The man curse of American Idol

american idolIMy favorite American Idol contestant ever, Adam Lambert, did not win.  Kris Allen won.  You remember Kris, right?  He won that season.  I think no one was more surprised than he was.

krisThe ONLY possible reason I can think of for Kris’s win over a much more talented Adam Lambert was the song he did in the last week of competition.  He did a solo acoustic version of Kanye West’s Heartless, surrounded by teeny boppers looking up at him adoringly.  He appealed to that age demographic.  I loved his version of that song, and thought he did a good job.  Apparently so did the majority of voters that season.  I think Adam Lambert scared them.

Adam Lambert is lucky he didn’t win.  He would have been held to their contract and at their beck and call.  Most male winners have not fared well, compared to the women.  Instead, he went his own route.

He had a few rough starts (anybody remember the infamous AMA’s boy-on-boy kiss?  (Among other things).  People just weren’t ready for his in your face style of his recently declared gay lifestyle.  At least not on national TV.

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So he went on his “Glambert” tour, and sold out everywhere he went.  He went his own way, with his own style.  He played a few gigs with Queen in Russia.  The crowd went wild.  Literally.

Look where he is now.  On a worldwind tour with Queen.  Picking up the infamous Freddy Mercury mantle, and wearing it with pride.  And oh yeah.  Those pipes.  That amazing voice.  If anybody could throw down with Freddy note for note, it is Adam.  But he still shares the stage with Freddy.  Queen still pays tribute to him, with interspersed videos during the performance.  Gives you chills up and down your spine, to see Freddy and Adam on the same stage.  Check it out on YouTube.

Adam-Lambert-Freddie-Mercury

 

You don’t have to like Adam or his lifestyle.  But you do have to respect his talent.  And boy, he’s got it.  Lots of it.  Queen loves him.  So does Lady Gaga, who joined them for a performance.

queen

I don’t watch American Idol anymore much.  Just not the same since Adam, the talent level is just not there.  There are many more singing shows out there too.  So Idol isn’t the only game in town anymore.  I think the ratings reflect that too.

We all miss Simon……………. lol!

 

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If I knew then….

jan youngMy Thursdays are ruined forever.  Thanks to #TBT (Throw Back Thursday), I now have serious picture envy…… of my younger days when I was skinny and fun and pretty but didn’t either think it or know it.  Crikey, I was 5’10” and weighed 150# and thought I was fat.  Pfffft.

Let’s face it, we all age.  Some better than others.  I probably have aged average on the outside, not so good on the inside.  Years of steroids and chemo treatments for my Crohn’s has not been kind to me.  Immune suppressor drugs were a cause of my malignant melanoma cancer, which ate up about 6 months of my life, and not in a fun way.  I have Crohn’s related arthritis which caused me to have a hip replacement at a fairly early age, and we all know how THAT went!

I’m doing better lately.  My Crohn’s has been much better since surgery to remove about 3-4 of bad intestine.  My hip is getting better, although I will always feel the nuts/bolts/screws/plates in my hip, and it still does hurt.  I will never be normal in that regard again, but at least I can walk.

I wish I could go back and tell myself to enjoy my youth and good health!  We take things for granted.   There’s a lot more things I would say, but that’s a story for another day.

I enjoy watching my nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews grow up.  Life is so much different now than it was back when I was a kid.  I want them to have the BEST life ever.  I want them to have all the advantages life has to offer.  I want them to grow up happy.  I want them to do well, and be good people.  I want them to KNOW that THIS is the time of their lives, and to ENJOY it!

It’s so funny to hear them say the same things to thseir parents that we said to our parents, and vice-versa.  Music is too loud, kids have it good, we had to walk to school 5 miles, our parents spanked us, etc. etc. etc.  Every generation has its unique characteristics.  I was a baby boomer, but I enjoy this generation better I think.  I hated the 70’s and the hair styles and clothing etc., and I knew it back then.  We did have great music tho, lol.

So I’ll continue posting my #TBT pictures, and reminisce about the good times we had in the past.  I will value the pics of my mom and dad and grandma and cousins and brother-in-law.  I will look at the smile on my face in those pictures and be grateful that I was happy, and grew up happy for the most part.  Many people still tell me I’m a smiley person.

I’mma gonna stay that way!

 

 

What I learned from Little League

LLJust as I had never watched soccer before this last World Cup, I had never watched a Little League game before.  After watching the team from Great Lakes/Illinois, called Jackie Robinson West (JRW), my whole perspective has changed.

The Chicago team is made up entirely of black players from an area where gang violence and poverty is the norm.  The team is named after Jackie Robinson, the first black player in Major League baseball.  It was a long road JRW traveled, to get to the World Series.  Once they won the Regional Championship, many parents were scrambling to figure out how to get the World Series so they could watch their boys.  Fundraisers were held, and assistance was given.  Talk about coming together for a good cause!

Yesterday, they won the US title, beating Las Vegas against all odds, who had previously beaten them 12-2 and decimated all the other teams they played.  But the JRW team was ready for them this time.  They are scrappers, coming from behind once again, to win the day.

Today they play South Korea, who also has beaten their opponents by impressive scores, for the International title.  I’m betting these 12 year old baseball players from a needy urban area in Chicago, come out champs again.  They have already won the hearts and minds of the U.S.  Win or lose today, they will always be considered winners in my book.  They have brought pride and dignity to Chicago youth, which is sorely needed in troubled times.

Now if they could just recruit Mo’ne Davis from Philly to move to Chicago, they would be unstoppable, yo!  Best team plus best girl……she is the champion of all girl athletes!

mone

The healing powers of touch….it’s true!

massageI didn’t realize until yesterday how messed up my WHOLE BODY is from all my hip surgeries.  I went for a massage from my good friend Donna who I met through swim class at the YMCA.  She is an angel and a godsend, with magical hands.

I have been having trouble sleeping, and was walking with a limp, and stairs were killing me.  My knees hurt, my legs were still swollen, my toes felt like sausages by night fall, and I could not fall asleep due to my restless legs.  I have been walking crooked or not walking at all since a year ago May.  I am tired of being tired and in pain 24/7.

Even taking out a break in the middle of the day laying on my bed with my leg elevated didn’t help much.  I usually ended up falling asleep while reading my book, and that didn’t help the insomnia later.

So I went for my massage.  Initially I told her that my back was fine, just work on the lower body, mostly my legs and feet.  Well.  She always checks EVERYTHING out, and when she started on my back, I winced with pain with almost every move.  My neck, back and shoulders were so out of whack and painful due to all the months of hauling my ass around on the walker.  All that non-weight bearing on my hip meant more weigh bearing on my upper body.  I still have huge calluses on my hands from that damn walker.

She got to work, informing me that my hour massage will now take at least 2 hours.  I said go for it.  I was a noodle by that time.

When she was done, I could not believe how much better I felt.  So much better in fact, that I was mad.  I had just been to both my GP and my Ortho doctor last week, and they both prescribed me more pills to take to deal with my issues.  Water pills, pain pills, muscle relaxers.  I’m so tired of taking pills that don’t work.

When I was in the nursing home and on some serious pain meds and IV antibiotics and laying in bed all the time flat on my back, I used to beg the Patient Care Techs to massage my legs so they would stop hurting.  They were so swollen I felt like they would pop.  Some of them did.  Most of them didn’t.  I guess it wasn’t in their “job description”.

I think this is so ridiculous.  A little hands on therapy goes a long way.  Even when you go to Physical Therapy, they use MACHINES instead of their hands.

If insurance companies started paying for legitimate massage therapy and chiropracters and naturopaths etc, this world would be much better off.  These therapies are a lot cheaper than pills and hospital visits.  And rehab for that matter.  How many people get addicted to pain meds?  Look at all the athletes they just shoot up and medicate.  I think the athletes are finally starting to wise up.  And look how many of our wonderful acting talents have lost their lives due to drug abuse.  Being famous doesn’t mean you aren’t lonely and in pain!

So go ahead, get a massage!  Live it up!

Before you pour that bucket of water over your head….

iceWell it seems like everybody is getting in on the action of the ALS ice bucket challenge.  I commend everyone for taking the plunge, so to speak, and also donating to a good cause.

