Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010: An Interesting Friday

I had a couple of interesting observational encounters on Friday, one at my oft-mentioned Tim Hortons, and one when I was out of town for a baseball game. I know that my blog has taken a shift recently into more entertainment-based posts, and not as much of me ranting or telling stories, but since it's been a while since I told any interesting anecdotes from daily life, I figured two in one day was worth its own post.

Every morning before work, I stop at the same Tim Hortons for my morning coffee. Regular readers of Sean's Random Thoughts will undoubtedly remember stories of the bus driver who constantly missed passengers, the scowly Boston Red Sox lady, and the moron who couldn't read EXIT ONLY on the door (Check the "Tim Hortons" tag on the left sidebar for those stories). But this week, there was a new incident.

I was in line waiting for my turn to place my order, and I was next up once one of the clerks was free. Suddenly, I feel a push from the side, and I see a kid, maybe 6 years old, who has shoved his way through a space that was far too small for him to get through. Instead of just going around the other side, this little ruffian decided that he had to power his way through this small space between me and the half-wall, pushing me, so that he could get through.

Now, I'm a big proponent of parents being responsible for how their kids behave in public, and had my son ever done something like this, I would have been flat-out mortified. So, I expected some sort of verbal discipline coming from behind me in line, where the parent(s) must have been. Not only did I hear nothing, but this kid, who had bright red curly hair, making him look like some sort of evil reject from Children of the Corn, now had run up to the front where the glass display of donuts and cookies, and muffins was, and face-planted into the glass, arms spread wide like he was trying to hug them all.
Needless to say, I was a little shocked, and as I turned to see where the parents were, I could see every other person in line, and in the shop, looking as well. There was a woman about 5 people back from me who just shrugged and said "He needs to be close to the donuts." I couldn't believe it, and as the woman directly behind me and I caught each other's glance, we both shared a head-shaking smirk. I was prepared to not really think much else of it, but then I got another shove on my right, and saw that this little boy's older sister (who was maybe 8 years old) had done the exact same thing, shoving people, including me, aside so that she could get up front. Again...the mother said nothing.

So I went up and placed my order, and as I was ordering, the boy starts pounding on the glass with his palms, and screaming "AAAAAAHHHH!" At this point, everyone, staff and customers alike, are looking at the kid, and the mother says "Fraser!", which does nothing. I step aside from the counter and Fraser runs over to the open counter, even though his mom is still 4 back in line. He then puts his hands on the counter and hoists himself up, looking like he's just going to balance there like a performing seal with his feet laid out behind him, but a flash, he has pulled himself up onto the counter, stands up, and reaches for the full display of Gift Cards on top of the glass case. The look on the employee's face was priceless.

Only then does Fraser's mom scream "FRASER, GET DOWN!", which again, does nothing, so she has to...wait for it...shove people get to front, grab the little twerp and drag him down off of the counter.

I wonder where he learned his behaviour from?

So then, last night, my girlfriend and I were in London to watch a playoff baseball game. We decided to grab some dinner before we got to the park, and just take it to the game, and since we both were craving some sort of burger, we were keeping our eyes peeled for a decent burger joint as we drove through downtown London. Just as it seemed like we weren't going to find anything, we passed a small diner on a corner with a sign that said Burgers / Fries / Shakes. Seemed like exactly what we were looking for, so we stopped in. It was called Prince Albert's diner, and the food was fantastic (we had two burgers, fries, onion rings, and a raspberry shake), but the interesting thing happened while we were waiting for our food.

We were sitting at the old-school front counter when this grubby old guy came in. He was wearing an old white tank top (the traditional "wife-beater", although I hate that name for it), cargo shorts, and a baseball cap. He stopped behind me and started talking to the waiter behind the counter. I looked at my girlfriend, who was looking over my shoulder at him, and saw a look of horror come over her face. This conversation then followed:

"What is it?"
"Some people just shouldn't wear white tank tops."
"I maybe, anybody who is a male."
"Well, it's not just that. It's also that his fly is open."
"I'm not even going to look."

And then Johnny-Fly-Open sat while waiting for his milkshake, and tried to strike up a conversation with the waiter who took his order, who was trying his best to make his milkshake as fast as possible and not have to deal with him. As he tried over and over to engage the waiter, he would always respond with a hurried and disinterested "mm-hmm" or "Ok."

The reason it was so funny is because of the conversation he was trying to get him to participate in. Let me first of all explain that the waiter was about 6'7", had piercings in his face, and complete sleeve tattoos. Now this street vagrant is trying to talk to him about music.

"Hey, did you hear the Scorpions are coming out with a new album? Yeah, it's gonna be the last one before they retire. Too bad. Yeah...I saw them at Bayfest last month. Totally rocked."

What on earth makes this guy think that the guy behind the counter is a Scorpions fan? He was clueless anyways...just ranted on and on, then took his milkshake and wandered out into the road to cross the street. (I wish that last part was a joke.)

So I started the day with a devilish red-headed imp who wanted to climb on the counter, and ended it with a white-tank-top wearing, fly-open, drunken hobo wanted to talk 80's hair metal.

Who else can say that?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010: Big Brother Recap - Eviction Night

Wednesday's episode ended with a bang, as Andrew put on his best high school drama performance, declaring he was coming after Brendon and Rachel. Predictably, no one was fooled, except for Rachel (cue the irony). How would this affect Thursday live vote? Let's find out.

For those of you who are new to my recaps, please keep in mind that they are all spoiler-free, and based on TV coverage only, not the live feeds. Also, you can mouse over the photos for hidden captions underneath.

I was sorry that I mentioned last night how no one cried in the last episode, because as soon as the Veto meeting was finished, Rachel started crying. It's like saying a pitcher has a no-hitter going. I blame myself.

The funniest thing about Andrew's Veto speech was Kathy's face. She was incredibly confused. But then shortly after, she implemented what I feel is the worst Reality TV show strategy...the "I really need the money" game plan. Then she told Ragan how she fought cancer, and then Ragan cried. Dammit, why did I say anything last night? Big Thumbs Down to Kathy on this one.

