August 1, 2008
It's August already. Wow.
I see the doctor again next Tuesday, not that I expect it will be worth my time. I'm pretty much expecting to turn myself in to the hospital near where I live and see if they'll just cut my leg off.
I swear I'm not kidding.
I realized that it's now been about three months since I've done any role-playing online. I miss it, but then again, I don't. I miss how it used to be. I have a whole ton of PS2 games I have yet to play and am planning to do just that…
But first, this weekend my project is to fix up the photos I took while on vacation and upload them!
August 5, 2008
Wouldn't you know it, that this morning I wake up without any of the pain in my leg and have to do a double-take and a deep scrutiny to find the red area on my leg… It's still there, but considerably smaller and only mildly pink.
So, I'm thinking… the heating pad that the other doctor told me to use, I'm quite sure is what made my leg worse. Now, I had read on the internet that it was encouraged to use ice to the area to alleviate the swelling, and then use the heating pad to get blood to flow through the infected area, as the fresh blood is what does the healing.
So… last week, I'd use the ice, and then the heating pad, and while it did feel comfy with it on, I had to wonder about heat on an area already hot to the touch. Saturday, I had only a tad bit of swelling because I had been off my feet most of the day. Sunday, I had no swelling and so I didn't use the ice pack, and decided not to use the heating pad either.
Last night, when I changed from work clothes to comfy clothes, I was a bit shocked that my leg … wasn't swollen at all. So, again I didn't ice my leg and of course, then didn't bother with the heating pad as well.
I didn't feel like sitting at my computer, stopping long enough to write in my diet journal, and ordered pizza. I had roamed the kitchen trying to decide what I wanted to eat; I really wanted one of my homemade BBQ chicken breast sandwiches, but we only had wheat bread, and no sandwich buns and I figured it just wouldn't be the same on wheat bread. We had no sandwich meat that I could eat. I considered then grilled cheese and tomato soup but nixed that; it was too hot for soup and I can't eat a grilled cheese without my tomato soup. I didn't want any Lean Cuisine either. So … pizza it was. And I ate 3 slices uncaring of calories even still; I was still going to be just under 2,000 calories for the day, which isn't bad, though it's 500 calories more than I have had.
I plopped on the bed and played my PS2, deciding at 8:00 to sign off and watch the finale for American Gladiators and Nashville Star, neither show I had been hooked to, but had caught the last couple of shows so I wanted to see who would win. Afterwards, I curled up with my book for a half hour before heading off to bed. My leg wasn't hurting, and I didn't discern a fever, but I popped a couple of Alleve just in case, and to ensure at least a couple of hours sleep.
I slept wonderfully, waking only once when I heard the dog crying to come into the bedroom. I fell back asleep easily and woke up refreshed at 6:00 a.m. and even got out of bed immediately thereafter; no laying there wanting "just 5 more minutes" three times… No middle of the night fever breaks.
So, of course this all had to happen the day I'm to go see the doctor…
However, I made sure I worked a "typical" day at work today, ensuring I was up and down a lot, with a lot of walking, lucky to have mail that I had to cart to the mail room in the basement and such. So when I got to the doctor's office, it was nicely dark pink and my leg swollen minorly.
The doctor explained that my bout with cellulitis is rather minor, and even if I had gone to the hospital, they would have given me oral antibiotics as well. That the antibiotics didn't fully clear up the problem has him concerned and he wants me to see a vascular surgeon to ensure I don't have vascular insufficiency, which would inhibit the cellulitis from clearing up. He also said that giving me more antibiotics would not do the trick; if the infection doesn't take with the antibiotics on the first dose, it needs several weeks without additional antibiotics first. What he did give me, was a stronger diuretic (Lasix) and potassium, because that too may be the root of the problem. Yay. I started them this morning and my day will be filled pissing every twenty minutes or so. Ugh.
In the interim, I'll see the vascular doctor and my endocrinologist; the vascular surgeon on the 19th, the endocrinologist on the 20th. Now, I had my first venous doppler over a year ago when I had that weird bout with my vein and my now ex-doctor thought maybe it was venous insufficiency then, but the venous doppler came out fine. Then, I just had another one just a couple of weeks ago and it was fine. I also had an arterial doppler a couple, and I won't get the results of that until I see the endocrinologist on the 20th, but I figure, if it came out bad, I would have already been told.
I looked up venous insufficiency (CVI) and it's usually related to varicose veins. Which was my concern over a year ago. I've also got some "calcified" areas on my skin that I've had awhile now that my now ex doctor wasn't concerned about. However, reading about CVI, it fits. If this is yet another instance that my now ex doctor misdiagnosed, I am going to explode… Everything I've read today points to that initial problem that I had consulted my now ex doctor well over a year ago…
Besides the yucky stuff like laser vein treatments and vein stripping and compression stockings, they suggest … maintaining an ideal body weight. Hard to do when you're told not to exercise! However, my doctor told me I could start back at the gym, doing the bicycle on the easiest setting and not pushing too hard. I'm also to avoid the leg weights that impact the lower part of my leg. That's cool. I'll probably start on Saturday morning. I was supposed to lose another ten pounds before the 20th when I see the endocrinologist. Ah well… shit happens.
On a happier note, my oldest daughter, Lesley, is engaged now with her steady she's been with (and just bought a house with). They set the date for May 29, 2010. She definitely wants me and Tony to come; I want to, too!
It was finale night tonight on I Survived a Japanese Game Show which was kind of sad, really; this is one of the best reality game shows.
It started off with Bilenda returning to the waiting room after watching Andrew being carted off by the Sayonara Mob. Justin dons her blond wig and comments that he thought Bilenda would be long gone. Not me; she's a real trooper. Host Romu sends the foursome a couple bottles of champagne to celebrate. Party time.
The next day at the studio, they're told to change into their sweats. Tony walks in and announces that there are no more teams; it's ever person for him or hers self. Every game is an elimination game. They were given new bibs to wear, too, and then are called out to the stage. Justin hopes his flawless performances of the past keep on being flawless. Me too. I'm plugging for Bilenda, but if she doesn't win, I'm hoping next for Justin. With all the backstabbing that Meaghan and Donnell have done, and comments made, I don't like either one.
Host Romu tells them, it's now SUPER SERIOUS TIME! before he tells them the game they will be playing, which is "Making New Friends in Japan!" The contestants are loosed onto the streets of Tokyo to find willing local participation and assist them in five tasks which are:
- have someone draw a magic marker mustache on their face;
- have someone kiss them while having another take a photo of it;
- have someone dress in a statue of liberty costume;
- obtain a business card from someone; and
- get three people to do "the wave."
After completing all five tasks, they have to race back to the studio; last one isn't a rotten egg, but is definitely going to be carted off by the Sayonara Mob.
Given a backpack of supplies, they are off and running at Romu's command. The video command center has cameras everywhere to watch their progress.
For the first task, Donnell runs around hollering, "Does anyone speak English?" He feels confident in this game because he was a communications major in college. Hm. One fellow answers "No" in English and hurries on. Romu chuckles. Justin, Bilenda and Meaghan use the Japanese they've been taught greeting people… Donnell finally stops and calls out, "Help! Help!" in English.
Meaghan is the first to get a mustache, with Justin close behind getting his, and Bilenda receiving her mustache third; eventually Donnell gets his.
Now it's on to get that kiss and photo. Meaghan and Justin are just too cute to pass up and get their kisses and photos easily. Bilenda gets hers, too and after much whining and begging, Donnell gets a kiss from a little old lady. Romu calls out, "That's my mother!"
Meaghan is racing along, and is very confident yet not overly cocky in this game; she's got a personality that is likable enough, so she gets someone to don the costume quickly. Donnell is second to succeed in this task, with Bilenda pulling up third. After near defeat over costume issues, at last his model is dressed and it's off to collect business cards.
Meahan is told to talk to the hand, as we see for ourselves, and Romu quickly commenting exactly that. Donnell obtains a business card quickly with Meaghan not far behind in obtaining hers. Bilenda gives up on passersby and approaches a restaurant owner and gets one from him; Justin is on her brainwave and approaches a business as well obtaining a card there.
Finding the three people for the wave has brought Donnell to his knees begging (in English), "Please! please!" Meaghan and Donnell get their three people performing the wave at the same time and are racing back to the studio; Meaghan is first to arrive, Donnell second. Bilenda and Justin finally get their last task completed and are racing back; Bilenda is not running incredibly fast, while Justin seems to zoom with those long legs. Justin is third to arrive…
Sayonara Bilenda. Romu is sad. Then tells her that she has new friends, the Sayonara Mob. She leaves smiling. I'm sad. But now my focus is on Justin and praying he conquers all…
Romu then looks to Donnell and asks if his family knows he is in Japan. Of course not, no. "Do you miss them?" Of course! "Well," Romu says, "what would you say if I told you that you're wife is here? In Japan?" They are tearfully reunited. Justin is next and is reunited with his girlfriend whom he quite obviously loves and adores. Meaghan's BFF (since they were 5 years old she says) is there to support Meaghan. Bob is overcome with emotion and he and Romu hug.
During their reunion time, each contestant off with their spouse, GF, or BFF, Donnell's chattering away about that night in the hotel he spent with Meaghan. Donnell's wife isn't too happy at that news. Meaghan; tall, slim, blond, pretty. Donnell's wife: short, overweight, not as pretty. They eventually hug; Meaghan is not a threat to her, don't worry.
Tony breaks up their reunions; it's time to play the second game. The contestants are overwhelmed; TWO games in one day? And they had to cut the reunions short, but their other halves will be watching in the audience. MORE pressure! It was different to be watched by strangers who they'll never see ever again…
The next game is called, "SQUISHY! SQUISHY!" In this game, they had to dress in these huge, heavy sponge suits that brought to mind of what the Michilin guy would look like in a Sumo diaper. Heavy enough, this suit, each contestant, one at a time, first submerges in a wading pool to fill up with as much water as they can. Then, a maze must be traversed, while their opponents swing huge spikey balls at them to knock them down, slow them down. Climbing over a small wall, the contestant then heads for the squeeze booth where he or she must squeeze out as much water as they can. They have three minutes to make as many trips and squeezes possible.
Bob flips the coin. First up is Donnell. He fills up with water and waddles easily through the maze; both Meaghan and Justin miss with the spikey ball. On Donnell's second round, Justin gets him but it doesn't really slow him down. On the third trip, Donnell is obviously tired now. Time runs out as he's about to head for lap number four.
Bob flips the coin again, and now it's Justin's turn. He's worried. He dives into the pool though he doesn't seem to have much water by the time he reaches the squeeze booth. He's already tired. On his second lap, he gets lost in the maze and is considerably more tired. He makes a third lap, looking about ready to pass out from exhaustion, but manages to get to the squeeze booth and emptied before time runs out.
If the fellows get that tired, I knew that Meaghan had no chance. She soaks up better than the two fellows on her first attempt; even Romu comments on that. She loses a lot of water though. She is wiped already by the time she soaks up a second time, this time, she leisurely splashes herself with water while kneeling in the pool. Even Romu thought that odd. She didn't want to soak her hair, you see, and make it that much heavier. She trudges through the maze and has trouble lifting her fat self over the wall. She makes it to the booth but time runs out before she can make a third lap.
The buckets are set side by side for Bob to judge. Justin's bucket revealed first; a good amount is there surprisingly considering he seemed to lose a lot of water. Donnell's bucket is shown next and he has almost twice what Justin had. Now for Meaghan; her bucket has maybe half of what Justin got.
The fellows celebrate with their mates before they're separated. Back at the house, the duo spends the evening drinking champagne on the rooftop, looking at the Toyko skyline.
The next morning, Mama-san cries; she loves them and will miss them all. Tony comes to pick up the fellows — in a limo. Niiiiiiiiiiiiice. More champagne as they chat with Tony. He asks them their easiest and hardest games. "We need to make a quick stop," Tony tells them.
Back at the Toyko version of Times Square, there is a red carpet and Romu is there and tons of fans (with handheld fans that have photos of Donnell and Justin). Mini Japanese flags are waving; American flags, too. First, Romu gives the fellows tickets to return to Japan at their leisure; they're thrilled. Wow. Then some bigshot congressional fellow, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, arrives to hand them each a nice plaque. Donnell's wife and Justin's girlfriend are there in the crowd; Donnell's wife looks uncomfortable while Justin's girlfriend is prettily beaming.
Back at the studio (look! Mama-san and Tony are in the audience!) after a ride in a personal limo each so they can spend time with their wife/girlfriend, Romu calls them in to play their final game — "SUPER MAJIDE!" This game is made up of all the hardest parts of all the previous games. Racing head to head, they must:
- first start in the spinny chairs…
- then run to a tricycle to traverse an L-shaped track with icy water awaiting their downfall to reach…
- a nesting box of eggs which they must bust with their butts and get all gooey coated with the "yolks" before racing off and…
- crawling through thick flour to hurry to…
- the sticky wall, where they put on sticky hand gadgets and must climb the sticky wall to the top, and then race over to…
- the mochi ball arena and completely consume three mocchi balls, then…
- swing on ropes hoping on the first try to break through a non-solid door…
- and finally, reach the buzzer to press; first one to do so is the winner.
The spinny chairs are faster this time, Justin attests, his legs proving it as they are lifted out and into the air, while Donnell doesn't think it'll ever stop. Justin almost immediately falls in the icy water, gets back up and lifts the tricycle to carry it to the nesting box. Donnell falls in quickly, too, and does the same.
Justin is a better egg buster with his butt than Donnell, who seems to be more slippery while wet than Justin. Still ahead after crawling through the flour, Justin dons the sticky hand gadgets and climbs. It's hard and he's having trouble; about halfway up he slides down. Donnell thinks he's got it in the bag now, but just as Justin starts climbing again, two things happen; Donnell falls down and Justin has his rhythm going and zooms up the wall.
Donnell catches up at the mochi ball arena, but Justin gets his three down first and swings through the breakaway door on his first try and reaches the buzzer.
Justin is the winner of $250,000 (or 25 million Yen) and a nice trophy.
Donnell cries, and announces, "Yes, real men cry; this is EMOTIONAL here!"
Sayonara Donnell; congrats to Justin.
With all the finales, I can now catch up on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles that I had missed last season before the new one starts.
I'm sleepy now. Good night.
August 6, 2008
At least today, my boss was a bit more reasonable.
You know I'm being sarcastic, right?
He calls at 8:00 a.m. as he's pulling into the parking lot, to "make sure" I'm there because he can "never be sure" if I'll be in the office anymore. Heh. I've been here save for doctor appointments and vacation. Hello. I haven't taken off sick (and that was a whole 2 days) like 4 months ago when there was a bug going around that HE brought to the office … So we talked about what the doctor said and did and that he referred me to this vascular dude. My boss said, "that sounds more reasonable than Tony putting you into the hospital."
OH. That just … pissed me off. I let that emotion be evident in my voice when I replied, "Tony wasn't going to put me in the hospital, he wanted me to get GOOD treatment because he is worried about my health and doesn't particularly want me dying on him; but it was a possibility that if I went to the ER, the DOCTORS would admit me… and I just wanted you informed about that just in case things got worse."
Then he told me I should see — yet another client of his. I blinked. "A podiatrist?" But then he told me that he is a podiatric surgeon and deals with people with "bad legs" and he was going to ask him about cellulitis, about what I've been going through and see what he says. Then if he suggests seeing him, it'll be up to me. Hm. Maybe.
Seeing all these doctors are killing me financially… all the co-pays collectively over the past couple of weeks, combined with the prescriptions, and the upcoming co-pays for the specialists; my endocrinologist I regularly see, and now for this upcoming vascular dude. Yay. If I hadn't just returned from Oregon it would be different…
After my day at work with the better part of the morning spent more in the bathroom, thanks to the diuretic, than at my desk, I made it home, just missing the UPS guy with my Staples order. *grumbles*
It was part one tonight of the finale for So You Think You Can Dance. Everyone would be paired with everyone, which meant three duets and four solos, plus the four would dance a routine as well. I was prepared for some street dance battle for the freestylin' boys and for the girls, I was sad because Courtney's flaws would stand out prominently next to Katee. I was decided to root for Courtney though; she has the most remarkable personality. You just know she'd be a hoot to hang with.
First up, Courtney and Twitch did a crazy Napoleon-Tabitha hip-hop. Courtney played a whacked out girlfriend opposite poor Twitch; it seems he always gets stuck in a routine with crazy females! That was even remarked by one of the judges. The routine itself was not as entertaining as the preliminary video of their rehearsal and Courtney was getting into character. She played the character well in the routine and did an all right job for a white chica from Long Island. Twitch, of course, in his element was great, but even for him, there was nothing spectacular in the performance. Still, it was a very entertaining and funny routine and I was pleased. I nearly fell off my seat when Mandy Moore told Courtney that Tabitha must have induced her with a bit of Jersey girl. The good Long Island girl that she was clearly had that "I am NOT no-way a Jersey girl" look, but she was polite and laughed. Tabitha is a Jersey girl. Absolutely. Personally, I like Jersey girls better than those in New York, especially those from Long Island, but Courtney I could forgive her background because she's darn cute.
Bless her, but Courtney then had a few minutes to race and change clothes and perform her solo. It was beautiful, well developed and displayed her talent as a jazz dancer wonderfully. I keyed in her number on my phone to make sure I put in my vote for her. Yep, Courtney had upped her game tonight.
