Category: Reality Check


I sat down to write a story about all things Christmas… but I got bored with my dull ramblings about shopping and wrapping presents. Well, I wouldn’t say it was dull exactly, but more so than the story I’m about to tell. This story piggy-backs a bit on Tim Tebow: A Christmas Miracle, but I promise it is not repetitive…in fact, I should issue a word of caution: If you are a believer, please stop reading.

My family celebrates Christmas, so growing up I heard stories about Rudolph, Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. I watched the Claymation movies and sang the songs with the gusto of every young child intoxicated with Christmas.

Christmas to me as a child was all magic, sugar cookies and candy canes! I cut out paper snowflakes and made a green and red paper chain to count down the days until Christmas morning. I sat on Santa’s lap at the mall and left cookies, milk and carrots out for him and his reindeer Christmas Eve. I worried about how he was able to visit me when I didn’t have a fireplace and sent him letters containing both my wish list and the explanation that he would need to use the front door… It was what I imagine Christmas is for lots of children.

Until one day, it all changed.

It’s hard to remember whether or not I was in first or second grade…But our story begins sometime in December of 1991 I think. I was in art class, no doubt making some holiday inspired creation to hang on my refrigerator at home, when the topic of Santa Claus came up. See, there were four of five of us to an art table and we began discussing our various Santa encounters and prospects for the year-end event. “I popped over to the big guy’s lap just this weekend,” said Susie, “right after I finished my play date with Molly. He was really pressed for time but made an exception just for me. He said that I have been a good girl this year, so I’m expecting a bonus with my usual Christmas payout.” “Me too,” said Mike, “he said he was extra impressed with how gracefully I handled the arrival of the new kid to our family development department, despite his negative effects on my attention production.” The Santa sharing went on for quite a while, everyone getting their chance to describe their one on ones with the big guy.

Then our happy little group was joined by Lisa, a fellow elementary student.

“What are you guys talking about?” said Lisa.

“Oh, we were just comparing our various interactions with Mr. Claus and what our expectations are for this season’s payout,” I said.

“Really? That’s stupid because Santa Claus isn’t real,” said Lisa.

Immediately, a look of pure disdain crossed my face before I looked Lisa straight in the eye and said “ Nuh huh!”

“You’re wrong, he’s fake. It’s your parents that leave you all those presents every year,” Lisa countered.

“That’s impossible. My parents can’t fly all over the world in one night, how on earth could they be the ones leaving kids presents?” I retorted with confidence.

“No, your parents don’t leave presents for ALL the kids, just you. Everybody’s parents leave the gifts, I can’t believe you didn’t know that.”

“You’re ridiculous! Can you believe this Susie?” I said as I spun and looked to my art cohorts to back my argument.

“I…I don’t know,” said Susie weakly before she grabbed her glue stick and ran to find a purple crayon.

“Forget Susie, I know you are wrong Lisa and when I get home tonight, I’m going to ask my mom and she’s going to say that Santa Claus is real.”

“Ha ha ha ha, that’s fine with me, and then you’ll see that I’m right and you’re embarrassing yourself,” cackled Lisa before she walked away, leaving the group of us stunned with her bold defiance of Santa Claus.

Later that night, after my commute home on the school bus, I walked up to my Mom while she was making dinner and said “the funniest thing happened at school today Mom.”

“Really Pumpkin?”

“Ya, this girl said there isn’t a Santa Claus. It’s ok though because I told her that I was going to ask you and prove that there is a Santa Claus.”

It was then that my Mom stopped what she was microwaving and turned to look at me. The flicker of panic and sudden spike in tension confused me so I repeated my thought.

“Santa Claus is real, isn’t he Mom?” I squeaked out with slightly less confidence than before.

“Do you want me to tell you the truth?” she asked.

It was then, in that moment, my veil of childhood innocence started to drift away. With the remaining hope I was clinging to with my whole being, I began to realize that even if Santa Claus is real, there was going to be a clause to the Christmas arrangement as I knew it.

