Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aiken, Fans Celebrate Birthday

What a Difference a Year Makes - Happy Birthday, Clay!

Amidst Spamalot 'Extemporania'

Sir Robin Adds 30th Candle

For the past five seasons, holiday tour audiences of Clay Aiken fans have commemorated Nov. 30 waving glow sticks and serenading their favorite singer. It's anyone's guess what will occur when the singer adds his 30th candle in the extemporaneous stratosphere of the Spamalot stage Sunday.

A theatre full of CA fans are in New York City to celebrate the special event while those back home anxiously await full-fledged recaps.

As in years past, commemorations of Clay's birthday range from a profusion of chairtable donations, the creation of special montages like the one by luluasst above, and a profusion of gifts that will fill his small dressing room at the Shubert.

The birthday montage, featuring "Seasons of Love" by the cast of Rent, can also be viewed at You Tube.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: This clickable interlude features a Thanksgiving collage by Fountaindawg, 1; birthday greetings by Amazing_CA and Fountaindawg, 2, 3; and cindilu2's very special December calendar, 4. For the widescreen version, see the artists's Yuku page.

LALATE2 Marks Date with Contest

LALATE2 is celebrating Clay's birthday with a video contest. Voting, which was to end at midnight Sunday, is still active. You can view and vote for one of these four montages at the LALATE2 link:

LULUASST: Clay Aiken - That's What It's All About
LOVESCLAYSVOICE: Can You feel the Love Tonight?
SUEREU: Clay Aiken, An Amazing Five-Year Journey (Redeux)
LEE: Clay Aiken Fan

In addition to The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and UNICEF, Spamalot's fundraising campaign for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is this year a beneficiary of fan board birthday donations honoring the Nov. 30 event. The Broadway Cares drive will continue through Dec. 7.

Animation by SueReu

Top Hat Bids Off the Chart

Recently added to Spamalot's BC/EFA fundraising on eBay is the white pop-up top hat worn by Clay during the show's wedding scene. Here is part of the spiel at eBay:

From the company of Broadway's Tony Award winning hit musical comedy SPAMALOT comes this unique piece of authentic theatrical history for your very own. As if superstar Clay Aiken has not been generous enough coming up with ways to raise money for Broadway Cares' annual Gypsy of the Year Competition, he has found a way to TOP himself, and we mean literally!

This authentic white pop-up TOP hat is the actual one worn by Clay in the show during the wedding scene. We can not even send it to you in time for Christmas as we have to wait for the's show's final performance before shipping it out.

But your holidays will be even brighter knowing that when all the props and costumes are packed up and shipped off after the final performance on January 11th, 2009, this particular costume piece will not only be going to one auction winner's home, but in addition, Clay will personalize it for that TOP bidder.

BC/EFA, the nation's leading industry-based, not-for-profit AIDS fundraising and grant making organization. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $140 million for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses.

Clay Converses with Fans

Another BC/EFA fundraiser,
Conversations with Clay, is taking place between the matinee and evening shows Saturday. Those who made the donation are participating in a half hour chat with Sir Robin. Here's the story from Broadway World:

Ever wonder what really goes on backstage or onstage at a Broadway Show? Ever have a question for one of the stars of one of Broadway's biggest hit shows and could not corner them at the stage door to ask?

Well, one of Broadway's newest and biggest stars, Clay Aiken, continues to shine on Broadway at The Shubert Theatre every night where he is currently reprising his role as the dashing Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot.

The generous Mr. Aiken has agreed during one of his busiest two-show Saturdays to conduct a talk-back: "Conversation With Clay" at the Shubert Theatre where the public may pay to come in and sit and chat with him as a group and ask all the questions that time allows.

A Very Busy Thanksgiving Day

Grandson Kai's Thanksgiving Day was spent with family and friends in a neighboring city. Although he has acquired some front teeth, his menu tended toward softer portions of the traditional dinner.

Now walking, my 14-month-old grandson gives us a brief tour of the premises in the video below.

Man on a Mission

Despite a baggy pants problem, Kai was a man on a mission, spending the pre-dinner time busily inspecting every room in his host's home.

When we received the Thanksgiving video, [fairy godmother] Sally commented that she was surprised the rolls of TP were still intact. I later quizzed my daughter, who said this was only due to her quick reconaissance work before grabbing the camera.

Edited by Sally

As the clickable indicates, Kai wore himself out during the insepction tour and was down for the count during the adult meal. He's resting up to do this all over again at Christmastime.


On Monday, 12/1, Jann Carl of Entertainment Tonight goes one-on-one with Clay Aiken, who talks candidly about being a doting daddy to his baby son Parker and about his decision to come out to the world as a gay man.

See video at the ET site. Favorite quote: "I'm trying my best to be the one who doesn't always let him [Parker] get what he wants, but he owns us."

Happy Birthday, Clay ... and have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Clay Aiken Fans Give Thanks

Graphic by Amazing_CA, photo by PermaSwooned

Fans Celebrate, Set DVRs

Week Yields Aiken Appearances

Between Thursday's traditional turkey and pumpkin pie courses, Clay Aiken fans will be giving thanks for the opportunity to see their favorite singer in TV appearances this week, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS and "Rosie Live" on NBC the night before.

TheaterMania is currently featuring a story about the annual event:
Clay Aiken to Appear in CBS’ Thanksgiving Day Parade Broadcast:

Clay Aiken currently performing in the Broadway production of Monty Python's Spamalot, will participate in the CBS Broadcast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, to be anchored live from Times Square by The Early Show's Dave Price and Maggie Rodriguez, on Thursday November 27, beginning at 9 a.m.

The broadcast will also feature the casts of Mary Poppins and Grease, a performance by country music duo Sugarland, live reporting from actor Patrick Warburton, and conversations with daytime actors Jessica Leccia and Julie Pinson.

Aiken was a semi-finalist on FOX's American Idol and is one of the country's most popular recording and concert artists.

Clay will be among the A-list guests lending star wattage to Rosie O'Donnell's upcoming variety special, Rosie Live, to be telecast on NBC a 8 p.m. ET Wednesday live from New York's Little Shubert Theatre.

Other guest performers include Harry Connick Jr., Liza Minnelli, recording artists Ne-Yo and Alanis Morissette, comedienne Kathy Griffin, and ‘30 Rock” stars Jane Krakowski and Alec Baldwin.

O'Donnell will bring back the grand tradition of the variety show format to television, like such iconic series as "The Carol Burnett Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show," while including brand-new elements for a new generation of fans.

The special will feature a topical monologue, musical production numbers and hilarious comedy sketches.

To view a preview of the variety show, see this story and video at Hollywood Scoop.

Clay Praises Charity, Variety Show

Gala screen cap by Cotton

Entertainment Tonight covered Rosa's benefit gala, Building Dreams for Kids, Monday at The Marriott Marquis. In the video, Clay praised Rosie's new variety show and discussed plans for son Parker's first Christmas.

ET was in Manhattan for a benefit gala with Rosie O'Donnell and some of her celebrity pals including; Clay Aiken, Jane Fonda, and Rachael Ray.

Rosie's pal Clay Aiken expressed his support for Rosie's show: "I think that really we're in a place in our country now where people need some excitement and some family fun and something to watch together to cheer them up," Clay says. "And I think there's no better person to do that than Rosie."

The "American Idol" alum also tells ET about his new son, saying, "He's doing well -- we're looking forward to our first Christmas together."

"Rosie's Gala, Building Dreams for Kids" will benefit children nation-wide from low-income families and will provide free musical theater programs to New York City's neediest public school students.

For more of Clay talking about Rosie's variety show and being a dad, link to this Access Hollywood video. Broadway World has posted a story on Rosie's Gala with several photos of Clay. Gala photos can also be viewed at Filmmagic.

Personalized Poster, Playbill on eBay

Spamalot is pulling out all the stops for the current Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS campaign. Two new Clay Aiken signed items -- a personalized 14" x 22" window card/poster and playbill -- were posted for bid on eBay Monday.

The spiel on eBay goes like this:

[Both items] came directly from the current cast at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway where new knights nightly continue to play to SRO audiences. The bonus is that this poster has only been signed by one of the most popular of the new Knights, American Idol star Clay Aiken who is recurring his role of Sir Robin, orginated by David Hyde Pierce.

Up for bid through 11:30 a.m. PST Monday, Dec. 1, both the poster and the playbill will contain only Clay's personalized signature for the winners. Happy bidding!

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Featured in this clickable collection are graphics by Amazing_CA, 1; cindilu2, 2; and Amazing_CA, photos by SmartyPantsSuz.

A Touch Pad on Wheels!

This week I am painfully attempting to learn Vista and accustom myself to a touch pad on wheels. Setting up a new laptop and writing its first blog entry have been a wild trip, to say the least.

My two-year resume with a touch pad computer aside, these have been the strangest three days of my Internet life -- highlighting gone awry, pages scooting across the screen at will, whizzing into new websites at will! Just looking at a block of type sometimes sends it into a tailspin. I wonder who's driving this train, LOL!

The new Toshiba Satellite arrived with many pluses, none the least of which are the speedy Intel core duo processor, 3 gigs of RAM, tons of storage, but no AOL, where I have long used "mail waiting to be sent" as my platform for storing info and composing blogs.

Techie Friend Provides Support

As she has long warned me of the evils of AOL, my good friend-computer guru Sally is celebrating Toshiba's obvious diss of the Internet giant. My frantic phone calls have leveled off somewhat since set-up began, but I have been reminded several times how hard-headed I am. Only Sally can get away with that, as she really could add "tech support" to her resume.

The blog-writing seems to have found a home in Gmail documents, but the confrontations with the touch pad continue. I have learned to "stomp" my finger and stop the crazy excursions across the screen.

Sunday night I bravely placed an online order, and nerve is building to resume paying bills online. I am determined to win this evolving battle with a mere machine.

However, my friendly guru has already emailed me a link for a cordless laser mouse.

Below is a clickable of Amazing_CA 's opening graphic:

Have a very special Thanksgiving Week, Clay Nation!


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Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Joyful Noise in Clay Cyber

SECOND STANZA -- ABeautifulMind's handsome Clay Aiken graphic extends Thanksgiving greetings, celebrating the second verse of a trio of holidays exemplified in "Merry Thanksgivoween."

Merry Thanksgivoween!

Holiday Commemorations Merge

Due to their proximity on the calendar and the influence of commercial activity, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas celebrations have so effectively merged that the appropriate greeting for the season could very well be "Merry Thanksgivoween," as depicted in this clickable classic cartoon by Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press.

The spooks of Halloween have come and gone, Thanksgiving is still a week away, while from Schenectady to Spokane, Pensacola to Phoenix, radio stations with AC, Hot AC, CCM/Gospel, Oldies, and Smooth Jazz formats have for weeks greeted the "Merry Thanksgivoween" holiday season's third stanza with favorite Clay Aiken Christmas carols.

A virtual stroll through most CA message boards yields not only the latest Spamalot performance news but also updated locations of radio spins for the singer's Christmas repertoire.

View Moonhead's current compilation of
Stations Playing Christmas Songs at The Ideal Idol. In various parts of the country, "O Holy Night," "The First Noel," "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day," "Merry Christmas with Love," and "Winter Wonderland" once again are sounding a joyful noise over the airwaves.

Another "hangout" for CA fans this holiday season has been It's the place to be to greet new spins, discuss radio play, and view Christmas videos. Register and join the fun!

Calendar Raises Record Funds

Deadline to secure the 2009 Clay Aiken Calendar of performance photos by toni7babe is Monday, Nov. 24; and already orders have surpassed the original goal of the designer, CA fan Rosaratana.

To date, fans have requested 80 calendars, new inquiries are still arriving, and Rosa has augmented the print number twice. Proceeds from the calendar will benefit The Bubel/Aiken Foundation, although the use of Clay's image prevents the project from being on the list of approved TBAF fundraisers.

Shipping has already begun on the 8.5" x 11" photo calendars, which are printed on premium glossy card stock. The $20 cost covers printing and shipping fees, as well as a TBAF donation.

To order a calendar, contact Rosa Shurtz: Those using Paypal should add $1. International inquiries should be sent to the designer at the above email address. Cost for Canadian residents is US $25.

Any extra calendars after the deadline will be auctioned on eBay with proceeds going to TBAF.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: These clickables highlight the 2007 Christmas in the Heartland Tour. Included are Amazing_CA's graphic, photos by Riversend, 1; concert photos by Five Goldens, 2, and Invisible926, 3; graphic by cindilu2, photos by toni7babe, 4; and ACA's graphic, photos by ClayIzzaQT, 5.

Holiday Tours Replay in Clay Cyber

With Clay's Spamalot gig superceding a 2008 edition of his popular Joyful Noise and Heartland tours of 2004-07, Internet fans frequently simulate Cyberspace rewinds of the singer's holiday concerts with online clack-sharing sessions of photos, videos, and montages.

Last year, SueReu created this montage to the beautiful My Grown Up Christmas List.

My Grown Up Christmas List montage by SueReu

Christmas Albums Fan Favorites

Nucleus of past seasonal tours were songs from Clay's holiday albums, Merry Christmas with Love and All Is Well.

Released in mid-November 2004, MCWL has to date sold 1.4 million copies in the US and two million worldwide. Certified platinum and recognized by Billboard as the Best Selling Christmas Album of 2004 and the Best Selling Christian Album in 2005, the popular CD features classic carols, as well as some of the singer's personal favorites, including "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day" and "Mary, Did You Know?"

Availability is sporadic in brick and mortar stores, but MCWL can be purchased at several online sites.

A Walmart exclusive in November 2006, the four-track AIW was made available on iTunes in December 2007.

YouTube hosts countless montages set to the EP's four songs, especially the title track. Other songs include "Christmas Waltz," "O Come O Come Emanuel," and "My Grown-Up Christmas List." Below is Aspiegirl's
All Is Well montage:

All Is Well montage by Aspiegirl

On the home front, today marks my students' first violin-viola group class for Fall 2009. If you happen by my street between 3:30 and 4:45, you will hear a mixture of classical solos, fiddle tunes, and three-part Christmas carols, all of which will sound even better in December.

Have a great weekend ... and Merry Thanksgivoween, Clay Nation!


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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Everything I Don't Need!

Everything I Don't Need!

An Unfortunate Friday the 14th

The calendar disagrees, but calamitous clouds adopted "Everything I Don't Need" as a theme song, turned my Nov. 14 into a "Friday the 13th," and hung around all weekend.

On Fridays, I teach music lessons at an academy in another city. In spite of the Triad's monsoon weather conditions, I stuck to my cost efficient plan to incorporate a banking errand and a haircut en route to the first lesson.

Atrocious weather aside, with newly-shaped curls and Clay Aiken's On My Way Here CD blaring, I cheerfully departed the salon 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Picking up lunch at a drive-through, I parked in the lot between McDonalds and a car wash to eat a cheeseburger.

AAA to the Rescue

When I tried the car ignition, nothing happened. I turned the key again, and still nada. In all the years I have paid for a AAA membership, this was only my second time to really need assistance.

When asked for the address of my location, I could name the intersecting streets but not a specific number. The agent suggested that I walk to McDonalds to secure the exact address. I described the "cats and dogs" rain conditions and told her that people from this area would recognize my location, which was also part of a large Harris Teeter parking lot.

The AAA contact finally dropped the exact address request and informed me my wait would be up to 60 minutes. I immediately called the school and the parents of my first two students. Fortunately, I never leave home without a calendar and student contact info.

Post Mortem for Holiday Funds

The local towing/recovery establishment easily located me within 10 minutes. The mechanic checked my battery and promptly signed its death warrant. I am positive I paid more for the replacement under emergency circumstances, but I was assured that my new battery carries a six-year guarantee.

I later learned this means three solid years with the next three on a pro-rated basis. Whatever, this unplanned event cut deeply into my holiday shopping plans.

Then again, maybe I am being paid back for my first AAA experience years ago. I was on the way to Nashville, TN, when my car stopped running a few miles east of Cookeville. On my brother-in-law's recommendation, I had purchased a AAA-Plus membership prior to the trip.

Instead of looking into the problem, AAA towed the car and me 90 miles to a service station near my destination. I told my rescuers that I was running on fumes and aiming for the next exit. Sure enough, the only problem that time was being out of gas.

Bad Luck Stays All Weekend

I taught three lessons instead of five on Friday, and the rainy conditions continued through the evening. Soon "Weight of the World" was added to my playlist.

Wearily, I fell asleep relatively early on the sofa in my den. Around midnight I awakened to a series of "ker-plunks" bouncing off a cardboard box on the nearby love seat. I immediately moved the box of new USB cords, thankfully still in unopened plastic, and stationed a couple of bowls to catch the invading raindrops.

By Saturday morning, the rain and original leak had stopped. The den, a converted garage, has a flat roof; and in the afternoon, water blazed a new trail inside and my luckless litany continued. I set up another bowl to catch the invading drips and began leaving messages with recommended repairmen.

Sunday a roofer's estimate of $2,800 for a new rubber topping added an exclamation point to my weekend of bad fortune, poking further holes in holiday funds.

However, the forecast is sunny; and I look forward to a week without a "Friday the 13th"!

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Inspired by scenes from the recent TBAF Gala, Spamalot stage door gatherings in Shubert Alley, and Clay's latest UNICEF trip to Somalia, this clickable interlude features graphics by Amazing_CA, photo by Toni7babe, 1; ACA, 2; ACA, photo by Rhonna1, 3; Claystruck, 4; and ACA, photo by Dancerdad, 5.

Carolina Blog Greets 96 Nations!

Greetings to the Carolina blog's many new visitors! As always, the welcome mat is out for all who stop by this corner on a regular basis.

From the sidebar's
ClustrMap and Feedjit Live Feed statistics, you represent 96 countries -- roughly 20 more than in June when I last listed reader locations. According to these stats, a very successful worldwide tour is bound to be in Clay Aiken's future.

Clickable ClustrMap

By continent, countries represented are listed below with new sites in bold:

ASIA: Guam, Hong Kong-China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Micronesia, Oman, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Qatar, South Korea, Taipei, Taiwan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia

AFRICA: South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Madagascar, Seychelles, Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Algeria

EUROPE: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine

NORTH AMERICA: Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, United States, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Bermuda, Saint Lucia, Guatemala, Nassau, The Bahamas, Grenada

SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador

AUSTRALIA: Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania

The "live feed" not only indicates the graphics and photos readers open and save but also the wide range of topics -- Clay Aiken's career and new family, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Loree oboe, trifocals, viral marketing, "Hurricane Kai," etc. -- that guide Google searches here.

Many thnx to those who leave comments with a screen name or as "Anonymous," the conventional moniker for non-Blogspot members. It's always great to hear from you.

Thank you, too, for the ongoing geography lesson. No doubt, you make "Teacher Clay" proud.

A Caption for Kai's Picture

In this interactive segment, you can help pen a grandmother's blog. When snapping the latest picture of 14-month-old Kai, his mother said she tried everything to get him to smile. Normally a happy little guy, Kai is walking and talking up a storm.

I asked some friends to offer caption suggestions, and clever is "in." Several have been added from the OFC and Carolina blogs; more are welcome.

I finished my cracker, Mom. Don't we have enough groceries yet?

My hands are in the cart, my diaper is dry, I'm not fussing. Now you want a smile, too? Give me a break, Mom! -- Sally

But I said I wanted Fruit Loops and chocolate milk! -- Margaret5828

Okay, now I'm bored. When can I get out of this thing? -- Barb55
Hey, I want to dance. Just 'cause I kept you up most of last night is no reason to hold me hostage in this cart. -- ShinehoneyShine

Ummm, excuse me, Mom -- the Sugar Pops are on the next aisle. -- cindilu2
How come you buy just food? How about a nice toy for ME? -- Marian1570
Wish I was at Toys"R"Us right now. This is boring! -- Amazing_CA
This supermarket music is putting me to sleep. We need some Clay Aiken in here! -- Sexycaliprincess
Look into my eyes, DEEEP into my eyes; I want the red truck, the blue ball, and cocoa puffs with whipped cream for lunch. -- SueReu

This is BORING. When's the fun going to start? -- Ashes

I'm going to start charging money to see my cute dimples. -- Margaret5828

You know what would go good with this milk? Chocolate chip cookies and the express check out! -- PromiseMe

Are you done yet? I want Grandma Caro! -- way2clay

Really Mom? The 'baby in the bathtub' picture wasn't enough? -- Kimmstarraiken

Mom, I'm tired of shopping. It's cookie and nap time. -- Crazy4ClayinTN

Now promise me ... are you sure this whole election thing is over? -- vibajajo

I will make this face and give all those woman in my grandma's blog something to ponder about. I wonder what they will think I am thinking. -- Aspiegirl

Mommy, are we done shopping yet? We need to pick up our airline tickets to go see Grandma Caro? -- Marlyne

Sounds good to me! Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Clay Aiken Fans Ready To Wrap

Holiday TBAF Fundraiser

Aiken Fans Wrap for Inclusion

Traditional holiday music, colorful decorations, and bustling shoppers completing gift lists herald the arrival of another season of Wrapping for Inclusion, cornerstone fundraiser for The Bubel Aiken Foundation.

Dual goals for the 2009 WFI campaign are raising $120,000 in funds along with awareness for the foundation's inclusive projects. Organized in 2003 by singer Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, TBAF supports grants and variety of programs for inclusion, among which are Let's ALL Play Summer Camps in several states.

Since its inception five years ago, the holiday fundraiser has come a long way. A quick glance at the WFI page on the Bubel/Aiken website reveals just how well-organized this volunteer project has become in a few seasons.

In addition to an online WFI manual, there are confirmed
wrapping locations in several states, complete with team leaders and contact information. New wrapping stations and leaders are being added daily.

TBAF Fundraisers Run Gamut

A complete listing of
approved fundraisers includes projects sponsored by Beta Alpha chapters in the United States and Canada, many of which are ongoing and others based on the holidays as well as Clay's upcoming birthday.

Links and/or email addresses direct participants and shoppers to such varied events as Scrapping 4 Inclusion, Beta Alpha Cookbooks, Charming 4 Inclusion, Holiday Cards 4 Inclusion, as well as TBAF bumper stickers, tote bags, water bottles, to name a few.

Deck the Halls with Christmas wreaths!

Deck the Halls 4 Inclusion, a holiday fundraiser sponsored by Triad Voices for Inclusion in conjunction with Rockdale Wreaths of Maine, offers beautiful handmade, natural decorations. Individual and bulk orders shipped to one address benefit the foundation with donations and save the shopper accordingly.

Deadline for wreath orders is Monday, Nov. 17. Information and photos of the five available wreaths are available at the Triad site. Two wreaths are pictured above.

Clickables of January and cover

Rosaratana, CA fan who previously sponsored a very successful TBAF Embroidered Socks project, has compiled a 2009 calendar of performance photos by Toni7babe. Proceeds from the calendars will go to TBAF.

The 8.5" x 11" photo calendars are being printed on premium glossy card stock and will be available for shipping in one week. The $20 fee will cover printing, shipping, and a TBAF donation.

To order the calendar, contact Rosa Shurtz: Those using Paypal should add $1. International inquiries should be sent to the designer at the above email address. Cost for Canadian residents is US $25.

Deadline for calendar orders is Monday, Nov. 24, with projected shipment the following week.

In three short steps, online shoppers can complete their holiday lists and earn money for TBAF at the same time. First, login to GoodShop, select Bubel Aiken Foundation as your charity, and shop at the hundreds of available stores. Up to 30% of your purchases will go to TBAF.

Just about any merchandise you need is available in the 37 categories. Some of the businesses in the "most popular" listing are Amazon, Best Buy, Gap, Home Depot, L.L. Bean, Macy's, Old Navy, Office Depot, Target, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart.

During 2008, TBAF supporters have raised $2,590.58 through GoodSearch ($2,218.34) and GoodShop ($372.24). To earn donations with Internet searches, sign into GoodSearch and set TBAF as your charity.

Both GoodShop and GoodSearch make lots of "cents" and provide a way for all to contribute.

Jaymes, Clay, and son Parker Foster Aiken
Screen cap by claylove

Parker 'Appears' on Dr. Phil

Legendary music producer David Foster, uncle to the three-month old son of Clay and Jaymes, appeared on the Dr. Phil Show Wednesday, sharing stories about his family, successful career, and new book, Hitman.

“You have a sister, Jaymes,” Dr. Phil said to David. “And she and Clay Aiken had a baby together named Parker.”

Dr. Phil shows a photo of Jaymes and pop singer Clay Aiken with their child.

“Isn’t that great? They took that picture yesterday, just for this show, and you know, Jaymes was married for 20-odd years and never had any children, always felt that she wanted to, and they found a beautiful way to be a family. And it’s no secret what’s going on with the three of them, but they’re going to be great parents together, and it’s a great thing,” David said.

Parker's segment on the Dr. Phil Show

This is a Sendspace of Uncle David's appearance with Dr. Phil. For more, see the Dr. Phil website.

Clay Set for Thanksgiving Day Parade

According to The Futon Critic, Wednesday's CBS "Very Merry Yuletide" programming press release announced that Clay will be a guest on the network's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast:

Thursday, Nov. 27 (9:00 AM-Noon, Live ET 8:00-11:00AM, live CT 7:00-10:00 AM, live MT 1:00-4:00 PM, delayed PT) THE THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE ON CBS--Dave Price and Maggie Rodriguez of CBS News' "The Early Show" host this CBS Thanksgiving tradition which features the 82nd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live from New York.

Also featured are performances by country music duo Sugarland and the Broadway casts of "Mary Poppins" and "Grease." Guests include Clay Aiken and CBS Daytime drama stars Jessica Leccia ("Guiding Light") and Julie Pinson ("As the World Turns").

Playbill and Broadway World also have press releases about the Nov. 27 event.

Mark your calendar -- and have a great week, Clay Nation!


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

United States Salutes Veterans

Ceremonies of Tribute

America Remembers Veterans

A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life." - Author Unknown

With commemorative ceremonies, speeches, parades, and traditional laying of wreaths, America today honors all men and women who have served in this country's armed services.

90th Anniversary of Armistice Day

In 1919, then President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, the end of World War I:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

Armistice Day -- also celebrated as Remembrance Day and Poppy Day in other Allied countries -- took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.

The United States first recognized Nov. 11 as a day to honor veterans in 1938, the 20th anniversary of the official end of World War I. A movement arose in the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War to expand the holiday to honor all veterans instead of only those from the first world war.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a distinguished World War II veteran, signed a document to rename Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Except for seven years during the Vietnam War, when the holiday was observed on the last Monday of November, it has been observed on Nov. 11.

Honoring All Who Served

President Ronald Reagan spoke these words on another Veterans Day:
It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars afar away.

The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired.

But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives, the one they were living and the one they would have lived.

When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers and veterans. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.

Courage, Honor, Sacrifice ... Forget Them Not

Red Ribbons Mark Sacrifice

SAN ANTONIO, TX -- The Red Ribbon Corps was established with a goal of collecting enough funds to supply 100,000 ribbons for placement on markers at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in time for Veterans Day 2008.

The Red Ribbon Corps is a non-profit organization.

One America

Leaders Pay Tribute to Veterans

Today President George W. Bush formally rededicated the Intrepid Air, Sea & Space Museum in a Veterans Day ceremony in New York City while Vice-President Dick Cheney laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

In his speech, Cheney saluted this country's last surviving veteran of World War I, Frank Buckles, 107 years old and living in Charleston, WV.

At a bronze memorial at Chicago's Solider's Field, President-elect Barack Obama
laid a wreath to honor the nation's fallen veterans. He was accompanied by Tammy Duckworth, the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and a veteran of the Iraq war whose service cost her both of her legs.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden was the main speaker at his home state's annual Veteran's Day Ceremony in New Castle, sponsored by Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Korean War Veterans Association.

Clay Aiken's performance of
God Bless the USA at the 2004 Capitol Fourth is also fitting for this patriotic day in November.

God Bless the U.S.A.
Clay Aiken performs at 2004 Capitol 4th.

Thank you to veterans past and present. God Bless the USA!


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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Aiken Fans Aid Broadway Cares

RETRO CLAY -- The Jukebox Tour is the theme of cindilu2's November calendar, featured in the interlude, and the above graphic without dates. 2005 photos by Tasapio.

Spur Spamalot's BC/EFA Goal

Clay Fans Creative Fundraisers

Clay Aiken fans are nothing if not creative, evidenced by the ingenuity and wealth of ideas spurring the Spamalot company toward its final chance to be top fundraiser in the biannual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS campaign.

Every year at this time, theatres across the country join forces to support Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

BC/EFA provides support to The AIDS INITIATIVE; The Phyllis Newman WOMEN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE; The Al Hirschfeld FREE HEALTH CLINIC and much more at The Actors Fund - an employee assistance program for the entire entertainment industry.

BC/EFA also makes grants to over 400 AIDS and family service organizations across the country - supporting food banks, health clinics and housing programs across the country.

Anyone can make a general donation to Broadway Cares or support the cause through a favorite show.

Deadline for participation is 11:59 p.m. Dec. 7. Online donations are fully tax deductible, and tallies are posted

Donors Honor 30th Birthday

Of the teams established for Spamalot donations, one honoring Clay's 30th birthday is currently listed among the leaders here.

Incentives for donations of $25, $50, and $100 through Broadway Cares include raffle eligibility for autographed playbills, roundtrip tickets anywhere in the continental United States, and a weekend getaway trip to New York City with VIP house seats to the show of the winner's choice.

Clay Fans Offer Suggestions

Since Spamalot will close at the end of the year, this is the show's last attempt to be the top fundraiser in the biannual event. Hugely successful at raising money for Spamalot's previous Broadway Cares drive, Clay posed the question in his latest OFC blog: What do fans really want in return for a donation?

Among the incentives suggested were fan pictures with Sir Robin and other cast members; envelopes filled with autographed confetti from the show's eventual finale; a 24-hour auction of costumes, accessories, scripts, scores, locks from wigs, etc.;

Also a Spamalot cast calendar; bids for Meet & Greets with the singer on his next tour; a Monday night musical review by the Spamalot cast similar to Clay's Jukebox Tour with 1,000 tickets selling at $200 each and DVD's of the performance for $50 each.

While members continue posting their ideas in Clay's OFC blog, I vote for the musical review. There's a lot of talent on the Spamalot stage, and many fans could participate in person while many more might be interested in purchasing a DVD. That's $200,000 for the live performance with plenty of donation icing in DVD sales.

There are precedents for a Monday Night benefit. Scroll to the subhead Capital Rocks to read how much Lion King raised with a similar event.

Hopefully, Eric Idle is already assembling just such a show, LOL!

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Clickable graphics from Spamalot, the recent TBAF Gala, and a November Retro Clay calendar include Amazing_CA, 1; ACA, photos by Butterflyshine, 2; cindilu2's November calendar, photos by Tasapio, 3; Fountaindawg, photos by SmartyPantsSuz, Toni7babe, and Claywishes, 4; and ACA, photos by PermaSwooned, 5.

Believe in Zero

In two new public service announcements, UNICEF Ambassadors Lucy Liu, Mia Farrow, Alyssa Milano, Laurence Fishburne, Clay Aiken and others proclaim their belief in "zero" -- a day when no children die from preventable causes.

Believe in Zero to join the effort. The PSA's come in two forms: 60 Seconds and 30 Seconds.

Love Song Polls Reopen

Clay Aiken singles notched October wins in two categories at the
Favorite Love Songs site -- "Everything I Don't Need" (favorite song not on the radio) and "On My Way Here" (current favorite love song) -- as polls were reset for November on Saturday.

Write-ins this month are "Something About Us" for Favorite Song Not On the Radio and "Ashes" as Current Favorite Love Song. Also, be sure to check Clay's circle in both the All-Time Favorite Artist and Current Favorite Artist contests.

Nominations of new songs/artists continue through Nov. 14, after which voting will begin. Bookmark, and vote your favorites once daily!

Below is a clickable of cindilu2's opening graphic. Widescreen versions of the graphic and calendar are available at the artist's website on Yuku:

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


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