Thursday, March 23, 2006

AI - I’m still watching

American Idol is still chugging along. Both Melissa and Kevin have gotten the boot, and no matter how much Paula tries to tell them (and us) that this will just be the start of their careers, we know otherwise and will probably never see them again. I'm still loving Taylor, but I am loving Chris, too. Paris was getting on my nerves for a while there, but redeemed herself by performing Fever the other night. She did right by that song.

Good Things

1. Flossing. I used to lie to my dentist when they asked if I flossed regularly. I felt like, "hey - I don't have any cavities so get off my back." A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give flossing a try, and now I have a pack of floss in my purse and use it at least once a day. Flossing is where it's at.

2. Oatmeal. You know all that stuff they say about fiber being good for you? Well, turns out they're right. Eat oatmeal every day for a week and you will see what I mean. But I'm too hip for boring ol' oats, so I use 1 part steel-cut (aka Irish oatmeal) to 4 parts Quaker old fashioned oats. Top with a little butter and brown sugar and you're good to go.

3. Front-closing bras. Let's face it: I have a large rack. My old bras just weren't cutting it anymore - I was constantly pulling up straps or resituating myself, if you know what I mean. So yesterday I went to Lane Bryant and got two of their front-closure racer-back bras. My back and breasts are thanking me today.

4. I received my 2006 National Poetry Month poster in the mail today. I am so psyched. I've sent away for them for the last 5 years and look forward to each year's arrival with great anticipation. So besides being Mr. Awesome's birthday today (Happy Birthday!) it's poetry Christmas for me.

Monday, March 20, 2006

First Day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring. It's supposed to snow like a mutherfucker this afternoon, at least, that's what the local weather people are saying. So obviously, we will get maybe 1-2 inches. Apparently points north are being dumped on pretty hard. I would just love to wake up tomorrow morning and find a foot of snow on the ground. Everything is so beautiful when covered in snow, and I can't think of a better way to mask the abandoned houses along the road leading to my house than a hefty snowfall.

I saw the newest Wachowski siblings’ film (I say siblings instead of brothers, since one of them - Larry, I think - is the process of undergoing a sex change) this weekend, V for Vendetta. I really enjoyed it. The character of V was so cool - it was Agent Smith in a Guy Fawkes mask, and did he ever work that mask. Lots of explosions, conspiracy theories, and use of symphonic masterpieces. The fight scene at the end was just incredible. Natalie Portman was great, too, as V's little helper. If you liked The Matrix, and think the Bush administration is as scary as I do, then you will enjoy this movie, too.

The Sopranos was on last night. I guess that Tony is in limbo and imagining what he wishes his life was like, but he still almost had an affair. And has early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Edie Falco is incredible, and I've spent enough time in hospitals with the living and those about to die to know where she is coming from. It's almost painful to watch this play out, but I'm anxious to see what happens next week, because I have a feeling we will move out of the hospital and back into the other family.

Friday, March 10, 2006

AI - America, you done good by me

Last night, the Seacrest was attempting to imitate Joaquin Phoenix at Johnny Cash, the Man in Black. You know how black is slimming? The Seacrest was practically invisible.

Before we got on to the real business of the night – Schandenfreude – we were treated to a performance by Bo Bice, who the Seacrest affectionately called “Big Papa,’ since Bo is a new father. A redneck friend of mine has a truck he calls Big Papa. I don’t know how they correlate, but I’m sure they do. The viewing audience didn’t get a chance to vote or not vote for Bo this time around, which is good, because I thought his performance was unbearably bad. I like Bo, and maybe it was the song, but I had to fast-forward through the last half The Bo Show. Times like these make me wish the judges would comment on these guest performers. Simon would have some well chosen words, I am sure.

Who was the girl with the lowest number of votes? Kinnik. We all saw that one coming from Tuesday’s show. I’m sorry to see her go; she seems like a nice girl.

Now it’s time for a guy to hit the road. The biggest loser on the guy side is… Will. Way to go, America – he looks like Peter Brady and sings like, well, like Peter Brady. Look for Will this summer at a theme park near you.

