Friday, October 23, 2009


My feet are killing me, my nerves are frazzled and there is still more to do.

Tomorrow is our annual Halloween Party and for the past four days I have done nothing but eat, drink and sleep party preparation. These things to not plan themselves and the menu does not appear from thin air.

I am one of those that does not want to go to Costco or Sam's and buy everything pre-made so today I spent the day making 100 or so jello shots, surprisingly around the same number of spinach balls (a new find suggested by my mother), a vat of my crab dip (which I love and goes over big every time), and a few dozen mini puff pastry quiches (from scratch).

Tomorrow is more mini quiches, meatballs, queso dip and God knows what else, and the Conforti-Wileys will be slaving over a hot stove (and grill) making several dozen hot wings.

The menu includes even more then the items I mentioned and it is all inventoried on a legal pad that I have written, crossed out and re-written several times. I feel like Santa Claus, in more ways then one.

There is still a ton of work to be done on the back patio and new bar area but fortunately we have three out of town elves (Fettit's sisters) who have been incredibly helpful while Fettit spends countless days fretting over baseboards that looked fine, and reseeding and planting the front yard that no one will see in the dark.

Our priorities never align when it comes to parties - especially ones of this size, but I am calling it quits tomorrow at 5 pm to start my annual transformation.

In addition to Fettit's three sisters, his niece arrived today, and the ISM has flown into town from Michigan with a crew of 15 or so costumed crazies - several of whom were here last year as well.

Below is the video of last year's party which included close to 100 throughout the evening. Although I do not have an estimate for this year I do not think it would be a stretch to say we will see at least 130 costumed freaks.

Enjoy last year's video and start looking for the new one in the next few days.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


The following was posted October 7th, 2009 by Paul Frein in Chart Watch:

Barbra Streisand's Love Is The Answer enters The Billboard 200 at #1, edging out Paramore's Brand New Eyes, which bows at #2. The two albums were separated by fewer than 5,000 copies, which means that Streisand's uncharacteristic promotional hustle probably made the difference. She appeared on Oprah, CBS's Sunday Morning and NBC's Today. This was the closest race for #1 by two debuting albums since April, when Keith Urban's Defying Gravity beat out Prince/Bria Valente's Lotus Flow3r/MPLSoUND/Elix3r by a little more than 3,000 units.

By hitting #1, Streisand sets all kinds of records. The diva has had at least one #1 album in each of the last five decades. No other individual artist equals this feat, though John Lennon and Paul McCartney manage it if you combine albums by The Beatles with their individual work. (The Beatles didn't have a #1 album in the ‘80s, but Lennon and McCartney did on their own.)

Streisand, who is 67 and six months, is the second oldest artist ever to have a #1 album on The Billboard 200. Bob Dylan scored in May, a week before he turned 68, with Together Through Life. Streisand's one-time duet partner Neil Diamond is the third-oldest artist to land a #1 album. He was 67 and four months in May 2008 when he scored with Home Before Dark.

Love Is The Answer is Streisand's ninth #1 album, a total equaled by only five other artists in chart history. The Beatles lead the pack with 19 #1 albums, followed by Jay-Z with 11, Elvis Presley with 10, and The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, who also have nine.

Streisand scored her first #1 album, People, in October 1964. This gives her a nearly 45 year span of #1 albums. Only one artist in chart history, Elvis Presley, has had a longer span of #1 albums. The King first topped the chart with Elvis Presley in May 1956 and scored most recently in October 2002 with Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits, giving him a span of nearly 46 years and six months.

Shameless Plug: On Friday, I'll have a Chart Watch Extra in which I count down all acts whose #1 albums span 20 years or more. I've given you the top two, but who are the other acts who made the list? Check back Friday and see.

While the overall race between Streisand and Paramore was close, it was a runaway in the digital realm, with Paramore on top. Brand New Eyes sold nearly 73,000 digital copies (out of a total of 175,000), which made it the week's #1 Digital Album. Love Is The Answer sold a mere 8,000 digital copies (out of 180,000). Streisand's fans are old-school and want to have it and hold it, thank you very much.

