Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bad Credit? No Apostrophe? No Problem.

APPARENTLY, "Bad Credit" has been approved by "Your" (though I can't say, for certain, if there's a hyphen in between the "your" and the "approved"). I need an aspirin.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Your" Does NOT = "You're"

What did the poor apostrophe ever do to deserve such brutal treatment? I mean, seriously, we may as well start waterboarding it (not that we condone torture, because we don't do that in this country) or subject it to some other such treatment. It can't possibly get much worse for this tiny little piece of punctuation.

I'm not sure when it happened.

Sometime, somewhere, someone decided that it took too much effort to type or write the word "you're" (which, if you're playing along at home, is a contraction of two words: "you" and "are") and just went with "your" (which is a second-person personal pronoun). It's unfortunate that this "decider" didn't understand that "your" and "you're" have completely different meanings.

There are few things in this life that, as my grandmother used to say, "frost my kneecaps" (and NO, I'm not really sure what that means) as much as this. There is, however, one thing that does ...

TV's. CD's. Thunderstorm's (and I mean multiple thunderstorms, not that the thunderstorm has taken ownership of something). And so on and so forth.

When, for the love of all that is right and holy, was it decided that the poor apostrophe was to be used to make something plural? You see, I grew up with an English teacher for a mother. I was an English major in college. I have had it beaten into my head that an apostrophe shows possession (eg: "The Grammar Bitch's tolerance for misuse of the apostrophe is dangerously low.") Generally, all that is needed to make something plural is an "-s" or an "-es" at the end of a word (eg. "thunderstorms", "tolerances", "bitches").

Don't even get me started on the confusion people have with "its" and "it's" (I haven't yet had enough coffee to tackle that).

Lynn Truss, in her hilarious book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation expounds on this phenomenon in the sort of detail that I might if I had the time (the Grammar Bitch has little grammar-o-philes to raise). Even if you're not completely demented (like me), you'll find it to be a real knee-slapper (yes, really!)

In closing, I hope that you will strive for kinder, gentler treatment of the apostrophe and to take others to task for their apostrophic misdeeds (or, at least, laugh at them behind their backs). Because, really, what did the apostrophe ever do to you?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Theme Weeks R Us

American Standards Week. WHY??? Didn't we just have this theme? Oh, I'm sorry ... that was 50s Week. The difference is crystal clear. (*rolls eyes*)

Each season, we are treated to themes that pander to a musical icon trying desperately to give his career a shot in the arm. This season, we've seen Barry Manilow schilling The Greatest Songs of The 50s, Kenny Rogers schilling his plastic surgeon and, this week, Rod Stewart trying to drum up excitement for the newest installment of The Great American Songbook.

While I understand that American Idol is a business whose ultimate purpose is to make money, does everything have to be a commercial? The kids singing in this competition have no chance of survival if they keep getting pigeonholed into these tiny musical niches. They can still have folks like Barry Manilow on to consult and coach and even perform songs from their new albums, but make the themes a little broader, hmm?

In the past, they've done, 70s Weeks, 80s Weeks, "Songs From Movies", "Songs From the Year You Were Born" and lots of other themes that allowed the contestants a little more latitude in choosing a song to perform. They also gave them the chance to rise to the occasion.

In that spirit, here are some theme weeks that I would like to see:

1. 80s Week
2. Satanic Metal Week
3. Irish Drinking Songs Week
4. The Complete Works of Dr. Seuss Put to Music Week
5. Songs That Don't Suck Week
6. College Fight Songs Including the Word "Vim" Week
7. Gregorian Chant Week
8. Motown Week
9. Songs That Suggest Extreme Confidence In Mediocre Talent, and Not Merely Confidence But Almost Even A Suggestion That The Singer Feels That They Deserve Enormous Accolades As a God-Given Right Without Particular Effort Or Struggle And Certainly Without Actually Creating Something Themselves Week
10. Disco Week!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Deus Ex Machina: Bucky Covington

I thought last night's cutdown show was deliciously entertaining! T'was a very special American Idol, laden with syrupy, forced emotion and the snot (classy, Frickles) and salty tears of the Eli(*hee-hee*)te Eight.

Props will be given to Seacrest for looking like such a dandy last night! Very polished, very smooth. He's still sporting those distressing tie tacks, but I'm willing to look past that. Maybe our little metro has finally seen the error of his ways and will get it together for the remainder of the season.

I liked this week's installment of "Please, PLEASE, PLEASE Buy a FORD" ... very entertaining and nearly Frickle-free. Whomever was the stylist for that production did an excellent job with the wardrobe. For those of you that have TiVo, I encourage you to go back and check out the individual getups in freeze-frame. And I will forever be allowed to say that McPheever Blows Balls. Tres amusant!

Taylor Hicks: He's a good ol' Alabama boy, and America hasn't finished with him yet. He's gonna get even more votes by reeling in the American Association of Turnip Green Farmers, which is a highly coveted demographic, indeed. While Taylor's vocals weren't the best of Tuesday night, I think that his performance was the most entertaining. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that he was the top vote-getter this week. And I give him bonus points for saying that Queen is the greatest rock band of all time. While I think that the members of Led Zeppelin might have something to say about that, that's m'boy!

Katharine McPhee: Do you think that Kat was meeting Ginger and Gilligan for drinks after the show? Katharine needs a fashion intervention PRONTO. She's a beautiful girl, but one of the stylists must not like her. In any event, Katharine's voice is among the best left in the competition, but she needs to make some better choices or she'll be this year's LaToya London (Mandisa was this year's J-Hud).

Chris Daughtry: We now know what Chris will look like in 30 years. His daddy looks and sounds just like him, doesn't he? WOW. Chris is clearly a good guy. He has to be if he sat patiently as BFFs Kat & Frickles passed the snot rag back and forth over him. I haven't been thrilled with his song choices of late (though I think I'm one of the few who really liked him on Tuesday), but he's a supahstah. This is his competition to lose, I think.

Frickles Pickles: Could she just shut up, already? I think that Kellie has no inner monologue, else she'd keep 85% of what she says bottled up behind her startlingly white teeth. Case in point, no one with half a lick of sense would opt to use the words SNOT RAG (someone should also tell her that a $120 pocket square from Burberry's is NEVER referred to as such) before 40 million people. Frickles leaves me feeling bitter and soggy, much like the peculiar appetizer that bears her name. (*BOO!*)

Elliott Yamin: I just love Elliott to pieces. And he's just a WEE little thing, isn't he? He's even shorter than Seacrest, which is really saying something. Elliott's voice is terrific. I think he could ease up on the vibrato a little, but I would buy his CD in a heartbeat. I loved his reaction to Seacrest when he was asked to sing. He said, "What the???" with his eyes. LOVED that!

Ace Young: I really like Ace, but he was given a GIFT last night. In a perfect world, he would have been sent packing. He's been given yet another chance and he'd better not blow it. In his defense, I think he was truly surprised by the results--he truly looked like he had resigned himself to being last night's goat. As an aside, if the stylists know what they are doing (which, clearly, they don't) they'll have Ace go sleevless more often. Aye papi!

Paris Bennett: This girl must have the largest tear ducts in history. She cries for everything. I really hope that, after Tuesday's performance, people will start to appreciate this kid more. She's toned down the attitude and has been giving great performances. She needs to mature emotionally, but she's got a power house voice and will be around for a long time. I'm diggin' La Parisienne more and more each week.

Bucky Covington: What can I say about Sister Golden Hair? I really wish that, at some point, he'd sung a song that showed what is actually a really nice voice. For me for him, though, all of his performances sounded pretty much the same. While I think that Bucky was given a raw deal last night, cumulatively, he's about on par with Ace, so I wasn't all that surprised that he was the one to go. The pronouncement that he was in the Bottom Three was very, very telling I think. There wasn't a gasp to be heard--there was nary a sound--when his name was called. I wish him good fortune and continued good hair (he's come so far ... *sniff*).

And then there were seven. (Do we really have six more weeks of this?) Next Tuesday will bring us the music of Rod Stewart. Weird. Clearly, I'm gonna have to up the voltage on my treatments.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Beware The Frickles

Whilst en vacaciones with Mr. Floresta, I had occasion to eat at a joint called The Island Cow (Sanibel Island, FL). As I perused their menu, I noticed one very, very disturbing, yet intriguing selection.


