i finally saw…’almost famous’

Despite being a self-professed pop culture addict, there are many gaps in my movie-viewing history. I’m often greeted with astonished cries of, “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that!” when I admit to not having seen a certain movie. This is obviously something I need to remedy, which I have slowly been attempting to do via Netflix and a book I have called “500 Must-See Movies.” I probably won’t see all 500, because not all of them interest me, but I want to be able to say, “Oh, I saw that!”

People were always quite shocked to hear I had never seen Almost Famous since it was about music (which I love) and journalism (my profession). I was always told I would love it.

I did.

I mean, it wasn’t as earth-shatteringly and life-changing as some promised it would be, but I enjoyed going on the journey with William and Stillwater. There were so many excellent performances, especially Frances McDormand and Kate Hudson’s rightfully Oscar-nominated roles. I loved the glimpses of currently famous people in supporting roles, like Zooey Deschanel and Rainn Wilson, but I guess that’s part of the territory when you’re watching a 12-year-old movie.

The iconic tour bus sing-along to “Tiny Dancer” was just as entertaining as I hoped, and even though I correctly predicted certain plot points, the movie left me with a smile on my face. It seems cliche to describe a movie as ‘heartwarming,’ especially one in which a teenage girl overdoses on quaaludes, but Almost Famous filled me with a warmth that I think comes from Cameron Crowe’s excellent script. The semi-autobiographical elements give the story depth and make the characters seem real.

Am I glad I finally saw Almost Famous? Yes, although I wish I had seen it in college or in my later high school years, when I could more relate to William’s coming-0f-age process, but as a young journalist, his story wasn’t totally foreign to me. (Where can I sign up for a Lester Bangs-esque mentor, though?)

Up next: Say Anything

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live-blogging the american idol season 11 finale

ImageSeason 11 of American Idol comes to an end tonight; we find out who inherits the sash and tiara from Scotty “Baby Lock Them Doors” McCreery. Will it be southern heartthrob and Dave Matthews impersonator Phillip Phillips, or will it be ballad-bot Jessica “BB Chez” Sanchez?

I think both have rabid fanbases that voted their fingers off last night, but Phillip’s excellent coronation song “Home” may have given him the lead. I have no horse in the race, as my girl Skylar Laine was eliminated fifth, but it will be interesting to see if Jessica can be the first female to win the title since Jordin Sparks.

8:01 – What do you think Phillip and Jessica talk about? I just spent 30 seconds pondering this. Thirty seconds of my life I’ll never get back.

8:03 – Oh top 12…so much potential, so much disappointment.

8:04 – Is this a tie-in for So You Think You Can Dance? Reminder: it’s back tomorrow. Watch it!

8:06 – I love how Jane Lynch has a better seat than Scotty McCreery.

8:08 – Phillip Phillips in his finest henley and white pants. What a dapper gent.

8:10 – Idol will never limit the number of votes a person can cast, a la Dancing With the Stars, because they love to brag about the record-breaking number of votes.

8:12 – Seriously geeking out over Phillip and John Fogerty singing together. What a great pairing.

8:14 – Um, I might have spoken too soon, because this is not audibly pleasant. Sorry Phil, I think it’s you.

8:15 – Phillip’s vocal limitations are so apparent when put next to a legend like Fogerty.

8:18 – The first of many filler segments: the judges acting wacky. Or, Steven Tyler being himself while J. Lo and Randy look on bemusedly.

8:20 – Full confession: I never got the Joshua Ledet hype. Too much hollering and screaming for me.

8:21 – Holy s#*t…Fantasia looks downright hideous. Whoever put that weave on her head and shoved her into that sequined sausage casing should be shot.

8:23 – Thank you to Fox for cutting to a commercial break. My retinas were starting to burn the longer I looked at Fantasia. I’m all about loving your body, but there comes a point where you put on a sequined and mesh catsuit, look in the mirror and go, “No, this won’t do.”

8:30 – I can’t decide if Jimmy Iovine’s mental block with Jennifer Lopez’ name is funny or sad.

8:32 – It’s almost criminal how early the uber-talented Erika van Pelt was eliminated.

8:34 – Chaka Khan continues tonight’s trend of vulgarly tight bodysuits. If I can see the outline of your labia and ass crack, take it up a size.

8:40 – “Here, Phillip Phillips. Have a new Ford car, despite not appearing in any of the music videos!”

8:45 – I’m trying to come up with something to say about Rihanna’s performance…but I don’t even know where to begin.

8:51 – Oh Skylar. You should be competing for the title tonight. Life is unjust.

8:53 – Reba is like Skylar in 40 years. I’ve been saying all season that Skylar is like a mix of Reba and Miranda Lambert, so this duet is perfect.

8:55 – STEVEN TYLER HAS A SLOTH.

8:59 – Jessica Sanchez is singing a ballad. There’s something new and exciting. Even her little brother is bored.

9:01 – The girls were so much better than the guys this season.

9:11 – I chuckled at the ‘singing the phone book’ bit. Help.

9:14 – Didn’t J. Lo perform two weeks ago? Why is she back, in drop-crotch pants, no less?

9:15 – “Tonight we go orangutan/Bananas.” Jennifer Lopez, lyricist extraordinaire.

9:20 – Couldn’t comment during the second J. Lo song, as I was demonstrating some of my Zumba moves. Everyone in the room with me, cats included, implored me to stop.

9:25 – A live engagement of two former Idol contestants. The circle of life, folks.

9:28 – Hollie, my favorite little pixie British Texan. She sounds lovely with Jordin Sparks.

9:32 – Funny how this whole shebang is about Phillip and Jessica, yet the two of them have barely been on screen the last hour and a half.

9:35 – If the guys are singing Bee Gees, I bet the girls are doing a Donna Summer medley.

9:37 – I didn’t miss Colton’s straining emo faces one bit. Between his neck tendons and Phillip’s forehead vein, this was the season of overwrought body parts.

9:40 – I’m not sure what’s going on with Jennifer Holliday’s mouth, and that concerns me.

9:43 – That was over the top in a very uncomfortable way.

9:47 – Wow…Joe Perry and the rest of Aerosmith finally got over their Idol snit and are performing. Also, Steven Tyler looks like Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter.

9:49 – I can only assume that, to round out the judges performance trifecta, Randy is going to recite some poetry about his time with Journey and working with Mariah.

9:52 – Aww, how cute. Jennifer is pretending she knows the words to “Walk This Way.”

9:58 – Praise the fashion gods…Phillip Phillips is wearing a suit jacket. Over a henley. Of course.

9:59 – Phillip and Jessica singing together is like the musical equivalent of peanut butter and vinegar.

10:02 – PHILLIP PHILLIPS WINS!

10:03 – “Home” is the best coronation song since “A Moment Like This.”

10:04 – Despite my aforementioned ambivalence, I am tearing up watching Phillip cry.

Well, there you have it. Phillip Phillips, winner of American Idol season 11. Another guy with a guitar. C’est la vie. Thanks for reading! Watch So You Think You Can Dance!

top 10 pet peeves of a receptionist

My first job out of college was a receptionist for a mid-size telecommunications company. Obviously not my dream job, but it was 2009, I was in loads of student loan debt and I couldn’t afford to be picky. The job had its ups and downs (mostly downs, but that’s a story for another post), but I quickly learned that coworkers, callers and outside visitors alike have no idea how to properly deal with a receptionist. I complied this list of my biggest pet peeves during the 14 months I sat behind the front desk.
1. I am not a mind-reader. If you call and ask for “John,” but don’t know his last name, which office he works in, what department he works in, or any other discernible information about him, chances are I can’t help you.
2. Although the reception area may be larger than your cube, it doesn’t mean you can take up permanent residence here. Do not scratch your crotch, talk on the phone with your “bros” about your E-Trade portfolio, throw a tennis ball against the wall, or do any other unnecessary activity in or around my desk. I have work to do, too, and believe it or not, watching you walk around reception with your hands down your pants is not conducive to a productive work environment.
3. My desk is my personal space. It is not your coffee table, makeup vanity, filing cabinet or bongo drum. Just because it isn’t closed in with cubicle walls doesn’t mean it’s public domain. Anything you leave on my desk can and will be thrown away.
4. My computer screen may be visible while you’re passing through the office, but that doesn’t mean you need to comment on whatever I’m looking at. I don’t come over to your cube and comment on your fantasy football team, your not-safe-for-work YouTube videos
5. Being rude to me will get you nowhere but an empty phone line. What makes you think I want to help someone who’s practically yelling at me over the phone? Even worse is when you call and ask me a question, only to express dissatisfaction with the results. Oh right, I forgot…you’re the expert on a company you don’t work for. What would I, the eyes, ears, and human phone directory of said company, know anyway?
6. I may be a receptionist, but I’m not stupid. There’s no need to speak to me like I’m 5 years old. I have a college degree and enough intelligence to know your patronizing tone is only going to get you sent to a dead-end voicemail.
7. LISTEN. I can’t even count how many people thought my first name was the name of my company, or, when informed of my name, totally butcher it and call me ‘Alice’ or ‘Alyssa.’ Also, if I say the name of the company and it sounds nothing like what you’re calling for, there’s no shame in admitting you have the wrong number. I had people try and convince me they were calling a dentist’s office, an insurance company and a gumball machine manufacturer. One woman just kept shouting over me that she needed to schedule a root canal. I hung up on her.
8. I’m not your personal assistant. I won’t address your Christmas cards, make copies of your daughter’s Dean’s List certificate, or put a stamp on your traffic ticket violation. Actually, I’d do all of that and pick up your dry-cleaning if you gave me a significant raise.
9. I’m not your therapist. I do feel bad that your girlfriend dumped you, that you’re hungover, that you’re broke, etc. However, there’s only so much sympathy I can send your way because at the end of the day, I don’t care. I have a litany of my own problems to deal with (one of them being this job) and like I said before, I don’t get paid enough to listen to you bitch.
10. Leave me alone. Not all the time, because I get that my job is to help you/listen to you/etc., but sometimes I may be upset/angry/annoyed and want some privacy. I’m a big crier; I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad, I cry when I’m bored. I cry at my desk a lot simply because I can’t leave the phones and because I don’t have cubicle walls to hide behind. (Sometimes I have cubicle envy.) I appreciate the concern, but nine times out of 10 I just want to be left alone.
These are just a few things to keep in mind the next time you interact with your friendly neighborhood receptionist.

‘so you think you can dance’ top 20: boobs, blood and bollywood

After last week’s oh-so-controversial non-elimination on So You Think You Can Dance, we got to see the top 20 dance again last night. Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds joined Nigel and Mary on the judging panel. While it was amazing to have someone who starred in Singing in the Rain involved with the show, she functioned more like your entertaining great-aunt with a penchant for sequined mauve jackets. It was still very cool to have Debbie on the show, Woody Woodpecker imitation not included.

First up were Ryan and Ricky with a “sexy” jazz dance by Mandy Moore. Both dancers were clad in ugly bondage-inspired gear, with Ryan sporting a ponytail mullet to boot. The choreography was a bit over-the-top, but I confess I was distracted from the actual dancing by Ryan’s Joker grin, so much so that I totally missed her wardrobe malfunction. She had absolutely no connection to Ricky throughout the dance, grinning away and hungrily searching her line of sight for the camera. I hope and pray they’re in the bottom three tonight, but the judges seem to have a Lauren Alaina-eqsue crush on Ryan, so I fear she’ll live to smile another day.

My favorite dance of the night was a contemporary piece danced by Caitlynn and Mitchell. There was so much to love about this dance; from the song (Adele’s “Turning Tables”) to the perfectly staged chairs and lamps. Caitlynn, looking lovely in a floral dress, was all lines and extensions, while Mitchell had a lot of strength in his dancing. He maybe had a bit too much strength, as he clonked Caitlynn in the nose, prompting what may be the first live bloody nose on primetime television.

Poor Missy and Wadi missed all the marks in their Jean-Marc Genereux-choreographed cha-cha-cha. This dance is all about hip action, which neither Missy nor Wadi showed much of. I didn’t even bother watching Wadi dance because he so clearly had no idea what he was doing. The judges praised Missy, but I thought her moves were lacking, too. She was wearing a dress with fringe, which should have been moving all about if her hips were moving correctly. They weren’t. I’m sure they’ll be in the bottom three.

Nick and Iveta danced a Bollywood routine by Nakul Dev Mahajan, which was passable, but it was far from the best routine in this style in SYTYCD history. That honor belongs to season four’s Katee and Joshua. Both Nick and Iveta kept up with the speed of the dance, but it lacked the crispness and precision that Bollywood requires. It just wasn’t very memorable.

Tabitha and Napoleon have returned to torture us with their mostly mediocre hip-hop, this time creating a woodpecker-themed routine for Miranda and Robert. A woodpecker routine? Seriously? I’d like to know what kind of shrooms NappyTabs are smoking, because that is the most bizarre theme they’ve come up with. I thought Miranda hit the moves harder than Robert, which is a bit surprising considering this is his style. Again, not a terrible piece, but not very memorable, either.

I confess: I fast-forwarded my DVR through most of Clarice and Jess’ contemporary routine, choreographed by Stacey Tookey. The choreography was boring, with Jess visibly struggling with some of the lifts. This affected Clarice’s dancing too, as she appeared hesitant to enter some of the lifts for fear of falling. Even though I haven’t been impressed by either of their dances together, Clarice and Jess’ solos were phenomenal last week. I’m in the minority amongst SYTYCD fans, but I find Jess incredibly talented and a joy to watch. I’ll be devastated if he’s eliminated tonight.

The night’s second foray into ballroom was much more palatable. Jean-Marc’s Viennese waltz for Tadd and Jordan was fluid and pretty. It was nice to see Jordan play a role that wasn’t sex kitten for once. Tadd continues to impress me, because there is no way a breakdancer should be that natural at a waltz.

My second favorite routine of the night was Marko and Melanie’s jazz, courtesy of Mandy Moore. It was funky yet classic, and the two brought a lot of energy and charisma to the dance. I mostly had eyes for Melanie, though; that girl has a magnetic presence when she’s dancing. She makes everything look so effortless, too.

Napoleon and Tabitha’s second routine was allegedly wonderful, moving, emotional, etc. Alexander and Sasha played a soldier coming home from war and his waiting girlfriend, which is basically like a sequel to Nappytabs’ season four “No Air” routine with Katee and Joshua. I’m usually the first one to start tearing up/getting goosebumps/generally being affected by dances, but this one left me cold. Alexander was so stiff and so unnatural that it was more like a one woman show. I don’t know what I’m missing, but I won’t be adding this to the Nappytabs hall of fame.

I would like to thank Spencer Liff for doing a proper and entertaining Broadway routine; Tyce DiOrio needs to take note. Chris and Ashley were tasked to play a jailed man and his visiting sweetie, complete with prison bars. Nine times out of 10, I’m against props in dancing (see: Mia Michaels’ overrated “Mercy” dance with the doors from season four), but the bars were visually interesting and allowed Chris to do some crazy acrobatic stuff. This dance had all of the sexy that Ricky and Ryan lacked. I’m not feeling a lot of chemistry from Ashley and Chris as a couple, but I hope this routine pushes them in the right direction.

My picks for bottom three couples are: Ricky and Ryan, Missy and Wadi, and Clarice and Jess. Out of those six dancers, I’d really only like to see Ryan go home. Can you tell I don’t like her? Check back tomorrow for an update on the results show.

‘so you think you can dance’ top 20 recap: beauty and the beasts

Praise Jesus, the performance round of So You Think You Can Dance has started. Unlike its bigger, bolder cousin American Idol, SYTYCD zips through the audition/Vegas rounds and gets right to the meat of the competition. Nigel “If I’m being frank” Lythgoe is on the judging panel, as usual, but I’m so delighted to have Mary Murphy and her ear-splitting screeches back. I’ll take the Hot Tamale Train over Mia Michaels’ nonsensical hippie musings any day. Filling in the rotating third spot this week is Megan Mullally, a former ballerina and Broadway veteran. I’m pleased to see she’s moving on from her I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Commercials. Megan, you were Karen Walker and you’re married to Ron Swanson, for chrissakes. You’re so much better than “Turn the Tub Around.”

The couple with the honor of performing the first dance of the season is Jordan and Tadd, dancing an Afro-jazz piece by Sean Cheesman. The dance is fast-paced and a bit frantic, which led to them falling out of sync a few times. A routine like this requires a lot of strength and control, something both dancers need to work on. Tadd was impressive; I think he’s one to watch among the guys. As for Jordan, I’ve yet to see her do anything to really wow me, other than the sheer stupidity of her wanting to be a Pussycat Doll.

Sasha and Alexander were next, with a contemporary piece from SYTYCD golden child Travis Wall. The choreography was just so-so; nothing like past dances of his that still give me goose bumps. Sasha was very light yet powerful in her dancing. It’s too early for me to form an opinion on the heretofore unseen Alexander, but I think he’ll be safe for a while, considering his partner was heavily featured in the Vegas rounds and is allegedly a frontrunner.

Clarice and Jess were saddled with a boring Tyce DiOrio Broadway number. Watching this dance felt like it was going backwards and in slow motion. Nothing seemed to happen. Jess, being in his comfort zone, was impossible to look away from. His technique appears flawless; I’ve never seen such crisp, precise pirouettes. Clarice was trying so hard to keep up with him, but the cheesy smile she plastered on her face didn’t help.

New choreographer Christopher Scott choreographed a lyrical hip-hop number for Ryan and Ricky. I need to be up front and admit I do not like Ryan. She’s a great dancer, no doubt, but her personality and stage presence reeks of entitlement. Just because you almost made it last season and you’re Mia Michaels’ assistant doesn’t mean you get a free pass in this competition, blondie. The choreography was great, and while both dancers performed it well, it was hard not to be distracted by the gigantic smile plastered on Ryan’s face throughout the routine. When the judges questioned her on why a perma-smile was necessary for a dance about lost love and longing, she spewed some nonsense about remembering happy moments. It was ridiculous and a bit defensive, to which I say she needs to learn to stand there and take whatever the judges say to her.

Caitlynn and Mitchell were supposed to dance a jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, but poor Mitchell hurt his elbow in rehearsal and had to sit out. Not a good thing for the first week of performances, when the audience is still trying to learn who’s who. Season seven’s Robert filled in for the injured dancer, which I feared could take the spotlight away from Caitlynn, but she held her own. To be honest, I haven’t been crazy about a Sonya routine since Mark and Courtney’s dance to “The Garden” in season four, but this dance strayed a bit from her typical style, which was nice. My heart broke a little seeing Mitchell crying in the audience after the performance.

The first ballroom routine of the season belonged to Miranda and Robert, aka “Woo Guy,” courtesy of Jason Gilikson. Their jive, set to a Bruno Mars song I happen to love, appeared great on first glance, but the high energy of the routine hid the technical missteps. Robert’s feet weren’t pointed and Miranda’s posture was a bit too hunched. Personality-wise, Miranda needs to come out more and Robert needs to reel it in. Nigel was right in telling him to tone down the “woos,” which are already getting old. They could be making an appearance in the bottom three tonight.

Sean Cheeseman’s second routine was a jazz danced by Missy and Wadi. The Pandora’s box theme was a bit of a stretch, but the end of the dance was cool, watching Wadi do his free running/parkour on the prop box. I don’t recall much about Missy’s dancing, other than her waist-length hair is quite distracting. She needs to cut it or contain it.

My favorite dance of the night was easily Melanie and Marko’s contemporary piece, choreographed by Travis Wall. The dance’s story, of two marble statues falling in love, made me roll my eyes, but Travis’ choreography, combined with the two dancers’ talents, was wonderful to watch. Melanie is a superb dancer, with gorgeous lines and great strength. Marko was good too, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Melanie. This is going to be a great partnership.

I need to interrupt myself to beg Nigel to stop calling the female dancers ‘beasts.’ I’m sure he thinks it’s edgy and flattering, but it’s just stupid and kind of offensive. Yes, the female dancers are a talented group, but find another term to use to compliment them. All right, I’m stepping off my feminist soapbox now. Carry on.

Ashley and Chris danced the weakest dance of the night, a hip-hop choreographed by Christopher Scott. It was fun and cute, but having this dance follow Melanie and Marko is like eating a fillet and having a Slim Jim for dessert. Neither Ashley nor Chris was particularly great, which I think means they’ll be in the bottom three.

The final dance of the night was the “dreaded” quickstep. Every single dancer who has ever performed the quickstep in SYTYCD history has been eliminated. Tapper Nick and world quickstep champion Iveta may have changed that trend. Jason Gilikson’s choreography was dynamic and fun, two words I never thought I would use to describe the quickstep. The odd couple, paired most likely because Nick is tall enough to properly partner Iveta, danced well together. Despite never having danced ballroom before, Nick’s tap training had to help, as both dance styles have fast footwork. While I enjoyed this routine, I’ll resist judgment on this couple until I see Iveta attempt another style of dance.

I don’t feel confident predicting who’s going home tonight, because there were so many dancers that America basically saw for the first time last night. It should be an interesting results show.

 

RESULTS SHOW UPDATE: After witnessing five wonderful solos and two so-so solos (I’m looking at you, Jordan and Robert,) the judges decided not to send anyone home, giving America the chance to see the top 20 dance again next week before eliminating anyone. A lot of people were upset by this decision, but I think it’s wise. I’m still at the point where I can’t put names to all of the 20 faces, so this works in favor of both the dancers and the voting audience. Four dancers will go next week, but I think after two performance shows, it will be a bit more obvious who was suffering from nerves/weak choreography and who just needs to go home.

