Tuesday, August 26, 2008

an Obama/Biden ticket, and a few questions

So I did some research on Barack Obama's running mate, Joe Biden. Here's what I found out:
  • He's been a senator since he was 30, which is the youngest you can possibly be a senator. He was actually elected when he was 29.
  • He's worked in Washington for 35 years.
  • He's voted with Democrats over 96% of the time.
  • He authored the Violence Against Women Act.
  • He's one of the least wealthy Senators, with a net worth between $59,000 and $366,000, and commutes on the train to work every day.
  • He's a long-time member of the Judiciary Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, and currently chairs the latter.
  • Is considered by many (Democrats) to be a foreign policy expert.
  • He originally voted for the War in Iraq, supported it longer than most Democrats, and is now opposed to it.
  • His son is being deployed to Iraq this fall.
  • He says things. Sometimes they are awesome. Sometimes not so much.
There are some that are calling Biden Obama's Dick Cheney: the older, more experienced VP pulling strings behind the scenes of the younger president's administration. Others are just pissed that Obama didn't choose Hillary Clinton.

Personally, I'm hoping we get some answers this week at the convention. I mean, Biden famously said that he didn't think Obama was ready to be Commander in Chief--a concern 42% of the country has as well. What does he say now, and why is he saying it? Will we get some answers behind this choice, or just sales? And what about Hillary? I honestly never expected her to be the choice, was never really convinced that she wanted the VP spot, and think it could have done the ticket more harm than good, in the end. Not that picking up all those votes wouldn't have been valuable, but she was way harder on Obama in the primaries than Biden ever was, and I don't know if some of that damage was reparable enough to put her on the ticket. Plus there's the suck-tastic reality that America just might not be ready for a ticket with both a black man and a woman on it. Which is awful to say, but these are the times and this is the country we live in. And, I mean, Vice President is not the only answer for Hillary Clinton. She is still a badass with a grand future in Washington--Secretary of State, Supreme Court Justice, people are throwing out all kinds of suggestions for her. She's not done kicking butt yet, not by long shot.

In the meantime, Democrats have an Obama/Biden ticket, and a few questions about it. Until we get some more answers/clarification, all we can do is speculate. Based on what I've read, heard and watched, it seems like the right choice for a Vice President is someone who balances the Presidential nominee. Someone whose personality is a good fit, but whose skills might fill in the blanks. I mean, that's what I do when I hire people. I look for experience that matches the job, skills that complement and balance out mine and my team's, and a personality I can get along with. I kind of like finding people that are different from me or the team, or that I might disagree with on different things, because I think it's healthy and ultimately more productive to be surrounded by people who aren't afraid to challenge the status quo. It's the different between George Lucas movies where he's surrounded by a variety of different people who are trusted to be good at what they do even when they don't have the exact same vision as him (original Star Wars trilogy), and George Lucas movies where he's only surrounded by sycophants dedicated to supporting and praising his one, singular vision (Star Wars prequels).

I digress, but the point is, you pick someone who balances you so you can do the best job possible, as a team. Presumably. So, based on preliminary research, a little speculation, and my own hiring practices, it looks like Biden was a pretty good idea.

I guess we'll see, huh?

My sources:
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
Official Joe Biden Site
My friend kashe

Monday, August 25, 2008

all I know

I owe so many updates. Insanity reigns in my world right now, but I've tasered it and gotten a rope around its neck, and just have to get it all properly wrangled and tamed before I can get back to normal.

In the meantime, I heart Michelle Obama, and I'm watching DNC speeches all week long. That's all I know. Oh! And I don't know that much about Biden, (I'm embarrassed to say) and haven't had a chance to do my own proper research on him yet. Any scoop or suggestions on where to find scoop on him would be much appreciated!

That Obama family really couldn't be cuter.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


You should know that I started tearing up, yelling, and squealing with glee pretty much at the start of the So You Think You Can Dance finale, and never quite stopped.

Cat did NOT wear a brown train wreck to the finale this year, and instead decided to go with an old stand-by look for her: A MILLION BUCKS. Damn, girl.

Hi Top 20! Hi hi hi! Oh, I missed (some of) you! It's so much fun to see you all together again! And a Shane Sparks routine to boot. Hurray!! And, I mean, did you SEE the thing with Gev, like, wiggling his way under all 10 girls? Holy buckets of awesome Batman!

Nigel's favorite - Bollywood: Well of course he's going to pick this, with his whole, "Oh my show is SO AWESOME and international, didn't you know?" But, whatever, y'all know I can't get enough of these two, and it's a fun routine.

Mary's favorite - Rhumba: Ah, yes. The butt-grabbing dance, I remember it well. That Courtney & Gev are just as sweet & sexy together as ever.

Plus, I mean, you KNOW there's nothing I love better than a dance-off--it's kind of why I love this show so hard. So you know how much I loved the popping battle, right? SO MUCH. Personally, though, I'm with Mia (shocker)--I thought Phillip was better. And, um, if I could get some kind of audio bite of L'il C saying, "That was Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck" that I can play whenever I, like, finish a proposal or report or something, that would be fantastic, thanks.

Adam's favorite - Hip Hop: I loved this one too! Comfort and Twitch should always dance hip hop together, they're way too much fun to watch. That said, I love how Adam gave a big shout out to Step Up 2's John Chu and Adam Sevani (holla!!), and he's doing A 3-D DANCE MOVE STEP UP 3-D WHO'S GOING WITH ME OPENING WEEKEND. Comment here to sign up. We'll dress in head-to-toe Capezio and bedazzle our 3-D glasses and have ever so much fun. (And, yes, probably have cocktails before hand. I know there won't be a plot.)

And YEAH AC/DC totally kicked M&M's dance bootay all over the YouTubes, y'all.

L'il C's favorite - Hip Hop: "It's so hard to choose," he says. Uh, how about picking the two dancers already on stage in costume, and have them do the number they're prepared to do? I kid, I kid! This was the one that sold me on Chelsie & Mark forever, and she just goes and breaks my heart all over again here. It's still so, so good.

OH MY GOD Y'ALL MARY MURPHY'S DANCING! SHE'S DANCING WITH DMITRY AND SHE'S SO AWESOME AND ADORABLE I CAN'T STAND IT! Eeeee! She's having so much fun and she's so fantastic and adorable and I can't deal. This might be the most delightful thing this show has ever done to me. Mary, all over Dmitry, shaking her fringe, flashing that gigawatt smile (it's so much less scary and more fabulous when she's dancing, isn't it?) I might cry, this is so fabulous. Mary, this is for you: WOOOOOOO!

Like I warned you at the top, this recap will be a bunch of crying and yelling. I have to give you an idea of what's going on in my living room, don't I?

Mia's favorite - Pas de Deux: With Katee & Will. Not at all surprisingly, she picked the two most proficient dancers doing the most beautiful, difficult routine. This was one of my top season favorites as well, though. So beautiful, and such a treat to see it again. AND THEY NAIL IT! THEY NAILED THE LIFT THEY MISSED THE FIRST TIME!! Oh, they can't even contain their smiles, they know they nailed it. And everyone is standing up, and Debbie's there for him, oh, I'm choked up again.

You guys!

Adam's favorite - Jazz: Courtney & Mark's funky Sonja routine. It's so weird to watch after the exquisite pas de deux, but it's still fun. This number has really grown on me as well, in repeat viewings. I can appreciate the technique, I think, a little more than I did the first time around too.

3rd runner up: Courtney. No surprise here. I love her, but I think 4th place in this tough competition is an amazing achievement for her. (Those flowers are bigger than she is, dude!) Bless her sweet little heart. Well done, adorable girl.

Five guys named Moe: With the top 5 guys. I loved it the first time, I like it again. These guys are completely adorable and awesome.

We now pause this program to have some creepy Donnie Darko rabbits do a plug for Cirque du Soleil in Vegas. Then again, Cirque + Criss Angel? I think Wade Robson has found the perfect home for his weird, darkly awesome choreography.

2nd runner up: Katee. Oh, honey. I wanted you to get 2nd place, at least. You have been such a sensational joy to watch all season. And $50,000WHAT! That's awesome! Oh, look, she can't even deal! Yay I'm so happy they've done this, what a phenomenal surprise!!! Yay Katee!!!

Oh, and this means I might be right about the "Want it to be Joshua, but it will probably be Twitch" theory. Oh, dear.

That Debbie Allen is just expressing so much of what I love about this show just exquisitly and perfectly. I love her. Even if she is plugging the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Because lookit! Cute young tappers! Loves it!! They're sensational!! AND NOW NIGEL'S DANCING! NIGEL'S HOOFIN' Y'ALL! Oh, this is so fantastic. and getting all shown up by the young kid, and doing the call-outs. It's so much fun dancing on one stage, I just continue to be awed and delighted.

Debbie: "Everyone on this panel should be required to dance." YYYYYESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

Mary's favorite - Contemporary: Oh, the door dance. With Katee & Twitch. I liked this, but I still think this number is all about drama, props, Katee being a badass, and Twitch doing a whole lotta standing. I don't get what all the rest of the fuss is about. Emmy for Mia? Sure, love her, she deserves 'em. For this? Eh.

The Jonas Brothers: Fast-forward. Wow, they are really awful, aren't they?

Debbie's favorite - waltz: Oh, the "Touched by an Angel" piece Jean Marc choreographed for his daughter, with Twitchington. I had a feeling we'd be seeing this again. And it's just as lovely as ever. Tears pricking my eyes again. SIGH.

MY favorite: Debbie Allen taking the piss out of L'il C. How are you making me love y'all EVEN MORE? I can't take it.

Nigel's favorite - Hip Hop: "No Air." YES. Yes, I loved this routine. This was from the first Top 20 show. I remember, I fell in love with these two as a couple with this first number, and they kept making me love them over and over again with every subsequent number.

Oh, I so very much want to Josh to win, this is going to break my heart isn't it??

Hi past season people! Look how cute y'all are! Allison, so grown up! Donyelle, as sweet and fab as ever. Hi Travis! Hi Benji! Hi everyone! (WHERE'S SABRA?? Hmm.) But hi hi hi!

And they're going to dance for us! To "Please Don't Stop the Music," a song I bought from iTunes when I first saw them do a dance at the Idol Gives Back thingy. I had to watch that on on YouTube, so yay! Fresh routine in high def on my big-ass TV! Look how much better they've gotten, too! And now they're dancing with the Top 20! Fun fun!

Oh, my heart. I love this show so much. I know, I've said it a gazillion times already, I just. I do! I love it so much!!!

And JOSHUA WINS!!! JOSHUA WINS!!! JOSHUA WINS!!! JOSHUA WINS!!! JOSHUA WINS!!! YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! I can't believe it! I'm so stinking happy! Katee got $50k and Joshua won it's the best possible result Eeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!


THANK YOU so much to everyone who's been reading my SYTYCD blogs this past season! I can't hardly believe how many of y'all are reading these recaps, and I appreciate all your thoughtful comments and everything. Thank you and goodnight!

a little miracle on stage

So You Think You Can Dance Competition Finale!

Oh, summer love. Is it over already? How can it be? I haven't even met Cat yet! Oh, fine, let's get cracking. I'm running a little late tonight because I just had to go see Eddie Izzard at the Kodak. I know, my life is hard.

Courtney & Twitch, hip hop: Mac & I were all Yay! when this song came on ("Church," T-Pain ft Teddy Verseti), because we were just listening to it in the car, because we seriously can't stop listening to the Step Up 2 soundtrack. The routine is adorable, musical and fun, and both of these dancers work it hard and commit to their characters and the dance. Awesome.

Courtney, solo: Courtney has grown so much in this competition, and she's just so darn loveable and adorable. I can totally see why she's here in the top four. It's impossible not to love her sweetness and joy, and she just throws herself into every dance. And, yeah, I might have gotten a little teary during the judges comments for her. What? I'm not made of stone, y'all.

Cat looks sensational. Love the hair, love the dress, love everything.

Katee & Joshua, Wade Robson: Do you like how they don't even try to qualify his choreography as "contemporary" or "jazz" anymore? As for this routine. Wow. The sharp, angular movements contrast so neatly with the strummy song, and they dance it so, so well. They commit so much to the emotion in this number that it just feels really authentic, and their movement is precise and executed so perfectly without feeling studied.... The judges really said it all. These two are a little miracle on stage.

I already know I'm going to save this episode for months just so I can watch at least the first two dances over and over again.

Courtney & Katee, Broadway: With Tyce! And there he goes with a parasol! Love him. As for the routine, I'm not crazy about the goofy costumes. And it's a cute routine, but it seems a little uneven? They're not synchronized very well to me. It's kind of like they're having a lot of fun, but trying to get away with Cute more than Dance. On the other hand, I like cute and fun. So I guess the tongue bath the judges are giving them is okay.

Twitch, solo: The thing is, when he just stares into the camera and smiles, with those cheeks, I just want to hug him to bits & pieces. And he remains a fun, entertaining, musical, and talented dancer.

Joshua & Twitch, Russian: Oh, my god these two are TOO CUTE. They're like brothers, with the constant bickering & one-upping. The routine is a fun concept, but a little too much standing around and clapping for me. That said when they actually have to dance together it's really fun. And I suppose with that much leaping and spinning, a guy can use a clap break. These guys are amazingly athletic performers.

Katee, solo: Well, Hide & Seek has been done to death, but otherwise this is a crazy solo. It's manic and passionate and packing all her skill into a tiny amount of time. I'm with Mary on this, most of my favorite numbers from this season have been Katee's. She's phenomenal.

Katee & Twitch, Foxtrot: And the smack-talk between Twitch & Joshua continues. The music and choreography are so great here. But Katee is showing up Twitch a lot. Giant lift aside, characterization aside, he was a little too stiff for me. I wanted it to feel more elegant and effortless, and I felt like I could kind of see the pole shoved up his butt. The judges... WTF? Are they done critiquing this season? Or are they just selling us Twitch? Not even Mary is going to critique? BAH! I call shenanigans.

Joshua, solo: First, Cat making fun of Joshua for how much he cries is hilarious and awesome. Second, this guy is such a superior hip hop dancer. Jumping over to the judge's stage was a little gimmicky and a little clever, and I'll allow it because he danced his fabulous big booty off when he got there. I love this guy. I just love him. If I'd watched it within the voting window, this would have been my vote.

I love how the boys are sweating all over Cat and her coutour, and she just doesn't even care.

Courtney & Joshua, Jive: With that cute Australian choreographer. Hi there. And I love a little Dirty Boogie. I was kind of worried about the footwork, particularly Josh's, at the beginning, but about halfway through these two really started nailing it. If I could pick any kind of dance to learn and just do for fun myself, this is exactly the dance I'd pick. Maybe not with as many leaps & tricks, but yeah. So damn much fun, and these two were fantastic.

Final Four, Contemporary: Well this is just a treat, at this point. I just love the dancers, and I love the show, and now I'm as bad as the judges. Forgive me, I'm just a sap and I don't care who knows it. Seeing these four dancing so hard as a unit, after everything they've been through tonight... and it's such a joyful celebration. Watching this reminded me of what it was like to watch women cross the finish line at my triathlon. It was like a magical sprint to the finish.

So now it's just a matter of the votes, here at the end. The judges are still selling Twitch too hard, and I'm over it. I have no idea who's going to win this, y'all. I feel like it's going to come down to Josh vs Twitch, and we'll get to see how much people responded to the selling of this whole Twitch story. I think it *should* be Joshua & Katee, with Joshua winning, but I'm not convinced that will happen. If a girl wins, no one will be more surprised than me. I adore them both to pieces, but I'd still be surprised.

We'll see we'll see, eh?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Two kinds of adorable side by side

You've all already watched the dancing and the results, so I'm just going to work this out for my own benefit.

Courtney & Mark, Waltz: Lovely. Great partnering, good character, lovely lines. I feel like these two have both really grown, and it's a pleasure to see the results of that growth in this dance.

1. Chelsie, solo: That dress, with the diamante boobs and the fluorescent green fringe is hideous, but her dancing is sensational, as always.

2. Twitch, solo: Gimmicky, but strong. Whatever weakness he's shown historically with other styles, he's strong, clever and musical in his solos.

Cat, though. You do not need to taste Twitch's spit to convince me that you are the World's Most Adorable Host EVER. I mean, that was funny & all? But. Damn, girl.

Katee & Joshua, Contemporary: With my old friend, Tasty. It's brilliant. They're both strong, lyrical, musical, and totally committed to the dance. The lifts in this are crazy hard, too. I worry that people will miss just how good these two are, when they make difficult routines like this look so easy. One of my favorite dances so far this season.

Chelsie & Twitch, Mambo: Chelsie is flat-out carrying Twitch in this routine, and he is doing that thing where, what he lacks in technique, he makes up in style. He telegraphs every hold and every turn, he made a face when he screwed up, he's kind of a mess. The judges let him off easy, because it was difficult? I don't get it. There were hardly any lifts, and for a TOP SIX DANCER he should be doing a pretty basic routine a bit more than "respectably" at this point.

Dear jidges,
Could you take a break from kissing the ass of every choreographer on the planet, and praising your own damn show for 2 seconds to actually, you know, critique the dancers?

(Yeah, Amy, you weren't kidding about them. It's really rather obnoxious.)

3. Katee, solo: Oh, Katee. You are just full of joy and awesomeness, and you're just trying to spread it all over the stage when you dance.

4. Joshua, solo: It's like he's trying to just give us examples of everything he can do: jumps, turns, breaking, popping, the works. Dude. You can do anything. I believe you.

Courtney & Mark, jazz: Ugh. With Sonja. Which... it's better than her past routines. Kind of fun, actually. She created good characters, and the couple really dove into them, which made it fun to watch. I wish, hmm. I thought it was fun, but I didn't really see the difficulty for the dancers? I think they did it really well, but I feel like the routine was a bit of a softball for them. (Jazz dancers, feel free to tell me what's up.)

Raise your hand if you think the judges are maybe trying to sell us Sonja as our Wade Robson replacement this season?

Kateee & Joshua, Paso Doble: OMG CHILLS!!! That was amazing!! That's it. Top two dancers, RIGHT HERE. This routine rocked my world. Oh, and a note to all the other contestants who've tried to pull off this kind of intensity, and missed it (Kherington): THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. Yes.

5. Courtney, solo: Knowing the results, I'm going to say that I think Courtney won over some votes with this solo. The song choice was going of genius ("I just want to rock your soul"--subliminal), and the turns and leaps were fabulous. Courtney danced this like a girl determined to stick around. And so, she did.

6. Mark, solo: Well, it was fun, and he finally got the "Shirt off = Votes" memo. But it wasn't as strong as Joshua's or Twitch's.

Chelsie & Twitch, hip hop: This song RULES, for a start. Janet Jackson + violins? OKAY. The routine concept is really clever and fun, too. Finally something I'd love to see on the tour! These two did a great job with this. A really fun couple.

First, I love that blue color on Cat. The shape of the dress is iffy, but she's pulling it off.

Second, it seems like this season has been a little revealing, in terms of song choices by the choreographers. Like they're all trying to tell us, "FINE, alright, we listen to lite FM, we like Delilah, we like all the divas you're used to hearing solely at your dentist's office, and we don't care who knows it!" I mean, Bette Midler's "The Rose," for the final 6 group performance? Okay. What can we expect next week, "Wind Beneath My Wings?" "I Will Always Love You?" "My Heart Will F---ing Go On?"

All that said, I must admit that this routine is really pretty.

So, Adam Shankman is giving away a job as the grand prize? Does that mean Twitch is disqualified, since he's already worked on an Adam Shankman movie before? I mean.... that doesn't seem fair to me.

I really liked everything the judges said to the top six, though. Constructive, thoughtful, and really caring. Thanks, jidges.

The solos are adorable, especially Twitch's. Not as adorable as L'il Demon, though.

I don't think ANYTHING is as adorable as L'il Demon. Oh, my God. And standing next to tall supermodel Cat Deeley? Two kinds of adorable side by side! And then she picks him UP? And interviews him? It's too much Cute, I can't take it!!!!

By now we all know the results. And you know I think Chelsie is a better dancer than Courtney, but I have to say I kind of get this a little better than last week's Will Surprise. Or maybe by now I'm just used to the news. I'm very sad that Chelsie won't be in the finale (I cried after her going away package, even), but I'm actually a little proud of Courtney. I mean, she's in a finale with Joshua, Twitch, and Katee. That's an awesome achievement for someone I've come to think of as an underdog on this show. And I know I was baggin' hard on Mark when I thought he should have gone before Will, but I did love him. I'm going to miss him, too.

Oh, sigh. This show. It gets away with all kinds of shenanigans, and I still just love it so much.

Being sick sucks mightily

I am SO TIRED of being sick, of not being able to think totally straight, of being tired all the time, I can't even tell you. I have SO MUCH TO DO this week. I do not have time for this. And it's just a stupid COLD, so I can only treat the symptoms, but the medicine makes me high & fuzzy, which isn't helping the whole "thinking straight" thing. It's all extremely frustrating, to desperately need to be able to focus and work, but to be constantly thinking through a vague, stuffy fog.

Plus I haven't had time to even watch So You Think You Can Dance.

Plus I haven't had time to blog my Comic Con experience, except to tell you that it literally made me sick and I hate it.

Plus I have all these personal projects to do this week for my mini college reunion this weekend (WHEN???).

Plus I desperately need to get back to the gym and jump-start my exercise schedule again.

But all I want to do is sleep and take Advil and watch movies.

Yes, I am whining. I don't do sick very well at all. Being sick sucks mightily. If y'all could send some healthy vibes my way, I'd surely appreciate them.