"What, pray, are frickles?", you may ask yourself. Well, dear readers, Frickles are deep-fried dill pickle slices. And they are just as revolting as you might imagine. Given my ever-increasing loathing of one Kellie Pickler, I HAD to order them. How could I not? I owed it to myself ... and to you.

This little item is one of the wa-ha-hackiest food-ities that I've run across. What's the most peculiar thing you've seen on or ordered from a menu?

If nothing else, after having seen, ordered and consumed FRICKLES, I now have a choice new nickname for Pickler. I think it suits her.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bring Me The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!

Hi, Kids! The word of the day is "REGICIDE". The broad definition of regicide is the deliberate killing of a monarch, or the person responsible for it. I hereby cite FOX and 19 Entertainment for committing such a high-ei-nous act of tyranny on the world of music.

Seacrest did, indeed, lighten up on the scruffiness (a good call, for sure). I think he should've worn more grey, though. Would that have been possible?? Normally, Seacrest prides himself on being the picture of sartorial elegance, but he's been really shoddy this season. His couture this evening sort of reflected the judges' attitudes tonight, too. They couldn't have been less interesting. Simon just didn't seem up to his usual brand of barbs. Someone should switch him to decaf before next week, so he's extra testy. Even Paula didn't provide much entertainment and we can almost always count on her to say something ridiculous.

Bucky: Fat Bottomed Girls. WOW. Who'd have thought we'd hear the words "Left alone with big Fat Fanny, she was such a naughty nanny, heap big woman, you made a bad boy out of me" on FOX primetime? It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I give Bucky and FOX full marks for selecting and allowing this song, respectively. HOW-EV-UH ... do you think it would've been too much trouble for Bucky to attempt more than, say, three notes? Hmm? This is a great, great song and Bucky's rockabilly interpretation just didn't quite get there for me for him. He had ab-fab hair tonight, though. Mine should look so good! But that's between me and my stylist. Overall, Bucky wasn't the worst of the night, but he's certainly in the hunt.

Ace: We Will Rock You. No, Ace, you won't. And you didn't. And you probably won't have the chance again. When the founding members of one of the greatest rock bands in history tell you that your silly arrangement sucks in such a way as to disrupt the space-time continuum, you should L-I-S-T-E-N to them for cripes sake! First of all, this song doesn't provide the best showcase for vocal talent. Freddie Mercury could sing anything and make it sound operatic. You, Mr. Young, must be somewhat more careful than he. Ace should have listened to Aunt Flo & Cousin Jenn and sung Play the Game. It still might've blown dead bear, but at least he could've worked his falsetto and SUNG. Instead, he was left to informing the audience that he "rocked" and working the dreaded self-clap. Repeatedly. Bye, bye Ace.

The Gherkin: Bohemian Rhapsody. Let me start by saying that this wasn't the B-Movie horror show that I was expecting. Given that Kellie had to sqeeze a 7-minute rock magnum opus into 1 minute, 20 seconds, I think she did pretty well. Obviously, she holds nary a candle to the original--she didn't even come close to Constantine Maroulis--but I think she did well enough to stay safe for another week (much to my chagrin). While she was better this week, she still has that marionette look about her. My biggest problem with her is that she cannot handle all of the running around on stage. She's got two moves (three, if you count The Squat): (1) shake head and tousle hair and (2) drop to knees to make men think of a good healthy boinkfest. She should be particularly careful on a night when she's wearing dominatrix boots with 5 inch heels. The steps are just too tricky.

Chris: Innuendo. I thought Chris was great tonight. I think that this choice was a ballsy and the only real risk was that most people have never heard it. I think it's possible that people will find it a little boring, but I think he did great. However, I would recommend to the makeup artists that if they're going to give Chris the brooding eye look, either go all the way (a la Billie Joe Armstrong) or freakin' forget it. The makeup wasn't heavy enough to look "rock" ... it just made me say, "Hey ... Chris is wearing eyeliner." He needed more lip gloss to give him that nice dewy glow.

**NOTE: As alert & ever gentle reader ncidolwatcher pointed out, while Paula was mostly quiet and useless during the show, did she did have one real doozie."BLAH BLAH BLAH Queen never performed this song live BLAH BLAH BLAH because they couldn't do it justice the way you, Chris Daughtry, could." She should be drawn and quartered for saying something so ridiculous. They didn't perform it LIVE because Freddie Mercury died just after the album was recorded. To my knowledge, the only time any of the songs from this album (Innuendo) were performed live was during a tribute concert for Freddie Mercury at Wembley Arena (These Are The Days Of Our Lives, Lisa Stansfield/George Michael). Paula should be ashamed of herself.**

Katharine: Who Wants to Live Forever. Look at the big brains on Kat! She must be eating at Big Kahuna Burger these days because deciding to sing this song was S-M-R-T: SMART (Simpsons fans UNTIE!) First of all, she FINALLY looked good. Good hair, good outfit. Good lighting. I'm so glad she didn't sing Don't Stop Me Now. I think it would have been a big ol' mess and she would've sounded all silly. She hit a couple of notes that made me want to run and hide beneath my pillow, but I think she did VERY well.

Elliott: Somebody to Love. I have a question. How is it possible to get through life and not hear this song? Between the umpteen tons of airplay the original gets, not to mention George Michael's cover version, how is it escapable? Anyway, this was the song I had picked for E-double to perform and I think he did pretty well. The beginning was decidedly rough. Scary, even. But once he got to the first chorus, he was doing great. My only real problem with his performance was that he made the song seem all ... happy. This song is about pain and suffering and being full of anguish and loneliness. Elliott gave it too much bounce and pep; not enough feeling.

Taylor: Crazy Little Thing Called Love. I'm officially petitioning to change Taylor's name to "Microphone Fiend". That little mis-kick of the mic stand tonight might just be my favorite Idol moment ever. (Go easy, Soul Patrollers). It was hilarious and will go down as one of the great "I Meant to Do That" moments in entertainment history. I am so glad that Tay-Z decided that we weren't the champions. That would have been baaaaaad. Taylor was BACK tonight, though! His performance was terrific and, most certainly, WHOO! worthy. I don't think it was his best vocal performance, but he finally looked like he was having fun again. That was everything David Radford wishes he had been able to do. That said, I think it was one of the weaker vocal performances of the night; we could see an all-male revue on tomorrow night's cutdown show.

**NOTE: Is it just me, or did you laugh your keister off at the trailer for "Stick It". Good times.**

Paris: The Show Must Go On. WOW! I LOVE that she chose this. I thought she did great and had way more rock cred than Kellie tonight. Pairs was working a whole Mary J. Blige meets Lil Kim thing tonight. I'm not sure how I felt about the extensions, but I thought she looked really good. And she sounded great. Clearly, she impressed Brian May and Roger Taylor ... these guys know what they are talking about, people. Listen to them. Paris wins the sovereign's orb for best performance of the night.

Much to my shock and overall amazement, tonight's show was nowhere near the torture chamber I had been expecting. As the herd thins, it gets harder and harder to pick out the worstest performances. I have to rest my weary head and think about this one. If there's any justice, though, Ace will be headed home tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Predic-TIONS! Predictions!

Hey Kids!

Flo's going on vacation with The Mister and NO CHILDREN! Woo hoo! 5 days in Florida with the ability to sleep through the night, drink cocktails with reckless abandon and do whatever I goshdarn well please. (*smiles*)

I'm not going to have time to post tonight because I'll be busier'n a one-armed paper hanger, so I'm getting my predictions out now.

I think ... that Ryan needs to shave his silly beard. Someone send him a can of Barbasol, huh?

I think ... that Mandisa and Taylor should be feeling veeeeeery nervous right about now.

I think ... that Chris did well last night, but needs to ditch the silly arm wristlet thing. Very leather bar.

I think ... I'm golldarned tired of listening to country music on this show!

I think ... I'm terrified about next week's theme: The Music of Queen.

I think ... the bottom three is too close to call tonight, but I will anyway: Mandisa, Taylor and Bucky. Or Elliott. Or Paris. Or Ace (I am fiendishly non-committal).

I think ... that if Ryan's little tryst with Teri Hatcher is damaging his fashion sense, he should end it. It's too painful for the rest of us.

I think ... I'm going to have nightmares all weekend about Kellie Pickler trying to sing ANYTHING from the Queen songbook.

I think ... I have no idea who's going home tonight. I won't even TRY to pretend like I do!

Peace out, my peeps!