Thursday, August 30, 2007

Top 10 Reasons to Love the Fair

No ball game last night due to the torrential thunderstorm we endured here in the Ottawa Valley. So here's your Top 10 Reasons to go to the Shawville Fair this weekend instead of a game re-cap. The fair is like a special holiday around here - probably my second-favourite time of the year after Christmas. The only thing that makes the end of summer tolerable is knowing it's Fair Time!

10. The Midway - I haven't actually been on a ride at the Shawville Fair for 5 years or so, because it's cheaper to get in without a ride pass, and once you hit my age, your just not cool standing in lines for rides unless your holding the hand of a child. That being said, the Shawville Fair has probably the best Midway any country fair in the area has ever had.

9. The Barns - Ok, so I'm not a big animal person, but I usually try to take a flying trip through the barns to check out the cows and the petting zoo. Little kids love it in there.

8. The Handicraft Exhibits - At least once during the fair, I have to take a tour through the exhibit hall to check out the quilts and crafts and such. Over the past few years, while the fair has gotten bigger and better and more about the entertainment, the craft exhibits are still what makes it an old-time fair. And it's great for the old ladies, keeps 'em happy.

7. Miss Shawville Fair - I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the Miss Shawville Fair pageant, but it's always nice to hear who won, and it's fun to see the newly crowned winner mingling with the crowds all weekend.

6. Seeing Old Friends - Shawville Fair is like Homecoming around here. Many who have left the area come back for the fair, and it can be like a high school reunion. Some you don't care to ever see again, but for others, it's nice to see them and catch up on the past year!

5. The Truck Pull - It's the only reason to go to the fair on Thursday night, and right now, I'm really looking forward to it! Loud trucks, people crammed into bleachers, lots of dust and noise. The perfect kick-off to Fair Weekend. For many, the ride begins tonight...

4. The Demolition Derby - In a way, the Derby is a bittersweet occasion - it's held on the last day of the Fair, the holiday Monday, and while it is a part of the fair that I greatly anticipate, it also signals the end of all the fun. It's fun to watch the cars crashing and bashing, and when your butt get sore from sitting too long, it's also your last chance to tour the grounds and make sure you got to see everything you came for.

3. The Entertainment - In the past, we've seen the likes of Paul Brandt, the Wilkinsons, Terri Clark, Carolyn-Dawn Johnson, Aaron Lines, Aaron Pritchett, George Canyon, Emerson Drive, and Stompin' Tom all take the stage at the Shawville Fair. It's been a showcase of elite Canadian Country Music over the past 5 or 6 years. This year, the organizers decided to go a little more low-key, with only Friday and Sunday night featuring "big names", Johnny Reid and Doc Walker. Doesn't matter to me - I love 'em both.

2. The Beer Tent - It's where all the partying takes place - the place to be at night at the fair! It's a whole lotta crazy, all under one big white tent, and standing just outside it, like we usually do, you get to see pretty much everyone who's anyone! And once your drunk, the Beer Tent can be the best place in the world...

1. The Food - When I first started thinking about this list, I was using food items as individual rankings on the list. Then I realized I could do a Top 10 just on food at the fair, so I decided to lump 'em in all under the Big #1: Beaver Tails, ice cream, the Lemonade stand, Spinners, Poutine Machine, Billy T's Pizza, Cotton Candy, Candy Apples, fudge, and best of all...Cheese Burgers from the 4-H booth. Yum!!!!

So I'll hopefully see you all this weekend at the Fair! You can probably find me between the 4-H booth and the Beer Tent - my headquarters for the weekend. Bring it on!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

YAY for Eric & Jess!

If you recall, yesterday I mentioned that I'd really like to see Eric and Jessica finally hook up on Big Brother, even if it meant that America had to tell Eric to kiss her. Well, America did choose Jessica for Eric to kiss (clearly, people are more sentimental than I thought - I was sure they'd make him kiss Dick!) - but unbelievably, Eric stepped up to the plate even before he received his orders from the viewing public!

Jess & Eric have easily become one of my all-time favourite in-house couples. They seem so opposite, yet their bond is so tight, and there has definitely been some romantic tension between them for the past few weeks. Lots of snuggling in bed, back-rubbing, and so on... So last night, when Eric finally made the move and kissed Jess while they were lying in bed together, I did a little victory dance for them. I was possibly the cutest moment in BB History!

So the next day, Eric gets his marching orders from the good people of the USA, and promptly went to the bathroom to gargle with mouthwash, then went to smooch Jess. But apparently Jess wasn't in a big-time kissy mood, as she just gave him a quick peck on the lips - far less romantic, and on the screen where they check off the "Task Completed" box, they even added an extra line that said "Barely". Too funny!

Now, in the Veto competition, Eric finally got to play for the first time, and he actually won the coveted power. Amber and Zach both worked hard to get Eric to veto their nominations, and to a certain degree, I think even Jessica wanted him to use it so she could back-door Daniele. However, Eric is more true to his word, and he decided to stick with his alliance with Dick and Daniele and let the current nominations stand. Surely to God, this means Amber will be out the door this week. I can't take anymore of her tearful chats with God, or her visions, or her silly little prayers. She's driving me insane!

