Entries Tagged 'Blogging' ↓

[BlogEntry] Is anybody still reading?

I realize I haven't kept this blog up, that's mostly because FIOS blocks on port 80 which means I lose the primary "www.morinfamily.com" url. I keep saying I'll move this over to a real host and get it out of the basement but I never seem to have the attention span — my mail still goes through this domain and when I do it I want to do it quickly so I don't lose mail.

So I'm curious, is anybody actually subscribed and wondering what happened? Or do I just get the occasional search engine traffic?

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars : Cheryl and Drew Affair!

Now here's some juicy gossip!

Seems that Cheryl Burke was busted, in the act, fooling around with Drew Lachey. Drew's married, if you recall – his wife was pregnant during his season and if I remember the timing actually gave birth during the last weeks.

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars : Starring Hillary Clinton?

TVSquad is reporting that Hillary got an invite to Dancing With The Stars. Seems that she said on The Tyra Banks Show that she'd like to compete on the show "if paired with one of those really good partners" (kinda like how she's competing for the White House, apparently…) The show heard this and wasted no time in saying "Come visit the tour and you can dance with whoever you want." No word on her response yet.

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars Finale 2007 : Helio and Julianne Win!

Ok, ok, not going to recap the whole two hour show. I love how they eliminated Marie in the first 15 minutes, without even doing an extra dance. It was like the producers finally caught up with the backlash that she didn't deserve to be there and were afraid that nobody would stay tuned to see her win.

Helio probably deserved to win, mostly because of Julianne, last year's champ, who is 10x more appealing on television than Cheryl. I think it's funny that when the cast list for this season came out and I stereotyped all the "stars" I called Helio, "Young and exciting athlete, ala Apolo Anton Ohno." Apolo won it last season with Julianne.

I wanted Maks to win, for a couple of reasons. I like Helio over Mel because he's not a dancer and she is and I hate how the contestants are stacked with professionals who 'sort of' have a dance background. But regarding Maks:

  • Repeat champions are bad for the show. It's not supposed to be about the pros, it's supposed to be about the stars. There's lots of dancers we've seen every season, and people want to see other dancers get a shot.
  • The show needs another woman to win, thus showcasing the male pros. They're going to lose fanbase.
  • Maks is one of those guys that's been around from the beginning. He's a raging ass, but the thing is, he's a good dancer and a good teacher. He earned his spot.
  • I think Maks/Mel's dances were better, because they worked together better as a couple. All their choreography had some sort of chemistry to it. Julianne had that last year with Apolo. But this year each dance was more like a round of "What can I make Helio do next?" like a smiling little puppet. That was never more obvious than in their freestyle, which was nothing more than an exhibition in weird lifts and no dancing.

That's my quick summary. I wonder if the show's starting to jump the shark. This season the episodes were all too long, the filler bits never really worked, the sponsorship was over the top (Macy's Stars of Dance? really?) and the guest stars were cliche and boring, at best. "Do a classic and then do one off your new album!" every single time.

Dance Wars starts next, Bruno vs CarrieAnn. Does anybody actually like Carrie Ann?

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars : Maks Spells It Out

In an Extra Interview, Maksim Chmerkovskiy goes to town on the 'finale' contestants. Says that Marie doesn't deserve to be in the finals, and that the winner is usually the one with the biggest fanbase. Marie, he says, "has Mel and Helio's fanbase combined, times five." He also throws in some shots at her personal life, saying "Everybody has problems, some of us just choose to keep it private."

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars October 30, 2007 Results : HOLY CRAP

Wow, that's different. Right up there with Daughtry's elimination from American Idol comes this. Who went home this week, Marie? Jane? Nope.


The Cheetah Girl.

The one that everybody pretty much had as a lock for the finale, if not to win the whole thing.

The big question is, what happened? How could they fall right off the list so quickly? Like Daughtry and other American Idol "sure things", did people just forget to vote for her because she was such a shoe-in? Or was there a deliberate backlash because it was becoming too lopsided? If you believe the whole show is fixed, did Disney pull the plug on their planted superstar because it was a little too obvious?

That's a real shame, she was easily the best dancer in the bunch. I just hope this doesn't mean that Mel is at the top of the heap now, she does nothing for me. The only reason I tolerate her is because Maksim has become more of a character than she is.

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars October 23, 2007 Results : Who Got Kicked Off?

Finally a week where there's something to write about! Sorry I missed last week, but come on, the Red Sox are going to the World Series. I am morally obligated to watch baseball over ballroom. It's a Boston law.

This week was intriguing indeed! It started when I walked into the room and my wife said "Marie Osmond just passed out." Thank heaven for Tivo! It was a pretty standard faint, you can't really blame her. I bet the audience felt bad for laughing, thinking she was doing some sort of a stunt. Looking back at the fall during the results show you really got a feeling for just how fast she went down. Heather Mills commented that they thought it was a bit, and it was best fake faint she'd ever seen.

We're at a point now in the season where all the easy picks to go home have gone home. Well, almost. This week it should be Mark. And then Jane, Jennie, Marie and Cameron, leaving Mel, Cheetah girl and Helio to vie for the title.