Andrew felt alone in the he cried. (Really, I'm sorry) And then for some reason, he went batshit insane on Kristen? I thought he was grasping at straws targeting her. Pretty weak.

So, in the real world, Matt's wife was disappointed he lied about her fake illness? Who wouldn't be? Ridiculously unethical. She seemed like a nice woman, although that Illinois accent made me contemplate actually ripping my own ears off instead of listening to her talk anymore.

In her speech, Kathy declared "I love all y'all". Man, I love the South.

Andrew went nuts in his speech, but that was highly entertaining. Imagine being in that room after that as people were in the Diary Room casting their votes? Can you say AWKWARD? And then, as they went to break, we saw Andrew and Kristen yelling at each other on the screen behind Julie Chen.

I have to think that Andrew knew he was being voted out to give that speech. But it was still awesome to watch Captain Kosher become Captain Crazy! And I had to laugh at Ragan's words: "I vote to institutionalize...and evict...Andrew." Well played, Ragan. And by a unanimous vote, Andrew left the house the same way he came in, with a hearty Mazel Tov for all.

Can we please stop using the term "Showmance"?

In her good-bye words for Andrew, Rachel told him that he had to go because "No one comes between me and my man!" Will someone tell Rachel that she's on Big Brother and not Temptation Island.

I had suggested before that since the houseguests are all being sequestered this season, there was probably a chance that someone was going to re-enter the house at some point. I think the fact that Julie told Andrew about Matt's lie regarding his wife's fake illness would kill that theory. I can't think she would give that information if there was a chance of him re-joining the game.

I've got to say, I was pretty impressed with Rachel in the HoH competition. She was up there 4 times..targeted by everyone...and still pulled it off. Good for her. Then she celebrated by hugging Brendon...and crying again.

Pandora's Box returns next week with a new saboteur who may be unleashed on the house? Oh for Christ's sakes, why don't you just say what this really is, CBS? It's called "Our twist was a huge bust, so now we're going for another cash grab for the next week, charging you to text us your votes, before the next twist doesn't happen."

There's no way that this "new saboteur", when offered the chance, will accept. Think about it...if there is a new saboteur, then the houseguests will be told once again that someone is in the house working against them. Why would anyone agree to try to do it for 2 weeks, for a paltry $20,000, and risk the shot at $500,000. Makes no sense. But CBS will rake in the cash, then we'll see the offer made...and turned down. You read it here first.

The live listen-in at the end was chock full of goodness, as Rachel and Kristen bared their claws and went at each other. My girlfriend turned to me and said "'s getting catty now."

And I responded "Catty is better than crying."

For those of you who are enjoying these recaps, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left, and come back for the rest of this season. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010: Big Brother Recap

At the end of Sunday’s episode, Matt had put Kathy and Andrew on the block. Was this all a master plan to backdoor Brendon or Rachel? Was Andrew and/or Kathy the real target? And is Kathy actually Bat Boy’s mother (see post below)? So many questions…

Random Non-Spoiled Thoughts on tonight’s episode.

- Why is Matt talking about the plan possibly being to “backdoor Brendon and Rachel”? Doesn’t the Mensa-certified diabolical super-genius realize that he can only get one of them out this week?
- And can we please stop overusing the term “backdoor”? It’s becoming ridiculous…it was said 18 times this episode, passing “Brigade”, which was only uttered 11 times.
- Hayden, can you please stop yelling at the camera in every single Diary Room video? I’m going to need to take Advil prior to each episode just to listen to you.
- Peaches in the Iced Tea? The Horror!
- Did Andrew just use the term “idiocracy”? And he’s a doctor?
- I loved the irony of Matt complaining that the Brigade “can’t catch a break” and that they have “no luck.” Sure, Matt…you not getting voted out after being exposed as a liar wasn’t a break, nor was winning HoH. It’s your own fault you complicated your stupid plan instead of just nominating who you wanted out. What a concept!

- We learned that Lane mellows out from his cowboy roid rage by eating Pop Rocks and shooting turtles (or anything in the trees that has glowing eyes). There are so many jokes floating around my head, I can’t pick just one. But I would like to personally thank Lane for the best line of tonight’s episode, and possibly the season so far: “ I didn’t know Jewish guys wore ninja outfits when they pray.”
- After Brendon won the POV and Matt realized that his plan went awry, you would think he would have learned not to complicate things anymore…but no, instead he actually tells Andrew that, even though he wants Kathy out, he would prefer it to be a 4-4 tie so he can prove to Andrew that he can trust him when he votes Kathy out himself as the tiebreaking vote. Please remember again that this guy is supposedly in Mensa. And Andrew’s response to Matt’s attempt to get Andrew to stay was priceless…no thanks, I’ll handle it myself.
- Enzo said “It is what it is” tonight. Mandatory disqualification.
- Brendon and Rachel got to make out without Andrew interrupting them. Awwww.
- Well, it looks like things are starting to turn around on this season, because for the first time in an episode this season…nobody cried! Maybe that’s because Britney didn’t say a word, but it’s still an improvement.

For those of you who are enjoying these recaps, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left, and come back for the rest of this season. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010: Kathy From Big Brother...and her Long Lost Son

Is it just me, or could Kathy be Bat Boy's mother?
Kathy(Thanks to Matt for sending this in.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25, 2010: Big Brother Recap

I’ve made repeated points throughout my Big Brother recaps so far this season that I am attempting to go unspoiled in terms of what happens in the BB house. At the end of Thursday night’s episode, the houseguests were competing in their first endurance HoH competition of the season…and unfortunately, later that night I inadvertently saw a spoiler telling me who had won.

Live Feeds - 1 : Sean – 0.

But I was still looking forward to seeing what exactly happened in the HoH competition anyways, because I really liked the swerve that the Haves and Have Nots were determined in this competition as well. Writing this part before the episode actually airs, I had to think that this twist may play into this week’s nominations.

