Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sanford to Jacko Fans Nationwide: I Still Need Your Help Sorting Out My Life

COLUMBIA, SC - Governor Mark Sanford today made another plea to Michael Jackson fans in South Carolina, and the nation at large, not to let their grief over the death of the King of Pop stop them from focusing on his troubled marriage and failing political career. Less than a week after Sanford's cry-for-attention week-long disappearance ended with his reappearance in an Atlanta airport, Sanford was back in front of the press trying to get some of the spotlight back from the deceased Mr. Jackson.

"I just want you to know that I'm hurting too." Sanford said through tears. "I followed up 5 days of crying in Argentina, with 6 days of crying here in the States. When my beautiful mistress and I first made love, "The Way You Make Me Feel" was playing in the background. It's true when they say you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. But dead is dead. I'm still here and my problems are NOT going away anytime soon."
Sanford figured that after his first rambling, poorly-executed press conference on Wednesday, the general public would be on board to "help me sort out all my issues. Lord knows, I can't do iton my own. I'm sinking and I'm reaching out here, people." Unfortunately for Sanford, Thursday saw the death of two American pop-culture icons; Farrah Fawcett in the morning and then most unexpectedly Michael Jackson in the afternoon.

"When I first heard about Farrah, I was sad, of course, but also nervous that maybe people would get caught up in that and forget about me. I mean, these feelings I'm feeling are so new to me. It's almost like I'm not inside my own body. Do you know what I mean? Anyway, later that afternoon I turned on CNN and saw that Jacko had passed, and in that moment, I knew I was quite literally yesterday's news."

In a strategic attempt to reinsert himself into the 24 hour news cycle, Sanford first laid relatively low. He hoped that people would listen to Jackson's four decade's worth of hit songs non-stop over the weekend, and get it out of their systems by the time they headed back to work. As Monday rolled around, and the songs were still playing and the Jacksons were ordering a second autopsy, Sanford knew he'd have to take matters into my own hands.
"This is my LIFE" Sanford explained (through tears), "I can't let it be overshadowed by his death. No offense." Sanford decided that since his first incoherent on-camera speech was such a hit with the public, he would followed it up with another interview that made even less sense and ret-conned some of his previous bizarre statements.

Sanford explained that he was TRYING to fall back in love with his wife, but it wasn't easy since his soul mate is really his Argentinian mistress. He wasn't going to get to the bottom of this on his own and his lack of headlines on Huffington Post and New York Times Online were not helping his self esteem. "I really need you guys to stay focused, okay? I've made mistakes and hurt so many people. You guys gotta keep me honest."

For now,the governor is still the governor and does not plan to step down. He will, however, apologize to anyone who will listen. Sanford promised to continue to talk to the press in order to help him find the answers he seeks, and will apologize to the press when necessary.

"I just want the press of South Carolina to know that, as citizens of South Carolina, you are included on the list of many many groups of people I have let down. As I continue to double talk and come out with details that contradict my earlier statements, I know you'll be there to put my feet to the fire, but also offer a shoulder to cry on. From here on out, no matter who else might die, please don't leave me before we can find a way out of this together."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

SYTYCD - Nothin' Butt Dance, Top 16

This week's installments of So You Think You Can Dance were a little different for me than the Top 20 and Top 18. Whereas the previous weeks I'd felt a lot of the couples were performing evenly, this week i thought the group split into two groups: 4 were really good and 4 were a bit disappointing. Hip Hop once again proved a difficult challenge for the dancers. I don't remember so many couples having this much trouble with Hip Hop in the past. The Paso Doble had a weird He-Man costume theme that was paired with that crazy O Fortuna! song to bewildering effect. Add to that a not-so-impressive Singin' In The Rain number and the only Mandy Moore Jazz number I've ever truly disliked, and it can definitely be viewed as a week with several misfires.

There were some really solid routines as well. Mia Michaels gave us a very memorable contemporary piece that focused on Randi's butt. Brandon and Jeanette saved Hip Hop from going 0-4 with a solid rock-infused number. New couple Kupono and Kayla did a beautiful and flowing viennese waltz and Melissa and Ade did a smoldering Rumba. I would wager that all 8 of these dancers make it to the Top 10.

But of the remaing 6 dancers, which 2 do I think will make it to Top 10? I'll run down there chances.

Vitolio & Karla - Vitolio has a compelling story and lots of talent, so I'm not sure why he isn't really connecting with the competition. He's just not bringing it right now the way the other guys are. I think Karla is a much stronger competitor than her former partner Jonathan (who rightly got axed this week), but I don't think Vitolio is much better than Jonathan, and there's a strong likelihood that they'll fall in the Bottom 3 again in the next two weeks, and I think when that happens, they'll both be cut.

Jason and Caitlin - They had such a strong Top 20, but then they stumbled with Hip Hop and got no help from the Paso Doble. The Judges love Caitlin but seem to be tiring of Jason. I think if they could connect with the right choreographer they could muscle their way out of the bottom 3. I think Jason right now is not too far away from Vitolio on the chopping block.

Phillip and Jeanine - Phillip as a partner has to be a bit of a paradox, because he's not a great partner, but individually very popular. This helps and hurts Jeanine, I think, because the past two weeks they haven't had very memorable routines, but they haven't been in the bottom because kids are dialing in for Phillip. So Jeanine hasn't been at risk to go home, but she also hasn't had a real showcase for her talents. So if it's Top 12 Week and they dip into the bottom, Phillip can finally rock out with an amazing solo, but Jeanine might not make it.

Overall? I think it will be Cailtin and Phillip in the Top 10 with the other 8. Of course it all depends week to week who's in the Bottom 3, but all things staying equal, I think this is how it will shake out. Losing Asuka and Jonathan this week was the right call. Asuka, as Nigel pointed out, really wasn't growing in the competition and Jonathan, with his cute face and strong acrobatics, didn't really have the dance technique to continue.

For this weeks great routines, you can go here, here and here. Or check out the embedded videos below.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exit The King

It's very strange to me that Michael Jackson is dead. It's also very strange to me how deeply sad that I feel. I think so much of his life had become such a media circus, such a tabloid freakshow that I had not consciously thought of him as an artist for years. But now that he's gone, what immediately rushes to the front of my brain is the artist and his contributions to the world through his music. All the craziness is still there: the child molestation charges, the strange marriages, the baby-dangling, the surgeries, the skin-whitening, Neverland's money issues, the hordes of people constantly following him everywhere. It's just not what's on top right now. It's not the main thing. The main thing is the music and what he has meant to generations of people across the world.

There are so many moments from my childhood that leap to mind musically in connection to MJ. Thriller, of course, is really unlike anything. I was so terrified of that video, except during the dancing. The dancing was amazing and joyous. Billie Jean is amazing. Beat It is amazing. Man In The Mirror is amazing. These just scratch the surface. That's not even to mention all the Jackson Five songs that are total classics thanks to MJ. His Scarecrow in The Wiz was HUGE to me. I still think about the Leave Me Alone video in my daydreams. Then there's We Are The World. And The Free Willy song! Moonwalker! Captain EO in 3D in EPCOT! There's just so much that influenced and impacted me growing up. SO much.

And truthfully? I don't even consider myself a huge Michael Jackson fan. I didn't own all his albums, I didn't dress up like him as a kid at Halloween. I have friends for whom MJ was CRUCIAL to their lives growing up, and I know their shock and loss this evening is much greater than mine. But even as a casual fan of his music - look at all the things that I can immediately come up with that are memorable and important to me that he created! He was an undeniable component of pop-culture, and not in some bullshit way like current talentless reality stars who try to push their way into our lives in, offering nothing of substance in return for celebrity.

It's sad that he's gone at 50, right as he was prepping for a performance comeback, so that we might refocus on him as an artist and not some tabloid oddity. There could have been much more to his story. At least we are left with some truly incredible music and memories from his decades worth of work. What an impact he made on the world while he lived. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, especially his young children, and all of his true fans who have loved his work for their whole lives. He will not be forgotten.

