Thursday, September 11, 2008

Designer Heads ROLL!


I am pretty much stunned.

Project Runway is getting CRAZY!

Not one, but two Designers went home this week, and one of them was one of the highest scoring, most dependable designers of the season. No, Runway fans, I don't mean Blayne. He's been bound for the cutting block for weeks. And paired up with Stella, the recently cut Rock and Roll, Leathah Forevah, Hammer Queen, Blayne was pretty much a marked man.

Here they are, the losing looks:

Blayne above, Terri below. Ouch, ouch, and more ouch.

Tim Gunn said it best, about Blayne's design: "the execution was atrocious and, frankly, insulting to the judges. While teaching, the worst of my students' work was never quite this bad or quite this ridiculous. Blayne, what happened? Did you succumb to Stella-liciousness?"

That kind of scorching reprimand from the nicest man on the planet sure does sting.

Then there was Terri. She won an earlier episode and was routinely in the top three and one of the highest scoring Fantasy PR Designers. But man, did she have DRAMA with her partner for the challenge, the recently departed Keith. They were at each other's throats, which did make for excellent Reality TV, but not, apparently, for happy Couture design.

Her look does kinda resemble a Tinkerbell on crack. More costumey than Couture, I guess, as if I have any clue what Couture is.

Only 6 Designers left........and no more Immunity........getting down and dirty!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oakland, CA, Where Fantasy Goes To Die

So we had great seats.

50 Yard line, 5th row. Almost close enough to whisper (not so) sweet nothings into the opposing team's ears.

Would that we had a thousand voices speaking in unison into the all too callous helmet ear hole of Jay Cutler, quarterback for the Denver Broncos, I doubt it would have made a lick'o'difference.

Honest truth is, the Oakland Raiders just plain suck.

I went tonight, not only to watch some sweet Monday night football, but also to see one of my star sleeper Football Fantasy picks, Daren McFadden, the new big bologna for the Oakland Raiders, do his thang. Thang is, his thang ain't nothing but a bunch of hype and a shoddy offensive line.

Maybe he'll be great one day. But not tonight. Denver isn't even supposed to be that good, but half way through the second half they were leading, there's not enough beer in Oakland to make that seem like a worthwhile game of ball'du'foot. And believe me, we looked.

Anyways, the implications this has on my Fantasy Football team for this year are not good. My first rounder, Joseph Addai, completely under performed this week. My second rounder, Randy Moss, lost his big daddy passer, Tom Brady, for the YEAR, and so it's a big "who knows." At least this week he didn't do fantastically, and when I need him for Fantasy, not doing fantastically is not so good.

The rest of my team doesn't even deserve mentioning.

Mostly, I'll be on a McFadden watch this year. He's the hometown Raider hope. And he's all I've got to be able to say, "I knew he'd be great," that is, if he turns out to be great. If not, well then nobody will be listening anyways, so bullocks!

Honestly, between the A's, the Warriors, and the Raiders, I think Oakland is just cursed to be the city where Fantasy goes to die.

At least until next week.......

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fantasy Squared

Dancing With The Stars is the second most popular television show in the U.S., only surpassed by American Idol. I've never seen DWTS. Don't actually know anyone who watches it. I am going to watch it this fall, going to make a game out of it, and in all likelihood I will, after two weeks watching it, consider myself an old hat dance judge.

I mean, two seasons ago, Emmit Smith, of Dallas Cowboys running back glory, won the whole shebang. I'm not saying he can't move like hell, but really, Ballroom? Cha Cha Cha? The Foxtrot?

I think I can tell the difference between a retired jock with more bum joints than the Humboldt homeless and a trained dancer.

This season, however, I'm in deep yogurt. While I try to focus on scoring Fantasy points via the dancing stars and their pro partners, I will be mentally shackled by the presence of one of my generation's most dominant teen boy heart-throbs, Brook Burke.

Yes this will be Fantasy Dance vs. Fantasy Wild On!


If you don't remember Wild On! it's probably because you were not a teen and twenty something lad when I was. Wild On! was this Entertainment channel (E!) show where Brooke would travel around the world visiting exotic places and somehow finding herself in a bikini wherever she went, whether it was at the top of that crazy hotel in Dubai, running with the bulls in Pamplona, having a tomato fight in Bunol, and many other adventures which are forever scorched into my minds eye.

Don't recognize her?

How about like this:
Yeah, that's her.

What's crazy about B double is that she has had 4 children and still looks like this. Of course, her first husband was a plastic surgeon, so you know. Her 38th birthday is coming up this Monday, which is exactly two weeks before the kick off of DWTS, so I'm thinking she will be properly hyped for a good long run at the championship.

At least, that's what I'm hoping, cause man, it's going to be really hard to root against her. Will she be fast on her feet? Maybe. Coordinated enough to hang with a pro? Possibly. Strong enough to deal with the grueling practice schedule? Who cares......I will be watching with my "heart," not with my brain.....typically a VERY bad idea if you want to do well at Fantasy.

