Sunday, January 30, 2011

I should forget my book more often.

So I went to work yesterday and I forgot my book and I can't be without one, that would be scandalous. So I had to get coffee (that's required by Act 1434 of my Bloodstream) and I searched the "Bargain" books at B&N. Borders has mad cheaper books, that's for sure.

I got Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates bc I had seen her on The Daily Show years back and remembered she was funny. This book is about the Puritan origin mythos of America, and her investigation into it. And within the first 25 pages I was cracking up left, right, and center. Tonight though, less than halfway into the book, I found the winning line:

"If Nancy Drew were trying to get to the bottom of Winthrop's petty rivalry with Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley, the book might be titled The Mystery of the Pretentious Wainscotting. What happened was, the assistants had agreed to build a fortified new town across the Charles River from Boston, which, per New England's usual creativity with naming things, they called "New Town." (It would eventually be renamed Cambridge, after they founded a university there. Because whatelse would men who attended England's Cambridge University name a university town?)"

This book is precisely what I would write if I wrote history books. Complete with sarcasm and pop culture references. It's like she hacked my brain. Or rather, I hacked hers.

Also, can we talk about the repeat names in New England. New York, you are no exception either. Duplicate town names make the baby AJ cry. (Try to find another Gouverneur. I DARE YOU.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oh for the hate of Bieber...

American Idol -- New Orleans!

Uhoh, this can't bode well. He's crying real hard and making a damned fool of himself. Thanks, Idol. Maybe they're going to be a lot meaner this time out? Let us see.
Why are we playing Mississippi Queen for ohhh bc it's on the Mississippi. Despite it being in Louisiana.
Wow. Uh JLo isn't sparkling but she definitely went ridic blonde.
I don't think we need a clip of Ryan failing at speaking French though. Let's get to the auditions.

Steven's chair is broken, and JLo has a futuristic outerspace outfit on.
Vocal teachers always do well in audition rounds but they do not do so well in Hollywood or in the Top ten -- see Anwar Robinson, and any number of failed contestants in Hollywood Round.
Jordan Dorsey is really adorable though. "I teach piano." "So you play the piano?" No shit, Randy. GJ.
Okay, are we going to waste the WHOLE hour on unnecessary crap? Oh I like this guy. I love Steve lipsynching to the song. Oh JLo went Gaga for this outfit -- not pointed padded crazy but Bows on the shoulders.
Maybe he can break the curse -- he was really spectacular. And he has an excellent cheerful personality.

Oh good, more really annoying horrible contestants. And Ryan doing his worst to promote Nawlins.
Wow she is loud.
Also, is JLo's outfit one shoulder? WTF.
Sarah and Steven are bonding over their giant lips. UGH vibrato. She sounds like all the other women on the radio these days, so I bet she'll do well.
"You had me sold from the second you laid eyes on me." Steven. Wow.

Oh a ship builder you say. And he is so well dressed. Um HI. /shallow -- Jovany
oh dear. This guy Idolizes Marc Anthony? Oh dear. And he's going to strip for her. WHY.
I am however, a sucker for anyone who sings competently in a foreign languages. Wow, Randy -- be incredibly stupid and ask Jennifer about the Latino singer. Of course she knows all the Latino singers ever.
OH No. So we have found this season's Casey James? Also I didn't need to see Randy Jackson's treasure trail. AT ALL. THank you Idol. I think.
Wow Seacrest, way to insist upon seeing a woman undressed. You are a douche. Also, I love that Jovany's family had signs for him.

Wait a minute, why did Louisiana get all this STOP IT RYAN SEACREST WITH YOUR FAKE FRENCH.
"So Coach, did you ever paddle his ass?" -Steven.
Let's see if Jacqueline can actually sing or if she's just gonna use her connections to get in.
Actually, yes. A little shrieky, but not too bad. Also, singing the Pretenders is awesome.

Brett Lowenstern is "different -- a red apple in a pile of green apples." Oh it's a message promo. It's saccharine and gag-inducing, and since they are doing such a well made promo pimping package, he's likely to go through. Wow. Steven is the greatest thing to happen to this panel EVER. He really can sing, so damn. I think he's one to watch too.
Well how am I going to be surprised if you show Steven telling us how awesome he is? Good cutting, Idol.

