I may or may not go into more detail about my vacation in the future; right now I’ll just say that the highlight was visiting the Glensheen estate (because historic homes will never stop being utterly fascinating to me), and the lowlight was pulling my feet out of where they’d been dabbling in Lake Superior to find a leech clamped on my toe. The other highlight, of course, was picking up my dog, whose reaction upon seeing me was so desperate that it was about on par with a child bursting into tears and throwing its arms around its mother.
I’d share my whole collection of trip photos, but the scanner did horrible things to the color and clarity, especially after I tried to shrink them to a manageable size. So instead I will just leave you with this one passable-when-cropped picture of me, in which I am photogenic (an increasingly rare occurrence) and which has subsequently become my new favorite portrait.
Now, on to what I really wanted to do: my reality TV reviews.
As you are no doubt aware by now, approximately 45 minutes before Wednesday’s edition of So You think You Can Dance was set to air, a very prominent and heavily trafficked bridge in Minneapolis collapsed. As such, every local news station zoomed straight to the scene to begin nonstop live coverage, obliterating primetime in the process. Now, I am quite all right with this, since even though I was on vacation at the time, we were back to our motel room around 8 that night, and as soon as we flipped on the TV and saw this we were all glued to the screen. It just makes me a little sad that I didn't have a dance tape waiting for me when I got back home like I planned. They may have simply pre-empted the show, airing it late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, but as I was on vacation I couldn't check. :(
But! I CAN give you a more-detailed-than-usual commentary for the results show, since the thunderstorms that rolled through back home on Thursday were kind enough not to knock out the power. :)
-'Ello Cat, I've missed your pretty smile and chipper voice! Love your dress tonight, as sparkly rhinestones on black is so pretty that it makes me forget about the shapeless look that strapless dresses always give people.
-Crazy group dance! They're all...metallic, like robots, and Lacey pulls an extremely disturbing and possessed/evil-doll type face at the very beginning. Other than that, it's really neat and shows off all the dancers quite well. Incidentally, I will always, always love the group dances more than the partner pairs or even the solos. Dancing is best experienced while watching a group.
-Also, believe it or not, it was not the music choice or even the dancing style that cued me into this being a Shane Sparks routine. It was the sheer weirdness of the choreography. Literally, I went "Let's see...Wade and Mia have already had their weeks, so who's the third best creator of odd characters and ambiguous storytelling? Must be Shane on the panel." Frankly, I thought it was one of the jazziest routines I've seen all season - one of the few that looked like something I might have seen or even danced to at one of my own recitals. Which just made me love it all the more.
-WHY IS ADAM ON THE PANEL AGAIN, AS OPPOSED TO SHANE? *seethes* I didn't think there was anybody I could hate more than Crazy Little French Guy (whose name I know, but refuse to use). I was wrong.
-While I'm tuning out whatever Grating Voice Adam is saying, which may or may not have something to do with explaining the sudden upsurge in dance's popularity, I'm going to take the time to randomly retierate why I like this show better than Dancing With the Stars. a) DWS mostly only does ballroom, I think, which is DULL DULL DULL, b) DWS is full of adults who are mostly past 30, which is also dull, and c) DWS is full of C-list celebrities who are not only not interesting, but who look like fools next to their professional partners despite the fact that all contestants have at least a basic knowledge of and talent for dancing. SYTYCD, on the other hand, is full of fresh-faced young contestants, who live and breathe dancing, and who just want a chance to launch their dreams. It's just like American Idol, except with better music and *interesting* results shows. Plus, while you can listen to decent amateur singers at any bar with karaoake, or coffeehouse or college acts, there's really no casual place to see skilled and choreographed dancing like this.
-You tuned me out halfway through that paragraph, didn't you?
-Oh man, season 1...I barely even remember that. Objectively, I see no reason a girl couldn't win this competition, because despite my demand for eye candy throughout the duration of the show at the end of the day I am more impressed by a strong female role model than I am by a hot guy, regardless of how well he dances. I want hot guys all along the way, of course, but I'd rather see a girl who reminds me of myself triumph at the end. That being said, I do not want a girl to win *this* season, because I have been largely underwhelmed by the females in this group, and the ones I thought had a chance have all been voted off. Oh, I really hope Pasha takes the win but all I ask is that Lacey not follow in her brother's footsteps!
-Weekly Movie Commercial Reaction: Oh, "Bratz." When I saw the first preview for that film, I thought "Hey, that looks like the kind of fun, girly movie about the power of friendship that I would just love." I was excited for two full minutes of trailer, and then I saw the title and my elation turned to abject HORROR. *shudders* The Bratz dolls have to be the most hideous addition to the girls' toy aisle in the history of toys.
-I'm glad Cat finally explained why the dancers still perform solos if it doesn't influence who goes home that week. I was getting rather tired of explaining it to the idiots who couldn't figure these things out on their own.
