The reason I havenâ€™t written in a week and a half is because last week I was in New York on a family vacation. It was fun. Got to see people I havenâ€™t seen in five years, but it also reminded me about the east coast lifestyle. Wow. Iâ€™m a west coast guy. Itâ€™s like Iâ€™m in another country when I go to the east coast to visit family. A few things about my trip:
-I forgot how real Italian family dinners are served. Last Saturday night was my Grandmaâ€™s 85th birthday. And I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve eaten that much in my whole life. Once I got there, the buffet was spread out. So when I see a buffet, I start pigging out. Unbeknownst to me, this was the first course in what seemed like about a 12 course meal. The party started at 7, and the main course didnâ€™t come til 10. In between that time, I put myself in a food coma. When youâ€™re salad is like the fourth thing that appears at your table, you know youâ€™re in for a big meal. I wasnâ€™t prepared.
-Riding the subway was fun. Especially asking the guy behind the counter questions about our ticket. What a nice gentleman he was. Iâ€™m sure he loves his job. He sure acts like it. All we wanted to do was go see Ground Zero and this jackass was acting like we were asking him to split the atom. Then again, if I was stuck in a little box all day, I probably wouldnâ€™t be the nicest person either.
-When you live in New York City and you want to go on a date into the city, do you just take a cab, or train, or do you risk your life and drive yourself? I know Iâ€™m not used to it, but I know thereâ€™s no way Iâ€™d ever want to drive on the same street as those taxis. Why do they even paint lines on the street? These people clearly create their own lanes. And God forbid any of them even know what the brake is. Driving in a taxi in downtown is a whole experience in itself. And one that I wouldnâ€™t suggest to anyone not from there. How there isnâ€™t an accident every five minutes is beyond me.
-One highlight of the weekend was going to the Rangers hockey game on Tuesday night. Why? Not necessarily because Iâ€™m a big hockey fan, but because of who sang the national anthem. Becky Oâ€™Donahue, the hottie from this season of â€œAmerican Idolâ€ whoâ€™s a New York native, sang the anthem. We all remember her. Got booted for singing that Pat Benatar song, has a twin sister she did Maxim with three years ago, etc. But what really made it special was when halfway through, a true New Yorker yelled at the top of his lungs, â€œShow your tits!â€ For the last half of the anthem, the crowd was cheering like crazy for her. You had to be there.
-And that night, I wore my â€œ24â€ shirt in honor of President Logan, and got two compliments on it. One woman in the gift shop told me I â€œmust be trouble.â€ I am lady. Donâ€™t mess with me. Iâ€™ve got CTU running through my blood. Donâ€™t come near me or I might have to thrash you. Or not. Oh yeah, the Rangers won in a shootout.
-Sports are just a different animal on the east coast. Out here, people only cheer when something good happens, if they decide to cheer at all. Those New Yorkers were into that game from the time they first dropped the puck. These two Vinnieâ€™s sitting in front of me were arguing all third period about which Ranger line shouldâ€™ve been out there. Huh? What? Not even being a Ranger, or hockey fan for that matter, I got a kick out of it. And after the game, any fan wearing a Flyer jersey was continuously heckled by Ranger fans. Quite amusing.
-Flight home was interesting. A six hour flight was made into eight hours when we had to sit on the runway for an extra two. First they told us they were doing plane maintenance. Then after an hour, I kid you not, the pilot comes on and says, â€œThe maintenance has been taken care of, but since our plane is already delayed, theyâ€™re letting the planes that are scheduled to leave on time take off, so we have to wait for them.â€ Are you kidding me? Iâ€™d rather you lie and tell me youâ€™re still working on the plane. So basically we waited another hour because, well, we were already late, so letâ€™s make them even later. Great logic.
-How my 21 month old niece lasted 8 hours on a plane is still a miracle to me, especially considering Olivia only slept for two of the eight hours we were on it. She had two crying/screaming fits in eight hours, which I consider pretty good. About halfway through, when the battery went out on her â€œBaby Einsteinâ€ DVD, it was not good times. She good a real good cry and scream in for about 5 minutes. Then for about ten minutes as we were starting our descent, her ears started hurting, and that was a good solid 10 minutes of â€œMa MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!â€, while holding her ears. But what can you do?
-Also on this trip, for the first time my niece started calling me by name. Sort of. She doesnâ€™t say â€œUncle Stephenâ€ yet. But she does call me â€œTi Ti.â€ We think sheâ€™s trying to say, â€œSteve Steveâ€, but weâ€™re not sure. All I know is Iâ€™m now recognized as â€œTi Tiâ€. Iâ€™ll take what I can get. And yes, Olivia still thinks her name is â€œEeee-I-Oâ€ from Old McDonald. â€œWhereâ€™s Olivia?â€ She points to herself. â€œWhatâ€™s your name?â€ Itâ€™s â€œEeee-I-O.â€ I donâ€™t get it either.
Ok, enough about my trip. I could go on, but itâ€™s getting late and I definitely need to talk about some shows here. So of course, letâ€™s begin with my favoriteâ€¦.
-Forgot to tell you, two Wednesdays ago, I was admitted to the local hospital around 9:50 after suffering mild heart failure. Yeah, ironically enough, it coincided with Katharine falling into the final two with Lisa. I mean, I knew she wouldnâ€™t lose to her, but I honestly canâ€™t remember the last time I was so nervous for something so meaningless. Wow. But Iâ€™ve got the defibrillator now and everythingâ€™s cool. The doctor said I just need to hook it up if I see Katharine in the final three again. Or if sheâ€™s half naked on stage.
-Iâ€™m glad Simon finally said what Iâ€™ve thought about Bucky all along: I canâ€™t understand a word he says when talks or sings. Yet of course, that same week, he avoids the final three. Thatâ€™s two weeks in a row heâ€™s avoided it. Please. At least Kevinâ€™s gone now. But Bucky cannot possibly stay much longer can he?
-I have no idea how promiscuous Paris Bennett is, but if weâ€™re gonna judge that by the songs she sings, Iâ€™m willing to say sheâ€™s been around the block. Câ€™mon. Doesnâ€™t anyone else get the least bit uncomfortable when this little sweet innocent 17 year old is gyrating around on stage singing, â€œBrothaâ€™s gonna work it outâ€? Iâ€™m sure pedophiles across the land are salivating over her performances.
-I donâ€™t get the Elliott craze. He definitely doesnâ€™t have the look, but I think heâ€™s just an average singer. The guyâ€™s more of a rapper than a singer. Did you catch the hooded sweatshirt act a couple weeks ago when he sang, â€œI Donâ€™t Wanna Beâ€? Please. Leave that song to Bo. I thought Elliottâ€™s version was mediocre at best. Simon might want to take back that â€œYou have the potential to be the best male vocalist weâ€™ve ever had.â€ Uhhhh, no.
-Commerical. Sorry. But this one has to be addressed. Do you know what the slogan is for â€œAlwaysâ€, you know, that womenâ€™s hygiene product? Ummmm, itâ€™s â€œHave a happy period.â€ Thatâ€™s just wrong. More importantly, itâ€™s factually incorrect. There isnâ€™t a woman in America whoâ€™s capable of having a happy period. Itâ€™s never been done. Ever. False advertising and â€œAlwaysâ€ should be sued. Iâ€™ve stated my case. Moving onâ€¦
-When did Kenny Rogers shave his big white beard? Why wasnâ€™t I notified about this? I knew he had plastic surgery, but no more â€œGambler/Islands in the Streamâ€ hefty white beard anymore? Boooooooooo. That was like the worst part of Tuesday nightâ€™s show. That and everyone trying to sing country. Whoa that was bad. Only Katharineâ€™s was acceptable cuzâ€™ she tried to sex it up. Uh huh. Work it girl. Word. You aw-ite. Skeet skeet. Now Iâ€™m speaking in dialect suited for 16 year old white kids wanting to be black. Iâ€˜m truly sorry.
-So Rachel Bilson is really an â€œAmerican Idolâ€ fan enough to attend the Tuesday performances? Has nothing to do with her show also being on Fox, does it? Of course not. Well, as long as there into cross-promotion, can we possibly get a Keifer sighting tomorrow night? Maybe heâ€™s a real big fan of Buckyâ€™s? Or not. If Keifer Sutherland was ever spotted at an â€œAmerican Idolâ€ show, I think Audrey Raines just might have to shoot him.
-Paulaâ€™s name is in the news yet again. Apparently got shoved into a wall at a recent party and sheâ€™s filing a complaint with the police. Are we sure she was shoved and didnâ€™t just stumble into a wall after she mixed her pills with red bull and vodka? Whatever the case, Iâ€™m sure itâ€™ll all turn out for the best for Paula. Always does. Hey, â€œIdolâ€ just gave her a 3 year contract extension one day after reports came out they were on the verge of firing her. What her appeal is besides being a MILF I have no idea. Even though she doesnâ€™t have kids, sheâ€™s still a MILF. But only so many times can she tell every single singer how much of an inspiration they are.
-Saw where Ace went back to singing like a chick and breathing all his lyrics last week. I guess if he does that every week, he can avoid the bottom three. He is trying waaaaaay too hard and frankly, heâ€™s not really that good of a singer. He wonâ€™t make the final four.
-I guess Kellie was in her element last week singing country. I didnâ€™t particularly care for her performance though. I thought she was more in her element with her breasts hanging out of her red top. Whoever does the wardrobe for the show deserves a raise after last week. Yowza. Anytime Kellie wants to wear that top again, Iâ€™m all for it. In fact, that should be the top she wears every week from here on out. With nothing else. Except high black boots. Sorry.
-So this week we get performances of â€œQueenâ€ songs. Well, letâ€™s just hope Chris isnâ€™t dumb enough to try and match Constantineâ€™s â€œBohemian Rhapsodyâ€ from last season. Iâ€™m sure he will though. He likes copying what other people do.
-You notice how this season, Seacrest Out doesnâ€™t say â€œSeacrest Outâ€ anymore? Iâ€™m sure that has nothing to do with his sexuality either. And Simon dropping the â€œDesperate Housewivesâ€ line on him last week was classic. Of course Seacrest Out got so flustered, all he could come back with was ripping the color of Simonâ€™s shirt. Uhhh, Ryan, in case you havenâ€™t noticed, Simon only wears four colors of tight fitting shirts: Light blue, cream, gray, and black. Thatâ€™s it.
-They are definitely listening to the message boards and what not on the show. Two weeks ago, they made it a point that Chris acknowledged his performance of â€œWalk the Lineâ€ or whatever song that was was from the band â€œLiveâ€™sâ€ album. Then last week, they straight up ask Kellie if her dumb blonde routine is genuine or if its an act. I guess us internet people do have influence. Hey Ryan, how about this week you ask Ace if heâ€™s still boinking his co-star from that bad UPN show he was on?
-Thursday was the classic bait and switch by the â€œSurvivorâ€editors. In efforts not to make us think the old La Mina tribe isn’t getting picked off one by one, they show us Terry trying to recruit Bruce and Danielle only to have us thinking the whole time that Danielle will go through with it. Made perfect sense for her to do it and, of course, she ended up not doing it. And why didnâ€™t she go along with that plan?
-At the beginning of the season, I didn’t like Danielle. But the more tight boob shots of her we get, the more I like her. Thatâ€™s not very shallow at all, is it? Didnâ€™t think so.
-Has Terry become this season’s Tom? I say no only because, I don’t think there’s anyone left on the island that can even remotely compete with Terry. At least Tom had some competition I remember. But terry’s still been impressive nonetheless. I can’t imagine him losing any physical immunity challenge the rest of the way.
-Why do I not see a final four of Aras, Shane, Courtney, and Cirie? Other than the fact that Terry is pretty much guaranteed final four status because of the idol. I think itâ€™s safe enough for Casaya to start picking off a few of their own if they want. But leave Danielle and her bikini for the time being.
-I thought the season could’ve really taken a major turn for the better on Thursday if Bruce and Danielle jump ship. And the immunity idol from Exile island really puts some interesting strategy into the game. Too bad we haven’t seen it happen yet. It’s turning out to be a dud.
-I love how Danielle and Austin formed such a tight bond on Exile island last week, that when she had a chance to not only advance herself in the game, but keep Austin around, that bond basically was worth nothing and she booted him off. Yet another bit of tricky editing by the producers.
REAL WORLD: KEY WEST
-The more I watch this show, the more I find myself asking the same questions every week: â€œOk, which RW/RR veteran is gonna be the first to drill Svetlana when she goes on the next Gauntlet/Inferno/Battle of the Sexes?â€ Since the Miz is no longer an option and has begun his wrestling career, my moneyâ€™s on Alton. Wes will try and will get denied quicker than you can say â€œNo gameâ€. Landon and MJ seem to be too into each other to go after her. Derrick is psychotic. Randy has no balls anymore. And Mark is like 50 and allegedly retiring from these competitions. Who does that leave? The superhuman Alton, thatâ€™s who.
-I canâ€™t believe â€œKey Westâ€ just basically gave us back-to-back episodes of Svetlana pouting because sheâ€™s not the manager of their tanning store. That was literally the only storyline for the last hour of shows. Was the cast that boring they couldnâ€™t come up with something better? How about Svetlana in another screaming match with her boyfriend? Or maybe Zach taking a trip to the barber to get that mop trimmed up a bit? Or maybe have Janelleâ€¦.oh wait, they donâ€™t like putting Janelle on camera apparently.
-So now this week I guess we find out that Paula was beaten by an ex-boyfriend. Not raped, but beaten. Great. So Svetlana was raped, Paulaâ€™s been beatenâ€¦.canâ€™t wait to hear what happened to Janelle in her past. Raped AND beaten? Thatâ€™s my guess. Iâ€™m not making fun, Iâ€™m just saying Iâ€™d like for them to JUST ONCE, pick a normal female for this show. Is that asking too much? Straight A student, isnâ€™t a slut but isnâ€™t a prude either, doesnâ€™t have relationship issues, maybe a valedictorian of her college, someone whoâ€™s really going places in life. Then again, if there was someone like that, what would they possibly be doing even auditioning for this show?
-This season will start to get real saucy once Svetlana dumps her boyfriend, doesnâ€™t look worried 24 hours out of the day, stops crying, and just lets loose like we all know she wants to. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s been another female in the history of this show that the male audience has found more intriguing than Svetlana. And I can guarantee you every single one of them feels the same way I do. That chick needs to loosen up and quick.
-Is this show for real? I mean, I realize itâ€™s on its last legs, but this is getting pathetic. Itâ€™s kind of hard to take this show seriously anymore when all theyâ€™re doing is casting nut jobs with barely any qualifications just to draw interest. I donâ€™t care if Brent is an attorney or not, thereâ€™s no way you could convince he was cast for any other reason than he was a complete mess and people would laugh at him. Weâ€™re expected to believe these are the most 16 qualified people out of thousands who applied? Please.
-And why so much Bill Rancic this season? My God, did Trump adopt him or something? We get one shot of Kenra kissing Trump, and no sign of Kelly or Randall. Did these people already quit? And speaking of quitting, I thought I read a year ago that Bill was leaving Trumpâ€™s company to go out on his own again. Guess not. Trump mustâ€™ve given him a bigger cubicle or something.
-So our four winners have been two white males, a white female, and a black male. Things are looking up for Roxanne this season then. Especially after she won that last task. So Iâ€™ll go with her. Or that little English fellaâ€™. Sean I think his name is. Trump seems to like him.
-I canâ€™t wait til Sean put the moves on the little blondie and gets in her pants. Trump will love that. Heâ€™s always been big on the contestants trying to get dirty with each other. And based off everything weâ€™ve seen about Sean, heâ€™ll stop at nothing to try and get laid while on the show.
-I said it last season, and Iâ€™ll say it again. They need to eliminate any tasks that asks these nitwits to come up with song lyrics. Period. End of story. Letâ€™s just put an end to that altogether. Its frightening really. Lenny doesnâ€™t know what a jingle is? I couldâ€™ve sworn Lenny once tried to swindle me into buying a car I had no interest in buying.
New column coming Wednesdayâ€¦â€¦