Saturday, May 31, 2014

This 'n That

Nothing coherent today, just odds and ends.

Q: When did David Beckham turn into Ricky Gervais?

PSA: Hip Waders don't keep water out, they just let it warm up a little bit inside the boots and pants. A week ago, my pool looked like this. And the water was barely 70 degrees.

Now, the water is crystal clear, and it's already 80 degrees+. We've been swimming every day, but not today. Today, it's going to storm. Today, tomorrow, Monday. Storms every day. Sigh.

I finished the Regia Fluormania socks and I love them. I don't get to keep them, but they were great fun to knit. However, when I soaked them to wash, the pink bled a bit into the water. That didn't stain the other colors, but if you knit with this stuff, wash them alone a few times, just in case.

More Julep polishes arrived (not the regular Maven box, these were extra orders). Choices, choices...

I went with the orange glitter. It's lovely, but I might like it better over a solid color. I'll try that next time. I'm also very curious about the crackle. And the June purples will arrive in a week or so. Woot!

On the work front- I'm waiting to hear about my proposal, and I'm working on the medium size finger-down glove prototype.

And I'm waiting for the sun to shine so I can go swimming.

and I'll leave you this this, just because.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Finger Down Prototype

I finished the first pair of finger-down prototype gloves (in-progress pics here and here). I'm happy with the technique, which worked pretty much the way I hoped it would. The pattern itself needs some tweaking- for some reason the little finger is almost 1/2" too long (and I have long fingers) and this construction makes taking it out and shortening it pretty much impossible. This size is also too tight for me, but it works for a small adult (or regular youth). I'll grade the pattern out for medium and large adult soon.

I am already getting requests to teach this as a workshop, though I'm not sure how that would go. Unless it's a several day workshop, students would have to knit all four fingers and the thumb in advance, and folks don't much like homework. I'll have to think that one through a bit.

Anyway- voila!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Follow up to yesterday

So, yesterday was day 4 or 5 on the Sydney va-va-voom orangey red. It was looking very good still and I would have left it on for more days, but even the most miracle of polishes won't hold up if you're chopping celery and hit your nail with the sharp edge of the knife. Since I chipped it, I decided to redo...

This is Julep Amy. And that ring was an eBay steal- real gem opals (as opposed to the pinkie ring, with a lab opal), and white topaz and gold plate for... are you sitting down? $13, including shipping...

Anyway, the blue went with what I wore yesterday...

And yes, I will buy clothes to go with my jewelry... heeee

And as an adjunct to yesterday's commercial, I want to say that I've been using Seche Vite base and top coat. I'll try the Julep versions, and I may switch, but both are essential to a good mani. And even with a fast dry top coat that feels solid to the touch, the polish isn't entirely cured for a few hours, so it's easy to smudge or mark the nails during that time. After it sets totally (by the next morning at the longest), you're good to go.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

This is going to sound like one long commercial...

You all know that I've been fascinated (obsessed) with fingernail polish lately. After living 60 years without even noticing the stuff, I suddenly need to have my nails polished at all times. I've even let them grow a little bit, and I've learned to type that way.

Over the past year, I've tried many brands, and I've been happy enough with most of them, though none of my home manicures lasted more than 3 or 4 days without needing a touch-up or a complete re-do. That is, until I started noticing other Facebook friends' mentions of Julep.

Julep is sort of a Nail Polish of the Month Club, and all of my friends who are members rave about the quality. It's not inexpensive, so I had to mull it over for a bit before joining. But I figured- hey, the first Maven box is free, and there does not seem to be a minimum number of purchases, and... all of my friends love it. So, I took the style test and:

This is not just the Maven box- I ordered a couple of extra polish colors- every month there are add-on sales and other polishes for $5 or so a bottle. I could not resist. Usually you get 2 polishes and another product (or 3 polishes, depending on the style you select, for around $19-$24) in a Maven box, which is shipped once a month.

I could not resist trying all of the colors out the first night.

I am seriously in love with this glitter (side note: this stuff does not come off easily).

First Julep home-mani. Color: Natalie. I love this creamy solid pink.

This is what it looked like 5 days later! It finally chipped on the morning on the 8th day! 8 days on a home mani! This is miracle stuff. (oops- I have the above 2 pics switched- this one is the newly applied polish, and the one above is 5 days later- not a big deal, but I see a little bit of edge bloopers in this shot, which tells me it was the new one). Seriously, the mani lasted 8 full days, and I wasn't easy on the nails either. I wrote an entire book proposal with this mani, and did a lot of yard work, and the nails looked great throughout.

