Wednesday, January 31, 2007

CD Review: Daughtry

Did anybody watch American Idol last year? Was anybody as equally pissed off as I was that Taylor Hicks won? It was a huge joke. Especially when there was someone as talented as Chris Daughtry in the running, and he didn't even make it to the final three. Chris was sent home 4th-last (ironically, that was Elvis week), and I'll never forget the look on his face when Ryan Seacrest announced he was the next to go. He was shocked. And when Seacrest stuck the mic in his face and asked him if he was surprised, the normally calm, cool, and composed Chris simply blurted out in frustration: "Yes!"

Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. I mean, how can anyone associated with a show that produced the likes of Clay Aitken be taken seriously in the music industry? Sure, American Idol has launched successful careers for Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. And yes, it is one of the most-watched TV shows in the U.S.. But for a rocker like Chris Daughtry, I don't think he was ever cut out for American Idol. While he was a favourite of the judges, he did have to put up with some criticism from Simon Cowell for not changing things up enough and for being "indulgent" in his heavy-rock choices.

Hey. The dude is a rocker. Why should he have to change for a silly TV show, right?

Good news: Chris didn't change. In fact, he went out and started himself a band, dropped "Chris" completely, and he and his band are now just called Daughtry. And they rock!!

A quick Wikipedia search on Daughtry revealed that Chris' self-titled debut album has currently out-sold his other fellow Idol competitors with record deals (Hicks and Kelly Pickler), and I can understand why. His rich, textured voice breathes life into every song on the album, and when he sings from his gut, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. (And as you may recall, that is often the indicator for me that something is really good.) His first single from the album, "It's Not Over", is reminiscent of Fuel's "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)", which he sang in an early round of Idol, and it's easy to see why Fuel offered Chris the job of lead singer of their band. (He turned the offer down while still competing on Idol). With "It's Not Over", he's in his comfort zone; that's where his voice excels.

Other highlights for me are "Used To" and "Over You", both radio-friendly rock songs that I haven't been able to get out of my head since I bought the CD last week. The chorus of "Used To" is one of my all-time favourite lyrics: We used to have this figured out/ We used to breathe without a doubt/ When nights were clear you were the first star that I'd see/ We used to have this under control/ We never thought...We used to KNOW/ At least there's you and at least there's me/ Can we get this back...Can we get this back/ To how it used to be. Both "Used To" and "Over You" became instant favourites of mine.

And what would Chris' debut album be without a special guest star? On track #7, "What I Want", we have the legendary Slash featured on lead guitar. But you know what? Slash's guest appearance isn't what got me pumped about this CD. It's the ballads, like "Home" and "What About Now". It's the slow energy build-up in "Feels Like Tonight". It's the heart-wrenching story behind "All These Lives". It's Chris' voice - so deep and growly one minute, so pure and soaring the next.

And it's about everything Chris Daughtry stands for: Rock & roll, not compromising, not backing down, not giving up.

If you saw Chris on Idol, you know what I'm talking about. If you've never heard of him before, you better pick up the album. I guarantee, you won't regret it.

Instant Hit: "It's Not Over"

Skip-able Tracks: "Gone", "There and Back Again"

Jill's Picks: "Used To", "Over You", "Feels Like Tonight", "All These Lives"

Pick it up if you like: Fuel, Lifehouse, Default, Nickelback, 3 Doors Down

Rating: 4.5/5 (Yup, that's my highest rating yet!!)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

OK, so I've got enough stuff from the weekend to fill ten Blogs, but I'm going to cram it all into one... So we'll start off with a some very quick re-caps!!


Smash got busted. By his mama. And she didn't deal with it quietly, behind closed doors. She marched right into the coach's office and confronted him about it, because she was sure her baby wouldn't be using steroids unless the coach was promoting it. So needless to say Smash is in big trouble with a few people now. But it looks like Coach Taylor might actually try to sweep it all under the rug... Unless Buddy Garrity gets a sniff of what's going on...

Speaking of Buddy...I hate that man. He drives me nuts. He tried to guilt Jason into dumping Lyla, but Jason did the exact opposite - he proposed. I was completely blind-sided! Awesome!

Oh, and tear-jerker moment of the night: Watching Matt, Julie, and Grandma say good-bye to Matt's dad when he was shipped back to Iraq. Honest to God, Matt makes me weak at the knees. He's so sweet and kind and good-hearted. I adore him. But it looks like he may be in a bit of trouble with Julie this week...Can't wait for the next episode!


It was all about marriage proposals this week. George, who has apparently become a sex maniac since his father's death, popped the question to Callie. And Burke, who hasn't spoken to Cristina since before Christmas Hiatus, also dropped the "M Bomb". And of course they did it right at the end of the show, and they cut to black before the girls could give their answers. But I have the feeling they're both going to say no. I hope I'm wrong though - it'd be fun to have wedding bells ringing at Seattle Grace!

Meanwhile, Dr. Webber officially retired, only to find that his wife has already moved on. Poor ol' Chief. And to make matters worse, he's got McDreamy, McSteamy, Addison and Burke all harassing him, and competing amongst each other to be appointed the next Chief. For me, the greatest moment of the night was when Dr. Webber told Bailey, who was trying to garner support for a free clinic, that some day she will be Chief, and that he wanted her to get used to doing things without him. Bailey's been on a roller coaster ride for the past 3 seasons, and that to me was the greatest reward the Chief could give her.

Oh, and Alex is sexy. Just thought I'd throw that in.


Friday night we celebrated Sue & PK's birthdays with a lovely dinner out and then we sat at Gavan's and enjoyed the music of Chris Malone & the Foundation Band. The band is super-good, so everyone should get their asses to Gav's the weekend of Feb. 16-17th to see them!

