Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pause for Irene - Champagne wishes and D score dreams


Catty Comments here! AJ is on a quick blog vaycay while the cast from Jersey Shore and RHONJ figures out how to switch the power back on after that bitch Irene demanded all of that attention. Make Broadway go dark on a Saturday - that broad needs to go a-way.

In the meantime, his skates are sharpened and his crossovers are improving. Because while home still doesn't have powah, the rink does. The crazy skating moms MUST GO ON.

What I'm studying in the meantime is current & potential D-scores for 2011 Tokyo worlds.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This and That

Marlie chat with the media at Champs Camp.

Interview with Lucinda Ruh

Catalina Ponor and Marian Dragulescu will return to competition at Romanian Nationals.  Imogen Cairns and Hannah Whelan will compete as guest competitors.

Ricky Dornbush will skate a spaghetti western program this year...was he even alive for the '95-'96 Stars on Ice tour?  Reading between the lines, Tammy Gambill makes it sound like he could be having some serious quad issues this season.

Denney and Coughlin are 'crossing their fingers for Skate America'---as though the USFSA has other options to send.

Foray Into Adult Skating: Following My Dreams

As an adult skater, it takes a serious amount of inner confidence to bring one's almost-six-foot-tall frame to the ice and work on establishing the balance and posture necessary to be a respectable ice diva.  I've been working off the ice on my posture, strength, flexibility and cardio in order to accelerate my progress.  Learning how to skate as an adult makes me wish I complained, nagged and pleaded just a bit harder as a child.  That didn't happen (despite jumping in front on my television set for hours upon hours), so I have to make up for lost time.

Deep inside me, I have the desire to perform and compete.  It is what keeps me icing my swollen knees and shredding my hamstrings in order to attain the flexibility I've always wanted.  The unfortunate part of being a critical bitch is that I recognize many of my aesthetic flaws and feel the need to correct them immediately.  The drive inside myself is igniting my inner discipline.

After three days off the ice due to landing on my knee cap, I dove back into training with alacrity.

Tuesday, I did my 100 sit-ups, 150 V-ups and 150 push ups before skating my session.  I do them every morning in order to have a core capable of holding my back up on the ice.  After skating, I did level 2 Yoga with lesbian sensation Jillian Michaels and finished with resistance stretching.  Yesterday, I felt my hamstrings dying, so I conditioned, skated and then just did gymnastics-type stretches to get my body in gear for my lesson today.  When learning new things on the ice, it takes my body and mind a few days to get in sync.

Natasha has a way of pushing me farther than I thought was possible or appropriate for this week.  The amount of work that is done in as half hour is mind blowing.  It is thirty minutes of intense focusing.

Now go.  Guud.  Guuuuuud.  Right.  Now left three turn, extension, push right, three, turn extension.  Guuud.  Now this is warm up for most skaters.  Now we go to the line.  Guuud.  More extension.  One-two-three together, extension, one-two-three together, extension.  Think waltz.  

Apparently, I'm such a hot mess that as a righty, I should be struggling on the back crossovers that are my 'good side' and glorious on my ones that are a hot disaster.  I've been given strict instructions to spend fifteen minutes a day on the bad side, thinking edges and 'no scratch.'  I've come to love stroking and doing turns alongside Natasha around the rink.  She moves like heaven and I feel lithe yet strong while doing everything slowly and controlled.  Luckily, Natasha liked the work I did on my own this week.  She saw me practicing on my own on Tuesday while she was coaching a young Russian boy who never looks where he is going and runs into everyone.  I was this week's victim.  He interrupted one of the best series of edges I had done.  I was not pleased.  The more time I spend on the ice, the more confidence and feeling I'm getting.  I'm now able to work on finer details of elements I'm mastering.

When I was young girl, I was like horse on the circle on back crossovers.  Push push push.  I tell myself no scratch one circle.  

