Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscarama

I agree with Roger Ebert that this was the worst Oscarcast ever.  They need better writers, a comedian host, and some production changes.  Mostly it would have helped to have Billy Crystal back or someone who could keep things moving with banter. That didn't stop me from watching the whole show because I have this loyalty thing that keeps me hanging on to shows long after I probably should abandon them.  Ask Brian.

There were moments that worked really well and many that didn't.  I like funny speeches and touching ones.  There were a few that were memorable in that respect - Colin Firth, the screenwriter of The King's Speech David Seidler, and Sandra Bullock's presentation.  The winners were predictably who I thought might win based on what I've read and heard.  Now I need to see the movies.

Their attempt to appeal to a younger, hip audience didn't work.  Anne Hathaway looked great in the dresses, and James Franco seems like a stoner.  Oh, it was a nice touch having the public school kids chorus on there.  They were good and helped counteract the negative press we teachers get. 

I miss the Oscar days of outrageous outfits Cher wore, unexpected speeches, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, laughter, and being entertained.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Awards Shows

The Oscars are on tonight, and I've never missed one yet.  I do like awards shows for some reason and like to see who wins, what they wear, who they are with, and how the show is put together.  So far I've seen the Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA, and the Independent Spirit Awards, which are better some years than others.  They seem to revel in their independence by dressing in various degrees of casualness, holding the ceremony in a tent on the beach, and occasionally trying to be outrageous.  Last night wasn't so good.  They were all cold and complained about it and the humor was even more adolescent than usual.  Oh well.  What I like is learning about some movies I hadn't heard much about since they are Indie films.

My favorite movie awards show is BAFTA probably because I love British humor.  There's a bit of irreverence to the whole show but sincere gratitude for the awards.  A good mix.

I'll be on Twitter during the Oscars and will chat with any of you who are there, too.  I follow Roger Ebert, who always makes interesting comments on things.  It doesn't even bother me that it lasts a long time.   I have my Oscar ballot printed, so I can check the winners.  What predictions do any of you have?  This year I haven't seen many of the movies at all and just know what I've heard about them. 

Going to get some reading done for my classes before I watch the Oscars! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Phone is Stalking Me

I got an iPhone and love it! Even the box it comes in is classy. The phone and accessories fit inside the sturdy, attractive box neatly and ergonomically. Impressive right off the bat!  Just look at this!  If you've felt the box and touched all of it, you know what I mean.


Then I connected it to iTunes on my laptop and went through the steps to make it my own.  I've been playing with it ever since I bought it yesterday.  Sam has and will continue to answer questions and help me with it.  My learning curve hasn't been as much as I thought it would be except for answering the phone!  I finally caught on to that for the most part.  LOL  Oh, yes, it's a phone, too.  The text messages are so cute with conversation bubbles.  A friend told me to click the arrow on the map, and it will show me where I am.  Most of the time I know that but did it anyway.  Then I wanted to get back on the map of the world, but it wouldn't let me do it.  So I called Earl to ask how to do that.  He said it couldn't be done and that it would always show where I am unless I ask for directions somewhere.  So I said, "My phone is stalking me!" 

I downloaded Google Earth so I can see the world now, too.  So far the apps are impressive, and the phone is amazing!  Based on all this, I'm getting a Macbook soon as I can! 

Oh and I got the Xfinity app to see my TV listings.  I signed into my Comcast account to set it up since I'm supposed to be able to set my DVR from my phone.  It said I had two sets available and gave labels for each.  All of a sudden a window popped up on the TV in the den that said that set was DVR 1.  Then I went in the bedroom where a window said that one was TV 1.  Sort of neat and creepy at the same time.  Big Brother is in my phone!  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dilemma

The good news in 1547 in Britain was that the law was amended to end the practice of boiling criminals to death. The bad news was that the punishment was changed to burning them at the stake.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Too Late

A woman’s arthritic pains will almost always disappear as soon as she becomes pregnant.

Sir Charles!

A $10,000 fine was promptly issued to Charles Barkley by the NBA for accidentally spitting on an 8-year-old girl.

Shocking Trivia

Using the electric chair could be overkill, since it only takes 15 watts of electricity going through a human body to stop the heart. Common lightbulbs run on about 25 to 75 watts of electricity. So come on, let’s try to conserve energy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Must Be An Underlying Reason

During the rule of Peter the Great, any Russian man who wore a beard was required to pay a special tax, although you could get away scot-free with just a mustache and sideburns.