‘american idol’ finale live blog

This season of American Idol started out with so much promise; new judges, no more Simon, the promise of new blood in the fading franchise. Things went south quickly, thanks to the early elimination of Pia Toscano, the Judges’ Save used way too early, lack of criticism from the judging panel and obvious examples of producer pimping/manipulation. Tonight, the season 10 winner will be crowned, an underwhelming competition between Scotty “Lovechild of Alfred E. Neuman and Howdy Doody” McCreery and Lauren “Toddlers and Tiaras All Grown Up” Alaina. For me, it’s the battle of who could care less, as my favorite, the sublime Haley Reinhart, was eliminated last week. Stay tuned as I live blog all of the filler segments and performances, and of course, who is crowned Wholesome Southern Teen Idol.

8:02 – When I think that more people vote for American Idol than the presidential election, a little part of me dies.

8:03 – Something that’s plagued me all season: is ‘Alaina’ actually her last name, or is it a middle-name-as-last-name sort of deal? Boggles the mind.

8:05 – Jacob Lusk is loving this Lady Gaga choreography.

8:07 – This isn’t a knock on Lauren’s weight, but she appears to be wearing an outfit from the Fat Elvis collection.

8:08 – Commercial Break Twitter Update (CBTU) “@realityblurred: Um, Lauren’s hometown Idol finale party had tons of empty seats. The camera couldn’t even conceal that.”

8:11 – The fact that both Judas Priest and Iggy Pop have appeared on Idol this season does not bode well for the future of the music industry.

8:15 – No, Ryan, do not go to Randy for any soundbites/reactions tonight. Please.

8:16 – It has occurred to me that I’d enjoy kickin’ it with the Dawg, but in the context of Idol, I’d like to sew his mouth shut.

8:18 – I would rather listen to seven hours of Randy saying, “You’re in it to win it!”than a three-minute Jacob Lusk performance.

8:21 – CBTU “@votefortheworst: Jacob Lusk needs time to queen out by himself. Eliminate Kirk Franklin and Gladys Knight and let Jacob go to town on his own.”

8:26 – I shouldn’t be enjoying this Casey Abrams/Jack Black performance as much as I am.

8:30 – I forgot most of these girls even existed.

8:33 – The top six girls are dressed like strippers at a post-apocalyptic strip club.

8:36 – CBTU “@mattmitovich: True story: Jack Black thinks he’s dueting with Will Ferrell.”

8:40 – Steven Tyler…everyone’s favorite crazy uncle.

8:42 – LOVE Haley’s dress. I wish she was singing with someone a little more current than Tony Bennett, but she sounds wonderful, as usual.

8:46 – J. Lo’s hair, flesh and jumpsuit are all the same color. It’s unsettling.

8:48 – Seriously, who dresses these girls? I can’t even find the words to describe how atrocious their TLC performance ensembles are…

8:50 – I appreciate the sentiment, but “Live Like You Were Dying” is my least favorite Tim McGraw song. Of course he’s singing it with Scotty.

8:55 – CBTU “@rilaws: It’s so weird that Tim McGraw is being styled by George Michael these days.”

8:58 – I can’t wait for this Idol nonsense to be over so we can get to the goodness that is So You Think You Can Dance.

9:02 – Sorry, Mr. J. Lo, but this performance reminds me of the “Island Fantasy Spectacular” put on by my resort on Spring Break.

9:06 – Oh Stefano, don’t ever sing in falsetto again.

9:08 – I think I can safely say this season’s top 13 is the most adept at choreography. Yes, this is something I thought about and analyzed. Help me.

9:11 – This medley is painful. These six voices do not mesh well together.

9:12 – The girls got to sing with Beyonce and the boys get…Tom Jones. Naturally.

9:14 – CBTU “@EWMandiBierly: I wish they’d made the Top 13 girls be Marc Anthony’s feather girls.”

9:23 – This show needed a heavy dose of Gaga’s insanity. Love her.

9:25 – I love playing “Spot Mark Kanemura” during Lady Gaga’s performances. He’s one of my favorite SYTYCD alums.

9:27 – CBTU “@adambvary: Ummm. Is Scotty a little hot for teacher?”

9:31 – Loving that Carrie Underwood is wiping the floor with Lauren. Bow down, bitches.

9:33 – Again, this isn’t a knock on Lauren’s weight, but I couldn’t help but notice that her butt is about three times the size of Carrie’s. I wish I had a screencap so I could marvel at the difference.

9:36 – Beyonce’s back. Snooze.

9:40 – CBTU “@EWAnnieBarrett: Carrie Underwood’s “sun”-kissed legs are the skinniest hot dogs I’ve ever seen.”

9:44 – I will never tire of the commercial where the guy is doing a one-man flash mob in Grand Central.

9:46 – This unknown dude onstage with Bono and the Edge looks like a mix of Ethan Hawke, James Franco and Kris Allen.

9:50 – CBTU “@EWAnnieBarrett: Sorry Bono and the Edge aren’t home right now they’re walking into spiderwebs so leave a message and they’ll call you back.” (Follow her. She’s hilarious.)

9:54 – Uncle Steven woke up from his season-long nap to perform, everyone!

