Tuesday, March 25, 2008

American Idol - 3/25/08

Sayesha, Sayesha, Sayhesa, welcome back. You're doing what I knew you could do. Michael and David Cook have the more memorable presentations, but Sayesha, you're back. Wow, David! Thank goodness someone took the curse off all the songs ever sung by Michael Jackson.

Awwww...David A. Punkin, your age and inexperience are starting to show. I'm putting you on the "sliding down the charts" column, kid. I'm taking you off the block for the Sanjaya Award because, let's face it, who could be as anoying as Sanjaya? In fact, I don't see any Sanjaya awards coming this year! Nor a Nikki McKibben any more. It's getting hard to to find someone to really pick on.

So I'll be mean to Jason, Kristy, and Carly! Carly's fadin' First off, there should be a real be a legal limits to tattoos on any performer. I've said it about basketball players and now I'm sayin' it about singers. And for pete's sake take a risk with the clothing. I'm tired of looking at your arms.

And speaking of clothing, I'm sick, once again, of black, black, black, black. At least a couple of people broke out of that safe choice. Not that someone needs to wear an orange suit. Just do something. Props again to Sayesha for not wearing black. At least it's better than last year grey, grey grey black and grey.

Kristy had a great performance. That song is a piece of Americana, sure. And it's overdone to the point of parody anytime anyone sings it. To me, a lousy choice

Oh dude, Jason, give it up with the coffehouse stuff. Just stop it. Now.

By golly, I think Jason could go home. Or maybe Kristy. Oh no, I'm not sure any more. How can I go on? Sheesh

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mom vs. Cat: The epic 2 am battle

No door will be closed to my cats.

This is most thoroughly demostrated by the soon-to-be-epic "Battle for the Bed - 2008"

My mother does not want cats in her bedroom. She tolerates them in the house and, truth be told, has become quite attached to my two: Miss Birdie and Mr. Trout.

The Battle for the Bed began at approximately 2 am. There was a breach of bedroom security when Mom didn't quite get the door closed. This gave Mr. Trout the long-awaited opportunity for invasion. How he discovered the breach is unknown. During my mother's visits he generally spends the night on the bathmat in the spare bedroom, just beside her door. Conjecture has it that he was making a random patrol when he found the crack in Mom's security.

Taking advantage of the chance, Mr. Trout jumped onto the bed, thus alerting Mom to his presence. On the previous day we had been out running errand after errand and Mom was exhausted. This was her only explanation for what happened next: She decided to ignore him in favor of sleep. This overconfidence gave Mr. Trout the advantage and, as he is accustomed to doing when content, he began to tap his tail. Mr. Trout is a big cat. This tapping is actually more of a whapping. The bed is a traditional box-spring and mattress affair and the whapping can cause quite the vibration.

The psychological part of the battle had begun. Being still exhausted, Mom somehow got him to retreat to the foot of the bed and, feeling overconfident, went back to sleep. Not content with a partial victory, Mr. Trout creeped up and decided to snuggle.

This foothold then gave him the upper-hand and the tables turned in his favor. It was now time to get to the pillow. No, not just the pillow. He wanted to take the entire battle. Total domination or nothing! He craftily marched up to the top of his head, hunkered down and, horrors, began grooming her hair.

Thus, the battle was on. She got up and opened the door and told him to get out. Mr. Trout did not blink. He defended the pillow. Remembering the phrase that works for me, she said "Scoots! Scooter you!" Feeling a need for escalation, Mr. Trout retreated under the bed.

At this point, Mom's superior fire power with pillow-tossing won out and he was sent packing back to his original position. At some point during the ensuing hours, Mr. Trout made a feeble attempt at laying siege to the bedroom.

By morning, the siege was neatly defeated when mother stepped over his sleeping body on her way to the kitchen for breakfast.

Only history will tell us the full impact of this memorable battle. After Mom's departure for her home in the north, the bedroom was retaken by the cats and is currently ruled by Miss Birdie and guarded by Mr. Trout.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blair Witch Project

I've never seen this before, so I thought, "hey! I'll watch it. I must say I've never seen stupider people in the woods. Lost? Duh, do you never watch tv? Follow the stream? Climb up a tree and look around.

I haven't even finished the movie and I can tell you why they disappeared. The ghost of Darwin came out and removed them from the gene pool

Mystery solved.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

American Idol 3/19/08

If you blog on more than one blog, make sure you are absolutely in the blog you think you're in before you make the post.

