Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Survivor: Cambodia, Second Chance - September 30 Blog Party

Survivor fans ready? As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll update this entry with the major happenings. Refresh the page to get the latest! As always, the real party is in the comments area -- come join in on the fun!

To remind folks, Lifeguard Laurie has made the random picks for the blog pool and here they are:

Bayon Tribe
Andrew Savage - Jennasmom, JoyzJenn, Silk
Ciera Eastin - chrob61, Jackie, Russ
Jeremy Collins - Brian, meb, Nickelpeed
Joe Anglim - Delee, Mother Guru, PDX Granny
Kass McQuillen - Donna NY, Marlo, Petals
Keith Nale - Tammy, gaylos, Margo
Kimmi Kappenberg - Glenn, Nana in the NW, Rbennie
Monica Padilla - ChicMC, Kelsey, sanra
Stephen Fishbach - Brenda, Matt, Rochelle
Tasha Fox - Donna in AL, Jennamom, Stephanie in Baltimore

Takeo Tribe 
Abi-Maria Gomes - Nobody is stuck with her!
Jeff Varner - Donna in FL, Linda in MA, SueGee
Kelley Wentworth - monty 924, Grandi, RENOthunder
Kelly Wiglesworth - ML, Sharon N, Indiana Jane
Peih-Gee Law - Becky, David, Joanie,
Shirin Oskooi - Cheryl in NC, Kelly D, Sharon C
Spencer Bledsoe - Ellen vdW, Nancerella, Terry is a Texan
Terry Deitz - Anonymouse, Merrilee, ORKMommy
Woo Hwang - Ed in Ohio, LafayetteLisanne, Laurie

Vytas Baskauskas 

Varner wants his tribe to go with the new school of thoughts. He's hooking up with Terry and they want to "really play this game." Varner thinks Abi will be easy to get out and is more worried about Spencer and Shirin. 

Uh-oh. Joe's tribemates think he's much too good at everything. He needs to watch his back by merge.

Abi meanwhile wants to show that she's a new Abi. Spencer isn't happy that he needs her in his camp. Jeff Varner considers her entertainment.

Kass thinks her fellow tribemates are great people and they make her a better person. I guess we'll see. She said that after Andrew Savage told them a touching sad story of his wife. Stephen tells Andrew that Jeremy went off looking for an idol when Jeremy actually just needed a bit of alone time because his own wife is pregnant and he's worried. Andrew told Jeremy about what Stephen said. That puts another nail in the Fishbach Coffin, methinks.

Aha! Abi has started a cat fight with Peih-Gee and Shirin! So much for the New Abi-Maria. Aw, Terry goes to console her and now she'll be forever loyal to him? I guess we'll see how that goes! Varner reels her in, too. After her own alliance laughed at her to her face, she's a Happy Abi once again. Until the next time she can be a drama queen, that is.

Immunity Challenge -- Obstacle course over walls, haul a heavy crate, solve a puzzle. Reward is a Survivor tool kit with all kinds of stuff. Ciera sits out. BAYON wins Immunity and Reward again.

Varner thinks either Spencer or Shirin should go home and their poor performance in the challenge should get the deed done. It sounds like the numbers are against Spencer and Shirin. Varner is leading the pack. Kelley thinks she will follow the numbers. Shirin thinks she has Varner in her corner and wants to try to make good with Abi.

Argh! Abi, thinking she's a smarty-pants and getting even with Shirin, tells Shirin that they all want to vote her (Shirin) or Spencer out. Shirin runs to Spencer. Shirin tries to bring Woo in and he reminds them that they have never talked to him before. "Absolutely not!," says Woo. Heh. Good for him.

Spencer is in tears. I can't feel sorry for him. He should have known better than to team up with Shirin! 

Tribal Council time. Aw, Shirin is going to go for the sympathy card. Spencer speaks a good piece trying to stay. Ack, Jeff lets Shirin speak last. I prefer Spencer stay! Spencer votes Shirin.

The tally --
Spencer, Shirin, Shirin, Shirin, Spencer, Spencer, Spencer, Shirin, Shirin.

Shirin is voted out!

Whoa! Next week it's "drop your buffs" and they get split into three tribes!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Survivor: Cambodia, Second Chance - Blog Pool Match-Ups Announcement

The blog pool match-ups for this season are IN! Lifeguard Laurie has made the random picks and here they are:

Bayon Tribe
Andrew Savage - Jennasmom, JoyzJenn, Silk
Ciera Eastin - chrob61, Jackie, Russ
Jeremy Collins - Brian, meb, Nickelpeed
Joe Anglim - Delee, Mother Guru, PDX Granny
Kass McQuillen - Donna NY, Marlo, Petals
Keith Nale - Tammy, gaylos, Margo
Kimmi Kappenberg - Glenn, Nana in the NW, Rbennie
Monica Padilla - ChicMC, Kelsey, sanra
Stephen Fishbach - Brenda, Matt, Rochelle
Tasha Fox - Donna in AL, Jennamom, Stephanie in Baltimore

Takeo Tribe 
Abi-Maria Gomes - Nobody is stuck with her!
Jeff Varner - Donna in FL, Linda in MA, SueGee
Kelley Wentworth - monty 924, Grandi, RENOthunder
Kelly Wiglesworth - ML, Sharon N, Indiana
Jane Peih-Gee Law - Becky, David, Joanie,
Shirin Oskooi - Cheryl in NC, Kelly D, Sharon C
Spencer Bledsoe - Ellen vdW, Nancerella, Terry is a Texan
Terry Deitz - Anonymouse, Merrilee, ORKMommy
Woo Hwang - Ed in Ohio, LafayetteLisanne, Laurie

Vytas Baskauskas

Well, look at that. In her infinite wisdom, Lifeguard Laurie knew that no one could really cheer on Abi-Maria. After all, how did she even get voted back in except to torment her fellow castaways?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Insightful Big Brother Article (Not Inciteful!)

BB9 Sheila Wants Her Meds photo SheilaMeds.gif

This HuffPo article is really, really long. I mean REALLY long. And, since Sheila is one of the ones speaking, I brought up an old Zoetawny GIF of her. It still stands today.

But First, an Oral History of Big Brother 

But, any Big Brother fan who's invested all these seasons watching the show should give it a read. It features various hamsters from season one on asked questions regarding aspects of the game. From the day to day action (or lack thereof) to whether production takes part in the game and how it's evolved over the years. They even talk about sequester and the jury house, places we hear or see little of ... well, we see what that want us to see from the latter.

I'm not going to chime in with my thoughts at this time because you're going to have enough reading ahead of you.

But I will be in comments after you've absorbed it! See you there!

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - September 27, 2015

Good morning! Yes, I slept in today. It was very relaxing not to have to stay up late watching the Big Brother live feeds, then get up early and flashback on the feeds, then post a report!

This is my weekly off television topic reflection on the week gone by in both words and photos I've taken along the way. For any folks new to the blog, I do this every Sunday. After all, we can't be couch potatoes watching television all day every day! Can we?

It was the first full week of actual normal temperatures here as we welcomed autumn mid-week. I love it. I'm so not a summer heat and humidity kind of person! Give me the high 60s and low 70s and I'm a happy camper.

No, I did not go camping, mind you. I returned to work after my staycation the week before. Sigh. If not for pesky things like keeping a roof over my head and the bills paid, I'd just pursue things I enjoy doing. Alas, I can't earn enough money at those things. So, work I must.

Some random stuff of the week gone by and what's ahead:
  • I'll be posting links and videos of the BB hamster interviews tonight and during the week.
  • If you want in on our blog pool for The Amazing Race, the cut-off is tomorrow and you'll need to sign up for it on this post right here.
  • If you watch The Amazing Race or Survivor, I live blog those shows and throw blog parties as they air East Coast time -- Survivor on Wednesday 8pm ET and The Amazing Race Fridays at 8pm ET. New folks are always welcome to join in on the fun!
  • Today I plan on heading to nearby Westfield for their FestiFall Festival. Yes, I'll bring my camera.
  • This past week wasn't too exciting. I've overloaded this week's post with photos of a deer who was extremely curious about me.
  • I worked, ate, slept and paid attention to Vincent (the cat).
  • I dropped off my photos for this year's photo contest at the Plainfield Public Library. This year's theme isn't really the best for me, so I'm not all that optimistic about winning any prizes. A few of the photos I would have been able to use for the theme were already submitted in previous contests and they used them on the entry forms and announcements for this year's competition.
  • I noted, between the amount of riff-raff who have been constantly hanging out at the Plainfield Train Station, on the streets and apparently at the site of some sort of encampment I saw downtown ... it appears the homeless problem in town continues to grow. The folks who were hanging out on the bench on the corner of Richmond and East Front (causing the city or someone to remove the bench and put up No Loitering signs) have moved to sitting in front of the Monarch Building on the benches there.
  • Yet, Omar remains gone from the train station. He must be in jail, er ... "away" again.
  • That's what drugs and excessive drinking will do people. 
  • And, it's a reason to keep working. That's no kind of life to live.
Enough ... onto this week's photos. Clicking on an image will bring it up in a larger version.

I'm watching you ...

This young deer at the Bridgewater Train Station was just as interested in watching me as I was in watching her ... or him. I swear the deer must have wanted me to take her home with me or something! So curious! This was Friday on my way home from work. The whole saga in photos is after the jump.

 Eid Al-Adha

This past week marked the two day Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, otherwise known as the Festival of Sacrifice. Traditionally, the faithful would slaughter animals to feed the poor. However, I doubt that was happening at the Plainfield Islamic Center. I believe it was just the feast part! More photos of this after the jump, too.


Friday, September 25, 2015

The Amazing Race 27: Season Premiere Blog Party

Are you ready for a whirlwind race around the world with all brand new teams? I am! As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll post the major happenings. It's not easy for me to get all the names right in the beginning, so please bear with me. Refresh the page to get the latest. As always, the real party is in the comments area. Come join in on the fun!

If you want in on the blog pool for the season (run by the Magnificent Margo), please enter on this post linked here. Please don't ask on this season premiere post because your request might be missed. The team Philiminated tonight (if there is one) will not be included in the blog pool. The cut-off for joining the pool is Monday!

Let's GO, teams!

They're starting off on Venice Beach in California. The first destination is Rio! The team who wins a bike race (after a cab) wins the only ticket to the first flight. The others are all on the second one, a half-hour later. The team who wins this leg also wins an Express Pass. Once again, FitBit monitors have worked their way onto a show.

The bikes turn out to be water bikes. That's an interesting twist on it. Justin and Diana won the first flight ticket. The alpha male team came in last -- they broke their bike. Some of the female teams are getting a bit catty. Hmm.

Justin and Diana go for the Fast Forward which seems like it's hang-gliding.

The other teams go for the helicopter trip which will end in them having to answer a question.

Uh-oh. Due to wind conditions, the Fast Forward can't be done. Justin and Diana have to head back to the helicopters. They're going from hero to zero here. They'll be in last place. Aw, he's in tears. They're the team who has done their own replica of the race down to proposal under the Northern Lights.

Detour -- Beach soccer-volleyball or Sidewalk. Score against pro soccer players in a volleyball game or do a slide-puzzle which matches the mosaic walk.

No Roadblock this week. It's onto the Pit Stop from the beach.

Pit Stop -
1. Josh and Tanner (the alpha males) won. They get the Express Pass and, once they use it, they must give it to another team.
2. Jazmine and Danielle (best friend atheletes)
3. Cindy and Rick -- the doctor and dentist married couple
4. James Earl and his mother. (Eep ... warned you about the names!) DENISE!
5. Logan and Chris (dating)
6. Alex and Adam (the little dudes)
7. Ernest and Jin (the dancer dudes)
8. Kelsey and Joey (the dating news couple)
9. Justin and Diana. He cries again.
10. Tiffany and Krista (Cheerleaders)

Uh-oh. Phil comes to visit the last team just as they finish the puzzle. It's the TMZ gals -- Kelly and Shevonne -- PHILIMINATED!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Big Brother 17: The Aftermath and Steve on 'The Talk'

The Austin/Vanessa "talk"

I want to thank all of the people who hung out here on the blog through BB17 and a special thank you to those who hit that Donate button! Unlike other sites, I don't get a percentage of the cut from live feeds and such. So, the Donate button helps make up a bit for the amount of lost sleep and such through the live feeds. It also makes me very happy to know that people are enjoying themselves here enough to make donations. I really appreciate it!

That said ... let's get to business.

I stayed up way too late last night watching all of the Jeff Schroeder backyard interviews. (Especially when I had to get up early this morning for work, then stop at the library after work and not get back home until nearly 7pm. Eek.)

I'd say almost all of them handled themselves fairly well. Some don't know their language should be G-rated in these things -- Audrey, Vanessa and Austin come to mind. Johnny Mac seemed honestly touched that Jeff had seen his guitar videos and that many fans like them. Jason was realistic and said it's back to work and living in his mother's basement. Steve was the excitable lad we all know him to be. Austin said kind words about Steve and didn't act like a jerk. He must know how to turn off the Jerk button, I guess.

Then there was Vanessa. Oh my gosh ... while I think she played the best game all season until she didn't win that final HOH, she reminded me of headache times on the live feeds. Mind you, I didn't really say I like her -- I said she played the best game through the season. Vanessa actually drove me a bit bonkers on the live feeds! She talked a mile a minute in the interview, tried to rationalize everything she did, repeated herself (over and over again) and I thought Jeff was going to go cross-eyed in a trance or something.

For a moment I thought there was going to be a brouhaha ... or a kerfuffle ... or maybe fisticuffs! Austin came and gave Vanessa a whack just as she was starting her interview with Jeff. He was a bit heated, but she begged and rationalized and he realized that Jeff had turned and they were filming this. They hugged and made up, at least for the cameras.

Over the next few days I'll be posting or linking interviews with the hamsters.

Once again, thank you all for another fun season on the blog!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Big Brother 17: Season Finale Blog Party

The Final Three bid adieu to us

Liz spelled it out, Sneaky Steve nudged it
Well, this is it. We're at the season finale, another summer of voyeurism finished. This morning, before the live feeds shut down, the final three said farewell. Liz was the most excited and happy. Steve said the fact he's there proves that if you really want to be on the show, you can do it. Vanessa was a bit more like Tommy Chong. She's not a morning person.

Before we get on with the show, we have a few bits o' bizness to attend to:
  • Both the Survivor and The Amazing Race blog pools are open for signing up. Please do not sign up on this BB17 season finale post! The sign up posts are at: Survivor Blog Pool and The Amazing Race Blog Pool.
  • As for this season's BB blog pool, the remaining contenders are:
Liz - Skyriverblue, jo Chapman, monty924
Steve - KelseyNY, Carrie, K
Vanessa - Chacha, Heather Reyes, T-Town Chick

As the show airs here on the East Coast, I'll be updating this post with the major events (and perhaps a few minor thoughts thrown in). Refresh the page to get the latest news. As always, the real party is in the comments section! Come join in on the fun!

We have to get through the season recap first. Oy. Finally, we should be getting to the first part of the final HOH ... please! Please? Finally! We're to the swinging and dunking apple hamsters. The winner of this round skips round two and vies in part three with the winner of two. Got that?

All three are still up when a taunting voice tells them to slide down from the disks and sit right atop the apples. Please note this voice was never on the comp in the live feeds! Steve is out first. Vanessa sats that she can hang on for longer to psych out Liz ... claims she has another ten hours in her. She mouths final two at her while Steve's back is turned. Liz drops. Vanessa wins Part One!

