Friday, February 29, 2008

Follow-Up Friday - Leap Year Edition

It's February 29th. Not something we get to say all that often, is it? Leap Year...making this a unique year indeed, different, special. So, maybe it was this extra day in the week, maybe it was the magic of leap year in the air, maybe it was something else altogether, but it was a special week for me personally as well.

Here at Candid Karina I started the week with the theme of Wooden for Saturday's Photo Hunt. It was a great theme for me as it reminded me of my neglected pencil sharpener collection. I shared three in that post, I will share more in the future, now that I've dug it out, I'm looking forward to showing you all my treasures.

Fun Monday this week was all about our blog names, and our favorite dish/recipe. I had a lot of fun photographing my meal as I cooked it, and think I may have to do this more often in the future. Hey, maybe I'll start a cooking blog, and call it Cooking Karina as Pamela suggested. The possibilities are endless. (Kidding, I really don't cook often enough for a whole blog). I got some grief from Frigga for using pre-minced garlic. I know, I know, but with my schedule cooking at all during the week is nearly impossible, so I've learned to have "shortcuts" on hand. As it was, I didn't eat until 8:30PM that night...I know, I know...shame on me. Oh, and Jannis wanted to know what the wine was, and I'm happy to oblige and tell you because I have been experimenting with wines, buying new brands everytime I go to the liquor store. That evening it was a glass of "yellow tail" Pinot Grigio. Not bad stuff.

On Tuesday I was sort of at a loss for words. To put it simply, I was blessed to play a very small role in an event that quite possibly has made a very large impact in someone's life. In the process, my own soul was touched, deeply, and a small change has begun within me. If I'm being overly vague it is because the details are unimportant, it was the emotional and spiritual experience that mattered, and will stay with me. I don't speak of religion too much here on the blog (or in my life in general) and I have my issues and my doubts about organized religion that I deal with, but I will tell anyone that I am a highly spiritual person who sees God's work in all the small things daily. What happened on Sunday, and continued to happen as the week progressed, was that I witnessed an example of God's presence in a much larger way. It left me awed and amazed. Also, about my picture of the roses, since I got some comments on them, those gorgeous roses were my father's Valentine's Day gift to my mother. The picture was one of a series I took while messing around with some of the settings on my digital camera, and then with the photo editing software I have. I was thrilled with how it came out, so I'm glad you all enjoyed them as well. And Swampy, I did notice how much they looked like yours as well.

And the last two days I've been recapping American Idol. The guys on Wednesday and the girls on Thursday. Last night's results show was full of surprises for me. Let's start with the guys. First off was Jason Yeager...he was one of my picks to go home, so no surprise there. And then we're down to the last guy to be voted off and it's between Luke Menard and Robbie Carrico. I wasn't overly impressed with either guys' performance, but I had picked Luke as my other guy to go home. I was wrong. I didn't expect Robbie to win it all, but I aslo didn't expect him to go home this early. But overall, no huge surprises with the boys. So, it's on to the girls. Here's where the surprises came in for me. First girl voted off is Alexandrea Lushington. Now, by no means is she one of my favorites, and I didn't think she did all that well this week, but I was surprised to see her go before some of my other picks...namely Kristi Lee Cook and Amanda Overmeyer. Still, no surprise was bigger than the next girl voted off. Especially when they pull up Kady Malloy and Alaina Whitaker. Kady was terrible this week, Alaina wasn't great, but by far has a much much better voice. And yet, she's out. Such is American Idol. Oh, the fun begins, doesn't it?

Now, onto some business I need to take care of. Quite a while ago I posted a question to my dear readers about how to create a "photolink". You may have noticed that I've been using them, so obviously, I received an answer. I owe a great big thank you to Sognatrice, who emailed me privately with instructions on how to do this in my sidebars (which I had been struggling with for months). With her instructions I was able to do it, and can now make some additions to my sidebars I've been meaning to do. I wn't post those instructions here, because it might get too complicated, but if you need them, please let me know and I'll be happy to Pay It Forward and teach you what I've been taught. But I also owe a bit thank you to Qualcosa di Bello, because unbeknownst to her, she left me a comment that totally taught me how to make a photo a link within a post in a SIMPLE, SIMPLE SIMPLE way that I'd never even thought of. Sometimes it's the simplest solutions. Her comment, in case you are wondering, was this: "how to link from a photo in a post (highlight it and hit the link button, just like words)". DUH, why didn't I think of that? So, thank you very much to both of you. By the way, if you do nothing else, click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph for some eye candy ladies. You will not be sorry.

And that's it for this week's Follow-Up Friday. Coming up next week? Tomorrow's Photo Hunter theme is "party", stay tuned for some photos from my Christmas party, I had a blast with my girls and have yet to show you all photos. Fun Monday this week is going to be A WHOLE LOT of fun, you don't want to miss it. I have the first of my winning blogger tributes to be posted on Tuesday...and I'm growing bored with my blog look, and am also slightly unhappy with my blog format in general, so there may be some changes (and possibly a whole new additional blog) premiering soon as well.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

They're No Good - Thursday Thirteen #44 - American Idol Recap

It's week 2 for the girls, and it's 70's week...yesterday I recapped the guys' performances, so in this week's Thursday Thirteen we'll do 10 performances by girls, and 3 other random thoughts on tonight's show.

As always, I'm writing the reviews as I watch, and before the judges themselves speak, which makes it so much fun when I write something, and then Simon says it (only ruder). Let's get to it:

1. Carly Smithson is up first with Heart's "Crazy on You". Well, at least tonight's show is off to a much more energetic start than we've had so far. It was a good performance, and she can sing for sure, but there was quite a bit of "screaming", more so than singing in parts. But overall, it was good, and I loved the energy.
2. Next up is Syesha Mercado, and she's singing "Me and Mr. Jones"(Me and Mrs. Jones I believe is the original version, by Billy Paul). I thought she was fantastic. I really enjoyed the performance and thought she did a wonderful job with it. I completely disagreed with Randy on this one, I liked the "soft parts" of the song.
3. Well, once again, it seems I'm on a different page from the judges already. We didn't exactly see eye to eye for a good part of last night either, but by the end, we'd kissed and made up. Let's see what happens tonight.

4. Brooke White takes the stage with her guitar next. Her rendition of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" confused me a bit. I love this song, so I wasn't sure whether or not I was enjoying her rendition of it. But, overall, I think she did a great job with it, and her voice has a nice tone to it, I enjoyed it. And yes, Simon definitely thought this song was about him.

5. Up next is one of my favorite girls, Ramiele Malubay. Right off the bat, I think she's made a fantastic song choice with 70's Disco hit "Don't Leave Me this Way". But then she tripped up a little bit, and I wasn't so sue anymore. She still has a fantastic voice, and when she was good, she was really good, but the rest of the time, she seemed to be having a hard time catching up with herself while singing it. Disappointed with her tonight.

6. Next on stage we have Kristi Lee Cook. Her song choice is "You're No Good" by Linda Rondstadt. Here it is, my first EH of the night. She was Not bad, she hit some good notes in there, but not great either.

7. Amanda Overmeyer, the resident rock chick, or so she keeps telling us, is next. "Carry On, Wayward Son", by Kansas. Well, when she first started I thought "hmmm, maybe I was wrong about her", but then...nope, I still don't get it. I thought she was incredibly (and here I borrow a word from Randy before he says it himself) pitchy, and I just don't see whatever it is that the judges see in her. This was ROUGH for me. And even her voice itself for me doesn't do it. Nope, didn't work for me tonight.

8. Singing a song from Grease, Alaina Whitaker tackles "Hoplessly Devoted to You" by Olivia Newton-John. Oh how I love this song, and therefore, I'm likely to be overly critical. But, I'll hand it to her, I thought she did pretty decent job with it. There was some pitchyness in the "larger" notes, but overall I thought she did a pretty good job with it.

