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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dennis Miller Takes Down Nancy Pelosi

"When there's money involved she's up and down like a seal at Seaworld."




(Via Instapundit)

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Everything You Needed To Know About Portuguese Water Dogs

Thankfully, we weren't afraid to ask the resident dog breeder extraordinaire, Peggy Gero DaValt. Here is her delightful reply, full of insight and tips, as usual. I just hope President Obama and family read it one day!

"The Portugese Water Dog is an excellent choice.

Here are my reasons:

(1) It is a purebred dog. It's not a designer dog.

As a purebred dog owner and breeder, so much time and effort goes into genetic research/pedigree preparation/public education. It is pure.

Most purebreds are registered by the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club.

Naysayers will say, but there are so many dogs that need homes.

This is true and I applaud anyone that rescues a homeless dog...but a shelter dog got there because people did not spay or neuter dogs that were not intended to be bred.

A designer dog, such as the GoldenDoodle is a Mixed Breed dog. It's a very expensive Mixed Breed dog. I will bet you that people pay more for a GoldenDoodle than they would for one of my purebred Gordons.

A GoldenDoodle has a parent that is a Golden Retriever and a Poodle (most likely a Standard Poodle). So, when you combine those two breeds you have a Mixed Breed dog. You also have a dog that has the potential for health issues associated with the Goldens and/or Poodles or a combination of both. So rather than having just one set of health issues for one breed to contend with, you've opened up Pandora's genetic box by combining two different breeds.

(2) The Obamas made it clear that they need a dog that sheds little if any due to child allergies. I think this dog is a wise choice.

When I suggest to people a type or breed of dog to purchase, you need to take into account: trainability/life style/commitment to the dog.

Any dog in the sporting/working/herding groups produce dogs that are meant to work with man.

As a member of the Working Group, the Portugese Water Dog is no exception. It is a moderate sized dog and with the lifestyle of the President and his family, I think this is a great selection.

They are good with kids and they will be content playing with the Obama girls and who knows may even accompany the President on a jog or two as the puppy matures and his growth plates have closed.

(3) I had some very good breeder/handler friends who raised "Porties" and I loved them and their dogs. Judy died last February and Bruce died about 7 months later. When I see a "Portie" I will always think of them. There are also some great breeders in the Chicago area that I know, too.

For more information I would suggest these web sites:

American Kennel Club - Portguese Water Dog Standard

Portugese Water Dog Club of America Website

Quiz - How Much Do You Know about a PWD? This is from the Portugese Water Dog Club's web site. Have fun!!

Each breed of dog in the AKC has a standard that the parent club has put together with what they see as the "perfect" dog for that breed. Each breed has a standard to which it is judged/evaluated. As a breeder, we know there is no such thing as a "perfect" dog, but it's the standard to which we strive to improve our lines upon generation after generation.

Thanks, Victoria, for asking for my opinion. I hope that I haven't offended anyone and have offered valuable educational information about this breed and dogs in general.

Peggy :)"

...no, Peggy. Thank you. You are a hidden ace up the Sundries sleeve, and I am very grateful to you for taking the time to compose this for the readership!

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Kenneth The Page Responds

I don't know who this internet chatter character is, this Kenneth the Page, as I don't watch television, but from this clip I can see what they are trying to suggest.



Ann Althouse suggested there was an undercurrent of racism about the personal attacks on Governor Bobby Jindal's speech. After all, it was just a speech, and some people bomb in them. He did last night, stylistically, but given the instantaneous diarrhoea of posts his performance got (possibly as much as the actual and much more important State of the Union), you'd think he had slain three kittens on national TV.

Althouse asked.

"Why the urge to paint him as a white white man? Where did that come from?"

Probably the critics will mention that his regionalism and conservative religion made the connexion evident, but she is going for something deeper here.

There is a programme on IFC called "The Whitest Kids You Know".

A blogger described such kids as:

"The whitest kids I know all sort of look like Ashton Kutcher, listen to Jack Johnson, think Dane Cook is funny, and dig Adam Sandler movies."

I think what many people don't like about Jindal is that he doesn't talk like Apu, doesn't look like he could break into a Bollywood dance routine, and therefore isn't the "other" that is cool because of cultural expectations. Take it into another level, and they are also inferring that he is a race traitor by being a poseur, this Republican Southerner Indian fella.

What I BELIEVE Althouse is saying is that he fails to live up to some kind of stereotype they refuse to acknowledge they have deep inside themselves.

He acts like just another vanilla geeky white guy, like Kenneth the Page. More Millionaire, than Slumdog, if you will.

And that makes him the fairest of game.

Sure, he did himself no favours with that speech.

But if Obama had stunk up the joint, and others had criticised him so savagely, don't you think that his supporters wouldn't have claimed racism as a possible reason for the derision?

You bet they would have.

ADDED: Some journalists are not even hiding their references about Jindal and his Indianness.

“Bobby Jindal was ‘pitiful,’ Helen Thomas tells film crew, right before making a ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ crack.”

That is Helen Thomas, the doyenne of the press corps who practised unbiased reporting all those years, you know.

IN THE COMMENTS: I mean, after Chris Matthews admitted he uttered that infamous "Oh God", and stating that the GOP CPAC conference this week will resemble a Star Trek convention (you know, more uncool geeky white guys), what do we expect anymore.

But JSU reminds us of his latest Jindal crack.

There was definitely something rotten in Matthews' "outsourcing" remark.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obamas Choose First Pooch

Thankfully, I have lighter news to relay to the readership today. The First Family have chosen that highly anticipated puppy dog.

It's a Portuguese Water Dog. Behold.



Cute. But he looks like a shedder. Peggy Gero DaValt will weigh in about this, hopefully.

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RIP Ivan Cameron

Another sad bit of breaking news on this busy Wednesday morning.

Ivan Cameron, aged only 6, has passed away as a result of Ohtahara Syndrome (often confused with cerebral palsy). He was the son of opposition Tory leader, David Cameron.

Here the poor lad is being cradled most lovingly by his dad. My deepest condolences to the Camerons.



Losing a child, any child, is unimaginable. I hope there is no media circus about this, or any child of a notable personality.

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BREAKING: No Miracle On The Amstel

Unlike the unbelievable landing on water by an US Airways plane, a Turkish airliner crash landed in Amsterdam's Schiphol* airport a few moments ago -- breaking the plane in three.



1 person is already confirmed dead, possibly 80 passengers are safe according to reports, in a total of 135 passengers. Horrifying.

Let's hope it turns out as best as the situation can.

*If you ever have a spare 2 or 3 hours, try to get a Dutch person to teach you how to pronounce "Schiphol" correctly.

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As Seen On TV

Meet the new Snuggie pitchwoman, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is already hard at work.



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State Of The Union Word Cloud

Think you caught some words in President Obama's State of the Union debut, occuring more than others? Let's see if you were right.

According to one source, Curtiss on Althouse, here were some word count stats.

- Crisis: 11
- Bank: 12
- Jobs: 19
- Economy: 22
- I: 73
- Freedom: 1

Here is a retrospective on some past State of the Union word clouds.

PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON, 21 January 1790



PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 3 December 1861



PRESIDENT HERBERT HOOVER, 3 December 1929



PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, 3 January 1934



PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN, 21 January 1946



PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, 30 January 1961




PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 26 January 1982



PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH'S AMALGAMATED STATES OF THE UNION



PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, 24 February 2009



(Latter via Jason Griffey)

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Somewhere Deep In Alaska A Woman Is Laughing





Governor Bobby Jindal gave the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, the first time each for both men.

There is a long tradition in both Parties that an up-and-coming politician is allowed to respond to the adminstration of the day, after such a speech. For example, then Governor Clinton responded after President Reagan, and Obama did it for Bush's final State of the Union, only last year.

Since the spotlight is on them, a priceless few minutes face-to-face with the remaining viewers left watching (but more importantly, with the journalists who will digest the rebuttal and come to conclusions about the person and the speech, influencing Americans' opinions of it later), this allows them to have A Star Is Born moment, if they are capable of delivering it.

Problem is, Bobby Jindal didn't deliver tonight.

By choosing him, though, were the GOP signalling that Bobby Jindal, and not Sarah Palin, is the presumptive front-runner in the Republican Presidential stakes? I think so.

Bobby Jindal, despite the need some people have to look at his skin colour and origins, is the archtypical kind of politician chosen to run on the Republican ticket (something neither McCain nor Palin could be said to be, for various reasons).

