Dance! Show! With Jacque and Bridget

We’ve less than a week to go until So You Think You Can Dance comes to the Canadian Tire Centre, so I’m giving myself permission to get a little excited. (Reality: SO. PUMPED. UP.) It’s next Friday! At 8! Are you going?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know two things: a) I love me some Dance! Show!, and b) I am too lazy to seek out sponsorships/interviews/special perks of blogging. But when I bought my tickets to the live show, they were pretty far back, and I felt like I wanted things to be a little more, I don’t know, special. So I thought to myself, hey, I’m a blogger, and bloggers get stuff all the time, like cars and coffee makers and tickets to things, so I rather boldly called up the Canadian Tire Centre and announced myself as a Dance Show Blogger Extraordinaire, ready to do whatever it took for whatever they were willing to give me.

And they thanked me very much and then nothing happened.

But then! The SYTYCD PR team wrote to Allison, asking if she would be interested in interviewing some of this year’s Top 10 dancers as a publicity thing, and she was all, “Um, haaaaaave you met Lynn?” And thus, I was IN. For absolutely no compensation whatsoever, other than the glory of getting to be a total geek-out fangirl, I got on the list. SWEET.

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I got to choose which dancers I wanted, and I picked out Jacque (the ballerina) and Bridget (the only contemporary girl to make it to the top 10) because I had some specific questions for each of them, although truth be told, I would have been happy to talk to ANYONE, SQUEE. Jacque and Bridget, however, were just so nice and thoughtful and well spoken and it was an absolute pleasure talking to them.

So here’s how it went down – I talked to the two girls via phone while they were on a break in Minnesota. Unfortunately the line was a little crackly on my end, and I didn’t have a recording device, so most of this won’t be direct quotes, but at least my brush with fame can be your second-generation brush with fame, you’re welcome.

Me: How are you doing? I imagine you’re exhausted.

I still actually imagine they are exhausted, but both girls said that although they are now on their 13th show of the tour, they’re still finding it a thrill. They’re excited and really enjoying being on stage and getting to see a few new places.

Me: We don’t often see the tour here in Ottawa, so can you tell us a bit about the show?

I thought the live show was a mixture of the Top 10 and all-stars, but no, it’s just the Top 10, plus four “special guests” selected from the other 10 dancers this season (they are Carly, Marquette, Emily, and (…crackle…) (guess that last one will have to be a surprise, although I would think it is Serge, as they need a classical ballroom guy in the mix). They’ll be doing some of the numbers from the show, but there are actually several brand new numbers choreographed just for the live show, including several group routines, so that’s cool. Each of the Top 10 gets to do a solo as well, and Jacque mentioned that there are some cute and funny videos sprinkled in, too.

Some of the all-star numbers will be recreated with other dancers filling in for the missing all-star, which is good because some of those routines were SO GOOD, however, I assume this means we will not be able to see Jacque and Chehon’s ballet in person as no one else could recreate that, which is sad. SAD FACE. (Still pumped, though.)

Me: I felt like both of you – Bridget with Emilio, and Jacque with Zack – had the kind of special spark that makes a couple stand out, and that this chemistry propelled all four of you into the top ten (as well as Valerie and Ricky). Was this something you lucked into, or did you work at it?

Okay, so I kind of cheated here – if you look back at my posts from this season you’ll note that I was not always 100% sold on the Zack-Jacque pairing. But I meant what I said about Bridget and Emilio, though – I think their spark helped get them both into the top 10.

In any case, Bridget said that although she didn’t know Emilio at all before they were paired up, they clicked right away. She has three older brothers, and he’s a few years older than her, so they quickly fell into a joking/poking/affectionate brother/sister dynamic that really worked well for them. She said that they never got tired of each others’ company the entire time which I think is really sweet.

