Sunday, October 31, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: "Run, Babushka, Run"

With all of the sheep-head eating completed (presumably) for this season, the Amazing Racers found themselves on the way to St. Petersburg, Russia. In this “city full of culture”, why are the teams dealing with manure and potatoes ? Is there anything Thomas hasn’t done? And since it’s Halloween and we just finished giving out candy to the neighbourhood kids, does the fact that I’m writing this recap while still dressed as Super Mario make you smile?

My Random Thoughts:

- Nat and Kat gave us a speech early in the episode on how they survive and thrive in a male-dominated world, and how they would be the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race. How bad do you think the Amazing Race producers wanted an all-female team to win this year, considering that there were four all-female teams?

- We got the old TAR classic that sees all the teams equalized by a train or plane that leaves so late, all teams have to travel together. However, we were spared the redundancy of watching every team leave the Pit Stop, rip open the clue, and find this out all together. Instead, we only saw Nat and Kat, and then all teams were together at the train station by 8:06 ET viewing time. They started this last season, and I’m happy it is continuing. Give us the good stuff, not manufactured travel drama.

- On the train from Norway to Sweden, Jill saw the sleeping quarters and said to Thomas: “This is crazy. Have you ever slept in one of these before?” Thomas once again answered condescendingly, ‘Yeah, of course.” Clearly Jill has forgotten that Thomas went to Notre Dame! Although we actually didn’t hear the words “Notre Dame” in this episode at all (and thank God, after a record setting episode last week), we were still reminded that Thomas has done everything.

- Mallory has never been on a train before? Seriously? Maybe for some bonding time, she should have headed over to the other car, where a slumber party scene broke out with Nat, Kat, Brook, and Claire. It started with smelling socks and shoes, and I half-expected it to turn into the 4 of them having pillow fights, doing each other’s hair, and making s’mores.

- Stephanie wasn’t up early enough, according to Chad. “Every other girl” was up and ready before her, so it was clearly her fault that they were the last ones to find a cab. Do you notice how Chad is all about the blame…all about whose fault it is? What a great teammate.

- Personally, I would have chosen the Music Detour over the Film Detour. Yes, it was hard, but I would always avoid the ‘needle in a haystack’ type challenges wherever possible. And here’s a question for you, which job would you rather have on this episode of TAR: the guy who just stands there saying ‘Nyet’ or ‘Da’ as the music folder is handed in, or the person sitting at the piano playing the same song over and over and over again?

- Yes, we get it. Sometimes the cab drivers get lost, and sometimes they don’t know where they’re going, but does it really warrant the ‘dramatic music leading into the commercial break’ all the time? I think half of the time the cab driver has that Deer In the Headlights look is because two people have just jumped into the back seat of his cab, while a cameraman has just jumped into the passenger seat. If you’re in Ghana, or Russia, or somewhere else halfway around the world, you’d be shocked too.
- Mallory seemed to be having a seizure while describing the Piano Detour, and then when they had to switch to the Film Detour, she once again asked for Jesus to help her.

- When Thomas was trying to explain to his cab driver what the clue said, he just spoke louder and slower, telling him: “We need a MARKED sign telling us where to DRIVE to.” When he said ‘marked”, he moved his hands side to side, and when he said “drive”, he moved them up and down in a gesture that seemed to more apt to describe milking a cow than driving a car. I’m shocked that Mr. Notre Dame didn’t already speak Russian…or at least decided to learn the entire language on the train ride from Norway while Jill was still amazed at the beds.

- Michael told Kevin that St. Petersburg is a city full of history and culture. He’s right, of course, but if you didn’t know anything about Russia before watching this episode, all you really would have learned is that they produced a number or Classical Music composers, apparently everyone owns a barking dog, and that groups of old men will try to lure young women into their shacks to drink vodka with them. What the hell was that? Did Mallory really let that guy lift her over the fence? That whole situation was a disaster narrowly averted.

- Chad is nothing but a complainer. I’m now referring to him as Captain Bitch-N-Moan. He never has any solutions, he just whines. He kept asking Stephanie, “Well, what do you wanna do?”, and even after her answers were clear and concise, he kept asking…and complaining that they should have left a long time ago.
- Nick on Nat and Kat at the Film Detour: “They got here last and they found it first? That’s the best luck I’ve ever seen.” Really, Nick? You live in Las Vegas, and that’s the best luck you’ve ever seen? Shocking.

- Switching from one task to another is dumb, but switching back is even worse. Drives me nuts every time I see it. It was obvious that Nick and Vicki were going to be last this leg.

- In the cab, after Jill completed the Babushka Roadblock, Thomas told her “Jill, god job. I’m so proud of you”, but let’s be honest, we all heard “I went to Notre Dame, I’m not doing a menial task that involves manure and planting potatoes.”

- 8:43 pm ET – Vicki declares in the cab “I’m just glad we never quit. You never know what’s going to happen.” Could it have been any more obvious that this was going to be a Non-Elimination leg? Nick and Vicki will now have to encounter a Speed Bump on the next leg, but based on the idiotic tasks (see my rant—and solution—in last week’s post) that we’ve seen so far, my guess is that their Speed Bump will be “Count to 100."

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Related Posts:
Josh Wolk’s Amazing Race Recap
Darren Franich’s Amazing Race Recap

Finally, and only because it’s Halloween today, please enjoy the video embedded below. A full year after seeing it for the first time, I still have no idea what is going on, but it’s funny every single time…and you’ll never hear “Ghostbusters” the same again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: Why Keep An Idol When You Can Give It Away?

Marty is an idiot.

Seriously, a complete idiot.

I can't believe I picked this guy as my choice to win after the first episode.

Sorry tonight's recap is up later than normal. I was out for the evening and didn't get back to even begin watching the show until 1 am ET, so forgive me if this is short and rambling.

My Random Thoughts:

- Dan is now comparing himself to John Gotti? Now he's 'Teflon Dan'? Come on, can barely walk and serve no purpose to anyone in this game. Take your $1600 shoes, your swollen knee, your spiffy mob nicknames, and shuffle on out of here. If you start walking now, you may reach the Ponderosa section for evicted castaways by the Season Finale.

- Naonka hates Alina. Then they switch to the other tribe and they "bond". And now she hates her again? Discussion topic: Is NaOnka a) crazy, b) bipolar, or c) both?

- Do we really need a full-on HD shot of a tarantula crawling around in the dark? Not cool. Not cool at all.

- The Reward Challenge seemed like fun: Chase took it in the junk, Fabio pissed in the pool, Dan waddled like a crippled penguin, and Benry rocked again. That challenge looked like it would have been toughest on Fabio and Chase as the defenders, as they had to keep getting up onto the pedestal from the water.

- Purple Kelly spoke! Correct me if I'm wrong, but was that her first on-camera confessional when she spoke to the camera in tonight's episode? I was so shocked, I didn't even notice what she said. I had no idea what her voice sounded like until tonight!

- And can we talk about names for just a moment? As I mentioned with Jimmy T. after Jimmy Johnson was eliminated, the indicator is irrelevant once the other person with your name is gone. So why can't Purple Kelly just be Kelly? And have we all forgotten that Fabio's name is Jud? Why do we even learn these people's names if we're going to call them something else?

- I love how in one week, Survivor can turn someone you felt indifferent about, or even liked, into a total douchebag. That was accomplished in one on-camera monologue from Sash, the self-anointed King of La Flor, who decided it was in his best interest to sit back and let the older tribe members serve him.

- I have to say, other than the breakfast feast, that didn't seem like much of a reward. Milking your own cow before you get the milk? In most of the world, that falls under the category of "chores", not "reward." Although, to be fair, I suppose that milking the cow is probably more television-appropriate than shooting it in the neck with a bow and arrow and drinking its blood! Remember that from Survivor: Africa?

- NaOnka wanted nothing to do with the cow, although I was surprised she didn't starting yelling at the cow and calling it names, since it has FOUR TIMES as many good legs as her nemesis, the ousted Kelly B.

- How many camera shots do we need of Brenda and Kelly's bikini bottoms? Honestly...I think I could pick Brenda's ass out of a lineup. I know this season is exceptionally weak so far, but that's just too gratuitous.

- Jane sneaking off to cook her own fish was just weird. First of all, how does she start her own fire off somewhere where no one would see it? Is she so far away, that no one would see the smoke from a second fire? If you're going to steal fruit or something that can't be traced back to you, I could understand the logic...but why would you start a fire, then cook a fish? Are they not going to see the ashes from the fire later? And that was a creepy cackle she gave us, wasn't it?

- The Immunity Challenge was great as well. I have to give the Survivor crew a lot of credit...for a lackluster season thus far, the challenges have been great to watch. And again...Benry rocked at another challenge.

- Didn't you just love the irony of Mr. Arrogant Sash telling Crazy Hair Marty "I'm not going to tell you what to do with your idol"...while telling him what to do with his idol?

- Marty giving away the idol was an idiotic move. Ask Erik the Ice Cream Scooper. Ask JT, who gave it to Russell. Ask Russell, who gave it to Parvati. I'll say this slowly for you Marty:


Your risk vs. reward was nowhere close to a good balance. You unnecessarily risked your own safety at Tribal Council for essentially no reward. Play your idol, stay safe, and who knows what could happen next?Maybe you win the next immunity challenge and don't have to worry. Maybe you find a clue to another idol. Maybe there's a Merge. All of those make playing the Idol a better idea. Jill still goes home either way, but now you risked your own safety, you still don't have the Idol, and someone else who is against you DOES. And Sash saying he will give it back to you if they lose the next Immunity is a flat-out lie and carries as much weight as Dreamz promising the same to Yau-man in Survivor: Fiji.

Next week: The Merge...and NaOnka the Villain returns.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Survivor Nicaragua Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: "Tastes Like A Million Bucks"

In last week’s Amazing Race recap, I talked about how lame the Speed Bumps have become since they were introduced as a “punishment” for the team that comes in last place in the non-elimination leg. That led to a fair bit of discussion on one board where I posted the recap, with some people saying that it’s fine that it’s just a minor inconvenience, kind of like a real Speed Bump would be, just something to slow you down briefly.

I see that point, but since the beginning of The Amazing Race, the team in last place on the Non-Elimination has faced some sort of significant punishment, from losing all of their money, to losing their backpacks and only being able to keep their travel documents and the clothes on their backs. Neither of those were great ideas, as the teams just ended up looking like hobos who happened to be followed by a camera crew, either because they were panhandling, or because they were carrying around hotel garbage bags with their stuff inside.

I don’t have a problem with the last place team not being punished at all. Just call it a lucky break, and they go on as normal in the next leg of the race. But don’t try to paint these five or ten minute “Speed Bumps” as anything other than a token redundant task that really makes no difference at all.

If you want to continue the concept of the Speed Bump, I would suggest at each Road Block or Detour, only ONE of the envelopes contains the Speed Bump task, and the team that opens that envelope then has to perform it. I really think that would add an interesting element to the show, and could make for some great TV.

But on to this week’s episode: Will Mallory continue to yell and scream for no reason whatsoever? Who’s been on lots of gondolas? And why are people eating a sheep's head?

My Random Thoughts:

- When the teams left the Pit Stop after ripping open a clue that said “Make a run for the border", I was expecting a task that involved them carrying Taco Bell Tacos over into Norway. But then I realized that this isn’t Survivor or The Apprentice, and the product placements aren’t THAT in your face…unless it’s involving Travelocity. On that note, keep in mind that the needless “carry the Travelocity Gnome for the entire leg” episode must be coming up soon.

- Did Michael really just say that the Race is probably the last time that he and Kevin are going to be able to pee together? I know that fathers and sons do a lot of different things to bond with each other, but is urination on that list?

- I loved that in tonight’s episode, we got pounded over the head with the fact that Thomas went to Notre Dame and that Jill didn’t go to college. My favourite exchange was this one:
Jill: “Have you been in many Gondolas?”
Thomas: “Of course. I’ve been in LOTS of gondolas.”
I half expected Thomas to turn to her and say “Dammit Woman, you know I went to Notre Dame! That was first-year curriculum…Gondola Riding 101.” Of course, Jill would later explain that Thomas was sure to excel at the rappelling challenge because he grew up in the mountains rappelling all the time. So, as far as I can tell, Thomas is pretty much a Gondola Riding, Mountain Rappelling, Bridge-Identifying, Position-Predicting, genius who went to Notre Dame. Go Irish! (Did you notice that even on the Pit Stop Mat, when Phil told them they were third, he said ‘Yeah, I figured that.”)

- Mallory gave her reasoning for wanting to do the Fast Forward: “A Christmas ritual!? I Love Christmas!” At least Gary overruled that logic, but up until tonight, had he actually spoken, or did we just not notice because of Mallory’s high-pitched squeaks and whistles? - At the Fast Forward where Nat and Kat had to eat the Sheep’s head, did we really need to hear Kat say that she’s been a vegetarian for 22 years…THREE times? The point is valid once, but looking at the head itself and what they had to eat, it was a non-issue once they decided to attempt it. Even the most voracious carnivore would likely have had a hard time with that one.

- Nick and Vicki even going for the Fast Forward when they were in 6th place was ridiculous. But not nearly as ridiculous as when they got there and had no idea what the sign “Fast Forward Taken” meant? How much more direct did the sign need to be? Did it have to be a picture of Nat and Kat waving the Fast Forward and a speech balloon that said “Too Late Bitches!”

- I had to laugh at the partners constantly yelling “Good Job!” to their teammates as they rappelled off of the bridge towards the water below. Essentially, you’re congratulating them for falling. Gravity did the work there, not your partner. Save your energy for the ascent, when they really need it. - Claire had trouble ascending on the second part of the Road Block, and Brook was hollering support from the bridge. Well, it was intended to be support, I’m sure, but Brook has a way of making it sound like she’s just yelling orders at Claire. And after Claire complained about how hard it was, I kind of wanted Brook to drop a watermelon off of the bridge and hit her in the face again. If you can shake that off and complete the task, you can climb a rope.

- The teams that chose the Boats detour had to deliver fish and a chainsaw to the top of a mountain to a Norwegian man wearing a Cosby sweater. I don’t really have a lot to say about that except that I really liked the phrase “2 large cod and a chainsaw” when Phil said it, because it sounded like the end of about 50 different jokes. Also, do you think the cod and chainsaw were slated to be used together? Gross.

- Claire, on the way up the mountain with the chainsaw, again started complaining, saying “my body is in shock.” Woman, you had a watermelon explode in your face…stop whining about climbing a hill.

- Phil gave Gary and Mallory 2 raises of the eyebrow to indicate that they had finished in second place. Nice touch, Phil…way to mix it up. I’ve missed the Brow. - Nick talked about how he was Mr. Competitive bike rider, but then Vicki blew right by him on the Bikes challenge, and he ended up trailing behind her, pushing his own knee while pedaling? I’m picture him finishing last in every race, but I’m sure he would have thought it was second place based on how he thought they finished this leg.

- Brook cut her eye on the car door on the way to the Pit Stop mat, and Phil made a big deal out if it, even declaring “That’s insane!” OK, I know this is the third time I’m mentioning it, but CLAIRE HAD A WATERMELON EXPLODE IN HER FACE!! Brook cutting her eyelid is not “insane.”

- It was obvious for the entire episode that Katie and Rachel were too far behind to recover, even though they justified that it was easier to be in last place because there’s no pressure. (???) Well, at least they now have spiffy matching green shirts, jackets and shoes to wear together after the race. It’s a shame they were eliminated before the race headed to warmer climates.

Next Week: Baboushkas, film reels, and stepping in crap…welcome to Russia.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

I mentioned last week that all Amazing Race fans should read Josh Wolk’s recap as well as Darren Franich’s recap. From now on at the end of each post, I will have direct links to both. Links will become active as the posts go up online, usually within 3 hours after the episode airs on the East Coast.

Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Josh Wolk’s Amazing Race Recap
Darren Franich’s Amazing Race Recap

Lackawanna, Layered Lasagna, And The Biggest Meatball You've Ever Seen

Regular readers will know that I'm a food junkie, and watch a lot of Food Network programming on television. One of the shows I have found that I really enjoy is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives featuring Guy Fieri, which sees him traveling across the USA highlighting tiny places you might never have heard of otherwise. Every time there's a place that I see that I would like to actually go to, I find it online and bookmark it for potential future information if I'm in that specific city.

A while back, my girlfriend Devena told me about an episode she had seen about an Italian restaurant just outside of Buffalo, New York, called Mulberry Italian Ristorante. I found the episode online and checked it out, and knew from the moment I saw it that it would be our next trip. (video is embedded at the end so you can see for yourself)

We decided to go this week, and with our trusty Google Maps directions in hand, and a full appetite, we headed off for the bustling community of Lackawanna, New York. Now, before I get into the actual restaurant experience itself, I'm going to perform a community service for anyone who actually decides to go to Mulberry based on this post.

While Google Maps will give you a list of convoluted instructions on where to turn and how far to go, etc..., unless you feel like being diverted through the construction zones, coastal roadways, and bridges of Buffalo's Outer Harbour, you can ignore them all and just do the following: 1) Get on the Buffalo Skyway, 2) Turn left on Madison, 3) Turn Left on Walnut/Jackson.

That's it. I didn't need a page-and-a-half of instructions that took me OFF the road I needed to be on, and into a scene that looked like something off of the second season of The Wire. But thankfully, we figured it all out and ended up at Mulberry's right around dinner time on a Friday Night.

From the amount of cars that were there, it was obvious that this was a pretty hot spot. For those of you that are from my home town of Guelph, Ontario, the best way that I could describe it to you, is that the neighbourhood we were in looked like it was a lost block from The Ward (the heavily Italian neighbourhood in Guelph). Imagine if an Italian restaurant was supplanted right in the middle of the appliance factories and warehouses, and residential homes.

The restaurant itself was right on a residential street, with a gravel parking lot backing on what appeared to be a set of train tracks. I honestly felt like I was on the corner of Huron and Alice street in Guelph. There were kids running around the front of the restaurant from the house right next door, playing hide and seek at dusk. It was exactly like you would have seen back home.

And the deja vu continued as I entered the restaurant by opening a black screen door into a vestibule area, before I actually entered the restaurant. It was the exact same feeling, visually and physically, as walking into my Nonno's house when I was growing up...opening the door, walking about 10 feet, and turning right to open the door into the house.
Now, let me say that while the show is called Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, this restaurant is none of those things. It's a wonderful, traditional restaurant that could suit your needs, from casual to fine dining, and the quality of the food was fantastic.

Upon walking into Mulberry, I was immediately reminded of the decor of Carmine's, an Italian restaurant that my friend Norm took me to when we were in New York City last fall. There was a big bar area on the right as you walk in, and separate rooms off to the side, and in the back. We were seated in the back room, which was decorated with wonderful pictures of old-time New York.
Our server's name was Nicole, and we explained to her that it was our first time there, and how we had come from Canada after seeing the show. She was very friendly and helpful, and I knew we would feel at home when she was explaining about the homemade ricotta cheese. Not because it was homemade, but because of the way she said it. Not your anglocized (mangia-cake) way, but the old-school, traditional Italian, From-The-Sopranos pronunciation of "Rrri-Coatt."

This was going to be good.

We started off with a couple of appetizers: The Mulberry Meatball and The Mozzarella Russo. The Meatball was a no-brainer because that was the crux of the video, which you will see when you watch it, and The Mozzarella Russo was based on a recommendation from Nicole. For our entrees, Devena got the cheese ravioli (which came with another meatball), and I got the Lasagna, which that night was filled with layers of Double Meatballs, Sauteed Chicken, and Roast Pork.

The appetizers came first, and this meatball was unlike anything you've ever seen before. It was huge, and delicious: an amazing combination of beef and pork, the size of a softball. Not a baseball...a softball. The Mozzarella Russo was 2 big pieces of Mulberry's homemade mozzarella cheese, egg-battered and sauteed...and finished with capers and anchovies in a lemon butter wine sauce, with a full leaf of fresh basil on top. Here are pictures of both.

We devoured our appetizers, along with some nice fresh Italian bread that was perfect for dipping in the sauces of each. Looking at the size of the portions that were coming out to the tables surrounding us, we knew that we shouldn't be filling up on bread, and maybe the appetizers weren't a good idea, since we likely weren't going to be able to finish everything, but when you drive two hours for a meal, you might as well try as much as you can, right?

Each of our entrees came with a house salad, so that came out next, and I was pleased to see that it wasn't just a basic house salad, like you would normally see, consisting of iceberg lettuce, some shaved carrots and a tomato. Instead, this was a mix of different leafy greens, olives, carrots, homemade garlic bread croutons (which were delicious), and one of my absolute favourite things to include in a salad: chick peas. Huge bonus points from me after seeing that. I had my salad without dressing, of course, but all of their dressings are homemade as well, and based on Devena's assessement of the Homemade Creamy Italian, they're a big hit.

The entrees came next, and it was a lot of fun watching people look at the food as it comes out to the tables. The piece of lasagna that landed in front of me was, without a doubt, the biggest piece I have ever seen in my life. (you can choose a smaller size, or the regular size...I went with the regular size) With all due respect to my mom, it was the best piece of Lasagna I've ever had. It was amazing. Devena's cheese ravioli was also very good, and the sauce on both was a perfect compliment, with just enough garlic. We're both Italian, and we both love garlic, and we were really happy with the sauce.

We shared both entrees, but at the end of the meal, we still had about 1/3 of the lasagna left (see picture below), and hadn't touched the meatball that came with the ravioli, instead opting to take it back to the hotel with us for a midnight snack (we were staying over in Niagara Falls). We were legitimately stuffed, with no room for dessert. If we would have been going directly home, we would have ordered half a dozen meatballs to go.
Overall, it was a fantastic meal, from both a restaurant standpoint, and from the point of view of two traditional Italians who were expecting a meal that tasted like it could have come from our family homes 30 years ago. That sort of experience is worth a lot, and when you factor in how affordable the prices are, Mulberry is someplace that we will be going back to many many times. The Meatball is on the menu at $4.79, and the full serving of Lasagna is $17.99.

If I could offer one thing that I would do differently, it would be the option to drink Coke instead of Pepsi. So if Joe, or Nicole, or anyone else at Mulberry are reading this, if you happen to have a can of Coke and Diet Coke waiting in the back of the cooler for Devena and I next time we come in, you'll have two Canadians who are even more impressed than they are already, and that's saying a lot.

Check out the video below, and if you're up for some fantastic Italian food, give it a shot.
Mulberry Italian Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Did It...I Tried KFC's Double Down Sandwich

Earlier this week, KFC's Double Down Sandwich made it's appearance in Canada. I can't really use the term "eagerly anticipated", because I can't really speak for the population as a whole. I can, however, use the term "hotly debated", since it's all anyone was talking about this week, including a report (that was officially refuted today) that the Ontario government was considering launching a probe into the sales of the sandwich.

Let me be clear on something: I had no intention of ever seeking out the Double Down Sandwich. I had said in the past that I didn't think my life would change based on whether I ate one or not. But tonight, when my self-induced long weekend started with having to change a flat tire on a gravel incline (that included the car nearly falling on top of me), my dinner plans went out the window, and I decided that I just needed something "junky." What better candidate than the Double Down?

So, off we went to KFC, where the glorious God of sodium, grease, fat, and calories was proudly displayed in full-colour on the board FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! For those of you who didn't know, it's only available in Canada until mid-November. That's right, you have only 4 weeks to ruin a year's worth of healthy living. It stared back at me, taunting me...daring me...and I put my head down with shame and ordered it as other customers stared on. I felt like I had been branded with a Scarlet Letter.
When I got my little red box of death, I opened it to find my two chicken pieces, two pieces of Spicy Pepper Jack cheese, and two slices of bacon, all neatly wrapped up in a pocket of paper that I know any health-conscious person on the planet, upon seeing me in the picture above, would have yelled out "Just eat the paper! It's better for you!"

Now, it goes without saying that I ordered by Double Down without the special "Colonel's Sauce", so I have to think that I significantly cut down on the calorie count of 560 by going condiment-free. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I did have gravy with my fries, so let's just call that one a push.

I tried to find out online if there was a calorie count without the Colonel's Sauce, but I wasn't able to find anything. I did, however, come across a couple of alarming things:

First of all, I saw the ingredient list for the Colonel's sauce, which reads as follows: "Soybean Oil, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Egg Yolk, Sugar, Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Paprika, Xanthan Gum, Monosodium Glutamate, Spice, Chicken Broth, Garlic Powder, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Potassium Sorbate, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat, Dehydrated Chicken and Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten. Contains Egg, Wheat and Soy."

Chicken Fat? On a sandwich that is made of essentially of chicken and I really need a sauce made with Chicken Fat? Not to mention the TWENTY-SIX other ingredients! And what the hell is "spice?" They're mentioning other spices in there, like Paprika or Garlic there's just a generic ingredient called "spice?" Does anyone else have an issue with that?

The second alarming thing I came across in my online search, was the KFC Nutrition Guide, found online at their website. Not because of the calories, or fat content, or any other nutrition concerns...but rather for some of the items that are listed. Listen to some of these (all listed under 'Other'): KFC Gizzards, KFC Livers, Country Fried Steak with Peppered White Gravy, and my personal favourite, Colonel's Buttery Spread.

Two thoughts: 1) Yes, I know that people eat chicken gizzards and livers and hearts (myself included), but is KFC the place you want to go for these? Are these big sellers? And I've spent a fair bit of time in South Carolina and Georgia, so I can appreciate a Country Fried Steak as much as the next guy, but KFC the place for this? 2) What the hell is 'Colonel's Buttery Spread?' After what I saw from the Colonel's Sauce, I didn't even want to go look up the ingredients, but I'll tell you one thing it's NOT based on the name alone: butter.
Nutritional ranting aside, the Double Down is here in Canada, and we're being inundated with media to let us know. As a matter of fact, as I was writing that last sentence, a commercial just came on the TV to remind me in case I had forgotten.

Bottom line: It wasn't bad. I can't say it was great, but I also can't say that there was anything wrong with it from a taste standpoint. I do think it says a lot, though, that I was utterly disgusted with myself afterwards, probably a combination of dehydration from the sodium...and pure guilt.

So what do you think? Have you tried it? Will you? Am I overstating my concerns? And what the hell is the Colonel's Buttery Spread?

Let me hear from you in the Comments section.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: "Double Tribal...All The Way."

After last week’s Tribal Switch-up, it looked like this season may have turned a corner finally. Someone made a comment recently on one of my posts that they thought NaOnka was heavily edited to appear to be the villain for this season, and after watching her mental breakdown over a rain storm, I wondered if that was indeed the case. Was she really a vicious snarly witch like we saw in the first couple of weeks, or the borderline mental patient we saw last week? Whichever one it is, I think we all can agree that she is indeed the biggest drama queen we’ve seen on this show in a long time.

Would this week shed some light on which NaOnka is the real one? Why are we seeing an individual immunity challenge again? And who is morphing into the ultimate Parvati/Russell hybrid?

My Random Thoughts:

- Previously on…Survivor: Jeff bludgeoned us over the head with the fact that Yve was the only one who didn’t vote for Tyrone. When I saw that, I turned to my girlfriend and said “if that doesn’t come into play this episode, I’ll bend through my own legs and kiss my own ass.” Her response: “I’d like to see that.”

- Normally to start the episode we see the aftermath of Tribal Council and the fallout back at camp. But this episode , all we saw was Dan talking about wanting to quit, and Holly acting horrified at the thought…even though she was the one who was ready to quit only a few days earlier. A very confusing way to open the episode, especially with a truncated opening credits sequence right afterwards.

- Yve talked about not wanting to “throw Danny under the bus”, so this is probably a good time for me to go over my rules for the phrases that should qualify a Reality TV 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, 3) There’s a target on my back, and 4) Game on! (any time after the first episode.)

- Crazy Hair Marty described the switch from Espada to La Flor as being like going from a serious drama to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Not only was it an absolutely perfect analogy…but a fantastic reason for me to post a link to this.

