Archives for February 2007

AI – Top 10 Women

Everybody ready for round two?

Here we go.

Gina Gocksen – “Alone” – Did anyone else appreciate that her red highlights matched her dress? I so appreciate that. I should probably mention that this song is one of my least favorite songs ever, but it was good for her. A little pitchy at the end, I thought (which is the opposite of what Randy said, but that’s a’ight). I like her confidence. And I realllllly like her hair.

Alaina Alexander – “Not Ready To Make Nice” – I’m not sure it’s wise to try to follow in Natalie Maines’ footsteps – especially given the fact that Natalie sang this song so memorably at the Grammy Awards a couple of weeks ago. However, Alaina looked great, and this week’s performance was better than last.

LaKisha Jones – “Midnight Train To Georgia” – One of my favorite songs ever. And I’m sorry, y’all – if you pulled out a phone book, Miss LaKisha could SANG IT. Not sing it. SANG IT. She is so relaxed, so talented – she can’t HELP but sing. Love her.

Melinda Doolittle – “My Funny Valentine” – Good grief, y’all. That was beautiful. Romantic. Original. Stunning. She is utterly humble and lovable. Tickled to death to see her doing so well.

Antonella Barba – “Because You Loved Me” – Much better than last week. Adorable dress.

Jordin Sparks – “Reflection” – If you looked up “cute as a button” in the dictionary, you’d see Jordin’s picture. She’s remarkably composed for her age…and when she really had to belt it on this song, she did a great job. I just think it’s tough to sing anything that someone like Christina Aguilera has recorded. Those are mighty big shoes to fill…but Jordin is so likeable that you can’t help but root for her. I really like her.

Stephanie Edwards – “Dangerously In Love” – I have to say: she did a really good job with a Beyonce’ song that can’t be easy to sing because it’s so arrythmic. She always looks so feminine and pretty – and I think she’ll be around for awhile.

Leslie Hunt – “It’s A New Day” – She is so interesting to me. Love her voice. The scat part threw me off a little bit. I just get the feeling that she would be more comfortable singing in a coffee house while strumming a guitar. Big points for the cute skirt. Not that it’s a cute skirt competition, of course, but every little bit helps.

Haley Scarnato – “Queen of the Night” – (Soundtrack from The Bodyguard, anyone? Hands up if you owned it. You know you did. You know you loved Rachel Marron.) I think Haley was trying to break out after last week’s pageant performance, and it’s admirable that she really tried to shift gears. It was way better than last week – but if you put her performance up against, say, Melinda Doolittle’s, there’s just no comparison. Not this week, at least.

Sabrina Sloan – “All The Man I Need” – Another Whitney song. Honestly, I didn’t think she was as good this week – mainly because the big parts of this song were a little rough. Her voice is strong – and hopefully her personality will come through more in the weeks to come. She doesn’t have the same transparency that Melinda, LaKisha and Jordin do – and I don’t know if that’s something that you can practice…seems like you either have it or you don’t.

Who should go? – Same for me as last week: Antonella and Alaina
Best of the night? – Melinda, with LaKisha a close second

I have no idea if anyone wants to link to their own AI posts, but I’ll leave the Mr. Linky up for a few hours just in case. Can’t wait to see what y’all think in the comments.

But I’m Still Really, Embarrassingly Behind On Email

All better now. 

I just needed a couple of days to wind down from my weekend, pray about some Big Life Decisions, hang out with my family, eat Mexican food while listening to Alex and his friend C. talk about “The Backyardigans” and tell really bad knock-knock jokes, and clean my kitchen using some oh-so-divine countertop spray I bought this past weekend (the fragrance is lavender mint, and you would want to pour it on top of your ice cream for a tasty dessert treat if you smelled it). 

For the record, I do not recommend using the countertop spray as a dessert topping. Or drinking it over ice, for that matter. 

Just so you know, there was some serious spiritual warfare in our living room last night, because I was trying to rationalize blogging about American Idol, telling myself that it wouldn’t technically be breaking my little two-day sabbatical because if I was going to watch it anyway, and if I was going to talk to D. about it anyway, then I might as well, you know, BLOG about it. 

But I didn’t. 

By the way, I thought Chris Richardson was FANTASTIC. 

Bottom line: I feel like myself again – which was hard to imagine Sunday afternoon. It never fails that I get a good case of the blahs every single time I have to leave my friends or my friends leave me. All those years of shared history create a comfort level that I miss in my day-to-day life, and if it weren’t for my friend NK and my bloggy friends, I would probably have spent the last two days trying to convince D. that we need to move closer to the people I’ve known for what feels like forever. Even though I absolutely love where we live, I miss my long-time friends terribly. I don’t think it’s ever going to go away, the missing. 

So you can understand why I squealed just a little bit when I found out that my friend Elise is coming to town this weekend. I can’t wait to hear her laugh. It’s silly, really, how excited I am about hearing her laugh. 

Did I mention that I love my friends? 

Almost-Spring Break

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” – Ephesians 5:16-17 

I think a little bloggy break is in order, my friends.

I’ll be back in a couple of days. 

And in the meantime, check out this incredible post by our friend Kevin.

Y’all be real sweet while I’m gone.

;-)

So That Was Fun

Probably the best way I can explain this past weekend is to tell you that by nine o’clock Friday night, I had to take two Advil because I had a splitting headache from laughing so hard.

No kidding: there were several moments this weekend when I had to remind myself to breathe.

As an unexpected bonus, our friend Melissa was able to join our little mini-reunion at the last minute. Melissa was Miss Everything in high school, bears a stunning resemblance to Julia Roberts, and earned her PhD in something I couldn’t explain to you if I tried. She had a baby not too terribly long ago, but she has bounced right back into her usual size 6 clothes.

Also, she does not have any wrinkles.

And if you’re thinking that you might have to resent her for just a second if you met her, I’ll just go ahead and tell you that you can’t. It’s impossible. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and when I think of her, I think of sunshine.

So between the surprise of getting to see Melissa, Merritt’s wacky shenanigans that left me doubled over with laughter, Daphne’s well-timed punch lines, and Liz’s hilarious stories, I am exhausted in the best possible way. We ate way too much, talked non-stop, and laughed until we sobbed. It was divine.

I kept a running list of blog topics in my head all weekend…I thought that I might write about our recollection that Merritt once wrote a term paper in college on belts, or celebrating Melissa’s birthday in a Mexican restaurant and Merritt using just enough Spanish so that the busboy got a bit of a crush on her and literally embraced her when we left, or my complete inability to park Liz’s gigantor SUV without either taking up two spaces or ending up at a terribly awkward angle.

But oddly enough, I find that I can’t write about any of those things.

Because as I sat around my breakfast room table this morning and looked at the faces of four girls who, for the better part of my life, have seen me at my very best and my very worst and everything in between, I felt so completely, profoundly grateful for the blessing of such sweet friends that it overwhelmed me just a little bit, and I realized that there is absolutely no way that my words can do our weekend justice.

And that’s okay – because there are some parts of my life that I just need to hold really close to my heart without thinking about how I’m going to edit them. That’s how I feel about these past few days.

However, you’ll be delighted to know that D. returned home today with a humdinger of a Martha story, and I’m sure it’ll make its way into the blog fray in the next day or two.

By the way: do you know what was the best part of D. and Alex being gone all weekend?

When they came home.

See y’all tomorrow.

This Is When My Friends Rue The Day I Started A Blog

This weekend my friends Merritt, Liz and Daphne are coming to visit me.

I’ll pause for a moment so that you have sufficient time for applause. 

Daph and I met when we were freshmen in college, and I don’t think there’s anyone on the face of the planet who gets my sense of humor as well as she does. She can essentially say one word – for example, “monitor” – and, because of her unique Daph-esque inflections, make me laugh so hard that I find myself snorting and in desperate need of a disposable adult undergarment.

As you can tell, I am a delicate, Southern flower.

I have been friends with Merritt and Liz since I was twelve years old and had recently experimented with an easy 1-2-3 bang-cutting method that I saw in Seventeen magazine. Unfortunately, I did not achieve the “wispy bang” look that I was after, and instead I ended up with a two-inch tuft of hair that essentially transformed the left side of my head into a neon sign that said “HEY, Y’ALL! I CUT MY OWN BANGS!” in bright orange letters.

But Merritt and Liz wanted to be my friends anyway. I’ve been understandably loyal ever since.

Now because I didn’t meet Daph until college, I don’t have the vast repository of embarrassing photographs that I do for Merritt and Liz. I’ve looked ALL OVER my house for a picture of Daphne and me from our junior year of college, simply because she was going through what we like to call her pseudo-alternative phase – complete with small, round glasses that would have made Michael Stipe very proud indeed – and I was coming out of a Terribly Permed phase and sporting a lovely ‘do that was straight as a board at the top of my head but a mass of ringlets at the bottom.

However, since I couldn’t find that picture, I decided to post this one instead:

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We were eating pizza, and while I would love to tell you that such an occurrence was a very rare one when we were in college, that would be a lie. As a matter of fact, the number for Domino’s was 324-2100, and the fact that I still know that critical bit of information almost fifteen years after leaving my beloved alma mater is proof that my daddy’s investment in my college education was worth every. single. dime.  

That’s me on the left, by the way. In the sweatshirt that’s both tie-dyed and bedazzled. Because I totally had it goin’ on in college. Oh yeah. Had to beat the fellas away with a stick. Or a Domino’s box, as it were.

After I found the picture of Daph and me, I started to look for pictures of Merritt and Liz, too.

I think you’ll be well-pleased with what I found:

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That’s Liz, then Merritt, then me.

As you can tell, I spent most of my time not tanning when I wasn’t teasing my bangs and neglecting to pluck my eyebrows.

