Whew it's been ages since I did one of these. I am still a reality TV watching fool, I just don't post about it like I used to. But I miss our discussions!

The first thing that's been on my mind, thanks to The Real World: Brooklyn, is the fact that our country has been at war for 7 and a half years. According to my in-house military contact we had people on the ground in Afghanistan by September 13, 2001. So that's just over 7 years and 6 months. Almost twice as long as we were at war for WWII. About half the time we were in Vietnam. That's a lot of soldiers to put through the ringer. And what this war does to our soldiers is hard to ignore. Allen got lucky, I know that and I thank God for it. There are so many out there who didn't. Anyone watching the Real World this season that didn't know it before is getting a look at it now. Ryan, one of the castmates, is a Veteran of Iraq and from the past two episodes is either back in Iraq or in training to go. He's obviously suffering from PTSD. He's trying to cope, but you can tell. It really became obvious to me when he was sitting on his bed talking with one of the girls after he found out one of his friends from the Army had committed suicide. Ryan kept playing the same chords on the guitar, rapidly going "I'm fine. I'm fine." No, honey, you're NOT fine and it's evident! Ryan is the third soldier MTV has cast on a show and ALL of them are veterans of that war and ALL of them have some sort of PTSD. Rachel from Austin had a hard time not losing her stuffings on both shows she's been on so far. Dan the Marine was fine on his Road Rules season, but on the Island he stayed drunk the whole time. Even for that party atomosphere, that was excessive (and as an aside, on an island where they supposedly had no power, how did they have such bright lights and were they drinking WARM beer and liquor????) So, yeah, you've got Rachel who had no control over her emotions, Dan drinking his life away and now Ryan with his wall and his dark movies. That's what's happening to our soldiers coming home. It's scary. This country became famous for how well we cared for our soldiers. I fear they're not getting the same benefits anymore. And yeah, part of that fear is very personal and a little selfish. I'm married to one of those veterans. He's a decorated veteran of a foreign war. Will he be treated accordingly as he gets older? We'll see.....
As for the rest of this season's Real World.... It has been interesting watching Katelynn's journey. She was still recovering from her surgery when she moved in. Kinda like a baby colt or something. I like her, for the most part, but she does have her moments. Like the cleaning thing. I admit, I'm not the neatest person, but good lord, I wash my dishes. Anyway.... She seems pretty cool. Actually, I pretty much like the cast, except for Chet and JD. They're a pair of asses and it's hard to say which is a bigger jerk! Honestly, Chet is one of the most judgemental people I've ever seen. And he sounds off about things that do NOT concern him in the least. "If I were Scott, I'd demand that money back from Katelynn. I'd be angry that I loaned her money and now she's gambling it away." Okay, first of all, Scott GAVE Katelynn the money. She is the one who said she planned on paying it back. It was given as a gift, and therefore, Scott may not LIKE what she did with it, but he GAVE it to her. And two, Chet, NO ONE ASKED YOU. Also "Devyn shouldn't be dating two guys at once." What business is it of yours? You're not one of the guys! I personally think if Chet had not been in the house, there would have been a lot less tension between the "sexes" in the house. Also, Chet is obnoxious to the people he interviews. I'd hate to be interviewed by him for a show. Of course, with my luck, if I ever get famous, Chet will be one of my people I have to talk to and he will probably have found this blog while researching me. So, Chet, if you ever read this, I hope you've grown up since your stint on the Real World. Because you were pretty UN-Christian on that show. And as for JD, he's a real Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde. He gets drunk and trashes his roommates to their faces and tells their secrets to other housemates? I hold the philosophy that our true feelings come out when we're drunk. JD is mister sweet and sensitive when sober, when drunk his manipulative conniving side comes out. Of course, after a few binges, he dropped the act. The whole thing with the rat? What a terrible thing to do. That's not funny. That's just cruel. Cruel to the animal and to the roommates. And they just let him throw tantrums where he breaks things? In other houses, when people act like that, they send them to a hotel for the night. Anyway, I haven't seen the last episode or the reunion yet, but it's been an interesting season.

Top Model has been interesting to watch. Tyra is so crazy. Crazy as in Joan Crawford crazy, except I don't think she's beating the models with wire coathangers. Well, not literally. No, her words are her wire coathangers. And riddle me this friends, why have the three girls from Africa that have been contestants on this show been the biggest bitches on the show? Seriously, Nneena was terrible, although she hid it when she started. Fatima was just awful, at least from the gate. I think she got a little better as the show went on. But this Sondra girl is just.... a real piece of work and not in a good way. She pushes peoples buttons. Some of them realize it, other haven't and it cost them. Of course, Sondra's performance has been lackluster lately, so maybe she won't stick around too long. So far, my favorites are Aminat, Tahlia, London (how could you NOT love a street preacher?), Fo and Tiana. I liked Celia until she pulled the little "Tyra, it's not fair, Tahlia said all week she wanted to go home" thing. The judges obviously hadn't heard about it and so it looked like Celia was doing it out of jealousy, even though it was true. It wasn't brought up before the judges made their decision, so it made Celia look bad and probably caused tension in the house. I haven't watched last night's episode yet (I love my DVR) but I know it was probably chock full of cat fights. My favorite discussion blog is Four Four. Google him and prepare to laugh!

