Monday, April 30, 2007

Look People! I'm Never Going to Coachella! Never!

From January till around now I'm asked too many times to count if I will be going to the Coachella Music Festival. To those people the answer is no and will always be no forever and ever amen. I understand that you think my love for music would make me a shoo in to be a participant at Coachella, but you are wrong.

For those who perhaps don't know, Coachella is a three day event where around 100 artists perform on various stages. The artists range everywhere from Willie Nelson to The Roots to The Arctic Monkeys. It's a lot of decent to good bands and some crappy playing a lot of music. It's also a hell of a lot of people congregating in the desert where if you didn't know it is really hot. Why would I want to pay a crap load of money to hang out with a bunch a dirty sweaty people? I don't want to deal with that just to see a short set played by two maybe three bands that I really want to see. Give me small dark club with a hundred plus fans that really want to see one band instead of thousands of people in the high desert sun with the dust and sweat and the port-a-potties. I realize there are some of you that feel the need to congregate with a bunch of people and "feel the love and power of music." Well, I'm not one of them. So, I post this as a preemptive strike to those who might ask me later. I hate fake sharing your excitement for something that I would never do. Actually, you can add any outdoor festival to this post.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Those American Idol Bastards

What a way to end up a night of good will. After almost two hours of raising money for worthwhile charities and making me misty eyed, they screw it all up with a "shocking" ending. The shocking ending was that nobody got voted off, because how can they vote someone off on a night of charity. My question is how can they tease not only the audience but poor Jordin by making us all think she got voted off? I would like to think that they told all the contestants ahead of time, but Jordin's reaction was either great acting or they really screwed with her mind. She was clearly visibly shaken. I offer this though as a condolence to Jordin. At least we know who the American Idol big wigs now want to win: Jordin. An often cause for some good singers to get voted off is people don't vote for that person because they think that contestant is safe. With the stunt last night the American Idol big wigs just made sure that Jordin will get her votes. You could hear the audience gasp when The Other Chris was told he was safe leaving Jordin standing alone on the verge of tears. It was manipulative and uncalled for particularly on a night when Idol supposedly gives back. As for the rest of the show: Blah. I nearly barfed when the children singers all hugged that Groban guy after singing. I was suddenly wishing for Jarvis Cocker to come out and interrupt like he did when Michael Jackson came out with all those kids back at the 1996 Brit Awards. Also, how awful was the Celine Dion and Elvis duet? That was a bad idea back in 1991. The rest was blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Sam!

This Picture is For The Ladies

This Picture is To Keep You Humble
(Sam's the one in flower print overalls)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Idol Recap (How The Hell Am I Supposed To Make Jokes Edition?)

Tonight is part one of the Idol Gives Back week which makes me feel like I need to temper my sarcasm and jokes. I'm so going to be struggling with this tonight. Apparently 10 cents of each vote goes to a charity for the first 50 million votes. For those that struggle with math, Seacrest is kind enough to tell us that is 5 million dollars. Also, Bono will be the mentor. I know this is for charity, but would you ever picture Bono doing something like this 15 - 20 years ago? This isn't like Live Aid. This is a mediocre talent competition.

Anyway, we now get a video of Simon and Seacrest's trip to Africa. See, I would immediately make a joke here about the fact that they only sent the two white guys to Africa, but I can't because it's for charity. I feel handcuffed. See Simon and Seacrest are walking around seeing the inhumane conditions these people are living in. Simon and Seacrest are sitting in a shack talking to a 12 year old boy that takes care of his family because his parents are dead. What this reminds me of is the Ricky Gervais bit he did for the ONE charity.


Now I feel guilty. The video ends and now it's back to American Idol! How jarring is that? I'm all befuddled. Let's try to get through this.

The Other Chris kicks things off with Clapton's "Change the World." He does fine for having a voice that grates on my nerves. All the judges really liked it. I thought Bono was the mentor? Where's Bono. Simon states that the competition really begins now.

Before Bobblehead performs, we now get to see where in the US Idol will also be giving back to? Ah Randy went back to his home state of Louisiana. Paula went to mobile health unit? Simon and Seacrest go to Africa. Randy goes to New Orleans. Paula goes to a mobile health unit. Come one Paula! You can do better than that.

Here's Bobblehead with "There Will Come a Day" by Faith Hill. Oh, the songs choices tonight are songs of inspiration. Maybe Midnight Oil will do the theme song from Hair? I'm allowed to make bad bald jokes I'm Again, no Bono. They've finally figured out how to dress her. She's looked good that last few weeks. Oh yeah. She nailed the song. It seems a shame she probably won't win. Nobody can touch her vocally.

Back from the break, and CCM will be singing Lennon's "Imagine." Not exactly a singer's song. I guess I should point out that each contestant has said something sentimental about their song choice and how its message connects with Idol Gives Back. CCM whispers his way through, and I'm bored. He bores me. Hmm. Because he sang with sincerity he gets a pass. The judges can't even be critical because it's Idol Gives Back.

We now get to see Seacrest at a feed center in Africa. This is one of the things the money donated will help build.

Big Momma will be singing "I Believe" by Fantasia. Isn't Fantasia an Idol winner? Big Momma needs help in picking songs. There are better songs than this. You shouldn't be allowed to sing a song by a previous Idol winner. She gets bland marks from the judges.

Midnight Oil is solid for the second week in a row. He sings "The Change" by Garth Brooks.

Simon at a pantry, Second Harvest, that gives out food to those that need it in the US. Again, no Paula.

Jordin closes out the night with "You'll Never Walk Alone." Jordin keeps pace with Bobblehead with a solid performance. It's between Jordin and Bobblehead now with Jordin winning because she's cuter. Midnight Oil or The Other Chris are going home. Maybe Big Momma because I think people are tired of her and her divaness.

Tomorrow I guess Bono will be mentoring even though it's the show where they find out the votes? That makes no sense. What else makes no sense is that tomorrow's show will have a bunch of famous people singing for charity and then we crush the dreams of one of the contestants. Is that how they are formatting tomorrow? This Idol Gives Back should have been scheduled at the end of the competition. This night has totally thrown me off my game.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ramblings (One Sentence Edition)

Why do I always sing louder at church when a cute girl is sitting next to me?

Did you do yourself a favor and see Hot Fuzz over the weekend?

Why does TNT's NBA Playoffs coverage look so crappy?

Also, during every Mavericks' home game that I catch on TV I will spend 10-15 minutes trying to spot M.O.L. Jr.

Why are the Cubs paying Floyd $3 mil, DeRosa $2.75 mil, and Jones $5.6 mil. even though they have three younger and better players in Theriot, Murton, and Pie making a total of $1.2 mil combined?

I love me some NHL Playoffs in glorious HD.

What does it say about me that I become frustrated when I can't find what I want in any stores?

What does it say about me that I dreamt about zombie chickens?

Can I tell you how excited I was when the invitation to Anne's graduation recommends that you wear a hat?

Have Sanjaya's 15 minutes come to an end or have they just begun?

I hit 302 notes in a row in Guitar Hero II on "Carry On My Wayward Son."

After what has felt like a two year hiatus there is a new Heroes tonight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

That Weekend Where Jennie and Inga Visit

As mentioned in the previous post, my sister Jennie and my niece Inga came to California for around ten days. There reason for coming is because Inga was selected to be an extra in the Tom Hanks movie Charlie Wilson's War. More details can be found on Jennie's blog.

Jennie and Inga had the weekend free of shooting, so they came down and spent Saturday and Sunday with me. I guess I should say some of Saturday, because they got a VIP pass to Universal Studios Theme Park. I've been in LA for seven years and have never been to the theme park. I've been to the gaudy Universal Walk where nobody should ever visit. The theme park itself wasn't awful. It's no Cedar Point, but it's not a bad place to take the kids.

There is one area that has cannons and such to fire these foam balls around. Nothing in the place worked so everyone in there resorted to simply throwing them at complete strangers. It seemed a little odd that this is one place where you can hit a stranger in the face with a ball and they won't want to beat the shit out of you.

The rest of the night was spent in El Segundo. Jennie and Inga met bobby. Inga struggled to fathom how someone could live in a place that had no bedrooms, only had one bathroom, and had neither a basement or attic. I over cooked one half of the pizza and blamed it on the oven. Then I introduced Jennie to the TV show "Angel."

Sunday I took Jennie and Inga to my church. Once again, communion was taken. I should point out that nearly every time I've gone to church this year communion is taken. I keep looking for a rhyme or reason to the frequency but I can't determine what it is. I don't have a problem with taking communion. I just have a problem with my church's method. They have everyone line up and break a piece a bread off of a loaf. That means by the time I get there, about fifty people have touched the bread I'm putting in my mouth. It creeps me out.

Anyway, after church Inga wanted to meet and play with some of the kids there. I've gone off and on to this church for around five years and I met more people at the church through Jennie and Inga in that one day. Of course everyone thought Jennie and I were married at first. That's one of the problems with step-siblings not looking at all alike. Back in the day, when Mom would take us clothes shopping, Jennie would take little Mandy and start acting like we were husband and wife and I was neglecting my family. Everyone was impressed with Jennie and thought Inga was adorable.

After having lunch with the families Jennie and Inga met, we went back to my apartment so Inga could enjoy her first true Root Beer out of bottle. She really liked it even though I had told her the night before that Root Beer was made out of crushed roots and often worms would get caught in there. The worm juice is what made the Root Beer foam. We also watched The Incredibles, which looks absolutely amazing on my TV. It has now become the movie I will use to show off my TV.

Finally, I drove them back to their hotel in Santa Clarita. So that's three siblings and one niece that have come to visit me in sunny LA. That leaves four siblings, three sibling in laws, and seven nieces and nephews. Anne had already been here three times. Mandy will be here for her second time next month. I'll give Ben I, and Jaime a pass because they could be out to California soon enough. Ben K. and Julie get a small pass because they just had a little one, and were actually drove through LA when I was out here. Things just didn't work out so we could meet. Dan gets a small pass because he took care of the rest of the kids while Jennie was out here. I was thinking that Sam gets a pass because he lives in England, but nope. Sure, he has a job that gives him no free time, and it's a really long flight. He's single with no kids. No pass for you Sam.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

American Idol Recap

A few things before we get this thing started. Got to meet up with Jennie and Inga last weekend. I'm still kind of working on a recap of that one. Secondly, I'm becoming more and more addicted to Guitar Hero II. There has been a slight improvement, but I still can't do a song on the hard difficulty. My one complaint is that most of the bonus tracks I have no interest in playing. This might be my one glaring problem with the game. The more difficult songs all tend to be metal songs. It makes sense that this would be the progression in the game, but it causes someone like me to stop playing once I reach a certain level. Do I want to keep playing to earn the right to play Drist? Trogdor? Yes.

So tonight is country night, with Martina McBride being the coach for this evening. It must be nice to have someone who can actually sing this time. When Eric and I were interning in Nashville, we got to see McBride sing an old gospel song at the Grand Ole Opry. The girl can sing. Of course the big question is if this is the night that gives the sisters leading the pack the most problem. The second is can Midnight Oil do anything to keep him from getting the ax?

As if the show is reading my mind, Midnight Oil kicks the night off with "Where the Blacktop Ends." I'll say now that I'm not going to know a lot about the songs that will be sung tonight. Is there anything more awkward than when the singer tries to interact with the audience by giving high fives and the like? He did pretty well for Midnight Oil. All the judges seemed to say that country is his style. It won't be enough to save him.

Jordin is the first contestant this night to attempt to kiss the guest coach's ass by singing McBride's song "Broken Wing." Not to be confused with "Broken Wings" by Mister Mister, but I wish Jordin would've made that mistake. Wow, Jordin nailed it. She actually performed the song rather than just sang it. I think she wins this thing.

Looks like Indian Barry Gibb is dressed for Springsteen night and not country night. Maybe they were doing a cover of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" and he didn't have time to change?

After the commercials IBG is going to sing "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About." He says he wants to do Bonnie Raitt justice. That's not going to happen...and it didn't happen. I beginning to like that this is really getting to Simon. He's right but him lashing out is always fun. The whole back and forth between him and Seacrest was nice. Seacrest coming to the defense of IBG I'm pretty sure was done just to infuriate Simon. If IBG actually won this thing, what would Simon do? Would he quit? I almost want to see what happens.

Big Momma will be singing former Idol Winner Underwood's song "Jesus Take The Wheel." Will a single contestant sing a country song released before 1990? Big Momma struggled with this one. Still, she's not in any danger.

The Other Chris is up next with "Mayberry" by that Rascal Flatts group. I can't stand his voice so I'm going to go ahead and mute it. Can I say I'm hypnotized by McBride's eyes? Are those contacts? They can't really be that blue can they? The Other Chris is finished, so let's see what they say. Apparently, they didn't feel it. Finally, Simon has been saying what I have for the past 10 weeks. He's too nasal in his singing. I agree with The Other Chris that he's been singing like this the whole time. He has, and it's been driving me up the wall. I don't know why Simon is starting to complain about it now.

Keeping the "screw old country" theme going, Bobblehead's song choice is "Trouble is a Woman." Martina hasn't even heard of the song. As always Bobblehead did really well. It seems unfair to sort of take for granted that Bobblehead sing well. It is, and I think that's going to hurt her in the end.

We wrap up tonight with CCM singing some Tim McGraw song. You'd think I'd be a fan of McGraw what with him being bald yet still landing Faith Hill as wife. You would think that something like that would give me hope. You'd think wrong. There's something about his tan in a can look or something that makes me doubt he is really any kind of cowboy or something. What the hell? This is a Ryan Adams song not Tim McGraw. After a little research it seems Tim McGraw covered it. Still, CCM should be giving the credit to Ryan Adams not McGraw. Now everyone is going to be picking up McGraw's album and not Ryan Adams.

So, there really isn't going to be any surprise tomorrow when Midnight Oil goes home. Then the real competition begins sort of. I mean IBG will still be around, and The Other Chris is clearly not as good as the rest of the competition. Maybe after those two go home then the competition will really begin.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It Was Only a Matter of Time

It took only nine games and a 6-5 loss after being ahead 5-0, but Piniella is finally cracking. This is why most sports journalist were really thrilled that Piniella agreed to manage the Cubs. Can't wait till the fifth loss of this kind.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Evie!

May your birthday bring you this much joy.

*I seriously need some non-Christmas pictures.

Example #294 That I'm Getting Old

For a wrap gift, the generous actors gave all the crew a gift certificate to Target. This left we with a debate on what to spend that gift certificate on. After much debating I gave in picked up Guitar Hero 2 for the 360. What led someone like me who isn't a fan of rhythm games pick up a rhythm game? Good question. The thing is this game starting with the first version for the PS2 had been touted as addicting as crack. Also, how can you turn down a game in which you simulate playing "Sweet Child O'Mine?" It's something that's difficult not to give in to.

There is a problem with me and this game and it's more than the fact that I suck at rhythm games. It's that this game makes me feel my age. That feeling seep through my hands. I just can't hit some notes because the fingers on my left hand are worthless. After trying to reach for that blue note on Cheap Trick's "Surrender" at the beginning of the chorus, my pinky finger starts locking up and not wanting to move. Being the stubborn man that I am, it doesn't stop me from trying. So, by the seventh time through the song my left hand is screaming for me to stop. What have Pete Townsend and Eddie Van Halen done to keep their fingers limber? How come it's taken till now to realize how worthless my pinky is? Why can't I stop playing this game? Why do I start humming the song to myself and play air video game guitar to see if I can remember the notes? Why do I think I'd actually be able to even come close to 50% on the coda of "Free Bird?" Why am I jealous an 8 year old? That I know the answer to. It's only one 8 year old, and it's because he can do this:

I don't think I ever had fingers that could pull that off.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

American Idol Recap (What Happens When Someone Who Can't Sing Coaches People Who Can't Sing Edition)

Here we are again kids. I'm out of the Idol fantasy but I'm still back here with another recap. Why? Jennifer Lopez is the coach tonight, and I'm pretty certain she will not give any advice on one of the contestants' vocals. I'm betting that attitude will be the theme word for tonight. Of course this probably is a big boost to the contestants. How can it not be when they can all sing better than the person coaching them? Anyway on with the show.

Apparently, Ms. Lopez is a huge fan of the show, but won't say who her favorites are. I guess US Magazine has their cover story now. How would they investigate this? Would they go as far as to bug her phone? Maybe they would call her up pretending to be a pollster or something. Who am I kidding she doesn't answer her own phone.

We kick things off with Bobblehead singing Sway. Lopez seems genuinely excited when she says she sang this song too. I'm sure running through Bobblehead's mind is, "Yeah, but I'm not using three computers and five engineers to make me sound good." Well this is the best Bobblehead has looked on the show I think. Not quite as saucy as this song should be. Randy and the drunkette love her, but Simon didn't like it so much. I don't buy his continuous complaints this season that contestants aren't acting their age while performing certain songs. I think he's stretching to find something wrong. Was it her best? No. Still can guarantee it's better then two thirds of the people that will sing tonight. Nice that Bobblehead even called him out on wanting to say something bad. She's growing on me. This look tonight helps. She need to keep away from those odd patterns.

ok that Sony cam commercial with the parents bathing their twenty year old son in the sink is easily one of the creepiest commercials ever. I hope I never have to see that thing again.

Apparently they are going back to back with the big voices. Big Momma is in the viewer question chair. Big Momma throws out the "I've got a baby" card. So I'm two for two. Ms. Lopez just showed Big Momma how to move to the song. I'm betting Big Momma's going to have a little problem at the end of this song if she moves too much. Oh she's singing "Conga." Wouldn't Gloria Estefan be a better choice for Latin night? She could use the boost in CD sales. Simon and Paula agree for the one time this season. It was a safe song vocally, but it probably had to be with her moving around and stuff.

Way to screw me over Ms. Lopez. You just had to tell The Other Chris to go a up a key. Why do they keep giving him good marks. His voice drives me up the wall. Am I alone in this? His voice is awful isn't it?

In case you didn't know Drive premieres next Sunday on FOX! Can they promo this show enough times that we actually hate it before actually seeing it?

So Legs is up now to sing "Turn the Beat Around." Wow, her skirt/shorts keep getting shorter and shorter. Her vocals still are thin. Simon calls her on her tactic to wear the least amount of clothing as possible and hope her enthusiasm gets her through. I'm not complaining, but she's gone tomorrow night. Her outfit wasn't the best either. It showed her legs but it still wasn't that flattering and she needs to stick with the long curly hair. Hmm. Can a TV show make you gay? I bet there's a Bob Jones study somewhere that says yes.

Midnight Oil is on the clock. Tonight he will be singing "Maria, Maria." The pickings can't be this thin for Latin night can they? Two Santana songs? Goose pimples? Who the hell calls them goose pimples? Two cracks in his performance. Don't kiss Simon's ass Midnight Oil. He played the I have a daughter card too with his my daughter named a stuffed animal after Simon. I'd bet that whole story is all bullshit. Except for the daughter part.

Who watches this Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader show?

Jordin with no nickname is now going to sing "The Rhythm is Going to Get You." Is Ms. Lopez pissed it's another Gloria Estefan song? It seems like a good time as any to admit that when I got out from under the Bob Jones umbrella and listened to the radio at my Mom's house, I listened to this song a lot. Actually, I listened to a lot of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, except for that Bad Boys song it was shit. Anyway, Jordin sings fine it just seem all the upbeat songs tonight don't have that extra something. They come across flat and little slow. I almost want to blame it on the band, but I know better than that.

Making me dislike him even more, CCM has chosen to sing a song by Marc Anthony who is also know as Jennifer Lopez's husband. The song is called "I Need to Know." CCM's tattoos are really just magic marker right? Dammit. Simon called it the best performance of the night, and sadly he's right. Could he actually win? I bet he makes the final two.

Closing out the night is The Indian Barry Gibb. Nice to see his sister made it back this week for the show. It also looks like she found some surfer wannabe for a boyfriend. I bet she never got that many dates and had a classic case of girl doesn't realize how pretty she is till she gets on TV. Now look at her with her cute 10 IQ boyfriend. I bet he says "dude" every other sentence. Indian Barry Gibb is singing some song with Mucho in the title. Ms. Lopez says it's beautiful. It won't be once he's done with it. Holy crap check out the facial hair. I'm beginning to think he might be nothing but a real life Wooly Willy. He's nothing but a completely bald kid and they just cut and paste hair like they want to each week. For Indian Barry Gibb he didn't do half bad.

So another show, another hour gone from my life. Do they still go with the final three once they are down to eight? Clearly, Midnight Oil and Legs will be in the bottom, but who will be the third? I'm at a lost. I'm guessing it's The Other Chris.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Three Movie for the Price of Two!

As stated before this weekend included the viewing of two movies that seemed to be made particularly for me: Grindhouse and Hot Fuzz. Jiff asked for reviews, so here it goes. Both of these reviews are spoiler free.

Grindhouse: I feel like I should make known that while I never went to a grindhouse in my youth, I spent many late nights with watching these kind of movies on Mom's satellite dish or renting them. Grindhouse is sort of an homage to these movies. Rodriguez and Tarantino are trying to recreate for the audience that experience of a double feature in a grindhouse. I think they succeed.

The first movie, Rodriguez's Terror Planet, is basically a zombie movie. Toxic gas is released on a small Texas town and all hell breaks loose. A Go-Go dancer with one leg and a tow truck driver with a mysterious past are required to save the day. Also, populating the town is a disgruntled doctor scheming on her husband and fellow doctor. There's the owner of BBQ establishment who won't tell his brother the sheriff his secret recipe. Rodriguez throws it all into this film: government cover ups, crazy twin babysitters, and a zombified Bruce Willis. This is probably my favorite Rodriguez film since El Mariachi, which really isn't saying much. Rodriquez keeps everything moving from one outlandish sequence to the other. It's clear he's simply throwing everything into the pot and having fun with it. It comes across a lot like two high school students one upping themselves with each outlandish idea after another. The movie does work on that level, and works well. It's fun, crazy, and cool and you can't ask for more from it.

The second half of the double feature is Tarantino's Death Proof starring the always underrated Kurt Russell. This comes across as Tarantino's experiment in writing for women. The first half hour is spent simply watching these women interact with a little ogling. Then Kurt Russell shows up and plays the creepy but cool killer. One of my favorite things is Russell's change in the character near the end. Also, the car stunts are very old school and very cool. There's one long stunt that still amazes me. Death Proof doesn't move at the speed of Terror Planet till the end. Still, I enjoyed Death Proof more than Terror Planet. I like the characters and I love the car chase.

One thing that irritated me a little in both films is the "winking" that the filmmakers make letting the audience know they are in the on the joke. The most blatant is the "missing reel" gag that appears in both movies. Personally, that gag was a little too knowing to me.

Finally, I feel I should say a little about the trailers in Grindhouse. Most likely you've seen most of the Machete trailer. That appears at the beginning. In between there is Rob Zombie's ode to Ilsa She Wolf of the SS only the the She-Wolf is actually taken the horror movie route. Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) does a send up to British mansion horror movies. It's the funniest of the trailers and my favorite. The last one is Eli Roth's (Hostel) Thanksgiving. It starts off well enough, but ends with the most offensive parts of the whole movie.

But let us get to the movie that you should absolutely not miss: Hot Fuzz. Along with Bobby, Tim and Gina, I got to see an early showing of Hot Fuzz with director/co-writer Edgar Wright, co-writer/actor Simon Pegg, actor Nick Frost, and special guest Timothy Dalton for a panel discussion afterwards. Hot Fuzz is the funniest movie you will see this year. Pegg plays a hard nosed and by the book cop that is sent off to the safest town in England because he was making all the other cops in London look bad. Pegg is teamed up with dufus Frost who loves action movies like Point Break and Bad Boys II and feels like he is missing out on not being a supercop. What follows is both an homage and a spoof of those action movies as Pegg and Frost try to prove that a group of accidents are actually murders. Ok, at this point I realize that anything I say isn't going to do this movie justice. Trust me and go see this movie when it comes out. It's very funny. You will miss half of the jokes, but just go see it again, This is smarter and funnier than any Blades of Glory that will be released this year.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ramblings (Too Short Edition)

I hate Florida...and the three point line.

In case you haven't heard the Tribune Co. is going to sell the Cubs by the end of this year. That gives me less than a year to wrangle up $600 million dollars which is the estimated going price. I assume I'm actually going to need around a billion dollars after it's all said and done. I will consider investment partners, but only after an exhausting interview process.

Big, big weekend coming up. Among the end of the season craziness there are a few things I'm looking forward to: Friday is the CSI: Miami wrap party where something weird is bound to happen. I will the follow that up with a "Hot Fuzz" showing with director and writer present as part of a triple bill including John Woo's "Hard Boiled" and then the brilliant "Point Break." In between everything else I have to fit in a viewing of "Grindhouse."

It is so nice to have the Shield back on TV after a year long absence.

My therapist gave homework to do over the week. I have to write down any dreams I have over the week. Last I dreamt that the family and I were going to Ann's graduation only we couldn't get out of Ohio. The really odd thing was that the wandering was bookended by Columbus' own guitar wielding mega mall car salesman Fred Ricart trying to sell his wares. The problem was he apparently expanded into selling women. Which lead to the line of Fred Ricart saying "We're whores!" Our family did not purchase any whores. Can't wait to see what my therapist says about this one.

So Gina Jett has been sent home. Second to last is better than last I guess. I still think Midnight Oil, Legs, Indian Barry Gibb and the Other Chris are worse than both Gina and Stephanie. At least I'll be eating cookies and not baking them, right Dominic?

The Friday Night Lights season and most likely series finale is next week. There is so much in the air. I'm scared they will try to squeeze and wrap it all up in one hour. It's be nice if it's two hours. I hope they don't end it with a cliff hangar. I hope they give us a concrete end, and at least make this one great season with an ending the two or three fans can live with.

Tomorrow, I'm having 3,000 dollars worth of psoriasis drugs delivered to my house. That price of course could be a bit of an exaggeration by my doctor. Still, I'm looking into a security guard for my apartment.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

American Idol Recap

This American Idol recap is not actually live this time. It's been delayed because Back to the Future was being shown in glorious HD. Thank goodness for DVR's. Anyway, tonight we are down to single digits with 9 contestants left after Sideshow Chunk correctly got booted from the show. The special guest this evening is the legendary Tony Bennett. Mr. Bennett's first comment about our "singers" is "They are all very competent." Which is short hand for "These kids think they can sing, but I pass gas that sounds better than them." Actually, Mr. Bennett is clearly too nice of a guy to say such a crass thing. It does lead me to wonder what Sinatra would be like if he was the coach for American Idol. It'd make a good Phil Hartman as Sinatra sketch on SNL. I miss Phil.

Our first performer for the night is CCM. He will be performing "Jack the Knife." Mr. Bennett tells the punk to remember what the song is about. It is a song about a killer. CCM of course doesn't show any clue to what the song is about as he bounces around and sings blankly. You can do something different with a dark song like that and just turns it into a bland vanilla performance. He's all vanilla. And he didn't listen to Mr. Bennett.

Do we know what charity it is that American Idol is giving back to? Every time Seacrest mentions it he just says "the charity." I can't wait to see some 60 Minutes piece on "the charity" actually going to something like Paula's collection of Jack Daniels bottles.

Next up is Midnight Oil who will be singing "Night and Day." Mr. Bennett wants him to put some beat behind his performance. Of course, Midnight Oil doesn't listen. Are they all that stubborn or arrogant to not take Mr. Bennett's advice. He does ok. Again, no real emotion invested in the lyrics. This is why someone like Bobblehead-What? Paula just said Midnight Oil is like a young Sinatra. Can't she be shot for something like that? I like Simon's funeral line. Which makes Midnight Oil's line that he was thinking of his wife even more awkward.

Bobblehead is up with "I've Got Rhythm." I'm certain she's really this nice, but I'm so sick to death of her surprise look at every compliment. It is always eye go wide, she say "oh," hand is raised to her chest and she takes half a step back. It happens every time, and it's driving me nuts. I'm surprised there isn't a compilation of that look on YouTube. Yeah, she nailed it. There's no doubt she's the best singer, and can actually convey the lyrics in her performance. I still think her lack of a neck will hurt her, (the short straight hair helps I think) and perhaps she's too good. Big Momma isn't even in her league.

The Other Chris is really riding the Timberlake wannabe angle. "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" is what he will butcher tonight. So thin and so flat. He bores me. Somehow Randy and Paula really liked it. Paula even used the phrase "artistic integrity." Simon even liked it. Maybe, his voice just grates on me, but I can't stand any of his performances.

Jordin will try to hold onto her spot as the dark horse with a little "On a Clear Day." She does well. I think Simon is just aching to be negative, and incorrectly nitpicks her performance. I think she's the solid number three. I'm glad she stopped doing that heart signal with her hands. That drove me nuts.

This is going to be a tough night I think for Gina Jett. She will be singing "Smile." I always think sitting is a bad idea when performing. I'm bored. Randy and Paula are deaf. It seems she realizes she's being, like Simon said, out sung by these other ladies, but to keep her going she keeps telling herself there are different vocal styles for each person. The problem is she doesn't believe herself. At this point I don't care if she gets voted off, because Sideshow Chunk's dismissal last week means that Dominic is the loser once again this year at Fantasy Idol. This is two years in a row Dom has come in last. His punishment is he has to now bake cookies for everyone. With Dom out I don't care if Gina is booted. I just didn't want to be last and have to bake cookies.

Mr. Bennett loves The Indian Barry Gibb. Nobody is immune to his charm. I'm not immune to his sister's charm. Who they don't show during his performance. Oh he's singing "Cheek to Cheek." If I have to listen to him sing, I should get to baffle at how he could have sister that cute. Of course, everybody has now given up on actually criticizing him, and just accepting him now. It's like they are at the end of the five stages of grief.

Legs is up next, and she is still going with her legs as a selling point. She added the cleavage to the mix tonight. "Ain't Misbehavin'" is clearly the song she should be singing. Legs does as well as legs can do. The judges seem to treat her like they do Indian Barry Gibb. They know she's barely getting by on her looks. I think she's gone next week. There can't be a bunch of teenage boys watching this and voting for her.

Wait. Ryan O'Neal is playing a killer father on Bones? Tacky.

We wrap up this show with Big Momma and "Stormy Weather." I don't know how many more of these I can do. I've become bored on the whole process. It's the same thing every time. They need to shake this up somehow. Bobblehead kicks everyone's behind, and Jordin and Big Momma pick up the scraps. I know CCM is going to sneak into the final. I'm just in the depression stage about it. Also, if somehow the Indian Barry Gibb really wins this, that's the end of American Idol right? It will officially become a joke then won't it?

Now time to wash away this aftertaste with the season premiere of The Shield, the best show on television.

Happy Birthday Amanda Michelle