Thursday, March 30, 2006

avalon high

So I finally got to spend an afternoon doing one of my favorite things ever -- reading teen novels at the bookstore. Obviously it's way too embarrassing to actually BUY these teen novels, but I can't help it; I loooooove reading 'em! Anyway, this trip to Barnes & Nobles uncovered a new novel by Meg Cabot (author of The Princess Diaries and The Mediator series): Avalon High.

Somehow ALL of her heroines come off having the same personality -- Meg's -- so this one was no different. Ellie (or Elle or Elaine) is exactly like Mia and Meg in action, looks, and voice. Ellie has a pet cat who she doted upon. She was tall to the point of gangly, brunette, and really smart. It was cool because Avalon High takes place in Annapolis, which is only 15 minutes away from me and in my county, Anne Arundel County! So it fun to "recognize" what she was talking about. (ie. Ellie's parents' favorite restaurant Red Hot & Blue) It was also an enjoyable read because this book was a spin on teen-historical-fiction. Meg Cabot built off of the story of King Arthur-Guinivere-Lancelot's love triangle and based it into high school teenaged romances.

All in all, a fun and easy read. And it's nice to have non-trashy-chick-teen-lit. :-)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

American Idol take 5

I've been a little slow getting into American Idol this season. It was just on too often at the beginning and I couldn't keep up, but now that we're into the Top 10 I'm going to try to start watching weekly from now on. I do have to say that last night was pretty underwhelming in general though. I thought songs from the 21st century would bring out some good songs but instead there was all this stuff I didn't recognize. I guess my music tastes aren't exactly mainstream and I definitely don't know country, but I thought there were some odd choices last night. People have been telling me that this season is really good but last night I didn't really get that impression. Let's hope upcoming weeks are better?

The rundown:

Lisa - Thought it was pretty bad. I don't really like "Because of You" (even I think Kelly Clarkson is pretty awesome in general) and she didn't make it any better. Some of her performance was pretty horribly off-key.

Kellie - Not too much into country, but I thought it was alright. I remember her from the early audition shows and she's kind of just...too much.

Ace - Sucked. I'll admit to actually liking this song ("Drops of Jupiter") back in the day, he just sounded whiny and annoying and really, he's not hot.

Taylor - I guess I just don't get it. I'd never heard of the song and I'm not sure what his style is and I'm so confused I can't tell if his vocals are good or not. And dude looks like he could pass for like 40.

Mandisa - Another song I'd never heard before, but she's got a spunk, great voice, and a great stage presence. She was kind of shouting a bit by the end though.

Chris - I caught his performance of Fuel a couple of weeks ago which I thought was pretty awesome. This week, though, of all songs, he chooses CREED? That just about ruins all rock cred he ever claimed to have. I'm still willing to give him a chance though.

Katherine - I suppose she's good but I hate Christina Aguilera and her performance was just boring to me so I fast forwarded through most of it. Not sure why all the judges seemed to like it...

Bucky - More country. Thought he was being drowned out by the arrangement but otherwise he was alright I suppose. But um, we don't need another country American Idol.

Paris - Yet another eh song choice. She also has a great voice and stage presence though and her Beyonce moves were kind of funny.

Elliott - Is this guy the dark horse or something? I haven't heard a single thing about him all season but I liked him a lot.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

omg. i hate the oc.

I'm still a few episodes behind oh my gosh. WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH THE SHOW?! It's terrible, terrible, terrible.

I need to stop watching NOW. *sigh*

But I've made it this far and I can't seem to just give it up. :-\

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

jenn will be proud of me...

After putting this off for AGES, I have finally, finally, finally watched all of Season 1 of Veronica Mars!!! And oh my gosh, it was just as good, if not better, than I imagined it would be! SOOO good. Seriously, if this is a show you have even for a split-second contemplated watching, follow those instincts and watch it!

I'm officially a big Veronica-Logan fan. Ohmigosh, am I a Logan fan. *sigh*

Now I just gotta wait for Season 2 to come out on DVD so I can fully catch up. :-)

Friday, March 17, 2006

the 24 writers are evil

This is a little late but I just watched this week's episode of 24 and the writers are officially evil. I mean, I know that the show is all no-holds-barred when it comes to killing characters but seriously, just because you "run out of story" for a character doesn't mean you have to kill them! First Michelle gets killed for the shock factor and now Tony too??? And man, what a cheap way to do it. I mean, of all people, LYNN gets to go out with honor but what does Tony get? NOTHING.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Top Chef

Due to the bombardment of ads for this show during episodes of Project Runway, I decided to check this show out, and surprise surprise, I like it. Obviously I'm a sucker for reality TV, but this one was even more natural for me to pick up because it's about cooking. I love Food Network and anything to do with food, and this has the same format as Project Runway, which I think is really excellent. It doesn't really lend itself as well to television as Project Runway though, because the viewing audience really had no idea what the food TASTES like so it's hard to judge for ourselves. It does make you really really hungry though.

