Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

As I sit here and type this Blog, I'm wearing a red & black leopard-print dress, a gold puffy jacket, leopard-print gloves, orange stringy hair (also referred to as "Stacy's grass skirt" - haha!), a fuzzy red old lady hat, a red purse, red high-heels, and a sexy red boa.

Hmm...Must be Halloween!!

It's one of my favourite days of the year, when everyone gets to dress up for the day, and be somebody else. You don't care if people laugh at you for looking so ridiculous...That's the whole point! It's one of the most fun-filled days of the year! I hope you all enjoy your day and have fun trick-or-treating with your little ones, or staying home & handing out candy!! :)

Now, on to Survivor, where things are getting a little scary for the Fang tribe. Anybody remember the last time this troop won? Like, anything? I think it might've been in episode 2. They're pretty pathetic. And my poor little Matty declared several times that he's losing his spirit and his drive to win last night. Things won't be any better for him now that his tribe blindsided his closest ally in the game, Ace.

Yup - Ace is gone. I was a little surprised myself, and I still can't believe that the likes of Crystal and Kenny are surviving, but it was kind of funny to see Ace go just one week after he declared himself the most powerful player in the game. Even more surprising than Ace's exit was the fact that Sugar - his best friend Sugar - actually voted for him to go! (She was protected from the vote, as she was awarded individual immunity by Marcus). Apparently Sugar's not as stupid as I thought she was. She recognized he was a snake in the game, and I think probably when he went looking for the hidden Immunity Idol from her again, she realized she was just being used by him. That being said, Ace really did look out for Sugar in the game. He kept her off the chopping block many times when Matty or others were dying to send her home, or flush out the Idol. We'll see how she manages to survive without him now, and aligned with weaklings like Crystal and Kenny...

It was double-elimination night, so Kota had to hit tribal council again, for only their second time. Marcus won the Immunity Challenge, so he had individual immunity (and, as mentioned before, bestowed the second necklace upon Sugar). Have I told you lately how much I love Marcus? I wish he'd given the second immunity to Matty, but I guess he had legit reasons for giving it to Sugar. Things were up in the air at Kota as to who they were sending home, either Susie or Dan. Neither of them were helping their own cases. Susie committed social suicide by telling Corrine she'd planned to vote for her, which infuriated her. Dan, meanwhile, was scrambling around like a chicken with his head cut off, consumed by paranoia. I wasn't surprised to see him go at the end of the night - I was, however, a little surprised that the vote was as close as it was. I'm sure there was a strategy behind it and the group isn't as divided as the vote made it look - they likely wanted to ensure they had enough votes to get Susie off if, by some chance, Dan did have the hidden immunity from his brief stay on Exile Island. Unfortunately for him, he didn't, so buh-bye la.

Looks like the merge is coming up next week, and I'm assuming those scenes they showed of Randy sitting on the beach, wine glass in hand, declaring he's King of the game, were alcohol-induced. Surely he's not that stupid...

On Grey's - well, they're finally letting Izzie and Alex be together. WOO-HOO!! I'm so excited about this storyline!! And even more interesting is that next week their new relationship will be tested when the patient Izzie stole a heart from to give to her fiance Denny before he died shows up at Seattle Grace, and Izzie is assigned to scrub in on his heart transplant. I really hope Alex steps up and helps Izzie through what is sure to be a difficult time for her...

OK, that's enough TV talk for one day...Go out & enjoy this spooky day, watch scary movies, eat lots of candy, have fun with the trick-or-treaters...HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The First Storm of '08-'09

So...It happened. We got snow. In OCTOBER. And not just a light dusting that vanished as soon as the sun came up. We're talking fairly significant snowfall here, folks. Five or six inches at least. It's hard to tell on my front lawn, seeing it's mostly all drifted down into the ditch and around the cars in the laneway (the wind on our road is notoriously wild), but according to reports on the radio and what I'm seeing here around the farm...Well, it's still pretty white out there!!

As you know, I'm all for it. I really love the snow, I think it's so pretty and it gets me in a festive spirit...Even if it is at least a month too early. I'm trying to think "Pumpkins & vampires, pumpkins & vampires..." but looking out that window, I can't help humming "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" instead.

Sick? Perhaps.

(Photo credit: Chris Mikula, the Ottawa Citizen)

But I'm one of the lucky ones. I don't have a long commute to the city for work; my job is a 5-minute drive away. So for the most part, I can sit back and enjoy the snow, watching it fall from inside the warm & cozy MVT office. I don't have to worry about city driving or fender benders or idiots who seem to forget they need to brake a few feet earlier than they did yesterday on dry pavement.