Big ball game tonight, so hopefully I'll be glowing after a win tonight...Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Saving Face

I was awfully excited and nervous going into Game #2 of the Quyon 3-Pitch Playoffs last night. The thoughts of knocking out Team Pepsi in a 2-game sweep had me already tasting sweet victory.

Alas, it was not to be. The game was close all night, but in the end, we weren't able to get the job done. The final score was something like 14-10, and basically just "one good inning" separated us from them. I only got on base once, so I wasn't much help out there at all. However, I did manage to save myself from extreme embarassment. At the top of the 7th, with 2 men out, I came up to bat. I was trying to think positive and just praying I'd get on base, but as soon as I hit the ball, I knew I was doomed. I had hit it right to the third baseman. I started to run anyways, in hopes that maybe he'd bobble it or something, and the next thing I knew, I felt like I was about to flip over my own two feet. All I was thinking of was staying on my feet and trying to regain my balance, and after a moment, I did seem to steady myself. I ran a few more steps, and all of a sudden I felt myself going again! I have no idea why I was tripping so badly in my attempt to get to first, but I felt like a complete doofus, and I felt like everyone was laughing at me. I was ever-so-grateful that I didn't do face-plant in the red dirt, though. That would have been over-the-top humiliation!

So Game #3 goes Wednesday night. I'm already having an anxiety attack. They can tell me it's just for fun all they want, but at the end of the day, everybody still wants to win. *Ugh*

Last night the Idols were singing the Standards, and it was easily one of my least-favourite episodes thus far. Brian was the best, though, so he remains my #1. Unfortunately, Dwight was really a fish out of water, and I expect he'll be voted out tonight. My predictions are still the same - Brian & Jaydee in the Final 2.

And on Big Brother, HoH Jessica put up Amber and Zach, and if there is a God, Amber will be voted out this week. She is truly pathetic. Her praying and "talks with God" are so phony and hypocritical that it makes me want to vomit. "Hey God, it's me...I really need you now...blah...blahblah...God Bless You." How flipping stupid. Doesn't she realize God doesn't need to bless Himself? Even God must be getting sick of listening to her. The funniest part of Sunday night's episode was when Jameka was telling her how she should be a model, and right away Amber starts talking about how she knows she has a beautiful face and a nice body and that she actually thinks a door to modelling or acting might open up for her thanks to Big Brother. Meanwhile, they show a series of shots of Amber looking like a dog - completely unflattering, stuffing her face with food, all slobby and gross...PRICELESS!

Oh, and I hope Jess & Eric finally get to kiss tonight. Even if it is America who directs Eric to do so...the boy has been working so hard for her attention, he deserves a little reward. Plus, I think they're cute together.

Have a good one, gang!

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Introduction to UFC

Saturday night was my first "UFC Experience", as I joined the gang at Stacy and Ricky's to watch the fights. I have to admit, I wasn't really looking forward to the actual fighting - I was just going to hang out with the girls and chat. But as it turns out, I actually kind of enjoyed the fighting too!

I completely expected it to be like wrestling - and I detest wrestling. It's so stupid and...sooooo fake. UFC's not like that at all. There's no crazy performances, just two guys who come out to loud music and wild cheering, then they get in the big pen thing, and they go at it. Of course, I didn't really understand the process at first. I didn't realize that there were a series of fights, and that there were amateur fights before the "real deal". So in the first fight, I picked this handsome boy named Patrick Cote from Rimouski, Quebec to be my "favourite". He won his fight in the first round, and I thought he was awesome. Of course, later on, I realized he was a nobody compared to Georges St-Pierre and Randy Couture - but the good news was they all won, and now the next time the guys are all talking about UFC, I might actually sorta understand!!

The only part that kind of grossed me out was during Couture's fight against Gonzaga (or something like that) - the guy's nose was busted up and he was bleeding all over the place. Most of the time, they seemed to be doing some kind of bear hug, with Couture pushing him up against the fence (probably not the right terminology, but you get what I mean), and the dude's nose was dripping blood all down his back. And every now and then he'd spit blood, and it would land on Couture's back or shouler. If that were me, I would have stopped the whole fight and said, "Excuse me, but homeboy's bleeding all over me. I quit!!" Very yucky.

But overall, I enjoyed the whole experience, and while I don't think I'm going to become a huge UFC fan or anything, it was definitely more interesting and entertaining than I expected. Oh, and I loved that Joe Rogan was the host. I remember him from his Fear Factor days, loved him back then, and still love him now!

Other than that, it was a pretty tame weekend, with not a whole lot going on, but that's OK - with the fair coming up, there's bound to me some excitement this weekend! Oh, and I play ball tonight - Game #2 of the playoffs - so look forward to a recap of that tomorrow.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's PLAYOFFS, Baby!

Here's a report from the Quyon Ball Park last night:

MVT was taking on Team Pepsi in the first game of the playoffs in the Team #2 vs. Team #3 match-up, and I quickly realized that playoffs means business. I mean, Ricky even gave us a pep talk before the game. Everyone seemed a little more tense than usual, and I for one was nervous as hell. Woermke tried to loosen me up, but all he did was practically pull my leg out of the socket and I tried to beat him up, but he was too quick for me. Now I have a twinge in my ass everytime I take a step. Lovely.

