Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

GaGa Idol

May 12, 2011

Last night was the American Idol stylings of the Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller songbook and as per his own boycott, The Ghost of Commander was nowhere to be found. Lady Gaga was the night’s mentor but James came barreling out of the chute without benefit of any mentoring. He sang Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” He was alright. I think he’s done better and the night, at that point was still young so we’ll see what else he can do to wow me. As long as Haley goes, I don’t care how James sings. (Turns out, GaGa wouldn’t be out until the second half of the show)

Speaking of whom, she sang Michael Jackson’s Earth Song. I don’t know this song, but the general consensus in the house is that it was horrible and we happen to have the consummate Michael Jackson here….my niece Melissa. And because I’m the furthest thing from an MJ fan, I have to take her word for it and she wholeheartedly agreed with J-lo and Randy’s opinions.

Scottypants sang Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning by Alan Jackson. It’s a known fact that everyone loves Scottypants and with good reason. He’s so in the Scotty zone, he’s always Scotty, he never tries to be anything but that.

Lauren cleaned up the first round with Martina McBride’s Anyway.

Finally here comes the Lady Gaga mentoring round. She was decked out in a modified Cruella DeVille get up, with angular protrusions at the temples and garish black makeup around the eyes and redder than red lipstick to mentor and her first task was Haley who smugly sang I Who Have Nothing as if to tell the judges a big F you for their comments. I hate her. Can somebody knock her in the back of the head with one of her spike heels?

Scottypants sang The Coasters’ Young Blood. Again we have an animated and playful Scotty and I agree with J-lo this time, he does need to find a midway point. He can do the ballad, he can do the playful.

Lauren took on Elvis Presley’s Trouble. It started off great while it was all ballad-y, primed to be the best performance of the night, but then she revved it up a little too much and the fevered interlude got the better of her. Her performance lost its oomph.

Love Potion No. 9 by The Drifters was James’ last offering to close out the show. Again, it was good, and I like him, but I’m just not feeling him tonight.

Aside from the over the top theatrics of Lady Gaga, I have to say she gave useful advice to the contestants from the viewpoint of current musical tastes. Rather then just tell them they had to “bring it”, the canned reply most mentors seem to have, she told them what they had to do in order to bring it. I was impressed.  

I’m not having a bottom 3 of my own, I’m just sending Haley home. She’s too conceited and full of entitlement to go any further. And maybe Commander will be back to close out the season.


Reminder: Roger Howarth returns to One Life to Live tomorrow. Set your DVR’s, VCR’s, Betamax’s (if you still have one of those) or just stay home from work if you have to and tune in at 2pm (1pm central) but I take no responsiblity for that.

Jiggity Jig

April 28, 2011

Home again, home again. It’s good to get away but it’s always nice to come home again, be in my comfy red chair, sleep in my own bed, trap and dispose of the stink bugs without their emitting their defensive, well, stink, a skill I’m getting quite adept at and deal with the population of the east coast.

Case in point: I went to pay my property taxes yesterday afternoon and all hopes of returning home within the hour. I still had to go get milk because mine died while I was away. I was fifth in line while ChaCha McHenry was taking her sweet time taking care of each person in line. When it was my turn, I handed her my check and the payment stub, but she alerted me in a frustrated tone she needed the other half still in my hand. Then, horror beyond horror, the check wasn’t signed and I found that out as it came flying back at me with a reprimand and a pen she reluctantly lent me that slammed down on the desk a few beats after the check. Then, as I waited for my receipt, she gave me that side eye and with a huff told me I had my receipt, that it was stamped on the back. I was just waiting for a receipt like she gave everyone else. Meanwhile, while stopping for breakfast on the road during our travels, and seeing that my mother was absent from the table, the waitress took her order back to the oven to keep warm until she returned. Yes, it’s good to be home. Here’s another story, a clear example of culture shock,  from another trip west. Actually, to get the most of it, there are two and they should be read in this order: Endora and Home Sweet Home. It’s a lot of reading, I know. It’s not homework, but there will be a quiz.

So, you know, the day before we were due to leave here, an F3 tornado ripped through my father’s town, a half mile away from his house, in fact. It just missed the only grocery store in the area that serves 3 neighboring towns. On the way from my niece’s to my father’s on Saturday morning, with no one behind us on the road, with random music playing on my Droid, I decided to shoot a little video of the devastation. It wasn’t until the next day, when we watched it on YouTube after I downloaded it, we found a little unintentional humor in the lyrics of the song that also recorded.

We later took a ride through the back roads and it was just so sad to see such damage. A path of snapped trees, debris everywhere, tarps on roofs where shingles had blown off, one house reduced to nothing but the floorboards covering the basement where that family hid out. The fortunate thing is no one died, but a lot of livestock was lost.

And so now I turn this over to Commander for his recap on American Idol.

I told you, I’m done. Haley is still there, I’m done. When she goes, I’ll pick it up again.

I didn’t think you were serious.

As a heart attack! If you want to make the prediction, you can do the honors.

Alright then, if it’s up to me, I’m going to put these three in the bottom for tonight and look who I’m getting rid of, just for you.


 Add this name to your email list: . Email these people and tell them it’s a drastic mistake to kill the soaps.

Come Into The Closet

April 12, 2011

Years ago, I’ll never forget it as long as I live, when my beagle was alive, I learned there was truth in Pavlov’s theory. On the first night after the basement was finished and the bedroom moved down there and it was time to hit the hay, Wiffy was nowhere to be found. Usually she was under my feet, whether I was sitting on the couch or trying to navigate on foot, going from one room to another, trying not to trip over her and certainly at bedtime she was in my spot, making herself so big, I had to squeeze into whatever space remained. So, that night, I found her, standing, with a dumbfounded WTF look on her face at the indentation in the carpet where the foot of the bed was just hours before. She knew it was bedtime, but hadn’t registered the move yet. I entered the room and all she could do was helplessly look to me for guidance until I convinced her to follow me to where she could once again make herself huge to the point there was room for only her on the bed.

Well, Ariel has that same look on his face when he tries to find his clothes. They’re no longer in the small closet. I shouldn’t pick on him though, he’ll get it eventually. I, on the other hand, after more than twelve years, still choose the wrong switch in a 2, 3 or 4 gang; the singles I’ve finally gotten the hang of.  And there’s the ever famous incident of wandering aimlessly into the living room, pondering my reason for being there, only to realize I meant to go into the bathroom. (I think that’s a different condition altogether, something Pavlov couldn’t help with). And then of course there’s the ribbing I get all the time about touching the wrong button on a remote control or the computer. As a matter of fact, while I was writing, I went to open Internet Explorer, hit the Start button and followed through without realizing what I was doing until the screen went dark. Duh!

I’m still working on transferring my music from iPod to iPod and as I’m working on it, I’m questioning whether there might not be an easier way but I’m having a good time doing it. It was bit of a convoluted process. First I had to realize that if I transferred my stored music files from my external drive to my iTunes library, all 6 thousand some songs would end up on my mSpot program on my Droid. So, with my PD Rescue program (which I recommend highly for anyone who’s got invaluable music files) I was able to input the contents of my old iPod into iTunes on my laptop (not associated with mSpot). I was able to pick and choose what got moved, so I eliminated four hundred and some Christmas songs from moving. Not that I don’t like Christmas music, but invariably, one of the umpteen versions of “The Little Drummer Boy”–one of my least favorite Christmas songs….EVER!!!–will play at an inopportune time. Plus, because the new iPod is an iPod Touch, I want to have album art for all my stuff and that’s taking some time to collect.

I don’t have a smooth closer so I’ll just show you this video I saw on Ellen last night.

It Never Ends

April 11, 2011

And enough already with the stink bugs! It’s getting warm now, stay outside and go back where you came from!

I see my blog got hijacked for two days last week so Commander could do his thing with American Idol. Boy, did he get blindsided or did he get blindsided? You’ll be glad to know the carpet went in as planned on Thursday and after I gave the installers a perfect score on professionalism and cleanliness, etc, and even I spoke to their supervisor on the installer’s telephone, giving them a glowing review, I learned from Ariel when he got home later that night they had left a huge bag of scraps (carpet and padding) on the bench by the garage. Telephone? Who says telephone anymore? On Friday after work, we moved in the dressers and the clothes are hanging in there. And the blind came in on Saturday for the closet window. So, that room is finished.

But then came time to replace the flourescent tubes in some of my overheads, in the garage, in my work area in the basement and turns out the fixtures themselves need replaced. What, do you think I am, made of money?

We ate at The Barge in Perth Amboy for the first time ever over the weekend. I’ll tell you why we were in Perth Amboy at a later date, with pictures, of course. The food was quite good; I had surf and turf and Ariel had prime rib. Ariel had a crabmeat cocktail and I had escargot. I haven’t had a good escargot recipe in a long time. There’s a place close to my house that used to have a killer recipe and it changed and I made it known to the owner I wasn’t pleased. But Saturday’s was delicious and because it came with props, I re-enacted, as best I could, the Paris At Last episode of I Love Lucy. I even asked for “Tomat!”

Right on the heels of that YouTube video of those two adorable babies chatting away came the one of the kid crying because he was too small to governor of NJ. Is it just me, or does anyone else think this was a put on? I certainly attracted the attention of  the powers that be, and the kid, Jesse Koczon was crowned “honorary governor for a day” and sat along side  honorary lieutenant governor, 4 year old twin brother Brandon and NJ Governor Christie for a press conferance.

More and more it seems YouTube is the new Schawbs drug store, where people get discovered almost on a daily basis;  maybe I need to make a YouTube video crying how I can’t get my book published.

Who Really Wins Here?

April 1, 2011

Well, I see Commander posted his own blog last night. I’m wondering how he did that, actually. I better watch it, not sure what other talents he’s acquired since his reincarnation.  Maybe that’s why his predictions have been uncharacteristically off, he’s been preoccupied with how to publish his own columns.

I understand Snooki is receiving $32,000 to imbue her life’s philosophy of “Study hard, but party harder”. One freshman at the college thought the price was a bargain considering the Jersey Shore’s popularity. Meanwhile, Nobel prize winning novelist Toni Morrison, is being paid a cool $30,000, to deliver the school’s commencement address in May,  two thousand dollars shy of the fee that’s coming out of the mandatory student activity fee for Snooki. Sounds almost like the St. Olaf Emergency Statue Fund. (episode 132: If At Last You Do Succeed, 10/6/90) That’s certainly understandable, that extra 2K will no doubt go into her trademark pouf.

And what is she going to talk about? How to be tan? How to do laundry? How to write a novel? And speaking of novel, can I sue for the opening line of the article I read about it this morning: “The pouf is mightier than the pen when it comes to speaking fees at New Jersey’s largest university”?

Hey, wait a second…is this an April Fool’s joke?

Signs of completion are upon us. The door is up, the light is lit, the debris and tarps are gone, the carpet was professionally vacuumed, the garage is cleaned out of construction materials. All that remains to be done is a fresh piece of base molding for the floor where there never was any and to cover one small piece above the inside of the door, where a beam in the roof is visible. Those will be completed today. I hope THAT’s not an April Fool’s joke. And if it really happens that the patio lights get installed tomorrow, then I’ll have to start thinking of other topics to blog about…until the stonework outside begins. Unless it’s about the new iPod Touch I got yesterday to replace my old dying iPod, one of the first origial “generations”, the type you had to turn a crank to get it started…

Have a great weekend everyone.  And just because, enjoy this clip with Ginger Rogers and Frances Mercer from Vivacious Lady (1938)

There Will Be Heroes

February 24, 2011

There is something to be said for consistency. Susan Guy, Domino’s Pizza delivery person came to the rescue of her 82 year old steady customer Jean Wilson who has been ordering her thin crust pepperoni pie with two diet Cokes every day for the last three years. But for some reason, the octogenarian didn’t call on Saturday, Sunday or Monday and rather just assume she all of a sudden switched her taste to Moo Goo Gai Pan, Susan Guy’s instincts told her something was wrong and she insisted on finding out for herself. She went to the woman’s home, knocked on all the windows, trying to see what was going on and called 911. The customer had fallen, and couldn’t get up or get to a phone. She is in stable non-critical condition.

Imagine if I didn’t find something to complain about every day? You might think there was something wrong. Nah, you’d probably just figure I was sleeping. Even that–sleeping–lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and then feeling like I didn’t sleep when my alarm goes off. 

Or this? What a great idea, we thought, maybe we’ll finally inaugurate the fire pit on Friday after a long work week. Well…

   Mind you, the rain is after a bout that is supposed to start sometime this afternoon and the windy icons, though it doesn’t say on the picture, I heard on the weather this morning it could be gusts of up to 50 mph. So, now, the same scurge we carry when we go camping, with rain every weekend we go, we bring wind to just sitting and relaxing by our firepit.  …Oh, right…sorry, heroes….

Baseball’s Texas Ranger Michael Young is 3-year-old Gavin Justice-Farmer’s hero. Gavin learned that his hero was being traded and it broke the three year old’s heart. So much so that when his mother, who broke the news to him, posted the video of his reaction on YouTube, it inspired the third baseman to meet with his young fan. Perhaps it is Gavin Farmer who is Michael Young’s hero, if not the hero of thousands and thousands of baseball fans all over because of his innocence and unbiased love of the game.

The ghost of Commander came to me last night–I think he’s itching, even from beyond the grave to commentate on American Idol (I’d like to see how he does that!)–and he was perplexed by how some of the contestants for the Beatles’ round last night didn’t even know who the Beatles are. It struck him as odd how these Idol hopefuls, looking to break into the music business, have no clue of musical history.

But on a positive note, Naima Adedapo the first auditioner I really liked this season was the first one to make it to the top 24. And I don’t understand; I read that the top 24 was going to consist of the best singers, not necessarily evenly divided into 12 guys and 12 girls, but that’s what Ryan Seacrest said last night.

So, let’s see what happens. And maybe we’ll be hearing from the ghost of Commander in the near future. Stay tuned and find out. I’m kind of curious myself.

And before I close, keep your fingers crossed. Today the electrical inspector is coming back.

Colder Than A Witch’s…!

January 24, 2011

If I make any typos in this blog it’s because my fingers are frozen. It’s a balmy -8 degrees here in my lovely ‘we care about our residents’ little hamlet. That’s a direct quote from someone in charge of ‘Mailbox Repair Due to Snowplow Mishaps’ department of said hamlet.

The carpet was installed on Saturday in just over 3 hours, even into one closet we decided not to have done because it was too overwhelming a stuffed mess, but because of their timing and sheer determination, we got it cleaned out and the crew was tipped handsomely for their extra work. We began putting the upstairs back together after they left and continued into late yesterday afternoon and then I spent who knows how long trying on the clothes I’d forgotten I had that was stuffed into that second closet and found that 7/8 of it no longer fit me, which will help keep that closet clean. And of course there’s the main closet in the other room which also went on a much needed diet. Let’s just say Fibber McGee no longer lives here. I have to take some ‘after’ pictures and will post them shortly.

One of us–I won’t mention who, but his name rhymes with Brian–decided that sure, maybe ought to paint downstairs so everything will be fresh and new and get it over with. I really have to have a long talk with me about stuff like that. But it’ll be done and behind us and we can other things to look forward to.

We got our tickets for the Rod Stewart/Stevie Nicks concert for March 26 at Madison Square Garden. On the Ticketmaster website they have a feature so you can get a virtual point of view glimpse of where your seats are.

Jack LaLanne died. I didn’t get the points for him. 96 years old. Gosh (gosh? really?) I remember watching him when I was a kid on the black and white set.

And here, courtesy of Ariel, is a feel good video to get your week started.

Oh, yeah, about the mailbox, workers converged in my driveway to investigate why it kept flying away when the snowplows passed. I watched as they wiggled the box for a brief few seconds then got back in their trucks and drove away. The main guy returned to my door to tell me they checked it out, without realized I was watching all the while, that they deemed the box secure. Funny, I thought, considering it was being held down in the same fashion it has been since it was installed. They didn’t want to mar the sleek design with unsightly brackets so if it happens again, call and we’ll make sure it’s taken care of. I’m going to use that same ‘gosh? really?’ line I used above. Later in the afternoon I went out armed with my drill, some brackets and some screws and secured my mailbox. And if you’re not looking for them, you don’t see the brackets I put on. Hmm.


December 22, 2010


Meanwhile, the guys have just about finished laying the pavers on the patio, but it wasn’t as hectic a day as I thought I was led to believe it would be. No fence, although it was delivered, no water line, no electric, no digging out the garden beds. I was a little bummed. Not only had I made an extra large pot of coffee for all who would allegedly be here, but it seemed that now it would be impossible for the patio to be finished by Thursday.

But then this morning, one of the two things that invaded my thoughts upon waking this morning (I’ll get to the other one in a minute) was that  maybe since they left an even border between the pavers and retaining wall, that must be where they will install the fence posts and the rest will be taken care of between today and tomorrow. Then I realized, it’s not like we’ll be using the space (phew, I had to say something other than patio) but it would be kind of nice to have it finished. So, I’m keeping the faith and I have donuts a fresh pot of coffee all set to plug in for them.

Recently, I received an email, which I, in turn, spread around to some of my friends, that was a list of 25 Christmas questions. Questions like favorite gift as a child; where do you spend Christmas; favorite thing to eat; real tree or fake…things like that. Right away when I got to favorite Christmas song, it was no chore to name mine–Oh, Holy Night, and I especially love how Donna Summer sings it. Then, for haha’s, I listed the first two songs I hate which are, “The Little Drummer Boy” by anybody, and Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. Well…… I have to thank the deep dark recesses of my mind for not even conjuring up this next one the day I filled out my answers in that email because it would have been plaguing me that much longer; “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”. All it took was hearing a snippet of it this morning while I was waking up to get it stuck in my head and I cannot get rid of it. It just keeps playing over and over and over in my mind. And I think that rounds out the songs I really cannot deal with at Christmas.

But I have an instant remedy for such an earworm and I know I’ve posted this video before, but I’m going to post it again, just in case grandma and her reindeer are running around in your head now and you want it out, you, too, can purge.

Ah, well, look at that! As I’m finishing up this blog, who pulled up with a truck full of conduit? Patio Joe! All’s right with the world once again.

Hold That Ghost

October 1, 2010

Okay, it’s official, my house is haunted. I’ve always thought that, lo these many years I’ve lived here, and late yesterday afternoon into the evening, I was certain of it. Since there was no Crew deLou again yesterday (I had that feeling, what with the weather) it worked out nicely in regard to my decision to hold off on my workout until the afternoon so I could get an earlier start on work. Remember, I’m under pressure to try to get my blood work numbers into more respectable proportions so I’m all gung ho about physical fitness.

I set myself up, being careful that weights were correctly loaded (or loaded at all–okay, that’s getting old) and got down to an endorphine-raising workout. I was nearly finishing up when suddenly I heard a loud “thud” upstairs and at first I wasn’t completely sure the Lou-Natics hadn’t come and had somehow gotten in or a car hit my house. Don’t laugh, some of you are new to my blog but those of you who have been with me since the beginning remember my recounting of that Easter Sunday morning, nearly 6 years ago when we were awakened by a frantic pounding on the front door. It was a cop alerting us to the fact there was an overturned car on our lawn that had been there since about 4 am. It was that same day, coincidentally, I typed the last chapter of my novel and I’ve been trying ever since to get it published.

I digress. I came upstairs, prepared to meet up with the boys in my sweaty state, but no one was in sight. Then I thought maybe a bird flew into my front window, which happens from time to time, but they don’t make that much noise that I would hear the house shaking sound over the music from my iPod.

