Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Idol Observation

Tonight Danny sang "Jesus, Take the Wheel." To cover a Carrie Underwood song on the Idol stage takes balls, and he delivered. I've never enjoyed Danny this much before.

Adam did a sitar-driven version of "Ring of Fire" that was bizarre but fun. If I were calling in, I'd vote for Adam. He sure as shit was original!

Anoop sang "Always on My Mind." No fair, that song always gets to me. Mentor Randy Travis said it was a risky song choice because he can't get Willie Nelson out of his mind. Not me. It's Elvis' version that's tattooed on my soul. Anoop isn't Elvis, but isn't that too much to expect? Anoop's version was dear and sweet.

The women were all completely forgettable, which doesn't make sense. It's country week, after all, and country music has such a rich history of kick-ass divas. One of this week's contestants even performed "Walkin' After Midnight" and all it inspired from me was a yawn (and a nod to her lip gloss, which was lovely).

Randy Travis is so gray! When did that happen?

Going it alone

I just found out this afternoon that my theater buddy can't make it tomorrow. She has a sudden, crunch project and predicts she will have to work until long after the curtain goes up at 7:30. So I'm going alone.

It's Mary Poppins, for pity's sake! I love Mary Poppins. She looms large in my legend. I can't miss the opportunity to see her live.

This is awfully last minute for me to find a seatmate, and I don't feel like it. I wanted to see it with my theater buddy because she completely loves musicals, and I'd rather see it alone than with someone who won't totally appreciate it like she and I would. So I'm honoring our dinner reservation but I'm bringing a book instead of my theater buddy, and then I'm going to the theater. Alone. And I'm looking forward to it.

What I am not looking forward to is tomorrow at the office, when coworkers see me dressed for theater and ask, "So who are you going with?" If I tell them I'm going alone, they will look at me with horrible pity, like I'm friendless. I don't like to lie, but that's what I'm going to do.

Why do people always assume that if you're alone, you're lonely? Why do others force me into a defensive position, just because I like my own company? Sometimes I wish well-meaning people would just leave me ... well ... alone.

The Bradford Family Curse

Eight Is Enough ran from 1977 to 1981. Patriarch Tom Bradford was played by Dick Van Patten, one of the wussiest and whiniest father figures ever to grace a TV screen. He and his first wife, Joan (Diana Hyland), had 8 kids -- David, Mary, Susan, Joanie, Nancy, Tommy, Elizabeth and Nicholas. After Joan's death, Tom remarried Abby, played by Broadway great Betty Buckley.

The real lives of some of the castmembers was far, far more dramatic than anything we saw on the small screen.

DIANA HYLAND: Joan Bradford. After shooting the first 9 episodes, she died of breast cancer. She was just 41 and left behind a young son and her lover, John Travolta. On her behalf he accepted the posthumous Emmy Award she won for playing his mother in Boy in Plastic Bubble.

LANI O'GRADY: Mary Bradford. The sister of Don Grady ("Robbie" on My Three Sons), Lani came from a showbiz family. Yet working before the cameras was stressful for her, resulting in debilitating panic attacks. She required prescription meds for the wherewithal to leave her trailer and perform. Eventually she became addicted to the pills, and liquor, too. After multiple stints in rehab she gave up acting and worked as a recovery counselor. Tragically, she suffered a relapse and in 1998 she checked herself into the mental health ward of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for detox. While there, she was sexually assaulted by a medical technician and sued the hospital. She died in 2001 at the age of 47.

SUSAN RICHARDSON: Susan Bradford. She really didn't act much after Eight Is Enough was cancelled because ... um ... people thought she was nuts and wouldn't hire her. Most notably she claimed that Korean film makers kidnapped her, cut off all her hair, and forced her to appear in their movie. Then in 1999, she suffered a nervous breakdown, was hospitalized and place on suicide watch. Not long after her release she moved to Pennsylvania, where she got a job at a nursing home.

WILLIE AAMES: Tommy Bradford. After the show was cancelled, he fell victim to cocaine and booze. He blames his addictions, as well as sexual abuse as a very young boy, for his suicide attempts. Upon completing a 12 step program, he found religion, turned his life around and launched a second career as Bible Man, starring in a series of Christian videos for kids.

ADAM RICH: Nicholas Bradford. Buckle your seatbelts, for this is the roughest ride of all. After the show ended, he went back to school but promptly dropped out. Then, over a 20 year span, he was arrested for drugs, DUI, breaking and entering, and shoplifting. In the early 1990s, he broke into a pharmacy in an attempt to get drugs. He called Dick Van Patten to come bail him out, and Adam's friends were hopeful that he had turned a corner. No such luck. He was arrested again 2002 for drunk driving (he just missed hitting a police car).

Just writing this made me want to take a nap. I'm sooooo glad to be just an average ol' gal!

Tuesday Tunes #20 -- St. Patrick's Day Edition

Tell us your favorite Irish band/album/song and why you like them.

I am going to completely manipulate this week's meme to suit my purposes. For one of my favorite people in the history of the planet is the oldest son of Mary Patricia Mohan and her husband James ... McCartney. Both Jim and Mary were Irish-Catholic, children of immigrant stock. And so I am devoting this week's Tuesday Tunes to James Paul, or Paulie, or Junior, or Macca. Or, as he is known in some circles, Sir Paul.

Favorite Irish Band: The Beatles. Today, they are so an Irish band! For their genesis was at the Woolton Parish Church picnic ("Garden Fete") in 1957 when Mary Patricia's and James' boy was introduced to some slightly inebriated older kid who was performing there that day. Perhaps you've heard of him. Last name was Lennon.

Favorite Irish Album: Of his solo work, I like Flowers in the Dirt (1990). So many of the songs have become quite dear to me. "My Brave Face," "Put It There," "My Brave Face" ... and two of Sir Paul's sexier songs appear here -- "Rough Ride" and "You Want Her, Too" (with Elvis Costello).

Favorite Irish Song: I like both "My Brave Face" and "Fine Line" from Chaos and Creation (2005) better than the unicorn song by the Irish Rovers.

If you'd like to play along, click here.