Thursday, September 27, 2007

Premiere Week & Steve "The Monster" Downie

Well, it's already Thursday, so I guess I've already missed a large part of what is being widely touted as "Premiere Week" on television. However, the only 2 shows debuting this week that I have any interest in are Grey's Anatomy, which airs tonight, and it's new spin-off, Private Practice, which kicked off last night.

I wasn't too sure how I'd feel about Private Practice, but I really enjoyed it last night, and I'm already hooked. While I don't think Addison's new pals over at the Oceanside Wellness Centre are as an enigmatic, entertaining group as her former colleagues at Seattle Grace, I think they'll grow on me. On her first day, Addison had to deal with her new co-workers' disapproval of her hiring, along with a pregnant teenager who went into labour and then promptly passed out. Addy had to do an emergency c-section, barely saving the girl and her baby. Oh, and her best friend Naomi's ex-husband Sam saw her naked. Not exactly a smooth transition, but I can't wait to see how things develop for her in LA.

My main concern with this whole situation is how Addison's departure is going to effect the storyline over on Grey's. Also, Dr. Burke, played by Isaiah Washington, will be missing this year, as his contract was not renewed after all of the scandals he caused last season with his slurs against gay co-star T.R. Knight. Things aren't going to be the same without Addison and Burke in the mix, and I'm so excited to see how it all plays out tonight on the season premiere of Grey's!!

Now, on a completely different topic: Everyone has probably heard about the debacle that took place Tuesday night during the Sens game vs. Philly, when Flyers hopeful Steve Downie laid a crushing blow to the head of Ottawa forward Dean McAmmond. I wasn't watching the game, and I didn't see the replays. All I have heard is the media's reaction, both in the newspaper and on sports talk radio - and it sounds like this was a doozie. Apparently, Downie charged at McAmmond, had all the time in the world to think about it, leapt off the ice, and put his shoulder into McAmmond's head. McAmmond then hit his head on the boards, and again on the ice. He was removed from the ice on a stretcher and spent the night in the hospital. He is now recovering at home with a concussion.

Everyone is upset over the incident, and it seems almost everyone is calling for Downie's head now.

In my opinion, it's time for the NHL to do something that really sends a message. Vicious head-hunting in the game has become too common-place. Someday, someone is going to get killed. The situation here is that Downie likely is going to be returned to the minors anyways, so how does a suspension to him send a message at the NHL level? If it were up to me, Downie would be handed a lengthy suspension, to be enforced by the AHL, and he should be banned from ever playing in an NHL game again. He has a reputation of being a nutcase, and his actions on the ice have been notably criminal in the past. He's a loose cannon, and he should never be given the opportunity to end another veteran NHLer's season again.

It's not yet known if and when McAmmond will be ready to play again. Dean McAmmond, a pro who has fought and clawned to earn a place and respect in this league for years, may not lace 'em up again for a very long time, if ever. Steve Downie, a young, reckless, disrespectful goon has taken away his ability to play the game he loves, at least for now. So as far as I'm concerned, Downie should not be allowed to grace the ice surface of the NHL ever again.

He wanted to make a name for himself. He wanted to prove his worth and make the Flyers take note of him.

Well guess what, Steve. They did. And so did everyone else in the NHL. And because of that, you hopefully will never get the chance to play in this league again.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jill's Early Survivor Impressions

Here's some of my early impressions of Suvivor: China...

- I refuse to take seriously a guy who calls himself "Frosti".

- I already detest the skinny blonde girl named Courtney. She's a total knob. She couldn't even show respect for the Buddhist welcoming ceremony that Probst put them through at the beginning. It was funny to watch that Chinese monk impatiently slapping at her hands, though! Then she bitched and whined about her teammates, because they're not "city people". Ugh.

- The Christian Radio DJ was also a little annoying when she backed out of the welcoming ceremony, even after Jeff told them it was not a worship ceremony. I guess everyone has their own reasons and beliefs, but c'mon...Just suck it up and soak in the experience. I'm sure God's not going to hold it against you.

- Has there ever been a more clueless bunch of Survivors? I'm not even sure some of them even saw the show before. There were skimpy dresses, spike heels, combat boots...One girl even tried to get Probst to let her grab a bra from her suitcase. Seriously. It's Survivor, for crying out loud...Be prepared!