When I was done with work and it was time to start preparing dinner, Ariel called, as he usually does from the 10-mile mark, so that I can judge how much time I have depending on what we’re having. A short time later, I had to run upstairs to take care of a recording project I was working on, stripping a movie from my DVR onto disc and it was about 20 minutes after he called that I heard Ariel come in, drop his stuff on the kitchen table, even scuff a chair across the tile floor. I finished my project, all the while wondering what was taking him so long to come up to change his clothes, I closed up shop and went back down to finish working on dinner.

The hair stood up on my arms. There were no keys or cell phone on the kitchen table and when I called out, there was no answer. I made my way to the garage, passing the door to the basement, which was wide open and Ariel’s truck was not in the garage and I was a walking goose bump. I can add that to the time I heard furniture upstairs dragging across the floor. The house settling was an offered reason, but I know what furniture dragging on the floor sounds like.

Emma immediately came to mind; the former matriarch of my humble abode, but Ariel assured me she’d be happy because we’re making her house better.

Okay, it’s Friday, so let’s go out with a laugh, or perhaps a groan. I saw this on an archived episode of the Radio Chick on Shovio.

Magic? Really? And I can see my dear departed Beagle’s face now telling me, “Oh no you didn’t!” She’d have wrestled that thing off, waited till we got back in the house and as soon as my back was turned…..

“Kick Me” Signs For Everyone

September 2, 2010

Snafu averted. Phew! Now I can get on with today’s rant. But it wasn’t looking good as of late yesterday afternoon, while I was relaxing and enjoying a cup of coffee when I heard the words in question form “Where did your blog go?” from across the room. Apparently, and hopefully, it was a temporary glitch because there, in illuminated black and white was the notice that my blog had been deactivated. Only an hour before, while we enjoyed to the point of physical discomfort a hearty Ruby Tuesday lunch, well after Ariel’s procedure, and boy was he happy to put food back into his stomach. I immediately contacted my server and after a period, it was back up and running and intact.

Over lunch yesterday at Ruby Tuesday I saw a story the evoked a conversation which in turn evoked a statement which got my dander up. It concerned that mosque at Ground Zero. While it’s not actually being built on hallowed ground but two blocks away, my thoughts on the topic are that it’s inappropriate and thoughtless to have it so close to where the World Trade Towers once stood while families still grieve for their loved ones lost on that day. I blogged about this back on August 17.

If I have the name correct it was Imam Feisal Adbul Rauf who is spearheading this project that said in a statement that he had no idea the mosque would create such a stir (I’m paraphrasing) but he also had no intention of discontinuing it.

THEN, while the debate rages on as I saw on TV over lunch yesterday, I found out that the date for groundbreaking is…… September 11. Now, how is THAT for a slap in the face?

Then we agreed that yes, America was based on religious freedom and tolerance. But how can that be true when nowadays, the name God is sought to be stricken from our money, and our institutions, but a muslim house of worship can be constructed so close to the most devastating punch in America’s–not just New York’s–heart? How can that be true when it becomes politically incorrect to wish someone a Merry Christmas because it excludes other faiths? And why shouldn’t I be offended at the thought that I am asked to have a “holiday tree” or go to my company’s “holiday party”? Sure, religious freedom and tolerance, but not when it’s hurtful and harmful to others and forced down their throats.

For the people, by the people. But apparently “the people” have no say. Well, they have a say, but it falls on the deaf ears of the higher up muckety muck p0lictians who  obviously “know” what’s best for everybody. And what’s best in this case is to put citizens with fresh and fragile emotions aside in favor of  whatever they hope to gain from it.  But in the name of tolerance no matter how delicate, here is another man’s quest for tolerance. Click here:

In theory, the mosque has a right to be constructed. But shouldn’t there be some thoughts to sensitivity, to etiquette, to common courtesy and not just shoving it everyone’s face. Yes, I have a Christmas tree and it’s in my own house. I don’t have it out where it threatens and confuses people.

It’s nice to have a sweet lozenge to end that discourse… take a look at what the Lou-Natics were up to yesterday.  See that little framed out nook on the right of the first picture? That’s the pantry. That’s how this whole thing started.


And you know what else? I can’t let this video sit one more day. I have to thank my fellow Shidiots–that’s insider talk for Radio Chick fans on Shovio for this: