Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ninth Routine Together - Ellenore/Legacy

This was the other routine that made me take notice. Not quite as flawless, but really stunning.

Jakob and Molly dance the Viennese Waltz - AMAZING!!

This was THE performance of the night. Simply flawless. Usually I love the hip hop routines and think those are more visually stunning, but this was wonderful!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Aside from the amazing choreography regularly on the show, you sometimes get performances like this.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seventh Routine Together - Noelle/Ryan

This routine didn't get as much love as I thought it would, but I did really like it.

If you aren't watching SYTYCD, why not?

Jakob And Ellenore So You Think You Can Dance Season 6 Episode 19 Top 10 Perform

Abso-freakin-sutely amazing!!!!

This is why Jakob and Ellenore are 2 to watch for the finale.
Pair them with Sonia'a choreography and you have magic!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Lady Gaga (feat Beyonce) - Telephone (Prod By Darkchild)

Of course, this song has ben on heavy rotation all week. Loves it!

Video Phone - Beyonce Ft. Lady Gaga - Official Video

This must be like the next best thing to a straight man's wet dream (the best thing being Britney instead of Gaga, but Gaga is still smokin'). Watch her get crunk with the Beyonce'. Take that, Larry Klye

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Did I see that?!?

Okay... looking at the comments, I'm not wrong in thinking that at the end Derek and Joanna are thinking about doing something other than dancing in the routine. It begings at about 2:22 and REPEATS! Priceless!

SYTYCD Highlight Week 3

This was really one of the best routines of a weak week. Still, some of the best dancing this season is coming from Jakob.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SYTYCD Highlight Week 1

Loved the show the first week. Not sure I like the whole "Get Paula On" campaign, or the skipping the fan vote while the World Series rages on (raged on...Go Yankees!). Here is my pick for funnest routine of the night.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And so it's begun...

Well, he's gone.

Our 20 year old kid has decided that the rules of the house (bathing regularly, giving us notice if he's coming home at 4am or not, having a job or going to school, really was about it.) were far too difficult to follow, so after some consideration and a Come to Jesus, he left.
Now, in the past, Sam spent many of his "wandering nights," sleeping on his friends' couches, eating their food, doing their drugs, and drifting back home when he'd worn out his welcome. He always had a warm place to land, provided he "apologized" for "forgetting to call" or "not letting us know where he'd been." Often the apologies came through the sad, glazed eyes of an addict. Nothing says "respect" like being apologized to by a grown man high on pot with the stench of two day old funk and smoke, gargled with mouthwash.

Now, he has kinda lost his parachute and he's doing what he really seems to want to do, live his life on his own terms and while we worry about everything from his safety to his health, we are done.

Done with the disrespect.
Done with the laziness. (Sleeping until 1pm was the norm, and despite the economy, PT jobs are not THAT hard to find.)
Done wih the lies.
Done with watching the slow self-destruction of a life we tried to nurture.

So he's gone and we wait to see what becomes of our kid.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whitney Houston A Song For You live WHH 1991

I wonder if the new version is anywhere near as beautifully done as this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shook me all night long

Caprioskas and Jack...a fine combination.

I got you babe

See what a half dozen caprioskas will get ya?

Add it up

This is just one of the fine services we provide when you come visit us here in TX.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dumb Ass

'nuf said.

{Rachel Maddow} "I Am The Mob" -- Part II

More of the same.

{Rachel Maddow} "I Am The Mob" -- Part I

This is the crazy you have to keep your eye on. Why? They are the ones you see, but think they are harmless, until they blow up something or shoot someone.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rachel Maddow: Health Care "IntimiNation" Takes Ugly Turn

This is what happens when Americans want Health Care reforms...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kayla and Brandon Top 6

Routine of the week! This was beautiful and so well done it should bring tears to your eyes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FOX's Glenn Beck Calls President Obama A "Racist"

I'm so completely flabbergasted that people consider him a voice of rational discourse I can't speak.

Wow...are people just that terrified of having a Black President? Are Republicans really that desperate to regain power? Really?!?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Strength in Poland

Okay...this is cool. Wait for about the 4 minute mark to be truly amazed, but WOW.

Then read the commentson YouTube to see the incredible level of stupid in the world.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rachel Maddow Corrects Pat Buchanan's (Racist) Statements!

Another reason I ove Rachel Maddow. It's mind-boggling to believe that people still think the way Buchanan thinks, but it is also refreshing to see someone so masterfully call him on his stupidity.

Well done.

Kayla and Jason (Hip Hop) - So you think you can dance 5 E18

Okay...I do have to say that I feel badly that this followed the "cancer" routine, because this was the funnest routine of the night. Hands down.

SYTYCD 7/22/2009: Melissa and Ade #2 - This Woman's Work - Maxwell - Full [HQ]

This was the most touching piece this year on the show. Amazing and simply beautiful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pat Buchanan argues Sotomayor is an Affirmative Action appointee or Pat Buchanan is in Need of his own Burning Cross

It's always amazing to watch someone try to defend his racism and try to make it valid and acceptable.

I love Rachel Maddow even more just for the way she handled him.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Top 2 Dances of the Week

Hard to pick one great dance this week, so I went with 2 dances. This is the first dance that made me gasp with such awe at the brilliance of the dancers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Divided Salli saddle chair seat

Sometimes you can give just way too much information...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

Wow! This must have been a feat to pull off, but fun nonetheless.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Because this made me giggle...

Sorry Princess Holly!

Cray Cray all up in the Place

Never a dull moment in retail.

Security sees a Black woman (rough looking 30s) shopping with her child (12 or 13). She picks up a purse, grabs something out of her bag, pops the security sensor off the new bag, then sends her son out to her car with her purse, all the while shopping with our purse on her shoulder. He comes back in and they "shop" some more.
She's done so she exits the building out the in door (something alot of our thieves seem to do on a regular basis). Security catches her and leads her back in the store where she politely begins a slow build from "kinda off" to "full on cray cray." In the short-ish time she was held by security and the manager who acted as a female witness, old girl did the following:

- Threatened to "piss myself and all over the equipment" if they didn't let her go,
- Beshat herself and farted to stink up the room,
- After seeing her sister in the moniter of the building, leaned into the moniter and yelled "Chante'!! I'm in here!!! You hear me?!? Chante'?!?" (the equivalent of yelling at her television set),
- Threatened to walk out of the office, because she didn't like the way our secuity was looking at her,
- Turned all the monitors off, one button at a time because "Y'all ain't watchin' them anyway!",
- Grabbed all the merchandise she'd stolen and tore the tags off the items, then rolled them up to put in the purse she stole because, "if you gone send me to jail, I'ma go for somethin'! Give this to my sister!"

Then, when the police officers arrived, her coup de grace... when she didn't sit down upon direction of the officer, he goes to cuff her and...

she kicks him in the balls. A glancing blow, but she did get the goods.

Annnnnnnnnnnd then is slammed to the ground by a PISSED off officer and cuffed.

Final tally: One arrest, 1 count theft, 1 count assault of an officer, 1 count resisting arrest, 1 pair of shoes stolen that couldn't be recovered, 3 hours of priceless entertainment.

It's days like this that ALMOST make up for hellish weekends like the last one.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Damien Walters Showreel 2009

Somebody sign him up for his own action movie. Give him a role in Spiderman, X-men, whatever! He's just amazing to watch.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Justin Timberlake discovered her on the internet and now she's released her first single. Enjoy and decide if you like it.


Today is a disappointing day. Look at the picture above. Nice couple. Together almost 13 years. It wasn't an easy 13 years. It was frought with pain, and struggle amidst the love and joy in their lives. Still, they as a couple stuck it out and remain together growing as a family. They have raised pets, bought and remodeled a home, seen the world, helped raise children...all the things that any other normal couple would do. So why would there be any reason to be upset?

