Tag Archives: Jeff Probst

Falling Off the Smug Mom Pedestal

My younger son smiles at fellow teammate Ricky.

I’ll admit it. I was smug. Oh, so very smug.

Two days ago I posted on Facebook that after my younger son tried on a pair of pants I found in his older brother’s closet and discovering that—glory be!—they actually fit, I didn’t have to put buying slacks on my to-do list. I knew there were a couple dress shirts in that same closet (what a great place to shop, I naively believed) that also would fit my #2 son.

Yes, he was all set for that night’s high school fall sports banquet, which is a casually dressy affair. So I thought.

Some of the junior varsity boys’ cross-country team listen to their coach.

But as those of us who are aficionados of “Survivor” know, the minute you become smug, that’s when your torch is about to be snuffed out. Somewhere Jeff Probst was laughing Monday night.

At 6 p.m., my #2 son was dressed and ready to go . . . except that he only had socks on his feet.

“Go find your brother’s good shoes in his closet,” I told him. Which he did.

“They’re a size eight,” he reminded me. Oops.

Do my younger son’s shoes stand out as he poses with Ricky, Marcus, and Nick?

The bigger younger brother’s feet? Size 10.

That sound you just heard? That was me falling off my smug-mom-thinks-she’s-got-her-act-together pedestal.

I guess the Nikes don’t really blend in at all.


Outsmarting Others Makes for “Survivor” Losers

Russell, Russell, Russell!

Does any of us really like being outsmarted? Oh, we might admire someone for getting the best of us, but usually it just makes us mad.

Consider this season’s “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” jury mad . . . at Russell Hantz, the villain people either love or hate. Even though it can be argued that for the second straight season he did what “Survivor’s” motto says the game is all about—outwit, outplay, outlast—once again he finished without the title he covets as the sole Survivor.

Even worse, the other two in the final threesome—eventual-winner Sandra Diaz-Twine and runner-up Parvati Shallow—pitched a shutout against Russell. He received no jury votes. Ouch!

The line seemed blurred between heroes and villains.

Russell had a big advantage going into Season 20: None of the other players knew what he was like. “Heroes vs. Villains” was being filmed while “Samoa” was shown on TV. Russell was a wild card. Yet, as Rupert Boneham said, he had to have made quite an impression in Samoa to have been casted as a villain. Oh, yes, Rupert, he did!

An a-mazing final challenge!

Playing back-to-back seasons seemed to take its toll on Russell, though. Near the end he was irritable and not very sharp. This remark when he mocks Rupert (who also wasn’t as likeable as during Pearl Islands) was telling:

Russell: “You’re such a dumbass, Rupert.”

Note to Russell: You’re not going to get Rupert’s vote.

Blindfolded Parvati and Russell try to exit the maze.

Russell should go down as the best strategic player in “Survivor” history. No one has been better at finding hidden immunity idols (although it can be argued that they’re way too easy to find). No one has been better at convincing people he’ll stay aligned with them until the end. Gullibility runs amok when Russell is in the house.

Sandra pleads her case to the jury.

But Russell’s weakness is his ego. Arrogance gets you zero points—and zero votes—with the jury members, who still aren’t happy that you helped kick them out of the game. You might be a great villain, but you’re a loser in the eyes of the jury.

If I had to choose, though, I would take Russell’s superior game play to Sandra’s weak ride-those-coattails strategy any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Even though she played a better game than in Pearl Islands, especially engineering the ouster of Coach, she’s a no-show in challenges. Here’s her strategy: “As long as no one’s voting for me, I’m good.” Personally, I’m not a fan of passive game play.

So that means that Parvati should’ve been crowned the sole Survivor. She won the most challenges, always had a target on her back as a huge threat, and played a good social game. It’s too bad that certain jury members saw her alliance with Russell as a negative; they should’ve been able to separate the two.

Poor Russell and Parvati!

Jury members tend to hold grudges. Especially against players like Russell and Parvati who outsmarted them.

Maybe “Survivor” needs a new logo: Outwit, outplay, outlast . . . and outsmart!

Proofreader Needed!


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This was the headline over the Letters to the Editors section in our local Fort Bend County Neighborhood News section of the “Houston Chronicle” yesterday:

Fort Bend families at risk for homeliness

We’ve been found out! Got to try to pretty up right now!!

Of course, the headline writer meant to put “homelessness.” Definitely gave me and my next-door neighbor, JJ the organizational wiz, our laugh for the day. Knowing JJ, she chuckled at it, posted a comment to my Facebook wall, and immediately put the newspaper in the recycling bin. Me? I’ll probably save it for a decade and then look at it and wonder why I did.

Tocantins - The Brazilian HighlandsTocantins - The Brazilian Highlands

“Survivor” returns

The 18th season of “Survivor” started last night, and I have only one question to ask the contestants: Do you not watch the show?!? Why in the world would anyone wear a dress and heels when they tell the players they’re going to be flying to the location? Be suspicious! Always wear a swimsuit under your clothes!  And whatever you do, once the game has begun, don’t nag anyone to do chores. My sons could tell you that; gosh, I’d have been booted out of our house looong ago if they could vote me off for nagging!

As always, Jeff Probst (above left) made for an engaged, interesting host during the season-opening episode. How he’s managed to keep his act fresh through all these years baffles me. One of the older contestants (older but younger than me!), Sandy (above right) somehow staved off being voting out with a neat, little blindside of Carolina, who was the tribe’s resident nagger when she wasn’t showing off her cleavage (guess who in the house were disappointed that she’s now gone?). Meanwhile, Sandy has clues to a hidden immunity idol; it will be a miracle if she does ever find it, though. She’s got clues, but she sure is clueless!

Someone who definitely is not clueless is Dalton Ross. He writes the analysis for every “Survivor” show on “Entertainment Weekly’s” website. He’s funny and insightful; be sure to check out his article every Friday morning. And Jeff Probst also writes a very funny blog on the “EW” site that’s not to be missed.

Forgetting the get ’er dones

ilifeErrrr . . . getting kind of spacey; I forgot to list the menu yesterday. But whatever I intended to get done might not have gotten done, because we had a computer crisis with the boys’ iMac that I needed to solve. It should have been so basic: I was attempting to install the new iLife ’09 so that #1 son could benefit from the new version of GarageBand. However, something went amiss, and the iMac, which needed to restart for the software to properly install, wouldn’t restart . . . it just froze. I tried turning it off via the power button and unplugging it, but no change. Baffling! Then I remembered that sometimes the Firewire port into which an external hard drive is plugged has caused my iMac to freeze and go wonky. So I unplugged the external hard drive and pulled out the plug from the port (a necessary step), pushed the power button, held my breath, and . . . it worked!

After that I ran Disk Utility and checked for a software update. When I read the Apple discussion boards to see if anyone else had experienced this problem, one person said to make sure that OS X is really up to date; it might seem like it’s version 10.5.6 when it really isn’t. So I ran the software update, installed iLife ’09 again, and ran Disk Utility again. Good as gold!

Apple users: Remember that the discussion boards on Apple.com often can answer your most-perplexing questions. There’s no need to reinvent the tech wheel when so many users have been there, fixed that.

Keeping up with blogs

bloglines-feedsI’m an admitted blog hog . . . I love to read blogs, lots of them. But I don’t want to bookmark them and then look at every blog every day to see which ones have been updated. So I use a free feed reader, Bloglines, which keeps track of the blogs. It’s easy to subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed, like the one I have on the right side of this page. Just click on the Bloglines box, create an account, click the checkbox next to the feed you want, and subscribe. Easy as pie! Do that for every blog you want to follow. Then all you have to do is go to bloglines.com and up pop your blogs!! Become a regular reader . . . subscribe today!

Photo Friday

5119-magnetic-ropeI’ve put up the magnetic photo rope I talked about the other day, and it’s pretty spiffy! It’s so easy to hang photos on it; in fact, the hardest part was getting the magnets apart! As you can see from the photo, it’s pretty long; you can hang eight photos on it. Definitely recommended as a low-maintenance way to show off your photos. Look for it on Photojojo.

Got a good photo tip to pass along: When you’re taking people photos, get closer! Fill the frame with people, not the landscape (well, unless the background is important). If your lens doesn’t get you close enough, zoom with your feet! Your photos will be much more interesting.

Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow! When you take photos of your loved ones, be sure to zoom in!!

TMT? Need TNT!

family room clutter chair5111-post-tmt 

Here are the before and after photos from yesterday’s Ten-Minute Task (TMT) . . . almost hard to tell which one is which! Ten minutes isn’t a very long time, and I even went past that time when I forgot that the awful, loud, incessant beeping I was hearing was, indeed, the microwave’s timer. Thank you, #2 son, for gently pointing out that it was, indeed, the infernal timer beeping for everyone on the block and in outer space to hear (oh, and thanks for also pointing out that I was trying to lock your brother’s car with my car’s key after school; I appreciate that you didn’t laugh too loudly).

It’s fairly obvious that the family room clutter chair needs many TMT sessions, but at least I’ve made a start. Here’s hoping that the next 10 minutes I spend clearing its field is more fruitful. Looks like Lazy Mom Amanda did a better job than I did!


Kitchen Wednesday

Hump Day means I’ll be spending at least a half-hour in the kitchen, going through the mail, shredding, and tackling a task. I’m going to prospect for gold in the clutter stacker (pictured on the left), a too-convenient place to put paperwork and various sundry items that I don’t feel like dealing with at that moment. I’m sure I’ll excavate some relics among the few treasures. I’m also going to figure out the product on the right. It contains a Cable Photo Holder that I ordered from Photojojo. This is supposed to be an easy way to display photos on the wall; I’ll let you know what I think once I have it up in my office. It has eight magnets for displaying photos, memos, and cards that attach to the thin steel cable.


Surviving While Lost

Today and tomorrow might be the greatest two nights in the history of television: “Lost” is tonight, and “Survivor” begins its new season tomorrow night. We are huge “Survivor” fans, having watched every episode (this is the 18th season). We truly enjoy seeing the different personalities in this reality show disguised as a social experiment. We rate the challenges, try to pick who will be voted out each week, and try to say the Jeff Probstisms at the same time he says them (as in, “Wanna know what you’re playing for?” “Immunity is back up for grabs.” “I’ll tally the votes.” “The tribe has spoken.”). Gosh, I’m getting goosebumps in anticipation! We’re sure “Survivor: Tocantins—The Brazilian Highlands” won’t disappoint.

subway_logo_largeLast night we disagreed with some of the “American Idol” picks, of course; seems like the show just has to choose some obvious looneys to ensure the show has enough drama. Maybe they’ll be booted tonight! As for “The Biggest Loser,” I have only one question: Did Subway pay for the entire episode?!? That had to be the biggest product-placement ploy yet! Well, at least my third husband, trainer Bob Harper, looked gorgeous during the entire show; made it all worthwhile! It’s nice that this season’s “TBL” features contestants who are much nicer than last season’s. It was a veritable lovefest last night when big Blaine was voted off (which he asked everyone to do). I’m sure at some point it might become cutthroat ($250,000 will do that to people), but I don’t think there will be any of the animosity of last season.

Pain in the neck

homedics-shiatsuBefore I could type today, I spent 15 minutes in therapy with our HoMedics Shiatsu pillow. The Mister had bought this over the holidays, because we all seem to have neck pain. Mine is brought about by two things: Working at the computer and stress. This time, I think the culprit  was stress. I felt that familiar stab of pain the other day in Walmart . . . when I walked past Jackson Hewitt’s tax preparation booth. I could swear I heard someone whispering, “Finish looking through those receipts for Romeo!”