Archive for March, 2011

Two Had To Go

March 31, 2011

Over 55 million votes (a new record in 10 seasons) went into making tonight’s elimination possible. I have a feeling tonight’s show (this is stream of consciousness at its best, you’re feeling what I felt as I felt it). I have a feeling this show is going to be just as tedious as last night. Changing up the ritual of learning their fates, the contestants are being grouped together to sing and then find out whether each is safe or not.

First up, Scotty and Lauren singing I Told You So and they’re both safe.

Ashford and Simpsons’ Solid is the song Jacob and Naima are singing. Jacob wasn’t too sure of his lyrics in his solo, but together they sounded good. Naima is in the bottom three.

Fantasia all sounding like Betty Boop came out and sang Cornbread.

Pia, Haley and Thia is the next group to sing and Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. Pia is safe. Thia is also in the bottom three and Haley is safe. I don’t get it.

Paul, Casey, Stefano and James are up next, sounding like The Lettermen (who remembers them? Show of hands, be honest!) singing Paul McCartney and Wings’ Band On The Run. Casey is safe….figures. James is safe. Paul rounds out the bottom 3. Stefano is safe. Now he better start pulling it out again if he wants to go further.

Hmm, so now we have a whole different line-up than I imagined. I imagined 9 of them in the bottom 3, turns out they only have 3, but one of my picks to go home is in there, so maybe I’ll be half right. Of the three, I think it will be Paul and Thia. Damn judges wasted that save last week.

Then, posing as entertainment, Will.i.am and Jamie (someone once told me I had talent and I believed them) Foxx sang some crappy song from some movie or other. I was trimming my toenails during that time. No I wasn’t. Newt ghosts don’t have toenails. Neither do live ones.

Here we go…. the one person safe is Paul. So, there goes Naima but so does Thia. So, I’m half right.

Stupid!

Until next time….. (rackin frackin &$**#&&#)

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Back To Reality

March 31, 2011

I have no idea how I can top part 3 of my New York adventure so I won’t even try. In fact, that kind of took it out of me, as you can well imagine. For anyone who hasn’t read it yet, please don’t spoil the fun by reading it out of sequence, go to part one entitled “Stand Back, Maggie May”.

I have just a few things. House things. Yes, we’re back to that. The closet door is installed, just needs moldings put up and a custom-made jamb. The light fixture is up, the electricity just needs to be connected and I’ve got a carpet installation date all set. And!, though it remains to be seen, we were told last night that by Saturday our patio lights will be installed. Hmm.

What else do I have for you?  I had a seemingly quick healing infection in my eye. Two nights ago, completely out of the blue while l watching television, my right eye began to burn and tear and I’d wake up periodically throughout  the night and the tears were literlly pouring down my face. In the morning, my eye was blurry and it felt like my lens was wedged up under my eyelid. Finally, later in the day I went to see my doctor and she told me my cornea was scratched and a slight infection had developed and that’s what gave me the sensation of my contact under my lid; it was no longer in my eye as it turns out, must have come out during the night.  So, now I have drops to use for the next 5 days and already the redness and swelling has gone down. She also warned me I should start considering not wearing my lenses when I sleep anymore to give my aging eyes a chance to cleanse themselves like they’re meant to during the night. Aging? Is that why I’m getting those AARP flyers in the mail lately?

Well, you’ve probably already heard about the new entries into the Oxford dictionary: OMG, LOL, <3, muffin top. Yes, the heart symbol, ❤ that texters use to show love. Really? Texting slang is now considered actual words? If that’s the case, can they extricate the word amazing from the lexicon then?

And of course I’m a day late with this most adorable video, but I’m posting it anyway, just in case someone out there hasn’t seen it yet.

  

Let’s see what Commander’s got for us.

Brian, Brian, Brian, that was some story. Most people nowadays just have bedbugs to worry about, but this is a new one!

Hey there, American Idol fans! Oh, good grief, I was just not having it last night. Can I just send everyone home? What a tedious show this was. Seeing as how the theme was Sir Elton John, who would have assumed boredom? I’m sure if I think long and hard, I might come up with something worthy of comment.

