Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Riff on Celine (with Idol coverage thrown in)

After a disasterous week when my loyal and beloved DVR betrayed me--if it had a Facebook page, it would have felt like it would have blocked me--I now grab the remote and turn it on... to see... if Idol is recording right now...

And it works!



Last week we saw Mike the Oil Rigger say goodbye... okay, well y'all did. I didn't. Idol didn't record, though we've been over that a thousand times and back... tonight, though, its back and Seacrest comes out and introduces the group and here we are again! The judges, Cranky Simon, Flaky Paula, Dawgy Randy and Hotness Kara (do I find her hot? absotively. no question). Then Seacrest makes his grand entrance...

Who's left? Red Ally, The Ambigiously Gay Adam, Scott the Blind Guy, The Widower Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, MJC, Matty G, Lil Rounds and Anoop Doggy Dogg.

Randy tells us that last week was hot, and Seacrest makes some joke about Paula's props... which I don't get. Didn't see it. Okay, I'll quit reminding you about this.

This week's theme, the Most Popular Downloads on iTunes, which is totally product placement.... but it should be good.

Anoop Doggy Dogg is taking on a Usher song, "Caught Up", and in his interview, he's sporting a slight porn 'stache, which cracks me up. You don't see too many porn stars from India... okay, I don't see porn stars anyway, but you get my point.

He actually kinda sounds like Usher to begin with, and his snarl to the camera while he sings makes me laugh really loudly. The Lovely Steph Leann is chuckling from under her blanket, this one the beige cashmere one. The Eyebrowed One is not bad, actually, though watching him is just hilarious.

Randy tosses out a "Ya know what's interesting?" to begin with, but praises his vocals. Hotness Kara says that he imulated Usher too much. Flaky Paula starts talking, and I have no idea what she just said. Cranky Simon says it was a complete and utter mess, calling him a "Wannabe".

Megan Joy (Not Corkery anymore, apparently) is doing a Bob Marley/Lauren Hill song. She laments that last week she just got pounded by the judges, but tonight she's excited cause she's doing a song she luuuurves...

I look at The Lovely Steph Leann and comment, "Her voice is just so... odd." The Lovely Steph Leann pauses, then says, "Hmph. She does have pretty teeth, though."

She is wearing a ton of beads, and her outfit makes it look like she just got those at Mardi Gras. Hotness Kara says, "Megan... I reeeeeally like you. But I think you're in trouble." Flaky Paula struggles to form a coherent sentence. Cranky Simon says that the problem is the song was boring and monotonous, and that she's becoming boring. Dawg Randy tells her it was boring, like watching paint dry.

And he says something perfect... "Just because you love the song doesn't mean you can sing it." That's sooooo truthful.

Up next, The Widower Danny Gokey is singing "What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts, ensuring not only every woman with a heart in America will now lay at the foot of their televisions, including my friend Cindy Jo who would possibly consider leaving her own boo to fly to The Goke... but also ensuring that The Lovely Steph Leann will consider leaving her allegiance to the talents of The Ambigiously Gay Adam to permanently dock in Camp Goke.

The Lovely Steph Leann loves loves loves her some Rascal Flatts. Maybe not individually, but the group as a collective whole might be members of The Colin Firth Club. Or maybe they just play the annual meetings, when Patrick Dempsey is chatting it up with Hugh Jackman.

Funny story... she just got her very first Spam Text on her phone. Something about YourIQFlirtTest dot com or something. I think she's deleted it.

I'll refrain from my thoughts, instead simply asking The Lovely Steph Leann, "How's he doing?" She winces, saying, "I can't tell if he's sharp, or I'm just not used to that song in a higher key... but the back up singers? Horrendous. They should shut up."

Flaky Paula starts it off, still trying to figure out how to approach The Widower Danny Gokey. "You leave me wanting more," she has no trouble saying. Cranky Simon said it was his best performance of the season." The Lovely Steph Leann pipes up and says, "Well, evidently, they didn't think he was sharp." Dawg Randy does the whole, "Tonight's show starts RIGHT HERE!", leaving Anoop Doggy Dogg and MJ(c) backstage wondering how to kill The Goke. Hotness Kara said The Widower moved everyone emotionally. For me? It was pretty good. Better than the first two.

Tonight's show starts right here! Yeah dog! Yeah boy! Right here, that was hot!

Lil Red Allison is excited that she has the freedom to choose her song, busting out the guitar, and is going to be doing No Doubt's "Don't Speak". In another "I'm freakin old" moment, she says, "I grew up listening to the song...." Yeah, it was mid-college for me.

She hasn't gotten much pomp and circumstance and fanfare, not like The Goke or The Ambigiously Gay Adam has, but I really like this chick. I miss Alexis Grace, but she's a nice replacement. Could she be my Next American Idol? We'll know soon enough.

I thought that was really good, by the way. And in a sign that I don't know much about judging music, Dawg Randy goes on and on about the good vocals and such, then criticizes the outfit. Hotness Kara tells her she is a rocker, though the song sounded a little forced. Flaky Paula tells her it was great she brought out the "ax". Cranky Simon smiles, as if he is holding back a laughter at Flaky Paula, which is very possible. Cranky Simon did jank on the outfit again, and agreed with Hotness Kara's "forced" assessment.

Scott the Blind Guy is doing some Billy Joel, leaving me to wonder what song by Billy Joel could be on the iTunes chart? Well, its "Just the Way You Are", which is an amazing song. He's stripping it down, with just him and the piano.

Sitting at the piano, he begins... "Don't go changing... to try and please me... you've never let me down before..." Gosh I love this song. Billy Joel, one of my top five artists ever.

One better would have been "She's Always A Woman", which is kind of an Amywible song, so maybe its good he didn't that. Then again, to see Scott the Blind Guy bust it up on "Only the Good Die Young " would have been awesome, or even hear him say "heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack" in "Anthony's Song (moving out)".

However, this song? He nailed it. I loved it. Best he's done this year, both me and The Lovely Steph Leann agree.

Hotness Kara loved the look, loved the sound and loved the fact he's stripped the song down to just the piano. Flaky Paula meanders about how proud she is for him. Cranky Simon calls it his best performance by a country mile. Absolutely a different Scott the Blind Guy. Dawg Randy calls it one of the best of the entire night.

Tonight's breakdown after five... Scott the Blind Guy, The Widower Danny Gokey, Red Allison, Anoop Doggy Dogg, MJ(c)

The Lovely Steph Leann comments that the song itself is sort of dated, as much as we love it, and it was great that Scott the Blind Guy made it what it was tonight. I reply that I'm even tempted to go and get the entire song on iTunes (Scott the Blind Guy's version... I've long since had the Billy Joel version).

Matty G was declared a front runner by the judges last week, and still ended up in the Bottom Three somehow. Tonight, though, he's singing "You Found Me" by The Fray. Ya know, The Fray is one of those bands that you don't know you like until you hear them...

He started out a little rough, and picked it up quickly. His keyboard planted on a small stage in the middle of the swaybots, he's rocking it out pretty well thusfar. I do like this guy...

Flaky Paula didn't like it, likening it to when he sang Coldplay. Cranky Simon says it was a "someone trying to be someone else" kind of song. Dawg Randy says his problem is that it was the wrong song, suggesting "Apologize" by OneRepublic. KT would have loved that. Hotness Kara says that Matty G has got to commit to either R&B or rock, but doesn't deserve to go home.

Lil Rounds, another that I thought would be a judges fave, but has been overshadowed by The Ambigiously Gay Adam and The Widower Danny Gokey. She's taking on "I Surrender" by Celine Dion...

I vaguely remember this song, to be honest... but as a guy, I'll admit, I do like Celine. Chick's got some pipes, even if she needs to eat a sandwich. My favorite Celine Dion song? "Nothing Broken But My Heart", from her self titled album in... 1991? 1992? Wicked bad soft heart breaking song... "baby, since you left me, you might think that my world would fall apart, but if you see me, maybe you'll see that nothing's broken, nothing's broken but my heart..." Ouch.
My favorite Celine Dion Songs...
7) "Because You Loved Me" from that stupid Michelle Pfieffer movie where she goes into the prison, somehow ends up broadcasting through a riot and Robert Redford likes her. I hated that film, because as a journalist student, that movie is an insult, but also because of Redford's involvement, the entire final scene takes on a "Prison isn't for punishment, its for rehabilitation" kind of tone. I actually hated this song for a while, but it grew on me, and now has a permanent attachment to Troy State University memories with me, having seen it at the on campus theater with... uh... I don't remember. Heather Howell, maybe? And for whatever reason, when it comes on the radio, I have to listen to it. I hate myself sometimes. Oh, its also on the album "Falling Into You", which The Lovely Steph Leann refers to as "The White Album". Not The Beatles, mind you, but the Celine CD that's all white.
6) "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", from the album "Unison", her first American hit
5) "When I Fall in Love", a remake from the "Sleepless in Seattle" soundtrack, a duet with Clive Owen. By the way, not only is the film awesome and in The Dave100, the soundtrack is awesome too. It's also on the album "Colour of My Love", which I refer to as The Venetian Blinds Album. You'd just have to see the cover, really.
4) "To Love You More", from "Let's Talk About Love", which The Lovely Steph Leann refers to as "The Black Album". See #7 above. I remember The Unmarried Stephanie Campbell, Jason Quinn and myself were driving to Atlanta one evening, and this song came on. Naturally, I just belted it out. Loudly. After it was over, both looked at me and then said, "Wow. You hit those notes. Holy crap." When I remind The Lovely Steph Leann of this story, she says, "No, what was crazy was you hit the high notes, but you can't hit the notes in your range. That's what is scary." Mind you, this Celine section was written after Idol is over, I pull it up on iTunes, play it, and say, I'll see if I can hit the high notes again." She looks at me, deadpans and says, "Let's not, shall we?" I'll be waaaaaaaaaaiting for you, here inside my heart, I'm the one who looooooooooooves you mooooooooooore....... Somewhere out there, someone has this song in their head. And it makes me smile.
3) "If You Asked Me To", from "Celine Dion". Just a great song about a chick who is so much in love, she'd do whatever. It should always be like that. Right? Right.
2) "That's Just the Way It Is" from "All The Way... A Decade of Hits". Just a great sing-song song. Fun. I like it. Makes me happy. I even like the "Mmm mmm" part at the beginning. In fact, I'm moving this song to the Hannah Pruitt Playlist of Songs I Want to Listen To Alot.
And of course...

Truthbetold, when I went to YouTube, I looked for this song not even knowing if I would find a video... and I did. A number of things to notice... first, notice the Vh1 logo in the bottom right corner, a logo that doesn't even stay there all the time (when have you ever seen the logo disappear lately on any channel?) Secondly, its the number one video. Third, it kinda looks like a clean version of Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut". Finally, notice how great Celine looks here. Seriously. She's not a stick, she's got a head full of great 1991 hair, she's got some curves, her dress does her justice, I mean, she's looking great here.

The Lovely Steph Leann says, "I can't pick a favorite Celine song. Its like asking me what my favorite book is. Can't do it."

Back to the show...

Dawg Randy says it wouldn't be his song choice, but he liked it quite well. Hotness Kara says she would have rather heard Mariah, but she really liked the song anyway. Flaky Paula wants to see a joyful Lil, not an adult contemporary Lil. Cranky Simon says it was "a safe song, sung to just stay in the competition". Both The Lovely Steph Leann and myself agree... she sang the song awesomely... but it was kinda boring.

One more note on Celine Dion... the song "Its All Coming Back to Me Now", which plays out like a soft rock version of a rock opera, is notable for the overblown, expensive, epic video that came with it... and the video looks an awful lot like Meat Loaf's video of "I Would Do Anything For Love (but I won't do that)". Anytime there are similarities between Meat Loaf and Celine Dion, its never a good thing.

And now its time for The Love of the Producers, The Ambigiously Gay Adam Lambert. He's doing "Play that Funky Music" by Wild Cherry.

He looks like a grown up version of a doll of the other guy from Wham! would look like. He also screams way too much.

And here go the judges telling him how much they love him. And here goes The Lovely Steph Leann telling me how effortless his vocals were. I don't know a single person--and neither do you--who would own an Adam Lambert CD when it comes out.

Flaky Paula calls him True Genius. Cranky Simon says it was original. Dawg Randy says that The Ambigiously Gay Adam brought it, who then gives a shout out to the band. Hotness Kara drools. Its hot drool, but still... she says it was like "Studio 57 up in here!" Does she mean The Blue Oyster Bar?

Finally, Kris Allen wants to make an old song current... he's doing "Ain't No Sunshine", which is huge... this song is one of my Top 25 songs of all time, and is in my favorite musical moment of all time in any movie--"Notting Hill", a Top 20 movie in The Dave100...

And once again, Kris Allen brings it. A conasseur of the original, having heard Bill Withers sing it many, many times via my iPod, Kris is doing it justice. Of course, this might be one that I think is great and the judges... hm...

Dawg Randy says that Kris Allen is In Da Zone! Hotness Kara has three words. That. Is. Artistry. Wooo! (that's four, I guess). Flaky Paula loved it. Cranky Simon told him that the confidence was brought, and it was great tonight.

Tonight's show... Scott the Blind Guy, Kris Allen, The Widower Danny Gokey, Red Allison, Lil Rounds, Matty G, Anoop Dogg, MJ(c), the entire Vienna Boys Choir, The Ambigiously Gay Adam

Okay, so I've talked about this before, I'm sure, but I have to say this again... the scene in Notting Hill with "Ain't No Sunshine" is simply brilliant. (The whole soundtrack is really good, by the way). Absolutely astounding and outstanding. Actress Anna Scott has just left William's apartment, insulting him on the way out, making it clear that its pretty much over. He sits at the table with his roommate Spike, the self-delighting Welshman, and then goes for a walk, which is where the scene begins.

Bill Withers, famous for "Lean on Me" and part of "Just the Two of Us", has such a great voice, and just belts out the pain. William begins to walk through his village, and in the course of one minute and 42 seconds, we see him walk through an entire year of his life... you see the pregnant woman at the beginning, as well as his googly eyed sister with her new boyfriend, only to see the woman holding her newborn, while the googly eyed sister is dumped... spring, summer, winter spring. A-may-zing.

As the song was playing, we had this exchange:

Me: You know, if I had Bill Withers singing my life, the bad times might not be so bad.
The Lovely Steph Leann: Uh. Okay.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Picture Imperfect

We've already established that I'm a complete, foolish nostalgic person... As anyone who has talked to me in the last few weeks has discovered, I've had a blast going through all my college--and high school--pictures, sorting through the ones that I can scan, tossing some that I just don't need anymore (I'm not sure anyone needs a picture of me and fill-in-chick-I-went-out-with being cute) and pausing to stare at pictures of friends that I haven't seen in a very, very long time. Friends I miss.

And something happened that I didn't expect... I think I got caught up in all of it. The memories flood back, kinda reminding me of the Trisha Yearwood song I was singing earlier, while making perfect mochas and delicious grande lattes... "it was like a lighted match had been tossed into my soul, it was like a dam had broken in my heart... after taking every detour, getting lost and losing track, so that even if I wanted I could not find my way back, after driving out the memories of the way things had been, after I had forgotten all about it, this pic remembers when..."

Okay, it wasn't quite that dramatic. But I do love that song, and consider it to the be the saddest song ever written, though thats a complete other post... anyway, some of the memories that rushed back...

Like, there's a picture of me and Mike Brunson blowing on Allyson Guy's head, to cool her down after rock climbing. I was about as tired as I have ever been after that day, but it was awesome because I got about 40 feet up before I reached a point where I just had to leap for it. And I missed, but luckily there was a rope and beaner tying me to a safety point. Later, I screwed up my friendship with Mike, but through God's grace and Mike's forgiveness, things were settled. I dunno that Mike and I will be BFF, but at least the air is clear.

There's a picture of me and Adrianne Benton and Labett White on the beach, a trip I vaguely even remember. We were freshman, the three of us, and we were pretty tight for a little while. We even called ourselves "Threenkies", a silly nickname that only a silly 18 year old guy and two 18 year old girls could come up with. We giggled alot. Adrianne emailed me a few weeks ago with the line "I tried this once and you didn't respond, so I'll try it again"... I emailed her last night. Hope to hear from her.

There's another shot from my senior year (yes, yes, my first one) during the Farmhouse Big Barn Party. I had invited my friend Chrissy to go with me, she said sure, and in the picture, its us with Kevin Spivey and Whitley Porter, four good friends who had a great time. Actually, Spivey was in love with Chrissy's soft felt jacket, but that's another story altogether. That night was a hoot, as it was kinda cold, and for whatever reason, on the trail, my horse decided to go walking in the lake. Mind you, this was like, 9pm at night. Had my first conversation with Spivey in almost 10 years a few days ago. It was awesome.

Oh, what about this one, from my senior year in high school, when my best buddy Chris McCall and I were with my cousin April and our friend Michael down in Orlando, standing under the Hard Rock Cafe car that juts out of the front of the building... good times, all. That's Chris, wearing a shirt that says "Pump This", which at this late (early?) hour I find extreeeeeemely funny. Yeah, and I'm totally wearing the same shirt that I later wore on the beach with Labett and Adrianne. Chris also emailed me a few days back, and I need to email him. On my to-do list on Wednesday.

But the harder pictures are the ones that indicate those friendships that either no longer exist or can't. I'll be very vague here, because I'm not going to try to embarass anyone or call anyone out. One is my fault. I did something stupid ten years ago, and am still paying for it. Maybe I'm not, maybe all is forgiven, but at the same time, it pains me nonetheless. I'm a closure person, for better or for worse, and when there is none, then to me... well, there is none. That whole closure thing has bitten me a few times--I wish I didn't care, but I do.

Another is not my fault, but that doesn't matter, because through no fault of my own, we're done being friends. And that hurts to no end.

I cherish my friendships. See, I kinda have these circles that go around me... there's an outer circle, people I know, people I consider friends, but have to follow it up with an "I guess" because really, they are more like acquaintances. There's another circle, maybe a little tighter, where most of my friends fall. These are the friends that I enjoy seeing when I can, but perhaps haven't taken the time to follow up, or email enough, or haven't been on the receiving end of such an attempt. Then you get a little closer, where most of my "closer friends" lie. Maybe I consider them closer than they actually think they are, friends that I would do anything for, would probably do anything for me, and such.

You've probably heard this entire analogy before, the "outer" and "inner" circles, but its the same with me, really, cause I'm not that much different. Then maybe there are one or two people that I'm pretty tight with, that know lots and lots about me. And the funny part is, no one stays the same really. People drift in and out over the years, some people I would see every day or two for years suddenly aren't there anymore, and we lose touch. People like Sybil Johnson, McQ, The Valdmanis or Big Eddy, people that I would love to see much more of, but just aren't able to.

Others who were never a factor in my life at all, people I barely said a word-one to most times suddenly become someone I talk to on a regular basis... Erin the Marine Wife and Mindy D'A (though she never spoke to me, being the popular ADPi that she was) come to mind (mostly via online chatting), as does The Official Clouds in My Coffee Ombudsman Brad Latta.

I've mentioned before the dangers of Facebook... try it when people you are excited about talking to again decide that it would be best not too. Then again, its a joy when people you didn't think wanted to be closer decide they do. Works both ways. Or as Gloria Estefan might say, "It cuts both ways..."

Though, honestly, if I'm going with Gloria Estefan, and I'm in "I want to hear some make-me-feel-like-crap" kind of music, you can't go wrong with "Here We Are". Wow. Her voice is incredible, her emotion is strong and I can't think of many other songs that make use of the word "sublime". Late 80s/early 90s Gloria = awesomeness. Where was I?

