Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jukebox Heroes

Okay, so with watching Walter's pee wee practice and playing soccer with Alex on the adjacent field (and dinner and bed), DVR tells me that I'm 37 minutes behind. By the time I turn on Idol, Megan is crucifying some song, Danny is rocking the joint, and when Simon says Danny is light years above the first two performers, and I can't wonder who the first person was...I hope it was Scott; I hope it wasn't Anoop. So let's rewind.

Oh! I get to see the opening again! I do like the opening this year. Oh, blah blah blah...something about artistry v. karaoke which reminds me of my ongoing lament about this show. I will never understand what the judges want; when someone is original, they say, "you should sing it like so-and-so", and when they sing like someone, then they say "we want to know who YOU are". So I've come to the conclusion that the judges don't know what they want; they just know what they like. Seeing has I've pretty much run my career like this, I can get on board this thought train.

So, it's pick your own song as long as it's a popular download on iTunes. Oh, this should be entertaining.

Anoop WAS first...dangit. Is this song called "Call It", by Usher? I didn't catch the name. Why oh why is he doing this? This isn't going to work for me. But let's keep an open mind. He just sang the first note and my mind closed. Wait a minute; it's called Caught Up (no one has ever confused me for an Usher fan). Okay, here's why I LOVE Anoop - he's that nerdy guy in college that I really wanted to date, but he never wanted to date me because he thought he was so much cooler than I was. I can't help but love him, and wonder if his teammates at Mathletes are cheering him on. Randy doesn't think it's the right song choice, but he thinks vocally it was okay. This whole night is going to be a mess that these kids get the choice to choose any song from iTunes. Kara tells him he played it safe and "did what Usher did". See? Paula likes that he went playful, but at first she wasn't sure about it. Paula's necklace reminds me of a candy necklace made of Jolly Ranchers. I already know Simon hated it....and he called it a "complete and utter mess", saying he came over as a wannabe (and protractors everywhere drop on the floor in protest). Anoop gets a little lippy and by now everyone knows how this pisses me off. WHY do you do this, particularly this season with the insipid judge's save? Do they not think that folk will remember this? Well, I do.

Megan Joy (again, has she dropped Corkrey?) - Turn your Lights Down - where do I begin with this? Bob Marley -- a WHOLE SONG catalog and you pick Bob Marley. I want to like her; I do I like ...oh, I hate this already. Okay, so I was saying, I *want* to like her. Her voice is definitely not pop -- she reminds me a little bit of Amy Whinehouse, but her song choices continue to suck. This is taking a long time to be over. It's time for her to go, and I say this with apologies to my friend Joe who loves her, but he knows its true. Unless next week is blues week and she gets to work out some Ella Fitzgerald, her weeks are not long for AI. Kara agrees with me, saying this is a bad song choice. Someone in the audience calls Kara a broken record and she gets hankty (shocking). Paula is stumbling for words so you know she hates it too. She suggests that Megan challenge herself by sitting on a stool (I do believe DrunkPaula is back!) Simon says it was monotonous and indulgent and the things that they liked about her are gone and Randy jumped in and said it was liking watching paint dry...BWAHAHAHAHAHA!! Randy calls up Amy Whinehouse, and I'm wondering when I'm going to get a job on AI. Oh, and Megan says she thinks her fans (all of them) were feeling it. It simultaneously cracks me up and annoys me when these kids talk about their fans...they've been around for exactly a month...fans?

Danny Gokey - What Hurts the Most, by Rascal Flatts; Incidentally, this is one of my favorite bands right now. I love them! And I love this song...wow. Danny can sing. I really enjoy that raspy quality in his voice; and I find that I stop what I'm doing to listen to him sing. Paula loves it (shocking!). Simon asks him if they are still okay after his harsh critique last week (so I know something good's coming). He said it was his best performance ever, and that he's what it's all about -- picking a good song and making it his own (even though he didn't deviate much from the Rascal Flatts version; see?). Randy says the show begins now and Kara had goosebumps. Kara and Paula are going to fight over Danny.

Allison Iraheta - Don't Speak - What is UP with this outfit? She looks like Cyndi Lauper back in her heyday, and since we know that Cyndi's heyday was about 10 years before Allison was born, Allison looks a bit of a hot fried mess. I don't love this. I thought she was just maybe feeling her way in rehearsal, but then she was on stage and it was bad. Was it me or was she not in tune with the band? I'm a fan of Allison's, but this wasn't a great choice for her. Randara admit her outfit is distracting, and that she's a rocker and doesn't need the schtick. Paula takes a swig of her kool-aid and says that Allison is smooth sailing toward the end of this. I might disagree with that. She's good, but I don't get the sense that she's topping the votes week after week. Simon calls her precocious and that she's playing dress-up, and that she shouted the song. Precocious is a BAD label on this show. Seeing that I was relieved when her performance ended, I guess I didn't love it.

