Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Bachelorette on ABC

Second week in and already we have a villain on ABC's The Bachelorette. And he's named after a car, unlike the most hated contestant (to this point) Wes who wasn't named after a car but was way nicer to the the gal than this scum bag, Bentley. Oh God but it makes good television when the contestant says horrible things about the woman on camera then goes to kiss her simply because he's competitive and wants her to think (or America) that he's the best guy there. Drop that idea Bentley because now you are the worst guy, not only there, but in all America after last night's airing. I can't imagine you'll get a date in a long time after saying that you don't like Ashley but you'd let her tickle your _ickle. I feel most sorry for Bentley's daughter Cozy,(after Ashley), who waits back in Utah to see if Daddy is bringing home a wife. God help that kid. Let's hope the mother is something wonderful, for Cozy's sake.
Moving on, my front runner is Mickey but E is crushing on West. They are both nice lookers, unlike the guy wearing the mask who even swims in the Bachelor pool with a full black mask on his unshaven face. And what was that shot last night of the masked man on the toilet in his mask. Come on ABC! Do you really need to show that? My theory is that Jeff (masked man) has a huge Frankenstein scar across his forehead where he had brain surgery a few years ago when his wife divorced him for being too weird. Or he divorced her (he said) for some lies told in their marriage. "Sure honey, I love it when you wear that mask to bed."
AShley had a one on one date with Prince William, I mean the smiley guy william and although I think he's a fantastic sport for pretending to marry her ("awkward", my 9 year old daughter sang when the minister started the vows), I think he's too young for Ash. Too sweet. If she's leaning towards Bentley, she likes a challenge, a bad boy, someone who doesn't necessarily want her.
Mickey, the chef from Cleveland seems nice but E says he looks weird. I agree but i like that. He's gorgeous but has a weird look. But he did say that he hoped his date with Ashley was his last first date ever and that is the sweetest thing to say EVER!
The Harvard guy is weird as is the masked guy but hey, she's got to keep some of them around just for fun right? She can't fall for all of them. (mickey)
Next week, it looks like Bentley tells her he's going home to Utah to his Family Fun Center because she's not his type and she goes to bed to cry. In my opinion, she should send up fireworks of rejoice and hopefully now knows that. Keep watching.
It's my shameless guilty pleasure, watching this stupid show. I love to see the group dynamics, the dating, the drama, the costumes, the locations, the editing. Even though I know the odds are against it, I still hope that two people will find each other in the process and end up wildly in love.
Out for now.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Soccer at Nike Headquarters

I just returned from Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton Oregon where hundreds of 14 year olds are battling it out on the soccer field for the chance to be the Premier Cup Manchester United American Champions. May I say that my son was the goal keeper representing the State of WAshington in this competition and although we weren't allowed to travel with, or even talk to him except by text and phone, we drove to Portland on Saturday to watch our son play. on the Ronaldo fields at Nike. Man that is one fine place to work with it's manicured grounds, child care center and man-made lake.
My son's Crossfire team (state champions) stayed together in a hotel, travelled by Crossfire vans, ate together at the hotel, slept when they were told to and wore identical clothes the whole 4 days. It was freaky to see your child across a field, not be able to touch him or talk to him and not know how the weekend is going. Texts were sketchy with excuses like, "my phone died" and "I lost my phone for a few hours". My husband, daughter, two dogs and I drove for 4 hours to catch a glimpse of the same kid who used to be the toddler who always planned to live with Mama and Daddy, only to have him leave the field after his game en masse without looking over at us. Freaky.
Yesterday when I saw the team watching another game on the sidelines, I did go up to the child I gave birth to, sat down beside him on the rock wall and said hello. He smiled, was polite but I could tell he was thinking "Mom! No one else is talking to their mothers!" It was strange for all us Moms who'd driven down from the Seattle area to support our children from a distance. When the team lost, I wanted to hug my child knowing how much he'd counted on making it to the finals but instead sent a text that said "You played great. I'm so proud. Love Mom".
The best reaction I got from my texts this weekend was when I told him I was walking his dog who was loving the forest and trails that web the Nike acreage and he said "I bet." Into that, I read that he was thinking about his dog and the fact that as well as being a soccer player, my son is the member of the family who made the trip to support his efforts in trying to be the best 14 year old GK ever. His dedication to the sport is admirable and I am so proud that he has a passion like soccer to pour his athleticism into. This experiance of competing against the best 14 year old soccer players in the country has been a fantastic experiance for him even if they won't be going to the Championships in England this summer. And it has prepared me a tiny bit for the day when my son doesn't live in our house, eat our meals, drive with us everywhere. Oh my breaking heart...
Just sayin'.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lauren and Scotty Battle for Idol Top Spot

Ok America, you want a country flavored Idol. I get it. You want the young, the innocent, the talented, the mainstream, wholesome, middle America sweetheart. Does this have anything to do with the need to believe in the American Dream right now, in the wake of OBL's death? I can't help but wonder how you let Pia and James slip through your fingers, but I accept that you want this and our final two are from the same mold. They are horrifyingly similar in many ways and different in only a few.
Lauren has a rock edge to her voice, something Scotty lacks, but then Scott McCreedy is pure country with all the cheese and swagger of someone from the 1950 Grand Ole Opry era. Lauren is a girl, Scotty is a boy but other than that they are both teenagers, God loving, southern- accented, fresh faced kids with big careers ahead, if they don't get swept into the Hollywood scene too quickly. What I have trouble understanding is that there aren't more of us out there who wanted some competition on the final night. I have craved a good showdown of country versus blues or metal versus pop (Pia and James again) but instead on Tuesday we'll be comparing apples to apples, voting for song choices or gender, instead of actual talent. These two TeenIdols are equally talented, have grown tremendously in their weeks onstage and are ready to have this competition end so they can get on with their careers. At this point it should be uber-exciting but this year it's boring.
And do we really get to choose who gets eliminated every week? I'm not talking votes because I believe that part is all on the up and up. Texting teens seem to be the ones who are ruling the votes this year even though they say the average Idol watcher is 45. I'm talking air time, editing, who gets their face on camera more than others. You can't tell me that Nigel Lithgoe (the Idol creator) doesn't stand in the editing room directing whose story gets the most camera time, thereby allowing the American public to sympathize with Nigel's favorites. We saw very little of Haley, virtually nothing of some other talented singers who barely made the top 24 but from the beginning we followed Lauren and Scotty. Steven Tyler even told Lauren that she might be "The One" in her original audition. I don't think in his wildest dreams he ever envisioned Haley Rinehardt as a finalist. That in itself is satisfying, that someone whose parents were barely seen on camera, slipped through to the top three. I have an image of Nigel Lithgoe doing one of those Mwaaahaahaaa evil laughs in the editing room, while making hand washing motions in the air.
And the judges can sway our votes. They have a say in all this too. Their comments can make or break a singer's longevity. Okay, J Lo has a 'crush' on Scotty, didn't care for Haley, and Steven loved Lauren from the moment she brought her family into the audition room to sing his hit song to him. Don't get me wrong, I love the combination of the three judges now but I have a bone to pick with two of them. Promoting your dwindling career and staging a come back during your tenure as an American Idol judge, is kind of smarmy and I resent that you used us, J Lo and Steven. J Lo needed this to launch her album, her comeback, her legs, and Steven needed this for his solo career when Aerosmith disbanded.
Randy is now my favorite American Idol judge because all he does in the line of promotion is plug that he used to work with certain bands. His promotion is obvious and is the kind that familiarizes people with what you've done, not the kind that plugs what you're doing. He's not trying to sell more records or get a movie career. While I'm harping about J Lo, I want to say that having every third commercial on Idol feature J Lo and her airbrushed legs, makes me like her less each week. And last week when she threw in that comment about how she was performing in front of 20,000 with no sound and just kept singing, like a real trooper, was so obvious I laughed out loud. We get it, you are a big star in your own mind as well as on Fox. How about just concentrating on being a judge next year? Watch Randy for pointers on how to do that.
As for Scotty and Lauren, I'm sure they are kissing their crucifix necklaces this weekend, polishing their twang and fretting about  whether to go for the high notes. America will get what they asked for on Tuesday night. A good ole' down home, country sing off. I'm not voting because I don't care who wins for the first time in years.
Over and out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

American Idol - And then there were two

Tonight we will wittle the top 3 to 2 and I'm thinking Haley (The Comeback Kid) might be safe after her astounding version of a Led Zepplin song last night. She rocked the house, we got to see her with Daddy Rhinehart and for the first time in many weeks we got more of a glimpse of the likeable girl who is Haley. I voted for her twenty or so times and no one else.
Scotty was smarmy-good, as usual, and Lauren proved once again that her chops are awesome but she's not ready socially for the Idol staff to move in and make a star of her. I must say whoever is dressing her is doing one bang up job though. It would be funny for Haley to wear Lauren's stuff and visa versa. Someone must have told Haley her best asset is her little shapely legs though, and she shows them off like that's the only thing she has going for her. Last night Haley's outfits were a step up from the disasters she has worn in previous weeks. The fringey mini was darling. What a come back she is making with her song choices and her amazing voice!
I think Lauren will get eliminated tonight and there will be loads of tears but when you don't actually believe you deserve the honor (as mentor Beyonce talked about last night), how can we believe it? We've brought you as far as we can, sweetie.
And Scotty...I have no doubt that you are one talented dude, fully deserving of a career in Nashville with your own bus, fiddle player and jeweled microphone. I just don't see you as the Idol and I'm not sure if America does either. Only 7 days will tell.
I'm usually surprised on elimination night though so I'll be prepared for anything in an hour. Unfortunately now that James and Pia are gone, I'm not that invested. Any of them could win and I wouldn't cry for the others. This is no race with David and David or Adam and Chris. This is different in many ways. Either way, the top two will finally have a girl in there andI'm hoping for Haley.
What about you?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Writing and SElf Publishing and Writing

Wow! Firstly I can't believe I figured out a way to get to the internet and be able to blog again. My computer is like a stupid relative that ...no wait that is my laptop. It is an unwanted relation that only works minimally and...never mind. The analogy sounded really great when I thought of it this afternoon but now, I can't remember the super-funny metaphor.
Writing...if anyone out there actually reads this blog, I'd like to say that I love to write, love to read my words back and then post them. What is that? Do I actually think I'm so interesting? Well, that is the nature of blogging and I guess I do. Everone should blog and think they are this important.
This week I'm at a strange impasse. I've got a finished novel. Done. Until someone tells me to change something, it's over. I"ve re-worked the ending so many times, I'm sick of the beginning. I have queries out there but no one seems too interested. WHY? I'm a first timer and that is like having leprosy. Or trying to get the lead in a Brad Pitt movie. I'm considering E self pub in the fall.
 I have two other novels in the same condition. Both finished, both good stories, both in need of serious editing but I'm leaving them until some interest is generated.
 I wrote a contemporary romance novella and submitted it at the beginning of the week. (Actually, I wrote it, edited for two weeks, then submitted) to Heartbreakers and Heroes. It's a sweet little story. Set around the L.A. reality show industry. I like it and I have to say that if it sells, I'll reconsider writing romance, which seems to be the only genre that is really selling.
I'm doing several blogs, including one for our community paper The Patch. I have to be way more careful what I say on that one but that makes it a good challenge.
Every day I write, edit, compose. My house is a mess. My kids and dogs are neglected to a certain degree which still leaves them spoiled. Today I went back to my first novel and am working on it a bit. I will re-query that one this summer seeing it generated the most interest because of its subject matter. Adoption in Taiwan.
My critique group has lost some of its inertia, but will be gearing up again soon to run full steam ahead. There are four of us really working it right now. Three with finished manuscripts, waiting for agent representation, hoping for publication and the fourth is writing an awesome novel that needs basically nothing from us, as she writes. Me, I take 23 passes at the same sentence but she writes it perfectly the first time. Another active member is starting to write a YA novel and has awesome advice and needs awesome advice. Several are sitting on the sidelines this year. I love my critique group. I only wish I could think of a catchy name for us besides The Nitpickers or An Awesome Group of Professional Women Who Write and Meet Every Other Thursday at a BAr in Kirkland. Is it any wonder why we writers band together to support each other like this? There are millions of us out there, trying to get a book deal. Ha Ha. I almost typed record deal and then remembered that was my old life. That reminded me that they say you must spend 13 years to learn a new craft to the point you get REALLY good at it. In that case I have about 7 more years to go unless I spend more than 2-3 hours a day on that craft. Which I do. Which brings me to the point of doing this blog. I write because I love to do it, whether I'm working on a novel, a story, a blog or an email and today I needed a few more hours to write to cut that 13 years to 10!
Thanks for listening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Writing Versus Housework, DWTS and Idol

It's Monday morning, rainy outside, here in Seattle and the last thing I want to do is tackle the mess that is known as my house. Instead I shall execute a method of time management that allows you to do the fun stuff but sets aside an hour here and there to buckle down and get something done. At precisely 11 am, I will move away from the computer, go upstairs and organise my children's clothing which is strewn all over their floors. Has been for weeks. Either my kids have way too many clothes or we have way too few dresser drawers and hangers because you cannot see their bedroom floors for the clothing. I feel so badly for my children that this has happened but as good sports they are functionning, in spite of their clothing problems. After I can see the rug in their bedrooms, I will vacuum. That is if I still have time in that one hour block that I set aside to do this. That's how the time management system works. At the one hour mark you are allowed to drop everything and go back to fun stuff, which in my case means writing.
Today I am working on querying more agents about The Dream Jumper. It's getting turned down on the query alone so I'm thinking a new query is on the horizon. I just hope there are new agents on the horizon too because I have alot of queries out there and need fresh agents who might be willing to take a look at some pages.
Tonight is Dancing with the Stars and although I'll watch, I don't care who wins. It's a popularity contest as well as a dancing contest and I'm not that invested in who gets the tacky mirror ball trophy. Chelsea, the blonde Disney gal, is probably the best dancer of the group and it would be a great boost to her career if she won. Kirstie deserves a mirror ball trophy just for loosing so much weight so fast and RAlph Macchio deserves something for being such a nice guy as well as someone who can transform from a geeky 49 year old in dark ankle socks with ugly shorts to a smokin' hot torreador with spiked hair and eyeliner (a look I kinda like). The football guy is a contender to win also. See? I don't care.
Idol this week will feature the top 3 - Scotty, Haley and Lauren. Haley will go home of course, seeing she's Queen of the bottom 3 and her luck as the comeback kid has got to run out. Either Scotty or Lauren will end up being The American Idol in two weeks and if America wants a teen country crooner, both are talented. They are not anywhere near ready for the fame and attention that will come their way but hey...you don't go on American Idol for the California vacation. You go because you want to be the Idol and even though Lauren won't sing a song called "I'm Evil" (in fun) because she doesn't want America to think she's evil, she has alot of evil coming her way soon and she better get ready. Both those teens better hold onto their cowboy boots because they are about to grow up real fast as the tornado known as the Hollywood Starmaker Machinery sweeps them up. It'll be interesting to see what happens this year but like DWTS, I'm not invested anymore and probably won't vote. When Pia left and James got kicked out, I lost faith in the American public's ability to vote a worthy and ready candidate to become a recording star. We lost the two singers who would've made something amazing of the opportunity. CAn you say Chris whatever his name was two years ago?
It's almost my hour to do the kids' rooms so I'd better get myself prepared for the boredom and gulp down that last cup of coffee. The house doesn't clean itself although I wish someone would invent something better than that rhumba thing that hardly picks up the dog hair and needs to be emptied every two minutes.
As always, thanks for listening.

Friday, May 13, 2011

James Durbin Leaves Idol

I won't pretend I'm not surprised to see James leave Idol. He was the one contestant that never looked like a deer caught in the headlights, who commanded the band behind him, who loved the audience almost too much. He came into this thing an accomplished performer, a showman and brought everything he had to the table. Without ever hearing his story of Tourettes and Aspbergers, his past with being bullied, his son at such a young age, James Durbin was vote-worthy as a singer alone. When he sings rock he brings the house down. When he tackles a more quiet song his voice is lacking but his emotions take over to the point that we don't give a flying fig what he sounds like. But Wednesday night the American public chose to let him go and since last night's elimination, I've been trying to understand what happened. I, for one, voted only for James, having learned my lesson with Pia. He was my favorite and I want to buy his music after this so I sat on the phone for 30 minutes voting repeatedly for the singer who loves the WWF and sings heavy metal. America did not come through for James and I think I know why.
He's going to move on to a successful recording career fronting his own band Daughtry-style, but both Scotty and Lauren will move into the top two after next week, I'm sure. America is ready for a country idol and these teens are ripe for the pickin'. They both have developped their talent and charisma onstage over the last few weeks to the point that they are almost ready for what will meteor their way in a few months. They both have strong faith in God, choosing songs that support Christianity and let's face it, right now a large part of America is feeling protective about it's religion and roots. And they both are wholesome role models for teens which is something we lack these days. Scotty and Lauren are good Idol material.
What's really funny and surprising is poor ole Haley still hanging on, even though she's a regular in the bottom three and not a favorite with the judges. Her tenacity is endearing and the sympathy vote was in full swing this week, keeping her yet another week to mis-choose her songs and wear tacky clothes.
I'll miss James but look forward to buying his music even though he was looking forward to the title, the redemption and the glory. it was a sweet moment last night when he went through the audience twice, trying to kiss his wife Heidi, once getting poked in the eye with her nose and once actually planting a kiss on her lips. Hopefully today he realizes that it's probably better to get on with his career and is signing with Jimmy as I type this.
Over and out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I turned 54 - Birthday

Yesterday was my 54th birthday and I have to say although most days I feel 44, yesterday I felt every day of my years. I'm not sure why, but it could have had something to do with the girls' weekend I'd just come off of. Keeping up with 40 year olds is a challenge and even though I am aware of my limitations, I did not think that one of them was having a busy weekend in San Francisco. I did not drink heavily, I did not stay up late partying, I did not do anything that might have jeopardized my ability to keep up and contribute to the group of 7 gals, but still I came home feeling like a truck ran over me.
So my question is this: At 54, is it too much to ask your body to have a glass of wine at lunch, two or three with dinner, wear high heels, talk loudly, hold in your tummy, miss a few hours of sleep and breathe second hand smoke for three days? I wouldn't have thought so, especially because I got lots of sunshine time, fresh air, did loads of deep breathing, drank gallons of water and even did lengths in a lovely swimming pool. Maybe my downfall was the exertion of looking good. Not only endeavoring to keep up socially with 6 younguns' I was stylin' myself all weekend, and that might have been what did me in. Wearing heels is hard for long periods of time, as is worrying about makeup, hair and if you add a cute factor to the group or the old lady factor. I felt good, thought I looked good, and functioned with all that in mind. I think that is what was exhausting, along with plane travel and car sickness when the taxi driver zig zagged our way to the airport to avoid the traffic to the Giants game on Saturday.
Regardless, I'm grateful and in awe that my husband saw the need for me to go to San Fran at the 11th hour, found the air miles and booked me. I'm grateful for my sensitive husband, my generous friends (E girl) and my good genes that allow me to act like I"m 40 even though my body is telling me today to take the restful nap of a 54 year old.
Thanks for listening...