Archive for March 2010

Today’s Sign Of The Apocalypse

March 31, 2010

Yesterday while at work (so I guess that should make the title “Yesterday’s Sign Of The Apocalypse,” but too late, I already wrote it) one of my co-workers and I had this exchange:

Him: “Hey, did you know there was an earthquake in Chile?”
Me: “Yeah, that was over a month ago.”
Him: “Yeah, I never heard about it.”
Me: (Struggling to stifle all of the mean, sarcastic thoughts running through my head) “How is that even possible?”

Let’s take a break there to acknowledge the fact that this person has clearly been living under a rock lately.  I half expected him to ask me if I had heard about an earthquake in Haiti, or a tsunami in the Indian Ocean, or if I was aware that the Twin Towers were under terrorist attack, or if I knew the Cold War was over.  Okay, back to the events that occurred yesterday at work. It bears noting that while this conversation was going on, my co-worker was sitting in front of a computer.  Immediately after he asked me about the earthquake in Chile, he clicked to Google, said “I’m gonna check this out,” and started typing …

C – H- I- L- I

And he hit enter.  He seemed surprised that the only things that came up were listings for Chili’s restaurants, and recipes for chili con carne.  Nothing of an earthquake.

And we wonder why the rest of the world mocks us and looks down its collective nose at us.  We wonder why our culture is considered one of the dumbest of all the developed nations.  All I could say was, “Seriously, more MSNBC.com, less Facebook.”

One love,

10

Letters To Idols

March 24, 2010

As my wedding draws closer, (37 days and counting, people) it’s safe to say that I am a tad busier than usual.  Not that I’m complaining, it’s just that the time that would otherwise be free time for me has turned into time spent actually doing things.  This in turn has meant that some things have gone by the wayside temporarily.

Case in point, I have only watched one game of the NCAA tournament so far.  One.  And I didn’t even get to watch the whole thing.  But, in retrospect, that’s probably a good thing since my bracket is a freakin’ nightmare anyway.  It’s better I just let this one die.  And also, as if you hadn’t noticed, I haven’t really had an opportunity to write a post lately.  One thing I have had time for, though … American Idol.  Oh yes, the DVR has been set every Tuesday and Wednesday for the past couple months, and when I get home from work at night, that is my hour or two of guilty pleasure.

Since a lot of you probably haven’t been watching (and if I know my friends like I think I do, most of you are going to poke fun at me since I have been), I’m pretty much writing this for myself more than anything.  And in doing so, I am going to revisit a theme I have used a time or two before.  Remember those posts I used to write occasionally in which I would write letters to inanimate objects?  Sure you do.  Well, that’s how I’m going to tackle American Idol.  I’ll be writing letters to each of the remaining eleven contestants.  There are a few to which I have more to say than the rest, but I don’t play favorites here, so everyone is going to hear from me.  Off we go. (P.S. I was going to include pictures of each contestant for those of you who are slightly unfamiliar with them, but the Idol website is like some kind of black hole from which pictures cannot be copied, and I don’t want to spend all day on Google, so you can do your own homework if you feel the need).  Now, off we go.

Dear Aaron Kelly,

Okay, we get it.  You’re an aspiring country singer.  It’s definitely the right niche for you, especially on this show, because you would be in way over your head otherwise.  However, do you really have to wear those old, beat up cowboy boots every week when you perform … on live television … in front of 40 million people?  You’re 16, and you have a young, fresh look that a lot of the show’s audience can probably relate to, but the shoes make the man, Aaron.  Take advantage of all of the wardrobe offered to you, and grab a nice pair of kicks for next week please.  On a positive note, you’re one of approximately four or five people left who is consistently choosing the right songs for yourself.  Keep that up.

Dear Andrew Garcia,

You’re chasing it, man.  You’re chasing that moment you had in Hollywood week that has garnered more than two million views on YouTube. Ever since then, it has been a slippery slope for you.  Simon brought up a very provocative question after your performance last night.  He is beginning to wonder if the nation over-valued your rendition of “Straight Up” because since then, you have fallen flat.  You have talent, there’s no denying that.  You have motivation, that seems obvious if half of what you say is true.  So where are you getting lost?  You’re on the opposite end of the spectrum from Aaron, because you’re one of the handful that has picked the wrong song almost every week (since the live shows started).  I really believe that the only reason you haven’t already been voted off is because you were able to ride the momentum you gained in Hollywood for the first few weeks into the live shows, and now, with performances like you had last night, you were the lesser of a two or three evils.  Still not terrible, but not very good either.

Dear Casey James,

I have mixed feelings about you.  At the onset of the season, I was rooting for you.  I liked your style, and you have a lot of the tools that can make you a successful artist.  However, I was sure you would have been going home two weeks ago. In my mind, I still think you probably should have.  You’ve been on and off a lot, and lucky for you, your past two performances have been more on than off.  You’re climbing back up the totem pole in my book.  Keep choosing the right songs because your vocals are far from the best among the remaining contestants.

Dear Crystal Bowersox,

If the show was over today, you’d the be clear winner.  At this point, it’s yours to lose.  Carry on.

Dear Didi Benami,

I thought the judges were too hard on you last night.  They keep saying that it sounds different live as opposed to on TV, so maybe that’s the case here, because I liked your rendition of “You’re No Good” and the judges torched you for it.  Regardless, you’re almost certainly safe from elimination this week.  As long as you can continue to find songs that play up your vocal strengths and that unique bravado you have, you’ll be fine for a couple more weeks.  After that, probably not so much.

Dear Katie Stevens,

I’m impressed with you almost every single week.  For a 17 year old to have that much talent and confidence is, well, impressive.  You’re on the right path thus far.  Call me when you turn 18. (Kidding, Jess.  I love you!)

Dear Lee DeWyze,

When you were put in the top 24, I was disappointed because I thought the judges got it wrong.  I didn’t like you.  Since then, you have turned me into a believer.  You know exactly what kind of artist you are, and you know your limits, and those are two things lacking from about half of your fellow contestants right now.  In my opinion, you’re in the top five quite easily.

Dear Michael Lynche,

You’re my boy this season, Big Mike.  If there is someone who can knock Crystal off, it’s you.  This week’s performance was another gem, and even though the judges got down on you a little, calling it a “safe pick,” allow me to retort on your behalf …

Dear Idol Judges,

How can you say that Michael’s song choice was a safe one last night?  Do me a favor.  Close your eyes.  Now, picture any of the other contestants trying to take on that song.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Did you just realize what I am about to tell you?  Anyone else would have been swallowed up by that song before they got to the second line.  But, because Big Mike has been nothing short of phenomenal lately, you expect way too much of him.  That performance was a fantastic change of pace from a few of the bombs we heard last night and you know it.

Dear Paige Miles,

If I were actually mailing these letters, I’d be mailing yours to your home, because there is NO way you’re still around after this week.  You’re going home.  For the fourth time in a row, you picked the worst possible song you could have, and you butchered it.  You should have gone home four weeks ago, and every week since then as well.  Yet somehow, you keep getting a reprieve. How?  Are you voting for yourself like 40,000 times when you get done? It’s curtains for you, Paige, and I think you know it.  The part that bothers me the most, is that had you been sent home a couple weeks ago like you should have, and Lilly had been spared – as she should have – we would have a much stronger panel than we do.  As it stands, we have a turd in the punch bowl, and that turd is you, Paige.

Dear Siobhan Magnus,

First off, you got skills.  As Randy Jackson would say, “Yo … check this out.  Dude, dogg, let me tell you, yo, dude for real, dogg … That was dope!”  You’re delivering on that wow factor week after week, and you seem to be consistently improving.  As evidence by your past few performances, you can do no wrong when it comes to song selection, so whatever mindset you’re in, stay there.  My only critique is that super loud note you like to hit at the end of your performances.  It’s crazy that you can even hit that note, no question.  However, it’s beginning to be a bit predictable and almost played out.  If you did it once in a while, it would still be special like it was the first time, but you’re wearing it out.  Just something to think about for next week, cause you’ll definitely be back.

Dear Tim Urban,

All I can say is this Timbo: You’re lucky Paige was a nightmare this week, because it may just be your saving grace.  If two people were going home, you’d be one of them.  As it stands, you may be spared, but only for one more week, and only because you are the lesser of two evils.  If you go home this week, I won’t be disappointed.  Your last two performances have been plain bad.  The words “high school talent show” come to mind.  Sorry bro, it’s just not gonna happen.

And there we have it folks.  My first blog post in about three weeks, and I write about something at least half of you won’t give two sh*ts about.  That’s how I roll.

One love,

10

I Just Don’t NB-See It

March 3, 2010

Boy, NBC is really moving quite quickly up my sh*t list.  After a three week absence of The Office due to the Olympics, I was super excited that a new episode was finally running this week.  When I looked ahead to record it, I was stunned to find that instead of the hour-long special in which – SPOILER ALERT – Pam has her baby … High School Girls Basketball will be televised.  To tackle this debacle, I’m going to borrow a page out of Seth Meyers’ SNL Weekend Update book, circa 2008. 

Really, NBC?  Really?   Not only is the best comedy on television being overridden by basketball.  Not only is it being overridden by girls basketball.  It’s being overridden by North Dakota HIGH SCHOOL girls basketball.  Really?!  What the hell is going on here? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.  This can’t be real life.  First Conan, and now this?   Really? 

Wait, I don’t give a crap about Conan because I never watch late night talk shows anyway, so scratch that.  But seriously, how does my local NBC affiliate sleep at night?!  When I first saw the programming lineup, I was in disbelief, but still held my hopes up high, since I have two different NBC affiliates at my disposal on the satellite.  Unfortunately, both channels are carrying the North Dakota High School Girls Basketball Tournament.  So instead of being treated to what I presume will be the best episode of the current season of The Office, I can watch the girls Class B semifinals.  Really? 

Oh, did I forget to mention that?  It’s Class B (for those unfamiliar, that’s Class that features schools with roughly 17 students each.  It’s the horribly untalented region, as opposed to Class A, which consists of the larger schools in the state), and it’s the freakin’ semifinals.  I can certainly see televising the title game locally on a Saturday afternoon or something, but the first round, NBC?  Really??  In prime time?  REALLY?!

I’m in total disbelief over this whole thing.  I truly am.  In order to keep my sanity, I’m going to have to watch the episode of The Office online, which should be a lot of fun since it’s an hour long.  (Note: I hate watching TV online, and that was indeed sarcasm).  Or I can just completely ignore the rest of the season and wait ten months for it to come out on DVD.  Yeah, like that’s going to happen. 

I just hope that the nine people who actually watch the girls game enjoy watching the participants stumble, bumble, flub, and foul their way to a 37-29 final score.

One love,

10