A Guy’s Take On The Oscars

By whubbs

The 81st annual “pat-each-other-on-the-back, aren’t-we-the-best” awards show was last night. Now unlike many guys, I don’t mind watching the Oscars. Although it’s no more than a Hollywood love-fest, it’s usually a good time. Besides, there’s never anything else on against it other than NBA basketball, and frankly that’s just as boring these days.

I know a lot of people watch to see what the ladies are wearing, who’s willing to show the most boob, which guy shows up the most hammered (Mickey Rourke in a walk, I think he’s been drunk since the nominations went out).. who can we laugh at the most. This year was was no exception.

Hugh Jackman tried hard, I have to give him credit. The opening sequence was painful, though not because of him. If the audience liked what they saw, we couldn’t tell. We couldn’t hear them. No laughter, no booing, no clapping, no nothing. It felt like it just laid there flat. Too bad for Hugh.

Then 5 ladies who’ve all won Best Supporting Actress came out. And all anyone could think of was, “What the hell is Whoopie wearing?” She looked like she was wearing an old stretched out pair of men’s Zubas as a dress. It looked like someone wiped their ass with them. And then used them to apply Sophia Loren’s makeup. Bad, bad look. And Tilda Swinton? Two years running she shows up wearing a grocery bag. Ok, some people want to give her credit for being “orginal”. Sorry, she looked like a hag. Halle Berry.. as always.. HOTTIEHOTTIEHOTTIE. David Justice, you’re a jackass. Penelope Cruz won. Didn’t see the movie, couldn’t tell you what it’s called. Don’t care.

Now we have 5 previous Best Supporting Actors come out. No chance anyone’s winning other than Heath Ledger. And so it goes. Sorry boys, you’re all just window dressing this year, thanks for coming, hey, you know the rules. You die, you win. End of story.

Instead of coming up with something new for Best Actor/Actress, we have to do it again, twice. Kate Winslet wasn’t a shock, although it wouldn’t have been a surprise if Meryl Streep had won. Again, didn’t see the movie, don’t want to. I thought she looked OK, kind of a weird hair thing going on, but all in all, not bad.

Best lines of the night were Robert DeNiro on Sean Penn, and Penn saying he knows he a royal pain the ass. And who picked Adrian Brody as A-list? You couldn’t get Jack for chrissake? Or anyone else? Has Brody even done a movie since he won? And he looked like he wanted to join Jaquin Phoenix in the I’m a Whackjob club. And Mickey Rourke, c’mon dude, quit acting like you came back from a tough career as a boxer/wrestler… in the few fights you were in that anyone ever heard about you got your ass kicked so fast you didn’t have time to break your nose. That busted-up look you’re sporting nowadays has to be from bouncing your face off the pavement after too many all nighters.

Best Picture goes to Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog actually won most of the awards of the night, and Danny Boyle actually looked nervous, like they weren’t going to win. Haven’t seen Slumdog, although I do want to see that it.

Not quite sure what that musical thing was all about with Hugh and Beyonce. Best laugh had to be James Franco and Seth Rogan. That was funny stuff. Had me rolling. Also, when they did the “remember the dead” bit, was it just me? Why did they leave off Heath? Just because he won? Thats a little cold.

editor’s note: They left Heath off because he died in ’07. He was in last year’s parade of death.

Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 3:30 am  Comments (5)  

Bleh

The Oscars were last night, of course. I only saw one movie that was up for Best Picture, and I didn’t think much of it (Benji Button). I didn’t really care who won anything. Everyone knew Slumdog would win, Kate Winslet too, I guess Sean Penn was a surprise. Now, a word of warning before you read on: I have a terrible head cold that shows signs of traveling south into my chest, so I’ve been loading up on over-the-counters and am going in and out of a drug-induced stupor. If you read this and think to yourself  “Is she high??” Yes I am, indeedy.

I thought Hugh Jackman was terrific, a good old-fashioned showman. No smirking irony, just straight-forward entertainment.  I did think the Baz Luhrman song and dance number with Beyonce didn’t really work, but it wasn’t Hugh’s fault, he threw himself into it in a very “the show must go on” kind of way and I appreciated that. I hope he hosts again and again and again. I find him delightfully delicious. I laughed when the camera went to Baz after the number ended and he kind of shrugged with a resigned, “Eh”.

Interior, bedroom of Brad and Angelina’s house, the morning of the Oscars:

Brad: So…do you think we should go tonight?

Angie: (sighing) I don’t vant to, but vee are both nominated for best acting awards.

Brad: You’re right. I don’t feel like showering, though, do you? 

Angelina: Of course not. I shoverred in Octobahh.

Brad: Well, are you hungry?

Angie: Hungry? Vhat is that? I vill just drink a glass of blood.

Brad: Ha ha, Forget it, my skinny, smelly love. Your dress…my God. You have literally scared the pants off me. 

Angie: Make me pregnant.

I have to say, I thought it was uber-tasteless to cut to Angie fake-laughing when Jennifer Aniston (who looked the same as always, meaning fantastic) was doing her bit with Jack Black. 

Kate Winslet’s hair looked terrible, shallacked into that horrible helmet. She said she used to practice her acceptance speech in front of the bathroom mirror, holding a shampoo bottle. I wish that Oscar had been a shampoo bottle. She aged herself 20 years with that ‘do. The dress was OK, but nothing great. 

Here’s who I thought looked really good: Marisa Tomei. Her hair, dress and makeup were terrific. I loved Tilda Swinton, too, so can it, you naysayers. I love her whole avant-garde vibe; she clearly wears what she likes and doesn’t give a hoot what we think, and that makes her cool. Besides, in a sea of skin, she stands out. That goes double for Mickey Rourke. Not the sea of skin part, the cool part. I love how he calls everyone “brother”.

Meryl Streep looked good for once. Anyone who knows me knows I love Meryl, but she usually can’t dress her way out of a wet paper bag. (Or I guess you could say, out of Tilda Swinton’s wardrobe.) Sara Jessica Parker’s dress was not my favorite, but she can pretty much do whatever she wants at this point. Which has to be fun for her, right? What if she was just messing with us?  Reese Witherspoon looked absurd. Her dress was bizarre and didn’t fit, her hair looked like she was going to the gym and her makeup was way too heavy for her tiny face. A big ol’mess is what she looked like. Ugh…now some hard words for a few gals whose sell-by dates have long passed:

Goldie. Goldiegoldigoldiegoldie…what are we going to do with you? I am a fan. A big fan. Please, please stop it. You’ve turned yourself into a punch line.

Sophia Loren is another one. If saying anything negative about her looks is a heresy, then burn me at the stake. First of all, did she borrow that train wreck of a dress from Elizabeth Taylor? Secondly, everything from the neck up. She looked like a marionette that died several years ago. Whoever her plastic surgeon is should be shot, her eyes aren’t even on the same plane anymore. I don’t know what else to say. Meryl Streep looked like she was trying not to laugh when Sophia was blowing sunshine up her chimney.

That was stupid, wasn’t it, that whole “let’s have old winners introduce tonight’s nominees” thing? I thought it upstaged the nominees. “Hey everyone, look, it’s Robert DeNiro! WOW! He’s talking about, um, whatshisname…who cares? It’s Robert DeNiro!” And how did they decide who introduced whom? I’d feel pretty pretty gypped if I were the guy who got stuck with Joel Grey. It’s the Oscars version of getting picked last in gym class. 

My sister emailed me this thought this morning: “Robert Downey Jr., why, why, why were you not naked?” I concur. Good gravy. He was the only man there who could give Hugh Jackman a complex. 

I guess that’s about it, there weren’t any really stand-out moments. Some mildly amusing bits from Ben Stiller and Seth Rogan, nothing unbelievably funny, but I enjoyed it all. 

I have to go lie down. This post was terrible. I feel like crap.

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm  Comments (5)  

So Many Channels, Nothing To Watch

By Katie

Helluva Friday night I’m having. I’m sitting in my house, alone, with a pounding headache, trying to figure out how to turn the channel. Nothing is working, I’m stuck watching a corpulant, bespectacled Englishwoman tell a couple of dunderheads how to raise their kids. Honestly, these people are so clueless it’s a wonder they procreated in the first place. For the first two years he was sticking it in her bellybutton.

Goin’ online…checkin’ out the headlines…Hmm. Let’s take a look, shall we? These are all from Newsweek: 

1. Why Ordinary People Murder Their Families

     Uh.... Ordinary people, if we agree the word “ordinary” means unremarkable, that is ‘of the norm’ or ‘usual’, don’t.  That said, the answer seems obvious. Too damn noisy. 

2. What We Can Learn From the Rihanna-Brown Dispute

     Don’t date Chris Brown. 

3. Do We Need 7 Hours of Sleep?

    No, we need 9. Thanks for asking.

4. 10 First Aid Mistakes

    Just  10 mistakes, not “Top” 10? OK…using the victim as a footrest, humping the victim, cauterizing the wound with pickles, using a puppy as a tourniquet, mistaking the universal sign for choking for a game of charades, daubing the blood with a Big Mac wrapper, flirting with the 911 operator, cleaning the newborn off with 409, rinsing the eyes with coffee, clucking enviously   “the chemo is making you so thin!” (not really first aid, but I still don’t think you should do it). Is that ten?

5. Docs Change the Way They Think About Death

    But can they change the way I think about it? I’m against it. 

6. Woman OK After Bullet Ends Up In Her Hair Weave

    I got nothin’.

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 3:01 am  Comments (2)  

Sunday Afternoon

“Hey, Mom.”

My nineteen-year-old son likes to stand at the stairs leading up to my office and talk to me.  “Do you have any markers?”

“I don’t have any regular magic markers, but I have these.” I held up a handful of colored sharpies.

“Nah,” he said “I don’t think those will work.  Don’t you have anything that will wash off your skin?”

“No, I don’t have any washable markers.  They don’t really wash off, anyway.  Your sister might have some, you could ask her.”

“No, I’m not gonna ask her.”

” What do you want them for, anyway?”

“She’s taking a nap on the porch and I wanted to draw on her face.”

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Unwritten Rules (Funny, right?? Because I’m about to WRITE them. Get it?!)

Wait just one finger lickin’ minute. Apparently not everyone got the memo:
The memo that was written in cold, black Sharpie on the yellow post-it note of our souls. Maybe it was some sort of clerical error. Like extra toes.

God’s awful busy and I don’t mind pitchin’ in – I have already taken it upon myself to submit several op-ed pieces to the local newspaper – Dressing house pets like little babies is not natural. Neither is naming your daughter after a counter-top. Connect the dots, people. 

In my (day) dream, I saw The (Un)Written Rules drawn in the sand next to Jesus’ footsteps. It was a vivid vision, done in paint-by-number and laminated on a piece of wood-paneling.

The effect was stunning.

Some might call me a prophet. I don’t care much for that fancy-talk, I’m just a God-fearin’ woman with an itchin’ to do good. So, sit back in your La-Z-Boy and listen up:

1: Don’t have more cats than the Humane Society.

2: Don’t get high before appearing on a late-night talk show.

3: Fiber One bars cause excessive gas. That’s not really an unwritten rule – just a warning.

4: Don’t try to high-five a blind man.

5: Never play Pac-Man on your wristwatch during church.

6: Needle-nose pliers are not intended for wart removal. Do you hear me?!

7: Don’t spank your female (or male) employees as they leave your office.

8: Don’t cheat on your medical school exams. In America.

9. Examine your conscience for lice.

10: Don’t fake your own death.

Whew!! I feel better. That Fiber One bar was like a Snake In a Nut Can.

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 4:56 am  Comments (4)  

My Love Affair With Bonnie Hunt Continues

By Katie

I’m pretty sure Bonnie Hunt and I would become great friends if we ever met. I’d like to believe it, anyway; it’s always a dangerous thing, meeting someone you worship from afar. I mean we’ve all experienced that, right? That awful disappointment when the object of our stalkeriness turns out to be a sulky bastard or a downright prick, or worse, a big fat baby who doesn’t understand I’m only hanging out in his driveway because the voices told me to. Some people just don’t want to listen to reason. 

Anyway, I love, lurve, luff Bonnie Hunt, and I’m obviously not the only one because she’s had more failed shows than you can shake a stick at, yet she continues to get chances on the boob-tube. I don’t watch her show regularly, mind you, I’m not a big day-time television watcher, mostly because I’m too busy napping. There are only so many hours in a day. But I caught it this morning. 

David Foster was on, promoting his new autobiography, David Foster: The Greatest Living Organism, Ever.

He’s a hit-maker, that David…a hit-maker and a talent-finder, and he wears cool sportcoats with the sleeves rolled up and has a funky haircut most men his age would’ve abandoned decades earlier, not because they were going bald, but because they were tired of women muttering “look at that douchebag” behind their backs. He can pull it off though, because he discovered Whitney Houston. Anyoots, seems David has a new discovery, a young man named Peter Cincotti. Now, I’m a little confused, because upon Googling it appears Mr. Cincotti has been recording for some time, but I’ve never heard of him and David Foster behaved as though he had just plucked him off the hardscrabble streets of London where he’d been selling flowers and speaking in unintelligible cockney. But what do I know? I’m just a Bonnie Hunt fan. I just do what I’m told. 

Mr. Cincotti is a good-looking enough fellow, sounded fine…he’s kind of like if Jude Law had a baby with Adrien Brody and it grew up to be Michael Buble. He wore a tie, which I enjoyed.  Probably a nice kid, and I wish him great success. Having said that, the song he sang, Goodbye Philedelphia, was dreadful. 

Consider these lyrics:

Just like Philadelphia
Freedom means a lot to me
In between the place I’ve been
And where I’m goin’
I can see America
Tryin’ not to show her age
Even thought the winds have changed
Keep on blowin’

And I would lay your body down and rock your tears away
But it’s much too late for now to be like yesterday
And the time is running out and we still have to say
Goodbye

Uh…what?? What tears? Whose body? HUH?? Did Nigel Tufnel write this?? 

Make sure it’s a hit: invoke America! Freedom! And layin’ down with m’lovely lady friend, who is…obviously in tears…what rhymes with “puppies”? Can we get puppies in here anywhere? No? Save the puppies for track 2. Make sure the word “goodbye” is in there somewhere, though.

Then I saw a commercial that perplexed me, for a birth-control device called Nuva-Ring. 

An exasperated female voice asked, “Tired of your boring birth-control routine?” and several identically dressed women performed a synchronized diving routine, like in an old Busby Berkely movie.

Birth-control is too boring? Was this really the best ad campaign the geniuses behind Nuva-Ring could come up with? It seems to me the one thing in life you would want to find dull and predictable is your birth-control. Hence the word “control”. Wasn’t  the monthly excitement of the situation the impetus for it’s invention? 

An Ad For a Fictitious But Highly Exciting Birth Control Device:

Woman number one: “Bitsy, I have a problem…I really don’t want to have any more kids, but my birth control routine is so…boring.”

Woman number two: “Ugh, I know what you mean. Every day, the same old, same old! I swear, some days I think I’ll die if I have to look at those damn blue pills in a circle again! I feel like I’m turning into my mother!” 

Woman number one: “Right? Ha ha! I thought I was the only one! And every month, knowing the outcome is going to be the same…what’s happening to us? We used to be edgy! Time was I’d wake up on a Sunday morning after a rave and not know what the hell might be in my uterus! I miss it, you know? I miss the old me.”

Woman number two: “So true. You know what would be great? If there were a birth-control routine that made us feel that way, that brought back that awesome Russian Roulette feeling. Something a little more, well, exciting.”

C*** Block. You’ll have no idea if it’s working.

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 12:08 am  Comments (4)  

Well We Hurt Eachother… Then We Do It Again

by Bill

That’s a U2 lyric yo.  If you don’t like U2, stop reading.  Seriously, you’ll be bored out of your mind.

Last night’s entry could be construed as non-sensical rambling.   Sometimes I write in a code that only I can connect the dots on.  Way too much blog histrionics in the last week.  And the dots go like this:

“While recording Achtung Baby, there was a rift between band members over the direction of the band’s sound. Tensions almost prompted U2 to break-up until the band rallied around the writing of the album’s hit “One”.”

Wait, what? U2 writes this blog? Well, no, that would be kinda cool if they did though.  Dibs on not being “The Edge”.

The story goes that Bono and the Edge were falling in love with “alternative rock” and “electronic music” while the other two guys (known as: “the other two guys in U2”)  wanted to stay the course and be true to the “U2” sound.

Well go figure, Bono won the argument, U2 didn’t break up, Achtung Baby was released and universally hailed as a masterpiece.  “One” touches on the band’s disagreements and for my money was one of the ten best songs of the nineties.

Making that album was a very tenuous time for the band.  Bono was 30 years old, an age where most of us start seriously asking the question, “Okay, who am I really going to be?”  U2 was big…. huge in fact, but not quite yet to the top of the mountain.  Bono wanted it all…. he was, as he wrote, “trying to throw your arms around the world”.  When Achtung Baby hit it big… big, big, BIG, Bono was quoted as saying the making of the album was, “the sound of four men trying to chop down the Joshua Tree”.

Unfortunately, the two albums after “Achtung Baby” veered way more towards their love of electronica– the two messy, weird albums: “Zooropa” and “Pop”.  But maybe it was the weirdness of those two misses that paved the way for U2 to finally reach the top of the mountain.  Maybe those two albums were U2’s teenage years: self-involved and full of zits, but with a growth spurt you didn’t really notice unless you were watching closely.  When beginning work on their next album, Bono was quoted as saying the band was “reapplying for the job … [of] the best band in the world”.

They were hired.  2000’s, “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” and 2004’s, “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” firmly planted the U2 flag at the top of music mountain.  U2 opened the Grammys last weekend with a roaring rendition of their new single, “Put On Your Boots”.  We’ve never seen this before: the biggest band in the world is close to 50 and still relevant.  Sure, the Stones were still going at 50, but by then they had almost reached a sort of kitsch status.  Springsteen, Prince, Petty and Mellencamp are still making good music, no doubt, but their best days are long behind them– we like them all so much and want them to do well, but they’re all old and not what they once were.  Still very good, all of them, but not at the top. 

During the Grammys I had chills watching Neil Diamond sing “Sweet Caroline” (especially the shot of Paul McCartney singing along and having a grand ole time)– but I had chills because it was Neil Diamond and his history deserved it– it was kitsch on it’s most grand scale.  I also had chills watching U2 open the show, but not because it was nostalgic, it was because they flat out kicked ass.  U2’s new album comes out on March 2.  Initial reports have it moving away from the traditional “rock” sound of the last two albums.  Uh oh. (The sound of four men with Vertigo?)

My Top 10 U2 Songs: 

10– “Where The Streets Have No Name”– Bono’s idea that you can guess a person’s religion and income (and thusly, a lot of who they are) by the street they grew up on (especially in Belfast).

9– “In A Little While”– Bono says his voice was completely shot by the time they recorded this– he sounds tired, but also awesome.  Originally an ode to the hangover, he says it’s morphed into a gospel song since hearing the now famous story that it was the last song Joey Ramone listened to before passing away.

8– “All I Want Is You”– He says this song was a continuation of  “With Or Without You”.  This is about as romantic as music gets.

7–“Angel Of Harlem”– “It was a cold and wet December day when we touched the ground at JFK.  Snow was melting on the ground, on bls I heard the sound… of an angel.  New York, like a Christmas tree… tonight this city belongs to me”…. love it, love it, love it…. just kills me.

6–“Pride” (In The Name Of Love)– First U2 song I ever heard.  Wow, it was a whole lot different than the Lionel Ritchie and Michael Jackson songs that were all over the radio in 1984. This homage to MLK was just so grandiose– swelling music and a guy just singing his guts out.  Bono isn’t very impressed by the lyrics:  “I looked at how glorious that song was and thought: ‘What the fuck is that all about?’  It’s just a load of vowel sounds ganging up on a great man.  It is emotionally very articulate – if you didn’t speak English.”  I’ll contend that there’s a lot more there than in:  “oooh what a feeling… we’re dancing on the ceiling”.

5–“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”– Speaks for itself, doesn’t it?  Some Joshua Tree trivia: the track listing was done by the late Kirsty MacColl (“Fairytale of New York”), an old friend of the band who ranked the songs in the order she liked them– they made it the order on the album.

4–“The City Of Blinding Lights”– Bono’s love letter to NYC.  He says the song comes from his two favorite NYC moments– arriving for the very first time in 1980 (and let’s face it, the “it” moment for so many bands– shown wonderfully in “Almost Famous”, is the first time they get a gig in NYC), and also the first time they played NYC after 9/11– the lights came up and he could see fans in the front rows crying.

3–“Beautiful Day”– Okay, I’ll never argue with anyone who says this is their favorite.  The meaning of this one certainly resonates in our current “pretty good depression”– it’s about “a man who has lost everything, but finds joy in what he still has.”

2– “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?”–  “well you lied to me, cuz I asked you to…. baby, can we still be friends?”  This one is way up there in the soundtrack of my life– I was living that story-line in the fall of 1992– as the song was on the radio– I’ll just say it: it spoke to me, man. (And it turned out she really liked horses too.)

1– “One”– like I said, one of my ten favorites of the 90’s.

Most Overrated: “With Or Without You”– hated it when it was on the radio, I like it a lot better now, I like the lyrics, but I just find it boring.  Rolling Stone ranked it 131 on their list of top 500 songs of all time– not even.

Most Underrated: “Kite”– off of  “All That You Can’t Leave Behind”– I was always surprised this wasn’t a radio song.

Best Album: Four A+ albums, but my fave is “Achtung Baby”– probably because the timing of it in my life.

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 12:03 am  Comments (4)  

The Sound Of Four Men Trying To Chop Down The Joshua Tree

In one hundred years everyone reading this is going to be dead.

At some point in the very near future, you should go outside in the late afternoon, just before the gloaming, and say something to the setting sun.  Hum your favorite song to the last fading light in the West.

Then have some whiskey.

The end.

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 6:06 am  Comments (5)  

Willpower

“I didn’t eat any cookies last night.”

That was the surprising thought that crossed my mind when I woke up the other day.  I hadn’t eaten any cookies the night before. 

 It’s not that I didn’t have the opportunity.  I was home, watching tv most of the night. 

It’s not that temptation wasn’t lurking in the kitchen.  I had just baked a batch of thick, chewy, chocolate cookies with a  fat, smooth kiss plopped right down into the middle of each one.  That’s about as good as it gets for a raging chocoholic such as myself.

Yet the truth remains.  I didn’t eat a single cookie last night.  I was pretty proud of myself.

 

That’s when I remembered that I’d had two pieces of cheesecake for dinner.

Published in: on February 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

But What If I Have To Poop?

By Muzz

The new InStyle just showed up, and I was soo excited to see it. It comes every month, but all my other mags are weeklies, so it feels like a lifetime between issues.

Since awards season is in full swing, this issue was turning out to be better than usual… until the ‘your look’ section– right after the pages with those fun, cutie-pie outfits they put together for different types of regular, everyday occurances;  how to look really cute for an interview, or really sassy for happy hour,  or other things that don’t occur in my life.  The headline on the page is:  “You Can Do Jumpsuits”.  I read the words and immediately raised my hands in the air and smiled, then started repeating the sentence “Am I slurring my words?” 

 To my great relief,  I was not having a stroke. Indeed, InStyle is promoting the wearing of jumpsuits.  Um… hey, InStyle?  I’m not a mechanic or an infant, so no, I can’t wear a jumpsuit. The article says that jumpsuits are flattering and comfortable. I’m gonna disagree. I have yet to see a camel-toe flatter anyone and although yeast infections are a lot of things, comfortable aint one of them.   I don’t like the idea of taking off my top to use the bathroom, especially since I’m one of those people who always waits until the last second.

The very first jumpsuit they suggest is a dark blue number covered in big white paisleys, but then they say to avoid loudprints, as my jumpsuit is statement enough. I don’t think that they realize that the statement (no matter the print) is:  “Look at me, I’m an adult wearing a onesie! Aren’t I silly? If I move my arms I’ll get a snuggy!” Um, no, you look a grown-up wearing baby clothes. Nope, no thanks.  No rompers for me.

Published in: on February 8, 2009 at 4:04 am  Comments (1)