Thursday, May 14, 2009

Always take pics of yourself with your kids....

A long time ago I was having my (now oldest girl!) baby girl's picture taken, and the photographer said to me that *I* needed to get in the picture too. I was so embarrassed because of the weight issue - I didn't want to do it. Well, I did get in the picture, and now I'm glad I did. I still don't like myself in the pictures - but I've tried over the years to include myself on occasion, regardless of how I look.

Today I read on another blog how important it is to take pics of yourself with your kids. Over 350 responded to her! Wow! She made some excellent points that I'll try to remember:

1. In five years you will look five years older….you WILL look young in the pictures you take today!

2. Ten years ago I thought I was fat. Oh my goodness….I should have taken pictures THEN.

3. Your children look at you all day long. THEY know what you look like. They won’t care how you look in the picture.

Over the years I've either taken professional pics with them or casual - and believe me, I hated every one of them (love the kids! Hate me in the pics!).

Years ago I took my girls out (my son and husband were at a Boy Scout camp) and we all got our hair done- and I took them to a professional studio and had the pics done. That's the pic I feature here in this post - me with my princesses. My middle daughter still remembers when we were all in the salon getting our hair done - and how special that was. It wasn't for a wedding, or for some "special occasion"...just a girl's day, and a day to make a memory.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby!

Ice cubes. They bring up pleasant images of summertimes spent sipping lemonade, sitting on a porch swing. Who doesn't want a few cubes in their drinks on a warm day? (except the English - which I simply can NOT understand!)

Instead, ice now relates to frozen...and frozen relates to my shoulder. Until February, I'd never heard of a "frozen shoulder". That brings up images of someone buried in an avalanche; or stuck in a walk-in freezer at a fast food restaurant. Reality, hard as it is, is much crueler.

To understand this story, I have to backtrack to Dec. '08. I was reaching under the sofa with my right arm....and stretched out for something. I overextended it, and it hurt. So, I babied it, thinking it would feel better in a few days. Instead, my movement in the right shoulder soon became more restrictive. The pain was awful when I tried to move it - so I didn't.

One night at prayer group my good friend told me to go see the doctor, 'cause I probably had a "frozen shoulder". I went to see the doc and was sent to physical therapy. I figured I wanted to go for the "manipulation under anesthesia" aka M.U. A. approach. They refused that thought, and wanted me to spend at least two months in physical therapy. I wasn't happy with this decision.

After two months of excruciating therapy, I basically was told to get surgery. I prefer to try a different therapy called hydroplasty - my doc said she'd try to find someone to do it if I don't improve more in a few months.

Until then I'll take my HUGE ONE-AND-A-HALF-POUND weight and work that shoulder over and over. Remember kiddies - don't try this at home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mad, Mad, MAAAAD World!

I had to do a separate post about this as I think that last week's "Mad World" was the most fabulous performance Adam has done on Idol to date. His tone was so pure and clear - he faltered a few times but the whole song was haunting. The blue lighting made him look other-worldly - almost ethereal.

Many reviewers picked on him because of his last note. Quite a few musical morons said he was sharp. DUH - newsflash everyone, he was NOT sharp. In fact, that note was so far at the top of his range I still can't believe he hit it. It sounded almost if he scooped the note, but I believe he really wanted to hit it square on. If you look at the video you can see how wide his mouth was and how he was supporting the note with his whole body. Problem was for him is that he didn't quite hit it straight on, so he FIXED IT by forcing his palate up just a bit higher...and the note became in tune.

Here's a link to it: it's been pulled from Youtube...but a fan club site has it.

Now, if you're not a singer you haven't a clue as to what I'm saying - but that's ok. Even if you know what the palate is (I'd bet most people don't - if you did a "Jay walking" episode on it!) you probably don't realize what part it plays in singing. Normally, if you're already tense, and you know you blew the note, the LAST thing you'll be able to do is correct it by posture and palate - in fact, you'll probably be so tense it will get WORSE. That made me even more impressed with him - that he could correct the flaw effortlessly.


Rating Adam as I Do Chocolate - now THAT'S Respect!

Ok, actually I'd say tonight's episode was "Meeeh". Yup, I said it. I was NOT happy with the save used (wasted?) on Matt. What if one of the chosen ones gets sent home next week? I'd probably want to reach through my screen and throttle someone. I thought it had to be unanimous? Simon sat there saying he was worse tonight than last night; and pointed out he'd been in the bottom three twice before - it was his time to GO.

My fave is still in the competition though - and I think he'll go all the way. Yup, that's Adam. Last night's performance was not my fave of his, but he got points just for being Adam. It's like this - people ask me if this chocolate or that chocolate is good - and I say, "Hey, it gets at least 4 points out of 10 for just BEING chocolate". That's how I see Adam - he gets points for just showing up and being his fabulous self. I picked him a long time ago, and I think he's going to glamify his way to the top of the heap. He's already leaps and bounds above the others in terms of vocal performance skills and sound; the other cast is just hoping for his crumbs...or second place. As long as Adam doesn't make any blatant statements about his sexuality I think he'll be fine. Most of us (like myself) could care less - but there are quite a few who would try to ruin it for him.

Of course, he doesn't need the Idol crown. I'd just like to see him have it, as he deserves it. He has the drive, the skills and the awesome TALENT to make him number one. He's a different kind of idol for sure - but that's change - change we can believe in!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not Surprising at All - Buh-bye Sarver!

Well, tonight Michael Sarver was predictably sent home. I can't believe the judges were actually arguing more over HIM than they did Alexis last week! To give him props - he did sound a thousand times better this week - but still not good enough. Besides, the judges are hoarding their "save" for Danny or Adam! So, buh-bye Michael. Of course, that was the last 4 minutes of the show.

The rest of the show was interesting. Danny was back to his regular look; and all were safe that I thought would be except for Matt! I'm not Matt's biggest fan, but even had him that's really weird for me that he could've been sent home. I think the judges might have rescued him though if that happened.

Smokey sang a song with another chick that was NOT good. I loved his solos, but she was terribly out of tune.

Stevie Wonder appeared at the piano and the hootin' and hollerin' began - mostly from the Idol contestants! Everyone was excited that Stevie was in the house, and he just sounded outstanding. His voice is a jewel.

So, that's it...we're down to 9. Who will go next week? Before they even sing I predict it'll be Matt (unless his fan club gets going). The male vote is split so many ways, and I think Kris and Danny split votes with Matt. Can't wait for Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Idol Kind of Day....

Tonight we have another fan-tabulous Idol performance night. Last week I was in Florida and couldn't do a recap (not that anyone reads my recaps anyway!) but I'm back on track. Last week my fave Adam just TORE UP the Ring of Fire. At first listen I didn't like it, but after listening to it a few more times it really grew on me. Amazing sound and range. It's TOTALLY Adam.

The judges "almost" used their save on Alexis, but "Jolene" was awful, and I suppose they're saving it for Danny or Adam. I was bummed that Alexis was booted - she did NOT do a good job on "Jolene", but Michael Sarver does not belong on the tour. Last week he mumbled through Garth Brook's "Ain't Goin' Down ('til the sun comes up)" and was just awful. He had to slow it down to try to fit the words in and it showed that he had to work way too hard. He has so much tension in his singing and his face, which affects his tone tremendously. If he'd relax his jaw he might gain a better tone and enunciate better. Can't believe he gets to go on tour.

This week is "Motown Week". Usually there are some good performances with this theme (unlike Country week!) so I'm looking forward to it.

First up is Matt who sang "Let's Get it On". It was ok - Smokey was kind to him. It sounded a bit generic and as Simon would say, "karaoke". Of course, the judges gush over him. Simon calls him "brilliant" and a "front runner". Ugh. He sang in key - but he's just simply not my fave.

Next up, Kris. Of course, my kids boondoggle my time; I started trying to get their movie up on the LCD tv (from computer) at 6:45...and at 7:20 still having problems! Some Idol night it'd be nice if I could just not be interrupted a gazillion times.

Ok, back to Kris - eh. Or Meh. It sounded good, but it always bothers me that he practically dislocates his jaw several times during his performance. That's so distracting and shows a lot of tension. He really needs to stand in front of a mirror and sing (something we did in music school). It shows you what bad habits you're building up and work to eliminate them. Simon said he needs to stand like a star and "not like he's at a bus stop" LOL.

Blind Scott sang, "You Can't Hurry Love". I liked his performance and how he changed it up. Good job! OMG, Paula is making sense and making musical comments! Uh-oh, Simon didn't like it - "honky tonk piano" & "cheap". He's trying to dig a ditch and kick poor Scott into it. Uh-oh, Randy agrees with him. Kara said he brought "tempo"...I believe she means "up tempo"? Duh.

Best moment so far; Simon kept interrupting Paula and she reached under the desk and whipped out a coloring book and a box of 64 crayons and told him to keep his six year old insults to himself....something like that. Cracked me up!

Megan sings, "For Once in My Life". I hate her green striped top...oh gosh, and I hate her dress and that huge distracting tattoo. She pushes through "me" and lose her breath support again. Very breathy on "true". She's flinging her hips in her little Megan ditsy dance...ewww. There were parts that I liked, but not my fave (I liked her "Put the Records On"). Randy thought it was a train wreck. Kara suggested "My Guy"...oooh, that would've been great for her! Oh gosh, Simon rips her a new one. I almost feel sorry for her!

They've had a commercial in-between EACH performer!! Good thing I can read the news, cut my nails, feed the dog and other various sundry things on these long breaks.

Anoop is up with "Oooh Baby Baby". He started out a bit rough - he's not supporting his breath by sitting hunched over. His falsetto on "baby baby" is too thin and reedy. Then he moves through the mask in his face and the sound is like a different singer - that's it Anoop! He slowed it down a bit too much, but overall it was a good performance. Kara called it a "skill set"...way to go in the engineering talk! ha ha They want him to go back to up tempo - but does he have another one in his pocket like "My Prerogative"? Oh, and could someone wax his eyebrows a bit?

Oh no...Sarver after the break. I need to come up with a nick-name..."Sarver-who-doesn't-belong-in-the-top-ten". Ok, that's way too long...

My hubby came in and tried to talk to me too - I told him I'd talk to him at 9 and he got mad at me. Is it a crime to not want to be interrupted?

We find out he didn't make the trip to Detroit. He sings, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" Again he tightens up the outside corners of his mouth and his jaw. Smokey tells him he basically needs to sing out - and he doesn't. LOL...Paula calls it "Las Vegas loungy". Simon hated it. Hopefully he'll be gone this week, but I wish we could bring Alexis back in his place!

Next up is Lil Rounds. We just saw her for a moment...I love her flapper dress! So far we've had some very lackluster - and a few ick performances. C'mon us!

Lil sings "Heatwave". This is the first outfit that has flattered her figure. Don't like the hair - but ok, can't have everything! She winds up shouting quite a bit through the song - as if she is singing without a mike and hopes they hear her in the back of the auditorium. Pretty good - and very true to the original. Maybe too copy-cat. Oh gosh, Kara said pretty much what I was thinking. Paula is on something again - oh wait, she said that she didn't change anything in the song, but somehow she "owned" it? Simon called her authentic, but should've picked "Heard it Through the Grapevine".

Oh my gosh - they just showed Adam pre-commercial, and he looked like Zac Effron! LOL...I heard he's going to sit on a stool and sing. Obviously he's not going glam or over-the-top, so this oughta be good. He needs to give a more mainstream performance at this point. Even though I loved last weeks performance, I doubt most of America did.

Uh-oh...we get just the Fox logo! Don't pre-empt my Adam! AAAAAARGH! What's he doing...stripping? LOL I hope they don't cut his performance out.

Oh goody! He's on! I loved Smokey's description of why it's called "Tracks of My Tears" and I think he scared Adam when he noted that Adam sings it softly throughout - Adam seemed to at first think it was a criticism...but then realized it wasn't and was relieved. Adam performs it with an acoustic guitar, a drum and the string bass. It was beautiful, but wasn't my favorite song of Adam's. Still, he was the BEST one of the night. Smokey stood up and gave the thumbs up sign. Kara stood up. Simon disagrees with Kara to say it was THE best performance of the night. Simon mentioned how he took off the black nail polish and "straightened up" ha ha - but I wish he would've taken out those button earrings. He then would've looked more like a straight guy. I liked how Randy said he used "everything in his arsenal". True, how true - he is a real artist. I'm sure he'd never put this on an album, but it shows how talented he is in arranging and performing a totally new version of an age-old favorite. They must be running behind because Ryan just says they have nothing more to say and goes to commercial.

Next up, Hokey-Gokey. I didn't make that one up, but I like it. He sings, "Get Ready". Halfway through this song I think, "Wow...this is a great song choice for him". He screeches through a bit of it, but I actually enjoyed it a bit. Oh no! He makes the background singers do those circles with the hands....NOOOOO! Paula admits they have to move fast. Simon called it clumsy and amateurish. Wow...hard to believe I liked it better than the judges! Huh, better check my temperature.

Last up is Allison - she is going to sing, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone". Of course, I think of David Hernandez (the gay stripper) from last season - he actually did a good job with this. Since Allison is in the pimp spot - I'd bet that she will slay this....after the break, of course.

Even her speaking voice sounds as if she smokes several packs of cigarettes a day. Who dressed her tonight? It's as if someone went into her closet and threw random items out and said, "Wear THIS!". Sometimes as she sings she jumps ahead of the musicians, but overall it was a very good performance (which is why she's last!). Kara lept up and encouraged the audience to clap and scream. She said, "That is from "God". Simon drew a mustache on Paula's face.

So, who will go? I predict it'll be Michael Sarver (but then I thought he should've gone last week). Hopefully he's not the "Scotty the Body" of Season 8.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Throw Your Cash Into the Street Before You Spend It to See "The Watchmen"

This movie is violent. So many people have said that. But you just can't understand the level of violence this movie brings unless you've seen it - or fought in a world war. Seriously. With a big blue looking alien dude (Dr. Manhatten) and his alien-looking penis swaggering around in almost every scene; frankly I'm surprised the director didn't use the blue penis to crush people for added shock value.

This movie was so gosh-awful violent, I nearly puked. I wanted to walk out at about 15 minutes into it, and my husband kindly said we could go to the comedy next door, but he had waited so long for it to come out, I couldn't make him leave. So I decided to tough it out.

We both were sorry we did. If THIS kind of movie violence is what people like - there is something disturbingly wrong with people. I had to cover my eyes for much of the graphic nonsense, which really - the story could've been told without it. I know the graphic novel purists would say "No", but as an outsider it just would've been a better film without having to close my eyes every few minutes.

Unbelievably some idiot brought his children. I'm a mom to four children, and never would bring kids without reading reviews on - but whatever. It's "R" rated - what was he thinking? I hope to God he took them out once the gratuitous, insane violence began - which was at the beginning, so I hope they left as soon as it started. I can't imagine what kind of nightmares my kids would have after seeing that - heck, I may have a few tonight.

AVOID this movie at all costs. Save your money. Or just go out on the street and toss it down a grate. Either choice would be better than sitting through this dreck.