Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Craving

Tonight, out of the blue, I find myself wishing I had a guitar to play. I used to own two. I had a Gibson Epiphone Acoustic/Electric that I sold about a year and a half ago, and about 4 years ago my Fender Stratocaster was stolen. I never played it much, but I had collected the autographs of about 35 Christian singers and musicians on the Fender.

A little bummed

Ever find out that someone you know died and it was totally unexpected? It happened for me yesterday morning. I got to work and found out about a horrible accident. There's a lady named Linda who works for Walgreen's (as I do). I met her this past Summer as I worked on the set-up of two new stores. Linda's job with the company was to travel around and coordinate the set-up of stores. She was in charge of making sure everything was put together correctly after the construction was done, so she did things like decide what items went on what aisles and how many shelves it would take and where to build them.
So I worked with Linda for about a month, and we talked a little bit. I brought in a boom box so we could have music inside while we worked and the radio did not pick up well, so we relied on CDs, most of what I had with me being contemporary christian music. So I found out she lives about 4 or 5 miles from where I do and she attended First Baptist of Woodstock, GA.
This week she was down in Albany, GA (way down in the SW corner of the state, near AL and FL). She stopped her car for some reason, got out along a busy highway and was struck by multiple vehicles and died on the scene. We have not heard anything regarding funeral services, and I have to say I barely knew her, but I did work with her ever day for a month.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

American Idol Commentary #5 - Omaha

Omaha? Yeehaw! Brokeback Idol here we come!

Paula is delayed (flight is late) and that l;eaves the guys to start the auditions.

Chris Bernheisal is going to explode happiness all over the place. It is the biggest life-ALTERNATING event in his life. He sounds like he's into ALTERNATIVE lifestyles. He brought gifts for the judges. He thinks AI is about giving people a second chance at their dreams, and now he's going to cry because he couldn't afford to travel before. He wants to sing a Kelly Clarkson song, badly, gayly, he is gone. Simon is gentle with him, and actually is not rude or harsh. Good Lord, he auditioned to help host the finale, and Simon agreed to support him with the local FOX affiliate. He literally IS exploding happiness. I wonder what designer's dress he'll wear on the red carpet.

21 year old Jason Rich is from a very small town called Stout, Iowa. He says he's nervous but ready. "When You Say Nothing At All" by Keith Whitley. A rough beginning, a pause, Randy is okay, Simon puts pressure on. Starts again, but keeps forgetting the words and stops again. One more start. Simon actually tries to help him with the lyrics. The guy has a good voice, but is way too nervous. Now he's got it going. Randy likes the voice but does not see star quality. Simon says it was okay. Randy and Simon say yes, he's through! Simon warns, if it happens again, you're gone.

Jason's GF squeals when he comes out and Simon says "He just stepped on someone. He stepped on Ryan."

Now we get a segment on people forgetting lyrics.

Segment on Rachel Wicker, who was arm-wrestling everyone in sight including Ryan Seacrest. She sings a Leeann Womanck song and it sounds pretty good. Of course, we know Simon hates country. She did warble a little. Randy, Paula yes. Simon no, she's in. She arm-wrestles Paula and kicks her butt.

Sarah Whitaker is a goth, Lady Morg, a professional wrestler in her past. She does some weird thing to hit Ryan, auditions and sounds like a weird Munchkinland song. Simon says she's strange and she says she likes it that way. Paula says yes, but the guys veto that one. Ryan comes in and questions their judgement, and an argument ensues. The guys slam him for not being a judge and Paula agrees to swap positions with Ryan. As Ryan sits down, he says, "How do I pretend to be overpaid for doing no work."

Samantha Sidley is here. She's caught up in the Ryan/Paula switch. She sings a Nora Jones song and it sounds nice and smooth, a little bit off for her breathing, but not bad. Ryan likes her voice, but talks about her moving around. Paula returns to stand up for her. They switch back. They SLAUGHTER Ryan with the "other door" stuff. Too funny! Paula passes her, Randy says yes and so she has 4 yes votes!

Elizabeth Erkert - "I Heard it through the Grapevine"
Denise Jackson - no idea what song
Michael Sanfilippo - again no idea
All three get unanimous votes!

Funny clip of a winner going down the escalter saying how she'll prove Simon wrong in Hollywood because she WILL be America's Next Top Model. SHe catches her mistake and cracks up.

Angelica Puente from Kenosha, WI. She has big drama with her family and not wanting to obey her father. She's 17 and she moved out on her own. Drama, drama, drama, and some tears. Her song choice is "Power of Love" by Celine Dion. People should know by now not to try to sing Celine, Whitney, or Mariah unless they can nail it. She is kinda close. Randy calls it a mimic. Paula says she can sing, but she lacks performance, but a promising voice. Randy yes, Paula yes, Simon thinks she could be good with some effort, but he agrees with Randy and she's through.
They have Ryan calling her dad on speaker phone.

As we return, the focus is on rock!

David Cook, 24, from Tulsa, a bartender and musician. He talks about wanting to be like Daughtry, but is styled exactly like Blake Lewis with the argyle sweater and colored hair. He picks "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi. He's got passion in his voice, he's singing it slowly but powerfully. Randy advises to work on presence and motion, but all three are saying yes.

Johnny Escamilla - who says he can only compare himself to James Brown. He calls himself a hyper 18 year old boy. Randy engages him in conversation and Paula ERUPTS with a hiccup and Simon drops his papers. Simon calls her a disgusting little pig. His song choice is Shout by Otis Day and the Knights. It is a novelty song. Simon hates his gold glitter jacket, the singing, the dancing, everything. Simon no, Paula no, Randy no.

The coming up clip focuses on a guy who says his mom raised a homecoming queen, but it wasn't one of her daughters. This is where I try to explain that I do not hate gay people. I don't care for the subset of gay people who feel the need to flaunt their sexuality and make sure everyone knows they are gay.

Commercial ends and we see a girl with the most audacious tatoo I have ever seen on a woman. It is a bird-like thing coing up out of her cleavage and very predominantly covering her chest. Then we see a guy who looks like Earl's brother on My Name is Earl. And now we discover it's one of those make everyone sing a song they don't know and piece it together. The song is "Stuck in the Middle With You."

One last audition Leo Marlowe, from a small town, and he makes the homecoming queen statement. Simon says, so you're popular? and the guy says that's a horrible thing to say. Huh? So he sings "A Song to You." Simon says he likes his good voice and that he is open and not offensive. Paula says "touchdown!" and now Leo flames his way out the door.

We got 19 people to pass in Omaha.

Tomorrow is Miami.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Feeding Frenzy

So what happens when there are 4 cats in the house and you open a single can of food? Well, Samson and Delilah are the intended recipients of the special prize. We saw the old man Baghera coming down the stairs and Pixel somehow new to come back in through the doggie door in order to participate. As you can see, Pixel is on the left, Baghera is dead center, and Samson is on the left. Sammy's sister Delilah (who normally hogs it all) got pushed out by the boys!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

An excellent Sunday

Okay, I may wind up sounding like some form of redneck or something similar, but here's a recap of what I considered an excellent Sunday.

Woke up with the alarm at 8 and got out of bed with the snooze at 8:09. I got in the shower but did not immediately get dressed, which stressed out my lovely bride because she hates to be late for anything, especially church.

I made up for it by getting us there on time, though it was a process that included doing 90mph on I-575, which we only use for 2 exits totalling a distance of 3 miles. :) We got there on time and made our way upstairs to discover they are no longer simulcasting the service in the coffee shop, so we went to the "theatre" to watch it on the big screen. It wound up being a service about the short-term mission opportunities in the coming year, including Louisiana, Mexico, Brazil, Tanzania, England, Hungary, Poland, and China.

After church we called my father who had just made it back to Florida from a cruise he had been on the past week. We learned they found our head maitre'de from the same cruise line a few years ago, when he was on an older ship. We also learned they played trivia again on the boat and correctly answered that the country with the most bald eagles is Canada, and the most common bird in the world is the chicken. We hit the McDonald's drive-thru (where once again I did not get my BBQ sauce) and I took Amy home to go to bed.

I stayed downstairs and read the paper and let Lucy out until it was time to go to Winston's for poker. The game began at 2pm, and at 5:58pm I became the tournament winner! I won $25 in gift certificates to the bar and an entry in a cash prize tournament for winners of the weekly tournaments.

From there I went to Hooters to get us take-out for dinner, which we just finished while watching Titanic on TNT. Now for the final event of the evening, watching the Royal Rumble Pay-per-view from the WWE.

Church, McDonald's, Poker, Hooters, Wrestling.

My Sunday in 5 words or less! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What's in a Name?

This evening I started watching Pirates : At World's End for the 4th or 5th time now and it just struck me that I like the name of Jack's enemy/ally Captain Barbosa. I don't know what it is, but the name just sounds cool, Barbosa.

Friday, January 25, 2008

My day so far

I woke up around 10:30. That was nice.

I came downstairs, checked the checking account and paid a LOT of bills. It feels better having that done.

I rewatched a John Cusack movie, High Fidelity.

I did the dishes (at least the half that filled the dishwasher, heated up some of Amy's creamed chicken over rice for lunch and shared the plate with Lucy the Bassett Hound who was thoroughly appreciative.

So now I'm playing my blog-friend Frigga's song lyric game and watching one of two new episodes of Chuck that aired last night. Two things. The lady who plays Chuck's sister reminds me of Winnie from the Wonder Years and dang, the blonde who plays Chuck's agent-contact Sarah is HOT!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Friday Feast #36

Appetizer - How many times per day do you usually laugh?

I can't say as I have EVER counted, but a good few, depending on what the cats and the dog are doing or what we are watching on TV.

Soup - What do your sunglasses look like?

Salad - You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?

I am thinking Maine, so we could travel the entire Eastern seaboard and go up through New England.

Main Course - Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.
There's a Waffle House near EVERY major intersection, and some interstate exits have TWO!

Dessert - If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?
I cannot answer this question, because I recently read in "The Dangerous Book For Boys" how the sky/atmosphere HAS NO COLOR, and in reality, all color is a matter of reflection/refraction of light. But in order to play along, I'll say green, just so it'll be funny watching people run off bank and hills not knowing the ground dropped because it all looks green. :)

And don't forget to visit my new website for 80's music !

American Idol - Commentary 4 - Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

We've met a guy with a wife in labor, and a kid from Atlanta who is big on his afro, sounds gay, and loves Clay Aiken. BTW he thinks he's different from Clay, could it be that he's black and has a 'fro? He says he's himself, not a mimick. They call him over-the-top and 1970's cruise-ship theatrical.

A new girl from Albamarle, NC, her name is Deanna Prevatte and she's a waitress. They talk about bad customers and then she starts screaming something called "Fancy" and Simon gets on her about her name pronounciation and attitude, but he likes her passion. All three judges say no.

Crystal Ortiz and Randy Stark. They met on the AI message boards. He's from TX and she's from one of the Carolinas. He looks like a redo of Bucky Covington, and we have to watch them make out in the video package, and they come in to audition together. The guy starts singing and she pitches in. Simon calls it torture, but the good news is they found each other. Krystal wants to know if her family is blind, Simon says "deaf."

Michelle and Jeffrey Lanpkin, two fat, loud, black people, brother and sister. He has a necktie wrapped around his head for some reason. The judges seem a bit amused. The couple are not as over-the-top as the promos made them out to be. They sing "I am Your Angel" as a duet, and it wokrs, I'm just confused what the funk noise thing they had going on in the promo was about. Simon likes them both and says Jeffrey is better. Paula says Jeffrey has a gift. Randy says yes jeffrey and no to Michelle, Paula is yes/yes, and SImon agrees, so they are both in.

Video package back to the guy driving his pregnant wife to the hospital and he is lost in an unfamiliar town.

We get a vignette of people who can't sing, trying to sing Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." Big white guy, put your shirt back on. What a waste of time.

Amy Catherine Flynn. She's the captain of the dance team at a Catholic HS where she's a Junior and she is an advocate for no sex, drugs, or alcohol (yet she wants to be a pop star, not that ALL pop stars do that). She gives a abstinence speeach to Simon with lots of "like" in it. She does seem sweet. She wants to sing "Reflections" by Christina Aguilera. Starts off good, let's see about the high parts. So far she should be in. She lacks strength at the end, so it could go either way. Paula likes the purity and innocence of the voice. Simon says the song is too big for her, but Amy counters him. Simon says people will find her annoying, but they all put her through. As she leaves they tell her to give Ryan her speech. Simon says, one week in LA and it will all change for Amy and her standards.

Pregnant dad has found the hospital and wife has a room.

Final audition for day one is a girl who's had a rough 3 years, London Wiberg. She grew up on the beach in Charleston and she's there with her mom and fiance. Her dad died from cancer last year. She says she is a full-time musician and will sing "Good Morning Heartache" by Billie Holiday. It's a different style. Randy likes her tone, but not the best audition. Paula is a parrot to Randy's comments. Simon says it was a good audition, but nothing unique. He says there are thousands of good-looking girls with a decent voice. Randy and Paula vote yes and she is through.

Ryan says 15 people passed through on day one and coming up we'll have a female Air Force pilot who flies C-17's.

That is a C-17 Globemaster. Pretty cool!

Day 2, beings with Lyndsey Goodman, the pilot. Her dad was a USAF pilot in Vietnam. She flies this transport plane to Iraq and Afghanistan, troops, helicopters, supplies, she hauls it all. Simon says he would never have guessed that's her job. She replies he'd be surprised by the number of female pilots in the area that could rival beauty pageant queens. She sings Alanah Miles "Black Velvet." I like it, Randy likes it. Paula thinks Lyndsey is nervous. Simon says she would be good in cabaret, but not pop. Simon and Randy shoot her down.

Dirty Dancing was filmed in the Carolinas. Last night, while at trivia, Amy and I saw the next girl on the screen but we had no audio. I could only think of Baby's line in Dirty Dancing, "I carried a watermelon." This contestant is carrying two.
Aretha is from Buffalo, NY but her family is from Jamaica. She says her mother named her Aretha because she wanted her daughter to sing like Aretha Franklin (that will do it, I'm sure). She says she is as good as any Idol winner. She will sing Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." She lost control towards the end. Simon gets on her style first and then her voice and Aretha says she has a beautiful voice that is amazing and her family likes it and she stops crowds with her voice. Oh yeah, in addition to the "funny blue dress, and big belt" that Simon mentioned, she has a piercing through her chin. After being told 3 no's she is still saying she should go through. After leaving, she says "they have bad opinions on music and she has a wonderful voice." Simon finally mentions her gargantuan breasts.

Jodhua Goson comes in to scream some type of song, oh, it's the Jennifer Hudson song from Dreamgirls. Tran wreck. Speaking of, we saw on the news last night that a train hit a truck with a car carrier. So Joshua tells them he has had no training or experience, and for them not to come to South Carolina because he is what they will get. As he continues his tirade he says the show is "fake and rigged." Simon said he has a "great attitude" and asks"what did you say?" Joshua walks out while Paula is still talking to him. After he walks out he says American Idol sucks and the judges sucks and he says that they said on the news that South Carolina has no talent and he is not looking to be the next American Idol, but the next WORLD IDOL, and something more about artist-es.

Five minutes after the next commercial.

Tara Smith, horrible.

Lots more no votes and a girl tearing up a piece of paper.