Let’s take a moment, though to look at what happened in the first 2 minutes of this episode:

- Enzo rhymed “Brigade” with “grenade”…again.
- Andrew said he can’t eat slop because it’s not kosher…again.
- Britney talked about how good a friend Monet was…again.
- Britney cried…again.
- Lane said things like “Monet jumped out of that seat like a clown running from a bull” to prove that he is a cowboy…again.

Seriously, can we stop re-hashing the same stuff at the beginning of every single episode? It’s bad enough we have to watch black-and-white replays of what happened already.

Matt won HoH, and Brendon and Rachel were immediately concerned because, as we heard repeatedly, there was a “target on their backs.” I have now officially added “target on my back” and variations thereof to my list of phrases that qualify a reality TV show contestant for immediate disqualification. For those of you unfamiliar with that list, it is as follows: 1) Threw me under the bus, 2) It is what it is, and 3) Game on! (any time after the first episode.)

Hooked on Phonics with Britney and Enzo was actually pretty entertaining. Two people with such thick regional accents telling each other how to talk…oh, the irony.

I loved the Brigade conversation about Hayden and Kristen possibly being cousins…while being cut together with footage of the two of them making out in bed. Yes, these guys are the brains in the house.

Andrew decided to vacuum during Rachel’s lap-dance haircut for Brendon, then says: “Come on, get a room!” Um…they do, and whenever they do, you just go in there anyways!

Have you noticed the horrible new fist bump that the Brigade is doing now? First they fist bump with their thumbs pointing down, and then, as they bump, they flip the thumbs up. I can’t decide what is more lame, that fist bump, or the nickname “Meow Meow. By the way, the count for this episode of hearing the word “Brigade” – 14 times (no joke).

I’ve been trying to figure out who Matt reminds me of, and tonight I finally figured it out. In essence, he’s a slimy little weasel who tries to always stay in control of everything, lies at every instance possible, but still has this sort of charisma that makes you wonder if you should like him or hate him. For those viewers of Lost out there, I submit to you that Matt (BB's self-professed diabolical super-genius) is Big Brother’s version of…Ben Linus.

So,Kathy and Andrew are up for nomination, and instead of doing the obvious smart thing nominating Brendon and Rachel, Matt once again decided to complicate things for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I understand the logic of keeping Brendon and Rachel out of the POV competition, but it still doesn’t make much sense.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 24, 2010: What is this Picture?

Here's a little contest for you. Can anyone figure out what this picture is, and why I'm so giddily and ridiculously excited about it? Leave your guess in the Comments section. There WILL be a prize for the first person to get it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010: Big Brother Recap - Eviction Night

This week's live eviction began with Julie Chen showing viewers again how hard the wardrobe department is trying to match her outfits to the set. Have you noticed a "blue" theme? Jesus Christ, man...everything is blue. I feel like I'm in Smurf Forest.

As we picked up the in-house action immediately after Matt was put on the nomination block, we heard a fantastic sound bite from Monet, who said "when Rachel said that Matt was the pawn, I knew I was the target." Come on, Monet...are you honestly telling me you didn't know before that, that you were the target? Doubtful.

I loved the violin music when Britney and Monet got together for another sob-fest, which pretty much just contained the words "hate", "sucks", and "stupid" repeated over and over. But then Matt came in and decided to over-complicate everything AGAIN for no reason. Telling Monet and Britney how upset he was and how he was going to go after Rachel and Brendon was idiotic. There's no upside! Only bad things can happen as you keep spiralling into a web of lies. Didn't you watch last season and see how Ronnie screwed himself by doing the exact same thing?

It's so frustrating watching Matt, because he constantly tells us how smart he is, and how he is a member of Mensa. I had a friend once who described Mensa members as "people who sit around and tell each other how smart they are", which I don't necessarily agree with, although it was a funny line (way to go, Pat E.). But watching Matt is making me think that's what he is...because he's constantly telling us he's a genius, while actually acting like a moron. But he certainly does have the "short man syndrome" strut down pat, doesn't he?
Watching Hayden and Kristen in their bedtime make-out session was kind of weird because of how awkward it is to watch this little grade school crush. Right after Hayden dropped this nugget on Kristen: "I am so attracted to you it's unbelievable", I started to write in my notes...come on, big boy, just tell her you think she's hot. And no sooner had I finished writing that down, when he said to her "You are so hot." Now that's progress...I feel like I've done my part.

Monet has now threatened physical violence on four separate occasions. What are you going to do, Monet? Drown Rachel with your tears? Choke her with one of the three tank tops you're wearing? Although I heard tonight that Monet was once on The Young and The Restless, so all the tearful drama kind of makes sense now.

The house meeting was dramatic, and Matt was scrambling, but it was all for naught as we knew Monet was going home anyways. I had predicted a vote of 8-1, but it was only 7-2. Although Matt continued his excessive douchebaggery by constantly swaying and clapping during his speech like he was trying to act cool, and even dropping a "Chenbot" on Julie Chen.

The funny thing was that on the commercial before the final votes, I turned to Lucas and asked him who he thought was going to get eliminated (yes, Lucas watches with us), and he said Monet. Then he asked me, and I said Monet. And then he said "Britney's gonna cry, I bet."

He may be the funniest 8-year-old I know.

When Monet left the house, Enzo called after her, "You're a good person, Monet." No she's not! All she did in the house is whine and complain and talk about people behind their backs. Calling Rachel (who, please keep in mind, I do not like) a hooker, a stripper, a bitch, and even more...was uncalled for and shows that she is devoid of character.

And her exit interview with Julie proved that beyond a shodow of a doubt. After 3 minutes of circling around the same lame answers (I was emotional, it was a hard week, I said my goodbyes...), she actually said she didn't regret what she said. And then laughed uncontrollably when Britney went on to make fun of Rachel even more. Don't these two know they're coming across as the bitches in the house, and making Rachel seem sympathetic? Are they that dumb? Clearly Monet is to act like that on live TV. But then again, this is the woman who told us that 60 x 60 is 1200, right?

I hate the endurance HoH competitions. Now I'm going to have to wait until Sunday to find out the new HoH. I'm predicting Brendon or Andrew.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21, 2010: Big Brother Recap

I mentioned last week that I anticipated the Wednesday night episodes of Big Brother 12 being pretty boring this season. Looks like I was right. Just a reminder that even though you may know in advance what happened at the POV competition and ceremony, these recaps all season long will be Spoiler Free and based only on the TV coverage.

On that note, Random Thoughts from tonight’s episode:

- Britney + Monet on the block = maximum tears possible.
- Monet, how is Rachel “threatened” by you? Is she intimidated by people who constantly do nothing except suntan and walk around with a giant glass of water?
- Why is Hayden always yelling at the camera?
- First use of “throwing under the bus” of the season. Twice Britney? Come on!
- If there’s going to be this much non-stop crying this season, there is a pretty good chance I’ll stop watching. Trying to understand what they’re saying when they’re a blubbering mess is like trying to watch an episode of Jerry Springer with all the cursing bleeped out.
- Monet and Britney are awesome for each other…they just enable each other’s whiny ranting. Hard to believe, but with the nastiness spewing out of their mouths, I’m actually starting to feel sympathetic towards Rachel. Monet looks like she could be a new incarnation of last season’s Natalie, one of the most reprehensible and disgusting players ever.
- Matt is trying to gain sympathy by lying about a fake disease for his wife? This alleged Mensa member may be one of the dumbest people I’ve ever seen. I love that he’s actually trying to explain it to a doctor.
- I don’t think Rachel is attractive when she does herself up, but without makeup, she looks like what I imagine Lindsay Lohan looks like in prison right now.
- I loved the one-hour challenge. Great concept.
- Lane thinks the dollar bill slapping him in the face is a mini-fan, and Monet thinks 60 x 60 is 1200? This could be the dumbest cast in history.
- Monet, for the love of God, could you please make up your mind on what you really want to do to Rachel’s face? Is it punch it, slap it, or hurl your briefcase at it?
- Ragan seems like a nice guy, but I am having trouble getting past the fact that he looks exactly like a basketball coach that I know from my work on OUA broadcasts.
- Are Kathy and Kristen still even in the house?
- Matt volunteers to go up? This guy can complicate the simplest of situations. His downfall will be trying to do too much and getting busted eventually.

Live eviction Thursday night – Monet gets voted out 8-1. Book it.

July 21, 2010: LL Cool J meets Dexy's Midnight Runners

You read that right...LL Cool J meets Dexy's Midnight Runners in my new favourite mashup.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18, 2010: Big Brother Recap

Random Thoughts from Sunday night's episode of Big Brother:

- I mentioned last week that Rachel may want to consider re-thinking her wardrobe choices if BB has to blur out parts of her body constantly, but what the hell was she wearing at the HoH competition? Was that a shirt or a dress? Britney said it best when she described her as someone who "wasn't even smart enough to put on pants before the competition." Although, to be fair, that line wasn't nearly as good as when she said that she had to "follow her flapping butt cheeks all the way up the stairs."

- Enzo, I understand that 'Brigade' rhymes with 'grenade', but did you really have to use them together THREE times in the first 5 minutes of the show?

- Rachel's favourite line seems to be "Are you kidding me?", because it applies to everything: nominations, the Saboteur, competitions, receiving tequila...

- When Britney and Monet were clucking like hens about everyone when they were out suntanning, what the hell was Britney doing with her legs? She was laying on her stomach with her knees bent and her legs up in the air, swaying them all over constantly. Very awkward to watch.

- Matt, do you really think that the best way to hide how confident you are is to act paranoid? Are you kidding me? (Sorry, the Rachel thing is affecting me.) For a member of Mensa, that seems like a pretty dumb move. And in that scene where Matt was explaining his paranoia to Rachel and Brendon, when Rachel repositioned herself on the hammock so that she was on her knees, how many of you were hoping she fell flat on her face? Be honest.

- The Have/Have Not challenge was interesting, but I didn't understand why everyone kept talking about what a great job Kathy and Britney did. They did nothing except get taped to a wall and not move. Seriously, I know it was tough, but I can't think you can give them kudos for trying to outsmart gravity, can you?

- Monet came to Rachel in the HoH room to plead her case not to get nominated, and her opening line was "This is always weird for me." Really? Always? This is the second week! Come on!

- Britney and Monet on the block. Shocker. Not really.

- I mentioned in my last post that I thought Annie might get a chance to get back in the house. Well, it looks like all of the evicted houseguests are staying sequestered from the first week on, so that confirms my theory that someone will be going back in at some point.

July 18, 2010: Dharma Inititative Alarm Clock

It's been a long, boring day down in the Swan, chilling in your khaki jumpsuit, listening to your favorite Mama Cass record and staring at a blinking cursor.

Where's your partner? Why can't you switch off number-punching duties? Oh, right. You killed him. And now you have to wake up every 108 minutes or the world starts shaking and metallic objects threaten to pin you against the wall.

Trust us, brother, this is no way to live. And luckily--or not, right, Hugo?--you don't have to. Our Dharma Initiative Alarm Clock is conveniently programmable to go off only once every 24 hours, and at a time convenient to you.

But if you don't get the numbers right before you see the hieroglyphs, there's no guaranteeing what will happen.

Product Features:

  • Two alarm settings: one-minute warning and electromagnetic cataclysm modes
  • (Okay, really, you can set it for your normal wake-up time.)
  • Requires 2 x AAA batteries
  • 23-year warranty, or until your house implodes
  • Walt, geodesic dome, and polar bear not included

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010: Big Brother Recap - Eviction Night

I know that I didn't do a post after last night's episode, but I wasn't able to watch it until tonight. Let's face it, the Wednesday episodes are going to be boring all season long anyways, with a 15-minute "who won the POV, and did they use it?" along with basic strategy. Anyways, before I get to tonight's live episode, a couple of quick thoughts on last night's episode:

- I'm warming up to Enzo. I can see he's a pretty good player, but I still can't get behind this "Meow Meow" nickname. Plus, The Brigade seems to be able to identify what The Four Horsemen from BB5 could not, that keeping this alliance of 4 a secret is a good idea.

- This season, "bro" is the new "dude".

- Lane does his best strategic thinking while aggressively slapping an apple from one hand into the other.

- I'm already sick of Captain Kosher. We get're Jewish.

- The Cinco de Mayo challenge was disgusting.

Ok, on to tonight's episode, which opened with the Chenbot sporting a spiffy blue dress and looking fine. For those of you who followed Julie Chen's blog on Entertainment Weekly's website last season, she will be blogging after each eviction episode, and I recommend you read it weekly. Here is a link to her blog after the first episode.

The aftermath of the POV ceremony was interesting to watch, especially hearing Britney declare that Annie was going to fight "like a rabid mountain lion" to stay. Growing up in Arkansas sounds like fun, doesn't it?
Matt seems like the geeky kid that's just excited when the cool kids talk to him. He gets all giddy when one of the other members of The Brigade fist bumps him or high fives him, like internally he's yelling "I'm SO in!" Again, I chalk it up to the fact that he's a musician, a drummer specifically. Obviously used to being in the background and not used to being a decision-maker...just happy to be included. Here's a joke for you: What's the last thing the drummer said before he got kicked out of the band? "Hey guys, I have a couple of great song ideas."

I was surprised to see Annie lash out at Brendon, calling it a betrayal, when all he did was take himself off of the block. He would have been foolish not to. But her reaction to him had an effect, as when he went for his next under-the-blanket makeout session with Rachel (complete with BB-provided slow jam soundtrack!), he brought up the topic of Annie. That brought the cuddle romp to a screeching halt as Rachel got upset, then Brendon got upset...and Annie was already crying in the other room. This trio could be the biggest group of drama queens in BB history.

And how unbelievably awesome was Rachel's declaration that she couldn't believe that Brendon was getting upset about Annie, someone he had met "only 8 days ago", and letting her "come between something that is real"? I told you last week...this idiot is great for TV. And if CBS needs to blur your boobs out when you're just sitting in a bikini top at the breakfast bar, maybe you should re-think your wardrobe.

Was Kathy just wearing a shirt that said "Rub For Luck" across her chest? And why does she look like a cartoon character? Also, is Kristin even really on this show? She hasn't said anything in 2 episodes.

Tonight we learned that Annie was The Saboteur, which wasn't that shocking, and saw how she pulled off some of her pranks in the house. I liked that she exposed Brendon for lying about his job, telling the others that he is a scientist. But did you notice how she didn't say the same about Rachel? No one would have believed her!

So the vote came down to Annie and Rachel, and as much as CBS tried to make us believe it was really a decision for the houseguests, Annie got voted out unanimously. I loved that she went balls-to-the-wall in her speech, exposing Brendon and Rachel, and being 100% right in what she said. And then Rachel followed that up with a generic "everything is great, everyone is fun, love you" pathetic speech. I was pretty unhappy that Annie was evicted because I liked her, and thought she would be a pretty good player. The fact that she was the Saboteur just made it the biggest BB Twist Bust in history. Gone after one week.

I'm glad they're telling the houseguests that Annie was the Saboteur. But I wouldn't be surprised to see her have an opportunity to re-enter the game later. They've done it before, and it would be a nice touch to have her back in the game playing only for herself.

I think there may be a backup plan, though, in terms of the twist. Remember how they said that there was a pre-existing relationship in the house? Well, if this wasn't just something the Saboteur was saying to throw the houseguests off, and is indeed true, then I would suggest that Kathy and Britney are the two...and are mother and daughter.

Think about it, they're both from Arkansas, they look similar, Kathy mentioned that she had a 22-year-old child, and then they had that ridiculous argument after the Popcorn challenge that made no sense whatsoever...unless it was staged. I may be wrong, but I'm just throwing it out there. It may be CBS's backup plan if the Saboteur got evicted early.
Britney commenting on Annie's shoes and eyeshadow, and Annie saying Rachel gets her "sloppy seconds"? MEOW!

And then in the Murphy's Law of Big Brother, Rachel wins HoH. Man, is The Brigade ever gonna be sorry that they didn't vote her out.

I loved Annie's comparison to Jeff and's bang on. Look out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 13, 2010: Crowded House in Toronto

All my life I’ve been a pretty serious concert-goer. From my first concert (Hall and Oates) in 1982, through my decade spent working in a music store, to now, I estimate that I’ve seen well over 200 concerts. But heading into the Crowded House concert at Massey Hall in Toronto on Monday night, I realized that never in my life had I been a fan of a musical artist for so long (20+ years) before actually seeing them perform live. I struggled to try and think of another band or artist that would fall under that category, but since my chances of seeing Queen in concert are pretty slim, the only other one that I could really identify would be Prince.

Having said that, the buildup to this show was pretty interesting. I knew for a couple of months that I was going, but with how busy the summer has been, it kind of snuck up on me, and I didn’t really register that the day had actually arrived until I was at work on Monday, when I found myself exceptionally excited. Yes, I’m 37 years old, but I was flat out giddy in the hours leading up to the show.

I had read an interview with Neil Finn last week talking about the new tour and the new album, and it mentioned that this new album (out today in North America) was their 6th album. That didn’t seem right. I knew that they had broken up for about a decade, but still…only 6 albums? So I looked it up, and sure enough, there were only 6 albums – 2 in the 80s, 2 in the 90s, one in 2007, and the new one, Intriguer. When you factor in live albums, greatest hits compilations, Neil Finn’s solo albums, The Finn Brothers, and maybe even Split Enz, then the bigger family picture starts to make sense…but as far as studio albums go, there are only six.

And consider this, when the greatest hits compilation, Recurring Dream, came out in 1996, it had 19 tracks on it…and only 3 were new. So 16 songs were taken from only 4 studio albums at the time. And none of it was filler…it was a true “Best Of” album. Not some garbage like a 26-song double disc Ultimate Kansas collection where you only know 2 songs. Don’t believe me? Check this out…and appreciate that there is a limited edition with a third disc and seven more songs.

For this show, I went with one of my oldest and closest friends, Val. It had probably been close to a decade since Val and I had gone to a concert together, so that was a nice treat. I mean, we had gone in groups with our circle of friends, but it was nice to have a night out with a good friend. We met up with some other friends before the show and had dinner at a really nice traditional Italian restaurant in Toronto. Val and I are both Italian, and we found it very difficult to pick just one thing on the menu, since it was just fantastic. (check it out at When I say the menu was fantastic, consider this…Val printed off a copy to bring to her parents’ house and show them. The food lived up to expectations, and I look forward to going back.
The concert itself was at Massey Hall, which is a great place to see a show in Toronto. From my first time there seeing The Grapes of Wrath in 1991, to my last visit just this past April to see Craig Ferguson’s comedy tour, it is one of my favourite venues to see a show. I love the rustic and traditional theater feeling…the balconies overhanging, the old-fashioned wood floor on the stage, the bar in the basement, and the entire atmosphere in general. We had tickets in the fourth row on the floor, so it was a pretty great vantage to watch the show.

I was looking at the crowd and recognizing that the average fan in attendance was probably between 35-50 years old. I noticed a smattering of people gathered at the front of the stage area, and I thought to myself, Crowded House isn’t really the kind of show you would gather around the stage for, is it? I mean, I lived those days when I was younger, when it was no problem to stand wherever for a show…but I feel old when I’m at a concert now, and damn it, I want a seat! I’m at the point in my concert-going life where I may just avoid the concert if I don’t have a seat. Sure, maybe I’ll get up and dance with the rest of the crowd if the moment hits me and it’s appropriate, but I want that option to sit down. I need that.

So we’re watching as maybe a dozen people are gathered around the front of the stage waiting for the show to begin, and I began to think how different a concert in 1988 would have been for these guys compared to 2010. Back then, I’m sure there were dancing girls in front of the stage, but they assuredly looked different than the 40-something moms that were waiting to get a closer look at Neil and the boys. I’m not trying to paint that as a negative, it’s just an evolution of fans, and there’s something to be said for maintaining and keeping a fan base, even for a band that wasn’t together for a decade. Let’s be honest, these 40-something moms were probably the dancing girls in 1988.

When the band took the stage, the crowd was pretty excited…as was I…and as they broke into their first song, the die-hards up front were right into it, dancing along. Aside from the excitement of the moment, it was slightly alarming seeing Neil Finn with a moustache, and not because he necessarily looks bad with it, but rather because with the moustache and his hair, he looked exactly like my high school religion teacher, Mr. Hynes. I’ll be honest, it took me a couple of songs to shake that image.

It was interesting watching some of the crowd in the audience, and the ways they had of showing their appreciation. For instance, I never understood why young girls scream at concerts…it sounds horrible and essentially just makes your throat sore. What’s the point? Am I missing the upside? There was no screaming from this crowd, but good old-fashioned cheering, lots of standing and clapping, and a few whistles. Just us old folks knowing how to applaud, I guess.

But then I saw this guy in the front row, a sweaty bundle of energy in his 40s, who, after every song would jump up and scream “WOOOOOOO!” while clapping his hands straight above his head. It was very awkward to watch…with his ridiculous full-arms-extended-up clapping, he looked like a porpoise waiting for someone to throw him a fish from the stage.

After a couple of songs, Neil Finn pointed out that it was nice to have some people up front, and that if others wanted to come up, to feel free. Well, as you would imagine, the Porpoise Guy was the first one out of his seat and right in front of the stage. A bunch of others came out of their floor seats and wandered up by the stage, so that the group of 8-10 was now around 40-50. I looked at Val and asked if she wanted to go up, praying she would say no. She immediately said “I’m just fine here”, and I was reminded why she is one of my best friends. We were only 4 rows back, so our view was still fine, but now all of the people in the front row couldn’t see. I’ll tell you, if I paid for front row tickets for a concert without general admission, and ending up not being able to see, I’d be pretty pissed off. I was sure that the staff was going to do something, but no one ever came down and the crowd stayed up front for the whole show.
The show was a great balance of new and old, with the band playing essentially all of the songs from the new album, which I first heard last week, and many of the classics, all mixed together in the set list (see above) to keep old and new fans alike happy. It was very laid-back and mellow without being sleepy or boring, and the vibe in the room was pretty amazing. Early in the show they played my favourite Crowded House song, Fall At Your Feet, and it was honestly emotional for me to finally be sitting there at the show and seeing them perform it live. And as we were all coached from the stage at the end of the song, to all sing the chorus together…it truly was an awesome moment. I was saying to Val on the way home from the show that it’s great to make new associations with certain songs after a concert like that, and now whenever I hear that song, in my mind I’ll see the purple and pink lights, and Neil Finn’s white jacket as he sang.

And man, did they ever sound great.

I know, now it sounds like I’m just gushing, but for a bunch of guys in their 50s, they sounded fantastic. And one of the things that really makes a show for me, is seeing the band really enjoy themselves on stage, and enjoy each other. That was really evident in this show, as you could see the enjoyment on their faces, making each other laugh, and having a ball. It was very genuine…I can’t really think of a better word.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the show was the sing-along aspect where they gave us parts to sing with them. And they did it in a mode of inclusion instead of what I’ve always found to be “lazy singing”. There’s a big difference between getting the crowd to sing with you, and getting the crowd to sing for you because you can’t hit the notes you used to. I’m talking to you, Sting! Yes, I loved the Police concert, but you bailed yourself out of a lot of songs by playing the “sing along card”. In this show we all sang together…and it was great.

And the interaction with the audience was great, from talking about the New Zealand soccer team being the only undefeated team at the World Cup (true!), to jokes about the G20, to responding to the two guys in the balcony who looked like the stars of Fubar, who yelled down that the All Blacks were a bad team.

Finn: “Did you say the All Blacks aren’t very good?”
Fubar guy: “No, they’re not! They suck.”
Finn: (pauses) “Wanker.”

All in all, they performed 17 songs, balancing between upbeat and mellow before kicking it up for the final 3 songs with When You Come, Locked Out, and Distant Sun. Then, they were back for a 5-song encore, which included what was a HUGE surprise for me when I heard the opening guitar for Split Enz’s I Got You, which is one of my favourite songs of all-time. I thought it was just a tease, and then I realized that they were actually going to perform it…and I couldn’t help but let out a genuine “Holy F*ck!”

In my near-30 years of going to concerts, I can honestly say that watching them perform that song is a legitimate candidate for my favourite moment of any concert I’ve ever been to. I’m not exaggerating in any way when I say that. (I found a video on YouTube - see below)

And as the show wrapped up at the 11:00 curfew that Massey Hall imposes, Finn asked the audience what time it was. When he was informed (likely by Porpoise Man) that it was 11:02, all four of them came to the front of the stage for an acoustic sing-along version of Better Be Home Soon, which was the absolute perfect way to end the show. Pure magic.

It was a great show, a great night, and I can’t wait for them to come back again.

But I’m still going to need a seat.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 11, 2010: Big Brother Recap

I've decided to try and do a quick rapid-fire recap after each episode, and a full recap after Thursday's episodes. There may not be any pictures on the quick recaps for Sundays and Wednesdays, because many of the sites I go to for pictures are featuring Spoilers based on the Live Feeds. A reminder that these recaps will be based on the episodes only, I will not be keeping up in real time with the events in the house.

Random Thoughts on tonight's episode:

- Ragan isn't just gay. He's super-gay. And is it a prerequisite for the token gay male in the BB house to have to wear T-shirts with plunging V-necks halfway down their chests?

- Are all the women in the house wearing glasses during "strategy time" to try and look smarter? Did you notice that?

- Did Brendan really refer to Rachel as one of the "most intelligent players in the game"? You two can talk science all you want, but you aren't fooling me that the woman who thought Andrew was wearing a "Yom Kippur" on his head is a real chemist. Bartenders don't count as chemists, Rachel! What is a Chemistry degree from Western Carolina worth, anyways?

- I like Annie, but that Chicago accent is going to start to grate on me. Sounds like I'm listening to Jeff from last season.

- Kathy said that the saboteur is likely a woman who is likeable. Why don't you just point the finger directly at yourself?

- Gay Bonding sweet.

- Is Enzo going to subject us to a season's worth of mafia analogies. Jesus, I hope not. And while the nickname of The Brigade may fly, what the f*@k is Meow Meow? Welcome to the least masculine nickname of all-time.

- Thank God Lane is The Beast, because he sure as hell couldn't be The Brain if he doesn't know a) what a brigade is, and b) whether Enzo is from Philly or New Jersey.

- "It looked like Orville Redenbacher's backyard." Now, I've never actually been to Orville Redenbacher's backyard, but I can't think it looked anything like that.

- Coming out of the caramel, the houseguests looked like they were part of an alien birthing ceremony. Gross.

- Big with 100% more maggots!

- Britney, we get it. You're an Arkansas Razorbacks fan. Does every item of clothing have to reflect this? And shouldn't you be getting along with Kathy instead of scrapping with her? Wasn't she wearing a Razorbacks shirt at the Nomination ceremony? Or was that yours?

- Did Enzo really drop a "Fuhgeddaboutit" at the end of the episode? Just when I was starting to come around on his cartoonish-ness?

July 11, 2010: How Much Do You Miss Lost?

How much do you miss Lost? As much as this guy?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010: Big Brother Recap

As many of you know, I'm a reality TV show fan, so the premiere of Big Brother 12 was something I was definitely looking forward to in terms of summer viewing. I mean, you can only take so much Hell's Kitchen, right? After missing the first two incarnations of Big Brother, I've been hooked since Season 3, and this new season looks like a fun one.

I had heard about the twist in the last few days, and I wasn't that impressed. Isn't this "giant twist" that was happening "for the first time ever" just a spin on the America's Player twist with Eric a couple of seasons ago? I mean, the only difference is that they are telling the other houseguests that the twist exists. Calling it "The Saboteur" doesn't really do anything other than make it obvious that you stole the idea from The Mole.

But thankfully it appears that this "twist" is only slated as a project for the first 5 weeks. Fine with me...I don't even care who it is.

So having covered the dramatic "twist" (snore), let's get down to business since we have a full season of skimpy swimsuits, 52 cameras, 95 microphones, scripted Nomination and Power of Veto ceremonies, and Julie "But First" Chen (now 100% less pregnant!) to look forward to. My first impressions on the 13 new houseguests, who are the best batch of new recruits for my snazzy nicknames below:

Andrew The Jewish Foot Doctor - Boring. Did you really yell "Mazel Tov" when you got in the house? Couldn't you just scream for no reason like most people?

Britney The Small Town Blonde - Entertaining only because after tweaking her knee, declared "I lost my dignity on a slippery weiner."

Hayden The Arizona Jock - Hulk SMASH!

Rachel The Vegas Cocktail Waitress/Chemist - the ditzy boob-candy for the summer (who never lasts long). Better line? "I knew he was Jewish because he wears a Yom Kippur." or "I definitely want to jump on those big weiners"? You decide. It's too close to call. And her laugh is already annoying.

Kathy The Southern Deputy Sherriff - 40 years old with a 22 year old daughter. Shotgun wedding became shotgun weilding, huh Kathy?

Monet The Diva - Yawn.

Matt The Mensa Drummer - Mensa + Drummer does not compute. Reminder that all drummers are douchebags.

Annie The Chicago Bisexual - I'm pretty sure she's a porn star.

Laine The Cowboy - Generic Texan much?

Enzo The Wop - Jersey Shore wannabe. How pathetic are those three words together?

Brendan The Pretty Boy Swim Coach - Eye candy for the girls.

Kristin The Coyote Ugly Bar Dancer - Forgettable.

Ragan The Gay Phd - This season's Ronnie...only he realizes that he's gay.

The weiner challenge was pretty entertaining, if for no other reason than it was a team challenge designed to crown a sole winner. Interesting strategy...why would you want to win other than the money? I don't get it...but I did appreciate that some thought was put into the end game by Hayden and Matt. In that sense, I liked that it wasn't just the age-old "hold on the longest" lame-o challenge we usually get in the premiere.

So they got locked out of their food room...are you telling me there was any way that they could have prevented this? Like this wasn't set out well in advance. Did you really expect that as soon as the lights went out, someone was going to jump up and say "Somebody make sure no one puts a padlock on the door to the storage room!" If that happened, just give that player the $500K right now.

But as Rachel put it: "This is when it gets real." Really, Rachel? It wasn't real when the film crew showed up, recorded you finding your key, gave you one hour to pack and say goodbye, flew you to L.A. and then let you into the Big Brother house where you competed in a competition in just a yellow bra where you had to hold on to a giant hot dog while being sprayed with ketchup and mustard coloured water?

But when the padlock showed up on the door, now it's real?

I hope you last a long time because you are going to give me a LOT to write about.

Looks like this season will be running on Sundays and Wednesdays with eviction nights on Thursdays. I will be recapping in some capacity, although I haven't decided yet if it will be after every episode or just after Thursday nights. One thing I have decided, however, is that my recaps will be based on the TV footage only. I will not be watching Big Brother After Dark or the Live Feeds, nor will I be reading any online coverage of the Live Feeds. Please keep that in mind in your Comments on the spoilers.

What did you think? Do you care who The Saboteur is? If so, who do you think it is (we'll find out next week, but not until CBS lets you pay $1.00 to text your guess for no reason)? Is Julie Chen going to look better in non-maternity clothes? And who is your pick to win the game after seeing the first episode. I'm going with Annie the Porn Star.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010: Wax On, Wax Off.

I was 11 years old when The Karate Kid was released in 1984, and it was probably one of the most significant movies of my youth...right up there with Star Wars, Raiders of The Lost Ark, Stand By Me, and Back to the Future (see below). When you factor in a classic coming-of-age story, my insane crush on Elisabeth Shue, and what, at the time, was my uncanny resemblance to a 1984 Ralph was bound to be a hit. I was even The Karate Kid for Halloween one year, complete with handmade Okinawan headband. (Damn, I wish I had a scanner)

So when I first heard a couple of years ago that there was going to be a remake, I was not impressed. And then I heard that Will Smith was producing it as a vehicle for his son to star in it, with Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi. I say it that way because in the initial report I heard, they were intending to stay true to the characters as well as the story, with Jaden Smith being a black "Daniel LaRusso", and Chan being Mr. Miyagi. Thank God they ditched that idea.

I was skeptical to say the least. I mean, my experience of the movie was filled with visions of the Skeleton-clad Cobra Kai chasing a shower-costumed Daniel through the night; of Daniel trying to basically eat Ali's face on that first kiss in front of the water-slide; of Daniel driving his new 1950 yellow Chevrolet yelling "Banzai!"; of Billy Zabka's hair always looking like it just came directly out of a can of Pringles; of Sensei Kreese instructing Johnny to "sweep the leg" as that little rat Tommy yelled "Get him a body bag! Yeah!"
How can you remake those sorts of classic moments?

And also factor in that the final scene in the movie is without a doubt one of the most uplifting endings you will ever see. Seriously, watch it again at the end of this post.

A couple of years ago, I watched it with my son Lucas, who was 6 years old at the time, and he absolutely loved it. That led to a purchase of the box set (all 4 movies, including The Next Karate Kid with Hilary Swank), and a new generation of fan.

So when Lucas and I saw the trailer for the remake a few months ago, I have to admit, I was intrigued. It looked entertaining, and the fact that my son turned to me wide-eyed and said excitedly, "Dad! We HAVE to go see that!" carried a lot of weight.

We saw it last week, and I'm quite surprised to say that I loved it. If you haven't seen the original, this movie could stand on its own as a coming-of-age tale for a new generation of kids, and it was something that parents could enjoy as well...a good old fashioned 'clap at the end' sort of movie. (Remember when people still used to clap at the end of a movie?)

And if you are familiar with the original, the remake will keep you happy too, with knowing nods to the 1984 film, and a sense of staying true to key elements of the story and script. Sure, there's no traditional "Wax on, Wax off", but there's a lot you will shots, references, lines, and the Chinese Sensei even has the same damn hair as Kreese!

The one thing I was not a fan of at all was how brutal the scenes were in terms of fighting. Yes, I understand it's a movie based on a form of physical combat, but the scenes outside of the tournament setting were alarmingly violent. It's one thing to see teenagers in 1984 beating each other up in a PG-rated fight, but the characters in this version were around 12 years old, and I didn't enjoy seeing the brutality of the fighting.

All in all, a very impressive remake, and a huge hit with my son. He asked me on the way out which one I liked better, the old one or the new one...and there's really no contest. As great as it was, the original Karate Kid will always hold a special spot for me.

July 7, 2010: Great Scott!

I know I'm a day late, but as I'm sure you know, I'm too much of a geek NOT to acknowledge that yesterday--July 6, 2010--was the "future" date set on the DeLorean in Back to the Future. So crank up the Huey Lewis and The News cassette, and raise a glass as you toast arguably the greatest movie invention of all-time...The Flux Capacitor!
(I was on vacation, cut me some slack!)