Thursday, February 28, 2008


The high school in Back to the Future was Hill Valley High. We came kind of close, guessing Valley View.

The final question answer: Charles I, Charlie Chaplin, Anne Boleyn, Eva Peron and Gram Parsons all had their bodies stolen, in whole or in part, after their death.

Thanks to my mom the Evita fan, I've seen the stage production of Evita, at the end of which a creepy Vincent Price-type voiceover talks about the mysterious disappearance of Eva Peron's corpse. The movie version left off this detail.

And thanks to Tim, I now know that two of Gram Parson's friends stole his body from the Los Angeles Airport and set fire to it in Death Valley, according to what they said "he would have wanted."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trivia Whiz!

Last night I played team trivia at a bar in town. I've done this a bunch of times, always with the same people, and usually find it frustrating that I know the answers to very few of the questions. Usually, with a big group, we do well, but they often ask very obscure pop culture or history questions that even a self-professed pop-culture and trivia buff like myself is hard-pressed to answer (e.g. last night's question: what was the name of the high school in Back to the Future?). Anyway, last night I had a rare moment of heroism for my team when I knew the answer to the final question, lifting us from fourth to first place. In fact, based on the other team's scores, one teammate pointed out that I may have been the only person in the whole bar who knew it. How's that for excitement?

Here's the question: Something unusual happened to the following people after they died. What was it? The people are: Charles I of England, Charlie Chaplin, Eva Peron, Anne Boleyn, and Gram Parsons.

Confession time: I didn't actually KNOW the answer for sure. I did know something unusual that happened to one of those people after they died, and it was the only thing that really made sense as an answer...turns out it was correct.

Want to take a guess? I'll post the answer to this question (and the Back to the Future one) tomorrow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

No Country for Old Men

I enjoyed this movie very much, and of the nominees, it was my choice for Best Picture. Unfortunately, when I saw it, my immediate reaction was one of confusion. You see, for some reason I expected a twist or a surprise. I was analyzing every interaction, trying to figure out when the film was going to change, trying to anticipate the surprise before it happened. However, if you've seen the movie you know, there is no twist, there is no surprise, and just when you think there's about to be a big reveal, the credits start to roll.

So it wasn't until I came home from the movie theater and started reading reviews online, then discussed it with other people who had seen it, that I began to appreciate it on its own merits, surprise- and twist-free. I discovered a discussion board on IMDB that was full of thoughtful insights on the movie, the characters and themes (a pleasant departure from the usual name-calling and ignorant remarks). So while I didn't instantly love the movie, it became, in retrospect and upon reflection, one of my favorites of the year.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Well, I'm officially disappointed. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a beautiful movie, moving, inspiring, funny, and sad, has officially not won any of the awards it was nominated for. This is really dumb, in my opinion.

Cat distraction

This is Renee, my foster cat. I am hosting her weekdays, and she spends weekends at the animal shelter, hoping to be adopted for real. She is very timid, and spends as much time as possible hiding under furniture. She lives in my spare bedroom, and I bring her out for supervised "playtime" with Daisy in the evenings. Daisy is very well-behaved, and just seems to want to make friends. However, Renee has never lived with another cat in her 4 years, and just growls and hisses whenever Daisy so much as looks in her direction from a distance of less than ten feet. That's why this moment this evening was so momentous:
Peaceful Cohabitation
Unfortunately, it was short-lived. Now Renee is hiding under a dining room chair across the room and Daisy is still in her spot on the couch and they are having a staring contest. But at least there's no hissing so far.

Too cool for school

I love Johnny Depp, but is he chewing gum? Really?

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova win


And aww, how sweet that Marketa Irglova got to come back and give her speech. That's the best thing of the night, and to be honest I don't really care what happens next. I guess I'll stick it out until the end, though.

Too bad I finished all my Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints of course) this morning. I could really use some minty-chocolaty-cookie goodness right about now.


I hadn't heard of this movie when it came out, but kept hearing it on end-of-year "Best of 2007" lists so I rented it. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's a fairly short, small production of a film, with a cast of non-actors playing fictionalized versions of themselves. It's been called a musical, and if you consider that it contains songs sung all the way through whose meaning ties directly to the plot and development of the characters, well, then, yes it's a musical, but don't let that discourage you. The acting is realistic and touching, the story is lovely and the music is wonderful. I loved watching Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova sing their song from the film just now, and was disappointed that it didn't get more nominations.

I drink your milkshake, Trebek!

(Yes, there are Law & Order marathons on both Bravo and USA. FYI.)

Today I went to see There Will Be Blood. Had the time wrong by 15 minutes, so arrived 10 minutes after the film started. It worked out just fine, though. I missed all the previews and had just settled into my seat when they found oil. There has been much talk about Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in this movie, and indeed he is a fine actor. However, I was very distracted throughout, though, by the fact that his voice sounded just like Darrel Hammond's impersonation of Sean Connery on SNL's Celebrity Jeopardy parodies. Did anyone else notice this?


Now that I've taken it on myself to blog about this event, I'm terribly bored. I can't commit to watching for the rest of the show.

There must be a Law & Order marathon on some other channel...Or, I do have laundry to do.

Javier Bardem

Holy wonder they gave him that godawful haircut. It was probably the only way to hide those good looks! Add that to a dedication of the award to his mother and her parents and all of her family, and I'm swooning!

But seriously, that was an amazing, chilling performance.

Best speeches so far

My favorite speeches so far are by the non-English speaking nominees, the ones that go like this: "I very happy. I thank ___ and ____. I thank you very much. I love you. Bye."

Best Song performance

With three songs from Enchanted nominated, is it possible that Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova could still win for Once? I hope so.


Well, I thought the Oscars started at 7:30, but accidentally slept until 8:30, only to discover that they started at 8:30! Lucky me. What better occasion to blog the occasion. I saw quite a few of the movies this year, so I feel a little more clued-in than usual.

I saw Atonement, No Country for Old Men, Juno, Into the Wild, Gone Baby Gone, Once, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and There Will Be Blood.

Wait, is that it? Now that I look over the list, there were so many more that I wanted to see: Persepolis (which I wanted to see this weekend but ran out of time, mainly due to watching two other movies this weekend), the Savages, Lars and the Real Girl, Ratatouille, La Vie en Rose, Sweeney Todd.

Anyway, my Oscar predictions are always incorrect. Two of my favorite movies of the year, Once and Diving Bell, weren't even nominated for Best Picture. So I'll just pop in with commentary every so often throughout the evening.

First comments: well first of all, I love Jon Stewart, but that just goes without saying. So far he's funny.

The 80-year wrap up is so self-congratulatory that I might just lose interest altogether. No, I will persist...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A no-fanfare return to blogging

I was so appalled at my poor performance on this quiz that I felt the need to publicize my shame.

Mental Floss Lunchtime Quiz: Name the TV theme song.

There were only THREE songs I can confidently match to their show (and yes, that includes #9), and only ONE other song I knew the tune to right away--in fact, I can sing it all the way through, but can't remember which show it belongs to.

Can you do any better?

EDIT: I actually took the quiz, mostly by guessing, and managed to score a 70%...about twice what I deserve.