Fame Costs

I love Chelsea Handler. I am late to the party on this, I know. People have been loving her for years, and I just started. Her new show on Netflix is BADASSfame_quote, and I completely agree with her on everything from NOT HAVING KIDS to NOT GETTING MARRIED. Honestly I think she and I could be friends except for her obsession with dogs. But, we all have our faults.

Her show is great with one exception: When her niece is on. For someone who is constantly telling everyone how obnoxious other people are about their kids, (PREACH!) she’s doing the same thing with her niece. She has her on often, and the kid is annoying. REALLY ANNOYING. The kind of kid who is only adorable to their family…like all kids. She is twelve (I think) and says she wants to be “well-known” when she grows up. She doesn’t really care how or what for, she just wants to be famous. SO NOT CUTE.

Being famous for the sake of being famous is… weird. And gross. When I was coming up you had to actually have a talent in order to get famous. Well, a talent or a scandal. But that is a horse of a different color and I digress. I bet it’s confusing for kids today. I mean, Chelsea Handler seemed to work hard and pay her dues. But there are so many “models” out there and … whatever the Kardashians are, who make being pretty sound like a talent. It isn’t. Modeling is (barely) a job, and you are lucky if you can earn a living at it. Lucky, not talented. Maybe it takes some sort of talent to model, but not the same kind as it does to act or sing or dance or sew or cook or design or direct or teach or write.

If you look at the social media of any famous pretty person you’ll see all of the “hard work” that goes into being famous for being pretty. I call bullshit. Nobody NEEDS a cryogenic freezing chamber to be pretty. And, I’m pretty sure Kate Hudson was just as pretty BEFORE her weird electro-eye treatment as she was AFTER. It’s all bullshit. All of it. The worst are the selfies from the gym. Is this supposed to show me what an effort it is for you? Tips? What? I mean really. How shallow are you that you need to post videos of your workouts? If you want to lose my respect, just post a video or a selfie from the gym.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: Shift focus. Focus on what is INSIDE. Perhaps learn a SKILL and “get famous” for actually DOING something. And here’s a crazy idea, don’t post everything to social media! You don’t need applause or LIKES for living your life. You’ll keep living even if nobody sees it. The more we encourage kids (especially girls) to “look pretty” the longer we perpetuate the myth that beauty matters; that beauty is something you can achieve. It isn’t. Nothing subjective can ever be achieved. You will never be beautiful to everyone. Sorry to burst your bubble. Sure you can have surgery, use make-up, weaves, extensions… but you will still be you underneath all of those excuses. Instead, work on being YOU. Work on thinking you ARE beautiful just the way you are. And if you STILL want to be famous, figure out what you are good at DOING and practice it. You can be famous and perhaps be remembered for something other than your face. Cause guess what… your face won’t last forever.

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Shit I Did While Unemployed

long-term-unemployedI am no stranger to being unemployed. I’ve been fired, downsized, asked to leave, quit, resigned, and every other euphemism you can think of. When I’ve been asked to leave, it was never because I stole money or had poor performance. In fact last time I sat through a five minute speech about what a great employee I am but…

It’s always because I rock the boat. I don’t like being treated unfairly, and I won’t sit still when I see it happening. To me or anyone else. In San Francisco I was fired for standing up for a coworker. She was canned for “looking unbecoming” at work. Her mother had just died. I was HAPPY to speak up on her behalf, and I couldn’t believe that nobody else had the balls to say anything. People keep their mouths shut and fall in line in order to keep their silly job. But why? There are plenty of jobs out there. Why work for assholes? For instance: My last job paid me $12.60 and hour. That’s not a living wage here in Seattle. And that was after two years and three raises. When asked to work from home on projects I was told there wouldn’t be compensation. I was mocked asking, and for refusing to work for free. By my boss. Good riddance. 

I’ve never found anything wrong with being unemployed. Even when living overseas I was able to find work rather quickly. But this time was different. It took me a little over four months to find a job. Four months of looking at Craigslist and Indeed.com. Four months of filling out online applications and four months of first interviews. Four months of no income and the same amount of bills. Four months of wondering if I’d ever find a job. Four months of rice and noodles. It’s hard not to get bogged down in the negativity of the situation, but you can’t stop trying.

And now all of that is officially over. I found a nice job that pays way better than my last job and doesn’t ask me to work nights and weekends. But I am going to miss some parts of being unemployed. (And please, please don’t call it Fun-employment. I can’t fucking stand when people make up new words to make themselves feel superior. I mean…what an asshole! You’re out of a job. Just call it what it is. Unemployment. What you do with your time might be SUPER fun, but let’s not overstate things.) I’ll miss being able to luxuriate over my book and coffee in the morning. And I’ll miss taking walks to pet the bookstore cats. Here’s what I did on my … unemployment. Aside from looking for work everyday. There is a lot of time to fill.

