Monday, April 30, 2012

Who Wants Pizza?

If the headline didn’t pique your interest, I’m sure the scrumptious photo did. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy pizza? Personally, I can’t think of a single person I know that doesn’t like pizza. Granted, some of us relish a delicious pie more than others, but I have never heard anyone say anything negative about this culinary delight. That would be heresy.

After all, pizza is like sex. Even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.

Based on the premise that all pizzas are at least pretty good, there are some better than others. And everyone has an opinion on whose pizzeria makes the best pie. Ask a group of people and you will get at an abundance of assorted responses. Plus, a lot of hemming and hawing to go along with those responses.

When I posted “Best Pizzeria in Kenosha” Friday afternoon, the initial response was quite brisk and varied. I didn’t have to elaborate or set parameters, people immediately began casting votes.

For those interested in the details, the poll consists of my top ten pizzerias in Kenosha. I had to draw the line somewhere, that’s why there are only ten. Reluctantly, I had to leave off fine establishments like Tenuta’s, Rosati’s and Rocky Rococo’s.

Looking back, I should have put Rocky’s in my top ten instead of Renzo’s. The only reason Renzo’s made the list is because they make the best pizza turnovers in Kenosha. I know, technically a turnover isn’t a pizza, but they are soooo good. And, besides, it’s my poll.

Other local pizza joints that did not garner a spot on my poll were Frankie D’s, Antonio's, Toppers, Little Caesars, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Nick-N-Willy’s, Slice of NY Pizzeria, Papa John’s and Papa Murphy’s.

Some of these didn’t make it because I have never tried them and others because I had tried them. Enough said.

One pizzeria that didn’t make my list because I have not tried their pizza yet is Luisa’s Pizza. Located in Salem, Wisconsin, according to a 2011 Kenosha News poll, Luisa’s has the “Best Pizza West of the I”.

The only reason I haven’t tried their pizza yet is because of its location. Unfortunately, I don’t travel so well these days and Luisa’s is located at the corner of Hwy 50 & 317th Avenue in Salem.

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Luisa’s and some day, some how, some way, I will try their pizza. That pledge goes out to my facebook friend Paul De Luisa, the owner/operator.

A couple other restaurants that would have made the poll had they been in Kenosha are situated right over the state line in Illinois. They are Pizza House on Sheridan Road in Zion and Quonset Hut on Grand Avenue in Waukegan.

Pizza House was a favorite haunt of mine during my halcyon days while working at American Air Filter in Zion. Whether it was something for lunch or a pie picked up on the way home, I was never disappointed. The double-decker from Pizza House was good for a minimum of two meals, even for a veteran connoisseur like me.

The Quonset Hut was a popular place to go after a Kenosha Flyers hockey game played across the border in the land of Lincoln. The pizza and Italian bombers were top-notch and it didn’t hurt that they served me beer when I was only 17. Hey, don’t blame them; I was big for my age.

While we are still in Illinois, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the iconic pizzerias there. Places like Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, Pizzeria Uno, Connie’s, Gino’s East, Aurelio’s, Home Run Inn and Edwardo’s come to mind.

So far, I haven’t had the pleasure of sampling the much-ballyhooed fare from any of these restaurants. Lou Malnati’s offers mail order pizzas that are partially baked, flash frozen, ready to be baked and eaten. I was tempted to order a pie from Lou’s, but the price quickly quelled my desire to place an order. $57.99 for two 9” deep-dish pizzas is a bit costly, even for a pizza devotee like me.

Speaking of cost, I did some research on how much a 16” cheese and sausage pizza costs from each of the ten pizzerias in the poll. The price includes delivery. This list goes from priciest to the least expensive.

Jimano’s - $20.90
Casa Capri - $18.77
Carl’s - $18.30
DeRango’s - $18.10
Infusino’s - $17.75
Valeo’s - $17.20
Pa’s - $16.50
Luigi’s - $15.50
*Renzo’s - $15.00
*Ruffolo’s - $14.19

* - Delivery Not Available

While I am making lists, here is how I personally rank the ten pizzerias in the poll:

1. Pa’s
2. Luigi’s
3. Jimano’s
4. Casa Capri
5. DeRango’s
6. Carl’s
7. Infusino’s
8. Valeo’s
9. Ruffolo’s
10. Renzo’s

Based on the latest poll results, not everyone agrees with my tastes. Like I said earlier, if you ask a group of people what their favorite pizzeria is, you will get a multitude of answers.

Here are the current poll results as I write this on Sunday night:

Carl’s – 30%
Casa Capri – 13%
Pa’s – 13%
Valeo’s – 13%
Luigi’s - 8%
DeRango’s - 4%
Infusino’s - 4%
Jimano’s - 4%
Renzo’s - 4%
Ruffolo’s - 4%

Surprised by the results? I must admit there are a few eye-openers, but there is still plenty of time to vote so things could change. If you haven’t already voted, make sure that you do. Tell your friends! Jump on the poll now! It’s located directly under the Blog Archive on the right side of this page. Let’s see which Kenosha pizzeria people think is best.

Until next time…from the booth.

Friday, April 27, 2012

This ‘n’ That… Again

Once again I have decided to write about a few things that have been bouncing around inside my ginormous head. Just some random thoughts, a little of this ‘n’ that. First, “This” - What’s with all the nicknames in sports? Nice question coming from a guy nicknamed “Puddles” while working at Koos Inc. When I became involved in softball, managing the legendary 400 Club, the name stuck. I was in good company though, because heaven only knows the number of other nicknames that are hung on softball players.

Maybe it was a testosterone thing, but it seemed like everybody had a nickname back in the day. Sure there was vanilla ones like Richie or Reggie, but there were many with considerably more style and panache.

Here are some of the more colorful nicknames from the Golden Age of Kenosha Softball:

Art “Shorty” Llanas, Bill “Mountain” Griffiths, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Bob “The Guru of Softball” Dahl, Bob “Stud” Rossi, Brad “Chili” Breiling, Brian “Goon” McGonegle, Bruce “Eddie” Edmark, Bruce “Hollywood” Meyers, Carmen “Noots” Pillizzi, Chris “Swammy” Wade, Chuck “Chooch” Portillia and Chuck “Doc” Lange.

Dale “Bear” Kolmos, Dale “Hummer” Landree, Dan “Ozzie” Ausloos, Dan “The Hole” Tencate, Danny “Love” McGonegle, Dave “Pin” Meier, Dave “Rocky” Roehl, Dave “Smiley” Johnson, David “Uncle Munchie” Aiello, Dennis “Doc” Kalberg, Dennis “Satch” Lumley, Dennis “Tura” Lura, Denny “The Gangster of Brats” DeLoria and Domenic “Rocky” Tirabassi III.

Ed “Buddy” Ade, Fred “The Hammer” Parham, Fred “Wally” Altergott, Gary “Juice” Andreucci, Gary “Speed” Paskewicz, Gary “The Wizard” Petersen, Glen “Munk” Ekern, Glen “Smooth” Marescalco, Glenn “Rock” Evenson and Howie “Cow” Olsen.

Jeff “Cat” Kaeppler, Jeff “Herman” Clark, Jeff “Lumpy” Perrault, Jeff “Red” DiCello, Jeremy “Whammer” Kalbfell, Jim “Ax” Berberich, Jim “Doc” Nehls, Jim “Downtown” Brown, Jim “Downtown” Brown, Jim “Mr. Clean” Wilson, Jimmy “Slash” Gentile, John “Chops” Goodwin, John “Kool Papa” Schwarz, Johnny “Tank Top” Tracy and Jon “Atomic Dog” Naumann.