So from where I'm sitting, I'll keep singing, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" while the rest of the area seems to be grumbling & griping. I get to be in a cheerful mood today, all thanks to this October freak of nature!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let it...SNOW??

Been missing the Blog, have ya?

Well...Me too. Except, I'm so busy these days that I honestly haven't had time to string my thoughts together in a coherent enough fashion to create an interesting read for you folks.

Today, though, I have a little time. Would you believe the phones are quiet on the sod front? I wonder why...Hmmm...It could have something to do with the 15-20 CM OF SNOW THEY'RE CALLING FOR TONIGHT!! Welcome to Canada, baby, where we get snowstorms in FREAKIN' OCTOBER!! I love it. I really do. I don't love the fact that I have to fork out close to $600 for snowtires, thanks to this cute little Quebec law they're enforcing this year, but other than that, I'm all for the snow. Bring it on!

So I'm two weeks behind in Suvivor and Amazing Race re-caps. I'll just let y'all know that Marcus remains one of the hottest competitors ever on Survivor, right up there in Colby's pedigree, and my hot guy Dallas and his mom Toni are still tearin' it up on the Race, finishing again in the top teams this past week. I think they're doing amazingly well, considering Toni is now probably the oldest competitor left in the race, and Dallas isn't doing it all - Toni's contributions are many and valuable. I keep hoping they get a first place finish - maybe next week!

As for Sens hockey - things haven't exactly been hunky-dory. I had a ball last Friday night at the game vs. Phoenix, when we won 6-3 and I had the pleasure of starting the "PIZZA! PIZZA!" chant in my section. But aside from that, the bright spots have been few & far between. Going into last night's game they were mired in a 4-game slump (which included a loss to the Leafs on Saturday night - BLECH!) and were off to their worst start in 13 seasons. Egads.

Thankfully, they pulled out all the stops last night and picked up a huge 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres (previously the only team in the East without a regulation loss). I still miss Wade. Like, a lot. And despite my best efforts to become Jesse Winchester's biggest fan, I'm still lacking that 'joie de vivre' when it comes to hockey this year. But I'm working on it. If Jesse could get me a couple of goals or something, maybe I'd feel better.

Anyways...That's all I've got for now. I'll try not to skip another week and a half before my next Blog!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Reflections on Survivor and Grey's

Here's my Friday morning thoughts on last night's episode of Survivor: Gabon!

- Marcus is hot. Sooooo hot. But I don't like him hugging Charlie. It still creeps me out a bit. But aside from that, yet another strong week for the resident stud-muffin. His tribe is still rolling along, winning challenge after challenge. This week, things were a little closer between Kota and Fang, but they were able to pull out wins in both the Reward and Immunity Challenges, further weakening the Fang tribe, both physically and mentally.

- Sugar was sent off to Exile (or the "Sugar Shack", as she annoyingly calls it) yet again, and believe it or not, her dopey tribe was actually smart enough to find the Hidden Immunity Idol in her bag when she came back. Smart enough to flush the thing out, though? Not a chance. They decided to end G-Sizzle's agony, after he told them he was done playing the game and wanted to go home. Poor wee pet. The guy was weak from Day 1, and proved himself to be nothing but a quitter in all respects of the game. Still, if Fang had used even an smidge of intelligence, they would have ignored his whiny ass and voted out Sugar. The longer she hangs in there with Ace, the more powerful they become.

- Anyone notice that Ace was dramatically "injured" last night on two different occasions, both times involving his face? In the Reward challenge he took a pineapple in the face, and then in the Immunity challenge his shield came up and bashed him in the face. Loved that Probst showed absolutely no sympathy either time!

- Despite what a dysfunctional group they are, I think watching the Fang tribe's close encounter with an elephant was one of the most special moments on Survivor ever. For a few minutes, the game was forgotten as Matty gathered his tribe together and they just sat in the jungle and watched that massive creature stomp around and trumpet - it was really neat to see how completely enthralled they were by it, absolutely awed, and you know it's something that, once the game is long over, they'll never forget. Very cool.

- I'm not sure if Kota will ever have to go to another Tribal Council together before the merge, but if they do, the guy in jeopardy is Dan. He's too yappy, and you can tell it's starting to grate on their nerves. And his decision to label Kota "The Empire of Evil"? How cheesy and corny is that? Marcus sees right through him already, and I think if they ever do have to vote someone out, Dan had best be watching his back.