I'm not sure why I have this need to "catch up" with people anyway... its how I've always been. Maybe I'm a friend for life or something, but when I have the opportunity, I like to know whats going on with people I know and care about. Maybe its a few weeks between "catch ups", like with my buddy KT, or maybe its a few months, like with my best mate Wookiee, or maybe even a few years... had a great conversation with Shelby last week. She pretty much called me out and told me I was kind of a terrible friend, that we had been such good friends back in the day and we never talked. She was right. So, I did my best to make it right... and I hope Shelby will be around for a long time.

The Lovely Steph Leann must be bored to tears by now, as I've been regaling her with tales of college profundaty, names like McConnell and Claire and Shelby and Melanie and Ally Song and Hinson and BCM and Yo Adrianne and Bobby Black and Spivey and AmyAlex just tossed out there, each with a hilarious or emotional moment attached to it.

Of course, at some point, I have to ask, where does it end? I mean, I've got almost 800 people on my Facebook Friend list, and I'll be real honest with you... I don't care about most of them. Somehow, if you are from a small town, and that same small town happens to be the same small town I'm from, then somehow we know each other, which means somehow we must be friends. Right? I've actually developed a system now... when I pull up Facebook chat, and it takes me longer than 10 seconds to figure out who you are and why you are on my chat list, then you're gone. Sorry. Its best for both of us, really.

I've considered doing a Top 250... pick out the 250 people that I legitimately talk to (and if you are worried about whether you'd be in that list, then that means you are reading this, and if you are reading this, that means you have enough care to be my friend, which means you'll probably be safe...) and that's my friend list. Oh, its okay to add someone, but someone has to get punted.

Found out that Chris Barrow is living here. Barrow is a buddy of mine from waaaay back in the day, when Wookiee and I lived in the Thomas Circle Apartment complex in Troy. He's the cousin of Courtney Then Shaw Now McGough, and when I wondered where Barrow was in a picture I posted, Court's hubby Michael emailed me his email address. So Barrow and I are having lunch on Wednesday to... well, catch-up.

In a random sidenote, my book idea is beginning to take shape. I've been jotting down notes and ideas for three days now--names, descriptions, places, events, etc--and I'm going tomorrow to purchase a "audio diction recorder". I want to be able to get my ideas quickly before I lose them, and by a recorder, I can just turn it on, speak my thoughts, and listen to it later. Did you know these things cost, like, $30 or $40? I was thinking $20. I went to Best Buy, and of course, the $28.99 model is sold out. I almost picked up a $39.99 Sony, but put it back, thinking I'd go to Wal-Mart later. I went after working at The Most Caffeinated Place on Hwy 280, and they had similar prices... that is, after I found it. The old Indian guy who was there when I purchased the Wii Fit was there tonight.
"Can I heep you vit sum-ting?" he barked. I told him was I was looking for, he said, "Come, come". I felt like I was being led to see The Golden Child or something... he leads me to the aisle where they were, points at three different pegs and says, "All vee have is thees, thees, thees, that ees all." Then he walked away. I left without purchasing anything. I have to get something though--I had an entire dialogue conversation with myself today in the car, about four pages worth of material that I hope I can remember again.

Where am I going with any of this? Heck if I know. Its late. Its after midnight, and my best friend in the whole entire world is laying in a bed sleeping, not more than fifty feet from where I sit. Funny thing, that Stephanie Campbell. We became really close right off the bat, and she was my best friend, one I could tell anything to, and someone I wanted to tell stuff too first... and I was that for her. She wasn't the first girl that was that way with me, there have been others that have been that close... The Lovely Steph Leann was just the first one that stayed there long enough for me to not just like her, but like her like her. Love her even.

Yours Truly and The Lovely Steph Leann, lookin' all good and stuff.... kinda reminds me of when Mater is talking to Lightnin' McQueen, saying, "I knew I made the right decision... for my best friend..."

Saturday night we were driving home after the glorious wedding of Joey Thornell and Alissa Kelley, had to make a few stops here and there to do some errands, and we decided we were hungry. It was getting late, and neither of us wanted a ton of food, so we figured Taco Bell would be enough for right then... five bucks gets us a drink to share and a couple of Tacos to split.

When we lived in that area, we used to go to the one over on Highway 31, close to The Galleria Mall, but we knew what to expect. It was terrible, and you could figure on waiting about 20 minutes for anything, which means you had to really, really have a hankerin' for a nacho bell grande. The one on Highway 280, where we live now, has never been bad, until this night. When we get inside, there are people standing everywhere. The Lovely Steph Leann asks me if we should go anywhere else, but I just say, "Nah, we'll just wait it out". The last time something like this happened, over at the other Taco Bell, I stood in line for only 10 minutes, as the people in front of me left one by one.

Not this night. We actually ordered pretty quickly, though that was the mistake... once they have your money, your locked in, you can't leave. Its obvious that they were short handed, so we just went and sat down... for about 20 minutes. Some lady started talking loudly that she wanted her money back, another guy came in and told another guy that he had ordered, left, gone across Hwy 280 to fill up his car with gas and come back, and his order still wasn't ready. The Lovely Steph Leann and I just sat there, kinda giggling.

The register guy, Maurice, was complaining loudly about lack of help-- "We ain't got nobody shown up here!" and apparently said something to his manager, who said something back. Maurice left the register and came out into the cafe to stock the condiment bar (and not back to the kitchen to help do something--dress a taco, dump some cinnamon sticks into the grease, top off a quesadilla--SOMETHING) and I heard him say, "I's a man too! I is! I's a man too!"

I looked over at The Lovely Steph Leann and whispered, "This is why I blog." She laughed. I looked at my best friend in the whole world, knowing with all of my heart that she'd never drop me from Facebook, she'd never block her page from my sight and she'll always be in that very, very inner inner inner circle of people that I care about the most, and that care about me. And that's a picture worth a thousand words.

(that last line really made no sense whatsoever, but again, its late, and I thought that would be just romantic enough to end this blog post with... Idol tomorrow! Maybe another real, non-Idol post on Wednesday!)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Maybe I'll Just Write it Down

Loved college, that's no secret. It thrills me to no end to be able to now scan and post memories via Facebook for the world--and those involved--to see, and its made me think... after reading what McQ did... writing a book.... it's perhaps time that I followed suit.

Her book is entitled "Strength in the Struggle", and you can preview it here, or just visit her site on the interweb for more details. McQ is a neat chick--I think you all would like her very much so if you met her.

Anyway, she self published, which is something I would have to do... the reason her book is a little expensive is that its graphic & photo heavy. For me, it would just be text. Fiction. I referenced what I wanted to write actually in a short story I wrote called "Hey Now" back in 1998, a story that brought in all those closest to me at the time, Shelby, Jenn Mullturp, Allysong, Eddie, Rad a Tad, Troy Mac, Melanie J and a few others.

That story was about a Troy homecoming weekend that brought back this group of friends, and their reconnecting, their lives and their future. Set in 2005, in it I had already written the story that I am finally considering putting to paper now. I still have it in a notebook somewhere.

Why say all of this online? Who knows. Maybe if I write all of this here, it will be enough to not have to worry about actually writing a novel. Or maybe it will get people like McQ going, "Where is it? Huh? You said you were going to write it! Faker!" However, I hope I get around to it, as I've been thinking about it for, I dunno, going on seven years now. I figure if I don't soon, eventually I'll lose all interest.

Then again, who wants to pay $20 for my rambling in novel form when you can get it for free here? So, we shall see.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where's Idol? Not on My TV

Texted The Lovely Steph Leann as I was coming home from church this evening... "Are you home?" She said "Yes". I texted "Watch Idol when I get back?" She said, "Hurry." I texted, "Set up computer?"

Didn't hear back from her, but I came in, iPod in the ear, jamming to "The Best Things In Live (are free)", a great duet by Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross from a flick in The Dave100, "Mo' Money", starring Damon Wayans. It would have so much easier just to say, "I came in, listening to the iPod", but what fun would that be? You know I have a propensity to over-explain everything.

So I sit down, pull out the keyboard, and notice that The Lovely Steph Leann is watching "Clean House" on Style Network, one of her favorite shows. I also notice that the little orange light indicating a recording show on the DVR is not on. Hmm... well, maybe it came on at 7, and was just an hour show... you know, with 10 performances. Ten singers in a single hour. Why not, right?

So I click "record" on the episode of "Clean House" so The Lovely Steph Leann could watch it later, and she asks me what time Idol came on. I told her I thought it was 7, and she muses, "I don't know that it recorded. I didn't see the orange light?" Uh... what? Its the DVR... it is supposed to record everything, right?

I take the remote, flip over to 006 for Fox, and see that yes, Idol is on. Lil Rounds must have just finished singing, as Seacrest is talking to her. I push the Menu button, and go to my playlist... no Idol. I then go to the "Prioritizer", making sure that it wasn't pre-empted by anything, or that I had done it right... I had. "American Idol" was at the top... right next to the words "Nothing Scheduled". I look at the guide, and saw the little circled R there, showing that not only had I set it to record, I had set it to record the entire series. But yet, nothing on our DVR. Its now 830.

The Lovely Steph Leann shouts, "Record it!" so I hit the record button again. I grab the phone and call DirecTV.

Them: How are we doing tonight?
Me: Not too good, my friend. Its a silly little show, but we missed American Idol tonight. It was set to record, I did everything right, or at least like I usually do, and tonight, my DVR didn't record.
Them: So your DVR was set to record it, and it didn't do it tonight?
Me: Yep. It was supposed to come on last night, but The Messiah had to lay forth his vision for prosperity and comfort, so it came on tonight... and we missed it.
Them (chuckling): Uh (laughing) yeah... uh... dude, that was funny... the joke, I mean, not the DVR... uh, let me transfer you over to someone who can help you...

So they transferred me over. I talked to a lady who, basically told me to just clear the recordlist completely and try to record a show later, to see what happens. And if it doesnt work... well, then, we'll just have to get us a technician out here, won't we? Sigh.

We got to see The Ambigiously Gay Adam, The Widower Danny Gokey and Red Ally perform... and then they showed the clips of the performances, to which Matty G didn't sound good, Kris Allen sounded pretty good, Scott the Blind Guy sounded okay, Lil Rounds sounded awesome ("I wish I could have seen that," sighed I), Megan Joy sounded terrible (when did she drop Corkery? How did I miss that), The Oil Rigger guy also sounded not all that great, and The Lovely Steph Leann finally just came out and professed her love for The Ambigiously Gay Adam ("Oh, he sounded so great... he is so talented").

I think The Widower Danny Gokey sounded a little overwrought... does anyone else think he might be overrated? And Allison did great.

I'm pretty unhappy at DirecTV. The main reason we were happy to switch from Charter to DirecTV is because our neighborhood is pretty spankin' brand new--about 14 months or so... when we moved in last February, the 'hood had barely been here 5 or 6 months, so Charter wasn't here. I've heard that they wait until a certain number of people live in an area until they service it... and when our contract runs out with DirecTV next February, I'm all over it.

My main issues with Charter-and there were a lot of them--all had to do with our interweb service. We haven't had any issues with AT&T interweb so far, so we'll keep that and make the jump to Charter. Cause I'm pretty unhappy with the satellite service I'm getting now.

If there is one thing in this world that you can depend on, it is that your DVR will record whatever show you ask it to record--this is why you do Digital Video Recording. To be comfortable and secure in the knowledge that if you want to record "American Idol", "Lost in Austen", "Being Erica", "Survivor", "The Amazing Race" and "WWE: Raw", you just press a few buttons on your remote and those shows will be there until you delete them.

And in flipping through my DVR playlist, I realize that not only did I not get a recording of "WWE Monday Night Raw", it also didn't record "Survivor", which means now I have to get off of frickin' iTunes at $1.99... all the while, we're shoving $85 towards DirecTV to not have to buy shows off of iTunes. And it also didn't record "Celebrity Apprentice".

I hate DirecTV. Hate their service, hate their prices, hate their DVR, hate everything about DirecTV.

So... I guess that gives me time to do other stuff. Like scan pictures.

Pics of Chicks

I hate going a week or so without blogging, because there's always the danger that your audience will stop coming. So I figured, in the wee hours of the morning, I would toss up a quick post... but what about?

Well, the newest, greatest development in my life is that the scanner now works. Well, not with my laptop... see, it did work with my laptop, until I took it over to my in-laws home several months ago to do some work there... I plugged in their printer, which wasn't compatible with my operating system and blah blah blah jargon jargon, viola, my scanner program no longer exists here at The Cabana. I don't know where it went, and I don't know how to find it.

Anyway, I dug out the dinosaur we used for a long time out of the closet just the other night, plugged it in, got the tower working, and had to jiggle the monitor cord to get it to stay on... but lo and behold, I found the scanner program on the computer. So I turned it on, and then began to dig out all the pics I wanted to scan before....

So tonight, I thought I'd give you a few pics of people, namely chicks, that I've mentioned here, so you can put a face to them... first...

Rebecca Miller & the Divine Do-Over was a pretty popular post way back in the day... so here's Rebecca Miller herself. She's the one with her hand in front of her face. Perhaps thats the way God intended... I go out with an Alpha Gam, and I have no real proof of how cute she was. But she's no The Lovely Steph Leann.

I've mentioned The Angel a few times, so here she is. This is at the first FarmHouse Coffeehouse night way back in the spring of 1995, I believe. She let me bow unto her presence and snap a photo... the light flowing around her almost messed up my camera, and I could barely hear anything for the Hallelujah chorus in the distance.

Haven't talked about Shelby Logan that much, but she's a first ballot Dave Hall of Famer. A close friend of mine from college, we just recently started talking more, via Facebook. Heck, with this post, she'll even get her own Clouds label. Anyway, we are here at a going away party for a friend, and for a reason that I cannot pin down, we are performing the drama "When I Was Little" in my apartment. I love this picture.

And finally, because I didn't want to be rude and do a posting with girls only--The Lovely Steph Leann might be affronted--I thought I'd toss up another favorite picture of mine... this is me and Troy Mac at the TSU Homecoming... 1997, I think? Might be 98... no, Amy Worthy was 98, so I guess it was 97. I don't know. Anyway, I found him last year, and I was pretty pumped. Well, we haven't exactly chatted a whole lot just yet, but we will, I'm sure.

By the way... Troy wasn't my date. I believe the aforementioned Shelby was my date to this particular homecoming... (now speaking aloud to myself) Miranda Bryant was 93, Lisa Murphy was 94, I think Julie Haynes was 95, Jennifer Mullins was 96... and that would make Shelby Logan 97. That sounds right. Wait, was Julie my date in 95? No, she wasn't cause we didn't go out until... wait, maybe she was... or was it Julie Echols? ... see, when you marry someone like The Lovely Steph Leann, all these other chicks just kind of run together in a mesh of unwanted memory and long forgotten affection. Where was I?

Anyway, whether you enjoyed the pics or not, I did. Talk to you during Idol...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bracketology & Sports Affections

I told The Lovely Steph Leann tonight that I hadn't filled out my bracket, and was in danger of missing it for the first time in at least 20 years.... I've been filling them out ever since I was at home in Samson, Alabama, usually when I walked four houses down to the Samson Public Library and secretly pulled out the thick paper bracket in the middle of the latest Sports Illustrated issue.

Typically, I'm terrible. I never watch college basketball, though somehow, by March Madness time, I'm an expert. Truth of the matter is, when The Lovely Steph Leann and I both fill out a bracket, she beats me. Its happened something like five out of the last six years. I'll probably beat her this time around, though that's more than likely due to the fact I don't know that she'll fill one out by the time the tourney starts in, oh, 13 hours. Especially since she'll be on the road to Pensacola tomorrow morning.

Louisville over Morehead State, Siena over Ohio State, Utah over Arizona, Wake Forest over Cleveland State, West Virginia beats Dayton, Kansas over North Dakota State, Boston College over USC and Michigan State over Robert Morris...

Louisville beats Siena, Wake Forest over Utah, Kansas over West Virginia and Boston College upsets #2 Michigan State

Louisville and Kansas move to the Elite Eight

Personally, I'm a college football fan. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good baseball game, cheering for the Baltimore Orioles since 1990. Why? Well, I spent the summer of 1990 in Hampton, VA, visiting my sister and her family, and someone gave me an extremely cool Orioles baseball cap. Thus, an alliegence was born.

This was the logo atop the hat I owned. I wished I still had that hat, but I wore that thing slap out.

Never been a Braves fan... I think its mostly because prior to, what, 91 or 92, NO ONE I knew talked about the Braves, no one I knew wore a Dale Murphy jersey, no one I knew cared anything about them... until they started winning, and then every Braves fan I met said the same thing... "I loved them even when they was crappy an' all! I love the Braves! Go Chipper!"

UConn destroys UT-Chattanooga, BYU over Texas A&M, Purdue over Northern Iowa, and in love offering tossed to The Freckled (re)Becca, I am choosing Mississippi State over #4 Washington. No ye Huskies. Marquette over Utah State, Mizzou over Cornell, Maryland slightly upsets California, and Memphis over CS Northridge.

UConn then edges BYU, and for my boy-oyz Marky Mark and JustFish, Mississippi State upsets Purdue! Dawgs win! Dawgs win! Marquette upsets Mizzou and Memphis knocks out Maryland.

UConn then beats Mississippi State (enjoy what you can get) and Memphis takes out Marquette to advance to the Elite Eight.

I also enjoy basketball, with the two teams I root for being San Antonio Spurs and the Orlando Magic. I was a Spurs fan when I lived in Austin, Texas, from around '80 to 84, but when Orlando got a team in 1989, I was hooked. I actually kept the scores of every single Magic game for the first three years of their existance, writing them down first in a little Orlando Magic pocket guide I had acquired, then just in a notebook... my plan was to have every game written down, and had I continued this particular quest, I'd have quite a journal 21 years later.

Alas, I didn't keep it up. It was easier at first, dork and non-invitee-to-parties that I was in high school, though in 1991, 92 and 93, I just got too busy, first with tennis, then with a few parties I actually was invited to (thanks Beverly Day!) and so on. But I was pumped when Shaq was drafted in 92, then Penny Hardaway was acquired in 93... twas to be good times. Then Penny became the Penny we know now, Shaq went to the Showtime Lakers and all was lost.

I remember the Magic's first game... November of '89, at the O-Rena, I watched on tv as the NJ Nets beat the Magic (I had to look score up, it was 111-106), and a few days later the Magic won their first game, beating the Knicks (118-110, again I had to look it up). I had a limited edition Magic hat, number 502 of 1500. I wore it all the time, after the Orioles hat had worn out. I left it in the backseat of Cyndi Bledsoe's car when she went home for the summer. She told me her car was broken into, and it was stolen. I was heartbroken.

As for the Spurs? My favorite player became David Robinson, and I rooted for him constantly. It became even easier to root for him when Tim Duncan was drafted in 1997, because Robinson and Duncan, The Twin Towers, led the Spurs to the title in 1999... and yes, it was strike-shortened, so it was great to see their championship vindicated in 2003. Then they won two more in the last five years.

What happens when the Spurs play the Magic? I dunno. I seldom watch most of the regular season... like baseball, I start paying attention when the playoffs approach. Like now. I'm watching the Pistons and Rockets.

Next season, though? I think I'm going to totally toss myself into the Spurs and the Magic, especially the latter. Well, after football season is over, anywhere.

Pittsburgh over East Tennessee State, Oklahoma State over Tennessee, #12 Wisconsin over #5 Florida State (it had to happen), Xavier over Portland State, Virginia Commonwealth over UCLA, Villanova over American University, Minnesota over Texas (who I picked to win last year and they were booted in the 2nd round), and The Dookies over the Mighty Bearcats of Binghamton.

Pittsburgh over Oklahoma State (they used to be called Pitt, by the way, which I liked better), Xavier over Wisconsin, V'nova over V'Com, The Dookies over Minnesota (coached by Tubby Smith, who was driven out of town pretty much by the Kentucky Wildcats, who, coincidentally missed the Big Dance for the first time in 18 years...)

Pitt beats Xavier and Villanova beats The Duke Blue Devils to move into the Elite Eight

Which brings us to hockey. Now, this is a sport I only watch during the Stanley Cup Finals, and thats if its a series clinching game in the finals, and thats if its a team I root for, namely, the Colorado Avalanche. I was going to switch to the Atlanta Thrashers or the Nashville Predators, both of which I'd love to see in person, but I've been a 'Lanche fan for quite a while. Actually, I was a Calgary Flames fan early on, but when the Nordiques moved from Quebec to Denver in 1995, I switched a few years later... (I don't claim their 1995 title, but I am part of the 2001 Stanley Cup championship) For whatever reason, two cities I've loved all my life would be Baltimore and Denver. Only been to Baltimore, and that was briefly to the harbor for lunch during a trip to NYC on a 1998 mission trip. Never been to Denver. Want to spend time in both.

Bottom line is, I could really care less about hockey. I don't know how the Avalanche are even doing, but if they make the playoffs, I'll probably pay attention. Somewhat.

The Tarheels of North Carolina over Radford, Butler beats LSU, #12 Western Kentucky over #5 Illinois, Gonzaga over Akron, Arizona State over Temple, Syracuse over Stephen F. Austin, Clemson beats Meeeeeechigan and in a rare moment of "I might believe the hype", I'm taking Oklahoma going deep, starting with a win over Morgan State.

UNC beats Butler, Gonzaga beats the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Syracuse over Arizona Stae, and Oklahoma defeats Clemson

UNC beats Gonzaga... though you have to think that one day, maybe one shining day, the Zags of Gonzaga will actually make a Final Four. Not this year. Anyway, Oklahoma over Syracuse for the Elite Eight.

While I follow baseball and basketball primarily in the playoffs or at the most, the weeks leading up to the playoffs, and I scarcely follow hockey at all, I watch every single game of football I can possibly feast my eyes on. Perhaps its the simple 12-14 game schedule for college, or the 16 game schedule for the NFL, as opposed to the 162 and 82 games for baseball and basketball, respectively. Perhaps I just know more people who get into it more, thereby allowing more conversations to happen, more fun watching games and more debates to occur. Perhaps its the evolution of The DFC, which stands for The Deuce Football Championships, a game devised in 2000 featuring only Yours Truly and 8 friends who just picked the winners of 8 games per week, that has grown into a game entering its 10th season this coming fall, with over 35 people playing--congrats again to The Mighty Mark Gainey for winning his first DFC title.

I dunno. But I loves me some football. Whereas I wouldn't watch a basketball game unless it has meaning (like the Pistons/Rockets, though I'm barely paying attention) and I can't remember the last baseball or hockey game I turned on that didn't feature the words "playoff series", I would watch just about any two teams play football. And I have.

Turn on the Vs channel around 9pm on Saturday night, and heck, who wouldn't want to watch the Idaho Vandals and the Montana Grizzlies slug it out? Flip over to Fox Sports East, and why yes, I'll take in Miami of Ohio in a great battle with Central/Northern/Western/Eastern/Midwestern/South Central Michigan. Love it.

Though there are teams in all sports I like and root for, besides the ones I just mentioned, (the Celtics, the Mavericks, the A's, the Sawks), and there are teams I don't like and root against (the Lakers, the Yankees, the Braves), in the NFL, most teams fall into a "Like" and "Don't Like" catagory--and unlike the other sports, I typically have a reason....

I like the 49ers, being a Montana/Rice/Lott/Young fan back in the day. I don't like the Redskins, because my mom hated them. I like the Dolphins, mostly because I watched them growing up. I don't like the Browns, because they were bitter rivals of the Broncos in the late 80s. I like the Packers, yes, because of Favre, but I don't like the Raiders because they are inept. I like the Pats, the Jags, the Bengals and the Titans. I don't like the Cowboys or the Jets. Everyone else? The Chiefs, the Vikes, the Rams, the Seahawks, the Falcons and so on? I root for them or against them based on my own personal interests at the time. Falcons playing the Cowboys? Go Falcons! The Falcons play the Broncos? Go Broncos!

Like I said, I liked Denver, and Denver sports teams. So add that with one of my favorite players of all time, John Elway, and you've got a life long Denver Broncos fan. I even sent my football card to him to be signed, and it came back signed. Don't know whether he signed it or not, but it was signed by someone. And, in 1997, the Broncos became the first sports team to win a championship during the era I was rooting for them (I've enjoyed similar successes with the Spurs, the 'Lanche and this past season's Gators. I'm still waiting for an Orioles championship, though with the Angelos running the show, it will be a long, long wait).

It seems when a team changes their logo, they win. See "Buccaneers, Tampa Bay" and "Patriots, New England"... and yes, "Broncos, Denver". However, I do miss the Orange Crush logo.

College football opens up a whole new conversation, because instead of 32 teams, there is what, 118? 112? Something like that. Now, I don't have an opinion one way or another on many of them, cause really, what do I have against the Southern Illinois Salukis?

Its no secret I'm a Gators fan. Say what you will, and some of you will, but Go Gators. And, yes, GO TROY! I'll always be a Troy (state) Trojan. And I think its not sacrilege to enjoy other teams besides your own... as long as you are keeping your main team(s) your main team(s). I do root for the Longhorns of Texas... did you know that I almost went to the U of Texas? Seriously. I had every intentions of doing so. Another story, another day.

People asked me who I rooted for when Troy played Florida. Simple. Troy. I rooted for Troy, because thats my alma mater. I'm a Troy Trojans guy. Also, I knew there was no way they were beating the Gators, so that made it a little easier, knowing I was rooting for one team assured of a loss. No pressure. No chance of a mixed emotion feeling.

I root for the North Carolina Tarheels, mostly because they have been bad for so long, there almost isn't any harm in rooting for them. I do root for the Auburn Tigers, and was a Tubby fan, though I can understand the whole "time to move on" mentality. I also cheer for Oregon, cause the unis are worth it. I dig Nebraska and Michigan too, but mostly because of the history of the programs. Have to say, though, I did cheer when Appy State beat Michigan, cause it was awesome. And who doesn't love Boise State? And I cheer for the rise of the U of South Florida Bulls.

Teams I hate? The Ohio State Buckeyes for starters. Texas A&M. The LSU Tigers. The Tennessee Volunteers. The USC Trojans. The Missouri Tigers. I also cannot stand the Duke Blue Devils, but mostly that's a rare basketball opinion, because their football team has been pretty terrible. Can't stand Florida State or Miami.

Louisville over Kansas, 77-73... Memphis over UConn, 65-63... Pittsburgh over Villanova 70-58... Oklahoma over North Carolina, 91-88, 2 OTs

Which brings us to the University of Alabama. I cheered for Auburn growing up, but I've always respected Alabama. They have something that Auburn doesn't have--one heck of a history. Now, while I would question all 12 of their titles, as I've read various reports about the validity of the Fantastic Dozen, I figure if half of them are bogus, that's still SIX national titles. Most colleges in this country would love to have half of that!

I'm not here to debate Alabama vs. Auburn, and maybe as a Florida fan, it excuses me from the debate. In fact, I found myself kinda rooting for Alabama in the Iron Bowl this year, mostly because I wanted an undefeated Alabama in the SEC Championship game. The Lovely Steph Leann is an Alabama grad, like many of you, and she does it like she wants it... she ONLY watches football when Alabama is playing. Otherwise, she could give a rip.

Bottom line is, I love sports. I just signed up for the Sports Package on DirecTV, which gets me channels like NBA TV, The Horseracing Channel, ESPNU, CBS College Sports, the YES Network, the New England Sports Network, and Fox Sports from every possible direction and area of this country and beyond. I believe somewhere between 690 and 705, I found Fox Sports KT's House. Its all over the place.

Anyway, all I can say is... Go Magic! Go Spurs! Go O's! Go Broncs! Go Gators... and GOOOOOOOOOO TROY!!!!

Oh yeah...

Louisville beats Memphis 81-75... Pittsburgh downs an exhausted Oklahoma 80-66

Did you know that President B. Hussein Obama did his own bracket? All over the news, of course, but he's taking Louisville, Memphis, Pitt and North Carolina, with the Tarheels his pick to win the whole thing. So... his Final Four is one different from mine... though he thinks that Ty Lawson's injury will hurt them, as do I.

And for the record, this whole thing about the President going on the Tonight Show... leaving the White House to go spend time with Jay Leno and all... I think its brilliant. I think its fantastic. I love the whole idea. Now, on the show he's going to try to sell his economic plan, which I am so completely opposed to, but when I'm president in 2016, I will do my best to get on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. And I will totally fill out a bracket on live television.

DAVE'S FINAL... Louisville Cardinals defeats Pittsburgh in an exciting 71-63, which will be a lot more exciting than the final score indicates.

If you want to win your office bracket... study mine. Then do the exact opposite.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grand Idol Opry (with sad results)


So, Seacrest comes on and tells us that he has the results... results that may shock us all. Hmm... perhaps The Ambigiously Gay Adam is the odd boy out? Of course, the judges can save one person, once in the entire season--and of course, they didn't use it with Jazz Murray or Jorge the Latin Lover.

My prediction of who should go home? Well, as much as I want to say the obvious, the guy is talented. Even though I don't like him. The weakest, though, and the one who doesn't have a shot in Ensley of winning this thing? Mike the Oil Rigger, followed closely by Scott the Blind Guy and possibly MJC. Then again, if Lil Rounds goes home, its not going to shock me.

The Lovely Steph Leann just raved about The Ambigiously Gay Adam, how effortless he sang, how his voice moves back and forth with so little strain, and so on and so on. I threw up in my mouth twice as she raved.

But first, here's the reason we should let the whole thing record, then watch it via DVR... the group song. Tonight its a butchery of "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" by Travis Tritt...

Ever see one of those quiz things in bars and wing places, and though you aren't playing, you end up guessing, even silently, the answers? You ever find a question that the answer given is kinda wrong? That happened tonight as The Lovely Steph Leann and I had some wings for dinner over at Buffalo Wild Wings... she had the teriyaki, I had the parmesian garlic... the question on the screen was "His second hit was the self-penned 'Anymore'" and the choices were Travis Tritt, Tracy Lawerence, and two others I don't remember. The answer, of course, was Travis Tritt, but the question was wrong. Yes, "Anymore" was an excellent song (with an equally excellent, albeit unintentionally funny, video).
Tritt released "Country Club" and had five hit singles, including the title track, "Drift Off to Dream", "Help Me Hold On", "Put Some Drive In Your Country" and "I'm Gonna Be Somebody. His second album was called "Its All About to Change", and featured "Here's a Quarter (call someone who cares)'", "Anymore", "The Whiskey Ain't Working" and "Nothing Short of Dying", so really, "Anymore" was like, Tritt's 7th single. Very annoying to know so much random crap, and to be able to tell when the Wings quiz show is wrong.

And yes, this entire paragraph got me through the group song, the commercials and partly through the horrendous Ford commercial. I think it would be funny, though, to see Scott the Blind Guy driving in one of these videos.

I guess to kill the hour, we see video of what happens when Idols go home, Mike the Oil Rigger talking to his daughter and video of everyone covering their mouths during rehearsal due to MJC's illness...

The Widower Danny Gokey is safe... remember, the Top Ten go on tour, so you'll see The Goke on the road. Lil Rounds sits down, she's on the tour as well, and freaks out when she's told to sit. The Eyebrowed One, Anoop Dawg stands. Seacrest discusses the judges comments last night, and Anoop Dawg is safe.

Red Ally and Mike the Oil Rigger both stand... never good when two stand, especially when one was a bit iffy last night. Seacrest asks Paula to guess who is in the bottom three, and Paula stammers and stumbles and stutters and mutters and Simon says "Answer the question" about fifteen times. And Red Ally is... in the Bottom Three. Booo!! Mike the Oil Rigger still stands, asking aloud, "What does that mean for me?" And he's in the Bottom Three as well. He joins Red Ally on the Silver Stools of Jeopardy.

And here to perform his new single "Then", Grand Ol Opry member Brad Paisley. With a name like "Paisley" and his boyish goofy look, I wasn't a Brad Paisley fan to begin with... but over the years, I've really started to pay attention to his music and ya know what? I really like this guy. Seriously, with "I'm Gonna Miss Her" and "Whiskey Lullaby" and "Online" and heck, who doesn't love a song that suggests searching his loved one for "Ticks"?

Back now... the American Idol results are in. Scott the Blind Guy stands up... he's going on tour with the top ten. Up next? Megan Joy Corkery, who has this look of "oh crap" on her face. The judges loved her, but really, I just thought she was okay... sort of weird. But either way, she's safe.

Matty G stands. And I just noticed that Alexis Grace and The Ambigiously Gay Adam are sitting at the end of the bench... so after telling Matty G he's safe, which Seacrest just did, he'll tell Kris Allen he's safe, which he just did... and now, Alexis and The Ambigiously Gay Adam stand together.

Simon admits that he rewatched the show after going home, and says, "Adam, it was even worse the second time." Seacrest goes judge by judge, asking their opinions, and The Lovely Steph Leann rolls her eyes and says, "Oh, blah blah, let's go..."

And who is in the bottom three? Alexis Grace. The Ambigiously Gay Adam sits down, to freak us out and make our skin crawl next week. Seacrest decides to send one back to safety... Red Ally goes back to the Couch of Anxiety.

I blame the judges. I completely blame Paula, Simon, Kara and Randy for their hypocritical comments of Alexis Grace, because no, she didn't sound anything like Dolly Parton, even though they said she did, and if she had sounded just like her, they would have chided her for sounding too much like the artist. They chided her for not picking a raw song with angst, as if "Jolene", because a song about a chick desperately trying to protect her man from being stolen by the town hottie didn't provide enough angst. All the while, they pour on affection, love and emotion for The Ambigiously Gay Adam and a very subpar The Widower Danny Gokey. Yes, yes, the people vote, but listen, this is a nation who believed everything that President B. Hussein Obama told them (and see what we got??) so I can fully believe that many people who voted believe much of what the judges tell them. I blame the judges. Okay, the show is back on, I'm done.

But before we find out the results, we see Carrie Underwood discussing how wonderful her life has been, and Seacrest's narration tells us that she's had 9 consecutive #1 singles, won over 40 awards for her career, and been nominated for Entertainer of the Year. And you can add to that list "And she never dissed the show that created it all for her, unlike Kelly Clarkson, so we'll continue the Carrie love fest forever!" Not saying she doesn't deserve it, cause Carrie Underwood is feeeee-nominal...

She and Randy Travis are doing a duet called "I Told You So", which led me to ask The Lovely Steph Leann, "Is this a remake of the old Randy Travis song?" She shrugs, unknowing, but when Carrie starts, "Suppose I called you up tonight and told that I loved you..." I nodded. Yep. This is an old school Randy song from the 80s, from the 1987 album "Always & Forever". The song is also Carrie's 5th single from her fantabulous second album, "Carnival Ride".

Simon reveals that one of the two, Alexis and Mike the Oil Rigger, is worth a save-consideration. Though Alexis is probably not ready to admit it to herself, Mike the Oil Rigger is thinking "uh-oh".

And the voters say... Mike the Oil Rigger is... safe. WHAT? WHAT??? Alexis Grace could be going home? What? Uh... though I'm not shocked, I'm a little unhappy with this item. So Simon tells her that she is going to sing, and they'll save her based on what she will do right here and right now. She sings "Jolene" again. And understandably, her voice is a bit crackedy, and she's about ten feet in front of all four judges, who are huddled and staring at her and whispering to themselves.

The judges say... it wasn't good enough. They keep the "save". Alexis Grace goes home, and though she's been told by the judges now that she's got an amazing career ahead of her, let's be honest... how many 10th, 11th and 12th place Idol contestants do you remember? Brandon Rogers? Julia DaMato? Amy Adams? Vanessa Oliverez? Maybe Chris Sligh? Exactly. Alexis will drift into the back of our memories, while, like Sanjaya, The Ambigiously Gay Adam will be stuck forever. I'm bitter. Very, very bitter.



Thankfully, this Tuesday has been much, much less eventful than the previous, so tonight, we'll turn to...



So how's this for vague? Not just country music... not just songs from The Grand Ol' Opry. Its songs from artists who are members of The Grand Ol' Opry, whether their songs are featured in the walls of the Opry or not.

This is a hoot, because I grew up on old school country music... The Statler Brothers, Johnny Cash, The Mandrell Sisters, The Oak Ridge Boys, even early Judds and early Randy Travis, who just so happens to be mentoring the contestants tonight.

Don't get me wrong... I love Carrie Underwood, and Garth Brooks and Clint Black and Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and of course, Pickles--I love Pickles!--and so on and so forth, but old country is still classic. And to see Randy Travis teaching them is kinda funny... he's like the old uncle that you don't want to talk to, but is actually in fact wise beyond his years. And he was in the Patrick Swayze Magnum Opus, "Black Dog".

Aw... did you know she's coming to B'ham in September? Will I go? I just might.

Ever want to know the members of the Grand Old Opry? You can find them right here...

Jorge the Latin Lover and Jazz Murray left tonight. Eleven more perform tonight.. its 8pm, so we'll see if we can catch up to the show in an hour. Country Week is going to be a little tougher, maybe tougher than Michael Jackson, because at least with Jacko, you have a slight range of music--but with Country? All sorts.

Simon makes a point that he doesn't care for country music at all... and we know this.

Mike the Oil Rigger apparently is going to take on some Garth, singing "Ain't Goin' Down Til the Sun Comes Up", which as Seacrest points out, "He has a lot of words to memorize".... but really, any country fan, ie, Garth Fan, worth his salt knows every word to this song. And its one of those you can't just jump in mid-verse... you gotta start that off right at the beginning. "Six o'clock on Friday evenin', mama doesn't know she's leavin'..." gets you going.

Not sure if I liked Mike the Oil Rigger's performance, or I just happened to really like the song, but I think it was pretty good. Randy says it was a cool song choice, though it didn't bring out certain vocal capabilities. Kara liked his personality, but wants the big notes. Paula liked it. Simon couldn't understand it, though Mike the Oil Rigger said, "Country folks understood it."

Here comes Red Alley, aka, Allison Iraheta. She's going to do "Blame It On Your Heart" by Patty Loveless, who I really dig. Actually, its "Blame it on your lyin', cheatin', cold dead beatin' two timin', double dealin', mean mistreatin', lovin' heart." Just so you know.

Her voice is just awesome, by the way. She's not to the point where I'm ready to crown her My Next American Idol, but I look forward to hearing her in the upcoming weeks, perhaps a rock week or something like that. And I really like her take on this song... very rockabilly.

Two songs in a row that I could sing from from to back, start to finish on my own. Love it.

Kara loved it. Paula talks about flowers and rainbows and pink clouds. Fluffy puffy poo. Simon said it was good, but perhaps a little out of tune here and there. Randy thought it was DOPE! Indeed.

One of my favorites last week, Kris Allen comes out, though he is singing "Make You Feel My Love", another Garth song that either he lent to Billy Joel, or Billy Joel lent to Garth, who knows. (actually upon looking it up, its a Bob Dylan song). This is dangerous, by the way, because slow, soft ballads like this can show off alot or really backfire.

This from the musical expert, right?

It was good, but it was slow. Paula was pleasantly surprised. Every word seems to be a struggle for her, though I'm not sure if this is any different than any other week. Simon thought it was terrific, and thinks it was a great song choice. Randy thought it was really cool, "with tender moments with my dawg Kris. A tender dawg." Kara loved it.

Oh, another note... its from the movie "Hope Floats", one of the worst movies I've ever seen in my entire life.

