I watch American Idol, and think they should have a 5th judge. A non-industry, @home, real person point-of-view. Mine. Until Simon Fuller, American Idol producer, starts taking my calls, here is my weekly rundown of the contestants.
Billboard Hot 100, since it began
This is a dream song range for the contestants because they can choose songs they love, know, and are suited to their voices. These should be the songs they've been singing for years. Let's see who screws up the easiest range of song choice.
#1 - Jasmine Murray
Cute high school student. She sang Love Song. Pitchy. Pitchy. Pitchy. I'm disappointed she didn't shine because she has a great voice and is a complete package. Jasmine just couldn't pull it together on this song. She is only 17, so she should come back in 2 or 3 years.
#2 - Matt Giraud
Matt sang a Coldplay song. I thought I knew the song, but I think Matt butchered it to the point of no recognition. I was looking for the amazing-voiced Hollywood week guy but he was not there. This was not enough to put him through...Unless all the other buys bomb.
#3 - Jeanine Vailes
Jeanine picked a Maroon 5 song. Wrong song choice. Pitchy. I suspect her voice is so much better than this song. She should have done a Christina Aguilera song where she could have shined. It was a train wreck. She does have great legs. I think if the Pussy Cat dolls need another singer, she would fit in.
#4 - Norman Gentle / Nick Mitchell
Norman Gentle performed. He was certainly entertaining. I LOVE Norman Gentle. I was disappointed he didn't showcase is voice as much as he has in the past, because he really CAN sing. Very well.
#5 - Allison Iraheta
The 16-yr old picked a Heart song that is suited to her voice. She knows how to work a mic, that is for sure. Allison's singing was pitchy, especially at the beginning. But I think she brought it after the bridge. I don't think she was as good as the judges made her out to be. She was the best SO FAR.
#6 - Kris Allen
Kris sang Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson. I'm always worried when people pick a Michael song. Michael Jackson, for all his faults, is an amazing singer. There is a reason people in the industry still respect the man. Kris Allen sounded like mediocre karaoke and looked so awkward. Bad song choice. I totally disagree with Simon and Paula.
#7 - Megan Corkrey
Megan sang Put Your Records On. I thought it was a cute performance. She picked a song perfect for her voice. Which, her voice has a distinct sound. She has a unique voice. I think Megan should go through.
#8 - Matt Brietzke
Matt is a welder, who sang Tonic because it encapsulates love. Very low key performance, even when they kicked in with the electric guitar. I had to close my eyes to listen to the song because his hand motions were distracting. I think his voice sounded nice but it was boring, though. Listening to Matt's comments after getting negative feedback on the song choice from ALL 4 judges, makes me I think Matt deserves to go home. He is an idiot. All the judges said bad song choice but he would have done it anyway.
#9 - Jesse Langseth
Jesse sang Bette Davis Eyes. Bad song choice. I think this was a much larger song than her voice is capable of. She sounded shrill. Her clothing was atrocious. Those jeans with that shirt was horrible. At this stage of the game, the contestants need to showcase their voice and their vocal range. Jesse picked the wrong song.
#10 - Kai Kalama
I didn't expect such a safe, cheesy song performance out of Kai. His voice sounded nice. It wasn't the breakout performance people need to bring at this stage of the competition.
#11 - Mishavonna Henson
Mishavona sang Drops of Jupiter. Solid voice. Solid performance.
#12 - Adam Lambert
Adam sang Satisfaction. He brang it. He performed. The song was lively. Adam managed to showcase his voice beautifully. Wow. I loved it!! Great look.
Well, I got my American Idol days messed up. I thought the first night of shows was last night. It's tonight. So I'm switching my entries around.
Over at The Mommy Project, she says you can be 25% happier if you are thankful. I'm very thankful because I have the BEST mother-in-law. Some people hate their MIL's, so I know how blessed and fortunate I am to have this incredible woman in my life.
1. We are friends.
My MIL and I became friends when J and I were best friends. Our friendship continued long distance. In fact, she manipulated the situation for J and I to reunite. Okay, manipulate is a strong word, but it's fun thinking about how her eyebrow just raised when she read that word. Hahaha.
2. Make everyday special
DonnaMomma taught me to use the expensive dishes everyday, on the people I love. She gave all 3 of us girls Henn Workshop dishes. We knew it was awesome, but none of us really realized how amazing this gift was until we had to start replacing pieces her sons (son-in-law) broke. I am VERY thankful for our dish set.
3. Live in your whole home
DonnaMomma's living room and dining room are just that - for living and dining. I grew up not allowed to go into our formal living and dining rooms, except when company came over. Her house is ginormous, so she could easily set these rooms aside. But every room in her house is used for living and life.
4. Great mom
My MIL raised a great son and a wonderful husband. For this, I am VERY thankful. She instilled some amazing values in him and fostered his talents. My husband and his mom have such a good relationship, which makes my life that much more wonderful.
5. Great grandmother
I am so thankful for all the times my MIL cared for our son and daughter. At the time, when our son would spend the weekend over there, I knew we were really, really lucky. These days, we are very fortunate they travel to visit us as often as they do.
Come on. You had to know I was going to use this picture of her. It's such a stark contrast to who she is. Sort of. Her husband traveled a lot for work, which meant she had to do some man things around the house. If the horses got out, she was the one in the rain, fixing a fence. When a snake came close to the house, near her daughter, she got a shovel and killed it. So while my MIL really IS a little, sweet, gentle woman, there is a strength within her. And that is what this photo represents to me.
Look at who is hiring in these tough economic times
I 'shopped' at Goodwill for the first time, ever. J was getting some lamps for the stage at church. We were waiting in the car when the kids said they had to go potty. On the way back out, the kids stopped in the books section. I purchased about 14 kids books for only $7!!
Mini Me loves books, but she also loves tearing the pages. I was able to pick up about 7 hardcover, hardpage books for her to 'read' and ruin - and I don't care if she tears them apart.
When we moved to Chicago from Tulsa, I knew we would need to get winter clothing. We didn't own a winter hat, scarf, or boots. We didn't even own a proper winter coat, or gloves - leather does not count. When I say 'we', I mean between the 4 of us.
When we moved to Chicago from Tulsa, I was TOLD the Chicago winters were FREEZING. And UNBEARABLE. And to be sure we purchased WARM WINTER clothing. Okay. I lived in Toronto. I know it can get brisk at times and I remember the Blizzard of '77.
I set out purchasing warm clothing. Hats, gloves, scarves, boots, coats, snow pants. I even purchased ear muffs for myself. Down became my friend. I reunited with my former friend, Thinsulate. Lots of money was spent.
Well, the Chicago winter has been MIILD as far as we are concerned. It is almost March and I am pissed! The weather people said this winter has been among the worst in Chicago's history. Yeah, there was that record setting cold snap last month. But if this is the worst of the hellacious Chicago winters people talk about, then they are wimps!! Sissies.
Do you know how much I spent on warm winter clothing?? Do you know how many stores I went to, in search of the warm stuff? Sigh.
Well, there is snow on the ground today, for the first time in weeks. The kids are playing in it. I put their old, Tulsa coats on with their warm Chicago snow pants, etc. This snow is bringing me some return on my investment.
I made white chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate while the kids were outside for over an hour. What a great mommy!!!
Now for the truth...
I somehow managed to burn most of the cookies and I just couldn't bring myself to allow the kids to drink out of my Henn Workshops mugs. It's $18 +shipping to replace ONE mug. I appreciate my mother-in-law more and more each time her son breaks a piece of our full set of 10 dishes.
Mini Me requested a crochet elephant from me way back in December!! She has patiently waited while 4 cousins got amigurumi animals. She has patiently waited while her brother got his requested rocket and her friend had a cat made. Mini Me waited patiently while her uncle and her father got a hat!!
