Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oscar wrap-up

Well, the Oscars are over for another year, and I did fairly well in my predictions. I ended up with 17 out of 24 correct, which is only 71% but is better than last year - and yet, one point lower than my all-time best. Sigh. I just can't break free of 16, 17 or 18. I did best Chargenda in our yearly unofficial pool, which is awesome, since I haven't beat him since 2001. So I feel pretty good abaout that.

I also feel pretty good about trivia night last night. I went with some work buddies to the good kind of trivia, the kind that's hosted and has multiple rounds and where there's cash money as a prize if you win. It was our first foray into trivia night as a team, and although we were confident in our brain power, we weren't sure we'd finish in the money. And then they announced the bonus categories: Last Night's Oscars, and War. Now, you can imagine that we as theater employees were thrilled about the Oscar category, but what you probably don't know is that we were there with one of the biggest war buffs I've ever known. LD goes so far as to reenact World War I battles - so yeah, we were feelin' good about our chances at that point.
I knew it was going to go well when one of the three-point questions was to name the designer of the gown pictured above. Hello? Oscars and fashion? Is there any doubt I didn't know the answer?
Long story short - we won. Straight up won the whole damn thing. And we all walked a little taller on Monday because of it.

Oscar night - A-
Oscar night coming in handy at trivia (and being $15 richer) - A+

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar predictions

Here are my Oscar predictions for tonight; tune into tomorrow to see how I did.

Best Picture - No Country for Old Men
Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Best Actress - Julie Christie, Away From Her
Best Supporting Actor - Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Best Supporting Actress - Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Best Director - Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
Best Adapted Screenplay - Ethan and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
Best Original Screenplay - Diablo Cody, Juno
Animated Feature - Ratatouille
Foreign Language Film - The Counterfeiters
Documentary Feature - No End In Sight
Documentary Short - Freeheld
Cinematography - There Will Be Blood
Visual Effects - Transformers
Animated Short Film - Peter and the Wolf
Live Action Short Film - At Night
Art Direction - Atonement
Costume Design - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Film Editing - No Country for Old Men
Sound Mixing - The Bourne Ultimatum
Sound Editing - The Bourne Ultimatum
Original Score - Atonement
Original Song - "Falling Slowly," Once
Makeup - La Vie En Rose


Sometimes I am so inspired by something that I feel compelled to write about it. Today, it's this:

"Seriously, these cupcakes are like puffs of heaven with the best Christmas gift ever slathered on the top."

Thank you, Dustin, and Happy Birthday.

Analogies - I love 'em. People say crazy things in the attempt to link two items together. Many of you have probably seen this, but my favorite analogy of all time comes from that venerable piece of American cinema, Steel Magnolias, when Clairee is describing the mayor's dancing wife:
"Looks like two pigs fightin' under a blanket."
Genius! GENIUS!

So, to continue Dustin's belated birthday celebration, I'd like to ask all my readers - what's YOUR favorite analogy?

analogies - A

Friday, February 22, 2008

What A Wonder Is A Gun

Arkansas Tech University - my alma mater and the alma mater of my brother, parents, grandparents and great-grandfather - has "postponed" a production of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins because, according to the press release, "the production, which portrays scenes of violence, was thought to be too sensitive in view of recent tragic events that have taken place on other campuses around the United States."

OK. School shootings are senseless and tragic. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn't agree with that statement. But I truly believe that a musical representation of successful and would-be presidential assassins is not going to incite violence on our nation's college campuses. Far from it. In fact, the simultaneously disturbing and funny musical could start a dialogue among college students, getting them talking about history, politics, art, violence, and the genius that is Stephen Sondheim.

Now, at Tech, they won't get the chance.

I would like to close by talking about Joe Bertucci. Joe was the director at a community theatre where I played a lot, and I learned more from him in three shows than I ever thought possible. Joe shaped the lives, both artistic and personal, of everyone he came in contact with, and I am honored that I knew him. Joe liked to borrow a phrase from FP Dunne: "It is is the duty of theatre to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Joe, I wonder what you'd make of this - in this situation, who's comfortable? Who's afflicted?

I'd like to further close with these lyrics from "Gun Song" from Assassins:
What a wonder is a gun!
What a versatile invention!
First of all when you've a gun -
Everybody pays attention!

Tech administration's poor, poor decision - F

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fashion, Doggy-Style

With the Oscars just around the corner, I know you're waiting with bated breath to read my Oscar predictions... but really, isn't a dog in a tuxedo way more fun? Especially when the dog is wearing a LEONARDO DICAPRIO-INSPIRED TUXEDO. For real.

formal attire for dogs - B

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Swag is one of the greatest things ever. Now that I'm a fancy worker, I get to go to conferences, and I'm always on the lookout for which booths are giving away the best stuff. Unfortunately, most arts organizations aren't selling "products," they're selling shows, so the most likely swag you'll see at a presenters or theaters conference is a DVD or CD of some wacky kids' show or magician or Celtic crossover band. At the last conference I attended, I managed to pick up a couple pens and a sticky note pad, but nothing else cool. I think that drug companies give the best swag. There always seem to be mousepads and mugs and pens and hats, and all sorts of other things. My mom and dad used to bring home tons of stuff like that, and it was all rad.
Yesterday, I attended a birthday party at JNash's house. JNash is a dermatologist, and she had just returned from a conference... and was parting with her swag. And let me tell you, a whole new world of swag was opened up to me. I came home with sunscreen, body wash, lotion, soap, and cuticle cream; other people took bronzer, anti-wrinkle cream, a wide variety of washes and lotions, and a Coolie hat.
I should be a dermatologist.

Swag - A

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dance Revolution

I am taking a fitness class - cardio dance and pilates, specifically. What a joy. It's me, a few other "young ladies," some very overweight middle-aged ladies, some spry but slow old ladies, and one guy. I don't know his name, but I call him Tom. I shake my groove thang twice a week in a school gymnasium, and I love it. You have never seen so many grapevines in one place (except for at mid-Michigan weddings, but then, there's less spandex).

Our hardest routine is to "How We Operate" by Gomez. The beginning of the song is a little tricky, and everyone, including the instructor, gets confused. I love that she's changing it up a little, and Gomez is a nice change from all the Motown we usually get, but maybe it wasn't such a good choice if everyone spends the first thirty seconds of the song staggering around wondering where the beat it.

my bi-weekly dance party - A

Saturday, February 02, 2008

She Said YES!

There is a jewelry store in town, about two blocks from my old apartment, that makes beautiful pieces of jewelry. They made my friend Jjack's engagement ring, and it is the coolest, most amazing ring I've ever seen. I've been in there once or twice, and they seem to be nice people with a good design aesthetic.

But their radio commercials are atrocious. Their biggest campaign involved Craig saying "You want to be able to tell all your family and friends that she said yes!" (side note: when I tried to publish this the first time, I increased the font size for the word "yes", and then the whole post was messed up) and let me tell you, no font in the world is large enough to convey how loud and annoying he is. Then, they did a "rap" version of the commercial that played "she said yes!" over and over. It was horrible. But the new campaign takes the cake. Bear in mind it's less than two weeks until Valentine's Day, mmmkay? Here's the gist of the new campaign: "Flowers are for wimps. You wanna show her you really love her, you gotta buy jewelry."

Excuse me? You gotta buy jewelry? You know how I know my man really loves me? When I hurt my back earlier this week, he spent an hour rubbing it and putting a heating pad on it and taking care of my sore spots. I know because he makes the coffee on Saturday mornings. I know because he picks up after my messy ass EVERY DAY. That is how I know. Not because he went to your store, Craig!

So yeah, I don't like the campaign.

Craig's new campaign - D