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AI 6.0

My pal Terry asked me about the current American Idol season, and guess what? I’ve been watching. I missed a few of the tryouts (convention, etc.) but I still have a few early favorites.

Fave #1: Sundance Head, who auditioned in Memphis. Awesome voice, awesome presence. Just a cool guy. I hope he goes far.

Fave #2: Chris Sligh. He looks kind of goofy, which totally added to his charm when he turned out to be sharp and funny. And a good singer.

Fave #3: Sean Michel, who looks a bit like Jesus.

I don’t have any favorite female singers yet. A lot of them seem very similar to one another. I’m pretty psyched for Hollywood Week, though. Always an interesting time.

So You Think You Can Dance!

Donyelle and Moon

As avid fans of talent-based reality shows (i.e. American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Hell’s Kitchen), we were quick to buy tickets when we heard that SYTYCD was going on tour. They stopped in Milwaukee last night, and it was a fantastic performance. I enjoyed it even more than the Idols concert in August. For one thing, the venue was smaller — Milwaukee Theatre — and more intimate.

Afterwards, as you might have guessed, we stuck around to try and meet the dancers. We were greatly rewarded for our patience, because every one of them came out to greet the fans and sign autographs. (The lovely Donyelle posed with MoonChild, as you can see here.) Moon had created a custom ‘Team Tranji’ hat and Dmitry t-shirt to wear, and was thrilled to get them signed. She was also able to get her program autographed by nearly all the other finalists, too.

You can see the other photos here. If you’re at all familiar with the show, it’s worth taking a look.

P.S. That Dmitry, he’s the same age as my nephew. And he’s like solid muscle. Arms like rope, or tree trunks, or something.

of course i saw ‘snakes on a plane’… and the idols

Chris and Elliott

The Idols concert was a week ago today. One thing I will say is that this year’s finalists are way better live than last year’s were. A few of them … Lisa Tucker and Ace Young, for instance … were actually more entertaining at the concert than they were on the show. Which I thought was impressive. We also learned that Chris Daughtry is incredibly popular in Milwaukee. The souvenir stands all sold out of his photo — although Moon was able to pick up pictures of Bucky and Ace, along with their buttons. (She bought Chris and Elliott buttons, too. The Elliott photos they were selling weren’t hot enough or something.)

Although we waited around afterwards to see if we could get an autograph or anything, the performers didn’t come out for meet-and-greet. We did get to see the bus off, though.

Taylor takes a picture

That’s Taylor Hicks, taking pictures of the crowd. Peter’s claim to fame is that he took off running after the bus (the only person who did, actually), and after about a half block, Taylor noticed him and pointed him out to the others. He waved Peter on, as if he needed encouragement. (From the other end of the block, I was screaming at him to stop. Because I could just imagine him turning a corner and getting confused in downtown Milwaukee at 11 pm on a Saturday.)

Anyway, we enjoyed our night at the Hyatt, which reminded me that I’m working on a project which will involve both the Hyatt and the Hilton. I’m self-employed, but I can’t seem to get away from work.

Now, today, we saw the aforementioned movie. It was massive kitschy fun. I’m not a movie reviewer, though, so I’ll just send you over to an interesting story about real snakes on a real plane. (You may have to sit through an ad to see it, but it’s pretty painless.)

long weekend

Right now, I’m sitting with my laptap, listening to Peter play videogames. Moon is working on a group project at a classmate’s house, and Pete is practicing for a concert that’s happening on Tuesday. The sun is shining, all is well.

This afternoon the kids and I are planning to see the X-Men movie (X-Men Reunited? I can’t seem to remember what it’s called) and we might end up walking home because Pete has to play for a church service at the Catholic church. (The church that asked him to stay on as a music director after he “came out” as a newly-former Catholic.)

Ball Band Washrag

In knitting news, I am digging the book my kids gave me for Mother’s Day, Mason-Dixon Knitting. I’ve made two of these washrags already, and I picked up three cones of Peaches ‘n Cream so I can make a bath mat. Total fun. I’ve also been doing some crochet — and figured out how to make an otama so I could do a birthday greeting for my crafty buddy Rakka.

soul patrol! soul patrol!

Yay, my guy won! Best. Finale. Ever. The performance show wasn’t so outstanding, but they did a fabulous job with the group songs, guest artists (well, maybe not Meat Loaf) and surprises.

Right before the show started, our county had a tornado warning. Peter and I decided to stick it out upstairs — after all, someone needed to hit the “record” button on the VCR at 7 p.m. (No Tivo for us, thanks. No cable, either.) The sky was freaky, and we had hail, but we also didn’t miss a single second of Idol. So there.

Now we’re counting the days until the Idol tour comes to Milwaukee. We already ordered our tickets — the concert is on Pete’s birthday, which ought to be fun. I’m hoping we can get another autograph this year.

long time no blog

Crocheted card holder!

Okay, our family has been incredibly busy. And I’ve been knitting/crocheting more than this little credit card holder (which I’m using for the various punch cards and things that I use). Cute, though, isn’t it? I made it on Wednesday, when Pete and I were at Sundara Spa celebrating our 20th (!) anniversary by being thoroughly pampered. We spent pretty much the whole day wearing robes and relaxing, with intermittant foot rituals, massages, etc.

My mom is doing really well, by the way. There wasn’t any more cancer, and she’ll be starting radiation soon. Her prognosis is very good — yay!

In other news, it’s movie season. The Friday opening-day theater viewings have begun! We saw The DaVinci Code yesterday (which was okay … Moon really was into Silas), and we’re planning to see X3 next week.

And the weather today is unbelieveably awesome. We’re spending the afternoon at Good ‘n Loud for Moon’s master class. I’m excited because she’ll be doing some stuff on drums as well as bass. And I’m bringing my yarn.


My family long-ago dubbed me Queen of All Purses, so it’s no surprise that I can’t stop thinking about this:

I know I already have two awesome knitting bags, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up the search for the PERFECT bag. When I saw the Namaste collection, the most difficult decision was which one to order. Truth be told, a messenger bag seems to be the best fit. I love the way traditional purse/bags look, but I keep going back to the diagonal-over-the-shoulder thing.

If I like the new bag as much I think I will, the Lady B will be going back — or on eBay.

I thought I was addicted to American Idol last season, but that was when I only loved one or two of the top 10, and not nearly all of them. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are nail-bitingly nervewracking at our house. Moon has lost two of her favorites in a row (the aforementioned Bucky, and now Ace), and she’s crossing her fingers and toes that Elliott won’t be next.

We’re Yaminions. (Although I’ve been pulling for Taylor Hicks from the start, and not just because he looks like he could be my age. He’s entertaining enough to be parodied on SNL, ya know.)

Moon’s already bugging me about buying tour tickets. And in case you didn’t think I was geeky enough, I’ve crocheted a beanie for Ace.

hi! *waves*

Just a quick update. First, the Everyday Goddess Conference was a fabulous way to spend a weekend. I met some awesome new friends (hi Jodie!) and my two teen roomies (Moon and Nicole) seemed to have a great time.

Second, I now have a shop at Etsy. It’s Rakka was my inspiration … her shop is here. Now I can make stuff without having to worry about where to put it all!

Third, guess who Moon’s pulling for in this year’s American Idol? None other than Bucky Covington. Yep, my speed metal girl now appreciates (gasp) country.

guess who?

Constantine Maroulis
Originally uploaded by me. Yes, me.


Geez, he’s tall.

my turn!

Moon finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this morning, so now I get to read it. I’m on page 384. She’s anxious for me to get done so we can talk about it in detail. Kind of like our own little book group.

Today, on the hottest day (so far) of the year, at the hottest time of day, the power for our entire neighborhood went out. Peter asked if we had remembered to pay the electrical bill. I, like many of the neighbors, went outside to see if anyone else was having trouble.

Fortunately we were headed out to the in-laws’, so we sat in air-conditioned driving comfort instead of a hot and muggy house. The power was out for about two hours. We converged upon the house to celebrate the July birthdays, of which mine is one. I was given a spectacular present — you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it, but I promise you, it rocks!

happy mail

A package from England!To the relief of everyone in the house, the new Harry Potter book came in today’s mail delivery. (My shipping confirmation email had indicated an arrival date of July 19, so Moon was a bit worried.) But there was something else in the mailbox as well: a package for me, me, me!

Several weeks ago, I received a mysterious postcard from someone in England. I suspected a RAOK (random act of kindness) on the part of a Knitty forum member. Today’s package was the follow-up. How fun!

Inside the packageInside was an assortment of Wallace and Gromit characters. (Did you know we own the boxed video set? We do.) Also note the ball of DK wool, which looks perfect for a dying experiment. I also found a silver gel pen in the package after I took this photo. You know, it’s such a rush to get real mail.

In other news, Moon is probably going to finish the Harry Potter book tomorrow, if not tonight. She keeps making little noises and expressions, lamenting that she can’t talk about what she’s reading. I’ll be grabbing the book as soon as she finishes, so she won’t have to be silent for long. Peter picked up Moon’s copy of Order of the Phoenix and is busy reading, too. It’s odd to have such a quiet house on Saturday night.

ShaunHere’s another look at one of my favorite knitting icons. Cute, cute, cute.

charlie and the chocolate factory

…. is so, so, so goooooood!

The kids and I saw it today on the Ultrascreen at our neighborhood theater. I figured I’d probably like it, but I didn’t have any idea how amazing and entertaining it would be. I sat there and smiled through almost the whole flick.

Stop reading, and go see it. Right now.

fun fun friday

The first Friday fun day of the summer was…. exhausting. But on the up side, we saw “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” which had a great storyline and wonderful chemistry between the two leads. I have a total girlcrush on Angelina Jolie. Sooo cool.

Before the movie, I:

  • Took the doggie to her appointment to have her teeth cleaned. Discovered that her insistence on breakfast meant that we’d need to reschedule. Made mental note to remind Pete that doggie should not be fed after 7 pm next Thursday. (Good luck, Pete!)
  • Picked up Peter for his dentist appointment. Now that Moon is done with every-other-week visits, it’s time for Peter to start. Knitted a few rows on my current project while waiting.
  • Took Peter home. Went to Lands’ End to do an exchange, then stopped by Bath & Body Works to spend far more than I had originally intended. (New sheets for the kids! A Shark hand vac!)
  • Picked up Moon — time for her eye appointment. She has been asking for contacts, so I figured we’d look into it.
  • Left Moon at Eye Contact and went back home to get Pete, who needed to go to the Red Cross. (Yes, this was one of those comical One-Car-Family days.) Dropped him off so he could make his blood donation, then went back to Eye Contact to check on Moon.
  • Sat with Moon while the technician coached her on contact lens insertion. Went into other room to avoid giving too much backseat advice. Realized an hour had gone by, and Pete would probably be eating cookies at the Red Cross and looking out the window.
  • Picked up Pete. Took him home for lunch. Drove back to Eye Contact to check on Moon.
  • One contact lens in! And it’s only taken an hour and 15 minutes!
  • Left Moon at Eye Contact because getting them in is just half the struggle. She can’t leave until she’s removed and reinserted one. Good luck!
  • Picked up Pete and Peter; returned Pete to work. Drove to Eye Contact, where Moon had finished her task mere minutes after I’d left and was waiting crabbily for me to pull up in the Priusmobile.
  • Thank God for KFC drive-through. Movie time.

more about that four-day weekend

Must admit, I don’t do much memorializing on Memorial Day. All the veterans I know are alive and well. Mostly, I lounge around and hope for good weather.

So. The Saturday Farmer’s Market is quickly becoming a habit. The market is more than just food. This time Pete and I took time away from the pastries to visit the guy in the Green Party booth. I was so impressed with their literature that our car now sports one of their bumper stickers. (A Prius with a Green Party sticker? Yeah, what a surprise.)

On Sunday, Pete had to work at the Brat Fest (his employer was a sponsor), so I took the kids to see Revenge of the Sith. Six thumbs up. It made us want to see the original three movies, which to me is exactly what it was supposed to do. I was horrified when I went to our DVD collection to pull out the trilogy and realized we didn’t own it. Now we do. The bonus disk was especially amusing because we got to see what everyone looks like 25 years later. Moon practially jumped when Mark Hamil appeared on screen. “Ahhh, what happened?! He was so pretty!”

Two interesting things happened on Monday. (1) Pete and I went to the UW Arboretum for the first time ever. (2) We then went to Target for a printer cartridge, where we ran into a guy from my high school graduating class. Actually, I’ve known him a lot longer than that — I think we started going to school together when we were nine.

The bizarre thing is that I almost didn’t recognize him. He waved toward us, and my first thought was that he must be a co-worker of Pete’s or something. When he stopped and talked to us, his voice and mannerisms were the same as always, but I kept looking at his face and thinking that he looks like any other dad I would see at a school concert or something. Like a middle-aged man.

It’s times like this that I think, My gawd, I must be getting old. Freeeee-ky.

noooooooo, bo!

Oh man, I really wanted him to win. But the silver lining is that he won’t be stuck singing the lame-o songs that would have undoubtedly been forced on him had he been named this year’s Idol. I genuinely enjoyed all the finalists, but Bo Bice, he was my favorite from the first time I watched him step onto the stage. This was not an ordinary Idol contestant, not at all.

Moon even made an avatar for me. Pretty sweet. Well, now we can enjoy the stuff we’ve taped over the past weeks. It’s been fun being a fangirl.

anniversary present

As of yesterday, Pete and I have been married 19 years. Yes, 19 years. We went out to lunch, and lamented that our busy lives prevented us from doing anything too wild that evening. (Next year: a cruise? Maybe.)

In other news, I am over the moon about my American Idol making it to the final two. My Idol, no matter what happens next week. The moment I laid eyes on Bo Bice and heard his distinctive voice, I was a believer. Heck, I even joined the Bice Squad. SpiritMan and the kids are pulling for him, too.

We’ve become geeky AI people. I read aloud from and Jaded Journalist episode summaries. We’ll be at the AI concert this summer in Milwaukee. Oh yes, we will.

various bits of culture

Pete and I had a date last night. We went to see the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the new organ at the Overture Center. It was truly magnificent, although I was sleepy during the first part of the concert due to the mound of pasta I had for dinner. For once, we didn’t dine at Peacemeal. In fact, the restaurant was closed for the evening, which made us worry that it might be in financial trouble or something. (We’re still worried. Anyone out there know?) Anyway, we went to Tutto Pasta instead, which was pretty good but not our beloved vegan landmark.

Today I continued my cultural endeavors by taking Peter and his friend to see the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. It was pretty trippy. I learned that buttcracks are guaranteed to get a huge response from the audience and are the epitome of hilarity. David Hasselhoff, too.

The kids and I watched Footloose on DVD this evening as I knitted. Perhaps I shall knit a lovely pair of striped legwarmers when I am finished with my current project. Or maybe not.

spider-man 2

After my parents visited us this afternoon (we went out for pancakes, and they gave me a pretty Corgi plate for my birthday), Moon and I went to get our legs waxed. (More about that in a moment.) Then I took both kids to see Spider-Man 2. Moon actually had seen it with Nicole yesterday, but she was keen to go again. Peter was eager to go. He even called while Moon and I were still at the salon.

Anyway, all the hype is accurate. It’s a terrific movie; even better than the original. And I have to admit that Alfred Molina was strangely attractive in his role. While Moon was eyeing Spider-Man and Harry, I was waiting to see more of Doc Ock. I mean, Tobey Maguire is a baby. Give me the middle-aged guys, moobs and all.

fahrenheit 9/11

Moon, Pete and I went to see Fahrenheit on Friday, July 2. I’m still processing what I saw. I had already heard a lot of the information (the bin Laden connection, oil profiteers, etc.) but nothing prepared me for the sight of limbless American soldiers returning from war, the helplessness of Iranian women witnessing a family member’s arrest, or the grief of an American military family after losing a son. I had to look through my fingers a few times. Moon said that the scary thing is that this stuff is real. For that reason it’s a thousand times worse than any stylized action movie violence.

“It makes you want to go out and do something about it,” she said.

By the way, the showing we attended was nearly sold out, and the line forming for the 7 p.m. showing was incredibly long. I’ll be curious to see what the box office was like for the weekend.

hanging with the muggles

Moon hurried us out the door so that we could get in line for the 6:30 Harry Potter showing at least an hour ahead of time. I felt as if we were waiting to see a rock concert, or maybe the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The energy was high, and groups of costumed fans huddled together. I saw two different girls with hand-decorated t-shirts declaring themselves “Mrs. Oliver Wood.” Every now and then a whoop or a cheer could be heard over the chatter.

After we found our seats and waited for the previews to begin, several teenaged girls skipped across the front of the theater – one on a broomstick – and coaxed the crowd into doing the wave. Then a chorus of “We love Harry, yes we do, we love Harry, how ’bout you?” broke out.

When the opening credits rolled, there was much rejoicing. A certain electricity was in the air. Happily, the movie was worth all the hubbub. Peter threw his sweatshirt over his head during a few hairy parts, but I saw him peeking out from under it. Moon says she wants to see it again and oh-my-God-are-those-Weasley-twins-hot. Hotness, hotness, says my daughter, who has developed quite a thing for tall red-haired boys.

Next HP movie: November 2005. Guess who’s counting the days?

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