Thursday, March 27, 2008

A.I. Results- It Ain't Easy Being Chikezie

Chuck:Yes, I'm leading with the results. Before the final 12, I thought Chikezie would go the first week. But he wasn't the worst performer last night. America got it wrong.

What the hell? "America got it wrong?" 35 million people voted in the 21st century version of Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour meets Queen for a Day. They're voting their favorites. They're not listening to the music.

Lorrie: Maybe so, but at this point of this screwball season, I'm just happy that someone from my Bottom Three was sent home. The way I've been picking them the past couple of weeks, I definitely should NOT play the lottery any time soon.

Chuck: And now to what we learned on tonight's show:

• To make it up to Ramiele for turning off her mic last week, AI producers gave her too much air time tonight.

• David Cook is a Kansas City Royals fan. That means he'll be traded to the Yankees for prospects before the season is out. **

• David Archuleta's father is a ventriloquist. How else can we explain David A. answering "It's one of my favorite songs!"? (Lorrie- We also could explain it like this: he's a nerd. He's cute & nerdy)

• Carly wears "Spanx." S&M fans can go back to braiding their whips, She was talking about these.
(That link is safe for work, unless you work at Victoria's Secret.)

• The winning of the Ford-AI contest this year gets to watch them shoot a commercial. Based on tonight's
my wife reasoned the winner will sit in someone's office while they do digital editing.

• They took calls again this week. Again, they used the calls to play up Simon and Ryan's mock feud. Again the questions were an idiotic part of the show. I'd rather they play a tape of Kristy Lee Sings the Beatles. (Lorrie- You're in luck, Chuck. I hear that's gonna be Kristy Lee's first CD. Every Beatles song will be recorded with a bluegrass vibe, except for Come Together, which will be a polka)

• Kimberly Locke appeared in a Weight Watcher's commercial and a public service warning for glitter body makeup. Somewhere in there she also sang a country song.

• Ryan was again irritated when a Bottom Three contestant refused to play up the drama. He cut off Jason mid-ramble to tell him to sit on the sofa.

• Chikezie whispered something to sYESha just before Ryan read the result. After Ryan announced Chikezie was out, sYESha quickly walked to the sofa and wrestled Kristy Lee to the floor.

** -- Those familiar with 1950s and 60s baseball history would have laughed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Chuck & Lorrie Show- American Idol Top Ten

Pre-Show fluff:

Chuck: This week the American Idol singers were to choose songs from the year they were born. Now, you might think that would be easy. However, a few found a way to fudge the rules by picking a song that "charted somewhere in the world the year I was born," "was released by an American Idol favorite on an album you never heard of the year I born", or "was a song my father sang in the shower the year I was born."

No one used the Dominican Pitcher Gambit and simply changed their birth year. As I watched the show all I could think was, "Well, at least I liked the originals of the songs they sang last week." This was a ho-hum night for most of the performers.

Lorrie: Paula Abdul almost didn't make it to tonight's show, folks. She was running late from her day job of artificially inseminating cows. In fact, she forgot to remove her gloves before airtime.

Ramiele Malubay- Alone

Chuck: The best you can say about her performance was that Paula didn't tell her how pretty she looked. The girl was sick. The song was worse; yet 10 seconds into the song the audience is waving their arms like a bed of sea anemone. I see she adopted the Kristy Lee Fighting/Singing Stance © . Simon told her she wasn't as bad as last week. She thought it was a complement.

Lorrie: Y'all, Ramiele is dressed in her Pat-Benetar-Love-is-a- Battlefield outfit tonight! She was a little pitchy, dawg.

Jason Castro- Fragile

Chuck: The Spicoli jokes are easy, but ultimately unsatisfying. The kid is too deep in character to realize he's a caricature. I'm amazed that it took Simon this long to realize Jason is "too laid back." Dude. Seriously. What?

Lorrie: Jason, my grandma called. She wants to crochet a scarf with your hair. Snore....snore...snore...I feel like I might do a face plant into my keyboard at any moment. What is with him wanting to sing songs in other languages two weeks in a row?!

sYESha Mercado- If I Were Your Woman

Chuck: She pulls out the baby scream again. It's the best note of her time. She shows a little 'tude. Do people still say 'tude? I believe the AI audience is programmed to clap when they hear a loud, long drawn out note. If you taped the show go back and listen as she ends the song. You can hear Simon tell Randy to say something. I slowed it down, and played it backwards. He said, "I buried Paul."

Paula then looks at Simon and asked "Do I like her?" (Seriously, listen. She did. No, I'm not joking now. See the parentheses? That means "not joking" like $^$%#& means a comics character hit his thumb with a hammer.)

Lorrie: I thought this was her best performance of the season. America's gonna say YES to sYESsha tonight.

I swear, that baby cry creeps me the F- out.

Chikezie- If Only For One Night

Chuck: He goes against the judge's advice and sings a ballad. Though he sings a long note, the AI staff forget to turn on the applause sign and the audience sits dumbfounded. Randy hits the "old school" button on his voicebox, Simon wakes Paula and she adds, "Throwback." Simon misses Chikezie's personality. I think they accidentally recycled their notes for Amanda.

Lorrie: I like his voice, but he sounds like so many other soul singers out there. I don't think he brings anything new to the table. Still, I predict he's safe this week.

Brooke White- Every Breath You Take

Chuck: Brooke makes a mistake right away and restarts her version of "Every Breath You Take." Or was it a mistake? I say it was a brilliant use of literalness in music. She took a "breath" Get it? A "breath."

In any case, for the rest of the song the AI director played David Archuleta's mistake on a split-screen.

Every judge wished she played the piano without the band for the whole song. Have you noticed how often the judges praise singers who eschew the band? If this goes on I don't see Randy Minor on the show next year.

Lorrie: Holy false start, Batman! She messed up on the first two words! Great recovery, though. This is a pretty version of this song. I love watching her when she sings and plays piano. This was a good performance, but by her standards, not great. Still, she's safe this week.

At this point, I'm starting to feel boredom creep in again. I think if this show doesn't pick up soon, I'm gonna lobby for Chuck and I to start blogging about Wheel of Fortune instead.

Michael Johns- We Will Rock You/ We Are the Champions

Chuck: After Brooke's song, Fox accidentally switched to tape of a pep rally.

Oddly, the judges then praised Michael Johns for singing We Will Rock You/We are the Champions.

This is my "Am I watching the same show?" moment of the week. I rewind. Watch it again. Again I expect Paula to stand and say "We have spirit. Yes we do. We have spirit. How 'bout you?"

Lorrie: Well, as soon as they mention he's going to sing two Queen songs, I know what they will be. It's just like ZZ Top- you never hear "Have Mercy" on the radio on a Two for Tuesday without hearing "Jesus Just Left Chicago" afterward. These songs go together cuz opposites attract. (Sorry, I was having a 1980s Paula Abdul/Scat Cat moment)

I predict the judges will say he shouldn't have performed We Will Rock You. I think the performance sucked.

What the...the audience has gone loopy! It was not all that, y'all. I'm totally lost now that the judges have agreed he was wonderful tonight. I just didn't think this was good.

Mid-column break:

Chuck: Who told each contestant to talk about astrology? Seriously, it's 2008. This is what happens when you don't teach evolution in schools. (Note: Please send all hate letters c/o Lorrie Delk Walker at...)

Lorrie: Is Paula's left eye lazy tonight?

Carly Smithson- Total Eclipse of the Heart

Chuck: The Irish woman sings the Welsh woman's biggest hit as Carly sings Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." That's the best I could come up with. Did you see the performance? Wow, that was tame.

Lorrie: I've always loved this song, even though if you play it backward, it says "cheesy" repeatedly. In fact, I thought Amanda Overmyer might try to sing it one week.

My question is this- why in the world did Carly sing it plain-Jane throughout, and then try to take it to town on the final note?! Too little, too late if you ask me.

Note to Carly- never, ever discuss with Ryan your bathroom habits prior to performing. You're not funny. We don't care. Just sing.

David Archuleta- You're the Voice

Chuck: The best part of the performance was when Simon outed David A. as the child of a scary stage dad, "I don't think that song is you at all. I'd be amazed if you chose that song yourself. "

In case you didn't grow up in the British Commonwealth, the song won some Australian Song of the Year award in 1987. I believe it was up against Milli Vanilli's "Girl, You Know it's True"
I hear both of you wondering, "Wasn't that kid born in 1990?" You're right, but David Foster released the song on his 1990 album, River of Love.

Yeah, I also missed that one.

Lorrie: Chuck, I don't like how you've just pretended we have only two readers. You know that exactly seven people read this blog faithfully each week.

David was a little shaky sounding tonight. He picks too many songs with, like, meaning and stuff. Me no likey. Just be a teenager, David. I hate this song. I've never heard it until now, but I hate it. I do still love his voice, though.

P.S.- I'm calling for a moratorium on the use of the phrase "you can sing the phonebook."

Kristy Lee Cook- God Bless the U.S.A.

Chuck: When running behind, cite God and Country. Simon recognizes Kristy Lee's political savvy, "The most clever song choice I have heard in years."

Paula didn't like the performance. I missed it. I thought it was the 7th inning and they were playing that dreadful Kate Smith song. So I headed for the bathroom.

Lorrie: I wonder what P.O.S. she'll pick to sing tonight. God Bless the USA?!?! Ahhh, geez....I can't hear this song without thinking of my annual 4-H awards ceremonies as a kid, when they would play the slide show and this would be the music.

I just figured out her stance, Chuck. She's practicing for when she gets her very own doublewide trailer and she has to bounce a baby on her hip.

I get it... she's playing the sympathetic patriot card. Here we are, just having celebrated five years in Iraq and 4,000 soldiers dead and she's tugging at people's heart strings. Could this low blow keep her safe this week?

Randy liked it. Are you kidding???!!!

Simon says it's her best performance by a mile.

I feel like I'm in the friggin' Twilight Zone. I check the channel to make sure my dog didn't step on the remote and suddenly I'm watching American Idol Rewind. I cannot believe that she was so well-liked. I'm disgusted.

Never has there been a season of American Idol where I so anxiously awaited the end of the show as I have this week. Oh, wait. Except for last week.

David Cook- Billy Jean

Chuck: David Cook took the song that kicked off a revolution in music videos and made an Emo anthem. I have to publicly admit I simply couldn't believe I liked it. Tomorrow I'm dying my hair black, and wearing it in long bangs over one eye.

(Note: Anyone who has seen me is now hysterically laughing. You may join them. Pick your own reason if need be.)

Lorrie: BRB- I just shot tea out my nose after reading Chuck's comment.

Chris Cornell's version? Never heard of such a thing. But I love Chris Cornell, with or without Soundgarden.

This kid can sing. I loved this version! Top three performance. No doubt. Easily the best performance of the night.

Chuck's Top Three- David Cook, David Cook and David Cook

Lorrie's Top Three- David Cook, sYESha Mercado and Brooke White

Chuck's Bottom Three- Ramiele, Carly and David A. Goodbye Ramiele.

Lorrie's Bottom Three- Ramiele, Chikezie and Kristy Lee. And I will continue to put Kristy Lee in the Bottom Three until America wakes up! In an effort to correct all the wrongs committed in recent weeks, America will say goodbye to all three. I know. But the column's on my blog, so I can write my dreams however I want 'em.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Electric Company

KFJ got it started by mentioning Captain Kangaroo. The Electric Company was one of my favorite shows as a kid. This is the intro and outro from the show-tro. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

While you're enjoying Easter with your family today, my family will be eating my first-ever Easter Cake- chocolate cake, cream cheese frosting, food-colored coconut grass and Starburst jelly beans.

Now, I understand that a woman without children probably has no business making such a kid-friendly cake, but it good!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lakeland and Polk County Landmarks

Can you identify these Lakeland and Polk County landmarks? Hint: one is a rolling landmark...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

American Idol Finals Week Two- Results

Chuck: Ryan opens the show with a bunch of jibber-jabber. Truth is, I can't find the remote to turn up the sound. I try to read his lips. I think he's apologizing to Yoko Ono & Paul McCartney. Then I believe he says the mentors this year are George Martin, Jim Carrey, Neil Patrick Harris, and Lou Diamond Phillips

I finally get the sound on as the Beatles Medley begins. It sounds like the Beatles Love versions of the songs. High points include the silencing of Ramiele's mic and saving Amanda for “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Was that a subtle clue?

I'd like to point out that all the talk about Amanda sounding like Janis Joplin is off-base. She's the chiiillld of Melissa Etheridge. Not the one fathered by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Amanda sounds like Melissa Etheridge playing a Harley Davidson showroom.

They insist on playing a recap, even though everyone watching tonight was tortured enough last night. Of course, they show film of David A's flub. From two weeks ago. To make up for that mistake, they show film of Chikezie playing the harmonica. Twelve minutes into the show and even I am starting to wonder why anyone listens to the Beatles.

They're bringing them out one at a time this week. Brooke first. No suspense. She's safe. They send Carley out before Ryan is ready. She's in the bottom three?? America is shocked. I'm shocked. Kat Von D is shocked. They say she's in the bottom three, but you'll notice only the bottom two are told they have the two lowest vote totals. I think they put the third person in just to scare people into voting for her or him.

Lorrie: I agree. This junk is rigged.

Chuck: David A. He's in the top ten. Ho hum. Michael Johns. Zooming through. On his knees. Top ten.

During the commercial I wonder how Carley is in the bottom three? I conclude America hates her because she's Irish. People, we Irish helped build the railroads!

We apologize for that.

Lorrie: SPEAK UP! I can't hear you over the CSX whistle a block away.

Chuck: Cut back from the commercial to a three minute commercial about the commercial. They ruin the Clash's Should I Stay or Should I Go. I recommend listening to Know Your Rights to make up for the pain.

David Cook is next. Top ten. No surprise. Kristy Lee Cook! Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Yes, I begged a TV. I have no shame. It works. She's in the bottom three.

Jason Castro floats to the stage. The Dude is safe. He yells “Tour baby!” Ramiele is up next. Top Ten. Of course, she was going to be safe.

That leaves sYESha, Amanda & Chikezie. My wife predicts Amanda. I predict America's harmonica players banded together to vote for Chikezie...on the condition he plays trumpet next week. I think they'll put Amanda in the bottom three.

Then the I Am Legend DVD commercial states you get to see the version they didn't think was good enough for the theater. I guess that's better than seeing the Charlton Heston version again.

It's question time again! Simon is right. It's a rude question. It's a silly question. They all are. God. But at least Michael Johns admits he peaked in Hollywood.

It's Kellie Pickler. Ryan does a bad joke. Lorrie will tell you about it.

Lorrie: No. I won't. I refuse. But I will say this- Kellie Pickler spent some of her earnings on boobs since her season on American Idol.

Chuck: I call the show and ask if they can go back the question segment.

Kellie sings Happy Birthday, Mr. President to Simon. Wait. I hit the remote to switch to a biography on Marilyn Monroe. I switch back. Pickler's off. Did I miss anything?

Commercials about Idol Gives Back. No jokes here.

sYESha is safe. Who is voting for her? Amanda & Chikeze walk on stage.
Chikeze walks to the couch. Amanda tries to take a stool. Ryan stamps his feet and demands they let him do his job. He opens the card and pouts that Chikezie is safe.

They bring the three to center stage. Ryan simply says, “After the nationwide vote...Carly you are safe." No surprise there. Ryan then announces that Kristy is safe. That Amanda is out.

We hear Lorrie whooping for joy blocks away.

Kristy Lee has officially entered the Sanjaya Zone!

Lorrie: As much as I didn't like Amanda, I liked Kristy Lee even less. I second your Sanjaya Zone motion.

Chuck: Amanda sings out with a reprise of “Back in the USSR.” The band plays six bars of “Jumping Jack Flash” before remembering it's Beatles night.

That's it for tonight. We'll be back next week with a shorter column. They'll get shorter each week as singers are dropped from the show. By the end of the series it'll be six words each.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Foster Puppy Pics

I am absolutely foolish over these puppies I'm fostering for the Lakeland SPCA. They couldn't get any cuter!

The Chuck & Lorrie Show- American Idol Finals Week Two

Pre-Show Stuff...
Chuck: "When I get older losing my hair", that's not how the show started. That was me dreaming. I nodded off after dinner. I guess "many years from now" have arrived.

Lorrie: It's Beatles weak. Oh no, gentle proofreader- that spelling is correct. I have the feeling tonight's show is going to bore me into a coma. I predict it will be tough picking a Top Three and a Bottom Three, but fear not- I shall manage.

Chuck: I'm going to try live blogging the show tonight. Lorrie will add her sarcastic well thought out comments afterwards.

Ryan states America demanded we get another week of songs from the "Beatles" songbook. I think America demanded AI not let Kristy Lee sing.

Randy's yawning. He's 64, too. Cue up Vera, Chuck and Dave.

I think they're adding Harrison and Starkey songs so Kristy Lee could sing "Don't Pass Me By."

Oh my god. They are explaining the importance of the Beatles again?!

Lorrie: Here's an interesting aside- If you look closely at the Beatles footage that aired tonight, you can see Chuck as a little boy, screaming right along with all those girls.

Chuck: I can see David A. singing "Within You, Without You" tonight. Bring back the plastic soul, David.

Amanda Overmyer- Back in the U.S.S.R.

Chuck: That's scary. Half the audience won't know Chuck Berry. Another half has never heard of the Beach Boys, and only the Reagan-era conservatives remember the USSR.

Lorrie: I think I'll certify myself as the style police tonight. It makes sense, since I'm a walking fashion icon and all. I think her hair looks the best it's looked this season, and I like her clothes this week. Anyhoo, before even hearing this song, I think this is an excellent choice for Amanda.

Chuck: Amanda is changing the lyrics. "BOFC? Dreadful flight?" Changing gender also. She sounds weak.

Lorrie: You know, sometimes she truly sounds good. Other times, she just sounds raw. Too raw. Hamburger meat raw.

Chuck: This is Georgia Satellites Sing the Beatles. I would like her to go further in this competition than I think she will. She's one of the few who fits the "amateur" aspect of the show. Randy and Paula think she's 7 out of 10 and Simon thinks she was worse.

Lorrie: Paula wants to see Amanda do a ballad? Lord, help us all if that happens. She simply doesn't have the voice for it.

Chuck: Someone convinced Amanda to speak back to the judges. Simon doesn't like it.

He thinks she's jumping the gun talking about selling tickets to a bar show in Lafayette, Indiana, but she sounds like she has a realistic view of her chances. John Mellencamp started by selling out bars in Seymour. Well, she's no John Mellencamp. Never mind.

Kristy Lee Cook- You've Got to Hide Your Love Away

Lorrie: I recommend hiding it where you stowed your talent- not a soul in this world has found that yet. I'm being harsh. She has talent, but she's good, not great.

Chuck: She says she picked it by the title alone?! She heard it only for the first time that

Lorrie: I cringed when I heard her saying this, Chuck. I had visions of you coming unglued over those comments.

Chuck: She's doing a lounge version! The crowd is shocked silent! She tries to inject the patented AI up tempo kick halfway through the song. But she isn't powering it.

Lorrie: She is soooooooo going home tomorrow night. I hate this musical arrangement. Chuck, she's in her fighting stance again.


Chuck, it's obvious she's not reading our blog and she didn't get your memo about how you should never admit that.

Who told that girl to wear a Glad Forceflex bag as a dress tonight?!

Chuck: Simon says she's not a good performer. The same person who convinced Amanda to talk back, also got to Kristy Lee. She tells Simon she can blow his socks off.

I don't think she could blow her nose with conviction.

Lorrie: And that is the point where I want to crawl under my couch. She sure is committed to claiming her weekly real estate onstage among the Bottom Three.

David Archuleta- The Long and Winding Road

Chuck: David brought up his lyric flub and they're rubbing his nose in it again.

Lorrie: Here comes my fave! Awww, he borrowed his daddy's polyester coat for tonight's performance. David doesn't just sing- he can SANG (this is said in my deepest, proud mama, southern accent while waving a hand fan).

Chuck: "The Long and Winding Road." The long and safe version. He hasn't walked down more than a short dead end. He's 17! He can sing, but I don't believe him and these lyrics.

Lorrie: I don't love this song, but I love me some David Archuleta.

Chuck: Simon thought he was amazing. Well, baby, I'm amazed Simon thought that.

Lorrie: Paula thinks this was his best performance?! It's official- this bitch is on drugs. Paula, go crawl in the pill bottle. Chuck, I hope people get your "baby, I'm amazed comment." Half of last night's studio audience would not.

I have to say that at this point, I'm really bored with tonight's show.

Michael Johns- A Day in the Life

Chuck: Michael is doing A Day in the Life? Which part? Lennon's? McCartney's? Evidently he chose to go with George Martin's part.

Lorrie: A day? Really? That felt like he stole a week from me in a minute and a half. That high note in the beginning made my dog bark. And that's not good.

Chuck: Ouch? He blew the note on "Lords." He is trying to sing both the Lennon and McCartney bits. Well, I'll give him points for that. It gives the song that certain bipolar feeling it needs. He messed up the last few lines though.

The director runs tape of David A. from last week.

Lorrie: No matter what he sings, he always reminds me of Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in The Doors movie. This performance looked like hard work for Michael. It's like he held that mic for dear life.

Chuck: Simon is spot was too complex a song for 1:40.

Lorrie: you hear that Chuck? It's The Price is Right Music playing, and- wait a minute- is that? Yes! It's Rod Roddy calling from Beyond, telling Michael to "Come on down!" To the Bottom Three, that is.

Chuck: All of Paula's complaints turn out to be off the mark. She blamed Michael's in-the-ear monitors. He wasn't wearing them.

Lorrie: This is Paula- gah, gah, goo, goo, drool, stammer, stutter, etc., etc.

Pffffffssssst. Hear that? That was a fart. And it made more sense than anything Paula has said all night.

Brooke White- Here Comes the Sun

Chuck: Brooke is singing Here Comes the Sun...and she's all in yellow. Isn't that cute? I'm telling you, if the Beatles need anything to capture the younger audience it is to raise their Cute Factor.

Lorrie: Awwww, she looks pretty in yellow. I really love her voice. Oh, I get it. She's wearing yellow to match her song! Like we couldn't see that one coming from a mile away...

Chuck: No one mentions George Harrison wrote this? Well, I just have.

Sounds ok, but as my wife just said: "She MUST NOT dance." She doesn't. She shimmys like my sister Kate. My dance-challenged sister Kate.

Lorrie: I don't think this was her best performance, but it's enough to get her through to the next round.

Chuck: Randy thought she was never connected to the song. Paula likes her low tones. Brooke immediately decides to sing Muddy Waters next week.

Lorrie: I'm speaking to Paula: God. Shut. Up.

Chuck: Simon thought it was weak. She explains she has a plan. Oh, I get it! She meant to tank this week. I'm surprised she didn't want to sing the David A. version of "We Can Work it Out." That would have been a plan.

Almost to the halfway point and I realize something. These people are not funny. Who has convinced everyone to talk back to the judges? At least we have less of Ryan fighting with Simon.

David Cook- Day Tripper

Chuck: David Cook is doing Whitesnake's version of Day Tripper? It starts with a redhead writhing over a car.

Oh no! Two mics! He's going to use a vocoder!!! Sorry. I'm having Frampton flashbacks.

Lorrie: Chuck, here's where I hate that I'm giving you the first word and I'm taking the last. Now everyone is going to think I'm copying you and that I'm not hip and cool in my own right. This was the comment I wrote last night: "He's goin' all Peter Frampton on that junk!!!!"

Chuck: I watch the song in fear. I stare at the vocoder microphone -- afraid he really will use it. God. He really did. My wife just asked, "Was he actually trying to say something?"

Lorrie: I'm not so sure the vocoder was a good call on this song, but I think this was the best performance of the night so far.

Chuck: Again, they explain the Beatles importance to music. I am in pain. Deep, spiritual pain.

Lorrie: Simon's said something about David looking smug or cocky. Hello, Kettle! You're black!

Carly Smithson- Blackbird

Chuck: Carly sings Blackbird. She's going for a thoughtful, deep sound. The audience thinks she is doing Freebird. They start to sway. Where are the lighters?

Lorrie: Her shirt reminds me of the Rose Parade.

Chuck: The judges will love this. Randy "Another great performance" - Paula gives her an "F" ...for Fantastic? -- Simon doesn't like it. She tries to explain the lyrics to Simon. Lost cause.

Lorrie: Her eye makeup looks so pretty tonight! Randy used the word "cooliosis?" Whatever.

Jason Castro- Michelle

Chuck: Jason Castro is up after the break. Gives me time to....get some Suzy Q's.

Dude. The rest of this review will be mellow. I love you all. I'm high.

A sugar high.

What did you think I meant?

Jason learned French for the song. My French-Canadian wife is cringing every time he sings the French bits. He is doing a bad Maurice Chevalier impersonation. It's like he's singing this at midnight in his dorm room. With a towel at the door jam.

Lorrie: Maurice Chevalier? I was thinking more like Peppy LePew. That hand wavy thingy he just did made me feel embarrased. This performance did nothing for me.

Chuck: Simon says Jason's face sold the song. It sure wasn't the music. He's safe though.

I'm going to listen to the Beatles for a solid week to get the bad sounds of this group out of my ears.

Lorrie: Paula's polka comment actually was funny to me. Dang it! I hate admitting that!

sYESha Mercado- Yesterday

Chuck: She has the key to the song. Scream every SIXTH word. It wakes up the AUDIENCE! She doesn't make it a unique version, but it's better than last week. She's safe this week.

Lorrie: Hey there, Straighty McFlatiron! I like the hair. I don't love this version of this song. Perhaps I can say this, whereas Chuck can't (without sounding like Pervy Perverson): that dress and bra made her boobs look really big.

Chuck: The judges like it. Simon thinks Brooke should have sang that song. Why is the girl on the JC Penney commercial stepping on her birthday cake?

Lorrie: Focus on the Idol, Chuck.

Chuck: Ryan finds Paul McCartney in the audience! No, it's someone's great-grandfather.

Chekezie- I've Just Seen a Face

Chuck: Chikezie claims he is learning harmonica just for "I've Just Seen a Face." I wonder if he can in just a couple of busy days? He starts off way too slowly. I predict he'll speed up the tempo for the famous AI Speed Bump. He pulls up the harmonica. There's your answer. He didn't learn the harmonica.

Lorrie: Chikezie, put down the harmonica and walk away. No! No! Don't turn around and take one last look. Just. Walk. Away.

Chuck: He kicked up the tempo. He's mugging for the camera. He's not singing. This is the multiple personality disorder version of the song. Still, I think he's safe.

Lorrie: I think he's really been the biggest turnaround performer for me. I was eyeing him for a trip home within the first two weeks. Now I don't think that's gonna happen.

Ramielle Malubay- I Should've Known Better

Chuck: Ramiele is singing "I Should Have Known Better." She's pretty weak. No energy. She dances like she's a three-year-old wearing her mom's heels. Her voice sounds country. A little Dolly Parton mixed with Charlie Pride.

Lorrie: I Should've Known Better. You're darn tootin'! The very first word out of her mouth was shaky.

Gosh, it's the "I" - every time she sings it, it's just awful. Hello, Bottom Three.

Chuck: Simon says the singers chose really mediocre songs. Seriously? No, these were mediocre versions of good songs as sung by inexperienced singers.

Chuck's Predictions

Top Three: Carly, David Cook, and the flashback of Brooke singing Let it
Be from last week.

Bottom Three: Amanda, Michael Johns, Kristy Lee and Ramiele

Yes, I can count. It's a very rare tie. I think Kristy Lee is gone.

Please America?

Lorrie's Predictions:

Top Three- Who cares. I'm bored.

Bottom Three- Ramielle, Michael Johns and, of course, Kristy Lee.

This show left me in a bad mood. Perhaps I'll go buy an iPhone and drink a Coca-Cola and I'll feel better in time for the results show.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Texting While Driving

I admire many of our local bloggers for the topics they choose to write about. Currently, my hero is Kristen Freaking Jane, who was brave enough recently to post a dirty secret- texting while driving.

It reminded me of an incident that my husband and I witnessed recently, involving what appeared to be a teenage boy texting while driving. I won't rehash it here. Instead, just read my comment on KFJ's post.

We had our digital camera in the car and took the above photo of his tag. I always intended to post it on my blog- not to get him in trouble (ok, maybe a little)- but in hope that someone reading this blog knows this kid's parents and can talk some sense into him.
This is a dangerous thing to do. Don't believe me? Watch the YouTube video below. It's twits like this who are rolling along our streets, oblivious to the world around them, thinking they're the center of the universe, who are texting while driving. Do you want to be like that? I didn't think so.

Dr. Phil Texting While Driving Episode

I referred to this in KFJ's post, but thought I'd post this on my site since I found this clip from the show.

Monday, March 17, 2008

SPCA Foster Parenting- Three Puppies!

On Friday, I picked up three more puppies from the Lakeland SPCA to foster. This little cutie above is the male. He's sleeping on an elephant squeaky toy that my dog Callaghan feels should be his to play with. Don't you just want to squeeze him when you see this picture?!

This is one of the females. She has beautiful, blue eyes. Since these puppies are just four weeks old, I'm wondering if her eyes will stay that color.

This little female is the tubby one of the bunch. She's the biggest and she has the most adorable, perfectly round brown spots on her. You can see one in this picture.
Fostering three puppies is a bit of a handful. The hairiest times are when I'm trying to get them outside to potty. It's always easy grabbing a puppy in each hand and whisking them out the door before they pee on my floor. Scooping up three puppies is difficult, even though these are small. As they get bigger, it will be impossible.
But on the good side, it's easier to spend one-on-one time with one puppy, because the two puppies in the crate can keep each other company. Before, pulling one out of the crate to play with it meant leaving the other alone to cry. Good grief...I sound so ridiculous! But these things weigh heavily on my mind.
Since I haven't had any foster puppies in a few weeks, I haven't mentioned this on my blog, but I want to reiterate how fun and rewarding foster parenting is. If you love pets, but can't afford the full-time commitment of owning one, this is the way to go. The foster parenting hyperlink takes you to the SPCA's application. For me, this experience is perfect. I get all the enjoyment of having a puppy. But caring for them is just enough work that by the time they are old enough to be adopted, I'm actually ready to let them go.
If you simply can't handle the responsibility of foster parenting, but you firmly believe in the SPCA's cause, I hope you'll consider supporting them. The SPCA always is in need of supplies such as dry puppy and kitten food, towels and blankets, bleach, paper towels, unscented liquid laundry detergent, medium and large latex gloves, liquid soap, distilled water, gallon size Ziploc freezer bags, kitty litter and new or lightly used pet crates/carriers. Can't decide what to buy? You never go wrong with gift cards to PetSmart, PetCo or Pet Supermarket.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Downtown Farmers Curb Market Celebrates American Pie Day

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Stop by the Downtown Farmers Curb Market on Saturday for some good, old-fashioned pie-related fun.

There are pie baking, pie eating and pie throwing contests. The little birdie told me that the folks from Mayhem in the A.M., City Commissioner Justin Troller and Pat Alderman had volunteered to be targets for the pie throwing contest.

Here's the activities line-up:

For more information, call 221-4633. You can view the flier here.

Tonight is Pics on the Promenade

Check out Darby's post regarding Lakeland's Pics on the Promenade: West Side Story.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Black and Brew to Increase Seating

Those of you who frequent Downtown Lakeland's Black and Brew like Vonya and me soon will notice some changes in the seating arrangements.

The sofas and loveseats, coffee table and end tables have been sold, according to my insider source, and soon will be replaced with bistro tables to increase seating by about 20.

This sounds to me like a great sign that business is good for the B&B brothers. I'm glad. I know they get enough of my money every week!

It's Blogger Meet-Up Time!

Polk County residents who write a blog, plan to write a blog or just like to read blogs are invited to the next meeting of area bloggers.

The meeting will be Monday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Mimi's Cafe, 3770 Lakeside Village Circle, in Lakeland. Click here for directions.

Don't worry if your site is a diary, journal, PR blog or media blog...everyone is welcome.

If you plan to attend, please email: For more information, call (863) 614-0555.

American Idol Results Show

Well, gentle readers, Chuck and Lorrie obviously won't be getting side jobs guessing weights, ages or American Idol cast-offs at the carnival any time soon. Last night's results show ended in a way that neither predicted.

Chuck: I am shocked! Shocked! Shocked to hear they plan to butcher more songs from the "Lennon-McCartney Songbook" © ? But, that's news for next week. This week America goes from "Spot on!" to "WTF?"

I'd like to first mention that this post is brought to you by the Fox film, "Horton Hears a Who."

After listening to Jim Carey prattle on, we get a recap of last night's show. The highlight is when the AI director chooses to show David Archletta's flubs like some proud parent pulling out their child's diaperless baby picture to show a prom date. Thanks, Mom.

Lorrie: I couldn't agree more. Granted, he didn't do much right with the song, but did they have to highlight the thing he did most wrong?!

Chuck: We quickly, thank God, jump to the first group. As they stood up, even sYESha knew she was the first to make the Bottom Three © .

We got the first commercial of the year. Those with TIVO hit skip. I'm buying a TIVO before next week's show.

TIVO is a proud sponsor of this post and the Fox film, "Horton Hears a Who."

Lorrie: I guess the AI producers finally have caught on that asking singers to perform right after they learn that life as they know is now over doesn't make for the best TV. All that fighting back tears and angst-ridden facial expressions as the credits role is silly. Now the bottom three get to sing once again before learning if they're safe or leaving.

I've never understood the logic behind these moves, other than it provides a full hour of nail-biting suspense and shameless plugs for "Horton Hears A Who." This is what Ryan should say as he introduces the performers who are in the bottom three: "America, let's listen as our bottom three perform the royal screw-ups that got them there!"

I mean, that is why, after all, they're in the bottom three. Why must we here these tragedies again?

Chuck: After the commercial Ryan instructs Chikezie, Amanda, Kristy Lee, and David Cook to stand up. Three of them look at Kristy Lee and immediately sit down. Ryan makes them stand and pretend there is suspense.

Even Kristy Lee tells David he is safe and asks Ryan for the microphone.

Lorrie: Did you get a load of the agitation on Ryan's face when Kristy Lee burst his bubble with that remark? She knew what was coming. The whole world knew it. But Ryan insisted on the game of cat and mouse.

Chuck: She whispers to the mic, "Sorry you have to hear this again."

Lorrie: LMAO.

Chuck: Have you noticed she must sing with one foot forward? My wife thinks it must be her fighting stance.

(By the way, in case you're throwing out which song she could have sang with a country twang..."Don't Pass Me By" was by Ringo Starr...I would have picked "Happiness is a Warm Gun.")

The NRA would like to thank the producers of this post and offer an elephant gun salute to the Fox film, "Horton Hears a Who."

Ryan takes questions from the audience. People, please, asking questions is a job best left to professionals. That was really a bad idea. I'd rather see Ryan and Simon bicker like two Italian women on the front stoop of a brownstone. (Sorry Mom, Aunt Rose.)

Lorrie: Did you notice Ryan's obvious prejudice in selecting which questions to answer? He glossed right over Franny, age 55, from Pootville, WV, to choose only the 20-somethings' questions to answer. This was a stupid addition to the show, BTW. I don't care about hearing questions from America. Just get to the #&$^% results.

Chuck: We finally get to the last group of four. Brooke had to tell David Archuleta to sit down. I'm starting to wonder if Archuleta is snacking on Jason Castro's "homemade" brownies. Of course, Ryan tells Brooke to have a seat and the crowd wondered....was Chuck right and it is David Hernandez, or did Lorrie pull off an upset and it's Ramiele ?

It's David. What? You doubted me? Ok, I can understand that.

Lorrie: Chuck, you predicted the innocent, sweet David, who's working his way through college at the pizza bistro- NOT AT THE GAY STRIP CLUB WHERE WE'VE ALL SEEN PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF THAT HE WORKED- would be in the bottom three, but you predicted Kristy Lee would be going home.

Chuck: Ryan stands with the Bottom Three © and asks Simon if America got it right. Simon looks directly into the camera and in his cathedral voice says, "Chuck got it spot on."

Lorrie: Chuck, your delusions just called. They said they need a vacation.

Chuck: Check the tape if you don't believe me. If he doesn't say that you must have taped the West Coast feed.

Odd, there were less votes this week. Just 29 million. Or roughly the sum total of votes for President in the last three elections combined.

No one is shocked when Ryan sends sYESha back to "sing" for another week.

So who would it be....David Hernandez or Kristy Lee?

Lorrie: I think the gay male contingent is spitting mad at David (as they utter rainbow-colored obscenities and threaten to scratch his eyes out) for denying the whole gay strip club rumor- THAT IS BACKED UP WITH PHOTOS, PEOPLE- and they cast their votes to Ramiele, their favorite fag hag, instead. Yep, I said it. Ramiele got the gay vote this week.

Chuck: The audience is visibly shocked when Ryan tells Kristy Lee to sit down. Even she asks to check the results card. Paula immediately demanded the Supreme Court look into this travesty. Until she realized Mary Wilson stopped talking to Diana Ross.

Lorrie: Have you ever noticed that when the losers are singing, Paula takes on the appearance of a toddler (OK, a pill-popping toddler) in a bouncy chair as they perform? There's something about that glazed, gleeful look in her eye and the way she claps her hands that just screams...straight me.

Chuck: I think so many didn't vote for David because they were mad they hadn't received a complementary lap dance at Pizza Bistro.

I'm off to watch " Horton Hears a Who." See you next week.

Lorrie: Ditto. Chuck, did you take my elephant ears headband again?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And My Husband Doesn't Want Me Putting Bumper Stickers on the V-Dub...

...perhaps he fears it would eventually lead to this. If you live in Lakeland, I'm sure you've seen this car around, but he/she has taken their message to a new level since last I saw it. Today I noticed that this person has glued Noah's ark to the hood, roof and trunk lid. I think this person should consider blogging. The message might be conveyed a bit better that way.

The Chuck & Lorrie Show- American Idol Style

Chuck: OK, the first episode for the final 12 and we get the “Lennon and McCartney Songbook”? I doubt the singers got to pick from the full set.

* - Director Flaw #1: They need to explain the importance of the Beatles? Seriously? Everyone has obviously been told to say "The Lennon-McCartney Songbook."

Lorrie: I feel like a bit of a heel because I bailed out of a friend's Signature Homes party early tonight so I could get home to my blogging duties. But hey, I've written twice about blogging 'bout The Idol, so I figured duty called...

Initial thoughts: 1) who told Amanda Overmeyer to wear those pants?! Can you say camel toe? 2) Paula appears to be as drug-induced as ever. And she's babbling as usual. 3) I wonder how excited Chuck is since it's John and Paul night, and I know he's a Beatles fan.

Syesha Mercado - “Gotta Get You Into My Life”

Chuck: Gotta not. What was up with the Christopher Walken phrasing? She performed like Whitney Houston. Like Whitney Houston dancing. Bottom Three Performance.

Lorrie: The horns really give this an Earth, Wind & Fire sound. I don't love this performance. This was just au-ight fuh me, Dawg. Regarding Paula, she always says the same thing Randy says. And then she adds a lot of blah, blah, blah to it.

Chikezie - “She's a Woman”

Chuck: He took that song from Bluegrass into Elvis into the Who. Well, as my wife said, “He was more entertaining than the last one.” I think it was good enough to save him. Wow, only the first week and I'm already going to miss a prediction. He's not going this week. Top Three Performance.

* - Ryan Flaw #1: What is going on with screaming with Chikezie? Is Ryan on Paula's drugs tonight?

Lorrie: Nice bluegrass sound in the beginning. I've always loved this song. He's really doing a great job of changing it up and making it his own. That surprises me, since, like Chuck, I would've picked him to go home this week- until now. I don't love the stuttering. Overall, a very good performance. He needed this performance tonight, otherwise he would have been next to go home. He definitely will make it through to the next round.

Ramiele Malubay - “In My Life”

Chuck: My favorite song period. Not her version. The audience is waving their hands and I'm simply asking WTF?

Boring. No other way to describe it. She's on the bubble, but not in the bottom three.

Lorrie: Another great song I've always loved. The waving in the audience is a bit chekezie- I mean, cheesy. This girl is pretty and she has a nice voice, but I just don't see “American Idol” when she performs. BTW, she did nothing differently with this song. I think she's been teetering on the brink of going home for a week or two, and I think she will be the one to leave this week.
As for Simon, he was tough on Ramiele, but truthful.

Jason Castro - “If I Fell”

Chuck: Sounds like he's doing the version from “Across the Universe”. Some odd phrasing, and when did he start singing out of the side of his mouth? The beginning was rushed, but he pulled it together. He's safe for next week.

Lorrie: This boy just has a chronic goofy look about him and I want so badly for his days on the show to be over. There are portions of this song where I wonder if his private parts are being twisted with pliers. His facial expressions indicate yes. Paula just disagreed with Randy. I didn't think that was possible. She feels his heart?! What the...

Carly Smithson - “Come Together”

Chuck: The most solid performance of the night, yet at the end of the song my wife and I both said, “Blah.” Simon compares her to Kelly Clarkson. That's the kiss of death, but she's easily safe. Top Three Performance.

Lorrie: I'm excited at the thought of what she might do with this song. I love, love, love her voice. She didn't change it up a lot, but I still really liked her version. I love Carly and predict she'll be in the Top 3.

David Cook - “Eleanor Rigby”

Chuck: It's a sad song. Why is he smiling? I had visions of Metallica singing this at a sound check. I didn't believe he was feeling the lyrics. The judges loved it. He's safe this week.

Lorrie: I always wonder if he's hiding a receding hairline with his hairstyle. Not that there's anything wrong with that, Chuck. I think David has a good rocker voice, but I don't love this version.

Brooke White - “Let it Be”

Chuck: Not that exciting of a performance. Especially when you have seen Timmy Mitchum sing it. However, it was heartfelt and well done. She'll sail through.

Lorrie: She always reminds me of Juice Newton, looks-wise. She's so talented- she sings, plays piano and guitar. I love the delicately raspy sound to her voice. She not only gets the votes each week because of her talent, but she also really conveys that she would be likable in the real world. Paula, again with the feeling her heart comment.

David Hernandez -- “I Saw Her Standing There”

Chuck: And you'll see her walking away if she hears you singing that song. He let the backup singers take the “OHHH” notes. No energy. Bottom Three Performance.

Lorrie: They cut to a commercial and my husband and I are breaking into peels of laughter, wondering what he's going to say about his previous job when we're back from the commercial break. We're back- Pizza bistro?! So that's what they call gay male strip clubs these days...
I actually have always liked David's voice. This performance didn't do much for me, though.

Amanda Overmyer - “You Can't Do That”

Chuck: Never, ever, admit you've just heard a Beatles song for the first time. However, it's obvious. Starts out so-so, but finishes better. Kudos for not changing the gender of the song. She's on the bubble, but safe this week.

* - Note to Ryan and Simon: Stop arguing, shut up, and do your jobs.

Lorrie: Why, oh why, won't they make her do something different with her hair? It's just awful. And she always sounds like she's smoked two packs of Lucky Strikes before she sings. I can't understand many of the words when she sings, but this was an OK performance to me. If she would just sing Janis Joplin all the time, she'd be alright.

According to Simon, I'm not alone. He says he could only understand 30 percent of the words.
Paula- after she spoke, my husband shouted at the TV for her to take another Percocet (sp?). We think she ALWAYS sounds drugged when she opens her mouth.