Don't Cry For Him, Argentina

It won't be easy, you'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
that I still need your love after all that I've done. - Evita

I have been fascinated by the whole Mark Sanford debacle for a week now. For the past several days prior to yesterday's revelation, Rachel Maddow had been talking about how the Governor of South Carolina had seemingly disappeared and no one could reach him. The story went from odd, to really bizarre, to totally preposterous as more details came in. If you followed it like me, you know that his staff kept releasing these statements that made less and less sense. First he was hiking in the mountains and couldn't be reached. Then he could be reached, and they were sure he was fine... but maybe no one had heard from him anyhow. Then it was Father's Day weekend, and his family had not heard from him. His wife didn't know where he was and her statement expressed no real concern for his safety, nor interest in his return. THEN his staff said he was in the Appalachian Mountains and would be back on Wednesday. Each time someone tried to explain what was going on, it became clearer and clearer that whatever WAS going on, it had nothing to do with some 6-day hike alone in the mountains. On top of everything, the craziest aspect of this story for me was - HE IS THE GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA! He can't just completely disappear! He has a responsibility to his State to at least tell someone where he is, or pass his power on to the Lt. Governor in case of emergency in his absence. His staff didn't seem too concerned about the possibility of facing an emergency in the Governor's absence. Um, guys? A destructive event that you cannot predict, yet have to react to quickly is what makes it AN EMERGENCY! You're not supposed to try and figure out who ha authority AFTER the emergency is upon you! Ugh. That's the part I really find totally baffling. What were these people thinking??

So it turns out that Sanford is having an affair with some Argentinian lady. Everyone around him was shocked. I was not. I actually felt bad for him during the totally inept press conference he gave yesterday, because it seemed like he really was torn up about the situation he created for himself and doesn't know what to do with his feelings. I don't care about his feelings or his stupid love emails that were sent to the press months ago. The only parts of this I really care about are his abandonment of the people of South Carolina to take a trip without telling anyone where he was. It makes no difference to me if he went to have sex in Argentina or wanted to spend a week by himself at EuroDisney. He can't just up and leave. It's absurd that he thought he could - or should. For this boneheadedness alone he should resign.

Have I said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you.
But all you have to do is look at me to know
That every word is true.

If that's not enough of a reason for him to resign, perhaps he should consider his extreme political hypocrisy. When Bill Clinton and Larry Craig (to name just a few) faced sex scandals he thought THEY should resign. It's what he said he hoped he would do, if he were to find himself in that situation. Also, I'm totally fed up with public officials who are SOOO concerned with denying committed monogamous homosexual couple equal marriage rights under the guide of "protecting the sanctity" of heterosexual marriage, and then they go off and break their own marriage vows. Give me an effing break. Who are people like Sanford to judge other people's ability to marry? Republican family values bullshit needs to finally crawl into some back alley and die. It's so fake, and it corrupts people's genuine desire to see strong stable families by demanding you can only achieve that one way. It's not true! It's not even true for the people who are promoting it politically. Enough is enough. Stop the insanity.

Here's a link to a Craig Ferguson clip that reflects on the whole Sanford Fiasco. It makes me laugh, so I'm including it here. I think it's totally fair to make fun of the Runaway Governor, because he is a public figure. I do hope that the press and the media give his wife and his children some privacy and respect though. I feel for them as they deal with this very painful and very hurtful situation that Sanford caused. I'm still baffled as to why he chose to handle things in such a bizarre fashion.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Ooof. This is hard news to take. Rafa will not defend his title at Wimbledon this year. I was afraid of this. I hope my guy can rest and recover and make a go of it in the Hardcourt Season. Rafa not participating in Wimbledon will make the tourney less exciting for me, if Federer makes it to the Final I honestly don't think there's anyone else in the field that can challenge him. But it would be worse for Nadal to play the tournament in compromised physical condition. Maybe there will be an opportunity for someone like Murray to capture the title and make for a really compelling story, but right now I'm doubtful and quite disappointed.

In his own words: "I am not fit enough to play and as I said, I can't go on the centre court of Wimbledon if I am not 100% fit to play. The evolution of my knees are better, that's why I tried at Hurlingham, but I am not at the required level to play. As you can all imagine I am very disappointed, but I had to take this decision, one of the worst of my career."

Rafa will go back to his home in Mallorca, continuing his training and recovery. In the meanwhile, I will be reading Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played, and hoping for a Federer-Nadal Championship Match at the US Open in September. Rest well, Rafa.