Next color: Isla, a pearly white

After 5 days, still beautiful. But I had already proven my point about how long the polish lasts, and I was ready for a change.

Next up Sydney- which is an orangey red.

This stuff is seriously 50's glam (and it's more orange than it looks in this shot). I'm on day 4 with this color, and the long-lastingness of the others was not a fluke. It still looks brand new.

It's also great for Gma/Girlie afternoons!

In short- I love love love this stuff and give it my highest recommendation. And I have more colors coming. I promise, Julep did not pay me to say any of these things...

Oh, their customer service is great too- the blue polish arrived with the lid partially open and the polish thick and gooey. They sent a replacement immediately.

These are the colors (plus Julep base coat) coming for June. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Idol Season 13- Finale 05-21-14

Well my little hot buttered honey biscuits, this is it! Let's get this ball a rollin'.

Elevator shots. Or that room where the kids all sweated before they went in to their auditions, the one that looks like an elevator. Jena and Caleb are back there again, having stilted, scripted conversation, and then exiting to the big big audience. Oh Jena, what the hell are you wearing? Those jeans look like she is having a... no other way to put it... a feminine hygiene accident. Caleb is singing We Will Rock You, Meatloafin' it up all over the stage. And now Jena is singing something I don't recognize, surrounded by a bunch of dancer girls all dressed in black and white. Caleb is wearing a regular Caleb outfit- all black. In case you're not watching, Jena's pants have a red strip running from the waist, down around the crotch and back up the back, like a neon sign pointing at an underage girl's lady bits. And stripes down the legs. The rest is red gingham. But no words can adequately describe the horror.

Ryan is not wearing anything forcing us to contemplate his nethers, thank goodness. He's wearing a very nice black tux with a bow tie. JLo is, once again, in a very short dress. This time, all silver spangles and long sleeves. Harry is wearing a black velvet jacket, and even Keith has a tie.

Ryan calls Jena and Caleb back onstage and reminds them that tonight is the night. Both awkwardly say it's the journey, not the destination. Yeah, right.

Epic surprises, eh Ryan? Sam Woolf singing Phil Phillips's winning song does not exactly qualify. Sam is wearing the Stupid Hat, and a wool jacket. Then Phil himself comes out and segues into his new single. I will say that Home is the best winner's song this show has ever come up with. You can't throw a cat without hearing it these days, not that I spend time tossing felines. It manages not to annoy the bejabbers out of me. His new song isn't quite as catchy, though JLo and Keith are singing along, and even HCJ looks like he's having fun. Well, I suppose they are- they get tomorrow off!

Jennifer Nettles, looking like Kirsten Dunst, in  white shirt and black jeans with embroidered roses is singing That Girl, which is not about Marlo Thomas or Zooey Deschanel. Jennifer's blouse is transparent, but embroidery heavy over the boobs. Jessica comes out in a black dress with spangly stripes, and my lordy, they're singing Wrecking Ball. Gah!

Lots of folks in the audience- so far I've spotted Jane Lynch, some other girl I recognize, Hailey Reinhart, Scott Whatever his name who Ryan tried to high five (not a good idea since Scott can't see... is it okay to say blind these days?). When I recognize anyone in the audience, I'll just throw the name in. Except for Randy Jackson, who is wearing a pink jacket and a shirt with a zipper front. Sigh.

Randy: babblebabblebabblebabble

JLo is singing another of her new songs. At least it's not called I Luh You Papi. Goodness, she's only wearing a  bit of netting and some blue fringes. Lots of leg. Lots of hair swirling. A bit of butt. That JLo is a pretty woman. Not much of a singer, though. Instead, she moves around on stage a lot in her teeny tiny little outfit. Now she's up on the judge's desk, flashing that beauteous bottom at everyone.
I read that this was taped last night, so she won't be all sweaty when she rejoins the judges.

KISS and Caleb, sittin' in a tree. HCJ is standing up! And dancing a bit. Well, he's not working now, he can just enjoy himself, which he appears to be doing. KISS is in full regalia, and if I had my eyes closed, I wouldn't know which voice was Caleb's. This is the kind of music he was born to make, and one way or another, I assume he will be able to do it. It's really nice to see HCJ smiling and having fun- he took his judging job seriously, and that part of the show is done for this season. Oh lord, there's Caleb's younger brother, trotting out in KISS makeup. I'm tired of this kid already.

Bad Lip Reading, which is hilarious... but it doesn't lend itself to recapping. Trust me, it's funny (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, check You Tube for Bad Lip Reading videos).

Aloe Blacc and the guys. I saw Aloe Blacc on The Voice and he did not impress me as being The Man at all. And I think he's out of tune now too. Dexter, Ben, CJ and Sam- none of them sound good. Alex and Caleb are singing now. Alex is trying to dance. Perhaps Alex should not do that. I think the sound mixing is off, we're hearing more audience than singers and the audience cannot carry a tune.

Ah, it's time to give the kids their new cars. Majesty and Sam delivered a box of kittens to Jena, and then showed them their new Mustangs. Jena chose her choir teacher as a mentor, and Caleb chose a band member. Both are at the finale, and now they both get Ford Fusions. They seem surprised, so perhaps neither has ever seen this show before.

Demi Lovato... why? You know how much I hate hats? Well, I hate half-shaved heads even more. Demi pretends to be fierce. She's not fooling anyone. Majesty, still dressed like an adorable eight year old, sings far better. Emily Piriz and Malaya and Jessica, and that girl who wore shorty shorts all the time, who was eliminated early on and whose name I absolutely cannot remember. Jena is on stage now. She can outsing Demi with her little finger. I have a sinking feeling that she'll be around next season. I just realized, MK wasn't there. Where is she?

Jena is at the piano, in electric yellow and a charcoal jacket. This song brings out all the screechiness in Jena's voice. She introduces Paramore, whose lead singer is wearing her paw-print pj bottoms, and a crop tank top that says Be Nice. Oh the back says *or go away*. I can live with that sentiment. Jena is wearing black leather pants now, which are 1000% better than the pants she had on earlier. Oh, Paramore (I have no idea what her name is) has shaggy, multi-colored hair. Huge balloons have been released and the audience is bouncing them all around. Someone is going to pop one and I will jump. I don't like balloons, even when they're 2,000 miles away. The theater looks like a giant lava lamp, though, which is rather cool.

John Legend, singing You and I, showing Aloe Blacc who is actually the man. This is a pretty song. Now Malaya is out to sing with him. I'll bet she's just about exploding. Her hair is straight, and she's in black and white. I think Malaya is singing in too high a key, her voice sounds thin, and it's usually very rich. Her braces are gone! That was nice.

Just in case we have forgotten what we just spent the last five months watching, Ryan recaps the entire process. Thanks for that Ryan.

Alex and Jason Mraz, singing Love Someone. Alex is in a mustard yellow jacket and yet another blouse. Mraz still has that teeny little scraggly beard. Their voices blend very nicely. I didn't wish for Alex to win, because when my favorites win, they get no respect. But I still liked him best this season, and he's the only one this year whose album I might possibly buy. This is the best collaboration performance tonight.

Ryan is going to sing??? Seriously? Okay, not seriously at all. I am a terrible singer and yet I am better than Ryan, but I am certain that he knows that. Richard Marx is here, playing the piano, and Ryan is wailing good naturedly. I don't know why though. I cannot fathom the purpose of that bit.

Keith Urban moves and writhes. JLo bounces and can walk in heels and her dresses get noticed. Harry knows music inside and out, and likes to lecture a bit. Keith says odd things, JLo is pretty, Harry was intimidating. I did like this panel- they were entertaining throughout, and they had a great chemistry.

CJ gets to sing with Hootie! There's some gray in his beard, but he sounds the same. I wonder if CJ can stay anywhere near the key. Oh, Dexter is out there too. CJ can still connect with an audience, even if he's out of tune. I hope he does okay. Hootie's cowboy boots have a rather elfin curl at the end. Odd. That sounded just fine.

And once again, where is MK Nobilette? The fact that they're not mentioning her at all is ominous.


Caleb and Jena are singing the drunk dialing song, but Lady Antebellum isn't singing it. Lady (stands to reason, right?) is wearing  very spangly long jacket over all black. The guys are dressed mostly like Keith Urban. This song isn't as catchy as the drunk ditty, but the audience appears to be enjoying it. I thought one, or more, of the kids would sing with them, but nope. It's just the Antes.

Ryan is standing in the audience with both sets of families, talking to the moms. Gosh, scripted banter is fun.

Oh dear- Keith, Harry, JLo and Randy Jackson are all on stage. This was taped last night. Whoa doggies, JLo's girls are barely restrained in lace and spangles. They're singing True Colors, and JLo is singing in a nice little-girl voice while the others accompany. That was unexpectedly pretty. Now they've segued into Fleetwood Mac, and that's fun too. There is no back to JLo's dress bodice, and given that most of the front is transparent, the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction is there. I think Randy is wearing a long coat, but at first, I thought he had a skirt on. Anyway, that was less painful than I expected.

We're down to 3 minutes left. Seems like there's something else they were going to do tonight. Maybe they can squeeze it in now. Jena is wearing a white blouse and a black leather skirt. Caleb has a black and white print jacket. They are pretty darn cute together.

Well, here's the envelope. Ryan flashes it around a bit, and.... and.... and... the Season 13 American Idol is....

Caleb Johnson!

I think Jena would have been better served by being saddled with the title, but I'm okay with this. Caleb is extremely talented. The top finalists were all extremely talented this year, come to think of it. So why was the show such a trial? Beats the hell outta me. I hope Caleb won't disappear now. He was going to sing, but he was too overcome with emotion, which is also cool.

Everyone joined Caleb on stage, and MK Nobilette definitely isn't there. That's why we got Leggy McShortyshorts tonight. I want to know what happened.

The show is running over, and the confetti has finally fallen.

That. Was. American. Idol.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

AI Season 13 Finalist Performance 05-20-14

So.... tonight and tomorrow, and that's it... Cool.

At the Nokia theater, live tonight. Ryan in a tux with a white jacket, in front of 7,000 screaming fans. I've told the story before, but once I almost won tickets to go the finale (I was among the final 130 entrants, out of thousands). But I didn't win. Now I don't care all that much, though if I won tickets, I'd go. I'd owe it to my readers, right???? Taking one for the team.

JLo is in a very very short black leather dress with a silver spangly bodice. Harry is in a tux, Keith might have showered. JLo's hair is down and softly curled.

Gena and Caleb come out. Oh, Caleb is fringey. It's possible that no other sartorial choice matters. But out of habit: Jena has gold pants and a brown and white shirt.

Caleb and Jena are going to a fake prom. They look pretty adorable in their 60's outfits, Caleb in sky blue and ruffles, Jena in lavender chiffon. That was a cute segment.

Simon Fuller, looking mummified, will choose the first song.

Jena will sing Florence and the Machine's Dog Days Are Over, in front of a field of swaying poppies, spookily swaying poppies. There are drums, and possibly Jena's mike isn't working properly because we can barely hear her. That said, what I can hear sounds fine. Her bald dad tries to sway with the music but can't quite manage it. Oh, the drummers are wearing floor-length skirts... the guy drummers.

Keith whoos, and appreciates the song choice. JLo loves the energy in the room. HCJ thinks it was fantastic.

Caleb will sing Aerosmith's Dream On- this is more ballady than Caleb usually likes, but it's in his wheelhouse. In addition to  his black jacket with 2' fringes, he's wearing a red and black striped shirt. No one is saying anything about voice issues or illness tonight, and as far as I can tell, he sounds the same as usual. Whether there's room on the radio and charts for another Rocking Screamer remains to be seen. Man, if his voice wasn't blown before, it surely is now. That was one helluva note there.

JLo and Keith stood. JLo reminds us that this is the finale and that they gotta carpe that diem. HCJ loves Caleb's low register too. Keith was enchanted from the opening notes.

Next, the kids re-sing their favorite performance of the season. We'll see if they agree with me.

Jena is now wearing a white skirt and a black sleeveless top, both with chains and spangles. Jena doesn't realize that the camera has panned out, so we get to watch her adjust her bra. And she's singing Can't Help Falling In Love, which was absolutely Jena's best performance. However, it was only just a couple of weeks ago, so maybe it's too soon for a reprise. They've fixed the mike issues at least- we can hear her. Jena sounds lovely, and this is a really beautiful rendition of this song. It should be her first single. That was really perfect.

Keith stood, JLo goosied. HCJ loves that Jena can be influenced and then distill those influences into a totally different performance. Keith referenced an entirely sub-par performance from The Voice without naming it. Speaking of The Voice, their finale comes on right after this show. JLo  is incoherent.

There will be a Season 14... sigh...

Caleb will sing Maybe I'm Amazed, and yeah, that was a really good performance too. He's in another dark jacket, but this time without fringes. It appears to be navy brocade. My son would like that skull necklace. I like Caleb's quieter stuff better, and this is nice, but I think Jena's #2 was better. On the other hand, it's down to the fans, and fans vote for their favorites.

Well, Keith is hooting but no one stood up. Keith cautions against losing the emotion in the song. JLo worried about overpowering the soul with vocal gymnastics. HCJ wants to tote up the winners, dividing it out round #1 to Caleb, #2 to Jena. And I agree.

I'm pretty sure the guy from the Fake Prince Harry show is in the audience. How they found 20 or so women who like royalty and yet who could not tell in the first five seconds that he was a phony is beyond me. Oh, who am I kidding- I'm sure they had their choice of hundreds of women (and probably a fair number of men) willing to go on the show, who seriously believed that the man who is 4th in line for the British Throne would go on a horndog competition show and make out with them.

Jena's new single is We Are One, a poppy version of every sappy winner's song in the history of the show. She's wearing black and white striped pants(vertical), a black and white checkerboard blouse, and a black and white striped (horizontal) short sleeved jacket. This song is entirely mediocre, and a real disservice to Jena's voice and talent- as always. The only consolation is that Caleb's song will be terrible too. Jena is giving it her all.

JLo thought it was a nice finish to the show. HCJ thought it was strong. Keith thinks it's a perfect song. They had to hurry because, as always, this show wastes time until the end, and then they have to scramble to fit everything in. It was ever thus.

Aha, I was right! Faux Harry.

Caleb's single is As Long as You Love Me, and this one is a far better match to Caleb's talent and personality. It's a regular rock song. He's wearing another black jacket, this one may be silver stamped leather, but it's hard to tell. This is one of those mike-carrying, shouty songs that Caleb excels at. Up until now, I thought Jena had it, but this is a better song. I don't know how much difference it'll make. Oh, I think the silver jacket embellishment may be embroidery. Cool.

Talk fast, judges. HCJ thinks it's going to be a tough choice for voters. Keith says the same thing. JLo repeats the guys. I think they were a little faint in their praise.

So, it's up to the voters now. I think Jena will be served best by winning, but we shall see.

Side note: Caleb looks unwell, pale and very sweaty.

Oh, Caleb and Jena are singing  Breakaway, and they're joined by the rest of the Top 12, I believe, some of whose names I do not remember. It'll all be over tomorrow, one way or another.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Slightly Wordier Finger-Down Gloves

I finished the first prototype- it's a little snug for me, so I'll call this size Small Ladies. The next pair will have maybe 4 more stitches in the hand, though I haven't quite figured out how to divide that out among the fingers (8 stitches would be easier to manage, but that's too many for a medium hand, though it might work for a large). I made a roll cuff hem because that edge is a whole lot stretchier than binding off in ribbing. I like the look.

At any rate, I am happy with the process, and will now need to fine tune the technique. I'm already getting requests to teach this pattern, which means I probably should get it all worked out first... heh...

Also- my book proposal went to my agent, and from there it'll go to my editor. I'll keep all y'all posted.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

AI Season 13 Top 3 Elimination

They're dragging this out for an hour tonight. I am so very happy about that...

Ryan, in a blue suit and neatly shaved, for almost the last time this year says: This is American Idol. Ooh, he's carrying a puppy.... aaawwwww, a little black lab named Georgia. Puppies are so cute.

The kids look less than excited about tonight's reveal.

JLo is extremely sparkly- all gold and bronze, with an updo. HCJ is natty in a suit. Keith never looks any different. JLo is wearing Pucci, if that matters to anyone.

That's right, Caleb went back to Asheville. This will be the first time they've gone somewhere I've actually visited. Well, outside of quick clips of Pike Place Market. I know he went to Biltmore, and you all know how I feel about Biltmore.

Supper convo- we're reminded that Caleb was sick. I saw online that Alex was sick too, but no one made a big deal out of his voice issues. Caleb looks like he's breaking a fever.

Alex is wearing a white sweater with roses, and blue shoes with no socks, Caleb is wearing his Civil war jacket, Jena has no bangs, and her black waisted dress looks lacy.

The Fordmercial gives us clips of the Top 3 singles. Alex sounds coffee house, Caleb screams, and Jena is poppy.. No surprises.

Jena, wearing really obvious fake eyelashes, says her home visit was fun. She went back to Farmington, MI. The kids at school are excited, and Jena is happy to see her family and her puppy dogs. She's on the morning show and riding in a white limo. The Greek restaurant where she works went all out for Jena's visit. Jena's Gramma is crying even before she sees her. I might have something in my eye too. Her parents house is full to the rafters with friends and family. Down in the empty basement, Jena plays her keyboard and sings a bit. Later, her parade drives through downtown, and Jena cries a little. She has a good crowd, and her grandparents are adorable- Elliott Yamin's Mother levels of adorable, which is a whole lot of cuteness.

Ryan announces that Jena will sing next week with Paramore. This is not to assume that Jena is one of the Finalists, but I imagine that's a given.

Speaking of Elliott Yamin- there he is, all scruffy and sunglasses and a hat. I liked Elliott a lot. Also Danny Gokey, whose first wife died just before his first audition. He has since remarried and has one child and another on the way. He looks happy and that is nice. I'm tired of the show, but I wish the kids well.

Scotty McCreery will sing his latest single, Feelin' It. Already I can see that Scotty is more comfortable on stage than he was during his entire season. He's wearing a blue, short sleeved tee, and I always forget just how deep his voice is. It surprises me every time I hear him sing. He still sings out of the side of his mouth though, so some things never change. There's comfort in that. The song? It's country, and medium-upbeat. Pleasant enough but not my style. Adulthood suits him.

Alex looks miserable, like he expects to go home, and not the way he did last week. He did a radio interview in Manchester before heading to his home town Mont Vernon, NH. VT? I can't remember.  Alex's sister looks just like him. His mama is so happy to see him. It always makes me a little misty to watch the happy homecomings. Alex is overwhelmed. His band, Undertow, came to visit and schmooze. Why are we watching JLo watch Alex's homecoming? Lots and lots of Sad JLo watching... does she know something we don't? One small boy went purely crazy with excitement. Alex got the black limo, and there were lots and lots of people at his parade. 6,800 folks came to his concert, which is pretty darn cool. He's playing a bluesy song .

Alex will sing with Jason Mraz next week, and that is pretty much a match made in heaven. Music heaven anyway. Angsty Radio Music Heaven, the kind Alex is hoping for.

Caleb went home to Asheville. Asheville loves Caleb. I love Asheville. He visits a school of rock, but they probably weren't as surprised to see him as he thought they were going to be. Caleb's younger brother is a larger, more obnoxious, clone of him. And there's Biltmore, beautiful beautiful Biltmore. I was there. And there. And there. Also there. If you get to Asheville, visit Biltmore. That's an order. His concert looks very well attended. And his voice was still in good repair that day. Either Caleb didn't get a limo, or he just wanted to drive his old SUV for the fun of it. And there's downtown Asheville, which is a seriously great town.

Caleb will be performing with Kiss, and he is fall-down-on-the-floor excited. Or maybe his brother Houston is drop-his-big-brother-on-the-floor happy. Either way, I hope his brother doesn't sing, because man, I don't want to watch a season of him.

At least the hour has gone by fast. And I confess to enjoying commercials featuring The Allure of the Seas... I've been on that ship, I say to The Hub, who knows that already.

So, down to business... 75,000 hopefuls down to these three. All of them look sick.

Ryan draws it out a bit, and the kids all gather closely... the lights are dim....

First person to compete in the Finale is.... Jena....
She's surprised but no one else is.

And the other Finalist is...  Caleb.

For just a moment, I thought maybe Alex would do it, but this really is okay. It's better for him not to be saddled with the AI title, which is not always a great legacy. Non-winners have sometimes had more success than the winners. I wish Alex a huge career, singing exactly the music he wants to sing. I may even buy his album.

Harry stood up for him. Harry never stands. Alex sounds good, and he's holding it together well. I don't think this is any kind of surprise for him. The Top 3 are all very talented, and they're all very different, and I fully expected the less-flashy one to go.

But he's not going far- the whole Top 10 will be back, and that'll be great fun.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

AI Season 13 Top 3 Performance 05-14-14

Just two weeks left. I can hardly wait.

This is American Idol's 500th episode. Too bad it's circling the drain. We get clips of Kelly, Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, David Cook, William Hung, Phil Phillips, Steven Tyler, Nicki Minaj, and this year's crew of clowns. I did love this show so. I'm not sure what happened- if we all just got tired, or if the show ran out of ideas. Either way, I don't know if I can deal with another season.

But Ryan comes out, shaved this week. He's pumped that the end is next week, but not as pumped as I am. Next week, the episodes are on Tuesday and Wednesday. The kids come out and Jena is wearing poofy-hipped capris. No other contestant sartorial choice matters. Caleb has issues with his vocal cords and evidently is okay to sing, but not to talk. That's fine- less chance of him insulting his loyal fans that way.

JLo is sparkly in a silver boob-highlighting tightness with an uneven hem. Maybe that trumps Jena's pants. Maybe. Her hair is pulled back in multiple tight ponytails.

The kids went home last week, just in case anyone forgot that. Caleb will be visiting Biltmore! Woot!
Everyone is happy to visit home, and home is happy to cheer them on.

Seriously? DJ's playing a techno song called Selfie? DJ's who call themselves Chain Smoker? Remember what I said about circling the drain? Yougotcher evidence right here.

Carrie sends her good wishes. Carrie is a nice girl.

Randy (in a purple and pink jacket) chose Never Tear Us Apart, by INXS, for Caleb. Caleb did not previously know this song. Me neither. He starts out sitting on an ornately carved throne. There's no evidence of voice damage in the performance, except maybe that it's a little restrained. The restraint is good- he sounds good, and I like this less-shouty version of Caleb.

Keith congratulates Randy on the song choice, and likes Caleb's soul/blues voice. JLo says that Caleb on his worst night sounds better than most on their best night. HCJ also approved of the song choice, and expresses concern over Caleb's vocal health.

Phil Phillips wishes the show well.

Randy chose Pompei, by Bastille for Alex, who is wearing a print top that looks like it came from the old lady's section at Penny's, and a black jacket. There's fog on the stage and a drum quartet behind Alex. This is a bit poppier than Alex's usual fare. It's not a great song, not a lot of melody, but I assume he's doing okay, and now he's playing a kettle drum and singing at the same time. This is nowhere near my favorite Alex performance, but I blame Randy Jackson for that.

JLo sees what Alex is doing, and she approves. HCJ is glad that the song forced Alex to stretch out of his comfort zone a bit. Keith (with a picture of Nicole on his table) agrees with HCJ, and he liked the singing-and-drumming-at-the-same-time stuff.

Kris Allen baked us a cupcake.

Randy chose Titanium by someone, and Jena is happy. In addition to inexplicable pants, she's also wearing a spangly studded black leather jacket. I do like her in bangs. She starts up on a tall platform. At first, I think the safety belt is part of her inexplicable pants. Her eye makeup is really nice- smoky eye perfectly done. After a bit of a struggle, Jena got the safety belt unhooked so she could descend to interact with the audience. In motion, the pants are even more confusing. HCJ again congratulates Randy for the song choice. Keith said a lot of syllables. JLo thought it was a little stiff and shaky. The Hub thinks it was because Jena was nervous about being up on that platform.

David Cook needs to be a judge. Or at least a mentor.

Next up, The Judges' Choices, which are traditionally train wrecks. On the other hand, Randy Jackson's picks are also generally terrible, and those were well received, so you never know.

Caleb is wearing a black tee shirt with a sort of diamond pattern with a skull (Caleb and skulls is like Fringe and needles- always together). His dog bit the producer on his home visit. The judges delivered their song choice a few days ago, en masse. They handed him an envelope which he opened in Asheville. He'll be singing Demons, by Imagine Dragons. He's all alone on stage, no backing band, no smoke, no guitar. Once again, I like Caleb's restrained voice. We hear more of his tone this way, and I like it.

Keith is proud of how Caleb is working through his vocal limits tonight. JLo liked the emotion of the song. HCJ asks Caleb a question which he has to answer. With his voice. The damaged voice that isn't supposed to be used except to sing. Sigh.

Candace Glover (with her first name misspelled, I think) has not fallen off the face of the earth.

The judges chose Rhianna's Stay for Alex. Hmmm. Now, he's wearing an chartreuse jacket and matching pants over a wildly printed orange and black blouse.. I think it helps that I don't know this song, because I think it's really really pretty, and none of my brain is taken up in comparing this performance to the original. JLo is goosie-ing all over the place. I would buy this- it's really gorgeous.

Standing O's from Keith and JLo.

JLo knew that he would sing the heck out of that song. HCJ says it was really beautiful and strong. Keith loves Alex's artistic choices.

Lee DeWyze still exists. Who knew.

I'm glad they showed some of Jessica's homecoming. Ah, the rest of the kids are there too! I liked most of them, and I remember some. Malaya has not settled down. They must be really afraid no one will watch next week- Ryan announced some of the celebrity guests (Darius Rucker, John Legend, Phil Phillips). I think that was a first.

Jena will be singing Heart Attack, by Demi Lovato. Why is Demi Lovato taken seriously by anyone?
Jena is wearing better pants this time- they're still white (on second view, I see that they're very faded denim) but at least this pair fits. Her top seems to be constructed of many many narrow strips of fabric held together by studs and rings. This song does absolutely nothing for me, and I don't think it's much of a showcase for Jena either. But she sure can shout.

HCJ likes that Jena finds a way to change up even melodically challenged tunes. Keith doesn't say much, but he takes awhile to do it. JLo prefers this performance to the previous one.

Ryan says Demi Lovato will sing with all of the girls next week. Sigh.

Fantasia loves the show.

Each of the kids' towns chose from two previously performed songs for them to sing tonight. Asheville chose Dazed and Confused for Caleb, which is a pretty good choice. I wonder if his voice will hold up. Well, if the opener is any indication, Caleb saved it all for the a capella first verse. I fear that Caleb is doing permanent damage to his voice. JLo is having criminal congress with this song. Keith is up and gyrating as well, but not quite in the same way. Caleb finishes by destroying his mike stand, and JLo goes purely crazy.

The audience goes crazy too, Keith has to shout over them. JLo contemplates throwing her panties. HCJ says it was awesome and absolutely fantastic.

Scotty McCreery still sneers. I hope he has recovered from the home invasion robbery that happened last month.

Alex's home town chose One Direction's The Story of My Life. Alex is wearing a tee and a vest. One of Alex's many talents is taking sappy songs and making them interesting, or at least less sappy. I'm not sure anything anyone does will top Caleb's last performance. On the other hand, Alex doesn't have to top Caleb, he just has to beat Jena. Whether he can do it or not, remains to be seen.

JLo expresses the difficulty in choosing only two of three really talented singers who do not resemble each other in the least. HCJ says it was good. Keith preferred Stay to this one, but says it was strong.

Jordin Sparks is still really really pretty.

Jena's fellow high school students chose Creep, by Radiohead. Jena is at the piano, which is always a good choice for her. She's wearing a very fancily festooned dress- it looks like the fabric is scratchy and vaguely covered  with cobwebs in addition to chains and pearls and sequins and sparkles. Her hair has a bit of poof to it. She's doing well with this, which is no surprise to anyone. Well, maybe not that note. But the rest was fine.

HCJ really really likes Jena singing at the piano. Keith is amazed at Jena's progress since her original audition. JLo says it was brilliant.

The three kids are all so different, and I imagine Alex will suffer in comparison, not because he's any less talented, but because he's far less flashy. In truth, I'm not sure that Alex would be served by winning, so if he goes home tomorrow, that's okay (not that he'll be going anywhere, what with all of the production work for next week's extravaganza).

So my best for tonight: Alex #2, Caleb #3, and Jena #3.

All three are good, all three deserve to win. I suspect that Jena and Caleb will move on to the finale.

9 of the 12 previous Idol Winners had segments tonight. Missing were Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and... I know this is going to shock you... Taylor Hicks. I wonder if any of them will show up tomorrow night.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sorry for the quiet time...

I'm putting together a proposal for Knitting Book #6, and all of my brain is occupied (or at least trying to be occupied) with that. I should have it ready to submit after tomorrow, and then things can get back to normal, at least until I go to work (if I do go to work, that is).

In the meantime, I finished one of the Regia neon socks- I love it!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Photo Challenge Pics

It's been awhile since I shared some Photo Challenge highlights (for newcomers- I belong to a Facebook Photo Group which takes a picture every day to match a prompt. We started using the Fat Mum Slim list but some months we swap out prompts for ones we like better). These shots are from the last couple of months.

 Hip- as in Hip Roof, in Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Pin (Black Hills Gold)

Looks like a Number

Litter (in my own yard, no less)


State Bird (Ring Necked Pheasant- and lest you think I am some amazing nature photographer, the bird was taxidermied. It is a former pheasant. It has ceased to exist.)

Glass (paperweight from The Glass Eye in Seattle)

What is it?
What it is (an amazing sculpture from the Dahl Art Center in Rapid City, SD. It's made of wire and spoons and forks and bits of cut metal. It's really beautiful)


Fresh (photo altered via BeFunky)

Photographer's Choice (when given a choice, I almost always go for the little barn)

Beautifully ordinary (turn signal on The Hub's 1951 International Dump Truck)\

Marbles... except not, these are marble-like lampwork beads I made

Letter- a lovely necklace made for me by my insanely talented niece

Abandoned (self explanatory)