Kim “Roy” Myers, Kris “Nightmare” Ray, Kurt “Cooter” Sinclair, Larry “Laredo” Weiss, Mark “Bwana” Issets, Mike “Derby” Brown, Mike “Goon” Matuzek, Mike “Itchy” Griedanus, Mike “Worm” Selovich, Neil “White Cloud” Boniface, Pat “Hollywood” Hegewald and Paul “Puddles” Vagnoni.

Randy “Ducky” Aulwes, Rick “Cardo” Bloomquist, Rick “Rollo” Perrine, Ricky “Cousin” Llanas, Rock Jurvis, Rocky Witzman, Roger “Worm” Wermeling, Ron “Big Bird” Danoski, Ron “Mort” Zeith, Ron “Nosh” Rossa, Ron “Pig Pen” Greb and Russ “Cat” Guerra.

Sam “Finney” Perry, Steve “Beaver” Griffiths, Steve “Blade” Hess, Tim “Cupcake” Gascoigne, Tom “Bads” Beth, Tom “Boom Boom” Keating, Tom “Buzz” Pinzger and Willy “China” Yee.

Now for “That” – Back in February when season 24 of the award-winning reality shows Survivor premiered, I announced a contest for my Fellow Survivor Geeks. It is my way to not only celebrate this great show, but also say thank you to the loyal readers of this blog.

Here are the (hopefully) self-explanatory and understandable contest rules of the contest:

1.    Predict the Survivors who will make up the final three. Please use only full names as they appear in the list. No nicknames!

2.    As a tiebreaker, predict who will be voted off in the second episode. If know one picks the correct person for week two, whoever predicts the earliest one evicted after week one wins.

3.    If there is still a tie, the earliest entry wins.

First place will get their choice of the prizes with second place choosing next and third place will receive the remaining prize.

Want to know what they are playing for? Check out the graphic:

Sweet, huh? It will be interesting to see which prize the winner chooses. Here are the current standings with only three episodes remaining:

Jo: Sabrina, Kim, Chelsea
Greg: Christina, Kim

Patty 4-Names: Alicia

England Sue: Sabrina

Jamie: Chelsea

Jeff: Alicia

Karen: Kim
Alaska Karen: eliminated
Mary Beth: eliminated

Auntie Janet: eliminated

Kudos to Jo who sailing along with all three of her picks alive. Currently in second place, Greg nailed the tiebreaker by picking Nina to be the first contestant voted off after week one. Patty 4-Names is in third and is second best if a tiebreaker is needed. She chose Matt who was eliminated the week after Nina. All of the official entries are posted on the right side of this blog directly below the polls.

Well, the contest news was that and the nicknames were this… or something like that. Oh never mind, I’m going to watch the Brewers try to knock off those dirty Red Birds.

Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Survivor 24.11

Here’s the Official Survivor: One World Recap Trilogy for week eleven:
 Tonight's episode of Survivor was more of the same. It started with a long recap before the opening credits. They have to do that just in case you fell asleep last week.

At the reward challenge, it was the ubiquitous question and answer poll where they ask hard hitting questions like, “who do you think does not deserve to be here?” and “who would you like to be stranded on an island with?” By the time Probst asked, “Which person would you rather not see again after this is over?” I was shouting out, “ALL OF THEM!!!”

Too bad my vote didn't count.

Unanimously, they chose Troyzan. Go figure. Kim won the reward – a helicopter ride and – what's this? Again? – Food! She got to pick two others and sent Kat into a depressed hissy when she took Chelsea instead. Troyzan tried his best to show the remaining women that this was a telling moment and that Kim was taking her top two with her but the women all just stood there blinking.

I have the Paul Simon song “Slip Slidin' Away” stuck in my head now because during tonight's Immunity Challenge that's exactly what happened to Troyzan as he lost a slip and slide challenge and, ultimately, his last chance to stay on the island.

It was a ridiculously silly challenge but I couldn't help thinking how much Paul must have been enjoying seeing all those bikini clad honeys get oiled up to slide (and jiggle) their way to the end. Don't deny it, Paul…

Hee hee hee.

Naturally, Tarzan had the most difficult time on the slip and slide, what with that bath mat of chest hair he's sporting. EW! Thankfully he chose to wear the full coverage shorts. If he had one the nasty Speedo I would have been forced to change the channel.

A lonely pig wandered into camp, which sent everyone into a tizzy, running and chasing it all over the place. Now, honestly, what did they think they were going to do with that pig? It's not like any of them had ever butchered a pig before.

Maybe Tarzan could have given it a nice tummy tuck and some liposuction. The pig lived to see another day and even seemed to be laughing at them when they returned from the Immunity Challenge.

At Tribal, Troyzan was given the boot. Again, no big surprise there. The only thing unusual at tribal was Tarzan who was dressed like Little Steven from the E Street Band. He is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the strangest person I've ever seen on television and I've watched a lot of reality TV, so that's saying something!

I still don't care a fig about any of these people. Inside I'm hoping there's going to be a surprise volcanic eruption on the island that takes them all out. Except Probst. He's kind of easy on the eyes. 

 OK folks, bear with me as I try to spice this story up a bit by borrowing from an original classic!

On tonight’s episode, while investigating a sector of space island called “One World” where other starships have disappeared every 27 years, the formerly male dominated crew from the USS Enterprise finds a race of mostly tall, attractive but definitely annoying women who survive by drawing the energy from the male members they have lured to their planet beach.

At a scary reward challenge where their bodies are burned in effigy the remaining six women and two men must answer questions about one another. The consensus is that Kat needs a wakeup call in life, Troyzan is a poser whom none of the women ever want to see again, and Sabrina is the laziest player EVER.

Female leader and my current favorite, Kim wins the challenge.

However, this leads to a major dilemma for Amazon woman Kim. As winner, she must now choose two people to take with her on her rewarding space odyssey (helicopter ride and picnic… more food!  She hastily choses her favorite minions Alicia and Chelsea, which means that unsuspecting less favorite minions Kat and Sabrina are left behind with (gasp) the men!! And Christina, who doesn’t count.

This gives Captain Kirkzan the opportunity he’s been waiting for to try to convince the forgotten and left behind women that they would be better off taking a chance with him.

One would think that Christina in particular might have begun to see that this would be beneficial for her.

But alas… Christina is truly dumb.

A side note to Kim is that it is generally a good rule of thumb for Survivors to NOT win the challenge towards the end of the game where you get to go do something fun and have to leave others in your alliance behind. Especially one of your minions!!

In spite of their strong foothold, the women of Survivor are still nervous about the reward challenge. Troyzan has been dominating these challenges. And here, folks, is the moment that Fellow Survivor Geek Paul has been waiting for all week since he saw this week’s preview.  He emailed me earlier in the day in an excited little tizzy about this very challenge where scantily clad women had to oil their bodies and then slide in said oil on a slippery slide.  He could barely conceal his glee. In fact… he did not even ATTEMPT to conceal his glee.

However, T & T are worried about this oily event, and rightly so!

Unfortunately for this remaining man contingent of Tar and Troy, the Amazonian planet women slip slide their way to victory. Kim wins immunity, even though she doesn’t need it.