Next up - Scott McIntyre - Just the Way You Are, by Billy Joel - And yup...it's pedantic and trivial. I like it more than I care to admit, but I still don't think it was great. I like him and the piano, but I would have gone with Bruce Hornsby, maybe. Kara likes it, calling it a smart song choice. Paula makes 19 Entertainment pick up the phone to speed dial the lawyers when she starts off saying proud she is of him, but then quickly says it's not because he's visually impaired but because of all he does to make her forget he's visually impaired, or something like that. Simon calls it his best performance by a country mile, and reminds him to never listen to Paula, who suggested a few weeks back that he let go of the piano. Randy said he did a good job, but I don't really remember what all he said because I'm wondering if my critique of Scott this week is unduly influenced by my being tired of him being in the competition. Nah, I'm completely objective. :)

Matt Giraudi - You Found Me (by the Fray) - Okay, I admit I've never heard of this song before, but I think I've heard of the fray, but I don't like them positioning him in the mosh pit, because it seems like he's trying too hard. I don't love this, and it hurts that my boyfriend didn't move me this week, but it might be because I don't know this song. I fear that Matt might be in trouble because I think that his followers love his R&B thing, not the rocker. Paula and Simon say that he sounds like he's trying to copy the original and that he's losing himself. Randy said that it was the wrong song, saying he needs to let the soul flavah out more. Kara says he's schizo and he needs to decide if he's a rock star or if he's an R&B star. And had he not been in the Bottom 3 last week, I would applaud that decision. But Matt, my friend, when you're that close to going home, you have to dance with the girl that brought you there. I might have to vote tonight, just to make sure I do my part to keep him around.

Lil Rounds - I Surrender - Me thinks that Celine should be left alone, especially if you have a power voice, because you can't help but compare power voices. I love Lil's hair (I got my hair cut like that over the weekend, except I don't have bangs and mine is a little shorter. So, I guess it's not that much like that after all). I think she looks lovely and her voice is so incredible to me. Randara is decidedly 'eh' on this, but they admit that she can sing. Paula doesn't want to see Adult Contemporary Lil, but Mary J Lil, and Simon finds it quite wedding-like. Oooh, I think the bloom is off the rose for Simon when it comes to Lil, and they offer that she should have sang One (like Mary J did). Simon tells her to stop being so old...he actually says 'stop that', which makes me laugh.

Adam Lambert - Play that Funky Music - and his tongue in rehearsal is hanging out further than Lightning McQueen's in Cars. I very much prefer Adam's hair off his face where you can see his lovely blue eyes. I very much prefer for Adam to not do that screech. Okay, so, I really liked the arrangement that he used, and hmmm...I'm going with craptastic, which is not an insult, really. Paula can barely sit down she's danced so much, and for someone who used to choreograph the Fly Girls, her moves tonight were so out of tune with the music, I thought she was having a fit. But then I remembered that Paula is drunk, and now dead to me again by comparing Adam to Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger, saying genius shatters expectations. Yeah, okay, he's a'ight, but Steven Tyler??? Simon essentially tells him that he rocked it last week so he could rest on his laurels. Randy admits that it exceeded his hopes, and Kara says that he was fun. And while I won't go as far as to say I'm an Adam Fan, I will admit that craptastic is praise tonight.

Kris Allen - Ain't No Sunshine - and I really have high hopes for this because I absolutely adore this song (I heard it on the radio on the way home yesterday...) Kris is owning this, I have no commentary because I just stopped and listened. I loved this. Kris is the one that no one is watching who is going to be in the final three. You heard it here. Kara has three words [insert eye roll here]. Kara, I got some words for you. Paula calls it his best performance to date. Simon calls it cool and clever. That was my favorite performance of the night, hands down. Nicely done, Kris.

And that's a wrap...who are my bottom choices tonight? And it pains me to say -- Megan, Anoop, and Lil. I'm afraid for Matt if he's in the bottom again.

This new Osborne show reminds me that our civilization is in complete decline...I think I'll go watch Family Guy. But before I turn it, I watch this woman give her boyfriend an ultimatum -- marry me or lose me -- and they are doing the ceremony and she won't know what's what until it gets to the part where says I Do. Why would anyone do this to themselves? Why would you WANT to marry anyone under those conditions...alas, that is a post for another day.

TTFN, Friends.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Hey hey now...

Thanks to the coolest, hottest, and arguably the chattiest president of my lifetime, AI has been moved to Wednesday. Yes, the economy concerns me, yes those greedy [unprintables] at AIG disgust me, but really? Did my Idol have to move? Am I a bad American or a realist? But watching the exchange between Ed Henry and President Obama was like a 2 minute version of Hollywood Week, so I shant complain too much.

I'm trying something new tonight -- AI blogging in real time. Well, in DVR time, which is about 30 minutes behind the show. DVR tells me that AI is 2 hours again tonight, so perhaps they will sing longer songs tonight.

It's Motown night on the best popularity contest in town. Hey Smokey! I LOVE me some Smokey Robinson, as does my rockin' thrasher husband. I am behind on the DVR, and didn't get to see the musings of Randaraula, so if it was good, forgive me; I can't go back because I know my boyfriend Matt is about to sing Let's Get It on. He sounds good in rehearsal...and he's sounding hot right now. This kid is bringing out the cougar in me, and I feel a little exposed now that Matt's invited me to Get It On. I suppose I understand why he got up from the piano, since they chastised Scott last week, but he didn't have to for me. I like this, but I will admit for the rest of the season that I am biased. Randy says he's great and enjoyed the run, saying he worked it out. Kara finds her own inner cougar and compliments him for leaving the piano. She calls it solid, leering all the while. Paula starts out on a very lucid note noting that pop stars today riff too dang much, and she said he had a sexy thing going on. Simon calls it a brilliant song choice, a cool performance, but told him he was cheesy for coming up to the judge's stand. Simon calls my boyfriend a front runner.

Ryan offers us a chance to buy karaoke versions of their songs. He made it sound pretty, but that's what it is.

Kris Allen -- How Sweet It Is -- Another Marvin Gaye hit...which I love whenever I hear it, so this show is beginning on a very positive note for me...or I have been beaten into happy submission in class over the last couple of weeks. Smokey compliments Kris on his version (Smokey still looks great, doesn't he?)...anyhoo, I like the beginning of this...oh, and I still like it. This Kris is good. Kara likes it, saying that he did neither Marvin nor James Taylor...and says he made his mark. Paula tells him he's coming into his own, noting his comfort on stage (okay, where is DrunkPaula? This Paula makes me uncomfortable. Just sayin'.) Simon thinks it was a smart choice, but thinks that he needs a shot of confidence -- saying he looks like he's standing at the bus stop (did Simon and Paula switch cups??). But you know, he kind of does. Randy tells him to do his thing and that it's all good. That's constructive feedback, right there.

Scott McIntyre, who's wearing pink jeans. Not mauve...not blush...pink. He's singing You Can't Hurry Love, but he's doing that easy listening radio thing to the song...let's see how it goes. He begins it on a bluesy note, and speeds it up. I kind of like this...I'm loving the backup singers (they remind me of my dream to be a Pip growing up, because it seemed like Gladys Knight had a lot of pressure...okay blogging in real time makes me seem like I have attention deficit disorder, so let me bring this home...). The fact that I'm thinking about the backup singers is a large part of my problem with Scott. He blends too well, but I enjoyed his arrangement on the piano. Mr. Berry seems to really love it. Paula says that having the singers around the piano brings a new life to his performances. Oh...the drink is getting to her a bit; talking about when he feels it, the audience feels it. Simon doesn't like it, particularly noting the honky tonk piano (which I liked) . Simon calls it cheap and warns him that he consistently chooses the wrong song and that he's not relevant (again, Simon and I -- like TWINS). Randy agrees with Simon, saying it's a hotel kind of performance. Kara likes it because it's a change from all of his usual slow treacle (my word, not hers), but she says that while his ideas with changing the arrangement were good, the execution? Not so much.

And then, what will go down in one of the greatest moments in Idol history -- Paula goes under the desk and pulls out a box of 64 (with the built-in sharpener) and some coloring books, telling Simon he acts like a 6-year old. Simon is caught so off guard he can't help but laugh.

Next up? Megan Corkrey -- For Once in My Life -- okay, why are they saying her name is Megan Joy...this *is* the same person, right? Mr. Robinson seems to like this whole Rosemary Clooney thing she's got going on, and ordinarily I would too, but...okay, I hate this. Her vocals just aren't all that good, and this cool, kind of swing version isn't saving her. She and Scott are killing my AI Happy buzz. Oh, Randy starts out with saying he's got Mad Love -- which means he's gonna hate it. And he calls it a train wreck, almost redeeming himself from comparing Adam to NIN last week. Kara says "yeah" -- more constructive criticism. But then she starts to sing a few bars of My Guy, reminding us that she (Kara) is the best singer there. Paula says she's stunning...something about her reminds me of Carrie Underwood. Paula hates it too, so there's no telling what Simon is going to say...which is to fire her adviser, "atrocious", "horrible" and says she's in serious trouble after that....but she says she had fun and her fans are still there, completely effing herself because after a comment like that, if she does find herself the low vote getter, no way will Simon use his save on her.

Anoop Desai might be about to call my inner cougar by singing Ooh Baby Baby (I must note that this is one of Walter's all-time favorite songs, and he got this look on his face when he heard Anoop was singing it as if to say "if this sucks I will fly to Hollywood for the sole purpose of kicking some AI a$$). Okay, so, while Anoop has a lovely upper register and I think this is *nice*. It's not a standout by any stretch of the imagination yet. I'm kind of ehh on this from start to finish...definitely didn't move me like last week. Kara says he did a pretty good job, and while it wasn't technically great, he has a great skill set. She must get paid by the word because she took like 200 words to say that. Paula calls his performance sweet and tender. Simon said it was a great vocal, but said he looked half-asleep, and that it hedged on boring. Randy, I think, liked it. Walter agreed with Kara, and I give him a vote because he loves this song so much.

Michael Sarver - Ain't Too Proud To Beg - I hope that Michael takes Mr. Robinson's comments to heart, because I didn't love the practice. Uh...he doesn't. What is up with this stutter-step dancing? Has this kid never heard this song before? Once again, Michael does not look comfortable at all, and he should have listened to Paula shredding the art of unnecessary ripping, because he's doing too much. I'm glad this is over. Paula says it feels old Las Vegas to her...she didn't like it, and she apologizes to him because she hated it. Simon agrees that it was painful after a while, but then he slams him way hard, telling him he has no chance of winning this competition...saying he's just not good enough. Michael lips off, but it doesn't bug me like it usually does. Randy says the song is too big for him, that he doesn't have an R&B vibe. Kara just keeps heaping it on (and really? Why must they continue with their criticism after what Simon said? What else is there? No Santa Clause? Sheesh).

Hey Lil with the cute hair!! She's singing Heatwave...and she looks adorable! I do like this, but honestly? Not as much as I thought I would. I'm not out of my chair like Paula, but I love her voice and she does the end well...I kind of see where Randy is coming from with not liking the beginning that he didn't feel it. I'm with him. Kara actually makes a great point when she said that everyone was expecting her to rock it tonight, and she didn't...and that's exactly it. Not that it was bad, but it wasn't as good as what I expected. Paula disagrees, and that she really liked it...my guess is that Simon is going to agree with Paula because he totally crushes on Lil. Okay, I was wrong. Simon calls her authentic, but that her song choice was wrong. But he softens his blow by telling her that they all know she's one of the best singers in the house.

Adam Lambert - the Tracks of my Tears - okay, he's gotten the hair off of his face, and he's pretty doggone cute...but the hair -- reminds me of Ken Doll. But here it is...write it down...because even I'm not expecting what I'm about to say. I love this. For the first time this season, I find him interesting..I love the acoustic take on it, his falsetto is lovely and not stupid, and okay he's losing me with that last note, but it's rather Maxwell-ish and I'm on board tonight. Adam owned that. It is an across the board hit with the judges. See? I think THIS is the real Adam Lambert -- that whole rocker thing is schtick, but when you pare him down to brass tacks, leaving a lovely voice, a GORGEOUS falsetto, and a damned good performer. Nicely done, Adam.

Danny Gokey -- Get Ready -- didn't love him calling Mr. Robinson "Smokey". So those parents that made him sing his homework didn't teach him manners? You meet the great Smokey Robinson and you call him SMOKEY? UGH. Children. It's a great performance, which is not to say it was a great vocal. Paula loves it, Simon calls it clumsy and amateurish, Randara are on board...what are they running out of time, or are they still caught up in Adam's performance (and I don't mean that in a bad way, because I kind of am too.), because they just kind of rush through their critique and it's over. It was, as Walter just said, competent.

Okay, so are there commercials after every performer? Sheesh, that's why it's 2 hours long. I've almost caught up on the DVR.

Allison Iraheta - Papa Was A Rolling Stone -- I'm not excited about this, but it might be because I'm sleepy. She took the lyrics with her in to practice, and at first I was like...wha tha? Then it dawns on me that this child was born in 1993, so she probably doesn't know the words to this song off the top of her head. I like this...it's good. Her voice is a lot older than 16. It's really good, and the ending takes it to a vocal that I really enjoyed. Randara love it...Kara is so effusive in her praise she kind of scares me. Simon has drawn a mustache on Paula...does anyone wonder why she sat still for that? Yeah, me too. Simon calls it one of her best. She rocked!

Okay -- so bottom three...Michael, Megan, and either Lil or Danny immediately going back to the sofa of safety.

Okay...now I'm really sleepy, and I have to work myself up to go to class...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

God Bless the Child

Okay, so I can say, without equivocation that I would not think twice about laying down my life for Alex. He delights me in ways I didn’t think possible, and for as much time as I think I spend teaching him, I spend a lot of time learning from him. Everything is new to him, and so I get a new perspective on things as well. A pan of dishwater becomes a play date; pouring a glass of milk and not spilling it is not just quenching your thirst but a demonstration of independence. And watching a child take pieces of your world to make it their world, to color and fill however they see fit, is an experience that’s fun and profound all at once.

I also think, while challenging at times, that Alex is very cool. Don’t get me wrong, he’s two, and therefore prone to fits. Plus, he’s kind of sometimey (which my friend Chris says makes him not cool, but I think moody can be cool). Given the right mood, Alex is very engaging – quick with a smile, and he’s very quick to blow kisses too. Yesterday as his doctor was leaving the exam room, he says bye-bye, and then we hear a smooch sound. We look at him and he has that smirk that says…”uh-huh, I did that”. He’s very charismatic, and he knows how to work it. He is a good balance of the best parts of Walter and I, and usually a great tribute to nurture over nature.

And then there are times when I think that this house isn’t big enough for both of us, and since I pay more than he does to live here, that he’s going to have to roll.

