Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Serena Also Rises

The NY socialites save the day for Eleanor Waldorf's show. Photo from CW.com

Serena has climbed back on top of the social ladder and Blair has gone tumbling down -- despite all of her attempts that is. It's Fashion Week in NYC and Blair tries to woo her friends by putting them in the 2nd row at her mom's show. The girls are excited about the tickets, until they spot a picture of Serena in Women's Wear Daily out on the town with socialite Poppy (is socialite naming like celebrity naming? The weirder the better?).

Dan, after getting fired from his internship, is taking his writing to some one new who tells him his stories are dull and lifeless. Well, they're about Dan's real life, what do you expect buddy? To spice up his pages Dan decides to follow Chuck for a day. Chuck gets Dan liquored and hopped up on pills. "How do you know so many twins," Dan to Chuck. "The twins find me," Chuck. And just when you think these two actually get along, Chuck leaves Dan in the middle of no where without shoes and tells Dan he was just his entertainment for the night. Ouch.

Little J has been skipping class to help Eleanor and while she was at it changed the seating chart Blair put together for the show. Big no, no Little J. At the show, J put Serena and her new found socialite friends in the front row, breaking the tradition of Serena and Blair watching the show from back stage. Poor Blair is SO picked on. HA. And of course we see another shameless Vitamin Water plug in the fashion show gift bags.

Dan doesn't know when to leave things well enough and goes back for seconds with Chuck. When Chuck tires of Dan's 20 questions he moves on to a woman he thinks is a prostitute and when her boyfriend confronts Chuck, Dan knocks him out. They get arrested. Glad there's one realistic aspect in this episode: knock someone out at a bar, get arrested.

Back at the show, to get back at Jenny, Blair sent all of the models home. But J has a plan. Socialites save the day on the runway!! Yippeee! "It's a good thing socialites are wafer thin," Eleanor. Good thing indeed. In another attempt to sabotage, Blair sent Serena onto the runway wearing J's after party dress that she designed and made. Turns out both girls are a success. In your face Waldorf.

In the after show Eleanor praised Little J's help in the show and even though unhappy Rufus saw this he still pulled her aside and lectured her. That's when Little J decided to tell him that she wasn't going back to school. Quite a decision for a 15 year old to be making (again why I would never let my child, if I had one, watch this show).

Until next time. XoXo

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!

I am so excited that the Amazing Race is back again. If there were one reality show I would be on, this would be it for sure. I wouldn't even care so much about the $1 million prize (although that would be pretty sweet). The best part about this show is the travel experience. Granted the contestants are kind of rushed from place to place, but you still get to see so much!

With that said, here's how the premiere of Amazing Race 13 went.

Contestants started the season from the Coliseum in Los Angeles. Their first destination was Salvador, Brazil. Terence and Sarah tried to beat the usual L.A. traffic by taking side streets to the airport, while Aja & Ty were smart by taking the carpool lane, but ended up going to the wrong ticket counter when they got to the airport.

On the way to Brazil the first plane got delayed, but not by enough to have the second group catch up completely. Once in Salvador contestants had to go to a sandwich shop, get a cart full of goodies and wind their way through the streets to find their next clue. The comic bookie geeks from San Diego, Mark & Bill, were the first to the sandwich shop, but it was Terence and Sarah who were able to push their cart faster. Did you notice the Brazilian lady dressed in hot pink that was trying to help all the contestants? Was she trying to get her 5 minutes of fame?

The first Road Block challenge options were:

1. Climb up stairs to a church on their hands and knees and answer a question at the top. If they failed they had to navigate the streets back down to the bottom and start again.

2. Descend a cargo net from atop a building some 250 up.

All but the ASU frat boys chose option 2 and seemed to have no problem with the height. The frat boys made it to the top of the stairs pretty quickly, were unable to answer how many stairs they just climbed, but got the correct answer on their second trip up.

Siblings Starr & Nick took the top spot, while beekeepers Anita & Arthur were sent back home to Oregon. Photos from CBS.com

I have to say that it looked very warm in Salvador as everyone was sweating like crazy. In the end Starr and Nick took the top spot followed closely by the team they have dubbed mom & dad, Ken and Tina. The Oregonian beekeepers couldn't keep pace with everyone else and were the first to be eliminated from the race.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite team in the first week, but I must say I already have a team that I greatly dislike: Terence and Sarah. Terence is a bit of an asshole already and has proved to be very controlling over Sarah, at times even talking for her. Dallas is the hottie on the show and Starr is already cozying up to him with a little firting action. Should make for some interesting episodes.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday night rundown

Since I didn't have it in me to take copious notes while watching my Thursday night lineup, I shall just put down some general thoughts on the night.

