Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 4, Songs of the Rat Pack

You know, that Jamie Foxx is one talented guy. I first heard of him through his comedy, and for some reason just love Alvin Sanders from “Bait”, but what Jamie did in “Ray” was full-on spectacular … and he can sing! I’m thinking Total Package, here. But he must have the picture of Dorian Gray in his attic, ‘cause the man does not age.

Matt Giroud (My Funny Valentine) – 10 out of 10. I was worried it would be all piano-loungey … but that was Just. Plain. Sexy. Whoa! That boy was hot! I can so imagine a romantic evening by the fire with this playing in the background, getting the mood on (actually, quite a few of Matt’s songs this season could go on such a CD). I'll buy it off iTunes. American Idol voters SUH-HUCK! I prolly should have voted, eh?

Kris Allen (The Way You Look Tonight) – 10 out of 10. Oooooh, I really liked it! He’s so smooth, isn’t he? I never would have expected this of Kris at the outset of the season. I believe I may have accused young Mr. Allen of being this season’s potential vapid tool, Jason Castro. Wow, was I wrong. I'll buy it off iTunes.

Danny Gokey (Come Rain or Come Shine) – 9 out of 10. OMGoodness! Right from the start … yummy! Although Danny can be quite flat, he certainly knows how (and when) to pump those runs. Excellent! I'll buy it off iTunes.

Adam Lambert (Feeling Good) – 6 out of 10. I love this song! I am not, however, a fan of Adam’s rendition tonight, though ... it seemed over the top to be honest. This particular song doesn’t really need such histrionics … a little bit of overkill. Someone needs to remind Adam he does a terrific job when he's mellow as well. I may buy it off iTunes ... I'll have to think about it some.

Allison Iraheta (Someone to Watch Over Me) – 6 out of 10. Overwrought. With Allison’s vocals I would have loved to have seen her totally rock this one. There’s no doubt in my mind she’s got the pipes, but I still think Allison needs a few more years of just plain living to be able to convey the emotion required to soar in this business.

It’s still looking like Kris and Adam in the finale (even though I’d rather it be Kris and Matt). I have no earthly idea why Matt isn’t a front-runner, unless for some reason votes are splitting between Danny and him … which, now I think about it, may be exactly what’s happening. Mer.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Today’s Musings



It’s difficult to type in a 78 degree office with a cat that refuses to Get. Off. My. Lap! Brat.

I’m back in love with Facebook. Turns out I’m one of those ‘bookers who peek in every day at the beginning then, once the novelty wears off, takes only an occasional glimpse. I’ve been searching periodically for a couple childhood friends; sisters I met when I was eleven, and pretty much spent the next decade glued to. Due to some personal events I dropped contact, but now that I’m a grownup (read “somewhat matured”), I’ve been thinking about them. We shared some great times.

So I've searched their married and maiden names, and various combinations of the two, and whatnot … you know, basic Facebook searches. I’ve even tried regular on-line searching, because although we touched base the year I lived back in RI, in the moves since I’ve lost all their contact information. Until I got an e-mail a couple days ago … Cathy found me!! It. Was. Awesome. HAH! Success! I’m so excited it’s like I’m a teen again.

At work we got our First Quarter gain share checks of 2009 … which I promptly spent because, well, that’s how I roll: ran straight out and picked up light summer quilts since it’s just too hot for the winter comforters now; besides, I donated the old summer bedding last week (hey, I’m a girl, I like new stuff … and donating the “old” helps me feel better about my rampant consumerism; just doing my bit for the economy). I’m so happy right now (sigh). Pretty, Spring/Summer colors, lightweight … it’s like a birthday present for the bedrooms. Of course, the dogs and the cats have already thoroughly checked them out, and Joey is currently sprawled across the bed in the master bedroom, taking absolute ownership as usual. Hey, at 17, he’s earned it.

Reason #137 why I need a man: the attic fan. I turned it on for the first time in five years yesterday, because I was under the (mistaken) impression that it blew air into the house, and I didn’t want bird parts from the nest in the attic to be blown all over the house. I know … stupid. Anyway, I was telling one of the guys at work why I haven’t used the attic fan since I discovered some of the birds I feed have broken into the attic and nest there each Spring, and he (slowly and patiently) explained I have nothing to worry about, the attic fan pulls air from the house into the attic. Duh. I’m an idiot. So, turned it on for a few hours last night and brought the house down from 83 to 79. Complete success in my book! It’s on again right now.

