Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 10

It was Usher week and he did a good job as evidenced by the strong performances tonight. There were three clear great ones tonight (Andrew, Lee, and Crystal). Andrew owes a lot of that to Usher. I'm also concerned about Ryan and his hosting. He seemed to have found a good balance but lately he's been extra on the contestants' side. He has attacked the judges (Simon) and tried to pull tears from the singers (Didi) or point out their illnesses (Lee). He needs to go back to simply hosting and figuring out new ways to emphasize the "Am" in "This. Is. American Idol."

Siobhan Magnus - "Through The Fire" - This was the worst she's been all season. I didn't like her in previous weeks but at least she was doing something interesting. This was just bad. She's also going the American Idol Mikalah Gordon make-up route (See below). She will benefit from Simon being excessively mean to her.

Casey James - "Hold On, I'm Comin'" - He is Mr. Consistent. Never good enough to be the best of the night and never bad enough to be in the Bottom 3. Pretty soon the middle won't exist, Casey.

Big Mike - "I'm Ready For Love" - Just the titles he picks make me want to punch him in the face. He says the guitar is his "bread and butter." Fun fact - This was his 3rd guitar of the day after he ate the first two for carbs. Using a stool and guitar kept his limbs occupied so he couldn't do anything annoying and corny. It was smart. Next week, maybe he'll use handcuffs and put his feet in cement like he pissed off the mob. Best performance by him for me.

Didi Benami - "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" - Very theater-y. It's broken, not barrohken. Didi is not sticking to the stuff that made her good. If she makes it to next week, I want her to bring her guitar back. Hopefully, Big Mike won't eat it.

Tim Urban - "Sweet Love" - He stares at the camera like American Idol will disappear if he blinks. I think I speak for viewers when I say it's time to blink. Blink, Tim! That was an awful performance. Awful.

Andrew Garcia - "Forever" - He finally got back to himself. This is the Andrew that I like. A pep talk from Usher doesn't hurt. How do I get an Usher pep talk? Is there a 900 number I can call? It wasn't amazing but it was very solid and got him back in the hunt.

Katie Stevens - "Chain of Fools" - She is just an old soul. It's too bad that soul can't sing well. She's so boring. It's like watching paint sing. Or grass sing. I can't take it much longer.

Lee DeWyze - "Treat Her Like a Lady" - He won the night. I'm so happy he got away from last week's performance style. I was worried because the judges praised him but he went back to what makes him comfortable. I just wish his right leg wasn't keeping 3-16 time. It's like he's trying to pump a bike tire before the bullies get him.

Crystal Bowersox - "Midnight Train to Georgia" - She was very good but she was the most hesitant I've seen her. It was minimal but she did not like standing up. It could have been the shoes. Hippies are afraid of heights. That's why they are such fans of grass.

Aaron Kelly - "Ain't No Sunshine" - Why would you try this song after Kris Allen did it so well just one season ago? It was dull. Usher gave him awesome advice and then he didn't use it. That's why he went the opposite way Andrew did this week. Even the chipmunks raced off the stage. Didn't even finish putting Aaron's picnic together.

Bottom Three: This week was much better than last week. It proves once and for all that Usher is better than Miley Cyrus. Let's all agree now. I believe Tim Urban and Katie Stevens will return to the Bottom Three. And it's time to welcome someone new - Didi Benami. I think she's fine but she needs a good scare.

Going Home: Tim Urban

Tor Baby Countdown: 62 Days

Wow. We are two good size months away from Billie Mae joining us in this world. We are also headed towards 61 more days of fake names. But those who do read will be able to make a more educated guess as to the real name via process of elimination. That's incentive to read!

We have a few children's books now populating the nursery. I'd like to focus on one in particular. It is called "Why I Love My Daddy."

Since I will be playing the role of "Daddy," I found it bothersome that such a book would exist. I'd like my daughter to formulate her own opinion of why she loves her daddy and not be spoon-fed a bunch of unfounded reasons. Also, we didn't get a "Why I Love My Mommy" book which does exist as I made sure before I started complaining.


Here are the reasons my daughter, Burbank, will love me:

"He is big and strong" - That's Strike 1 right there. I am not big and strong. I am tall and lanky and it's only a matter of time before my daughter has bigger legs and wrists than me. I'm guessing by the time she's 8. Earlier depending on how good the Happy Meal toys are.

"He is clever" - I have my moments.

"He keeps me safe and cosy" - First off, it's cozy. Was that British? Secondly, let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'll be quick with a blanket but safety will be determined after a few nights in that crib I put together. Fingers crossed.

"He plays with me" - Maybe.

"He carries me" - I'm starting to feel the pressure. Am I supposed to do and be all of these things? I'll carry her for a little while but, like Jesus, I will have to put her down and let her make her own footprints. And sand castles. And choices when faced with a jellyfish and a finger in poke mode.

"He is handsome" - Weird. I want to be flattered by this but it's weird. Besides, I prefer it if my daughter would call me "hot." Much better.

"He is funny" - Nailed it.

"He fixes things" - Strike 2. I don't fix anything. Is this in anticipation of the crib we spoke about earlier? It might hold. Seriously, I have a specialist fix everything. My car. My hot water heater. And I'll probably send my baby out to get fixed too. Wait that came out wrong.

"He has the best ideas" - I don't. I have terrible ideas. That's why I'm not successful as a comedian. Strike 3.

This book is filled with lies. Every page is patronizing and will ultimately lead to me resenting my daughter.

Well, that's all of our time today. Tune in tomorrow when I will angrily rant about why a cat would need a hat. Preview: It doesn't. Hats only lead to mischief.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 63 Days

It's Tuesday and you know what that means, loyal readers? (crickets) That's right! It's new fruit or vegetable day! Baby Center has informed us on this wretchedly awful, rainy morning that our baby is now the size of four navel oranges. The website went on to assure us that our baby is one piece. Is there not a single fruit or vegetable that is this size?
Naming a baby is not easy. You are forced to anticipate ways it can be made fun of. If she is smart, you have to stay away from Gertie ("Nerdy Gertie"). If she is ugly, you have to stay away from Vicky ("Icky Vicky"). And God forbid she is chubby, you have to stay away from Patty ("Fatty Patty"), Kate ("Overweight Kate"), or Brooke ("Look How Much Food She Took Brooke") among others.

My wife and I have chosen our daughter's name but we've decided not to tell anyone. I find it's easier to like a name once there is a face associated with it. "Here, meet Mervina, isn't she precious?" goes a lot better when you are holding a cute little baby.

My improv friends call her Linda or Peyton. My best friend calls her Tori (Tori Tor seems like a winner). The guessing is fun. Nobody has guessed it yet but that doesn't mean I would tell them if they did. I'm a good liar.

The problem is that people don't like to not know and it is hard to keep the secret, especially with my wife and I singing songs and talking to the belly using her name all the time. It's only a matter of time before "Grizelda would not stop kicking last night" slips out of one of our mouths.

We get asked whether we have a name often and my wife has taken to saying no to avoid the long "We have. We're just not telling people. Especially you." response. Sometimes the people get offended and have a look that says "Not even me?" Well, I'm sorry. You aren't high enough on our privacy-sharing list, Cashier at Home Goods. Of course I want to yell "BIMLEE" at the top of my lungs but it's not happening. Just scan my spatula and take my card so we can get out of here!

