Archives for March 2009

American Idol, Top 10

Tonight’s theme on American Idol is 50 Years of Motown, and I’m really excited about that because it means that we’ll get to hear some solid, well-written songs. But SO HELP ME if Adam Lambert (who, I grant you, is deeply talented) tries to do some weird, Goth-ish version of “Heard It Through The Grapevine,” I’m going to be forced to fly to LA and hunt him down and follow him around for four days straight while incessantly singing my very monotone version of the Amy Grant classic “Stay for Awhile.”

That’ll teach him.

Anyway. Here we go.

Matt Giraud – “Let’s Get It On” – Oh, people. Oh my word. That was stinkin’ brilliant and probably one of my favorite Idol performances of all time. I cannot quit smiling. Totally memorable. LOVED IT.

Kris Adams – “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” – I didn’t love the bop-che-was from the background singers, and I think it is mighty tough to top James Taylor’s version of this song because it’s oh-so-classic. But I thought Kris’ version was fab, his voice sounded awesome, and I will love him forever for that ending. Really well done.

Scott McIntyre – “You Can’t Hurry Love” – I think the main disadvantage Scott had tonight was that he had to follow two super-strong vocalists. It also seemed like he stayed at the same volume throughout the song, and by the end of it I felt like he’d been screaming at me a little bit. It seemed a little talent show-ish, especially in light of the first two performances.

[PAULA. STOP INTERRUPTING.]

Megan Joy – “For Once In My Life” – I love her, and there were parts of this performance that I thought were fun and quirky and endearingly original. There were also parts that were a pretty rough around the edges, and it seemed to get shrieky when she went for the high notes, almost like she was oversinging. If she had slowed it down and made it a little jazzier, I think it would’ve been a whole lot better.

Anoop Desai – “Oooh, Baby, Baby” – This one was mixed for me. I really liked the lower parts, but when he went into his falsetto it went all wrong. Plus, he seemed like he was bored. So he wasn’t as strong as last week, but he was definitely better than two weeks ago. I think he did enough to stay in this thing for another week, but it wasn’t my favorite performance of his by any stretch of the imagination.

Michael Sarver – “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” – I like that he did in fact “church it up,” but is it wrong that it drove me crazy that he kept leaning over the stage to shake hands? IT DROVE ME CRAZY. He had the same trouble as Anoop – when he went up high it fell apart. This performance didn’t give me any sense at all of what he would do if he got a record deal – it just helped me understand what it would be like to see him headline at the Lido Lounge on a cruise ship. And I think he’s better than that.

Lil Rounds – “Heat Wave” – I’m not sure what’s going on with Lil these last two weeks – because it seems like she’s slipped into karaoke mode a little bit. I wish that she’d done something totally surprising with this song, but instead she ran with the original version. And like Megan, she got in that screaming mode, so by the end of the song she had nowhere to go. She is a phenomenal singer, but this song was wrong for her. It’s like she’s trying to please everybody but not singing the stuff she really wants to sing. I hope she gets another chance to show us what she can do.

Adam Lambert – “Tracks of My Tears” – I have to say: he can camp out in that upper range all the livelong day and not hit a false note. I really enjoyed the understated arrangement, and it was nice to see a more laid-back version of Adam this week. Not to mention that I’m really grateful that he didn’t do a Goth version of “Heard It Through The Grapevine.” Well done.

Danny Gokey – “Get Ready” – No doubt about it: the boy can SANG. And there were pockets of originality in there – I just wish there had been more. With Matt and Kris and Adam nipping at his heels, Danny needs to set himself apart and start to give us some idea of what makes him unique. Yes, he can sing absolutely anything, but we’re two months into this deal and I still don’t really have an idea of what “his” kind of music is. He’s gonna have to step it up.

Allison Iraheta – “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” – She flat-out belted it, no question. The only thing I didn’t like was that I had a hard time understanding the lyrics – the words were a little muddy. But dadgum – sixteen years old. Unbelievable.

My favorite of the night was Matt (I’ll be watching his performance again just as soon as I post this, thankyouverymuch) – no doubt about it. Scott was probably my least favorite. What did y’all think? Who’s in danger of being voted off tomorrow night?

If you’d like to add your American Idol post to the Mr. Linky, be sure to add the permalink to your post and not your general URL.

Linky Interwebby Awesomeness 03.24.09

Now y’all know that when I get certain musical somethings on the brain I will share said somethings incessantly until I’ve invited as many people as possible to join me on my musical joyride.