He is a serious family man, with undazzling personality but having rock steady ideals, who furthermore exudes professionalism. From Eisenhower on down, that has been the candidate template the Republicans tend to follow whenever possible, usually with unfathomable success for the opposition.

I think it's premature to count out Bobby Jindal because he had a disappointing outting last night. But the one thing that you cannot afford to be with such a partisan media who have long ago abandoned any pretense at neutrality (see post below), and are frankly cheering on their man, Barack Obama, is to be ridiculous in some way.

And when Jindal traipsed into camera view last night, it was almost as if a pimply-faced Student Government President was making his debut, courtesy of the AV department sophomores.

Geeky is one thing, though that's deadly enough in America, the land which invented "cool", but he and his advisors misjudged the importance of the speech by making him sound like an infomercial pitchman. That weird cadence he had was outrageously upbeat to the point of distraction.

He wasn't wearing a beanie, a pocket protector, nor was he wearing Bob Gates smudged up glasses, but it wouldn't surprise anyone if he did privately.

Here I would just like to point out that I mentioned these very traits to Sundries' readers, after the Republican Governor's Association conference in downtown Miami last November.

In the blogpost, Crashing Into Sarah Palin, I wrote this about Governor Jindal:

After a while, so as to draw attention away from my lolly-gagging around, I went to the Indigo restaurant downstairs. To my astonishment, as I sat near the bar, about 20 feet away, almost as if he were in a cubicle, there was I do believe Governor Bobby Jindal. He is much younger-looking than you can imagine. He looks like he's a college freshman, and actually, in profile looked bizarrely similar to a young JFK. He was utterly alone, and since I didn't want to stare, I am not sure if he was having a quiet moment to catch up with news, or if he were on his laptop or what.

What an ascetic air he has!

There is a problem with Jindal's chances to run for the Presidency in 2012, as I see it.

There are some people who give off a certain something (more on that in a bit). Jindal didn't at all give me that impression. He seemed utterly unmagnetic, and though not ordinary, perhaps I was expecting more. Frankly, he was nerdy-looking.

To become a genuine threat to run for the Presidency, especially given the adoration of his followers, and the presence that President-Elect Obama gives off (which is genuine, he truly is impressive up close), I believe you need to be a charismatic person. Jindal looks like a rather earnest priest.

I'll stand by my words after last night's response, especially the last sentence.

Look, it was ONE speech, and the Governor has three years to work on delivery, wardrobe, speech-writing, and all the rest.

But those who thought Jindal is the strongest Republican candidate in the early early handicapping for the 2012 race, should start backing off just a tad.

Full Text Of Governor Jindal's Response

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The Football Arrives

I did not know the briefcase containing the nuclear codes had to follow the President even to the State of the Union address. Here it is, carried by an unnamed military aide, arriving at Statuary Hall.



Thanks to Wikipedia, we learn the following about the so-called "football":

The case itself is a metallic, possibly bullet-resistant, modified Zero Halliburton briefcase which is carried inside a black leather "jacket." The entire package weighs approximately 40 pounds (18 kg). A small antenna, presumably for the SATCOM radio, protrudes from the bag near the handle. A common misconception is that the football is handcuffed to its carrier. Rather, a black cable is employed that loops around the handle of the bag and the wrist of the aide.

That's a sobering thought. Perhaps much more reassuring than also learning via Wiki of something that happened back when, to President Jimmy Carter.

"Jimmy Carter once left nuclear launch codes in his suit when it was sent in for dry cleaning."

Never mind "ineffectual". Try incompetent.

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You Don't Mess With Joe!

I don't know, maybe President Andrew Johnson called for a spitoon to lob chewing tobacco once, but for me, this is the single-handed most un-Presidential moment in any State of the Union I have ever witnessed. Both in the giving, and in the receiving.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who Said 'Oh God' Just Before Jindal's Speech

Given that Governor Bobby Jindal gave a most lacklustre rebuttal speech, I want to know if the person who is audibly muttering, "Oh God" can read palms too.

He's obviously a fortune teller.



(Via Allahpundit)

Incidentally, if Bobby Jindal were black and not brown (as Juan Williams of Fox constantly likes to point out that he is) and I were a Democrat who loves to read these things into every moment, I would say what Olbermann - or whomever - said, has a racist tinge to it.

Too bad no one watches MSNBC else people would be justifiably outraged.

ADDED: Just in case anyone thinks the 'Oh God' was not about Jindal, I say nuts. Check out the inside laugh by an MSNBCer in the studio, just after the dismissive phrase.

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As I Climb Into Bed



I am saddened by the lack of quality and passion seen in the "Monday of carnival" by Rio's escolas de samba.

Usually the camarotes, the high-priced private balconies inside Sambodromo, are full hours ahead of time. But this time, you could see gaping holes where obviously nobody had shown up (or had not been able to afford to rent them). On the other side, in the bleachers section, the crowd looked like they had been double-ticketed, they were so packed. That tells me that the recession has well and truly arrived even in the most anticipated touristic event in Brazil's calender.

So far, only Salgueiro have what I consider to be an outstanding overall presentation.

Comically, Ronaldinho Gaucho and Pato of AC Milan called up the Globo presenters to say they were gathered with a group of carnival aficionados in Milan, even at that late hour. They called in specifically to say they were impressed by Salgueiro's band.

I'll post some photos for you to see -- though as Sundries readers know, the photos of the carnival always look fantastic. It's the narration that people like me provide, that separates the mediocre from the outstanding.

Unfortunately, I will have to shuck the chaff from the wheat this year.

It's late, there are still two escolas left to go at 4:30 AM EST, so please forgive me if I am not on time on Tuesday.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama Just Assured Himself A New Running Mate

What a sneaky move by the President, to pass this untenable hot potato to his second-in-command, ripe as he would then be for criticism if something goes wrong, or it doesn't work out. But I cannot believe Vice-President Joe Biden would accept responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the Stimulus Package.



Is he that desperate to remain in the mix?

Whatever happened to the more discrete Vice-President (a cutting snipe about Dick Cheney's role) that both men promised us Biden would be?

"The fact that I'm asking my vice president to personally lead this effort shows how important it is for our country and future to get this right," [President Obama] said.

Even Gore would not been given such oversight in Clinton's term. What a crock.

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The Red Carpet

Last night's Oscars might've been deadly dull in the first two hours, only hitting their stride in the last, but they did have a certain welcome glamour not seen in previous editions.

I think its due to the transition from the older generation of Hollywood luminaries of Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor to the younger generation of Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman, finally coming into its own.

It's not surprising that the dresses seen on the Red Carpet this year reminded one of the 1950s more than any other era, one captivating in its silky elegance, with its Marilyn Monroe off-the-shoulder dresses, chignons and beauty marks.

Perhaps the only intrusion into this reverie were some of the tattoos to be seen on the various body parts...not of the men, but of the women who otherwise bedazzled the eye.

Ah well. It can't be 1950 forever.

THE ACADEMY AWARDS 2008-2009

THE QUEEN - Kate Winslet



THE KING - Hugh Jackman



ANNE HATHAWAY

Bad taste in men, terrific taste in clothes.



ANGELINA JOLIE

Actually, she was a bit of a let down. The dress was too simple and the hair looked like something I do when I'm in a hurry to go out, but don't want to look too ratty. And the tats...



EVAN RACHEL WOOD

...ruin even the most delicate of complexions and dress fabric.



AMY ADAMS

Flawless. Impeccable. My favourite ensemble of the night.



AMANDA SEYFRIED

I'm not exactly too up on Miss Seyfried's contributions to the silver screen, but I must say that despite knowing the fashionista critics will not like her dress, I adore it. And my, but doesn't she look like Bette Davis facially though?



JAMES FRANCO

Does he even try? Newfangled "tux". Didn't go to the barbershop for a haircut. Needs teeth whiteners. Catastrophic. How anyone can find him handsome, is beyond me.



NOT A JUDITH LIEBER CLUTCH



NATALIE PORTMAN

She somehow achieves a great look, despite wearing that particular shade of pink that very small women should stay away from. It is her natural beauty which allows it to succeed.



MILEY CYRUS

She's young, and she tried her best to look good (she does) but she needs to learn about good posture. Hannah Montana looks like she's on the holler with two babies on her hips.



MICKEY ROURKE

You might think, "Oh no, Vic is going to skewer Rourke for looking like a schlepp" but I'm actually not. He doesn't look like he rolled out of bed at all. He's just unconventional. I liked it.



MARION COTILLARD

From the side, gorgeous. From the front, the dress looks too shiny and unfortunately makes her look twice her size. Considering she was so nervous in her (touching) presentation, I'll give her a break by saying excellent effort.



QUEEN LATIFAH

Wonderful. Sleek hair and a flattering floor-length dress which shows you that big-boned gals can look good if they know what flatters them.



SOPHIA LOREN

You wish you looked so good at 75.



SARAH JESSICA PARKER

She achieves what she is expected to by her legion of fans. Tastefully sophisticated. I'm just not sure she looks happy.

(She also is beginning to resemble Bette Midler!)



SETH ROGEN

Proving for the millionth time that any man, no matter what kind of a schlubb he is, is improved significantly by such classic attire. I even like Seth's glasses.



BEYONCÉ

Will you tell Daryl Hannah her flippers are missing, or will I?



PHILIPPE PETIT

Give the guy a break. He walked in between the Twin Towers. Mindboggling.



PENELOPE CRUZ

Penelope, it's not your quinces party. This is the Oscars. Come on now.



TINA FEY

Such old world glamour she has. And it's when she puts her hair up that you realise just how much she DOESN'T look like Sarah Palin.



TILDA SWINTON

I'm not sure if it's the haircut, but Tilda looks like my great-uncle Ballard in that frock.



TARAJI HENSON

My third favourite look of the night, after Kate and Amy. Simplicity is best when you have such a naturally radiant face.



THE CAST OF SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

How India must be proud. A credit to dignity everywhere.




ADDED: Close-up of those strange pins Mickey Rourke was wearing with his suit. I was half wanting to inquire if those were MIA pins or what-have-you.

But no. They're lockets containing a photo of his late chihuahua, Loki. Did I tell you that Mickey Rourke is practically my neighbour in South Beach?



The irrepressible walker-of-wires, Philippe Petit, accomplishes something no one is said to have done before. Balancing the Oscar statuette on his chin.

Wow.

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My Latest Obsession

Is not, as rumour has it, Twitter but learning how to spin a pen or pencil around in my hand. You can see just how intricate it is, in this pen spinning tutorial below.

(They have a tutorial for everything on Youtube. It rocks!)



...are you intrigued enough to try?

Let me counsel you to put on a pair of glasses, a thick coat, and for God's sake, do not wear flip-flops. Also, get rid of any pets unless you don't mind blinding them either.

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Because Every Monday 5

Should start out with a laugh.

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Follow Me Twitter

When I joined this internet telegraphing service, I had no idea to whom I would be communicating. But handy old Twitter had a stack of ideas for me in their handy who-to-Twitter list.

  • Defamer LA.
  • Guardian Tech.
  • NYT.
  • NPR Politics.
  • Al Gore.
  • Ana Marie Cox.
  • Whole Foods Market.
  • George Stephanopoulos.
...gee, liberal much, Twitter? Oh wait! How could I have I misjudged them so?

  • John McCain.
No wonder we lost.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscars Night

BUMPED: Please scroll down and check the comments section for Oscar 2009 Night Live-Chatting.

Regrettably, Twitter is out, but I will be here and possibly over at Althouse to live comment.

I am extremely annoyed that the Oscar winners have possibly been leaked, since usually I would tell you my predictions beforehand. But the winds seem to have been cut out of my sails, rather, now.

Here is the leaked letter, showing the winners. It's been debunked, of course, but I don't know. The picks look precisely what the Academy would honour.



For a person like me, who so disliked "Slumdog Millionaire" for reasons I have stated innumerable times, it's a disaster if true. Also the fact that "Waltz with Bashir" is not leaked as having won Foreign Picture leaves me cold.

On the other hand, I was fairly sure Kate Winslet would have won for Best Actress, with Amy Adams almost definitely getting the Best Supporting Actress award.

The latter is not because she was so amazing (Adams was good, but her colleague Viola Davis is more deserving), but because she fits the bill perfectly for actresses often honoured by that statuette -- good character actresses, who have an impressive body of work behind them or who give a standout one-time performance, aka the Marisa Tomei Nomination (she already surprised once; I doubt she would repeat) The only other one which qualifies for the body of work is Penelope Cruz, mostly in the Spanish language, and she was going to be my surprise pick.

Mickey Rourke for Best Actor, I can see.

Jenkins is the token "Just Happy to be Nominated" actor, Langella is more suited to the Best Supporting Actor category, whereas Penn has already won it. That leaves Pitt or Rourke, and there is no way Brad Pitt should get anywhere near an actual Oscar win. He's not quite as bad an actor as Tom Cruise, but it's close. Heath Ledger, may God rest him, is a lock for Best Supporting Actor, and we have known that since The Dark Knight debuted.

Instapundit wondered if anyone watches the Oscars anymore. Hardcore fans like me do, but each year has seen an utter decline in viewership.

It's because Hollywood doesn't honour mainstream films as much anymore. Indies are fantastic for people like me, but most could care less about a film like Frozen River. Now, Iron Man even my father would know about. It was a decent film, which furthermore was a box office hit, but it wasn't judged to be worthy of inclusion.

If these popular, worthy films are left out, the Oscars then become a night for insiders to preen, almost as if they didn't need an interested audience. That's why Oscars night have lost their appeal. We are completely superfluous to the process.

I rather suspect this year will be different though. Maybe it's Brangelina being dually nominated, with the casual tabloid turners tuning in. Or maybe it's the fact that I suspect this year people want glamour and fun when our national edifice is so stressed.

It's like Halloween 2008.

I have never seen a livelier Halloween than last year's. Sunday night will turn out a different class of witch, warlock and broomstick all together.

OSCARS 2008-9 NIGHT LIVE-BLOGGING

8:26 PM: The first mention of the night of Louis Prima. I'm sure it won't be the last.

8:29: Amy Adams (Doubt) and her necklace arrive at the Oscars on February 22nd. That's a Harry Winston necklace or my name isn't Ethel McGillicuddy.



8:30: Commenter Laurie has a new crush -- Aussie actor, Hugh Jackman (which has always sounded rather sophmoric to me, like Hugh Arse). He's our host for the evening and personally I couldn't be happier. He seems just the right type of antidote to the Billy Crystal/Whoopi Goldberg/Jon Stewart wisecracks.

Good Lord, he's launched into song. Somewhere up there, near the hanging icicles above the stage, an angel called Ethel Merman is smiling.

8:34: First reference to pubic hair at the Oscars since that streaker interrupted David Niven...

8:35: After a sweet musical number and a quick shower (by me, not Jackman/Hathaway!) we have the first three ex-Best Supporting Actresses up on stage, including last year's winner, Tilda Swinton. Unusually, it is usually one presenter of the opposite sex, who turn up, so this is a change.

8:47: PENELOPE CRUZ! My surprise pick to win this year. And now we have absolute knowledge that the leaked list was totally fake. Starless knew it all along.

Incidentally, is the broadcast rather strange? It looks unusually delayed and therefore static.

8:57: The ex-Mormon screenwriter for MILK wins for Best Original Screenplay, and he's giving a sentimental acceptance speech about living his sexual lifestyle and encouraging kids out there who are in that position, to have hope.

9:00: Simon Beaufroy wins for Best Adapted Screenplay (Slumdog Millionaire). Something strange happened just before. When Langella/Nixon said he orders cheeseburgers, in the excerpted screenplay, something inside me clicked. So I'm off for a moment to grab a burger! I'll be back for the major Awards later.

9:07: WALL-E wins! Of course. That and Ledger winning are the biggest locks this year.

9:28: I asked the restaurant attendant who brought the burger to my car, "are you watching the Oscars inside?". "They are, but I am not. From what I hear, it's really bad." "Heh, yeah, you're not missing much." "I don't even know who is nominated, other than Brad and Angelina."

Says it all, really.

9:29: Digital Animation being honoured, but already there was a reference to Jerry Lewis -- who is finally getting his honourary statuette today.

9:43: James Franco: "Who do you think is the better actor: Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama?"

Sarah Palin, of course.

9:58: I'm not sure if the musical is back, but I sure know the Oscars would be back if they had more Jackman/Beyoncé musical numbers. That was perfect.

10:04: Best Supporting Actor coming up and Laurie has an apposite remark about one of the presenters.

"Lord! I thought Joel Grey was dead!"

10:08: Well done, Heath! You stripped the Joker bare, and what we got was the Ur-Joker -- reinventing the comic book heavy for all time.

Rest In Peace, boyo.

10:15: Philippe Petit, the man who walked between the Twin Towers, got up there and reminded us why the movies work -- magic.

If only others would be more whimsical, and not nearly as too-cool-for-all-of-you, we would have an inkling of what Hollywood used to be like.

10:20: Does Brad Pitt have this Clark Gable look happening? There was a quick shot of him as Benjamin Button's awardees were up on the podium for Visual Effects.

10:30: In an absolutely touching moment, Oom the Sound got a dedicatory Oscar.

10:42: They say (who? sorry a little Wikifying there) Jerry Lewis is a singularly unpleasant person, and has been for years. Nevertheless, he is an American institution, and his good work for his extreme dedication every Labour Day during his telethon should be rewarded. And he is.

Ooh, shot of Sophia Loren. I had no idea she was there, God bless her.

11:21: Danny Boyle is accepting in the spirit of Tigger from Winnie The Pooh. That sums up this quixotic night perfectly.

As for the new format, with the Director award going before the Big Actor/Actress ones, what can I say -- do not like.

11:33: Kate Winslet's dad just whistled, and we have an iconic Oscars moment right now.

I do not like the format change, but I admit that having the 5 legendary actresses presenting each individual nomination for each actress made it perfect. They are five Oscars incarnate.

11:39: Robert DeNiro: Talking about Penn who "advises world leaders", oh God. That includes Saddam Hussein. Jesus Christ.

Peggy commented:

I noticed that Marion had the envelope...and Kate won...does this mean that Frank Langella will win? Michael Douglas has the envelope?

Let's see!

11:44: You Commie, homo-loving sons of guns says Penn on accepting his Oscar, besting Mickey Rourke in the category.

I'm bereft, but not because Penn didn't deserve it. It's just that he's won before...incidentally, TIBORE totally called it before.

Okay... I have this funny feeling that Sean Penn's going to upset Mickey Rourke for Best Actor.

Hate to say it, but that's the vibe I'm getting.

The Fake List is well and truly fake.

11:55: Finally, Slumdog Millionaire wins for BEST PICTURE, and all is all right in the world again.

I have to say that ultimately, I thought this tidy Oscars was an unusual mixture of graciousness and grappling awkwardness. I do not think it does anything for a generation which is each time further removed from the Old Hollywood Glamour of actors whose names they do not even know anymore.

It's very little wonder then, that the Oscars are still waited with baited breath abroad, but most people have long since turned in for the night?

Not Sundries commenters though. And here I would like to add a very humble thanks to all who turned this thread into a monumental success.

I couldn't have reached 200 plus comments without you all. Thank you SO MUCH for honouring this blog with your presence.

Carry on, guys!

ADDED INFO: My Twitter page. When Peggy Gero DaValt joined, I found a little Dutch courage by pouring a G and T, and joined too. All of that is true, except the Gin and Tonic.

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When Did Rahm Emanuel

Turn into Karl Lagerfeld?





From Gatekeeper to Cryptkeeper, with one fine lunge of the knife.

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Hold The Pepperoni

I am not too keen on the ACLU, but they certainly show us how pizza-ordering might be in the future.

CLICK HERE
.

Dame Stella Rimington recently said that the British government have turned the island-nation into a security fortress since she was head of MI-5. It starts incrementally, with the best of intentions, CCTV protecting the populace from thugs, national ID cards to effectively mete out bureaucratic goodies, etc. etc. but it always starts. More importantly, it never ends.

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Meanwhile In Dublin



120,000 people showed up to protest the government's proposed pension tax on civil servants.

It's funny how the dynamics of these various protests are shaping up, according to our cultures, don't you think?

In the USA, where taxation without representation launched our American Experience over 200 years ago, many of us are still upset about taxes -- this time about bailing out irresponsible parties, who are mortgaging our children's future. To that end, we too are planning countrywide protests.

In Ireland, and no doubt in other places in Europe, the protests are about the perceived greedy businessmen who ironically transformed the Celtic Tiger from a sleepy, terror-ridden island into a marvel of upward mobility. Ditto for Latvia, whose prime minister just resigned.

When things get a little rough, everyone starts pointing fingers of blame, bouyed by entrenched unions whose lifeblood is class conflict.

I don't feel scared when I see America struggling. I know the internal problems we have are fixable, and not the product of age-old social struggle. It's when old Europe starts to flounder, that I start worrying.

It's been 41 years since the streets were filled with red flags and unemployed youths marching in the streets, setting up barricades and throwing down gauntlets.

Who will be this year's Daniel Cohn-Bendit?

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Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution



Find your city here.

Would you go to American Tea Party near you? Count me in.

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