This weeks's special guest star is Jennifer Lopez. If you're still wondering if she's pregnant, ask yourself why she wore a glorified beach cover-up for both of her numbers? Of course she is. Finally the show has a big enough star who just comes out and says "I'll sing." I didn't hear any plugs for a new album, and she did two classics rather than one classic and one new song that nobody's heard. I just wish that they'd stop with the backup dancers. It's a dancing show. You can sing all you want, but let the ballroom professionals dance while you do it.

Normally I fast forward through the pieces in between the results, but this week there was a good one – how each professional does their choreography. We learned that Edyta listens to her music 50 times, that Julianne goes to bed thinking about what she'll teach the next day, and that Max choreographs on the fly. Tony had the best quote when he said, "I'm just the frame, my partner is the picture." Sometimes in their effort to win you'll see pros who basically have their celebrity stand still while they dance circles around them. But the show's not about that, we all know that the pros can dance. The idea is to see what the celebrities can do.

In a funny moment, Julianne hears her name called during the results portion but has no idea if she's been told that she's safe or in the bottom two. So she sits there, looking vaguely confused, until Tom says "That means that in the bottom two are …" and finally she realizes that she's safe and celebrates.

No surprise, Mark goes home this week. Jane Seymour is also in the bottom two, which might be an indicator of what happens next week. She's good, but does she had the following? I say its her or Jennie Garth.

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars Oct 9, 2007 Week #3 Results : Who Got Kicked Off?

The results show has become such a pattern it's almost no fun to blog it anymore. They stretch it too far, and then just shove in a bunch of canned acts. This time we have Seal, who does "Kissed By A Rose" first while two professionals we don't know (I hate that, as I've mentioned) dance what is actually quite a nice number. Later he comes back, complete with backup dancers and playing his own guitar, to do the token song from his new album. Reminded me of Prince for some reason.

Then we have the obligatory ABC/Disney promotional segment, as Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter come out to sing. Unlike a Drew Lachey who really seems to have embraced the show and makes regular appearances, Billy Ray pretty much never took his eyes off the microphone. He came, he sang, he left.

The only real suspense in the results show is who will be in the bottom two. Since the results are in no particular order, does it really matter at all who is safe first? Of course not. I would expect Wayne and Mark to be the lowest this week. Once you're down there, it's hard to fight out of it. But I'm surprised to see not Mark but Floyd the boxer. He's a classic case of not warming up to the audience. He thinks that if he concentrates hard enough and works on it and really puts everything he's got into it, he'll do well, and that's not how it works – at all. If you looked mad when you lose, the audience will drop off for you. Maybe his overhyping of his pay-per-view event had something to do with it? Who knows.

Doesn't matter, as Wayne goes home. His whole presence was entirely awkward, and I think Cheryl the two time champ knew it. She even had some comment in one of the segments about how during the complicated maneuvers she'd spin them so that she was closest to the judges. Nice. Even in the backstage segment Drew hit her with a question like "What character are you going to have Wayne in next week?" and she launched into what was clearly a pre-scripted speech about how wonderful of a guy he is. That made no sense.

Paso Doble next week, and I'll already make the prediction that Julianne (the champ) and Helio (race car man) get the highest score. Something about their style, combined with her choreography in what is a very character driven dance.

[BlogEntry] Dancing with the Stars Season Premiere : The Men

Is it me or is everybody having more fun this season? Everybody was smiling and laughing through the whole thing, and both last night and tonight, except for the notable exception of the girl who got a 16, everybody got a good score.

I don't really know half the men. I don't follow Indy racing, I don't watch soap operas, and that one guy being a model means nothing to me. At this point, the dancers are more famous than those guys. The only guy I really know is Mark Cuban, who I thought was going to be this season's Kenny. But he actually turns out to be pretty good, except he has to stop singing to the words. He had his HIP REPLACED? Isn't he in his 30's? What's he doing to himself?

I think the girl with the 16 is the logical choice to go first. Seems like a supermodel is always the first to go. Of the men, I wonder if Wayne Newton will manage to fill the "charismatic old guy" slot, or if he'll just be too stiff and go home early. We shall see!

[BlogEntry] Free Ringtones : What's the Big Deal?

Apple has a new feature for the iPhone. See a song on iTunes that you like? Click and turn it into a ringtone! The only problem is that you have to pay 99 cents for the song, and then another 99 cents for the privilege of making it a ringtone. Who is the ad wizard who thought that one up? Or was that one for the "We'll give it a shot and see how many people actually do it before the bad press gets too overwhelming" pile?

Naturally this has started up a flurry of "How to get free ringtones for your iPhone" articles, which in turn has spawned articles for "Get free ringtones even if you don't have an iPhone."

Over a year ago I simply got a phone that actually supports MP3 ringtones (a Motorola v360, to be specific). And then it was a simple matter of getting them on the phone. Easy easy. My ringtone is Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day…") as sung by David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd. The uber-cool thing is that my 5 and 3 yr olds can now both sing that song, referring to it as the song that Daddy's phone sings.

I suggested that my 5yr old sing it for her new kindergarten teacher, but then it dawned on me that her teacher would probably have no idea what she was hearing.