I posted this yesterday on the Wrong Blog! Arrrrgh! My professional reputation is ruined! :headdesk:

Anyway, farewell Amanda. And here is the post I meant to make here

Short and sweet because east coast is probably already watching. I think. Maybe.

4 picks for who should be in the bottom three tonight:

4 picks for who will be in the bottom three tonight:

Still in contention for the Nikki McKibben award? Amanda
Becoming a very strong contender for the Sanjaya award? David Archuleta
Least deserving of the bottom three this week? Michael.
Dumbest attempt to shorten a song to insensibility? Michael
Getting dangerously lower on the idol ladder?
Jason. Ya gotta step it up a notch above coffee house kid. I think you can-now do it!

I think Amanda would be a lot of fun to hang with. I really do. She's still apparently having cramps on stage what with the bending over for emphasis and stuff. And I can't understand a dang word she sang. Not one.

David A. is fast losing his attraction as a musician. The kid has talent. And he's a johnny one-note. He isn't growing in presentation. He isn't maturing as a celebrity. He's beginning to look like a deer in the headlights. Step up the presentation and mix up the tunes kid.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

American Idol 3/11/08

Well done Chikezie! Those first week jitters seem to have dissapated. For me, it was the most enjoyable performance of the week. Brooke also did very well. I was a bit concerned when I heard her song choice but her rendition was genuine and the removal of shoes gave it the big sell.

I like performers who are genuinely themselves. Except when it comes to Jason. If he wants to be more than Mr. Coffeehouse he needs to step up the presentation. He's good. He just needs to step up the presentation.

2/3 of the Davids made big OOPS last night. Archuleta's youth and nerves are starting to show and Hernandez just plain blew it. They'll probably continue unless Hernandez's past bites him in his shapely butt. David Cook took a song I hate and made it kinda fun. Good for him.

John Michael could be a contender. Carly did well but her physical presentation needs a lot of work. Do something with your hair or dress totally grunge or goth, ok? Watch your face when you hit some of those notes. You look like you're in pain. And I still maintain there should be a legal limit on the size of tatoos on the bodies of persons in public. Including NBA players but that's another story.

Ramiele could squeek by this week but if she doesn't work on selling the song, on Presentation, she's going to go fast.

So, we're down to the bottom three, my contenders for home tonight:

Amanda: Love your drive and rockin' attitude. Now if we could just hear some words and see you emote without bending over like you've got a bad case of cramps...Fortunately, I think Vote For The Worst could save you.

Shyesha: I LOVE you! And you soooooo blew it last night. Presentation and Vocals count. Really. Pump it up kid.

Kristy: Oh Kristy. You're a good kid. Your lack of experience and musicianship really hurt you last night. There's country and then there's bluegrass. Country may include bluegrass but they're not the same. Honeybunch ya just didn't get it. It was a country parody, not a singing competition performance. Ya got the talent so...avoid the door on your way out.

Leading contender for the Sanjaya Award for staying longer than you should? Still too early to tell but it could very well be David Archuleta if he has more weeks like this one.

Leading contender for the Nikki McKibben Award: Amanda, hands down. Rocker chick? check. Unusual look? check, possibility of staying around until the end just because of the "vote for the worst" mentality? Very Strong

Monday, March 10, 2008

Loss in Our Work Family

Sometimes a coworker dies. Sometimes everybody just feels sad. Other times, it leaves the same kind of hole that the loss of your growing-up family leaves. A great loss in your work family affects your work culture. Especially when your coworker has been a steadying force in your workplaces for 36 years.

He was 82 and had worked at the library as a guard for 36 years. His wife had worked at the library for a good long time, too.

He played with a mariachi band until he went into the hospital.

He greeted me every morning and taught me local idioms in Spanish.

Due to my talent for arriving last, he nicknamed me "the caboose"

He always said my favorite summer hat reminded him of the girls picking strawberries in the field when he was young.

Even at 82, his presence in uniform with a group of over-enthusiastic young people calmed the situation and reminded them without words of respect for their elders.

He gave us all the acknowledgement any person would crave.

We'll have a picture of him and a guest book and some candles tomorrow in the lobby. I have no doubt that the table will become an altar/ofrenda where staff and the public will leave sweets and other things he loved to honor his spirit. Wouldn't be surprised if the informal things left at the ofrenda will become part of the ofrenda display we have in the art gallery for Day of the Dead/Dia del Muertos in October.

Just another example of how we can never know how much we touch other people when we act with kindness and joy.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Domino Effect

When my brain is in a good mood it's quite lovely. It's not an outrageously good mood. Just a regular good mood. Colors are pleasant. Crowds are manageable. I even hit it lucky and find a couple of blouses to carry me through the Sonoran summer scorch and toast. Just as I bought a lot of sweaters and undershirts in the North, I buy a ton of tops here. Penneys can be a Godsend.

It's spring . It's prom season and heading toward wedding season. An an extended family gathers in the lady's department. The lucky bride, her mother, and her grandmother. It's time to get the dresses for the girls to wear, the bride's younger sister and a young cousin. Girls at the blossoming point of late adolsecence. Limbs and attitude are beginning to come under control. Their future is coming into view. A brief moment of glow in family harmony and excitement.

"How about this one?"
"Oh no, you are not wearing black to my wedding." I'm surprised I want to pipe up, join them, and laugh about bad luck black at a wedding. Feel a little of the fun. It's so unlike me, the socially anxious avoider.

"Ooooh, this is pretty"
"Oh dear," must be grandma there, "you can't go backless in a church." And properly so, I think. The girls accept this and I am pleased. Someone taught them both manners and the ability to learn from their elders. Bravo. Well done.

Grandma pauses over a coral and white seersucker suit. "We used to wear seersucker in summer. It was so nice and cool." A momentary look of horror flashes past the girl's eyes. They really couldn't wear that granny outfit. Oh help! Thankfully mom discovers another option quickly and everyone moves on to the dressing room.

After some looking around, I, too, take my cubicle in the dressing room. I listen to the happy chatter of a family of women at full-fashion tilt.

"Oh, that's darling!"
"What do you think of this color?"
"You must try this on!"

And I'm nearly overcome with the need to giggle but suppress it. I want to thank them. To tell them of my appreciation of their day. I remember the happy times with my own cousins, mother, grandmother, and aunt. The season switches to fall and shopping for school clothes. I go back North. My cousins have arrived from their farm two hours away to the town where I live. Options are overwhelming. Sizes are plentiful. Colors are glorious.

I'm not overly surprised to discover why I need to suppress the giggles. If I giggle I will disolve to tears. The maudlin will take over. It's all over. My family will never be that way again. Those precious moments are gone forever.

I'll never have a family of my own to guide to this important life event. No joy in seeing children of my own grow. Of sharing my own wisdom with daughters. As the tumble continues, I check out fast and head for the car. Be careful not to cry while driving in the city on a Saturday afternoon. Traffic and tears are a deadly mix.

As I head over the 7th street pass and being my descent to Sunnyslope the velocity of sadness increases. It was all his fault. I take no blame for being a pawn in his plan. I didn't know I was a smoke-screen for him to hide behind. I actually believed him when he said I was too nervous to have a child. That I'd be bored as a full-time Mom at home. I fell for it and just as well. No child means no connection with that little episode in my life.

He took it all away with pride in his abiity to deceive. The success of his subtle abuse. My gullibility. He methodically set up each piece to resemble the little step-family I thought I had. Then he ripped away all the trust. My security. My hope. My stepson. He brought it crashing down. Total wipeout.

I keep the tears at bay and get into Walgreen's to pick up that prescription. The medication I suspect would not be so vital without the experience. Or maybe not. So hard to tell with this particular albatross. How could anyone know what I might have gained without him? Or what I gained because of him.

In the late afternoon sun it is all loss and anger. That particular row of dominoes has reached its end. I've safely at home and the anesthesia of television has put an end to the toppling for now. The good day may return tonight. Or tomorrow. I am watchful. I just have to wait.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Snark - When it's time to retire

Let's say you've hit the golden number and are eligible for retirement. Let's say your department and part of your own turf has been rearranged. Your Cheese Has Been Moved.

Now is the time to let it all out. Follow these rules

1. Whine
2. Make disparaging remarks about your new supervisor's management style
3. Use passive-aggression whenever possible
4. Refuse to adapt to the new departmental needs and priorities
5. Huff around righteously
6. Do the above often enough that it infects others in your department, creating a nifty little quamire you can leave behind in the laps of those who are staying.
7. Buy into the crap that everything is dumbing down
8. Be a manure-spreader and make sure that dumbing-down and your negativity become part of your department's corporate culture.
9. Destroy the respect others have had for you for all the good things you have done previously
10. Leave behind a legacy of anger, stubborness, and discontent