First up, cute as a button Scotty further countrified Little Country Comfort which he dedicated to his grandma who was sitting in the audience and it was a sweet performance. Naima reggaed up I’m Still Standing and I disagree with the judges that she changed it up too much. “Make it your own, don’t copy the original” is what they say, but like always, when the contestants do, they get told not to do that. Still sounding like Rod Stewart on helium was Paul singing Rocket Man. It was a subdued performance but he still has a grating voice to me. Pia did another ballad, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and it was good, and it got powerful but I don’t think it was as fantastic as the judges thought. Stefano was better this week than the last time around singing Tiny Dancer, but it still wasn’t to the caliber of If You Don’t Know Me By Now a few weeks back. Lauren “Marilyn’d” her way through Candle In The Wind. She’s no Marilyn Monroe so she shouldn’t try to sing like she was wishing a US President a happy birthday, but the judges were all peeing themselves over this year’s Katherine McPhee. James did a fair job with Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting; there were even pyrotechnics. He started off in a strange register but he pulled it out toward the middle and finished strong. Thia chose Daniel and sorry, Thia, but it bored me. Irritating Casey sang Your Song. The judges like his grunting like he’s constipated. I happen not to. Jacob grimaced through Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (one thing for Elton John, his song titles can be as long as his songs…think about it). It was restrained performance but maybe the most heartfelt performance of the night. And then there was Haley. She turned Bennie And The Jets into something of a torch song, and in the right hands, like, say, Bill Murray, it could be pulled off. But most of the beginning of her song was inaudible, I could barely make out her lyrics. Plus, at that tempo, the stuttering of B-b-b-bennie and the jets should have been performed with a hold where the b-b-b would have been and just sang it as Bennie and the jets. And then to rock out the end, after singing it like a ballad just didn’t fit. But the judges deemed her performance as best of the night.

In spite of the no less than a dozen “amazings” (I’m right there with Brian on that one) that were uttered throughout the show,  and since I have no idea if they’ll have a bottom 3 and send 2 of them home or how they’ll handle it tonights,I think I’ll just predict who I think should leave,  and we’ll see how that goes tonight.

 

 

 

 

Until next time…

Then There Was That Man

March 30, 2011

PART 3: THE CONCLUSION

We arrived finally at our hotel, tired and chilled and somewhat satisfactorily sated from something that resembled a frankfurter on a stale bun, rang the security bell, and said good night once again to the desk clerk who was on duty earlier and had let us in a few hours prior after the concert.

Our room, 112 was just steps from the elevator, possibly 2 giant steps (May I?). We walked in and the first thing that caught my attention was an uncomfortable putrid odor and I closed the door behind us. One of us must have gotten quick action from our midnight snack, but it wasn’t me.  All at once, my mind was occupied with taking off my jacket, trying to identify whatever that increasingly sickening stench was and registering the  words Ariel just spoke “What is this? Who is that?”   My head reeled in a sudden fog, my teeth clenched and the hair on the back of neck  stood up when I saw before me a strange man, sprawled out face down, naked and covered in feces on one of the beds.

 Our gazes were fixed momentarily, as we tried to assess the situation and makes sense out of what we were seeing until we composed ourselves enough to return to the front desk. In spite of Ariel’s pleas that we remain as calm as possible, I blurted out the description of what we just left behind to the front desk clerk and  her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.  She finally realized we weren’t joking around and called the police and then the hotel’s security manager came out from his office He interrogated us as to whether we knew him, or gave him our key, if we left our door open. The first to respond was the fire department and they took off when the police arrived and they were followed the first aid squad.

While we waited in the lobby to see what would develop, the desk clerk tried valiantly to find us a room elsewhere in town because this hotel was all booked up for that wedding on Sunday, the one that caused the ridiculous registration rigamarole when I was trying to check in. There’s a punch line in here. Wait for it… (as if a naked man in a “fecal” position wasn’t enough!)

At least forty-five minutes had gone by and she was unable to get a satisfactory answer from anyone, including her manager whom she roused out of a sound sleep on the phone and finally Captain Craptastick was being wheeled through the lobby on a stretcher, awake and sitting up, wrapped in a robe and obviously incoherent. He was stone cold drunk out of his mind! That’s what one of the paramedics told us and one of the cops who spoke with us could just about contain a laugh when he realized it was our room that had been violated.

