Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Shocking Headling

From cnn.com: Paula Abdul gets confused on 'Idol'

What's next: Simon Cowell says something mean? Rev. Wright says something crazy? Manny Ramirez says something incomprehensible?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hockey and American Idol

As a child, I was a very big hockey fan. I followed the sport somewhat obsessively until college, when my interest waned a bit, just because I wasn't around a television very often. Then I went to law school in Chicago, and Bill Wirtz pretty much killed my interest in the sport by refusing to televise Blackhawks home games. Why? Because he (as owner) was afraid the televised games would interfere with attendance. Somehow he failed to recognize that when fans are unable to watch half of their team's games on television, they become less interested in the team and therefore less likely to attend games in person.

Anyway, I digress. When I moved to DC from Chicago I started buying about eight games a year from a season ticket holder I worked with--his seats were in the second row of the then-MCI Center (now Verizon Center), and although it was nice to be close to the action, the Caps weren't much good, so there wasn't much excitement to follow.

Then Alexander Ovechkin joined the team three seasons ago and was immediately the best player on the ice. This year was his best, as he will surely win the Art Ross trophy as the league's MVP, and he led the Caps to a highly-improbable playoff run. More important, for me, Ovechkin reminded me why I loved hockey so much when I was younger, and I became interested in the sport. I'll always be an Islanders fan (they are the team I grew up cheering for), but I really got attached to the Capitals this season and when they made the playoffs Gobo and I decided to go to every home game.

There is something really wonderful about being part of a crowd that is all cheering for the same team. When I go to a baseball game, I am used to cheering for the Mets when they are playing the Nats (as I will be doing tomorrow at Nationals Park), or, when the Mets aren't playing, deciding who I will cheer for based on which team's win will help the Mets the most in the standings. At the Caps game I was wearing red just like everyone else, and all of the fans wanted nothing more than for the Caps to win. It was surprising, considering how few fans were at the games in October and November, but the large majority of the fans I saw during the playoffs seemed like true Caps fans.

I attended each home playoff game. Including tonight's. I have had many devastating moments as a sports fan--the Islanders failing in their Drive for Five (my first sports memory--a mere whisper of things to come), the Mets losing the NLCS to the Braves in 1999, the Mets losing the World Series in 2000, the Jets every year. But I wasn't at the game for any of those moments. Today I experienced my worst in-person sporting moment when the Caps lost game 7 in overtime. I still can't believe it happened. When the Caps made it into OT I was just sure that they would score. We were sitting in front of the net they were shooting on in OT and I was convinced I would see the little black puck in there soon. I kept thinking about how loud the stadium would get when that goal was scored.

Of course, the goal didn't happen. The Flyers scored their goal instead, the players shook hands, a bunch of fans left, a bunch stayed to clap for the Caps one last time this season, Ovechkin raised his arms in thanks to the crowd, and the entire season was over. It was a horrible let down and an incredibly disappointing game (and I don't care what the NHL says--I will not forgive the lack of a goalie interference call on Thoresen during the play that took the Caps' goalie, Christobel Huet, out of the net and allowing the Flyers to score).

Gobo and I walked back to the car in a silence that was interrupted only by one of us saying "I can't believe that just happened," or "that sucked." When we got home I suggested that American Idol might be able to take our minds off of the game, particularly because it was Andrew Lloyd Webber night. And so I watched:

Syesha Mercado. I figured out what I don't love about Syesha: I don't think her voice's tone is particularly interesting, and she always seems to be acting when she sings. So I guess it isn't surprising that she should completely sing on Broadway.

Jason Castro. "Memories." I really liked this performance and was surprised that the judges hated it so much. I think "Memories" is a really pretty song and I liked that he didn't oversing it or overact it.

Brooke White. "You Must Love Me." Wow. I have never before seen someone actually stop singing, apologize, and start all over again at this level of the competition. I think this was a really smart song choice for Brooke--Madonna originally sang it, so her voice is going to sound better by comparison. Like the judges, I had trouble with this. I thought she sounded good at times, strained at times. And it's hard to forget about the beginning (I was stressed she would mess up again through most of the song). I thought it was uncommonly nice of Simon to tell her she made the right move in stopping the song, but I definitely understood Paula's (harsher!) point.