Jacque had similar things to say about Zack – that she didn’t know him at all before the pairing, but was excited to have him as a partner because she’d seen him dance and knew he had the skills, and not just in tap. She said that Zack was a fantastically supportive partner, and always knew how to calm her nerves and reassure her before a performance, which helped them both do well (awwwww!).

Me: Question for Bridget. It’s really unusual for there to be so few contemporary girl dancers in the top 10 – you were the last one standing (and lived through some tough elimination rounds). What do you think was the key to your success?

Here I may have also geeked out and mentioned that Bridget was my favourite of the contemporary girl pack. Remember when I actually pegged her for the win? Good times, good times. I really thought she was a stand-out.

She talked here about how her whole approach to the competition was to be really open to anything, and to commit fully to any crazy new style she was given. She didn’t think much about the competition part, but rather just tried to embrace the experience. It sounds to me like she was really able to set aside nerves, and just run with whatever was thrown at her, which I do agree is a real secret to success on this show – once you start thinking you can’t do it, then you can’t.

I have to say it’s a shame we didn’t get to see Bridget perform more in her own style. I forgot to mention this during the interview, but her contemporary with Stanley in the first week “meet the dancers” show was a highlight of that night. Check it out if you’ve forgotten it:

Me: Question for Jacque. You had some great numbers that I was hoping to see in the finale, but didn’t get chosen. What number of yours was your favourite?

Jacque surprised me by picking her Sonya jazz routine that she and Zack did in week 3 (Back to Black) and also mentioned the hip-hop they did in Week 2 (Stay With Me). In truth I think she kind of liked everything, and didn’t have a bad word to say about any of her numbers.

I had to jump in here, though, and mention my own personal two favourites (both of which I was so sure would be picked for the finale, but were not, because they totally messed up this year’s finale, GAH) – her ballet with Chehon, and her 99 Red Balloons number with Will. Then we got into a talk about Sean Cheeseman, who did the 99 Red Balloons number, because he’s Canadian (he and Jean-Marc, ROCKING IT). So that led to a discussion of the crazy African Jazz number she did with Zack in week 1, remember all the rainbow-coloured body paint and backdrop? And Jacque said that the African Jazz actually may have been her favourite, because it was so out there, and so different from anything she’d ever done, and there was a great audience reaction. I am sadly guessing we will see none of these three in the show as they require too much costuming/makeup/mad ballet skills, but they were all three some of the best this season so I’m glad we got a chance to talk about them.

Me: Speaking of favourite numbers – let’s talk styles. One thing this show is great at is pushing you outside your comfort zone and forcing you to try new styles. Jacque – I thought you were surprisingly good at hip-hop, which is about as far away from a ballerina as you can get; Bridget, I just loved your jive with Emilio, it was one of my absolute favourites of the season. What was your most surprising new style? What did you dislike the most? Do you think you’ll continue to explore new styles?

Jacque was super happy to hear that I liked her hip hop, because it was clear that that style had made her the most nervous. She talked about her number with tWitch (what was that, like top 6 maybe?) and how nervous she was ahead of time, and I assured her the audience absolutely could not tell. (In fact – don’t tell Jacque – I believe I predicted that number would be a mess, and then she totally pulled it off and I was forced to admit that I was wrong, wrong, wrong.) Jacque talked quite a bit here about the All Stars in general, and how their advice and encouragement and ability to empathize went a long way, and made the top 10 weeks much more fun and bearable. She again mentioned the African Jazz as being one of her favourite new styles.

Bridget agreed with me that the jive she did with Emilio was great – she said she had so much fun working on it and loved the energy and pep of the number. She said she was really excited to learn the style as she’d never done it before (which surprised me because I always think the dancers look at ballroom as The Worst). Then we got into a talk about Bollywood, which is what Bridget got in the top 10 week (the week she was eliminated), and I ranted a bit here about how Bollywood is THE ABSOLUTE WORST, and should be bumped from the show. And Bridget was very gracious and said that yes, it was one of the hardest for her and she was kind of sad it was the last thing she did on the show, but at the same time it is fun and has good energy and she had a good time dancing with Brandon.

