Dancing with the Stars Week 6

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on October 30, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

Barry Manilow is OUT OF TUNE and over the hill. And that’s all I have to say about that. Out of tune.

Cheryl and Louis were firecrackers, however.

Jane and Tony are safe. I am so wrong. And worried. I fear Marie is on the block, and perhaps Jennie or Cameron.

Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann. Eah. Not my format. I don’t like the American Idol-style audition process. Which would be why I watch this instead of that.

Crafty, show. Usually the musical guest gets one number with dancers, one number by themselves. I can’t fast-forward Mr. OUT OF TUNE because he’s got two dance numbers and I watch for the dancing. Crafty, you evil show. And what exactly were those hitches in the piano music that was supposedly live? They sounded like digital hiccups.

Bottom two: Cameron and Edyta, Sabrina and Mark. I’m stunned. So is Len. Moron voters.

Out: I cannot believe that just happened. Sabrina was hands-down the best dancer on the show. The implications are bad: Her lack of name recognition could only have been a detriment among older viewer/voters, where the names Seymour and Osmond resonate. Which just makes the fickleness and lack of taste among the voters that much more shameful. Wake up, people. Vote for the talent.

I am dispirited enough to stop watching, almost. We’ll see. Who’s left? Helio? Please. He’s okay, but he’s like that soap-opera chick from the first season–the best they had at the time. This will be a dull finish to a solid, though not as amazing as Tom tries to make it out every week, season. The flash was in the last two seasons, with three or four amazing couples duking it out at the end. I don’t watch to see four mediocres going at it. This is just sad.

Goodbye, Sabrina, you will be sorely missed. May this translate into exposure and work for you.

Into the Maw

Filed under:Sports — posted by Anwyn @ 10:44 am

I wish you much luck, Joe Girardi, you were always one of my favorites when you caught for the Cubs. But at the same time, I fear you’re actually going to need it.

I Wasn’t Going to Do This Again…

Filed under:Television — posted by Anwyn on October 29, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

… but oops. There’s just too much fun here not to blog it. Dancing with the Stars, baby, bottomless blogger well. Besides, Gib likes it.

Sabrina and Mark, foxtrot. That foxtrot rocked. The foxtrot is sort of boring in general, and while I can understand that this one didn’t stoke the traditionalist fire, a la Len and Bruno and their eights, Carrie Ann gave it what it was worth. They were spot-on. I still say they have a little thing for each other.

Jennie and Derek, mambo. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Mambo is your dance, girl. The judges might say they have a little too few actual mambo steps, but the dance is full of fun and life. Judges say: Steam heat, says Bruno. Right on. Carrie Ann recognizes it too: Great time. Len: “Exceptional performance.” Nice.

Oh. God. Barry Manilow tomorrow night? Count me out of that. TiVo fast-forward, here I come.

Geez. Does anybody know how many calories in a bottle of wine? It’s getting bad around here, let me tell you. Trip-nines for Jennie and Derek!

Jane and Tony, jive. Jive. Jive. Doctor Quinn doing the jive. I have such a bad feeling about this. Oh, baby, navy swabs standing to attention for Jane Seymour. You better feel that, girl. Ouch–that’s not really jive music. They’re doing their game best, however. She’s got the steps but not the flair. As the dance goes on she gets downright clunky, alas. I hope Bruno is not still blinded by the elegance. Judges say: Carrie Ann likes the vibrance but knows that it wasn’t Jane’s dance. Len: It’s not you. Right. Bruno: Class act, but … not your most comfortable. Right on. Eight-seven-seven. Oh dear. Who Goes Home? (Hugo’s Home.) Ten-point bonus to anybody getting that reference without looking it up, SeeDub.

Cameron and Edyta, … these outfits scare me. Conan the Sambarian? Oh. My. Gosh. Look at that little Brazilian girl. She is the bomb. … Okay, this is sweet. This is his dance. He’s got it, baby. This guy is going to be hard to oust, as eventually he must be ousted, but it’ll be a hot ride till he’s finished. Judges say: Len is disturbed. No spirit of samba. Bruno: Captain Smith and Pocahontas … I don’t know why they can’t see past the costumes if I can. A-ha, Carrie Ann says “real passion, I got it, I loved it.” That’s my girl. Nine-eight-eight.