Liz thinks she HAS to beat Steve in the next part, so she isn't trusting any deal with Vanessa.

It's onto Part Two. It's crossword puzzle format. Steve is thrilled because he likes puzzles. It's BB-related and they have to climb up to put their answers in. It's timed and Steve went first.

The time:
Steve - 28:22
Liz - 31:11

Steve wins Part Two and will go against Vanessa in Part Three!

Dr. Will's Roundtable with the jury! Yes! Johnny Mac joins them. Heh. Austin is shocked that Liz is working with Vanessa against Johnny Mac. Will brings up that he's being hypocritical. Heh. Jackie and Shelli talk about how much Vanessa is playing the game. James thinks she's been playing very well.  Austin and Becky seem bitter.

Shelli thinks Steve did brilliantly social. Johnny Mac calls him a rat. Julia thinks he's cowardly. Jackie thinks highly of Liz's game. James thinks Liz should win because she's in the house and they're all out there. Johnny Mac thinks other people (Vanessa) ran Liz's game.

Final Part of the Final HoH Comp! Vaness and Steve are on Scales of Just Us, have to prove how well they know the jury. A statement with two possible endings. Eight questions.
1. Steve 1, Vanessa 0
2. Both wrong
3. Both right
4. Both right
5. Both wrong
6. Both right
7. Vanessa right. A tie.


To the living room. Steve EVICTS VANESSA! He went on about her being such a strong player and the move he had to make. Liz is in shock.

Vanessa admits to Julie that she wasn't going to take Steve to the final two had she won HoH.

Julie introduces the jury for the interrogation. They're happy to see Vanessa join them. They've agreed to three questions.

Johnny Mac - You relied on me or Vanessa for all you decisions. Tell me why I'm wrong. They can't hear him in the studio. We can.  He defends making the friendships, split the twin twist, work with Jackie, etc.

Becky - Liz, Austin created and influenced your strategy. What was your strategy? Liz says she aligned with Austin and Vanessa, target on back, did own campaigning.

James - Steve, sitting next to a player while you floated. Steve denies floating. Steve is defending himself quite well.

Liz - Biggest game move as individual? Aligning with strong competitors. (Um, individual?)

Jackie - Biggest function was a vote. Dang, he's being so well-spoken. The kid is prepared.

Austin - Why do you deserve to win the money over Steve? The twin disadvantage, want the money.

Well, Steve certainly after his initial nervousness, answered very well. Liz, not so much.

Final Plea time.
Liz - Not a big gamer, grew to love the game, Julia, incredible summer, three wins.
Steve - Prepared speech, played the game while Liz was in hotel, four HoH reigns, made moves making his own decisions, Liz followed others.

Voting time.
Shelli, loves both. Voting with heart.
Jackie - Congrats, proud of both, one who dreamed of it their entire life.
Becky - One person I'm proud to vote for.
Meg - Heart is torn, give credit to big moves.
James - Both amazing, let Jesus take the wheel.
Julia - My vote is obvious, but I love you both
Austin - Liz, love you. Steve, proud of you, Heart wants what it wants.
Johnny Mac - Choose between worst alliance ever member, can't think of insult for Liz.
Vanessa - No offense Steve, my vote goes for the person who I think best represents what this season stood for.

Non-jury hamsters time on stage. Da'Vonne disses Austin. Heh. Vanessa admits to being a millionaire poker player. Yawn. Jason gives Vanessa kudos for maneuvering through the game but disses her for not owning her game. Audrey is having time of her life, warm responses, gets teary.

The vote reveal --
Vanessa - Liz
Johnny Mac - Steve
Austin - Liz
Julia - Liz
James - Steve
Meg - Steve
Becky - Steve
Jackie - Steve

STEVE WINS BB17! Shelli also voted Steve.

Favorite Houseguest  -- Johnny Mac, James and Jason.

JAMES wins favorite houreguest.

Steve says he'll spend the money wisely and didn't expect to win.

Survivor: Cambodia, Second Chance Season Premiere Blog Party

I think we're in for a great season on the show. After all, these people, while not an "All Stars" kind of cast, have all played the game before. Many are no spring chickens these days and yet they'll be playing with/against some young alpha male types. It should be very interesting!

Because the blog pool gives back its first cast-off, akin to throwing a fish caught back to sea, you still have time to join in! The post where you need to sign up is at this link right here. Come join in on the fun and, remember, tonight's cast off won't be a part of our action. The cut-off date for joining the pool is Friday, September 25, 6pm ET. Please sign up on the post linked as any requests in comments on this season premiere post might get lost in the shuffle.

I'll be updating this post with the major events as the show airs here on the East Coast. Refresh the page to get the latest news! As we do what we do ... the real party is in the comments area. C'mon in and have a good time!

Let's get this party started! Survivor fans ready?

Nice scenes of the country (Cambodia) and, so far, a good intro segment for each new-old castaway.

They're divided onto two boats as Jeff greets them from a larger third boat. Twenty players from thirty seasons. He's calling out the tribes too quickly for me to list right now. Both tribes get off their boats and are timed getting supplies from his boat, then one tribe gets to go for rice on another boat. Now it's off for the rice.

Kelly and Joe both swim for it. Woo gets to the bag of rice first.

The tribes:
Bayon - Andrew Savage, Jeremy Collins, Joe Anglim, Keith Nale, Stephen Fishbach, Ciera Eastin, Kass McQuillen, Kimmi Kappenberg, Monica Padilla, and Tasha Fox.
Ta Keo - Jeff Varner, Spencer Bledsoe, Terry Deitz, Vytas Baskauskas, Woo Hwang, Abi-Maria Gomes, Kelly Wiglesworth, Kelley Wentworth, Peih-Gee Law, and Shirin Oskooi.

Terry approaches Spencer and said his son told him to work with him. Spencer seems definitely open to the idea.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Abi is already fussing because her bag is missing. That's going to turn others off right away.

Jeremy makes nice with Keith, thinking that he, Tasha and Savage are his best alliance bets. He thinks Joe is the best "shield" he can have, too. Joe, Savage and Jeremy are going to be quite the formidable trio powerhouse.

Fishbach says he once again feels like a "fishbach out of water." He's worried about his future with the tribe.

Vytas is playing up to the women; Shirin is already out for blood from him and reports to Jeff and Spencer. She's also on the prowl to get Peih-Gee out. Jeff is in culture shock with the jumping into the fray so quickly. Abi found her missing bracelet in Peih-Gee's bag. Hmm. Peih-Gee tells her that she found a bag with no name tag on it and didn't know. Hmm.

Meanwhile, Joe is trying to make fire scraping wood. Kass suggests using her glasses. And, the others see Fishbach out there looking for an idol. Joe is successful making his fire. All cheer!

There's already division in Ta Keo -- old school/new school, shelter people/beach people. Peih-Gee is already leery of Shirin. (Rightfully so.)

Kelley Wentworth found a clue to the hidden idol while on coconuts and palm fronds task.

The tribes get tree mail telling them that the first challenge will be the same one as the first challenge ever on the show. Tasha is giggly girlie over Joe. Heehee. Kelley thinks Vytas is annoying and wants him out. For some reason, Joe's yoga class all seemed to like him. Vytas had a lot of detractors right off the bat. Vytas thinks Abi is going to be the first pick for out.

We're onto the challenge. Reward is a fire-making kit. Quest for Fire is the challenge -- swimming out to raft, all must be there to swim it and light fires through the course, then bring fire ashore, place raft on stand, stick and rope to retrieve a key, open a lock, light final fire to win. Kelley is glancing around for the hidden idol as her clue indicated it's there. But she's too nervous to really search. She doesn't want them onto her.

Kelley got the idol! Woot for her!

Bayon wins Immunity!

Whoa! Jeff tells Ta Keo they're going to Tribal right now. Yikes. Kelly (Wiglesworth) feels guilty, like she let everyone down trying to build the stick to get the key. But I doubt they're going to target her. Nor do I think Kelley with the idol needs to worry.

Tribal Council. Jeff is asking his generally Probsting questions. Woo brings up the old school/new school ways. The guys talk about tribe unity reasons for voting. Abi thinks she's in trouble and would be heartbroken if she goes. They claim there's been a lot of gameplay and most aren't just voting on a whim tonight.

Woo and Vytas vote Abi. Abi votes Vytas.

The votes tally, Jeff mentions the idol, no one speaks up.

Vytas, Abi, Vytas, Abi, Vytas, Abi, Vytas, Abi, Vytas, Vytas.

Vytas is the first voted out. Yikes!

Big Brother 17: Live Feeds into Wednesday - September 23

They're going all poignant on us

Once again, not much in the way of news. So, I'll give you screen caps instead.
  • A scrolling banner tells us the live feeds will stop at 9:45am PT. They'll probably barely be up by then!
  • The banner also promises backyard interviews after the live show airs on the East Coast -- 8pm PT or 11pm here. As I work tomorrow morning, I'll probably have to play catch up with them. Since those interviews are on the live feeds only (initially), in the days to come I'll be posting links and such for interviews everyone can watch.
  • After all, we all want to see Austin again.
  • Right?
  • Heh.
  • As for action yesterday and overnight in the house ... um ... um ... they played cards, cooked, packed, cleaned some, Steve shaved his beard and the girls touched up their dark roots.
  • No kerfuffles. No fisticuffs. No brouhahas.
  • And, no new game talk.

Late night slumber party

Three people yet a messy kitchen

Good thing Liz is there. She cooks.

And, she cleans

Coco is reluctant to give up the dream

Steve shaved

Vanessa touched up her roots

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Amazing Race 27: Blog Pool OPENS!

Come one, come all! Yeah, yeah ... I know BB17 isn't over yet, but The Amazing Race is coming!

If you want in on the blog pool for this season, please leave your name in the comments on this post only! If you comment elsewhere, it could very well be missed. We're once again giving a free pass for the first team out as we hardly get to know them.

The season premiere is Friday, September 25 at 8pm ET/PT. The deadline will be Monday (September 29) at 6pm ET. The random match-ups will be announced before the second episode airs. There will be a blog party for the season premiere -- Friday, September 25 at 8pm ET -- just no pool for said premiere.

How it all works:
  • Magnificent Margo and Mom (who rock our socks!) make random picks for us.
  • We cheer on our random pick team until they either get Philiminated or win The Amazing Race.
  • There is no wagering nor passing of monies in this blog pool! 
  • The winner(s) reserve the bragging rights for eternity ... or, at least until the next season starts.
  • If you're posting anonymously, you do need to come up with a sign-off name for your comments. 
So ... who wants to jump in the pool? The water's fine. We won't make you eat native delicacies, either!

Big Brother 17: Live Feeds into Tuesday - September 22

Shut it down, Steve!

Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of Biding Time:
  • For the most part, all has been amiable with little game talk.
  • They've played cards together, cooked, eaten, had lots of small talk.
  • BUT ... when there is actual game talk (about this season and the inevitable end of it), somehow it's always Vanessa.
  • Vanessa talking to Steve.
  • Vanessa talking to Liz.
  • But never at the same time.
  • Vanessa had an extended talk with Liz, pointing out how Steve has betrayed her and, while she likes him as a friend, he's not worthy of the win.
  • She's had similar talks with Steve about Liz, pointing out all the reasons Liz shouldn't win.
  • She has promised them both the final two and told them not to tell the other.
  • She's promised them both the final two and told them if they hear anything different, it's because she had to say it.
  • Her reasons? (That is, as far as I can tell.) -- She obviously wants Steve to take her to the final two if he wins Part Three. Plus, if it's not HER choice ... she probably thinks she will have Liz, Julia and Austin in her corner in the jury.
  • And, if she (Vanessa) wins Part Three, she can have her choice and I think she thinks that she has a better chance against Liz in the final two. She will then point out all the flaws in Steve's game and betrayals to the jury.
  • However, the problem with Vanessa is that she is hard to read. She doesn't talk to US. Over the season, I've kind of figured out what she'll do. But it's still tough. I can never say for sure what's going on in her mind.
  • On the other hand, Steve does talk to US (or, to himself) a lot. We know that he's planning on dumping Vanessa if he wins Part Three. So far, he's been covering it well with both Vanessa and Liz. He's made no promises to Liz and Vanessa thinks he'll never choose Liz over her.
  • And on it goes ...

Play your cards right, Liz

Yes, Liz. There's a camera there.

If she wins Part Three, she should win

If he wins Part Three, he needs to carry through on his plans

Monday, September 21, 2015

Big Brother 17: Live Feeds into Monday - September 21

Thinking on his feet

Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of It's the Final Countdown:
  • Again, most of their time together was spent playing cards, eating and small talk.
  • Except for Steve, that is.
  • He was up a good portion of the night pacing the backyard, hammocking and talking to himself/us.
  • He went over his whole strategy for the game.
  • He went over his speech to evict Vanessa (if he wins Part Three).
  • He went over all of the reasons he's done what he's done in the game.
  • He all but explained the Meaning of Life and Everything.
  • I'm sure Vanessa is also thinking out her final approach to the game.
  • But she doesn't vocalize.
  • Meanwhile, Steve has been pressuring Vanessa to commit to telling Liz that she won't take her to the final two.
  • Vanessa hasn't/won't do so.
  • Steve is wisely taking that as an indication that Vanessa would take Liz over him.
  • So, he keeps studying and planning.

Thinking on the hammock

Thinking while diagramming

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Big Brother 17: Live Feeds Sunday into the Evening - September 20

Liz sleeping

I really don't have much for you tonight. Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of Prolonging the Agony:
  • They napped a lot.
  • They ate a lot.
  • They did not fight.
  • They played cards.
  • Liz did the cooking again.
  • Vanessa and Steve ate Liz's cooking.
  • No one died.
  • Vanessa and Liz did facials.
  • Steve doesn't like potatoes nor fish.
  • Now, there's some deep insight, eh?
  • Vanessa is still playing physically injured although having playing cards available perked her up some.
  • No real game talk.

Vanessa sleeping

Playing cards

Scary Vanessa

Scary Liz

Big Brother 17: Final HoH Part One, Season Review Show Blog Party - September 20

Big Brother 11 Blog Logo photo BB-09-smJackieMA28497852-0002.gif

Good evening! Ready for a blog party? While many of us already know the results of the final HoH Part Two comp, tonight's episode will focus on the reveal of the HoH winner from Part One. I suppose they might show the second part, but I think they'll do the review of the season (ah, the memories of the way they were!) instead. 

Off BB17 for a moment -- if you want in on the Survivor blog pool, please sign up on the pool sign-up post. (Don't sign up on this BB17 post, please. We might miss your name.)

The show is running late due to football here. I'll be posting this at the regular 8pm ET although word verification won't come down until it starts here (about 8:27pm ET). I'll be updating this entry with the major happenings as it airs here on the East Coast. Refresh the page to get the latest. As always, the real party is in the comments area. I hope to see you there!

Although 60 Minutes just ended here (8:26pm ET), obviously the show started on time elsewhere as seen in the comments at the party below! 

And ... we're starting! Recap, recap ...

Vanessa has made final two deals with both Liz and Steve. They celebrate with the champagne. Vanessa denies making a final two Liz deal to Steve. She's telling him what he wants to hear, but he doesn't really seem to be believing what he's hearing.

More champagne and the fancy reminiscing breakfast segment now. The twins exposed by Da'Vonne comes first. Jeff downfall with the Vanessa set-up for it. Audrey calling out Vanessa. Lots of fingers pointing at Vanessa, crocodile tears and Vanessa on defensive. Ew ... Austin/Liz segment. Ah, the Zing was worth it.

Ah, onto James and Meg. They were more fun to watch, for sure. To the Nerdmance -- Steve and Johnny Mac. Shelli and Clay now. (Along with their ten-year age difference.)

Becky hit in the face by the train re-tell. Clay's mumbling and Audrey's transgender thoughts. Then onto the real weirdness of Oddrey ... the lies she spread to create dissent in the house. James's pranking, WhackStreet Boys ... okay, I'm just about reminisced out.

The Diary Room segments with Audrey are a hoot, though.

Finally, to the Part One of the HoH comp. Carnival set-up. "How 'bout them apples" is the name of the comp. They have to sit on hanging giant candy apples being dipped into red liquid and slammed into a wall. They won't show the end of this until during the finale on Wednesday night. It's a good thing we already know.

Survivor: Cambodia Second Chance Pool is OPEN!

Come one, come all! Yeah, yeah ... I know BB17 isn't over yet, but Survivor is coming! That Lovable Lifeguard Laurie has once again volunteered to watch the pool for us. If I've never mentioned it before, she rocks. Right?

If you want in on the blog pool for this season, please leave your name in the comments on this post only! If you comment elsewhere, it could very well be missed. We're once again giving a free pass for the first boot as that person hardly gets to play.

The season premiere is Wednesday, September 23 at 8pm ET/PT. The deadline will be Friday (September 25) at 6pm ET. The random match-ups will be announced before the second episode airs. There will be a blog party for the season premiere leading into the BB17 season finale ... just no pool for the premiere.

How it all works:

  • Lifeguard Laurie makes random picks for us.
  • We cheer on our random pick until their torch gets snuffed or they go on to be the sole Survivor.
  • There is no wagering nor passing of monies in this blog pool! 
  • The winner(s) reserve the bragging rights for eternity ... or, at least until the next season starts.
  • If you're posting anonymously, you do need to come up with a sign-off name for your comments. 
So ... who wants to jump in the pool? The water's fine -- no poisonous snakes yet!

Off Topic: That Was the Week It Was - September 20, 2015

Good morning! Welcome to my weekly off television topic reflection of the past week in both words and photographs I've taken along the way; This post is a year 'round "feature" on the blog. If you're looking for Big Brother posts, they can all be found at this link right here. If you're not interested in this particular post, please feel free to skip on by it. I'll be posting a Big Brother blog party post coinciding with the East Coast airing of the show and, late this evening, another live feeds post. That is, if they actually do anything worth reporting! Stay tuned.

I was on a staycation from work this week. I had a slew of things I planned to get done. Alas, only some of the things on my list were finished. But I also needed to relax and I did get a lot of that done!

Here are some random bits from the week:
  • I went to the Feast of San Gennaro in Littly Italy (NYC) where I took many photos, ate some (expensive) fried chocolate ice cream, stopped for an espresso and chocolate dessert, ate fried calamari and drank a $7 beer ($8 with tip). 
  • I don't go to the city often enough.
  • I'll have to go back soon. I still have money on my MetroCard. So, I need to go back before I misplace it.
  • I also visited Mindowaskin Park in Westfield, taking photos.
  • Despite getting a Peapod grocery order this week, I ended up picking up some things at Trader Joe's anyway.
  • I bought alcohol this past week, first time in a while. I'm not a huge drinker kind of person. I bought craft beers, some of those little bottles of interesting flavored liqueurs and a bottle of strawberry vodka.
  • Now I can predict I won't be by a liquor store again for months to come!
  • I went to a Farmer's Market.
  • The weather this week was beautiful, albeit a bit warmer than I like for this time of year. It's drizzling as I write this, but the week was free of rain until today.
  • Coming back from the city on the bus Monday, I ended up with an old friend who takes the bus for work. His first words to me ... "I hear you had some excitement at your building." -- referring to the gunshots a week or two ago.
  • My neighborhood is back to its quiet self.
  • On Thursday I saw big hubbub (and took photos, after the jump) of a huge investigation into the fire scene on East Second Street. There were state fire marshals (with dog), county fire investigators and Plainfield Fire Department people there. I don't know if someone rekindled the fire or whether it was just some delayed reaction investigation.
  • Google has finally updated its Plainfield street view map. Despite the fact I photographed a Google truck a few years back, the map is now really recent -- August 2015. It has the East Second Street construction going on and the two fire houses intact ... shortly before the fire.
  • About time they updated us. Plainfield 2007 is way different from Plainfield 2015!
Onto the photos for the week. There's a whole bunch of them. If you click on an image it will open a larger version.

Eek! There's a large man there!

Now, I've arrived in the city numerous times via NJ Transit bus to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I've taken photos of these buildings before. But I've never noticed the giant Peeping Tom dude! He has to be new. I didn't notice him this time until I was going through the photos I took.

Turn around, dragonfly!

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna ...

Krishna, Krishna, Rama, Rama. I have my personal doubts about this gentleman's whole gimmick. He approached me and I just shook my head no to him. He tried to give me something. I'm sure, had I taken it, he would hit me up for money next.


Big Brother 17: Live Feeds into Sunday - September 20

Will someone take her to the Final Two?

They are stretching this out way too long! Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of Biding Time:
  • Vanessa says her pain pills (from the comp the other night) make her feel loopy.
  • I'm wondering if it all might be an act heading into the final part of the HoH on the live show Wednesday night.
  • Due to Vanessa being loopy and napping a lot, Steve and Liz have spent a lot of time together.
  • Steve keeps giving us hints that he's ready to turn on Vanessa if he wins the final HoH part. 
  • Lots and lots of small talk.
  • BB gave them playing cards and Vanessa came to life.
  • They also have the yard once again and will probably have it until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning when it will need to be set up for interviews.
  • Thankfully, Steve won the second part of the HoH comp as there would be controversy had Liz won -- she told him that BB gave her a clue because she kept saying she wasn't in the house (Julia) when a certain comp answer happened. BB told her it was the one she won.
  • Hmm.
  • Of course, that went to fish and we got blocked.
  • Liz remains the main cook for the crowd.
  • Well, they do say three's a crowd, right?
  • Vanessa told Steve he's the most buff guy in the house.
  • Heh.
  • That's like when my father used to tell me I was his favorite daughter.
  • Steve is the ONLY guy in the house now and I was the ONLY daughter.
  • Not much game talk at all.
  • Three more days of this.

Brief foray for Mistress of Pain

Feels better with pain meds

Will he turn on Vanessa if he can?

Thankfully, usually has a shirt on

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Amazing Race 27: Meet the Cast Video

The good news is that the new season of The Amazing Race premieres next week!

The bad news is that it's once again scheduled for 8pm ET/PT on Friday nights. Unfortunately, I fear that a lot of the audience has gone by the wayside since the show started airing on Friday nights a few seasons back.

That said, it looks like an interesting cast this season and I'm looking forward to watching! Will you be watching the show?

Big Brother 17: Live Feeds, Final HoH Part 2 Winner - September 19

This is Vanessa on pain meds

Not that it's a big difference from Vanessa not on pain meds when she's in a napping mood! She doesn't talk as much. But, with it down to the three, she doesn't need to continually run around in paranoia. Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of What Do We Do For Four Days Now?:
  • I didn't give you an update yesterday evening because nothing much happened other than lots of napping and lots of studying for the comp.
  • Oh. And lots of fussing and complaining about pain from Vanessa.
  • The big action, Part Two of the Final HoH comp didn't start until nearly 10pm their time.
  • Make that 1am my time!
  • Ack.
  • Naturally, it was blocked to the live feeds and we got Jeffish instead.
  • Am I the only one who wishes they'd just go back to the theme music in the long feeds blocks? When it was music, I could nap and when their voices took over, that would wake me up.
  • Anyway ... STEVE won Part Two of the HoH Comp.
  • He was giddy beyond belief for a while, but eventually calmed down.
  • Liz, on the other hand, was quasi-calm with occasional extended bouts of tears.
  • From their talking, it seems the comp was BB-related crossword puzzle format with them in harnesses.
  • Liz pointed out that Steve's harness left a big red mark on his lower back.
  • Steve thinks Vanessa will win Part 3.
  • Hmm. If he has the distrust of Vanessa he's voiced to us in the past and he's a true BB fan, he'd better work his butt off to win Part 3 so it's HIS choice who goes to final two.
  • I'm hoping he's not going to trust Vanessa to take him there!
  • Maybe she would, maybe not.
  • The time limit for the comp was 90 minutes. 
  • They finished it in 30.
  • Feeds were blocked for nearly 90 minutes anyway.
  • They're all asleep now.

I did it! I did it!

Sorry, feeders, I'm emotional tonight.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Big Brother 17: Live Feeds into Friday - September 18


Here's the latest from inside that Big Brother House of Sweet Strategies:
  • When I last saw the bathroom floor, that roll of toilet paper featured in my last update was still there. No one has bothered to pick it up.
  • If that was here, my cat would have taken care of that immediately!
  • The girls slept most of the day. 
  • Steve napped a lot on and off between roaming the house, mumbling and laying out candy and Froot Loops to memorize house happenings.
  • Liz eventually got up and studied, often asking Steve for answers.
  • She eventually went to her own candy plan-o-grams.
  • They're all still hurting from the candy apple comp Wednesday night.
  • Vanessa is fussing the most, then Liz, then Steve. That's the reverse order of how they came down.
  • Steve and Liz have gravitated more to hanging out together. 
  • Maybe it's because Vanessa is so out of it.
  • Maybe it's because they just might both dump Vanessa if they have the choice?
  • Over the past few days, Steve has mumbled different versions of evicting Vanessa if he wins HoH.
  • Hmm.
  • I would think, if they're thinking win, Vanessa isn't one to take with you.
  • Then again, it might behoove either Steve or Vanessa to take Liz over each other.
  • But I could be totally wrong.
  • All three had to get dressed appropriately to answer fan questions for BBAD.
  • The questions were along the line of favorite foods, what they miss from home, etc. 
  • Yawn.
  • That took up a good fifteen minutes!
  • They're sleeping.


Such fun times

Answering questions for BBAD

Maimed for life?