My Poor Car

So my poor car has had it rough in 2007.

In mid-January, while parked in the parking lot at work, someone backed into the front left fender. Thankfully he was kind and honest enough to leave a note.

(Note to self, if I ever hit someone’s car, leave a note. That’s why the good Lord gave us insurance)

A few weeks later, and $1200 later for his insurance, I had my car back- good as new. The good news is, I got to drive a really sweet 4Runner while my car was in.

Well, just tonight, I was parked in my uncle’s driveway and my cousin, who has only had her license for a few months, came tearing out of the garage and ran right into the passenger door of my car.

Back to the shop it goes…

I wonder if I’ll get the 4runner back?

Targeted Advertising?

OK. Here’s the deal. I’m not a myspace addict. I’m lucky if i log into this thing once a month or so. I mean c’mon folks! There are more important things in your life than whether Billy put you in his top 130 friends. Gimme a break…

But I have put up with this weird social networking, mostly in the name of keeping up with some of my friends. …Until THIS appeared on myspace when I was logging in today:

Now, I enjoy a photo of a slutty chick as much as the next guy, but just because you found out my city’s name by your IP tomfoolery doesn’t make me any more prone to click on this ad. It just makes me hate advertising in general, and makes you look that much stupider. I KNOW there aren’t any of those girls here in Wylie. And even if there were, I wouldn’t come near them with a hazmat suit for fear of contracting some kind of STD by just looking at them. YUK!

However, please note, thou world of thoughtless online anonymity… you are not as anonymous as you think. Yes, they can easily tell your city, they can sometimes even tell your street. With a subpoena or a good lawyer they can find out what you’ve done on your internet connection for a long time.

And since you were kind enough to post photos of where you’ve been in the last 3 years, your home with its house numbers in plain view, your email address, your telephone numbers, and other personal information, you deserve the identity theft coming to you.

I sat on the plane by a man who repossesses cars for a living. Ever seen the show Repo-men? Well, yeah, that’s him. He said his #1 resource for finding people who have tried to disappear with their cars is MySpace. The idiots oftentimes post a photo of the car right on their public profile for anyone to see. I really couldn’t get over it, and almost shut down my profile completely.

Now you wonder why you all had to go through a retina scan to be on my private friends list. I’m not exclusive, just careful. Working for the company who makes much of the internet possible, I understand even more the security risks.

Let the stupid targeted ads remind you, you are being watched! (and most likely by me)

Take Time for Thanks

In less that 48 hours I will be enjoying a beautiful thanksgiving vacation to LA, so I’m enjoying that thought right now. More and more, the anticipation of the vacation is almost as exciting as the vacation itself!!! I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with family, which will be a treat.

I hope you all take an opportunity to express gratitude this week. We are all very fortunate. We live in the most prosperous nation on the planet. We do not know hunger. We do not know poverty. We are blessed with incredible networks of family and friends. We enjoy a free, open society.

Really though, those are the “easy” thing to be grateful for. It’s easy to just acknowledge those things and be done. I challenge you to take some real time this week for giving thanks. Express your gratitude to those you love. Pray to your creator and thank Him for his sustaining you. Don’t just be say your grateful for your prosperity, give some of it to someone in need. Don’t just sit there and satiate your own appetite, invite a friend over for dinner. Don’t sit there counting your savings, give a dollar to a worthy cause.

And above all, don’t just say your grateful for freedom, reach out and give someone their freedom by releasing feelings of hate or a long held grudge.

Don’t just take a day for thanksgiving, live each day of your life IN THANKSGIVING! You will have a better, more meaningful life.

American Idol – Season 5 Finale

that’s right folks… get ready for the soul patrol to come knocking on your door, dragging you out into the street, and causing mass hysteria nation-wide. Taylor Hicks is our newest American Idol. Can I get a “WOOOO” with a quick shift to the back and left, followed by continous calls to the “SOUL PATROL”???

Last night’s finale was, overall, really neat. One of the best season finales as of yet.

It had high points and low points… here are some:

Low point: Katherine singing with Meatloaf (that guy can’t sing…)

High Point: The judge’s videos. “I get so emotional baby” and “I’m too sexy”… “DAWWWG!”

Low point: PRINCE (OK, its a well known fact that NO ONE in the world likes Prince. ugh… that must have been like 10 minutes long of those nasty chicks rubbing up against each other. Is American Idol now the place not only to launch new music careers but to revive lost causes??)

High Point: Seeing Elliots mom get the idol award for best family moment, then seeing Ryan and her struggle to decide who was going to kiss who where and when.

Low point: Seeing ace’s smirky ugly face and weenie voice again.

High Point: seeing Chris Daughtery sing with Live. (I liked listening to him more than Live’s lead singer) Proof in the pudding – he is READY! Please, someone, give him a good gig!

Low point: When the british guy (probably simon’s friend) was trying to hand ryan the envelope and tell him that his company certified the results while the people were yelling and screaming for him to get off stage.

High Point: hearing Mandisa sing part of I’m Every Woman (pleeeeeeease let that be on her album!! then let the symbolism fly…)

Low point: Chicken Little… that little solo he sang with the girls behind the piano doing the up-down-piston thing… Oh wow… quality control OBVIOUSLY missed a rehearsal.

High point: The look on that WEIRD Clay Aiken look alike’s face when clay actually started singing his song and scared him 1/2 to death. Then how he started yelling into Clay’s face while the man was trying to sell a record or two.

Low point: Seeing how clay aiken somehow managed to get UGLIER with all that money and fame. (but less nerdy)

High point: The award and recap of Rhonetta… please see yesterday’s post for more detail 🙂

Low point: the return of crying cowboys and dave the freak. Why does american idol continue to give these LOSERS a voice? Don’t they know american is already laughing at them?

Well, thats enough. Feel free to reply with your high points and low points. Its odd that a finale would be so weird… so many really nice things mixed with so many awful or just plain weird things.

Either way… Taylor won, fireworks went off, life is good. Alabama has now produced 3 american idols, and ALL of the idols have come from the South (if you count texas as south). Hmm… maybe the south should have seceded from the union and created the United Musicians States of Simon Cowell.

American Idol – Top 2 Reviews

Well, the last time we will hear idols sing this year in competition for the title… how does it make you feel? A little melancholy? Me too.

Wow… the Kodak theatre, its big. Was there a 6th balcony up there that they couldn’t fit into the frame?? 🙂 Oh look there’s Ryan Seacrest.

Time to give out MY AI awards:
1) Most improved cast member: Ryan Seacrest. This guy has gone from bubble-gum smacking smarmy hip host to a serious contender for Life-After-American-Idol. Over the seasons, this show has helped him go from “hip ambiguous sexuality man” to “serious reality TV host” (if that last phrase isn’t too much of an oxymoron for you, try this one on for size: Ryan Seacrest, you have secured your spot in the “Smarmy Host Hall of Fame.” Maybe when Bob Barker finally croaks you’ll be the presumptive takeover of the world’s longest running game show.

2) Most outrageous auditioner: Rhonetta. I just re-watched your 2 seconds of stardom and was awestruck by the booty not-quite-white trash that you are. if you are brave. She has beat william hung for the title. Thanks william for giving this previously closeted, psycho-american demographic a voice.

3) My favorite Judge: Simon Cowell, of course. Randy says Dawg too much, Paula is too positive, and Simon, well you try to give an honest evaluation. Good work. I enjoy you the most in the individual auditions, and sometimes I want to slap you when you say things like “you’re the winner today”. Fact is, you know how much pull you have with the voters, you lke to manipulate them, and for that I like you the most.

4) Contestants I liked: Mandisa, Elliot, Kathrine, Chris

5) Contestants who I liked but wouldn’t vote for: Paris, Taylor

5) Contestants I hated: The Britnum Twins, Brenna Gethers, Chicken Little Boy, Bucky, Ace

Now the the finale review:
First of all, Taylor was lucky to go second. This gives him the last moment, the last word, and the final image you see.

Loved Taylor’s first song. It showed exactly who he was and why he should win. Who lied to him about that Jacket is what I wanted to know?

Loved Kat’s first song. Much better than when she did it for the first time and just sat on the floor.

I was nervous when Kat busted out with Rainbow again. I thought: how could she do it any better than the first time. Honestly to me, she sounded pretty much the same on it, but that is one of those songs that can just entrance you in real life if you’re seeing it… and apparently it did.

Taylor’s second song was good. This is where I started thinking, why are we just re-singing the stuff you did well on earlier in the season. Sure, its not a time for taking big chances, but come one – we’re bored. Maybe they should have had the judges pick songs for them again. I thought they did a good job with that last time.

Third songs beg for no comment. The songs were terrible. I don’t know who wrote those for them and why they couldn’t get someone with talent to write them. They were hoakie, boring, formulaic, and musically the exact same (just check out the key change before the last verse… you music theory people will know what to call it, but it was EXACTLY the same). Taylor made his lemon into better lemonade than Kat, so simon declares him the winner.

After careful evaluation of the episode, and taking into consideration all of the everything I know… I voted for Taylor. I think he will be more unique and interesting for the industry. He will sing for a more niche audience, so as far as sweeping the world star power goes, maybe Kat has it more than Taylor, but only time will really tell. One thing’s for sure: Chris, Elliot, Katherine, and Taylor ALL have the chance of a lifetime now to go and see if they can really hack it. I think they all proved themselves. America picked the top 5 well (i’ll throw paris in there), but now its up to them to surround themselves with some good people and go for it, for reals. Non-fox style.

American Idol – Top 3 Results Show

Well, America. It is official. Somewhere along the line you made a mistake. We have come to the semi finals with, in my opinion, NOT the 3 best undiscovered talent in america.

Elliot – You done good my friend. You’d better hope and pray that Simon’s negative comments mobilize your voting base as well as Chris’ votes that (according to my theory) all went to you last week. Your songs really were boring. I can’t remember what you sang today, which is a DEADLY thing for the semi-finals. You still have a chance, however, as the other contestants didn’t do too much better. We have enjoyed you, but you are toast.

Kathrine – Really though, given the current circumstances, Chris’ votes are more likely to go to you. Here’s what you have going for you: you have a really great flexible instrument, you’re beautiful, versitile, vulnerable, and willing to go out on a limb. What you have against you is you’re YET another female american idol. Lets be honest… this year was a boy’s year. Look at the male/female ratios all throughout the competition this year.

But back to you… your songs last night were really good. You’re word for the evening was GUTSY. It was gutsy for you to do such a different take on I Believe. The song is so recognizable. and you successfully made it your own. However, I’m not sure how successfully your rendition would stand up all on its own. Wouldn’t sell like hotcakes, but for the purposes of this competition, it showed that you weren’t throwing in the towel just yet.

Oh, and I like how you are giving the judges a little backtalk. We could use more of that.

Over the rainbow… honey… now THAT WAS AMAZING. Once again, the word is GUTSY. Sitting there singing the first verse totally a capella, then having just a simple straightforward accompaniment which swelled toward the end into a musical array of amazing abundance was just what we needed. You gave us a reason to vote for you tonight.

As your personal stage presence coach, I would have told you that I LOVE your choice to grovel on the floor sometimes when you sing. However, you have to know that it doesn’t do anything for you until you actually explore that level. You needed to stand up or shift somehow in the middle of that song. Every move you made in that position would have been a million bucks, but as you just sat there and let the jib camera accost you from above, you looked like a trapped rat, or a bad First Vision Movie. 🙂

Which gets me to my next point… now more then ever, the contestants need to give us a reason each and every time they sing to vote for them. This has been the problem the last 2 weeks. I dont’ end a show needing to vote for one person, I end the show making a calculated decision based on weeks of show watching… not good.

Last night, you earned my vote, and it wasn’t just because of the sexy teal number you started out with.

Taylor – Way to make a comeback. I was sad when you weren’t vote off last week. You showed more of YOU tonight than we have seen in a long time. As you move into the finals, you need to not suffer from Paris’ syndrome. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Just do what you do best. That is the only way you can outdo Kathrine.

Your first and last songs were forgettable. Well, the last one not so much. But the “You are so beautiful” number was absolutely gorgeous. You need to tap into that more often. Apart from dancing with Paula, you did a very good job tonight.

Which brings me back to my original comment. I feel a sense of loss. If two of these three contestants can only give me 2 memorable moments in an hour long show, something is a little wrong. Was Chris wrongfully ousted last week? Yes. He IS america’s idol 2006. My prediction… Chris will have a bigger, better record deal faster than everyone else from this season. (except maybe paris… see below)

Paula – Judges are 3rd party observers rather than participants. You would make a much better backup dancer/singer than a judge. Yeah, its nice to have someone tell everyone how wonderful they are, even when they sucked. But come on woman… when you stand up and dance like a drunken …. uhh… prom date, you make me a little sick. Oh… and by the way… I know you’re trying to get your very own wardrobe malfunction because you think they’re so cute, but give it up. No one wants to see you go popping out on live TV. Next time remember the double sided tape, please.

The real winner from this season, Paris. You know why? She is the MINOR contestant who got the farthest. The minors aren’t bound to 19 Entertainment’s contract, so she can walk away at any time and make a big fat record deal with whomever she wants. Not that she will or should, but she can, which makes her the legal/contractual winner of this competition. 🙂

American Idol – Top 3 Reviews

If they would have shown that film of Elliot on Tuesday night, his percentage would have KILLED every other percentage. Wow, does that boy have some fans. No screaming teenagers and rope lines for Katherine… No first pitch for Taylor (can taylor even throw a ball?)

So… america… this is where it stands. Our Rock Star idols are gone. We are now stuck with the two hacks. They can sing, but they are hacks. It will be very interesting to see who I go with for the American Idol between those two. I’ve been stumping for Katherine more often than not, but Taylor has been pulling out the stops lately. I LOVE the song he sang last night. Its the one he sang in the top 32 when he proved to the world he was the MOST awkward dancer in the world.

Paula… what a flowing river of tears snot and goo… you crack me up.

Isn’t Elliot’s mom the sweetest thing ever? I would want him to win just to see his mom get all overwhelmed again.

American Idol – Top 4 Reviews

I’m sorry for the delay today. I was in a meeting from 9am to 6:40pm.

Yesterday was one of the great AI episodes. This is the list based on last night only:

1. Elliot, you brought it last night! Both songs were awesome! I was concerned for you tonight and you convinced me to give you your vote.

2. Chris really slipped today. The voting will be closer than ever. Not that he didn’t do really well, but the others really stepped it up. What was with the sunglasses? DUMB!!!

3. Taylor, you are hanging on. You did a great job last night, but the last 3-4 weeks have been not so good. You barely got the #3 spot.

4. Based on last night ,you were the weakest. I’d hate to see you go, but it wasn’t good DAWG.

Sorry this is shorter, i’m being distracted by my meeting.