Today, California, a state that should be at the forefront of America's fight for equality and justice, decided today that these people are 2nd or third class citizens, unable to legally wed if they so choose in that state. This, on the heels of Maine, Vermont, IOWA saying that it would be the right thing to do. I really want to know what Californians are thinking by denying gays this basic right.
Preservation of marriage? Really?!? Tell me that when they make it harder and harder for straight couples to get a divorce. There are more examples of America's acceptance of and pity for divorce (Britney, J. Lo., Liz Taylor, the city of Las Vegas...) They barely even respect the sanctity of marriage. Hell, get married and then gamble or get married in a drive-thru. Marriage as a holy or respected institution...gimme a break.

How do we threaten marriage? It seems that the only thing we threaten is the economy. Any married couple could put themselves on each others health plans, visit each other in the hospital, leave their belongings to each other in the event of death and be guaranteed that their wishes would be carried out. Gay couples, with as much, if not more, devotion to one another, cannot. *sigh* These arguments have been made before. Will hopefully be made again in 2010. Still, it's sad that in 2009, we have to convince people that we are just as worthy of, no...rightfully deserved of the same rights and priviledges as every other American.

I'm tired of the fighting. I'm tired of the talking about it. I just wish my partner and myself could see the passing of Prop. 8 lead to a cascading affect in America (with unfortunately our state of Texas being the last because...well, I have no doubt that my jackass of a governor will die before letting gays get married in Texas). The hope that California's vote carried was dimmed, but not extinguished. Here's hoping that the future shows America grow into the land of promise that it advertises itself to be.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Asher Roth - Boom Boom Pow - Live Lounge

This is really kinda fun. Check out his cd.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Idol Finale!

The Idols were in fine form for the finale. Adam, the sure bet, and Kris, the soulful underdog, made the show truly exciting. They were given 3 songs to sing, one from the creator of the show, one was the performers' favorite from the season, and one was the 1st single co-written by Kara DioGuardia. Lots to consider, especially since there is only one new performance of a familiar song to consider. Now, the performances:

Adam - "Mad World"
He sounded amazing on this one the first time, and he did a fabulous job tonight. It was effortless.

Kris - "Ain't No Sunshine"
Loved it! Truly a wonderful performance. When he connects to a song, he knocks it out of the park.

Simon votes round 1 to Kris.

Round 2 - Creator's choice
Adam - "A Change is Gonna Come"
OMG!!! I love the Sam Cooke version. Alot. Adam squeezed every once of raw emotion out of the song. Wow.

Kris - "What's Goin' On"
It was an easy, laid back club-like performance. Maybe it was too easy. He sounded wonderful, but it wasn't as dramatic or outstanding as the one before...his first or Adam's prior.

Round 2 to Adam

Round 3 - Winner's Song "No Boundaries"

Adam vs Kris - It's hard to make the call on this one. Adam's voice was better suited to handle this song. It requires a belter, someone with a big big voice. Adam has that, but in parts seemed to lose the feeling of the song. Kris' voice was buried in the instruments for many parts of the song and seemed to be at the limits of his voice, but his interpretation of the song was much better.

No call from Simon, but it sounded like he was handing it to Adam. I called it a draw.

I know Adam will win, but a part of me would be satisfied if Kris won.


I'm sorry I haven't blogged in awhile, not that there are so so many people actually reading my random thoughts, but I am still alive and working on a new podcast and tweeting. I don't know that I have so much to add to the podcasting world, but I think it'll be something fun to kinda document my life.

I also am on a fun site called Sending music to Twitter and playing DJ is kinda fun. I may irritate a few with the regular updates, but at least I'm interesting. ; )

More info to follow.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

South Park - World of Warcraft

I love South Park and don't watch it often, but I caught this episode and love how well they capture the mania that is WoW!

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Sorry it's been awhile since I've blogged. Work at the Plantation has been picking up due to Mother's Day, plus we had a visit from the Plantation overseer, so I've been a bit busy. Last weekend was, by far, the best weekend I've ever had closing at the Plantation. Usually a closing shift on a weekend in my store is like next door to Hell, because we are horribly busy, the guests of the store are the worst guests ever and the thieves are out en masse. That proved to be a good thing, since we had a special forces team of Loss Prevention agents in the store for 3 days to do a massive Shock and Awe sweep of the store. It was heaven!

All of my regular shoplifters were out and about thinking that they were safe and crafty, but our SWAT team was busy making their lives completely miserable. I have to admit, I hate shoplifters. With a white-hot passion. There is nothing in my store you need that you can't work for just like me, so back the f**k off! That is also compounded by the fact that we have a hands-off policy in the store, where we can't stop a thief if they leave the store and if we do, we could be fired. So, to be clear, if you grab something, put it in your pocket, then sprint to the door, as long as you make it out, I can't do thing one or get fired for putting my life at risk. Demoralizing, at best.
By the end of the weekend, the SWAT was making my shoplifting dreams come true. Day 1, not much...just observing the traffic flow and figuring out their blind spots. Day 2, 4 teens shoplifting caught all at once. Nothing like watching a father walk into the store to pick up his shoplifting child, belt in hand. Later, a manly woman in a jumpsuit decided to steal purses and cologne while teaching her 14y.o. daughter and granddaughter to steal. After flirting with our LP agent and showing him how easy it was to steal stuff, she walked out and met him and the three other agents waiting to put her in cuffs. The long, pitiful walk to the office punctuated by the cries of her daughter and granddaughter and the threat of jail. In the end, she did go to jail (sadsies) and the 14y.o. had to learn how to drive or have momma's car towed.

Day 3, another 2 women and a baby stopped for grabbing stuff and hiding it in the stroller under the baby. The mother freaked out when the police grabbed her outside and she grabbed her baby out of the stroller and put it in the car. That, I'm sure, is the only reason CPS didn't come and take the child. The lady that the agents actually saw stealing cried all the way back to the office and wanted to pay for the stuff she stole (too late). The other lady, who was let go, kept her distance, yet she freaked out because she knew she had stolen stuff in her purse. The LP agaents took the stroller and her purse with her friend and she never came back to pick up either. When she called for the 5th time to discuss picking up her stroller (never mind her friend), we told her the number she could call was 911...her friend had already been taken to jail. Somehow, I think the info in her purse will tell the police how to get in touch with her. ; )

It may not have stopped the stealing going on in the store, but it certainly made it safer to be there that weekend.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RAWK Week at Idol!!!!!!

Idol switches things up again this week by bringing a relavent artist in to mentor (Slash) and having the Idols sing duets. The week was full of some great songs and we are now in the rough patch in picking people to send home. All are very good and all make viable artists. Let's talk singing...

Adam Lambert - "Whole Lotta love"
Controlled, yet wild. This was one of his best performances. Not terribly original, but really very good. Sorry, Ramble.

Allison Iraheta - "Cry Baby"
Her voice is incredible. No qualification needed. No "for a 17 year old." No "for a girl with so little life experience." Rock solid. Again, not very original, but very solid.

Kris and Danny - "Renegade"
The harmonies were wonderful. Individually, the two weren't as strong together. Actually, Danny was much stronger.

Kris Allen - "Come Together"
I must have been the only one who thought he did a really good job with the song. I would have expected him to play with the song a bit, but he chose, wisely, not to. That said, it's hard to watch his face while he sings. We'll see.

Danny Gokey - "Dream On"
98% greatness and then the last note, the money shot, the thing that saves him or rasied him above the others more often than not, was a HOT SHREIKY MESS! Luckily, the other 98% was there.

Adam and Allison - "Slow Ride"
Unlike the first duet, the harmonies were atrocious, but the individual voices sounded great.

Bottom 2: Danny and Kris

Unless a million teenage girls call and vote, Kris will get to go home to his wife.

