Friday, April 29, 2011

The King of Idols

Living in Alabama, in the real world, there are good times and bad times, and this weeks worth of storms definately qualify as "bad times"... even fills up the entire catagory, I would say.

So, its silly for me to rail about having to watch the Idol peformances on Friday, when they came on on Wednesday night, because Wednesday night, The Lovely Steph Leann and I were sitting on the couch, watching amazing, awe-inspiring and at the same time, heart breaking live video of a mile-wide tornado destroy half of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and level about a dozen other small towns. 

Fox 6 promised that Idol would come on on Thursday afternoon, but instead, they showed a press conference, and ya know, I can't say I was too upset about that.  It would have been nice to have a little scroll that said, "American Idol will be broadcast at such and such time", but as they were covering the search and rescue of neighboring towns... I say towns, its more like thousands of piles of rubble and junk now... anyway, I can't complain too much.

So, I won't go too deep into this week's Idol, because frankly, I just don't feel like its as important as other things... but since I want to stay consistant...

This is American Idol.

Seacrusty opens up the show by telling us that out of 134 billion people who auditioned, there are six that remain... Deep Voiced Scotty... America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina... The Soulful Jacob Lusk... The Saved Casey A... and Haley "Not Hot But Cute" Reinhart.

Tonight's theme is the music of singer/songwriter Carole King.  I do like--like, not love--Carole King, but some of her stuff is a little much for me.  "You've Got a Friend" is a song that I just cannot stand, especially since it was really made famous by James Taylor, a dude that I'm not a fan of either way, I will say that "Its Too Late", "Feel the Earth Move" and her version of "Feel Like a Natural Woman" are fantastic.  And her song "Where You Lead" is the theme song of The Gilmore Girls, a show that whether you admit it or not, everyone likes.  The hotness of Lauren Graham alone is enough to keep me looking up at the screen when The Lovely Steph Leann is having a marathon session of Gilmore.

Oh, and the night just gets better... the mentor is not Will.He.Be this time around, its Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.  Back in the 90s, Babyface was Da Man, producing hits for Mariah and Whitney and Boyz II Men and so on, and that continues to this day, really.  But he had an awesome solo career that includes awesome R&B hits like "For the Cool in You", and the soft ballad "When Can I See You" and the sweet ballad "Everytime I Close My Eyes" and the strangely but cooly named "Whip Appeal" and back up on Eric Clapton's Grammy winning song "Change the World", and of course, this one song that has 58 plays on my iPod (that's just the single--the video itself has 37 more plays), mostly because I love singing this song really, really loudly in Red Robin when I'm cruising down the highway...


Where was I?  Oh yeah, American Idol.

So, I would say if I were in the Top Six, I would be thrilled that Will.He.Boom.Boom.Pow.Am is gone, and a true master of musical production came in.  I mean, I could see Babyfact doing "My Humps", but I cannot see Will.He.Shut.Up singing "...And Our Feelings".  And if you think I also love this song because it has a ellipses to start the title, well... you might be right.  I love me some ellipseses... ... ... ...

I want Babyface to sing at my birthday party. 

Back to the show.

The Soulful Jacob Lusk is up first.  Jimmy Iovine says, "He's an incredible singer... but I think he's in the most jeopardy."  I agree.  Especially with a plaid blazer, a purple bow tie, a yellow shirt and an aqua vest.  And an off tune cover of "Oh No Not My Baby."

Crazy, Creepy Uncle Steven thought it was beautiful.  J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg loved it.

America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina is singing "Where You Lead", the aforementioned theme to the late WB show.  I kinda like this arrangement, and maybe I'm too used to the Gilmore version, I keep forgetting the original.   ADLA does kind of put a country spin on it...  she ends it sitting on the steps singing into the eyes of some random dude brought on stage as a prop. 

...I also keep forgetting that when the show is an hour and a half, they have a lot longer to sing with just six people as opposed to 12 or even 9 or 10. 

J-Lo loved it.  Seriously, I just noticed that Randy the Dawg was wearing a 50s high school sweatery type sweater, with a big "R" on it... I thought either "Riverdale" or "Rydell".   He drops the "in it to win it!" stuff on her.  Steven Tyler thought it was beautiful.

So, now, its duet time, with The Saved Casey A and Haley Cuteness singing "Feel The Earth Move"... of course, they won't admit it, but they are alluding to the rumors that Casey and Haley, sitting in a tree, s-i-n-g-i-n-g and all that.  Is it bad to say I kinda wish The Saved Casey A would go away in this song, and I could hear Haley Cuteness sing the whole thing solo? 

Steven Tyler says it was beautiful.  I'm sure J-Lo loved it.

Now, its Deep Voiced Scotty the Body singing "You've Got a Friend."  Soft, tender, kinda sweet... not a fan of the song itself, but I'm impressed Deep Voiced Scotty can really bring this to life.  Just enough country to make it a possible country single for him, but just different enough to not make you say, "he's doing the same thing over and over!"  Not that that's bad, because he's good at that same thing.

Randy the Dawg thought he turned the other cheek.  Wait... what?  According to The Dawg, Scotty's in it to win it, dawg.  Uncle Steven thought it was great.  J-Lo loved it.

So now its The Straight Adam Lambert, the one and only Blinky James.  He's doing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow", as made famous by The Shirelles in 1960, and you might recognize the music from "Dirty Dancing".  He starts out a capella, crooning like a rock star into the mic.  And it sounds pretty good. 

It does turn into a rock song, because that's who he is, but it still ends great too.  Not sure what Steven Tyler just said, but he apparently made out to this song in a bowling alley.  Or something like that.  J-Lo loved it.   Randy the Dawg tells him he's turned the other cheek, and HE'S IN IT TO WIN IT!!  He might WIN THE WHOLE THING!!! 

And now, our next duet, with America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina and Deep Voiced Scotty, and Seacrusty is trying to lead to that whole "what's going on between you two?" and both are a little embarrassed, and saying, "We are like brother and sister" and thinking, "I hate you Seacrusty, I hate you."

They are singing "Up on the Roof", and though both voices are great, the song is kinda boring for me.  J-Lo loved it.

So now, The Saved Casey A is taking on the Blood, Sweat and Tears classic "Hi-de-Ho That Old Sweet Roll", a song that I didn't know I knew until I heard The Saved Casey A sing it.   Randy the Dawg liked it lots.  Steven Tyler thought it was beautiful. J-Lo loved it. 

He was a bit too growly for me.

And finally, in The Pimp Spot, its Haley Cuteness... and I'm immediately distracted by her headband.  Like, she could have been rehearsing with Babyface and Jimmy Iovine, and been wearing a bra and a a leopard print tutu, and I still would have been captivated by that ridiculous headband.  Her song is "Beautiful", and I'll say it... she has grown and grown in this competition, and I officially love me some Haley Cuteness.  There.  I said it.

Steven Tyler claims he saw God in Haley's performance... so he liked it.  Randy the Dawg didn't love the beginning, but liked the ending mucho.  J-Lo loved it. 

The final duet of the night?  The Straight Adam Lambert and The Soulful Jacob Lusk is doing "I'm Into Something Good", made famous by Herman's Hermits.  The original song?  Awesome.  The performance?  Silly and weird.  Flipping J-Lo's chair around and singing to her as she tries to cross her legs quickly because her dress barely covers her waist?  Awkward. 

For my money...
Haley Cuteness... Deep Voiced Scotty... The Straight Adam Lambert... America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina... The Saved Casey A... The Soulful Jacob Lusk

And now... THE RESULTS!

As the judges walk out, I observe that Steven Tyler looks like a gay pirate and a gay cowboy had a baby.   Seacrusty comes out and tells us, "Tonight, a lot of fans will be disappointed at the results..." letting us know that The Soulful Jacob Lusk and Haley Cuteness will NOT be going home. 

Group Song... fast forward.

Ford Music Video... fast forward.

Crystal Bowersox singing... fast forward

Viewer questions for the Idols... for some reasons, we aren't fast forwarding. 

Dim the lights!  Results time!  Haley comes to centerstage, as they show clips from last night.  Jimmy Iovine shows up and says, "She doesn't know who she is..." to which Haley mouths a bad word... remember, people, this is a theme night show.  Geez louise.

After the nationwide vote, Seacrusty declares her SAFE and sends her back to the Couch of Comfort. 

Deep Voiced Scotty comes centerstage.  Seacrusty tells him to take a seat and relax again, with no definite answer.  America's Darlin Lauren Alaina comes centerstage.  She is then sent to the Couch of Comfort with no answers.  The Saved Casey A comes centerstage.   He then goes back to the couch with no answers.