Anyway, this isn't going to be a full review, just a rundown of some random things I notice/found out about the show:

- Last week Miguel's "Duo of Beef" kind of made me laugh because last week my group at work went out to lunch at Fox and Hound and one of my coworkers ordered the "Two Meat Combo." Haha, Miguel's dish looked and probably tasted better, but yeah, I'm strange.

- Stephen has a degree from Cornell (hotel school I'm assuming) and was probably there around the same time as me. He carries a Manhattan Portage messenger bag, which I find pretty hilarious.

- Cynthia (the crazy one) has been a personal chef for Jay-Z and Beyonce.

- I always wondered how one becomes a food critic. Gail Simmons, one of the judges, works for Food & Wine magazine and apparently has a combination of culinary training with event coordinating experience. My second irrational dream job after working for TVGuide, definitely being a food critic.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

the new teen fiction

Though Mira and I aren't exactly part of the target around for teen lit, we still avidly read them. They're light and quick and fun. The latest trend on the teen lit scene are books that have been dubbed "Sex and the City for the younger set." Gossip Girl, the A-List and other series like them feature rich young socialites in glamorous New York and LA settings. This isn't great literature by any measure. All of these books are pretty unabashedly superficial, which is fine for what they are: trashy guilty pleasures.

Today I noticed that the New York Times has published an article about these books (registration may be required to read). I thought it was an interesting article, which says that all the sex isn't so much the problem as the fact that these books have their characters be too adult and not young adult enough.

And you know, I kind of agree. I think the books are fun but I do wonder about real pre-teen and teenage girls reading this stuff. I mean, I grew up reading Sweet Valley (which is the definite predecessor to this new breed of teen girl novels) but even those books could be sincere at points and stil stressed things like family values and had it's fair share of standard coming-of-age topics. In these new books, the characters are mini-adults. College used to be the time where you could act like an adult but not have all of the responsibilities but now it appears that the time for that has been bumped back to high school.

So yeah, hopefully young girls aren't turning to this stuff as something to aspire to. There are lots of alternatives out there, like Cynthia Voigt and even the Traveling Pants and Princess Diaries books, that are probably more relatable but still fun to read.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Just finished watching the Battlestar Galactica season finale which was, like, the most mind-blowing thing I've seen in years. I can't even formulate thoughts right now.

But amidst it all, go Chief and Cally! There is ALWAYS room for shipping. =)

Reality TV recap

This week brought the finales of two reality shows that I've been watching. My thoughts:

Project Runway:
Was happy to see Chloe win because she's been one of my favorites all along but truthfully I thought that all three collections were kind of lackluster, especially compared to the first season (I didn't watch but I saw a rerun of the finale a few weeks ago). Jay's collection last year was so fresh and different. This year everything seemed a little too...ordinary. I thought a lot of Chloe's fabrics were a little too shiny and stiff. Daniel had a few great pieces but I didn't see the whole military/Asian influences at all. And Santino? If his pieces had fit better and someone else had designed them, I think the response would have been a lot better. But it's true, Chloe's construction and attention to detail was definitely the best. Daniel's still young and he's got a great future regardless, and Santino? Luckily his collection wasn't too hot because I think it would have been a fiasco if he won. I wanted him out WEEKS ago.

Beauty and the Geek 2:
I'm not entirely sure why I continued to watch this show, but anyway, I was a little disappointed with the result...again. Last season I hated both of the geeks in the final two but liked both beauties. This time around, I was rooting for Joe and Brittany to win (even though Joe can be a little creepy) because I kind of hated Cher. Then again, Josh was definitely deserving. I think the problem with Cher is that it doesn't seem like she's ever doubted her intelligence. Yeah, she fits in with the beauties in that she relies on her looks a lot, but I think that was more out of laziness whereas it seemed like the other girls did it more because they've never felt smart. I don't know, I still think the show has an interesting concept but the elimination round stuff is lame. Josh getting the question of who Cher would have wanted as his partner was such a huge giveaway...had they gotten a harder question they would have lost.

Oh, well. Supposedly they're going to reverse the roles for the next season: brainy, socially awkward girls and hot but not-so-smart guys. That would definitely be interesting...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Real World Key West report

Because I', I guess, I'm a huge sucker for trashy MTV programming and yes, it's that time again. A new season of the Real World!

My casting report:
Tyler: Snarky gay guy. Hope he doesn't get in trouble with the rest of the roommates because of his talk though a la Lacey from Austin.

Svetlana: Kind of annoying and somewhat noticeably more immature than everyone else. She's the one who left a relationship at home so that'll probably be an issue.

John: Stereotypical jock who seems like the type who'll be acting like a frat boy way past college and always want to go back.

Janelle: Not sure about her, seems smart and independent but I can see her bringing out some attitude and clashing with the other people in the house.

Zach: Could possibly be my new TV crush, haha. He just seems so natural and relaxed. Not really liking that he has a thing for Svetlana though.

Paula: I wonder why she was cast. Her eating and body image problems seem a little too severe, even for the Real World.

Jose: No impression yet. Which might be a good thing...

And their job is working at Mystic Tan??


When I was a kid, Friday night was a great night for TV. There was the hugely successful TGIF on ABC, and then the X-files became a hit on that night also. But for the past couple of years, it seemed like putting a show on Friday night was basically setting it up for failure. All of a sudden now though, Friday night is once again a hot spot for TV. Well, for me at least. Friday means Battlestar Galactica, Degrassi: the Next Generation, Instant Star, and my latest discovery, Numb3rs.

While I've never been a regular viewer of the abundance of law/crime shows, I have been known to enjoy episodes of shows like Law & Order, CSI, etc. on occasion. Numb3rs is a classic crime investigation with a twist: all the cases are solved with the help of math and science.

The premise and cast work extremely well. Don Eppes (played by Rob Morrow, who's pretty hot in a cop sort of way) is a Los Angeles FBI agent, who has recruited his younger brother, Charlie (played by David Krumholtz, who was Mr. Universe in Serenity), a math genius and professor at the fictional CalSci university, to help solve the more complex cases that fall into his hands. Don and Charlie's father, other agents, and two of Charlie's colleagues fill out the cast. There are a lot of familiar faces in the cast: Diane Farr (Maria's mother on Roswell), Alimi Ballard (Herbal from Dark Angel), Peter MacNicol (from Ally McBeal), and Navi Rawat (Theresa from The OC).

Admittedly, the math techniques that Charlie uses are pretty advanced and out there, and sometimes I find myself wondering if there really that many cases that can be solved with math, but being a geek myself, I still find the show pretty intriguing. I love that the geeks get to be the heroes for once, and I also love that the show is very vocal about its goal of trying to get more students interested in math.

The show isn't all business though. The family dynamics between Don, Charlie, and their father are well portrayed, and the way some cases relate to the main cast on a personal level can be surprisingly touching.

So, while not a show that you need to catch every week, if you happen to be sitting home with nothing to do on a Friday night, check out Numb3rs. You might like it!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


LANE AND ZACH ARE ENGAGED?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


spoilers didn't fully spoil!

So on my last post about One Tree Hill I begged for spoilers for the upcoming episode. And fortunately I was able to find just enough spoilers to make me happy. I found out who died, who didn't die, etc. BUT the writers of the show managed to go ahead and surprise me ANYWAY!

So I was super upset because looking at the number of couples on the show, it was inevitable that one of those couples would suffer a loss in this week's episode. And spoilers told me that the unlucky couple was Keith-Karen. However, what they FAILED to mention was that it wasn't the depressed student who would be killing Keith. It wouldn't be Keith dying to save the day. That depressed student first commits SUICIDE. And Keith was still alive -- so wait? What was going on? In walks the epitome of all evil, Dan -- HE killed Keith! Frickin' a.

I'm kinda glad that One Tree Hill keeps its evil characters simply evil. Everytime I wonder if there's possibility of a redeeming quality in Dan? I'm proven wrong. Everytime I wonder if there's a chance that Rachel might really be nice underneath it all? I'm proven wrong. So way to go, WB, way to go writers. Let me keep on hating Dan and Rachel. But perhaps next time you almost kill off Dan, you'll be successful?