  • I read about twenty four books. 
  • I learned three new songs on my ukulele. And I started a YouTube channel where folks can hear said songs. Here!  
  • I auditioned for The Voice, in L.A. You can read all about that, HERE!
  • I attended over ten interviews, and WorkSource Orientation, and over twenty phone/face-time interviews.
  • I discovered Snap Chat. It’s weird. I like it.
  • I met friends for drinks, karaoke, movies and encouragement.
  • I attended ComiCon for the first time. It was enjoyable except for all of the people.
  • I wrote three short stories, and began writing part of my um… what’s a less pretentious word for memoirs?
  • I colored in my coloring books.
  • I visited used bookstore weekly. Just for the cats.
  • I wrote letters to my pen pal in Pasadena. He wrote back.
  • I watched a shit ton of Law & Order episodes. imageI had a whole system going. One 20 sided die for which season. Then, add a 6 side – 1 to determine which episode. I was determined to prove that the entire cast of Grey’s Anatomy got their start on Law & Order. I know I could have gone straight to IMDB, but that takes the joy of discovery out of it. Anyway, I didn’t make it through all of the episodes, and I was only watching Law & Order Classic. I hadn’t even delved into Law & Order SVU. Which comes with extra rape, murder and bad child actors. Oh, and Ellen Pompeo was on L&O at least twice and both times went down for murder. I’ll write up my findings later.
  • I got lost both on foot and on the bus. A lot. It’s a good way to see the city!
  • My BFF visited for a week. I hadn’t seen him in over two years and it was overdo. He’s the one friend who is allowed to kick my ass. He got me motivated. And I had fun showing him the sights and letting him buy yummy food for me!
  • I cleaned, cooked and did a lot of chores. I look forward to splitting those duties once again.
  • I went to many parks and museums. Yay art!
  • I played games and relaxed with my boyfriend. I look forward to having a job which allows that to continue.

So, that was it. I got a little despondent there at the end, but it helped to remember that I am not my last job. Or any job. Identifying with your work is just another way for Ego to exert itself. Luckily I have never had a job where that was really an issue. I mean what kind of an asshole gets a big head over being an Admin Assistant or Program Director? Or worse yet, a Bookseller who makes under minimum wage? If I made those roles part of “who I am” then I would have taken a long run off a short cliff years ago. Even if you have a job you LOVE and you are GOOD at it… that isn’t WHO YOU ARE. Above all, you are a human being. What you like or do… or don’t do… is beside the point.

Best Feel Good Movies

ANCHORMANSometimes life just grinds you down and makes you want to lay on the sofa eating humus and pita chips. Maybe you feel sad or bored or mad or… just plain old bummed. I’ve put together a small collection of some of my favorite movies for getting me out of a funk. If you want to be in a better mood, then try watching one of these movies. Everyone needs an escape now and then.

**Please note that not all of these movies are your typical “feel good” movies. It sometimes makes me feel really good to watch a bad guy get his ass handed to him. Other times it makes me happy to see Adam Sandler yell at a golf ball. It just depends on my mood. This is just a short list and by all means not comprehensive. I’ll try to sprinkle a little variety on top for ya, but feel free to leave your own favorite Feel Good Movies in the comments.**

  1. Anchorman – No matter how many times I see this movie I still end up laughing. Of all the silly Will Ferrell movies, this is my favorite. Steve Carrell is hilarious.
  2. Julie & Julia – This movie features Meryl Streep as Julia Child. That should be reason enough to see it. But, if you are looking for a movie that just makes you happy, this is it. Great performances and it is based on a true story. A woman blogs her way through Julia’s famous cookbook. While doing so, we are treated to flashbacks of Julia’s life in France and how she got started cooking. A really fun movie.
  3. The Princess Bride –
    PB reunion shot

    PB reunion shot

    This is the definition of “Feel Good Movie”. Pirates. Battles. Sword fights. Andre the Giant. Mandy Patinkin. Christopher Guest. R.O.U.S’s. And yes, there is kissing. But we can skip that part if you want.

