Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'd like to thank the Academy

To wrap up the awards season, I asked Danielle, Natalie, and Tracie from the previous post to come back and do a little wrap up with me on the Academy Awards.

First off, congratulations to Tracie! She called all the big winners! And as she said in email:


So, what's my prize for getting all four of my Oscar predictions correct? :)

Hmm! Have to think of something good, right? I already showed you Tom Hardy and his pooch...shared some Alexander Skarsgard...what else?

Best dressed female/male?

Natalie: Best Dressed Female - Slightly torn between Michelle Williams and… (reluctant sigh) Gwyneth Paltrow. Michelle Williams’ Louis Vuitton gown was stunning (I loved the bodice, the brooch, and I thought the color was perfect for her.) Then you have Gwyneth Paltrow's gorgeous Tom Ford gown (she got to wear a cape!) It’s a tough choice but since I was less than pleased with Gwyneth’s low ponytail – Michelle takes the win!

Best dressed male? Colin Firth. What? He looks good in a tux.

Tracie: I get to pretend to be Joan Rivers. Fun! This will probably be controversial, but Best Dressed Female for me was Emma Stone. Her gown had the "WOW!" factor for me. The color (raspberry) was gorgeous and complemented her pale skin and fiery hair very well, the design was interesting (not usually a fan of bows, but the one on that dress was architectural, not cutesy), and the silhouette (yes, I watch Project Runway) was really flattering and lovely. I, also, thought that her hair and make-up were perfect.

Best Dressed Male? That's tough, but I'm going to go with Jean Dujardin. He looked like a winner before he even got his trophy! Very suave and debonair in his classic black tux.

Danielle: Mila Jovovich and Brad Pitt (still hot)

Michelle: Best Dressed Female. Ya know, this year there wasn't that dress that stood out and just screamed "THAT is the dress of the evening!" It took me a while of looking at the dresses to decide on the best dressed and I'm going with Cameron Diaz. The color flattered her, I liked the cut of the dress, and she didn't over accessorize.

Best Dressed Male? Robert Downey Jr. And at that, I think RDJ would be a GREAT host for the Oscars next year.

Worst dressed female/male?

Tracie: Hee hee Worst Dressed Female was without a doubt Shailene Woodley. That cream-colored Valentino Couture gown was so horribly wrong for a girl her age. It looked like she'd pulled her grandmother's old dress from the 1970s out of mothballs. Every inch of skin was covered, the design was bizarre (weird cut-outs on the chest - why?), and the color, or lack thereof, completely washed her out. So dowdy and boring! Act your age, Shailene!

Worst Dressed Male goes to Jonah Hill. He lost all of that weight, then he wears this fugly, ill-fighting tux that makes him look more chubby than ever! And was that a navy blue shirt with a black coat and shiny bow tie? SHUDDER The slicked back hair made Jonah look like a little boy going to his bar mitzvah. Major faux pas all the way around.

Danielle: Viola Davis (I just didn't like this dress) and George Clooney (his tux was boring)

Michelle: Worst Dressed Female is a toss up between Rooney Mara and Shailene Woodley. I think that Rooney just looked odd with the haircut and the lines of the dress. And Shailene's dress was just unflattering.

Worst Dressed Male is Sacha Baron Cohen and this ridiculous persona of The Dictator.

Natalie: Worst dressed female – It seems like a cop out to name Stacy Keibler since I never knew her name before the Oscars, so I’ll go with Sandra Bullock. I thought her gown was an ill-fitting, off-putting, confusing mess. And she looked oddly botox-alicious.

Worst dressed male? Jonah Hill. Black on black - who thought that was a good idea? And was the shirt shiny? And somehow the blacks didn’t match. Basically, he looked like a cheap prom date.

Biggest shock or surprising moment?

Danielle: Sasha Baron Cohen dumping Bisquick on Ryan Seacrest

Tracie: That happened out on the red carpet when Borat, I mean, the Dictator, dumped an urn full of "ashes" all over Ryan Seacrest. I will never forget the astonished/horrified/pissed off expression on Seacrest's face. I'm not normally a fan of juvenile pranks, but seeing someone discompose the robotic Ryan Seacrest made my night!

Michelle: And I agree one hundred percent. Seacrest stammered and blustered, then made sure to milk it for attention. "I got bisquick dumped on me." THAT should have been the drinking game for the red carpet.

Natalie: Eh, for lack of a better surprise I suppose it was “The Dictator” but it left me a little cold. It’s not like it happened during the red carpet coverage on ABC - he did it on E! with Ryan Seacrest. Had he braved the network (and therefore the Academy) I would have been truly shocked but to pull a stunt like that on E! seemed slightly anticlimactic. (Although I agree with the gang here, I did enjoy seeing Seacrest sweat a little.)

Who got robbed?

Michelle: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows pt 2. I can't believe it didn't win a single award it was nominated for.

Tracie: Nobody, as far as I'm concerned. I was very pleased with all of the winners, although I did get a bit tired of hearing the name "Hugo" called.

Natalie: I think I have to agree with Michelle and say Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows pt. 2. Admittedly, I didn’t see Hugo… but really?

Danielle: I haven't seen any of the movies but I'm guessing people think Viola Davis was robbed

How did Billy Crystal do as host?

Michelle: Ya know, I didn't go in with high expectations for him and he actually did a pretty good job. A little too much wasted time with silly skits, but overall enjoyable.

The ladies here know I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of The Crystal – however there were a couple of chuckles and nothing offensive (I can’t really call the dreaded musical number offensive.) But overall, I felt the Oscars were slow - I didn’t love the talky clip packages, and it wasn’t exactly a banner year for the movies. So if you add it all up, I suppose Billy Crystal did just fine.

Tracie: So much love for Billy. I haven't enjoyed an Oscars ceremony that much in years! He's funny (I love his ad-libs!), not offensive, and keeps things moving at a fast pace. No one can beat him as Oscar host.

Danielle: Billy was surprisingly funny (sorry Natalie)

Best acceptance speech?

Michelle: Octavia Spencer. She was so genuinely overwhelmed and gracious. I got choked up before she even started to speak, just by the joy she was showing.

Danielle: Octavia Spencer's speech was so sweet and humble.

Natalie: While I loved Meryl Streep’s humor and candor, I have to go with Octavia Spencer because her emotional speech proved once and for all that I’m not completely dead inside (I nearly felt a tear coming on – shhh don’t tell.)

Tracie: Meryl Streep! I love how self-deprecating and down-to-earth she is. She honestly seemed shocked about winning. It was nice that she started out her speech by thanking her husband and I got a little choked up when she acknowledged her "departed" friends, as well as her friends in the audience. Such a classy, talented lady!


There you have it, folks! Our thoughts for the 2012 Academy Awards. Care to share yours?

And a huge thank you to the lovely ladies who joined me - Tracie, Danielle, and Natalie. You three are the best! Looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And the Oscar goes to...

I'm a massive movie fan and what movie fan doesn't love the pageantry of the Academy Awards? In preparation for this Sunday's telecast, I asked three of my favorite tweeties to participate in a little Oscars fun.

Best Picture:

Michelle: I have everything crossed for "The Artist". Such a cute charming movie!

Danielle: The Artist

Natalie: "The Artist" seems like a sure thing to me.

Tracie: I don't think we're going to see any surprises this year. The winners will be the ones who have the most heat coming into the Oscars. Best Picture will be "The Artist."

Best Actor:

Michelle: I really want to see Jean Dujardin win for "The Artist", but have a feeling it will go to George Clooney.

Tracie: Best Actor will be Jean Dujardin for "The Artist."

Natalie: Best Actor: This one is a toss up. Will it go to suave newcomer Jean Dujardin or the old charmer, Clooney? Since Clooney has only won for Supporting Actor – my money is on him. (Insert Tracie/Danielle/Michelle retching noises here.)

Danielle: Best actor- George Clooney (even though I don't want him to win, but Hollywood likes to kiss his ass!)

Best Actress:

Danielle: Viola Davis.

Tracie: " Best Actress will be Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady". (Those Academy members love them some Meryl!) I think that the supporting categories are sewn up, too. Christopher Plummer ("Beginners") for Best Supporting Actor and Octavia Spencer ("The Help") for Best Supporting Actress.

