Oh, we're loving The Amazing Race in my house. The suspense! The tension! The little old ladies getting stuck in the airport! Greatest reality show ever -- at least this season. Greatest because it's got all the bells and whistles and gimmicks of the genre, but it's capitalizing on something that's real and familiar to anyone who watches -- namely, that travel's a bitch.

Meanwhile, Survivor's disappointing me. Or maybe it's just suffering in comparison. With The Amazing Race, there are heroes and villains -- and they're not always the same people from week to week, but there's always someone you're cheering for, and someone you're hoping gets the crappy cab driver, the flat tire, the bad directions, the bum knee. And, given how many people and how much distance they're working with, the producers do a great job of establishing everyone as individuals -- even, to a certain extent, the identical twins.

With Survivor, it's all villains, all the time. There's nobody I want to root for, too many people to root against. And the characterizations have gotten really lazy. Hmm, a brainless, busty blonde. A homophobic, sexist, blue-collar guy with a funny accent. A black man who doesn't want to work too hard. Haven't seen people like these since...well, since last Survivor. Even the gross-out stuff feels like old hat -- I'm sorry, Sarah's bumpy legs couldn't hold a candle to Colleen's scabby, crusty, bleeding legs. Eating rancid tuna isn't as bad as drinking blood. And nobody's as evil, or as completely absorbing, as Richard Hatch. Alas.

So tomorrow I'm off to New York City. I was planning on reading Everything's Eventual on the train, but have discovered, somewhat to my chagrin, that I actually remember almost all of the stories in Stephen King's from their previous incarnations in the New Yorker, online, and from the Blood and Smoke audiobook. Rats.

But a little good news -- the Amazon paperbacks have arrived! (God, I'm starting to feel like I'm announcing the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau or something.) Anyhow, get 'em while they're hot, and while shipping is free.

And stay tuned for IN HER SHOES. I hope to have chapters up soon!