Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jay: Obligatory Post

Actually, I didn’t have a birthday until I saw one mentioned elsewhere, so I’d planned this to be something for a “no birthdays” morning post.

I was sad but not surprised Amanda Overmeyer was executed last night.  Kristy Lee Cook is one lucky country-twanged long-legged hot blond in a short dress.  I might prefer to see Amanda to her if I were attending one of the concerts, but I won’t be, it’s not that strong a preference, and this means, as I noted, Kristy needs the performance of her life next week.  Though a couple others flopping sufficiently might be enough, if she’s adequate and being cute.

I was shocked that Carly was in the bottom three.  She was too good for that, so there has to be some combination of the controversy sucking away votes, people thinking she’s safe, her support not being as strong as I might have thought, or David Archuletta’s lopsided vote totals sucking the oxygen out of the room and making funny things happen with the rest of the totals.  Face it, unless there’s enough controversy, backlash, or something, Achoo is the winner and this is a race for second through fourth now.

Today I have to call the nice lady at the hospital whose sole job is to line people up with insurance if they lack it.  Because this Republican Socialism thing, it won’t add bureaucracy at all.  Probably about the time we’re squared away with free insurance for the poor, I’ll land a job that includes it.

I’ve been meaning to do a giant fundraising edition of Carnival of the Capitalists.  It might be worth a few hours of that to fetch a little grocery money or even an additional week of rent and make me think people actually appreciated my efforts all these years.  Which I know they did, and not just the few who have expressed an interest in still seeing it or helping.  I’ve been told I should emphasize it and look for business development work, or something like that.  That may be gotten to soon, before it becomes moot.  I’ve been accumulating links for it.

And yeah, fundraiser notwithstanding, you are always welcome to use the PayPal tipjar button, now more than ever.  Or use the address for Deb’s, which is actually better, deb at neatlytangled dot com.

It’s so cute.  Valerie has taken to putting a mitten on a foot, like a very heavy sock.  She just had me put a shoe on the other foot.  She loves to change clothes and play dress-up.

Speaking of money, there’s nothing like going to the store with $16 available, needing diapers and groceries, and being focused on eliminating certain things from the diet.

Although we think we have a good idea what is going on with Henry, and what the allergic reaction was about.  That and the idea that food proteins consumed by the mother survice intact in breast milk appears to be bogus, if you research it sufficiently.

Still, the discovery that corn, usually corn syrup, is in almost everything was rather startling and something we’d like to start avoiding.  It’s also shocking that companies would put known likely allergens in some of the earliest foods one would feed a baby, thinks you buy because they are safe.  I’m also wondering about my own levels of food sensitivities, which are not the same as allergies, for which I once tested negative.

I am not only down 29 lbs from my high plateau and 39 lbs from my absolute high (and annoyed it hasn’t budged further for a few days), but also thinner than the current weight would imply.  I went from 42 required to falling off to 40 fitting comfortably to 40 wanting to fall off.  Which means some of the tighter pants in that size I have somewhere should fit.

This was supposed to be quick.

The job hunting proceeds apace, subject to excitement and interruption and confusion and mild sickness and such.  I have to make a list and follow it today.  I’ve been doing a lot of networking-related activity.

Okay, I can’t remember anything else I might have intended to say.  I need to get to the actual stuff to be done, starting with an announcement about CotC and link to the resume over at Bizosphere.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jay: Love, Love Them… Don’t

So this week it was Beatles, rather than merely Lennon/McCartney, and it was one week too many for the American Idol contestants to handle.

In a fit of naked manipulation, TPTB placed Amanda in the death slot, where she entertained us thoroughly with the excellent choice of Back in the USSR.  A bright spot, probably enough to keep her in and get her on the tour.

In a fit of naked manipulation, TPTB placed dead girl walking Kristy Lee Cook second, between Amanda and God, where if Amanda entertained her way out of the trap, Kristy would be doomed without the performance of her life.  The only save for her might be how bad the night was overall.  You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away wasn’t a great choice, and then it might not be best to admit the song was new to you.  Not sure if TPTB actually care whether they get the country cutie or the rocker on the tour, so in a way the positioning, which is of course purely random, is aimed at both.

God, honorary member of the Rat Pack, sang The Long and Winding Road competently, but not entertainingly enough to be an “idol” or to rate the verbal equivalents of sexual favors from the judges.

Speaking of which, Kristy was memorable for her attire, the camera work that ran counter to the idea of TPTB wanting her executed, and her offer to blow Simon out of his socks if she gets to stay.  Will people have voted for the image of a Kristy favoring them?  Guess we’ll find out tonight.  And Kristy dear, the expression is “blow your socks off.” I know that expression is even older than the Beatles, but people still use it as conceived back when.

Later in the writing of this post, I went and looked at Dial Idol, which to the extent it has accuracy, predicts Kristy and Amanda as the bottom two.  Not sure what Chikezie is doing down there with them, but I’ll get to him later.

Michael Johns is still there.  Still has potential.  Once upon a time, he blew us away by reincarnating Jim Morrison and doing near justice to Freddie Mercury.  That early fan base, charisma, and fitting the Johnny Bravo suit won’t win it for you dude.  However, the chances of being gone this week?  Not.  He’ll be good on the tour, so that works.  I’d love to see him just astonish us one week, before the weeks run out for him.

Poor Brooke White.  Did seeing her family make her nervous?  Too much pressure to match last week, but no piano to hide behind?  It wasn’t horrible or anything, and Here Comes the Sun might not even have been the worst choice, but you could hear and especially see here nerves.  In fact, I give her huge respect for how well she did despite them, and how well she muted their obviousness.  She’ll have to do a lot worse and for more than a week or two before she goes anywhere.  And please, watch the talking back with the judges, even if it’s polite and explanatory.  In fact, there was so much of that this week, it’s almost as if the contestants were told they could do it to help fill the extra time.  Obviously it’s awkward to program the same length of time with fewer people each week, with discontinuous jumps up and down in length depending on where they are in the season and numbers.

David Cook made the excellent choice of Day Tripper and was highly entertaining yet again.  Silly judges, but TPTB probably don’t want him winning.  We didn’t like him at first, but have become fans.  He’s just that good, and not in a boring kid with an angelic voice and overbearing father sort of way.

Carly Hennesy Smithson continues to blow our minds, this week doing a reasonable job on Blackbird.  How exciting that she’s “from Europe” (a new country in the special Pickler Edition of Risk) and thus has so much in common with the boys from Liverpool.  That’s a country in the new Beatles Memorial Edition of Risk, a bit south of Norwegian Wood.  But seriously, it was pretty good and she’s safe for a while.

We’re over Jason Castro.  He’s gone too many weeks no longer singing or performing well, even if he can still be charming.  He didn’t already know Michelle?  Sheesh.  Sad thing is, it could have been far better from him.  It’s like he’s coasting intentionally and amused by it.  We compared him to Chris Sligh last night, just managing to get on the tour and happy with that.  If he can’t have a musical career, he can always become the next Dread Pirate Roberts.  He ought to have a lock on that.  Ba-dump-bump.

Syesha Mercado sang Yesterday because, face it, somebody had to, making it the most covered song in history plus one.  Is that like infinity plus one?  I thought she was pretty competent.  Deb wasn’t as impressed.  Perhaps I was being subjected to invisible boobie rays, to which I am more immune than some.  She looked nice, but ruined her cool hair.  A demographic ploy?  Be who you are, dawg, and joke ‘em.  Dial Idol says the boobtronic rays were effective shielding and she will still be on the bridge in next week’s exciting episode.  Much more effective than Kristy’s legtronic rays.  And yet Carly was the one wearing a red shirt.  That’s not right.  And at least it could have been an attractive red shirt.  But I digress.

Chikezie Eze may not have matched last week, and could have safely sung the whole thing straight and pretty as it began, but his performance of a song I’d never heard of totally rocked.  I’ve Just Seen a Face?  Do I sound as bad to a true Beatles fanatic as Achoo and some of the others do to mere ordinary music listening humans between 1 and at least retirement age?  Talk about turnarounds.  We will buy an album when he produces one.  After the first week of top 24, I wanted him gone and expected him not to last.  I’d say he’s hands down safe, being one of the bright spots of the night, but Dial Idol isn’t so sure.  In fact, the bottom four are the first and last two to perform, meaning either the pimp spot and its environs are no longer safe, or people dislike the last two performers that much.

Finally, Ramiele Malubay should have known better.  Actually, she was okay, but she’s still trying (well, or not trying, really) to live up to her momentous Dusty Springfield performance.  She’s about through whatever fandom she earned from that.  She’ll probably be safe tonight, but unless she astonishes us in a way I’m not sure she’s able, she may not make the top 8.  And how do you feel about the pronoun changes?  I think the only one who hasn’t changed pronouns in one performance was Amanda.  I forget which song or week, but it really struck me.  Or this could be shock elimination night and showing 4th from the bottom on Dial Idol could spell the end for her.  Guess we’ll know soon enough.

I still think Kristy will be leaving us, and that Dial Idol will be unusually accurate for this point in the competition.  However, the only one of the bottom seven I would be sad to see go at this point is Chikezie.  Of the top four I might only be really sad to see David Cook or Brooke White go.  Which I guess says I’m rooting for those three at this point, with nods to a few of the others.

