Thursday, February 23, 2012

Survivor One World: 24.2 Managing The Airheads

The girls of Salami returned to camp after their catty Tribal Council, minus only the injured Kourtney, who was forced to exit the game due to her injury, & did I say only, because this is a tragedy, & somewhere in the universe the last unicorn has died.  So I hope you're happy, taut rope net.

If only there had been a prayer circle this year.

Christina & Alicia clear the air with each other: apologies are accepted, all is forgiven, & Alicia is so cool with Christina that she wants to take her swimming with sharks & make sure she has the best view of them, or something like that.

All the girls have a chat about the mess that was Tribal Council, & Sabrina lays down Rule #1: Everyone has a right to be heard.  The tribe agrees, & they immediately begin exercising that right until Sabrina quiets them down.  Sabrina is declared leader of the tribe, as she is sensible & calm, & also, she brought business cards with her to the island.

Sabrina's first order of business is to assign delegates to water, food & shelter.  Monica will handle the water, as she prefers full & supple canteens.  Alicia & Kat Bieber will search for food.
Sabrina: "If you go, survey the land first.  Make markers of exactly where you went..."
Kat: "...I don't want to observe the land, I want to go get stuff..."
Later, Kat leads Alicia on a banana hunting expedition, & they end up here, naturally:

Tree Mail brings a Do-It-Yourself Reward Challenge, which can only mean that Jeff is having a dimple crisis, & had to have one sutured back up.  Bill, who we barely saw on the premiere, now reads the instructions in a strange British accent which I'm sure he now regrets.  Basically, the first tribe to untie a ton of ropes from a ring wins a tarp.  Michael sits out, yet for some reason, it is Colton who plays Probst.  

Colton: "Survivors ready?"  Tarzan makes a "jazz fingers" comment, & Jay shakes his head at him, like, "Old dude, we know.  He's super gay.  Don't cross the line with your jazz fingers comment."  And I agree.  Colton is not Kurt Hummel, ok?  No show choirs or toe touch jumps from Colton...yet.

They all get to work on the ropes, & there is a crazy amount of boob shots.  Either there's a new boob cam, or way more bra tops this season, but there are a lot of boobs.

This would NOT have been a better season for Brandon.

Everyone is still working on the ropes, & without Probst there, I have no idea who is falling behind, who has a huge lead, or who needs to pick up the pace.  I actually can't tell what's happening until the men win...but I am in no way on the edge of my seat.  Even with all the boobs & abs, they are still a group of people untying knots to get a tarp.

The boys are inspired by their shiny new tarp to improve the Menudo camp.  There is scraping, chopping, sweeping, weaving, heavy lifting, coconut piercing, & through some of this, Colton is swinging.  Someone took the time to build a swing?  Was it a sex swing left behind by Whitney & Keith?

Jonas asks, "What is he thinking?"  I, too, would like to ask this question of Colton.  I understand that his original strategy depended on women, but when he learned how the tribes would be divided, he needed to shift his strategy.  Instead, he has been clinging to it, spending far too much time with the women, even helping them build their shelter when it appeared he didn't even help his own tribe.  And this is where the twist of One World comes into play.  If Menudo & Salami were as separate as tribes have been in the past, Colton would have had no choice but to find his place in his own tribe.  Sabrina, Queen of Salami, suggests Colton should try to bond with the guys.  I agree - if Colton feels he needs girls to make a big move, he should focus on sticking around to the merge.

Jonas speculates on Colton's close relationship with Salami, & once again, Russell Hantz is mentioned during a season he's not a part of.  "He's making Russell look like a freaking little schoolgirl."  Colton says "I have nothing in common with the guys...going over to the girls is kind of...a release for me because it's like, god, at least I have people I can relate to & talk to & you know, find common ground with."  So he doesn't talk to any straight males in his everyday life?  Come on, Colton, you're killing me!

The girls have also grown tired of the novelty of having a pet Menudo.  Queen Sabrina calls for a State of Emergency in her Salami Kingdom.  "Colton is like a virus". 

Why you gotta be so mean?

Back at Menudo, Tarzan goes tribal & full on pelvic-thrusty, & this may be worse than Special Agent Phillip Sheppard in his raggedy, loose undies.

Colton decides to share the news of his Hidden Immunity Idol with Leif, Jonas, & both Tar & Troy of the Zans.  In other words, he tells everyone about it, except for the fAB4 alliance of Matt, Jay, Michael & Bill.  Jonas: "Colton went from [being] the first guy to get voted out, now to the ringleader."

At the Immunity Challenge, Probst is present, though wearing a green shirt.  I now admit I was wrong in thinking there was a dimple emergency earlier...clearly it was just laundry day.  The contestants have to line up side by side on a balance beam over water.  1 person at a time must get to the opposite end, moving around the tribe members.  Oh, & no one can touch more than 1 person at a time.

The boys figure it out pretty quickly & move at a steady pace.  Kat has trouble on her first try around Monica.  "She's got these big old boobs I can't get past."  And by old, I'm sure she meant new.  Monica suggests a strategy & no one listens.  Lots of the girls fall in the water, some (Kat) more than a few times, & some (Kat) jump in twice when they don't even have to.

The men win, & celebrate by jumping into the very different ways.  Some take giant leaps, while whooping & cheering, sure.  Others cannonball.  Only Colton thinks of presentation.

8               8               9
One of the men finds a little person standing in the way of the water.  What's a guy to do?  Wait?  Jump off from somewhere else?  "Yeah, right, & postpone the celebration?  Watch & learn", says Douchey McTool.

Back at camp, Salami agrees Kat was a spectacular failure, & the reason they lost the challenge.  Nina mentions this to Chelsea, hoping their alliance will see the light...blond hair.  "You can't outwit if you're witless."

At Tribal Council, Nina defends herself & puts Kat on the spot.  "I'd like to know what life experience Kat brings to this group?"  Kat Bieber says "Yo, I am outdoors right now.  Also, I do crazy sales.  I know people, too...."  Kat's swagger falters when she admits blame for the loss, & Probst seizes the moment to pounce.  "What's upsetting?"  Kat:  "Failing.  I never fail."  Probst: "You've never failed at anything in life?"

That petty theft arrest 2 years ago?  I meant that.

Kat deflects from herself & implies that Christina isn't there to play the game, & I'm like Yes! Another Christina Cha smackdown!  But Christina has felt the remnants of the Coach-Chi on the Upolu beach, & Christina just wants to move on.  Nary an eye-roll!  Boo.

Nina gets voted out.  The alliance supports Kat Bieber like they're her backup dancers.  I am fine with that, as long as they add one more member.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Survivor One World: 24.1 Nutsville

On a remote Polynesian island, 18 contestants are on their way to compete in season 24 of Survivor while Jeff Probst is hanging out of a helicopter above them.  Clearly the man has been aching for the adventurous days of seasons past.

We are introduced to a few members of the cast, & Jay is the first one to make me laugh. Jay is a model with a serious case of the David Beckhams.  (There's a reason Beckham doesn't open his mouth in the H&M commercial.)  I hope Survivor just plays The Animals whenever Jay speaks.

While the contestants ride in on a truck, LOST's Frank Lapidus lands Probst's helicopter safely on the island, & then joins the cast, only he calls himself "Tarzan" now.

I had to go back.

Probst singles out Kourtney (for adorableness, I presume!) & asks where she sees herself fitting in with the other women, who aren't wearing knit orca hats, a super cute dress, & tattoos.  She says she fits nowhere, & I say you fit next to me, hanging out, & our 7 year old sons can be friends when we're not doing jagerbombs together & I love you.

My new spirit animal.

Probst announces the tribes are split men vs women, & Colton, a gay college student, is horrified.  This throws a huge wrench into his long-term strategy, which was counting on girls loving him & guys underestimating him. 

There is no Redemption Island this year, & I couldn't be happier about that.  As I've said before, Redemption Island lessened the impact of Tribal Council, & players ended up with a really weak final exit.  Also, think about how much Ozzy we could have been spared last season if there had been no Redemption Island...or don't think about it, if it makes you want to weep for all that could have been.

Probst gives everyone 60 seconds to strip the truck of supplies like tarps, knives, food, & wood.  Michael just runs back & forth between the 2 piles, blatantly stealing from the other tribe.  He is a banker, though, so I guess it's all he knows.  Zing! Nailed it.  The girls are pissed when they discover they pretty much only have their coconuts left.  Yes.

Probst sends them in different directions to their camps, which are actually right next to each other.  Jeff, you're such a tricksy guy, now I don't know what to believe anymore.  Are those dimples even real?

Actually shot through the cheeks with a crossbow.

The tribe names are Salani & Manono, so obviously I will be referring to them as Salami & Menudo from this point on. Before anyone can decide how they feel about the camps being together, chickens are spotted.  Now we are introduced to Matt Quinlan, Attorney at Law, who is desperately trying to scratch a contract in the sand stating that both parties will work together, & upon the retrieval of any chickens, these chickens will then be split evenly between the two parties.  However, these chickens are running around to banjo music, so you know they're running like feathery mofos.  No time for your lawyering, Matt, just try to catch some damn chickens.

Chelsea catches 2 chickens, so obviously she's a freakin' rockstar in the chicken corralling world, & if there isn't such a place, she should create it & rule as its supreme leader because she's awesome.  I'm not even going to make a joke about her ending up with a cock in each hand.  That's how impressed I am.

Matt Quinlan, Attorney at Law, is all "Cool beans, you caught 2 chickens with the power of pure awesomeness, so I'll let you choose which one you'd like to just give to me."  And he smiles & waits expectantly & I realize he must have legally changed his name because who would hire a lawyer named Douchey McTool?  Chelsea, supreme leader of Chicken Corralling World, says "You know what?  I'm going to have to talk to the girls about this."  Douchey McTool is pissy, because they had a deal.  Anyone looking to hire Matt Quinlan, Attorney at Law should know that he may not be aware that possession is 9/10ths of the law.  They should also check out his Matt Quinlan, Attorney at Law site, because he clearly thinks people hire lawyers based on how handsome they look while talking on the phone, hanging out next to files, & buttoning suit jackets. 

This photo was named "Missionandglare" on the site.  For realz.

The girls want to keep both chickens, especially since banker Michael stole their supplies right at the start.  The girls start petting the chickens, & they may decide to just keep them as pets.  They already have a pet in Colton, however, as he was totally right about girls loving him.  They ooh & ahh over him like he's a puppy.  It's a little overkill.  "I love you already!"

The Salami girls are thinking about bargaining with Menudo - some want to trade the chickens, Alicia wants to trade Monica's naked body.  Yay, girl power?  Kat, who is as plucky as an old-timey newsboy, has a conversation with Kim about the importance of fire to the tribe.
Kat: "I just want to see you guys!  I want to talk more!"
Kim: "I want the campfire setting.  It's all about the ambiance."
Kat: "Me too!  Me too...what is that? Ahm-bee-ance?"

We ain't got no ahm-bee-ance in Brooklyn.

Back to handsome model Jay, who starts talking & ruins the illusion again.  He has adolescent Justin Timberlake voice with adult Justin Timberlake body.  This is confusing, but I am so confident in this assessment that I give you proof:  the "Meet Jay" CBS video vs young Justin Timberlake on a Mickey Mouse Club episode.  Can you tell the voices apart?

Monica & Christina steal embers from Menudo's fire at night, but fail to keep it alive until the morning.  Christina is tired of this, & says she wants fire for its ability to boil water & cook food & stuff, but really, I bet she wants ambiance.  Like, did nobody bring marshmallows?

Christina strikes a deal with Menudo - the girls will weave palm fronds in exchange for a fire made by the boys.  Alicia isn't happy with this because she wasn't controlling the situation, so she now has a hate-on for Christina.