Brand New Eyes is Paramore's biggest hit to date. The group's last album, RIOT!, debuted at #20 in June 2007 and later peaked at #15. The album spawned the top 40 hit "Misery Business." Paramore is fronted by 20-year old Hayley Williams. (As it happens, Streisand was 20 when she first hit The Billboard 200 in July 1962 as part of the Broadway cast album to I Can Get It For You Wholesale.)

Paramore also bested Streisand in the U.K. Brand New Eyes debuts at #1 in the U.K. Love Is The Answer opens at #4 there. This is Paramore's first British #1. Streisand has topped the chart five times there, most recently with 2002's The Essential Barbra Streisand.

As for the other superstar divas, Mariah Carey's Memoirs Of A Perfect Angel debuts at #3, and Madonna's Celebration bows at #7.

Streisand, Madonna and Carey are the three female artists with the most #1 albums in chart history (nine, seven and six, respectively). They are also the three female artists with the most top 10 albums. Love Is The Answer is Streisand's 30th album to make the top 10. Celebration is Madonna's 18th. Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel is Carey's 15th.

Among all artists, Streisand is now in a tie for third place (with the Beatles) for most top 10 albums since Billboard introduced its album chart in March 1945. Frank Sinatra has had 40. The Rolling Stones have had 36.

Diana Krall, who had a #3 album in April with Quiet Nights, produced Streisand's album. This isn't the first time that Streisand has had a hit album that was produced by a successful artist. Barry Gibb co-produced her 1980 blockbuster Guilty and produced the 2005 sequel, Guilty Pleasures.

(The title, Love Is The Answer, is drawn from the song "Make Someone Happy." The warm ballad, which was written for the Broadway musical Do Re Mi, was a Grammy finalist for Song of the Year in 1961.)

Memoir Of An Imperfect Angel is Carey's 10th regular studio album. All have reached #4 or higher on The Billboard 200. Still, Carey is bound to be disappointed by this debut. Her last two studio albums, The Emancipation Of Mimi and E=MC2, both debuted at #1, with first-week sales of more than 400,000 copies. The new album starts with sales of 168,000.

Three rock or hard-rock bands enter the top 10 this week opposite all the divas. In addition to Paramore, we have Breaking Benjamin at #4 and Alice In Chains at #5. Alice In Chains' album, Black Gives Way To Blue, deserves special mention. It's the group's first studio album in nearly 14 years. It's also the group's first release with new lead singer William DuVall, who replaced original front-man Layne Staley in 2006. (Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002).

Eight albums debut in the top 10 this week, a new record. Sales were brisk this week. The week's #9 album (Selena Gomez & the Scene's Kiss & Tell) sold 66,000 copies. That's more than the #1 album (Taylor Swift's Fearless) sold in three different weeks back in January and February.

Miley Cyrus' "Party In The U.S.A." was the best-selling digital song in the country for the sixth week. The tune sold 177,000 downloads, lifting its eight-week total over the 1.5 million mark. It's the first song by a female solo artist to top the Digital Songs chart for six weeks since Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl" in June and July 2008. "Party" hasn't had nearly as much cultural impact as the Perry hit, but there you are. (Cyrus also has the weeks' #1 theatrical movie soundtrack, Hannah Montana: The Movie, for the 26th time in the past 28 weeks.)

And you had to know I'd work this in somehow: Paramore's new album has a butterfly on the cover. Mariah Carey and Barbra Streisand both had hit albums titled Butterfly. (Actually, the band has more in common with Heart, which had a hit album titled Dog & Butterfly.)

Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums:

1. Barbra Streisand, Love Is The Answer, 180,000. This new album beat initial sales projections. The advance word was that it would probably debut at #3 with sales in the range of 155,000. Sales through Starbucks, QVC and Streisand's own website added to the total.

2. Paramore, Brand New Eyes, 175,000. This new entry is the group's first top 10 album. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Careful," which debuts at #38.

3. Mariah Carey, Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel, 168,000. This new entry is Carey's 11th album to reach the top three. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Obsessed," which jumps from #14 to #9.

4. Breaking Benjamin, Dear Agony, 134,000. This new entry is the group's second top five album in a row. Phobia hit #2 in 2006. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "I Will Not Bow," which drops from #52 to #75.

5. Alice In Chains, Black Gives Way To Blue, 126,000. This new entry is the group's fifth top 10 album; its highest-charting release since MTV Unplugged hit #3 in 1996. "Check My Brain" dips from #171 to #173 on Hot Digital Songs.

6. Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3, 89,000. The former #1 album slips from #2 to #6 in its fourth week. Two songs from the album are listed in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs. "Run This Town" (featuring Rihanna and Kanye West) dips from #6 to #7. "Empire State Of Mind" (with Alicia Keys) dips from #7 to #8.

7. Madonna, Celebration, 72,000. This new entry is Madonna's fourth greatest hits album to reach the top 10, following The Immaculate Collection, the ballad compilation Something To Remember and GHV2: Greatest Hits Volume 2. "Revolver" enters Hot Digital Songs at #114.

8. Miranda Lambert, Revolution, 66,000. This new entry is the country singer's second top 10 album in a row. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend debuted at #6 in May 2007. The new album also enters Top Country Albums at #1, dislodging Taylor Swift's Fearless from the top spot. "White Liar" enters Hot Digital Songs at #105.

9. Selena Gomez & the Scene, Kiss & Tell, 66,000. This new entry is the first album by the star of the Disney Channel's The Wizards Of Waverly Place. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Falling Down," which leaps from #59 to #41.

10. Pearl Jam, Backspacing, 58,000. The album drops from #1 to #10 in its second week. It's the biggest tumble from the top spot since Sugarland's Live On The Inside fell from #1 to #11 in August. "The Fixer" drops from #40 to #60 on Hot Digital Songs.

Eight albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Three Days Grace's Life Starts Now falls from #3 to #17, Whitney Houston's I Look To You drops from #4 to #13, Miley Cyrus' The Time Of Our Lives drops from #5 to #11, Brand New's Daisy plummets from #6 to #44, Five Finger Death Punch's War Is The Answer drops from #7 to #30, Harry Connick Jr.'s Your Songs falls from #8 to #14, Drake's So Far Gone falls from #9 to #20, and Muse's The Resistance falls from #10 to #25.

For the first time in 15 weeks, the top 10 on The Billboard 200 contains all 10 of the best-selling albums in the country. Has Billboard revised its controversial policy of excluding catalog albums from the top 10? Alas, no. This week's flood of debuts simply pushed the top catalog title, Michael Jackson's Number Ones, out of the 10 best-sellers. The compilation sold 32,000 copies this week and would have ranked #19 on the big chart if catalog albums were eligible to compete there.

AFI's Crash Love bows at #12. The band's last two studio albums made the top 10. Sing The Sorrow reached #5 in 2003. Decemberunderground hit #1 in 2006.
Dethklok's Dethalbum II bows at #15. This beats the initial Dethalbum, which debuted (and peaked) at #21 in September 2007. Dethklok is the death metal band in Metalocalypse, an animated cartoon series on the Adult Swim TV network.
Avett Brothers' I And Love And You opens at #16. The Americana/roots-rock group features brothers Seth and Scott Avett. This is by far the group's highest-charting album to date. Second Gleam reached #82 in July 2008. Rick Rubin produced the new album.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's God & Guns bows at #18. This is the Southern rock band's ninth top 20 album. The band had seven consecutive top 20 albums in the ‘70s and returned to the top 20 in 2003 with Thyrty-The 30th Anniversary Collection. Kid Rock's 2008 smash "All Summer Long," which featured a good chunk of Lynyrd Skynyrd's anthem "Sweet Home Alabama," doubtless introduced the band to a new generation of fans.

Jordin Sparks has a double dose of good news this week. Her current hit, "Battlefield," tops the 1 million mark in paid downloads, and her 2007 hit, "Tattoo," tops the 2 million mark. "Tattoo" is Sparks' second song to top the 2 million download mark, following "No Air," her 2008 collaboration with Chris Brown. Jordin is only the second American Idol alumnus to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with two songs. Kelly Clarkson was the first to do it. Carrie Underwood and Daughtry each have one song above 2 million.

"American Boy" by Estelle featuring Kanye West tops the 2 million mark in paid downloads this week. The zesty tune was a Grammy nominee for Song of the Year earlier this year. "It's a happy song," Estelle told Paul Zollo in his annual roundup of the Song of the Year nominees for the Grammy program book. "It brings you back to like a 1970s roller-skating vibe; to being a kid." West has topped the 2 million mark in paid downloads with four of his own hits, "Stronger," "Heartless," "Love Lockdown" and "Gold Digger" (featuring Jamie Foxx).

Eleven songs from Glee are listed on Hot Digital Songs. This week's highest-ranking Glee entry is their rendition of Queen's 1976 hit "Somebody To Love" at #10. Who knew this whole Glee thing would be so big?

Heads Up: Michael Buble will storm next week's chart with Crazy Love, his bid to broaden his appeal beyond the modern-day Sinatra image he had honed. Buble's last studio album, Call Me Irresponsible, hit #1. (So the old image was working pretty well.) Two other artists who have had #1 albums are due next week. Toby Keith will be back with American Ride; Backstreet Boys with This Is Us. Also due: Tokio Hotel's Humanoid, Kiss' Sonic Boom (a Wal-Mart exclusive), Relient K's Forget And Not Slow Down, Air's Love 2, Brandi Carlile's Give Up The Ghost, Bebe & Cece Winans' Still and Fat Joe's Jealous Ones Still Envy. There will also be two holiday albums: Now That's What I Call A Country Christmas and the Irish Tenors' Christmas.


Below is the article from confirming the news that Barbra Streisand's "Love is the Answer" debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Album Charts:

While many were focused on a battle between Paramore's "Brand New Eyes" and Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" for the top slot on the Billboard 200 this week, Barbra Streisand trumps them both. "Love Is the Answer" earns Streisand her ninth No. 1 on the chart, opening with 180,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The debut extends Streisand's lead as the female act with the most No. 1s in the history of the Billboard 200. It's also the her best sales week and highest charting album since 1997, when "Higher Ground" started at No. 1 with 207,000.

"Answer" beats the arrivals of Paramore's "Brand New Eyes," which enters at No. 2 with 175,000, and Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," arriving at No. 3 with 168,000. First-week sales projections had estimated that Paramore would finish ahead of the two divas. As it turns out, Streisand surprised many with how well her album sold in non-traditional ways -- such as through Starbucks, QVC and via her Web site -- and that likely threw a wrench into forecasting sales.

"Brand New Eyes" gives Paramore its best sales week and highest charting album ever. The band's sophomore album, "Riot!," peaked at No. 15 in 2007. "Eyes" also starts at No. 1 on the Top Digital Albums tally with a whopping 73,000 downloads.

Carey's "Memoirs" begins its Billboard 200 life with 168,000 -- off quite a bit from the opening of her last set, 2008's "E=MC2." The latter effort bowed at No. 1 with 463,000, her biggest first-week sum ever.

Those titles are just three of the record-breaking eight entries in the top 10. Rock band Breaking Benjamin's "Dear Agony" arrives at No. 4 with the act's best sales week -- 134,000. It's the Hollywood Records band's first release since 2006's "Phobia" debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 125,000.

Alice in Chains visits the top 10 for the first time since 1996 as its new album, "Black Gives Way to Blue," bows at No. 5 with 126,000. The album is the band's first with new vocalist William DuVall, who replaced the band's late frontman Layne Staley in 2006.

Madonna's new greatest hits set, "Celebration," starts the party at No. 7 this week with 72,000. Rounding out the top 10 entries are Miranda Lambert's third album, "Revolution" (No. 8 with 66,000) and Selena Gomez and the Scene's "Kiss and Tell," which debuts just a little behind Lambert's sum at No. 9 with 66,000. Only two albums in this week's top 10 also appeared on last week's chart: Pearl Jam's "Backspacer" falls from No. 1 to No. 10 with 58,000 (down 69%) while Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" drops from No. 2 to No. 6 with 89,000 (down 34%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Oct. 4) totaled 6.87 million units, up 16% compared to the sum last week (5.93 million) and down 8% compared to the same sales week of 2008 (7.50 million). Year to date album sales stand at 263.4 million, down 14% compared to the same total at this point last year (305.3 million).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Billboard has just announced that "Love is the Answer," the new jazz-infused album by Barbra Streisand debuts at #1 this week. This makes Barbra the ONLY recording artist (whether male, female or group) to have a number #1 album in five consecutive (or non-consecutive) decades.

In 1968, the first song Barbra sang in her film debut, "Funny Girl" was the prophetic "I Am the Greatest Star," and it is as true today as it was more then forty years ago. Having been the only artist to ever have a #1 album in four decades, she has now topped herself.



My stranger-friend, Rosie O'Donnell is currently starring alongside Tyne Daley (among others) in Love, Loss and What I Wore. Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it east before it is either closed or she is has moved on.



There has been so much made of Roman Polanski's "capture" in Switzerland and I think who really cares? Put the criminal, who admitted to the crime a thousand years ago, in jail and let's move on. I don't care that he is a famous film-maker. You drug and rape a 13 year old, you go to jail.


So David Letterman slept with a few women who work for him - is he a congressmen, a senator or a member of the clergy? No, he is a comedian. The only person who should care about this is his wife. No one was forced to do anything - it is no one's business.


Phew, she isn't going to kill herself over the unexpected death of her friend Michael Jackson. Oh thank God! I feel so much better knowing that. I was really worried - pause - NOT! Does anyone really believe this crap that is put out there? Yes... I actually have had family members tell me things they have read in the tabloids as if real news.

Liz is having a little procedure on her heart to stop a leaky valve. Sounds like it is an old Cadillac or something.


Mackenzie is a HOT MESS who needs to keep her mouth shut about the consensual sexual relationship she had with her father. It is distasteful and the only reason she wrote about it is because she needs the money.

After their initial encounter she could have called the police. She is just as much to blame as her drugged out father. It's gross and no one needs to hear about it.


In anticipation of his (and Oprah's) new movie "Precious" which I can't wait to see, Tyler Perry is opening up about the abuse he suffered as a churrin. His father verbally and physically abused him. A male member of his church congregation molested him and a childhood friends' mother stuck a key in her snatch and made him retrieve it.

Why do I need to know these things? I do not need to know that his hand has been fishing keys outta cooch? So is this why you dress up as a 300 pound elderly black lady in all of your movies?


I saw a headline today, "Brooke Shields and Jim Belushi unharmed in airplane mishap." It appears that an airplane carrying Brooke Shield and Jim Belushi rolled into an SUV - after it had landed and was um.... PARKED! The "incident" broke the side view mirror and scratched it vehicle. Everyone was unharmed.

It is a slow news day when this is being reported as news. I didn't call CNN on Saturday while working in my yard when I accidentally pushed my wheel barrel into the side of the house. No one was harmed.

Now, I do like Brooke (I was just commenting to Fettit this morning about how gorgeous she still looks in her eyelash growing commercial, but Jim Belushi? I don't care what happens to him. I do not think I have ever seen any of his work, and I doubt I am missing anything.

and Finally...........


First I have to say, I am not a regular watcher of the show. I find most of it just foolishness, but last night there were two things on the show that kinda creeped me out.

After flamboyant judge Bruno Tonioli told Donny Osmond that his Rumba was "a bit Swan Lake," the toothsome, middle-aged, Mormon (read boring) man lunged at the judge and attempted to kiss him. Those Osmonds will do anything for votes and ratings. First Marie "passes out" and now Donny is embracing his "inner-homo" trying to play to the gay vote? Cheesey and a little yucky!

My other squeamish moment from Dancing With the Stars was THE ENTIRE TIME TOM DELAY WAS ON THE SCREEN. I had a trying time watching him. If his pathetic, "Oh, My feet hurt," or the motivating "my dad would never let me be a quitter," wasn't enough to turn me off, his Dentu-grip smile and the fact that I could actually smell his Drakar Noir through the television certainly did. He looks like someone who would offer your three year old a piece of candy to sit on his lap and then "innocently" diddle her. YUCK! YUCK! YUCK!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


This morning I logged into my email and received the following note from Michael Moore. All I can add is AMEN!

For Those of You on Your Way to Church This Morning ...a note from Michael Moore

Sunday, October 4th, 2009


I'd like to have a word with those of you who call yourselves Christians (Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Bill Maherists, etc. can read along, too, as much of what I have to say, I'm sure, can be applied to your own spiritual/ethical values).

In my new film I speak for the first time in one of my movies about my own spiritual beliefs. I have always believed that one's religious leanings are deeply personal and should be kept private. After all, we've heard enough yammerin' in the past three decades about how one should "behave," and I have to say I'm pretty burned out on pieties and platitudes considering we are a violent nation who invades other countries and punishes our own for having the audacity to fall on hard times.

I'm also against any proselytizing; I certainly don't want you to join anything I belong to. Also, as a Catholic, I have much to say about the Church as an institution, but I'll leave that for another day (or movie).

Amidst all the Wall Street bad guys and corrupt members of Congress exposed in "Capitalism: A Love Story," I pose a simple question in the movie: "Is capitalism a sin?" I go on to ask, "Would Jesus be a capitalist?" Would he belong to a hedge fund? Would he sell short? Would he approve of a system that has allowed the richest 1% to have more financial wealth than the 95% under them combined?

I have come to believe that there is no getting around the fact that capitalism is opposite everything that Jesus (and Moses and Mohammed and Buddha) taught. All the great religions are clear about one thing: It is evil to take the majority of the pie and leave what's left for everyone to fight over. Jesus said that the rich man would have a very hard time getting into heaven. He told us that we had to be our brother's and sister's keepers and that the riches that did exist were to be divided fairly. He said that if you failed to house the homeless and feed the hungry, you'd have a hard time finding the pin code to the pearly gates.

I guess that's bad news for us Americans. Here's how we define "Blessed Are the Poor": We now have the highest unemployment rate since 1983. There's a foreclosure filing once every 7.5 seconds. 14,000 people every day lose their health insurance.

At the same time, Wall Street bankers ("Blessed Are the Wealthy"?) are amassing more and more loot -- and they do their best to pay little or no income tax (last year Goldman Sachs' tax rate was a mere 1%!). Would Jesus approve of this? If not, why do we let such an evil system continue? It doesn't seem you can call yourself a Capitalist AND a Christian -- because you cannot love your money AND love your neighbor when you are denying your neighbor the ability to see a doctor just so you can have a better bottom line. That's called "immoral" -- and you are committing a sin when you benefit at the expense of others.

When you are in church this morning, please think about this. I am asking you to allow your "better angels" to come forward. And if you are among the millions of Americans who are struggling to make it from week to week, please know that I promise to do what I can to stop this evil -- and I hope you'll join me in not giving up until everyone has a seat at the table.

Thanks for listening. I'm off to Mass in a few hours. I'll be sure to ask the priest if he thinks J.C. deals in derivatives or credit default swaps. I mean, after all, he must've been good at math. How else did he divide up two loaves of bread and five pieces of fish equally amongst 5,000 people? Either he was the first socialist or his disciples were really bad at packing lunch. Or both.

Michael Moore

Saturday, October 3, 2009


If you want to be blown away, watch the below video clip. I am crazy about Jonathan McCoy. I saw him on CNN today. At ten years old he wrote and gave a speech calling for the abolishment of the "N" word and the video has received more then 1 million hits on Youtube. He is wise beyond his years and his parents should be very proud.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Below is a clip of Lea Michelle and guest star Kristen Chenowith singing "Maybe This Time" on last night's episode of Glee. If you haven't watched the show, this is just one example of what you are missing.

Glee airs on Fox, Wednesday nights and is a must see!