Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Danger, Danger McPhee

Tonight--Idol show and results... tomorrow the new Unan1mous

Well, here we are, in the guest bedroom (where the computer is) ready to watch American Idol. Though both of us haven't seen who has been kicked off (but watching Fox 6, they just told us... but I won't spill the beans) it will be fun to watch the show. And talk about it.

So off we go.

Tonight is 21st Century Music night, one you think would be easy after Stevie Wonder week and 50s week... but we'll see.

And here comes Lisa Turtle, singing "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson. Since Fox only has an hour for the show tonight, none of this silly interview before hand... straight to the music. And 16 year old Lisa Turtle said "damn". Poop mouth. Poopy poop mouth. And Steph went "...oohhh..." when Lisa cracked that bad note at the end. Eeesh. And Lisa has about four feet of eye shadow. Randy said "just okay". Paula couldn't even come up with something good. Simon said "the song was too big for your voice." We both think she wasn't very good.

Here comes Pickles! Singing "Suds in the Bucket" by Sara Evans, one of the most fun songs I've ever heard. And as soon as the music started, I can tell you--I don't like it. The music behind it sounds like crap too. Not only does Pickles look like she is having NO fun whatsoever (and this is a darn fun song to sing--ask my co-workers at Starbucks about how much fun I have singing it when slinging lattes out the door), she also look like she lost a fight with the Mary Kay Lady. Probably one of the worst I've heard from dear Pickles. Neither Randy nor Paula liked the song choice... but if she had sung it well, it would have been great! Simon didn't like it either.

Steph's man Ace with the Ace Hair, singing "Drops of Jupiter" by Train. When he sang "drops of Jupiter in her hair", he touched his hair. And his shirt is straight from the hood of Smokey's trans-am. Steph just said "He had so much promise... and he's kinda going downhill." Ace just showed his scar, and showed his crappy voice. Randy said "wrong song--and you didnt even sing it well". I agree. Paula is looking for something nice to say... she's struggling. Except for "how'd you get that scar on his chest." Simon says "quite karaoke". Steph said "he was flat." I think he was kinda crappy. And using two hands to hold up three fingers? Steph laugh. I just dry heaved. Get rid of this guy.

Taylor Hicks is singing "Trouble" from someone I've never heard of. Remarkably, he's not moving. I think it might actually be hurting him to stand totally still. It's kind of a cool song, though, and its a good way to show off the vocal chops. Steph says "I don't think he can actually stand up straight". A billion times better than Ace and Lisa Turtle, and even Pickles. Speaking of bouncy, they showed George Huff. Randy wanted the "going nuts" Taylor... Paula liked the "standing and singing". Simon liked the song and the vocals. But the styling? Very Clay Aiken. That's pretty harsh...

Mandisa singing "Shackles" by MaryMary! Go 'Disa! Go 'Disa! She did a God shout out before the song began--now she sounds out of breath. What a great song to sing on live TV though... she rocks. I can see her touring with Kirk Franklin one day. And I predict she'll grace the cover of CCM Magazine within the year. Randy wasn't sure about the song choice. Paula just used the words "Church of Mandisa". Mandisa thinks "did you EVEN listen to the words??" Simon didn't like it... he thinks it bit indulgent. Figures.

By the way, "American Dreamz" looks hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.

And here comes Daughtry. First, he is addressing the small controversy of him doing the Live version of "Walk the Line" last week. Tonight he's doing "What If" by Creed. He's kind of mumbling the whole thing, in true rock star fashion. Its not bad, though to me there is nothing special about it. Its a little hard for Steph's tastes though. Randy liked the song choice, but thought it wasn't great. Paula loves him. Of course. Simon says "again, a bit indulgent. You have to show more than the 'rock' side."

My Girl McPhee is up, singing "The Voice Within" by Christina Aguliera. I don't know what she's wearing, but if it were on anyone else besides My Girl McPhee, and maybe Pickles, I'd make fun of her. I will say, though, its not a good idea to have gold plated manhole covers as earrings. Great, strong voice. Randy liked it, but said there was nothing new with it. Paula liked it. Of course. Simon says "the best tonight, almost as good as the original". Steph says "I liked her better last week."

I just asked Steph if she had McPheever. I think she just made fun of me.

Oh Bucky. He's singing Tim McGraw's "Real Good Man." Bucky. Sucky. Same thing. He dances like he's been at the bar a little too long, and the DJ just put on "Boot Scootin' Boogie"... and he's on the dance floor in a stupor. Randy liked it. Paula actually critized ("be careful of your diction"). Simon says Sucky is "winging it". Steph says "I think Tim McGraw would have punched it... Bucky didn't. Does that make sense?" Guys, when answering a question like this, say Yes.

Paris. Singing "Work It Out" by Beyonce, with her Destiny's Child hair all up. She kinda looks like she is having fun, but not really. She's got her "shake my jelly" down. Steph says "if you sing Beyonce, do you have to do the butt thing to? Is that requirement?" Randy says "fearless... bomb... best... hot..." The usual. Paula loved it. Of course. Simon didn't like it. I didn't either. Ryan has called her Princess P twice. That would make me not like her again. Steph: Gosh, her hair... that top knot is distracting me.

Closing it out, Elliott Yahmean and his second set of teeth. He is doing Gavin McGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be". I'm just not a fan of this guy--maybe its how its coming across on TV or something... I just don't think he's very good, and he certainly doesn't look the part. Bo Bice went grapenuts with this song last year, and was awesome. Elliott? Eh. Randy loved it. Paula loved it. Of course. (She used the words "funky white boy") Simon says "great song, terrible arrangement, hideous dancing". Steph says "He's growing on me. I'm down with that."


The tape is spazzing out, as is the audio, giving Ryan a baritone voice... making us laugh. Perhaps we should chunk this tape soon... like tonight.

Its time for the weekly Ford commercial, starting all the Idols. Last weeks was pretty funny--this was kinda lame.

Now, Shikira and Wyclef Jean are singing. Steph says "Who?" Exactly. Wow, this fast forward button works really well.

In one swoop, Mandisa, Paris, Pickles, Taylor, and Daughtry are all safe. Steph's man Ace with the Ace Hair is sitting on the top, "as yet unsafe" row... with the priceless "Oh crap, not again..." look on his face.

Elliott is... safe. Lisa Turtle is... not. Bottom three for the third week in a row.

Ace Young is... in the bottom three again. Its worth is just to see the "How did I get here again?" look. My Girl McPhee and Bucky are left.... and My Girl McPhee is in the bottom three... WHAT?!? Bucky is safe???

Ryan sends Ace back to the couch. Wow... My Girl McPhee is the 2nd lowest vote getter??? What is wrong with you people??? Simon says "watching it back, it wasn't very good... none of it was"

Could McPhee go the way of Julia Demato? Voted out early, ruining her life?

Lisa Turtle is gone. Good. Talk about a rising star in the auditions with a Idols Final flame out ... and as standard, they are playing Daniel Powter's "Bad Day".

Ryan just informed us "we are goiing country next week". What, did the producers sit around and decide "crap... we gotta figure out how to keep Kellie Pickler and Bucky around! Let's do country!"

My Girl McPhee was in the bottom two... its okay... Fantasia and Ruben spent time in the bottom three once.

Maybe I should start voting.

Midweek Music, TV and Links

So, its Wednesday (at least its 18 minutes into it, so far) and I'm up late loading music into the computer. I just heard the "ding" meaing the CD I just had in finished... The Isley Brothers, fyi.

I just popped in volume 2 of The Monkees "Listen to the Band" box set, so it will be a few minutes before I can go to bed. I would watch American Idol, but its in the bedroom, and Steph is asleep. You don't wake up Steph when she's asleep unless the house is on fire. So, we'll watch that tomorrow night, along with the results show, and post it on Thursday morning. In the meantime, I"ll just ramble a bit, because hey, its my blog.

Dave's Mental Playlist Top Five
(the top five songs of the week that have been repeating over and over in my head)
1) "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
2) "Black Horse & the Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall
3) "Cheatin'" by Sara Evans
4) "Pump It" by Black Eyed Peas
5) "Walk Away" by Kelly Clarkson
For you Bama fans out there, I recommend Scott Latta's Rammer Jammer Blog. Its pretty funny, witty and he's diehard Roll Tide all the way. Scotty has even appeared in the Sporting News once, and is covering Bama sports for The Sporting News' website. Personally, I'm a Sports Illustrated fan myself (I had TSN subscription once--don't know where it came from. I tried to cancel it, they wouldn't let me) but I do enjoy the blog. And, of course, he's been viewed almost 7,000 times--I'm closing in on 500. Go Me!
Perhaps thats what I need... a blog about something specific, like his is about Alabama. Maybe if I narrow my focus, it would get more traffic...
But then, if I did that, I wouldn't be able to say things like...
You know how sometimes, you've got an hour or so to kill--not really enough time to do anything, but too early to do whatever it is you were planning for later (today mine was work at 2pm)? I was flipping today and came across "Con Air".
Made me wonder, is there ANYTHING better than flipping through the channels and finding a random Nic Cage movie on? I don't mean his gay crap like "Capt Corelli's Mandolin", or "It Could Happen to You", I mean the cool stuff, like "The Rock" or "Gone in 60 Seconds". I love the fact he's got his Oscar ("Leaving Las Vegas") and then said "Screw it, I'm having fun now. What was the name of that movie that I could be in? Snake Eyes?" (which I think is the most unloved, underrated Nic movie out there... even more so than this one)
You know, I was going to do a thing on my Top 5 Nic Cage movies, but I just realized, thats a whole other column. I'll do it soon.
Since The Monkees are loading now, in case you were wondering, here are the next five CDs that are getting loaded into my computer, in preparation for my iPod.... Monster Ballads 1 & 2... Cindy Morgan... Lorrie Morgan (no relation)... this Alanis...and this even better Alanis... I'm still on the fence about this Alanis, because she's not angry anymore, and that just isn't the same. (the same can be said for Sheryl Crow's latest, though now that her heart has been broken, I have high hopes for the next album)
It's hard to make bitter music when you are happily in love... and "You Oughta Know" should never be sung by a happy woman--it kills the fun of the song.
Here's the story about Ocean's 13, and who's in and out. Ocean's 11 was one of the sharpest and smartest comedies I've ever seen (even better than the original), but I was disappointed initially with Ocean's 12. Having said that, the more times I've watched it, the more I've liked it. Its come on HBO several times during the day, and I'll leave it on as I bandy about the apartment.
I said a week or so ago that "Cold Case" has the coolest opening music on TV. As cool as it is, and even though the show still is #1 on "Hottest Main Character Named Lily In a TV Drama", the theme has been dropped to #2... It's been replaced by "Woke Up This Morning" by A3, which is the theme from The Sopranos. Very jazzy, very bluesy... and very, very cool. You can hear a clip here from the soundtrack page.
Quick Hits:
--Wait for it... yep, its... The Last Stanza for Tony Danza
--Of course when I finally get Dazed and Confused on dvd (thanks to Steph), this happens

--A website in Boston has given their list of "overhyped bands" of the last five years. I'd say I would agree with most of these... including Coldplay.

--Am I the only one sorta giddy about Tori Spelling's new show on Vh1?

--When discussing K-Fed, I think I speak for all of us when I say "...and we care because...?"

--Here's a CD you've never listened to (or even thought about listening to) that I think everyone should own. (no, I'm not kidding--its one of my favorite CDs )

--And finally... what happens when you mix Coke and coffee? You get this.

American Idol update no later than Thursday!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Weekend My Bracket Fell Apart

And, its over.

Held my head high on Friday, even with a proud post that all four of my final four teams still were competing, and I was only 2 points off the leader (Jon Osborne) and by Sunday afternoon, and when UConn went down, all I needed was a Villanova win, and I'd capture my first Deuce Sports title, the Deuce Madness Championship. We see how that went.

All four #1 seeds fell, all four of my final four picks fell, everyone's bracket began to collapse in on itself, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, earthquakes, volcanos, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together -- mass hysteria.

(note... if you are reading this, you may wonder what this is all about... a bunch of us did a March Madness bracket this year, and though I had posted results all week, I chose to delete all those.  I left this one because of the results -- d$, 10/3/14)

And when it was all over, when Florida punched their dance card in the Final Four, a spot that I had slated for Villanova, Yours Truly still stood 2 points behind Jonathan Osborne... who now stands as the 2006 Deuce Madness Champion. Congrats.

Here's the final Deuce Mandess Standings:
Champion - Jon Osborne - 390
2nd - Yours Truly - 388
3rd - Lori Smith - 385
4th - David Mark Osborne - 383
5th - Tebe Shaw - 380
6th - Jessica Hawbaker - 370
7th - Brad Latta - 368
8th - Drew Morris - 365
9th - James Hawbaker - 363
10th - Stephanie Dollar - 360

And the rest of the field:
11) Tommy McLeod - 355
12-tie) Scott Latta - 350
12-tie) Daniel Powell - 350
14-tie) Michael Nipp - 345
14-tie) Jonathan Taylor - 345
16-tie) Matt Latta - 343
16-tie) Jason Barnette - 343
Dead Last) Tyler Campbell - 295

Congratulations again to Jonathan Osborne (perhaps you can get a 2006 DFC Playoff Appearance to go with your Madness win...) and thanks to all who played. And since its all over for us -- GO GEORGE MASON!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Idol Thoughts... and its Unanimous

Okay... here we are at 1008pm, on Wednesday night... because I got home late, we watched the Idol performances tonight, taped the results, and just popped in the results show to watch. If you want to read the Idol review, go to the previous post, just below, because this one is all about the results!

First is the review clip, where Barry Manilow helped all the Idols do their 50s songs. Then the clip where Paula and Simon argued. Paula is just a weird kooky chick. She used to be really cool, with Vibeology and Rush Rush and Forever Your Girl and such... but now? Just a flake.

And here comes the cheeseball Ford commercial... it was pretty funny, with the Idols singing "We Got the Beat", complete with Chicken Little wearing a "Love Machine" shirt. I almost think he believes his own hype, sort of like a William Hung way.

Barry is on stage... and yes, I'm a Fanilow. "Can't Smile Without You" and "Mandy " will be on my iPod (when I finally get it.) And he's singing a song from his recent #1 album, "Greatest Songs from the 50s" (yes, I said recent #1 album). The song is "Love is a Many Splendored Thing". Steph just commented, "Poor thing... Barry can't smile. Botox."

Some observations... They just showed the Hispanic Bob from the Bachelor, Chicken Little is macking on My Girl McPhee, Paula is up and swaying her hands like a drunk chick at a frat party during "Freebird", and they brough Hispanic Bob onstage, seeking his next three minutes of fame.

And here comes the results...

Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair... and this week? He is safe. Mandisa, looking like a 00's Aretha, is safe. Elliott Yahmean is safe (Ryan sounded surprised when he said it...).

Pickles? Ryan said "Simon called you ballsy and sexy" and Pickles said "What's a ballsy?" Um... Yeah, she's safe. Daughtry, who sang a cool, cool song ("Walk the Line") is also safe.

Paris Bennett, whom I am afraid I might like... she is safe. And My Girl McPhee is... safe. Taylor is safe... leaving Lisa, Bucky and Chicken Little... Steph and I got it right.

Of course, one gets to sit down, leaving only two... Lisa Turtle is safe, leaving Bucky... Bucky... and Chicken Little. I could lose either one and be fine. Paula just said "Just because you don't win, doesn't mean you won't make it... look at Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, Bo Bice..." Of course, she fails to mention that they finished in at least the top five.

And... Bucky is safe. Chicken Little goes home. HA!

And they play Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" again, during his "goodbye" montage. Chicken Little has the "I should look like I'm not surprised, but I'm actually shocked to be here." HA! And finally, he sings for the last time. Which is probably ticking Melissa McGhee off, because they are showing a lot more of Chicken Little than they did her last week... as long as he's gone.

And now, for the show that will drop my IQ about 17 points. Unanimous... or, as Fox says, Unan1mous. So, they drop 9 people in a bunker underground somewhere, as a controlled "social expirament". No contact to the outside world, no clocks (Which would drive me crazy) and they basically have to decide on one person to walk away with $1.5 million dollars--and the decision must be unanimous.

We have Adam the Poker player... Vanessa the Soccer mom... Jonathan the ladies man... Jameson the office manager... Jamie the dancer... Kelly the minister (yes, Kelly's a she)... Steve the truck driver... Tarah the fashion designer... and Richard the 42 year old temp.

So everyone has come into the bunker room... and apparently, no one has a clue why they were there. But they all got bugged eye when the host came on, via video screen, who just told them they had to decide who to give the money to. It looks like the guy who used to host that stupid kids game show on NBC fifteen years ago, where brothers and sisters had to guess the same items to win them. Anyway, if one person decides to leave, the money is cut in half.

Jamie the dancer just admitted she was freaked out, but Jameson the office manager talked her into staying, so the money wouldn't be cut in half. Now they all begin to talk to each other, to find out about each other. Kelly the minister just went off on how the Bible is true, and God and such... and apparently, Jameson is gay, and said "Homosexuality is not a choice!".

While speaking truth, Kelly is over the top--not the way to tell others about Christ. I hate when the media does this to Christians, as in, makes them look bigoted, intolerant, obnoxious... I gues thats another topic for another day.

Jonathan the ladies man just told the group a total lie about having testicular cancer. Kelly and Jameson keeps going at it. Jameson wants to get rid of Kelly, while Steve the truck driver wants the money to take care of his children, his grandchildren and such...

Now they get to vote on who gets the money. People can't vote for themselves, so people are voting for different people in order to "see where this goes". Steve the Truck Driver. gets 1 vote... hey, Steve gets another vote... and another... the next vote goes to Vanessa. The next vote? Jamie the dancer. Jonathan gets 1, Tarah gets 2 and Jamie gets another.

They failed to complete the task... and failure has "dire consequences". Those being now deciding who doesn't get the money--as in, eliminating someone. So, they read three secrets out of the group... they decide which one is the worst, and the person who belongs to that secret is gone. So, the secrets are: 1) This person filed for bankruptcy even though they had 100K in the bank... 2) This person was in a mental hospital... 3) This person was arrested for carrying live ammo. Now #2 is not bad--it happens. #3 isn't too bad, depending on the circumstances. The first one, however, is pretty bad... and guess who it belongs to? Yep, Kelly the minister. Way to show that Christ like love. Good job, TV media. Make us look like that hypocrites... not that we aren't already.

And they end the show right now... and let me tell you, I feel like a total moron for watching this--and the fact I enjoyed it? Even more stupid.

Tomorrow? Deuce Madness kicks off.

The Idols Do the 50s

So here we are at American Idol again… Steph is watching it with me this time, so it will be interesting how much she drools over Ace, and how she snaps at me for drooling over My Girl McPhee (which, in that dress, might be a little)

Taylor has a blue coat on. Interesting. Tonight the show is 50s themed, so this should also be interesting.

Did you know Barry Manilow’s latest cd went #1 on Billboard? I mean, above Fitty, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen and others… at number freakin’ one. Anyway, I mention this because he worked with the Idols this week on the 50s songs they chose to sing.

Mandisa is first on the list. She’s singing “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” by Diana Washington. Very sultry, very swanky. She’s got the Aretha look down pat, too. Complete with the big ending, Steph says “Pretty cool.” Randy is speechless, cause he loved it. He says “Y’all gotta bring it tonight, Mandisa set the mark!”. Paula is rambling, as usual. And she called her a horse. Simon says “You are blossoming… it was like a great stripper song—I absolutely loved it.” I liked it too. Steph says “You look at her, you don’t think she’s that fat… then they pan down.” And Ryan just said “Bling.” Kill me.

I’m actually considering watching “Unanimous” on Fox. Am I bad person?

Bucky… Bucky… is doing “Oh Boy” from Buddy Holly & the Crickets, and is getting a different arrangement from Barry Manilow. This is considered a cool thing, right? And Bucky has his hair down again, like the Jessica Simpson look. Without the big boobs and stupid expression (Bucky has his own). He’s countrified the song totally… not a fan. Steph says “Eh. Wasn’t bad.” I would say “Eh. Wasn’t good.” Randy’s all about it, though. Paula loved it, as usual. Both agree a good choice of song. Simon’s reality check? “Nothing more than a pointless karaoke performance.” I totally agree. And both Steph & I agree that Paula claps like a seal.

Steph commented that Barry Manilow has had so much Botox, his face doesn’t move. No expressions. I concur. His face is frozen in time.

Paris is singing “Fever”, from Peggy Lee. I really don’t want to like Paris. I really don’t want to like Paris. I really don’t want to like Paris. I really don’t want to like Paris. I really don’t want to like Paris. I really don’t want to like Paris.

Crap. After that performance, I think I like Paris. Darn it to heck.

Daughtry is up next… and he’s doing “Walk the Line”. I am looking forward to this… Steph is right… nothing about Barry Manilow’s top lip moves. And Chris is rocking out the Johnny Cash song, with his own version—and its awesome. He’s successfully turned a fun Johnny Cash song into an Emo rock ballad… Steph liked it (“…but he was too low with it to begin with…”). However, I loved it. Randy didn’t necessarily love the vocals, but loved the way Daughtry did it. Paula tells the 1,000th Idol “you are true to who you are, and I love that.” Simon agreed with Randy… and added “you are the first artist on this show who refuses to compromise.”

And here’s My Girl McPhee (whom Steph likes better than Pickles—lately, I’d agree). She’s singing Ella Fitzgerald’s “Come Rain or Come Shine”

Sidebar: I had a chance to go see Barry Manilow a few years ago, for $6 per ticket (they had extra nosebleed seats) but I couldn’t find anyone who could… or would… go. When I relayed this story at Starbucks, Seth, one of my co-workers, said “I’d probably pay more than $6 to NOT have to see Barry Manilow.”

Anyway, back to My Girl McPhee… I like the music. I think she’s doing well. Not blowing me away, but satisfying enough to make me enjoy her. Steph says “I think I’d like her dress… if it were different.” I think it sounded great, and Randy agrees with me. “You took a really tough song… and dude, you worked it OUT.” Paula loves her, as usual. Just saw a sign that says “Call a Doctor, I have McPheever.” Maybe that’s my problem. Simon says “Tonight you turned into a star.” Oh, My Girl, McPhee, you’ve been a star for me since you began. She just discussed her double sided tape with Ryan, and jiggled a little by accident. Um, no comment.

Taylor Hicks is coming up now. He’s singing “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly. I love watching this guy sing. He’s got the blue blazer working, that leg swinging, hips jiggling… not the same jiggle as My Girl McPhee, but just as fun all the same. He’s jamming with the sax player too. Steph & I both agree he kinda looks like he has to pee. Steph liked it. Randy says “don’t know if it was much of a challenge, but you worked it OUT”. Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says “Sorry, but… it was a complete mess.” I don’t think it was a mess, but it wasn’t Taylor’s best—but I like him just the same.

So, Lisa Turtle is up next now… remember, she was in the bottom three last week. She’s singing “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” by Frankie Lymon, I think. She’s got great hair, I must say. Very 1980’s Whitney Houston “I Wanna Dance With Someone”, only darker and real. You know, with 50s music mostly being around 2 to 2 ½ minutes long, I’d almost them rather sing the whole songs and cut out the Barry Manilow clips. Randy says “Good song choice, but just aight for me.” Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says “Just okay”. Steph & I both agree. Eh.

Chicken Little, singing “When I Fall in Love”. Chicken says “I want to experience love one day, and hopefully it will last forever.”

My buddy Katy says this: I CAN’T STAND HIM. WHY WHY WHY was he in the final 24?!!!!???!!! Why? This is ridiculous. He won’t win. He won’t. And he has officially turned into my Scott Sovol of 2006. The boy who won’t go away. The boy who think’s he’s sooo hot. Is he 7 years old?

I just realized how pronounced his lisp is… and its not that a lisp is a bad thing—but not for Chicken Little. And his version of this song makes me have to pee. And speaking of Idols that should have never made it past the Top, I don’t know, 150… they just showed Jasmine Trias in the audience. Randy liked it. Paula loved it. Of course. Simon says “Kevin… I like you. You know who your audience is [9 year old girls and 60 year old mawmaws] and they’ll love you.” Steph liked it okay… I think he sucked crap. As usual.

Elliott Yahmean is about to sing now. With facial hair and all… and he admits that he wasn’t a big Barry fan to begin with, but now he’s a Fanilow. Yes, I said Fanilow. The Grateful Dead have Deadheads, Clay Aiken has the Claymates, The Deuce has the world, Barry Manilow has Fanilows.

Back to Elliott… he’s singing “Teach Me Tonight” by someone I didn’t catch. No doubt Yahmean’s got a voice, he’s just got this jacked up look with a second row of teeth on the bottom. Okay… sing the word “You”, and as you sing that one word, shake your face around so your cheeks jiggle, like Taylor and My Girl McPhee, only different. That would be Elliot tonight.

Speaking of someone you won’t remember after this season, they just showed Lindsay Cardinele.

Randy liked Elliott. Paula loved him. Of course. Simon says “Your singing? Fantastic.” Again, good voice. Trailer park appearance.

And here comes Pickles… singing “Walkin’ After Midnight” from Patsy Cline. And for you youngsters (probably half my audience, meaning 2 of you), let me just tell you Patsy is HARD to sing. I’m curious as to how much longer the “dumb blonde” is going to be cute before it becomes irritating, not just to me but to the voting public. Pickles looks like she stuck her face in a Mary Kay box and shook it… waaaaay too much make-up. The fact that Paula is clapping along means nothing—she claps to the Idol bumper music, I’m sure.

Anyway, Pickles did pretty good—not great, but not bad. She did the song justice, methinks. Randy really liked it. Paula called her not a minx, but a Tigeress. And loved it. Of course. Simon liked it a lot too. Steph liked it, as did I.

And finally, here comes Steph’s man Ace with the Ace Hair. Yes, my wife Stephanie is an Ace Highroller, and Ace is singing a jazzy rendition of “In the Still of the Night”, which could totally work—or backfire.

If I were gay, I don’t know that I’d be hot for Ace. Daughtry maybe. Did I say that? Steph liked it, saying “I’ll be Paula Abdul—its one of his best ones” (then she clapped like a seal.). Ace has like, fifty teeth in view when he smiles. Randy liked it. Paula loved it, of course, but this time using words like “sexy” and “sultry”. Simon, being honest (and right) said it wasn’t the best… but he liked it. Ace Highroller Steph says “Yay Ace.”

My prediction for the bottom three: Bucky, Lisa Turtle and Chicken Little... with Bucky going home.
Steph's prediction for the bottom three: Bucky, Lisa Turtle and Chicken Little... with Lisa Turtle going home.

We'll see in a minute...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The No Questions Asked Pantheon (and Mariah, ft. Ludacris & Da Brat)

I've got a lot of CDs. No, really. A whole LOT of CDs.

My collection runs into the several hundreds, perhaps. Am I saying this to brag? No... some of them I think I've listen to once, some of them I can't remember if I've ever listened to... to be fair, Steph had a 100 or so, so our collection combined makes up that number, but still, thats alot of CDs. Steph wants me to get rid of some, but I don't know that I'd get much from Coconuts trying to sell Tammy Trent's "Set You Free".

This is all stemming from my latest project... in anticipation of getting my iPod (read the previous entry), I'm loading my CDs into the computer so I can load them in the iPod, when I finally get one. It's a slow process, and its keeping me up nights, but its slowly coming together. Some albums get the whole thing loaded--Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl", for example, or Antigone Rising's "From the Ground Up". I like the whole thing... I just insert and hit "upload".

Other artists, most of them, in fact, get the "check treatment". As in, I've got to go through and uncheck the songs I don't want. Audio Adrenaline, Bush, Michael Bolton (as I hear Tommy say "Um.. I'd uncheck all of those), Boyz II Men, currently Mariah Carey... those all get certain songs.

Sidebar: Speaking of Mariah, loading and listening to her music last night made me think... is there anyone in history who was so good who turned so freakishly weird? Love it or hate it, you can't deny that the early 90s stuff--"Vision of Love", "Dreamlover", "Always Be My Baby", "Can't Let Go"--had an incredible voice behind it. I was reading the liner notes to her CDs as I went along--which I found out that she wrote or co-wrote 99% of her songs, and on every CD she has a verse and a thanks to God--and around 1997, with the release of "Butterfly" (the follow-up to her excellent Daydream album) she started getting a little thuggish. This might have been right before she and Coumbia exec Tommy Mottola divorced. Anyway, Steph thinks she's a total slut, and she might be--however, I do admire the fact that not only does she not curse in her music, but not in her interviews (even with Rolling Stone, where chicks like Britney and Christina cut loose), nor in her liner notes. Anyway, no one can take away her 90s stuff from me. Vh1's Behind the Music will return.
One more Mariah Moment... one of the funniest things I've ever seen is the video for "Honey", her first true "Even though I've made millions singing white pop, I'm going to embrace my blackness now" song... all these black dudes are everywhere dancing, on the beach, on jet skis... and she's romancing a studly white guy.
It's like the execs at Columbia were sitting around saying "Um... Ms. Carey, we know that on Tuesday you decided you'd be black, but for the sake of your fans, let's make this transition gradual... how about for "Honey", you make out with a white guy this time, and we'll just surround you with African Americans? Perhaps we can arrange a light skinned, creamy smooth brother for you to make out with next time..."
One last observation... for Mariah and any other artist who is thinking of doing this: Is there really a need to have three versions of the same song on your CD? I mean, the normal one is fine, perhaps the reprise (which is mostly a cop out to add another track), but another remix featuring Da Brat, Ludacris, Twenty II and Shawnna? I mean, if I actually owned the Glitter soundtrack, this would bother me, but I.. uh, I mean I don't really (laugh uncomfortably)... um, lets go to the Pantheon...
There are a few artists in my Pantheon of "Doesn't Matter What They Sing, They Get All of Their CDs Loaded No Questions Asked"... those are the ones that I want the entire album on there, even if I'm not entirely jazzed about all the songs, simply because their so-so music is better than most artist's "good" music. You'll probably notice a "Girls With Guitars Theme" going on here.

Here's the Pantheon of "No Questions Asked", in no particular order:
  • Hootie & the Blowfish. Liked them since college. Love their sound, love their music. I've only got their first three, though I could probably get their stuff used and cheap at Coconuts if I looked.
  • Plumb. Perhaps one of my top five albums of all time is "Candycoatedwaterdrops", and her latest, "Chaotic Resolve" is EXCELLENT.
  • Watermark. When they make a movie of my life, they'll have a song or two on the two disc soundtrack. Though "All Things New" is to me the definitive album, they are all good. Sadly, they are ceasing to perform as Watermark now, doing some silly stuff like devoting time to kids and more worship music. Their new album is a live album, and their final one--and its a fantastic way to say "thanks and goodbye."
  • The Dixie Chicks. They got a raw deal a few years back. Do I agree with them? No. Do I think they should have said it? Not at all... I don't think its what Natalie Maines said, but how she said it. But do I agree with the results? Not in the least. Still, I'm a fan, I've always been hot for Natalie in a Jennifer Herndon sort of way, and I'll get their new CD when it comes out in May. Chicks rule.
  • Jennifer Knapp. Oh wherefore art thou, J-Knapp? I just picked up the live album the record company released--I can't say she released it, because I haven't heard a thing from her in years.
  • PM Dawn. I really don't have a comment here... I just realy like the Bliss Album, which features the song that has been my favorite song of all time since 1991 , "I'd Die Without You".
  • Sheryl Crow. Don't know why, but something about Sheryl Crow just makes me happy. Always has. I will say "Wildflower", her latest, is a little unsatisfying, so she's on the edge of this list, but still...

I would add Stone Temple Pilots, but they didn't stop after three albums, and Scott Weiland decided to get sober. I mean, let's be honest... yes, its awesome he's free of heroin... but there was a price to pay. The only time Scott and STP truly rocked was "Core", "Purple" and "Tiny Music fron the Vatican Gift Shop", all when he was high as a kite.

And I would add Pearl Jam, but they didn't stop after one album.

American Idol reviews tomorrow!!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

iPods, TV Music & Deuce Madness Day 4

The Deuce Madness scores are below my other thoughts for the day.

I'm on a hunt for an iPod.

Here's my dilemma... I've got $250 on a Wal-Mart card. And I've got $300 cash. The 60 GB iPod that I've been wanting retails for about $399.99, and the 30 GB iPod that I may get is $299.99. If I had all the money on a Best Buy card (totaling $550) there wouldn't be an issue... I'd go to Best Buy and pick me up a 60gig.

The simple answer would be "Well, use your gift card plus cash and get it from Wal-Mart". Here's the problem: They don't sell 60gig iPods. They don't even have them listed online, and their 30gigs are only in stores. Sam's Club doesn't have them either. The other solution would be to save up more money to buy it at Best Buy, which means I'm about $150 short, when you consider taxes, plus the service plan that I'd want to put on it (for $49.99... and Wal-Marts? Their's is $22 and some change)

I'm definately buying my accessories at Wal-Mart, though. The iPod plug adapter, the case and a car apperatus that would allow me to listen to it, and charge it in the car, cost about $89, $30 and $99 respectively. At Wal-Mart? The same iPod adapter was $38, a similar case was about $17 and a similar charger was around $29. I'll figure it out, I guess.


Was there ever a time when there were no "(fill in number) Greatest/Best/Sexiest/Most Shocking Moments in (name the industry)" specials? I flipped it to Vh1, and on is the "100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock", and I've been privvy to the details of Michael Jackson's hair fire in 1984, Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off of a bat and other fun things.

I'll be honest with you--I don't know who sings it, but "Girl You Know Its True" is a great R&B album. We know its not Milli Vanilli. I actually heard Rob and Fab sing live on Arsenio Hall in the early 1990s, after the lip-sync fallout, and they were AWFUL...

Is there a more disgusting "Woman That the World Says is Hot" woman in the world than Pam Anderson? I mean, she's absolutely revolting. I would be willing to put her and Anna Nicole Smith in a boat to test the viability of the Bermuda Triangle.

Soon to come: "The 50 Greatest 100 Greatest Moment Shows."

Alright, I'll ask it. If David Mark, Jonathan and Meredith Osborne had been born in England, would their names be David Mark, Jonathan and Meredith Osbourne?
I may end up re-thinking this statement, but I think that the opening music to Cold Case has taken the spot left empty by Six Feet Under in the catagory of "The Coolest Opening Music on TV".

Speaking of music, I'm learning that there are bands that I'm supposed to like. I'm flipping through this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly, and occasionally they have an insert called "Listen 2 This", which highlights new music and other things YOU should be paying attention to. This time around, they asked celebrities to give a list of albums that "you've gotta get-by any means necessary-right now". There's a lot of Rufus Wainwright, The Who, David Bowie, Erykah Badu, Jefferson Starship and others. Have you heard any of these artists? None of their music that I've heard really appeals to me, and honestly, I can 't see how it appeals to anyone.

Some of it, like Radiohead, Jane's Addiction, Beth Orton and Joni Mitchell, I can see how you'd enjoy it (Tommy McLeod is a big Radiohead fan) and I even like some of their stuff--but what makes David Bowie brilliant? I don't get it.

What did I like in the listings? Peter Gabriel's "So", Lauryn Hill's "Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" (was there ANYONE who had more hype after her first album only to have her career disappear faster?) , Prince & the Revolution's "Purple Rain", Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall", Nirvana's "Nevermind" and Abba's "Gold".


Okay, enough chatter... here's the update on Deuce Madness, heading into next weekend's Sweet Sixteen.
1) Jon Osborne - 360
2) DMOsborne - 353
3) Brad Latta - 348
4) Lori Smith - 345
5) Scott Latta - 340
6) Yours Truly - 338
7) Drew Morris - 325
8) James Hawbaker - 323
9) Tebe Shaw, Stephanie Dollar & Jess Hawbaker - 320
12) Tommy McLeod, Michael Nipp, Jon Taylor - 315
15) Matt Latta - 313
16) Daniel Powell - 310
17) Jason Barnette - 303
18) Tyler Campbell - 275

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Idol Results and Other Quandries

So Jessica Hawbaker got her bracket in, so she's at 10 points right now with the other leaders. I'll be updating off and on all day tomorrow as the games start.
So, here I am, watching the Idol result show. Am I obsessed? Yeah, probably.

8:02pm... Just watched

8:08pm... Is anyone at the same time intrigued, yet repulsed by Fox's new series "Unanimous"? A bunch of people in the same house, where one person wins $1.5 million dollars if the rest of the group unanimously agrees to give it to them. Wait, did I just agree to like this show? Someone... kill me. Send me Home.

8:09pm... Oh geez. I just watched the first in what will be a series of Ford commercials, featuring all the Idols. Chris was on guitar, in a campfire scene where the cast sings "All I Want" from Toad the Wet Sprocket. Very sad.

8:13pm... Stevie Wonder is now singing a song from his new album "A Time 2 Love". The Idols are on the side clapping along. Is it possible that they were threatened with expulsion if they didn't act like they were having a good time? Of course, I like this better than two seasons ago, when they had special guest judges Ashford & Simpson. I mean, was David Hasselhoff or Peter Frampton really that busy?

8:15pm... "Okay, Idols... I don't care if he belches and farts in the microphone... you clap and cheer like your life depended on it."

8:16pm... The three people who have the lowest number of votes... my guess? Steph's man Ace with the Ace Hair is in the bottom 3.. over Chicken Little.

8:17pm... Ace looks like someone told him "Um, Ace... you're not pretty." The rest of the cast, including the judges, are just stone faced... who knew?

8:19pm... How could Peter Gabriel sell out "Solsbury Hill" for a Cingular commercial? Is there nothing sacred?

Sidebar: So I'm watching the blog counter as I type and refresh--its not going up because I'm refreshing, which means someone is following along as I type this. Its happened a few times. If I truly do have fans out there, besides Jaci who loves me (this I know), you should comment sometime. Unless you think I suck. Then don't come back. =)

8:22pm... Steph's man Ace with the Ace Hair wearing a shirt that says "God Rocked Out". I don't know what to think about that.

8:23pm... Paris is safe (I don't want to like her)... Pickles, looking just adorable, is safe... T-Hicks will live to bend another day... how can Chris not be safe? (he is)... Now to Melissa, who should be in the bottom three...

8:24pm... Now to Eliott Yahmean... one of these is in the bottom three. And I was right--its Melissa. REMEMBER YOUR WORDS, CHICK.

8:24pm... Mandisa is safe (duh)... My Girl McPhee had better be safe... and she is. I didnt want to have to pimpslap someone.

8:24pm... Lisa Turtle and Bucky... Bucky. One will be in the bottom three (I'm guessing Bucky)

8:25pm... AND ITS LISA TURTLE?!?!?!

8:26pm... Ace looks stunned. The judges look stunned. The other safe Idols look stunned. I'm a little surprised that Lisa Turtle is up there.

8:27pm... So, Teen Vogue says that Fox's new show "The Loop" is "...a season must-see". Boy, let me drop what I'm doing now for this show.

8:28pm... Ryan just sent Steph's man Ace with the Ace Hair back to the bleachers to the other Idols.

8:28pm... Yeah, Chicken Little is trying to look mortified that he wasn't in there, but as the self-proclaimed Sex Symbol, he's pretty happy.

8:29pm... And Lisa Turtle is safe. I missed 2/3rds of the bottom three, but I got Melissa's exit exactly right.

8:30pm... When they show any montages of people screwing up, they always play Daniel Powter's "Bad Day". And during her montage, they are playing it now. How funny is this? "Yes, Melissa, our anthem for sucking is your song for leaving".

8:31pm... She's going to sing "Lately" again... will she hope her premontion misses, not her recognition?

8:31pm... Doesn't matter. Fox cut her off to quickly go to "The Loop". Not only did they NEVER show her in the auditions, they don't even give her a proper send off. Thats kinda funny.


I just turned to Vh1. Remember the song "Gonna Make You Sweat", but C&C Music Factory, and that chick that screamed "EVERYBODY DANCE NOW"? She was all thin then. She's biiiiiiig now. I'm just sayin'.

Oh, this is the top dance songs of all time. And Paula Abdul is the host... and she's so reading the cue cards with the total "I'm here, I'm cashing my check, I'm going home and I don't give a rip" face.

If ever there was time to assemble Hal Sparks, Mo Rocca, MIchael Ian Black, Patrice O'Neal and Racheal Harris, it would be for the Best Dance Songs ever, especially since most of them are from the 70s.

Just saw a commercial for the new season of Hogan Knows Best, where he's looking at feminine products. You know, the words "Dry Weave" and "Tampax with Pearls" should never come out of some mouths... The Rock. Sammy Jackson. Sean Connery. Hulk Hogan. I'm sad now.
And I'm not sure there has ever been a movie I've wanted to see less than my desire to see "Failure to Launch", with Matt McConaughy and Sarah Jess Parker. Not to mention that I have never thought SJP was even pretty, or even cute, I don't want to see Terry Bradshaw in anything unless he's parodying himself, like in Cannonball Run.
Not only is E! Channel showing "101 Celebrity Slimdowns", its being hosted by Carnie Wilson. I weep for this nation.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Deuce Madness Update & American Idol Review

First, before we get to The Idol, lets talk Deuce Madness... after Monmouth's 71-49 thrashing of Hampton, here's where we stand:
Matt & Scott Latta, James Hawbaker, Barnie, Steph Dollar, DMOsborne & Jon Osborne all have 10 points each (getting their brackets in on time, plus getting Monmouth correct)
Tommy, Lori, Drew, Yours Truly, Mikey Nipp, Tyler "Sexy Beast" Campbell, Brad Latta, Jon Taylor and Jess Hawbaker each have 5 points, for getting their brackets in on time. Now, most of us picked Hampton in this second group, but Tommy & Lori went with Monmouth--but got their bracket in after tip-off. Jon didn't pick either way, and I couldn't open Jess' bracket, so I don't know what she picked.
Everyone else turning their bracket in from now until Thursdays tip-offs will start at 0 points.
Now, to the other stuff... I'm talking American Idol, baby. The Top 12 is here, and ready to sing for us... like usual, I have to watch this on tape delay, because I have to work on Tuesday nights, but Steph already informed me of My Girl McPhee doing really, really well.
And here comes the top 12... Steph's Man Ace with the Ace Hair... their is Pickles, looking all sorts of good... Elliot Yahmean... Mandisa... Bucky... (Bucky?)... Melissa "No Airtime, No Love" McGhee... Lisa Turtle... Chicken Little... My Girl McPhee (whew)... Taylor Hicks.. Paris Bennett... and Chris Daughtry.
Tonight is Stevie Wonder Night. Steph already told me no one performed "Overjoyed", though had she not said so, I would have totally put that in Elliott Yahmean's or Bucky... Bucky...'s court. And of course, they show the "Stevie Wonder" montage... I still maintain that he's very happy, secretly, to be the last living blind legend, now that Ray Charles is dead. That being said, how cool would it be to sing along with Stevie?
Steph's man Ace with the Ace Hair is singing "I Do, I Do", one I'm not familiar with. He's got the moves, he's got the voice, he's got the looks... yes, ladies, straight from O-Town (or he could be), its Ace Young. His number is 866-IDOLS-1... don't you know the guy who works at the business with the number 800-IDOLS-1 is totally pissed every Tuesday night? At least 800-IDOLS-12 through 800-IDOLS-3 get a break after a while... 800-IDOLS-1 has to endure the WHOLE season. Back to Ace... Randy said "aight". Paula loved it, like usual. Simon? "Lucky for you, the audience is easily pleased." My thoughts? Eh.
Next is Pickles! If I had to write down "The 50 Things I Look Forward To Every Week", hearing Pickles (and watching My Girl McPhee) would be in there somewhere. She's singing "Blame It On the Sun", another one I don't know. I'll be honest... if its not on Stevie's Greatest Hits, I don't know it. She looks great, and I think if they ever had a Tammy Wynette or a Leanna Rimes Night, she would DOMINATE. I'll be honest with you, though... if it weren't Pickles, I don't know that this performance would interest me at all. Of course, it never helps when YOU FORGET THE WORDS!!! Pickles!! What are you doing????!!!! How can ANYONE forget the words to their song when you are in the Top 12 of American Idol? Randy says it perfect... it was like a non-event. Paula wasn't a fan, and Simon ripped her. Not good.
On another note, Ryan Seacrest has gone from "Annoying Idol guy" to someone I actually enjoy watching on tv. He's getting funnier, and he's really learned how to play off of what he's dealing with... of course, when you have countrified Kellie Pickler pulling up the top of her dress and talking about "fake eyelashes", its not hard. Oh, Pickles.
Elliot Yahmean is next... he's singing "Knocks Me Off My Feet", and they show him tearful when he meets Stevie Wonder. I really can't think of any celebrities that would make me cry when I meet them... perhaps if I met Ashley Judd, Steph would hit me hard enough to make me cry because of my staring. Anyway, I've grown to kind of like Elliott, despite his second row of teeth on the bottom. Randy said it was good, but not great, Paula loved it (of course) and Simon said that it was good, but didnt have the wow factor.
Ryan just removed Mandisa's shoes from her, because they were hurting her.. and she sings "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" barefoot, and does very, very well. Randy and Simon both agree, best so far tonight. Paula gushed, as usual.
Okay, so here's my thing... let's say Mandisa wins the whole thing. Who's going to buy her cd? I don't know a single person that will buy a Mandisa cd... I know lots of people who have Kelly Clarkson cds, a few who own Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken, even a Ruben cd. But I dont think I know anyone who will buy a Mandisa cd, no matter how good she sounds. And what station is going to play her music? Maybe 103.7 for the first bit... maybe some AC stations, the kind that play Kimberly Locke's "Eighth World Wonder". All this is to say, she is not, and shouldn't win, the Idol show. She may have the best voice... but she's not the best person to win it and carry the Idol torch.
And neither is Bucky. Bucky. He's singing Superstitious (which is dangerous, because as opposed to the other ones that many people may not know, EVERYONE knows Superstitious) and has come out with his hair down. If Steph goes to Publix to pick up Kraft Cheese and Ace Young, someone else goes to the welfare line to pick up government cheese and Bucky Covington. That being said, for the first time in this whole season, I actually enjoyed his performance. Paula, Randy and Simon all agreed it wasn't the best vocals, but it was enjoyable. Weird.
And now to "No Love, No Airtime" Melissa "Wish she was McPhee" McGhee. They showed the video where she forgot the lyrics to "Lately", as she sang them in front of Stevie Wonder. Couldn't she just hold it up and say "Oh, gosh... they were written wrong!" How would he know? Anyway, she butchered the song onstage by forgetting most of the words... dear, its "I hope my premonition misses", not "I hope my recognition misses". Personally, I always think of the far superior Jodeci unplugged version from 1992 instead of Stevie's, but either way, she messed it up. The judges like her though.
Lisa Turtle is singing "Signed Sealed Delivered", which like "Superstitious" is a little risky... but she nailed it. This was my absolute favorite Lisa Turtle performance--she looked good, she sounded great, and she had fun onstage. Randy loved the end, Paula loved the song, and Simon loved all of it. Ditto for me.
Chicken Little just sang "Part Time Lover". I'm amused and frightened at the same time. I will now put jumper cables on my eyelids.
I think in Revelations it says something about "...and I opened the fifth seal, and there was Chicken Little walking like an Egyptian, complete with slight pelvic thrusts and wearing soft makeup, destroying a song he probably doesnt understand."
I can't get to My Girl McPhee fast enough.
And as usual, Katharine McPhee is worth the wait. I declare it right here... she has now surpassed Taylor and Daughtry, and even Pickles as my total favorite this year. My Girl McPhee just gave a rock solid, unbelievable rendition of "Til You Come Back to Me", and she looked darned good doing it, even though she was wearing some low cut table cloth looking thing. The judges loved her, with Simon even comparing her to Kelly Clarkson. Love this chick, I do.
Alright, Taylor, bring it. He's singing "Living for the City", a song that I wasn't a fan of originally... though his version will make me re-visit the original. Taylor's the man. You know what I love about this guy? Like Bo Bice last year, every single time he's on stage, he looks like he's having the best time singing... maybe he's nervous, but you don't see it. He's just having a blast. Randy loved it, as did Paula, and Simon liked it too.
I'm starting to really like Paris even though I don't want to because she annoys me... I don't want to like Paris... I don't want to like Paris... I don't want to like Paris... I don't want to like Paris... I don't want to like Paris... I don't want to like Paris... I don't want to like Paris...
With all these people getting emotional over Stevie Wonder, perhaps I'd feel the same way if I were on Blogging Idol and we were doing a Sports Guy themed show and I got to meet him. That might do it.
And finally, my boy Chris Daughtry. He's singing "Higher Ground", one of the lesser heard, but one of the best, Stevie songs. And Chris is jamming it too... apparently, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have a version of it (did I know this?) so he took from both the Peppers and Stevie to make a solid song. Randy and Paula gushed, while Simon said he could actually imagine Chris having a hit with this song. I agree.
Okay, top three performances tonight: 1) Chris Daughtry... 2) My Girl McPhee... 3) Taylor Hicks.
Bottom three performances tonight: 10th) Bucky... 11th) Chicken Little... 12th) Melissa McGhee (only because she forgot the words to the song). I predict Melissa goes home.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Mission Statement III: The Final Chapter (today)

What an absolutely insane 2 hours.

At 10am, I was standing at the post office. I wrote checks totaling almost $300 for my passport, passport expidition (to get it faster) and for 300 stamps for support letters. Then, I stepped back to the work counter to organized Steph's passport renewal stuff, which would be another $127. Stephanie called me, telling me to call Bob Waters, the leader of the East Asia trip. Apparently there was a hitch.

Boy howdy was there.

Because we had signed up so late, the airline ticket prices were going to be more. Much more, in fact, like, $500 or more in additional costs. I told him about Stephanie, and he was excited that she was willing, and he stressed how important he thought it was for married couples to spend time on the mission field. Then he expressed to me some thoughts about the trip, and asked me to consider Steph and I going on next years trip. We both agreed that with raising support, it would be important to be good stewards of other peoples money & donations, and with an additional $1000 (or more) needed just for plane tickets, that might not be the best use of the money. I agreed, and made the decision for both Steph and I to step back and consider next year's trip. Disappointed, yes. At peace, yes. Happy that Stephanie was willing to go? Definately.

I called Stephanie, told her the news, which she was fine with. I mentioned that perhaps we could go to New York together this year, and she made a statement that made me smile... "Honey, if we are going to East Asia next year, I'll need to save my vacation and roll it over." Not "let's talk about it" or "we'll see" but almost a declaration of "well, we'll go next year. let's plan for it." Perhaps she was just speaking off the cuff, but I truly think she meant it.
And then I figured it out. This whole past week, with considerations for East Asia, with the prayer and conversations that came with it... it drew us closer spiritually, but more importantly, she now has a willing spirit towards missions, something she was hesitant to even discuss before. This whole thing with me and East Asia... was all for her.

When you make the statement "You never know what God is going to do", do you ever try and think of all the possible scenarios that could happen, if only to mentally prepare for them all? During the last five days, I've tried to think of everything... but from last night to this morning, I hadn't thought of any of this, much less prepared for any of it. And I love God for it.

And you know what? I think I'm going back to New York City this summer.

ps... big props to our friends, who have been nothing but supportive and extremely helpful in everything we've talked about, and almost seemed to be going to East Asia vicariously thorugh Steph and I. You guys are the best, and we love you.

pps... I went back to the Post Office and reclaimed all of our checks I had written, and even returned the stamps.

ppps... in a completely unrelated note, check out Dave's Sport Sites, which has (or will in about fifteen minutes) Scott Latta's Rammer Jammer blog.

Mission Statement Update

Oh, and lest I forget... last night, Stephanie dropped the news on me. God stirred her heart... and she's planning on going too, at least until God tells her not to go.

So... $0 down, $4000 to go

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Mission Statement

I love New York City. I do. I've been there three times, all three times on missions. The first was in 1998 with my campus ministry, the second was with a group from another church, and finally, I went last year with Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship). So, when I knew that Valleydale was heading back to New York this summer, I was all about it.

Only, God wasn't. For some reason, as the year began and we inched closer to our annual Global Worldreach conference, I didn't feel it. Irritating, actually. I felt as if, when you are willing, and you have the availability, why wouldn't God want you to go somewhere like that for His Glory?

And then I began to learn about another trip. This was was to East Asia, an overseas trip in June that my friends Matt & Ginger had taken last year, and it clicked with me. This was my trip. But East Asia? I mean... East Asia? For years I felt as if God was using me here, stateside, and never.... NEVER... felt the urge to leave the country.

Not to mention--this trip is going to cost me almost $2000 straight up, plus another $160 for getting a passport (rushed, even) because this is due in two weeks. TWO WEEKS.

Steph was very uneasy. And rightly so, here was her husband suddenly thinking that he might go around the world, a trip that had to be paid for in two weeks, money that already had been spent on bills, debt and such. Now, I had to come up with, through financial support and other means...

We discussed this on Wednesday... Thursday... Friday... and Saturday. Finally, we made an agreement. We would wait until Monday, continuing to pray together and separately about the trip. She had already decided that she would not go, it would just be me, but we would re-convene on Monday, sit down and have one final discussion about the trip. I told her that if she still felt hesitant for any reason on Monday, if she felt reluctant, if she felt likle that would be something that I--we--would not do. And I wouldn't blame it on her, I just wanted both of us to be on the same page with this, because I knew if I went, I would have her support either way--I just wanted her complete peace about it.

This morning, Sunday, after church, she tugged on my arm and simply said "Hey, if this is something you still feel called to do, then do it. I'm with you." And there you go. I'm going to East Asia.

Now, after an afternoon to nap on it (overnapping and missing the "closing" ceremonies of the Global Fellowship) and think about it, its sinking in. I'm going to East Asia.


And as I wrap up my list for support, and get ready to churn out about 100 letters for help, I am getting fired up. I'm going to get to watch God fly like a whirlwind through this, first watching the money come in then watching him mold my heart and the hearts of the team.

I figure the trip cost $1850, the passport will be $167, and expenses will be about $250 or so. That makes, round up, about $2300 to raise in two weeks. So, $0 down, $2300 to go. Let's do this.