Sunday, 19 August 2012

July and August books

Inspired by J and EL here is a list of the books I have read or listened to in July and early August:

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - wonderful book about college life in America and baseball but a lot more interesting than that sounds.

The Gathering & The Calling by Kelley Armstrong - new series of supernaturals but this time kids 'bred' and not aware of their skills. Well written and addictive. Now have to wait for book three...

The Hunter and the Huntress by Kelley Armstrong - clever publishers fooled me into buying this as it contained a short story (new) but then the rest is just a reprint of Thirteen.

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong - finishing off the story of the supes, all getting together for a final battle. Enjoyable but not the best in the series.

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison. I love how preordered books just turn up in the Kindle! This was a treat as I had run out of books and this arrived unexpected (as did Thirteen and Shadow of Night). Amusing as always but I think it is time to end this series...

Shadow of Night by Deborah E Harkness. Oh what a lovely surprise when it arrived, I devoured it and enjoyed the escapism to Tudor England. I look forward to book 3.

Fifty Shades by you know who - well what can I say. Written like a Barbara Cartland novel but with more sex. A lot of swooning and the ususal BC themes - older cynical man who needs saved by blue eyed and innocent girl. Really annoying by book three.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Recommendation from sister. At first I wasn't sure if I liked it but as the book progressed I got engrossed and liked the characters more and more.

Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. For our 4th July weekend I forgot to load the Kindle so had to buy a book (gasp) at Walmart (double gasp, we went camping so not a lot on offer ok). Found book 2 of the series and was hooked. Quickly sped through the remaining books as a teenager stuck in a rainy summer house all summer.


The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. This book cheered me up no end. Wonderful to listen to (narrated by Jim Broadbent). Well worth reading or listening to. I ended up walking around the flat with my headphones on continuing to listen after I got home just because I wanted to know what happened to Harold.

The Charming Quirks of Others by Alexander McCall Smith. Same same. Nothing new but nothing offensive so an A OK book to listen to as I walk / subway to work.

Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mystery and Other Stories by John Taylor. Enjoyable but not overly memorable.

Casanova read by Benedict Cumberbatch. Need I say more?

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Classical night

Oh lovely! Classical night, starting with Joshua Bell playing (I had such a crush on him when I was 14, he was cuter then, as was I actually).

Catherine seem to have taken the classical term very seriously, dressing up as a Greek goddess. Although I think her braid has been sewn onto the dress. Mark says 'you can't spell classical without ass'. I suspect that will set the tone for their rumba. WEIRD to see the dancing with the music. I guess they are good, I am just very distracted by the beautiful string music in the background. Len likes that it was not raunchy, Bruno wanted more raunch. 9 x 3.

Melissa up next. Maks is injured so his brother is helping with training, but on the night Maks is back dressed like Blackadder, but not as nice and friendly. Oh, the judges hate the dance, I was busy wondering if her dress was supposed to look like that. 7 x 3. Their last week?

William up next! Recap of last weeks sexy rumba. Mmm... He is slightly injured as well so going for the sympathy vote on top of the gorgeous vote. They dance to a slip of a girl singing Ave Maria beautifully. And he looks like the hero from a Barbara Cartland novel - did she write one set in Cuba? Not their best dance. 9, 9, 9. OK I am a rubbish judge and know nothing, unsurprising. And no BC book set in Cuba according to the inter web.

Roshon up next, back from elimination battle last week. Maks' brother is back being useful, teaching Roshon how to be manly. Dancing to Lady Gaga - when did she become classified as classical music? Did she go through all other dance categories and out the other end? Oh and in the middle they cut to the logo, wonder if they were just too raunchy? Unlikely, even with man-classes, he is still mainly sweet. 9, 8, 8.

Donald and Peta - she is looking weirdly made up as a scary Disney princess. He in a gold brocade tail jacket, pretty hideous outfits on both (Len's call him a dancing Ferrero Rocher, snork.) The final lift is great, although lifts in the waltz? Len cannot be happy about that. Nope, Len loved it. Are lifts allowed in the US version maybe? 9 x 3.

Maria as a gorgeous vampire up next - low cut sides and front, down to the belly button. It is a shame he is so blond and middle America nice looking. It doesn't quote fit the whole dark and moody theme. But the dancing is fan-tas-tic! 10, 10, 10!!!

Jaleel up next. Military outfit and another non-classical song. No idea what it is, but a lady is wailing in the background something about waking up to love. William is sitting on the sofa behind the couple talking, bare chested, very distracting. 8 x 3.

Team dance coming up! I am skipping the adverts again - but can see the season changing as I zip through: soil, grass feed, sun screen, patio paving stones and the obligatory car adverts.

Team Tango up first - Maria and Derek mess up their ending, Jaleel and Kim good, Catherine and Mark excellent, Roshon and Chelsie very good and they all end on a high. 10, 8, 9. The judges all saw something different out there it seems.