Finding a room for us was becoming an obvious impossibility and the entire situation knocked the tired right out of us and we decided to go home. It really made no sense at that point to get a room anywhere in the city because by the time check out time would have come around, we would have only gotten a few hours sleep anyway. We were finally allowed to go  back into our room to gather our belongings, except one shirt of mine that was otherwise soiled and Ariel’s toothbrush on the sink,  and though it was seemingly untouched, he left it among the detritus in the equally soiled bathroom.

Back in the lobby, we crossed paths with the man’s wife, who wasn’t operating on all cylinders herself, whether from likewise over-imbibing,  suffering the embarrassment her drunken husband was causing or possibly from wondering how this would effect their daughter’s wedding the next day. Yes, this was the family that was checking in when we arrived! In a turn of simple compassion, after Ariel demanded from this woman to know her name, rather than add to her obvious misery, which it looked like he was about to do, only offered her good luck, to which she sorrowfully responded, “Thanks. I think I’m gonna need it”.  Breaks my heart, really, to think of the innocent parties involved, namely, the poor bride.

In conclusion, we arrived home just after 5 in the morning. The hotel couldn’t even validate or offer to pay our parking fee so we could get the truck and go home; they aren’t affiliated with that garage. That was the least of our concerns, but we made it home without incident and in one piece and we’d have to leave Chock Full Of Nuts for another time.

There are two trains of thought: one being that  there was a glitch in the key card code, or as the hotel suggested, which I would imagine they would have to, we left our door ajar. That was their take on it when they called Sunday afternoon, but I remember distinctly closing that door with the doorhandle in  my hand because when we went out the first time, for dinner and the concert, the door slammed behind us and  echoed throughout the hallway.  I remembered that when we left to meet up with the guys and held the door from slamming. It was after 11:30 at night and didn’t want to be “that guy” with disregard for everyone else.   

Well, the hotel offered us a complimentary two-night stay nonetheless to be used all at one time or on two separate occasions to make up for the inconvenience. And the last report of the father of the bride–he was released from the hospital on Sunday evening where was treated for severe alcohol poisoning and returned to his family who was still staying at the hotel. And in retrospect, as Ariel pointed out, thank God that man wasn’t dead otherwise we would have been unwittingly dragged into a police investigation. Now, THAT would have been something to write about!

Creatures Of The Night

March 29, 2011

 

PART 2:   I loved Stevie Nicks, she looks fabulous and she even treated us to her trademark twirl. The audience erupted when she sang “Stand Back” and we nearly tore the roof off the place once “Edge of Seventeen” began. That would have been the perfect finale, but she sang a song she had begun writing before 9/11 and found its meaning relevant in today’s world climate. Not being familiar with it, and it being a ballad, it kind of brought the mood down some. But the evening belonged to Rod Stewart, he really had the place rockin’ from start to finish. As you saw in the pictures yesterday, he had Stevie Nicks join him on stage for a few numbers. With the exception of a few new songs each, their sets were made up of their classic stuff and his finale was “Do You Think I’m Sexy”. I was surprised how many Rod Stewart songs I knew and actually enjoyed, even though I never would have considered myself a bona fide fan.

We were meeting friends from Brooklyn after the show to hang out and knock back a couple of drinks who I finally got a hold of on the phone. Apparently I had an incorrect number and found out about that on Sunday morning when after I sent another text message, the owner of that number called to tell me I’ve been texting and calling and that I should double-check my number.

We walked from The Garden down to our Hotel on 21st Street to get out of our dinner/concert clothes and put on something more suitable for barhopping and then it was back to 28th Street, by foot and our friends were running late. By just around midnight they got there and we kibitzed the night away, every now and then dodging a pistoning pool cue. Well, it was a stupid move for the bar to  have moved the pool table to that end of the bar rather than have left it in the vast barren area it was in just three weeks ago. The four of us made plans to possibly see a show starring two actors from the now defunct Guiding Light, Robert Newman and Kim Zimmer, who recently reprised her role as Echo DeSavoy on One Life To Live.

