Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Product review: Stila Plumping Lip Glaze

Lately, I've become a lot more of a makeup junkie. Not like the type that works at MAC, all drag-queened out, but I just like collecting makeup, and trying out lots of different kinds. So, I'm going to start blogging about the kinds I try. I figure I might as well pass on what I'm learning to other people who might try the same things.

I've avoided lip products for awhile. I might pick up the occasional lipstick or whatever, but for the most part, I tend to emphasize my eyes if I'm doing makeup. That being said, I went to Sephora a couple of weeks ago and got a sample of this awesome stuff. I liked it so much, I went back and bought a full-sized one (in Cherry Mint).

I love the way the gloss feels, a little tingly but not painful. It's not too sticky, either. The color is sheer and flattering, and there's just a tiny bit of glitter in it so it's not too annoying (I usually hate glittery lip stuff). I like it enough that it's my go-to lip gloss for summer. At least for now, anyway.

HBO new series: John from Cincinnati

Did anybody else watch this show? More to the point, did anyone understand it?

John from Cincinnati is a show about a family of surfers. Mitch, the retired-due-to-injury surfer; his wife, Sissy, who is about the biggest hippie I've ever seen; their son Butch (Butchie), the retired-due-to-heroin surfer; and his son Shaun, the junior surfer.

Also, there is randomly some guy who supposedly is not named John and not from Cincinnati. He repeats just about everything everyone says, and nobody really knows who he is, but everyone assumes someone else knows.

I'm really not quite sure what to think of this show. The characters are interesting enough, but the show is pretty fast paced for a pilot. I feel like the dialogue assumes we know more than we do. This might be a device to pull us in farther, but it made me feel alienated from what was happening.

Give me some feedback if you're watching this one. I haven't decided if it's going on my To Do list or not.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Knitting, and also complaining about things -- plus, those little silver balls

Wow, the title of this blog seems so harmless, right? Not for some people.

I found out recently when I was listening to a knitting podcast (yes, I knit; I'm still learning, but mostly I am just trying out different podcasts of all types) that a company is trying to eliminate all instances of groups naming themselves Stitch 'n Bitch (or any variant thereof). The company, which I will not name here but you can see in the Wikipedia article, has a cafe with that phrase in the title, and trademarked the name of the cafe (not the phrase itself). However, they are sending lawyers out around the internet, patrolling and forcing removal of Yahoo! groups and CafePress accounts that use the phrase (not the name of the cafe). So, basically, all these little communities are being removed or forced to change their names because a company is trying to claim rights to a phrase first used around the time of WWII.

As Ophelia Ford might say, "That is duuuuuuuumb."

On a related note (related in that it is something dumb being done in an area of interest of mine), do you remember those little silver balls people put on cookies and cakes and stuff. They're called dragees, and they are now pretty much outlawed in California. There's a lawyer there who sues any shop that sells them because he considers them "toxic." Here is an excerpt from this article:

"Napa lawyer Mark Pollock takes silver dragees very seriously. He started suing to force dragees off the California market when he was a Solano County prosecutor in the early 1990s, and got the spice giant McCormick to stop selling them in the state. Now an environmental lawyer in private practice, he sprang back into action last spring when dragees surged back into vogue after Martha Stewart used them on holiday cookies."

Now, they do contain silver, which can build up over time and become toxic. But you'd have to eat quite a few of them, don't you think? Not to mention, I haven't heard anything about this guy trying to outlaw silver dusting over cakes and stuff, which is pretty popular, too. The FDA classifies dragees as non-edible, but they are basically hard sugar balls with a silver coating. I've always been more afraid of breaking a tooth than being poisoned.

It just goes to show that no matter what kind of fun you're having, there's always going to be a buzzkill out there.

I'm going to try to go back to more regular blogging, now that I'm up on my new computer (Windows Vista, ooh shiny). I'll try to think of something a little happier for my next blog!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I've been a little lax on the blogging...

Work has really picked up lately, and with that and some extracurricular activities, I haven't had much time to blog. I'm about to go watch the American Idol results, though, and I thought I'd make my predictions.

No commentary for this week, mainly because I don't have time, but also because I think last week's votes are going to decide the eliminations. For those of you who don't know, they didn't kick anyone off last week. Two people go home tonight.

My predictions for the bottom three: Blake, Chris, LaKisha

Going home: I can't decide! Definitely LaKisha. My guess is Chris, but I hope it's Blake instead, based off his decision to do "Imagine" and his bizarre version of "You Give Love a Bad Name."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

American Idol 4/24

Idol Gives Back! It's finally here. That means we get to hear cheesy inspirational songs, and no mentor to speak of. Ryan Seacrest called Bono a mentor, but he must have meant for the charity, because we saw hide nor hair of the U2 frontman all night.

Chris Richardson - "Change the World"
Chris gives the Eric Clapton song his smooth vocals, and seems to charm the judges with it. Although the judges didn't criticize much of anyone tonight, he got some pretty good props, especially considering he went first. Randy thinks he's "in it to win it," the first time the show's cliche has been spoken to him, I believe.