On Saturday, I went to the Sens game with Sharon & Wayne. It's the first time I witnessed a Sens win in person in a long, long time. They beat Boston 3-1, with all the goals coming in the third period. It was fairly entertaining, and Wade was handsome. Our first-row, second-level seats provided me with a delightful view of him during the warm-up, and Sharon snapped some pics of him. Also, the Prime Minister was just below us, and we had fun watching all these dummies rushing to get their pictures taken with him and getting his autograph. (Tell me, who would want the Prime Minister's autograph on their Sens jersey? Made no sense to me!)

Saturday night, I shimmied back on down to Gav's with my neighbour Brenda for another great night of Foundation. We danced a little, drank a little, hung out with the boys in the band, and even helped them tear down at the end, just like Sara and I used to do in the old days. And just like in the old days, Brenda got to daintily wrap chords like Sara would have, while I was lugging around heavy amps on the floor. And Chris told me to do it, because I'm a farmer. Which I'm not. Some things never change.

Sunday was a mellow day while I caught up on sleep and played with Caden. And yesterday I was a Powerhouse Scrapbooker. I got tonnes of pages done, and it felt so good! I'm now ready to start tackling summer events, such as Golf Tournament, Canada Day, the Woermke & Steph Festivities, etc. YAY!!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

All-Star Yawner

The NHL All-Star Game has a wide reputation for being a farce. I suppose any All-Star game in any sport is a bit of a joke, unless there is some sort of incentive for the players to compete. But I've always enjoyed the NHL All-Star Game despite that, because I like the showcase aspect of it. I like watching the elite players of the sport I love putting on a clinic.

I had high hopes going into last night's game. Pre-game interviews with Brendan Shanahan and Joe Sakic, captains for the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, respectively, indicated that with so many first-time All-Stars (22 in total), the game would have more of a competitive edge, as they would all be trying to prove themselves. Of course, I would be focusing most of my attention on Dany Heatley, my lone Senator All-Star who won the MVP award in the 2003 All-Star Game after scoring 4 goals, the youngest player ever to do so. But I was also excited to watch a line that contained both Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. How awesome would that be??

As it turns out...not so awesome.

I'm not sure what the final point tally was on Ovechkin, but I believe he got one less-than-stellar goal. The flashiest thing about him was his mirrored Oakley visor, which he is banned from wearing in official NHL games.

And as for Sid the Kid...Nothin'. Nada. Zippo. Now, how, exactly, did that happen?? With the final score being 12-9 for the Western Conference, how did the NHL's phenom, the Wunderkid, the Next Gretzky, the top vote-getter in the fan vote, not get one single point? Not even a measly little ol' assist?

Yeah, that was a bit of a dissapointment.

The other big disappointment for me was that it seemed Dany Heatley got less ice time than any other player in the whole game. I was watching for him, and he was on a pretty good line with Daniel Briere and Marian Hossa, but somehow, Heater didn't seem to be on the ice very much. When he was out, he was making things happen - he set up Briere for the first goal of the game, and tapped in his own early in the third, and he had a zillion other chances. I think he definitely could have received MVP honours if he'd been give a little more ice time.

As it turns out, Dany's linemate Briere was handed top honours and the keys to a new truck for scoring a goal and 5 assists.

Other All-Star Revelations for me: I enjoyed seeing a few of the ex-Sens - Havlat and Hossa - but one of them still sticks in my craw. Zdeno Chara. For some reason, I have a lot of ill will towards that guy. When he scored his goal, I spewed venom. (Mainly because I felt Briere was trying to hit Dany Heatley with his pass, but because Z's stupid stick is so damned long, he intercepted it and scored instead.) The best parts of the game, I thought, were when they let us listen in on the players wearing mics. Ryan Smyth's a funny dude. And I also enjoyed the feature during one of the intermissions when they followed the journey of the kids who won the McDonald's In the Line-Up Contest. They got to mingle with the players, take part in a practice, hang out in the dressing rooms with the All-Stars, and then join them on-ice for the pre-game festivities. The players seemed to be really good with the kids - especially Eric Staal, Ryan Smyth, and Roberto Luongo - and it made me smile.

So my final thought on the All-Star Game is this: The NHL really should consider adding some sort of incentive to the game, because last night's "showcase" really was a bit boring. I had more fun watching Andrej Meszaros the night before in the Young Stars Game, when he apparently decided to switch positions with Patrick Eaves and play up front all night. (He potted 2 goals and seemed to be having a blast.)

Can't wait for the regular season to resume!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

House of Crap

Well, seeing how some of you have not been enjoying my Blogs on what I consider the best TV show in the world, today I'm going to Blog about the worst TV show in the world and see how you like it!!

Now, I confess that when I was in high school, I sorta liked the Backstreet Boys. I sorta liked them enough to buy all of their CDs and secretly listen to them whenever I got a chance. Hell, I still do. I mean, c'mon...Who didn't think Brian was the cutest guy ever?

Oh yeah. That's right. There was a rather large contingency of teenage girls who thought Nick was the cutest guy ever. I was never among that group, but he was definitely the most popular Backstreet Boy. His bleach blonde hair and whiny, nasal-y voice made girls scream and faint. He never had that effect on me. Until now. Now he makes me want to scream and faint. And not in a good way...

The Backstreet Boy days of glory are long over, and their attempt at a comeback in the past few years can be chalked up to one big joke. Boy bands have all but disappeared, and they're not even cool anymore to the teeny-bopper crowd. But one Backstreet Boy just can't let go of his last little shred of fame, and that Backstreet Boy is, in fact, Nick Carter.

If you haven't caught Nick's reality show House of Carters on MuchMusic, you're one of the lucky ones. There's a lot of really bad TV out there, but this show has seriously got to be the worst. And the really sad thing is that it's not just Nick. His whole family of nasal-y, whiny, bleach-blonde, pathetic, spotlight-groveling losers are with him, providing a whole half-hour of craptacular entertainment. And I think MuchMusic runs the show fifteen times a day, every day. Yipee.

My first observation in the bits & pieces I've seen of several episodes is that Nick looks like a bloated, burnt-out pop star. Which, I guess, in all fairness, he is. The premise is that he has collected all of his younger siblings, who have been scattered all across the great country of the U.S., to come and live with him in a big, sprawling mansion, so that they can bond and heal together as a family.

There's Leslie, the wannabe-rockstar with baggy eyes and saggy boobs who can't get her career off the ground. There's Aaron, the former teeny-bopper who is now attempting to launch himself into the world of producing albums (but he really should be working on that super-bad acne problem he's got all over his face). There's Angel, Aaron's twin sister, who really, really wants to be a supermodel (and the only thing she's got going for her is she doesn't share her twin's zit affliction). And there's BJ, the alcoholic sister who feels sorry for herself and begrudges all of her siblings for their wide array of talents (snicker, snicker).

Oh, and they've got a million dogs running around the house, as well.

Apparently the Carter kids had a rough up-bringing, and there's a lot of resentment towards each other and their parents. So Nick wants his siblings to become closer and work together to fix their relationships.

Sounds just delightful, doesn't it? Down-right heartwarming.

So here's a prime example of the Carter kids show their love for one another and work out their differences in a mature manner: The girls are all in a huge fight, with BJ and Angel ganging up on Leslie by leaving a bag of dog shit on her bed. Leslie whines for a while about her room smelling bad, then discovers the bag. She takes it and launches it at her sisters, who then remove the dog turds from the bag - by hand - and throw it at their sister, who slams her door while her sisters pelt it with handfuls of dog poop.

Oh, I warned you it was craptacular!!

So then along comes Nick, the doting big brother, who cleans up the mess in the hallway outside Leslie's room and then hugs her and tells her everything's going to be OK, and that they all love one another but that sometimes they show it in weird ways. Uh-huh. Sure. That's how I display my affection for my brother & sister. I throw cow pies at them.

I can't believe this TV show ever made it on-air. I can't believe these kids all think they're so gifted. I can't believe that someone hasn't slapped 'em all upside the head and told them to grow up. I can't believe they act like this with cameras on them 24/7.

I can't believe I've actually watched several agonizing episodes.

So if you haven't already tuned in to the wild & wacky world of the Carters, please take this Blog as a warning and don't bother. Save yourself the punishment. It's a waste of time.

Bet you're wishing I'd Blogged about Grey's Anatomy now, aren't ya?? ;o)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Just Me, Grey's Anatomy, and a Box of Kleenex

I know I've been ranting a lot on Grey's Anatomy lately, but I just have to re-cap last week's episode, so to those who don't watch it, please accept my apologies in advance.

George's dad died. It's the most I've cried since Denny died in last season's finale. You know how I always say George is just like this cute little puppy dog that I want to cuddle?? Yup. It just got worse. My heart was breaking for him. Especially after he made that passionate bedside plea with his dad to fight for his life. What a flippin' tear-jerker!! And after they took Mr. O'Malley off of life support, when George emerged from the hospital room to find all of the interns - even Alex - waiting for him, it just set off a whole other set of waterworks.

George, clearly numb with pain and grief, walked slowly by them all, not allowing even Izzie to reach out and offer him comfort and support. Oddly enough, it was Cristina who went after him, and as it turns out, she was the perfect one for him to talk to. She invited him into the Dead Dad Club, and informed him she'd been a member since she was nine. It was one of those rare moments when the soft, sensitive Cristina broke through, and showed for just a second that she's human.

Speaking of Cristina...While she and Burke are still determined not to speak to one another, Burke did bend a little this week when he told McDreamy in front of her that he hasn't had any more tremors in his hand. I just have to believe that the two of them are going to be okay.

As for the whole Addison and Alex development: It turns out that before moving back to Seattle to try and work things out with Derek, Addison had been pregnant with Mark's baby, but she aborted it. The baby, had she kept it, would have been born this week. Incidentally, both she and Mark were miserable as they reflected on what that abortion had done to their lives. However, Addison did end up seeking comfort in Alex's arms, as she finally kissed him (and I mean kissed him!!) at Joe's Bar, and I do believe this may be the yummiest new twist this season!! I'm SO excited to see where the Alex & Addy storyline goes! But the writers really do need to cook up something specialy for McSteamy too. He's been around for a few months now, with no real juicy plot to carry him. Time for McSteamy to have some fun!

Oh, and guess what Izzie did with a big chunk of that $8.7 Million cheque she finally put in the bank? She paid for a young girl to have a very expensive surgery on her back to correct the curvature. When Dr. Bailey realized it was Izzie who had come to the girl's rescue after the insurance company refused to pay for the surgery, she asked her why she had done it. Izzie stammered that she wanted to give that girl a new lease on life and a better future and all of the opportunities that bright young people deserve. Dr. Bailey, however, saw that as Izzie once again being too emotionally attached to her patients, and refused to let her scrub in on the once-in-a-lifetime procedure.