- GC's gone, and I sure wasn't sorry to see him go. Next week, it looks like Ace & Sugar are going on a power trip, and also Matty makes an alliance with Ace. I'm not sure how smart a move that is on Matty's part, but on a tribe full of dimwits, I'm not sure what other choice he has...

And now for a little Grey's Anatomy...I know I'm like the only one who watches it, but last night was just so good, I have to do a little Blogging about it!

First of all, I just love how this show incorporates children into the scripts. Any time a kid appears at Seattle Grace, it's always a great episode. They seem to have awesome luck at finding amazing child actors. Last night, the little boy who played Duncan stole the show. And the way George interacted with him - it was really great. The scene where George is getting ready to take him into a surgery to show him there's nothing to be scared of, and then they accidentally walk in on the wrong surgery - one which has a guy with his face peeled off - was absolutely priceless!

And I know I've said it before in seasons past, but please, please, please can we finally let Alex and Izzie be together? I know he's still messed up from his psycho girlfriend (who I really wish had never been psycho, but that's a whole other Blog...), but he and Izzie are so perfect together! I thought last week they had made strides, but then this week he's back to treating her like dirt. At least he finally sort of explained it to her last night. He's pissed off that his girlfriend was crazy, but he can't be mad at his crazy girlfriend for being crazy, so he's taking it out on the only person close enough to him to understand. That'd be Izzie. *sigh* They're so perfect for each other, and I crave the day they let them be together. Be normal together.

(This is just a picture of Justin Chambers, who plays Dr. Alex Karev...I love him. Yum.)

Oh, and I adored the scenes where Cristina discovers the land of Dermatology and brings Izzie, Meredith, and George in to lounge with her on their couch and watch them work in their floaty, dreamy world of lotion and massages. Very funny stuff!

OK - that's enough for one day. Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fender Bender

As many of you know, I'm the proud owner of a white '97 Toyota RAV 4. I love my RAV. I love it so much. I know it's no longer a prize vehicle - it's over 10 years old, and it's not quite 'in' anymore.

But I love it anyways.

This past summer, after driving it for a few years with exhaust problems, I had to actually get some major repairs done when it decided to roar like an airplane on take-off. It was so loud that I couldn't even hear my music inside the vehicle anymore. It was a little scary.

So I forked out a big chunk of change to get some repairs done, and for the past few weeks, it's been riding quiet and smooth and just peachy. I had wiped my brow in relief - it would appear the ol' RAV was going to last me another while!

Then, last night, after attending my first craft night of the year at the Family Centre, I was backing out of the parking lot and waving good-bye to my friends when suddenly, with the loud, horrifying sound of crunching metal, my heart jumped into my throat. I had backed right into a parked car across the street!!

Of course, my first fear was for my poor RAV. Already having gone through so much lately, I couldn't believe I was putting her through more. My Lady Linda. My Barbie Mobile. Smushed right up against the front left-hand side that little red Devil Car.

OK, so I was actually a little more afraid of the lady who was still inside the Family Centre, whom I had to go face and confess to her that I had just backed into her car. I was afraid we'd have to call the police, I was mad at myself for being so stupid...I was a bit of a mess for a little while!

Fortunately, she was very cool about it. She didn't get mad - in fact, she hugged me and told me it was okay. And my wonderful friends hung out with me until we got our info exchanged and everything was resolved. I still felt like a complete bonehead, but overall, it wasn't that bad.

But I bet you're waiting to hear what happened to my Lady Linda, right?

Good news: She only has a scuff mark on the back bumper area that I think will wash off without any problem. No ding, no crunched metal, nothing.

*sigh* Thank goodness!! She's OK!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rocking the Vote

Yesterday was Election Day in Canada.

This morning we awoke to the news that Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party remains in power, still with a minority government, although slightly stronger than the last time.

What does this mean? I have no idea. I don't follow politics very closely, and although I've been paying a little more attention to the news the past few weeks with our world being thrust into economic turmoil and uncertainty, I still wasn't certain who to vote for yesterday.

I wasn't surprised to hear that yesterday's polls had the lowest voter turn-out in history. Over the past weeks, I've heard many people from my age group saying they weren't going to vote, because they didn't care or they didn't understand enough about it to make an educated decision.

On one hand, I understood how they felt. Having not paid much attention to the campaigns myself, I wasn't sure who was the best candidate, or who would be the smartest choice during this "economic storm", as they call it.

And yet, I went out and voted yesterday. Partly from fear, because, as I hear so many voices from my generation declaring it's pointless and that they could care less, I'm scared of where we could be someday when it's our turn to run the show. I'd like to believe we are a strong, intelligent, capable generation, but as voter turn-out decreases each time, it frightens me that we're being too careless, too comfortable with the fact that we've had to face little hardship and strife.

Another reason I voted? Hell, because I can. Sometimes we forget how fortunate we are to have the right to vote. In so many places around this globe, people cower in fear of dictators, silenced into submission, not allowed to have a voice or a vote. Living in Canada, in a democracy that allows me to have a say in where my country is headed - that's a true blessing. As my dad reminds me every time an election comes around, there are many men and women who have died and continue to fight and die for my right to vote. To just shrug and say "I don't care" is to disrespect them and all that they have done for us.

If I'm being entirely honest, I get a little rush out of going down to the poll and casting my vote. It's an empowering feeling, knowing that, in some small way, I have contributed. I have let my country know where I stand, and who I believe will be the best leader as we face dark times ahead.

Now it's up to Stephen Harper to prove to me that he is that leader.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Plenty to be Thankful For...

You know what? There was so much going on this past weekend that I'm not sure I can fit it all into one Blog. I really wish I had another couple of days to lie on the couch and recuperate!

So here's some snippets of my adventures this beautiful Thanksgiving weekend...

- Friday night we went to Saunders Farm to celebrate Lindsay's 21st birthday, and we had a great time! I was chased by this scary lizard/alien thing, and that was honestly the biggest spook of the night for me! However, the Haunted Hayride, Barn of Terror, and Field of Screams were all lots of fun and I highly recommend heading to Munster to check it out if you have never been before!

(Here's the Birthday Girl with this creepy dude...)

- Saturday was Tub-Rave. For those who don't know what that is, it's a party that occurs when one of my cousins is home for Thanksgiving with his trance DJ equipment, and his brother happens to have just put in a new hot tub. Music + Tub = Party! I had a wee bit to drink, and memories from the evening are fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure I had a BLAST!! ... Oh, and I believe I promised "DJ Badly" that I would review his ... uh ... performance? Well, all I know for sure is that I had fun pretending to DJ when he let me play with the buttons and wear the headphones. And there were some really cool mixes that we had a great time dancing to. So I'd say his Quyon debut was a SMASH success. It's probably the most "small-scale" Rave that's ever taken place, but it was pretty wicked! I had so much fun, I actually forgot that the Sens lost their home opener to Detroit!!

(No pics from this event - batteries were dead, thank God. I don't need any evidence from Tub-Rave surfacing...)

- Sunday we had our Family Thanksgiving dinner at our place, and let's just say I ate wayyyy too much. I'm still full.

- Sunday night was the Amazing Race. Woo-Hoo for Dallas and Toni! They started out the night at the back of the pack, but eventually made up a lot of ground to finish in second place, behind Ken & Old Barbie. The geek guys were slapped with a penalty for mis-reading a clue and taking a taxi from one clue to the next instead of hoofing it, so although they landed at the Pit Stop in second last, they were eliminated while sitting out their 30-minute penalty when the divorcees hti the mat before the time ran out. A little shocked that they made such a mistake, but them's the breaks dudes.

(Dallas winning the ridiculous challenge that saw them facing off against female wrestlers.)

- Today, my nephew Caden turns 3 years old. I can't believe it...How the time has flown! Yesterday, we celebrated with a party for him, and it was quite entertaining to watch him trying to open presents and fend off his little cousin Tristan, who was trying oh-so-hard to help him...

All in all, it was an awesome Thanksgiving weekend with plenty to be thankful for. Great times, great friends, great family, great food...

What more could a kid ask for? :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Somewhere, Buzz is Smiling...

I'm going to give my thoughts on last night's episode of Suvivor, but first, I'm actually going to talk a little Leaf hockey, believe it or not.

Last night, the NHL kicked off the season North American-style, and the game playing on every second channel, naturally, was the Leafs game, as they opened up their season, on the road against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Detroit Red Wings.

For weeks, I've been listening to TGOR in the mornings and thoroughly enjoying the way Steve Warne has been making fun of the poor Leafs and their fans. He predicted that they might - MIGHT - be as succesful as the '92-'93 Sens, who won only 10 games that year in their inaugural season. He's forecasted that they will have the worst record ever (first year franchise teams not included). He's literally delighted in talking about how horrible the Leafs will be, and how they will be the laughing stock of the NHL.

I've laughed right along with him, and I was fully expecting the lowly Leafs to be slaughtered by the reigning champs last night.

