5.31.2008

Inside her head

She’s seven weeks old today.

And growing up fast. Kates and I have mused out loud a few times this week how noticeable her growth has been lately … Watching her hold up her head the last couple weeks has been among the most delightful scenes. At this rate she could be starting to crawl next week … but what do I know about babies?

She’s already got Mom and Dad wrapped around her long, little fingers, too …

We’ve said from the beginning -- when her wide-eyed, pointy little head popped out -- she was alert and intelligent … She’s shown some streaks of baby toughness and independence, but she’s also shown she really likes being in our presence. Which is a good thing, I guess …

So the latest household joke is her knack for drawing Kates and I to her crib when she's supposed to be sleeping … We’ll put her music on, spend some time with her and rock her to contentment before setting her in her crib. And most of the time, that entails smacking her Nuk against her lips like Maggie Simpson. She’s totally fine.

But after a few minutes, Kates and I begin hearing her timid little “Eh!” cries on the monitor. It’s never full-out screaming or crying. But it gets our attention, as if to say “Hey! Pay attention to me!” And if she doesn’t stop after a minute or two, Kates or I are usually on our way to her room …

And this is why we think she’s testing us -- because invariably, her cries stop the moment she hears us coming down the hall, and we find her Nuk lying outside her mouth. Kates and I even have caught her smile when she sees one of us reappear over her crib -- as if she’s thinking, “Aha! I gotcha again!”

Just imagine the conversation in her head …

“Ok, they left me again. And they’re out there watching TV and having fun without me …”

“I’ll just spit my Nuk out again, cry a little, and they’ll come runnin’. I know it.”

Thwup!

“Ok. Nuk’s out. Here we go … Wheh! … Wheh!”

(Silence while she listens for us) … “Nothing yet.”

“Wheh! … Wheh!”

(Listening again) … “Still nothing. Let’s try this again … “Wheh!”

(The floors are creaking with the sounds of foot steps) … “Ah yes! I did it again! … Hey, Dad!”

5.30.2008

Can you spell drama?

Kates watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee again this year … It kind of snuck up on us, actually.

I didn’t like it initially. They glammed it up this year. There was a schmaltzy opening. Tom Bergeron was hosting. They marched the finalists onto the stage in colorful Gappy clothes -- not the white polo shirt spelling bee uniforms they’d worn in past years. And they began the televised version with just 12 finalists (I‘m pretty sure there were more the last two years), thus limiting the drama to a shorter window …

I was missing the days of Katharine Close.

But once we got to the spelling, there were indeed some good moments mixed with the sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat intensity … Particularly, there was the kid who couldn’t stop twirling his hair, even after he got his word wrong. When Sameer Mishra mistook the word “numnah” for num-nut. And smirky Tia Thomas, who finished third.

At least we still had hometown girl Kavya Shivashankar to cheer for … I really thought this was going to be her year, but she finished fifth.

In the end, it was likable little Sameer who won it all.

Go Cubs! Go!

With all of the season's TV shows winding down, I've finally had some good chances to watch some baseball this week ...

And oh, what a week it's been ... The Cubs are hot, and the Brewers, well, they're hanging in there ...

On Tuesday night, Kates and I caught the Cubs come from behind -- in between flipping back and forth and watching Bill Hall bring the Brewers from behind too!

Then I watched the Cubs do it again to sweep the Dodgers Wednesday night ...

And today they came back from eight runs down ...

Ooh this is getting good.

Lucky Friday

So get this ...

This morning at work I was hungry for a snack. I was craving M&Ms ...

So I went to the candy machine and put in a dollar. I wanted the peanut M&Ms. E-10 ... Except I didn't notice there was a "10" button. Instead, I pushed the "1" and the "0" buttons and got E-1 -- the beef jerky.

I groaned, stuck in another dollar and pushed E-10 ... But the M&Ms package got caught and didn't drop ... And my shaking the machine didn't help.Come on!

Ah, but I pressed the coin return button and got my entire dollar back in quarters. I inserted the money once more, pressed the E-10 buttons ... and got two packages of M&Ms! Bonus!

But it got even better this afternoon ...

On my quest for a Mountain Dew, I put my two quarters into the soda machine and two cans of Mountain Dew came barreling out.

Emerging from our break room, I held them up to my office mates. They said I should head for Vegas.

5.29.2008

Killer finales!

Kates and I passed up a chance to go to a "Sex and the City" premiere tonight ...

Whatever. We'll catch it on DVD.

We had to watch the Lost finale baby! Aw yeah.

First things first -- Ben's whole island disappearing act explained a whole lot for me. It's no wonder why rescuers couldn't find the castaways, why Widmor's crew was so ecstatic to find the place and why we had all those what-the-heck questions about the time continuum -- Now we know how Ben ended up face-down in the middle of a desert.

I'm also thinking I called it when I said the scenes being shown in this season's flash forwards weren't showing the end of the series but rather some things we could see play out, say, next season ...

And, after the name Jeremy Bentham was dangled in front of us for the entire episode, we finally got a look at who was in the much-debated coffin -- Locke.

There were quite a few other good moments in the finale, too. Perhaps the best was the scene involving Ben and Locke in the depths of the Orchid stations and Ben sitting Locke down in front of an ancient television -- that still worked! -- to watch the latest orientation video. Meanwhile Ben is tossing into the time travel chamber any piece of metal he can find -- just as the video is explaining to Locke that whatever you do, do not place any metal into the chamber. ... I also got a good kick out of the bit of dialogue with Sawyer crawling back onto the beach after his dive from the rescue helicopter, and finding poor Juliet getting drunk on rum as she watched the freighter go up in flames ...

... And my heart was never racing as hard as it was when Jack and the gang finally boarded that helicopter to head to the freighter, and knowing Michael, Desmond and Jin were back on the ship trying to un-wire the explosives -- and all that was happening while Ben and Locke were in the Orchid chamber with Mean Army Dude, whose armband was set to detonate the explosives the moment his heart stopped beating ... which it did. Riveting TV folks!

Oh, and Jin -- yeah, I'm thinking he's still alive too; he dove off the freighter before it burst into flames ...

But here's another question -- What happens to him and Faraday's life raft? What's their fate now that the island is gone and they're floating in the middle of the ocean?

