[BlogEntry] Finally, a snow day!

At last a day with real snow, where I'm home anyway (by the time I got us shovelled out there was no way to even bother trying to catch a train) and the kids can come out and play.

There's enough snow that little legs will easily fall through it up to their knees and get stuck. But it's been cold enough that the top layer is nice and crunchy. In New England, much like in Alaska, we have 57 different ways to describe snow :). But this makes for a very interesting condition, because Katherine is heavier than Elizabeth, and Katherine falls through, while Elizabeth floats along on top. I got a picture of this, I hope it comes out. Katherine is stuck up to her knees and trying to push herself out, which ends up with arms going into the snow up to her elbows. Meanwhile Elizabeth is quite literally walking circles around her like a mountain goat asking "You ok, Katherine? You stuck in the snow?"

Katherine got to experience her first case of snow blindness, too. We went in for lunch after playing for awhile. "Whoa," she tells me, "It's dark. Are the lights on?" I explained snow blindness, and that it would go away. "Will it be like that upstairs, too?" she asked. I said probably not. But sure enough as she runs up the stairs I hear, "It's dark up here too!"

[BlogEntry] Buddhist Blogging

Welll, not really.  More like What a Buddhist monk taught me about blogging.  That's the title of a post by Darren over at ProBlogger.net on the subject of how to handle it when people are dumping hate and anger on your head.  Apparently this is something common in the blog world (he says he gets email about it every week).  I like the advice, it's worth checking out.  I'm tempted to include it here since there's one line that sums it up nicely, but that's not fair to steal his thunder.  Go read his post.

Something interesting to note about Darren's post is how the minute he says that he learned something from a Buddhist monk he feels obliged to say, "Not that I'm changing religions…"  Why does that make me think of the Seinfeld "Not that there's anything wrong with that episode?"  How come learning something from a Buddhist implies that you have to become a Buddhist?  Or that you have to make sure that people don't think that?


Technorati tags: blogging, advice, buddhism

[BlogEntry] American Idol Top 24 : Early Picks and Favorites

I don't bother blogging all the audition episodes, because honestly they're so forgettable now. Why bother learning how to spell the names of people who are going to be gone faster than I can type them in?

But now we're down to 24 hopefuls, and we've seen enough of some characters to start picking out the more interesting ones.

Chris – The "Jack Osborne" kid who said his goal was to make David Hasselhoff cry. I like him. I don't think he'll win the whole thing, because I don't think personality will carry him the whole way and he'll need to start being known for singing ability and not sense of humor. But he should make the final 12.

Sundance – How awkward was it in the final two males when they told Sundance "You had a lousy week", told the other guy "We've liked you since we first saw you", and then picked Sundance anyway? Obviously the guy has been picked for his character and his look. He sings well, but he won't last under the pressure.

Sanjaya – I like this kid. He's the one who first auditioned with his sister, but his sister didn't make it. Remember that? The judges told him that he was better, but when he came out and his sister asked "What did they say?" he didn't tell her that, so she wouldn't feel bad. And then when she got cut, rather than celebrating with the room that won, he went to find her. He's a good guy, and I hope he does well. Seems to sing well. I don't know if America's ready for somebody with his look to win it all, though. Unfortunate, but true.

Phil – He's the guy that missed the birth of his kid. Personally, I think he looks goofy. His hat during the Hollywood auditions covered his entire face. But maybe that story alone will make him popular.

Blake – The beatbox guy. Actually, their group performance was pretty impressive, entirely based on him. So I'm wondering if that shows that the guy's got enough performing experience to play the game the right way and do well for himself, whether he's the best singer or not. Some of these young kids think it's all about just singing the best song each night, and it's really not. There's lots more to it than that. You have to be the character that the audience likes the best. Blake's already got a hook that people can remember.

The ladies are an interesting bunch. I'm not really sure the producers did them justice – do any personalities stand out, like with the guys? Sure, there's Antonella. Everybody knows her because she auditioned with her friend and the judges told her she was better, even though she's untrained. And she's pretty. But is she good enough to go far? I see her as one of the ones that makes the final 12 based entirely on looks and charm, and then goes home early when she can't keep up with the other solid singers.

But then who else? The woman who had a career as a backup singer. Melinda Doolittle. She sings well. But does she look like an American Idol? What are the stories for these women? We saw lots of Gina, but I don't know much about her personally to care one way or the other.

Who knows. It's obviously still too early to do much beyond pointing out the personalities that are memorable. That alone won't win it. I'd be willing to bet, as a matter of fact, that none of the people that I've listed here end up winning the whole thing.

Who are your favorites to go on to the final 12? Who is most likely to win it all at this stage of the game?

More American Idol stories…

Technorati: American Idol