate and now he's falling for her. She rallied the girls over on the Hot Young Stud side and they all bashed the guys for lying around and doing nothing. Ummm....hello, ladies? Take a look at 'em. They're hot. They look like Greek Gods. Their bodies are beautiful. Taking part in such activities as stomping around in the jungle, building fires, or fishing might result in scratches, bleeding, and scars. Like, seriously. Get over yourselves. Those girls should be happy to do all the dirty work, because they've got four Hot Young Studs to admire day in and day out. They're not on Survivor. They're in paradise.

My favourite Survivor remains Adam. He got over his whiny ways from week 2, and he's still the hottest of the hot. After the Studs lost the Luxury Challenge, the Whatchamacallits sent him packing for Exile Island. However, they chose not to show us footage of Adam frolocking on the island; instead, they provided clips of the Whatchamacallits climbing trees and attempting to murder baby birds. To be fair, the main culprits, Cao Boi and Jonathan, did seem to regret their actions. Here's a word of advice, fellas: Next time you're up a tree and the mama birdie is squawking at you and flapping her wings aggressively, it'd be a good idea to bugger off. They did manage to save to poor wee thing and get the nest back up in the tree, thank goodness. Stick to the fishing, boys.

At the Immunity Challenge, JP sucked at the swimming, and the girls sucked at building a fire, so they lost. The concensus back at camp was that Stephanie would be packing her bags after she admitted to being the weakest link on their team, but the girls then put their heads together and came up with a plan to oust the studly, if a bit arrogant, JP. They were successful in their endeavour, and if a Stud had to go, I guess JP was my least favourite. However, I was more than a little shocked to find out that they even persuaded Adam and Brad to help their cause. I still wish it had been "Poverty" saying farewell, but I rarely get what I want. I think the Gods let Lukas win Rockstar for me, so now I'm pretty much screwed with everything else I cheer for. That includes the Hot Young Studs and the Senators.


I love this show. I love it. Have I mentioned that before? 'Cause I really, really do. This week, I learned that McSteamy, aka Dr. Mark, will be joining the cast permanently. This just tickled me to death. Now that JP is off Survivor, and Dr. Mark is now a mainstay on Grey's, it officially overtakes the lead at the hottest show on TV. McSteamy, McDreamy, McVet, Alex & George (they don't have McNames) - all I can say is YUM!!

So this week, Izzie made her way back to the hospital to beg the chief to let her back into the program. However, memories of Denny prevented her from taking that step, and she spent the entire day outside looking up at the hospital while everyone inside wondered if she was okay. It was Alex who finally went out after dark, gave her his coat, and walked her home. God, do I hope they let those two characters hook up again. There's something about malicious Alex that I liked...but there's something about sweet Alex that I adore.

Meanwhile, Addison was trying to get the aforementioned Dr. Mark to leave town, when we all know darned well he ain't going nowhere. And Addy doesn't want him to leave, either. I mean, my Lord, if you had that man in your bed, you'd be forgetting all about your McDreamy husband too.

And George was scared of how quickly things were moving for him and Callie, so he basically kicked her out of his place, forcing her to check into a nearby motel. I don't know what to think about Callie - one week I love her, the next I'm wishing George would get rid of her. George is such a sweetheart; I'm not sure Callie appreciates him for all that he is. Out of all the handsome men on this show, at the end of the day, George is probably the one I'd pick to take home with me. He's just that kind of guy. I wish I knew one of him in real life.

Last but not least, we had Meredith, still dating both McDreamy and McVet, and loving every second of it. I loved her line, after the two lads showed up with coffee and cake for her: "I'm dating. And it comes with snacks." Man, I want to date!! However, the affection from both Derek and Finn has already begun to wear thin for her, and she's getting sick of the them competing for her. Now, seriously, Meredith. Patrick Dempsey and Chris O'Donnell...and you're sick of them?? I'll tell her the same thing I told those girls on Survivor. You're in paradise. Enjoy it while it lasts, honey!