Next up, was Joshua and Katee performing a Wade Robson contemporary routine. How lucky for them; not only is that Katee's forte, and Joshua has incredible strength to keep up with her, but Wade Robson's routines are to die for. It was beautiful. Angsty. Both danced incredibly well; Katee even put herself in character before the music started, which the cameraman conveniently captured. But like Mandy, I wanted to see more leg movements; most of the routine was rolling around on the floor, or knelt on knees rubbing their foreheads to the ground. I found it, all in all, less entertaining than the Twitch-Courtney hip-hop number. Mandy advised Katee to keep up her ballet classes to learn feet and leg placements better.
Twitch was up then for his solo; nothing unexpected in his performance or routine. It was the same ol' same ol' but entertaining nonetheless. It's obvious why he is so well liked; he's got a charm about him and that smile…
Now it was time for the girls to perform together; a Broadway routine that just made me groan. Katee looked like a bit awkward, like a 14 year old trying to look 3 years old, which Courtney looked easily and beautifully and cutely; there was no awkwardness with Courtney. It was … cute. Airy. Lots of leaps. Courtney did well though and kept up with Katee's leaps. Still, you could see the stark differences in the two performers. If you really paid attention; Courtney was that good. However, good ol' Nigel had to point it out that Katee follows through with her lines, while Courtney doesn't quite. Thanks Nige, o' buddy o' mine. Mary pointed out Courtney's near-miss on her catch of the umbrella and replay showed us what she meant. Hm. I didn't see it as a near-miss, but perhaps a bit of showmanship that added a bit of "wow" to her skills. Thanks to you, too, Mary. Still, I hadn't changed my decision about Courtney; she had my heart.
Katee was up now for her solo, and it was her same wild, frenetic movements that never seem to have any purpose. It wasn't so much her solo that annoyed me, but the video interview of how she arrived where she is today. I forgot how she pulled that shit when she and her so-called best friend were the last two remaining to get the word whether or not they were in the top 20. Nigel asked them pointedly, "if you don't make it, will you come back next year?" Before that was asked, I figured Katee was the one not going on to the top 20 because her friend was a better dancer. This was confirmed when Katee made a face and said, "this is the 2nd year, I don't think I'll be back" and Nigel told them to go back to the room and wait. "We need to re-vote," he added. That was when they decided to put Katee through, which Nigel explains later in the show was to "teach Katee a lesson." Memories. I remember Katee being such a pain back then and really wanted to see her BFF go through to the top 20 instead.
Now it was time for the boys. I wasn't disappointed on the street fighting routine, but it wasn't exactly what I expected. Choreographer Youri Nelzine gave them a Russian dance known as the trepak to perform. It was … an odd sort of dance for the finale since you generally want superior no-holds-barred dances … but it was good and it showed that Joshua was far more skilled in more than what Twitch was. His arial feats were awesome and the heights he reached were incredible; Twitch got the low tricks, which worked his thigh muscles well. "What thighs?" he quipped. I just lost what adoration I had for Twitch, though, after the rehearsal segment took an unexpected and unpleasant turn when, during a stretch of otherwise good-natured trash talking, he called Joshua a ''pansy'' for not being able to pull off the knee-heavy floor work. And Nigel, et al, should have known better than to air it. Joshua was able to talk trash without needing to call Twitch any derogatory names, intentionally or otherwise.
Joshua's solo was by far more entertaining and playful than Twitch's. I enjoyed it immensely. Damn, now I'm going to have to vote for him? His smile is so dazzling… Judge Mandy Moore said it best in her final comments of the night: This former football player from Fort Worth, Tex., may be listed as a freestyling popper, but he really is an ''everything'' dancer, able to somehow adapt himself to every style thrown at him. I'm not sure how Nigel thought he could get away with saying that Joshua, in contrast, has had no training, when we all saw a picture of him, as a kid, standing at a ballet bar. His story of doing chores around the dance studio in exchange for lessons was endearing of his past.
Twitch and Katee are up next, performing a foxtrot by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. Well, this will kill Twitch, was my first thought; he totally sucks at all things ballroom. I found neither particularly spectacular in their performance; clearly both were out of their element, though Twitch showed off his strength benchpressing Katee into the air. Katee's lines were beautiful though, as always. Melanie was not pleased; did you see her face?
Unfortunately for Courtney, she and Joshua got stuck with a jive routine by Jason Gilkison. All I could think was, "if that were Chelsie and not Courtney, them gams would be flying and mesmerizing everyone" but poor Courtney and her not so dazzling gyromatic gams. She just couldn't pull off those returns on the leg snaps. Neither could Joshua, and both looked incredibly … exhausted. Good ol' Nigel had to emphasize to their deflated egos by further commenting, "you're exhausted? Who cares! The show must go on; people paid their $100+ for tickets to see the show and you have to forget you are exhausted…" Yeah, yeah Nigel. Rub it in. They knew they sucked at the routine; you could see the pain in Courtney's eyes. Damn. At least Mary was kind to them, ballroom expert that she is. But she better have been kind to them; she totally neglected to mention Twitch's poor stance and horrible footwork in the foxtrot that even I, a non-ballroom expert caught.
I read that two of the four dancers were hospitalized during the past week for exhaustion and dehydration; I'm betting Courtney was one of them. Double damn.
Being the last of the couples to perform, it would leave a bad mark on the memories of those fingering their phones ready to dial. Already, mine was slipping off to key in Katee's number, though I was fighting it.
It was the group number that decided it all for me. I love Mia Michaels. I think I've said that enough in my blog. Between her and Wade Robson choreographing tonight, I was in heaven. I've always wanted to be a dancer, and those two choreographers … yeaaaaaahhhh…
But back to the group number. I found it an odd routine; odd even for Mia Michaels who is the Queen Superior of twisted, demented choreography. While the routine didn't do it for me, the performances were … kind of sad really. It was obvious who among them all was the superior dancer. It was obvious Courtney just couldn't keep up to Katee, beautiful lines and all, but so painfully obvious when Katee was lifted and her long legs beautifully high up in the air while Courtney could barely hold on stretching horizontally. Ouch. Twitch and Joshua were lost in an element that wasn't theirs, though Joshua faired better. Though, Joshua looked especially peaked while rehearsing Mia Michaels' group number, and why wouldn't he be? Over the course of a single weekend, he'd vaulted and soared with Twitch in the trepak, tossed Courtney around like a sack of spuds in the jive, and bounded from one end of the stage to the other with the other three dancers in Mia's group number. Yeah, dancers work incredibly hard; yeah, sometimes they face down physical exhaustion; and yeah, theatergoers are hard-hearted fascists who don't care if a dancer spontaneously combusts off stage so long as they get their money's worth while the dancer is on stage. But when Mary started complaining that Joshua hadn't lifted Courtney as high as Twitch lifted Katee during the group routine because Twitch and Katee hadn't just finished dancing a jive, I just … twitched. Perhaps they should rename the show, "Last Dancer to Remain Alive."
Then it was time to vote. Sorry my dear Courtney. My cell phone is on my bed; I can't vote for anyone…
See. I'm a suspicious sort of person (NO!), but it was so obvious last night. So obvious that the dancing (and genres) order was rigged that placed Joshua in a most vote-enticing light. Despite that I love Joshua, that obvious ploy of the producers was just plain … well … obnoxious. Figure this. First, there was the stark contrast (emotionally, as well as anything performance-wise) between Twitch and Courtney's fun-though-sloppily danced hip-hop routine about a fighting couple that breaks up and Katee and Joshua's Wade Robson routine about a fighting couple that reconciles. Second, there were Cat's getting-to-know-you chats that started with Courtney, who weathered the most criticism last night and freely admitted, ''I'm not the best dancer'' and ended with Joshua getting adorably joshed by Cat for crying so much. Third, being Katee, the obviously best dancer and performer, with near-flawless performances week after week, had her getting-to-know-you segment hijacked by her foot-in-mouth moment during Vegas week, without any information at all about her upbringing or home life, or why she was already feeling defeated during that period.
I was … thoroughly disgusted with the producers by the end of the night.
One of the reasons I first fell in love with this show was the time the judges took to actually, intelligently critique the dancers. That hasn't happened this season. Instead, it's more liked wasted breath with the incessant cheerleading that reminds me far too much of American Idol (um, yanno, Paula).
I'm on book three, Eclipse, of the four-book series; a romantic, bittersweet, angsty story of werewolves and vampires and the spunky teenage girl (think: Juno) who loves both. I think I'll go lose myself in it.
August 7, 2008
Today was another round of my body adjusting to the diuretic. I may actually make that ten pound weight loss before seeing my endocrinologist. I swear, I think I lost at least ten yesterday in water alone. I'm going to be drained of all liquid and will shrivel away very soon…
After the internet died (again) during a phone call playing catch-up with a friend, and the cell phone snuggled with its charger, and a quick glance to the second UPS notice I received, I broke up the happy couple and immediately asked for a supervisor, lodged a complaint against the nitwit route driver that we have now (another complaint, that is) and arranged another delivery day at a time that someone will be home. My complaint? The dude came on Wednesday, and left a note he'd be back tonight after 6:00 p.m. Cool; I'd be home. When did he show up? At 3:04 p.m.
I didn't want to turn on the TV tonight and watch part two of the finale of So You Think You Can Dance. It's sad, really. It's like saying goodbye to family; some of those kids just snagged my heart.
But I did…
All right, so… did I nail it on the outcome on So You Think You Can Dance, or what? Not that I'm not happy that Joshua won, because he was indeed one of my top favorites. And, despite that it was a shock to many that Katee didn't win, perhaps Nigel and fellow judges already determined this due to the fact that while she dances phenomenally, her personality isn't as bright and enigmatic as the two freestylin' boys. Clearly, even Courtney's personality shone brighter than Katee's, though she didn't walk away empty handed either; $50 grand is nothing to balk about. Not to mention, it was proven last night that not winning the title means your career as a dancer is far from over…
Darling Courtney; she cornered the market on adorable and truly likable and lovable with her winning attitude after learning she came in fourth. She was filled with so much earnest and truthful positivity, and I'd bet she didn't get pissy either when Cat announced the surprise of the $50 grand that Katee was receiving.
Okay, so the $50 grand bothered me. Why? Because it could seriously dampen votes for the women, and it's hard enough for them as it is, because for some reason, the fellows seem to have some extra thing going for them. Probably, like… there are a heck of a lot more females that watch the show than fellows, so… Sabra was the first female dancer to win the title (Nick Lazzarini was the winner for Season 1 and Benji Schwimmer was the winner for Season 2).
And… who IS this Jeff person who gave Courtney and Katee their flowers?
I suppose there are many who might think that Twitch should have received the $50 grand being the "true" runner-up, however, to burst their bubble, Cat never stated that fact; it could well be that Twitch was truly third place, but the producers set the show in such a way that Katee's top-woman dancer moment wouldn't be undermined by Joshua's moment. And, it was just better drama all around, having the two freestyler boys side by side after last night's bickerings. Twitch was gentlemanly and cool about Joshua's win; at least on camera.
Okay… so who else got all soupy-eyed at the sight of Joshua's father (and Joshua, too) sobbing away after witnessing his son become the first kinda-trained-but-not-really-at-least-as-far-as-we-know street dancer to win So You Think You Can Dance… hm?
The judges were in rare form tonight; Nigel was dashing in his tux, by the way. Mia was so saintly-gangsta. Okay, seriously, so she did eerily resemble Brigitte Nielsen-cum-Susan Powter-cum-Elvis-cum-Pink all in one neat package, but hey, I adore Mia, so hush. Mary dazzled in that gold 70s-ish halter. Adam was just… Adam. I missed Mandy Moore on the panel. Shane Sparks, too. Wade. But, we did get Debbie Allen back. Yay! Oh, and I can't forget Lil C and his metaphysical stylings of poetical, metaphorical virtuosic expressionatude. Debbie Allen was so cute mimicking him! Which, in turn, had Cat Deeley exclaiming, ''Chile! She's takin' it now! Chile!''