But Bollywood still SUCKS, Dance Show. TRUST ME.

Did either of you get injured on the show? What do you do if there is an injury?

Both girls were happy to report they were relatively injury free throughout the competition and tour so far, although in a dancer’s world, “relatively injury free” is possibly not defined quite the same way as for you or I. Jacque had some ankle issues during the show but got regular physical therapy (remember the Big Injury Season, when Alex had to quit, along with a few others? Sounds like the show is being better about preventative therapies now). She also had an infection on one of her feet but it’s better now.

Bridget actually has been dancing on the tour with a broken toe and sprained ankle. She didn’t seem to think this was a big deal – just some of her shoes for various costumes had to be swapped out. Some people are more hardcore than I am!

What are your plans for after the tour? Would you like to come back as an all-star?

Bridget is in school, college (I think she’s 20 or 21), and she still has a year left. So after the tour she’ll be going back to school in Philly and finishing her degree, then considering her options after that. Jacque is only 18 (but will be turning 19 next week, in Canada, WOOT) and is looking to stay on the dance track for the immediate future – not sure if that means looking for a performance job, or going to dance school, but definitely something in the field.

Both girls would love to come back as all stars – they loved their experience on the show and really valued the experience and advice from the all stars they worked with. Jacque said she’d love to pay it back by being a mentor like that for dancers to come. Which is AWESOME.

So that’s it! I’m off to the show next Friday night. I’ll be the one screaming loudly in section (I think) 101 if you want to come by and say hi (that includes you, Bridget and Jacque!). Dance! Show! Forever!

Basement (Pretty Much) Finished!

There’s still a few nagging little things to do in the basement – but isn’t that true for every room in the house, all the time? So I figured I’ll just get the final reveal out of the way and then we can all happily move on with our lives. It’s really mostly done, anyway – stuff is moved in, people are using it, things are rolling along. Yay!

In case you missed it, here’s the post where I showcase the two unfinished areas – a storage room and a work room.

So here’s a couple of shots of the bookshelves that you see when you first walk down the stairs.

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We still have books all over the house in various places – everyone has a bookshelf in their own room and there’s always a pile on various bedside tables and on the ottoman in our main family room. But at least this is a good central place for most of it, and it’s all easily accessible and sorted, and oh boy, do I EVER love me some sorting.

These are Billy bookcases from IKEA – we tried to buy some Billy cases for this purpose back in the spring and were told they were being discontinued, but apparently that is not the case. The middle unit – the skinny one – is an IKEA CD shelf, a Gnedby, which is the same height and colours as Billy. There is a special bracket set you can get at IKEA to create and properly anchor/attach the “around the corner” piece – it’s actually meant for the thin Billy piece but works fine (great, actually) with the CD shelf, which we chose because that’s all we could fit into the space (and it fits EXACTLY, WOOT).

Here’s a pic of heading down the hallway:

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Still not sure what we will do with the “under the stairs” shelving. Right now it is a mishmash of display type items and bins of extra candles and a temporary home for LEGO works-in-progress. I was thinking of using it for photo albums but in the end, fear of potential flooding or excess humidity kept them upstairs. On the wall we have a massive map of the world, complete with flags all around the border, which is something I have always wanted in my home. This one came pre-framed from World of Maps, which had a great selection, really helpful staff, and it was fairly reasonably priced too ($160 for this one, framed).

And notice that thing in the middle there – our new foosball table! I bought this one on Kijiji for $100 from a nice family that lives just three streets over from us. It was quite a happy union of needs. So far the kids are loving it – it’s getting a lot of playtime. I was originally going to put a crafts table here, but in the end I just couldn’t bring myself to put all the glue and beads and markers in our lovely brand new basement, so all that stuff stayed upstairs, and we went foosball instead.

Here’s the TV area:

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The carpet just arrived yesterday, it’s what was holding up this post. Now that it’s here I’m iffy on it. I love the colour but wish it had a more dynamic pattern. We’ll see. The little cubes against the wall are awesome – they are from Target and are hard enough to serve as a coffee table or games table, but soft enough for sitting on too for extra seating. The couch is a recliner couch and one cube fits perfectly between the two reclining ends, so we can tuck one in there to hold a bowl of chips. WOOT.

This is one area that still needs some work – I’d like some artwork for over the couch, and the TV is connected but we still need to hook up all the peripheral devices, and move the Wii down here too. The TV unit is from IKEA – it is a Besta, but we didn’t like the official Besta TV units because they were so low and didn’t have much storage, so we technically bought a Besta dining room side table, which means there are no holes in the back for cabling, so that’s going to take some work with power tools and yeah, we’ll get around to that…someday.

These shelves are behind the foosball table and hold all my sewing stuff:

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Check out those rad bear jars! They are from the 80s, made by Kraft, used to come with peanut butter and grape jelly and honey in them. My husband’s mother had kept them all these years and when she downsized about ten years ago, she gave them to us. We’ve almost gotten rid of them about 20 times – all this time they’ve still just been sitting around in a box – but I never could bring myself to do it, and finally I decided to get them out and use them for sewing supplies.

Then out of curiousity I looked them up on eBay, and turns out they sell on there for $30 EACH, so yeah, glad we kept them now, for sure.

Lastly, a couple shots of the play area, which is for the girls to do Barbies or Playmobil or Pretty Ponies or costumes – it’s a little messy but they are not doing too bad of a job so far at cleaning up after themselves. I’m hoping to make things easier on them by adding in this little PS coat stand from IKEA, but they never seem to have it in stock so we’re still in a holding pattern on that.

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All along the back wall there are IKEA PAX wardrobes, with the Auli/Sekken sliding glass panel doors. These were, without question, the hardest thing we have ever had to assemble from IKEA. We are pretty IKEA savvy people, but those sliding doors – O. M. G. They were heavy, and complex, and getting them clicked just so into the rails was such a headache. But the end result is great – they hold almost all of the kids’ toys as well as our massive collection of board games, and the sliding doors mean they don’t take up much real estate, and the glass makes them look lighter and not like such a huge dark looming hunk of furniture at the end of the room. So: worth it, but if you’re going to do this call me and I will assemble them for you for a small fee of pie and coffee.

And that’s it! Functional family living space, and we’re pretty happy with the way it looks and the way it’s all working.

Now we just have to deal with the fact that the upstairs is now a total shambles of peeling paint, holes in walls, and big empty spaces with no furniture. NEVERENDING, the house ownership is.

How Do You Watch TV?

I admit it: I enjoy watching TV. It kind of has a stigma about it, like I should be doing something more worthwhile with my time. But the truth is, I’ve always liked movies, and these days, many TV shows have movie-like quality. And at the end of the day, most days, it’s all I can do to flake on the couch in front of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy before dragging myself off to bed.

(Dammit, I told myself I wasn’t going to be defensive and apologetic about it. I LIKE TV, so there.)

Lately however, there has been a real change in the how of watching TV for me. We’ve been PVR addicted for years, often stockpiling a whole season’s worth of a low priority TV show for binge watching over the summer, but usually trying to keep up with things on a week to week basis (and some shows, like The Good Wife, get watched live, because OMG, SO GOOD).

Meanwhile, the kids were seriously into Disney Jr., and when they had some TV time they’d turn it on and watch whatever was currently airing, which was most likely an episode of Jessie or A.N.T. Farm that they’d seen about 100 times already.

Then this summer we got Netflix (totally not a sponsored post, just explaining what’s been happening) and now suddenly, we are all, as a family, about the on-demand watching. Sir Monkeypants and I have been binge watching a whole bunch of shows, one each night. The kids are doing the same – they’ve been through three seasons of The Last Airbender (highly recommended), four seasons of iCarly (tolerable fluff for the tweenage set), and are now working on Avengers Assemble, an animated TV show that SOME adults in this house like just as much as the kids (*cough* Sir Monkeypants *cough*).