He was right, though - it did seem to help me get on base last night. I went 3-for-4 again, and my only big problem now is that I get all flustered once I'm actually on base and I kinda forget when I'm supposed to run or something. I had Graham breathing down my neck once, and I panicked, and I completely screwed up a chance to have runners on 2nd and 3rd. It's like I turn retarded once I actually get on the bag. I was most upset with myself, though, out in the field in the top of the 7th. We had a 4-run lead going in, and the Pepsi kids were pouring on the pressure, and a ball was hit almost right to me. It's the kind of play I'd been hoping for - a ball hit right to me, I make the catch, and my team would finally have something to be proud of me for. But of course I came up short, the ball hit the ground and bounced by me, and I felt like a complete tool.

Team Pepsi took a 2-run lead going into the bottom of the open inning, and I was pretty much blaming myself for not catching that ball and not getting that key out. Thankfully, our bats came up big, with Ricky getting a solo homerun, and then Luc hit another homer with one (or two?) men on base to win the game. It felt really good to beat them...and I really hope we can take the series!

Oh - Matt Rapley was voted off Canadian Idol Tuesday night, which really didn't surprise me. I think it will probably be Brian Melo and Jaydee Bixby in the final 2 (because Brian is awesome, and Jaydee has Canada wrapped around his little finger), and if I get my way, Brian will be the CI Champ. It doesn't really matter how it goes from here, though - all of them are amazing talents and any one of them have a legitimate shot of winning the competition.

Have a good day, everyone!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Brian Melo Rocks My Socks

Good morning, kids!

A quick BB re-cap from Sunday night: Daniele did what pretty much the whole world wanted her to do by nominating Amber & Jameka. Now if I had my way, Amber would be sent packing so fast, she wouldn't even have time to shed another tear in the BB house. But I won't be upset if Jameka goes, either. The two of them are just too preachy and hypocritical and holier-than-thou. I mean, Amber seems to now think God speaks directly to her about such trivial things as BB strategy. Yes. She actually sat in the diary room after her nomination and said, "I'm not even worried about this, because God told me I'm going to win the Power of Veto and take myself off the block." Like God is some kind of super-power you can hold or something. Dick keeps pointing out to them that he thinks God probably has bigger things to concern Himself with than their positions in the BB house, but apparently they don't get that.

The only way I see Daniele bitching up this week is if she gets to exercise her ulterior motive, and that is to backdoor Jen. I understand why she wants Jen out - but I do think Jen deserves to be there ten times more than Amber or Jameka, who have floated through this game on the coattails of Dustin, Eric, and Jessica, among others. Jen has fought hard to stay in the house. She's been nominated many times, and she always manages to get herself off the block, either by winning PoV or getting the winner to use it on her. I hated her in the beginning, but I have come around on her a little, and if she goes ahead of those snivelling snot-heads Amber & Jameka, I think Daniele's second reign as HoH will be as unsuccessful as her first.

Now on to Canadian Idol. Last week, things felt mighty empty without Greg around, but this week, I was actually impressed with each and every contestant. They really stepped it up and showed that they all want to win this thing by singing songs by their very own idols. My favourite performance of the night was Brian Melo, doing Radioheads "Karma Police". Brian got a complete standing ovation from the judges, along with the rest of the audience, and the best was definitely saved for last as he closed out the show with a bang. He was intense, professional, and his voice was at it's raspy best...I loved it, it gave me chills.

Jaydee Bixby was able to win me back over after his horror show last week by performing one of my new favourite Elvis songs "I Can't Stop Loving You". Jaydee really is in his niche with Elvis - his voice is unbelievably powerful, and he didn't do any cutesy smiling or silly dancing this time. He just sang the crap out of it, and while I'm not sure Jaydee should win Canadian Idol, he could definitely have a career just doing what he did last night.

I was also extremely impressed last night with Carly Rae Jepsen's performance of "Chucky's in Love" By Ricki Lee Jones. I didn't know the song, but I absolutely loved it by the time Carly Rae was done. She pranced around, was cute and adorable as usual, and she sang really, really well. Zack keeps pointing out that she's the most identifiable out of the group, with her own sound and style, and for that, Carly Rae should be a serious choice for the CI crown.

Also of note last night was Matt Rapley, who I think somewhat achieved the same powerful performance as the time he did "Whipping Post". This week, he sang the Red Hot Chili Peppers version of his idol Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground". It was a song Matt could really sink his teeth into and he belted 'er pretty good. He finally followed the judges' advice and got gritty, and they highly approved of him doing the Chili Peppers rendition for that reason.

Dwight D'Eon went with his rocker roots and chose to do the Bon Jovi classic "Bed of Roses". This was definitely one of Dwight's better performances, as he really got to open up his pipes and let his voice soar. I thought he sounded great, and even Sass applauded him for being "in tune", which is a huge compliment to Dwight, as she has criticized his singing from Day 1. However, on this night, when everyone else brought their A-game as well, I'm not sure Dwight's performance was enough.