Alright, that about wraps things up for today! I started writing this at 8:30 this morning, but due to persisting technical difficulties at work, I was unable to complete it until now, at 9:15 PM. My apologies, folks - but I do hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kicking Things Off In Style


Hockey time again! YESSSSSSSSS!!!

So needless to say, I was pleased with the outcome of the season opener between the Sens and the Leafs last night. Sens 4, Leafs 1. Sure, there's lots of areas my team still needs to work on, but it's only game 1, and I thought they did pretty well, considering there are a lot of new faces on the squad. Here are some of my observations of the night:

As usual, the Leafs had a lengthy, pre-game ceremony to honour the numbers of past great Leaf players. (Any great players they had were way, way in the past.) I wanted to watch as little of it as possible, so I was flicking back and forth between it and a repeat of Reba. Little brother Lukey was getting frustrated with me, so I turned back once to make sure the game hadn't started. It hadn't, so I changed back to Reba, causing him to declare that he wanted to watch them honouring the number of the great Gus Wheeler. I had no idea who the guy was, so I didn't even question him on it. I later discovered "the great Gus Wheeler" was actually Bjore Salming, one of the first European players in the league and an alumni of the Leafs. No idea where he came up with the name Gus Wheeler, but we teased him quite a bit about. Sorry, buddy, but you say something retarded like that and it's bound to end up in the Blog.

Once the game got going, the Sens didn't look so crash-hot. Patrick Eaves scored the first goal for the Sens late in the first, but had it not been for the stellar play of our new goalie, Martin Gerber, it could've easily been a 3-0 score for the Make Beliefs. Luke reminded us 40,000 times that he picked Patrick Eaves in the 8th round of his hockey pool, and he was doing all the fist-pumping and cheering of a man watching his team in the Stanley Cup Finals. Yay for Patrick Eaves. Not so much for Luke.

Anyways, the glaring problem for the Sens was that Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov, who are a new defence pairing now that Chara is gone, seemed completely out of synch for much of the game. Phillips especially looked uncomfortable out there. Maybe he's just getting used to the new A on his sweater. I don't know. I just keep reminding myself that Wade Redden looked pathetic in game 1 last year, and he went on to have a career season. Hopefully it'll be the same for Phillips.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson also seemed to struggle last night. He did end up getting an empty-netter at the end of the game, but he just didn't seem to have any flow to his game at all. And fancy-pants Spezza continued with his ridiculous passes, which aggravates me. I want to like the guy. Really, I do. But his bonehead pretty plays drive me insane!

Aside from those few guys, the rest of 'em were rolling really well. I loved Gerber - I thought he was awesome. (And aside from a penalty shot goal that should never have been called a penalty shot, he likely would have had a shut-out). Other new faces that impressed were Dean McAmmond with speed to burn, and Tom Preissing looking solid on the blueline, before leaving the game with a "lower body injury". (In other words, he pulled his groin, but since Dominik Hasek, we no longer mention that part of the body in Ottawa). And of course, Wade Redden was studly as ever, and he seemed to retain most of his hockey skills over the summer, so that was enough for me. My God, he's a hot man. I love him.

Chris Neil (with a beauty) and Christoph Schubert rounded out the scoring, both of them tallying in the second period, which I thought was the Sens' strongest period. It's always a great feeling to leave T.O. with 2 points - I went to bed with a big grin on my face. Hopefully I'll be just as happy tomorrow, after the two teams tangle again tonight at the Bank.

*Sigh* I'm SOOOOO glad it's that time of year again.

I did get a few good chuckles out of watching Tie Domi sitting in as a new member of the TSN Panel of Experts. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!) Everytime James Duthie said, "Now, Tie, I wanted to ask you about...", I was really hoping he'd end that sentence with : "...your expected lovechild with Belinda Stronach". (Thanks, Sharon, for that tidbit!) But instead Tie stumbled and farted away, only make half-coherent statements, and basically making as ass of himself. Oh well. I guess some things never change.