Here's the song list for tonight, the week 5 performance show. I can hardly wait.
Patrice – Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder) – with T Lee on drums Josh – Santeria (Sublime) Dilana – Can’t Get Enough (Bad Company) Toby – Pennyroyal Tea (Nirvana) Zayra – 867-5309 (Tommy Tutone) Magni – Clocks (Coldplay) Jill – Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Simple Minds) Ryan – Losing My Religion (R.E.M.) - Ryan on grand piano Lukas – Celebrity Skin (Hole) Storm – Changes (David Bowie) Dana – Baba O’Riley (The Who)
For the first time in more than two weeks, the temperature inside my house is below 80 degrees. A couple cool and breezy nights, and it's finally a comfy 75 inside. Bliss. Doesn't matter that I'm crawling out of my skin from PMS, I feel great in spite of the hormonal assault. It's truly the simple things in life.
Wow. Actually, I think they should have left this in the show and edited out the superfluous garbage they had in there, like rehashing over and over the poor performances, etc. I mean, since this is the reason he's being cut, let the viewing audience see it! It's better television anyway, better drama, and I would have preferred this over the fluff they fill the hour with.
It's 10:30 pm, the temperature is only 75, but the relative humidity is 83 percent. I thought when the temperature broke, things would be better, but I didn't count on the humidity factor. We're usually safe from it, but right now, I feel like I live in Chicago again.
It's too freaking hot during the day to get anything done, so I'm trying to get a load of laundry washed and dried while it's "cool" tonight. I honestly don't know how much more of this I can take. The thing about the rest of the country is they have air conditioning. There's this bizarre mindset here in So Cal that you "don't need air conditioning at the beach," so none of the homes around here have it. Thing is, I have always thought you needed it, even before the weather went bananas. This is only late July, and that means summer is merely revving up in Los Angeles. Our hot months are August and September. Two more months of this? Welcome to my nervous breakdown. Actually, that might be a strategic idea because hospitals, even mental hospitals, are always downright frigid.
Things in my world are actually kind of fucked up right now. There's been some family drama, and without going into detail, I'm sick to death of it and wondering how much more I can take. Remember that trip I took to Las Vegas in May? That was kind of a catalyst for me, and I've been burning in a slow fury ever since, and I swear to god, I don't know what to do about it. This weather's not helping nor are my hormones.
Tomorrow is my day off and I'm spending the afternoon in an air conditioned yarn shop with my knitting group. It's the only relief in sight.
Poor Phil. He didn't deserve it, Zayra did. I can't believe they let her survive, and neither could the other rockers (did you see their faces?)! I'll bet the house band was pretty bummed, too, because if you watch the reality episodes, they can't stand her (Z). Patrice totally didn't deserve to be in the bottom three, but she KILLED her song and was great and the band loved her. You can go on the RockStar website and read all the rockers' blog entries. God, I'm grumpy Zayra survived! Alright, no more Rockstar Supernova until next week, promise.
Now, I must confess I'm watching yet another reality show. Can you stand it? It's probably one the likes of which you've never heard. It's called DesignStar and it's on HGTV. Yes, it's a decorating competition. It just started last week, and they've kicked off the wacky one, Ramona. The winner wins their own show on HGTV, so it's a pretty sweet prize. In the first episode, the contestants arrived at this incredible yet empty townhouse in NYC, met each other, and were given $7500 and 24 hours to decorate it. It was pretty intense. Check it out Sunday nights at 9:00 pm on HGTV. C'mon, you can watch it instead of Desperate Housewhores while you wait for Grey's.
Okay, were you cringing along with me? Did you have your face hiding in your hands and your legs crossed tight at how humiliating it was to watch? And how wickedly funny was it when Dave Navarro told her to pursue a solo career starting immediately? Zayra, it's time to pack your bags, honey, this ride has reached the end.
Josh, what the fuck were you thinking? You practically BEGGED to be kicked off the show during the little chat after your horrendous slaughtering of No Rain. You suggested to the band that they conform to your style? Oh no, you didn't! The only reason you'll probably survive this week is because Zayra is such a tragedy.
Phil, I thought I saw a spark of something last week during White Rabbit, but apparently, I was mistaken. I like you Phil, and unless you commit suicide by choosing to perform Popozao on elimination night, you'll probably survive this week, the week Zayra finally goes down. But I'm afraid your weeks are numbered, honey, unless you really step up to the plate.
Speaking of stepping up to the plate, Dana and Ryan did just that this week and probably saved their asses in the process. I gotta tell you, though, I still can't stand to watch Dana perform. The way she tries to look fierce, staring unblinkingly into the camera is disingenuous at best. Ryan happened to perform one of my least favorite songs ever (I Alone by Live). He nevertheless sounded great, but I'm not revising my ultimate opinion of him (see last week's post).
I thought the band was a little unduly harsh with Magni and Patrice, although Patrice does need to change it up a little bit. I noticed Jill was in the bottom three at the end of the show. She's a mess, and watching her perform with Gilby Clarke tonight just reinforced how ridiculous she is. She belongs in the Britney/Christina/Jessica genre... choreographed and over-the-top on every song. I was glad that Gilby the balls to deliver the harsh reality for her because she was on top of the world and someone needed to bring her back to planet Earth pronto. On the flip side, I thought the props for Storm were a little grander than she actually deserved. Okay, she dove off the stage; but honestly, her singing doesn't really make me feel anything, and I can't see her fronting the band.
I'm waiting for Toby to impress me again like he did when he encored week 2. I like him, but he's gotten into a rut these last two weeks.
Bottom line... the competition remains to be between Lukas and Dilana. I love Bitter Sweet Symphony, and Lukas owned it. Just like Dilana made that Cyndi Lauper tune her own. The band loves them both, and the world will have to turn off its axis for anyone else to make the final two. Comments? Dissent?
Because I'm an addict at heart, and because my new crack is Rockstar Supernova, I just spent the last two hours watching all the back reality episodes of this show, the ones they don't show on television but that you must watch online. If you're into the show, I highly recommend you check this footage out. The behind-the-scenes stuff is really interesting. I enjoyed seeing rockers rehearsing with the house band and hearing the comments the house band makes about some of them. Also, they had a songwriting clinic with Supernova. They divided into three groups, and Supernova gave them a song they had written, but each group had to write the lyrics and melody to the song and then perform it. Good stuff. You get a better sense of the personalities of the competitors by watching the reality episodes.
The heat broke today - sort of. The temperature went down, but the humidity went up. It was still uncomfortable all day, but there's a decent breeze blowing through here tonight, and my bedroom and living room are finally starting to cool off. Today was the first day I did not literally walk around the house in my underwear all day.
Sad news, friends. It's official, I've jumped the fucking shark. Why? Because I'm officially addicted to a reality show. I place the blame squarely on my brother's shoulders; he's the one who insisted last week I start watching Rock Star Supernova. So I did, and then I was back this week, twice, watching the performance show and then the elimination show. And now as Pete Doherty is to crack cocaine, so is LA to Rock Star Supernova. Lord. Have. Mercy.
Yes, it's disgustingly scripted to make everyone sound spontaneously hip and cool, I deplore the live audience and their coordinated hand waving and screaming and idiocy, Brooke Burke is insipid, the official "critiques" from the rock stars make me cringe, and at least 80 percent of the competitors don't have a snowball's chance in hell. And yet, I can't look away. The upswing is that the house band rocks, I truly dig Gilby Clarke, and Tommy Lee cracks me up. But really, I love watching the performances (great music, no AI crap for me) and to be perfectly honest, I'm insanely jealous that I'm not still in my 20s so I can be one of them.
So here is my snarky take on the rockers:
I'm surprised Dana is even a contender. When Tommy Lee threw that Celine Dion reference out there, I knew exactly what he was talking about. She's all wrong for this show and would probably do better in a Top 40 environment, although she did rock the Sass Jordan song tonight. But let's be honest here, the only reason they didn't send her home tonight is because she got lucky that Jenn sucked more.
Here's another one who is out of his element. Ryan belongs on top of an order of nachos, he's such hot cheese. His name is Ryan Star. Yeah, sure it is. Seacrest much? Please, make it go away.
DiLana is the only female contender who I think could actually have a chance. I mean, c'mon, this band is made up of members of Motley Crue, Guns 'n' Roses and Metallica. This could not be a more cock rock vibe if it tried. Ultimately, I can't really see a woman fronting them (other than it might make good television), but if one does, DiLana's got the charisma and the voice to pull it off. I noticed she's got Dreams and Killing in the Name of Love on her playlist. I can't wait to hear her do those.
My brother likes Jill. But then, my brother is a man, and I'm sure all the boys like Jill. From this head shot, I can spot at least three body-part enhancements, possibly more. She has a decent voice, but she also has the tendency to over-sing everything. She'll probably last a few more weeks until all the guys are done passing her around.
Lukas! I like Lukas, and I think he's a very strong contender in the game. Believe it or not, I'm not put off by the makeup and the very cultivated image because he totally owns it. The image seems very authentic on him, and I don't think it's a pose. He has the right energy and presence, and I can totally see him fronting Supernova. (Who came up with the name Supernova anyway? Terrible.) I expect him to go very far, in fact, Lukas could even win!
I like Patrice, and I think she's very talented. I loved her singing Helter Skelter, and I also dug the fierce little bitch fight she had with Jill to get the song. Of course, she's all wrong for Supernova. I see her more as a Sheryl Crow type, but I think she's a solid performer who will probably make it through the first seven weeks.
OMG, why is Zayra still on? She SUCKS! I was pretty shocked when they sent Chris home last week instead of Zayra, and both Gilby Clarke and Dave Navarro agreed with me! She is so wrong for this show, I shudder with embarrassment when she's on stage and when they talk to her.
I don't have a lot to say about the rest. Toby and Magni are both rock solid contenders, and I think Phil might be the wild card.
I haven't blogged about Grey's Anatomy since the finale, but It's pretty clear that Patrick Dempsey is sending me a secret message here, photographed eating Italian food. He loves me, he wants me, he's nourished by me.
I'm really enjoying the twice weekly episodes of Grey's this summer. Since I just started watching it two-thirds of the way into the second season, I'm getting caught up on the episodes I missed with ABC's aggressive schedule.
I really, really prefer Addison to Meredith. I know those are fighting words for some people, but there it is. If you're interested, you can go on the ABC website and listen to podcasts by the creator and producer. They don't reveal anything about next season, but if you're a junkie like me who needs a fix, this might help.
I forgot to include Luca Toni below when I posted the pictures of those hot Italian Footballers. I hope he can forgive me, but if he feel it necessary to subject me to some light punishment for my transgression, I think we could arrange something.
So, I live at the beach, and at 5:00 pm, it's still 91 degrees here. Which means it's, oh, I don't know, probably close to 150 degrees 10 miles inland. Yes, it's pure hell. Then, my sister called to say that she was at the local Hallmark store today only to discover they were playing Christmas music and displaying their 2006 ornament collection. Her infuriation was exceeded only by her incredulity. That's what I call some fucked up marketing.
But I don't know if I actually have room to complain about the heat in light of my activities this late afternoon.
I've spent the last hour practicing a new recipe - chicken lasagna - which has required me to preheat my oven, sautee vegetables over a hot stove, and now bake the thing for 45 minutes. I'm not really much of a cook which is why I needed a trial run at this. Some relatives are going to be in town next weekend, and because he has a nice house in which to entertain, my brother is always the one to host family events. So I volunteered to take the meal preparation burden off of him and his wife since they always, always get stuck with these things. I do have a trusted favorite recipe, a yummy spinach lasagna, but the older I get, the less I'm able to tolerate red sauce. Thus, I decided to cultivate a "white" version of my old stand-by. I made several alterations to the receipe, so keep your fingers crossed.
PrettyKitty expressed her interest in viewing some images of the Italian goaltender, Gianluigi Buffon. So here he is, and I still recommend hitting google images for more eye candy. Yeah, he gets decent-looking women. I love that he's dark with light eyes, one of my all-time favorite combinations. Good lord, he is perfection!
As delectable as Buffon is, I feel would be remiss if I didn't also draw your attention to Fabio Cannavaro, the Italian team captain and the man many believe deserved the 2006 World Cup Golden Ball. Let's just pause and reflect on that for a moment.
I haven't posted anything in more than week. That's a pretty long time for me. But you see, I've been busy reading, and sometimes I get into what I call "input" mode that will preclude any "output." Now, just pull your minds out of the gutter long enough so that I can recommend two fantastic books I've devoured in the past week. My brain is still processing, so the following reviews aren't mine. I will simply add that Middlesex won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, that Esperanza's Box of Saints is for anyone who loved Like Water for Chocolate, and that the two could not be more different from one another. Right now, I'm reading David Rakoff's Fraud (nonfiction).
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." And so begins Middlesex, the mesmerizing saga of a near-mythic Greek American family and the "roller-coaster ride of a single gene through time." The odd but utterly believable story of Cal Stephanides, and how this 41-year-old hermaphrodite was raised as Calliope, is at the tender heart of this long-awaited second novel from Jeffrey Eugenides, whose elegant and haunting 1993 debut, The Virgin Suicides, remains one of the finest first novels of recent memory.
Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history, from a fateful incestuous union in a small town in early 1920s Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit; from the early days of Ford Motors to the heated 1967 race riots; from the tony suburbs of Grosse Pointe and a confusing, aching adolescent love story to modern-day Berlin. Eugenides's command of the narrative is astonishing. He balances Cal/Callie's shifting voices convincingly, spinning this strange and often unsettling story with intelligence, insight, and generous amounts of humor:
Emotions, in my experience aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." … I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." ... I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
When you get to the end of this splendorous book, when you suddenly realize that after hundreds of pages you have only a few more left to turn over, you'll experience a quick pang of regret knowing that your time with Cal is coming to a close, and you may even resist finishing it--putting it aside for an hour or two, or maybe overnight--just so that this wondrous, magical novel might never end. (Brad Thomas Parsons for Amazon.com)
Esperanza's Box of Saints by Maria Amparo Escandon
Where Latin American fiction is concerned, miracles happen every day. Indeed, upon opening a novel written by a Mexican, Chilean, Colombian, or Cuban author, one is slightly disappointed if at least three impossible things don't happen before the opening chapter is over. María Amparo Escandón's first novel fulfills this expectation on its first page when Esperanza Díaz tells her parish priest that San Judas Tadeo appeared to her in her oven window:
He floated toward me, like a piñata dangling from a rope. The grease drippings shone like amber. He looked directly into my eyes. He was so beautiful. His hair was blond and a little curly. He had a beard, just like Jesus Christ. He said, "Your daughter is not dead."
This is a miracle indeed, since Esperanza, a young widow, has recently lost her 12-year-old daughter during a routine tonsillectomy. But when the saint appears to her with his glad tidings, the bereaved mother begins to wonder if her daughter might not have been spirited away by unscrupulous doctors and sold into white slavery. Determined to reclaim her child, Esperanza hits the road, embarking on a picaresque journey that will take her from her little Mexican town to the brothels of Tijuana and eventually to Los Angeles. Along the way she meets a variety of colorful characters including a professional wrestler who just may be the man to change our heroine's mind about never marrying again.
If at times Escandón's blithe tale seems tailor-made for movies, that's because it is. In addition to writing both English and Spanish versions of the novel, she has also authored the screenplay for Esperanza's film debut. In the case of Esperanza's Box of Saints, the cinematic touches nicely complement the book's larger-than-life characters, from best friend and fellow-widow Soledad, or poor Father Salvador, the hapless recipient of Esperanza's occasionally X-rated confessions, to Angel, the keeper of her heart. All in all, this is a book guaranteed to charm and amuse. (Alix Wilber for Amazon.com)
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear of one another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular. - Edward R. Murrow