Meanwhile, Sabrina happens upon a hidden immunity idol, but it turns out it's an idol that can only be used by a member of Menudo, which makes sense, as this is the idol she found:

The first immunity challenge is an obstacle course that starts with a 25' drop into a net, a balance beam & a rope bridge.  Probst warns everyone several times to land on their backs with their arms tucked in, although these may have been added in post-production, argues Matt Quinlan, Attorney at Law, representing Kourtney of the Wood Sprites.  Almost all the women land on their hands, but only my whimsical Kourtney injures herself doing do.  Medics see to her & take her away for X-Rays to determine if it's broken.   Probst declares that by the rules, the game is over & the men have won, as they were winning when it came crashing to a halt.  He then tells them they could continue the game to give the girls a shot, but the guys are all like, "Nah, it's cool.  We'll take the immunity now."

Salami is shocked, but really, what do you expect?  It's the very first Survivor challenge these guys have ever played - you think they want to actually finish it?  Back at camp, Douchey McTool attempts to placate the girls with "I felt like we were going to beat you guys anyway."

Sabrina gives Menudo's Immunity Idol to Colton, who turns Supervillain on us!  Not so cute & cuddly - he's like a vicious panda now that he has an idol to protect him.  He has plans for Matt, & here they are: "We're gonna cut his throat faster than Taylor Swift can write a song about an ex-boyfriend."


At Tribal Council, Probst asks the girls 1 question, & Barbara, Whoopie, Sherri & Elisabeth all start talking at once.  Probst pauses for a moment, injects himself with some testosterone, & continues.  Alicia & Christina disagree about the weaving-fire incident, & I think maybe last season's Christine & Stacey did get their Good Morning Long Island talk show, & Christina watches it all the time, because she is well-versed in both eye-rolling & outbursts.  Kat Bieber is mediating the disagreement.

I was like, baby, baby, baby, no ahm-bee-ance?

Probst informs the Salami tribe that Kourtney did indeed break her adorable wrist & needs surgery, so she is out of the game.  No one else is going home, but Probst reminds them to get their shit together.  "Right now, the guys are thinking, 'those women are all over the map.  We have them right where we want them: Nutsville.'"

So this season's premiere episode featured a half-completed Immunity Challenge, a found hidden Immunity Idol, which were supposed to be harder to find this season, & no voting at Tribal Council, because the most adorable contestant had to leave the game in the worst way ever: because of an injury.

Oh, how I miss you already.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Messed Up Children's Books

I spent my morning sorting through books from my childhood, & found some pretty messed up stuff.  The books my brother & I grew up with were taking up 4 shelves of my son's bookcases.  Now that my brother will be a father in 2 months, it's time to sort out the ones with chicken scratch writing in the "This Book Belongs To" section, from the elegant cursive writing on others.  Again, I found some messed up stuff.

Not terrifying at all.

My brother & I were always taught to respect books, as was my son.  These well-read, 30 year old children's books are almost all in perfect condition, aside from the cursive writing practice on a few inside covers.

Noted: 7 year old me loved John, did not like Albert.

Our library includes The Berenstain Bears & Robert Munsch & Dr. Seuss, but the real treasures are the odd ones.  When I was a child, living in the States, I belonged to The Weekly Reader Children's Book Club.  Random books were delivered to our house, I believe on a bi-weekly basis, so the name was a tad misleading.  They never delivered classics, like The Velveteen Rabbit or Corduroy.  The books that came in the mail were always obscure, usually in that so-70s colour scheme of white, black, & splashes of orange here & there.  These were the books that no one else wanted, much like The Last Puppy.

When you see it, you will recoil in horror.

Some had images that have stayed with me, buried in my mind, waiting to be unleashed once more.  When I read the Disney book, Real-Life Monsters, to my son years ago, this picture stayed in my mind for days.  It had haunted me as a child (the way the blood is dripping, & the T-Rex is LOOKING AT ME, & the guy I should feel sorry for LOOKS EVIL TOO), & now it was doing it again. 

You're next, Lisa.

Often, the Weekly Reader books were poetry books, & they were not by Shel Silverstein.  While I approve of the message Skipper is trying to convey, I feel this may be too morbid for a children's book.

Protect him from you, more likely.

In An Itch, we see the beginnings of a beautiful serial killer, discovering for the first time that he likes inflicting pain. 

You are mine.

Maybe it's just me, but I always felt "wrote his name on my back with his fingernails" meant a name was carved into his skin, like a branding.  Creeps me out. Yes, the poetry books may have been the worst.

I don't want to know how a cow gives milk with all her might.

Baby animals are sometimes too weak to survive.

There's a ghost in the backyard.  Have fun!

Little Golden Books were always present in our library.  And this one is a Beatrix Potter story!  That should be delightful & completely safe. 

There's no way this could make my 2 year old son burst into tears the first time I read it to him, right?

If the bunnies are old enough to know, so are you.

Here's another Golden Boo...wait a minute.  A Happy Day Book?  It's a fake!

It looks like a Golden Book, but it's meant to teach Christian values.  
Values like always sing for ghosts.

It's creepier if we're just yellowing in old age.

This particular book also contains what may be the best rhyme ever.

This book is still available for purchase here, so you're welcome. 

Another piece of religious propaganda that I had as a child (thanks Mom & Dad!) was a booklet of comic strips that all ended in a moral or a saying, like "Do unto others..." or "obey your parents", or this classic. 
From Leviticus, I believe.

"Either tell the truth or keep your mouth shut!"

My brother & I had a book called The ABCs of Faith, which explained sacraments like baptism, confirmation, & that God is totes cool with polygamy as long as he gets an invite!

Leave room for the Holy Ghost...between the sheets, ifyouknowwhatimsayin.

Also tackled is the heavy topic of a child losing a loved one.  Does it do a good job of this?  NO.

Grandma's dead?  God is great!  Yay!

This book also shows us that Church is the REAL THING*.  
Jesus is waiting there for us FOR REAL*. 

*Please don't question anything you've just read.  It's the REAL THING.

The one book that amazes me for its awful-message-masquerading-as-biblical-lesson is:

This is curiously not available at Arch Books anymore, even though the other 14 bible stories they published are.  Let's find out the possible reasons why!

Just marry one of your cousins, already.

Jacob meets & falls in love with his cousin, Rachel.

My sister did want you wed right away,!
Jacob works hard, & it's getting closer to the day he can marry Rachel.

Jacob & Rachel's wedding day is here.  Jacob looks dashing in the same tunic he's worn through the whole book, & his bride looks lovely.  I guess.  She has a veil over her face THE ENTIRE TIME.

TWIST!  I married the wrong cousin!

Yeah, she's from last season's Survivor, but I will use her forever.

I switched daughters on you, nephew!  Ha!

Dad of the year.

So to recap, Jacob was sent by his parents to marry one of his cousins.  He falls in love with Rachel, & is so poor at negotiating that instead of just marrying her, he strikes a deal that indentures him for 7 years & only then can he marry her.  Uncle says sure, nephew, you can marry one of my daughters. But Jacob makes him lots of money over those 7 years, so he wants Jacob to keep making him money, so he tricks Jacob by making him marry his other daughter, Leah.  Haha, Jacob!  The joke's on you!  I'll tell you what - be my slave 7 more years, & then you can have the wife you really want, my second daughter, AS WELL as my first daughter.  How's that sound, nephew/slave/son-in-law?

Looking through this again, I was kind of scared to turn the page.  Surely there would be a graphic depiction of Jacob going biblical on his Uncle's ass.  Jacob's not going to stand for this bullshit!
I turn the page, &...

What a crazy random happenstance!

Again, this book is not available for purchase anymore, & this one is mine.  Suckers.

In conclusion, good luck raising your daughter with these books*, Matthew!

*excluding The Farmer Takes A Wife. That craziness is mine.