Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oscar Night Postscript

In Katie's comment she said she searched YouTube for the performance of "Falling Slowly" (she so smart) and acceptance speeches from Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova so I thought I'd post them.

Their performance:

[Which had been linked, but is now no longer available.]

Their speeches:

[Also no longer available, but apparently you can still find it and the performance at YouTube if you do a search]

I love how her English (she is Czech) has both an eastern European accent and a Dublin accent so she says "udder" instead of "other." Reminds me of a Japanese woman I once talked to who lived here in Tennessee. She said "ya'll" in with a Japanese accent. Totally adorable.

And finally Jon Stewart being his totally adorbable self talking about it on the "Daily Show."

[Ditto. What's up YouTube???]

Does Jon Stewart have a brother? Or a clone?

My obsession with him and this movie is bordering on the absurd.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar Night

Last night two fellow alumni / turkey vultures presented awards and another one was nominated.

Not too shabby.

The irony that I witnessed all of this while sitting in my pajamas and paying bills - including my student loan payment - was not lost on me.

Also... the main song from my much-loved movie, Once, was nominated. And when they sang the song onstage during the ceremony, I did NOT burst into tears. Yea me. I did get a teeny bit choked up though.

A few minutes later they won. Then I burst into tears. Then the doofus orchestra conductor started the damn music right after the guy spoke and before the girl could say anything. Then the host and my major celebrity crush, Jon Stewart, came on after the commercial and said she should get to come back on stage and give her speech. Swoon. Then she did and it was so sweet and heartfelt. Then yeah, I burst into tears again.

I will say that I'm an easy crier, but seriously, PEOPLE NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE. Katie's not an easy crier like I am, but she will agree with me.

I think that's about all I've got on this awards season. Except:

  • The red dress was quite popular this evening. I would say too many people have the same stylist, but someone how I doubt Helen Mirren and Miley Cyrus share the same help.
  • The best actress French chick was really cute when she won, but she was so tiny that I was afraid Forrest Whitaker was going to snap her in half when she hugged him.
  • I'm not a big jewelry person, but Nicole Kidman had on a seriously cool and crazy long diamond necklace. It looked like she forgot about her new pregnancy boobs though because the necklace got caught around one of them while she was introducing the honorary Oscar guy, but she didn't seem to really notice.
  • Harrison Ford wears an earring. Really? If he wanted to look younger /closer to Calista's age, couldn't he have just started wearing the shagging boy bangs like Tom Cruise does? It doesn't work, but it would look slightly less ridiculous.
  • If I'd had to present or accept an award at this thing with Jon Stewart standing off to the side and George Clooney sitting in the front row, I probably would have passed out.

Good thing I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Whew. Crisis averted.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

Tennessee is #1 in basketball. Men's basketball. That's right. Not a typo, my friends.

As for the three ring circus game between Memphis and Tennessee last night.
I won't dwell on the fact that the Bitter Betties of East Arkansas wouldn't sell the visitor tickets in a block like every other home team on the planet and instead made the Volunteer faithful sit scattered throughout the arena. Or that the visiting team's fans were completely shut out of ESPN Game Day. Or that their team tried to pick a fight in the tunnel a la 12 year old bullies on a playground.

I mean, they seem like sound game strategies. But what do I know?

I do want to make it clear that as a good and proud Tennessean I was always technically a men's basketball fan - just not an avid one as of late. And I'm not an avid fan now because they're winning. I'm an avid fan because as long as they play with the joy that Chris Lofton has on his face in that picture. I don't care if they ever win another game...

Well, maybe after the Vanderbilt game on Tuesday I don't care if they ever win another game.

The UT message board at is a good source of amusement occasionally and today found one Volunteer who summed it all up nicely.

"Oh happy day.
I never thought I would live to see
the UT message board being trolled during basketball season...
by UNC fans.
Breathe it in, fellow Volunteers. Breathe it in."

Yup. A UNC fan caring enough about the status of UT basketball to trash-talk on our message board.

Is this the kind of change Barack Obama was talking about?

If so, I'm totally on board.


Speaking of politics....

Ralph is running for president again. Oh joy. You'd think he'd be tired. Not from all of his consumer advocate do-good-er-ness, but from his giant ego and smug self-righteousness.

I would love nothing more than to have a viable third party (even a viable Green Party) but if he were really interested in building a third party and having an alternative on the ballot, you'd think he'd go about a more grass-roots-y / bottom-up approach rather than the out-of-nowhere / completely-full-of-crap method he's chosen instead.

But he's not interested in building anything. He only proves the theory that many of these so-called advocates, activists, or whatever they want to call themselves - on the left and the right -aren't in it for the cause. They're just in it for the attention. Ralph. Rush. Same motive. Different divisive asshole. It doesn't matter if the cause is seat belts or hate-mongering. It could just as easily be tooth decay. As long as they get to dance about like a chimp in the spotlight, they're happy.

I give Barack Obama credit for calling Nader out on exactly what he is and what he's trying to do.

And he did so with complete sentences and by pronouncing everything correctly.

Ahhhh more change I can believe in.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hello, Travelocity?

I don't know that last night's episode of LOST will go down as one of the greatest. It certainly didn't have me on the edge of my seat like most weeks. I will say, however, that it was one of those episodes that stuck around in my head and then popped up with a couple of revelations several hours later.

Me, right after the episode ended: "Huh?!? Interesting."

Me, right as I was about to fall asleep: "Whoa! Wait a second.... then that means.... but what if.... or maybe.... hmmm...."

Mark of great story telling? Or that I'm a bit slow on the uptake?

Probably both.

And I don't know about you, but what's up with Other Village?

Quaint yellow cottages. Mountain views. Not far from the beach. Boxed wine. Xanadu.

Do they take reservations?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grouchy Day

To: Gert

From: Real Simple's E-mail Newsletter

Re: Daily Thought

"Love not what you are, but what you may become."
— Miguel de Cervantes


To: Real Simple's E-mail Newsletter

From: Gert

Re: Daily Thought

"Bite me."
- Gert

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

That's with an o-U-r...

This weekend was British bliss. Friday I went to see Spamalot with Katie and Dustin and Sunday night was all about the second installment of Pride and Predjudice, don't you know.

It covered quite the spectrum of performing arts from the other side of the pond, but each was equally "brilliant."


"Fetchez la vache!"

I don't quite know the number of times I've seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Does anyone? I just know that I compulsively start quoting it and little tears of laughter start streaming from the corners of my eyes if the slightest thing reminds me of it.

Apparently this is the same reaction many others have and many of those others were seated around me Friday night at Spamalot. As a scene would change or a character come on stage you could hear giggles being stifled and a low murmur as lines were preemptively recited. When the French solider popped up on stage, the audience erupted in applause before he even had a chance to say anything.

I don't know about Katie, but Dustin and I certainly took part in the giggling and the quoting. She was probably thankful that he and I sat next to each other and didn't put her in the middle of two grown people who instantly reverted to being cheeky 15 year olds.

I visited the official Spamalot website and discovered that you can purchase Killer Rabbit Slippers with "sharp and pointy teeth." But they're like $40 and Elsie would quickly eat them.


“When they had to do another take,
did you have to take the wet shirt off
and then put on another dry one on?”

... asked the fictional Bridget Jones when interviewing the "real" Colin Firth in the book, Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason.

OK, so it's funnier when you read the whole excerpt and know that she's supposed to be interviewing him about his role in a completely different movie, but keeps going back to the "Mr. Darcy swimming in the pond" scene from the BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice.

The BBC Pride and Prejudice came out in 1995 right before I became friends with a large group of people from Ireland who had just moved to "the states" and it was all the girls in the group would talk about. Then I read the Bridget Jones books where they too obsessed. Then I saw the first Bridget Jones movie with the big irony / inside joke of Colin Firth cast as Mark Darcy. A very art imitates life imitates art twist that I think Jane Austen would have enjoyed.

So of course I've been enjoying PBS's "The Complete Jane Austen." I'm a total sucker for that period and style of English literature. Traipsing 'cross the grounds of country manors in empire waist dresses and ballet flats with men in top hats and riding boots. If it weren't for lack of things like gender equality, indoor plumbing, and anesthesia, a girl could get used to the idea of life like that.

Jane Austen is the epitome of this style and of telling a love story with a bit of an edge to it. Elizabeth Bennett is the epitome of those stories' heroines. Snarky, sarcastic, pessimistic, jaded, principled and stubborn. She's willing to wait for an offer of marriage based on love and to just the right person. A unique choice for some women at that time and a choice that meant she risked not only suffering the label of Tragic Spinster, but risked spending the rest of her days in squalid destitution.

Kind of puts my fear of becoming The Crazy Old Neighborhood Cat Lady in perspective.

The first installment of Pride and Prejudice was a bit dull, but this past Sunday was much better. Not only do we get to see a soggy Colin Firth strolling through the meadows of Pemberly, but we get to watch as Mr. Darcy's cold exterior starts to crack. Sigh.

Now, if only I could watch the finale in some killer rabbit slippers...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Week in Review - a Postscript

Saturday - My Karma has a Pretty Quick Turnaround
A gorgeous day - chilly and windy but sunny - and I spent a good chunk of it outside walking one of my dogs (trying to walk them both at the same time - while comical to watch - is not a lot of fun for me). Now I am sick with a cold. Further proving my theory that exercise is bad for you.

Sunday - Brief Rally in the Name of "Literature"
Not even a Sudafed stupor could keep me from Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (Part 1). But apparently the much-referenced Mr. Darcy wet shirt scene from Bridget Jones, the Edge of Reason (the book, NOT the movie) is not until next week.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I Guess That Counts as a Thumb's Up

I watched this odd, simple, sincere, unconventional and lovely movie over the weekend and was drawn into and consumed by it within just a couple of minutes.

And when the credits started rolling, I burst into tears.

Then I watched it again, with the commentary on, and learned about the friendship that developed during filming between the two main characters. And how, among other things, they said that if nothing else came from making this movie, they felt so fortunate to have what is essenitially a documentary of their friendship.

And then the credits started to roll for a second time and I burst into tears all over again.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Week in Review

It has been an odd few days. Full of ups and downs and what-the's and huh's. Weather, work, sports, politics, television, you name it. Frankly, it's been more than my big melon head can grasp and therefore had to be helped along by a couple of cocktails last night.

Sunday - Super Bowl.
How the hell did that happen? Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I have great love and admiration for the Manning family and enjoy that the SEC continues to rise to the top even in the pros. I'd also like to point out that the last two Superbowl champion quarterbacks aren't just brothers, they also had the same assistant/head coach, David Cutcliffe. Duke, you might want to pay attention.

Monday - An enjoyable day at work.
Huh? Well, it wasn't for my regular job, so that might explain things a bit. Turns out it makes a difference in a person's overall mental health to be treated like they are capable and competent and told that they're appreciated. Fascinating. Who knew?

Tuesday - Emotional rollercoaster.
  • 8:00 am - I get to vote! What's better is I get to choose between two candidates that I genuinely like and think would do a great job.
  • 6:30 pm - The Republicans in my state look like they're finally going to remove their collective heads from their collective asses and NOT vote for the guy who freely admits he doesn't believe in evolution. My faith in society (or at least the conservative part of my state's society) has been restored!
  • 6:32 pm - Oh wait... no... they did anyway... Huckabee wins Tennessee. Heads and faith back to original position, please.
  • 7:00 pm - It's Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday / Pancake Night at church (YEA!), but I'm too tired from my day to drag my lazy ass out of the house in time to get both pancakes AND watch basketball at my mother's house. So I choose basketball (BOO! Well, God says BOO, I say sometimes you have to choose between church and the Vols and that God should be understanding and sing Rocky Top instead)
  • 8:00 pm - Tennessee men's basketball team is looking pretty awful against Florida.
  • 9:15 pm - Tornado sirens start going off and our county goes under a tornado warning. I sit in the bathroom for half an hour with my sister-in-law and niece and occasionally my brother, who pops in every so often to give us updates on the game. See, I'm not the only one. Church vs. the Vols. Mother Nature vs. Vols. Sometimes you have to make choices.
  • 9:45 pm - Tennessee comes back and puts a serious smackdown on Florida.
  • 10:30 pm - I go home and sit in the 3ft x 5ft /only interior/non-windowed part of my house with two dogs and watch the news as multiple tornadoes destroy portions of my state and kill many people.
Wednesday - Ash Wednesday.
Too tired and upset from the previous night to get much done, but also don't make it to Ash Wednesday service like I should. God can legitimately boo me on this one.

Thursday - Margaritas and LOST.
Drinks first and then watched a tape of LOST. And, unlike the Republican primary in my state, it actually does restore my faith a bit (LOST, not the tequila). In our society of really horrible and dumbed-down everything - books, music, television, movies and presidential administrations - this continues to be one of the most complex, fascinating and intelligent pieces of anything I've seen my country produce in a very long time. I shouldn't get all verklempt about a television show, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. The tequila's not bad either.

Friday - Penalty Bulldogs: Unstatesmanlike Conduct.
Some yahoo state legislator in Georgia wants to redraw the Tennessee / Georgia border a mile further north and just coincidentally (I'm sure) to the banks of the Tennessee River. What? You've sucked dry all of your own water PLUS all that you've stolen from Florida and Alabama so now you're coming after ours? Is this legislator named C. Montgomery Burns? Are you also planning to construct a giant shade to take away our sunlight? How about you just stop praying for rain and paving over shit and start trying to solve your own problems without pissing off your neighbors? Because I have to tell ya, the Volunteer State has kicked your ass over silly things like footballs and basketballs in the past few months so don't think we wouldn't do it over water.

Saturday - Don't know what's in store, but I think I'm better off just pretending the week ends on Friday.