Monday, June 27, 2011

Clay Aiken Fans Catalog Song, Video Favorites

Clay Aiken performs 'It's Impossible.'
View montage by hosaa full screen at YouTube.
Download video with this Sendspace file.

On Clay Aiken Fan Boards

Drought Brings on 'Listomania'

For some Clay Aiken fans, the weeks the singer is not performing are just like the song -- impossible. For others, there is no such word in their vocabulary, and a kaleidoscope of activities has begun filling this go round of down time.

The opening montage by hosaa features clips from the singer's 2011 Tried & True Tour by farouche, Scarlett, goldarngirl, and MBlovesClay. Venues represented include Towson, Minneapolis, Glenside, Cleveland, Sarasota, Knoxville, and Houston.

This weekend, along with the usual recipe exchanges, family graduation/wedding posts, and latest photos of grandchildren, Clay Cyberspace celebrated New York's passage of the Marriage Equality Act Friday night.

And then, thankfully, there's the "listomania" phenomenon.

Fans Create 'Favorites' Lists

Polls have become an ideal pastime on fan boards. Perhaps you'd like to share your choices for two message board lists started this month by katymom.

Below are the guidelines, as well as her selections for the first list.

Songs for Singerman To Record

GUIDELINES: Clay must have performed the song at some time; he has not recorded it since 2003; and it is not a holiday song. Here are katymom's choices. What would yours be?
Where Do I Begin, Love Story Theme
Tears Run Dry
My Eyes Adored You
The Prayer
Fields of Gold
Those Magic Changes
I Will Be Here

Expandable graphic by AmazingCA with screencaps by Scarlett.

'Best of Clay Aiken' Tracks

Earlier this month katymom originated a "Best of Clay Aiken" album poll. Her listing, representing 12 non-holiday songs that Clay has recorded, includes tracks from the Measure of a Man, A Thousand Different Ways, On My Way Here, and Tried & True albums.
Sacrificial Love - OMWH
Ashes - OMWH
Where I Draw the Line - OMWH
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - TNT
Unchained Melody - TNT
Perfect Day - MOAM
Shine - MOAM
Everything I Do - ATDW
As Long As We're Here - OMWH
Suspicious Minds - TNT
Because You Loved Me - ATDW
The Way - MOAM

Scrpkym's photo links to Clay Gathers Clack.

Register Video/Montage Favorites

Taking this polling pastime a step farther, I'll pose the question. Choosing from Clay Aiken tours, concerts, TV performances, and montages, what are your 5-10 favorite videos?

In no particular order, my list begins with three from the Soft Place Hard Rock Tour. Remember when Clay turned the tables on Scarlett and used her camera to take his own clack?

That was the 8/16/07 Fort Myers, FL, concert of the SPHR Tour.
Always ready with a backup, the clack goddess pulled a second camera out of her bag and continued videoing.

Clay, Quiana sing 'Listen' in Sterling Heights, MI.
View video by goldarngirl/luckiest1 full screen at YouTube.

Impromptu Duet Performance Magical

One of the best examples of Clay's innate ability as an entertainer was the unplanned "Listen" duet he and Quiana Parler performed in Sterling Heights, MI.

Whether seated in the Freedom Hill Amphitheater at Sterling Hills, MI, or connected via a cellcert stream thousands of miles away, fans immediately recognized that the unscheduled duet by Clay and Quiana would long be remembered as one of the most incredible, magical moments in a long line of stellar performances.

Subbing for the ailing Angela Fisher, who nightly sang the "Dream Girls" song in concerts, the unrehearsed duo brought down the house and elicited exclamations that continue to this day wherever fans gather.

Totally unrehearsed, the glorious vocals soared with beautifully balanced harmonies.
At the conclusion, music director Jesse Vargas joined the amazed audience in a spontaneous standing ovation.

Photo by Irishbookgal links to IWTKWLI 'Trio.'

Orlando Duet Becomes Classic Trio

Scat singing, amazing vocal ranges, and uninhibited ad libs never had it so good as in the gorgeous "I Want To Know What Love Is" duet that evolved into a magnificent, classic trio in the Orlando, FL, finale of the SRHP Tour.

Throughout the tour, Quiana and Angela had cleverly teased Clay as to which of the two would be his duet partner on the song.

In Orlando, they both were.

If You Don't Know Me By Now - Clay Aiken
Montage by Aspiegril can be viewed full screen at YouTube.

Set to a bonus track from Clay's A Thousand Different Ways album, Aspiegirl's 2006 montage features video clips by gerwhisp, Scarlett, SecretlyLovesClay, and canfly172.

Also accompanying "If You Don't Know Me By Now" are photos and graphic designs by Sally, AmazingCA, fivegoldens, ABeautifulMind, and Ambassador of Love.

Clay Aiken Sings Signature 'Unchained Melody.'
View montage by Wowzers4Clay full screen at YouTube.

There are many wonderful videos of Clay performing his signature version of "Unchained Melody," arranged for the Tried & True album/tour by Ben Cohn.

I chose the 2/16/11 Atlanta Concert montage by Wowzers4Clay from the T&T Tour. Videographers represented include ImAllEars, MBLovesClay, goldarngirl, and Scarlett.

Now it's your turn.
1. List 10 songs you would like to hear Clay record.
2. List 12 tracks for a Best of Clay Aiken Album
3. Name/provide link for 5-10 favorite performance/montage videos.

New Fan Finds Clay Through NIP

A recent incident relayed by aikim demonstrates how information, videos, and montages attract and educate new Clay fans.
Last night in the OFC Chat Room I met a woman who is a new fan. She has a son with autism and was looking around the internet for information and found the National Inclusion Project.

She knew nothing about Clay, never watches American Idol, but mentioned him to someone she knows and they turned her on to his music. Now she is hooked!

It was so much fun talking to someone who doesn't know anything of the last 8 years and is just a fan of his voice. Her husband has been deployed, and she is home with her kids. Clay has become a diversion, but a good one.

We explained some terminology, and she got a laugh out of that. She doesn't know anything about the message boards, Right now she is lost at YouTube watching clack.

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation, and Happy Listomania!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Retiring Clay Aiken Fan Chooses Special 'Watch'

MAKING A DIFFERENCE - Graphic by Fountaindawg with photos by Irishbookgal and farouche links to 'Memories of 2010, Part 4' on YouTube. The montage by LovesClaysVoice provides an overview of the National Inclusion Project's 2010 Champions Gala Benefit.

Rhode Island Fan

Teacher's Retirement Benefits NIP
Today I smile and take a step
Towards something I've not known before
The sun came out so Let's All Play
A world awaits outside the door

I've been so tired sitting out
While others laugh and sing and dance
It's awfully lonely by myself
But now at last I'll have my chance.

I tried so hard to understand
Just why it had to be this way
Now life looks good and I can't wait
Inclusion breaks, a perfect day!

Just as Clay Aiken fans celebrate the singer's incredible pipes and his amazing musical performances, they long ago adopted his goal to make a difference in the lives of others.

The Clay Nation is often first in line to support the National Inclusion Project, a foundation the singer co-founded with Diane Bubel in 2003. In the past eight years, CA fans have followed the UNICEF Ambassador's lead, donating to the health and educational concerns of children around the world.

Let's All Play Camps open doors for All children to experience life.

RI Teacher Makes a Difference

Earlier this month, Rhode Island Fan, a retiring elementary reading specialist of 25 years, took a remarkable step toward making a difference. When asked her preference for a retirement gift, she suggested a donation be made to the National Inclusion Project with the money.

Below is RIF's story shared with friends on a Clay Aiken message board.

I feel that yesterday I made a difference in some people's opinions of Clay and his fans. It was my retirement party given by my fellow teachers. I had asked for no gift, but instead wanted them to make a donation to National Inclusion Project for me.

When they presented it (with "Invisible" playing in the background), there was a bit of giggling in the room. Teachers know what a fan I am, and they do tease just a bit.

The person presenting the donation had made a certificate for me, and she explained what the National Inclusion Project is about. When she read Clay Aiken's name, there were giggles; but, as she read on, the group really listened and became serious.

After she finished, I told them more about the NIP, about Wrapping for Inclusion, the Gala (which I am attending in October!). As they listened, the whole mood of the group changed. They were mighty impressed and some wanted to help with the wrapping.

We are a school that really believes in inclusion, and it works beautifully. Frequently, we get students from other schools in the district because things weren't working for the kids. We have two beautiful Downs Syndrome students who are fully included. It's really wonderful.

I feel I accomplished two things. I helped the National Inclusion Project just a bit with the donation, and I let people know more about the real Clay Aiken.

It doesn't happen all at once (with including kids or with what people know about Clay), but it is happening. We have to keep at it.

Today, I received a letter from Aron Hall, the Project's director of services, telling me that a donation was made in my honor and saying, "Thank you for the many years that you dedicated teaching children."

That meant a lot to me. Now that I am retiring, I will have more time to spend supporting Clay and the National Inclusion Project. "Both are so worth my time and bring me so much satisfaction.

RIF and her husband plan to drive to the annual Gala in October, her first ever! Other retirement activities include tutoring, visiting her daughters and their families, leading professional development in her district, reading on her Kindle, and lots of coffee dates with retired teachers.

"Did you notice that cooking is not on the list? My husband, who retired last year, has been doing all of the cooking and dish washing. He doesn't want to give back the kitchen, and I am okay with that!"

Below are photos by Irishbookgal from the 2010 Gala. All are expandable.

Clay sings 'Both Sides Now' to close 2010 Gala.

A reflective moment during the festivities.

SPAMALOT poster auctioned during Gala.

Clay implores supporters to raise a bid.

Singer donates RCA MOAM platinum plaque.

2011 Gala Set for Oct. 21-22

The 2011 Champions Gala Weekend is slated for Oct. 21-22 at the Raleigh Convention Center. An annual event during which champions of inclusion are honored, the evening is also a celebration, promoting awareness of the benefits of inclusion and supporting the foundation's programs. As he does every year, the co-founder will perform.

VIP guest tickets went on sale March 22 and general admission on April 26. For more information, see Champions Gala Benefit at the Inclusion Project website.

Book your flight to Raleigh by Thursday, June 23, 11:59 pm PT, and receive a huge discount during Southwest Airline's Celebrating 40 Years with $40 Fares celebration. American Airlines is matching Southwest's price for some flights.

Host hotel is the Raleigh Marriott City Center.

In 2003, singer Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel of Charlotte co-founded the National Inclusion Project, formerly the Bubel/Aiken Foundation. to expand inclusive programs for all children.

While coming home from camp, my son asked if I knew that everyone's brain was different. He explained that some kids at camp are different from other kids because they have certain disabilities.

When asked what he thought about that, he replied, "It's all good, Mom. We're all special and unique in our own way." - Profound statement from a 7-year-old participant in a Let's ALL Play Camp.

On a personal note, Mama Mac would have been 99 today (June 22). Her goal was a century, and she made it to 93!

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Clay Aiken Fans Pay Tribute to Father Lions

FATHER LION -- The handsome Father Lion graphic by Sally describes the Dads we honor this weekend and links to SueReu's "Measure of a Man" montage. Download with this Sendspace link.

Special Dads Remembered

Celebrating Our 'Father Lions'

"Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Dad." -- Anne Geddes

Father's Day -- the 24-hour span each year we celebrate the special men in our lives who are at once patriarchs, enablers, encouragers, parents, friends, and much, much more. In reality, Father's Day is everyday.

This weekend I honor three special Dads -- my father, my father-in-law, and my daughter's father. There is not enough space to do them justice, but perhaps these remembrances will portray a fragment of their place in my heart. Some segments are reruns while others are new to this tribute. Hopefully, readers will share their "father lions" in the comments.

My parents met when she, a first year choral teacher in Roanoke Rapids, became ill and he, a resident in the same boarding house, brought her medicine and other remedies from the pharmacy where he worked.

The young teacher survived the respiratory infection but not her friendly neighbor. They married, eventually completing their family with two daughters and a son.

Parents as Newlyweds

An aspiring pharmacist, my father had attended night classes at Duke University. As the oldest son in a family of eight, he left to work full-time to send his younger brother to college and never went back. My Dad worked in insurance, and he was well-respected for his ability to train new agents.

Papa Mac, as he is remembered by our clan, loved to dance and could really cut a rug in his day. His daughters and later his granddaughters enjoyed being dipped and twirled around the room or waltzed while standing on his shoes. He had a beautiful voice, which he demonstrated often, sometimes in the tenor section of my mother's church choirs.

A Shared Love for Sports

I inherited a love for sports from my father. With my mother's blessings, he attended a St. Louis Cardinals game the night I was born. For years, Daddy and I listened to college football and basketball games on the radio together. He pulled for Carolina except when the Tar Heels played Duke, and then we were on opposite sides.

By the time Carolina won the NCAA Basketball Championship in 1957, we had obtained a black and white TV set. In each of the three overtimes with Kansas, I went to my bedroom, held my Bible, and prayed for a Carolina victory. It worked and in any close game thereafter, Daddy would suggest I repeat the ritual.

'You Can't Fool Education'

"You can't fool education" and "THINK" were two of my father's favorite sayings, the latter preserved on a plaque that now hangs in my brother's home. Daddy could not abide incorrectly spoken English.

Though he never embarrassed the wrongdoer, we knew that a double negative or an ill-chosen subject-verb combo like "it don't" sent him into orbit and later would have him muttering his mantra: "You can't fool education."

He could talk his way into or out of anything. Once when the family was searching for the home of a deceased uncle, Daddy decided he had arrived at the correct house because of the abundance of cars on the street.

Food was being served, and our parents were visiting those all around them when it became obvious this was a post nuptial get-together and not a funeral gathering. Graciously, our father apologized, but secured directions for the correct address before leaving.

Father Logs Many Weekend Miles

In the "olden days," college freshmen could not leave the campus until Thanksgiving. Almost every other weekend after that, however, my father drove the 2 1/2 hours from Wilmington to St. Andrews in Laurinburg to bring me home on Saturday and repeated the two-way trek again on Sunday afternoon.

I married a Texan, and mixed with the excitement of flying off to the next chapter in my life was an underlying sadness for leaving my family. Thanks to my brother-in-law, several road trips from Carolina to Texas and, later, Tennessee helped reunite our family.

A heavy smoker, my father died of lung cancer at the age of 75 in 1980. By then, he had three granddaughters and was known affectionately as Papa Mac. He never knew my brother's two sons, who were born later. He also would have thoroughly enjoyed his six great-grandchildren, the youngest being our grandson Kai, 3, and granddaughter Lia, 2.

Kai with his Leapster, Lia at the piano

We lived in Nashville in 1980 and planned to drive to Wilmington the minute I completed a wedding gig for then Gov. Lamar Alexander's press secretary.

All indications were that Daddy would live another couple of weeks, but he died the morning of my gig. One of the most difficult things I ever did was play that wedding, especially "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," one of my father's all-time favorites.

I will always miss Papa Mac and think of him every time that composition is performed.

Clay Celebrates 3rd Father's Day

In respect for Clay Aiken's desire to keep his son Parker out of the public arena, fans can only imagine events surrounding the singer's third Father's Day. Long before Parker was born, Clay's love for children and advocacy on their behalf played a major role in his life.

In 2003, he and Diane Bubel co-founded the National Inclusion Project providing opportunities for children with and without disabilities to participate in community activities while raising public consciousness about the needs and benefits of inclusion.

In 2004, Clay became a UNICEF Ambassador committed to supporting health and educational programs benefiting children around the world. On behalf of UNICEF, he has visited many countries, among which are Indonesia, northern Uganda, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Mexico.

The singer's advocacy for children is provided in this pictorial interlude. Included are graphics by Claystruck, 1; AmazingCA, 2 and 5; UNICEF photo, 3; and ClaysTouch, 4.

Texas Father Dear to Many

There are so many stories I could tell about Jack, my father-in-law who, with his wife, adopted me as a daughter when I married their son. A production foreman in the Odessa oil fields, Jack was an endearing man who taught his only son how to hunt and drive at a remarkably young age, as well as how to live life. By example, he taught everyone he met these life lessons, too.

He cherished his family, especially his young granddaughter. Two years before her birth, Jack suffered a massive heart attack and was unable to fly.

When Jen was five months old, she and I flew to Texas and were met by an ecstatic pair of grandparents. She bonded with both, and her relationship with her "Paw Paw" was very special.

FIL to the Rescue

My favorite Jack story happened in 1968 during my second year teaching band and orchestra as I was searched for a quicker route to school. At an unmarked intersection, I looked both ways, but -- KABOOM!!! -- the next thing I knew, I was jammed into the steering wheel, my head hurting from striking the windshield. Our red station wagon had been mauled by a city bus.

Fortunately, there was nothing in the passenger seat but my violin, which miraculously survived with a couple of dents on its hard case. The car, however, looked like a crushed beer can.

Buckling one's seat belt was just coming into vogue; and when asked if I had mine fastened, I crossed my fingers and answered in the affirmative. After receiving minor treatment from my physician, I was sent home to rest from the concussion. In Odessa, my in-laws had immediately packed their car and were driving to Lubbock.

FIL Proves Sly Detective

The next day, Jack went with me to the junkyard to view the remains of our car. Walking deliberately around the vehicle several times, he carefully studied the driver's seat, which on impact had moved drastically in opposite directions.

He looked at me, arms crossed with right hand rubbing his jaw, grinned, and slyly asked, "You really didn't have on your seat belt, did you?" Without hesitation, I admitted the truth. That was fortunate, he said, because from the way the seats parted, I would have been cut in half.

A few weeks later, my in-laws made the same trip back to Lubbock for my court date. I had been given the ticket, but Jack thought I had a justifiable argument since my car was more than halfway through the intersection. He was right, and the judge threw the case out.

I loved my father-in-law dearly. The heredity that smacked his body with a massive heart attack in his mid-50's took him from us shortly before my father died. His memory lives in the hearts of many, but especially his family.

Daughter Jen caught with cookie crumbs
at the keyboard and on her face, too -- age 3.

Christmas, Stork Arrive Early

Married nine years before our daughter arrived, Mr. Caro and I had barely moved to Nashville, midway between our Texas and North Carolina families, when the stork finally found us two weeks before Christmas 1974.

Father-daughter memories run the gamut -- from making sure our resident sleepyhead made it to school on time to carting her and friends to the mall, fairs, and any number of girlish pursuits to sitting proudly through 12 years of dance recitals, orchestra concerts, and life's many graduations.

Typical of this father's devotion to our daughter was the way he located and secured just the right puppy for her. On his drive home from work, he frequently stopped by the humane society to check the pets coming up for adoption and was immediately drawn to a frisky, six-month-old black poodle mix.

We decided to let our 10-year-old visit the prospects, and it was love at first sight. While Button danced around and made her case, Jen took one look and said, "If I get to have this dog, I'm going to name her Button because that's what her eyes look like."

First in Line for a Button

On the Saturday morning that Button became eligible for adoption, wise ole Dad took daughter, two folding chairs from my piano studio, his newspaper, a huge mug of coffee, a couple of Egg McMuffins for their breakfast, and comfortably set up camp at the head of the humane society line around 7 a.m.

Whoever is first in line gets dibs on the animal he/she wants to adopt; and in a matter of two hours, Jen had her puppy dog.

Her father was 41 when his genes followed the family pattern and produced a major heart attack early one spring morning. Even then, top priority was that Jen not be awakened by the oncoming ambulance. The driver abided by his instructions and shut off the siren as the vehicle turned onto our street.

After triple by-pass surgery, this strong-willed man was soon back in the midst of living. His career as a road musician over, he managed a music store, began playing with the local pipe and drum corps, and continued being a Father Lion. Our daughter couldn't have asked for a better Dad.

A Father's Day Remembrance - Graphic by Amazing_CA

Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation, with special greetings to the "Father Lions" of your life!


Thank you for your blog comments and props for the contributing artists. I hope you will share memories of the special father lions in your life. To leave a remark, click on the "Post a Comment" link, and write in the box provided.

Visitors have come to this site from 169 countries. Many thnx for stopping by on this special day! - Caro

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Clay Aiken Montage Honors Special Moments

Clay Aiken - This Is the Moment
View montage by SueReu full screen at YouTube.
Download with this Sendspace file.

Montage of Magical Moments

Video Pays Tribute to Eight Years

It's impossible for one montage to capture all the stellar moments of Clay Aiken's eight-year career in the entertainment business, but SueReu's new montage of the singer's "This Is the Moment" performance comes very close.

Superimposed onto Scarlett's video of Clay's 2010 Bringing Broadway Home performance are highlights of a public career that began with the Atlanta audition during Season 2 of American Idol.

Among the amazing moments SueReu included are the double platinum plaque awarded Clay the second week of
Measure of Man album sales, the Big Apple's mega autograph party for his New York Times best seller Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, a starring role in Spamalot, and testifying before Congress on behalf of GLBT youth and children with disabilities.

There have been magical moments in concert, on television and in print. Mixed in are also moments of caring -- from the formation of the National Inclusion Project to being named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

The climax or closing scene is typical Clay, whose longtime desire to become a father was realized on Aug. 8, 2008, with the birth of his son Parker.

Events Mark June Anniversaries

Among the special moments marking anniversaries this month are the premiere performance of the PBS Special, Tried & True ~ LIVE at WTTW-TV (June 12); Bringing Broadway Home, NC Theater Benefit Concert (June 21); and this, the 400th week of tracking Measure of a Man CD sales.

Read about these and many other events through the
Year at Glance section at the Clay Aiken Kids site.

Below are graphics that highlight occasions of the past eight years, including AmazingCA, CD promo photos by Diana Levine, 1; PBS Special screen caps by Scarlett, 2; UNICEF, 8; Fountiandawg, 3 (DVD cover), 4 (BBH), 5 (MOAM 400), 7 (Washington, DC); cindilu2, photos by Levine, 6, and UNICEF animated design, 9. All but the last one are expandable.

Good Vibes Greatly Appreciated

Many thnx for the good vibes in your constant flow of messages, posts, thoughts, candles, prayers, and inquiries RE my melanoma surgery. Much ado about a small place on my right shoulder that, thankfully, was removed at Wake Forest University Medical Center Monday.

I am fortunate family members accompanied me for the main event. My BIL, a minister, was with me during pre-op and used his "direct line" to offer up a prayer. My sister, who spent the afternoon, evening, and next morning with me, said the surgeon is very optimistic.

I will return for a two-week checkup on the 28th. Meanwhile, I am at times loopy from pain killers, wearing a sling on my right arm as a reminder not to use the shoulder, and looking forward to teaching my summer piano/violin students at Wesleyan Christian Academy on Friday.

Who knew? I was planning to keep Tuesday's teaching schedule, but the "no driving" time frame changed that. The sling may be short-lived, however, as it feels like wearing a saxophone neck strap 24-7!

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Clay Aiken Portrays 'Home' in New Montage

Clay Aiken - Home, Montage by SueReu
View video full screen at YouTube.
Download 'Home' montage with this Sendspace file.

An Aiken Theme Song

'Home' Spotlights Singer, Triangle

Clay Aiken singing "Home" from The Wiz is the perfect accompaniment for SueRue's new montage spotlighting the singer's performances and appearances in his hometown of Raleigh.

During the past eight years, Clay has returned to the Triangle on tour, for interviews, and to sing the National Anthem at sports events, assist with fine arts fundraising, tape the Tried & True ~ LIVE PBS Special.

Raleigh is also headquarters for the National Inclusion Project, the charity he co-founded with Diane Bubel in 2003.

Retelling the original Wonderful World of Oz, the musical The Wiz was written by Frank Baum with music and lyrics are by Charlie Smalls.

Audio for the montage is from Scarlett's video of Clay performing the song at Bringing Broadway Home.

The expandable graphics below highlight events from the saga of Clay and his hometown. Visual artists include Fountaindawg, 1 (photos by toni7babe), 2, 5; AmazingCA, 3; and cindilu2, 4, 7 (jojoct screen cap).


Think of home

When I think of home

I think of a place where there's love overflowing
I wish I was home
I wish I was back there with the things I been knowing

Wind that makes the tall trees bend into leaning

Suddenly the snowflakes that fall have a meaning
Sprinklin' the scene, makes it all clean

Maybe there's a chance for me to go back there

Now that I have some direction
It would sure be nice to be back home
Where there's love and affection
And just maybe I can convince time to slow up
Giving me enough time in my life to grow up
Time be my friend, let me start again

Suddenly my world has changed it's face
But I still know where I'm going
I have had my mind spun around in space
And yet I've watched it growing

If you're list'ning God
Please don't make it hard to know
If we should believe in the things that we see
Tell us, should we run away
Should we try and stay
Or would it be better just to let things be?

Living here, in this brand new world
Might be a fantasy
But it taught me to love
So it's real, real to me

And I've learned
That we must look inside our hearts
To find a world full of love
Like yours
Like me

Like home...

Clickable screen cap from 'Home' montage by SueRue.

Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!


The montage is also highlighted in the June 10 Clay Aiken News Network
blog entry.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Clay Aiken Serenades Inevitable Traffic Adventure

Clay Aiken sings 'Everything I Don't Need.
View montage by gerwhisp full screen at YouTube.

Everything I Don't Need

Winston Driving a Disaster for Me

I have successfully driven in large cities with winding roads and streets with numerous name changes, but point me in the direction of Winston-Salem and it's a total disaster.

Sure enough, Friday's drive to Wake Forest University Medical Center was appropriately accompanied by Clay Aiken's "Everything I Don't Need" track from the 2008
On My Way Here album.

My appointment to complete pre-op procedures at Wake Forest was 1:50 p.m. True to form, my car immediately took a wrong turn a few miles into the trip. Business 40 versus New 40 is simple for some, but an adventure for me.

Business 40 registered as an exit for Kernersville, so I literally crossed two lanes of traffic with tractor trailers barreling down on me. Having survived that, I reached for my cell phone and dialed my sister, who was home preparing for her ensemble's wedding rehearsal.

Traffic simulation by CLIPish.

The farther westward I went, the more we decided I had taken the wrong turn. As I named exits and street names, she navigated a route that put me back on target. Knowing my Winston track record, though, she stayed on the phone until I turned into the hospital's main entrance.

It's not as if Friday's mishap was a surprise. In the years I taught orchestra at Kiser Middle and Grimsley High Schools, I annually drove students to Winston for all-state auditions and clinics. Even with in-depth instructions and maps from my brother-in-law and sister, I could count on one or more mishaps or wrong turns.

With my WS outings, BIL knows he is assured a good laugh as I inevitably call to report details and analyze my latest misadventure. His mantra for me has become, "Just drive for 15 minutes, stop, and ask someone where you are."

The only times I have driven in Winston-Salem with no trouble were when a Clay Aiken tour had come to town.

BIL is my driver for the June 13 surgery, a small melanoma on my right shoulder. We are hoping for no surprises that day.

At least I won't be driving!

Cookie awards Fan Fest door prize as Flat Clay looks on. - Scarlett cap

Faye Parker presents NIP report at dinner. - Cap by Scarlett

Fan Fest Generates $6,500 for Inclusion

Attendees at the 2011 Fan Fest of May 21-22 in York, PA, raised $6,500 for the National Inclusion Project, topping the event's goal by $1,500.

In making the announcement,
Cookie, chairperson, encouraged all Clay Aiken fans to mark their calendars for the May 19-20, 2012, event in York. Along with the many fun activities "up her sleeve," Cookie plans to have an interactive website in place soon.

Proceeds were raised through a variety of events, including "market place" sales, raffle tickets, and donations. Next year's goal has been set for $7,500; so put a red circle around Fan Fest Weekend 2012.

Below is
Fountaindawg's handsome tour wallpaper of CA photos by farouche and toni7babe.

Expandable wallpaper design by Fountaindawg.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!