03.09.10 – A Tuesday

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word

repartee [rep-er-tee, –tey, -ahr-] n. 1. a quick, witty reply 2. conversation full of such replies 3. skill in making such replies

birthday

Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Mickey Spillane (1918), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Robin Trower (1945), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Bobby Sands (1954), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Steve Wilkos (1964), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1973), Thor Halvorssen (1976), Julia Mancuso (1984), Brittany Snow (1986), Bow Wow (1987)

standpoint

Two nights ago, we were all once again treated to the annual hullabaloo that is The Oscars. Lots of us were watching the show. 41.3 million of us. Granted, that’s not even 10% of the United States’ population but it’s still a large group of people, the largest in five years. Whoopdee-doo.

But why were we all watching? I suspect some of you actually watched out of your sheer love for the art of cinema. Or maybe you watched in an attempt to make sure you weren’t the only one in the office the next morning who couldn’t participate in the endless post-Oscar debates and be forced to, like, do work or something. Or maybe you flipped through the channels and happened upon the show and became immediately engaged by the obvious sexual tension between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, this year’s co-hosts. Or maybe you’re like me and you simply watched the damn thing to beleaguer yourself with one of the prime examples of how crappy our culture has become.

I watched it, albeit in my usual offish fashion. But I did notice some amusing peculiarities.

→ In what’s being dubbed a “Kanye Moment,” some woman named Elinor Burkett, apparently one of the producers of  something called Music By Prudence, stormed the stage and stole the allotted speech time from the film’s director, one Roger Ross Williams. Some described it as “uncomfortable to watch.” Uh…all right. Now Burkett has two things in common with Kanye West: They both display an irreverent attitude toward award show decorum, and they both look like dudes.

Neil Patrick Harris needs to pull in the reins a bit. Does the guy know he’s allowed to turn down offers? At this rate, we’re all going to be sick and tired of him sometime later this week. Hey, NPH, maybe just be a homebody for a while, do a crossword puzzle (or maybe you’re a sudoku man, I have no idea) or repaint the living room like you’ve been saying you’re going to since forever. Or, here’s an idea. Maybe watch some television and try to find a channel you won’t see your own face.

Fisher Stevens, the guy who played that goofy scientist in Short Circuit and was in that episode of Friends that time won an Oscar for a documentary that had something to do with dolphins. Johnny Five is indeed alive.

→ Always the cutup, Ben Stiller came onstage to present the award for Best Makeup all done up as a character from Avatar. I thought he looked a lot like what Michael Jackson might’ve looked like twenty years down the road.

→ Throughout the entire show, George Clooney had a look on his face that, I swear, made me think the guy has some sort of beef being stuck in a chair with a camera up his nose for four hours. What’s up with that? Lighten up, buddy, you’ve come a long way since Booker Brooks.

The Hurt Locker won 6 times. Two of them involved sound and were accepted by some guy who looked like a recovering zombie. Also, the lady who directed it won Best Director and Best Film but all anyone wanted to talk about was that she was once married to fellow nominee James Cameron. I was glad she was able to get back at the Academy for what’s still considered one of history’s biggest snubs when it completely ignored Point Break. Not even a courtesy Best Supporting Actor nod to Gary Busey, for crying out loud. But Kathryn Bigelow showed them. Now who’s laughing? Definitely not Busey and, even if he is, he’s laughing about something only he fully understands.

→ I liked that thing they do when 5 actors get up on stage and say something seemingly heartfelt and ostensibly accurate about the nominees for Best Actor and Best Actress. Oprah Winfrey spoke about Gabourey Sidibe from Precious in the way she does about everything. No matter what Oprah’s prattling on about, she’s really just talking about herself. Sidibe probably didn’t care as she was most likely couldn’t stop thinking about hunky Gerard Butler, who she met and delivered the proposition, “Let’s grab a bottle of champagne and see where the night goes!” Later, she told more than one reporter, in regards to her attraction to Butler, “I’d hit that.” Whatever happened to playing hard to get? Gabourey, it’s all about the hunt and the chase. Don’t just throw it out there.

→ One of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges won for Best Actor. Of all the movies mentioned during the show, Crazy Heart was one of two I’d actually seen. (Star Trek was the other.) Kudos to Bridges, by the way, who, in giving his acceptance speech, contributed yet another item to the long list every stoner keeps of shit you can still do when you’re high.

Overall, I enjoyed watching The Oscars. I might even watch next year. Hell, I might even get out there and see some relevant movies for a change. Who knows?

quotation

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.  From each of them goes out its own voice… and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart.Gilbert Highet

tune

Sometimes, I’m resistant to things for no good reason. What can I say? I’m hardheaded. You love that about me, by the way. In any case, my wonderful girlfriend asked me to watch the new OK Go video about five times before I had the good judgment to trust her. I learned an important relationship lesson: Believe her when she tells me I’m definitely going to like something she’s sent me. (Five times.) Not only did I realize that (a) I like OK Go and, as is the case from time to time, I miss out on good music due to a some sort of stigma I’ve created out of thin air, and (b) I can’t ascertain how I’ve managed to escape the incredible ingenuity of Rube Goldberg Machines. They’re absolutely fucking nuts. Here’s the new OK Go offering titled “This Too Shall Pass.”

And if you suddenly find yourself yearning for some more Rube Goldberg Machine videos, worry not, I’m happy to provide them. Check these out.

gallimaufry

Reunited and it feels so good. T.O. and D-Nabb put aside their differences for (What else?) money. Poor Antonio Gates, stuck with those two as teammates.

→ Some may argue that Facebook made this possible. I’d say FB made it easier would be more accurate.

→ I didn’t need another reason not to vacation in balmy Alaska. But I got one anyway.

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03.09.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: gallimaufry [gal-uhmaw-free]n. 1. a hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley  2. a ragout or hash

Birthday: Amerigo Vespucci (1454), Samuel Barber (1910), Ornette Coleman (1930), Raúl Juliá (1940), John Cale  (1942), Bobby Fischer (1943), Charles Gibson (1943), Jeffrey Osborne (1948), Linda Fiorentino (1958), Juliette Binoche (1964), Emmanuel Lewis (1971)

Occurrence: 1959 – The first Barbie doll is unveiled at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. I thought Barbie had been around longer than 50 years but I’m not an aficionado of dolls, so I’m not too disappointed in myself.

Irksome: Nadya Suleman’s second publicist quit over the weekend. In what might be the understatement of the week, Victor Munoz said, “This woman is nuts.” For real? I wonder if Mr. Munoz started the job either (a) not already knowing she was nuts, or (b) not actually caring she was nuts. Had he not read a newspaper or turned on the television in the months leading up to taking the post? Because, although I’ve never met the woman, from my observational vantage point I decided she was unbalanced about two seconds after hearing her story. Who in their right mind would think she’s sane in any way? What she did is nonsensical. And why all the concern? She and her children will be taken care of her for the rest of their lives. I’m sure they could survive for a long time on what she’s earning with her spots on Dr. Phil. (Five appearances in two weeks.) She’s apparently shopping the video of the octuplets’ birth for SEVEN-FIGURES. Not sure why anyone would want to watch that but it’s just a matter of time until someone ponies up. She has even received an offer to star in a porn movie. My main problem with the “Octomom” saga is this: Why do we care? Baffling. The woman is not a victim. She CHOSE this. Nadya Suleman will clutch onto the limelight as long as possible and milk it for every penny its worth.

Quotation: Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religionsOscar Wilde

Soupçon: According to this article from the L.A. Times, human beings, on average, err by about 15%-25% when guessing the time of day.

Song: They Might Be Giants is one of the greatest unsung bands of all-time. “Purple Toupee” might be its best song, but even as I type this, I can think of at least 10 more that are just as enjoyable.

Link: Hulu – Not as much selection as YouTube obviously, but higher resolution. If you haven’t seen the Hulu’s Super Bowl ad featuring Alec Baldwin, click HERE now.

Gallimaufry: Dave Frees is not only a friend of mine, but has many great ideas on how you can improve your business and your life. Click HERE to check out his blog. Also, the man runs one mean live auction…Had a busy weekend, so I didn’t get a chance to go see Watchmen. Gonna try to catch it this week. Anyone out there seen it yet?…It’s official – Philly Beer Week 2009 is upon us, boasting over 693 events this year. For all of you who live in or near The City of Brotherly Love, get out of the house and go drink lots and lots of beer…Click HERE to read all about Jonathon Krohn, the country’s youngest political pundit.