Here are a few others posting about American Idol since last night’s show:

My Beautiful Chaos
Kevin Aylward
Not an AI post but Jen likes David Cook
Chris O’Donnell

(Deb: Also, tWatPoaAIJ and Radley Balko.)

03:07 PM | HumorMusicTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jay: Good Morning

I haven’t weighed naked yet, but I appear to be 2 pounds from being down into the next “decade,” and am down about 37 from my peak high and 27 from my plateau high.  I have dropped a pant size, at least with respect to the pair I tried, but that wasn’t even close.  I am within very little of my weight when we got married.  Don’t remember what that was exactly, but I think it was between this and 6 pounds below this.

My big problem is remembering to drink enough water.  It helps the gout and the swollen foot, just for starters.

Besides watching Henry get on knees and elbows a couple three days ago, trying to crawl despite his apparent plan to skip that part, yesterday I watching him kneel and try to pull himself standing on the side of a wooden file cabinet.  Which is, I recently realized, the only furniture that has lived everywhere from the anonymous town I grew up in through here, moving 11 times.  He seems almost frighteningly bright, and way too capable of functioning on limited sleep.  He beckons you here, waves, gives kisses, has a wicked sense of humor, understand alarmingly much of what we say, plays games, is fascinated with books, has absurd hand-eye dexterity, handles accidentally getting his head under the water confidently, busts out with understandable words a surprising amount, is subtly manipulative, and craves interaction to a frustrating degree.

The current resume variant is almost done.  I am stubbornly holding off my CotC/fundraiser until that is so.  I have to look at bullet points, making sure they sound okay and are in the right order under each position, and seeing what might need to be added to offset the minimalist summary of each position.

I finally got bread to come out right.  It was a silly way to avoid running to the store, which I will still need to do today, ideally, but it was good.  The girls liked it, pulling up a small chair and bucket, grabbing a long knife from what should have been out of reach and systematically prying off and eating almost half the top crust and a layer below it before being discovered.  It was one of those moments when you applaud their cleverness and are horrified that they could have sliced themselves badly.

The American Idol results were no surprise, from who was bottom 3 to who left.  I predicted the other way, but this was a close second alternative.  Kristy was better this time, and was cute to apologize that we had to hear it again.  She’s going to have to pull a Chikezie next week, though, and hope someone else is both demographically and fan base week and performs poorly enough to go.  Not sure I like the idea of a second Beatles week.  The call-in thing was stupid and contrived.  I didn’t think McPhee was as bad as Deb did, though she still didn’t strike me as “almost the winner” material.  Then again, I’d have to include the last 4 winners and runners up in that.  The group sing wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but the fascinating thing is catching who sings how then.  It added appreciation for Chikezie, for instance, but Carly sounded inexplicably bad, and Michael not good enough for the focus they placed on him.  Kristy sounded quite good when she was solo and singing straight.  She’s been needing to bring that to her performances that matter.

Okay, I need to get to work.  I’m thinking read what I have, shower and think, then look at it again and write/edit as needed.  And some is needed, it’s not quite at the “aw, just start using it” stage.  Just so close I can taste it.

11:22 AM | BloggingBusinessFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMedicalMoneyMusicTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jay: My Idol Top 12 Post

Deb did the honors earlier, but this morning I replied to an e-mail from an employee of the former big client with what amounted to a post with my thoughts.  With little or no modification, before the results show happens, just for the record.  I have been predicting the elimination of Kristy, or else David Hernandez, so it’s fascinating to see what Dial Idol says.  Despite them. I just can’t see it being Syesha, unless there’s partly a demographic weirdness because of Chikezie having been so astonishingly entertaining.  Anyway, here it is…

Syesha would have stood out had there not been such good performances from a few others.  She fell dangerously middling.  It’s not a song I like much, but I liked hers.  She looked gorgeous with her hair like that, too.  That all said, I can totally see a perception of boring, and forgettable, especially through having gone first.

Chikezie was amazing.  I’d have liked it if he stayed bluegrass the whole time - made me think Curt Cliff Wagner and the Old Number 7, but the rock it up bit was exactly what he failed to do in Orange Suit Week, when he slowed and stayed slow with a somewhat snappy song.  I was amused that he incorporated a touch of Blake and a touch of what so many loved about Taylor, but he also has a great voice.  He makes me think Philly sounds, bands like the Stylistics.

Brooke made me cry, of all things.  I wasn’t sure about her at first, but she’s just amazing and truly genuine.

I don’t want to like Carly because she’s a plant, but between Crazy On You and Come Together, she’s winning me over.  That and she’s become more personable.  Did you catch the little Irish joke?  At the end of the grocery list she tacked on “and potatoes!”