“I… I don’t know,” I replied, looking into my Mom’s eyes for a sign, a glimmer that would make everything ok.

She looked back at me with sorrow in her eyes, like she was saying goodbye to a dream or a wish that she not only had for herself, but for me as well.

“What do you believe?”

I couldn’t believe it, twice in one day someone was questioning my beliefs but it was this second time that really stung. My mom, the person who had always supported my beliefs and helped me mail the letters, pour the milk and make sure I got to Santa’s lap… she was the one questioning me the second time around. She was prompting me to stop believing with blind faith and ask the tough questions, like how does one man fly around the world in one night?

Seeing the conflict across my face, my Mom took me into my bedroom and sat down with me. We discussed the various aspects of Santa Claus and his magic. We sat and cried together; she told me stories of Saint Nicholas and prompted thought provoking questions. She was slow and delicate, allowing that veil of innocence time to linger and whisper farewells. Each tear that fell from my cheek was a piece of little girl that wouldn’t be coming back…

About an hour went by and the tears were starting to slow. My Mom said “do you want to know the truth?”

Quietly, I considered the question before uttering an almost inaudible, “yes.”

“Santa Claus isn’t real.”

The rest of the veil of innocence was ripped away and left me sitting on the floor of my bedroom crying so hard I could barely breathe.

It was over. The magic, the faith, the belief…it was all over.

After that day, and a few more questions concerning the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, I realized that I now had the responsibility of the adults—to keep the secret. With a little sister, I had to still pretend to believe in Santa Claus and not ruin the magic for her. Additionally, I felt special when I found out that my two older cousins already knew about Santa Claus and how he wasn’t real; I was older and wiser now, part of the club.

The memory of that day still gets to me sometimes though. It’s a tough thing to be a kid and have something created of pure joy end. I think about Lisa and wonder whether she has kids and what she’s told them. I wonder if I have kids, what I’ll tell them…

Either way, at some point every child comes out from beneath that veil and settles into the “real” world. Most days, I’m completely content to live in the real world but for some reason, Christmas is different. It occasionally has me searching for that pure innocence again; to be able to approach the holiday with the same joy and glee… To be anxious with anticipation that something magical is about to happen… Because maybe, just maybe, there is someone else out there capable of even more miracles than Santa Claus….

Merry Christmas Everyone and God Bless,

Jammer

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Hines Ward, now that you’ve won the mirror ball trophy, what are you going to do next? “I’m going to Disney WORLD!”

I can’t express the joy and supreme happiness that I had when Hines kicked Kirstie’s butt! I could go into an in-depth analysis of the three stars last dances and the subsequent results, but you’ve already seen the conclusion; therefore, I’d be boring you. Even Kirstie knew she was toast…watch the rerun and you can see her mouth “of course” after Tom announces Hines as the winner.

I was disappointed for Chelsea; I think it really crushed her to come in third place. She’s become a fantastic dancer and I hope that she continues down that path of performing because she’s a natural at it. I think being on DWTS may have opened some doors for her career and I hope that she gets to sit back and enjoy the ride for a while; like I said, she’s genuinely talented.

I’m also very happy for Kirstie and her gigantic weight loss. I hope she continues being active overall; for her health primarily. I’m wondering when she’s going to launch her career comeback…you know she’s going to give it a go after her monumental success on DWTS….it won’t last long but you’ll have to appreciate her effort, right?

I think that this has been a good season of DWTS and I hope ABC takes some of my suggestions into consideration; I think I’ve made several good points if I don’t say so myself.

Thanks to all the readers who have watched along with me! I want to add that I plan to continue writing but not on dancing related topics…please look forward to articles related to the following topics:

-Reasons to Elope

-A Wealth of Health, OR more like Pocket Change

-Weird, Gross and Huh?, and

-Virginia, what’s not to love?

I Hope you keep reading!! I appreciate your support!

Sincerely  Yours,

Jammer

HINES WON!!!!

