Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Boston acquired Gagne from Texas today before the MLB trade deadline, giving up rookie starter Kason Gabbard, and minor league outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre.
Gagne (2-0, 2.16 ERA and 16 saves) will help setup closer Jonathan Papelbon and close when Paps needs a day off to rest after all these wins in a row.
Yeah, losing a lefty prospect like Gabbard might sting next spring when Schilling might be gone, but this is a win-now-figure-out-the-rest-later world, and we want another World Series! Go Sox!
UPDATE - Even better! The Sox managed to convince the Cardinals to take Joel Pineiro off our hands. *snicker*
We begin with the final four, and we're told that by the end of the night we'll be down to two! Will we end up with one 20 and one 40? Two 20s? Will Amanda kill two women, doing Mark's job for him? Let's find out!
As we begin, Jen is crying about Jayanna's exit, and then she receives a gift of revenge when the producers play a video to the women by Jayanna, who accuses Amanda of lying to Mark, "She's going to do whatever it takes to get her guy." Juicy! Even in departure, Jayanna remains awesomely pretentiously bitchy.
Of course, Amanda may have misled Mark about Jayanna's lecture, but not by much. Jayanna did tell Amanda to stop being naive about Mark's affection to all the women.
In the first date of the night, Mark takes Maria and Amanda salsa dancing. None of them have any experience, so that makes it all the more entertaining, not to mention the outfits chosen for the women. Amanda barely has any clothes on at all in this skimpy red and black outfit, while Maria has this one-piece with a tutu-like skirt that is so silver that she if she spun around fast enough she'd look like a disco ball. Seriously, she looked like an Alice in Wonderland reject.
Once on the floor, Maria proceeds to dance around Mark - who is almost still, he's moving so little - as if he's the stripper pole and she's the stripper. Amanda's not as provocative, though her skirt's so short she spends much of her time with her left hand pulling it down in the back. Could've been a new dance craze, though I doubt it. My dance moves consist mostly of "White Guy Hopping, a.k.a. flailing my arms once second and using both hands to keep my pants up the next, so I sympathize.
After the dancing, Maria is sweating and panting like, well, a 40-year-old who just salsa stripped, and Amanda's just fine, like a hockey team dancer who does it for a living, yet still displayed little skill on the floor. Maria then ruined any chances of lasting by asking Mark, "If this is your last date with me and Amanda, what would you say."
Um, what? Buzzkill questions like that will indeed make it your last date with him, Maria. She really needs to reign in this whole "this is my truth" hippie crap, 'cause I'm starting to get at why she's single and in her 40s and on a cheesy dating show.
20s Megan gets a solo date with Mark, though far too sophisticated for her, it's a High Tea, where she gets to pronounce "crumpets" about three different ways. Mark's being far too polite by saying that Megan makes him laugh. As Val says, it's because Megan's a twit and says stupid things, so you either laugh or jump out of a moving car. Mark chooses to laugh. Megan wonders the entire time why a 40 didn't get this date, since she's obviously a sorority beer and pretzels kind of girl, and curious as to why Mark hasn't tried to slip any E in her drink yet. She likes that kind of attention. (Okay, I made that up.)
Finally, Jen has her fantasy date, Mark arriving in a big ball carriage all lit up so as to see it better on the deserted L.A. streets at night from above. Back at the hotel, Megan and Amanda don't try to hide their jealousy, Megan wanting to play dress-up, Amanda grunting as if Mark's cheating on her. Because, like, he's totally her boyfriend and she's already practicing her signature, "Amanda Fillapoosis," er, "Amanda Philipipousisis," uh, "Amanda Philippisispis," screw it, "Amanda P."
Don't bother going to iVillage for their "Age of Love" site, as advertised during the show. Mark's blog is so boring and recappy that he doesn't even mention the biggest "controversy" of the show, his late-night "massage" session in the dark with Jen. Unless "and just enjoyed each other's company" is what the kids are calling it nowadays.
Could be, actually. This is from the site that is so objective *cough* politically as to feature bloggers with such posts as "Are All Men Pigs?," "News Just In--Happy Childfree Couples!" and "A Question for Pro-Lifers," where a pro-abortion feminist thinks she's devised some clever trap where pro-lifers want to send women to jail, and a blog that asks your preferred song for stripping. (Did Maria write that one?)
Anyway, the next morning Jen gets Jayanna her revenge, telling Amanda about how they went back to Mark's room at 2 a.m. and traded massages, all the while Amanda looks extraordinarily ticked off. Going over the top, awesomely, Jen relays that "It was bad, I don't think (the producers) can use half the stuff." She's really poking a giant Jayanna stick at Amanda here, and it's delicious!
Oh, rewind. During their date, Jen asks Mark if he's fantasized anything about her, he admits that he has. He is a guy, of course, so I'm guaranteeing he's fantasized about all of them. Even Mary, though no doubt she cries before, during and after, even in his fantasy.
Also, during the date, Mark pronounced Aloe, "Ah-low-ay." That's okay, he's Australian, so English isn't his first language.
It's time for one-on-one time before Mark eliminates one of the women. Before, Maria again says that she's going to walk away, again telling us that she doesn't feel a connection. And then, surprisingly, she goes through with it! Mark acts surprised, says he was going to ask her to stay, though when he says "I like you," it sounds more like, "To drink beers with and occasionally sleep with when we get drunk, and never talk about it." Anyway, Maria gives her "I have to go" drivel. Who is she, Obi-Wan?
Megan's one-on-one time lasts fifteen seconds, literally. Neither even says a full sentence. I was sure she was a goner after that. Jen's time is full of "my heart is in this" and gooey. Then Amanda walks in and immediately tells Mark she didn't appreciate his "massage therapy" with Jen. It feels like a wife confronting a husband who is too touchy-feely with female friends. Awk. Ward. Mark's forced to give the "she means nothing" speech, because Amanda is 25, but 15 emotionally.
Down to three, Mark announces that they're all going to Australia for the finale! Around this point, Val and I are terribly confused, because the preshow announcer voice promised two would be gone tonight. Also, where was the random host/Ripa's husband during this show? Why bother having him show up at all?
Shortly we learn why two are leaving tonight, and Mark eliminated neither. Megan is terrified to fly, and the thought of flying all the way to Australia, which is, like, a U.S. territory so far away, and how the heck do you pronounce "Qantas," anyway?
So Megan wanted to date a professional tennis player. Did she expect to follow him by bus or boat all the time?
Doesn't matter. As they are boarding, Megan has a full-blown panic attack, crying, unable to breathe, needing a big glass of High Tea. As Mark walks her to the taxi, they have their first kiss, a goodbye kiss. Unseen, the other two women showing Megan how it's done, downing a dozen of the tiny liquor bottles before the flight takes off.
Next week, Amanda and Jen duke it out in Australia! Which one will make the first "shrimp on the barbie" reference? Which one will ask Mark what's in his kangaroo pouch *wink*?
Technically, since Jen is 18 years older than Mark, shouldn't he have to choose between Jen and a 12-year-old? Wouldn't that be a fairer test? Amanda's only five years younger, which makes next week inevitable, right?
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
In case you were wondering, and I know from the comments some were, we bought our own copies, and have been reading at each our own opportunity. Val was able to catch up the past two nights when I had to go to bed early to work the morning shift.
Tonight, we're both off, we're taking it easy, and we're finishing this book, daggumit! It's been too difficult trying to avoid spoilers!
The highlight? A bit of my adolescence, an appearance by 80s pop star Tiffany, aka "The One Who Isn't Debbie Gibson." I was all set not to like her, being a Debbie fan, and really, you can't like both (it isn't possible), but Tiffany was very nice and accommodating, taking pictures signing autographs, though I'm not sure anyone got her to sign the Playboy she appeared in.
Tiffany even sang "I Think We're Alone Now," which you'd think she might refuse to do for another twenty years. She even invited all of the Fox13 folks to the concert for free tomorrow night, but alas, I must work. Bummer.
Wonder if Debbie's coming anytime soon ....?
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
For two weeks on "Age of Love" it seemed as if 20s Amanda had some sort of Jedi mind hold on Mark Philimanwhoresis with her starry eyes, as he kicked off who I thought were her closest competition: Adelaide and Lynn, and then Tessa and Kelli. I swear he eliminated them because he wanted Amanda to feel more comfortable about her chances. She flat-out thinks of him as her boyfriend already. When anyone else goes on a date or even talks about Mark, she stares at them, hoping her Jedi powers will burst them into flames.
This week's exit of Mary was likely an act of charity. Val and I would bust out laughing every time he would ignore her or change the subject when she tried to have a conversation, and the girl has three settings: Loony, bitchy and crying. The latter is the one most often turned on. In last week's show, I set the over/under beforehand at six times she would start bawling, whether on the show or in the confessionals. She hit five by the halfway mark, and cleared nine by the end of the show. Unfortunately, the DVR decided to stop and delete the show with 15 minutes remaining, so I missed the glory of watching her humiliated and crying upon hearing that Mark just isn't into her.
Okay, I sauntered over to the website and Mary's bio says that she "has found that dating in Los Angeles is horrible and blames this for the reason why she has not found the man of her dreams." No sister, that ain't the reason. Time to look inward. You're bats**t crazy. I don't even know what her job description, means, "Hemodialysis Technician," but I have a feeling is has something to do with the way she pushes her chest together to puff out at every occasion. Not that I blame her, what with Amanda stealing cantaloupes to put under her shirt all day long.
There really is a difference in these two generations, which is what makes the show most interesting. The 40s come across much more comfortable with themselves and the situation, while the 20s come across flighty, shallow and unsure about what they want out of life other than a hot rich famous guy on a reality show. Which is what we all want, am I right?
Although, it's also interesting to see how the 40s will let anything go to fit the way they hope the dates are going. This week, Jayanna was excited that while laying down during a movie that both she and Amanda attended with Mark, that he was facing her for the most part. Then we find out that he was only facing her because Amanda was giving him a back rub under the blanket they all shared, and he was holding hands with Amanda the entire time. Remember a few weeks ago, Kelli couldn't tell that Mark was doing everything he could to get away from her during a competition, and he had no choice but to have dessert with her. Maria's just getting on my nerves. Twice in three weeks she's said that she was out the door, but when he asks her to stay, she gets all gooey eyed and shuts up.
At least 48-year-old Jen has the right idea, spend what time you can with him, show that you are still sexy despite the age difference, kiss him like he's never been kissed before and let him figure it out. He still won't pick her, but she's going at it the right way.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Except for some clouds and rain that have dampened the length of time we've spent at the lake, vacation has been exactly what we want it to be: Relaxing.
Game and card tournaments that last into the wee hours, lots to eat that's not the least bit healthy, flip-flops, lumpy beds in the cabins and not a care about the outside world at all. That's vacation.
Okay, one care. Apparently there was a big ugly snake wrapped inside the screen door at Val's parents' cabin as last night's poker match was finishing. They called the park ranger to find out what **@#%@#%!@#$ put !@#$@#$!@#$ snakes in the cabin, and make sure it wasn't a water moccasin, which are known to be in the area. And hopefully the boys didn't put it under our deck.
It's also questionable as to whether we'll be allowed in any restaurants any more this week, next year or the years thereafter. Henderson, Tenn. seems to be uncomfortable dealing with loud parties of 20. There's not enough tea in the town to support such a horde.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
(To give you an idea of how long they've been vacationing there, Val and cousin Phoebe are pictured on the cover of the brochure for the park, taken when they were about 14 years old.)
Actually, it's only a pseudo-vacation for me. I still have to work Sunday evening, Wednesday evening and Friday morning. I'll be commuting from cabin five, where Val and I stayed for my birthday last year, the week before the wedding.
Even though I'll be working, remember I don't have Internet at work and thus I'll be unable to check email or the blog or anyone else's blog. My apologies.
With the passing of Valerie's grandfather, this year will be full of reflection, stories and some sadness, but also joyful, with cousin Rachel getting married on Friday in Henderson and the reception at the old lodge at the park.
See y'all in a week!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Last week on Age of Love, the 40s met the 20s, who, not surprisingly, are ditzy, poor conversationalists and have big ta tas. Our bachelor, Mark PhiliGreekorAussieisis notes the 40s are fun, confident and actually have something to talk about, all the while we're 99.9% sure he'll pick one of the 20s anyway.
I'm not sure you should trust me on that, though, since I went 0-for-2 Monday night. My favorite of the 20s - Adelaide - was given the heave ho, and my favorite of the 40s - Lynn - followed close behind.
Who should you lay odds on now? Amanda of the 20s. Sure, she's a Nashville Predators dancer (that's right, a hockey dancer), but I'm betting the only conversations they'll have is whether he likes ketchup on his hot dogs and his favorite member of N'Sync. (I'm betting on Lance.)
What I'm saying is, is that the 40s won't be making any stupid jokes about tennis, like, "I always heard that Love-40 was bad, but we're doing alright."
For future reference, we should also provide a key to what is being said to what Mark Philifakeis actually means:
"I like what's behind her great smile." = She's got big boobs.
"She's really fun." = Check out those boobs.
"I can't believe she's 48." = Those boobs won't last.
To start this week's episode, we're treated to what is supposed to be an inside look into Mark's mind, but turns out dumb and hysterical. One of the 20s (Amanda, surprise, surprise) and one of the 40s (Kelly, who has big boobs) are taken to a restaurant, where Mark has to go from table to table eating dinner with each. At the end, whomever he ends the hour with gets dessert as well.
Mark's pretty good at hopping from table to table, but in the last five minutes he's desperately trying to get back to Amanda to have "dessert" with her. If he picks her, Mark Philipooris deserves to have a trophy wife who will leave him in five years and take half his money, plus all of his favorite tennis rackets.
Anyway, Kellie talks and talks and talks, hoping to hold him until dessert. Meanwhile, Mark's desperately trying to get away, clearly not listening. Earlier we heard her lead an entire discussion of real estate, and while stretching her time at the end asks if she mentioned getting her license. He looks over and says "no," and is all but stepping on her feet to shut her up so he can excuse himself. He's a nicer guy than I am, actually.
As he walks Amanda back to her car, he gives her a smooch, his first of the show. Kellie gets dessert, but nothing more.
Did I mention that this show is mean? And a big fat liar. Amanda and Kellie were told that they'd be eating alone with Mark. Ha ha, they are eating alone with him, only they don't have him to themselves.
Next, the 40s and 20s are instructed to create dates for the other group with Mark Philicluelessis. Both figure accurately what the show wants them to do. The 40s send Mark and the 20s to a day care to play with kids, and the 20s send Mark and the 40s to a senior citizen water aerobics class.
Awesomely, this last one backfires because the 20s end up leaving Mark in a pool with a bunch of sexy women in bikinis crawling all over him!
Adelaide gets solo time with Mark and blows it with what they both say was a bad kiss that generated less chemistry than the moon's atmosphere. Maria of the 40s also gets alone time and thinks she's blown it when his body language looks more like he's hanging out with his gay friend who might be into him than a cute woman he's interested in snogging.
During the final segment where my favorites got kicked off, the 48-year-old Victoria Principal look-alike tells Mark that she's "starting to have feelings" for him. Warning! Warning! That's a tell-tale "Bachelor"-esque moment when the woman reveals her emotional breakdown!
Maria was all set to voluntarily go, having read "He's Just Not Into You" many times, apparently, until Mark Philiconfusedis tells her he likes her and wants her to stay. She changes her mind like a 20-year-old and decides to give him another shot.
The final eight will move in together next week, making it all the more delicious. It's a safe bet that the 20s will be portrayed as loud, sloppy and snippy, while the 40s will look sophisticated, calm and clean. Fun!
I don't care what happens, but Mary has to go. One of the 20s, she spent all of last week boo-hooing about how Mark will never pick her, and all of this week making fun of the 40s, as if she'll never be that old and have to endure menopause. We can only hope she doesn't reproduce. I can also tell you that she's not attractive, and compensates by all but completely showing her twins.
I love this show!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
It's our nation's holiday, a day for red blooded god fearing Americans to blow stuff up, gorge themselves with meat, pull out the Lee Greenwood albums and take a day off of work. Just as it's written in the Declaration of Independence. (Somewhere after the bits about liberty and once you've figured out all the Ss look like Fs.)
Have a Happy 4th, everyone!
(You might want to put some Bactine on that. Remember, light the fuse, then walk away. Light, then walk away. If you're the type to light a bottle rocket from your crack, well, you're probably a lost cause anyway.)
UPDATE 11:49 p.m. - So what did y'all do for the holiday? Cookouts? Fireworks? Calming down freaked out pets? Watching the Mythbusters marathon on Discovery Channel?
All the Howells gathered at the grandparents' homestead, where a few are staying between the funeral and next week's family vacation at Chickasaw State Park. Val's Dad did the grilling, I stood around and cheered him in accordance with son-in-law tradition, and our fireworks were on the big screen by taking in the new Die Hard flick, which was suitably explodey, humorous and implausible. Second-best of the four, since the original can never be topped. Then I had to go in to direct the 9p show, as I'm in day five of nine in a row leading up to the vacation in which I still have to work three of the seven days, driving back and forth to Chickasaw. *mumbling under breath about being jerked around*
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
(Why stop at 100?)
101. Despite 26 years of playing golf, much of it at a competitive level, I've never made a hole-in-one. I've come close many times, of course, but the closest was about an inch from the hole on a par three at what is now Big Creek golf club in Millington (then it was called Woodstock). I was playing alone after being dropped off by Dad to play all day, it was 7 a.m. and no one was around to confirm it if the ball had dropped in.
102. I was a big shot because I was chosen to be on the Safety Patrol wearing those cool neon vests in sixth grade at Scenic Hills Elementary.
103. Seriously, I was a stud in elementary school. Middle school was a lesson in awkward humility, though.
104. As a youth I would design golf courses on the church bulletin during the service, using the graphics and text as hazards. As a kid in the passenger seat, I would look at fields along the road and picture how a course would look there.
105. Whether I do it or someone else does, I just want a decision to be made, no matter how minor. Let's make it and move forward!
106. I LOVE banana pudding and milkshakes, yet HATE bananas as God created them.
107. I was terrible at science fair projects. Once, all I did was play batteries in a walkman to see which drained faster. Yep, that's solid scientific data right there.
108. I hate parking next to SUVs that block my sight line, making backing out a blind exercise in faith, and yet I don't think twice about parking next to cars that might hate my SUV for the same reason.
109. I always enter the shower from the front. That way I can duck under the spray until I get the right temperature. That is, when the shower head isn't a foot below my chin.
110. I prefer the Sammy Haggar years of Van Halen.
I'm guessing that after his tryst with the stripper made front-page headlines in May, she didn't get that $4 million ring like Kobe's wife got. Then again, at dang Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, I'm wondering if any of those fans even noticed.