Sunday, May 30, 2010

I joined the cast of Glee!

Along with my daughter and thousands of other Glee fans who attended "Glee Live!" at Radio City Music Hall this weekend.

But we really did feel like a part of the cast, thanks to our amazing seats (eleventh row, orchestra -- I love you, StubHub) and how much the show felt like one big episode of Glee.

And while some performers disappoint in person, J-THREE-O and I can attest to the fact that the entire cast of Glee (that is, the members of New Directions -- Rachel, Finn, Mercedes, Puck, Quinn, Tina, Artie, Santana, Brittany, and Kurt, as well as "the Asian guy," who I just found out via Wikipedia is named "Mike Chang," and "the African American guy," whose name no one knows, who don't have any lines but are in more and more episodes) actually sounded better live -- and put on quite a show (see pictures, below).

Even Mr. Schuester and Sue Sylvester made a guest appearance, "via satellite," with Sue nearly stealing (or trying to steal) the show, by having Cheerios hand out Barf Bags during intermission.

Though some of the funniest moments -- or lines -- from "Glee Live!" came from ditzy blonde cheerleader Brittany (the actress, singer, and very accomplished dancer Heather Morris).

I wish I could have videotaped the entire "Glee Live!" show, from start to finish (though that is probably illegal), so I could watch it again and again. (If a DVD comes out, I am so buying it -- it was that good.) But I did videotape a couple songs, "Don't Stop Believing," which I either accidentally erased or taped over, and "Bad Romance," which I didn't -- and which received over 100 hits minutes after I posted it to YouTube last night.

I now truly feel like a Gleek.

UPDATED: Just found this video of "Bust Your Windows," sung by Mercedes, from the "Glee Live!" show in Phoenix. It was one of my favorite numbers from the "Glee Live!" show at Radio City.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I knew there was something squirrely about the Yankees!

I have heard of unusual promotions to get baseball fans into the stands, but this is just nuts!

Better, full version can be found here. (MLB won't let you embed videos. Boo.)

The squirrel, nicknamed Rocky, apparently thought it was Wildlife Day at Target Field in Minneapolis Tuesday, where the Minnesota Twins were hosting the New York Yankees. Or perhaps Rocky, who was visiting from nearby Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, mistook Twins third baseman Brendan Harris for Boris Badenov.

Whatever the case, someone should consider drafting that squirrel. Not only does he run faster than most baseball players, he struck out Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can women of a certain age wear bikinis?

(Or maybe the better question is, Should women of a certain age wear a bikini?)

You know it's almost summer when every day there's a new bikini or swimsuit offer from Victoria's Secret in your in box. And, I have to admit, Victoria's Secret does have some nice bikinis. And I could probably use a new swimsuit, and have actually been thinking about buying a bikini (though probably not one from Victoria's Secret -- unless they include a pair of C-cup breasts with it) as I'm in pretty good shape these days.

But recently I have been wondering if I am too old to be parading around in a bikini. (Not that I would be parading anywhere. More like leisurely strolling or sitting in a chaise longue reading a book.)

Yeah, sure, it's fine for some hot twentysomething swimsuit model to parade around in a bikini. (Curse you, Brooklyn Decker, and your not-so-little Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue friends, too!) But what about the other 99.8% of the female population, especially us women of a certain age? Is it still okay for us to expose our navels and a little bit of derriere in public? Or should I just opt for a muumuu? (Or does it have nothing to do with age and everything to do with confidence and/or how you look?)

Let me know your thoughts -- and if there are any rules for wearing a bikini -- via the Comments.

In the meantime, here's a bonus video clip from "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini," one of seven classic "Beach Party" movies made by American International Pictures back in the 1960s.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lee DeWyze vs. Crystal Bowersox: American Idol Season 9 Finale (recap)

It seems like just a couple months ago that outgoing American Idol judge Simon Cowell (wink, wink) predicted Crystal Bowersox the winner of American Idol Season 9. But apparently Mr. Cowell (wink, wink) has changed his tune, according to this article in People, and now thinks Lee DeWyze will win it.

Frankly, I think Lee DeWyze will win, too. Not because Lee is the better singer or performer but because he has momentum going into the finale -- and I think the majority of American Idol viewers (that is the ones who actually vote) are females ages 12 to 24, who are more likely to vote for Lee than Crystal. Just sayin'.