9:57 – CBTU “@MichaelSlezakTV: I am going to have to ‘rise above’ the show’s failure to give a couple of my fave finalists a solo performance slot. #HijackedBySpidey”

10:02 – Okay, folks, here we go…the 2011 American Idol is…SCOTTY MCCREERY!

10:03 – Congrats to Scotty, but ugh, that means we have to hear his stupid “Love You This Big” song ad nauseum.

10:05 – “@rilaws: Time to sing the baby song for babies. Baby gets a bottle after sing-song is over.”

An underwhelming ending to an underwhelming season. I’m ready to move on to bigger and better things…SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE starts tomorrow night : )

grammys live blog 2011

Hello, readers! Thank you for humoring me and stopping by to check out my second annual live blog of the Grammys. Hopefully we have a night full of entertaining performances ahead of us, if Lady Gaga’s trek down the red carpet in a placenta/womb/egg-like thing is any indication. Also, I’d like to go on record and say if Justin Bieber wins any awards tonight, I will never watch the Grammys again.

8:00 – Kicking things off with a tribute to the one and only Aretha Franklin.

8:03 – Quite a wide variety of ladies singing this tribute. Christina Aguilera needs to tone down the clown hooker makeup.

8:06 – Martina McBride never seems to age. She is gorgeous.

8:07 – LOVE Florence Welch. If her band doesn’t win Best New Artist tonight, there is serious injustice in this world.

8:08 – The longer I look at Christina, the more I’m convinced her and Snooki are the same person.

8:11 – Hell yes to “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.” I love this song. (A special shout-out to my sistahs!)

8:14 – Lovely message from Aretha. She looks quite healthy.

8:17 – Damn, I missed Christina trip at the end of the tribute. Poor girl; this is just not her month.

8:20 – Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group goes to…Train for “Hey Soul Sister.” I hate that song, but you can’t deny the fact that it revived their career and took over the radio last year.

8:22 – Oh dear lord, Ricky Martin, why are you wearing silver pants?

8:23 – Pod person Lady Gaga has arrived in a relatively tame outfit, too.

8:25 – The pointy shoulders are creeping me out. A lot.

8:26 – Of course she’s playing an organ with dismembered heads on it.

8:28 – Say what you will about Gaga, but she has a legit voice. No need for AutoTune or lip-syncing during her performances.

8:33 – Blake Shelton is introducing his fiancee. Precious.

8:34 – Noooo, Miranda! Not this song! I love it, but I can’t listen to it without crying.

8:38 – Happy to say I made it through that song with dry eyes. It helps to have developed a two-sizes-too-small Grinch heart.

8:40 – Muse is awesome. I have never encountered a song of theirs that I didn’t like.

8:43 – I wonder how Kate Hudson feels about the fact that the father of her unborn child just appeared on national television in a sparkly suit…

8:45 – My mom, on Bob Dylan: “Is he dead yet?”

8:49 – Major props to whoever organized the trio of Bruno Mars, B.o.B. and Janelle Monae.

8:52 – I’m in love with Bruno Mars’ voice. And his freakishly perfect teeth.

8:56 – I’m going to prematurely call this performance of the night. It’s going to take a lot to top these three.

8:58 – Finally…another award. (Not that I’m complaining. I love that the Grammys are so performance-heavy.)

9:00 – Best Female Country Vocal goes to Miranda Lambert, shocking absolutely no one. This song absolutely deserves to win a ton of Grammys.

9:05 – Oh no. I feel a Bieber performance coming on…

9:06 – Bieber is talented, but he has such a punchable face. I’m a terrible person for saying that.

9:08 – Seeing Bieber perform makes me feel elderly. It’s been so long since NSync’s heyday…Justin Timberlake just turned 30, for god’s sake.

9:10 – I have a hatred for precocious child stars, but Will Smith’s son Jaden is adorable.

9:11 – “OMG” is, hands-down, my least favorite song of 2010.

9:15 – Best Rock Album goes to…Muse, aka the only band nominated in this category that wasn’t alive in the 60s.

9:20 – “From ‘Blue Bloods’ and New Kids On the Block,” is a great introduction.

9:21 – Best Pop Vocal Album goes to Lady Gaga. Duhhhh. She’s dressed like a lunatic but I love her.

9:25 – This performance is…odd. A banjo, a convulsing keyboard player and a lead singer who looks like Tim Tebow. My brain hurts.

9:27 – Is this the Avett Brothers or Mumford and Sons? Or does it even matter? They’re both equally boring.

9:28 – Everyone on this stage right now looks like they escaped a polygamist cult.

9:30 – People actually pay to listen to Bob Dylan sing? This disturbs me.

9:32 – This performance quickly turned from strange to AWFUL.

9:34 – Thank god that’s over. I need a Top 40 palate cleanser after that hipster/roving band of weirdos explosion.

9:39 – Clay Matthews looks so. uncomfortable.

9:40 – I love Lady Antebellum so much. “American Honey” is a beautiful song.

9:42 – I have a strong feeling “Need You Now” will win one of the major awards tonight. (Song or Record of the year…I can’t keep them straight.)

9:44 – Best Country Album goes to…Lady Antebellum. A deserved win, for sure.

9:46 – Okay, now why is Gwyneth Paltrow singing with Cee-Lo? Just because she sang this song on Glee?

9:48 – Oh. My. God. I love this acid-trip-meets-the-Muppets performance. “It’s like Elton John on crack,” according to my mother.

9:50 – Gwyneth should be ashamed that she let someone talk her into appearing on the Grammys in a unitard.

9:53 – That performance brought the crazy and cuckoo that Gaga was lacking. Loved it. (Minus Gwyneth.)

9:57 – I hope “Not Like the Movies” is Katy Perry’s new single…great track off of “Teenage Dream.”

10:00 – Go ahead and make fun of me, but I love this song. A lot.

10:01 – Oh my god, how cute was Nicole Kidman singing along to “Teenage Dream”? Love it.

10:03 – Liking the sassy bob on Norah Jones. Not liking John Mayer’s homeless look.

10:04 – Song of the Year goes to…”Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. Totally called it.

10:12 – Thank you, Seth Rogen, for making a ‘Miley Cyrus getting high’ joke.

10:14 – Rihanna looks stunning in this dress.

10:17 – I’m now intimately acquainted with the veins in Eminem’s face. He’s a bit intense, isn’t he?

10:19 – I just had to google Skylar Grey to see what she looks like, since they seem averse to showing her face on TV.

10:21 – Best New Artist goes to…Esperanza Spalding. Who the F is she? I mean, I kept chanting, “Anyone but Bieber,” but I was hoping for a Florence + the Machine win. Congratulations, whoever you are!

10:30 – It’s kind of cool that a jazz musician won Best New Artist.

10:35 – I find it very hard to believe that this is Sir Mick’s first Grammy performance. He’s such an old kook, but so talented.

10:37 – Stars: They’re just like us! They rock out! (I’m looking at you, Nicole Kidman. You’re too cute.)

10:40 – If the rest of the telecast was just Mick Jagger performing, I would be perfectly okay with that.

10:47 – The extensions on Barbara Streisand’s head are atrocious. Sorry, Babs.

10:50 – Nicki Minaj is loco, but I love her.

10:51 – Best Rap Album goes to…Eminem.

10:59 – This is one of my favorite Rihanna songs, made even better by Drizzy Drake.

11:02 – Oh look, it’s my new favorite American Idol judge and her creepy, possibly undead husband!

11:04 – Record of the Year goes to…”Need You Now.” Wow, both Record and Song of the Year. Crazy.

11:11 – Jason Segal, I love you.

11:12 – Arcade Fire needs to lay off the strobe lights a bit. Do not like.

11:15 – I hate this. Make it stop.

11:22 – FINALLY. Album of the Year goes to…Arcade Fire. Say whaaat? That’s ridic. Should have gone to Gaga.

That’s a wrap, kids. A giant THANK YOU to everyone who popped in to read what I had to say…as of 11:25 tonight, my blog has 691 page views. I can’t even wrap my head around that.

golden globes live blog 2011

Welcome to my first live blog of the new year and the start of awards season. (No, I don’t count the People’s Choice Awards. Shocking, I know.) The Globes are one of my favorites because a) everyone’s drinking throughout the show and b) you get the best of movies and television.

7:53 – I’ve got my one-woman media center ready to go: Chapstick, Blackberry and Snuggie. It’s so high-tech in here I can’t stand it.

8:00 – Not even a minute in and Ricky Gervais already has a drink nearby.

8:02 – I may be in the minority here, but I don’t find Mr. Gervais very funny. Oh, and we just had “Christ” bleeped out.

8:04 – Okay, but he just won me over a little with the Walking Dead/Hugh Hefner joke.

8:06 – Christian Bale wins Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for The Fighter.

8:09 – Julie Bowen. Love her.

8:10 – Katey Segal wins Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama for Sons of Anarchy.

8:12 – Whoever makes up the seating chart/sets up the tables has a cruel sense of humor.

8:16 – Julianne Moore appears to have lost one sleeve in a tragic limo door accident.

8:17 – I don’t know a single person who watches any of these TV mini-series or movies.

8:21 – The “shut up and get off the stage” music is so passive-aggressive.

8:22 – I think Bruce Willis was a bit taken aback by Ricky Gervais’ “Ashton Kutcher’s dad” joke.

8:24 – Literally screaming out loud that Chris Colfer just won a Golden Globe. Talk about well deserved. (He won Best Supporting Actor – TV Series, Mini-Series, Movie.)

8:25 – Perfect speech, Chris. Love him.

8:29 – Something else I just screamed about: the return of Parks and Recreation this week.

8:31 – The fact that Alice in Wonderland was nominated proves that 2010 was not a great year for movies.

8:32 – Oh snap…the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is sassy.

8:33 – Um, Milla, the Miss America pageant was last night.

8:34 – Steve Buscemi wins Best Actor – TV Series – Drama for Boardwalk Empire. Not surprising, but I was hoping for a win for my favorite serial killer, Michael C. Hall.

8:37Boardwalk Empire wins Best TV Series – Drama. Again, nothing surprising, but I think a lot of people would agree that the quality of television has far surpassed that of movies. The five shows nominated for this category have more quality in ten minutes than most movies do in over an hour.

8:39 – Seeing Angelina fixing Brad’s tie was an oddly intimate moment from America’s most scrutinized couple.

8:43 – My mother is apparently keeping a tally of how many British people appear on tonight’s telecast. (We’re up to three.)

8:44 – As a member of the Facebook generation, I’m a bit embarrassed that I haven’t seen The Social Network yet.

8:45 – “Alec from the Rock and Jenny from the Block.” Genius.

8:47 – Two songs nominated from Burlesque? Yikes. One’s a winner, too.

8:48 – Confession: I instantly hate people who have their acceptance speeches pre-written.

8:50 – Trent Reznor has just won a Golden Globe. The apocalypse is nigh.

8:55 – The fact that Justin Bieber is at the Golden Globes makes me want to vomit.

8:57Toy Story 3 wins Best Motion Picture – Animated. This is another movie I’m ashamed that I haven’t seen.

8:59 – I really don’t know whether to laugh or cringe at Gervais’ rehab and jail jokes at Robert Downey Jr.’s expense.

9:01 – I’m officially starting the campaign to have RDJ host the Globes next year.

9:02 – Annette Bening predictably wins Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy-Musical for The Kids Are All Right. I knew it was a long shot, but I was hoping for an Emma Stone win. She was superb in Easy A.

9:06 – Don’t look know, but a rabid animal has taken up residence on Al Pacino’s head.

9:11 – If someone told me Tilda Swinton came from another planet, I would believe them.

9:12 – Pacino: hair plugs or just bad hair? I’m quite curious.

9:13 – Uncle Jesse is at the Golden Globes! I see you peering around Lea Michele, John Stamos.

9:16 – Holy hell, I hope Claire Danes’ award has a sleeve of Saltines inside it. Eat something, girl!

9:23 – Zac Efron’s military-style haircut: do not like.

9:24 – Please pardon me while I worship at the altar of Tina Fey.

9:26 – Carell and Feya match made in comedic heaven.

9:28 – “Smart girls have more fun.” Hell yes, they do.

9:29 – Another Glee win, this time for Sue Sylvester herself. Jane Lynch is awesome.

9:36 – Oh, Olivia Wilde…why must you ruin a gorgeous Marchesa dress with such awful hair?

9:37 – The lady who just won for Best Foreign Film flashed her Spanx as she was walking up the stairs. Whoops…

9:40 – Kind of thankful that Laura Linney isn’t here to accept her award, because that’s one less speech we have to sit through.

9:47 – I loved Burlesque, but it was by no means Golden Globe-worthy.

9:48 – It appears that the Big Bang Theory cast was seated in a dark corner. Congratulations to Jim Parsons on his win.

9:50 – Best Supporting Actress goes to…Melissa Leo for The Fighter. Boo, I wanted a Mila Kunis win.

9:50 – Don’t tell anyone, but…I’m kind of bored. I’m in a mid-show slump.

9:58 – Matt Damon is like a fine wine…better with age.

10:00 – Call me uncultured, but I can only think of Robert DeNiro saying, “Double dose,” in the Little Fockers trailer.

10:03 – Was I hallucinating, or did they really include The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle in DeNiro’s best-of montage?

10:07 – Someone get Mr. DeNiro some glasses so he can read the teleprompter.

10:14 – All of these wins for The Social Network make me want to see it ASAP.

10:16 – Dear David Fincher, jokes aren’t that funny when you’re reading them from something you typed in a Microsoft Word document last week.

10:18 – Best Comedy goes to…Glee.  I love this show, but I really wanted to see Modern Family win.

10:24 – I’ve never even heard of the movie Paul Giamatti just won for, but he’s a great actor.

10:27 – Lots of censoring going on tonight. Someone’s busy in the NBC control room.

10:29 – Emma Stone and Mila Kunis would be great in a well-written buddy comedy. Screenwriters of the world, get on this.

10:34 – Natalie Portman totally deserves this win for Black Swan. No one could play ballerina-gone-psycho better than her.

10:37 – Darren Aronofsky’s mustache is ridiculous. It looks like he pasted it on in the limo on the way over.

10:39 – Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical is The Kids Are All Right. A real shocker, considering its competition included Burlesque and Alice in Wonderland

10:41 – I have a saying that goes, “Friends don’t let friends get unfortunate bangs.” Sandra, your friends dropped the ball.

10:47 – Colin Firth wins for The King’s Speech. He’s so charming and British-y.

10:50 – I wish I was more adept at lip-reading, because I would love to know what some of these celebrities are saying to each other. I mean, what do you think Robert Downey, Jr. and Johnny Depp talk about? How to maintain that homeless man chic look?

10:54 – A standing ovation for someone with cancer just seems patronizing, but I like that Michael Douglas made a joke of it.

10:55Social Network wins Best Picture – Drama. This was such a strong category that I wouldn’t have been surprised if the award went to any of them.

And we’re done! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to read.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 28 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 72 posts. There were 7 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 4mb.

The busiest day of the year was July 9th with 96 views. The most popular post that day was so you think you can dance: judges gone wild.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, twitter.com, maristfoxtales.wordpress.com, and commit-this-to-memory.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for comcast theatre, comcast theatre hartford, so you think you can dance judges, you can’t spell stud without std shirt, and comcast theater hartford.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

so you think you can dance: judges gone wild July 2010

2

let’s get warped. July 2009
2 comments

3

‘so you think you can dance’: let’s hear it for the boys. July 2010

4

if you’re 5 or 82 this is something you can do… April 2009
1 comment

5

you’re a ‘hot mess’ and i’m falling for you. August 2009

the end is near.

I spent this weekend couch-bound due to a virus of some sort. During the many hours I spent watching TV, I came across the following commercial:

‘Horrified’ doesn’t even begin to describe my reaction. A Snuggie commercial set to the tune of “Macarena?” It’s like the dregs of pop culture mated, and this commercial is their lovechild. I have to give the creators of this jingle credit, though, because I’ve had this song stuck in my head all weekend.

*I need to confess that, as I write this, I’m comfortably cocooned in my Patriots-themed Snuggie…I guess people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.