Gabriel Franks has nice hair. I seriously doubt he's the next American Idol. He is failing at his number. OH dear lord he's going to sing Bad Romance. Oh and the handclaps. I'm a little afraid that they WILL send him through.
How is he uh not going crazy? I haven't seen any meltdowns and screaming about how they are meant to be in Hollywood. What is this?
Thank you boat, for saving us from listening to dude.
Alex Itardo -- he is another Idol Camp person. Oh no, Proud Mary. Let's see -- this tends to get destroyed. And yet another hack attempt at it. Find Treynce and JHud doing this one instead.

Jacee Badeaux is fifteen. Let's see if he unleashes the Bieber. He'll sing Otis Redding. he sings it competently but there's no soul in it. I mean to be fair this is the auditions and I am a little annoyed that they dropped the age limit instead of raising it again.
Okay, so the pimp machine is out in full force. Sweeping dramatic music and there's a sob story coming. I'm guessing she's no Angela Martin coming up.
PS Can we talk about how much Angela would have schooled everyone last season? And now she can't compete anymore bc she hit the age limit?

Paris Tassin has a baby who is disabled. So she's singing for her. Singing Carrie Underwood, and the pimping pays off, she's a wonderful singer. And JLo is a crying mess. Full disclosure: I may have gotten a little choked up. SHUT UP.
Oh man if she can do better than this I am looking forward to it.

Milwaukee time!

Wow, Randy you fail at Aerosmith. If he was playing a Journey song, would you have figured it out?
Guys, why is there a statue of the Fonz in Milwaukee? And gross, someone got Gokey on my screen.
"slap that baby on the ass and call it Christmas." Steven. I think this season of Idol is a winner just for Steven's quotes and singing ad libs.
Oh, Scotty McCreery has a package, so he's going to Hollywood. And he can pitch. Wow, that is a really good country voice. But will he be able to handle the theme weeks? Remember Josh Gracin's debacle with disco week in Season 2.
Really, really really really really LOVE Steven Tyler right now.
Oh and he's a polite gentleman too! Shaking the judges' hands and thanking them for the opportunity.
Oh so we get the crazy fan montages next. Ugh, Hollywood week now, please. Aww, JHud singing Feeling Good for the WW commercials. She's just missing the E and T for her EGOT. Get her on telly stat.

Joe Rupka is going to "kick this thing straight to the moon." Great. The next Ryan Seacrest? Somehow I doubt he will be making his own record and playing it on the radio. Ugh. Did we need to exploit Jennifer again? And he's going to ruin "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel. Oh, that's not ominous -- "Do you sing?" "No, I'm tone deaf." - Joe's mother or grandmother.

15yr old Emma Henry gets to drive to her audition. Is that allowed? NY's age limit is 16, and 18 on Long Island, if I'm not mistaken. What is with her hair? And uh, STOP it with the making me feel old, Idol contestants. "I was five when Kelly won." Like last season's Colorado contestant, she sounds light and fluffy like Lily, and they almost have matching hair. Is there a requirement that Colorado contestants have crazy whitish hair?
Please tell me they tell her that she needs more work and won't go through this year but she should try again next year. Yes, JLo. Look, kid you are FIFTEEN. There is next year and a lot of time for you to get better. Ugh, Randy, don't do it. Oh drag in the sob story.
"dawg's gonna turn into a pussycat now."
Ugh Randy caved. And of course the soaring music. Expect the inevitable Hollywood week flameout.

Guys, I can't even with this trainwreck montage. Why do we need to see horrible singers beg for their musical lives? It is not going to end well for anyone.
"If Gaga were here, she'd go running out of the room screaming, 'What have I done'?" - Randy
I have never heard of Summerfest before. How is it the biggest music festival?
Sob story time, complete with video of her workplace -- she's going to Hollywood. Let's see if she'll be as good as the hype?
Naima Adedapo backs up the talk and the giant earrings. I look forward to seeing her.
"You can call me late for dinner and I'd still love you. But not lunch." -Steven

Why is that guy holding a six foot toothbrush?
Poor JLo -- hers was autotuned, and that auditioner was not.
Jerome Bell is a bar mitzvah singer. Let's see how well this works. He's shouty, but not bad. Steven should approve of the yelling.