Kelly Clarkson - I Do Not Hook Up (Official Video) HQ

Hey y'all...Kelly's new song is stuck in my head. I love her!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wipeout Animated Promo

Okay...who isn't excited about this coming on this year? I can't wait!!!!


Future child star in training.

Say a little prayer...

My happy little cellphone, my Moto Q (1st generation) is dying a slow, sad little death. It has seen me through good times (laughs with friends, dirty talk with the husband, graduations...) and bad (deaths, firings, infidelities, illness, etc.). It was my first smartphone and using it to type this message would seem cruel (and impossible since the damned thing doesn't seem to want to charge). So, I'm now forced to look at another phone. Maybe making the call to the Boo to tell him the phone sucked was a bit cruel, like telling your lover to tell your best friend that you think he's bad in bed. Stil, the last straw was the need to call for needed info and after an ENTIRE DAY on the charger, not getting more than 1 bar out of 4 in power.

So, it is with regret that I say that I'm now in search of a lovely little black iPhone.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


The $200,000 white wedding for the 16-year-old girl who lives in a trailer.
What Daddy's little girl wants, Daddy's little girl gets. So when Missy Quinn insisted on a big white wedding with her boyfriend, her father said YES. It didn't matter that she was only 16 and the groom 17. Daddy also said yes to a $32,000 wedding dress (which looked suspiciously like a crop top and skirt) and yes to 150 guests at the reception. Then there were the cars, the hotels, the tiara and the $10000 bouquet!
Check out the belly-ring ... it matches her earrings! So sophisticated. In the end, making Missy's wedding dreams come true cost her father - who lives in a trailer and surfaces driveways for a living - a whopping $200,000! But as his princess, who hasn't been in a classroom since she was nine and wants to be a glamour model (good luck), posed for photographs, her father Simon, 35, declared it was worth every penny. 'I'm very proud of her today,' he said. Missy was just happy to be the undisputed centre of attention. Her dress, studded with Swarovski crystals, and with a 10 ft. wide train, was so heavy that it took ten guests to help her struggle out of the Rolls-Royce Phantom that brought her to the church.

Missy with groom Thomas Moghon, 17, her mother Theresa (who, it seems, forgot to wear a top ...) and father Simon. 'It was huge. I wanted to outdo everyone else's wedding dress,' she said. 'It was extremely heavy and just standing in the church was really difficult. But despite all that, I felt just like Cinderella.' The bill was around five times the cost of the average wedding. Missy said: 'It cost a fortune, but I've always wanted a big wedding and my dad has been saving for ages to pay for it.' Missy met Thomas at Alton Towers Theme park when she was 13. They continued to date despite her traveller family leaving their trailer park in Stoke-on-Trent every summer to tour the UK while Thomas lived with his parents in Wolverhampton . Missy said: 'I just knew he was The One from the beginning. He's perfect.' Her mother Theresa, 33, who married Missy's father at 16, said: 'I was surprised they wanted to get married so young in this day and age. But we could see they were madly in love.' The couple married six days after Missy turned 16 at St Mary's Catholic Church in Congleton-Cheshire. The bride carried a chrystal bouquet that cost $100000! No fresh flowers for her. After the ceremony, guests in feathers and crystals enjoyed champagne and an all-day buffet at the reception. Girls as young as nine showed off bikini tops, high heels and make-up. It was a classy affair. Guest Victoria Docherty, 23, who wore a £700 hotpants and bra outfit, said: 'This isn't unusual - it's just what we do at weddings. It's all very extravagant. Everything is paid for by the bride's daddy.' Missy and Thomas honeymooned in Turkey before moving into their own $36,000 trailer - a wedding gift from her parents.

Swine flu

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Theatrical Trailer #2

Looking forward to it yet?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer #3

Reposted for Christian, by request.

Dallas Cowboy Practice Stadium collapse

Awwwww...Sorry Cowboys!

Happy "Mission Accomplished Banner Day"!

I love how Rachel gets so fired up about an issue.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Transformers 2 Revenge Of The Fallen - Official Trailer [HD]

Will probably see this movie, but the trailer didn't do a whole lot to make me excited to go.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - Official Trailer 4 [HD]

Okay...this movie looks better and better with each trailer. I can't wait!

Miss USA Runner-Up Carrie Prejean's Gay Marriage Controversy

Sad moment #1: Her answer. Really?!? Get over yourself. Fine. Keep marriage. You all seem to be doing such a bang up job with it anyway. But we want the same rights and priviledges that you are afforded. If you can't offer us that, then we want it all!

Sad moment #2: The crowd reaction. Applause. I guess when you are in a crowd of straight men ogling the contestants in bathing suits, you can expect that.

Sad moment #3: She lost. Oh wait...that kinda made me giggle.

Sand Art - Ilana Yahav - Let's Get Together

She is kinda amazing.

Flight Attendant doing raps!! (complete ed.)

SWA makes flights fun!

American Idol - Disco Week

Well...the trainwreck show was actually not this year as all the Idols pulled it out t show that they really can sing. This is a tough year at Idol because our Top 7 is really, really strong. So let's review...

Lil Rounds "I'm Every Woman"
This was a rockin' performance, but not vocally impressive or distinct. My issue was I knew that the judges were going to beat her up for it, and they did.

Kris Allen - "She Works Hard For The Money"
Wow! I loved it. I knew it was gonna be fresh and interesting and it was.

Danny Gokey - "September"
I always think he's good, but sometimes I forget just how good he is. It was a fantastic performance.

Allison Iraheta "Hot Stuff"
1st awkward moment of the night. Who told her to slow it down? Who told her to sing about wanting Hot Stuff? Ew. She has a great voice, but that may be the only thing that saves her.

Adam Lambert - "If I Can't Have You"
Another brilliant choice by the "judges' pick." Lovely, refined, different. Still want him to tone the screaming down.

Matt Giraud "Stayin' Alive"
Love his voice, but sometimes the vocal isn't as spot on as I'd like them to be.

Anoop Desai "Dim All the Lights"
Began well, then the tempo increased and became more karaoke. Sounded really good, but like Lil suffered because it wasn't a recreated song.

Bottom 3: Lil, Matt, Anoop

Bye Matt and Lil. Simon says you suck.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

American Idol - Songs from the Cinema

Some weeks at AI, you just get an abundance of riches...Quentin Tarentino! Muted judges! Stars! Stars! More stars! D-listers! I mean...where to begin... I guess, at the beginning. This week, Quentin Tarantino is the guest mentor. He's a music fan and a surprisingly good mentor. Despite looking like the waxy love child of Joan Rivers and Jay Leno, he's actually very good. He understands the visual aspect of delivering a song, and he gave really good notes (some of which were ignored to the detriment of some of the performers).

The audience was awash in celebrity. It's like being in the audience of the show is the hottest ticket in Hollywood. Seen in the crowd:

Christina Applegate
Katie Couric
Steven Van Zandt
Calpernia Adams
Cast member of Days of Our Lives

Okay...on to the performances!

Allison Iraheta - "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"! She sounds like Pink here, and that's a good thing. She took some liberties with phrasing that were nice and added some wonderful colors to an overdone, oversung song. She kinda strained at the end, but pulled it out.

Anoop Desai - "Everything I Do"
I loved it. Anoop very often is hit or miss. When he misses, he misses hard. When he hits, he knocks it out of the park. His voice here was just amazing...controlled and sure.

Adam Lambert - "Born to Be Wild"
It's always interesting in a "jump on a rollercoaster" sorta way, to watch Adam perform. He really is very self-assured and he sounded good. I still think he could dial it down from 12. Hubby says Adam just doesn't have a middle. He does quiet well, he is wonderful in his big notes and such, but he hasn't done something that didn't go to that over the top place. All in all, the performance was greatness.

Matt Giraud - "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman"
I can't say enough about how much I love his voice and phrasing. Still, he tried to do too much here and at one point he was so off that the good moments that began the song were eclipsed by the horrors of bad vocal runs.

Danny Gokey - "Endless Love"
I got chills. It was lovely. Now, would I have thought it was as lovely if I didn't know the backstory? Maybe. But, having the story made it all the better.

Kris Allen - "Falling Slowly"
Again, Kris is brilliant. It is a little known song that compared to the others wasn't a big showstopper, but he made you listen to him. You wanted to hear the lyrics, and THAT is what made this performance fantastic.

Lil Rounds - "The Rose"
Damn...she's wonderful! I liked the spin she took on the song. I loved the build. I loved the finish. She listened to the notes and delivered, if not a moment, one of the best performances of the night in a night of great performances.

Top 2: Adam and Lil

Bottom 2: Matt and maybe Danny

*sniff* Bye bye Matt.

West Side Story-America

Dancing w/the Stars showed a preview of the new Broadway revival of the hit show "West Side Story." Still, as good as it looked, nothing beats the original...especially with the AMAZING Rita Moreno. I'll try to post the revival's version tomorrow. For now...enjoy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

HARRY POTTER and the Half Blood Prince - NEW international Trailer

I think I'm more excited to see this than anything else coming up...except the Wonder Woman movie.

Video Tribute to Kutner (from House MD)

I waited to post this because I figured some people may not have watched this the night of the show. It was shocking and heartbreaking, and his suicide made the episode more poignant because so many of the characters struggled with the inability to read any signs that it would happen.

EFCA will Cost Jobs

The meeting I went to today was all about this. I can get why some people want unions, but RETAIL?!? Not so much.

The Rachel Maddow Show: Insani-Tea: Conservatives Rally Around "Teabagging"

I love Rachel Maddow...she's funny.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon Trailer - TLA Releasing

He died of lung cancer yesterday.

American Idol - Year They Were Born

Idol is getting harder and harder to call. Each week we are seeing the Idols struggling with song choice, image, and identity. This week is the week of songs from the year they were born. Most of the Idols were born in 1985 and 1986, with 2 on the outer edges (1980 and 1992). Here is a short list from Billboard of song choices they had:

1980 Top 20 Songs
1. Call Me, Blondie
2. Another Brick In The Wall, Pink Floyd
3. Magic, Olivia Newton-John
4. Rock With You, Michael Jackson
5. Do That To Me One More Time, Captain and Tennille
6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
7. Coming Up, Paul McCartney
8. Funkytown, Lipps, Inc.
9. It's Still Rock And Roll To Me, Billy Joel
10. The Rose, Bette Midler
11. Escape (The Pina Colada Song), Rupert Holmes
12. Cars, Gary Numan
13. Cruisin', Smokey Robinson
14. Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl, Spinners
15. Lost In Love, Air Supply
16. Little Jeannie, Elton John
17. Ride Like The Wind, Cristopher Cross
18. Upside Down, Diana Ross
19. Please Don't Go, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
20. Babe, Styx

1985 Top 20 songs
1. "Careless Whisper".....Wham!
2. "Say You, Say Me".....Lionel Richie
3. "Separate Lives".....Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin
4. "I Want To Know What Love Is".....Foreigner
5. "Money For Nothing".....Dire Straits
6. "We Are The World".....USA for Africa
7. "Broken Wings".....Mr. Mister
8. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World".....Tears for Fears
9. "The Power Of Love".....Huey Lewis & The News
10. "We Built This City".....Starship
11. "St. Elmo's Fire".....John Parr
12. "Can't Fight This Feeling".....REO Speedwagon
13. "Crazy For You".....Madonna
14. "Easy Lover".....Phillip Bailey & Phil Collins
15. "Everytime You Go Away".....Paul Young
16. "Don't You (Forget About Me):.....Simple Minds
17. "Take On Me".....a-ha
18. "Party All The Time".....Eddie Murphy
19. "Everything She Wants".....Wham!
20. "Shout".....Tears for Fears

1986 Top 20 Songs
1. "That's What Friends Are For".....Dionne & Friends
2. "Walk Like An Egyptian".....Bangles
3. "On My Own".....Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald
4. "The Way It Is".....Bruce Hornsby & The Range
5. "You Give Love A Bad Name".....Bon Jovi
6. "Greatest Love Of All".....Whitney Houston
7. "There'll Be Sad Songs".....Billy Ocean
8. "How Will I Know".....Whitney Houston
9. "Kyrie".....Mr. Mister
10. "Kiss".....Prince & The Revolution
11. "The Next Time I Fall".....Peter Cetera & Amy Grant
12. "Burning Heart".....Survivor
13. "Stuck With You".....Huey Lewis & The News
14. "When I Think Of You".....Janet Jackson
15. "Rock Me Amadeus".....Falco
16. "West End Girls".....Pet Shop Boys
17. "Sledgehammer".....Peter Gabriel
18. "Human".....Human League
19. "Sara".....Starship
20. "Higher Love".....Steve Winwood

1992 Top 20 Songs
1. End Of The Road, Boyz II Men
2. Baby Got Back, Sir Mix A-lot
3. Jump, Kris Kross
4. Save The Best For Last, Vanessa Williams
5. Baby-Baby-Baby, TLC
6. Tears In Heaven, Eric Clapton
7. My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It), En Vogue
8. Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. All 4 Love, Color Me Badd
10. Just Another Day, Jon Secada
11. I Love Your Smile, Shanice
12. To Be With You, Mr. Big
13. I'm Too Sexy, Right Said Fred
14. Black Or White, Michael Jackson
15. Achy Breaky Heart, Billy Ray Cyrus
16. I'll Be There, Mariah Carey
17. November Rain, Guns N' Roses
18. Life Is A Highway, Tom Cochrane
19. Remember The Time, Michael Jackson
20. Finally, CeCe Peniston

Some singers had it better than others, but when the judges talk about how they have "all the choices" of songs to choose from, they are a bit obnoxious. Here's how they did:

Danny Gokey - "Stand By Me"
He had to go ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the way down to the 80s or 90s in the Top 100 songs of that year to find this song, which should tell you how difficult this year was to choose. There are some great songs in that year (The Rose, Fame, Upside Down) but they are not songs that would make great Idol moments. He did what he could with the song, turned it into a great vocal, but it was safe.

Kris Allen - "All She Wants to Do is Dance"
Kris is a great performer. He made the song fresh. Still, not my favorite song choice.

Lil Rounds - "What's Love Got to Do With It"
Bless her heart...this is an "Untouchable..." a song that should be avoided because you can't do better than the original. She did a good job with it, but "good" is still 2nd rate to Tina's "great."

Anoop Desai - "True Colors"
Wow...he did a really good job with the song. It was impressive. Not a moment, but not bad.

Scott MacIntyre - "The Search is Over"
ac crap sung almost as well as the original. The guitar was a nice change, but really??? Stop listening to Paula, even "lucid" Paula.

Allison Iraheta - "I Can't Make You Love Me"
She is fighting to be a contender. She's like a dark horse who sings well every week. Comparisons to Kelly Clarkson seem a bit premature, but she is singing very well. Mature and interesting.

Matt Giraud - "Part-Time Lover"
I loved his voice. His performances often border on melisma, but he's very good. This is one of his better performances.

Last performance cut off by DVR because the show ran long. WTF?!?!?!?!?

Top 3: Danny, Allison, Kris

Bottom: Lil, Scott, Matt

I think Lil is in trouble. If Matt hadn't received a good review, I think he'd be the one in the hot seat.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How To Make A Roux

This is for Ted. Bobby Flay did a Throwdown episode with her so she should be the one you learn how to do a perfect roux from.

Bon apetit!

Gilles and Cheryl Paso Doble

The dance of the night AND he does it half naked !!!!!


