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Jan 26th
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DurbWatch: Another One Bites the Dust

james-durbin_freakWell, it turns out the voting public still respected James Durbin in the morning, after his haunting, yet driving rendition of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" the night before. Out of the six remaining contestants on American Idol at the beginning of last night's elimination round, only James and Haley Reinhart got an immediate pass to come back and sing again as soon as they were called up to hear the results.
That left Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina, Casey Abrams, and Scotty McCreery cooling their heels in limbo during the relentless parade of filler and fluff (guest performers, backstage interviews, a trip to the British Consulate in L. A. to celebrate the royal wedding, the inevitable weekly Ford commercial) with which Idol producers pad the Thursday night show like so much video Hamburger Helper to extend five minutes of actual content into an hour of prime time. With so few contestants left, they've given up the idea of the "bottom three" low scorers. Now they just choose random contestants to twist slowly in the wind for dramatic effect until Ryan Seacrest announces which one is going home.

Last night, it was Casey, and I can't say I'm surprised. As much as the judges adore him, and as original and entertaining as he often is, his lackluster performance of "Hi De Ho" Wednesday night (not exactly a showcase tune to begin with) signaled the end of the line for Casey's love affair with the voters. (Or vice versa.) Still, his was an admirable run from a highly unorthodox and therefore always interesting performer. And he went out with a bang, prowling around the stage and audience with a high-octane farewell song, "I Put A Spell On You," only to finish up face-to face with (rumored backstage sweetie) Haley for the last line: "Because you're mine!"

Interestingly, after Ryan let Jacob, then Lauren off the hook, only Casey and Scotty were left onstage for the final verdict. (Yeah, right, as if Scotty could be going home. Only in my dreams.) That's what I meant about dramatic effect. But the point is, nobody even considered toying with James in that way, not even to generate faux suspense. James in danger of going home? Nobody would ever believe it.

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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