The Straight Adam Lambert comes up... and is SAFE!  The Soulful Jacob Lusk now comes up, centerstage.   Seacrusty then brings up Deep Voiced Scotty, The Saved Casey A and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina to the stage... then sends America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina back to The Couch of Comfort.

Mind you, he never said Scotty, Casey and Jacob were in the Bottom Three...

Bruno Mars singing.  Fast forwarding.

Dim the lights... here we go!  After 48 billion votes last night, The Soulful Jacob Lusk is SAFE.  Now, its The Saved Casey A and Deep Voiced Scotty standing together... Randy the Dawg is opened jawed, and J-Lo is befuddled. 

The Eliminated Casey A is going home.

The judges give him a Standing O, Haley Cuteness looks on the verge of tears, and The Voted-Off Casey A sings "I Put a Spell On You", kissing J-Lo, hugging Steven Tyler and Randy the Dawg, then smooches about 938 people in the front row, and hugs another 83 more. 

He ends the show by staring at Haley Cuteness while saying the line, "... YOU'RE MINE...."

Gotta hand it to him... The Dropped Like a Bad Habit Casey A has got style.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My mama was a gardener in her earlier life, working in a nursery for years and years.  When you hear nursery, you think "babies", but nay nay, its a nursery with plants.  She was good at that sort of thing... the old joke was she could plant a rock, have a tree in a few weeks, take the leaves and make a great casserole, then knit you a quilt with the leftovers.  That's the kinda chick she was, that mama of mine.

There are a lot of things I learned from dear Mama, but planting and gardening wasn't really one of them.  That being said, I can dig a hole and pot a plant.  That being said, I was quite proud of myself when I put together a big planter for the drive thru at our Starbucks.

Melanie asked me if I would take on the project, and since I consider half my job to be "get stuff done so she doesn't have to worry about it", then I took it on willingly.  She and I went to Lowes and walked around for about 20 minutes, looking for help and got none.  We were told that Ms. Jennie would along directly, but after a few more minutes went by with no Ms. Jennie, we had to split. 

I came back a little later when I had more time, and loaded up.  I got a apricot hibiscus, some begonias, some petunias and a few more fun things, and on the recommendation of Ms. Jennie, who finally showed up, I came up with this:

So, a few days later, Melanie asked me to do another for the front.  She told me what she wanted, but I missed part of it, catching only, "Covered with flowers."  To me, that meant just put a lot of flowers in it.

I head to Lowes and buy a whole lotta plants, bring them back and get them potted.  Melanie comes out, looks and says, "This looks great!" then adds, softly, "...can you make it taller?"  Its then that I realized she had actually said, "I'd like it to be tall, like the other one, covered with flowers." 

That'll teach me to only listen halfway.  I tend to do that alot.

Anyway, I haul off back to Lowes and walk around a while and make another decision.  Instead of small roses, I end up going with jasmine on a trellis.  I bring everything back, unpot most of the flowers I just potted, then plant the jasmine vine.  I then repot everything, then soil and water.  And here's what I ended up with:

I mean, I'm no Martha Stewart, but I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.  I even bought a watering can proportional to how it should be watered daily. 

My garden grows just fine.  I'm even thinking of doing flowers in front of The Cabana.  If I can find the time, that is.  Good luck with that.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Speaking of Random Thoughts

So, this is the stuff I was thinking about while watching Episode 7 of Season 6 of "Grey's Anatomy", sitting at my table with my laptop, while The Lovely Steph Leann stretches out comfortably on the couch...

He's not Colin Firth, but he's Top Five for
The Lovely Steph Leann
She loves her some Dr. Bailey, and Patrick Dempsey is a key member of Firth's administration in The Colin Firth Club, while I think Mark Sloan rocks, and dig Arizona Robbins... wait, did I just say any of that?  Forget I wrote that...

Speaking of Disney World...

So, here's the reason I've been so lagging in blogging in the last few weeks.  About a month ago, our pastor at Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) and his family asked The Lovely Steph Leann and I for some pointers on Disney World.  Pastor Calvin and his wife, daughter Hillary and her hubby and 2 year old girl and daughter Alissa and hubby Joey and their two boys are all headed that way, and its a combination of "never been" and "haven't been in a few years" and "haven't been in a long time"...

Well, after a three hour lunch meeting, we were just getting going.  Alissa had written about five pages of jumbled notes and such, and I'm not sure she understood everything we were saying (she had Mickey's PhilharMagic spelled Mickey's Filler Magic... I laughed heartily) so at the end, when we were running out of time, I said, "Let me write your notes." 

And over the course of a month, I wrote some notes.  And more notes.  And more notes.  And I added sections.  And then chapters.  And then a table of contents.  And at the end, it was a 53 page not-even comprehensive guide to Disney World from our perspective. 

The Lovely Steph Leann took it to edit, and after three days of assembly, it was bound in a folder, with the great title "DISNEY ON A DOLLAR"... that was the name she created for the Disney Travel Agency that we had discussed...

Personally, I think its a great guide.  And The Lovely Steph Leann says simply, "We aren't giving this out to anyone.  If they want it, they have to hang out with us.  Maybe treat us to dinner!".  So there ya go. 

But that's a completed project, so I'm back!  Rock on. 

Speaking of syrup on the fingers...

I hate having my hands sticky.  Like, really sticky.  Or even partly sticky.  When I'm standing at the espresso bar, and I reach over and pump four shots of vanilla, it sometimes drips on the back of my hand.  Or I have mocha on my fingers.  Or moving the frappuccino pumps around, it drips on my palm.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.  I consider that to be one of the things I'd probably hate most about being on Survivor--my hands getting sticky and not being able to wash it off.

Don't get me wrong.. I don't mind "dirty".  I can put my hands in mud and dirt, I've potted many plants and cleaned many drains and scrubbed many toilets and so on, so I have no opposition to getting my hands dirty.  As long as they aren't sticky. 

Speaking of making messes...

I would love to tell you the following is a fake, but its not.  I would love to tell you that the following is needless and silly, and maybe it is... but I can see the use for it. 

Its called The Slobstopper, and its a real commercial, and sure to be found at Target, Kohls and Wal-Mart in that crazy "As Seen On TV" aisle and/or end-cap soon enough.  What is the Slobstopper?  Its a bib for adults.

Sometimes for a mid-afternoon, or an after work snack, I'll drop by Daylight Donuts and grab a donut and a small bottle of whole milk, and what I've learned the hard way is when you open the whole milk, it spills out the top.  Its done this twice, in my car as I was driving.  The first time, I had a nearby cloth towel and was able to wipe most of the mess away.  Of course, it was good that I had that cloth because I was also munching on a coconut cream filled turnover, and that cream splurted out onto my shirt, my shorts and on the fairly new seats of Red Robin. 

If I have a complaint about my Kia Soul, and I have very, very few, one would be that the seats get dirty really easily.  Just add coconut cream.  And whole milk.

The second time, I was less prepared, and though I had no coconut cream filled turnover, the milk spilled even worse, and I only had a Starbucks apron within reach.  I guess there is no use crying over it.

But had I Slobstopper?  My problems would melt away... as would the milk and coconut cream.

Speaking of being tired...

You know you are tired when you wake up at butt-thirty in the morning and are already looking forward to laying down in the afternoon for a little rest spell.

Speaking of doing puzzles...

I'm not much of a "fighting style" video game guy, like "Red Dead Redemption" and "Halo" and all that rot.  Not that I don't really understand them, its just too many buttons on most controllers.  My fingers aren't that dexterious.

However, I do like puzzles and puzzle games on video.  And in a book.  Mazes rule.  I love mazes.  Crosswords are fun too. 

Word searches are fun, but only if the list is fun.  Like, when I pick up a word search puzzle, I'll flip past "Architectural Designs" or "French Military Victories", but if I see something cool like "Russell Crowe Movies", I'm like "Where you at 'Gladiator'?!".

By the way, the "French Military Victories puzzle has like, one or two things to find. 

Speaking of holding your breath...

When I'm watching a film and a character has to swim underwater, I always hold my breath as long as they do to see if I would make it.  I usually die. 

Speaking of good food...

Had dinner the other night at a joint called Rags downtown, in the Lakeview District.  Let's be honest, I only know its the Lakeview District because when we pulled up, I was told that it was the Lakeview District by our double dates for the night, Melanie and Chris Z.  It was Chris' birthday, so he was in fine spirits, Melanie looked great as always, The Lovely Steph Leann is always nice to have on the arm, so it was a great night.

