Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Listen To The Man

Tim mentions H&M stores. We don't have them in Texas, but my bestest bud, Elyse, took me to one of these stores in Virginia last summer. Oh my. It was a smorgasbord of bargains. I bought an adorable little black dress for about $15. I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but if Tim Gunn endorses a place, you should check it out. Here's a link to their website:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Taylor Tuesday

I know Taylor will never see this, but it makes me feel better:


I thought you could use a hug.
Just know this: not all of your fans are assholes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Gray Charles Chatters

Hey y'all! How've ya been? Remember the fun we used to have in GC chat? Remember how that photo of Taylor to the right of the chat room used to watch us? Remember how Jeff Lopez, or strangedesign (who claimed to be a friend of Taylor's) or Gray himself used to drop by?

What about that night a stranger dropped in for about 30 seconds, asking if we liked the shows and the venues. Right before he suddenly left he said, "Well, guess what? Hold on tight, it's only going to get better! dig!" We were all convinced it was Taylor. LOL!

I'm inviting you to leave a message for your fellow GC chatters just to say hi or share a favorite memory.

I'll start. I want you to know that many times you were more supportive of me than my own family was. And you were a helluva lot more fun than most of the people I dealt with all day!

I miss you.

"Git 'Er Dun!"

My apologies:

Larry the Cable Guy

My husband is a fan of the guys on the "Blue Collar Tour". You know- Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy. We caught a broadcast of the tour on TV during Thanksgiving break at Gail's lake house. After we had seen each and every comedian perform his own brand of humor (each and every one!) Greg declared that he liked Larry the best.

I'm not a huge fan, but since I'm such a giver, I bought him two tickets for Christmas to see Larry the Cable Guy here in Houston. And because I wanted him to totally enjoy the experience, I told him it wouldn't hurt my feelings if he took his friend, Joe or our friend, Gail, or even a stranger loitering outside the theater. "No, no, I want to go with YOU!", he insisted.

The show was last night. It was OK. If you enjoy bathroom humor and poking fun at the disabled, his show is for you! The audience loved him. People actually yelled out, "Git 'er dun, Larry!" When the show was over, Greg said his mouth hurt from smiling so much. All because of me. That's what I do. I'm a giver.

Since Monday's post is supposed to be about music, I gave you the musical side of Larry up above. Hope you enjoy it! If you don't, I understand.

Friday, January 25, 2008

"So, What Did You Name Him?"

"No photos, please!" (He's tired of the paparazzi)

Everyone's been asking me what we finally named the little pooch. You know that song, "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo"? Nah, we didn't name him that. But that would've been great, right? It WAS the "fan favorite" in my poll, but I read that you shouldn't give a dog a one-syllable name because they'll confuse it with commands like, "No!" Our puppy hears that a lot, so we want no confusion.

We settled on "Henry Wadsworth" because he's a loooong fellow. It still doesn't quite fit him, but the names I've been calling him wouldn't be appropriate to say around small children.

He's gotten better, but my goodness, he's hyper! All he wants to do is sleep or play. And his idea of playing is to chew on any skin that's conveniently near his teeth. When I walk, he nips at my feet. When I pet him, he nips at my hands. If I hide my hands and feet, he nips at my face. He laughs and barks and hops around, thinking this is all great fun. We've learned some techniques and they seem to be working (don't worry-no hitting).

We had fun with the name hunt. For a couple of weeks Greg called him a different name every day. It was so amusing that I delayed fixing on a name just to see what he was going to come up with next.

One day I had to call the dog and "Parker" popped out. It's sort of a blend of Sparky and Keeper, so I considered it. But, it didn't really grab me. Then I wondered about taking one of my not-so-nice names and reducing it to initials, but C.A. (crazy ass) or P.P. (psycho puppy) don't have a ring.

So, we settled on "Henry Wadsworth". Henry, for short, of course. The folks at the vet's office got a kick out of it, so I guess we're sticking with it. What's in a name, anyway? A puppy by any other name would smell as stinky.

Henry and Mom.

Shh...good grief, don't wake him up! (And he doesn't smell stinky, I just said that to be funny.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Project Runway

Even Designers Get the Blues

Another mysterious field trip with Tim Gunn! As the designers stood in front of a waterfront warehouse, the door rolled up to reveal a huge assortment of Levi's denim hanging from clotheslines. They were given three minutes to fill a laundry bag with what would be the raw materials for their design.

Their task? "To create an iconic denim look that captures the spirit of the 501 legacy."Am I the only one who doesn't get it? What's the spirit of the 501 legacy? 501's are button-fly, aren't they? So...the legacy would be the frustration of dealing with buttons instead of a quick zipper?

Go ahead, my cerebral friends. Have at it. But, here's my take on it. First of all, an obvious plug for Levi. That's fine. And I suppose they couldn't tell Tim to say, "Here's a bunch of jeans. Make something out of them." They had to validate the use of a bunch of free Levis, so someone came up with this intelligent sounding but nonsensical sentence. Did I get it?

Anyhoo...I believe this is the third time the designers had to scramble for their fabric. I always feel bad for Chris in these moments. You can just feel him thinking, "Shit. I have to run again."

Look how happy Christian is!

In the end, Ricky won with this design:


And Victorya was sent home:

The judges felt that her coat looked like an ordinary denim jacket with a skirt attached.

You decide. Which design did you like best?

Sweet P





Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Investigative Reporting

Elevate My Idol

Someone posted somewhere that Taylor's face doesn't appear with the other past winners in the opening of "American Idol". You know- they have that weird, futuristic elevator that the weird, robotic contestant rides up on and in the background are the faces of the previous winners. "Floor one, ladies lingerie, bedding, Kelly Clarkson..." OK, you know what I'm talking about.

I didn't really believe that AI would diss one of it's own winners . Maybe it was quick and the poster just didn't see it. So here's what I did for all of you in the name of investigative reporting. I recorded that blasted show last night and played back the opening frame by frame. No, really, I did! Get off my case, it was a slow night.

So, here's what I found out: She was right. No Taylor. We see Kelly... (going up) ...there's Ruben... (now we pass the third floor)... Fantasia... (continuing upward)... I see a blond, yep there's Carrie...OK, let's watch's a bit muddled, the contestant exits the elevator and walks on stage.

In the background on big screens we see three figures singing away: Carrie, an unknown torso, and Fantasia. The headless torso in a suit is-I assume- the "suggestion" of Taylor, but we never see its face. And finally, Jordan's face pops up on two sides of the screen.

Kelly, Ruben, Fantasia, Carrie and Jordan are plainly seen. Taylor's face is never shown. Here's my question:

What did he do?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Academy Award nominee Heath Ledger, 28, has died of a possible drug overdose involving sleeping pills in New York, police have confirmed.

The actor was sick with pneumonia when he died, the website reports, saying it had been contacted by representatives of Ledger's family, who said they'd been told by police that the actor's death was accidental."

"Brokeback Mountain" is one of my favorite movies.

It's the ultimate story of two lovers forced to live apart. Heath Ledger shows us the frustration and pain of his character's situation without using words. It's all there in his face.

I had only recently begun to take notice of this gifted actor. What a tragic loss.

Taylor Tuesday

by moto images
Dang, is he lookin' at me?

by moto images
Taylor and meatloaf. And the singer, Meatloaf. (That's some kind of weak attempt at poking fun at Taylor's tummy.)

Interview from the golf course:

So, Taylor got to play in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic again this year. Good for him.

OK, here's the thing. I can't seem to get excited about writing about Taylor playing golf. Last year we were all agog over the golfing photos. A friend of mine shared them in chat and with every picture, we exclaimed, "Wow!" "Hot!" "I LOVE golf!"

This year it's like, "Eh. Whatever". Could it be the obsession is fading? I still have a weird, unexplained affection for the guy. And who knows? Maybe if I saw him perform live I'd be right back in obsession-mode.

But for now, there's a kind of creepy quiet in Taylorland lately. Is everyone getting back to their lives? Anybody out there?

Monday, January 21, 2008

John Mayer

These videos will jump-start your Monday morning. My apologies to the universe for being the last person to know that John Mayer is so proficient on guitar! Where have I been? Oh yeah-I've had my head up Taylor Hicks' ass for the past year. (sorry for that visual) I dare you to sit still while you listen:

John Mayer and Eric Clapton

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Want To Be Lazy

This is how I'm feelin' today. It's rainy and chilly and I'd loooove to stay in my jammies and watch a great movie. But with everyone at home and a manic puppy underfoot, it ain't gonna happen.

Don't you just love Marilyn? I'm really digging the outfit. Maybe I'll wear that around the house today.

Gone Fishing. Really!

Greg and Mom

I hate fishing. But my husband loves it and my Mom claims to enjoy it as well. Whenever she visits from New York, she asks Greg to take her out on the boat. The boys don't have to go, but I do, because my Mom and my husband/daddy have decided that it's good for me.

"You need some fresh air!" Mom says, cheerfully.

"You need to get off the f-ing computer," Greg mutters, cheerLESSly.

So, off we went last week, Mom and Dad- I mean- Mom and Greg in the front seat of the truck and me in back, headphones on, brooding like a teenager. Fun!

It's about an hour's drive to the boat launch. Along the way are what could be called cliche sights in Texas: Brahma bulls, cypress trees draped in moss and a modest little house with an oil well pumping on the front lawn.

We stopped and bought bait shrimp at this curious little place:

When you live near the Gulf of Mexico, bait shrimp looks a lot like what they serve in restaurants up north. In fact, in the past, we have boiled up the leftover bait and eaten it ourselves.

Greg likes to fish in an area called the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge.

It's an interesting place because we can put the boat in the river and then drive to a spot where we can beach it.

Greg usually stays with the boat to fish and I walk (with an unsuspecting guest) across the wild, untouched sand for about 60 seconds

until we hear and finally, see, the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Very cool. One side-river, other side-ocean (yes-I'm calling the Gulf of Mexico the ocean! It kinda is).

(ignore my fat legs)

But on this day, Mom wanted to fish, so we found a suitable spot and threw in a couple of anchors. I took my position at the back of the boat:

Sometime during my nap, Mom and Greg got a bunch of bites, but all they pulled in were crabs:

(Save your jokes. This is a family blog!)

Finally, the two of them decided we could do what I enjoy: ride fast and go to the beach. We secured everything in the boat, including ourselves. The front of the boat rose up as we took off, pounding the waves at first, then leveling out and skimming the water as we shot past the empty shoreline. Like a faithful Labrador, I leaned into the wind, closed my eyes and let my ears flap as I took in all these new and exciting smells.

Cranes and pelicans took to the air as we approached and then suddenly we sank back down as the engine slowed. Greg drove right up onto the bank and I jumped out.

Once I got the sand out of my teeth (you shouldn't jump out until the boat has come to a full and complete stop!), I helped Mom out and we walked across to the Gulf side of this tiny island.
You can only get to this beach by boat and every time we go we're the only ones there. You never know what you may find washed up on shore. This day it was a driftwood graveyard.

The flowing curves of wood had an almost dangerous attitude. They were beautiful, but there was something about their silence that made you wonder what might be hiding there.
The creepiness in the air was only bolstered by these tracks we found:

I know, they look like dog tracks, but there were no human footprints anywhere on the sand. Greg told us matter-of-factly that mountain lion can be found there. Time to go!

We weren't really worried about the tracks, Mom and I had a show to get to that night ( a certain stand-up comedian. I may have mentioned him in an earlier blog!).

So, the fishing was terrible, but it was a nice day to be out on the water. They were projecting record highs that day. Don't think we quite made it, but the temps were in the 70's. Don't tell Mom and Dad- I mean, Mom and Greg, but I'm glad they made me go.

I'll close as you watch Greg take the boat out of the water:

Yee-ha!! Time to go out two-stepping down to the ice house. See y'all!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Project Runway

This week, the models were paraded out with wacky hairstyles which the designers were told to use as the inspiration for an avant-garde design. Tim later informed everyone that they would be working in teams of two: Chris and Christian; Kit and Ricky; Victorya and Jillian; and Rami and Sweet P.

Then, at what seemed to be the last minute, Tim announced that they would need to make a second garment -- a ready-to-wear design that "expresses the essence of the avant-garde design".

Chris and Christian won with the design in the above photo. I gotta tell ya, I haaaate it. I don't think the second garment related at all to this absurd get-up, either:

But then, I'm not a fashion designer or a TV producer, so what do I know?

Though I wouldn't wear it, I loved the aesthetics of this design created by Victorya and Jillian:

The tan pants don't make any sense to me, but I love the surprise of the shiny, playful plaid underneath the stark, buttoned-down black exterior.

And, apropos of nothing, when was poking around at the official Project Runway website, I found some sketches up for auction. They only have the ones from the first couple of episodes at this point, but I found the sketch for the dress we all loved to hate, the one Heidi said made it look like the model was "poo-ing fabric". The sketch sold for $145.

Oh, and, Kit was asked to take her berets and leave:

Melanie Nyema

Rehearsal for the Taylor Hicks spring tour. Melanie Nyema and Brian Gallagher on sax.

By now you may have heard that Taylor's back up singer, Melanie, tried out for American Idol. She's goin' to Hollywood. I almost spoke to her in Tampa when I saw her sitting on her luggage outside the tour bus, but I felt too shy. Well, good for her for moving on to the next round, but I still can't watch that retched show.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Psycho Puppy- Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Talking Heads-Psycho Killer

Don't know why, but this sweet little ditty reminds me of my puppy. ;)

an excerpt (as sung by my puppy):

I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax
I can't sleep cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire

Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est
Far better
Run away
Psycho killer, que'st que c'est
Far better
Run away
Oh yeah

Monday, January 14, 2008

Taylor Tuesday


I hate to quote a Katharine McPhee song, but that's how I feel about American Idol. I'm over it. I get no joy from the show anymore.

I'm obviously a Taylor Hicks fan, so my perception of the show is tempered by how I think he's been treated since winning AI. I have no inside info and I don't know much about the music industry, but I can speak from my perspective as the average Joe viewer.

During Season Six, the year after Taylor won, a contestant walked into auditions with gum in her mouth. Simon told her to stick it on a picture of Taylor's face. And later, when we moved on to the part of the show where America votes, the exit song was sung by the guy who placed FOURTH the year Taylor won. If any former contestant deserved that priviledge, it should be the winner of American Idol, not Mr. 4th Place.

After enduring a season of blatant disrespect towards their reigning Idol, we Taylor fans were looking forward to his appearance on the finale. Let me remind you that the year before, the reigning Idol opened the finale show. Carrie Underwood was presented like royalty as the curtains parted to wild applause. Taylor, on the other hand, was given a spot somewhere in the middle of the finale show, without an introduction.

Then there was Clive Davis' embarrassing speech about how lucrative AI has been for him. OK, that wasn't exactly what he said, but it WAS all about numbers and how many more CDs Daughtry had sold than Taylor.

From my seat here in consumer land, it seems Taylor got no help from Clive Davis in the promotion of his CD (perhaps because he was too busy figuring out how to promote Daughtry). Taylor's first single wasn't released until AFTER the CD had already been out for a while and it got little radio play.

I read an article recently which said that the single is everything. Get it out there, get it played and people will buy the CD. Makes sense to me. Radio play is EVERYTHING. I can't really address the rumors that swirl about payola, but when other Idol contestant's songs have been played and replayed on the radio and Taylor's never is, it kinda makes you wonder.

But, back to American Idol. I was never a huge fan, but I did get hooked on Season Five. Taylor Hick's story was (supposedly) what the show was all about: giving an unknown singer a shot at a music career. But I think it went even deeper. It became a story about giving the unknown misfit a shot. Though Taylor's a good-looking guy, he was the underdog because he doesn't fit the traditional image of a pop star.

Let me stop right here. I'm confused. Is that what we're looking for on American Idol? A pop star? Maybe Ryan should make it very clear when they flash those phone numbers on the screen: "Remember, folks, the phone lines won't be open until the end of the show and be sure to vote for the person you feel is most marketable!"

Those silly producers have been telling us to vote for our favorite. I'm sorry, I misunderstood! Maybe they should just tell us the actual person they want us to vote for, then we viewers won't waste our time putting our hearts and souls into backing someone the music label doesn't believe in.

Ow. My stomach hurts. That happens every time I think about that show. Taylor won American Idol. Fact. He brought the goods. The night he took the prize he yelled, "I'm living the American Dream!" Yeah, well, not so fast. When it comes to American Idol, you're living it if you're willing to conform to what music executives think you should be.

American Idol has been an education and a sobering disappointment. I won't be watching tonight or any night in the future. I can't get that invested again, only to have the harsh realities of the music biz kill the joy of discovering a great new talent.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jonathan Edwards

NOT John Edwards, the senator, NOT John Edward, the psychic! This is Jonathon Edwards of the song, "Sunshine", from the 70's. ("Sunshine go away today...I don't feel much like dancing...")

This song- "Shanty" -is one of my all time favorite songs by anybody. Ever. Maybe because it was kind of my theme song in college. It's fun.

Some nice harmonica here. What do you think about Taylor doing this song? Would the Soul Patrol swallow their dentures?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ferguson Tuesday

(I was planning to come up with something for "Taylor Tuesday", but I'm still on a Craig Ferguson high, so I'm giving Taylor the cold shoulder this week. We'll be back to normal next Tuesday.)

Craig Ferguson, The Late Late Show

I'm gonna "Reader's Digest" my story and give you the condensed version. But, let me tell you, the original lost post was brilliant. I laughed, I cried, I wet my pants a little. Too bad you'll miss having that experience.

Craig Ferguson
Sunday night

Too condensed? OK, here you go: I saw Craig Ferguson's stand-up act last night with my Mom. I'm a big fan of his (and have mentioned before that I've got a little crush on him.) The show was a blast. He got a standing ovation just by walking out on stage. He told us, "Calm down! I suck live!"

He didn't suck. And, except for some minor penis jokes (notice I didn't say "little" penis jokes), he wasn't too racy for my Mom. We both had a great time.

When I was a kid, my Mom opened my eyes to this "let's meet the star of the show by the back-stage door" thing. So when I suggested that we try to get an autograph, she was up for it.

We walked around back and found a car and driver waiting, but no other fans. And when a security guard shooed us behind a barrier, I started feeling embarrassed, like a shameless groupie. We decided to leave, but other fans started to gather. We stuck it out.

We didn't wait long and when Craig came out, he was very warm and friendly to everyone. He actually looked me in the eye, smiling as he listened to my compliments about a movie of his I had recently seen. He thanked me for my kind words.

I got his autograph and then my Mom asked him if she could take our picture. I wasn't expecting that, so when he put his arm around me and kind of pulled me into him, the giggly celebrity worshiper in me came out and the camera flashed. I look like a twelve-year-old trapped in a forty-something's body, but he looks pretty damned good:

(It's my blog and I'll cut myself out if I want to!)

Maybe I should start a "Ferguson Friday" feature? Nah. I'm already in enough trouble with my husband.

If you have the opportunity to see anything Craig Ferguson is involved in-GO!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Spit Be Gone!

Elisa's losing design.

Sorry for the lateness of this entry. My Mom is visiting and since my husband acts like my daddy, I feel as though I have both parents correcting my behavior all day. And let's not forget psycho-puppy following me around, nipping at my feet. (No official name yet, but I've been calling him "Crazy-ass". Hey-CW or Julie, if you read this, how do you say "Crazy-ass" in French?)

Anyhoo, back to the topic. This week on Project Runway, the designers were taken to Hershey's flagship store in Times Square. They were given 5 minutes to run around and grab supplies for their outfits.

Luckily there were textiles available: shirts, bags, etc...But some of the designers opted to work with candy wrappers.

Christian's dress.

One used actual candy (licorice):

Jillian's dress looked pretty cute in motion on the runway, though the bodice looks stiff here in the photo.

Rami won the challenge with this design

and Elisa, our resident hippy freak who marks her fabric with her own spit, was sent home.

I'll leave all commentary to you faithful readers, as my mother, husband/daddy and psycho puppy are waiting for me downstairs.