I have seen the dark side, my friends, and it is “Love Song Night” on Idol.
I think I miss Ace more than I thought I would. He would often surprise me by being better than I expected… and he was so dang cute. I have mini-crushes on Taylor and Chris, of course, but Ace was like my little brother. Or wait, more like Lew Ford, my Twins boyfriend. I’m sorry I can’t seem to distinguish between a brother and a boyfriend. That’s definitely a little weird. I should probably go in for some counseling. Um… I should probably point out that I don’t have any actual real-life brothers. Nor boyfriends. So that’s good.
Right, so Andrea Bocelli Night. I don’t know, I think Andrea Bocelli is more a product of excellent marketing, than The Most Fabulous Singer in The History of The World. Like, Pavarotti and Carreras and Bobby McFerrin probably have more talent… and what’s with his loony producer guy? I hate him.
But NOT as much as I hated the performances this week. We really reached new heights of suckitude. Or lows, I guess. Mercifully, this will be short., with very little focus on the singing, which was for the most part lackluster at best.
Katharine -- Jean, Joel and I thought she was amazing, fantastic, and a great start to the evening. She even looked like a younger, more beautiful, much-less-creepy Sarah Brightman. Unfortunately, the judges were like a wet blanket. It must have been dreadful live.
Elliott -- Elliott looks like the bizarro-world version of Ryan Seacrest. Like, if you took Ryan Seacrest and punched him many, many times in the head, and dumped him on a desert isle without toothpaste, heel-lifts or a flat-iron, you would wind up with Elliott. Or if you didn’t like that analogy, perhaps you can think of Elliott as the hobbit version of Seacrest. Hobbits are short, curly-haired, pointy-eared and unreasonably chipper, just like our little Elliott. Elliottawhile Yamgee, that would be his hobbit name. Trixies hobbitses!
Kellie -- We decided Kellie sounded like a cassette tape that’s been played about 400 times too many, not unlike my copied version of Billy Joel’s “Storm Front” album, to the point where even though I’ve had the album on CD now for about 10 years, I can’t hear the opening bars of “State of Grace” without thinking they sound a little warped. We got a kick out of Simon’s pronunciation of “warmth”: “whoompf.” It reminded us of better times, and Julie Andrews.
Paris -- Just kind of thought that she was trying to make the song (“The Way We Were“) “bigger” than it actually is. And her looks were sort of channeling Oprah. And WHAT was with the weird breath delivery of that last note? Yaarrgh!
Taylor -- Ouch, man. Joel gave him the heave-ho with the Gronau-patented “yerrrr-out!” sign (ask Joel to show it to you sometime, hey?). And even I’m afraid that performance will be enough to get the Silverback booted.
Galway Dave -- Did you guys catch how they mis-edited the comments of Andrea Bocelli’s producer-guy? He said something like “If [Galway Dave] does a great job, the song will be great for him…” (you know, the usual cloyingly optimistic remarks they give everyone)… except then they cut the sound, but the video played like 1/2 second longer, enough to show him saying, quite obviously, “BUT...” before the video, too, cut away. We are dying to know what he said!
Anyway, a simply horrible night for everyone. Not even to mention all the technical difficulties (judges’ and Ryan’s mikes were on when they should have been off, and vice versa). Let’s just try to forget this ever happened, okay?
I got both kids to nap at the same time, two days running! I’m a freeking genius!
I’m happy because my life still has so much possibility. Sure, I’m “old and married” and “settled down” but there is still time for me to dream. I can page through magazines with photos of enormous, beautifully-decorated homes, and I can still think “maybe, someday.” I’ve got a couple kids, and we might be done, but… we might not. We might have five! I have a decent job, but heck, maybe I’ll go back to school and become something else.
It might just be the time of year, because a two-week streak of gorgeous spring days sure lends itself to boundless optimism. But today, I’m happy.
Oh, and I haven't dropped either kid on his nor her head in over a week!
So it's Monday, after a pretty crazy weekend. Thursday, we drove up to St. Cloud to see JG's grandmother in the subacute care facility. Then we made the trek back through the cities, down to Illinois for the rest of the weekend.