Lost reads ...
a 'Lost' season finale should answer questions
a For Durand, playing the 'Lost' psychopath can be a blast ... A good read on Mean Army Dude meantioned above. Didn't expect him to go as fast as he did. He was one mean dude ... Then again, I had a feeling he wasn't dead the first time. Should've shot him in the head when they had the chance -- Though that wouldn't have been good for Sun, who was still on the freighter at the time ...
a Josh Holloway finds himself on 'Lost'

And here's a look at the two other big finales in our household ... both of which I give a big thumbs up.
a Grey's Anatomy: Big kisses ...I never thought I'd be enjoying Izzie as much as I did this spring. And lo and behold Derek and Meredith are fawning over each other again ...
a 'Desperate Housewives': Five-Year Plan ... A terrific end to a terrific season. Tom finally canned Kayla, and we finally got some answers in the whole Dylan saga. Now we've got to figure out what happened between Susan and Mike!

5.26.2008

Weekend whirl

Back to work tomorrow. Should be a good week. The boss is gone ...

Here's my Memorial Day weekend in a nutshell ...

After spending Friday cleaning the yard and the house, we were awakened -- a common occurrence these days -- by Phoebe's crying at 8:30 a.m. ... Kates fed her and I jumped in the shower ...

By 10:30, my buddy Ed was on our doorstep for our reunion tour with Matty. The three of us worked together years ago at a small-town newspaper for all of nine months. But those were some of the most random and fun times of my young adulthood -- and I've said many times: I've never laughed as hard or as long than I do when I'm with those guys ... The purpose for our reunion: Matty's getting married, and this weekend was his bachelor bash.

I gave Eddie the quick tour of the homestead. We caught up on life, played some vinyls, and I mesmerized him with my collection ... Then we hit the road and trekked to our first stop: U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox ...

Matty and the rest of our party crew hadn't arrived yet, so Eddie and I had plenty of time to take in the park's exterior, including a massive marble monument to the 2005 World Championship team. A rock 'n' roll band also was playing outside the gate to add to the festive atmosphere, and Eddie and I had a good time watching people and musing about the money fans throw at teams so they can have their names put on bricks and help pay for the the club's multi-million dollar players and facilities -- which will be demolished and forgotten a half-century from now, along with those measly bricks.


At 2 p.m., the rest of the guys arrived, and Eddie and I were in the stadium before Matty could finish doling out the tickets ...

Now, I've been to U.S. Cellular Field, er, New Comiskey Park, multiple times -- but never to see a game. And I gotta say -- I'll take the fan experience at Wrigley Field or Miller Park any day; I was a little disappointed ... Perhaps my experience would have been better if we hadn't been in the bleachers --- the main scoreboards were obstructed by seats, poles and overhangs. And the batting lineup and players stats weren't shown on the stadium's iconic exploding scoreboard -- nope, they were on the scoreboard directly behind us. Obstructed and making my neck sore from constant turning around ... Beyond that between-inning entertainment was lacking, and the passionate fans I'm used to seeing at Wrigley and Miller Park were nill ...

The game was bland too. Sure, the Angels and White Sox were two of the best teams in the majors going in ... But there was no scoring until the sixth inning. Although I did get to see a Vladimir Guerrero home run, the Angels scored two runs in the inning, and that's the way it ended, 2-0. The only other highlight was Ozzie Guillen getting ejected for arguing a called third strike in the ninth inning -- but even that was a seemingly lame plot to get the crowd fired up.

After the game we hit McGinny's Tap. Great atmosphere. Tasty food ... And we got to catch the Cubs game for a nightcap ...

And finally, we ended the night at a Chicago classic -- Zanies ... Kicking off the show was a guy whose name I don't recall, but it doesn't matter -- he was awful and he knew it. At one point, he even said to our lifeless crowd, "It don't matter if you guys are having fun or not, I still got five minutes left." ... The other performers, however, weren't near as disappointing. We saw Melissa McQueen, who had some hilarious bits about her upbringing in western Kansas, losing weight and moving to L.A. And then the headliner for the night was Baron Vaughn, who did this hilarious ipod bit and ended his routine with a catchy song about penises and lollipops -- seriously! -- which was genius because we had it stuck in our heads the rest of the night ...

And that was that. Eddie and I said our good-byes to Matty and the gang, and soon we were back on the interstate heading home.
* * *

... On Sunday, I reunited with Kates and Phoebe, and we hit the road for a family gathering ...

It was pretty low-key as far as family gatherings go. Phoebe stayed sleeping in her car seat for the first hour ... and then woke up in time for Grandma and Great-grandma to share a little argument over who got to hold her first. Fun times.

... By 7:30 we were home and getting Phoebe to bed ... And then we listened to the storms roll in. I've not heard thunder so loud in a long, long time. Some of those I swore touched down in our back yard; at one point I shot straight up in our bed and literally watched the alarm clock begin blinking when the power zapped out.

And Phoebe and Kates slept through the whole thing without even flinching.
* * *
To close out the weekend, we caught up on some movies ...

First up: Wedding Crashers ... Now we can say we've seen it -- but I think it's overrated. Sure, there were some comical moments -- not to mention a great cast -- but I didn't find any of them to be so hysterically funny I thought I was going to wet my pants. The movie got really predictable, really quick and it was only a matter of time before John ended up with Claire ... I give it 2.5 stars.

Second movie: Must Love Dogs ... Yeah. Barely 30 seconds into it, I was telling Kates, "Why do I feel like I've seen all this before." Then she started telling me about the plot as though she had already seen it. We wondered if we'd seen parts of it on TV -- and then realized it was one of the movies we watched during a stay at the farm last fall. Doh!

For that, we decided it was time to take a break and get outside to enjoy the day's gorgeous weather. We took Phoebe for a walk. Grilled out. Put Phoebe to bed. And then stayed on our deck until it was so dark we couldn't see the other side of our yard.

We closed out the night watching Hairspray ... I wasn't so ecstatic about it when we finished watching the film as I am now that it's had time to sink in and I've watched the DVD extras ... Nikki Blonsky is a riot and the rest of the cast is fantastically balanced with a load of new -- I love watching Amanda Bynes -- and veteran talents (Hello, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah and Allison Janney!). Watching the DVD footage of the cast meeting for their first table reading, during the choreography and recording the music gave me such a deeper appreciation for the film ...

I'm going to be singing "You Can't Stop the Beat" in my dreams tonight ...

5.25.2008

Sunday reading

Here's some of my favorites reading for the week ... Have fun!

Sports ...
a Baseball to formulate instant replay proposal ... Under the parameters given -- and after watching that botched home the other night at Yankee Stadium -- I'd support it.
a Mike Piazza announces his retirement from baseball ... He was a good one. I'm with Lasorda -- I hope he goes into the Hall as a Dodger.
a The Bizarro Supermen
a Wrigley through the decades ... a nice slideshow, especially of the earlier years.
a It'd be foolish for Bulls to pass on Rose ... I agree. But I'd be heartbroken if they traded Heinrich.
a Derek Lowe Asks Coach If He Could Dip Out Around Fourth Inning ... Hilarious Onion read.

Politics ...
a Obama, Clinton, McCain Join Forces To Form Nightmare Ticket ... Good Onion read
a Youngest Brother Enhanced Legacy, and Built His Own ... A good read on Ted Kennedy

The Internet & Media ...
a How Many Friends Is Too Many? ... A really good read from my friend Raechel ... For the record, I keep my MySpace exclusively to people I know personally, people I've worked or gone to school with -- and bands or TV shows I've seen and like to keep tabs on. Facebook is more restrictive, and I like it.
a Facebook preparing for redesign to clear clutter ... interesting.

TV & Entertainment ...
a 'Wicked' will close Chicago run in January ... and I'm quite proud to say Kates and I were one of the first to see it -- with Ana Gasteyer. ... Here's a slideshow.
a Crossing the Finish Line, 'SNL' Shows Some Late Kick ... Ooh, it's gonna be good.
a Where We Got By Walking in Their Manolos ... Ah, Sex in the City. Good times.

Travel ...
a Pump pain
a The Nighttime's the Right Time to See D.C. ... True that. My time touring D.C. during a night last year was one of the sweetes experiences of my life ...
a Have laptop, will breeze through security?

Life & other stuff ...
a New name game: Aiden Aidan bo Aden . . . fee fi mo Aydin
a Emily, Jacob remain most popular baby names ... Two names we really like and considered, but quickly threw out for that reason.
a The World's Wildest Architecture ... very cool!. I want to work in that basket.

5.23.2008

Four times the laughter

My friend Laura sent this one to me today ...

5.22.2008

More Idol recap

... I'm still basking in the glow of last night's fulfilling "American Idol."

Maybe it's the whole Kansas City connection. Or the fact that David Cook was such an underdog. Or that he's such a good guy ... Much like the Jayhawks win (gosh, has it really been almost two months!?) I was so pleased and wrapped in last night's finale that nothing could take me off the high I was riding today ... And I was just some measly TV viewer sitting on his little old couch at home.

Alas, Michael Slezak's EW review was a fun read today ...

I've become a huge fan of reading his Idol thoughts each week (just look back at the links in all of my Idol posts this year), and toward the end, I was pretty certain what to expect from him on all these mornings after -- and also kind of proud and redeemed when his thoughts on the performances so closely matched mine.

... He's made me laugh out loud in my cubicle on several mornings, and he's had me grunting and shaking my head in disgust at other times. There were days when I thought he was dead-on and days that I thought he was so off-base I wondered what season he was watching.

Nevertheless, my Wednesday and Thursday mornings with his commentary won't be the same for the next seven months ...

Here's today's write-up from Slezak.

... And when you're done reading him, here's some more good reads about Idol ...

a 10 most unforgettable ‘Idol’ performances ... Not sure I completely agree with this list. What about Brooke White's "Let it Be" !? ... And David Archuleta's "Imagine" was sooo much better than "You're the Voice."
a American Idol Tracker: Miles Siggins, 'Idol's' fashion police
a 'American Idol's' Cook and Archuleta face off as an aging franchise faces changes
a 'American Idol' still on top, but at a crossroads ... I'm also not sure I would call Cook's win the "most dramatic upset" in Idol history" ... But Idol definitely did have its drawbacks this year.

5.21.2008

Idol: This is the time

I got to spend some good time in the yard tonight. Talked some baseball with my friend Tom. We gave Phoebs a bath and put her to bed …

And now Kates and I are enjoying some homemade cheeseburgers with asparagus -- mm mm good! -- and sitting down for the “American Idol” finale … on our own time, on our DVR. So here we go …

8:40 … I’m eating my hamburger. It’s good … Ryan’s just announced the vote totals -- 97.5 million. Holy crap ... 56 percent for the winner and 44 percent for the runner-up. Not surprised, we knew it was going to be close

8:47 ... What’s with all the crazy camera angles during the opening group number, dang it! (They did this last night during Ruben’s closing number too, and I hated it. I wanted to see the make-me-tear-up montage of the season highlights, but the cameras kept zooming in and out on big, boring Ruben, while we could only see snippets of the montage on the screen behind him. What gives!?) … Tonight, I wanted to see the Idols singing the opening song, but the cameras kept panning over the greasy flash dancers, and the cameras were moving so fast we could barely make out any of the Idols…

8:48: … Fast forward on the commercial and we land on D.C. and D.A. teaming up on Nickelback’s “Hero” …. Wow. Nice! ... Lil’ David is blossoming into a rocker before our eyes!

8:51 … The Love Guru … Um, thanks? Leave it up to Idol to promote another forgettable summer flick … I so would’ve fast-forwarded through this if I had been sure Kates wouldn’t slap my hand for it … Worse yet, now they’re giving him stage time, too.

8:58 … Syesha’s performance with Seal … Rocked!

8:59 … Fast forward through another commercial … and, man, now we’ve gotta see Jason Castro again!? … At least he’s singing “Hallelujah.” I’ll accept that. Right up there with D.A.’s “Imagine,” it was indeed one of the more memorable performances of the season … Hey, if we were watching this in real-time, we’d know who the winner is right now …

9:08 … We’re back after a little break for desert … The blooper reel for the Ford commercials was cute. … And now Ryan’s awarded the Davids with the Hybrids. That’s awesome!

9:11 … Good to see all the girls together again and “Workin’ hard for their money.” … It’s kind of funny how each of their personalities are showing through on this performance. And, of course, poor Amanda Overmyer looks like she would rather be anywhere but in that red get-up on that stage …

9:20 … Sorry, Kates and I just spent several minutes on pause and reminiscing on last year’s finale -- we’re thinking last year’s was better … Now Carly Smithson and Michael Johns are doing “The Letter” … Great song! Great arrangement -- it’s the Joe Cocker version! … Good stuff! … Speaking of great arrangements, they need to bring out Chikezie to do is “She's A Woman.”