Should we get one more round? Should we go? Gabe and Mike were leaving, it was nigh on three AM but the lure of another beer won us over plus I was desparate to tag one good song on the Shazam app on my Droid, like I do everytime we go there, but Shazam wasn’t recognizing anything. They play such incredible underground club music there. I was beginning to feel a little hungry so we hurried through those beers, got out coats and left. I was seeking out a hot dog truck on the way back from the concert, one that wasn’t embroiled in the melee of the helter skelter pedestrian traffic so close to The Garden, but there wasn’t one to be found until, like a mirage in the desert, we happened upon one a few blocks from the club, with everything under the sun available on it. It was situated on a corner outside of yet another club for the, shall we say, younger set… and if I really didn’t need something in my stomach, I would have continued back to the room, but we suffered the insufferable public displays of drunkenness and the mingling of police presence to maintain order. Once the hot dog vender recovered from getting knocked almost off his feet from some washed out drunken female club-goer (at least I think it was a she) crashing into him after she wrestled herself free from a policeman’s grasp and yelling at him with inaudible words, we were able to order two dogs each. I had to have mine without relish. He didn’t have any. Why is it  always relish they run out of? And there was the trio of younger guys, two of which kept trying to keep the third one, who was quite verbal about being turned down repeatedly for prospective female company from meeting one of those Kamikaze New York taxicabs face to face.  

It’s a whole new world, New York City,  in the wee hours of the morning. The most colorful characters come out to play and are mightily highlighted in the dead of night. Well, they’re probably always there, but they just don’t shine under the camouflage of daylight. And still, there was that man…

Stand Back, Maggie May!

March 28, 2011

Gather ‘round boys and girls, Uncle Brian has a tale to tell, one with a surprise twist ending you will not believe. Let us turn back the clock…back, back, all the way back to this past Saturday. We begin our story with part one of three  on the day we were going to see Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart in concert at Madison Square Garden.

We stopped off on the way for a couple of hours to have lunch with Ariel’s parents in Newark and his niece was also stopping by with the baby. In a comedy of errors, because they didn’t see us parked in the yard, Baby Rita, Juan and the baby went to do some shopping and didn’t arrive until after they learned on the phone we had been there waiting for them over two hours. The baby is getting so big, learning how to roll himself over and trying desperately to sit up on his own. And there are signs of teething.

The drive into the city was uneventful, the likes of which rarely ever happens, but it was the right time of day, apparently. With a little help from Ingrid (my GPS) to fine tune our navigation to the Desmond Tutu Center we made it from Newark to our destination in under twenty minutes. A dream, really.

While Ariel waited in the truck, I went with his paperwork to sign in but before I could, there were several members from a wedding party registering and it was like the circus had come to town. It was chaos from the word GO, deciding who was staying with whom in each room, announcing who had yet not arrived, who was arriving when and with whom. I patiently awaited my turn while the husband of the younger couple in said party reprimanded his wife for advancing to the desk out of turn.

“Are you being helped?” I was asked, once the lobby was vacated. “No, not yet,” I said. “I’m so sorry,” desk lady said and then told me that Ariel would have to sign in himself since it was his name on the reservation and luckily there was a parking deck right across the street. More waiting.

But the room was well worth enduring the confusion. Take a look. Somehow we got upgraded to the Ricardo Pivirotto Room, Room 112.

    

                          

Even with our dinner reservations in our immediate future, not to mention the concert, I was counting down the minutes until morning so I could get to use that coffee maker. We even made plans for before we would leave for home to hunt down that Chock Full Of Nuts Lunch Counter that recently opened up on the East end of 23rd Street so I could re-blog about it first hand. But, there was that man…

Dinner was at Frankie & Johnnie’s. They sat us at a tiny table sandwiched between two others to the utter disapproval of the uppity gentleman next to us. If looks could kill, we’d both be pushing up daisies at an alarming rate and he grunted out a conversation with his wife through the rest of their dinner.

Through the controlled chaos we found our seats with little effort, got two beers from the vendor guy walking around and struck up a little conversation with the grandmother set in front of us, but they were having the best time.

And right at 7:30, the show started. Rod Stewart came out and introduced Stevie Nicks and she did over an hour of mostly her classic stuff, with only maybe three new songs. I realized at intermission I didn’t have the macro setting engaged on my camera, and the first few pictures of her might be a little fuzzy. By the time Rod Stewart came out I was more in control of my camera and got a little bit better quality shots. But I was watching a woman in the row ahead of me with a camera that zoomed in so close, the images of the singers filled her entire display window.  I was impressed, but I’m not altogether dissatisfied with what I got from my own camera.

            

      

The Day The Music Died

March 25, 2011

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was the “Brady Bunch Moment” song and it was a commendable offering and then the OH MY GOD moment—Stevie Wonder appeared. Who saw that one coming? Oh, there’s a joke basting in bad taste in there somewhere, but I need fate on my side to oust Haley tonight, so I’ll behave. Apparently it was Steven Tyler’s birthday and Little Stevie Wonder was a surprise for him.

Time for the results. First up…Pia, Lauren and Scotty. All safe! And the first three inducted into the Top 10 for the Tour.

Then Sugarland broke up the monotony with their performance of Stuck Like Glue.

James and Paul were up next and oh! Damn that Ryan tells them they’re both not safe. He meant really not safe and then Hulk Hogan comes out from behind the curtain, (I’m calling it a curtain. It’s really a doorway that slides open) a quick callback to the footage of the two contestants demonstrating their wresting skills. He announces that both of them are safe and going on the Tour and then with one sock to the face, sends Ryan flying into the audience. Paul…safe? Really?

Jacob, Thia and Stefano up next: Jacob is safe, that’s a given. Thia is in the bottom 3. Not one of my picks and Stefano also in the bottom 3. I’m all bummed and, off my game.

Casey, Haley and Naima: Naima was safe. Again, I’m glad, being that she’s my favorite but I really thought she was in jeopardy after she danced in the street. Stefano in the bottom 3? Come on, people! Damn it! And Casey was in the bottom 3. Also not my favorite, not by a long shot but come on….was America on drugs Wednesday night?

Well, you might not believe this, but at this point in my commentary there are 14 minutes left to the show so I have to make an emergency guess and say of those three, I’d like to say Casey would be the one to go, simply because he’s irritating to me, and also to my friend and supporter, Gary (thanks, Gary, btw…and you know what I mean, Brian told me what you did!) but I know, even though he’s in the bottom 3, he’s kinda popular. Look, if Haley could sail through…. and yeah, Stefano had a rough night…oh no, do could it be him? Thia did a good job though. Could they use a save tonight? I need to make a guess because Jennifer Hudson just finished singing and she looks fab! I have to say, Casey, based simply on his performance, added to the irritation factor. Oh, wait, Haley was safe, so that means I can say it… Stevie Wonder didn’t see it coming either! Nah nah nah nah nah nah!

Thia is safe, and I suddenly have a sick feeling in the pit of my teeny little tummy. The person with the lowest number of votes is Casey! YES!!!!!! Stefano is safe! They blew the save, not even a quarter of the way through his song.

So, there you are folks, the scales were definitely off kilter this week that no one, not even Stevie could see coming. And what’s this nonsense about ‘if something like this were to occur, it was pre-determined there’d be a top 11 in the Tour’. Cut me some slack, Jack!

Until next time…..

 

 

The Day The Music Died

Look at me giving Commander top billing today. Hey, that’s how I roll.

Well, the music didn’t really die, it’s sort of in state of purgatory. That’s right, my iPod is dying a slow death. But thanks to PD Rescue my entire iPod is backed up on my external drive and all ready to be loaded into my new iPod, whenever I get one. Maybe with…oh, get this…after my bitching about my check to the Federal income tax not clearing, it cleared yesterday and my return for my refund will be on its way this morning, so if my iPod can hang on for a little while longer I’ll be happy.