Melinda Doolittle - "There Will Come A Day"
Don't forget to look to country music, if you want something cheesy and inspirational. That's what Melinda (and later, Phil) did with this Faith Hill number. I thought she was good, but she's just failing to wow me like she used to. Maybe just because she's not having to go through that typical "American Idol growing experience."

Blake Lewis - "Imagine"
You know that sound when you suck air in through your teeth? That's what I did when I realized Blake was doing this classic song. I guess, to me it's just untouchable. You just can't do it without sounding lounge-y and like a bad imitation of the original. I do believe he was sincere, but come on! Nobody will ever be John Lennon.

LaKisha Jones - "I Believe"
Dangerous territory, doing a Fantasia song. The judges loved her so much, and LaKisha didn't compare for them here. Plus, if I remember correctly, wasn't this the song Fantasia sang when she won the competition? Jumping the gun a bit, I think.

Phil Stacey - "The Change"
I think Simon hit the nail on the head when he said that Phil should have brought more of his country flavor with this one. I mean, it's a Garth Brooks song! But it was still a solid performance, and he's looking much better up there than he did a few weeks ago.

Jordin Sparks - "You'll Never Walk Alone"
Whoa, look out! Jordin shows off her insane talent with this old song I've never heard of. Once again, I think Simon was right when he said that she could record that. She sounded great. Jordin's doing the right thing here; she's looking better every week, and may eventually outshine Melinda if she keeps it up.

Bottom Three: Chris, LaKisha, Blake
Going Home: LaKisha

Monday, April 23, 2007

that's what I be doin'

Sometimes, I spend time on the internet at work to take my mind off the subject at hand, when I need a break or whatever. Today, my wanderings led me to the Williams-Sonoma website (a favorite of mine). Call me a goofball, but I think it's fun to see what crazy things I might want to put on personalized items. Here's one of my favorites:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

American Idol Results 4/18

Well, Crazy Hair finally leaves us. Not much to say, except that things should be a little better next week. Interesting to see that Blake was in the bottom three. My guess? Voter complacency. It happens every year.

Bye, Sanjaya!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

American Idol 4/17

Okay, it's time for the annual Country Week. This time, we have Martina McBride handing out the advice and compliments. She seems really nice, though the beginning was a little awkward when all the contestants stood in front of her and sang one of her own songs ("Independence Day"). She didn't seem to be of too much help, but she wasn't bad, either.

Phil Stacey - "Where the Blacktop Ends"
I'm not a big fan of most country music, but I thought Phil wasn't bad here. It was a good opening to the show, it showcased his strengths, and the judges loved it. He's still not an American Idol, but he's definitely not the worst of the night. I'd put him in the top three.


Jordin Sparks - "Broken Wing"
Picking a ballad in a genre she's not too comfortable with was totally the right way to go. She sounded so great here, and all the judges were blown away. Simon said for the first time, he could see her winning it all, and I can see it, too, if the voters stick with her.

Sanjaya Malakar - "Something to Talk About"
Eeek! What wasn't wrong about this performance? The bandanna, the hair, the vocals, the awkward, stiff choreography... enough said.


LaKisha Jones - "Jesus Take the Wheel"
I like Carrie Underwood, but not this song so much. LaKisha stretched, and didn't quite pull it off. I feel bad, because she chose the song for its "single mom" theme, but you can't just feel the music; you have to be able to sing it well, too. Unless you're an awkward 17 year old (see above).

Chris Richardson - "Mayberry"
I still like Chris, and he was wise to choose Rascal Flatts (he has the most similar vocals to them, I think). Not his best performance, though. I hope he gets to stay!

Melinda Doolittle - "Trouble Is a Woman"
The real Melinda is back this week, with a sassy, confident number. I couldn't find anything wrong with her performance this week, and neither could the judges. A+.

Blake Lewis - "When the Stars Go Blue"
At times, I heard the Tim McGraw version the show mentioned, and other times I heard the Ryan Adams version (the original?). Blake is smart to pick a song that's already been made over before (he's done this on "Lovesong", as well), and sounds just fine here. He's still the judges' favorite guy.

Bottom Three: Chris, LaKisha, Sanjaya
Going Home: LaKisha. I think it's going to be a shocker this week, no matter what. Unless it's Chris, at which point I will be sad, but it could happen. I have to put Sanjaya in the bottom three this week. He really deserves it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

fly and (if fly then hot) implies hot

Here is a great article from The Village Voice, breaking down Mims's "This Is Why I'm Hot."

Some of my favorite diagrams from the article:






Interesting stuff about being single

So, if you're from the South (like me), or the East, it's good to be a guy. Out West, it's great to be a girl. Why? The distribution of single people across the U.S.

Orange is for the ladies, and blue is for the dudes.


American Idol Results 4/11

Well, I guess it wasn't too hard to see that coming. Bye, Haley! You were probably the most fashionable contestant this year.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

American Idol 4/10

Well, this week Jennifer Lopez herself graces us with her presence. She seems a lot nicer on the show than the primadonna tales I've heard. Maybe her third marriage has brought her down to earth a bit. Anyway, Mrs. Lo brings a little salsa into the mix for this week's theme.


Melinda Doolittle - "Sway"
I agree with Simon that this performance was forgettable. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because it certainly wasn't bad. It's just that nothing was really memorable about this performance. Plain black dress, calm melody and rhythm, but no mistakes, either.

LaKisha Jones - "Conga"
What in the world made this girl want to do a song she can't pronounce the name of? She admitted to stepping outside her comfort zone, and that certainly seems to be the case. I don't think she's cut out for high tempo pop or Latin music. LaKisha shines on slower songs and ballads, and this night confirmed that.

Chris Richardson - "Smooth"
Jennifer Lopez took the song a whole step up for Chris, and it almost seemed like they could have gone a little more. The song is so low, which worked for Rob Thomas, but not so much for Chris. Looking forward to seeing a little more classic pop out of this guy, if he makes it to next week.

Haley Scarnato - "Turn the Beat Around"
Haley may love to hear percussion, but I don't think I really love to hear Haley. Gloria Estefan does so much better on this song that I really think Haley may have done herself in here. The parts where she's talking about the rhythm and the drums (rat-tat-tat-tat, etc.), she seemed to lose the beat and the key all at the same time. She's beautiful, but it's time for her to go.

Phil Stacey - "Maria, Maria"
Pretty much an exact copy of the original, except not as good, and by a white guy. He wasn't the worst performance of the night, but a weird week like this can send anyone home. This isn't anyone's type of music that is in competition right now.


Jordin Sparks - "The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"
You could definitely tell Jordin's having fun here. Not a big vocal stretch for her, but she should be safe. She picked an easy song on a night when everyone is learning a new style. Smart girl.

Blake Lewis - "I Need to Know"
I would have been scared to pick a song by the guest mentor's husband, but Blake did it and came through with a pretty good performance. I'm not a big fan of the song, but I think that Blake did the equivalent of what Jordan did. Not a terribly difficult song, but a good night to go that route.

Sanjaya Malakar - "B├ęsame Mucho"
This was probably my favorite performance from Sanjaya, which means I actually liked it. He was seated, which helped preclude any cheesy hand motions, and his voice came through pretty well. It's a simple, sweet sounding song, which works for his voice, and the only parts I thought he was too quiet were when the chorus kicked in. Not bad.


Bottom Three: Haley, Phil, Chris
Going Home: Haley. The other girls completely outshine her, and she doesn't have as much of a niche as the others.

Friday, April 06, 2007

American Idol Results 4/4

Well, once again I almost called the bottom three, but instead of Sanjaya going home, we say goodbye to Gina. Poor thing. She knew she wasn't going to win it, but I personally think it's a shame she's going before Phil, Haley, and Sanjaya. I think she was totally a top 5 or 6 contender. Not anymore.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

American Idol 4/3

Okay, this week is was all about Tony Bennett, so the dudes and chicks sang The Classics. It was nice to hear some of them come out of their usual range. I'm kinda not super digging on the show right now because all the Sanjaya fever is turning me off, but I'd like to see it through, so here we go.

Blake Lewis - "Mack the Knife"
I can see why the judges like Blake, but for me, this performance wasn't as smooth as it needed to be. To me, this song has always been as smooth as silk. Blake's version had a few snags in it.

Phil Stacey - "Night and Day"
I think Tony was right in directing Phil to sing this one a little more choppy, instead of dragging it out into a dramatic ballad. Of course, Phil didn't take the advice. He hasn't been looking as good lately, but you never know.

Melinda Doolittle - "I Got Rhythm"
I read an article that said that Melinda's happy puppy act was getting a little old, and I tend to agree. She's still a great singer, though, and not having any trouble.

Chris Richardson - "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"
I don't think I have ever heard this song before, but I still like Chris. I like the songs he picks, and his personality. I think the only thing that worries me is that I don't know if I would buy an album he puts out. I imagine they'll stick him in some r&b pigeonhole. Hmmm.

Jordin Sparks - "On a Clear Day"
She sounded a little forced on this one, but I think Jordin's still doing well. It sounds like none of these songs were tunes she knew. That's realistic for someone who was born around 1990.


Gina Glocksen - "Smile"
I liked Gina here. She had that old-school pinup makeup on, and the song suited her well. The judges liked it, too.

Sanjaya Malakar - "Cheek to Cheek"
This whole song sounded like pure cheese when Sayjaya sang it. It's supposed to be romantic, but I couldn't help feeling like I was on a retirement cruise or something (not to sound too much like Simon here). I really feel sorry for him.

Haley Scarnato - "Ain't Misbehavin'"
All I can say here, is it's pretty obvious someone is going for the male audience when the first thing you think about is, "she sure likes to show off her body!" Not to mention the "great legs" comment from Simon.

LaKisha Jones
- "Stormy Weather"
I liked this song okay, but LaKisha doesn't really command my attention like some of the other contestants. Does it seem to anyone else like she's going through the motions a little?