Survivor has been it's same old dramafied self. Honestly, I don't think I could ever do that show because 1) I love the conveniences of A/C, a modern bathroom and my washer and dryer. I could probably handle the foods, but not the other "roughing it" crap. And B) the people would made me totally lose my stuffings. I am a lot better than I used to be, but I still get frustrated by difficult people. My anger management issues would probably re-surface full force the first time Coach went all condescending on me. Seriously, the challenge on that show is not killing a tribe-mate. Starting out, my favorites were Taj, JD and Jerry. Poor Jerry got sick and was voted out. Too bad, he's a soldier, so I bet he knew a trick or two about surviving. As the show has gone on, I've come to like Sierra more. I think she's a good person. I still dig Taj and JD. I just wish they didn't seem to be at odds! It's going to be interesting to see how the rest of this season plays out.
Oh, and Deborah the Principal? Totally crushing on Tyson the Mormon. Here's another aside, what's up with the Mormons on reality TV these days? Although if I had to choose, I'd take Tyson over Chet any day. As long as he promised to keep his clothes on. And who else's gaydar has been pinging with him?

One of my favorite reality shows is The Amazing Race because I think it's one of the most intelligent ones they've come up with. I'd love to do that show, because I'm pretty sure they get showers and the use of washers and dryers on the pit stops! And I'd love to see the world. I think if I could conquer my emotions, Allen and I would be a great team. Anyway.... we'll see what happens with this Curves thing. ;) As for this season's cast, of the teams left, my favorite is probably the sisters, Kisha and Jen. I also like Tammy and Victor and the brothers, Mike and Mark. I liked Luke and Margie until the whole yield thing. That was completely unneccessary. They didn't do it to save themselves. They did it for the rude redheads. And I don't think the RRs would do it for them! That one redhead, I just want to smack her. How dare she treat the natives like she does in their country? Thanks for reinforcing all the "Rude American" stereotypes. I can't wait for them to be eliminated. I can only hope it comes soon. I also liked the dad and son and the flight attendants. I was sorry to see them go. What I loved about Mike and Mel was how much of a team they became. I really loved Mike on the leg when they came in first. He held his dad's hand when they ran up the hill to the Pit Stop mat. It was nice to see him be so respectful and loving. Anyway, go sibling teams!!!!

I've been watching the TVLand show High School Reunion this season. I didn't watch the last one (that was the first one, no?) but I caught the first episode one Saturday night (cause broke couples like us don't go out, we stay at home and take advantage of the cable TV we pay for) and got hooked. It's been interesting to see. I wonder how it'd been to have a high school reunion with my class. I've found several of them on Facebook (and some on myspace in the past few years - before the FB craze) and it's been cool to reconnect. I wonder if I'd even be chosen for the show? I don't know. Heh, like my school would ever be selected. Anyway, it's interesting to see how people in their late 30s can still act like teenagers fresh off the school bus. I'm actually three episodes behind, but there is a marathon Saturday and I've set the TV to record the episodes so by Sunday, I'll be all caught up. I do think Tom and Kara are still in love and it'd be nice to see them reunite. I also hope Maricela and Scott can work out their issues, because they're a cute couple.

Now on to the BEST show: Dancing with the Stars!!!!! I've been a lover of the show for several years now, but this season has been even more personal because Steve-O is on there! For those of you that don't know, my sister-in-law and good friend Jennifer is good friends with Steve and lives in Hollywood. She was his personal assistant for a year. She and Steve are like siblings and so it's been like watching a family member on TV. He got her tickets for every episode and it's been so cool to see her in the crowd cheering him on! I've been so proud of him. He's been sober for just over a year and he looks so healthy and amazing. I'm so happy he's stayed in as long as he has and I hope this week he's able to overcome the injuries that plagued him the first couple of weeks and also his nerves. It's great to see him and I think each week he stays in is another stomp in the face of his addiction. He does have talent and I think he'll get better, now that he knows he can make it through a routine without missing a step. He's getting there. If you're watching, please toss a vote or two his way! My other favorite is Ty Murray, the bullrider. I have a soft spot for cowboys ANYWAY, but Ty has shown that he is a good dancer. I hope he makes it to the final four. I actually get teary when he does well, because it moves me so much. Steve and Ty get all my votes. :) I think Gilles is an amazing dancer, though, and I think the trophy might be his to lose.
Shawn and Melissa are both good, but Shawn has her age and her "gymnast hands" to overcome. Melissa might be the contender that can swipe the trophy if Gilles isn't looking. Imagine how good she'd've been that first night if she had had the full four weeks to train. She went out and got second place with TWO DAYS worth of practice time. Wow. So I've enjoyed watching her. Surprisingly, I also have enjoyed Lil'Kim. She is very good. The other night, I was watching her and Derek's Argentine Tango and there were several moments where I just said "Wow, that's pretty!" It was just so nice to watch! I almost like her.
The one thing that I just can't STAND, though, is the Chuck-Julianne situation. Julianne had said she was taking a break from the show at the end of last season. And then she comes back dancing with her real life boyfriend? That is MESSED UP on so many levels. First of all, they didn't have the chemistry challenge the other couples face. They know they have chemistry because they're dating. Imagine how tough it has been for Shawn to have that chemistry with Mark. She's still so young. But then Julianne and Chuck already have it. And then there is Chuck's attitude of "dancing isn't manly." Oh really? Have you MET Maksim or did you just drift along beside him. Maks EXUDES manhood. So does Tony and Jonathan and Alec. You don't see Lawrence and Ty, two total tough guys if there ever were any, bitching about how it doesn't make them look manly! And honestly, Chuck wasn't that manly to begin with. Really, eliminate him and set him adrift with the RRs from the Amazing Race!!! Anyway, my final four prediction is Gilles, Shawn and Melissa with either Kim, DAG or Ty. Although I'd love it to be Gilles, Melissa, Steve and Ty. Well, actually, honestly, Melissa and Shawn are interchangeable to me. I think the finale will be Gilles and one of the girls, although I'd love it to be Steve and Ty! I don't know if Steve can get it together for that, though. His injuries set him back. :( But I think Ty has a real shot at it! We'll see! PLEASE VOTE for Steve and Ty! :)

Oh, and shows that are coming soon that I'm looking forward to: Pretty Wicked on Oxygen Network. Mia Tyler is involved with this and I'm eager to see it. The first episode already aired. I have it on my beloved DVR. And they're running repeats all weekend. Basically, it's a Top Model style show, but it's about who has the most INNER BEAUTY. Caridee from ANTM Cycle 7 is the host. Deadliest Catch is back on Tuesday April 14th on Discovery Channel. I'm excited! I love those Alaskan Crabmen! I can't wait to find out how Capn Phil is and see the Time Bandit crew again!!!! Set your DVRs!!!! :) Also, a new RW/RR Challenge is coming up! That starts next week!!! I'm excited because RUTHIE is going to be on it. Ruthie is my GIRL! She was on RW Hawaii and I cannot WAIT to see her in action again. I hope she does well on this show and shows all the newbies a thing or two. Also, Mr "I'm retired from the Challenges" Mark Long is back. We'll see how he fares. Better watch it Mark, you might become the next Beth. By the way, that RR stands for Road Rules, not to be confused with the Rude Redheads from The Race.

Whew, my fingers are tired. :)
so i finished allen's stocking. of course i wrapped everything because he's a peeker. i found him a tie at kohls. it's green with snowmen on it, which he can also wear in january. i found him some ac/dc boxers at target. he loves ac/dc. i got him a twisted christmas by twisted sister. of course the peanut brittle i posted about. and had him some flag pencils and gold coin candy. at target i got him a spongebob candy thing and some spongebob coins. and i had him a steelers ornament and a magnet. so his stocking is stuffed. :) and he's pretty much set, except for the one gift that hasn't come yet: the complete calvin and hobbes. like i said, i hope it comes today.

the one thing... when i went to best buy to get the CD, i saw a billy idol christmas CD (which i was going to get if i couldn't find the twisted sister one)... so i mentioned the billy idol CD to him and said i wondered if he rocks the carols up or sings them traditionally (cause i can't find it online to preview!) and allen said he hoped he sang them traditionally, because it's stupid if they rock them up. which makes me sad, because twisted sister rocks their stuff up and i thought he'd love it. :( but now i'm worried he won't like it.
i'm not sure what all to put in allen's stocking. i already have a steelers ornament in there and this magnet. today i found him some pencils that are american flag (he uses pencils to do sudoku and crosswords), some christmas erasers and some gold coin candy (as a joke. when we went to matt and kristy's reception they had "treasure chests" full of candy and plastic coins and allen kept trying to "peel" the coins - he thought they were candy, too). i also ordered him some peanut brittle. i don't know what else to get him for his stocking. any ideas?

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