Thursday, May 25, 2006

Show Me the Idol!

Congratulations, Taylor! You had me at harmonica. Soul Patrol!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Yes, Taylor, You Make Me Proud

Last night AT&T kept busy keeping their phone lines operational while one of the most-hyped elections since Bush-Gore 2000 occured - American Idol, 2006. Let's recap, shall we...

Round 1: The show opened with Kat's weird version of "Black Horse, Cherry Tree". Her crawling around the box drum players before was odd, and it was still strange the second time around. You expect the performance to improve, but that didn't happen. She should have sung "Someone to Watch Over Me", which was her second best performance ever. By far, nobody can pull off purple suede like Taylor. His revival of "Livin for the City" was outstanding. And, he reprised that Hicks 360 degree circle, sprinkler like dance that is one of his signature moves. Round 1 - hands down, Taylor.

Round 2 - I realized last week where Kat needs to focus her energy - Judy Garland tunes. The songs she shines on are songs from her era. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was superb, both times, and my second favorite performance of hers, "Someone to Watch Over Me" is a 50's throw back. Kat, quit trying to be Kelly Clarkspears or Brittney Underwood. Go with what you do best. If Hollywood ever does a remake of The Wizard of Oz, she should play Dorothy. She could play innocent farm girl pretty well. Simon could be the Tinman, Bucky the Scarecrow, Ryan the Cowardly Lion, Kevin Covais as Toto, and Taylor as the Great OZ. Taylor was ok his second performance, but he had it tough against Kat's best song. Round 2 - Kat's the winner.

Round 3 - I always am skeptical of what type of songs will be featured as the Idol's first single. Obviously "Inside Your Heaven" wasn't half the song "Jesus, Take the Wheel" was for Carrie Underwood (Side note: How cool was it that Carrie is winning a CMA award the same night as the Idol finals?..what a weird world) The song "My Destiny" was perfect for Kat since she thinks this whole thing is her destiny. And, she actually started the song out ok, but by the end, she couldn't keep up with the Kodak Theater Baptist Choir. It fell flat. Even Randy resorted to Paula's standard line, "You look stunning tonight." I was concerned that Taylor would have to sing the same song, but oh no, his song was "Do I Make You Proud?" Maybe those songs should have been switched...I can see Kat asking that question. But, Taylor nailed the coffin shut with that one. He showed off his vocal chops and we really saw that, yes, he can sing, even if you don't appreciate his fun dancing. Round 3, Taylor again, and according to Simon, who didn't want him to head to Hollywood, he's sealed his fate as the next American Idol.

Like Bush-Gore 2000, this "election" holds some similarities. Al Gore thought he invented the Internet - I think Kat thinks she invented music. And, Bush, this non-articulate guy from Texas folks never thought would win, now is serving his second term. Nobody thought Taylor would go this far either, but, you know what, America has known from the beginning he deserved it. So, it looks like that gray-haired, southern gentleman, Taylor Hicks, will be our next President, er, um, American Idol.

Blogger's Note: As I read through the articles online yesterday about predictions, I came across an article where the author used my former line "All you McPheever fans...Take a Tylenol." I suppose imitation is the highest form of flattery, but, I don't get paid to do it unfortunately.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Willy Nilly Silly Ole Bear

Too bad I missed this opportunity to fly out to Hollywood to see one of my very favorite cartoon characters get his own star on the Walk of Fame - none other than that lovable thinking bear, Winnie the Pooh.

On April 11, Pooh joined the likes of other animated stars, like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Snow White, alongside other celebrities who've made their mark in Hollywood. That date marked the 80th anniversary of the first publication of Winnie the Pooh's story in the London Evening News. Walt Disney is planning an 18-month long celebration to note this anniversary.

To me, Pooh is by far so much more a star than Mickey Mouse. Ok, so, maybe Mickey has those unforgettable ears and is the brand of Disney, but where's the substance? The mouse is pretty shallow and has a lack of commitment - poor Minnie has waited over 50 years for him to "do her right." Pooh, on the other hand, is a simple bear. Loving, innocent, and thinks a lot. That's what I love. He can say things that are simple and fun like "It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"” Or he can be profound, "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." That's good stuff. And his friendship with Piglet teaches us all the importance of being a friend.

The crowds that came out for this ceremony were noted to have been ten rows deep and one official commented that there were more people there for Pooh than when Brittney Spears got her star. Thank goodness for that. We love you, Pooh, and as you once said, "If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever”

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Amazing Graceland

We're down to the final four on American Idol. I haven't blogged much lately about the show, so I thought I'd take the time to give my thoughts as we head into the final two weeks of the competition. Last night's show was a tribute to the king, Elvis, complete with a trip to Graceland, escorted by Priscilla Presley. So, without further ado...

Katherine McPhee - This girl has a beautiful voice, but her pompous diva attitude kills me. Kat, let me introduce you to the word, "humility." Of all the remaining finalists, she is my least favorite when it comes to appreciating the road she's been traveling. I get the sense she has an entitlement attitude. After forgetting her words on the first song, and then letting the second song end weak, she has a high probability of going home tonight. She's a final four, she'll get a contract. All you McPheever fans out there, take a Tylenol.

Elliott Yamin - A friend of mine said early on that Elliott wouldn't go far because he lacked the "look." Hmm, see AI Season 2 winner, Ruben. Although Elliott may be thug-like, he had his game face on last night. The boy did what he had to do to have a hope of surviving in this contest. And, the fact that he sings with limited hearing ability amazes me. Elliott could teach Kat a few things about humility - that boy realizes how belssed his trip has been. There is a 50-50 shot he could go home tonight, but for all his hard work and determination, I hope we have an all-boy final three.

Chris Daughtery - As some of my closest friends know, I have an affinity for bald men. And, although Chris is a handsome dude and has a great voice, I just can't get excited at the thought of him as our next American Idol. I think it's his personality. Chris, put the mike stand down, we've been there, done that with Bo and Constantine. A friend of mine told me his wife says that she thinks he's the type of guy that would leave his wife if he got successful. Maybe that's it. Who knows. Whatever the outcome, the boy will get a contract and cut an album. I can't get past those silly sunglasses her wore last night while singing "Suspicious Minds" - it was like a flashback of the 70's version of Elvis.

Taylor Hicks - I've loved Taylor since I saw him audition. He's different, he's refreshing, and, well, he's cute. Then, he stole my heart when he strolled into the judges' room for the final word on the 24 finalists playing his harmonica. Last night, he stole the show again with his performances. You have to think to yourself....who of these four would be the most fun to see in concert? By far, it's Taylor. And, he's from Alabama, which alone gives him points in my book. I think America is ready for something other than the cookie cutter Idol winner. Taylor is far from cookie cutter. And, he can pull off a purple suit like nobody's business.

I'm not sure who will go home tonight, but I have a strong sense that our final two will be Chris and Taylor. And the world will vote "Rocker or Rock-a-Billy"

Soul Patrol!

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Power of a Post-it

As you are sitting at your computer reading this blog, take a look at your monitor. Ok, smarty pants, yes, I know you ARE looking at your monitor. But, take a look at the frame which holds your monitor. See anything interesting? Anything decorating the border of your computer screen? Well, if you are like me, you may see a collection of Post-it notes hanging around the perimeter of your screen.

I've always thought Post-It notes were one of the greatest inventions ever. They strangely were discovered when a 3M employee was trying to devise a unique adhesive. A colleague of this employee discovered the sheer genius of this invention when using the post-it notes to bookmark a hymnal while in his church choir. I knew these things were heavenly. Now you can find post-its in various shapes and sizes, and in a rainbow of colors. They've even migrated to post-it flags to mark your spot and post-it pens that dispense those flags on command.

I realized the other day how common these have become as little reminders for me. A day doesn't go by that my computer monitor isn't adorned with one or two of these gems reminding me of a task to do. I'm really good at multi-tasking and compartmentalizing things, but there are some tasks and reminders that fall outside of my process-driven routine. To appease my need for a reminder and keep it "in front of my face" so to speak, these little sticky notes have become the decoration for my computer screen. And when I look around the office, I'm not the only one who uses this technique. What power these little square notes have. They have earned their place on the desks of corporate America alongside Mr. Stapler and Miss Tape Dispenser. No matter how paperless our society gets, Post-it Notes will last forever.