It’s the moment of truth of the ladies. There are 12 seats, and 14 contestants left. Paris was the first to get a coveted seat. Katherine is next, followed by everyone except Melissa and Ayla. Holy shit, America – Ayla is going home. Thank you. Thank you! Did I say thank you yet? Oh lord, she’s crying and I am starting to feel sorry for her. She is actually coming across as human, and I realize that if she had cried during the last couple of weeks, she might still be in the competition. At any rate, Ayla is gone, and as much sympathy as I may be able to muster for her, it is quickly crushed by the weight of my body doing a happy dance.

We move to the gents again. Taylor is the first guy to get a spot in the top 12, followed by Ace, who is still wearing the retarded beanie. The big surprise is that Kevin is next. Chicken Little Kevin. Apparently, the people at are having an impact. The last two guys are Bucky and Gedeon, and Gedeon is going home. I’ll miss that weird little man.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

AI - Keep on Rollin’

Last night, the Seacrest appears to be wearing a zipper tie. That’s hip. Also hip is the large paper flower Paula is wearing to accentuate her cleavage.

GedeonWhen a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)
Gedeon loves to paint pictures that look like 8th grade Earth Day posters. His first note is a bit off, but he’s really trying hard and the rest of the performance isn’t bad at all. He did a very good job of making that his own song. Randy calls him an “old soul,” Paula says he’s a showman, and Simon likes him because Gedoen is “interesting.” I think Gedeon is a world-class

ChrisBroken (Seether)
I love his rock star voice. He’s got this really cool vibrato that mixes with the gravel and makes his sound intense and powerful, but sensitive at the same time. Paula takes a page from junior high and tells Chris to “stay true to who you are.” Simon wasn’t impressed with Chris’s performance and thought it was boring. He reminds Chris that, at the end of the day, he needs to entertain more than anything else.

Kevin Starry, Starry Night (Don McLean)
I have always liked this song – it’s lyrical, emotional, and reminds me of the great art masters of the world and the turmoil that some of them must have gone through. Fortunately for Kevin, he is not burdened with the mental illness that makes some people great. But he is also no Van Gogh. He does have a nice voice, one that will just kill in local dinner theater. He even showed some potential power with one particular low note. But at this moment, this week, in this competition, Kevin will probably be going home tomorrow. Simon put it best when he said that Kevin is like watching puppies play, and the kind of person that finds redeeming, entertainment value in that will vote for Kevin to stay. Personally, I love puppies, but I still think he should go this week.

BuckyWave on Wave (Pat Green)
Holy hell, Bucky has an identical twin named Rocky. I think I former neighbors had a pair of cats or Cocker Spaniels or something named Bucky and Rocky. Note to self: do not name potential children after family pets. Bucky goes country – big shock. I really like Bucky’s performance when he is singing, but towards the middle he goes grit and gravel and instead of having the hint of sensitivity present in Chris’s performance, this just sounds painful. Overall though, I enjoyed the singing part enough to overlook the razorblades-in-the-throat part. Again, Simon says the performance was just ordinary.

WillHow Sweet It Is (James Taylor)
Will is studying Japanese. That’s kind of cool, but I still get evil Peter Brady vibes from him and that isn’t cool. Will’s vocals are pretty good, but also pretty bland, like a white bread and mayonnaise sandwich. To me, even the most upbeat James Taylor songs have an intimacy about them that draws a listener in, and Will’s performance is lacking in that element. Randy calls the performance way below average, but Paula has apparently set her sights on this boy, because she tells him how much he has raised his game and that she is a fan. Pander more, Paula. Simon tells Paula that she “must have been starved for entertainment as a child” and he agrees with Randy.

TaylorTakin’ It to the Streets (The Doobie Brothers)
Taylor was a mall Easter Bunny. Now, he is rocking my world by singing a Doobie Brothers song. Thank you, Taylor Hicks. I will be the first to admit that this might not have been his best performance, but it certainly was his most fun. He did this crazy wind-up dance thing that looked like he was so into the music and just couldn’t stand still. The audience went frigging nuts, and Simon called it the best performance of the night.

ElliottHeaven (Bryan Adams)
Elliott is partially deaf in one of his ears. Elliott’s vocals are always good, but I did have a problem with this performance in that it was very, very even. There was no buildup to a big statement. It had to be hard to follow Taylor’s performance, so I can forgive him that. That’s such a picky thing, though, because honestly, Elliott is just good. I thing Simon nails it when he says that this particular song was not that great and that there was a “disconnect” between Elliott and the song.

AceButterflies (Michael Jackson)
Ace is a handy man. I have some odd jobs he can do around my house, as long as he takes off that stupid beanie. Ace chose a song that I don’t remember hearing before, with all these high Michael Jackson parts and runs and stuff. He did an amazing job with it, too. It started off kind of weird, but it really worked in the end. Great falsetto, great natural voice, horrible beanie.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

AI - 6 little girls, one naughty minx and one WOMAN

Tonight the Seacrest looks like a Wall Street broker about to hurl himself off of a very tall building. The moment of truth arrives when we get o see if we are dealing with Sober Paula or Drunk Paula. Aw, who cares – Paula’s a twit.

ParisConga (Gloria Estefan)
I never liked this song, and Paris isn’t helping. She’s got a lot of pep and energy and is a very good performer, but she chose a terrible song this time. Simon is right as usual when he tells her that she has great youth and enthusiasm, but vocally her performance was just okay.

LisaWhere I Stand (Tiffany Taylor)
She should have picked something more up-tempo and known by the audience. But she didn’t, and I don’t know if this is just a weird song melodically, or if she’s, as Randy says, really pitchy. I, like Simon, am getting really tired of the little girl singing grown-up songs routine.

MelissaListen to Your Heart (Heart)
Rock out, girl. Her voice is so cool on this type of music. Her problems come with the sort of high, forceful portions of the song, where she sounds sort of strained. I don’t know if she can make it through to the next round, though. While I do like that smokey voice, I don’t know if the voting audience will feel the same.

KinnikIf I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys)
Do you hear that? It’s the same death knell that peeled when Heather attempted Mariah Carey last week. Remember contestants – if you are going to take on a big talent like Alicia Keys or Mariah Carey, you have to be better than good. You have to be outstanding. Buh-bye, Kinnik.

KatherineThink (Aretha Franklin)
Excellent song choice. She is showing such versatility with her choices, and every time she just owns the song. I have nothing negative to say about Katherine. And neither do the judges.

AylaUnwritten (Natasha Bedingfield)
Ayla is butchering one of my favorite songs, and for some reason, the judges don’t care. Why do they like this girl? Seriously – send her home to play basketball again now, people. Ayla just totally creeps me out and she must be stopped. What’s that wrinkle-thing she tries to do with her face? GOD PEOPLE – QUIT VOTING FOR HER!

MandisaEvery Woman (Chaka Khan)
Mandisa sucked her thumb longer than I did!! I love her. Talk about a stage presence – this girl – no – this WOMAN – has it. Mandisa literally gives me chills, and I am so glad she is in this competition. Can I get a WOOO WOOOOOOOOOO!

Kellie PicklerI’m Not the Only One (Melissa Etheridge)
You may have noticed I left off the last names of all the previous performers, but I can’t get myself to leave out the Pickler. Everyone loves the Pickler! Good thing the Pickler is so likable, because her vocals were, to use a Simon phrase, utterly forgettable. They were good – better than some others even, but her vocals are not nearly as likable as her personality.

Friday, March 3, 2006

AI - One Had Salad and One Had Pizza

Now it’s time to say goodbye… To all our company… B-R-E—N-N-A…Find a nun-a-reeee!

The Seacrest turned his head slightly to his right, and for a minute, his sideburns remind me of the Wolf man.

Taylor and the Idols come out to perform Love the One You’re With and Brenna looks more like a prostitute than ever as she sings. Bucky does a jazz square and my head almost explodes. Mandisa has lost the sleeves to her pirate shirt – someone find them fast, please!