I don’t know what made me laugh harder: the fact that Merritt and Liz sported thick, gold chains in their senior portraits (don’t think for one second that my 17 year old self wasn’t green with envy about that, by the way), or the fact that you could have quite easily hung Christmas ornaments from our hair.

I mean, look at those well-defined layers. We could have nestled writing utensils or small snacks or diminutive furry creatures in there for hours on end without disturbing our coiffures in the least. Personally, I’d like to see us recreate those looks this weekend, but I don’t think they make lacquer for hair anymore because of some federally-mandated regulations about stripping away ozone or somesuch nonsense.

Needless to say, we have big fun in store over the next few days. So if you need to find me, I’ll be in my living room or my kitchen, laughing until I lose my breath, collapsing on the nearest piece of furniture, clutching my side, then laughing some more, all the while trying not to wet my pants.

And until I return, indulge me if you dare: leave me a comment with the name(s) of your best friend(s) from high school, the band or singer that you thought was the AWESOMEST when you were 17 or 18, and – if you can bear it – what you would have been wearing if I had run into you on an average high school day (and thanks, Veronica, for this idea).

In closing, I’d like to leave you with these words of wisdom that my friend Brian B. wrote in my high school yearbook:

“May your path always be filled with success (YOU decide SUCCESS). If you do not know where or how to find it, stick to your guns, never surrender. Blood is thicker than water. You cannot get blood from a stone….”

I have no idea what that means, internets, but I have a feeling it’s terribly profound. And deep. And stuff.

The Bestest Link Of All

For several years my daddy has maintained a webpage of his own. It’s a password protected deal where he posts pictures of grandkids, fourth cousins eight times removed, and basically every possible morsel of genealogical minutiae that you could ever want to know about our family.

A couple of weeks ago D. decided to see if Daddy had posted anything recently, and later that day when we were in the car, he said, “Hey, your daddy linked to you.”

“He did what I’m sorry huh?”

“Your daddy linked to you. He mentioned something about your blog on his webpage.”

Now if it’s hard for you to understand why I was a little shocked by this information, it’s because it’s only been in the last six weeks or so that I’ve known that Mama and Daddy are active readers of my blog. Daddy says that he has to “log on” and then pass the computer to Mama, and in fact just this last week Daddy wrote me a sweet email that congratulated me on my “recent blog awards” and went on to suggest that maybe I should “back up all of your blog posts into some sort of database, as Mother and I think that maybe one day you could compile them all into a book.”

I couldn’t help but picture me standing at a copier, painstakingly running off copies of each and every blog post, then putting the pages through a three-hole punch, placing them in a vinyl binder, and then asking Alex to put one of those title stickers he just made with some markers in the center of the binder cover. It’s sure to be a best-seller!

Anyway, I logged onto Daddy’s webpage, and after a little bit of clicking around, here is what I found:

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Where do I even start?

First of all, one of my favorite parts of Daddy’s blurb is that I’m “a blogger at boomama.net,” mainly because the word “a” implies that I am but one blogger on a staff of many here at BooMama, where we toil furiously in the blogging trenches to bring you some of the very best mediocre writing you’ll ever find on the interweb.

Second, the part about him not wanting to brag? Totally sweet. I don’t care how old I am.

Third, I love it when he says that I have “a large reading audience, nationwide.” I’m not so sure about the “large” part, but when I read it I thought, “DON’T TELL MAMA THAT SOME CANADIANS READ, TOO! IT’LL BLOW HER MIND!” And then she’d call me and say, “You mean they can see your blog IN CANADA? Well I had no idea. HOW IN THE WORLD do they do that?”

I also giggled when I saw, “it is different than most of what you read,” because it’s just a little bit ambiguous about whether it’s different in a bad way or different in a good way. However, I have to admit that it definitely is different if your normal reading material is a newspaper or magazine. I mean, consider the sheer volume of CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation points! They don’t allow those SOPHISTICATED WRITING SKILLS in those fancy printed publications!

OH NO MA’AM THEY DON’T!

Finally, I thought it was very gracious of Daddy to point out that my writings are done “mostly on the spur of the moment” because I don’t “have a lot of spare time.”

In other words: don’t expect too much, people. She’s frazzled and crazed. SHE’S FRAZZLED AND CRAZED!

All in all, I thought Daddy’s post was delightful. Being in your 30’s doesn’t mean you stop enjoying some parental encouragement. And while I’m sure that some of my distant relatives were a wee bit horrified by what constitutes “writing” in my little corner of the blogosphere, I’m glad that a few of them might know where to find me now.

(Sidenote: if you ask my mama anything about my “website,” she’ll tell you that I have “a blog on Google.”)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to return to “backing up my database.”

Or, you know, watching “Little Bear.”

We’re busy as bees, people.

And on behalf of all of the writing staff here at BooMama, I want you to know that we’re going to continue to crank out as much writing product “on the spur of the moment” as we possibly can. That is what we do.

All one of us.