Bottom Three: Haley, Phil, Sanjaya
Going Home: Phil. He's gotten worse every week, went earlier than the other two, and Howard Stern isn't asking anyone to vote for him.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

American Idol Results 3/28

Oooh! My predictions were much more accurate this week, except for putting Sanjaya in the bottom three. All I can say about that is, WTF, mate? I don't think Phil deserved to be there, but he was safe, anyway.

Sorry to see Chris go, but I don't think he was going to win, anyway. And is it just me, or does Gwen Stefani sound almost nothing like her recordings when she sings live? I've never seen her or No Doubt in concert, so I can't say for sure.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On the musical horizon...


I found out about a new band the other day that I think you should check out. Chester French is an indie pop duo, not quite fresh out of Harvard (they're still seniors), that makes a sound everybody's comparing to somebody. It's hard to point a finger at just one influence, though. Some are saying Weezer, or Ween, while I hear a little bit of old-school synth and a voice that reminds me of Ben Folds. Either way, these guys are definitely on the rise, with their first album, Love the Future, in the works.

Check these guys out at their myspace if you get a chance. I've got their song "She Loves Everybody" on my profile right now.

American Idol 3/27


Gwen Stefani was kind enough to visit the contestants and help them out this week. Was it just me, or was she criticizing over half of them in their intros? Anyway, she pretty much told all of them to keep it simple, and stick with the melody. You could definitely tell she bonded with the girls much easier than the guys (maybe because most of the girls can sing).

LaKisha Jones - "The Last Dance"
LaKisha does well every week, and this was no exception. I like this song, I liked her outfit. It was all great. The only problem with her is that she's stopped impressing me so much because she's at the same level every week. Most of the previous American Idols have one or two "breakout" weeks. She should be safe, though.

Chris Sligh - "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
Ew! I think I am officially out as a member of the Fro Patrol. Is it just me, or did he look kind of tired this week? I think he does better with the more serious material, anyway. I didn't see as many of the "Fro Patro" signs this week, so it's possible he may be in trouble.

Gina Glocksen - "I'll Stand By You"
This was a much better song choice for Gina. Still keeping a little bit of an edge by doing a Pretenders song instead of disco, but a little more universally appealing. I thought she sounded great, but I can't see her going all the way yet. I think she'll make it through at least a couple more weeks.

Sanjaya Malakar - "Bathwater"
Oh. My. God. Can we say "not even trying anymore"? I think we can. This kid looked ridiculous! Seven ponytails, mohawk-style, and I swear I kept waiting to hear him sing the line "my kind of man." (He did change "man" to "girl.") I'm not holding my breath for him to go anytime soon, but he's not even funny to watch. I feel bad for him.

Haley Scarnato - "True Colors"
I don't think this was the right song for Haley. I just think that this song was meant for someone who is deliberately off-key, like the Cyndi Lauper original. Haley looked like a Miss America contestant, which is great if you're in that contest, but people might find her a little too bland for their taste.

Phil Stacey - "Every Breath You Take"
Phil makes Chris look even worse with his version of a Police song. Not only did he do pretty well with the song, he actually kept with the beat and sounded very similar to Sting himself at some points. I liked it.

Melinda Doolittle - "Heaven Knows"
I found it interesting that the two biggest front runners, LaKisha and Melinda, both chose Donna Summer songs. Melinda did just fine on this one, even if Simon didn't like her outfit. Because we all know this is really "Fashion Idol." Not.

Blake Lewis - "Love Song"
They called this The Cure's "Love Song," but we all know Blake was doing the 311 version. Of course, since none of the judges have heard of 311, they can't really know that. Anyway. I thought his performance was okay, but not very exciting. I like the song, and didn't find any major problems with it. Just okay.

Jordin Sparks - "Hey Baby"
I think Jordin does a great job of appealing to the people that are her age. Singing this modern song was a great idea, because not only did she do well with it, but it was fun and up tempo on a night where everyone else could have put the audience to sleep. I think she's going to be around for awhile, if people don't assume she's safe and stop voting for her.

Chris Richardson - "Don't Speak"
I liked this performance okay, though not as much as last week. The judges weren't really that into it. I know Gwen Stefani didn't want him to sing it that way, with all the runs, but I agree with Randy: it's something he does well, so he should do it. He should finish better this week than last week, because he went right before the voting opened up.

Bottom Three: Haley, Sanjaya, Chris Sligh
Going Home: Chris. I think Sanjaya is getting too many votes to go yet, and Haley was better than him this week.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cutest. Picture. Ever.

David Ortiz and his new puppy, Mikey.

American Idol Results 3/21

Well, my intuition turned out to be right. Other than that, how wrong was I?

There was only a bottom two, and it was Stephanie and Chris Richardson (oh no!). Stephanie went home. This seems to happen every year: a few really bad people get tons of votes because their fans don't want to see them go home, while some good people get the boot because they seem safe, especially if you listen to the judges. Pretty soon they'll start coming out with the reminders: "You have to vote every week, because it matters, blah, blah, blah."

So if you do vote, you may want to step it up a little. Unless you're voting for Sanjaya, in which case, he's safe. You don't have to vote. LOL.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Manny Ramirez sells his grill... sort of.

