Friday, December 31, 2004

Episode 6 1/2 (OHSERNBSF) - My Thoughts

Just when you thought you couldn’t gain or lose points based on the actions of Philimated teams, CBS brings you their Official Holiday Special Episode of Recaps and “Never-Before-Seen Footage” (OHSERNBSF). But if you watch the insider videos on CBS.com with any regularity (and when you live with Scrappy, you do), you’d know that several of the “Deleted” Scenes have actually been available online for weeks. Speaking of Scrappy, she is somewhere skiing on a Colorado mountaintop right now, so I’ve been given the honor and great responsibility of writing a recap for the latest episode.

Early on in OHSERNBSF we learn that Freddy and Kendra misplace their very first clue. Come on guys, you don’t even have fatigue and hunger as an excuse. Turns out Voldermort picked up their dropped clue and just when the viewers are relishing the fact they have one more reason to hate him, Voldemort returns the clue to Freddy. But you still hate him for his smugness when he returns it. That and the wife-beating.

Normally I’m not a fan of people faking illness or handicaps to get ahead in the race (I’m thinking of Charla getting on a flight in AR5 because she supposedly needed a ‘doctoro’), but there is something kinda funny about Bolo faking cerebral palsy to cut in line at customs(?).

While Adam and Rebecca are usually described as “formerly dating,” for the OHSERNBSF they get upgraded to “former lovers” during a Phil voice over. Yuck.

At one point we see Meredith/Maria’s (who’s who again?) safety goggles perched on her forehead and jump down her face at their own will. That was funny.

Does anyone know was Avi/Joe’s (again, I don’t know who is who- damn these teams that get philiminated early on) Hebrew hat says?

Why does Voldemort feel the need to turn into the camera and say that in order to win the race you need to “Be the game.”? What does that mean? Or is it just some BS cliché buzzword Voldey came up with? The only thing that makes this footage bearable is that it is immediately followed by Victoria telling him, “you stink,” effectively knocking him off his whole Buddha on the mountain top high horse.

I love Lena and Kristy for taking time out in the car to reapply lip gloss in preparation to see Phil. Gloss is a much more subtle and acceptable way to spruce up than the AR5 twins always showing up at the Pit Stop in their sports bras for no good reason.

Voldemort, continuing to act like an insolent impulsive child, tried to ride the bull ice sculpture at the Ice bar. As Taurus, I was offended for the poor frozen bovine, just minding its own business when it gets its horns snapped off by a stinky “superhero.”

CBS just had to show Bolo miscounting the IKEA beanie babies one more time, didn’t they?

I love that the mystery of who told Voldemort to shut up in IKEA was solved, as I had never been sure whether it was an IKEA employee or Aaron who did so. We were treated to extended footage of Aaron taunting Voldey. Unfortunately, we are also served an extra helping of Voldemort berating Victoria while they assemble the desk. Voldey may be an easy target because it doesn’t take much to get him steamed, but perhaps a good strategy by Aaron because insolent impulsive toddler-men are so easily distracted.

You know, when I was in Paris as an exchange student in high school, I would get frustrated with Parisians that answered me in English when I made an effort to speak in French. But when it took Adam and Rebecca 30 seconds to spit out “Parlez-vous francais?” and the Sengalese cab driver answered “yes.” I cracked up. Because clearly the only French they knew was that question and it is a stupid thing to ask. “Do you speak French?” “Yes [but clearly you do not].”

Well, we had hoped when Voldemort asked for plane tickets to “Dakar, Africa” that he knew in the back of his mind that Dakar is in Senegal. Or at least he would figure that out once he got there. No such luck. Which we find out when he repeatedly tells the camera that the “President of Synagogue” is blocking traffic. President of Synagogue. Is that like a Rabbi?

We are offered a nice juxtaposition to Kendra’s evil racist “breeding” remarks when we are shown OHSERNBSF’s recording of Kris and Jon using extra time in Senegal to swim in the ocean and play with local children. I love Kris and Jon.

Hayden thought the Berlin wall was going to be prettier. A wall meant to keep people out, where 192 were killed trying to cross is supposed to look like what exactly? A doily with barbed wire on top?

One of my favorite parts of OHSERNBSF is when Adam and Bolo team up to tease Rebecca before she does the reverse bungee jump thingy. Adam: “If you die, can I have your power bars?” Bolo: “Do you have a living will?” But Rebecca’s response is the best: “Everyone suck it!”

