Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The envelope please...
Amidst all the much-ados-about-nothing yesterday over the rehashed State of the Union address which in bound to shred social budgets into a trillion little pieces and the slam-dunk Alito confirmation to the Supreme Court, the reminder could've easily been color-coded on the lower rungs of priority.
In a way, the days after the Academy Award nominations have been revealed are almost as fascinating as Joan Rivers' latest cosmetic tweak for Oscar night. What makes the buildup so maddening is the never-ending search for patterns of ceremonies past for an inside track for which way the prize winds will blow. We wonder, what is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences trying to tell us? Couldn't they just put in a text message to save time?
Courtesy of a valiant effort to brave hoardes of flashing cameras in the bewitching hours of that darned Pacific Time difference, Mira Sorvino futzed through the roll call of the chosen few and millions of dollars in advertising capital will prove a bust or boon to frenzied studio lobbyists. And there's also a few deserving candidates will probably get more recognition in the next few days then they've accrued in their entire career (hel-lo Amy Adams!). So, without further ado, a partial list of the major contenders:
- Best Picture: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "Munich."
- Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote," Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow," Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain," Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line," David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck."
- Best Actress: Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents," Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica," Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice," Charlize Theron, "North Country," Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line."
- Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney, "Syriana," Matt Dillon, "Crash," Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man," Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain," William Hurt, "A History of Violence."
- Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, "Junebug," Catherine Keener, "Capote," Frances McDormand, "North Country," Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener," Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain."
- Best Director: Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain," Bennett Miller, "Capote," Paul Haggis, "Crash," George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck.," Steven Spielberg, "Munich."
- Adapted Screenplay: Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, "Brokeback Mountain," Dan Futterman, "Capote," Jeffrey Caine, "The Constant Gardener," Josh Olson, "A History of Violence," Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, "Munich."
- Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, "Crash," George Clooney & Grant Heslov, "Good Night, and Good Luck.," Woody Allen, "Match Point," Noah Baumbach, "The Squid and the Whale," Stephen Gaghan, "Syriana."
- Original Song: "In the Deep" from "Crash," Kathleen "Bird" York and Michael Becker; "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow," Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard, "Travelin' Thru" from "Transamerica," Dolly Parton.
- Animated Feature Film: "Howl's Moving Castle," "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride," "Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit."
The little gay ranchhands that could in
Last year my crystal ball was right on the money in all leading categories as I wound up queen of the office pool, but this time around will prove to be a bit trickier to read. But then again, guessing's half the fun. Time to consult with my bookie on the daily odds updates right up until game time on March 5th.
A league of her own
She is the one who nurtures her children with the values of love, compassion, courage, strength, spirituality, joy, and even sorrow. She instills in them that it isn't unforgivable for a mistake to be made, but it is one if you aren't willing to try. She is a salve for the inevitable wounds but doesn't attempt to shield them from scrapes still to come as one must learn from the bumps, get up and move forward. She teaches them that no dream is out of their reach, under the mantra of: hard work breeds achievement and doesn't go unrewarded.
Suffering in them, reveals their endurance. When the going gets rough, they don't scurry away from trials and tribulations no matter how large or small. And when life's greatest hurdles stare them in the face — death included — they do not crumble under the weight of it all. In a sea of adversity, they are an anchor in the eye of the storm.
They say that behind every strong man lies a strong woman. Coretta Scott King was that kind of woman.
To merely acknowledge her as the merely the widow of the most important civil rights leader in our country's past (and arguably its future) is a disservice to a singular legacy that carried from that chaotic year of 1968. She was the first lady of a movement that opened doors from an entire generation to walk through the front, not the back. A civil rights activist that kept the fight of equality pushing closer to the goal post after the assassination of her husband.
It was Coretta's will that ensured we carried Martin with us, that his memory continued to be spoken of in the present tense. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change was literally created in the family basement. It was Coretta's undaunted efforts to have Martin's birthday made into a national holiday that solidified her status as a heroin her own right. A student of American history would have no reason to suspect that the nation would honor a slain black man with a national holiday. Coretta believed.And on the eve of Black History Month, Coretta has finally gone home to join her beloved at long last. The chin-held-high grace and rarefied dignity that made her an exemplary example of the fellowship Martin so believed in has sure done him proud. We were lucky to have been in the presence of a Queen fit so perfectly for a King.