Though at this point, I don't really care who wins American Idol this season -- I'm just glad it is almost over (though what I'll do on Tuesday nights, other than watching baseball games, I don't know). Also, regardless of who "wins," you know both Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze are going to walk away with recording contracts. So really, what's the big deal? They're both winners.

Btw, for those of you who care, Idol has set up a special "Season 9 Finale" page, where you can see videos of Crystal and Lee, read their Tweets, and leave comments. Woohoo!

And now, let the singing -- and judging -- commence!

Round One

So Lee DeWyze chose "The Boxer." A good choice, though perhaps a bit too safe. Or "a kiss on the cheek" rather than "a kiss on the lips," as Simon (wink, wink) said. Our grade for Lee DeWyze: B+

Crystal Bowersox also picked a pretty safe -- though good -- song in "Me and Bobby McGhee." What else can I say about Crystal at this point (without sounding like Ellen DeGeneres)? Crystal has been totally consistent, in a good way, throughout the season, and this was definitely one of her best performances. Our grade for Crystal Bowersox: A-

Round Two

So Simon Fuller chose R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" for Lee DeWyze. Another good choice, though not the best in terms of producing a "wow" moment or creating some musical tension. Also, not exactly an upbeat song, which doesn't help Lee's cause. Again, what can I say? It was another good performance, though nothing... special. Our grade for Lee DeWyze this round: another B+

And Simon Fuller's choice for Crystal Bowersox? "Blue Velvet," originally sung by Alannah Myles. Another good choice -- or so I thought until Crystal started singing. Now? Not so much. I actually thought that performance was a disaster. Crystal was off-key, and the arrangement just didn't work for me. Though clearly the acoustics in the Nokia Theatre are different than what I heard on our 40" Sony Bravia, because the judges luuurved it. Huh? Our grade for Crystal Bowersox: the spouse gives Crystal an A-; the kid, a B+; me, a B-

Round Three

OMG!!! NO HORRIBLE ORIGINAL SONG BY KARA DIOGUARDI?! The evening is starting to look up!

So if Lee DeWyze wins, he will record U2's "Beautiful Day"? I like Lee, and think he has a really good (yes, commercial) voice, and I am not a huge U2 fan, but seriously, why on Earth would you buy Lee's version of "Beautiful Day" over U2's (unless you are a 12-year-old girl)? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? FWIW, we (the spouse, the kid, and I) ALL thought that was Lee's best performance of the night, but was it enough to beat Crystal? Dunno. Our grade for Lee DeWyze's version of "Beautiful Day": A-/B+

And Crystal Bowersox's single? "Up to the Mountain"? I'm (somewhat) embarrassed to say I have never heard of this song, nor has the spouse, which is surprising, since folk is his thang. Anyway... per Wikipedia, it's a contemporary folk song written by Patty Griffin. Well, that solves it. Not. Whatever. It was definitely in Crystal's wheelhouse. She sang it well. And I think Simon (wink, wink) Cowell was right when he said it was the best performance of the evening. But I was (am) still bored. Our grade for Crystal Bowersox's "Up to the Mountain": A-

Based on the performances tonight, and throughout the season, Crystal should win, IMHO, but I can't count Lee out. Until tomorrow, Idol fans. I'm off to watch me some Lady Gaga on Glee.

And the winner of American Idol Season 9 is... Simon Cowell! No wait! I mean Lee DeWyze. As predicted. Happy for Lee, but am majorly bummed for Crystal, though, as I have said dozens of times, Crystal will be FINE. Interesting show, for lack of a better word. Nice to see Paula Abdul again, who looked great. And nice to see all the Idols -- and be reminded that winning Idol doesn't guarantee success. (Btw, for those of you who, like me, were wondering where Season 7 American Idol champ David Cook was, he was at a charity event.)

For more on last night's American Idol finale, check out Craig Berman's latest column over on MSNBC. (Berman's been covering Idol for years and is very funny -- and accurate.)

Two more reasons to watch Glee

As if Gleeks needed another reason to watch Glee (you know, other than the great music, the amazing chemistry between the cast members, and the hysterical quotes that come out of ditzy blonde Cheerio Brittany's mouth each week). But I'll give you two more:

1. Tonight's episode, titled "Theatricality," features songs by Lady Gaga.

2. Matthew Morrison's (aka "Will Schuester's" or "Mr. Schue's") abs.*

(More pictures from Matthew Morrison's June VOGUE photo shoot here.)

To quote Van Halen, I am "Hot for Teacher" (which should seriously be featured on an upcoming Glee episode).

*A special thanks to my friend, A., who ripped out that picture of Matthew Morrison from VOGUE and left it for me in my mail box. :-)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The difference between Democrats and Republicans?

So I'm driving with my daughter, a sixth-grader who loves social studies and history, and we see a bumper sticker bashing President Obama. And I sigh and make a despairing (though not disparaging) comment about the bumper sticker, and the driver of the minivan, and my daughter asks, "So mom, what's the difference between Democrats and Republicans?"

"Well, honey," I said, and then paused, wanting to give her an answer that was as objective as possible, "it kind of depends on who you talk to, or ask, and the definition has changed over the years, as the parties have changed."

"And?" she asked, waiting for me to give her some actually useful information.

And this is what I told her, off the top of my head, trying to remain neutral and factual, while trying not to crash into another car or a tree.

I said that in general Democrats tended to be in favor of a social safety net, or the public funding of programs like social security and medicare, which helped elderly people and people who needed extra help (the latter with health care); that Democrats (or most of them) believed in public and/or government funding of education and the arts, and in making sure everyone had access to health care; and that they tended to believe it was up to a woman to decide whether or not she would have a baby. (And yes my daughter knows what abortion is.)

As for Republicans, I told her that they tended to favor a small Federal government, and lower taxes (though who isn't for lower taxes?), which meant eliminating or cutting back on public spending (on things like education and the arts and health care, pretty much everything except defense); that Republicans favored States rights; and that most, especially Conservative Republicans, thought abortion and homosexuality were wrong and should be made illegal (whereas Democrats tended to support both).

Now I realize neither explanation is comprehensive (far from it), but if you had just a few minutes to describe the differences between Democrats and Republicans to a 12-year-old, without the benefit of a computer (or PDA) or a library, how would you describe each party -- while refraining from making any negative or biased statements about either party?

Let me know via the Comments. (And note: I will delete any and all inappropriate, vicious, and/or nasty comments.)

UPDATED: While discussing this post with the spouse, I was reminded of this classic blog post by the late great Jon Swift, titled "Pro-America vs. Anti-America."

Friday, May 21, 2010

What’s a poor girl got to do just to have some fun?

Friday, payday, Lordy got to get away
Had it with the wife thing, living on a shoe string
What’s a poor girl got to do just to have some fun?
All these years without any help
Guess what, honey, clothes just don’t wash themselves!
Neither do dishes, neither does the bathroom floor.

So, now if anyone asks, not that they would
I’ll be down in Uncasville and up to no good...

(If I'm going to lose money, I'd rather do it the old-fashioned way. And blackjack is way more fun than watching the Dow and NASDAQ -- and my retirement savings -- redline on CNBC. Also, did I mention there's free booze?)

UPDATED: Well, I won't be retiring any time soon, nor quitting my day job, but I did come home with an extra $80 in my wallet, after paying for lunch for two. And I (we) had a good time, and met some nice people. All in all, not a bad way to spend a few hours. Now excuse me while I catch up on work, go make dinner, do the dishes, and start the laundry.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I ♥ the '80s (music, that is)

For some reason (probably glee, which I also majorly ♥) 1980s music seems to be everywhere right now -- on TV, on the radio, at my gym.

Last week, I couldn't get "Jessie's Girl" out of my head after seeing it on glee.

(I forgot how cute Rick Springfield was back in the day. Remember when he was on General Hospital? The first time? Sigh.)

Then yesterday morning I heard a take on Toni Basil's "Hey Mickey," and now can't get that out of my head...

And then at the gym I heard Steve Miller's "Abracadabra," which I also love.

Good times, good times.

So what are (or were) some of your favorite 1980s songs? Let me know via the Comments.

UPDATED: Commenter "Edward" just reminded me how much I loved the Go-Gos back in the day, and "Vacation" was one of my favorite songs/videos of theirs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

American Idol's Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and Casey James in the "fight for the finale"

It's now down to just three contestants on American Idol: Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, and Casey James, but as we all know, they're all already winners. (Blah, blah, blah.)

The good news? Only one more week of American Idol Season 9! The bad news, we have to endure two more agonizing results shows before the "winner" is crowned.

