Friday, June 30, 2006

Well, There's A Reason Why It Was Harder Then Expected

Because those boxes of tiles were mis-labeled. 6 of them actually weighed 40 lbs a piece, and the other 6 weighed 50 lbs a piece.

I will not confess to putting those boxes on my bathroom scale just so I could see what they really weighed. I WILL NOT CONFESS.

Well, THAT Was Harder Then I Thought It Would Be

The tiles that I ordered for my bathroom renovation project arrived at the store this week, and I went and picked them up this morning. All 12 boxes of them. All 12 25lbs boxes of them.

And even though I am strong, like Godzilla, hefting those suckers 100 meters from garage to front door and up a flight of stairs? Hard. Harder then I thought it was going to be (see: Godzilla-strong reason above). By the end, I was a sweaty beast. And gave up on the first floor of my place, even though they have another flight of stairs to go.

Does that make me a pansy?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How Not to Make a Sale

1) Work door-to-door.

2) Start your spiel for the utility that employs you, and is in competition with the one that I have a contract with, by looking surprised when the person who tells you they take care of the utility payments tells you that they're the person with the cash in the house - you really wanted to ask for my parents, didn't you?

3) Continue your sales pitch by insulting the person who pays those bills, through implying that they may be a deadbeat.

She: "I'm from Energy Savings Utility company. Don't worry! I'm not here to get you!"
Me: "Well, no, you wouldn't be. That would be preposterous for so many reasons."

4) Continue on by lying.

She: "I'm just checking in with you to make sure that you've signed up..."
Me: "I'm not interested, thanks."
She: "Oh, I'm not selling you anything, I just want to make sure you've signed up for..."
Me: "I'm...not...interested," starting to close the door, "thanks"

And she continues to talk, and talk and talk as I shut the door in her face.

Listen, I know working door to door is a tough job, but, like telemarketers, if I tell you I'm not interested, and I'm polite the first time, insisting that I don't know my own mind by continuing to try to sell to me will get you a firm, and still polite, shut down and click, be it from a door or handset.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Canadian Idol Freaks Me Out

Which is probably why I can only watch one or two episodes a season until I have to run away, hands covering my horrified eyes.

This year's freakout is centered around this young man, 16-year-old Craig "Craigee" Sharpe.

While watching his first live performance last night, I was struck by how every hobbit-like he looked. And then I was struck by the fact that the young man sounded like a very not-manly Christina Aguilera when singing. And talking. Except a Christina Aguilera with a Newfoundland accent. Oh, Frodo Aguilera, look what you're doing to my poor, crazy brain!

And then I realized that I'm just way too old to be so very fascinated at the possible, and only in my head, probabilty of emerging Middlesex reality-tv drama on CTV. But not really, because I'm still thinking about it, far too intently, in fact.


Monday, June 26, 2006

I Very Much Wish...

...for a graphic desinger to magic me up a logo so I can get my ass some customized stationary.

...that having customized stationary would make me write more so I could send note cards (oh, note cards, I love you!) or letters.

...that more stationary designers in Canada would set up webshops, dammit!

...for cherry season to never end.

...that none of the sad-sack horrors (Cowboy, I'm looking at you!) make it on to Big Brother 7: All Stars. PS: I am delighted at the possibility of Will (Metal. Not metal.) being back on TV. Funniest reality TV "villian" ever.

...that the Canadian casting episode for Rockstar: Supernova hadn't been so goddamn hilarious that I'll have to watch the series when it starts up for real this summer. And that bitter, bitter Trevor from SoulDecision hadn't seen the light and dropped out of the pre-competition before being given the boot. Kinda faded is right, young man.

...that I didn't watch so much TV.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

See Zombie. See Zombie Use Computer. Type, Zombie, Type!

I think the thing I hate most of all about business travelling is the vacation that my body needs from the flying and the time changes and the crazy-busy days jam packed with meetings.

Okay, that's not true. The thing I hate most about business travelling, and air flight in general, is the state of airplane toilets, and how you can do nothing about what happens in those wee little cubicles before you get in there. And how people standing in line behind you get the idea that YOU'RE the dirty beast, not the person who came before you and inappropriately let loose in that confined space. You know what I'm talking about - don't tell me you don't!

