Friday, September 30, 2011


I'm behind on my new season viewing notes, so here they are in brief:

Dancing with the Stars

I fell asleep zzzzz through the last few dances and missed the Nip Slip. I was more disappointed to see the worst dancers of the night who really stumbled and lost step and somebody even stopped and paused a couple of times to find their place and zero marks were taken off for any of them. Are the judges just being kind to them or something so they don't give up?

This week the worst dancer was Chaz, who was in such pain he could hardly dance. David Arquette was next worst, with a terribly frenetic dance, even worse than last week, with lots of missteps. Elisabetta Canalis really could not keep up with the quick foot work, and though the judges let her sail, she was low personage on the dance pole and was booted.

Survivor South Pacific

Mikayla tried to go head to head with Brandon to see what his problem was, and he was all offended as if she had come out of nowhere with these accusations, doh. He's gotta go.

Sad to see Papa Bear go, Cochrane is next, no question. Dawn did shockingly well in the Immunity Challenge. Good for her. Semhar was beaten in a balancing contest with Christine, after preparing for the challenge with a wierd and rambling poem sort of thing.

Person of Interest

James Caviezel's Reese character seems to be enjoying his role of savior/vigilante and he is super good at it. I think he is attempting to warm up to Finch's character a bit, but Finch is very self protective and will have none of it.

It was revealed that Finch has a partner of sorts who helps ? with the research and takes credit for everything, but he had no idea quite what Finch has been up to in the background. Finch also mentioned that there are 8 people who know about the project in the world. Now we know three of them.

Nicely plotted episode about a teenage girl who comes up as the Person of Interest for the week, though she has been legally dead for two years.

Terra Nova

The new series features time travel, dinosaurs and some mysteries. I think that the device of having the colony in an alternate time stream and thus avoiding paradox is a bit cheap. The show had lots of action. Characters are a bit steely jawed.

I really fought dislike of the family at the forefront all through the episode, though by the end I merely disliked the dad and the son, a couple of jerky hot heads. I'll watch another episode, but the characters will have to be more likeable going forward.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Scott Westerfeld at Red Balloon

I made a rare venture out on a Friday evening to join the crowd at Red Balloon Bookstore in St Paul.

Author Scott Westerfeld gave a talk on the history behind his Leviathan stories, showing illustrations from the book and talking about illustrated books generally.

He'd show a picture such as this

and talk about the back and forth conversation between himself and illustrator Keith Thompson about what was in the picture and how it reflected or didn't what was going on in the story or what might be happening next.

I always assumed that the author would just write the tale and the illustrator would go back and illustrate scenes of interest. I wouldn't have guessed the level of storytelling collaboration involved. Fascinating process!

Scott is meeting soon with the folks at Wizards of the Coast to produce a Steampunk card game. The crowd was very interested!

He is also meeting with a company in Los Angeles about the effects for transforming faces and figures for an Uglies movie.

Great things ahead.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ye Bookish Rebus

I hate to feed the Rebus fan beast, but why not? Here is a book title and its author, rebus-ized.

Answer: City of Orphans by Avi

Person of Interest (Premier)

The new show Person of Interest premiered last night.

It's a mystery series with a few twists. Our heroes are:

John Reese (Jim Caviezel) a former special agent who is presumed dead when he is found by Mr Finch (Michael Emerson), a brainy man with a conscience.

Tracking Reese is Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henderson) once he becomes a Person of Interest to her. Reese seems to be wanted for a wide variety of crimes nationwide and she means to find him.

Hapless Detective Fusco (Kevin Chapman) is snared as a accomplice for Reese. A good man with no good options.

Finch created a vast surveillance network after September 2011 for the government which would look daily through many portals of information from emails to traffic light cameras for any Persons of Interest who might involved in terrorist activities. Information is run daily and all Irrelevant (not terror likely) information is wiped at midnight.

The Irrelevants, however, are identified by the program as being likely to commit or have a crime committed against them. Finch is no longer working on the project, but he created a backdoor to the information, and he gets lists of those most likely to be involved in a large crime or incident which might be prevented if he can get to them in time. He cannot tell who is perpetrator and who is victim, so asks Reese to track the Person of Interest with ace spy skills, and stop whatever is going to happen.

There were plenty of plot twists in the pilot. Surprisingly both Reese and Finch came across as very likeable and somewhat vulnerable.

Person of Interest Wiki

Survivor (Somewhere in the South Pacific with a bunch of boneheads)

The bloom is off the rose, and the larger personalities are moving to the fore and yikes.

Top of the line is Lil' Russ (aka Brandon, nephew of Big Russ Hantz). He spills his Hantz beans to Coach, who rather graciously accepts the presence of a blood relative to one of his greatest foes. Silly Coach. Then Brandon continues to go gaga over Mikayla and he tries to get her voted out so that he isn't tempted by her anymore. I honestly don't think she particularly noted his existence until he revealed this at tribal. Now that she's going to be looking at him and noticing his uncanny oogling, I think she'll tell him off and maybe he'll settle down when he realizes he is beyond puny in her eyes. Yech.

One of my early hopefuls Stacey was hardly featured at all, plus she was in a one woman alliance with the evil (and booted to Redemption Island) Christine.

Christine has to be one of the most arrogantly stupid players on Survivor in ages. What on earth made her play? Now poor Semhar will be plagued by her, if briefly. Hope Semhar whoops her. Somehow.

Cochran is a lovable but entirely goofy player and I think he'll get booted pretty quick.

I thought it was rather sick to put the Immunity Idol up in a treescape that only Ozzy the Monkey would get to with ease. Let's hope he has the wit to use it this time if he needs it.

Draw a Stickman, Have an Adventure

Sure you can Draw a Stickman! With the help of this animated site, you can also draw a few other things while channeling your inner Harold and the Purple Crayon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DWTS: the Draggy-Leg Awards

We used to call Lara Croft draggy-leg when she wouldn't make jumps for us in Tomb Raider. Poor Lara. In last night's Dancing with the Stars three contenders stood out for failure to gracefully navigate the dance floor. They were stiff, awkward, and bumbling.

David Arquette really lost his way.

Rob Kardashian stiff as if before a firing squad, with totally obnoxious family members cheering him on. Keep the kid, remove the family.

Elisabetta Canalis looked like she expected the floor to drop away from beneath her.

Posted from ye iPad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Survivor: South Pacific

South Pacific? Pretty vague. In any case the season is off to a good start with lots of interesting characters.

If you thought Coach and Ozzy would be tossed off asap, you'd be wrong. They are both serving rather well as councillors to their tribes, helping everyone get their footing with the reality that is sleeping on cushy bamboo, with crawling bugs, no food, no water.

I am always fascinated by how quickly the thin veneer of civilisation peels away from contestants, and people are revealed for who they are, whether they mean to be or not.

My favorites this season are Papa Bear, the ex-cop; Cochran, the Harvard 100 pound weakling who knows the show inside and out; Mikayla, the girl who can Do Everything; Semhar, the exotically beautiful Spoken Word Artist who is a definite fish out of water and was voted out first; and Stacey the mom who has her eyes and ears out watching for misbehavior from everyone.

Villains of the piece are Brandon who I am calling Lil' Russ because he is Russell's nephew through and through despite his protests of being like Russell; Jim for being a jerk to everyone; Christine for thinking she is smarter than everyone and that she can find the immunity idol and run everything without spending a moment trying to play a social game.

The others are a bit blah at this time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Television Without Pity

I found this site recently. It sort of mercilously discusses television shows, has reviews, and forums wherein people happily trash their favorite shows.

The forums I read are the Reality How to and Reality Competitive ones, where readers trash House Hunters, if you can imagine. I haven't read back far enough, but it seems the show is a set up in many ways, and often when you see the show, your House Hunters have already purchased one of the properties and are living there. They'll clear out the house and go back and film the HH's "choosing". I wish I could say this spoils the show for me, but since I use HGTV as white noise to nap in front of more often than not, I'm just sort of amused by it.

I have liked the posts in the competitive forums on Design Star, a pretty mild competition, so I'm hoping they pull out the stops on the Survivor and Dancing With the Stars forums.

If there are any new shows you're interested in (and so far I haven't seen anything on new fall season shows that interests me) you may want to visit Television Without Pity for some raucous opinions of the show.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Design Star: Meg Wins

In the last episode, Meg won. Her room was better and her camera persentation was spot on so she did deserve the win. I 'd rather it were Karl but he was too awkward for the camera, he was giggling nervously again, and his room was just meh.

However, as much as the panel said they loved loved loved everything about Meg's Design Crimes pseudo episode, she gets a new series with the unbelievably bland name: Great Rooms. Way to feature her personality, HGTV.

GameNotes: Fly You High, Overlander

Thanks to my little sister I completed the outstanding quests in no time in the Peninsula.

She kindly bought me an Ebon Griffin and it makes things incredibly easy when you can just fly point to point. She plays all the time and is also 10 levels up on me now, so she's a powerhouse to have at my side.

I told her I'd help her with the quests she is stuck on somewhere far far away from Zangarmarsh. She led the way over some really strange spiky terrain where we had to fly really high, and at one point when she said "fly high, bad guys!" (big flying creatures) I wanted to respond "Fly you high, Overlander!" but I knew she wouldn't know the reference from Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. It's one thing to read about daring flights, quite another to take one.

Here we are safely landed in some Gnome area. There is something wildly cheerful about the Gnomes and their machines and the music that plays, especially after slogging through deep dark areas. I hope my puny level 62 can be of help to her.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dancing with the Stars

A new season awaits! I was happy with the outcome of last season, so in we go to the new season ready for tripping the light fantastic action :)

I am unfamiliar with pretty much everyone on the guest list this time out, so I'm glad for the continuity that the professional dancers and judges bring to the show.

The controversy over Chaz Bono is just silly. For God's sake, the man is there to dance just like everyone else. Cheer him on or don't, but don't be all whiny about anything that doesn't have to do with his ability to glide across the dance floor.

Instead, dream on as the lights go down and the music swells and you picture yourself gliding effortlessly across the floor, wowing the nation in the arms of your favorite pro...sigh.

posted from ye dingly iPad, D.O.A.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Survivor Rules for Contestants...surprise! Don't Be a Bozo ISN'T one of them!

Every season I secretly think I'd like to be on Survivor, and my husband always says "You should apply!" Now that I'm a glow in the dark chemo skellie, niether of us think I could Survive it. Would be hilarious to watch briefly.

So while we're all fantasizing about being on the show, here is what you can bring with you, how you should behave, etc.:


Everyone's first question! So here's the info. Basically you're going to have two bags... your "Game" bag (which is a small bag or small backpack) and your "Non-Game" bag (Big as you like... well, within reason!). Details below:

Your "Game Bag" comes with you into the game and you keep it with you at all times.

YOU MUST BRING WITH YOU INTO THE GAME (This is what your "Game" bag should contain):
• sunscreen
• your own medications that you take regularly (and feminine hygiene products if you are a girl)
• Clothes: 2 shirts- one long or short sleeve(depending on the weather), one short sleeve (wear one, put one in your bag), a jacket or hoodie, a hat, one pair of shorts and one pair of pants (wear one, put one in your bag), an extra pair of socks, an extra set of underwear, bathing suit (optional, it's your call. Some of the challenges might involve getting wet), pair of gloves (optional, sometimes it's cold when we play).
• ALL SURVIVORS MUST BRING a large water bottle with your name clearly marked on it

• Journal & pen/pencil (This is the smart thing to bring. It's most likely to help you in the game)
• Book to read
• Playing cards

YOU CANNOT BRING INTO THE GAME (Don't put these in your Game Bag. You can have them in your non-Game Bag though):
• cell phones
• gum/food
• watches

IF YOU ARE VOTED OUT YOU MAY HAVE (This is what your "Non-Game" Bag should contain):
• A large zip-loc bag with any personal hygiene items (toothbrush, etc.), medicine, etc. that should be clearly marked with your name. You may not take this into the game but we will return it to you if you are voted out so that you may have it with you for the duration remaining.
• pillow, blanket, sleeping bag CLEARLY marked with your name and in a separate bag.
• food/gum
• extra clothes
• movies/books (We have a DVD player so bring your favorite films to share)
• games
• cell phones
• watches
• toothbrush/hairbrush etc.

*PLEASE do NOT bring ANY items of a valuable nature. We are not responsible for lost items. Upon arrival if you have a wallet or cell phone, Etc. place it into your zip-loc bag and we will hang onto it in a secure location.


If you are voted off early in the game you will be put to work on the crew setting up challenges and lots more. Also you'll be much more comfy than the people still playing! Think of a giant really fun slumber party. If you are voted off later, you will part of the Jury. More on that in the RULES section.


Ever watch Survivor on TV? It's JUST like that. Seriously. Except we squish it all down into just a few days. You'll be really tired when you're done but it's the most fun thing EVER! Warning: people who play Survivor become obsessed with it! Your family and friends will be sick of you talking about it afterwards.


Indeed you will! More on that in the rules section.


SO glad you asked! Here's the Official Rules section. It's VERY important that you read and understand the rules because we want everyone to know that they will be safe and that things will be as fair as we can make them. You will be signing a contract agreeing to play by these rules when you arrive for check-in so read them!


Please carefully read ALL the rules of STL Survivor. You will be expected to follow these rules. We will ask you to sign a contract prior to the start of the game to ensure that you have read and understand the rules and that you agree to follow them. If you do not, you may be removed from the game at the Producers’ discretion.

Skye (Jeff Probst)

Their word is LAW.


• The camera crews will be taping challenges, conversations, confessionals, tribal councils, etc. Just ignore the cameras and speak freely. Nothing you say will be revealed to another player.

• Periodically, a crewmember will pull you aside for a confessional. You may discuss anything that’s on your mind at the time. Please answer openly any questions you are asked.This is your chance to dish!

• You may request a confessional if you have something urgent to get off your chest. The crew will do its best to accommodate you but please be aware that due to the production/challenge schedule there may be times when we are unable to immediately honor your request. We will get to you as soon as possible however.

• You may speak freely to any producer/crew member without fear that it will get back to anyone in the game. Please be candid and open during your taped confessionals.


• OFF LIMITS AREAS – Will be clearly marked. Obviously, they are off-limits. Seriously. We mean it.

• FOOD- You will be asked to bring in a specific food item to stock our food pantry. PLEASE bring your food items. We don’t want Survivors resorting to cannibalism. That is frowned upon in most societies.

• MEDICAL ISSUES- We will always have a first aid kit standing by to treat minor injuries that may arise with conventional bandages, gauze, alcohol wipes, and liquid bandages. If your injury/illness is considered severe, you will be removed from the game and given treatment. What constitutes being severe enough to be removed from the game? Here is the rule: If you are able to be treated right there either at the challenge or in your camp to the producers’ satisfaction, you will remain in the game. If the illness/injury warrants us bringing you into Command Central to treat you, if you need to be provided with food in order to be well enough to continue, or you need outside medical attention such as stitches you will be removed from the game in order to receive the attention you need. We will make every effort to ensure that you remain in the game; however we must put your safety and well-being first.


• TREE MAIL – You will receive important notices about upcoming events via tree mail. Each team will have its own tree mail basket.

• CHALLENGES- Expect a wide variety of challenges. Some physical, some mental, some endurance, many a combination of these. You will get dirty, wet, sticky, and probably worse. Plan your clothing accordingly. Give everything your best shot! You never know what you may be a star at. In the case of a close finish, the producers will discuss amongst themselves what each of them saw and come to a decision. The producers’ word is final.

• TRIBAL COUNCIL – Tribes will be voting members off during tribal council. You may NOT vote for yourself. You MUST vote. In the event of a tie, there will be a re-vote. The two players who tied will be the only ones you may vote for. Those two players will not vote. If the re-vote ends in a tie, we will declare a deadlock. Deadlock rules will be in effect. Deadlock rules are different every time we play, so we’ll let that be a surprise.

Please respect the sanctity of tribal council. Someone will be leaving the game forever, so please don’t use this as a time to discuss High School Musical 3. You MUST wait for Jeff to call upon you before you speak. Let the drama play out!

Also, be straight with your answers in Tribal Council. If you're evasive or refuse to answer, it's likely that you will be ignored by Jeff in subsequent Tribal Councils. No one likes to be ignored! So speak up and give us some dirt!

• YOUR BAG – You will keep all your belongings that you may take into the game with you inside your bag. You’ll bring your bag and everything in it to ALL challenges and ALL Tribal Councils. PLEASE take special care during challenges to have everything securely inside your bag. You never know when a shoeless hobo will think there are free shoes lying around. I'm not kidding. Just ask Tom.

• BUFFS- Please turn in your buffs at the end of the game. We will use them again for the next Survivor. (After we wash them of course... EWWW!)

• RULEBREAKING- Will have consequences. (Dun dun DUNNNNN)


• At no time may anyone who has been voted out of the game have any contact with anyone still in the game unless at the express direction of the executive producers. This includes but is not limited to: talking to them, sneaking them food or information, influencing them in any way, asking them about their plans or future votes, etc. Your actions may result in that player being ejected from the game and you being sent home.

• When you are voted off you must bring Jeff your torch, take your things and leave the tribal council area immediately. A crew member will escort you to an area where you will make your final confessional. (We will give you a little while to compose yourself if necessary.)

• If you are voted off before the jury begins you will move into the “Ponderosa” where you will have access to all your personal belongings, food, a TV/DVD player, and relative comfort. You WILL be asked by the producers to assist with the game so be ready.

• If you are voted off AFTER the Jury begins, you will become a part of the Jury and move into Jury Sequester where you will have access to all your personal belongings, food, a TV/DVD player, and relative comfort. The Jury will have specific duties and rules as listed below.

THE JURY – Any Juror who breaks these rules will be removed from the Jury immediately.

• If you make it to the jury you will be sequestered in the jury room with other jury members. For this reason, we suggest that you bring books, games, etc. to help pass the time.

• The jury will attend all tribal councils. During tribal council the jury may NOT interact with the players still in the game. You may not speak to them and they may not speak to you. You are there only to observe and to gather information that you will use to make your final decision.

• Jury members MAY NOT discuss or deliberate about the players still in the game. Jurors may not reveal to any other juror who they plan to vote for. Jurors may not attempt to persuade or influence other jurors to vote a certain way. Please do not talk about the game, but instead make your own decisions.

• During the Final Tribal Council, each Juror will have an opportunity to ask questions of the Final players. That will be your only opportunity to speak during Tribal Council.

• Jurors MAY NOT talk while the final voting is going on.


• Family and friends are invited to join us for the final tribal council and announcement of the winner. We are anticipating that this will occur at around 8:30pm on the final day. Please tell your family and friends that due to the unpredictable nature of the game that it is possible that we could be running a little late so please be prepared if that should happen. We will try to entertain them until tribal begins.

Cameras are welcome!