  4. Stick It – I watch this movie when I am feeling lethargic and like eating all of the ice cream. Watching a bunch of super fit athletes (they used real gymnasts in the film along side the actors) workout makes me feel like working out. Sometimes it works! This movie is like “Bring it On” but with gymnastics and Jeff Bridges instead of cheerleading and Kirsten Dunst.
  5. The 40 Year Old Virgin – I had this movie on DVD when I moved to Prague. I must have watched it at least 100 times that first year. It was the only movie (in english) that we had access to. It was funny every single time.
  6. Romancing the Stone53romancing-the-stoneThis one  is perfect to watch when you are feeling like life is boring and blah. Nothing can kick-start my need for getting out-of-town like this one. I love watching Joan Wilder outwit crocodiles, drug smugglers, evil kidnappers and Danny DeVito. It’s super campy and 80’s and that’s why I love it.
  7. The Shawshank Redemption – There isn’t much I can say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. It’s great. The idea that a man can stay true to himself and be awesome under the worst of situations is why we go to the movies. We want to see Red get of jail and find his friend Andy waiting for him on the shores of a Mexican beach. We want to believe that we can do better. If this movie doesn’t make you feel a little happy then maybe you should try harder.
  8. Grosse Point Blank – I love comedy mixed with explosions and gun fights. I love shoot outs that involve mini-marts. I like Jeremy Piven and John Cusack together. This movie has a little something for everyone. It’s funny, violent, sweet and it features Dan Aykroyd as a professional assassin and a super badass soundtrack. What’s not to love? 
  9. Little Miss Sunshine – Much like “The 40 Year Old Virgin” got me through Prague that first year, this movie got me through living in Mexico. I was fairly  isolated there, and I didn’t have a car. And I didn’t have any money. (Teachers in Mexico make even less than teachers in Prague) I spent a lot of time in my little apartment amusing myself by watching movies. I couldn’t get reliable internet there so I was limited to DVDs until my neighbor and fellow teacher/friend got a Blockbuster card. Whoo hoo! Until then I had just a handful of movies to watch. I watched this one a lot. It made me happy every time.
  10. Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior – I love old school kung-fu movies, and karate movies. Sure I liked Crouching Tiger, but seeing people flying on wires doesn’t impress me as much as watching badass dudes do amazing things physically. I think that’s why I like watching Ninja Warrior. Tony Jaa performs all of his own stunts in this movie. It’s crazy good. The story doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that you get to see beautiful shots of Thailand and watch Jaa do crazy things with his body. It’s beyond impressive. 

Summer Playlist!

bondi_beach_swimwear_1950sSummer is here! Actually, here in Texas summer never left. But I’m not gonna let that get me down. No sir. So what if it is 85 degrees at 10pm with 75% humidity? (barf) I’m going to enjoy my summer anyway. So ladies, get out those sundresses, and get a cute haircut because this summer is going to sizzle!

I have put together a playlist of songs that are perfect for long summer days. There is a little something for everyone – some soul, some funk, some pop and some punk. I hope you like it. And if you don’t, at least you get to watch Beyoncé dance around in tiny shorts and stilettos. Enjoy! And remember: Stay cool, stay cool, stay hydrated and above all, stay HAPPY!

  1. Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful 
  2. The Doors – Love Street 
  3. That Summer Feeling – Jonathan Richman 
  4. Neil Young – Unknown Legend 
  5. Small Faces – The Universal 
  6. Ho Hey – Lennon and Maisy Stella 
  7. Crazy in Love – Beyoncé 
  8. Not Just Knee Deep – Parliment Funkadelic 
  9. Surrender – Cheap Trick 
  10. Beautiful & Dangerous – Desmond Dekker and the Aces 
  11. X – Motel Room in My Bed 
  12. Ramones – Rockaway Beach 
  13. Mr. Tambourine Man – The Byrds 
  14. Next to Me – Emeli Sandé 
  15. There’s a Break in the Road – Betty Harris 

Mother

MargeSimpsonThere are a billion things to love about Mothers. They wipe your poop. They pay for your food and clothing. They tell you your art/play/singing/ceramic ashtray is wonderful when it is obviously crap. They put up with your “Goth” peroid, or life-style for some of you.  They bail you out of jail. They are Santa, The Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy (plus Dad, of course. Where applicable) They love you no matter what. For the most part. They get one Sunday a year as a National Holiday for all of us ungrateful kids to call home and say thanks. It’s a pretty thankless title, but then so is “teacher” and we got a week. Anyway – to all the awesome mom’s out there I say “Well done! Take the day off, you deserve it!” To all the not so awesome mom’s out there I say, “Get back on track, yo. This kid of yours will one day have to socialize outside of your family. Make sure they can do so without getting their ass kicked.” And, Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, your mom and all the moms out there who read this little blog. Enjoy your day!

For you, I have this. My favorite “Mothers”.

tumblr_lw8l9eNr6Y1qzxbg4o1_500

This scene from “Mommie Dearest” 

This: 

Mrs. C

Mrs. C

My favorite mom fantasy 

Blog-2

Of course, this 

“Mommie told me something a little kid should know. It’s all about the devil and I’ve leaned to hate him so. She says he causes trouble when you let him in the room and he’ll never ever leave you if your heart is filled with gloom. So… Let the Sunshine in!” 

