My Top 20 (Food Pop, Pop Cop, Odd Cop)

English: A jelly donut that was bought at Dunk...

English: A jelly donut that was bought at Dunkin’ Donuts in Brooklyn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 RANDOM THINGS I LIKE:

The year is slowly coming to an end, the weeks are flying by. I’ve put together a current list of things that make me happy. Life can be hard, you need to appreciate the little things, here are twenty of mine:

1) Alex and Sierra (From the X Factor)

2) Miniature Almond Joys

I love these and their cousin Mounds but here you get an added crunch of the almond. I LOVE coconut, the taste lingers on your lips after you finish it. Don’t tell my dentist but if I have one of these before I go to bed I “accidentally” forget to brush my teeth. It’s so worth it. The only reason I added Mini is because if I have the regular size I start to feel guilty. ( You can’t possibly feel guilty after eating one of those.) Win-Win.

3) My Christmas (Thanksgiving) Cactus

Every year at Thanksgiving our Christmas cactus starts to sprout beautiful, bright red flowers. I guess our cactus is always early (like my whole family) and shows up ahead of schedule. Seeing some bright red color when the winter is so gray makes me happy.

4) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (the movie) The one movie that divides sisters! I love it and my sister hates it.

5) The time 8:32. On the way to junior high school, I would always look out the window while I was standing in the overcrowded, adolescent, odorous teenage filled bus. We passed a bank near our school and there was a big sign with the time, every morning we passed,it said 8:32. For some reason, that number when seen, still makes me happy.

6) Believing in messages from those who have passed on and getting them for me or a friend. Powerful. Spiritual: “Love Does Not Die” ( Post)

7) I like the way my husband orders his french fries: “Can you make them extra crispy please?”

8) My friend Denise’s nut tarts. I have a friend who bakes the most delicious, bite size nut tarts, she could sell these professionally, they are like a work of edible art. Bite sized carmelized pecan heaven, I’m almost glad I don’t see her often. Addictive.

9)  Avegelemno soup, from our local Greek restaurant. Tangy, lemony with pieces of chicken and rice. Served with soft, puffy pita bread.

10) Goldfish (the living kind not the crackers) I had a goldfish named Frank that I loved dearly, umm, it died and it was all my fault. I overfed it. I still feel guilty and this was many years ago. I’m so sorry, Frank. R.I.P.

11) The sun and the color Yellow (see my weekly posts on Yellow Magic Madness)

12)  A body of water (any kind) ocean, lake, stream, pond…This is where I feel happiest, close to water.

13) Nature. As I get older I want to spend more and more time outside surrounded by mother nature. It was not that important to me when I was younger. Age gives you experience, wrinkles too but it also gives you wisdom. I like to be outside, weather permitting, as much as possible. Even with Fibromyalgia, I try to force myself outside when I can.

14)  Vacation:  For the last few years I haven’t had anything to look forward to in a major way. Sure, I look forward to see my friends or to go out to dinner but having something special to look forward to months from now is incredibly joyful. We are planning a trip with my mom in the Spring and I am looking
forward to that, more than I can explain. I definitely need something once a year, it will be my New Rule for myself. It doesn’t have to be anything big but it does have to be SOMETHING.

15) Jelly Doughnuts: We have them on New Year’s Eve, a European Tradition but I had one the other day while my husband had a Boston Creme Pie doughnut just for the fun of it. Delicious. Thank you, Dunkin Donuts.

16) Singing out loud (and off-key) to music streaming from my computer (classic 70’s pop rock, Bruce,

17) Listening to my husband whistle, happily. My father used to whistle happy tunes all the time, when my husband whistles it also reminds me of my dad, and that’s a good memory.

18) Pizza (There is no such thing as bad pizza, when it is leftover pizza and is too dry or it loses its taste, add strawberry jam.) I’m serious.

19) Books (Real books that I hold in my hand, no techno devices) Call me old-fashioned.

20) Flashlights.

English: Evening sunshine, Rutland Water. Just...

English: Evening sunshine, Rutland Water. Just to the SW of Lodge Farm, this part of the shoreline looks most inviting. It’s just a pity that the beach is mud and there is blue-green algae in the water! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A Kinder, Gentler, Simon Cowell? (Pop Cop)

English: Simon Cowell at the National Televisi...

English: Simon Cowell at the National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, London, October 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t honestly say for sure but in my gut I’m sensing a kinder, gentler, Simon Cowell just from watching episodes of The X Factor. Could that be possible true or is it my imagination? First of all I love the show and as critical as Simon is, he’s gained a tender, playful side to him that I’ve never seen before. He even referenced that he was going to be a father, unless I didn’t hear correctly?  He did say something to that effect, didn’t he? I believe he did.

He seems to still tell the truth but on a “not-so-nasty-shove-it-in-your-face-twist-the-knife-kind-of-way.” He genuinely smiles now. He’s not half as snarky as he used to be. Someone tell me I’m not dreaming because it seems so surreal. If Simon Cowell can actually look tender, there is hope for the world, right? Stranger things have happened.

Whoever his lovely lady-friend is, Ms. Lauren Silverman, I say “Congratulations” you must be a very special woman. I don’t care about the specifics of your relationship or the behind the scene interactions that’s your business and not mine and I am not one to judge. Just watching Simon smile and fool around with the other judges makes me grin foolishly. How silly, I don’t even remotely know this man yet I am happy for him, I really am.

He seems grounded now, he doesn’t need to talk about himself all the time, he has a lady-love and a baby on the way. Who would have thought of Simon as a family man? Simon, I am happy for you and you will never know who I am but that doesn’t matter. It makes ME smile to see the way your eyes crinkle now in laughter, to see you laugh at yourself and have fun. Mazel tov, you will be a great dad.

Who knew?

The X Factor (Australia)

The X Factor (Australia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Pop Cop) Adios, American Idol -Repost

Crystal Bowersox visiting her hometown of Tole...

Image via Wikipedia

I should have known better than to watch American Idol this season after all these years. I wanted Crystal Bowersox to win, the clear favorite who wowed the audience (and the judges) with her 3 performances last night and for most all of the competition.  I voted. I voted ten times to try to help. Then, I hear Simon Cowell on The Ellen Degeneres show predicting Lee DeWyze as the winner. There were also articles written on how Crystal wouldn’t win…”can’t people be silent for at least 24 hours before the voting?

Is America not ready for an indie artist who also happens to be a single mom? Half hippie, half eclectic, this young woman’s voice is unbeatable. So she wore her hair in dreadlocks, so what?  She has a marvelous range and her singing is clear and simply delightful; like the call of the morning birds or a beautiful pond you just discovered. You can’t help smile when Crystal takes the stage.  Apparently, people felt more comfortable with Lee who as the judges always commented “came from working out of a paint store.” Does that really matter?  How about Crystal? A single mom working to make ends meet and having a tough life?

My only consolation is that in the past some winners were not as successful as the first runner-up. Remember Ruben Studdard? Barely, his runner-up was Clay Aiken who produced a lot more than Ruben ever did. There were plenty of others as well.

This is my gripe: Crystal was definitely a better singer than Lee, throughout the entire season. So, why did she lose? Last night, it was obvious that she was the leader, all the judges giving her props, the audience practically hugging her along with her powerful voice. Crystal drew people in. At least to the people who would LOVE an indie-style artist (yes, I said artist) that may look a little different or have the courage to voice her opinions.

America? I’m disappointed. Were you just not ready for an original artist? Really?   Please remind me in the fall not to tune in because I am tired of rooting for the best artist and having the more: “popular”heartthrob artist win.  Crystal: I’m counting on you to have an absolutely magnificent career, a recording contract (probably with Simon Cowell) and lots of money to spoil your sweet, blonde-haired son.

As for Simon Cowell, I will miss you and I think the tribute to you was magnificent and well-deserved. As for Paula Abdul’s appearance, all I can say is “Awwww.” It was nice to see her again, looking so pretty in shocking pink puff. Good luck Simon, not that you need it. Cheers!

Lee, congratulations for being the winner. Crystal, congratulations for being the champion.

Seacrest and me, OUT.