Wednesday, April 30, 2008

American Idol meets Neil Diamond?

For real, dudes? Whatever. Okay, so I love a few Neil Diamond songs in a kitschy sort of way, you know? The way I love harvest gold appliances - as in I have this sort of distant admiration for them, but don't put them in my house.

(watching this a day late because I have a bad cold - freaking weather that won't stay put - and fell asleep last night)

Jason Castro - "Forever in Blue Jeans" Okay, one of my favoriter kitschy songs. And you know, I like this. It's nothing spectacular, but it captures that laidback 60s/70s thing that makes the song work in the first place.

David Cook - "I'm Alive" I really don't know my Neil Diamond songbook because I don't recognize this song. Oh, wait, maybe I have heard it. I fear my blatant prejudice is coming through here - not a bad take on a Neil Diamond song that I can only guess didn't rock that hard.
I thought I'd totally missed the judges comments on Jason Castro, but I guess I didn't. Only giving critiques after the second song? This is feeling kind of rushed. Maybe a little less background on Neil Diamond there and we could have had actual feedback (not that what the judges say really matters)

Brooke White - "I'm a Believer" Sort of an odd country take on this. Is it just me or is her voice straining to go lower? At least she's not trying to dance - not too much, anyway. The bopping around is okay, if a little frantic. I think she's done, as much as I've loved her in the past.

David A. "Sweet Caroline" You little... This is probably my favorite Neil Diamond song in all its kitschy glory. This bites. I hate this arrangement and I hate that my least favorite contestant is singing it. Just like he picked my favorite Beatles song to demolish.

Syesha "Hello" Yeah, don't know this one either. Those hands waving in front of her don't even seem to be listening to the same song. She's good at what she is, if that makes sense. I just don't like this type of singer, but she is really just getting better and better.

So the judges are doing a quick run through and wow Paula! Holy crap! For real? Did she just comment on a song that hadn't been sung yet? So this is what all the conspiracy crap is about. Damn.

Second songs:

Jason "September Morn" Well, Paula was right. This isn't anything that shows he wants to be in the finals. Are her drugs now making her psychic. But you know? I don't think he has to do anything different. He is who he is, you know? I like that about him - it's what would make me buy his record rather than download one or two songs. Have I ever heard him speak? I usually fastforward through the intro pieces, so his voice just surprised me. Don't go making excuses. That's just one of the reasons no one like Carly.

David Cook "All I Really Need Is You" I love this. As okay as his first song was, this is so much better. I love the guitar, the intensity, just the whole thing. He wins again.

Brooke "I am, I said" Much better song for her. Although subbing in Arizona was a bit awkward. But so, so much better than her first song. Dude, weird pants. I guess her guitar hid them the first time.

David A. "America" Well, of course. It's the most "Up with People" song Neil Diamond has isn't it? This is such a stage show performance (did his voice just crack) - can't you just see the multicultural parade marching behind him at some amusement park? No, wait, don't tell me, Randy, it was the bomb. Paula loves it. Simon thought it was brilliant. I'm not far off, am I? I feel like I'm watching a different performance than the judges sometimes. Although, after Paula's comments, maybe I am.

Syesha "Thank the Lord for the Night Time" Um, what? Another Neil Diamond song I've never heard of. I only know the biggest, kitschiest ones, huh? I had no idea ND had songs like this. I actually like this, not just in a detached appreciation for her voice, either. It's kind of motown, which I like.

Bottom two: Jason and Brooke. Seriously, though, David A. belongs there too, but I doubt the teenies will allow that. And actually I'm concerned that Jason might have a similar fan base that's going to really burn up the phone lines after Paula's weird comments. So it's probably Brooke going home.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 claims people are looking for me...

Do you think I should let them know that very few people would be looking for me under my married name and it's probably some other chick whose maiden name happens to be the same as my married name? Yeah, probably not. But I still have to mutter that every time I get a junk email from them that says that.

So no Idol this week - I wasn't in the mood at all this week. Actually I've been in a bit of a bad mood in general lately. Probably due at least in part to lack of sleep. My allergies have been bugging the crap out of me - I feel like plucking my eyes out they itch so bad. So I asked my OB what I could take. She okayed Claritin, which I thought I'd never taken before. But when Tom brought it home for me, I realized I had and it had made me feel like I had lead weights pushing me down. So I decided to take it at night and hopefully sleep through the lead weight thing. Except I don't know if it was the dosage I took or the pregnancy or what, but I didn't sleep at all that night. So I'm paying for it now. I'm still feeling the effects 36 hours later. I still can't sleep. And now I'm beyond exhausted.

In some football fun, the only fun a college football fan like me gets until September, the NFL draft is this weekend. The Ravens (my local team so I hear a lot about them from the news and my family) should be interesting to see - will they go with best available player, as has been their stated policy in the past, or fill their need for a quarterback? Probably they can do both if the picks fall right.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Idol, please dont'...

Where do I start? I hate Mariah Carey. I hate that everyone has to sing a freaking Mariah Carey song. I have a bad feeling about tonight.

David A. "Believe" what is that crap? The song I mean, not his voice. But his voice is just too breathy or something.

Carly "Without You" Huh, this isn't all that bad, actually. It isn't a verbatim Mariah Carey cover, so it works a bit better for me. She loves very nice tonight - oh, the tattoo is covered. I think it makes a difference.

Syesha "Vanishing(?)" What the hell is this crap? Frickin' Mariah Carey night. That was just wrong. And the fact that she's still here and Michael Johns isn't? Well, maybe it's better for him that he doesn't have to sing this crap. She's a good singer and all, but I hate this type of music.

Brooke "Hero" I guess this is probably the best choice for her to make "her own." But what a smarmy song. I'm surprised little David didn't choose it.

Kristy "Forever" I don't know this song, but damn, I think she might be the best so far tonight.

David Cook "Always Be My Baby" I'm hanging my hopes on him tonight that Mariah Carey won't be a total crapfest. Dude, how do you take Mariah Carey's most annoying, vapid song and make it AWESOME.

Jason "I Don't Wanna Cry" Oh, this song. It's almost got a reggae thing. I like it. It must suck to have to follow David Cook this week, but Jason is who he is and doesn't try to do anything crazy. It's not really anything different, but why should he be?

Bottom: I bet it's Brooke, Carly and Syesha. I won't be shocked to see Brooke leave.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just when I was starting to sleep...

I had finally gotten a few things taken care of that were keeping me awake at night for a month straight. I could fall asleep easily, but I'd wake up around 1 a.m. and not be able to fall back to sleep. It got to be a pattern after a week or so. Then I just got used to it and felt like crap when I woke up if I actually did manage to stay asleep. But I got over it and was sleeping every night, the whole night through, for at least a week.

Then Tom calls me and tells me the job at his old middle school is open next year and how did I feel about making the move that we'd talked about a few months ago, though not seriously. Turns out I was much more into than I thought I'd be. It would mean moving two hours from where we currently live. From my spoiled suburban existence to a rural small town. I foresee some culture shock. If I don't see what I want in stock at Target, well, I can just drive five miles to the next one. Neither one is more than 3 miles from my house.

But the big thing is leaving my family. I have a huge, very, very, VERY close-knit family. And we'll be moving two hours away from them. I just don't know if I can handle that part. But we will have the support network of my husband's family, at least in theory.

There are very few bads and so many goods to this situation that I'm pretty sure it's going to happen. And it freaks me out. I hate the idea of moving, especially with the kids in school. But all signs seem to be pointing us in that direction.

Please tell me small towns aren't as nosy as television makes them seem. I'm an anonymous surbanite and I like it that way.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Trying to get over my mood...

I've been in a sucky mood all week. It started on Sunday when I took my wedding rings off because my fingers were swollen. I have three kids - two girls with a magnet for jewelry. Yep, my ring was missing all week - not my engagement ring (which is the more expensive, so I guess that's something at least) which doesn't fit at the moment, but my wedding band. It's unique - it has seven rubies and diamonds in the band part. So does Tom's. Our birthdays are four days apart in July, so we both loved the idea.

We eliminated suspects until we were down to just one. Our 5-year-old Miss G. Who doesn't remember where she last had it. She admits to picking it up (not the diamond, the colorful one) and taking it...somewhere. Her room, Miss S's room, the bathroom, um, the hallway, no, back to your room (as in mine and Tom's). I found it in the dirty laundry on Thursday.

And freaking American Idol eliminated the only eye candy....I mean, rocker dude they had. I still like David Cook the best, despite his off week, but I really wanted, well, everyone else to leave before Michael Johns.

Actually that doesn't really play into my sucky mood. That's probably more related to my insomnia (it's baa-aack). I almost took out a second-grader yesterday because he was making fun of Mr T. That's when I realized I had a problem and actually allowed myself to take a nap today. I know I'm pregnant and anemic and not sleeping at night, but I still feel like a loser if I take a mid-day nap. Today I did, though. We'll see how I sleep tonight.

That second-grader might have deserved to be taken out, though. Mr. T was trying to talk to him about some Lego thing they've talked about before and when he gets excited, he can't seem to get his words out (anyone watch Wonderfalls?). So the kid was repeating everything Mr. T said with an exaggerated stutter. I stopped in my tracks and stared the kid down, but I don't think he realized how much he'd pissed me off. I was >< this close to calling out an 8 year old.

I think I need help. And unfortunately, those sleep remedies (Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Simply Sleep, Nyquil, etc.) don't work for me - they actually give me the jitters, which is sort of abnormal. Morphine didn't do anything for me either (sucks when one's leg is broken to bits). And any other time, I'd just have a couple of glasses of Riesling (if you live in Maryland, allow me to recommend the Boordy vineyards one - it's simply fabulous. Unfortunately, among my many complaints about my state is that their alcohol laws are weird - local wineries can only ship to a few states or sell in-state, so I always try to buy Maryland wine), but since I'm pregnant, that's not really an option.

I don't know if all this is pregnancy-related or just stress from our major decision about moving (which isn't really stressing me out, except that it can't happen yet and Tom hasn't heard anything about the job at all, so lots of unanswered questions). I'm thinking both and hoping this isn't a sign of a non-sleeper. My other three kids were/are very good sleepers, so I don't know how I'd deal with that. I mean, I will, because that's what mothers do. We deal. But if this baby likes to go to bed at 10 and get up at 8, that would be lovely.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I have nothing kid-friendly to say.

Every time I try to talk to Tom or anyone about our day yesterday, I curse. And not just little "damn" type curse words. I'm talking the big-bads. Really, I sum up the day with one particular phrase. The m f one. Yeah. It was that kind of flipping day.

It was Wednesday, which means we have to be out of the house a little earlier than Tuesdays or Thursdays, about 20 minutes earlier. So we were running just about on time, maybe a minute or two late. I start my van, which is fresh from the shop with new brakes and fresh oil. And it sounds awful. But I have to drive Miss G to preschool so I didn't really get worked up about it (maybe I should have, although we know now that it didn't matter). I reversed out of my spot, shifted to drive and the low oil pressure light came on and flashed right back off. At that point, I was in the middle of the road and had to get somewhere out of the way, if nothing else. Also, my van likes to light things up that it doesn't always mean. There's some sort of electrical short. So I drove around the corner. It dinged at me and flashed the low pressure warning in red. I was smart enough to stop then (in all, from my parking spot to where I pulled over was about 150 feet, so really not something I should feel bad about, although I feel like I should have done something sooner).

We got out, walked Mr T to school and I called Tom first (but he was busy in testing week at school), then my mom, then my dad. I later called my sister-in-law who spoke with my mechanic brother (who I would have called myself, but I feel weird about calling him at work). He said he'd come by after work and that it sounded like my oil filter jsut wasn't tightened. My dad met him with fresh oil. They fixed it up and had me drive it home. And all the oil dropped out of it again. So that's not good, right?

We end my day with a haiku:

So we say goodbye.
Four years with Chevy Venture
end in oily mess.

We had it four years, but it was four years old when we got it, so really its demise isn't that tragic. But it is a huge pain in the rear.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not even a raised eyebrow?

So I got myself all worked up to go pick Mr. T up from school yesterday. It was the first warm/humid day of the year and I wore a tight t-shirt that really revealed my belly. And I'm sort of proud of it, now that I have one. It's taken long enough - I thought for sure with my fourth I'd look six months pregnant on day one, but now I'm six months pregnant and only barely look pregnant at all.

I thought I was outing myself. And it seemed like no one even noticed. A couple of moms know, so I wasn't expecting anything from them. But some who I talk to a lot didn't say anything. Maybe I still look fat and they didn't want to offend. So much for my big news.

I haven't told a lot of people that I'm pregnant. I mean obviously our families know and a couple of friends outside the family. But to casual acquaintances (like most of the other moms I stand around with up at school), I haven't said anything. And since it's been winter my big coat has covered what little belly I do have.

So maybe the big outing will be another day. Or maybe it's not as big a deal as I think.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

American Idol does Dolly...

Really, y'all? Dolly? And only Dolly songs? At least with just the country theme they can pick all kinds of things, but just Dolly? Yikes.

Brooke "Jolene" It's sweet and her voice sounds similar to Dolly's, but it's not too interesting. Is "busking" Simon's new insult this season? I guess he couldn't accuse of her sounding like a lounge singer.

David C. "Little Sparrow" Not a Dolly song I'm familiar with. Probably the way to go, since I can only hear Dolly singing Jolene. They've totally redone his hair. I think it really showed off his voice, but wasn't my favorite of his performances. I won't be downloading it off iTunes tomorrow (I totally downloaded Eleanor Rigby and Billie Jean)- that's not a criticism of his performance but of the song.

Ramiele "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" Um, well, it was better than she's been in the past couple of weeks, but still just there. Oh, good to see Simon's breaking out the good ole "cruise ship" line.

Jason "Traveling Through" Probably a good song choice for him. It's a bit more upbeat and forces him to do something other than just sing random words, which it kind of seems like he's done (see Michele for reference). It reminded me of someone - Jack Johnson? Someone like that. That's a good thing for me.

Carly "Here You Come Again" This just sounds like something from the easy-listening station back in the late 70s early 80s. Is that when Dolly did it? Maybe that makes sense. I just don't get her. She looks prettier than usual tonight. But still stiff.

David A. "Smoky Mountain Memories" Shut up, kid. Okay, he's singing it fine. But the overacting as he sings "hey folks, I really feel this" just seems so fake. Or I just don't like him and am being a judgemental bitch.

Kristy "Coat of Many Colors" I love this song. And country works for Kristy. So let's see what happens. Still with the weird facial expressions. Is she barefoot? I'm not sure a story-song works on American Idol. The chorus is very nice, though.

Syesha "I Will Always Love You" Okay, Dolly's version of this is one of the most heartbreaking and heartfelt songs ever sung. And Whitney's version is powerful and just huge. I'm worried about this song choice. She's going somewhere in between and kind of ends up weaker than both. That last note seemed like the vocal equivalent of a figure skater who missed all her jumps adding one off routine jump to impress.

Michael Johns "It's all wrong but it's all right" This reminds me of something. And I don't think it's just the ascot. It's that guitar, but I can't think of what it's reminding me of. Very bluesy and cool.

My bottom three: Kristy, David A., Ramiele
My predicted actual bottom three: Ramiele, Syesha, Brooke with Ramiele leaving us on Idol tomorrow