Shane Sparks, of course, is busy and still on contract with MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, but at least we got a taste of his great choreography with the Top Twenty group number. Well, though only 19 participated (not sure if you caught Jamie replacing the still-recuperating Jessica). The camerawork was annoying because it chopped everything up. Yes, it would have been awesome to be in the audience actually… at least all those times the Jonas Brothers were not onstage (the Swaybots were actually not too annoying last night).
Now on to the show…
I don't know about you, but nearly every one of my favorite dances from season's group of dancers were reprised and better yet, notably improved. Of course, with the pressure of the competition gone most certainly helped, I'm sure.
The judges picked their favorite routines to be once more performed. Katee was the dancer to encore the most routines which was no big surprise there (and maybe a bit misleading?). I got the distinct feeling the only reason Mary picked Courtney and Gev's rumba was so she wouldn't be the only one in the top four to only dance once; Cat is caring that way yanno.
Mark danced as many times as Courtney, well, unless you add in the boys group number choreographed by Nigel; yanno, that "Five Guys Named Moe" routine, which I really think was more for the benefit of Debbie Allen (and Mary) so that Will would be on stage often — nd sadly moreso that dear Courtney, which… is kinda effed-up.
Joshua and Katee could hardly contain their smiles while dancing the anti-smiley ''No Air'' (The Best Routine in SYTYCD History), though when they reprised the pas de deux, I liked it more this time around; they refined those rough edges. Though, I wish they could have changed the song; it still irks me hearing David Archuleta singing a legendary song by a legendary singer-songwriter (um, that would be "Imagine" by John Lennon for those clueless).
Even all of the promised surprises actually delivered, though was it just me, or did the Jonas Brothers look a bit lost? Like… where are we?!
For me, the most obnoxious moment of the night came after Phillip Chbeeb totally schooled Robert Muraine in their dance-off. Robert was obviously at his worse while Chbeeb was able to come up with continually inventive steps that connected to the music. I wonder if Nigel was feeling bad about how he had previously treated Robert why he didn't mention anything of it, and the other judges, save for Mia, were still embaressed by that as well and kept their jaws clamped.
We were then treated to a morbid, twisted, delightful Wade Robson routine from the Criss Angel-Cirque du Soleil show he's choreographing in Las Vegas. I so want to go now, just only to see that show. Wow. That ''Homage to all of the Rabbits who died in the hands of incompetent magicians'' was just so wonderfully visually captivating and deeply creepy cool. I fully expected a vampire rabbit … or something … to rise out of that coffin though. I'm still tingling thinking of that routine. Though, honestly, that fellow in the spandex panties and fishnet pantyhose was delightful freaky-scary too.
Nigel happily tipped everyone off that Mary's surprise performance wasn't really live. Hey, it wasn't last year either! *eye rolls* I don't care; I loved it. It's good to see that the ballroom expert, who retired from competitive dance in 1996, still has it (and the legs to boot). I thought it was better even than last year. Last year didn't have the yummy Dmitry either, happily tossing Mary about and her with that huge shit-eating grin. It was also rather amusing to watch Cat try to sell that she was looking in the direction of Mary onstage…
I didn't connect at first, to Debbie Allen's comment of their youngest to "the oldest" student at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy performing tonight. There among the kids was … Nigel! His hoofing was pretty good actually. Though, by far, the best moment came right after the kids (and Nigel) danced, when someone (Cat, I think) suggested that all the judges should have to shake their money makers on the SYTYCD stage next season. OOOOO Yes!
Unfortunately the judges jawed too much, and so the SYTYCD alumni that were there didn't get to enjoy (and BE enjoyed) much on their return to the show. Um, and Cat darling, I know you weren't around the first season, but SYTYCD started in 2005, and not 2004!
One of my past favorites, Allison, has a GORGEOUS baby, but uh… she was in season 2, and not 3 (I guess it's such a blur that everyone is getting their years wrong?) Yeah yeah, no surprise that Blake is still very much a conceited jackass and it's awesomely cool that Neil is performing off Broadway in Altar Boyz. The wonderful Donyelle is choreographing with Shane Sparks — and announced she is engaged; cool beans. But … ZOMG! my all-time favorite, Sara, is backing up Avril Lavigne; how cool is THAT? Um, Lacey has a clothing line now; odd. Travis, we caught glimpses of working Vegas week doing the choreography routines for the hopefuls, but nothing else have we heard on him. Sexy Anya has been choreographing for the show, but that's all we know of her. What's happened with the very-likable Heidi — besides head-shots of her sitting next to Benji during previous episodes? And… and… Danny? Jamile? Melody?
Maybe this was all for the benefit of the doomed Katee to learn that the non-winners are doing exceptionally well in their careers because uh, the past-season winners were not showcased. Granted, Benji was dancing but there was no segment discussing what he's been up to; same with Sabra and Nick. Still, it was nice to see Benji, Neil, Travis, Dominic, Hoc , Ivan, Anya, and Melody in the all-too brief group number. I'm all for a whole show dedicated to an all-star segment of the show as a special treat.
So, am I happy? Sad? Angry still considering my prediction and irritation that the producers stacked the plate for Joshua?
All three actually. I'm happy that Joshua won; he is truly a wonderful dancer and entertainer, even though I am still irritated over the manipulations of producers, but hey… at least SUSIE didn't win. Whether he has naturally-born talent and skill, or whether or not he had patchwork sorta formal ballet training really doesn't matter when you consider a few things. He's been the most consistent of the male dancers hands down. He's a freestylin' popper, but he's only danced hip-hop in the competition twice (Twitch, on the other hand, has danced 3? 4?). Instead, he's had to tackle (and performed, in most cases, crazy-strong) the Samba, Rumba, West Coast Swing, Argentine Tango, Paso Doble, Jive (that's a lot of Latin ballroom bum-swaying), Broadway, contemporary — twice, lyrical jazz, disco, and ballroom, AND the cultural Bollywood and Russian Trepak! Uh. Hello. That is impressive with a capital "I" no matter how much time a person has spent perfect one's posture and painfully pointing toes for hours on end…
I'm happy that Katee was knocked a peg down and shown that she's not such the perfect girl and has room to grow and received a bundle of cash to assist. I'm happy that Courtney is a bubble of fun. I'm happy Twitch cut the trash talk.
And, I'm sad, because it's time to say goodbye to a wonderful group of young people that made it a joy to play couch potato.
August 8, 2008
The boss is gone now for a week, so I can breathe and relax a bit at work and actually get things done. The time will go too quickly, sad to say.
Tony will be off for two full weeks in another week, once again making me jealous of his forced vacation at his job. I remember working for a company like that, except they'd close at year end, so I'd always have a two-week paid vacation at Christmastime.
I'm planning on re-starting my exercise routine tomorrow; getting up and heading to the gym for a light workout that will at the very least, appease the angst of paying for gym membership and not using it and feeling that I'm accomplishing something non-sedentary. I was already trying to talk myself out of it, to put it off for next Tuesday, but my mind retorted that I had errands to run in the area anyway… I really hate when my mind is smarter than me.
I'm tired. Happy Weekend.
August 13, 2008
Happy Hump Day…
I returned to my regularly scheduled workouts beginning yesterday after work. Based on what research I've done, exercising is essential to recovery and keeping healthy, so I figured that if I kept my workout light enough and not overstress my body, it'll help not only my leg, but my emotional well-being. I was literally like an addict needing a fix…
At the lowest setting (UGH! how wimpy…) on the stationary bike, I rode for a half hour, then set off to work out on the weight circuit, those machines that work the upper body. Though I had to work out on the two hip abductors as well. Those put pressure on the thighs and hips, and generate blood circulation without pressurizing the calves, so I figured that would be fine. The only thing that bothered me while working out, was when my sweats would ride and move across my leg while on the bike.
The only thing I have to really complain about, is that I forgot how to pack my bag for gym day! So, I was without my MP3 player, and my water, I stupidly left in the ice chest in my car. I could have run back out once dressed in my workout clothes to fetch them, but eh… I had my cell phone and played Monopoly while biking… and putting up with the obnoxious music in the dude next to me's MP3 player booming from his bad quality ear buds…
When I got home, I leashed up JD and we went on a nice walk; the weather was just gorgeous! So clear and… FRESH; just beautiful. On our round back down the hill toward home, with the view of the Hudson and New Jersey on the other side, it was sunny over there in New Jersey, but above us, was sprinkling down a gentle rain. Because of the sun, you could see the rain falling, like tiny diamonds dripping down. It was spectacular and I wish I had my camera.
Finished with our walk, while the dog ate, and me still energized, I stormed through the apartment doing some cleaning. JD is in his molt/shed period, so the vacuum (and me) had to pull extra duty to suck up all those fine horsey hairs of his. Smart me used the vacuum to do a general dusting of furniture as well as a preliminary, so that when I did dust with a cloth and spray, there was less to clog my breathing. While I was working, I had set my egg to boil for my dinner afterwards, pausing briefly to take it off the flame and let it cool down.
With the apartment smelling clean, looking clean and me feeling absolutely great, I fixed up my egg salad sandwich and a big jug of water, and sat down to partake of my meal. I had some work to do at home for work; downloading the back up of all the office files so that I could then burn them to four sets of back-ups, but my modem froze up when I was about 75% finished. Yay. Looks like maybe time for a new modem. *grumbles*
I noticed that during the night, my leg didn't bother me as much as it has been; I was able to roll over and not wake myself up biting down a scream from the pain. Whew! When I woke up this morning and hobbled to the bathroom, once I was able to encourage my eyes to not only stay open and focus on seeing clearly, I took note that my leg is almost totally clear of any sign of inflammation, though I can still feel that area tugged together as if in a knot, though much less painful.
I finished up that quartet of books by Stephanie Meyer, The Twilight Series they're known collectively. It's an awesome story of 17-year-old Isabella Swan, who moves from sunny Arizona to northernmost Washington state to live with her father, and there she meets, and falls in love with a vampire. The entire "family" of vampires are compassionate and moral creatures, who drink the blood of animals rather than humans. Of course, there are also werewolves, but it's a totally different take on them as well (i.e., their origins). I highly recommend them!
I think what else has me feeling great is the weather, too. It hasn't been humid, but more like spring/early autumn days of warmth with a fresh, cooling breeze and fresh, clear air. Because the weather has been so nice, a lot more animal life has been present as well. I passed the other day on the highway, a group of deer; a couple of does and several fawn, one of which had to be only a few days old — it was so SMALL! I tried not to consider that they might wander onto the highway… It's really sad to see such a spectacle and know that we humans have forced them out of their much safer and saner world to have to struggle with the dangers that we add to their already short lives, and of course, forced them out of their homes.
No, no. I don't belong to PETA. I still love to eat meat! And despite their claims, eating meat isn't all that bad for you; it's learning to eat it without excess.
Speaking of which, I'm going to be posting my diet journal soon. I'm still trying to visual a design concept for it.
August 14, 2008
ZOMG, what a night.
ZOMG, what a morning.
Last night, I was finishing up my third… no, fourth, attempt to download the files from the back up I did of our files at work on my server. It … killed my modem. Really. Literally. I was down to the very last directory, 32 files in all left, out of 439,805 some odd files total, and the modem could no longer even download one file without freezing. So, I shut down and decided that I could actually zip up those contents and throw it onto my thumbdrive — but better yet, once my brain engaged, I remembered I had two empty thumbdrives. ARGH! I could have just used those for the most part! Here at work, the techs have disabled Windows' ability to copy files onto a CD, which is why I have to do it from home.
I was too zonked to read a book, and so I watched Tony play a game on his PS2 while we talked. I tried really hard to stay awake while giving my leg some time to rest elevated. I think I lasted an hour, maybe less.