It'll be interesting to see who is in the Bottom 2 or 3 tonight, as they all were so good. All I know is Brian should be safe, but that means nothing. I think it'll be Carly Rae, Matt, or Dwight leaving, but not because any of them sucked. At this point in the game, every elimination will be painful.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dick's Big Coup...And Long Live the King

My predictions yesterday for Big Brother were bang-on! There was nothing more satisfying than seeing the look of shock on Dustin's face when the results came in, and the votes were 4-2 in favour of Dick. Dick definitely did accomplish one of the biggest "shocks" in BB history; however, he probably couldn't have done it with the "America's Player" twist. If Eric hadn't been ordered by the viewing public to vote out Dustin, he certainly would have evicted Dick. However, once Eric learned that he had to vote out his ally Dustin, he got HoH Jessica on-board, and made sure that Jen & Zach were voting his way as well.

The move pretty much cuts his ties with Amber and Jameka, but they're weaklings anyways, and without Dustin & Eric holding them up, the two of them are destined to flounder (especially Jameka, as she gave up the right to partake in 5 HoH competitions in a past Veto competition). Strangely enough, I think we're now going to see Dick, Daniele, Eric and Jessica working together to wipe out the rest of the house. Things definitely went in their favour last night, with Daniele defeating Amber in the HoH competition to become the first player this season to hold the power for a second time. It's amazing how quickly momentum and power can shift in this game from one week to the next. Last week, it looked like Dick & Daniele were doomed, and now they're the King & Princess once again. I love it!!

Now, while I was watching Big Brother, I was switching over on commercials to a special on Much More Music - it was an E! True Hollywood Story: Elvis' Final Days. Of course, with yesterday marking the 30th Anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, there were a few programs on commemorating the man and the legend. Everyone knows how much I love the King, but I did not enjoy this documentary. I like thinking of Elvis as young and vibrant, full of life, energetic, loving and care-free. Because this show was documenting the final days of his life, it was depicting the depressed Elvis, the man who lay in bed, who was so drugged up he didn't know who or where he was, who was bloated and sick and dying. It disturbed me to see how this man who had everything allowed himself to spiral downward into oblivion. I don't like thinking of the Elvis who decided to have target practice in the Presidential Suite at Caesar's Palace in Vegas and almost shot his girlfriend in the head. Or the Elvis who hired a hitman to kill Priscilla's new lover, but then chickened out at the last minute. Or the Elvis who almost drowned one day in a bowl of chicken soup, and would have if his girlfriend hadn't pulled his head back and given him CPR.

Watching all of this kind of made me feel sick. And sad. That's not my Elvis. That's not my King.

So after BB was over, I tuned into Elvis Lives: The 25th Anniversay Concert Special. Now this was more like what I wanted to see. Elvis on-stage again, digitally re-mastered and belting out hit after hit on a big screen, while his actual band and back-up singers played live before him. I've seen a lot of Elvis movies and specials, but I had never seen this one before. It really was like having Elvis alive and on-stage again, 25 years after his death. It gave me back my Elvis Warm & Fuzzies, and reminded me of why I adore him and his music so much. For a few hours, it was almost like he had never died.

Long live THE KING!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

America's Player About to Get Busted??

An update on the Quyon Flyers: The Flyers lost their game yesterday at the Tournament of Champions, going down 7-0 to Alvinston, ON. I haven't got a whole lot of info on this one, other than once again the Flyers played strong defensively, but couldn't get the bats going. Luke was named Player of the Game (I'm assuming a player is named from each team - there's no way a player on the losing side of a 7-0 game could be named sole Player of the Game.) So it appears, with only one game left, the Flyers will be heading for home sooner rather than later. Today's game is vs. Oswego, NY at 10:30 AM and can be heard live at

Now to my own 3-pitch ball league. Last night was supposed to be a double-header between the 4th and 5th ranked teams to determine who will play the first-place L&J Towing squad. However, the Fire Department didn't have enough players, so I'm not sure if they forfeited or what the deal is, but there were no games played last night. According to Ricky, though, our team will definitely be getting started next Wednesday night. (Sharon, this info is pretty much just for you!)

As for Canadian Idol - I taped the elimination episode and watched it last night. The bottom 3 included Carly Rae Jepsen, Dwight D'Eon, and Tara Oram. Of the three, Dwight was the only one I would've removed. Jaydee Bixby should have been there, and he should have been sent home. But Canada continues their love affair with the 16-year-old blonde Elvis impersonator, while Tara Oram was sent packing. Kudos to Tara for keeping her elimination light-hearted (not hard to do, I guess, when you're swan song is "Walking on Sunshine") - she didn't shed any tears, smiled for the cameras, danced, sang, and seemed to have a ball up there for her last 15 seconds of fame.

Last but not least is Big Brother, which I also taped from Tuesday night. The America's Player twist is starting to play a big, BIG role in the game. Eric's task was to give the silent treatment to one player, and of course, America chose his closest friend in the house, HoH Jessica. Eric did his best to ignore Jessica; however, he chose to do so right after Jen put the bug in her ear that she thinks Dick and Dustin have a deal going. This put Jessica on high alert, as Dustin had offered to go up on the block as a pawn after Dick won the Power of Veto, and they assumed he would use it to either save his daughter, Daniele, or himself. When Jessica went to discuss the scenario with Eric, he played sick and sort of brushed her off. (He did speak, however, so he failed his task). Nevertheless, Jessica huffed off to her HoH room, where she came to her own conclusions that Dick, Dustin & Eric are all in a secret alliance.