I thought the producers should have just crowned Mamasox the winner weeks ago, but if we have to go through this charade another two weeks, let it be a Crystal Bowersox vs. Lee DeWyze finale, if only so we can hear them sing another duet together and we won't have to listen to any more stupid "Kara Cougar" jokes.

As for tonight's "theme," I guess you could say it's "Choice," as in the judges' choice and the contestants' choice (though sadly not the viewers' choice, though I guess we could always change the channel). And leading it off...

Casey James singing some song I've never heard of (his choice) called "Okay, it's all right": Is it just me, or was that kind of an abrupt transition? Also, was this song inspired by Randy Jackson or what? "Okay okay okay... [Randy cringes, shrugs shoulders.] That song was just all right by me." And OMG (though really, no surprise) Randy said it (just after I typed it)! FWIW, it was just okay by me and J-THREE-O, too. (Seriously, this is the song you choose on one of the biggest nights of your life when you gotta go big or go home? Has Casey learned nothing or does he just not give a shit? Help me out here, people.) Our grade for Casey James' first performance tonight: B

Next up, Crystal Bowersox singing Melissa Etheridge's "Come to my window": Much better song choice than Casey's but I'm not wild about this arrangement. Clearly, the chick's multi-talented, but I thought Crystal's version paled next to the original. "I thought it was good not great," said J-THREE-O. What is there to say about Crystal at this point? She's been consistent (for the most part), and hasn't "compromised" herself artistically, and the judges decided a while ago she was the winner, but I don't see Crystal going on to become a big star -- and frankly, I'm not sure I'd buy her album. Our grade for Crystal Bowersox: B+

And now Lee DeWyze singing Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple man" -- a simple song for a simple guy? Another song I never heard of, but a way better performance than Casey's. Lee is definitely in it to win it, though I wouldn't rush out to buy that song on iTunes. And man, the judges really really want Lee in the finale, though I agree with Kara DioGuardi that Round One goes to Lee. Our grade for Lee DeWyze: A-

DING! DING! Round Two!

And Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson's pick John Mayer's "Daughters" for Casey James: And I am bored. Which is a shanda, because it is a beautiful song, and Casey should be nailing it. Instead he sounds listless and off-key. And I cannot believe the judges are praising him. COME ON, people! It SUCKED. Feh. Our grade for Casey James' second performance: B-

And Ellen DeGeneres's pick for Crystal Bowersox? "Baby I'm amazed" by Paul McCartney. Baby, I'm amazed by that song choice. Really Ellen? Though I'm liking this performance way better than Crystal's first song, though the whole "maybe I'm a man" thing isn't working for me. "It was okay. It wasn't great. She should have given her a Janis Joplin song to sing," said the spouse (who just joined us). I completely agree. It would have been great to have heard Crystal rock some Joplin. Our grade for Crystal Bowersox's second performance: B+

And finally Simon Cowell's pick for Lee DeWyze, Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," because I guess hearing it sung by Tim Urban this season and Jason Castro last season wasn't nearly enough. If you needed more proof that Simon has checked out of Idol and doesn't really care anymore, this is it. Not that it was a bad choice, just a totally uncreative one. Similarly, not a bad performance, though Lee was off-key, and I can't help comparing it to Jason Castro's. Still, it was (hopefully) more than enough to get Lee into the finale, with Crystal. Our grade for Lee DeWyze's second performance: B+

Until tomorrow, American Idol fans...

UPDATED 5/19/10: As predicted, it's Lee vs. Crystal in the finale. Yawn.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Do I really need to know about your sex life?

The short answer is "NO."

(FYI: This post is NOT aimed at or in reaction to anyone in particular, REALLY. It has more to do with TMI in today's very public world.)

While I am happy (honest!) that so many of my friends actually have a sex life, please, spare me the details. It's not that I don't love you or care about you or don't want you to be happy or am envious. None of those apply. (Trust me.) I just believe some things, like one's sex life, should be kept PRIVATE.

Sure, go ahead and tell me "I have this great new boyfriend and he is the most amazing kisser!" (Good for you!) Or "My husband took me on the most romantic weekend!" (That's so nice!) Or even "Oh my God, this new babe I am seeing is totally HOT!" (Lucky you!) But trust me when I tell you, I do not want nor need to hear how many times you made "whoopee" or where or what positions you used. REALLY.

By the same token, I really could have lived without seeing this story, titled "G-Shot Puts Sparks Back In Your Sex Life," which aired on ABC26 in New Orleans last week (and which found its way onto my Twitter feed). Though that said, be sure to watch until the very end, when the co-anchors discuss. (In a word: TMI.)

Prudishly yours,


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Here comes the sun (and a prayer for the stressed)

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right
--George Harrison

Just got back from a quick trip to Cambridge and Lexington, MA, where we visited with family and friends (and had a lovely time). It was a gorgeous "Sun day," and I loved how the sun made everything glisten. (FYI, all the photos are mine.)

Spring has definitely sprung. And I feel much happier -- and sunnier -- now that it has.

And if these beautiful pictures are not enough to put you in a good mood, perhaps this short prayer (which we heard on Car Talk) will.

Prayer for the Stressed

Grant me the serenity to accept the things
I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I cannot accept,
and the wisdom
to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill
today because they pissed me off.
Also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on today,
as they may be connected to the ass that I have to kiss tomorrow.
Help me always to give 100% at work:
12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday,
20% on Thursday, and 5% on Friday.
Also, help me to remember:
when I'm having a really bad day, and it seems that people
are TRYING to piss me off,
that it takes 42 muscles to frown
and only 4 to extend my middle finger
and tell them to bite me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is there a teenager vaccine?

You know, a shot you can get that will prevent you from going insane when you come in close contact with one or more teenagers? If there is, please let me know -- and tell me where I can find it. Stat. (Personally, I think it should be offered at pharmacies, like CVS, like they do the flu shot, though the line would probably go around the block -- five times.)

Also, do you need to get a booster shot every year until your child goes off to college, or will one shot do you for five years? And are there any side effects?

Btw, for those of you saying (or thinking) "But J., don't you have at least a year until J-THREE-O becomes a teenager?" Let me just say, you clearly have not seen/been around her -- or her not-so-little adolescent friends lately. People, it is frightening what happens in middle school, especially to girls. (I will cover boys in another blog post.)

Last night, for the Middle School Spring Concert, the kid wore MY LITTLE BLACK DRESS (which looked better on her than it currently does on me) and my little black shoes. (Her feet are now the same size as mine.) And while I did not catch her primping or flirting with any boys, plenty of other girls (some of whom were dressed in low-cut and/or high-hemmed outfits) were.

I am so not going to survive high school.

Anyway, consider this an open thread or open forum on the subject of teenagers and how to cope with them. You can leave me your pearls of wisdom/sage advice in the Comments.

Oh, and for those of you who didn't know me when I was a teenager, let me just say I do not deserve what I am about to receive. I was a total goody two shoes who didn't drink, didn't smoke, and didn't get into trouble, ever. (I also made my bed and cleaned my room every day, helped with the laundry, and didn't talk back to my mama.)

Bonus Adam Ant "Goody Two Shoes" video:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idol Top 4 go to the movies (RECAP)

Yawn. Seriously, does anyone really watch -- or care about -- American Idol anymore? I'm only watching at this point because of the blog (i.e., inertia). But what excuse do the rest of you have, besides wanting to hear Crystal Bowersox, which you can do on YouTube the next day?

And this week there's no Harry Connick, Jr., to liven things up. Instead we have Jamie Foxx mentoring the Idols as they sing "Songs from the Movies" -- and the Idols singing duets, with whom won't be revealed until a bit later tonight. (Factoid: Last week Ryan said this week's theme was "Songs from the Cinema," but I guess the producers were scared the word cinema would turn off fans, so they changed it to movies. In other word-related news, there is still no such word as pitchy.)

And now, on with the show!

Lee DeWyze: I think "Kiss from a Rose" is a good song choice for Lee, though I could be horribly wrong. Listening.... Listening.... Well, Seal is safe, but I thought Lee did OK. Was his performance worthy of Jamie Foxx's "Artist" shirt? Not so much. But I still want to see Lee (along with Crystal) in the finale. Our grade for Lee DeWyze (just watching with the kid tonight): B/B+ (IMHO the judges were waaaay harsh on this one.)

Michael Lynche: Yawn. Or as J-THREE-O just said to me: "He can sing, but it's sooo boring." Yup. Maybe it's just me, but I'm at the point where everything Michael Lynche sings sounds the same -- and not in a good way. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I think the guy can't sing. He can. He just doesn't give me "goosebumps," to borrow from Kara. He's predictable and, OMG, "Will You Be There" is the theme from FREE WILLY?! ROTFL. So the question is "Will You Be There" for Big Mike when the lines open? Not me. Our grade for Michael Lynche: B-

Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox: (Please let this be good. Please let this be good.) Not familiar with "Falling Slowly" or the movie Once. The kid really, really liked it. I'm kind of undecided. I love both of them, and wanted to love it, and thought Lee sounded really good, but... Sigh. I dunno. I'm going to have another listen as soon as the clip goes up on or YouTube. Our grade for Lee and Crystal: A- (Going with the kid on this one.)

Casey James: OMG. "Mrs. Robinson"?! Are you kidding me? Here come the Kara DioGuardi cougar jokes again. WHA?! I cannot believe the cameras did once pan to Kara. Talk about a missed opportunity. I rest my case. Thank you, Randy. As far as Casey's actual performance, it was a million times better than last week's performance, but it still was not great. Like Mike, Casey can sing, but his performances/songs are utterly forgettable. And unlike Big Mike, there's no passion in any of Casey's performances. It's like he's a singing, guitar-playing robot. Our grade for Casey James: B (Aside: How tall is Casey? Anybody know or want to hazard a guess?)

Crystal Bowersox: Caddyshack?! I can't wait to hear this. Loved Caddyshack (back in the day) and Kenny Loggins' "I'm Alright." But ain't diggin' Crystal's take. Sorry Crystal fans. Didn't suck, but just wasn't great. Still, I will be shocked -- SHOCKED -- if Crystal gets booted off this week. Our grade for Crystal Bowersox: B+

Michael Lynche and Casey James: Have you ever really, really really really hated a song like I hate "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman"? Sigh. Liked the guitars, and the vocals were okay, but I've already forgotten it. That said, I've got to agree with the judges that the duets were better than the solos. Our grade for Michael and Casey: B

The big surprise tonight: the show actually finished early.

Btw, in case you hadn't heard, last week American Idol posted a viewer survey, which has been generating lots of buzz, asking us fans what we honestly thought about the direction of the show, the judges, the mentors, etc. If you're interested in checking out/taking the survey, click here. (I filled it out -- and found it very interesting.)

Until tomorrow and the results show, Idol fans...

UPDATED 5/12/10: Thank God Crystal made it into the Top 3. I was getting seriously nervous. Do NOT do that to me again, American Idol. Also making it into the Top 3, Casey James and Lee DeWyze. I just hope next week is waaaaay better than last night, cause last night sucked.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How to have a better marriage (or relationship)

Introducing the Better Marriage Blanket!

(H/T to friend of the blog Powaqqatsi for sending me the link.)

Made from the same type of fabric used by the military to protect against chemical weapons!

And the Better Marriage Blanket, a beautiful, soft odor-fighting comforter that comes in beige or white, can be yours for the low price of $29.95 (plus shipping and handling)! That's one-tenth what it would cost you to cuddle up with a divorce attorney for an hour!

And while you're at it, why not consider the Brookstone Anti-Snore Pillow?

Not only does the Brookstone Anti-Snore Pillow prevent snoring, it turns your middle-aged, balding, paunchy spouse into a sexy, fit hunk with a full head of wavy dark hair! I think we'd all pay $99.95 (plus shipping and handling) for that ladies, yes?

(Full disclosure: The spouse purchased an anti-snore pillow a while ago, albeit not from Brookstone, and he still looks the same. He also still snores, though much less often, though that's because he discovered his septum was deviated and had it fixed. But I do think the anti-snore pillow helps with soft pallet issues, another cause of snoring.)

More on how to get him to stop snoring here.

Wishing you all a good night (and a better marriage/relationship)...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You are getting sleepy... veeery sleeeepy... (cute cat pix, puppy video)

I dare you not to yawn...

(Above: two cats we came across in Seattle, at Pike Place Market)

(And our seven-year-old torbi cat, Flora, taking a little cat nap)

And for you dog (particularly puppy) lovers...

(H/T to my friend, C., who posted this video on Facebook. :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fun Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is just a few days away, people. And for those of you still looking for that perfect Mother's Day gift, I highly suggest you head over to Proflowers pronto.

For those more creative types, may I suggest...

The "Because I'm the mother... that's why" magnetic notepad from Anne Taintor . Or perhaps the "Has anyone seen my hormones?" pill box.

Is mom the crafty type? Loves to knit or crochet or needlepoint? How about a Stitch 'n' Bitch book?

Got a Jewish mother or mother-in-law who loves to cook? (That, by the way, is a rhetorical question.) Get her the "Nosh Now, Kvetch Later" kitchen apron.

And for the mom who has fond memories of drinking Champagne out of a shoe, consider the Domestic Diva Monogram Wine Shoe, which is a whole lot more sanitary.

As for me, all I want for Mother's Day is for my daughter to clean her drawers and closets (which are stuffed with doodled-on papers, gum wrappers, broken toys, and odds and ends) and refrain from complaining while I am awake. And, okay, maybe some dark chocolate-covered strawberries or a few really good dark chocolate truffles. (It's like he named them just for me. ;-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just because I like the same music as my tween daughter...

does not mean I am having a mid-life crisis.

On the other hand, I am a bit concerned about my growing fondness for Ke$ha...

I totally ♥ Ke$ha's "Your Love Is My Drug."

Ditto LaRoux's "Bulletproof," which is so 1980s New Wave/Techno Pop (i.e., totally awesome):

But just because I like the same music as my daughter, have the occasional shot of vodka before 5 p.m.*, dream of chucking it all and running off to Australia, and haven't changed out of my pajamas in four days** doesn't mean I'm having a mid-life crisis, does it?

Though my daughter thought I was kidding*** when, after she jokingly suggested that the spouse and I would fight over custody if we ever got divorced, I replied there would be no fight. The spouse could have her -- and she could come visit me once a month. (Seriously, is there a vaccine you can get to protect your sanity from teenagers? If so, sign me up.)

*Like you haven't.
**The part about the PJs? Kidding! At least this week.
***Of COURSE, I was -- for those of you, who, like MY mother (who just wrote me a chastising note) thought I was serious.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

American Idol Top 5 sing Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr. mentors (RECAP)

Whether you are a Frank Sinatra fan or not (I'm in the former camp), ya gotta admit that Ol' Blue Eyes had a way with a song. The American Idol Season 9 contestants? Not so much. But with so many great Frank Sinatra songs to choose from and Harry Connick, Jr. as mentor, I am hoping the Top 5 make this a very good week. (For sure Aaron Kelly should benefit from this week's theme. Casey James? Not so much. Though I may be pleasantly surprised.)

Anyway, boys and girls, this is how it's done.

Btw, Harry Connick, Jr. and Frank Sinatra are far from the only ones to sing Jerome Kerns/Dorothy Fields' standard, "The Way You Look Tonight." It was originally sung by Fred Astaire in the movie Swing Time and has since been covered by many great artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Bublé, and Kris Allen.

And now, Sinatra fans, let the crooning (and judging) commence!

(Speaking of judges, what is up with Simon Cowell's man cleavage tonight?! Yikes.)

First up, Harry Connick, Jr. Did he really need to take a swipe at Shania Twain? Hasn't she suffered enough? But kudos to Connick for truly getting hands-on with the contestants, arranging the songs for them. And I love that he brought some of his band with him.

Now for the contestants...

Aaron Kelly: "Fly Me to the Moon" is a great song, but I don't think it was a great song choice for Aaron. Seemed too much of a reach (too high?) for him, and he was a bit off key. Kara DioGaurdi was right, it was good -- good enough to keep Aaron around for another week -- but it wasn't as good as Aaron's performance last week. Our grade for Aaron Kelly: B+

Casey James: Will it be "Blue Skies," nothing but blue skies, for Casey this week? Or will America rain on his parade? I'm thinking the latter right now. Connick created a good arrangement, for himself, not so much for Casey. And I agree with Randy Jackson that it was Casey's worst performance to date. It just didn't work. And no way are the judges going to criticize the arrangement, which was the problem. Our grade for Casey James: C+ (which is being nice, cause we are 90 percent sure Casey is going home tomorrow)

Crystal Bowersox: So will the "Summer Wind" blow favorably Crystal's way? Me thinks so. WHAT DID RANDY JUST SAY?! Was he listening to the same performance?! KINDA LIKED IT, Kara?! JUST OKAY, Simon?! Aaaaaiiiieeee. Well, I loved Crystal's performance of "Summer Wind." I thought it was beautiful and understated, and that she totally blew away the competition. The kid and I give Crystal Bowersox an A-, but the spouse gives her a B (boo).

