Monday, October 27, 2008

Spray Tan Attack

Some of you might be confused like I was last night. It appeared that Toni Braxton had returned to Dancing with the Stars, but it wasn't her. The dancer who appeared to be a Black woman was probably either soap star Susan Lucci or Cheryl Burke. Don't bother trying to adjust the color on your television. It wasn't a technology problem. It was a spray tan problem. Somebody got gangster with the airbrushing. I haven't seen people painted like this since the circus was in town.

The scoring was even more ridiculous last night. Michael Flatley, from Lord of the Dance, was a guest judge. Brooke Burke's beauty and flexibility must have aroused the Lord of the Pants because he gave her a 10 when she clearly deserved a 7 or 8. I give Brooke credit for dancing on an injured foot, but you've still got to bring it and not just rely on wearing a skimpy costume and pretending to make out with your partner.

Lance Bass had his best performance of the season, but the judges refused to give him a 10. He was the top scorer, but his 27 was just one point ahead of Brooke. Susan had her best performance of the season as well, but still couldn't outscore Warren Sapp. The judges gave Susan a 23 and Cody Linley got a 23 as well. Warren, who let his partner do all the work, got a 25!?! The big man's hands and posture were all wrong, but I think the judges are too scared to tell him about it. When Tom Bergeron, the host, noted judge Carrie Ann Inaba's obvious flirting with Warren, the quarterback killer got physical and tagged him in the head. Tom jokingly apologized for the player hating, but I'll bet he had security walk him past Warren's dressing room just to be safe.

The comments about the lack of chemistry between Maurice Green and Cheryl were on the money. Cheryl acts like she knows she got stuck with a loser this season and its killing her to work with him.

From Misty May-Treanor, the olympian who left a few weeks ago with a serious injury, to the bandaged feet of Brooke and Susan, the stars are keeping their doctors busy this season. Now we find out that Julianne Hough will sit out thanks to surgery. Despite getting tossed around like a frisbee, it seems the healthiest woman on the show is 82-year old Cloris Leachman. I think she keeps in shape by running from her overly affectionate partner, Corky Ballas. The most shocking move of the night didn't come from the group hip hop routine, it was when Cloris lifted her leg and flashed America the crotch of her granny panties. Okay, the first time she tried the leg lift, it was wasn't quite the right time. The second time Corky grabbed one ankle and one wrist and spun around like he was playing airplane with a toddler. The crotch shot, the bumpy landing... it was more than I could take. The judges made it clear that they wanted her gone a long time ago by giving her a score of just 15.

Cloris redeemed her funny self in the hip hop routine. Her critique of Lance "dancing like a fool" and Maurice "sweating like a bandit" made me laugh out loud. While Susan spent most of the hip hop routine looking like someone who opened the refrigerator door but couldn't remember why, Cloris' krumping stole the show. This may be asking for too much, but I sure could use just one more week of the Cloris and Corky show. But whenever you want to boot Samantha Harris or the singer with the upside down tiara on her head, I'm fine with it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Phone Hostage

Help me please! I'm sitting at the computer with a phone to my ear. I want to hang up. I REALLY want to hang up, but I'm being held hostage. I've tried, "I know its late. I'd better let you go," and "I need to stop procrastinating and do these dishes," but you simply can't drop hints in hostage situations.

There are lots of people who need to feel like hanging up is their idea. It doesn't matter if I say that I have to go because I'm being carjacked or my hair just caught fire. I think it is a control issue. Just to be fair, maybe I'm the one with the control issues because I want to hang up first.

I propose some phone rules. If the person you are talking to says he or she, "should probably get off the phone" then the best response is, "okay, bye." Do not launch into a another round of questions about TV, politics, or anything else for that matter. If the person you are talking to offers to let you get back to what you were doing before the phone call then don't take that as your que to tell the story you haven't bothered to tell for the past half hour. Is there something so wrong with just vowing to talk again soon and hanging up?

My cell phone feels like I'm holding a hot poker against my head. My ear is sweating and I'm getting a neck cramp from trying to cradle the phone between my chin and shoulder so that I can continue to type. But I think I've developed that syndrome where you start to identify with your hostage taker. I don't want any hurt feelings. I just want to watch "Ugly Betty" and go to bed. Maybe I should ring my own doorbell and pretend to have company. Nah! Its too late for that. I have to figure out a way to make my hostage taker believe that hanging up wasn't my idea. If I don't I might die here... right here at my computer.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Grinding On Grandma

From the hilariously limber moves of Warren, the big man, to comic relief provided by a seemingly confused Cloris, I laughed out loud last night during "Dancing with the Stars."
Susan, Toni, Maurice and the singer with the upside down tiara on her forehead can all go home tomorrow for all I care. I just hope the two celebs who turn the dance floor into their own personal stand-up routines will get to hang around for a few more weeks.

While Brooke may be earning awesome scores, if she had been picked for any other season of DWTS, she would've been considered slightly better than mediocre. None of the good dancers this time around are as exciting to watch as Kristi Yamaguchi, Mario Lopez, Drew Lachey or Mel B. But for pure entertainment I'd pit Warren Sapp against previous winner Emmit Smith and I'm positive we'd all get belly laughs from watching the charismatic football giants bust a move! I never thought there would be a pudgy dancer who could take the place of the late Fred "Rerun" Berry from "What's Happening" but Warren changed my mind.

Watching Corky, the professional partner of Cloris, fling her around, whisper in her ear and grind on grandma every week does make me a little uncomfortable at times. Forgive me for being so kinky, but I am thoroughly amused when I watch. Sometimes it looks like Cloris has forgotten where she is or that she's even supposed to be dancing. Is it an act? Maybe it just looks like that because Corky appears to be forcing the moves on her. When its time for judging, I suspect he's just trying to hold her up, but I feel like I'm watching a gigolo get frisky with my Nana on a cruise ship. It just makes me criggle (cringe and giggle at the same time).

Please, dear voters of America, put Cloris and Warren in the DWTS finals. With my shrinking 401-K and the negative presidential campaign, I could really use the cheesy entertainment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dancing with my Very Last Nerve

Is it possible to have a favorite TV show that works your last nerve like a 9-to-5 job? For me, that show is "Dancing With the Stars." For a lifelong fan of theater this cheese-laden show has it all. I love the wild costumes even though sometimes the dancers are shockingly damn near naked. The live orchestra is great even though there is one singer who wears a silly-looking headband every week. Tom, the host, is witty and keeps the showing moving even though Samantha, the co-host, makes me want to put my foot through the TV screen. Do you see a pattern here? For everything I love about the show there is an equally annoying "even though" situation.

I often agree with the comments of the judges, even though their scores don't make sense... see what I man about the "even though." Susan Lucci, who is now going by her soap opera character name, Erica Cane, comes across as stiff and phony yet she gets scored undeservedly high. Brooke has earned the only 10 of the season, but while she is beautiful and graceful, her dancing isn't more difficult or well-executed than Lance's routines.

It is sooo obvious that the judges want Cloris to hang around. I must admit, with her 82-year old flexibility and the way she fearlessly puts her floppies on display, she is very entertaining to watch. But there is no way she should outscore anybody. The same goes for Warren. Fun to watch, but he isn't in the same league with Cody or Toni. As for Maurice... his professional partner's facial expressions make it clear that he is really is as doofy as I suspect. Send him home please!!

If the judges don't start interjecting some reality-based scores into this reality show I may stop watching. I already record Dancing's Tuesday show so that I can watch "Fringe" and fast forward through Samantha. Can we send her home too?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just Not Good Enough

If on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 equals "lousy" and 10 equals "fan-freakin-tastic" then I'd put "good" somewhere around 7. I'm not one to brag, but I can think of 10 things I'm "good" at. Most of those things aren't wow-inducing, but I work with what I've got.

I'm pretty good at:

1. bargain hunting
2. cleaning the kitchen
3. guessing who'll be the next person kicked off of my favorite reality shows
4. humming
5. gift giving
6. wreath making
7. hugging
8. making conversation

and I think I'd be a good scrapbooker if I tried. There was a time when I would've given myself at least a "7" for knowing the right things to do and say AFTER a friend or relative had faced a really tough challenge. I'm not so good in the moment because lots of tears and terrified looks are my first reaction, but give me an hour or maybe a few days and I can come through for you. My friend, Karen, made fun of the pep talk I gave her when she told me about losing her job, but I know she took my words to heart. My blues-busting words of encouragement weren't just good, they were great (if I must say so)!

Lately I feel like I'm losing my comforting mojo. So many people I love are dealing with life changing loss and illness and heartbreak... and I am at a loss for words. The death of a mother, the death of a child, foreclosure, sickness, divorce. "Good," just isn't good enough when you pray for the right words to offer guidance, support or comfort but know in your heart that nothing you do or say will make it better.

I tend to sum up whole years based on a single negative situation. Just last week, I caught myself hoping that 2009 would be a heck of a lot better than 2008. Then I remembered a speech I heard at a charity auction a few years ao. The speaker talked about his "summer of suck." He'd lost a brother to Cystic Fibrosis. If I were him, I would've trashed the entire year! But what I heard from Sean, the speaker, was a message about "suck" only lasting for a season. With that message in mind, I'm going back to the drawing board. This is just a season of healing, from illness, financial losses and grief. Hopefully, I'll figure out how to deliver that message in a "good" way when the time is right.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Ask-Kicker is Born

I grew up in a family where you had to ask for permission to do just about everything. Want a snack? You'd better ask for it. Want to go outside, want to leave the dinner table, want to use the phone, want to get a perm, want to have a friend come over? Ask, ask, ask!

As an adult I'm still an asker, but I'm surrounded by "tellers." I ask for permission to give a friend tough love. I ask for refunds when overcharged. I ask for vacation days when most of my coworkers simply tell the boss when they'll be out.

I've learned my lesson, though. While asking usually leads to frustration, telling leads to results. Tellers take action. Askers wait for action. Even though I know this, I keep asking! What is wrong with me?! It is about time I learned this life lesson and applied my education. No more asking! From now on I intend to do more telling! When its time to do the right thing you won't hear me "asking." I'll be giving orders. From here on out Ramona will be kicking "ask" and taking names!