9:24 … Good bit by Jimmy Kimmel … His best line was about Paula -- that she "sees the positive in performances no one else sees. In fact, if you watched a few weeks ago, sometimes she sees actual performances that no one else sees.” Dig! … The montage of Simon’s criticisms throughout the season was comical too …

9:26 … Now the guys are singing … OK, I liked it until they introduced the Davids and they took down the mood with “Heaven.” Good harmony though … Bring back Michael Johns on “Summer of ‘69.” … Oooh, Bryan Adams is actually there! But, wait, what the heck is he singing? And the crowd goes silent -- because no one knows what he’s singing …

9:37 … Bathroom break, and we’re back … David Cook with ZZ Top. Who cares. … Seriously, the cameras are still zipping back and forth. I’m so dizzy I can’t stand to watch … I’m going to the fridge …

9:42 … Oh. My. Gosh. Now this has got to be the performance of the night … Graham Nash with Brooke White on “Teach Your Children.” … My jaw is wide open … What a highlight for her.

9:46 … Jonas Brothers. … Hey, it’s good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll …

9:49: … Ah, the worst auditions of the year. Love it. “Let my peo-ple goooooooo.” … Oh, and Renaldo Lapuz! That was great! … Ha! And here comes the USC Marching Band to play with him on stage! I could’ve spotted them coming a mile away -- Where’s Fleetwood Mac when you want ‘em (See here!) … Ok, this performance with Renaldo is pretty good, especially with Paula, Randy and Ryan getting into it …

9:54 … “Apologize” with One Republic and the strings. Very nice … And David Archuleta! … Whoah, he’s coming of age as a pop singer tonight! First Nickelback, now this! So much for thinking of him as the ballady cruise ship singer …

9:58 … Someone tell the cheeky girls behind D.A.'s grandparents to quit screaming and let the Utah correspondent do the interview …

9:59 … Ah, Jordin. Singing “One Step At A Time.” Good song -- it’s my second favorite on the album, behind “No Air.” … Yes, I have the album (It's decent). … Hey, and look -- Blake Lewis is singing along too in the audience …

10:05 … The Gladys Knight clip with The Pips (aka Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr.) was good for a chuckle … I think it would have been better near the top of the show, though.

10:07 … Carrie Underwood looks and sounds good. Aaaaaas usual. … But I’m starting to get bored. Let’s move this along, folks.

10:11 … OK, here we go, a George Michael medley!… Loved the girls performance of “Faith.” And now the guys are doing “Father Figure” … I soooooo wanna turn it up, but we can’t risk waking Phoebe. …. And now they’re singing “Freedom”!! Now I’m just getting giddy. This is the type of fun performance I’ve been waiting for all night … That was awesome …

10:16 … OK, not really liking George Michael by himself now …

10:21 … And finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for … Simon’s apology to David Cook for his criticism last night and his comments about not caring who wins were very cool …

WOW!!!!!! IT’S DAVID COOK!!!!!!! …. The guy who didn’t even want to try out in the first place! What a story. A Kansas City story at that!

Both Kates and my arms shot straight up in the air when the announcement was made, and we clasped hands in shock.

What a season. What a ride.

5.20.2008

More Phoebe

... What this picture doesn't show is the metal bat she was holding, ready to use it on anyone who steps on her turf. Be sure not to step in any dark alleys with her ...

Idol finale!

Ok. Let's cut to the chase ...and past tonight's hokey boxing opening and themed portions ...

Actually the cracks started when Ryan asked David Archuleta how he was feeling. Lil' David flashed his silly little grin again and I was ready for him to do his best Michael Jackson and reply, “I’m a lover, not a fighter!”

Then, Lil' David and David Cook -- from here on known as D.A. and D.C. -- were forced to compliment each other. It would have been laugh-out-loud funny if, after D.A. gushed about how great of a guy D.C. is, D.C. just looked at D.A. and snarled “I hate you.” … But that was only in my warped mind. Instead, D.C. kept it real and was right on when he declared the competition over. It is -- both of these guys are getting huge record deals …

When the first song selections were announced, I thought D.C. was gifted with an edge -- U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” … After all, I didn’t think D.A. could knock his “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down” out of the park the way D.C. could’ve knocked out his. But D.A. went and hit the grand slam …

Afterward, Paula had me cracking up more tonight than ever … To D.C.: “We’ve found what we’ve looking for!” And to D.A.: “The sun won’t go down on you!” … Ack!

And while I’m on the judges … I will not miss watching Randy slobbering and practically jumping on the table after Lil’ David’s performances each week. Seriously, Randy. The kid’s good, but he’s not that good.

For Round Two, D.C. did “Dream Big.” … It started off a little slow, but the chorus screamed RADIO HIT! Still, the performance lacked energy, and Simon was right -- it was lightweight. Thus, D.A. won the second round with his “In This Moment.” Typical song choice, typical performance for D.A.

And finally, we were at Round Three … Collective Soul’s “The World I Know” was right up D.C.’s alley. I liked his acoustic touch on it, and I credit him big time for not doing something he’s already done -- even if it won’t put him over the top … Meanwhile, D.A. decided to reprise his “Imagine,” which was arguably one of the most memorable performances of the season. He sealed the win with it tonight.

So there you go. As much as I’d love to see my Kansas City homeboy David Cook win the whole thing, I’m not sure it’s going to happen …

I think David Archuleta is a wonderfully talented singer, and I think he’ll easily be crowned the winner tomorrow night -- and he deserves it. But he won’t sell as many records as David Cook.

5.19.2008

Milk comas

Reason No. 1,362 why we love Phoebe ...

After Kates feeds her she falls into her milk coma, arches her back and, every once in a while, smiles like she's on air ...

Picture her, as her fictional namesake Phoebe Buffay once deadpanned, "I'm so drunk."

5.18.2008

Sunday reading

Some of the good reads I caught during the last seven days ...