So, here’s something I find a tad unnecessary. It’s a new doll made by a Spanish company, Berjuan,  called Bebé Glotón, that is equipt to teach little girls about breast feeding. It comes with a halter top, decorated with two strategically placed daisies and when the dolly is placed near those daisies, it starts to make a sucking sound. It’s said that the doll will teach the other side of bottle feeding a baby. But is it necessary for a six year old to know how to breastfeed? People are arguing that dolls that come with bottles depict an unnatural way of feeding a baby, but I think that since 6 year-olds aren’t fully equipt to do otherwise, pretending to feed with a bottle is just fine. And bully for the United States Health Resources and Services Administration for wanting 75% of all mothers to breast feed for at least six months in 2011 and they think this Breast Milk Baby will help reach that goal. What’s next, baby bump pillows for those 6 year olds?

Well, Commander used up all my time, but that’s okay, because there’s always next week for some other stuff I got for you. Y’alls’ms have a great weekend now, you hear?

If A Tree Falls…

March 24, 2011

So, here’s something I don’t understand. Recently I had my taxes done to the crashing reality that I was going to owe a king’s ransom and I gulped with both embarrassment, as if I had done something wrong and relief that it wasn’t as bad as we thought it might have been. Although, had we not taken our advisor’s advice, it could easy have been double that amount. Okay, but that’s not the point. My accountant inadvertently left something off my return that would have lessened my payment by a cool few hundred, so he sent me another return I could send in once my check had cleared. Well, the one for Federal. Okay, but that’s still not the point. The accountant gave me pre-addressed envelopes with return receipt cards attached and now I’m getting to my point. Yesterday, in the mail, I got my return receipt from the Federal payment, however my check hasn’t cleared. Oh, wait, here’s the point, my State check cleared, but I have not yet gotten my return receipt card. What up? Are those return cards arbitrarily paid attention to? Is this the way the government works?

If I fell in the forest and no one was around, who would laugh?

House news (ad nauseum): the way I hear it, the closet door is supposed to be in today. How that’s possible since after two weeks of waiting it came in wrong and now here it is, two days later is a mystery, but if it really is ready then who cares, Edith? The spacklers finished yesterday. All we need is the closet poles, the light, the electricity and the room will be done. By Friday, I’m told. Then we’ll paint, get the carpet put down and Bob’s your uncle!

And I missed getting Liz points by one minute yesterday morning. ONE minute!  Bobby got the points. I swear he must  have a deathwatch direct hotline.  Rest in peace!

 

 

Motown Night.

The history of Motown is quite remarkable, to think it was all started with a borrowed $800 and to see what happened to some of those hits last night on Idol is rather shameful. But, that’s where the luxury of getting to vote one of them off comes in handy.

To be sure, I think Jacob and James were neck and neck for best of the night, with James pulling ahead ever so slightly. Jacob sang You’re All I Need and was very controlled. He said he would be and kept his screechy high notes in check. James put a current soulfulness into Livin’ For The City.

I also have to say, while on the subject of Jacob, note to American Idol: tone down your background singers. There were times they were singing over the contestant and we’re not judging them. Well, at least they’re not the singers on Dancing With The Stars.. Yikes.

Much as I hate to admit it, Lauren sang very well last night, but her rendition of You Keep Me Hanging On was too unchanged from the original. Perhaps if she had twangified it, like she did last week, like Scotty does, and did with For Once In My Life. I was kind of like this and like that with it, but he’s just so gosh danged cute, and he really smoothed out his rough beginning. The show’s favorite, Casey, still annoys me. He always sounds like he’s being strangled. My favorite, Naima, once again disappointed me. Dancing In The Street is a smooth, soulful feel-good song, while at the same time evoking a laid back summertime scene, like dancing is effortless when you’re happy, but this version was too choppy. My other favorite, who brought the house down last week, left me a little cold. And Pia, though the judges compared her performance to something Celine Dion-like, I found the song overpowered her and she had to try too hard to keep up. Paul forgot his lyrics and Haley….

So, that leaves me with my picks for the bottom 3 again.

                                   

Missed It By One

March 23, 2011

A big thank you to all my readers. Wow! I didn’t realize there were so many of you out there, but I’m glad you are. Look! 10,001 views to my website and I’m hoping that a good portion of those lead you to this place! I was keeping my eye on it, watching the numbers creep up and I wanted to capture the moment an even ten thousand showed up, but I missed it.

For those of you fairly new to my blog, (at the risk of being repetitious to those who have been here a while) let me tell you quickly how it began. I wrote a novel, Mightier Than The Pen and come to think of it, in 4 days (March 27) at 2:33pm it will be 6 years since I completed it and have since been trying to get it published, but, of course, all I can get is rejection after rejection. One publisher I courted suggested having a website to help promote it and through one thing and another, I have this blog. I am also working on rewrites of my second novel, a sequel to the first and if I play my cards right, depending on how I decide to end this one, I could have a third.

Okay, enough about the history lesson but again a big thanks to all of you. Now, if you happen to know a literary agent or a publisher who is just dying to get his or her hands on a great story…send them my way <insert smiley face>.

On to house news: The new closet door came in wrong and had to be re-ordered so it could be another two weeks before that bedroom is usable again. But once they’re finished up there, while we wait we can get the painting done, but I would recommend the carpeting after the door goes in. Like I said yesterday, since this job is comparatively small to everything else we had done, the snafus seem that much larger, but this project that on the onset was to have taken two weeks is turning into a marathon. Ah well. Stay tuned.

The Moon And The Stars

March 22, 2011

Alright, in three words or less…Yeah…right!

Okay, so you know we got the CO and that’s all taken care of, so now I don’t have to ramble on about that. And the closet got back into full swing yesterday; it’s all sheetrocked and today it will be spackled and by Wednesday the door will go in, plus the electricity will be hooked up, a light installed and a vent cover over the air conditioning duct. I’m taking pictures throughout–there aren’t that many, but I’ll put them up all together when the job is complete, which is still scheduled for before this coming weekend. And the lights on the patio didn’t get installed this past weekend, nor yesterday, which was no wonder what with the weather. SNOW!!! on the first day of spring.

It was a much anticipated “A Star Is Born”, headboard making, steak grilling, Supermoon watching kind of weekend. For Christmas, Santa Claus not only brought me the new deluxe edition of Judy Garland’s “A Star Is Born”, but he also had the Janet Gaynor/Frederic March original and the Streisand/Kristofferson versions festively wrapped under my teeny tiny tree. We did one a night, starting with the original on Friday with a Buffalo chicken pizza (HOT!!!!!…ouch–and my tummy wasn’t so happy the following morning, I’ll tell you that! ) and we ended up falling asleep, each at different times. So, Saturday, after we spent the better part of the day constructing the padded leather headboard we’ve been talking about making forever, I made fresh pasta to have with grilled Delmonico steaks I bought at the Amish market and cooked on the grill before the lunar event of the century: the Supermoon.

We built a fire that fizzled while we sat on the darkened patio with the soft glow of Janet Gaynor and Frederic March playing on the portable DVD player (to catch up on what we fell asleep to the night before), the camera was all set on the tripod for the astral phenomenon and we were freezing our bippies off even though we had our Unilazies on. Ha! I haven’t thought about bippies since Laugh-In was on television. Bippie, of course, was one of those words they used to make you think of a certain part of one’s anatomy that in those days was a no-no to mention. I know what a Bip is; it’s what I call what I wear on my feet around the house, be it a pair of slippers or flipflops in the summer.

After the bust that was the Supermoon–it didn’t look any different to either one of us than any other full moon on a clear night, nor did it seem any closer, we came in for warmth and for Judy Garland’s turn as Vicki Lester.

Here’s a quick note, dear blog readers; the character of Danny McGuire in “A Star Is Born” was played by Andy Devine in 1937 and by Tommy Noonan in 1957. Also, Danny McGuire was played by Gene Kelly in the movie, “Cover Girl” with Rita Hayworth in 1944 and also by Gene Kelly in “Xanadu” opposite Olivia Newton John in 1980.

We were up a 8 on Sunday to prepare food for brunch with a friend of ours, Chris, we haven’t seen in ages and afterward we settled down with the finale of our “A Star Is Born” trifecta.

I did some snooping around and found that slated for 2012 is a new “A Star Is Born”  starring Beyonce which is to be directed by Clint Eastwood or Nick Cassavetes (depending on which article you read). Not much has been revealed although names like Russell Crowe and Robert Downey Jr. have been bandied about as the male lead. And speaking of Barbra Streisand, it’s a will they or won’t they wait and see kind of thing right now; one report says the plans for her screen version of Gypsy have been scrapped while others say it’s still a go.

Now THAT was definitely right around three words!

Another Flight Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

March 18, 2011

Can New Jersey get anymore ridiculous? Hopewell Township is considering an ordinance that would regulate when a rooster could cock-a-doodle-do. No kidding! Properties in that town of less than five acres will be allowed to keep up to a half dozen hens but the roosters will only be allowed to stay there (what? for mating purposes, I guess–yes, that’s it) only 10 days. And they’d be barred from crowing. (I’m laughing out loud while I’m writing this). If the roosters get out of control and get to cock-a-doodle-do’ing too loudly, the property won’t be allowed to host them for two years. Really? Do any of these properties own dogs? The reason is because raising chickens in Hopewell is becoming a growing trend and while some feel it’s a waste of time, passing this ordinance, the mayor deems it will provide a balance between the town’s suburban lifestyle and rich farming history.

Those damn old 59 year olds with their cell phones. In fact, the whole bunch of those 59-81 year olds are such a nuisance. In a study, under three different conditions; undistracted, talking on a hands free cell-phone and listening to an iPod–the 59-81 group took longer to cross the simulated street than the 18-26 year old group under the same circumstances. My guess is oldsters were just wiser and only simulated crossing the street. And what about the group between 27 and 58? Oh, that’s right, they were conducting the test. They’re the ones that know better than to be on the phone and walk at the same time. They do it right. They DRIVE and talk on the phone and some of them even text while driving, no doubt.

If they had conducted this test in an actual situation, and, just to make a point, because I recently experience it myself, in Washington, DC, the results would have been totally different, I’m sure. Do you know they have the crosswalks timed? Yeah, when the ‘walking man’ flashes, indicating it’s safe for pedestrians to cross, seconds start ticking down. But (and this is the most ridiculous thing) intersections that are as wide my patio…53 seconds. Crosswalks that span the equivalent of a 4 lane highway…. 13 seconds. No lie!

Oh, yeah, duh, how could I forget this? I picked up my CO yesterday. So, now all that’s pending is the final bill for the last payment of the contract, plus whatever incidental charges we have and after that’s paid, we’ll be officially finished with the addition. And now the new closet’s ETA has been pushed back one more week. Ah well….

And now, after a few short hours, my much anticipated weekend will be upon me, so let me go get started on that!

Keep this in mind this weekend:

Somewhere there’s music, how faint the tune, somewhere there’s Heaven, how high the moon.

 

So, we opened the show with what I always effectionately referred to as “The Brady Bunch” moment, but I have to tell you, tonight’s mash up of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf was quite entertaining.

First set to find out their fates are Jacob, Casey and Lauren. Jacob…safe. Lauren…safe. Casey…safe.

Next, Haley and Paul. Haley…bottom 3! Paul…safe.

Then Lee Dewyze, winner from last year, came out and sang and proved once again that Crystal Bowersox got robbed of the title.

Now we have Scotty, Pia and James. Scotty is safe…and a cute little bugger! Pia…safe. James…safe.

And now Stefano and Naima to the center of the stage. Naima is in the bottom 3.

And finally, Karen and Thia. Thia is safe.

I got all 3 bottom 3! Smell me!

The Black Eyed Peas now came out to sing and Fergie has a new look. And thankfully they sounded better than they have the last few times they appeared on TV, especially the Superbowl. Wasn’t that nauseating?

Naima is safe. Wow! I’m just as happy as I am surprised. But Karen is singing for her life and Haley is safe. I’d have rathered Haley go home between the two of them, well, between the 3 of them, but Naima really disappointed me. Karen is worth saving, she’s better than Haley, but not the best singer there. But it’s just so early in the competition to be using a save. And they didn’t use the save. Wise move. So, there you go. Another week and I misjudged. But give me credit for picking the bottom 3. Give a dead newt a break!

Until next time…..