If your week has been anything like mine, I’m thinking you could use some of this…
If your week has been anything like mine, I’m thinking you could use some of this…
So I’m thinking about picking up a Nintendo DS (Lite if you were curious) in a couple months when our tax money comes in (it’s gonna be a good year for tax returns in our family) and I’ve been spending some time on Amazon trying to decide which color I like and what games I want to get and what games my husband might like if I decide to share it with him…
I’m gonna want some puzzle / word games for sure – I’d love to get a good assortment of crosswords, sudoku, word searches and also brain teasers. I also want to get a Harvest Moon game because there appear to be a ton of them on DS to choose from and I love me some Harvest Moon (why yes I am a huge nerd) and I’m also intrigued by Professor Layton and the Curious Village… and of course there’s like a gazillion others that look interesting. There are a lot of DS games out there, many that look similar to each other and many have good reviews and also terrible reviews or almost no reviews because they are new or haven’t come out yet…
So, my aloha friday question today is:
Do you have a DS? If so, what games would you recommend?
If not: if you had $200 to spend on yourself , what would you buy?
Kailani @ An Island Life takes it easy on Fridays by posting a simple question for you to answer – and she invites you to do the same. Just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!
Lately she seems to get bigger every second. If I blink, I might miss everything – her mouth is already chock full of tiny teeth. I swear she’s one step away from turning twenty some mornings and yet still my little baby girl…
She’s a force to be reckoned with, this one. Larger than life – determined to have her say.
Forget crawling, this child is ready to walk – ready to rock and roll. In a few hours she might be running after her brother and climbing the highest mountaintops. It’s a good thing our furniture is already bolted to the walls here.
It’s hard to believe how fast this year is flying. Just yesterday it seems, the doctors were unsure if I’d be able to take her home just yet… would she gain enough weight? She was so, so tiny that first week. Now people would guess she’s at least three months older than she really is – and you can see her taking it all in, studying everything – ready to make her mark in the world.
Don’t get in her way.
You’ll regret it.
love thursday is the brainchild of chookooloonks – head to her blog for more ruminations on love
Last night was “Guys Night” on American Idol. How do you think they compared to the ladies? I have to say, at this point in the competition, I’m pretty disappointed with well over half the contestants – male and female alike. But here’s a quick breakdown of the performances last night and, of course, my opinions.
I am a big fan of Todrick (loved his audition) and I thought he was pretty clever with this rendition of Kelly Clarkson, but the judges seemed to disagree in a major (confusing) way, telling him he changed up the song too much. I’m inclined to disagree, but I also don’t think the performance was terribly strong so much as very unique. He definitely knows how to perform – I enjoyed it a lot and I’m marking him down as one to watch. I give his performance a B- and hope I see him again next week.
Aaron Kelly: “Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascal Flatts
Just to further confuse me, Aaron Kelly came next, singing a song that bored me so much I actually hit the fast forward button on the DVR. The first time I’ve done that in the Top 12 performances – and then the judges seem to go crazy with love for him. Apparently he has an amazing voice, but I was too busy being bored to notice. C solid.
Jermaine Sellers: “Get Here” by Oleta Adams
This one was pretty bad – my husband downright loathes this guy and I was unimpressed with his performance. I wouldn’t be disappointed if he were gone next week. D+ / C-
Tim Urban: “Apologize” by OneRepublic
I like this guy but YIKES – did he not notice during rehearsals that he cannot hit those falsettos for shit? It was pretty bad, folks, pretty bad. And yet… I kind of hope he sticks around a bit longer. But if this performance is any indicator of his skills in general, he won’t be around for long. Unless the tween girls came out in spades to vote for his looks.
Joe Muñoz: “You And I Both” by Jason Mraz
I liked him a lot – I thought his accent was really nice in song and enjoyed his performance. My husband called it boring and the judges were also a bit lack luster in their comments. It’s hard to tell if I enjoyed his performance as much as I did because all the previous songs were so bad, or if it would have still been that good if the other guys had brought the house down for me already. I’m thinking he’ll be my Anoop of this season – I’ll defend him until the end even if no one else does. B-
Tyler Grady: “American Woman” by The Guess Who/Lenny Kravitz
Tyler appears to be the Danny / David Cook of this season – and by that I mean that my husband likes him a lot and I kind of hate him for no apparent reason. His performance was okay but so predictable that it verged on boring for me. “Wow, no kidding – you mean the blatantly 70′s loving Jim Morrison wishing he were guy can sing American Woman and make some tweens and cougars swoon? You’re kidding – I’m shocked.” Not. He gets the ultimate diss of “I don’t care enough to grade him.” Whatever.
Lee Dewyze: “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol
I like this guy and I thought his performance was pretty good, but not necessarily great. I really don’t have much else to say about him. C+
John Park: “God Bless The Child” by Billie Holiday
This performance was puzzling for him – I loved his voice a lot but the song choice was a bit bizarre and the judges seemed equally confused. It was one of those instances where you can’t just sing a song because you like it sometimes – it has to work for your voice and have the ability to buy votes. I’m not sure this song did that, but I’m still hopeful to see him next week. Cish.
Michael Lynche: “This Love” by Maroon 5
LOVED it. So far he had the best performance of the night, in my opinion, but the judges (and the hubby) didn’t seem to agree with me. I still maintain, this man can do no wrong in my eyes. His voice is just amazing and he nailed the performance. A- cause I know he can deliver even better.
Alex Lambert: “Wonderful World” by James Morrison
This poor boy is cursed with a name that is going to get him compared to a much better performer over and over again for the duration of his career. But if last night’s performance is any indicator, that won’t be very long. His voice was alright but his stage presence was verging on frightening – he made me uncomfortable just watching him and the performance was only okay. The judges said something about needing confidence which could be true, but I don’t care enough to wait for it. C-
Casey James: “Heaven” by Bryan Adams
I don’t get the “oh my gosh he’s so cute” thing that the judges are raving about, but I do get that this boy can sing. I thought he was AWESOME and really enjoyed the performance, even if it did sound remarkably like the original, which I think we’ve decided is a bad thing, but much like Crystal Bowersox’s performance of “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette last night, I’m inclined to not care. Also – looking through my impressions of last night and the night before, I’m wondering if the lineup was somehow rigged because the pattern of bad and good seems remarkably similar… Hmmm… Oh, right, Casey – I give him a solid A. James was GOOD to the last drop.
Andrew Garcia: “Sugar, We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy
If my observed pattern is correct, it should not surprise you when I say that Andrew Garcia was the hubby’s favorite of the night and thus far. I agree, for the most part. I think he is so talented and I really enjoyed his version of this song – I liked being able to really savor all the lyrics and loved his voice and and and… But as far as Top Performer, I’m still kind of tying him with my other favorites. I still give him a grade in the A range.
So my Top 3 Guys of the night would be:
And the Bottom 3 are:
How about you? Who did you love, who did you hate? Let me know in the comments section below!
Let’s take a break from the hair pulling and the mouse catching and the internet blitzing and look at my cute kids, kay?
Wasn’t that a nice little escape? And back to reality…
While I have an internet connection and a prayer, I thought I’d rant for a little while and further document my crazy. I’ve been feeling very unproductive on here for the past couple days, opening tabs and then sort of leaving them there to read for days on end while I hum and haw and walk from one task to the next, pull my hair out, whimper a little and then lose my internet connection … again.
The annoying thing is, from my husband’s end (i.e. our server and where my internet connection is coming from) there’s basically no problem. My mac just seems to have lost it’s noggin and can’t deal. And I’ll try a million things and then try them all again with no luck. Then I’ll walk away and clean something in the apartment thinking, “Clearly the internet gods think I’ve been online too long,” and then I’ll come back and the problem will either temporarily be gone or it won’t be with little explanation. Basically – nothing I am doing is helping anything and sometimes I strike gold and have a connection long enough to do some stuff, and sometimes I don’t.
MEANWHILE, like that isn’t fun enough, there’s this unwelcome house guest roaming around, nibbling on the food in my pantry and pooping a lot. I like to call him, “that damned mouse.” The mouse who seems to be some kind of mouse trap escaping savant. The little sticky traps that our maintenance guy has brought have proved basically useless because without so much as a peep it just climbs onto the trap eats for awhile and then un-sticks itself and leaves.
The Tomcat trap we bought last weekend and put peanut butter on thinking, “He can’t just pick that up and leave,” well apparently he can or else he is able to magically sit on the thing and lick the peanut butter off and then leave without triggering the “kill me now” button. Amazingly if I so much as look at the trap wrong it goes off, so if it were a “startle Jen” trap then I’d say it works rather well. But the mouse? Not caught yet.
I think tonight Dan’s planning to pick up a real mousetrap (you know the old school get ready for blood and guts kind) and we’re crossing our fingers that the old standard holds out. I’m mentally paying my respects and also hoping it works since clearly this mouse might be smarter than we are. Hopefully it’s not planning to go out tonight and buy Human Traps or else we’re done for.
Anyway the hubby is coming home for lunch and installing Ubuntu on my Mac and I might just be converting. I tried it out on the disc today and mostly liked it except it kept booting me offline, too, but I’m hoping it’s just because I was running on the CD and not a real version? At this point I’m just going to try whatever and hope for the best and at least I’ll have OS X and Ubuntu to switch between and feel like I’m doing something useful when my connection drops out.
I should probably publish this now before I lose my connection and probably also this post…
* update *
So we installed Ubuntu and all would be great except that my internet driver thing on the Mac doesn’t appear to be supported. There are a handful of drivers out there apparently with this problem and lucky ducky me, I’ve got one. I suspect Mac very much so intended it this way. But Dan still thinks he might be able to Linux/MacGyver me a solution tonight because he has mad skills. In the meantime, I’m praying my connection holds out today on ye old Mac OS X. It figures now that we’re trying to install Linux on it, the Mac is behaving. I’m pretty sure it knows what we’re trying to do and it’s all, “Look the Linux thingy is way more complicated than you thought it would be and now I’m behaving. You should probably just forget this whole thing, Jen,” but you know if I did, my internet connection would be gone again in like the blink of an eye. ::sigh::
Last season I blogged about my American Idol opinions after most of the performances and I thought I’d do it again this year. I thought it was interesting to be able to look back on my thoughts about the winner and top performers overall and see the progression of their performances and my opinions of them. Anyone else remember that Kris Allen was once “seriously what was that guy’s name again?” in my write ups? Good times…
Anyway, last night the Top 12 women performed on Idol and many of you voted in (I don’t have a texting plan personally, so I’m not a voter, just a viewer with opinions to spew) – here’s my take on their performances:
I feel like I liked Paige at one point, but I didn’t like this performance at all. My first comment while watching was, “wrong song choice” and I felt all sorts of awesome when Simon said the same thing. He and I were on the same page most of the night. I’d give her performance a C+ at best – but I did like the dress she was wearing (even if she did have to be sewn into it – yikes!) with the little ribbon around the waist thing going on.
Ashley Rodriguez: “Happy” by Leona Lewis
This was pretty terrible – she sounded sort of like Leona but really at this point, is that a good thing? Like the judges said (numerous times) I think it is way more impressive to sing a song that would be unexpected and put your own spin on it instead of just showing how well you can mimic someone else already recording. We already have one Leona Lewis, we don’t need another one – especially one with such a poor performance. That said, I like Ashley and I hope she continues on and learns from that performance. Another C+ performance.
Janell Wheeler: “What About Love” by Heart
Forgettable. I know I had thoughts about this performance last night when I tried to write this recap (and internet problems galore had me fuming well into the night – did I mention I’m writing this while trying out Ubuntu (that’s linux for the Luddites out there) on my iMac? I know, I know…) anyway, yes unfortunately when it comes to this performance I find I’d rather complain about my computer than prattle on about how I can’t really remember what it was I thought about her. I think I mumbled something about “song choice” and then waited impatiently for the next girl. I was, at this point, a little worried because I hadn’t liked anyone yet even though I could swear I remembered liking all three at one point. Her grade? I don’t care.
Lilly Scott: “Fixing A Hole” by the Beatles
Finally!!! Finally, an artist with originality and, um, don’t slap me for saying so, but skills. I can overlook the fact that I really hate hate hate the blueish white hair thing because I. freaking. love. her. The song was good, obviously, being a Beatles song. But I think she totally made it her own. The judges were all slap happy that somebody actually sang like they deserved to be there and all was well in Idol land again. I give her performance a solid B+ because I liked it but think she could do even better. Cross your fingers that this talented girl makes it through to the next level because… SQUEE!
Katelyn Epperly: “Oh! Darling” by the Beatles
My husband and I were in a minor disagreement about this girl – I loved it, he was indifferent. (If you were wondering about my husband’s opinions of the other girls, just assume that he and Simon are almost always in agreement, except he was even a bit snootier – he liked Lilly more than Katelyn but all in all was still unimpressed in general). The judges (or Kara I think?) made a comment about her “look” but I thought it was great and matched the song if that makes any sense. A strong performance that might have had technical problems but I’m not a technical person so I just really enjoyed it. Another B+
Haeley Vaughn: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles
I really wanted to love this performance because I think I liked Haeley and um, terrific song, but let’s be honest guys – she butchered it. It was probably the worst rendition of this song that I have ever, ever heard. The audience seemed to eat her up and you could tell she was having a heck of a time – grins galore and all that – but even I, with my severe lack of technical knowledge, hated it. It was pretty bad folks, pretty bad. My first D of the night.
Lacey Brown: “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
And then there was Lacy Brown. I love her look and there’s a quality to her voice that I enjoy, but she took a terrific song and made it severely boring and then made herself look stupid when she failed to understand why with her comment about how, “they can’t all be rock and roll songs.” No, that’s true Lacey, but trust me – I’ve heard non-boring non-rock and roll – and this wasn’t it. C- because she still did better than Haeley even if her audience fell asleep while Haeley’s cheered like mad despite the butchering.
Michelle Delamor: “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys
Another cameo-like performance where it might as well have been Alicia for all I cared – if you blind folded me, I might not have known the difference which sounds like a compliment, but trust me it isn’t. It also bordered on boring. And why does she smile that way? Is it on purpose or does she not know that it makes her look a little bit dumb? Straight up now: C
Didi Benami: “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson
Love the song, loved her performance, love her – but – if I have to complain when other singers sound like total copy cats, then I suppose I can’t ignore it here either. She won’t go down in my book as a top performer of the night, but I’m still hoping she makes it through to next week so she can try, try again. B-
Siobhan Magnus: “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak
The first half bordered on just terrible but she hit her stride somewhere and sold it for me. I love her voice but the performance was… I don’t know. I would never have chosen that song but she did sort of make it work. I think she’ll make it through and maybe next week she’ll do better? I’m on the fence and giving her a B- as well.
Crystal Bowersox: “Hand In My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette
I know, I know, stuff about singing songs like the original but in this instance, forgive me (or not) if you disagree, but I kind of think she out-sang Alanis. I enjoyed her harmonica playing, love her voice and find her very, very real – if a little high and mighty about herself. I have a very small reservation here but I think I’m giving her an A- cause I think she’s going places and I loved her performance.
Idol definitely saved the best for last with Katie, who was – HANDS UP IN THE AIR – my husband’s favorite. He practically fell out of his chair and started raving about how she was on a different level and then we both scratched our head a lot when none of the judges seemed to agree. But maybe they were doing that tough love bit when they are extra hard on their favorites because of all that slammin’ potential they see? They had beef with the song being too old for her and wanted her to sing something more her age, but you know what? I kinda disagree. This girl has got some awesome talent and doesn’t need to dumb it down – I think her audience will follow her anywhere, even into the 1920s if she wants to go there. A+
So my top three for the night would be:
And my bottom three are:
Now it’s your turn – who did you love? Who did you hate?
Last month’s predictions were remarkably spot on. Here’s what I read (or tried to read) in the last month:
And right now I’m about 2/3 of the way through The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart. I love this series a lot and I’m almost dreading the moment I finish it and have to pick my next book. Which book will I choose? Definitely something from my growing stack of TBR books like…
Normally I’d post pictures of said books, but my computer is being unbearably slow today so I’m going to call it a day and hit publish. But before I go…
What’s in your nightstand right now?
If you looked outside my window: it seems to have stopped snowing – we’ve gotten a couple of “light dustings” this weekend and this morning but I don’t think more than an inch or two has accumulated and it still feels warm to me. I think we are adjusting to the cold because now 25-30 degrees feels almost balmy – I’ve stopped wearing my winter coat.
I am reading: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart. Part of me is thinking I should slow the freak down because I’m nearly finished already but I tend to blow through this series’ books quickly. I’m not sure which of my many TBR books I’ll tackle next. I have plenty to choose from…
Last night: we played Candy Land with MM over a big bowl of popcorn. The last time we played, he seemed to think the game was just a giant, flat dollhouse and didn’t really grasp the concept of a “game” but he played with his baby sitter and her family the other week and they said he did a great job so we played last night and… they were right! He did a really great job and really seems to get it now. I’m seeing more game nights in our future for sure!
In the kitchen:
Monday: Spaghetti with Cheese and Pepper (Smitten Kitchen recipe) and Salad
Tuesday: Black Bean Quesadillas
Wednesday: Tomato Basil Soup
Thursday: Aloo Paratha w/ lettuce, diced tomatoes, black beans & cheese
Friday: Shrimp with Couscous and Carrots
I am really excited about: tax rebates coming – we overpaid by like a ton last year and we’ve got a good chunk of change coming back to us – it should pad our house fund quite nicely and we might even be able to pick up a couple things we’ve been saving for like a Netbook for Dan or a DS for me. I’d love any game suggestions!
I really want to make: spaghetti squash – I think this is going to be on our menu next week. In the sweet tooth arena, I’m craving these smores brownies from Joy the Baker – don’t they look delicious?
This weekend we: cleaned out and organized the pantry like you would not believe. It’s been World War Mouse over here and we still haven’t managed to catch our furry house guest. He has outsmarted all the traps we’ve set – we picked up a trap by Tomcat that is supposedly guaranteed effective – but so far they have just effectively baffled me – somehow the mouse took the bait and escaped alive – which is bizarre because I like barely touched the thing and it went off this morning! I think we’re dealing with a savant. But the baby has been enjoying the new tupperware we bought to better package our foods.
Some other links I think you should click:
One last thing I want to tell you about before I go: Have you guys checked out Google Fast Flip? It’s a fun new way to read news online that I really got addicted to the other day – the layout is really nice, the news is interesting and I found myself reading news from many, many sources that I might never have seen otherwise. Very cool.
When I was in grade school, probably about 10 or 11 years old, my dad took me to get my hair cut. I was entering that really awkward tween stage and feeling kind of low so I decided to spring for a hair cut that would make me feel older and more sophisticated. How many of you constantly find yourself disappointed by a haircut because you’d secretly hoped it would transform you into the “Cinderella” version of yourself but in the end it was still just you there underneath the new ‘do? I’ve experienced it more times than I’d care to count – and this was probably the first time.
The guy at the salon suggested a pixie cut which I immediately decided was perfect because what could be more beautiful and delicate than a pixie? I pictured myself blossoming into a chic Tinker Bell-esque beauty. All my problems were going to go away with this haircut, you know. But I left looking more like this…
Word of warning to young girls and their mothers: A hair cut this short on a girl with no curves (i.e. pre-puberty) will not make her more feminine. Especially if she’s not one of those “girly” girls who wears makeup or skirts and dresses on a regular basis. This hair cut is the reason a lunch lady once called me YOUNG MAN and pretty much ruined my self esteem for years. No longer was I the “Winnifred” of my Wonder Years, because I now worried that I looked more like Fred Savage.
You think it can’t get worse but I haven’t told you about how the back was basically a tiny little rat tail. Oh yes, I am not lying. It was pretty bad folks. But a good thing came from this very bad haircut. I have no fear now when it comes to my hair – I’ve cut it short again many times and I actually usually like it – now that I’ve got those blessed curves. In my mind, it really can’t get any worse than that awful hair cut which I’ve already survived and lived to tell the tale of. So hit me with your best shot, is what I figure. I’ll get over it. I’ve had worse.
And I have to say, looking back on this picture – it’s not as bad as I remembered it. I’m not loving it, as I’m not prone to loving pictures of myself and the memories are still strong enough to make me shudder a little. But if I’m going to be honest with myself and everyone else reading this (all three of you), it wasn’t that bad. It was probably mostly only that bad in my mind…
But sometimes in my darker moments of Jen-dom, I’m secretly still this disappointed little girl who hoped a hair cut might magically transform me into the girl I wanted to be but ended up with a rat tail and a bit of a complex instead. No matter how many times my husband tells me I’m beautiful, I usually still feel like a gawky pre-teen, uncomfortable in her own skin, waiting, waiting for the Cinderella Moment of my story…
But I think it’s just a matter of perspective – that we already are Cinderella to everyone else – and the only one seeing the pumpkin and the rags underneath our self esteem and emotional baggage is ourselves.
What’s the worst haircut you’ve had?