People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Guy Is Definitely Winning American Idol this Year

I'm not watching American Idol on delay tonight, although I wish I was. I like to fast forward through lots of this stuff.  Last night I started 40 mins late and caught up before the end. But tonight I'll have to watch the entire thing live, whether I want to or not.

Chelsea Sorrell - Cowboy Casanova, Carrie Underwood - It always makes me smile a little when I think that to these kids, someone who won this contest previously is considered a big star.  Since we are starting out with a country person, I'd like to hit mute right away cause just her speaking voice is getting on my nerves, but my husband doesn't agree.  I think that was terrible, but my husband said it wasn't that bad.  I think he needs to get his ears checked. Tonight, I'm not even going to bother listening to what the judges have to say, since it's rarely helpful or even relevant.

Erika Van Pelt - What About Love, Heart - She was just OK. There were no big moments in a song that lends itself to creating that sort of glory note thing, and her voice is a little vibrato-y for my taste.  She was like the wedding singer or something.

Jennifer Hirsh - One and Only, Adele  - Her family has a vineyard. Can't she afford to buy her own record contract then? So, Adele doesn't have that many hits, right? I mean they can't just all keep singing her stuff every week, can they? She didn't sound bad and was a bit more interesting that the last two, but that's not saying much.

Brielle Von Hugel - Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding - If I didn't hate this chick already for having an overbearing stage mother, I would for this get-to-know-her video clip. Also, she was a cheerleader. Add to that her annoying phrasing and how she says her words, and I'd be happy if I never, ever had to see or hear from her ever again.  Which probably means she's gonna last for a long time.

Hallie Day - Feeling Good, Any Number of People - She's just a little too pretty for her husband, right? I mean we're all thinking it.  Anyway, I hear the Adam Lambert version of this song almost daily on my play list. She just does not compare.  Her voice is weak and her moves are weird. But she's pretty so that will probably save her for a couple of weeks.

Skylar Laine - Stay With Me, Faces -  Does it make me a bad person that I just can't stand this chick's broad southern accent? My husband just said he can barely understand anything she's saying. Once again this is a case of someone picking a song they like, but that really doesn't do their vocal ability any favors. The high note at the end was not really in tune with the song and just sounded wrongly placed. My husband, who likes country music, said "that was nasty, there was nothing good about that."

Baylie Brown - Amazed, Lonestar - I'm about to hear another country singer, aren't I? Why does God hate me so much? That was just like bad karaoke, screechy and pitchy and weak.  The only thing I like about her is her grandfather. But, you know, pretty girls last a while on AI.

Hollie Cavanagh - Reflection, Christina Aguilera - She almost sounds like she might have a speech impediment. Or maybe she's just very young and sorta mumbles like a typical teenager. I'd say her choice of song from Mulan makes her young. Well, that wasn't perfect, but it was probably better than most of what we heard tonight.  She needs some more polish I think, but she was on key, which is half the battle here. She doesn't match up to Christina, but then few really do.

Haley Johnsen - Sweet Dreams, Eurythmics - I missed her get-to-know-me video cause my husband said he just bought ice cream suckers and wanted to know why they weren't in the freezer, cause I put them away and I said I never saw them, so then he wanted me to find the receipt to prove if he really bought them or just thought he did and well, I just got back in time for her to start singing.  Anyway, he was still talking about it while I was trying to listen to her, but either way, I'm pretty sure I would have hated her.

Is it weird for anyone else that the judges loved all over the "beautiful" boys yesterday and are being brutally honest with the less than perfect girls tonight? It's like they just want this year's winner to be another guy.

Shannon Magrane - Go Light Your World, Chris Rice - So I went back and found the receipt for him and my husband did not buy any ice cream suckers. So there. Anyway, Shannon says her dad was a pitcher a long time ago. You know, all the way back in the dark ages of the late 80's through the mid-90s.  My husband said "Shannon Migraine," "why are all the girls so shaky?" and "is this a church song?" I have no answers for him.

Also, why do these children keep talking about what's in their soul? They have no soul yet. I'm sure of it.

Jessica Sanchez - Love You I Do, Jennifer Hudson - They want us to feel sorry for Jessica cause she has swollen vocal cords and couldn't rehearse as much as she would have liked before tonight. Somehow, I seriously doubt that. No one gets this far and doesn't rehearse the heck out of their song before this first time before America, one shot, sudden death kind of thing. No one. Anyway, she started out really mumbly, although she did pull off some big notes and growls that probably saved her, although honestly I only understood about one word out of every ten. My husband said she was probably the first real singer up there tonight.

Elise Testone - One and Only, Adele - Seriously, more freaking Adele? No wait, this isn't more Adele, it's THE SAME Adele. Why? I think she did a better job than the other chick who sang THIS SAME SONG tonight, but since I've pretty much forgotten who the other chick was at this point, I'd say the point is moot.

Well, if this is the best America has to offer in way of female contestants, then a guy is definitely winning again this year.  The best two were Hollie Cavanagh and Jessica Sanchez. And they weren't that great.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

American Bleeeeeep

So it's really back.

The live shows on American Idol. My husband has already pointed out that the new stage set looks cheesy. Like this show was ever the utmost in decorum and taste.  It sounds like they are keeping this stage throughout, instead of just using it until we hit the Top 12. Interesting. Or, you know, not so much, really.

This week they can pick any song they want. Really, Ryan? Really, any song they want? I'm sorry if I just have a problem believing that.

As we start out and I get a look at the Top 24, I seriously wish I could remember even one of their names and I just can't.  Sadly, by the time this season ends, I will know them all too well.

Reed Grimm - Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5 - Says his life will change and he won't be changing dirty diapers every day. Yes that will be a change, but I kinda thought you'd be looking for something a little more than that. He is suitably bleeped out during the songs one swear word, which could really have been changed easily.  I mean if Cee Lo can Forget know?  Anyway, I have no opinion at this point.  He didn't impress me.  Randy (and can someone please tell me what's the deal with his collar??) says he is like Casey Abrams. He is not. Jennifer says everyone knows the song so well. Neither one of us has ever heard this song before.  Steven also swears and is bleeped out. Well, mostly.

Adam Brock - Think, Aretha Franklin - When a man describes himself as White Chocolate...well, I just have no words.  In my opinion, that song is too big for him, at least it's bigger than he thinks he is.  But then Aretha is bigger than most people.  He didn't suck, but I didn't think he was amazing either. Steven said he was brilliant and managed to do it without swearing. Jennifer said he delivered at the end. Randy says he has a 70's vibe.

DeAndre Brackensick - Reasons, Earth Wind and Fire - That falsetto is gonna get old really quick. Maybe even by tonight. Possibly before this song ends. OK, talk about a 70's vibe, now I'm really feeling it.  Is it just me or does everyone else like this show way better than me? Steven didn't swear again. Jennifer says his voice is perfect and she prayed he'd come back this year. (Like she really remembers who any of these kids are between seasons.) Randy said something...I have no idea what.

I'm watching the show about 40 minutes behind and I noticed that Colton Dixon is trending on Twitter when I'm just getting to him. So either he was amazing or really bad, cause he's the only AI thing trending when it's probably at least half an hour after he sang.

Colton Dixon - Decode, Paramore - I think that's right cause I missed Ryan announcing it and had to look it up, but I'm not sure which is the song name and which is the band. Once again, I was not impressed.  I want to be impressed with someone, please.  Randy says the show has so many flavors. Jennifer says we really feel him and he's a relevant artist. Steven doesn't swear.

Jeremy Rosado - Gravity, Sarah Bareilles - Never heard of her, originally got her name down as Sarah Umbrella and went back to look it up. Jeremy strikes me as a really nice guy, so I don't see him lasting too long on this show or in the music business. But maybe it's an act and he's going all the way to the top. On the other hand, he could be this year's Scott Savol, he'll be good, but people will hate him cause he's so harmless. So far he's the first one that I actually liked.  Even with that little crack in his voice, it sounded real and he wasn't overwhelmed by the music. Steven says it was beautiful and for once, he's right. Jennifer says some people are just blessed by God. Randy said something, but I didn't catch it again. For some reason whenever Randy talks all I hear is that wahwahwah sound, like adults in Charlie Brown.

Aaron Marcellus - Never Can Say Goodbye, Jackson 5 - He says he's a regular dude who has a big dream. Me too Aaron, me, too. My dream is that at some point someone singing on the Idol stage this year will be really amazing and I'll remember why I watch this show year after year. Aside from the slightly off, weak ending, the rest sounded too...processed to me. Like he was singing to me through a filter that takes out all the personality, which is sort of the deal so far tonight. The judges gushed, but said nothing of note.

Chase Likens - Storm Warning, Hunter Hayes - I basically tune out for the country stuff.  As I may have mentioned, at least a few million times, I hate country music.  HATE IT. So I just choose to abstain from commenting. Otherwise, he seems like a nice guy. Even the judges don't seem as happy about this song as the last few, but since Chase is clearly fodder with no chance of making the Top 12, it really doesn't matter.

Creighton Fraker - True Colors, Cyndi Lauper - I kinda like him, but he's so weird that I don't think it can last. Seriously, if anyone has a woman inside him, it's this guy. His voice is so high and fine and yet solid. I really do like him.  My husband has been muttering stuff in the background about rainbows, but I'm ignoring him.  I can totally see him singing with a Muppet someday. (Creighton, not  my husband.) At this point, I'm basically ignoring what the judges are saying, cause it's all pointless. Although my husband mentioned that the judges sort of rushed through their time with Creighton, like they were basically saying goodbye.