Contrary to my first thought, Microsoft Office 2007 thoroughly kicks ass! It is so easy to use. Get it, get it now. Belay that thought … instead, if you use Office at work, demand your boss get it for you! At first blush it drove me wildly out of my mind … I knew where everything was on the old version, and would almost get to the point of screaming with 2007 because commands and functions weren’t where I expected them to be, and I had things to do and no time to waste looking for this (expletive deleted)!!! But then I had a moment of Zen and decided to just go with the flow. Now I wish I’d had 2007 sooner; everything is easier.

Television, or “Insomniacs Guide to the ZZZZZzzzzzz…..”:
Best New Show of the Season with a Really Lame Name: the Unusuals.
Best New Show (I’m told) I Have Yet to Watch (although have recorded): Southland.
Best New show of the Season Period: Castle.

Dear Mr. President: stop behaving like a horse’s ass and get on with the job. If you prosecute people for doing what they were authorized to do, you set a dangerous precedent. And stop defining all that is bad in this country with “under the Bush administration”. Of course it was under the Bush administration; the man was in office eight years … just about the only issue older than that is Social Security. And Health Care. Oh, and Terrorism … wait a minute … are you sure you want to keep blaming everything on the guy who held office before you? Seems he just may have inherited some of this stuff himself. No matter the problem I’ve faced, I’ve never been able to solve it by pointing my finger and blowing raspberries… you signed up for the job, campaigned for it, fought for it … so now do it. Enough with the prevarication.


Have a few dollars to spare? Looking for a good cause that rewards you with way cool jewelry? Go to http://www.friendsofmel.org/ and order a bracelet, now. When I was back home last Summer, Mom and I went to the Cape to visit her sisters and they both had these really sweet beaded bracelets that Mom and I now have as well. You’ll love it, and can feel good about supporting a good cause.


And lastly, if you were wondering, I'm still in mortal combat with these friggin' ants, who have upped the assault level for some reason today ... I've bleached them twice already since this morning and there's not a lick of food anywhere for them to eat, unless they've found a way into the refrigerator. Shit! Now I have to go check the refigerator ...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Club!


I'm so excited ... we had our first "Girl's Night" since forever last night (where I proceeded to force brownies and pizza on my guests and never stopped talking long enough for them to get a word in edgewise ... it was their own little baptism by fire; what you get when we don't have Girl's Night in what seems like ages), and have decided to start a book club! Who'd a thunk I'd be this pumped? Always thought book clubs were, oh, I don't know ... lame?

Only people with nothing to do and no taste in books have to join book clubs, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.

But when I was back home on vacation in February,and we kind of got snowed in, I plowed through Mom's book shelf in about a second flat and guess what? Some of her books were fantastic (you've seen some of them on my Shelfari)! But they were books I'd never have picked up on my own. In fact, I'd turned up my nose at some of them already.

I could care less, but not much, how angry or hurt or offended Oprah was because James Frey didn't give her the heads-up that his book (a million little pieces) wasn't 100% autobiographical ... have you read it? It's freakin' fantastic! I'm not a huge fan of the grammar and punctuation, but that thing sucked me in every time I opened it and kept me glued until the end, when I wanted to meet the fella who'd put himself through such a horrid wringer and managed to come out the other end alive.
Mark of a good book in my opinion.
So we've selected our first book (Chris Bohjalian's "Water Witches") and our first meeting date (May 11th), and will get together to discuss and, you know, nosh. May be more noshing than discussing, we'll see. I'm already planning the menu: maybe a little cheeze and crackers, Mom's taco salad (it'll be too hot to cook, what with being May in the frying pan that is the midwest), curry chicken salad sammiches, and beer. I'll so be in the mood for beer. I have a thing for almost ice-cold Michelob Ultra in the hot weather. Lip-smack yummy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 5, Disco Week

I forget how much fun life was during the disco era. When I listen to those songs these days it feels like disco was around for the entire decade from 1973 through my senior year of high school in 1983. Whoa. That’s a long time. A lot happened during those formative years. I remember sitting in my bedroom with my girlfriends while we were in junior high, listening to K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Donna Summer, Elton John, and the Bee Gee’s while Casey Kasem counted down the American Top 40 every week. Every. Single. Week.

You have no idea the importance of the American Top 40 when I was a kid!

We used to record songs on cassette tapes by placing the cassette recorder thisclose to the radio speaker … thereby ensuring all those recordings included not only the disc jockey comments, but also any conversation that took place between us girls in the room.

So we’d have a tape of the latest must-have that included a discussion of the pros and cons of dating a certain boy, or which frozen pizza was best (Ellio’s, for those not in the know), or whether we really were going to have a quiz the next day in school, or the squeals and laughter when one of my older brothers barged in to harass us.

