Thursday, February 25, 2010

American Idol? Or some form of Medieval Torture?

I am an American Idol newcomer. I realize that It’s been on for 9 seasons now, but I’ve been avoiding it because, well, here are my top 10 things to be avoided at all cost in life.

1. Being on a stage
2. Being the center of attention
3. Criticism
4. Confrontation
5. Meanness
6. Being onstage
7. Being the center of attention
8. Criticism
9. Confrontation
10. Meanness

So I think you can understand my desire to avoid AI at all cost. It is everything I abhor. And yet, this year I must watch. This year, as I have mentioned a time or 50, there is someone I know on the show.


Bless his sweet little heart! I KNOW that boy can sing. I’ve heard it. I’ve seen it. I even had a YouTube clip posted on my blog of him singing the very song he sang last night, but yesterday it was taken of YouTube. He really CAN hit those high notes! I like Tim’s (and his brother Ben) version better than the original! But the nerves got to him. He just couldn’t quite get it last night.

Watching all of those boys (and girls for that matter ) get up there and sing their hearts out and, and for most of them, falling short of the mark, it was just awful to watch. Then listening as the judges shredded them? Agony.

Seriously, this is entertainment? It was punishing! I’d rather have bamboo shoots stuck under my fingernails!

But I watched. Because my entire family is gaga because Tim’s on it. My entire church is gaga because Tim’s on it. Heck, my entire town’s gaga because Tim’s on it.

I am told that it gets better as they all get more comfortable on stage. I certainly hope so, because right now? Tim? I’m only doing this for you, bud!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tonight we vote!

I know here in Texas we have these gubernatorial elections going on but that is not what I am talking about. I'm talking about the important stuff. American Idol!!!

I was going to post a video of Tim singing Gravedigger. It is really amazing and kinda haunting. I didn't know he had that kind of range, but they took all but the AI video's of him off of You Tube. Bummer.

So while you wait to see him tonight, you can watch his earlier auditions. His video's on youtube are really, really good. I know he's nervous on AI and you can kinda hear it in his voice.

But tonight Tim Urban's gonna ROCK THE HOUSE!!! Wow, that was fun. I morphed into a 16 year old girl for a minute.

So enjoy this little Tim snippet until you get to see him live tonight. And remember to VOTE FOR TIM!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ben and Tim Urban Apologizing

Here is a video of Tim and his younger brother Ben singing Apoligize. Next American Idol? Methinks...YES!

(for some reason the above video is no longer working but you can click here to see it on a different site. )

Monday, February 8, 2010

Is Happily Ever After Really Too Much To Ask?

There is a certain movie out in theaters that shall remain nameless, that is from a book by a very famous contemporary author that shall also remain nameless.

When I saw the reviews for this unnamed movie, I decided it looked sweet as pie, and all happily ever after and I just love that. So I requested the book to read first, because we all know the book is always better than the movie. The book came from the library and I was just about to start on it when something stopped me. Hummmm. This author does have a propensity for drama, and not so happily ever after endings. I’m not a fan of that.

I looked it up on Amazon because I knew someone would spill the beans on the ending. Sure enough. It ends badly. They do not in fact live happily ever after. There is love, separation, angst, sadness, getting back together, separation again, broken hearts and ultimately, a non happily ever after ending.

This book is a bestseller. The movie I’m sure will do VERY well. WHY???? It’s a MADE UP story. The author could have ended it any way he chose. Why not choose happiness?

Okay, I know, I’m being a baby, but really, life can be SO sad sometimes; babies die, hearts get broken, people are damaged. If I want to be sad, all I have to do is look around me and tragedy is lurking in every corner! WHY would I want to be entertained by that??? My entertainment better be darn, chock full of lollypops and rainbows, dadgummit! (ahem, getting a little worked up here. Deep breath.)

It seems that the entertainment industry, I guess in an effort to be edgy? has more and more been giving us endings that are sad, or ambiguous at best. I just really hate this. I don’t want to read a book or go see a movie and be sad or be left hanging. I want Cinderella to get her Prince Charming and ride off into the sunset. Predictable? Yes. But you know what? Real life can be so darn sad and unpredictable sometimes, when it’s pretend and we get to choose our own ending, why not choose happily ever after?

I will not be reading the unnamed book, nor going to see the unnamed movie. Jane Austin, where are you when I need you?

Update! In the comments, I do say what movie/book I'm referring too. Also, I have been told that the ending of the movie has been changed from the book and that I would like the end of the movie, so I think I'll give it a try. I've been assured I'll get my happily ever.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

19 Years and We Still Can’t Get it Right, Part Deux

Sunday morning, the last day of our anniversary weekend. The sun came out and while not warm, it is considerably more comfortable than yesterday outside. Dave and I have a nice leisurely breakfast then break down camp. And by break down camp, I mean pack up the pretty dishes, put the coffee maker in the cabinet, unplug, and attach the RV to the Excursion.

We decided to go ahead and take the RV with us into canton. Surely there will be a place we can park our 500 foot long rig while we shop so we can head home straight from Canton. Once we get into town we decide to go to the old section of Canton. We’d never been over there before. We hear there were puppies. I like puppies. (Clarification, I like other people’s puppies. We were in no danger of being suckered into purchasing a puppy however, because I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life potty training, and I don’t ever want to do that again, with either child or beast.)

We pulled into a large parking lot where there seemed to be enough room for us. The lady taking the parking money came over and said we could not park there, but that there was an official place to park such long rigs like ours, it was down the road just a bit. We headed down the road just a bit. We looked over the parking area before we went in. It’s a good idea to do this when you are 500 feet long and weigh the equivalent of the Empire State Building. There were several other large vehicles in the parking lot. Mostly animal hauling trailers, but they’d made it, so surely we’d be fine. In we pulled. We pulled around to the side. We were almost in place. We just needed to back up a bit into the spot. Sir D put the Ex in reverse and the Ex did not go in reverse. It did not go anywhere. Dave pulled forward a bit and tried again. And again, spinning wheels. He pulled forward a little more, and then tried to back up. No go. Now we were almost flush up against the non removable posts. We could pull forward no further and going back was not working out so well.

We sat in stunned silence for a minute. You’ve GOT to be kidding. 3 trips to the pharmacy, a trip to the ER, a failed movie attempt, nasty mead, and now we’re STUCK? Of course. Of course we’re stuck. And with the RV attached. Did I mention we are 500 feet long and weigh the equivalent of the Empire State Building?

Dave, being the man of action that he is, got out of the car and began to firmly attach the tow strap to the back of the RV. And just the fact that I carry a tow strap in my car should tell you something.

I asked Dave what he planned to do now that he had a tow strap attached. He said that if we just stand here, tow strap attached and look stuck, some good ol’ Texas boys in a 4x4 will see the challenge and not be able to resist.

It was good in theory. The thing is, there were many things a mere 50 feet away, on the other side of the street to distract the good ol’ Texas boys from our plight. As we stood there looking helpless, we listened to the sounds of ducks, and chickens, and roosters and goats and who knows what else. We had also begun to attract a little attention from across the street with all the tire spinning and we had quite an audience watching to see what we were going to do next.

Finally, Dave started stopping 4x4 trucks passing by. Finally he stopped a truck with 3 guys in it. 2 tubby Hispanic guys with cowboy hats and boots, and one tall skinny white guy with a mullet. It was the stuff of sitcoms. They were up to the towing throw-down. They attached the tow strap to the front of their truck, Mullet Man spit out his chew and hopped in the truck to get down to business. The two Mexican Cowboys positioned themselves on either side to guide Dave. I sat in the Ex and looked at all the spectators. People were beginning to pull up lawn chairs and pass out snacks. The sounds of farm animals and men hawking tools and buck knives was almost drown out buy the sound of spinning tires.

We were not getting anywhere. The Three Stooges conferred. Finally Mullet Man came over and said he knew a guy who was working maintenance, and he’d get him to just pop on over here in his front end loader and pull us right on out.


We waited for the tractor. The sound of puppies yipping and roosters crowing once again ruled the day as we sat and waited.

The tractor pulled up and once again all eyes were on the idiots with the RV. This time, I got out of the car to watch so I could notify Dave, via the Walkie Talkie if anything was going amiss.

The Old Mexican guy in the Tractor got right down to business. He attached the tow strap to the front of the tractor bucket and with one yank, pulled the RV and the EX out of the mud. There was such power in that tractor that the Ex was fish tailing all around as he pulled the RV backward. I stood in horrified silence waiting for the whole thing to come apart, fall over, or simply disintegrate before my eyes. This was how every winning video on America’s Funniest Videos began. There was NO WAY this was going to end well.

Tractor Man hopped out, unhooked the tow strap from the back, came around to the front of the EX and hooked it up the tow strap to the front this time. He drove his tractor around to the front, hooked up and with the same complete lack of finesse, drug my poor EX like a ragdoll around to the dry side of the parking lot, leaving her sitting ever so pristinely, and NOT stuck, in a parking spot. He then unhooked the tow strap and drove off in his tractor, like some modern day, Construction Zorro. I believe at this point there was clapping, cheering, and people paying up on bets. Or maybe that was my imagination.

What I can tell you is that once we finally got into the Canton Trade Days, there was much pointing and snickering as we walked by.

In hindsight I realize that we should have charged admission for bringing the days entertainment.

Monday, February 1, 2010

19 Years and We Still Can’t Get it Right

Sir D and I left Friday afternoon for Canton Texas to camp at Purtis Creek State park and pop over to the giant garage sale that is First Monday Trade Days in Canton.

All started out well, we pulled into the campsite at about 4pm. This was our view.

Nice! It was a wee bit cold, the mercury registering at about 30 degrees, but we had a nice warm camper. I made a nice dinner of stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes and salad, and a nice glass of merlot. Pretty fancy for camping, no?

We even had candles.

We went to bed Friday night and that’s when things started to go awry. See, I’ve been trying to fight off a cold since last Saturday. I’d planned to pop in to the dr’s office on Friday before we left just to see if it was turning into an infection, but it seemed to be getting better so I let it go. Well, it hit turbo on Friday night. I coughed all night. Serious, cough up a lung, turn blue, can’t catch your breath, coughing. It was crazy. Saturday morning my fever was back, my throat was killing me and I sounded like I had a three pack a day habit. Happy anniversary, babe! Come kiss me! Cough cough, hack hack! Romantic, yes?

So we started out our day by going to the CVS for cough drops and Tylenol for me and high doses of zinc and vitamin C for Sir D. We then asked around for some sort of Care Now type clinic. Apparently Canton is not as big of a place as I thought because, no, there is no such place. They suggested a hospital ER down the way. Great. I’m going to the ER for a cough. This will cost me a $100 co pay. If I’d just done it on Friday at my regular dr (who I’m sure could have gotten me in) it would have cost me $20.

So off we go in search of the ER. We get there, sign in and wait, and wait and wait in a room full of people who either have exactly what I have or do indeed have a three pack a day smoking habit. I finally find out that I do not have strep, even though my throat is on fire, but instead bronchitis, sinusitis and an irritated throat (really?) Prescriptions in hand we head out. It was a nice surprise to find out that what we thought was an ER was actually a walk in clinic and they only charged us $20. YIPPEE!

So back we go to the CVS to get the meds. This was our third time in the CVS since we stopped there on our way into town for directions. They now know us by name there. The lady behind the counter told me she was glad it was not strep and only bronchitis. The man in line behind me agreed. Strep is much worse he says. Ahh, small town life.

Now that I’m appropriately drugged up we grab some yummy lunch at a little Mexican place and head out to Canton. We get out of the car to roam around the open air market and…it’s snowing. Yes folks, snowing. But we’ve worked too hard to get here to give up now. I want to find the perfect butter dish. It’s all that I want. A butter dish. I’m not leaving Canton till I find the perfect, unique, butter dish. Snow or freezing temps and a breeze that cuts right through you, be darned! We donned our coats and hats and headed out.

HOLY COW it was cold. After about 2 hours I thought I was going to die. Turns out, antibiotics to do not cure you in 20 minutes and being out in the freezing temps may not have been the smartest decision.

We finally came upon a pretty milk glass butter dish; not exactly what I had in mind, but it’d do. We headed back to the car having only seen probably .087 percent of First Monday Trade Days. Once we got back to the RV and I stopped coughing enough to catch my breath, we decided we needed a little nap. 30 minutes maybe. An hour and a half later we woke up. Woops.

Next on the agenda was a movie. I had looked around before we left on our trip, to find the nearest theater that was playing Sherlock Homes. It was about 30 minutes away. We drove out to Athens Texas in search of Sherlock. The theater where the movie was playing was hidden behind a department store with the smallest sign ever. It took some doing to locate the place.

Once we got there we were loathe to discover that Sherlock homes was no longer playing and our only choices were some movie about the tooth fairy, Alvin and the Chipmunks, (hello! Adult time here! I think NOT) and two movies that were scary, about death and dismemberment and murdered children. Not quite anniversary celebration fare. So we headed back into Athens proper and had a nice dinner at Mazzio’s Pizza.

We then stopped at a store for a bottle of wine. Upon perusing the store we came upon a bottle of Mead. How cool? And historic! The Homeschooler in me could not pass this up. How many stories have I read where they warmed up around the camp fire in the Middle Ages while drinking mead? And it was Irish Mead! The drink of my people! So we bought it.

We came back to the camp site, put on our warm fuzzy pj’s, stuck a DVD in the player and opened the bottle of Mead.

Turns out? Mead is disgusting! There is a reason we’ve moved from honey to the lovely grape as our choice for a fermented drink.

So far, our anniversary trip is turning into a typical trip for my family, nothing ever goes as expected and I have much blogging fodder when I get home.

Next post, I’ll tell you of Sunday, the last day of our trip, where we got stuck in the mud, badly, and there was a front end loader involved…and goats.