There will be a more lengthy and entertaining commentary to come, but I’m super excited!!! Yay Steeler Nation!

I also had to share a photo that I took while in Pittsburgh this weekend…Kirstie, you didn’t have a chance honey.

Say it ain’t so… My Ralph is no longer a contender for the mirror ball trophy. I can’t believe it. I know in the past I’ve expressed my disappointment and doubtfulness in the judges “judgment” but last week I was appalled.

Bruno crossed a line with his comments to Karina and Ralph and I think that there should be a public apology made to both of them and the millions of viewers. I feel like ABC lets the judges get away with their over the top behavior because it’s viewed as part of the entertainment experience, but last week was the absolute end of the line for me.

Despite the offensive comments spilling from Bruno’s mouth, I thought that Ralph ended his ballroom run with two wonderful dances. He and Karina started the night with the Argentine tango, and Ralph’s knee was still sore. My comments during the performance were along the line of it being a little flat as far as the effect it had on me as a viewer, but all things considered, I still think it was a worthy contender of a performance.

Their second dance of the night was the salsa, and I was worried about how well Ralph’s knee was going to hold up and how much butt shaking he was actually going to pull off (he’s been a little ‘behind’ in the bum bouncing, ha.ha.ha….what….it was a cheap laugh, I know but you laughed nonetheless, right?). Anyway, I thought the costumes were HILARIOUS. The butt pad, the big hair, the chains and the sunglasses; it was cracking me up. I thought, finally! Ralph has stopped being SOO serious and he’s giving the judges the last final bum(p) to get through the end….. except the judges are idiots and criticized him for doing what they’ve asked him all season to do; let go and have fun.

Ralph, you’re an absolute gentleman and I think you brought a level of integrity and pride into the ballroom this season. Despite your record of being an underdog, I don’t think you should walk away from this competition feeling defeated; you’ve been amazing and one of my favorites. Thanks for making me smile for the past few weeks!

On another note, did anyone notice Maks’ reaction to Kirstie making it into the finals over Ralph? Isn’t there a history between Maks and Karina? Weren’t they engaged? Was his relentless fist pumping intended to be a bit of slap in the face to Karina? Maks, you may be sex on a stick honey, but the ego could afford to come down a few notches….I’m just saying…

Moving on to Kirstie…the woman who I think has done a valiant job but still doesn’t deserve to be in the finals….I thought that her Viennese waltz was pretty. More than the dancing, I’m happy to see her dropping weight and making herself happy. I’m also very proud of Maks for stepping in and drawing the line with her low calorie intake; this isn’t a weight loss show, it’s a dancing show and she should not be giving young women the idea that working yourself to death and not eating, simultaneously, is the solution to a battle with weight. Ok, now that I’ve been nice…I have to be honest and tell you all that my notes read “I hope she gets tired and falls on her face,” and then she did, twice. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. Who else enjoyed seeing her weeble and wobble and fall down?? (don’t lie to yourself, ok? You know you pressed rewind and watched it like five times…)

Kirstie’s Paso Doble was good too, although I felt as though she was exhausted and Maks was dragging her through the whole thing. Still, the judges gave her all nines; bullshit. I feel like I should write a strongly worded letter to ABC and start a petition to have the judging system changed… I’ll forget by next season, but for the moment I’m really mad, Ok?

 I LOVED Chelsea’s tango. I thought it was sexy, stunning and strong. She’s a beautiful girl and I thought she really brought a sense of power struggle and tension to the dance; usually she’s just a bouncy bubble, but it was cool to see her get serious. I’m pretty sure the judges said she “lacked authority” in her legs…I say phooey…In fact…I think she should go up there and kick each of them with her authoritative legs and knock some sense into them.

 Ack, then the rumba….she nailed it. I really thought it was just a gorgeous dance. Side note: I wrote amongst my notes that I think Mark should grow his hair out… I think I might include that in my petition while I’m at it…

 AND the MVP is Hines Ward!! With Kym’s injury and all of the cards stacked against them this week, I thought he was A. MAZ. ING. I have to say that I really enjoy the entertaining part of the dancing, but the real draw to the show for me is feeling like you get a glimpse of these celebrities as actual people. Let me just say, Hines, you are a wonderful and unbelievable dance partner and friend to Kym. I don’t think there was one person who watched who wasn’t touched by your care and concern for her after that nasty neck injury (except for those nastyBaltimorehaters that have been voting against you all season…poop on them). AND, injury and all, the tango was super sexy. I was so impressed with the performance…it literally blew me away. I wrote “that was stellar (yes, stellar is generally reserved for those star stickers you get from your teacher in second grade, but that’s how my brain works folks). Hines and Kym deserved that perfect score, they did a phenomenal job.

 I know I haven’t commented on the introduction pieces they gave for each celeb last week, but Hines’ mother is an amazing woman and I think he truly appreciates everything she’s done for him. It is a testament to parents all over the world and the message that they can give their children from a young age; rise up against adversity and you can do anything.

 And Hines got a perfect score for their second dance and I will quote myself from my notes again “SCREW IT- Hines is taking it all and he deserves it! So Happy! So Sweet!” Yes people, that means what you think it means….I’m knockingChelseaout of the first place position and going where my heart truly is and that’s with Hines. I love him on the football field, I love him on the dance floor and I love him as a person; Steeler or not, he’s my number one pick.

 Ok, the “winner takes all Cha Cha is a joke….bravo once again to ABC for creating a way to pad a particular celebrity’s scores.Chelseais a stunning dancer and I think that she has a great opportunity to win the finals, but the judges weren’t sure that she’d get the boost she needed from the fans, so they devised this little “treat” to help push her through and knock Ralph out. It’s a conspiracy. I don’t blame the celebrities, all of them are amazing and have worked very hard to be there…but ABC, if you think that the people who most deserve to win aren’t making it to the finals, you could be a  LITTLE less obvious about manipulating the scoring situation.Americaisn’t stupid and I find it rather insulting that you think you can get away with all your stupid “twists” that are meant to make the competition more “interesting.”

Oh, and ABC, while you’re listening…Tell Mark to grow out his hair and fire Brooke Burke; she’s a terrible host and screwed up your stupid “winner takes all cha cha” coin toss….lucky for her Hines is an honest guy and helped her dumb ass figure it out. Of course, you can blame it on live television, but the guidelines for a coin toss aren’t that advanced…maybe those spray tans are affecting her brain.

 Tomorrow night I’m looking forward to the freestyle dances and the culmination of a very exciting and entertaining DWTS season….I’ll be cheering for Hines and hoping Maks drops Kirstie on her butt…ooops…did I type that? Yup. I did.

Good luck final three!!

 Sincerely Yours,

 Jammer

Is ABC hiring???

Last week was a nail bitter! The celebs are getting down to the wire on this season of DWTS and for the most part I’m pretty satisfied with who is left…minus crazy Kirstie… who despite the amount of brain wave transmissions  I send to her other worldly gods, continues to do well in this competition.

But enough about Kirstie… I need to discuss the sheer panic and sadness that I was suspended in throughout both episodes because my teenage heartthrob was injured! I wish I had taken video of myself watching because I was on the verge of tears during the results show….  I was balled up on the couch tense with terror that my Karate Kid had fought his last fight. Then to describe the amount of relief that washed over me when Romeo was named the one to go home was a wave of WHEWWwwwwWWwwwwWWwwwwWW (ride the wave with me won’t you?).

To comment on Ralph’s performance, despite the injury, will not shock any of my rabid readers… I thought he was brilliant. With little practice and still in pain, he danced an amazing Viennese waltz; not to mention I thought the dark and sexy theme worked!!! The best part about him is his humility and sweetness! I realize his instant cha cha left more to be desired, especially in his hip action, but I’m stoked to see him perform this week and get his groove back.

