Photo of the Day - 05.26.2006

Posted by: elraymundo at 5:57 pm on Friday, May 26, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Travel, Photo of the Day, Nature

Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron

Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron - Tortola, British Virgin Islands
05.13.2006 ©Michael Raymond 2006

Photo of the Day - 05.25.2006

Posted by: elraymundo at 10:16 pm on Thursday, May 25, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Travel, Photo of the Day, Nature

Moonlight over the water between the islands of Tortola and St. John

Caribbean Moonlight - Tortola, British Virgin Islands
05.14.2006 ©Michael Raymond 2006

Toni Braxton Is a Man

Posted by: elraymundo at 2:54 pm on Thursday, May 25, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: American Idol

Ok, I’m confused about a few of the things I saw on last night’s finale of American Idol. Not the fact that Taylor won; Sweet Sweet Lovin’ simply slobberknockered Kat on Tuesday night. What I’m confused about are some other things from the show.

Before I get to the confusion, though, let me say that you’ve got to feel for poor Katharine McPhee.

One, she got the worst original “song” to sing during her final at bat on Tuesday, the utterly putrescent “My Destiny”.

Two, she seems to be unable to connect emotionally with anything she sings. Who sings the lyric “Because I’m evil, my middle name is misery” while smiling sweetly? Besides Katharine, I mean.

Finally, the third reason to feel for Ms. McPhee: she had to sing a duet with that sweaty blob of a bowling alley manager, Meatloaf. To top that injustice, she was inclined to take his hand and hankie - a nasty damp red hankie - at the end of the song. Mr. Loaf, I implore you, is this anyway to treat the gorgeous and boobtastic Ms. McPhee?

Now, for the confusing bits:

Was that a transvestite impersonating Toni Braxton? “She” mumbled her way unintelligibly through a duet with Taylor – and in a lower register than the grey-haired champion. Time for your estrogen pills, Mr. Braxton.

Why was David Hasselhoff crying? Was it over his shipwrecked career? Did it have something to do with a talking car? Or record sales in Germany? Does he know there is no crying on Baywatch?

Back to Meatloaf for a moment. What a disturbing performance. I thought he sounded like Tiny Tim. Mr. Stiglicz wrote, “What is up with his weird vibrato?????” Bernard Coles thought someone was tickling him. Whichever, it was a disaster.

And who else thought the segment with the ditzy audition-reject and Clay Aiken was hysterical? And kind of cool?

Lastly, a note for Chris:

Dear Chris, your cold, soulless performance with that dreck-band Live revealed tonight why you were voted off the island before the finals. Please, inject a little fun into what you’re doing and let some of it shine through to the audience. And stop singing with irrelevant, has-been bands like Live. This includes Fuel. You’ve got pipes, man. Don’t blow this chance.

So that’s it for this season. Have any comments about the final show? Or how it all turned out? Click the Comments link below and speak your mind!

Float Above…Float Above…

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:31 am on Thursday, May 25, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Random, Stupid People

Just now I was walking to the front door at the Place of Toil and Labor and I noticed this guy ahead of me had both arms full of boxes and bags; there was no way he was going to be able to open the door. So I jogged up past him and said, “Let me get that door for you.” I opened the door and held it for him. He walked past me without saying a word. Not even a smile.

Why do I bother?

I hope he gets crabs from his desk chair.

It’s All Over Now

Posted by: elraymundo at 3:45 pm on Wednesday, May 24, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: American Idol

Click here to see what Taylor Sweet Sweet Lovin’ did to Katharine McPhee in last night’s finale on American Idol. I got nothing else to add.

Photo of the Day - 05.23.2006

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:36 am on Wednesday, May 24, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Euphoria, Friends, Photo of the Day

Jim Carhart, Michael Raymond and John Reinhardt at the Nationals Game

Grown Men - RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
05.23.2006 ©Michael Raymond 2006

Photo of the Day - 05.22.2006

Posted by: elraymundo at 11:37 pm on Monday, May 22, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Photo of the Day


Candles - Great Falls, Virginia
05.22.2006 ©Michael Raymond 2006

American Idol - BVI Edition

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:14 am on Sunday, May 21, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: American Idol

This post brought to you by the letter B, as in British Virgin Islands, Beach, and “Boy, is it hot here!”

Remember those old Nightmare on Elm Street movies? Where Freddy Krueger stalked teenage kids and killed them by sticking their heads into television sets or turning them into pizza toppings? Well, somewhere in the shadowy corners of the AI set, far away from the eyes of decent folk, Taylor Sweet Sweet Lovin’ lurked Freddy Krueger-like in ambush for the Elliott Yamin Velvet Express and, one week after Elliott’s breakthrough set sent Chris The Walking Aneurism home in search of levity and throat lozenges, the Express was derailed and Taylor stole away to the finals with Katharine McPhee.

Although I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Sweet Sweet Lovin’ will win it all next week, I’ll still watch this week’s finale because I’m hooked, addicted like that homeless guy standing in the last parking spot on South Capitol who says he’ll “watch” your car for ten bucks. But what in the name of Kurt Cobain’s gun collection is going on here? How did Taylor make it to the finale? Are we witnessing a sea change in American pop culture? Where a performer more aligned with an adult contemporary audience becomes the darling of the brace-face set? Is real R&B on its way back? Should I get out my old Stax 45s and my Dick Clark jukebox and tell my cousin he can pull that Dianna Ross dress, the one with the sequins and the elbow-length gloves, out of mothballs?

There are some known factors going into this Tuesday’s finale: it’s a given that Katharine will oversing, smile during the sad parts of her songs, and be stunned by the judges milquetoast critiques of her performances; it’s also a given that Taylor will twitch his way to orgasm, be compared to a drunk uncle at a wedding and shout “Soul Patrol” seventy-five times. What the discerning eye should watch for, though, are Katharine’s next wardrobe malfunction – it’s just a matter of time before the double-sided tape gives way – and Taylor spraining his ankle/face/abdomen while simultaneously herniating himself onstage. It should be a good night!

Death by Peanut

Posted by: elraymundo at 11:30 pm on Saturday, May 20, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Lotus Blossom, Travel

We ran into Pamela, the resort manager, on our way to the office to check out this morning. She’s a no-nonsense New Yorker and she asked me if the wedding party had quieted down after I called her last night. I told her it had.

“The phone conversation I had with them was funny,” she said. “It went like this:

‘The other guests cannot sleep.’
‘What should I do?’

God bless you, Pamela. You’re all right.

We flew home and made it back safe and sound. Then La Raymunda ate some spaghetti laced with peanut butter and her Allergy of Death kicked in and she spent an hour curled up on the bathroom floor. Not so much fun. But she’s doing better now, and all will be well.

The Wedding Party, Part II

Posted by: elraymundo at 10:35 pm on Friday, May 19, 2006
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Travel

To their credit, the drunk twenty-somethings quieted down a little after 10:00pm, perfectly reasonable. So I didn’t have to give my speech to the bride. But they started up again tonight, worse than the night before, with MUCH YELLING, PIG-CALLING AND THROWING OF BOTTLES. A call to the resort manager, a loud “SHUT THE HELL UP” and three loud smashes of the elbow to the adjoining wall seem to have had some effect. Things are quiet again. Let’s hope it lasts.

All of this capped a wonderful day spent snorkeling at The Caves on Norman Island and The Indians, three rock pinnacles jutting out of the sea. Simply the best snorkeling we’ve ever done, with rock walls of coral, sea fans, scads of fish – literally thousands at one point all jammed together in thick swarming layers. As lethargic as we have been this entire trip, I’m sure glad we managed to haul ourselves out of our torpidity the last two days – they’ve been real winners.

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