Dr. Bailey, meanwile, had to do a tricky procedure by changing Mr. O'Malley's breathing tube (before his death, of course), and she struggled to maintain her confidence and composure until the chief reminded her that she must keep her distance from the patient. She completed the intubation successfully, but then crumbled following the procedure, and then tearfully told the chief: "My son is named after his son. I just need a moment." Like, talk about rip your heart out and twist it around!! More Kleenexes for Jill! When Mr. O'Malley did pass away at the end of the episode, Izzie found Dr. Bailey and explained to her that she can be both - she can be emotionally attached to her patients and still be their surgeon. And for the first time, Dr. Bailey understood. Watching Dr. Bailey break into sobs as she grieved the death of George's dad was one of the most touching scenes of the season.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot - Meredith's snoring problem. She finally asked her dad if he snored, because she knew her mother didn't, and when he explained that yes, in fact, he did, and that wax ear plugs worked wonders, Meredith finally found the solution to Derek's sleeping problems. Sweet dreams, McDreamy!

That was definitely one of my most favourite Grey's episodes yet. Seriously. But now I promise to take a little break from Grey's...At least until the next episode! Cheers, gang!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

McYummy vs. McNasty

Everybody knows how much I love Grey's Anatomy, right? So you probably all know how deeply troubled I was a few months ago when news broke of a fight on-set between top docs Isaiah Washington, who plays the stern but compassionate Dr. Burke, and Patrick Dempsey, who plays the ever-studly Dr. Sheppard, aka Dr. McDreamy. I didn't like the thoughts of two of my favourite characters fighting in real life.

The situation became even more uncomfortable when word leaked that the argument and shoving match was the culmination of Washington firing insults at T.R. Knight, who plays the bumbling but lovable Dr. George O'Malley. Dempsey had stepped in to defend Knight, and that was when all hell broke loose.

It disturbed me to think of these actors, who all seem to have such chemistry and strong rapport on-screen, not getting along behind the scenes. The producers tried to smooth things over by saying these things happen in a tight family like the Grey's cast & crew, that it wasn't the first time a fight had broken out and that it wouldn't be the last. But rest assured, Grey's fans, we're all still buddies and you don't have to worry!

A few days later, rumours swirled that the real reason for the fight was because Isaiah Washington had called T.R. Knight a faggot, and Patrick Dempsey jumped in to reprimand Washington for the slur. Several weeks later, T.R. Knight came out of the closet, and said that while he was, in fact, gay, he hoped that that wasn't the most interesting thing about him. It became clear that the only reason Knight revealed his "secret" was because the fight with Isaiah Washington had forced him to come out of the closet.

At the Golden Globe Awards on Monday night, the whole messy situation was re-visited when, after Grey's won for Best Drama, Washington jumped in front of the mic at the back-stage press conference and declared, "No, I did not call T.R. a faggot." It was both unnecessary and inappropriate, and it put Grey's Anatomy and T.R. Knight back in a spotlight they were glad to have left behind.

Yesterday, T.R. Knight was a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show. Ellen, as it is widely known, announced she was homosexual ten years ago on her popular sitcom Ellen, and since then she has been an inspiration to other gay and lesbian figures in pop culture to be honest with their public about their sexuality. Watching T.R. yesterday on Ellen was difficult. He's so sweet and adorable, exactly the way he is on the TV show as Dr. O'Malley, and I kept thinking to myself, "How can Isaiah Washington be so vile towards him? Why can't he just leave him alone?" What makes it even more confusing to me is seeing how the two are so close on the TV show. Dr. Burke & Dr. O'Malley have had a strong friendship, and in recent episodes, with George's father undergoing cancer treatment, he's been turning to Dr. Burke for his opinion on his father's health. How can two guys who are such good friends on TV be such opposites in real life?

On her show yesterday, Ellen pronounced T.R. the "McYummy" of the show, causing him to blush and laugh nervously, but I definitely second that, no matter what his sexual orientation is. However, I also have another McName I'd like to hand out, and that goes to Isaiah Washington. From this point on, I shall now refer to him as "McNasty". He may be kind and compassionate on Grey's, but in real life, this man is repulsive. T.R. tried to make light of the situation on Ellen's show, but it was obvious that he has been deeply hurt and embarassed by his cast mate. Ellen closed the segment by saying that she hoped that in this day in age, people can stop saying hurtful and mean things to one another, and then T.R. thanked her for paving the way for people like him, so that revealing this detail about himself was much easier than it was back when she did it.

McNasty sure hasn't made it easy on him, though. And I never thought I'd have something bad to say about Grey's Anatomy, but if Dr. Burke somehow didn't recover from the surgery on his hand and, oh, I don't know, say, died, I don't think I'd miss him one little bit!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

CD Review: Rock Star Supernova

You may or may not remember, but the darling of this Blog way back when I first launched Jill's World into cyberspace was a young Canadian boy by the name of Lukas Rossi. He was competing on the U.S-based build-a-rock-band TV show called "Rock Star", vying among other rockstar-wannabes to join the likes of ex-Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newstead, and ex-Guns'n'Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke (although baby brother Lukey likes to remind me that Gilby barely played for G'n'R) - in a new, edgy, unique band with a CD already in the works and a nation-wide tour being promoted each and every week on the show.

Lukas ended up conquering over Dilana and Toby to take the Rock Star honours, and then he and the rest of the guys in the band all but disappeared for a few months while they worked on their album and prepared for their tour. But I didn't forget about them, and when it came time to make my Christmas list, one of the top items for Santa to bring me was Rock Star Supernova's self-titled debut album.

I've really enjoyed the album, mainly because it doesn't sound like anything else I have in my CD collection. It's new rock, but there's some audible classic rock influences (likely thanks to the fact that the dudes in Lukas' band are all old fogies). But then, when you add in Luke's gravelly, punk voice, you've got a sound that it is electrifying and completely....well...different.

Several of the songs were already familiar to me, as they were showcased on the TV program, either by Lukas himself ("It's On", "Headspin"), or by Dilana ("Leave the Lights On"), Toby ("Be Yourself (& 5 Other Cliches)"), and Magni ("It's All Love"). "Headspin" was Lukas' original that really made me sit up and take notice of him as a pure and enigmatic talent. I love that song, for it's melancholy undertones and the chorus that got stuck in my head 6 months ago and never really went away. The other songs that were played on the show are all catchy, and Rossi has brought his own touch to each and every one of them, making them sound different from the way the other competitors sang them during the show.

My favourite song before the CD even came out was "It's All Love". It's not as raucous and upbeat as some of the others; it has more of an acoustic sound to it, which I'm always more partial to. It allows Lukas to show his wide range of vocals, from low and sexy to that high-pitch, spot-on upper register that drew fans up out of their seats so many times on the show (especially when he sang "Creep").

However, the song that really grabbed me after listening through the CD the first time was "Can't Bring Myself to Light This Fuse". It was never played on the TV show, so it was completely brand new to me, and it's so hauntingly beautiful that it just made me stop in my tracks the first time I heard it. Luke's voice mingled with the piano in this slow ballad is just a terrific and profound combination, and it really is an amazing song.

Overall, I've really enjoyed listening to the new and original sounds of Rock Star Supernova, and it's definitely in regular rotation in my CD player. I think TLee, Jason, and Gilby have brought enough of an old-school touch, that combined with Lukas' young influence, they've created a sound like none other out there. And it's music to my ears!

Pick it up if you like: Motley Crue, Metallica, Guns'N'Roses (OK, it doesn't really sound like any of those bands, but I don't know what else to compare it to!)

Instant Hits: "Be Yourself (& 5 Other Cliches)", "It's All Love"

Skip-able Tracks: "Make No Mistake...This is the Take", "Social Disgrace"

Jill's Picks: "It's On", "Can't Bring Myself to Light This Fuse", "Headspin"

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Grey's Back With a Bang

Howdy, everyone! Lots to write about tonight, so I'm going to start with a brief re-cap of my most favouritest show ever...


Returning from Christmas Hiatus with a bang were all those lovable docs from Seattle Grace Hospital!!

The biggest plotline this week surrounded George's father having surgery to determine the extent of the cancer they discovered in his esophagus. The whole O'Malley clan is just great; I absolutely adore them. George's brothers are so funny, and his mom is sweet and caring, and his dad is...well, just like the best dad ever!! George feels a little left out of his family, though, being the "smart one", and he's definitely been having trouble dealing with his father's illness.

On the morning of the surgery, when George went to open his fridge, Izzie's $8.7 Million cheque from Denny fell off the magnet and landed at his feet. For those of you who don't know (or care...hahaha), when Denny passed away, he left Izzie everything, and as it turns out, Denny was a rather wealthy dude. However, a grieving Izzie couldn't come to terms with her inheritance, so she stuck that cheque on the fridge until she could figure out what to do with it. And it's just been hanging there, taunting her roommates ever since.

But this week...ta da!! Izzie finally deposited the cheque!! Maybe not for the right reasons, though. She wanted in on a once-in-a-lifetime surgery to correct the spinal curvature of a 17-year-old girl with a major attitude problem. And the only way Dr. Bailey would allow her to scrub in was if she resolved her Denny Issues and did something with the cheque. Sitting watching Izzie bawl at the bank was one of those moments where you didn't know whether to laugh or cry - it was all so ridiculous, but at the same time, it was heartbreaking watching her part with her last piece of Denny.

OH...I almost forgot to mention my absolute most favourite moment of the night!! ALEX & ADDISON!! Yeah, baby!! For a few months now, fans have been pushing for a relationship between the head of the gynie squad and her former whipping boy. I myself never thought it would happen, but lo and behold, there is definite chemistry sizzling between Alex and Addy. With Alex continually suffering abuse from the uppity Dr., Sloan, Addison has been sticking up for him whenever she can. And then Alex told Addison that he purposely screws up McSteamy's coffee orders because he's so rude to her, which resulted in the two of them almost kissing. I can't wait to see how this all develops, and I'm so excited that Alex appears to be thinking about rejoining the gynie squad again and ditching McSteamy's plastics!!

Bet you're wondering what's been up with Christina & Burke, right? Well, Burke had surgery again on his hand to try and stop the tremors, and while he and Christina are currently engaged in a stubborn game of "Say Uncle" with neither of them speaking to one another, she is harrassing everyone in the hospital to get her status updates on Burke's hand. The love is still clearly there; but they're both so determined and bull-headed, they can't tell one another. Yet seeing Christina at the end of the episode lying on the couch in his hospital room shows that they're still a close team, even if they aren't talking to one another. I'm confident they'll be fine.

Back to George for a minute. His dad asked Dr. Webber and Dr. Bailey to remove the tumor in his esophagus even if they discovered his cancer had spread, so that they could at least give him a fighting chance rather than a death sentence. Sadly, they discovered his cancer had spread, but they complied with their patient's request and removed as much of it as they possibly could, but without George's knowledge. I think the most heart-wrenching moment of the episode was when George told his family to be prepared after the surgery, because his dad was going to be in bad shape. However, George himself couldn't even look at the massive scar etched down his father's torso, and when Meredith took his hand in comfort, he was shaking so badly that it made me tear up. Good news, though, for George and Callie fans - they appear to be on the road to repair as they kissed over a full bag of his dad's pee. Wheeeee!

And no, I haven't forgotten about Meredith. She's been a mess with her dad scooting about the hospital, as his daughter from his second marriage had given birth at the hospital and the baby had some problems. So Meredith's been bumping into her father quite a bit, and it's got her in a tailspin. The baby survived a scare thanks to Addison and Alex's quick reaction by getting her into surgery, but Meredith just can't seem to wait to get her father and his new family out of her hospital. Oh, and Meredith has a snoring problem. So bad that McDreamy can't even stay in the same bed with her at night. But Meredith is demanding that he must sleep with her all night, every night, because of her issues regarding people always leaving her. And I once again was left thinking Poor little Meredith Grey...

I think I covered it all...So much for a short re-cap huh?

As for the rest of the weekend...I went to see Rocky Balboa with Stacy & Ricky Friday night, and I loved it. I want to see all the Rockys now. There's just something about Rocky...He's so sweet and dumb. I adored him.

On Saturday, I watched the Sens thump the Habs in the matinee edition of Hockey Day in Canada, and it was positively delightful. My boys are making me proud!! Then Saturday night, I went to watch Graham's hockey game in Shawville with Sara, and afterwards we went to Atko's for a few beverages. It was lots of fun, and we laughed a lot, but the night seemed to end too quickly!!

So today has been all about the couch and watching movies...And I better get right back to that!!

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lean On Me

My entertainment of the evening was yet another wonderful episode of Friday Night Lights, so it's time for me to get you all back up to speed with the greatest new show on television!! (If I keep repeating that over and over, maybe it'll start to sink in with some of you, right??)

With the Panthers' playoff hopes hinging on another team's success, the entire town was on edge as they waited to see if they were going to make the post-season. To add to Coach Taylor's stress & anxiety, Jason Street's family served him with papers suing him & the school for negligence regarding Jason's accident on the football field. When the news of the lawsuit hit the local papers, Jason began feeling the effects from his once-adoring public, as they frowned upon him turning against the team. Jason didn't want to turn on the coach and the school in the first place, so it upset him terribly, but his mother tearfully explained that to afford all of the additions to their home to make it wheelchair accessible and to pay for his re-hab, they had no choice but to sue. Jason went to the coach and explained the situation, so at least there's an understanding between them now, and Coach Taylor knows Jason doesn't blame him the same way the rest of his family does.

Meanwhile, Smash was trying to woo the preacher's daughter, Waverly, but he was baffled by her indifference towards him. He's used to being the star and having girls fawn all over him, so when Waverly asked him if he ever talked about anything but himself and football, he didn't understand what her problem was. Matt tried to get him to pull his head out of his ass long enough to show him that not all girls are impressed by having their guy refer to himself in the third person and arm wrestle the entire town, but Smash finally told Waverly that he likes the way he is, and if she's not willing to meet him half-way, then he would just have to pass on the opportunity to be with her. The little grin Waverly gave him as he left would suggest that we haven't heard of the last of her, though.

This week we also got a glimpse into Tyra's life, as a domestic dispute unfolded between her mother and her mother's boyfriend. When he slapped her mom across the face, Tyra leapt to defend her, swinging a fireplace poker at him and forcing him to leave. At the rodeo, he approached her mother again, begging forgiveness, so Tyra issued her mom an ultimatum: "Him or me." Riggins then picked the wrong time to ask Tyra to give him a second chance, and although it was obvious that she wanted to, she told him she would just be a hypocrite if she did. I liked this new angle on Tyra that they presented this week. Up until this point, I just considered her a mischievious little skank, but she showed backbone and integrity this week, and I admired her for it. In the end, her mother kicked the scummy boyfriend to the curb and told Tyra she could never pick a man over her. It was a real Hallmark moment.

Last, but certainly not least, comes the Matt Sarracen Report. With Matt's dad back from Iraq, Matt had hoped things would get easier in dealing with his grandmother; however, Matt's dad hasn't been much help at all. If anything, he has disrupted their lives even more. In an effort to smooth things over with his father and help him settle in, Matt went to Buddy Garrity on his father's behalf looking for a job. Buddy, of course, would do anything for his star QB, so he offered Mr. Sarracen a salesman position. However, this only led to more responsibility being heaped on Matt's shoulders.

When Julie showed up at his house after he missed a study date with her, she finally had that look of helplessness and desperation that I've been feeling everytime they show us what Matt's home life is like. He was trying to clean up the mess, get dinner and make his grandma a cup of tea, all by himself, and he gets so flustered trying to please everyone that it twists my heart up every time. This time, Julie stepped in to help, and after talking to her parents about Matt's situation, she decided to reach out to him as much as possible and support him as best she can. Eventually, Matt encouraged his father to return to Iraq with the military, because now with Julie backing him, he feels he can take care of his grandmother and juggle everything else as well as he did before his dad came home.

Oh, and remember how I said that their spot in the playoffs depended on another team's success? Well, the team that needed to win did, so the Dillon Panthers are headed for the post-season dance. Hugs & kisses all around!!

The sneak peak at next week's episode indicates it's going to be another explosive one, as it appears Smash's steroid use will be discovered, and it looks like Jason might actually break up with Lyla once and for all. Tune in next week for yet another scintillating FNL re-cap!

Have a great day, gang!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Comeback Kids

Alrighty...Time for some more hockey talk! I know, I know...All of my post-Christmas Blogs have basically been about the Sens, so to those of you who aren't as Sens-Crazy as I am, I apologize. But I promise, there is a wide variety of movie, music, and TV re-caps coming your way, so stay tuned!

