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    Charmed Life
    Thank you for visiting this blog. I have recently transferred all my post in my new blog. I will not be blogging here anymore. I hope to see you there.
    Life’s a Charm!
    www.lifesacharm.net

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Poem, Having a coke with you

Beastly

Beastly (2011)

So I was watching Beastly (2011), Gothic, whimsical love story and actually – my kind of movie!

The movie included this poem by Frank O’Hara. I have never heard of this poem before, but it’s so striking, that I had to look it up. And I find it is more interesting than I first suspected.

Frank O’Hara is a well-travelled art critic and a modern poet. If only I’ve experienced being in those places he mentioned (in France, Spain, including New York), or having seen wonderful portraits and artwork he had seen. Just maybe, I might have a glimpse of his experience of having a coke with that someone. But then, maybe, what he is trying to say is that – partly because of love, a simple – having a coke with THE special someone is even more fun …

HAVING A COKE WITH YOU

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

—Frank O’Hara

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Love Quotes

Originally posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2007.

When life becomes hard and void of bright promises, we need inspiring quotations from brilliant minds to enlighten and push us to move forward. Here are some words that can brighten the world around us and send us motivated, more determined and feeling victorious again.

Life is an echo, it gives you back everything you say or do. Life is a reflection of your actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. – unknown

Sometimes we must be hurt in order to grow, fail in order to know, lose in order to gain, and sometimes we have to be broken so we can be whole again. – unknown

The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved,
loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
– unknown

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Movie Barn, Bullying

I did not intend it, but most of the movies I’ve seen recently have a context of bullying. As I regretted letting Matthew see ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ with me, I resolved that from now on I will be more careful with the kid’s movies I will let him see – only those with clearer depiction of the good and the bad characters, the lead being the good character.

What movies have you seen lately?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010) Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)

I regret having my 4-year old Matthew watch this with me. I thought it was going to be a harmless kid’s movie. I was wrong. At some point in the movie, I sent him away.

Although this is a well made movie, but it has a terrible message! It’s not even funny! The lead character, Greg, is a bully! His quest for popularity is just wrong. The story ended with the character not really realizing the wrong he did.

Harry Brown (2010) Harry Brown (2010)

Not for kids! This is a violent movie about a Marine veteran, who came out of his quiet life to avenge the death of his best friend  by drug dealers and criminals.

The violence is unbelievable but it has a very satisfying ending, when Harry Brown, an elderly man, beats the bullies of his neighborhood.

Karate Kid (2010) Karate Kid (2010)

This movie stars Jaden Smith, son of Will Smith and Jada Smith. Also stars Jackie Chan as Mr. Han. Base from The Karate Kid (1984).

As far as being engaging and entertaining, the movie has thumbs up. However, this movie did not match the original. It fell short of my high expectations.

In the original, Daniel-san was very likable. This version’s Dre (Jaden Smith) is cocky! And the kissing scene, 10-year-olds kissing, was not just pushy but completely unnecessary!

Robinhood (2010) Robin Hood (2010)

Good movie! However, I wish this movie was casted by a pair with better chemistry.

Ironman 2 (2010) Ironman 2 (2010)

Ironman’s Tony Stark is Batman’s Bruce Wayne’s opposite! Tony Stark likes the spotlight, while Bruce Wayne wants to be invisible and to blend in.

The first Ironman movie is better but the sequel does not fall far behind. I particularly like the women in this 2nd Ironman, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Natalie Rushman (Scarlet Johanson). I like how empowered their characters are. And Mickey Rourke as the villain is just really great! I think he is the best cast.

TV is my Guilty Pleasure

What’s your guilty pleasure?
  • Enjoying morally incorrect movies like Kick-Ass, Death Race, etc.
  • Watching graphic sex and violence TV shows like ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand‘ and being dismayed that this show might not be continued.
  • Laughing at Dr.Gregory House’s insensitive remarks.
  • Be disgusted by all this fame hungry celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, and yet I can’t seem to not tune in on how they put themselves to bad light.

My guilty pleasure is being thoroughly entertained by moral incorrectness, sex and violence on TV. At least I have a sense not to let my children watch them with me.

And yes, our TV is on when we are awake.

The Movie Barn, On Nicholas Sparks and More

Sometime I wish I can go to watch movies as they come out at the movie theaters, like I used to in college. That way, I can be a timely movie critic. But then, thinking about the fuss of going to the movie theaters these days, and how you can’t pause it just because, for most movies, I’d settle on watching them on DVD/Bluray at home where I can lounge to my comfort.

What movies have you seen lately?

Dear John (2010) Dear John (2010)

It has nice, very subtle love story, but the twist is unexpected. The story is about long distance love and it brings awareness to autism. I like it. I was glued to watching it, trying to figure out what’s going to happen next, and really disappointed at how the story turned. It’s like rooting for a couple that didn’t make it in the end. It’s disappointing. Still the movie has a great story. It’s well-casted with great acting.

Nights at Rodanthe Nights at Rodanthe (2008)

Maybe because this movie is not about young love, I forgot that this is a ‘Nicholas Sparks’ movie that I didn’t expect the death in the end. There is always someone dying in a Nicholas Sparks story.

It’s not my favorite story, and definitely not my favorite movie since it is just too slow. I struggled to keep myself awake to finish this movie. And this is not Diane Lane’s or Richard Gere’s best work.

The Last Song (2010) The Last Song (2010)

I’ve never watched any ‘Hannah Montana’ episode. I never got interested. The only time I see Miley Cyrus on TV is when I am channel surfing. So I could say this is the first time I’ve seen her for more than 2 minutes. Now that I have seen her in a feature length, I don’t get the fuzz over her.

Although over all the movie was good, has a good story! But the acting by Miley Cyrus is terrible! I wasn’t impressed by her! I was so distracted by her unsightful mannerisms, and forced acting.

The Notebook (2004) The Notebook (2004)

From the movies based from Nicholas Sparks, my favorites is still The Notebook. It has the subtlety of a great love story, and the effective tear-jerky moments it supposed to have. However, I can’t get myself to watch it again, because I cry each time I watch it.

Prince of Persia Prince of Persia (2010)

What can I say?! I’m a sucker for manly man movies like this one, fast paced, mythological based, and with stunning visual effects! I watched it the first time and loved it. I watched it 2nd time to better understand the lines. All the British accents sometimes is so hard to understand. I watched it the 3rd time just to stare at Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhall).

Remember Me (2010)

Too dramatic for my taste. I am not a fan of Robert Pattinson, but I think he did great in his dramatic role as a caring brother and angry son. However, this movie is so hard to pay attention to because it’s too dramatic and very slow. And it took a lot of stretch to bring it to the unexpected ending.

Date Night (2010) Date Night (2010)

I knew it was going to be funny, and it is! But I can’t believe I let this movie stay unwatched in my household for the longest time, to wait for hubby to watch it with me. Anyway, I watched this movie with a friend and we had a blast laughing. I watched it for the 2nd time with hubby, and it was still funny. I think it’s a good idea casting Mark Walberg for his supporting role in this movie.

Death at a Funeral (2010) Death at a Funeral (2010)

A dysfunctional family brought together by the patriarch’s funeral. It’s power cast brings this movie to so much laugh out loud funny moments. I have to admit that what got me to watch this movie is the positive review, and I wasn’t disappointed. Although, some of the humor is just so silly and dumb, it didn’t take away funny factor.

Kick-Ass (2010) Kick-Ass (2010)

The violence in this movie is shocking and so graphic. Definitely not for kids!

The story line is so ridiculous but unexpectedly no-nonsense. It’s guilty pleasure. I was thoroughly entertained.

More movie reviews.

Why I Don’t Watch American Idol Season 9

  1. Hubby’s day-off is Tuesday. I let him choose what shows/movies to watch on his day-off; and he never chooses American Idol over the new DVD/Bluray releases.
  2. I always forget that American Idol is up when it’s up! And on the rare occasion that I do remember it’s up, I couldn’t care less…
  3. Because when I watched the earlier episode of the show, none of the contestants took my attention.
  4. Thus I do not have a favorite this year. I think they are – flat, uninteresting, ordinary, etc…
  5. The few that stood out, weren’t good enough. Lee is cocky, Crystal has a dull personality; Casey James only has good looks going for him; etc.
  6. I think the previous seasons were better than than this season. If any of the contenders this season ever tried to compete with those of the previous seasons, none of them will ever make it.

Will I watch tonight’s American Idol? Most probably not! I’ll be watching Dancing with the Stars Result Show. I’m rooting for Evan to win.

Will I watch tomorrow night’s American Idol Result Show? Yes, they always make a great Finale Show. I just wonder how they are going to top last year’s finale show, especially ‘Adam Lambert/Kiss’ performance.

A Few Hours on TV

So I was watching American Idol. I’m so glad that Bikini Girl has been booted out! I feel sorry for those girls she has brought down with her. But she doesn’t seem to care …

About celebrities, Christian Bale is under fire for going ballistic over a a Director of Photography. I heard the recording. He was angry, cursing and all, and the nobody seem to get him to shut up. But It sounded more to me like a bad day at work, and nothing more. Lisa Bloom, some guest commentator, said something like people don’t do such a thing. Really? I so strongly disagree. I am sure that the director, or some crews have gone ballistic around each other as do other people in their own workplaces. Unfortunately for Christian Bale, his moment of weakness was well documented. And same goes with Michael Phelps, who was photographed, during a time of weakness as well. I know he shouldn’t be smoking pot in the first place however I think, it’ll be a big joke if he goes to jail for that.

How did Obama got associated to Jessica Simpson’s Weight Battle? Leave it to CNN to do that thru a magazine cover. Speaking of Jessica Simpson’s weight, well she looks heavier than before but she doesn’t look at all affected by that, and she actually looks happy, while dancing on the stage in a really unflattering outfit.

While watching Tyra, I found out that there is a certain woman who eats cigarette ashes and uses it as an ice cream topping. Yak! And wow, Jude Law is going to play a transvestite in a movie, and Kelly Clarkson is lesbian? And Joaquim Phoenix going to be a rapper is not a hoax! I like Joaquin Phoenix as an actor. I’ve seen most of his movies. I don’t know how to react to him becoming a rapper.

Also, there is a new drama that I’ve started watching – ‘Lie To Me’. It comes after Americal Idol on Wednesdays. It’s good! I have seen 3 episodes so far. It makes me want to know whenever someone is lieing to me.

And have anyone heard of UFO underwater? Or should I say USO as in Unknown Swimming Object or Unknown Submerged objects. Hubby seen this show in the History Channel. Gosh, he made me realize I’ve been watching trashy shows and should flip to more educational channels. So I did.

And since I am not into sports or any form of sweaty men running around, my few or many hours watching TV definitely doesn’t include the NFL.

Now why have I been spending time watching TV all of a sudden? For a long time, Matthew has monopolized the TV to watch his favorite movies (Cars, Peter Pan, Bee Movie, Garfield, etc). I mean all day I have to watch these children’s movies with him over and over for a long time. But eversince I’ve rediscovered the Split screen feature in our TV (I forgot about it, imagine that! ), we have been enjoying watching TV together – him watching his favorite movies on the other half with sound coming out of the entertainment system, and me watching TV from the other half with minimal sound coming from the TV speakers or it’s sometimes mute with captions.

On Love and Life

The meaning of love is beyond words, beyond songs and beyond lust.
Much more can be known in the silence between thoughts.

Through love, all that is bitter will be sweet.

There is no mistake so painful that love cannot forgive.
There is no past so bitter that ove cannot accept and…
no hope left so little that we cannot start all over with.

The only thing greater than the power of the mind
is the courage of the heart.

Let your love be stronger than your hate and anger.
Learn the wisdom of compromise for it is better to bend a little than to break.

A woman of intelligence is admired. A woman of wealth is envied.
A woman of power is feared. But only a woman of substance is loved.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take
but by every moments that take our breath away.

 
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The Movie Barn

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd can act … and sing at the same time! This movie is definitely well made – well acted, well directed and well produced – not a cheap movie to make. However, the story is too dark, and gory for my taste.

I have not seen or heard of the musical play that this movie is based from. I find the story line predictable! I kind’a knew early on how the story will go and how it’ll end.

Throughout the movie, I was kind’a waiting for Harry Potter and his gang to save the day. The dark feel, the gothic look of the movie made it look like it’s one of the Harry Portters movies. And three of the prominent characters of Harry Potter are in this movie, too.

Warning: Movie Spoilers Ahead

My most favorite part of this movie is the part when the child Toby played by Ed Sanders, warned Mrs. Lovett played by Helena Bonham Carter, that Sweeney Todd is a bad person – a demon. He then thanks her for her kindness and for taking him in. He swore to her that he will protect her. Mrs. Lovett then assures him that everything is alright and she too swears to him that she will protect him. The exchange between Mrs. Lovett and Toby of these lyrics is tantalizing.

Nothing’s gonna harm you, not while I’m around.

Nothing’s gonna hurt you, not while I’m around.

The melody of the song, and the lyrics of assurance and of good intentions could certainly pass as a lullaby. Except that, after they were singing, Mrs. Lovett locked Toby in her cellar, which almost looked like a dungeon, where all the ground human-meat and left-over skeletons were.

Michael Clayton (2007)

I’m not a fan of George Clooney and his movies. I don’t find him good looking, sexy or whatever they describe him. With regards to his movies, I only liked Oceans Eleven Series because of Brad Pitt and Matt Damon and Three Kings because of Mark Walberg.

Although, I think George Clooney is a good actor, his movies like Syriana, Solaris, Good Night and Good Luck, way too boring serious for me that it was so difficult to keep myself from dozing off while watching these movies.

But, Michael Clayton was not difficult to watch and I’m not disappointed that I saw it.The story is engaging and interesting. The movie is very well acted by the major casts, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Clooney included.

Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)

Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)I really would love to love this movie. It is after all about cute singing chipmunks, so what’s not to like? But the story fell flat short on humor, while humor is what I have expected from it. But hands down to its special effects – CGI and the music, which are the saving factors of this movie.

Or I must just have too high expectations. And to think, this movie really grossed big time worldwide. Kids probably like this movie, but the kid in me don’t.

Warning: Movie Spoilers Ahead

If it’s going to be about singing chipmunks and casted by comedians (Jason Lee from My Name is Earl, Justin Long from Die Hard 4, David Cross from Scary Movie 2, etc), it ought to be funny, right? Well, I found the story of anti-exploitation a little bit serious for the chipmunks characters. And it only has very few funny moments.

The Brave One (2007)

The Brave One (2007)There is no doubt that Jodie Foster and Terence Howard can act.

I think the story is engaging … and shocking. I give it plus points for acting performance, powerful theme and unexpected ending. But the ending is also the movie’s unforgivable flaw.

Warning: Movie Spoilers Ahead

The way the lead character, Erika Bain played by Foster, can shoot a gun just like that, with no hesitation, no chit-chat – is really … SHOCKING! I mean, this is unlike other shooting movies where there are more hide-and-seek and chit-chats first before finally shooting each other.

Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine (2007)It’s a Futuristic Sci-Fi about the dying sun and the astronauts attempts to re-ignite the sun. Isn’t that interesting?!

Although, this movie is Science Fiction, there is more drama and intense emotions displayed. With less special effects that’s expected from a Sci-Fi, it would have not worked with bad acting performances. But it is excellently casted by really good actors including international stars like Michelle Yeoh as Corazon, the botanist and Hiroyuki Sanada, as Capt. Kaneda, including Chris Evans, who is usually just the pretty face in his other movies, ex.  Johnny Storm in Fantactic 4 , but in Sunshine. He delivered pretty well.

This movie is a definitely a thrill ride. It extends beyond Sci-Fi, to drama and thriller. The story build up effectively, but to somewhat a disappointing climax. But I still enjoyed watching it.

Warning: Movie Spoilers Ahead

The characters are burdened by the extremes of their situation of having to save humanity, and the fact that they may not come back to Earth. It’s very gripping as they make altering decisions one after the other, and deal with mistakes made, the catastrophes they encounter and against the villain.

Chris Evans is unexpectedly good in this movie. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he looks good, too. In Sunshine, he portrays a more demanding role of an outspoken crew member, who is headstrong about completing their mission no matter what’s at stake, including his life.

My Sassy Girl (South Korea, 2001)

My Sassy Girl (South Korea, 2001)As recommended by my dear Sister, I watched it! I’m glad I did. It’s been awhile since I have laughed so hard for a movie. I couldn’t stop laughing while watching this. I laughed until I cried! It is still funny while thinking about it. It is that funny.

The story is full of original and unpredictable plotlines. It is too eventful that this 2-hour movie can make up for 2 separate movies – I think! And it is based from a true story.

Warning: Movie Spoilers Ahead

It’s a romantic comedy about a bizarre love story, that’s funny and very entertaining. Its not the typical boy-meets-girl and they fell in love kind’a story. The craziness and the geekyness of the lead characters are over the top in a really funny way. The combination of a crazy creepy girl and a geeky guy and how she bullies him and beats him up are just too painfully hilarious! Even the way the characters met is funny, extraordinary.

The movie is well casted. The facial expressions made by the lead casts, Cha Tae-Hyun as the geeky Gyeon-woo and Jun Ji-hyun as the crazy girl, whose name is never given in the movie, are just unbeatable.

The film was extremely successful in South Korea. When My Sassy Girl was released throughout East Asia, it became a mega blockbuster hit in the entire region, from Japan, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, to the point where it was drawing comparisons to Titanic. Through positive word-of-mouth, the movie eventually became one of the most popular South Korean films among Asian Americans in the United States. An American remake, starring Jesse Bradford and Elisha Cuthbert, and directed by Yann Samuell is scheduled to be released in 2008. [Read More.]

 
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Seasons of Love

Enjoy a musical treat.


Excerpt from Lyrics:

In 525,600 minutes, how do you measure a year in a life?
In 525,600 moments so dear, how do you measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife

In 525,600 minutes, journeys to plan
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?
In truth that she learned, Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned, Or the way that she died

It’s time now to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let’s celebrate,
Remember a year in the life of friends.

Remember the Love, measure in love
You know that love is a gift from up above
Share love, give love, spread love
Measure your life in love, in seasons of love

From the movie Rent(2005), based from the broadway musical. I personally like the movie and I would like to see the musical play. The setting is in Christmas 1989 in New York about the lives of starving artists who are struggling to pay their rent, when all they have are the films they’ve shot, screenplays and music they’ve written. Poverty, addiction and AIDS stricken, they measure their lives in love.

How do we measure life?

In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights? In days? Or weeks?
In inches? In miles? In travel miles? In place we’ve been and people from different places we’ve met?
In laughter? In friendships gained and regained? And holidays and shows that made us smile? Or the people we have pleased?
In strife? In bridges burned? In the number of enemies? Or jobs and stresses handled?
In truths learned? In the PhD’s earned? Or the truths learned from raising a child?
In times that he cried? In the number of heartbreak, or deaths?
In the way that she died? How about dying of AIDS, or breast cancer? How about childbirth? Or war?
How about love? In love shared, love given, love spread? In lives touched with love? In the people we love and those who truly love us.

I’ve visited so many entries on Heads or Tails: Love today. It seems like a lot of people are measuring their lives in love, as I try to do myself by focusing not on the opportunities I’ve missed, the PhD’s that I should’ve had, the trips I’ve never travelled or all my past heartaches and pains. My life is about love, the love I have for my family and friends, the motherly unconditional love I have for my child and all the love and care from all those who truly love me.

This is my HEADS or TAILS entry. For more details, visit the home of HEADS or TAILS.

 
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Valentine’s Day Boycott

Aloha Friday

What does your husband / boyfriend / significant other think about Valentine’s Day?

When dear hubby and I were talking about what we are going to do on Valentine’s Day, he said it’s up to me and jokingly dropped this remark, that Valentine’s Day is a woman’s holiday and that men should boycott Valentine’s Day because according to the news he seen from TV early morning, Valentine’s Day is sort-of ‘legalized prostitution’. See Video

I think it’s so funny that some men feel this way! I don’t think dear hubby seriously feel so negatively about Valentine’s Day because he has been really good to me every year and it’s not like I have demanded, or even expected, him to do anything on Valentine’s Day. He gives me the biggest card he can find, and carefully selects the really nice dedication. Last year he gave me chocolate shaped like a rose and another set of chocolates in a heart shaped box. The years before that, he gave me flowers. In 2005, he gave me a plant that is still alive until now. And he seems really happy to shower me with these valentines gifts and I am more than appreciative to all these gestures.

But then, maybe at the back of his mind he is wondering why there isn’t a day for men, when it’s women turn to do all these stuffs. This actually made me realize that I probably have to do more than just give him a card this year.

In Japan, on Valentine’s Day, women are the ones who give sweet treats to men. Sometime in March, those japanese men who received the treats reciprocate. I’ve lived in Japan but I was never compelled to follow the Japanese tradition.

Background:

In Neil Cavuto’s show in Fox News, there was this Valentine’s Day debate about men boycotting Valentine’s Day. See Video

According to Mr. Rudov, “The National Retail Federation predicts that Valentine’s Day spending will reach $16.9B this year, with men, who outspend women 2:1, laying out an average $156. Why? Because men have been commercially conditioned to buy gifts, jewelry, flowers, and dinners for their wives and girlfriends — to avoid their hostility and frigidity. This so-called holiday puts undue pressure on men, requires nothing from women, and fosters an atmosphere of phony romance. In other words, it’s unfair and unbalanced. The barrage of Valentine’s Day advertising aimed at men results in expected generosity — both oxymoronic and moronic. I look forward to telling Neil Cavuto’s audience why they should boycott this farcical day.”

Aloha Friday originated in Kailani’s An Island Life is becoming my favorite meme. If you would like to join in the fun, simply answer the question as a comment then visit Kailani’s An Island Life for more details. However, your answer and comments are welcome even if you do not want to participate.

 
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American Idol

Do you watch American Idol? Who is your favorite idol?

I watch American Idol! I am so excited it’s back! I have too many favorites but my favorite performance is Bohemian Rhapsody by Constantine Maroulis. I have to admit it’s stage presence, the hair and the pouty lips.

ALOHA FRIDAY originated in Kailani’s An Island Life is becoming my favorite meme. If you would like to join in the fun, simply answer the question as a comment then visit Kailani’s An Island Life for more details. However, your answer and comments are welcome even if you do not want to participate.

 
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