Archives for May 2009

Linky Interwebby Catch-Up Extravaganza 5.22.09

I’m so behind on my daily links that all I know to do is completely bombard you and then laugh maniacally and run away.

You’re welcome.

– I loved this post of Jon’s so much.

– You know how something can strike you as completely hysterical even though that something is a little bit weird and you’re not even entirely sure why it’s so funny?

That’s exactly how I feel about this.

– That Shaun – always skirting around the tough questions. *ahem*

– Want another chance to win Travis Cottrell’s new “Jesus Saves LIVE” CD? Here you go.

– There’s a great engraved tile giveaway going on at Kaye’s.

– It’s not even football season yet, and I’m already thinking about basketball season. Oh, it DOES LOOK PROMISING (and thanks, Daph, for the link).

– And speaking of basketball season, I completely neglected to mention the winner of our group’s NCAA Tourney Challenge. You know, back in MARCH. Anyway, the winner was Kat, and if memory serves she was NINETY SIX PERCENT accurate with her picks. She’s a superstar.

– Kelly is doing a bloggy home tour every Friday – if you love to decorate, you will be in hog heaven.

I just couldn’t resist the Razorback pun. I COULDN’T.

– Finally: YAY, KRIS!

(I actually screamed when he won.)

(BECAUSE I’M FOURTEEN.)

Edited to add: I forgot to include something. A couple of weeks ago I did an interview with Candice from Start Your Family. And I told Candice I’d mention it here. So now I did. :-)

Emeril Better Watch Out

One day last week I was checking email while the little man was having a snack at the kitchen table, and out of nowhere he yelled, “MAMA! YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT I INVENTED!”

Needless to say, I coudn’t wait to see what all the fuss was about.

As it turned out, the child had come up with what he felt was quite the culinary treasure, and I asked him if he’d reproduce the steps so that I could share them with you. He was insistent that we use a paper plate for the demonstration, and I told him I thought that would be perfect.

You may want to take some notes.

The Goldfish Cracker Cracker

Step one:

Step two:

A Cheez-It would also work if you feel your palate can handle it. I suppose you could also branch out and use something along the lines of a Better Cheddar, but that seems like a risky move in my humble opinion.

Step three:

And finally:

The flavors are very subtle and layered.

There’s no question that Ree is going to be SICK that she didn’t get to include this recipe in her cookbook, but maybe The Goldfish Cracker Cracker can make it into the next one.

Along with The Cheese Curl Cheese Puff.

And The Turkey Bacon Bacon.

Because I Can’t Get Him Off Of My Mind

So there’s an 8 year-old little boy named Alexander who lives in Kenya.

alex

He’s a Compassion child, and he needs heart surgery. The surgery costs $8,303. Since his family lives on $13.70 a month, they can’t afford it. You can read all the details on the Compassion blog.

The people at Compassion didn’t ask me to post about this. I actually ran across a link to Alexander’s story yesterday when I was catching up on Twitter, and he has been all over my heart ever since. Maybe it’s because he has the same name as my little guy. Maybe it’s because I feel particularly burdened for the people of Africa. Maybe it’s because I know that WE CAN HELP HIM.

Here’s the thing: if each person who reads this post will donate one dollar – ONE DOLLAR – we can make a pretty good dent in the cost of Alexander’s surgery.

I know some of you are already Compassion sponsors. I know some of you contribute to World Vision and Mocha Club and all sorts of wonderful organizations that do incredible work in third-world countries. There’s no question that y’all are a generous bunch.

So today, if you’re willing to go one dollar beyond what you normally give to charitable causes each month, and if you feel led to participate (NO PRESSURE – I promise), would you please help Alexander in Kenya get the surgery he needs by making a one-time donation of one dollar to a special surgery fund that Compassion has set up for him?

I figure it never hurts to ask.

And thanks in advance, y’all.

Edited to add: Thanks to the efforts of LOTS of different bloggers and Facebookers and Twitterers and whathaveyou, Compassion met the goal for Alexander’s surgery in just three days (they started raising money on Monday). You can read the details here. Yay, internets – thank y’all so much!

American Idol Finals

It would hard to believe that it’s time for the finals of American Idol if it didn’t feel like this season had stretched out over the course of about SEVENTY-TWO MONTHS.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve enjoyed it. But it’s time to wrap ‘er up and get a move on.

So that being said, here we go.

Adam Lambert – “Mad World” – I know that I should probably try to be all objective and whathaveyou, but the combination of the long black coat and the foggy stage sort of freaked me out a little bit. Not to mention Adam’s COMPLETE ABSENCE OF BLINKING. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of falsetto. So for me it was just a’ight, but I can see how this performance would be Deeply Meaningful for Adam fans.

[Sidenote to Randy: that tie is a WINNER.]

[Seriously: MAJOR score with that tie.]

Kris Allen – “Ain’t No Sunshine” – I loved this arrangement the first time he sang it, and I loved it again tonight. As I was watching this performance it occurred to me that Kris has been so stinkin’ consistent; week after week he has walked out on that stage and delivered. This song was a perfect example of that. I would buy his CD in a heartbeat.

[By the way, I’m so glad that they’re not doing that prizefighter garbage that they did last year between David Archuleta and David Cook.]

[Because that was SUPER cheesy.]

Adam Lambert – “Change Is Gonna Come” – So Simon Fuller picked the songs for this round, and I actually thought this was a great choice for Adam. It forced him to be soulful instead of dramatic, and I thought the soulful was a really refreshing change-o-pace. Even with a wee bit of screeching, he sang the fire out of this song. And in some strange way, he reminded me a little bit of Patti LaBelle (big notes, big soul, big finish, etc.).

[Anybody have any idea what’s going on with Paula’s hair?]

Kris Allen – “What’s Goin’ On” – Adam got a big ole song, and Kris apparently got a song that they wanted him to “interpret” (please see: last week’s “Apologize” pick). He did a great job with the arrangement – as much as he could’ve possibly done, I think – but since he didn’t have a song nearly as showy as Adam’s, he sort of paled in comparison in this round.

But we’ll put all that behind us because now? Now it is time for the “Soaring On Eagles’ Wings While Dreaming Of Climbing Mountains On Top Of The Highest Clouds” portion of the evening, the part of the show when the contestants sing an Incredibly Inspirational new ballad.

Adam Lambert – “No Boundaries” – I didn’t think that this song played to Adam’s strengths at all. He seemed to lose his way about half-way through, and it was his first performance that I would characterize as “pitchy.” It just wasn’t very good. I was actually a little sad for him because you just know that he wanted to finish strong – and he didn’t.

[Simon was still MIGHTY quick to endorse him for the whole kit and kaboodle, though.]

[Go figure.]

Kris Allen – “No Boundaries” – Kris won this round hands-down. The fact that he has a voice for pop music totally worked in his favor. The song was cheesy – don’t get me wrong – but he did a lot with a little, oh yes he did.

Ultimately I don’t think tonight did anything to change anyone’s vote – if you were an Adam fan at the beginning, you’re still an Adam fan (I really do give him major credit for what he did with “Change Is Gonna Come”). If you were a Kris fan at the beginning, you’re still a Kris fan.

Which means I will now be voting for Kris over and over again.

What say you, internets?

If you’d like to add your own AI post to the Mr. Linky, please leave a link to your specific post and not your general blog URL.

In The Immortal Words Of Chris Harrison: Let The Journey Begin

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I wanted to blog about The Bachelorette. I mean, I know in my heart of hearts that anything Jillian does cannot even begin to compare to the romantical hijinks of Jason Mesnick. And since I know that, I am well aware that blogging about Jillian’s adventures probably won’t be nearly as kicky as our last Bachelor-related go ’round.

But then there is this very simple fact: apparently I am powerless to resist the lure of the cheesetacular that is the Bachelor franchise. It soothes me. It gives purpose to my Monday nights. And also: I read that at some point in tonight’s show there’s going to be a dance-off between two of Jillian’s suitors.

Needless to say, that last thing was pretty much the deciding factor for me.

So bring it on.

We started tonight’s show with a post-Jason Time of Reflection. We saw Jillian taking a walk in the rain, sitting on a bench, making a pot of hot tea, tending to her garden, going for a therapeutic run – all presumably integral parts of getting over Jason, at least for the sake of Bachelorette narrative. And if I had any doubts at all about giving this season my full and earnest commitment, Jillian’s Mary Tyler Moore-ish toss of her sassy beret totally sealed the deal.

Clearly anyone who remains emotionally unresponsive to a beret toss has a heart of pure, cold stone.

(By the way, does anybody else think Jillian looks thinner?)

(I think Jillian looks thinner.)

Next we got to meet the bachelors, and if I’m not mistaken the first guy’s name is Kipton (KIPTON? REALLY?), and he mentioned that he was working on a Switchfoot charity event (verrrrrry interesting). The producers also provided us with about four different opportunities to see that in Kipton’s free time, he really enjoys sculpting his abs.

(Did I say that his name is KIPTON? Well, I was wrong.)

(It’s KIPTYN.)

(KIPTYN. How in the world did I miss such a traditional spelling?)

Next we met Michael, a BREAK DANCE INSTRUCTOR. And that surging water sound you just heard? Was my newly discovered BOTTOMLESS WELLSPRING OF JOY.

We were introduced to a few other guys, including Stephen, who was quick to point out that he’s a catch because he’s an attorney-AT-LAW. I’m so glad he emphasized the “AT-LAW” part of his title, because otherwise we would have all been completely stumped about the context of the word “attorney.” Thank goodness he didn’t use the word “lawyer.” I would have been so confused.

I won’t even attempt to chronicle the rest of the fellas, but right off the bat I decided that Jillian is going to hit it off with Kiptyn (really? KIPTYN?) or Sasha or Jake. I cannot see her hitting it off with Greg, aka “Bilbro,” the fitness model who managed to do the “come on ride the train / and ride it” dance not once but twice within the span of about forty seconds.

After all the guys arrived at the cocktail party, we immediately saw that Jake is a take-action kind of guy. He grabbed Jillian for one-on-one time before anyone else did, but he was interrupted by a nice guy named Jesse, a wine maker from California who made the critical error – at least in my estimation – of referring to wine as “love juice.”

However, you could definitely make a case that using the phrase “love juice” wasn’t nearly as awkward as Jesse unbuttoning his dress shirt so that Jillian could see his “Aspiring Canadian” t-shirt. Since Jillian was such a great sport about everything, I made an extra effort to cringe enough for both of us. Really, it was the least I could do.

A few minutes later, LIKE MAGIC, we enjoyed the sweet privilege of performances by Wes the guitar player and Michael the breakdancer. And then – and I need to pause a moment so that I can wipe away the single tear from the corner of my left eye – we saw our First Oh-We-Can-Only-Hope-That-It-Will-Be-Annual Bachelorette Dance-Off. Obviously Michael was in the mix, and remember Greg aka “Bilbro”? The “come on ride the train guy”? HIM, TOO.

Now granted, I haven’t witnessed a breakdance contest since the days of Breakin’ 2: Electric Booglaoo, but this one was a total treat. I couldn’t help but think that one day Michael and Greg aka “Bilbro” are going to have kids, and one day those kids will watch the dance-off footage, which means that one day Michael and Greg aka “Bilbro” are going to throw their backs out trying to prove to their kids that DAD STILL HAS SOME SAH-WEET MOVES.

Since no initial Bachelor get-together would be complete without A Surprising Twist, we found out about midway through the festivities that there were actually five more guys waiting in the wings, bringing the total prospective bachelor count to 30. Our new crop of gentlemen included Ed, who seemed utterly sincere and likeable, and Tanner P, who had WAY too much interest in Jillian’s feet. Like, waaaaaaay too much interest in her feet. Like, he used the phrases “eagle claws,” “mangled” and “crooked toes” without even a trace of humor or irony. And y’all, he didn’t just look at her feet. He eyeballed them.

The first impression rose went to a guy named David, and then Jillian walked back into the Chamber of Headshots to discuss the bachelors with Chris. After she selected her twenty (just FYI: Jesse made the cut despite his use of the phrase “love juice”), everyone said their goodbyes, and unlike The Bachelor, there were no overserved, rose-less individuals who tried to make a tearful case for the “amazing connection” they thought they’d found during the six whole minutes they talked with Jillian. We saw some quick previews for the rest of the season (it appears that there will be a veritable surplus of drama), and the producers are already teasing us with video of Jillian dressed like a princess, (SUPPOSEDLY) waiting on her prince and (SUPPOSEDLY) a proposal.

As our Canadian friend Jillian might say, it’s gonna be wicked.

We should totally have a dance-off to celebrate.

Edited to add: you do not want to miss Chris Harrison’s blog post about last night’s episode. It is a treasure.

Travis Cottrell “Jesus Saves LIVE” Giveaway

Y’all know that I’m a huge fan of praise and worship music.

And Travis Cottrell’s latest worship CD? IT IS SO GREAT, MY WORD. I mean, I don’t want to exaggerate or anything, but I’m pretty sure that your life will not be complete without it. So I’m giving away 20 copies over on my giveaways page.

You don’t want to miss it!