Now about that hockey game...

Last night, the Sens were home to the Boston Bruins, a team that has curiously owned us throughout the season despite the fact that they've been below us in the standings much of the year. I had been chalking it up to the Curse of Zdeno Chara. We all know we lost Mr. Chara through Unrestriced Free Agency to the B's in the summer, and since then, he and his new team have been laughing at us every time we've met up.

But guess what? Last night, the Big Z was on the sidelines with some sort of ailment, so the Curse of Zdeno Chara was a non-factor. It seemed the perfect time for the Sens to turn the tide against one of their greatest nemesis' this season.

I missed the first period, so I missed seeing Boston jump out to a 2-0 lead, with one of those goals coming on a penalty shot. Through the second frame, Ottawa was digging hard and getting great chances, but as usual, Boston goaltender Tim Thomas seemed to have our number. He wasn't giving up anything. I was beginning to think that Thomas had crawled into the Senators' heads and that they'd never be able to beat him, when all of a sudden...

BAM!! Along came the third period, when the Sens finally exploded with five unanswered goals.

Mike Comrie kicked it off with his first in a Sens uniform, and Dany Heatley quickly followed suit, scoring his 26th of the season. With things all tied up and momentum on our side, the go-ahead goal came off the stick of Captain Daniel Alfredsson, who was in the right place after a tremendous second effort by Dany Heatley, who managed to sweep the puck to him in the front of the net even while being tackled to the ice by a Boston defender. Patrick Eaves then went 5-hole with the insurance marker on a suddenly-mortal Tim Thomas to make it 4-2, and in the final minute, Peter Schaeffer got the empty-netter to complete the third-period comeback and seal the victory in favour of Ottawa.

Somewhere, Zdeno Chara had to be hanging his head.

It was great to see the Sens storm back and take it to Boston in the third. It just showed their resiliency and the "never-say-die" attitude they've adopted in the wake of injuries to Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, and Antoine Vermette. They've really been taking a blue-collar approach to their games, simplifying their plays and capitalizing on their opportunities. There are very few fancy dipsy-doodles without Spezza in the line-up, but there are also a lot less turn-overs and give-aways. I heard them discussing it on the Team this morning ( and how the Senators have to convince Spetz to comply with this new game plan and new team mentality of less flash and more grit when he returns. Could be interesting, seeing he's the guy who is always telling reporters when asked about being a defensive liability: "That's the kind of player I am, I'm a creative player, and there are going to be turn-overs when I'm trying to make creative plays sometimes. I'm not going to change."

It might be time for him to re-think that attitude, because while he has been on the sidelines, this team has changed, and they've been successful in his absence. They have to keep doing what has consistently been working for them, and if Jason Spezza is going to mess up that recipe, then he becomes more of a hindrance than a help.

Time will tell, but for now, we still have a few more weeks as the Spezza-less Senators, and if they keep rolling like this, he'll have no choice but to conform!


Monday, January 08, 2007

The Weekend Rundown

Hey gang! Sorry I'm so late with the Blog today, but as you may or may not know, I am currently on my "Winter Hours", which means I'm off on Mondays & Fridays, so if I'm MIA on those days, don't panic - I'm just not at a computer! ;o)

I had a great weekend. Friday I watched Team Canada claim Gold over the Russians at the World Junior Championships, so that was very exciting. Then Friday night was our Murder Mystery DVD viewing party, so our cast was reunited for one last hurrah over pizza and beer. There were a few glitches, however, when the DVD wouldn't work in 4 different DVD players. Finally Mark found one at his place that was compatible with the DVD, and we were able to watch it all at last. It became quite embarassing to see how pathetically drunk we were by the end, and I'm shocked there weren't more complaints about how long it dragged out with people rambling and forgetting lines. But as Donna reminded us, usually by that point the crowd is pinned too, so they don't even notice. I'm not surprised that Aunt Mo is threatening to not allow drinking on-stage next year, though!

Saturday was the Sens game vs. New Jersey that we got my mom tickets for at Christmas, so we ventured off to Scotiabank Place to watch a rather boring hockey game. However, with the Sens down 3-1 in the dying minutes, Preissing did sneak one by Marty Brodeur to make things a little more interesting in the end. The Sens did end up taking the loss, 3-2, but Ma claimed to have a wonderful time and can't wait to go see another game! Probably the most excitement of the game came during the second intermission, when a bunch of Atom-level hockey players took to the ice for a relay race, and two of the teams were from Shawville. Both of them were lagging far behind the other two teams, but the little black team from Shawville gained some steam in the second last lap, and in the final lap they overtook both of the other teams to win, and people in the stands were cheering like crazy. Must have been a great moment for those kids!

Yesterday we watched from home as the Sens took on Philly in another afternoon tilt, and we all wished we were at that game. At least we would have had many more opportunities to cheer with the Sens stomping all over the last-place Flyers in a score of 6-1. Josh Hennessy scored his first NHL goal, so now Glen Healy won't be able to rip him for not having a point in any of the three or four games he's played in a Sens uniform. Wade Redden had a great game, collecting two assists and Third Star honours. I'm trying to ignore reports over on the Big K's Sports Report Blog suggesting his name is swirling in trade rumours with the Edmonton Oilers - I firmly believe Wade is not going anywhere, and this report was only fabricated to get me riled up. Nice try, Big K, but I'm not biting!!

Hope you all had a good weekend, and don't fret if there is no Blog tomorrow, as I'll likely be too busy tomorrow playing catch-up to write one. So please hang out in the Comments Section of this post, and I'll be back Wednesday!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Heat Is On

There were so many different storylines going into last night's game between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres that the scribes had to be licking their chops over this one.