Team Paso up second. Team Bare Chested Men. Melissa and Maks look uncertain. Not helped by the singers starting at a different pace than the music. William and Cheryl up next and while he is gorgeous the dance is not. Donald and Peta - Paso suits him well. AND THE TOPS ARE OFF! At the end the lads all jump up on the desk in front of Bruno - anything for some bonus points eh? 9, 8, 9. Just one point less than the other team.

And tomorrow we find out who gets kicked out. I suspect Melissa or Roshon.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Ah only 27 minutes of the show last night got recorded, and as that was mainly adverts I have no idea how the dancing went. But luckily the results show today will show it all again, but cutting down the talking to a minimum - showing all the judges' points at the same time e.g. And while waiting for that to start I am indulging in a bit of Glee.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Watching live

We are 5 minutes in and the adverts are driving me nuts. I am going to record and watch this later.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Work too much

I am only watching this week's show today. It is Latin Week! Which seems to be what the American stars love, unlike most of the Brits.

Jaleel started - six pack out and Kim in a weird outfit with tassels snaking down one leg. The dancing is good - 3 x 8 from the judges.

Brooke has on a dress squishing her boobs in a not very attractive way, did she borrow it from Tess who often seems to have that issue? Who know? Who cares? Santana is visiting! Love watching it on TiVo as the adverts just fly by.

Melissa back from her injury when she hit her head on Max leg. Poor girl is trying to be sexy with Max 'encouraging' her by saying she looks weird. She starts by handing out fruit to the audience. A man on the front row end sup holding the tray with the left over fruit. As all other weeks she seems to not quite remember her steps. I reckon she will leave soon. They finish with her twirling on the floor, but she looks incredibly unsure so it is not a great ending. They are introducing the dance off for the bottom two - I think she might have to re-do this dance... 3 x 7

Maria with the super annoying voice and laugh is up. She looks great, but that laugh drives me nuts. She fell over in training and got a bit nervous so came back all wrapped in bubble wrap. Awww. The man who got the tray in the earlier dance now got to dance with Maria in the intro. She is wearing some yellow fringing, that is it. Looks amazing. HAH and they kiss making up for sure for all the rumours. The dancing should be amazing, it almost is, but somehow it looks like they put too much stuff in there. 9 x 3.

Catherine is up, looking all cute in pink, and looking more comfortable than last week. She kicks him in the nuts in the practice, more than once. Hehe... Oh they are dancing the argentine tango and it is very good! The judges love it 10, 9, 10! Well Len is holding back in case she gets any better next week. This is a far cry from last weeks elimination scare.

Gavin in his hat. Is it to cover a bald spot? Or just because he is cold a lot? He is asking his fans to vote as he is not confident he will get a lot of points for his samba - I think he might need them. He starts in a row boat! Props central today. I think they are going for comedy samba. He looks mainly confused and bemused - but the dancing is ok. He bobs up and down a lot, making me a little sea sick. His dance partner looks like the girl that Danny Zuko ends up competing with in the dance competition - the one who isn't Olivia Newton John and who is a very good dancer. 6, 6, 7 - I actually think they were on par with Melissa so not sure why she got better points... At least Gavin remembered his steps.

William is up - it looks like they struggled a bit in training. They are dancing the argentine tango and the props this time is a dish rag and a cafe table and chair. He looks amazing in a barely buttoned tux shirt and black trousers. The lifts went well (unlike last weeks) and they are doing an incredibly sexy tango. Hope they get points for just looking great. 10, 9, 10! Looking good pays.

Gladys Knight is up - in green this week, channeling her inner leprechaun. Dancing to You Give Me Fever sung in Spanish for some reason. The dancing is ok but in the triple seven territory rather than 10's. But I love that she keeps dancing when it is over, she seems to love this dance which is so charming. Bonus points for charm from Bruno: 7, 7, 8.

Young Roshan is up, adorable as always. He is a great dancer, just a bit too young and skinny to be really sexy, which is what the samba needs. But I like it. Sweet! They mess up a move but recover well, I wish I could vote but the voting closed two days ago. 9, 8, 9.

Donald is up and he is being very encouraging to his (professional) dance partner this week in training. Funny! He wants three 10's. Let's go! Amazing to watch with lots of intricate lifts and kicks. But not a lot of tango steps, I wonder if Lenny will tell them off for that? AW he has lipstick on the tip of his nose, like a little red kitten nose. Cute. Lenny loved the lifts, but felt the rest was nearly but not quite there. 10, 8, 9. Oh judges in disarray!

