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Got this meme from Andrew.

1. What are you listening to right now? The last song on my MiniDisc player was The Real Party (Trevon’s Birthday) by Mary Mary, off their phenomenal self-titled album.

2. What is the most annoying song in the world? I’m not generally annoyed by most songs, especially since the nauseating pop ones usually tend to grow on me for sheer novelty value. I never did like really heavy metal, so I guess I would identify that genre because it gives me a headache.

3. Your all time favorite band/artist? Tough choice there. For sheer number of years and loyalty, I would say *preparing self for Andrew’s bashing* Wilson Phillips. I am, however, a loyal, loyal, loyal fan of Avalon, Indigo Girls, and Deborah Gibson.

4. Your newly discovered band/artist is? I was pleasantly and happily surprised by Rascal Flatts. Country music is very hard to come by here in the Philippines, and the three songs they’ve been sending to radio (What Hurts the Most, Life is a Highway, and their latest, Me and My Gang) are playing virtually nonstop on my MiniDisc player.

5. Best female voice? Oh, too many, too many, especially depending on genre. To promote some of the lesser-known ones, give a listen to Avalon’s Janna Long and Melissa Greene (pop), Martha Wash (R&B/dance), and Ayiesha Woods (Contemporary Christian).

6. Best male voice? Again, too many, but among the lesser-known vocalists who are phenomenal are I’m partial to Elliott Yamin (pop), George Huff (R&B/dance), and JodyMcBrayer (Contemporary Christian).

7. Music type you find yourself listening to most? Contemporary Christian of the adult contemporary/pop variety, mostly. Acoustic folk, light R&B, and club/dance.

8. What do you listen to, to hype you up? Black gospel. Oh yes. I love me some Mary Mary, Joe Pace, Mahalia Jackson, Israel Houghton, and Shirley Caesar!

9. What do you listen to, to calm down? Piano-led love songs to Christ. There are several. Lately, I’ve been reconnecting to Christ with Where Joy and Sorrow Meet, a Melissa Greene-led Avalon track on their stellar album, Stand. I like songs that make me cry with guilt set free by love. Mark Harris’ Find Your Wings fits that bill perfectly.

10. Last gig/concert you went to? Oh gosh, I don’t remember. 98 Degrees and Jordan Knight? *blushes*

11. Band/artist you find yourself listening to the most right now? Avalon’s Stand is the full-length album that I’ve been overdosing on lately (and it’s been three months), haha. Add to that list Rascal Flatts and you get an idea of how white I’ve been lately.

12. Most hated band/artist? I don’t hate any musician; they do what they do. But I dislike everything that Paris Hilton stands for.

13. Song that makes you think? I always get a good mental workout dissecting the songs of Indigo Girls. “I did a paper on [them] in college but I didn’t know what I was talking about.”

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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What is going on?

First, American idol Taylor Hicks signs his record deal with Clive Davis (J Records), making him labelmates with Alicia Keys, Gavin DeGraw, Ruben Studdard, and Fantasia, among others. No surprise there. Then his runner-up Katharine McPhee signs her record deal, also with J Records. No real surprise there either. Then Davis signs up rocker Chris Daughtry, an unusual move there, given that Daughtry did, in fact, end up 4th; Daughtry becomes Hicks and McPhee’s labelmates. And now, in a shocker that’s gotten me in a bit of a whirl, 6th placer Kellie Pickler signs a record deal with BNA Records, giving the blonde country girl a record contract and bragging rights to the same record label as Kenny Chesney, Terri Clark, and Lonestar.

In the midst of all this signing, where are the record deals of the two most talented individuals in the Top 6? Who is signing up 3rd placer Elliot Yamin and 5th placer Paris Bennett?

I saw a Bradford Shoes outlet at the SM Mall of Asia a few weeks ago, and the shoes on display immediately caught my eye. What was so special about Bradford shoes?

They promise height increase of up to four inches.

Now that’s a unique selling proposition in the Philippines, if ever I heard one, that could skyrocket these guys to profits in the millions, if marketed properly and driven by good word-of-mouth.
I’d never heard of Bradford shoes prior to seeing them on display at the SM Mall of Asia, and I’ll admit that many of the shoes on display looked pretty darn good. More importantly, they did not look like elevator or platform shoes, which is great for shorter guys like me, looking to avoid the stigma of being shorter than average (I’m 5″6 barefoot).

I was itching to buy myself a pair, save for the rather prohibitive prices (upwards of P3,000 for the average pair). The Wally, pictured on the left, goes for upwards of P4,000, which is well out of reach of my grubby fingers, plus apparently, they don’t have shoes in my size (I’m a 10 1/2, which makes me feel like a short and stubby Ronald McDonald).
Based on what I can tell from the Bradford Shoes website, Bradford shoes are locally manufactured (can you imagine?), so strike up another plus for local shoemakers, because the quality of these shoes looked awesome.

If any of you out there buy a pair of Bradford Shoes, do let me know if they’re good, so I’ll buy myself a pair too.

Update 1: PHOTOS! I bought the Adrian model. I love it!

Photo 1: Beside the fridge. You can compare based on the top of my head. In the left pic, I’m well below the fridge’s line. In the second pic, my head actually exceeds it.

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Photo 2: Closeup.

 

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Β Update 2: I have a new pair of Bradford shoes!

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1. Sitcom Marathons. Don’t get me wrong, I love the great scare that comes with a spectacular horror flick, and the adrenalin rush that accompanies the decent suspense thriller, but Cathy and I love sitcom marathons at home. Turn on the electric fan, pop open the bag of microwave popcorn, and settle down to two hours of Friends, Golden Girls, or Will and Grace, and I’m a happy camper.

2. Cheap Chocolate. I don’t think I’ve ever had Godiva or any other chocolate that I’d have to sell my right arm to afford, but I truly enjoy the cheaper chocolates. Top of my list: Chocnut. Mmmm. With chocnut ice cream. Ooooooh.

3. Sugarhouse Cakes. I love Sugarhouse – a diabetic’s hellhouse and a sweet tooth’s nirvana – for everything it offers. Prime choices at Sugarhouse: Concorde, which is a delightful cake with light brown sugar logs; Turtle Pie, a pecan and mousse frozen cake, and cookies and cream, which, essentially is that: chocolatey cookies and irresistible cream.

4. Yellow Cab Pizza. I love pizza, and I love Yellow Cab Pizza most of all! Their Anchovy Lovers’ pizza rocks my socks, and their Roasted Garlic and Shrimp pizza is just, I mean, wow. Words can’t describe it. Sure, the quality deteriorated significantly since my first Yellow Cab pizza four years ago, but it’s still tons better than a lot of what’s currently out there.

5. Cello’s Donuts. I love Cello’s Donuts. I’ve never been shy about it, saying it not just once, but twice! This entry makes it three times. Tsk tsk. As I said in a previous entry, Cello’s Donuts “make Go Nuts, Hot Loops, Dunkin Donuts and Mister Donuts taste like deep fried flour nuts off the street.” Cello’s Donuts makes “delicious, mouth-watering, greaseless confections that melt in your mouth with just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering.”

6. Tickling Cathy and Nathan. Cathy hates to be tickled; Nathan loves it. I like giving it, so tough luck for the former, and cheers to the latter. One extra thing I’ve tried to show Nathan in spades: telling him “I love you.” I actually tell him I love him every day – more than I tell Cathy, that’s for sure. Tsk tsk. Time to text the Mrs.

7. Bubblegum pop. Don’t deny it, there will be days when you want cheese. For a good dose, I pop in a special minidisc I burned for that purpose, which features, among other poptarts of the music world, Wilson Phillips, Steps, Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, and Deborah Gibson (back when she was Debbie), among others.

8. Listening to the Bible on MP3. Since I got the New International Version on mp3, I’ve been catching up on Bible books I never took seriously. Amos! Obadiah! Jonah! Micah! Nahum! And Genesis has never been more fun. Kudos to the voice talents who voiced over the gay guys in Genesis 19:5! Butch, baby, butch!

9. Crime/Suspense. Thank God for SkyCable. Now, I get to watch The Profiler, Cold Case, The Closer, and, my favorite, Bones! It can be very tense at night. πŸ˜€

10. Buffets. I love food (is it obvious?), and I love buffets. Give me a free pass at any of the great buffet places – Dad’s, the Shang, Alba’s, Mandarin, or the Spiral at the Philippine Plaza, among them – and I’m all yours, baby.

11. CCM. I love Contemporary Christian Music. Currently stuck in my player: Avalon’s Stand. Drop by my MySpace page, please, and download your own copy of Heaven and Earth. πŸ™‚

12. Magnetic earrings. Cathy hates earrings on guys, but unfortunately, I think it’s pretty cool. Since I can’t get my ears pierced because I love my wife, I found a place that sells magnetic earrings. πŸ˜€

13. Fuzion Smoothies. I LOVE FUZION. I love how their fruit smoothies are sweet but not too sweet. I love how their salads are refreshing and not too wet to get all watery on me. I love how their pastas are cooked just right. I love their service. I love their alcoholic smoothies, which I’ve had only once for fear I wouldn’t be able to drive. I love the colors of every single Fuzion locale. Did I mention I love Fuzion?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I learned over the KATHA Yahoogroups that Pinoy Dream Academy is looking for song submissions. Sixteen songs – in the vein, I imagine, of A Moment Like This, Believe, and Inside Your Heaven, among other American Idol I-will-survive-and-triumph-over-adversity tracks – will be chosen, and each composer gets P100,000.00.

Wow. I want in on that action. πŸ˜€

And here’s a chance for you to get in on that action, too! LOL Give me a song title that I can use for my entry to the Pinoy Dream Academy songwriting competition. I’ll use the song title I like best, and will give the person who suggested it P3,000 if the song (with your title!) makes it into the finals.

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Hi! Welcome to the travel blog of James Michael Deen, or Ganns, to friends and family. Please feel free to look around, or visit www.gannsdeen.com to read about how awesome God is.

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