We are 63 days away (my baby will be punctual) from unveiling the name and people are going to like it because they like us and like our baby. I will leave you with a few hints:
  • We have not found this name on a personalized key chain or mug yet
  • It is not Spanish like my wife
  • It is not one of the names in this blog though the first hint should have helped that (so many Bimlee mugs)
  • It is not my name with an 'a' at the end
  • It is not monosyllabic
  • The middle name is pretty

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 64 Days

Technology advances forward like Lindsey Lohan in a bad decision contest. The things they can do now with ultrasounds is way different than what they were doing back in the days of George Washington. In those days, a kite was wrapped around the mother's waist and an artist would try to capture as much of the insides as he could whenever lightning struck. Today, we've harnessed the power of the skies and can wield lightning to create photos of your baby in 3 dimensions.

3D ultrasound photos are probably the scariest, most horrible part of pregnancy. The image comes out looking like a bird, a fossil, or a baby that drank from the wrong Holy Grail at the end of Indiana Jones. When we told the technician that they never come out well and we don't want nightmares about our daughter, she admitted they look a little weird but that's because the baby has no fat to separate the skin from the bone. I'm glad she said that because I was wondering why there was a vomit bucket next to my chair.

Not ours but equally not good.

So we got the ultrasound and our daughter looked terrible but we expected that. No fat and what not. A person my wife works with said that you will be amazed at how much your child looks like that ultrasound. Thanks, that needed to be said. I can't wait to hold Melty-face Bird Fossil in my arms!

Now there is news that some hospitals are offering 4D ultrasounds. Will the fetus be able to walk through walls? Will you be able to see into bird baby's future? "Here she is at college pecking her professor's eyes out." How long do we have to wait for a fifth dimension? Until the Age of Aquarius?

How my wife and I spend Sunday afternoons.

Unless doing a 4D ultrasound implants in our daughter the ability to understand the complex mathematics involved in calculating the fourth dimension, I don't want it. In fact, let's just stick to two dimensions. Nice and flat.

True story: At our last ultrasound appointment, the technician was unable to take a 3D picture because our daughter had her arms up blocking her face. Daddy's proud of you, honey.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 65 Days

From what I'm told, when this baby is born, I will look into her eyes and a transformation will happen. From what I'm told, I will fall in love instantly and not be able to resist any request she ever makes. I'm tired of being told what will happen. People who are parents either newly or oldly tend to dispense not only advice but predictions.

"She's going to be Daddy's little girl" - First off, my daughter is not property. I don't own her. I guide her. Shall we high-five now or later, Spirit of Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Secondly, I plan on sharing her with my wife. It's only fair after all the work she put in. Also, Little Lady Tor might be huge. What if she comes out taller than me?

"She's going to have a tough time in your house with all the sharp corners and stuff near the ground" - I think the only way to babyproof a house is to modify the house as the baby grows. My wife has outlet covers on the bathroom wall 4 feet off the ground. While I'm excited about potentially having a baby with that kind of vertical leap (Hello Geno Auriemma!), I'll wait and see. What if we have a baby that breathes fire? Our whole wooden coffee table is a problem and not just the sharp corners.

"Before you know it, she'll be dating" - Maybe she won't ever date. Maybe she'll be homely and not be able to find another. Maybe she'll be so interested in her career that she won't have time for such things. Maybe she'll be asexual like a hammerhead shark. We can call her Hammy.

"You wouldn't let her go to Seton Hall, would you?" - This one's easy. The answer is no. Not just because there are better schools but mostly because I don't want members of the basketball team to take her meal points at gunpoint.

"She is going to have a fantastic 50th wedding anniversary!" - Alright, nobody has said this. Yet. But if they did, it's the one I would agree with. Even I know this one's true.

Look, I don't know what's going to happen with her and that's what's so exciting about it. All I do know is that I'm not rushing to find out.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 66 Days

We went to a friend's son's first birthday party today. At this point in our lives, there are lots of babies everywhere we go. This party was no exception which is weird since one year olds don't usually have many friends. They have mandatory friends in the form of relatives and the parents' friends' kids.

Mandatory friends aren't so bad. They help with early socialization and other supposedly important developmental stages. What bothers me is that the birthday boy's mom and my wife have conspired to betroth the boy to our unborn daughter. I've known of this intended union for some time now so I took the party to observe and determine if he's worthy.

We got to the party late and he was already passed out on the couch. I'll let it slide as I found out that yesterday was his actual birthday so he was probably exhausted from the previous night's partying.

When it was cake time, he smashed what was in front of him with his hands and then proceeded to smear the chocolate frosting all over himself, his clothes, and the high chair he was sitting in. This is actually pretty funny. Spontaneity like this is so rare these days and it is a sign of someone willing to go to any limits to entertain. My daughter may have a down day and need a pick me up. Cake smearing might be just what she needs to smile. That's one point for him.

Finally, during the opening of the presents, he had no interest in the cards which is a sign of bad manners. He was a big fan of a Mickey Mouse plane that he could ride. Though, I fear he has pilot aspirations which is bad as pilots are never home. That's a lot of nights home alone for my daughter. That wears on a marriage. That's one point against.

That leaves us at a draw. However, this would be the perfect time to have a wedding. As the bride's parents, we are responsible for paying for it and a baby union would be very cheap. The wedding dress needs less fabric. They barely eat. They don't know a lot of people so it would be a small reception. Plus they would have to still live at home so no down payment help on a new home. We may even be able to split a place with the groom's parents since they would have to live there too. It makes total financial sense to marry our babies right now.

If only I can get past the pilot thing. Oh yeah and the ridiculousness.

Weird, right?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 67 Days

Pregnancy causes very vivid dreams for the mother-to-be. Recently my wife told me of a dream where the doctor found a pair of scissors when he reached in to get the baby. We all know that babies should not play with scissors until they are out of the body. That's just common sense.

Sadly, this picture was easy to find.

It's the nightmares that are the hardest to deal with. All of your fears about parenting and the baby being ok manifest themselves into these horrible pseudoexperiences. Last night I had what I would call a sympathy nightmare (and doctors would call a regular one).

It starts in our house and everything seems really pleasant. Our daughter is there meaning the birth had been a success. Way to go, Dream Wife!* So Dream Wife is holding the baby and the baby is cooing. A storm quickly rolls in. There is thunder and lightning. The wind howls. The power goes out and the house is shaking. The dogs are bothered by the storm and running in between Dream Wife's feet while she shakes and paces with the baby. Dream Wife makes funny faces to try to distract the baby from the storm. Just then, one of the dogs darts past Dream Wife as she steps forward. That's when it happens - the baby laughs for the first time. At her!?!

I woke up in a cold sweat. I looked over at my sleeping wife and I resented her. I'm the one that's going to make the baby laugh first. I'm the comedian, not her! She can law the baby all she wants.** I was disgusted. I mean, will funny faces really be enough to make my daughter laugh? Really?? Because I expect a sharper, smarter sense of humor out of her.

I vow this to you, readers. I will not pander or kowtow to my daughter. I will make insightful and humorous infant-related observations. Things that will make her think. I will earn those laughs.

"Don't you just wish sometimes that you can marry a burp. No spouse can ever make you feel that good. Am I right, babies?"

"I was hanging out in a Pack N Play the other day. Have you ever been in one of these?"

"Swaddle's a funny word. Swaddle. Swa...ddle."

"I'm not from here originally. I was actually born in a mother's womb. Oh, you too? Which mother? Yeah, I had to get out of there. It's a wet heat."

"What's the deal with a changing table? We put you on it. We take you off it. But you're still the same baby!"

Maybe funny faces are the way to go.

* Dream Wife was (and is) my actual wife, just to clarify.
** She's a lawyer for those readers who don't know us which is a large contributor as to why Dream Wife and Actual Wife are the same person.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 68 Days

All parents have fears about their baby. It's only natural to want the best for your child. I thought I would make a list of the things I want, as a father, for our daughter.

Health - A good immune system is about as important as a well-balanced breakfast. If this were the future, I would check "good immune system" off first at the Build-A-Baby Workshop.

Above Average Intelligence - I don't want school to be too easy for her but I also want her to get A's. Having to work hard in high school makes college easier. I'm only thinking of her. Plus I don't want to be outsmarted as a parent ever!

Good with Money - This is where genetics has to surprise us. Neither I nor my wife is very good with money so two wrongs are going to have to make a right here. I expect her to have a diverse portfolio using all of her babysitting money.

Strong Equilibrium - She's going to have a large head. Almost like my wife cheated on me with one of the Pep Boys. "You're welcome. Love, your parents." She's going to fight falling over for a while. A strong equilibrium will go a long way towards helping her keep her friends.

Athletic - While I would settle for "not trippy," I will shoot for the stars (as I have on the list so far) and hope she will be able to play some sports. I will allow softball, tennis, basketball, and golf. Giant no for track (boring to watch) and soccer (unpatriotic).

Able to Perform Simple Magic Tricks - This would be for social situations where there is a lull in the conversation. She wouldn't always be doing magic. Also these social situations would be her parents' social situations, not with her own friends. I just want a daughter who can come out and do some card tricks when I don't feel like being a good host.

Immediately Attractive Upon College Graduation - She gets that diploma and BOOM, like a switch, she's a hottie. I'm fine with it. She'll be old enough by that point that I'll be ok with her being with other people. Until then, she wouldn't be a hag but I won't have to chase the guys (or girls) away.

Flight - As part of puberty, she would gain the power of flight. Then when she's 17, she wouldn't need a driver's license. She could just fly to where she needs to go. There is a much smaller chance of collision in the sky than on the road. You can't put a price on peace of mind.

Curative Touch - I want to be able to witness every milestone in our daughter's life but I got a head start on her on the ol' calendar. If she could heal any malady I come upon in life with a touch on the arm, I would love that. I'm sure my wife would be cool with it, too.

Happiness - Nobody likes a downer. I hope she enjoys every day she has with a smile on her face. I know I will.

American Idol Season 9 - Top 11 (Elimination)

Good to see Randy is back to booing Simon at the beginning of the show. Last week was an aberration. Nice use of Autotune on the guys for "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go." It's great to see that a collection of America's greatest singers need help hitting notes.

I have had a few hours to think about yesterday's debacle of a show and I do blame Miley Cyrus a little. It falls on the mentor to get good performances out of the contestants. She could have helped them more. Or gotten her dad to.

Bottom 3:

Katie Stevens - It was not good for me but it certainly wasn't bad enough to go home. (Relatively.) I'm not sure what I want from her other than to not knock out one of the top performers (Crystal, Siobhan, Lee, Didi, Huey Lewis).

Tim Urban - I should have gotten this right. I rushed myself to finish the blog. He was in the Bottom 3 last week. It was obvious. I hope my readers will let me...slide? Nice.

Paige Miles - It was one of the worst performances I've ever seen on Idol. It was bad from note one. She had to go home. What's unfortunate was how good her exit performance was. Once Simon said she had no shot at getting the save, it was a total transformation. Nerves can be a cruel stagemate.

Final Thought: I was wrong to put Andrew Garcia in the Bottom 3, prediction-wise. He has a strong following. He needs to stick to his acoustic guitar and entertain all of his fans until he is voted off because, right now, he's terrible. At least when he was fooling around with acoustic guitar, I didn't have to fight with my thumb and the fast forward button. He's in Lil Rounds territory. Really early frontrunners who struggle get beaten to a pulp by the judges and stop being who they are. Their performances resemble someone who got on stage at karaoke and had a friend secretly pick the song. My gut is telling me Tim will be next followed by Katie. Then we could get a surprise of Big Mike. I feel like he's going home earlier than people realize. As the judges keep pointing out the overdramatic stage mannerisms, America will not be able to ignore them and then stop voting so they will go away.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 69 Days

I won't giggle about the number of days if you won't. Deal?

We had a doctor's appointment today. My lack of employment (or dream chasing as I like to call it) has allowed me to accompany my wife to the doctor each time and be along for the process. Today was a nice change of pace. For the first time, I showered before the appointment. So I hope the doctor was able to overlook my Ghostbusters t-shirt and look to my hygiene as my readiness for fatherhood.

A baby doctor is important but apparently not too important. I read this article about emergency home births. It is a step-by-step list of instructions for a mother to give birth by herself. It does start off with calling 911 and calling a neighbor but it has steps for what to do until they get there. This includes dealing with an umbilical cord wrapped around your baby's neck. Yeah, I know.

I've seen a lot of photos and videos of women after they have given birth. (That came out weird.) They look like they have just single-handedly stormed Normandy while also pooping their pants. How can they possibly handle the intricacies of getting a baby to breath via umbilical cord unwrapping or nasal passage clearance? They went through hell. One of the steps is to "try to get your baby to nurse.?!?!" Where is 911? Why does this woman have so much time? Is she bored? Why aren't these steps:
  • A C-section is easy to do. We've all watched Sesame Street so we are familiar with the alphabet. Be thankful it's not an R-section with bikini season around the corner. First, get your most sterile scalpel...
  • A baby's neck can never be too strong too soon. Exercise bands around the baby's head can be a good little workout for your newest love. Make sure the resistance is low, though. The head is pretty malleable.
  • It's never too early to start calling preschools. Have a glass of water ready. You don't want to sound frazzled when you talk to admissions.
  • You know that tree stump you have lying around? Time to start whittling that into a bassinet. The baby can't sleep on your belly forever. It's been minutes already.
Do they make laptop sleeves that protect against placenta juice because I'm sure no one remembered to print out these instructions beforehand? If not, dibs on the patent. (But I'll bring in some other people for testing. Big ew on that one.)

I don't want to meet the woman who can do this but if I did, I would want to fist pound her hand because I'm sure she would crush mine in a common handshake. The world isn't ready for Mamazons. Just in case, I'm going to be by my wife's side no matter what because I don't want to find out if she's capable of this. I'm emasculated enough as it is in life.

American Idol Season 9 - Top 11

Miley Cyrus was the mentor this week. She won me over by saying she didn't know why she was a mentor but she would be willing to help with connection and stage presence. I appreciate that. Unfortunately, that won't allow me to rip her apart as mentor. I had a whole metaphor about a dragon and a bakery. It was gonna be sweet. As for the awful night, at least the contestants had fun because the viewers did not.

Lee DeWyze - "The Letter" - I agreed with Simon on this. It didn't feel like Lee. After last week's "Beast of Burden" (which I have watched 4 times), I was disappointed. He doesn't need to be moving around to be a "star." The 3 Non-Simons are giving him bad advice. Do not listen to them, Lee. Do not hear their call. You will die (or get voted off).

Paige Miles - "Against All Odds" - She went with the stairs. The stairs usually lead to good comments from the judges but not this time. It might have been worse than her "Smile" from 2 weeks ago. I had to make sure it wasn't me singing up there. She better not put that on YouTube. Commenters will be merciless.

Tim Urban - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - Tim Urban got a hug. Do you think Miley's boyfriend is going to be jealous? That hug said "I wish it was you, Tim Urban, in my Nicholas Sparks movie and not the other guy." Let's talk about Miley's movie instead of the singing. No? Fine. It was ok. I have a feeling the judges would have liked it if this was Season 2. I'm more concerned with the slide. It was like the first day of sliding in Little League practice. He is going to hurt himself. At least, Miley will take care of him.

Aaron Kelly - "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" - It was decent for having laryngitis and tonsillitis but I'm a big fan of this song............'s movie. How can he connect to this song? This is song is about a Bruce Willis stopping an asteroid from hitting Earth so that his daughter may live. Aaron is too young to have experienced that. I didn't buy it.

Crystal Bowersox - "Me and Bobby McGee" - It was fantastic. Maybe the only good performance of the night. Therefore, I'd like to talk about how Miley ruined Crystal's guitar. Crystal gave you a gift, Cyrus. You don't deserve to sign that guitar and she allowed you to and then you take up all of that room. Just sign your name. Where's Pink going to sign? Where's Paula Cole going to sign? Where's the random lady who was spiritually inhabited by Karen Carpenter just to meet Crystal going to sign? Think next time.

Big Mike - "When A Man Loves A Woman" - I didn't even want to watch once I heard the song choice. One thing is for sure. Big Mike loves love. Big Mike loves women. And Big Mike loves loving women. Is anyone up for Mike mixing it up next week and rocking out, "Throw Some Ds on that Bitch?" At the very least it will be fun to watch him cornily mime picking up D cup breasts and throwing them at an imaginary bitch.

Andrew Garcia - "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" - I've given up on Andrew. I'll listen to whatever pop acoustic song he puts on YouTube but he's got nothing left. If there was one positive for this performance, it was his dedication to pointing to his ear every time he mentioned hearing something through the grapevine.

Katie Stevens - "Big Girls Don't Cry" - There was no edge to the vocal. It sounded like one long "Yayayayayayayayayayayaya" howl if those ya's were out of tune. Fergie is not one of those Idol untouchables (Mariah or Whitney) but she sings with attitude. Katie has the attitude of seahorse that was raised by the Amish. It did not work but the Non-Simons liked it.

Casey James - "The Power of Love" - He sounded exactly like Huey Lewis at times. It was scary. In the opening interview, he said he was going to focus on moving around and owning the stage. So how did he rock the stage? He started standing near his microphone and then walked to it. You know what? Owning the stage is a journey and that always starts with the one step he took tonight. I'm looking forward to next week!

Didi Benami - "You're No Good" - It was fine but it felt very Broadway. I hope this was an off week for her because I don't want her to be a Broadway Idol. She's better than that. I don't want her starring in "My Name in Heart Lights: The Music of Neil Diamond" by this time next year. Side note - I'd get tickets for that show regardless.

Siobhan Magnus - "Superstition" - Clean up on Idol 11! That was a mess and a half. Her body moves in slow motion. It is independent to whatever her mouth is doing. It doesn't look right. Is it because she can't see? She should crawl around feeling for stuff next week. Also, she screeched again at the end. Imagine that.

Bottom Three: While I know it is hard to pick only 3 going home-worthy performances, you have to factor in the number of fans people have. Paige is done. It was that bad. They can't afford to have her there next week even if the producers have to turn off her phone line. The other two spots are probably Andrew Garcia (he's done more than enough to deserve it) and Katie Stevens (her singing is like licking cardboard). I feel Tim Urban has too many girls in love with him. Same with Aaron Kelly.

Going Home: Paige Miles

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 70 Days

Every Tuesday, my wife and I log on to Baby Center to find out what size our daughter is in relation to a fruit or vegetable (except for that weird jumbo shrimp week). It is a very exciting time. This week's vegetable is a "good-size" cabbage. We are at the point where my wife winces at the reveal. She doesn't want a "good-size" anything.

Here's the thing - there's not enough room in a human woman to put a baby. Sure a woman can gain a whole bunch of weight but she can't gain a new spot on her body. It's not like putting an addition on a home. So the organs have to go somewhere. The stomach goes at the base of the throat. The liver goes behind the lung. And the gall bladder goes to Florida because it's been cold and rainy.

The baby keeps growing through all of this internal reorganization so those organs never get to really settle. On top of that, the baby is a huge jerk and punches and kicks for room like an unreasonable bedmate. My wife is walking around while the baby punches her in the heart as it screams "THIS IS WHERE THE LOVE COMES FROM!" in soundless baby mouth movements. There is no gratitude. "Just keep sending stuff through that cord if you know what's good for you, lady." And my wife does know what's good for her.

Women have been having babies for tens of years based on statistics generated from observing the people I frequent life with. You would think women would have adapted by now. (Yes, I'm still watching Life.) Now I'm just spitballing here but what about a more skeletal womb, something made of a strong metal? It would basically be a steel hamster ball. The baby's hands can't handle punching that for very long. After the first few babies come out with deformed hand nubs, the word would get around to the other steel wombs. Problem solved.*

Alternative Approach: We have a friend who is also pregnant and a couple of weeks ahead of us. She has gained about 1/4 of the weight my wife has. I have not seen her but the baby must look like it's vacuum-sealed into her belly. This is another great way to limit the baby's movements and to also save you money on those expensive 3-D ultrasounds. Something to think about.

Picture him much younger and with less clothes. Also, yeah, people do this.

*Getting the steel hamster ball out would require a C-Section but they were probably going to do that anyway. C-Sections are the new bloodletting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tor Baby Countdown: 71 Days

Tor baby. That's a typo away from disaster. Speaking of which, I like to think my impending daughter is like Baby Jessica, stuck at the bottom of my wife's well. Unfortunately the TV cameras won't come and the police won't do anything about it. There's a long wait until the rescue happens and, personally, I think that's cruel. Medically, I think it's the right call as she has to keep growing.

This weekend we put together a swing. Baby product companies give you just enough responsibility in the assembly of their products that you will never trust putting your baby in them. This swing came in about 20 pieces. When these 20 pieces are put together properly, it will simulate a cradling motion, a cradling motion you can easily do yourself as a parent and not subject your precious baby to the monstrosity you've assembled. I will be surprised if our swing turns on without melting in place. The motor is attached to the legs and best case, the swing will walk the baby around the room. Worst case - it will kick the baby incessantly.