Ditto for David Cook, though at least he’s not a plant.  I love Hello and loved his rockier remake of it, then thought he was great this week, and looking better.

Liked Amanda very much, felt like she was back.  Never heard of the song, which is usually bad, rather than good from my perspective.  People had suggested she ought to do Helter Skelter, but I was thinking the less obvious Taxman.

I am not sure why so many people really liked Jason this week.  He has a fan base and is an awesome guy, but the singing wasn’t there, dawg.

I thought Michael was better, and better than he’s been doing, but despite the distinctive voice, look, and front man potential, he’s not running away with it as I might have expected.  Now bad, but not outstanding.

Ramiele needs to return to what we saw initially.  She still has a fan base just from one amazing and unexpected performance, and being so darn cute and sweet, but it’s going to evaporate the rest of the way if she doesn’t come through next week.  In the study of all possible indicators out there, one is sales of the full versions off iTunes.  She seemed to have a big and safe fan base, but her stuff has reportedly not been selling.

David Hernandez I like a lot, but that wasn’t so great.  Between the “pizza bistro” thing as code for strip club and playing to the girls with the song and performance, there was a bit of desperation.  I thought it was okay, but song choice.  If Kristy is inexplicably safe, it’ll probably be him, and I’m fine with that.

David Archuleta did prove he’s human, notwithstanding my calling him the Achoo-Bot.  It’s like he’s programmed a certain way, which showed in his “wasn’t I just wonderful” demeanor after the bad performance.  And you don’t admit you aren’t familiar with the Beatles, 17 or not, because that makes you somehow less human.  Henry is familiar with the Beatles!  The anesthesiologist played a Beatles CD as they were tidying and finishing up in the delivery room, so it was the first music he heard in the outside world.  You don’t Stevie Wonderfy things.  You Don’t Forget The Lyrics.  It was (cue British accent) just ghastly.

Did I forget anyone?  And if so, what does that say?  Let’s see…

Duh, Kristy Lee Cook, the one who’s going home this week, Dial Idol notwithstanding.  I feel kind of bad, because she’s the plant they abandoned, and apparently doesn’t do well if you stop watering her.  That was almost unbearably bad, like a caricature.  Yet despite that, I could see how they could have liked her voice, if you gave it the right songs and production to work with.  They just aren’t hot for country this year, and that was over the top, almost like she knew she was done and either was thumbing her nose at them or taking a perceived risk.

08:01 PM | MusicTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Deb: I just realized that we don’t have an AI category. (Updated 2pm edt)

And I totally don’t want to create one today, because then I’ll feel compelled to track down all of our old Idol posts and classify them properly, and I don’t have the time or the ability to withstand the urge.  So in music and tv they’ll have to stay.


The point of this is to bring you some other opinions on last night’s show, and since I obviously need another cup of coffee, without further ado:




Radley Balko

April Groves

Chris O’Donnell

The Woes and the Prose of an American Idol Junkie

I was expecting to find a few others that I didn’t, so I’ll look back through my list this afternoon and update if they’ve gotten a chance to join the madness. (I’m lookin’ at you, O’Donnell.  :D)

Also?  If DialIdol is anywhere close, America’s on crack.  Not with the bottom few...I can see that.  But the top?  Good grief.

Update by Jay:

Added one.  Will add more if I find them.

Also: Amused by the “Pizza Bistro” thing, much as I like Hernandez and don’t care about the male strip club nonsense.

02:45 PM | MusicTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Deb: Once again, I prove that I should blog more often.

Because this is American Idol.  (Update: Pardon me.  I’ve been informed that it is actually because American Idol.  I stand corrected. --ed.)


No, because when I found out we were having Beatles week, I predicted that there would be two classes of performance: the hideous and the sublime.  I wasn’t far wrong.

The hideous:

I thought for sure that Kristy Lee Cook was going to take the title in the lower half after her very weird countrification of “Eight Days a Week.” Proving, however, that even now it’s possible to stun me into shouting at the television, David Archuleta swooped in for the win.  Er, loss.  The only thing worse than giving us the Stevie Wonder version of a Beatles tune?  Forgetting the words while you’re doing it.  Yikes.  Those two performances were in a class by themselves, though to be fair to Kristy Lee, A. She Took a Risk and B. She Tried to Do What the Judges Asked.  Even if it didn’t work, dawg.

Honorable mention: Jason Castro.  Still think he bears a striking and somewhat creepy resemblance to John Travolta.  Like his voice, but not what he did with it tonight.  At all.

Also?  Ramiele Malubay.  I can’t quite find a snarky term for what she did to that song, but that’s because I’m asleep now.

The in-between:

A bigger class than I would have thought.  Michael Johns, who is still lovely to watch but couldn’t summon up either the vocal prettiness or the make-it-his-own to make this work.  Syesha Mercado, who would have been top-tier if the competition hadn’t done so well.  David Hernandez, who overshot the mark a bit but wasn’t exactly actively bad.  I expect y’all to disagree with me on that last, but what the hell.  I’ve taken a liking to the guy.  He gets a week’s leeway from me.

The awesome:

Carly Smithson.  I hate her for not making me hate her.  David Cook.  I hate him for not making me hate him.  Actually, I thought what he did worked surprisingly well.  Emphasis on the surprisingly.  And the well.  Actually, I hate how much I liked it.  So maybe I do hate him.  Amanda Overmyer.  I couldn’t think of a song that she could do that would sound great when she did it.  Luckily, she could.  Brooke White.  You can sing it straight if you’re good enough, and she was.  She will never be accused of bringing no emotion to a performance.  I wonder if that might trip her up eventually?  And Chikezie.  Who was my favorite of the night, because I don’t think I have ever seen someone have that much pure fun on American Idol.  And I am all about the fun.

In conclusion:

Song choice, song choice, song choice.  Make it your own but not in a bad way.  Avoid Stevie Wonder.  Remember the words.  And have a good time.  You’re only on Idol once, after all.

Your thoughts?

02:42 AM | MusicTV • (2) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deb: From the Department of the Obvious:

American Idol?  Predictable? Say it ain’t so!

06:57 PM | MusicTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Banging Away

At the resume summary/intro that proved preferred but still unloved in its modified form.  Pasted it into its own document and just started playing with words in hopes of inspired yet complete brevity strikes.

I rilly rilly need for this thing to be done enough and out the door today, at least to a first wave of recipients.  Then I need to be able to work on the double CotC and fundraiser before the day is out, even if it’s after the top 12 Idols mangle Lennon and McCartney, and even if it proceeds into the morning.

I think Deb will be doing post office and store runs today, though that could yet be me.  Easier for her to get select business supplies than to have me get them, though, and she could stand to get out of here for a while.

Now let’s see if writing has inspired writing…

02:05 PM | BloggingBusinessJob HuntingMoneyMusicTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Jay: Girls of the Top 16

Once again I’ll try to look at the girls from who definitely stays and who is likely to go perspective, as much as just saying who I liked, which was pretty much all of them.  Ramiele stumbled, but is safe based on existing fan base momentum.  If you’ve watched American Idol any length of time, you know it’s neither a singing competition nor strictly powered by who did well or poorly in a given week.

Carly is safe due to pimpage and being sufficiently good.

They appear to want Asia’h to go and uncrowd the proverbial black diva demographic the rest of the way.  We like both her and Syesha.  They both could be in some danger this week, though only one of the two will go, if either does.

Brooke was great, if surprising.  But then, surprising is usually good.  She’s in no danger.

Amanda was arguably best of the week, redeeming herself from last week.  Still kind of a one trick pony, but so seemed Daughtry.  I saw someone say, negatively, imagine 12 tracks of that.  During the show I said, positively, I could see an album of that selling.  Anyway, between the good week, VFTW, and being so distinctive, she’s safe.

Kady was great this week.  Just as I became an Alaina fan during top 24, I saw why Kady was there this week.  She ought to be safe if it’s just about who performed well, but it’s not.  Just makes it tighter.  The generic blond votes are split and she was the next from the bottom last week.  Just as prior popularity carries you, prior lack of popularity bogs you down and gets you too few votes to stay, even if it’s been your best week.  Heck, it’s been common on Idol for people to leave the week of their best.  It’s just inertia.

Kristy was okay, but would seem to be endangered by the multiple blond thing, the excess pimpage thing, and just not having stood out as much as you might expect of a previously signed recording artist.  The saving throw may be the country edge, which there’s little of this year, and demand enough for to help she who delivers it.

The “it’s a singing competition” and “prior weeks and fan base don’t matter” elimination would be Ramiele, but if you pay any attention to the data and buzz, she’s safer than safe.  The candidates you really can draw on this week are Kady, Kristy, Syesha and Asia’h.  Overall I prefer Kady and Syesha, respectively on the strength of this week and Kristy’s ongoing meh-ness and over promotion, and on being a good and making me a fan from the start.  This week I prefer Kady and Asia’h, who were better and more entertaining.  My first prediction was Kady and Asia’h would go.  If I am wrong, most likely it will be Kady and Syesha.  If I am even more wrong, it will be Kristy and one of the others, but not Kristy and Kady together.  The last combo would constitute a “surprise elimination,” as would any of the four girls I consider completely safe.  Syesha deserves to go over Asia’h simply for having not taken advantage of the pimp spot.

On a judging note, Paula was in rare form even for her, and what is up with not only being in trouble for singing Whitney, Celine or Mariah, but anything they’ve ever covered?  I mean, not that anyone should want to do their stuff, considering all the good music that exists, but covers too?  Weird.

05:58 PM | MusicTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Jay: New Amsterdam

We taped the first episode of New Amsterdam for future reference and haven’t watched it yet, but I’d already wondered a bit about the “want to be mortal” premise questioned in Rand Simberg’s review.  I had high hopes, but that is kind of a sick angle.

10:40 PM | TV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Tough Idol

It’s hard to say who will or should go home after last night’s top 8 guys performed.  Starting with who’s absolutely safe, you have David Archuleta, who has a fine voice and all, but needs to become entertaining and not keep slowing down songs to death.  He also wasn’t as note perfect.  To his credit, I liked his rendition better than the original.  He’s going nowhere.

Chikezie was good and has demographics in his favor.  However far he gets, he has a great future.  Perhaps a better one if he doesn’t win, which he won’t.

I hate when the judges concentrate on who did a cover version of a song and often don’t even know who did the original.  I’m torn between hate and amusement for the handicapping Simon was doing, and the other ways in which they push so hard for people to vote the outcome they want.  I’m not sure they don’t want Danny Noriega to make it to the top 12 at least, for Sanjaya value.  I hate when they have so much “trouble” with sound quality and consistency during broadcast of selected (oops, I mean totally random) contestants.

Jason Castro is too good and likable not to get through.

I think Michael Johns had enough Early momentum and entertainer appeal to get through.  He was decent enough, taking the risk of doing an iconic song.  It bothers me they keep comparing him to Michael whassface I never knew existed until he killed himself, from a band completely off my radar until and except when I figured out that the funky four letters I saw and thought of as “Inkses” were a two word band name I’d heard spoken, but whose music I’d never heard.  What’s that got to do with Simple Minds?

David Cook we don’t like to look at, but he took a song I love, that has specific wistful associations attached, made it totally his own, rocked it up just slightly in a way I wouldn’t have imagined, and performed it brilliantly.  I hate having to call it arguably best of the night, but it was, and it has to leave him safe.

David Hernandez was amazing, outsinging Archuleta last night, while being more distinctive.  Not sure how the male stripper scandal will play, but he should be going through to the top 12.

We loved Luke Menard.  He was distinctive and entertaining.  He is in danger because enough people have an accumulated dislike for him and really, he was bad enough the first week to go home then and we wouldn’t be discussing him now.  Some wouldn’t like the song choice, even if Archuleta sang it, if he’s capable of singing at other than a crawl.  I think he’ll go.  Zabasearch appears to be predicting him and Chikezie.  If true, the latter would be a victim of slow song boredom and prior questions about his ability and performing sense overriding any demographics that might push him through, or the powers that be not being entirely accurate in their application of the votes.  I’d like to think they don’t do that, because if they ever got found out they’d be through, and it’d be a big secret to keep.

Almost forgot Danny Noriega, speaking of ensuring accidental bad sound production during a performance.  He should go.  He won’t, depending on the power of Worsters and the whole performers versus singers dynamic.  He’s entertaining.  He’s funny.  He chose an interesting song and even did okay with it, despite the whole sound production weirdness.  He won’t win.  He shouldn’t get to the top 12.  He probably will, and someone more deserving will have left.  He’s probably the only one I would not be sad to see go, either on accumulated appreciation, or for being too good to go this week.  Not that there isn’t a history of people being voted off after their best performance.

It’s tough.  It’s pretty sure to be Luke and someone.  Maybe they’re right about Chikezie, despite demographics, the pimp spot, and how good he was.  Luke was in the forget him spot, first to perform, which is the powers that be saying please don’t vote for this guy.  (Not always, but the spot can be wielded that way when they “randomly” assign performance order.  He also made the classic mistake of singing a “leaving song.” He said “go go” and “don’t leave me hanging on,” after all.

Oh well.  It was a decent episode.  They are so good overall that it’s a weird year.  It’s easy to forget that people in the top 24 didn’t stand out this much last year.  At least, I don’t remember them doing so.

01:40 PM | MusicTV • (2) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Jay: This and That

The gout is a lot better.  Yay!  The kids hurt my left knee to a surprisingly painful degree.  Boo, hiss!

Discussing the possibility of some cool writing work in an area of interest.

Today I need to go back over my US taxes and finalize the forms (there’s always a copy of one or more that gets miswritten and crossed out or such), then do the MA taxes.  While I’m at it I should probably make the partnership tax forms ready to mail eventually and put them somewhere safe.  None of this will actually go out until it must, after all, but I needed the info for the former partners, and my own for other purposes.  While I’m at it, I also need to file a couple quarters of “nothing to see here” zero sales tax returns and mark the last one final.