Baseball ...
a Cubs use Zambrano, offensive explosion to down Padres
a In covering Cubs, bias suspicion looms
a Cubs can't stop all sales of offensive Kosuke Fukudome T-shirt
a The forgotten confines
a The Great Holdout
a White Sox are hot, city is not bothered

Politics ...
a Eight reasons why Obama should not choose Clinton as his running mate in `08
a Obama apologizes to 'sweetie'

TV ...
a Every night live ... I love Jimmy Fallon, but I'm a bit skeptical of his chances on a late night talk show.
a A tale of two Jimmys
a 'The Office': Worst episode ever? ... I think this review is a little harsh, but it backs up my thoughts that 'The Office' is better viewed as a collection of workplace scenes or sketches than as a 30-minute episode.

Music ...
a Coachella DJs get the party moving with MP3s

Travel ...
a 75 cool reasons to visit MSI
a This Year, The Heat's Really On

The Bush wedding ...
a Goin' to the ranch, gonna get married
a Henry Hager, Jenna Bush wedding pictures

Steve Carell on SNL

Kates and I just finished watching last night's "SNL" with Steve Carell ... Here's some of the highlights ...

The opening graduation sketch had me laughing so hard it nearly tore my stomach in shreds ...



Great Clinton-Obama ad ...



McCain's message, unfortunately, was right on...



This was genius ...



And maybe it was just me imagining Kates and I tossing Phoebe around like this, but this skit was plain HA-larious...

5.16.2008

Notes from the week

... Trying to catch up a little on the last seven days, though they've been such a whirlwind, there's no chance I'll be able to remember everything I wanted to write about ...

* * *

Sunday was Mother's Day. Besides being our first one, it was pretty low-key. We dressed Phoebe in her "strawberry shortcake" outfit, as we call it. And Kates got cards from both Phoebe and I -- plus a bonus card from both of us that read:

Wishing you a Happy Mother's Day to the wonderful, proud new mom!

(open it up)

Keep this card. You can read it again at about 2 a.m.

 


Pheebs made her debut at church on Mother's Day ... We were running late -- as usual -- which meant we arrived just as the service was starting. But it worked out for the better because we got to carry Phoebe down the aisle and draw oohs and ahhs from the congregation as people got their first looks at her ... Phoebe was quiet and well-behaved for the entire service. Although, Kates had to take her out for a feeding toward the end, which left me stranded at the end of the service with an empty car seat as people were coming over with hopes of meeting Phoebe ...

The afternoon was spent sharing dinner with Kates' family and watching baseball games -- something I'm sad I haven't had a whole lot of time to do yet this spring.
* * *

... When I came home at one point earlier this week, Kates gleefully announced she was getting Phoebe into a routine! ... Which is something I had wanted to do in the very beginning, before an unexpected return to the hospital threw off those plans. But I could tell Kates was excited about whatever words-of-wisdom baby book she had read, and I didn't say anything ...

We're still amazed at how well Phoebe sleeps during the night ... Needless to say, getting her to take naps during the day this week has been a little tougher.

Ah, but we've quickly discovered she loves Enya. Before she was born, I built a playlist of good baby-type Enya songs, thinking we could put them to use. Sure enough, put a little Afer Ventus on and it's put her to sleep every time ... On the downside, I'm not sure how many more nights Kates and I are going to be able take before that angelic music gets grating ...

* * *

... So there's a gigantic kids festival coming to town in July. "The Ultimate Kids Fest," they're calling it. Raven-Symoné and other big kids stars are going to be there ...

My office is playing a role in it and selling the tickets. And I wrote a piece about the festival ...

So on the day before the tickets were available, my phone was ringing with parents desperate to spoil their children. "What am I supposed to do when those tickets go on sale tomorrow morning and I need to get my daughter tickets!? I need to know what I'm supposed to do!" one irate mother screamed at me.

... All the while I'm thinking, sooner than I know it Phoebe's going to be wanting tickets to the show of some heartthrob, too.

And then it it really hits me. I'm a father ... of a girl.

* * *

Speaking of heartthrobs ...

The New Kids on the Block have reunited ...

And Kates and I watched our DVR recording giddily tonight of their performance on the Today show.

The phrase "blast from the past" doesn't even describe it. Seeing and hearing the adult crowd screaming like it was 1989, I laughed and said "This is like our parents seeing the Beatles reunite ... "

Hardly. But it was the best I could come up with ... and The New Kids still sound good. Here's some clips ...





* * *
There's been some good TV this week too ...

On "How I Met Your Mother," Britney's return was forgettable (when are the TV execs gonna learn ... A good thing never works twice ...), but watching Marshall and Lily sell their stuff was fun. And oh yeah -- guyforceshiswifetodressinagarbagebagforthenextthreeyears.com is an actual Web site ... nice!

Grey's Anatomy is as good as it's been in a long time ... Though I'm loathing the idea of two-hour season finale next week. Grey's has never done those well ...

Lost is getting really good ... And my mouth is watering over that season finale ... (I'm contending these flash-forwards we've been seeing aren't necessarily things that happen around the end of the series. In other words, these flash-forwards could be the foundation for some plot lines before an eventual return to the island to reunite or rescue the rest of the passengers ...)

And last night's "Office" ... was pretty darn good, too. Amy Ryan was perfect as the new HR girl; here's hoping she stays ...

5.15.2008

Dramatic TV

... So Syesha went on Idol last night after all.

Sigh.

It was fun to hope for the unthinkable for a little while at least ... Before the David-David final was announced I mused to Kates, "How great would it be if Ryan said 'Syesha ... You're Safe,' And then left it between the two Davids for the final spot."

But it didn't happen.

* * *

After we finished watching Idol last night, I stayed up to watch a documentary I've been wanting to catch on National Geographic.

I'd seen the "Battle at Kruger" video on YouTube last summer (uh, yeah. Amazing!), so when I read about the documentary I was just as fascinated and intrigued ...

It's worthy watch that dissects the 8-minute attack, from the thoughts and positioning of each animal to their characteristics in the wild, in addition to interviews from the people who were there to capture it and watch it unfold. It's pretty fascinating. Catch it if you can ...

In the meantime, here's the infamous video ... To get the full impact, you must watch the whole thing. I promise the outcome is worth it ...

Jim Edmonds signs with Cubs

Holy cow.



Hey, I'm up for seeing what ol' Jimmy can do for the Cubs ... And more power to him for taking a contract at the league minimum. I'll accept a guy who does it for the love the game any day ...