David Archuleta. "Think of Me." Oh my god. This is not happening. Please tell me this easy listening version of "Think of Me" is not really happening. So horrible it is hysterical. Thanks David for helping me to forget the travesty of a hockey game I just got home from. (Watching AI didn't manage to completely take my mind off of it after all.) Of course I'm sure the judges are going to be all "when you can sing, you can sing." And...sure enough. Paula and Randy being all over him about being wonderful. Simon was a little more critical, but he called it forgettable. That performance was completely unforgettable, because it was so awful.

Carly Smithson. "Jesus Christ, Superstar." The female winner of Grease: You're the One that I Want," sang this during the competition and it became a defining moment for her. I thought Carly sounded good as well. Simon was right that she was a little shouty in the middle (and shouty has become characteristic of many of Carly's performances), but I enjoyed it and thought she did a nice job.

David Cook. "Music of the Night." This was really interesting. He didn't rock it up at all--did it completely straight. I really liked it up until the last two notes. I thought it showcased his voice in a way we normally don't hear it, but the last two notes--the only time he did the rock thing--just didn't fit with the rest of the performance.

Best of the night: David Cook.
Worst of the Night: David Archuleta.
Going home: I really, really hate to think it, but I'm afraid Brooke will go home. It will really suck, because she and David Cook (and sometimes Jason Castro) are the only ones I look forward to hearing from week-to-week. But she has been near the bottom a lot lately, she didn't sound 100% wonderful, and I think the fans will go for some of the more overdone performances over hers. It's unfortunate, but would fit in with this already-crappy week.

After we finished watching Idol I started watching a different show while Gobo got ready for bed. At one point he walked back into the living room and said "how can you watch Head of Household?! I just don't understand!" He meant Big Brother. I had no answer for him. (And this post is long enough, otherwise I would go into how stupid Ryan was for not putting Adam on the block with Sheila and getting Sharon to vote the way he wanted her to--she would have because she needed his alliance and didn't want to go home, and he would have ended up in a situation where both of the other two people remaining would have taken him to the finals. But as I said, the post is too long. And I don't think even one reader knows what I am talking about.)

Let's hope Santana pitches a gem tomorrow and David Archuleta goes home so I have something to be a little more excited about.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Do you hulu?

I'm completely obsessed with Hulu, NBC's new video streaming site. But it's not just NBC shows. The site also hosts FOX series like House and Prison Break, USA network favorite Psych, and there are even clips from Bravo shows like The Real Housewives of New York. (Please oh please let them put up full episodes soon!) The episodes are free with only minor commercial interruptions, and the quality is fairly decent as far as streaming episodes go. It's not as good as ABC's site, but far superior to the WB's streaming technology. I might not be as in love with it if I had cable at the moment, but since I don't it's a godsend.

Not only do I get to watch the current season of Battlestar Galactica as it airs (lords of kobol have heard my prayers - how fantastic have these first three episodes been?!?!) but I've also been checking in with some shows I didn't get a chance to watch during the abbreviated fall season, like New Amsterdam, and Life (both of which I'm enjoying more than the reviews led me to expect.) And there are also full seasons of old favorites (Hart to Hart and, ahem, Remington Steele to name a few.) The site even has a decent selection of movies (Point Break for example). Now, if you have a big beautiful HD TV with 100 channels of cable, you might not feel like huluing as often as I do, but next time you're stuck traveling for work, and there's nothing on TV in the hotel? Pull out your laptop and check out Hulu. I guarantee you'll find something you're interested in.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

RIP Danny Federici

Bruce Springsteen's organist/keyboardist passed away yesterday at the age of 58 from melanoma. He left the Boss's current tour in November, but played one song, Sandy (4th of July, Asbury Park), with the band on March 20. I had heard that he had shown up and was hoping that was a good sign. Sadly, it was not. According to Springsteen, a Danny Federici Melanoma Foundation is being set up with a web site to be announced.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm not sure which is worse

1.) Telling Emma (the cat) that the only person or team from Philly that she is allowed to cheer for is Rocky Balboa, or

2.) Describing (to Gobo) the colors of the Cleveland Cavaliers as "Gryffindor colors." (Which isn't completely accurate--the Cavs wear red, gold and blue.)


If you are my friend, please stage a television intervention

I really need help. I watch Big Brother three days a week. There is nothing redeeming about this show. Often I watch something that is bad because it's campy, or because it's so bad it's actually awesome. But Big Brother is not these things. Big Brother it sucks. It features a contestant who might be the dumbest woman ever who has named her and her allies "Team Christ." When something goes right for her she praises Jesus over and over and over and over and.... It's incessant. What's more, her enemies are called "The Evildoers." I'm not kidding here. And she doesn't say "the evildoers" with any irony. Hell, she doesn't even say it with one iota of political or popular culture awareness.

It also features a 46 year old woman who is constantly crying about how she is doing this all for her teenaged son. If you're a parent, is this really your scheme to make life better? Because if so, that's pretty sad. What's more, she likes to talk, a lot, about her crush on last year's winner of the show, a middle-aged tattooed, dirty, annoying, Motley Crue roadie-wannabe who calls himself "Evil Dick." And she has the oddest horizontal stripes on her neck. It's almost as if she went into the tanning booth 80 times while wearing sunscreen only in the skin creases of her neck.

The producers create stupid challenges for the contestants, including one that required the contestants to vote on whether they were willing to accept a deal in which they got some sort of food for the week (I think peanut butter) but the women had to wear their bathing suits everywhere all week. Don't be surprised that peanut butter and bikinis were the unanimous choice.

I am honestly embarrassed for myself. Please help.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Better Media Elites, Please

Jesus Fucking Christ. It's 8:42 and we've had questions about the unity ticket, bitter-gate, Rev. Wright, Tuzla, American flag pins and William Ayers. Does ABC News know that there are actual issues facing the country? Like a recession, housing crisis, war? It seriously makes me want to kill someone.

Wouldn't it be awesome if the candidates called them out on their idiotic questions? Yes, it would be.

If You Are (Somehow) Still Undecided

The Boss (along with the rest of E Street) has endoresed Obama.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol: Seven Remaining

I am totally excited about Mariah Carey night. I'm sorry, but I am. Before turning on the episode I told Gobo it was Mariah night and said "I hope someone sings 'Vision of Love.'" Gobo, however, had no idea that Mariah has made a comeback--he was like "it's sad to ask, but is Mariah even a big enough star to warrant her own night on American Idol?" I explained that she has had a rebirth.

David Archuleta. "When You Believe." Ugh. At least we can get him out of the way early. I'm sure this is yet another song everyone else will love, but (no shock here) I don't. And I have never heard this song before, which is odd because it's a Whitney/Mariah duet. I really find him boring and without any genuine feeling. I feel like he's just singing words while acting in a way that he thinks people act when they are passionate about a song.

Carly Smithson. "Without You." I thought she sounded great on the low notes, but, although the higher parts were okay (if a little flat), Mariah goes up another octave at the crescendo, so it lacked the same amount of variation and excitement at the end of the song.

Syesha Mercado. "Fantasy." I thought she sounded really good. Gobo "didn't like the runs at the beginning," but he thought it got better at the middle. I don't get Randy, though. Telling her that this was the most difficult song of the night as well? I believe that's pretty much an oxymoron. Or as Gobo said "Models, Project Runway is also a competition for you as well."

Brooke White. "Hero." Mariah wrote "Hero?" I didn't know that. I'm not shocked Brooke is singing this, but really--I love Brooke. Gobo thought the song was a bad fit, and I agree that although she didn't sound bad, it wasn't great. And Paula, Paula!, was right about how it got faster at the end. Regardless, we still love her, and Gobo wants her to win.

Kristy Lee Cook. "Forever." I'm sick of Kristy too. How can you "want to emotionally connect with the song?" Can one work on an emotional connection? Shouldn't that be something that comes naturally? Or is it now a skill? As for Kristy, I think she actually sounded good the last two weeks, but I don't think she managed it tonight. I really wish the Idol hairstylist who works with her would come to DC to work on my hair.

David Cook. "Always Be My Baby." I guess David couldn't find a rock version of any Mariah's hits, because this was really awkward except for the last part. And Paula gives him the "compliment" that it could be on a soundtrack. I don't get the judges and their complete love of it.

Jason Castro. "I Don't Want to Cry." Sometimes I wonder if Jason would be happy if he were a member of the Jonas Brothers. Mind you, I have never heard the Jonas Brothers, but I kind of get the feeling that they are a grown up, earnest, Hanson. And for all his dreds and hippie sensibilities, I wonder if Jason would jump at that chance. This performance reminded me of all of those questions. Sorry Bailey, I'm sure you'll be disagreeing. Paula seems to proud when Simon agrees with her, like she won a prize or something.

Okay, no "Vision of Love?!?!" Seriously contestants. I'm betting it will be in tomorrow's group sing, but I'm not at all happy about this.

Best of the Night: Ummm...eh. Syesha?
Worst of the Night: Kristy.
Going Home: Carly


Friday, April 11, 2008

A sign that I have watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica recently

I used the word "frak" in conversation without thinking about it.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Idol Gives Back: A Running Diary

Why am I doing this? Why? I wasn't even going to watch Idol Gives Back and now I'm doing a diary? I have to admit I didn't start the diary until minute 30, but I gave in for two reasons:

1.) Teri Hatcher. WTF?! Seriously, what was she thinking when she decided to sing? Did she think it would be a good idea? Did the Idol producers think it was a good diea? Because she sounded awful. Of course, the fact that she sounded awful compelled me to start this diary, so perhaps Idol knew what it was doing after all. Oh, and also, does anyone in America like Teri Hatcher anymore?

2.) The dancers from So You Think You Can Dance were so great in the opening sequence (even if Lacey was still doing her I'm-trying-to-be-sexy-so-I-will-make-faces-that-look-like-I-am-going-to-eat-you face). I would like to know who the guy was who did the breakdancing bit at the beginning. I couldn't see his face. And it looks like Donyelle has put on a good bit of weight. It's too bad that JabbaWockeeZ didn't make a guest appearance.

When I realized I had e-mailed Bailey separate e-mails about each of these segments, I knew it was time for a diary. Rather than rewinding and starting over, I'll just leave the first thirty minutes to the two comments above and I'll add that Ben Stiller really isn't funny and Carrie Underwood has become disturbingly thin.

Minute 31: Billy Crystal. I am generally fine with Billy Crystal but this wasn't a great bit and the audience was happily laughing along. Lemmings.

Minute 33: What is the point of this Billy Crystal-Miley Cyrus bit? Is Billy Crystal pretending not to know who she is while she tells him how famous she is, and vice versa, supposed to be funny? Because it really, really isn't.

Minute 35: This is the first time I have ever watched Miley Cyrus sing (or listened to her sing, for that matter). She's not as bad as I thought she would be. Kind of a Debbie Gibson vibe, except Debbie wrote her own songs. I bet Miley doesn't do that. Take that, Hannah Montana.

Minute 40: I feel bad making a snarky comment about Bono's hair while he talks to a 14 year old girl who is orphaned and was born with HIV.

Minute 46: Fergie. Do I just fast forward? Watching Fergie reminds me that Las Vegas isn't coming back on the air next season, which is kind of sad. It was an easy, mindless, fun show to watch every week. You didn't feel like you were getting stupider while watching, like you might if you watch Big Brother three times a week. Not that I know anyone who does that. The show was not close to as good once James Caan left, but it would have been nice to have some closure. Oh, and Fergie actually wasn't bad.

Minute 48: Heart! Unfortunately, they are singing "Barracuda," which is not my favorite. And doing so with Fergie. Ann Wilson looks like something out of an Ann Rice novel.

Minute 57: Eli and Peyton Manning. They are pretty awkward on stage. Not as awkward as Ramiele, but awkward.

Minute 67: Bono introduces Annie Lennox, who talks more about AIDS in Africa. Then she sings on the Idol stage. I like Annie Lennox and she sounds good, but I had to fast forward past the song. It was just so boring.

Minute 78: All new episodes of "'Til Death?!" Really? This show is still around? And "Back to You" is returning as well? I really do not understand.

Minute 79: Celine Dion needs to not wear her hair pulled back.

Minute 80: Jimmy Kimmel introducing Simon Cowell by making fun of his shirt, nipples and haircut. And although Simon is gamely laughing along, I don't think he is amused.

Minute 86: Carrie Underwood singing. I mentioned how ridiculously thin she has become, right? She's singing "Praying for Time," which (like so many George Michael songs) is a really good song, but she's kind of shouty at the big parts, which is unnecessary. Why can't they ever invite George Michael to any of these events? That would be great.

Minute 94: I used to really like Ellen, but here she is, and all I can think of is her feud with the animal rescue group. And I can't really like her as much.

Minute 95: Gloria Estefan with Jordin Sparks playing the drums. Is Jordin so unsuccessful that they don't even let her sing? I guess it's better than Taylor Hicks, who they try to pretend never happened (thanks Idol!).

Minute 96: The SYTYCD kids are back and dancing while Gloria sings. I can't wait for that show to come back!

Minute 97: Someone recently told my mom that she looks like Sarah Silverman. My mom wasn't thrilled, but I think there can be worse things. They really don't look alike, though.

Minute 102: Gordon Brown talking about malaria. I wonder if Idol invited our president back or if they decided it would just turn viewers off. I'm guessing the latter.

Minute 107: Reese Witherspoon looks super cute but is she wearing the ame shoes she wore to the Golden Globes with that yellow dress? It's difficult to tell, but I wouldn't blame her if they were the same shoes--they are really cute.

Minute 112: This is starting to feel like it is about 525,600 minutes long. Any why was Brooke the only person robbed of a solo phrase?

Minute 115: How does Dane Cook get invited to anything?

Minute 123: The return of Miley Cyrus. I still kind of like her., except that she did the cheesy Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction hand motion over her eye.

Minute 129: Robin Williams as "The Russian Idol." Typical Robin Williams shtick. I don't think I need to say much more.

Minute 134: Rob Schneider. Why? Why? Have I ever told you I watched Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo in a movie theater? I thought it would be campy, but it was just bad. Not one of my proudest moments.

Minute 139: I know that Brad Pitt is constantly wearing that stupid cap because the proceeds of sales from that hat go to his Katrina charity, but couldn't he have come up with a better item of clothing to sell? Brad's looking a little haggard.

Minute 144: Daughtry made a video of their time in Uganda, but unlike the other segments, which tried to be about the people, this seems to be about Daughtry, as we get shots of Chris singing his song (which is playing in the background) and playing the guitar, interspersed with sad faces of Ugandans.

Minute 145: Now the Ugandan children are singing along with Chris. This is just odd.

Minute 150: I think that the show may have gone long, because it didn't seem like Chris Daughtry telling us to give money was the intended ending. Oh well!

I know that a lot of people complain about Idol Gives Back, calling it emotionally manipulative, and arguing it appeals to the lowest common denominator. And although I think it's depressing that so many Americans seem to have no idea about the issues the show raises (however superficially), if this is the only way to get them to give something, then I think it's worth it.

I can't believe I got through the entire episode. Oh, and I had read that the presidential candidates would be making appearances, but I didn't see them. Perhaps that's how they ended the show?


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

American Idol: Top 8

Sorry for the late post--I was on an airplane during Idol last night. Looks like the theme was inspirational songs. Bailey takes exception with the fact that most of the songs sung are not, in fact, inspirational. Here we go:

Michael Johns. "Dream On." What is up with the stupid kerchiefs/scarves/ascots he wears? I didn't like it. The falsetto was absolutely horrendous, and it sounded like he started it a few bars too early, making the end of the song really odd. Did anyone else notice?

Syesha Mercado. "I Believe." I have never liked this song--not from the first time they debuted it in season three. Gobo just asked if they can just ban the song from Idol. But I'm guessing since it was written for the show, that's not possible. I thought Syesha sounded like she was straining throughout the entire song, and the chorus had too many singers, which was overpowering. Oh, and Paula's boobs are ridiculous this week. That outfit has to be really painful.

Jason Cook. "Over the Rainbow." Jason and the ukelele are a comical-looking combination. The uke just looks so tiny. I thought he sounded pretty good, except when he sang those few high notes, which I thought sounded stupid. So I'm not as enamored as the judges, but I did like it.

Kristy Lee Cook. Or, as Gobo calls her "How Is She Still In It?" I know that Martina McBride is considered a great country artist, but are lines like "God is great, but sometimes love ain't good" considered quality? I hope not. As for Kristy, I thought she sounded better than she ever had before. Kristy confuses me, because she was horrid so early in the first rounds, but now she can suddenly sing. I don't get it.

David Cook. "We Are All Innocent." What a horribly awkward song. The cadence is weird, the first verse with the high notes on the word "I" were odd, and I really hated it. This was a definite down night for our front runner.

Carly Smithson. "Show Must Go On." I love, love, love Queen, but even I think this is not one of their strongest songs. I don't really get the choice here--it isn't a very melodic. And I feel a phoniness when Carly sings a song like this. Like she is trying to be a rock star, but she has no real passion. (Uh oh, Paula said much the same thing!) She sounded okay through much of the song, but I didn't like the end.

David Archuleta. "Angels." My guess was that David would choose Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" for inspirational week, but I was wrong. I have never heard this song before, and you all know how I feel about David. But are we surprised to see David do well on inspirational night? Of course not. That's absolutely what he's about. But is there really a market out there for an album by a 17 year old who sings treacly inspirational songs? I don't think so.

Brooke White. "You've Got A Friend." What a song choice shock! But I really love Brooke, and when she sings it makes me happy. Was it super exciting? No. Was it more of the same? Yes. But I love how genuine Brooke is when she sings. I do wish she had done the piano herself, however.

In all, a pretty tepid night.
Best of the night: Brooke, Jason Castro.
Worst of the Night: Michael Johns.
Going home: Syesha. (But wouldn't it be amazing if there was a wonderful, wonderful upset and David Archuleta went home? I do have a small fear Brooke could be in trouble.)


Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm Back (I Hope)

In case anyone was wondering, I have a good excuse for my lack of posting. About two weeks ago, Isaac, Jr., became a big brother. Understandably, this is taking up much of my time. I need a name for the new little man (just for blogging purposes--he has a real name), and Isaac III just don't cut it. And Ishmael doesn't work because (1) Isaac, Jr., is older, (2) they are not half brothers, and (3) one is not more entitled to the patrimony than the other. But enough biblical asides.

A few random comments:

1. Even in the midst of all of this, Mrs. Bartender and I have been watching the excellent John Adams on HBO. When HBO does a show like this, it really pulls out all the stops. Great cast, great locations, and a really good job of trying to condense some important and complex history into under 9 hours. I note that I have a soft spot for Paul Giamatti, not only because his father was the commissioner of major league baseball (and President of Yale), but because someone once actually thought that I was he. Two points: (1) She kept asking if I was the guy from Big Momma's House; I knew she didn't think I was Martin Lawrence, but it was not until I saw Giamatti on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart mocking the role that I finally knew to whom she was referring and (2) Mrs. Bartender assures me I am much better looking than Giamatti is (faint praise, I know); I pray she is right.

2. I also managed to make it to the first game at Nationals Park. First, the Ryan Zimmerman walk off could not have been a better way to consecrate the park. Second, the new stadium is excellent, particularly after three years at RFK. Third, having been to 32 major league stadiums (I'm a little nuts), I would put it in the upper category, but not in the elite few parks such as PNC (Pittsburgh), AT&T (SF), and Camden Yards. (Wrigley, Fenway, and Yankee are in their own category because of their history.) Although my seats have a view of the Capitol (!), it does not equate to the settings offered by the parks mentioned above. It is, however, a great place to watch a game, and hopefully will encourage some top notch players to join the Nats. I give the park a B+, and if the neighborhood develops as appears likely, this grade can certainly improve. I'm heading back tonight (with Mrs. Bartender) for the second of many, many trip in the days and years to come.

3. Finally, a brief political aside. Barring something shocking (e.g., tapes of Obama preaching a la Rev. Wright), Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, and it is high time to end the fight. If Pennsylvania voters recognize that a vote for Clinton is simply a vote for McCain at this point, perhaps they will mercifully end this battle. (The tightening polls offer grounds for hope, but I still think HRC will win PA by between 5 and 10 points.)

I also must disagree somewhat with the optimism some in the McCain camp are offering because the polls all essentially show him tied with Clinton or Obama. Considering that McCain has a unified party behind him while 20 to 30% of Clinton and Obama supporters indicate they will support McCain if their preferred candidate is not nominated and we know that most of these individuals will ultimately support the Democratic nominee, I believe these polls are misleading and the Democratic will quickly find himself (or herself) ahead once the nominee is chosen provided that it does not completely blow up on the way to Denver. And it hasn't yet. So Pennsylvania--we can end it now or we can wait for NC. What do you want to do? Just end it no later than June 4. (I point out that once enough superdelegates announce support for Obama to put him over the 2025 threshold and the networks say as much, there is nothing Clinton can do. This is what happened to Gore when the networks erroneously called Florida and the presidency for Bush. )

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When Idiots Edit

From page 1 of today's NY Times (and above the fold): "When Foreigners by the Factory." I read the headline several times trying to figure out what it meant. I note that "by" isn't capitalized" because it is a preposition even though it should have been "Buy." How could this be missed? I have made my share of typos, but this is egregious.

Here's the article from the Times website without a typo.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Truly Excellent News

Friday Night Lights is coming back for a full, guaranteed, season! It's all thanks to a really interesting deal between NBC and DirecTv that will allow the satellite providor to air weekly episodes beginning October 1 exclusively for its subscribors. The entire season will then be shown on NBC sometime in 2009. Red and I were IMing about this and she mentioned she was tempted to become a DirecTv subscribor just to thank them. Ditto. This was just the news I needed to brighten my day.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

American Idol: 9 remaining

It's Dolly week! I have always been a big Dolly fan, but I don't have high hopes for tonight--Dolly's voice is so distinctive that it will be difficult to really do her justice. But I'm still excited because...Dolly! Yay! (All of the plastic surgery does make me sad, but what can you do?) Here we go:

Brooke White. "Jolene." Brooke should do well with Dolly songs. And she did. She sounded good--it wasn't something that would blow one away, but with Brooke I don't think she needs that. She's just a folksy singer, so she's not about the glory note or dancing around on stage. Unfortunately, at points she didn't seem to get the song--like when she smiled while asking Jolene not to take her man. But other than that, a solid performance.

David Cook. "Little Sparrow." I thought he was good, but not very exciting. And Paula is right--he does look better with the haircut.

Ramiele Mulabay. "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?" Wow, Ramiele is way shorter than Dolly. And Dolly is only five feet tall. At some point during this competition Ramiele has to become special, and she has yet to do that. Once again, she was difficult to hear while singing, and she just wasn't that exciting.

Jason Castro. "Travelin' Thru." Jason should do well with Dolly too. He was mellow, but he sounded really good and seemed natural with the song. So I liked it. Like Brooke and David, not very exciting, but good nonetheless.

Carly Smithson. "Here You Come Again." I am so glad that someone chose a really old school Dolly song. Unfortunately, I didn't love her on the highest notes, but other than that she sounded good. And she deserves some credit for the song choice.

David Archuleta. "Smoky Mountain Memories." Gobo wanted to use the computer for a minute while I was blogging, so I let him do so while David was singing. Why? Because no matter what David did, I knew I would feel the same way about his performance. I can't get past his lack of personality, the fact that he doesn't look or act like any 17 year old I have ever met, and he is just puppet-like. So, yeah, that's about it.

Kristy Lee Cook. "Coat of Many Colors." I don't know if Kristy's patriotic fans are going to like that she cares more about impressing Dolly than her mother. Somehow, I'm not surprised by Kristy's song choice here--singing about growing up poor and having all the other kids laugh at your coat of many colors is probably exactly what her fan base would go for. (Having said that, I think of this as another classic Dolly song, and I do like it.) Kristy's voice has been sounding a lot better lately--I'm not sure if she was nervous in the earlier episodes or she has gotten better training, but there's no question she has improved. Still, I don't think she is very special. And I hate the bare feet. Did the stylist decide that she shouldn't wear shoes because the narrator in the song is poor and can't afford them? I'm surprised they didn't make her wear, literally, a coat of many colors.

Syesha Mercado. "I Will Always Love You." This was a good choice and Syesha sounded really strong. I think the judges were unduly harsh--she held her own singing a really recognizable song.

Michael Johns. "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right." I think that this was Micheal's best performance to date. He sounded good and was a bit more exciting than the rest.

I'm disappointed the contestants didn't choose the Dolly songs of my youth. Where was "Islands in the Stream?" Where was "9 to 5?"

Best of the Night: Michael Johns, Syesha, Brooke.
Going home: Ramiele. Although I'll put in my weekly plug for getting rid of David A.