TV Review: Grey's Anatomy Episode 2.06

Sunday, October 30, 2005

From ABC: As Meredith nervously awaits a final decision from Derek, her angst is interrupted when a train crash brings several seriously injured patients to the hospital, including Bonnie and Tom, a pair of passengers who've been impaled on a metal pole. And Addison Shepherd sees great potential in Izzie, who must decide whether her loyalty as Meredith's friend outweighs professional gain.

My Rating:

This episode of Grey's Anatomy, Into you like a train, was probably one of the most intense of this series' short life. We're about fourteen episodes in, and tonight the staff at Seattle Grace Hospital had their first major case. Well, actually several major cases, but they all stemmed from one incident. A train wreck that occurs just outside the city of Seattle. We begin tonight's episode right where last week's show left off. Meredith is still awaiting the arrival of Derek and getting drunker with each moment that passes as her three friends and the bartender Joe watch on. Just as she orders another drink, giving up on Derek arriving the beeper's start going off and Joe turns up the television to show the news coverage of the train wreck.

Every medical drama has the one episode where something really bad happens somewhere and there is a rush of patients into the hospital ER. ER has done this, and has one such episode each season. This was Grey's turn. The interns all return to the hospital to find total and complete chaos. Meredith is drunk, so she needs to sober up before she can assist with any cases. All the other interns are spread out between several other cases. Some appearing minor, and others appearing to be a matter of life and death.

The worst case of the night by far is one of two people that are now joined together by a pole that is running through their mid-sections. It looks bad and as the episode progresses we realize how dire this situation is. We learn that the way the pole is situated, one of them will die no matter what they do. Bonnie, the young woman, has the worst of the injuries, and it is decided by the team that she will be the one moved in order to try and save the man. The young woman doesn't even understand the extent of her injuries until Shepard tells her about the surgery and what will happen when they remove the pole. By doing so, she will die. There is no hope.

This is absolutely heartbreaking. The man even offers himself in her place, but she doesn't allow that either. By the time they are ready to conduct the surgery, Meredith is sober enough to join in, and she scrubs up along side Derek, and we finally know the answer to the question everyone has been waiting for. Who does he choose?

We think by him showing up just minutes after Meredith leave's the bar to return to the hospital that his choice was her. We would be wrong, and Meredith soon learns he has chosen to stay with Addison. I'm not sure if this is the last we will hear of this. In fact, I can almost guarantee it won't be. If it was all cut and dry, there would be no fun to be had here. I think Meredith and Derek will eventually end up together. If not by the end of sweeps period more than likely by the end of the season.

Once we know our answer to the big question, the doctor's all go into surgery, and things get underway. The young woman is put under anesthesia and moved. Meredith breaks my heart once again by trying to work on the girl, but she is a lost cause and Bailey pulls her away and calls time of death. I cried. It was so sad. The woman never had a chance.

Other cases went on around this main one. Two women pregnant ended up with Izzie and Addison. One of the women was originally Alex's case, but she walked away to find her friend who was being treated by Addison. The women turn out to be best friends that have babies coming from the same sperm. Both women give birth minutes apart, and after a few scary moments all is well in the end.

Alex also had another case, a woman that suffered minor injuries in the accident who was accompanied by her friend who looked to have suffered no injury. However, in a surprise here, the other woman falls over dead after bleeding out internally, and Alex blames himself for not checking her out when she arrived. With each week that passes, I actually feel more and more bad for Alex. He's having a real tough time since he found he failed his boards. Hopefully, things improve for him soon.

Our final case is of a man that had his leg severed in the wreck, but the problem here is they lose his leg. Yang is on search patrol for the missing limb, and she even goes to Burke for help cause he is her boyfriend, but he tells her on duty he isn't her boyfriend. He really is trying to keep professional and personal separate here, but I'm wondering how long this will last. Alex is finally the one that finds the missing leg, and this earns him some praise from the Chief, who is now back in the OR with Derek's okay.

This episode was definitely an emotional roller coaster with so much going on, and I think by far this is one of my favorite episodes of this season, and possibly even this series. I love how they put together this show each and every week, and even though I want to hate Derek for not picking Meredith, I can actually see where he is coming from. He's had a life with Addison. Who is to say he can have something long term with Meredith? There is no way to really know, so I can understand his choice. We have yet another new episode next week. Once again, I can't wait. This show only keeps getting better.

Saturday Night Premiere: Catwoman

Saturday, October 29, 2005

After a couple of weeks of doing my weekly movie review a bit differently, the Saturday Night Premiere is back, and this week's installment comes to us from HBO. Tonight they premiered Catwoman starring Halle Berry in the title role and co-starring Sharon Stone and Benjamin Bratt. Now I might be just a bit spoiled on past telling's of this story of a nondescript woman that dies and comes back to life with a part of her turned feline. I was actually a bit skeptical about watching this version.

Catwoman to me reminds me of Michelle Pfeiffer from the Batman movie in which Catwoman was featured. I didn't know if I could fit Halle Berry into that role. Don't get me wrong now. Halle Berry is a wonderful actress, and I've enjoyed her work in the past. Catwoman is just a specific type role, and when I see Halle Berry I think of a femme fatale, and not a mousy nondescript woman. My worry was based on her playing the early role and not Catwoman itself.

Well, my worries were unfounded with this movie. Halle Berry did a good job at bringing both Patience and Catwoman to life on the screen. This adaptation of the Catwoman story follows an advertising artist that discovers a secret about one of the products being developed by the company she works for. Their are some disastrous results to the users of the product with continued use, and the owners of the company are ready to hide the secret effects and push the product onto the market at any cost. Even killing a young woman that hears just a bit too much. The woman turning out to be Patience.

As Catwoman, she finds out what is happening behind the scenes at the company she once worked for, and in the process gets set up as the one behind a rash of killings that start to occur. All the while, Patience is falling for a man that is a cop and working on the Catwoman case. After some detective work, the man figures out the woman he is seeing is Catwoman and arrests her. She implores him to trust her and innocence, and he begins to once he meets the wife of the owner of the company. In the process, a battle ensues between Catwoman and the other woman, and in the end she dies. The company is no more, and the product isn't released. In the end, Catwoman leaves it all behind.

