Who’s Going Home to Stay? *Update

*Late this afternoon I looked at the website Dial Idol which predicts the person going home based on number of busy signals. It showed Lauren just barely beating out Haley. Scotty had almost as many votes and Haley and Lauren COMBINED. Unless the wheels fall off next week, we’re looking at another guy winner.

I’m looking forward to tonight. Last week, my friend John just happened to be passing through Rossville when Lauren Alaina came through town. And even though he has been speed dialing for Haley from the very beginning, he didn’t let that stop him from running over a group of teenagers on the way to shake Lauren’s hand.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Round One, the contestants choice, and to guide them – Beyonce. BEYONCE, Kittens. The girl is looking good. How awesome would it be if Ryan started calling JLo the SECOND Most Beautiful Woman in the World? Scotty sings Amazed by Lonestar. Beyonce pretends that she listens to country music, but since she’s already said Scotty is amazing, we know that’s not true. Two seconds into the song, I realized I’d never make it unless I closed my eyes. Whew, that’s better. I thought it was solid. Stephen said he took the song up a notch (uh, Lonestar doesn’t need to be taken up a notch, STEVE), JLo says a million girls wish he were singing to them, and Randy says even though it was pitchy, Scotty’s got “money”. I’ll say this, Scotty knows his audience. B

Lauren chose Wild One by Faith Hill. Beyonce tells her to get over her nerves and trust herself. Actually she said a bunch of other stuff, but I edited it for her. You’re Welcome, B. I think she starts off a little low, but she makes it work. The only thing I can’t figure out is why she’s wearing corsages in her ears. Doesn’t that make it hard to hear? JLo says she attacked it, Randy said it was a good song choice, and Stephen says she’s ready for America to be all over her. I thought it was another solid B performance.

Haley’s going to take a chance and sing a Led Zeppelin song with her dad playing guitar. Girl’s bringing back-up! Now say something bad about her, Judges. Wow, they are unanimous in their praise and she deserves it. BEST OF THE THREE. So far. A!

The Judges give the first round to Haley. Duh.

Round Two – Jimmy’s Choice.

Jimmy gives Scotty, Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not? What was that sound? American yelling a collective “NOT” at the television. Okay, Jimmy, now we know why you make the big bucks. This is the first time I thought Scotty actually sounded like a recording star. Stephen loved it, JLo said he was in the zone, and Randy compared him to Garth Brooks. Yes, GARTH BROOKS. Randy, you just officially jumped the shark. Still, I have to give hand it to him – Solid A.

Lauren’s next and Jimmy has chosen, If I Die Young, which he really doesn’t have to worry about. Just saying. Lauren. Kills. It. Her best performance so far. Seriously, I loved it. JLo and Randy point out that she stumbled a bit, but that she sounded great. Stephen says she nailed it. I don’t care if she missed a key change. I don’t know what a key change is. A+

Okay, Jimmy, what do you have for Haley? Stevie Nicks, of course. I love the tone, I love the wind machine, (also known as a fan), I even love the dancing. Goodness, can AI, Season 12 JUST have Jimmy Iovine? Randy says she’s in the zone, Stephen says it reminded him of how much he loved Stevie Nicks, and JLo says it was a pretty contrast to what she did in the beginning. I think the girls are bringing it. WOW. Another A+

Stephen gives the round to Lauren, but the other two say Scotty. I can’t decide. Besides, I’m totally distracted by this cracktastic video by Beyonce. What the WHAT? If girls run the world, why are you dancing in your underwear?

Round Three -The Judges Choice.

A Kenny Rogers song for Scotty? Awesome. I was worried I’d have trouble sleeping tonight, but this performance ought to do it. Worst evah! Stephen says something stupid as usual, JLo says they chose it for the chorus, and Randy said it was nicely done. Beyonce’s video made more sense. C-

LeeAnn Womack’s, I Hope You Dance, is the terrible trio’s pick for Lauren. Well, I didn’t love it. It was just okay. I blame the judges and their boring song choices. Obviously, they loved it. JLo pronounced her the round three winner already, Randy said SIITWI, sigh, and Stephen said he’s happy, LeeAnn’s happy, we’re all happy with that performance. B and I blame them.

Does Haley even want to come out? What’s the point, JLo already gave it to Lauren. You Ought to Know by Alanis Morissetre is the choice? TERRIBLE. These judges suck. They should have stopped the show at an hour. Yuck. Can you tell I don’t like it? Well now we know why JLo was so confident Lauren had already won it. Randy said she rocked out, Stephen said it was perfect, beautiful and amazing. I think it’s time for Liv Tyler to get a Power of Attorney. JLo said the chorus was the strongest part.

Still, a tough choice. But I’m going to go crazy and predict Scotty’s going home. And if not Scotty, then Haley. Or Lauren. What say you?

Are You Ready for Some Randomness?

1. I started a new diet today. Instead of eating breakfast or lunch, you drink 2 Slimfast shakes. Then you eat a sensible dinner.

2. Well, that’s one way to do it. Or you could down two shakes by noon, the stumble into the kitchen like a human Hoover and suck down everything between you and the back of the fridge.

3. (Pop Culture alert) – Jesse James said when he looks back on his life with Sandra Bullock, he wants to “punch that guy in the face.” That makes it unanimous.

4. Moon was in a class play today and she stole every scene. Even the one where she stood in the back, silent and  grinning at the audience. If those three silly pigs had moved out of the way it would have been a much better production.

5. (Political alert) – Newt announced he was running for President, then obviously realizing what that would entail, committed political suicide by trashing the GOP/Ryan budget proposal. Cause just calling himself “Newt” wasn’t enough.

6. Today I was standing in the kitchen and suddenly I thought, “I wonder how Will and Kate are doing?”

7. School is out in 6 more days and we’ve decided as a family to limit our TV watching to 1 hour per day.

8. And by “our”, I mean Moon’s. I’ll be catching up on Army Wives on Netflix.

9. I played Bunco for the first time tonight. I’ve officially given up the battle to be cool. Give me some Sketcher’s ShapeUps and be done with it.

10. Today I read an article that said for more effective blog headlines, ask a question. Do you feel manipulated?

Weekend Review, as I remember it.

Is it me or does the weekend go by a lot faster than say, the Monday/Tuesday combo?

Last year, I made the mistake of putting my mother’s name on the email list of a Marietta estate-sale company, so now she knows what’s happening in town and why I should DEFINITELY go. I talked JD into going with me with promises of “coffee” and “Whole Foods”. Which is how we came to be first in line at the home of a recently deceased pack-rat with tons of costume jewelry. It is a GOOD thing my mother wasn’t in town, or I’m sure she would have spent my entire inheritance. The fact that she could spend my entire inheritance on costume jewelry where the average price was $3.00 is telling.

After the sale, we went as promised to Whole Foods, or as it’s commonly called around here -Whole WALLET. We were in search of oysters for a surprise birthday/oyster roast we were throwing for my friend John. This was the best kind of surprise parties – it was at HIS house,which means I didn’t have to clean MINE. I am an awesome friend. John’s girlfriend had taken him out of town on Friday, then on Saturday they were going to come back to his house for a quick wardrobe change, and off to more birthday fun. Surprise! There are twenty people in your living room!

We had oysters, hotdogs, hamburgers, slaw, potato salad, beans, chips, watermelon, peach and mango margaritas, and a cake from Gabriel’s.

It was a perfect day. At least I believe so. I might have had a margarita or seven, then come home and crashed face-first into bed.

Sunday we went to church which was non-eventful except for the short video they showed before the sermon. A few weeks ago, those of us who work with the children were notified that a videographer would be there, filming us. Kittens, when I tell you I looked AWFUL, please just know, I am not being humble. Me, early morning, fluorescent lighting, and apparently a video camera that only has a telephoto lens, does not equal pretty. It equals this –

Afterward, we went to lunch and I drowned my pain in carbohydrates. Then came home and crashed face-first into bed.

Maybe that’s why weekends go so fast, I’m asleep for most of it.

Go With Your Gut

I almost said James was going home. Seriously, based completely on the fact that Daughtry got sent home about this time. American only has so many hard rock fans. Oh well, this will make for a riveting final three. And by “riveting” I mean heavy on corn-pone.

Today I was reading The Big Mama Blog, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. I hear of it every other day from my brother. “Why don’t you write more like Big Mama? Big Mama is awesome. Big Mama’s posts are long. Big Mama, Big Mama, Big MAMA!” He’s such a Mama’s Boy. Anyway, she linked to this awesome hairstyling blog so I thought I’d send you there as well. Except Ammo Guy, I’m sure he’s already seen it.

My family braved the 900 degree Atlanta weather to go to a Low Country Boil. For future reference, the Tyres’ will go anywhere for free shrimp. JD took photos of the happenings.

As long as the happenings included the MoonPie.

Speaking of going with my gut, Consumer Reports did a study on the best diets. They based their findings on weight lost, and amount of time the dieter kept off the weight. First was Jenny Craig, but since there’s no way I’m buying their food and consulting weekly with their expert, I am going with the 2nd highest rated diet. SlimFast.

An oldie but a goody. And by “goody”, I mean everything that is the opposite of goody.

GaGa over Idol

Tonight’s important because the three that make it out alive, get to go home, where their townspeople will show them lots of love, and the judges will pick songs for them to sing. If Haley makes it, she can expect to get something like “Kung Fu Fighting”. The judges have been known to sabotage a contestant. I’m talking to YOU, Paula Abdul.

First up, songs that inspire. James takes on Don’t Stop Believing which I think is a brilliant choice. Most of his fan base won’t remember Steve Perry enough for comparisons. As if he needed to give Randy another reason to crown him the winner, he picks a Journey song. Did you know Randy was in Journey? He might have mentioned it once or twice. Stephen says something that was bleeped, thank you, LORD, and JLO says the same old crap we’ve grown to expect. I thought it was solid, but it didn’t make my skirt blow up. A-

What inspires Haley? Michael Jackson’s What About Us. Oh, Haley, they finally got to you didn’t they? It’s hard to be bored when someone is yelling at you, but I managed. JLO hates it and tells her to think about what James is doing next time, Randy keeps it really real, as usual a sentiment he reserves ONLY for Haley,and says he hated it. What’s this? Haley is fighting back! You go, girl! Stephen tells her it was great and that the other judges were wrong. The problem is that since he has rarely made sense up until this point, it’s not all that reassuring now. My vote, C.

Uh oh. Scotty is singing one of my faves, Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning. Personally, with OSB supposedly dead, I think he should have picked this:

Why do I like this so much better than usual? Oh, he’s playing the guitar so there’s no creepy, flute-like microphone holding.  Somewhere my mother is yelling, “In it to Win it!”. Randy loved it, Stephen said it was beautiful, and JLO is in love with him and what he stands for. My favorite performance of his this season. I’m nothing if not Pro-USA. Solid A.

Lauren sings Martina McBride, AGAIN. Wow, Scotty pulled out the big guns by tapping into the country’s dead terrorist high, and Lauren goes straight for the tornado vote. Can these country kids wrench your heart or what? She sounded beautiful and actually looked confident. Stephen loved it, JLO loved it and finally, Randy pulls out the “In it to win it!” I’m nothing if not pro-SOUTH. A

Let’s take a moment and let the judges reinterate how much they hate Haley. Is she crying yet? Almost? Well, she’s about to sing live in front of twenty million people, it’s the best we can do.

Leiber and Stoller provide the songs, GaGa provides the mentoring. But first we have to get that mental patient off the stage. What? That’s her? Never mind. She tells Haley to up the drama, that’s a surprise coming from the lady dressed like a hooker on Halloween. Haley sings, I Who Have Nothing Except the Judge’s Distain. The girl rocked the ballad and the judges are on their feet. Is it me, or does Haley look like she wants to spit on them? JLO says it’s one of the best performances of the year, Randy says she got mad and had a moment, and when he says IITWI she practically rolls her eyes! Or maybe that was me. Anyway, Stephen liked it, of course. Ryan forces Haley to make nice with the judges, but she’s not feeling it. Great vocal, A+

Next up, Scotty. I miss most of the mentoring because JD is having conniptions about what GaGa is wearing and I’m fighting my gag reflexes over the phrases “Scotty” and “Make Love”. Tonight on Hee Haw, Scotty McCreery sings Young Blood! Could he be any more of a tool?  Randy said we just saw both sides of Scotty’s concert, Stephen mentions Pat Boone, AWESOME, and JLo starts talking race metaphors. I. Hated. It. D

Lauren sings Elvis and stumbles over the word “evil”, but Lady GaGa assures her that being evil is no big deal, you get used to it. This is the first mentor that has made me totally forget Jimmy Iovine. Lauren looks SEXY. Is this what hanging with GaGa will get you? For a person worried about singing the word “evil”, she picked a song that said it approximately 723 times. Who cares what Stephen says? JLO said it was great, REALLY, REALLY, and Randy likes the fun side. I thought it was good, A-.

James Durbin sings Love Potion #9, which reminds me of a guy I went out with a couple of times in the 80’s. He was in a band, of course, and would sing that song while hitting himself on the head. I was a very picky dater. LGag thinks he needs to move his hips, so of course, she gets up and moves them for him. To be fair, it’s a very tricky thing and hard to do on your own. Hmm, it’s hard for me to like the vocal, cause I’m having such a visceral reaction to the song. But JD says it was “killer”, so I’ll go with that. A for James.

Now who’s going home? I’m guessing Lauren. Not that she SHOULD, but she and Haley are going to split votes, and I think Haley’s got a lock on the pity contention.

Any of you out there voting? Who do you think is heading home, and not in a good way?

You Learn Something New Everyday

Today, for instance, I learned that Osama Bin Laden is alive. Well, no one actually SAID that, but the evidence is pretty clear. Reports are that his son hasn’t been seen since the night of the raid, which means that Osama is in a windowless cube getting a stern talking to, while the son is wearing a white shroud, monogrammed with OBL, and floating with the fishes. I reached this conclusion based entirely on my extensive knowledge of Vince Flynn novels and the drama, 24.

I also learned that big hair is back.

I’m not sure which bit of news is more disturbing.

Photo Seminar

First, find a room with lots of light. Paint it a color to match your subjects clothing.

Grab a large white board and use it as a reflector. Change your subjects clothes and position.

Grin and wave at your subject, making squeaky noises until she smiles. That’s it, you’re done.

Oh, and marry a photographer. Did I mention that part? Some might consider it integral.

Things that make you go z-z-z-z

The family left on Saturday afternoon and I immediately hit the sheets. Shopping probably doesn’t sound all that tiring but these ladies get up at the crack of dawn and don’t stop until someone is snoring on the couch. Sunday, we went to church, then had a nice Mother’s Day lunch at my favorite, La Parilla, then home again to…sleep. It is an exciting life I lead.

In between all of the yawing, a few things of note happened.

1. I found poison ivy on my arm, behind my knee and on my big toe. Because I have done NO yard work this year, I can only surmise it’s the dog’s fault. I’ve tried to tell them to look for three, pointy leaves but they refuse to listen.

2. We bought a riding lawn mower. Our last one died last year and since then, JD has been mowing with a push mower. Our yard has weeds, no landscaping, and three thousand pine cones, but it is large. Occasionally we let it grow a little longer than we should, prompting our 80+ neighbor to mow it for us. Saturday, I found an older model at a yard sale, but it had been ridden less than 10 times because the owner, uh, died. It looked brand new! It also came with a little wagon to pull around in case someone wanted to pick up those pine cones.

3. The mower wouldn’t run. It would start, but it wouldn’t run. Because it was like new (see above), JD suspected it had just been idle too long. So he did something to the carburetor, replaced the spark plug, blah, blah, BLAH and after two days, still no luck. Then he called my dad. Fifteen minutes later he mowed our yard.

4. I started reading The Help. Yes, I’m the last person in American to read the book, but I’m half way through and loving it. It’s making me REALLY angry at racists. It’s making me wish I had help. It’s making me want to see the movie.

5. I had a conversation with a home-school mom who told me that her daughter, who is NINE, has decided her goal for the summer is to learn all of the bones of the body so that it will help her one day be a massage therapist where she can work her way through college to reach her ULTIMATE goal of being a pediatrician. I told HER that I had just finished the four-hour work week and that I was pretty sure Moon could outperform me one day and get it down to two.

I bet pediatricians don’t get to nap all weekend. Winning!

Treasure Hunting

The family is in town this weekend for the annual Brookstone Yard Sale. The sale is Saturday and in order to prepare ourselves, we’ve been shopping constantly since Thursday. This morning we crammed all six people into my mother’s truck, then predictably, had to call JD to meet us with ANOTHER truck since the first one was soon overflowing with lamps, tables, kids toys, clothing and jewelry.

Then we went to Goodwill.

Then I came home and napped for fourteen minutes before rushing out to Moon Pie’s Brownie troop meeting. In honor of Mother’s Day, they had prepared a wonderful Italian dinner of noodles and uncooked meatballs. While I was eating my weight in e coli, the rest of the ladies sat around and contemplated the effects of materialism on US consumers.. I’m just kidding, they went shopping!

We’re stimulating the economy Zolli-style.

Now I’m too exhausted to upload all of the pictures so you’ll have to imagine all of the treasures. If they include an over-sized puppet and some glassware etched with the name “Ethel”, you’re on the right track.