It's Bieber time.
Thia Magia singing "Chasing Pavements," and it's a little rough but I like her voice. It's distinctive and different.
Oh good, a montage of fifteen year olds. And a Taylor Swift backing track. GREAT. Let's see how quickly they all melt down in Hollywood week. I'm such an optimist.

SHUT UP SEACREST.Now we get our screamers that they've been "promising" all episode.
Oh, A Civil War Reenactor. This wil end well. "NO. He's not a hippie. Hippies believe in SEX." Nathaniel Jones signs "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." The only person who should be singing while wearing a Civil War uniform is Corb Lund. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Okay Harvard Lady, shut up and get on with it. Molly DeWolf Swensen, I guess, but we're gonna call her Harvard Lady bc I can't remember that many names right now.
Randy, you pointd out that she was a Harvard student and that she works for the White House. And then you ask where she's been? Good job, genius.

Really? Can we just skip past all the haters and sob stories?

So JLo thinks that wearing a music note on her shirt makes her a real singer.
Haley Reinhart has Steven wrapped around her little finger. JLo is not impressed by her co-judges today. Does she have her "Serious Business" ponytail on today?

Tiwan Strong is a throwback and I like him. He's one to watch.
Things I should NEVER hear Ryan Seacrest say: "are you cramping?"

Steve Beghun is a CPA who has no friends. He is a wedding and funeral singer. He is a very nondescript fella. Excepting that voice. What is this
Wow, JLo's son and I had the same reaction to this guy. Also for someone who has no friends, he seems to have a bunch of people supporting him.

Vernika is the one we keep seeing on the commercial breaks leading to the cray cray. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE this song. She probably has a good voice but it's a terrible song. "Half of these people can't sing better than me." Yeah, less than 1 percent of the singers are going through. And to the other contestants? I get that "you mad" but there is no reason to assault the cameramen.

Albert Rogers III is apparently a Barack Obama impersonator. Rough beginning and it's not getting any better. "It was like vanilla fudge from Eleanor Rigby." Aww, Steven, he's being the nice guy.
Student teacher Scott Dangerfield gets Steven to sing Janis Joplin. And he can sing too, so I'm okay with this. Oh dear, now we got the "million percent." Also, it's apparently the "unassuming" season.

Gee, I wonder if Mister I have a sob backstory (go ahead call me heartless) will make it to hollywood.
There are two of my dad? Although mine's a Giants fan. Megan Frazier.
Haha, Football went o
we're singing Bieber.
why are you doing this to my ears.
"you've had your country singers and your beatboxers. it's time for some opera." -Megan

Alli is a huge Aerosmith fan and loves STyler. NGL, I would totes want a hug from Steven.
Alyson Jados sings "Come Together," and rocks it out like Carly and Crystal. I think she's my favourite so far.
"You will have your turn in the barrell." -Steven.
Montage of people who we will see only briefly in Hollywood, and never again.
Chris Medina was trending on Twitter, so now we get to see why. He can sing, but I feel we saw better singers than him, but yeah, he's pretty good. I wonder if they'll exploit this like they did for Danny Gokey's late wife. /not cynical

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Addressing the controvery of judges, man. Wait, when did they announce this in front of a live studio audience? Was this at an audition site or was this at one of the tour shows?
JLo got turned into a Cullen. Her outfit is sparkling. A bit of a change in theme song, I've noticed. They actually added singers to it.

Remember they dropped the age limit to 15, in order to find Bieber clones. So uh, let's see what happens when we hear how awful these kids are. Between JLo and Steven Tyler, who has had the most botox there? Steven's looking for the next Janis Joplin. How will he deal with the Bieber fever? JLo -- stop being nice. LOLOLOLOL he has to reinforce that Jackson used to work with musicians bc all he says is "DAWG. It's HOT."

Seacrest, motivational speaker for hire.

OMG I think I love steven Tyler on this show. This is going to be AMAZING.
Interscope instead of 19. Ah, Simon, you win again.
Time to go to New York! Well, New Jersey once again. GROSS. Hey, that's Constantine Maroulis, season 4 5th place finisher and Rock of Ages mainstay! (Shut up, I once liked him.)

I kinda want JLo's skirt. Shut up. OH come on Hallelujah once again? SO over it. Okay so Rachel isn't bad, or as annoying as she was the last time. WHY IS JLO SO SPARKLY IS THIS A TREND
Caleb, a musician from NYC -- Steven likes him a lot. And sings backup. OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING. WHAT IS...I sell that shirt that Seacrest is wearing in my store.
Kenzie is trying too hard to sound sexy for a fifteen year old. And taking on Carrie Underwood is a tough trick, but she's not too awful. OH our first judges argument. SHE'S FIFTEEN SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHO THE OTHER TWO ARE!
Montage of people who we won't hear sing and are redshirts for hollywood week.
Achille is our first trainwreck. "Still a better singer than Amanda Palmer." -Laurie.
Awww, it's her first no! Poor Jennifer.
Tiffany loves JLo and Jersey hair. Will she make her cry tears of oh god you're so terrible or god you're so amazing? OH DEAR LORD. AWKWARD MOMENT NUMBER TWO.
Oh goodie, original songs. Did she really just play her chest? OH come on Randy, why would you go there? Wait, she can actually sing? And singing Celine, wow. If she stops crying, she will be really good. Oh, gee, I wonder who let them use the J Lo song? ;)
Montage of awful trainwrecks is go. What is with appealing to the women judges? Oh it's because they won't come out and say NO. Um, even her fingernails sparkle. JLo is the original Cullen.
Robbie is our first sob story. OH MY GOD HE WAS SEVEN WHEN THE SHOW STARTED I FEEL OLD. Oh he's going to do the Beatles. And he definitely has the talent. HOW DOES SHE KEEP SPARKLING?
did you just..."marinated on the vocals?" Randy. I know you needed to expand your vocab but uh. I don't even.

Can I nuke anyone who does the fist pump?
So Steven likes ogling women. Who knew.
Chris Cordeiro is an Eagle scout. Who surfs facebook during his videos. It is not going to end well. "My Way," poor Frankie's gonna be spinning in his grave. Uh, shades of John Stevens anyone? Ryan Seacrest should not say "give it to me" on camera. No.

buddy no1curr about your freaky nervous burping. Michael will be destroying "Proud Mary" by Tina and Ike Turner. "Make him stop." -JLo. STOP ENCOURAGING HIM, STEVEN.

Ashley is nearly local -- Springfield, MA. She works at a mall. ONE OF US ONE OF US. Are we serious with the BritBrit rn? I was expecting Britney but she sings something I don't know possibly from a musical. Showtune popstar? WHAT. JLo's gonna break and say yes. AAAND she did.

Uh oh, Sob Story Time. Well, it's a dramatic one at any rate. She's from Kosovo, and her family are refugees. A conflict most Americans aren't aware of. Melinda is really good though, so I am okay with the sob story.
DAY TWO of New Jersey Auditions, man.
Devin, the singing waitress. JLo is still sparkling. I don't get it. Here we go pimping the front runner. Keep an eye out.
Parade of trainwrecks, led by the singing surfer and the teacher duetting with the judges.

OH DEAR. That guy is chasing a bird -- your argument is invalid. Yojipop is bringing JPop to America. OH.

He is going to sing.
Party in the USA. He does have the moves tho. He should be on America's Next Best Dance Crew.
Cue Montage of everyone fucking up Party in the USA. If Miley can't sing it, what hope do we have? JK.
Brielle has a sob story of her own. Let's see if she has teh voice to match. She's already caught the tanning bug and hair colouring the kids are doing these days. She's okay. She'll be a front runner. STOP IT IDOL DON'T MANIPULATE ME INTO CRYING YOU JERKHOLES. I AM SUCH A SYMPATHY CRIER.
Travis is a high school kid. Sob story alert time. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that he does well.
What kind of phrasing is this? I like the tone, but I don't know if I like the rendition of the song.

tl;dr: JLo sparkles, Steven Tyler is alternately a comedian and a creepy pervy old man. A couple of pimped contestants. No Biebers, and fewer sob stories and train wrecks. Also, I think Phil hates me for life.