Now this wasn't a top grade A movie, but I did find it entertaining. I found myself laughing at points, and the stunts in the movie were also well done. Catwoman is no hero, but she isn't evil. If you're looking for a way to kill a couple of hours rent this on DVD or check it out on cable. I'm sure it'll be on again and again.

My Rating: 3 out 4

This movie available at: Amazon and j & R

Generating Traffic: Reviewing Traffic Exchanges

Friday, October 28, 2005

Over on the Romance Divas forum the other day, a topic on generating blog traffic was started. One of the divas had posted something in her blog and wanted others to see it so she posted to the forum. After seeing that, I got the idea to make this review of several of the blog exchanges I'm a member of. They don't call me the Grand Dame of Blogging on the forum for nothing.

Over on the Romance Divas forum the other day, a topic on generating blog traffic was started. One of the divas had posted something in her blog and wanted others to see it so she posted to the forum. After seeing that, I got the idea to make this review of several of the blog exchanges I'm a member of. They don't call me the Grand Dame of Blogging on the forum for nothing.

When one opens a site, any website, whether it be a blog or a website selling their materials to the general public, they want that site to be seen. As writer's we want our sites to be seen in hopes that our books or future books, as the case may be, are seen by as many people as possible so they will be bought. Many writer's keep blogs, and the number seems to only be increasing these days. For others, they just want their sites seen for whatever reason. They also might have items they wish to sell or they might just like having a lot of people reading what they have to say.

Well how do you get the people to your site once it is out there on the World Wide Web? Generating traffic is not an easy task. No one will know your site is available if you don't promote it. If you don't shout out "Hey I'm here! Look at me!" there is a good chance your site will get little to no traffic on a monthly basis. There are many ways to get the word out there.

There are directories, both for websites and blog specific. You can list your site on these directories, and most of these listings are then picked up by search engines, and that generates traffic to your site. Some of the blog directories I know of are: LSBlogs, Blog Flux, Blogarama, and Blog wise. Links to others are on my sidebar. Some take only a few hours to add your site into their system once checked and approved. Other directories are so busy that is takes weeks in order to add your site. Be patient. Some directories get so many submissions each day that they are backed up for days.

Another way to generate traffic to your site is by the use of traffic exchanges. There are many different types of exchanges. There are some specific to only blogs and some that are open to all websites as long as they follow their terms of service. There are both manual and auto exchanges as well. In a manual exchange, you have to press a button in order to continue on surfing to the next site. An auto exchange automatically takes you to the next site, so you have to do nothing but let the site run. However, some do offer you bonuses if you watch the sites as they appear on your screen.

How do exchanges work? Exchanges work by giving you credits. One credit equals one visit to your site. Different exchanges award you different amounts of credits for each site you view. Most blog exchanges give one credit for every two sites. Other site exchanges vary between 0.6 - one credit per viewed site. Check this out when you decide to sign up. They will tell you how many credits you will receive.

Now what exchanges are out there for you to choose from? A lot. I'm a member of many. Some I join and don't use much for one reason or another. There are some that I enjoy using and I use them on a daily basis. Let me tell you about some of the ones I've used now.

Blog Exchanges

Blogexplosion is probably one of my favorite exchanges because it is so much more than just an exchange. Blog Explosion allows you to earn credits and visitors to your site in many ways. They only keep adding more to the site as time goes on. You have the exchange itself in which you do earn one credit for every two sites you view. The site uses a thirty second timer. While surfing through the exchange you can also earn mystery credits. This can be as little as two credits or as high as one hundred. I've earned fifty credit bonuses from time to time. Haven't seen a hundred yet, but they do pop up. They have a mystery credit page that shows who won what and where.

In addition to the exchange, you also have the Blog Rocket. You add your blog to the rocket, and it goes through a cycle of 25 - 1 before the site is bumped off at the top, and you can go through it again. People can earn mystery credits for visiting sites on the rocket, so this can earn you visitors to your site. Anywhere from 1 to as many as 20 during the busier evening hours.

Recently added is the Rent my blog service. Other bloggers can pay credits for a spot on your blogs sidebar. You can charge anywhere between 10 to 500 credits. The more traffic your site gets, the higher you can charge.

Like a little competition? Then hop on over to Battle of the Blogs and compete head to head for votes against another blog. Voters earn credits for each vote, and the winner of the competition wins 75% of the credits wagered for the competition.

You can also use your credits towards banner impressions that will show your banners throughout the site on surf pages and elsewhere. For every credit you get thirty five impressions. This exchange is probably one of the biggest and in my opinion the best.

Update as of 11/22/05: Blog Explosion keeps getting better and better. As of November 1st, they have added live support. As of November 20th, they added image hosting, and there is a lot more in the works. They are also revamping current parts of the sites as well. Still my favorite of the blog exchanges. I spend some time here daily promoting my sites in the Blog Rocket, Battle of the Blogs and surfing.

Updated 12/13/05: This blog exchange has added free image hosting, stat counters and more is to come in the weeks ahead.

Blogclicker is another exchange I use a great deal. This is more a pure exchange. No bells and whistles here. For every site you visit for 20 seconds, you earn 0.6 credits. This site is probably one of the fastest I've used. They also have banner impressions you can buy. One credit equals 25 impressions. These will be shown on the surf bar. Each week, they have a weekly surf contest. The top three surfers win credits, impressions and money. I've won third once. I surfed a lot that week. After some down time at the end of October to change to a new server, this site looks to be as good as ever. A surf problem popped up soon after the server change, and it was fixed quickly.

Blogsoldiers is a growing blog exchange. When I first joined up, I didn't like it very much, but they made some additions to the site in the last month, and now I enjoy this site a great deal. This is another almost pure blog surf exchange. The site runs on a twenty second time, and you earn 1 credit for each two sites viewed. The bonus credits are what I like about this site the best. They have three ways to give you bonuses by surfing. The letter hunt game, bonus links and bonus surf pages. As you surf, the three will pop up.

The letter hunt game is a level game in which you earn different levels as you continue surfing. The higher you go up the levels the more it takes to get to the next one because the word names for the levels get longer. At first I can earn a level in a few days, and now it can take me up to two weeks to move up. When you do move up, you earn about 250 credits, as well as banner and text ad impressions you can use to advertise your blogs on the surf pages.

For approximately every twenty five pages you visit, you also have the bonus page that pops up. Answer the easy question offered and earned 7 credits to your account. The last is the bonus link. These pop up randomly usually near a bonus page, and you get 8 credits for clicking on these. Site views tend to go through slowly, so your credits can add up a bit, but they are starting to move through faster as more people join.

Virtual Loop is another exchange I like. I don't surf this one as much as the others, but I pop in once or twice a week. I somehow built up a high number of credits soon after joining, and they are still working for me. The site has a lot of little features, but it is mostly a surf exchange. This site also runs on a 20 second timer, and you earn two credits for every three sites you visit. This site had some problems soon after I joined last month, but after a server move the site has come back strong, and they look to be adding more features. They have weekly competitions for credits as well. Their weekend block party is a standard competition, and during the week they pop up with random competitions for a couple of hours. You can earn anywhere between 400 to 50 credits to your account just by surfing a bit and winning.

EDIT: Updated surf ratio to 1/1 on December 9th.

Blogazoo is another smaller exchange that is picking up speed. The site runs on a twenty second time and like the rest you can earn one credit for every two sites visited. The exchange is smaller, so you can get anywhere from five to ten site visits a day by surfing the site. They also have a new way to earn credits and getting your blogs read, and that is by posting a gazoo on your blog. The site has so many homeless gazoos and while surfing people can spot these gazoos and earn credits by clicking the link. Admin is easy to contact, and you can ask for a gazoo each week.


This blog exchange isn't officially open yet, but I somehow think it is set to do great things. Blogmad is in pre-launch right now, and the rumor is they will have an almost 1 for 1 credit exchange, which is unheard of in blog exchanges for free members. The best one can get right now is 0.6 and that is with Blogclicker, which I mention above. I just dealt with the help staff at Blogmad because I hadn't been able to access my account since I signed up. I finally decided to email once I received my most recent newsletter from them, and within 20 minutes I had heard back. Over the course of an hour, several emails were exchanged, and the problem was resolved quickly. I now have access to my account, and I see I have credits already added to my account. That is for doing nothing but signing up and having my referral link on both my blogs. In the most recent newsletter, they sent a screen shot of the service in action. You can take a look at them here: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Traffic Exchanges

Blog exchanges aren't the only way to earn traffic to your site. There are also other type exchanges that allow all kinds of websites to their systems. Some offer both auto exchange and manual exchanges. Some even offer cash and for surfing a certain amount of sites each day. Be wary of these though. Some are scams and don't pay you anything in the long run. Traffic exchanges are a good way to get new readers that might not otherwise see your site, and they also help you raise your rankings in the search engines. I'll talk about a few now.

I joined Pro2mote last week. It is both an auto and manual exchange. I've noticed not many use their manual surf though, so those credits tend to sit there. On this site the auto surf rate is one credit for every one site you visit. For manual, you earn 1.5 credits for every site you visit. Every twenty five sites, you earn a fifty credit bonus. not bad for a few minutes time. I have all three of my sites on here, and I've seen a steady flow of traffic to my sites daily. The auto surf runs on a fifteen second timer. They also say you can surf for cash, but I haven't seen that yet. You can also purchase banner impressions, text ads and paid to click ads with either cash or credits, and I am looking into doing one of those in the near future. I am collecting credits to do it. With the bonuses it shouldn't take me all that long.

Another auto and manual surf exchange I joined in the last few days is Free-n-easy Traffic. I've only been a member here a few days, and I can see this site becoming one of my favorites. A fifteen second time with both manual and auto surf. In the auto surf you earn .6 credits and in manual surf you earn .75 credits. For every twenty five sites you view, you earn twenty five bonus credits. On top of those credits, you also have bonus surf pages that seem to pop up A LOT. On these you can earn anywhere from 50 to 1000 credits, and I've earn a lot of bonus credits this way. Trick is here you have to watch as the pages cycle through or you miss those pages. That ensures your site will get viewed on this surfer.

A new traffic exchange I just joined is Breed Traffic. I'm still feeling this site out, but from what I can see already by just using one of my sites with it, the site does offer good traffic. It has both a manual and auto surf program. The surf window runs on a thirty second timer, and as a basic member you earn .75 tokens auto surfing and 1 token with the site's manual surf. They also have banner impressions, banner exchanges, and it appears text ads. Doesn't appear to be any bonus credits involved with this program, so you can just surf away without even having to be at the computer.

Surf Wizard is an exchange I recently joined, and I'm already loving it. It is a website traffic exchange with both auto surf and manual surf capabilities, and from what I can tell site members use both and use them often. This means traffic to your site. One thing I immediately noticed and liked about this site is they have a category for blogs that you can select to list your site in and also surf in. Not many website exchanges have this. They also have a great pay to click site that helps you build up credits quickly. Just check in daily to that part of the site and you'll have a good number of credits in your account already. If you have one blog or site added it will take you ten to fifteen minutes a day to add up a number of credits to direct hits to your site. I'm really loving this smooth running exchange.

Once you have generated some traffic you can also list your blog on some of the top sites available. Let the world know how you rank against other bloggers! Some top sites are: Top Blog and Blogtopsites. See how you stack up!

My advice when looking at generating traffic to your sites, if you want to use an exchange look at a few different ones. Join a few and try them out. Every person likes different things, and the blog exchanges are different enough that you might find yourself liking one over another. Exchanges are there to work for you. You can surf as little or as much as you want in order to earn traffic to your site. It is all up to you. I didn't mean to go on and on forever. I just felt the need to give the most information as possible so that you know what you're getting into if you decide to join any of the exchanges.

Updated: December 13th

Note about Lost and Rent my Blog!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tonight's episode of Lost is a reairing of an earlier episode this season, Adrift. You can find my recap and thoughts on that episode here.

If you've looked on my sidebar the past week or so, you've noticed I've chosen to take part in Rent my Blog through Blogexplosion. By using credits, you can rent a spot on this blog that lasts a week. This week's blog renter is Jeremy Shipp, and you can learn all about him via his site: Haunted House Dressing. Click on the rent my blog spot on my sidebar to check his site out!

And lastly, for those that are in the know, here is a gazoo.

TV Review: Real World: Austin 10/25/05

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Rating:

This week on the Real World Austin, our seven house mates are hard at work trying to get their documentary put together in some kind of rough format so they are permitted to go on their season trip. The seven do encounter some problems during this process, and at times it looks like they won't be allowed to go on their trip.

An initial cut of the fifteen minute documentary is put together by Nehemiah, and shown to their three bosses. The entire piece is almost a long form music video, and this gets a large red flag from the people they are working under. The three give them suggestions in order to improve their assembly by the next day.

They want to see more of the band member's character, and not just their music. This worries the group because they really want to go on their vacation, but they do have some work ahead of them. They have 2500 hours of material that needs to be somehow turned into a fifteen minute film showcasing the festival and the three bands.

The problem they face here is that one person in the house is the best at editing, and that person is Nehemiah. That night instead of working, he goes off to emcee a show for a friend he has made in Austin. This leaves the other house mates at a loss because they aren't too sure of what to do when it comes to editing. Melinda and Rachel try, but are not successful.

Nehemiah returns home after midnight, and goes straight to bed. He is up early that morning, and back to work on the project at 7am. He does complete his work, but when it comes time to transfer it to take it to the screening there is a software glitch that no one can figure out how to fix. They end up having to call one of their bosses to come and save the project. With the press of a few buttons, the project is transferred and ready to go to the screening.

The screening goes well for the house mates. No one hated their rough cut. In fact, they are given some good suggestions by the film society screening their assembly. Afterwards, they return home to await the answer of whether or not they did good enough to earn their trip. We quickly learn they have, and later that night they are informed of their destination. The seven house mates are headed to Costa Rica!

All in all, this episode was better than the previous two that have been aired. The house mates worked hard, and we were able to see how they handled the high pressure situation they were put under. The result worked in their favor, and we should see them off on their well deserved vacation in a future episode.

In other Real World news, it is rumored the home city for Real World's eighteenth season to be shot early next year is Detroit. Filming of the seventeenth season has been already occurring in Key West, even with one lawsuit put against the filming in that city by the house's neighbor. The case was resolved in favor of the Real World, and filming has gone on as scheduled.

TV Review: Supernatural Episode 1.07

From WB: The infamous "Hook Man," a vengeful spirit who kills his victims with a shiny hook that serves as his hand, terrorizes a small college town in Iowa. Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) learn that all the victims are connected to the daughter of a local minister and race to find and destroy the Hook Man's bones before he comes for them.

My Rating:

The purpose of this episode of Supernatural revolving around The Hook Man urban legend had the major intent to scare us, and scare us it did. At least I know I was scared. It was the perfect episode to air this week before Halloween. This week's episode opened with a scene showing a young woman getting ready to go out on a date.

Her roommate talks her into dressing up a bit for her date, and while out the girl ends up at one of the town's make out points. While kissing, the young man she is out with tries to go a bit further than she likes, and all of a sudden we hear the sound of scratching, and things get scary fast. By the time, the young girl Laurie gets out of the car, her date has been killed and she finds him hanging upside down over his car slashed to bits.

Sam and Dean read the news story online and decide to check out after they read the girl said something invisible killed her date. It would be the type of case their father would go after. When they arrive at the small town in Iowa, they start to investigate, first going to the young man's fraternity house. This leads to the girl when they learn her identity. Turns out she is the daughter of a reverend in town.

The two brothers end up going to the church where they find the young girl that witnessed the murder and they talk to her about what happened. Sam forms an attachment to the young girl because they have both seen similar incidents where someone died. After talking to her, Sam thinks they are dealing with the hook man, so him and Dean begin going through old town records at the university library. After some extensive research, they find the man that they think turned into the hook man. A priest that was so upset about prostitution in the town that he went through and killed 13 prostitutes during the 1800s.

We then return to Laurie as she returns home. Turns out she isn't alone. The spirit of The Hook Man is right behind her bedroom door. When she wakes up the next morning, she finds her roommate dead in her bed, killed by the hook man. The spirit leaves a message for Laurie in her roommate's blood on the wall, "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light."

We then return to the brothers as they try to find the bones of the long dead priest. In order to rid the town of the spirit, they need to find the bones, bury them in salt and then burn them. However, they get a bit sidetracked when they are caught by the cops. The next morning they are released after some fast talking by Dean. Outside the sheriff's station, they see the cops rushing from the station and follow. They arrive on the scene to see Laurie waiting outside the building. After finding a way to get inside they see the message on the bedroom, and these words make it clear to them they are dealing with the hook man.

That night Sam and Dean separate. Dean goes in search of the unmarked grave of the man they think is the hook man, and Sam goes to watch over Laurie. Dean finds the grave and goes through with the burning. Sam and Laurie end up talking and Laurie kisses him. Sam pulls back, and her father comes out to call her in. Just as he does the hook man appears and carries the reverend through the house. Sam even sees him. They are able to stop the hook man from killing Laurie's father, but the spirit isn't gone yet. Even with Dean burning the bones with salt.

Sam determines they need to find the hook and burn this as well. They go through the research they had collected and find out the hook had been sent to the reverend's home after he was killed. This being over one hundred years ago, the hook could be anywhere. More research leads them to further discover that the hook was melted, so this means it could be anything. They return to Laurie's home and church in order to find all items silver and Sam finds Laurie in the church just before the hook man appears. This is even after they have destroyed all silver in the house and church. All but the necklace Laurie is wearing around her neck. Dean takes it and burns that with everything else, and the spirit burns right along with it. The hook man is no more.

By far this episode was one of the scariest of the series so far. A good episode to show right before Halloween. Not as much character development in this episode, but we do see Sam start to move on from Jessica by kissing Laurie, even if he does pull back from her. It shows he is healing. I enjoyed this episode, and it looks like we have a break next week from fresh episodes because they didn't show a preview specific for next week. After seven straight weeks of new episodes, the brothers deserve a break.

TV Review: Surface Episode 1.06

Monday, October 24, 2005

From NBC: While studying a sea orchid, Cirko (Rade Sherbedgia) figures out the origin of the "unidentified species" and subsequently is mysteriously run down by a car and left for dead after he tells Lee (Ian Anthony Dale) about his discovery. Meanwhile, Cirko's assistant, Singh (Shishir Kurupt), escapes a warehouse raid with the orchid and important computer files as well as a key to a storage locker before dying on her lawn. Elsewhere, Laura (Lake Bell) and Rich (Jay R. Ferguson) are now on the run because upon retrieving the orchid and returning back to Laura's house they find that her house has been ransacked by the government. Carter Jenkins, Eddie Hassel and Leighthon Meester also star.

My Rating:

No sign of the creature on this week's episode, but this episode had plenty of other things to keep us occupied, and we know the creature will make another appearance soon, probably on next week's episode. This episode just yanked us in deeper into the government conspiracy to cover up the existence of the creature.

We start this week with Cirko as he looks at a sea orchid. In one moment he has an epiphany, and he runs to locate Singh to tell him about it. He has discovered the origin of the creature. He goes to Lee with his findings, and Lee calls for transport to DC, but after Lee lives Cirko, the older scientist is run down and left for dead in a hit and run accident. Laura is the one called about Cirko. Last week, he had told her that he was bringing her into the investigation. Now he is run down, and from the look of things early on in the episode the situation looks grim. In fact, by the end of the episode, Cirko has passed away. Was Lee really calling for transport or for someone to run Cirko down?

This leaves Singh to go through Cirko's lab and retrieve his research. He takes everything he can and runs, but during the chase he is injured. He barely makes it to Laura's house as he crashes the car, handing her a key to a locker with his last breath. After some debate between Rich and Laura about using the locker, they decide to go forward - even if one man has been run down and another has died on her front lawn. They must go forward to discover what the creature is.

They go to the locker, where Laura finds the sea orchid and all of the research Cirko has collected on the creature up to this point. Turns out he has even used some of her own research to locate and track the creatures to their origin. After a few tense moments where the two think they are caught, they make it out safely with the research and head back to Laura's house. When they arrive, Laura and Rich discover quickly they aren't alone in the house and leave. Lee has broken in and has his men searching through the house for whatever information Laura might have. The two escape, but Lee does see them as they leave.

A good portion of this week's episode followed Miles and Nim. Nim is still being searched for by animal control after killing a neighbor's dog. At the end of the last episode, we saw Nim return to Miles' home and this only cause problems for Miles on this week's episode as the infant creature wrecks havoc in the house. Going through and destroying things wherever he can. The parents soon discover that the lizard is in the house, and his dad goes in search of it. Nim has actually ate through the wood of the house and is in the walls and ceilings.

Miles sees no other way to handle the situation but to run and take Nim with him. He takes Nim to an old hideout, but goes home the next day where his parents and animal control are waiting. He changes his mind and returns to where he hid Nim followed by his friend Phil. Unknown to Phil, one of the animal control agents also has followed suit, and the man tries to capture Nim. However, when Nim is touched with the stun rod, he lets loose a charge that appears to kill the man. Miles is once again on the run.

Not much really happens on this episode, but we do learn how far the government is willing to go to keep this creature and its origin a secret. They kill not one but two scientist working on the project, and it looks like Laura is next to go if she isn't careful. I love this show, and although this episode was a bit slower than previous episodes I still enjoyed it. The scenes with Nim really had an ET vibe to them, and these are actually good comic relief for the seriousness of other parts of the show.

One thing that I noticed this episode happened at the beginning when Cirko was explaining to Singh about his epiphany. He mentions about a triple helix. This is a term referencing to DNA, and it has also made an appearance on another show this season, CBS's Threshold. Is the origin of this creature once again alien as it is on Threshold? They certainly do keep us guessing here, and the previews for the week ahead look truly amazing.

TV Review: Grey's Anatomy Episode 2.05

Sunday, October 23, 2005

From ABC: Meredith and Dr. Shepherd have to use more than medicine when a young woman's traditionalist, religious father forbids her to have a life-saving operation. Meanwhile, George and Alex are forced to perform surgery under less than ideal conditions in an attempt to save a patient's life, and its decision time for Derek and the two women in his life.

My Rating:

Another busy week for the interns of Seattle Grace Hospital. Power outages, gun shot victims, porn and the love lives of many of the surgical staff of SGH were a focus of this week's episode, especially when it comes to the female interns. Meredith has her on-going saga with Derek. This week he has to make a choice between his wife and Meredith. Last week, we all remember Addison serving him with divorce papers. She wants an answer as does Meredith. Izzie and Alex went out on their first on last week's program, and we could tell by the way things ended on that episode that the date wouldn't go well. Then we have Cristina and Burke. Last week, we saw Burke go to comfort her following her losing their baby.

This week we continued on with on-going story lines and dealt with some medical drama in the halls of Seattle Grace. We also once again saw Meredith's mother make an appearance, but this might be the last time we see her for a while. She was discharged from the hospital and released back into the care of her nursing home. Last week, I had a theory about Ellis and Chief Webber and their past relationship. A theory that was proven correct early on in this episode. Ellis and Richard had an affair twenty one years ago. Ellis left her husband, Meredith's father, but Richard didn't go through with leaving his own wife. This explains Richard's behavior towards Ellis since her arrival at Seattle Grace.

This week all the interns were busy on their own cases. The only ones that shared a case were Alex and George. Meredith is assigned to work with Derek, at his request. They have a case of a girl that needs surgery in the next day or there is a chance she will never be able to walk again. Alex and George are assigned to gun shot victim, a policeman shot in the chest. Izzie is assigned to a woman that is said to have a heart attack, and Cristina is assigned to a man that uses porn in order to control his pain. Yes, you read that right!

Let's first talk about Meredith and Derek. They have a case of a young woman that needs immediate surgery. Problems arise when her father denies the operation based of their religious beliefs. After this is discovered, Derek decides they will respect the family's wishes and find a way to have their beliefs followed as quickly as possible, so the surgery can go ahead as scheduled. The young woman needs a cleansing ritual by a Shaman in order for her soul to be found. The ritual is performed, and the surgery goes forward.

However, this isn't all that happens with these two. After stating she won't make a stand for him, Meredith goes back on this, and she makes an impassioned speech to Derek. During this speech, she asks him to choose her over Addison, and she tells him she loves him. I think I was even cheering Meredith on during this scene. She then tells Derek she will be awaiting his decision on whether or not he signs the divorce papers at Joe's. To show up if her chooses her.

Well does he show up? No. In another moment of hesitation, he stays at the hospital, and he even once again asks the advice of Dr. Bailey. The shocker we find out here is that Bailey is married and has been happily for ten years. We keep learning more and more about Bailey each week. Now what will happen here? We are once again left wondering as the episode ends. Addison shows up and meets with Derek, and Meredith is left at Joe's bar with her fellow interns. Will his standing her up make her finally give up on Derek? Not by a long shot. In fact, I think Derek will end up choosing Meredith. I think they are stretching this out for sweeps. We will have to see!

The most serious hospital case this week is the one involving the shot cop. When transferring him to the OR, the power in the hospital goes out, and there isn't enough power in the generators to run the elevators. The man's condition deteriorates, and they need to open his chest and perform an operation in the elevator under the guidance of Burke and with half the hospital staff watching. Alex freezes and George has to step in, but in this episode we finally see George become a doctor. Over the last few weeks, we've seen George grow more and more, and in this episode he performs under pressure and performs well. I love how they have developed this character over the course of this season.

Cristina is back in action this week, and her first case is a man that controls his pain by watching porn - all of the time. When the power goes out, there goes his porn, and this makes him a very unhappy and in pain man. Cristina gives up, and finally starts telling him an erotic story about naughty bad saucy nurses soaping up together in a shower. By far the most humorous case of the season so far. Poor Cristina.

Now what about her and Burke? After last week, he comes to her wanting a relationship. She doesn't give him an immediate answer, but by the end of the episode we have a couple on our hands. This will be fun to watch in the weeks to come. Wonder how Webber will react when he finds out!

Izzie's case had the least amount of focus this week. She has a woman that comes in after an apparent heart attack. Izzie looks into her history, and finds that the woman comes in to the hospital every year on the same day. Turns out it is the anniversary of the death of a man the woman was in love with, and the stress of the day causes her heart to stop every year. A heartbreaking scene. I felt bad for the woman, and you can tell Izzie does too.

Now how about Izzie and Alex? Their first date is a flop, and Izzie is not happy. However, no one knows of the news Alex received last episode about his medical boards. He even freezes when faced with the open heart surgery in the elevator. This is obviously affecting him. I actually feel bad for the guy, and I never thought I would say that. However, I do have a question here. I'm not sure what happened, but didn't Izzie have a boyfriend? Did they break-up? I think they might have some point last season, but I don't recall if they did or didn't. HMM! Well, if they didn't and he shows back up at some point, that will surely cause problems.

Week after week, this show is by far one of the best on television. We have strong writing that develops characters each and every week slowly. We learn new things about at least one of the major players on each episode, and the secrets are revealed slowly with not a lot of fan fare. Just stated and put out there for the fans. This was another solid episode, and after tonight's previews I can't wait to see what happens to our cast of interns next week at Seattle Grace.

Saturday Night Movie Review: My picks for the best scary movies

Saturday, October 22, 2005

In honor of Halloween being next week, I decided to do a little something ghoulish with my Saturday Night movie review - a look at the best scary movies. At least in my opinion in any case. Everyone is going to have their own choices, and feel free to jump in with those choices in comments or in your blogs. Just let me know if you post in your blog, so I can drop by and visit!

My list of the best scary movies for Halloween (in no particular order):

The movie that started it all in my mind is the first and original Halloween. A young boy goes suffers a mental break and kills his older sister. At the age of six, Michael Myers was already crazy, and he was locked away for life. However, at some point, he is transferred somewhere for an impending court date, and he escapes, returning to the home he left behind and once again wrecking havoc on the small town of Haddonfield. This is by far the best of the series that has spawned eight sequels. The newer films are almost laughable, but Halloween stands the test of time. This movie is as scary as it was when I saw it many years ago. It never gets old. To read more about the movies in this series, visit The Official Website of Michael Myers.

Movie available at: Amazon and J & R

Friday the 13th is another classic scary movie. How many of us have seen the story of one Jason Voorhees play out on movie screens over the years? They are still making movies because Jason for some reason is still marketable to the masses. However, once again the newer films are laughable and are only shades of what was started in the original. The original film tells the story of how Pamela Voorhees, Jason's mother, kills a group of camp counselors that are set to reopen Camp Crystal Lake, the site of Jason's drowning as a child. Subsequent films show Jason going on killing sprees at the camp, and then elsewhere. Jason has even joined forces with another horror legend, Freddy Krueger, in Freddy vs. Jason. The original and early sequels of this series are what good scary movies are supposed to be about. These movies scared me to no ends. To read more about these films head on over to Friday the 13th The Website.

Movie available at: Amazon and J & R

Nightmare on Elm Street, the story of Freddy Krueger, a man charged with killing children but set free. Only to then be dealt with by the parent's of the town. The man then takes on a life of his own returning in the dreams of those teenagers in the town, killing them one by one in their sleep. The only one strong enough to fight him is the sheriff's daughter Nancy, and in this film she is successful. Only to have him return again and again in future movies. This is another case where the original is the best, but I did enjoy future movies in this series. The Dream Master, part four of the series, immediately comes to my mind as being good as well. In this movie, we get a look back at the past of Freddy Krueger and see why he became the man he did. For more Elm Street fun, check out Nightmare On Elm Street Movie.

Movie available at: Amazon and J & R

My next film is Aliens. Now I know this technically doesn't fall under the horror movie category. To me it is more action adventure and science fiction, but this movie scared me silly at times. Every time the alien made an appearance the first time I saw this film nearly twenty years ago, I jumped. Out of all the Alien movies, this is by far my favorite of the series. Sigourney Weaver is awesome in this film, and I think she was even better here than she was in the original. Subsquent movies were okay, but this movie to me stands out to be the best in the series. for more on this movie check out Aliens Official Site.

Movie available at: Amazon and J & R

My last film is The Ring. You have 7 days ... kidding! This movie scared me, and still scares me. I haven't even seen the sequel yet. The videotape, the phone call, the girl crawling out of the television screen at the end. All of it is just classic horror at its best, but this isn't a classic. This a movie of today. Horror has taken a whole new meaning in my mind these days. Horror now equates to gore these days, and that doesn't have to be the case for a movie to be scary to me. Yes, all the movies above have some level of goriness to them, but they are quick about it. Movies of today like to extend the gore out where the movie just turns gross more than actually scary. To check out more about The Ring visit The Ring - Official Movie Site.

Movie available at: Amazon and J & R

All of the above movies in some way scared me. They are movies that immediately come to my mind when I think of horror films, and everyone has their own definition of horror and scary, so tell me what movies would you have on your list?

TV Review: Madonna's 'I'm gonna tell you a secret'

All hail the queen. Tonight on MTV, Madonna's newest documentary, I'm gonna tell you a secret, aired commercial-free. The show is an in-depth look at Madonna's life during her most recent tour. Starting from the very beginning during the auditions of her dancers until the last show and beyond to her controversial visit to Israel. I've always been a Madonna fan, so when I heard that MTV was airing this look into her life, I knew I had to watch.

For two hours we are immersed into the life of Madonna, as we had been in her past documentary, Truth or Dare, fourteen years ago. However, the woman we see here is much different than the woman we saw then. Some is the same. Madonna is still a driven performer. She is still the type of woman to give dancers a chance, no matter their age. She treats her crew like a second family.

The only difference now is that this isn't her only family. She has a family of her own - two children and a husband. We are able to see all three on this documentary. Some may raises eyebrows by her allowing her children to be seen in this way, but those children are a part of her and who she is now. Having her children is what began this change in her. The woman we see now is still driven, but she also sees the world in a much different light. She is able to discuss the world and the beings in it with intelligence. She is a wife and a mother first. She is no longer the party girl she once was, but she still does know how to have fun.

Madonna still has the ability to perform as well. Scenes from her life and backstage at shows were interwoven with concert footage from her last tour, and you honestly wouldn't know the woman just turned forty-seven in the last couple of months. She still puts her all into her performances, and it shows on stage. She might be as limber as may have once been, but that does come with age. She can perform though. There is no doubt about that.

As I said, I've been a fan of Madonna since almost the beginning. I was eight years old when her first songs were released, and this look into her life only renewed my love for this woman - both as a woman and a performer. Some of the things she was saying went deeper than anything I've heard her say in the past. Hew views of the world and life were refreshing to hear, and I'm glad I took the time to watch. Knowing MTV, they will repeat this at some point, but you will probably have to deal with commercials then. If you are a fan or were a fan at some point, this documentary is definitely worth the time to watch.

Some of my personal Madonna favorites are: Don't tell me, Like a prayer and I'll remember. Download them on iTunes using those links! You can also find the entire Madonna Collection on iTunes here.

TV Review: ER Episode 12.05

Friday, October 21, 2005

From NBC: Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) gets a wake-up call when the new attending (John Leguizamo) poses as a patient to test the knowledge of doctors in the ER. Meanwhile, Kovac (Goran Visnjic) bonds with the former coma patient and contemplates bending the rules for her. A breast cancer patient convinces Abby (Maura Tierney) to get her first mammogram. Pratt's father Charlie (Danny Glover) tries to convince his son that he has turned his life around. Kristen Johnson, Laura Innes, Parminder Nagra, Scott Grimes, and Shane West also star.

My rating:

I'll start this review of tonight's episode of ER titled "wake up" the best episode of this season so far. Tonight we had total and complete chaos in the ER, and it was great. This episode reminded me of what ER used to be like at the very beginning. Everyone had something to do whether it be in the ER or out. Tonight, we also had the addition of another cast member - Attending Dr. Clemente played by John Leguizamo. Is he enough to heat things up in the ER?

Tonight's ER episode didn't really have any new cases that stood out. The ER was full of activity as always, but instead we saw our residents and interns work under the new leadership of arriving attending Dr. Clemente. He starts his first day with a bang by coming in as a patient complaining of pain in his chest. He's testing the ER to see how efficient it is. Well, when Pratt diagnoses him wrong, Clemente announces who he is and that Pratt just killed him. Why oh why does this doctor remind me of Dr. Doug Ross? I could picture this character doing this.

Instead of new patients, we had the continuation of story lines with patients from previous episodes. We saw the return of both Abby's breast cancer patient and Luka's coma case from last week's episode. Let's first discusses Abby's case. This week, the woman has had her surgery, and there is a problem with the reconstruction needed. This angers the woman, and she places the blame on Abby for talking her into having the double mastectomy in the first place.

The woman also lies to Abby about her boyfriend. She tells Abby that the man left her side, and when the man returns to the hospital to see her Abby learns the truth. Her dealings with the patient lead Abby to have her first mammogram. During the commercials for tonight's episode, a PSA was aired about breast cancer awareness as well.

This was not all Abby did on this episode. We also see her talk to Dr. Dubenko briefly on this episode, and we're updated on his condition. Appears he has had his surgery, and he also thanks her for sending her little gift his way. If we recall last week, she had started to talk to the call girl in the ER with another patient. Seems the woman did work her magic on Dubenko after all. We weren't sure of this following last week's episode.

Now what about Luka's coma case? She is in her own room in the hospital and her condition seems to improving since last week. She knows of her condition, and she has many questions about what happened. With her questions, Luka goes to her doctor and learns of the events surrounding the accident that sent her into a coma. Apparently, the events were quite gruesome - a car jacking where her mother was raped and shot, and she would have suffered the same fate if someone else hadn't showed up.

Luka spends the day with the young girl, breaking a few rules in the process. He takes her out of the room and through the hospital, their day ending on the roof so she can see Lake Michigan. While on the roof, the girl begins to talk about the accident, and something clicks inside her that sends her back into her comatose state. He rushes her back down to the ER, and starts to furiously work to save her from the state - using the experienmental treatment her doctor said they had been using. However, she ends up seizing, and it doesn't bring her out of her coma. The episode fades to black with Luka at her bedside explaining to her about the events surrounding the accident. The scene brought tears to my eyes.

Not only were things hopping in the ER, but things were happening outside of it as well. This week we saw the return of Danny Glover as Pratt's father. Pratt is still distant when it comes to the man, and it looks like he won't budge. However, in an outburst outside the bar with his girlfriend we learn the reason why he is so bothered by the man. This man is too good for him to hate. Pratt also has his relationship with the woman he has been seeing move to the next level on this episode.

What I loved about this episode is that we saw everyone doing something. Sam was the only nurse with limited airtime, but she's been seen a lot this season. The only character absent this week was Eve. A bit surprising, but maybe they wanted the focus on one new cast member, and not both. Clemente and Eve should be an interesting match up to watch. Both are controlling and in charge. Will they end up butting heads?

Ray even found a way to escape his toxicity elective and make it back down to the ER, and he even had a band gig that night in which he invited everyone too. They all show up, but late for the show. Ray is already heading home with his groupie of the night. Neela makes her faces as usual, and I'm really starting to wonder here. Yes, she has Gallant, but like Neela said on tonight's episode he's off at war and so are her hormones. Is there something going on inside her head about her roommate? Even if just a fling took place, I could see it happening.

Over the past few weeks, I'd been becoming increasingly unhappy with the way things were going with this season of ER. After twelve years, I was beginning to think that the show had lost its spark. Recent cast changes - both the departures of Susan and Carter and the addition of Eve - hadn't done much for me. As for Susan, it has finally been said she is gone for good. That was mentioned on tonight's episode briefly. I think the addition of Clemente might be just what this show needs. Only time will tell. Due to the lack of preview's for next week, this leads me to believe we have no ER next week. The show should return for November sweeps.

TV Review: Lost Episode 2.05

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

From ABC: Michael sets off into the jungle by himself determined to find Walt, but discovers that he is not alone. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Jin are ordered by their captors to take them to their camp, and Sun frantically searches for her missing wedding ring.

My rating:

I'll start this review of tonight's episode of Lost titled "...And Found" by saying what everyone else is saying right now or at least what they said when the previews for the next episode aired in any case - 3 WEEKS?! I know I said it. Last season, we had this happen. a few new episodes, and then weeks before the next one. I had really hoped we wouldn't have that this season, but here we go again. I can see a week off, but three? That's a bit much. Next week, we have a repeat of Adrift.

This week's episode was fairly quiet. It had two focuses - one with Sun as she discovers she has lost her wedding and the other following our three raft survivors as they move from the other bunker to the camp where our survivors have been holding up since the plane crashed. First let's talk about Sun. This episode is Sun and Jin centric, and Sun discovers she has lost her wedding ring while washing clothes with Claire. She begins to frantically search for the ring all over the island. Jack, Hurley, Locke, and Kate all find her searching, but she has no luck.

I think Locke gave her the best advice about things being found when you stop looking for them. I've found this to be the case in my own life as well. also the exchange between these two also starts quite humorously when Locke comes up to her just after she has trashed her garden in her frustration over losing the ring. He comes up to her and says, "Bad Day?" The question causes Sun to laugh, and it breaks the tense moment.

Soon after, Sun does stop looking, and this is when she does end up finding her ring. This doesn't happen before she tells Kate about the bottle of messages Claire found washed up on the beach on last week's episode. We had to know that bottle wouldn't stay a secret long. I had a feeling that would come out sooner rather than later. Sun shows Kate where she put the bottle, and Kate searches through the messages before Sun stops her. It is then Kate that spots Sun's ring in the sand. It had fallen off when she had buried the bottle.

Now what about Sun's husband Jin, Michael and Sawyer? Ana Lucia comes to the three in the bunker, and informs them that they are moving out. After questioned, Ana informs them that they are heading to the three's camp. While they are searching for food to take with them on the hike over the island, Michael escapes and goes off on his own to find Walt.

Jin decides to follow, and the tracker of the other survivor group sets off with him to help. They travel through the forest careful of the others. they do have an encounter with the others, but all we see is their feet because Jin and the tracker had hidden before they arrived. Soon after they see the others, they find Michael, and he tries to get the two to return to the other survivors, but they instead talk him into joining them again it seems. Meanwhile, Sawyer is traveling with Ana Lucia and the rest of the survivors. They have a long hike to the other camp, and Sawyer isn't looking all that good as the trek continues. He even is forced to stop, and he and Ana have a brief amusing conversation. Her asking if he was gay just made me laugh. Sawyer is the least best man on that island!

Since this episode is focused on Sun and Jin, throughout we see scenes of Sun and Jin leading up to the time they first met. This period is earlier than what we've seen of these two back story wise. Prior episodes that focused on these two showed the events leading up to them getting on the plane. Nice of them to jump back a bit in time, and show us how they met.

Some thoughts I had about this episode and what's coming ahead for Lost:

  • Did anyone else notice how small the feet were of those others? And the Teddy bear the one on the end was carrying? They looked child like. Are the others a bunch of children? Probably not. We did see adults on the boat that took Lost, but the man did say they had come for the boy when they took Walt. What do they want with children? How many children have they taken? This probably means Claire's baby still isn't safe.

  • Over on my other blog, Thoughts from the couch, I posted a link to some Lost spoilers about which of the Lost survivors are going to be killed off when the show returns in three weeks. Spoilers have said it is a female. My initial feelings went with Libby. However, the spoilers say it isn't her, Ana Lucia or Rose that gets it. There are whispers that it might be Kate, and even louder whispers that it'll be Shannon. She really hasn't been seen much this season, so that is possible. Killing off one of the newer people that haven't developed much of a stronghold or fan base is something Lost has done, but if it isn't Libby or Ana Lucia that leaves them safe. Another thought I had would have marked the third new female, Cindy, as the target, but they say at the end of the previews that it is one of these people, and she isn't shown. This will bug me for three weeks. My gut goes with Libby, but we'll just have to wait and see. Who do you think will it be?

  • The previews for the next episode show Sawyer collapsing. My theory on this happening is he gets blood poisoning after digging the bullet out on his own from his arm. The wound probably gets infected, and since he hasn't had time to really cleanse the wound or stay off his feet, it makes things worse for him.

  • This episode of Lost was okay, but not great. There really wasn't much intensity a the beginning of the season episodes, and it didn't really compare to last week's episode either. They are really teasing us with these others. I wish they would just show us them, so we know what we are dealing with. I'm sure they aren't a bunch of kids, but there are kids on the island as well. Those feet were too small to be adult. I do have to say I love seeing more of Sun on this episode. She is one of my favorites on the show, and she did well here. However, this episode felt like one big tease to me. Filler for what is to come in the future, and the biggest tease of all is that we have to wait three more weeks to find out what happens!

    Don't forget if you missed tonight's episode you can pick it up on iTunes in the morning. Check the link to it on my sidebar! Also if you want to discuss rhe show with others, you can hop on over to my Lost forum over on

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