When Dick used the PoV to remove Daniele from the block, Jessica decided to go with Dustin's request to be the pawn, and made him the replacement nominee. Now here's where things get really interesting. Dustin's convinced he is safe, expecting a landslide vote in his favour, and even if it's a tie, Jessica gets the final say, and naturally, she'd keep him over the vile Dick. But once again, the America's Player aspect is going to be huge. I wouldn't doubt for one second that the American public will get Eric to vote Dustin out. (They wanted him nominated, and I think they probably enjoy Dick's crazy behaviour in the house, so they'll want to keep Dick in). So if Eric votes Dustin out, and so does Daniele, Jen, and Zach, that leaves only Jameka and Amber in his favour. Then watch the proverbial shit hit the fan! It's gonna be a down-right witch-hunt in the Big Brother house to find out who's casting these "mystery votes". Of course, this all depends on Jen & Zach. Daniele will vote to keep her dad in the game; hopefully Jen & Zach deem it beneficial to keep him as well, or else Eric's vote won't even matter. It's gonna be a wild episode tonight!!

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rought Start for Flyers at ToC

As I posted last week, the Quyon Flyers are currently taking part in the ISC II Tournament of Champions in Kitchener. Yesterday was the first day of action, with Quyon playing 2 games, and it's fair to say they had a rough start.

Luke reported back to us after both games. Their first game was at 1:30 PM vs. Wilkes-Barre, PA, the 4th-ranked team in the standings (Quyon is ranked 30th). They lost the game 11-2, and while Luke said they actually played quite well and made no field errors, the other team was just hitting them really well. There were three pitcher changes in the game for the Flyers. Pitching will, perhaps, be the greatest problem for Quyon in the tournament. I mentioned last week that one of their pitchers, Joran Graham, was unable to attend the tournament due to his commitments to another team. Well, last week, their ace pitcher Matt Greer was playing with another team at the Junior Championships in PEI when he was hit with a line drive and broke his orbital bone, so Matt was also unable to join them in Kitchener. That left the Flyers scrambling last-minute for pitching help, which arrived in the form of Bud Hanlon, who plays for the West Carleton Electric fastball team. Bud has also pitched with the Flyers in several tournaments, so he stepped in to fill the gap left by Matt. However, in that first game yesterday, they had to use Hanlon, Lenny Burger, and Gord Flannery.

The Flyers were still looking forward to their 8:30 PM game, feeling they had a better chance against the team from Shakespeare, ON, who were only ranked 27th. According to Luke's report, they were leading through most of the game, until the bottom of the 7th. With the score 2-1, they had 2 outs and only 1 man on base, a Shakespeare player hit an in-the-park homerun to win the game. From what I gather, Bud Hanlon pitched the entire game for Quyon.

So today they play Alvinston, ON at 6:30 PM. I'm not sure where this team is ranked by the ISC II. Hopefully the Flyers can build off their close game last night and get a win today. Tomorrow's game is at 10:30 AM vs. Oswego, NY, and it will be broadcast live on the Internet at the link I provided last week.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Idol Just Not The Same Without Greg...

I decided to watch Canadian Idol last night, despite the fact that my boy Greg Neufeld was unexpectedly - and unjustly - voted off last week. It was a big mistake. I pretty much sat through every performance, muttering, "Well, Greg was ten times better than her", or "Holy frig, Greg would've done that wayyyy better than him".

It would appear the judges and host Ben weren't quite over Greg, either. I've never heard them refer to a recently-voted-off contestant as they did last night. And while they never came right out and said it, it was quite obvious that they were thinking along the same lines as I was: Greg would be blowing these kids away if he were still here.

Tara Oram was a big disappointment for me last night. She sang the Katrina & the Waves hit "Walking on Sunshine" - a lively tune, yes, but a little cheesy. I thought it was too much for Tara. She sounded like she was out of breath half the time, and it seemed to last forever. When you're listening to someone perform and wondering when it's gonna be over - well, that's not a good sign. It was nice to see her branch out of her country comfort zone a little, but if I were her, I think I could've found another #1 Pop Hit to do it with.

Jaydee Bixby was also a huge, huge disappointment. He chose to sing "Amazed" by Lonestar. It may be the most over-played country song in the history of the world. It's one of those songs that comes on the radio, and I switch it right away because I've just heard it too many times. But the biggest problem with Jaydee was that he didn't sing it particularly well. He twanged too much, and it hurt my ears. In my opinion, Jaydee was the worst singer of the night and he should be going home. But Canada apparently loves him, and I'll be surprised if he's even in the bottom 2 or 3.

The first contestant to impress any of the judges was Matt Rapley, performing a song called "Everything" - it was a sweet song, and Matt sang it quite well, but it didn't blow me away. He definitely out-performed Jaydee and Tara, but it would've been difficult to be much worse than they were. With Greg gone, Matt's probably the best vocalist left in the competition, but he hasn't yet fulfilled the promise he brought with "Whipping Post" a month or so ago. It's time he find that gritty, powerful performance that the judges are waiting for and deliver it.

Next on the docket was Carly Rae Jepsen, who made a surprise choice by singing Melissa Etheridge's "Come to my Window". Carly Rae did it her own way, which garnered respect from the judges, but Canada seems to have a hate on for her, as she's been a frequent member of the bottom 3. Unfortunately, I don't think she did anything to win them over this week. I was once again shocked, with all the #1 Pop Hits a person could pick, why Carly Rae decided to this one.

Brian Melo has slipped into my #1 spot now that Greg is gone. He sang "Dolphin's Cry" by Live, and the judges all agreed that Brian had the only "real" performance of the night. Brian has consistently been improving all through the competition, and he knocked this one out of the park. I didn't like his tight pants, but other than that, he was impressive. So that means he's probably going home this week. Canada sucks.

Last but not least, we had Dwight D'Eon, rocking out in both roles to Rob Thomas & Carlos Santana's hit "Smooth". Dwight had his trusty guitar with him, and he even had his own solo on-stage. He seems to have decided he sounds like Rob Thomas, as I believe this is the third song he has performed by the Matchbox 20 front-man, and I thought Dwight did a pretty good job. The judges seemed more impressed with this guitar-playing than his voice, but I thought overall, Dwight was probably the second-best performance on the night, behind Brian. Again, hated his wardrobe selections, but I guess it's not Canada's Next Top Model, so who cares.

I'm not going to predict who's going home, because apparently the rest of Canada and I are not on the same page, but I'm hoping it's Jaydee. But don't be surprised if it's Carly Rae or Brian. They definitely don't deserve it. But then again, neither did Greg.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Power Shift

I don't think I've done on a Blog on Big Brother since before Nick was voted out (Boooooo!!), so it's time to catch everyone back up to speed!

So yes...It's been a bad couple of weeks for me & Reality TV. Not only was Greg Neulfed booted off of Canadian Idol, but I also lost my favourite player in the Big Brother house - Nick, the former pro football player. Then, following him out last week, was Kail, who had become a complete basketcase in the house thanks to Dick's constant harrassment of her. That leaves the orginal Mrs. Robinson Alliance completely decimated with Mike, Nick & Kail all gone, and only Zach remaining in the game. And unless Zach can make some friends pretty darned quick, his chances of surviving to the end are extremely bleak - he's literally all alone in there.

Following Nick's eviction last week, his "girl" in the house, Daniele, won HoH, and she originally targeted the house's favourite nominees, Jen & Kail. However, at some point, Daniele and her father came to the realization that America's Player, Eric, had been manipulating everyone else to get out Mike & Nick, all the while setting other people up to take the blame. They got it partially right - Eric was the one who voted for Kail the week before, making it look like Nick did it, and he was also the one who voted for Nick, making it look like Daniele gave him a sympathy vote. However, the part that nobody realizes is that while Eric did make those votes, he didn't necessarily want to - he was just following the orders of the crazy people of the U.S of A.

So Jen won the Power of Veto, removed herself from the block, and Daniele replaced her with Eric in an attempt to backdoor him as revenge for his part in Nick's eviction. However, Daniele & Dick underestimated how tight Eric's alliance was, and they all stuck by him. This resulted in a major powershift in the house after Jessica won the next HoH, pitting her group including Eric, Jameka, Amber, and Dustin against Dick, Daniele, Jen and Zach.

The most interesting aspect of the game taking place right now is the America's Player twist. Eric is trying to work with his group, but his obligations to the American public are really throwing a monkeywrench into his game. Twice now he has had to vote against his alliance, and then he ends up having to set someone else up for the fall. Then, an outsider sent a banner over during last week's HoH competition declaring that Amber and Eric were liars, which sort of made everyone suspicious of him. Now, this week, America has asked him to try and get Dustin, one of his closest allies in the house, nominated. I think somewhere along the way people have either taken a dislike for him and are trying to do their best to get him out, or they just think it's funny to make things a little more challenging in there for him. It'll be interesting to see how Eric can spin it, and whether or not all of his little secret motives start catching up to him.

Other than that, the show has become almost painful to watch with all the bickering that's going on. Dick's constantly harrassing people, and at first, I thought it was funny, but now it's just ridiculous. Then we have Jameka and Amber, constantly praying and preaching to the rest of the house, while there's church organ music playing in the background all the time. Oh, and the crying. Everybody's crying. Amber's the leader, or course, but Jameka cries too. Daniele cries. Dustin cries. Jessica cries. Even Jen and Dick cry on occasion. The only ones who I can honestly say I have not seen shed one tear yet are Eric and Zach. There's not a whole lot of fun stuff going on in there. They're constantly at each other's throats. Nobody is particularly funny, and the BB execs' lame attempts to incite laughter (ie: getting people to run around in bunny suits for a week) - have been pretty pathetic.

The scary part: There's still more than a month left to go!!

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Best of Luck to Quyon Flyers

Here's a little Quyon Flyers update for all you fastball fans out there:

Next week, the Flyers are heading to the ISC II Tournament of Champions in Kitchener. It is a huge honour for the young squad to have been invited to play in the ToC, which they accomplished after placing well in a local qualifying tournament a month ago.

Competition will be stiff in Kitchener, as the ToC is an elite tourney, but the Flyers have vastly improved since they played in the Junior Championships in St. Leonard last season. At that tournament, they finished 10th out of 12 teams, and I think most of the players considered it a huge disappointment, despite being a great experience. This year, they made the jump from the RA League to the GOFL, where they have played against far superior clubs with much better pitching, and finished in 4th place, only 2 points out of 1st.

Things won't be easy at the ToC for the Flyers, especially since they won't be able to bring one of their stars, Joran Graham, with them. Graham, a recruit this season from Micksburg, had already commited to playing with Napanee at the Midget Championships in Saskachewan next week. Also unable to play is the amazing first-baseman, Kenny Fleck, who has missed quite a bit of the season already due to injury. However, Kenny will be accompanying the team to Kitchener as their Field Manager, and I'm sure he'll do a fine job as "cheerleader" as well.

The Flyers have picked up some help in the form of three cagey vets, which should bolster their line-up and add some experience: Earl Kearns, Lenny Burger, and Gord Flannery. All three men are old enough to have fathered most of these boys, so they should be able to offer them some pearls of wisdom on the field, as well as prove that they're all still great ball players themselves. They will also surely be of great help in the absence of Coach Mark Kearns, who is also unable to make the trip.

The Flyers schedule is as follows:

Tuesday Aug. 14 - 1:30 PM - Wilkes-Barre, PA vs. Quyon Flyers
8:30 PM - Quyon Flyers vs. Shakespeare, ON
Wednesday Aug. 15 - 6:30 PM - Alvinston, ON, vs. Quyon Flyers
Thursday Aug 16 - 10:30 AM - Quyon Flyers vs. Oswego, NY
*This game will be broadcast online, for those of you who have highspeed and want to listen. The streaming signal for all of the games can be accessed through as well as through

Here is the Flyers roster for the ISC II ToC:

Quyon, QC
2 Jordan Kearns OF Quyon, QC
4 Earl Kearns 2B Quyon, QC
5 Gordie Flannery Utility Kazabazua, QC
6 Ben Younge OF Shawville, QC
7 Nick Armitage 2B/3B Quyon, QC
8 Luke Young SS Quyon, QC
9 Kenny Fleck Fld Mgr Quyon, QC
10 Steve McCord 1B/3B Shawville, QC
12 Lenny Burger Pit Micksburg, ON
15 Shawn Laframboise OF/1B Shawville, QC
19 Dennis McCleary OF Shawville, QC
22 Matt Greer Pit Shawville, QC
25 Joe McCleary Cat Shawville, QC

Other teams from the area who will travelling to Kitchener for this tournament include: the Blackburn Bombers, Carp I4C Victory, Ottawa Valley Raiders, and Ottawa Team Easton.

This weekend, the Flyers are warming up at the Fitzroy Fastball Tournament before leaving for Kitchener on Monday. I'll be sure to keep you all updated on how the team from Q-Town is doing next week.

Good Luck, Boys!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

That's A Wrap on the 3-Pitch Season!!

OK, so here's the promised second Blog of the day!

Last night was the final night of regular-season action in the Quyon 3-Pitch League, which saw my MVT team taking on the Pontiac Volunteer Fire Department squad in a game in which we needed to get at least one point in order to secure a second-place finish in the standings.

To begin, Sharon & I engaged in a lively (if not exactly "accurate") warm-up, which saw us primed and ready for the game. And I must say, we did deliver!! Sharon went 4-for-4 at the plate, while I had my best night at bat, going 3-for-4. I even got all the way around to third again, but my teammates over-estimated my speed, urging me to run home, only to have the bad guys throw me out. Duh. I'm slow as molasses in January. Did they really think I'd make it?

I then abused the ump, Bucky, for calling me out, even though I was definitely out. I mean, he's my cousin. Shouldn't he be showing some family love? I woulda called him safe if the roles were reversed...

Also, I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard out in the field as I did last night. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood on the ol' MVT team last night (except for maybe me...Woermke kept telling me to smile, and I did feel a little grumpy, but it wasn't the ball game's fault. I was still fuming over Greg Neufeld being eliminated on CI). Anyways, there was a little bit of miscommunication on my side of the field, when Woermke & Chris both ran for a ball and both missed the catch. Ricky informed Woermke that he shoulda been diving for it, to which he just laughed, saying he'd like to see Ricky dive for a ball. Well, next time the ball was hit over Ricky's head - and over my head - and Chris ended up dropping it again - I turned back around, and here was Ricky doing a belly-flop onto the grass. While everyone burst out laughing, Ricky grinned at Woermke and said, "Now, don't ever say I'd never dive for a ball. Your turn."

We ended up tying the PVFD 12-12, earning that valuable point that cemented us in 2nd place in the league, and now we have playoffs coming up. I believe our opponent will be Team Pepsi...can't wait to get that series rollin'!

What a Joke

Last night, my sweetheart of a brother happened to ask the following question over dinner:

"So, Jill, what did you think of that exit on Canadian Idol last night?"

My reply: "Haven't seen it yet, I taped it. But I don't really care, as long as Greg didn't get the axe."

Of course, never in my wildest dreams did I think Greg Neufeld would be going home. Not this early in the game. Probably not ever. For me, Greg was consistently the best performer, and in my eyes, he was already crowned the next Idol.