A little secret: I love Tom Bergeron. I’ve loved him since the new incarnation of America’s Funniest Home Videos. He is sweet, realistic, supportive, a little naughty, and down to earth. He is a consummate host and seems like a wonderful guy. I’m totally on the outs with SarahK over Samantha Harris vs. Drew Lachey–it’s totally great she had a baby, but I’d have loved it if Drew’d stuck around a few weeks more. However, Samantha finally, finally seems to be settling into her job and is more than a bobbleheaded mouthpiece. Maybe having a baby has made her cut to the chase. You’re worlds better, Samatha, keep it up.

Mel B. and Maks, rhumba. Oh boy, this oughtta be good. A second secret: Maks is friggin’ gorgeous. He is a bit too much of a pretty boy for my usual taste, but there is something smoking about him that I just cannot resist. Keep it up, boy. The dance:Holy smoke. The rhumba has always been his dance, and now it turns out it’s hers too. Wow. Synergy is an incredible thing: Last week it was nobody’s dance, this week it’s everybody’s. Judges say: Bruno, “Right in the fine line between love and hate.” Uh, no. All love, dude. “Excellent.” Yah. Carrie Ann: Mesmerised. No doubt. Len: Loved it. Woot! Ten-ten-ten. Wow.

This is the best episode of the season thus far.

They’re going to show the faint again. Slump, slump, crash. Poor Marie.

Marie and Jonathan, paso doble: Ooh, she’s gorgeous in rehearsal. This could be, yet again, her dance. Hmm. She looks a bit animatronic, but I don’t really know that in the paso that’s a disadvantage. Very traditional. Ooh, slick line from Tom, who must be of an age with Marie: “I think that’s the longest I’ve ever seen an Osmond not smile.” Judges say: Carrie Ann uncomfortable with Marie literally on the floor while Jonathan danced around her–too much faint taint. Played just a hair safe. Len: Pause. But back on with it again, dramatic. Bruno: Catherine Zeta Cranky. Ouch. Eight-eight-seven. Ouch.

Helio and Julianne, cha-cha-cha: Cha-cha is typically a man’s best friend. Here we go … Disco cha-cha-cha? Um. Well, they’ve got the moves. I’ve got to give props to the judges for even being able to look at Helio with Julianne out there. She is positively incandescent. Judges say: Len says comeback. Fantastic. Bruno: rebranded and regenerated, back in the race. Carrie Ann concurs. Nine-ten-nine. Wow. Bit much. I think Len was watching Julianne.

Group routine: These are usually a train wreck. Okay, not so much this time. Everybody’s got some moves, especially Cameron and Edyta with that lift and Marie and Jonathan with that jitterbug. Ugly ending. “Excuse me, let me hang between your legs and look up at your bum.” No, I don’t think so.

Prediction time. Bottom two: Jane Seymour and, stab to my heart, Marie Osmond. Going home: Jane Seymour. This is pain time. Somebody actually good has got to go.

I’m Kind of Tipsy

Filed under:Heh,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 8:04 pm

Which I’m going to use as my excuse both for linking the Huffy Post and for finding this somewhat hot. The Obama part, not the Ellen part, I hasten to add. SOMEWHAT, I said.

Ever tried Estancia Cabernet? I highly recommend it.

I had to type the period in that last sentence three times before I could make it be not a >.

Via (where else) Allah’s Fun House.

The whole thing reminds me, vis-a-vis Bill’s saxophone, of the time Billy Joel went on Letterman on his first night at CBS (or it may have been his last night at NBC). Dave told him he’d heard that Billy had been invited to Martha’s Vineyard to “jam” with Clinton, but that he hadn’t gone. Billy, my love, said (paraphrased), “Yeah, it wasn’t anything political or anything like that. I just didn’t think it would be a very good jam.”

My boy. Right on.

Prayers, If You’re the Type

Filed under:It's My Life — posted by Anwyn @ 7:05 pm

A friend, this one, is on her way to California to provide support and food for the firefighters and/or displaced persons.

Also, my cousin, this one, deployed to Afghanistan last month. He told me when I saw him over the summer that the air force had recently changed the regs on ground crew carrying their M-16s–they are now required to carry them, whereas before they weren’t supposed to. I didn’t know whether to cheer or cry–I don’t want my cousin in the badlands without his gun, but they must consider the danger to the ground crews greater, or they wouldn’t have changed the regs.

Godspeed and good work.

Is This Headline a Joke?

Filed under:9/11,Need a Good Editor?,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 11:02 am

Worrying about “the Americans” more than “the importance of avoiding a Muslim backlash” in the wake of 9/11 is taken as evidence of “Tony Blair’s Corrosive Allegiance to George Bush Laid Bare for the First Time.” If the authors of the book being excerpted don’t have any stronger tea up their sleeves than that … zzz. The cognitive dissonance is pretty stunning, as well:

Blair followed the call by sending Bush a five-page memo, outlining his thoughts. (“His memo is a lot better than yours,” Bush would tease his staff. “That’s why I listen to him.”)

Blair argued the Taliban regime should be given an ultimatum: hand over Bin Laden or face attack.

He also argued that restarting the Middle East peace process should be a priority.

Finally, he stressed the cancer was not confined to Afghanistan, nor indeed Al Qaeda.

They would have to act against all who financed or supported terrorism.

Blair thought those things himself? Wrote a memo to Bush on the subject? Instead of allowing Bush to lead him around by the ring in his nose? Huh. I could’ve sworn the headline said …

The “sense being communicated by the US”, Campbell wrote later, was “that they were constantly trying to link Iraq into the equation. TB was keen to pull it back”.

Tony Blair was not all that gung-ho to get into Iraq? I don’t know, man … the headline sure said …

It is to laugh. Really.

Got it from Allah’s headlines. Of course.

Fine, Red Sox

Filed under:Heh,Sports — posted by Anwyn @ 7:51 am

Have your party.

I think this leaves my Cubs as the last goat in baseball.

At least I still have my Colts and their now world-beating QB.

Pictures and Solidarity

Filed under:Blogging — posted by Anwyn on October 28, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

I’m putting my picture up.

Many of my favorite female bloggers have their pictures up, and I like having a face to put with the name. And in fact, if you image-search “Anwyn,” my picture is already available from the good ol’ TORn days. It’s time I put up a picture for search engines to find in which I’m not wearing a flannel hiking shirt fifteen sizes too big. And hey, some of us are getting together to chat; you’re going to need to know how to recognize me.

And then there are others of my favorite female bloggers who have declined to have their picture up because of jerks and morons. And no woman should have to retire their picture in disgust because of the lowest common denominator of degenerate blog cruisers. So let me clarify my picture policy right now–and this is for anybody who’s come here at random, as I know anybody who reads here regularly is far too polite even to think of doing this: Do not take time out of your day, as Rachel puts it, to tell me what’s wrong with my face. You will most likely be ignored, but if I’m feeling cattish you will receive a summary email beating along the lines of my comment on Rachel’s post. If you want to take a moment of your time to tell me I’m smokin’ hot, by all means feel free, but otherwise I simply do not care about your opinion on the subject, so don’t bother either yourself or me providing it. Likewise, do not email me offering hookups, trysts, or any other clandestine affairs.

That said … that’s what I look like. You’re welcome. And no, the wee arm around my neck is not an extra appendage–it is separate from me and attached to my son, who thinks Mom’s neck is his arm’s second home. I’m okay with that.

Evidently There’s Nothing I Hate More Than Housework

Filed under:Blogging,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on October 27, 2007 @ 2:32 pm

Because I actually started browsing the directions for upgrading WordPress just so I wouldn’t go back to the housework yet. Upgrade has to happen sometime soon. But housecleaning has to happen today.

Back to housework I go.

What I Learned About Medical Marijuana

Filed under:Not Cool,Politics,Wacky Oregon — posted by Anwyn on October 26, 2007 @ 11:10 am

Or, This is My Legislature on Drugs.

This fall I’ve been attending Citizens’ Academy, the class put on by the police to show us how they do things. It’s highly informative and entertaining. Last night we got an introduction to narcotics and some of the issues surrounding them. While it was all interesting, the most eye-opening part was not about meth or any other of the big nasties, but about good ol’ marijuana. Oregon has a medical marijuana program in place, voted in by the good ol’ citizens of the state in 1998. The loopholes in this law are big enough to drive army trucks through.

Want to know what it takes to get a medical marijuana card? It takes, basically, going to the right doctor and telling him/her you have a lot of chronic pain with no specific findable cause. Look at these statistics the police showed us. The numbers aren’t current-year but are illuminating as to the overall program.

Patient Condition Resulting in MM Card ……………………………………. # of Patients

HIV/AIDS ……………………………………………………………………….. 289
Cancer ………………………………………………………………………….. 381
Nausea ………………………………………………………………………….. 2637
Seizures …………………………………………………………………………. 427
Pain ……………………………………………………………………………… 12,000 (approx.)
Glaucoma ……………………………………………………………………….. 237
Muscle spasms …………………………………………………………………. 2796

One of these things is not like the others. Actually, about three of them are not like the others. The numbers are overwhelmingly disproportionate to unspecific conditions like “pain,” “muscle spasms,” and “nausea.”

There are three classifications of people in the medical marijuana program: Patients, caregivers, and growers. A patient can be in possession of up to 24 growing plants–six mature, 18 immature, and 1.5 pounds of processed marijuana at any given time. Do you know how much weed 1.5 pounds is? Because I didn’t. Apparently if you smoke two joints per day for a year, you might use up a pound. So a patient can possess a cache of MJ big enough to last a regular recreational user at least a year at any one time.

It gets better. Growers are permitted to grow plants for up to four patients at once, meaning they can be in legal possession of up to 96 plants and/or six pounds of processed stash at any given time. Caregivers, who, as far as I can tell, do not have to be medical personnel in any form (though a doctor does have to sign off on the initial card application), can “treat” unlimited patients, which in theory means they can be in possession of an unlimited amount of weed at any given time. And people can hold dual citizenship, so to speak, as both growers and caregivers.

The patients are not charged for the marijuana. Which is to say, it is illegal for the grower to bill the patient for the substance, because that would then actually be drug trafficking of an FDA Schedule 1 drug (Schedule 1 substances officially have “no medicinal value.”) The grower can ask the patient to “reimburse” his expenses–and growing weed indoors is phenomally expensive, due to the special lights and rivers of electricity it requires. Let me ask you: Outside this “reimbursement,” what possible incentive would anybody have to grow free marijuana for patients? None at all. Unless he thought he could get a little action on the side. That’s where the army truck loophole comes in. Street price of a pound of marijuana? According to our instructing officers, about $3,000.

Somebody in our class wanted to know how this law squares with applicable federal laws applying to controlled subustances. The answer is “it doesn’t.”

“The (state) Act neither protects marijuana plants from seizure nor individuals from prosecution if the federal government chooses to take action against patients or caregivers under the federal Controlled Substances Act.”

The whole thing strikes me as covert legalization right under the nose of the federal governent, which has far more pressing concerns even in the drug department–such as huge outdoor grows and the flow of drugs over both borders–to bother with home-grown guys operating under the scant legal cover of the Oregon law.

I don’t even have to take a position on the premise of the law to know that the law itself, as written, is moronic BS. If somebody calls the county’s drug-enforcement team and tells them they think somebody in their neighborhood is growing Mary Jane because they smell it or something like that, the police can’t call the MM program and find out if there is a legal grow in that area. If they have a specific address they can find out whether that house is registered as a grow site or not, but even if they end up with a warrant to check out a legal grow site and find the law being broken, they can only seize the number of plants by which the grower is over the limit. Our detective told us, “We’re nice! We even let them pick the plants they want to keep!” And once the bust is made, the public cannot be told that this was a “legal” grower patently abusing the law the voters granted him–privacy rules apply.

Message to Salem: Quit smoking the stuff and start regulating it. Get Oregon’s reps and senators to introduce a federal legalization bill. Stop subverting federal law.

Credit Where It’s Due

Filed under:Cool,Politics — posted by Anwyn on October 25, 2007 @ 8:52 am

Tell the scum exactly how it lies, President Bill.

Not trying to take anything away from Bill, here, but isn’t it sad that so few of our current politicians are willing to do this that it becomes an occasion for major notice?

Update: Survey of Rachel Lucas says: Still a jerk. Though her word is much stronger and more appropriate. True enough, but the stellar cast of extra-big, um, jerks lining up behind him in his party who keep giving these malignant morons the time of day have worked their dirty inclusive magic often enough that Bill looks like a stand-up guy by contrast. What a world.

Or Maybe He Wants to Be Vice President.

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn on October 24, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

I hate to flout the wisdom of Allah, because we all know what happens to people who do that, but here’s the Hill article on what Giuliani would expect to get out of a Brownback endorsement:

“It would be absolutely huge,” said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. “It would mean that Giuliani is getting support form a part of the Republican Party that has been hostile to him.

“Brownback is very well-respected,” Baker added. “It would give a lot of social conservatives and evangelicals cover if they want to support Giuliani.”

And here’s what Allah has to say about that:

In theory Rudy would leverage Brownback’s campaign infrastructure in Iowa to close the yawning gap between him and Mitt, but how likely is that to happen? The most committed social con base in the country, pounding the pavement for the lone pro-choice Republican simply because their candidate of choice asked them to? I don’t think so … there’s no earthly way he’s going to endorse Giuliani. He’s just hinting at it to make the value of his endorsement more precious later, when it inevitably goes to some social con and the press eats it up as proof that the religious base can’t in good conscience vote for Rudy. But of course Rudy’s got to go through the motions and meet with him anyway lest he duck him and it be seen as a snub.

Or maybe he wants the vice presidency, thinks Giuliani’s the likeliest one to hand it to him, and also believes he can get his people on board whether they know he will be the VP nominee or not. Is it impossible that this timing, so soon after all the furor over Dobson, et. al., is not a coincidence? Given that the folks at those meetings could just have endorsed a candidate more in line with their views, like, say, I don’t know, Brownback perhaps, yet didn’t, choosing instead to try to strong-arm voters by declaring their intentions this far before the primary, it could well be that Brownback’s wrapping a little resentment and his VP hopes up into one nice little endorsement package? Christmas comes early for Giuliani and much later for the Brownback pro-lifers who get to have their candidate with his foot in the door for a future run.

I guess we’ll find out who’s right soon enough.

What Up, Craiglist People?

Filed under:It's My Life,Jerks — posted by Anwyn @ 9:23 pm

Why is craigslist populated by more than its share of jerks and idiots?

I’m trying to sell three cast iron skillets. A woman emails about one of the skillets, says she wants to come over tomorrow (yesterday) and get it … unless, of course, where I live is too far from where she is. Is it? she wants to know. Um. You can use craigslist but not Mapquest? I tell her roughly where I am. She says she wants to come get the skillet. Fine. I give her directions and all. She doesn’t show. She emails to say she got hung up at work and couldn’t email me in a timely manner. Fine. She emails again to say she deleted the email with my directions. . o O (???) Fine. I email them to her again. She’ll come over tomorrow (today).

She doesn’t show. Again. This time no email.

I hope she’s just too darned emabarrassed to email since she left me hanging yet again. But somehow, I doubt it.

Not the first time for this kind of thing with craigslist. Not the first time.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace