Thursday, July 20, 2006

This 'n That Time...

Been a while since I've done one of these posts... and I figure, hey, gotta have something for those of us stuck at home and not going to San Diego and looking for things to distract us while we're not going to San Diego...

I'm Not Going to San Diego

Just figured I'd let you all know that. As much as I'd love to go, it ain't happening. Of course, it's all a money thing. Maybe next year, maybe not (considering how long it's been since I've gone to any comics show, who knows?).

Enjoying This Show More Than I Expected

Anyone else watching NBC's "America's Got Talent"? Jessi and I were late starters to this show, which is similar in many ways to "American Idol," save that any kind of talent that's entertaining to watch could qualify.

So far, it's mostly singers who are making it through the semi-finals, which I can't honestly say I'm surprised about. Some of these people are very good, indeed... and those who perform as a group couldn't get into the American Idol auditions, because that's all about solo performers.

Those solo singers who tried out for AGT? What a waste of their time, IMHO. No need to bring that much copying from American Idol, you know?

Let's see if I can encapsulate what this show's done so far: Firstly, they did auditions all over the country, and the three "Celebrity Judges" decided if they would go on to the semi-finals or not (the three judges are David Hasselhoff, Brandy, and Piers something, the British Guy Whose There To Be Simon For All Intents And Purposes). There were singers, musicians, acrobatic acts, jugglers, magic acts, a few animal acts, and some stuff that's pretty much undefinable.

The semi-finals took 15 of the performers who made it that far, each week, and let them perform again. There are at least three weeks of semi-finals, with a different 15 again. Oh, and only 10 of them actually got to perform, so for five of them who were told they were going through to the semi-finals, guess what? Not happening.

Did I mention that the semi-final episodes are two hours long? And that there would be plenty of time to let all 15 acts perform their three minutes if they'd just cut out some of the padding?

Anyway, so 10 of the 15 perform in two hours, the judges have to pick one unanimously to go on, and then America gets to vote for their favorite of the remaining nine. So far, Jessi and I have been able to pick both the judges' favorite and America's favorite two weeks in a row.

Now, as much as I've enjoyed this show so far, I do have one or five nitpicks about it:

1. In an attempt to make each episode have a variety of acts, the singers are getting an advantage. Wednesday night's episode had Piers wanting to put through a non-singing act for variety with the finals... yet instead of trying to make each of the semi-final episodes "themed" with similar kinds of acts, so we could get the best of each kind of act, they're all mixed up -- and the singers have a definite advantage! I say that next season, they should put all the jugglers on the same episode, and let us choose the best of those.

2. Some of those acts should've never gotten this far. There was this one act Wednesday of these five or six African-American girls singing and dancing to "We Are Family." Honestly, they weren't good enough for television -- they were barely good enough for some local city's talent show at this point -- so why did they make it that far? Maybe they did a great job with their audition, but like a lot of other acts, I couldn't see how they made it that far. What were the judges thinking passing them through this far?

3. Some of the "weird" acts should've been in this. The day after each semi-final episode, they have an hour long "live" episode in which we find out who America picked, and part of the padding is we see five "weird" acts that didn't make it. Tonight, one of them was this guy who played music with crystal glasses filled with water -- and damn, this guy was good! I would rather see him perform than some of these other acts that went through (like the horn-honking performer, for example).

4. What they're looking for seems ill-defined. The winner of this talent competition wins one million dollars. OK, that's all well and good... but what the heck are they expecting of the winning act? Should the winner be capable of filling in a 10 to 15 minute spot, or an hour-long spot? Let's face it, there's a big difference between a circus act (which, honestly, some of these acts are) and a headliner act. One performer who didn't make it through the first of the semi-final episodes was a ventriloquist with two puppets who was not only extremely talented, but both Jessi and I thought was hilarious. If we found out this guy was performing around here, we'd get tickets to see him in a heartbeat. Would we buy tickets to see any of the two acts who made it through the cut this week? One was an Asian-American singing group called "At Last," and while they were very, very good singers, they were basically an a cappela boy-band type of group, and I think I'd get tired of their style after three or four songs. The other group was an acrobatic act that would probably fit in really well at Circ D'Soleil (or however you spell that)... and I can't see spending money to see them, either.

OK, enough about that.

Surgery Update!

I'm recovering just fine from the emergency gall bladder surgery that's delayed the honeymoon, thank you. Yesterday, Jessi took me to the office so I could say hi, share some photos from the wedding, and reschedule the vacation time that this week was supposed to be.

I'm getting up and around very well... although my endurance is greatly reduced. Today, I tried to go with Jessi and the dogs for their walk, as I normally would, and barely managed to do half of it (and this wasn't even half of what we'd normally do anyway). Of course, the heat around here today might've had something to do with it. Either way, I felt very drained this evening.

I'm still planning on going back to work on Monday, however!

Honeymoon Update!

Since the honeymoon will now be the third week of August, we're changing our destination... Coeur D'Alene, ID was supposed to be 90 degrees in mid-July, we don't want to think how hot it'll get in the middle of August! So now we're planning three days and two nights in Port Angeles (not that long a drive from here), and some shorter day trips to some attractions that aren't more than a few hours away.

Maybe we'll go to the amusement park next year!

Comics Reading

I've been managing to keep up on the new comics lately (it helps I'd only been getting 52, Justice League Unlimited, and Teen Titans Go!), but this week I added the new Justice League of America and Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters to my pull list.

So far as 52 goes, I'm enjoying it... although I'm thinking at some point, I'll have to re-read all issues to date in a row to see what I haven't picked up on yet.

Justice League of America #0? Really enjoyed that one, too -- not only for the hints it gives us of what the post-IC JLA history is, but also for the very cool retro JLA logo on the cover!

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters interests me so far, too -- although I find myself wishing we could get more of a complete story in the first issue of a new book, and not spend the entire thing doing set-ups for the first few arcs!

th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks!

Jon

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