Watching Dancing with the Stars season finale last night has me nostalgic, thinking back to all the previous seasons. I have to admit, I haven't been happy with the winner of Dancing with the Stars (on wikipedia) since season 2. There, I said it. But, I also must admit, I haven't voted more than a few times. The timing has always been too hard to stay up and actually vote at the right time.
Season one, I didn't start watching until a few weeks in. But I was easily rooting for Kelly Monaco because that's why I started watching the show - she's on my fav soap, General Hospital. So that wasn't a tough choice, she looked really good, and Alec Mazo caught my eye as her partner because he moved so fluid. So it was a big yay when they won.
Season two, I started out the season watching every week, but not the recap show because it was on at the same time as something else. The person I knew of the most starting out that season was Lisa Rinna because of watching Days in college, but I knew *of* Drew Lachey. Tia Carrerre was fun to watch, especially when she did the Tango to the same music as she did in True Lies :) Stacy Kiebler was amazing, I loved her dances. But Drew Lachey was my favorite, he did such fabulous dances, and his freestyle was my favorite (although I also enjoyed the Paso to Thriller). I love that Cheryl put actual dance steps into the freestyle, it wasn't just showboating and lifts. So another big yay!
Season three, I started out the season watching every week, and not the recap shoe again. The people I knew the most going into it were Mario Lopez (hours and hours of Saved by the Bell as a teen) and Joey Lawrence, and I knew of Vivica A. Fox (Independence Day) and Jerry Springer (who I truthfully expected to hate because of his show - and changed my mind) more than the other contestants. I loved Mario the best this season, his dancing with Karina fit so well (and obviously they had chemistry because they are still together). His Paso with her fancy yellow dress was my favorite. Their hiphopy freestyle wasn't as great. Joey was so full of class, and this was when Edyta really caught my eye - she's one of my favs. Their ballroom (vs latin) dances were super. Emmitt just didn't get me the same way, even though I like Cheryl. So I was disappointed that 1-it wasn't between Mario and Joey (I would have loved to see their freestyle), and 2-that Mario didn't end up winning.
Season four, I was a die hard fan by this point. I knew all the professionals by this point, and knew what to watch for in each different type of dance. This made it more fun, actually. I was excited to see Ian Ziering because I spent so much time watching 90210, and Joey Fatone was someone I recognized. I was pleasently surprised by Heather Mills (I didn't know anything about her, but her dance to Mambo Italiano with the flip was one of my favs). I loved watching Ian, he was such a classy dancer, and Cheryl really showcased his talents well in the choreography. But my fav was Joey Fatone. He started out a little shakey but got much better as the season went on, and so I was rooting for him. His freestyle was super great (to "Last Dance", starting out ballroomy and turning flashy), he looked good in tails in at least one dance, and his jive was memorable too. My fav was actually his Tango to the Star Wars theme. It's not just that I like memorable music, they did it in a really unique way, and it's like if the dancer likes the theme, they put more work into it. It's not that I hated Apollo, some of his dances were okay, but I felt like Julianne just made everything so flashy and showcased her rather than Apollo, masking dancing that wasn't as technically sound. (My fav Apollo dance was the "move it" Samba where J wore the cheetah suit, that was really well done). Oh and Leila was a joy to watch too, she worked so hard and had some super dances with Max that were so technically good. Overall, I felt like Joey was the better dancer and should have won.
Season five, the season which just ended... The people I knew the best going in were Cameron Mathison (from All My Children, which I've watched quite a bit over the years) and Jennie Garth (90210). I knew others from other stuff. These two ended up being my favorites to watch, truly. Rewatching some of the dances from the season last night made me sure wish that the fan vote didn't count as much as the judges vote because people like Albert Reed and Sabrina Bryan were really good technically. Just because Jane Seymour and Marie Osmond had a lot of fans shouldn't have kept them around as long as they were here. Jennie's first tango captivated me, but I was mystified by the music they were assigned for some of their dances. Her last dance (to Mustang Sally) was so confident looking. Cameron just was so yummy to watch, with the Superman dance, and the wonderful Jive and even the waltz to Hagrid's theme. And then out of the finalists, I was rooting for Mel B (I was sure hoping Jennie would be in the end, but figured Mel would be more likely to win). She really was a super dancer, doing so many highly technical moves. And I wanted to see Mel win, after Leila didn't make it last time. Some of my fav Mel dances were the Paso with "free your mind" (well, the 2nd time she did the Paso to "satisfaction was also great) and the Waltz with the splits, wow. Helio was not as good technically IMO, and I hated that Julianne just danced around him and his footwork was sloppy. At least with Apollo, there were dances I liked, but with Helio, there were so many small mistakes that it detracted from my enjoyment. I don't understand how the judges treat the males and females differently, it seems like it's easier to be a guy and stand there in hold while the girl dances in front. He wasn't awful like Master P awful, but he wasn't as good as previous winners by any means. So yeah, that was pretty disappointing to me.
Maybe the reason I think back fondly at the old dances is just because I've seen so much now that it doesn't seem new and exciting to see these dances, so I expect more? I don't know. I still like the show and I'll keep watching, but it leaves me a little sad to see such a pattern of people who I like not ending up being there in the end.
We always divide up the cooking between all the couples in our family when it comes to Thanksgiving. My dad gets the core things that have been cooked at their house, and the rest of us divide up the rest.
So this year, like the last few years, I'm making the following:
I'll be doing the pie today, but the other two have to wait till tomorrow morning, which is slightly stress inducing because I worry doing things right at the last minute. But these dishes are much better when they are fresh, so that's how it has to be. E's going to help, though, it will be okay.
Thanksgiving dinner is always fabulous, I'm looking forward to it so much. (So much that I went and had an open face turkey sandwich last night at Boppin' Bo's, I couldn't wait for Thursday to eat turkey!) And it should be a good day with the family, too :)
At the end of last week, I got my shipment of yarn from KnitPicks so I could work on holiday knitting, yay! Here's what I'm working on:
Clapotis scarf for my mother-in-law. This is the skinnier version of the real clapotis, because they are in CA and having a full shawl seems silly-hot. I'm using Shimmer, which was on sale, from Knit Picks. I'm 3 drop stitch rows in now.
I might also make a lacy bookmark out of the leftover yarn...
Stripey Anastasia socks for my mom. This spiraling eyelet rows makes it a little more interesting to knit than plan stockingettes... I'm using Knit Picks Felici in Firefighter because my mom's been a fan of black and red for many years. I am about a third of the way through the first foot, toe-up.
Armwarmers for my sister. I used a pattern out of Stitch 'N Bitch Nation but a different cable on it. Using the new Debbie Mumm's Traditions yarn from Jo-Ann (kinda like a noro but less colorful) I wanted the color repeats to be the same, and that was a bit difficult because I couldn't find the same repeat in the second skein, so I pieced it together a bit and only ended up using the one skein. These are done and the ends are all woven in, but no photoshoot yet!
Mittens for my nephew. He's little, these will go fast. I swatched for a slip stitch pattern to make use of two colors to make it more interesting without too many floats inside to catch his little fingers in. I'm not going to do a thumb because I think he'll just get it stuck. And I'll make an icord that attaches them together. Using Knit Picks Swish Superwash.
Slippers for my niece. These will be the twinkle toe pattern from knitty to make ballet-like slippers. If I have extra time, I may try for some legwarmers, too, since I'm going for the ballet theme. My plan right now is to use Swish Superwash, but I might try to find some cascade fixation instead so they are more adjustable to her feet.
I have a few preliminary pictures on ravelry, but nothing complete yet. I'm quite overwhelmed with how many photos I have waiting to be uploaded right now, so I need to deal with that too!
So what are you knitting for the holidays? Do you have a good start yet?
I'm always a bit busy, it seems, but this week has been a compartmentalized kind of busy!
On last Friday afternoon, I slept the entire afternoon away. E had the afternoon off, and I was just exhausted, so I laid down for a short nap. I didn't mean for it to turn into a 4 hour nap! But it was good, we ended up babysitting Leah and (for the first time) baby Leonard. They are such fun. Funny thing, my bookshelves that store my decorative things and china in the dining room only have stuff on the top 2 shelves now, that's how tall he is! We kept moving stuff up as he noticed he could reach it :D
On Saturday, I finished a knitting project, we went out for lunch, stopped at Jo-Ann's to get me some yarn, and then had a meet up with an old friend from college. That was really nice. On Sunday, we had dinner with my family, everybody but Matthew was there, and we played with the kids and played San Juan with Sarah, and planned Thanksgiving , and had delicious baked potatoes.
On Monday afternoon, I worked on meal planning. We hadn't shopped for 2 weeks, and so a lot of staples were low, and we were out of real meal ideas. Plus there was a HUGE pile of coupons from the papers to go through. I like to go hrough the ads and coupons and try to come up with meal ideas based on what I can get a good deal on. And it paid off, I had $7.35 of coupons off this time!
On Tuesday afternoon, I sorted mail and did laundry. Both projects had been waiting for too long, and it took 4 loads of laundry to finish it all up. It is nice to have everything I want to wear actually clean. :)
On Wednesday afternoon, I recorded books and worked on more knitting. The knit-in was again this week because we ended up with weird weeks in November. I was hoping to start on some new projects, but the yarn didn't get here until 4:15, too late to swatch and finalize the plans. But I did figure out the basic pattern on one with existing yarn, so I got closer to being ready for that new yarn! I had a giant pile of books to put into Vox, and I finished one I had in process so I could take it back. I could see from the library's online display that I had a lot waiting for me (sometimes, my requests come a lot quicker than scheduled), so I wanted to have as many to bring back as possible!
And that's been the fun of late. :) I'm still reading and knitting and watching TV and working and cooking every day, as normal, but these were the other outstanding things. :)
Not everyone I know is as into TV news as I am, but one thing that I've read a lot about over the weekend is the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike. This is a strike that has been in negotiation for month, and they finally went on strike at midnight this morning. Here's the facts as I know it for anyone who is interested...
If this keeps up, I'll probably be increasing my Netflix quantity (we are only at 1 at a time right now) and watch old stuff.
I'm bummed that it comes to this, but I do agree that there has been great changes in the way that shows are distributed since back when these agreements were made that it makes sense they should renegotiate.