Thursday, April 29, 2010

She Had It Coming!

Tonight’s episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains had my head spinning. I was never quite sure what was going on. My view on a few different things changed during the show. Just when I thought that I couldn’t despise a castaway more than Sandra, I was swayed in a matter of minutes. I also flip-flopped back and forth all night long trying to figure out who was going to be the next one sent home. But in the end, I finally realized one thing. She had it coming.

Okay first of all, let’s get my strong dislike for Sandra out of the way. It’s not only that she absolutely sucks at challenges, has no redeeming social qualities and is totally useless. The fact is that she is guilty on all three counts.

No, the cherry on the sundae with Sandra is the way she speaks. The woman makes Rosie Perez sound like Eliza Doolittle after Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering had worked their magic on her in My Fair Lady.

Let’s see if you can decipher this little pearl that Sandra gave us when talking to the hunky Colby Donaldson.

“If day dunt steek wit chew, day eez nuts.”

I will supply you with the English version later in the blog.

Just when I thought that I couldn’t possibly loathe anyone more than Sandra, the jury showed up at Tribal Council. But it wasn’t the delusional Coach or the dimwitted J.T. that made me forget just how sickening Sandra was.

That dubious distinction went to none other than the emaciated Courtney, otherwise known as Skeletor. The woman was either stoned or drunk on her ass. Maybe both. She made one stupid comment after the other. She was so annoying that FSG Auntie Janet even mentioned it during our post Survivor phone confab.

She reminded me of that stupid kid in school who made wisecracks under their breath the whole time the teacher was speaking. When Jeff Probst announced that he would tally the votes, Skeletor whispered, “You do that!” Too bad Shambo wasn’t around. She would have bitch-slapped her.

The other thing that had me going in circles was who was going to be eliminated. For a brief moment I was convinced that this was going to be the week that Hall-of-Famer Russell Hantz would get the heave-ho. I was preparing to hear FSG Jamie shouting in glee.

Then everything went topsy-turvy and I wasn’t sure who it was going to be. Would it be the diabolical Parvati? Could it be the doe-eyed Amanduh? Maybe would throw a curveball at us and eliminate someone that wasn’t even discussed. I was so confused.

In the end, Amanduh, with tears welling up in those doe-eyes, was told that the tribe had spoken and she would be sitting on the jury with Coach, J.T. and Skeletor. And you know what? She had it coming.

Earlier in the show, Amanduh, the hunky Colby Donaldson and the surgically enhanced Danielle had won a Reward Challenge. Their reward was to lie in Robert Louis Stevenson’s bed while watching Treasure Island and eating popcorn.

Lo and behold, Danielle discovered a clue for a Hidden Immunity Idol in the bowl of popcorn. She attempted to hide it from the other two, but Amanduh saw it and wrestled it away from her.

At first I thought we were going to be treated to a good old-fashioned catfight, complete with bikinis. Unfortunately, no such luck. All we got was Danielle whining to Colby that Amanduh wouldn’t give her the clue back. Something about it not being fair.

Then Amanduh did the unthinkable. She stomped her foot down on Robert Louis Stevenson’s bedroom carpet, stuck her bottom lip out and gave it back to Danielle. All because Colby said she should. You see? She had it coming!

That’s it for this week. I think that I finally have everything sorted out. Oh ya, I promised to decipher Sandra’s phrase for you. What she was making an effort to say was, “If they don’t stick with you, they is nuts.” Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Singing In The Rain

Today is a perfect day for writing. It's Saturday, it's raining and the Brewers do not play until 6 o'clock tonight. Yes, all the ingredients for a great day of writing. So that's what I am going to do! Thing is, I won't be writing a blog today. I really need to do some writing for my book.

Rather than neglect the blog altogether, I decided to take a few more pictures when I went out to get breakfast. I know that my fellow Kenoshans have been to "Pets" thousands of times. Therefore, these are intended for my friends from Britain and the others that aren't from our fair city.

A Big Red Wooden Sign

A Pair Of Big Red Wooden Rails

A Lady Walking Her Pair Of Pooches

A Gazebo Hiding In The Trees

A Playground With No Little Kids Playing

A Golf Course With No Big Kids Playing

That's it for my rainy pictorial tour of Petrifying Springs. I really think that my captions captured the essence of these pictures, don't you? I bet that you feel as if you were there! Time to write. Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Google It!

In the opening segment of the very first episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Russell “the Hall-of-Famer” Hantz made the following declaration, “Villains are smarter than Heroes. It’s a proven fact. Google it!” That statement, for at least the fifth or sixth time this season, proved prophetic again this evening. The surprising thing is, the Villain outsmarting the Heroes wasn’t the Hall-of-Famer. Tonight, the person doing the outsmarting was none other than Parvati, the evil Queen of the Villains.

And in doing so, she even outsmarted the evil King of the Villains, the Hall-of-Famer!

At Tribal Council, prior to award-winning Jeff Probst reading the votes, the Good Guys waited with baited breath for Parvati to use the Hidden Immunity Idol. If she did indeed use it, it would expose the Hall-of-Famer as the rat everyone (except for J.T. the dolt) knows he is.

I believe that it was Rupert who said, “We plan on ousting Russell for the weasel that he is!” Well Rupert, I got news for you, there’s a new weasel in town, and her name is Parvati.

When Parvati stood up and pulled out the Hidden Immunity Idol, the Heroes looked pleased as punch. That look was quickly wiped off of their collective face when she turned and handed it to Sandra. Not only were the Heroes shocked, so was the Hall-of-Famer. In fact, even Sandra had a look of disbelief on her face.

Pretty good stuff, eh? Well, you hadn’t seen anything yet. What Parvati did next was unbelievable. No, what she did next was EPIC!

After presenting the Hidden Immunity Idol to the astonished Sandra, she promptly announced to everyone present, “And to increase our chances, I want to give this to Jerri.” With that she produced a second Hidden Immunity Idol and gave it to a wide-eyed Jerri.

The jaws of the Heroes dropped in unison. J.T. sheepishly squeaked out an, “Oh shit”, that was barely audible, while the Hall-of-Famer uttered to no one in particular, “Someone has got some explaining to do.”

What this epic move meant was that any votes cast for Sandra or Jerri would not count. And you will never guess who the moronic J.T. and every one of his band of Good Guy geniuses voted for. That’s right, Jerri!

So it was only fitting that Heroes “mastermind” J.T. received the other five votes and was told by Probst that he was the eleventh person voted off of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. The tribe had definitely spoken.

Well class, what did we learn tonight? We learned that the Hall-of-Famer has competition for being the most despicable scoundrel in Survivor history. We also learned that Parvati, although is a snarky, self-centered, attention craving bitch, she knows how to play the game of Survivor. And most importantly, we learned that Villains are smarter than Heroes. And it’s a proven fact. Don’t believe me? Google it!

Until next time…from the booth.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Picture is Worth…

Recently I have been spending quite a bit of time writing and gathering information for my upcoming book, From The Booth…Some Kenosha Softball. So I have decided rather than write a blog, I will post some pictures that I took today while riding along our lakefront. The pics will give my friends in Michigan and England an idea what Kenosha looks like. I think it was Judi from the UP that called my fair city a "drunken little fishing town."

Some Sand, a Pier and a Pair of Lighthouses

A Goose Going For a Walk

Our Band Shell

A Statue of Some Famous Guy

The Lighthouses From a Different Angle

Well that's it for show 'n' tell today. Please don't ask me who the statue is supposed to be. And Bev, that's a Band shell, not a Bombshell. I will be back with a Survivor update on Thursday. Until then…from the booth.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Huh? I’m Confused…

Typically before I start writing my Survivor recap, I pick an angle or a slant on what happened in that particular episode. Something always seems to jump out at me, there is always a quote or a move by one of the castaways that gave me something to run with. On the rare occasion that nothing stands out, my 7:55 p.m. phone call to FSG Auntie Janet would steer me in the right direction. Not tonight. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. I was left with one big question – "Huh?"

Don’t get me wrong, I was entertained and amused by tonight’s episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. But I was also left scratching my ample head and left with a boatload of questions.

Questions like: How could Sandra ruin a perfectly good Outback Steakhouse commercial by calling the bartender, “Homey” when asking for a second margarita? I realize the commercial was thinly veiled as the reward from the challenge, but “Homey”? Please.

Another question: Where did J.T. get the ink pen and writing pad? And, more importantly, who taught him how to write? It was at this point I was beginning to get confused.

Question number 3: Why were the Heroes so happy that they had given Russell the Hall-of-Famer their Hidden Immunity Idol? They only thing that was clear was that Rupert was laughing like a drunken pirate because he probably heard J.T. the simpleton say, “Serves the damn Villains right!”

When I heard that I just said, “Huh?”

One minor question: How in the world was Skeletor (Courtney) carrying that coconut with one hand? It weighed more than she did and it was bigger than her head for crying out loud!

Serious question number 5: Is it just me, or are Amanda and Candice the only Heroes that even remotely have a clue? They were the only ones on that side of the “island” that were even questioning that there might not be an all-female alliance in the Villains camp.

Final question: How could Parvati, Danielle, Sandra, Jerri, Skeletor and even the Hall-of-Famer allow Coach to steal the show at Tribal Council without even uttering a word? My man was looking fine in his silk Kimono sitting on the jury doing his best Steven Seagal. Coach was styling and profiling.

The only thing that was clear tonight was that Skeletor was eliminated from the Villains tribe, thus evening the numbers at five a side. But she even made that weird when, as she was leaving, she looked over her boney shoulder and said with a smile, “Good bye bitches! See ya later!”

Again I said, “Huh?”

So, even with all of the uncertainty, I still look forward to next week when the pinheaded Heroes will discover that the Hall-of-Famer did not use their gift as instructed. Heck, there might even be a merge. Who knows? I do have one suggestion for producer Mark Burnett, change the name of this season to Survivor: Morons vs. Cretins. It is more appropriate.

Until next time…from the booth.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Significance of Friends

I just got finished talking with an old friend of mine that I hadn’t spoken with in quite some time. Typically, every six months or so, I give him a call and we catch up on what has happened since the last time we spoke. After that we start reminiscing about the good old softball days. Based on what had taken place this past weekend, I knew that tonight was the time to call this friend. The rollercoaster of events had reminded me just how wonderful friends are and how important it is not to take them for granted.

Saturday afternoon I had received a phone call from another longtime friend that I hadn’t heard from in several years. In the past this friend and I have worked together, played softball together and even shared an apartment for a year. He now lives in Alabama. The reason for the call was because I had asked his sister for some information for my book.

Since her brother could better supply me with the details I was looking for, she decided to get a hold of him and have him call me. And he did just that. I immediately received the information that I was looking for. Then for the next 78 minutes we spoke about everything from family to sports to politics. But the most important thing was that we were talking again after all these years.

Later that night, about 10:30, his sister messaged me on facebook to see if he had called me. I told her to phone me and when she did, she laughed when I told her that we had talked for an hour and twenty minutes. After a short chat, I hung up and decided to get ready to go to bed.

Just as I was about to shut off the MacBook, I received an email from another friend telling me that a mutual friend of ours was in the hospital, having had at least one heart attack. I was devastated. They both live in Michigan and right then I felt a million miles away. After some prayers, I finally drifted off into a restless sleep.

The next day I was able to talk with my Michigan friend and she sounded wonderful! Her daughter sent an email and it sounds like she will be home later this week. After a visit from my brother and his wife, I then spent the rest of Sunday working on my book.

Working on the book gave me reason to call two friends that I had made while attending Gateway. One was a fellow student, while the other was an instructor. Both became friends that I have stayed in touch with over the years and both gave me some helpful advice.

All of this made me realize how truly blessed I was to have so many friends. It even brought to mind that old Girl Scout song with the lyrics: “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other is gold.”

When I was much younger, I thought that the song was silly and I would make fun of it. Not any more. It’s not funny or silly. It’s spot on and makes total sense. Friends should be treasured like silver and gold.

In recent years, I have made many new friends via the internet, whether it be on facebook or through my blog, I have many new wonderful friends all over the United States. I have also made some very special friends across the ocean in England to go along with those I made in America. And they are all treasured.

In the song, Friend is a Friend, Pete Townshend writes, “A friend is a friend. Nothing can change that. Arguments, squabbles, can't break the contract.” More words that should be taken to heart. Over time, you will certainly have some friends that will drift away for one reason or another. It just happens.

But you should continue to value these friendships, because they haven’t really ended. I cannot even begin to count the numerous friendships that have been rekindled for me over the past five years. And I am so very thankful for each and every one of them.

No matter where your friends might be, cherish and appreciate them. Talk to them whenever you get the chance and whatever you do, don’t take them for granted. Make them aware just how important they are to you, because you never know when they might be taken from you. I know, because I lost my best friend on February 3rd.

Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

They Can Do It!

It pains me to say this, but, tonight’s recap of tonight’s episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains will be short and sweet. The reason for this is because that is exactly what the winner of the 20th season should be - “short and sweet”. And no, I am not talking about the Hall-of-Famer Russell. He might be short, but he damn sure ain’t sweet. Tonight it became blatantly obvious that the seven remaining women have the numbers and, more importantly, the ability to take control of the game. They can do it!

As much as I am pulling for the Hall-of-Famer, a part of me would love to see the ladies take over. They would be stupid not to. At Tribal Council, Coach became the ninth castaway sent home and at the same time, the first member of the jury. This left the Heroes with three men and two women, while the Villains have five females and the Hall-of-Famer as the lone male.

With the much awaited merge looming in the not-so far distance, the fairer sex must unite as soon as it happens. Five of the seven ladies are dynamic players who have recently shown that they can take charge of a situation. The other two are pathetic and are dead weight.

Amanda and Candice were the only Heroes that realized what a little dirt bag J.T. has become. I think Candice referred to him as the “slimiest guy in the game”. They are both observant, can contribute in challenges and most importantly, trust no one.

On the Villains side of the island, the results are a little more mixed. Parvati, Jerri and Danielle are all evil geniuses in their own right. All three have engineered many a blindside during their seasons on Survivor. Plus, as an added bonus, each of them are accomplished backstabbers.

The remaining two “Villainesses” are of no use to anyone, male or female. Courtney, aka Skeletor and Sandra possess absolutely no athletic ability and therefore have little value in the challenges. Skeletor is so fragile that you fear for her well being. I also realize that Sandra is a former winner, but that was a dozen seasons ago. Additionally they are both accomplished whiners and extremely annoying.

The only thing that could possibly prevent the women from being in the driver’s seat the rest of the way is personalities. The Hero chicks don’t care for the Bad Girls. Jerri and Parvati can’t stand each other. Nobody can stand Skeletor and Sandra hates everyone!

If you don’t think the women can do it, please consider this. For the first time since he’s been on Survivor, the Hall-of-Famer did not vote for the person sent home at Tribal Council. That’s right, he, along with Coach and Jerri, voted for Courtney. While Danielle, Courtney, Sandra and Parvati all voted for and eliminated Coach. And you can Google that FSG Jamie.

That’s my blog for tonight. Short and sweet, just like this season’s winner should be. They can do it! Now, I have to wait for next week and I just know it’s going to be epic. Until next time…from the booth.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Just over three years ago I came up with the idea of writing a book celebrating the history of slow-pitch softball in Kenosha. After presenting my idea to Pat Hegewald on his Instant Replay sports talk show on WLIP, I developed a game plan that I put into action in January of 2007. I mailed letters to 30 well-known teams, sent emails to another 20 noted teams, distributed a couple dozen flyers and even put a piece in the Kenosha News seeking information. The total response to all of this? A total of 9 teams got back to me and one of those was Hegewald’s team!

With such a meager result, things obviously slowed down. I would like to have heard from at least 20 teams. This less than overwhelming response discouraged me and at that point I was grasping at straws. I needed new ideas. Unfortunately, try as I might, nothing was working and early in 2008 I put the book project on hold.

Later that same year, still smitten with the writing bug, I started this blog and have been writing ever since. And it’s a good thing that I have! In between my riveting Survivor recaps, I began writing stories about past personal experiences in various areas, including events involving Kenosha softball.

My collection of softball stories began to grow and along with it, I was urged to write a book by several facebook friends, with Judi and Sue prodding the hardest. Armed with a dozen stories and the 9 responses from teams that I had received earlier, I got the itch to give it a try. But, I really wasn’t sure how to go about actually creating the book.

Then it happened! Through this blog and a fondness for Charles Nelson Reilly, I came across a wonderful blog called My Good Babushka. I became a follower of the blog and came to be a facebook friend of its “author” Julie. But wait, it gets even better. Julie has just written a book and did so using a website called Blurb! I went to this site to check and check it out.

I messed around with the Blurb software and figured out how much it would cost me and have decided to write my book about the history of Kenosha slow-pitch softball. But I still need help! That’s where you come in.

If any of you have played for a team that you would like to see included in the book, please email me at with the information. Send the name of the team, the sponsor, the years the team played together, highlights or accomplishments and a roster. If you have a short interesting story about your team, include that as well.

In one of the sections of the book, I plan on paying tribute to former players, managers and sponsors that have passed on. Please send me the names of any that you know of. Although I have assembled a considerable list, I would hate to leave somebody out.

Finally, to those of you that have had any experience writing a book, I would welcome any suggestions or tips that you could give me. This is my first attempt at this and would appreciate your help.

Thanks in advance for the help that I know will be forthcoming. Whether it is team information, the names of those that have passed or help with the writing aspect of the book, it will all be greatly appreciated.

By the way, if you get the chance, please check out the My Good Babushka blog, it is rather unique. Who knows, you may even buy Julie’s book! Until next time…from the booth

Thursday, April 1, 2010

He Was Right!

Tonight’s episode of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains was epic. Both of the challenges were great. There was the usual backstabbing and deceiving, as well as many of the castaways stereotyping themselves and becoming caricatures. Several times I found myself writing my notes in text-ese using LOL and OMG. Then finally, I was actually “laughing out loud” and shouting out “Oh my God”. At Tribal Council, the award-winning Jeff Probst had to do very little prodding or muckraking. The Villains were on fire and the verbal barbs were flying! To top it all off, Boston Rob made a bold statement, which proved to be quite prophetic.

I am going to cut right to the chase, after a heated exchange with the Hall-of-Famer Russell, Boston Rob looked him straight in the eye and said, “and it’s either you or me tonight.” And he was right and was told by Probst, “With four votes, the eighth person votes off is Boston Rob.”

The tribe had indeed spoken and Am-Bah’s husband was sent packing. But not before he avoided Coach’s embrace and told him that he was a little man. I have never been a fan of Boston Rob, but I am truly sad to see him go. He always provided for great theater.

With Boston Rob’s dismissal, we are left with twelve people competing for the $1,000,000 first prize. There are seven Villains and five Heroes remaining, made up of seven ladies and five guys.

With the merge looming in the not-so-far distance, here is how I rank the final twelve. Please keep in mind; this is how I want them to finish, not how I think they will finish.

1. Russell. I am sorry FSG Auntie Janet, but this guy is the best. He is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. He was born to play Survivor.

2. Rupert. I can’t help but pull for the big hairy galoot. As popular as he is, I still think he is somewhat of a tortured soul.

3. Amanda. This time I must apologize to FSG Jamie. But hey, I can’t help it; she fills out her bathing suit very nicely.

4. JT. I don’t know why, maybe because it’s he says “y’all” just like James used to.

5. Colby. Previously he would have never have been this high on my list. But tonight he finally grew a set and became the Colby from season two that I enjoyed so much.

6. Parvati. I couldn’t stand her on her first two seasons on Survivor. Now I can tolerate her because she is bright enough to align herself with the Hall-of-Famer.

7. Coach. Okay, he is a pompous, self-righteous, sanctimonious ass, but he was the only one with enough sense to realize that Courtney was the Villain that should have been eliminated.

8. Jerri. I have never cared for that her much in the past, but this season we are seeing her emotional side. Maybe that has been her problem in the past, she can’t let things go.

9. Danielle. Wake me up when she does anything worth noticing. It hasn’t happened yet.

10. Candice. She is the Heroes version of Danielle. Zzzzzz……

11. and 12. Courtney and Sandra. It had to be a tie, I just can’t get the image of Skeletor playing with the Rosie Perez wannabe’s hair on the beach. It reminded me of two monkeys in the zoo picking at each other.

Like I said before, the merge is right around the corner, which will make things very interesting. If the ladies were smart the would form an alliance, otherwise Russell will run roughshod. Until next time…from the booth.