Category: Featured Articles

The Sharp Knife Of A Short Life – Remembering My Cousin Emily

The Sharp Knife Of A Short Life – Remembering My Cousin Emily

We all sat around the table in my grandmother’s kitchen, talking.  So many of my family’s roads lead to my grandparents’ kitchen.  The children were in the living room playing loudly, my father watching over them with a protective eye.  Over plastic plates filled with chicken, beans, slaw, and more, we swapped stories – sometimes laughing, sometimes smiling.  It was a familiar moment there at table, shared by us countless times over the years.  But this time was different.  This time, we were sharing stories about my cousin Emily.  She had just turned 31 a few weeks earlier and that afternoon we had buried her.

 

My mom had called to tell me Emily had been taken to the hospital on Saturday night, the 14th.  That Sunday, the 15th, was her 31st birthday.  I learned that her liver had failed and she had been put in a medically induced coma.  Her brain began to swell and she eventually developed an infection in her lungs.  Any one of those conditions alone would have been daunting, but taken together – well, the outlook wasn’t good.    

 

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American Idol: Season 11, Episode 3 – “I can’t wait to hear 40 people sing the same Adele song, for six f-ing hours!”

American Idol: Season 11, Episode 3 – “I can’t wait to hear 40 people sing the same Adele song, for six f-ing hours!”

The third audition episode for Season 11 of American Idol found the judges in San Diego.  The producers decided to go for huge production value and placed the entire production on the aircraft carrier USS Midway.  Cool right?  Well, it looked cool – they even played the prerequisite musical clips from “Top Gun”. (Who would have seen that coming?  Anyone?  Anyone? Buehler?)   There was just one teensy-weensy problem – the USS Midway is docked in an active harbor close to the airport.  Plane noise?  Check.  Boat noise?  Check?  Wind?  Check.  All in all it made for a different vibe and as a bonus, gave Steven a chance to wear a ridiculous pair of green aviator goggles.   But what about the Idol hopefuls, you ask.  How did the singers fare on the evening?  Have no fear – read on and get the entire scoop…

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American Idol: Season 11, Episode 2 – The Unfortunate Planking Incident

American Idol: Season 11, Episode 2 – The Unfortunate Planking Incident

The second night of our 2012 journey with Idol found us in the city of Pittsburgh.  That’s right, Pittsburgh.  We were welcomed to the “City of Champions” by a guy with a size 58 beer-belly wearing a size 28 shirt.  (And by the way, it looked like he was there to audition.  If he’s 28 or younger, I’m Captain Caveman.)  With the bar set that low, I had to wonder what sort of talent Pittsburgh would bring to the table.

 

First up was Heejun Han.  To say that he presented himself in an underwhelming manner would be an understatement.  As he talked to Ryan I wasn’t sure if he had been sniffing glue or was just roused from his midday nap to attend the auditions.  Dude was strange.  To top it off, his family told Ryan they had never heard him sing.  My thought was – “they’re probably the lucky ones.”  But then he walked in the audition room and started singing.  You would think by now I would know not to judge a book by its cover.  Turns out dude was strange – but dude could sing.  Three quick yeses and he was on his way.  (By the way – he also had one of the strangest, and yet coolest, “I’m going to Hollywood” moments ever…)

 

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American Idol: Season 11, Episode 1 – “The best note you hit was when you grabbed my @ss.”

American Idol: Season 11, Episode 1 – “The best note you hit was when you grabbed my @ss.”

It’s that time of year again – American Idol Season 11 is upon us.  Randy is back, Jennifer is back, Steven is back, Ryan is back, and I am back.  Well, I hope I’m back.  I’ll warn you all now, faithful readers – I’m traveling a LOT for work right now.  It’s going to be tough for me to keep up the commentary in real time (this recap of the premiere is almost a week late, for example.)  Nevertheless, I’ll endeavor to do my best to bring you the snarky and insightful commentary you’ve come to expect from me.  Just be patient – it may come a little slower than you would like.

 

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive in.  The Idol premier came to us from Savannah, GA this year.  (When asked about how this stop was treating him, Steven quipped – “Savannah’s treatin’ me great – but I didn’t know you knew her…”) The theme of the show was all about the young kids who grew up watching Idol and are now old enough to audition.  Thanks for making me feel old. 

 

David Leathers Jr. (or  “Mr. Steal-Your-Girl”) was up first.  My first thought was – this kid is seventeen?  He looked like he was twelve.  In the first of many flashbacks to their contestants’ earlier years, we found out that David was evidently in a competition a few years ago with Scotty McCreary.  Small world, or at least it looks that way when you have millions of audition stories to choose from.  Let me say this about “Mr. Steal-Your-Girl”, he may have a voice that sounds vaguely like a chipmunk, but the kid can sing.  I wonder if he’ll still be able to sing like that when he hits puberty?

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A few thoughts on the 3D release of “Star Wars: Episode 1”

A few thoughts on the 3D release of “Star Wars: Episode 1”

In case you haven’t heard, “Star Wars: Episode 1” is being released in theaters in 3D on February 10th.  A few facts to note:

 

1. I am a huge Star Wars fan.

2. Seeing movies on the big screen is almost always better than watching them at home.

3. 3D can be very cool if done correctly.  ILM usually does things correctly.

4. Notwithstanding point #3 above, I fully expect Jar-Jar to be even MORE annoying in 3D.

5.  My son has never seen the Star Wars films in the theater.  We will now be able to rectify that situation.

 6.  I’ll now have even more Star Wars posters to hang in the house.  My wife will LOVE that.

 

Speaking of posters, Lucasfilm has posted five new posters for the 3D release of Episode One.  Check them out after the jump…

 

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