Thoughts On Friends, Social Lives & Dinner Parties

Last night Dan went to play some board games, etc. with some of his new friends from work. I was kind of bummed out that I wouldn’t be able to go, but thought it was really good that he’s making friends already – one of us needs to have a social life. Besides, I got to spend the night tooling around online, watching anything on TV I wanted to (including the first episode of the BBC series Robin Hood and the first two episodes of True Bloodwhich ironically this morning I found a giveaway at Melissa’s Bookshelf to win the first 7 books in the series the show was based off of – what are the odds?) and eating junk food – so it’s not like I had a bad night or anything.

Dan had a small handful of good friends from college back home, but it was largely my group of friends that we hung out with the most – our monthly Game Night usually meant regularly seeing my close knit group of ladies and it’s one thing I know we both miss from our old routine. So I was thinking that we should just reinstate something similar, with his new friends – it will be his time to shine, which totally works for me. This will mean that I’ll get to meet his friends, too, and we won’t have to look for a baby sitter which is good because I am still a bit apprehensive about hiring strangers to watch my kids – I know, I’ve been spoiled.

He had a great time last night and I think he was pretty happy when I suggested that he invite his friends over here sometime. I left it open ended – I don’t want to organize this into the ground and it’s not like we have loads of other things going on (aside from the new baby coming) – so I didn’t pester him to set a date, rather I told him to make sure he gave me 24 hours notice that people were coming. I’ll probably make him cook the meal anyway because he’s on this whole “fancy gourmet chef” kick which is so cute and it means the food is better when he’s cooking – but I could use the occasion to make one of the many desserts I’ve been hoarding the recipes for lately.

I miss my girl friends but I’m glad one of us is already acquiring a social life and I want to make sure to encourage that and reap the benefits of human interaction anyway I can. Because I am much slower to form bonds and attachments – it might take me a year or more to really reach out and find those people that I’ll want to see regularly and invite into my home. So we’re both lucky that he’s having an easy time making friends at work. And okay – I totally just want an excuse to make one of those desserts and to not have to find childcare, but when everybody wins, does it matter the reasons it happened?

8 Things: June 16th

Snagged this meme from Jen @ Our Daily Big Top – I’m pretty sure it has a couple of different questions making this sort of like brand new and not me killing time when I could be doing anything more productive…

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

  1. Going to the beach – this weekend I hope.
  2. Having this baby already! A little over a month!
  3. My grandma coming to visit / help out with MM and the new baby for 2 weeks
  4. My dad and Marie coming to visit shortly after that…
  5. Dan’s parents coming to visit shortly after that (It’s like we’re famous or something)!
  6. The company picnic next month, the Saturday before my scheduled cesarean.
  7. Dan coming home tonight – it always feels long over due by the time he gets here. 🙂

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Did the laundry.
  2. Worked on the Top Secret Father’s Day gift.
  3. Got an adorable blanket and pillow for the baby from my friend Amanda @ Funkepunkemonke.
  4. Got a confirmation on my grandma’s flight dates for her trip here next month!
  5. Decided between steak, lobster or steak and lobster for the company picnic (I went with a little of both).
  6. Watched a Futurama 4-part episode marathon thingy on Comedy Central with the hubster.
  7. Made homemade chicken nuggets and onion rings for dinner. Would you believe my kid turned down the chicken nuggets? You know I really made them for him so I was a bit upset.
  8. Blogged, obviously.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  1. Whistle.
  2. Lose weight just by thinking about it.
  3. Have babies just by thinking about it (the birth part, not the conception).
  4. Inherit a ridiculously large amount of money.
  5. See my toes when I’m standing…
  6. Get out off the couch without assistance or a lot of planning.
  7. Get up two flights of stairs without being completely winded.
  8. Are you noticing a trend? Basically, not be pregnant anymore (but I still want the kid)!

8 Shows I Watch:

  1. The Ellen Degeneres Show
  2. Everyday Italian
  3. 30 Minute Meals With Rachel Ray
  4. Iron Chef America
  5. Grey’s Anatomy
  6. Bones
  7. Fringe
  8. America’s Next Top Model

8 Favorite Fruits:

  1. Kiwi
  2. Strawberries
  3. Lemons and Limes (in stuff, not just on their own)
  4. Grapes
  5. Pineapple
  6. Watermelon
  7. Mandarin Oranges
  8. Apples

8 Places I’d Like To Travel To:

  1. The Grand Canyon
  2. Paris, France
  3. Rome (or anywhere in Italy)
  4. London, England
  5. Disney World
  6. Washington DC
  7. California
  8. Hawaii

8 Places I’ve Lived:

  1. Twice in, CA
  2. My Grandparents House, MA
  3. Several Places In, KY
  4. My Dad’s House, MA
  5. College, MA
  6. With My In-Laws, MA
  7. First Apartment, MA
  8. Current Apartment, WI

Your turn.

About American Idol and My Real Life

So last night we watched Idol’s disco night. All the performances were fine I guess but the only two which stood out for me were Kris Allen and of course Adam Lambert. I’m not-so-silently pegging them as my top 2 at this point. I love both the ladies, but I don’t think either of them stand a chance at this point. We’ve got Lil Rounds who just doesn’t seem to get it, and that’s fine, she still has a beautiful voice and I’m glad to have heard her – and then that tiny little bombshell, Allison whose voice just kills me, but she seems to have plateaued for me. And then I think, “She’s 16, give her time.” So despite thinking they are both very talented ladies, I’m at peace now with my decision to leave their fan camps. Matt Giraurd seems to be an every other week thing for me. I love him or ‘meh’ him. Last night veered on the side of ‘meh.’ Anoop, man, he’s found his place with ballads which consistently pleases the judges but sometimes I have to wonder if he’s even happy being pinned in this little box. Whatever keeps him in the competition? Maybe I’m over analyzing. Last night was just okay for me. Oh and Danny, well we just won’t go there. If you don’t know my opinion on him by now, you can just search all my other American Idol related posts and you’ll soon catch on, but I’m tired of bitching on it.

So we’re leaving early early early Thursday morning, dropping the kiddo off at my MIL (from there he will be getting carted around to several other relatives for what should be the weird mid-week weekend sleepover extravaganza of his life) and heading to the airport for our flight which departs at 8:50am but between the 90 minutes of preparedness time they want you to have and the hourish commute to get to the airport, it still means a god awful morning. We should arrive in Dream City by 1:30pm. Apartment hunting, town drooling and then a dinner at the hotel restaurant which Dream Company is footing the bill for. Sweet. I’m hoping and praying the hotel has cable and that I’ll be able to watch Bones and Grey’s Anatomy, because I realized last night that tv owns half my life. Sad but true. I’m already accepting that I’ll be missing America’s Next Top Model this week. It conflicts with tv times tonight and Friday when it reruns we will literally be in the air on our way home. Drats.

Friday is the actual interview with Dream Company. Dan prepared a 20 minute presentation on a previous work project of his that he has to present to the big guys. Apparently there will be other candidates there also – I don’t know if they are hiring multiple people or if he simply has competition but the concept makes me nervous. Somehow, despite trying very hard to remain on the “if this happens” camp, I think I’d largely assumed it would. What if there is someone else coming there who is better? And they get the job? And we come home to our unemployment and disappointment and continue this search? ::sigh:: I know we’ll survive it either way, either way is a big thing to deal with, but ugh, I just want this to be over either way you know? I want to know where my life is headed by Saturday PLEASE.

So yeah, that’s about all the new and big. Not sure when I’ll be posting again as it’s about to get crazy busier (like busier than already) but I’ve got some posts up today and my weekend diversion’s is scheduled to post on Friday, so my blog won’t be completely silent without me. Hope you all have a great week!

American Idol: Top 9

Last night the Top 9 on American Idol were allowed to sing any song that is popular on iTunes – making for a wide variety of music but all popular songs that most people are likely to have heard before. I loved a lot of performances, even ones I hadn’t expected to. Unfortunately my least favorite performances were for musicians that in general I like a lot. I guess that’s to be expected as at this point all are talented musicians. Here’s how it broke down for us last night:

Anoop Desai (Caught Up, Usher): Oh boy. You know I love Anoop, you might not know I LOVE Usher. This was not a good performance. I really didn’t enjoy it – he didn’t hold a candle to the original and honestly he didn’t hold a candle to himself. The judges didn’t love it, my husband and I didn’t love it – and with so few good performances recently I’m thinking he’s going to find himself in the bottom three tonight and likely will go home. Which is a shame.

Megan Joy (Turn Your Lights Down Low, Bob Marley): I’m starting to think my husband and I are the sole members of the Megan Joy fan club. While this certainly wasn’t her best performance, I still love her voice and would still consider buying her album – the judges were not happy at all and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in the bottom three tonight. Still – she’s one of my favorite vocalists – much more so than Anoop at this point.

Danny Gokey (What Hurts The Most, Rascal Flatts): First off, I’m going to admit it was a good performance. Am I joining the Danny Gokey fan club? No. Did I think he did a better job than the original? No. But not by much. Honestly I think if you played his version and the original version you could conceivably forget which was which. And at the end of the day, he’s just not ever going to be my favorite. He still stands a good chance of finding himself in the top 3 of this competition. The judges ALL loved him and my husband liked him, too – though he isn’t his favorite.

Alison Iraheta (Don’t Speak, No Doubt): I love Alison, I LOVE this song – but it wasn’t her best performance. The guitar skills to be honest were not good enough in my mind to have bothered bringing it out. For the first time I was not surprised that “she’s only 16” rather it was very evident. I still love her and her voice, and I think she’ll do fine for the week, but I hope she does better next week – and that hair was just awful, never you even mind the outfit.

Scott MacIntyre (Just The Way You Are, Billy Joel): This was by far his best performance to date. I love Billy Joel and even my husband who LOVES Billy Joel agreed this was good. Neither of us are hard core Scott fans but I think this might have been one of the best performances of the night.

Matt Giraud (You Found Me, The Fray): Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch. This was really, really, really bad. And after just liking him for the first time last week, that’s not saying much for him. He has a beautiful voice but with this song choice that wasn’t evident. He almost sounded ridiculous and the performance, as Simon would say, seemed like indulgent nonsense to me. I’m thinking Matt may be joining the ranks of the bottom three again tonight, but I’m hoping he stays for at least another week.

Lil’ Rounds (I Surrender, Celine Dion): The first half of this song was just painfully bad – and her hair and dress were really not great – but the second half reminds me why I love her – those notes were just crazy and she didn’t look the least bit fatigued by that craziness – if anything she looked like she was finally in her element. I can see why she chose the song after hearing the whole thing but on the whole I’m questioning her song choices in general. She has a very powerful niche in R&B and I don’t think she needs to consider that a bad thing. She needs to consider it a very good thing and return there quickly if she wants to find her place in the Top 3 where she so rightfully deserves to be in my opinion.

Adam Lambert (Play That Funky Music, Wild Cherry): I’m just going to say it. He is my favorite. He is my husband’s pegged winner of the whole competition – which you shouldn’t take lightly as he pegged last season’s winner VERY early on and he’s a very good judge of musical talent. I am quite possibly in love with Adam Lambert musically and just loved every little minute of this. It was another stellar performance and I already cannot wait to see what he does next. In our opinions, dh and I, Adam is in a musical league of his own in this competition.

Kris Allen (Ain’t No Sunshine, Bill Withers): Like Danny Gokey, this was the first night when I felt like “Ohhhhhhhh now I get it.” The difference being with Gokey it was acknowledged and with Allen it was acknowledged with enthusiasm. I love this song and I loved his performance. His personal touch was evident everywhere and I think he did a better job on the piano than I’ve ever really seen him do on the guitar. The whole thing was masterful and if the rest of the competition can be based on last night, he could easily and by far find himself in the top 3 or 4.

So the bottom three tonight for me are pretty obviously Anoop, Megan and Matt – and I’m pegging Anoop as the unlucky performer to be heading home. My personal top three of the night would be Adam, Kris and either Danny or Lil – Lil’ over all, Danny for the night. And I think I’m going to have to agree with the hubby that Adam is number one of the night and so far the whole shebang.

But enough about me – how about you? Who did you love? Who did you hate?

American Idol: Motown Week

This week the Top 10 Idol finalists performed classic motown songs after being coached by Motown legend Smokey Robinson. It was a good time had by all in my opinion, I thought most of the music was just stellar, but some artists rose above in my mind – the front runners are becoming obvious at this point. Here’s a breakdown of my opinions of each performance:

Matt Giraud, Let’s Get It On: I think was the first performance by Matt where I actually loved him. I’m not sure if I love him as much as some of my other long-standing favorites but for once he came across to me as more than just a J Timberlake pretty boy wanna be and he impressed me with his vocal skills – I think this genre for him works wonders – his voice really stood out for me. I loved how he started at the piano and then got up and worked the audience. It was a stellar performance.

Kris Allen, How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: I’m just going to accept that I’m not into him. He’s clearly talented because other people seem to like him but for me there is just always something missing (usually my interest). I feel like there is this whole other second world in performing that he has no access to – but I don’t really know how to explain it. The judges loved him – dh and I were both really, really bored.

Scott MacIntyre, You Can’t Hurry Love: I think Scott can probably record an album at this point, but I don’t think he can win the competition. It’s obvious there are better performers and I just really don’t think his talent is seasoned enough to go much further here. His song was fine but it was not a stand out performance.

Megan Joy, For Once In My Life: My husband and I are big Megan fans and he was completely wowed by this performance. I loved her voice and love her but I also kind of agreed with the judges – I feel like a song where she can linger on the words more and make use of her voice would have been better – my husband, who knows the original song, said she’d already slowed down the tempo a lot, but for me it wasn’t enough. I liked the judges advice and I hope she continues on because I just love hearing her sing. If she makes an album, I’m buying it.

Anoop Desai, Ooh Baby Baby: This wasn’t my favorite Anoop performance but it certainly wasn’t his worst. According to the judges this was a very difficult song to sing – so I give him props for performing it perfectly, but I’d love to hear something with some more energy. I’m not sure Anoop can win this competition, but I do hope he stays around a bit longer – there are other people doing much worse than him.

Michael Sarver, Ain’t To Proud To Beg: Speaking of much worse than Anoop – I’m over Oil Rig Guy – he’s fun, he has a good voice – but I think he’s gone as far here as he’s going to. The judges are asking for an improvement that I’m not sure he even knows how to deliver. All the boy really wants to do is “sang” at the end of the day.

Lil’ Rounds, Heat Wave: I love me some Lil’ but this performance, like the last, was just kind of okay. The hair was just awful. The bottom line is she’s better than this. I think she’s too concerned with honoring her musical predecessors and it’s taking away from a truly Lil’ Rounds performance. I respect her wanting to respect them, but if she wants to win this thing she’s going to need to step it back up a notch (like she was doing in Hollywood week) and bring back her natural swagger. And I’d love it if she did.

Adam Lambert, Tracks Of My Tears: I just love him. He’s forgiven for last week. The thing about Adam is that he has that other special thing that people like Kris Allen (aka I can never actually remember his name) and Michael Sarver just don’t – he has access to that other level of artistry. He’ll sing a word and you think you know how he’ll sing it, but then he’ll change it in this small subtle way and it just takes my breath away. I think his theatre background is helping him a lot because he not only sings the heck out of his songs, but he’s always putting on a performance and owning the stage, even in a song as mild as this, the surprise of him doing something so low key was enough to captivate us. I think we all are anxious to see what he can do next. I loved the first line of this song for him, “People say I’m the life of the party…” in that soft, melancholy voice – this song became his for this night, I think even Smokey Robinson would agree. Love him.

Danny Gokey, Get Ready: I couldn’t believe it when he didn’t take Smokey’s advice and was even more annoyed that nobody even mentioned it. I’m guessing that he knew he wasn’t capable of doing both his lyrics and the “background” lyrics and he knew it. I guess it’s better to ignore good advice and not bomb on the song, but it still annoyed me and the performance for me was just okay. I couldn’t wait for it to be over and I’m just annoyed that he’s still here. I think he stands a good chance of making it to the Top 3 but I’m not happy about it.

Allison Iraheta, Papa Was A Rolling Stone: Where does she come from? I agree with the judges – when I remember this girl is just 16 years old it just blows my mind because she can SING. Her talent is just on another level. My husband commented that he couldn’t understand her a lot of the time and I’ll agree with that, but man this girl is going places – she could easily find herself in the top 2 of this thing.

So for me: Scott MacIntyre and Michael Sarver should pack their bags – and I wouldn’t mind if Kris Allen and Danny Gokey disappeared either. The two front runners for me are Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta – with Anoop, Lil’ and Megan making up the bottom of my Top 5 and Matt Giraurd being my “I don’t know where he’ll end up” other guy. And if I missed anyone, it’s probably because I’ve forgotten they’re still here.

Who did you love? Who did you hate?

American Idol’s Gone Country

This week the folks at Idol got back to MY roots with country week. I’m sure a lot of people across the globe (my husband included) groaned a little when they saw this. I groaned a little bit less. Country music is not my favorite genre but I think I can fairly well judge it as I don’t hate it, and I lived in Kentucky for almost ten years. I’ve heard a lot of it – I learned to sing with country music (Reba is my home girl). Okay fine, I like country music. I just like a lot of other genres more. Which means – if their performances aren’t good – I’m going to be pretty critical or at the very least bored, which doesn’t say much for them either. Here’s how they did in my quasi humble opinion:

Michael Sarver, Sun Comes Up: This was a good old fashioned fun time. Was it his best vocals? No, how could it be? That was hardly the point – this was about kicking back, engaging the audience and having a blast – and he did that in spades. Or something. I don’t know – the judges were not so much loving it, but I think any of his fans will have eaten that ish up. I enjoyed it, even though I couldn’t understand a word he said.

Allison Iraheta, Blame It On Your Heart: I think I might be in love with Allison’s voice. She had better get a record deal out of this (assuming she doesn’t win) because I love love love her music. I love this song – a lot – my husband groaned a little (or a lot) when I started singing along (to be fair, Allison sang it way better than I did). The judges love her – no duh – what’s not to love?

Kris Allen, To Make You Feel My Love: The judges were over the moon for this performance. I was over it. I get it, he’s cute – he has a decent voice. But really? Is he REALLY that good? I gotta be honest, I was mostly just bored.

Lil Rounds, Independence Day: Okay so this wasn’t her best performance, but all I mean by that is that she is amazing and going places and oh my god and this song was just really good. She’s not a country star, but she clearly wanted to try it anyway – honestly, okay. Her voice is beautiful and she did a good job – but it’s hard not to compare her to her usual swaggering self. I still love me some Lil’ Rounds and I’m assuming she’ll be fine. (Right?)

Adam Lambert, Ring of Fire: “Are you wearing an Aluminum suit?” “Are you in a rocket?” “Are you David Bowie?” If you got that reference you win 100 cool kids points. Moving on, my point – this performance was out there – it was that kind of Bowie-esque performance that I felt an artist would pull out after really well establishing themselves because let’s be honest, it was weird. And it was so busy being weird and hypnotic that there didn’t seem to be much time left for strong vocals. Which is fine. I just said that was fine for Oil Rig Guy – but this isn’t oil rig guy, it’s Adam Lambert. I love Adam Lambert. I guess I expect more from him? My husband, by the way, bless his stuck in the 70s soul, loved this performance. It was like the first and only time he smiled all night. The judges looked equally baffled and maybe a little violated and confused. Or maybe I’m just vaguely quoting Kara.

Scott McIntyre, Wild Angels: I’ll be honest, I somehow tuned this performance out. It was fine – it sounded like most of his songs. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s talented, but in all truthfulness, he’s not an artist whose record I’d buy. I’d just admire it a ton and nod my head in enthusiasm in polite company. Some weird fight broke out over “to piano or not to piano” and it was kind of awkward and I might have gotten up to get a snack around here.

Alexis Grace, Jolene: I definitely got up to get a snack because although I remember hearing Alexis sing, I  cannot remember my reaction to it – I remember the judges disagreeing some more (I think) and that Alexis looked a little unkempt – like in a sweaty, tired kind of way that I don’t remember seeing before. She’s still adorable and I love her voice. I might have loved the performance if I’d been listening like I was supposed to.

Danny Goeke, Jesus Take The Wheel: This song got on my nerves, from the very topic of the song, to this weird ranting about not turning to god to solve all your problems that my husband and I got into, rather than being forced to listen to the whole song (this was an us agreeing rant by the way). Danny has a nice voice and a lot of people loved it but my husband and I kind of agreed with Simon (about him looking ridiculous) and that was that. A pregnant woman by the way? Should not be forced to listen to those lyrics. Yikes – add black ice to my list of now irrational fears. Thank God Spring is coming.

Anoop Desai, Always On My Mind: Oh my wow. I was just in raptures over this performance. Anoop Dogg is back in the house – this might have been my favorite performance of the night and my favorite Anoop performance ever. This boy clearly thrives under pressure (better late than never) and I think we were all reminded why we love him. He’s like that surprise you never see coming but it turns out to be the best surprise EVER.

Megan Joy, I Go Walking After Midnight: Love her. Love that the awkward wiggly dance was back (as much as I liked her actually moving her legs last week, we’ve come to love the awkward). I think the song suited her well and while it wasn’t without a couple of spotty moments, overall? Loved her. And the fact that she was sick as a dog the whole time? Commendable (even though even from across the tv screen I kept kind of cringing over the germs ick factor. Hope she wasn’t contagious…)

Matt Giraud, So Small: Okay fine – I’ll admit, I turned the tv off before he even came on stage. I don’t care. I’m sure he was fine. I have yet to be blown away by him and I was tired (and pregnant tired at that) so I went to bed. If you stayed up to listen to his song – please comment and tell me how he did.

So who did you love? Who did you hate? Who do you think will be saying auf weidershein tonight?