Now, I must pose a question, because the judges scored Ralph a 21 on his instant dance for a lack of hip action… Kirstie completely lost the beat and was out of sync with Maks and the judges scored her a 23 on her instant salsa. I guess I’m just wondering why completely screwing up the dance deserves higher scores than some missing hip wiggle?? It doesn’t seem fair to me…I’m obviously partial here, but I think ABC needs to consider giving more specific scores…even if just for the instant dance. They could judge on technique, musicality and overall entertainment value….of course, that could take up more production time…Oh wait…ABC drags things out anyway… this would be actual content to their 5 month long episodes (Why don’t I have a job at ABC???)

BUT, I can’t totally dis their random ramblings and added “best of results show” specials because I LOVE Dance Center; I think it’s hilarious. Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice are such dorks and Len Goodman is just a random old fuddy duddy that they invite along to ignore. Their comments are generally farce and completely off base but it makes each season! I think next season they should invite Bruno as a guest commentator… I’d love to see the “chemistry” he’d bring to the mix with his inappropriate and sexual gestures and touchy-feely way of expressing himself (Again, ABC my resume is on craigslist…).

Back to the dancers:

I thought that Chelsea and Mark did a beautiful waltz; she is so talented and sophisticated for her age. I was impressed with her boldness toward Mark about his comments to the judges two weeks ago: Disney is getting better at grooming their darlings… Chelsea is nowhere near a Brittney Spears. Their instant dance was PACKED full of dance moves and was very impressive. Chelsea’s freestyle should be insane and I can’t wait to see it!

I also thought that Romeo did a great job this week; I don’t think he deserved to go home before Kirstie, but if you add in the popularity contest aspect of this show, I kind of figured he would anyway. I will say that despite the great dance, I hated that Chelsie dressed him in all black while she was in red pleather… I wish he would have stood out more. I felt like in all of the lighting and design of the dance, Romeo got lost.  Romeo’s instant dance was pretty good too, but I hate when the dancers count their dance steps…and he was definitely mumbling to himself. I will say in a final goodbye to Romeo that I do really think he is a good role model for “all the kids out there” and that I think he should taking his dancing talents to the big screen and release a cult classic movie that will give him the same boost that Jennifer Grey and Ralph Macchio got, then he can come back in 15 years and go for the mirror ball again!

I’ve pretty much summed up how I feel about Kirstie, but in order to be fair, I thought her tango was pretty amazing…mostly because Maks was picking her fat butt up throughout the whole thing. You already know how I feel about the instant dance…

And last but not least, my darling Hines! First, I have to give props to Kym for designing cute costumes all season (I wish there wasn’t so much pink, but…). Even Kym thought that Hines’s butt was cute in the pants he was wearing! Their foxtrot was adorable and cheeserific! It also made me laugh when Hines said that a woman “makes a man propose,” he either gives her a ring or she’s leaving; I guess that means he’s not thinking of getting serious with anyone anytime soon.  AND to add to the cheese my comment directly from my notebook is “this WILL be an everlasting love.” I thought the instant dance was also excellent but I was totally distracted by a glimpse of my other Steeler boo, Troy Polamalu, in the audience. Finally, I appreciated Hines saying that he’s using this competition to get ready for the football season; despite his sabbatical with all the sparkles and sequins, he still has to get down to business this fall….

With that said, the end is in sight and I’m ready to see our celebs dance’ til they drop this week! (literally…it’s the season finale on Tuesday…duh….) Now, if any of you have been regularly reading, you already know that my predictions from last week are already wrong… (guess I’m not an expert yet) … So I’m giving you an updated version:

4. Kirstie Alley

3. Ralph Macchio

2. Hines Ward

1. Chelsea Kane

Now, I want to add a disclaimer that I want Hines Ward to win…my predictions do not reflect this, I think there is a possibility that after Kyle Massey’s success last season, Chelsea might have more fans than people think…

I guess we’ll see!!

Sincerely Yours,

Jammer

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