My Thursday night heart warming and laughter show is Ugly Betty. This show can always provide me with a smile and the premiere tonight was no exception. After taking a trip to discover herself Betty returned with some life goals:
  1. Take on more responsibility at work. Well, this would have been fine and dandy if it weren't for the fact that Daniel got the ax from Mode and is now the EIC of Player magazine. Between the grunts, cat calls and boo's of her coworkers, I sure wouldn't want to take on any more responsibility, I'd want to walk right back out the door. But Betty prevails and is put in charge of an event for the Players girls on Harley's. When one girl goes on, Betty steps up in her place and lands in a pool of what can only be described as jelly?
  2. Get her own apartment in the city. As someone who has scoured Craigslist for apartments in NYC, I will vouch that this is no simple tasking, but a good goal to set. I wish I could do some follow through on my searches. This goal lands Betty a rundown (to put it mildly) apartment with a view of two geriatric nudists and a loud neighbor. But when her family joins in they spruce the place up like new. Ah, the wonders of TV.
  3. Avoid romantic yadda, yadda, yadda, entanglements, yadda, yadda. This episode was light on the romance until the last five minutes when Betty introduces herself to her cute? neighbor, whose name escapes me (darn the no note taking).

Oh, and did I mention Lindsey Lohan is Ignacio's boss at the burger joint? There's a laugh right there for ya. I also had a laugh at the clothes Betty wore in this episode. I don't consider myself a huge fashionista, but I do recognize a few designer outfits here and there. In this episode, when Betty was flung into the pool of jelly, she was wearing the pink version of the same dress Blaire Waldorf wore in the season premiere of Gossip Girl when she was riding bikes with Lord Marcus and walking in town with Serena. I noticed because I LOVED the dress on Gossip Girl. Here are the pictures below.

CW.com and Popcrunch.com

Thank GOD for DVRs and being able to fast forward through commercials. As my roommate pointed out, there was a commercial like every 20 seconds in this premiere. Might as well have made it only an hour premiere because the other hour was all commercials!

After building Derek a house of candles, Meredith keeps having dreams that Derek gets in a car accident and dies. Hmmm, take a clue much sweetie? Flirting between Alex and Izzie, flirting between George and Little Meredith. Awkwardness after the season finale lesbian kiss between Erica and Callie, gee, what a surprise.

I got very excited when Dan from Journeyman showed up as military trauma surgeon Major Hunt whose bad ass moves equally impresses and turns on Cristina, who, after telling Meredith that things probably won't work out with she and Derek if they move in together, slips and falls on black ice then gets impaled by a falling icicle. Oh the laughter had there. Only on Grey's.

Somewhere in there was also a car accident (two actually), an affair, a lying husband, a slip in rank from No. 1 teaching hospital to No. 12, getting staples in the leg without any numbing.... I think that about covers the two hours pretty well.

I was about to be pissed at NBC for teasing something that didn't happen. But lo and behold, it did happen, eventually. A fan favorite died. No matter what I was going to be sad at whoever they killed off the show, but I think I would have rather it been Sam. I loved Pratt. He was the doctor with just enough a$$hole in his system to keep people respecting him, but was really deep down a giant teddy bear. Anyway, I'm usually pretty good at shedding tear when watching this show and tonight I followed suit... so much so that I needed a Kleenex at one point. I held it all in until Pratt himself started crying on the show. Even though there seems to be a big character turnover from season to season, this has always been a really well acted show and I guess that's why it's lasted so many seasons.

I don't really have much else to comment on for ER other than it was a good start to their final season. I look forward to bidding ER a proper goodbye.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monday night meals

Yes, I know that it’s Thursday and I’m just now posting under the heading of Monday night meals, but I really did make all this grub on Monday. I’ve just been slacking a little on the posts.

I hadn’t cooked in a while due to being out of town and just plain not having much time, but I went grocery shopping for the first time in nearly a month on Monday and filled my fridge and cabinets with all sorts of goodies. I also decided that it was about time I made a recipe from the Food Blogga blog that I’ve become a religious reader of as of late. The food posted on this Web site always looks SOOO good and there’s always some kind of twist to make it different than your run-of-the-mill recipes.

My first task was to make Lemony Blueberry Corn Bread with Basil. I was both a bit scared and intrigued when it came to the basil aspect in this recipe, but the blogger, Susan Russo (who is also published on NPR quite often), said that the basil loses some of its zip when you bake it. I was sold.

This recipe was very simple, but mine didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the pictures on FoodBlogga. I used a silicone bread pan and the loaf got stuck to the bottom of the pan (I thought that wasn’t supposed to happen in those pans, that’s why I bought it). Also, even though I sprinkled my blueberries with flour, like the recipe said, my blueberries ran a little. Maybe my next attempt will be better.

For dinner Monday night I made a Rachael Ray 30-minute meal (which is usually about 45-60 minutes for me). I wanted to go with something other than chicken, but lo and behold, a chicken recipe caught my eye. This time it was in sandwich form, a bit of a change, I suppose.

I marinated the chicken in thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper for about 10-15 minutes. For the sandwich I whipped up a mixture of Dijon mustard, EVOO (as Rachael would exclaim), white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and whisked in some grated Parmesan reggiano cheese. I sliced half a pear, added a little more lemon juice then tossed it with the Dijon dressing, mixed greens (the recipe asked for arugula) and sliced proscuitto. After tenting the cooked chicken for about 15 minutes I cut thin slices and placed it on my toasted sandwich roll, topping it off with the pear salad. The sandwich was really good! The sweetness of the pear mixed with a little saltiness of the proscuitto was a treat. I would make this recipe again for sure (in fact, I did again the next night since Rachel’s recipes are always 4 servings – and I only halved the recipe).