We are given the rundown of performances over the last two days, and are reminded why some people needed to leave last week. Before we get on with the Schandenfreude for the week, last year’s Idol Carrie Underwood is trotted out to perform some song I’ve never heard since I don’t listen to country music. Carrie’s song reminds me why I don’t venture anywhere near country radio. If the songs aren’t about drinking, or beating someone’s wife, they are about some dude named Jesub. No thanks. At the end of the performance, Carrie turned to the judges, as if she expected to be judged. I was hoping for that, too. Randy would have called her “pitchy” but “a hot one,” Paula would have told her how beautiful she is and called her a “star!” and Simon would have told her she is exactly the kind of person who should win this kind of competition. I have visions of someone dragging the Pickler from off-stage by her hair and placing her side-by-side with Carrie and Simon telling America to vote Pickler. I am grateful this doesn’t really happen.

20 minutes into the show, we get to the point and the Seacrest brings us the bottom three vote-getters. First to make the list is Kinnik. The creepy cowgirl didn’t make America happy. Next is Brenna! YAY! Thank you, America. Last is Heather, which is very, very obvious. Which girl got the least amount of votes and is therefore going home first? It’s America’s Choice to send Brenna back to the gutter! She is modest and humble as she hears her death knell. Or not – actually she plugged some not-yet-made album and talks about how she wants to make money. Got that, America? This bitch wants paid. Her repeat performance of Last Dance is just as horrible as it was two nights ago. Get this clown off my screen.

By the way, Paula is on drugs. Seriously – she is all goofy and high as a fucking kite. I am not being sarcastic – she really is on something. I know this because she actually asked Simon for advice on what to tell Heather and Kinnik regarding their performances, and she repeated said solicited advice. The advice Simon gave her as to why one will go home over the other? "One had salad and one had pizza." Paula is laughing like a mental patient and falling over herself. For someone who is supposed to be the sensitive one in the group, this was a horribly insensitive comment to make to two girls whose Hollywood dreams are likely over. Did Simon spike her Coca-Cola?

Heather is the next to go, and she says she’s grateful to “go home to her goats.” Yeah, right. Everyone is excited to work with goats. Okay, Brenna would fuck a goat for money, but I don’t think Heather has that kind of relationship with her goats. We are treated to another lackluster performance of Hero and I am suddenly missing Heather less than I thought.

Now it’s time for a couple of guys to get out of town. First on the list is Sway. Next is David, who did the most charisma-free Sinatra impression this side of Branson. Third is Kevin, meaning that you people didn’t keep 11-year old girls away from the phones and Will made it through? You douchebags. The person with the lowest number of votes is Sinatra Jr. Look for David on a cruise ship near you.

Our last person to go home tonight is… is it Kevin? Don’t let it be Kevin! He’s just a little doodlebug! Aw… Sway is going home. That’s too bad, too, because Sway seems like a really nice guy who has some talent. But we get another week of Kevin, which means another week of padding between the not-so-good and those that I will truly miss.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

I know it could be worse…

... but today I've had two let-downs. First, I procrastinated so long that by the time I finally called the Student Life Office, they were all out of Maya Angelou tickets. So no Dr. Angelou for me. Second, I wanted to get a second Senseo coffee maker for work since the one I got a couple of weeks ago at Costco is so freaking awesome. Costco is now out of them, and they aren't available on the Costco website, either. I can get one somewhere else, but Costco had them for $49 and that included 70 pods. Everywhere else has them for no less than $60 with no pods. This sucks.

AI - Sweet Tea and Spicy Tuna Rolls

Ryan Seacrest is so the clean-cut safe teenage crush boy tonight. As they introduce the contestants, Taylor is first, and Chris Daughtry is slated to go last. Interesting. Paula is wearing a breastplate borrowed from a Caesar’s Palace waitress.

Taylor HicksEasy (The Commodores)
Taylor tells us he has to wear one of those ghastly beanie things so people don’t recognize his characteristic grey hair. He calls it a toboggan and I call it an asshat. However, I can forgive him his headwear, since his song choice is from the most awesome Lionel Richie. Some of his notes are a bit off – he’s forcing the song, but in a way it comes off as putting extra emotion into his performance. The judges are perhaps harder on him than they might have been on another contestant giving this same performance, but I think it’s because they have high hopes for him. I don’t get why they are telling him his song choice was so bad – what do they have against Lionel? Taylor says that the first concert he ever went to was Lionel Richie and Tina Turner. This guy has incredible parents.

Elliot Yaminsome song I’ve never heard before
Holy Stevie Wonder, Batman! I really love this song choice and his performance of it. I’ve never heard this song, and he is totally selling it to me. He just made me smile. Maybe it’s because he loves his mother so much. Awww. Randy gives him a standing ovation. Simon applauds Elliot’s confidence and gives him props on a great performance. Good show, pip pip.

Ace YoungIf you’re Not the One (Daniel Bedingfield)
Another freaking asshat. SIGH. Okay, I love this song, but Ace is not doing it justice. My thought is that, as a sexy young pretty boy, this is exactly the kind of song that Ace should just nail, but he is sucking so badly. There are some good moments – the falsetto is actually on pitch, but he makes such a weird face while doing it that I almost throw up a little. I really liked him last week, but this week he wasn’t rocking my world. Both Randy and Paula pander to him, but Simon gives him the straight truth when he says that Ace will be very disappointed when he hears his own performance later. Ace takes a clue from the judges last week and blames his poor vocals on a tired voice.

Gedeon McKinneysome song about change coming
I thought this guy was horrible last week. This week, he’s apparently acquired a time machine and stole the soul and vocals of Mr. Sam Cooke. This was the performance of a lifetime for Gedeon, and may have saved his ass for a couple of weeks – very, very good performance all around. Simon calls Gedeon a “funny little thing” but he performs the Sam Cooke genre ‘brilliantly.”

Kevin CoviasI Heard It through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)
Kevin is just a cute little doodlebug. And the pale high school nerd is kicking it back to Motown tonight. The performance was a little showchoir-ish, but he didn’t do a bad job. Kevin just grates on Simon’s nerves – he has zero chance of winning this competition, and Simon likes to remind him of that every chance he gets. Lay off him, Simon. Let the kid have his moment. We all know he won’t win – we’re just having a good ride for a while.

Sway PenalaOverjoyed (Stevie Wonder)
Sway is technically very good. He sustained some notes much longer than I expected and has very good breath control. As Randy says, though, the performance was pitchy, and I didn’t think it was particularly memorable. The judges are honest with him. Simon calls it karaoke, and he’s right. Sway is gracious and humbled by their comments, which makes me like him personally and hope he gets to stay another week, if just to see his parents together for another night.

Will MakarLady (Kenny Rodgers)
Bad, bad song choice. Bad. He has a pleasant voice, but Kenny deserves some grit, some dirty. God, the more I listen to this guy, and watch him sing this song, the more I want to jam that microphone down his throat. I wonder if he knows how horrific he was. I hope he finds out when he is sent home tomorrow. If Simon is right and 11-year old girls will love him, please – if you know any 11-year old AI fans, take away their phones.

Bucky CovingtonThe Thunder Rolls (Garth Brooks)
Bucky is having a hard time finding food in Hollywood. He just wants chicken, dammit. Bucky starts off well, soft and intense. I think he moved into the powerful part too quickly and lost some of the drama of the song, but that’s forgivable, because he isn’t bad. With that said, he isn’t memorable, either. What is memorable is Bucky saying he’ll order biscuits and sweet tea if he goes to a sushi bar. Hahahahaaaa. Too cute.

David RadfordThe Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra)
Who does this guy remind me of? Wait for it… wait….. He’s Richard Cheese! Oh my god – does he know that he has a surefire way of winning this competition?? Does he? Someone who can get close to this guy needs to slip him a Richard Cheese CD and form here on out, David needs to perform contemporary songs in the lounge style. I am serious about this. Otherwise, he is going home very, very soon. If he would ham it up and go the Richard Cheese route, he would make the finals with no problem, and he would piss Simon off in the process – bonus.

Chris DaughtryHemorrhage (Fuel)
Chris has two kids? No shit. Good for him. That rocks. And so does Chris. I never really liked this song, but he breathed new life into it and gave a terrific performance. Oh yeah – here he goes screaming, but singing, intense, but connected to the audience. This is how you will American Idol: sing a popular song, make it your own, and be likable. How hard is that, people? Chris is not going home this week, or next week, or any time soon. Randy tells Chris that he could be right on the charts with Audioslave and Incubus, and he is totally right.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

AI - Precociousness and Poor Song Choices

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means? It means I have to find something to watch instead of House. I can’t stand family sitcoms, so it looks like it is American Idol time.

Catherine and Mandisa get the bookend spots, which means the producers must see these two as the most popular. At least, that’s my theory. Paula is wearing one of the costumes from the Disney on Ice production of Pocahontas.

Catherine McPheesome Stevie Wonder song that I have already forgot
She looks a little preggers in her floppy shirt. What a boring-ass song. Catherine’s voice sounds strained tonight. I predict Randy will use the word “pitchy” and I am… wrong! I’m not impressed with Catherine’s performance tonight, but she’s still one of the better contestants. Paula calls her a star!

Kinnik Skysome country bar song
Talk about thinking outside the box. There is something a little weird about a black girl singing hillbilly redneck country. Simon is right when he calls her performance theme-park like.

Lisa Tuckersome soulful hurt woman song
She’s the little girl who sings big girl songs. So far, Lisa’s is the best performance of the night. You go, girl. The judges (except for Paula, but she doesn’t count anyway) were harder on her than I would have expected. Paula calls her a star!

Melissa McGheeFinally a song I’ve heard before! Reba’s “Why Haven’t I Heard from You”
I like the smoky thing Melissa’s voice has going on. She looks more like Sheryl Crow tonight, and that’s cool too. She’s still looks a little like she’s been toking up backstage. Melissa now holds the distinction of best performance of the night. Simon is hard on her, saying no one would remember the song. I think he’s wrong. Simon is right when he calls Paula a “precocious child” and she gets all pissy and trades seats with Randy.

Heather CoxMariah Carey’s formidable “Hero”
Welcome to your local high school talent show. Heather is still sexy as hell, but tonight she looked more like the pageant contestant from Wichita singing in the Miss Kansas talent portion. This was another bad choice of song, and another forgettable performance.

Brenna GethersDonna Summer’s “Last Dance”
She looks good tonight. She should have started out with more of the slow and sultry part of the song that makes the rest even better. But instead she opted for some verse that I don’t know. There was so much potential in this song choice. What a huge disappointment the performance turned out to be. Brenna is her usual modest self as she sings her own praises better than she sang her song. Simon tells her that this was her “Last Chance” – HA! You go, boy.

Paris BennettWTF? Beaches?!
So she’s got a voice, and a spunky personality. Neither of those things showed up tonight. Good god, Paris. Who have you been listening to when it comes to picking your song? You just told us to “rock with you” in your intro, and then you deliver mutherfucking Beaches?? Do better next week, girlfriend.

Ayla Brownsome gaggy Celine song
I hate Celine. I don’t particularly like Ayla, either, so it’s all working out. Ayla’s vocals started out surprisingly well, but lucky for me it was all downhill from there. First of all, this song is stupid. The ending was an exercise in the awesomely bad as she goes from powerhouse to soft and gentle in a move that didn’t do it for me. Paula and Randy voice-fuck her and tell her how pleasantly surprised they were with her performance. I think they are afraid she will kick their ass. Simon is absolutely right when he says she is technically good, but mechanical and may put some people off. Like me. I’m some people.

Kellie PicklerTalkin’ bout Bonnie Raitt
I like the innocent aura of this girl, and then she comes out and give us a little greasy and raw (I said a little) version of this song. Very cute. Some of the high notes were a bit forced, but overall, she’s just too cute to not like.

Mandisasome Faith Hill song
So here is another instance of a soulful black woman singing redneck country. But this time it works and doesn’t come off as creepy. She turns this country hit into a crossover gospel recording waiting to happen. Sure, she didn’t look as hot as she did last week in the Lane Bryant lingerie, but she’s got the voice. A stylist can help her with the rest.