2014 Academy Awards Play by Play

I’m baaaaaack! I know that’s the name of my previous post, but we’ll see if I stay back this time. And what better way to be back than to have you watch me watch the Academy awards? I’ve got 3 kids now so it’s not going to be a total play by play, and I’ll probably miss a lot, but I’m going to try and watch as much as I can!

Before it starts, I’ll put in my predictions:
Best Picture: Gravity
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Supp. Actor: Jared Leto
Best Supp. Actress: Lupita Nyong’o

Preshow:

  • OMG, Jamie Foxx’s daughter is so pretty! Luckily she didn’t get her looks from dad (I always see Shanaynay)
  • I want Lupita’s earrings!

    7:30 - …and we’re on! Look’s like J-Law has front row seats! Can’t wait to see what Ellen has in store. I really love her, but I like my hosts to have a little bit of bite.

  • Liza Minelli, what happened to you? She just looks….weird.
  • Yes, Jared is the prettiest of us all…
  • Wow, loved Jared’s speech about his mom. And I was wrong previously - SHE is the prettiest of us all!
  • “Happy” was a lot of fun. Loved the audience participation. I want the Mounty Hat Smilie to have babies with Miley’s Space Cat.
  • There was only one major award given out in the first hour. Started to get bored after a bit!
  • I missed the Darlene Love part…need to watch it on my DVR!
  • I found U2’s performance to be just OK. Though it could be because I was changing Luke’s diaper at the time.
  • Probably my favorite moment so far is Ellen’s selfie. It was so funny to see all those celebrities jumping in and piling on one another to take the picture, then fighting over who actually gets to take the pic. (and later we find out that Ellen broke twitter with all the retweets of the picture!)
  • So happy to see Lupita win. I love me some J Law, but Lupita is just so sweet and her style is so fierce. Surprised that her dress today is so flowy and princess-y. She had such a wonderful speech - starting with honoring the real Patsy and ending with reminding kids that no matter who they are, their dreams can come true.
  • The pizza bit was great, too. From Brad Pitt handing out plates, to Jared Leto giving a piece to his mom, to Harrison Ford standing up for a slice and bugging Ellen for a napkin, it was all fun.
  • I have no idea who it is John Travolta thought he was introducing, but that’s Idina Menzel singing, right? Who ever it is, she is knocking it outta the park! (of course it’s Idina!) Cecilia is LOVING this part!
  • So happy that Frozen won. Didn’t realize that this win gives Bobby Lopez (who is part Filipino *woot*) the EGOT, which is Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Random trivia - he got his Emmy for the music he made for the Wonder Pets.
  • Is Daniel Day Lewis a skinny giant? Never realized he was a bean pole. Maybe he’s still playing Lincoln? Anyway, poor Amy Adams has to wait again to win the Oscar because it goes to Cate Blanchett, who makes the longest Oscar speech ever…until…
  • Matthew McConaughey wins and gives a speech that only Matthew McConaughy can. He talked about God, his father, loving his family (love the way he looks at his wife!) and who his hero is - 10 years from now Matthew. It was a long speech that didn’t seem too long, but it could be because I was waiting for one thing - Alright alright alright!
  • This night is going on FOOOOREVER!
  • I don’t know if Will Smith’s star stock is high enough anymore to be the one to present the last award of the night. Couldn’t they find anyone else? Madonna? Oprah? Sage Kotsenburg?
  • Even though I predicted Gravity to win it all, I’m so happy that 12 Years a Slave won. It’s a story that needed to be told, and although I haven’t seen the movie (yet) I can tell by word of mouth that it’s a great movie.

    All in all, I think it was a pretty good show. A bit slow here and there, but Ellen had a couple tricks up her sleeve to make sure this was a memorable year. See y’all next year!

  • Grammy Awards 2011

    Tonight’s show should be a good one! Since I’m typing this on my iPad i’ll be shorter than I normally am…here we go!

    7:08 - Christina Aguilera did much better than the Superbowl. However, too much mascara! I was curious how Florence Welch would do, but she killed it. Is it just me, or does Yolanda Adams look like a younger Whitney Houston? And Jennifer Hudson’s body is awesome…you go girl!
    7:13 - anyone catch Christina falling after the finished singing? Girl just can’t get a break! As for Aretha, she’s looking great!
    7:22 - FYI I used to have a poster of Ricky Martin on my wall when I was a little girl…
    7:28- Lady Gaga had a good performance and her body is bangin’, but I was expecting so much more from her performance!
    7:54 - I’m a big fan of Janelle Monae, b.o.b and Bruno Mars. Great to see them all together! Nice to see Bruno and bob backing up Janelle…
    8:14 - does Bieber get excused from singing live in his fast segment because he sang live for the beginning of his segment? I just don’t get the Bieber hype. He needs a new haircut!

    During this time the iPad was taken away from me…we are all constantly fighting over it! Memorable things - CeeLo’s fantastical rooster/peacock outfit. I knew Gwyneth could sing, but I was pretty impressed!

    9:05 - Ohh, I love hearing John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban singing “Jolene”…the harmonies are beautiful. Pretty sure that Mayer didn’t know the lyrics, though, cuz he looked like he was reading off the teleprompter.

    Golden Globes 2010 - Play by Play

    Well well well! I’d like to start blogging again, so I might as well start with one of my play by plays…

    Anyway, I’ve missed the first 15 minutes (kind of watched it, but had to clean up a bit before sitting down at the laptop). A couple comments - Christian Bale looks like Jesus, Scarlett Johannsen had a great dress, but her hair looked like the bride of Frankenstein, and it sounded like Ricky Gervais’ jokes were funny, but I couldn’t hear them.

    Here we go with the rest…

    7:17 - Haven’t seen any of the mini-series/tv movie nominies except for Temple Grandin, so that’s my pick because I really loved the movie. I hope Temple’s in the audience….but the winner is Carlos. Oh well!
    –side note - there is a massive crumb of something stuck under the K on my keyboard, so every time I use that letter I have to press extra hard. I don’t want to try and fish it out, because that means it may go down to the M, which I use more than K. That’s what happens when you let your kids use your laptop!

    7:20 - Looks like everyone is going overtime with their speeches. Which means this shindig should be over by tomorrow at noon. Its pretty bad - I think Christian Bale is still making his speech somewhere in the corner.

    7:24 - I’m SO SO SO happy for Chris Colfer winning the Golden Globe. I’m actually misty. Actually, any win in this category would be a win - there were a lot of great people nominated. But a win for Chris is a win for Glee, as well as a win for the struggle of young gays going through what Chris does every week in his show.

    8:01 - Had to feed the baby (more on that some other time) so I missed a bit. Anyway - Robert Downey Jr. is always a funny presenter. All of the Best Actress nominees are excellent - it could go to any of them and I’d be happy…but it goes to Annette Benning. Wish it was Julianne Moore, because I’d LOVE for her to get an Academy award. She totally deserves it.

    (missed stuff do to laundry)

    8:20 - Glad that Claire Danes won the award for Temple Grandin, and that Temple was there to see it.

    8:22 - Not a fan of Zack Efron’s new hair.

    8:25 - I wonder how long the “rivalry” between Steve Carrell and Ricky Gervais will go on…it’s getting a little old. However, I do love the chemistry between Carrell and Tina Fey. Good bit. I haven’t watched Inception, but from all the people going gaga over it, it sounds like it should be the winner…or the Facebook movie, which is getting all the hype. And the winner is….The Social Network. Watched it…great movie, definitely the movie of our generation. (or is it the generation after me? or after that? man, I’m OLD.) “Smart girls have more fun…” says Sorkin. Yes, yes we do.

    8:29 - Mmm…Chris Helmsworth is good on the eyes. Maybe I WILL watch that Thor movie. Jane Lynch wins best supporting actress. Go Jane! Definitely an awesome character, and I’m so happy that she’s been getting recognition…I’ve loved her for a long time. Too bad for Dave that he doesn’t get to see Sofia Vergara and her boobs bounce up to the stage to accept the win - because it would have been rightfully deserved. An awesome, funny acceptance speech that didn’t run overtime.

    (I realize I’m two minutes behind because I rewound the show to show Dave that the kid from The Kids are Alright is the same one from Little Manhattan. IMDB resolves the dispute in the end.)

    8:47 - I really want to see Burlesque. I don’t care if it’s a bad story, it looks and sounds awesome!

    8:49 - Kaley Cuoco’s reaction after Jim Parsons won the Golden Globe was so awesome and genuine. Why do they have presenters who work with the nominees? I don’t watch the show, but I have a feeling that the character Jim plays is very close to his own personality.

    8:50 - When Jeremy Irons speaks, I close my eyes and pretend it’s Scar from the Lion King speaking. It’s fun. Try it.

    9:00 - Robert DeNiro gets a well deserved Cecil B. DeMille award. I shall use this time to vacuum the Moon Dough explosion from the play room. Multi-tasking, that’s me!

    (someone else had to use my computer, so I’ll fill in my thoughts later)

    9:24 - Dave is a big fan of Halle Berry’s miniskirt, which he felt was sorely lacking from the women at the show. Natalie Portman is so incredibly beautiful - I know of no other actress in her league. Every time I think of Jennifer Love Hewitt playing Audrey Hepburn I want to scream, knowing that Natalie was born for that role. Also, I’m obsessed with Mila Kunis’ eyes. She looks like a real life Bratz doll.

    9:34 - Natalie Portman wins! I’ve loved her ever since she was in The Professional. Smart, beautiful, graceful, classy, she has it all! Great speech…please don’t play her off, orchestra!

    9:47 - Sandra Bullock looks great…love the bangs! Glad Colin Firth won Best Actor - I haven’t watched the movie, but he’s a great actor.

    The Convention Formerly Known as WWC


    Supergirl and Supertoddler!

    So a couple of weeks ago, it was the annual Wizard World Chicago comic book convention, or as it’s called now - Chicago Comic Con. Which I believe was an attempt to a) put it in the same stratosphere are the San Diego Comic Con and b) get the “Comic Con” name BEFORE their big competitor comes to town next year, another comic book convention actually held IN the city of Chicago rather than in than the suburb of Rosemont, where WWC happens. I think the change of name is silly, though it’s not like it happened before. No matter what the name of the convention was, I was going to go, just like I’ve been going for the last decade or so.

    This year’s convention came up pretty quickly. I’ve been so busy with work that I didn’t realize that the convention was coming up. My sister Fatima wasn’t able to take vacation on Friday, so it was some alone time for me and Ben. I had heard rumors that there was another convention coming to town next year, but I didn’t care too much about that. But what did worry me was that the big publishers - Marvel and DC, weren’t coming to the convention. That’s like having a soda convention and not having Coca Cola and Pepsi not show up. It’s just not the same. Fortunately, Aspen comics was there, and it was great to see the same old faces and some new ones.


    Not as Packed as it Used to Be!

    There were a couple other things that showed the effects of the economy (or at least, that’s what I attribute it to). Since most of the big publishers weren’t there, a lot of the sellers who usually had stands in the back got stands in the front of the convention. There were a TON of Z list celebrities there, selling autographed pictures of themselves and photo ops. There were only half of the workshops and panels that they usually had. Last year, (or was it the year before?) there were so many artists in the artist’s alley that there were actually two alleys. This year, the back of the convention hall was barely filled.

    The thing that gets me the most is in previous years, we got little name tags with holders to keep with us all weekend and we’d show them to security to let us in. This year, we got these cheap paper-ish wristbands that I’m assuming they expected us to wear ALL WEEKEND, which is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! Seriously, Wizard, you couldn’t spend 30 cents of the already inflated entrance fee to get some name badge holders? Come on! There was no way that Ben was going to keep that wristband on him all weekend, so we cut them off at the end of the day and just taped them back on the day after. You can probably see people wearing those cheap pieces of crap in my pictures.

    With that said, I sadly have to say that there’s been a major decline of quality for my favorite convention - I was really disappointed.


    Adrianne Curry as Every Fanboy’s Dream

    That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a great time. As I said before, I got to see my favorite people at Aspen, as well as the other faces that I’ve come to see every year. Fatima and Melanie (and our teenage cousin and his friend, but they don’t really count and just thinking about it makes me want to keep Ben as a little boy forever) came on Sunday and it’s always fun when the girls are there. Also got to see Todd Bridges, Christopher Knight (Peter Brady) and his wife Adrianne Curry, Margot Kidder, Michelle Rodriguez (LOVE HER), Lou Ferrigno (the standard) and a bunch of other almost celebrities….and Taylor Dayne. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking - Why the hell is Taylor Dayne at a comic book convention? I have no idea. I didn’t go up to any of them, except for Leyla Milani from Deal or No Deal (for Dave) and Edward James Olmos, who Melanie is a fan of because of Battlestar Gallactica and me because of American Me. Let me tell ya, even though we didn’t buy the autograph from EJO (it was $40 or $50 or something like that), we decided to just go and say hi, and he was the nicest guy ever. It was like talking to a friendly old neighbor, he made all of us feel comfortable and like we were friends. I can’t say enough about how awesome he was!

    I also got some great sketches, which I’ll post and write more about later, once I get them scanned.

    All in all, the weekend was just “ok”. Because of my experience, I am definitely going to check out the competing convention next year, who I heard does a great job for New York’s annual convention. I’ll still probably go to WWC (which I will always call it) but I won’t be expecting much.

    Here’s some pictures from the weekend (hover on the left or right for navigation arrows)…

    Green Arrow Jack Sparrow A Free Ride on the P Train Knowing is Half the Battle
    Lethal Leia Whatchu Talkin' 'bout, Willis?!? Taylor Dayne Um, Scary!
    Cartman Elemental Spirits Adrianne Curry Gets in the Spirit Tiger Hat
    Peter and His Girls With Micah Gunnell Fata Yeti Hat Me and Vince
    Aspen Guys DC Heroes A Sad Scarab Something for Dave

    Click here for my full flickr gallery…

    Academy Awards, 2009

    Here we go with this year’s Academy Awards! I would have posted my bets for the winners, but I just didn’t have time AND I haven’t seen any movies this year…

    7:32 - Hugh Jackman is hosting. I don’t care if he busts, or if he’s not funny. I just love the eye candy. Mmmmm….yummy!
    7:36 - I love hearing Anne Hathaway sing. The opening musical piece is pretty good. Much props to Hugh….it’s taken some guts to do this.
    7:37 - Yay, a Wolverine mention. The geek in me is so happy!
    7:43 - Several past Supporting Actress winners come back to present. I wonder if they’re going to be bringing past winners back for all the awards. If so, the audience is gonna get a lot of exercise sitting and standing for those ovations. With that said, I love that the nominated actresses are getting such a wonderful introduction by these women. Also, is it just me, or are all the nominees on the verge of crying?
    7:47 - Penelope Cruz wins! I’m so happy…I remember seeing her in a movie for the first time, almost a decade ago, in a movie where she was just a young woman. Even then she was amazing, and you couldn’t take your eyes off her. It’s good to see her to get rewarded for her hard work.
    7:57 - Milk wins for Best Original Screenplay…great, inspiring speech but Dustin Lance Black. If I could get the transcript, I’d write it here. Maybe I will later. I’m torn about which movie I want to win - Slumdog Millionaire or Milk. Both would make an incredible statement. Here’s part of Black’s speech:

    “If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours,

    8:19 - I’ve zoned out for a bit, entertaining Ben and trying to figure out where to have his birthday party…
    8:25 - Robert Pattinson looks like a vampire. Perfect casting, Twilight.
    8:31 - I can never get tired of seeing Natalie Portman…she’s incredible. I just wish she’d live up to the potential we saw in The Professional. The thing with Ben Stiller was a little weird, though…
    8:38 - Jessica Biel’s face looks beautiful, but her dress looks a little weird. The bottom looked a little off - if it was on Project Runway, the judges would have complained about it didn’t fit right at the bottom.
    8:46 - Loved Judd Apatow’s short film based on the Pineapple Express honoring this year’s comedies, even though several of the movies featured were dramas. Good stuff!
    8:54 - I’m liking this tribute to musicals. Is it just me, or does it seem like Hugh is singing live and Beyonce is lipsynching?
    9:04 - Everytime I see Christopher Walken I have to laugh. He raises every movie he’s in to another level of awesomeness.
    9:07 - Heath Ledger wins…I was really hoping for this. He truly deserved this award, he truly transformed himself for the role. *sniff*
    9:16 - Dude, who was the guy who was balancing the Oscar on his chin? I was talking to Dave and totally missed it.
    9:26 - Benjamin Button wins best Visual Effects? What the–did Iron Man and The Dark Knight split the nerd vote?!?
    9:32 - Slumdog wins for sound mixing. The recipient gives a very interesting speech about the sounds of the movie, and it makes me just want to watch this movie all the more!
    9:35 - Slumdog wins again, this time for film editing. Could the little movie that could make it all the way to the end? I can only imagine how amazing, overwhelming and wonderful this whole experience is for the young stars of the movie, especially Dev Patel, who has been constantly happy the whole night. (and who coincidentally reminds me of my old manager, who was a really awesome and fun to hang out with).
    9:46 - Wow, Jerry Lewis lost a lot of weight. You know who else lost weight? Anthony Hopkins. Did you see him in the audience? He got skinny! Did Hannibal Lecter give up meat? (I’m totally laughing because I think I’m clever). Thanks to Jerry Lewis for the short and sweet speech.
    9:58 - Whew! Me, Dave and Ben just had a dance break during the Best Song nominations. Slumdog Millionaire gets my vote for “Most Exhausting Choreography” That was a very nice presentation, from what I could see as we were thumping and twirling around in our living room.
    10:02 - …and surprise surprise, Slumdog wins again. An entire nation is singing!
    10:12 - I have a complaint about the “In Memoriam” part…I can’t really see the names from the camera view we had. I hardly saw the bit they had for Cyd Charisse, who I loved. Also, I know I say this every year, but we lost a lot of good ones this year. Man, I’ll really miss Paul Newman.

    OK, I got sidetracked by Dave and Ben, so I’m watching the rest of the show through my DVR…

    - Best Actress award - Dave thinks that Meryl Streep’s daughter is hot, and I have to agree. Angelina Jolie is gorgeous…Have I ever told you that I’m a week older than her? Kate Winslet wins, with a sweet speech about practicing for that moment as a young girl with shampoo bottle in hand. I would have liked Anne Hathaway to win, but I have a feeling she’ll be back. It’s about time Kate won, anyway….she’s our generation’s Meryl Streep. Oh, and the part where she can’t find her parents and asks her dad to whistle and he does was AWESOMENESS…I got a little teary with the cuteness of it.
    - Best Actor - Come on, admit it, a little part of you wanted Mickey Rourke to win, just to hear what he’d say. I know he’d start off with honoring his dog, his best friend he died a couple weeks ago. But that was not to be…Sean Penn wins with Milk. DeNiro gave an excellent introduction for him. Sean Penn’s speech, though not as touching as Black’s, who wrote “Milk”, and a little more damning but still had the same message. Stop the hate.
    - Best Picture - Yay! Slumdog Millionaire won! It’s wonderful that the world has embraced this little move (that I still haven’t watched). I love seeing those little Indian kids up on stage, so excited to be there. A nation is rejoicing, and the little movie that could wins big.

    All in all, I really liked the awards show. I think that they could have used more presenters - it seemed like Sarah Jessica Parker, Daniel Craig and Will Smith were up there forever. Maybe a more coherent musical number (the one with Beyonce was too disjointed). But it was fun. Hugh Jackman did a great job hosting, even if we really didn’t see him much AND he didn’t take off his shirt.

    Until next year!

    Disney: Day 3

    FYI, I’m in Orlando on vacation. Just got internet today, and we’ve gotta get up really early tomorrow morning for breakfast with Lilo and Stitch, so I’ll keep this short.

    • I was worried that Ben might not see Mickey Mouse, who he had been talking about all the week before we left. Luckily, we saw him on the first day.
    • We’ve also seen the rest of “the sensational six” - Goofy, Donald, Minnie, Daisy and Pluto. The only ones left that he had been mentioning are Clarabelle and Pete
    • Ben has already been in 2 parades.
    • Ben LOVES the new Nemo show! He was quoting it all night long.
    • The Disney Dining plan is an AWESOME deal.
    • I’m sick. Deathly sick. I have no voice. But I’m pushing on, ‘cuz I’m a trooper.
    • It feels like we’ve been here for a week. Part of it is because I’m sick. The other part is we’ve been spending long days at the parks. We’re pooped!
    • Epcot is so much more fun when you’re drinking. When you’re walking around with a sleeping child —- kinda boring.
    • It rained all day on Monday. Somehow, we still had an awesome time at the Animal Kingdom.
    • It’s FREEZING here. They’re talking about record low temperatures here. Tomorrow they’re expecting it to be 50 degrees - the average is 70. Why does Chicago weather follow me wherever I go?
    • We are having the time of our lives here. Ben is having so much fun, and we are, too.

    This is how I feel right now, so goodbye!

    America 2.0 - Remaking Our Nation

    “You must be the change you want to see in the world”
    - Mahatma Gandhi

    j_crew_happy_with_obama_familys_choices.jpg

    So, any thoughts on yesterday’s inauguration activities? I watched it after I dropped off Ben and started doing a little play by play, but then I had a conference call (right when they were swearing him in!) and then had to work so I really only did it for the first hour or so. All in all, I am so happy that there was such an incredible turnout. I sat here, in/on my office/couch watching history being made. There were a lot of motions that I felt, that I’m sure a lot of my fellow Americans felt - pride, happiness, hope, amazement…I am looking forward to the next four years. I know it’s not going to change overnight, but I have a feeling that things are going to get better.

    Anyway, here’s my thoughts:

    • George H. Bush is really getting old. He’s my preferred Bush president. It’s a little saddening to see him struggling to get on the stage.
    • Jimmy Carter is still lookin’ good. He kinda reminds of Jerry Lewis for some reason.
    • I met Rahm Emanuel once. He was INTENSE, like he was looking into my soul. He was campaigning to be a congressman at my train station, shaking hands with people passing by. He made sure to look everyone in the eye as they shook their hand. Friendly, but you got the feeling that he could make you spontaneously combust with just a look.
    • The Bush daughters are lookin’ good. The open letter that they wrote to the Obama daughters was sweet.
    • Am I the only one who is completely enchanted by how cute and well behaved Malia and Sasha Obama are?
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    • I know that Rick Warren was a controversial choice to do the invocation, but when I listened to his words I felt that it could have been applied to all people - regardless of age, race or sexual orientation.
    • What the heck was that on Aretha Franklin’s head?
    • Was that an encyclopedia that Joe Biden did his oath on?
    • Nice to see that Itzhak Perlman is still alive and kickin’.
    • I had an 11am call with a client, the same time that Obama was being sworn in. Once we got on the call, they were like, “Can we make this fast so we can get back to our desktops and watch the inauguration?”
    • I think it was really moving to see Michelle Obama, the descendant of slaves, standing next to her husband as he said the oath to become the President of the United States, holding the bible of the man who freed her ancestors
    • I was really surprised at how short the oath of office was. You blink and the thing’s over. Then again, it was a few seconds longer because Chief Justice John Roberts switched around the words to the oath and Obama had obviously memorized them, then got thrown off when they were switched around.
    • Goodbye, George Bush…I’ll miss watching your speeches and laughing with Dave, saying to ourselves, “What a goofball!”.
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    • I wasn’t as wowed by Obama’s inaugural speech as I thought I would be. It was a good speech, but it didn’t floor me like his DNC 2004 Keynote speech did. There were several memorable lines, my favorite being - “And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.”
    • I envy those people who made the trip there to witness history. However, I’m kinda glad I watched it from my couch, in my heated home, as well.
    • I watched CNN’s coverage, and as the day wore on, started getting really annoyed when they all started talking over each other.
    • With that said, did anyone catch when CNN had Quincy Jones on the phone, and Campbell Brown had a question - when they said she had a question, the first thing Quincy said was something like, “You’re a pretty little thing…” and you could hear the CNN guys laughing and Campbell get flustered. After that, the whole thing went down the drain because he wasn’t listening to her question and one of the guys ended up asking Quincy the question for her.
    • Everyone’s been talking about Michelle Obama’s style - I think her daytime dress was great for a first lady, but I’ve seen her wear better. I guess I was expecting a little more “wow!”
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    • Jill Biden, however, was sassy in her red coat and go go boots
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    • It was pretty cool (though pretty risky) that the Obamas came out of their car so many times on their way to the parade. I’m sure that they understood how far people had come and how much the moment meant to them.
    • I have a feeling that Joe Biden feels like a rock star right now, and he loves it!
    • Am I the only one who thought it was awesome that Obama threw up the shaka as the Punahou marching band from Hawaii passed?
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    • Big props to my ol’ college chum Vernon, who marched in the parade with the Gay and Lesbian Band Association, the first time that any association for gays and lesbians had marched in the inaugural parade. Way to go, Vern!
    • At first I didn’t like Michelle Obama’s inaugural ball gown, but when she stood straight she looked elegant in it, which won me over.
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    • I’m so happy that we’ve got people leading our country who can dance. Well, at least Michelle does. Barack tries, but you know Michelle’s the one with the moves. Their first dance was beautifully done by Beyonce, who got teary eyed at the end when she realized how incredible the occasion was, which, of course, got me teary eyed.
    • Ahh…I think that’s about all I have. Today was a long, amazing day. I have such hope for the future of this country, as well as for the citizens that live in it. We are recharged, we are excited about what lies before us, and although we are in hard times, we all have the feeling that together we can climb out of this dark pit into the light.

      Yes…yes we can.

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    My Latest Addiction

    poupee.png

    I am addicted to a Japanese fashion virtual dress up site called PoupéeGirl. I was introduced to Poupée by someone follow on DeviantArt who had asked if anyone had an account and I was curious what it was she was talking about. Basically, it’s a site where you get your own avatar/doll that you can dress up in different outfits.

    Before I go on, let me state that I’m probably one of the most unfashionable people out there. Outside of my collection of lipglosses, I really don’t keep up with the latest trends or wear “cool” clothes. My work outfit consists of a t-shirt and lounge pants since I work at home, and if I do go out, it’s usually in a t-shirt and jeans.

    But this site is totally addicting. To start, you get to pick out characteristics for your doll - eyes, hair, skin color…very much like creating a Mii avatar for the Wii. After that, you can dress up your doll - to start off with, they give you some basics…slim jeans, white blouse, black pumps, slim black skirt, etc. There are several ways you can get more clothes - by uploading pictures of fashion items (shirts, hats, makeup, shoes, etc) that belong to you, purchasing items in the market where people are selling clothes they don’t want, or exchanging shells that you get when visiting other user’s profiles. Poupée has it’s own currency, called “ribbons”. You get ribbons for dressing your avatar every day, commenting on other user’s uploaded items, selling the items your don’t need anymore, or, if you’re desperate, you can buy them. You can then use these ribbons to buy clothes - either from the market or from the shop that has really nice items for a limited time (they just had a kimono event - which is what my Poupée is wearing). I admit…I’ve purchased ribbons - not only do you get ribbons, but you get bonuses when you purchase. Pretty smart business people, whoever started this Poupée.

    Here’s a few of the outfits that my Poupée has worn so far (I’ve been a member since late November):

    Poupee

    Now the hardest thing with the site (other than wanting to buy EVERYTHING in the market and not having enough ribbons) is that since it’s a Japanese company, a lot of the site is in Japanese. They’ve been slowly translating the site to English since they’ve been getting so many international members, but I’ve been using Babelfish a lot lately! Especially when other members who are Japanese send messages. Luckily, there are a lot of English sites out there that provide translations and forums to help us non-Japanese out. One of them is a community on livejournal. They provide a pretty good FAQ that gives some tips on using the site and what not to do.

    Basically what I do with whatever extra time I’ve had lately is surf around Poupée, commenting on people’s items, collecting ribbons and shells, going to the market and buying virtual outfits for my virtual doll…she gets to wear clothes that I’d never wear in real life!

    So…if you’d like to join, just post a comment here (make sure you enter your email) and I’ll send you an invite. You could join on your own, but if I invite you, you get a free article of clothing (I have no idea what it is this month) when you accept my invitation. It’s not a real article of clothing - it’s just virtual. *wink*

    Chances are, I may post some more of my virtual outfits, just because some of the stuff is so damn cute…I think. As I said, I have no idea what’s fashionable, but I like to pretend!

    Today is a New Day

    I woke up this morning a little happier, with an extra spring in my step, and the feeling of hope in my heart. Yesterday, we elected Barack Obama as the next President of the United States of America.

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    As the votes started getting tallied and states were project as won, one by one (who can really project a state with 1% of the votes in, huh CNN?) I sat in front of the TV, waiting. I honestly didn’t think that the race would be as easy as people predicted it would be. But at around 10pm yesterday night, the world exploded and the nation realized that the American Dream could really become a reality. Our nation elected an African American man as the president.

    Now, I know it’s not about race, that people shouldn’t have voted for (or against) Barack because of his race, and that’s true. But you have to admit that his victory is something historical. If any of you had ever heard me speak when I was in college, you know that something I feel important for our youth is having role models, especially role models that look like them. Now I’m not black, but seeing a minority as president makes me proud, and is something that I am happy has happened in Ben’s lifetime. It’s easy to tell a kid, “You can be president someday” even though in the history books he’d only see white men. But to see a person of color, something different, something more relatable, that’s what really makes them believe that they CAN achieve that.

    I’m not going to be naive and say that Obama is going to fix everything, that he’s going to heal the wounds that our country has suffered in the last 8 years. He has a hard job before him. There will be campaign promises he won’t keep, things he’s said that won’t be able to do, the economy won’t fix itself in a day. But having him as president gives me a glimmer of hope that things might get better.

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    Seeing all those faces on TV, in my hometown, hundreds of thousands of people overjoyed with the dawn of a new era. “They’re all so happy!” Ben cried as he saw people on the TV. I teared up as I saw the raw emotion on Jesse Jackson’s eyes. I welled up with emotion as I listened to older black women and men talk about how they never would have thought they would have lived to see this day. The city of Chicago was a perfect backdrop for his rally - my hometown had never looked more beautiful than it did yesterday with people from all walks of life flocking to Grant Park to celebrate. I should have gone, but traffic would have been insane from where we live. I was happy enough looking at my city on TV.

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    John McCain, as I knew he would be, was gracious in defeat, and his speech was perfect. I only wish there weren’t the boos in the audience to spoil his moment. He ran a good race, and he still is, in the end, a good man who loves his country.

    I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. I have a feeling of hope and excitement about my country that I haven’t had for a long time. It’s not going to be easy, and Obama isn’t going to fix everything. I’m not expecting the world to become perfect, but I do feel it will be better. As a nation we are energized, we are hopeful, we are ready.

    This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

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    Like Being 15 Again…

    About 15 years ago, or maybe a little longer than that, a young girl wrote a 4 page letter, double sided and in five different colors and sent it to the Rosemont Horizon. That letter was addressed to the New Kids on the Block, and each of the colors in the letter was for each member of the group - Joey, Jordan, Jonathan, Donnie and my assigned favorite, Danny. Assigned? you ask? Well, my sisters and cousins were fans, too, so each of us had a favorite. Jonathan Knight was Melanie’s favorite. Donnie Wahlberg was Claudine’s. Jordan Knight was Marian’s. Joey McIntyre was Fatima’s. So I was left with Danny Wood. Not that there was anything wrong with Danny…he definitely was cute. But I think if it was left up to me, I would have picked Jordan or Jonathan. Nevertheless, I was a good fan to Danny. We hung their posters on our walls. We got their albums as soon as they came out (cassettes, of course). We sang their songs together. We watched their videos. We were hoping that one day, we’d be their “Covergirl”s. (I’m rolling my eyes at myself for even typing that last sentence) At night I would lay my head on my pillow, nuzzling my face on my NKOTB pillow case.

    Aaaanyway…I don’t really remember what I wrote in that letter - probably that I loved them…I only know that I had written to them and sent it to the Rosemont Horizon because I was going to their concert later that week and a little bit of me was hoping that I could bypass writing a letter to their official fanclub and risk it getting lost among thousands of other letters, and they would get it when they landed in Chicago and that during their concert they would say, “Christine, we got your letter…come up on stage!”

    Alas, it never happened.

    Since that letter, a lot has happened in my life. Had my first boyfriend. Graduated high school. Went to college. Graduated from college. Got married. Had a kid. Every now and then I would get reminders of them - Joey’s solo hit, Donnie’s appearance in “Sixth Sense”, Jordan’s one solo hit, and the pale, pudgy, creepy Jordan in the Surreal Life. Outside of that, life had moved on after NKOTB spurned me in my youth.

    Until earlier this year, when I found out about the New Kids on the Block reunion, and saw their publicity photo, realizing that they had aged pretty well.

    Then I found out that they were having a reunion tour. Didn’t really think much of it since I’m not a concert going person anymore. However, I believe it was my cousin Kathy that brought up coming to Chicago to watch the concert with the gals. How could I say no to a visit from my favorite Texan?

    I was surprised that the Chicago concert sold out in several days - they had even added a second show. I didn’t think that people still cared. Truthfully, I was looking forward to a fun night with the girls, and to reminisce on a long gone time of my life. I wasn’t really expecting a lot from the concert.

    But I’ll be the first to admit that it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. When we got there (security made me return my DSLR camera to the car - there was no security check when we went to the American Idol concert) there was a massive line for t-shirts…it took about an hour just to get to the front of the line. Also, the average age was about 30, and there was about 100 females to every male. It was fun to see what people were wearing, from t-shirts and jeans to some skankalicious club tops and high heels to the 40 year old women wearing New Kids shirts from 15 years ago (admittedly, I would have worn mine if a) I could find it and b) I’d fit it).

    The opening act was RnB star Colby O’Donis (who? yeah, that’s what I said, too) who sang his only hit as the last song of his act, and that’s when I was like, “Oh, ok…he’s the guy who sings THAT song…” The second opening act was a treat - Natasha Bedingfield. She was definitely incredible. Her voice (which was obviously live) was strong and she sang all her hits. It’s great to hear someone sing live well. Anytime the opening acts would mention “New Kids on the Block” the arena would erupt into high pitched screams - but what I would realize later was only a mere fraction of the ear shattering sound it would reach later than night.

    Before the show, the screens next to the stage asked people to text messages to a number to get moved up to the front row and get backstage passes. During the intermission after Natasha’s set, it was fun to read the messages that people sent in, because they put them on the big screens. “This time the concert isn’t after my bedtime” and “It’s been 15 years since I went to your last concert and my seats are no better now than they were then” and “I wish you had Debbie Gibson as your opening act!” and “I still fit into the NKOTB shirt I had when I was 12!”.

    Finally, the lights went out, and the stadium went crazy. After several fake-outs by the band, the New Kids finally came on stage, and let me tell you, the audience went apeshit out of their minds. I was thinking my eardrums would pop out! Of course, I was screaming too, because it was just so crazy. They started off with one of their new songs, but later segued to “My Favorite Girl”, a song that I totally forgot but the lyrics came back to me quickly, which was something that happened often throughout the night. They had a good mix of old songs and new songs, and we all sang along with the ones we remembered, which was a lot. By “we” I mean the 18,000 fans that were there, shouting out the lyrics. There’s a weird thing that happens when you’re singing along to “The Right Stuff” with an arena full of estrogen screaming at five men in their mid-thirties. It became like a timewarp, and we were all giddy 15 year olds at our first concerts, who had begged our parents to let us go, who came their with our best friends and saved our money for months to pay for tickets, a t-shirt and program. We screamed, we looked at each other and giggled, I even waved my hands in the air during “Hanging Tough”…


    Melanie’s awesome video (can you hear everyone singing?)

    So yes, it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I was with the best people possible - Melanie, Kathy, Claudine, Fatima and Kim, who were also transformed into squealing fangirls. There were definitely some highlights in the show, and I’d have to say that the most surprising thing was….and if you don’t want spoilers you may want to skip down to the next paragraph…the most surprising thing was Jordan Knight, coming up in a white button down shirt, unbuttoning it to reveal some INCREDIBLE abs (click here for proof). Those of you who watched the Surreal Life may remember him as pudgy and a little creepy, but man, it was incredible. I was giggling and screaming at the same time and just about lost my mind. We were transported to a time when we didn’t care about work, our kids, paying bills, the economy, or the election - a time when we were happy and didn’t have a care in the world.


    One of Mel’s pics

    What also made the concert so great was how the guys have matured. They’ve all aged pretty well - to me, Danny probably aged the best - he’s got this hard edge to him now and has grown into his strong facial features (and incredible biceps). Jordan is no longer a pretty boy, he’s just plain hot now…not sure what happened to the fangs he used to have before. The rest of them look pretty good - makes me laugh that Donnie’s still wearing hats on stage. There was some swearing during the concert and definitely a lot more crotch grabbing than I remembered from 15 years ago. The guys (except for Jonathan, but he gets a pass) seemed a lot more at ease on stage, a lot more confident and dare I say sexy. They’re no longer babies - they’ve been around the block, and it was obvious by their charisma and how they played to the crowd. They seemed just as amazed as we were at our reactions.

    Anyway, it was a great time. At the end of the night, Donnie thanked the audience, because their comeback tour would have been really crappy if no one bought any tickets. I think it was a surprise to everyone how quickly the tickets sold. In the end, though I have to thank the New Kids (it makes me laugh to say that because come on, they’re not kids) for giving all of us a carefree night with 18,000 of my best friends, singing my heart out without a care in the world.