Sometimes you get more than you bargained for

My fitting room at the Plantation is often a sweltering hot pit of funk, truth be told, due to the anal emissions of my middle aged, country fitting room attendant. She has a reputation of not only being very gassy (and proud of it “Better out than in”), but of also not knowing when to take a trip to the restroom when necessary. On more than one occasion a manager has had to either clean her or the salefloor up after she waited too long to make a sprint to the restroom and redecorated the seat of her pants in the process.

So, apparently Stinky had too many taquitos the night before, and her Midwestern tummy violently disagreed. Our fitting room is a large one, but it still is an enclosed space, so I’m SURE that it was much like any other day she worked: hot and stank, where you could actually feel and maybe see the odor. So, she’s farting away, happily relieving herself of the internal stress of the gas buildup, when it happens. Again, she doesn’t often realize when she needs to go, and apparently she isn’t keen on whether she has “the squirts” as my father used to call them or just gas. So she let ‘er rip. I can only imagine the look of shock and horror on her face when she felt something shoot down the back of her leg, but I’m certain that the fitting room, for the near future at least, will be a much fresher place to work. Kegels and abject fear of embarrassment work wonders on tightening a sphincter.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dallas police Officer Robert Powell first interview...After he Detains SUV and Mother Dies

From the officer's mouth.


Dallas cop on a power trip detains NFL player while his mother in law dies

The video is disturbing for a number of reasons: he clearly wasn't listening to anything the family was saying, he enjoyed detaining them, and it took 2 nurses to come down and tell him the woman was truly dying before he let them go...with a lecture on how to properly respond to an officer.

As of today, the officer resigned.

Whatcha gonna do

Hubby and I are facing a dilemma that many parents of adult children face: how to instill a work ethic into a person with none.

19 y.o. (hereafter known as 19 because I'm not very creative and i watch too much "House") is a good kid and we love him. Just wanted to get that out of the way, first because the rest is not pretty.

He moved out over a year ago because he didn't want to follow the basic rules of the house (don't lie to the people who feed you, don't steal from the people who house you, bathe daily, don't live in squalor, and don't do drugs). Not the most difficult list we could come up with, but seemingly insurmountable.

Cut to the beginning of the year when all of his other options were failing (roommate leaving him, girlfriend tired of him, used up all goodwill at friends' homes because no one likes a freeloader) and he asked to move back in. After some soulsearching and many discussions, we took him back as long as he could follow the rules of the house. He agreed and things were copacetic up until March.

Hubby and I, stressed from our jobs planned a lovely vacation cruise to the Caribbean. 19 stayed home because he refuses to get a passport and because who wants to spend the money on someone who won't help himself get away to the islands? Vacation was a blast and we return home to hungry puppies and kitty. No 19. For 4 days. Letters in the mailbox from law firms gave us a clue as to where he might have been, but we didn't know for sure. He returns home witha story about how he'd been hanging out with his girlfriend. At some point we reveal to him we know he was arrested and he comes clean about getting caught with "herbal substances" and apologizes. He lost his job because he couldn't call them from jail because his one phone call was to his girlfriend to try to help bail him out and take care of the dogs while we were away (mind you, the sad irony of the arrest is it happened the very night we left for the cruise, so 4 days were spent in jail instead of his warm bed.)

So now, what is our intrepid 19 doing to get his life in order? Sleeping in late, hanging out with friends, helping girlfriend study. Actively searching for work? Not so much. Preparing to pay for court costs by saving money from his job? Nope. The child doesn't even really have a desire to get a car of his own. Really?!? At 15 I wanted my own car just so I could get away from my parents as far as the gas would take me. I hate looking at him like a failure for not having a sense of want in his life, but there is so much more to the world than the four walls of his bedroom. Why can't we get him to see that?

American Idol - iTunes Week

This was a week of some decidedly weak performances and few breakout performances. Oh, and someone has either been talking to Paula about her critiques or she has found a thesaurus because she is wordy and almost profound...then she begins to ramble and it all goes to hell. You can tell Simon enjoys this Paula better than boozy/narcotics Paula because now he can insult her intellect and it not seem like he's kicking a wounded puppy. Now on with the critiques:

Anoop Desai - "Caught Up"
He wanted to go for an Usher, urban, uptempo number and looked awkward. He sounded okay, but okay isn't going to get him to the finals. Very karaoke.

Megan Joy - "Turn Your Lights Down Low"
Never sing songs from the crazy one from the Fugees. It was passable, but again, is passable American Idol material?

Danny Gokey - "What Hurts the Most"
He does a good job with Rascal Flatts. I'm still a fan. Not his best and he still hasn't had his "moment," but we know it's coming.

Allison Iraheta - "Don't Speak"
I love her. Her voice is interesting and she did some nice things with the song. Her stylist needs a good kick in the ass.

Scott MacIntyre - "Just the Way You Are"
Okay. He sings Billy Joel a week after Paula recommends he sings Billy Joel. Woo hoo.

Matt Giraud - "You Found Me"
There is something I really like about him. He has a wonderful voice and I can hear him selling albums. This wasn't my favorite performance of his. Hubby hated it.

Lil Rounds - "I Surrender"
You go, girl! That was really very good.

Adam Lambert - "Play That Funky Music"
Uhhh...okay! Our first WTF moment of the season. Either you loved it or you hated it.

Kris Allen - "Ain't No Sunshine"
Riveting. Simple. Beautiful...up until the last note. Still, very nice.

Top 3: Kris, Lil, Adam

Bottom 3: Megan, Scott, and Anoop

Bye, bye Megan.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lady GaGa - Happy Birthday GaGa/Poker Face [Piano] - Live in Ottawa - March 27, 2009

This is for Christian and Brian at TWSS podcast. Enjoy!

The Biggest Man Boob Contest part 2

This is a Sorry Ricky waiting to happen...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ashton Kutcher Gets His Chest Waxed

From a chat on Twitter, we discover this...

Ciara ft Justin Timberlake- Love Sex Magic Official Video HQ

It's addictive and I'm lovin' it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol - Motown Week

Paula wants surprises. Kara was shocked by the ouster last week of Alexis. Randy said it was hard. Simon did too. American Idol is ready to go to Motown and give us some fantastic performances or some train wrecks. Here's how it went with Berry Gordy and Smokie Robinson in the audience.

Matt Giraud - " Let's Get it On"
Very natural. I loved it! Worried only by the "shum on" he added in the middle. He is one of the men I think could be in the finale.

Kris Allen - "How Sweet it Is"
He's kinda fun to watch. He did a good job with the song and made it kinda cool.

Scott MacIntyre - "You Can't Hurry Love"
Thought he might have a little trouble with it. He's kinda bland.

Megan Joy - "For Once in My Life"
Passable. Awkward, but it was very much loungy.

Anoop Desai - "Ooh Baby Baby"
Didn't do it justice. Kinda pedestrian.

Michael Sarver - "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"
I wanted to like it, but he's not sounding like a champ here. Poor song choice.

Lil Rounds - "Heatwave"
Good, but only criticism was it started on high and stayed there...never had any light and shade.
She'll get by, but this was a gimme week.

Adam Lambert - "The Tracks of My Tears"
Amazing! I loved it. No theatrics. No over-the-topness. It was gentle and lovely and...a moment.

Danny Gokey - "Get Ready"
Very natural. Almost doesn't need Idol. Effortless.

Allison Iraheta - "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"
She's "blazin' hot!" Another effortless performance and she reminds them that she is in this to win.

Top 3
Adam, Matt, Allison

Bottom 3
Scott, Megan, and Michael

Megan will prolly be leaving us tomorrow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Because someone at The Onion wants Hugh Jackman

Photos of a supposedly new inflatable toy by comic book and film giant Marvel made the rounds this morning -- a blow-up Wolverine doll with a strategically placed inflation tube right on his crotch.
But further digging confirms the toy is a hoax hatched by the clever folks over at The Onion's affiliate website
ChristWire purported to respond to Marvel's alleged inflatable toy in a spoof article excerpted here -- "We might as well line our children up and burn them ourselves! If we make these types of devil-pleasing acts OK, they will all be burning in the fire lakes anyways... What’s next? The Wonder Woman lollipop?"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol - Country Week

Billed as the most difficult week for the contestants, Country Week on Idol was kinda underwhelming. The Idol favorites kinda faultered and an embattled Idol rose like a phoenix. Paula was vapid, but coherent. Simon spent the night calling her stupid. Randy and Kara worked to make the show better than Romper Room.

1. Michael Sarver - "Ain't Goin' Down Til The Sun Comes Up"
This was his week to screw up, and he didn't. Serviceable job and entertaining.

2. Allison Iraheta - "Blame It on Your Heart"
Mature and very good. I love the smoky quality of her voice.

3. Kris *sigh* Allen "To Make You Feel My Love"
He's gorgeous and the performance was simple and wonderful.

4. Lil Rounds - "Independence Day"
Good job, but not my favorite. She'll get by, but it really wasn't her best.

5. Adam Lambert - "Ring of Fire"
Right, wrong, or indifferent it was the most memorable performance of the night.
Personally, I thought it was greatness. Everything the judges ask for: great vocals, made the song his own, interesting...

6. Scott MacIntyre - "Wild Angels"
I can't watch him sing. Boring and the judges finally challanged him to step up his game. Right now, I'm failing to see why he is in the Top 12.

7. Alexis Grace - "Jolene"
You know when you hear a potentially great performance that goes horribly wrong because the singer tried to do too much...this was like that. From beginning to end, she tried to change the song and the reimagining was more like a nightmare.

8. Danny Gokey - "Jesus Take the Wheel"
*Howl of frustration* The first half of the song was a HOT MESS, then all of a sudden he pulls it all together and makes the song magical. If he'd put the front half together as well as the 2nd half, he would have had a moment.

9. Anoop Desai - "You Were Always On My Mind"
Okay...he gets his place on Idol back. Very good.

10. Meghan Joy Corkcrey - "Walkin' After Midnight"
How many times can we look at her and call her performances quirky? It was...okay. I like the old school feel of her voice, but she's gonna have to show me why they loved her voice besides the fact that she sounds like Duffy/Adele/Amy Winehouse.

11. Matt Giraud - "So Small"
Very good vocal. Very good. He took a great song and was able to change it just enough to suit his voice and maintain the quality that made it a great song.

Top 3
Adam, Anoop, and Kris

Bottom 3
Alexis, Scott, Meghan

Homeward bound: Alexis
Meghan sounded okay and Scott has a sympathy vote, so Alexis may go home.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

American Idol - Michael Jackson Week - Quick Version

Posting late so here's my rundown of Michael jackson Week (a week that could've been a trainwreck, but wasn't)

Lil Rounds - The Way You Make me Feel - Sang it well. No shock. No surprise.
Scott MacIntyre - Keep the Faith - With Siedah Garrett in the audience, sang it like an Osmand
Danny Gokey - PYT - Set the bar for all contenders. The one to beat.
Michael Sarver - You are Not Alone - Surprisingly good. Safe, but good.
Jasmine Murray - I'll Be There - Judges were really hard on her, but she sounded really good.
Kris Allen - Remember the Time - A wonderful surprise. Cute, fun, and can sing.
Allison Iraheta - Give In to Me - Lovely little rock gem. Singers fighting their butts off.
Anoop Desai - Beat It - Lackluster. Not as aggressive as it needed to be.
Jorge Nunez - Never Can Say Goodbye - Passable. Not greatness, but not bad.
Megan Joy Corkcrey - Rockin' Robin - Cute and worked well with her voice.
Adam Lambert - Black or White - Judges raved. I want him to bring it down just a hair.
Matt Giraud - Human Nature - Beautifully done.
Alexis Grace - Dirty Diana - Good and gritty, but kinda backed off at the end.

Bottom three - Anoop, Jorge, Jasmine
Homeward bound - Anoop

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Why you don't keep wild animals for a pet.
The woman lost her hands, her nose, her ears, and is still is in critical condition.

And isn't it interesting that she went from pet owner to "SHOOT HIM! SHOOT HIM!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Pussycat Dolls - Bottle Pop

In another life I'm as bad as Nicole.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Royal Caribbean 2008

This is a video another traveler took on our ship. It was amazing!

Caribbean Cruise 2008 - leaving Galveston, Texas

This is pretty much the view we had leaving Galveston this week.

Day 7

Sleepy. Tired. And finding it really difficult to get out of bed in a room that's black as a tomb (no windows, just darkness).

Woke at 11:30a.

Showered and dressed for lunch.


Decided to visit the art auction onboard. Last art auction, purchased 4 works of art, framed and matted. This When your auctioneer says something like "This next piece of work is in everyone's price range...selling for $16,000 in the gallery, we have it starting bid at $6,000..." I find myself going hysterically deaf. Humor of the afternoon: the auctioneer had a heckler. Who did it turn out to be? Paul, Alpha Gay #1. He's sweet-ish, but wow...obnoxious.

Lunch #2 with small talk with Paul after the auction.

Walk around the ship.

Read. Get sleepy.

Discover how thin the walls are in our stateroom.


Dinner. Drama! (Apparently, one of the guests at dinner had a heart attack or died at the table...during the entrees. I mean, stretcher was called and everything. And ironically, that wasn't the first such issue this cruise. According to gossip and eyewitness accounts at our table, one other guest passed away 2 nights prior and had to be taken off the ship by a stretcher in the wee hours of the morning so as not to alarm the other guests. I stayed away from the fish. Just sayin'.) In addition, we found out that 2 women were left behind on Costa Maya. They didn't feel like they needed to abide by the Onboard time, so they continued to shop and figured they would be missed and the ship held until they arrived. As they walked to the ship, the ship was pulling away.

Sad goodbyes all around. We say that we meet good people on every cruise, and this one was no different. Everyone at our table we enjoyed (for one reason or another), so leaving the people we met was a bit sadsies.

Decided to take a walk around the ship one final time, take pictures and see areas of the ship we'd missed. Played one final match of ping-pong (Booman won!) More pictures.

Crap. Time to pack. Check the shells. Kill the remaining spiders. (Ew.) Store the jewelry and vanilla. Then crawl into bed. Early rise for drive back to Dallas.

Day Six: Cozumel

No one should wake up at 6am on their vacation. For any reason. Especially if that reason involves having fun. We had to be up, dressed, fed, and at the end of the pier by 7:15am to get on a bus for the Jungle Hike of Cozumel. Well, at about 6:30am we woke up and managed to find the Windjammer for breakfast before we ran down for the tour. Boo had a rough night of slumber because he had a bit too much sun in Costa Maya and even the tops of his feet hurt. As I watch him dozing beside me now, he’s finally getting a little rest (or he’s worn out from the day we had).

Our guide drove us out to a working ranch 20 minutes into Cozumel, where he explained some of the history of the island, told us about his bad English (coral and corn snake sound an awful lot alike in a thick Spanglish accent), and directed us to fill out a waiver so that in the event one of us is bitten by one of the aforementioned snakes, falls down a well, or has a heart attack on the 4 mi. hike, his company is free and clear.

We arrived at the ranch with the ATV Jungle Tour people who rode on 4-wheel ATVs through the same area. We originally planned to take that tour, but had a MUCH better time than they did, I think…but about that later. The guides gave us water, a granola bar, and a compass in a backpack for two and we trudged off along a trail where he showed us Mayan ruins and gave us some of the history of the Mayan culture as it related to history, science, and their encounter with explorers from the Old World. Plus, he showed us some of the vegetation and how it was used in the Mayan culture. The seba tree is a tree that can grow for over 1000 years, but to ensure that it grows to that ripe old age, it grows thorns at the base of the tree to prevent critters from climbing up it to do damage. After it reaches 1000 years of age, the thorns disappear as it is a much stronger tree, with roots growing DEEP into the soil and down into the underground rivers flowing beneath the island. See? A vacation can be about learning and junk.

As we hiked, our guide proved to us that the grounds we were on were part of a working ranch by showing us that the trail we were walking on was being shared by the cows on the ranch. Guess what he used as evidence? Let’s just say, the size and the smell of it all said we must’ve followed a very regular herd. Gag. That gets me back to the ATV tour. The ATVs often rode on the same trail that we did. You know what happens to mud and stuff when you ride a bike in the rain? How your pretty white shirt isn’t so white in the back? Imagine riding an ATV with 4 wheels riding through fresh cowpatties. You can do the math. The girls that got all cute for the ride in short shorts and a baby tee could NOT have been happy afterward. Just sayin’.

We finished our hike a couple of hours later and headed back to town. The bus lets us off, of course, right at the souvenir shops of the pier, so we did some quick looking before heading up to the ship and having lunch and a shower. After seeing the beautiful blue waters of Cozumel, Booman had to at least dip his toes in it, so we went back down to see if he could wade in the water a bit and shop a bit. Wading was a no go (who wants to swim in an area where no one else is swimming?), but shopping was ON! I’d forgotten that people come down to Mexico for cheap medicine and some questionable pharmaceuticals. As a shopper yelled across the store for the cost of Viagra and Ambien (taken in which order, I don’t know), we were quickly brought back up to speed. Boo got some cinnamon TicTacs (which for some reason we can’t find in the city of Dallas to save our lives, and I picked up a ghetto Red Bull.) We looked around and after being prepped by shoppng in Costa Maya, managed to haggle for some good prices on the stuff we picked up.

Retail/Tourist Tip number 1: When shopping in a foreign country, don’t play the part of the “Ugly American.” We were ushered into a shop to look at the various crack pipes and cunnilingus decorated Corona bottles next to the onyx carved penises and chess set, when we hear from the back of the store the drunken slur of a 30-something American, shall we say, trailer denizen. Hair in island braids and can of Dos Equus in hand, she’s yelling at her momma to “tell ‘im MAS CHEAPER, Momma! We’re AMERICANS!” I looked over my shoulder to make sure Noah from PNS Explosion wasn’t in the room, because she was doing a perfect version of his drunk Jenna Bush. We left the store so as to not be confused with her as a countryman.

The evening’s entertainment was a musical revue by the ship’s singers and dancers. (*Puts on his black tee shirt like Simon Cowell*) The show was okay…it was a musical revue of great movie songs. They began with vaudeville, then jumped around from period to period. Moulin Rouge to Carmen to A Star is Born (both versions) to The Pink Panther, it was a mash-up of great movie songs. Unfortunately, I now understand what Simon means when he says “it all sounds so cruise shipy.” The show was led by two male and two female singers, one Black and one White. The expectations for each of them were pretty basic: sing the songs at least as well the original, or make a decent attempt. The lead White guy came off very cheesy, with the point and wink at the audience when he sang. The high point for him was his lead on the love song from The Return of the King. He made me cringe, tho, when he sang a Southern blues version of a Ray Charles classic and kept sounding like Greg Brady singing a Blues song. He knew he was miscast for the song, but the show must go on. The lead Black guy had a pretty voice, but was being forced to sing songs that were WAY above him. He, again, sounded like Steve Urkel, not Stephan, trying to sing “Georgia.” He had a little soul, but no grit. The two divas shined, I thought. They had some incredible pipes to mimic (Judy, Barbara, Celine, Julie, etc.) and they did a wonderful job, both emoting, and even when miscast, giving a helluva vocal performance. “Le Jazz Hot” was fun and Mimi, the Black diva sang the hell out of Carmen’s English version of the Men are Dogs song. Boo, ever the critical one regarding Barbara, didn’t enjoy “Look Closely Now” as much as he liked Daphne, the White diva’s “The Man that Got Away.” I wanted to love the show. I did. I love a great singer, but when a really good singer phones it in, or doesn’t give the song enough balls (for lack of a better term), it just sucks the life out of the show.

After the show, we headed out to dinner and ran into Paul and Greg in the lobby, talking to 2 other men. Ever have a feeling that the people you just met smelled a fart and it was you? Yeah…that was lovely. Our interaction lasted less than 5 minutes, where we critiqued the performance of the show that our tablemates had JUST WALKED OUT OF, and it looked like we’d just stabbed their baby in the heart in front of them. From that point on, it seemed like the new couple had no use for us and was judging us wanting. Blow me.

Dinner was lovely, our last formal night together, so we spent the evening taking pictures and guilting our head waiter into giving us more mixed berry bowls, as they looked much better than our choices each evening of desserts. (Who wouldn’t love a chilled bowl of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries covered in fresh whipped cream. Yum!

Tomorrow is another day at sea before we land back in Galveston. Vacation is almost over (BOOOOO!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!).

Day Five: Costa Maya, Mexico

We woke up at about 6:30am to get fed and ready for the Jungle Beach Tour on the coast of Costa Maya, Mexico. Costa Maya seems like a sad reflection of what it may have been in the past, but at every turn the natives tell you that the country is in the midst of rebuilding after Hurricane Dean ravaged the city. As you look into the city from the level of cars and such, you don’t notice destruction, so much as dead trees and dry grass. Coming from Dallas, this time of year the grasses and trees looks mostly like that anyway, so it took a look from the upper deck of the ship to truly appreciate how far reaching and complete the devastation was.

A half hour ride brought us to a resort deep in Costa Maya, where the private beach area has been reclaimed and they offered parasailing, scuba diving, kayaking, Sea Dooing, and more, plus an open bar, a restaurant, and a gift shop. Boo and I parked under a palm, spread out and got some sun for a bit before deciding to walk the beach. My Boo loves to walk and given the opportunity, he woulda walked around the complete perimeter of the beach area, but we stopped when we couldn’t see the resort anymore and we feared dead things would pop up from the sand.

The beach area near the resort was raked constantly by the groundskeepers, but past the property, seaweed and trash washed up onto shore until the piles formed a seawall of its own. We started to walk barefoot down the beach, then realized that the hostess wasn’t joking about the possibility of syringes and broken glass along the beach, so we put on our flip flops and moseyed on down the beach. We started collecting shells and coral, then noticed larger shells further up on the beach, so we would walk up and down the beach gathering these gorgeous shells from inland. What was sad was seeing the sheer amounts of crap washed away by the hurricane that had suddenly been rejected by the sea. Baby shoes, sandals, hair product, medicine bottles, tvs, all kinds of crap… We returned to the oohs and ahhs of a couple of ladies who were sunning near us and admiring the haul of seashells and coral we’d made. Soon, they were off on their own hike and returned later with some giant shells of their own. We decided to get some sun and read, so we parked on our beach chairs and tried to read, but mistakenly made eye contact with the people selling parasailing tours. Okay…$100 per couple for 15 minutes of sailing was a bit steep anyway, but their inability to hear “No” made it less and less likely that we weren’t going to go. It kinda became a game then to hear how low they were willing to go to get us onboard. By the end of the day, the sailing was down 25% and the time up an extra 5-10 minutes. I don’t begrudge them the selling of their services in a tough economic environment, but don’t harass me. No sooner than I’d get done with one and start reading again, the other one would wander over “just to check on us “ like suddenly we’d discovered a few more dollars that had magically appeared in our pockets. If money just magically appeared in my pockets, I’d certainly not spend it on parasailing with the not so cute Italian sailor with the cigarette breath.

We dove into the warmish water and swam a bit before walking the other end of the beach. Here we hit the motherlode. Photo ops, fun sandbars, and more importantly, HUGE conch shells in all sorts of colors, just lying around on the beach. What we decided was that the storm either washed all these shells up onto the shore, or it changed the shape of the island and where we were standing might have been underwater over a year ago. Whatever the case, like crackheads in an abandoned crack lab, we ran around picking up the best of the best of the shells. We took what we found to the sea to rinse them out and knock out or drown whatever might have been living inside of it currently (which, in hindsight, we didn’t do NEARLY well enough) and dragged them all back to our towel o’ treasures. Satisfied that we’d done good and had been productive, we went to the restaurant to eat, partake of the free beverages (Pina colada, YUM! Sex on the beach…not so much…) and get ready to leave.

Maria, our hostess, loaded us on the next shuttle back to the pier, where we had the pleasure of riding with the “party group.” Let me just say, I don’t do well with the drunkie former sorority girl whoopin’ and hollerin’ in an enclosed space. Especially if she’s like within arm’s length. She boarded the bus, all ponytail and temporary tatts at volume 11, with her husband, her friend, and her husband’s friend Mike. We know Mike’s name because when they couldn’t sit beside one another on the bus, she hollered his name repeatedly and talked about him the ENTIRE bus trip back. (Which, in retrospect, was done because Mike and his wife must’ve seen the trouble signs ahead… they found a nice pair of seats in the middle of the bus, surrounded by other guests so that, we’ll call her Amber, and her husband, were forced to sit WAY in the back away from them). I shit you not, Amber talked, and talked, and talked and talked for 30 minutes straight about how she could hear Mike up ahead and he was STILL talking… I tried to sleep, but like a freakin’ Tourette’s attack, she’d yell Mike’s name and when he’d ignore her, she’d go back to bitching about Mike and his inability to shut the hell up. Hmmmmm….We finally arrived at the pier and got to get her final bit of sorority girl pride when she, draped across the shoulder of her husband, started yelling “Boomer Sooner, Baby! You UT boys never shut the hell up!” at Mike when he stood up to get off the ship. The knowing looks on the faces of the people seated around us said we’d all give our last dollar and a kidney just for a muzzle.

We dropped off the shells in our room, showered, then went to grab a bit o’ food. The pier was full of some great shops (and I LOVE to shop), so we went back down and picked up some souveniers for friends and family. (Mental note for next cruise to Mexico: bargain! First, we coulda got a better deal on most of the stuff we picked up: vanilla, jewelry, tee shirts, etc. if we’d just bargained. I forget I’m not in America and they expect you to bargain. A couple of shopkeepers got a couple of high payin’ suckers on the first round of shopping, but I’ll remember next time. What we got was beautiful and we had fun, so that’s all that mattered.)

We make it back to our room and decide we need to clean the shells with the high powered sprayer of the showerhead. As we open up the towel, we realize, to our horror, that ummm…we had passengers that we’d smuggled aboard. By passengers, I mean 2 or more huge, Peter-Brady-in-the-Hawaiian-episode-of-the-Brady-Bunch spiders. Luckily, I saw them and Boo didn’t. If he’d seen them when he opened the towel the first time, only the dogs on the pier would have heard the scream. I took the heel of my Via Spiga to them (their dress shoes have like Doc Marten heels…huge, blockish, and heavy as hell). I never saw them again, because I kept the towel wrapped around them and wadded it up in the floor of the bathroom for the Save our Oceans program person to pick up when he did his next laundry run for our room. God bless his soul when he flips that towel open again.

That particular hazard avoided, I cranked the hot water in the shower and sprayed the hell out of the shells that might’ve been the home to any additional critters. We still managed to flush out another pair of smaller spiders that had been hiding and waiting to kill us in the night. Bastards. Luckily, we didn’t decide to give the shells away as a gift to our tablemates. The scene in my mind of the carnage following a spider landing in a lap of any of our dining companions is both funny and horrific at the same time.

Dinner was Italian and wanted to be truly delicious, but I think that we’re a little too coached in the ways of critiquing food in the manner of Top Chef/Gordon Ramsey. My plates were done well and the presentation impeccable. Boo’s lamb was overcooked and the sauce ladled on with too heavy a hand. Desserts were just lovely, and our waitstaff sang “O Solo Mio” to us mid-dinner.

Afterward, we hit the casino for some gambling, or as I like to call it, “feeding the machine some money so someone else can go home richer.” Jack and I started out ahead and managed to parley that into utter defeat on both fronts. So, we strolled back to our room for blogging and slumber, because Friday was an early morning wake-up in Cozumel!

Day Four: Roatan Honduras

We got up early-ish for our first land day of the cruise. Roatan, Honduras is a beautiful island in the Caribbean all of 1-2 miles across and 43 miles long. We had a day of Kayaking and snorkeling planned, so we loaded up our plates and then met our tour group on the pier. After a short bus ride, we arrived at the West End of the island for our workout of a day.

Snorkeling happened after we arrived at the Sea Breeze hotel. Owner Keith drove us up the mountain and explained some of the politics of living as an American on an island in the Caribbean (daughter trilingual and going to school here, and in the States, and mother is Dutch…foreigners want to keep dirt roads filled with potholes, while natives would LOVE to be able to have paved roads…) We had 3 snorkeling/kayaking guides who got us loaded up and walked across to the crystal blue waters lapping up on the beach. While waiting, I noticed my Baby staring at this Honduran guy standing off to the side. As he was not AT ALL his type (read: ugly and looking mostly like he was reeree and stemming on the feeling of his finger up his nose), I wondered out loud what he was looking at.

“You didn’t see that?” he asked.
“No…he cruisin’ you? Looking for a bit o’ the White meat?”
“No…he kept holding his thumb to his nose, then putting his fingers together like he was smoking something. I think he was trying to sell me drgs right here on the beach.”
“Typical. You get that a lot when we’re on vacation. Druggie.”
Sadly, that is the case with us when we are in the nations that traffick heavily in drugs. In Cancun alone, within a few blocks, Baby was offered crack, pot, a whore (the dealers’ sister) and a one-legged whore (his brother, once he got the gist that we were gay.

So we slip on our gear and climb into the water with the beginners’ group (I’m prone to foot cramps and slow swimming, so Babyman thought it prudent.) We saw turtles, spiny lobster, and clownfish, plus a long blue Jack. About an hour later we swam back to the beach and headed to the hotel for lunch. The house parrot greeted us, while the house Lab pretty much wandered around getting petted and scratched behind his ears. The house rat stayed in his/her/its cage and just ate while we waited for lunch. Yes…pet rat. About 10 pounds, huge brown, and kinda creepy, they had him perched in a cage near the patio lounge where patrons ate.

Kayaking began after lunch, and we rowed from our beach about a mile down to a stopping point, where we rested and strolled around the beach area for a bit. I’m in decent shape, but I do not kayak every day, so my shoulders ached after a bit. Mostly because I was trying to keep the ship righted and my Boo was, I assume, doing the same thing. Whatever the case may have been, there was way too much work involved and we still had to paddle back. Ouch.

The paddle back was easier, as we stayed a little closer to the shore, but I will pay for it in suffering for the next few days. When we returned, we had about an hour to kill before we returned to the ship, so we walked around the little city and shopped a bit and took pictures of the plants and vegetation. We returned just in time to board the bus and ride back to the ship, with freshly minted copies of “Twilight” and “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” on DVD. Who knew Honduras got DVD’s before the rest of the world?

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Lunch, ping pong, miniature golf, nap, dinner, then walking around the ship awhile before bed. The evening was lovely and the weather near-perfect, so we set sail through the night for the next location: Costa Maya.