SYTYCD - Hip Hop and You Both Drop - Top 18

So Top 18 Week for the SYTYCDancers was not quite as good as Top 20. Lots of people had a sophomore slump, making for 3 totally different couples in the Bottom 3 from the week before. That's rare for this show. There's usually at least one couple who continues to struggle week to week in the bottom of the draw. It just goes to show you it's a pretty tight race between all of them. Part of the let down of this week was that both hip hop routines by Shane Sparks really didn't connect. Is this the fault of the dancers or the choreographer? I have to say the dancers. There was such a lack of synchronicity in the dance, that you can't really tell what Shane was going for in either piece. I've seen non-hip-hoppers do much much better in this style on the show in previous seasons. They just didn't get it done this week, which is unfortunate, and it left six very talented dancers at the bottom and in danger of going home. We lost Ashley who was a favorite from Top 20's Crash Test Dummies and Max, who I thought was really a great partner for Kayla. That means next week it's Kupono and Kayla together... one can only hope they get Mia Michaels as their choreographer. I think that would rock hard.

Here are three dances from this past eek that I enjoyed. the third clip features Jonathan , who I'm still not really sold on at this point, but his partner Karla is outstanding. Check out the vids here, here and here if you don't see them. Although Fox is getting snippy with Youtube about the footage, so they might eventually disappear. Let's hope for some better hip hop featured in the Top 16!

Monday, June 15, 2009

College Humor: Interns!

Check out this video from the College Humor Guys with special guest stars Freestyle Love Supreme. This is as good an example as any of how fortunate we are that the FLS boys do not regularly choose to rap for the Dark Side of The Force, because if they wanted to, they could DESTROY YOU Emperor Palpatine-style! These are some very talented Interns. You can enjoy the video as well as other College Humor offerings here, or just click the embedded video below.

Rollin' Stone

Ah yes. So Friday night, I was introduced to the power and the glory of the Kidney Stone - aka The Worst Pain Known To Man That Won't Actually Kill You. Here is as much of the story as I have the energy to tell.

When i first thought I was having a kidney stone around 8pm, I called my boss who has very frequent kidney stones, so he'd know if that's what my symptoms were. He didn't think that it was kidney stones because I would definitely be having pain in my side. But there was no pain. At the beginning. Wait for it... Wait for it...

When the pain in my side started it was not very intense, and I thought maybe I had a "mild case" of kidney stone, where the blood mixed in the urine was actually the most disturbing symptom. You would be surprised how quickly the pain grew so that in less then a minute it went from mild, to intense to violently-excruciating. If I had not forced 4 ibuprofen down my throat, as I'd been instructed to do over the phone by Luis, i would never have been given the 10 minute window of relief I got to pack a small bag, call my Dad to let him know i was heading to the hospital , and go downstairs for my cab.

My cab driver didn't know what the hell was wrong with me. I think he thought i was sick in a contagious way. Telling him I was in pain from a kidney stone meant nothing to him. I had to throw up out of the window of the cab once when the pain got too great. But i totally missed the side of the cab! Good on me. At one point he told me we'd be there in 20 minutes, and at that point I was certain I would not be conscious when we arrived. Some Lamaze-style breathing and crazy-taxi driving got me there before i passed out or threw up again. Victory, indeed.

As I made it through the emergency room door, (maybe 20 feet from the curbside where the taxi dropped me) I collapsed from the pain. The security guy at the door said to me emotionlessly "Sir you cannot sit down here, there are seats just around the corner." "I'm not sitting down! I can't STAND!" I shouted at him as nicely as possible. "Okay, then fill out this form." he offered. "I CANNOT FILL OUT FORMS LIKE THIS!" I yelled. What would I have needed to look like to generate some concern from this man? Finally, he asked me to spell my name so he could write it down and I managed that. He then again directed me to go sit in the waiting room. I was unable to sit because of the lower back pain, so i kinda hunched down over two chairs. There was no one else waiting to be seen in the waiting room.

So this other nurse calls me in to get my info, and he too asks me to take a seat. I tell him as well that I cannot sit. He's all sit, stand, I don't care. He takes my info, spells my first name "Owem" and checks my vitals. He brings me back to this bed in the emergency room where i try to lie on my left side and pretend that my right side isn't throbbing with so much pain I can hardly breathe.

For a while I'm mostly ignored and it's at this point i realize why it's so important to have someone with you in the emergency room. Patients need an advocate. In order to get some attention I violently threw up all over the floor. It's not that anyone in the emergency room was negligent. They were just busy, and it wasn't until I made a mess that they realized I'd need attention. They are so desensitized to people calling for help. I mean, even I got sick of the guy calling out for food who was in the bed next to me. Sick people need someone else there to ask when the pain meds are coming and when you're scheduled for the cat scan and such. The first hour I was there by myself. My dad was on his way from Long Island, but I was super-fortunate that Lin was in the general vicinity and when he heard from his Dad that I was in the hospital, he came over to stay with me, which was AMAZINGLY nice and I was already gonna love him forever but now it'll be like forever and a day. Poor guy was there in his nice suit as I was sprawled out on this gurney in my hospital gown vomiting from pain in this bin that he had to handle. Gross. That's a true friend for you. As I was getting wheeled up to my CAT-scan, Lin showed me the cover of this week's Time Magazine that he happened to have which is the picture at the top of this post. Even in my state of extreme distress I could appreciate the irony.

My dad arrived at CAT-scan time and afterwards the three of us watched some Everybody Loves Raymond reruns in some random hospital hallway while they waited to bring me back down to the emergency room. When we got back to the ER it was packed. There were people in gurneys all over the place. My "luxury box" in bed 12 was taken and I was placed in the "shoebox slot" of unlucky 13. This is where I stayed, begging for more morphine for the next several hours. I'm not sure when Luis came in and he and Lin left because the blessed morphine let me sleep (while not actually easing the pain). I kept asking for more pain meds and the nurses said they would bring them, but they did not. This went on for a few hours. Torture!

So eventually this doctor came by in nerd-chic glasses and (he was very nice and) he was all "are you experiencing pain?" and I was all "YES!" and he was all "oh, we'll get you some pain meds." and I was all "They keep saying they'll bring them AND THEY DON'T!" which didn't endear me to any nurses. But i got my extra shot of morphine and I FINALLY for the first time since the pain started could lie down on my right side without feeling as if my whole body was gonna rip in half. The doctor explained that I had a relatively small stone and that the pain comes from the stone trying to push its way from the kidney to the bladder. Once it's in the bladder it tends to chill the eff out before it passes through the urine. So with a couple of prescriptions in hand and orders to drink more water than I've ever drunk in my whole life, I got to go home. And sit here and try to pass this thing for the past several days. I feel almost 100% normal now so I'm guessing it happened? Who the hell knows. Maybe this story is not as concluded as I'd like it to be. I kept expecting this small crystal thing to pop out the tip of my penis when I peed, but I never noticed it, so I'll guess I'll just be happy I'm not hurting anymore even without pain meds.

So the moral of this story is: never ever get kidney stones. They hurt. A lot. And if you DO get kidney stones, make sure you have a couple awesome resourceful people to come to your aid. Also, know what hospital you might want to go to in case you are ever in a medical emergency. Also it's good to have health insurance. And you can't always tell when the side effects of Vicodin are gonna sneak up on you. The End.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

SYTYCD - Talent A'Plenty in the Top 20

And so another season of So You Think You Can Dance is ready to kick into high gear. I appreciate that there were only a couple weeks of early round action and not we can get to the good stuff. And there's so much good stuff this week! Considering that the show didn't introduce half the Top 20 to us before this week, we've got a lot of catching up to do. Why they spend the start of the season on people who don't make it all the way, I'll never understand. But anyway, the Top 20 is here and they are ready for action! I have no clear favorite right now, although I think I'll be rooting for Melissa the Ballerina. 29-year-olds need to represent!

Here are three of my favorite dances from last night. If you are reading on FB, you should click on View Original Post, or go look at them here, here or here.

Tony and Paris are gone now, and i think they are the right choices in a very strong and competitive Top 20. The solos from everyone in the Bottom Three Couples were just not good enough, and i think the voting public got the bottom 3 right this week. Bring it next week, if you're in the bottom again, folks. Otherwise your ass is gone!

Also of note, Cat Deely is the best person on the planet. Also also of note, Mary Murphy can't keep screaming at that decibel. She has raised the bar for incoherent screaming too high and will eventually reach her limit where the sound will go out of the human spectrum for hearing. I know she can give an articulate assessment of dance - I've heard it in the past for both dancers she enjoyed and dancers she thought didn't measure up. Go back to saying words beyond "hot tamale train," Mary. Don't let the botox destroy all critical thought, and in the process, my eardrums.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Federer's Fight for a First: FINALLY!!

What is there really to say? Roger Federer beat Robin Soderling, 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Sunday to complete a career Grand Slam and win his 14th major title, matching Sampras’ record. Simply amazing.

It turned out to be a very straight-forward match, as the moment clearly lifted Roger and unnerved Soderling. The entire stadium had no interest in even seeing a competitive match. They ONLY wanted to see Federer win as quickly as possible so they could start celebrating. The only moment of surprise was when an idiot fan ran on court and accosted Federer in the middle of a game. Thank goodness he was only an idiot and not a psycho because for a second there Federer was very vulnerable to attack. It really altered the atmosphere in the stadium for a few games, but luckily it had no impact on the match overall.

It was great to see Roger win the French. I must admit that deep down for most of this week, I still wanted him to lose out of devotion to Nadal. Even as I was writing encouraging things on the blog, I was not 100% in Roger's corner. But then as I was working out on Saturday evening, it really hit me how much he deserved to win. Here he's been 4 years in a row. Three losses in a row. He's worked so hard to maintain his fitness and competitive edge to be at the top for so long. It's truly amazing. He didn't deserve to have this one tournament hanging over him any longer. If it wasn't gonna be his greatest rival denying him the trophy, no one else should've been able to stand in his way. He took the loss at the Aussie Open this year, so hard. It's nice that he could rebound this way, as a newlywed and an expectant father and no more questions about the clay. It's pretty awesome.

How does Fed feel? “It’s maybe my greatest victory, or certainly the one that removes the most pressure off my shoulders. “I think that now and until the end of my career, I can really play with my mind at peace, and no longer hear that I’ve never won Roland Garros.”

Federer becomes the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam championships. I hold out hope that Nadal can take a US Open and become the seventh. :) It was very fitting that Andre Agassi who was the last man to complete the career Slam (and who had been hiding somewhere away from the cameras the whole match! I didn't see him once!) handed Fed the trophy. It was a very special moment - even the rain couldn't take away from the moment. Congrats on the title, Fed. Good luck at Wimbledon, where I will go back to rooting for Nadal full force! Rest those knees, Rafa!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

2009 Tonys: Highlights in Reverse

Here are the things I remember about the 2009 Telecast basically going in reverse.

* Neil Patrick Harris singing the 11 o'clock number at 11:03 was FANTASTIC, especially the part where he said Angela Lansbury hooked up with Poison backstage. I thoroughly loved you tonight, NPH.

* My favorite Billy Elliot, David Alvarez, tearing up as his show won best Musical.

* Liza going out to announce Best Musical without the envelope. You know she was just gonna announce Billy Elliot and wasn't taking no for an answer.

*Alice Ripley dressed in stunning blue living up to her FIERCE reputation by yelling at all of us about ART!

* The Billys winning best Actor and then having no idea who should speak first, but then they launched into this amazing bit that I will assume is scripted or else I'll totally lose my shit about how adorable it was that each actor who thanked their family happened to have one more sister than the last kid who spoke. Awesome.

* The Jersey Boys number provided a good opportunity to see the Lakers leading in overtime on ABC.

* Karen's award speech was so beautiful and heartfelt! Loved it!

* The Legally Blonde number provided a good opportunity to see the Magic lose their slim lead in the 4th quarter.

* Hair's win almost meant death by trampling for pint-sized Kristen Chenoweth who only seconds after announcing the win because engulfed in a sea of giant excited dancers.

* Hair's musical number kicked butt and had some really intense audience participation/molestation going on up in there.

* DHP and Sushi... I tell ya his script was pretty cheeky tonight.

* Footage of Angela Lansbury sliding down a spiral staircase in Mame proves that lady was always one kick-ass dame.

* Next to Normal's number was so intense! Everyone looked so pretty in HD though!

* In Memoriam - Bea Arthur AND Estelle Getty. And Paul Newman. Sigh. But why won't the camera just stay in one place so I can read who people were?

* Liza prepares to go into a 20 minute monologue about the making of Liza's at the Palace in her acceptance speech. She wanted to let us know when they started "it was the pits!" I love it.

* God of Carnage and The Norman Conquests won lots of things.

* Rock of Ages had a super fun number that stirred the pot of Liza Crazy Sauce after she had taken her seat. Good work, RoA. Don't stop believin'. (The number works much better in the actual show.)

*WSS's Dance At The Gym number was damn sexy fantastic. I don't understand why Tony is in casual blue clothes, but damn if he and Josefina aren't the effing cutest couple ever.

* Tom Kitt wins for best Score which is totally the right call. Good work, Tony voters. Billy Elliot got it's due, but this one really should've gone to Next to Normal.

* I actually thought the Shrek number came out looking REALLY good. I can't believe he does all that on his knees!! Dude's a trouper.

* I'm glad Angela Lansbury won. She was so gracious in her speech. I love her more each day.

* I'm glad the dude from Joe Turner's Come and Gone won, because he rocks.

* I love you Neil Patrick Harris and your shiny leathery tuxedo! Please host this shindig every year!

* The opening number is CRAZY. Microphone problems galore. I don't like the bit with Stockard Channing and the Dead Son from Next To Normal. Although ironically it did leave me bothered and bewildered if not bewitched.

So overall I thought this was a really fun telecast, only mired by the touring company numbers (which were both irrelevant and not good) and the absurd amount of prescription drug ads throughout the show for everything from cialis to ambien to something that grows your eyelashes bigger if you have some sort of traumatic eyelash deficiency. I had no idea this was a problem for people. But be careful the medicine might stain your eyes brown. I dunno, the ad was effing crazy. The show was really at a high standard this year, even though Bret Michaels was nearly decapitated 2 minutes into the show. That would've dampened the mood a bit in Radio City (i think). See you in 2010, theater community!

"It was the PITS!" ~ Liza Minelli

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Federer's Fight For A First: Semifinals - Fifth Set? No Sweat!

WTF. This could REALLY happen, y'all! My brain is going crazy. Federer, a newfound lover of dramatic play, had to come from behind (twice!) in the semifinal to beat No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. Fed has done a good job of showing renewed mental toughness in long matches, which had really been his problem when slugging it out over the past year with Rafa. Now Fed will play his fourth consecutive (!) Roland Garros final, and is trying for his 14th major title to match Pete Sampras AND (yes, there's an AND) hoping to complete his career Grand Slam.

If he wins he'll get handed the trophy by Andre Agassi, my previous Tennis Crush before he retired and Rafa came along. Andre is the last guy to complete a career Grand Slam, so if Roger can do it... oh, I'm already tearing up! But Soderling is playing ferociously, so who knows what will happen. I definitely believe the crowd will be all over Federer's jock tomorrow. They LOVE him and always wanted him to beat Rafa in their previous finals. What does Fed say?

"There’s still one more step. I was a bit lucky, but I fought well. Juan Martin was playing really well."

FedEx is 9-0 against Soderling, so on paper it should be no contest. But we don't play tennis matches on paper. Right now they're playing on clay, and it too tough to call! Whatever happens, tomorrow's match is definitely not to be missed. Vamos, Roger!

Side Note: I think it's totally ridiculous that NBC did not show the end of this match live yesterday. The Tennis Channel, ESPN2/NBC coverage of this tournament has been a total misfire. I feel like I had an easier time watching the Australian Open which is totally ridiculous given the time differences. I did appreciate getting to watch the end of the Fed/Del Potro match today on NBC with live commentary by people who didn't pretend they didn't know who won. But overall, they could definitely improve the way they broadcast this tournament.

No King In Queen's!

Ay, no. Rafa is out of Queen's Club! He won't be able to defend his title. I was afraid this might happen. Not that I ever mentioned it before, or thought to mention it, but in my heart there was that fear. It's those effing knees! He plays such a hard game. The precautionary tape he stabilizes them with every time he plays cannot work miracles. I'm sure Rafa is very very disappointed in this, following a disappointment in Paris and before that in Madrid. It's far more disappointment than Rafa deserves! Plus it's gonna mess up his points on the ATP leaderboard muchly. Let's all hope for Rafa's sake, and for the sake of quality tennis, that this is enough rest to get him in shape for Wimbledon. I don't want to see him miss his favorite tournament.

Rafa's quote:

"I am very disappointed to not be able to come this year to Queen's, defend the title I won last year and enjoy playing in front of their magnificent crowd. To play in London has always been special to me, to play at the Queen's Club is an honour and the fans in the UK are among the best I have ever seen, always supporting me since the first time I played there.

It's no secret to anyone that I have been having some problems in the past months with my knees, which did not allow me to compete at 100%.

I need to work with my team to recover well, work on my physical condition to be at my top form and get ready to play on grass at Wimbledon. I hope I will be ready to compete by then.

I am really sorry and I hope that the people at the Club will still want me to come next year." - Rafa

Friday, June 5, 2009

Federer's Fight For A First: Quarterfinals - No Mo'Fils

Oh my. Roger Federer is now just two victories from winning the French Open, completing his career Grand Slam and tying Pete Sampras’ record for major titles. The tension mounts!

Federer never really faced a threat in his quarterfinal match against No. 11 Gael Monfils of France, winning 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-4.

Federer reached the semifinals for a record 20th consecutive Grand Slam tournament. 20 effing semifinals in a row! That is INSANE. There are only 4 Grand Slam tourneys a year so simple division tells us that it's been 5 YEARS since Fed has not been in a semifinal at a top tournament. That is unbelievable consistency. That's how you know how amazing this guy is.

This is getting serious, folks. Roger could really do this, even though he still has two hard matches left. How does Fed feel about it and is it affecting his prep?

“I felt some pressure before this match. I was very nervous, because I thought it would be very difficult.”

You did just fine, Fed. You got the job done. But the whole thing is far from over and so so exciting! Vamos, Federer!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blogging Into Facebook

I have decided to take the plunge and merge my blog here into Facebook. I don't know what will happen. Will my posts look as substantial in FB "note" form? Perhaps they will look even better? I can't be sure. The thing I'm most nervous about is that FB says I can't edit my notes once i post them, and I always go back and tweak my posts after I publish them here. I will have to be more precise in my editing process before something goes up. But I think it's worth the risk! I am embedding a video in this post to see if that will transfer along with text. I've decided to go with Tom Hanks getting hit by a meteor on the Tonight Show. I love this for the stupidity and commitment that's involved. I hope Conan continues to keep his crazy style as the weeks go by. It's been a while since I've been awake enough to watch him on Late Night, but being an hour earlier is a very welcomed change.

So don't let me down, Facebook! Let the change of address look as nice for me as the new Tonight show set looks as nice for Conan. Check it out below.

Happy Belated Birthday, Rafa!

Rafa, celebrated his birthday yesterday! This year, Nadal got to rock his birthday in Mallorca with friends and family for the first time since 2005. Usually he's still kicking butt at the French Open at birthday time, but hey, no worries. Nadal's just 23 - the last year of his early 20's and he's still right in his tennis playing prime! You'll have plenty more shots at Roland Garros, Rafa! No worries.

Next stop: Rafa will be jetting to London where he will start focusing on the grass season. He'll be looking to defend his Queen’s Club title, followed by Wimbledon. It will be interesting to see how things go, especially if Federer manages to pull-off his anticipated French Open win this weekend. You know who I'll be rooting for! Vamos!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Federer's Fight For A First: Fourth Round - Roger the Artful Dodger

Holy Crap. For a second there, I thought my little French Open Campaign truly WAS cursed. For a good while it looked like Roger Federer would be exiting early. Don't scare me like that! THEN who would I blog about? MONFILS? I don't think so. Luckily, FedEx turned it around and won in 5 sets 6-7 5-7 6-4 6-0 6-2. He’ll now meet the Frenchie Fav Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals. Hopefully there will be less flirting with disaster come Wednesday.

With Fed coming so close to tanking, you gotta think that part of the problem was that he was still reeling from Nadal's early loss and the golden opportunity it creates for him to FINALLY in this title. I mean he already didn't have to deal with Jokovic and now we also know he won't be dealing with Murray who lost to Gonzo in the 4th round. So Roger is the last man standing of the Big Four. Nadal's exit has to be the most exciting for him though. Here's Roger in his own words on having Rafa no longer looming in the other half of the draw: “

"You’re aware of it. Definitely changes it up, if I were to make the final. But we’re not there yet, so honestly it hasn’t changed a whole lot for me.”

LIES! We know you're thinking about it a LITTLE, Fed. It's okay. You're human! But I'm sure it's also clear to you that you have to play the two matches ahead of you before you get to the final.

I hope you take down Monfils with ease, Rog. You are undefeated against him. Don't tense up. Just do what you gotta do one more time. Err... Vamos? Sure, Vamos!