The food was reasonably priced, and the atmostphere was fun.  Its a former hair salon turned into a bar/cafe, which contains a bar and five tables.  We had to wait for a table for a few minutes, but we were able to sit down and munch on Italian type food and appetizers. 

After we all shared a big plate of fried green beans, I ate shrimp pesto pasta and it was really great.  Dinner with friends is always great. 

Speaking of The Deucecast...

In case you don't know me or haven't heard me, we done been starting us a podcasty thing.  A podcast called The Deucecast.  You can find it on iTunes under "The Deucecast" and download individual 'casts (I recommend Episode -1... that's negative one... and Episode III: Podcast of the Sith) or subscribe to all of them. 

You can also find it on our website The Deucecast, and get show notes and download shows, see a few pics, and find some other fun stuff as we progress.  Find us on Facebook and like us, too.

What's it about?  Pop culture stuff.  Movies, music, entertainment news, gaming stuff, and lots of humor.  Hosted by Mikey, Matty and myself, new episodes are usually available for download on Fridays by midday.  Come join us!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Idols of the 21st Century (now with results!)

Man, I am turning into an Idol blog, and an Idol blog only... thats the tough part about American Idol--when I don't have time to post anything during a week, I get the Idol blog up, and then it looks like that is all I care about.... when that's just not true! 

Its been so busy around Clouds in My Coffee... got a podcast going now... working a ton... making sure I get some TV and quality time with The Lovely Steph Leann... making sure I get a lunch in with my friend Melanie... making sure I get some wrestling time in with my best mate Wookiee... watching Survivor, The Celebrity Apprentice and Grey's Anatomy... reading "Onward"... and keeping up with Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship).  So, yes, I've been sorta busy, so consider this my apology that when you come here, all you see is Idol Idol Idol! 

How about this... new material up this weekend?  I promise.

For now, thought... this is in fact, American Idol...

So, bad weather is rolling in overnight, and usually when that happens, the local networks are overtaken by meteorologists.   Sometimes they just cut out of the show, then cut back to the show still in progress, other times they pre-empt it and show it in its entirety at like, 217am.   So if you have no kind of recording device, DVR, TiVo, VCR, whatever, you are outta luck. 

However, I have little fear that American Idol's DVR airing that I'm watching at this very moment will be cut away from... because this is the #1 show in the country, and the biggest cash cow for Fox, like, ever.  So not a big deal.

I do hate it, though, when they slap a weather map in the corner and half the screen is taken up by outlines of counties that are far away from here. 

And here's the show... we open up with ProActiv Girl Ashthon, Thiamegia, Peepee Tuscany, K-Rod and Pauly Mac... and of course, the girl we can't get rid of, Nagasaki Aladdaba.  They are doing butchering an already bad song by P!nk, so let's just fast forward a bit...

So, tonight's theme is Songs from the 21st Century... so all the songs that were done after 2000.  So what does Deep Voiced Scotty do?   "Swingin'" by Leann Rimes...

But does he realize that "Swingin'" is a song from the early 80s by John Anderson?  Classic.  There's a little girl in my neighborhood, her name is Charlotte Johnson and she's really looking good, well I had to go see her so I called her on the phone, walked over to her house and this was going on...

Did that straight from memory. 

Deep Voiced Scotty sounds like every other time he sings... but it works.  Its not as good as I've heard him, but country music is going to snatch him up.  Crazy Creepy Uncle Stevie loved Deep Voiced Scotty.

J-Lo... didn't love it.  Randy the Dawg agrees with Jennifer Lopez. 

Up next, its The Straight Adam Lambert, aka, Blinky James Durbin.  By the way, they are showing videos of the Idols discussing the Idol in question... they riffed on Deep Voice Scotty's tendency to sing with the mic sideways, out of the side of his mouth, and now they riff on The Straight Adam Lambert's scarfy tale and screeching.

Jimmy Iovine likes the fact he's singing a Muse song, not that I know who that is.  I think I've heard of them.  Him.  Her.  Yeah.  So, he has a quartet of drummers come out, and he follows them to the stage.  He actually sounds pretty good, though he sounds kinda like a second rate Bon Jovi, circa 1986. 

J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg loved it.  Uncle Stevie riffs on The Straight Adam Lambert's outfit, but loved the song too.

And now, its Haley Cuteness, as the other Idols joke on her growl and her arm waving.  They don't show The Saved Casey A at all--it appears that he and Haley Cuteness are an item.  As in, they are going together.  As in, they are going out.  As in, boyfriend and girlfriend. 

And, she's doing my current favorite song, "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele, so I look forward to this.  Okay, so I know she gets a lot of grief on this show, and her voice isn't perfect, but I love her rasp, and I love her version of this song.  This was a perfect choice for her, and it sounded phenom.

Randy the Dawg thought it was great.  Uncle Stevie loved it.  J-Lo loved it. 

Coming in fourth now, its The Soulful Jacob Lusk, and he'll be singing some Luther Vandross.  All the Idols call him "diva" and laugh about his "yeah yeah yeah"s during his songs. 

He's doing "Dance With My Father", but really, I'd love him to do something a little faster.  He starts, and has a blip at the beginning, though I don't know if she missed the words or it was an emotional thing.  He ends up taking out his earpiece.

I just got done doing 2 hours worth of recording for The Deucecast Episode III: Podcast of the Sith, I was up at 4am this morning and at work by 420, and had another meeting all day.  So I'm tired.  This song is not helping me stay awake.   It was boring. 

Uncle Stevie loved it.  J-Lo... didn't love it.  Randy the Dawg didn't love it either. 

The Saved Casey A is next, and the other Idols are wearing fake long beards and poking fun at him.  They all take turns playing weird instruments and mock him .

Tonight, he's singing "Harder to Breath" by Maroon 5, while playing his guitar.  And he's rockin' it.  If I wasn't really paying attention, you would be able to convince me that this was Adam Levine, though I would be able to figure it out pretty quickly.  Good job, The Saved Casey A.  And he ends it by singing right to the judges, then at the end, gives a quick smooch to J-Lo.  And tonight, she looks great, so I don't blame him one bit.  I hope Haley Cuteness doesn't come claw her eyes out.

J-Lo loved it.  The song too.  Randy the Dawg thought it was great.   Steven Tyler said something that got bleeped, and everyone's mouth dropped, so apparently it was a compliment.   And Seacrusty came up, wearing the fake The Saved Casey A beard, and looking a bit Amish.

We are back from break, with tape over Steven Tyler's mouth.  He then sticks his tongue through a photo of Seacrusty. 

Ah, its Stefano Italiano!  The Idols jank on his cockiness and that he loves to flirt with anything and anybody.  He's doing "Closer" by Neo, and as he sings, I find myself being a bit bored again.  He's more exciting than The Soulful Jacob Lusk, and at least he's not doing a ballad, but nonetheless, I am yawning, and find my looking ahead to what America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina might sing.  Or thinkin about Haley Cuteness' polka dotted dress.

Randy the Dawg thought it was going to be a little jerky, but you know what, it was hot right there!   Uncle Stevie Tyler thinks it was a good job.  J-Lo loved it.  Steven Tyler has a lip print on his face, and Seacrusty asks him where he got it, and Steven Tyler's other daughter, Alana, is in the audience.   I think Liv got all the looks.  I mean, ALL. 

Finally!  America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina is up now, and the Idols are singing "Born to Fly" by Sara Evans. I saw her and her hubby--that's Sara Evans, not America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina--come through our Starbucks drive thru not too long ago, in a big Hummer.   She had little make up on, and still looked great.  Some people.

Americaa's Darlin' Lauren Alaina comes out, wearing a skirt a little too short for the junk in her trunk, but sounds great.   Steven Tyler loved it.  J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg loved it.

So for me, here's best to last:  Haley Cuteness... The Saved Casey A... America's Darlin Lauren Aliana.... The Straight Adam Lambert... Deep Voiced Scotty... Stefano Italiano... The Soulful Jacob Lusk

Now, I'm predicting America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina, Deep Voiced Scotty, The Straight Adam Lambert and The Saved Casey A are going to be safe.  I'm thinking Haley Cuteness, Stefano Italiano and The Soulful Jacob Lusk are Bottom Three, with Jacob going home.  Just my predictions.


And here we are, with The Lovely Steph Leann and I finally watching Idol together... granted, its the results show, but yes, we are together.  Seacrusty comes out and tells us that there were 83,038,723,038.7 votes cast last night... and that was just votes from Rhode Island!

Performing slaughtering Train's "Hey Soul Sister", here is The Soulful Jacob Lusk, America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina, Haley Cuteness and Stefano Italiano... we fast forward.

Then commercial break.  We fast forward

Then the Ford commercial.  We fast forward.

Then The Saved Casey A and Deep Voiced Scotty and The Straight Adam Lambert performing Coldplay's song that I can't remember the name of... Viva la something... Viva la poolhouse?  I dunno.  The Lovely Steph Leann is holding the remote, so our fast forwarding is erratic and pitchy.

And now, the Idols are on the couch, and The Saved Casey A holds up a painting sent in by a fan... kinda creepy.

The results, you ask?  Well, here we go!

The Saved Casey A gets up, as does The Soulful Jacob Lusk.  Who stays on the Comfort Couch, and who makes the long ominous walk to the Silver Stools of Suck?  America loves The Saved Casey A, and he sits on the Comfort Couch.  What about The Soulful Jacob Lusk?  He heads to the Silver Stools of Suck...

Commercial break.  We fast forward.

David Cook performing.  We fast forward.  The Lovely Steph Leann wants to listen.  Finally, we fast forward. 

Commercial break.  We fast forward.

We do end up watching a fun little video of the Idols going to a Dodgers game (me:  were they the only ones there?  look at those empty seats!) and then bowling.   Haley Cuteness even has low cut bowling shirts.  Seriously.  Then they head to a spa, which works on Stefano Italiano's unibrow and gives a mani-pedi to Deep Voiced Scotty. 

Back to results!  Seacrusty tells us that two more people will join The Soulful Jacob Lusk on the Silver Stools of Suck.   America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina, Stefano Italiano and The Straight Adam Lambert join Seacrusty in the middle of the stage.   After almost the entire world's voting, Stefano Italiano is in the Bottom Three.  Again.  And I'm so shocked right now.

Deep Voiced Scotty and Haley Cuteness come to the center of the stage, and Haley Cuteness must be thinking "I'm with Deep Voiced Scotty and one of us is going to the Silver Stools of Suck?  Craaaaaap....  freakin' bottom three..."

After the nationwide vote... Seacrusty said, "DEEP VOICED SCOTTY!!" then threw in a "wow" like we would be fooled, then said, "You are safe." 

Oh, Seacrusty, you faker! 

Haley Cuteness joins The Soulful Jacob Lusk and Stefano Italiano on the Silver Stools of Suck, the Seacrusty pulls her to the center of the stage again, then whispers, "Haley Cuteness... you are safe..."

The Lovely Steph Leann:  "Seacrusty!  You teaser!! "

Commerical break.  We fast forward.

Katy Perry comes out to perform. 

The Lovely Steph Leann after seeing Katy Perry's outfit:  "Oh, we are definately fast forwarding now."  So we do.

Finally... who goes home?  The Soulful Jacob Lusk and Stefano Italiano stand in the middle of the stage.   Dim the lights, here we go.

The person leaving Idol tonight is... Stefano.  Finally, we knew it would catch up to him eventually, he's been the luckiest Idol in the history of the show.   Camera cut to The Straight Adam Lambert, who has his face in his hands, seemingly in tears.

Good thing for him, though, he's been expecting this for about seven straight weeks. 

Until next time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hey Judges! Are We Watching the Same Idol?

The show opens with flashbacks to last week's results show.  Stefano Italiano's shocked face when Seacrusty says, "The Idol going home is... Peepee."  The camera scans to the judges with Randy shocked, and Uncle Steven Tyler yelling and J-Lo crying.

After the heartbreaking loss of one Peepee Tuscany last week, where does Idol go for now?  Was it a shocker?  Yes.  But if you stepped back and looked at it again, was it really a surprise?  Not really.  She wasn't going to win, and if she had've, she would have been more likely to be a Taylor Hicks/Kris Allen kind of Idol, rather than Carrie or Kelly. 

She was an adult contemporary style artist in the vein of Michael Buble, Celine Dion and the like.  When was the last time you heard Celine on the radio when it wasn't Delilah's show, or that style station on the radio or satellite radio?   Exactly.  So, Peepee is gone.

Now... its the final 8...




Haven't had a Pickles sighting all season!  You all
know I love me some Pickles!
Seacrusty reminds us that People Magazine has voted J-Lo "The Most Beautiful Chick in the Whole Wide World."  I mean, she's pretty and all, but the most beautiful?  As long as Amy Adams (whom I'm in love with) or even Pickles are still breathing, J-Lo can't have that title.  Lest we forget The Lovely Steph Leann!

Tonight is Movie Music Night, with Idols doing songs from movies... Whitney and Celine, you are on alert!

First up is Pauly Mac... and I'll be honest with you--I think Pauly Mac is wearing a little bit on me.  He's got a good, unique voice, but he might be a little eh at this point.  He won't win, so maybe he's overstayed his welcome.

And that suit.  Holy crap, that suit.  Porter Waggoner is looking down from above and saying, "Wow, that is a bad, sparkly suit..."  Pauly Mac is doing "Old Time Rock & Roll" by Bob Seger from "Risky Business", and to me, yeesh.  I don't think song was good at all.

The judges were all about it, but for me, I didn't like that all.  Seacrusty tells us that if we liked sax with Pauly Mac, then vote for him!

Seacrusty then tells us, "After the break, America's Darlin Lauren Alaina takes on Miley!"  I say, out loud, "Ugh" because I know what is coming.   "The Climb".  This song makes me hurt.  Not in a good way, not in a bringing-back-memories kind of song, more of a make-it-stop kind of way.

Will.I.Am and Jimmy Iovine tells America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina that, "you are a much, much better singer than Miley Cyrus", which is like saying, "You are more of a girl than Stefano Italiano.  You are."   They then tell her, "Steal Peepee's votes.  This is your chance!  Those votes are up for grabs!"

Granted, I'm not a fan of this song, from "Hannah Montana: The Movie", mostly because when I worked at The Happiest Place in the Mall in Spring of 2009, this song was on a loop, the whole song, and I heard it at least 2 times per hour, about 40 hours a week.  I've mentioned this before, but I just want you to understand my own climb... however comma this performance from America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina was pretty good.

J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg says this song sounded like it was written just for her.  Crazy, creepy Uncle Steven loved it. 

From the Buried Treasure (this movie will come up soon on The Deucecast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes!  Or download from our website!) pile, its "Boomerang"!  This little film from 1993 starred a then-funny Eddie Murphy, a then-relevant Martin Lawerence and a semi-funny David Alan Grier, as well as a young Halle Berry, a sort of likable Robin Givens and even Chris Rock! 

Stefano Italiano is doing Boyz II Men's classic "End of the Road", which was MASSIVE back in the day.  See, you think your radio is filled with nothing but GaGa and Katy Perry, well take it back to 1993, when Boyz II Men and a pre-skank Mariah Carey was doing nothing but dominating the airwaves.  "End of the Road" was HUUUUGE, like, every other song played on every station, was this song. 

Jimmy Iovine and Will.He.Is tells Stefano Italiano that he has to stop singing not to lose, and sing to win.  And if the show were called "Flailing To and Fro About the Stage Like a Bad Michael Stipe Idol", then Paula Mac would finally have some competition, but being a singing competition, not so much. 

Stefano Italiano does well.  But not great.  Randy the Dawg calls it the best vocals he's seen from Stefano, and gives him the "In it to win it!"  Uncle Steven Tyler gives the obligatory, "This isn't the end of the road for you!" and J-Lo loved it.

Are we watching the same show?

Deep Voiced Scotty is doing Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin"?  He sounds fantastic!  This is going to rule.  Wait... he changes it?  Booo....

From the movie "Pure Country", one of the best awful films I've ever seen, he's instead doing "I Cross My Heart" from George Strait.  I agree with Annie Barrett from EW, I can barely tell Deep Voiced Scotty's songs apart by now, but they all work.  

As for this one, one of my favorite country tunes to date, its... well, not as good as his past peformances.  I feel like he could have done more.  Better.  Crazy Creepy Uncle Steven tells him that it was great.  J-Lo says, "everyone wants us to be tough, but you are all so good!"  So, J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg thought the song choice was great, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The Saved Casey A is up next, and looks like he's singing "Nature Boy", an old standard from Nat King Cole, and it sounds good... wait, he's changing it?  Him too?   Jimmy Iovine and Will.He.B, and someone who looks like a wussy Allen Iverson, all tell him to switch it, so he's going to "In the Air Tonight" from Phil Collins.

Wait, he goes back to "Nature Boy", using the upright bass to perform it, mmh!  What song is this, heh?  Where is its from, hah?  Well, its from the 1948 oh-wa movie "The Boy With the Green Hair" ho-wah and then featured in the 1990 movie "The Crossing" (featuring a very young Russell Crowe!), and then 1993's ho-uh "Untamed Heart" and then 2001's "Angel Eyes" and "Moulin Rouge!" and uh ha so its been everywhere.  Whats the ho hah and uh for?  Just emulating his own style.

Okay, I didn't think The Saved Casey A sang it that well.  I could even tell a few notes off key, and being a little pitchy.  However, the style was really, really cool, so I kinda liked the whole thing.

J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg compares him to Norah Jones and Michael Bubbles and such.  And I'm not really sure what Uncle Steven Tyler just said, but I could be convinced that he just spoke in tongues.  He did compare The Saved Casey A to Sting just about now. 

And now, Haley Reinhart.  I don't even have a nickname for her, unless I called her The Provocatively Dressed Haley, or Haley with the Low Cut Top... Haley Hotness is too strong a term... maybe Haley Cuteness?  Haley Sort Of Niceness? 

Either way, Haley is singing "American Gigolo"'s song, "Call Me" from Blondie.  No low cut top this time, but her dress stops just past her waistline and unmentionables.  And she looks like she just made out with a stained glass window.  I'm surprised the light isn't reflecting colors all over the wall.

What I'm afraid of is that she has to have a big production to sing... maybe she can't rest on just her voice, she likes to move it move it all over the stage.  Randy the Dawg didn't like it.  Crazy Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler agrees, but loved the dress.  J-Lo loved it. 

Personally?  I loved every. single.  thing.  about. it.

Jimmy Iovine and Will.Am.Him call The Soulful Jacob Lusk out for his "If people don't vote for me, then they are afraid to look themselves in the mirror!" comment last week... which saw The Soulful Jacob Lusk ending up on a Silver Stool of Suck.

This week, from "The Pursuit of Happyness", he's singing "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".   This is by far and away my least favorite song by Simon & Garfunkel, like, way, way down below.  I can't stand this song, it bores me to tears and I avoid it when I can. 

And of course, he does just enough to get him to the "blow you away" note, and then he lands that sucker down perfectly.  The song's inadequices were by far made up for by the last note or two, both which went on for about 29 minutes each.  Not my favorite of the night, but good.

Uncle Steven loved the last note.  J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg tells him its believable. 

The Straight Adam Lambert goes obscure, and picks out "Heavy Metal" from the movie of the same name in 1981, sung by Sammy Hagar.  Jimmy Iovine hates the decision, and even gets contentious with The Straight Adam Lambert... Will.Is.He.Be tries to keep the peace, saying, "I've had this same confrontation with Jimmy too, with my group."

The song finds The Straight Adam Lambert working his way from the stage to standing on the judges table, rocking out with dude that I am not sure wasn't in Saughter jamming on the guitar, and screeching.  Alot.  This song is a mess. 

J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg says, "you were just at The Straight Adam Lambert's concert!"  Crazy Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler says that it was outstanding.

Are we watching the same show?

Crazy enough, I think I liked Haley Cuteness' song the best.  Who knew?  I think that she and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina are safe, while I would say that The Soulful Jacob Lusk and Deep Voiced Scotty are on the cusp.  My predictions for The Bottom Three are Stefano Italiano, Pauly Mac and either The Saved Casey A or The Straight Adam Lambert.

Alrighty... just got in from an evening with Melanie and her family... the Zarzaur Kids were in a huge Broadway style play at their church, so I witnessed the spectacle, the majesty, the wonder of... well, it was pretty cute.  Special K, The Zach Attack and Jay Z all spent time on stage, singing in a chorus group, while myself, Melanie and Hubby Chris laughed and giggled at the kids obvious embarassment...

So, I just home, and The Lovely Steph Leann texted me not long after (she's in Pensacola tonight) with the words "did you watch Idol?!?"   I said, "About to. Did you?"  And she said, "The important part!"  Don't know if that means its a big shocker tonight, and she wanted to talk about it, or if she was just asking... either way...



Now, the Idol performances show takes me about 40 minutes to zip through an hour, maybe an hour to go through a 90 minute show... Results show?  In an hour show, I can usually get through it in about 15 minutes. 

America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina and Deep Voiced Scotty come out to sing a duet to "American Honey".  I'm sure The Lovely Steph Leann was giggling like a little school girl, as she loves her some Lady A.   I dig the duets and trios more than the big group number they usually do, as it gives me options to listen.

Okay, enough of this.  Fast forward.

Commercial break.  Fast forward.

The making of the Ford Music Video.  Fast forward

The actual Ford Music Video.  Fast forward

Listening to The Saved Casey A and Haley Reinhart sing an old standard.  She sounds better here (when it doesn't count) than any other time I've heard her.   Randy the Dawg agree, yelling, "That's whats up!  Where was alla'day?!"

Now its time for some results!  Deep Voiced Scotty and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina join The Saved Casey A and Haley Reinhart centerstage... Seacrusty reminds us there were 370 billion votes last night... Deep Voiced Scotty and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina head to the Couch of Comfort.  The Saved Casey A and Haley Reinhart are left... one will head to the Couch of Comfort, the other will be the first on the Silver Stools of Suck. 

And once again, Haley Reinhart lives dangerously, as she plants that booty on the Silver Stools of Suck. 

Commercial break.  Fast forward.

A video of Rob Reiner talking to the Idols about movie music.  Fast forward.

A performance from Jason Aldeen and Kelly Clarkson.  Fast forward.

Commercial break.  Fast forward

The Soulful Jacob Lusk, Stefano Italiano, The Straight Adam Lambert and Pauly Mac doing a quartet of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song, "The Sounds of Silence".  Silence.  Exactly what I hear when I fast forward.

Time for more results!  Seacrusty zips through a typical recap of last night's performances from the guys.  He sends someone back to the Couch of Comfort--and that would be The Straight Adam Lambert.  This leaves three, and now, Stefano Italiano is in the bottom three, and joins his Silver Stools of Suck partner in crime, Haley Reinhart.  The Soulful Jacob Lusk and Pauly Mac are left, and after the nationwide vote, Pauly Mac finds himself in The Bottom Three.   Why I didn't predict Haley in the bottom three, I don't know. 

Commercial break.  Fast forward

Rhianna.  Fast forward.

Commercial break.  Fast forward.

And now, the final results.  Dim the lights!  Seacrusty reminds us that since the Top 13, only chicks have gone home... Haley is hoping to turn that around... and as it turns out, she follows the footsteps of... those returning to the Couch of Comfort.  She is safe.

After the nationwide vote... going home is... Pauly Mac goes home.  Stefano Italiano lives to sing and flail another ballad another day.  Okay, lets be real--Paul McDonald was not going to win American Idol, nor should he.  However, at least he was unique enough to be remembered, and he went late enough in the show that perhaps he might have more success than say, Ashthon Jones... although ProActiv is still in the cards.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The 100 Coolest Things of 2010... #70 to 61

The Coolest Things of 2010, 100 to 91
The Coolest Things of 2010, 90 to 81
The Coolest Things of 2010, 80 to 71

70... Facebook DeFriended
Sometimes, you just want to be narcissistic.  Sometimes you get on Facebook and you notice that you have 2 less friends than you had yesterday.  And then, another day later, you gain a friend.  Could it be that people have dropped you?  Could it be that people deleted their account, then recovered their accounts?  If you delete your account, can you recover that account again? 

Either way, Facebook Defriended will take care of your narcissistic needs.  Buy the app for a buck, and you can hook it up to your account.  Then go into Facebook Defriended, and it will tell you your friend list activity over the last few days... who dropped you, who added you and so on. 

Why do I need this?  I don't.  Its a ridiculous app meant to only feed my ego and fuel my wonder of why someone would drop someone as awesome as I am (I say that with a smile and a wink), but still, I check it a couple of times per week.  Because I'm me. 

69... "Love the Way You Lie"
Overall, I'm not a fan of Eminem.  I respect what he does, and his mastery of wordplay and how he sings/raps, because if you just listen to how he does what he does, he's amazing.  What he actually says, however, is quite alarming and discouraging, because he has a ton of pent up anger and aggression in his lyrics, many times towards his own ex-wife.

Sometimes, though, he does get one out there that really makes me smile, one that I really enjoy.  "Without Me" was one a decade ago, while "Lose Yourself" is one that everyone likes.  And in 2010, a collaboration with Rhianna led to "Love the Way You Lie", which has this infectious, memorable opening riff--"Just gonna stand there and watch me burn... that's alright... I like the way it hurts..."

And the video, starring Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie from LOST), is just awesome.

Note... Eminem is not a clean guy, so please don't take this as an endorsement of his music.  As in, if you go and download this song, at least the explicit version, and are offended by the language, then don't blame me.  Listen at your own risk.  The album version of this song is not Emmy Turnbow Safe. 

68... Danno Gets a Reboot
I was never a fan of "Hawaii Five-O" in its original inception, not because it wasn't a good show, but because when it when it came on in 1968, I was a few years away from life.  When it ended in 1980, I was five.  When I saw re-runs in syndication, I barely remembered it.

So, when CBS decided to reboot the television show for the 2010-2011 television season, I had low expectations for the show.  Truth in advertising, I have low expectations for many shows when they premiere, because networks now rarely give most shows a chance to catch on... both Seinfeld and Cheers were low rated when they first appeared, but after catching on, they were awarded further seasons, and both went on to become television classics. 

The Lovely Steph Leann and I chose three shows to watch this time around, trying to watch them week by week via DVR, and those would be "No Ordinary Family", "The Event" and "Hawaii Five-O".  All three shows were good, but to me, "Hawaii Five-O" was exceptional.  It was funny, it was well written, and the cast is well placed.  Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan lead, with Daniel Dae Kim (Jin from LOST, and its hard to see him as anything beyond that) and Grace Park, and it also stars, of course, the Hawaiian coast line, the volcanoes and the culture.

Well, we stopped watching all three show on DVR, just because we got too far behind... and I'm quite alright with that for now, because "The Event" and "No Ordinary Family" are gone.  The former is in EW's "Danger Zone" and the latter is just scrubbed (which is sad, because it was also a good show).  However, "Hawaii Five-O" made the cut... and we'll put it in a category with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Grey's Anatomy"... watch it on DVD and get through a season in a few days.

67... The Fury Goes Crazy
Anyone who reads this blog for longer than a few days will know I'm a big Stephen King fan.  And in the early 80s, there was a "Quad-fecta" of novels that I really, really enjoy.  "Firestarter", "Cujo", "Pet Semetary" and "Christine", about a car, a '58 Plymouth Fury with a mind of its own, and evil side, one that cannot be stopped and is raging with jealousy and anger.

Arnie Cunningham is a loser in high school, best friends with Dennis, who happens to be kinda cool, and important enough at school to keep Arnie from getting beat up daily.  This, however, begins to change when Arnie "meets" Christine, a rusty old 1958 red and white Plymouth Fury sitting in a junk yard.  The car has many secrets, a horrible, evil past and slowly begins to change Arnie's life--for the worse, especially when Leigh Cabot, this beautiful chick who moves into town, goes out with him... enraging the car.  Yep, I said that and meant it. 

The book is a quick read, its well written and though not overly frightening, has its creepy moments.  I do remember when I was a kid, having just seen the movie when it premiered on network television, walking home from a football game (we lived two blocks from the high school) and being creeped out at 10 at night because some old truck was sitting on the side of the road, staring at me.  I kept waiting for the headlights to pop on. 

Good book.

66... We Figure Out The Tip
I've got over 140 apps on my iPhone, with games and weather and news and email and interweb capabilities and so on, but one of my favorites, one of most useful apps I have ever purchased is one called "The Tipulator".

Its quite simple.  You type in the amount of your bill, say $32.89.  It will automatically tell you your tip amount, then give you a total.  If you have good service, and want to leave 15%, then it will tell you that you should leave $4.93, and you should pay $37.82.   They give really good service?  You can adjust your percentage from 15% all the way up to 50% (which must be incredible service).  If you wanted to leave 18%, then The Handy Dandy Tipulator will tell you your tip is $5.92.  Poor service, but you still want to leave a tip?  You can knock it down to 13%, which is $4.60.  Or 1%, which is 33 cents.

Other settings include the ability to round your tip up or down to the nearest dollar, or your total amount to the nearest dollar, you can split the check from 2 people to 50.   I have mine set to round the total amount to the nearest dollar, with the tip set at 15% or more.   The price is a mere 99 cents, and I would definitely recommend it if you ever eat out. 

65... Denzel Carries The Word
When movies come out in January, they are usually considered "throw away movies", that is, movies that are dumped into the post-holiday season when most people aren't going to the theaters because they spent too much money during the Christmas season.

But every now and then, they dump a movie into January that turns out to be darn good.  I give you "The Book of Eli".  Denzel is the title character, wandering on a mission through a post-apocalyptic United States carrying what, at that time, is a very valuable and rare artifact--a King James Bible.

This is part of my review on the film:

We see right away that Eli is not a guy to be messed with... he's got somewhere to be, and he's headed that way. And when people try to stop him, he stops them from trying to stop him in the most convincing "don't bother me" way possible. Trouble comes when he drifts through a town and its discovered by the town's "ruler", Carnagie (played by Gary Oldman, who excels in this type of role), that Eli is carrying with him last copy of the Bible.

The film is bleak in color, as many of the movies with this setting are, and language pervades throughout. The sexual moments are very few, with only a couple of allusions to it, mostly within the context of the town's danger. Violence is also heavy in this film, so expect lots of knives and gunshots and big armored vehicles. All that is to say that this movie is NOT for kids. I dare say its not Emmy Turnbow safe, but at the same time, I think Emmy Turnbow would like this movie--at least, an edited version that might come on the USA Network in June of 2012 or something.

Written on June 6th, you can read the full review here.

64... Norah Gets a Duet
Norah Jones is only for certain tastes, because the argument is that "all her stuff sounds alike"... and yeah, thats kinda true.  But if you like that sound, you'll love this album.  In her career, she's done several solo albums and has also done lots of work as a part of other bands like The Little Willies, or projects with other artists, like Ryan Adams or Willie Nelson. 

Released in November of 2010, "...Featuring" is a compilation CD of Norah Jones and.  Norah Jones and... the Foo Fighters.  Norah Jones and... Ray Charles.  Herbie Hancock.  Q-Tip from a Tribe Called ?uest.  And several, several others.

My favorite tracks on the CD are a cover of "More Than This" with Charlie Hunter, a cover of the 80s rock song, and a "Take Off Your Cool" with OutKast, as featured on the OutKast album "The Speakerboxxx/The Love Below". 

And if you think I wanted to mention OutKast's album "The Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" because I wanted to seem a slight bit cooler, then... you may be right.

63... Bruno Loves His Woman
Bruno Mars has had quiet a year... among many of the hits he's helped pen, Cee Lo's "Forget You" was a massive hit, as was Flo Rida's "Right Round", and had a couple of hits of his own, including "Grenade" and my 63rd Coolest Thing of 2010, "Just the Way You Are". 

Its a fun little song about loving a woman just... well, just like she is.  She's perfect.  He tells her that, "when I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change, cause you're amazing, just the way you are."

And in interviews, I liked the idea that he doesn't try to go too deep, he just simply says, "I'm a big fan of songs like Joe Cocker's 'You Are So Beautiful' and Eric Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight' - songs that go straight to the point. You know, there's no mind-boggling lyrics or twists in the story - they just come directly from the heart. And to me 'Just The Way You Are' is one of those songs. There's nothing mind-blowing about it. I'm just telling a woman she looks beautiful the way she IS - and, let's be honest, what woman doesn't wanna hear those lyrics?"

62... The Candlelight Processional
One of our several trips to Walt Disney World found us there in December, actually getting a chance to spend a little time with one of my best friends, Melanie, and her family, that being Chris Z (the hubs), and the kids, Special K, Jay Z and The Zach Attack.  And because it was Christmas time, The Lovely Steph Leann was very adamant that we see The Candlelight Processional.

What is it?  Well, at Epcot, its a special Christmas presentation featuring a choir, awesome Christmas music and a reading of the Christmas story--yes, the one from The Bible--by a celebrity.  The small amphitheater, near the American Pavilion, was decorated beautifully, with bright reds and greens all around, and at least a hundred poinsettias adorning the stage and spaces between choirs.

The choir itself consists of mostly Cast Members who auditioned, and
local talents, as well as the orchestra

The Lovely Steph Leann saw The Candlelight Processional in 2009, and just missed Steven Curtis Chapman and ended up witn Anika Noni Rose, voice of Tiana from "The Princess & the Frog"... and this year?  We still missed Steven Curtis Chapman.  He was reading later in the month, but our reader was none other than Ariel herself, Jodi Benson, who I believe is a Christ Follower.

After the choirs filed in, they sang a few Christmas hymns, then Jodi took the stage.  Over the next thirty minutes, music was interspersed with reading from Matthew, and at the end, she spoke briefly on the birth and eventual death of Christ.  And yes, this was all at Walt Disney World, a magical place, but still quiet secular.

Jodi Benson reads the Christmas Story.  We almost had Susan Lucci,
but they moved her around and gave us Jodi, and I was cool with that.

61... "Kick-A**"
Here's what I had to say in June of 2006:

Okay... so, for every reason I shouldn't, I thought this movie was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Its title that I feel very uncomfortable saying (and don’t, especially on a website that I like to keep PG), its got the same language you’d find in equally as funny movies like “Superbad”, its got comic-book style violence that still produces blood spatter like crazy, and it’s got a bunch of teenagers trying to get some. There is no redeeming quality to this movie.

Let's be clear here... this movie is NOT for children.  As a Christ-Follower, this movie is a prime example of the topic of "what do you place in front of your eyes?", which is another conversation for another day.  I've tried to give you the rundown on the film as best I can, so now its up to you as to whether to see it.  Cindy Jo is probably not going to see this film.  Hurricane Rhett might go out tonight and catch it.

Read the whole post, including the full review, by clicking here.

Coming up... A great indictment of the NCAA Postseason (what?)... keeping my head and hands warm... and later, hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Idols Countroul Gently Weeps

It's late!  I just got in on Wednesday night, from The Deucecast Studios after recording the first episode of The Deucecast Podcast... check out and hear our "negative one" show, our pre-show that is, and our first episode, The Podcast Menace. 

But now, its American Idol!  I just started the show, just sat down with the laptop and keyboard, and am ready to hear some music from The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! 


We get a little video showing us Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and some of the features and exhibits, as well as the hall of fame history,  And then, our Idols come out, ready to give some Halla-Fame performances.

And we have a celebrity mentor this week, or two, with Jimmy Iovine.  Gwen Stefani and Will.I.Am are here to help out. 

At first, The Soulful Jacob Lusk is going to sing "Let's Get It On", but instead heads to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror"... he tells us, "If I'm in the bottom three, it wont be because I sang it bad, it will be because America didn't want to look in the mirror."  This message of guilt and shame brought to you from The Soulful Jacob Lusk.

His backup singer gets close on part of the song, and she literally looks like she doesn't have hair until halfway back on her head.  She apparently doesn't have a mirror.  Ah, its Siedah Garrett, the co-writer of that song... doesn't change the fact her hair is only half there.

Uncle Steven Tyler loved it.  J-Lo gives an inspiration message.  Randy the Dawg loved it.  I thought it was pretty good as well.

Haley Reinhart, who I found out tonight that Cindy Jo can't stand, is doing Janis Joplin's "A Piece of My Heart".  This song is perfect for her raspy voice that I dig. 

(full disclosure... after recording The Deucecast Episode I: The Podcast Menace last night, I didn't get home until close to midnight, so by the time Haley Reinhart took the stage, I was drifting off... smashcut to 130 Thursday afternoon, and I finally fire up the DVR, and watch Haley Reinhart.)


J-Lo loves it.  Randy the Dawg thought it was cool, and "this is the Haley we love!"  Crazy Creepy Uncle Steven Tyler loves the Janis Joplin sound.  I digress.

Seacrusty asks us to vote on a song contest done by Idol and Taio Cruze, but all I can think of is "This Is My Now", the horrific song writing contest winner from some seasons ago.

The Saved Casey A is practicing The Police in front of Will.I.Am and Jimmy Iovine, and ends up changing his song to "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by Creedance Clearwater Revival.  Good, good choice, because standing there with his upright bass, it sounds fantastic.   Problem is, since he took risks early on, and ended up in the Bottom Three, he's been a little too safe... he'll have to take more risks if he wants to win this thing.

Randy the Dawg says Casey A made CCR proud, and is making the upright bass cool again.  Steven Tyler agrees, calling him a "true musician".  J-Lo loved it.

America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina is doing to be doing "Natural Woman (you make me feel)" by Aretha Franklin.  Will.I.Am tells her to use control, and its spelled C-O-U-N-T-R-O-U-L.  Leave it to a southerner to make a 2 syllable word into a 7 syllable word. 

Speaking of southern, how do you Alabama fans feel that Miss Georgia Girl is wearing Bear Bryant's houndstooth hat as a tiny pair of shorts... I say "tiny" because they are short--they aren't tiny in size, cause she's a cutie patootie, but she's got junk in dat trunk.   And I'm typing all of this while she sings because while she has countroul, its kinda boring.

Christian Slater in the audience!  Seacrusty comments on how much Christian Slater liked it... he cheers.  He could care less about the song, it was the boobies.  Dude, those are underage boobies.  Settle down.

Steven Tyler loved it.  J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg loved it. 

Back from break, Seacrusty banters with the judges, before introducing The Straight Adam Lambert who is going to take a chance, after rocking out for three weeks in a row.  Its a ballad called "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from George Harrison (I like how he adds in "George Harrison, from The Beatles"... you should know that.  If you don't, then either a, you are under 16 or b, you don't listen to music, ever, or c, both.)

Ya know, its not a good vocally as America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina's take on Aretha, but I actually am enjoying this more.  Even the screech in the end was countrouled enough to sound good, and he wipes his eyes after the song is over.  Good job, The Straight Adam Lambert.

J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg is pretty much the only judge who gives actual, good feedback, and he liked it.  Steven Tyler loved it.  Nothing new here.

And rock stuff is always harder for those who are defined country, but Deep Voiced Scotty is taking a chance on The King of Rock and Roll... no, not Nickelback... Elvis Presley.  He's doing "It's Alright Mama".  Will.I.Am tells him, "When you take country and rock together, you get... well, country rock..."  Its good that Will.I.Am is here to help us out. 

Head to toe denim, Deep Voiced Scotty is.. well, he's awesome.  And he looks like he's having a blast up there, playing to the camera, moving around, and coming dangerously close to doing a D-X crotch chop from the WWE.   And somehow, there are seven girls that are allowed to run up on stage and mob Deep Voiced Scotty. 

Randy the Dawg gives his patented, "HE IS IN IT TO WIN IT!  WHAT'S GOING ON?!"  Steven Tyler loved him, making some compliment involving cattle.  J-Lo tells him how much fun it was to watch him, and loved it. 

Because Fox would never do something like cross-promote their products, it is unusual to see Seacrusty talking to Christian Slater, discussing the 7,387th new show starring Slater, "Breaking In", coming up next on Fox!

I think she's cute... but like, beautiful?  Or
hot?  Not for me.  I compare her to Celine
Dion, who I also think is pretty, but not
Peepee Tuscany is apparently beautiful.  Cindy Jo has told me so.  Melanie has told me so.  Everyone tells me so.  I just don't see it.  She's cute, but I'd classify her as "elegant" and even "regal", not beautiful.  Maybe one goes with the others, I dunno.

She's singing "River Deep Mountain High" from Tina Turner, who is a diva that some people forget about... we always remember "What's Love Got to Do With It", but take it back to Ike days, in the 60s and 70s, and holy crap, Tina Turner was insane good. 

In what looks like 19 inch heels, she descends the stairs and sings to the judges, then the audience.  And in the funniest paragraph I've read all day, Annie Barrett from writes this about J-Lo's bouncing up and down:

J. Lo was bouncing up and down in her chair like a child who's just been told she'll never have to wear an unflattering L.A.M.B. belted romper like the scary singing Bumpit lady as long as she is still breathing glitter into this little thing we call life. But you can't even tell. Just trust me that "the girls" were definitely on the upswing in this shot, but because of her supportive bra, nothing drastic happened and Steven and Randy were able to continue their naps in total peace.

By the way... she was great.  Peepee was fantastic tonight. 

Steven Tyler calls her a "murderer" because she killed it!  J-Lo loved it.  Randy the Dawg called her ubertalented.  Then says, "Yo!  Peepee's IN IT TO WIN IT!" which must make Deep Voiced Scotty a little disappointed, cause he thought that HE was in it to win it. 

Stefano Italiano takes a huge risk by doing a rock song, and... wait, what?  He's doing a ballad?  "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge?  For my money, there's nothing better than when Michael Bolton sings "When a Man Loves a Woman".  I celebrate his entire catalogue. 

Other than a strong, strong note he nails in the middle of the song, there is nothing really special about this song. 

J-Lo loved it, describing her goose pimples she seems to keep getting.  Maybe she needs some Noxema.  No, the cream, not the nuts chick that got the boot last week.  Randy the Dawg said it was a little jerky, and J-Lo yells, "Your crazy!"  Steven Tyler loved it.