But then, some Fantasies trump others.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Randy not so Dandy

Man, let me just start out by saying that this cat is going DOWN and going down fast, may even be the first one voted out of the Western Africa Eden of Gabon.

Seriously, I would want him offa my island soon as he set foot on it.

Meet Randy (nutso) Bailey, aka Ruthless Randy, aka Psycho Could Be Brett Favre's Daddy No Upper Lip WackJob Bailey (his friends in high school called him this):

You have to admit, he does have that "step on your neck to walk around you" kind of look in his eye. His CBS bio reads:

"Randy Bailey wants to be personally responsible for crushing the hopes and dreams of all other contestants with delusions of winning SURVIVOR. He considers himself a ruthless bully who enjoys picking on those that were not blessed with his strength or intellect."
---from CBS

Apparently he fashions himself not only physically superior to the other Castaways who are mostly in their 20's and 30's, but also kind of a sweet talker Betty Crocker. In his own words:

''I'll step on toes if I have to. These people were not friends of mine last week and time will tell if they'll be friends of mine two months from now. But a million dollars is more important than their friendship. Except maybe with that one blonde with the big t---. That might be worth a few hundred grand.''
---from Survivor Sucks

Sure, Randy, sure. Go for it. Anyone think he meant "big toes?" Me neither. I'm sure he's going to win a lot of friends and allies on the show with that neighborly attitude. The worst part is he's giving all the Randys of the world a bad name. I always thought it was kind of a cool name because the only real person I'd ever met named Randy was this really (double up really, REALLY) friendly gal down the hall from my friend Chris in the dorms at UC Davis. Every time I would visit him she was giving massages to everyone on the hall. Such a friendly gal, that Randy.

But this Randy is just trying too hard to be the bad ass, too much talk, not enough slick. Everyone knows Survivor is about being the slickest possible, nobody sees it coming, good at this, good at that, but not TOO good at any of this or that so as to be a target, kind of strategist. Randy is going into it with a chip on his shoulder and a target on his back.

I'm putting him in my Elimination Pit week one.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Real Relationships in Fantasyland

If you haven't heard of The Amazing Race, you are in for a treat.

Couples of all sorts of relation race around the world, covering in the neighborhood of 30,000 miles in about 3 or so weeks. Five continents. 11 teams of couples. $1 million prize.

It is the present day Canon Ball Run, just without the mustache of Burt Reynolds, the heft of Dom DeLuise, and those two hot chicks in the Lamborghini who would pause at various traffic signs to doctor them so that the speed limit was 165 rather than 65 (another great use for duct tape).

The running undercurrent to The Amazing Race, as if the thrill of travel and whirlwind jaunts through exotic lands weren't enough, is the constant stress placed on the competing couples, and how their relationships hold up (and often don't hold up) under such pressure.

For instance, Terrence and Sarah, young, athletic, uber-motivated, have been dating just about a year. They are nasty cute together in matching black tank tops and a sort of "he's sensitive, she's cutthroat" new agey kind of blah. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the way the producers want to portray them, for most people are more than two dimensional, but for the sake of Reality Television, moving the game along, etc....we can pretend. Besides, too much depth would detract from the fact that it's just a game for $1 mil in the end.

I'm guessing (hoping?) that these two will provide no shortage of teary meltdowns as they are running out of gas on an empty back road or missing the last helicopter flight off a dreamy tropical island, or something else just as tragic and time consuming.

Their bio says: "This Team is determined to prove to themselves whether they belong together while on the Race. They hope that being well-traveled, physically fit, and highly competitive will help them win the $1 million. They think their biggest weakness could be the tendency to become too intense, fighting amongst themselves, or their dietary restrictions."

Man, if my diet held me back from winning a million conolies, somebody slap me. Put that South Beach on hold for 3 weeks and commit!

I think I will probably put this couple on my Fantasy Amazing Race Team anyways, because a marathon runner and a Wall Street financier have gotta have more than a little fight in 'em. Just as long as those two old tie dyed hippies don't get in the way.

Anybody out there want to race me around the world for, say, a million sunflower seeds? Could be another Fantasy becoming Reality (tv).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Big Losers: Husbands and Wives vs. Parents and Kids

Yes, boys and girls, it's almost here.

Try to contain your excitement. I am bubbling over, myself, can't you tell?

Why, you ask? So kind of you.

September is finally HERE! Oh, the anticipation, a nectar upon which I suckle with the best of 'em, has been killing me all summer. Along with September, other two prime months of tele-anticipation are July and January, and they together make up the great triumvirate of Reality TV Season kick-offs.

Two weeks from today starts the next installment of The Biggest Loser, and this time it's Husbands and Wives team vs. Parents and Children team. Well, not children......I think you have to be at least 18 and of course at least like 250lbs to play, but you know, kids of those gigantic parents who are also now gynormous themselves and have at least a healthy dose of blame and of course a lot of love and support for one another. So lovely.

Last season's winner shed HALF herself to win the title "Biggest Loser" and the $250,000 prize. If that ain't inspirational, I don't know what is.