Updates ...
a Big Z welcomes Edmonds to Cubs
a Edmonds makes Cubs debut

5.14.2008

Idol chatter

The EW review of last night's Idol show put the climate of the night splendidly ... But I'll give you my take too ...

David Archuleta got to sing Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes,” one of our favorite Billy Joel songs (I believe it was also sung at my high school graduation … Can anyone confirm that?). And when he finished, I had to agree with Simon -- it was slightly predictable. Plus, every time he performs he does that thing where he raises his out-stretched arm in front of him, palm up, like he’s holding a glass ball. It’s annoying and distracting.

As for his take on Chris Brown’s “With You.” … Didn’t like it. It’s not him. But I liked Simon’s description better: “It was like a Chihuahua trying to be tiger.” … ‘Lil David also got a great, great song pick in Dan Fogelberg's “Longer” but it too was on the predictable side. I think David slipped this week.

The other David, Mr. Cook, had it all in a bag and tied with a bow after his performance of Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” Though David didn’t exactly seem too pleased with it, I've gotta say the moment he learned it was going to be his song, I thought, ‘Oh, wow, he’s gonna nail that one,’ and I was hearing him singing it in my head before he even touched the first note. His take on it was clearly my favorite performance of the night, and I was a little surprised the judges gave him only a lukewarm reception. If that song didn’t make the girls swoon …

But then Mr. Cook went and ruined Switchfoot’s “Dare You to Move.” … And Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” ? The strings were a nice touch, and it was kind of cool. But it’s too big of a song and David’s version was predictable.

Then there was happy, go-lucky Syesha, who I’m starting to believe might have some real underdog clout. Think about it – with Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones, no one saw Jordin Sparks rising to the top last year

Syesha had to sing Alicia Keys “If I Ain't Got You” … I liked it a lot, and I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow she managed to beat out ‘Lil David this week. From the pure joy on her face during the Keys number, to her dance around the chair on “Fever,” she was exuding more personality and fun last night than she’s shown all season … Her take on Gia Farrell’s “Hit Me Up” (an artist or song I’d never heard before, but apparently it’s on the “Happy Feet” soundtrack) was pretty decent, too.

Other bloggers have written about it. And last night I noticed it more than ever -- Syesha’s performances were pretty darn good in my eyes, and the judges had nary a good word to say for her. Meanwhile the Davids got fist pumps and free passes to the finals, which only Cook’s first performance deserved. Randy was the worst offender last night, constantly telling Archuleta he was in the zone when he was clearly out of pitch.

Syesha, overall, was the winner of the night. She performed songs from three different genres. She added choreography to “Fever,” and didn’t just stand in place singing some contrived, predictable version of a song some producer chose hoping she would fall and set up the David vs. David finale.

In other interesting 'Idol' news ...
a David Archuleta's father banned from ''Idol''
a 'American Idol' Banter: Who are they really?

5.13.2008

Historic ‘Blockbuster’ Store Offers Glimpse Of How Movies Were Rented In The Past

Good, funny stuff ...


Ways to maintain your sanity

Got this from my mother several weeks ago. It'll brighten your day too ...


  1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
  2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
  3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
  4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "IN."
  5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to expresso.
  6. In the memo field of all you checks, write "For smuggling Diamonds," "Sexual Favors," "Bribe Payoff," Drug Purchase," etc...
  7. Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the prophecy."
  8. dont use any punctuation in your emails ever
  9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
  10. Whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face, order a diet water.
  11. When going through the drive-through, specify that your order is "To Go."
  12. Sing along at the opera.
  13. Go to a poetry recital and ask "Why don't your poems rhyme?"
  14. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds through your computer speakers all day.
  15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend the party they're throwing because you're not in the mood.
  16. Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, Rock Bottom.
  17. When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I won! I won!"
  18. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "Run for your lives! They're loose!"
  19. Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

5.11.2008

Sunday reading

Some of the good reads that piqued my interest during the last week ...

Sports ...
a Small fish tries big pond: Undersized TE aims to beat odds ... This one came from my friend Chris, who knows my allegiance to the Northwest Bearcats. Mike Peterson's a darn good football player, and I'd love to see the Packers keep him.

TV ...
a 'Back to You' is solidly anchored in comedy

Politics ...
a Networks Dismiss Hillary Landslide
a Why the Press Turned on Obama
a Hillary Clinton gets her own Letterman Top 10 list

The Internet & media
a In the Internet Age, AM Radio Needs Fine-Tuning

Life & other (cool) stuff
a At 107, Livermore centennial lightbulb is still a real live wire ... Kates and I saw this story on the news the other night. So cool!
a Putting Words and Music to Her Life
a Couple's cozy car turns heads, saves them money
a One-man concert against high gas prices draws a crowd, and the police

5.10.2008

Magical stuff!

In case you missed it, David Letterman just finished Magician's Week ...

Great stuff!

Here are my favorites ...

From Tuesday night ...



And from Wednesday night ...

5.07.2008

Idol chatter

Ok, there was a split second there that I winced and thought Syesha Mercado might be a goner tonight ...

Then came the magic words from Ryan: "Syesha, you're safe."

See ya later Castro!

I don't think I need to waste any more time bemoaning how awful Jason's performance was last night. And his vocals were only half of it; his lazy-blah attitude about the whole thing was even more offensive ... The guy peaked way early with his "Hallelujah" and it was all downhill from there ...

I thought David Cook and Syesha were just OK last night. Though I'm not sure Syesha deserved the hammering she got from Randy after her second song ...

But c'mon, lil' David blew the competition away last night. His "Stand By Me" was pretty sweet, with the "Beautiful Girls" add-in and all, and his "Love Me Tender" was pretty all right too, even though I'm not a big fan of the song ...

Here's some other good takes on this week's performances and some other good Idol reads ...

a Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare
a "American Idol": The Unfab Four
a Idolatry: Brooke White
a Dos and Don'ts for 'Idol' Hopefuls
a The 15 Best Performances Ever

Onion read

Pope Returns To Vatican With Comprehensive Plan To Blow Up United States

The Onion

Pope Returns To Vatican With Comprehensive Plan To Blow Up United States

WASHINGTON—In what many believed to be a related incident, a blueprint of New York's proposed Freedom Tower was reported missing the day after the Pope's visit.

5.06.2008

Exploding poop!

Over the last couple weeks, I've developed a new nickname for Phoebe ...

Mt. St. Phoebe.

And this evening she lived up to it with force.