Well, OHSERNBSF leaves us once again in to-be-continued-limbo. All the teams except Lori and Bolo are at the internet café. Lori and Bolo are still sleeping on train station benches in the rain (I really feel sorry for the camera guys and their equipment at times like these, don’t you?). Previews for next week still have Victoria mad at Voldemort and Freddy threatening to snap someone in half.



Saturday, December 25, 2004

Pool Standings - Episode 6

At long last, here are the pool standings from last week (but, really, nothing much changed as there weren't any placements!)

1. Karen 2025
2. Mike 1860
3. Scott 1835
4. Ami 1680
5. Judy 1650
6. Jonathan 1630
7. June 1400
8. Jan 1375
9. Jay 1325
10. Jill 1245
11. Samuel 1160
12. Caitlin 1080
13. Stephanie 1075
14. Lee 1000
15. Kristen 990
16. Chris 965
17. Eric 960
18. Curt 900
19. Jack 795
20. Kristin 740
21. Allegra 660
22. Ben 505
23. Dave 500
25. Boogie 300

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Episode 6 - My Thoughts

Okay. That episode was just totally not fair. I sat on the couch at the end for about two minutes staring blankly at the commecials playing, thinking to myself (and probably muttering out loud), "they are so not allowed to do that. And next week is a clip show so we won't see who gets kicked off this leg for two more weeks!"

Anyways. As it's a day later than I usually get my thoughts up, today's recap is really just that. Unstructured thoughts straight out of my notebook.

Okay, why are these people are eating, sleeping, and mingling on boats in the beginning of the episode? I think this is the third time now we've seen them do that. Are they trying to mess with the already precarious balance and equilibrium of some of these individuals?

Checkpoint Charlie. Cool, cool, cool. I still have a t-shirt from when I was eight or nine that says "you are leaving the American Sector" in four different languages.

Gus. Please do not be happy and satisfied about being in 5th place. Sure, the only objective right now is not be last, but 5th will do me no good in the pool. But kudos to you saying stuff about Checkpoint Charlie being used by all the spies!

Victoria. For a pop artist, you seem to be a bit colorblind. That traffic light was totally red. On all accounts.

Freddy, you totally stop being attractive in any way, shape, or form when Kendra calls you "Fred". Please don't give cause for her to do that again. And it makes you seem really old, too. I was waiting for you to pull out the cardigan sweater and sing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" or something.

I absolutley loved Rebecca's comment at the bungee jump "You're not doing it, wussy boy". I think that was totally my favorite line of the episode (at least until I get further down in my notes and find another one).

Story time!
When Karen was on foreign study in Australia, her parents came to visit and they went to New Zealand, and she went bungee jumping. Dave videotaped the whole thing, and the picture is all shaky because he was so nervous watching her do it! So I understand Gus talking about "this doesn't look good, she's still down!" in regards to Kendra. I would have never done that roadblock. I would have been with whoever was drawing that little picture on the sign up board (did you guys see it? It was so funny!).

Oh wait, here's my favorite line of the episode! And that award goes to Lori, when she was getting strapped into the bungee thing, and she said, "I'm glad I didn't get a bigger boob job than I did!". Oh, the funny.

And off we go to Hungary. As most airport drama revolved around Voledmort, I'm not going to talk about it.

Yea Trabants! Seriously, those are the goofiest little cars ever. I think I remember hearing or reading somewhere (probably from my mom) that those were one of the few car models available in easter bloc European countries, and there was actually a years' long waiting list for them! Proper nickname: Trabbies. Unofficial nickname: Ente--German for duck. One of the models of the Trabbie had windows that didn't roll down. Instead, they were hinged halfway down so you had to fold the top half over the bottom half and, like, snap it down or something on the outside of the door. Like the rest of the car, the snaps never stayed together very well so the windows would be flapping on the side, giving the impression that they were wings. That would be cool. Was anyone else hoping that by some miracle Meredith and Maria made it this far in the race so we could see them trying to drive those cars?!

Hayden, maps scare you? I understand the plight of the directionally impaired (because at least a certain two members of this pool suffer greatly from it, but not me!), but I've never heard of anyone being scared of a map other than getting paper cuts when trying to fold the things back up. Maybe that's the book I need to write--"The Idiot's Guide to Map Reading". They've got idiot's guides to everything else, but not maps!

Aaron, what did you hit? I thought it was a plastic construction cone, but your hand was all cut up and bleeding.

Jon--I didn't realize that cars made good surf boards. But you made it look easy!

That was a sweet detour. I would have gone insane at the castle and whiled away any lead I had climbing all over the walls and looking at stuff. And Hayden, you're dumb. "The stone is the castle?" No. The castle is made out of fiberglass and steel beams and is in the financial district of Eger. Come on!

And we have our first instance of product placement this season (well, with the exception of the trips to beautiful Hawaii and exotic Mexico and all)! I really don't have a problem with this. When you travel you go to internet cafes. And you use computers. And you sign on to an internet provider of some kind. It makes a lot more sense than Jeff Probst coming to a challenge with a package of Pringles and Bud Light, you know?

Adam and Rebecca are totally growing on me--about as quickly as Adam's horns seem to be growing (seriously--have you noticed they aren't so tidy anymore?). I like the matching Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" bracelets they have, and Rebecca is just too funny. I had to rewatch the episode to catch most of her lines, and I suggest you do the same :-)

The hero of the week award goes to: Voldemort's Cab Driver!
Never before in the history of this show has a team been kicked out of a cab. This was like the taxi drivers of the world, unite! gotcha back kharma for all the crap that racers have thrown at them. Here's to you, Hungarian Taxi Man!


Week 7 Bonus

The teams now find themselves in Hungary, and went to a really sweet castle, too! I couldn't let the teams escape Europe without my castle obsession making an appearance in a clue.

Week 7 Bonus Question: Name the ruling family of the Austro - Hungarian empire from 1282 - 1918, and what color did they paint all of their castles and homes and imperial buildings (and subsequently prohibited that color from being used anywhere else?).

Answer to Week 6 Bonus

The actress's name is Monika Bleibtrau, mother of Moritz Bleibtrau, who played Manni in Run Lola Run (he also did much of the soundtrack).

Monday, December 20, 2004

AMAZING RACE TRIVIA QUIZ

From TV Guide Online. I got 10 out of 10. But does that really surprise anyone?

Quick Monday Update

Well, Miss Alli's taken a week off from the recaps (which is sad, because I was looking forward to reading the diatribe on Voldemort), but she's got a great subsititute recapper. Read M.Giant's recap here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

GERMAN TO ENGLISH

For those of you struggling to read Allegra's german email, try this site:

http://www.worldlingo.com/products_services/worldlingo_translator.html

it totally cracked me up! I just noticed that the word Lingo is part of the address. I'm not positive, but that is pretty sketchy in my book!

cheers!

WEEK 6 - BONUS

There's no way the race can be in Berlin and I don't have a question about Run Lola Run, one of the best films of all time--and with one of the best sountracks! If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and go buy it. Right now. Because if you don't, I'll kick your ass the next time I see you.

In the movie Run Lola Run, there's a blind woman. What's her real name, and how did she get that part?



EPISODE 5 - My Thoughts

There was really ugly stuff but there was also really great stuff in this episode. I'm just going to get the ugly stuff out of the way, and then go on with the rest.

Ugly: The First
This goes to Rebecca, for her "I can see why so many people escaped" line. Which, personally, I didn't see as all that ugly because it just didn't make sense. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and maybe she was referring to refugees after the civil wars or something. So, there's that.

Ugly: The Second
This goes to Kendra. She was so absolutley ugly that even though I said I'd give points when people complain, I took 15 from her for her various comments, culminating in the "they just keep breeding and breeding". There are so many things wrong with that I'm not going to get into it. If you want to read the discussion on this, the Freddy and Kendra thread on Television Without Pity is where you want to go.

Ugly: The Third
Jonathan. Just in and of himself. I rewatched the episode last night, and I do want to point out that he did not hit Victoria--he shoved her backpack, which is heavy, which is what caused her to stumble as the weight shifted. This is not in any way to excuse his behavior towards her. I have been going back and forth in my mind since watching it thinking about why the editors even put that shot on the show--each team has a camera crew which is with them all the time, so they literally had hundreds of hours of footage from this leg of the race that was whittled down to about 43. I'm not it would have been better to not show it, you know? This guy is just ugly and it's better we have a full picture of him. I dunno. I've been trying to think up an appropriate punishment for him in terms of the blog and the pool, but there's not much I can do without punishing Victoria. And then I thought, "hmm. He's nothing but an attention-wanter". So, no longer will I type his name. He will now be referred to as Voldemort. And even if Voldemort does do something funny? I won't talk about it. So there.

Okay. Ugly done. Now let's have some fun.