And finally, Pauly Mac is busting out with Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues".  Jimmy Iovine tells him that he needs to, "Sing out of your f$*#&)g mind."   Okay, it sounds great.  But here's what it makes me think... The Lovely Steph Leann and I are sitting at a small table in a coffeehouse, she's drinking tea and I'm playing Angry Birds, while the talented guitar player is on stage, with about 17 of his fans, friends and family in the front row, the rest of us just enjoying the background noise of good music.  And he sings something soft like "Collide" by Howie Day, then to pick the mood up, he does this song, a Cash cover. 

That's what Pauly Mac makes me think.

And because he went last, THIS is the song people will remember, unless they think of HALEY'S SONG SHE DID. 

And in a surprise, Steven Tyler loved it.  And in a shocker, J-Lo loved it.  Yep, you guessed it, Randy the Dawg loved it too.

Here's my favorites of the night... Peepee Tuscany... Deep Voiced Scotty... The Straight Adam Lambert... The Saved Casey A... America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina... Pauly Mac... Haley Reinhart... The Soulful Jacob Lusk... Stefano Italiano.

I think that Deep Voiced Scotty, The Straight Adam Lambert, The Saved Casey A and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina are safe.
I think Peepee Tuscany and The Soulful Jacob Lusk are on the border.
And I think that Haley Reinhart, Pauly Mac and Stefano Italiano are in trouble, with Stefano getting out. 

While my blog gently weeps.


Well, that'll teach me to look at Facebook before I watch the DVR'd results show.  The Lovely Steph Leann was in Hot-Lanta last night, so she didn't see Idol's performances.  At this very second, she's watching it, and is about to watch Pauly Mac, which means in about 15 minutes, we'll be zooming through the results.  And one quick glance at Facebook tells me... Peepee Tuscany said goodbye.  Thanks to Kel-Fish and a number of others, there's your answer.  Sigh.

And of course, she was my favorite of the night.  Since I watched it earlier today, thats the only one that stuck in my head... " I love ya, my oh my..." and of course, she got the boot.  Of course.

So, we start the show, and The Lovely Steph Leann has the remote.  Thankfully, she knows the rules of fast forwarding, so in the 30-second skip, we only catch a snippet of the group song, and then we skip through the Ford video, and through an appearance by Russell Brand.

Now, the results, dim the lights!  The Saved Casey A, Stefano Italiano and America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina all make the walk from the Comfort Couch to center stage.  The Silver Stools of Suck are mere feet away.

After the nationwide vote, America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina... is safe, and heads to the Couch of Comfort.  Leaving The Saved Casey A and Stefano Italiano, where two weeks ago both were in the same position, leading to Casey A being booted, then getting The Judges Save.  This time, however, its Stefano Italiano that heads to The Silver Stools of Suck.

As we are fast forwarding, we end up with some long haired dude singing... we try to figure out who he is, until he lifts his head, and its Constantine! 

We see a video where Gwen Stefani is helping to give some fashion and hair assistance, which we fast forward.

Pauly Mac, Peepee Tuscany and Deep Voiced Scotty head to center stage.  Deep Voiced Scotty heads to the Couch of Comfort, Pauly Mac then heads there, and Peepee Tuscany goes to what will be her doom on The Silver Stool of Suck. 

We see a video from TMZ where the crew makes fun of the Idols and their missteps, including America's Darlin' Lauren Alaina falling down the steps. 

Now, back to the results!  Let's bring down The Straight Adam Lambert, Haley Reinhart and The Soulful Jacob Lusk.  I'm guessing Haley ends up on The Silver Stools of Suck...  The Straight Adam Lambert heads back to the Couch of Comfort... as does... Haley Reinhart! 

The Soulful Jacob Lusk is in the Bottom Three, though saying something like, "If I'm in the bottom three, its not because I didn't do well, its because people didn't want to look in the mirror..."

Iggy Pop to perform?  Really?  Fast forward!!

Seacrusty now stands by The Bottom Three, and will send someone back to The Couch of Comfort.   Seacrusty says, "I can tell you now, The Soulful Jacob Lusk, that you will be leaving us..." (to which he nods his head) and then adds, "...and going back to the couch..."

And when Seacrusty says, "Peepee Tuscany," the eyes of Stefano Italiano are as big as tea saucers, the Idols on The Couch of Comfort are all stunned and shocked, the audience is booing loudly, and J-Lo is on the verge of tears.   Randy the Dawg mouths a few curse words, as does Steven Tyler.

Here's my theory, and though I hate to agree with Noxema Agrhapbah, it might be the fact that more chicks watch this show that dudes.  And many of those chicks are young chicks who vote for... dudes.  They vote for all the good looking guys, and someone like Pia Tuscano might not stand a chance.

And truly, this is one of those moments where I realize that, in the long run, this isn't as important as say, the presidency or the homeless or our solders in harm's way...

...but at the same time, Pia Tuscano should not be going home tonight.  Not at all.  Were Casey A not saved a few weeks back (a move I agree with, by the way), then Pia would be saved tonight.   The Lovely Steph Leann just pleads out loud, "Turn her mic off!" as her sobs are heard from the stage, while being hugged by The Soulful Jacob Lusk.

My Idol Blog Gently Weeps.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

If You Smell...

Oh, I'm just so tired.  I mean, its all on me, its not like I've been forced into slave labor, but its been a long, crazy weekend, which of course was capped off by


Thaaaaat's right, my best mate Wookiee, my former DeuceMate and buddy Big Tom and myself headed to Atlanta last night for the Super Bowl of Wrestling events, the 27th Annual WrestleMania.  And I won't be naive to think that my readership will be all engrossed in all the details of who won what match, and how it all came down and so on... but I will give you the highlights...

I got to see The Rock.  That's right, The Rock was a guest host, so he came out, did his schtick and was fantastic.  He even interfered in the John Cena match against the WWE Champion The Miz.   As The Rock made his way to the ring, I had no words.  I was speechless.

It was cool to see legends like Shawn Michaels, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Randy Orton and Edge, who both have cool entrance songs, The Big Show, Kane and others that I see from week to week on WWE Raw.

Stone Cold Steve Austin came out, so it was cool to see him do his thing.  I've never been a huge Stone Cold fan, but I think he's a legend.  Of course, when Booker T returned, and did the spinneroonie in the ring, Stone Cold gave him quite a stunner.

Finally, I will say that in my 25 years of watching wrasslin', I've seen some fantastic matches.  HBK and Bret Hart's Iron Man Match in Wrestlemania XII.  Goldberg and The Rock for the title.  Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and Ric Flair in the very first Clash of Champions. 

Last night's match between The Undertaker, 18-0 at Wrestlemania matches, against Triple H, 13 time world champion, member of DX, and probably the heir apparent to the WWE when Vince McMahon steps away, was the greatest.  The absolute greatest match I've ever seen, and maybe thats because I watched it live, maybe its because I am so familiar with the lead-up to this match, maybe because The Undertaker ended Shawn Michael's career last year at Wrestlemania... who knows. 

Either way, it was magnificent.  Tons of 2-counts, Triple H being bodyslammed off a table, 'Taker being thrown over the top rope and drop kicked, just one hit after the other.  Wookiee, Big Tom and I hung on every move both H and 'Taker made, and when it was finally over, when H tapped out, all of us were already standing, we were applauding and all we could say was a single word:  "Wow".  It was amazing. 

We got to see The Rock wrestle.  It was a beautiful, tear inducing moment
in my life.
 And of course, at the end, Cena vs. The Miz, and here comes The Rock... and he ends the night with a Rock Bottom on John Cena.  The Miz was able to capitalize and defended the title.

My throat hurt, I was tired, I was hungry and didn't look forward to the 71,614 other people trying to leave The Georgia Dome, but it was truly one of the best events I have ever been too. 

Say what you will about the WWE, and believe me, you've said it--I've heard everything from ridicule to awe when people found out I was going to WM 27--bottom line is, the WWE knows how to put on a show.  We sat in the rafters, yet we still had a great view of the ring, of the entrance ramp, and though we were looking on the side of the WRESTLEMANIA big sign, we still could see just about everything else.  WWE had blocked off the section of seats that would have been impossible to see from, so really, every seat was at least a decent seat.

Anyway, we smelled what The Rock was cooking, and it ruled.

Got Idol stuff coming later this week, and I'm trying to finish a Disney Project this week, and then we'll get back to our regular blogging schedule!  So, be patient Brad Latta!