Troy is now extremely worried but not ready to give up, prompting him to say “DAMN IT TARZAN YOU’RE A DOCTOR!!” He continues to play the angle that he might have an immunity idol, which leads the girls to devise a plan in which they will split the vote between Troy and Christina. Christina, who has been blatantly put down and ignored by her fellow females the entire episode, ponders whether she should make a bold move or not. Alas, she is tooooo stupid to know which move that should be.

In the meantime… A giant, lost but seemingly docile wild pig wanders into camp, prompting everyone to chase it in a misguided delusion that it could be a ham sandwich. I was seriously ready to call 1-800- PETA if these overfed dolts killed that pig, but alas they decided to make it a pet instead.

In spite of his best efforts, Troy was no match for the women of planet Survivor.

At tribal council, Captain Kirkzan was sent back to the Enterprise with the other befuddled and female dominated men.

This leaves Tarzan as the only remaining male….

Will it be an all female finale?

HEY… I’m not opposed to it! I AM A WOMAN!

Will this island colony of aggressive women continue to survive and thrive by eliminating all the clueless yet highly testosteronized men (not you Colton)?

Will they keep comatose Dr. T as a one world pet?

Will they eat their other new pet the pig????

Stay tuned…

 I have been watching Survivor since May 31, 2012. When this season concludes on May 13th, I will have watched well over 330 episodes. This will include 24 Reunion Shows, one of which was hosted by the unpalatable Rosie O’Donnell. In the first season there was a 75-person crew. By season 22 the crew had grown to 325 people. Since it premiered, Survivor has garnered somewhere over 410,000,000 viewers. With all of that in mind, I can’t wait to hear Jeff Probst say, “The tribe has spoken” and get this 24th season over with.

God bless Jamie and Mary Beth for chronicling most of the minutia that goes on each week. They do a fine job of give their slant on what goes on during the challenges and at Tribal Council.

Quite frankly, I don’t know if I could do it by myself this season.

Maybe it’s because the castaways really suck this year. I mean REALLY suck! Or perhaps it’s because I know Survivor like the back of my hand.

As soon as Troyzan was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Immunity Challenge I wrote the following on my yellow pad: “Troyzan is out, no matter what they try to make us think.”

Who were they trying to fool?

Anyone who thought for second that Christina was going to be voted off is a Survivor neophyte. A virgin, if you will, when it comes to this award-winning reality show.

For veteran Survivor Geeks like me it was, been there, done that. Same old, same old.

Proudly, my Survivor cherry was popped with Richard Hatch, Kelly Wigglesworth, Rudy Boesch and Susan Hawk - not the Estrogen Alliance and a couple of guys who think they are Tarzan. Puh-leze.

Okay, I suppose I should at least do a quick recap of what we have to look forward to in our final three episodes.

With the elimination of Tarzan, we are left with one male – the psychotic Tarzan. Hopefully the 64-year old plastic surgeon from Houston Texas will spare us the agony of his Speedos the rest of his time on the island.

The other six competitors make up the Estrogen Alliance – Christina, Sabrina, Kat, Alicia, Chelsea and their mastermind, Kim.

For your convenience, I listed the ladies in the order that they will finish. The only thing that will prevent this from coming to fruition is if they bottom three have an original thought. If and when they do, it will be their first. I still say Christina should use her $500 from last week’s auction to buy a brain.

In a couple of weeks season 24 will be in the books and the three of us will stop moaning. But we’ll be back, oh yes we will. Survivor has been renewed for two more seasons (25 and 26) for the 2012-2013 TV season with Probst confirmed to return as host and executive producer.

That’s all I got. Hopefully those next two seasons will make this season a foggy memory and the producers will have learned from their mistakes. Ideally it will have new twists complete with an interesting cast complete with personalities. Absolutely nothing from season 24.

Okay, maybe the oiled-up babes on the slip ‘n’ slide. But that’s it.

Until next time…from the booth.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some Wit From The Booth

During the golden age of Kenosha softball, I was usually announcing games at Finney's West when I wasn’t managing the 400 Club. On average, I was in the “booth” for 18 to 24 games a week. All that time up there provided for countless memories. Based on comments made on the Kenosha Softball Hall of Fame facebook page, the gang from the booth has produced a few memories of their own. It must have been our wit.

Over the years, Finney’s West had quite an eclectic cast of characters behind the microphone. To the best of my knowledge, this is the roster of announcers:  Bob “Jocko” Harris, Jill Perry, Joe Perry, Paul “PJ” Johnson, Jim Webber, Randy Donais, Jason Crueziger, Leon Rosko and yours truly.

Not everyone in this group was witty. Most were content to keep it close to the vest, not wanting to offend anyone. Oh sure, they would throw out an occasional nickname or two for the players, but nothing too outrageous.

Then there were those who never met a sarcastic remark they didn’t like - primarily me, Leon and Randy. Nothing was off limits as far as we were concerned. No one was safe from our acerbic tongues. No one. Not even each other.

For instance, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to hear, “Attention, attention please! Now heading for the blue rooms down the right field line! Leon Rosko!”

For the uninformed, the blue rooms were the Port-O-Potties, those nasty portable bathrooms. No one really wanted to have the entire ballpark crowd made aware that they were on their way to relieve themself. It was just a service we provided. Even for one another.

Not everything was as mean spirited. Some of the nicer phrases were:

“Nine – Nine – the German game.” This was used when announcing the score at the end of an inning of a 9-9 game. Okay, I didn’t say they were all hilarious.

“Leading off in the top of the turd…” A transitional phrase that could be used at the end of the second inning. A trifle sophomoric, but the younger crowd loved it. 

“A tissue paper thin lead.” Used during a tied or one-run game. This announcing tool required the word tissue to be pronounced, “Tiss-ewe” for maximum effect.

“It’s the fifth, that’s right, the fifth” Often imitated, never duplicated, this was easily the most popular tagline used by announcers at Finney’s West. PJ tried “It’s the filth, that’s right, the fifth”, but it failed miserably.

“Laser beam!” or “A leather-seeking missile!” These were used when someone made a sensational grab of an extremely hard hit line drive that robbed the batter of a certain base hit. The racier and seldom used, “Nice snatch” was only used in games played after 8:00 pm and never during a women’s game. Never.

“The fine-fielding catcher…” This sarcastic phrase was no way meant to be complimentary. It was used during player introductions. You see, in slow-pitch softball, the person playing catcher is typically either a great hitter or a relative of the sponsor. Never for their fielding prowess. Therein lies the irony.

Earlier I mentioned that players receiving nicknames was commonplace, but players weren’t the only ones. The umpires at Finney’s West were also blessed with clever sobriquets. Those without a personalized nickname simply got, “Behind home plate, balls and strikes are his business, mister…”

Those whose personality merited something more always received a creative nickname. Here are a few of the best:

“With his George Hamilton-like good looks, George Becker”

“The cerebral one, Jerry Herrick”

“Uncle Dan’s favorite nephew, Rob Travanty”

“The dean of umpires at Finney’s West, Dick Cairo”

“The distinguished one, Ernie Pascucci”

“Jeff “No-Nicks” Pascucci” Jeff didn’t like nicknames. At all.

Doug Hoff reminded of an all-time great phrase that came from the booth. It was first used during the Memorial Day Big Men’s Class E Tournament. This was one of the biggest tournaments at Finney’s West and Busch Beer was the proud sponsor. And I take full credit for creating this phrase.

Or maybe I should say, I take full blame for creating it.

It was Friday and the last game of the evening had just finished. As was the custom, I gave the final score, reminded the teams what time their next games were and wished everyone a good night. That’s when I decided to make this impromptu advertisement for our sponsor.

“Please don't drink and drive but if you must, make sure it’s Busch Beer!”

The roar of laughter inspired me to repeat the ad Saturday night. And Sunday night. And after the championship game on Monday afternoon. And a whole bunch of times in between. And for years to come.

Today that “ad” might be frowned upon and discouraged. It might even be forbidden. But back in the day it was funny and it made people laugh. Just like a lot of stuff that came out of that booth. We were witty.

Until next time…from the booth.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kenosha Loses Softball Great

Dennis "Denny" DeLoria, age 71, of Kenosha passed away on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at his residence surrounded by his loving family. Born in Kenosha on December 15, 1940, he was the son of the late Alvin and Lillian DeLoria. Denny was in the first graduating class of St. Joseph High School. He also attended the UW Extension in Kenosha. Denny will be remembered for his love of sports and his outstanding softball career.

Before embarking on a stellar softball career, Denny was a fine baseball player. At age 18, he was recognized as Kenosha’s finest high school player and was awarded the Silver Slugger Award. In 1959, he had a tryout with the Milwaukee Braves.

After high school, Denny first played softball with Cliff’s Highview and Serafino’s. Around 1964 he joined the legendary Tirabassi’s Excavators, playing both 12” and 16” for the powerhouse team.

In 1973, Denny won the 12” slow-pitch World Championship in Rochester, New York playing outfield for Sports Specialties of Burlington. Seven years later he won the 16” slow-pitch World Championship  playing for Beacon’s Tap of Racine.

Besides Tirabassi, Denny also played 12” with Finney’s Lounge and the Kenosha Kings. During his storied career, he won a remarkable 11 City League Tournament Championships.

When I heard that this Kenosha softball great had passed away I contacted two of his former teammates, Gary “Wizard” Petersen and Gene Willems for information. Not only were they able to provide me with details of Denny’s illustrious career, but they also threw in a story or two.

Willems and Denny were playing with Tirabassi in a tournament in Rockford, Illinois. After the team had finished playing on Saturday, they returned to their hotel to cleanup and relax. Willems and Denny’s roommates were Dick Laba and Jack Zimmerman.

Laba, long regarded as one of Kenosha’s finest, played professional softball with Milwaukee Schlitz. Zimmerman was a unique individual. Besides being a talented softball player, he was also a gifted football player, having played at Carthage College.

Once back at the hotel, the talented quartet made their plans for the evening. Willems and Laba decided they would get cleaned up and go out to explore Rockford’s nightlife. 

Denny and Zimmerman had other plans.

As Willems and Laba readied themselves to go out, they noticed their teammates were playing dice. To their surprise, Denny and Zimmerman were shooting dice against the hotel room wall in a spirited game of craps. 

Legend has it that after a while, Denny told Zimmerman he had enough and was going to take a shower. Undaunted, Zimmerman said, “Okay, do you mind if I shoot for both of us?” Denny chuckled, said, “Sure, knock yourself out” and went to get cleaned up.

When Denny stepped out of the shower fifteen minutes later he was greeted by Zimmerman who promptly handed him a twenty-dollar bill. All he said was, “You won, Denny.” I told you Zimmerman was unique.

Denny was a fierce competitor, but loved to have fun on and off the field. Wizard related a story illustrating that this was true even when Denny was battling cancer.

Last year, Denny was given the prognosis from the doctors that he only had nine more months to live. He never gave up, continuing to fight this insidious disease all nine of those months.

In true Denny DeLoria fashion, the day after the nine months were up, he threw a big party with all of his old teammates and friends. Wizard said it was a who’s who of Kenosha softball greats. And Denny was the host and the guest of honor.

That party took place in early March. Dennis “Denny” DeLoria left us on April 18th. Kenosha lost a great one, both on the field and off.

Rest in peace Denny.

Dear God, please remember Denny and all our brothers and sisters who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again; may you bring him and all the departed into the light of your presence.

Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Survivor 24.10

Here’s the Official Survivor: One World Recap Trilogy for week ten:
 So, tonight's episode brought out some mean spirits, an auction, some really stupid moves, and a whole lot of head shaking by Jeff Probst. As the tribe headed back from the last Tribal council, it finally dawned on Troyzan that he was likely not long on the island. They all got back and got real snotty with each other. Leif didn't say a word, naturally. Someone made some snide comments to someone else. Christina looked perplexed.

To tell you the truth I wasn't really paying that much attention. At the reward challenge, each person had $500 to spend on whatever Probst revealed. Again, it was mostly food. Kim got to take a shower which creeped me out because Tarzan was craning his neck to see her in the buff.

Troyzan spent almost his entire $500 on an advantage at the next challenge. Christina was bidding against him but for some reason stopped with a constipated look on her face.

Tarzan wasn't bidding either. He said he was saving his $500 to get the shocks fixed on his truck. Wait… what?? Isn't he a plastic surgeon and don't they make more money than Donald Trump? Surely, he could have spent a little dough on some peanut butter and chocolate and still got his truck fixed! But, alas, Alicia outbid everyone for a letter from a loved one, which sent Tarzan into a sobbing fit so Probst let him buy his letter for the same price.

Ack! I'm just rehashing everything that happened and the truth is… I just don't care anymore! Sure, it was nice that someone finally got a fire lit under their ass (Troyzan) and that started a great shouting match and some classic whining but I don't like him at all so I don't care if he gets voted off! In fact, he looks so much like a dirtier, smellier version of Kenny Loggins circa 1985 that now I have the song “Footloose” stuck in my head! So thanks for that, Troyzan!

I'm also sick and tired of these people feigning starvation each week. I mean, did you see them running around during the Immunity Challenge? There was more Jell-O jiggling going on than I've ever seen this late in a season of Survivor.

Little Leif was in danger of catching fire from the friction being caused by Christina's thighs as she ran! And Alicia's bikini bottom is stretched to its limit! That thing is going to go “SPROINGGG!!!” any day now. Far be it for me to make jokes at a chubby person's expense, but these guys are not starving. They have a feast on every episode and they all look very well fed.

So, to wrap this up, Troyzan attempted to get Tarzan, Leif, Christina and Alicia to vote out Kim. They didn't. Leif went home. Oh, and I always wait until the credits to see what the person voted off has to say. Yeah, not much. Leif remains a man of few words. And he said those few words so quietly I actually had to turn up the volume on my television.

Quick question: Whom should I root for? Honestly, I can't decide for myself. I hate them all so I'll root for whomever you want me to! I'm just that NOT into this season! Ha ha!

 Jamie's Prognosis: Time for therapy!!

Ok, ok… Now we’re getting somewhere. Tonight was interesting. Tonight was the Troyzan show and I kind of got into it. Up until tonight I’ve found myself rolling my eyes when Troy said or did something. He actually reminds me of a guy I dated once upon a time… goofy, egotistical, irritating, a little angry. I still did some of that eye rolling tonight, but he got my attention in a new way! He was in fighting mode literally from the moment that they all returned from last week’s Tribal Council.