So disco week on AI is kind of cool for me and, for the most part, the gang delivered. This week, probably even more so than most others, is highly subjective because it harkens me back to those halcyon days, so here goes:

Matt Giroud (Stayin’ Alive) – 10 out of 10. You almost don’t even have to ask, do you? You know I love him! But it seemed as though all four of the judges failed to see the absolute perfection humor of this song choice, and how Matt gave it his all. And his moves onstage … yummy! To paraphrase from the words Matt sang so soulfully: that’s right, he’s going nowhere, he’s staying right here (on AI!). I like that Matt stayed true to the disco original while making it his own. I enjoyed this performance most of all tonight. Those growly vocals were perfect, and he really got the place moving. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Kris Allen (She Works Hard for the Money) – 9 out of 10. Way cool! Kris spun that puppy right up there into Soul Town by slowing it down and singing the hell out of it. Who’d have thought? What a spectacular job; this version could be played on the radio today and be wildly popular. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Danny Gokey (September) – 9 out of 10. Once again a performance where I had to force myself to sit and listen as opposed to sing and bounce around. Danny’s just terrific week in and week out … and he danced, too! Yummy vocals (as usual), terrific live performance of an extremely well known song. Just the way I’d want to see it performed in concert … Danny did a spot-on job of bringing this chestnut into the light of present-day music sensibilities. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Anoop Desai (Dim All the Lights) – 9 out of 10. First thought? What’s with the ‘stach, dude? But then his version just sucked me right in. Anoop Usherfied that thing like mad! This could be a hit today, too. Good, solid, job. I love that Anoop does this. He may not be as flashy as Adam, but he's got that same talent. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Adam Lambert (If I Can’t Have You) – 7 out of 10. First thought? He looks like a puppet! A puppet that makes me smile. I want to like everything Adam does these days, but part of the chorus to this was a screeching mess that really annoyed. I like that Adam tried to make it a pretty love song, but the performance just didn’t work for me. Maybe if it had been longer (it turns out I now like Adam’s version of “Ring of Fire”, which I *may have* vilified in my write-up), but I could not agree less with the judges gushing. I’ll most likely buy it off iTunes though, to see if I’m right and the longer version is better with his full arrangement.

Allison Iraheta (Hot Stuff) – 5 out of 10. Just a horrible mess from the outfit to the arrangement ... the only good thing was Allison’s voice, which was actually great and just plain kicks ass all the time. It’s weird to really like her vocals, but really dislike the performance.

Lil Rounds (I’m Every Woman) – 4 out of 10. I expected either a performance to bring down the house or a hot mess this week out of Lil, and she delivered. The latter. As far as I’m concerned Lil’s singing for her place on the program and has been for awhile now (and she never should have beaten Matt last week). So, as soon as I heard which song it was, I figured she was doomed. Not that I don’t think Lil has it in her … I just don’t think she has it in her right now (if that makes sense). I think maybe the pressure of the AI format is not conducive to Lil’s skills. Someone let this woman be a diva, please! She’s got it in her, it’s just that AI doesn’t allow enough of something (time, coaching, an agent, I don’t know) to properly showcase her particular talents. That said, I loved the outfit. That that said, the other six are so far out of Lil’s league in this venue it almost isn’t fair to her.

I hope Lil is voted off … not that I wish her any ill, I just feel the other six are far more deserving at this stage of the competition. They seem to be able to better understand the advice offered by the judges and incorporate it into their performances and song choices.

I also think it’s time for Allison to go. I know that will leave all men but, let’s face it, they’re all consistently better than Allison anyway.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It May Not be PC, But I'm All For It


What does it say about me that after more than seven years (years!) I'm still so pissed off about September 11th that when I heard the planners of the attack were waterboarded a ridiculous number of times all I could think was, "Well, they were still alive, so it obviously wasn't enough", whereas when I heard that 21 horses from Venezuela’s Lechuza Caracas polo team died within one 18 hour stretch due to some as-yet unknown cause I cried for those poor beasts?

And to add insult, the liberal media hacks writing about the repeated waterboarding have the absolute gall to call into question the effectiveness of said waterboarding?!?! Do they really not get that answers so weren’t the point? That anyone who thinks so is woefully na├»ve? The point, my friends, was payback. Turture. An eye for an eye. Duh. I’m pretty sure the assholes being waterboarded gave up the goods fairly early on in their captivity. The rest was just frosting. I picture soldiers and operatives eagerly lining up and signing up for the privilege of torturing (and re-torturing) those depraved bastards in ways they wouldn’t even think of harming a bug, let alone an actual human being.

Lest we forget, almost three thousand people died as a result of the attacks, mostly civilians which, in the jargon of terror, made them “innocents”. Those who didn't fall under the umbrella of “innocent” were men and women doing their job, which, really, is some sort of calling, don’t you think? I’m talking about the police officers, EMT’s, soldiers, and firefighters who collectively died while trying to restore safety and sanity to an unimaginable situation. And let’s not forget the volunteers. All of them who just had to step up because that was who they were and they couldn’t even comprehend the thought of running away when all hell broke lose around them and they couldn’t tell which way was up.

I imagine, for my generation at least, that morning must be similar to what my parents and grandparents went through on both November 22, 1963 and December 7, 1941. I, working from home (and not watching television), received a call from a colleague, who seemed inordinately concerned with my wellbeing. I remember that I laughingly assured him I wasn’t ill, was merely working from home to get ahead of the project we were on. He asked if I was watching television, and in a micron I had the smartass thought that no, when I work from home I actually work from home, duh. But then he said to turn it on. And I asked what channel. And he said it didn’t matter. I don’t remember, but I think I was terrified exactly right then. So I turned on the television just in time to watch the second plane bury itself halfway into the side of one of the towers.

At first I didn’t know what it was. But then I did. And it was horrible. I watched all the same footage as the rest of you, so I’ll not go into it here. But I feel it necessary to explain that I felt hate. I’m a big fan of live-and-let-live, what-comes-around-goes-around, and don’t let-karma-bite-you-on-the-ass-on-the-way-out … but for these tools? I want the U.S. military to embody payback. Until said tools are all screaming in agony on their deathbeds, which, with any luck, will be made of liquid fire.

I lived in Northern NJ for six years in the late 90’s, then in RI for a year, and then moved out here to MO in 2000. Both NJ and MO were far from home for me. At least when I was in NJ I could make the 4-5 hour drive back home to New England on weekends for some family time. Here in MO I go back home twice a year and have Mom and (sometimes) Dad come out here once a year. For a homebody like me, that’s not really enough, but I no longer have more than a decade into a company with the perquisite five weeks and two days vacation that I used to (now I’ve almost three years with the company and two measly weeks vacation … mer). So cellular contact it is.

Believe me when I tell you that the friendships I have formed in both NJ and MO are important to me. While I did not know directly any of the murder victims from that unspeakable day, I had a friend who lost his wife. They hadn’t been married long, maybe three years, and had met one another well out of their young adulthood. This was the perfect match. He was so very in love with her that we, his work colleagues, ate it up. It was a real life happy ending that was both breathtaking and humbling to behold. And gave us all the thrilling thought that it could happen to us. Meeting and getting to know her, then marrying her, brought him to life. This was a truly happy man, who’s every prayer had been answered.

After the first plane hit she called him from the other tower, to let him know she was okay, and the safety officer on her floor was bringing her down the stairs (she had lost her glasses and could not see, and had hurt her ankle). They lost the connection (most likely as the second plane hit), and he never heard from her again. Absolutely no trace of her was ever recovered. It was as though she’d never existed.

The reason I still carry this tiny burning ember of hate is because it took this poor lost soul four years and seven months to literally drink himself to death. He tried so hard to join her sooner, but his damn body, unlike his shattered heart, just would not quit. In those years he lost everything else he had once held dear: his job, his friends, his step-son, his family. All was torn asunder for one reason or other, and it was easy to say (and many frustrated former friends did) that he brought it on himself. Why couldn’t he just pull himself up by his bootstraps and get on with life? Well, why should he have? And who were they to wonder? What gave them the right?

Those of us who had relocated to MO prior to 2001 felt as though we had somehow failed him. Maybe if we had still been in NJ we could have helped. But we weren’t there, and he wasn’t here, and then the company laid him off (because the corporate powers-that-be sucked shit; I’m glad they were taken over by a competitor … assholes.). Everyone lost touch; he didn't want to be found. Then we found out his final all-consuming wish had been granted; he had died. Destitute, diseased, and forgotten ... finally he could reunite with his love.

So, these fucking douchbag terrorists killed thousands of people in one fell stroke, but how many more have died in the years since that can also be laid at their cloven hooves? How many mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, lovers, and friends have faded away to nothing?

I hope the waterboarders kill them, all, then resuscitate the lifeless corpses of those bastards and start all over again. I hope the soulless ghouls beg for mercy and cry for forgiveness. I don’t have it in me, at least not yet, but maybe some day. Could happen, who knows? But for now when I read articles damning former President Bush for all that is wrong in the world today I wonder, where the hell were you on September 11, 2001? Clamouring for him to do something, do something, don’t let them get away with this, that's where. Begging him to lead us, tell us what to do, make it better. Well, put your money where your mouth is and own your decision. And if you can’t, if you just have to be a hypocrite about it? Shut the fuck up.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Question


Is it lame that I get at least one good belly laugh a week on this site?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Holy Shit, Did You SEE That?!?!


Susan Boyle is my new hero(ine). You have got to watch her audition on Britain’s Got Talent from the 11th. The woman is 47, currently unemployed, not trained professionally, and possessed of astonishing talent. Wow.

Eat it, Simon, you insufferable snob!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

E-mail to My Friends ...

TO: the Gang
SUBJECT: Where's Lisa Again?

Hey There,

So I get home after work tonight to find my garage door wide open. And I know it was closed when I left this morning, because it just so happens I pulled out (quite rudely) in front of my next door neighbor then made him wait in the road behind me while my garage door closed. Slowly

Some may call it karma, I call it crazed, ravening psychopath in my closet.

So, if I completely disappear? That’s because said crazed, ravening psychopath crept out of my closet and snuck up slobbering behind me with a cudgel and a plastic bag, and my remains are now moldering in same nutjob’s basement in Kansas City (KS, ‘cuz MO just don’t breed that kind of crazy).

TTFN!

thanx,
Lisa

Weekly Idol: Top 7, Songs of the Cinema

I have no earthly idea where my head was tonight. Totally forgot AI (thank goodness for DVR!) ... Mom called around half past to see what I thought so far, and there I was, screwing around on iTunes (finally splurged on Coltrane and some John Lee Hooker ... so not a waste of time).

So I grabbed a pen and some paper and ran out to the living room to critique my AI crew. I've noticed that the television in the bedroom has much better sound, being hooked up to a stereo and all, but I just can't bring myself to climb into bed at 7pm ... ever ... to watch telly! So I watch first blush on the big screen with crappy sound, then later in the week on the little screen with stereo sound. I'm still heavily attached to Matt and Danny, so I guess it doesn't matter after all, huh?

Kris Allen (Falling Slowly) – 10 out of 10. I don’t even know this song, never heard it before, and I know Kris kicked its ass! Wow! This was truly lovely. The best of the night (I’m starting to think the final two may be Kris and Adam). I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Matt Giroud (Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman) – 9 out of 10. Meh … just okay. Hah! Who am I kidding … Matt slayed it! If I was there I’d have been yelling, “I love you, Matty!!!” Unlike Adam’s performance before him, Matt’s vocals didn’t run away from the harmony of his backup singers. Yummy. I’ll buy it off iTunes. SAVED!!! My Matty was SAVED!!! C'MON America! Get your vote on! Why you not voting for Matty? Hunh? He's loads better than Lil and Allison for crying out loud! And Anoop, even. People, you sorely disappoint me.

Anoop Desai (Everything I Do, I Do it for You) – 9 out of 10. So pretty! I thought, “is it a little slow?” But no! Anoop pulled it off! Blasted those vocals exactly where he should have and reigned it in precisely where it mattered. Very, very, nice. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Danny Gokey (Endless Love) – 9 out of 10. Hmm, do I even need to say it? Really? Does anyone not know how I love me some Danny? Perfection. The rest of you can suck it (not the performers, but rather the Danny nay-sayers, silly)! I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Adam Lambert (Born to be Wild) – 9 out of 10. Helluva show; not a terrific job on the actual song, though. Kind of like when you’re disappointed at a concert because it isn’t the same as the record. KIDDING!!! Sheesh, you people are tuff! He was effing ridiculous, is what he was; as usual lately. I’m pretty sure Adam will be at least in the final two, but I actually like Danny, Matt, and Kris better.

Allison Iraheta (I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing) – 8 out of 10. Poor Allison. My problem? I kept comparing it to David Cook’s rendition from last season (you may recall my love for David), which was leagues better than this performance. It was pretty good, though. She’s a rockin’ little thing, isn’t she? It’s rotten to have go first, when the rest of the field is this good, but somebody has to do it.

Lil Rounds (The Rose) – 4 out of 10. Wow. Craptastic. Man, I feel bad for Lil. This was awful, and she has such a lovely voice. She was all over the place vocally, and just didn’t do it for me to-ooh-oh-ah-ah-night!

Personal opinion: it’s time for Lil to go home. That being said, I’m at the point now where I can’t tell who’ll be leaving. I should probably start actually voting now, huh?

On a completely different matter: Quentin Tarentino effing rocks as a coach!!! More QT, American Idol, MORE!! This guy is no slouch at all, and I had pretty high expectations because I love the music he puts together for the soundtracks to his films (True Romance is a fave ... give it a whirl!).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Whoa! That is Cold!


I have a kitty with a cold, and it is one of the funnier things I’ve witnessed lately. He can not figure out why he keeps sneezing, and whenever he does snot bubbles out his nose, halting him in his tracks. Last night he buried himself deep under the covers then couldn’t even purr because his nose was running so badly. When he feels a sneeze coming on he stops dead in his tracks to brace himself, but it still almost knocks him off his feet. Poor kitty, to be so sick for my entertainment … but I assure you I am highly appreciative of his efforts!

Anyway, one of our vendors fired our Sales guy a few months back, and has had a tough time filling the position (I don’t know why, considering the state of the economy, but they have), so his manager has been making all the sales calls in the meantime. Today the new replacement showed up.

Unannounced.

I do not get the warm fuzzies when vendors do this; I get more the you’re-schedule-can’t-possibly-be-too-full-to-see-me’s, which I find a bit insulting. Maybe my schedule is exactly too full to see you. Ever thought of that? Howsabout you make an appointment, like the other 98% of the business world? Then I don’t have to stop what I’ve scheduled to accommodate you.

Yep, I was busy, but I welcomed her aboard anyway, seeing as we’re having a problem with the product and I want it cleared up yesterday and, truth be told, that’s most likely why she came out: she’s just obtained the position and wants to do well. Good on her.

So we walk through the situation while I take her on a tour of the areas of the plant she’ll need to know, and my Sanitation guy joins us as he’ll be a point of contact in future. We’re going over the equipment, which is the mix-and-delivery system for some HD cleaner, and what should have been a 15 minute meet-and-greet turned into a one hour discovery session.

I have a good feeling about this one: she’s enthusiastic and knows the product. Yay! We’ve pulled samples for testing, and come up with a three-prong plan of action. My Sanitation guy and I are ecstatic! Then, catastrophe; she reaches for a valve she has no business touching, and turns it as she says, “I wonder if there’s anything in this one?”

Um, yes. Yes, there was something in “that one”. It’s called water. It is shocking cold, wet, water. The kind that bursts full-force from … yeah, you guessed it … the nozzle attached directly to the effing valve YOU JUST TURNED!!! The same shocking cold wet water that then blasted directly into my face and chest!!

AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH! Grrggll …

My very first cogent thought was, “Damn, this is funny!” … but my next thought was, “Why’s she laughing?” … and then I so very (very) much wanted to unleash a stream of invective the likes of which she’d never witnessed. I like to think I’ve got a good sense of humor, and accidents don’t particularly bother me (that’s what they are, accidents, get it?); but I sincerely do not like to be laughed at. I can handle it if I laugh first, signaling you that it’s okay to laugh with Lisa, she’s cool with the sitch. But if you laugh before I do, well, then you’re just laughing at Lisa, and that is a big stinkin’ no-no, my friend.

So I’m standing there in the washout bay, dripping wet (Sales rep shut the valve almost instantly upon realization of her folly, but those puppies are under a lot of pressure, so I got the full monty), with my Sanitation guy struggling valiantly not to laugh, and Sales rep practically rolling on the floor she was laughing so hard. And pointing. And cackling at (what felt like) the top of her lungs. At me. The funny wet one.

I tell you my head almost exploded. I’m pretty sure steam erupted from my ears. My Sanitation guy was having a hard time containing himself, and was waiting for me to laugh, then wondering why I wasn’t laughing, then really getting worried that I would never laugh and oh, shit, now what? But as I watched these thoughts scroll blatantly across his face, then I saw the humor, and a little giggle escaped my lips. Then a bona fide chuckle, followed by a genuine guffaw, and pretty soon the tree of us were laughing maniacally.

But here’s the thing; don’t laugh at me. I don’t like it. At least check to see I’m okay first! It’s like when you see someone trip and fall in the street. First response: “Whoa! Are you okay?” Second response (upon confirmation s/he really is okay): “Damn, that was funny! Could you do it again for the camera? I want to show my friends.”

Friday, April 10, 2009

It Must be Spring … the Ants are Back


And I hate those little bastards. All I have to do is see one to feel them crawling all over me. Yes, I know they’re not really there, but still … turns out sometimes they are. Grrgll!

One of my “things” is that I am forever complaining about how dirty my house is and how much I have to clean it, which really isn’t true. It’s not like I wouldn’t allow friends in because it’s such a sty (although sometimes that’s exactly the case) … it’s just that with two labs and three litter boxes, it gets messy after awhile, and I absolutely do. not. enjoy. cleaning.

Which means the place is only ever spotless about once a week, and then only on those weekends I feel like cleaning the entire upstairs – which ain’t often (the downstairs can go take a hike for all I care). And in the Spring the place fills up with these teeny-tiny sugar ants that insist on crawling all over the place in search of snacks, regardless of whether there’s actually any food out.

It’s because of the rain … each Spring we get torrents of rain and the ants simply invite themselves in. Last year the neighbors on both sides had terminators out, and I think every living creature that survived the dual snuff-fest high-tailed to my place for a breath of fresh air … where they quickly discovered the dry dog and cat food stashes. Damnit.

I had a train of ants coming in the kitchen window, down the sill, along the back of the counter, down the wall to the floor, around the edge of the room (below the sliding glass doors), behind the couch (yes, there is a lovely green sofa in my giant kitchen … belongs to the girls, ‘cuz they be spoiled, in case you didn’t know), and into the plastic container that (used to) house the dry food. Then the little a-holes grabbed a chunk of food and traveled the same path in reverse. Oh joy, oh rapture.

So I ran out to the pet store and bought seal-tight containers for dog food, cat food, and bird seed (because, yes, the ant colony at the front of the house was wagon-training it under the garage door to get at the bird seed stored there). End of problem; food all secured, rainy season over, the ants (eventually) went away.

Anywho … so, turns out I’m pretty much constantly whining that I have to clean house … to such an extent that Mom must have thought the place was in ready-to-be-condemned mode before she came out (I know this because she felt it necessary to assure me repeatedly that the place is not, in fact, a pigsty). And she wondered why I was so upset about the apparently imaginary ants, because the first few days Mom was here there was nary a one to be seen (which was pretty cool, but weird, ‘cuz I knew they were lurking somewhere).

Enter rain. Yep, just a bit, and all hell breaks loose. Not really, but ant-hell? Yep. The little bastards have been running around my kitchen since. And my living room. And the bathrooms. Oh! And my bedroom! Wha?!? I’ve poisoned them. I’ve called them names. I’ve squished them … I’ve even made them write bad checks. They’re still here! Lovely.

Once I’ve done the dishes I have to go into the bathroom to check myself over in the mirror for the “clingers” that have invariably attached themselves to my shirt whilst I’ve leaned over the counter. I get back at them by killing them with extremely hot water as I wash them down the bathroom sink. BWAH HAH HAH HAH! I may be a bit too gleeful during this activity, but thems the breaks.

It appears rainy season may be coming to an end, or the nine Ortho ant traps I’ve set out are working, or some combination of the two, seeing as there were only a few ants today. I can’t wait for them to be gone, though, because all I can think is they’re crawling all over the place, traipsing miniscule specs of dirt all over my nice, clean, counters!! The little bastards.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 8, Songs From the Year They Were Born

I’m back! I know you missed me horribly, but Mom was here, and I had such a great time with her … I love company!

Anyway, Tonight’s performances were leagues better than last week, no? So here’s how I rated them:

Matt Giroud ’85 (Part Time Lover) – 10 out of 10. Matt’s baaaack! Yay!! I had to take strict control and force myself not to sing along … great song choice. Who doesn’t love Stevie Wonder? And that gggggrrrrwwl of Matt’s! Ho! Ho! Ho! I love me some Matt! I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Anoop Desai ’86 (True Colors) – 10 out of 10. Too darn cute (Go Heels!!). I have to admit once Ryan said the song choice I knew Anoop would kill it (in a good way), and he did (in a great way). And, added benny, Anoop can pronounce “rainbow”! Yummy. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Danny Gokey ’80 (Stand by Me) – 9 out of 10. The “old man” has the chops, and I love him still. “G-g-got to” love him. I haven’t heard this version in forever. We all know the early contestants can get lost in the wake of later performances, but not my Danny! That velvety voice just sooths the savage in me. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Adam Lambert ’82 (Mad World) – 9 out of 10. Now I know you may disagree with where I have Adam, but he’s getting a bit predictable to me. Don’t get me wrong, Adam hit it out of the park, but I stand by my contention that he is far too talented for this competition … he’s an AI ringer! Anyway, I was convinced there was no way this song was from 1982. I knew Tears for Fears sang it, but could have sworn it was much newer. Enter the internet. Turns out I’ve never even heard the TFF version! Doh! I know the Gary Jules set from Donnie Darko (and various television series). I knew it couldn’t have been from 1982 (even though it actually is)! Anyway, Adam did a terrific job. I’ll buy it off iTunes.

Allison Iraheta ’92 (I Can’t Make You Love Me) – 8 out of 10. I love this song, and it totally suits Allison’s vocals, so it was a terrific song choice. Weird though, to have a child sing about the subject matter. I’m still not connecting with Allison on an emotional level, so her songs tend to leave me cold, but there’s no denying that talent … she’s just not one of my favorites but did very well tonight. I’ll actually buy it off iTunes (shocker!!).

Scott McIntyre ’85 (The Search is Over) – 7 out of 10. I found myself distracted, trying to remember if this was from Chicago or Air Supply … but no! It was Survivor! Man, am I old. Anyway, yes, it was a little screechy at times, but I’ve noticed that Scott generally sounds better on his recordings than he does live (or maybe it’s just my television). I like that Scotty got his “punk” on with the guitar. All in all, I figure this is what Scott sounds like singing in the shower … not bad, but not ground-breaking either.

Lil Rounds ’84 (What’s Love Got to Do With It) – 7 out of 10. Lil was stunning tonight, just beautiful. I love her hair like that. As for the performance: it started blah, but did steadily get better. I wasn’t in love with the section where it was a caricature of Tina’s strutting, but oh! Those vocals! Improvement over last week.

Kris Allen ’85 (All She Wants to Do is Dance) – 6 out of 10. I know! It breaks my heart to score Kris this low, but what an awful job! The arrangement was a horrible mess. I love horns, but they just plain did not fit this performance and simply overpowered Kris. It was not good. Let me just say that I love Kris’ accent, though, the cutie-patootie.

Although I think Kris’ was the worst performance tonight, I don’t think he’ll be voted off … I’m thinking it will be either Lil or Scott, but most likely Lil (Scott seems to have a bigger fan-base). We’ll see. I’m trying to get a chart of how they’re all doing overall, but apparently I am Excel challenged these days. Sigh.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weekly Idol: Top 9, Top iTunes Downloads

Ho boy, what an almost completely awful week! Some really, really, poor song choices this week. But that's kind of to be expected ... these kids (for the most part) are just starting out.

Here's how they hit me:

Kris Allen (Ain’t No Sunshine) - 10 out of 10. One of my all-time favorite songs, sung beautifully ... those little chipmunk faces he makes! And who knew Kris could tickle the ivories? Cutie-patootie! I'll buy it off iTunes.

Adam Lambert (Play That Funky Music) - 10 out of 10. Just plain terrific. It's almost not fair Adam's in this competition. I'll buy it off iTunes.

Danny Gokey (What Hurts the Most) - 9 out of 10. Mom's visiting (one reason I've not been 'putering much) and laughed out loud at me when she saw how crazy I am for Danny. As soon as he opens his mouth I get all melty inside. I was iffy when I heard his song choice ... I think it's very nearly impossible to sing a Rascal Flatts song, but Danny pulled it off. I'll buy it off iTunes.

Scott McIntyre (Just the Way You Are) - 9 out of 10. Scott did what I've been waiting for and gave me a little peek at his soul. Loved it! I'll buy it off iTunes.

Anoop Desai (Caught Up) - 8 out of 10. I've never heard the song, so am basing this solely on Anoop's performance, and I liked it. He got a bit pitchy, and I'm sure I'm dropping him points because I had no frame of reference, but I still love his vocals and his showmanship.

Allison Iraheta (Don’t Speak) - 8 out of 10. This is my favorite performance of Allison's. I really liked what she did with it, and totally "got" her outrageous getup.

Matt Giroud (You Found Me) - 7 out of 10. I like me some Fray, but never would have picked this song for Matt (I'd love to hear his take on James Morrison's "Wonderful World"). This was not up to Matt's standard, but did get better as it went along. Started out very, very pitchy, though.

Lil Rounds (I Surrender) - 6 out of 10. I want to like Lil ... I love her voice, but she's been boring. Celine definitely had her heyday, but she's been out of the picture for what, like a decade? Which is a hundred years in pop-culture-land. Poor song choice. Too bad, really, because Lil did a decent job of it, but Celine is kind of the only one who can sing Celine, if you see my point.

Megan Joy (Turn Your Lights Down Low) - 4 out of 10. Just plain awful. Crap. I've gone off Megan completely. She destroyed the song (and not in a good way). Just a bad choice for her warbly style.

Now, I taped the show so ended up watching the performances last night, right before the vote-off, so I was on tenterhooks when Ryan messed with Matt (bad Ryan, bad, bad Ryan!) ... then got to breathe a hefty sigh of relief. Totally loved the byplay among the group, very fun and refreshing. I'm now wishing we saw more of their "downtime".

Anyway, what was the deal with Megan's shenanigans last night? Someone close needed to tell her what a horses ass she was making of herself. Too bad, really, that viewers have that behavior as a final impression. Does she realize she made a mockery of her experience on AI?
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