- My favourite tribe was the one with the two hot guys: James, the extremely buff grave-digger with a smile that could melt your heart, and Aaron, the surfing instructor, who's just an all-round hottie. Both will be fine for a few weeks, I'm sure, but they both may become big targets: James is very quiet, and already confessed that he'll have problems with the social side of the game; and Aaron was pretty much forced into the leadership role right off the bat, so he's bound to step on some toes sooner or later. However, these two guys may be the hottest Survivors to play the game since Colby Donaldson (*sigh*), so hopefully they're around for the long-haul!

- I didn't know someone could be gay and a Mormon at the same time. But apparently, flight attendant Todd is.

- Luke had a problem right off the bat with with former model, Dave. I was OK with him until he pleaded with his tribe to "pretty please" work hard to get the shelter done. Pretty please? Seriously?

- The Chinese girl, whom I shall refer to as PG-13, was bossy and frustrated with her silly tribe. If I were her, I'd have most been frustrated with Ashley the wrestler who did the "sick thing" for a few days, all huddled up in a ball and shivering while trying to make herself puke.

- The old dude named Chicken reminded me of Robin Williams. His voice drove me insane, but otherwise, I thought Chicken was an OK dude. He tried to voice his opinion on the first day and was shot down, so he gave up trying. Then his tribe got mad at him for not offering his opinions anymore. It still sticks in my craw that a tribe that had both Ashley and PG-13 to vote off, they chose Chicken instead. I don't think he got a fair shake.

- The lunch lady has a pretty snazzy mullet.

- Jean-Robert, the pro Poker player, should really, really keep his shirt on. Eww.

- James should always - always - keep his shirt off. Yum.

Look forward to Survivor updates every Friday! Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Evil Dick...And Evil Hugh Adami

So my prediction was almost right for last night's finale of Big Brother 8. I expected it to be a close vote of 4-3, with Dick taking the top prize over his daughter, Daniele. As it turned out, the jury did give Dick the crown, but at a 5-2 vote. I would have been happy either way - I truly believe the Donatos were the best players in that house. But once again, the America's Player twist stole the show - when Julie finally revealed to the houseguests that Eric was playing for the American public, it was hilarious to see the look of shock on the jury members' faces! Especially Jessica. She looked absolutely floored. It was clear that Eric never did tell her his secret, which I suspected he would once they were alone together in the sequester house. The only bad thing about it was I felt it took a little lustre off of Dick's win. They continually mentioned how Dick easily would have been evicted many weeks before if Eric hadn't been told to evict Dustin instead. The thoughts of Dustin sitting in the Final 2 make my skin crawl. Thank God for America's Player!!

Now from Evil Dick, we go to Evil Hugh Adami, a sports reporter for the Ottawa Citizen. Mr. Adami and I have rarely seen eye-to-eye, but I became especially frustrated with him after last season, the first round of the playoffs, he tsk-tsked the people of Ottawa for booing superstar Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He thought the boo-birds were classless and mean to the freshest young star this league has seen since Wayne Gretzky.

I said: "Poor freakin' Sid". As fans, it's our right to try and throw off the other team in any way possible, and I believe the fans only started harrassing the Boy Wonder after he had whined and complained repeatedly to the refs after he flopped dramatically to the ice time and time again. Being chastised by the media for being emotional and showing their displeasure for the opposing team did not sit well with Sens Fans. They attacked Adami by sending letters and calling in to the Team 1200. I held a grudge against him myself, and since then, I've largely discounted his articles, if I even read them to begin with.

But today, under his headline "Only matter of time now", was a picture of Wade Redden. So thus, I was forced to sit and read the idiot's story. I really wish I hadn't.

Evil Hugh spent half a page proclaiming that Wade Redden is on his way out of town following the 5-year extension handed to Mike Fisher yesterday. He claimed the Fisher signing left the writing on the wall that Redden is no longer welcome here, and this season will be his "farewell tour" with the Sens.

Now, I'm not stupid - I know it's not looking good for Wade to stay with the Sens past this year, unless he chooses to stay with the Sens and take a pay-cut. However, I think that possibility is entirely likely. He's been here for 10 years, he chose to stick with this team instead of test the waters of Unrestricted Free Agency as Zdeno Chara did, and he has done so much for the community. Why would he want to leave now? Why is it so hard to believe that Bryan Murray will offer him a multi-year extension, for a reasonable sum of money, and promise to make him a Senator for life?