Phil Philips - In The Air Tonight, Phil Collins - He's so totally making this song his own, I don't really recognize it. He's basically re-written the melody, at least on the verse. I want to like this, but I'm not sure.  My husband said I like him, but that was a little weird; he did say he liked it better than True Colors.  I disagree.  The judges seem to like it better, except for Randy who also recognized that he's re-writing melody. Which is weird, cause Randy rarely knows what's happening.

Eben Franckewitz - Set Fire To the Rain, Adele - More and more I don't know the songs that are sung on this show and this is one I don't know. So I can't be sure, but it doesn't sound right. He seems flat and nasally and kinda scared to death. But the producers clearly like him, cause he has the flamey background. My husband just said, he's going down in flames, for sure.  He's the first one the judges really had any criticism for, except that they sugar coated it by telling him how amazing he is. He's not that amazing.

Heejun Han - Angels, Robbie Williams - Of course, he's crazy and clearly his mother is as well. So you gotta like that. He's not melting my heart or anything like that, but he wasn't bad. I'd call him easy listening, which his probably not what he's going after, but at least it was all on pitch.

OK, that one short, re-written line from Hey Jude by Steven Tyler was better than everyone else that sang tonight so far.

Joshua Ledet - You Pulled Me Through, Jennifer Hudson - He has barely opened his mouth and already I can say, this is what I'm talking about. He sounds like Luther Vandross and he's so much better than all the other Idol wannabes who sang tonight that they should just call him the winner now and move on.  Think of how much time we'd all save. No, seriously, someone call that kid and give him a contract. Stat.

And now for the surprise semi-finalist save. It's gonna be Jermaine Jones. And it's Jermaine Jones. Color me not even a little surprised.

Jermaine Jones - Dance With My Father, Luther Vandross - I get why they keep calling this guy the gentle giant, cause he makes Ryan look like a little, tiny, tiny man. Not that Ryan is all that big, but now he looks like one of those toy, smaller than a Barbie doll, dolls.  Tiny.  Oh, right, and he sang. I have no love for this song and I don't think he added much to it, but then he just had to sing after Joshua Ledet, so anyone would suffer by comparison.

Overall, it was an underwhelming first ep of live shows. As I recall last year was just as underwhelming and look how that turned out.  (The country guy won, so that just goes to show you.)

If I can only keep five, which is I guess how this works, it will be Adam Brock, Jeremy Rosado, Creighton Fraker, Heejun Hun and Joshua Ledet.

I guess.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Private Caller

OK, I just thought this was a great story from a Canadian friend of mine, and I had to share it.  I wish I had done this. 

I just got a call from a scammer. Of course the caller ID said "private name" but when my husband calls from his cell it says "private caller" so I thought it might be him and I answered. 

So anyway there was an Indian sounding woman on the phone and she said her name was Jean Cassidy (yeah, right) and that she was calling from Microsoft. She said they had received many report errors from my computer and that I needed to turn my computer on so she could help me fix a security problem they detected.

Okay look...I may be old but this old girl still has a few brain cells left. And I've read about every scam out there. 

I am not a detective but I've seen one on TV. 

So I told the Indian lady named Jean Cassidy that I was a detective with the RCMP cyber crimes unit. I thanked her for calling because we were well aware of this scam and would now be tracing her number back and that it would help us in our investigation into where the scam is originating.

She hung up. I wonder why?

And this is why I love my friends. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sometimes My Husband is Right

I was planning on making pancakes for breakfast this morning.  It's been weeks since my husband and I have both been home and had a whole day to ourselves.  Well, when we weren't feeling sick anyway.  Seriously, we got sick around New Year's and stayed that way for all of January and a good portion of February, while dealing with lots of other stuff, like his traveling to Florida for 2 weeks and then his daughter and her husband coming up to visit for a long weekend and, you know, stuff.

So anyway I asked him what kind of pancakes he wanted. I was thinking of cornmeal Johnny cakes or oatmeal and cinnamon or something like that, hearty and delicious.  He said, why don't you make crepes?

This was such an amazingly good idea, I couldn't believe it came from him.

So I set out to make crepes with a cream cheese filling.  I make it with lemon zest and a hint of nutmeg. But then I made the mistake of asking him what kind of filling he wanted and he said custard. Wow! Two great ideas in one morning. So there was vanilla custard as well.

I usually like to make a fruit compote to put over the crepes as well, and I generally make blueberry cause I almost always have frozen blueberries. I just like them is all. But I had just cleaned out the freezer yesterday and realized that I still had a nice big bag of strawberries that I had frozen from the summer. Somehow, they just never got all used up.  So this time, I made a strawberry compote and it was amazingly lovely.

In order to keep them all separate, I spread the cream cheese on some crepes and folded them into quarters and then filled others with custard and rolled them up.  I even made a couple that had both strawberries and custard and they were sooooo good.  No really, my husband said they were exactly what strawberries and cream should taste like and he was right. Again. So that's weird.