First off, Lori, what was with that outfit you were wearing when you left Senegal? It was hideous, and about two sizes too small. I know when I travel, I prefer something a bit more comfortable.

While I'm sure some people are yelling, "Cheese!" at the music and such and the time spent with the roses at the Gate of No Return, I appreciated the fact that they did it. Back in Season Two the teams had to actually go into the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned to get their clue, and there was a lot of flack because only one of the teams actually took a moment and was like "Wow, look at where we are right now". In an effort to make up for that, I like that they took the time to make the racers, really appreciated where they were. And Gus's breakdown? The first of six reasons why I think this leg was a pivotal one in a) this team doing better in the race on a whole and b) me actually starting to root for them.

I had no problem with Don and Mary Jean simply asking the other teams for money. Yep, here's a couple, an affluent one that owns a vineyard, in Senegal with absolutley no money. I think it is a testament to the impact that the surroundings had on the other team that they all gave them money, too. And, I'll say it again, this season's racers didn't see last season (or most of it), so they had no basis for what to do with the "we're giving you no money, figure it out" rule.

Here's a question for all of you (although I'm probably the only one who lays awake at night thinking about these things): The teams caught the 9.30 AM ferry back to Dakar (and from the looks at the map, I don't think that would have taken any more than fifteen - thirty minutes). The flight that they all were on didn't leave until 7.15 PM. Why didn't anyone look for a better flight? Were there none to be had? I find it hard to believe that there's only one flight to Europe from Dakar a day. In fact, I know there's not. I miss my airport drama, although the little exchange with Hayden and Bolo re: Steroids was pretty funny, especially when they totally cracked up over it right afterwards. This is a strenuous race. People say stupid things, they get stressed out, so I didn't think that was all too bad.

Und jetzt, fliegen wir nach Berlin!

My favorite Boloism of the episode: Bolo trying to pantomime the Berlin wall to someone from Berlin who speaks perfect English in the train station. I'm giggling just thinking about it again.

Off to the Berling wall. Being a German speaker, and the daughter of my mother who lived in Germany for a while, and a huge WWII era history buff, I really loved the fact that Gus made the connection between the Wall and Dakar / Slavery as illustrations of the horrible things that people do to each other. I think sometimes that we, as first world westerners, tend to forget / ignore / overlook the atrocities (IRA, Holocaust, fascist Italy, etc.) that happen to countries that are similar to us (and by that I mean overall affluent, European descent, western) in an effort to distance ourselves from the horribleness of the world sometimes (African civil wars, Palestine/Israel, Tibet/China conflicts, etc.), and it takes a really humble person to be able to look around, make the connections, and say, "Wow. We all suck." Because, really, the only way to make sure that those things of the past don't happen again is to never forget. And that's the end of the lecture from this holocaust studier - comparative folklorist - postcolonial scholar. I promise that I will not be this serious again.

Oh, Hera, watching Adam and Rebecca and Freddy and Rebecca overshooting and then having to go back to the clue: "That is a perfect example of why running too fast can be bad". Love it. Just, totally, love it.

Which brings us to the detour. Gus, it sounded a lot like you said "Beer or Breasts"?! Maybe you didn't, but if you had gone to St. Pauli Girl, you probably would have gotten both!

Freddy, you don't know what a stein is? Seriously. You're a model that's traveled all over the world. Here are some for you to look at!

I loved the beer detour. Should be no surprise to anyone. Tomorrow I will try to upload some pictures of this great beer festival I stumbled upon when I was in Innsbruck. We were in the main square in Innsbruck and I saw these people in total traditional Austrian dress walking towards the bridge and I was like, "I think I want to be where they're going". So I followed them, and there was a half-mile stretch that was blocked off with long tables and beer taps all over the place, and a floor where people were polkaing! I asked what was going on, and they said "It's the St. [insert random Austrian sounding name] festival!" I answered that I was Catholic, and I didn't know what that day meant. "Well," they answered, "today is the day that in 1645 St. [insert random Austrian sounding name] stood on that hill over there and shot a gun. So, we drink and have fun."

I love German speaking countries. But seeing the accordian lady at the Brauhaus? Totally brought me back to that.

Aaron, we already know you used to live in Chicago. Stop saying "beers" like you're an SNL wannabe.

Hera, awesome for asking if people had seen the "black people" on the coasters. I laughed.

And Gus, one more time, you wanting to stop and have one or five? You rule. Plain and simple. That was great.

Rebecca, it would have been a little hard to squeeze Wienerschnitzel out of a tube.

I could make a lot of tasteless jokes about that detour option, but I won't. Besides, Bolo would have been able to tell us just how tasteless it was! I still can't believe he ate it!

A couple more random comments:

1. Seeing the human statue on a smoke break? Priceless. This is how I'm used to seeing them.
2. Phil, what was up with that shirt you were wearing? Did you borrow it from Jeff Probst?
3. What does Victoria's hat means? 1.618? Well, I googled it and found an answer. Too bad she's with Voldemort, because, besides from that whole "I'm a Playboy Bunny" thing, she could be kinda cool.

That's it for today!


POOL STANDINGS

Pools standings after week 5:

1. Karen 1945
2. Scott 1765
3. Mike 1710
4. Ani 1680
5. Jonathan 1670
6. Judy 1580
7. June 1400
8. Jan 1385
9. Jill 1255
10. Jay 1185
11. Samuel 1170
12. Caitlin 1090
13. Lee 1050
14. Stephanie 1045
15. Kristen 970
16. Curt 910
17. Chris 905
18. Eric 900
19. Jack 735
20. Kristin 680
21. Allegra 640
22. Ben 525
23. Dave 520
24. Bill 435
25. Boogie 360

Week 5 - BONUS ANSWER

This was a fun question for me, because I didn't know the answer myself! Thanks to all of you who told me that Lac Rose is pink because of the high concentration of micro-organisms and minerals in the water.

Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

This just makes me laugh

This is from the official AR6 website on CBS in their Photo Finish section. Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Dave's Spreadsheet!

Here's a link to Dave's spreadsheet so you can see how everything is being scored. It's an episode (or maybe two) behind because I haven't sent updates to Dave (which I'm doing right now). Enjoy!


Friday, December 10, 2004

Oooh, like I'm so scared Scott.

The Amazing Race is not the only Race to use Dakar/Lac Rose for its final leg (well, the final leg of the last episode). "Each year the world's bravest drivers come together to compete in the Paris-Dakar Rally, a grueling 7,000 mile trek across every imaginable terrain, from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, Africa. They do battle in trucks, cars, motorbikes and ATVs, all striving for the honor of being called the ultimate off-road champion." That's right Scott, motorbikes. Check out the action here and here.

Speaking of my motocross enthusiast brother-in-law, he's recently taken to leaving threatening messages on my voice mail. Apparently he thinks he's gaining on me in the AR6 pool and feels the need to rub it in. Bring it on Bro, bring it!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

POOL STANDINGS

Well, we're about 1/3 of the way through the race now. Here are the pool standings, along with how many and which teams people have left:

1. Karen 1575 (4 teams: Adam & Rebecca, Hayden & Aaron, Jonathan & Victoria, Kris & Jon)
2. Scott 1390 (4 teams: Freddy & Kendra, Jonathan & Victoria, Kris & Jon, Lori & Bolo)
3. Ami 1380 (4 teams: Gus & Hera, Jonthan & Victoria, Kris & Jon, Lori & Bolo)
4. Jonathan 1340 (4 teams: Adam & Rebecca, Freddy & Kendra, Kris & Jon, Lori & Bolo)
5. Mike 1305 (4 teams: Freddy & Kendra, Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron, Jonathan & Victoria)
6. Judy 1275 (4 teams: Adam & Rebecca, Freddy & Kendra, Hayden & Aaron, Lori & Bolo)
7. June 1120 (4 teams: Adam & Rebecca, Gus & Hera, Jonathan & Victoria, Lori & Bolo)
8. Jan 1105 (3 teams: Jonathan & Victoria, Kris & Jon, Lori & Bolo)
9. Jill 1035 (3 teams: Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron, Lori & Bolo)
10. Stephanie 965 (4 teams: Adam & Rebecca, Don & Mary Jean, Gus & Hera, Jonathan & Victoria)
11. Samuel 950 (3 teams: Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron, Lori & Bolo)
12. Caitlin 910 (3 teams: Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron, Lori & Bolo)
12. Jay 910 (3 teams: Freddy & Kendra, Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron)
13. Eric 880 (3 teams: Don & Mary Jean, Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron)
14. Lee 830 (3 teams: Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron, Lori & Bolo)
15. Jack 755 (3 teams: Don & Mary Jean, Gus & Hera, Hayden & Aaron)
15. Kristen 755 (3 teams: Freddy & Kendra, Hayden & Aaron, Lori & Bolo)
16. Curt 720 (3 teams: Adam & Rebecca, Gus & Hera, Lori & Bolo)
17. Chris 715 (2 teams: Hayden & Aaron, Kris & Jon)
18. Allegra 510 (2 teams: Gus & Hera, Kris & Jon)
19. Bill 455 (3 teams: Don & Mary Jean, Gus & Hera, Lori & Bolo)
20. Kristin 450 (2 teams: Gus & Hera, Jonathan & Victoria)
21. Ben 385 (2 teams: Gus & Hera, Lori & Bolo)
22. Dave 380 (2 teams: Gus & Hera, Lori & Bolo)
23. Boogie 260 (2 teams: Gus & Hera, Lori & Bolo)

It's still anybody's game. Seriously. It really is. I could go into all the analysis that's in my head right now, but as soon as I figure out how to get past the password blocker, I'll post Hart's website with the spreadsheet from heaven on it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Episode 4 - My thoughts

Maybe it's because I watched the episode twice last night, but it seems as if I've got a lot to say today!

While Still in Sweden...

Jonathan. Let's talk. You're in a race around the world. Where you, you know, run and stuff. Why would you pack a hat like that? I'm guessing this is the site where you bought it. Stars and fatigues are so out.

Hayden and Aaron, Kris & Jon, Gus & Hera and Jonathan & Victoria. At least you have learned your lessons about always checking the operation times for yourself. After watching this show for six seasons now as a die hard fan, last night was the first time it occurred to me that, maybe, the race producers set their own operation times for things so that they aren't always filming at major tourist spots while major tourists are around, you know? The local (I watched closley, and I think that the two sets of teams talked to the same person, but maybe not) may indeed have been correct about telling you the tower opened at 10.00 AM, but the "hours of operations" sign clearly was placed there by the race peeps--it was in English, after all!

Off to Senegal...
This is the time when I get to tell a little story. When I was a freshman at Concordia I went on this literature seminar to Ireland & Wales & France & England, and one of the other people on the trip was this total midwestern Norwegian Lutheran named Pauline Nygaard--except she grew up in Dakar because her parents are missionaries. I kind of stumbled into this storytelling gathering in this pub in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, and ended up telling stories with these "real" Welsh storytellers. When we left, Pauline turned to me and said, "That was just like watching Jesus in the temple with all the elders!" That was the first (and I'm sure last) time I will ever be compared to Jesus. And it came from a kid who had grown up a missionary. And that's my Senegal connection.

This was the fourth episode in, and the first real airport scramble (they all ended up on the same flight from Paris, but whatever). Jonathan is not allowed to say things like "we're going to strike fear in the other teams" while wearing the aforementioned hat ever, ever again. And he's also not allowed to say "we need to get to Dakar, Africa". Totally chanelling the Twinkies.

Bolo rules because he says things like "we gotta find someone to sell us a ticket". Yep. That's what you usually do in an airport.

And upon arrival in Senegal, we got an actual clue! Like the good ol' days. And I think this is quite possibly the first literary one we've had. Yea, Senghor!

I loved this next sequence of all the teams trying to a) figure out who wrote the poem and b) where he's buried and c) trying to get there. I'll share my highlights:

Jonthan and Victoria. According to her bio, Victoria speaks four languages, one of which is French. I don't know why Jonathan insisted on finding an English-speaking local, but the Jonathan: "Fast, fast" Victoria: "Vite, Vite" Jonathan" Beep, Beep!" dialogue was priceless.

Don & Mary Jean. Getting a flat tire sucks. Just ask the pizza brothers. But seeing you guys lift the car was awesome. As well as "Finger of fate has diddled us". I'm not sure what "diddle" means, but according to dictionary.com it means "to cheat, swindle". I guess that would make sense.

Bolo--if the person you're talking to doesn't understand English very well, it's not going to help by saying "He died in the cemetary". Personally, I think he's just dead in the cemetary. Same for you, Jon. The last time I checked, it wasn't the "cemetary where the author resides".

Lots of teams complained about Senegal when they first got there. That's not really a surprise, as they're coming from Scandanavia, so I'll let it go. But I did find Adam's "this is the most [insert derogatory adjective here, I don't remember what he said] place I've ever been" very funny, seeing as how, according to his bio, a long trip is going from San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica.

Kris, we like you. You think that Senegal is enlightening. And you meant it! Not like Colin!

And onto the detour...
It's time for my second story of the recap. I totally felt for Don and Hera getting sick on those boats. When I was living in Ireland I was headed out to Inish Oirr for the weekend, and it was a really small boat. And the water was really rough--in fact, the captain apologized to us afterwards because if he had known it was going to be that rough, we wouldn't have sailed. And an 88 year old woman who had lived on that island her whole life told me she'd never seen the water that bad. And this is from the same island group that "Riders to the Sea" is about. What should have been a 45 minute jaunt turned into an hour and a half of pure hell where I and three Germans stood on the back of the ship, hanging on to this metal pole above our head with the circumference of a Folger's Coffee Can, and puking straight down because, we were warned, had we gone any closer to the edge of the boat we would have been tossed over.

So Don, Hera, I understand.

Mary Jean, you can tell that you and Don have been married for forty years when you get to the detour that says "catch fish" or "stack fish", and you say "I'm feeling like the fish", and he knows what you mean. But, Mary Jean? Andele isn't French. Or Wolof. And I'm not sure you can tell a fishing boat in rough water to andele anyways.

And we move on to the roadblock...

Freddy, culprit of African Transport Gate not #1, not #2, but #3. Yes, it's very uncomfortable to see Freddy and Kendra acting this way to their cab driver, as the viewing public goes, "dude, didn't they see what happened to Colin last time?" But that's the thing--they didn't. This race started being run on August 13th, and the Colin / taxigate episode didn't air until August 24th. Which means they really didn't see it, and had no idea they were doing the exact same thing. So, ergo, I give them a little bit of wiggle-room.

Kris totally kick ass on this roadblock, but you know why it was? She was the only one who was smart enough to carry the bucket under the water, where it would be lighter. I don't know why anyone else didn't do that. And Jon was just so cute admiring Kris doing the task. I hope those two do well (of course, my pool picks consist now only of Kris and Jon and Gus and Hera. One of these teams is not like the other...).

One more thought. This is the earliest a non-elimination leg has ever been.

I'm not sure how I feel about this trend of more and more non-elim legs and the non-elims coming earlier and earlier, but I was glad to see Don and Mary Jean stick around!

That's it for today, folks. I will post pool scores tomorrow!

WEEK FIVE - BONUS

Okay, here's next week's question:

In this week's episode they went to Lac Rose outside Dakar. Why is Lac Rose pink?

WEEK FOUR BONUS - ANSWER

Thanks to most of you who got your bonus answers in! The answer:

Abba got their big break in 1974 in the Eurovision Song Contest singing "Waterloo".

I love Eurovision. It's like American Idol on crack. I have the soundtrack from the 2001 competition, including my favorite Turkish boy band singing "2 Much". And if you haven't heard Stephan Raeuber's "Wadde Hadde Dudde Da", you haven't lived.

A HAIKU

Don to his wife, "Once
again the Fickle Finger
of Fate diddled us!"

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Hay Bale Game

A fun little game!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Episode Three - My Thoughts

Well, I admit it. I'm sad to see the smurfs go. It's not like they were Marshall and Lance and gave up, you know? So far I've resisted the urge to breakout my Ole and Lena jokes. But no longer.

Ole and Lena were having Lars and Inge over for dinner. Lena was making lefse, and she knew that Lars liked plenty of pepper on his lefse. She searched all through the cupboards for pepper but couldn't find any--but she did find a large, unmarked container of black powder way in the back, so she put it on the table.
The four of them had a great dinner, and Lars ate plenty of lefse. When Lena was cleaning up the next morning, she realized that it wasn't pepper Lars had put on his lefse, but GUNPOWDER. She called Lars to tell him what happened.
"Hey Lars? I've got some pretty bad news. That wasn't pepper you were eating, ya know. It was gunpowder."
There was a long pause on the other end, and then Lars said, "Well Lena, thanks for telling me. I was a little worried because when I got home last night I bent over to untie my shoe and accidentally shot the cat!"

Okay, back on topic.

Plain and simple: I want to go to the ice bar. They should have one at the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

Ikea: I love Ikea. I just went for the first time a couple weeks ago. I'm not a big shopper, but I any store that has a restaurant halfway through where you can get a plate of 15 swedish meatballs, 2 red boiled potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry sauce for $4.99! And they have lingonberry juice on tap, too! And some cool furniture. Like the couch we're getting.

Detour: Count vs. Build. I would have built. But that's me speaking with years and years of LEGO experience (except I started to build them when they looked like this). Except, I've had plenty of experience with the whole counting until you start sweating and dream in numbers as well. Does 40, 000 Fringe buttons separated into bags of 100 ring a bell with anyone else (couldn't link to the picture: scroll down to the 8/4 slide show. First picture. That's me and all of the boxes of buttons. And this is what I looked like after I was done)?!

There's a debate going on as to whether it was Aaron or an Ikea employee who told Jonathan to shut up. I hope it was the employee. Find that man and give him a RAISE.

Tandem bikes are hard. I do not envy any of the teams trying to ride those bikes.

And then we reach the roadblock of disaster. If I remember correctly, Phil said that of the 250 some hay things, twenty of them had clues in them. When Lena and Kristy got done at the end, she said there were "two or three more" she could try. But only eight clues were gone at that point. Does that mean that she, possible, had rolled 12 clues already and couldn't see them? See, the more I think about this the more sad I get. . But like Miss Alli said in the recaplet posted today, I would have been sad to see any of the last three teams go. Which speaks well for this batch of racers. Go casting directors!

Bolo: Didn't you ever watch Sesame Street? The last time I checked, 70 came after 69, not 82.

Mary Jean: I truly hope that the shot of you without your feet on the pedals after Don said "we've got to pedal like we've never pedaled before" was some creative editing. In any event, it was funny.

Gus: You are growing on me after you went way down with your little snow bath in episode one. But, seriously, where's Jack Bristow when you need him? Jack and Sydney Bristow as a team on this race? They would totally go all Rambaldi on your ass.

I, um, think that's it for now. Not quite sure how my thoughts got so off topic on this recap, but I hope y'all enjoyed it all the same. Now I'm going to go and fight the question of the evening: grade Hamlet papers, or watch Wife Swap?





Episode Four - Bonus Question

Eight teams are left and are now in Sweden. When I think of Sweden, I think of ABBA.

Name the song competition in which ABBA got its big break (along with the year of their big break and the song they performed).

Answers, as always, are due to me by 4 pm on Tuesday!

Answer to Week 3 Bonus Question

Thanks to everyone who answered the bonus question!

The correct answer is Kurt Nilsen (and just look at the little Norwegian cutey!), and his debut album is I. But if you found any of his albums or his single, I gave you points. :)

Episode Standings - Places and Points

Here's the boring post of the day:

Team Standings - Episode Three
1. Hayden & Aaron (120)
2. Kris & Jon (150)
3. Gus & Hera (80)
4. Jonathan & Victoria (70)
5. Adam & Rebecca (70)
6. Freddy & Kendra (40)
7. Lori & Bolo (30)
8. Don & Mary Jean (0)

Pools Standings - Episode Three
1. Karen 1195
2. Ami 985
3. Mike 980
4. Scott 975
5. Judy 970
6. Jonathan 960
7. Jill 815
8. Jay 760
9. Jan, June 750
10. Eric 740
11. Caitlin, Samuel 730
12. Stephanie 715
13. Lee 650
14. Jack 615
15. Chris 575
16. Kristen 555
17. Curt 485
18. Allegra 380
19. Bill 315
20. Ben 255
21. Kristin B 235
22. Dave 210
23. Boogie 130

SMURF: THE ROCK OPERA???

Ok, so inspired by Allegra - here is my dream cast for

SMURF! The Rock Opera!

Actor Smurf - Rupert Everett

Architect Smurf - he designed those cute little mushroom houses.
(Paul from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition)

Baby Smurf - the baby Smurf.
(Maggie Simpson)

Barber Smurf - he cut the Smurf's hair... although only Smurfette had hair.
(Kyan - Queer Eye)

Brainy Smurf - wore glasses & annoyed everyone because he thought he knew everything.(Hayden Christiansen "character from Shattered Glass")

Doctor Smurf - the doctor Smurf.
(Jack from LOST)

Handy Smurf -
TY PENINGTON ( EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION)

Miner Smurf - wore a hard hat with a light.
(Ewan MacGregor from Brassed Off)

Papa Smurf - leader of the Smurfs.
MICHAEL MOORE.

Smurfette -
Janene Garafalo, although Hollywood would probably cast Paris Hilton!

Tailor Smurf -
Carsen (Queer Eye)

Timber Smurf - the lumberjack Smurf.
(They boys from Monty Python!)

Vanity Smurf -
The cast of Manhunt, America's Search for the Most Gorgeous Male Model.

Later on, four Smurflings were introduced: THE CAST OF THE OC!

Thoughts, comments...I missed a few smurfs, but this got long!

Cheers...see ya at the premiere!