I think it can happen. I've got my fingers crossed. And I hope the day it does happen, Hugh Adami remembers the article he had published today, and realizes how terribly wrong he was.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Season of the Donatos

When Big Brother 8 kicked off this past June, there were 2 big twists in the house. The first was that 6 people were playing with someone they had unfinished business with from the past. The second was that one player was secretly working for the American public, performing tasks and casting votes as he was directed by them.

Early on, it seemed that the America's Player twist would be far more significant, as Eric quietly worked away, earning the trust and respect of his housemates while advancing himself further and further in the game, completing his tasks and moving closer and closer to the half-million prize. Meanwhile, the 3 pairs of housemates who already knew each other were dropping like flies. First Carol, Jessica's former BFF, was axed in week 1. Then Joe, Dustin's ex-lover, was sent packing in week 2. That left only Dick and Daniele Donato, the estranged father and daughter, left competing in the house.

While Dick and Daniele had a rocky start in the house, with many arguments and screaming-matches, the eventually cemented themselves as a strong team. While they didn't always agree with each other's strategies - Dick disapproved of Daniele's relationship with Nick, and Daniele was always at odds with Dick's volatile behaviour - they always remained loyal to one another, and they pretty much became the masterminds in the BB household.

They formed an alliance mid-way through the game with America's Player, Eric, and his showmance, Jessica. Then, last week, on a double-eviction night, the ushered both of their allies out of the house. Next, they made quick work of weakling Jameka. And then they went head-to-head with another of their former allies, Zach, and last Thursday night, the defeated him as well.

With America's Player evicted, Dick and Daniele Donato officially became the biggest story in this season of Big Brother, and they may have even become the biggest storyin Big Brother history. As Dick pointed out, no other "team" has ever been able to achieve Final 2 status in any other season. Not Jason and Danielle in Season 3, not Janelle and Howie in Season 6, not even Chilltown - the Evil Dr. Will and Mike Boogie - could do it - in either of their seasons (2 & 7)!

Dick and Daniele have talked the talk and they have walked the walk. Every time they said they were going to do something, they did it. They intimidated, they bragged, and they conquered. They have been in jeopardy on numerous occasions, and they have always managed to flip it over and re-gain the power. Everytime they were down and out, they found a way to save themselves. They have epitomized what it is to be the best BB players ever. Even Dr. Will, widely considered the King of Big Brother, has to be impressed.

All of this being said, Dick and Daniele's domination has largely taken any fun or suspense out of tonight's finale. It really doesn't matter who the jury decides to crown the victor, because as father and daughter, they will likely share the money, and thus, both are winners. However, they will always be remembered as the strongest alliance to ever play the game, and in the long run, I think (and hope) that the Big Brother experience will strengthen their relationship and bring them closer. For them, I think that should be the biggest reward of all.

Dick said it a few weeks ago, and his prophecy has been fulfilled: It has, indeed, been the Season of the Donatos!!

Final Prediction: Dick wins by a 4-3 vote, and then prompty vows to share his winnings with his daughter. Awwwwww....

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Monday Morning After

Happy Monday, Bloggers!

I must admit, though, that I wasn't entirely happy to see Monday roll around this AM. This past weekend "My Band" (aka Jackshit, aka Foundation) were in town, playing Gavan's on Friday and Saturday nights, and it is on Band weekends that I realize that I'm getting old. I used to be able to go out two nights in a row, party til 3 AM both nights, and have no trouble getting up on Monday morning.

Alas, I'm no longer that 18-year-old who was ready to rip, anytime, anywhere. I still do it when the boys are in Q-Town, but I always end up semi-regretting it when it's time to get up for work. There's always that temptation to call in sick just so I can log a few more hours of Z's. What's even more pathetic about it this time around is that I didn't exactly get plastered on either night. I had a few drinks, lots of dancing, lots of sitting around laughing and talking, but at no point was I "drunk". I even drove home both nights without a problem. On top of that, I had several long naps on both Saturday and Sunday.

And yet, I still felt like crap this morning!

So is it worth it? Maybe it's time to stop hanging out with the band every weekend that they're in town. Maybe it's time to grow up and start going home early to bed, just have one drink, maybe only stay for one set. Maybe I should be staying home doing crafts in the evenings, or just watching a good movie. Perhaps I should be trying to think of other ways to spend my weekends than at a dingy, stinky ol' bar.

Oh, who am I kidding. Next time they're in town, I'll be there with bells on!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Let the Hockey Talk Begin!!

Seems like just yesterday I was vowing no more hockey talk for the summer.

Well, guess what, folks. Today, the Ottawa Senators Training Camp officially begins!! YAYYYYYYYYYY!!

Yesterday marked the beginning of hockey season in my world with Wade Redden's colour photo gracing the front page of the Citizen Sports section. The story below his handsome mug told of how he's focused and ready to prove his worth this season, and how he'd like to put the trade talk of the summer behind him. The article certainly didn't rule out a trade in the future - in fact, it promised constant rumours until the trade deadline in February, at which point they figure the "Redden Dilemma" will be solved. Murray will either be looking for a new home for him until that point, or he will be attempting to sign him to a contract extension, so that he doesn't have to see him slip away for nothing in Unrestricted Free Agency when next summer rolls around.

However, all of this trade-talk mumbo-jumbo was really secondary to me after reading the first few lines of the story. It was in those first few lines that I got some rather devastating, yet still uplifting news: Wade Redden got engaged.


My boy, all grown up now, is going to be getting married sometime in the near future!!

It was a very odd feeling - one of crushing defeat mixed with surging pride. I've been following this man's life as a hockey player quite closely for about 12 years now. When he turned 30 this past June, I did some reflecting on what it was like when he was just an 18-year-old, starting fresh in the NHL, and how far he and I have come since then. Now, he's actually going to get married. It kinda makes me tear up a little bit.

I wish Wade Redden years of happiness with his soon-to-be-bride. I wish him all the love in the world. I wish him a lifetime of laughter.

But most of all, I wish it was me...

OK, so that wasn't really hockey talk...but there's gonna be plenty of it to come, so brace yourselves!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Brian Melo Crowned Canadian Idol

Hello out there...if there's anyone left out there...

Sorry I let the Blog die again. But I just decided to revive it. Because I've pretty much followed Canadian Idol here on the Blog all summer long, and last night was the finale, so I thought I'd better bring it all full circle.

It seems like so, so long ago that I first started watching the auditioning process. Funny, I barely remember seeing Jaydee Bixby back then, and I have no recollection of Brian Melo at all. And yet, last night, it was the two of them, centre stage, amongst the 2-hour hoopla that saw the Top 10 perform on several occasions, along with appearances by Avril Lavigne, Bon Jovi, and last year's champ, Eva Avila.

It was a star-studded affair, as the camera was continually flitting over celeb faces in the crowd. One that they missed, but that I spotted, sitting directly behing judge Zack Warner, was last summer's winner over on Rockstar: Supernova, Lukas Rossi. Seeing Lukas smirking through the extravaganza was one of the highlights of the night for me!

I still have a bitter taste in my mouth over Greg Neufeld's long-ago elimination, and every time Greg got to sing a snippet last night, I was reminded of what a travesty it was that he was not in the Final 2 competing for the Idol crown. That being said, Brian Melo had really stepped up his game, especially since Greg's elimination, and if there was anyone in the Top 10 that deserved it as much as Greg, it was Brian.

That's not to say Jaydee wasn't talented. I've never heard a 17-year-old sing like Elvis Presley quite like he did, and everytime he performed one of the King's hits, or when he did Conway Twitty's "Only Make Believe", he gave me chills. Jaydee's old-school rockabilly style was bang-on, and he was a real crowd-pleaser. I can tell you my mom saw him do "Only Make Believe" last week, and she fell it love with him. (To be honest, when Jaydee originally did that song at the beginning of the Top 10, that's when he won me over too.)

However, going into last night's finale, there was really only one choice in my mind as to who should walk away with the honours, and that was Brian Melo. And finally, after two hours of schmoozing and a billion performances and "looks back" at the summer that was on Canadian Idol, host Ben Mulroney crowned Brian the Idol champion. It was rewarding to see Brian standing there amidst the showering confetti and hear him sing his new single "All I Ever Wanted". It restored my faith in the circus that is Idol - because a legitimate singer with a potentially-legitimate career, someone who's not going to be a flash-in-the-pan or an Elvis impersonator, walked away from this thing as the winner, and I can't wait to see where Brian goes from here.

But Greg still shoulda been there...