9. Alexandrea Lushington is next singing Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now". First of all, I didn't get the outfit. She was dressed like she was going out hiking...what?? But the performance, was alright. I'd say it was a step above eh, but with some dangerously pitchy moments. Not so good.

10. Next up is Kady Malloy, singing "Magic Man" by Heart. Wait, let me rephrase that because she wasn't singing. I'm not entirely sure what it was she was doing, but it wasn't singing. So, I like this girl, but oooh, Lord was this a terrible performance. And the dress? Were those giant jelly beans on the front? OOOH, no, didn't work at all...bad bad bad. OOOH. No!

11. And finally we have Asia'h Epperson. "All by Myself" is her song choice. This girl is one of those powerhouse singers with an amazing voice, but she wasn't completely on tonight. There were some faulty steps there, but overall, I thought she did pretty well with it. Not a great night for her, but she's still a powerhouse singer in my mind.

12. Not a great night for the girls tonight overall. My picks for he two going home? I'm going to go with Kady Malloy and possibly Kristy Lee Cook. Only because I don't think the public will vote Amanda Overmeyer out yet, and I like some of the other girls too much to put their names in here. But Alexandrea Lushington could be in trouble, as could some of my favorites (Asia'h and Ramiele), but we'll hope that's not the case.

13. So, overall, after both night's performances, my favorite to win it all? As of right now, it's still David Archuletta. LOVE LOVE LOVE him.

What did you think?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oh, but not this way! - American Idol ReCap

Week Two - The Guys

Here we are again, this week it's 70's hits, let's jump right into it. Again, I was writing these reviews before the judges spoke.

1. Up first was Michael Johns, singing "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac. Michael Johns, one of my favorite guys from the auditions because he can sing, and he's quite pleasant to look at, and oh yes, that Aussie accent doesn't hurt. Oh, but Michael can go your own way...but not this way. I wasn't impressed, I thought his voice sounded a bit strained at times, and I'm sad and disappointed. Still, he'll coast through, he's a hottie, nobody wants to see him go home yet.

2. Jason Castro is next, singing "I just want to be your everything" by Andy Gibb. I have to tell you, this kid is fast becoming one of my favorites. He's got a great look, and is incredibly talented. Playing the guitar, something new on this show, and I thought he did a great job, an sounded wonderful. Love him.

Taking a quick sidestep here to say that so far, I'm batting zero with the judges...we are NOT seeing eye to eye, or should I say we are not hearing ear to ear? Hmm...will we keep disagreeing? Let's see...

3. Next guy up is Luke Menard, who I was not impressed with last week. Will his interpretation of Queen's "Killer Queen" be any better this week? Well...I...Uh...I'm not sure to be honest. I think yes, it was an improvement over last week. I think there were some good moments, and it was a tough song to sing, Still, definitely better than last week, but

4. Okay, next we have Robbie Carrico and he's doing "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner. I don't know maybe I'm expecting too much from these guys, but I can't seem to get excited about any of them. He was alright, but I almost want to use one of Simon's phrases and say it was sort of "karaoke" fell short to me. I think Randy actually nailed what I was thinking with what he said, it just didn' have that "something" fell short, that's all I can say.

5. And now it's time for Danny Noriega, Ugly Betty's nephew. Oh, that's not him? Okay sorry, he just totally reminds me of him, except that I think Betty's nephew is endearing...this kid...not so much. The thing is, he's singing "Superstar" by The Carpenters, and this kid has a good voice. I think he did a reasonably good job, and you know...he could possibly be growing on me...kind of...sort of...ish.

6. David Hernandez is next and he's going to tackle "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by the Temptations. Great song choice, I love this song, and I thought he did a pretty great job with it, and except for one little note a the very end, what a finale to the song. Wow, I didn't know he had it in him. Fully redeemed himself from last week's performance. And I agree with Simon, so far tonight, best performance.

7. Next on stage is Jason Yeager singing the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running (Without Love)". Eh. It wasn't bad. It wasn't good. Eh. The song did nothing for him, and he did nothing for the song.

8. And now it's the guy with the name...Chikezie. The song was "I Believe to My Soul" by Donny Hathaway and I thought he did a great job with it. Once again I did not get the outfit...the shirt, the red shoes, the wrist stuff (what was that?)...didn't get it, but this isn't fashion idol, so I'll let that go and focus on the singing...I loved it, great job Chikezie.

9. David Cook is next. Another one with a guitar tonight. His song choice "Alright Now" by. I wasn't sure at first, but by the middle, and certainly by the end of the song, he had pulled me in. It was good...very good.

Small break...boy, the guys are all about talking back to Simon this year huh?

10. Lastly we have David Archuletta, the young kid with the big voice. Singing John Lennon's "Imagine" and looking a little more grown up, and three lines into the song and I'm saying "wow". Yep, this kid is hands down my favorite guy, possibly my favorite contestant this season. Love, Love, LOVE him. And he's humble to top it off. Did I mention I LOVE him.

So, going home this week? Tough call, there were a whole lot of eh performances and not a whole lot of great ones. I'm going to say Luke Menard (because once again, I forgot all about him) and Jason Yeager. Although, to be honest, I think all of the guys, with the exception of David Archuletta should be shaking in their boots.

That's it, that's my take, let's talk about the girls tomorrow night. What did you think?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Taking a deep breath

Now and then, something happens that makes you pause, take a breath, and realize how blessed you are. I'm having one of those moments this week, and it defies explanation. I have no words to express what it is that has happened the last few days, it is nothing specific, just a moment in time acknowledged, appreciated, accepted.

If I could put it into images:

Just a moment.

Carry on.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fun Monday - A blog by any other name...

Fun Monday this week is being hosted over at Mariposa's Tales. It is a two parter this time around:

(1) Please share to us how the NAME of your BLOG was made? I can't wait to hear interesting funny stories!

(2) Please share to us (in words or photo, though a combination of both will be a bonus!) your favorite/ most common dish!

I'll start with the name of my blog, but I'm afraid I don't have a clever or funny story to share about it. Let's see...Karina is my name (well, okay, my middle name, but I've always wanted to use it so I love that I get to in the blogosphere). I've always been a fan of alliteration, so when creating my blog, I looked for a word that would sound good along side Karina and would describe what I meant to do with the blog. Candid fit perfectly. In keeping with my love for alliteration, when I began a second blog, for my creative writing, Creative Karina made sense. And recently, when I had a story too juicy to spill in these pages and needed password protection, Covert Karina was born (but is now on hiatus since the need for covertness has been extinguished for now). I also have an idea for yet another blog (Frances, you're rubbing off on me), so I'm looking for another name that will be fitting...stay tuned.

Onto part 2. I'm forced to bend the rules a bit here, because A) I could never pick a favorite dish, I have so many, and B) I didn't have time to make any of those in the last week. I did, however, try out a new recipe on Friday night, so figured I'd give you that instead. I got this recipe off a magazine I just bought, but can't remember the name of it right now...I'll add that later. You should be able to click on the photo to embiggen (I hope):
Of course, being me, I always have to edit and add to recipes, so I made some changes. First of all, to the shrimp I added scallops:
I couldn't find the creamed spinach it refers to (and believe me, I searched high and low), so instead I went with this:
I chose to use whole wheat pasta, and since I'm lazy, pre-minced garlic:
So, at one point, I had three burners going at once...that's the spinach in the back, the pasta on the right, shrimp and scallops on the left:
Possibly because the spinach was the wrong type, following this recipe exactly let to a pretty bland tasting meal. I don't do bland, so I added some salt, a bit of hot sauce, and since I was still pretty bored with it, at the very end I added a couple of tablespoons of a light alfredo sauce I had kicking around. That worked. This is what I came out with:

Stop by Mariposa's for the rest of the Fun Mondayers, and be sure to know what, I don't know who's hosting next week yet...can someone let me know?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pass It On - Part 3

Another Lenten week, another opportunity to spread the love and good will.

Monday, February 18th - A day I had decided would be for myself, but since I wasn't working, my mother wanted me to visit. May not seem like much, and I love my parents and always love to see them, but really had a wide range of "alone" plans that day. Still, I made sure to spend some time with them that day, putting aside my "alone" plans for a bit.

Tuesday, February 19th - I continued my new venture of sending out books to complete strangers.

Wednesday, February 20th - Friday, February 21st - I'm realizing I need to step things up a bit here, because I have made an honest effort to be a overall, a more positive person, smiling at strangers, letting other drivers go before me etc., but it is now becoming commonplace for me, so I can't single out any specific event for any one day...therefore, this coming week, I plan to step it up.

Sunday, February 24th - The final day of the Sunday School program I have been volunteering with. Also did a more personal deed later in the day...made a small difference, which turned into possibly a big difference in someone's life. In turn, I received a personal and deep spiritual gift myself.

Tonight I will lay my head on my pillow with a lighter feeling in my heart. It was a good week.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt #8 - Wooden

The Photo Hunter theme this week is Wooden. The very first thing I though of when I saw the theme was my old collection of pencil sharpeners. I have about 100 of them, and one of these days, I'll have to share photos of all of them here...but for now, I give you my three wooden ones:

Aren't they cute? But I couldn't stop there...really, I don't know how to stop...this next item is a gift an ex-boyfriend brought me from a trip to Ghana and it hangs on my bedroom wall:

Just one more, my last piece is something I made in shop class in the 8th grade, I got an A+ and have always been kind of proud of it. Now it hangs right inside my front door, I use it daily to hang up my keys:

And there you have it. Happy Saturday.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Follow-Up Friday - American Idol, Giveaways, and more

A lot to talk bout today, so let's get right into it.

First of all, a while back I held an impromptu contest. I had a Friday where I had nothing to say, so I asked my readers to fill in for me. I then asked you to vote for your favorite. And the winner is: uh, well...see, the thing is that technically, there was no winner. I pretty much had one vote for each of the entrants, so in all fairness, I can't pick a winner, so guess what, you're all winners. And the best part? Well, the best part is that I had decided (before I knew who the winner would be) that the prize would be a bit of Blog Lovin' from me. I was going to write a special post, all about your blog, and tell folks why I visit, and why they should. And then, if you were not already on my blog roll, I was going to add you. Turns out most of the contestants are already on my blog roll, but not all, so for those of you who are not, before this weekend is over, you will be. But for all of you who entered without even knowing you entered (that is Frigga, Lil' Mouse, Pamela, Ana, Joy T, Lisa), stay tuned, because in the next few weeks you will all get a post from me, here at Candid Karina, all about why I love ya!

Moving on to yet another contest. On Valentine's Day I held another little contest. This time I asked some trivia questions, as well as some fun little questions. I got some fun answers, and you really must click the link to read them all. But I picked a winner based on...well, basically, I took the five commenters (wow, slow comment day that was) who took the time to answer the questions, threw numbers 1-5 into a had (okay, actually I used a bowl), and picked a number. And the winner is: The Mama Bear. Congrats lady, email me with your address and I'll send off the little Love themed mini-books.

Moving on...on Saturday I posted three pictures for Saturday's Photo Hunter theme of "Free". Qualcosa di Bello wanted to know if that was me in the last picture I posted. Yep, that's me. Enjoying the serenity of Lake Winnipesauke.

Fun Monday this week was all about funny things we see on our travels daily. Unfortunately I didn't learn what the assignment was until it was too late to go out and take I'm glad you all enjoyed my tale about the Buffalo. I have paid attention on the way to work this week, however and I must tell missed nothing...I see NOTHING funny on the way to work. Just bad traffic, rude drivers, and the occasional crater...uh, I mean pothole. Nothing to see here folks.

On Tuesday I reviewed a few movies, including two more dance movies. If you missed it, check it out.

The last two days I've been recapping American Idol. The boys, and the girls. Last night was the results show, and we said goodbye to Garret Haley (he was not one of my bottom 2 picks, but he was one of my bottom 5, not too surprised or disappointed to see him go); Amy Davis (one of my picks to go home this week, no surprise here); Joanne Borgella (my other pick for the girls to go home this week, so again, no surprise) and Colton Berry (my first surprise of the night, not that I was shocked, he wasn't great, but he was not even in my bottom 5, still, not one of my favorites by any means either). Now, you all know I love Simon, he cracks me up, and I think he's right "most" of the time, but what in the world crawled up his ass last night? He was exceptionally mean to the poor kids going home. Lighten up Simon, it's only tv. Sheesh.

But, more importantly, can we talk about Paula Abdul's music video? I mean, come on, we grew up singing along with and dancing to Cold Hearted Snake and Straight Up, how could we NOT love this new song? It's PAULA Abdul! I love it, it's fun, and you know what, the song is catchy. Good for you Paula!

Finally, I should clear something up, only because I don't want you all to think I'm sunning myself on the beach somewhere in Spain, when in fact I'm wiping snow off my ass, from where I landed this morning when I took a pretty nasty spill right outside my condo complex, in the middle of this LOVELY (said with heightened sarcasm) snow storm we're getting hit with today. See, I want sympathy from you folks, not jealousy! haha...But Jannis left a comment on my TT post about how I was at the beach with her, and I am...mentally. See, if you click on that link it'll take you to Jannis' most recent post, where she said she was taking a mental vacation at the beach, and I asked to join her. So, I'm spirit anyway. Mentally right now we're having a couple of glasses of wine and checking out the cute spanish guys in speedos. Physically? My ass hurts and my shirt is still wet from the snow. (Sympathy, folks, I want your sympathy!)

And there you have it, hope you all have a great weekend, come back tomorrow to see what I've got in store for the Photo Hunter theme of "wooden".

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #43 - American Idol Recap - Week 1 - The girls

Before I get into this week's TT, a little business to attend to. In last week's Thursday Thirteen I hosted a little contest, I will announce the winner tomorrow.

Now, onto this week's TT. Yesterday I did an American Idol recap of the Top 12 boys' performances, so it's only right that today I do a recap of the girls' I give you 12 performances and a bonus thought. For more about the contestants click here. As with yesterday, I was writing these recaps as I watched the performances, and before the judges commented. THIS is American Idol...Recapped:

1. First up we had Kristy Lee Cook, the girl who sold her horse to pay for her trip to the auditions. I liked this girl at the very first audition, and was looking forward to seeing what she could do. I liked it. She had some strange facial expressions going on, and it wasn't the greatest performance, but I like her voice and I thought she did fairly well. And, right off the bat, at least I wasn't bored. Which I as through most of the guys' performances last night.

2. Next up, Joanne Borgella, the plus size model. The talk of the evening is about how many of the girls are feeling quite sick this evening, and as this girl starts singing, sounding almost out of breath, I can't help but wonder if it's due to illness. She was stiff, not moving very much, and looked obviously nervous. But as the end of the song approached, she got a bit better and I think she ended on a high note. Still, there wasn't a whole lot of energy in it, and I think it fell a bit short.

3. The youngest contestant, Alaina Whitaker was up next. And wait, didn't one of the guys sing ths song yesterday? How is it then that I was bored silly then, but loved it this time around? Girl Power, that's why. She was fantastic, easily my favorite so far. Great job!

4. And then we had the rock chick, Amanda Overmyer. Now, I think this girl is a bit more overrated than she is talented, from what I've seen so far. So, I was interested to see what she'd do. See, I'm not feeling it. Her voice sounds exactly the same with every song she sings, and I don't even like it all that much. Just because you have a rock chick look, and a bit of an edge, does not a good singer make you. There wasn't a whole lot of singing here, some screaming, some swagger, but no, I don't get it. I don't love her. She's not the worst by any means, but I don't get it.

5. Amy Davis was next. I've liked this girl from the beginning, and think she has an amazing voice. Therefore, I was pretty disappointed with her performance. I'll borrow a word from Randy and say that she was "pitchy dawg"...and again, song choice...ugh.

6. Onto the good-girl nanny, Brooke White. She looked pretty damn nervous to me, and I could have done without the "pa pa pa pa pa pa" at the end of the song, but she has a great voice and I thought she did a good job, and it was fun to listen to. And I have to add that I love the fact that her "niceness" totally makes Simon uncomfortable.

7. Well, we've reached the half way point, and I'm not nearly as bored as I was last night by this point. Let's see what Alexandrea Lushington has to offer. I'm not really sure what was going on with this performance...I felt it was a bit scattered, and there were definite moments when her voice was (oh boy, there's that word again) pitchy. There were also some really good moments with her voice, and she was having fun with it. But, I have to agree with Simon, it wasn't great.

8. Next was Kady Malloy. Simon wanted a wow performance, and for me, this was first. I wanted to be blown away by it, but felt like she never took off. She sounded great, and I wanted to see her stand up and really get into it, but she never quite did it.

9. Asia'h Epperson, the girl who's father died two days before the audition (TWO DAYS??) was up next. I love this girl. There's the wow moment, the great vocals, the life, the energy, overall my favorite performance of the night so far. (And I swear I was typing it and Simon was saying it). Seriously, no wonder I like the guy!

10. And next was Ramiele Malubay the little girl with the big voice. And a big voice she has indeed. Looks like they saved the best for the end of the show. Another great performance, another wow moment. She's made it to my top two for the evening so far.

11. Next up Syesha Mercado, another big voice from the auditions. Well, it's official, they definitely saved the powerhouse singers for the end of the show. Another great performance, fun, powerful, enjoyable. Great talent.

12. And last up is the controversial Carly Smithson. Controversial because she's had a 2 million dollar (unsuccessful) record deal before. But can she sing? She was another one of the power voices from the auditions. I don't know...I'm not sure if it was the song, or if she was a bit lost within it, but I wasn't feeling most of it. She has a powerful voice, and hit some great notes, but it just didn't feel 100% to me. Again, I was with Simon, I didn't get it.

13. So, there you have it, my recap. My bottom two for the night? This is much tougher than it was last night with the boys. I saw clear "unfavorites" if you will last night. Tonight, not as easy. I'd say there are quite a few girls in danger, but if I had to pick two for the bottom I'd go with Joanne Borgella and Amy Davis. But Kristi Lee Cook and Kady Malloy should probably be worried as well.

What did you think?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American Idol Recap - Week 1 - The Boys

So, yes, I've decided to do American Idol recaps here at Candid Karina, because I watch the show, and really enjoy when it gets down to the actual singing, so hey, why not?

Without further ado, said with all the verve of Ryan Seacrest...THIS...Is American Idol...recapped.

This week it all started with the top 12 boys.
For the record, I wrote my reviews of the performances AS I watched them, and before the judges commented. I have to say this because it was uncanny how many times I would write something and then Simon would say the exact same thing. No wonder I like the guy, jerk or not, he's usually right.
Let's get to it. Click here to learn more about the contestants.
First up was David Hernandez, singing "Midnight Hour". Interesting song choice, a bit gospelly for your first AI performance ever, but he nailed the vocals. Still, didn't blow me away. But he's likeable enough, cute, and has a good look about him. I think it could go either way with him. Is it foreboding that there's no photo of his performance over at the AI website?
Next we had Chickezie Ize, what a name! But what was up with the bright red suit, Santa? The song choice? WHY? Not only was it a boring ass song, but he was shaky on the vocals. He held that last note pretty well, but, one note does not a song make. And haven't these contestants learned yet that talking back to Simon NEVER works in their favore? Sorry Chickezie, I don't see you sticking around very long.

Moving on to David Cook. I like this guy. He had a bit of a "Doors" feeling to his interpretation of "So Happy Together", I liked it. It was the first time of the night that I really enjoyed a performance, he made it fun and made it his own. Nice job David Cook, I want to hear more and see what he's capable of.

And now, Jason Yeager. Dd we even see this guy during any of the audition footage? No? Well, then, show us what you've got Jason. Good grief, who picked these songs? I'll say this, with the song choice he had, he delivered. It sounded great, he's got a good voice, but I was bored. Simon said "Cruiseship", I have to agree.

Next on the stage was Robbie Carrico, this season's Bo Bice/Chris Daughtry with hair. Decent song choice, it worked for him, and I like this guy. It was my favorite so far.

But now we go to David Archuleta, who has been one of my favorite guys from the very first audition. I love this little guy, and was hoping he wouldn't disappoint. Yep, still love him. It wasn't my favorite performance by him, but he's got charm and talent, and I loved it. He's still one of my favorites. How cute is he??

I have to take a break here to say this...I'm having a REALLY hard time with the song choices here...60's week is killing me...there had to be better music than this in the 60's, right? Okay, back to the boys.

Danny Noriega is up next. I think this kid has a great voice, but he annoys the crap out of me. I'm going to ignore the fact that he annoys me, and just pay attention to the performance. AND he did alright. I have to give this kid credit, he can sing, and he's got an ease on stage that none of the other performers had yet brought to the stage. Now if only they could keep his personality (read - ego) in check. I have to disagree with Simon that his performance was "grotesque", it wasn't bad, it just wasn't fabulous. And yes, he still annoys me.

And then we have Luke Menard. Who he heck is Luke Menard? Another we didn't see at all during the auditions. OH man, this music is killing me...I hated this song, was bored silly, but I think he did alright with it, I guess...sort of...I won't remember him tomorow. (I swear I wrote this before Simon said it, and before Luke argued that people WOULD remember him).

Will I remember Colton Berry? Well, he's definitely not a forgetable personality and finally, a song I can stand behind. And wouldn't you know it, this 18 year old took "Suspicious Minds" made it his own, and delivered. I enjoyed it. So, there you go, I completely disagreed with Simon on this one.

On to Garrett Haley, another fresh face for us and one with a sense of humor, cute kid, but can he sing? ZZZZZZZZZ...oh, sorry, I dozed off choices people, haven't we learned anything yet? Eh...boring, forgettable...just eh...

Jason Castro is another fresh face I don't remember really from the auditions. Dread-locked, blue eyes, and playing the guitar. And I like him. He's got a unique something in his voice that I think could mean great things given a chance. He's charming and talented, and I love the humbleness. I want to hear more from him.

And finally, the Aussie, Michael Johns. My other favorite from the first audition, not only can he sing, but he's a hottie with an Australian accent. Don't disappoint me Michael! And he chose a song by the Doors. See, I told you there was good music in the 60's. And yes, he delivered, with passion, and fun, and this guy is already a star in my eyes...I love him. And how hot is he ladies?

So, predictions? Bottom 2 guys for me? Tough call because I was disappointed with several of them, but I'm going to go with David Hernandez (because by the end of the night, I'd forgotten all about him) and Luke Menard. Although I'd be worried if I was Chickezie, Jason Yeager and Garrett Haley.

What did you think? Tonight, the ladies perform.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Movie Reviews- Two more dance movies

In today's movie reviews, I give you two more dance movies, and a...uh...comedy I think. As always, I post no spoilers in my movie reviews, so feel free to read them even if you haven't seen the films.