Michael Johns -- “Across the Universe”

Chuck: He seemed pained, and channeling Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr as he sang. This is important: the line is: “Jai guru deva, om.“ It is not as Johns' sang: “Jackaroo David, Om” At least he looked more sincere than David Cook. He's safe this week.

Lorrie: As I'm compiling this, I'm laughing hysterically at Chuck's comment. My husband swore he was singing "Jackaroo," too. Am I the only one who finds it curious that someone from Australia and someone from Ireland is in the competition to be the next American Idol? Nice performance.

Kristy Lee Cook -- “8 Days a Week”

Chuck: A couple of weeks ago Amanda Overmyer listened to the AI stylists and it almost ruined her. Kad lee listened too literally to Simon and it ruined her. That was a lousy country & western version of the song. And I swear she tried to yodel at the end. No movement. She wasn't confident. Bottom Three Performance.

Lorrie: I love this song, and it's really cute with this bluegrass feel. Some of her performance included too many runs. Randy is reading my mind! He mentioned the runs, too. Paula didn't like it??? That's not like her at all. Simon- horrendous?

This is sad. I didn't think it was that bad. She'll make it through this week. All this lovers' spat, back-and-forth between Simon and Ryan is getting on my nerves.

David Archuleta -- “We Can Work it Out”

Chuck: And he better. The “Sure Fire Winner” has lips of clay. He flubbed one line and obviously didn't trust a second. Nevertheless, his fans won't desert him this week. If he does it again, he's gone. Bottom Three Performance, but won't be in the Bottom Three.

Lorrie: Savin' the best for last, baby! Oh no...he forgot the words! TWICE! He is all over the place with this song. This is by far his worst performance of the season. I'm not familiar with Stevie Wonder's version of this song, so I wonder if this was modeled after that. It definitely sounds different than the original.

Simon spoke and apparently it WAS the Stevie Wonder version.

Chuck's post-show predictions:

Top Three: Chikezie, Carly, & Jason

Bottom Three: Syesha, David Hernandez, and Kristy.

Say goodbye to Kristy.

Lorrie's post-show predictions:

Top Three: Chikezie, Carly and Brooke

Bottom Three: Ramielle, Kristy and Syesha

Say goodbye to Ramielle.

Afterthoughts: Chuck, you and I think eerily alike when it comes to American Idol. If we don't start some Simon/Ryan type sparring, no one will want to read this. Maybe I'll have a pain pill with a glass of wine next week prior to the show. I can channel Paula while I'm commenting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chuck's American Idol Predictions

Since I'm not going to get the last word, I'm going to use the first word to give you the result of every episode.

Week 1) Chikezie leaves although David Archuleta surprises everyone with his soulful rendition of “Why Don't We do it in the Road.”

Week 2) Amanda, America's favorite Janis Joplin impersonator, leaves after Simon mentions he never heard of the song “Me & Bobby McGee.”

Lorrie- That's funny. And probable.

Week 3) This time the public says no to sYESha. This surprises Randy, who asks “Dawg? What?”

Week 4) It's Kristy Lee Cook. It's a shock as pundits thought she was a lock when her manager, Brittney Spears, jumped on stage to pass on Madonna's kiss of luck. A closer look at the tape reveals “Brittney” was actually Kady Malloy hoping the impersonation would get her back in the race.

Week 5) David Hernandez goes home this week, but not before giving Simon a lap dance. (Hey, sometimes you have to go with the obvious choice.)

Week 6) Just before this week's episode airs David Cook finally gives up and shaves his head. Audiences mistake him for Chris Daughtry and send him back on the road.

Week 7) Jason Castro's fans head out before the show to pick up Pringles and Little Debbie Snack Cakes. They forget to go back home and vote.
Castro is out like a Cuban dictator. Well, more than a Cuban dictator.

Week 8) Michael Johns mentions in his interview that he would like a vegemite sandwich. Audiences realize he is actually Colin Hay in disguise. He heads back down under.

Week 9) I'll simply say Ramiele Malubay leaves this week. My beautiful and petite wife would cook liver for dinner if I made a short joke.
Humor is not worth that kind of suffering.

Week 10) Yes, the final three will be David Archuleta, Carly Smithson, and Brooke White. Who goes this week? It's White, who will respond with kind and gentle words. (What? You thought I'd do a “expletive laden tirade” joke? Too easy.)

The Finale) Archuleta? Smithson? Smithson? Archuleta? In a surprise vote, Smithson wins. This dooms her to obscurity. Archuleta picks up a Supporting Actor Oscar in 2010 for the musical biography, “Nixon!”

2008 Found Money Blog

I enjoyed recording my findings of spare change so much in 2007, one of my New Year's resolutions is to continue the tradition in 2008 and to collect more than the $3.37 I found last year. You can review my 2007 findings here.

Mike and I went for a walk New Year's day and got this resolution off to a great start.

July 6- $1.65

June Total- 44 cents
June 27- 2 cents
June 20- 1 cent
June 19- 1 cent
June 11- 1 cent
June 8- 10 cents
June 4- 1 cent
June 2- 3 cents
June 1- 25 cents

May total- 49 cents
May 29- 5 cents
May 24- 1 cent
May 20- 1 cent
May 18- 11 cents
May 17- 2 cents
May 11- 1 cent
May 8- 2 cents
May 6- 5 cents
May 4- 21 cents

April Total- 48 cents
April 24- 3 cents
April 19- 2 cents
April 18- 1 cent
April 16- 4 cents
April 15- 1 cent
April 13- 37 cents

March update- it's getting to be slim pickins' lately. I'm gonna have to start lurking around movie theaters after they turn on the lights if things don't turn around soon

March Total- 1 cent
March 8- 1 cent

February Total- 62 cents
February 17- 37 cents
February 14- 10 cents
February 4- 13 cents
February 3- 2 cents

January Total- $2.49
January 31- 1 cent
January 28- 10 cents (Mike found this in the parking lot at work, the the 1/15 rule applies)
January 27- 96 cents
January 26- 1 cent
January 24- 2 cents
January 15- 1 cent (Mike found this but it goes in the same change jug at home so it still counts)
January 10- 2 cents
January 6- 16 cents
January 4- 1 cent
January 1- $1.19

Monday, March 10, 2008

Little Everglades Steeplechase

We attended our second Little Everglades Steeplechase yesterday, courtesy of Central Florida Eurocars. I tell you, this event is worth buying a VW!

Central Florida Eurocars treated its guests like royalty, with free tickets to the event, VIP parking, free breakfast and lunch- courtesy of those great guys at Black & Brew- and free booze. It was quite a treat getting to attend again this year.

I took some photos, which can be viewed here.

This event is a huge fundraiser held at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City. The ranch is 2,000 acres of pure beauty. It has been put into conservancy so that it will never be developed. That means it will be here for future generations to enjoy, which is amazing to me. More than 300 acres of wetlands have been reintroduced to the ranch.

Proceeds from this event, which attracted tens of thousands of people, benefit Quantum Leap Farm, Inc., Diabetic Charitable Services and the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village.

Countdown to A.I.

One more night 'til American Idol blogging with Chuck!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lorrie in the Orlando Sentinel

I was quoted in today's article in the Orlando Sentinel about the Polk County Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Rapido Networking event.

Southeastern University and Longfellow Blvd.

If you have to drive the entire length of Longfellow Boulevard in Lakeland, you might want to find another route March 10-12. Otherwise, you'll be re-routed around Southeastern University. It appears the city is doing some work around Lake Bonny, directly behind Southeastern's Mira Lago dorms. I hope they're building a drainage swale . That's what it looks like to me.

