for not having the time to write my Survivor column has gotten
to me. I've been thinking about the latest episode, coming
up with little things to comment about since last Thursday,
writing them down whenever I had a free moment. In fact, for
every week I haven't written, I have several started articles
that never came to fruition. The pressure is building inside
of me, which is exasperated by emails that have changed from,
"Where is this week's column?" to "Rob, are
you OK? Did something happen to you?"
Had a Dream... I just woke up having had a dream about Rupert. (My dreams
are often what I call non-dreams. Stuff happens in the dream,
but these happenings are of no consequence whatsoever. You'll
see what I mean.) Here's the dream:
recall why or how, but Rupert and another woman - a friend
or an acquaintance of his, not his wife, maybe even another
former survivor, one of those that you recognize but are simply
not compelled to give much thought-time to - were at my place
for a little get-together. But it wasn't my place - it was
a childhood friend's in Missouri, someone I haven't thought
about or talked to for over ten years. But Rupert was there
indirectly because of me and because of some unknown reason.
else had made dinner, perhaps it was my friend, and as I finished
my plate I noticed there was something just a little bland
about it. I was hungry, though, so I chomped it down without
a thought. I then saw that Rupert and the other lady hardly
ate anything and reasoned to myself, they thought it tasted
horrible, which was followed by me coming up with excuses
in my mind to my friend as to why they thought his cooking
while later, I offered Rupert some of my black walnuts. (I
have a black walnut tree that over-produced this year so I
actually considered selling some black walnuts on ebay. Right
now, I have a bag full of them that I've been munching on
for several weeks.) He wasn't entirely enthusiastic about
it, but I went to get some anyway. When I reached in the bag,
I saw a frog (which I attribute to having read a Junie B.
Jones book last night) and a lizard scampering around the
a feeling that other things could also be in there - the bag
was in a dark place and was more like a carry-on luggage bag
- I took it outside and dumped it and was quite surprised
to also see a black snake rush off through the grass followed
by the scampering lizard and the frog hopping away. Reptiles
must LOVE black walnuts,
going through the motions of cracking the shells and fishing
out a nut - it can take a while, he said he liked it but again,
he was more polite than really liking the thing. The entire
time, in fact, he seemed like he was being nice but really
wanted to just be home - or maybe just not THERE.
he mentioned how he had a trip planned to Bennington, Vermont,
which is just 30 miles away from me. I said, "Oh Rupert.
Let's do lunch! There are a LOT of people I know that would
love to meet you."
was not at all enthusiastic about this and said, "I can't
have lunch with you. I hardly know you."
which I really had no response because he was absolutely right.
that was all I can remember about that dream.
so now YOU'RE thinking, "What the hell...? That was
a waste of time of a dream. Why did Rob spend a whole page
blabbing about this nothing dream?"
therein lies the beauty of my bad self...
people were forced to say ONLY meaningful things, can you
imagine how so few conversations would be had. Most of our
day would consist of STARTING to say something before realizing,
Oh, that's not meaningful. I was just going to comment
how that dog over there looks like that dog on a TV show.
yes, I've just wasted your time talking about meaningless
things. And I must admit, there's more to come. The question
is, which is worse: the fact that I blab meaningless crap
or that you're somehow compelled to continue reading?
think it's worse that I blab meaningless crap.
World Mourns the Loss of Rupert Anyway, I just read at
York Post that Survivor fans flooded the CBS switchboard
after Rupert was booted off the show. "CBS insiders say
over 3,100 calls were logged to the network - with over 2,200
of those from viewers expressing their dismay at Rupert's
banishment. The response to Rupert's expulsion from Survivor
was the single-largest outpouring of immediate fan angst in
the show's history."
if any of those calls suggested that Survivor needs to change
its name. No longer is this a show centered around the difficulties
of surviving in a remote location. Not since Survivor Africa
have people had to deal with anything other than bugs.