Things didn't quite go as expected, though. Instead, the Leafs actually looked pretty good in the snippets I saw, and despite Detroit pushing for the comeback win late in the game, the final score was 3-2 in favour of the Leafs.


But you know what? I actually had a little smile on my face when I saw that final score. Probably the first time ever that I smiled at seeing the Leafs win. Because while I've tittered away each morning listening to the guys on the morning show tearing the Blue Team to shreds, part of me has wondered what Buzz would be saying if he were still there.

I miss Buzz each morning on the radio, and while they've finally returned to laughter and light-heartedness on the show, I still feel sad everytime I think of him not being there, especially to defend his beloved Leafs.

But if there's a Heaven - and I belive there is - I'd like to think Buzz was up there last night, getting the last laugh on his old buddies and completely relishing the Leafs' victory. He would've loved gloating this morning on the radio so much.

That being said, Buzz was no fool. He'd be reminding them all about how they'd compared he's Blue Team to that dreadful Senators club from '92-'93, and I can guarantee he'd offer up a rueful smile when they'd remind him in return that those Sens also opened up their season with a win over the Montreal Canadiens, the same team to go on and win the Stanley Cup that spring.

Opening night means nothing. I'm thinking it's still gonna be a long year for the Leafs...

Now, enough about the Blue Team...on to Survivor!

They shuffled things up already, after getting each tribe to rank its players in order of importance. Pretty cool to see Marcus rated #1 by his tribe, and I was equally please that Matty was ranked #1 on his tribe. Both very deserving of that position, I believe! Hopefully it doesn't put a target on their backs, though.

The unfortunate part is that the two of them had to pick new tribes, which sucked because I would have loved to see them put together. In any case, I think Marcus ended up pretty fortunate, as he was able to keep his close allies Charlie, Corrine, and Bob with him. The Fang members to join Kota were Dan, Randy, and Susie. Matty, on the other hand, seemed to draw the short end of the stick when he was stuck once again with Crystal, GC, and Kenny, who I have no admiration for whatsoever. He also collected the whiny Kelly from Kota, along with Ace and Jacquie.

Before I go any further, I have to rant on Crystal for a minute. Are they serious when they tell me she's an Olympic gold medallist? Every episode, she boasts for the camera about how she won a gold medal in the 2004 Olyjmpics in the 4 x 400 metre relay. She sure doesn't act like an Olympian in Gabon, though! She complains about challenges, and she certainly didn't give 100% last night in the little water polo/lacrosse Immunity Challenge. As far as I can tell, she's aligned herself in the game with losers by picking GC and Kenny to go all the way with. She's made bonehead move after bonehead move. How she won an Olympic gold medal, I'll never know...

I truly pity Matty for getting stuck with this bunch. I wish he would have tried harder to save Jacquie. It was so obvious that they needed to show Kelly the door last night - her attitude sucks, and I'm still baffled that they kept her over the hard-working, determined, pleasant Jacquie.
Marcus rocked the challenge, doing basically all the work for his tribe by paddling his little boat thingy to the ball each time, fighting to gain possession of it and getting it over to Randy, who just had to toss it in the net with relative ease for their dominant 3-0 win. Marcus gets hotter and hotter every week, but it still kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies that he's so close to Charlie. Especially when Charlie's telling the camera how much he loves - loves - Marcus. Not sure if Marcus realizes how deep that guy's man-crush is!

Even after the shake-up, Fang proved to be one of the stupidest tribes ever, despite Matty's best efforts to keep them on the straight-&-narrow. Looks like things aren't going to get any better next week, as it appears an elephant is going to storm their camp, and GC goes missing...

Blessing in disguise, perhaps?...;)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Two Helpings of Hotness on "The Tudors"

A few months back, I devoted one edition of the Blog to Jonathan Rhys Meyers, star of "The Tudors" TV series, which is based on the life of a young King Henry VIII.

I'm doing it again...Except this time, JRM is being joined by a friend.

I've really been enjoying "The Tudors" thus far, only 2 episodes into Season 2. I watched all of last season in the spring, thanks to Kristen loaning me her DVD set. Furthermore, I saw The Other Boleyn Girl in theatres, and I'm just about done the book. Coincidentally, "The Tudors" has centred on the Boleyn era in England, a controversial and dangerous time period when the king was turning his back on his faithful and obediant wife, Katherine of Aragon, in favour of the beautiful yet devious Anne Boleyn.

Clearly, I've been going through a Henry VIII phase, so "The Tudors" is right up my alley.

And yes, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a big drawing card. He has the most gorgeous, piercing eyes, and when his lips turn to a smirk, it makes me think of Elvis and I get all giddy. (Come to think of it - pretty cool that the guy has played two kings in recent years, as he also played the King in the TV miniseries Elvis.)
However, I've discovered yet another reason to watch "The Tudors". And his name is Henry Cavill.
He plays Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and King Henry VIII's longtime friend who marries his sister, Princess Mary, against Henry's wishes, thus causing a rift between the two men. However, Henry couldn't stay mad long, and quickly forgave his dearest friend for going against his word and marrying his sister Mary.

The character of Charles Brandon has been a delight to discover. It's often hard to imagine what life must have been like back then, in the 1500's, but I think from the portrayal on the show and what I've read about him, Charles Brandon would have been considered one of the cool guys - smart, sexy, mischievious, a little promiscuous, the guy all the girls swoon after.
Having trouble picturing it with the frilly collar and such? Check out this picture of Henry, in modern street clothes.
Yummy, right? It gets better. Check out this one.
Excuse me while I wipe up my drool...
I really am quite intrigued by this period in history, and I find the reign of King Henry VIII quite fascinating. But it doesn't hurt that these two guys are...umm...providing "visual aids" to the story!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Great Weekend for a Sens-slash-Rangers Fan!

Here comes a bit of a mish-mash Blog with recaps of hockey games, Survivor, and the Amazing Race!

So the NHL's regular season opened up this weekend with four teams taking to the ice in Europe - the New York Rangers playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague, as well as the Ottawa Senators taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins in Stockholm.

I got my answer to my "Who do I cheer for?" question on Saturday afternoon. I watched most of the Rangers game, but my interest was centred mainly on Wade Redden, and while I was happy the Rangers posted a 2-1 win that day, I was mostly just disappointed that Wade didn't get on the scoresheet.

Then, while watching the Sens game, I discovered my allegiance still lies strongly with them when Shean Donovan scored to tie the game at 1 in the first period, and I did my automatic fist pump. I still have that reaction when the Sens score, so I guess they're still my team! Unfortunately, due to some shaky goaltending, we lost that one in OT, 4-3.

Yesterday, all four teams were back at it again. I didn't get to see the Rangers game, although I was quite thrilled to hear they won 2-1 again, and that Wade contributed big time by scoring to tie it up, and then assisting on Scott Gomez's game winner. I still have a hard time seeing him in Ranger blue, but I'm happy he seems to have gotten off to a great start this season with New York.

The Sens re-match vs. the Penguins was much more to my liking, as we almost had a 3-0 shutout, until the Pens FINALLY scored a power play goal in the dying seconds of the game. Alex Auld looked strong for the part of the game I saw, and Alfie was flying in his homeland of Sweden, collecting assists on both of Dany Heatley's goals. Antoine Vermette also scored on a break-away for the Sens. I'm still a long piece off from knowing who's who out there - still too many new faces and numbers - but it was great to watch NHL hockey again, and I was a happy fan!

Now, I promised a Survivor re-cap, but it's been so long, I barely remembered what happened. I know for sure that Marcus is still hot, despite the uproar over his thingy last week. Unfortunately, his tribe failed for the first time since the game began, and they failed miserably, losing both the Reward and Immunity Challenges. Someone's gotta knock Ace down a peg or two - he jeopardized his entire team in order to protect his alliance with Sugar. Is it just me, or the people on that tribe thinking WAY too far ahead?? I mean, Ace is already talking final 2 with Sugar...Anything can happen, but that's a long way off to be planning for...

I thought the dopes had wisened up and were going to take him out when they could, but they wussed out and went with Paloma instead. Not a great loss, she was a ditz and quite annoying in her own right. But if they have any sense at all, they'll target Ace this week. The dude is far too controlling and he's risking too much to keep Sugar around. And now that she has the hidden immunity idol, her stock has risen in Ace's eyes. Time to flush that idol out, or at least weaken her by removing her closest ally.

As for the Amazing Race, it was another interesting leg, with Tina (the aging Barbie) somehow getting an airline to change the size of a plane so that they could get on it. Unfortunately for Tina & Ken, it backfired somewhat, as the changing of planes allowed everyone else to catch up and make the same flight. I suppose it would have happened regardless if they'd had to wait for a later flight, but all it really did was get them to their next destination a few hours earlier. Tina pranced around reminding everyone how they owed her for getting them the bigger plane, but really, it didn't have that much of an impact on the race at all. I'm still a little shocked that a potential passenger pleading for seats on a flight actually got an airline to get a larger plane!

My boy Dallas and his mom, Toni, continued to impress me. He seems so patient with his mother, even though she has trouble keeping up with him. He just encourages her and so far, they remain my favourite team. They even stopped to help Terrence and Sarah when they went the wrong way looking for taxis - the only team to do so. I'm not even sure I would have if it had been me, but I was so proud of Dallas for his truly class act, and hopefully it will benefit them down the road - Terrence and Sarah should definitely remember that.

I don't remember the last time I watched this show that so many mistakes were made for not reading clues more carefully. Terrence and Sarah were one example. Then there were the divorcees who spent valuable time digging on a beach looking for some container that wasn't there because it was for the other challenge. They also forgot to ask their cab to wait at the Road Block, causing them more anxiety over a mis-read direction. And then we have the Bimbos who wanted to do one challenge, but ended up doing another because they didn't read their directions properly.

At the end of the day, my thoughts are still pretty much the same. I love Dallas and his mom, I dislike Terrence and Sarah, Ken and Tina, and I still can't warm up to Nick & Starr. Anthony and Stephanie were never able to get out of the basement, and they landed on the mat last, eliminating them from the race. I'm still a little shocked at Anthony's farewell speech...He's still happy because he's got "my health, my parents, my looks...and Stephanie". Wow. Those are some straight priorities, there!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sharon!!

Birthday Graphics

Happy 25th Birthday from Jill's World, Sharon!! I hope you're having a GREAT DAY! :)

Bring a Kleenex to "Nights in Rodanthe"

Last night, I headed out to Kanata to see Nights in Rodanthe with Lindsay (there's your shout-out, dude! haha!)

It's a chick flick. I can't imagine a boy in the world enjoying it.

Oh wait. I almost forgot about the two strange guys - who smelled like weed - that kind of followed us in to the theatre, chatted us up in the popcorn line, and then ended up in the same movie. Which I thought was strange. I'm pretty sure they were the only males watching the movie, and it struck me as kind of creepy...Anyways...No idea if they actually enjoyed the movie, though. I doubt it.

But ladies, you're guaranteed to love it. If you like tearjerkers; if you like Nicholas Sparks books, if you like movies like "A Walk to Remember" and "The Notebook".

Basically the plot revolves around a woman, Adrienne, who isn't sure if she's married or not, and she is taking care of her friend's beach-side inn. There's only one guest for the weekend - Paul, a doctor searching for peace after a disastrous surgery knocked him off-track. In the midst of a hurricane, they end up in each other's arms, and find a love that both of them desperately need at this point in their lives.
I didn't expect the twist that comes. I'd even read the book, but I didn't remember the tragic turn of events that jumps this movie up to a 5-hanky rating. Of course, I can't tell you what happens to Adrienne and Paul - you'll just have to see it for yourselves to find out. But I can tell you this - Diane Lane is exceptional in the role of Adrienne, and even though I've never found Richard Gere attractive (not even in Pretty Woman), the role of Paul suits him to a T.

If nothing else, you'll be longing to find a beach in Rodanthe to spend a vacation. Even with the hurricane blowing through, that's got to be one of the most beautiful locations I've ever seen in my life.

Also, I enjoyed watching the brief scenes with James Franco in the role of Paul's son, Mark. I've become a bit of a James Franco fan lately, and loved him in Pineapple Express this summer. His part in this movie is vastly different from the fun-loving stoner he played alongside Seth Rogan in Pineapple Express, but I loved him in this more serious role, too.

(Holy Hell, he's hot.)

So yes - I do recommend going to see Nights in Rodanthe. But whatever you do, don't forget the Kleenex. You're going to need it!

Before signing off, I'd like to wish an early happy birthday to my new favourite Senator, Jesse Winchester, who will be turning 25 tomorrow!! See, I'm learning more about him every day!

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Picking a New Favourite

In my quest to figure out how to deal with my "Losing Redden to the Rangers" issue, there has been one recommendation from family & friends that seems to keep coming up:

Find a new player to adore.

I didn't think it was possible. Nor did I particularly want to put that time & energy again into following one specific player, learning as much about him as I possibly could, both on & off the ice. It could be a draining activity, loving Wade the way I did. My real hard-core research into the man and the player basically took place when I was a young and foolish teen, when I had nothing better to do than read about him obsessively. At least, it was a diversion from homework and the stress & anxiety of being a teenager, right?

But now, in my mid-twenties, it would seem a little silly to get that wrapped up in a hockey star. So, despite my friends willing me join them in the Mike Fisher Fan Club, I decided to lay off that and just cheer for the team in general. (Although, Mike's beautiful blue eyes and killer grin do make it hard to resist...)
I love the Ottawa Senators. I really do. I love Fisher, I worship Alfie, and from time to time, I can even get on the Jason Spezza bandwagon. However, in the early stages of this hockey season, I've yet to feel truly excited about this team. It occured to me that perhaps I really should start looking for one guy to throw my support behind in order to anticipate watching Sens hockey again.

I decided it should be a new guy, so that we both start out fresh together. Besides, any of the hot players who are already on the team (yes, I'm talking about Fish) I hold a slight grudge against, because I felt they stole Wade's thunder in the hotness department.

So yes, it had to be a new player. But rookies? They're so young. I'd feel a little creepy "falling in love" with a 19-year-old. And other than them, who am I suppose to pick? Jarkko Ruutu? Filip Kuba? I don't even know how to spell their names, and I have no clue what they look like.

Then, last night, it hit me. I opened the Ottawa Citizen, and on the front page of the NHL preview supplement, there was a picture of one of the newest Senators, looking smokin' hot in his Sens sweater and jeans, staring at the camera with a very intense gaze.

My new favourite player...(drum roll please....) is.......

Jesse Winchester!!!
He's a rookie, but he's 24-years-old - right in my wheelhouse! Prior to joining the Senators last spring, he spent 4 years playing for the Colgate University Red Raiders of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association (ECAC), for whom he acted as captain last season. He's from the Long Sault. He plays centre, shoots right, is 6’1”, and weighs in at 215 lbs. In camp, he found himself on the top line with Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, although Alfie's already bumped him from that line (at least for a little while).

That's about all the Jesse Winchester knowledge I've garnered so far in my very limited research this morning, but I'm sure I'll keep collecting and sharing with you in the weeks to come. You've been warned...There's a new kid on my block, and I really really like him, so you're going to hear much more about him!!

Will he ever replace Wade Redden? Not likely. I don't expect anyone will ever replace Wade Redden in my world.

But who knows. If Jesse sticks around for as long as Wade did, you never know what might happen.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On Brown Belts and Beyond...

Last night, after a fairly strenuous grading, I finally received my Brown Belt in Shotokan Karate.

If anyone had told me a year ago, when I first joined the Quyon Martial Arts club, led by Sensei Denis Renaud, that I would be one step away from my Black Belt in a year's time, I'd have laughed. Seriously laughed.

At that time, doing a push-up - just one mealsy push-up - was a severe challenge for me. I thought hitting twenty jumping jacks was a huge accomplishment. Twenty sit-ups was a miracle.

And that's just regular fitness stuff. I wasn't sure I'd ever catch on to the principles of Karate - the blocks, strikes, kicks, katas, self-defence. It all looked so difficult and I didn't think I'd ever grasp the physical and mental aspects in order to be able to make it look smooth & effortless like the senior members of the club made it look.

Then there was sparring. I remember a year ago, sitting back in awe, watching the Blue, Brown & Black belts fight at one of the first classes I went to, thinking, "Man, that would be fun...But I'll probably never be able to do it."

A year later, and there I was on the night of my Brown Belt grading, having already made it through white, yellow, orange, green, and blue. Last night, I could comfortably complete nine katas, five sets of self-defence, and I survived however many rounds of sparring I had to do (I didn't keep count - I'd say probably 5 rounds?) I did two sets of 100 jumping jacks, two sets of push-ups (50 the first set, maybe 25 the second), and two sets of ab exercises.

Guys, I'm not trying to toot my own horn here...There is a point to all this. And the point is that anyone can do anything if they put their minds to it!!

I'm a live and breathing example of that.

You have no idea how many times over the past 12 months that I have looked Sensei Denis or Sensei Brenda in the eyes and said, "I can't do that." I've struggled with my own physical limitations and that part of my brain that's always screaming, Just quit!! You can't do it!!

And yet, somehow, here I am, a Brown Belt in Shotokan and a year away from possibly attempting my Black Belt.

It's a little surreal when I step back and really think about it. And it frightens me to think of how far I still have to go. What I'm doing now is barely grazing the surface of what the Brown and Black belts are doing now on their way to the Black and Second Degree Black Belts. Their gradings are much longer, much more intense, and when they talk about doing thousands of jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, and running, it almost makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Will I ever make it that far? Who knows. But if there's one thing I've learned over the past year is that I might as well try. Otherwise, I'll never know if I can do it or not.