Sunday, February 10, 2008

The 50th Annual Grammies-ugh

To be fair, I joined the show in progress, so maybe what happened before I started watching was better, but from what I have heard - it wasn't.

I walked in on Tina Turner and Beyonce performing - that was great. Beyonce is an amazing performer. But then after that, it was the most horrible awards show ever. Someone at the Grammies who produces the show needs to learn how to keep a young diverse and short-attention-spanned audience engaged...because this was the show:

Kanye West being an ass (yeah, he's a great musician, he's talented, but he's so freaking full of himself and I have never quite figured out why everyone thinks he's God's gift to music and treats him like he just saved a child from and attacking king cobra) and getting in the obligatory tear for his mother who died from plastic surgery, moves into

Some weird gospel revival (with Aretha Franklin who looked like a scary, giant lemon reminiscent of a James and the Giant Peach moment, and a group of weird women dressed in bad shiny prom dresses and white waiter shirts tied at the waist) moves into

Some bluegrass tribute (which I didn't even pay attention to, and I actually like bluegrass...there are some amazingly talented bluegrass singes out there) moves into

Some random new artist named Feist singing a song that I only know from iPod commercials - only the iPod version is MUCH better than the live version (which amazes me because artists have managed to make their songs hits by using them in commercials...whatever happened to just getting DJs to play them??) moves into

Some random weird stuff with Kid Rock (like they were singing bad old show tunes) moves into

Stevie Wonder tooting a harmonica for 3 seconds and then stumbling through a tribute (I think he went on stage for a different reason, then did the tribute??) moves into

Alicia Keyes performing (OK, she's good) moves into

VINCE GILL ACCEPTING AN AWARD AND CALLING OUT KANYE WEST (Ok, that was one of the best moments in television history...the instant that is out on YouTube, it's going into this blog.) moves into

An orchestra playing some famous movement that I'm pretty sure I know better from Charlie Brown shows or some commercial like Prudential Life investments or some other insurance/investment company (Which was way too long, slow and boring to be playing at 9:30 on a Sunday night - keep us more engaged than you do by playing some long version of a song from a commercial. I also think this song is used by at least one skater and by the broadcasting television station in about 97% of Olympic games )

And through all of this, it has been an Amy Winehouse/Foo Fighters love fest.

First of all, Daughtry should have won rock album of the year, did anyone really know the Foo Fighters had an album out? (OK, yes, I did, but that's not the point.)

I don't get the obsession with Amy Winehouse. I am pretty sure that everyone thinks that Amy Winehouse is the world's greatest human being and we should all support her for standing up to "the man" by being an insane drug addict. She's a heroine. Or on heroin. Not sure which at the moment. And then they have her perform live from London, and she doesn't even sing a song I know, that turned into "rehab" which I never even realized was her. Ironic that her song that won her all of the awards is called "Rehab?" Ugh. Spare me. She might be performing at a television studio. This is so strange. At least Cuba Gooding basically called her out on "We didn't know if she could perform tonight." I also just conculuded while chatting on line with E that she is reviving the beehive because it's easy to maintain - doesn't need to be washed or brushed. Perfect the recovering drug addict.

Here's the other thing I haven't understood all night - the weird, awkward "lifetime achievement" honorees given out every 10 minutes without really talking about or showing clips of them. And about 99% of them were dead I think.

Ahh, and we got to see Amy Winehouse so "gracefully" and tearfully realize that she won song of the year. That was one of the strangest television moments of all time. She thanked her incarcerated boyfriend or husband, whatever he is. And said he was incarcerated. She was so obviously out of it. They never should have shown her speaking.

At least they could cut away and not show her anymore, whether than starting the weird music that made Kanye West turn into super ass and throw a fit like he's sooo great we can't cut him off. (By the way, when he made the comment about the right time to stop playing the music was when he started talking about his dead mom, I would have turned the music up, cut away, and left him there throwing a fit until he had to be dragged off the stage before the commercial break ended.)

Yeah, the Grammies sucked.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


* I've given up on a "Super Stuff" post that covers all of the super stuff I didn't cover before: Super Bowl Sunday, Hillary Clinton, Super Tuesday. There's just too much to say. So I'll just start with Hillary, and politics, and my "endorsement," and finish the rest later.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Hillary Clinton was speaking at nearby Augsburg College. (Obama had been in town the day before, but I was working so I couldn't go.) I love going to campain stops, no matter the party. In the last two presidential elections, I have gone to campaign stops by both parties. In 2000, I saw Lieberman's daughter do a Gore/Lieberman stop and Jeb Bush's son do a stop for Bush/Cheney at UF. In 2004, I saw Bush at the Xcel Energy Center, Kerry at the Metrodome parking lot, and Edwards at the university at which I now work. It's fascinating to see how each candidate runs a campaign, how each party differs in their approach, and how the supporters of each candidate differ.

I think it's pretty clear that I'm rather liberal, I'm a registered Democrat, and I'm pretty much going to vote Democrat (DFL in Minnesota). So I have no problem declaring that the presidential endorsement of goes to....drumroll, please...Hillary Clinton.