The problem with this game is that those very people who worked
so hard and performed so well during the challenges are marked
for eviction as soon as the tribes merge. In other words,
those who carried the tribe to the merge are the first to
other hand, if you're a lazy-ass and/or if you are perceived
to have no athletic skills (mental skills seem to be irrelevant),
you are booted before the merge (note Skinny Ryan). So, in
order to survive to the merge, you have to work, be athletic,
and not be antagonistic. BUT, after the merge, you can't be
TOO strong or TOO smart or else you'll be considered a threat
to win immunity challenges.
any other games in which the AVERAGE, not the best or worst,
but the average, wins? Can you imagine the sportscaster...
look at him go! He just scored his tenth goal, struck out
the last 13 batters, threw four touchdowns, and scored 45
points in the second half and that's TOO BAD for him! It looks
like Sally, fresh off the bench, will be recognized as Most
Valuable Player. Great playing, Sally! Not too good, but not
too bad, either."
Problem with Survivor This is the problem with Survivor. Except for maybe Brian
(Survivor Thailand) and Richard (the first Survivor), the
person who most deserves to win never wins. It's always dumb
luck that the competent people lose and the winner lasts until
the end. It's frustrating to watch a show with so much strategy
and so much drama only to have the winner decided by dumb
was my and so many others' thought as they groaned during
the last Survivor
Finale. I had almost forgotten this until I saw a very
frustrated Rupert watch his torch being snuffed.
Rupert fans will be glad to know that he's unofficially a
part of the All-Star Survivor. Over at SurvivorFever.net,
they have the roster.
no secret that I, also, have been a fan of Rupert. All you
have to do is read my previous articles and my Rupert profile.
What I'll miss more than anything are those moments that he
takes to breathe in the beauty of his experience. He is the
first person, other than maybe Frank from Survivor Africa,
who marveled out loud about how amazing it was to be where
he was and be a part of such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
are many other things about Rupert that are a breath of fresh
air, but that was the first to come to mind. Anything good
that comes to Rupert is well-deserved.
since it is almost time for the next Survivor to air, I've
decided to add to this column all that I've written last week
and end this thing. Yes, I know, this wasn't my usual recap/commentary,
but as you'll see, I've been mad-busy.
believe I'll have time over the Thanksgiving break to write
a real article, so please check back.
it's been a while since I've written my crap.
of all, I'd like to say that I'm quite honored that there
exists people in this world I've never met who take the time
to email me if I haven't written. Just to clear a few things
I'm still alive. No, I am not already on location as a next
Survivor. No, I have not become a famous writer. Yes, I feel
guilty for "letting my fans down." Yes, aliens exist.
No I am not one of them nor have I been abducted and anal
basically 2 excuses for not writing: 1) I'm a dolt and 2)
I've been playing a lot of music.
1: Doltness Twice, not once, but twice I screwed up and didn't record
the show. I forgot about changing the clock on my VCR for
daylight savings and when electricity went out after a storm.
Yes, I know, I should get a TIVO or some other digital recorder,
but I'm just too cheap for that.
I know, in the past I've written articles even though I didn't
see the episode. Some of you may recall this
one from Survivor Thailand where I made up crap for the
first half-hour because I was a dolt. Others may recall my
Fantasy Episode article in which I made up an entire episode
out of boredom because Survivor Thailand was a complete yawner.
I am particularly proud of the Michelangelo plugging Visa
picture I discovered.
in the future I'll make up crap if I screw up again, but don't
count on it. It's kind of fun doing it, I must admit.
2: Music There are two things I believe I was born to do - things
that I recall doing at a very young age. These are writing
and playing drums. I remember in just 1st or 2nd
grade trying to write funny stories that involved the dumb
sidekick. And I clearly remember creating a drum set out of
various items before kindergarten and actually playing mildly
returned to playing drums. After a several-year lapse, I am
once again playing out. I am also giving lessons on Tuesday
and Thursday evenings, so when I forget to set the VCR I am
forced to read other sites to see what happened.
playing in two bands - a blues/funk band called MothersMilk
consisting of some of most talented musicians I have ever
played with and Ten
Ton Goldfish, a modern rock group that attracts the crowds
and the babes in the front who flirt with the lead singer.
If you happen to live near Western Massachusetts, check out
for a schedule of gigs - we're playing almost every weekend.
go, you must introduce yourself to me. We'll chat and have
a good 'ole time.
also check out the Ten
Ton Goldfish website for pictures, old arcade games, and
whatever else the lead singer puts on the site. He's a website
designer that actually knows what he's doing. And he came
up with the logo that's pretty dang funny.
to doltness and playing drums, I've been working, writing
other crap, hypnotizing people, and socializing a bit more
than my reclusive self usually does. But I do apologize for
of that. You're not here to read about my personal life (I
think). Let's discuss Survivor...
did I miss?
Return I missed two major events. The first was the biggest twist,
yet. They brought back the first six outcasts to compete in
a challenge against the other two tribes. Whichever tribe
they beat in the challenge, they got to replace one member.
Since they beat both tribes, the Outcasts got to vote back
in two members, who turned out to be Burton and Lill.
returned with revenge on their minds and one goal in sight:
to have the winner be one of them. They chose wisely in Burton
and Lill. Burton was a good choice because he's both smart
and strong. Lill was a good choice because she'll be able
to fly under the radar and come across like a crazy old lady
who wears a boy scout uniform who, before they realize it,
is somehow in the Final Three.
First Quitter The second major event was actually more of a major disappointment.
Remember when those in Survivor Africa had nothing but boiled
elephant toilet water to drink and had to live inside a little
dusty protected-from-the-wild-animals circle with absolutely
no shade in 110+ degree weather and nothing but a handful
of mushy corn meal to eat per day? (This sounds like exaggeration,
but it's not.)
this time around, the Survivors enjoyed a vacation island
lifestyle with plenty of water and food whose greatest difficulty
is to endure chilly nights. (Why didn't they redesign their
shelter for better warmth at night? And I wonder if he would've
stuck it out had he not sold all his clothes except for a
pair of boxers on that first day in the village...?)
before this now infamous action, a certain individual had
earned the following name from me: Wimp-Ass-I-Am-SO-Going-To-Die-From-Pneumonia-Blows-All-The-Challenges-Even-With-All-His-Muscles
I just realized for the first time that I added "boy"
at the end. This was not meant as a racial/slavery thing.
I've been adding either boy or man or girl or woman behind
each nickname sort of in the super hero naming thing and since
Osten comes across more of a youth than a man... well, I hope
you get the point. I thought I'd put out that fire before
getting a mess of racist-charging emails.
it suck that I even have to worry about stupid crap like that?)
why I mentioned Survivor Africa is because those people really
subjected their bodies to potential harm. And can you imagine
this guy dealing with the rats in the first Survivor or the
starvation of Survivor 2? Wimp-Ass-I-Am-SO-Going-To-Die-From-Pneumonia-Perfect-Mind-Over-Matter-Example
boy would've been asking to go before the first challenge.
before asking for his torch to be snuffed (did you see how
completely annoyed Mr. Jeff Probst was?), Wimp-Ass-I-Am-SO-Going-To-Die-From-Pneumonia-Perfect-Mind-Over-Matter-Example
boy had already proven himself a quitter many times over.
There was the swimming challenge when he cried out for help
as though he were drowning. Another challenge pitted him against
Rupert in a test of will and strength. These are just two
line is that any time something required a win-at-all-costs
mental attitude, he lost.
are some people who are driven, who have that fire in them
to excel, to be the best, to succeed at all costs. Here was
someone chosen out of tens of thousands of people to experience
the thrill of Survivor and what does he say in a weak attempt
to justify his actions, "My health is more important
than a million dollars."
there were things that were edited out -- things that would've
indicated he was in worse condition than we thought. But you
know... so what.
single mothers (and fathers) carry on and care for their children
despite being painfully sick? How many people go to work while
experiencing debilitating pain because they need the money?
People survive. People rise up to challenges. People deal
and people do what it takes.
my profile that I wrote before Survivor started. Quote:
have a few concerns about him, though. He's worked several
jobs, none of which require a degree. It says he has an Associates
Degree and "went on to study..." This means that
he went to college and dropped out (or flunked out) before
he was able to graduate. He likes boozing with the fellas
and working out.
is I wonder if he will have the drive to day-in-and-day-out
work on the shelter and obtain food. My gut feeling is that
he will work hard for a while, but be very willing to take
a break if the option comes up."
I underestimate things! Be very willing to take a break? How
about, "... be very willing to quit when things get a
Andrew and his other teammates to not see this and NOT vote
him out given the several chances they had, they deserve to
lose this game. (Lil' wanted him out, though.) In Joan
of Arcadia (my new favorite show), "God" said
something on these lines, "It's not what you DID, but
what you do NEXT that's truly important."
Idiot (aka Morgan) chose poorly after Wimp-Ass blew challenge
after challenge. None of them deserve to win and so it's kind
of neat to see them voted out one-by-one. (Lill doesn't count
and I happen to like Tijuana for some reason I can't put my
finger on. I expect to see Darrah gone pretty soon due to
trust issues. Also, does she ever speak more than a half-sentence
at a time? So far, we've seen so little of her in every way.
Here's a picture of a major Darrah highlight.)
half-expecting this show to be a wake-up call for Wimp-Ass
-- to maybe refocus him on what HE will do next. I HALF-expected
him to proclaim during the post-quitting interviews that he
now kicks himself for doing what he did, but I hear that he
STILL believes his reasons for quitting were justified.
me a person who quits during the difficult times and I'll
show you a person destined for mediocrity at best.
of that. What else happened while I was away?
Merged/Alliance-Forming Flourishes So now the tribes are merged and the alliance-forming
and alliance-breaking is just going nuts. What sets this group
of people apart is that their scheming and their planning
seems to be done rather intelligently. Each little group has
excellent reasons for their actions.
Survivor consisted of a bunch of non-memorable people who
ended up creating what could be called the most interesting
Survivor ever (except for the lame end). Alliances switched
every few days it seemed (thanks to Rob, someone even Jeff
Probst said played the game possibly better than anyone) and
so each week we weren't really sure what was going to happen
and each week usually consisted of something interesting or
Survivor has that same unpredictability BUT with a cast of
interesting people. Of course, it can be argued that this
is mostly due to Rupert, but hey, if one person happens to
make everyone a little more interesting, then so be it.
and Lill Here
are two people that have turned out to be rather interesting,
as well. On paper (that is, before the show started), these
two were extremely qualified and skilled for this game. But
then, Lillian turned out to be a little naïve and mildly
nutty with that boy scout thing. And Burton, thanks to his
super-bland though far-less-talented-in-every-regard tribe-mate
(recall my name for them: One-of-Two-Dark-Haired-Immature-But-Good-Looking-Zero-Unique-Qualities
man) came across as mostly empty.
two have returned with vengeance in their eyes. Lill, although
with admitted difficulty, has finally jumped into the ring
to really play this game to win. She was heard during this
last episode saying something quite wise to Burton, "You
can make me out to be the crazy lady..."
many times has the older, crazy lady made it to the final
three on Survivor? Enough times for it to be an excellent
seems to be demonstrating some of his prestigious-school MBA
people-skills. (At first he totally came across so very fraternity
immature.) Unfortunately for him, he is still seen as smarter
than everyone else (he probably is now that Prince Andrew
is gone) and the biggest physical threat. If he makes the
right alliances, he may make it as far as his secret partner
Big Secret Sorry, folks. I have no idea what the big secret is going
to be. Supposedly it's happening on this special Wednesday
night before Thanksgiving episode.
heard that Jeff Probst screws up during the immunity challenge
and awards it to the wrong person.
the following in John
Powell's article over at Jam! Showbiz. (This article discussed
"The Big Lie" in detail.)
heard only wonderful things about Jenna's mother. It is very
unfortunate when someone like this is taken away from our
Morasco In more serious 'Survivor' news, Carla Morasca, the mother
of 'Survivor: The Amazon' winner Jenna Morasca died on November
19th at the age of 48. In the series, Jenna had mentioned
her mother's battle with cancer several times. Morasca has
been listed by several sites as a participant on the 'Survivor
All-Stars' edition which began filming during the week of
November 3rd in the Pearl Islands of Panama. The Morasca family
is suggesting that memorial donations be made to The Susan
G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, P. O. Box 650309, Dallas,
nothing else to add. My sympathies go out to anyone touched
by this person.
Survivor profiles? Click
on the Survivor's picture to go to their Info and Discussion
out my Survivor
Index Page for Survivor links and all the articles
I've written in the past.