This always gets me 

Carol-Brady-the-brady-bunch-8032041-550-391

a song of advice to mothers 

And one last thought. Happy Mom’s Day. This song isn’t really about Moms, but it is awesome. And Whitney Houston’s Mom Cissy, is one of the back up singers. Anyway – here it is.Happy Joy! 

Things I’m Loving: Spring Edition

hannibal_nbc_130301As promised, here is the yin to my yang. Things I am loving right now. This is the partner to yesterday’s article – Things I am over.

  1. Hannibal (TV Show) – Are you watching this? If not, you should be. It takes the characters we all know and love from the books (Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon) and gives them history. A creepy, strange history. We get to see Hannibal before he was “The Cannibal” and watch him be a doctor, a mentor, and wonder if he is a killer. You’ll see lot’s of death, blood and highly disturbing things on this show, just be warned, but it’s awesome. Starring Madds Mikkelsen as everybody’s favorite chef, and Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford – FBI, it’s tons of fun to watch. It’s the kind of show actors beg to be a part of. Again, if you have a low tolerance for gross, then you might skip it.
  2. Hiking: 0410-youcan-hiking-0008It’s free. It’s outside. It’s fun. It’s exercise! Hiking is for sure something I am loving right now. There are hiking trails near where you live, I promise. This handy web site tells you local trails, and lets you review them. I usually don’t read reviews from folks online, but in this case it was helpful. Gyms (for the most part) here in the states are expensive and designed more for getting your money than maximizing your health. Well, with hiking you don’t have to worry about monthly fees and gross muscle dudes watching you from the mirrors. Nope. You just have to worry about the weather.
  3. Music from “Nashville” (TV show)Some of my favorite current music is from this show. T-Bone Burnett is the guy in charge of it all, if that tells you anything. They have cast great singers (for the most part) and the songs are great. Check out Maisy and Lennon Stella for instance. Two little girls (sisters) who sing great harmonies and just finished playing the Grand Ol Opry. They are crazy good. I also really enjoy the musc by Clare Bowen (Scarlett on the show) She is an Australian actress and singer and she kills it. I listen to these songs in the shower or just hanging around the house. Thsese songs easily make the jump frpm screen to real life. Hayden Panettiere has a top single on the Country charts. Check it out. 
  4. Brother DegeHard blues. That’s what I’d call it. If you like the sound of a steel guitar and old school blues and folk, then this is your man. He did some of the music for D’jango Unchained and he is awesome. Here, have a listen. 
  5. Purging my shit: I don’t have a lot of extra shit in my life. Well, I didn’t before I came back to the states. Something about America makes you want to go shopping. Well, no more! I have been having a great time throwing away anything that has no use in my life, or is unnecessary. My world feel less cluttered and my house looks nicer, and I am very aware of what I buy and what space it will take in my life. I am a Nomad, and Nomads don’t have room for twelve pairs of shoes, a TV, and a full wardrobe. Purge!

My Favorite Film Assholes

Here is a list of my all time favorite movie Assholes. An asshole is different from a villain. e.g. Dr. Rene Belloq is to an asshole what Darth Vader is to a villain. If you haven’t seen these movies then don’t read this. Spoilers ahead!

  1. Bill (Kill Bill trilogy) – david-carradine03You know how you would feel really uncomfortable if your ex came to your wedding…with a crew of deadly assassins hell-bent on killing you? Yeah, me too. Bill takes the (wedding) cake for on-screen assholish behavior. He kills everyone she knows because she wanted to leave him. Dick. On top of that, he’s been raising their daughter and kept it a secret while she was in a coma. I mean, come on. 
  2. Steff (Pretty in Pink)tumblr_m6f2h8IlQe1qctynro1_500This is probably my all time favorite asshole. I actually kind of like Steff.  He’s a straight shooter who tells it like it is. I can respect that. Played to perfection by James Spader, Steff plays the foil to Andrew McCarthy’s sad and whiney Blane. This guy smokes in school hallways, spits on the floors, wears suits to school, treats his friends and family like shit, and you wouldn’t believe the things he says. When his drunk and equally bitchy girlfriend is getting in Blane’s face, he turns to her and says,”You really are worthless.” When Blane is sad about his life and his problems are many, Steff simply gives him this advice:”Why don’t you go take a shower, you look like shit.”
  3. Hardy Jenns (Some Kind of Wonderful)craig-sheffer-some-kind-of-wonderful-criminal-minds-photo-GCBecause of this movie, whenever my BFF and I came across a total asshole in High School we would look at each other and say, “…with TWO n’s…”. Hardy Jenns was that special asshole who had money, money and good looks and a nice car and then some more money. He hits all the major asshole points: He wears blazers to class, drives an expensive car, wears sunglasses all of the fucking time, and he dates and mistreats the hottest girl of the 80’s. He calls his girlfriend his property, and when he gets caught in the girls locker room, he tells the teacher to relax – there’s nothing he hasn’t seen before. Hardy Jenns. With TWO n’s.
  4. Richard Vernon (The Breakfast Club) screenshot-lrg-09While we are on the subject of John Hugh’s assholes… I give you Mr. Vernon! Again, he is the uniting force in the movie. The one thing that all of these kids from such super really totally different lives have in common. He’s the asshole principal who makes them come to detention on Saturday. A Saturday! As if that’s not bad enough he asks them to write a paper explaining who they think they are. Seriously? You give a high schooler that assignment and you don’t expect a sarcastic paper? Bitch, please. You mess with the bull you get the horns.
  5. Carter Burke (Aliens)paul_reiser_aliensI remember seeing this in the movie theater and people stood and cheered when Paul Riser met his match. Basically he is the quintessential company man. He is greedy, mean, dishonest and condescending. He takes a ship full of marines to a deserted planet knowing full well that there are scary fucking monsters out there. Then, when all hell breaks loose he tries to impregnate Ripley and Newt with alien babies. This guy!
  6. Iceman (Top Gun)IcemanYeah, Iceman will get all up in your face! That’s right. Then he’ll just snap his teeth at you all freaky like. Why? Because you are dangerous. Val Kilmer took the fairly small and definitely subplot character and had fun with him. He gave Iceman a cocky attitude, a buzz cut and pecks to die for. Iceman can spike a volleyball and then spin it on his finger. What an asshole. He’d probably do it right in front of your girlfriend just to make you look bad. But who has the last laugh Iceman? Huh? I’ll give y’all a couple of seconds to google current pictures of both Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. It pays to be nice.
  7.  Mr. Blonde (Reservoir Dogs) – tumblr_mgsadvGxml1rpyah3o1_1280To be fair, you could pick just about any character from a Tarantino film and put them on this list. But, I am singling out Mr. Blonde for special dispensation. For those of you who haven’t seen this movie, too fucking bad. you should have seen it by now. It is awesome. Mr. Blonde takes a bad situation (a robbery gone bad) and makes it worse (takes a cop hostage). Everyone leaves the room and Mr. Blonde is left alone with the doomed cop. He doesn’t kill the cop outright. He teases him, cuts off his ear, does a little dance and doused him with gasoline. I told you. Asshole. 

    CAREER ASSHOLES

William Zabka – This man made a career of playing douchy asshole rich kids in the 80’s. He was awesome as Johnny in karate kid, chasing poor Daniel-san around the school. Never has a skeleton costume been so intimidating. He played a variation of “Johnny” in European Vacation, Back to School, and Karate Kid II. Here he is kicking ass. 

William Atherton10.thornbergIt is hard to choose a favorite asshole role of William Atherton. They are all so very good. You could go with the sleazy TV journalist Richard Thornberg from Die Hard. I know my boyfriend is partial to his portrayal of Walter Peck in Ghostbusters. My personal favorite is Dr. Jerry Hathaway in the over looked comedy classic Real Genius – with Val Kilmer. I also enjoyed him as a “different but totally the same” asshole doctor in Bio-Dome. But I enjoyed everything about Bio-Dome. (Fun Fact: William Zabka and William Atherton create the perfect asshole storm when they appear together on the TV show “The Equalizer”.)

My Top 9 Life Ruining Films

stage-door-holy-femalesWhat I mean by “life ruining” films is simple. It is a movie that forever altered the way I view or interact in the “real” world. Whether it is false expectations or high aspirations, the following films have ruined my life.

  1. Say Anything (1989) – A few years after this movie came out, I developed something called “The Lloyd Dobler Effect”. Named after the male lead, The Lloyd Dobler Effect states that after seeing “Say Anything” women’s expectation of a mans behavior rises to unusual levels. Thus resulting in long-lasting, and often times repeated disappointment on the part of the woman. In short – no mere mortal man could ever live up to Lloyd Dobler. Not all men are created equal. The Lloyd Dobler Effect also gives birth to the notion that there are indeed “nice guys” out there. Who look like John Cusack.
  2. Star Wars (1979)princess-leia-1Girls today want to be princesses. They want to wear pink sparkle dresses and tulle skirts and that’s that. You are a Princess! I got news for you dorks – being a princess takes more than just pink clothes and some sequins. It takes balls. Princess Leia ruined my life. I saw Star Wars at a very young age (in the movie theatre!) and I left thinking that I could totally lead the rebel alliance, fall in love with Han Solo and stand up to the Dark Side with no problem. Yeah right. I grew up and realized that when you stand up to the “dark side” in the real world, you get fired. When you experiment with cool new hair styles on Earth your friends make fun of you, or ask you “what happened”. Maybe it’s different on Alderan. Maybe they treat princesses like human beings there and not like mini stepford wives. Anyway. Thanks for teaching me that real princesses are mouthy, ballsy, feminine, hard-working women who lead countries and planets and never, ever wear pink. Even if it does get me in trouble now and then.
  3. Practical Magic (1998)Practical-Magic-practical-magic-12642483-1500-1193 Okay. So I kind of believe in magic, and I might actually believe that I am magic. I’m adopted and that leads to a lot of harmless psychological delusions. This is the least of them. But this movie ruined my life in a couple of ways. First, it totally justified my “bad boy” fixation with the dark and sexy “Jimmy Angelov” character. It also made me want to live in a really cool old house with tons of space over looking the ocean with my cool crazy aunts (who just happen to be witches) living with me and my zany sister. It’s not too much to ask, is it? I could plant herbs and make pancakes for dinner! I could ride my vintage bicycle down to main street and buy some apples at the farmers market. And then I could go crazy from the insane boredom of staying in one place that long with no movie theatre.Next up? The hair. I was obsessed with Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman’s hair in this movie. It is long, shiny, lucious, bouncy, and awesome. Hair envy. I soon found out that it wasn’t real. Maybe it was magic. Or extensions. And of course, this movie is one of many films confirming the “midnight margarita” delusion. It looks awesome to wake everyone from their  slumber and begin drinking margaritas at midnight. In movies this leads to fantastic dance parties, laughter, touching confessions and the kind of hangover that is fixed with a smile and some “strong coffee”. Needless to say, this is false.
  4. Grease (1978)Olivia Newton-John in In what way did this movie NOT ruin my life? Ugh.First off, I became a cheerleader in High School and did not end up a hot sexy bitch who puts out my cigarettes with flare in a pair of hot red Candie’s. Next, being the best singer at school doesn’t make you cool. It doesn’t do anything except make female drama dorks jealous, and make the asshole dudes notice your boobs and try to “score” with you. Speaking of asshole dudes, this movie is yet another in a long line of movies that told me guys might act like dicks, but underneath they are really awesome. Assholes like Danny Zuko are nice guys underneath. When their friends aren’t looking. And if you try hard enough, and eventually change everything about yourself, he will like you. And finally, I fully expected my last day of high school to end in a big carnival. It didn’t. There were no big group numbers dedicated to my friends, vowing that we’ll stay together forever. There were no rides. There was no hot guy. All I got was a trip to Disneyland, a buffet and a diploma. Big whoop.
  5. Private Benjamin (1980)Private Benjamin I almost joined the army because of this movie. I’m totally serious. I even went into the ROTC office at school and talked to the nice folks in there about ruining my life forever joining the army. It looked really fun! Obstacle courses all day, bunks at night. Travel to Paris. Meet weird people. Smoke a little. Where do I sign up? I was more than disappointed to learn the stark realities of the US military for anyone, but especially for a woman. And I’ll leave it at that.
  6. Stage Door (1937) – Wait a minute. You mean when I grow up I can not only be an actress, but I can live in a hotel for women in New York City and be friends with Ginger Rodgers and Katherine Hepburn? Okay, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. But I didn’t know that women in the movies and women in real life can be THAT mean. I think I was shocked the first time a girl friend stabbed me in the back and nothing bad happened to her. In the movies the mean girl always gets outed. In real life she gets meaner.
  7. Dirty Dancing (1987)Dirty-Dancing-dirty-dancing-19698995-640-400I’m noticing a theme here… bad boys that just need the right girl to break through. IT DOESN’T EXIST. In real life bad boys are assholes and “nice guys” are actually really nice, interesting men just waiting for women to stop watching “The NOtebook” long enough to notice them. Whew! Anyway, that isn’t really why this movie ruined my life. It made me think The Poconos would be a cool place to visit and that I might actually be able to dance. Ha! Dirty Dancing has also made me hyper-aware of ever carrying a watermelon.
  8. Annie Hall (1977)large_annie_hall_blu-ray_04Woody Allen is responsible for so many of my personal issues, that he could make a great film about it. Annie Hall is quirky, independent, smart, funny, goofy, talented and attractive. She lives in NY and she dresses unlike anyone else. Long before the world even thought about Carrie Bradshaw they were obsessed with Annie Hall. But Annie Hall was a tall girl. A slender girl. Annie Hall lived in NY, not in CA (at least not til the end of the movie). Anyway, this movie gave me a romanticized NY that I still long for, and that I look for each time I visit. I’m not giving up on this one quite yet.
  9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)audrey-hepburn-17 I have been chasing the perfect cocktail party since I saw this film when I was about 12 years old. I believed that when I was a grown up, I would have glamourous, confusing parties that resulted in people kissing in bathtubs and drinking from shoes. I thought people would dress for parties and have quirky conversations. I think I secretly hoped that Truman Capote would actually come to a party I threw and proclaim me, and my shindig a success.

Oscar’s Highs & Lows

url-2Last night I watched the Academy Awards for the first time in seven years. I was excited. I used to have huge parties with themed food and drinks, guests dressed up for the event and I had prizes and trivia. It was fun. This time I went low-key: just me, my pj’s and some fresh-baked cookies.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Seth MacFarlane & LA Gay Men’s Choir sing “We Saw Your Boobs” – What a great way to open the show. Honestly, I was cracking up the entire time. I know a lot of people thought it was tacky and not right for the Oscars, but what did you expect when you asked the creator of Family Guy to host? He was just doing what the public likes him to do. I loved the light-hearted tone it set for the rest of the show, and also it let people know that Hollywood was not going to take itself seriously tonight. 
  • Meryl Streep – Not only does she get to announce best actor Daniel Day-Lewis, she didn’t skip a beat in doing it. “And the winner is Daniel Day-Lewis.” Done. Like a boss.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis acceptance speech – url-3Isn’t DDL adorable? I just want him to be my sexy excentric uncle. Anyway, I loved how gracious, sincere and funny he was. He toyed with Ms. Streep and joked about them switching roles at the last-minute – Lincoln for Thatcher – it was brilliant. He could have a second career as a stand up comic. He is a humble man who is amazing considering the amount of talent he has. I love you DDL.
  • Ben Affleck acceptance: Unlike DDL, Ben isn’t a pro at these things. He is just coming into his own. He showed last night that all of Clooney’s tutelage hasn’t gone to waste. Ben has learned to be a man’s man. His words to his wife left everyone in tears. Well played, Benjamin.
  • All of the musical treats – Yes, I could have done without the full cast of Les Mis getting on stage and performing, but whatever. It was fine. I loved Catherine Zeta Jones, and Jennifer Hudson looked and sounded fierce. But, what was better than that was the “you’re going long” music. Every time a speech started to run long the “Jaws” theme started to play. LOVE.
  • All things Tarantino – I jumped up and clapped when Christoph Waltz won, and I thought QT gave a great speech about how, more than anything, the actors should be heavily thanked for bringing his crazy, badass characters to life. I was happy to see him up there. Maybe one day the Academy will let him have a best picture statue. Ha.
  • Babs & BasseyShirley Bassey performs on stage at the OscarsShirley Bassey OWNED the stage. That is until my girl Barbara got up there and killed it. Both women showed the world that age don’t matter – it’s all about talent. And both have it. I loved that Ms. Bassey wore gold, skin-tight sequins, and Barbra was apparently paying homage to her 1970’s self with her hair, gown, nails and make up. It’s not every performer who can stand still on a stage and just sing and keep you totally entertained. Were you taking notes Gaga? PS – I also very much enjoyed when Ms Bassey grabbed her boob.

LOWS:

  • Red Carpet drivel: Has it always been this bad? I don’t think so. I mean I guess. I seem to recall Tyra Banks in a huge purple prom dress, speaking like a hood rat to nominees on the RC. It was sad. But it seems like there is an array of idiots with microphones out there now, all asking insipid questions. I saw one woman ask Zoe Saldana how she prepares, not for a role, but for getting into her dress. I wanted to punch that stupid woman in the nose. 
  • Kristen Stewartdaniel-radcliffe-kristen-stewart-oscars-presentersIs it too much to ask for you to comb your hair before going on national television at a black tie event? That girl looked like she just got done snorting a line in the bathroom with 4 hookers and Jack Nicholson. Seriously. Girl looks used up, torn up and trashy. If you resent the Oscars, then just don’t go. But don’t show up looking like a an after picture on “Faces of Meth”.
  • That 9 year-old: Yeah, I mean that cute little girl who was nominated for best actress. Her. She was super-duper obnoxious. Mom? You need to have a little talk with Princess Pomposity about humility and its role in the lime light. You need to tell her it isn’t cute, nor is it ok to “fist pump” at a black tie event. And it doesn’t hurt to say “Thank you”. Stay classy Quvenzhané Wallis.
  • Les Mis Cast sing-a-long-Les Miserables love Les Mis, and I thought the film was alright, so I mean this with the utmost respect: SHUT UP. Shut up! Please? That wasn’t just painful to look at, but it was painful to listen to. Anne Hathaway is a lovely person with an alright voice, she didn’t need that extra push from the sound man. It worked on-screen because she was in character, crying, and dying. The whole gang just seemed overwrought and sad. I was glad when it was over.
  • Michelle Obama85th Annual Academy Awards - ShowI was just as confused as poor Jack. He seemed genuinely high or totally confused about the presence of the first lady, and so was I. Why did that happen? And why wasn’t she there in person? It wouldn’t have felt so cheap and strange if she had been there… or been in a movie. Just sayin’. I love Michelle just as much as the next guy, but that was wacky.

The Oscars: Picks, Predictions and What Should Have Been

Lincoln_2012_Teaser_PosterThe Oscars are just around the corner. That means the big wigs at the movie studios are racing around trying to get voters to see their film, remember it and then actually vote for it. The Weinsteins are adept at this kind of thing which is why cute little films like “Shakespeare in Love” and this years “Silver Linings Play Book” swept nominations. It is run a lot like a political campaign – it’s all about who you know, how well you market yourself, and face time. It’s a joke.

The idea that a film gets nominated because it is good is laughable and outdated. It is a popularity contest, pure and simple. How many nominations are there for Best Picture now, like twenty? How is that getting the cream of the crop? And then there is all the talk about snubs. Ugh. Even I can figure this out. It’s just math. There are 9 Best Picture Nominations, and there are only 5 spots for Best Director. So, using simple math I can conclude that there isn’t enough room on the roster for each director of a BP nom to have a spot. The Academy induced its own snubs.

So here I will give you the breakdown of what WILL win, what SHOULD win, and even (when appropriate) what movie was not even nominated that should have been. Ready? The envelope please!

BEST PICTURE: First off, I saw Silver Linings Play Book and… yeah. Really? This? Sure it was cute and all, but Oscar worthy? Certainly not. But I guess I still remember a time when this award was prestigious. Back before Enimem had one. Anyway, just because a film isn’t very good doesn’t mean it won’t win. Remember those Weinsteins? Well, they have been pushing for that little movie to win… and it just might. What will win? Lincoln. The Weinsteins might be good, but DDL is better. This movie was a triumph and deserves the big prize. I just hope Academy voters didn’t give the ballot to their 25-year-old live at home daughter. The surprise here might be ‘Argo’. What should win? Lincoln. I would LOVE to see D’Jango Unchained take the prize, but let’s get real. WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED? The Master. It is far and away a better  film than Silver Linings and Le Mis. And Argo.

BEST ACTOR: Easy. No problem. Who will win? Who should win? Daniel Day-Lewis. No contest. WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED? Doesn’t matter. DANIEL. DAY. LEWIS.

BEST ACTRESS: Jessica-Chastain-Oscars-2012Have you seen this list? How sad! There were so many great female performances out there, how did we get stuck with these? Naomi Watts was a big yawn fest, and as much as I like Jennifer Lawrence, I don’t get why she was nominated. Who will win? The big prize is going to either Jessica Chastain or Jennifer Lawrence. Who should win? Emmanuelle Riva WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED? Marion Cotillard in ‘Rust and Bone’, and Helen Hunt in ‘The Sessions’ – She was nominated for a supporting role, but she deserved a Best nod. And Rachel Weisz in ‘The Deep Blue Sea’. Man, did they get it wrong this year.

SUPPORTING ACTORurl-3This is where it gets tricky. The Academy historically uses this category to give an award to someone who they might have over looked in the past. It’s always a tough category since everyone nominated is talented and deserving, even if they aren’t necessarily “deserving” for that particular year. Who will win? Tommy Lee Jones (See above) Who should win? Phillip Seymour Hoffmann. He was out of this world, crazy good. It’s too bad that Tommy Lee Jones will get an Oscar just for being Tommy Lee Jones. Again. I’d also love to see an upset and watch Christoph Waltz take that statute home. WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED? Albert Brooks in ‘Drive’. I fucking HATED this movie, but I loved Albert Brooks. And he should have gotten a nod. Also, Leo DiCaprio and Javier Bardiem, and Sam Jackson.

SUPPORTING ACTRESSurl-2Like Best Actress, this category is upsetting. My first question is why was Jackie Weaver nominated? She did all of jack and shit in that film. And then there is the media darling Anne Hathaway. I think she did a good job in that whole 35 minutes she had on-screen. Yes, her solo was outstanding, but should we just give Oscars willy nilly like that? I say no. But, that being said Who will win? Anne Hathaway Who should win? Amy Adams (or Helen Hunt) WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED? Anne Dowd in Compliance, Maggie Smith in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM – I LOVE watching animated movies. They make me really happy.  I have seen all of these films with the exception of ‘Pirates! Band of Misfits’ but it ain’t gonna win, so I’ll get to it later. But this is a tight race, and a tough one to call. All of the nominated films are fun, funny and entertaining. What will win? Frankenweenie or ParaNorman What should win? Any of them. They are all good films.

BEST DIRECTOR – Before you start yelling “SNUB!” let me reiterate, there are only 5 spots in this category, and 9 spots in Best Picture. Get it? Good. Onwards. Who will win? Steven Spielberg Who should win? Steven Spielberg Who should have been nominated? For starters Quentin Tarantino. Kathryn Bigelow. Ben Afleck.