I had a great time going to her campaign stop in Minneapolis. First, the crowds at campaign stops are highly entertaining. There were two women behind me in line, chit chatting as we walked alongside the domed football/soccer field to get into the basketball arena. At one point in time, they were discussing how atrociuos it was that their friend's daughter had dressed her kids in spring outfits for the baptism they all attended on Saturday. The horror! I mean, those kids were probably wearing pastel blue, green, and pink - and ruffles. Possibly even white shoes after Labor Day?? They were warm enough, but they were in "spring outfits." Amazing that the families are still friends.

These same two women were then talking about whether Chelsea and Bill would be there. One of the women opined that Chelsea was going to be stomping elsewhere, so she wouldn't be in Minneapolis. "Stomping? Like the musical??" That was the thought in my head. Until I realized that she probably meant "stumping." Old people are funny.

So then we got inside, and although there were a ton of seats in the bleachers, I walked down by the stage, where I got really, really close to the stage for all of the action.

First, I listened to Senator Mark Dayton. Before he spoke, he walked along the rope and shook hands. I didn't really have any desire to shake his hand. He's kinda strange. But he made me. So I did. And he said it was nice to see me there. I supposed that's as opposed to being nice to see me at the Science Museum of Minnesota? Then I saw a college security guard conferring with a Secret Service agent. This struck me as funny, so I took a picture.
Then St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman spoke. I like him a lot. He informed us that the early score from the Super Bowl was "Bud Light leads by a touchdown."

And former VP Walter Mondale was listening closely.

And this guy had a really funny shirt on.

And then Senator Clinton arrived. This is how close I was to her! See how happy she is to see me!?! (yes, I know she's not looking right at me when I took the picture)
Then she got up on the stage while I, and every single person attending the event, took pictures. (It was actually really funny to watch everyone in the gym hold up their digital cameras and open cell phones with cameras for the 20+ minutes between the last speaker and when Hillary actually arrived. The instant the last speaker spoke and the Augsburg band stopped playing and the campaign CD with Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" and other woman-power songs started, everyone turned on their cameras and flipped open their cell phones, held them in the "ready position," and stood there until she arrived. I wonder how many cameras/cell phones either went into "auto-shut-off" mode or had their batteries die while they waited for her to appear. I was hysterical to see an entire gym fullied with people holding rectangular silver electronics at 90, then 85, then 80, then 75, etc., degree angles from their body as their arm tired, and finally they used their weak arm to hold up the other arm.)
Then she took in the applause. And I, along with the tall guy in front of me, took pictures.
Then she may have seen someone she knew, and a semi-tall person in front of me showed his/her approval.

Then Walter Mondale started to introduce her.

And kept introducing her.

Then she spoke. (Semi-paraphrasing) "I believe in universal health care for everyone! And if you have health care you already like, then don't change anything. Keep it. Go on. But if you don't have it or you can't afford it, then join in the universal health care plan."

Then after she finished, Mondale left, and so did I, because the Super Bowl had already started and I had to go pick up my guacamole and take it to the pot luck Super Bowl party at the bar I was heading to.

All in all, it was a great afternoon, and it was well worth missing the first 13 minutes of playing time in the first quarter of a great Super Bowl. Later on, I will pontificate about my political thoughts, where I agree with Hillary, what was great about the Super Bowl, and what is right and wrong with the Super Tuesday caucus in Minnesota. So stay tuned!

Super Mutant Mushrooms*

* This post was supposed to cover: Super Mutant Mushrooms, Super Bowl Sunday, Hillary Clinton, Super Tuesday. But due to a scientific discovery in the middle of writing this post, I decided it deserved a listing of its very own. I will cover the rest of the topics in a later post. Possibly later tonight!

And now that I have your attention, let's start with the most menial of these intended topics, although, I'll admit, it's the topic over which I have spent the most time obsessing this week...

Super Mutant Mushrooms.

I have a nice plant growing on my shelving system, it's basically a pencil-man plant (I don't know the real name of the plant...but I got it from The Mom and brought it up here to grow). Last week, I noticed that I also have Super Mutant Mushrooms growing alongside the pencil-man plant, and I didn't know where they came from!

They had the strangest, and shortest, lifespans.

In the morning, at 7:00 a.m., it would be a fuzz on the top of the soil. Then it would grow into a dome.

Then when I would come home at lunch, it would have a stem starting to grow.

By the time I got home from work, it would be a full-fledged mushroom!

And then by the time American Idol came on, it would be folding in half and dying. By the next morning, it would crumpled and shriveled on the dirt. Dead. I didn't take a picture of that, because that is just depressing!

Now here's the even more interesting part of the story. While I was waiting for those above pictures to load into my blog, I grabbed my bag of cactus and succulent potting soil because I was going to mix a little bit in with some Miracle Grow potting soil to plant some herb seeds, I was curious as to how that mix of soil would do versus Miracle Grow only. But that's besides the point.
So I open up the bag to stick my hand in to pull out some soil...and what do I see? THIS:

The source of my Super Mutant Mushrooms!

Now I don't know what to do. The weird thing is, I planted all of my cacti and succulents in this stuff. But only the pencil-man plant is growing mushrooms. And they only started growing a week ago, and this stuff has been planted in this soil for months now. WTF??