Saturday, May 31, 2008

4 days and counting...or how Hillary got over-ruled by the Democratic National Committee

Finally, the DNC stood up to Hill and told her the rules are the rules and she has to play by them (well, sort of).

A round-up of related headlines tells the story:

* Hillary Gets Ruled and Bylawed
* After DNC Ruling Obama 66 Delegates Away From Clinching Nomination
* Obama Has Replaced Clintons as Boss of Party
* Ickes at the Alamo
* Obama Plans Election Kick-Off At GOP Convention Site
* Bill Clinton's Enemies List: The Media, MoveOn, Dem Party Leaders
* Clinton's Choice: Scorch the Earth or Prepare to Fold
* Rules Committee Delivers Setback to Clinton
* Clinton backers decry party rules committee decision
* Florida, Michigan restored in blow to Clinton

And now...enjoy the quote of the day courtesy of Donna Brazile responding to former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard, after he tried to make the case that Clinton should get 73 delegates out of Michigan and the remaining 55 delegates should be designated as uncommitted:

My momma taught me to play by the rules and respect those rules. My mother taught me, and I'm sure your mother taught you, that when you decide to change the rules, middle of the game, end of the game, that is referred to as cheatin.'

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things I don't understand (continued)

#10. Why Barack-Star can't seem to find a minister who's not a raving lunatic to guide him on his spiritual journey.


3 more people who should just sit down and be quiet.

1. Clay Aiken
2. Scott McClellan
3. Sharon Stone

(Click here for "5 people in the news who should just sit down and be quiet")

Go Cards!

My grandmother and uncle drove to St. Louis yesterday to see the Cardinals beat the Astros 3-2.

Before the game she and my mom had time to take a little siesta.

5 Days until the "inevitable" candidate finally steps aside

This is as close as she's going to get...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hillary's Long Goodbye...just six more days. Today's fun Hillary tidbit: Young Hillary Clinton


Happy Father's Day, Clay Aiken??!!!!???

Rumor has it that Clay Aiken is going to be a baby daddy. Clay's best friend and LA room-mate, 50-year-old Jaymes Foster (yes, Jaymes is a woman),is expecting and the little Clay-mate is due sometime in August.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Berry BEST Red, White, and Blue Dessert

Sorry, I didn't have time to post this before Memorial Day, but you can still make it for Flag Day (June 14th), Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

I've been making this dessert so long, I've convinced myself it's my recipe. I'm sure I got it somewhere, but I honestly can't remember where.

This really is the easiest and BEST dessert you can make for your family and friends this summer. It's perfect for after a big barbecue.

Clean your choice of a mixture of red and blue berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are all perfect). For 6 of us I used 1 small raspberry container, a small blackberry container and a small blueberry container.

Put all the clean berries in a saucepan. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar (I use less, because I like them tart when serving with ice cream).

Add the juice of a lemon and a little vanilla.

Bring to a boil, simmer just until berries get soft.

Slice an angel food cake (go ahead and make your own if you're industrious...I buy mine). Grill on your outdoor grill or toast in a skillet.

Put 2 pieces of angel food cake on each plate, add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, then drizzle the warm berries over the top.

If I was having company I'd sprinkle a little lemon jest over the top.


Just in case...

My friends Maureen and Sam are normal in every way. At least that's what I thought until I was at their house and Maureen asked me to get something out of their pantry. This is what I saw. Disturbing.

I believe in being prepared, but I think 5 boxes of Trader Joe's Maple Pecan Clusters for just two people in the house is a little excessive.

My husband has a similar obsession with hotel shampoos.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Unity Ticket

Hill supporters are calling it the "Unity Ticket." I think the only way Barack-star should put Hill on the ticket as his VP choice is if he invests in a food taster.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad

My dad died almost 12 years ago. Today is his birthday. He would have been 78-years-old.

I miss him everyday. There's so much I wish I could share with him.

This is how I think of him. Always reading, always studying. He was brilliant...and... complicated.