- I will re-iterate what I say every season about how much I absolutely hate episodes where both tribes have to vote someone out. It's a cheap way to get more contestants at the beginning of the game, and it places NO value on winning. At least this time they gave the opportunity of individual immunity within the respective tribes...but that's still not enough to justify it. Sure, La Flor got their feast of chicken and beef kebabs, and a front row seat at Espada’s Tribal Council...but Tribal immunity is what this phase of the game has always been based on, and to take that away is, and always will be, a very weak tactic.
- The Immunity contest was innovative, and entertaining, but didn’t it seem like a convoluted way for them all to just shake their asses trying to get the ring in the hole? It looked like a dance contest. What’s next? Probst telling them that they have to put their arms in the air…and wave them like they just don’t care?

- Fabio, when Marty tells you “I would love to go with someone like you to the final three”, listen carefully to the wording of that statement. He’s not saying that he wants to go to the Final Three with “you”, he’s saying “someone like you.” Translation: I want to go to the Final Three with a TOTAL MORON who thinks Guillermo Vilas is an Argentinian chess grandmaster. He wants to go to the end with someone he can mold like a piece of clay…and that’s you. Smart move on Marty’s part, but read the signs, Fabio!

- Dan talking about the fact that he doesn’t need the money is insulting. It’s insulting to the viewers, it’s insulting to the other contestants, and it’s insulting to anyone who has ever applied to be on the show.

- Purple Kelly AGAIN didn’t say a word in this episode. Is she really on the show? Is she perhaps just a hologram? A figment of our imagination?

- I was so frustrated watching Espada talking about the fact that Dan wanting to quit was the perfect reason to keep him around. NO! The second someone wants to quit, you vote them out, and here’s why: if they quit, then you’re a player down, and you run the risk of still losing another player if you go to Tribal council next. The potential to lose two players in a single 3-day period is a huge turning point in this game.

- At Tribal Council, Brenda turned up the heat on Marty with a lie about who was targeting Jane. Great job of making Marty look guilty, even when he wasn’t. But the fact that she remained calm and composed while lying, while he got flustered while telling the truth, made her appear credible while Marty looked guilty. Russell did the same thing last season: a bold-faced lie at Tribal Council, but it worked because he stayed calm and credible, while Danielle freaked out. Brenda is becoming a perfect mix of who I believe are the two best players to ever play the game: Parvati and Russell.- After the La Flor vote was revealed to be a tie, weren’t you wishing that Marty could play the Idol then…before the re-vote?

- I was completely stunned when Kelly B. was eliminated on the re-vote. Looks like those potential sympathy votes were too much of a threat for her to overcome. She didn’t have a leg to stand on. (I’m so bad…I know.)

- Dan calling Yve arrogant was absolutely laughable. Not only is it not true, but coming from him was even more ridiculous.

- Dan survives FOUR separate Tribal Concils where he should have been voted out? Unbelievable.

Next Week: Jane sneaks a personal fish-feast and Fabio takes a leak.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Survivor Nicaragua Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog

I Said "Toy Yoda", Not "Toyota"

I know it's old, but it's just so funny. Click here to read the full story.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The 500th Post!

If you would have told me in 2008 when I started this blog that I would be sitting here in October 2010 writing my 500th post, I would have laughed. And not just a modest little chuckle, or a token chortle...but a belly-shaking, earth-shattering, "you-are-out-of-your-mind" kind of laugh. When I started this blog, neither longevity nor a strong readership were goals that I had in mind, either from the standpoint of intention or achievability (is that even a word?).

Yet here I sit writing my 500th post, and looking on the sidebar at 47 followers and just over 54,000 hits. Are you kidding me? When I think back to averaging 5 or 6 hits a day, then billowing to the unbelievable numbers I saw during the final season of Lost, and now settling in at a healthy 1000 hits per week, it makes me pretty happy to think how far everything has come. As of today, there have been hits from 118 countries, over 400 cities in Canada, and all 50 U.S. States.

Sean's Random Thoughts certainly has changed since 2008. It started as a bullet-point 'Random Thoughts' theme, then expanded into topical posts in the Spring of 2009. Regular readers will remember the music selection of the week, regular mashup videos, stories from my regular Tim Hortons, and more poker stories than you probably care to remember.

Much of what I talked about was pop-culture related, and some of the major topics of discussion were my favourite TV shows. So instead of just constantly grouping my thoughts into the "Random Thoughts" format, I switched to full-on recaps of my favourite shows. And as regular readers will know, my version of a recap has never been (nor will it ever be) an in-depth analysis of what I watched. Instead, it's a running commentary, often filled with intended comedy and sarcasm, that fans of the show can read immediately following the episode.

I know that a lot of readers over the past year have found this site through my Lost Recaps, and more recently from my Reality TV recaps (Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother...and no, I am not paid by CBS!). I couldn't be happier that you are here, especially those of you that stuck around and became regular readers, but for this, my 500th post, I wanted to try and do something for all readers, old and new:

First, I want to hear from as many of you as possible in the Comments section. Introduce yourself, tell me how you found the blog, and any thoughts you have. Ideally, I'd like to set a record for Comments in a single post, and hopefully it will be good for all of you to hear from each other as well. So please, head to the Comments section and leave a note for the 500th post. It would mean a lot to me. (You don't have to sign in to leave a comment, just select the 'Name/URL' option.)

Second, and this one is partially for me, and partially for the newer readers who may not have read much of the non-TV related posts on here. I'm going to list my personal favourites of the 499 previous posts, and provide direct links to each. For those of you new readers, I hope you'll go and read them, and get a bit more insight into Sean's Random Thoughts, other than just the TV Recap portion of the site.

Here's the list (in no particular order):

The Trouble With Condiments - A look at the evils of condiments.
Spoiler Alert - The danger of spoiling something for someone else, and how to avoid it.
Crossing Paths With An Iron Chef - My encounter with Bobby Flay in Las Vegas, and a surprising turn of events.
A post about the perils of boiling meat, and a couple of horrifying personal stories on the subject.
A post detailing my life-long love of the band Queen.
The story of a fireworks show gone wrong in my neighbourhood.
The Roaming Wolverine of St. Agatha - a story of my encounter with a wolverine on a golf course. (Make sure to read the follow-up post as well.)
My whirlwind trip to NYC for one day to see David Letterman with my friend Norm: Part 1, Part 2
My struggles to cope with my one addiction: Coca-Cola.
An Ode To Lost - my love letter to the show on the final weekend before the Series Finale.
Duke Basketball and meeting Christian Laettner - a lifelong dream come true. (UNC fans should avoid this one.)
My Five-Part Report on playing in the 2009 World Series of Poker - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

I started writing when I was 9 years old...the first thing I ever wrote was parodies of the Star Wars films for my grade 5 class. That love of writing continued through high school and university, writing for student newspapers and branching out into writing plays and screenplays. But as life goes on, and work and parental responsibilities become the priority in your life, the time (and desire) to write sometimes wanes.

I can't tell you how happy I am to have found a reason to write again.

I'm not going to go through a laundry list of thank yous, but I'd like to specifically mention Andy Page (aka DarkUFO), who gave an aspiring writer a shot on his site, and the exposure turned into something amazing. I can't thank you enough, my friend.

Most importantly though, I want to thank you...the readers. Whether you were here from Day One, or just got here last week...whether you've read one post, or all guys are why I keep writing. So thank you a hundred times over for the motivation.

And let's see if we can make it through another 500...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: "We Should Have Brought Gloves And Butt Pads"

This week’s episode of The Amazing Race was thankfully not prefaced with an exploding oven in our household, as was the case last week. As the teams parted after two weeks in lovely Ghana, they found themselves on the way to the Arctic, where they would encounter sled dogs, an ice hotel, and some awesome GT Snowracer/Snowmobile hybrids.

Would Nick continue his Race Rage, or would Vicki once again produce the Magic Puffer of Calm? Would the Glee singers keep up their trend of serenading cab drivers in every country they travel to? And would Team Jumba be able to overcome the Speed Bump?

My Random Thoughts:

- Mallory screamed at the beginning of the leg when she opened her clue to see they were going to Sweden. Well, let me clarify that…she didn’t actually scream when she found out she was going to Sweden…she screamed at the top of her lungs at simply ripping open the envelope. And I mean a “this is the most exciting moment of my life” sort of scream. Just when I think she can’t get any more animated, something proves me wrong. As I mentioned before, all I see is Cheri Oteri now when I see her. After actually reading the clue, she turned to the heavens once again, screaming “Thank you Jesus! We’re going to ice!"

- Nick showed once again that he may actually be the dumbest man on the planet when he got into his cab…in Ghana…and asked if the cab driver could take them to the Arctic Circle. Is this guy for real?

- Connor and Jonathan said that they thought that Gary and Mallory might have found an earlier flight out of Ghana because they were “smiley.” Have they met Mallory? I have a feeling that there isn’t anything on the planet that doesn’t make her “smiley.”

- I’m so sick of these Speed Bumps. At first, the idea of a task that only that team had to perform was good in principle, but when all you have to do is spend 5 minutes on a Sauna Bus (remember that one?), or 10 minutes in a chair made of ice, it’s just lame. Go back to taking their money, or their clothes, or their backpacks, but this is getting ridiculous. I would rather they not incur any penalty at all, and instead just be saved by the non-elimination leg, instead of a redundant token “task” that makes no difference whatsoever.

- Upon landing in Sweden and seeing that they were in last place in the convoy of cars leaving the airport, Rachel declared that “we are truly the caboose of this train right now.“ That was a pretty appropriate statement considering beach volleyball players are generally known for one thing, and that’s their caboose.

- When you’re racing down a hill on an awkward little Sno-Racing machine, and you happen to go off-course and plow through a snow fence, which you then get tied up in and can’t get yourself free from…let me ask you this question: When the Snow Patrol guy comes up—AS you’re tied up in the fence—and asks you “ Problems?”, are you a) just happy that he’s there, or b) incredibly insulted at how stupid a question that is?

- The music while Connor and Jonathan attempted the Sno-Racing task was pretty entertaining, but not nearly as entertaining as watching the two of them wipe out. I wanted to hear them singing “Faaaaaaace Plaaaaaant!”

- Thomas mentioned in the first few minutes of the episode that he didn’t think it would be smart to use the Express Pass this early in the race. It was obvious foreshadowing that they were going to have to use it later in this leg. I’m glad they chose to use it, I didn’t want to have to be as upset as I get when a contestant on Survivor gets voted out without using their Hidden Immunity Idol.
- Why did Chad carry the giant piece of ice to the Pit Stop for no reason at all? Did he think it was a Travelocity Gnome? Or did he just need to show that he was still a strong, tough man since he wasn’t able to complete the Sno-Racing challenge?

- 4 legs - 4 different winners. I’m liking the parity of this season so far. I’m not a big fan of when one team wins a bunch of legs and then ends up with 4 or 5 prizes.

- I can’t say that I’m disappointed that Team Glee was eliminated. I was getting really sick of the singing, and when they sang on their way up to the mat (and after elimination), I honestly wanted to punch both of them right in their graduating faces.

Next Week: Disgusting Food and Bungee Hijinks.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

As required reading for all Amazing Race fans, I suggest you head over to Josh Wolk’s blog (there is also a link on the sidebar) and read his recap of the episode. He is still the funniest man on the planet, and his recaps are without equal. Also make sure to go to and read Darren Franich’s recap. He’s a close second to Josh.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: "Even When I Was In Iowa I Wasn't This Cold"

This season of Survivor has had me worried that we were in for another Survivor: Thailand. To be fair, the cast was behind the 8-ball from the get-go thanks to the worst “twist” in Survivor history, but the anger-inducing NaOnka, and the petty whining of Jimmy T., along with the Older Tribe showing that they certainly are not the wiser tribe…well, this season needed a big move to keep my interest.

Last week’s preview teased that we were finally going to see a Tribal switch-up. Would alliance-mates get split up? Who’s eating all the chicken? And just how cold is it in Iowa, anyways?

My Random Thoughts:

- Tonight’s episode started back at camp after Tribal Council, with Holly wondering why Jimmy T. was voted out over Dan. She pointed out, “Let’s face it, Jimmy T. could do handstands over Danny”, and I think that every Survivor viewer out there thanked Espada for voting Jimmy out, just so we weren’t subjected to actually seeing that. If you didn’t already have the visual in your head…you’re welcome.

- If you hadn’t seen already that there was going to be a Tribal Switch this week, the overconfident ramblings of NaOnka and Marty would have told you that it was coming. Interesting that the two players with Immunity Idols were the ones gloating.

- At Tribal Switch, Jeff Probst commented that Jud/Fabio had a look of shock on his face. Um…Jeff, that’s what he looks like all the time. Like someone is constantly telling him jokes in Cantonese.

- Dan, meanwhile, looked like an Oompa Loompa after he took off his buff and was standing on the beach. Seriously…if you pvr’ed the episode, go back and look.

- The Medallion of Power is kaput already? What a raw deal for the “Older” Tribe who just got it back. The elimination of the MoP should be the proof that this Old vs. Young idea was horrible.

- The reward challenge was essentially Plinko for chickens. It was a pretty close contest, but new La Flor member Marty dropped two balls to give Espada the win. Perhaps not the best way to endear yourself to your new Tribe. I mean, they’re already terrified of your out-of-control hair (what is happening there?), and now you lose the challenge for them. At this point, I was thinking to myself, good thing he has the Idol.

- After the reformed tribes got back to camp, Holly immediately tried to bond with the younger castaways, or surrogate children, as the ‘Mom’ hat was whisked out quicker than you can say ‘Crazy Lady’. Remember this is the woman who ran around camp in the first hour telling everyone ‘I trust you” for no reason, before inexplicably stealing shoes and sinking them in the ocean.

- NaOnka played along with Holly’s mother hen bonding, telling her “I like your energy”, which I interpreted as “I’m not gonna mess with you because you have two legs and no socks for me to steal.”

- Did you see Chase’s face when Holly mentioned that she was from South Dakota? It was a creepy grin before saying, “There’s sure some good huntin’ there.” What an awkward moment.

- Kelly B finally spoke! Although the only thing she said was “It’s awesome to have you here.”

- Marty, what is wrong with you!? Why are you telling people about the Idol? I’m regretting him as my choice more and more every week. (Jim, I might as well pay up on our bet right now.)

- Breaking down in the rain is neither ‘hood’ nor ‘ghetto’…and watching NaOnka whine about the rain and cold made me realize again what a drama queen she was. And then Alina summed it up perfectly by explaining “NaOnka seems like a high school girl. She’s irrational and crazy, and she just seems like she’s on her period all the time.” I’m starting to really like Alina, and I think this Tribal Switch will be good for her.

- The Immunity challenge (and let’s all revel in the fact that we got both a Reward and Immunity challenge in this episode) was in a word: awesome. Perhaps the best challenge I’ve seen in the history of the show. I loved it.

- What’s with all the talk from NaOnka about quitting or getting voted out? Has she forgotten that she has the Immunity Idol? Where the hell is it, anyways? Is it still in her shoe?

- Tyrone sealed his own fate with chicken-gate. When will people ever learn on this game?

- For the second week in a row, a Dr. Phil session breaks out during Tribal Council? Come on…this is about the game, not your divorce or your personality issues. And for a part of the show that is so heavily edited, why are we seeing so much of it? I sure hope there’s a team of therapists at the reunion show for these basket cases.

- I think the show may have turned a corner this week. The Tribal Switch was badly needed, and hopefully it will inject some life into the rest of the season. But I really don’t want to see more therapy sessions and players wanting to quit. Give me more water wheels and giant Plinko boards.

Next Week: Dan gets homesick, and another twist?

One final note for this week. With the increased traffic this blog has been seeing in recent weeks (1000+ hits/week and rising – Thank you!), there are bound to be some critics and those internet beauties who love to find fault in everything they can. I understand that my blog is not for everyone, and if you’re looking for an in-depth recap and analysis, this is definitely not the place. If you’re looking for a dose of commentary with a side of sarcasm, available as soon as the episode ends, then you’ve come to the right place…and I’m glad you’re here.

The reason I mention this is because one person criticized my recapping style as “a haphazard mess of ideas.” So, I figured I would include the following, from

Haphazard: Adjective, without plan or organization. Synonym – Random.

Idea: Noun, something understood or planned. Synonym – Thought.

So…essentially, “a haphazard mess of ideas” would be…Random Thoughts. Exactly as advertised.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

And make sure you head on over to and read Dalton Ross’s recap (he’s the best in the business, by far), and Jeff Probst’s blog. They’re both always worth it.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Worst Tattoo Ever?

Chris Anderson of the Denver Nuggets got yet another tattoo, and this may be the worst one I've ever seen. If you can find a picture of a more hideous tattoo than this (in conception or execution...or both), post a link to it in the Comments section and I'll put them all together in one post.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: "I Hate To Loose"

Normally before an episode of The Amazing Race, Sunday evening is spent in our household relaxing after dinner and gearing down for the end of the weekend. This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and the plan today was for a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my girlfriend’s parents. We were getting the meal ready this afternoon, with a beautiful
five-pound prime rib roast in the oven…when suddenly…BOOOM!

Out of nowhere, the oven door completely exploded, sending thousands of pieces of tempered glass shooting outwards in the kitchen, and into the living room. It sounded like a gunshot, and was pretty terrifying. So, needless to say, Thanksgiving dinner was kaput, and we spent a couple of hours cleaning up glass from every nook and cranny of the lower floor. Thankfully, everyone was ok, but it’s pretty scary to think what could have happened.

So, if tonight’s recap is a little short, or a little “off”, you’ll know why…but I’m going to give it a go, anyways. Back to Ghana we go…

My Random Thoughts:

- I didn’t realize at the end of last week’s episode just how close all of the teams were at the end of that leg. The first two teams were separated by only one minute, and all 9 of the teams were grouped together in a 32-minute window.

- Did you notice the sheer excitement from Brook when she found out that the first task was a boxing task? She was absolutely giddy, nearly begging Claire to let her do it. This girl is a fireplug, huh? I wouldn’t want to be in the ring with her. Men on this Race so far are quickly learning that she’s either going to punch you or kiss you.

- Michael and Kevin declared that they were on the race for the experience, and that it would be “worth more than a million dollars.” Well, I’ve got a newsflash for you, and any other contestants on a reality show…Nothing is worth more than the million dollars! That’s the prize. That’s why you’re competing. If that’s not your motivation, free up a spot for someone who has that as their goal. If you want to tell me “it’s not about the money”, then go sign up for a walkabout or something. It drives me crazy when I hear people say it’s not about the prize.

- I have to give Team Glee credit for learning their cab driver’s name whenever they get a taxi. But the repeated singing has got to stop. I mentioned in my very first post this season that it would get old really fast and it’s there now. If I have to hear them sing “Please Drive Faaaster” next week for the third week in a row, it’s not going to be pretty.

- Did you see the mural outside the Akotoku Academy? It was a painting of a boxer, with the following written underneath: “Motto: I Hate To Loose.” Now, I understand the positive thinking that was intended with the motto, but to have such a bold typo as ‘Lose’ vs ‘Loose’, made the English major in me pray that we weren’t going to have to see similar grammatical/typographical errors in the future, like ‘your vs. you’re’, ‘they’re vs their’, or my new personal favourite ‘would have vs would of’.

- Nat and Kat talked about the benefits of a good cab driver, and the downfalls of a bad cab driver. Did anyone else see this as obvious foreshadowing of major cab troubles with the doctors?

- I liked that for the delivery of the wheelbarrows, if the teams forgot something, they had to take everything back to the supply depot and make another trip instead of just running back to get what they missed. It seemed like half of the teams got something wrong…was it really that hard to follow what was essentially just a grocery list?

- Nick is the Boyfriend of the Year, huh? Which comment was more rude: the fifth-grade reading comment, or the “I don’t care about your sorry”? I guess Vicki knows how to calm his rage in the future…just bring that asthma inhaler out. Was that a magic wand, or a puffer, because it turned Nick’s “Hurry Up!” into “Take your time, sweetheart.” And then, as she’s huffing and puffing after finishing the bicycle parts challenge, he makes her read the next clue, after he’s been sitting then just drinking water and watching?

- On the bicycle parts challenge, Mallory looked for help from above. “Jesus, I need your help,” she prayed. I mention this every season, but I think it needs to be mentioned again. I seriously doubt that whatever God you pray to, is going to drop what he’s doing and help you win a challenge on a reality show.

- Chad dropped this nugget on us: “Around the world, regardless of where you are, children are children.” In related news, green is green, and the number 7 is found after the number 6, and before the number 8.

- At the end of the day, even Nat and Kat’s cab troubles weren’t enough to combat Michael’s fatigue from the heat, and the father-and-son “internet sensations” dropped to last place, but a non-elimination leg saved the day for Team Jumba. We’ll see if this season’s speed bumps are as lame as last season’s, or if they actually make a difference.

Next Week: The Teams head to the arctic for some extreme tobogganing.

Amazing Race Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Recap: "I'm Easy To Get Along With...I Think."

Last week on Survivor we saw the emergence of NaOnka as the ultimate Survivor Villain. At least Russell Hantz had fans, but this woman is inspiring international anger that spills over into new territory. For instance, there are now Facebook groups that are being created calling for her to lose her job as a Phys. Ed. Teacher.

Last week’s preview teased that we were in for a NaOnka storm this week. Would her ridiculous behavior continue? Will her tribe be able to tolerate her? And will La Flor ever figure out the clues to the Hidden Immunity Idol?

My Random Thoughts:

- After Tribal Council, the Older Tribe returned to camp to find Jimmy T anointing himself the new leader of the tribe now that Jimmy J was gone. His first sign of “leadership”? Telling the rest of his tribemates during a rainstorm: “When the going gets tough, you know what I mean?” Did he not know that the ending to that adage was “the tough get going”, or was he doing one of those things where people unnecessarily change something in an attempt to shorten it…and it doesn’t really shorten it?

- Also, when there are two players with the same name on the show, after one of them is eliminated, can we please stop using the initial? Can he just be “Jimmy” now? Is the T really necessary?

- Espada woke up to discover a makeshift river running through their beach, and then the freak show began. Jimmy was watching a pelican in the water, and declared that since the pelican was finding fish, it couldn’t be that hard. But what he was clearly forgetting is that HE’S NOT A PELICAN! It was a comedy of errors watching him try to throw that net in the water, nearly falling over, and flicking mud on the camera. And keep this in mind, folks…do you know what Jimmy does for a living? He’s a FISHERMAN!

- After Brenda deciphered the clue, crazy NaOnka dug it up and declared it was hers since she figured it out. And stop telling me you’re from South Central L.A. already! You already told us you weren’t ghetto, but you were hood…or vice versa. (Neither of which I understand). And if you want to consider the intelligence levels of NaOnka vs. her alliance-mate Brenda, consider the comments they made after finding the Idol. Brenda: “When you find an Idol, you just don’t tell anyone.” NaOnka: “Not even a one-legged person can stand in my way.”

- Following Kelly and Alina and then verbally attacking them proved that NaOnka is nothing but a bully. I wonder what the anti-bullying programs are like at the school where she teaches. What an example for the students.

- Jimmy T on Marty: “Shut up, you preppy little bitch. You wouldn’t last a minute in my world.” Which to me, must mean that Marty would not be able to sit on a musty old recliner watching Football while his dentures sat in a glass of Polident on the TV tray beside him.

- Jimmy T and NaOnka are flat out crazy. Nutbar. Batshit insane. I was hoping they both would have made the jury because it would have been the most venom and bile-filled Final Tribal Council since Sue Hawk promised to never give Kelly Wigglesworth water if she was dying of thirst on the side of the road.

- Seeing all the Sears product placements in the Reward/Immunity challenge made me wonder how long it’s going to be before we get the “loved ones” episode where we get to hear all about the great features of the Sony Palm Prefrom Jeff Probst. Did you notice that Chase even said “God Bless Sears” when they got back to camp?

- La Flor smoked Espada in the Immunity challenge. It was embarrassing watching the old fogeys wander around blindfolded. And of course, Jimmy T had excuses at the end…do you notice he always has an excuse?

- Brenda tells NaOnka not to tell anyone about the Idol, then she tells Chase? Why does nobody on this season make any sense at all?

- Did Purple Kelly say anything this episode? Is she even on this show?

- I’m starting to regret my choice of Marty as my pick to win the game. On consecutive weeks where Dan should have been the one voted out, he pushed for Jimmy J and then Jimmy T…both of which were the wrong decision for the tribe, and only based on Marty’s personal opinions of them both. Yes Jimmy T is volatile and insane, but leaving Dan on your team for challenges would only ensure that the team would lose every challenge. They could have TWO Medallions of Power and they still wouldn’t have a shot. This vote again was a big mistake, and I blame Marty.

- This episode really frustrated me. I can only take so much of Jimmy T talking about how he needs a shot. It made my head hurt. Then we have a Dr. Phil episode break out during Tribal Council? I need something in the next couple of weeks to pick this show up for me. I knew this Old vs. Young twist was going to be painful.

Next Week: The Tribes get switched up. (Gee, who saw that coming?)

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Amazing Race Recap: "Ghana, Ghana. Here We Come!"

After last week’s Watermelon-rific Season Premiere of The Amazing Race, the teams were off to Africa to sell sunglasses and move coffins. Who’s offering up kisses to the locals? What is making the Ghanian women dance? And why are two doctors rolling a giant shellfish down the street on a cart?

My Random Thoughts:

- As I said last week, I like the concept of the Express Pass, but with the way they’re pounding us over the head with it, I sure hope it comes into play in a big way.

- How many teams are going to give us the analogy of the tortoise and the hare? Every season we have to get a bunch of teams who keep telling us that one of them is calm and the other one is impulsive. Predictable.

- I liked how Connor and Jonathan decided to wait for Brook and Claire (and then Katie and Rachel) “because they’re right here” as they started this leg. I’m sure it was just out of the goodness of their hearts, and not the fact that it would be the closest these two Glee Club singers would ever get to two hot TV show hosts and two hot beach volleyball players.

- Brook accosted an Englishman in a tractor for directions, and got what she needed after promising a kiss. In her camera confessional, she declared that the kiss would be part of her strategy for the race, and that there would be “a lot more to come.” What the hell does that mean? Are we going to see her waving the camera away as she brings a local into an alley for a few minutes?

- Proving that Miss Kentucky Mallory can make a rhyme/cheer out of anything, upon learning that the teams were heading to Accra, Ghana, she chanted “Ghana, Ghana, here we come!” Seriously…way too perky.

- Andie and Jenna talked about how this race was a good opportunity for them because it was “the only time we’re ever going to have for our whole lives.” Is this race a make-or-break trip for these two? Like if they don’t win, it’s a clean break? What does that comment even mean?

- What would you do if an aggressive African panhandler was reaching in your window and then spit on you after you didn’t give him money? I’m not sure what I would do, but I know that harmonizing and singing “Please Drive Faaaaaaster” would not be anywhere on my list.

- When Connor and Jonathan got to the Roadblock, Connor told Jonathan that he should do it, and he made a very aggressive point that he was not a good choice. I think he’s one of those people who like to implement the ‘anyone but me’ strategy. Can you picture him playing softball…maybe out in the outfield…and as the ball is hit between him and another fielder, he’s running the opposite way and yelling “Not mine!”

- If you’re trying to sell sunglasses to a woman in Ghana, do you really think that ‘You look just like Paris Hilton” is a good sales pitch? First of all, no one in Ghana looks like Paris Hilton, and second of all, who would want to look like Paris Hilton? She looks like a Danish hooker.

- I can’t understand why anyone would ever choose an unpredictable task like setting up an antenna instead of a concrete task like moving an item from point A to point B. Makes no sense at all.

- Nat and Kat moved from 9th place to 7th place based solely on the insane driving of their cab driver. That guy deserves a huge tip.

- Mallory doesn’t seem real. She comes across as a Saturday Night Live character that would be played by Cheri Oteri. Remember the cheerleading skit that she used to with Will Ferrell? That’s Mallory.

- Remember that choice that the singing boys made at the beginning of the leg to wait for Brook and Claire and Katie and Rachel, even though they were ahead of both teams? Well, Brook and Claire came in first, and Katie and Rachel came in second, while the boys came in 7th. Great strategy, guys.

- Andie and Jenna got eliminated. No more soft music and mother-daughter non-reminiscing. Thank God.

Next week: Nick loses his cool and Michael gets hot.

Feel free to bookmark the site or add you name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the picture for the captions hidden beneath, and I hope you’ll leave a Comment in the Comments section.

Thanks for reading.