I ate Monday night’s meal in front of the TV watching the Chargers massacre the Jets and of course some Gossip Girl, which I also reviewed on the blog.

Cheers to good eats and entertaining TV!

Fierce Eyes

Aside from make-over week, runway week is another of my most favorite ANTM episodes. This year the girls learned to walk on a bowling alley lane. If you've ever fouled in bowling, you know those lanes are slippery in bowling shoes, let alone stepping over that line in high-heel bowling shoes. Joselyn had a pretty good first walk. Poor Hannah had an extremely scary walk and Samantha has super bow legs.

Tonight on Lifetime television we have a heart to heart moment between Isis, McKey and Joselyn that takes place in the bathroom with elevator music playing in the background. Ummm, gag me.

At this week's challenge for designer Jeremey Scott has the girls walking the runway blindfolded. The catch, well other than walking nearly blind in front of a crowd, is that the girl with the worst walk won't get to pass go, won't collect $200...oh wait, that's Monopoly. The girl with the worst walk will not get to participate in the photo shoot, will not go to panel, but will be sent home immediately. No pressure ladies.

Before talking the runway, Samantha gets big time repremanded by Jeremy Scott because she is walking around lifting up her dress before the show. Not exactly the kind of thing a designer wants a model to do with his/her garments on the runway. But silly Sam does not heed the warning and walks with crazy arms down the catwalk and at the end poses (inadvertantly?) lifting her dress again showing her lady-bits to the whole crowd.

Poor Hannah who could not walk down the bowling alley lane, again struts down the runway as if she's a show horse sidestepping around an arena. It was like she was trying to walk and put the ball of her foot down before her heel. That's not how it works honey. Time to pack up and head back to Russ...errr, Alaska.

Joselyn is the challenge winner and she gets to pick two friends to join her (Isis and Sheena) to shoot an advertorial for 15-year-old Russian designer Kira Plastinina. Plastinina was totally awesome for a 15 year old. No "My Super Sweet 16" spoiled brat there, at least not in front of the camera.

For the shoot this week the girls shoot at their house with none other than famed fashion photographer Mr. Nigel Barker, sigh. When is Nigel going to get his own show? I could watch him for hours. The girls have to shoot in the swimming pool with just their eyes above water.

Clark actually has a good shoot and Mr. J thinks it was because she was flirting with Nigel...no wonder I love to hate the girl. I felt sorry for Isis having to do two swimsuit shoots in a row. She once again was awkward in her suit and never got comfortable in front of the camera.

At judging Samantha got torn apart by Jeremy Scott. He told her, "You're representing me when you're out there. It's not your show. You're not a rock star." Oh, snap Jeremy Scott. But he's right. Samantha acted very immature at the runway show.

Of all the pictures Sheena, Samantha, Clark and Lauren Brie were my favorites. In the end Clark took the top prize and Samantha and Isis were in the bottom two. Even though I thought Samantha was going home because of her actions, it was Isis' inability to stand out that sent her packing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heroes is back!

Evil Claire and Peter four years in the future. Love the new 'do Claire, but Blondes do have more fun, you know. Photo from NBC.com
The Second Coming

We start with a brunette evil Claire (because you know, all us blondes are sweet and cheerleadery, we can’t be villains until you dye our hair darker) trying to kill Peter four years in the future. Just before a bullet hits Peter, he jumps back in time to none other than the news conference his brother was holding at the end of Season Two. We find out that it was Peter who shot Nathan and just when you think he’s bit the dust, he miraculously pops back to life.

Cut to the present and Hiro, hooray. I’ve missed Hiro. Since his father’s death Hiro has become a main shareholder in his father’s company.

Sylar shows up at Claire’s house and she locks herself in the pantry of all places to try to escape. Maybe not the smartest idea, Claire. Even though he is pure evil, Sylar has become one of my favorite characters on the show. So well played his plot lines always keep me on the edge of my seat.

Interesting. Maya has been living with Suresh and still wants his help to cure her powers. I thought maybe the Maya plot line would have ended with Season Two, but sadly it didn’t.

Back to Hiro and his father left him a video telling Hiro he had to keep an important secret passed down through generations. As soon as Hiro opens the safe with the secret, someone speeds by and takes it. Hiro’s time freezing skills can’t stop this “speedster” from getting away with half of a formula – to what, we’re not sure yet.

The Peter that shot Nathan is apparently just the Peter from the future. When Matt discovers he was the shooter, Peter makes Matt disappear. Is this a new power of Peter’s?

For the 9 o’clock T.V. hour, the scene with Sylar playing with Claire’s brain was a little much (not to mention very reminiscent of Hannibal). After stealing Claire’s power he puts Claire’s skull back on and Claire heals fine. When Claire wonders why he doesn’t kill her, Sylar says Claire can never die – and that means now he can’t either. What the hell is going on here?

Apparently Nicki didn’t die in the house blast at the end of last season. She’s alive and well and working for the mayor of New York… only she isn’t Nicki, she’s now Tracy Strauss and has no apparent memory of being Jessica/Nicki.

