The Du-par’s Legend Continues

After reading this blog, I feel sorry for my friends that need to find a new job.  However, having dealt with threats from the landlord for MONTHS because we were always late paying the rent, I am not surprised this happened.  Biff, what are you doing opening a new location in Vegas?????  Have you even formed the corporation that signed the lease?????  Wow, how do companies not notice that the corporation on the lease doesn’t exist, and therefore the lease is not valid?  Ah, but there I go on a tangent!

GLAD I don’t have to deal with this anymore!

American Idol – R&B/Soul Night

So yeah, curse you Central Time again!  Missed the first performer!  At least it was not one of my top picks!

Siobhan Magnus (01) – missed this, but the tale end of her walking into the back room didn’t seem very, how shall I say, encouraging.  Hope she’s not stressing.

Casey James (02) – wow, do I need to change my favorite????  HE FREAKING ROCKED.  This is the first time I REALLY liked him.  He sounded great and the guitar ripped.  Hmmmm, Ellen?  No blonde comment tonight?  I totally agreed with Simon, this was his BEST performance so far!  And he didn’t seem nervous and seemed quite comfortable performing.

Michael Lynche (03) – while I need to admit this didn’t have the PIZZAZZ as Casey’s performance, it was very, very good.  I think he did an excellent job, his voice was right on.  His guitar playing was even good.  But…..I…..was……bored…….sorry.

Didi Benami (04) – Some very nice notes for sure.  She had way more depth of her voice than I’ve heard before.  But there were a few notes that were….uh……off.  I would say I will not be voting for her, but I didn’t hate it or anything.

Tim Urban (05) – I have to confess again……his hair bugs me.  He signs way better than I do.  Some things even sounded…..nice…….a little.  It wasn’t painful or anything.  I think he could make a girl very happy.  I am not that girl, though.

Andrew Garcia (06) – Me gusta Andrew.  I have always like him.  He has had a rough time, really since his audition, where he wowed everyone.  He sound good tonight – it felt a little high for him – but he was not off or anything.  His voice was even pleasant.  But I didn’t get all excited and whoop and holler and such.  I think he will make it, but I am not totally convinced he should get the overall win.  I’m still a fan though!

Katie Stevens (07) – again, she was my fav during audition week – her story and her grandma gets me.  The last few performances I’ve chilled a little – she hasn’t risen to the level I expected I suppose.  But I think she was brave to take on a tough song like this!  Aretha?  Wow!  The neck movements helped a lot!  And her voice!  Wowzers!  I think this teenager just went up a few steps in my opinion of her, and I suspect the nation will agree.  Except for the judges, of course…..what do they know?  Except for that brunette that I can never remember her name……Cara?

Lee DeWyze (08) – he is not my fav.  Never really was.  I say that (along with the others) because I need to be real here so you know my perception of them influences my review of them.  It goes both way, I know.  But he hasn’t sung a word yet and I think I won’t like it.  There, being real again.  Although he HAS wowed me before (see earlier posts).  His raspy voice I dig this week.  I should add that I believe Deana REALLY likes him.  Hmmmmm.  Dilemma.  I liked him tonight too, he sounded great and his guitar helped, too.  I am a sucker for guitars.  But he is not at the top yet.  Dilemma indeed.  (Deana really liked it, for those keeping track.  Gulp)  Great, the judges thought so too.  Could D be right?!?!!?!

Crystal Bowersox (09) –  okay, she is my #1 pick for this season, at least so far.  Did I see with my own eyes that she was not playing the piano????  Well, okay, lame…..but the singing?  Wowzer x 100!  I would buy her freaking album people!  She seemed a bit akward without her guitar, but that voice of hers……holy moly!  Vote for her people!  She IS in it to win it!  Woohoo!

Aaron Kelly (12) – no comments about the eyebrows…..doh!  Epic fail.  Let me say here that Usher – who I don’t really listen to – did an excellent job helping the singers.  And my Mom (Rivera) LOVES him and thinks he’s sexy!  LOL  Aaron, the hair man…  But I can’t diss your voice – you sounded great.  But I think you tried too hard, because you started strong but somewhere you lost it.  Good, but not great.

My top pics for the night – Crystal, Casey, Lee.

My pic for adios – Didi or Tim.  Based more on the judges than anything else really.  Except maybe their singing.

The End of Freedom

I understand lots of people are worked up about the recent passing of the Health Care Bill.  I understand that this bill is not the best, and I also know there are strong opinions regarding it on both sides.  One of the things about this country I LOVE is that we can EXPRESS our differing of opinions – it really only matters when we don’t agree, don’t you think?

Having said that, I have a friend who has been on a rant since the bill passed saying that, for the first time in 200 years, our freedom has been taken away from us.  He bases this on the fact that, for the first time in USA History, we are being forced to do something – in this case, purchase health care or face fines.  While I can’t contest the fact that he is unhappy about this new rule,  I  can understand his opinion regarding if it’s right or wrong for our government to set it.  But his point about freedom got me thinking.

So, for the first time in our history, our freedom to choose – per his assertion – has been taken……

……I wonder how a woman that lived from 1776 to 1920 would feel about that statement, given that she was not allowed to vote at all and even in many cases not allowed to own land, divorce her husband, etc. based on the fact that she was not a man.

……I wonder how black slaves from 1775 to 1864 (corrected) felt about the freedoms available in the USA, and the blacks from 1814 to 1964 who were also not allowed to vote, forced to eat in different places, go to different schools, drink from different fountains all because of their race.

……I wonder how many couples exist like my Aunt and Uncle, who were forced to go to a different state to marry because they were a mixed race couple and marriage was forbidden to them in their home state.

……I wonder how our freedom felt to the Japanese who were grouped into concentration-type camps during WWII just because of their race – some of which had even been BORN in the USA.

……I wonder if he thought about the millions of couples who have been told they cannot marry nor experience their love openly and legally at the state and federal level merely based on the fact that they love someone of the same sex.  (Or, even in this day and age, lose their jobs – even those serving in our military branches for years and years – if the fact that they’re gay is found out!)

……Even today, I am not allowed to purchase alcohol on Sunday nor do I have a decision about whether I want my children immunized or not if they are to attend public school.  Freedom indeed.

So, yes be upset about this bill if you choose.  Throw up your hands and make signs indicated your disdain.  Call your government representative and raise hell.  That is your right.  But please, if you’re going to make broad statements about “losing freedom for the first time in history”, then maybe you should check yourself.

Gina OUT.

Why It’s Cool to be Apathetic

I have lived over 42 years, and yet I haven’t learned the lesson that being honest, open, and direct get me nowhere.  I will hear statements like “you don’t appreciate me” when I call out someone’s bad behavior.  If I DARE to share that my feelings have been hurt, I am told I am too sensitive.  Yet, when other react the same way to something I’ve done, I am insensitive.  So, I am sharing with you as I remind myself – hang onto apathy.  There is much less drama involved.

More About Driving in Texas

So, since moving to our own place, I’ve gone from using all these tricky streets to get to work to instead taking a freeway.  For some reason, the freeways out here had previously freaked me out.  Well, I actually do know some of the reasons.  First of all, many are “toll roads”, and I don’t mean like in Cali where you are warned well in advance.  Here, there is no real warning and many don’t even have places where “out of towners” can pay with cash.  So, if you don’t have the fob thingy, you’re busted.  To add to that, there is drama going on where one agency is charging HUGE, EXCESSIVE fees for “lost bills” – so thousands never get their ticket for let’s say $70, so next they get a revised ticket for $1,200 for “not paying” in the first place!  Didn’t get that one either?  Now your fee is $2,500…….So that freaked me out.

But even the FREEways freaked me out at first.  It’s kind of weird here in Texas – there are no “real” on ramps…..but you have to drive on the frontage road – which is basically a road parallel to the freeway – and then jump on whenever there is an opening.  To add a little stress, usually where there is a “jump on” point, there was previously a “jump off” point and THOSE cars get the right of way.  Stressful to those who think the whole thing is sort of crazy.  I won’t even talk about getting to a business that is located on the frontage road…..which side?  So I have to loop back?  Aaaaggghhhhh.

But, having gotten past the change with entering and exiting the freeways, that brings up the crazy merging of the freeways.  They get confusing, too.  For example, there’s the 35 out here.  Although, I am told only California’s say “THE 35”.  Texans say “35”.  Anyway, the 35 runs north and south, although it splits into TWO freeways, running through Dallas and also through Fort Worth.  So you might need to take the 35N-West………or the 35N-East……..and it’s crazy.  OR, you’re on the George Bush (“George Bush”) and you THINK you’re going to head North, but the sign to get on the freeway (well, in this case, toll way) says “West”.  What?!?!!?!

But it’s not ALL bad!  At interchanges, you often see the highway numbers painted in the lanes so you can be sure if you’re gonna make it to the freeway you want.  Pretty paintings, too – just like the highway signs.  You don’t see that in Cali.

So, to bring this post full circle, I now drive the 75 to work……um, I should have said “I drive 75 to work”.  It’s 8 miles of craziness.  The speek limit is 60 mph, weird, but some yahoo Texans ride my ass while I am going 75 like I am an old lady heading to church.  Then there ARE the “old ladies”, driving around 40 mph, who slam on their brakes if there is even a HINT of brake lights ahead (no matter if they are half a mile away!).  But the most shocking thing are the big rig trucks – they can drive IN ANY LANE!  I OFTEN see them in the fast lane, tooling along with not a care in the world!  THAT is going to take some getting used to!

Alas, I AM getting used to the freeway – at least the 75 – and don’t really mind the commute at all.  I feel like I’ve grown up a little, now……I drive on the freeway!

Gina OUT!

American Idol – Top 12 and the Rolling Stones

So I missed the first ten minutes……sigh……Curse you Central Time!  Oh, and for my “friend” who deleted me from FB, funny that you still come to this page!

Michael – I missed his song, but I bet it sounded great!

Didi Benami (02) – I really REALLY liked her song!  She sounded on key to me and had a depth to her song.  Cheers for this.

Casey James (03) – at first I was like, this song is too big for him.  But when he went full voice, I was like…..Yeah, sing it brother!  I love the blues feel to it and his hair looks MUCH better down than in a pony tail!  🙂  Slide guitar wasn’t that bad, either.  Can I add that Ellen is HILARIOUS?

Lacey Brown (04) – so she is a church girl, huh?  That’s kinda cool, actually!  She has that hip hair AND can be a Christian, you know?  Anyway, her singing didn’t impress me nearly as much as her story and the way she looks.  She sounded……scared.  But I think she has potential…..though she may have tried a bit too hard……

Andrew Garcia (05) – no guitar tonight man?  But boy, do I love this man’s voice!  Nice use of the voice – soft one moment, rough and full the next.  The song itself…..not so much…..but I liked him very much.

Katie Stevens (06) – the story of her Grandma and her love for her touched me during the audition phase of this season.  Her voice, especially for her age, impresses me.  I think she did “okay” tonight….I liked her voice, but I am not sure I would sit and listen again.  Maybe it was the song, I don’t know.

Tim Urban (07) – a raggae version of “Under my Thumb?”  Seriously?  NOT…..A……FAN.  Oh, and the singing?  SUCKED.  Sorry.  Rediculous.

Siobhan Magnus (08) – word of advice from a woman with a big nose like myself – not a good idea to put a piercing to emphasize!  I have to admit, though, her voice was pretty good.  Much better at the higher notes.  A few pitch problems.  Oh wait, I was gonna say something nice, but that screaming at the end scared the crap out of me.  What the hell was THAT about?!?!!?!

Lee DeWyze (09) – I will be straight with you, this guy is not my fav.  I see him, and I start by not liking him.  He has a steep road to climb to impress me.  But I have to tell you – I loved his song!  His raspy voice was……NICE!  He seemed so  WITH the song, comfortable, and I really enjoyed listening to him!  This was the first song I really thought “I need to vote for him” tonight!

Paige Miles (10) – another church girl – right on!  I don’t have strong feelings for Paige, but I have to say, I love that she always sings songs that don’t necessarily fit the stereotype for a young black woman.  And this song seemed so effortless for her.  And dang it girl, she was in tune for the whole song and dammit, I think I will buy her freaking iTune song for that performance!  What?!!?!!?  She was struggling with her voice this week?  NO WAY!  Amazing.  She gets my vote for SURE!

Aaron Kelly (11) – again, sorry, I can’t get past his eyebrows.  When he was younger, they looked FINE!  His hair looked cool tonight, though.  And I resent this, but I can’t say one bad thing about his singing tonight, either.  He even sounded…….gulp…….GOOD.  I agree with Randy, those “tender moments” were very good.  And, have I mentioned that ELLEN IS HILARIOUS?

Crystal Bowersox (12) – Another transparent moment – I love her.  She is one of my favs, if not my very favorite.  Her voice is so…..timeless.  She could be in the 60’s a la Janice Joplin.  She can be in the 90’s a la Melissa Ethridge.  I could sit for hours and just listen to her.  She is naturally talented and so entertaining.  HER VOICE IS AMAZING.  Freak.  I think I want her to win, seriously.  VOTE FOR HER WOULDYA?  Oh, and she made the song her own, you know?  I love her.

What is Reality?

So, often in my life I am faced with situations that are not……well……pleasant.  Either I am confronted by my own bad behavior, or that of others, or just circumstances that are tough.  Everyone deals with these sorts of things, for sure.  But, it’s how we REACT to it that makes us different.

For example, one of my former co-workers lost her 18-year-old daughter in a tragic, really pathetic car accident.  My co-worker and her husband were obviously devastated, which is completely understandable, yet they kept a peace about them and often encouraged those around them that were also dealing with the pain of the situation.  As Christians, they pointed their responses to their Lord.  Years later, I am still amazed by their reaction.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are those that justify their bad behavior over and over again.  They are not emotionally mature enough to confront situations, but instead keep perceived hurts to themselves, avoiding or hurting the offender with passive-aggressive behaviors or outright rudeness.  I often find that there are whole clans that reinforce this behavior by either ignoring it or outright enabling it by offering excuses or statements like, “well, that’s the way she is.  You know we {enter name here} just don’t know how to communicate”.  All the while, their tacit acceptance of the behavior gives it credence.

I have been through the spectrum myself.  I have been very proud of the way I’ve reacted to situations, and very disappointed in myself.  I suppose I’d be pretty good at offering excuses when I’ve experienced an epic fail…….even as I look at others and point out that their excuses are lame.  So, as I encourage my 2.78 readers to consider their reactions this week, it also is a reminder to me……..our reactions are huge areas we are measured by.  The things that bug us the most might be characteristics that manifest themselves often in our own lives.  Patterns exist.  Think about it.

American Idol – Boys Night

Lee Dewyze – okay, I love the song he sang.  I listen to it almost everyday on the radio.  And my reaction?  He screwed up a song I love.  There, I said it.  Dude, you sucked.  Sorry.  Although, apparently, the AI Judges see things differently.  😦

Alex Lambert – excuse me, do I need to clean out my ears?  So far, both boys so far seem to be singing in the key of y.  Sorry Alex, maybe I’m still irritated with Lee, but I didn’t like your song AT ALL.

Tim Urban – first, what is the deal with your hair?  But, your guitar playing is good.  And wow, you are singing IN KEY!  I actually liked what you did with the song…..a bit different.  You get a thumbs up.  But I didn’t have a David Cook moment…..sorry.

Andrew Garcia (5704) – he has been high on my like list so far this season.  He has his own style.  Wow, Genie in a Bottle?  He looks so RELAXED!  He sounded SO GOOD!  His stylings are his own!  I have nothing to say other then I loved it!  But, of course, the judges just didn’t see it.  I have no idea what they’re seeing tonight.

Casey James (5705) – okay, he’s cute.  I give him that.  I was not sure about his song choice – Keith Urban is a fav and well, has big shoes to fill.  But I have to say, even though he had a few pitch issues, I think he did a pretty good job – especially with tonight’s fair.  He has a nice, natural voice.  But, alas, he hair was bugging me.

Aaron Kelly – I have to get this off my chest…..his eyebrows bug me to no end.  But beyond that, it would have been nice if just ONE NOTE was not in the wrong key!  If I had the remote, I would have muted that sucker!  I expect the judges to have loved him……

Todrick Hall – GREAT start to a classic song!  Then, as the lights turn on and the background singers get projected on the big screen behind him, I have no idea what the hell came out of his mouth!  There were admitedly some good parts in this song, for sure, but many that were BAD.  I don’t know how to process that.

Michael Lynche (5708) – “Big Mike” and a high voice…..hmmmmm……but it was soothing to my ears.  His suit was a nice touch.  I really didn’t resonate with the song he sang, but his voice was nice.  And he has a nice stage presence.  That mike looked tiny in his hands!  Wow, and the judges saw it too!  Are the planets aligning??????

Notice the names with the numbers – if you are reading this within 2 hours of the end of your broadcast, I’d appreciate it if you’d vote for them.  🙂  Because I have a problem – my cell phone is a California number and in PST.  But I am living in CST, two hours later.  So, AI won’t accept my vote after I watch the show and I am NOT staying up until 11pm to vote!  So, help a girl out!