My waltz jumps and toe loops are now getting higher, with better entrances and exits.  This Russian discipline is going to turn me into one glorious ice queen.  I already have a choreographer lined up for my programs, which is keeping up my inner-Lipinski work ethic.  The plan is to use Adios Nonino should I be ready to compete and iieee for shows.  This goal keeps me working. While I didn't skate Saturday-Monday, cardio and conditioning was still done to keep myself in shape.  If I'm going to put myself out there, I'm going to give it my all and not live with the regret of being a hot disaster.

Skating really is the best therapy.  It isn't any cheaper than talking to a flaky liberal about your problems, but it does get you in shape.  As I decide the course of my life, I find that focusing on stroking and balance has a way of centering my thoughts and helps me with listening to my own voice.  That said, there is nothing like power stroking and jumping when pissed off at a guy in your life.  It always adds at least five miles per hour and seven inches to any attempted jump.  You might look a little manic like Masha Butyrskaya during the process, but it always keeps everyone else from daring to ever get in your way.

The rink near my house is closed for a week, so I won't have a lesson for two weeks.  There is plenty to work on in the process.  Between the accent, the new turns and learning my right from my left, my mind is spinning into wonderful new pastures.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This and That

Jeremy Abbott debuted his new swing short program at An Evening on Ice.  Being out of the show circuit looks to be the best thing to have happened to Jeremy's skating in a while.  He says his boot issues are resolved and his quad toe is 'consistent.'  The judges will either love the program or send him to get a new one ASAP.

Rebecca Bross will have knee surgery Thursday, August 25, and is expected to resume training in eight weeks.  It could very well take longer, as Bross previously injured the same knee years back and had surgery on it.  Bross dislocated her knee cap, but tests have shown that she didn't tear any ligaments.  Most curious has been the revelation that she now has an agent, which is a curious decision for someone who lacks star power.  Her career may be on the down swing and it isn't like she has the aesthetically pleasing body to be put in print ads.

Evan Lysacek posted videos of himself training a quad toe and a triple axel+half loop+triple flip.  Evan did grow as a skater on tour, becoming healthier and somewhat more powerful.  It will be interesting to see how he fits into the mix this year.  While he isn't a quad king, his work ethic and mental game produce consistency and results.  I don't like much of his arm flailing, but I do respect his drive and competitive abilities.

Mother Russia's World Team

Mother Russia announced its provisional World Team yesterday and they look to be preparing with 2012 on their minds.  Despite a rough showing at the Russian Cup, Maria Paseka (VT, FX) was given the nod alongside first-year seniors Viktoria Komova and Yulia Belokobylskaya.  The other spots on the team are comprised by Tatiana Nabieva (VT, UB), Anna Dementyeva and Ksenia Afanasyeva.

The Russians are not in peak form yet, but they look like they could have their act together in eight weeks.  Vika Komova is looking back on bars and beam.  She may just pull off an AA victory should her preparation continue smoothly.  Ksenia Afanasyeva showed moments of brilliance in prelims and event finals, but struggled during the AA Finals.  Her leadership will be needed during team finals.

The alternates are Alyona Polyan and Yulia Ishina.

Anna Pavlova was not chosen, despite winning vault this past weekend.  The powers that be say that they will not take someone for one event, which is quite the burn to a talented and accomplished beam worker.

As expected, Aliya Mustafina won't go to Worlds.  The coaches told her otherwise during her early rehab stage in order to keep up her spirits and her fitness level.  Doctors are now being honest and say she can't resume full training until December.  It is amazing that the idea of Aliya competing at Worlds was entertained...as they aren't allowed to dismount into pits in world-level competition.

Exceptional Gay Moment: Something to Remember

It's a mother f&cking walk off!

It goes without saying that this moment went down as a proud moment in gay history.  One day, young twinks will learn the legend of Zulema Griffin.

Jamie Silverstein: The Goddess

Let's discuss how Jamie moves.  Even after years away, the lean on the opening moves is to die for.  I've never seen someone with such a flare for the combination of music and corresponding movement of the human body.  It is to die for.  Let's all be ridiculous and come back after years away from the sport to deny the fabulous Morgan Matthews of a spot on the Olympic Team.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This and That

Rachael Flatt is now going to train with lesser-known coaches in California.  Let's hope they overhaul everything and are brutally honest with her about her skating, her style and her technique. She is 'planning' new combos, but also is telling us that she is behind in her training.   For the record, I'm also planning those exact combos in my adult skating program.  I'm just a tad behind in my training.  Personally, I can't wait to hear about which courses she is going to take at Stanford. Rachael's long program music choice for the year is Stravinsky's  The Firebird and I can't get the visions of Caydee Denney's white trash hair adornments out of my head.  The two are soul sisters.  Kudos to Lori Nichol for waiting an entire skating season before recycling music she just gave to Evan Lysacek.  Want to know what it's like to sell out?  Ask Lori Nichol.

Rebecca Bross will see her doctor today.  As of now, the diagnosis is a dislocated kneecap.  Would you trust the USAG doctors?

Favorite Things: Give Me Artistry or Give Me Death

Let's start this week off correctly. This post is dedicated to the sad commenters who believe that one or two gymnasts in the '05-'08 quad made up for the entire sport becoming an exercise for West German P.E. teachers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nationals: A Reflection

So much of today's coverage of Nationals on other sites has focused on the injury to Rebecca Bross.  It is devastating indeed.  Blythe from the Gymnastics Examiner (and now Universal Sports) has gone on to blame Valeri Liukin for having Rebecca perform the vault.  Rebecca was injured earlier this year and struggled on the vault in training.  I'm not going to blame Valeri and I find it to be a rather easy excuse on Blythe's part.  It is true that Blythe attends a lot of meets, but I must say that I question her knowledge of the intricacies of preparation (physical and mental), as well as her gung-ho attitude toward a sport that is coming apart at the seams.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sasha on the Sabbath

Russian Jewish Fantasy!

Valeri Loves Gymnastike

This is better than the time he did that floor routine without his shirt on.

(I also enjoy how Martha is trying to get him to hurry up and not waste his time talking to these fools.)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Russian Dolls

Anna Dementyeva won yet another AA title at the Russian Cup and even attempted a DTY, yet all eyes were on Viktoria Komova's return to competition.  Komova, returning from ankle surgery, managed 15s on bars and beam and made it through two days of competition.  Gymnastics fans, judges, competitors and officials are praying that she will recover in time to kick the shit out of the Americans at the upcoming World Championships.

Nationals: A Shit Fest

Last night, a bunch of underwhelming gymnasts and a few returning veterans took part in the Liukin family's annual game of 'I'm Better Than You...'  While Rebecca Bross failed the WOGA name, it is important to note that Katelyn Ohashi used up all of the fabulousness in the universe earlier in the day.  Lexie Priessman also outdid herself by performing a floor routine to the Zumba soundtrack.  God has to give us Brestyan's on bars after something like that.

Foray Into Adult Skating: My Lesson With Natasha

Earlier this week, I posted a brief update about my return to the ice.  Since then, I had my first lesson with Natasha.  Given that I have some talent, yet no actual on-ice training, Natasha has a big job ahead of her: rid me of my Surya-technique and turn me into the male version of Ekaterina Gordeeva.  Not an easy task.

I've had a lesson with an American before and she was lovely, but there was far too much chatting and she was simply too nice.  While Natasha is a doll, every moment during the lesson was productive.  We tackled forward and backward edges/lobes (inside and outside), forward and backward crossovers, basic stroking warmup for the pre-bronze test, power three-turns, mohawks, waltz jumps and toe-loops.  Natasha skates alongside me and wills turns out of me I never even imagined.

'Now push.  Three-turn, big step, crossover.  No, no, you make mistake.  Three turn then big step, then crossover.  Remember, shoulder shoulder hip hip up.  Softer knee.  Push. Soft knee.  More extension.'

When learning my jumps on my own, I somehow thought it was a good life decision to land them on my entire blade.  I thought I was being strong like Alexei Yagudin.  Apparently we should actually try to land them by digging in the toe pick to be soft and graceful.

After my lesson, I wasn't sure what I could remember.  I am the type who never skates as well in my lesson as I will the next day.  I need time to work on things, figure them out and then show them.  My left forward outside three to back crossover is already nailed and I've already began figuring out how I want to incorporate it in the program to Tori Amos' iieee I've been choreographing in my head.  I have dreams of performing and may grab my balls and post them on my blog when I make a bit of progress.

In the mean time, I've been skating every day this week and have added Dara Torres' Kihara Resistance Stretching DVD back into my workout in order to improve my flexibility and strength all over.  I'm not naturally strong in my core or upper body, so I've spent extra time working on that and hope to one day be butch like Ms. Torres.  Margaret Thatcher was gifted a copy of the DVD, yet has yet to join me in my quest to have Dara make a man out of me.

I was back on the ice today despite intense soreness all over.  Mind you, I came down on my left knee last week and discovered my funny bone.  Thursday, I warmed up my back crossovers and skated into the boards minutes before the lesson (whacking the same spot.)  Today, I fell on a toe loop and hit the inside of my knee and still managed to whack my Jay-Leno-chin on the ice despite my best efforts to fall correctly.  My inner Tara Lipinski took over and I didn't leave the ice until I landed five clean toe loops in a row.

Thursday begins the second official week of acknowledging my woeful inadequacy.

Question for readers: Does anyone know if a good instructional ballet DVD that will aid my Black Swan Workouts and make me infinitely more beautiful?  I'd lie and say I have dreams of being Ethan Stiefel, but who am I kidding?!  I have dreams of becoming a Lopatkinva-Vishneva hybrid.

Remnants of my single toe loop.

Yu-Na to Skip A Year

Yu-Na Kim has let it be known that she 'may skip skating events for the next 12 months.'  Anyone who 'may skip events,' is ready for a long vacation, which has looked to be the case for Yu-Na since Vancouver.  Even her show skating hasn't had the same spark, sharpness or authority.  When Yu-Na Kim is falling on Triple Salchows in shows, there is likely something going on.  Unfortunately, it looks like Yu-Na Kim will become the latest case of 'is she or isn't she coming back.'  Former and current participants include Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir, Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.

Yu-Na is going to become the global ambassador for Pyeongchang's Special Olympic Winter Games in 2013.  She will soon return to the United States and perform in Harvard's Evening With Champions cancer benefit.  The Yu-Na brand has gone from dominating competitions to commanding credit for entire Olympic bids and saving the world.

As always, we need to love Yu-Na for her numerous quotes about loving to skate and planning on doing it until she is no longer thin enough to do so.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Proud Day For Humanity

Holy Mother of YES!!!

My Favorite Romanians

Team Romania is spending some time working the Romanian press now that a medal finish at Worlds is likely.  The bitches are back and looking primed for a successful Olympic Games.  While many are not always fans of the Romanians, they certainly know how to keep it interesting.  We will only know they are ready for gold when Octavian Belu tells us that they are a worthless and lazy generation.  Be on the lookout.

Oh Cata, we've missed you.  (if not your twisting form)

What To Watch For: 2011 VISA Championships

Nationals are upon us.  Given the state of modern artistic gymnastics, it is bound to be a hot disaster.  Sure, there will be new medalists and people will pretend that Alicia Sacramone has a beautiful floor routine (glib people like Anne Phillips), but let's just take a moment to appreciate just how disgusting the sport has become.  Revel in it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Foray Into Adult Skating: The Man With The Red Gloves

Months back, I began working out with the intention of competing in adult skating.  First, I had to get good.  I was inspired by Black Swan and an unflattering photograph of myself following a breakup right before the holiday season. The Black Swan Diet and workout regimen began in earnest by February and I finally got around to getting back on the ice.  I've always loved skating, but I've found it difficult to make time to go.  Or that is what I told myself.

The greatest hindrance to my career as a fabulous adult skater has been my boots.  Like Jeremy Abbott, I've had equipment issues.  My greatest issue has been that I wasn't quite sure whether or not I was even having equipment issues or if I was merely a wimp who couldn't take the pain and didn't know how to tie his skates properly.  For the last two years, I've skated on and off.  The one constant thing about any session I've been on is that I'd have to re-tie my boots at least twice due to intense pain caused at my fifth metatarsal.  When buying skates, I was quite intimidated by the pro and was sure he'd say it was just me...considering they were molded to my feet.  It turns out that my boot just needed a little punching and I've now become a real skater.  I've even made an appointment for boot sharpening.

Getting into sick shape prior to skating has been extremely helpful, as there is nothing worse than falling and seeing all of your problem areas in the plexiglass as you lumber around the rink.  Now that I'm able to enjoy my time on the ice, I've embraced the strange peculiarities of the skating world that really need to bleed into mainstream society.  There is nothing quite like warming up on the ice at the crack of dawn and wondering whether you're imaging things or if some gem is actually skating to a muzak instrumental version of Bryan Adams' Everything I Do.  Of course, East of Eden and Glory are also in the music rotation and when no one is looking, I may just have Michelle Kwan moments coupled with a little Todd Eldredge intensity.  Oh, how I long to pop open an axel and kick the boards in Todd's honor.

When I got back on the ice, Miss Massachusetts offered me the sage advice of watching out for my toe picks.  I laughed and quickly brushed it off, yet found myself belly down on the ice after catching a toe pick on a front crossover last Sunday.  Natasha, the Russian coach at the rink, earned by eternal respect by laughing and skating by me.  I soon asked her for lessons, as I need a demanding Russian in my life.

Given that I have dreams of being a full-fledged ice queen, I've been upping the amount of time I spend at the rink. I've been hitting all of the usual spots and even passed Fumie Suguri in the Ice House lobby.  Who is coaching her? Does it even matter?

Earlier today, I was recruited for a skating club by a few retired teachers.  I'm never quite sure what to make of it when I'm flagged down on the ice.  There is always the fear that I've cut someone off or wrote something unflattering and am about to be called out.  Of course, if the woman is an Asian skating mother, I've come to learn it automatically means that we're kindred spirits and huge fans of one another.

I wasn't sure I was ready for spirals, yet the retirees showed me up at the rink enough that I gave it a whirl.  I now have a soreness below my butt cheek that only comes from attempting to be Sasha Cohen.  No amount of yoga can prepare you for that level of intensity.  I feel failed by Rodney Yee and Jillian Michaels (terrifying lesbian turned yoga impresario.)

To make sure I don't slide on my Black Swan Diet like Julianne Hough, I've taken to imagining the voice of Tara Lipinski calling me slow as I do laps around the rink during sessions.  It works like a charm.  Imagining the face of Beijing Nastia Liukin has also proven quite helpful whenever I feel like cheating on my diet or going easy on my conditioning.

Tomorrow begins my first lesson with a bonafide Russian.  Natasha is one of those Russian women who is somewhere between thirty five and seventy five.  One can never be quite sure.  She still has her jumps, her skills and her demanding Russian yell in tact.

In other news, I never knew that my leg even had a funny bone until I unexpectedly fell directly on my knee cap.  Oh, the things we could live without learning firsthand.

Reading Between The Lines With Martha Karolyi

Martha put on her best politically correct face with the media on Tuesday, but we have known this woman for a long time.  We know exactly what she meant about each girl.

Shawn is not in shape for the year and her knee is an issue.  Maybe next year, biotch.  The powers that be have actually wondered if Shawn is doing it for the right reasons after she decided to hold a press conference four days into her comeback at an elementary school.  Shawn's pesky agent, Sheryl Shade, lined up and publicized deals with sponsors when she was spending more time at the chalk bowl at camp than on the actual equipment.

Chellsie is promising but she better not get injured...again.  I saw a little workout today because I'm not investing much yet.  She didn't come to camp, so I have other girls to watch.

Alicia is working hard for herself and doesn't have a countdown about quitting the sport after the Olympic Games.  That helps.  Her Jesus-loving boyfriend is trying to reign her in.

I hug Bridget and tell her to lose a little weight so she can give me a bar routine.  It was good that she came here to train and have to do routines.  I got her to stay on the beam in Beijing with my expectations in the preparation.

It is good to have a pity meet and keep the girls on the World Team working so we can threaten to replace them.

Shawn should be nervous.

Mattie is always injured and a mental mess.  I told you all last year that she was done and I was thru wit her.  Mental is more important than physical and she is a disaster at the highest level.  She is personally frustrated for being a disappointment at the Olympics.  I would love to have another beautiful girl on the team instead of Aly Raisman, but Mattie cannot hit at the competition or the camps.

Martha playing fake nice with Jason from Gymnastike...

(similar to 2004...please stop choking)

Cue actress Martha... 'selection process is always hard.'  I like playing games and this process is like playing poker with Kelli Hill.  I don't like two-event specialists.  Ask Hollie Vise.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Must See Documentary

A friend sent me Gymnast, a British documentary covering the selection of the 2008 Olympic Team.  As a documentary alone, it is worthy of viewing.  As a gymnastics documentary, it is superb.  The film captures the emotional stress on the British girls as they train and compete for a spot on the Olympic Team.  The never-ending stress at home and in the gym is palpable.

Andrian Stan is the star of the film.  His blunt candor is horrifying, refreshing, amusing and brutally honest.

"You will never be the most beautiful team.  You are not the Chinese.  You will not likely medal."

It is downright disturbing to hear them dote and watch them oogle over Hannah Whelan for her pixie frame, while the other girls struggle in vain.

All That Skate Summer

Kurt Browning remains the greatest male skater in the world.  No one can skate like him.  It doesn't matter how many Olympic Champions are sharing the ice with him, he owns each and every one.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Homage to Korea

Yu-Na Kim redeemed herself a tad with her performance of Homage to Korea at this year's All Skate Summer.  I must say, I'm not as interested in her Kwanless productions, but I do admire her continued contribution to professional skating.  It is important to note that I was so disgusted by this year's ladies final at Worlds that I took my hiatus without wasting any time on a review.  In short, it was disgusting and the outcome was most unfortunate.  Yu-Na did not honor her country by half-assing a competitive season and skating like a champion afraid of losing her crown.  The Triple Salchow+Single Toe and Popped Flip really were all we needed to see or know.

While Yu-Na is planning on skipping the Grand Prix yet again, it is important to note that she is skating with more freedom and performance ability than she has in a long time.  It is anyone's guess whether or not she will compete again, but she does look to improving as an overall skater.  If she can recapture her competitive fire, she will rise again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Glacier Falls--- The Ladies

Glacier Falls came and went, but it brought with it a collection of US skaters with B-List talent and A-List name recognition.  Well, in some cases it was A-List talent with a B-List work ethic, or just part fugliness. You get the picture.  This year's competition featured our first glimpses of Ashley Wagner, Caroline Zhang, Mirai Nagasu, Leah Kesiser and Courtney Hicks.  It has only been a few months since Worlds and the end of the never-ending season, but I was really starting to miss some of these girls with their problems and attitudes.  Thank goodness Ms. Wagner is back blogging with her fake personality and her light-in-his-loafers brother has been flouncing apart.  Check Plus.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An Important Social Question

Should Bert and Ernie finally take the big step?

Are they really setting the right example by 'living in sin'?  Should Ernie do the right thing?

This and That

Mattie Larson's parents have come to their senses and are allowing her to enter UCLA this fall.  For many of us, it will be a treat to see Mattie compete more than once or twice a year.  Gymnastics standards have changed so much that Mattie's strut alone constituted ground-breaking choreography.  Imagine what she will look like with real choreography.  The pressure is now on Miss Val to deliver choreographically.  Miss Val needs to deliver this year, as her team is expected to go head-to-head against Alabama with a different result thought likely.  Personally, I'm thinking of something from the Born This Way album for a routine this year.  UCLA on floor is just one big tribal drag show to me.  Heavy Metal Lover anyone?

Rumor has it that Brittany Ranzy left OSU and is walking on at UCLA.  Based on how Miss Val doesn't play around when it comes to trimming the fat, she may well 'train hard enough during preseason' to earn a scholarship.  Rumors are circulation that Baer and Wong won't be counting toward the Bruins' scholarship count.  Whether or not Ranzy joins the squad, the team is stacked.  She was originally going to be a Bruin before academic issues got in the way.  It will be quite the story to follow, as they will be ungodly stacked should she join the team.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ashley Wagner Update

In the words of a dear friend, "I think she may be just crazy enough to give us back scratches!"

This could work...

It's like Glee without Lea Michele's whiny overacting.

Applause For Our Girls

Applause for our girls, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who brought $150 shoes to the needy barefoot children of Honduras to be philanthropic whilst promoting the new collection brought by The Row+ TOMS partnership.  Why be practical about it and go for quantity when you can give the impoverished fashionable wool and cashmere blends with lamb leather lining and black suede insoles?!  Suddenly, I'm reminded of Amaya and Colin providing blow pops to starving Indian children on Real World: Hawaii.

Our Olsens have been having some rough times lately.  Mary Kate had a public breakdown in NYC and the tabloids are fueling speculation that it is about Heath Ledger and being just blocks away from where he died.  Considering that the twins ''run'' their business out of Manhattan, MK was probably just being a hot mess.

MK and A have also made news for designing a $34,000 croc-skin backpack for The Row.  A photograph of Ashley sporting the bag for the paparazzi was shown on this week's Fashion Police.  In the words of Joan Rivers, "It is amazing that she sports a $34,000 bag and still goes to bed hungry every night."

Meanwhile, their younger sister, Elizabeth Olsen, whom you may remember from cameos in their insipid (yet profitable) direct-to-video features, has become the darling of the film festival circuit.  Watching Elizabeth, one is able to imagine what the twins would look like without the surgery and with an actual education.  Elizabeth has done the respectable thing, studied acting, and is making her film debut in a tale of a girl escaping from a cult.  Unfortunately, Mary Kate is only cast to play herself (a struggle.)

Marlie Music News

This is a few days old, but Marlie announced their music for this season.  It was updated on their Ice Network profile, but there hasn't been an article about their programs just yet.

SD: 'Batacudas' by Mitoka Samba, 'Life Is A Carnival' by Various Artists, and 'On The Floor' by Jennifer Lopez.

FD:  'La Strada' by Nino Rota

Denney and Coughlin: The LP Debut

Denney and Coughlin are the readiest new pair the United States has ever seen.  If you believe the official line, that this all came together serendipitously right after Worlds, it is astounding that they'd have time for tryouts, relocation, organizing with choreographers and getting their unison together.  The USFSA is involved with helping skaters find partners.  Given the number of splits this year, many skaters were in discussions to find available partners and single skaters who were pair-curious (like bi-curious, once it become clear they have no chance of ever getting a lutz.)  The USFSA already sent out word that Denney was off the market prior to Worlds, as Delilah was quite involved with orchestrating this matching.  There was even a clandestine tryout prior to Worlds under the guise of Caydee visiting her less talented younger sister in the Springs.  We can't be sure if Delilah took a page from Moskvina's playback and gave this pair a bottle of wine and locked them in a bedroom, but we hear that that is 'allegedly' why they have a modicum of chemistry.  They have grown out Caydee's hair and attempted to rid her of her trailer trash tendencies in order to make us forget that she's not Caitlin, but the sequel is just never as good as the original.  The drama surrounding this split is already fading as Caitlin has found herself a hottie and the Canton drama took it up a notch.

Technically, this is a sound pair.  There is not much to hate on.  They do have that Rachael-Flatt-taste-in-your-mouth that we always have when watching Caydee.  It is clear that the only thing really going for Yankowskas and Coughlin were Caitlin, the Marina Zoueva Ave Maria program and his touching story about his mother.  Another year has passed, the tissues have dried, and now we realize that we just aren't that into Ginger Bear.  Good for him for getting a girlfriend and a partner.  How nice for them even to revisit Jenny and Todd's 'We're In Love' theme.

Denney and Coughlin will likely get an open Grand Prix assignment (which they are clearly gunning for.)  As for the rest of us, I think it may be time for Team Caitlin T-Shirts.