Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscars 2013

Thoughts on last night's Oscars:

  • Worst moment: red carpet talking head Lara Spencer, who condescendingly said to 9 year old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhan√© Wallis, "Well hello there, little lady!"
  • Best moment: Shirley Bassey, at 76, belting out Goldfinger. Wow.
  • I was meh on Seth MacFarlane.  I actually expected him to be more biting than he was. I agree with one critic who said that the "boobs" and "sock puppet" segments should have been snippets instead of a back-door way to get the whole segment on the air.  Would have been funnier as snippets.
  • Apparently most people like song & dance numbers.  I'm not averse to them in general, but I dislike when they don't seem to serve any purpose other than to fill time. Did we really need a number from Chicago 10 years after it came out?  The Les Mis number, at least, made more sense because it was a nominated film in the current year.
  • Every year there is a tribute to someone or something, and/or a theme. I don't think we need retrospectives and flashbacks every single year.  Why not just have them on milestone years (75th, 100th) or special anniversaries?  It's not necessarily relevant to the current nominated movies.  The Bond tribute made more sense than a musical tribute.
  • The Bond tribute, with the exception of Shirley Bassey, was disappointing. I kept waiting for the Bond actors to appear together on stage, but then it never came.  All we got was a bunch of clips from the movies, which are shown relentlessly on TV already.
  • The show was still way too long, exacerbated by the fact that I'm 1h ahead of Eastern time zone, so the show ended around 1am.  I have to work the next day.  Today I feel like I wasted sleep in favor of a show that used to be more entertaining and worth staying up for but isn't anymore.
  • Throughout the broadcast, the sound was horrible.  Singers were getting drowned out.  The telecast will not be winning any Emmys this year.
  • Why was the orchestra playing off-site at the Capitol Records building?  Seems more than just a bit disconnected, and maybe that was partly to blame for the sound issues.
  • I preferred that the host didn't disappear later in the show. I always found it distracting when they weren't around.

Cut the awkward banter between presenters, the tributes/flashbacks that don't make any sense, and you can easily cut 1h out of the show.  Then maybe us regular folks can get to sleep and not be zombies the next day.

February photo Day 23: A word

Saturday was our 6th civil wedding anniversary, and we went to Suwanna for dinner.  We also ran some errands earlier in the day, getting some knives sharpened.  I snapped this while we were driving.

February photo Day 22: Makes you smile

I wasn't feeling a whole lot of love on Friday, didn't have much to smile about.  A harassing salesperson sucked the life out of me, and then I overheard a conversation where someone made a fool of themselves, so I was also in a "give up on humanity" day. 

I came home to get ready for hosting book club, which would hopefully lift my spirits (and did).  I made my first layer cake, and I thought it turned out quite nicely.  The only reason I hadn't done a layer cake before was simple: I didn't have two matching round pans.  Mum got me a set for Christmas, so they got their first use on Friday.

February photo Day 21: Full

An overflowing bag of paper sits outside my office door.

February photo Day 20: Where you stood

Day 19 was "I am..." and again I had no inspiration.  The list seems to favor self-examination at least once a month.  I spend enough time with myself.

As for Day 20, where I stood was in my office.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February photo Day 18: Something you don't like

There are many things I don't like, which means I probably don't have them around me.  Since I'm not willing to leave the house today, that made things a bit more difficult.  But one thing I know for sure: I do not like to iron, which is why my iron is still sitting in the basement and my pants are still wrinkled.

February photo Day 17: In your hand

"Take a picture of something in your hand."  I grabbed a Coke to refill the fridge.

February photo Day 16: Perfect

Something that is perfect? Not an easy task coming from a perfectionist, who thinks nothing is perfect.  But here's a rose, which is close.  I'd have to photoshop it to make it truly perfect.

February photo Day 15: Inside your fridge

I'm behind in posting again due to lack of inspiration. Inside your fridge isn't something that made me think I could see it in a new way.  I did try to make it glow in the dark, though.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February photo Day 14: Love is...

Day 12 was "where you ate lunch" -- which was at my desk, and frankly, not worthy of a picture.  Day 13 was "walking," which I normally do when it's not winter, but could not accomplish yesterday, so I am pictureless for that.  Decided to move forward.

Today's theme is about love, given that it's St. Valentine's Day.  As we were having our dinner (which turned out to be gross, won't be buying that sauce again) I looked over and saw my husband, with the sunset and Valentine decorations in the background.  I thought it made for a very nice shot.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Pope resigns

I have one friend who deems it his life mission to make sure everyone knows how evil the Catholic church is.  When John walked over to the breakfast table this morning and told me the news about the Pope's resignation, after it sunk in, I wondered what the friend would have to say this time.  Thankfully not too much, just another copy & pasted comment from someone who agreed with his views, and then a bunch of comments from his friends who support his opinion.  Thankfully I was spared from too much in the peanut gallery on that end.

There have been many "Pope jokes" today, a lot of which I have laughed at, because I'm human and they were funny.  I don't fail to see the humor just because I attend Mass every week.  I have never been a big fan of this Pope and felt a bit of relief to hear the news.

I think he made a wise decision, likely based on his experiences at watching John Paul II's health deteriorate to the point of barely being able to move.  If he recognized something similar in himself, then why not do what's best for the church and step down?  The Catholic church needs a leader who is strong physically and mentally, and if he knows he is not up to the task, then it seems like the right decision not to continue.  It's a lose-lose situation though: either he stays in office until he dies, potentially being ineffective and people will complain that he's useless, or he steps down and people call him a quitter.  I think it takes a lot of faith and courage to recognize his human limitations, and he is brave to make this decision.

JPII always felt like a grandfather figure: lovely smile, warm, comforting, forgiving even to those who tried to assassinate him.  Benedict XVI had a running gag comparing him to the Emperor from Star Wars.  [I'll admit, I see the physical resemblance and have laughed at many a joke.]  Benedict just never caught on with the people the way JPII did.  I felt Benedict was dragging us backward instead of forward in our faith, trying desperately to preserve the old ways while allowing very precious few of the new in a time where Catholics needed some measure of modernization. One of the most surprising things about the resignation announcement was that his last day comes in the middle of Lent, which starts on Wednesday.  Why then?  I can only assume that his health has deteriorated more than we are aware and he does not think he will live much longer.  But if that is the case, then why resign at all?  The announcement has left us all with a lot of questions, but few answers.

I can't argue with the "red text" believers: nowhere does Jesus tell us to set up a church and take up a collection.  He actually tells us not to do that.  But we've ignored him and moved ahead with our greedy human ways.  We close churches and vocations are down, but the guy in the funny hat still wears expensive clothes, holds a gold cross, and sits on a ton of money.  Yeah, it's disheartening.  Sometimes I just block out those facts and focus more on the local and what good we're doing as a church community.  Other times I sit back and wonder why I'm still hanging in when so many others are long gone.  In the end, I'm holding out hope that we will evolve and change to where we need to be eventually.  I'd like to be around to see that.

I reviewed the articles today about the potential front runners for the next Pope.  Hopefully Benedict will not have any influence whatsoever in the decision.  Choosing a Pope who makes the previous Pope happy because their views are the same won't help us.  I pray that the Cardinals will find someone who can help us start our slow climb to modernization.  I don't expect the next Pope to throw away the rule book and start approving everything, but we need some forward progress if we hope to survive.  Deep down, though, I fear we'll get a lot more of the same until the generation of Cardinals passes on and the next generation comes to the forefront. I hope I'm wrong.

February photo Day 11: Entrance

This is our back door, which we still haven't cleared the snow drift from yet.  It's going to rain tonight/tomorrow, and that will likely take care of it.  It was taller immediately after the storm, but has already started to melt from the warmer temps.

February photo Day 10: 3 o'clock

At 3:00pm on Sunday, I was prepping a prime rib for the oven for dinner.  Cooked just a bit longer than I would have preferred, but still came out very tasty.

February photo Day 9: Guilty pleasure

Day 9 was guilty pleasure, and I just wasn't coming up with anything. Part of my goals for this year was to try and stop worrying so much about what others think, so having a guilty pleasure means, to me, that you're only guilty because someone else thinks it's bad or cheesy.  I'm happy with my pleasures, so I wasn't getting any inspiration from that.

Instead, I bring you the "after" pic of the blizzard.  This pic makes it look not so bad.  I should have taken a pic of the snowdrift by John's truck, which was easily 4' tall.  The ridge at the end of our driveway was 2-3' tall, mostly from a City plow who couldn't be bothered to do a decent job.  The way to gain perspective on the driveway is by how much of the markers are showing.  There was at least 1', more where it drifted, in our driveway.  The wind was strong and created white-out conditions from time to time, something I also didn't manage to capture very well.  It wasn't the worst blizzard ever, by any means, but it wasn't great either.

Friday, February 08, 2013

February photo Day 8: Something Orange

Day 7 I skipped because I didn't want to splash my name all over my blog. Call me old-fashioned.

Day 8 is "something orange." I snapped this pic out my front door and because I had the flash turned on, it made the snowflakes light up and the street light glows orange.

What I was actually trying to accomplish was a "before" picture to compare with the big Nor'Easter we're getting overnight and into tomorrow.  Here's the better picture for that, though it is not as orange:

One benefit to this storm is that the City plows might finally come back and plow the street. They plowed around 6am Sunday morning, but then it snowed more all day and they never returned.

Looking at the pictures on the news from Boston, they're getting slammed pretty hard, and the system from the Great Lakes hasn't merged with it yet. We have a blizzard warning and our snowfall estimates have now been upped to 40-50cm (16-20").  It's pretty much a sure bet that I won't make it to church to read tomorrow.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

February photo Day 6: Soft

My pics for "soft" didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but I'll post them anyway.

The soft inside of a Hawaiian bread roll

Romy has a very soft belly

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

February photo Day 5: Something I smelled

I walked by the onions in the produce section of the grocery store.

February photo Day 4: Hope

There is a certain hope in seeing Spring flowers in the dead of February winter.

Monday, February 04, 2013

February photo Day 3: Starts with E

Super Bowl Sunday's task was to find something that started with E.  I didn't want to do another electrical-related pic, nor did I want to do a body part like ear or eye or eyebrow, so that made things a bit harder.  There aren't as many things starting with E as I thought. In the end, I took a pic of my eraser on my desk at work.

February photo Day 2: Pattern

Groundhog Day's task was to find a pattern. I wasn't out and about enough to find something neat, but I did snap a pic of the pattern on my kitchen tablecloth.

Friday, February 01, 2013

February photo Day 1: Fork

The last day of January was another self-portrait, which I have no interest in doing, or something that represents me, for which I had no inspiration. So I moved on to February.

Today's theme is fork, which I am supposed to shoot with style.  Had some setup help from my hubby.  :)