Getting an elephant pattern was harder than I thought. I searched and searched and searched. Finally, I found a pattern I liked. Then I found out it was a knit pattern. I need crochet. I tried to do the stitch conversions, but they didn't work out for me. I'm new at this, remember.
So, I made it without a pattern. All on my own. Made it up as I went along. No pattern.
I want to come up with a new name for my blog, and need your help.
Initially, I chose Widney Woman because I was in the midst of getting our house ready for sale. I didn't have time, energy, or the mental where-with-all to come up with something cute. I always used MonyMommy in the past and thought I should break from that. Not sure why. Just did.
To be honest, I stole Widney Woman from Whittaker Woman. I started reading her blogs and she was so much like me and so I thought, "She'll never know me. I'll just make mine Widney Woman". Well, gosh, never say never. While we have never 'met', Whittaker Woman DOES know me. Her family almost stayed at our place over Thanksgiving. We've talked on the phone once. We know each other's real home addresses - a big deal in the blog world. And, I was her husband, Ragamuffin Soul's, 100th tweet on Twitter (I did put pressure on him via the wife and his stomach to get that honor but I got it!).
I see all of these cute blog names and I want a cute blog name. So I am soliciting help from you, my blogosphere:
I watch American Idol and I think they should have a 5th judge. A non-industry, @home, real person point of view. Mine. Until Simon Fuller, AI producer starts taking my calls, and paying me the big bucks, here is my weekly rundown of the contestants, free of charge.
Billboard Hot 100 since it began
This is great because the contestants can choose songs they love, know and are suited to their voices. Let's see who screws up the easiest range of song choice.
#1 - Jackie Tohn
Beautiful girl. Photogenic. The running shoes look odd on her skinny legs. The '70's Studio 57 shiny black pants and tube top outfit was bizarre. Her performance looked polished in a heroin addicted way. Jackie is a sweet girl but her voice was just there with her song pick.
#2 - Ricky Braddy
Nice guy. Likes plaid shirts. His Alicia Keys performance was amazing during Hollywood week. His Leon Russell song choice was nice. I'm sitting here staring at Ricky sing his little heart out and getting drawn into this man's eyes. The scruffy beard is hot. He did transform from Mr. Geek when he was speaking on the couch to a hotty while singing. He's a contender.
#3 - Alexis Grace
Alexis was told to dirty her look up a little bit. She did. She looks great. I didn't think she was strong enough to pull off Aretha vocally. Her performance was good. She owned the song. I want Alexis to stay because I think we will see a lot of great performances out of her.
#4 - Brent Keith
Brent went country. He was believable. Maybe I'm a sucker for a man with deep dimples and skinny legs, but I want this one to stick around. Sadly, I don't think he will. Brent's performance was nice. Safe. Maybe too safe as he didn't show that much range. We'll see if the country fans put their fingers to work.
#5 - Stevie Wright
Nice girl. The song was wrong from the get go. It felt like a high school performance that you grin and bear because your friend's daughter is up there singing her little off-key heart out. Nerves may have gotten the better of this girl. I don't know. I do hope Stevie tries out for Idol next year, or a few years from now when she has more confidence and comes into her own.
#6 - Anoop Desai
Note to contestants: If you are going to sing a song made popular by the opposite sex, change the arrangement. Anoop did himself no favors with this song. I like our South Asian R&B singer. I'm pulling for AnoopDog, but not sure he did enough to make it to the next round. At the very least, he can show America that not all singing South Asians are freaks like Sanjaya, the Season 6 Idol contestant with the ponytail mohawk!
#7 - Casey Carlson
What the hell was that? She had fun? Really? That was just painful to watch. Even more painful than Stevie Wright. Don't let the microphone hit you on the way to the airport, Casey.
#8 - Michael Sarver
I love Michael. I am pulling for him and have from the moment I learned he was a roughneck who can sing. Y'all didn't know 'roughneck' was actually a job title!! Bad song choice. Bo Bice rocked this song like no one else! Bo did this song better than Gavin DeGraw. I am actually praying Michael sticks around. Maybe it is because I love and appreciate the oil industry for making my life amazing for the last 10 years. Mostly, it is because Michael can SANG!!
#9 - Anne Marie Boskovich
I was really pulling for Anne Marie. When I heard her song choice, I was hoping she would come out and belt Natural Woman out and tear the place down. Nope. Nice dress and body though. Call Hef.
#10 - Steven Fowler
Bad song choice with Michael Jackson's Rock with You. People don't realize how good Michael is until they hear someone else try to sing his songs. I was embarrassed for Steven. Cheesy karaoke version, dude.
#11 - Tatiana Del Toro
Freak!! That's how she came across throughout Hollywood week. But Tatiana proved why she is in this competition. She sang Whitney Houston's Saving All My Love For You. And she did the song some justice. Tatiana was able to show a calm, normal side of herself that just might get her in the Top 12. I think I actually want her there now.
#12 - Danny Gokey
I love Danny Gokey. He is the young guy whose wife died. Danny reminds me of Dr. James R., one of my favorite people in the world. This week, he sang Mariah Carey's Hero. Started rough. Randy called Danny the redeemer of the night. I wouldn't go that far. I think they just like him. I found it a bit mellow. I'm with Simon. It was good. Danny's a good singer. But I'm not buying the hype from Randy and the girls.
So there you have it from Judge #5
American Idol, Season 8
The 3 who made it through this week are:
#3 - Alexis Grace
#8 - Michael Sarver
#12 - Danny Gokey
No, Tatiana did not make it through. She cried like a baby. But there is still a wildcard round where she could come back...insert Twilight Zone music...
See, Mini Me was a baby. I was shopping for groceries and whatever else (apparently lipstick) at Wal-Mart. Mini Me was in a baby carrier, in the shopping cart. I put everything on the conveyer belt and paid for my items. When I got Mini Me out of the basket, I saw the lipstick under her seat. I put the groceries in the cargo area then drove away.
On the way home, I got to thinking about the lipstick. I checked the receipt and sure enough, not on there. I would like to say I immediately turned around and returned to Wal-Mart to pay for the lipstick. But I didn't. I had a new baby, you know.
A few weeks later, I was back AND remembered about the lipstick. I picked up the same brand and color. When I checked out, I asked the cashier to charge me for the lipstick and to keep it to return to stock. And thus, my life of crime ended.
I finished a hat for my husband in time for a big snow
fall scheduled to arrive this weekend!
After making a hat for his brother, J asked me to make one for him. We went to JoAnn's together and J picked out the yarn. It was fun to share JoAnn's with him. We've been to Hobby Lobby and Michael's together, but this was a first.
I had some problems getting started, so MAM helped me out again, last Friday, when we met up at a cafe for some fun time together. Have I told you how much I really like MAM? I made this hat a little different from the last one, as I added 2 rows of double crochet stitches at the end, instead of higher up on the hat.
J said he liked it.
But he wasn't willing to model shirtless again...
Be sure to head on over to Lit and Laundry,
the Home of Finished for Friday
Now, for the pattern.
HUSBAND HAT CROCHET PATTERN
Pattern Rows 1-10 adapted from Lion Brand Yarn Easy Stripes Hat #70731AD, minus color mixing.
Note: I tend to crochet tightly so if you have problems, it could be that you are not crocheting tightly enough. Hook Size: H
Yarn: Lion Brand - Bulky in Charcoal
With A, ch 4, join with sl st in beg ch to form a ring.
R1: Ch 1, work 6 sc in ring, join with sl st in beg ch.
R2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each sc, join with sl st in beg ch, 12 sc.
R3: Ch 1, *sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, join with sl st in beg ch, 18 sc.
R4: Ch 1, *sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, join with sl st in beg ch, 24 sc.
R5: Ch 1, *sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, join with sl st in beg ch, 30 sc.
R6: Ch 1, *sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, join with sl st in beg ch, 36 sc.
R7: Ch 1, *sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, join with sl st in beg ch, 42 sc.
R8: Ch 1, *sc in each of next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, join with sl st in beg ch, 48 sc.
R9: Ch 1, *sc in each of next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, join with sl st in beg ch, 54 sc.
R10: Ch 1, *sc in next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, sl st in beg ch, 60 sc.
(Note: Measure the head this is designed for. Increase or stop increasing as necessary to fit your intended adult head. My husband has a big head.) R11: Ch 1, *sc in next 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, sl st in beg ch, 66 sc.
R12: Ch 1, *sc in next 10 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, sl st in beg ch, 72 sc.
R13: Ch 1, *sc in next 11 sc, 2 sc in next sc; rep from * around, sl st in beg ch, 78 sc.
R14-19: Ch 1, sc in each sc around, sl st in beg ch.
R20-21: Ch 1, Double Crochet in each sc around, sl st in beg ch. Fasten Off. Weave in ends.
Join Ravelry.com, the new yarn community of choice!
More details on hats below....
My husband lost his hat on the train last year so I made him another this year. I actually made six of these hats following this pattern for Christmas 2012. It's a versatile pattern and I mixed it up a bit - did some double crochet, added flowers, etc.
I'm not sure why some people in the comments below had a hard time with the pattern. I'm thinking that perhaps they may be crocheting too loosely - I'm pretty tight when I crochet.
Or, they may not be measuring the recipient's head as they go along. I measure to make sure it's not too loose. Once it seems like it will fit snugly, I stop increasing and just crochet the rows until i measure to see if it is long enough to cover the ears and hair of the recipient.
It is really important to measure the crown of the head and the length. I've used this same pattern for my kids and three different men. Some hats I make a little longer or bigger or shorter or narrower.
Here is yet another reason why I didn't want people to know my kids are adopted. Because adopted mommies don't get included in "Mommy Surveys". We aren't included because people don't want to hurt our feelings. But when we find out about it, it just brings up all of these feelings we have to live with. I love my kids and they each have great adoption stories. I don't regret that. I do miss some of the other stuff.
But I am a writer. And good at editing.
Here is my online editing debut...
Here you go mommies - a different kind of survey for a change - it's all about your first born! Just copy and paste it in a new note for yourself!
Let's see how much you remember!
1. Was your 1st adoption fast or slow?
FAST! We thought it would take 6 months to a year of waiting, but within 3 weeks of turning in our book, we were parents.
2. Were you signed with an attorney, private agency, foreign agency, or state agency?
Yes! LOL!! We were signed with DHS, Cherokee Nation, had contact with a private attorney, but it was a private agency that made it happen first.
3. What were your reactions?
4. Was abortion an option for your birth mom?
No. She never wanted to abort. She was going to parent until she learned about open adoption.
5. How old were you? How old was your birth mom?
I was 33. She was 16.
6. How did you find out you were chosen?
Cell phone call from the Birth Mom.
7. Who did you tell first?
My husband who was in the car next to me. Then J's parents.
8. Did you want to find out the sex of the baby?
J did - he wanted to decorate!!
9. Due Date?
May 2nd. He came 10 days early!
10. Was it a closed, open, or semi-open adoption?
Open. Doesn't get much more open.
11. Did you meet the birth mom before or after the birth?
Met her about 2 weeks before the birth.
12. Did you breast feed or attempt to breast feed?
Tried but I had to go back to work for 4 days after his birth and that put an end to that. I feel l lost some valuable bonding time. I did have a friend who had too much breast milk give us her surplus for at least a month. God bless her!
13. What was your first child's sex?
14. Did you wish you had the opposite sex of what you were getting?
No I wanted all boys. I didn't know what to do with a girl. J would have loved a girl but was happy with a boy, too.
15. Did the birth mom have any input in naming the baby?
We let her give options for the middle name.
We chose 1 out of the 3 she gave.
16. Did you have a baby shower?
Yes. 3. After the birth.
17. Were the baby showers a surprise?
I knew. Work. Family. Sunday School.
18. Were there any complications with the pregnancy?
She got pre eclampsia at her last doctor's app't. She was taken to a labor & delivery room where she was strapped to monitors. We thought we were going to have a baby on our lunch hour!
19. Where was your baby born?
Hospital in Tulsa
20. How many hours did birth mom labor?
18 hours total if you count the part where she didn't realize she was in labor. 12 hours from the time her water broke. It would have been shorter, but the epidural slowed down the contractions.
21. Who drove you to the hospital?
22. Who was in the labor and delivery room?
Birth Mom, her house mom, me, my husband, my mom-in-law, doula, some nurses, Dr. Meyers. I cut the umbilical cord.
23. Was it natural or c-section?
24. Did you give your birth mom a gift?
Birth Mother Bracelet made by Kathy Short.
27. How much did your child weigh?
6 lbs 12 oz
28. When was your child actually born?
A perfect Sunday in March at 2:10 pm
30. When did you hold your child for the first time?
It seems my kids really miss our Family Fun Nights. Motor Mouth and Mini Me set this display up on Motor Mouth's bed and put Wall-e on his TV. Then they called me to come watch because it was Family Fun Night!!!
My friend over at Lit and Laundry had to put their beloved cat, Ashleigh, down yesterday, after a brief illness. Ashleigh was a part of their family for 13 years. I didn't know of her long, but she sounded like a really special cat.
We were stuck in traffic on Saturday morning. There were 4 charter buses with the Gatling Chapel name on them.
Gatling CHAPEL. Is that a church? With 4 charter buses???? Wow! Or maybe it is a wedding chapel. That would make sense. What a great idea. Buses for the wedding party and for the guests. Hmmm...That doesn't really make sense. Why would they need 4 buses and that would be expensive.
I called the phone number on the back of the last bus.
"Gatling Chapel. How may I help you?"
"Hi. Is this a wedding chapel?" I asked.
"No, Ma'am. We are a funeral chapel," she replied.
A WHAT?? A funeral chapel with 4 charter buses?? I mean, it makes sense. Can you imagine 50 cars trying to get across a big city like Chicago, to get to the burial site? Great idea. My mom's family would rent the charter buses. They do big, high dollar funerals.
I was so curious, I checked out their website gatlinchapelinc.com. Not only do they do funerals, they have a floral shop, limousine and charter bus rentals, print shop, travel agency, recording studio, radio broadcast, and a 445 acre development (the largest black owned development in the world) with a senior home community, gated estate home community, Loews movie theatre and a complex with Wal-Mart, Applebee's, and about 15 other big name chain stores. I actually went to their Wal-Mart Supercenter last weekend.
The Fairy Blogmother announced a new feature on her little corner of the web: Knowing Me, Knowing You. She posts the questions around the first of the month, and we are welcome to answer them on our own blogs. You might remember The Fairy Blogmother as the Home of What's Cooking Wednesdays which took off like wildfire.
#1 What crafts/hobbies are you into?
Currently, I am into crochet. I really want to get into quilting. I've wanted to get into quilting for many years. Life keeps getting in the way though.
#2 What is your laundry status?
A week ago, there was a thin path to my bed. Now, it's all wood, baby!! All the clothes, sheets, and towels are where they belong. WhooooHoooo! Happy, happy dance!!
#3 You walk into a bank and there are people waiting ahead of you for an open teller. You step into place behind the last person waiting...here's the question...are you waiting in line or are you waiting on line?
I don't understand the question. Not sure about what 'on line' means. Personally, if I can't do it on the computer, I do drive up tellers, not in the lobby.
#4 Do you facebook?
I love facebook. I'm trying to pull back though. Not check it as many times each day.
#5 Where would you like to have a shopping spree and what would you buy?
The Container Store. I would get everything there.
I can't even say Macy's in Chicago because to say it may cause me to covet they neighborhood department store goods - Shoes, purses, watches, jewelry, clothes, perfume. Kids clothes. Clothes for J. Oh my. Oh my. Oh. don't get me started.