Here's a shout-out to the Ryans we saw (and those we missed) at Nana's party. Hey!
Miraculously, we also managed to hook up with many of our friends (specifically, Nick & Estelle and Julie & Stu) in Chicagoland. Peg & John came all the way from Milwaukeeland on Saturday night (when they had a wedding cake to bake for the next day!) to hang out with us. It was wonderful to see everyone.
On the way back home Sunday, unexpectedly and unbeknownst to us, we bought a pop-up camper. We'd been talking about that possibility (so we have "a room of our own" up at the G's lake), and Joel's p's found us a great deal and, as Joel said, "pulled the trigger" for us. So we are the proud owners of a used camper (or we will be, once we reimburse the Gronaus)! Hooray! We've been excitedly making lists (towels. bug spray. pillows. decks of cards.) ever since.
Ooh, sorry this is short -- I just realized both kids are sleeping and I had better shower if I don't want to miss the opportunity entirely.
Okay, so the top "artist's rendering" is how I put Lucy down to bed in her crib last night at 7:30. The "B"s are her three blankets. The bottom one is how I found her, a mere 15 minutes later, fast asleep. Those are her socks in her left hand.
And we're considering putting her in a big-girl bed??
Well I for one am greatly relieved that this was Great American Songbook Night and not Rod Stewart Night. I mean, sure, I want his body, AND I think he’s sexy, but … well … on the other hand, maybe America is due for a remake of “This Old Heart of Mine.”
Joel (JG): “Rod Stewart singing American Classics? That’s f#$%ing stupid.”
Jean (JT): “Why is Seabreeze wearing two microphones?”
Meg: “Paula is even more orange tonight! And it’s rubbing off on Simon! Is jaundice contagious?”
Consensus: Rod Stewart’s baby is stinkin’ adorable.
Chris “Galway Dave” Daughtry M: “That was awesome! Wasn’t it great?” JT: “His tie is inside his shirt.” M: “Maybe that’s a cravat? He has such lovely eyebrows. And I adore the swishy sideburns.” Carol (via teleconference): “I thought Chris was the guy playing the guitar!” M: “Me too!” JT: “Yeah, I did at first too.” Carol: “Yeah, but it took me ¾ of the song to figure it out. I was like, ‘What did they do to him this week?’” M: “Wasn’t the guitar guy black?” Carol: “Yes!”
Paris Ramada: JT: “How did her hair get so long? I like her simple look this week. It‘s all about their singing tonight.” M: “Sometimes she sings like there’s a marshmallow in her throat. But I thought she was awesome!”
Taylor Hicks: No, no, no, Taylor, you have it all backward. You. Send. US.
Elliott Phone Home: JT: “I really like his voice. He’s singing it pretty straight up (until the end).” M: “He’s such a goofy-looking guy. But man, that was good. He’s great.” JT: “I don’t think that jacket is ‘him’.” M: “I have to agree with Simon -- he’s missing something.”
Kellie Pickles: M: “Whoa, there, make sure you get up to that note! Okay, I’m going to blame that on the satellite transmission.” JT: “A titch flat.” (and later) JT: “Oh, dear. That was bad, man.” M: “And it started off so good! Oh, poor sweetie. Oh, honey.” We especially liked Rod Stewart’s stunned silence after Kellie said “Well, you took a load off my chest!”
Ace Ventura: M (to herself): “Wow, he looks like Derek Jeter. I’m not going to say that, though, because that would sound stupid.” JG: “He looks like Derek Jeter!” M: “Aaaarrrgggh!” JT: “Omigod, he cut his hair.” M: “Nooo, it’s a ponytail. No, wait, it’s a bun.’ JT: “It’s not a bun, it’s just curled under.” JG: “I’m a little envious of his hairline.” JT: “I could not look more like this guy.” (Separated at birth?)
JG: “Nice falsetto. Ohh, lip quiver!” M: “Shut UP, Paula!“ JG: “Now she’s got a coin slot.” JT: “Yeah, but hers is in front.” M: “And I think it also accepts dollar bills.”
Katharine: M (distracted, trying to find a photo of Ace that best displays his resemblance to Jean): “That was really good.” JT: “She’s got great vocals.” JG (who only came in during Ace’s song) : “She was the best all night.”
Bottom three: This is tough, dawg -- almost everybody totally kicked it tonight. In a good way. Well, except Kellie, for sure, I guess; then maybe Paris and Elliott. Or wait, Ace instead of Paris. Kellie’s got to go.
The last couple days have been a constant stream of adding insult to injury. Argh. So this evening I hear a loud crash come from the bathroom. Joel left the toilet seat up (as he does when he's really stressed out and/or tired) and my entire bag of makeup (left open because when I even GET to put makeup on these days it has to be fast) fell into the toilet water.
So, the question: do I now really have to buy All New Makeup?
Joel's dad is going home from the hospital today. He did have a heart attack. His one artery was 100% blocked; apparently his arteries are organized differently from most people's and it's only because of that that he is still with us. They put a stent in and did a bunch of tests and though he will have to make some serious lifestyle changes to prevent this from happening again, it sounds like he's going to be okay.
Thanks everyone for the kind thoughts, words, prayers and "power."
Joel's grandma, well, we're not sure what's going on with her. Usually our updates on her come through John, and obviously he hasn't been able to get the info. I think she's still in the hospital in St. Cloud.
Was there anything else? Oh! My grandmother is moved into her new place in Richfield. SHE HAS CABLE!!
If you're the praying sort, please keep Joel's family in your prayers. His father had a heart attack Thursday night, and he has had at least one more since then. He's in the hospital now and we are probably going over there soon.
Also, Joel's grandmother had a fall on Tuesday and is also in the hospital.
Also, Joel's aunt had a healthy baby girl (Gabrielle or Gabriella?) earlier this week. Congrats to Doris and Scott and big sisters Megan, Paige and Maddie!
I hope everyone has a less stressful weekend than I am planning on having.
This was an interesting week. I mean, Queen? I kind of like Queen, and all, but I'm not really sure anyone but Freddie Mercury should be singing their songs. Speaking of which, he was mysteriously absent from the proceedings tonight. Hmmm.
This week we have group-reviews, kind of like your own personal Randy/Paula/Simon, except much less repetetive and stupid. If I do say so myself.
Ray is my dad; Jean is my sister. I believe you are acquainted with Meg and Joel.
Bucky Ray: That was tedious, monotonous and wasn't my cup of tea. (Ray was actually drinking a cup of tea at the time, so he speaks from experience.) Jean: Some parts were not on key. Meg: I agreed with Jean, but I thought the performance was okay. Why is Paula so orange? Joel: Boring If he could have changed up, or increased the tempo, then it would have been his, dawg.
Ace -- "We Will Rock You" Ray: I agree with Simon --it should only be sung by Queen. And I think Ryan Seacrest is getting shorter each week! Jean: Why is he stomping through the whole number? Meg: This is not even a song! His pants needed to be way tighter. Besides, someone that pretty isn't going to rock anything. Also, I'm surprised during the line "blood on your face" that he didn't touch his face. He's usually so all over the built-in choreography. Joel: This is a tough song to make your own.
Kellie -- "Bohemian Rhapsody" Ray: This was the best Pickler's ever done. Jean: It was great! Meg: I don't believe I'm saying this, but I really, really liked it. Joel: Quite honestly, it was the best of the first three. She rocked it!
Chris "Galway Dave" -- "Innuendo" Ray: I like this guy, Chris, but it just got kind of repetetive. Jean: I thought he sang it well, but the song was boring. Meg: Ellen should have married him when she had the chance!! I totally loved it, eyeliner and all. Joel: He did a great job, but it's not that good of a song.
Katharine -- "There's No Time For Us" Ray: Boy, she is just beautiful. Jean: Overall, I liked it; some parts were off. Meg: Her voice wasn't quite good enough for the song, but it was still really good. Joel: I'm changing Lucy's diaper! What's happening?
Elliott -- "Somebody To Love" Ray: Good performance. Dumb song. (Aside: My dad likes music from the '50s. REAL rock-n-roll, like Buddy Holly, The Kingston Trio, etc.) Jean: Good voice. I like that he has more hair this week. Like, they maybe shaved his leg hair and pasted it on top of his head. It's nice. Meg: Okay, I think maybe Paula is eating too many carrots. That can turn you orange, right? Or WAIT! Maybe she's jaundiced! Pull out the billi lights! Joel: I'm brushing Lucy's teeth! What's happening?
Trevor -- "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Ray: This is a Queen song? I actually like it! Jean: Hilarious. I love him. I'm going to ask him to be my date for the next wedding I go to! Meg: (After Trevor's failed attempts at kicking over the microphone stand) And... this is why I love him. Joel: Dude, it's all corn. ("But!" we protested, "It's supposed to be corny!") No, I'm saying it's still on the cob. It's canned corn. He's trying to be goofy, but that's not his original deal. He'll get through, though, because America is stupid.
Paris -- "The Show Must Go On" Ray: Dial carefully; those are 866 numbers, not 800 numbers.
No, wait, that's Ryan Seabreeze's comment. What did my dad say?!? I have no idea.
Jean: Why does she have the Budweiser symbol on her hip? Meg: She could not be any more short-waisted. Her waist is 3 inches below her armpits. Joel: Did she just do the "muscle man"? That has to go.
...except try its little Nuk-hardest to make you happy??
Ed hates his Nuk. Like, really really hates it. About 65% of the time. The other 35%, it soothes him like a good Nuk should. I just don't get it.
Ed is kind of a weird kid. Sometimes he just doesn't want to be held. Unheard-of! So we put him down, he's happy, and the world keeps turning. And, like, he's never been what I would call "colicky," but every once in a while he just has these screaming fits. Doesn't want to be held, doesn't want his swing, couldn't be hungry, diaper is clean... who knows?
Ground Beef 101
Joel is Funny, Part XII
One of my favorite parts of being married is still finding out new things about each other, even six years later.
So... I occasionally cook things with ground beef, right? And one of my pet peeves is when I don't manage to chop up the beef finely enough as I'm cooking it. I think cooked ground beef ought to be of a nice, even, small consistency, first of all so it picks up all the sauce or whatever I'm doing with it, and more importantly so that I don't end up with gynormous chunks of MEAT that are unevenly cooked or at the very least gross out my palate.
So I mention this to Joel one day (after apologizing for not chopping up the pieces quite to my satismafaction)... and he looks at me, kind of dumbfounded.
"Meggo," he says, "That's how groundbeef is supposed to be."
"WHAT?!" I stammer. "No!" I proceed to outline the aforementioned reasons for chopping up the beef thoroughly.
"Yeah," he replies, "Well, that's why whenever you cook, I'm like, Where is all the meat?"
You guessed it: this is crying out for another poll. Here goes:
So JG and I are driving home from Mandy's wedding on Sunday morning. And the big story in the paper over the weekend was that "Gospel of Judas" they found in Egypt, right? Now, JG and I were both raised Catholic, and we both read The DaVinci Code, so we get a little interested in this sort of thing. So we're talking about the Judas thing a little. And the conversation moves to The DaVinci Code.
"It's like that thing from the DaVinci Code," I say.
"Yeah," Joel answers. "That's right. But the point of The DaVinci Code was that Jesus was a woman."
Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS to Mandy and her new husband Shawn. The wedding was just lovely, the weather could not have been more perfect, and as a little bonus, Ed was an angel all weekend. Oh! Pictures! Let me see what I can do here...
Okay, there's laundry to put away, a kitchen floor in grave need of sweeping, a Target trip of which to hide evidence ("Another $75 at Target!??! Damn identity thieves!"), and while one baby is sleeping, the other teeters precariously on the edge of waking up...
But am I accomplishing these tasks? NO! I am blogging! Because you COUNT on me! Because it is my DUTY! My DUTY, dammit!
I was going to post my American Idol reviews, but first I must obtain a promise from Ellen that she will read no farther (because, El, YOUR reviews are coming in the mail and I want you to read them then. Do you think you can manage, El? Do ya?). Okay, then, here goes.
Taylor: Taylor, your violinist looks like a homeless man. Also, I am afraid this song is WAY too high for you. I love you, you weird old man, but tonight you are not good. Bottom Three!
Mandisa: Dear LORD this is going to be a long night. At the risk of sounding like Simon (and is that really a bad thing?), this is a very dreadful karaoke rendition of this song. Oi. And are you actually running out of breath?? Heavens! Make it stop! Bottom Three!
Elliott: Now, you can hardly go wrong with Garth Brooks. I am not sure what's with that shoulder-dip-dance, but this was prolly my favorite performance of the night.
Paris: Pretty good! And you are so cute.
Ace: What are we going to do with you, Ace? You and all your brothers are just too pretty for your own good. If you aren't careful you will be subject to terrorist attack, not unlike the Baldwin brothers in that one South Park episode.
Quick aside: how bad is it to tape the nuk to your baby's mouth? Like, if you know it will make him happy? And if you use that nice, low-tack blue painting tape?
Oh, and back to Ace: I am fairly certain that he and I have the exact same hairdo. Which does not bode well for either one of us.
Oh, and Ace, you were boring.
Kellie: Two breasts does not a performance make! I would like to see more performing; I don't think she can skate by on looks and nice singing for much longer. Bottom Three!
Bucky: I know I watched his performance... I can't remember a dang thing other than he was wearing a cowboy hat. Isn't country supposed to be his "thang"??
Chris ("Galway Dave"): Pretty good. Unfortunately, also pretty boring. (At this point in the show I was distracted by Lucy's bedtime, though, so that may be part of my problem.)
Katharine: I think she was actually pretty good ... but I couldn't figger out what on EARTH that song was about. You're bringing out the empress in me? You barely get near Everest with me? Or is it one of those spelling songs, like B-I-N-G-O?
And seriously, was that actually Kenny Rogers or was that the MAD-TV guy impersonating him? Whoever it was, was frightening.
Last night was the first night of my new swing and latin dance classes. They were very, very fun -- my students seem pretty cool and pretty untalented, which is just how I like 'em. And Joel survived (mostly) the 2.5 hours home alone with the kids.
Look for my American Idol recap tomorrow! Looks like it's Country Night tonight. Oh, Lordy, I'm not sure how that bodes for Chris "Galway Dave" Daughtry. Or any of them, if I'm being honest. I seem to remember previous years' Country Nights being near-total nightmares. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments!
Oh, can you send some "power" our way? Lucy fell off a chair (upon which she was standing, unfortunately -- I was trying to help her wash her hands!) and bonked her head on the kitchen floor this morning. I get into the swing of things and start thinking either A) my kids are indestructible and/or B) Lucy's a bigger (and more coordinated) girl than she really is and this is dangerous. I think she is okay but I feel so, so terrible.
Oh, and if you need a photographer for your kids or your family or whatever, please check out my Neighborino Pat's work. He is just awesome with little kids (and probably bigger kids too) and he is extremely talented.
Another FYI: I am sure none of you are trying to email me at my work email address, right? BECAUSE I AM ON LEAVE UNTIL MAY 30. So if you are writing me at an address that ends "libertysite.com" or "altafimarketing.com" or "harlandics.net" please don't. Because I can't read it. :)
Okay, so Eddie may or may not have rolled over yesterday. I know, I know, he's not even four weeks old! You say, and you are justified. Also, I didn't exactly witness it, and if Mom didn't see it, did it really happen? But here's the sitch:
I was taking a shower. No, wait, I had run downstairs to do a quick 20-minute video workout. I can't remember. Anyway, I walk back into the living room to see Ed on his side on the floor and Joel and Lucy kind of hovering over him. Next thing we know, he's on his back. So... okay, that is not "rolling over" but: Joel says he started on his front. Not exactly on his tummy, but kind of bunched up on his hands and knees.
It was definitely an accident, but the truth remains that Ed started on his front and wound up on his back. You make the call: is it a roll-over? My pen stands poised over the baby book.
Oh! CONGRATULATIONS are in order to my coworkers Lisa and Kelly on their respective baby boys born over the weekend! I hope everyone is doing well, I have only the sketchiest of details. Best wishes to both gals and their husbands and the new men in their lives!