Randy has called people Disney characters and chipmonks. :)

Oliver (the dad) and his wife are back on day 2 and they brought the baby, Emma Grace. He's 27 and a new dad.He'll sing "Get Here" which I don't think I have heard of. He has a soulful voice that really does not match his body or look. Imagine Justin Timberlake as an accountant. Simon calls it over the top, and Randy criticizes hte vibratto. Paula likes his voice, but not in the audition. It's three no votes, but he offeres to show them the baby. Randy says, "Emma Grace, rock on!"

Thursday Thirteen #35

Thirteen Things about Mike
13 Things I've won in my life
I suppose I can never say "I've never won anything in my life!"

1. 2 tickets to game #2 of the 1980 World Series to see my Philadelphia Phillies beat the KC Royals! (I was 9 y/o and it was AWESOME). (from the paper my brother and I had a route with)

2. $1000 on a $5 scratch-off lottery ticket.

3. 2 tickets to A Night in Rocketown, the concert that was recorded to showcase Michael W. Smith's artists and his own music at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando, FL. (radio)

4. 2 passes to a sneak preview of the movie Love Actually that included a giftcard to a restaurant and a follow-up drawing in which I won a DVD player. (radio)

5. 2 passes to a sneak preview of the movies "Someone Like You." (radio)

6. An MP3 player for selling lots of milkshakes when I worked for Chick-fil-a.

7. A copy of the Jim Carrey Liminey Snicket movie (which we have neer opened). (radio)

8. An autographed t-shirt from 80's pop singer Debbie Gibson. (for completing a word search)

9. Luxury box tickets to see Jimmy Buffet at the Orlando Arena (entry by getting an oil change).

10. 2 passes to a preview of the movie Rat Race.

11. 2 passes to a NASCAR Busch series race which I gave away. (radio)

12. 2 passes to an early Uma Thurman movie with Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Downey, Jr. called Johnny Be Good. (radio)

13. The best prize imaginable, my wife Amy's heart.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

American Idol Commentary 3 - San Diego

So for the first time ever, AI is holding auditions in San Diego, CA.

Our first audition is Tatiana Ostopowych, sounds like a bit of an accent. She sings "Someone to Watch Over Me." For me there's something unusual. Simon says she's good but not great, and not as good as she thinks. She says she'll show Simon he's wrong, and all three say yes. Then Simon says, "obnoxious." Was he talking about himself?

Story time, Perry Cataldo, a single dad. His mom was killed 2 years ago due to her own choices, as the hubby said, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. Dad seems like a nice guy. He'll sing "I'll Make Love to You" by Boys 2 Men. I think Simon will say it's "effected." Again, there's an accent thing getting in my way. Simon says really good voice. Randy, Paula, Simon all yes.

Preview of after the commercials will include the bad ones and some people bitching about the judges.

Michael Lee from LA, but originally an Australian, Otis Redding "Loving You Too Long." Weird thing being he's a young, singing, Aussie, and Heath Ledger died yesterday. Simon likes him, calls him a white soul singer, the others like him too and all three say yes, three straight unanimous votes.

Bring on the bad, Marat Hayrapetyan (gesundheit) way too low, Christopher Mitchell way too high, Tehilla Lauder sounds like she's in pain, perhaps she heard Christopher.

Valerie Reyes, Ryan interviews her and she says she laughs at the audition shows. She starts singing "Against All Odds" and Randy growls, she starts doing Mariah Carey style runs and squeals. Simon says "Oh My God" - the only resemblance to Mariah Carey would be one of her CDs left out in the sun for a year and then try to play it. ROTFLMAO. Paula compliments his analogy. Randy says she has good tone, but stop trying to be someone else. All three pass on Valerie. Spotlight in front of the sign "Oh my God, now I'm gonna be one of the rejects."

A mime and Pancho Villa, Joseph and Juanita Mejia. He sings, she mimes. Silliness. Ryan's narration points out the obvious. It is season 7 and people should realize a gimmick will very likely backfire.

Christopher Baker and Monique Gibson, a healthcare worker and a nurse. Simon says it looks like 3 different people dressed Monique, but she will sing "I Believe in Miracles" by Whitney Houston. This lady sucks. Now she's going to cry because she went so through so much getting here but she knows she can sing. She's the only one. Christopher sings "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney, not as bad as Monique, but the judges can NOT get him to stop singing. Simon says, "not a single note in tune" and he starts singing AGAIN, Why do people do this? He stops and says he will sing it in a lower tone, and he starts singing AGAIN. Simon says, "I think another song is coming, and he starts singing "You Are So Beautiful." Security escorts him out and he sings his feelings outside the audition room.

Samantha Moosa thinks Simon is really hot. She and her sister are both kinda obsessed with Simon. As Samantha enters, her sister throws a note folded as a paper airplane into the audition room, and she gets to come in and sit on Simon's lap. The song choice is Aretha Franklin. She sounds soulful, I think she'll get through, on a 2-1 vote. Randy says excellent and is impressed, Paula says naturally good, Sister Michelle says yes, IF she can come along and see more of Simon. It's 4 yeses. (is that a word? yeses)

Day two in San Diego.

Blake Boshnick, has auditioned in 10 cities since Season 3. His mom supports him and takes him to all auditions, because as Blake says, she is obsessed with Blake becoming the next American Idol. "Stand By Me" Two lines in Simon says "thank you" and he keeps singing. All three say no.

Credit for bad people, you got on TV at least Alexandria Ruiz, Sarah Long, one guy who "lacked the sparkle"

Now for Alberto Hurtado - the weird person they've been teasing on every in and out to commercials, he is playing with a doll, has 2 inch long finger nails and a giant Japanese fan. He says something about finding out the person he is inside his walls. Long hair, long sideburns, effeminate voice and an autobiographical original tune. Redundant question of the day, WHY DO THEY ALLOW THIS CRAP? Simon wants to hear the Happy ending of the song. It seems like Paula wants to encourage him. His mom and sister have the same hair, but not the sideburns thank God.

Props to the editing team because they added some footage of a bald eagle flying as a tribute to the jeweled eagle on Alberto's t-shirt.

Aaron Garrett, wants to be left alone, I think he'll get his wish.

David Archuletta, back story about having vocal paralysis a few years ago. John Mayer "Waiting on the World to Change" Randy gives him the echo/backup on the chorus. Paula seems to like him. Randy likes the voice for the age. Paula likes his tone, mature for his age. Simon agrees. I didn't feel it like they did, but then, I'm not a judge. Paula wants to squoosh David.

Teaser for a girl coming up who apparently got through two years ago but was disqualified before getting to the Hollywood eliminations. More to come on that.

Karly Stitson, 10 years here from Ireland and she and her husband own a tattoo parlor. She auditioned in Vegas in season 5, all yes votes. The next day she found out her visa did not come through, so she was disqualified. She's nervous, but will sing "I'm Every Woman." Simon says it was not as good as two years ago and it looks like her eyes are going to explode from her head, but they give her 3 yes votes.

30 others join Karly from San Diego. This was an hour-long episode, so we're good for the day. We have trivia tonight, but I might get the commentary in before bed, otherwise tomorrow afternoon.

Wordless Wednesday #38 - In Memorium

Monday, January 21, 2008

Open Forum Responses Part 1

Assuming I get more questions, there will be more parts. In the 80's, when Wendy's was going against McDonald's nuggets and regarding chicken, they said, "Parts is parts!"

Jeff said...
What personal item will you refuse to throw away even if Amy makes you sleep on the couch?
You know, I don't think there is anything I value THAT much. The only thing that even remotely comes to mind is a personalized, autographed t-shirt I was given by Debbie Gibson.

Ginger or Mary Ann?
Mary Ann, definitely more attracted to the girl next door.

Mass emails: Read and forward or delete right away?
Those get deleted.

What cars have you had?
1985 Chevrolet Cavalier ("a red one" for those fans of the film Swingers) which I bought from my parents. 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier (white 2-door, manual trans) and my 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo - still going strong at over 181,000 miles.