I died as soon as my head hit the pillow. I was happy to find that my leg didn't protest with verbalizations emitted through my mouth when it brushed against the sheets, so yeah, it was just edema in my leg, making that tugging feeling more pronounced.
Unfortunately, the edema was no better when I got up this morning. Miracle that was! I had forgotten to turn on my alarm, but I'm glad I have a great internal alarm. Sometimes anyway. I yawned, growled, sat up and then gathered up my things, my purse, my gym back, my clothes… checking the nightstand for the item I heard fall when I climbed in bed the night before, found it and put it back where it belonged. Grabbed my pedometer, clipped it on.
*Blink* Uh… *blinkblinkBLINKblinkblinkblink* "WELL SHIT!" I mumbled in a whispered tone, snatching up the paper that I had there on my nightstand. My lab slip.
SHIT! That meant, I had to do it this morning, no ifs, ands or buts. I thought for a moment about when I ate last night, and I hadn't eaten anything after 7:30. I'm certain I had those snacks right around 7:30-ish. Oh well if it was 8:00. Oh well, that I know I had a Dove candy at 10:00 because I had plenty of calorie space to play with; I had been good that day.
Oh well. Let the blood tests be what they are. It's supposed to be a fasting blood test, nothing to eat 12 hours before, just water. If I went tomorrow, she might not get the results in time.
So, I grumbled because I was HUNGRY and couldn't eat, got dressed, got my lunch packed, and my bowl of cereal. The deli sells those individual bowls of cereal, but it's all the junk stuff; Sugar Pops, Fruit Loops…
Driving along, there is no traffic and the rain had moved on before I left, so it was cool, though a bit humid. I had the radio blasting, and then it was time for a traffic report, my ears tingling when I heard, "… Saw Mill, northbound, at Ashford Avenue in Dobbs Ferry, accident just finishing being cleaned up…" Great, but since he said they were basically done cleaning it up… I get to the Ashford exit, and no evidence of an accident; yep, it had been cleaned u————— WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
About a half mile PAST the Ashford exit, the cars are at a standstill, or at least, moving very slowly. Great. It wouldn't have surprised me if some other dodos got themselves in an accident in a hurry to get by the other accident. We move along slowly; the woman behind me nearly every time I have to stop nearly drives her car through my backseat and I'm OH so tempted to get out and walk back to her and promise her to make her day.
My mood from yesterday on the same highway was still not pleasant. I don't suppose it would be when I had a full size pick up truck in such a big hurry that it wanted to change lanes on top of me — and KNEW she was doing so! I whipped out my cell phone and snapped a pic of her attempting to force me off the road, and when I maneuvered behind her, snapped a pic of her license plate, got back alongside her, and snapped a pic of her. Interesting, how she then decided to … back off. *snorts*
Anyway … so I decided it probably wouldn't be wise to get out of my car, though I decided instead to be very annoying to her and not hurry up and move forward when the car in front of me moved an inch. She got the message.
I glanced in my rearview mirrior and spied an ambulance was fighting its way among the cars on the highway; stupid people just sit there in their cars and don't move. I pulled to the far left edge (I was in the left lane). Dipshit behind me didn't at first until the ambulance driver hollered at her through his bullhorn. Then came another ambulance. And another. Uh oh.
Uh oh didn't even cut it. THIS was the accident that was supposed to have been in final stages of clearing up mind you…
The first thing that caught my eye was an odd object wedged under the railing of the center divider. It was part of a car axle, the entire wheel hub assembly and a shredded tire mangled together in a sort of ball. The car it belonged to on the right shoulder in the grass no longer looked like a car. Or anything resembling a car. It looked like a scrap iron yard. Two other cars were nearby, not completely obliterated, but damaged well beyond repair. A half mile down was the fourth car, the whole front end demolished.
They don't call the Saw Mill River Highway the Highway of Death for nothing.
I get to the lab finally and chug down more water; it's just now 7:30 when it opens. I head to the building, following a lady in blue scrubs. We get off on the same floor and I laugh; she's the phlebotomist. I asked her if she was in the mess on the Sawmill too. She shivered and whispered with a blush (well, if her skin allowed her to blush, that is), "I never drive that road." This wasn't the idiot from the last time I was there. She was quick, efficient, good-natured and I was back in my car by 7:40 heading to work.
The good thing is … at least I had remembered to pack my MP3 in my gym bag and I didn't forget my water to drink during my workout either.
Back to burning a zillion CDs. My brain has done a malfunctional misfire anyway and the thoughts that were in my head have … disappeared.
Have a good night.
August 18, 2008
The weekend went by too fast. It's just a blur.
Last night Tonay and I watched some old Sanford episodes on BET. Not Sanford & Son — just Sanford. I don't remember ever watching that series, once Lamont left the show, as well as most of the other cast members from the original series. They were interesting, but I can see why I never watched them back eons ago; they lacked that chemistry of Lamont and Fred.
I feel pretty good today, though my leg is still "naggy." It's not red, or even pink anymore, though their is a very slight faint discoloration now of the flesh over the veins (though, the average person would not notice it), which definitely tells me that it's a vein problem. It's still tender at that area, too, but only it you press too hard around it, or over it. What bugs me most is the incredible itching, which is due partially to my flesh being seared from the inside out (it's peeling like I had a bad sunburn), and, when veins die, they will cause itching too. I'm just glad I see the vascular surgeon tomorrow and hopefully start getting some answers and relief.
I slept so well, that I was wide awake even before the alarm went off. Tony was too, and he got up to hang out with me while I got ready for work and took JD for an early morning walk. JD will be so spoiled by the time Tony goes back to work on September 2nd! Not that he isn't spoiled now.
I made it to work early and Steve was already there looking very relaxed. He gave me a bottle of some sort of liqueur (prickly pear, honey and herbs) that he got in Malta; it looks delicious and he confirmed that it is quite so. Bad leg or not, I'm going to partake for sure!