Well OK

In August 1998, Priscilla Presley won $75,000 in a defamation lawsuit against Lavern Grant, a former army buddy of Elvis Presley’s who claimed they had an affair before Priscilla married Presley It was ruled in a California superior court that Grant made false statements that were repeated and used in the book Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley by Suzanne Finstad. Priscilla long assured the world she was a virgin when she married the King.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Afraid They'll Vote

Questions and answers from assignments I'm grading.  See why my hope for the future becomes bleaker by the year?
  1. What are a few of the positive things the Equal Rights Amendment would have done for women in America?
  2. Critics of the amendment pointed out some negative repercussions. What were they?
  3. All things considered, would you be in favor of the amendment or against it and why?
1. Women got equal rights as men. (got to vote, work, and be educated)
2. Racial preferences violate the 14th amendment, no freedom of speech, no same sex marriage,  no bare arms.
3. It's really hard to say. I have my reasons I'd be for it, and against it. Women should have equal rights as men, but we should have the right to bare arms, freedom of speech, and no one should be racist. 


I reassigned it to her and left her this note:

Women already had the right to vote, work, and be educated in 1972.  You need to do more reading about the ERA and think about your answers.  The 2nd Amendment had nothing to do with the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.  And it's "bear" not "bare" arms unless you meant wearing sleeveless dresses. 

Next assignment that got a note and was reassigned.  Kill me now!
  1. How have social norms changed in America since the decade of the '60s?
  2. How does your generation's norms and mores differ from those of your parents? Grandparents?
  3. In your opinion, why do these changes take place?
1. Attitudes to a variety of issues changed, sometimes radically, throughout the decade.
2. Both of my parents are different, but parts of me look the same as both of them. Some things are different as well like my eyes change to my mood, my moms eyes are hazel and my dads are blue. I'm very light skinned like my mother, but my father and sister are very dark. My grandparents have blue and brown eyes. We all have brown dark colored hair.
3. If everyone looked the same the world would be a lot different, and not for good. We all have our own personality and our own look, but what make's some of those looks, is our parents.

There are some worse than these!  Yes, it's possible! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Trivia

Dolphins have killed sharks by ramming them with their snouts.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wish I'd Thought of This

The man behind the Beanie Babies phenomenon of the late 1990s is still quite a mystery. Ty Warner has shunned interviews, and the company’s financial records and phone number are hard to find. Reports in 1999 identified Warner as a billionaire and the richest toy maker in the world. He purchased New York’s Four Seasons luxury hotel for $275 million.

The King's Speech (not)

In the latter part of the eighteenth century, Prussian surgeons treated stutterers by snipping off portions of their tongues.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gum Trivia (chewing not tooth holders)

The first product to have a UPC bar code on its packaging was Wrigley’s chewing gum.

Bridal Gowns

In ancient times, the traditional color of bridal gowns was red. The wife of Napoleon III broke the tradition and wore a white gown. Then, brides began wearing white gowns (which were worn only once) as a symbol of their wealth.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BAFTA Commentary

Jonathan Ross, host of the BAFTAs, explained: "I will introduce each category and a talented and hopefully attractive member of the film community will read the nominees. And then whichever person of the cast or crew of The King's Speech has won will come up to the stage and take the award."  That's how it happened, too.


An exception is Aaron Sorkin, who won for his screenplay of The Social Network.  I hope he wins the Oscar because I like his writing.  He wrote The West Wing, The American President, and Sports Night for a few.  The West Wing is my all-time favorite TV show, and Jeb Bartlett is my President! 

David Fincher won for Best Director of The Social Network, so that film won those two.  The Fighter wasn't nominated.  Natalie Portman won Best Actress for Black Swan and seems to be a sure thing along with Colin Firth as Oscar winners.

The Harry Potter films won a well-deserved special award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film.  Stephen Fry presented the award and part of his introduction was, "Some have suggested, sacrilege though it may seem, that the films may actually be better than the quite brilliantly voiced audio books."  (He recorded those.)  I love the Brits and wish I had an English man all my own! 


Complete list of nominees and winners HERE. If you want to watch the awards, go HERE.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Laptop Saga Continues

I sent my laptop away again and got it back today.  It's an HP, so I blame Carly Fiorina whether she was CEO at the time it was produced or not.  It's an adjustment when I use it again after the little 10" netbook.  This one is 17" and seems HUGE in comparison.  I guess it is.  I think I'll probably get a 15" next time since it would be easier to take places and from room to room.  This one is better when it stays at mission control center where I can watch TV and have the remote controls and phones within reach.  There is texting, too, you know! 

One of the problems with that little netbook is that I have to scroll back and forth to play Scrabble and Family Feud, and it takes time away since FF is timed!  Two things I don't like are being uncomfortable and inconvenienced, so that's major!  Otherwise, I'm easy to get along with. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gag!

Floor-cleaning products in Venezuela have ten times the pine fragrance of U.S. floor cleaners. Venezuelan women won’t buy a weaker fragrance. These obsessive homemakers may wet-mop their tile floors twice a day, leaving windows and doors open so the scent can waft out to the street to send the message that their houses are clean.

I'm not going to Venezuela. I hate that smell even in small amounts.  That would put me over the edge. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Don 't See Dead People

I almost have panic attacks when those people who get in touch with dead relatives give their loved ones messages from them.  I hope like hell that is not true because I've done some things I really hope my father and grandmother didn't see and don't know about.  I'll have some 'splainin' to do if there is a way we meet again in the afterlife.  Some of that stuff even embarrasses me now when I think about it, so I can just imagine how Daddy would react!  Most of it was lots of fun but nothing I want observed.  Wonder how that works if it actually does happen?  I like to think that parts can be censored, but I mostly choose to believe they have no clue what I've done. 

Not for Me ...

The indentation in the middle area between the nose and the upper lip is called the philtrum. Ancient Greeks considered this to be one of the body’s most erogenous zones

Weather

We saw something today we haven't seen for a while - the sun!  The snow is melting and will be gone completely tomorrow.  We'll be having a relative heat wave next week as the temps climb from the 40s today to the mid-60s by the end of the week!  Let's hope this snow has finished with us!  I'm ready for a mild rest of the winter and then a long spring.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Joy in School

We've missed some of our classes at APSU Tina and I are taking because of snow and ice.  She's taking them for credit in order to teach dual enrollment English class where students take their high school senior English and their college freshman composition class their senior year of high school.  Cooperating universities (state ones but not private) give credit for that class.  She has to have 18 graduate English hours to teach the class.  I'm auditing because I've wanted to do it and it's free at state universities for people 60+. 

I told you that one of the classes has nine novels we are required to read.  There are three each by Evelyn Scott, Caroline Gordon, and Robert Penn Warren.  I'm enjoying the class especially since the professor reminds me of a straight Southern Tim Gunn.  He has such a wide range of knowledge and makes the class interesting. How could he not?

So far we've read the novels by Evelyn Scott.  I've described The Narrow House as a damp, gray blanket of quiet desperation.  It's about a family during the turn of the century or maybe in the 1910's.  The parents, their son and his wife and two children, and adult daughter all live in the same house.  It's all really depressing with unlikeable characters.  After reading Escapade, autobiographical fiction, it's easy to understand why.  She wrote about the early years of her escapade in Brazil when she ran away with a married Tulane professor twice her age.  She was 20 and went through pregnancy and childbirth in horrible conditions.  Then there's The Wave, a novel about the Civil War composed of vignettes, and quite interesting.  She's a modernist and a contemporary of William Faulkner, D. H. Lawrence, William Carlos Williams, Ernest Hemingway, and others.  Her life in Greenwich Village years later continued her rebellion and activism.  In this class I read the novels and join in the discussion but don't do the graded work like write papers, take the exam, and present oral reports.

The other class is titled Seminar on Creative Nonfiction Writing.  In this class we are assigned three books of essays.  Some of you would enjoy Ander Monson's Neck Deep and Other Predicaments.  The form and style of these essays are different from other essays I've read.  I really like his writing.  Some are like free verse poetry, some conversational, and some in other new ways.  His website Other Electricities is HERE. The other two books of essays are On Looking by Lia Purpura and In Short: A Collection of Brief Creative Nonfiction by many authors.  I'll let you know more about those later on. 

Our first essay was due Tuesday, and since we didn't have class because of the weather, I emailed it to her late Monday night.  The assignment was inspired by and modeled after one of Monson's essays.  We had a choice from three.  In this class I do the reading, discussion, and writing but don't get a grade.  I think she told me she would make comments on my papers but am not sure.  I'll find out.  We also workshop the first two papers in class but not the final one.  As much as I don't like using nouns and verbs, "workshop" has made its way into my vocabulary.

I'd been working on my paper about belief and doubt last week and called Tina Sunday to say that I thought I'd be counted off because my sources are not literary.  After I stressed out about it a bit, Tina firmly stated, "You are not getting a grade on it."  Old habits die hard!  Even if I'm not getting a grade, I want to do well.  What can I say?

