minor Oscar commentary

good dress

good dress

um.  Maybe I’ve just not paid attention all these years, but what is up with the black ghetto in the Oscar audience?

All the black people in the audience [except Morgan Freeman] are either in the back or on the side.

And how come every time a black person wins, the camera pans to the other [6?] black people in the audience?

I don’t wanna give the impression the awards completely suck, though.  Neil Patrick Harris opened the show with a great Broadway number reminiscent of a show from the 40s or 50s.  The stage is beautifully decorated and looks lovely.  And other things I liked?

Up, winning for best animated film and best score

good dress

– the dresses this year.  I think they’ve all outdone themselves this year – never have I seen so many beuatiful dresses at the Oscars.  They almost always have a bunch of awful dresses and only 5 good ones.  This year it’s good one after good one after good one after good one.  Although it does seem that there are a lot of stairs for the ladies this year.

Star Trek, winning for best make up

– the ‘street’ danced interpretation of the nominated musical scores – maybe the best performance I’ve ever seen at the Oscars.

– seeing Bradley Cooper.  I have a really big crush on him.  but not with his hair slicked back.

– the fact that they played Georgia On My Mind when Tyler Perry came out

great dress

A few things I didn’t?

– the sappy turn that the lead actor/actress introduction of nominations has taken in the last few years.

– Kate Winslet’s gown…thing…

– Molly Ringwald’s entire look(!)

IS this a dress?

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carnival of me

I’ve been woefully unmotivated to write, recently.  A host of reasons have contributed, not least of which the fact that I didn’t get to talk to my best friend for longer than I ever have since I was about 4 yrs old.  Never underestimate the meaning of friendship.

I’ve been following the various race@school debacles happening at UCSD and now Missouri and I don’t really have much left to say.  Other than the succint: “Post-racial, my eye!”

I actually wasn’t super-concerned about the thing at Missouri, even though they’re pursuing it as a hate crime.  But I realized that may have just been due to my own lack of context.  I spoke with a coworker about it and he was very upset.  He told me that he remembered his mother picking cotton – as her job – when he was a kid.  He also remembered her not being able to go to work one day because the Klan was burning the fields.

It’s kinda crazy to me that this stuff was happening in the last 50 yrs, but I suppose it should be, considering what’s happening today.  We haven’t come as far as we like to think we have.

My work-spouse has been gone for all of one week and I barely know what to do with myself at work.  Besides work.

Having a buddy sure makes a difference.

Speaking of buddies, I found out that a very old friend will be moving away.  Far enough that it’s likely I won’t see him…much, if at all.  We’ve been through all kinds of things together so even though we’re not as close now as we once were, it stings that he’s leaving.  Some more unenlightened acquaintances liked to imagine that we would marry.  This is highly unlikely, but I suppose I should never say never.  One of us could have a stroke and become a different person.  You never know.

Since the olympics have been on [and I’m not into the winter olympics], I’ve watched a bunch of movies.  My recommendations?

Amreeka: a great story about a Palestinian woman and her son who move to America right around the time “shock’n’awe” starts.  Realistic, but still fun, with a great heart.

Mame: Definitely read the book first [Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis], and then enjoy Lucille Ball, Bea Arthur, and Robert Preston in a musical that may have you singing along the first time you watch.  Lucille Ball *makes* this movie – and she’s at her most attractive here, I think.

Dakota Skye: indie rom-com ostensibly about a girl, but also a lot about the boys she likes.  Still, how cool would it be to actually be able to always tell when someone’s lying to you?  This one was right up my alley.

Phoebe in Wonderland: indie with some big names [Felicity Huffman, Bill Pullman, Elle Fanning (Dakota’s lil sis)] plots the story of a family with two precocious little girls.  Phoebe is enamoured with the story of Alice in Wonderland, and as the movie unfolds you begin to understand her.  Excellent!

I loved them all, and wouldn’t rank them…except for maybe Dakota Skye.  That was more of a guilty pleasure for me, but I still really liked it.  Everything else was fantastic!

I love how specific netflix is with me, now that they know me, my #1 recommended category is: Movies Featuring a Strong Female Lead.  =)

merry, merry

Life has been crazy for a while so…here’s a photo montage  to catch things up.

I went to NYC for Thanksgiving and did some things I couldn’t do here in Podunk, SC:

1) saw Precious.  and cried and cried. Precious

2) saw Hair, and was just a bit taken aback right before intermission.

3) saw Good Hair.  and laughed and laughed.

I also got to take a tour of the Financial District and get my picture taken with the Bull, and George Washington.  Then we schlepped all the way up to the West Village (!) to see the house from the Cosby Show.  It still looks the same.  🙂

I came back home to a little less crazy than I’ve been dealing with, but the same fluctuations that have become standard for work these days.

Helped do a Christmas play with the children at church and made an enemy because I insisted on referring to the Magi as wise ‘people’.  We don’t have a lot of boys at our church, and the wise people were all girls – so I referred to them as people or women instead of men.  Simple Simonette wasn’t pleased.  I’m over it, but apparently she’s not.  C’est la vie.

I was blessed to find a $50 off mystery coupon from Bloomingdales in my email, just in time to get the Wellies my sister’s been wanting, and I got to go see the 4-day-old cutie-patootie little boy that one of my friends had last week.

who doesn't love baby hands?

In the meantime, I got to go to a lil Christmas party, meet some new people, and sing some carols with a harp.  I avidly watched and rewatched all the episodes of The Sing-Off because I could listen to a capella music forever and a day.  Being a self-proclaimed harmony junkie, it was as though NBC had waltzed into my brain and said, “hmm – I think we could make a show out of this”.  (IMO – the top 3 groups were exactly as they should have been, and I think the best idea would be to put them all out on tour together.  I’d definitely go.)

Then came today – sleep has been fleeting but the day was comfortable, comforting, delicious, and delightful.  We snacked, opened gifts, watched White Christmas, and enjoyed a lovely dinner.

a handmade scarf, cute flipflops, the card case I've always wanted, and more

This  is a nice way to close out the year.  Here’s hoping 2010 is exponentially better than 09.  Merry, merry!

don’t stop the music!

gleeI love music.  I love singing – I love dancing.  And I love watching singing and dancing.  Musicals have been a part of my life since the first moments I can remember.  My favorite movies have singing and dancing [from the Muppets, to Barbra Streisand, to random Disney fare].  So – I will watch movies, plays, and tv shows that might not have the best actors or plots as long as they have some cool musical performances.  This includes reality shows.

SYTYCD, Fame, Drumline, You Got Served, ABDC, American Idol, not to mention the musical/theatrical/dance episodes of shows like Head of the Class and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

With all that said, it should be no surprise that I love Glee.  I do.  Comments have been made about inappropriate musical choices and cheesy, awful stereotypes – and I get that.  I understand.  But I hardly even feel guilty about enjoying this show, because it’s too much yummy-goodness in the form of 90’s R&B music!

Tonight we had This is How We Do It (Montell Jordan), Poison (BBD) – with the rap!,  Mercy (Duffy), Bust Your Windows (Jazmine Sullivan), and I Wanna Sex U Up (Color Me Badd-d-d-d-d LOL!).  Three out of five songs were from the 90s!  And I still know the words!  So yeah – even though the songs weren’t performed all that well – except for Bust Your Windows – I loved it!

Even with a guest spot from Josh Groban [who I personally cannot stand], and a name drop of Run DMC, who I like, I think I’m mostly loving this show because of the big numbers and the reminiscing factor.

So keep it coming Glee, you’re like McDonald’s to me: I’m lovin’ it.

When else can I “to the ah-tick tock, ya don’t stop”?

good news/bad news

Life’s been a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other in the last couple weeks.  Last week I had a great time playing volleyball with friends – which I haven’t done in years.  Then I played Clue late into the night with some new friends [apparently that game has changed.  a lot.].  Then, yesterday, I had to go to the dentist to get a filling replaced/fixed and it took 5 shots to numb me up enough to where I could live with the dental work.  The first four really had very little effect, and they actually wore off in less than 5 minutes…

Well..until the work was over, and the dentist finally sat me back upright.  All the anesthetic came rushing up to my jaw. [and I can just picture each injection jostling for position: “Shot # 4 reporting for duty!  -No, no, I was here first!  Shot #1 ready for action! -Hey wait!  Shot #3 here when you need us!  -Aww, man, way to be there, guys, Shot #2 bringing up the rear.  -Heh, don’t worry fellas, Shot #5 has it all taken care of.” (scuffle) “I was here first!” “Outta my way” “Stop shoving, you’ll get your turn!”  (chaos ensues)]  …

Pardon me.  I’m not quite sure why, but I’ve been particularly imaginative lately.

Anyway, the right side of my mouth was numb from about 9:45am until about 4pm yesterday.  I didn’t have breakfast, and I tried to eat something around 10, but even with just a tiny bite, I could barely swallow anything.  I was actually afraid I’d choke while driving.  By lunchtime, I could swallow, but I still couldn’t feel anything on the right side of my mouth.  It’s really strange to take a drink of water, and not feel part of your tongue being wet.  Much worse to try to eat a delicious peach, and discover you can only taste with half of your tongue.  Eating is not nearly so enjoyable if half of your tongue isn’t even into it.

But all’s well that ends well on that front.  I’m back to tasting with my whole tongue and things are delicious again.

Ron2 [HP]Last night then, I decided to go see Harry Potter.  Kind of a last minute thing, but I saw all the previews anyway.  [I’m quite on the fence about Sherlock Holmes.]  I enjoyed the movie.  It wasn’t super-fantastic, but it was good.  More humorous than usual, I thought.  And I was generally impressed with Rupert Grint’s comedic presence.  Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun.

Then I had a dream last night that has stayed with me all day.  Probably influenced by Harry is a few ways, actually.  My dreams are almost always action-adventure — I’m always being chased/searching for something/trying to escape or something like that.

And so I’m being chased and someone is with me…not sure who…but they’re depending on me to lead.  We’re looking for something and trying to stay under-the-radar as we do.  And so, I find this reddish-brown speckled powder.  It’s some kind of spice blend (!)  that’s tasty but extremely hot, and apparently explosive (!).  [cue Twilight Zone music]

I find this stuff and then stumble on a brutally hot guy that I must know pretty well because we start making out and licking the spice blend off of each other’s fingers. [I think part of it may have actually exploded.]  We were in a safe place, and it was a hot scene.  And then I woke up.

No thanks to my alarm clock.

What I hate is that I can’t remember his face at all.

Anyway – today didn’t suck, but tonight I had to spend two frickin hours at a church board mtg, and then ended up getting a speeding ticket on the way home.  First one in the Mustang.  Craptacular.

Now I’m going to bed.  HotSweet dreams!

summer, so far

imagine the inside glowing orangey-red hot - kinda like the sun

imagine the inside glowing orangey-red hot - kinda like the sun

My life has been topsy turvy for quite a while, and I’m starting to feel like I’m on an even keel again now.  Or…getting there.  I think I briefly mentioned the project from hell that lasted close to 2 years and was almost responsible for me quitting/getting fired.  Thank God that’s complete.  It was a nightmare, mostly because of my boss and our really awful communication, but I think most of that is over – now that the method works and the results have been reported.

It seems that I’ve been living on the AA [atomic absorption spectrophotometer] at work for the last two years, and once I finished the project from hell, I started on a rush project with more method development work – some on the AA and some in a muffle furnace.  It turned out I’d need a high-temperature burner and nitrous oxide for the AA work [which translates into super heat and 2 foot(!) flames], and 1000°C in the furnace.  I did what I could, put in some long hours, and pretty much got it done.  We’re looking at some alternate methods for that furnace fiasco, though.

imagine the flame another foot and a half taller and a bit redder

imagine the flame another foot and a half taller and a bit redder

So craziness at work has been contributing to weirdness for a while.  Not to mention random schedule changes from 8 to 10 hour workdays and back again.

But then I’ve had some weirdness going on with some friends, too.  Folks that I’d gotten really close with and now seem like they’re avoiding those of us that had gotten close with them.  I figure it’s something personal that’s going on with them, but it can be frustrating too.

I bought the Mustang – which I love love love to drive.  But I put a little too much on the principal last month, and now I’m strapped til my next paycheck.  I definitely want to pay it off as soon as possible, but I’m not aure how soon that will actually be.  The actual payments aren’t bad at all, but I think I got a little too ambitious last week.  Now it stings, a little.

But I just want to go places in this car.  It’s freaking hot, and I just want to drive it.  I’d actually like to take it some place new, cuz the drive to ATL is kinda boring.

I’m supposed to be reading The Color of Wealth, but I’m being delinquent about it cuz it’s so heavy.  And since I’ve been getting home late a lot, I’ve been watching a lot of random tv.  I just watched “Millionaire Matchmaker” for goodness’ sake.

I did get some shoes that I wanted [Converse All-Stars and some white church shoes], along with a few clothes to make sure I’m ready for my Labor Day vaca.  I cannot wait for a whole. week. off.  At the beach, no less.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out if I want to plan anything else for my dad’s 65th bday next month, or if a BBQ is sufficient.

unraveledMy mind flits from one thing to the next [as does this post] cuz I’m a bit sleep-deprived and I’m getting used to 8-hr days again. But my Fourth was lovely!  I went to the itty-bitty town nearby to see fireworks [since my town couldn’t afford them this year] and had a good time doing that.  Then I stayed up talking with a friend until ~3:30am that night [Sunday morning].  So of course, that threw off my sleep pattern, and last night I stayed up til ~3 reading a book. [And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman, whom I really enjoy as a fun mystery writer.  It was good, but I suggest waiting until the sequel is published – it’s a quick read and when you get to the end, you just have to wait for the next book anyway…]

Oh and I’ve seen two(!) movies in theaters in the last couple months – Star Trek and Up.  And I’m seriously considering going to see The Proposal.  Just cuz it looks funny.  Betty White, Sandra Bullock, and Ryan Reynolds – sounds good to me.  Of course, I’ve been wanting to see the new Maya Rudolph movie Away We Go as soon as I heard about it.  I want to support her in everything, because I LOVE her.  I thought she didn’t get enough sketches to showcase her talent on SNL, but then there are a lot of misses on SNL.

And then of course, Michael died.  And some people don’t understand why it impacted so many of us.  Some folks at work were like – why are people crying?  They said they never had an emotional connection to him or his music.  And it never really occurred to me that that’s what it was for me.  But that’s exactly it.  So on the eve of his funeral, I’m sending encouraging thoughts out to his family and close friends.  Those of us who shared that emotional connection can dig out Dangerous and listen to “Gone Too Soon” one more time.  In the mean time, remember.

embarrassment

i love enrique vasquez, wish i coulda seen him as angel

i love enrique vasquez, wish i coulda seen him as angel

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a really hard time dealing with embarrassment.  Sometimes I think I handle my own better than other people’s.  This causes problems for me when I’m watching movies.  I can’t take a lot of scary movies – but normally, I can watch them if I put the movie on mute.  I do this with embarrassment, too.

So this evening, I’m watching He’s Just Not That Into You.  This movie is almost hurting me.  It starts off with a tiny homage to the book [which didn’t totally suck] basically saying that dudes that don’t call, aren’t interested.  It’s true that culturally [that would be USAmerican culture], women are taught to obssess, to build up all the nothings into something.  But the foolishness in this movie?  Unbelievable.

I spent about half of this movie completely uncomfortable.  On mute.

It’s just disappointing…when you chuckle twice in a ~2hr movie.  And when a movie that’s (marginally) aimed at your demographic spends more time making you uncomfortable than making you laugh, or identifying with the characters….oooh wee.  Best part of the movie?  Getting to see Wilson Cruz again.  He doesn’t get enough work.  I hate that I missed him in Rent.

I just can’t stand watching women being portrayed as stupid and desperate over and over.   I had higher expectations.  Not really high.  But higher.