Dad and my son were very close and very much alike.

We miss him.

Stiller, Black and Downey Jr. on American Idol 7 Finale

My favorite moment from last night's finale.

Simon Cowell Montage From American Idol's Finale

A highlight from the results' show.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol Season 7 Finale...The Winner Is...

So who's getting the confetti shower? The judges got a lot of grief last night and today for being so in the tank for Archy. Lots of people think they prematurely crowned the prodigy our American Idol when that's not who we wanted. Dial Idol has David C. winning. We'll just have to wait and see. Regardless, this show promises set the conspiracists on fire again.

Wow! There's a color theme among the judges tonight. Randy's dressed like Bozo in a big red suit with white piping on the lapels and collar. Paula's wearing a red hooker dress. And Simon, well, he's dressed in black but he's got a red Coke glass in front of him.

Former contestants Mikalah Gordon and Matt Rogers have been dusted off and plopped into big crowds in the finalists' cities to tell us how stoked their towns are.

The top 12 come out for a group sing, but for some inexplicable reason the director only chose a couple of tight shots and those were of Archy and David we didn't get a good look at Ramiele or Kristy Lee or Brooke or Chikezie [Eze] or anybody. What's the point of this lousy group sing if we can't even see the peeps???? I think I saw that stripper guy, David something. And I caught a glimpse of Carly. Other than that...just a big blur of people dressed in white, singing. I did laugh out loud watching Brooke try to dance. Whoo!

I skipped over the Davids singing a duet, then caught a little of Syesha singing with Seal. Syesha sounds awful. Glad she didn't win.

Jason Castro is brought out to reprise his one big moment...he sings Hallelujah. This show is 2 hours, so I don't know why they didn't let him sing the whole song. Weird. The first time I heard this song was on an episode of House.

The Ford commercial is a compilation of outtakes from all the real commecials. Cute.
After the commercial, the boys each get keys to their very own Ford hybrids.

The girls take the stage to sing some Donna Summer. I hope you got a chance to see Brooke try to dance, because it was really funny. At the end of the song the real Donna Summer comes down the stairs. Too bad she doesn't sound like she used to. I want a glitter microphone like Donna's.

My boyfriend, Michael Johns, and Tattoo Girl are up to sing a duet. Actually, Carly angrily belts out and oversings her part. You know, I would have preferred either of these guys in the finals with David Cook over the Archster.

Jimmy Kimmel's doing a recap of the last 19 weeks. Sanjaya, Chris Sligh, Paula, and Simon are all the butts of his (ha...ha...ha...ha...ha) jokes. I did love the Simon montage. That was funny.

The top 6 guys perform...I fast forward...until...Bryan Adams...and then I listen.

David Cook and ZZ Top!!!!! Need I say more???

I nearly throw up when Brooke White sings Teach Your Children with Graham Nash. Yes, she was barefoot. How contrived, insincere, and self indulgent. I can't stand her.

The Jonas Brothers perform and the girls go crazy.

The requisite montage of bad auditions rolls. I love the "Let My People Go" guy. The "I Am Your Brother" guy sings live with the USC marching band and cheerleaders, just like during his audition Randy and Paula join him.

I skip over the next performance, because I just want to get on with it. I ff past Archy being squinty, but stop on a b-i-g Jordin Sparks performing in a Jetsons dress and skipping across the stage like a b-i-g fairy.

Whoa. Robert Downey Jr., Ben Stiller, and Jack Black as the Pips to a holographic Gladys Knight. Awesome. My favorite part of the show. Love the whoo-hoos. Take notice Brooke White. That's how it's done. Gladys was such a star. I don't care how they did it, but it was priceless.

Carrie Underwood looking smokin' hot sings her latest hit. Remember when she was such a wooden performer? Not anymore.

The top 12 sing, then intro the highlight of the night, George Michael. Such a great artist. Such a tortured soul. The judges give him a deserved standing ovation.

Now. Finally. Live. The Results. Randy tells the Davids they're both winners, Paula tells the Davids she's proud of them, Simon congratulates both of the Davids. Believe it or not, Simon apologized to David Cook for verging on being disrespectful to the Cookster last night. See my first paragraph.

And the winner is...David Cook! Power to the People! Everyone in my office will be so happy. David cries, real, emotional, sincere, tears. I love this guy. His mom and brother come onto the stage and even I start crying. I'm so glad I voted the last two weeks. The cutaway to David's brother as he sings is priceless. The director finally got it right. David Cook is a star.

Best American Idol Finale show ever.

The Election

On the campaign trail in Iowa:
Barack-star: "Yes, We Can!"

On the campaign trail in Kentucky:
Hill: "No, You Can't!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

American Idol Finals. Most predictable, unsurprising finals...ever

The final is here. The open is very cute with that boxing announcer guy introducing the David's and them coming out in silk robes, boxing gloves, and all. I don't know how helpful it is to mention that Archy is 100 lbs soaking wet, but that's not my call. After the intro, Ryan re-intros us with an applause-off for the Davids. Archy wins. Ryan refers to the contestants as Big David and Little David...again not helpful to Archy. Then there's a weird transition with Jim Lampley into a sort of Iron Chef meets Boxing video. Clive Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber "weigh in" (get it?). Finally, the Davids (not in boxing robes) are brought out on the stage. David Cook is hyped. Archy looks like he's about to faint. The Davids trade compliments.

Archy won the coin toss and chose to go second. Apparently Archy was all mixed up and didn't exactly know what to do when he won, so Gepetto, his dad, stood up on his chair and shouted out to him to choose to go second. Nice to know Archy has help on those important decisions. Anyway, first up is David Cook.

Round 1: Clive's choice

Clive's choice for David C. is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." His choice for Archy is "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Andrew Lloyd Webber is coaching them. He tells David C. he must be very brave. His main worry about the Arch is that he'll shut his eyes throughout his performance.

David Cook "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
This is a first...U2 on American Idol. Hooray. David is perfect. His voice is strong and spot on. His performance is confident and entertaining. In ALW's words, very brave.
Randy calls the performance hot and a great way to start the night. Paula says "we've found David Cook." Simon says "phenomenal."

Archy "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
Yep, Clive chose yet another ballad for the Arch-ster. If you read this post you know I think this is a sign of where the producers want tonight to go. Sounds good, but I'm bored with Archy trying to inspire me.
Randy assures us once again that Archy was flawless. (I just wish he'd sing something I want to hear). Paula calls it stunning. Simon says it's the best Archy's done so far. He also calls round 1 for Archy. Archy tears up and is nearly overcome with emotion. Again, I think we're hearing how the judges and producer would like this to go.

I call Round 1 a tie.

Round 2: New Song

David Cook "Dream Big"
David's got his guitar and does as much with this weak material as he can. The chorus is much better than the verse. It's apparent this is an amateur song, but David rocks it out.
Randy agrees with me, the song is just okay, but David sang it great. Paula babbles. Simon calls it a lightweight and says it didn't feel like a winning moment.

Archy "In This Moment"
I hope the song isn't as cheesy as its title. It is. Man, I hate these songs every year. Boring. Bad song. I would never buy it. And I don't get Archy's jacket with the big embroidered anchors on it. If this is the kind of song Archy wants to sing on his albums his career is pretty much dead in the water. Except for a nice Christmas album each year. Even I own a Clay Aiken Christmas CD.
Randy says he wasn't crazy about the song. And, yes, brings out the metaphor about Archy singing the phone book. Paula says he's on fire tonight. Maybe some flames would make his performance more interesting to me. Simon says Archy chose the better song and gives round 2 to Archy. Again, if you read my previous post, you know I predicted this over-the-top Archy adulation from the judges.

I disagree and give Round 2 to David Cook.

Round 3: Contestant's Choice

(I say if Archy chooses a 3rd ballad he should be kicked off the stage...yep, as predicted Archy chose "Imagine." He may be the least creative, most predictable, least innovative finalist--ever.)

David Cook "The World I Know"
David, bless his heart, is making this a real competition. Week after week he's been contemporary and interesting. He's mixed it up by singing ballads, rock, even a big Broadway solo. I like this song. I'd put it on my IPod tomorrow if I could buy it. Still, I think if he wanted to win it, this was a bad choice for a final song.
Randy says nice job on a sensitive song. Paula says David's standing in his truth. Simon says he's one of the nicest, most sincere contestants AI has had. He calls it a beautiful song, but a wrong choice for the night. He says he should have sung Billie Jean (see my previous post). I give him extra points for singing a new song.

Archy "Imagine"
If this feels like a rerun, it's because it's as close as you can get on live tv. Yes, it's exactly the same as when he sang it during the Beatles week...complete with lip licking and squinty eyes. At least he remembered all the words. Good for you Archy.
Randy is happy and proud it's the two Davids, but says the show is about finding the best singer and Archy is the best singer. Paula calls him stunning. Simon calls it a knockout on Archy's part. Are you kidding me?

Round 3: Tied because Archy did a rerun and David Cook did another original performance.

Well, he probably won't win, but I'm voting for David Cook. I'm not voting for Archy because he's boring and predictable and I don't like his dad. So there.

The David Deul. What To Watch For During Tonight's American Idol Finale

Things to keep your eye on while you're watching tonight's David Showdown.

Song choice:

Each David will sing 3 songs. One Clive Davis (Record-Producing Impressario) choice, one fan choice and one contestant choice. I expect Archy will most likely reprise "Imagine" for his choice, since that was his standout performance. David C. has a few to choose from...Billie Jean, Eleanor Rigby, or The First Time Ever i Saw Your Face, are all possibilities. Major props go to David C. if he takes yet another risk and sings something we haven't heard before. Count off points if Archy sings a news song but it's another ballad.

The fan choice song is critical. Last year's "This Is My Now" was barely listenable, but Jordin Sparks sang it better than Blake Lewis. My understanding is there was an internet songwriting contest for this year's choice. Then the two contestants got to choose a song from 20 finalists. Archy isn't known for any creative arrangements, so if it's a really bad tune this round could go in David C.'s favor. Of course, if the chosen song is a big, melodic, ballady thing it lands squarely in Archy's lap.

Clive Davis' pick could be a king-maker. The Clive Davis pick should indicate which of the Davids the producers would like to see win. Remember Clive's pick for Elliott Yamin? Probably not, but it was Journey's "Open Arms". It was awful and probably cost Yamin the finals. If Clive chooses a Chris Brown-type tune for Archy like he tried to sang last week, game over. David C wins. If Clive chooses an inspirational ballad for Archy? Clive's trying to tip the scales in favor of the boy in the bubble.

The Judges:
The judges have been in the tank for Archy since he auditioned in San Diego. The former Star Search winner has gotten pass after pass when he's forgotten lyrics. But, over the top accolades or criticism of either contestant could backfire and inspire people to vote in support/protest. In recent weeks there has been a subtle shift. Simon's been a little tougher on Archy (last week likening him to a chihuhua trying to be a tiger) and a little more appreciative of David C.'s talents. Randy, on the other hand, has spent the last 3 or 4 weeks telling us that Archy could "sing the telephone book." Not that anyone would listen to the telephone book, but I guess Archy could sing it.

Star Quality/X Factor:
We pretty much know what we're getting here. Archy's melodic. David C.'s creative and versatile. Archy's a prodigy. David C.'s polished, but sort of smug. Archy has the teeny boppers and grandmothers. David C. has the other folks. Archy looks like someone's dressing him to be cool in skinny ties and leather jackets. David C. looks like the real thing. Archy's dad is a creepy Gepetto-type, standing in the wings and telling his son what to do and when to do it. David C's family seem like normal midwesterners.

Question is...whose album would you buy?

Much like the NCAA final's all coming down to the final couple of minutes.

American Idol Season 7--Highlights and Lowlights

Well, after four and a half long months we're finally at American Idol's much-anticipated, long-predicted, final match-up between the Davids. I've been thinking about the highlights and lowlights of this season.
* The addition of instruments was a major plus. With instruments real musicians and not just big-voiced belters stood out in the competition. Face it, neither Brooke White (sweet blonde) nor Jason Castro would have made it into the top 8 without them.
* David Cook's makeover. The Blue Springs' rocker came into the competition with one of the worst haircuts ever and walks out as a hottie.
* Out of the box contestants: Danny Noriega, Amanda Overmyer, Jason Castro,
* The return of Bo Bice, Kimberly Locke, and Elliot Yamin
* Archy singing "Imagine"
* David C singing "Billie Jean"
* Jason Castro's performance of "Hallelujah"
* Carly's performance of "Jesus Christ, Superstar"

* A tendency for the top 8 to flub the lyrics. Brooke White had two complete do-overs. Archy blew his lines on at least 3 separate occasions. Our painted lassie, Carly and Jason Castro were both lyrically-challenged. What's the deal?
* The mosh pit
* The judges annointing a winner early, early, early in the competition. Yes, Archy's good, but you're taking the fun out of the show.
* The sound mixes.
* Paula's prejudging moment, when she critiqued Jason's performance before he sang it. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Way to send the cyber-conspiracists into a frenzy.
* The mentors. Really. Can't you book someone under 50???
* The second night of the Beatles' songbook.
* Ryan morphing into Dick Clark before our eyes
* The proliferation of barefoot performers
* Every single one of the "Up With People" group sings
* The premature vote-off of my boyfriend, Michael Johns
* Fantasia's performance...enough said
* Danny Noriega's and Brooke White's complete mental breakdowns on national tv when they were booted off.
* Robbie Carrico's Hairgate.

Later today I'll post a viewers' guide to tonight's show.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My Newest Knitting Projects

This is the project I worked on on our trip to Napa Valley. It's a vest for me.

I also made a winter hat. It's really for a woman, but I only had a male model. Isn't he cute? The yarn is 100% wool, so it will be really warm. I'll probably give this away at Christmas.

Circus Flora in St. Louis

My friend Carol asked me to put this poster about Circus Flora on my blog. Circus Flora is a one-ring, European-style circus in St. Louis. Celebrating their 22nd year, they'll be presenting “Sherwood Forest” under an air-conditioned red and white big-top tent in Grand Center. According to their website, no seat is "further than 42 feet from the performance ring". For tickets and more info, click here.

Here's a short video that explains the origins of Circus Flora...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The BEST Tomato Soup Recipe

One of the places we ate at when we visited Napa Valley was the charming little Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. This town is the epitome of cool. Cool people. Cool shops. Cool restaurants. Bistro Jeanty, complete with red and white awnings and red geraniums in the window is the perfect little hideaway for a romantic dinner for two. The bistro is famous for its cream of tomato soup in puff pastry. If you go, sit on the patio, dine al fresco and enjoy the people watching. Here's the recipe for the cream of tomato soup from the Bistro Jeanty website. I made it this weekend and it was easy and fabulous...perfect for company or if you want to impress your family with the best cream of tomato soup ever.

Bistro Jeanty's Cream of Tomato Soup in Puff Pastry

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 lb yellow onions--sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 T. whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 1/2 lbs. tomatoes--ripe, cored and quarterd
1 cup water (no more--use only if tomatoes aren't ripe)
4 cups heavy cream
2-4 T. butter
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper (white if you have it)
1 lb. puff pastry
1 egg beaten with 1 T. of water

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns; cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Don't let the onions color. Add tomato paste and lightly "toast" the tomato paste to cook out the raw flavor, then add tomatoes and water if needed. [My tomatoes weren't very juicy, so I added about 3/4 cup of water. I wish I wouldn't have. Next time I'm not adding any water.] Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, until the tomatoes and onions are very soft and broken down.

Puree by passing through a food mill. A food mill works best however you may use a blender in batches or a handheld immersion blender until finished, then strain. [I used a regular old blender, then I strained it back into the pot.] Return the soup to the pot. Add the cream, salt, white pepper and remaining butter to taste. [Be sure to taste and add salt as necessary. The color is gorgeous, and the texture is like silk...beautiful] Bring soup to a simmer then remove from heat. Allow the soup to cool for two hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Divide the soup among six 8-ounce soup cups or bowls. Roll out the puff pastry to 1/4 inch. Cut into 6 rounds slightly larger than your cups. Paint the dough with the egg wash and turn the circles, egg wash side down, over the tops of the cups, pulling lightly on the sides to make the dough somewhat tight like a drum. Try not to allow the dough to touch the soup. These may be made up to 24 hours in advance and covered with plastic in the refrigerator. [Next time I make them I'm going to let them come to room temperature before I bake them.]

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Lightly paint the top of the dough rounds with egg wash without pushing the dough down. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Do not open the oven in the first several minutes of cooking as the dough may fall. Serve immediately.

Voila! Aren't they beatiful??!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Barbie/Cindy McCain

This freaks me out. Check out the shoes!!!

Click here for Cindy McCain, Short Hair or Long Hair

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cruise Horror Story #2

2 months and 4 weeks until our Mediterranean cruise.

My newest preoccupation? People falling overboard. The latest story is of a 46-year-old mom who fell overboard on Mother's Day no less. Her family suspects the woman's boyfriend, Jorge, might have had something to do with her untimely descent. Jorge says she was climbing from one balcony to another and fell.

Fortunately, I don't have a boyfriend named Jorge.

Cruise Horror Story #1: Mount Etna blowing its top

Howdy, Fantasia!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

American Idol Results--Sayonara Syesha

Our financial planner, uh, American Idol host, Ryan strolls out to center stage and welcomes us to our next to last elimination night of American Idol Season 7. Oh look, there's Kristy Lee Cook (horse-loving blonde) sitting really close to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. We sit through yet another unfortunate group sing...This one with lamer dance moves than my high school drill team. The tune? Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now. Oh yeah? Well, thanks to my TIVO...I did.

Round 1: Definitely belonged to David Cook
Round 2: Tie between the Davids
Round 3: David Cook

Prediction: See ya, Syesha

Fantasia comes out looking bigger than ever and way more street than ever. Okay, I'm really old so my opinion doesn't count on her performance. I won't give it. I will say the cutaway shot of Simon and the expression on his face was priceless. Music aside, she looks like a guy in drag with the cranberry hair and matching lipstick and two-inch nails.

After the Fantasia debacle, sorry, I forgot I wasn't going to give my opinion...anyway, after Fantasia's performance we start the review of the trips back home. I predict we'll see a parade or two, a couple of first pitches, presentation of keys to the cities, and maybe even a trip back to a high school for a pep rally. Oh boy. Lucky us. Fast forwarding.

After the review of his trip back to Mormon country, unfortunately no temple visits, Archy is on the seal. We get more video filler as we see the boy in the bubble's rise to judges' fave. Then, abruptly, commercial. Weird.

Syscreecha is on the seal after the break. Now we get to see Sy's trip back home to Sarasota. My friend Joey pointed out to me that in Florida her hair's back in the Afro. Too bad, she looks better with the extensions. The good news? Syscreamer gets a parade, a trip back to high school, flag waving, etc. etc.

David C. is on the seal. We know we're headed back to KC. David gets the parade, the mall concert, the cheering fans, a trip back to his elementary school to see his music teacher. Perfect. She looks like everyone's elementary school music teacher. Finally. Someone's throwing out a first pitch. Royals' stadium looked packed. That's unusual.

Finally fifty-five minutes into the show...what we've all been waiting for...

Syscreechy, Archy, and David C are standing on the seal waiting for Sy to be sent home. Randy tells them how proud they should be of themselves. Paula babbles about moments. Simon predicts a humdinger of a final next week. Ryan announces that our two finalists are Archy and David C. Yep. Don't want to rub it in, but I predicted this way back in March. Sy's going home and we'll have a Deul Between the Davids next week.

Big Time Endorsement for Obama

John Edwards just endorsed Barack-star. This will not make Hill happy.

Jeanne Moreau: The Hottest Film Star Ever

I'm not a movie snob. But, after overhearing a conversation in the office today about the acting prowess of Keanu Reeves (??!!!!)...I started thinking about my favorite movies/actors. First on my list is Jules et Jim. Jeanne Moreau stars in the movie and she's hot, hot, hot. I couldn't find a good trailer of that movie to post, but this one will suffice. She's so beautiful and everything is completely cool in this clip from Elevator to the Gallows. Check out the Miles Davis score underneath. Louis Malle directed the movie.

Jeanne Moreau is 80-years-old now. She was asked if she gets nostalgic for the "good old days" and said... "What for? My life is very exciting now. Nostalgia for what? No. It's like climbing a staircase. I'm on the top of the staircase, I look behind me and I see the steps. That's where I was. You and I, we're here right now. Tomorrow, we'll be someplace else. So why nostalgia?"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

American Idol Recap--Three's Company

It's David vs. David tonight on the semi-finals of American Idol. Oh yeah, Syscreecher is singing, too.

Each of the finalists is singing three songs. They choose one, the judges choose one, and the producers choose one. The way I've sized it up we have a battle between the Broadway belter, the KC rocker, and the Donny Osmonder. I think I'm actually going to vote tonight. It's like a Presidential primary. Even though you think it probably won't make a difference, it just might.

David Archuleta (power ranking: 2)
“So It Goes” By Billy Joel (Paula's Pick)
“With You” by Chris Brown (Archy's Pick)
“Longer” by Dan Fogelberg (Producers' Pick)

("So It Goes") Oh my, Archy, this song is just made for you. It's a big, ballady, inspirational, over the top, fluff piece. I have to fast forward my TIVO before it's over, because it's just too much sugar for me in one sitting. Of course the judges lurve him so much. At least Simon is honest when he calls the performance predictable.

("With You") I don't get this performance at all. I think Archy loses the tune a couple of times at the beginning. Channeling Donny O. Randy likes that the Arch tried something new, but didn't believe it. Paula thinks he was good. Simon has the line of the night, "little bit like a chihuahua trying to be a tiger."

("Longer") The Arch gets 3 words out and I want to puke. Seriously. This song is sickening. Wedding music. Randy says Archy is hot...I don't get it. Paula calls it lovely. Simon agrees with me and calls the song "gooey." Thank you, Simon.

Archy you're just not my cup of tea. Or coffee. Oooooh--bad metaphor, you being Mormon and all. Let me be blunt. I think you and your whole family are creepy. I don't like your raspy voice. I'm tired of you inspiring me with your big mushy, run-filled, overly-embellished ballads. Please go back to Utah and live as normal a life as your dad will allow. I don't care what the judges say, I don't like you. You are not my American Idol.

Syesha Mercado (power ranking: 3)
“If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys (Randy's Pick)
“Fever” by Peggy Lee (Syscreamer's Pick)
“Hit Me Up” by Gia Farrell (Producers' Pick)

("If I Ain't Got You") I do not like the mosh pit. Okay, she's good, but not great...and I think Sy needs to be great tonight to make it into the top 2.

("Fever") Never good when a singer needs props. I feel like this is a mix of Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, and the Bada Bing from the Sopranos...if you know what I mean. Silly Syscreama just bought her ticket home. Randy calls it interesting. Paula calls her song choice surprising. Simon says Sy will regret her decision tomorrow because it was a "lame cabaret performance."

("Hit Me Up") Nope. Not for me. Sorry Sy. Randy says, "just okay." Even Paula disses her, "I don't know if it's going to be good enough to get in the finals." Simon says Syscreecha had her best performance last week and she didn't have a defining moment tonight.

Congratulations Syscreecha. We never thought you'd make it to the finals of America's Top Model. Scratch that. The finals of American Idol. But, here you are...finishing big with that big voice and big chest of yours. Unfortunately, you didn't put your best high heels forward tonight, but you can walk off the stage with your head held high.

David Cook (power ranking: 1)
“First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack (Simon's Pick)
“Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot (David's Pick)
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith (Producers' Pick)

("First Time Ever I Saw Your Face") First interesting pick of the night. Way to go Simon. Fabulous. Great. Fantastic. I want to buy this right now. Randy agrees. Paula agrees. Simon says it was brilliant.

("Switchfoot") Just all right for me. Not terrible or anything, but David C. didn't hit it out of the park with this one. Randy calls it pitchy. Paula says something about it taking too long to get to the good part (I think). Simon says all 3 singers just had an okay second round.

("I Don't Want to Miss a Thing") This kid is awesome. I love this performance. Randy says it was predictable and just okay. Paula says see you in the finals. Simon says David C. wins the night.

David, I love you (almost as much as I loved Michael Johns). You give off that confident, what the heck, midwest vibe I grew up with and can recognize anywhere.

Well, we know David Cook will be in the finals. Personally, I'd rather see Syscreamer and David C. than Archy and David C. Still...prepare to say Sayonara Syesha tomorrow night.

Mount Etna blowing its top

Our Mediterranean cruise is 2 months, 4 weeks, and 2 days from today. That leaves just enough time for me to start obsessing about everything that could go wrong. We'll be in Sicily Monday, August 18th, and I'm a little worried about Mount Etna.

Apparently the Catana airport on the island of Sicily was closed for awhile this week as a precaution because according to The Times of Earth, the volcano is "spewing out ash...[and covering] the entire town of Catana, five kilometres (three miles) away, with a fine layer of black ash."


The travel agent did not tell me that Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe!!!!

The last time Mount Etna erupted in a big way (2001), it jettisoned molten rock 1200 feet into the air and spewed boiling hot lava down its sides.

A couple of days ago, Sicily's Civil Protection Head Guido Bertolaso said Mount Etna's current bad behavior `isn't alarming and lava is only flowing down one flank of the mountain into a deserted valley.'

Are you kidding me???? Guido, listen to me, I don't think there are any non-alarming erupting volcanoes.

I copied these volcano safety tips from National Geographic...Guido should take note of #1 on the list:

Safety Tips

• Stay away from active volcanoes.

• If you live near an active volcano, keep goggles and a mask in an emergency kit, along with a flashlight and a working, battery-operated radio.

• Know your evacuation route. Keep gas in your car.

If a Volcano Erupts in Your Area

• Evacuate only as recommended by authorities to stay clear of lava, mud flows, and flying rocks and debris.

• Avoid river areas and low-lying regions.

• Before you leave the house, change into long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use goggles or eyeglasses, not contacts. Wear an emergency mask or hold a damp cloth over your face.

• If you are not evacuating, close windows and doors and block chimneys and other vents, to prevent ash from coming into the house.

• Be aware that ash may put excess weight on your roof and need to be swept away. Wear protection during cleanups.

• Ash can damage engines and metal parts, so avoid driving. If you must drive, stay below 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour.

Monday, May 12, 2008

At the wedding

The view as we drove into the Beaulieu Vineyard where the wedding was held.

It was warm until the sun went down, so the ushers gave us parasols. Very chic.

After the ceremony two white doves were released. Soooooooooooo romantic!!!

Me and Karen at the wedding. Don't we look fabulous? Karen's married to Michael, one of John's college buddies.

Michael's the groom's he is toasting the newlyweds.

John looking handsome at dinner.

Bride and groom cutting the cake. more picture of Karen and Michael because I think it's so good of them: