Thursday, February 25, 2016


Tonight, on Idol, we selected our Top 10. Well, we picked our top 6 out of 10 from yes....well you read yesterday's math.

Anyway, here's who made the top 10:


Gianna (Mr Jesse then said, "I'm Brenda K. Cited!")
Avalon (yay!)

Bye, Bedazzled Eyebrows. Bye Jessie from Toy Story. Oh, bye T-String. And Manny.

Anyway, here's tonight's singing:


Olivia, Unconditionally (Katy Perry)

a rough start but I love this kid (she's 15). Sweet, and a good cover! (She's first so we have to vote extra hard). Also she sang with David Cook the previous week so she gets a special bye.

Gianna, Listen (Beyonce)
whoever did her makeup pancaked her a little too much, she looks like a ghost. Mr Baby chattered over the whole song so I didn't get any idea of how she did. The audience seems to be eating it up though. But J Lo started with "sweetie pie." so it was not good.

Lee, Skinny Love (Bon Iver)

Did they put all the 15 year olds at the front end? It's kind of scary that they are the same age as the show. Also I forgot about Chris Medina (incidentally one of my Doctors was named Chris Medina)

Mr Baby providing occasional backing vocals (EEEEE, he sings) This was a nice cover. I think I've heard the original before. You can definitely tell that Lee is a fan of contemporary singers.

Creepy Scott Borschetta appeared and Mr Baby farted at him. I agree. #driveby

Avalon, Stitches (Shawn Mendez)
Incrementally increasing her makeup. I just like this girl. I don't have a reason, she doesn't belt high notes, but I just like the sound of her voice. Everyone vote for her plz. Harry is using his musical knowledge on us. Kelly loves her. Like love loves her. (Even though she was Team #Guarini in Season 1. Although Mr Jesse is #TeamLilSweets

Dalton, Hey There Delilah (Plain White Ts)
I fucking hate this song. HATE. but Like Kelly with Avalon, I really like Dalton's cover of this! It reminds me of my FBR fandom days, and he even wears eyeliner! I could have done without the "OH THE LADIES LOVE YOU" and Kelly called Harry out on it by saying "there were guys cheering too!" and I am quite pleased because geez, don't assume everyone on stage is  straight js.
Anyway, Mr Jesse hopped off Lee's bandwagon and onto Dalton's.

Also, we learned that Mr Jesse never heard my other husband David Cook's cover of "Always Be My Baby."

Tristan, Nothing Like You (Dan + Shay)
I'm gonna assume she did a good job, because it sounded like a baby laughing. I will give you 3 guesses as to which Slumbersaurus talked over Tristan's song. At least it wasn't a ballad?
Oh she's 15 too, so there goes my frontloading theory.
Harry told her not to sing songs that aren't so obscure.

Mackenzie, I See Fire (Ed Sheeran)
he was like Oh me and my mom watched American Idol. SO WHY DID YOU TRY OUT FOR THE VOICE FIRST?!
Oh, this is why Lee did Bon Iver, huh?
He does have a lovely voice. I forsee a Dalton-Mackenzie finale. It's early yet though. I wish he'd done "Song of the Lonely Mountain" by Neil Finn though. SOMEONE COVER CROWDED HOUSE PLEASE.

LaPorsha, Diamonds (Rihanna)
This song choice does explain her jewelry choice. Kelly is dancing in her chair already. Holy crow, I love this rendition. SHUT IT DOWN.LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. Pretty much how Kelly and J Lo felt. Harry's comment of "there's your critique" to Kelly miming a mic drop (don't actually drop the mic -- we saw what happend last season).

Sonika, Bring Me to Life (Evanescence)
Oh hello 2005 me. Also, I figured out why I thought Lara Fabian did I Surrender, it was because I was hearing Kelly mashed up with Celine singing. The more you know.
I am a little disappointed. She didn't really go toe to toe with Amy Lee here. Competent, but it's hard when you hear the original running through your head. At least we know she can hit high notes.

