I love the Wounded Warrior Project and all it does to help our injured military personnel adapt to life and take charge of their world. Here’s a video that’s worth every second of your time.
Since I was less-than-thrilled with the Oscars and the hosting job Ellen did, I figured I was likely one of the few who felt that way. I mean, it’s THE OSCARS and it’s ELLEN. But, it turns out I’m not the only one who thought the evening could’ve been better; Ellen’s outfits (especially the opening tux — wildly unflattering on her), and the lame time-wasting bits all took a hit, too.
Is it too much to hope that next year will bring us a host like Billy Crystal again? He was fun! He was funny! Heck, let Bill Murray give it a shot. Or why not have Bette Midler do it? She’s more than capable of singing a song, telling a joke, and keeping things rolling along. Yes, that’s it. That’s my vote for next year’s host: Bette Midler. She’d be fantastic! And if she can’t do it, then bring in Neil Patrick Harris, because that man can do EVERYTHING and he’ll do it with class.
As for tweeting and posting selfies during the show? No more of that crap. It’s lame. And let’s eliminate lame bits that include handing out pizza or presenters who can’t pronounce someone’s name.
I like Ellen, so it’s not that I objected to her hosting the Oscars. It’s totally not that. And, granted, the bar was so low after last year’s show, she surpassed Seth MacFarlane’s lame ass attempt. Still, the jokes weren’t funny. The pizza stunt was a time waster (which meant even though we added a half hour to the record time, we still missed the end). And when WHEN will the idea that a host needs to live tweet during the show go away? Make it happen now, please.
In between waiting for an actual award to be handed out, King Arthur and I amused ourselves with the antics of the cats. Now, THEY were entertaining!
Fletch is, despite his size, an innocent and a gentle giant. He’s simply the sweetest little lovebug alive. When he plays, he does so with wide eyes and energetic abandon. His favorite thing is the feather, although the laser pointer is a close second. Or maybe those two alternate. The laser pointer makes him gallop like a horse all around the house. His curiosity will lead him to chase the light as it disappears between a wall and a cooler and wait for it to reappear. If you start leading him around one side of the sofa with it and he follows part of the way, he will know it’s going to be on the other side and change direction, just to beat you to it. He did that with me while we were playing follow-the-leader around the kitchen one day. With the feather, you can get him to scale furniture, leap into the air, and when he finally gets hold of it, he chomps down on it firmly and trots away with it in his mouth, proud as can be with his catch. It’s terribly endearing.
Celia, the lone diva princess, prefers to play alone in the den while we’re not paying attention, except when it comes to the laser pointer. Then she alternates between drive-by swipes and full-on chase scenes. Don’t get me wrong, she’ll run and play and get goofy, but she’s a bit more reserved about it and it takes more patience to get her out of her shell and really let go. As for her cuddle time, she initiates it and it is aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll about her. When she finally submits to the full petting treatment, she will literally fall all over herself and you and meow for more. If you’re not petting the right spot, she’ll give you a very gentle nip and kind of pull your hand to where she wants you to pet her. Then she’ll fall asleep in your lap and not move for hours.
I love these furry little beings so very much. I love them both but I have to admit I have moments where I love one slightly more than the other and then change my mind fifteen minutes later. It all depends on who’s looking at me from those sweet faces: Celia’s gorgeous green eyes; Fletch’s big, innocent eyes. They’re both totally enchanting and you can’t help but get caught up in their spell.
We have a lot of work to do, still, with getting them settled in. They’re almost there. Just fine tuning things at this point. Teaching them how to play nicely TOGETHER (Celia swipes at him, hisses, and then curls up with him later to sleep), teaching them how to use an automatic feeder (for when we’re gone overnight), teaching them how to not scatter their food EVERYWHERE! (hahahahahaha, as if that’ll ever happen), and training them to sit quietly in our laps while we trim their claws. Yeah, that’ll be the big one. Until we get that under control, there’ll be lots of yowling and scratching and hissing, and the cats won’t be happy about it either.
So, yeah. We watched the Oscars and we more entertained by our cats. That was the whole point of this post. Well, that and just general cat blogging.
What else is going on? I miss LD. His visit here was too short and this week has felt empty without him. He’s a damn good kid. We babysat King Arthur’s granddaughter Saturday night. She’s 5 months old now and is all smiles, full of curiosity, and is fabulously cute as a button. Basically, babysitting is an absolute joy with this little girl. Lady M and Lord R have done a great job getting her on a schedule and keeping her healthy and happy. It’s wonderful to see good parenting in progress.
Now it’s time for me to get back to throwing a ball or dangling a feather for my two young charges. They seem to be in need of a good romp before bed.
We were up at 04:00. You know me, I don’t get up at that hour — it’s when I go to bed!
But it was for Craig Ferguson. Anything for Craig.
So, up before the crack of dawn, showered, in the car, and on our way to Hollywood. Craig was hosting a special April Fool’s Day episode of The Price is Right.
Waiting in line. Waiting, waiting, waiting. And then we were told “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” Two ticketing/audience companies had issued too many tickets for the day. Ugh.
So, just remember: when you watch TPIR on April 1, you won’t see me.
So, last weekend we went over to see King Arthur’s aunt and uncle and bunches of other family. I’d met several of the family before, but I was unprepared for the onslaught of new faces (and names to go with those faces). I pretty much managed to remember most of the names, thank God! But my real moment to make an impression came as we sat down to play a game. While I was really getting into the game and figuring out how best to play, the chair I was sitting on suddenly gave out from under me. CRACK! OH! BOOM! GLASS BREAKING SOUNDS! Thankfully, no glass actually shattered; it was simply glassy rock-like things in vases that were on the floor behind me. Color me a freshly boiled lobster red of embarrassed!
I almost wish I could have seen my face during the whole ordeal. Part of me was just in shock. The other part of me was horrified in thinking my fat ass was responsible for the chair fail. Thankfully, I didn’t and couldn’t see my face. And even MORE thankfully, King Arthur’s cousin (who is fairly thin) told me he had the same exact thing happen to him in the same exact place (while playing the same exact game, which is rather suspicious, if you ask me).
So, despite my best efforts to be quietly supportive of my darling man, I made quite the impression on his family.
I wasn’t the only one making an impression that day. One of his cousins’ grandkids showed up with Girl Scout cookies to sell the family (smart kid) and (even smarter still) she employed her 3 1/2 year old brother as her chief salesman. I picked up a box of lemon-flavored cookies and young (we’ll call him) Steve said, “you should probably get the other box, too. It’s the last one.” I about peed myself when he said that. 3 1/2 years old with 40 years in sales! He also encouraged anyone without exact change to round up their purchases to make it easier on him since “I’m not good at making change yet.” Tell me this kid doesn’t have the makings of a great car salesman or a politician! And the entire time he was just freakin’ totes adorbs. (Yes, I said it. Don’t hate.)
Also making an impression of late: Yuzuru Hanyu, the 19 year old Olympic skater from Japan who totally killed it during the Men’s short program. Not only was his program sharp, clean, and a “wow”, but he was skating to Gary Moore’s “Parisian Walkways”. STUNNING! It’s one of my favorite Gary Moore tunes. It surprised me to 1) hear it at the Olympics, 2) to have such a young guy capture the soul of the song so beautifully, and 3) have a skater be so bold in his music choice, not to mention do it justice.
Even if Hanyu hadn’t chosen a great blues tune, I’d have cheered him on. His approach is simply beautiful. Relaxed, but with the kind of precision that takes your breath away.
Now, if only other skaters would take a cue from this young man and go with music that has some serious emotion to it. Everything Yuzuru Hanyu did was punctuated perfectly by his choice of music. Tell me those crisp, clean notes paired with the more fluid phrases don’t go with skating. Tell me. I dare you. Pop music doesn’t do that. Some of the more orchestral pieces don’t do that either, which is truly a crying shame. With blues, certain pieces of classic rock, and the right choice of classical or opera, you get the full depth and breadth of the human psyche and they give you the tension and rests you need to build a compelling presentation. (I write this as I watch the Japanese pair skate along to a “floral” but rather unexciting bit of music that gives really nothing in the way of climax to their performance. Grr! I dare say the impression you make on the audience should NOT be one of “I’m only yelling and complaining because you were so boring!” Whereas the U.S. pair skating right after them chose Santana and proved my point exactly. Sheesh, it’s hard to be right about so many things.)
And that concludes today’s thoughts on three unrelated, but slightly related topics*.
* Me, with King Arthur’s family…King Arthur’s grandnephew(??? Is that even such a thing???) knowing how to sell the crap out of cookies for his sister…skaters knowing how the sell the crap out of their performances. Yes, I believe I’d call that a triple!
Yep, it’s that time of the year again.
Super Bowl Sunday.
I dunno ’bout you, but I’m rooting for the Seahawks. Go Hawks!
And I’m going to be cheering on all the participants in the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, cuz nothing’s cuter than puppies and kittens and whatever else they throw at us. It’s certainly more fun than 22 pigs fighting over an ear of corn (which is how a neighbor describes football).
In an effort to distract myself momentarily from the dreaded sinus crud that’s invaded our home, here are some photos from last year’s trip to Vegas. We stopped at Count’s Kustoms and had a look around. Ran into Horny Mike as he was moving in a display of his helmet work. Pretty cool stuff.
My favorite is Pinhead. Striking as all get out.
From Bill Watterson, via Criminal Minds:
To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble
Nobody can decide what’s meaningful in your life, let alone find your happiness for you. Only you can do that!
I’m excited about the mini-series Klondike! I can barely wait to see it. I have long had a love affair with prospecting, rock hunting, and rugged people doing things in dangerous places.
Plus, we get the great cast: Sam Shepard, Tim Roth (whom I bumped asses with and sweated alongside last weekend at the photo exhibit), Tim Blake Nelson (I will watch anything he’s in!), and Ian Hart as Soapy Smith (which, TRIVIA!! I used to work at a restaurant called…you got it! Soapy Smith’s).
Set in the Yukon during the last half of the 1890s, the gold rush was only for the hardiest souls. No modern conveniences. No forced air heating. No mega parkas. No heavy machinery to help with the digging; everything was done by hand. Men and women set out to make their fortunes in the most formidable environment. Horribly primitive living conditions in extreme cold and people crammed into small spaces meant diseases spread quickly. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. (more…)
Since I’ve been unable to sleep normally tonight, I watched a documentary called Open Heart on HBO. It’s about children in Rwanda who require cardiac surgery. There’s only one hospital in all of Africa that performs the operation…in Sudan. The children must travel without family. Eight kids. Facing high risk open heart surgery. Alone. But they do have each other, and they have the medical staff.
It’s absolutely beautiful. I wept.
The courage of the children…of the parents who must send them…it’s astounding.
If you get a chance to catch this doco, you will not be sorry. I promise.
…til college football is over.
Don’t get me wrong, I like football. But, I’ve reached my limit on the Lisa Frank sticker books they call helmets these days. I know, I know. They’ve been doing this for years. The thing is, it’s gone too far. When you see helmets almost completely covered by stickers, it seems a bit overkill.
Seems to me this sticker reward system is out of control and needs to be rethought.
Okay, so let’s break this down.
In most cases, stickers are awarded for on-field outstanding plays. I get that. Some teams also award stickers for excellence during practice. Huh? Some award stickers for academic achievements. Uh, okay, though there are so few academic stickers. That still begs the question of why? WHY? It smacks of patting a child on the head for peeing in the potty. Or worse, trophies for everyone who just happened to show up. Or it’s like basketball. Too many points. If points are that easy to get, why not make the game more challenging so the points actually mean something? How about this as an example? Some poker tournaments tout the number of chips in the millions (which don’t equal actual dollars). At some point, once you get over x number of chips, they lose meaning. 34,820,109 chips! Ooooh! He’s betting all of ‘em! Yeah, but what are their actual value? And that’s where these helmet stickers now reside. In Excess Land.
Again, it seems to me this sticker reward system is out of control and needs to be rethought and revised.
Look, we’re talking about GROWN MEN here. Collecting stickers. Why not just go whole hog and really get Lisa Frank rainbow farting unicorns for the helmets? Teams could buy in bulk and schools could save lots of money that could then be used on other programs…or lower tuition.
If you’re going to award stickers to players, make ‘em count. Use them for extraordinary achievements on the field. Not practice. Not the classroom (that’s for parents and teachers to do). And don’t call catching a ball or scoring a touchdown “extraordinary” because, let’s face it, a football player is SUPPOSED to catch a ball, score touchdowns, protect the quarterback, tackle, etc. Extraordinary achievement on the field stickers should be awarded for actions that aren’t part of normal play. Like, perhaps, carrying a teammate off the field after he’s been hard hit. Reviving a downed player. Preventing a drunk fan from getting in his car and plowing into someone after the game. Okay, that, technically, is off-field, but if the player climbed into the stands during the game, I’d go along with that.
Coaches, let’s be real. No player really needs these stickers. No player really earns these stickers when all they’re doing is THEIR JOB on the field.
In the everyday world, the vast majority of us don’t get stickers for simply doing what we’re meant to do. If we did, mothers, fathers, teachers, doctors, nurses, cops, firefighters, our armed forces, etc. everywhere would have to wear entire suits made of stickers for what they accomplish each and every single day.
Let’s leave the stickers for children who need incentive to use the potty, read a book, clean their rooms, or go a whole day without pulling someone’s hair or biting a friend.
Until this sticker trend is revised, I’m only going to root for teams who DON’T use them. So, college teams, you’re on notice. If you want this gal cheering you on, you have until next year to get this shit figured out.