Earlier this morning, when I was getting my daily dose of Soxaholix, I was directed to a link on eBay for a grill Manny Ramirez was selling. I'd link to it, but it's gone. It had a couple of pictures of Manny standing next to the grill, and a high bid in the millions of dollars (fake bids, of course).

This is where it gets weird.

I was going to blog about the auction, because I thought that was interesting enough, but when I went back to the link, the auction had been taken down. A quick search for "Manny Ramirez grill" led me to this auction: Manny Ramirez: JENN-AIR Grill Tribute Auction. What? Oh yes, someone took the pictures and put up a tribute page/auction on eBay for it.

So go check out Manny's grill and the pictures of him standing barefoot in his garage.

American Idol 3/20

I really enjoyed the theme this week: British Invasion. Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, and Lulu were there helping the guys and gals get their 60s on. The good news is, nobody was horrible. On the flip side, that means Sanjaya could stay another week, as his performance was on caliber with a couple of other bottom-of-the-heap contestants.

Haley Scarnato - "Tell Him"
For me, this song wasn't that great for her. She was definitely trying to appeal to the audience, though, strutting around, wearing teeny shorts and a top with no back. She looked like she was going to go straight to the clubs after the show. I thought it was a great example of how she's just not as good as the other ladies she's up against.

Chris Richardson - "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying"
I like watching Chris sing. He seems genuinely serious about the competition and really trying to improve each week. He took Peter's advice to let the melody through, and I think it worked. It seems like he has to really stretch not to run it up and down on each line, but he managed to hold it to just a few times in this one. He has a great voice and stayed on key, which is more than I can say about half the people here.

Stephanie Edwards - "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"
This week, I thought Stephanie's performance just sounded like a bad Beyonce ripoff. Beyonce has that vibrato voice that makes her sound almost off key, and Stephanie sounded like that only she actually sounded off key to me (I refuse to say "pitchy"). Very iffy showing from someone who is outshined by two other women who sing the same kind of music.

Blake Lewis - "Time of the Season"
I'm just not really into the whole Blake gimmick. I understand he likes to beatbox, but it seems like if he wanted to modernize a song from the 60s, he would have picked one with a more universal message. A song about the Summer of Love isn't really something that translates well to modern day (though it is spring break time). I will give him this: it's not far off from the original "ch, ah!" in the song to the beatboxing he did, so it was a reasonable adaptation.

LaKisha Jones - "Diamonds Are Forever"
Wow. Okay, Lulu had suggested that LaKisha do another song over this one, and I really would have liked to see how she did that one. I thought she looked great, with the dress and diamonds and everything, but she honestly scared me a little. She sounded like an angry woman with vengeance on her mind, who is going to hole up in a little house with her diamonds. Plus, the song is a little creepy. Who wants to "caress and undress" their jewelry? She won't go home, but this performance just didn't do much for me.

Phil Stacey - "Tobacco Road"
I didn't like his arrangement of this song. It might have worked with the whole rock thing, had he not sped up the tempo so much. When he got to the part where he sings the title of the song, he had to slow it down so much, it sounded like two different songs glued together. Phil was in the bottom three last week, so he really should have put together something better than this.


Jordin Sparks - "I (Who Have Nothing)"
Jordin keeps climbing the charts with me every week. She's truly talented, and innocent enough to be likable. The judges are right, she does have an incredible amount of control with her voice. That first, quiet "I love you" in this performance just blew me away. She knows what to sing, and what to avoid oversinging. My favorite song of the night.

Sanjaya Malakar - "You Really Got Me"
I think this guy knows he's not going to win, so he's going to go out there and have fun. The great thing is, he turned in one of his best performances that way. His best is still not good enough to win, but it was nice to hear the judges being nice to him.


Gina Glocksen - "Paint It Black"
Saw this one coming. I'm worried that Gina is going to get pigeonholed into this goth/rocker role on the show, and not feel like she can do anything else. Come on, girl. You don't have to be Amy Lee every week. I like this song, but there was nothing spectacular about her version of it.

Chris Sligh - "She's Not There"
I still like Chris, but this wasn't my favorite from him. I think he lost a little bit of the vocal from wandering around the audience. I do like this song a lot, though, and I think he should be safe. I am a little tired of hearing about the Fro Patrol, but I guess that comes with the territory.


Melinda Doolittle - "As Long As He Needs Me"
Melinda likes the showtunes, huh? I actually liked Jordin's performance better, but still a very solid performance from the front runner.

Bottom Three: Haley, Phil, Sanjaya
Going Home: Haley

I have a sneaking suspicion Stephanie might knock one of these guys out of the bottom three, but I don't feel confident enough about it to predict that. We'll see.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fantasy baseball is hard

I haven't been able to come up with much to write lately, because this has taken up most of my free time. We're doing our draft right now in fantasy, and it is taking forever (though, not as long as it is scheduled to take, which is nice).