-Sara Solo: I keep forgetting that she is really, really GOOD. I mean, better than the boys who danced her style, with the way she twists her body in such sharp, precise movements. And her balance is rock solid; she literally goes still as a statue during her various handstands before she comes down.
-Lacey Solo: Terribly underwhelming. Really, I felt nothing, other than a mild worry that her incredibly short shorts were going to expose cheek at some point. Also, that nose stud is fugly.
-Sabra Solo: I think maybe she's like the Melinda Doolittle of SYTYCD. I am dimly aware that her movement is impressive, and that she can get incredible height on her jumps for someone so small, but I am just not stirred or inspired by her dancing.
-Lauren Solo: Remember what I said about being underwhelmed by the girls in general? Lauren falls into that category more often than I'd like. She's still a dearheart and by far my favorite gal, but her solos are hit or miss for me. Tonight was a miss. I saw technique in their, but it seemed to get dragged down by her choice to dance in a casual hip-hop style I think if she stuck to jazz or contemporary, she'd do better. I hope she gets a chance to try again.
-Neil Solo: *purrs contentedly* Does this boy even have hip joints? The rotation is incredible. Always and forever. Extra points for the vertical spinning jump. Also, according to Cat...enh! Enh! I MISSED NEIL DOING A MIA MICHAELS ROUTINE LAST NIGHT?!
-Danny Solo: Come on, get off the floor. You know I only love you because you leap, and if you persist in the floor slides and the jelly-legs dancing, your favor with me will crash and burn and OH, there we go. The backflip will do nicely, thank you. Even though I want Neil and Pasha as the final two boys, can you imagine the excess of amazing if the last two guys were Danny and Neil, and they did a contemporary routine? I think I'd keel over and die from a pleasure overload at the sight.
-Dominic Solo: Unlike impressive leaps, spinning on one's head does get old. I’ll give him a good bit of credit for incorporating a chair into his routine, in a way that looks impossibly difficult, but then I have to take some away due to the fact that the legs of the made him look a bit like a cow with an engorged udder.
-Pasha Solo: I think my TV melted a little bit. I also think about a hundred icons were just made of his final pose. A chest wax would make it perfect, but even so, Pasha is welcome to dance shirtless any time. Or just run around the screen, majestically waving a matador cape; that was really all he did - not that it mattered. Cat said it best: "WOWEE! If you didn't have all the girls voting for you when you sat by Jessie's beside, you certainly will now." *nods* Oh yes, yes he will.
-Semi Weekly Commercial Rant: Yes, yes, Gardasil is a MAGIC SPARKLY DISCOVERY that will give you 100% protection from HPV! You know what else will protect you? Not having sex with every guy you date. Personally, I've always felt that STDs were an extremely appropriate punishment for young people who couldn't listen to their wiser elders about keeping their pants on.
-Sorry about that, my political ire is in overdrive today. I promise it’s my last digression.
-Danny/Sara flashback: Why was she wearing a bra, minishorts and thigh-high boots for a tango? That's all I want to know.
-Neil/Lacey flashback: Neil was dancing shirtless...with LACEY? Good God. For starters, ew. That's like, the only possible way you can ruin Shirtless Neil for me. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't get to see it. Also, that seems like a very dangerous thing to do - I'm surprised Lacey didn't take one look and start dry-humping him backstage. That's about what I'd expect from her at this point.
Oh shoot, that's right. I missed the Mia Michaels contemporary. *weeps* Mostly, I'm weeping because I wish he could have danced that with *Lauren* and saved the goggles routine for when he was with Lacey - I wouldn't have minded that at all.
-Sabra/Pasha flashback: *frowns* All the pairs really sucked this week, didn't they? Still, I bet Pasha did really well between Broadway and ballroom. Wish I could have seen it.
-Lauren/Dominic: What a rude end to Lauren's partner-bliss. By which I mean MY bliss at getting to live vicariously through my favorite girl. But I'm really proud of her for covering a mistake during her live performance. Especially as she looked a lot better doing so than the time I slipped during part of my tap routine and went sliding offstage into the wings.
-Bottom 2 Girls: What the...AMERICAN IDIOTS, KINDLY STOP PITTING THE BEST GIRLS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER WHILE SENDING THE DUMB ONES UNSCATHED TO THE END.
-*INSERT HORRIFIED LOOK HERE* ew and OH MY *GOD* what the effing hell did I just see in the clip for the end of Lauren and Dominic's routine? This is not theater! Why are lips touching? Ew ew ew! Kisses are not choreographed into dance! Ever! EVER! Ew ew ew ew ew I need eye bleach. Why couldn’t Neil have been her partner this week?
