This is the best book I have read this year. I can't say enough good things about it. It is set in Mississippi in the 1960s at a pivotal time in civil rights history. The help referred to in the title are African-American maids, and with the assistance and nudging of Miss Skeeter, they are able to tell their stories of working for white families in a segregated South. At times hilarious, at times heart-breaking, you won't be able to put it down. There is a resounding message of freedom at the end of the book that will stay with you, and this message shows how more than just the color of one's skin can hold one captive. Ultimately, this book shows the triumph of the human spirit and proves we, as a people, are more alike than we are different.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This is for Hyacinth, who laments I never put recipes on the blog anymore. It was inspired by a similar salad at one of the best Mexican restaurants in Oklahoma, Cantina Laredo, which serves gourmet Mexican food. Visit Cantina Laredo’s website here for locations: http://www.cantinalaredo.com/menu.php.
2 mangoes, diced
1 jicama, cut into matchsticks
½ red bell pepper, diced
1-2 cups shredded carrots
Juice of two limes
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt or to taste
In a saucepan over heat, dissolve sugar in rice vinegar, add salt and lime juice. Allow to cool. Toss mango, jicama, carrots, and red pepper. Pour dressing over salad. Refrigerate to chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves if you like.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
American Idol—Final 3 Throwdown!
Round One—Idols’ Picks
Casey James picked “Okay, It’s Alright with Me.” I think I would say Casey performed this as Reggae Country—picture for a moment—Casey with dreadlocks, hehehe. For a contestant pick, I didn’t think this song had much substance. Casey did himself no favors with this song choice.
Crystal Bowersox picked “Come to My Window.” Yeah, we love Melissa Etheridge. And we love Crystal. Crystal packed some attitude for that performance and rocked it. She was good, very passionate, and it sort of seemed like an anthem to ride out the rest of the season.
Lee DeWyze picked “Simple Man.” I loved it from the first note. He is stealing this competition, like taking candy from a baby. Now, that was a moment! Simon is seeing dollar signs people!
Winner of round one: Lee DeWyze
Round Two—Judges’ Picks
Casey will sing “Daughters,” picked by Kara and Randy. It was sort of a flat impersonation of John Mayer. I would rather him give it his own flavor than try to be John Mayer. Plus, this is not the John Mayer song I would have chosen for him—Georgia would have been a much better choice. This performance was better than the first, but not amazing.
Crystal Bowersox will sing “Maybe I Amazed,” picked by Ellen. Wow, it was amazing. Crystal is trying to wrestle the lead from Lee. I think this was her best performance to date. It reminded me a bit of Janis Joplin. She probably impressed Sir Paul McCartney.
Lee DeWyze will sing "Hallelujah," picked by Simon. Though I like this song, and I liked Lee’s performance, it is time to retire this song from the American Idol stage. Simon’s greed was peeking through, as he owns the rights to the song, hence the reason he picked it, I am sure. Dude had the advantage with the choir. I mean, a choir always helps, duh. With that said, Simon always backs a winner.
Winner of round two—Lee DeWyze (with Crystal as a close 2nd)
I am afraid Casey will need to have his bags packed. He is heading home.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
American Idol Goes Hollywood
Theme: Songs from the Movies
Guest Mentor: Jamie Foxx—anyone wanna take bets on whether he uses and auto-tuner???
Contestant or Artist? Give me a break, Jamie Foxx is deciding this?
Lee DeWyze is singing Kiss from a Rose. Lee should stop wearing plaid. He is cooler than plaid—plaid might work in the paint store, but not on the Idol stage. It was just okay for me. He hit some sharp notes and was a bit pitchy throughout. I think the rose wilted a bit during that performance.
Michael Lynche is singing Will You Be There. Can you say overdone? Overwrought? There was no subtlety in this performance. It was a Michael Jackson impersonation. I hated this song choice, and it read more Gospel than Movies.
Duet: Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox are singing Falling Slowly. Pick up the tempo guys, c’mon. It was too tentative at the beginning. Better towards the middle. I think it was okay. I liked the song choice and thought it worked well with their voices. The judges were on overkill praise. Are they trying to hype the two into the final two?
Casey James is singing Mrs. Robinson. Casey rocks the sexy hair tonight. If he really wanted to sell the sex appeal, he should have gone without the T-shirt. This is dedicated to Kara, his married woman stalker! It was okay, not wow, but he held his own. He could have done more with the song.
Crystal Bowersox is singing I’m Alright. Dang, I wish she was singing The Rose. What is going on with these song choices tonight? It was good, but still, I want The Rose from her. She is gonna win this competition, I think. How is that for noncommittal?
Casey James and Michael Lynche are singing Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman. I am beginning to think I don’t really love anything about this night. Maybe I am just too cranky, afterall, it is May. May brings the bear out in me. The gruff, grumbly, cranky bear. It was…okay, some nice guitar playing and harmonizing.
Best line of the night, Ellen: “As a matter of fact, yes, I have loved a woman!”
So, who should go home? Michael Lynche