Monday, February 28, 2011

Wow. I fell asleep.

So much for Oscars 2011 - I was happy to get a couple of phone calls and to watch on mute for a while, and when my dad called and woke me after The King's Speech won top honors, I just turned it off before the 5th graders could get started.

At least Anne Hathaway wore her best dress at the beginning so I didn't miss that. Here are the best pictures I have been able to scrounge off the Internet. Because she's busy hosting and the pictures aren't taken from the TV camera's angle (WHY NOT?), there really isn't a picture where she does justice to the glamor of the dress, but it really was beautiful.

By the way, it's Givenchy, as is the Cate Blanchett one I posted previously.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Top Three Dresses from the Red Carpet

Pictures stolen from NYTimes.

#1 - Nicole Kidman

#2 - Amy Adams - the picture doesn't do the beautiful sapphire color justice.

#3 - Cate Blanchett

And as I have been posting this, Anne Hathaway has come out to present in the most beautiful beaded gown - I'll post a picture when I find one.

Princess dreams are still alive!

Hanging In There...

I was just rewarded for continuing to watch the show. Just as the cut to commercial became imminent, we got a glimpse of Nicole Kidman and her dress - jaw-dropping Dior. She is always among the best dressed, but this has some sparkle that is just incredible.

(BTW, the beadwork on Cate Blanchett's dress earlier was also gorgeous.)

Oscars 2011 - Red Carpet Now Underway

The pre-game show (red carpet) has been on for just over half an hour and I am considering turning off the TV.

You see, when the Academy Awards are on, I want the best of Hollywood glamor and glitz. I want to gape at America's de facto royalty. Movie stars. Maybe a couple of rock stars. And I do not care about:
  • Facebook-submitted questions from other schmucks like me who are not Hollywood types;
  • Seeing the green room;
  • Interviews with nominees' mothers;
and Most Of All:
  • A hoard of 5th graders in brightly colored T-shirts.
Yeah. I said it. When it comes to turning the Academy Awards into the People's Choice Awards, I'm not amused. We'll see if I have the stomach to see it through, but right now, it's a big thumbs down.

(P.S., though - Marky Mark was just on the red carpet and he is such a class act. Compliments unbounded to him.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why I'd Rather Be in Italy

Here is the winner of this year's Sanremo song competition:

Roberto Vecchioni - Chiamami Ancora Amore

See, English can't do this. American culture can't do this. We are too fragmented. We look for 20-something idols, not for the paced wisdom and beauty of a poet-professor in his sixties. I know that Italy is not perfect, and that this song is based in many of today's urgent problems there - but hey. Let me wrap myself up in a culture that can produce such passion without withering, without looking behind its shoulder at those who would ridicule such a sentiment - let me wear my heart on my sleeve and face the winds that will come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Enjoying a Day at Home

No, I haven't really accomplished anything today. I figured out the next month's round of bills. I did a little bit of junk room clean-out. And that's it. You just need do-nothing Saturday at home every once in a while to drop the stress levels and give your head a break from the game.

I was listening to Columbus radio - CD101 - today and this song came on. I can't believe all of the good music that you can't find on radio around here because we just don't have a good alternative station. Anyway. The song is from 2005, but it's new to me. Enjoy.

She Wants Revenge - Out of Control

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Little Traveling

Louis Armstrong - Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans

I just got back from a weekend in New Orleans. What a fantastic place. My last visit there was pre-Katrina, and I've never been there in the winter before, but the city just wraps me up and makes me love it. I was there for work, so my adventuring happened before and after meetings.

My flight there was cancelled Thursday so I got in later than I would have liked. I was traveling with another teacher, and we went for some seafood that night, which was delectable. Then I went to bed pretty early since I had to register for my sessions first thing Friday morning. Meetings all day, then homework to prep for the Saturday sessions - I finally got out at about 7:30pm Friday night. Since lunch had been pretty heavy, I wound my way down to Café du Monde and got some beignets. They are really tasty. I remembered that they were tasty, but really, it was that first bite that reminded me of just how good New Orleans really is. It was also curious to note that I had ordered hot chocolate instead of milk - it was actually chilly - something I had definitely never experienced before there. Anyway, I had broken out something to read and I just relaxed over my tasty little dinner, then I went and wandered around the quarter for a moment. I must be older now, because I definitely preferred Rue Royale to Bourbon Street - art shops over bawdiness. Right behind the cathedral was the most awesome busker - this petite girl with the scratchy voice of a catfight and an accordion. I would have loved to have just hung out listening, but since I was on my own I judged it better to keep moving, although I did circle around several times to see what she was playing. I also enjoyed looking into the lit shops, especially the windows of glass. I found this jellyfish lamp:

kind of fun.

Saturday morning I got up early and went back to Café du Monde, then took my breakfast up to the promenade along the river and watched the water in the morning. There was actually frost on the wooden railroad ties I crossed! Anyway, I missed sunrise, but the morning was clear and lovely. On my way back to the hotel, I stopped in St. Louis Cathedral, listened to a few minutes of mass, and took in the inside of the cathedral from the back pew.

Saturday afternoon was a real treat. Thomas's mom came over from Mississippi with a friend who had grown up in New Orleans, so I got the chance to experience the city beyond the French Quarter and its immediate surroundings. We went to Metairie Cemetery to see some of the monuments, to the sculpture garden at City Park, drove around to see houses in the Garden district, and ate the most incredible dinner at a restaurant called Mandina's on Canal Street. If you are reading this, you have GOT to go to New Orleans and eat at Mandina's. The wait was at least 45 minutes, but the food was to die for - Italian influenced New Orleans. We ordered a bunch of food and shared it all - fried shrimp and Italian sausage for the appetizer, a cup of oyster and artichoke soup (killer amazing!), a roast beef sandwich, and their Saturday special Creole Eggplant - baked eggplant, shrimp, crabmeat, and ham - that was so out of this world.

Anyway, here is a cool sculpture from City Park:

Leandro Erlich, Window and Ladder - Too Late for Help, 2008. It had originally been installed in the Lower Ninth Ward. There were no strings attached - it leans like this anchored underground. Pretty cool.

It was late and the ladies had to get back home, so they dropped me at the hotel. My intention was to go wandering again, but stepping up onto the curb, my foot hit a slick spot of something and I went down into some kind of a painful splits-like fall. There were some very nice people who helped me up in spite of the fact that when someone falls in New Orleans the basic assumption is a diagnosis of over-imbibing. It's been two days and my leg is still in constant pain. I wobbled around to get souvenirs for the nephew and niece, then went back to the hotel and straight to bed. My attempt to get up the next morning and repeat the trip to Café du Monde was met with frustration - I was hobbling around like my leg was broken - and I admitted defeat within two blocks. I settled for breakfast at the convention center, which at least featured slices of King Cake. And that was it - one more session, and a flight home.

So hooray New Orleans. I'm ready for my next trip back.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Trouble, Set Me Free

So I was in the mood for this song:

Cat Stevens - Trouble

and I opened up my music program and searched the title and you wouldn't believe how many trouble songs there are! About 500 million or so.

Tonight was the Super Bowl and I am sending out many thanks to Great Britain for sending the Beatles and Doctor Who across the pond so I didn't even have to realize the Super Bowl was happening, aside from some status updates on Facebook. Which is a nice way for it to be. Next Big Event: the Oscars, which are much more fun.