Monday, October 29, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Episode 5

We were due for a Non-Elimination Leg, so I'm happy enough that it came at the end of what seemed to be gruelling physical leg. As for the Gay Goat Farmers, they powered through a fairly rough day, and kept their cool, so kudos from me.
There's no team I'd dying to see go at this point, so every week will be "oh, that's too bad" from here on in, I think.

Trey and Lexi left the Pit Start a full four hours after the Long Hairs, so I'm betting there will be some major airport or Hours of Operation Bunching in the next leg.

If Ryan's "longtime goal" is to beat Dave and Rachel's record of 8 first place finishes (and remember, his "longtime goal" is from last season. Which started taping a month or or so before this season. I have canned goods older than that.) why didn't they take the Fast Forward in the last leg? Because that would have guaranteed at least on more first place finish, if not this leg, too.
 And does anyone else think that is the stupidest goal ever? Really, I'd rather get ONE important first place finish at the end of the whole thing, who cares what you do the rest of the time? Ryan's sour face at the Amazing Bathmat pissed me right off; you're the only ones who have a chance at TWO million dollars, buck up and stop yer snivellin', big boy.
And Abby rocked this leg, so he should stop with the pouting.

I thought it was funny that Nadiya thinks Ryan is a tool. He is, but so is she.

I love the Twins, I really do, but I can see how I would not want to be confined in a small space with them for any length of time. It's like they are both set on ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME! But I did like when the one got the little boy to shout "Go, Twinnie!" at the scale challenge.

That was a lot of eggplant. Even if you like eggplant. Which I don't, particularly.

Why, when it so was blazing hot, did Kelly wear two shirts, one with long sleeves? And long pants, too? I get that Bangladesh is a Muslim country, and to not stand out you might want to keep covered up, but A) one shirt probably would have sufficed, and B) there didn't seem to be any women hanging around anywhere; I'm pretty sure white, blond women with camera crews following them stand out in Dhaka, regardless of their attire.

Natalie and Nadiya bonking into the cameras never gets old. I liked the sound effects that came with this one, too. I'll bet the Amazing Cameramen do "rock, paper, scissors" every morning to determine who has to go with the twins. And they demand hazard pay.

I really felt sorry for the citizens of Dhaka who were going about their business as usual, only to be thwacked in the head with some bamboo by clueless Americans on bicycles. That cannot have been pleasant. Isn't it bad enough they live in Dhaka?

I love the Ja(y)meses. I love them. "If you're going to be dumb, you'd better be strong."

I swear to God, I'm going to start a drinking game whereby I take a shot every time I hear the words "monster truck" or "farm". I should be plastered by the first commercial.

Did Phil say that the Pit Stop was a "crack museum"? I could have sworn he said that.

The greeter's sari was beautiful. I love saris anyway, I love the materials and the colours and the drapey-ness and the whole "how to be comfortable in hot weather" thing. I wish they had put Phil in one.

I feel badly for Long Hair James and his family. That would be very difficult to hear that your father is terribly ill and you are so far away. But if it was my son or daughter on the race, I'd kill them with my bare hands if they quit and came home.

Until next week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Episode 4

Thank GOD that is finally over...Gary and Will dragging their asses across the world was never going to get any more enjoyable. I don't think those two had one moment of  fun the entire time, and I'd like to think that there were better "superfans" to cast than them. It was like watching Piglet and Eeyore in a mopearoundtheworld.

I think Dhaka was possibly one of the most challenging destinations they've ever had on this race. Between the heat, the crowding, the traffic and, I'm sure, the smell (dead rats and raw sewage!), I'm surprised nobody disintigrated like a cake left out in the rain. Given that this is fairly early on in the race for this sort of culture shock, and Killer Fatigue is starting to set in, I'm pretty impressed that there were no tears. Especially from Will and Gary.

That was one nasty Fast Forward. My cat is a pretty fierce hunter, and I'm used to dealing with a multitude of dead rodents that require disposal; but those rats are much bigger than the voles and mice I'm used to, and oh, my I'll bet they stink.
(Side story: we used to have a cat, named Luther, that was around when Thing 1 was born. When we brought her home from the hospital, Luther's killing spree of mice and birds and such was impressive; he really ramped up the carnage. He'd bring the poor dead thing over to our bedroom window and meow loudly until one of us admired his offering ("Oh, that IS a big one!"), and then he'd try to bring it in the house, which, as you can imagine, we discouraged. I asked a client, who was a vet, about this and she told us that Luther viewed the baby as a kitten who needed to be fed, and since he didn't see anyone of us bringing any dead mice for her, clearly, it was up to him to do the task. It was months before we could step outside in the morning without dodging 3 or 4 little dead bodies.)
I think I would still rather collect dead rats than shave my head, however.

"TWINNIE!" is the new "BABE!" I get that that sort of energy works for them, but I'm with Rob, I would probably haul off and belt them just to shut them up sooner or later.

On the long list of Things To Bring With You On The Race: (along with duct tape, a calculator, a nose plug, gloves, an axe, a Chinese-English dictionary), a Haz-Mat suit.

One of my very, very favorite scenes from this episode is when Jaymes and James were talking to the Goat Farmers about their drag queen days. Who could make this stuff up? How often does one get to work the phrase "when I was a drag queen" into regular conversation? Especially while sewing up a mattress in Bangladesh?? "Aquadesiac" indeed!

I think Monster Truck Rob is the only racer I really dislike at this point. What an entitled asshole. Apart from the fact that its YOUR clue, YOUR responsiblity to get to your destination, not some hapless local who probably can't read English, it's only Leg 4 of the race, you are still nowhere NEAR winning that million dollars; that guy didn't lose you a dime.
 Besides, it's all kinds of offensive when a rich American berates a Bangladeshi for not helping him win more money that that poor guy will ever see in 30 lifetimes. I've never seen Rob offer to split the money with any of the locals he's yelled at.
Has Kelly done a Roadblock yet?

I had no idea that Sprite has so many super powers! Disinfectant! Small engine repairs! Does it fight stains and whiten whites, too?

We should be due for a Non-Elimination leg soon.

Until next week!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Ep. 3

Up until about 5 minutes before the end, I was hoping Will and Gary would be out, just so that we could all be put out of their misery. But then Caitlin and Brittany (and of course they are named Caitlin and Brittany. Just look at them.) got all Lindsay Lohan on their taxi driver's ass and in about 2 seconds I was fervently wishing they would be out. Thanks, Universe, I appreciate that.
But Gary and Will are circling the drain, and their whining about how badly they are doing is tedious.

No matter how much you yell, it will not teach other people to speak English. I get that it must be frustrating to not be able to communicate in a foreign country, but please, for the love of God, could you not behave as if the entire world is somehow a badly run subsidary of the US? Shrieking and screaming and hurling abuse at the locals is just rude.

That was one of the most ungracious out-going talking heads I ever saw. Telling yourselves that you are better than the racers that are left is somewhat negated by the fact that they are still in it and you are out. The two blond girls can bitch and moan about having been screwed by their taxi drivers, but they still bled a ton of time trying to pay their driver (because, I think, their bills were too big and no one had enough change.....I always ask for money in small bills when I travel.) and they wandered around looking for the U-Turn booth. Bad racing.

Thing 1 is a waitress at a diner; she'd have rocked that Roadblock!

Those twins are growing on me. In the first episode, they annoyed the snot out of me, but they have won me over with their enthusiasm and good attitude. Of course, I can be turned off at any moment, but that's a risk they will have to take. When the one twin ran straight into the camera, and didn't even bat an eyelash, and the other one didn't even notice,  I think I loved them right then. By the way, thank God for the 30-second rewind button on the PVR, because I think Thing 1 and I watches that about 20 times.

Also, when, during the Roadblock, the one doing it said "When Natalie screamed at me, that helped me to relax." This explains so much about these two. Screaming at me would have exactly the opposite effect, but now I know why the twins have their volume dialed up to 11 all the time.

The Chippendales are quickly becoming my favorites....the blond James in particular. They are so goofily enthusiastic about everything. "I'm tasting years of Indonesian culture. And it is not pleasant."
Also, Thing 1 and I had to rewind watching them fight their way into that little Indonesian pedi-cab a couple of was like watching toothpaste go back into the tube. "It's like we were on our honeymoon!"

I get that different cultures have many, many aspects that may be puzzling or unusual to our way of thinking, and that one has to be respectful and mindful that just because it is different doesn't mean it's necessarily bad, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Indonesian music isn't actually music. In fact, it is the opposite of music.
Having said that, I have got to love a culture where one of their beloved traditions is to fry and egg on someone's head. I have no idea how this came about, or even why, but I'm a hundred percent in favour of it.
When they were at that task and the guy ripped apart the coconut with his mouth, Thing I and I both channelled my mother and bellowed at the same time "DON'T USE YOUR TEETH!!". Growing up (and indeed, even now) my mother had a deep and passionate abhorrence for us opening anything, anything with our teeth, even popsicle wrappers or bobby pins.  Probably because she paid the dental bills. Coconuts would have been compeltely off limits.

Next week, Rob berates a local for not helping him win a million dollars. In Banglasdesh. One of the poorest countries in the world. Asshole.

Until next week!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Ep. 2

It always sucks to see a team go home entirely because of taxi luck. I really liked Amy and what's his head, and it's too bad they are gone through no fault of their own.

I read "Pudong Airport" as "Pudding Airport", and was momentarily reallly thrilled.

The bull racing task was more of a time-killer than an actual task. Other than "not falling off and being embarrassed in front of 10,000 Indonesians", the racers actually didn't actually have to do much. I manage to not embarrass myself in front of 10,000 Indonesians every day.

That had to be the most freaking adorable child ever giving that clue at the balloon challenge. It was the tiny Harry Potter glasses that got me.

And I have to say, the Chippendales were so delighted and goofy about working with kids, my Grinchy little heart melted a little. Those two may not be the brightest bulbs on the chandelier, but anyone who gets all that puppy-like enthusiastic about working with kids goes way up in my books.

Team Monster Truck needs to stop berating locals who are doing their best to get the job done. Gues what, Yellow Beard? Random Indonesian Taxi Driver is trying to make a living, he doesn't care that you are in a race with a bunch of other relatively rich Americans to win a boatload of money. Stop trying to make him care by yelling at him.

The Twins redeemed themselves somewhat from last week's screaming bitch-fest, but Mother of God, could you please turn down the volume? You don't need to SHOUT OUT EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT IN YOUR HEAD, you know.

"Kick-Ass Sri Lankans". Band name!

Who knew that "tying balloons" would be another skill one has to put on the "Things I Need To Master Before Going On The Race"?

I want to root for David and Goliath, I really do; any "uber-fans" of the race have a soft spot in my heart but, RACE, dammit! Saying "we're not going to run" makes it very difficult for me to root for you.

Favorite Line of the Night: "If there's one thing gay guys are naturally good at, it's making balloon animals." Words to live by.

That preview for next week didn't tell me a damn thing about what's going to happen next week.

Until next week....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Giving Thanks

It's Thanksgiving here in the True North Strong and Free. Canadian Thanksgiving, unlike American Thanksgiving, is in October and has nothing to do with Pilgrims. We just thought we'd like an opportunity to have a long weekend about 6 weeks after school begins, and a good excuse to eat ourselves into a food coma in sufficient time to recover enough for Christmas.

I am thankful for many things in my life:

  • Velcro. Velcro is magical.
  • Coffee. A legal drug, cheap and widely available. That first cup of coffee in the morning always, always gets a minute of my time to appreciate it.
  • My PVR. Being able to record shows and pause them while watching them and then watch them without commericals is nothing short of fabulous. Plus, setting a PVR to record is so much freaking easier than VCRs used to be. Back in the day, you would take a half an hour to set up your VCR to record a show you really wanted to watch, and then you'd come home to find you'd managed to tape an hour of the Weather Channel. It would make you weep. With the PVR you do not have to pay the teenager next door to come over and  make sure you have everything set up ok. And, there's no annoying "12:00" flashing endlessly at you, either.
  • Universal Health Care. My dad was pretty sick last year; he had three surgeries in 5 days, 3 stints in the ICU and spend four months in hospital. He had exceptional care; surgeons, nurses, respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, doctors, social workers and every specialist you could imagine, all wonderful.  And he's alive today because of that care. And we never had to worry for one second if we could afford it or not; all we had to pay for was the parking.
  • My husband doesn't spit. I regularly see men walking down the street who hork up a loogie and spit it out on the sidewalk; its disgusting. I am ever so thankful that the man I married has no prediliction whatsoever to do this.
  • I can read in a moving car. I know loads of people who get all woozy and nauseous when they read in a car, and I wasn't even aware that this was a problem until a little while ago. Reading in a car does not make me sick, and in fact, I think it probably makes me a considerably more pleasant passenger. For me, an 8-hour drive to Montreal is not an endless marathon of boredom, like it is for lots of people. but an uninterrupted and totally permissible excuse to read for hours at a time without feeling guilty because I am not cleaning the house.
  • I haven't been bored in years. Between reading, scrapbooking, knitting, cooking, the internet and working, looking after a house and raising a family, I can't remember a time when I thought "what am I going to DO with myself today?"
  • I lost 20 pounds since March. Because the weather is getting colder, I am putting on all sorts of clothes lately that I haven't had on in months. The immeasurable pleasure I get from zipping things up and having them fit never gets old.
  • My iPhone. I love my phone. I love it. I use it endlessly: I text my daughters all the time (they might not think that's as wonderful as I do), I check my e-mail and my Facebook, I check the weather forcast, see where an address is located in the city, check the hours of a business, count the rows in my knitting, find out where the nearest Starbucks or Tim Hortons are, listen to music and find out where that plane going over my house is headed to. Occasionally I make phone calls on it.
  • I have a very nice life for someone who doesn't work very hard.
  • Nutella.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Amazing Race 21, Ep. 1

HELLO RACE!! Nice to see you back.

What was with the Partridge Family bus at the beginning?

The really are trying to cast people who we can tell apart, aren't they? "Double Amputee Who's Been Dating Her Partner On and Off for Ten Years", "Monster Truck Champions", "Twin Sri Lankans", and of course "Gay Goat Farmers". (Gay Goat Farmers is a demographie that has been woefully underrepresented in the past.) Next time around they are going to be seeking out "Inuit Lesbian Poets" and "Honey Boo Boo and a Dugger Kid Who Turned Out To Be Gay" just to go easy on us.

Just to tell you, I am never going to be able to tell which one is the lawyer and which one is the rock musician.

I like the Chippendale dancers, and not for the reasons you are thinking. They seem very nice and sort of dim and really pumped about doing the Race. I wonder, however, what possible circumstance they could find themselves in where "slapping on the ol' collars and cuffs" would improve the situation? Lost in downtown Tokyo? Nope. Rolling cheese down a hill in Austria? Not really. Learning a dance routine in Bollywood? Possibly. Time will tell.

Why does the Monster Truck man have a green beard? The hairdresser in me says he needs a better toner on that after the bleach job. And I have to question the wisdom of having the little luggage on wheels. That might work for a quick trip down to Orlando, but running on cobblestones in crowds won't be very much fun. Besides, those things always remind me of stupid dogs, following you around like that.

Wow, remind me to never have a camera attached to any helmet...those things are hella unflattering. Everyone looked like they were a Seuss character.

Shreiking Twin has got to stop. It's hard to concentrate on anything (including watching your favorite show) with that caterwalling going on in the background.

I hope that little Chinese ping-pong champion doesn't speak English; she's bound to get a complex from all those people referring to her as "he". I did really, really like the sound of the frying pan hitting the ping-pong ball, though.

Oh, food challenges in Asia are always a delight, arent' they? I just wonder at the though process that went into "hmmmm, what can I do with these pesky fallopian tubes; it's a pity there are so many of them going to waste. I know! Papaya! Problem solved!"
Thing 1 said that your motto in Asia should be "Eat First, Puke Later". I think I'll get a t-shirt with that on it.

I'm surprised at how many people didn't know what an abacus is. (One racer said "why doesn't she just use a calculator?" abacus is a calculator, Einstein. One with the advantage of never needing batteries. I actually remember being taught how to use one when I was in early elementary school, and no, it was not in the 1890s. Some hippy substitute teacher who was probably a Communist spent an afternoon showing us how an abacus works. I don't remember much about it except that we somehow managed to have 30 abacuses {abacai?} in a school that regularly did not have toilet paper past March every year.)

I think they should have another whole Race where they only cast teams that were out first or second on their season. It would be nice to give them another crack at it. But who would want to be out first BOTH times they tried it?

Until next week!