Recap of the second night: repeat all dances in slightly different order, cut down the judge blabla and add some blabla from celebrities. And the Dance duel - the bottom two couples (Jaleel and Gavin) go head to head dancing the same dance on the dance floor at the same time to the same song (well, duh!). But different choreography. The judges judge. The idea is to stop the exiting of good people early. They are dancing to the ednge of glory and it is really hard to watch and focus on both at the same time. I think Jaleel is better. Jaleel is safe - 3 of 3 votes. Gavin and his hat is out.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Rock week with Kiss! The make up was a great idea as now they look the same as back then (maybe a little rounder). The professional dancers out in front look like dominatrix waitresses (the girls) and ballet dancers with odd make up ( the guys). The girls definitely got the better costumes.

Brooke has BIG hair and a leather dress with little silver bits on it, like the Pearly Queen of DWTS. Kiss are playing the intro music! Classy! Tom is DULL as always, just dark suit and dark jacket. Not even a little bit of make up.

Catherine Jenkins looking like Olivia Newton John after the make over in Grease. Gladys Knight looking like the octopus meany lady in The Little Mermaid. The rest range from kinda cool to uncomfortably odd.

Last week everyone blabbed as it was memory week. I watched it on TiVo as I was out last Monday - it being my birthday and all.

Sherri dancing the tango. But first (as I am watching this live) I have to live through the dull adverts - mobiles, chain steak food, anti aging creams, medicine (as you know better than your doctor what medicine you need - this one can lead to increased risk of death), cheap shoes, cat food, taxes and Disneyland. I guess the average viewer is female, middle aged with kids or grand kids and in the lower income bracket.

Cheri is off! It is not bad. Not as such. Just not very good. I reckon straight 8's (as that is the new 7). I was wrong - 3 x 7. Not rocking their world.

More adverts - TJ Max, Diet Pepsi, Realtors (weird I know), Dove, MiracleGro, Mary Kay, Lincoln cars.

Catherine is up - she is supposed to be the Welsh Warrior. OH she is dancing to Muse! Love it! But not even she can make the outfit look good, super tight black pants with a half skirt kinda glued on the bum. A bit hesitant, as if she didn't remember all the steps - this will be her worst score. 8 x 3.

TempurPedic (love our), Kia, Bounty kitchen rolls, anti aging cream, CVS, chewing gum.

Jaleel trying to be Jagger and the dancing is good but not very crisp, does not feel like a powerful tango. Kym has been dressed in a left over dress from Dynasty. Pretty hideous. 8, 7, 7.

Target, Dominos, Discover card, Detergent, Chase bank, Raymour & Flanigan, Jeep.

Melissa has to be angry at Maks. Should be easy. Although she looks terrified. Yeah I am not keen. Maks fell over, that was the highlight. 7, 8, 7 - not very generous this week.

HA! Maks grabbed Brooks hair by mistake and dragging her with him by mistake. Snort. Very funny. Big hair can be dangerous.

Ranch dressing, AT&T, contact lenses, cat food, Pepsi Next (some new cola with with less calories but still made with high fructose corn syrup).

Donald and the guns - mmmm he has wonderful arms. Take that back, he has a wonderful body. So intense, I love it! A bit of the haka in there - tongue out and all. This was good! 9, 9, 9! Highest score of the night!

Gladys dancing the tango - she is going to do nasty! But first Lowes, KFC, medicine that can lead to fatal liver problems, dark spot correctors, Listerine.

Gladys dancing to Queen - bit tentative and I suspect she will be the next to leave. 7, 6, 7.

Blinds, milk (with a stunning Salma Hayek), AT&T, Samsung, American Express, Toyota - the adverts are getting better as the night progresses!

William, yum. Little bum shake in there and the audience goes wild. Messing up a few steps and that throws him a bit. He is still the sexiest man in the room. 7, 7, 8 (Bruno giving a bonus point for looks I think.)

Royal Caribbean, Diet Pepsi, Nissan, Advil PM, Hellaman's mayo.

Roshon not very rock n'roll in pink shirt and velvet jacket, but he is cute. Long lines, elegant and just adorable, in an Andrex puppy kinda way. 9, 8, 9.

Maria looking cool in glasses and long skirt that is ripped off her by 'magic' as the song started. Bucks Fizz 2.0. Pretty good and even had a bit of head banging in there, even with an almost broken foot. 9, 8, 9.

Last dancer - about time - getting a bit bored to be honest. But first even more adverts. I got so sick of them that I had a 10 min break so I could whizz through them.

Gavin and Karina - she in a super scary make up. It looks like several small animals live above her eyes and some bugs below. His posture is not good, bum out and shoulders high. And he is just not very exciting... A random roll on the floor, both of them, then up again, not sure about this choreography. Third week in the bottom two, I suspect. 8, 8, 7.

Tomorrow they will show all the dances again - so there is no point in watching tomorrows show unless you want to see a lot more adverts for mediocre cars, anti aging creams, cheap clothes and shoes and less than great chains of restaurants.