Last night on American Idol, they showed the auditions from Dallas, which is where the first winning, Kelly Clarkson, hailed from.
A number of people showed up in costume, among them a variety of cross-dressers.
But the most notable costumer was Renaldo Lapuz, who was dressed in an extravagant white outfit, with flowing silver cape, a big, faux fur collar and a white-brimmed hat.
He was a big Simon Cowell fan and was there specifically to sing a song he'd written for him. The song was very repetitive, with only one refrain. It was about how "we're brothers forever" and can bring the world together. For now, at least, you can find the whole performance on YouTube.
He sang it with such joy and such exuberant movements that first Randy and then Paula got up and sang and danced with him, while Simon chuckled good-naturedly.
The judges were kind to him and told him that he wouldn't be right for the competition but that they liked him. Simon even consented to give him a hug. On camera afterwards, he spoke glowingly about Simon and how good he was for performers all over. A sweet moment, you could say.
Some moments were less so. For example, a young guy who was carrying with him a disgusting Ziploc bag filled with his fingernail "peelings," as he called them, going back several years. They get green as they get older.
While he chuckled nervously as he talked about it, he didn't seem to realize it was a bad idea. This reminded me of my schizophrenic ex-husband, The Druid (or, now that he's a Hare Krishna, I think I'll rename him The Seeker, after his perpetual search for spiritual truth). I found the whole incident very disturbing and wondered what other strange behavior he exhibits.
But he had a good enough voice that Paula and Randy were willing to pass him on to Hollywood. Then again, they didn't see the bag. We'll see how far he gets. If I'm right and he does have problems, it will be hard for him to focus on what he's asked to do.
They focused on several interesting people, such as a young mother who's a recovering drug addict, and a refreshingly all-American farmboy, who came in wearing jeans and a beat-up baseball hat.
One of my favorites was a young guy who says he wants to be a politician and came in wearing a pale yellow button-down shirt with a bright red tie. What with his dark curly hair, his horn-rimmed glasses and his sunny disposition, he reminded me a lot of my friend Attila the Pun, back in the day. He good-naturedly participated in a mock political ad about why he should be the next American Idol.
He was not only enthusiastic but also had the chops to back it up, so they put him through.
I guess we've probably got another week or so of the auditions before the voting competition begins. This, of course, is the part of the show that The Gryphon enjoys the most, so I taped it last night and we watched it together after I finished work.
When I was doing my estimated taxes this past weekend, I realized there was a discrepancy between my checkbook balance and the bank's balance, looking at my online statement. So I put "balance checkbook" on my list of things to do. I failed to realize how big that task would be.
I knew it had been a while since I balanced the checkbook but didn't know, until I looked through my checkbook, that I hadn't balanced it since early 2006. I knew this because when I balance my checkbook, I place a dot next to every entry, to show it's been confirmed in the bank statement. My checkbook was depressingly free of such dots, and I had to go back to my previous checkbook to find where I'd last balanced it.
This is characteristic of my life, where the everyday tasks overwhelm me, and those tasks that can wait sometimes end up waiting far too long.
So far, nearly everything matches up, while there are some occasional glitches, say, neglecting to write down an electronic payment for something I purchased online. There are several discrepancies in my favor, such as my payments to Lycos, when I was using them as my Web host for AlyceWilson.com. While I was writing the same amount down each month, they appear to have charged a variable rate, sometimes less and sometimes more. Maybe it was based on Web traffic.
This was complicated by the fact that I had to keep increasing my monthly bill with them to purchase more online disk storage (as I have a bad habit of including lots of photos). So in some cases, I hadn't yet caught up with the new fee, while at other times, I wrote the increased rate down too soon.
All I can say is, I had much fewer problems with them when I was using less online storage space. They're a good Web host if your needs are modest, provided you're willing to abide by their strict usage requirements.
So far, the net difference is almost negligible. But I'm still working my way through 2006, and I know that I got very busy with wedding planning in 2007. It's possible that I got forgetful, but hopefully, if I did, it won't add up to much of a negative impact on my bank statement.
Enthusiasm sometimes makes up for lack of talent.