The same goes for the Pack N Play/Bassinet. It took a good three tries before it even resembled what's on the box. As long as we keep the baby in the upper right corner, it should not fold in on itself, trapping the baby like a Venus Fly Trap. (Yeah, we watched Life last night.) At least it comes with three stuffed bears. That might give our daughter something to soak up the bleeding.

I know I'm being ridiculous. I was voted Most Likely to be a Good Dad in high school. Therefore, I will stop the karate swing as soon as I notice the baby beating and I'll get the Jaws of Life to spring her from the Pack N Play. I just wish these products would come with better instructions. All of the pieces look the same and everything "snaps" (much like your baby's bones would if they were hard enough) into place, meaning you can put it together however you want. Everything fits into everything! Why make a Pack N Play when you can make a sturdy pile of tubes you can impale yourself on with an adorable fabric pattern? That's what we did!

I long for simpler times when the scariest thing your baby had to face was a Velociraptor or the plague. I have a little over 2 months left and I wish Mr. Graco would come and put everything together for me. My wife and I can barely manage hanging pictures. I know we can handle the baby fine but we're going to have to trust putting her in one of these things we built at some point. We can only carry her in our arms for so long.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 12 (Eliminations)

The night started off amazing (not with David Cook) but with Randy Jackson not booing Simon Cowell's introduction for the first time in 3 seasons. This is unprecedented, folks. I never thought the day would come. It just goes to show that there's hope in this crazy world. (Pause to gather myself.)

Bottom 3:

Tim Urban - His take on the Rolling Stones focused more on the "rolling." Am I right, mon? I'm not. I don't know what I'm talking about. Was that Jamaican? Should I go with a Jamaican joke now that puns "You're making?" No? Good. This was my mistake in my Bottom 3 predictions from yesterday. I expected his cuteness to carry him through but it's good to know he's vulnerable. I still expect him to make the Tour.

Paige Miles - The pity votes for laryngitis were not as big as I expected.. Time to step it up with a bigger disease next week. I would start by licking the fake Elvis outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre. He's gotta be covered in 20 years of LA germs. She needs a performance that is unanimously heralded by the judges to avoid going home next week.

Lacey Brown - It's the end of the road for the cub (that's a baby cougar). Her problem was she never figured out what jungle cat she wanted to be. She had a cougar face but wore leopard print and sometimes cheetah print. At this point in the competition, they are looking for someone that knows what exotic animal they want to be. That's why she's going home.

Final Thought: Andrew Garcia is more popular than I thought. How many weeks can he be ripped apart by the judges and stay out of the Bottom 3? I can't see it being much longer. I was surprised that the Idols are allowed to pick their "Save" song instead of being forced to sing the one that got them kicked off. That's a nice touch as it was always my complaint last year. Next week's theme has not been announced so I can't make a prediction as to who will go home. Let's say Paige for the heck of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 12

It's Rolling Stones Week and after the awful cuts last week, I was expecting a disaster but most of the performances were good to even great. Everyone must have gotten confidence from making the Top 12 because the singing was backed with a "Maybe I belong" attitude. Of note, I have begun fast-forwarding Kara because I can't stand hearing about needing a connection every single freaking time!

Big Mike - "Miss You" - He sings well but his movements, as Simon stated, are corny. It's all ham-fisted theatrics with him and then he eats those fists after blasting his pecs in the Idol gym. When Big Mike does get voted off, can you promise me Tom Hanks will escort him and the mouse whose life he saved off the stage?

Didi Benami - "Play With Fire" - When the cameras showed that she was doing this without a guitar, I got nervous. Were we going to have another "Lean on Me?" The answer was no. She had a determined, angry stare as she sang. It was a really good gamble. She's like a nonvoluptuous Joan from "Mad Men" that sings and cries a lot.

Casey James - "It's All Over Now" - Just like Didi, he decided to go with the setup that got him the most criticism from the judges - electric guitar. He belted it out and he finally had a good performance instead of a safe one. Way to listen to my advice, Casey. It took you three weeks.

Lacey Brown - "Ruby Tuesday" - This is the kind of Ruby Tuesday that would appear in a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book. It's too sweet and lilting. Her shyness is going to be the end of her. I'm not even worried about her chances on Idol. They're ending soon enough. I'm more worried about how she's going to coax a college guy into her bed in 20 years because shyness won't do it.

Andrew Garcia - "Gimme Shelter" - This competition has broken Andrew. He doesn't know what to do on stage anymore. I thought this was good but it's not his style. He might as well have fun because he's done on the show. Next week's suggestion - cymbals between his knees, a bass drum on his chest and a plastic toy trumpet by his lips.

Katie Stevens - "Wild Horses" - She's wearing the dress she wore to her own 5th birthday party and singing a sexy song. Somewhere, Marky Mark is carving "Katie" into his chest while the guy from CSI is trying to figure out how to not let Katie grow up too fast. It was ok.

Tim Urban - "Under My Thumb" - It was the You-Just-Arrived-At-Sandals-Let-Us-Take-Your-Bags-While-You-Enjoy-A-Cocktail-By-Our-Pool-With-Another-Couple-That-Talks-Too-Much version. It just made me angry because I hate Sandals so much. He also went back to the falsetto from Week One. Oof. Just not good, Tim. However, you are adorable. You can stay.

Siobhan Magnus - "Paint It Black" - That was every sound that can come out of a human mouth all rolled into one song. The judges referenced Adam Lambert and it was true. So much happening vocally. It was one of those performances that I hated. I thought it sounded terrible. She's more than fine, though. She will coast to the Top 5 but I'm glad that was over.

Lee DeWyze - "Beast of Burden" - He does get better every week which is awesome because I have liked him since the beginning. I wish Ellen and Simon would shut up. If he's good, let him be good. Don't put doubts in the voters' minds. He better not go home too soon.

Paige Miles - "Honky Tonk Woman" - She sounded scared. There are times where you can hear the big voice and then there are times where all I can think about is how she took Katelyn Epperly's spot. However, for having laryngitis, it was really good and she should get a bunch of sympathy votes.

Aaron Kelly - "Angie" - I love when they show his growing up pictures. One of them was taken yesterday! Unfortunately, it was very good. Rabbits hopped onto the stage midway through and died from smiling too hard. He's going to be safe. Bummer.

Crystal Bowersox - "You Can't Always Get What You Want" - She is immaculate on stage. I'm glad Simon said Siobhan took her spot as frontrunner because the frontrunners never win. Crystal was too hyped until now and hopefully she can play catch up for a couple of weeks before taking back the top spot.

Bottom Three: This is a tough one because there are people I want to put in the Bottom Three but they won't go there (Tim, Aaron, Katie). Also, last week has me questioning my feel for America's preferences. I think Lacey Brown is a definite. She was mediocre and she made the mistake of thinking she'll be back. When Ryan was showing her the rest of the stage she said she'd remember that for the next week. Never good to assume. You make a Randy out of...wait. After that, I would say Andrew Garcia. He has to start being vulnerable after four weeks of negative criticism from the judges. Finally, I will go with Paige Miles. I think she is safe because of pity for her illness but she has yet to impress.

Going Home: Lacey Brown

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tor's March Madness Bracket Tips: 2010 Edition

Every year around this time, people come up to me and ask me about my bracket picks. I say, "Hold on, I'm not done with them yet. How much is it again to enter this year? What are we doing for lunch?" It's like clockwork. This year I thought I'd help those out there who have lost their NC-Double-Way with my Tor Tips. Here are the things I look at when I make my picks.

Seeding - If you have one of the brackets that puts numbers next to the team name, use them. It correlates to the number of fingers a player on that team will hold up when the camera is on them after a big win. Teams with seeds over 10 are littered with genetic freaks and freakiness, while great in the bedroom according to rap stars, has no business on the basketball court. Go with the lower, more socially-acceptable fingered teams.

Mascot - A lot of people pick based on which team's mascot would win in a fight. I like to go by which team's mascot tastes better. For example, Syracuse vs. Vermont. An orange probably tastes much better than a catamount (wild cat). It's also easier to eat and you can find it at your local grocery store without putting in a special order.

Mathematics Rankings - Basketball is a game of geometry. Defensive positioning. Shot trajectory. The shape of the ball. It's all about that subsection of mathematics. Therefore, it makes sense that schools that rank high in mathematics would be good at basketball. Think back to high school. Didn't your varsity basketball captain get an 800 on their SAT math section? I thought so. Therefore, Ohio State (ranked 33rd in college mathematics) should easily beat UCSB (ranked 48th).

Nobel Laureates - This is a new category added this year. After Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I got to thinking - "He plays a lot of basketball. There must be some significance to that." Can you really go by which school has graduated more Nobel laureates? Example - Cal vs. Louisville. Cal has graduated 26 Nobel laureates to Louisville's 0. Is there any doubt as to why Cal is an 8 seed and Louisville a 9?

Campus Tree Population Density - The more trees per square foot your school has, the purer the air your basketball players are breathing. Also, since trees are so tall, being around them prepares your players for the bigger players they might encounter in the tournament. With that knowledge, one might pick Siena's wonderful Upstate New York campus to upset Purdue and its factory-like, environment-hating configuration. And one should.

Proximity to a Wegman's - Everybody knows that Wegman's is the greatest supermarket in the universe so it is important that the fans, players, and coaches can get their groceries from there. What goes into a person's body is very important and Wegman's provides the best. That's why Villanova (2.9 miles from a Wegman's) will be heavily favored over Robert Morris (82.3 miles from a Wegman's).

Coach's Enjoyment of "Two and Half Men" - Scientists have shown that a human's ability to recognize good comedy is in direct proportion to their ability to coach a college basketball team. Johnny Jones, coach of North Texas, is a big fan of the Charlie Sheen vehicle. I think the committee saw this and punished him with a 15 seed. Also, to add insult to injury, they put him up against Kansas State in the first round. KSU's coach, Frank Martin, set up his V-chip to block CBS and smashed his DVDs of "Men at Work" and "Pretty in Pink." KSU will crush them.

I hope that helps. I will finish with my picks for the Final Four and the NCAA Champion.

Final Four - Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, and Baylor

NCAA Champion - Kansas

Friday, March 12, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 16 (Eliminations)

Well, that was something. I went 1 for 4 on my picks this week and I'm glad I got them wrong. I would never want to be associated with guessing last night's debacle of eliminations correctly. What is wrong with America?

Going Home:

Katelyn Epperly - I was worried about her. She picked one of the least enjoyable songs out of a list of every song ever created. I guess that was enough to condemn her to a four-person montage goodbye package. If anything, Katelyn deserved her own goodbye package. This was a big mistake by America. She was talented and pretty. Isn't that what this competition usually dreams of?

Todrick Hall - He never really shined. The Queen song was not enough to save him. Of all the people going home this week, he deserved it the most and not just because I picked him. Of consolation, I'm sure Fantasia will allow him to dance behind her again. Maybe not.

Alex Lambert - Mullets can do anyone in but I don't think that's what happened. If his performance this week was another step in the right direction, he would have been safe. A rugged, manly song of heartache does not fit his innocence. America doesn't like people who don't feel connected with their instrument. Kara's been right all along.

Lilly Scott - This was also ridiculous. Two of the Top 3 girls don't make the Top 12? She was right to be outraged. It couldn't have been the white hair. People love white hair more than mullets. Look at the major online push to get Betty White on SNL. This was a matter of her sound appealing to too small an audience. Talent doesn't always matter and it's a shame.

Going Forward: This was a bad week for Season 9. All four of these ousted performers had the chance to be great and America settled for good enough with Katie, Tim, Lacey, Paige, and Aaron. I anticipate they will be going home first. These four were intriguing. You don't know what they were going to do and that's good television. Todrick could have done a country version of Lady Gaga or a jazzy Kings of Leon and you wouldn't have blinked. Katelyn could have done a slow version of "Old Man River." We just don't know. And we never will.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 16 (Boys)

While the girls are trying to win the competition and are fighting to stay, the guys are doing everything they can to go home. Well, there's only 2 seats left on the bus to Idol obscurity. Who's fighting to get to the front of the ticket line?

Lee DeWyze - "Fireflies" - I'm not a fan of this song. I agree that he made it better but it was probably his weakest of the 3 live weeks (Sequel to 2 Live Crew?). When you want to go home, it's best to save your worst for last. Lee is in it to lose it!

Alex Lambert - "Trouble" - His voice isn't gritty enough for this song. This is like Justin Bieber trying to sing the blues. I think this is a major step backwards in the progress he was making. Good strategy, Lambert!

Tim Urban - "Hallelujah" - It's not right that he and Lacey stepped up this week. They were supposed to go home. Why can't people let their dreams fade away? Ellen gave him a hug. That's really going to hurt his chances of going home. Every single person that Ellen has ever hugged has eventually gotten what they wanted. Fact!

Andrew Garcia - "Genie in a Bottle" - I liked it but I fear I'm too biased on him. This was an attempt at recapturing the Paula Abdul moment he had in Hollywood Week. Girl song. Acoustic guitar. All of the pieces were there. Unfortunately, Christina Aguilera will never compare to Paula Abdul. Aguilera could never be forever my or anyone else's girl.* His chances of going home are good.

Casey James - "You'll Think of Me" - Yaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnn. I'm going to pull a Simon comment working off the song title - "No, we won't. That was rubbish." Is he ever going to push his voice? He may not get the chance to answer it. This race is heating up!

Aaron Kelly - "I'm Already There" - Finally, someone's making a real push to go home! This is how you have a moment! A terrible terrible moment. Everyone else was playing it safe and may be going home. Aaron came out and swung for the fences on this one. He missed the ball completely and lost control of the bat. The bat flew out of his hands, went into the stands, and killed a person. That person - Top 12 Aaron Kelly. How did this not get the pimp slot?

Todrick Hall - "Somebody To Love" - It was pretty good and may have erased two weeks of hard work to go home. Todrick came out to prove he could sing (mistake) and he did so on a very difficult song (double mistake). Ah, who am I kidding? We have our two losers back-to-back! Later, Todrick!

Big Mike - "This Woman's Work" - I don't get the appeal of him. He's fine. He has confidence. Is he personally threatening everyone in the country with a "Vote or Else" ultimatum? Is it time for Kara to point on a doll and tell the cops where the Big Mike touched her? How did he become the frontrunner?

Going Home: Todrick Hall and Aaron Kelly

Worried For: Andrew Garcia

*Does not apply to her father and husband.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 16 (Girls)

The girls made this week's decision on who's going home very easy. The right people stepped up and the producers fell in love with the faded-center split screen.

Katie Stevens - "Breakaway" - So dreary. Notes weren't hit. This competition swallowed her up like snake after one of those famous religious snake fasts. It was the problem of listening to the judges too much. They are merely there to guide you to the sixth floor of your local hospital, not to help you get a record deal.

Siobhan Magnus - "House of the Rising Sun" - Her voice sometimes goes off on that Shakira "I should wear a helmet and safety mittens" twang. The acapella at the front was really good but the rest got a little dull. She's more than safe though.

Lacey Brown - "The Story" - I thought it was really pretty. She was supposed to leave and now I don't know what's going to happen. Up is down. Simon is Randy. A miracle happened on the stage tonight and the 20-year-too-soon cougar may survive to the Top 12.

Katelyn Epperly - "I Feel the Earth Move" - She said she was going for less corny and she does this. She could have sung this while standing in a pool of niblets and not been any more so. I hope this doesn't make people forget how good she is. Hopefully, Didi won't step up and make her chances shakier.

Didi Benami - "Rhiannon" - Sorry Katelyn. I was happy to find out that Didi's reading my blog. How else can you explain how she knew to use an acoustic guitar and sing with little accompaniment? Oh, the judges told her the same thing? Nevermind. Favorite part: Thanks to split screen, she was singing to her guitar playing at one point. Something that normally wouldn't be possible unless this were Cirque du Soleil.

Paige Miles - "Smile" - She sounded terrible. The arrangement was a mess and she couldn't keep up with it. It was like the Idol band hated her. I have no more defenses for her. This case is unwinnable. Can we settle? You're offering a Top 16 finish? We'll take it! Here's my fee, Miss Miles.

Crystal Bowersox - "Give Me One Reason" - She is so good. I don't know what was worse, the audience clapping or the background singers. I may have liked this better than the Tracy Chapman version. Is that allowed? Judges?

You know I like you, right? I just didn't get it. I didn't get it. Ellen, what do you think?

I don't know. I'm TORn.
(hold for laughter)
I still really like you as a blogger.

I feel like you weren't connected to the listening of the song. You have a great instrument for commentary but you need to rope it in. Maybe another year of blogging. Really working at it. But I'm a fan.

Look, I don't want to keep going with this. It wasn't good. It's hard when the criticisms of your criticisms are so confusing. But when you look at the other American Idol bloggers out there, you pale in comparison. I don't want to be rude but it's like a wanker in a booth with some crumpets dilly-dallying with a blunderbuss. Sorry.

Lilly Scott - "I Fall To Pieces" - She wore scrunchie earrings. She's so eccentric. I didn't like this one as much. Is her voice getting annoying to me? It could be. She is like a better version of Megan Joy and that might not be a good thing. Next week has to be better.

Going Home: Katie Stevens and Paige Miles

Worried For: Katelyn Epperly

Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar Bits They Didn't Have Time For

Neil Patrick Harris came out and sang but Bruce Vilanch and company came up with so much more...well, gold. I got my hands on some of the ideas they rehearsed and didn't have time for in the 9 hour telecast. I posted a few on my Twitter feed last night but here is the whole list:
  1. Martin and Baldwin sumo wrestle in the bomb-diffusing suits from "The Hurt Locker"
  2. Baldwin and 4 other avatars bring us back to the 70s with the parody, "In the Na'vi"
  3. Martin and Baldwin, dressed as Hitler and Goebbels, hit the town looking for women as two "Heil-ed and Crazy Guys"
  4. Baldwin comes on stage. Martin appears via remote satellite on the large screen and fires Baldwin from the rest of the telecast.
  5. Scenes featuring Mo'Nique from "Precious" are recut with Martin as Navin R. Johnson in the Precious role. Navin will learn what being "born a poor black child" is really like.*
  6. Something to do with "An Education"
  7. Martin and Baldwin hang out in "District 10" because they are on the waiting list for "District 9"
  8. Baldwin enters wearing a football uniform complete with pads. When Sandra Bullock is announced as the winner, he barrels down Meryl Streep, picks her up, and carries her out of the theater.
  9. A five minute montage showing Martin and Baldwin meeting, striking up a friendship, making a pact to finish the Oscar telecast, Martin getting sick during the Best Actor announcement, Martin dying, Baldwin setting off to complete the mission, and ultimately finding out that the mission wasn't completing the telecast but outliving Steve Martin.
  10. An older boy scout (Martin) who still lives at home and gets picked on by all those around him finds solace in an overly affectionate next door neighbor (Baldwin) in "A Canteen Boy-ous Man"
*Just read that they did hit upon "The Jerk" parallel last night. I have Cablevision and did not have the Oscars until after the first couple of awards went out. Nice to know Vilanch and I are on the same page.

Friday, March 5, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 20 (Eliminations)

So Crystal Bowersox was spared kicking off a dull version of "Tik Tok." Instead, we got a lackluster take on "I've Got a Feeling." Was it me or was the lip synching worse this week? Do they study tape of Ashley Simpson on SNL? I know Jermaine studies it because he's good at throwing the band under the bus.

Going Home:

John Park - I think the spotlight was too much for him. There is a talented singer in there. I saw it. I swear I did.* At least he can go back to his acapella group, Purple Haze. I'm sure the group didn't feel complete without his monotone, off-key vocals.

Jermaine Sellers - There is joy in Idolville once again. It appears more people asked God to send Jermaine home than to keep him around. Well prayed, America. Well prayed. He was a terrible singer and an insecure person who masks that insecurity with a lack of accountability. Hopefully, he will look back on this and learn from it and not blindly assume God is guiding him to do the right thing. Because, right now, there are no footprints in the sand. It's just Jermaine floating on his cloud of self-righteousness.

Michelle Delamor - This is an unfortunate one. She took a risk and went down swinging. Was it a fair elimination? In terms of this week, probably not, but it's a strong field of girls** so it would only have been a matter of time.

Haeley Vaughn - This might have been a large experiment to see what could be done to make her stop smiling. Her parents went to world-renowned doctors.

World-Renowned Doctor 5
Well, we've tried all of the valium we have in the lab and there hasn't been a wiggle in the lip. There's one last thing but it's risky.

Haeley's Mom
We'll try anything.

World-Renowned Doctor 5
American Idol. That's been known to take anyone's smile away. Can your daughter moderately sing?

Haeley's Mom
I believe so.

World-Renowned Doctor 5
Good. Because she has to make it to the Top 24. That's where souls are really crushed.

Final Thought: One more week and then it gets serious....ish. Tim Urban and Lacey Brown are like Kenny from "South Park" - they die on stage but then show up again the next week. It doesn't make sense. They should be half of the eliminations next week.

Females Fighting For Last Spot -

Paige Miles - Stop having fun and sing something with long notes you can hold!
Didi Benami - Play your acoustic guitar and if it's going badly, cry until there is a puddle beneath you and slip on it! Sympathy out of embarrassment works!

Males Fighting For Last Spot -

Aaron Kelly - Tim Urban hurts your chances as the "cute one" so stop being adorable and be better!
Todrick Hall - I have no advice because it's probably you.

* This post is paid for by the Friends For Shania Twain.
** Field of Girls is probably my favorite baseball porn movie. Makes me cry every time.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 20 (Girls)

The women brought their A game and won the week from the guys. It was such a beating, they should get rid of 4 guys instead. Well, at least 3. There was one girl that should definitely go.

Crystal Bowersox - "Long As I Can See The Light" - I am glad she's ok to do this. She needs to be here. Kara reverted back to Season 8 Kara by forgetting what song Crystal did last week. It's frustrating when Kara does this because you see such greatness in her as a judge but she fails with consistency. If she ever gets it together, she is going to shine.

Haeley Vaughn - "The Climb" - It's funny that Smiley did Miley. This was soooo Johan Santana - very pitchy. It just wasn't good. Simon gave her his traditional song title turned into an insult and that's not good for anyone.

Lacey Brown - "Kiss Me" - It was pretty good. Definitely better than last week. She should be performing in a lacy robe and furry mules with a pool boy on each arm. If they ever do a flashback episode of "Cougar Town," she can play the older real estate agent in the past.

Lacey in 20 years?

Katie Stevens - "Put Your Records On" - She's an adult contemporary singer as a teenager. It's like an old lady got a second chance at life and came back as a 17 year old. It's only a matter of time before TMZ catches her doing the Lindy Hop, pinching a long cigarette holder between her fingers, fawning over stories of Errol Flynn. She's good. I don't agree with the judges saying she should be singing Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus. She'll find it.

Didi Benami - "Lean On Me" - I liked how she sang this. She suffers from the same thing as Casey James. Their voices shouldn't be fighting over a band. Heavy singing. Bumbling around. A Didi craves not these things. She is a crier and I love how she didn't let a tear tumble down her cheek after all the judges ripped her. Impeccable tear duct control. Well done.

Michelle Delamor - "With Arms Wide Open" - This was one of those risks the judges wanted. It was ok. The chorus was the dull part. Unfortunately, she sang the chorus a lot. She also forgot the rest of her gloves. It had to be distracting to sing with half-cold hands.

Lilly Scott - "A Change Is Gonna Come" - Fantastic. She's like an anime character infused with the spirit of Woodstock (the first one). Everything about her is something I should shallowly hate but together, those parts create beautiful music.

Katelyn Epperly - "The Scientist" - I know it was slow but I was captivated. Maybe it's because I'm not a big Coldplay person so I'm not tied to the original. She's pretty and talented like a unicorn that can juggle. I think she is easily in the Top 10.

Paige Miles - "Walk Away" - She does have a great voice but she is focusing on having fun and not winning the competition. This is a cutthroat business. People can't be enjoying themselves. What are the Idol hopefuls of tomorrow going to think when they see her out there having the time of her life? Because "I want that" is not going to be one of them. I'll bet Haeley's chances of winning on that.

Siobhan Magnus - "Think" - The opening was shaky but that note. That's all anyone is talking about. She hit that note. That note had the power to move her into the Top 5. I also like how Simon doesn't know how to handle her. She seems impervious to his personality attacks. She's Simon's Kryptonite.

Going Home: Haeley Vaughn and Michelle Delamor

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 20 (Boys)

Ok, it was rough for all of us last week. Time to hunker down and make the right choices, both in song and comedy. The guys are up first this week because Crystal Bowersox had to go to the hospital. She got violently ill thinking about my suggestion for this week's group sing.

Michael Lynche - "This Is A Man's World" - The judges loved it. I don't really get it. I thought it was too understated. With his muscles, he could lift anything. Maybe next week he should try our spirits.

John Park - "Gravity" - "I'm hungry, is there any food?" was his Korean example? That's how he proves he knows Korean? By saying the phrase you learn after "Where is the bathroom?" He's failing us as a pre-performance video subject. And that's all he's got going for him. Do you think Shania Twain can deal with how wrong she was? Because this guy....wait for it....don't impress-a me much. Thank you! Seriously, it's just a lyric used playfully. It's nothing.

Casey James - "I Don't Wanna Be" - Never had a TV? How is he going to watch back how average he was this week? He should have done this acoustic. I appreciate that he can play electric guitar but his voice doesn't go over it. Just because I can operate a blender like nobody's business doesn't mean I make smoothies while doing stand-up. (Nailed it.)

Alex Lambert - "Everybody Knows" - The last note was rough but holding a guitar was a vast improvement, stage presence-wise. What if he held 2 or 3 guitars? He'd be like Bette Midler out there (if she held 3 guitars and had a mullet). Good job and he got a Simon pep talk that should carry him through.

Todrick Hall - "What's Love Got To Do With It?" - His jacket made him look like a pewter figurine that came alive and sang Tina Turner but he didn't come completely alive so the pewter figurine couldn't keep up with the music. His days are numbered. Plus, Simon called him Tondrick. When are these contestants going to have names he can't mess up? This is why Simon is leaving.

Jermaine Sellers - "What's Going On?" - He uses steam baths to open his voice. They should take it away. That voice needs to be closed permanently. Put an eviction notice on it and then hire a demolition team. He's all presentation and no substance. Also, the presentation is poor and now we lost the account! Damn it, Jermaine! This company's going under!

Andrew Garcia - "You Give Me Something" - He is missing out again. He should have done this song more fun and acoustic. I was worried when there was no guitar in his hands. I knew it. This boy needs to hold a guitar. Did Alex steal it from him? Simon was disappointed again. Andrew will be in his bathtub later crying, scrubbing Simon's disappointment off himself until he bleeds. Chin up, Andrew.

Aaron Kelly - "My Girl" - A country version of a motown song. That was weird. Is he too wholesome? Is that a thing? I'll make it one. I don't like him because he is too wholesome. He's the Anti-Adam Lambert. Skittles should come out of his mouth while he sings and mice should make him dresses.

Tim Urban - "Come On Get Higher" - I wish Andrew Garcia had done this song. Would have been so nice. Still, he did a good job with it but he stayed away from the falsetto notes like they were unwholesome things and he was Aaron Kelly. Is it catching on yet?

Lee Dewyze - "Lips of an Angel" - This was my favorite of the night. He's still not perfect but I love him. He's the frontrunner in my opinion (and Simon's). There's nothing else to say. I hope he can keep pushing himself since none of the other guys are competing.

Going Home: Jermaine Sellers and John Park

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tor's News Nuggets: 3/2/10

Information has come in stating that OSHA issued a report to Sea World warning that a captive whale would kill a trainer. Before that report, the only warning we had was the adjective describing the type of whale.

(NERD JOKE) In this week's issue of "Spider-Man," Peter Parker will be affected by the economy when he loses his job as a photographer. Parker will learn that photographers, like Green Goblins, are a dime a dozen.

At an event in London, Lady Gaga told reporters that she is single and celibate. Lady Gaga is looking for a man who is evolved, not as in socially mature but as in having a next-generation sex organ that can mate with her.

According to People magazine, Bill Clinton offered his support to Tiger Woods via telephone. I just have one question: Why does the universe continue to throw softballs to Jay Leno?

Chad Ochocinco has been announced as one of the dancers on this season's Dancing with the Stars. Producers think this is a step in the right direction for the show as Ochocinco is actually a star.