SYTYCD: where has the time gone?



Top 6 already?  Did I fall asleep this season?  Guess not – though there have been some snore-worthy moments.  Nigel is definitely right that there haven’t been any breakout stars this season, and so people are voting for choreography.  In fact, I think they’ve been doing it all season.  This is why I definitely agree with Myles, that

…there comes a point in the competition where such starkly emotional pieces may be too unbalanced for the competition to handle. There’s no piece that could possibly compare to what Melissa and Ade did in terms of emotional value, and I don’t necessarily think that it’s fair at this point in the competition, when the decision is entirely in America’s hands, for them to give a team essentially a free pass from any sort of legitimate critique.

Last week’s results show/100th ep celebration wasn’t all that great for me.  Katie Holmes was all hype, no substance.   (Can you really call it singing and dancing when you stroll around on stage, kick a couple times, and lip-synch the entire performance?)  And Janette went home.  So, no.  Not great.

Now, as I look at the top 6, and see Evan – but no Jason?  I’m stymied.  Is America on coke?  Evan’s fun, yeah…but can he do much outside his genre?  It’s mostly hit/miss with him.  Sometimes he’s great, but there isn’t a lot of strength or consistency except for in his solos.

Ade, Brandon, and Evan get to work with Sonya, and she gave them an interesting piece.  I was impressed that Evan could mostly keep up, but overall this wasn’t a favorite of mine.  Also, 5minutes into the show, I’ve already heard enough from Lil C.  He’s starting to remind me of Damon Wayans’ jailbird character Oswald Bates.  [No, he’s not that bad, but he’s turned into kind of a caricature, don’tcha think?]

Jeanine and Ade are partnering tonight and first up is the samba with Louis van Amstel.  It’s supposed to be h-o-t and it’s …almost.  The style wasn’t great for them, but they did hit a lot of the footwork together.  So, I’m not hating on them, cuz I can’t judge ballroom.  At all.

Kayla does her solo and I remember that she’s the other girl, besides Melissa and Jeanine.  Somebody besides Janette should’ve gone home last week.  Truly, any one of them.  The solo is leaping, lines, and twirling – surprise!  Yeah – she does well, but, uh…is there anything else there?

Tyce is choreographing Evan and Melissa in Get Me to the Church on Time from My Fair Lady.  Finally, Evan gets to do his style.  And while I thought this was super-cute, I didn’t like Melissa in this.  Lil C is talking crap about Evan not stepping up in this – and then he says he doesn’t quite know what was missing.  It was easy to see the clunkyness between the two of them [due in part to their height differences, but also to Melissa’s dearth of personality].

Ade’s solo is nice.  More of the same lines and leaping.  And I’m beginning to understand why these solos aren’t speaking to me.

  • First, cuz I need story/personality.  If you don’t get to tell me the premise of what you’re going for, then do something that coincides with the ideas in the music.  Since the solos are short, they’ve got to be more than just a bunch of jumping around.
  • Second, cuz there are no hip-hop dancers this season.  No one with any really different moves or styles.  Who wants to watch 5 contemporary solos and a ballerina?  Really?  No hip-hop?  I’m still mad about that.

Brandon and Kayla work with Stacey Tookey on a contemporary story of the mistress and the married man.  All I can think of is our illustrious governor.  Please don’t let this thing be set in Argentina!  Ooooooh, wee!  Now that was H-O-T!  Hot and delicious.  This is why I like *story*.  It brings you in.  And I was all in on this one – all in.

Melissa’s solo was a little bit interesting because she chose Nina Simone’s I Put a Spell on You for her music.  The dancing was pretty boring [to me], but I give her mad kudos for not doing any obnoxious bouncing when the SYTYCD music came back on to end the solo – I hate that crap.  So yay Melissa for self-respect!

Jeanine and Ade are doing  a hip-hop eviction by NappyTab.  There were moments.  But the last few seconds when they put their feet in the boxes, the moves looked straight up stupid.  And then ending with frowny face boxes on their heads?  WACK!  Mary pays penance for her comments about the samba, and joins Lil C in high praise.  For me, the beginning of this routine was the best.  You could see more of the personality of the dancers then.  The middle and end

Brandon’s solo was straight up craziness!  Is he just one big muscle?  That crawl across the stage was pure strength. PURE.  Wow.  Anyone who can end a solo by just standing there is definitely strong.  But even he couldn’t resist twitching when the SYTYCD music came back on.

Oh, boy.  Quickstep for Melissa and Evan.  They’re clothes look nice…And they made it through the dance without falling down.  But this dance does not speak to me.  At all.  Oh, and Melissa looked taller than Evan the whole time.  We saw much better quicksteps in season 2, definitely.  It’s sad to see folks pull this dance when the voting is so crucial.

Jeanine’s solo is ok.  Better than some she’s done this season, but not nearly as good as last week’s solo.

Evan’s solo is cute, but you can tell his energy has been impacted by that quickstep menace he just finished.  Still love his personality, but I’m not sure he should still be there.

Doriana Sanchez is doing a disco circus for Brandon and Kayla and it worked.  All the way.  Lil C took us down this winding road, but we finally found out that he approves.  I do agree that Kayla and Brandon are very evenly matched.  Whoa.  Someone help Mary.  She just had a connipition.  Her pitch went to a new octave.  And so we see that Brandon and Kayla are favorites for the finale.  I have to agree, because they’ve had

Now the girls get to work with Sonya and be superheroes.  That sounds fun.  Kayla is Storm?  Jeanine is Wonder Woman.  Melissa is Buttercup.  [from PowerPuff Girls?  I dunno.]  The closing pose was nice, but mostly I didn’t like that.  I thought there was so much more that could’ve been done with the cartoon hero idea.  And there was no standout for this piece.  I agree with Lil C that the girls could’ve gone a little harder at each other, but wasn’t pleased with Nigel’s comment about not being able to “tie down talent” in reference to Jeanine’s curves.  Tacky and uncalled for.

My choices to go home?  Jeanine and Evan.  But I wouldn’t hate it if Ade went home either.

good news/bad news

Life’s been a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other in the last couple weeks.  Last week I had a great time playing volleyball with friends – which I haven’t done in years.  Then I played Clue late into the night with some new friends [apparently that game has changed.  a lot.].  Then, yesterday, I had to go to the dentist to get a filling replaced/fixed and it took 5 shots to numb me up enough to where I could live with the dental work.  The first four really had very little effect, and they actually wore off in less than 5 minutes…

Well..until the work was over, and the dentist finally sat me back upright.  All the anesthetic came rushing up to my jaw. [and I can just picture each injection jostling for position: “Shot # 4 reporting for duty!  -No, no, I was here first!  Shot #1 ready for action! -Hey wait!  Shot #3 here when you need us!  -Aww, man, way to be there, guys, Shot #2 bringing up the rear.  -Heh, don’t worry fellas, Shot #5 has it all taken care of.” (scuffle) “I was here first!” “Outta my way” “Stop shoving, you’ll get your turn!”  (chaos ensues)]  …

Pardon me.  I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve been particularly imaginative lately.

Anyway, the right side of my mouth was numb from about 9:45am until about 4pm yesterday.  I didn’t have breakfast, and I tried to eat something around 10, but even with just a tiny bite, I could barely swallow anything.  I was actually afraid I’d choke while driving.  By lunchtime, I could swallow, but I still couldn’t feel anything on the right side of my mouth.  It’s really strange to take a drink of water, and not feel part of your tongue being wet.  Much worse to try to eat a delicious peach, and discover you can only taste with half of your tongue.  Eating is not nearly so enjoyable if half of your tongue isn’t even into it.

But all’s well that ends well on that front.  I’m back to tasting with my whole tongue and things are delicious again.

Ron2 [HP]Last night then, I decided to go see Harry Potter.  Kind of a last minute thing, but I saw all the previews anyway.  [I’m quite on the fence about Sherlock Holmes.]  I enjoyed the movie.  It wasn’t super-fantastic, but it was good.  More humorous than usual, I thought.  And I was generally impressed with Rupert Grint’s comedic presence.  Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.

Then I had a dream last night that has stayed with me all day.  Probably influenced by Harry is a few ways, actually.  My dreams are almost always action-adventure — I’m always being chased/searching for something/trying to escape or something like that.

And so I’m being chased and someone is with me…not sure who…but they’re depending on me to lead.  We’re looking for something and trying to stay under-the-radar as we do.  And so, I find this reddish-brown speckled powder.  It’s some kind of spice blend (!)  that’s tasty but extremely hot, and apparently explosive (!).  [cue Twilight Zone music]

I find this stuff and then stumble on a brutally hot guy that I must know pretty well because we start making out and licking the spice blend off of each other’s fingers. [I think part of it may have actually exploded.]  We were in a safe place, and it was a hot scene.  And then I woke up.

No thanks to my alarm clock.

What I hate is that I can’t remember his face at all.

Anyway – today didn’t suck, but tonight I had to spend two frickin hours at a church board mtg, and then ended up getting a speeding ticket on the way home.  First one in the Mustang.  Craptacular.

Now I’m going to bed.  HotSweet dreams!

SYTYCD: because Ellen is awesome

top 8I love Ellen.  Always have.  And now I love her hair.  I love her dancing – because it’s completely full of life, and fun.  Mia Michaels is on tonight, too, and with all her Emmy nominations, I think her head will take over the stage.  Travis is back to choreograph the group number, a…”banana extravaganza”.

To me, this group number is interesting, but not my favorite.  There seemed to be a lot of moments where they were “almost” together.  That kinda got me.  The judges are gushing over Travis, but this wasn’t a standout for me.

Evan and Janette get to work together with Sonia, and they’re cute together.  They’re definitely height compatible, but you never know with Sonia routines.  For me, the choreo didn’t go far enough.  There wasn’t enough mmmph.  But at least Mia gave Janette some love as her fave girl on the show this year.  Wonder about how Ellen’s going to like being between Nigel and Mary for the whole show.

Kayla’s solo was nice, but more of the same – great lines.  Whee.

Hunter Johnson is doing the waltz for Brandon and Jeanine, and they look beautiful together our there on the floor.  I can’t judge technicality on this stuff, but I thought the dress was beautiful and made the dance beautiful.  Mary says that was respectable, Mia expounds and it’s all blah blah blah to me.

Jason’s solo, lovely.  Lots of leaping, great lines…is this deja vu?

Melissa and Ade are working with Tony and Melanie on the cha cha.  And they dance to a Spanish version of Yeah?  You can definitely see that Ade is really stiff all the way through this dance.  This has got to be the biggest opposite for his style.  I didn’t really like it.  This was not a good night for them.  Mia’s right when she says this was Ade’s worst performance.  Hope their next dance is better.

Janette’s solo was much more interesting than Kayla’s or Jason’s.  I love her.

Kayla and Jason are doing Broadway with TyceD.  I really love Tyce’s choreo, generally, and tonight’s piece is no exception.  And Kayla nd Jason are excellent in their interpretation.  Definitely the best of the first set of performances.  Mary got herself a train whistle – that’s crazy.  Mia’s critique of Jason was kinda freaky and scary.  There are just too many times I want her to shut up.

Ade’s solo was cool – fun with lots of leaping.

Rumba.  Evan and Janette with Melanie and Tony.  How does Evan have an inner Latino stallion?  And now they’re dancing to Kris Allen’s version of Heartless?  The music ruined it for me.  The dance seemed a little slow, so I just didn’t really get it.  [Oooh – Shane is there!  Please let there be a Shane Sparks number!!!]  Oh – and I think Evan’s got serious cuteface, but Nigel’s comment about his eyelids almost made me hate nigel.

Oh, ew.  That’s got to be the worst solo I’ve seen from Melissa.  Awful.  I don’t even get that one.  Ugh.

Jeanine and Brandon are working with Laurieann?  Laurieann is on SYTYCD?  What what?  Pop-jazz, y’all.  And there were some really strong moments in this one.  I loved the choreo, definitely.  And the song was excellent.  I saw Jeanine struggling, but she worked it out.  And Laurieann was right about making this sans story – this was just about them – as fighters.  I have to say, tho, that sometimes Jeanine’s hair was distracting me.  It almost made them look out of sync, sometimes.  But this was great.

Evan’s solo was just as fun as always, even with the hat-drop.  He’s so dynamic in his solos that I sometimes forget his lack of versatility.  I could watch him alone every day.

Jeanine’s back up for her solo, adn this is definitely the first solo from her that I’ve actually enjoyed.  I wanted that to keep going, actually.  I feel like she wasn’t really trying in her other/previous solos.  She didn’t really look like she was – but tonight, she dug that sucker out.

TyceD’s piece is about breast cancer.  And I think Melissa and Ade can do this.  And they did.  I’ve got tears.  Big time.  This was unbelievable, and beautiful and heartbreaking.  I’m just a bawling mess.  I don’t have anything else to say.

I’m just barely recovering with Brandon’s solo which is incredibly strong.  But it’s great.  Tumbling that defies gravity.

And yeah – Shane is choreographing Kayla and Jason – zombie people.  And that’s how great this show is.  I went from crying to smiling in minutes.  This was SO fun.  I’m super happy to have Shane back on the show, and I’m totally with Nigel – hip-hop has been crappy this season…til now.  Yay for Shane and Jason and Kayla!  Creepy and lovely and excellent.

I don’t know who should go home this week, but this was a great night, and I’m all ready for tomorrow’s 100th episode!  I think I’ve gotta rewatch a couple routines.

same ish, different century

My dad has been into real estate since before I was born.  It’s what he likes to do – buy a place that needs some fixing up, fix it up, and rent it out.  Well, he bought some places earlier this year, and has been fixing them up for the past several months.  The cops are all over the neighborhood in which he bought – I suspect because they had a lot of empties in the subdivision and they want to make sure they don’t turn into crack houses.  That, and, parking in front of an empty duplex makes for a good spot to nap til something’s actually up.  So he has seen and talked to a lot of the cops that patrol there.

So even though it’s been crawling with cops, the neighborhood’s still had it’s share of issues.  Dad went back to the places about a month ago, to find that one had been broken into.  He called the cops, I don’t think much was actually missing [all he had there was tile, ceiling fans, and laminate – none of which was taken], but a couple doors were badly damaged.  It took forever for the cops to come, but they did, and I think my dad filed a report.

Last week or the week before, he was there – maybe still asleep – when a cop started banging on the door.  He came to the door after getting dressed, and three cops were standing there to ask him who he was and why he was there.  He told them he’d have to go get his ID, so they barged right in after him as he went back to get it.  As he was walking, he explained that he’d bought the place and was fixing it up.  He even showed them the door that had been broken into and told them about how he’d called them himself just a few weeks prior.  They asked for proof of ownership, and so he had to go out to the car to get it – they followed again.

Apparently, they were a couple of white cops and a black cop.  Dad said that when the black cop saw him with his pants covered with paint and the stuff in the house, he backed off and was sure that he was there to fix up the place as he said.  The white cops needed the proof of ownership.

All I heard as he told me this story so matter-of-factly was that my father – who will be 65 next month – still cannot get respect from police.  Being a black man means that age/station/class/etc. don’t mean anything.  And it hurt.  Hurt, especially, that after all he’s already lived through – Jim Crow South and all – it’s 2009 and it’s the same ish.


I shouldn’t have been surprised when a friend on facebook posted the story about Henry Louis Gates yesterday.  But I was.

And hurt all over again.

See, my mom called me yesterday to tell me that she was going to have to go have dinner with a woman from church last night.  It seems that she spoke at their church this past wknd, and referred to “colored churches” when discussing differences in worship style.  No one said anything at the time because they weren’t all quite sure that they’d heard it.  The next day, Mom talked to a couple other people who were there and they asked – “did we hear what we thought we heard?”  And Mom thought – I’ve got to talk to this woman…she’s got to know that was unacceptable.

And yet, with all this, and SO much more I’m not even mentioning [the BART incident, the vilification of Malia, etc] I still know people who have the nerve to say

Barack Obama has evidenced proof of the American Dream and shown that the practice of racial discrimination and oppression on a national/societal level is a closed chapter of American history.

I won’t link to that, but yeah…I know her.  And a few other people I know think the same way.

And seeing other folks comments about this HLG incident [he was at fault, too – blah blah blah] just brings me back to what macon d says here:

To think that I could really have much of any idea at all what it’s like to be black in such all-too-familiar (for black people) moments. And yet, I think we white people do that all the time.

Yeah.  Same ish.

welcome back, Torchwood

Torchwood: Children of Earth debuted on BBCAmerica tonight and – man, oh man.  First of all, it’d been so long since I’d seen it, mourned all over again for Tosh and Owen.

i really miss tosh.  but i still love john barrowman

i really miss tosh. but i still love john barrowman

And then, Children of Earth began.

***spoilers ahead***

I got all happy about the cute doctor, even while missing Owen, but I didn’t like Ms. Abibi from jump.  What’s up with that?  I think she’s pretty, but her character seems to have been really slow on the uptake.  Thankfully, episode 2 looks like she’ll be picking things up a lil quicker…And really, I suppose it’s best that she didn’t forward the info about Torchwood to the Home Office – even though it’s looks like the HO was monitoring their  internet searches.

I’m just really hoping that they don’t end this show.  Because I love it.  As in the proverbial fat kid/cake love.

I wanna know what this 4-5-6 frequency business is about, though.  And who this counter-Torchwood organization is.  Were the missing bodies the doctor was referencing real, or was it just part of his cover?  If the missing bodies are real, are there a few aliens sent ahead as scouts, to prepare for the takeover – with Britain as the hub?

Kudos to Reese for spotlighting the direct connection to Britain, with the times and all.  I hope the fellow that sniffed out Gwen’s pregnancy got away from the 4-5-6 brigade.

Ohhhh, this is gonna be good.

SYTYCD: the top ten! (or great lines, and lots of leaping)

top 10

*written last night when I was still sans internet*

Debbie Allen is tonight’s guest judge [my fave guest judge] and I’m hoping for something better amongst this competition.  I really haven’t been thrilled with this season, but great things may still be in store.  All the partners are changing up this week, so we’ll see how that goes.  Additionally, the girls and guys will have more group numbers, so that should be fun – I tend to enjoy the group numbers for this season more than a lot of the partner pieces.

The girls are up first, with a Bollywood number by Nakul Dev Mahajan.  Every time they do Bollywood on the show I get a little apprehensive, but I super loved this choreography.  It was really fun, and crazy high energy.  Poor Janette’s veil kept flipping on her face, but she kept going with incredible panache.  I loved them all, and it was just a great piece.

Kayla and Evan get to be partners this week, and we’ll see how the Viennese Waltz works with their height difference.  But Tony and Melanie chose an excellent song and an excellent choreography for them.  I thought they really worked well together, although I don’t really know anything about the technical bits.

So now we start on the individual solos, with Brandon.  He just looks like a big kid to me.  And his solo wasn’t that compelling for me, either.

Now we’ve got the opposite height pairing, with Janette [shortest girl] and Ade [tallest guy].  Unfortunately, they’ve pulled Nap and Tab.  Blah.  Cross your fingers.  Not bad!  Janette is definitely a bendy girl.  Wow.  And now Nigel and Mary are putting on their own little show.  And Debbie is right, what is up with Ade mesmerizing her with a pick?

Randi’s solo was ok.  But I don’t think anyone’s solos have impressed me in a while.


i love Benji more, but Travis's choreo is hotttt

Travis is doing choreography now?  Cool.  I’m interested to see what he does.  I was never that into him, but he was good.  (Not as good as Benji, but that’s why Benji won, so, it’s all good.)

Kupono’s solo is the first of the night that was really fun for me – but it’s still…ok.

Jason and Jeanine are together as a couple – they both lost partners last week, so they’d’ve had new partners this week anyway…And now – working with Travis – it looks like it’s gonna be cool.  But it wasn’t.  It was freaking smoldering hot.  HOT hot.  The fire is smoking.  Burning like the sun.  What a perfect storm of choreography, concept, music, and dance.  Mary’s crying – calling them stars – but Debbie has the best commentary: calling the show a conversation of dance amongst the worldwide community.  Further – she says the show evangeliz[es] dance, and she is just glad to be a witness.  And yes – it got a lil bit spiritual while still being almost profane.  The new hotness: Travis the choreographer.

Melissa’s solo – continuing to demonstrate how solos aren’t as fun to watch as duos/groups.

Evan’s solo is probably the most fun to watch.  Broadway really lends itself to solo, apparently.

And we’re back to somewhat blah solos with Kayla.  Not that it was bad.  Just…the same as all the other girls leaping, doing splits, and having great lines.

Continue reading

SYTYCD: Tyce D in the house!

top 12Tonight, Tyce is our guest judge.  Nice – finally a cool Broadway choreographer as a judge.  And we’ve got two dances from everybody tonight, so buckle up!

::Now before things get started, I’d just like to address the idea of ranking the seasons  according to greatness.  Some people are trying to say this season is the best/has the best talent.  Stop the madness!

What is true is that this season is much more evenly matched than previous seasons.  We’re at the top 12 now, and it will be hard from now on to see who should be out, because there aren’t many shining stars.  Ade and Melissa have captured everyone’s hearts, but not as much as last year’s team to beat: Katee and Joshua [they were HOT!].  But everyone else this season has been…good.  Not stellar.

Something else that’s true: this season has a wider range of genres represented by the dancers.  Melissa’s the first classical ballerina on the show, and Evan is (I think) the first Broadway baby.  But we’re still left with an abundance of contemporary and only one hip-hopper and…one (?) ballroom/latin dance person in the top 12.  I’m still rooting for a tapper to make it to the top 20.

Anyway, please don’t give me any “this-is-the-best-season-ever!” stuff.  Cuz it falls flat in comparison to Donyelle and Benji.::

Now let’s get back into the present –

Melissa and Ade are up first with a disco number from Doriana Sanchez.  Cross your fingers, cuz disco can go either way.  As Ade said “It could go really good, or really bad”.   And boy.  That was hard on Melissa.  Ade didn’t struggle as much as Melissa, and I think the judges bias shines through for these two in their responses.  Yeah the lifts were awesome, but the floor work?  Not so much.  But yeah, since she’s a ballerina, I can give her a pass.

Kupono and Kayla get to work with Mia Michaels on a piece that was all about addiction.  It was unbelievable.  Very strong.  Almost hurtful.  But exactly what it was supposed to be.  Kupono was definitely in character.  I don’t know how to descibe Kayla’s performance, but she was very into it.  Almost faceless though.  Truly, her part didn’t stick with me as much because – as Nigel said – we couldn’t see her face because of her hair.  Maybe it was a good thing, cuz it seemed to fit the piece…

Caitlin and Jason do Foxtrot with the Meredith.   I don’t love this couple.  I don’t love the Foxtrot.  And after a piece that struck us with emotion, and an action packed piece before that, this one is falling flat for me.   Mary called it tremendous.  I think maybe the judges are hyping them cuz Foxtrot is boring.  They look elegant, but…it

Jeanine and Phillip will do the Kalinka choreographed by Youri Nelzie and Lilia Babenko.  This is going to be hard.  Russian folkdancing, though – will definitely be cool to watch.  And it was hard.  And it was cool to watch.  It was…cute.  I think the difficulty level was there in parts, so, some moments were…different.

Randi and Evan! [Love them!] tabitha and napoleon. blah.  But I like this routine.  LOVE it.  It was the soft hip-hop that this couple can do.  They were super-adorable!  I just love them.  I agree with TyceD, tho, Evan has more that he can bring.  And Randi?  I just love her.  Am I gushing?  Aw – who cares.  Share the love, y’all.

Brandon and Janette are doing the Mark Sanford soulmate dance Argentine Tango by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.  There was a really nice lift at the beginning that caught me by surprise, and then some cool footwork…but..I thought the music chosen hurt the cause of the dancers.  I didn’t get the heat that I think you’re meant to get with the Tango.  But Nigel gave them a standing O, Mary put them on the hot-tamale train, TyceD said something about juicing an orange that got kinda weird…

Dance #2 coming up.  And NewsFlash! Next week is a big partner switchup!  No more Melissa and Ade? Awwww.

A Waltz from Ron Montez is their last dance.  Beautiful.  Perfect harmony of song and choreo.  And Mary just called Nigel an English muffin.  That was hilarious.  Tyce gave some good advice.

Broadway from Joey Dowling = K&K’s last dance.  Love at first sight.  From The Dance at the Gym [West Side Story].  That didn’t get me at all.   After having actually seen West Side Story, I don’t see the choreo playing well with the idea of  first love…I definitely felt like they could’ve gone into the floor a bit more.

Lyrical Jazz by Mandy Moore is the C&K sendoff.  I’m happy with that.  I hope they do as well and they think they will.  I do think they did well.  Much of it felt effortless for them, though there were some moments I felt could’ve been better.  Agreeing with Mary, I didn’t get the *magic* that can sometimes come to the pieces.

***is it the job of the guest choreo judge to thank the choreographer of each piece?  sometimes that gets old***

Jive from Tony Meredith is gonna be rough on P&J.  But I think that’s the best I’ve ever seen Phillip do on his footwork.  Nigel noticed, too.  Phillip really has improved.  Jeanine was great, and she’s been a real trooper with Phillip all this time.  Her faces were great, too.

To me, Evan and Randi are the best couple as far as a pair.  Now they’re doing a samba from Pascha and Anya.  What a dance to draw.  This is one of those dances that I think height might make a difference in.  I dunno.  Definitely, the choreographers could’ve done it better.  But then, that’s cuz it’s their style.  I don’t think Randi carried this.  I think she looked as ridiculous as Evan.

Janette = fun. loud. Cuban.  How can you not love that?  So J&B are doing jazz by Wade Robson.  What a superfun piece!   Great way to end the show.  Janette has been freakin’ awesome, really.  And Brandon – of course.  I am sad about the end of that partnership, cuz they’re great together.  Excellence.

Who do I think will be in the bottom tomorrow night?  Caitlin and Jason.  Jeanine and Phillip.  Randi and Evan.  (sniff)

summer, so far

imagine the inside glowing orangey-red hot - kinda like the sun

imagine the inside glowing orangey-red hot - kinda like the sun

My life has been topsy turvy for quite a while, and I’m starting to feel like I’m on an even keel again now.  Or…getting there.  I think I briefly mentioned the project from hell that lasted close to 2 years and was almost responsible for me quitting/getting fired.  Thank God that’s complete.  It was a nightmare, mostly because of my boss and our really awful communication, but I think most of that is over – now that the method works and the results have been reported.

It seems that I’ve been living on the AA [atomic absorption spectrophotometer] at work for the last two years, and once I finished the project from hell, I started on a rush project with more method development work – some on the AA and some in a muffle furnace.  It turned out I’d need a high-temperature burner and nitrous oxide for the AA work [which translates into super heat and 2 foot(!) flames], and 1000°C in the furnace.  I did what I could, put in some long hours, and pretty much got it done.  We’re looking at some alternate methods for that furnace fiasco, though.

imagine the flame another foot and a half taller and a bit redder

imagine the flame another foot and a half taller and a bit redder

So craziness at work has been contributing to weirdness for a while.  Not to mention random schedule changes from 8 to 10 hour workdays and back again.

But then I’ve had some weirdness going on with some friends, too.  Folks that I’d gotten really close with and now seem like they’re avoiding those of us that had gotten close with them.  I figure it’s something personal that’s going on with them, but it can be frustrating too.

I bought the Mustang – which I love love love to drive.  But I put a little too much on the principal last month, and now I’m strapped til my next paycheck.  I definitely want to pay it off as soon as possible, but I’m not aure how soon that will actually be.  The actual payments aren’t bad at all, but I think I got a little too ambitious last week.  Now it stings, a little.

But I just want to go places in this car.  It’s freaking hot, and I just want to drive it.  I’d actually like to take it some place new, cuz the drive to ATL is kinda boring.

I’m supposed to be reading The Color of Wealth, but I’m being delinquent about it cuz it’s so heavy.  And since I’ve been getting home late a lot, I’ve been watching a lot of random tv.  I just watched “Millionaire Matchmaker” for goodness’ sake.

I did get some shoes that I wanted [Converse All-Stars and some white church shoes], along with a few clothes to make sure I’m ready for my Labor Day vaca.  I cannot wait for a whole. week. off.  At the beach, no less.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out if I want to plan anything else for my dad’s 65th bday next month, or if a BBQ is sufficient.

unraveledMy mind flits from one thing to the next [as does this post] cuz I’m a bit sleep-deprived and I’m getting used to 8-hr days again. But my Fourth was lovely!  I went to the itty-bitty town nearby to see fireworks [since my town couldn’t afford them this year] and had a good time doing that.  Then I stayed up talking with a friend until ~3:30am that night [Sunday morning].  So of course, that threw off my sleep pattern, and last night I stayed up til ~3 reading a book. [And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman, whom I really enjoy as a fun mystery writer.  It was good, but I suggest waiting until the sequel is published – it’s a quick read and when you get to the end, you just have to wait for the next book anyway…]

Oh and I’ve seen two(!) movies in theaters in the last couple months – Star Trek and Up.  And I’m seriously considering going to see The Proposal.  Just cuz it looks funny.  Betty White, Sandra Bullock, and Ryan Reynolds – sounds good to me.  Of course, I’ve been wanting to see the new Maya Rudolph movie Away We Go as soon as I heard about it.  I want to support her in everything, because I LOVE her.  I thought she didn’t get enough sketches to showcase her talent on SNL, but then there are a lot of misses on SNL.

And then of course, Michael died.  And some people don’t understand why it impacted so many of us.  Some folks at work were like – why are people crying?  They said they never had an emotional connection to him or his music.  And it never really occurred to me that that’s what it was for me.  But that’s exactly it.  So on the eve of his funeral, I’m sending encouraging thoughts out to his family and close friends.  Those of us who shared that emotional connection can dig out Dangerous and listen to “Gone Too Soon” one more time.  In the mean time, remember.

SYTYCD: Mia Michaels gets a clue

top 14Approximately 1.5 minutes into the show, Cat digs right in to Mia Michaels to find out if her opinions on Brandon have changed.  Whether it’s true or not, Mia cedes the point and admits that she does think better of Brandon now than she did.

And now, Janette and Brandon open the show with a ChaCha.  It was really fast paced, and I couldn’t really keep up to see the cha cha chas.  I thought this was a beautiful dance, but uh, Nigel just called Brandon the Michelangelo of the dancefloor.  Mary gave them 1st class tickets on the ‘hot tamale train’.  Mia gives us a bowl of ish and tells us it’s Captain Crunch, saying that she was hard on Brandon cuz she expects so much.  After all her blah blah not-apology blah, she says they were great, and Miami should be proud.  Most def.  Jean Marc Genereux should be super-proud, with Nigel’s ‘best cha cha on the show ever’ comment.  Janette and Brandon are a good couple, so I’m looking for good things from them every week.

Kupono and Kayla are a pretty cool couple too, so contemporary with Sonia will probably be fun.  For me, the routine was a little slow until about 30-40 seconds in.  Then I started to actually get it, and enjoyed the rest – especially Kayla’s lines and the parts that were in sync.  But I’m efinitely getting the impression that Nigel’s is gushing a bit more than usual.  I think he and Mary are really trying to reinforce the idea that this season has like – the best talent they’ve ever had – and I don’t agree.  I do agree that Kupono and Kayla’s couplehood works.  Better than they did with their previous partners.  But I don’t think this was Sonia’s best piece [on the show].  I think she had something cooler last season.  But now – comparing Kupono and Marc, cuz they’re Hawaiian, and they do similar styles…I dunno.

I’m definitely getting the feeling that the judges are forcing the idea.

Joey Dowling does a Broadway routine for Evan and Randi.  And I really love them!  They’re so fun, and they’re so cute!  And then this routine to a piece from Sweet Charity – I thought this was superfun.  SUPER!  FUN!  I think they get hated on by the judges (contrary to Cat’s opinion) but I do get the thing about the wrists.  I just think there’s no way I would’ve spotted that after one look at the routine.

Caitlin and Jason are doing some weird jazz with Brian Friedman.  Caitlin is supposed to be an alien coming to procreate (and impregnate) the last man on earth: Jason.  I really loved this choreography.  L O V E D it!  Wow.  Nigel’s starting to let some stuff loose the way Mary does sometimes.  Nigel liked it, Mary didn’t, Mia starts to try to get into Brian’s mind and it gets a little condescending.  I enjoyed a lot of this routine, so good job guys.  I’m thinking they may be in the bottom 3 tomorrow, though.

Jeanine and Phillip do some faux hip-hop with Tabitha and Napoleon.  As a metaphor for the SYTYCD experience, they’re chained together.  I hope they can make it work, cuz Love Lockdown could be a good song for the concept.  There were moments that I enjoyed, but I felt oddly disconnected to a lot of this routine.  I thought some of the popping wasn’t as sharp as it should’ve been, and now Mia sings “Nap and Tab’s” praises, but pinpoint part of the problem: chainography.   That stupid chain led to pure sloppiness in some places – sloppiness due to the lovely brainchild of “Nap & Tab”.

But here’s my fave couple: Ade and Melissa.  To me, they are the best talent, and they’re dancing a classical pas de deux by Thordal Christenson.  “Romeo and Juliet”.  I think they can do this.  I’m ready.  And so are they.  It was beautiful.  Magical.  Mary’s right about the chemistry – and the dream-like state, this was quite the introduction to classical dance.  Mia loves that it was a “black and white Romeo and Juliet”.  It was beautiful, but I always wonder where the comment is coming from, when that comment comes…

Dizzy Feet Foundation: funding underprivileged young people with dance scholarships, and apparently, a lot more.  And this is the first time I’ve seen Katie Holmes talk about something other than her family.  And on the 100th episode (7/23/09), Katie Holmes is going to dance a tribute to Judy Garland [choreographed by Tyce D].  Somehow it got passed me that Katie is a dancer…anyway…we’ll see how it goes.

So, Vitolio and Karla are together for the first week.  I feel for Karla.  And now they’ve got the quickstep.  Ooh boy.   I’m scared.  But I don’t think I needed to be – that was lovely.  Fun and cool footwork – better than many.  Overall, not a bad partnership.  Genereux did it again – nice choreo.

My faves of the night would have to be the pas de deux and the cha cha.  And I really want Karla to stay.  Alrighty, goodnight!