There was the new face of Mike Comrie in the Sens' line-up, as he arrived in time from Washington to be pencilled in to the roster. There was Ray Emery, the recently-appointed #1 Star of the Week by the NHL, who has stood on his head to keep his team in games lately. There was the fact that the Sens have soldiered on quite admirably, going 4-0-1 in the absence of stars Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, and Antoine Vermette. There were the Buffalo Sabres lining up as the opponent, arguably the hottest team in the league up to the half-way mark, but strangely a team the Sens have dominated in the previous meetings.

So much to talk about, so many headlines, so many sub-plots.

But by the end of the night, one man had grabbed the spotlight all for himself.

It was, indeed, The Dany Heatley Show at Scotiabank Place last night, folks.

After a dodgy first period which saw the Sabres outshoot Ottawa by a wide margin, the Sens, led by Heatley, exploded in the second for four goals, three of them coming off Heater's stick. It gave Heatley three hat tricks on the season, and silenced those who were murmuring that he couldn't score without Spezza dishing him the puck.

Tom Preissing with a blast on the powerplay, Peter Schaeffer on a nifty break-away, and Wade Redden, God love him in all his splendid glory, also capitalized for the Sens, with the final score being 6-3. The scoreboard would indicate a much closer game than it actually was, as the Sens seemed to lay back with their 5-goal cushion late in the third, allowing Buffalo to score twice in the dying minutes. It just goes to show how lethal these Sabres are, and how they can come back from a deficit, no matter how large.

However, on this night, it was truly all Ottawa. Mike Comrie fit in nicely, playing with an edge and collecting two assists. He was making things happen out there, and I look forward to seeing what he brings to this team in the future. Ray Emery was also in top form, shutting the Sabres out in the first period when they were on the attack and giving his team a chance to compete. Special teams were also a huge factor in the game, with the Sens going 3 for 4 on the powerplay, and Heatley also opened the scoring with a shorthanded marker to get things rolling.

I watched the game on TSN, and I would officially like to nominate Glen Healey for the Biggest Dick in the Broadcasters Booth Award. The guy is a real doorknob. I was so sick of listening to him by the end of the game that I wanted to bash my head into a wall. He's soooo cocky and arrogant and anti-Ottawa that it makes me want to puke. I don't know how many times he pointed out that the Sens have two forwards without a point, Hennesy and Payer. He said it like fifteen times. I just wanted to reach into my TV and grab him by the throat and scream: "DICK!! They have only played two games!!" I mean, does he not realize they have been called up to fill the void for the absent Spezza, Fisher & Vermette? For a guy who played in this league, he sure doesn't know much about hockey.

In any case, that was really the only thing I could find to complain about all night long. Otherwise, it was a delightful evening for Sens fans everywhere. My only true concern at this point is that the boys have been on a bit of a roll lately, and I've got tickets for Saturday's game vs. the New Jersey Devils. Good thing, right?? Wrong. Knowing my luck, they're probably due for an ass-kicking, and you can bet that I'll be in attendance to see it!

But I'll keep my fingers crossed for The Dany Heatley Show: Part II.

Have a good day, gang!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Resolution Time

Happy New Year!!

Well, it'll be back to the ol' grindstone for me tomorrow, so I decided to take a few of my last "holiday moments" to share my New Year's resolutions with all of my favourite Bloggers. Here goes nothing...
  • Resolution #1: To lose 26 lbs. 6 of those pounds I have gained over the holidays, so I hope to shed them quickly. But I vowed I'd eat happily and heartily during Christmas, which I did, so I refuse to regret my food binge. Now it's just time to get rid of it!!
  • Resolution #2: To find a boyfriend. It's becoming increasingly apparent that Wade Redden is not going to come a-knockin' any day soon, so it's time to quit hanging all my hopes on him and move on. (Alright, so I haven't really been single all this time because I was holding out for Wade, but it sounds better than saying I'm just a loser with nobody to love me...) In any case, I'm planning on continuing the search with much intensity in 2007, and I'm vowing to have a boy of my own to kiss when 2008 comes rolling in. (If you know of any candidates, please send their applications to me at your earliest convenience).
  • Resolution #3: To start writing again!! Writing used to be one of my favourite things to do. I always had storylines swirling around in my head, and I'd spend as much time as possible writing them down. However, in the past year or so, I haven't been writing much at all, with the exception of the Blog. How am I supposed to become a best-selling author if I don't at least try, right??
  • Resolution #4: To win the Stanley Cup. Okay, so that resolution hinges entirely on the Ottawa Senators and their abilities, but I truly believe they can do it, and if they do, I'll be the one cheering the loudest and leading the parade. It's the only resolution I have no control over, but I'll leave it in the very capable hands of my Sens.
  • Resolution # 5: To have as much fun as possible. I'm going to take every opportunity to do something different, to expand my horizons, to have a blast doing whatever comes my way. I'm going to dance more, I'm going to sing more, I'm going to do more of the things I love to do the most - I'm not going to worry, mope, or get down on myself. I'm going to be OPTIMISTIC about life in general. I'm going to do my best to be bright and shiny as often as possible. Just check out that glow coming from my direction... It's already working! ;o)

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season and that you rang in 2007 in style! And I hope you're able to keep all of your New Year's Resolutions...It won't be easy, but together, we can do it!

Before signing off, I want to send out extra-special birthday wishes to one of our regular Bloggers - PRISCILLA!! I hope you're having a good one, PK, and we'll have to plan a night out for dinner to celebrate in the near future!!