Speaking of Southeastern, did anybody read this morning's Ledger article about Jeb Bush and the CSX project? I bet Chuck did, CSX fan that he is.

I got a kick out of it, simply because of my past experience having worked at Southeastern. I can imagine there were at least two people instrumental in the planning of the National Leadership Forum who were FUMING that a reporter would have the audacity to ask a non-Forum-related question of the Jebster at their event.

Kudos to Robin, or whichever reporter attempted to ask the question. CSX is a huge issue for Polk County residents, it has divided entities on the issue, it will have a HUGE impact on us all, and people want answers. Reporters may not always be liked or appreciated for their actions, but they have an obligation to make reasonable attempts to gather information for valid news stories.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

American Idol- Dueling Blogger Style

I'm soooooo excited. I've found someone who is as fascinated with American Idol as I am. And it's not a 13-year-old girl.

Beginning next week, Chuck and I are going to blog about American Idol. He promises to disagree with everything I say. And, gentleman that he is, he's going to let me have the last word. How could I not be excited about this?!
Here's how this will work: Each of us will write about each episode. The morning after each show, I will compile our comments and post them on my blog. Chuck reserves the right to make follow-up comments, should I say something else he disagrees with, or if I should call him an idiot. Stay tuned!

Metro I-4 News- There's a New Blog in Town

To those of you who didn't read on after Chuck at Lakeland Local buried the lede in his recent post, you should know he's up to something.

"As if I didn't have enough to do, I've decided to introduce a blog called Metro I-4 News. As the name implies, the new site will look at the news important to the region that is growing around Interstate 4 from Tampa east to Daytona Beach," Chuck wrote recently.

Chuck and I talked about this new blog today and actually, its content may not stretch as far as Daytona. It may primarily focus on Tampa, Orlando and all I-4 points in between. I may occasionally contribute a post or two to the site, perhaps on a more editorial basis, since I typically don't delve into many of the topics that are germane to all readers along this I-4 corridor. That is, unless there's a regional laser hair removal story that arises. In that case, consider me on it.

It will be interesting to see how this new blog evolves over the next several years. I, for one, am excited by the possibilities.

American Idol - Luke Menard

This guy will go home on Thursday night's show. He's just not good enough.

David Archuleta Another Day in Paradise

I still think David was the best on Idol last night. The judges didn't gush over him the way they normally do, but he's definitely secured his spot in the Top 12.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Ledger Buys The News-Chief

Well, kiddies, the big news in Polk County today is that The Ledger has purchased the last (feeble) attempt at good, old-fashioned competition among newspapers. Other bloggers have written some great posts on it, so I'm not going to re-hash this. Instead, I'll kindly refer you to Chuck's post today at Lakeland Local, Josh's take on the situation at Empirical Polk, and the Tribune perspective from Billy at the Polk County News Blog.

Here's what I want to do: let's have a contest to rename the paper! I know Chuck is longing for The Ledger to return to The Lakeland Ledger. But with the combining of The Ledger's East Polk section and the News-Chief, there have to be some great renaming ideas out there. So put on your thinking caps and send me your suggestions.

Marriage and Mix Tapes

I was thinking yesterday about how easily relationship woes were solved in high school. A good mix tape could explain away a bad day, calm the jealousy caused by flirting with that boy while cruising the Boulevard with your friends, describe how painful that mean remark was, apologize for making a meaner remark in return.

A good mix tape could say the things you couldn't put into words yourself. And they didn't always have to be right-on-the-money. For example, in 9th grade, Brent L. made me a mix tape with explanations. Beside "Sister Golden Hair" he wrote: (If you had blonde hair). Granted, some of his songs made no sense for a "This will show you how much I love you" mix tape. I mean, "A Horse With No Name?" What the hell?!

A good mix tape always seemed so heart-felt. I broke up with Joe C. my senior year in high school and when I got in my car that afternoon, what was under my windshield wiper? Why, a mix tape, of course! How else was the guy supposed to let me know how badly it hurt to have his heart ripped out, while also trying to convince me to take him back?

But with age- and marriage- comes fewer props for effective communication. It seems issues that come up in a marriage become too gigantic- or maybe petty- to be fixed with a mix tape. What song would I use to say "Please don't buy that Harley Davidson because I'm afraid we can't afford it?"

Or, after the Harley has been purchased: "How much GD chrome do you have to put on that thing before you're done?!"

If The Bangles ever wrote anything to address why you shouldn't leave the water running while you're brushing your teeth because it's wasteful, I'd love to hear it.

Does Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam have a song to say "Just because koozies and stickers are free at trade shows, doesn't mean you have to grab three at each booth?"

Marriage would be so much simpler if I had a soundtrack playing in the background.

Lakeland Farmers Curb Market Celebrates American Pie Day

It warms my heart to attend the Lakeland Farmers Curb Market each Saturday and witness its growth. I'm seeing more vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables and for the past two weekends, a lady who makes and sells homemade pet treats has been there. I bought the peanut butter flavored treats for Lucy and Callaghan two weekends ago and last night they polished off the last of them. If they had thumbs, they would have given the treats four thumbs up.

Now there's yet another reason to visit the Farmers Market- American Pie Day (View the flier here). On March 15, the market will feature pie baking, eating and throwing contests. Entry forms can be viewed and downloaded here. Pre-registration deadline is March 10.

The pie baking contest has a professional and amateur category. The entry fee is modest at $5 per pie unless you wait until after the 10th. In that case, you must include a $10 fee with your entry.

So dust off the cookbook and enter your best pie!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mark Calendar for the Next Pics on the Promenade

The next Pics on the Promenade in Downtown Lakeland is March 14, and the feature this time is West Side Story.

If you haven't been to one of these yet, I can't recommend it enough! This free event is a great time for date night or a family night out. Last month's feature of Casa Blanca attracted about 600 movie watchers.

The City of Lakeland has created a Web site for the event, which offers all kinds of information and tips to follow to make your experience pleasant. Check it out:

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Attend the Speed Networking Event

I wrote this for the Polk County Business Journal, but wanted to post it on my blog, too. I think this is a great idea and if you're looking to make some business connections, you should plan to attend.

LAKELAND- The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Polk County will offer a new spin to an old business activity on March 7.

Business networking will be done in speedy fashion during the “Rapido Networking” event held 8:30- 10:30 a.m. at Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro.

The event is similar to speed dating, but with a business twist, said Ana Rivera, Chamber president and the event’s organizer.

“I attended a speed networking event in Brandon a while ago,” Rivera said. “It’s being done in larger cities.”

Just because Lakeland is a nice, quiet community doesn’t “mean we don’t have metropolitan people who live here” and could benefit from speed networking, she said.

Here’s how the event works:

Attendees pay a $5 entrance fee, which includes coffee and a coupon good for food discounts at Black & Brew.

Each person gets a name tag with several table numbers listed on it. Attendees go to their first assigned table and have two and a half minutes to introduce themselves and the company they work for and explain what they hope to get out of the event, Rivera said. After five minutes, attendees move on to the next table listed on their name tag and repeat the process.

“No one ends up talking to the same person the whole time, Rivera said. “Each person could get to meet up to 90 people.”

Rivera anticipates having 25 people attend the first event, which is open to everyone. For more information call Rivera, 863-838-2084 or visit the Chamber’s Web site:

Black & Brew is located at 205 E. Main St.