live-blogging the grammys!

Greetings! Welcome to my first-ever live blog! Tonight I’ll be picking apart the Grammys, probably my favorite awards show because we get lots of great performances and very little filler. Just a warning: I may give up if this turns into a disaster, and there’s a very good chance I’ll go to bed before the show is over. Wow…if that’s not confidence in my abilities, I don’t know what is. Stay tuned!

8:00: Another crazy spectacle from Lady Gaga. Hopefully this turns into the piano duet with Elton I heard about…

8:02: I think I’m uncomfortable seeing this much of Gaga’s pelvis.

8:05: This is a Grammy performance for the history books, kids.

8:08: Jay-Z was VERY unamused by Stephen Colbert.

8:10: Colbert is killing it. Why doesn’t he host more award shows?

8:12: And song of the year goes to…Beyonce for “Single Ladies.” Great song, but I think it should have gone to Taylor or Gaga.

8:14: J Lo, you’ve come a long way since that infamous Grammy dress all those years ago…

8:16: This is weird…like Green Day meets “Rent.”

8:19: I actually like that song a lot better with the Broadway treatment.

8:24: Kristen Bell looks TERRIBLE. You are so much better than that dress and “When In Rome,” Kristen.

8:26: And Taylor Swift’s domination begins…now. Aww, Mama Swift is so happy.

8:27: Simon Baker is struggling with his TelePrompter. What’s up with the Groucho Marx glasses?

8:29: I really dislike Beyonce. She’s not as great of a singer as everyone claims her to be. This performance is terribly boring…”If I Were a Boy” is one of her weakest songs.

8:32: And now she’s covering Alanis Morrisette? This makes no sense.

8:42: Something tells me Pink won’t keep this demure white robe on for very long…

8:43: She’s taking pseudo-nudity to new heights. (Pun intended.)

8:44: Between Gaga and Pink, the Staples Center must have a team of bikini waxers on staff.

8:46: Oh Miranda Lambert, I love you and your real-woman figure, but honey, that dress is doing you absolutely no favors.

8:47: Best New Artist is always my favorite award…welcome to the club, Zac Brown Band! This is a surprising win; I thought MGMT had this one.

8:54: Go away, Miley. Your dress is ugly, too.

8:55: BEP is not sounding good live. I can’t look at Fergie without thinking of her peeing her pants.

8:57: “I Gotta Feeling” is such a sing-along song. Also, Fergie may or may not be wearing a futuristic poker visor. I’d like to describe this performance as a hot mess.

9:00: JoBros introducing Lady Antebellum? Yes please.

9:05: Joe Jonas, you look foolish.

9:07: Love me some Lady A. They’re one of the few country artists on my iPod.

9:08: Fun fact – Lady A singer Charles Kelley is Katherine Heigl’s brother-in-law. (She’s married to his brother Josh.)

9:09: Yes! Stephen Colbert is a Grammy winner.

9:11: Colbert’s daughter is an insta-celeb now…she’s going to be the coolest kid at her high school/college tomorrow.

9:17: Norah Jones is like the musical equivalent of wallpaper. She’s talented, but she puts me to sleep.

9:18: Wow…Kings of Leon came out of nowhere for song of the year. “Use Somebody” is a great, anthemic song and definitely deserved to win, although I’m quite shocked they beat out all those other pop hits.

9:20: Much like Miley missed the memo about stilettos, I apparently missed the memo about thick, black glasses. Robert Downey, Jr. is like the 5th person to sport Buddy Holly glasses tonight.

9:22: Why does this song merit a Grammy performance? I find Jamie Foxx unnecessary.

9:24: Seriously, what is going on? Everyone in the audience looks pained, especially Josh Duhamel, who looks like he’d rather be anywhere but watching this.

9:26: Ke$ha and Justin Bieber may be the most awkward pairing of the night. Nice recovery though, Bieber, although you might want to avoid Jay-Z for the rest of the night.

9:28: Also, Ke$ha (dollar sign totally ridiculous and difficult to type) looks like a less-cute version of Ashley Tisdale.

9:32: Alice Cooper is like Russell Brand in 40 years. Take it all in, Katy.

9:33: Kind of an underwhelming selection for Best Rock Album. “21st Century Breakdown” is like a watered-down version of “American Idiot.”

9:35: “Chicken Fried” is incredibly cliched, but it’s such a feel-good country song.

9:40: Just realized the telecast ends at 11:30…I’ll be wicked ired in the morning, but I’ll be blogging until the end credits roll. Have no fear.

9:46: Only Taylor Swift can sing the lyrics “I wore a dress/You wore a dark gray t-shirt” and not get laughed at.

9:47: My parents are not T. Swift fans…Mom thinks she sounds flat, and Dad think she “sings like a 10-year-old.” Clearly they aren’t Grammy voters.

9:49: I love Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks and “Rhiannon,” but I don’t love them all together.

9:50: My family room has turned into a Taylor Swift-bashing festival. There is no love for Miss Swift among my parents.

9:52: I love Lionel Richie…he’s so comfortingly bland.

9:54: Dang, no 3-D glasses for the MJ tribute.

9:55: Carrie Underwood looks fabulous, as usual.

9:58: LOVE the shots of the celebs in the audience rocking their 3-D glasses.

10:00: Call me insensitive, but that was kind of a lackluster “tribute.” Maybe if it was a more familiar song?

10:01: Paris and Prince seem so well-adjusted and normal. They’re very cute kids.

10:08: Sheryl Crow still exists?

10:10: This may be the most formulaic and boring Bon Jovi song in their entire songbook.

10:12: Jennifer Nettles is a country goddess. I love Sugarland.

10:14: Bon Jovi are such seasoned pros that they can play “Livin’ On a Prayer” with one second’s warning.

10:16: Mos Def and Placido Domingo are totally failing at their witty banter.

10:17: PLEASE LET “I’M ON A BOAT” WIN.

10:19: Who is this cute child with Jay and Rihanna? Also, was Kanye not invited for fear of a VMA repeat?

10:26: Must. Stay. Awake.

10:28: I’m sure this is a lovely tribute, but I can’t stop yawning. We need some upbeat performances, stat.

10:31: Drake, Lil Wayne and Eminem will definitely inject some life into this dying telecast.

10:39: Mr. Grammy President, let’s wrap this up. You’re very eloquent and important, but it’s too late for long speeches.

10:41: Adam Sandler looks old and lost. Love that they played “The Hanukkah Song” as he walked onstage, though.

10:43: Maybe I should take up playing a stringed instrument so I can be featured on the Grammys…maybe the viola?

10:44: This is not a great DMB song. Also, Dave Matthews should never dance. Ever.

10:46: Lea Michele is GORGEOUS. I may prematurely name her best-dressed of the night.

10:48: Beyonce is in the running for worst dressed…that getup is a Lady Gaga reject, and her poor boobs look like they’re being cut in half.

10:53: I’m really hoping Gaga pulls of a win for Album of the Year…”The Fame” is a fantastic pop album.

10:55: Excuse me while I take a nap during Maxwell’s performance.

10:58: The first time I ever saw Roberta Flack in my life, she was on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” singing a spoof called “Killing Me Softly With This Thong.” It was a wonderful first impression.

11:03: The “In Memorium” segments are always so sobering. The music industry loses so much talent every year.

11:04: This lady singing with Jeff Beck has her hair shaped like a Cinnabon. I’m very hungry all of a sudden…

11:12: Quentin Tarantino scares me. A lot.

11:13: I think this is Lil Wayne’s last public appearance before he goes to jail. I love Travis Barker so much…he kills it on the drums.

11:16: I always think of “Degrassi” when I see Drake. I’m sure that does a lot for his rap credibility. Also: Jamie Foxx, you are one of those embarrassing people who sings along at concerts even though you don’t know the words.

11:20: I’m getting very anxious to see who’s going home with Album of the Year!

11:25: Here we go…TAYLOR SWIFT WON?? HOLY CRAP! I was hoping for a Gaga win, but Taylor totally deserves this award. To be that young and that talented – congrats, Taylor.

So there you have it…the 52nd Grammy Awards. Thank you to anyone who bothered to read this; I had fun writing and I hope you had fun reading. See you at the Oscars : )

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enough already.