And that is why I’m sharing three music-related links tonight.

– Earlier today Mary left a comment saying that she’d clicked over to Pandora and discovered that The Gabe Dixon Band is their featured artist of the day. I couldn’t wait to check out the link, and sure enough, there are some really great videos of TGDB performing live. Such a treat.

– I haven’t said too much about this because if I start talking about it I probably won’t stop talking about it for the next two months, but I can tell you without hesitation that Travis Cottrell’s live worship CD is going to be incredible, oh yes it is. And do you know what? You can preorder a copy right now. I know lots of y’all were in Woodstock, Georgia when the CD was recorded, so you can testify to the awesomeness. Amen.

– Did you know that you can download Christy Nockels’ (I MAY HAVE MENTIONED BEFORE THAT I LOVE HER) new single for free? Well, you totally can.

Pretend This Title Is Witty And Also Original

Right this very second I’m sitting down and waiting for the latest installment of “24.” And I’m waiting for it, of course, because our social calendar is jam-packed with a whole lot of absolutely nothing and because last week’s episode ended with Jack being chased by a hitman and then saving himself at the last minute by tricking the hitman into thinking that he was hiding in an abandoned shed and then demolishing the shed with a bulldozer that happened to be parked nearby.

It was all utterly believable. I mean, I don’t know about y’all, but the using-nearby-bulldozers-for-shed-demolition thing happens to me ALL THE TIME.

However, the “24” stuff is really neither here nor there because I have to tell you a far more inspirational story, one that will leave you so fraught with emotion that it may require some tissues. Or, at the very least, a Deeply Sincere Single Tear.

This afternoon I ran in the Walmarts to pick up a few things, and as I was walking over to the grocery section a sale rack caught my eye. Now you need to realize that at the beginning of the year I decided that my theme for 2009 was being faithful in the small things, so I haven’t done any clothes shopping in the last couple of months. Our budget is pretty tight right now, so back in January Melanie and I decided that we would hold each other accountable in terms of impulse purchases. If either of us has a Shopping Moment of Weakness, we call the other one and explain what’s going on, and that is why as recently as two weeks ago you might have seen me in the Targets talking to Mel on my phone while longingly resting my head against some colorful long tunics.

Sadly, there was no room for a sassy tunic in my budget. I had to say good-bye. And I may have whispered “I love you” as I walked away.

Don’t even get me started about the remarkable restraint I showed in the Steinmarts when they had baskets of sunglasses marked down to $9.99 a pair.

So today I saw the Walmarts sales rack, and it was filled with all manner of cute empire-waist cotton dresses. You could wear a long-sleeved or a short-sleeved shirt underneath, and I’ve had my eye on that particular style of dress since I first saw them in another store last spring. The sale dresses were a little below knee-length, so I pulled one off the rack to check out the price.

(For some reason this whole dress thing makes me think of Martha because I know that if she were here right now she’d say, “Is it a thin cotton? Or a thicker cotton? I think that thin cotton is darlin’, just darlin’, but I just freeze every time I wear it because you know they keep the church so cold that you can’t possibly sit there without a light sweater, at the very least a light sweater, and even then the thin cotton just isn’t enough and I need a thicker cotton, you know like on the Susan Bristol separates? The Susan Bristol separates are a thicker cotton and sometimes I don’t even need a sweater when I wear them, I don’t even need a sweater! Now did you happen to go to Goody’s?”)

Anyway. I looked at the price, and do y’all know how much those dresses were? DO YOU KNOW?

THEY WERE TWO DOLLARS.

$2.

TWO! DOLLARS!

I immediately threw a purple one and a brown one into my shopping cart, and I called Mel to make sure that spending four dollars on two dresses still fell under the category of being faithful in the small things. In addition to giving me her purchase seal of approval (“WHY, YOU COULD BUY THOSE WITH THE CHANGE IN YOUR WALLET,” she said excitedly), she proceeded to rattle off a list of all the different colors of jewelry I could wear with them. And then she said she might have to run over to her Walmarts, too. The $2 dresses don’t come along every day, you know?

It is perfectly fine if you feel compelled to bask in their $2 cuteness.

And I will wear the fire out of that $2 cuteness this summer, by the way.

Plus, I think the dresses will be extraordinarily comfortable when I hop in all the bulldozers to demolish all the sheds.