Natalie: I’m going with Viola Davis. While Meryl Streep is always a favorite, “The Iron Lady” seems way too safe. I agree with Tracie's picks for Best Supporting – but I wish Melissa McCarthy would win to mix it up. (Fine, I know she should just be happy to be nominated, but I miss "Gilmore Girls," dammit.)

Michelle: I'm going out on a limb here and saying Michelle Williams for "My Week With Marilyn".

Who would be your dream date if you were attending?

Tracie: I wouldn't just want eye candy for an Oscar date. I'd want someone who was really talented and charming, as well as good-looking. So, my pick would be Jude Law.

Natalie: Hmmm. Michael Fassbender? Ryan Gosling? Tough choice – but I choose Michael Fassbender. Sigh. (Thank you, Magic Genie!)
I'm withholding comment on Tracie & Danielle's picks (although I do realize that by pointing out that I'm withholding comment I am actually commenting) let's just say it looks like Michelle and I will be double dating on Oscar night!

Michelle: Can I have a date for each different commercial break? No? Okay. Sheesh, I have to go with Jeremy Renner! Or Dwayne Johnson....

Danielle: That's easy, RPatz (my boyfriend).

What would you wear:

Danielle: Something elegant by Oscar de la Renta.

Tracie: Something red and sparkly. I prefer classy, feminine red carpet attire, so I'd be happy with a gown designed by Elie Saab, Chanel, or Armani Privé.

Natalie: I'm assuming the same Genie who procured my Fassy date is at work here? If so, then I choose Givenchy. (I loved Cate Blanchett’s beautiful gown from last year!)

Michelle: Something in purple, of course...maybe Dolce & Gabana.

Taking a wild guess, which red carpet interviewer is going to make an ass of themselves first?

Natalie: Seacrest & our friends at E! are always cringe-worthy but I’ll pick the first person who gets stuck interviewing the Brad/Angelina-Bot. Awkward.

Michelle: Billy Bush or Seacrest. If we are talking interviewee, I just fear what Nick Nolte will say.

Tracie: Well, it's a tradition for him, so there's no wild guessing required - Ryan Seacrest.

Danielle: James Franco.

Who do you think, undoubtedly, will end up worst dressed?

Danielle: Glenn Close

Michelle: Tilda Swinton. She scares me!

Tracie: Is Tilda Swinton going to be there? If so, she'll undoubtedly be Worst Dressed. I think she delights in horrifying the fashion pundits. If Tilda doesn't attend, I'm guessing that last year's Best Supporting Actress, Melissa Leo, will show up in something atrocious. She's an attractive lady, but she goes terribly wrong with her fashion choices nine times out of ten.

Natalie: The Swinton is my pick too – she never disappoints on the red carpet! (Wondering what Danielle has against Glenn Close…) Michelle - Your earlier mention of Nick Nolte has reminded me that he is also a hot mess to be reckoned with.

We'll see on Sunday who has picked the most winners!

Thank you so much to Tracie, Danielle, and Natalie for joining me on my blog this week. You three are simply the best!


Natalie Aaron works as a reality TV producer in Los Angeles and is the co-author of "Unscripted" with her friend and fellow producer, Marla Schwartz.
Follow her @Unscriptedbook on Twitter
Unscriptedbook website

Tracie Banister is the author of the Oscar-themed Chick Lit novel "Blame It on the Fame," now available at Amazon and Smashwords. She blogs about books and other fun stuff at Books by Banister
and her Twitter handle is @traciebanister

Danielle, to quote her Twitter page, is a mother, aspiring published novelist, carnivore, marathon runner, and celebrity obsessed.You can catch her on her blog or on her Twitter, @daniellequinn77

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's love got to do with it?

I’m kind of a jaded romantic. I don’t truly believe in soul mates. I have never really thought about the big white wedding with hundreds of people there to wish me good luck. But nine years ago I learned that love at first sight is in fact a reality when I met the cutest little face I had ever seen.

Happy Birthday, Curtiss! You are such a brilliant little man and I can’t imagine life without you in it. Yes, indeed, I am a proud aunt. Wouldn’t you be if you had such a handsome boy to call your nephew?

Today is also my darling friend, Angelina’s, birthday! Happy Birthday, Ang!! We will be celebrating it up when I come to CA in a few weeks!

Yes, this is kind of a short little post for the week. However, I pulled a muscle in my neck and to turn my head is painful. Thus I am operating on very little sleep and am beyond crabby. You get to look at my darling nephew, that should hold you over until next week!

(And keep an eye on the book nook blog, I will have a giveaway coming up shortly .)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cuz you gotta have friends...

During my lunch break at work I am reading a fabulously interesting book called MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. Rachel is searching for a local BFF in Chicago because let's face it, women need their friends. Rachel dedicates a year to finding a new BFF, that is fifty-two friend dates over the course of a year. I'm fascinated by this. Mainly because I need a local BFF myself.

Now this isn't to say that I don't have friends here now because I do and they are some of the best. However, children are a pretty prominent feature in each of my friends locally. And while I do adore their children, I miss going out at the spur of the moment without having to worry about the babysitter.

I have many friends on line and my best friend is out of state. And they are absolutely fabulous, but again, I can't call them up and say "Hey, let's go grab a bite to eat and a late movie." It requires more planning involving time off of work, travel time, and packing a suitcase. I love a good vacation as much as the next person, but it isn't always financially feasible.

So new friends locally...must find them!

Now in this book, Rachel has friends introduce her to friends, she tries "friend dating" (like speed dating), and I'm currently up to her joining all kinds of meet-up clubs. I have joined a few meet-ups here in Phoenix that are in my interest range, but guess what? I'm too shy to go! Yup, I really am! I keep telling myself to suck it up and go, but I back out like a coward.

There is one place that I will not go seeking friendship at, however - the workplace. I know people that develop their best friends through the workplace. I am not one of those people. I was burned by one of those "friendships" in the past and I have no desire to find myself in that position again. I work with some really nice people. I have gone to lunch with them, enjoyed my time with them. I admit that I have briefly observed them each and thought, "I wonder if we can be friends". The feeling dies just as quick. Sometimes I ask myself if I am shutting myself off to the possibility of a BFF with that stance, but I am pretty set in that determination.

So that goes back to the before mentioned - meet up groups, local book clubs, friends of friends, and opening my mouth in social situations. Hmmm...think I can find one new friend in 2012?

How about you? What is the most unique/oddest way you have met a friend?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome February!!

I think the time has come that I have to put some smack down on myself and put structure to the blog. I am not a daily blogger. I wish I was, but I am both lazy and truly not that witty to come up with something that will keep all of us entertained on a daily basis. So I think I’m going to task myself with a weekly blog post.

So from now on, your Wednesdays are going to be filled with fabulous words of wisdom (stop snickering, peanut gallery) from me. You never know when I might break out with the words that you were searching for to add purpose to your day. Or refer you to that book that is going to change your life.

I am back on the apartment hunt again. Seriously, why is it so hard to find an affordable apartment in a good neighborhood that has the amenities that I need (I need a washer and dryer. I hate Laundromats)? The one that I put a tentative hold down on threw a few surprise charges at me that raised the rent into an area that I am not comfortable paying. So I have been looking again.

Of course, I put myself on a pretty tight budget and that is when Tyson throws a wrench in the works. He has a cold...and is typical of him, he has an eye infection now. *sighs* To the vet we will be going. One cranky,mean cat turns into one big Momma's boy baby as he will cling to me.

Anyway, welcome to February! January was a rough start to the new year for myself and so many other people. Quite honestly, I was more than a little pleased to see the 31st come and go and to flip the calendar to a brand spanking new month with a clean slate.

I am doing the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge. I said I would read 24 books over the year. Doing pretty good so far with 5 down:

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (So good! Ready to start the second in the series!)
Year of the Chick by Romi Moondi
Thank you for flying Air Zoe by Erik Atwell
Blame It On The Fame by Tracie Banister
Mad about the Boy by Suzan Battah

There will be reviews posted soon for four of them.
What are you currently reading?

(Ya know, I have a week to think of something witty to share with you all next Wednesday and I'm already drawing a blank. Anything you want to chat about?)
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