Speaking of Train Wrecks

Did you hear about the line-up for Celebrity Apprentice? This is going to be like a day pass for some of them! Whew!!


NBC has announced the cast of "celebrities" set to compete on the new season of "The Celebrity Apprentice," premiering on Sunday, March 6, 2011. The women include "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes, actresses Lisa Rinna and Marlee Matlin, model Niki Taylor, singer Dionne Warwick, former "The View" co-host Star Jones, Playmate Hope Dworaczyk, and LaToya Jackson.

On the men's team, there's rapper Lil Jon, actor Gary Busey, former baseball player Jose Canseco, tax-evading "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch, former teen idol David Cassidy, and singers Meat Loaf, John Rich and Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath.
Source
Just when I think I won't watch it again, I keep getting sucked back in.  (sigh)  I'll be there.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

KO

Good News - Keith Olbermann will be back and on Current TV in the spring!

Iffy News - I'm not sure if Comcast carries that channel here.

Revised Great News - I found out that we do have it on Comcast!  It's 107!  Yay!

Article HERE.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Good to Know

Because the eyes work harder when viewing objects up close, it is the proximity of the computer monitor to the eyes that causes eyestrain, not "radiation" emitted from the screen. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, using a video display terminal will not harm your eyes.


Fear

I copied and pasted this from a lesson on the Virtual High School assignments I'm grading. Thought it was interesting. I made fun of my co-worker who prepared extensively for Y2K by having cash, water, food, and all kinds of things.  I didn't think it would be a big deal and emailed her on January 1 to say, "Look!  I can email!  There's electricity, computers work, and life goes on!"  I'm a smart-ass jerk. 
Not trying to be morbid or anything, but take a few minutes and read the following statistics:

Odds of injury from fireworks: 19,500 to 1
Odds of injury from shaving: 6,500 to 1
Odds of injury from using a chain saw: 4,500 to 1
Odds of injury from mowing the lawn: 3,600 to 1
Odds of drowning in a bathtub: 690,000 to 1
Odds of being struck by lightning: 580,000 to 1
Odds of being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1
Odds of having your identity stolen: 200 to 1
Chance of dying from a car accident: 1 in 19,000
Chance of dying from any kind of fall: 1 in 20,000
Chance of dying from accidental drowning: 1 in 79,000
Chance of dying in an explosion: 1 in 108,000
Chance that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100 years: 1 in 5,000
Chance of dying from exposure to forces of nature (heat, cold, lightning, earthquake, flood): 1 in 225,000
Chance of dying in an airplane accident: 1 in 354,000
Chance of dying from choking on food: 1 in 370,000
Chance of dying in a fireworks accident: 1 in 1,000,000
Chance of dying from food poisoning: 1 in 3,000,000
Chance of dying from parts falling off an airplane: 1 in 10,000,000
Chance of dying from being bitten by a dog: 1 in 700,000
Chance of dying from contact with a venomous animal or plant: 1 in 3,400,000
Chance of dying from a shark attack: 1 in 300,000,000

In most of the situations above, you have very little chance of ever experiencing them. For example, look at the plane accident statistic again:  Chance of dying in an airplane accident: 1 in 354,000

If you flew every day for fifty straight weeks (350 days), you could fly for one thousand years before statistically being in line for dying in an airplane accident. Since you probably will only live to be around eighty to ninety years old, the chances of dying in a plane crash are pretty remote. Other statistics above might predict your demise much sooner than that, or much, much later. Here is the point.

Today, you live in a spirit of fear brought on by sensationalists who want to make money off your fears. If the media, for example, can convince you that 2012 is going to be the end of the world unless you are protected somehow, you will go out and spend tons of money on things to protect you. You are left with a bunch of stuff while someone else is left with a really fat wallet. A classic example of this sort of sensationalism is the famous Y2K scare a few years back.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's Our Year!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What a Difference a Series Makes!

When actor Michael J. Fox first auditioned for the TV series Family Ties, he was $35,000 in debt and living on macaroni and cheese.

Food Again!

I'm eating regular food again and feel pretty good.  This was some major virus!  And did I lose any weight?  Of course not!  Eating fewer calories is offset by inactivity, I guess.  Oh well. 

I've been catching up on my blog reading but have a way to go.  Some of you might see comments on older posts.  That's why. 

We've been having heavy wind and rain but no more snow.  It actually was sunny yesterday but won't last since it is supposed to rain, sleet, and snow Friday night and Saturday.  I know some of you have had many feet of snow where you live and are going crazy from it.