Movie: American Dreamz (2006)

Starring: Mandy Moore, Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Chris Klein

Synopsis: (fom Yahoo Movies) On the morning of his re-election, the President decides to read the newspaper for the first time in four years. This starts him down a slippery slope. He begins reading obsessively, reexamining his black and white view of the world, holing up in his bedroom in his pajamas. Frightened by the President's apparent nervous breakdown, his Chief of Staff pushes him back into the spotlight, booking him as a guest judge on the television ratings juggernaut (and the President's personal fave), the weekly talent show American Dreamz. America can't seem to get enough of American Dreamz, hosted by self-aggrandizing, self-loathing Martin Tweed, ever on the lookout for the next insta-celebrity. His latest crop of hopefuls includes Sally, a conniving steel magnolia with a devoted, dopey veteran boyfriend, and Omer, a recent Southern Californian immigrant (who just happens to be a bumbling, show tune singing, would-be terrorist awaiting activation). When both Sally and Omer make it to the final round of Dreamz -- where the President will be judging along with Tweed -- the stage is set for a show the nation will never forget.

My Review: I like Mandy Moore and think that she's a class act among the crop of "teenyboppers" she came out on the scene with, so I really wanted to like this movie. The previews I had seen for it made it sound like a quirky, funny spoof on American Idol, and I was looking forward to laughing along with it. To say I was disappointed is probably an understatement. I think there was potential there for a really funny movie, but it just never delivered. Mandy Moore was annoying but unmemorable as Sally, Hugh Grant was annoying, but actually pretty funny as the movie's version of Simon Cowell, Chris Klein was annoying but...well, no, he was just annoying. Dennis Quaid was probably the funniest as the President, but not necessarily due to his own acting, I just thought the biggest joke was how obvious it was that more than spoofing American Idol, the movie was spoofing our very own George W.'s uh...we'll call it leadership skills. Like I said, there was potential for a funny movie there, but it fell short. I'd say wait for cable, but...nah, don't bother.

Rating: 2 out of 5 Martini Glasses (and I'm being generous)

Movie: Take The Lead (2006)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown, and a whole slew of other unknowns.

Synopsis: (from Yahoo Movies) Pierre Dulaine is a Manhattan ballroom teacher and competitor who volunteers his time to teach ballroom dancing to a group of New York inner city high school kids. Initially forced to participate as a form of detention, the kids reject Mr. Dulaine's efforts until his unwavering commitment and dedication finally inspires them to embrace the program, infusing it with their own unique hip-hop style while subconsciously learning valuable life lessons about pride, respect, self-esteem and honor.

My Review: I recently gave you a Thursday Thirteen listing my favorite dance movies. While researching to put that list together, I came across a few dance movies I had not yet seen, for one reason or another. One of those movies was Take The Lead, and the reason I had not seen this one was because I'm not usually a fan of Antonio Banderas, and couldn't imagine what he could possibly bring to a dance movie. However, in a twist of coincidence (I don't believe in coincidence by the way), Tivo decided to record Take The Lead for me last week. Well, I tell you what, I was pleasantly surprised. As far as dance movies go, this one followed pretty much the same formula they all do: A kid, or a group of kids, is on the wrong side of the law and/or wrong side of the tracks and/or wrong side of the family, etc., somewhere along the line they get introduced to an opportunity to change things via dance. Nobody thinks they can do it, least of all themselves, and yet, before all is said and done, there's a big dance routine at the end and everyone lives happily ever after. Something along those lines. OH, and there's always the star crossed lovers element thrown in for good measure as well. The twist for this particular movie was the element of the "Dangerous Minds" type movie, where a teacher goes to an inner city school to make a difference. Banderas' character is based on a real teacher, so there was that element as well. But really, in these movies, it's all about the dancing, isn't it? And I thought the dancing was great. I, of course, loved it. But, what this movie brought was actually a bit more of a story. You genuinely cared for these characters, and wanted to see them do well, and to beat the odds.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Martini Glasses. (Come on, its a dance movie)

Movie: Step Up 2 The Streets

Starring: Briana Evigan, Robert Hoffman, Adam G. Sevani, Mari Koda, and a whole bunch of other unknowns

Synopsis: (from Yahoo Movies) When rebellious street dancer Andie lands at the elite Maryland School of the Arts, she finds herself fighting to fit in while also trying to hold onto her old life. When she joins forces with the school's hottest dancer Chase to form a crew of classmate outcasts to compete in Baltimore's underground dance battle The Streets, she ultimately finds a way to live her dream while building a bridge between her two separate worlds.

My Review: I was/am a huge fan of the original Step Up. Channing Tatum aside (but really, how could you EVER put that man aside?), it was a fun movie, with great dancing, and an entertaining twist on the "dance movie formula" (see above review). So, when I heard they were coming out with Step Up 2, I was beyond excited. Yay, another dance movie. Slight disappointment set in when I realized that Mr. Tatum would not be playing a major role in the movie (he has a slight cameo, more of a "passing the torch" sort of thing), but hey, still a dance movie. Once again, we meet the basic formula, and there are few surprises as far as plot development is concerned, but the story is a sweet story, and it works within the dance movie constraints. And again, it's all about the dance anyway, right? The dancing was great. There are some surprises in terms of who the standout dancers in the movie end up being. I fell in love (as in, pinch his cheeks love) with one particular character. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and yes, I'll watch it again (and again).

Side note, if you watch this movie, let me know if you agree with my assessment that Robert Hoffman (who plays Chase Collins, the male lead) is like a younger (cuter) version of Jay Mohr. I kept seeing Jay Mohr in his expressions.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Martini Glasses (hey, it's a dance movie).

That's it, those are my reviews for today.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fun Monday - What's Your Sign?

This week's Fun Monday is being hosted by Sayre over at Sayre Smiles. I love the assignment, see for yourself:

Every day as I go to work, I see things around me that make me laugh. Usually these are in the forms of signs. So take your camera with you as you go about your business and take a picture of the things that make you laugh along the way (but it doesn't necessarily HAVE to be a sign).

How great is that? I can't wait to blog hop and go see what everyone else puts up. Unfortunately, I didn't go find out what the assignment was until last night, and therefore, didn't take any pictures all week of the sights I see on my travels. Too bad too, because I'm sure there were some doozies. Still, I have to participate, because thi is just too good to pass up. I'm off work today, so I'm going to run out to do some errands in a bit, and will bring my camera with me...check back later, I will have updated this post.

In the meantime, just in case I don't find any funny things on my way today, I'll tell you about one crazy sight I used to see on my way to work everyday until recently. This one needs just a bit of background for you. I live and work in a mostly suburban area about 40 miles north of Boston. It is important that you know that although there are a few farms around here, this is by no means a rural area. It is also important that you know that this is the North East, where it is cold, and not exactly exotic. This is important because for the past 5 years, on my way to work this was a sight I saw many mornings:

A buffalo! Up until recently there was a small farm (and I mean small) on my way to work that owned both a buffalo and a horse. They still have the horse, but have since sold the buffalo. If you had any idea how random and unusual it is to have a buffalo around these parts, you'd get just why this is so funny to me. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to actually photograph the buffalo (this is not my photo, but one I pinched from the web a while back, and unfortunately can't remember where so can't give credit, if it's yours, let me know, and I'll give due credit), but on more than one occasion I'd see someone pulled over to the side of the road, all dressed up for work, scratching their head while they took a picture of the buffalo. That's humor in the morning!

Well, I'm off to go run errands and try to get more photos for you, but it's pouring out so I can't promise results. Go visit Sayre to see what everyone else has up. And be sure to stop by Mariposa's tomorrow, as she's hosting next week.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pass It On - Part 2

Continuing with my Lentent Resolution to do good things each day. I didn't do as good a job this week of keeping track of the acts of goodwill I performed, but I did stay focused daily on carrying a positive attitude and relating with others with kindness in my heart.

2/11/08 - Many instances where I realized I was driving a lot more courteously, letting others go, not driving so fast, not cutting folks off (I tend to road rage a bit, so this is a vast improvement in my driving etiquette). Made it a point to wait patiently while someone crossed the grocery store parking lot to put away their carriage. At the register at the grocery store the person in front of me (an employee at the store) was short 5 cents and the cashier let it go, being promissed she'd get paid before she cashed out her drawer. She showed concern that her drawer would be off at the end of the night because he might forget. I gave her the 5 cents when it was my turn to pay.

2/12/08 - On the way to work, letting car cut in front of me. At work, not completely flipping out on dumb co-worker (trust me, this one was a TRUE act of good will, she deserved to get smacked, wasted 2 hours of my day on something completely unnecessary).

2/13/08 - Again, I actually can't recall any specific things, but know that several times throughout the day I made it a point to smile when someone was rude, and to let others go in front of me. OH, and I called a florist for my dad, to have flowers delivered for my mom. A nice thing to do considering I would NOT be getting any myself for Valentine's day.

2/14/08 - Valentine's Day, reached out to friends who I know don't enjoy the holiday because they spend it alone.

2/15/08 - I realize this will sound funny and not nice at all, but I managed to sincerely wish the cashier who rang up my lunch a "good day", even though she was perhaps one of the most unpleasent cashiers I have come across in recent history. I didn't even mumble anything rude under my breath. No really, I mean it. I also mailed out a book to a complete stranger again. Oh, and my boss got it in his head that he was going to throw out a perfectly good "bulk sized" box of sugar packets (noone really knows why), so I salvaged it, to donate to our church for the YMCA feeding of the homeless program.

2/16/08 - I spent most of the day helping a friend while she bought a new car. I was there for moral support, as well as to use my "legal" expertise in making sure she didn't get bamboozled. We spent HOURS at the dealership, but she needed me, and it was good to know I could help.

2/17/08 - Again spent the morning helping with the youth for the Sunday school program my uncle is heading up. Also, my brother very sweetly bought me a cup of coffee this morning from Dunkin' Donuts, but knowing he's unemployed I asked him if he wanted money for it and when he said yes, I gave him all them money I had in my wallet, instaed of just the $1.50 the coffee cost (I only had $5 in my wallet, but still).

Now, let me again that I am not listing these things for a pat on the back, or for any of those self-serving reasons. Listing these things here just remind me that I need to do more, and to be aware of how I Pass It On daily.

Hope you are all having a lovely Sunday.

Friday, February 15, 2008

So close to blowing it!

OOH, busy day today and I almost missed my first day in Blog 365. ALMOST, but not quite!

HERE I AM. So, what to talk about then?

I was going to do a Follow-Up Friday, because the OCD in me feels like I need to go back to January and catch up on all the days I've missed in my "follow ups"...but then I decided that nobody but me really cares if I missed a few follow-ups, and I really need to let go of my obsession with tying everything up in a nice little bow. So, I'm just going to let it go, and I'll get back to doing my follow ups next week.

See, I CAN control my crazy mind.

So, with that control in mind, I'm going to sit back and relax on this Friday night, take a step away from the blog, and come back in the morning with my Saturday Photo Hunt.

Have a great Friday evening everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #42

I had an idea for a Valentine's Day GiveAway a few weeks ago, when I was looking for a gift to give away as part of the Bloggy Carnival I participated in, and came accross these little mini-books:

They are: All Things Chocolate - A cookbook; The Kiss - A Romantic Treasury of photographs and quotes; and Life's Little Treasure Book On Love.

They have "Valentine's Day" written all over them, don't you think? So, how do you win these cute little books? Well, it is Thursday, so I thought I'd incorporate my little giveaway into my Thursday Thirteen, and in keeping with the Valentine's them, we'll stick to the topic of love.

Here's what you have to do...answer the following 13 Questions in the comments section, and I'll pick a winner. Some of these are about how creative you can be, some require a little bit of research on your part (easy research, just poke around the blog a bit)...

Ready? Here we go:

Fill In the blanks (These answers are your own personal favorites):

1. My favorite thing about Valentine's Day is _______________.

2. I think that the best movie couple of all time is ____________________.

3. My favorite love song is ___________________.

4. The best date I ever went on was ____________________.

Multiple choice (A few of these require a bit of research):

5. Give me (by me, I mean you): a. Flowers b. Chocolate c. money d. jewelry e. ____________

6. Candid Karina: a. Is single b. is married c. is engaged d. ______________

7. Candid Karina's first kiss was with a guy named: a. Slick b. Cognac c. Ronnie d. Mr. Vain

8. Of the guys listed in number 7, which one was "the Bullet" Candid Karina dodged?

Just some fun (back to your own personal choices here):

9. If I could date a movie star, I'd pick ________________.

10. The sexiest voice in hollywood belongs to ____________.

11. A celebrity couple that gives me hope for true love is ______________.

True/False (these are about me, Candid Karina):

12. Today, for Valentine's Day, Candid Karina is wearing red.

13. Today, for Valentine's Day, Candid Karina is wearing all black.

That's it...easy enough right? Hope you have fun with them.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY Everyone. And hey, hop on over to Creative Karina, I'm participating in Pensieve's Poetic License, and I'm pretty proud of my English Sonnet.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

If I was a Rock Star

It's WHISPER WEDNESDAY at The FIRM, and it's in FULL EFFECT in the office next door to, I thought it would be fitting, since I'm sitting here with the music cranking and the office door closed, that I would do a music related meme today.

I've seen this meme in a few places throughout the blogosphere, but I'm pretty sure the first place I saw it was at A Spot of T's, so I'll give her the credit. Plus, her's was such a good version of it, that I want you to go and check it out! Here's the deal:

The Band Meme

Here’s how you make your own band's CD cover. Follow these directions to the letter.

Go to……
1. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result, and link it as a comment in this post.

(Don’t forget to follow the Terms of Use at Flickr and provide a link back to the page at Flickr

Got it? Okay good.

Here's mine:

I kind of love it!

The details:

1. Dion Foxx - Dion Foxx (born June 11, 1971 in Richmond, Virginia) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins, the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers. He played college football at James Madison University, where he played offense and defense. Foxx also played in the Canadian Football League and XFL.

2. Mere Excess of Comfort - Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort. - Charles Dickens

3. Photo by Melancholic "Dreams are like guillotines...waiting to fall". How beautiful!

That was fun. I'm not tagging anyone, but if you decide to do this (or have done it) let me know so I can come check yours out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some business to attend to - A Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Current posts are below this post, but I have some quick things I need to address before we get to it.

First of all, I announced the winner of my bloggy giveaway over a week ago, here in this post. I've emailed the winner twice now and received no response, therefore, the winner has now forfeited her prize (I'm sorry to do this, but the rules clearly stated that I need to be able to reach you to award you your gift). So, I'm moving on to the person who placed second...Congrats to Shannon, you win by default. Please email me with your mailing address and I'll get your prize out to you this week.

Secondly, I hosted an "improptu" little contest in my Follow-Up Friday a few days ago...just because...I haven't closed the contest yet, so if you have a few moments, go read he entries and vote for your favorite...I'll announce the winner this Friday and announce my prize then as well...I'm pretty excited about this particular prize.

And THIRDLY....I'll be hosting another little contest/give-away on Valentine's day...come on back to enter.

You Asked for It - Part 3 - Hypothetically Speaking

A while back I participated in an interview meme, and from that grew the idea that I should let you, my readers, ask me questions that I could answer in future posts. I've had quite a few of those questions sitting in a file waiting to be answered, so, today, I answer some more.

The following are a collection of questions having to do with hypothetical situations.

Frigga asked:

If you never had to worry about money, how would you spend your time?

I already do a lot of the things that I would do if I never had to worry about money. I would just do them more often, and for longer periods of time. And I’ll tell you right now, I’m not one of those people who say that even if they didn’t have to work, they still would, because they would go crazy without working or some other b.s., screw that, if I didn’t have to work for need of money, you wouldn’t find me working ONE DAY. That is not to say, however, that I’d lounge around all day watching television and eating bon bons (does anyone really eat bon bons? What the hell are bon bons anyway?). How would I fill my days then? Well, there would be some television watching sure, because I really do enjoy my shows. But there would also be a lot more writing. I might even try my hand at freelancing and trying to get published in magazines or some such, because I’ve always wanted to do that. And I would travel. Oh, would I travel. There are so many places in the world I’d love to see before I die. If money weren’t an issue, I’d travel and then maybe write about the places I’ve traveled to. OH and pictures. Having discovered this new love of photography, I’d spend a whole lot of time taking pictures, and traveling places to take pictures. And I’d probably volunteer somewhere, because I truly do love the feeling you get when you help others. Maybe I’d take on another “little sister”, as mine is a teenager now and WAY too busy for me. (ask me about how many weekends in a row we’ve made plans that she’s cancelled because she was hanging out with friends, or sleeping, or whatever…ah, teenagers). OH, and here’s something you might not expect me to say…I’d spend my time being a mom. Because very honestly, the ONLY reason I have not begun planning for and starting the process of figuring out how I can adopt a child, is because I can’t even begin to pretend I could afford it. Not only the adoption, but single motherhood as well. Although not easy, I know I could handle being a single mother from the emotional, physical, and factual side of things. But financially? Yeah, that’s a whole other issue, isn’t it? So, you see...I could find a whole lot of things to do if money weren't an issue.

Frigga also asked:

If you could be famous and super talented in any of the performing arts, which would you choose?

This is a really easy one for me. Dance. Hands down, no question about it, dance. I always wanted to be a dancer, and to be able to do it professionally, and be well known for it would be such a bonus. Of course, dance alone does not make someone famous, you need to either marry a celebrity (a la Kevin Federline or Chris Judd who married J-Lo), or become a well known choreographer. Or, you hire some damn good record producers and put out an album of mediocre music that you balance out with amazing dance routines onstage. Yeah, that would be fun!

From Qualcosa di Bello:

On an absolutely perfect day what would you be doing? (go crazy...)

The “Go crazy” portion of this story leads me to assume that this is not a “realistic” absolute perfect day, it’s a perferct, perfect day…so…what would I be doing? It would start off by waking up to the sound of the ocean outside. But I don’t live by the ocean, you say? This is true, but on an absolutely perfect day, I’d be somewhere in the Caribbean, or some other tropical beach area. So, I wake up with the sounds and the smells of the ocean. The window is open, and I can feel the sea breeze. I lounge in bed for a while longer with a great book. Then I make my way to the beach, for a swim, and to lounge in the sun for a while. Someone hands me a little umbrella drink, and then my best friends join me for an afternoon of sunning and chatting. We drink, we laugh, we swim, we tan. Then we head in to get ready for lunch. After lunch, we go on an excursion, perhaps to do a little shopping, or maybe for some horseback riding, swimming with some dolphins, snorkeling? Then it’s back for showers and getting ready for a night out on the town. We have a dinner of luxurious tastes and flavors, and then hit a local hotspot for a little dancing. While dancing, I catch the eye of a sexy local, and we dance the night away. Maybe a stroll on the beach, and a kiss under the moonlight, and then we say goodnight. Ah, perfecto.

Or, I could just spend the day shopping in my local mall with one of my girlfriends, have lunch with my parents, dinner with another friend, and an evening on my couch, with a glass of wine, and a good movie. That’s pretty perfect too.

Check out other questions I've been asked and have answered here, here and here, and stay tuned, I have more answers coming soon.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun Monday - Singin' In the Rain

This week's Fun Monday is being hosted by Crown Princess over at Ooh, a shiny pen. Her assignment to us was a toughie, at least to me. She said:

Music plays a vital role in most of our lives. It is everywhere. I want to hear the ONE song that is you. The song that whenever it is heard, you smile. I am not looking for the soundtrack of your life, just that one song. Your friends hear it and think of you. You can post the video, the lyrics, the wav file. However you want to post it is great.

I could have gone several different ways with this. I could have also totally cheated and posted more than one song, each for the different facets of my life they apply to. Pieces of my history, dreams for my future, songs that remind me of certain times, songs that make me laugh, make me cry. As she said, music plays such a vital role in our lives, that there is a song for each turning point I've been through. But I wanted to play by the rules, so I decided to go with the one song that when I first heard it, (and every time I hear it since) made me go "Hey, that's me...that's totally my song"!

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I'm single. As you all know as well, I'm perfectly comfortable and content in my singledom. Yet, very few folks seem to be able to understand how it is that a woman can be okay without a man in her is that possible? I get tired of trying to explain it, and when I heard this song, I thought, "From now on, I'm just going to play them the song". What song?

"Single" by Natasha Beddingfield.

Here's the video:

If you can't see the video for whatever reason, here are the lyrics:

Ah yeah that's right
All you single people out there
This is for you

I'm not waitin' around for a man to save me
(Cause I'm happy where I am)
Don't depend on a guy to validate me
(No no)
I don't need to be anyone's baby
(Is that so hard to understand?)
No I don't need another half to make me whole

Make your move if you want
Doesn't mean I will or won't
I'm free to make my mind up
You either got it or you don't

[Chorus:]This is my current single status
My declaration of independence
There's no way I'm tradin' places
Right now a star's in the ascendant
I'm single(Right now)
That's how I wanna be
I'm single(Right now)
That's how Im gonna be

Ah yeah uh huh that's right

Don't need to be on somebody's arm to look good
(I like who I am)
I'm not saying I don't wanna fall in love 'cause I would
I'm not gonna get hooked up just 'cause you say I should
(Can't romance on demand)
I'm gonna wait so I'm sorry if you misunderstood

[Repeat Chorus]This is my current single status
My declaration of independence
There's no way I'm tradin' places
Right now a star's in the ascendant

I'm single(Right now)
That's how I wanna be
I'm single(Right now)
That's how Im gonna be
I'm single(Right now)
That's how I wanna be
I'm single

Everything in it's right time everything in its right place
I know I'll settle down one day
But 'til then I like it this way, it's my way
Eh I like it this way

Make your move if you want
doesn't mean I will or won't
I'm free to make my mind up
you either got it or you don't

'Til then I'm single

There you have theme song.

Be sure to stop by Oooh a shiny pen for the list of all Fun Mondayers, and next week Sayre is hosting, so be sure to stop by there and sign up!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Passing it On

Earlier in the week I talked about Lent and making the decision to forgo the typical "I'm giving up soda" sacrifice (not that there's anything wrong with that) in lieu of focusing on doing positive things. I decided that for this Lenten season, I was going to make a concerted effort to do good deeds. In general I try to be a good person and do good things anyway, but the focus during this time will be to actually "consciously" decide to do them. They can be as small as smiling at a stranger, as big as donating money to charity, and anything in between.

I've also decided to keep track of these actions on my blog, simply for the fact that in doing so, I will be sure to remember to keep doing it, day after day. And who knows, I may just inspire you to do the same.

So, starting last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday... here are a few things I've been doing:

2/6/08 - Went to grocery store for lunch, at the register started a conversation with elderly cashier, brought a huge smile to her face. It's amazing how many people will completely ignore the clerks ringing up their groceries and not even acknowledge that a human being is on the other side of the counter.

2/7/08 - Sent a book to a stranger.

2/8/08 - Sent various book to strangers. Cleaning up the bookshelves and donating books feels fantastic.

2/9/08 - Despite having absolutely NO desire to spend an afternoon surrounded by screaming toddlers and friends who are married with kids, as the SOLE single girl in the room...I went to my friend BFF's 3 year old son's birthday party, and stayed the whole time. It was worth the headache and barrage of "any new guy in your life" questions just for the smile and hug I received from BFF when I arrived, and again the gratitude before I left. Friends like BFF are a blessing, and worth all the sacrifices.

2/10/07 - Spent the morning (into early afternoon) volunteering at the church with the Sunday school kids in a program my uncle is heading. Two days in a row of screaming children...quite the headache tonight as a result. But I'm glad I'm doing it.

Pass it on folks...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Photo Hunt #6 - Heavy

The PhotoHunter theme this week is Heavy. Can you think of a dessert that is any heavier than cheesecake?


Yep, but that was gooooooood.

If you have a second, read this, pick your favorite, cast your vote.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Follow-Up Friday - It's Baa-ack!!! (with a contest)

Okay, I'm forced to admit that moving Follow-Up Friday to Sum-It Up Sunday was unsuccessful. It turns out that with my new duties volunteering Sunday mornings (well into Sunday afternoons) with the youth at the church, I simply don't have the leisurely mornings I'd grown accustomed to on Sundays to blog. So, instead of doing the wrap-up posts I'd been intending to do, I end up just posting a quick thing...and although I'm not sure any of you care whether or not I do them, I actually miss doing the wrap-ups. I like that they give me an opportunity to address questions or comments you might have left, and I like how it allows me to tie my week up in a nice little bow. So, Foll0w-Up Friday is back, and we've got a few weeks to cover, so, I'm going to try to keep it as short as possible. There is a little contest hidden within this post, so please read on and vote. Off we go:

We'll start with the Fun Monday of January 21, the Anniversary Edition. We were asked to show the view from our front doors, so I obliged. But since the view from my front door is my neighbor across the hall's front door, I also gave you the view from my balcony, with some pretty sunset photos. I'm glad you all enjoyed them so much.

On Tuesday, January 22nd, I posted a bit about trolls. No, not the cute cartoon kind with pink and purple hair, the kind who post anonymous comments on blogs meant only to incite, hurt or upset. I was glad to see that you all seem to have the same attitude of delete, forget, move on...really, no better way to deal with it, right? And yes, I'm running out to buy the red wig really soon.

I'm skipping the next few days because I want to dedicate some extra space to the Friday of that week. On that day I didn't have a whole lot of blogging time, so I left it to you to "fill-in-the-blanks". Those of you who responded are so darn creative you all deserve props, so I'm giving them here. I'm going to post the 6 responses I got, and then you, dear reader, are going to vote for your favorite. I'll have a little gift to send to the winner.

The sentence you were asked to finish was: Today, Candid Karina couldn't write a blog entry because _____.

1. Frigga - of the universal forces that prevented that. See, she had every intention to. She even got up this morning, got dressed. But when she stepped outside to grab the paper she was abducted by aliens. As much fun as she's having at her inter-stellar party - those aliens don't have the wrireless connection necessary to post to her blog. You see, aliens don't need blogs, they can read minds. However, I did hear a rumor that they were going to teach Karina how to do this mind reading, and then she can publish from the space craft.

2. Lil' Mouse - she is too busy eating cheese on her couch in her pajamas, listening to lifehouse and being otherwise covert. (refer to this post to see why this was really funny to me).

3. Ana - she is experiencing cranial flatulation - hopefully it will pass in the next day or two. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

4. Lisa - she was too busy picking the fuzz from between her toes, and using said fuzz (along with belly button fuzz) to knit herself a pair of really warm mittens.

5. Joy T - she was too busy researching which brands of peanut butter and jam go best together in preparation for her very first pb & j :o) (FYI, nope, I still haven't had one).

6. Pamela - she had frostbite on her fingers from digging through 17 inches of packed snow to save her future boyfriend who was buried by an avalanche. - he's out there in the c-c-c-cold somewhere right now... brrrrr

Funny gals right? Well, here's the deal, I have to get back to work, so will continue Follow-Up Friday later on, there are some other posts of the last few weeks I still need to adress. But for now, vote for your favorite, so I can send them a little prize. ;-)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #41

In honor of yet another dance show premiering tonight (Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew), I thought I'd focus my Thursday Thirteen on what is probably my favorite genre of movies. See, if you know me at all, you know that if there is one regret I have in life, it is not pursuing dance as a career. There are a million and one reasons why I did not, the main one probably being that I am a realist and a college education and good paying job won over chasing my dreams in an industry that beats you up and spits you out. An industry that can leave you with broken dreams, a broken heart, and a broken down body, unless you manage to be one of the select few that "makes" it. Even then, it can only last so long before the reality of age against a dancer's demanding lifestyle catches up with you. Name me a professional dancer over the age of 30. Right.

But I love dance. I love TO dance, I love to watch others dance, I love to talk about, think about, and examine the world of dance. From ballett to ballroom, from jazz to hip hop, it all fascinates in a way that very few other things in life do. I can stop cold in my tracks watching a young kid breakdance on a piece of cardboard on a street corner. I can watch a ballroom competition on television beginning to end without once taking my eyes of the screen. When I was younger, I could dance for hours out at nightclubs, never needing to get drunk or high like the other partiers, because I really was out there to dance, period. And even now, as I realize I'm way too old for the club scene, but still too young to put away my dance shoes, I've managed to incorporate dance as my main workout, with that fantastic video game invention Dance Dance Revolution.

Therefore, when it comes to television and movies, it should come as no surprise that I'm hooked on anything that even mentions the word dance. As far as television goes, my favorite has got to be So You Think You Can Dance, and I've focused more than one blog post on that show alone already. But with movies? OH, how I love me a good dance movie. In fact, I love me a bad dance movie too. Because as far as dance movies go, about 95% of the time, the plot and storyline (and even the acting) can leave a lot to be desired. But it's not about all that with dance movies, it's about THE DANCING.

Here are 13 dance movies I can watch (and have watched) over and over again (click on the photos to learn more about the movies).

1. Dirty Dancing - Of course.

2. Center Stage - probably one of my favorites on this list. This one not only has an actual plot, but it's about ballett, which is secretly (or not so secretly) my favorite form of dance.

3. Step Up - Dancing and Channing Tatum? How could you go wrong?

4. Save the Last Dance - yes, white girls CAN dance.

5. Honey - Boy, did the plot on this one leave a lot to be desired...and yet, the dancing made up for it.

6. You Got Served - I honestly don't even remember what the story was for this movie, but the dancing was amazing.

7. Flashdance - because you can't possibly have a list of dance movies and not include this one!

8. Footloose - a town where dancing is outlawed? INSANE! And Kevin Bacon dacing on top of cars? Really, isn't that what movie magic is all about?

9. Fame - you know you started singing that song immediately, didn't you?

10. Grease - Who can forget that dance scene with ChaCha DiGreogorio? And the dancing through the fun house at the end? Ah Grease!

11. Bring It On - Cheeky, but oh so much fun. And yes, Virginia, cheerleading really is dance.

12. The Turning Point - an older movie about ballett. A bit more serious than your typical dance movie. And yes, that is Mikhail Baryshnikov.

13. Saturday Night Fever - You didn't think I'd forget, did you? I mean, come on, it's Travolta when he was still hot!

I realize I've probably missed a few, so, please, if you have a favorite dance movie I didn't mention, tell me what it is, because I want to watch it. And don't tell me to go watch Stomp The Yard, I KNOW, I's on my list, I swear. As is the soon to be out Step Up 2 (Feb. 14th). So, what's your fave?