And as a Fantasy Game expert, creator, and addict, I am constantly on the look out for that which inspires. What we love to watch, love to read, love to follow......these are what make great Fantasy Games. That and a pinch of televised shit talking.

Along with the general life changing, life saving kind of Old Yeller feel good goodness, add a some tears, oxygen mask aided breathing, work-out stimulated hurling, and OH, it's a winning hour in front of the boob. This is not fiction here, mister, this is real life issues, finally being given their platform.

According to the CDC, nearly one third of adults in the U.S. are Obese. That's not just overweight. That's OVER overweight. About 20% of kids in the States are at risk for clinically obese as well, and this is causing all kinds of health problems, from type 2 Diabetes to early vascular disease, to a growing epidemic of chub-related taunting that is sweeping the nation.

Enter Biggest Loser. Enter Fantasy Biggest Loser. Obviously, for those biguns whom weight loss is a daily struggle, this game is the perfect way to become more involved in their own personal cure. But it's also a great educational tool for those folks who are not scale haters and ho-ho hunters. We should all know more about the mental, emotional, metabolic, and lifestyle connections to the fastest growing health threat in this country. If we were each a little bit more compassionate about why this is happening, we could each do our part a little better to "chop down the mountain" (as my acupuncture professor used to say). This is truly a societal problem, so as a society we need to band together, play a game based on a show, and therefore better understand the biggest of the big.

Homeboy lost 164 pounds!! and he did it in hardly three months!! and he learned ways that he can keep off the weight, stay fit, stay healthy, and stay tan!!

I for one, feel it is my duty to support this kind of public service programming, and also, more specifically, to dominate my friends in a Fantasy Game based on said public service.

Won't you join me?

Stay tuned.........

Friday, August 22, 2008

go west and water the trees, my son

Sequoias may not be the tallest trees in the world, as their Redwood cousins edge them out by a few meters, but man, are they the chunkiest. To share a few stats with you, Sequoias are:
  • up to 2,000 years old
  • reach 375 feet tall
  • can be 25 feet in diameter
  • volume of over 52,000 cubic feet
Putting that in context of house and home, if you consider the average good sized bathroom, about ten feet wide by fifteen feet long and ten feet high (okay, that's twice as big as MY bathroom, but...) that would be 1500 cubic feet. That means that you could fit more than 34 bathrooms in this tree.

Why would anyone put a bathroom in a tree, much less 34 of them?

Well that's the thing. When I'm out in the woods and have to relieve myself, I prefer to do it on the great big trunk of a great big tree. I like to think that I'm doing my part in the life cycle and ecosystems of the wild.....providing for one of these magnificent giants with the excess water and overflow nutrients that my kidneys have sent the way of my bladder. Call me sentimental, but I guess this act of fellow comrade nourishment just makes me feel as if I'm playing a small but significant role in the greater movings of the universe. In the end, it's about giving back.

The particular tree shown above is located in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite Park, where some of the largest of these grand mamas live. Yes, you can drive a car through it. Yes it is still alive. Pretty damn incredible.

If there were a Fantasy game based on vegetation, I do believe the Giant Sequoia would be a first round pick. Not only do they get HUGE, they are basically fireproof. When walking among them you can see at various intervals up and along their reddish trunks the scorch marks from forest fires. Sometimes a particularly bad fire will get rid of all the underbrush and even hollow out parts of some trees, but the biggest are hardly touched......some theories are that they have so much water in them and have some sort of fire proofing in their bark, that they just won't catch on fire.

So while they are playing for your team they will not likely go on the Disabled List, and they will happily just continue to grow big and tall to pad your team's stats. True, this game might take a lifetime to complete, but what the heck else you got to do, anyways? Smell the roses, draft a tree, life is short, play long.

Why the coniferous ruminations, you might be wondering? Well I'm going with some friends and some family out to a remote mansion in the woods of Sequoia National Park for the next five days. This place is called Kaweah Han and it's pure heaven. It's like a 6,000 square foot (I know, enough with the volume stats!) house perched on the cutback of a pristine alpine creek, with a power generating water wheel, no neighbors for miles and (wait for it) a HORSESHOE pit.

Man, I love horseshoes. It's such a cool game. Throwing things is fun. Ringers are fun. Leaners. I mean, you know all the times you've come SO CLOSE to something that you could almost taste the joy of achievement, but it just slipped past you? Well in horseshoes, so the saying goes, close is GOOD ENOUGH. You actually score points for being "close." Ahhhhh, the shrill sound of a ringer in the crisp woodsy morning.......doesn't get much better than that. Okay, it does get a little better, as in when you make the shoe sing on stake in the afternoon with a cold beer in hand, but I digress.......

Point is, I'll be missing you for the next several days. Will be back to help you all make your Realities more Fantastic next next Monday.......ahhhhh Labor Day.

Until then, Fantasize well, and think of me in the woods, walking on pine duff, feeding trees, and ringin' it up!