The Daily Bongo
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 -- Afternoon
The Fifth Assassin by Brad MeltzerI have been busy this month with the Jewish holidays and with teaching three writing courses this term. So needless to say, I haven't had much time for pleasure reading. It took me a month of bus time reading to finish The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer. I caught a few of the Decoded shows on the History Channel, and I enjoyed watching Brad Meltzer and his assistants investigate various historical claims. Shows looked at DB Cooper, John Wilkes Booth, UFOs, the Alaska Triangle, the Culper Ring, and similar stuff. It's all interesting, and it got me to check out Meltzer as an author. I noticed that The Fifth Assassin was on sale for Kindle when the paperback version came out, so I got it.
Beecher White is the hero of the book, and he works as an archivist and for the modern day Culper Ring. Someone is killing pastors in the DC area, mimicking the assassins of the Presidents. The weird thing is that the assassin in wearing a plaster cast of Abraham Lincoln's face, which were made in Lincoln's lifetime. An acquaintance from Beecher's childhood, Marshall, may be involved, and Beecher also thinks that Beecher's former girlfriend, Clementine might be involved. The characters were a bit confusing for me because it seems that the story started with The Inner Circle. So we have Clementine's father, Nico, who tried to kill the current president, President Wallace. Wallace also has a back story with Beecher, who knows that Wallace killed someone in the past. Can Beecher figure out who is killing the pastors before that someone kills Wallace? And does Beecher want to prevent Wallace's assassination?
Even with all the confusion of jumping into what appeared to be the middle of the story, I really enjoyed The Fifth Assassin. I could hear Meltzer narrating Beecher's internal dialog, and I found myself racing through the pages whenever I did have a chance to read. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, when the end of the book came too soon. The book ends in a cliff hanger that really did leave me yearning for a quick release of the next book in the series. Meltzer has an informal, quick-paced writing style, and it added to the book's action scenes. I have The Inner Circle on hold at the library, and I hope to catch up on Beecher's backstory. I plan on reading a lot more Meltzer in the future.
Thursday, September 12, 2013 -- Evening
Final ThreeI haven't been watching BB for a while now. The live feeds were interesting, but in recent days, things have become extremely boring! I think that I'm definitely losing interest in this group, but the end is in sight, so I watched to see McCrae evicted tonight.
The BB show tonight started with Judd leaving. The rest of the Exterminators were sad to see Judd leave. Andy was just happy to be closer to the money. Andy was happy to make it to the final three. GinaMarie says that she won't go home if McCrae does not win the veto. When McCrae goes into the DR, the rest talk about how McCrae cannot win the veto. Andy tells Ginamarie and Spencer that he doesn't want to piss either of the other two off, but Andy knows that it's the veto that is important. Andy put Spencer and McCrae on the block. Andy says that McCrae does not know that he is Andy's target. Spencer is scared because Andy did not put up GinaMarie, which makes Spencer think that something is up between those two.
Finally, we get to see action from the jury house. Helen painted a memory wall. She said she came in bitter, but she's getting over it with exercise and painting. Then we see Aaryn join Helen, Candice, and Jessie. Candice is happy that Aaryn cannot win the money. Aaryn apologizes for her insensitive remarks. Obviously, CBS coached her well. Aaryn wants to start a new relationship. They appear to forgive her. The four talk, thinking it might be Andy coming in. However, it's Amanda who comes in. Jessie says that her nightmare of McCranda is finally over. Amanda said that most of the girl's were happy to see Amanda in the house because they did not want Amanda to win. Amanda said that America hated her because of the boos she got. Helen loves that Ginamarie made a move. Aaryn reminds Amanda that Amanda should have gotten rid of Andy. Amanda knew that Andy voted for her. Then Elissa comes in. Candice said that Elissa was one of the last she wanted to see in the house. Amanda says that McCrae did not know that Elissa kept him. Elissa felt defeated. Amanda gave Elissa back Elissa's wedding ring, and apologized for McCrae. Everyone realizes that Andy exterminated all of them. More jury house action when Judd walks in.
Judd goes in to join the all girl house. Amanda wanted McCrae because she missed him. Helen says that Judd is in with bitter women. Judd said being evicted a second time is terrible. Judd shows the group the video of the show. Judd thinks GinaMarie is the smartest. Then there is controversy about Ginamarie being the best in the house. Amanda thinks GinaMarie is more os coattail rider than Andy. Aaryn said that Amanda is even worse outside of the house. Candice said that McCrae is a huge floater because he hid behind Amanda and stayed in bed. Amanda thinks that McCrae was the most loyal of anyone in the house, and everyone shouts out "to you!"
Time for the POV competition. The competition is to put the picture of the house guest up with the clues that correspond to the house guest. They did this all the time. Some of the answers could apply to more than one, but only one correct answer solves the puzzle. If they buzz in with a wrong answer, all the chips fall off the wall. Andy's plan was to put in the answers that there was only one correct answer to. McCrae buzzes in first and loses all of this chips. Andy buzzes in shortly afterwards and wins. McCrae said the competition was his to win, but he wants to make sure that Andy knows that Andy needs to keep McCrae. Spencer tries to scare Andy about taking GinaMarie to the final two. Andy will win if he makes it to final two. Spencer tells McCrae that McCrae should stress to Andy how dangerous GinaMarie is. McCrae talks to Andy. McCrae says that Spencer and GinaMarie don't have much blood, but GinaMarie got rid of Amanda. Andy does buy that GinaMarie is dangerous. McCrae tries to say that Andy only has a chance in the final two with McCrae beside him.
Julie tells the crowd about Andy, Spencer, and GinaMarie telling McCrae about the Exterminators. McCrae thanks everyone, and tells Andy to use the veto on him because he is "bad radical." Andy chooses not to use the POV. Now they have a chance to convince GinaMarie. McCrae thanks a slew of BB bloggers. GinaMarie says she loves the two on the block. GinaMarie evicts McCrae. McCrae gives a final shout out to hamsterwatch.com. Julie shows McCrae a video of the three remaining Exterminators outing themselves. McCrae said that he got "got" and didn't see it coming. McCrae didn't believe that Andy voted out Amanda. Julie asked why McCrae didn't try to get Andy out. McCrae said that he should have trusted Elissa. Julie asks about the showmance. McCrae said that he may have been crippled because of Amanda being there. Julie asks for McCrae's feelings about Amanda. McCrae said that inside the house things are weird, but he doesn't know how it will be outside of the house. Then McCrae listened to the lame Exterminator good-bye videos. McCrae's final thoughts were that he wished he had distanced himself from Amanda.
Julie talks to the house guests in the living room. Andy said that they all felt that McCrae needed to know. Sunday's show appears to be a recap, with maybe some final HOH competition thrown in. Then next Wednesday is the final episode.
Sunday, September 8, 2013 -- Evening
Big Brother DelayedSunday's Big Brother show is going to be delayed by almost an hour by the US Open Women's Tennis final, won by Serena Williams. I won't be able to be around for the show tonight, but I can give an update on what has happened in the BB house. Spencer gave out some punishments and rewards when he won HOH. He gave Andy the chance to win $5000. However, when Andy had to pick boxes that would contain the price, he only wound up winding $84 or $94. As punishments, Judd had to exercise on command every three hours or so over a 24 hour period. McCrae and GinaMarie were shackled together for 24 hours.
Spencer nominated McCrae and GinaMarie for eviction. McCrae won the POV in a competition that was hosted by Ian Terry, the winner of last year's Big Brother. It seems that Ian was cheering on McCrae, which made some of the others mad. GinaMarie cut her leg, and got eight stitches. That injury was in the leg that did not have the broken toe. It seems the competition had the house guests flying in the air in a harness. Now Spencer has to put up someone else, and it will be Judd. Spencer should put up Andy because Spencer has been saying that he can't beat Andy in the final. Duh!!! The show is heating up over the next week, and will be ending soon, so there should be more competitions amongst this bunch of floaters.
Friday, September 6, 2013 -- Afternoon
Big Brother UpdateI did not get a chance to watch Big Brother for the past two days because of evening classes and Rosh Hashana. I still have the shows on my DVR, but with my schedule for the next few days, I'm not sure if I will be able to catch up. However, I can give a quick update on what has happened so far. With Amanda and Spencer on the block, Elissa made a deal with Amanda to keep her. Amanda and McCrae thought that Andy was on board, but when Thursday came, Andy voted Amanda out. The score was tied with Elissa and McCrae evicted Spencer, and Judd and Andy evicted Amanda. Because Amanda really ticked off GinaMarie with some arguments, Amanda went to jury. Then as typically happens, McCrae won HOH. He nominated GinaMarie and Elissa, Judd won POV, and Elissa followed Amanda to jury. After the show, later last night, Spencer won HOH, and his plan is to put up McCrae and GinaMarie. If McCrae wins veto, Spencer wants to put up Judd, and then vote out GinaMarie. So that's the quick update. I hope to be back to normal time constraints by Sunday to catch up on that show.
Sunday, September 1, 2013 -- Evening
HOH and Nomination UpdateTime for the Big Brother show. The show started with the HOH competition that was in progress when the show ended. Spencer wanted an Exterminator to win. Elissa felt like a sitting duck in the HOH, and she knew that she was not safe if Amanda or McCrae won. Amanda said that she sort of understands that they are too votes. Andy says that most in the house are against Amanda and McCrae, only McCranda doesn't know it. GinaMarie is part of the Exterminators, but she isn't sure how loyal they are. Amanda kept Andy because they trust him more. However, Andy wants to get rid of Amanda, McCrae, and Elissa. GinaMarie misses her bestie, Aaryn. As they were waiting to go out to play HOH, Amanda made some snide remarks about apologizing for overtly taunting Elissa. In the HOH competition, Judd does not want to wear the chicken suit. Spencer is having real issues trying to get the eggs, and he does not want to wear the chicken suit. Andy thought that he was a front hopper in the competition. GinaMarie and Andy were in the top two. Spencer tries the "drop the egg into your hand" method. Judd realizes that he is competing not to wear the costume. Elissa was rooting on GinaMarie in the competition. Andy being so close to GinaMarie was freaking Elissa out. Andy and GinaMarie were both around 10 eggs. GinaMarie could see that Andy was close, and she got HOH. I loved the ugly look on Amanda's face. Judd and Spencer found out that they has to wear chicken suits. Judd was happy that GinaMarie got HOH. Elissa was happy and celebrating with GinaMarie, and Amanda told Elissa to wipe the smile off her face because GinaMarie was going after her. In DR, Amanda said that she was going to make sure she got GinaMarie to make the right nominations.
GinaMarie goes to talk to Aaryn's picture about winning. Amanda says that she is going to make sure that GinaMarie targets Elissa. As soon as they come back into the house, Amanda immediately starts in on the "it's so wonderful that you are going to be sending Elissa home." As GinaMarie says, Aaryn has been puppeted by Amanda and McCrae. GinaMarie says, "I may be blonde, and I may be cute, but my name is GinaMarie, not Aaryn." Meanwhile Amanda is telling Spencer and McCrae that GinaMarie will put up Elissa and Judd. In the storage room, Judd, GinaMarie, and Andy celebrate. Spencer says that he knows it's going to be Amanda and McCrae up, but he plays along with McCranda that he doesn't know. Amanda just keeps on and on about how she is going to tell GinaMarie what to do. Meanwhile, Elissa asks GinaMarie about who she is putting up, and is happy that it's Amanda and McCrae.
It's time for Spencer and Judd to get their chicken suits. They were supposed to wear the suits for 48 hours, but on the live feeds, it was like 36 hours. GinaMarie calls Judd a chicken nugget. Amanda is asking GinaMarie if she knows who she is putting up. GinaMarie says it could be anyone. Amanda says that GinaMarie should put up people that won't be mad at her. Amanda keeps on about how no one likes Elissa and Judd. GinaMarie in DR says that she agrees that she should put up the people that the house wants. It's just that those two are Amanda and McCrae. GinaMarie laughs and make crazy gestures behind Amanda. In the HOH room, Amanda does not like that Elissa is being so nice to GinaMarie. Amanda looks upset, and laughs at Elissa. GinaMarie said that Elissa and Amanda look like they want to beat the plastic out of each other. Then Elissa is talking to Spencer and Andy about Amanda having to put people down to make herself feel good. Amanda assures Elissa that she will be nominated tomorrow and on the couch. Elissa just laughs and says that she doesn't care. The Elissa says that she thought Jessie was the only number ten, and that Jessie had a nice butt. Amanda gets upset about that, because obviously Amanda thinks she is a ten. Amanda just keeps up with the jabs as Elissa laughs. It's obviously uncomfortable for Spencer and Andy. Andy says he is leaving first, then Spencer and Elissa leave. Amanda is pitiful.
Amanda was in the living room with McCrae when Spencer comes back. Spencer says that Amanda's attack was uncomfortable. McCrae tries to tell Amanda to keep her mouth shut and not say anything in front of GinaMarie. McCrae is hoping to spin all the stuff in his and Amanda's favor. Amanda says that she is sure that Elissa is in the backyard talking about her, and Elissa is out there talking to Andy, Judd, and Spencer. Elissa is saying that she is getting tired of Amanda attacking her. Andy tells her the same thing that McCrae told Amanda. Amanda says that Elissa is just so mean to her. Amanda goes to talk to Elissa, and Amanda says that Elissa is antagonizing her. Amanda says that Elissa ignoring her is antagonizing here. Amanda starts crying in the backyard, and Amanda says that this is like high school. Spencer asks if Amanda was a bitch in high school. Amanda just keeps on about how mean Elissa is to her, crying, and BB production plays this really weepy, mocking music in the background. GinaMarie says that Amanda has done nothing but make Elissa's life hell last week, and Amanda is a big bully, and big bullies don't cry. GinaMarie adds that Amanda has cried her way to the top, but GinaMarie is on her now.
WE finally get to see the luxury competition. The house is filled with balloons, and the house guests come out of the HOH room lockdown. They have to pop balloons, and the first one to find a 1 chip, a 0 chip, and a K chip, wins $10,000. Elissa thinks to herself that each balloon she pops is Amanda's head. Amanda just shakes the balloons, and as she says 10K is McCrae's annual salary. Spencer found a 1 chip on his first pop. McCrae found one, and so did Judd. Spencer found the 1, 0, and K first. In DR, Spencer says he's the cluckiest man alive. Amanda says that this is not a luxury for anyone other than Spencer so he should clean it up himself. GinaMarie is talking to Judd when Amanda comes in. GinaMarie tells Amanda that she needs a couple more minutes. GinaMarie said that she knows who is going up, and her plan is to put off Amanda. Then Amanda pops her head back in, and asks if Judd and GinaMarie are making out. After Judd leaves, Amanda starts the Elissa and Judd conversation. McCrae comes in. Amanda tells GinaMarie that Elissa got rid of Nick and Aaryn. Amanda says that it should be a final four with the McCrandas, Andy, and GinaMarie. Amanda goes out, and tells Andy that GinaMarie is going to put up Judd and Elissa. Andy says it is going to be a huge blindside. Amanda asks Judd who says he thinks it might be him and Elissa. In DR, Judd said that he wishes he could pop some popcorn to watch the blindside in the nomination ceremony.
It's time for nominations. McCrae is hoping he is safe. Amanda says it will be Elissa and Judd, and that she feels safe, happy, and glorious. What a bitch! GinaMarie said that no one had the balls to put up Amanda and McCrae yet, and that should have happened weeks ago. Time for the ceremony. The keys come out in this order: Andy, Spencer, Elissa, and Judd. Amanda's mouth is agape. GinaMarie said that a huge dynamic power couple. GinaMarie said that people were too chicken to put them up. GinaMarie said that McCrae had fire in the first competition, and she wants him to get it back. Amanda was crying. Elissa was so happy that McCranda was on the block. Amanda said that she doesn't get it. She has been trying to figure it out, but she can't. Amanda said that GinaMarie doesn't have a brain in her head, and it's not fair that she is getting out Amanda. McCrae cries because he says that one of them is going home this week. GinaMarie said that Amanda has been bullying and making people cry for weeks, but Amanda won't make GinaMarie cry. More fireworks on the next show.