I listen to the radio a lot now that I’m home: in the car, while I’m at work, and in my room. I never listened to it when I was at school because I had iTunes, and frankly, the station selection in Poughkeepsie left a lot to be desired. I now realize I was better off not listening to the radio because the selection is terrible and they play the same 10 songs over and over again. Here are songs I would like to ban from further radio rotation:

Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”: This is the number one song on the Billboard charts, so that explains why I hear it even on adult contemporary stations. I hated this song when it first came out, then I warmed up and enjoyed it on my Saturday night jaunts to the bar, but now I’ve come full circle and loathe its very existence. When Fergie starts to scream the bridge, (“People in the place/If you wanna get down,” etc.) my ears start to ring and just want to curl up in a ball until it’s over.

Shinedown, “Second Chance”: I hate everything about this song, from its stupid music video with the runaway ballerina to the insipid lyrics. No, you did not just see Halley’s Comet, so stop trying to tell me you did. I can already tell this song will soon be making it onto grocery store playlists, and once you’re heard in the frozen food aisle at Stop and Shop, you lose all credibility.

Beyonce, “Halo”: My qualm with this song isn’t so much the fact that it’s overplayed, but the repetition of the word ‘halo.’ Beyonce says it 69 times throughout the song’s duration, (yes, I counted) and after about the 20th ‘halo,’ I’m driving off the road because I can’t focus on anything else but Mrs. Jay-Z’s favorite two-syllable word.

3OH!3, “Don’t Trust Me”: This song was cute and quirky when it first came out, and even I was singing along to “Shoosh girl, shut your lips/Do the Hellen Keller and talk with your hips,” but the novelty wore off quickly. I understand the quirky appeal of both the band and the song, but quirk can only carry you so far in this music industry. Gimmicky music like this makes me crazy.

The Fray, “You Found Me”: I enjoy the Fray, I really do. I have their first CD and it’s gotten a lot of play on my iPod, but this song is just so treacly and melodramatic. It’s been used in every show from Lost to The Real World, so hearing it ad nauseum on the radio is just overkill. Not to mention it’s interchangeable with about 80% of the Fray’s other songs.

Britney Spears, “If You Seek Amy”: I’ve had . I love almost every track off Circus, except this one, so I was prepared to grit my teeth and suffer through the incessant replays of this song. The tongue-in-cheek hilarity of the song’s title is made even worse by radio edits, which change the titular lyric to “If you see Amy.” As unexcited as I am about Britney’s next single, the Blackout-recycled “Radar,” I’d much prefer 2007’s leftovers to this ridiculous hot mess of a song.

grunting is not acceptable in the library.

I spent a fair amount of time in the library this morning, working on my World Religions term paper (which is due the Tuesday after Spring Break, but that’s a rant for another time.) When it comes to spending time in there studying, I’m a creature of habit. Our library offers tons of striking views of the Hudson River and campus, but those spots are way too distracting for me. I choose to sit in the ground floor in the back of the building, in a study desk right next to the electrical closet. I’ve sat there during every library trip since sophomore year, and I don’t plan on moving my study spot in the next 80-something days before graduation.

That was until I met the person I will now refer to as Grunting Anime Guy (GAG for short.) I first encountered him last week when I was going to my usual spot to work on my paper. He seemed harmless enough; laptop, headphones, notebook, etc. It wasn’t until about an hour into my work session that I heard the grunting and the humming. There was no one else around so I knew he was the culprit. His guttural sounds are eventually replaced by laughter and occasional shouts of “Stop that! Oh no!”

At first, I thought he might have been on the phone, one of my biggest library pet peeves, but as I peered around my desk to see him, I saw an anime cartoon fill his computer screen. I admit I know nothing about anime except that it’s some sort of glorified cartoon from Japan, but I’m sure there’s a time and place for it outside of the library on a Saturday morning. I tried to drown out GAG with my iPod, but that led to even more distraction. I packed up my things and left, shooting GAG a dirty look on the way out, but he was too enraptured with his cartoons to notice.

After an envigorating trip to the gym this morning, (14 days to bikini body!) I went to the library. Who do I spy as I turn the corner to the back part of the library? GAG, his setup now featuring colored pencils and a sketch book. My immediate instinct is to leave and sit somewhere else, but I refuse to let GAG ruin my time at the library. I busy myself with my reading and note-taking, but about an hour into my work, I hear the sound of a pencil being sharpened. It’s actually many pencils being sharpened, because the sound continues for what seems like 10 minutes.  GAG kept the grunting and exclamatory statements to a minimum today, but was a nuisance nonetheless. I could only stay for two hours, and I made sure to drop another unnoticed dirty look on my way out.

I’m sure GAG is a perfectly nice person, albeit one with questionable choice in TV shows, but he really needs to learn that the library is a place for quiet work, not giddy reactions to Pokemon.

i love asher roth.

I have very little tolerance for gimmicky musicians, but there’s something about Asher Roth’s “I Love College” that has earned it a spot on my iPod. I can’t help but relate to such sentiments as “I want to go to college for the rest of my life” and “Pass out at 3, wake up at 10/Go out to eat then do it again.”

Do I think Asher has an illustrous rap career ahead of him? Probably not, but you know every college kid in America has just added his song to their party playlist.

“Do I really have to graduate or can I just stay here for the rest of my life?”

adventures in insomnia.

I’m determined to get myself to sleep through the night, so yesterday I downloaded a relaxation Podcast. I usually listen to low-key music on my iPod while I’m in bed, but lately, John Mayer just hasn’t been doing it for me.

I probably should have realized the title of the Podcast is “Relaxing Stream,” so I can’t blame anyone but myself. I press play and the sound of running water fills my ears. I immediately know there will be no relaxation going on in my body with the sound of water coming out of my headphones. It never fails; the sound of running water always makes me feel like I have to use the bathroom, and that feeling is anything but relaxing.

I try to ignore the water as soothing music starts playing. This is nice, I think, pulling my covers up over my head. As I listen to the music, it sounds very familiar to me. It takes me a while, but I realize it sounds like the music my salon plays in the background of the waxing rooms. So here I am, lying in bed trying to relax, and the music I’m listening to reminds me of hot wax being applied to my eyebrows and then being viciously ripped off.

I defeatedly stop the Podcast and scrolled through my iPod library to find Continuum, hoping John could do better.

sleep. or lack thereof.

I haven’t slept through the night in over a week and it’s pretty much driving me insane. I can’t fall asleep, I can’t stay asleep, I talk in my sleep, I sleepwalk, etc. (I woke up standing in the middle of the bathroom the other night.)

I’m always wide awake when I should be falling asleep, but when my alarm goes off the next morning, I can barely stand up I’m so tired. I think I fell asleep with my eyes open when I was eating lunch at work last week.

Nothing helps – not melatonin supplements, not aromatherapy, not listening to my iPod…NOTHING. The bags under my eyes would make Louis Vuitton jealous.

rant & rave of the day 1/15/09

So now that I’m an established blogger, (2 days!) I’ve decided to start my first daily feature. Here is “Rant & Rave of the Day,” a place where I get to highlight something I love and something I don’t love each day.

Rant: The music they play at my gym. I understand that background music is sometimes necessary, but about 90% of the gym’s patrons bring their own form of music, whether it’s an iPod or a one of its ancient predecessors. (I saw a lady at the gym wearing a fanny pack once, in which she was storing her Walkman.) The major problems I have with my gym’s music are a) it’s wayyyy too loud, and b) the music selection is horrible. I have to turn my own workout music of choice (gotta love Circus) up so loud that my eardrums ache just to drown out the worst selection of Top 40 music. I go to the gym around the same time each day, and within that two hour window, I can guarantee that I’ll hear Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” and Wyclef’s “Sweetest Girl” competing with the music on my iPod. It’s like my gym has one CD that they start at the same time each day, so by the time I come in at 9:30, it’s Katy Perry time. The amount of Mariah Carey they play is nauseating; I think the only person who would want to work out to Mariah Carey music is Nick Cannon.

I’m glad today was my last day at my home gym. The next time I work out will be at my school’s gym, where the music in the weight room is far enough away that I can listen to “Womanizer” at a tolerable volume while I’m on the elliptical.

Rave: Lisa Frank

Any girl who grew up in the 90’s must remember the bright, cheery designs of Lisa Frank. Her fluorescent animals adorned backpacks, notebooks, stickers and many other things that I deemed essential when I was in elementary school. I remember my Trapper Keeper in 4th grade was Lisa Frank, decorated with two golden retriever puppies sitting in a sandcastle. I was talking with one of my friends recently about Lisa Frank, and all we could remember about her designs was how bright and obnoxious they were. We might laugh at it now, but back in the day, having a folder with two bunnies dressed in tutus was a guaranteed way to make the other girls in your class jealous.