Big shot in school or nerd?
A little of both. 6'2" and 315lbs was not a popular size but I blended well with all groups. I was the President of the computer club, an officer in the German Club, active in student council, and the drug/alcohol awareness club. I volunteered in the library. I got 2 days of in-school suspension for getting into a fistfight over a game of chess. I played football and was in the marching band (different years). In my Senior yearbook, I am in it something like 25 times. My friends were in groups that included the athletes, socialites, academics, nerds, metal heads... to quote the secretary in Ferris Bueller, I was a "righteous dude."

The Straight's said...
What is your favorite thing to do?
Play poker and trivia.
How often to you get to do it?
Trivia is usually twice a week, poker is usually once a week.
If you could own any car you want, what would it be?
Ford Mustang. Classic from the late 60's or the most recent retro-inspired model. Convertible.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
On a lake, in the mountains.
What is your dream job?
Professional poker player or concert promoter.

FRIGGA said...
Do you eat your mac & cheese with a fork or a spoon?
A fork.
How many times do you check your email in a day?
Depends on whether or not I am working, 2-3 if working, maybe 6-8 if not.
If you could have any job in the world, what would you do?
See dream job above. Though add, Broadway musical star.
If you could change the color of asphalt, what would it be?
Can't say I would change it, it would confuse too many people and too many people have enough trouble driving as it is.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
6 if you include my Teva sandals. Then it's my brown Rockports for work, my black wingtip dress shoes, my black sneakers for work (no-slip), my Reebok sneakers and a pair of black Converse Chucks from my brother Tim's wedding (we wore them with the tuxes). Oh, and I do own a pair of Durango cowboy boots (brown).
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional baseball player.

Special K said...
Who was your first crush?
Michelle Jennings, a classmate in high school. She never went out with me though, despite that I delivered flowers to her house.
Dog person or cat person?
Cat, grew up with them all my life and love them.
What would you say is your most annoying habit?
Flatulating audibly.
What would Amy say is your most annoying habit? :)
Being a smart ass.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Open Forum

Taking a page from my wife's blog, I am opening up a forum for you my readers to ask me anything you wish to know about me. Within general reason, I will answer your questions, and in all likelihood, you'll get some honest and perhaps humorous and/or insiteful responses.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Well, the snow came. It was pretty as it fell, starting around 9:30 this morning. By the time I left work, just after 4, the snowfall was pretty much over, and the accumulation was next to nothing. If you were in other parts of Atlanta or Georgia you might have seen more. Nothing really stuck to the ground around our house.

When I got home the temperature was about 34 with a "feels like" of 23. It is supposed to be getting colder, with lows in the morning in the teens, so ice on the roads will be the major factor.

Sometime tomorrow (if the roads are good) we have to take my Jeep back to the other side of town becasue the AC went out about 2 months after $2400 worth of repairs. Of course, with temps in the teens, the AC is not a needed factor, but since that visit, the rear defroster has not worked and the speedometer works on selected days with varying levels of accuracy.

So no new snow pictures, but if you like the music from the 1980's, try out this link and if you favor contemporary Christian music and/or American Idol, Amy directed me to the blog of Chris Sligh from last year's American Idol. Chris was the guy who went out at #10. He kinda looked like Jack Osbourne, Ozzy's son. He was the one with the great sense of humor who went head to head with Simon a few times.

Snow Part 2

It's Coming!!!!

Well, it sounds like a horror film from the way the news is reporting it. It's currently 7:30 am on Saturday morning here. In the next few hours it will start to rain.

That rain will turn to snow this afternoon, reportedly with accumulations between 2 and 4 inches here in Atlanta.

THEN it will get colder, so anything wet, especially on the roads, is going to freeze. Get ready for a Wacky Weekend!

Pictures to come.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fridays Feast #35

Appetizer - What is your favorite beverage?

Unsweetened iced tea with SweetNLow

Soup - Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.

Lamp w/out a bulb, empty soda can/bottle, Amy's digital camera

Salad - On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?


Main Course - If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?

Say what? I don't know, Cumming, GA because it sounds dirty and is spelled the correct way in order to BE dirty. Also they just "created" a new city near Atlanta from unincorporated county land and named it Chattahoochee Hill Country, GA seems long and dumb.

Dessert -What stresses you out? What calms you down?

Traffic and bills, vacation, TV, and movies

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not Wired, Just Not Tired

Yesterday I woke about 6:45 am to get ready for work.

I went to bed this morning at 3:15 am.

I awoke this morning at 7 am to get ready for work and have operated all day on less than 4 hours sleep.

I don't know what the deal was. I was not wired or fidgety, just not tired, and I really did not expect to make it through today, but I did.

Mainly I found myself processing pictures of people of all ages playing in the snow last night. B the way, driving home this afternoon, there is no sign that we ever had snow yesterday, so I'm glad I took pictures when I did!


This is a video made by teh Atlanta Thrashers NHL Hockey Team last year as their Fan Appreciation Video for the 2006-07 season which saw them win their Conference Championship and make it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The song is "Rooftops" by the band Lost Prophets. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When I walked out the door at 7:45... three hours later

American Idol - Commentary 2 - Dallas

Okay it's Dallas. They tell us right off some idiot waited in the heat while very pregnant, went into labor and had her baby, which she named Idol. Good Lord.

Jessica Brown - big back story as she's a methamphetamine addict who got hooked on it while in college and decided at recovery group that "Jesus Take the Wheel" was written for her (apparently specifically). She sings "I'll Stand By Yo" by the Pretenders and passes.

Paul Stafford - works for the parks and rec department somewhere. Whoopee. Does this have an impact on his ability to sing or not? We now further find out he's a member of the American Roller Coaster Enthusiasts and basically is a dork. He sings Elliott Yamin "Wait For You" VERY badly. To those who know Jeff Rushing, this guy looks like he could be a long-lost Rushing brother or cousin. :) Oh yeah, and they call him joyful and enthusiastic, but NO!

Beth Maddox loves Kelly Clarkson. Beth "was a singing waitress at a fondue restaurant." She sings a Kelly Clarkson song I don't know, and it sounds really bad. Simon has no idea what it was. The song was called "Beautiful Disaster" and Simon says that's it, a disaster and continues to mock her job asking how much she made in tips.

Esteban Deanda - "It was atrocious"
Victoria Metz, Drucilia Wideman both made the montage of awful.

Elena Whitaker - talk about comparison to Carrie Underwood - useless babble. She will sing "Stronger" by Faith Hill. My opinion, she's not bad, and a cute blond. She should make it, the judges say...Simon, good audition but she's not as good as she thinks. Paula says headiness in the voice, work on breathiness. Three yes votes!

Gregory & Mia Tobias doing a musical play style duet. Weird. The judges look confused. They say nothing and the couple (bro/sis) walk out.

Bruce and his Father - Bruce has never kissed a girl, nor has he ever had an intimate relationship with a girl (he does not say anything about guys though). Instead he shows us a heart and key pendant his dad gave him to give to his bride. Whatever. He tells his story to the judges and Simon says, "Why?" Bruce sings "Ain't no Sunshine." My thoughts, average... not great. Randy says almost. Simon says it may not translate on radio. Paula says no R&B/Blues. Randy, no, Paula no. He asks for advice and Randy says to kiss some girls. Simon says watch out for Ryan on the way out. :)

Pia is a model, musician, and sings background. She chooses something by Gladys Knight. Not my style to appreciate, but she sounds good for the style. Simon says very good and she is interesting. Of course she looks a bit like Grace Jones. He compliments her confidence and style. All three judges say yes.

Brandon from Mississippi (no last name) - Ran asks him about hobbies and he brings out a collection of his "peeled fingernails" which he carries around with him. Really weird. They make some comments about Britney and Paris, and then lead into the fingernail thing. He sings "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates. I like the voice and style.... the judges.... Simon - forgettable. Paula kind of likes him. Randy likes his tone, but says he has a good voice. Simon and Randy start some debate and try to drag Paula in, she wisely stays out of it. Paula yes, Simon no, Randy yes.