I'm considering writing my chronicles as a fantasy baseball newbie (and as a woman playing a male-dominated game), but I haven't decided. I don't know if I have a real enough strategy to worry about giving it away yet. Most likely, I'll write about lessons I have learned and the experiences I have playing this season.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

American Idol Results 3/14

Bottom Three: Brandon, Sanjaya, Phil

Sent Home: Brandon

No big surprises here, other than the fact that Sanjaya is still in the competition. Brandon was going to go home eventually, so he's just the first of the unworthy to fall. Also, was Diana Ross freaky looking, or what? Her voice isn't that great anymore, either, at least not live. I'll admit, I fast forwarded through almost the entire show.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

American Idol 3/13

Man, this was a very interesting night. Diana Ross came over to help the contestants sing her songs, and she was a character. My favorite part was when she asked Gina to "pronunciate" her words. Other than that, she gave such unique advice as "find your center" and "come from the heart." For the most part, I don't think her words of wisdom helped much.


Brandon Rogers - "You Can't Hurry Love"
Brandon is starting to sound like a cheesy lounge singer every time he gets up there. I don't particularly look forward to his performances, and he doesn't really impress me. I think it would take some major changes to turn his ship around on this show. Plus, he forgot some of the words. Actually, I think what he did here was try to sing the full version of the song, and then realized that he needed to skip to another part. It was still obvious he wasn't on top of things.

Melinda Doolittle - "Home"
I didn't know this song, because it's from The Wiz, but she performed it beautifully. My guess is that right now it's "her competition to lose," as the judges always say.

Chris Sligh - "Endless Love"
This dude totally changed up the song, and I think it even would have worked, had it not sounded suspiciously like Coldplay's "Clocks." I liked his vocals on the song, and I even think it worked being modernized (I always remember Mariah Carey's version better anyway). The judges hated it. I do agree, he looks better with the glasses. Maybe he's trying to get away from the whole Jack Osbourne comparison (understandably).

Gina Glocksen - "Love Child"
This is one of my favorite of the Diana Ross songs that were chosen tonight. I think Gina did a good enough job, it just didn't wow me. To me, it was more obvious that she was doing a cover of a Diana Ross song than singing it her own way. She seemed to have a lot of fun, it just didn't do much for making her look like the best singer on the show.

Sanjaya Malakar - "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Ugh. Sanjaya's voice is so timid, I don't think he could scare a mouse with it. He definitely didn't put enough emotion into this song which is supposed to be about overcoming incredible obstacles for love. He sang it with a plastic smile, and awkward hand motions, and I just couldn't buy into it. This boy is past his time, for sure.

Haley Scarnato - "Missing You"
Haley actually was doing okay on this song until she messed up the words. She has trouble staying on key, but wasn't as bad as she has been. The judges were nice to her, but she's going to need a lot of votes to keep from going home. At least Sanjaya has the "nice boy" thing going for him; Haley is the girl who breaks down after each performance. I don't know how many pity votes she'll get.

Phil Stacey - "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"
I thought he did okay this week. I think "okay" is the secondary theme this week. Anyway, he stayed on key most of the time, and it was a pretty good performance. He still scares me a little, but I can get over it if he can sing.


LaKisha Jones - "God Bless the Child"
I love this song, too, and LaKisha rocked it. If you can rock a really old blues song.

Blake Lewis - "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
Okay, so he didn't copycat this week. Personally, I think he destroyed this song, and not in a good way. I think he's kind of like an ex; there are things I like about him, but he can't ever make me totally happy.

Stephanie Edwards - "Love Hangover"
Not the best performance from Stephanie. The judges were disappointed that she cut out their favorite part of the song, and since she falls into the same category as LaKisha and Melinda (and Sabrina, remember her?), she could get the surprise boot if some people vote for another performer instead of her, and some people don't vote because they think she's safe.

Chris Richardson - "The Boss"
Chris gets my "most entertaining" vote. He took Diana's comments to "work the crowd" to heart, and I think it worked for him. Simon may call this a "singing competition," but when someone is boring, he's the first one to speak up. This was definitely not boring, though he could stand to work on his vocals some. There really didn't need to be a run at the end of every line.

Jordin Sparks - "If We Hold on Together"
A+ performance from Jordin. I think this one was actually my favorite of the night. She's kind of like a younger Melinda, except her giddiness and puppy dog eyes come from youth, instead of low self-esteem. I think she's definitely more of a ballad singer, so we'll see what happens when she has to stretch herself in other theme weeks.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Shocked

Well, I'm not doing so well with the predictions, huh? Last night, the only person I saw going home that I expected was Antonella. Haley stayed, Sabrina went, and Sundance and Jared left us, with Sanjaya in the top 12? I'll admit, I never vote, but it seems like nobody else did either. Unless sites like Vote for the Worst made a big difference or something (though they weren't encouraging votes for Sanjaya this week). Anyway, Sabrina will just be the Jennifer Hudson of this show - the talented one who was voted off too early.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Red Sox Notes

Well, I think that there's not much to talk about today except pitching.

Wake, Lester, and Papelbon are all looking good. Everyone's talking about Daisuke and his infamous "is it or isn't it?" gyroball, and Timlin and his fabulous camouflage glove are looking to fill the closer position. Now let's hope we don't get a repeat of last year, where we could plug it up at both ends, but our middle relief busts a big hole in the middle. For example, Brendan Donnelly, who is probably going to end up as a middle reliever, was charged with 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning recently. Good stuff.

Oh yeah, and Curt Schilling has his own blog now. That should be interesting (though it's certainly not surprising).


American Idol: The Girls 3/7

Paula called the girls "a breath of fresh air." Well, there were a few stumbles, but it was still miles better than most of the boys. It will be very interesting to see who gets voted off out of this group. I think there are a couple of girls more vulnerable than the others.

Jordin Sparks - "Heartbreaker"
Jordin's young (17), and I think the songs she has been picking reflect that. This song is fun and full of energy, and I think it was really fun to watch, but lacking in technical points. She has the ability, but it seemed like she got caught up in the excitement and got a little lost. Still a good performance, but it might not get her tons of votes.

Sabrina Sloan - "Don't Let Go"
I love this En Vogue song, but for me, Sabrina didn't quite pull it off. Maybe it's because she was doing a version very close to the original. When you do that, you're opening yourself up to direct comparison. It didn't quite do it for me, but she's a strong singer, and she'll probably be fine.

Antonella Barba - "Put Your Records On"
I thought she did better than she has been, but that's not saying much. She really doesn't fit with all the other talent around her, and I think she knows it based on her comments. Though I am glad Simon gave her props for keeping a cool head with all the media turmoil around her.

Haley Scarnato - "If My Heart Had Wings"
This was such a weird version of this Faith Hill song, I had to guess if it was a country song or not. It may have been fun for Haley to sing, but it didn't seem to match with her singing personality so far, and weirded out the judges as well. She is definitely no Faith Hill.

Stephanie Edwards - "Sweet Thing"
I don't think this was her best performance. She seemed to be all over the place vocally, and once again, the judges compared her to the original singer (here, Chaka Khan). She looked good compared to the two that went before her, though.

LaKisha Jones - "I Have Nothing"
LaKisha did a great job here, as usual. I think the judges are sucking up to her a little, but she's still way ahead of most of her competition.

Gina Glocksen - "Call Me When You're Sober"
This was a great performance. Gina stepped up and did exactly what the judges wanted her to do: act like the edgy girl she dresses up as every day. You can't have hair like that and sing Celine Dion every week. It was fun, and mostly reinforced my opinion that she should be fronting a band instead of competing against R&B singers. I hope she sticks around, but I think that she might be a little vulnerable, depending on how many Evanescence fans watch the show.

Melinda Doolittle - "I'm a Woman"
Still loving Melinda. She has total command of her voice, and the stage, and she exudes confidence when she's singing. Not to mention, she's delightfully sweet and nice when she's not singing. She gets my "best performance" award of the night, for sure. I think she is one of the people who could go places, even if they do get voted off.

Who's getting the boot? It's time for Antonella to go. Haley should be the other one, but if it's not her, it might be Gina or Jordin. Whoever makes it into the top 12 should be safe for a few more weeks, while some boys get the ax.

American Idol: The Boys 3/6

Wow, what an interesting night. If the boys keep going at this rate, there won't be any left in a few weeks!

Blake Lewis - "All Mixed Up"
Oh, Blake. I like him; he's spunky and different. But it's not smart to do a copycat version of a 311 song when you don't have the pipes of a reggae singer. I liked his version of "Geek in the Pink" a lot better last week, but I think he's probably safe. Also, did anybody notice that none of the judges knew this song? WTF?

Sanjaya Malakar - "Waiting on the World to Change"
Sanjaya sang this John Mayer song with about as much affection as a piece of cardboard. He still looks awkward on stage, and his voice isn't nearly as powerful as some of the othe
r guys. He seems like a really sweet kid, but it takes more than that to make it very far.

Sundance Head - "Jeremy"
This dude is a big old teddy bear. He's a bluesy, soulful singer from the South. So why take a trip up north to the Seattle grunge scene with this one? I think it was a nice stretch, but for me, he didn't quite pull it off. Eddie Vedder looks demented in the video for this song, but Sundance just looked like he was trying out for a local rock band.

Chris Richardson - "Tonight I Wanna Cry"
This was probably my favorite of the night. Not the hugest Keith Urban fan, but Chris turned it around and kind of made it into a pop/r&b ballad type of song. He's a little too much like JT, looks, voice, and all, but he's pretty good, too.

Jared Cotter - "If You Really Love Me"
This guy is so good looking, he could probably sing the song from Sesame Street and get votes. However, this cover didn't even compare to the Stevie Wonder original. Very showtune-y. He's not the best singer in the competition, but I think he's impressing the ladies anyway.

Brandon Rogers - "I Just Want to Celebrate"
I thought he did well, but nothing special. I think he has potential, but doesn't have a niche fan base like some others.

Phil Stacey - "I Need You"
Is anybody else getting tired of this guy? He makes a great Idol story because of the whole "missing his baby's birth to audition" story, but in reality, he's just an average singer. And I think the producers are making him wear hats now because his bald head is so scary.

Chris Sligh - "Wanna Be Loved"
I'll admit, I had never heard this DC Talk song before, but I thought he did a good job with it. I like this guy, but I just don't see him being a star. Maybe I just like to root for the odd man out.

Who's getting the boot? My guess is that Sanjaya will finally go home, and possibly Brandon. The others are different and interesting enough to make it through.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Writer's Block

I've been trying to come up with something for a couple of days now because I don't want this blog to be all about American Idol! So for now, I will dazzle you with pictures of my new furniture, because it rules. Coming up (hopefully), some Red Sox news, and my opinion of a couple of things.

Dresser


The bed


The living room


The most comfortable chair ever. Seriously, it's like a freakin' bed.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Half right

Well, I was half right. While I'm not exactly sad to see Leslie go, I don't think she was the worst of the night. Close enough, I guess.

And did anybody notice anything new about Kellie Pickler? No wonder Ryan asked her what she was spending her money on. That girl could have knocked someone out with those things. The poor girl looks like she's been put in a Dolly Parton machine.

Next week is the last week the guys are separated from the girls. It should be interesting to see who ends up in the final 12.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

American Idol: The Girls 2/28

Okay, I'm doing this one mostly from memory, but I'd like to do American Idol recaps as the show goes on. I don't know many people that watch it, so it'll be my sad little way of talking about it with other people. If you do watch it, please, share your opinions! I'm going to post my scores for each singer and a prediction for who's not going to be around next week.

Gina Glocksen - "Alone"
I love this song. Originally perfomed by Heart, it's just one of those songs that really grips me. A real "sing in the shower" type of song. Carrie Underwood sang it two seasons ago, and it gave me chills. That was the moment when I really knew she was going all the way. With Gina, not so much for me. I thought she did an okay job, shaky at first, but better at the end. My problem with Gina isn't that she can't sing; it's that she seems better suited as the lead singer of a rock band than being the next Kelly Clarkson. I like her, but I don't think she's going to win it. 7/10

Alaina Alexander - "Not Ready to Make Nice"
I like this song a lot, too, but Alaina isn't anywhere near as talented as Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, who won a Grammy for this song. I think she's trying too hard, and she was one of the early ones to go tonight, so that's not a good sign, either. I don't need her to "make nice," I'm just ready for her to make like a tree (and get out of here). 3/10

LaKisha Jones - "Midnight Train to Georgia"
LaKisha is an excellent singer. You can tell she grew up singing in a gospel choir somewhere, and she has a very confident, rich voice. I think she's going to run into trouble if the theme weeks get out of her comfort zone, or if people think she's so good she doesn't need votes (Jennifer Hudson's problem, I think). She did a good job with this song, but I do think last week was a little more "wow." 8/10

Melinda Doolittle - "My Funny Valentine"
I love Melinda! She is so cute and smiley and sweet. I thought her voice was very smooth on this song. Interesting choice, but she pulled if off. I hate when people pick ballads and slow songs on this show, but sometimes they work. 9/10

Antonella Barba - "Because You Loved Me"
Oh, Antonella. You look like you came straight off the set of My Super Sweet 16, you sing songs that people make prom themes out of, and you party naked with your friends on the weekends. What's not to love? If she was more talented, some of this would be easier to overlook, but she's really out of her league here. The only thing the judges like about her is her looks. 3/10

Jordin Sparks - "Reflection"
She wasn't quite on solid ground when she started this song, and I was worried about her being compared negatively to Christina Aguilera, but I think she did well on this song. She let her emotions get ahead of her a little (it was dedication week), but a very solid performance overall. I like her; I just hope she gets enough attention to make it past some of the less talented girls. 8/10

Stephanie Edwards - "Dangerously in Love"
I got up to get a snack during this one, but I think she did a pretty good job. I'm not the biggest Beyonce fan ever, so I didn't get too excited about this song. I liked her last week, though, and I think she's talented enough to make it at least a few more weeks. 7/10

Leslie Hunt - "Feelin' Good"
I don't know what it is about Leslie. She just doesn't scream out "American Idol" to me. I thought her vocals were okay, nothing awesome, not horrible. I could have gone without all the scatting. I'm not a big fan of hers, but she may find a niche audience and get some votes. She is the John Stevens of the girls, if anybody remembers him. 6/10

Haley Scarnato - "Queen of the Night"
I love that she chose this song. She opened herself up to comparisons with Whitney Houston, which may not have been so smart, though. It was really fun to watch, but I don't think she quite had enough power behind it to really pull it off. But, lots of fun + close to the end of the show could equal enough votes to stay. 7/10

Sabrina Sloan - "All the Man I Need"
I thought Sabrina did an excellent job of closing out the show. Maybe not the best performance of the night, but very good. You can really see the strength of her voice, and even though she was doing a Whitney song, too, notice she didn't get the comments about it from the judges like Haley did. I enjoyed it, even though it was a slower song, which says something. 8/10

Who's getting the boot? The A-Team: Alaina and Antonella. Hopefully.

What I'm hoping do to here...

Why did I start a blog? I already have a personal journal in which I can jot down my thoughts and complaints about life in general. I wanted a place where I could write other things, like opinions and random postings. So expect things to be interesting, if nothing else. I'm not quite sure which direction I'm going yet.