But something about the expression on Luke's face told me that the Canadian public had pulled a cruel, cruel joke on me. It was the flash in his eyes; the sly grin that twisted his lips.

"They didn't vote Greg out, did they?"

He didn't answer with words; just a slight nod of his head.


I couldn't believe him. I did not believe him.

So I went downstairs and watched the tape for myself. And sure enough, Lukey wasn't lying.

After a week where the Idols performed hits by Queen, the bottom three, as voted by Canada, were Brian Melo, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Greg Neufeld. For the past few weeks, these three have, in my mind, been the most deserving of being the Final Three. I believe it was Judge Jake Gold who even said, when seeing the three of him before him as the least vote-getters, "I believe that these three were the best performers from last night." The shock on the Idol judges faces was quite visible. Even Ben Mulroney looked as if someone had punched him in the gut.

Carly Rae was sent to the couch first. And then came that awful blow: " did not receive enough votes. I'm sorry, but you're going home."

So with that, the dynasty that is "Idol" poved once again what a farce it really is.

It's not the first time I've been disappointed by a departing contestant from one of these shows. Probably the hardest to take before this was watching Chris Daughtry being let go from American Idol. He was the fourth-last to leave.

But now Greg, leaving seventh-last from CI...well, it really is a joke. The boy was clearly one of the most talented, professional performers that has ever been on any of the Idol shows I've watched over the years. The look of complete disbelief on Greg's face said it all. Then there were the blank, almost-angry stares from the judges as they tried to figure out how Canada got this so wrong. And then, as if that weren't enough, there was the lecture from host Ben, who declared that Greg should not be going home and that the voting public had made a very grave mistake, basically calling the Canadians who picked up their phones to dial in votes the night before complete idiots.

It was easily the biggest shock the Canadian version of the show has ever experienced.

The only thing I can hope for is that Greg Neufeld's early elimination from the show proves to be a blessing in disguise, as it did for Chris Daughtry, who has gone on to bigger success than either of his season's finalists, Katharine McPhee or Taylor the-grey-haired-dude.

I'll probably continue watching Idol this summer, just to see what happens with the other Idols I have a mild interest in - Dwight D'Eon, Brian Melo, Tara Oram, Carly Rae Jepsen. But I'm not sure I'll bother another year. If people are stupid enough to vote out someone as amazing as Greg, than it's not worth my time watching.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Some Movie Reviews Pour Vous...

Hey guys!

I'm still here...still alive...I know the Blog has been Blah, but I was on vacation last week!

It was a great week off - beautiful weather, with lots of time spent at the beach, on the lake, in restaurants, at movie theatres, with family & friends.

Two movies to recommend: "The Simpsons" & "Hairspray". I loved both, but you should only go check 'em out if you a) like The Simpsons (even just a little bit), or b) like musicals (and music from the '60s.)

"The Simpsons" truly was just like a super-mega-extended episode of the classic TV cartoon that many people have loved and watched for years & years. A little more risqué, perhaps, than they can show on primetime (I mean, we do get to see Bart's doodle, after all), but it won't disappoint, as long as you enjoy the show, even just a little. I, for one, am not a Simpsons fanatic - I watch it occasionally if there's nothing else on (and it seems the Simpsons is ALWAYS on, somewhere). But I still get a chuckle out of it when I do watch, so I definitely give the movie 2 thumbs up. And if you don't find yourself humming "Spider pig, spider pig..." for days afterwards, you're made of stronger stuff than I am!!

Now, "Hairspray" is completely different (just proving how diverse am, eh?) - it's a musical set in Baltimore in the '60s, about a short-n-plump teenage girl nameed Tracy who loves to dance and gets her unlikely opportunity to shine on the Corny Collins Show (just like American Bandstand or shows of the ilk.) There are many bright stars burning up the screen in this fun romp - most notably, John Travolta, all dressed up in padding and a wig to play Tracy's hefty mom, Edna. Christopher Walkom is Wilbur, Tracy's father, who spends the movie trying to prove to Edna that he loves her still, despite her...uh...grand stature. James Marsden is perfect in the role of Corny Collins, and Michelle Pheiffer really captures her inner bitch as Velma, the studio producer, whose daughter, Amber, is the snooty star of the Corny Collins Show. Amber (played by Brittany Snow, also of "American Dreams" fame, for those of you who've heard me ramble about sadly-cancelled show) is unhappy with Tracy stealing her spotlight on the show, and joins with her mother in attempting to exact revenge. Last but not least, there's Queen Latifah, who shines in her role as Motor-Mouth Maybelle, the host of "Negro Day" on the Corny Collins Show.

While "Hairspray" is mostly a fun, dance-in-your-seat, make-ya-wanna-sing kind of movie, there is the constant reminder of racial issues that were finally coming to the forefront during that era. Not only does Tracy break her own barriers over her appearance and size, she also helps break barriers so that black kids are allowed to dance with white kids on the same stage, on the same screen.

If you like musicals (à la "Grease"), you'll love "Hairspray"!!

OK, so there's a hopefully, Sharon, you're out there reading, and won't have to lecture me at ball tonight. ;)

Have a great day, gang!!