Sunday, January 30, 2011

Idol Chatter: Nashville Auditions

I was excited to see that the auditions in Nashville were in the Ryman Auditorium, because even though it wasn't for an American Idol audition......I have sang and been recorded on that very stage. It was awesome.

But enough about's my thoughts on the contestants

*OK, first girl (the one with the cartoon voice) -- Seriously?!? WTH was that?? My husband could sing better than her.....and then to tell people that Steven Tyler told her yes?!? What a nutcase.

*The "Exes" were great together. The guy had a really funky sound. I really liked him. And she was pretty good too. I think her "new boyfriend" must be extremely understanding.....but I think he's going to get his heart broken.

*Tattoo'd rock guy looked like he was in serious pain. And he was screaming a lot more than he was singing.

*Donald Trumps beauty queen was just ok for me. She sang a little too fast, and just didn't have that "spark". Again Randy had no balls in telling this contestant the truth. I may not be a fan of J Lo's, but at least she tells it like it is.

*Black girl with the adopted white parents.....while it's definately weird to hear a black girl sing country music, I thought she was great. I liked her a lot.

*What was with the nameless Blue Man Group reject??

*Jackie Wilson -- she was great. Reminds me a bit of Kelly Clarkson. She's a big girl with a huge voice.

*The "diva recording artist" -- Bwah ha ha ha!!! She sucked! Big time! She was seriously nasally and her "make love to the camera" attitude made me want to vomit. Hey, diva! Shut up! Seriously!

*The guy that sang "Maggie Mae" was great.

*Dude who sang Josh Groban was great. He was a good singer....not super fabulous, but I really liked him.

*The last girl -- yeah, she was good....She wasn't "the best I've seen all day", but she was good.

OK, until next week (when I can hopefully post on time)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Idol Chatter: Cheeseville.....I mean, Wisconsin

OK, let's get right to it shall we....

*1st guy: Man, has he got a low voice for a 16 yr old. He's definately got some talent. I'm not a huge country fan, but he was impressive.

*Ron Burgendy.....oh, I mean big guy who wants to be a radio DJ. He made my ears bleed. He was horrid.

*Emma (True Colors) was a waste of a 16 hour road trip. Her audition was terrible. Randy is a wuss. He should have stuck to his guns and not put her through. She's going to get eaten alive in Hollywood.

*The "Gaga Groupies" will give me nightmares. Especially the big black chick with the green/black lipstick.

*Bob Marley's love child was pretty good. She sang a little too slow, but I liked her.

*The bar mitzvah singer was pitchy. I thought he was sharp through the entire song.

*Thia Magia -- she was impressive for 15 (seems to be a pattern with the young kids this season). I really liked her.

*The civil war dude -- I kinda felt sorry for him. He was obviously in tune, but he needed to sing something lower.....and not look so creepy while he was singing.

*Harvard girl that Randy punched sounded....ummmm....porny?!? Is that a word? It was breathy and weird in the beginning. But then she was sort of good-ish. I don't know. Bizarre.

*Hayley -- ugh! She still hasn't improved from before. She just throws some more runs in her vocals now. She is completely undeserving of a golden ticket, and annoys me for reasons I don't quite understand.

*The black guy that sang "Twistin' the night away" was great. I really liked him.

*I had to laugh at the "rejected wannabe" contestants. You know, especially that caring, supportive mom who told her sobbing daughter to "shut up".

*Fat Albert that sang "Stand by me" was horrible and he sang the song waaaayyyy too slow.

*Nerd-ny Dangerfield was awesome. I loved him. Totally loved him......even if he was wearing lipstick.

*Opera Bieber.....WTH? That was horrible.

*The rocker chick that sang "Come Together" was great. I really liked her. I don't know how the judges didn't think she was good. She was a helluva lot better than some of the crap they put through tonight.

*And finally the last guy.....with the injured girlfriend. What an amazing man.....and YAY!!!! He can actually sing. If you were not touched by his interview than you have no soul. What an amazing guy. I'm so glad he made it through (and I'm kind of in love with Steven Tyler after seeing how sweet and tender he was with her).

So that is it....discuss amonst yourselves. I have the Nashville auditions on my DVR and will watch them tonight, I promise. Look for my synopsis late tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sometimes you have to Abuse your kids just a little bit

Ok, take your hand off the phone. No need to call social services.

I was watching Christopher Titus last night on the comedy channel, and in one of his many whip-smart, hilarious rants, he used that phrase. Brilliant comedians don't just make you laugh, they make you think. He is one of those comedians.

He talked about how crazy it is that we reward kids for basically showing up (trophies for everyone!), and want to do everything in our power to keep their ever expanding egos ever expanding.

Don't criticize.

Don't discipline.

Don't show disappointment.

So, what are we creating? What kind of next generation can we expect?

I'm sorry to say, but I think it's going to be a generation of emotionally stunted, egocentric, weaklings who don't have the ability to pick themselves up by their bootstraps, because they were never knocked down.

I've written about it before (once or twice). How we over-praise our kids. We over-involve ourselves. We over-protect. And yes, by we I mean myself included.

I grew up in a house where praise was in short supply, but I still knew I was loved. I tried to work hard, because so much was expected of me, and I was certainly going to hear about it if I fell short. There were no trophies just for showing up. You lost. Maybe even cried about it. And then you moved on.

But the greatest successes in my life came from people telling me I couldn't do something. I write this blog, and the single biggest motivating factor in doing it was that my husband said that he didn't think I would do it. Not that I couldn't, but that I wouldn't. You'd be amazed what can be accomplished if for no other reason than to prove someone wrong.

I know it feels good to pat your kid on the back. But maybe if we only do it when they deserve it they'll work just a little bit harder. Because they'll know when that pat on the back comes, they earned it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Idol Chatter: New Orleans Auditions

OK, let's get right to it. No time for blah blah.
*The first guy -- the music teacher -- yes, he was not a bad singer, but I get really annoyed by people who hide their talent behind vocal acrobatics.
*The girl with the big lips -- I didn't like her at all. I didn't think she was very good.
*The sexy Cuban -- what a great voice. DAMN!! I didn't understand a word, but it was amazing. (On a side note, Steven Tyler has some pretty nice abs for an old guy. It's definately not helping my "is he old and creepy or is he hot" dilemma.)
*The chick who came with Randy's old football coach was powerful, but she sang too slow and was flat several times.
*The weird redhead who sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" was great. Seriously! I loved him.
*The dude that sang Lady Gaga was a freaking nutbar.
*The guy that went to "Idol Camp" needs to get his money back. He was ripped off.
*The kid that sang "Dock of the Bay" was phenomenal for only being 15 years old.
*And the last girl wasn't really that good either. She was way too shouty. She got through because of her story about her daughter. Seriously, don't give people the sympathy vote if they don't deserve it.
OK, talk amongst yourselves.....what do you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Idol Chatter: And so it begins.....again.

First off.....Jersey? Really, we don't get enough of the bad accents and big hair with Real Housewives and the Jersey Shore?? Seriously, I was half expecting Snookie to show up and audition. But thank heavens for small favors.

Anyway, right off the bat I noticed that the idol logo on the door is now a red background instead of blue.....and I've got to say, I don't like it. And that's saying a lot, considering red is my most favorite color.

Also, I think I'm going to find Steven Tyler highly distracting this year. I can't quite decide if he is an anorexic, creepy old guy or a super hot rock star. I'm thinking he's a little of both, which is very confusing.

Now, onto the contestants:

The first girl, the one who sang "Hallelujiah", should be writing a letter of apology to Leonard Cohen for murdering his song. She didn't deserve to go to fact, not one of those first three deserved it. Methinks the new judges may be a big soft.

And did anyone else notice the window washer in the background? Did he plan that? Was he trying to get on TV??

The chick with the big stars on her boobs.....sigh! Why do people have to be all "LOOK AT ME". It makes me think they have no actual talent. She sang a horrible "original" song, and then completely butchered the lyrics to a Celine Dion classic. But -- and this was suprising -- the girl could actually sing.

The young kid who sang "Yesterday" was amazing. He is easily one my early favorites.

I LOVED the crazy "Liza Minelli" girl. She was hysterical. But she actually had some talent. I agree that her voice is probably better suited to Broadway and musicals, but I reserve complete judgement until I have heard her sing some more "mainstream" music.

The singing waitress was awesome. 'Nuff said.

The last guy did a bit too much with the vocal acrobatics. It's going to be interesting to see how he stacks up in Hollywood.

So, there is a quick synapsis of last nights episode. More after tonight. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Six years later and I still wonder.....

What was I thinking? Three children?

I wasn’t, not rationally anyway. But the thing is, it’s easy to blame the mayhem on number of children.

How many times have I heard about how things change when the parents are outnumbered? The comment about zone defense. (Really, it’s not so much the defensive skills that need to be polished as the offensive; but more about that another time.)

But wasn’t it just as out of control when there were only two? Yes, it’s not so much the children as everything else.

Oh how naive I was. But now that the thrill of new motherhood is behind me, I am standing knee-deep in the life I so desperately wanted.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hand in Hand

As my husband and three children piled into the pew a couple of Sundays ago, I noticed an older couple who had recently celebrated fifty years of marriage. For a moment, I thought about my own marriage a little over 13 years ago.

This Sunday, this couple sat a pew in front and to the left of us. The husband, after saying the opening prayer, came back to sit next to his wife. He promptly took her hand into his own, laid it on his knee, and with a single stealth move, covered it with his own.

My heart stopped. I looked down at my own busy hands, intermingled in those of my youngest sons. I saw my husband's hands, they held the hands of our middle son. My heart ached, just a tiny bit, in longing for days gone by. Days when it was my hand that was nestled in his, fingers intertwined, palms inseparable.

Those days gave way to days of holding newborns. Soothing their frantic, hungry cries; rubbing their bottoms to ease away gas, wiping dirty behinds and running noses of restless toddlers. Now, these hands fold laundry, check homework, write checks for violin tennis lessons, afterschool activities, school fundraisers. These hands make dinner; whether a thoughtfully put together menu, or a quick warming up of the potluck of leftovers in the refrigerator. These hands wash dishes, load the washer; clean up after the bounty is consumed. These hands have held the hands of the sick as they recovered. These hands have held the hands of loved ones as they passed from this Earth. They have wiped tears of those who needed comfort; large or small.

They have been involved in covert operations: wrapping secret Christmas presents for their beloved, surprise birthday presents for sons who may have thought that their hints had not registered. They have addressed envelopes for invitations to share in joy, in sending well wishes to those far away in distance, but close in spirit. These hands have seen so much. They have changed from those of a pudgy child, to those of a thin, well manicured teen. They have proudly worn a plastic ring pop, and have been graced by a hard-earned, modest engagement ring. They are slightly more wrinkled these days; desperately in need of a good manicure and pampering. They treasure the moments in which they can be useful to someone. They are happy to lend themselves to whatever task lays ahead of them, to better a little corner of their world. They work tirelessly at whatever is there to be done. Filing, signing school papers, praying, typing, washing hands, cleaning toilets, making beds, paying bills, bringing in groceries.

So much to do. Only two of them for so much to be taken care of. The biggest reward are moments like the one in church that Sunday morning. In feeling my youngest son's small hand within my own. Of seeing the remarkable growth of my oldest son's hand as compared to my own. Of witnessing the gentleness in which Ross's hands held Max's, with such ease and familiarity, that it made my heart break just a little.

And yet, as my eyes moved forward, back to that older couple, I got a glimpse of what lays ahead for us. Back to the days when there was no one else but me for him and him for me. When there was no race to see who would hold whose hands and the inevitable fight over who did. Back to just the two of us.

I suppose that there will be other little hands to take the place of those that are so rapidly growing. More little people to soothe, but in a different capacity. But, what I most wish for is my hand on his knee, his protective, loving hand covering mine. As it once did. As it will again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My New Photo Blog

OK, so a couple of my friends have decided to do this "Photo a Day" blog thingy. Basically, you take a different photo every day for an entire year and post it. Since this blog has a lot of things going on with it sometimes, I decided to start an entirely seperate blog for this new little venture.

So if you are interested at all, I have started a photo blog here:

Please check it out.

Back to regular blog posts soon, I promise. The holidays are now over and the kids are back in school, so hopefully that means that things are going to be getting back to normal.

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...