Lil Rounds! She's like Brad Pitt... I want to not like her, but I just can't help myself, really. I just like 'em. She's bringing home Martina McBride's "Independence Day", which you cannot, must not and shall not sing unless you have one heckuva voice. Martina is like the white, non-crack, non Bobby, country version of Whitney. And Martina? Totally a member of the Ashley Judd Club. In great standing.

Its kinda weird though to see a black chick take on such a country staple. Another song I can sing front to back... I liked Lil Rounds singing this, but it was not nearly as big as I thought it was going to be... she should have wailed that song at the end... it looked uncomfortable, and sounded so.

Randy felt the same way. Of course, since Idol's producers love Lil Rounds, doing something a little different will be okay for her, right? All great artists take chances, right? Kara says just as much. You let MJC do this, sound exactly the same, and I guarantee they slam her for song choice, and picking too big a song. Paula liked it, but felt she should have sang different parts. Simon, who calls her "Lit-Tul", and then finally "Lil", says it came over as a wedding singer that is forced to sing a song that someone else has requested. He is wondering where the Mary J ("Blige" not "Jane", by the way) went.

After four... its Red Ally, Kris Allen, Mike the Oil Rigger, Lil Rounds

And now here comes The Ambibiously Gay Adam Lambert. A guy like Adam is the kind of guy that a guy like Randy would just as soon shoot. The Ambigously Gay Adam is going to try to take on "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash, but put a different spin on it.


You know what this reminds me of? When Alex and Sophie write this sweet little ballad song in "Music and Lyrics" and then Cora, the arrogant pop star turns the song, "Way Back Into Love", into this weird, freaky, sexual, unnecessary tune. If Johnny Cash were alive, he would likely come out and put a size 12 cowboy boot in The Ambigiously Gay Adam's face.

Kara thought it was strange. But then she tosses on "But I kinda liked it!" at the end, almost as if the producers yelled, "We love this guy! Say something nice, or your fired!" Paula would hand her rooms keys over, though she's not sure if she'd get some action or they'd compare shoe shopping experiences. Simon? "I think was Randy Travis was trying to say is 'What the heck was that?'" Randy (Jackson) says it was fresh and hot and all that. I hated it.

The Lovely Steph Leann, however, really likes him. Seriously. She, for weeks now, has gone on and on about how amazing his voice is, and his vocal talent, and how great he is and how talented he is and blah and blah and blah... we're in counseling now.

Scott the Blind Guy is going to sing another Martina song, "Wild Angels", to which Randy Travis says, "When I first heard this idea, I thought 'not a good idea'." But he came around to like the version.

This song has never been one of my top faves of Martina, though its not bad. And Scott the Blind Guy's version is not bad, either. Its funny, for me Martina McBride is one of those artists who has songs that I really don't like, but conversely, the songs I do like, I really, really like.

Paula is impressed, though he should step away from the piano. Simon says that is a stupid idea. He does criticize the song choice, but Scott the Blind Guy jokes, "I've lost a lot of hat picks". Randy says it wasn't the song, but is looking for better vocals. Kara sums up by challenging him to "up the game a little bit."

Here's how Martina should sound... and any song about an abused wife blowing her house up with her jerkweed husband in it? Good stuff. And for folks like Brad Latta, I didn't post the song for the opening remarks, I posted it for the quality of the performance...

Alexis Grace, who looks ravishing, is up next. She does the right thing by buttering up Randy Travis, telling him how great he is... then she tells him that she'll be singing "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, one of my favorite old school songs, and one of my favorite two or three Dolly songs.

"Jolene" is a song about a chick of the same name, who is movin' in on the singer's man. The singer is begging Jolene to back off, because Jolene is apparently the new hotness, and can have any man she wants, but "please don't take my man... just because you can."

I do love me some Alexis Grace. Lovin' this version, by the way.

Randy wasn't sure about the notes, and tried to make it more bluesy than it should be. Kara tells her she lost her edge, and maybe she should have gone with "Last Name" or "Before He Cheats". I can't believe this, but when Paula says, "I think that song served you better than they think you did", I agree with her. I think Alexis Grace did a great job with it, and "Jolene" is just the right kind of angst song that suited her well. Simon didn't like it all that much.

Kara and Paula say they "miss the dirty"... what is this, American Stripper?

While I think The Widower Danny Gokey looks kinda like my buddy Justin Fisher, The Lovely Steph Leann still calls him Robert Downey Junior Junior.

He's going to be singing "Jesus Take the Wheel"... the video shows us him messing up over and over in front of Randy Travis... while The Widower Danny Gokey laughs, Randy looks unamused. The camera only shows him from the waist up at first, and in that white jacket, The Widower Danny Gokey looks like a Hoth Stormtrooper, sans the helmet.

So, he sounded okay, but I didn't think it was all that wonderful. The Lovely Steph Leann liked it, though she's been sipping on Gokey-Aid for a few weeks.

Either the judges will love him, or they'll use the words "indulgant" at some point.

Kara didn't like the first part, but loved the second part when "you hit your stride!" Paula loved all of it. Still struggling for words. And coherent sentences. Simon agrees with Paula, disagreeing with Kara. He doesn't like the outfit, using the words "polar expedition"... to Hoth?? Randy didn't like the verses, but loved the chorus.

After eight... Alexis Grace, Red Ally, Kris Allen, The Widower Danny Gokey, Mike the Oil Rigger, Scott the Blind Guy, Lil Rounds, The Ambigiously Gay Adam

Here comes Anooooooooop Dawg. The Eyebrowed One himself will be singing Willie Nelson's immortal classic, "You're Always On My Mind", which was redone by The Pet Shop Boys in the mid-80s. The Boys version was good, but not like Willie.

That might be the first time Randy Travis has ever actually said a Middle Eastern name out loud.

And... it sounds marvelous. Seriously. The Eyebrowed One is bringing it... were this done in 1992, I can honestly say I would consider buying the cassette single of this song, a la Michael Bolton's "When a Man Loves a Woman". And as I was in the middle of typing that last sentence, The Lovely Steph Leann says, "You know... he kinda reminds me of Michael Bolton... in a good way!"

The other night at Jason and Emmy Turnbow's house, our friend Heather King said, "You two compliment each other perfectly!" and Emmy nodded, and mouthed "Yes. Yes."

See what they mean??

But remember, Anoop Dawg isn't The Ambigiously Gay Adam or Lil Rounds, so will the producers tell the judges to really like him?

Paula loved it. Simon said, "You managed to go from Zero to Hero. That was a good, solid song." Randy loved it, cause he liked the vocals and the arrangement, which was dope. Kara commends him for doing what he did tonight, because it is so hard to do with that kind of classic song.

Up now is Megan Joy Corkery singing a country standard, that being "Walkin' After Midnight". Randy says, "This song has been done in every possible way over the years", though he liked MJC's take on it.

Can MJC sing Patsy? Not easy. Except for the tats up her right arm, MJC looks smokin' hot. Not that the tattoos are bad, they are just distracting with that sleeveless dress on. MJC definately has a different sound on the song... not sure if I like it or not, really.

And I'm not sure if MJC has on a dress, or simply a skirt and a boob separator/holder. The Lovely Steph Leann agrees.

Randy thought it was good, impressive. Kara acknowledges MJC having the flu, but liked it. Paula tells the world that MJC has already been to the hospital with her illness, as MJC coughs on stage. Simon says she looks great, but doesn't like the style. He did like the song, though.

Okay, I liked it. I'll admit it.

And to round out the show, in the pimp slot, Matty G. He'll be singing "So Small" by Carrie Underwood, and Randy isn't sure if this is a great song... but ends up liking it.

Matty G was one of my favorites last week, which was surprising. And this week? He sounds awesome. If I were to put this song, Matty G's version, in one of my playlists, it would probably go in with Howie Day and John Mayer and possibly Blessid Union of Souls. Dude sounds great.

Kara loves it, making a comment that forces out a "That's what she said", then a hearty laughter by me, followed by a eye roll from The Lovely Steph Leann. Paula tries to say Authenticity. After four tries, she gets it. Simon says it was great, reminding him of Buble. Randy said it was his favorite of the night.

In a year when I thought I was supposed to like Alexis, Lil Rounds and Scott the Blind Guy, and I end up liking Alexis, Matty G and Kris Allen. Who knew? This is American Idol.

So, tonight's favorites... Matty G, Anoop Dawg, Alexis Grace, Red Ally, Kris Allen, MJC, The Widower Danny Gokey, Mike the Oil Rigger, Scott the Blind Guy, Lil Rounds, four thousand other people who tried out, then The Ambigiously Gay Adam.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Finally! Some New Music!

FYI... its like, 220 in the morning, I still have two things to do for The Lovely Steph Leann tonight before I go to bed, and I have to be at The Happiest Place in the Mall around 830am... that means that I didn't listen start to finish on all the playlist songs. I will make necessary corrections this weekend... and for you Facebookians... the videos, nor the playlist, will show up. Do the right thing. Go to The Clouds. Bookmark it. Subscribe. You know you want it.

Well, it's been a while since you pulled up Clouds in My Coffee (or "The Clouds" as many, including my Seattle Gal Pal Mindy D'A likes to say) and heard music coming from your speakers. One reader (and I would say her name, but I can never spell it exactly right, and even though the correct spelling is one click away, its late and I'm too tired) kept hers on mute, because she surfs the net at her Pottery Paintin' Place, and now she'll have to go back to it.
As always, I run through the list of songs, and why I've put them on this month's playlist--some are repeats from past lists, but the theme of this month is simply "Songs I've Been Listening The Heck Out of For the Last Month or Two".

You know, for whatever reason, you just like a certain song over and over, then after a while, you think, "Okay, I'm done with it" and you drop the CD back into the CD wallet in your car, or you move the song back to the general population and out of your current playlist, to not be touched for who knows how long--could be months. Could be years.

"Your So Vain" by Carly Simon. A Clouds in My Coffee staple. I had some dreams, they were...

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. I have played this song enough to learn how to spell the guys name (and yet, I have trouble with Amaryllis Barnett... Amarylls... Amourellis...). Anyway, this is one of two songs I want played at my funeral. You know, if they do that montage of pics showing events of my all-too-brief life, I want this song playing in the background.

"Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers. Classic. The music is catchy, soulful, it truly is a great song for a rainy day.

"You and I Both" by Jason Mraz. It took a while for me to come around to the Mraz bandwagon, but I really like this guy. At first, he was almost annoying, but after "The Remedy (I won't worry)" and "Wordplay" and "Geek in the Pink", he's got me sold on him. This one is my favorite. The video is both hilarious and awesome.

"My Favorite Mistake" by Sheryl Crow. No doubt, we all have those. Because of the invention of Facebook, and the large number of former classmates and people I would see every day back in the day, I choose not to list My Favorite Mistakes. Okay, fine, Angiejay. But thats only 'cause I'm still bitter. Ha!

"Bye Bye" by Jo Dee Messina. She had one heck of a One-Two punch with this song and "Heads Carolina, Tails California" (another great tune that I almost put on here)... she later did "Bring on the Rain" and "Burn", but not in succession, so I can argue that her One-Two "Bye Bye/Carolina, California" was one of the best back-to-back hits in country music.

My funniest Jo Dee Messina story... so check it out, I was going on missions to New York City in 2002. Right before, though, I had procured Jo Dee Messina tickets, four of 'em to be exact. So I told Wookiee that he could come, and I invited Jill Berthon and her friend Shannon Hanes. Not really a double date, though it is worthy of note that Jill and I had dated briefly in 2000... this time, though she was just my friend. I mean, there was this other girl named The Lovely Steph Campbell that I was sorta looking at and... well, back to the story...

Anyway, I go on the mission trip, I come back, and the concert is that night. So Wookiee, Jill and Shannon and I go, have a great time, we come home, night is over. Jo Dee does put on a great show, by the way... anyway, when I get home, my roommate Tom is furious with me. I ask Michael and Shawn, the other roommates, whats up and they tell me he's mad at me cause I took out Jill. First of all, I didn't "take out" Jill, we just went to a concert together, and secondly, why does Tom give a crap? Well, Michael informs me, because when you were gone to NYC, they've been out a few times. On dates.

Really? Had no idea. So I had to go and talk to Tom and tell him, and make him believe that I honestly had 1) No intentions on pursuing Jill, that it was just a concert, end of story and 2) I had NO clue that Tom was even interested in Jill remotely. That took some talking, but seriously, I had no idea.

Tom and Jill celebrated five years of bliss this past January, by the way.

"My Boo" by Usher & Alicia Keys. I'm not a huge Usher fan, but I really dig this tune. Admittedly, he does have a great voice, and toss in Alicia's sound, and you got a great slow jam.

"Love Song" by Sara Bareilles. For whatever reason, I got hooked back on this song last week, maybe the week before, and I've played it like, 23 times on my iPod. That may or may not sound like alot, but remember, I listen to about five different podcasts during the week, including Adam Carolla, The Sports Guy, PTI, Rush Limbaugh and Car Talk, and even squeeze in some Dave Ramsey when I can.

"When I Get Where I'm Going" by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton. Here's the other song I want played at my funeral. Play Israel's song first, then have this one complete the photo montage and end with the black screen that says "david dollar... 1975 - 21??" You can fill in the question marks with whatever year it actually is. Don't put question marks for my death year. That's strange.

"Clarity" by John Mayer. My favorite Mayer tune, though I've put it on here about four times tonight... I keep finding the versions that end halfway through the song. Hopefully it works.

"Alone" by Heart. Dude. This song rocks. Carrie Underwood rocked it several years ago on Idol, but you'll never surpass the greatness of Nancy and Ann Wilson. Nor will you surpass their waistlines nowadays. Can they not hire trainers with the bajillions they've made? They were 80s kinda hot back in the day.

"Weak" by SWV. I'll set the scene on this song... back in the early 90s, right after Boyz II Men hit it big, there was a rush of three-some and four-some black dude groups that tried to emulate Boyz' sound--Shai, Jodeci (from which KC and JoJo heralded), All 4 One, Hi-Five, Silkk, etc--and on the opposite gender side, En Vogue hit it big, and chick groups popped up... Jade, Zhane and of course, SWV. Personally? I loved me some SWV... Sista's With Voices. Their hits included "I'm So Into You" and the Michael Jackson samplin' "Right Here/Human Nature", and this one, which I think is a classic.

This video? SOOOOO 90s.

"Until I Fall Away" by The Gin Blossoms. Not really a one hit wonder group... they were responsible for not just "Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You", but this one and "Allison Road", all from their album "New Miserable Experience". I would consider them a "one album wonder", meaning one hit album and thats it. Their follow up, "Congratulations, I'm Sorry" had "Follow You Down", but thats all they had left. This song makes me think of Troy State University days, and in particular, Allison Hodnett.

This dashing redhead was a year younger than I, and she was just beautiful. Arriving as a freshman in the fall of 94, she was good friends with Mandy Stewart, a fellow sophomore like myself, and who was also my very good friend, and in fact, Mandy kept trying to encourage something between me and Allison... I finally asked her out, and she rejected me. Ah well, life goes on, right? Well, she was all weird around me for quite a few weeks--this is a trait you chicks have and its freakin' terrible, but thats another blog for another day--when one day she calls me up and asks me to come over to Shackleford Hall to see her. Of course I go. Duh.

I roll over there, rollin' in my 5.0, with my ragtop down so my hair can blow and... no, not really. I think I was driving a Chick Magnet Buick Century. Chicks went out with me for me back then, not cause of my wheels, cause my wheels suuuuuuuuucked for many, many years. Anyway, Allison and I stand outside the lawn space separating Shack and Pace Hall, and this is, oh, I dunno, 11pm? Midnight? No good conversations with me ever happened before 10pm. Anyway, she tells me how dumb she had been, and how she thought I was great, and how she was so sorry for acting the way she did and all, and how she didn't know if anything would come of it, but she wanted to see me again. And then...

"So... would you want to go the movies with me this Wednesday?" she said. There was a movie showing every Wednesday night on Troy's campus back then.
"Really? Like, as friends, or like, a real date?" I asked with baited breath and nervous anticipation.
"I dunno. Friends. No, a date. We'll make it a date. Seriously."
"So you are asking me out on a date?"
"Well... I guess I am. Will you go out with me?"
Now, while I smiled and said, "Sure, I'd love to," with a restraited acceptance, my stomach was now dancing the fox trot with my spleen, and my entire throat contracted so I could barely breath.

Imagine my disappointment when Wednesday afternoon, she calls me. She is not feeling well, she's been sick all day, and we're going to have to postpone our movie date. I'm let down, but heck, she asked me out, right? I mean, she has to be legitimately sick, right? I didn't talk her into going with me, she asked me out.

I went to the movies anyway, with some friends. And of course, she was there. With John Glasscock. I was kinda mad. I called her later, and her roommate, Liberty Leak, answered and wouldn't put Allison on the phone. You chicks are something else, I tell ya.

Now that I think about it, I don't know if that song fits Allison Hodnett... but it was a fun story to tell.

"Anything but Down" by Sheryl Crow. I don't care for her politics, and unlike Sheryl, I wipe with many, many squares, not just one, but I dig me some Sheryl Crow music. She was also heavily portrayed on my Troy State Soundtrack.

"Can't Let Go" by Mariah Carey. I've often lamented about how much I miss pre-skank Mariah. I think it actually all came crashing down for both she and Whitney Houston when they combined to do that really crappy song "If You Believe" featured in the equally crappy "The Prince of Egypt". Perhaps that one recording studio room couldn't hold that much talent all at once, the talents collided, both were altered and neither was ever the same. I miss she and Whitney both. This song takes me back to high school, though no one in particular comes to mind.

"World on Fire" by Sarah McLachlan. I also love me some Sarah McLachlan. I went to a concert of hers a few years ago. Both me and The Lovely Steph Leann observed that Sarah is quite popular with the members of the Lesbetarian Church. Quite the gay magnet, that Sarah, straight as she may be. Amazing video, by the way. This song, not the gay people.

"Impulsive" by Wilson Phillips. I daresay that YOU do not know a bigger Wilson Phillips fan than myself. I will fully and readily admit that this self-titled album and "Time Love and Tenderness" by Michael Bolton are two CDs that most people would hide in shame, but I will gladly annoucned that I proudly own. I will now put on a white hood and stroll through Ensley.

Back in the 90s, if you were a guy, you were either in the Chyna Camp or in the Wendy Camp, like myself. Its not politically correct, or even nice, but is the honest truth to say no one, and I mean NO ONE was in Camp Carnie. Not a soul.

"The Story" by Brandi Carlile. Dunno why, but this song just hits me. Maybe you should play this song at my funeral, but don't show photos of me... show that Grey's Anatomy video that went along with it. Its much more interesting and flows better with the song than my life would.

"Dead and Bloated" by The Stone Temple Pilots. Said it before, will say it again... Scott Weiland, I'm glad he's clean and sober, if he is still, but he was so much better when he was stoned. He sang better. He performed better. He even looked cooler. I might shoot up before I do the next KidStuf performance, maybe I'll draw the crowds.

I have to admit, though, though I love the Pilots, and think "Core" is a pheeeeeenomonal album, the main reason this song is on this page is because I want someone to hear "I AM SMELLIN' LIKE A ROSE ON MY BIRTHDAY DEATHBED... I AM SMELLIN' LIKE A ROSE CAUSE I'M DEAD AND BLOATED!!!" when they pull my page up. Its so enchanting.

"My My My" by Johnny Gill. Let's face it. This song is about sex. I can't butter it up, I can't explain it away, you just have to know this song is about a guy who loves his chick so much, he just can't get over how hot she is. My my my, my my my my... your so doggone fine. Really, ain't that the way it should be? The Lovely Steph Leann... my my my, my my my my...