Kayla Hatfield - voice like a weird Kyra Sedgewick in the Closer. Two kids, at 24, and was in a car wreck at 18. What this has to do with singing????? Something about an eye injury and she's dressed like a pseudo-gypsy. Janice Joplin is her choice, not good, lots of screaming. This will be a no. The judges ladle on non-relevant positive feedback. Then surprisingly pass her. If you see/hear this audition, you'll agree with me they are wasting the airfare because she will NEVER make final 24.

Bad montage again, for Erick Mauldin, big guy with falsetto that does not work. Charles Markham tries to be soulful or something. Tristan Clemants the whitest white boy ever, butchers "Think" by Aretha Franklin.

Pretty blond, Katie Malloy, 18 years old and does vocal impressions. Britney, Shakira, and the guy from Rascal Flatts. She sings as Britney and sounds pretty mush on it. So her audition is for Carrie Underwood "Before he Cheats" but they stop her and tell her to sing as herself. So she jumps to "Unchained Melody" and sounds good to me, but they'll get on her for singing with her eyes closed. Randy likes her, Paula likes her, Simon will like her because she's young and pretty. So she is through.

11 others passed on day one.

Second hour, Day 2......

Douglas Davidson, 28 year old student looks like a dork. Trying to restart his singing hobby since he was 16 and read Christina Aguilera say you can hurt your voice if you don't know what you're doing. He asks the judges for permission to warm up. He wanders around the room moaning, weird. His song is "Living on a Prayer" - tone deaf and ill-tempoed. Horrendous (one of the 4 words in the English language ending in dous. Simon "What the bloody Hell was that?" Now Douglas is walking circles around the room moaning at a bottle of water and starts singing/mumbling to himself. If you ever wanted to see schizophrenia, this is it. Now he's back to Bon Jovi, time to call security. They try to tell him no, and he starts singing, AGAIN. Now security arrives and they tell him they are going to take him to a safe place. :)

Angela Riley comes in and she's another gorgeous blond, recently married. Her hubby is a professional model. Simon is looking at papers and not the girl. Now they bring in the hubby and he tells her what song to sing. "Baby Love" by the Supremes. Paula is smiling, Simon is confused-looking. Love is deaf? No, love is blind, Simon. She sings again "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Simon questions if Chad would buy a record of his wife. The men say it's bad karaoke, but they like her. Paula says shes a beautiful girl, but no. After they leave, Simon says, "He really loves her."

Dumb back story about politics because they have a kid who wants to be elected the next American Idol, Kyle Ensley is a Jr at OSU with a double major and wants to be Governor of Oklahoma. He sings "Somebody to Love by Queen. Simon, "you're not as bad as I thought you would be. a Yes" Randy says it feels glee club or fraternity, like post-debate club. Paula's decision to make the tie-breaker. She asks, this or politics more? He says today, this is the bigger thing, so she says "yes."

Tammy Tizinski - says she's R&B/Pop and compares herself to her idol, Celine Dion who she listens to every day for warmth and strength. I will be puking now. She comes across as very, very dull, and the video segment mocks her for that with elevator music playing behind her. Of course she wants to sing "Power of Love" by Celine. It sounds like a weird cartoon singing in a bottle. Especially weird is she sings the lyrics to "If You Asked Me To" instead of Power of love so she listens to Celine every day, but does not know what song is what. All three say, "no." and the editors pipe in elevator music again as she walks out to Ryan. Some of the editing is pretty cruel, rude, and insulting.

Colton Swan is here, a musician playing guitar, drums and bass. "Boondocks" by Little Big Town is his song. He has a good voice very segmented for bluesy country music.Paula says, "yes." Simon is torn, but says "yes." So it's all three yes. HE gets all three judges to say No loudly for his parents and Ryan to hear, funny.

Ryan is introducing a video package mentioning the nature of the wild west and Texas, and something about the men being men. The package is about women with packages, i.e. transvestite men and those with weird style, clothes.

Next real audition starts with the contestant sitting on his front porch introducing his entire family? Why? Drew Pomprider? Can't tell through the accent, he's a farmer. He sings on his tractor in order to keep his sanity. If he gets to Hollywood it will be his first ever plane ride. Amy mentioned they always have a story like this. George Strait "Check Yes or No" Simon "no, not his thing" we know he hates Country music. Randy likes him and mentions Randy Travis too. Paula is positive, but felt no wow factor. Simon questions the impending no from Paula, but she gives him a yes.

Carl Reinicke, says he's edgy and rocks out, but sounds effeminate and mentions wearing his eyeliner as part of being a rocker. He's a 20 year-old kids counselor. He wants to sing Kelly Clarkson "Never Again" (but he IS a ROCKER and a GUY). This is bad, so it will be no votes across the board. Simon asks if he sings this to the kids. The kids tackled him for it, which might be what he wants, to be tackled by kids between Kindergarten and 2nd grade. The judges say the eyeliner creeped them out. Rocker Idol says it's "guy-liner." Get him out of the room, please.

There are about 15 minutes left in the episode and they do a coming up where we see what they say might be the next King of Pop. Its a guy we saw in preview yesterday, dressed wearing a coat and cape that look like they were taken from a Disney Prince and he's wearing a white, fur-lined pimp hat, and he looks to be from SE Asia, perhaps Vietnam or Laos, so this will be another, look-at-the-funny-foreigner who can't pronounce English well segment I'm sure.

Time for the get everyone bad to sing the same song and it's dedicated to Kelly Clarkson with "Since You've Been Gone." We see Douglass again, and women in weird make-up including a white mime face and a fully green-skinned witch.

Nina Shaw is here, they comment on her beauty. She will sing "Run to You" by Whitney Houston. Not just pitchy, but pitchless. It's over quickly. Simon - Cabaret, Paula - Pageant-like. Nina has another song and they let her sing. Randy likes her and Simon disagrees. Simon - no. Randy - yes. Paula - she shows promise and says yes.

Segment opens on Prince Charming... his words.. "I want audition because this is a privilege, to to sing to the whole world. That's it. If I were an American I-dol, then I would give hope to those who are in despairs and to be strong to be strength." Ryan asks, "Do people welcome you with open arms?" Dude's response, "Yah, and one is doing this (makes arm bowing motion)." Ryan continues to talk about bowing and being bowed to and dude drops to his knees before Ryan. It ends with them bowing to each other. Dude enters the room and Randy is laughing. Paula asks "Why is Simon's name on your hat?" "For two reasons. Everyone everywhere, as long as there is free media, television, radio, speaks the name of Simon. Simon says, "Sometimes when you ask a question, you don't really want to hear the answer." "Secondly...." Randy interrupts and says we don't need or want to hear anymore. He will sing his own song "We're brothers forever" Paula asks what about me then? We have still not seen or heard a name, but he will get a gag contract like William Hung. All seriousness has been removed from the show. Okay, his name is Reynaldo.

24 people made it from Dallas, so with 29 from Philly we have 53 so far. Next week is San Diego.

Wordless Wednesday #37

Snow in Atlanta!
Taken TODAY at 5:30 PM

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Idol - Commentary

Tonight marked the premiere of the new season of American Idol. I had no interest in this show for the first 3 and a half seasons. Eventually my wife's interest i nthe show, and my interest in having an understanding of what interested her (and to be able to talk with her about her interest) got me involved.

I'll mention this before addressing the audition episode that aired tonight. One of the two worship leaders at North Metro Church (Kennesaw, GA) is a young man named Matt Solik. I don't know what season Matt auditioned, but he tried out for American Idol and did not make the cut for Hollywood. He did explain to us once at a non-church event that his awakening regarding Idol was that they are not looking for singers as much as they are looking for stories to tell, and as such, it's not really a singing competition.

As for tonight, the two-hour premiere featured auditions in Philadelphia, which was kinda cool because I grew up near there. A lot of the folks trying out were from that general area, but people will trael from all over to get an audition opportunity. Amy suggested I do a live blog like Jeff Rushing likes to do, and I might take that up.... however....since we watched it and DVR'd it at the same time.....

First Hour
First audition, a STORY, dude lost 204 pounds. They didn't say how he did it or over what time period, but he looks good except a really bad haircut and a weak attempt at facial hair. He sings a Maroon 5 song which did not impress me, but they put him through having liked his whole thing.... Joey Cantolano is going to Hollywood and Ryan Seacrest is hitting on Joey's grandmothers.

Next.... an Egyptian immigrant who "loves American girls." His name (or nickname) is Uka. He sings "How Deep Is Your Love" by "Mr. BeeGees" He talks to a balck girl about waiting for the right woman, not having kids til he's married. She tells him open your eyes because that's not the story here in the USA. Uka then tells us he wants to love his woman all the way from the hair to the ______ which was either "navel" or "nipple" with his accent. Here's one of those cases where they let a guy in knowing he'll never make it because they won't pass a guy who can't sing in English with moderate clarity. No Uka, but Paula appreciates him so much...

Melanie something... another back-up singer who wants to come out front. She sang about 80 times with Taylor Hicks after he won Idol two years ago. They have had professional back-up singers before, and they have done well, but never gone all the way. Simon is indecisive, the others say yes but tell her to step it up to move to the front mic.

James Lewis, a personable, seemingly normal guy who works as a costumed tour guide in Philly (colonial dress, tri-cornered hat). He mentions singing like Eddie Veder from Pearl Jam then proceeds to sing "Go Down Moses" sounding like a 45rpm record playing on 33rpms. except for the word people. Very weird, Paula and Randy have to cover their faces as they turn away laughing.

Video segment showing a visit to Geno's steak shop a Philadelphia landmark!

Some quickies including a bad "Unchained Melody" a screaming girl they have to say "shut up to" and an Asian guy singing a monotone lullaby, which they mock in editing with piped in music.

Jeno Joyner - good personality and presentation. He sings "I Guess That's Why they Call It the Blues" by Elton John, though he calls the song "The Blues" he's through....

Quikie... Jose Candelaria - is through, singing a Spansih tune with the melody of "Unbreak My Heart" (Amy says he's playing up to Simon in an Il Divo manner) ... 17-year old Jonathan Baines, I don't know the song, but he's in....

Temptress Brown, yes, her name is Temptress. She is 16 and plays MIDDLE LINEBACKER on her HS Football team. Damn. She is about 300 lbs and she is doing this for herself and for her mother, because her mother is very sick and has trouble breathing... translation, if she makes it to Idol her mother will be able to breathe better? Mom looks to be about 400 lbs and Dad is probably sitting on about 350. Paula says she has a nice name. She has a dog, two cats, and 10 kittens and Simon likes animals (amaxing what we learn on this show). She sings a Jennifer Hudson song that I think is from Dreamgirls "I'm not going nowhere". Temptress butchers it, gets cut down by the judges, cries, gets a group hug, and the entire judging panel goes outside to meet the parents and give Big Mama a hug.

Seeing things coming up (I'm rewatching the DVR and blgging as we go) I am reminded to mention that Simon Cowell is a perve. Watch the show and you'll notice he focuses very closely on the looks of the young pretty girls, it's creepy.

Mark Hayes is interviewed because he can make a cricket chirping sound with his mouth. He butchers "White Christmas" and is told no, but first the editing crew has silence and hits the cricket-chirping sound effect. LOL

Another foreigner-singer. Udi, actually Udgit something sounding Indian/Pakistani/Arabic who cares. He is in automobile finance and they say he sounds like Manilow or Sinatra. He sings "My Way" in an unanimated monotone and they slaughter him, telling him his future is in finance and to "keep his batteries in his calculator." Huh?

Montage of people trying to sing "I Love Rock & Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Just filler as you see people who audtioned with other songs singing this tune. A break now to also comment on the costumed people. What the Hell is this about. No one costumed (that I can remember) has ever made it past the regional auditions, and I saw a lady dressed as an angel complete with wings and a group of three ladies dressed in WWII era army uniforms like the Andrews Sisters.

About this time I switched to Fox Sports South to se the Thrashers/RedWings game. Thrashers are up 4-0!!!!!!

Alexis Cohen, 23 , weird make-up, weird earrings, says she dresses like this every day and likes that people look at her "with 12 heads." Ryan discovers that SHE is the one that "smells like incense." She tells us she's from Allentown and there's a song about the town, she believes by Bon Jovi (it's really by Billy Joel, but I can see where she could confuse short fuzzy Billy with NJ studly guy Jon Bon Jovi). Her video segment leads up to an untra-inspirational speech about being victorious. Finally the audition. She thinks she sings like Janice Joplin, Grace Slick, and Pat Benatar and tries "Somebody to Love." Simon says it was "posessed, like she's channeling the voices." He is genuinely nice in his criticism and denial. Randy agrees and says perhaps a 60's-70's cover band is the place for her. She takes it well and leaves, then the real performance begins with the shouting and shooting the finger, telling Simon to kiss her rear. She says Somin is a "big fat bad word." After she leaves, Simon compares her to Willem Dafoe in Spiderman as the Green Goblin. Back to Alexis going off and saying she's leaving with her dignity (which actually left on its own about 5 minutes ago. Now she says she's going for "acressing." Her mother tries to defend Simon by saying he is English... so the cameras follow her more and she continues to rant, thankfully a commercial break.

Montage of families waiting for people exiting either celebrating or comforting.

Next, another story, Angela Martin from Chicago, got knocked up (she calles it getting pregnant) during her Senior Year of HS, guess she never met Uka. Now her kid is disabled, so she's doing it for her baby, and all 37 or so family members and friends travelled from Chicago to Philly for the audition., so on with the singing after the single-mom, minority member with a sick kid story. Oh yeah, "Her baby's doctors said her baby would never walk or talk, and she's going to get that for her." Translation - being on American Idol will CURE her child.
She has a band in Chicgo playing bar mitzvahs and corporate events. She does "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and passes, but with the advice to tone it down and de-wedding-singer-ize her performance. She leaves and is tackled by her entourage who are all wearing shirst with her picture on them, and FOX had to blur out half of the picture on the shirts.

Simon's commentary. In the USA people are genuinely happy for their friends when something good happens for that person.

Second Hour - Day 2 in Philadelphia

Elise Wodjakowski - little blond who dances like Taylor Hicks, inspired by Eva Cassidy, Lauren Hill, Alicia Keys, and Regina Spector. She starts shouting the song like Alicia Keys sings and the judges cringe. Simon compares it to a nightmare from last week.

Bad ones Teresa Anello, Brandi Park ("Alone" by Heart, sings "How do I get you alone" and stops. Simon says, "you wouldn't" LOL)

Milo Turk, balding guy with glasses and a bushy moustache and a leopard skin vest. He says he's a guidance counselor and wants to sing a song he wrote, dedicated to Simon. He says he writes songs you've never heard before. He claims to be 39 (which is outside the contest range). He sings his song, called "No Sex Allowed" and he is told to leave. Simon, "In Britain, we call it creepy."

Christie Lee Cook - 23 y/o badd ass. She's really pretty, lives in a log cabin, raises and trains horses, and trains for kickboxing and CAGE FIGHTING! She sold one of her best horses to pay to come to Philly. She's got a country music inspiration. Simon asks if cage fighting involves Jell-o (perve). She sings "Amazing Grace" and she is in.

Ben Harr - My Favorite Audition of the Night. Ben is wearing a black cloak from neck to toe. Randy laughs and Simon is skeptical. The claok coems off and he is wearing a harem outfit. Simon holds up his hand, Paula averts her eyes and says she can't get past his chest hair. He offers to wax it and come back and they agree to let him!

Pedro Rivera - can't sing. Shekhinah Bathyehudah (who I think is the one who rold Uka that people have sex and kids without being married) is butchering God Bless America. And more people crying and cursing on camera as they leave.

Paul Monterano - This guy is straight off the Dateline NBC to Catch a Predator episodes. He is learing at Paula in a really creepy manor, and starts singing a song he wrote about her...
"There is this girl I follow around. She hasn't noticed me it really gets me down. I broke into her house when she wasn't there. Took off all my clothes and tried on her underwear. I'm always thinking of her. I really think that I love her. I'm not much of a talker, so I guess that I'll just stalk her. And I'll stalk her, and if she were a doggie, I'd walk her. If she were a blackboard, I would chalk her. If I were Columbo I'd Peter Falk her, but I'm not so I'd just stalk her. something about baseball anad balk her. If she were on Good Times I'd JJ Walker, if she were a bathtub I would caulk her.
All the time he's stepping closer and closer to the table, immediately in front of Paula Abdul. They get him to stop singing and get security to help him leave.

Beth Stalker is here. It's her final year to qualify, she's a stay-at-home mom who sings in clubs and restaurants at night. She sings"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered" I like it. Simon says she won't stand out in the crowd, but Paula and Randy override him.

Video of Ben Harr getting his chest waxed. It is as bad as the scene with Steve Carrel in 40-year-old Virgin, just no shouting for Kelly Clarkson.

Amy is happy to see a new movie with Matthew McCaunaghey and Kate Hudson. They are shown in a plane with Matthew piloting. Kate asks how'd you learn to fly? Matthew replies Playstation! as the plane crashes.

Ben is back, sounfing like Kevin Smith and bare as a baby's bottom. They ask waht he had planned to sing, and it's "Dontcha." He gets 3 words into it and they stop him. He leaves, waxed the front, the back, looks like everything.

Chris Watson, nice-looking well-spoken guy with dredlocks influenced by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana. He goes to Delaware Tech and says "represent" to which I say "what?" DT Represent?!?!? He sings "Follow Me" by Uncle Cracker and he is in!

Final trainwreck of the night, Christina Telesano. This is a Star Wars geek. SHe is in costume including fishnet hose, a Star Wars belt buckle, and Princess Leia. She say's if you don't recognize her hairstyle you've been living on an M-Class planet in Star Trek and she plans to use Star Wars-inspired names for any kids she has. Her costume is something she put together for the 30th Anniversary Star Wars convention in Los Angeles last year. Men love her though she doesn't consider herself sexy, but they wanted her picture in the costume and she does not wear much make-up just some concealer for her acne. TMI. Before going in Ryan says to her "You know what I want to be with you." She responds "you want to be with me?!?!?" He clarifies he was NOT hitting on her, he wants the Force to be with her.
Finally, in the audition room.She tries the Who's version of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" She can not sing (despite telling us previously that she has a natural talent). Randy "strange audition" both the hair and the singing. Chritina taqkes being called a Dork a positive thing and says she's a goofball. All three judges are polite and pass. Simon says "Give my love to the wookie." LOL
She goes outside and says they think I'm a dork as usual, and she does a video tirade about how they only want girl who make themselves look pretty and wear make-up and do their hair and they don't want anything different. Later we'll see her on the phone still going off about hwo she didn't make it because she is plain and did not try to look pretty. The true problem is she can not sing. They need something different fo rthe show and they are not allowing it.

Brooke White - 24 y/o nanny of 1 y/o twin baby girls. She is married three years and she has NEVER seen an R-rated movie in her life, parents' guidance and continued choice. She says her husband has not either, but Simon jokes that he does watch them after she goes up to bed. Brooke sings "Like a Star" by Corrine Bailey Ray. I don't know the song, but she passes the judges and Simon promises to corrupt this otherwise good girl.

I am liking Simon a lot this year, but there must be comments he makes to the contestants that we don't hear, based on how some of the people go off on Simon when shot down.

Back to Princess Leia and she is still on the phone, saying they need diversity and don't want it, that all they want are girls that look the same and sound the same (yeah, those that can sing).

Tomorrow they are in Dallas. We see a really fat transvestite-looking guy and a number of other weirdos in the previews, including a guy in a Disney prince style coat and cape, and a pimp hat who looks like he could be the grandson of Yao-man from last year's Survivor.

and I'm off to bed.

Happy Birthday to Amy

Hey Y'all,

I know a lot of you come here via my wife's blog, Amy's Random Thoughts but in case you did not know it, today is her birthday! Today my bride is 30-something, and I'll let her determine if she wants to say exactly 30-what.

I have some special plans in store for us, hoping they will execute as expected, so more to come on that later. In the meantime, pay her a visit and wish her well, and if you have time, check out the latest in my 1980's offerings at the new site,


The Birthday so Far

Okay folks it's 2:30pm and here's the day so far...

9:00ish rolled out of bed to find Amy already awake and dowstairs with Lucy. I go down the hall to check email, post a Happy Birthday to Amy and makea a phone call to firm up birthday plans.

10:30 We head out to an undisclosed destination. Amy has no idea where wea re going, but she is stressed because I have us up against the clock and she had been planning to go to the gym.

11:10 We arrive at Atlanta's premiere spa chain, Spa Sydell ( for a couple's massage.

12:15 The massage is over and we head down the road to Sandy Springs for lunch at our favorite Brazilian BBQ, Caro de bois where we feasted on many meats, cut from the spit right at our table, including garlic sirloin, sausages, roast leg of lamb, roast pork with parmesean, bacon wrapped sirloin, beef tenderloin and several others we passed on including dried cured beef, and chicken hearts. This place is the best use of an old Applebee's I have ever seen.

2:15 and we are home to chill. Tentatively the plan is to relax, watch some tv or DVDs, play some board games and tonight watch the premiere of the new season of American Idol.

A New Blog to check out

Tonight I decided to start a new blog. It is for my enjoyment, and yours. It is going to be a daily posting of a music video from the 80's, in most cases with a little trivia or commentary.

You can find this blog at the following link....

Sorry Frigga, until you get a nice high-speed connection, you may not be able to enjoy it to its fullest.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sometimes Lucky

So I guess it was Wednesday, yeah, Wednesday and I was at work. Carlos, on of the managers came in and asked me if I knew of anyone missing a wedding ring. I told told him "Yes, I am."

Allow me to explain. It is almost mid-January, and I have not seen my wedding band since mid-November. My assumption was that I lost it somewhere in the house, most likely in the bathroom because that is the only place I take it off, when applying gel to my hair. I then wash the gel off my hands and put my ring back on. I also considered I might have taken it off while cleaning the bedroom, but I could not find it in either place.

I had told Amy about it and asked if she had seen it, anad she had not. At this time (January) I was considering buying a replacement.

So Carlos starts digging into his pocket and eventually pulls out a gold wedding band. He hands it to me and I check the inside for the inscription, MJC & ASP 10-6-01. The ring is mine.

Part of my responsibility running the photo lab is also managing the grocery department anad cooler. It would appear that one day in November, I was stocking beverages in the cooler (they go on angled shelves so gravity forces them forward towards the guest from inside the cooler) and I must have caught it on something and didn't notice it had come off. So, for the past 7-8 weeks it has sat there, basically on a shelf in a drink cooler where anyone could have found it. Fortunately for me, Carlos did, and I have my ring back.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Doctor Day

A morning of doctor appointments. I had a recheck/follow-up with the eye doctor. The corneal ulcer is a lot better. No more follow-ups, just stay on the antibiotic drops for another week and then I can wear my contacts again, WITH the stipulation that I stop wearing a single two-week disposable pair for month, yes MONTHS at a time INCLUDING overnight. In other words, take care of my eyes.

I had time to stop at home between appointments and I was greeted by Pumpkin. Pumpkin is a neighborhood cat who reminds me a great deal of my favorite childhood pet, George. They are both long-haired orange/yellow cats with slight tabby markings and VERY affectionate personalities.