Coretta Scott King
April 27, 1927 - January 30, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
A roller coaster named desire
"You can tie my hands behind my back and lick your initials in my neck...Somewhere in between August's sticky dampness and just before Hurricane Katrina's menstrual cycle was unleashed on the Gulf Coast was the last time I had a roll on a mattress that was worth a damn. They say that the more often you get laid, the more you crave it. Well, what the hell is the sanity ratio for an almost half-year drought? My last pilgrimage to the Village in July still has me in good standing for battery operated help, but I'm going out my mind right now. I'm thisclose to humping a train pole if I can't get any action in the next few days. If you think I sound like a raving nympho, let's just say I wish I was so lucky.
Foreplay does nothing for me, but commitment makes me wet.
I already know you're having an affair with words...
But boo, I'm married to it...
My vocabulary leaves most men wary...
I need to know...
Can you get into it?"
Do you remember the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie took Samantha along on her cross-country book appearance to San Francisco and she was at her wit's end with horniness that Mr. Big went from the unattainable to a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am out of sheer necessity? Well, as the fates may have it...playing with fire may become my "get out of celibate purgatory free" card.
As much I vowed to myself that I was swearing off toxic men from my past for 2006, my ex-boyfriend's number still stored in my Motorola is taunting me. He's the walking embodiment of inhaling asbestos voluntarily, but I just can't push the temptation out of my mind. Especially since I know taking a stroll down Jumpoff Lane wouldn't be a total waste as I could at least bask in the afterglow of a spine-shifting realignment before the memories of why I'm infuriated by his bullshit comes creeping back into my consciousness soon afterwards.
Do I continue my one-woman ode to Nia Long as Nina Mosley and continue to sleep with a pillow between my legs, pacing back and forth as intercourse withdrawal continues to play Jedi mind tricks on me? Or do I succumb to my basic instincts and fall into a pattern while comfortable, remains an emotional dead end?
In the meanwhile, I'm off to CVS. I hear Energizer Max is on sale this week.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Jesus Christ Superstar
While taking a break from extolling the virtues of gold diggers to loyal disciples who ain't checkin' for no broke nukka, he espouses self-fellatory praise as the 11th commandment:
"In America, they want you to accomplish these great feats, to pull off these David Copperfield-type stunts," he says. "You want me to be great, but you don't ever want me to say I'm great?"Kanye is being selfless enough to die for our sins. Isn't that precious? Unfortunately, I won't be able to extend my gratitude as I have a one-way boarding pass on the Triple 6 Express. I suppose I can count myself in the minority of people really don't give a rat's ass about getting worked up over the imagery. But predictably, someone has to take the bait and America's Catholic League fell hook, line and sinker. Spokeswoman Kiera McCaffrey states, "It's moronic. I mean, Kanye West as Jesus? He's a pop star." You mean kinda how Jim Caviezel was merely an actor yet got branded with the evangelical seal of approval in spite of the whole Passion of the Christ thing being chalked up as pretty much the gospel according to Mel Gibson. Love him, hate him, just don't ignore him. And this classic move out of the shock rock playbook insures that the ego hasn't landed. Let the countdown to an on-air Grammy implosion begin.
"If I was more complacent and I let things slide, my life would be easier, but you all wouldn't be as entertained," says West.
"My misery is your pleasure."
Monday, January 23, 2006
An unholy alliance
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - When Nas' first album under his new Def Jam Recordings pact is released later this year, it will mark the latest chapter in his truce with fellow rapper Jay-Z, the label's president.It would be really easy to take the bandwagoneer route and chalk this up as the white flag for Nasir since he's now wound up on the label run by the man who spent the better part of 2002-on throwing dirt on his relevance and splashed off in his child's mother for extra salt in the wound. With Mobb Deep relegated to being G-Unit's newest cheerleaders and the artist formerly known as Esco under the IDJMG umbrella, finding a Queensbridge MC with a set of balls still attached is a more difficult undertaking than the search for the Holy Grail.
Nas' jump to Def Jam after an 11-year tenure at Columbia comes on the heels of the rap icons' headline-making, onstage lovefest last October during R&B/hip-hop WWPR New York's Power House concert.
The two had battled over who would wear the New York rap crown following the 1997 death of the Notorious B.I.G. The feud kicked into high gear in 2001 when Nas' fiery "Ether" countered Jay-Z's teasing "The Takeover."
But I digress...that's a lot of residual disappointment talking there. In the bigger picture, I'm glad to see that maturity still has a place in rap and these two grew up enough to put the past behind them and forge ahead without the script ending in gunfire.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Weekend at SoBe's
And predictably enough, after all the scurrying I put myself through with the shot clock winding down, the time has zipped by and I'm back home looking for the pause button on the last 4 days while battling a minor bout of jet lag, juggling two carry-ons stretched to packing capacity with a surplus of clothes and shoes lugged along simply because I'm a non-believer in travelling light and dreading the volume of e-mails to sift through and messages to return tomorrow morning. Overall, in spite of a screwball sendoff, I have to say that I had a ball and already have another browser window pointed squarely at Expedia for price quotations on the ready for one more dose of Miami rhapsody in the latter half of '06.
However, my prerequisite recap post wouldn't be complete if I didn't give mention of a few of the post-show highlights and lowlights from this past weekend:
- This was the first, last and only trip I will ever chalk up on my list of visits past with my now associate, Nadine.* When I said that keeping a level head was part of the new and improved approach to mending fences, this heifer found new ways to push my nerves to the breaking point. If you know that airport security is tighter than a Jewish mother's pursestrings, why in Jehovah would you put on every piece of jewelry you own just to get singled out at the metal detector when the flight's on schedule and we're running 20 minutes behind? Why not take out the money you'll need to cover the bare necessities ahead of time instead of dragging my ass to the ATM every 5 minutes? Why give your mom the damn number to the hotel so keeping tabs like a chaperone would be inevitable and you're pushing 30? Were it not for cheap cigarettes and runs to the liquor store a mere block away, this could've easily turned into Mutiny Over Miami.
- SoBe's club scene is hella overrated. With a capital O. The death of NYC as the preeminent nightlife capital in America has been grossly exaggerated. It has the kind of frenetic pace that a city girl like me craves, but it's gonna take much more than a propensity for bare-if-you-dare ensembles and pleasant weather to snatch the crown. Since everyone I polled before leaving about which places were must-see's added up to a general consensus for the hot spots in town, I checked off a few names on my itinerary to see what the buzz was about. Needless to say, I felt like an old Deana Carter song after slipping past the velvet ropes. I shaved my legs for this? Doormen cut out of the Marc Benecke school of ruthlessness (how Studio 54 of them), laughably outdated music, watered-down drinks and Laguna Beach pinups far too enamored with their own reflection. The oft-praised Mansion? Should be retitled Shoebox. Literally looks like the place where closeout Pier 1 Imports furniture comes to die. I've been in studio apartments on the fringe of Alphabet City that had more square footage. A slurred proposition courtesy from one of Michael Jordan's entourage lackeys (who was holed up with a bevy of bottle blondes as a sidenote. Even after getting his card pulled in the Karla Knafel debacle, it was proof that jungle fever doesn't die, it merely multiplies) was the red flag that it was time to bounce.
- On the recommendation from a colleague to check out the Front Porch Cafe, I'm a believer. Best. brunch. EVER. Mimosas and bellinis toasting another born day never tasted so good.
- Stayed right next door to Casa Casuarina (a.k.a Gianni Versace's old digs) and I can't understand why tourists choose to strut their best America's Next Top Model pose in the same spot where he was murdered. Morbid fascination, much?
- Although the leisurely stroll on the sand with seashells that felt more like syringes off Coney Island made me leery, getting lost in a sea of oceanic indigo made all but made me forget the grit in my flip flops. The water was sub zero on first splash, though. A topless frolic into the blue on the menu? Not the kid!
The magnetic pull of Espanola Way at night is still dancing through my brain. As is the hunk of man candy I couldn't help ogling at Mango's. I can now file Wet Willie's into the "devised by Satan" pile along with Target. Loved the reaction I got from the locals when I answered them in Spanish. Ditto for the charmingly retro Art Deco architecture. Strolling up and down Collins was responsible for the 8.9 damage estimation on the Richter scale to my wallet. Gloria Estefan summed it up in the catchiest of phrases: "the rhythm's gonna get you."
Time for an inventory check on my remaining days off.
Friday, January 20, 2006
A star is born
That's right, folks... exactly 26 years ago (and I'm not getting older, none the wiser and a helluva lot hornier) today, a self-styled princess from Brooklyn made her grand debut out Mama's womb already kicking, screaming and accessorizing what went best with an incubator.
Reading what supposedly is written in the stars for me in for the rest of 2006 made me cast one cynical eye at Eugenia Last and another at my old black book after reading the following:
Happy Birthday: Work hard to get ahead. You don't have to do things on a big scale this year -- just do them properly. You will have some great solutions for the reforms you feel are necessary. A chance to hook up with someone from your past will lead you in a direction you once wanted to pursue.Things that make you go hmmm, indeed. In any case, I'm partying like it's 1999 with my birthday hat in my almost birthday suit. Here's a toast to all of you for making Just Another Girl On The IRT a tiny success on my little square space of ranting. Now Mike, Will, Rell and the rest of you males in the blogosphere...I've got just one favor to ask to really make this a happy birthday.
Can a sista get a lapdance? ;o)
See you guys on Sunday!
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Change clothes and go
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Life after Rachel Green? The Pitts!
So no one told you life was going to be this way.It's uncanny how precise The Rembrandts foresaw the three-car pileup that's now Jennifer Aniston's very public affairs of the heart. Who needs a Miss Cleo phone in when lyrics penned well over a decade ago cut to the bone so succinctly? To think this was the theme song to her own hit show. And now the nail in the coffin to push Jen-Jen straight into Heidi Fleiss' new brothel, holed up on a suicide watch, the blockbuster coming this summer to a tabloid headline near you — the potential amalgam of all that is righteous and superficial with two genetically enhanced DNA sources.
Your job's a joke, you're broke, you're love life's DOA.
It's like you're always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.
Unless you've been raised by wolves, I'm sure the bombshell which was merely gossip column innuendo has been beamed worldwide that her ex-spouse is now expecting his first child with prior leading lady turned paramour. Oh, you may have heard of them...
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
You're still in bed at ten, the work began at eight.I mean, Jesus Christ...the woman's been a pillar of strength for the bulk of 2005. Pimping the "wronged, victimized, wounded, yet persevering ex" image is mighty hard work, dammit! We're all well aware that a fractured marriage in Hollywood happens about as often as the next sighting of Halley's Comet, so it was cause for a three-hankie salute and a very bitter pill to swallow when America's sweetheart was sacked for the quintessential femme fatale. It's bad enough to lose your husband to one of the hottest bitches walking the planet, but to find out not only have they been globetrotting in presumably hot, sweaty coital bliss, but the supposed other woman's metamorphisized from batshit Goth girl to the unlikely vessel of motherhood in less time than Aniston's college tries at box office success? Como se dice, emotional breakdown? It's gonna take a lot more than just reverse cowgirls on that Paul Bunyan prototype Vince Vaughn to ease the sting. I hope Courteney Cox Arquette has stock in Kleenex, because this one's bound to be a doozy.
You've burned your breakfast, so far, things are going great.
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these,
But she didn't tell you when the world has brought you down to your knees.
Potential hospital stays for Jenny's impending exhaustion diagnosis aside, this golden child is predestined to be the motherfucking hotness. And with ¾ of her Benetton tribe in place, the time was right for baby Whitey's addition as the biological crown jewel of that ragtag bundle of humanitarian goodwill. I'm so loving these two sluts coupled up together and am already mulling baby names to celebrate this immaculate conception. Peach Pitt? Cherry Pitt? Rock Quarry Pitt? Either way, this is gonna be one more fascinating chapter to add to this Archie-Betty-Veronica cutout and it calls for an honorary viewing tonight of Mr. & Mrs. Smith decked out in Team Jolie's finest membership club threads. Congratulatory blood vials for everybody!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Like sands through the hourglass...
Don't even fix your lips to mouth what I already sense is coming like the calm before the storm. I've made the mental notes to myself ad nauseum and every time I try to set aside the time to sit and focus on picking up where I left off here, I'd be pulled in another direction. It was high on my list for the new year to maintain some semblance of keeping current here, but shit happens. In this case, I got promoted (hold the applause, folks...the salary bump is slimmer than Nicole Richie's waistline), and now my workload's exploded and I'm chained to my desk at ungodly hours with only the comfort of java beans to keep me going like the Energizer Bunny. Anything that cuts into my commitment to being an underachieving slacker on company time makes me one unhappy camper. It's refrickindiculous.
But on the upside, I haven't fallen down the rabbit shoot completely...I'm still grindin' and trying to plant my feet on steady ground. So bear with my inconsistencies, people.
In any case, you know the drill...and I haven't been kidnapped, so get at me!
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Confessions of a teenage drama queen
Leave it to those investigative gumshoes over at Condé Nast for their dogged determination to bring forth the truth to light by any means necessary. The newest addition to their Pulitzer-worthy pieces is this month's cover story on tween queen Lindsay Lohan. As if her "shocking" confessions about eating disorders and falling under the influence of the plague that is Nicole Richie weren't enough, the photo spread is an extravagant, supposedly evocative homage to famous retro starlets. And while a hint of Lohan nippage may pitch a tent in your Dockers. the most shocking aspect of this "bombshell" is the fact that she actually admitted it at all. Of course, she's lying when she says she only used drugs "a little."
Coincidentally, hitting newsstands is the fresh-off-the-presses issue of US Weekly which details her diet and fitness regimen. And wouldn't ya know it? — So does Vanity Fair! So what's LiLo's secret for remaining as svelte as a skeleton?
- Chugging at least 8 glasses of water a day
- Limiting the coke lines to a minimum of two before midday hours
- Eat sensibly with servings of leafy green veggies and lean meats
- Purge contents of the 5 food groups immediately afterwards
- Keep Tina Fey and the rest of the SNL cast on hand for the afterschool special of an intervention
- Integrate cardio sessions daily with free weights
Of course, now that the story of Lindsay Lohan being bulimic and a coke user comes out, and everyone is happy because she's finally coming clean and taking the necessary steps to get back on track, here comes the inevitable backpeddling that she was misprinted and things were taken out of context. Typical...
Just days after the juicy tidbits of her tell-all interview to Evgenia Peretz hit the newswires, LiLo has done an about face to refute the cover feature as being full of lies, non-truths and sheer hateration since she never even told the reporter anything about drugs or an eating disorder. The magazine countered by standing pat and maintains that it has the entire interview on tape. Oooh, checkmate.
"I am appalled, simply APPALLED by this so-called 'journalism'," Lohan said.
"No, this smidge of nose candy is just for my complexion. Yeah. To minimize my pores."
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Giving it the best that I've got
- Utilizing the power of downgrading my yes's and upgrading my no's frequently. I'm not Superwoman and I can't be all things to all people all the time. The phrase, "don't worry about it, I got this" has been in my vocab for far too long.
- Defy the inheritance of CPT genes and make it into work on time with more regularity than Metamucil.
- Take control of my checkbook and consolidate my fiscal irresponsibility into a budget I can honestly live with.
- Detox from public transportation on weekends by making the NYS driver's manual as essential to my reading as this month's W.
- Drink more water because the guy on the Aquafina commercial said so.
- Reacquaint myself with the hell that is working out on a regular basis.
- Quit procrastinating on what could be and get off my ass to make it happen.
- Reconnect with old friends instead of leaving the good ones adrift on the isle of "God, I haven't spoken to ______ in so long..."
- Usher in the latter half of my 20's with the resolve to get my groove back and get my groove on without hesitation or regrets. Who said good girls have more fun?
- Make it through this year without buying yet another pair of heels from Bergdorf's that I'll need to conveniently block out a scheduled bill to afford.
- Stop dropping f-bombs to unsuspecting Cingular reps after being on hold for longer than 10 minutes.
- Live in the now instead of always waiting on the other shoe to drop.
- See that the silent prayer of our troops returning to home soil come to fruition in a complete withdrawal from Iraq.
- Become active again with MoveOn networking in time for this fall's elections at grassroots levels locally to get young people engaged and out at the polls.
- And last but not least - blog more. My counter's been stuck for longer than UPN's been Nielsen cellar dwellers when it comes to network ratings. The reason? I only bother to hit the publish button once or twice every fortnight (if so often), and while I'm a firm believer of what you see is what you get, it would be nice to maintain a somewhat steady presence. So, I know my tendencies to get wrapped up in 5 different things at once causes me to be neglectful of updates consistently, but I know this too, alright? Give a girl a break....I'm workin' on it. ;-)