It’s American Idol night, so let’s hope bedtime goes better tonight.  Sadie’s been a mess in that regard, and Valerie is two.  Speaking of which, Sadie is now on her third of three dry nights.  Apparently there will be no more diapers for her, which is great because we were down to one or two and that $7 buys a lot of milk.  Okay, very little milk, at $4 a gallon, but still.  That probably means the farmers get about a quarter a gallon, the stores get about a quarter a gallon, and the rest goes to transport, processing, packaging, and profit for the milk companies that are the self-designated sole profitees in the sorry supply chain.  Kind of like the insurance companies of dairy.  But I digress, and have not actually researched.

Yesterday was eaten by the bears of redaction.  At least I learned a thing or two about .htaccess and robots.txt, the latter of which I had never yet used in almost eleven years of working on web sites.  Heck, it’s been so long, I say “web site” instead of “website.” I’ve never been so impatient for Google to crawl on through and update itself.  Darn cache transactions.

What else?

Sadie may have developed a food reaction to tomatoes or something else in common to my chili and my red sauce.  Yay.  Both also contain red pepper, garlic, maybe a couple other things at least in trace amounts.  I just realized I used no oregano in the red sauce, but then there’s some in the Italian seasoning.  Well, there’s also beef, but who would react to that?  Not a thrilling development, if it’s more than coincidence.

There are other odds and ends to do.  We started working on planning blog maintenance services yesterday, but we have kids and relatives.  I have to return to my resume, retweak my LinkedIn profile, maybe post a couple more things.  And right, it’s time for Carnival of the Capitalists over at Bizosphere.  Maybe I can do that in the time it takes to cook a chicken later.  Not many entries, but I have a few things I can add and call it a small edition.

I have an idea for selling a domain name more effectively, which should take an hour or two up front and a few minutes a day to pull off after that.  That might be something to work on late at night when the kids are done with me and I’m drooling on the keyboard wondering didn’t I have things to get done or something.

Okay, off to it.  If I start somewhere, inertia will favor momentum over rest.  Heck, as restful as it may seem, even typing up a post like this serves to ramp up momentum.

03:56 PM | BloggingBusinessFood & CookingGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMedicalMoneyMusicNewsTotally RandomTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Friday, February 29, 2008

Jay: American Idol Commentary

It irritates me that the best of the blond girls went home this week.  Alaina was off my radar until top 24, when I became a fan.  This week she was more than adequate.  She lost to demographics, the slow song effect, and perhaps a critical mass of people not liking that song to be covered.

Kady should have gone instead.  Kady knew it.  Unless she does something amazing, Kady is likely to be gone next week, based on how they said the voting went.

Sarah K. Jennifer Jason Leigh Kristy Lee Cook was okay, apart from the weird stance, and has enough appeal and pimpage to have stayed.  She and Brooke also stand out a bit in appearance compared to Kady and Alaina, who resemble each other more closely, except for Alaina being both more pleasant and more talented.

Oh well. 

I totally expected Amanda to be gone.  She would have deserved it.  In a way I’m glad she stayed, and I think it’s again a demographic factor at work, for now, above and beyond anything Vote for the Worst can throw her way.  There’s absolutely no confusing her with anyone else.  She’s not “one of the blonds.” She’s not one of the “black divas.” I’m no longer thinking she’s a female Daughtry, and at first I thought she was Gina but with more potential.  Now I don’t think she’ll get as far.  If she get it right next week, she’s in the top 12.  I think she’ll be lucky to make the top 10.

I had also become an Alexandrea fan, much as I had with Alaina.  Absolutely awful song choice this week, even if it was done well enough.  She made the mistake of doing a song about leaving, and this always seems to happen.

We were talking about generic black girl confusion (and generic blond girl confusion).  I’d kind of put Asia’h and Syesha as competing directly for votes, with Alexandrea being a bit different.  Deb tended to confuse Alexandrea and Asia’h, while thinking of Syesha as a different type.  To which, on reflection, I suggested it was more Syesha versus Ramiele, perhaps. despite the different ethnicity.  If that is so, then Asia’h is relatively safer, with her main vote splitter gone.

After the first week, I was sure Luke was gone and wouldn’t have missed him.  I’m glad he stayed.  What he did this week worked and showed why he’s there, so I am glad he stayed again.  He looks distinctive, too.  Not that the guys have something like the generic blond problem to the degree the girls do, but some have been either bland or people you can hardly bear to look at.

Jason Yeager was no surprise, and we were happy to see him go.  He has a wealthy future as a televangelist or slick motivational guru.  Well, if he has the charisma to go with the look, which the judges would seem to be saying he doesn’t.  Wedding singer, perhaps?  Why am I being so mean tonight?

Robbie was no surprise, and another happy one at that.  He’s good enough to have a future in some genre at some level somewhere, and if he hadn’t gone this week it’s not like I’d have been annoyed.  He probably just needs to be what he is, whatever that may be, or be convincing enough to act what he is not.

The best of the guys this week was David Hernandez, no contest.  David Archuleta can sing well and seems nice enough, but he butchered Imagine.  As Deb said, if she’d not been told ahead of time it would be a John Lennon song, she would have had trouble identifying what song it was.  I also tend to react badly to the blatant pimping by the judges, trying to make the final result, or who the final few standing will be, at least, come out the way the powers that be have in mind.  They are in big danger of a backlash with him.

Sadly, best of the girls was Carly, who finally showed why she’s there and being pimped to the point of backlash already having started, above and beyond any reservations people have about her recording history or proximity to Randy Jackson in the industry.  There was no contest, but Ramiele was excellent, arguably number two.  As well as the shameless promotion of who they want to come out in the top couple or so, they are blatant in tearing down unexpected challenges.  Thus the “were they even listening” critique.

Carly seems to have sprouted a better personality, besides her performance, and besides endearing herself to me with her love of Crazy On You.  It’s a favorite of mine, and a song I always point to as a well written song with a concise, compelling story and vivid imagery.  I’ve used it as an example of writing well more generally, not just lyrically.

She and Ramiele seem to be the girls to beat.

Michael Johns seemed to be the guy to beat at first, and if he comes back strong next week, he could still be one of them, along with Archuletta and Hernandez.  And Jason Castro!  Speaking of resemblances, he has one to John Travolta and to a guy named Paul Selkirk.  The guys are just stronger than the girls this year overall.

Chikezie was another one I was sure was gone the first week, and he may have demographics in part to thank for staying.  This week, however, he showed why he was there.  I’d be surprised not to see him in the top 12 at this point, and perhaps much higher, given song choice, skill and luck.  He’s a pleasure to listen to, and I’m back to my original impression.  Which means I’ve basically just declared who I think should and likely will be 5 of the top 6 guys.  Who’s left?

Luke should probably be the 6th.  Depending on the power of Vote for the Worst and what happens next week, Danny may be instead.  I don’t see a future for David Cook beyond next week, unless he wows everyone.

Of the girls, Carly and Ramiele are essentially guaranteed to be in the 6 that get to the top 12.  Kady and Amanda probably won’t make it that far, which leaves Kristy, Brooke, Syesha, and Asia’h.  That’s an easier prediction than the guys, in that it’s easier to figure who’s likely to leave next week.  Upsets are always possible, and Amanda may have enough fans and worsters behind her to squeak through.  But if she does, it’s hard to say whether Brooke, Asia’h or Syesha will pay for it.  Kristy has been too pimped to be a surprise 13th place finisher.

While I don’t want another Taylor Hicks any more than the Idol powers that be, the degree of manipulation and pond stocking evident this year leaves me dying for an upset like the surprise elimination of Carly or Archuleta at 6th or 8th place.  And that would be fine all around, because many albums could still be sold by those people, or basically by anyone likely to make the top 12.  They’ve stocked the pond so well, they can withstand a result they didn’t beg the voting public for week to week.

So much for quick commentary.

03:19 AM | BusinessMusicTV • (2) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Deb: I’m a teeny bit short on time today…

So for your Idol roundup, I’ll leave you in the capable hands of the following bloggers:

Venomous Kate
Radley Balko
Sarah K

Don’t be shocked if Jay adds to this list if he runs across another roundup or two, or adds his own commentary if he takes a break.

For what it’s worth, I missed a couple of them, hated Archuleta, loved Hernandez, and am feeling pretty *shrug* about the rest.  Apart from that I hate to look at Yeager and Cook.  They both bother me for some non-obvious reason I can’t put my finger on.  If I ever figure it out I’ll let you know.

06:07 PM | MusicTV • (2) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jay: It’s that Time

Besides taking Valerie to see my mother and grandmother at some point, I will be focused mainly on tax stuff for the weekend.  Have an invoice to do, too, which is no big deal apart from being the point at which I have to create said invoice’s format, even if I don’t use a tool more sophisticated than Word.

Not much else to say today, offhand.

It’s rather cool that Gmail spam filtered the scam-sounding e-mail responses to my Craigslist van for sale post.  I saw all that in the spam folder and thought I might have missed a better offer, but no.

Yeah, that’s about it.  Probably something I meant to post but am forgetting.  Heck, I don’t think I posted American Idol reaction.  Maybe at some point before Tuesday…

04:17 PM | BloggingBusinessCarsGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMoneyMusicTotally RandomTV • (0) CommentsPermalink
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