But, before you video yourself and nominate other people to do the same, take a moment to think why this challenge came up in the first place.

Pete Frates, a former athlete with ALS, is credited with initiated the movement and going viral.  The effect of this challenge has been to raise millions and millions of dollars for research to fight this insidious disease.

So let’s take a look at this disease.  Most people know it as Lou Gehrig’s disease, because he puts a face and name we all know to it.  It is a motor neuron disease which robs it victims of motor function, leaving them with only their eyes and brains unaffected.

It is an ugly disease.  Nobody talks much about it, or wants to see pictures of videos of people in the later stages.  It is certainly not for the faint of heart.  I would not wish this disease on my worst enemy.  Well, maybe I would make a few exceptions 😉 .

There is a new video out that I saw on Facebook.  It really puts the whole ALS thing into perspective.  I think everyone should see this video, whether they are doing the ice bucket challenge or donating, to see what it is really all about.  It is not about dumping ice on your head and making the coolest video.  (Although I have seen some very unique ones!)  It is about raising money for an orphan disease that big pharma doesn’t waste their research dollars on, because not enough people have this disease to make it profitable.  Please take a few moments to watch this video.  http://www.upworthy.com/the-last-ice-bucket-challenge-you-need-to-see-and-you-really-should-see-it?g=5

I hope all the donations help ALS suffers.  I really do.  I hope the money donated actually goes towards a real cure, and helps the people that need it, and doesn’t get lost in administrative costs or something other than what it is intended for.

I wish we could do an ice bucket challenge for every disease in the world, so we could eradicate all the pain and suffering.  Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, heart disease, CANCER………big pharma only produces drugs to relieve the symptoms, because if they found a cure, they wouldn’t get money for their products.  One would think they if we can put a man on the moon, we could find some cures for things like AIDS and Cancer to name a few.  All the brilliant minds in the world….

How about Autism?  It affects so many of our children, and is on the rise.  It is scary stuff.  What is the damn cause?  Vaccinations?  GMO’s? (Genetically modified foods that allow us to eat corn etc that is sprayed with Round-Up.  Oh joy).  Who knows.  All kinds of bad shit out there.  Every day something new pops up.  Makes you want to drop off the grid and grow all your own food etc and become a hermit.

Anyway, I have been thinking about all this a lot, given all the pain and suffering I have experienced in the hospital/nursing home this past year and a half.  I thought I was the unluckiest person in the world, and often felt sorry for myself.  Let me tell you, after some of the videos I have seen about ALS sufferers, I am ashamed of myself.  My battles were temporary.  I got better.  There was always a light at the end of the tunnel.  These people don’t have a light.  They are handed a death sentence.  And a horrible path to the death.  I don’t know if I would be strong enough to handle it.

When it came out that Robin Williams was suffering from Parkinson’s, my first thought was, that was it.  The final straw.  He knew what was ahead for him, and maybe didn’t want to deal with it.  I can understand that to a certain extent.  My Crohn’s disease is a chronic incurable disease.  However, it is manageable, to a certain extent, and is not necessarily a death sentence.  It is definitely an inconvenience, but you adapt.  You may not have 100% control over your bowels, but you still can get up every day and walk and talk and go about daily life for the most part.  Yes, there are bad times when you can’t.  I have spent many weeks in the hospital due to my Crohn’s.  But in my mind I always knew it was a just a setback that I could overcome, and luckily for me, it got better after surgery to remove some intestines.  ALS, or Parkinsons, not so much.  I watched my BIL with his Parkinsons for many years and saw how he deteriorated.  He was a brave man, who soldiered on every day.  It was very sad for his family to see the effects.  Luckily, every day there are more and more treatments for diseases like Crohn’s and Parkinsons. So far, not much for ALS.

But we need CURES.  Cures for all these insidious diseases.  I think ALS would probably rate as one of the worst.  Your body fails you but your mind is still sharp as a tack.  I myself worry about Alzheimers, as my mother had it.  Your body might be ok, but your mind is gone.  The opposite of ALS.  But just as devasting.

So, I am glad to see the ice bucket challenge.  I am glad to see the money donated.  I hope it helps.  I really, really do.  These people need a glimmer of hope.