Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I remember every Saturday afternoon sitting on my yellow polyester bedspread listening to American Top Forty. For two, three solid hours, song after song...even then I was all into predictions, always writing down which song I thought would be the top one that week.

Go figure...

What's fun about a night like this is you get a chance to see just what each of the contestants think about themselves as an artist. In fact, you get to see which of them really ARE artists and can do what Kara lined out at the top of the show. The verdict? Ummm...not many...

Anoop--I thought he was totally ripped off by the judges. No, it wasn't amazing, but it was him.
Megan--Hey, remember on the TV show Friends when Phoebe would sing in the coffee shop? Yeah. Who let Megan out of the coffee shop?
Danny--He sang a Rascall Flatts song. Is there any more middle-of-the-charts group? Danny is a good singer. He's not an artist, and the judges ignored the fact that he did nothing new with the song...And it seems Gokey is getting a little Cocky.
Allison--Gotta love her...but goodness, she looks a lot older than 16
Scott--I'm going to ignore the Golden Girls hairstyle and just say that he'll be safe this week, and if next week is Christopher Cross week, he'll be fine...
Matt--Didn't make much of an impression either way, which isn't good...
Lil--You'd never guess that she was singing from the same theme week...
Adam--A-mazing, As Always, but it surprised me that "Play That Funky Music" was a popular i-tunes download. Who knew?
Kris--Love that song...love him. He's quickly becoming my #2 favorite!

So, who should be in the bottom 2? A mixture of Megan, Matt and Anoop. The only one with a shot at judge's save is Matt.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Idol Chatter -- Goin' Down to Motown...

I always love Motown week. They are, quite simply, some of the best, most iconic songs ever recorded. And, to me, they really are the songs that can divide true artists--those who can bring a new sound to an old song and still allow the initial vision of the songwriter to come through. It's easy to listen to song after song from this catalog and have the entire night come across as some cheesy salute to Motown rather than listening to a singer who has added a Motown hit to their repetoire.
So, my favorite of the night? It's a two-A tie between Adam and Allison. Now, I thought Adam went a little to far in the slick-back look, but I totally appreciate the effort. My agent has long said that, take away the emo-wings, and he'd look just like a young Elvis. And, man, he's right. I loved hearing Adam actually sing. And to get a standing ovation from Smokey Robinson? Wowza. But, you know, I think it might have been awesome if Adam and Anoop had switched songs, because I think Adam's better capable of the range Kara talked about. But, my real reason for loving Adam, is that every week I can't wait to see what he chooses to sing!
And Allison? Simply awesome. I love an old soul in a young body.
To get back to my original point, I like to see a contestant who seems to understand music, not just that particular song. On that note, I also appreciated Kris and Matt. I think Megan has that capability, too. I don't hate her voice, but I think it all fell apart tonight.
So, my bottom 2 predictions? Scott (sorry, but everything he sings sounds the same) and Michael (sorry, everything he sings sounds...kinda bad). And no way the judges would save either of them.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The First Saturday in Spring

First of all, to fulfill my own Promise for Spring...Elizabeth! You're the winner of Kim Vogel Sawyer's book! Yay! So, email me privately and I'll get that to you...

This is the first Saturday of Spring, and it's a beautiful one. It's the first one in a while where I had absolutely no commitments--no meetings, no family business. Nothing. And there's just something about waking up to an open day. Of course, when faced with the enormous amount of chores waiting to be done, well, it's enough to make you want to go back to bed. But then, how fun is it to have going back to bed as an option!
So, I could have spent the day sorting through the thousands of photographs I inherited from my in-laws' passing, or I could do the the amazing colossal closet switch-over, or I could try to write the 1,000 words I fell short this week...but for some reason breakfast at the Egg and I with girlfriends and a trip to the gym with hubby won out. Tonight, we're eating out again, meeting up with another family. (Good think I worked in the trip to the gym...)
I guess it goes to show that we get little spring days throughout the year. We can wax on and on about the renewal of the season--little green leaves in the trees, pristine new baseball fields--but today's just been one of those days when I feel a little renewal in my spirit. Nothing huge, but just a day to take a few deep breaths and see what can spring forth out of an empty calendar page.
Enjoy the season!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Idol Chatter -- Gone Country

I remember being at a teacher's conference, waiting for a session to begin, and these two lovely African American women were in the row in front of me. I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but they caught my attention when they said, "That sister had no business wearing that hat." I knew immediately who they were talking about. The previous night was "Country" night on American Idol, and Mandisa had chosen to wear a ridiculous straw cowboy hat. She was voted off promptly. You can say it was a lack of fan base, but I'll always blame the hat.

So last night was Country night on Idol, and boy did I experience a shift in favorites. I've been an Adam girl for a while, but my goodness. I'm so glad Johnny Cash is in heaven singing praises to his savior so he could be spared that hot mess. But my Anoop was back! And I hopped on the Matt band wagon. And I finally see why the judges kept Kris around.

Now, I get a lot of flack about not being a Danny fan. And it's not that I don't think he's a wonderful singer...I just don't find him that interesting. He's a bit too slick and put together for my taste--at least for my taste in the context of this show. And it bothers me to think that, should he win, the producers probably won't let him release a purely gospel album. Click the link below for a cool performance of three AI alumni--Mandisa, Chris Sligh and Phil Stacey singing with Michael W. Smith at the Dove Awards.


By the way, my prediction? If Michael Carver is on the chopping block, the judges'll send him home. Anybody else? They'll get the "judges save" for the week.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Promise for Spring

Take a peek...
England-born Emmaline Bradford pledged her life to Geoffrey Garrett and then bid him farewell when he sailed to America. Although Geoffrey anticipated only a short separation, several years passed before he was able to send for Emmaline. By then the fiery flame of her youthful love had all but died. Shocked by the conditions on Geoffrey's Kansas sheep ranch, Emmaline wishes to return to England immediately. Geoffrey offers a compromise: If Emmaline promises to stay until spring, he'll pay her return fare if she decides to go back to her home country. When spring arrives, will Emmaline return to England, or will she marry Geoffrey and carve out a life with him in Kansas?
Take it from me...
A Promise for Spring takes on one of my favorite historical romance modes---the marriage that is and isn't. And is. And isn't. And... Ooh, the tension! This also takes on the question of whether or not the infatuation of young love can withstand the pressures and and responsibilities of an adult relationship. In this case, though, since they haven't had the opportunity to grow together, both Emmaline and Geoffrey face the hardships of frontier life--locusts, sheep and all--while still dealing with each other on the same emotional level they did as teenagers. There were times, I'm sure, when the sheep themselves were rolling their little sheep-eyes and bleating, "Come on, kids! You know you love each other! Get on with it already!"
But Kim Vogel Sawyer does a masterful job and keeping the reader (and the sheep) rooting for the romance to kick in while still enjoying the emotional fencing match between the two. You'll find yourself on Emmaline's side in one chapter, and on Geoffrey's the next. And then, like the welcome of any long winter, there's the promise of Spring.
And this is one promise that really comes through!
So, what promise does Spring hold for you? Leave a comment and be registered for a drawing to win a free copy of A Promise for Spring. Check back March 21 to find out who wins!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Idol Chatter -- Lucky 13

So... the ultimate 13 were kind of shoved down our throats since audition time. Honestly, is there a single element of Danny Lokey that we haven't been exposed to? The preliminary voting rounds were nothing short of a railroad. And the wild card? No true surprises there, either. But now with the narrowed field, it's time to invest!

First of all, I loved the theme of the night, because even though Jack-O is whack-o, I really like most of his songs. I even felt a little love for Danny Lockey for the first time...ever. He had a bit of lovable dorkiness to him, though churchy-girl that I am I could sooooooo see him leading a praise team in a worship service. And even though it's a bit of a jump on the inevitable boat, I do loves me some Adam Lambert. I know there's been a lot of hype about this being the best season ever, and after tonight I'm inclined to agree. Usually there's only 3 or 4 singers that show any kind of mojo in the early shows, but tonight most of them were really good.

I'm hard-pressed to name a bottom 3, but I'm saying Jasmine and Anoop for sure--I love Anoop, but honestly--"Thriller?????" And for a third? I'm not feeling Kris Allen. The guitar kind of confused me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Lamb or the Lion

According to the old adage, if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. So as I compose my first blog post, I have to wonder if it has lion-like energy, or lambish introspection. By the time I get to the end, I'll probably find it has neither--as it will be sent out into the vastness of the web, and probably read only by those clicking back in curiosity. In fact, having made no annoucement about the "launch" of my new blog, I'm at a loss of what to say. I could ramble about how cold the house is, how particularly yummy my supper-time bowl of Cheerios was, how much I'm dreading walking the dog because it's windy outside, how bummed I am that Nascar is running long and I want to watch the new Simpsons episode. And the only reason I'm writing anything at all is that it's March 1, and it seems if one can start a blog on the first of something, one should.

So...No roaring. No bleating. Just rambling which, for today, is fine.