My second appointment was with the internalist. It was a good visit. Weigtht is stable (I think) and I have a starting point for the year of weight loss planned. That weight is 268. The goal is going to be 218 for now, so a pound a week... I got new perscriptions and had blood work drawn and I made it home by lunchtime with Amy. Grilled cheese sandwiches and canned chili while watching last night's Grey's Anatomy.

I'll probably nap when Amy naps today because she has to work and last night I got too little sleep in part due to a low blood sugar episode that woke me for an hour and a half. Then I will cook spaghetti for dinner and Amy will go to work

Oooh, there's a preview for LOST returning to ABC in three weeks!

Friday Feast #34

Appetizer - What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
Joseph. I wouldn't change it. There are no ties to my family or to my Greek heritage, but both m names, Michael and Joseph are Biblical, and my last name, Christopher, is the Greek for Christ-bearer.

Soup - If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?
Cotton works well, wears well and is durable. Personally, I like to dress in athletic jerseys for casual wear, baseball, hockey and football. I do take pride in my appearance at wrok, and it really peaves me when my coworkers go around with their shirts hanging out. I feel better about myself when I dress nice and wear a button-down shirt and tie.

Salad - What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Most anything involving housekeeping. I'm good with taking out the trash, doing dishes, and sometimes doing the litter boxes, even do the toilets from time to time.

Main Course - What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
Don't know I have an answer to this. Perhaps being alone, growing up the fat kid with few friends could be a source for that I guess.

Dessert - Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
On the floor at the coffee table in the family room. I can see the TV, playing the DVD of the movie Streets of Fire. To my right (on the recliner) is my wife Amy, and to my left, on a pillow on the love seat is our Bassett Hound Lucy.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Randomness Part 3

Today is January 7, 2008, and it has been over 10 years since the Spice Girls released the Spice World movie.

There is a young lady missing and presumed dead here in Georgia. She went hiking with her dog a week ago and was last seen with a 60-something man who is now in police custody for her kidnapping with bodily harm. Her dog was found (identified through an implanted microchip) about 40 miles from where she was hiking. The man in custody had a number of blood-soaked shirts in his car that may match what the woman was wearing. They found the self-defense baton she carried in the woods along with her wallet and some other posessions. How horrible must it be to be a friend or family member knowing you will likely never see her alive again, and that the person responsible will not tell anyone what he has done with her or where she is?

We're rolling on into the political season, and I really don't care what happens. We'll get someone in charge that half the people in the country will hate, and all of us will have to just continue to try to make the best of things. Over at blog-friend Sparky Duck's site ( there is a bit of a conversation between his wife and him.

It's supposed to hit about 71 degrees here in Georgia today. Global warming? I remember having snow sometimes when I lived here in the 1980's.Publish Post

Speaking of the 1980's - go see the new blog I am running....

I got up and went to work today only to discover that i was not due to work until 3pm, so I came home, cooked breakfast for the Mrs. and me and took a two hour nap. Now I have to get ready to go back. I have another closing shift tomorrow and then two opening shifts Wednesday and Thursday, so at least I'll be able to play trivia Wednesday night.

Last week we won trivia (1st place paid $40 house cash). We were competing against 12 or 13 other teams including one lead by my older brother, and we beat him! We took the lead over him by correctly answering who the first NBA coach to reach 1000 wins was (Charlie guessed Lenny Wilkins for us) and we expanded the lead when we both missed the question as to what year Tiger Woods won his first Master's Tournament (1997) because we bet 2 points and missed but Peter bet 6 and missed. We sealed the deal on the final bonus question on the Oscars. For what movie did Julia Roberts receive her FIRST Oscar nomination. It was a supporting actress nomination for her role in Steel Magnolias.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

20 Years?!?!

So the other day I am going through some CDs and find my copy of Billy Joel Koehlept, the concert CD recorded in Russia and on that disc is a version of "Big Man on Mulberry Street" which I later remember a big deal about involving Moonlighting. As we watched the original Die Hard movie, I was in a Bruce Willis frame of mind and remembered his breakaway from Moonlighting and TV came with Die Hard and here I found the video from the TV show when they did this big production number as a dream sequence of Maddie Hayes.

A Church Question

Friday night Amy and I attended our monthly adoption support group which is now being held at our home church. I noticed something which might help explain some of what makes the "worship" experience uncomfortable for me.

I've heard the standard suggestion that if I don't feel comfortable I should not be there, and boy have I pissed off some people by insulting their personal feelings of what is and is not worship. The reality is that the liberal definition most people want to apply to worship allows for an anything goes if we feel we are reaching people attitude. I tried to illustrate this with some discussion about new worship styles that include professional-level concert lighting and semi-hypnotic computer graphic packages played on movie theatre-sized screens behind the band that leads the worship.

So here is what I noticed..... there is no altar. There IS a stage. I've heard of worshipping at an altar, never at a stage. People perform on stages. Is this not correct? In the traditional churches I grew up in, you would go the altar, kneel and receive communion. You can't really do that at a stage where there is no rail, and just a carpeted floor with a 2 and a half or three foot riser on which the band plays.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Flashback #56

Sometimes, aren't we all Living on a Prayer?
Here's some Bon Jovi to rock the New Year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Another Nephew!

The Christopher Legacy for fathering boys continues....

We received a call from my younger brother Tim this asfternoon that he and wife Mery are having a second son, baby brother to Basil. So congrats to them!

From my grandfather, Henry S. Christopher, Jr.........

He fathered 3 boys and a girl. (75% boys)

His sons have fathered 5 boys and a girl (83% boys)

Their sons have fathered 3 boys and 3 girls (50%) but I have to mention that the girls were fathered by my cousins, not my brothers.

So here is the math.... 16 kids, 11 boys, 5 girls, so we're running 68.75% at fathering sons.

A light ahead?

This morning I took a step towards hopefully improving my work situation, which could benefit both psychologically and economically.

I initiated contact with a Chick-fil-a owner I know near my house about possibly coming to work for him. About an hour after I sent that email, I received an unexpected phone call from a Chick-fil-a operator in Pennsylvania. They are preparing to open a new unit there, about 8 miles from the town in which I grew up. I had submitted my name to help open this store last Spring. The opening has been delayed several times, and it is now expected to open the first week of February and they want to know if I would like to come be part of the grand opening team.

I would need to be working for a Chick-fil-a in order for this to happen, and I have contacted the owner I emailed this morning and my old owner about the Pennsylvania store. Here's hoping, and praying.

Wordless Wednesday #35 (relaxation)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ten on Tuesday #11

10 Predictions for the New Year
1. The Republican Party will lose the White House
2. The wait for China Adoptions will continue to lengthen
3. A significant medical threat will face the world
4. UCF will win the Conference USA Championship in football
5. I will become a year older, few will notice, fewer will care
6. My sister-in-law will re-marry
7. My credit rating will start to recover
8. I will still be at least 50 pounds overweight
9. The remains of Steve Fossett's plane will be found
10. We will still not open the Monopoly game we got for our wedding which was over 6 years ago.

Believe it or not, this is true

Nude Couple Grapple Over Dog Near Shower

A 25-year-old woman was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault for getting into an argument with her boyfriend over whether his dog should be in the bathroom while the couple were taking a shower together.

A police report said the man, 26, wanted his dog to join them in the bathroom, but the woman objected on Thursday night.

The woman told her boyfriend that if the dog doesn't stay out, she didn't want to be his girlfriend anymore. He replied that maybe his next girlfriend would appreciate the dog more, and called her a name.

The police report said the woman punched him in the face several times and the man dislocated his shoulder after the naked couple grappled. He told police his girlfriend threw a picture frame, which broke and cut him.

The woman was taken to the Kitsap County Jail in Port Orchard. Bail has been set at $50,000.