So anyway, I arrived back home yesterday, and the tomato plants? Still. Not. Dead. I am beginning to wonder if there is anything that I can do that will cause them to whither away and die. Nuclear debris? Throwing them off the balcony? I reckon not. In fact, I reckon they, like Superman, are MADE OF STEEL. I wonder if they can fly around the world backwards and turn back time, just so I will know when to and not dash to the bathroom on that plane back home.

PS: Canada's Next Top Model made me laugh like a madwoman last night. But I can't seem to remember why (see reasons why I hate travelling, above). Let me marshall my thoughts for a bit, and we'll see what falls out of my head.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sometimes I Feel Like I Know Everyone In The World

Case in point: this morning, I recieved an email from a friend that I made when I lived in Australia a bargazillion years ago. She's a bass player, and manages the career of the woman who's band she plays in. She wanted to know if I had ever heard about a Toronto-based label that was interested in putting out their latest record.

That label? Part owned by one of my oldest friends in the world.

My Australian friend and my record label friend? Had no idea that I knew either one.

The end.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sometimes Airflight Can Be Awesome

On my flight to Calgary yesterday, a woman sitting in the row in front of me was wearing a hat. Not just any hat, but a hat that would make Blossom proud. Made of felt? Turned up brim all the way around? Bedazzled with mutlicoloured rhinestones? Check. Check. CHECK.

Also, apparently, the crazy old man with the greasey Brillcreamed man-dyed hair that insisted on wandering about and making people join him in conversation was Walter Gretzkey, Wayne's dad. Who knew? Apparently hockey fans who raised a fuss and the flight attendants who wished him a Happy Father's Day.

The end.

Friday, June 16, 2006

IPod Meme and a Picture for Roro

I am lazy and figure the plethora of postings yesterday gives me room to regurgitate one of these suckers.

But first, a picture for Roro and her 87% True Project:

That's beer down the front of that bear's neck, it is. Heinken, if I remember correctly.

And now the meme. Here's how it works:

1. Put your iPod on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the the question.

How am I feeling today?
6 Undergroud, The Sneakerpimps

Will I get far in life?
Bringin' on the Heartache, Def Leppard

How do my friends see me?
I've Done Everything for You
, Rick Springfield

When will I get married?
If I Could,
Juliana Hatfield

What is my best friend's theme song?
I Can't Wait,

What is the story of my life?
Live it Out,

What was high school like?
The Chorus is Suffering,
Art of Fighting

How am I going to get ahead in life?
The Weakerthans

What is the best thing about me?
High and Dry,

How is today going to be?
What's Wrong,
Reggie and the Full Effect

What is in store for this weekend?
Mountain of a Heart,

What song describes my parents?
Jesus Hairdo,
Charlatans UK

What song describes your grandparents?
You're No Rock 'n' Roll Fun,

How is my life going?
You Would Know,
Queens of the Stone Age

What song will they play at my funeral?
Israel's Song,
Built to Spill

How does the world see me?
The Dream is Over,
International Noise Conspiracy

Will I have a happy life?
Celebrte Youth,
Rick Springfield

What do my friends really think of me?
Robot City,
Some Girls

Do people secretly lust after me?
Wave Beat,
The Volcanos

How can I make myself happy?
Walk Like a Man,
Rick Springfield

What should I do with my life?
Don't Cry,

Will I ever have children?

What is some good advice for me?

Groove is in the Heart,

What is my signature dancing song?
For Once in Your Life,
The Jealous Sound

What do I think my current theme song is?
I See You,
Juliana Hatfield

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?

What type of men/women do you like?
Skin Receiver,
Auf der Maur

What kind of kisser are you?
Juliana Hatfield

What's your style?
Mary Timony

What kind of lover are you?
Chewing Gum,

What would be playing on a first date?
It's Alive,

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
The Jitters,
Dismemberment Plan

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hail Seitan!

I love kitchen experiements (see: Tortillas, Yogurt, Peanut Butter). So I decided that I wanted to make seitan - otherwise known as wheat meat.

So I did.

So take a look.

Seasoned high gluten dough:

After resting, pieces are pulled out and wrapped around themselves:

And plopped into simmering vegetable stock, like dumplings:

After an hour, they're done! And sliced, and chopped. Unlike tofu, seitan has a firm, meaty texture:

But it's all wheat, baby!

CNTM - Episode #3 - In One Day, You Brought Us from heinous Disaster to Alright

Just a short highlight of awesome today - I don't reckon the play-by-play style is getting much love, and it takes a massive amount of time to write (badly).

  • In the previous episode recap at the top of the show, Tricia makes use of the ANTM trademark description "fierce". Hot damn! Or should I say, "fierce"?
  • Returning home, the first thing Andrea does is shave the hair from her arms.
  • In confessional, Sisi talks shit about everyone and vows revenge. Like a prize fighter! Later on, she calls the rest of the girls stupid, fake and lame. Oh, pot. See kettle. You are both black.
  • Judge Stacy, she of the manly smoker voice, teaches the girls how to walk at bowling alley. The look of disgust on her face at what she has to work with is LOVELY. Almost as good as her impression of each girl's individual walks. And that woman? Damn, can she walk on a runway.
  • Andrea starts her first in a series of crying jags when she realizes just how outclassed she is. And seriously, the fact that she can be outclassed by the other competitors? Sad, sad, sad.
  • The runway competition is in the middle of a rugby field. In front of rugby players. Now THAT'S high fashion! Or just low rent.
  • Brandi wins the runway competition. Her prize? The use of a secret bathroom in the house. And a pedicure. Worst. Prize. Ever. But Andrea? Is jealous and runs away to cry. Brandi proceeds to get sloppily, tearily, running nose-ingly drunk, and it's the most amazing drunkfest I've ever seen on television. It was capped off by a teary confessional following a teary phone call to her boyfriend where, talking through her nose and sounding like a five year old (a drunk five year old!) she complains about breaking her IPod by accidentally, drunkenly allowing it to fall in the jacuzzi.
  • The photo shoot is helmed by Philip Bloch, the most annoying celebrity stylist I have ever done seen. But the thing is, his honesty, frustration and disgust with the "models" he has to work with? Made me like him. Made me even overlook the icky, pencil thin signature moustache (signature mustache!) he has cultivated.
  • During judging, Andrea starts crying again. Oh, man.
  • Natalie gets the boot. Which was expected, due to her height (6') and larger, more solid frame, but it makes me a little sad. The editors focused on Natalie this show, and she came across like a very intelligent, level headed woman. Okay, perhaps an intelligent, level headed woman built like Natalie would know that there was no way in hell that she could ever be a high fashion model, but still. I liked her, and she was far more interesting then the vapid women that remain on the show.
  • Next week: A trainer makes the girls exercise, the girls pose in lingerie with male models, and Ylena has to make a moral decision about the shoot.

A Plague of Squirrels Upon Your House!

While leaving my house for work this morning, I opened my door to the strangest scene I have ever beheld with my own eyes.

From the trees in the ravine that my building backs onto, and the trees lining the walkway from my door to the building that houses my garage, poured a veritable waterfall of brown and grey and black squirrels.

All a-chitter, making a noise I can only describe as what a rabbit pretending to be a pig would sound like, they scurried down tree trunks, burst into a full run when they hit the ground, then skidded to a stop, and sat back on their haunches, peering into the sky. Still oinking like rabbits (pretending to be pigs), they would then dash off across the compound in the opposite direction from where they came.

I stood in my doorway, eyes even wider then usual, watching the craziness on the lawn in front of me. When 20 or so had passed, and the herd of stampeding squirrels seemed to be thinning out, I took a chance and started to walk gingerly to the garage eyes darting all about, ready to throw myself out of the way of any agitated fur face who might just get the idea that I'd be a nice obsticle to tree themselves in as they attempt to alude whatever Stephen King-like preditor that is now lurking in the woods outside my house.

If you don't hear from me again, take that as a sign that the monster that is now making it's home outside my home has eaten me alive. I hope I went quickly, and gave it a good punch to the throat.

PS: CNTM Episode #3 recap to come later on today.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Claim this Land in the Name of Spain!

The wee plot of flowerbed land outside my front door has been annexed by my downstairs neighbours.

Background - I'm in a stacked condo. It's a three story building, and mine are the upper two. I have a private entrance on the ground level that opens to a stairway that brings you up to my unit. The end.

Anyway, before I moved in, the previous owners dug up a mess of wee trees and flowers, leaving behind only three or four green bushes. And, having a black thumb, I can only identify one as a hosta - the others? Not a clue. But really, I liked it that way. I'm not at all a flower person, as the scent tends to cause small imaginary hammers to pound on my brain. As well, flowers bring flying bugs, and around an entryway, I wish for bugs to be scarce.

This spring, I had planned on purchasing a couple more hostas to fill in some of the blank spaces in the bed. Until I came home a week and a half ago and found that my downstairs neighbours had planted single pansies not only in the bed in front of their bay window, but in the bed alongside my door.

On one hand, I thought, "Cheeky bastards! And also, gah, flowers!", and on the other, "Oh, look what I don't have to deal with anymore!"

My ass? It is lazy. Lazy, indeed.

So far, I am leaning towards not being irritated - the bug situation is not too bad, as of today, and as long as they continue to garden that space, hey, more power to them.

Also, it lets me think the thought "Pansy ass!" whenever I leave and come back home.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I Confess!

  1. I DVRd last night's premiere episode of How to Get the Guy.
  2. I am watching it right now. And I am snickering. And thinking of how it's just a high budget TLC show.
  3. I may very well be taking mental notes.

I have sunk to a new low.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Stole a Haircut. And a Random Tomato Plant Picture.

You may remember from my Episode Two recap of Canada's Next Top Model that I admit to coveting Heather's haircut.

What I may not have told you was that I had set up an appointment with my stylist and colourist, erm, 8 weeks ago, for last Saturday.

And I may have brought in the following picture with me.

Tasha was lovely enough not to make fun of me for watching completely crap reality television. Possibly because she does not share the love for the crapulence that is modern-day TV.

In fact, she was excited that I wanted to halt the growing experiment that I had going on on top of my noggin, and whipped up an amazing science experiment of colour to compliment the cut.

She's a wiz, she is.

Anyway, I give to you the before and after. We did what we could with the shorter fringe that I was already sporting, but it's pretty close, I reckon. For the colour, she applied an excellent chocolate brown with auburn undertones to even out my base and fill in the peak-a-boo highlights she gave me the last time I had my colour done. And then? With the forward pushed curtain that serves as excellent long-ass bangs? She put a series of two-tone highlights in that bit - all golden and red and tigers and bears, oh my!

Right, I said "I give to you", didn't I? So let me get right on that.

Runway ready, indeed. Except the opposite of that. That being said, I very much love it, and it brings to 1 Bargazillion the number of hairstyles I have had during my 32 years on the planet.

The new forward motion of the fringe is excellent, even if it has forced me into becoming a hair flipper so I can see. The thing is? It kind of reminds me of the fetlock on a horse, which fulfills all kinds of childhood wishes for the future that I used to hold dear.


As promised, Day 9:

Friday, June 09, 2006

Welcome to the Grade 1 Science Experiment on my Deck

Day one:

Day four:

Day five:

Seriously. For those familiar with my black thumb, I am as astounded as you are. Also, how much do I love time-lapse photo essays? Far too much. More tomato pictures to come. You have been warned.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

CNTM - Episode #2 - "I Was Thinking That My Brain Was Going to be Pulled Out"

This week's episode opens on the girls returning to the house post-elimination. A couple of the girls talk about how easy it is for them to maintain a model weight, while Natalie, who isn't blessed with a metabolism that runs like crazy, and who isn't willing, like Heather confessed last episode, to live only on rice cakes and water, wraps her body in saran wrap in order to sweat off water weight.

Saran wrap. Saran wrap! Like a 6 foot tall jockey, but without the horse riding at the end.