"If you wake up, we will have a real competition this year."

Trent, Like I Can (Sam Smith)
Can we talk about how much I love that shirt? And the hat, But mostly the shirt. Also, I wondered how he was going to top the ladies who preceded him (LaPorsha and Sonika) but damn, he did a good job. LaPorsha owned it though. Mr Mono seems to have made a fantastic recovery.

My BEST OF THE NIGHT: La'Porsha, La'Porsha, La'Porsha. 4th is Trent.

Top three (for realsies) La'Porsha, Trent, Olivia
Bottom three: Lee, Gianna, and (rewatched) Tristan.
Going home: Lee or Gianna.

Mr Jesse's BEST OF THE NIGHT: Dalton
Going home: Gianna, possibly Avalon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

American Idol Series Finale

In case you were unaware, American Idol's 15th season is its last until its inevitable reboot 10 years from now. And it's been trimmed down so its finale is in April this year, giving us less than 2 months to declare the "bookend to Kelly Clarkson."

So I decided to revive my recaps for the live episodes....and just in time too, because Idol decided to make it mega complicated. You see, we didn't vote until this week. The judges (Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez, and Keith Urban) picked our top 14 for us.

Then there was tonight.

Ryan announced that we would fill the 10 chairs on the stage for the top 10, but here's the catch. 4 of the singers would not be singing! The judges picked four contestants to proceed to the top 10 because America can't be...trusted? Anyway. The 4 chosen ones don't have to sing this week, which I think puts them at a disadvantage. They haven't had to sing for a live television audience yet!

So the judges selected Dalton, LaPorsha, Olivia, and Trent. How did the rest do, singing their best songs from this audition cycle?

Manny Torres - Master Blaster
Okay, I don't remember him doing this from the audition rounds, and he's just as forgettable here. I am reminded of Deandre Brackensick's far better rendition, and this was just bleh. I think Manny's one of our 4 casualties tomorrow.

Gianna Isabella - I Put A Spell on You
She literally did this song last week. She did it better this week, but I am annoyed she repeated her song. At least there weren't as many cutaways to Brenda K. Starr this week. I wonder if Gianna's last name is Starr too. Is that even Brenda's real last name? I wonder what dirt she has on J. Lo? ANYWAY.

Thomas Stringfellow - Story of My Life
I would say next season they should stop letting people do the same songs over and over on this show (Alex Preston did this better). At least he didn't use any weird pronunciations. And Harry called him on his weird affectations that are so obnoxious. But no, Ryan, we do not want T-String to happen.

Tristan McIntosh - What Hurts the Most
Okay, at least we were spared our 500th viewing of her audition video with her mom surprising her by coming home from Afghanistan or something. And while she sobbed and stole this song from another girl in solo rounds because OMG ITS THE SONG SHE LOVES WITH HER MOM she did an amazing job this time out. Get it, girllllllll.

Avalon Young - Yo (Excuse Me Miss)
I kinda dig Avalon. She doesn't give a fuck. No/minimal makeup, shapeless sweaters, and she sings the songs without changing genders (No Excuse Me Sir or Mister). She has such a great voice! I kind of want to hear more -- a less annoying Avril Lavigne, I think.

Jenn Bloss - True Colors
Two words:

oh she sang too
it was just okay


Lee Jean - Make It Rain
Yawn. Mr Jesse liked it though. We will allow it.

Sonika Vaid - I Surrender
Why don't I remember Celine Dion doing this song, and somehow think it was Lara Fabian? I don't know. I will spend some time on Youtubes tonight figuring this out. Sonika is lovely. She is one of our two The Voice contestants on American Idol, FYI.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell -- Ring of Fire
I'm over her. I'm not sure I was ever really under her? But her mountain woman schtick is wearing thin. And I don't like her cover of Ring of Fire at all. I'm not sure why.

Mackenzie Bourg - Roses (original song)
Mackenzie was on The Voice, I believe he was a top 20 contestant. He was an annoying hipster then, and he's an annoying hipster now. At least he sings his own songs nicely though.

Now, for who I think will go through, and who I *want* to go through. But first, Mr Jesse's six picks.

Avalon, Lee, Tristan. That's all he wants. Just those three. The ones he really likes are already safe, haha.

My six pack: Avalon, Tristan, Sonika, Mackenzie, BEDAZZLED EYEBROWS, and grudgingly T-String..

Who will actually make it (Thanks America): Mackenzie, Tristan, Avalon, T-String, Lee, Jeneve.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Books in review Part Two!

So here's the second part to my 2014 book recap!

What's the best book you read this year?
I can't choose, as per usual: Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn; Serena, Ron Rash, and Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides. All three were the highlights of my year.

Any other reading highlights?
I read two very important books this year -- A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, and Elie Wiesel's Night

What's the most challenging book you read this year?
Defining challenging is the trick here. Was anything difficult reading level wise? Not particularly. Wrapping my brain around the thoughts and ideas, a little more so. Always Coming Home, by Ursula K. Leguin definitely fits the bill. It's a future anthropological survey of a post-apocalyptic society.

What's the worst book you read this year?
The Reflections of Queen Snow White, by David Meredith, and Reconstructing Amelia, by Kimberly McCreight. Reflections was a weak take on the Snow White mythos, while Amelia just jumped (literally and figuratively) into soap opera territory.

Which authors featured most prominently for you in 2013?
I joined Gail Carriger's reading group, which led to a lot more female authors in my life. I also finally caught up on George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, so those were the Big Authors this year. I also met an author at work, whose book I am going to order as well.

Were you part of a reading challenge? Did you meet it?
My initial goal was 100, because I planned to write more. I did not, because I did other things too -- I learned roller skating, and I achieved my lifelong dream of appearing on the show Jeopardy. Needless to say, reading wasn't one of my top priorities. So I dropped the goal to 75 about midway through the year, and I did ace that. I got to 77.

Are you signed up for any in 2014?
I'm going to shoot for 100 books, because I will have a small baby in May, and I assume I won't have a lot of time to read for pleasure then.

What books did you get for Christmas?
I actually did not get any books for Christmas! People know better than to do that for me. I am using my Amazon money for some of that though -- here are the titles I purchased so far:

Battles Of Cuba - Containing An Authentic Account Of The Battles Fought On That Island In Her Late Struggle For Independence
Colombia and the United States : War, Unrest, and Destabilization (Open Media Series)
A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower
Between Resistance and Adaptation: Indigenous Peoples and the Colonisation in the Choco, 1510-1753 
Talabarske: The True Story of Two Brothers with One Extraordinary Bond Finding Life After Ruin in World War II
More than Petticoats: Remarkable Illinois Women

What books are you going to buy next?
One of my customers is an author on books on human trafficking, so I am going to purchase that. I will also probably be purchasing other books in Gail Carriger's reading group, so I'm looking forward to seeing what else she has for us.

Which books are you most looking forward to reading in 2015?
I really want to read Alison Weir's books --- it seems like a few new ones have gotten away from me. Gail Carriger is releasing new books next year as well. There are also a lot of unread books in my library!

(these questions I stole from last year's post)

Unexpected Terrible Book: Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice. I guess I didn't realize how terrible a person Gertrude Stein was, but this book just bored me.

Worst Series: Ugh, Insurgent & Allegiant were so bad. Way to ruin everything, Veronica Roth.

Unexpected Surprise, Nonfiction: Murder on the Mountains, Emily Monroe! I was so pleased that she finally was able to finish the book she's been working on for years, and I was never so happy to purchase a book!

Unexpected Surprise, fiction: Gone Girl. That twist, man. And I know everyone freaked out about this book, but I thought it was overhyped. IT IS NOT. 

Best Series of the Year: Gail Carriger's Finishing School Series! Love these books. They're targeted at YA, but I find them to be utterly adorable. (This is still true this year!)

Best Young Adult Novel of the Year: Divergent was really good. The sequels, NOT SO MUCH.

Most Important Book I Read This Year: Again, Night (Elie Wiesel) or A People's History of the United States (Howard Zinn)

Thursday, January 01, 2015

I managed *only* 77 books this year. Here we go, in chronological order, under the cut.
 The * designates my favorites, while ** designates the ones I hated the most.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Writing prompt attempt 1

It wasn't really stealing. Not really. That's what she kept telling herself as she pounded the pavement, her shoes thudding as she picked up the pace. It's a big store, no one will miss it, they'll just refill the shelves and never notice that ti's gone. She needed it more than the rich person who was going to come in for it would. Dodging puddles, she didn't even notice that it had stopped raining and it had turned to soft white fluffy flakes of snow.

She was almost home when she slipped on the ice that had formed outside her doorway.  But the item was safe, and she gingerly sat up, her pants ripped at the knee, blood welling to the surface, but barely bubbling out of the scratch she'd achieved. Grumbling, she slowly got off the ground, trying to avoid touching the knee to any surface as she did. Hobbling up the stairs, she dug her keys out of the bag, digging past the papers, all the coupons for various items, for the random business cards, her phone, and felt around for the thing. It was in one of those useless compartments of the bag, those things that collect the dust and candy wrappers and coins.

Unlocking the door, she took a quick look round and then headed up the stairs, limping ever so slightly as she did. When she finally did get inside to take a look at it, she noticed it wasn't that deep, but she very carefully removed the gravel and dirt from it. Luckily, there was still some bacitracin from the last literal scrape she had gotten herself into, and she added that to the cut. The more pressing problem was the pants, as that was her last pair that was in any kind of shape. She thought of going back and perhaps stealing a pair, but that was entirely laughable. She wasn't a thief. Most of the time. Just the one thing.

This is my first in a series of quick writings in an attempt to get back into my writing hobby. Opinions, thoughts welcome, of course!

Friday, January 03, 2014

2014 Goals, Books and otherwise.

One of my goals for this year is to write every day, as much as possible. I know I am capable of reading 100 books a year, so that's my goal for that. But I let writing slide this year because of wedding prep and just not having the time. I'm making time this year.

I have 3 other goals this year:

  1. Set up a home business, where I can make money outside of my day job.
  2. Get breast reduction surgery
  3. Get my license, and purchase my first car. (A jeep, if I have my way and $$)
Today's post is part of my writing project. Even if it's just a blog post I want to have written something every day. (There will of course be days where I can't get it done, but everyone has those. I don't need to spend 2 hours a night on tumblr when I can be writing instead! [Don't worry, I'll still spend 2h on Tumblr, mwahahah])

I wanted to make a top 10 list of books I read this year. I usually don't do a top 10, but I read enough books I think I could make a quick and dirty list for y'all.
  1. The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence
  2. Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. Below Mercury, Mark Anson
  4. All That I Am, Anna Funder
  5. The Prisoner of Heaven, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  6. Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, Jenny Lawson
  7. Written on the Body, Jeannette Winterson
  8. Started Early, Took My Dog, Kate Atkinson
  9. Farthing, Jo Walton
  10. Heading Out to Wonderful, Robert Goolrick
Any of these are great books, and you should read them! Haha.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Part Deux, the Books!

So here's the second part to my 2013 book recap!

What's the best book you read this year?
I don't like to choose, so I selected 3: Below Mercury, Mark Anson; All That I Am, Anna Funder; and The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence.

Any other reading highlights?
Runners up would be Written on the Body, Jeannette Winterson, and Let's Pretend this Never Happened, Jenny Lawson. I read a lot of different genres, and I definitely was pleased with most of the books I read this year. Those would be my top 5, between this question and the last one.
OH! I have to say I absolutely ADORED Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. So we'll make it a top 6.

What's the most challenging book you read this year?
Defining challenging is the trick here. Was anything difficult reading level wise? Not particularly. Wrapping my brain around the thoughts and ideas, a little more so. I think the most "challenging" book was for me was Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, which was a decade long study of teenagers in the Bronx. It was eyeopening and heartbreaking.

What's the worst book you read this year?
Ugh, that would probably go to the final book in the House of Comarre series, Last Blood by Kristen Painter. I was SOOOO disappointed in it. I also hated Jane Was Here, by Sarah Kernochlan for similar reasons. (Basically use of racial stereotypes, and all the people of color died in both books).

Which authors featured most prominently for you in 2013?
Isabel Allende and Alison Weir had new books out, and I was thrilled to read them. I read a lot of Lilith Saintcrow, and I was mostly pleased with the books I read from her. I tried to make sure I read a lot more female authors, and books that I already owned instead of buying more.

Were you part of a reading challenge? Did you meet it?
I had a goal of 115, because I missed that # last year. I succeeded, mightily!

Are you signed up for any in 2014?
I'm going to shoot for 100 books, because I plan to write more this year instead.

What books did you get for Christmas?
I actually did not get any books for Christmas! I did buy books for my birthday (Nov. 17) with my Amazon gift card, and those are:
13 Women: Parables from Prison, Karlene Faith
Bittersweet, Nevada Barr
Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice, Janet Malcolm
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Rubyfruit Jungle, Rita Mae Brown
Wise Women: From Pocahontas to Sarah Winnemuca, Remarkable Stories of Native American Trailblazers, Erin H. Turner

What books are you going to buy next?
I don't know! I usually purchase Kindle daily deals, and I also check my local Goodwill for books on the cheap. Although Alison Weir and Kate Atkinson both have books out that I need to acquire. I do have a $50 gift card that I should use up, mwahahaha.

Which books are you most looking forward to reading in 2014?
I'm looking forward to reading the Native American anthology mentioned above, because I'm working on a "badass lady" project. I also want to finish Jo Walton's Farthing trilogy.

(these questions I stole from last year's post)

Unexpected Terrible Book: I was disappointed in the Kindle serials I read. I think that the cliffhanger idea, while neat does not make it easy to read when the chapters are finally reconstituted into the whole. I know that it is an old idea (Dumas did it for most of his books) but I think that the segues should have been neater. (Disenchanted, by Robert Kroese and The Scourge, by Roberto Calas).

Worst Series: I really really really was disappointed in Last Blood. Like everything was squished into one book, a hanging thread left behind, and I just did not approve of the ending at all.

Unexpected Surprise, Nonfiction: A Brief History of British Kings and Queens, Mike Astley. This is an excellent reference work, and actually included Scottish kings and Welsh kings. Incredibly helpful for elucidating chronologies!

Unexpected Surprise, fiction: Wives and Daughters. Oh man, when I learned she never finished the novel I wanted to cry! I loved the story, I loved the characters, and I love that there wasn't an "evil" character. I really really really enjoyed that book!

Best Series of the Year: Gail Carriger's Finishing School Series! Love these books. They're targeted at YA, but I find them to be utterly adorable.

Best Young Adult Novel of the Year: Again I have to submit the Finishing School series! Loved them. A good runner up would be A Silhouette of a Sparrow, by Molly Beth Griffin, a book I won on Goodreads Giveaways. Great LGBTQIA book.

Most Important Book I Read This Year: Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World, Kathleen Ragan. This is a book that I will read to any future children I may or may not have. Just saying.

So I'm still working on my first two books of this year, carry-overs from last year. I am working on The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (I do not really like this book, but I am nearly done with it), and 13 Women: Parables from Prison, by Karlene Faith (this is better than Orange is the New Black).