Well, despite my promises I have been unable to get that album recorded during February. I still have the bronchitis I came down with a month ago. (I’m not alone: Half the American Idol contestants have it, and I note that Faith Hill and Lenny Kravitz each had to cancel some of their touring during February due to the same problem).
This is one nasty bug, and I hope you don’t get it.
After I get back from my little trip this week and next–and assuming I’ve recovered–I’ll try and do some recording in a less frantic manner. I still have every intention of posting the results here, so please be patient…
This is one of the girls voted off last week–Amy Davis.
Is the American public crazy?
Yeah, she sang lousy, but come on!
Meanwhile, one of the guys in the competition (and who did well Tuesday evening) is, allegedly, a former stripper at a gay bar. (Um, not that there’s anything wrong with that). Name withheld until the story reliably breaks.
I’ve been scouring the Internet trying to get you some early Las Vegas odds (always a popular feature here). David Archuleta is the HEAVY favorite, paying only 2.5 to 1 (some sites having the odds less than that!). Michael Johns is at 11 to 4 (which, now that I do the math, is about the same). Asia’h Epperson is at 10 to 1. Carly Smithson is at 8 to 1. Ramielle Malubay is at 5 to 1. Jason Castro is at 8 to 1. David Hernandez is at 50 to 1 (at least, until that story breaks–heh-heh!).
That’s all I’ve got for you this week. The online gambling sites have become less friendly to US citizens trying to sign up (for informational purposes only, I hasten to add!!), so information is scarce. I think I’ll be able to get full rosters once we’re down to the Final 12.
My prediction for the Top 2: Archuleta and Brooke White–both of whom have music careers in store regardless of what happens on Idol.
Well, I’m off to Austin, Texas for a long weekend–and then spending all next week in Vegas!
I’ll try and schedule my “Blog Bots” to keep posting something every day (to give your life meaning), and I should have some semi-regular access to the computer and Internet anyway–if I can drag myself away from the poker tables.
ALBANY, Ore. (AP) – A pair of Albany teenagers suspended for “gang-related behavior” because they were wearing crucifixes say they were only wearing gifts from their mothers.
Jaime Salazar, 14, his friend Marco Castro, 16, were suspended from South Albany High School recently after they refused to put away the crucifixes they were wearing around their necks.
Salazar said Principal Chris Equinoa saw his necklace and told him to put it away. “I was like, why?” Salazar said. “He says it’s related to gangs.”
Salazar said he argued and was sent to the office. Instead, he went home. Later, he received a note saying he had been suspended for five days for “defiance and gang-related behavior.”
Castro, a junior, was suspended for three days after refusing to take off a string of milky rosary beads, with a crucifix and a tiny picture of the Virgin Mary, that he was wearing around his neck. His mother gave it to him, he said.
Equinoa said religious items are not banned. But, as principal, he reserves the right to ask a student to remove, or cover up, any item he feels could indicate gang affiliation even a crucifix.
The school district backs him up.
Principals have the latitude to determine the difference between genuine religious observance and gang symbols, said Jim Haggart, executive assistant to the superintendent.
“We’re not trying to squash any religious symbols and we’re not trying to get into religion, but we are trying to get into student safety, and that’s what we’re really concerned about,” Haggart said.
Equinoa said he could not comment on specific student discipline issues. But he said any directive to a student to remove or cover any item, religious or otherwise, would not be made without other information. [Rest of article]
“Music has been used in American military prisons and on bases to induce sleep deprivation, “prolong capture shock,” disorient detainees during interrogationsâ€”and also drown out screams. Based on a leaked interrogation log, news reports, and the accounts of soldiers and detainees, here are some of the songs that guards and interrogators chose.” (Per MOTHER JONES site):
Apparently Pakistan has partially blocked access to YouTube due to a trailer for an upcoming movie by Denmark’s main Islam-hater Geert Wilders. I’m not a big fan of Mr. Wilders, nor am I a big fan of Islam. I just like to stir the pot. So here’s a trailer for the movie, and some apparent excerpts:
Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterdayâ€™s decision by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube . Claiming that the proportion of â€œnon-Islamic objectionable videoâ€ had increased on YouTube, the PTA, the official Internet regulatory body, ordered all Pakistani ISPs to block access to the website until further notice.
â€œIt should not be up to the PTA to order this kind of blockingâ€ the press freedom organisation said. â€œSuch a decision should be taken by the courts, not by a body that is under the governmentâ€™s control. Anyway, we regard this measure as disproportionate ans we find that the idea to respect a proportion of videos is opposed to the primary principle of sharing online videos websiteâ€.
Donâ€™t Block the Blog (http://help-pakistan.com/main/dont-block-the-blog/), a group of Pakistani bloggers who combat censorship, thinks the blockage order was prompted by two videos. One is anti-Islamic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3s8jtvvg00). The other shows voters describing the fraud they witnessed during the parliamentary elections on 18 February (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TPUHHFky38), which ended up being won by the opposition Pakistan Peopleâ€™s Party.
Ok, here they are (and I’m generally pretty good at this):
Best Original Screenplay: JUNO, Diablo Cody (whose book about her year as a stripper I read and enjoyed).
Best Adapted Screenplay: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, the Coen Brothers.
Documentary Feature: SICKO, partially because it’s the only one I’ve seen–I don’t believe the rest have been released on DVD yet. TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE could win–it’s an anti-war doc about Afghanistan that the Discovery Channel just backed out on showing (wimps), so you’ll be able to see it on HBO instead, come September.
Cinematography/Art Direction: Two separate awards, but I’m going to guess that ATONEMENT will win here. I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure it’s “pretty”. I’ll be rooting for THERE WILL BE BLOOD in these two categories. (Some chance of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN here depending on the extent to which it runs away with awards this year).
Animated Feature: Haven’t seen any of them, but heard lots of praise for RATATOUILLE.
Supporting Actress: Really liked Amy Ryan in GONE BABY GONE, and Tilda Swinton is great in MICHAEL CLAYTON, but I’m guessing it will be Cate Blanchard playing Bob Dylan in I’M NOT THERE (which I haven’t even seen)–since she won’t be winning for Best Actress in a Leading Role this year.
Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. This prediction is a lock. Bet the farm on it.
Leading Actress: Julie Christie in AWAY FROM HER. Another lock.
Leading Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
Best Director/Best Movie: The Coen Brothers and their movie NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Usually these awards go together. There is some chance, I believe, that BLOOD’S Paul Thomas Anderson could get the Best Director nod, but I don’t think his movie will.