Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Thanks, a Million Times Over, to You


Oh, why are you shining so bright, big Sun,
And why is the garden so gay?
Do you know that my days of delight are done,
Do you know I am going away?
If you covered your face with a cloud, I'd dream
You were sorry for me in my pain,
And the heads of the flowers all bowed would seem
To be weeping with me in the rain.

But why is your head so low, sweetheart,
And why are your eyes overcast?
Are they clouded because you know we must part,
Do you think this embrace is our last?
Then kiss me again, and again, and again,
Look up as you bid me goodbye!
For your face is too dear for the stain of a tear,
And your smile is the sun in my sky.

-Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Weekly Idol - Finals

Wow.  So, if America uses tonight's performance as the litmus for the latest Idol, then Crystal's got it hands-down. She was fantastic, from song choice to vocals to arrangements.

But. Lee's still my fave, so I'm hoping folk recall that three weeks plus of just 'meh' from Crystal as well as a final powerhouse performance does not a best-of-the-best performer make (please please please).

Besides, have I mentioned how I want Lee to win?  Because that would mean that for the three seasons I have been watching, I am 3 for 3.  SO VOTE LEE 'MURRICA, VOTE LEE.

Oh, well ... since I haven't the time or the energy to vote for Lee a million times over to ensure his win, it's rawther a good thing that I like Crystal, too.  Besides, really, who thinks either won't go on to make music?

Yeah, me neither.

YES, Dad ... Crystal did better t-o-n-i-g-h-t. But Lee's betterer. Huh, so THERE.   What I really think is that Crystal is not so much a pop star as she is an indie/folkie/rockster ... I think she'd do solid awesome in intimate settings, whereas Lee can rock the arena, so to speak.

I have spoken ... er, wroten ... er, bloggened.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday


Love’s the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite ‘The boy stood on
the burning deck.’ Love’s the son
stood stammering elocution
while the poor ship in flames went down.

Love’s the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too,
or an excuse to stay
on deck. And love’s the burning boy.

-Elizabeth Bishop

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekly Idol: Top 3 – Semifinals

I so love it that the final three are more rock than pop … more BAM than zip.  I love rock, totally, completely, explicitly … doesn’t matter the generation, be it old school or new, rock just plain rocks my world.

And to have the final three of the biggest pop-fest in America be rockers tells me that my peeps may well be universal. Way cool.

Okay, I’m telling you … Lee blew the night away with two very strong performances, hands down.  Casey then edged Crystal out for second best (in my humble opinion).

Idol’s Selections:

Lee Dewyze, Simple Man … how much do I LOVE that Lee did Skynyrd on AI?  ToInfinityAndBeyond! much!  Skynyrd! And a great job!  Fan-freaking-tastic!

Casey James, Okay, It’s All Right With Me … I’ve never even heard of the song or the artist before, but I loved it. Take a cup of Seger, couple ounces Cocker, just a pinch of Mraz, a tablespoon of 311, and top it off with just a dash of David Grey. Splendid. Gimme more. VOTED OFF

Crystal Bowersox, Come to My Window … not her best, little bit screechy, but solid. I kind of expected more, you know?

Judge’s Selections:

Lee Dewyze, Hallelujah … can I just say that I’m not enamored of this song? It irritates me no end. It just doesn’t strike me as the kind of song to be whispered (or whatever the heck Buckley did to it). Not one of my favorites, so I was all “SUCK!” when Simon picked it. Then my man Lee came out and did a perfect job of it. Best. Rendition. Ever. Actually brought a tear to my eye. Oh, beautiful.

Casey James, Daughters … I totally expected Casey to collapse on this; could they have done any more to set him up to fail? I have to laugh because I was revising my opinion as I was writing it during Casey’s performance.  Didn’t like how he started out, but fell in love by the end. It’s tough to do Mayer, because he’s in a league of his own, stylistically, so you have to really make it different, or duplicate it exactly. I thought Casey was trying (and failing) to duplicate Mayer, until he slipped away and actually did make it his own. Sweet. VOTED OFF

Crystal Bowersox, Maybe I’m Amazed … horrible song choice! Blecht! Poor Crystal didn’t stand a chance; she’s not even remotely this type musician. Wow. Bad week for Crystal.

Seeing as my wishes have been granted in the AI universe lately, I’m going to keep on keeping on wishing for Lee to go all the way … and either Casey or Crystal to runner-up (I’m good with either, although if I have to admit my preference, it’s Casey … that voice!  I love that voice!).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All Aboard!

I am SOOO okay with this ... let's ALL do it!

I'm pretty much done with all the complaining about "illegal aliens". Nope, I'm not a Liberal (actually fairly Conservative, for those of you not already in the know), but I cannot believe all the hoopla about illegal day laborers stealing our jobs, etc.

Really? I don't know about you, but I can't recall the last time I was interested in being paid minimum wage (or below) to do hard physical work. Nope, not even on the radar. I can't paint a house, perform landscaping, pick crops, fix vehicles, build a house/deck, put in a pool, etc.

Which is not to say I'd turn up my nose at the work; if it was all I could find I'd totally be on it. But. I'd have absolutely no idea how to do it! So already a day laborer (e.g., illegal alien) is a better bet than I am!

And the argument that they're going to cost us sooo much money to medically insure ... oh, please. Grow up.

Speaking as someone with a debilitating chronic (and currently) incurable disease that absolutely requires medical intervention to be kept in control, I don't want to be responsible for anyone not getting medical treatment. Ever.

So howsabout we, meaning our Local/State/Federal Government, reign in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries instead of beating up on the littlest of the Little Guys, huh?

And FYI: if you were born in the United States, then you are a U.S. citizen, period. 

Next argument being "but they came here specifically to have an American baby so they can stay, and we can't have THAT!!" 

I happen to agree. My (radical) thought is to document said child as a U.S. citizen, then to work with the birth parents on the best possible solution for this American child, which may be one of the following:

  • Move back to the birth mother's country of origin to be raised ... until the age of 18, when the child would be allowed to make his or her own decision on where he or she wanted to live.
  • Remain in the U.S. with a relative who is a U.S. citizen.
  • Remain in the U.S. as a ward of the state in which he or she was born, to be put up for adoption by a U.S. citizen.
  • Create a foster program for these children where they'd be raised as U.S. citizens by U.S. citizens.
There are so many families in the United States that are desperate for a child, why not kill two birds?

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

-Lt. Col. John McCrae MD

Blogger Just Peeves Me ... Lately

okay, can i just say how EFFING ANNOYING blogger has been lately, what with all the NOT posting as written insofar as SPACING is concerned?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weekly Idol: Top 4 – Songs From the Movies

I’m living proof that music frees the soul, because it certainly frees mine. It releases the chains that strap me down in daily life; unwilling to show the emotion that boils directly beneath the surface of the me I let the world see.

For me, music releases dreams to flight and sets the score to the imagination … which is the main reason why I simply love a good soundtrack. If I’m watching a movie (or television series) and the music not only emphasizes the scene but brings a deeper element to life, then that song or score stays with me forever.

My three (you didn’t expect me to have just one, did you?) favorite Masters of Movie Music, mainly due to consistency of excellence, are John Williams, Danny Elfman, and Quentin Tarantino. Although completely different stylistically, they have set the bar for me.

So how did tonight measure up? Weeeeeell, let’s face it, the duets were marvelous:

DUET – Crystal & Lee, Falling Slowly … I love this song, love it, love it, love it; these two started slow and frankly had a HUGE possibility to be horrible, but then they made a magnificent changeover to rock, which (let’s face it) is their shared bailiwick. Looks like I’ll now have three versions of this gem in my iPod: the original artists, Kris Allen, and now these two. Great job; lovely. Best overall performance of the night.

DUET – Casey & Mike, Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman … terrific; almost as good as Crystal's and Lee's duet.

As for the solo performances, here’s how they hit me:

Casey James, Mrs. Robinson … I like Casey more and more every week; that little tremor he gets going; nice, very nice. This was sweet, for reals. I especially liked … almost everything about it. It was like Eddie Vedder meets the Beatles meets Simon & Garfunkel ... I can't wait to hear the full version. Best solo performance of the night.

Lee Dewyze, Kiss From a Rose … not his best performance ever, but nothing wrong with it either; we all know Lee’s pitchy, but for me it enhances his work because it occurs during the moments when the emotions of the ‘first person perspective’ should have impact. Beautiful.

Crystal Bowersox, I’m Alright … hee hee hee heh heh, oh, gasp! It is so flipping fun to watch this little girl GO. She’s like, “make me.” Every. Single. Week. “Make me do it your way, c’mon, make me.” Not. Bloody. Likely. Well done.

(Melodramatic) Michael Lynch, Will You Be There … ergh – bored now; he simply does nothing for me. Nothing (solo, at least … he was swell in his duet, though). VOTED OFF

Hunh, this is more difficult than expected. Based on tonight’s solo performances Michael is done (in my view … I’m sure someone else will get booted, though, because I appear to be all biased against poor Mikey or something, seeing as he annoys the living daylights out of me but the rest of the nation appears to love him).

I want the top three to be Lee, Crystal, and Casey. Who’d a thunkit (um yeah, that, my friends, was sarcasm … I’ve been leaning this way for weeks).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pssst! Hey Mom ...



You are the absolute BEST. Ever. Bar none. Period.
And when I grow up , I want to be just like you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wicked Awesome Poem Wednesday

I Keep Six Honest Serving Men

I keep six honest serving-men 
(They taught me all I knew); 
Their names are What and Why and When 
And How and Where and Who. 

I send them over land and sea, 
I send them east and west; 
But after they have worked for me, 
I give them all a rest. 

I let them rest from nine till five, 
For I am busy then, 
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea, 
For they are hungry men. 

But different folk have different views; 
I know a person small ... 
She keeps ten million serving-men, 
Who get no rest at all!

-Rudyard Kipling

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekly Idol: Top 5 – Sinatra!

I love Sinatra … one of my absolute favorites (among very, very many) is Summer Wind.  Love it, love it, love it.

The thing about Sinatra is he’s iconic, so in order to do well in the AI world on a Sinatra song, I really think you have to  … wait for it … you know I ‘m going there (I have been all season long) … think outside the box, people! CHANGE IT UP, as it were. And what is the deal with Simon? He’s just been phoning it in lately, no?

Okay, tonight:

Lee Dewyze, That’s Life … Best. Of. The. Night. Period.

Michael Lynch, The Way You Look Tonight … fantastic (HAH! you thought I’d be all “SUCKAGE!”, didn’t you?) but I do have a but, and here it is … Kris Allen did it much, much better just last year, and his is my gold standard for AI renditions. But almost the best of the night, with only Lee doing better (you know Lee? My favorite? Yeah, that Lee).

Crystal Bowersox, Summer Wind … my song! MY SONG!! Started slow, but ended beautifully. Yes, the beginning seemed a little too soft for the backing music. But that wrap up? Lovely.  

Casey James, Blue Skies … his voice sounded a little weak (I fully expected Ryan to pull out the infamous AI laryngitis treatment), but I liked it, for real.

Aaron Kelly, Fly Me to the Moon … Very “Glee”, as in … High School Musical, as in … high school musical, as in … simply not good enough.  VOTED OFF

Of those remaining I still favor Lee, Crystal, and then Casey … the rest can go, in the words of Timberlake and (former) crew, “Bye Bye Bye!” But based on tonight's performances, Aaron should be packing his bags (IMHO ... well, not very H at all, really).
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