Okay, so, my child…who is exactly 888 days old (I’ll tell you why I figured that out shortly), loves bath time. It may be a big game to him to actually get upstairs, but all in all bath time is fun for both of us. Plus, he’s so in tune with his nether region that it makes me uncomfortable and it gives him great joy to get naked and splash around in the bath tub. So bath time is usually however long it takes for us to both get tired of it.

Except for tonight.

Oh, I also need to point out that, while not the neatest person in the world, I’m pretty clean. I won’t lie and say the child always steps into a pristine tub (toddlers are the dingiest creatures on the planet), but neither will I say it’s EVER a biohazard or that it’s even ever classified as dirty. And – Alex is the only person in the house that uses that tub, so if there is a stray fleck of something…it’s HIS! But lately, Alex has a thing for pointing out stuff in the bathtub – bubbles, the stray hair (and I mean STRAY), maybe a stray piece of lint from his towel. Whatever…so, after fishing out whatever it is (even popping the bubbles, he gets in the tub and it’s business as usual.

Except for tonight.

Made all the more confusing because Ms. Gail, our cleaner was here today and the tub was immaculate (as Walter said, it looked like Jamaica in there), he wouldn’t get in the tub. “Momma, get that”. “Momma, that’s boo boo.” Okay, so this one time, he got in the tub and there was a speck on his butt that got in the tub, and that time I immediately got him out and cleaned the damned tub. So, I’m saying, no, it’s a fleck of lint from the cleaning towels…or whatever, and I try to lift him in and he goes stock straight and bends his legs and refuses to get in. When finally he acquiesces and gets in the tub, he stands there. He refuses to sit down…refuses. When asking him to use his words and tell me exactly what the problem was, exactly why it was, after 887 days of using this exact same bathtub that it was a problem. He couldn’t explain it, but he could decide to not sit. Oh, and I had all that time to figure out that he was 888 days old as we were arguing about why he wouldn’t get in the tub. And yes, we were arguing -- and I was losing!! And in between arguing, he’s hollering for Walter as though I’m trying to drown him and he can’t imagine how an incompetent idiot like me got to be a parent.

So, time’s running out, along with our patience with each other, so I just start bathing him. Do you KNOW how hard it is to bathe a child who’s standing and how the water runs everywhere but back in the tub…down your arm. And forget about washing his hair…so after ten minutes of this, I’m soaked he’s shivering (because HELLO! Not sitting in the warm water is a great way to feel the draft). Walter is observing all of this, and wisely not laughing, because while I would be publicly shunned for hurting the child, the courts are very understanding of a mom who has. Had. Enough.

Finally, this ends, and we’re back in his room and I’m giving him the “you’re not my favorite person” look and he’s giving me the “yeah, you either, buddy” look and we get pj’s on…

…and he rests his head in my lap and closes his eyes and I forget that just briefly, I was going to sell him to the circus. Cheap.

Oh, but for those of you who say…are you going to have another one? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Idol Update:

So by now, you all know that Alexis, one of my favorite who I had really hoped would be on long enough to do a breakout performance is on her way home, but not before she demonstrated that the Judge's Save is some bogus you know what. Okay, so the girl knows she's in the bottom, you tell her that you were considering saving her, you make her SING for her life. She's a bundle of nerves and new to performing and after all of that, you tell her it's not good enough and you send her on her way. Walter has always said that he could not sing after he'd been eliminated, that he'd be too pissed, and I laugh at him and his anger tendencies. But now I see his point; it's not the one time that I won't blame the contestant for lipping off, especially at this point in the competition where, more than likely, your trip home is also a trip back to obscurity. Harumph.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Somethin' to Talk About - Idol Tuesday

Okay, so, my computer's power cord is fried -- prayerfully that's the only problem, so it was either come into the cold basement tonight to talk about AI, or chance that I'd have enough time before the mind-numbing class started tomorrow to share my thoughts on my favorite reality show...I'm in the basement, so if I end suddenly, it's because I was too cold to go on!

I'm kind of digging the new way that the judges are introduced -- gives me a chance to see the full outfit and I can finally say something positive about Kara -- she has smokin' legs.

All seated, Ryan asks Paula if she stands by her predictions last week. Realizing to say "no" is to admit that she's on someone's 12-step program, so she sticks by it. Let's see how Adam SmAnt does with Grand Ole Opry night.

Hello Randy Travis! I used to love him...now he's looking a little gray. But hey -- I still love Forever and Ever, Amen.

First up, it's Michael Sarver - Ain't Going Down Til the Sun Comes Up - Surprisingly, Michael does not seem all that comfy with country. I guess, since they said he was from Texas, I thought he would be...I don't love it. Randy didn't either. Karaula says it's okay. Simon calls it clumsy and karaoke. Simon and I appear to be on the same page tonight.

Allison Iraheta - Blame it on your Heart - I can't believe she's only 16. I must admit I'm becoming a fan. She has one helluva voice and a real stage presence. Kara wants Allison to sing the alphabet and says she improves every week. Paula falls on "rock solid", but wants her to experiment more with her vocals. Simon thought it was good, but tuneless sometimes (isn't that an oxymoron?). He then threatens her with the precocious label. Randy calls her dope. Two in, and we've already had two cliches. And the show is two hours long...

Kris Allen - To make You Feel My Love - Uh...did Randy Travis just make googly eyes at Kris? Kris is going without the guitar and I was afraid that without that prop, his performance would suffer. But what remains is a lovely vocal. His voice is N-ICE. Full disclosure -- I love Garth Brooks, and I love this song. Anyhoo, the last note is a little rough for me, but all in all, I like it. Paula calls it honest and pure, but cautions him on his lower register. Simon liked it (again, Simon and I...RIGHT HERE!), and calls him terrific and says he'll go far. Randara is going to love it now too because sometimes I find them to be rather lemming-like in their critiques when they go last.

Lil Rounds - Independence Day - Okay, Lil's my girl, but unfortunately, this song does not show off her versatility. She could have rocked her some Bonnie Raitt, and I hope this does not hurt her tomorrow night. Tho I'd bet my last piece of chocolate that Simon will make them use a save on her. Randy says interesting and ambitious which means he hated it. But he does say that she does not sound comfortable. She says she wants to show she's more than an R&B singer (not sure how successful this was). Paulara are okay with it, but realize it wasn't her best. Simon rolls his eyes so hard at Paula's comments, I'm sure he's given himself a headache. Simon calls it a wedding singer performance and Lil teeters on my nerves a bit by all this explaining, but I'm too busy laughing at Simon calling her "Little" to get irritated.

Adam Lambert - Ryan makes a huge show of Randy and Adam being polar opposites and I'm hating Adam again. Randy T hates what he's about to do to the great Johnny Cash and now that he's singing, I do too. Johnny Cash and all this camera mugging do not mix. I hate this and Adam does nothing to lift his standing in my eyes. Clearly he's trying to do what David Cook did last year with Billie Jean and it's not working...and now that screech and thankfully it's over. Kara is (thankfully) speechless and calls it strange. Paula tells him he's true to who he is (a knockoff), even though who he is may not sell records. And THEN she compares him to Led Zepplin, rendering her dead to me for the rest of the night. Simon reads my mind and asks "what the hell was that?, calling it indulgent rubbish. Word. Randy calls it hot, comparing him to NIN, and now he is also dead to me until tomorrow.

Scott McIntyre - Wild Angels - I'm gonna hate this. I know it. Okay, it's ehh. I don't know what it is about...oh...he's hit the chorus and I like it more, but now it's fast and I'm ehh again. So, I was saying, I'm not completely in Scott's camp and I can't explain why, other than his voice reminds me of the guy who sang Greatest American Hero...a song I loved. In 1979. Maybe that's it. I find him dated. Paula calls him on using the piano as a crutch (even though last week they loved it...I'm dizzy over here). Simon says Paula's comment is stupid. Paula calls Simon disrespectful and it's clear there will be serious discussion before the sheets shake tonight. Simon says he's not choosing the right songs and that his performances are unforgettable. Randy says he's safe (read: boring). Kara wants him to up his game and again I feel I'm insensitive to the disabled because I think he's game's as up as it's going to get. And now I feel like I'm patronizing the guy because he happens to to be visually impaired. Oh Scott, you confound me.

Alexis Grace - My fingers are crossed because I love her. She chooses Jolene and I love her more because she chooses Dolly. I love it -- it's easily tied with Kris for my favorite performance so far. Randara doesn't love it; however, wanting a different song. Paula, in a rare display of lucidity, says this performance was effective for her. But then she's back to her happy place and says pitch problems don't MATTER IN A SINGING COMPETITION. WTF? Simon is now cranky because he knows Paula is hankty with him and disagrees with me.

[Sidebar here - if this show is long enough that these contestants have all this time to lip off to the judges, then this show needs to be 90 minutes with a rerun of Family Guy or something. I'm just saying.]

Danny Gokey - is totally effing up his rehearsal. What up with that. Which means he's going to slay it and he does. He sings Jesus Take the Wheel and he's awesome. Karaula love it and want 10 more minutes of it. Paula is obviously picking Danny as her next boyfriend in light of Jorge's early exit, plus she and Simon are beefing. Simon likes it, but because he is sane does not go overboard, but he does hate his jacket. Randy liked the chorus but not the verses. I'm on the phone now so the rest of it gets past me.

Anoop Desai - Always On My Mind - I'm really enjoying this. Am I biased. This was so much better than his last two silly performances and reminds me that this kid, despite being from Chapel Hill (the ACC tourney just finished...not a fan of anything North Carolinian right now), can sing. A great vocal. Paula pronounces him "back". Simon tells him he went from zero to hero, praising him song choice and saying it was his favorite performance of the night. Simon is all about Anoop, telling him he deserves to be there. Randara call it amazing. Well done, Anoop.

Megan Corkrey - I Go Walking After Midnight - I don't hate it, but her...um..."shoes" are distracting me, a mostly hetero girl in that dress, so I'm sure she has every teenage male vote tonight. I'm not moved. Randy is impressed, not expecting to be. Kara pronounces her a winner because she was able to sing a song in her lower register with the flu. I'm still not loving it. Simon and I depart on this, with him telling her she should have the flu every week.

Matt Giraudi - So Small - I HEART this man. I think Paula can have Danny - I'm completely Matt-tastic. He is working this OUT. Kara loves it. Paula struggles with the word authenticity (and I don't say this scathing; I struggle with the word circular in the same fashion) and he moves her to tears, saying he pierced her heart. Awww...but she needs to stay away from him. He's mine! Simon likes it, saying he doesn't get enough credit and compares him to Michael Buble. Randy notes his range saying last week they compared him to Justin Timberlake.

Okay, so, who *should* be in the bottom three?
Michael, Scott, and Megan

Who will be? My guess is Michael, Alexis, and Megan, with Megan getting the Carrie Underwood song of farewell. Although, I gotta feeling Lil might not be as safe as she's been.

That's all for now, my friends. Good night!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What if God Was One of Us?

So my ma, who's not much into forwarding emails sent a random email about a kid who goes to see God. Finding a woman on a park bench, he proceeds to share a bag of potato chips with her. Each of them returns to their respective homes, claiming to have seen God. Google the story -- it's cute -- ample in treacle -- and the moral is to show kindness because you never know who the recipient is. It also demonstrates a Christian ideal -- that God's spirit dwells within all of us.

It also reminds me of the time that I thought twice about giving a freakshow a ride because what if she was Jesus? Okay, so, I was late for a hair appointment (at that time, I was using JC Penney Salon, and I'm about to go back, but that's another story), so I'm rushing in. I notice as I'm getting closer to the mall this woman -- she had to be at least 5'10, and tippin the scale at a good three-fiddy (or less, I'm never good at that.) Her outfit was, generously, too small, and was sleeveless enough that I noted she had applied a nonclear deodorant rather liberally. Yes, it was a quick glance, but it was enough. Got that picture? Okay. So, due to a scheduling snafu, I was not able to get my hair done, so I exit the mall quickly, and I pass this person, and she stops me. She asks me where Route 301 is; i tell her, and point it out. She tells me she's been waiting for Enterprise rental for 45 minutes to take her to their office on 301. I offer my sympathy; try to leave. THEN, she says, well, where are YOU going? As it happened, I was headed to 301, but I wasn't telling her that...I make up a route, to which she replies, well, that's not that far away - you could take me. I realize that I'm talking to a lunatic, assure her that, according to Enterprise's motto, they will pick her up, and make my exit.

As I'm walking to my car, I am struck with the passage in the bible that God does not always appear to us as we would expect, and what if I just turned away from God? Was this my equivalent of turning Jesus and Mary away at the door? Several people assured me, seeing as NotGod had a cell phone, I did as much as anyone would be expected to do. Since she was able to assist herself, I was still an okay Christian.

So, that's a bit of a silly analogy, but I do believe that God walks among us, in his own way. Not necessarily in an ill-fitting summer jumper, but that there are people planted among us to remind of us of the bigger picture. I feel the need here to point out that I have many friends with many views of the idea of God, from Atheist to Agnostic to Spiritual to Devout Believers. I know those who are seeking God and those who have walked with him their entire lives. I am respectful, and intrigued of all views, and feel my job is to, when asked, share my experiences that have led to my faith being where it is. And then there's my MA at work, who's belief is so absolute, he inspires me to learn more, and in my own way, be more.

And then there's my Grandmother. She's been battling, courageously. pancreatic cancer for almost a year now. In April 2008 they told us her prognosis was poor and that she would most likely not last much past 3 months. Almost 12 months later, she is struggling, but she is fighting. Whatever conversation she had with God convinced him she had more work to do here, and as Michele said, if anyone could change God's mind, certainly my grandmother could. So I guess when I see in someone the characteristics that I want to see within myself, grace, courage, determination, I feel as though God has put that someone in my life to show me how it works.

When I think of this, I still wouldn't have given that woman a ride. But the thought does move me to smile more, to look people in the eye, to ask someone how their day is going, and to actually wait for an answer. It moves me to say a little prayer every now and again, for myself and for the world around me. Most of my friends say I'm too nice, too friendly, will talk to anyone, and while that's mostly true, sometimes my motivation isn't what you think.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Idol Tuesday

So, technically, it's Wednesday, and I feel like I'm on a mad dash to get my Idol recap in before the results how is done...but hey, if not, I guess I'll put who's going home. I already know Jasmine is on her way to pack and move out of the phat mansion, but let's see what else happens, even though I am NOT a fan of Kanye West, so hopefully the pain meds will kick in before I have to listen to him love himself.

Okay, so last night, the final 13 got a chance to work it out to Michael Jackson. Bizarre choice in my opinion, considering that most of the finalists only remember MJ as a skeevy guy who bleaches his skin and lacks the common sense to not give underaged boys wine while wearing underwear.

First up -- Lil Rounds, mother of three. She sings The Way You Make Me Feel. What the hell is up with those pants? Women blessed with a booty like that should NOT wear pleats. That's all I have to say about that. Anyhoo, Lil gives a fairly credible performance. Randaulara loved it; Simon didn't and knows the outfit is a mess, offering 5 minutes with Lil to fix it. Translation: you are my crush this year and will have to royally eff up to incur my wrath.

Scott McIntire - Keep the Faith -- WTF? This sucked all the way around, and the piano could not help him. Kara thinks it's great to see him behind the piano. Paula comments that Siedah Garrett, the composer and lyricist is there. Siedah claims to love it, but what else is she going to say put on the spot like that? Simon correctly calls it a stupid choice and hates it. He further doesn't recommend artistic talent on Idol. I'm glad he admitted it, but now I wonder what the point of it all is...oh yes! Popularity.

Danny Gokey -- who for now is vying with Matt Giraud for the title of my AI boyfriend this season -- rocks the HELL out of Pretty Young Thing. Paula, who obviously started drinking in the limo tonight, pronounces him a finalist in the first week! Simon tells him the vocals are brilliant but the dancing his hideous. Randy and Kara said something I don't remember because I find Danny to be rather hot now that he's stopped crying every time he's on camera.

Michael Sarver sings You Are Not Alone. Nice job -- I forgot how well he can sing. Simon plays up his likeability factor. Paula uses her term color, once again. Randara is forgettable (but to be fair, I was heavily medicated at this point). I liked it a lot more than I thought I would when it started.

Jasmine Murray - I'll be There -- a completely predictable choice that she must slay to not be labeled the teenager. I now know that she's gone, but here's what I wrote anyway: I'm decidedly eh on this -- Randy name drops Mariah Carey, but likes what she did with it. Kara is surprised because she secretly thinks that she's (Kara) the best singer there. Paula remarks on her composure, so we know she wasn't otherworldly impressed. Simon calls it a nice attempt and robotic, proving that Simon and I are just alike, except he's a co-gillionaire.

Kris Allen - Remember the Time -- This seriously got away from him in the end. At first, I thought it wasn't bad, but overall, a little scary. Maybe it was better in the theatre though because the judges love it.

Alison Iraheta - Give Into Me - Ehhh...but she's very confident for sixteen. I think that the thickness of her bangs throws me off. I think there's something about her look that will benefit when the stylists step in.

Anoop Desai - Beat It - Paula gives probably her harshest critique ever, making me wonder if someone tried to make her drink some coffee during the commercial break. Simon hated it, as did Randy. Kara hates everyone, so it's no surprise she felt disconnected. Funny, this was about as good as the performance that got him to the top 13.

Jorge Nunez - Never Can Say Goodbye. I really think he could have done well with the Isaac Hayes version, though this is pretty good. Actually, I really like this, but I hate hate hate the 5th grade concert way they end songs on this damned show, so now I'm back to thinking it's just okay. Apparently I'm the only one though. Randy doesn't love it and wishes for a different song. Kara longs for a connection, because she's decided 8 weeks in that she doesn't want to be known as "the new judge sucks". Simon couldn't wait for it to end, noting, when Jorge said he couldn't sing "Bad", "well, you kind of did". How I love Simon.

Megan Corkrey - Rockin' Robin. This is a mess and I hate it. It conjures up that one from last season who sang 8 Days A Week in Hillbilly Yodel Style. Kara has adopted "looking for a connection" as has signature phrase joining "Dawg, that was hot", "You found your magic", and "I could find that in any karaoke bar". Simon says it's stupid. Again, the similarities between Simon and I are mind boggling.

Adam Lambert - Black or White - Apparently, I'm the only one who doesn't get this guy's appeal. He's such a poser, and what up with the screech. He strikes me as SUCH a David Cook wannabe. But Randaulara + Simon loved it. Paula has predicted this entire season will come down to Adam and Danny. I think she's hypnotized by that sparkly dog tag on her wrist.

Matt Giraud - Human Nature - I loved this. Randy compares him to Justin Timberlake, and I think at this point I was on the phone because I didn't write anything else. By next week I should be able to decide if he or Matt will have my affection this season. BTW Paula has chosen Jorge.

Alexis Grace - sings Dirty Diana. I love her voice. At this point, being the last one and all, I drifted off, but I will say, provided she gets to stick around, she's going to have a break out performance that people will compare to Kelly Clarkson the week she sang "Feel Like A Natural Woman" during Season 1.

As I finish typing this, Anoop and Jorge are in the bottom two -- so the bottom four vote getters this week were Anoop, Jasmine, Jorge, and Megan. I think that's about right, except I would have sent Megan home too. Okay -- it's over, and Jorge is gone, and could Simon have been any colder?

So, here it is, my first blog. My seester-in-law Lauren claims that bloggers are happier people.