Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Frank, Sammy, Dean....

Well, if you watched Idol lastnight and don't realize how far ahead of the "pack" Adam is, you must be tone deaf!  While I agree that it was very theatrical, his vocal abilities put him in a league of his own.  He tackled a Great Big Song there, (can anyone improve over Nina Simone's version?) but he did it amazingly well, and reminded us all that when you're talented, it doesn't matter what you sing, you can sing it and knock its' socks off!  I thought Alison also did an incredible job, reminding me that she does not need this silly competition to secure a record deal.  There will be people waiting with contracts ready when she is off the show.  I thought everyone did better tonight than usual, but was completely confused by the choice of Jamie Foxx for the mentor...what does he have to do with the Rat Pack, people?  Playing Ray Charles in a movie has absolutely zero to do with Frank, Sammy, Dean, etc.  Come on!  I thought it was obvious how completely mental Foxx was when he told Kris that he was his favorite....what the....????   I would hope that Matt is finally voted off tonight, and if not Matt, then Kris.  We'll see how it unfolds.  But, by far my favorite theme night, ever....those songs have legs, and if you can sing them at least partly well, you're doing something right.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

things just keep growing

It's been a slowwwwww couple of weeks here; nothing of note to blog about.  Shorty after my Mexico va-k I presented with an upper respiratory illness....felt like I had a gallon of fluid in each lung, and super glue in my sinuses...the sinuses are much better, but the lungs aren't back to 100% yet.  (Did I pick up swine flu?  I hope not!)  I took a 10 day course of levaquin, a nasty super-strong antibiotic that cost a mere $130!  I didn't like how I felt while I took it, but am hopeful it wiped out whatever was residing in my lungs.

14 has been having a great run of things at school; doing well in her engineering design class, and even qualifying to take a harder section of her end of the year test.  Depending on what grade she gets on said test, she will be able to get college credit for this course; not too shabby for a youthful freshman.  She will officially begin her Very First Job on Tuesday; after about 6 hours of training last week.  She will be working at our local pharmacy at the front register, as well as cleaning up at the end of the day.  When she was young, she told me that someday she wanted to "climb poles and eat choking candy."  This was following an in-depth conversation we had watching men climb a telephone pole one day while we drove by, and also her request to eat some Werther's candies when she was much too young....I told her it was too dangerous for her to climb poles and that she might choke on the Werther's.  I guess her first job doesn't involve either one!  She is excited to enter the work force....(remember those heady days of your first paycheck??) and we are excited that she was able to find a job in this climate.

I got excited and decided to plant all of my seeds a few days ago.  The only thing left to plant in the garden is my tomato plants.  Now, we have the following items (hopefully) represented out there:  white habanero peppers, chocolate habanero peppers, peter peppers, jalapeno peppers (3 varieties), cayenne peppers, drying peppers, two kinds of bell peppers, roma tomatoes, a few slicing-variety tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, beans, summer squash, zucchini, 4 varieties of lettuce, 2 varieties of onions, garlic, and cilantro.  I am hopeful to use only garden ingredients for this years' salsa...usually, we end up buying the onions, cilantro, and garlic.  This year, I hope to just invade the garden when it's time to start canning.  Last week we saw highs in the upper 80s; yesterday morning we had snow on the ground.  I'm not sure if these temps will toast my seeds, or not.  We'll see.  In the meantime, the hubby and I are preparing to go on a day-long fishing date on Monday.  Grandma will be here to hold down the fort while we take the boat out for the first time in '09.  

I have rhubarb, clematis, roses, lupine, hollyhocks, moonflowers, and peonies coming up from last year around the yard.  There's nothing like the first appearance of a perennial to brighten your spring mood.  Here's hoping for more spring-like weather in the week to come!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wave those bows!

Who can get violinists to wave their bows over their heads?  Adam Lambert, that's who.  :o)  That made me smile!  I don't even like Born to Be Wild, but I do think Adam made me want to sit and listen to it.  (I even told my husband during his performance that Adam should go sing with Queen and fill Freddie's shoes...probably the only person who could...)  Anoop bored me, while L'il Rounds was just way too off-pitch to be singing gospel...whether you enjoy gospel music or not, the people that sing it well can SING, my friends.  She was just not centering her pitches, and it felt very calculated to me.  Kris was, again, boring and very measured out...blah.  Allison, for the first time, sounded to me like she was over-singing...she didn't impress me as much last night as she usually does.  (And she should have keyed up about a step and a half...those low notes were painful!)  Danny also had an off night, I thought, even though I love the song, Simon was right in that it was just the same song sung by someone else....nothing new was done to it.  Matt, again, confused me.  I don't know why they think he's so talented; unless he comes across completely differently on the screen as he does in person.  I don't know who will go tonight, but if it were up to me, I would choose Matt, Anoop, or L'il, or Kris!  I would probably say it's time for Kris to go.  He is so full of himself, it's hard to watch, and his little grins and smirks just make me feel like I want to turn the channel.  My second choice would be L'il.  She has never really had an "on" night, in my opinion, and her song choices have been unfortunate.  In other news, I thought Quentin Tarantino was a hoot!  He must be borderline savant or something...he puts the "Q" in quirky!  He was, however, pretty much spot on with the contestants, and even though the delivery of his messages was odd, he told them what they needed to hear.  I heard Simon has one year left on his contract; if he leaves, I'll be done with it.  Most nights, he is the only one using his ears in the assessment.  I hope he sticks around.  Meanwhile, I will continue to be amazed that violinists were waving their bows in the air...like they just didn't care...wow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

pushin' green

Just (im)patiently waiting for things to green up around here, and for the temperature to rise to a level where a person can plant things!  I am not a huge fan of spring, due to allergy troubles, but I love, love, love to plant and tend things in the garden.  I have my two gardens planned out on paper, so now it's just a matter of the weather cooperating.  

Mas is home for the next week on spring break, so there will be less getting done than usual.  He seems to be in high-destructo mode lately; throwing and spitting galore.  It always puts a crimp in your day to have to go downstairs to try to find your other shoe before you can leave the house.  (Shoe throwing happens here on occasion, along with other things...)  Other than that, just waiting for spring around here!  One of these days...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pickin'

It was like Christmas morning watching Kellie Pickler suck on stage last night....ahhhh, just like the good old days when she was on the show.  I was dying to see a closeup shot of Simon during that horrific scene that was unfolding on stage.  Just proves, once again, that breaking out in the country music world takes little more than a drawl and a sad life story.  Wow.  It was awful.  I actually watched it all, though, only choking on my water once.  14 came up to watch, and said, "What is this?"  (I was so proud!)  She couldn't believe she was on tv.  If Kellie Pickler ever makes it into the Grand Ole Opry, that will totally ruin my perception of that little ole club.

Scott went home, which was overdue.  He did a better job at first, without his guitar, but at the end the screeching came out and his pitches were like a drunkard's darts on a dartboard.  I can't believe two people wanted to save him...I assume it was Kara and Paula.  I'm hoping Kris and Matt are the next two to go, followed by Anoop.  I just do not understand Matt's appeal, at all.  

In other news, the snow is almost gone, which is a welcome sight.  Here's hoping spring decides to hop on in this weekend.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Idyllic

Well, here we are this morning, thinking back on lastnight's Idol....kicking ourselves that we didn't think to set the timer long, because we thought Seacrest was getting paid to be the Dick Clark of it all and keep things on time!  WRONG!  I did manage to catch Adam online this morning, though, and while there were a couple of minor pitch issues, that is just an entirely different stage when he's on it!  Proving once again that all you need are the lights down low and a chair, if you can sing!  I still love Allison, but agree that people don't seem to love her.  I guess I don't care if she's precocious in the way she comes off, or if people are put out by her clothing, hair, poor interview skills, or what, but that girl is stinkin' talented!  That's all there is to that!  She picked a great song, and as soon as I heard her choice, I settled in and waited for it....and she delivered.  I felt Danny Gokey (my third fave) was reaching lastnight, and I didn't really like it much.  I though Matt's performance was just ghastly, and I'm not sure what the judges heard, but it couldn't have been what I heard!  (Yikes!)  Lil Rounds, was for me, unforgettable again.  She just disappears from my mind after I've watched the show.  She's like a mist.  Kris did a horrendous performance, surrounded by people who were decidedly uncomfortable with it, as well.  Scott's performance was so bad it was bordering on hilarious, and he would have been much better off leaving the guitar in its' case.  Wow.  That song is all over the place vocally, and you need to just nail the exposed notes.  He didn't.  His enunciation still just slays me; it's so hard to listen to.  Anoop chose one of the best songs, in my opinion, but I didn't like his performance of it.  

Amazing to me how hardly any of the top 8 can sing in their low registers.  I think people forget how important it is to have that in the pocket, and how important it is to choose the right key for your song.  I know they are all dying to get to their "Star-Search-money-zone-note-brackets", but come on!  If you have no low register, don't pick songs where you are shoved into that!  Of course, the best singers use the gestalt theory to the hilt, and don't put together performances of on-pitch notes, soaring melodies, sharp beginnings and clean endings....they just sing, man!  Details be damned!  I believe Adam summed it up for me the best; the whole is different than the sum of its parts....or, his song in its' entirety made you forget about the little slips here and there.

I still say Allison, Adam, and Danny are my faves, with a fairly large gap between the top two and Danny.  The gap between Danny and the rest, in my mind, is huge.  Also, thank goodness Adam brought it at the end, or it would have been a wasted hour!  The rest of the songs were just not good.  I'm excited for when the judges pick the songs for the singers; that's the time I enjoy the most.  If I had to choose who will leave, that is kind of a toss-up for me this week, since so many are so forgettable.  If I could choose, I would pick Kris or Scott.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

back in the saddle

Yeah, I've been a slug.  I could blame it on a lot of things, but the short story is, I left 89 degree weather, beachside, to return to snow and cold and eventually, a blizzard.  Ugh.  I think this has been the longest winter on record for me.  Enough!  I am starting to see why people like to live in places where there is no snow!  (And for me to say that, is huge!)  

Apparently, while greeting his speech therapist at school yesterday, Mason said "hi!" in response to the therapist asking him to.  Wow.  We have never heard that at home, so we are psyched!  Of course, Mas likes to pop out a word every six months or so, never to be heard again, so we are psyched, with reservations.  Still exciting, though, no matter how you slice it!

14 is gearing up for a few days off from school for her spring break.  Other than that, things are pretty quiet around here.  Waiting for the rest of my pictures to come back from my trip, so I can look at them and sigh!