Suresh injects himself with a serum he made from Maya’s blood that will apparently allow him to develop his own powers. I could see this going very bad. Haven’t you seen the Incredible Hulk?
Recurring image: an exploding Earth. Wonder what this could be predicting?

Episode two – The Butterfly Effect

Mrs. Petrelli isn’t too happy with the future Peter and tells him that he is messing with time and that can have dire consequences.

After Sylar cut open her head now Claire feels no pain – the only way she used to feel like she was still human.

Sylar goes to Odesa, Texas, kills Bob and nearly kills Elle until she loses control of her power surge and sends out a current that knocks out Sylar and allows for all Level 5 prisoners, including Noah and the man whose body Future Peter sent Current Peter to for safe keeping. Oops. Mrs. Petrelli comes to the rescue and now in charge quickly fires Elle.

Apparently Nicki/Jessica/Tracy has a new power this season – she can freeze people. This could be a cool power (no pun intended, really).

I love the ensemble cast on this show. Last season Kristin Bell was brought in as a guest star and already we have her Veronica Mars co-star James Molina (Thumper), who is the host of Current Peter’s body, and then there’s Marlo from the Wire. Good job Heroes casting people.

I hope Jamie Hector (right), Marlo Stanfield from The Wire, gets a longterm role, not just one of the guys who escaped from Level 5 security. Photo from NBC.com
I knew something was going to go wrong with Suresh’s injection… thank you very much Incredible Hulk theory. He’s developing some pretty nasty lesions on his back. Not quite sure what to think of that.

And to top it all off, we end with Mrs. Petrelli telling Sylar she is his mom. Say wha?!

I loved the first two episodes. I was on the edge of my seat through most of it. What did you think?

The Ex Files

Somebody please tell me where I can get me one of these fierce Gossip Girl head bands. I hear it’s ALL the rage now. Photo from CW.

Ah, the first day of senior year of coll…errr, high school. These are memories people. And the memories Serena is collecting along the way aren’t too hot. I mean, isn’t it horrible heading back to school after you’ve just broken up with the boy you loved and you have to face him every day? What’s a girl to do?

Lily is back from her honeymoon with Bart. She sits down for a nice breakfast with Serena and her bro. “It is your 1st day of school and I was feeling motherly,” says Lily to her children as a maid brings another plate of waffles to the table.

When Dan gets to school he spends his morning hours scouring the girls’ hall for Serena, but instead bumps into Amanda the new transfer who of course shares all sorts of the same interests as Dan. Convenient. Also Convenient is that Serena sees the two talking and is immediately heartbroken.

Catherine goes to see Vanessa at the gallery in Brooklyn and rather than purchasing some art, slips Vanessa a $5,000 check for staying away from Nate even though he visited her before school. Catherine has some good spies.

And now that Lily is back from her honeymoon, she immediately goes to see Rufus. How’s that marriage working out Lily?

Back at school, things are progressing between Dan and Amanda when Dan asks her to have lunch with him. “Lunch, as in the meal before dating,” Blair advises Serena.

And then there was a collective “Eeewwww” that arose from my couch from both my roommate and I as Vanessa walks in on Catherine going at it with none other than Marcus – her stepson! This woman has no boundaries. I shudder.

Vanessa has no one else to turn to but Blair for help on this situation. While Blair is on a mission to take care of the Marcus/Catherine problem, Vanessa mistakenly thought Blair pushed the whole thing aside and decided to have a romantic brunch with Marcus instead. Turns out Blair had the whole situation under control, but Vanessa went and told the Duke all about his cheating 2nd wife sleeping with his son.

Chuck had a weird way of showing up and being creepy – especially in the purple Willy Wonka outfit – and I kept asking my roommate what he had at stake. Well, turns out Chuck was the puppet master the whole time and was using Amanda as a way to put Serena back in charge and de-thrown Blair.

Until next week, be careful of the caddy girls and their nairtinis. XoXo

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You're Beautiful, Now Change

I didn't like Elina's red hair at first, but she made this photo look hot (although not so sure it's a good swimsuit photo). Photo from CW.com

Tyra starts the episode off by hosting a Princess Party and having all the girls wear tiaras and eat pizza. But, Tyra, Tyra, Tyra, girl, I'm not sure if you're trying to land some movie roles or what, but you have got to stop with the acting (and Mr. Jay, too). Between Tyra-bot and Sleeping Beautyra, I'm ready to just fast forward each week to the photo shoots.

But this week WAS exciting because it was make-over week....or at least it SHOULD have been exciting. This is usually one of my favorite weeks on ANTM, but I was pretty disappointed. None of the girls knew what their makeover looked like until they were completely done. The only tears we had this season were from Elina who got a firey-red, curly weave. As for Sheena & Lauren Brie, hardly anything was changed.

This week's challenge was at WalMart and newly bowl-cut-with-bangs Hannah won the spontaneous Cover Girl commercial. Our small town girl was excited about winning because now she'll be able to Google herself. Ha. Ha.

There was a lot of blah, blah, blah this week. Apparently Elina hates her mom and Britney thinks she's a beyotch because of it, quite frankly from the way Elina was describing it, I agree with Britney.

The photo shoot this week was swimsuits. Hannah had incredibly scary eyes during the shoot, Isis was understandably awkward, but still managed a decent photo, and Samantha was my overall favorite. I love her short, platinum blond haircut.

During judging, Clark looked HORRIBLE and I think probably should have gone home, but it was Britney and Analeigh in the bottom two. Britney was sent packing because her photos were too pretty.

The Same Old Story

Walter uses the Massive Dynamic machine to recreate a dead woman's last vision. Photo from Fox.com

Right off the bat, does this show always start with people in bed?

Poor Loraine from “the club” has something funky in her belly. Turns out it’s a baby that ages to 80 within 4 hours of birth. Crazy.

Our crazy red-headed, bionic arm Miss Sharp, who seemed a little shady in the first episode herself, is on some panel and is now questioning the characteristics of the newly formed 3 musketeers.

I love that Walter is like a kid seeing the world for the first time. His quote, “I’ve never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. Wonderful.” About seat warmers in the car made me crack up.

When Peter questions what “The Pattern” is, Olivia breaks it down for him saying: “inexplicable and frightening things are happening and there’s a connection somehow.” Thanks for the KISS (keep it simple stupid) explanation Olivia.

Everyone seems to be intertwined into this incredibly-fast-growing-babies phenomenon. Olivia thinks it’s connected to a case she and traitor John once worked and Walter’s test results of the dead, old baby show a similarity to old experiments he did before being committed to the nut house with a Dr. Claus Penrose. When confronted, Penrose denies knowledge of the killer. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

The killer takes another lady from “the club” in order to harvest her pituitary glands, which are keeping him from aging too quickly. When our musketeers recover her body they have to borrow some crazy tool from Massive Dynamic in order to see the woman’s last vision. With this vision the musketeers are able to find the killer, and Penrose, in a warehouse. Chase ensues and while running the killer quickly ages. On his dying breath the old man said Penrose was paid to run the experiment, but loved the boy so kept him alive rather than watch him quickly age to his death.

And then Walter makes some not-so-kidlike statements: “The inherent pitfalls of being a scientist are trying to maintain that distinction between God’s domain and our own.” Then Walter goes on to mention something about Peter’s medical history. Could he be some science experiment?

And at the end was the JJ Abrams “what the….?” Moment I’ve been waiting for. Whose body was that? Even after pausing the DVR I couldn’t quite tell.

This week’s episode was packed with so many interesting aspects that I was better able to ignore Olivia’s poor acting, but she’s still on probation with me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Dark Night

If this doesn't look like a scandalous, blackmailing beyotch, I'm not sure what does. Photo from CW.com

Due to a DVR user error last week, I missed episode 2 and wasn't able to catch up until last night. It was a good one though. Instead of going back I shall stick to the task of this week's episode, The Dark Night.

This week I am in Oakland visiting my friend Alli, so I got to watch with she and her roommate who are both GG virgins.

Before we start, I want to clear the air about something that's been bothering me since episode one. In real life Chuck is British, but plays an American character on GG. He pulls off an American accent quite well, if not creepily well sometimes. Then enters Lord Marcus who I believe in real life is American (born in Florida), but is now playing a British character. But, unlike Chuck, cannot pull off the accent of the character. In fact, his British accent is quite possibly worse than my British accent -- and that's BAD. Usually the Brit boys make me swoon, but Marcus kinda makes me want to jump off a cliff.

Back to the episode... I'm happy that Vanessa has returned to the show. She adds just enough sanity and sarcasm to this group. She seems to be the only semi-normal-to-real-life person on the show. I had to remind myself, and my co-watchers, many times throughout this episode that yes, these people ARE in high school.

Turns out the Duchess is the woman Nate had an affair with in the Hampton's. The Duchess also has it out for Blair, but Blair is able to get what she wants from the Duchess when she walks in on she and Nate going at it in the library at Blair's party. And poor little gigolo Nate getting money to save his family from the Duchess in return for sex. It's quite the Upper East Side scandal.

It's good to see Dan and Serena taking a step back to make sure they've worked out all their problems, a.k.a. making out in ever nook and cranny possibly. I'm totally over this plot line. Next. But how funny was it when the little teenie boppers confront Dan and Serena in the park and state whose side they're on in the whole breakup? It's kind of like The Hills on MTV, are you Team Dan or Team Serena?

Final bombs dropped during this episode: the Duchess is a blackmail queen and told Vanessa to leave Nate alone or she would tell the FBI where Nate's dad is. Psycho? And while the lights are out Blair tells the Lord that she wants him in the worst way possible and to meet her in her bedroom. But rather than the Lord we see (predictably so) that it is Chuck she gets hot and steamy with instead.

Besides being able to predict most of what would happen during the NYC blackout, I still enjoyed this story and my de-flowered GG co-watchers are now hooked.

Until next time, xoxo.

P.S. My Monday night meal was a team effort from Alli and her roommate. They made a wonderful meat lasagna served with a delicious garlic sourdough bread from Boudin's and a mixed green salad with poppy sead dressing. Thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Ladder of Model Success

This week's winning photo of Lauren Brie.

It’s Benny Ninja time. The models are asked to pose while in fabric tubes. In the extreme posing introduction Sheena has the most flexibility and gets complimented by model/contortionist Bree Robertson.

Back at the house Hannah talks about how she’s from a small town…again. Then the sadly na├»ve girl exclaims that she’s just the “stereotypical white girl.” Is that like a hockey mom from Alaska? And then we get our first tears of the season. It wouldn’t be ANTM without a little waterworks.

To use their extreme posing, this week’s challenge has the girls modeling handbags and accessories designed by Tarina Tarantino. Even though she was complimented earlier, Sheena seems to have taken the opportunity to pose a little, ummm, raunchy by placing the handbag in front of her hoo-ha.

In confessional Nikeysha says she’s trying not to talk as much, but girl is NOT doing a good job at it. Also the girls circle the wagons and confront Hannah asking if she’s prejudice or racist. She is immediately offended and takes off for more tears. Are the girls overreacting or does Hannah need to watch her step more carefully? Are Alaskan girls really that out of touch with reality?

This week’s photo shoot is hanging from a hot air balloon… well because of the wind they’re actually hanging from a ladder suspended from a crane. Lauren Brie is 1st up and nails the shoot. A majority of the girls were awkward and didn’t know how to control their bodies in the air.

At judging, was Tyra trying to look like a butterfly in her dress? She surely did succeed on that. Also, did Paulina not get the memo that robot week was last week? What WAS she wearing and what WAS with her hair?!

Lauren Brie’s poses translated beautifully on film and Elina’s shots were so good that her eyes are still ingrained in my head. I thought Joslyn’s photo was interesting in the fact that it looked like her picture was taken while standing on the ground and the ladder was inserted after. Majorie’s body was placed well, but her face looked a bit manly.

In the end, Lauren Brie came out on top and Isis and Nikeysha were in the bottom two and Miss Flaps-Her-Gums is sent home.

All pictures from cwtv.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fringe - the Pilot

Can the acting skills of Joshua Jackson and Anna Trov hold up to the potentially exciting plotlines Fringe has to offer?
Photo from Fox.com

Previously on LOST…oh wait a minute, this is the premiere of Fringe, not LOST. Then what’s with the plane? Seems vaguely familiar J.J. Abrams. Well, anyhow, we see a plane under duress in the middle of an electrical storm and passengers strapping into their seats.

The first passenger we see has his face between his knees and is sweating profusely. He takes out what looks like an insulin pen and shoots it into his belly. Next thing we know he and the rest of the plane become zombie-like and their faces start falling off. What are we getting ourselves into?

Next scene flashes to John Scott, who used to play Jack on Days of Our Lives, in a hotel room with his blonde partner. In the middle of a hot make-out scene, Blondie gets a phone call and the two have to leave.

Blondie, who we find out is Olivia Dunham, is apparently also John’s FBI partner and they were both called to Logan Airport where the airplane from the opening scene has landed. Enter: Cedric Daniels formerly of The Wire. I am so excited to see Lance Reddick, who plays Homeland Security agent Phillip Broyles on Fringe, he’s by far my favorite casting choice. I also enjoy the fact that he keeps calling Olivia “honey” because at this point, I want to do the same, as you can see by the fact that I’m calling her Blondie.

There’s a plane that landed itself on autopilot full of zombies and Olivia and John get sent to a warehouse that may have some clues. Amidst the calamity, Blondie and John manage to share an I Love You heart felt moment – very awkwardly placed if you ask me – just before John is practically blown up and subsequently infected with who knows what (hopefully J.J. Abrams won’t make us wait six seasons to find out).

Enter: Pacey Whitter. I question this choice in casting, but I will go with the flow for now. Pacey…errr, Peter Bishop, son of scientist Walter Bishop who may have a connection to the craziness on the plane and whatever John has, is found in Iraq. Blondie pulls the “I have your file” card and is able to convince Peter to come back to the U.S. with her. I wish I could use that line when I wanted someone to do something for me. Much to his chagrin Peter and Olivia go to the mental hospital where Peter’s father is and bring him back to the hospital where we see John and his translucent-skin condition for the first time.

The mighty doctor returns to his Harvard lab with a new purebred cow and manages to get the lab back up and running in no time flat. Ah, the magic of television. Amidst all the evidence sorting we see that I was indeed correct about the insulin-dosing pen – should I be afraid that, as a diabetic, I could get the crazy translucent skin disease?

To save John, the doctor tells Olivia she must take a dose of drugs and have a metal rod inserted into the base of her skull and be submerged in a tub of water. Sounds easy enough. Enter the brain of John: of course we get some lovey-dovey cheesiness, but we also find the identity of the man who blew up the warehouse. Turns out the offender had a twin (man with the insulin pen) and worked for Massive Dynamic whose head scientist, William Bell, used to work with Dr. Bishop – interesting.

At Massive Dynamic, Olivia meets with executive director Nina Sharp who takes off her skin glove to reveal a robotic arm built by personally by Bell. Creepy. Sharp leaves Olivia with a warning to be careful.

In the end, Olivia tracks down the man behind the spread of the chemicals, Dr. Bishop is able to infuse healthy blood into John’s system in time to save him and everyone seems to be happy…until we find out that John is really involved with the chemical release and made a threatening phone call to the man responsible.

John kills the man, is chased down by Olivia and seemingly dies after his car crashes but the show ends (as we could expect from anything coming from J.J. Abrams) with John’s body being wheeled down a corridor where Nina Sharp asks the orderly how long he’s been dead. Five hours. Question him, she says.

In the 1st episode we learned:
  • Every guy on the show has a thing for Olivia. Obviously they haven’t noticed her horrible acting skills.
  • Cows are just a few DNA strands different than humans.
  • The show needs to veer away from opening scenes and music that remind viewers of LOST.
  • There are a lot of characters involved already and just blogging about them it was hard to keep their names straight.

Time to breath again. I want to like this show, but I was highly distracted by the acting skills of Olivia, played by Anna Trov. I will return next week, but hope that she gets her act together. I don’t want her lack of skills to ruin this possibly exciting show for me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Not a hole in one

Ever since Ellen showed a video of the Japanese game show “human tetris” a while back, I cannot get enough of the videos on YouTube. Need an instant smile? That’s the video to turn to. A few weeks ago I saw a commercial that there would be an Americanized version of the show airing on Fox this season. I was super excited.

Well, Sunday was the premiere and I wasn’t smiling too much. I sat down in front of the TV with my left over egg custard buns from dim sum and anticipation running through my veins.

I’m not really sure why this show was such a disappointment. Is it that Brooke Burns is way too bubbly? Is it because Mark Thompson says, "Are you ready to face the hole?" each and every time? Or is it because of the awesome silver suits that the contestants have to wear that leave nothing to the imagination as far as anatomy goes (and this show is in the 8p.m. timeslot)? No, it must have been the horrible team names -- Six Packs vs. Beer Bellies -- is this a college frat party game that's being televised?

Whatever it may be, this show gets a major fail from me. I'll stick to watching the Japanese versions on YouTube.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Top Model Inauguration

For a while America's Next Top Model has teetered on the edge of crazy, but this season the show plunged into the deep end of the insanity pool.

The premiere of Cycle 11began with the two J’s emerging in futuristic robot outfits in front of the Top Model Institute of Technology – where “We build better models.” First of all it has to be asked, what on earth (past, present or future) is going on with Mr. J’s – excuse me, Alpha J’s – hair?! It looks like they put a wet cat on top of his head. Second, when you see the show’s promo poster (shown above) you aren’t exactly thinking 2001: A Space Odyssey Gone HORRIBLY Wrong. Where’s the connection here people?

Oh but it got better (or worse, depending on your view). The Glaminator machine spits out a robotic Tyra. I had to blink my eyes in a few rapid successions just to make sure I wasn’t sleeping (since I watched the show after midnight). Then there were the special effect graphics that were off the chain… and I’ll leave it at that.

Wow, all that and I have yet to make mention of any of the model participants. Here were my initial standouts (and not solely because I thought they would win this season):

♥ Britney B. (one of 3 Britney’s; she later becomes Sharaun): girl brings her lucky underwear with her and gives them to Miss J. The underwear will reappear multiple times during the second half of the premiere. She becomes the last girl selected in the final 14 where she then cries into the lucky underwear. Disturbing, child.

♥ Analeigh: the former figure skater that was sold to an Arabian (is that the PC term?) prince, but managed to get out of it. I have to give my props to her because she’s from my hometown area of Sacramento (woot, woot!).

♥ Isis: Ah, the much anticipated black sheep of the season that will replace Tyra’s plus-sized pet projects. Isis was spotted when she was a background model in a Cycle 10 shoot and when Tyra said she had to be on the show, she was informed that Isis was transgender. I give the girl props for putting herself out there and while hoping to represent the transgender community, really just wants to win this for herself.

♥ Lindsey: While she didn’t make the final cut, first thing I thought about her was she was the plus-size-Whitney-look-alike, which was said later by some of the judges.

♥ Nikeysha: girl came in throwing around her fake boob bra inserts. Mmmm, k.

♥ Susan: the wannabe model who majored in English and American Liturature and Language at Harvard but can’t name a famous English Lit heroine. Guess my English degree from SDSU isn’t looking all that bad. Poor Harvard girl didn’t have the brains or the looks to make the final cut.

♥ Hannah: little miss innocent from Alaska got chased by a moose – where’s Sarah Palin when you need her?

Hour One had a lot going on, but to me, the second hour was a bit unexciting comparatively. I think it’s because the wet cat fell off Mr. J’s head, Tyra took off her silver lipstick and there were no more rockin graphics.

The first challenge had to do with the 2008 presidential elections and the goal was for the girls to make voting sexy. I’m not really sure what some of these girls had in mind, but they weren’t making voting look any more appealing to me. I couldn’t really pick one shot that really stood out to me to be the best. I want to like Marjorie, but her nervous tick is a bit obnoxious.

Marjorie became the eventual winner, despite the fact that some of the judges thought her photo was flat. Tyra loved the photo, which makes me wonder if any of the other judges’ inputs really matter.

The bottom two were Sharaun and Nikeysha. Sharaun brought along her lucky underwear again but it wasn’t enough for her to escape elimination and she became the first girl to go home.

all model mugs are from zaptoit.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Summer, Kind of Wonderful

When we last left our Upper East Side clan, Little Jen was stealing from the rich to give to the poor (aka: herself); Serena and Dan were caput; Chuck left Blair waiting for him on a tarmac; and Nate and Vanessa couldn’t properly merge their “vastly” different worlds.

We return to some serious cougar action (reminiscent of The OC affair between high school-aged Luke and his ex-girlfriend’s mom, Julie) and a pervy Chuck Bass on the Hampton shores. We find Jenny has an internship at Blair’s mom’s company and when she tries to show off something she’s been working on, the response is, “If I’m going to wear custom anything, it’s going to matter. Oh, and put that away, eggshell gives me a headache.”

And the biggest shocker of the summer, Blair riding on a bus?! Deplorable.

The season premiere was strangely lukewarm to me, but I have to admit there were some great one-liners. “A hot lifeguard is like Kleenex – use once and throw away.” Blair tells Serena. Soon after Chuck comes prancing out wearing a sexy Hamptons-meets-Baby Gap-meets-the 80s outfit that the Fug Girls bashed earlier in the summer.

And Jenny tells Rufus that the Hampton White Party is so exclusive that they turned away Jack Johnson last year. To which Rufus replies, “Sounds like a party with taste.” After just returning from L.A. where I was attending the Jack Johnson concert, I take offence, Rufus, and the CW.

And speaking of little Jen and her summer gig, it’s no wonder it’s hard to get a summer COLLEGE internship in NYC – the prep schoolers who aren’t fortunate enough to spend 3 months basking in the Hampton sunlight have them all.

Then there’s the scene when Serena and Nate are walking through the garden talking about Nate’s shenanigans with a married woman. I swear his fly is open.


Other noteworthy moments: Cheers to Vitamin Water for such great product placement (wink, wink), and Tinsley Mortimer should stick to her day job of Manhattan socialite and not go down the path toward acting.

In the end, Blair couldn’t get her 8-letter, 3-word phrase from Chuck and takes off with the Princeton-man turned Georgetown-boy turned British Lord, Serena and Dan share a gushy moment under the fireworks; and Nate gets a Manhattan booty call from his cougar.

Just another typical day in the life of elite Manhattan teenagers (but that’s why we love it).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Frosting on the (cup)cake

This weekend, instead of eating in front of the TV, I spent my time eating at various places throughout the Los Angeles area -- all while keeping an eye out for TV (and movie) stars, of course.

Sunday, my good friend Michelle and her husband Edward put together a fantastic BBQ to fill our bellies before heading to the Jack Johnson concert at UCLA. Edward grilled up some cheeseburgers, on which I added guacamole, lettuce and a touch of BBQ sauce. Liz and I stopped by the grocery store on our way over to get a fruit side dish and much to our surprise bought a bag of cherries that cost nearly $10. When we asked the checker how much the cherries were (because they seemed expensive) he snidely replied, “You pay for them by the pound, like most fruit.” Gee, thanks for that. Glad our 6-pack of Pete’s Wicked beer cost $2 less!

Before the concert I insisted we stop by a new place a co-worker turned me on to called Diddy Riese. This shop sells about a dozen kinds of cookies and for $1.50 you can choose your cookie flavor and ice cream flavor to make an ice cream sandwich. I went for peanut butter cookies with cookie dough ice cream. My friends Liz and Eric got chocolate chip with mint chip and white chocolate chip with strawberry respectively. The first half of this treat was delicious, but it got way too sweet for me and I couldn’t finish. For a $1.50, though, you really can’t go wrong. It was also a nice treat before the concert.

On Labor Day Liz and I ventured to West Hollywood for some star sightings, shopping and a nice Hollywood lunch. We drove down to Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard and had lunch at Urth Caffe. Liz and I both got the same sandwich, which was a prosciutto panini with an olive tapenade, sun dried tomatoes and “Italian cheese” (although not quite sure what the definition of Italian cheese is). For $12, the panini also came with a nice mixed green salad with a savory vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, olives and candied pecans. Despite the lovely olive chunks in left in our teeth after the meal (a snack for later, perhaps), this lunch got the thumbs up from both of us.

Despite many stores being closed for the holiday, we decided to walk down Robertson Boulevard, past The Ivy (where Liz may or may not have seen someone from Friday Night Lights) and then, since we thought it wasn’t too far away (but turned out to be close to 3 miles away), we walked to The Grove. Diet Cokes were ordered immediately upon arrival at this fun outdoor mall and then the star searching and shopping began. On our way to Anthropologie we spotted none other than the infamously collagened-out Janice Dickinson. I also spotted Dave Foley of the short-lived, 90s sitcom NewsRadio. After our sad B-list celebrity sightings and not making one purchase we made the trek back to the car with visions of Sprinkles cupcakes in our head.

Oh, Sprinkles truly is a bit of heaven. I had the pleasure of going to Cupcake Royale in Seattle when I was there in April, but Sprinkles totally tops them. I got a delectable Black and White cupcake and Liz opted for a Red Velvet. Besides not having a glass of milk I simply could not have been more content eating my cupcake. I also brought home a Dark Chocolate and Red Velvet, and Liz brought home a Banana and a Vanilla. It was the perfect ending to our fabulous Hollywood day.

Until next time, eat up!