Jack Bauer would be so proud.

Linky Interwebby Awesomeness 03.23.09

This post by Amanda is the best thing I’ve read in a long, long time. And it’s also a topic that has come up in about four different conversations I’ve had this past week. Such a reminder of the importance of extending grace to each other. ALWAYS.

– I cannot, cannot, CANNOT wait to read this book.

– Finally, while it certainly isn’t “awesomeness,” last week I wrote a post over at AllAccess that essentially asks one question: are we more connected than we need to be?

The Weekend, It Was Good

After Thursday’s Nashville caffeine marathon I seriously doubted whether or not I would be able to sleep that night, but sleep I most certainly did. In fact, I slept so hard that I woke up at Sister’s house Friday morning and had absolutely no idea where I was or how long I’d been there.

So y’all know what I did once I climbed out of bed. I had me some more coffee.

Later that morning I met a friend at a coffee shop (ARE YOU NOTICING A THEME?) that was far too cool for the likes of me, but the great thing about being out of my cool league is that I felt completely free to just hillbilly it up like nobody’s business. So when a man who may or may not have been Larry Gatlin (don’t even ask how I know enough about the Gatlin Brothers to identify one of them in a public place; just suffice it to say that my daddy liked country music a whole lot in the 70s) walked through the door of Cool Coffee Shop, I sat up a little straighter in my chair and stared at him real good. Didn’t even pretend that I wasn’t curious. Didn’t pretend to be blase’. I just totally stared.

Same thing with a girl who was either Miranda Lambert or someone who was trying really hard to look like her. And Miranda or no, she was just darlin’, by the way.

After two hours of some mighty fine conversation at Cool Coffee Shop, we ran across the street to Cool Shoe Store that was supposed to be having a big sale. And they were having a big sale, but hey, do you know what half of $143 is? STILL A LOT OF MONEY FOR SHOES. Plus, after I looked over the sale rack I decided that I am about five years behind on shoe trends – because apparently the kids are cuckoo crazy over shoes like this:

Um, I don’t think so. MAMA NEEDS A HEEL.

Also: Michael Jackson called, and he thinks those shoes would look great with his glove.

After our unsuccessful shoe shopping I jumped back in the car so that I could run by and see another sweet friend on the way out of town. I was just planning to stop by for maybe thirty minutes, but thirty minutes turned into an hour which turned into two and FOUR AND A HALF HOURS LATER I pulled out of the driveway. We broke up All The Talking with some lunch and then a little time in carpool line, but I seriously felt like I’d been to a mini-retreat when I left. It was one of those times that just blessed my soul in a whole host of ways and for a whole host of reasons.

(And if you’re wondering why I was so footloose and fancy free Thursday and Friday, it’s because my little boy was at my parents’ house. I missed him so much that I actually watched a funny video of him about eight times while he was gone, but OH, it was a treat to spend some uninterrupted time with friends AND to have some downtime at home. Hallelujah.)

Once I got back to Alabammy I went to supper with my husband and filled him in on my trip. Because when you’ve talked your head off for the better part of a day, what could be more enjoyable than talking some more? Why, I CANNOT THINK OF ANYTHING.

Saturday I had every intention of cleaning the house and washing clothes and attacking my to-do list, but I was an utter failure at all of those things. What I did manage to do was watch a whole lot of basketball (oh. my bracket. it grieves me.) and get caught up on my Bible study. And watch movies. And nap. And watch HGTV. And eat a lot of peanut butter on a spoon.

Life got back to normal yesterday when our little man came home, and by my best estimation he has grown approximately four feet since Tuesday. He can’t wait to go back to school, but I think he misses his grandparents. I say that because after we prayed before bedtime last night he said, “Mama? May I ask you a question?” And then he said, “Mama? Can I please go to my grandparents’ house all summer long?”

Oh, bless him.

Happy Monday, y’all.

Linky Interwebby Awesomeness 03.20.09

– If you’re interested in going to SheSpeaks this summer, you definitely need to check out Lysa TerKeurst’s blog today. She’s having a SheSpeaks scholarship contest that covers one person’s conference registration, hotel and meals. You can find all the details on Lysa’s blog.

The Ultimate Blog Party starts today over at 5 Minutes For Mom, and they have some mighty fun stuff planned.

– Looking for ways to support the upcoming Compassion Bloggers’ trip to India? You can find widgets and banners for your blogs over at compassionbloggers.com.