One thing that I really like about this show is that it keeps pointing out the reality of the modeling industry. Well, reality if you excuse the fantasy that any of these girls could ever model in anything other then a Sears catalogue or a Wal-Mart flyer. Both the girls and the judges and modeling agency representatives talk frankly about the difference between the body size, proportion and muscle tone needed to work in the fashion industry and what is considered beautiful outside of the business. All of the girls seem to be, at least, aware of the fact that models serve one purpose: to serve as moving, breathing clothes hangers. And the show makes no excuse about that.

Tricia seems to be playing a much bigger role in this version of the show - unlike Tyre's hands-off swoop-in-make-them-cry-run-away, Tricia appears and jumps in feet first, talking and showing and mentoring. And that starts as she greats the girls the next day, at a salon in the city, for their model make-overs. She, judge Paul Venoit, her personal stylist, Greg Wencel, Gino Garcia, whom Helfer refers to as a specially flown-in colour master, and a flotilla of hair stylists and colourists attack the girls in a frenzy of snipping and bottle squeezing - well, except for Brandi, who is deemed already perfect...except for that horrible personal style issue they, correctly, keep harping on.

Heather gets an amazing hair cut that I covet, and criescriescries because of it. Perhaps its because my hair grows like a cherry tomato plant, but the crazy attachment, and the equally crazy worry about how her boyfriend will react makes me wonder if she's at all prepared the rest of the show. But, you know, it's not a make-over episode unless one of the girls freaks her shit. And even better, this show gave us two!

Tricia and her stylist had planned to give gawky Andrea hair extensions, but, due to the horrible state of her hair (man, after seeing the girl punish it with a flat iron applied directly to dry hair without using a spray-protectent, they should've known), especially after a colour lift following a self impossed previous chemical fry-up, they had to hack and hack and hack the damage away. But you know what? She went from gawky 5-year old to a confident young woman. It's amazing what a stylist who knows their shit can do. But the tears! Oh, the tears. Her excitement at finally having long hair was replaced by horror at having to go even shorter then it was when she sat in that stylists' chair to crazy love with what she ended up with. Ah, to be so young and care so deeply. I sometimes long for those days.

Tenika plays the diva card, causing Greg, in a shit-talking aside to Paul that made me love them so damn much, to remark: "I've never worked with someone so irritating and demanding in my whole career, and I've seen a lot of irritating and demanding. Trust me". Paul also tells Andrea, point blank, that she needs to buy a fashion magazine and develop a sense of style because she's an absolute disaster. It was brilliant and made my general low-level irritation with him recede to previously unheard of levels.

At the end of things, the girls definitely look more downtown and less suburban mall, but, really, I think there is nothing that anyone can do to make any one of these girls look like a top model.

Back at the house, Andrea, in shades of Anne confessing her love to Eva on America's Next Top Model, dissolved in snotty tears as she tells Tenika of her sisterly love for her. She tells her how her feelings for her mom, who is her best friend, have been transferred onto Tenika. I am looking forward to a melt-down / high-noon showdown in future episodes.

This show's photo shoot's theme is Fight Club. Unfortunately, it did not involve soap being made from human fat, but I reckon that's just too much to ask.

The girls are dressed in the hoochiest swimsuits that I have ever, ever seen in my entire life. Tricia joins them in a boxing ring, and coaches them through poses and working expression and emotion into their faces. Watching them mimic Tricia is like watching wee ducklings, waddling about, mindlessly, behind their mother. Excellent. Especially since none of them are at all able to duplicate anything on film. That's right - the results of the photo shoot are pretty much on par with those from the first episode. Stinky, stinky, stinky.

During the judging, before the one-on-one critiques, Tricia asks the girls to leave and has them return, one at a time, and forces them to choose which contestant that they feel should get the boot. Based, of course, on what they've learned thus far about the modelling industry. Ha! But whatever - when the numbers are added up, Sisi has the most votes. But what does this mean? We shall soon see.

The girls return and the critiques begin. Random comments:

  • On Tenika - "The body looks experienced, but the face looks like it's your first shoot". My inner 12-year-old boy fell in love with Venoit right then and there.
  • Andrea blames the extra hair on her arms on being cold. Really, though, growth of the kind of hair she has on her extremities - the peach fuzz, downy kind - only happens a body doesn't have enough body fat to keep it warm. Instead of addressing that issue, she's told to find some way to remove it.
  • On Brandi: "That's messed up, girl"
  • On Heather: "She's already aged in her face"

Following the critiques, Tricia reveal to the girls that Sisi received the most votes and was deemed, by them, to be the person who should be kicked off. But also that the result may not have any effect on what the judges decide. Which makes me believe, quite strongly, that the producers saw just how politely boring the girls were and that they needed to stir up some shit in the house to make for anything resembling entertaining television.

The judges deliberate, and then call the girls back in. It comes down to Dawn and Brandi, but Dawn's overall fear of the camera and of modeling in general does her in.

Random Confessional Moments

  • Tenika hates Brandi and equates her to a snake, constricting around everyone to squeeze the life out of them.
  • Sisi delivers an absolutely unrecognizable, but entirely hilarious, impression of Dawn. After which, she opines, "You're so fucking. Boring."

Next week, Sisi vows revenge on the girls who voted for her to leave, the super-annoying and super-fem celebrity stylist-slash-irritant Philip Bloch guest directs at the photo shoot, and the girls take part in their first runway show.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

CNTM - Episode #2 - Not a Recap, but a Triumphant, and Quick, Fist into the Air

Just a quick, non-recap Hell Yeah shout. Thankfully, the show is becoming all that I wished for previously. The bitch divas are coming out, the tears are flowing, and Tricia Helfer has become a bargazillion times more personable.

Recap tomorrow!

I Have Not Yet Murdered Them

And that is surprising! In fact, THEY THRIVE.


Sunday afternoon:


Double the size! I am freaked out, and hoping that they are really tomato plants and not crazyass bean stalks. Because I am just no emotionally prepared for battling a giant right now. I am a delicate flower, you see.

Shut it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

23 Squidoo

I have succumbed to peer pressure and created a Squidoo lens for my Canadian Online Shopping list.

Visit and help me add to it!

Online Shopping in Canada

Monday, June 05, 2006

Skirty McSkirterson

I don't know if you've noticed, or noticed me noticing you (winkwink, hey sailor!), but I'm pretty much in love with skirts. Which means that I adore every season that isn't winter 'cause I get to wear them. Why not so much with the skirt wearing in winter? Because tights + me = hilarious, uncomfortable comedy of errors. Each and every time.

That being said, the last couple of years have been lean with the skirt-buying and me. I have not the tall stature to pull of the boho-floaty-mid-calf-to-ankle designs that have taken over store shelves of late. So when I find a lovely a-line that hits me at the knee? I do whatever I can to snap it up.

Here's the skirt I wore today. It made me feel a bit like a surf bum, though I'm not quite sure why.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I Will Feed Millions with my Cherry Tomato-y Goodness

Or, at least, this plant and it's sister will do much to fill my own belly with tomato-y goodness. Which, though selfish, is all I really want.

So there.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Another Fashiony Post

It must be a fashiony day!

Look what arrived at my house this week. Oh, BCBG, how I love you:

As I suspected, the silk underskirt is about an inch too long, and the tulle overlay, upon with the lurvely sequins are attached, is another inch longer. My current plan is this: visit seamstress. Shorten underskirt by an inch. Have the unsequened bit of tulle cut down to where the sequins start. Same effect, no? I am possibly too afraid of the possible problems that might arise from having the tulle overlay removed, taking an inch off at the top, and reattaching it to the hem. Thoughts?

This is the skirt I wore today:

It's by OK47, and it is one of my absolute favourites.

Shamefacedly, and yet, strangely and proudly, I now present to you my ugly new shoes. I promise to only wear them when on my deck, gardening and washing my car. I sometimes wonder about my questionable taste.

CNTM - Episode 1 - "He told me I looked like a bulldog"

Dear Canada's Next Top Model,

Where, I ask you, is the overwhelming, over the top drama and craziness? Why do I get the feeling that you didn't really do a casting call, but instead left filling the slots to, say, the day before shooting started, causing you to run out into the street and make any girl that you ran into that fit the 5'9" and over, somewhat slim, over-18-under-25 criteria? And here is my proof: a casting episode, something considered standard for ANTM, and reality competition shows in general, was no where to be seen.

As exhibit two, I give you the competitors themselves. I know I said it yesterday, but, dear Christ, there is no way in hell that you can do anything to convince me that any of these girls could make it to the pages of a Sears catalogue, let alone a high fashion runway. As well, the prevailing attitude seems not to be one of the self delusional dementia on ANTM, but one of "Hey, someone suggested I try this. I'm not doing anything else right now, so…" And, although I was initially happy that the girls on this show seem to have not yet gotten to the stage where they consider shrieking in excitement as a valid method of communication, the lack of excitement and passion, even if it's generally misguided, does not give me hope for the reality train wreck that this show is supposed to be.

Things got off to a promising start with little orange Jay Manuel greeting the girls at a lakeside hotel, forcing them to remove their make-up, snapping polaroids, and making them choose an outfit and strut down long, curvy wooden dock, which served as an excellent makeshift catwalk. And, yeah, none of the girls can really walk. But that's no surprise.

Tricia Helfer, as host, disappointed the crap out of me. So stiff! So walled off and disconnected. Sigh.

An interesting twist on this version of the show, I think, is the inclusion of representatives from the modeling company that the winner will be contracted to. They talk a lot about the physical demands on a model - not just the work, but the look and proportions that a model must live up to. Measurements going on pre-photo shoot? Check. Talk about what it is about a face that makes it photogenic? Check. Discussion about things that the girls have to change about their body and physical presentation, up front and unapologetically presented? Check. Which is really refreshing - so many people that I know who watch these types of modeling competitions don't seem to get that while some of the competitors might be real-life pretty and have real-life bodies that others might envy, to fill the job of a model, they just don't stack up.

The girls are plopped down into their first photo shoot where they're directed to channel bad-ass rock and roll chick attitudes. Seated or sprawled out on a multi-coloured, lighted disco-style dance floor, the shoots themselves are painful to watch, and the results are even worse. The only girls who don't give a photo that either looks like an over-styled yearbook graduation photo, or a Glamour-Shot studio reject are Brandi, who comes across as the most fashion-y, Ylena, who, though photogenic, looks like she's in her 30s in the image, and Sylvie, which surprised the crap out of me because that girl? Off-film looks like that girl who captained your high school's softball team before becoming queen of the stoners. Ridden hard and put away wet, indeed.

As for the other girls, well. Alanna revealed that she was a replacement for a competitor who decided not to be on the show at the last minute. It shows. Sisi and Andrea are odd looking, but not in a way that makes the camera love them. They're also both intensely awkward in front of the camera and on the catwalk. Natalie is the most masculine looking contestant, and, at least in the first photo shoot, it is definitely working against her - Jay's assertion that she looked like a bulldog had a ring of truth when her best photo was revealed. Dawn is remarkable if only for her total inability to do anything but stare like a scared rabbit into the camera lens. Heather is forgettable, even though she was deemed as having the best walk and the most symmetrical features. Tenika is a pretty girl on video, and has the kind of intense energy that is admirable, but just does not take anything close to an attractive still picture.

Unfortunately for Sylvie, the fact that she doesn't seem to give a shit about the competition in particular, and the fashion industry in general (the "So what" she gave to the judges when the commented on her super-sloppy appearance sealed the deal, sweetie) had more weight then a somewhat acceptable photo, and she given the boot. The most excellent thing about this episode, however, had to be her near-fury at being eliminated. The bitterness! The disbelief! The refusal to cry! Closest thing to the craziness that makes America's Next Top Model watchable TV.

Overall, I was underwhelmed. You know there's an issue when the only person bringing the bitch is Jay, a castmember from the parent show. Jeanne Beker, I know you're a crazy ego-maniac - I want you to get Simon Cowell on those girls! Models, I want you to get the freak-out on!

I want delivery on the hilarious drama, dammit! And I want it now!

Prediction: Brandi will win.