Michael Lynche: Forget "The Way You Look Tonight"(and the hat). It's how you sound tonight that matters. And once again, I'm just not feeling Big Mike. Not a bad performance, just totally predictable, plodding, and not special. Yawn. ("It didn't have balls," said the spouse.) Good thing for Michael that Casey sucked and the judges loved it (though clearly we weren't listening to the same performance and when Simon hears the playback, he's going to change his opinion). Our grade for Michael Lynche: B

Lee DeWyze: So Harry Connick, Jr.'s wife thinks Lee is hot. Awkward. Though I kinda agree with her. ;-) Lee's take on "That's Life"? Best. Performance. Of. The. Night. And Lee sang it without a fedora. (Take that, Michael Lynche.) Our grade for Lee DeWyze: A ("He didn't blow it out of the water," said the spouse, but we all agree it was the best performance of the night and may have been Lee's best performance period.)

That's all for tonight, hep cats. Will be back with the results tomorrow. J-TWO-O out.

UPDATED 05/05/10: I'm sorry. Did someone forget to email me the memo about American Idol changing its name to The Harry Connick, Jr. Show? And believe me, it is pretty hard to upstage Lady Gaga (especially in that outfit), but somehow Connick did it. (Snark aside, I wouldn't mind catching his show when it comes to Broadway this summer.) 9:52: First shock of the night, Casey was NOT in the bottom two. Whoa. (I was sure Casey and Aaron were going to be in the bottom two this week.) 9:55: Not a shocker, Aaron's going home. Until next week, when we get to hear "Songs of the Cinema"...

UPDATED 05/07/10: Apparently Lady Gaga is crying like a baby over the fact that Fox/American Idol producers cut her air time Wednesday, splicing together her performance of "Bad Romance" and "Alejandro," mostly editing out the former. You can read all about it, as well as link to the uncut version, here.

Best New York Mets Song Ever

As many of you know, I am a HUGE New York Mets fan -- and have been for longer than I would like to print. (Let's just say I remember when Tom Seaver was traded.) And unlike certain fair weather fans (e.g., the spouse, Craig Carton), I REFUSE to root for the New York Yankees when my team is struggling.

Sure, I'll turn off the TV when, say, Mets pitching ace Johan Santana gives up a grand slam after walking the pitcher, causing my Mets to lose to the Phillies 11-5. But that doesn't mean I won't be watching the game the following night (and praying that Ollie Perez doesn't have to be relieved in the third or fourth inning).

Anyway, getting back to this morning's post, every weekday morning the spouse and I wake up to Boomer & Carton on WFAN. And this morning we were fortunate enough to catch producer Al Dukes' latest Mets song, "I See Ollie, I See Maine," sung (and I use that word loosely) to the tune of James Taylor's "Fire and Rain." And truly, this may be Al Dukes' best Mets pitcher song EVER.

WFAN's Al Dukes' "I See Ollie, I See Maine":

Let us just hope that it lights a fire under Mets pitcher John Maine, like Al's last Maine song did, and that Maine wins one for the Mets tonight in Cincinnati.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cinco de Mayo: It's not just for Mexicans anymore!

All hail the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín! For without the good general and his army, there would be no Cinco de Mayo and, more importantly, no good reason for millions of Americans to get drunk in the middle of the week (at least this year)!

What's that I hear my Mexican readers saying? Cinco de Mayo is barely acknowledged, let alone a holiday, in Mexico? That it is, rather, a United States-based celebration of our Mexican neighbors to the South, those long-forgotten heroes who drove the French from Mexico (much like Saint Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland), who now the good people of Arizona are doing their darndest to prevent from crossing our borders -- the very same people who celebrate Cinco de Mayo every year with a festival and chihuahua races?!

Well, I'll be.

FYI, apparently Chandler, Arizona, isn't the only place celebrating Cinco de Mayo with the annual running of the chihuahuas. Petco sponsors several of these races (and not just on Cinco de Mayo), including this one:

(You can see this year's Chandler Chihuahua Race here.)

For other ways to properly celebrate Cinco de Mayo, watch this helpful how-to (or Howcast) video titled "How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo":