Wednesday, May 27, 2009

World Wide Web Wednesday 05.27.09

Just a few links to aid you in wasting time as you hang around the blogosphere. You can thank me later.

Monetary gifts are always accepted.

If you haven't visited this site, please do. It will make your day. Hopefully you won't find your own image there.

Props to my AWESOME FRIEND Mandi for finding the Man Law commercials for me. Just goes to show that "there is no charge for awesomeness. Or attractiveness." (Name that movie).

Finally, please keep my friend Amy in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reality TV doesn't take a holiday

Why yes, we had a lovely holiday weekend. How about you? J.'s last day at one of his 2 jobs was Friday evening, so I was home alone with our little angels. Since Friday night is Family Movie Night 'round these parts, the boys watched The Tale of Despereaux while I halfway paid attention, but mostly surfed the internet and spent a lot of time not writing blogs.

I'm in a writing funk. It must be the heat. Because in Texas in the summer, you blame everything on the heat. Fire ants popping up in your yard? It's the heat. Gained a little weight? Totally the heat. Rearended someone on the highway? Well, it's just so dang HOT!

We had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night. This couple has a little girl in Micah's kindergarten class, so we've all just started hanging out together in the last couple of months. I would consider them fairly new friends, so I was a bit resistant to agree to Jason's suggestion that we watch Marley and Me while they were over. Ugly crying in front of acquaintances is not high on my list of How to Make a Good Impression.

Sunday brought a fun game that I like to call Frantically Clean the House Before My Precious Mother-In-Law Arrives Because Even Though She Would Never Criticize My Housekeeping Abilities, She Happens to be a Housekeeping Maven.

The title may be a little lengthy for purposes of copyrighting.

Monday, the children and I enjoyed hanging out with my mother-in-law, visiting daddy at his new job, running errands, and napping.

Since pretty much all of my favorite TV shows have already aired their season finales, the fact that I was reminded by someone's Facebook status that the 2nd episode of The Bachelorette was premiering in the evening felt particularly seredipitous. So, thank you to all Facebook status updaters (especially LynnAnn). Except for those of you who post spoilers or results of reality TV shows. Curses to you, instead. That goes completely against FB code.

Speaking of code, that Dave on The Bachelorette was pretty serious about his Man Code. But I think he's just been watching too many beer commercials (to which I really wanted to link, but a cursory Google and Youtube search turned up NADA).

I'm not going to offer full recaps of The Bachelorette for a couple of reasons:
1) There are way funnier recaps out there than mine
2) After only 2 episodes, I'm finding this season to be a bit on the dry side. Kind of boring.

Maybe there are just too many men in the mix for me to care too much right now, but the producers et. el. are going to have to significantly up their editing game to create the fabricated look of drama to keep me interested.

I'm SORE-ry for not recapping, but I will reserve the right to post some completely random thoughts a-BOTE the show's wicked PRO-gress. My thoughts right now are that the viewing audience is discovering Jillian is a terrible judge of character.

As if last season's hot tub hijinx with Bachelor Jason didn't clue us in to that morsel. And that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm Blog-Famous!

While "famous" might be a teensy weensy bit of a stretch, I did have the opportunity to write my First Ever Guest Post on my IRL friend LynnAnn's blog.

LynnAnn and I went to college together and we were even roommates for a short time just before we graduated an undisclosed number of years ago. Even if I told you how many years ago it was, you wouldn't believe me because we were such prodigies that we graduated college at 18. Making us both still incredibly young. And beautiful. And despite the fact that she actually had to put up with me and my living habits, she still speaks to me. Which says volumes about the kindness in her heart.

I blame LynnAnn for my former addiction to the most awesome television show ever produced, The Practice. There may or may not have been an Intervention when they pulled the plug on that show. And it may or may not have been material good enough for A&E.

Her blog is HI-larious. Some of my favorite posts are the ones she authors periodically called "rules." She gives some pretty sound advice for those in the general public lacking any inclination toward common sense. You can find some of my favorites here, here, and here. Oh, and here and here.

There are tons more rules and gobs more funny over at LynnAnn's blog, so stop by there and give her some love. And read my post there while you're at it. 'Kaythanks.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

C'Mon Kris, C'Mon Kris, C'Mon Kris- Alternate Title: AI Recap THE FINALS!

Please don't expect any sort of unbiased journalism from this blog this evening. As if there was such a thing anyway. Maybe in the land of unicorns and leprechauns, but not actually, you know, ON EARTH.

I make no bones about the fact that I'm totally rooting for Kris. I may actually fast-forward through all of Adam's numbers and just make stuff up. Just sayin'.

First things first, I LOVE Paula's dress.

But WHAT did she do to her hair? Was it darker? Shorter? Unwashed?

Ryan tells us that Kris is so brilliant he chose to go 2nd. Because that also means he performs LAST. Looks, talent, AND brains. Total package.

Ryan also wants us to set our DVRs "appropriately" tomorrow. I think he means "accordingly." Although I don't want any inappropriate DVR settings here in the Stughaus, to be sure.

So here we go!

Round 1:

Adam- Repeating Mad World. The first 32 seconds of this performance were my favorite of all of Adam's performances of the season. Because the fog, lights and camera angles? They hid his face. He's just so affected.

I've said it million times. The dude can sing. I just don't care for the theatrics.

Randy loved it. Kara driveled on and on and I didn't listen. Paula is proud. Simon said it was overtheatrical. Really? THIS performance? Out of all his performances? I'm smelling a rat already.

Kris- I have no words. I loved it. There was no making "eyes" at the camera. Just Kris and the music.

Randy said it was one of his best performances ever. Even Kara-the-Adam-Lover liked it, but I fast-forwarded through her 10 minute soliloquy. Paula was awake and feeling the "spirit." I think it's in her glass. Simon liked it too.

Round 1 belongs to...KRIS!

Round 2:

Adam- I was really digging Adam's suit. Was it silver? Gray? No matter. He rocked it with the turquoise tie. And I mean that. No sarcasm. Seriously.

He's got great vocal control and I was going to compliment the first half of the song, but the screechy, screamy, middle and end ruined it for me. So sorry, Adam.

Randy thought it was unbelievable. I didn't listen to Kara because cutting her out cuts the show down to 20 minutes. Paula jumped up and did a toe touch because she loved it so much. Simon said Adam's back in the game. I'm glad someone thought so.

Kris- Acoustic Kris, which I love.It's times like these when I pretend that the AI instrumentalists like to play for Kris better than Adam. They just look like they're having a good clean jammin' time. I don't think this song showed off an completely unbelievable side of Kris, but it was a solid performance.

Randy said it wasn't "big" enough. Even though KRIS DIDN'T PICK IT. Kara blabbered. Paula liked it. Simon thought it was a friendly jam session. I think that's kind of what I was trying to say. So I'll leave it at that.

Round 2...KRIS!

Round 3:

Adam- At first I thought he was wearing snakeskin leggings. Then I saw they were acid washed skinny jeans, Ew, either way. So it was another cheesy song about terrain and weather and how it relates to achieving your dream. Yawn. Actually I thought Adam's voice sounded kind of weak and tired during this song.

Randy thought it was pitchy. Kara acted like she was giving an acceptance speech. Paula's vocabulary reached its limit. Simon believed Adam is a worldwide star.

Kris- His voice is so much more pleasant. I think he missed some notes, though. And nice shot of the teleprompter. After 7 seasons of corny "achieve your dreams" tunes, are the words really that different?

Randy started with telling Kris he should be proud of himself. Did Kara speak? My ears can no longer hear her. Paula used the words amazing and compelling. Simon liked the first song best, but said that Kris deserves to be in the finals.

Round 3...KRIS!

When the season got started, I didn't even remember that a guy named Kris Allen auditioned. Then, when he was in the top 12, I thought he'd never last because he hadn't received as much exposure through editing. But here he was in the finals! And I'm totally voting for him tonight. And, hypothetically, if my sister who lives in Little Rock happens to have lunch in Conway tomorrow and if that place has Kris Allen shirts, she may hypothetically be buying one for me.

Off to vote!

It's been a day of ups and downs

By the end of this post, I hope my ones of readers can truly grasp the enormity of the fact that a series of events from my afternoon have just rescued all of you from being subjected to The Most Boring Blog Post Ever.

And, after reading this, when you find yourself asking how my semi-regular blithering about the goings-on of my life could possibly be more insipid and you're begging to regain those wasted 38 seconds of your life, just take my word for it.

It can. And I'm sorry, but you can't.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you are already aware of my rise to radio talk show stardom. It started last night when my husband asked, "What would Dave Ramsey say?" And my reply was, "I'll ask him tomorrow." So at 2:42 PM CST I got through to his phone screener.

She listened to half my story, cut me off and told me she would put me on the air, but warned me to be brief and to the point.

Obviously, she doesn't read my blog.

At approximately 3:10, I got to speak to The One, The Only, Dave Ramsey. If you aren't a Dave Ramsey follower, shame on you. And what are you waiting for?

If you subscribe to his podcast, I'm Amanda In Dallas, near the top of the 3rd hour from today. Only, I don't really live in Dallas. I just listen on the Dallas affiliate. And at some point during our heart-to-heart, Dave gets confused and thinks I called from California.

I don't like to gloat, but let's just say Dave was on my side of the discussion that started the whole "I'm going to call Dave" situation.

However, a few hours later, the circumstances surrounding my phone call to Dave, who is my new BFF by the way, became moot when our realtor called and said a buyer accepted our counter-offer on the house!

Which, for sellers whose home has been on the market for 11 months AND who are facing the prospect of paying mortgage AND rent because our renters are moving soon, this was the most fabulous news we could have received today.

Except for being the recipients of an unexpected windfall. That would have topped the contract on the house.

My mom (who isn't superstitious. Just a little stitious) says things happen in threes, so I was definitely expecting some other form of awesomeness to present itself to me this evening.

But then I left to go to the store and forgot that I was wearing black crocs with my work clothes. I put them on when I got home because they were way more comfy than the heels I wore all day. Not only did they not match my outfit, my pants cuff dragged the ground.

I decided it was really not going to be a problem because I was just going to The Store and figured I would fit in just fine in my work clothes with ridiculously casual shoes.

Plus, I was buying Totinos. To celebrate.

[Sidenote: There was a time when a college student would not have to starve because no matter what happened, she could always scrape up enough change to equal just under a buck to purchase a Totinos. Which makes a rather filling meal for under a buck. Or she could halve it with a friend for only fiftyish cents each. Totinos have gone up $o.14 since my own college days. And I bet college students everywhere are starving because of it. Where do the manufacturers think that extra $0.14 is going to come from when the couch cushion wells run dry?]

I got home and popped our nutritious dinner into the oven. Then I managed to let the crust burn. If there's anything worse than Totino's, it's Totino's with burned crust.

As a special reward/comfort to myself, this evening I fully intend to curl up with a Warm Delight and catch up on the 2 hour premiere of The Bachelorette followed by tonight's final AI performances clean my house. It's in a bit of disarray since J. and I have been enjoying mini-marathons of Medium the last couple of evenings.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm totally watching TV. The house will still be here tomorrow, in all it's filthy glory. My DVR, on the other hand, tends to revolt when it gets too full of unwatched TV shows.

And the last thing I need is a revolting DVR.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

World Wide Web Wednesday 05.13.09

Today's WWWW feature is focusing on a celebration of art and creativity hosted by Three Bay B Chicks, I'm Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor, and Domestically Challenged.

We Heart Art gives you the chance to not only showcase your artwork or creative projects, but also your kid's handiwork.

I stumbled upon this event at quite a timely...time.

Just recently my little angels have been begging, on their hands and knees with hands folded and fingers interlaced, voices crying out to the heavens, that I might lend an ear and grant their most humble request.

For Play-Doh.

I don't inherently have anything against Play-Doh.

Unless you count all the little Play-Doh bits that end up permanently adhering themselves to the hardwood floor. Or how its salty flavor is often too tempting for a toddler to resist. Or how it's impossible to fully clean the Play-Doh out of the little crevices of the Fun Factory and then the hardened pieces get all mixed in with the fresh stuff the next time it's used. Or how the thought of mixing the Play-Doh colors together is enough to set my inner Kate Gosselin loose.

But other than that, I think it's a wonderful creative outlet for little ones that not only allows them the opportunity to stretch their minds and imaginations, but also improves fine motor strength with all the rolling, shaping, pulling, pinching, cutting, etc.

Unless you're like me as a child and the only ideas you could wonder to create were snakes and pancakes. Or cookies.

Long story longer, I foud myself at Target last Saturday where I dropped $4 on 8 cans of Play-Doh. My children thought they had won the kiddie lottery. And not only have I quieted my inner-Kate over the color mixing (although I do try to keep it to a minimum), but I've rediscovered my sanity.

Because, you know what? Play-Doh keeps them busy for over 30 minutes! For 30 or so fairly peaceful minutes, I can work on my own projects with nary a peep from 3 highly satisfied customers.

In honor of my newfound best friend, Play-Doh, and the We Heart Art collaborative project, I bring you evidence of what a wild and crazy Saturday night brought to the Sturghaus (we aren't German, I just like the way that looks when spelled out).

It's a bird. Specifically, Cade's bird. He copied it from the back of the Play-Doh box, but I give him major props for trying it.
Unfortunately, Micah's sculpting abilities haven't broadened past pancakes and cookies yet, but that kid can draw like nobody's business. He has recreated most of Van Gogh's paintings using crayons as his preferred medium.

If I knew how to work our scanner, I'd prove it to you.
Please be sure to check out the blogs above and feel free to join in the Mr. Linky party if you have artwork of your own or something created by your children that you'd like to display. I'm fairly certain that most of the blogs will have much more creative ideas than mine of how to get your children involved in and excited about art.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

AI Recap: Top 3

So the final 3 on AI this year are freaky Adam, cutie Kris, and raspy Danny. And, although I've threatened, I have yet to even fix my finger to dial in a vote. But the voting winds are a-blowin' tonight!

Tonight, for the sake of continuity, I'm blogging in the order of performances.

Round 1:

Danny (Dance Little Sister): Paula picked his song and I've never heard of it. I didn't recognize it and I have no idea if he "made it his own" or not. I thought he sang it well, but maybe overdid it a bit?

My biggest issue with this performance? Danny's boots. Clearly he is not reading my blog nor taking my well-considered advice.

Kara said that he has a "money spot." I wish I had a "money spot." Then my husband wouldn't have to work 2 jobs while he's going to seminary. Cue Debbie Downer horns. Paula thought it was "really good." Her choice of words is poetic. Simon didn't like the sax. Pardon me for a minute, but, WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH HIS SINGING?

Kris (Apologize): OK, can I just say YAY HE PLAYED THE PIANO!!!! Could I love Kris any more than I already do? I'm pretty He nailed the falsetto. It's really hard to critique him because 1) I know zilch about the music business beyond my own personal tastes and 2) I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. And I totally don't care what the judges think, Kris was a million times better than Danny.

Before I move on, I need to get something off my chest. Note to people in the audience: SIT DOWN AND STOP CLAPPING during slow songs. Also, STOP THE "HANDS IN THE AIR, WAVE 'EM LIKE YOU DON"T CARE."

Sorry, I'm a little bit on edge this evening.

After Kris was a new Mac commercial. The entertainment gods are smiling on me tonight. Trying to tell me to take a step back from the edge.

Adam (One): So Simon chose U2 for Adam. Haven't we had enough of the wrecking of the legendary songs with the Ring of Fire Debacle?

A situation of which we must NEVER SPEAK AGAIN.

At first he really toned it down and made it more ballad-y and less rock-y. But then, BAM! WHOA! He pulled the ole bait and switch trick! He reeled me in and then started with the funky faces. I bet Adam is an ugly cry-er.

I must admit, I physically flinched at one point when his tongue came out farther than it normally does. Then, did he seriously have the cojones to suggest the viewing audience should rewind it back to get a better listen to the lyrics?

Dude, Adam, I own that U2 CD. I can read the lyrics on the insert. Or, I can look them up on the internet. I can do a number of things. And be certain that, should I ever have a U2 lyrical emergency, I WILL do ANY number of things BEFORE I rewatch your performance. Thanks, though. But there's no need to give myself nightmares about your tongue anymore than I already have.

To wrap up Round 1: Adam did the best at "making it his own." Kris demonstrated the best musical ability with a solid performance. Danny was Danny.

And I got ANOTHER new Mac commercial! Woo hoo!!

Round 2:

Danny (You Are So Beautiful: How did I miss that he was from Mill-ee-wah-kay until just now? I thought it was beautiful. I wasn't really surprised that he was singing it well, so I spent the rest of his performance looking for the Wayne's World clip I linked above.

Kris (Heartless): While I LOVED the arrangement one million times over, I don't think the vocals were incredible. On the other hand, Kanye sings it with an autotuner, so I'm pretty sure Kris outsang him.

This performance was reminiscent of David Cook from last year and I'm totally into that style, so I'm going to vote for him double more times than I planned to before. Randy said he was "current" and then Kara used the word "kudos." Is that ironic? If Kris made any mistakes tonight, it was the sparkly shirt.

Adam (Crying): I didn't pay much attention to this performance b/c I was too busy voting for Kris. Take THAT, Adam-Lambert-who-sang-the-song-just-like-Aerosmith-but-no-one-said-anything-about-it. Double standard? I think so.

I can't wait for tomorrow night!! Now if you'll excuse me, I only have 10 more minutes to vote for Kris.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday 05.11.09

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


I just realized that it's been almost 2 months since my last "Not Me!" Monday post. NMM took a little hiatus when little Stellan was in the hospital, but his heart condition seems to be well-controlled now. Praise God for answered prayers!

Now, on to ME!

*I did NOT allow my 2 sons to drop trow and go potty discreetly near a tree in the park. Even though there was nowhere else to go, I certainly loaded up all 3 children and took them home to use the restroom properly, of course! I would NEVER let them "water" a tree in that manner. No way!

*I did NOT sweep and mop around a children's book that was misplaced on my kitchen floor. I would never be too lazy to bend over, pick up the book and put it back on its shelf in the boys' room. Not me!

*I did NOT completely massacre my bloggy friend Connie's salmon recipe and then take the kids out for ice cream afterwards even though they didn't eat much dinner. Even if I had, it would have totally been my prerogative since dinner hypothetically might have been sucktacular, but I would NEVER let my children have ice cream without providing them a complete nutritious meal beforehand. (Sidenote: This truly does look like a fabulous recipe and I'm going to have Jason do it up right for us really soon. My hypothetical lack of cooking skills have nothing to do with the deliciousness Connie has presented.)

*I did NOT have a complete lapse in good judgment and allow Missy to put on my tinted lip gloss all by herself while I was driving the car. And afterwards she absolutely could NOT have passed for a Collette Reardon lookalike.

So, what has everyone else NOT been doing lately?

Friday, May 8, 2009

How much mileage can I get out of Mother's Day?

Even though Mother's Day isn't until Sunday (you didn't forget, did you?) we've already started celebrating in the House of Sturg.

Jason had all 3 children at home today, since Micah's school is often closed on the most random of days. He took all 3 children to run errands this morning, the brave man, and invited me to a lunch date with the 4 of them.

I questioned his motives, because I don't think his plan was purely to spend time with me. Rather, I think it was because he needed the 30 minutes of moral support after flying solo with the wild animals little angels all morning. But he brought me a Mother's Day cookie cake, so I quickly forgave his trespasses.

Cookie cake has a way of righting all the wrongs in the world. It may be the secret to world peace.

This evening has abounded with Mother's Day surprises. Jason called while he was at work to give Micah some top secret instructions. I asked Micah about it and apparently he was supposed to hide my lovely Mother's Day card with the pink rose in the middle of it somewhere in the living room.

Maybe Jase forgot to tell Micah that the details of the mission should have been kept completely under wraps. Or, the more likely possibility, Micah just has a really big mouth.

Besides the card, Micah is convinced I need a "deep pressure" (his words) massage and has taken to karate chopping my back anytime I stop moving for more than 5 seconds.

The boys worked on putting together a play for me, which quickly deteriorated into some kind of interpretive dance reminiscent of the African Anteater Mating Ritual only they used their playsilks as props.

I'm not sure whether it was delightful or disturbing. And I reserve the right to withhold judgment forever.

It's actually been a very pleasant ending to a crazy busy week. I just wonder how long I can milk the whole Mother's Day gimmick...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

AI Recap: Top 4

AI is getting down to the wire now, with only 4 contestants left. 2 of which I would love to see win and the other 2 I really couldn't care less about.

Tonight's mentor is Slash. Which is totally rockin'. Bad pun fully intended. My friend KP called this theme few weeks ago. Actually she was just wishing they'd give Adam a chance to get it all out of his system. So, props to KP! Wishes do come true.

And tonight's big twist is DUETS!! I love duets! I love to sing duets, too, but only in the shower.

Buh dum bum.

We were also informed that all of the contestants were spared near death experiences when a sign above the stage began to collapse, so they were not allowed to do a complete run-through. Which makes me wonder if anyone bothered telling Danny that tonight was the real deal and not practice. Because the boots he had on looked like he'd been out doing some nasty hard labor in the fields.

Maybe that's just how the kids are wearing them these days. Fiddlesticks.

Adam: He was up first and informed us that he was going to kill it. And I hoped that "it" didn't mean live chickens. The dude can sing. But the faces! Oh my, the ooooggeey faces.

Kara's wearing her kickin' hair extensions again tonight. She had them on 2 weeks ago, too. I had hoped the length of her hair was not any indication of the length of her speeches. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Allison: Allison had extensions too! I wonder if Slash was wearing extensions since that also seems to be part of the theme... Alison is not my favorite contestant of all-time. Or even of this season. But she ROCKED the stage tonight. Awesome performance. Paula thought Al could play Janis Joplin in a movie. Because allison is a ringer for Janis Joplin. Except she looks nothing like her. And then Ali gave us the AI Kiss of Death: Backtalking the judges. Good-bye Al.

Oh goody! Next was a Danny/Kris duet! Danny doesn't seem to have the "swagger" (if I had a dime for everytime someone has used the word swagger on this show this season, I'd probably have a dollar by now) to make it as a rocker. Kris carried the mic around again, like last week, only it was more appropriate for this genre. Of the top 4, let's just say this duet made me very happy.

Kris: He is obviously good at quick backstage changes. Way to go, Kris! And he sang the first song I recognized. What does that say about me? That I would suck at AI Rocker Night. I don't think Kris really took Slash's advice to be more animated during his performance, but that's the only negative thing I have to say. Great vocals AND I didn't have to feel completely uncomfortable when I watched his face (Ahem... Adam).

Danny: His practice with Slash scared me. And the end of the performance scared me. This was not Go-go-Gokey's night. It doesn't diminish the fact that he can sing, but his genre is more blues and rasp, less scream. But hey, country wasn't Adam's genre, but when he butchered Johnny Cash he still made it through. So I believe there is still hope for Danny to make in the Top 3.

Alison and Adam duet: MUCH more entertaining than Kris and Danny. But clearly the rock and roll scales were unfairly balanced in their favor. The Double A duet was a bit more stacked towards the rock genre than the pairing of the 2 more soulful artists.

All in all, it was an interesting show this evening. I was surprised how well Kris pulled it off. I think Danny didn't do so well, but I think he has enough of a following to pull through one more week. I'd like to see Adam or Allison gone, but I think it's going to be a tight race.