Friday, March 31

Pizza lunch

Acting upon the previous blog post, Daddy decided that I just had to have a digital recreation of another outdoor lunch that was famously photographed in the Los Angeles Times. This picture is from freshman year of high school, where those of us who had good attendance for the first semester (I think I'm remembering that right), where treated to a pizza party. And yes, that would be me, balancing a pizza slice on top of a soda, while feasting on another slice of pie. Notice that the hairstyle hasn't really changed much. Actually, as I look at this, it seems that I have matured into wearing a red Swatch watch, which I'm wearing now, from the white one I'm sporting in the photo. Take note of the HUGE earrings going on there; and the "Sun, Surf, Sand: California" t-shirt. Damn, I rocked the house in high school.

April avatar

It's absolutely gorgeous out right now! Alison and I just enjoyed our lunches out in the warm sunshine, and right now, all is good in Kimberly's world. To me, there's little better than hanging out at a picnic table, resting in the sun's rays, feeling the breezes, and chomping on some yummy lunch. You know what it reminds me of? Lunch in high school. Lisa knows. It's so liberating to sit in the sun and chit chat about everything and nothing, and just enjoy the fresh air. I'm all over doing that as often as possible now that the Spring weather seems to have fallen on Boston.
And, as today is the last day of March, and I don't really want to do any work this afternoon, I've dressed up my avatar for April. You'll notice that yes, I'm still wearing a jacket (but not a parka or anything) and jeans, but also note that the background better reflects my mood lately -- a library in the sunshine -- and has not a flake of snow in it. That's the goodness I'm taking about!

Trust your instinct to run

I'm pretty sure that Sharon Stone is slowly losing her mind. First off, we've got the ridiculous Basic Instinct 2 coming out this weekend. Is anyone in line for this one? And is there really a market for it, um, 10 years or so after the first one? Full disclosure: I've done no research on this movie except for the bits I've heard on television, so my opinions on the film are completely uneducated ... deal with it. But her publicity tour has been the stuff of progressing dementia. She was in Israel, I think, sitting next to a dignitary of some kind, and having been introduced, takes the floor and starts the whole press conference off with, "I know the question on all your minds. You want to know, 'Does she get naked in the movie? Does she?' Well, I'll tell you. YES, I GET NAKED IN THE MOVIE!!" Huh. Sharon, you've got the world's press waiting to listen to you, and to find out why you chose some dignitary to sit next to you, and you kick off the thing by announcing that, "yes, you'll be able to see my boobies in my new movie." I mention only the boobies because she's already gone on record as saying that there's no pubic shots in this installment. And that, really, was all that anyone talked about from the first movie anyway.
Also, in this picture, she looks ready to bring forth all that is evil onto the Earth.

Thursday, March 30

Skinny Cow

I just ate a most-amazing confection! I have just, JUST!, been introduced to Skinny Cow, fat-free and/or no-sugar-added ice cream and dairy treats! One of my new cube neighbors offered me a mint ice cream sandwich this afternoon, and though I don't usually go for the mint ice cream, this looked particularly yummy to me because of the Spring-like weather outside. And let me just say, "Bravo, Skinny Cow!" What a lovely new goodness for me to consume with little to no guilt at all! It didn't stand much a chance at all once I had tasted it, and the minty-ness was perfect for a snack. I highly recommend! And, according to the Web site, the company also produces ice cream bars, ice cream cones, and fudge bars. I foresee a lot of Skinny Cow in my future. I do.

Wednesday, March 29

Total solar eclipse

This is, by far, the coolest picture of yesterday's eclipse that I've seen all day. Isn't it great that, even with all the garbage that we've got going on here on this planet, the world still turns, still revolves around the sun, and the moon can still wow us with the simple act of getting in the way of the sun's rays for a couple minutes?

Neon, disco, roller skates

Sometimes, you find out things that you just aren't sure how to process. As an example, take a moment to think about this bit of news: someone, somewhere, is working on an off-Broadway stage production of Xanadu. Yes, that Xanadu: roller-skating Greek muse helps good-looking young artist create ultimate roller disco in Venice, Calif. And all the while, she's singing classics such as, "Xanadu," "Suddenly," "Magic," and "I'm Alive." The movie, as you all remember, stars Olivia Newton-John as Kira, the muse with the purple aura and light trail; Gene Kelly, in his last feature film, as Danny McGuire; and Michael Beck as Sonny Malone, the lovesick artist with a yen for colorful skater girls. The stage show will follow the movie pretty closely, and, in accordance with all that is right in the world, roller skating still will be the main character's favorite mode of transportation.
"Xa-na-du ... Xa-na-du-u-u ..."

Monday, March 27

Ocean's 13, if you can believe it

This news out of Hollywood: there is an official start date, July 21, for the second sequel to the amazing Ocean's 11, not-so cleverly named, Ocean's 13. It's of note that the two previous films' stars, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Elliott Gould, et al., shall be reprising their roles. Lacking in this list of returning players is, thankfully, Julia Roberts, whose character's role in the last film was ridiculous, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, whose non-existent chemistry with Brad Pitt was also ridiculous. The female lead in this film instead will be played by Ellen Barkin (she of The Big Easy), whose character will embark on a romance with Damon's Linus. Stages are being constructed on the Warner Bros. lot in California, and the filming will be staying stateside, all to keep the budget down and the paparazzi under control.
Now, I dig a good heist movie as much as the next person; actually, I really love it when the bad guy gets away with the money. (I hated Heat, simply because I knew that DeNiro's character was too smart to get killed at the end.) And I'm sure I'll end up forking over the $10 or so to check this film out. But here's to hoping that 13 won't be as disappointing as 12, and more on par with the brilliance of 11.

Cherry blossoms

Here's Mom's latest floral masterpiece:
There are cherry blossoms in Camarillo! The tulips are French peony tulips (pink, yellow and gorgeous), and I can hardly wait for them to open. The rest of the arrangement has fern, Gerber daisies, snapdragons and lilies.

So, which one of you picked George Mason University to show up in your Final Four? I know just enough about college basketball to make selections that kill my bracket early in the tournament, and I did so, by choosing Tennessee to take the whole show, but who would have thought George Mason? Brian picked UConn to take the trophy, but that bit of fancy was killed last night too, so both our brackets are officially trash. (I actually tossed mine last week, because it was so sad.) At any rate, it's nice to see the underdogs fighting it out, since Duke, North Carolina, UConn and the rest of them don't have a chance anymore.

Thursday, March 23

I'll have the prime rib, please

I'm beginning to get really tired of winter. (I actually bitched to Lisa about this just yesterday, so my apologies to her for being my practice board for this post.) I hate all my hats because the top of my head needs to breathe; I can't stand my scarves, because they're just choking me now; I want to throw all my sweaters into the ocean, and watch them be washed away; I'm tired of wearing large, clunky shoes with good tread so I don't fall and break my ass again; I hate that my windows can't be open because when they are, we freeze; I don't like driving with the heater on; I am totally against sitting inside for lunch when the sun's out because it's still only 34 degrees. When, oh when, will the warm days return?
Here's a picture of the coyote that they caught in Central Park the other day. He looks happy to have led the animal control officers on a merry chase, doesn't he? They'll be releasing him into the wild in upstate New York, and hoping that he doesn't find his way back to Manhattan any time soon. "Dudes! But I LOVE eating at Tavern on the Green!"

Wednesday, March 22

And the winner is...

... "Clocks," by Coldplay! Song number 1,365, and the last to play during the shuffle adventure is "Clocks," by Coldplay!
And now, the Pod is silent. It's kinda freaky actually. It's eerily quiet.
What, what do I do now? What band, playlist or genre should I listen to? The possibilities are absolutely endless! For so long, I've known that I don't know what's coming up next. Now I can select and pick whatever I want! U2? Pink? Madonna? Or the 80s? Showtunes? Disney classics? AAAAAACCCCCKKKKK!!!! Too many choices!!

Tuesday, March 21

Argh! Tomorrow!

I've got less than hour left at my desk this afternoon, and still (let me get my calculator) 77 songs before the end of what I have now dubbed, "The Shuffle Adventure." I don't know if I can wait until tomorrow, but in the spirit of the experiment, must ... For the purity of the adventure, I must wait!!

Shuffling it up

Just to give you a window view into my head today: I am ridiculously excited to point out that the shuffle marathon has almost reached its end on my iPod. When you set the Pod to shuffle, it systematically, but randomly, moves through all the tunes in the machine. My iPod currently holds 1,365 songs, which, to me, is a whole lot. Anyway, I play the Pod on random every day at my desk, and once I noted that I was getting up into the 1,000 songs played range, I knew that this was my calling ... before I could start being more selective about what I would listen to. I am currently rocking out to song 1,244 of 1,365, "Beverly Hills" by Weezer. I think that I should be able to reach the end of my shuffle highway some time today. That's so SUPER!!

Monday, March 20

Movie marathon

I had a crazy Netflix marathon yesterday, knocking out all three of the DVDs we had from the service in one day: Serenity, the sci-fi pirate movie written and directed by one of the most brilliant television minds (Buffy!!), Joss Whedon; Good Night, and Good Luck, which, from a journalism standpoint, was amazing, and from a non-smoking standpoint, was kinda disgusting; and A History of Violence, with Viggo Mortensen as a man made hero by his actions, but then is sought by the mob because of them. All three were worth the price of admission, but at the end of the day, I was glad that Good Night was only 90 minutes long; thought Violence was a bit of a let-down; and of the three, only burned Serenity for our home library.

Big, yellow bus

You know how there's this law out there about having to stop for a school bus when it's picking up students, right? There's not a whole lot of gray area around the wording of this law, and it's basically the same everywhere in the world: stop for the kids when they're crossing the street to get on their bus. Everyone knows this law; it's an important one. You don't want to run over the kids, right?
You'd be surprised how many drivers out here in the Boston area don't really care about this law, and in fact, tend to get all bitchy and impatient with the kids, mothers and bus drivers. Here's a fun scenario I witnessed this morning: There's about 15 kids crossing a street to get on their bus. They're old enough, high school, I think, to understand that they're blocking the road, but when there's 15 kids, they don't all walk in a huge group, they tend to go about in twosomes, so it was taking some time for them to cross. There were three cars turning left onto the street where the bus was, so the first had stopped, and the second and third were kinda caught in the middle of the intersection, just waiting there. Most of the kids were across when the guy in the second car honked his horn. Not so much honked as really just kinda wailed on it for a few seconds. ... Now hold on a minute, the kids are crossing, and not deliberately taking their time either, so why honk? Did he really think that this would make them hurry? ... Well, the second to last kid crossing the street had some choice words, including the fun phrase, "We're crossing the fucking street here, dickhead!" Soon enough, they all got on the bus, and the stop sign was folded back and traffic was allowed to proceed. The guy in the car continued into his turn, but then, flipped off the driver and the kids in the bus!
WHAT?!? Why on earth would he do this? Does he feel better, more manly even, to have flipped off a bus driver and a group of teenagers? How does this help him out in any way? The good time is knowing that this guy is going to be in an awful mood all day because of this, and the kids on the bus are just going to be laughing about it all day.
I've seen more people drive through these crosswalks; pass buses with their stop signs out; and almost hit a couple kids and their mothers. What is the big hurry here? Since when is the safety of kids a lower priority then getting to Dunkin' Donuts or picking up an Egg McMuffin?
Me; I quietly cheer for the kid that bitched the driver out this morning. Respect your elders, perhaps, but not unconditionally. That guy deserves no one's respect.

Friday, March 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top o' the mornin' to ya!
It's always so hard starting my day on St. Pat's without spending a good long thought on my favorite leprechaun, my Gramps. He loved St. Patrick's Day. He'd get his corned beef and cabbage; and was always the star of any get-together; and loved that everyone was in love with his home country, if only for a day. It was all about Ireland, and that always made him a happy guy, and that, in turn, always made us happy.
So, Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! Are you wearing your green? Brian's wearing a green sweater. I've got on a frighteningly green t-shirt and leprechaun socks to mark the occasion. Most everyone I've seen at work so far has donned their green apparel too, and that makes for a festive place to be today!
Hmm... some facts about St. Patrick's Day.
1. Shamrocks are young clover that haven't matured into their fourth leaf.
2. Since 1980, the Irish president has presented a shamrock to the U.S. President in a White House ceremony held annually around St. Patrick's Day. (That happened at a lunch yesterday.)
3. St. Patrick did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. They probably never had snakes on the Emerald Isle in the first place.
4. St. Patrick was born in Wales.
5. The largest concentrations of Americans with Irish ancestry are in Massachusetts. (That's because I'm here, too.)
6. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States.

Thursday, March 16

I'd bid for a dinner

George Clooney, one of my movie boyfriends (sorry, Amy, but he's all mine), has donated his Academy Awards gift bag to United Way to auction for a donation to hurricane relief. What a love. Seriously. I think, if this guy ever did get married, the whole of American women may just wail from disappointment, because don't we all just kinda go about our day knowing that, "if he ever met me, he would want to marry me"? The gifts in the bag include, but are far from limited to, a BlackBerry 8700c, a Kay Unger kimono and a cultured Tahitian-pearl necklace. We all (well, those of us who live and breathe this entertainment stuff) know that these gift bags, as well as those from the Grammys, Golden Globes and all that, are filled to the brim with expensive treats that any star would be able to pay for themselves, but that companies want to give them for free publicity. Reports have said that these bags have been valued as high as $60,000. This bag is being sold as one piece, on the United Way Web site, starting March 21. If you buy it, you get a little note from George, too.
Here's a picture of the staff here at the magazine, out at lunch for Pamela's last day: (left to right) Jack, Joe, me, Pamela, Alice, Victoria, Alison and Craig. Ask about the staff picture next month, and it'll be less three of these people.

Cute blonde = political dollars

I booted up the computer this morning and was shocked and dismayed to see that I hadn't posted anything yesterday. SHOCKED! DISMAYED! But yesterday was Pamela's last day in the office, and everyone was pretty occupied with that, so the fact that I got no work done as well as no posting isn't really that surprising. Today is a bit of a catch-up day, so after this post and once I get the news up, I'll be digging in to the May cover story.
I've never considered myself a big fan of Jessica Simpson, though I bought the In This Skin CD, and yes, we do have a copy of The Dukes of Hazzard movie at home. I think she's going to get shafted by Nick Lachey in the divorce proceedings, and that's a drag, because really, she (and her manager dad) have done much better than Nick since their cheesy Newlyweds show went off the air, and she shouldn't have to pay him for that. She's also started a charity called Operation Smile, a non-profit venture offering free plastic surgery for disadvantaged children overseas with facial deformities.
The big news today is about Simpson "snubbing" President Bush, by refusing to lobby for Operation Smile at a Republican fundraiser in D.C. Simpson's reasoning is that, as a bi-partisan charity, she won't showcase it at a Rebublican meet-and-greet, perhaps turning off other political parties and their members. I say, good for her. Of course, getting face time with the president when you're promoting a charity is good. But I think the Republicans are using her charity as a reason to have her there, and they would then publicize her presence, bringing in the fat-cat, high-roller perverts who would donate any amount of money for the opportunity to meet her.
The Republicans are on damage control today, making it look like Simpson is ridiculous for neglecting this "opportunity to lobby the president on behalf of Operation Smile." They even throw in how partisanship never stops Bono and his charity lobbying. Huh. Interesting argument, but I think they'll find that Bono doesn't do Republican get-togethers either, and when he meets with the president, it's done at the White House, in the Rose Garden, with other world leaders.
I like that Simpson is standing up for what she believes in, and I hope that today's media reports and news don't cause her to change her mind.

Tuesday, March 14

But don't mess with mine!

I love a good hypocrisy. And thankfully, so do Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame. By now, you may have heard about Isaac Hayes stepping away from voicing Chef on the popular cartoon because he could no longer sit idly by while the cartoon skewers people's religions. You mean they satire, mock, criticize, maim and otherwise demolish the ideas and tenets behind the world's religions? WHAT?? They do?? Hayes is suddenly very concerned with this, and that begs the question, has he ever seen the show? Hayes is quoted as saying, "There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins."
Coincidentally, this whole brouhaha started after a Scientology-themed episode of the cartoon, titled "Trapped in the Closet," mocked Scientology, its belief system, and two of the church's more outspoken members, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, among other things. Also coincidentally, Hayes is a staunch Scientologist. (Hmmm... not so coincidental after all.)
Stone is quick to point out Hayes' hypocrisy here, stating, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians. ...[we] never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

Last week's flowers

I'm lacking in my duties as the blogging daughter to a flower arranger! Mom actually sent this picture to me last week, but it got caught up in the e-mail black hole, until I found it again this morning. Here's her description:
Believe it or not, there are asparagus in this arrangement! Unfortunately, you need to look real close, but each arrangement has five stalks of asparagus. You'll see three orange Gerber daisies; branches that are called "quince" (with the pretty little pink flowers on them); Belles of Ireland, in honor of the 17th; and various other fill-ins. Voila!

Monday, March 13

Don't cry for me, Vogue readers!

Jennifer Aniston does not want our pity!
My question is, who feels sorry for this woman? Of course, it's sad when a relationship ends, and even sadder when the ex goes off and famously and publicly hooks up with someone prettier who quickly becomes pregnant with his child, but Aniston is no shrinking flower. She seems to be a strong woman who is coming off this well, and with Vince Vaughn, no less. She's moved on in her work and in her love life, witness all the movies she's cranking out, and pics of her and Vaughn in the tabloids and at the Oscar parties.
Where's this tangent coming from? In the April issue of Vogue, Aniston speaks candidly about the breakup, asks that people not make her their victim, and discusses her consideration for leaving the L.A. area, due to paparazzi. You know, it never occurred to me to make her a victim, or to even consider her as such. She so much as said in previous articles that things were not going well, and that the marriage needed to end.
And now that I think about it, the paparazzi have basically moved on, and the only person still talking about this is her. She says that she's sick of being part of this triangle, but she's the only one still actively participating in it. The cliche of "out of sight, out of mind," qualifies for a lot of things, including gossip. Stop giving the magazines quotes and sound bites, and they'll move on, too. It seems that the only person still actively considering Aniston a victim of this is Aniston herself.

Friday, March 10

James Bond

There's a real ownership to the James Bond movies. Everyone who's ever seen one, or several as the case may be, feels a particular affinity for the Bond of their generation, be it Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton (ugh!) or Pierce Brosnan. The movies' fans are almost rabid in glorifying their favorite Bond, and will not hesitate to take someone to task for disliking their fave, and for preferring another. I know that Mom likes Brosnan; and I know that a good portion of the Bond audience believes that Connery was the best. I've never really been a big fan of any of them (movies or Bonds).
That's Daniel Craig in the picture to the left; the new James Bond. Filming for the 22nd Bond film, Casino Royale, is going on now, and the movie is looking at a November 17 release date. There are a lot of people (read: fan boys) out there who are campaigning voraciously against Craig as Bond; and have started Craig-hating Web sites, blogs, petitions and the like. What's their beef? He's not polished, they say, not suave enough, tailored enough; too blond, too scruffy. Personally, I can't wait to see Craig's Bond. I like a guy with a bit less polish. To tell you the truth, I hated the fact that Bond was always wearing a tuxedo; always had a laser in his watch; always was surrounded by women; and always was at the top of his game. What fun is that in a character, really? There's no meat there. No drama, actually. No reason to watch the movie, since you always knew that Bond was going to get the bad guy, and he was going to do it absolutely perfectly.
According to this article in USA Today though, it seems as though the new Bond will be rougher around the edges; will be pre-shaken martinis; and will be growing into his own. Sure, M will be there, but thankfully, there's no Q, so Bond will have no gadgets to fall back on in tight jams. He'll be forced to rely on his wits, and not necessarily his sexual prowess either, to beat the bad guy.
Craig, more than the Bonds before him, has the tormented, dirt under his nails, Jack Daniels drinking, aura about him. He looks like he could get as down and dirty as any bad guy, and that he'd actually welcome getting rumpled and bloody in a fight. Dirt, sweat and blood on a collar won't bother him. And that's the kind of Bond I'll appreciate seeing on the big screen.

Thursday, March 9

Miracle spring water

I try to not pick on the cults too much, but every once in a while, one opens itself up to my skepticism and inquiry. One such group/prophet came upon my radar screen this morning while Brian was watching TV. B called me into the room to see the healing effects of the miracle spring water (yes, you read that right) being promoted on screen. This "paid program," and its star, Peter Popoff, reverend and living Jesus Christ, were hawking the reverend's book, Prosperity Thinking, and the inclusion of the small vial of miracle spring water that came with it. This water worked miracles, MIRACLES, by curing multiple sclerosis, liver cancer, and by bringing the true believers money to save themselves from financial burdens. AMAZING! and all from a small vial of spring water that came from ... well, nowhere actually. This miracle spring water, apparently, comes from a miracle place that no one knows ... or a tap in Brooklyn.
Anyway, a visit to Popoff's web site brings us to this glowing introduction, "Rev. Peter Popoff, People United for Christ founder, has utilized every media to communicate the supernatural Good News of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to a lost and dying world. He has exploded onto the Christian scene with an energy for the supernatural and the miraculous move of God to heal and save millions of people around the world. In fact, he has preached around the world, in many crusade services where over 10,000 have come forward in one service to receive Jesus as their personal Savior."
And you too can benefit from the power of Christ, and his water, by e-mailing your prayer, and sending a donation, to either the reverend's address in Upland, Calif., or you can make a credit card donation via the web site.
More fun comes courtesy of the miracle testimonials and the people who claim that the water, or a prayer cloth, was responsible for the cures to their ailments, recent influx of cash, and incredible new ability to live a better life.
Popoff certainly sounds amazing. Him and his water.

Wednesday, March 8

Cary Grant lived here

I've come across some fun stuff for this sunny, but still cold, Wednesday morning in Boston. (Perhaps a couple will alleviate some of Tara's boredom.)
Anyone who's spent any time even looking at pictures of Queen Victoria would certainly notice that the woman loves her hats. Has anyone actually seen the top of her head? I wonder if maybe she's like Joe Dirt, where she just stitches on the hats every day to cover the hole in her scalp? But anyway, the fun of the hats is seeing them in this big photo montage. I mean really, if the Queen of England can't get away with wearing such a selection, who can?
One of my favorite actresses, Natalie Portman, guest hosted Saturday Night Live last week, and in that episode, spoofed her good-girl image, Harvard education and roll model status for young kids in a gangsta-rap that is rife with bleeped words and hard-core imagery. Check it out here.
This post also wouldn't be complete without some kind of Hasselhoff fun, so here it is for you, his video to "Falling in Love Again." It's ridiculous in its pin-up pictorial-ness. I don't know if you have to have a Yahoo! ID to see it, but if so, those that don't have one are really missing something super!
For those that enjoy both The Sopranos and sudoku, sit back and lose yourself in the hybrid available here. All nine characters need to be in each square and in each line, so it's just like the numbers, but not as numeric; you know, a bit more pictoral.
Are The Simpsons more your scene? The video here is a live-action recreation of the cartoon's opening sequence, done as a promotional piece for the show's new season debut in Britain.
Who's got a digital radio in their car? For some bizarre reason, I have such a thing in mine, and it serves me regularly by displaying the artist and name of the song playing, just so I always know, and so I can pretend to amaze my husband with my incredible knowledge. (It's amazing because most everyone knows that, if it's not U2 or a band whose CD I've bought, I never remember who sings what.) Anyway, most radio stations, when they cut to commercial, dispatch the signal that pops up in the display with just their call letters and maybe, maybe, their little logo text. Not Mike 93.7 FM Boston. They have phrases, questions and such, including: "Do I look fat in these pants?," "Your socks don't match," and "You're singing too loud." It's funny.
This article chronicles the evolution of the map to stars' homes. It's a nifty little story, including an interview with Linda Welton, whose grandfather obtained the copyright for the map in 1933, and whose mother also sold them before entrusting Welton with the task. Welton and her crew sell about 10,000 maps a year. I've done the star route drive a couple times in my life, most memorably with Mom; Brian; and Lisa and Jennifer in high school.

Tuesday, March 7

Crushed by your crush

You know how when you're a kid, you have crushes on certain celebrities. Celebrities being models, actors, singers and all that. We've all had them, and we've all behaved crazily because of them. I remember that all us girls at Pinecrest loved Michael J. Fox, and since we all couldn't marry him, we split him up into his movie personalities. I got to marry Marty McFly.
Of course, my long-standing crush was always Charlie Sheen. I loved him with every ounce of my being, draping the back of my bedroom door with movie poster after movie poster. Then, well, then, we all found out about the cheerleading hookers and Heidi Fleiss. Devastating. "That's okay," I said, "that's okay. He just hasn't met me yet!" Alas, we never met, and he still cheats on his wives and girlfriends, allegedly, with hookers. After all these years, the crush is effectively dead, and I've moved on.
But still, there's the one moment when your crush breaks your heart. Like Christian Slater being arrested for abuse; River Phoenix ... well ... dying of an overdose; Don Johnson singing during the Miami Vice years; or Ben Affleck getting mixed up with J. Lo. We've all experienced our heartbreak at the hands of the men we've crushed on.
But oh man, do I feel sorry for the girls who ever had a crush on Eddie Van Halen. Does he even have any teeth? Look at this picture! We used to think that David Lee Roth got the raw deal when it came to the band breaking up, but if this is what it did to Eddie, then Diamond Dave has weathered this much better! And suddenly, even more so having glimpsed this photo, Valerie Bertinelli is the smartest woman on the planet!

Monday, March 6

Oscar pics

Here are some of my faves (not all tremendously positive) from last night's Oscar telecast, including Keira Knightley and her amazing dress; Farrell and Carell during their presentation; Jennifer Garner, my favorite spy whom I miss so much; George Clooney, who's dreamy; Charlize Theron and her big bow; Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe looking flawless; Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams, who I think really does have an aversion to pretty dresses; Dolly Parton, who's just cool; Naomi Watts in her shredded and tattered dress; and Lee Majors (Really? Lee Majors is still alive? Wow!) and his wife.

Oscar night

From the pregame: Issac Mizrahi was pretty funny, simply because we had NO idea what he was going to say; I love that Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves walked the red carpet together; George Clooney, as usual, was funny, and so was Steve Carrell, Will Farrell and Ludacris; Keira Knightley looks amazing; Felicity Huffman getting all teary-eyed watching the Desperate Housewives on video was too sweet; Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon gave a great interview; Dolly Parton and her pink dress were so cute and old-school that she was almost like watching a time machine.

On to the show --
8.01: cheesy introduction, but I ate it up.
8.05: Now, that introduction, was funny. Imagine waking up with Clooney in your bed!!
8.21: As if we couldn’t fall any more in love with Clooney, he goes and delivers one of the best, most gracious speeches ever at the Oscars. And, of course, that’s one correct prediction for me. I also think Jon Stewart did really well in his opening monologue!
8.29: Two for two. And Brian and I both dislike the music played during the acceptance speeches.
8.33: Damn. Got that one wrong. But the winner looks kinda funny.
8.34: Naomi, I don’t like that dress at all. And look! Jennifer Lopez is there!
8.35: (Re: Dolly Parton) This from Brian, “She’s had some work done on her face.” Understatement of the year. But for 65 years old (or whatever), she looks great in her white pantsuit, platform heels, and expertly done-up wig. And she got the audience to clap along! That’s so cool!!
8.44: I love it when my wild-card guesses are right! Go Six Shooter!
8.50: I figured the geishas would win, simply because the outfits were so elaborate.
8.51: Hey! Russell Crowe is there, too! But that was a weird retrospective of clips, don’t you think?
8.58: Steve Carrell has beautiful eyelashes.
9.07: I totally knew that R. Weisz would take the statue. I’m kicking Brian’s butt in the ballot right now, by the way.
9.12: How, on earth, did they get Lauren Bacall out of seclusion? That is the most incredible “get” ever!
9.21: Charlize is beautiful, as always, but that is the biggest shoulder bow I have ever seen in my life. And if you all ever saw my mom’s Christmas party dress that one year, you’d know how amazing that is.
9.26: Is that interpretive dance in the background? Really?
9.33: That was the music from Speed! How funny!
9.59: Whose idea was it to have all these montages? I swear, there are so many of them, and they don’t seem to be progressing, that the whole thing is a waste of time.
10.13: Who knew that Robert Altman directed Popeye? Who knew that?
10.24: "Pimp" takes the Oscar! I’m so happy to be wrong on this one! That the Academy voted for a song about pimping is just too cool.
10.29: Jennifer Garner is on. I can’t wait to see more Alias. When the hell are they putting that show back on?
10.31: It’s cruel and unusual punishment to make the most interesting Oscar winner so far introduce the night’s downer montage: Clooney brings in the death reel.
10.49: I totally knew that Philip Seymour Hoffman would win. All of them were amazing though. And who does Joaquin Phoenix love? He told someone that he loved them, but I couldn’t read his lips to see who it was.
11.02: They totally let Reese Witherspoon talk so much longer than the 30 seconds or whatever. That was nice of them.
11.07: I’m tired, and there’s still five awards or something. Tired.
11.14: Thank goodness those screenplay awards go by quickly. This thing may come in under 11:30 p.m. after all. For this reason, among others, I look forward to being West Coast living for next year’s awards. You know there, it’s only 8:16 p.m. right now.
11.19: Tom Hanks, your mullet is killing me. It must be destroyed.
11.24: Wow! Crash took the best picture after Ang Lee won for directing? That happens, but not often. Like I said earlier today though, I thought this was the better movie, and again, I’m glad to be wrong.
11.26: Check it out; here’s the tally: 16 right; 8 wrong. I can’t remember if that’s a personal best, but it’s pretty good! But now, I’m going to bed. Catch you tomorrow.

Sunday, March 5

Oscar predictions

So let's get this party started. I've got about six hours before the show starts, but wanted to get my predictions up here while you all have some time to read, argue and perhaps mock them for their simplicity. And just so you know I'm hardcore, I'm putting up my thoughts on ALL the categories; not just the big ones. Here goes:
Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha; Documentary Short: The Mushroom Club; Documentary Feature: March of the Penguins; Foreign Language Film: Tsotsi; Cinematography: Brokeback Mountain; Film Editing: Crash; Sound Mixing: King Kong; Sound Editing: War of the Worlds; Animated Feature: Corpse Bride; Animated Short: One Man Band; Live Action Short: Six Shooter; Original Song: "Travelin' Thru"; Original Score: Brokeback Mountain; Art Direction: Good Night, and Good Luck; Makeup: The Chronicles of Narnia; Adapted Screenplay: Brokeback Mountain; Original Screenplay: Crash; Visual Effects: King Kong; Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz; Supporting Actor: George Clooney; Actress: Reese Witherspoon; Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman; Director: Ang Lee; Picture: Brokeback Mountain.
Now, when it comes to the ballot, the more obscure predictions were always the tie-breakers at my parties, and I still consider them such. We roll the dice on what our instincts tell us based on the title, hence my choices of The Mushroom Club, Tsotsi, and Six Shooter. Other predictions are based more on what I think the Academy will vote more than who I would like to see win. I think Crash was a better movie than Brokeback, but I think the sweeping epic will win in the Best Picture race. I'd love to see "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" win, but really, the Academy isn't that hip yet, and Dolly Parton's got the veteran status to assure a statue. I think War of the Worlds will be all but shut out, excepting Sound Editing, because no one wants to see Tom Cruise's movie get more publicity. And Philip Seymour Hoffman is a tremendous character actor who finally has a shot, and I think the Academy will reward him for it, though Heath Ledger was amazing in Brokeback.
I also predict that Jon Stewart will keep me and his The Daily Show audience giggling, and that the rest of the viewing public will lack an appreciation for his wit and humor. There it is: some of us will love him (as we did Chris Rock last year), but most of the sofa sitters will not, because they just don't get him. And next year, we'll be stuck with the bland Billy C. again.
Okay, so that's all that. I have no idea how I'll pull together my show review for tomorrow, but I think I will definitely choose not to post up comments as the show goes on, since I'd rather enjoy it and reflect tomorrow, then possibly miss something tonight. Rest assured that I will have my tally on how my predictions held out though, too.

Friday, March 3


This is Gneville, my new desk gnome. He was available for adoption from The Paper Store, in a kit that included his happy little lawn in a handsome wooden frame, some pretty flowers, and a few backgrounds that I don't like because they won't stand properly. He watches over my desk and stuff, but also is known to create mischief, so I'll have to be sure to keep him entertained. Bored desk gnomes, apparently, start to hide your stuff, dry the ink from pens, glue keyboard keys down, and empty staplers. The accompanying book, cleverly titled, "The Garden Gnome Book," gives a lot of advice on getting to know your gnome, how to create a gnome swing, how to protect it from thievery, and other such things. It's a very helpful tome for the new gnomeowner.

New experiment

this is an audio post - click to play
I think I sound very "Muzak radio show host" in this recording. I don't know how I feel about that. You have no idea how many incarnations each of these posts go through before I'm happy with the wording, grammar and such. Will my anal retentiveness require me to write out what I'll say before I call in and record it? Or is the fun here going to be all my "um"s and backtracking?
I almost feel like this is too stressful, but I like the idea of calling you all while I'm driving home, just to tell you about the jerk who just cut me off, or to complain about the traffic, or to play a bit of a song I like that's on the radio. I guess we'll just see how this goes!


In this picture, a worker prepares condoms in a condom-making factory ...
You know how you are going about your day, and you see something that just kind of strikes you as funny, just because you never really thought about the production process of a particular thing that is everywhere?

Thursday, March 2

Bonds mimics women ... badly

As if I wasn't offended enough by Barry Bonds and his vague, sheepish, no-you-can't-test-me approach to steroids and baseball, he goes ahead and dresses up like a woman (Paula Abdul to put a name to it), and prances around the San Francisco Giants training camp in Scottsdale in a parody of American Idol. I'm no fan of American Idol, and am no longer a true fan of Abdul's (yes, of course I had a Forever Your Girl CD). My issue isn't that Bonds mocked Abdul, but mainly the way he mimicked women in general.
I try not to get offended by much, and especially by men behaving badly, but his over-the-top prancing, strutting for the camera, grabbing of fake breasts, false high voice, and bad wig were just too much for me. Why is it that some men tend to think that there could be nothing worse, and more foolish, than being a woman?
It brings to mind a comment that John Leguizamo made after filming To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. He went on record as saying that he found playing at, and being, a woman so repugnant and awful that he happily burned his costumes, wigs, shoes and other female paraphernalia when the movie shoot was over. Actually, after I read that article, I've not seen a single one of his movies, watched his television shows or anything like that.
In fact, now, I find both him and Bonds repugnant and awful.

Harry and the Potters

It's for little gems like this that I love a couple of my random pop-culture Web sites. I had no idea that there were Harry Potter tribute bands out there, but thanks to one of my sources, I have been introduced to Harry and the Potters, and their page on MySpace. Four songs are posted up on the MySpace page, and let me tell you, they are a kick. Still others are posted onto the band's site. My personal favorites are "Saving Ginny Weasley," "Wizard Chess," and "The Wrath of Hermione." Seriously, but especially if you dig Harry Potter, check this out. Too cool...

Mardi Gras

So I'm a day or two late in wishing the world a happy Mardi Gras, but by the looks of the trash piled up along Bourbon Street, it seems as though everyone had one. I've never done the official Mardi Gras in New Orleans thing, and I really wish that I had thought to, and been able to, do this one. I think it was something that the city and the state of Louisiana really needed. It was good to see the gorgeous pageantry of it, and the people throwing and catching beads and the like, just as if the horrible events of Hurricane Katrina never occurred. Of course, the attendance of the event was much lower than normal, but it seemed as though the people there carried on with the proper amount of party attitude.
But of course, the passing of Mardi Gras brings on Ash Wednesday. I saw my share of people sporting the ash smudge on their foreheads, and didn't think much about it of course, since that's their own deal, but I did get a huge giggle out of my husband this morning, who asked, "Did you see any people with that black mark on their head yesterday?"

Wednesday, March 1

Most lawmakers don't get pregnant

I'm blogging for the first time from my new desk space at work. I've been kinda nervous about posting here, since my last desk was a bit more private, and I was more apt to write happily. I'll need to get used to my new neighbors and a different angle to check the mirror to see who's behind me, but I can tell, right now, that I'm back in the swing of things.
So what's the what? Well, I'm getting more than a little concerned about the recent threats to legalized abortion. First, South Dakota, and its governor who's "inclined" to sign a new abortion ban. Then this afternoon's article on a Mississippi state House committee that has advanced a bill that would allow abortion only in the cases that threaten a woman's life. It also would make no allowances for rape or incest.
What freaks me out is that the conservative Justices that these lawmakers (most of which never have to worry about carrying a child) need to overturn Roe vs. Wade are now in the Supreme Court. That this country may, in merely a few years' time, have to revert to back-alley abortions and women bleeding to death on wire coat hangers, is just wrong.
But here are my questions, who are these people that are so affronted by this, and continue to campaign for a reverse on the decision? Why do these people care so much about what someone else is doing with their body? Are they willing to raise and care for all the unwanted children that may soon be populating the planet? Why aren't they minding their own business?
And why are these lawmakers so fixated on a law that's already been passed? Are their wives waiting for them every night, asking them eagerly as they walk in the door, "What have you done to ban abortion today"? (Because really, it had better be the women behind this. Men should have no say on this issue whatsoever. When they have to carry and bear the unwanted children, then they can have an opinion. Until then, they should shut the hell up and keep their noses out of other women's uteruses.)
I just don't get why this is still an ongoing legal issue. The Court has decided, and it ruled on this a long time ago. You obsessed lawmakers and righteous religious zealots just need to deal with it, and mind your own business.