After I arrived home from work tonight, Kates made it my responsibility to change Phoebe's diaper while she made supper.

No problem. When I'm home, I've been doing the majority of the diaper changing. I can handle it ... Though it's a little more complicated than we'd like these days. Phoebs has a bit of a diaper rash, which means we have to put these creams and ointments on her too -- which makes diaper changes a little more time-consuming, and gives her more time to do some ... well, damage. It's not uncommon for her to go a couple more times while we're changing her, and then we have to start the entire process again ...

So tonight. I'm changing her diaper. And she's already gone a couple times ...

Finally, I think I'm almost done. But then I can sense her winding up again ...

Before I know it, I can see more of the yellow-goldish slime seeping from her bottom ...

And in another instant, she's shot it right at me like a speeding bullet.

All over my shirt. The wall. Her dresser. The floor.

Yeah.

After I composed myself -- and Kates came to my aid -- I did get her cleaned up and the diaper changed. Actually, it took me five tries to get the job done -- a new record.

Kates tells me I better get used to it.

5.04.2008

Sunday reading ...

Some of the reads that caught my eyes last week ...

Baseball ...
a Kosuke Fukudome Tastes Good
a Mark Cuban takes closer look at Cubs
a Reporters on scene recall Elia's meltdown ... This was a new story of Cubs lore to me. You can hear the rant here.
a Message to Bonds: It's over

Entertainment ...
a Kristen Bell: Sassy Is the New Cute
a Spears reprises guest role on CBS' 'Mother'
a TV crew members still feeling effects of writers strike
a Tom Petty returns to his roots with Mudcrutch
a Leibovitz defends Miley photo ... OK. Is it just me or was this story way overblown this week. Miley exposes her back -- her back! -- for a prominent and respected magazine and suddenly her career is in danger? I'm not getting it. She could've done much, much worse.

Media & the Internet ...
a Friends Indeed? As We Click With More Pals Online, The Idea of Friendship Multiplies
a When Young Teachers Go Wild on the Web

Life & other stuff ...
a Another Chicago business icon gets swallowed
a IDOT fails to see humor in Oak Lawn's quirky stop-sign campaign
a Between Medieval And Folk, Two Mass Audiences
a Moe: Fame didn't change humble Pollard ... A good story about a famed local artist whom I'm pleased to say I once interviewed.
a How much about your teenage transgressions should you tell your kids?

And finally ...


Potential Employee Uprising Quelled With Free Pizza

The Onion


Potential Employee Uprising Quelled With Free Pizza


NEW YORK—Besides suppressing office acrimony, the pizza appeared to subdue frustrated employees on a physical level, leaving many full and slightly fatigued.



5.03.2008

Sweet music

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for weeks …

There’s a new Weepies album out.

And it blew my expectations away. As if the husband-wife folk music duo of Steve Tannen and Deb Talan hasn’t made enough beautiful music to fill a lifetime, they’ve gone out and done it again with the dreamy “Hideaway.”

You could say The Weepies have been the soundtrack for us over the last year or so. I fell hard for them the first moment I heard their amazingly soothing harmonies and melodies last year, and I immediately turned Kates on to them. And then I went on a crusade to introduce them to anyone else who was willing to listen.

We’ve been playing them constantly over the last several months, and they helped make our long, cold winter so much more bearable …

And perhaps one of the coolest memories I’ll take away from Phoebe’s birth is the comments we drew with The Weepies playing in our hospital room. It was something Kates told me she wanted when she went into labor, so shortly after we arrived in our hospital room that Friday evening the iPod got plugged in and The Weepies were turned on. We had their music looping for the entire night and into the morning … And we turned the whole birthing staff onto them, too. Every time a new nurse came into our room that night, questions were asked about the music we were playing. And later, when the anesthesiologist arrived to administer Kates’s epidural, the nurse was giving him the whole giddy schpeel about the music, before he could ask about it …

Needless to say, this new album was hugely anticipated in our household this spring. The only other times I’ve looked so forward to an artist releasing new material is with Ben Folds, and that’s pretty huge considering my music interests and how long it takes me sometimes to warm up to a new artist or album …

Thanks to a couple Paste previews, I’d been listening to the title track and “Antarctica” over and over for weeks … Initially, I was a little surprised at “Hideaway,” which is a little more electrically-charged than their previous, more acoustic stuff. But like The Weepies of the previous two albums, the tune is so simple, catchy and singable, I couldn’t get it out of my head. “Antarctica,” too, is constructed of such a sweet -- and surprising -- melody that I started to believe I might be in for a real treat with the new album …

On April 22 it arrived. And I was propelled into bliss …

Indeed, the album is a little more electric and darker than their previous two releases, but it’s hardly a downfall. This album takes on a fuller sound that’s worth taking along …

The first two tracks, the twinkling “Can’t Go Back Now” and the celestial “Orbiting,” along with the title track, are easily my early favorites on the new album. The Weepies’ relatable and sincere lyrics are in “Can’t Go Back” as Tannen sings, “You know there will be days when you’re so tired that you can’t take another step / The night will have no stars and you’ll think you’ve gone as far as you will ever get.“ Then, on “Orbiting,” Talan takes the lead vocals on what might be the sweetest-sounding chorus, though the song is heartache-driven lyrically.

Still, there‘s a lot of good stuff beyond the first three tracks, too. “Not Dead Yet” is an upbeat standout. While the title says it all in “Just Blue” and “How You Survived the War” -- both songs are about loneliness, melancholy days and trying to move on when things aren’t going exactly your way …

“All Good Things,” a song on which The Weepies collaborated with Mandy Moore (a nice alternate version with Mandy singing lead appears on her “Wild Hope” album) also is a pleasant addition to the album.

The album ends appropriately with “All This Beauty,” a feel-good, upbeat gem that includes horns and sings “All this beauty / You might have to close your eyes / And slowly open wide.”

It describes my sentiments on The Weepies perfectly.

* * *

I’ve had quite a few listens now of one my other new favorite albums: Ingrid Michaelson’s “Girls and Boys.” … It took me far too long to get a hold of this one, but I finally did last week. Much like Regina Spektor and A Fine Frenzy, all I needed was to hear Michaelson’s sweet voice sailing lightly over the pianos and acoustic guitars and I was hooked. “The Way I Am” is a song I may never get sick of hearing, and “Breakable” and “The Hat” rank right up there …

* * *

I got the new Counting Crows a couple weeks ago too, thanks to my friend Raechel … Honestly, though, I had a better time hearing the new stuff live. “Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings” is good, but I don't think it measures up to the earlier stuff. Like I said, sometimes it takes me awhile up to warm up to a new album … I’m hoping that’s the case here.

* * *

One of my favorite actor / musician blogs to read is the Mates of State "Band on the Diaper Run" about touring with their kids. (Other good blogs: Zach Braff, and Jenna Fischer …)

I don't read them often, but it's fun checking in every once in awhile when I think of it. So I was on a little Mates of State kick the other night and I logged on. Good stuff, as usual … For a good chuckle, check out Kori’s post about their daughter’s love affair with Feist’s “1-2-3-4.” (Every time I think about or hear the song, I have to mention the Letterman performance, which by the way, featured the Mates singing background …So good!) ... Magnolia's multiple personalities is a good one too.

Friday's showing

... Kates and I were going to take a walk with Pheebs tonight.

"We should go. It still looks really nice out there," I said, cleaning up the kitchen and looking through our window to the sunny sky in the north.

"Not over here," Kates said, looking out the window to the south and the red-gray sky beyond.

Barely a minute later it started pouring.

So we stayed in and watched a part of the stack of movies we had planned to get to during my two weeks home with Kates and Phoebe but didn't because we spent the whole first week in the hospital and the second week adjusting to life with the baby ...

Tonight's showing: "A Lot Like Love," the 2005 romantic-comedy flick starring the adorable Amanda Peet as Emily and the talented Ashton Kutcher, as Oliver. After a random-hook-up on a flight to New York, the pair make a connection and meet sparingly over the next seven years, with job plans and other interests always getting in the way ...

... I downloaded the soundtrack, which is darn good, a couple years ago, and I'm now sorry I took longer to see the movie ... I really liked this one; I know I use this word way too much, but it was another charmer. The Peet-Kutcher combination played well, I loved the early scenes of the two playing coy with each other and halfway through the movie I was totally rooting for them to just end up together already! ... But, but of course, without a good, solid two hours of back-and-forth the movie wouldn't be half as heart-grabbing ... The somewhat predictable outcome notwithstanding.

(If you haven't seen the movie and want to, now's a good time to skip ahead ...)

Emily's photo sense also was pretty intriguing (The idea for the nude photo under the moonlight was pretty sweet ...) ... And there were several classic, laugh-out scenes, including one during which 20-something Oliver, who lives at home with his parents, takes a call from Emily and he's interrupted by his snooty little sister who must use the phone. Emily's laughing reaction to the childish yelling and screaming makes the scene even funnier (I'm laughing about it now just describing it.)

And the date scene, during which Emily and Oliver get wrapped up in a battle to see who can go without talking the longest ... Emily ends up -- hilariously and quite realistically -- faking a horrific choking on a bite of her food. But Oliver doesn't take it for a second, keeps on eating his food like nothing's happening and even turns away the waitress when she comes to Emily's aid. Emily then fakes her death, but when Oliver still doesn't flinch she finally gives up ... Oliver, who has a deaf brother in the film, retorts "I can go without talking for days."

Also loooooved the two singing to Peter Cetera's "If You Leave Me Now" during their little road trip ... Totally something I would do.



... And there was the scene midway through the movie during which Oliver had popped up on Emily once more; while he's sitting on her couch pouring out his heart about a recent break-up, she's stroking his hair and trying to prime him for a little rendezvous -- an idea she called her best friend about moments after Oliver showed up. So when Emily's best friend calls back to check up and the answering machine picks up, Emily explodes from the couch to pick up the phone in a hilarious bit of physical comedy ... Making the moment even funnier, I had a sleeping Phoebe in my arms and she nearly leaped out of my arms at the very same moment Amanda Peet jumped off that couch ...

Here's the trailer for your enjoyment ...



And now we're watching the last few innings of the Cubs game ...

We've seen Soriano botch not one, but two fly balls he should have caught. He didn't come in fast enough on one, and on the second he ran in when he should've been going back ...Then, he got some redemption and tied the game with a home run in the ninth ...

But the Cards just won it in extras.

Good night.

5.02.2008

Thursday night TV

It’s fun to have a full slate of Thursday night TV again. Sort of like the good old days “Must See-TV” on NBC. Only now, the once lowly ABC is stacked, too …

Scrubs … J.D. and Elliott had better hook up when the series ends next week … I’ve never gotten that deep into Scrubs, but it is a charmer like no other. It’s been a good run at Sacred Heart.

The Office … I enjoyed the Stanley vs. Michael storyline (Seriously, who fake-fires?!)… And Pam’s glasses dilemma -- I can relate. I’ve been wearing my glasses all week because my contacts, which I ordered weeks ago, haven’t arrived. I think I missed a step in the online ordering process … The story of my week. I've temporarily lost my desk and I've been feeling as though I'm living in "The Office." Or worse yet, "Office Space."

30 Rock … I liked it. And it's still ranking as my favorite sitcom on TV right now. Not only is Tina Fey the coolest, her on-screen chemistry with Jason Sudekis (Overland Park, represent!) is worth watching. Last night’s show, once again, was chock-full of great lines … and I totally got the Peter Venkman reference.

Grey’s Anatomy … I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed watching Katherine Heigl in an episode of Grey’s more than I did tonight. Izzy’s finally in a decent place, it seems, and some of the looks on Heigel’s face were melting -- the scene with her chomping on a bag of chips while Addison (Nice to see her again ... Leave that Private Practice and get back to Seattle Grace, Addie!) was talking to her was pretty comical … And the final scene with McDreamy and all three of his women -- past, present and future? -- stepping into an elevator, and then McSteamy’s face when he found them together -- priceless. To quote EW: "... the banter, the humor, the awkwardness, the sexual tension — those key ingredients were all cooking." ... And best line goes to Meredith: "We screw boys like whores on tequila." Ha-larious!

Lost … I’ve ceased to try predicting the next moves on this one. I have a hard enough time keeping up with all of the subtle clues and twists … I did like tonight’s flash forward featuring Jack and Kate. It was kind of reminiscent of the good ol' days when Jack and Kate were swooning over each other, and before we had to deal with all the mind games of Locke and Ben. After all, the episode did start with the opening of an eyeball. Always good ...