So now when the kids want to watch something – there’s an endless array of shows available to them, in complete seasons, and they can always find something new. Meanwhile, Sir Monkeypants and I are delving deep into certain titles, and having to wait week by week for a new show seems…quaint and old fashioned.

Sir Monkeypants has been talking a lot lately about ditching our sattelite service, and at first I panicked, because Disney Jr.! And the Home Network! And the Game Show Network!

But he’d be getting us some sort of antenna, which would allow us to get the basic networks (The Good Wife and Grey’s Anatomy would be safe) – and even if we weren’t doing that, you can watch them online for free at GlobalTV and CTV’s websites (as long as you watch the week the episode aired – no back episodes are kept around).

And we’d have Netflix to keep us warm, along with our AppleTV that gives us access to dozens of movies and other channels I haven’t even explored yet.

So…is this what the death of cable looks like? I have to admit, I never thought I’d be one to walk away – my TV is my lifeline to pop culture. But we’re watching the live stuff less and less, and this year EW’s annual TV preview didn’t convince me to add any new shows to my roster so…we’re recording five things, maybe, tops, from the big networks.

It’s just amazing to me how quickly things are changing, how the whole entertainment industry, from books to movies to TV shows, is undergoing some sort of revolution. It’s kind of cool to watch it all happen from a front row seat.

Home Ownership 101

Sir Monkeypants and I have been home owners now for 16 years, and yet, I still feel like I know nothing about home ownership. We bought our first home because we could afford to do so and it felt like the logical next step, but I really didn’t know anything about home repair or maintenance. When we sold that place, we had lived there for six years, and the home inspection that the buyers did revealed that the “furnace was dirty.” And I was all, of course it’s dirty! It’s a furnace! But then it turned out that you are actually supposed to have your furnace cleaned from time to time, DOH. Ours still had drywall dust in it from when the place was built. WHO KNEW.

So we moved to a new house and I was all, I know about having the furnace cleaned now, we are SOLID. But approximately once a week something breaks around here and we are left running to Google (thank God for the internet) to figure out what is going on. This is what happens when you don’t have any grandfathers living in town – my mom is actually pretty handy around the house but when it was something serious, she’d call my Papa over for help, and he always knew what to do.

Side story about my Papa: once, when he and my Nana were newlyweds, they rented a floor of a house. On the floor above them were some noisy neighbours who would play their record player late at night, loud. My genius Papa opened up the wall in their closet to access the wiring, and when the upstairs neighbours started to get their late night party on, he’d get out of bed and go to the closet and disconnect the wiring, and that would be the end of it. GENIUS.

Anyway! Last winter a plastic vent cover on the side of the house got broken through overzealous sled action, and I thought it was the dryer vent, so a while back Sir Monkeypants went out and bought a new dryer vent to replace it. This weekend we finally got around to getting it done and when Sir Monkeypants took the old vent off – there was nothing at all behind it. Like, it was literally a hole in the foundation, going from outside right into the basement.

At first we panicked, like, why is there a giant hole in our house? Then we Googled, and it seems this is an air intake valve – a place for an otherwise sealed up home to take in air, to equalize pressure differences caused by exhaust fans and central vac use. It’s common in cold-weather homes – if air is leaving the home, and there’s no other way for air to get back in because everything else is properly sealed up, then small gaps around windows, doors, and hose outlets start to get bigger and bigger.

So it’s good, right? But then we noticed that ours was a) totally blocked on the basement side by a wad of insulation, and b) totally missing the insulated hose that is supposed to bring the fresh air into the house and down to the floor. Meaning: random hole in the wall, required for our house to function properly, was never properly installed when the house was built, TEN YEARS AGO.

Sir Monkeypants fixed it, but this is the kind of thing that makes me wonder what else is wrong/broken/improper in this house, and eventually going to kill us or else make the place fall down to ruin around our ears.

When do I get to be all grown up, again?

The Cost of Things

Three times now in the past month I have had serious sticker shock at the cash register.

First, I was out with Gal Smiley at a bookstore and she found some little toy – a special effects noise maker. It’s a little box that fits in the palm of your hand like a smartphone, with a bunch of buttons on it, and when you press one there’s the sound of hands clapping, or a spring going BOING, or burp sounds, or other such hilarity. They have one like it on iCarly, which is an old TV show no longer airing but we have recently burned through on Netflix, and she really wanted it, and her birthday was coming up (was actually yesterday, she’s 10 now, but that’s a whole other crisis). So I agreed to get it for her, figuring it was a loot bag type trinket that cost maybe $4, but then, upon arriving at the cash, found out it was $16. SIXTEEN DOLLARS. I almost balked but she offered to pay for $10 with her own birthday money to bring the cost back into a reasonable range, so we made the deal, but STILL.

Then, we were out at Best Buy shopping for a new TV for our basement (pics coming soon! I swear!), and one of the children who shall remain nameless was having a Breath Issue, so I went over to the cash to buy a pack of gum. They only had these plastic cup style things of gum that have a bunch of chicklet style pieces, and when I went to pay for it, it was $5.30. OVER FIVE DOLLARS. FOR GUM. If it hadn’t been such a serious Breathing On Me Emergency, I wouldn’t have paid it.

And THEN, I was at IKEA getting some plastic storage boxes for the basement, and I needed these specific ones to fit into the unit we already owned, and I had already planned out the contents of each box, so there was no going back, but these (somewhat) crappy plastic bins cost $18. EACH. And I needed like, 10 of them. Spending $180 on storage solutions for my sewing stuff in the basement seemed absolutely ridiculous, but the plan was in place and I feared piles of fabric scraps all over the place for years to come while I tried to think of some less expensive solution, so I just did it, but I felt all kinds of dirty doing it.

So my point here is: a) is this how one becomes an old crone who says things like “back in my day” and “young whippersnappers”; b) how long will it be before I am giving poor teenagers who work the cash a hard time about the cost of things (admisssion: the young lady at the Best Buy did get an earful about the gum before I realized how I must seem to her); and c) are things suddenly more expensive now, or have I just been out of the retail loop for so long I didn’t notice, or d) have I been asleep, Rip Van Winkle like, for a couple of decades without noticing?

I feel old. But still: FIVE DOLLAR GUM. Excuse me while I make clucking noises and clutch my pearls. I mean, REALLY.

Most Non-Celebratory Family Ever, Apparently

Bedtime. The Little Miss is always chatty at bedtime.

Her: Something sad happened at school today.

Me: Oh really? What’s that, honey?

Her: We were working on our family tree project, and we had to say what celebration we celebrate the most.

Me: Oh, you mean like Christmas or Ramadan or Kwanzaa?

Her: Only I didn’t know what to say! I had NO IDEA! It was too confusing!

Me: That’s okay.

Her: So I just wrote, “Olympics.”

Me: SNORT.

Guess this is what I get for being a flag geek.

The Three Week Incubation

We’re into the third week of school and naturally that means I have a sick kid. Sir Monkeypants said yesterday morning, as I was calling the school to report an absence, that in the future I should just book off the third and maybe forth weeks of September to do no work at all, because there will obviously be sick kids parading through in a revolving door of sneezing, hacking, and lying around feverish on the couch in front of Indiana Jones/iCarly/The Little Mermaid (as applicable). Grrrr.

At the moment it’s Little Miss Sunshine on the couch, into her second day of illness. It’s just a cold, but a rotten one, and no one else wants my kid coughing all over their kid at school. But despite the fact that it was an easy call today, I’m still super pouty about it. Kids who stay home sick get a stern lecture about how this is Mommy’s Work Time and they are to Remain Quiet and Rest and that Mommy Is Not Available For Play. That does not stop them, though, from needing to eat, and needing to be comforted with a hot water bottle, and needing to ask for help with the DVD player, and needing to be SUPER BORED and annoy the pants out of me as they beg me to PLAY WITH THEM, just for a little while, please.

So it always ends up that I do no work, and fret about it all day long, and then get cranky, and then no one is happy. Why can’t my kids just live in a bubble and never get sick? Is that too much to ask? I THINK NOT.

While the Little Miss is at home we fortunately (well, not for her, but for me) have her homework book here to work away on, and she has an assignment this week to build a family tree, so we have been looking into that a bit. She has to write down the names of her parents and grandparents and siblings, and talk about her heritage, and then list a few key events from her life. This has led to an interesting point of discussion (at least for me) about how long a family history has to go back in a country to be considered “from” that country.

For example, filling out Sir Monkeypants’ side of things was pretty easy – where it said “my father’s relatives come from …” we wrote “India”, because he is of Indian heritage but also, his parents were actually born in India (although raised in Africa, but that’s another story). So you could clearly point to a family link to India and familiarity with Indian languages and customs and food.

But for me, answering this question was a lot harder. I’m a mongrel mix of various European cultures, mostly English and Scottish, but my family has been in Canada for like, five generations now, and I certainly no longer have any relatives that live overseas. But I think the idea of the project is to get an idea of how other cultures influence your history, so in the end I told her to write “my mother’s relatives come from England” even though my full knowledge of English culture comes from James Bond movies and articles in People magazine about Prince George and his future sibling (Royal Baby Watch, SQUEE).

So what do you think – how long before I can just say, “my mother’s relatives come from Canada”? Are North Americans ever “from” here? Or are we all, in perpetuity, “from” somewhere else?

Guess taking care of a sick kid puts me in a philosophical frame of mind.

Cat Deely: For Your Consideration

So Ricky ended up winning So You Think You Can Dance Season 11, and that is as it should be. I was a little disappointed, not in the final result but in the finale itself, as I felt it failed to show many of my favourite numbers, and in fact, did not show a wide variety of dances at all. There were THREE selections each by Sonia and Travis, while NO selections at all from Mandy Moore, Sean Cheeseman, Jean-Marc, or Spencer Liff, four of my favourites. There was no ballroom at all. GAH. I would definitely have preferred fewer guest stars, fewer “stars” from the audition rounds, and fewer “hilarious” clips of stuff happening on the show, in order to include more actual dancing.

On the plus side, Cat Deely was luminous. I feel strongly that she deserves an Emmy. I used to be pretty angry that she’d never been nominated, but at least that barrier is broken – she’s been nominated at least the last two years, I think. But seriously, have a look at this clip:

The way she holds everything together in the Big Moment, the way she is happy and excited herself – helping add to our own feelings of love and celebration – and yet is still clear headed and calm. And the way she guides Ricky and Valerie around effortlessly, and the way she dazzles even in the face of a million pieces of confetti hitting her (Gal Smiley’s Comment: “They must have spent like, TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS on confetti, geez”). She’s a super pro.

And while I’m going on about reality TV, let me just say that I am RATHER disappointed with The Amazing Race Canada and its seeming determination to save my most disliked team, Ryan and Rob, a.k.a. The Two Most Boring Humans On Earth. Their total lack of personality was making me pretty angry (these are the most interesting people in Canada, casting staff? REALLY?), so now I have to watch the show pretending the entire time that their interviews are so heavily laden with graphic profanity that they just can’t show any of it on TV, and instead must filter out their most banal of comments to present to the world. It’s the ONLY POSSIBLE EXPLANATION.

So yes, very disappointed that my hopes of their elimination were dashed YET AGAIN by ANOTHER non-elimination leg…fingers crossed for this week. GAH.