-Bottom 2 Guys: *gapes* Uh...bluh? How is Danny not in the bottom 2? Your lineup is Neil, Pasha, Danny and Dominic. Obviously Dominic's going home, but how are the combined powers of Neil and Pasha's dance talent, looks and personality not enough to easily squash Danny's skill, no matter how jaw-dropping?
-How dare you put Neil in the bottom two?! I'm telling you, if you send my OTP home this week, Pasha will NOT be enough to keep me around for whatever little bit of the competition remains.
-I am skipping One Republic's performance of "Apologize." I might be missing out on a good song, but I don't remember it and I don't care to recall it just now. Too incensed with rage. Need to know the results ASAP.
-Girls: *glowers malevolently* I knew this was a foregone con HOLY HOLD THE PHONE IS LAUREN ACTUALLY SAFE?! SQUEEEEEEEE!! SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE! Note the pure joy on Lauren's face as she throws her arms around Neil. Pretend he has the same look on his.
-Honestly, I think Sara showed a lot more growth as a dancer, but the fact remains that I get more joy out of watching Lauren dance. And that makes her the better dancer.
-Guys: Um, that was a major upset just now, so…please tell me there's not going to be a similar upset for the guys? Dominic IS going home tonight, right? RIGHT?? *peers through fingers* OH THANK GOD. I love half the top 6, which means no matter who goes home next week, I am going to have at least one of my favorites in the final stage of competition. *collapses in relief*
-*perks up again* Ah-hah! The final credits are rolling for the danceout, and Neil's hugging Lauren in the middle of the group. I really never get tired of watching these two. It almost makes me understand how the Rymon shippers feel over on Idol.
And finally, because I CAN, I'm posting a fun meme lifted fromkimberkatie
The "If you HAD to.." section
1.] If you HAD to get a tattoo, where would you want it and what would you get?
I’d get something extremely feminine, like a tiny little butterfly or flower or possibly a rainbow (appropriate, yes? Only it bothers me that rainbows have been turned into a symbol of gay pride), on my shoulder. That’s the only place I can think of that wouldn’t hurt like hell, since I don’t mind taking shots there, and something small might actually be pretty. Even my mom, who hates tattoos more than I do, wouldn’t object to that.
2.] If you HAD to dye your hair, which color would you choose?
I’ve always wanted to be a redhead, of the dark auburn variety.
3.] If you HAD to get a piercing (THAT ISN'T YOUR EARS) what would you get pierced?
I’d be sure to lose weight first, but probably my navel. I’ve heard it hurts like hell, but belly rings can actually be sort of pretty, whereas lip, nose, and eyebrow rings/studs are all shockingly nasty-looking. And seem like they would hurt even more.
4.] If you HAD to change your name, what new name would you choose?
Tessa is pretty, a soft name that rolls off the tongue.
The "Would You?" section
1.] If you could go bungee jumping, would you?
No. The fall would be all right, but I don’t fancy being yanked back up like that. I’m queasy just thinking about it.
2.] Would you move somewhere else, if you could?
That’s a bit hard to answer…I mean, I do plan to move elsewhere at some point in the somewhat near future, although because I’m a homebody, I expect it will be somewhere in either the Twin Cities or the St. Cloud area, because I like familiarity. Unless, of course, I get fed up with the ridiculous housing prices and give it up for the eastern part of Wisconsin.
3.] If you were given the chance to go to Paris, would you go?
No. I have no interest whatsoever in visiting France, and Paris is the last part of France I’d want to visit, being a big, famous, and foreign city. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to tell people that yes, I’m a French minor, no, I’ve never been to France, and no, I don’t plan to ever change that fact. Studying the language is one thing. Studying the culture, and/or attempting to converse with native speakers, is QUITE another.
4.] If you found 10 million dollars, and it was YOURS to spend, what would you do with it?
Pay off my parents’ debt, along with my college tuition/student loans, for starters, and set my brother up for his education too. I’d finish my degree out of sheer stubbornness, but with that kind of money, I don’t think I’d ever join the workforce. Next up, a new car – nothing flashy and expensive, just a solid 4-door vehicle with good gas mileage. Then I get to purchase my dream house, which I’m pretty sure would be a luxury home in the country, with plenty of space in pastures and barns to house the menagerie of pets I would go about acquiring. (let’s just say it would resemble a petting zoo, plus a few full-sized horses, and a variety of canine, feline, and rodent housepets).
Since I intend for this money to set me up for life, of course, I’d have to go about adding these luxuries slowly, sinking most of the money into a savings account and giving myself a monthly allowance. However, I can imagine spending a good deal of my pocket money on things like DVDs, CDs, and books. Especially books. I’d go on a vintage-horse-book-buying spree, starting with a complete hardcover collection of Marguerite Henry’s works, the ones with full-color-plate illustrations by Wesley Dennis. And indulge my inner child by adding to my My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop etc., and micro mini horse collections.
I’m almost done here, but I want to prove that I’m not a totally selfish brat. I’d donate to animal shelters/rescues, and set up a fund for my high school band program, since the latter was a large part of what made my high school experience so damn fun.
The "Lets Say..." section
1.] Let's say you see a big ship sink. Only 3 people have a chance to survive. The 3 people are Your Best Friend, Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend, and a long lost friend (that you don't know too well) who would you save if you HAD to choose ONLY 1 person?
You mean my estranged best friend? Gonna have to go with the boyfriend here.
2.] Let's say you became President, what is the first thing you would do?
I’d do my best to push a ridiculously harsh law for underage drinking. Perhaps a mandatory month in jail for the first offense. Look, I really hate when immature children (by which I mean “college students”) get their hands on alcohol.
Failing that, I’d at least get stricter punishments in place for animal cruelty. Yep, that’s me, ruling with an iron fist.
3] Lets say you had to eat a tarantula for $1,000, would you?
Not unless the thing is dead, chopped into pieces almost too small to see, and baked into a casserole to disguise the taste.
4.] Let's say you could bring one person back from the dead, who would you bring back?
My paternal grandmother. She died about 15 years before I was born, and all I really know about her is what I can see in old pictures I dig out of boxes, and the few things in the house that I know belonged to her. I would love to hear stories from her. Also, I like to imagine that she would have been a very nice, warm grandmother, unlike my mom’s mom, whom I didn’t know long but who rather frightened me, and whom I avoided whenever possible.
5.] Let's say you could star in any movie (made or in the works) what movie would you want to star in?
I’m sure there’s a better answer, but at the moment all I think of is that Arwen in Lord of the Rings always seemed like a dream role. Unlike Liv Tyler, I would not have been too wimpy to ride my own horse. Then, of course, there are the added bonuses of being Aragorn’s love interest, having gorgeous hairstyles and dresses to wear, speaking Elvish, and being part of a cultural phenomenon without actually having a great number of lines.
The "Favorites" section
2.] Current song?
Stars, “Your Ex Lover is Dead.” I’m still gleeful that I was able to find this the minute I looked for it, and I’ve listened to about a million times in the past week and a half. Despite its off-putting name, it’s beautiful.
3.] Shirt you own?
My cerulean blue, flour-soft sweater. I kind of wish I could wear it every day of winter.
4.] Electronic device?
My new flash drive. *pets it*
Pirates of the Caribbean
Right now it’s kind of a tie between Black Beauty and Harry Potter, but usually the former
7.] Pair of shoes?
I have a pair of black flats made of the softest leather ever…I wear them whenever possible, if it’s not sandal weather
8.] Sandal color?
Tan. Tan goes with everything. At least, that’s what I believe since I only wear one pair of sandals on a regular basis.
9.] Hair color?
Like I said above, I’m rather fond of dark redheads, but really…nearly any shade of blond or brown works for me too.
10.] Eye color?
Blue always seems to be prettiest, though I’m pretty fond of green as well.
The "Other Stuff" section
1.] What makes your bedroom unique?
Lots of stuff. For example:
- The chimney runs through the middle of room. Seriously. I am the only room in the house that has a fantastic pillar, just made for hanging posters, running from floor to ceiling.
- Our house doesn’t have an upper attic; it has attic “nooks” tucked under the eaves, which are accessed through the upstairs bedrooms via doors that look like they open into an additional closet. One of them is in my room.
- My room has a dormer window that looks out over the porch roof; it adds a cute little rectangular space on the edge of the otherwise square room.
- My bed, with its ornately carved wooden headboard, is an antique made in Germany, late 19th century, and apparently been in our family for about that long. Same for the matching wooden dresser/mirror. The wicker-bottomed rocking chair is antique too, though perhaps not quite as old.
- Speaking of old things, my grandmother’s 1940’s wedding dress has been stored in my closet as long as I can remember.
2.] Who do you like?
Although I promise this is extremely unusual for me, at the moment I am too wrapped up in fandom ‘ships to have a real-life crush. Really, this is not normal. I am always involved in unrequited love. I can usually carry up to five superfluous, attraction-based crushes in addition to my main attachment at all times. But right now, everything’s directed at fictional love lives. In the long run, this creates rather worthless memories, but in the short term it’s very satisfying not to have one’s feelings fluctuate daily based on interaction (or lack thereof) with a particular crush.
3.] Do you go to parties?
RS cannot answer this question due to the fact that she is alternately laughing hysterically at the notion of willingly attending a party, and spitting tacks at the general concept.
4.] What's your favorite season of the year?
I like autumn, with its crisp cool air (but well before the snow) and falling, multicolored leaves. Starting in October, that is, after the annual New School Year Panic subsides. September is the worst month of all.