Troyzan and Alicia got into some verbal sparring right away, and of course we know that SHE is always up for some trash talk. Troyzan clearly has some issues. For one thing, he’s obviously had trouble with women stating that “women get what they want and then leave you high and dry”. If he wins the million dollars he can hire Dr. Phil to work through it. Anger makes dull men witty, but it may keep them poor…

The immunity challenge was the much-anticipated auction, where contestants are given $500 to use to bid on mostly food items. Sabrina paid $400 for a margarita and chips and I was about to make fun of her when I thought hmmm… if I went that many days without booze, I’d easily fork over that amount of money for a margarita.

I’m going to guess that Paul Vagnoni enjoyed Kim taking a shower while eating peanut butter and chocolate. But the highlight for me was Kat bidding heavily on a BLT and then exclaiming in wonder that there was bacon on the sandwich. Indeed, she also had trouble adding. I can’t tell if she is for real that dumb or if she’s using it as strategy. On second thought she wouldn’t know strategy if it bit her on the ass. She’s dumb.

 Back at the “one world” beach Troy was on a mission. This is a man who clearly doesn’t like to lose or take no for an answer. He was talking strategy trying to get a new alliance going. He was pretending to find another immunity idol. He was talking in the bushes to the camera in third person.

It was pretty clear that this dude does not go down without a fight. This is not a guy that you want to hire or date or argue politics with because you can tell he’s never wrong. In real life he’s probably just a pain in the ass to be around.


He didn’t eat a thing at the reward challenge. He saved all of his dollars for the card that guaranteed he’d be ahead of the others in the Immunity Challenge. It was yet another challenge that involved the lobbing of coconuts at stuff.  I am absolutely certain that they did this very same challenge just a few weeks ago, but whatever. Troyzan took on a freakishly ashen looking Tarzan in the final and won immunity again.

Dear Dr. Phil… Just so you know, your new patient who likes to be called “Troyzan” is not a good loser. He’s an even worse winner. His people skills are sorely lacking. He rubbed everyone’s face in his win.  He claimed himself a loner in the game. He made more women hate him. Even Tarzan finds him to be obnoxious.  

Speaking of Dr. Tarzan, he always does something weird and ookey that creeps me out and this week he gave little Leif a bath. Yep. It was weird… Maybe if Troyzan gets an appointment with Dr. Phil he can take Tarzan with him.
Now that he had the immunity necklace back around his neck, Troy played the game. And here is where this wack job earned my respect!

He made a good point to Christina and Alicia that they are low on the totem pole and soon to be on the chopping block. It would have been a great time for them to make a move and for a slick minute I was pretty sure that Alicia would take the bait. She's like Mitt Romney… she will say anything to stay ahead in the game, but this would have been a bold move and of course she caved.

They voted squeaky-clean Leif out. It looks like it may be an all girl catfight to the finish unless Troyzan can keep up his angry fight. Because the ladies of Survivor hate him too and the second he falters he will be out!
 Tonight’s episode was eye opening and at the same time a bit mystifying. All rolled into one fun-packed hour. I even learned a few things about myself. However, for each thing that I learned tonight, I was left wondering about several others. Strangely enough, with enlightenment and bewilderment, tonight’s show was the most entertaining in a long time. I even yelled out, “YES!”

One of the first things to help educate me was the Survivor Auction show. I saw that when given $500, each of the nine castaways will spend it differently. Here are the results:

Chelsea - $160 for 3 donuts and an ice coffee.
Sabrina - $400 for chips, guacamole dip and a margarita.
Leif - $100 for a protein shake and a couple of bananas.
Kim - $40 for the privilege of taking a shower during the auction.
Kat - $180 for a BLT, chips and an ice tea.
Kim - $240 for a bowl of peanut butter and some chocolate.
Alicia and Tarzan - $500 for a personal letter from home.
Troyzan - $420 for an advantage in the Immunity Challenge.
Kat - $160 for a cake that she had to share with everyone else.

Auction notes: Kat was amazed to discover bacon on her BLT. Honest… Tarzan considered keeping his $500 so he could repair his car when he got home. Again, honest… The shared cake had to be eaten in 60 seconds. I don’t think it took 45… Finally, Christina did not spend any of her money. Maybe she is saving up for a brain. She could sure use one.

The next thing that I learned was that it is wrong to search for a Hidden Immunity Idol even when you know the other eight people are planning on voting you off.

Yep, Chelsea, Kim and the rest of the Estrogen Alliance thought it was in bad taste when Troyzan did just that. I guess he should have done like Chelsea suggested and take getting voted off “Like Jonas did. Like a man.” Um, man isn’t the word that comes to mind when I think of Jonas. It’s another word that means little kitty. Or something.

That leads me to what I learned about myself tonight. I have misogynistic tendencies. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate woman. In fact, I am rather fond of them. But I had to agree with Troyzan when he went on his little tirade toward the Estrogen Alliance.

He basically said that the six women basically used the men to build and provide for them until they were in a position of power. Then the men were no longer needed. And he thinks it sucks. And I agree.

Which brings me to the confusing stuff. Tarzan, while he’s not too stupid to realize what the woman folk are doing, he is too stupid to do anything about it! This was evidenced by how he voted at Tribal Council.

Here is what Emmy award-winning host Jeff Probst revealed after tallying up the votes:

Kim – 2 votes (Troyzan and Leif)
Tarzan – 3 votes (Kim, Christina and Alicia)
Leif – 4 votes (Chelsea, Kat, Sabrina and TARZAN)

Yes, Tarzan. This is after Troyzan came right out and explained to Alicia, Christina, Leif and TARZAN, that they were the bottom feeders in the eyes of the Estrogen Alliance. He then laid out the plan, point-blank, right there at Tribal Council. All it would take is voting off Kim and the power would be theirs.

As you can see, only the diminutive Leif went along with Troyzan’s plan and for his trouble he was sent packing back to Lilliput. Evidently Alicia, Christina and Tarzan don’t know a good plan when it hits them in the face. Those chowderheads had better wake up and smell the coffee or they will be next, mark my words.

Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Football and Sandcastles

It was a late Saturday morning in the summer of 1971. The sun was shining; the weather was warm and pleasant. This could only mean one thing - the Vagnoni families were headed west on highway C to the “cottage” located on the shore of scenic Camp Lake, Wisconsin. Because of our heritage, the “cottage” was more commonly referred to as La Casa Da Lago, which roughly translated is “the house on the lake”. Whichever name you used, it was a popular gathering place.

The headcount would typically be twenty. The only time the number fluctuated was when one of us kids could talk the folks into letting us bring a friend along. Or if any members of the Curi, Allegretto, Maccari, Ficcadenti, Ventura or Pulera families happened to pay a visit. You get the picture; there were usually a considerable number of people of Italian descent visiting western Kenosha County on weekends during the summer.

This particular weekend was no different. Everyone arrived before noon and us kids knew the routine – we had to perform hard labor before we could even think about having fun.

Hard labor meant picking up sticks. Now picking up sticks doesn’t seem too terribly taxing. That is until you consider the lawn at the bottom of the hill was at least 40 yards wide. Plus, there were dozens of enormous trees on the property with all but a couple of them at the top of that massive hill.

Oh, did I mention that the hill was extremely steep? If my memory serves me correct, it was at about a 45° angle. By the time we finished picking up all of the sticks we were walking like goats.

In case you were wondering what our folks were doing while us kids were slaving away, they too were busy. Our mothers were inside cooking, washing dishes or sewing. I’m not really sure. I do know that our fathers were mowing the lawn – on a riding mower. They didn’t trust us on it yet, which was probably wise on their part.

Eventually we finished picking up all of the sticks and the lawn was pristine. After the lawn mower was put away it was time to play. Out came the Duke.

The Duke was an orangish football that had a small bulge the size of a golf ball on one side. We jokingly referred to it as the pregnant football. We didn’t mind, it was a football and playing with it was better than picking up sticks.

When the dads decided to play with us, it wasn’t a regular game. Normally Dad and Uncle Dave would stand at one end of the long yard while Uncle Joe and Uncle John would be down at the other.

They would take turns lofting passes to my brother Mike and I, and our cousins John Dean, Mark and Danny. We would run endless pass routes up and down the field. Sometimes even my sister Teri would join in, but usually it was just all of the male cousins.

Except for my little brother Joey, he didn’t like sports.

While we ran back and forth catching passes from our dads, Joey was content to sit on the small beach making sandcastles with his Tonka trucks. He was having fun and perfectly happy.

Everything was fine until cousin Danny decided to “break off his route” and spoil one of Joey’s sand creations.

With a maniacal little laugh, Danny suddenly veered from the lawn, onto the sand and gave Joey’s sandcastle a quick kick. As Danny ran back unto the grass, still laughing, Joey could only let out an astonished, “Hey!”

The rest of us roared with laughter. Looking back we probably shouldn’t have, because it only encouraged Danny to continue his mischievous reign of destruction on Joey’s sandcastles.

At least two more times Danny would run off the field and give Joey’s latest sandcastle a swift kick, destroying them. Being only 9 years old, Joey hadn’t become proficient in cursing like a longshoreman. Yet. That would come next year. But you could see his anger and frustration building.

Danny must have sensed this, because he finally refrained from tormenting his cousin. It looked like everything was fine again.
Danny was content catching passes from the dads and this allowed Joey to build his sandcastles in peace. Yes, everything was back to normal.

So it seemed.

Out of nowhere, Joey yelled out, “Hey Danny, aren’t you gonna kick over my sandcastles anymore?” The curious request brought an evil grin to Danny’s face; he didn’t need to be asked twice.

Like a blur, he sprinted over to the beach, pulled his foot back and gave the large sandcastle a mighty kick. BAM!!! Sand flew everywhere.

Danny then let loose with an anguished shriek that could be heard on the other side of Camp Lake.

You see, Joey had discreetly hidden a large brick in his sandcastle and the tip of Danny’s foot hit it flush. His cloth tennis shoe provided very little cushion.

As Danny rolled in the sand in agony, a smug grin spread across Joey’s face. Being young and sadistic, the rest of us howled with laughter. Hey, it wasn’t our foot.

It was determined that Danny’s foot was fine; nothing was broken. He even managed to hobble up and down the field and catch a few more passes. However, he didn’t go near Joey’s sandcastles the rest of the afternoon.

Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Survivor 24.9

Here’s the Official Survivor: One World Recap Trilogy for week nine:
 In thinking of all the most horrible things I can possibly think of, Tarzan in his nasty undies is way at the top of that list. Watching him toss his “balls” whilst wearing the Dangly Wanglers (as I have come to call them) was horrid. Okay, let me explain…

In tonight's episode they had a Do It Yourself challenge, which was really nothing more than an elaborate game of Lawn Golf, which I have played at many a family gathering. I tell ya, blind people could have done better than some of these people. I mean, that game is just not that hard to play! Further proved by the fact that Tarzan was the best player!


Once again, there was a bounty of food involved tonight. At the Immunity Challenge, Probst tempted them to drop out with candy, cupcakes, cheeseburgers and cookies. I don't buy the gasps of “oh man I wanna eat!!” anymore. Frankly, these people eat more than my family on a holiday and, trust me, that's saying a lot! None of them are any skinnier than when they started out from what I can see!

Again, sheesh!

I'm skipping over the mundane parts because, honestly, it has all become mundane to me. None of these chuckleheads is the least bit interesting and I just don't care anymore who gets the heave ho.

I wish it would be Tarzan but for some reason they keep him around for comic relief. I have no favorites this season. I don't care who wins. None of them deserve it and if I was in charge I would bring back Russell Hantz right now just to kick some Survivor ass.

There was a lot of goofy strategizing going on with the women finally realizing they have the upper hand and doing something about it. At least they made Troy feel suspicious enough to finally play his hidden idol and that made Pretty Boy Jay go bye bye.

He was shocked. Really? He really thought he could trust those ladies. They were whispering all over the place in groups of two and yet he thought they were going to vote with him. Wake up, Jay!

Sheesh! Again!

The women are now in a position to take this all the way to the end. I'm sure next week Troy will be sulking and cranky about this new development. But I'm also sure that Alicia cannot be trusted and she or someone equally as fickle will make a move to join Troy and the other men to change it up again. At least that's what I would do if I were there. But with these brainless tweedle heads, who knows!?

 Tonight’s episode of Survivor was just plain boring. It started with Tarzan and Troyzan attempting to talk strategy and here is their conversation “blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…” More talk talk talk. Then there was the reward challenge. Apparently Jeff Probst was so bored by this season that he fell into a coma and didn’t even bother to show up for the challenge, which involved… oh, who cares right? It was boring! 

Troyzan did a bad imitation of the missing Probst, who must be in contract negotiations. I answered a phone call and only know that Tarzan’s team won because he did a happy dance in his speedo… yuck.

The reward was yet ANOTHER beach barbeque in which the well-fed castaways indulged in MORE food, including “architecturally nice looking crabs” (thanks for never disappointing with bizarreness Dr. Tarzan). They ate. They drank. They chilled out on the beach. They talked some more it went like this “blah blah blah blah blah blah”.

Then they went back to the losers who didn’t get to eat and they all started buzzing around trying to play one against the other in no organized fashion, which lead to more blah blah blah blah blah…”

My favorite (but also boring) player Kim did attempt to use strategy as she tried to unite the women in what would seem to be a slam dunk of a plan to vote all the men off IF they all could get their act together.

Why can’t they? Well Chelsea has a conscience and Alicia is just pissed off and Kat is just confused as usual and there was more blah blah blah blah…

At the Immunity Challenge players had to stand on a board while tethered to a rope that held a bucket above their heads. Tarzan lasted literally 2.5 seconds before falling off (I will say it again: DOES NO ONE IN THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY SEE A PROBLEM WITH THIS MAN DOING DELICATE PLASTIC SURGERY?)

For this challenge Probst showed up and tempted players by offering them yet more food if they stepped off the board. Clearly Alicia did not choose a razor as her luxury item. I shall say no more.

Very few of them had any sort of willpower or balance and ultimately it came down to little Leif versus Chelsea. He looked like he could stay there alllll day, I mean that guy is all muscle, but he was easily swayed mentally by Chelsea’s efforts to get him to step off. Clearly he is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

 So Chelsea won even though she really didn’t need to.  They all went back to their beach and started to haphazardly scramble and more blah blah blahhhhhhhh… 

Kim once again worked strategically to get a split vote between Jay and Troyzan, speculating that Troy might have the hidden immunity idol. Now here would have been a chance for the men to come together and make a play to get ahead again.

There are some women there who could easily be sweet talked into compliance, but these guys are truly are a bunch of nincompoops. Instead they just kept talking to this person and that person and blah blah blah blah… off to Tribal they went.

Tribal council this season is such a boring yawner that Jeff Probst literally has to guide all of the discussion. The only bright spot for me was that Tarzan appeared to be wearing a woman shirt. Yes people. That is how bad this is getting…

They voted. The voting was all over the place with people voting for Alicia and Kim and Troy and Jay. At this stage there should be more of a cohesive pattern. But there isn’t. Jay got voted off and he seemed confused. Bye bye, pretty boy. Blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda…

Jamie’s Prognosis? This show AND Jeff Probst are comatose!

 Is it just me or do people with southern drawls sound stupid and in many cases prove to be stupid? Maybe it’s just a bias on my part, but on this evening’s episode Jay did nothing to dispel this notion. What a dimwit. What an idiot. What an imbecile. What a nimrod. What a moron. What a simpleton. What a muttonhead. What a dope.

Tonight Jay made Kat look like a rocket scientist. That’s no easy task -  remember the “hurt appendix” Tribal Council episode?

After the Immunity Challenge the seemingly vacuous Kat pointed out, “We can’t think with our hearts, we have to think with our heads.” It looks like the Brain Fairy paid Kat a visit and rewarded her with an extra big heaping helping of smarts.

Unfortunately for Jay, that same Brain Fairy didn’t bother to do the same for him. Otherwise he wouldn’t be saying stuff like, “There’s definitely gonna be some blindsides coming up. I just hope it ain’t me.”

Hey Einstein, guess what? IT WAS YOU!

Here’s an idea – if you know there are going to be blindsides, rather than hoping it “ain’t” you, do something to prevent it! Try to make sure it “ain’t” you!

Oh wait, that’s right, he did try. Right before Tribal Council he went to Kim, the head of the Estrogen Alliance, and asked her if there was going to be any blindsides happening. To which she basically batted her purty eyelashes and replied, “Shucks no, Jay.”

And the dolt bought it. Hook, line and sinker. But not before he turned snitch and made Kim aware that Troyzan has a Hidden Immunity Idol in his possession.

I don’t why this surprised me, after all Jay isn’t a double-naught spy like his idol Jethro Bodine. He’s not that bright, he’s not even up to his gazintas yet.

By my estimations there are four episodes remaining this season and we are down to nine contestants left to vie for the $1,000,000 and title of Sole Survivor.

I’m still bewildered.

Last week Fellow Survivor Geek Jamie joyfully declared that she finally found someone to root for in Kim. Regrettably I haven’t had my epiphany quite yet.
Consider my options. First the guys.

Tarzan, a 64-year-old plastic surgeon who by all accounts has soiled his blue Speedos on several occasions. No thank you.

Leif, a 27-year-old phlebotomist who is only allowed to say eight words each week. Hey, I have nothing against little people, but those pierced nipples creep me out.

Troyzan, a 50-year-old swimsuit photographer that was duped by Kim’s feminine wiles last week. She batted those purty eyelashes and convinced him to vote Mike off. Nah, he used his Hidden Immunity Idol already.

Now for the Estrogen Alliance.

Kim, the 29-year-old bridal shop owner is already FSG Jamie’s pick to click. She is crafty and has a fairly nice keester, but I can’t possibly root for the same person as Jamie. That would be like her rooting for Russell Hantz.

Chelsea, a 26-year-old medical sales rep who Tarzan suspects hates all plastic surgeons because of a bad boob job. I don’t know, they look fine to me. But tonight she said she loved money. Total turnoff, sorry.

Sabrina, a 33-year-old high school teacher who is too boring for my liking. Although they did have to digitalize her backside once tonight, it’s not enough to get me to make her my favorite.

Kat, who started this season as a 22-year-old timeshare rep, has somehow miraculously transformed into a master strategist. I could almost find myself pulling for Kat it weren’t for the possibility of her hurting her appendix.

Alicia, a 25-year-old special education teacher who each week pushes her leopard print panties to their limit. She is evil, cruel and heartless. But that’s not why I can’t root for her. She’s from Chicago. Enough said.

Christina, a 29-year-old career counselor who has been on Alicia’s shit list from week one. Why? I sure don’t know. For that reason alone I am officially making her my favorite for this season. I know she won’t win, but I can still appreciate her derrière until she is eliminated.

Until next time…from the booth.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Buona Pasqua!

Buona Pasqua! Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italian. I can remember, as a young boy, walking to Holy Rosary Church on Easter morning with Grandma ‘Noni, my brother Mike and cousin John Dean. It was cold and barely light out, but Grandma’s faith was very strong and we weren’t going to be late for 6:30 Mass. Not on Easter Sunday, it was too important to her. That is why I thought it would be nice to say Happy Easter in her native language.

Grandma ‘Noni passed her strong Catholic faith down to my Dad, who in turn did the same with me. Grandma and Dad played major roles in making me aware of the significance of our faith. Without it, there really is no point in anything. I seriously believe that.

Easter is the most important day on the Catholic calendar. It is the time where we celebrate the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ. This monumental day is preceded by Lent, a season of self-examination, alms giving, fasting and abstinence in preparation for our Easter observance.

I know - a lot of long fancy words. Let me simplify the fasting and abstinence part with the help of my friend Patty. Before writing this, I asked her what Lent meant to her. She said, “Lent means sacrificing something you LOVE, (not beets or something silly) because Jesus made the ULTIMATE sacrifice for US!”

That says it all in a nutshell, don’t you think? Thank you, Patty.

For me, the self-examination part is praying and meditation which (hopefully) leads to being a better person and doing what is right. This takes a lot work and self-discipline. It isn’t easy, but it pales in comparison to dying on a cross.

As far as alms giving goes, this doesn’t necessarily mean writing a check to your parish or making a contribution to the Salvation Army. While those definitely qualify, there are many other ways to give. Some of which you may not even realize you are already doing.

Things like taking a sick friend or relative to their medical appointments, helping those less fortunate by donating clothing or merely keeping a lonely person company. All of these are things that come from the heart, a giving heart.

Perhaps I had better stop here. Please don’t think that I believe that the Catholic way is the only way. I’m not that naïve and I’m definitely not that arrogant. I’m just giving my slant on Easter, Lent and faith in general, which in my case happens to be Catholic.

The only point I want to make is that everybody needs to have faith in something bigger. To think that everything in our world is pure happenstance is foolish. There has to be more to it than that. There just has to be.

Whether you are Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Lutheran, Buddhist, Muslim or belong to the Church of England, please believe. Life here on earth is much too short, there has to be more. There has to be.

We all need to believe. Without believing, there is no point.

Grandma ‘Noni and Dad believed and they taught me to believe. Thanks, Grandma and Dad, I love you both. Buona Pasqua!

Until next time…from the booth.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Survivor 24.8

Here’s the Official Survivor: One World Recap Trilogy for week eight:
 You know, as I was watching tonight's episode of Survivor, I got to thinking. You know what this show really needs? A good sponsor. You know, some company that could use the popularity of this show to do some clever product placement and maybe play their commercials at every single commercial break? That kind of thing.

Too bad no one ever thought of that. Oh wait… they did. Who brought tonight’s episode to you? No, not Coke. Nope, not Dr. Pepper either. I'll give you a hint. They played the commercial with Ceelo Green about a hundred and fifty thousand times tonight! Yes, that commercial. The Seven-Up commercial. The one that's so grating on my nerves I almost threw my shoe through my television.

I get that television shows don't pay for themselves and they need product endorsements to exist but, Holy Overselling Batman! I think they might have overdone it this time. Not only was every other commercial the one with Ceelo Green, they even won a reward to go to the Seven-Up Oasis for, you guessed it, MORE food and a tub of Seven-Up. They thanked God for showing them what real hunger was (seriously? I've been hungrier on a busy day at work!) and then they ate themselves silly.

The reward challenge was a pretty good one with a huge water-slide that provided a couple of very comical moments. Alicia was afraid, and rightly so, that it was going to give her a big wedgie. She has an ample dupa so that was a valid fear.

The actual outcome was even funnier, to me. She was propelled down the slide and landed right on that posterior giganticus and made a couple of butt-skips like someone skimming a stone across the water.

The other person that made me laugh was Leif. He's so small he almost jettisoned himself onto the next island. Then there was a large puzzle to piece together. Again, a puzzle. Sheesh!

Tarzan was up to his usual Tarzan like ridiculousness. He confronted Chelsea as to why she was annoyed with him and actually thought she had some deep seeded hatred for her own plastic surgeon that she was now projecting on him!

HAHAHA!! No, Tarzan, she doesn't like you because you're an annoying, hairy, smelly, know-it-all ass hat! But she was too polite, and probably slightly flabbergasted that he was bringing up her boob job, to tell him that. 

Jay, or someone equally boring, won a very boring Immunity Challenge involving (oh what a surprise!) putting together yet another puzzle. Whoever is coming up with these challenges needs to move off the puzzle page of the manual and onto something else. Enough with the puzzles already! When are they going to have to eat creepy stuff or balance on a pole or walk a shaky rope bridge or roll a giant ball up an anthill? I want some fun stuff like that!

In the end, the women pulled off a blindside which, I think, is meant to shake things up. Boring Mike never saw it coming and off he went. Honestly though, at this point, I don't give a rat's ass who they vote off. I hate them all. I'm just in this for the comic moments and the hope that someone will do something extraordinary at some point. In the meantime, I think I'll go have a Seven-Up. 

 OK tonight two big things happened for me. First of all, I FOUND SOMEONE TO ROOT FOR!! Kim! I realized that she is not completely repulsive. She played a great strategic game out there tonight and she’s one of those players that looks good even after weeks without personal care items. I was suddenly impressed. I want Kim to win Survivor One World!! Yeah me!!

I love it when Survivor does shameless product placement. Tonight it was the good people from 7 Up who had their moment in the sun, complete with Probst gleefully throwing out one of their slogans “delightfully refreshing”.

The sweaty green bottle was the star of a good portion of the show. The reward challenge involved contestants going down steep giant waterslides and was hilarious to watch for mostly immature reasons.

As players came off  the slides they wiped out and it just made me giggle. Alicia’s naturally padded ass caused her to literally bounce right back up ala Tigger, and Leif flew off the thing, bouncing and rolling across the sand. I know I know that it sounds mean but… LOL!!!

The reward was of course more food, since these folks eat better than my own family.  And of course there was lots of the uncola flowing.

Back at the “one world” beach, Tarzan continued to offend and irritate others. He seemed to be chopping down the shelter in wet stormy weather for no good reason. He’s a loose cannon with no couth or charm.

He speculated that Chelsea doesn’t like him because of a tortured relationship with her own plastic surgeon. Say what?  Chelsea has had plastic surgery? Her boobs aren’t real? Get OUT of town… Does that make her an anti-plastite?

The immunity challenge involved more ropes and puzzle pieces and I just beg the game makers of Survivor to spare us the constant puzzles that seem to dominate all the challenges. What happened to the drinking of blood and fish gut smoothies as a way to win immunity?

Pretty boy Jay won.

After the challenge Kim stepped up her “A” game. She began to plant the seeds for Mike’s ouster, supposedly in an effort to form an all female voting block that can now pick off the men one by one.

She easily swayed Troyzan into aligning with her plan. But Jay seemed to have other ideas. For the camera he claimed to want to get rid of Christina. There was a big moment where Kim slyly maneuvered him into thinking that they were in agreement about voting Christina off and sticking to their Salani alliance.

By the time they made their way to Tribal Council they all seemed to be on different pages. Tarzan was still off on his own mental island, believing that they were playing Probst rather than each other. It was all a bit much (as usual) for Kat, who was confused by his “rantics”. Cute word. I could root for her a little more if she wasn’t so vacant behind the eyes.

The final vote went down like this; 2 votes for Tarzan. 2 votes for Christina, and the rest for Mike. Bye bye Mike. But then the OTHER big thing happened for me.

As the credits rolled and they showed who voted for whom, Jay and Leif apparently voted for Mike too. Say what again? The story we were shown was women making a risky power play by secretly voting out Mike, risking the wrath of Jay and the other men. By doing so they would attain total game domination.

But wait. 

If Jay voted for Mike that would mean that wasn’t what was really going on. Could it be that the producers of the show are editing so heavily that they are creating the storyline for us? Holy Santa Claus Batman!! Is it possible that reality TV isn’t… real?

As the kids say “IDK” but one thing IS clear. The men are really a bunch of dimwitted cretins. If they get picked off now one by one, so be it. Go Kim!

 This Official Survivor: One World Recap Trilogy is being sponsored by 7 Up. I am sure that Mary Beth and Jamie have already bemoaned the fact that the first 25 minutes of tonight’s episode was a commercial for 7 Up, but when you think about it, that might have been the highlight of the show. You have to admit it was crisp and clean, maybe even ridiculously bubbly…

The sub par quality of this season’s crapalicious cast has been discussed ad nauseam in this trilogy, but it’s true! They all suck! They are either bad people, stupid or just frightfully innocuous.

I am reminded of the Seinfeld episode, “The Letter”, where Jerry’s artist girlfriend Nina paints a portrait of Kramer. Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, a wealthy couple, while they consider purchasing the painting, make the following comments: “He is a loathsome, offensive brute, yet I can’t look away.” and “He transcends time and space. He sickens me. I love it.”

The Armstrongs then paid $5,000 for the Kramer.

If I wasn’t such a Survivor Geek I would quit watching Survivor: One World, but like the Armstrongs with the Kramer, I can’t look away.

If I were to quit watching I would never know if plastic surgeon Tarzan continues to poop his blue Speedos. If I were to quit watching I would miss the moronic Kat making up words like “rantics”. If I were to quit watching I would miss Kim making the dimwitted Troyzan believe anything she says.

If I were to quit watching I would miss cursing at the TV when the ladies cheeks are digitalized when they peak out from their skimpy bikini bottoms. If I were to quit watching I would miss the numerous astonished expressions on Jeff Probst’s face caused by the empty-headed answers given to him at Tribal Council.

If I were to quit watching I would have to go elsewhere to see little people with pierced nipples drinking 7 Up. If I were to quit watching I might miss the epic episode where Alicia’s leopard print panties are finally stretched to the limit and spontaneously combust. And that would be a dirty shame.

No, like the Kramer, Survivor: One World transcends time and space. This season might sicken me, yet I love it. I’m not going to pay $5,000, but I won’t look away. I can’t…

Until next time…from the booth.