Sunday, February 27, 2011

Final thoughts

Please share yours. As always I love to hear.

And thank you, Academy, for ending with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which is the song I'm planning to have played at my own finale. My funeral, in other words. And I'm serious about that.

Anyway. It's been fun.


I am happy The King's Speech won. V. happy. DANCE, COLIN FIRTH, DANCE!

Don't you think it's a little strange

. . . to have one nominee narrate all the other nominees? I loved THE KING'S SPEECH. But still.

Colin Firth

Oh, Colin Firth. I would only love you more if you gave in to those stirrings and danced your heart out for us. You were beyond marvelous in that jewel of a movie. Congratulations. Because I know you're reading this.

These women are all so . . . .

impossibly impossibly impossibly thin. They look like I could hold them like a bundle of sticks and break them over my knee. Which I can totally promise you no one has ever said about me.


I have to confess that I kind of like Gwynneth in spite of GOOP (her newsletter wherein she advises us where to eat, where to travel, and what kind of purses to buy). I love how lean and gold she always looks. I think her voice is . . . fine. Don't seriously love it, though.

Please advise

I really have zero desire to see THE SOCIAL NETWORK (just got an award for film editing). Should I see it, though, as a form of mental/artistic exercise? Because you know how it is. You never want to exercise, but you feel glad that you did.


One thing about Oprah--she sure has presence. It took a beat longer than was strictly comfortable to move aside for the winners of the documentary Oscar. For a minute there I thought she was going to give the speech for them. And you know what? It would have been a good one, too.


To autotunes! And to Wolf boys without shirts!

I have mixed feelings about Mandy's dress

Love the color. LOVE it. And I like that she also has roses cascading everywhere. But the bustier part? Hmmm. Not a fan. I don't like dresses that look like bras, even if the bras match the skirt.

Helen Mirren

. . . brings it year after year. She looks fantastic. And Russell Brand is a guilty pleasure always.


. . . is very pretty. I like the color of her drapey dress but the lacey things on her girls look like tattoos. And all I could think was how much that would hurt!


I almost DON'T want to see THE FIGHTER now after Melissa What's-her-name's really rambling speech. I always think winners should acknowledge their competition--especially since there were so many lovely performances this year. I was personally pulling for Haley Steinfeld. I truly loved TRUE GRIT.

Best Supporting Actress

Such lovely ladies. Such fab performances. And Helena is always beautiful no matter how crazy the hair.

And suddenly I'm remembering

. . . that Anne Hathaway does have nice comic timing. She really does. (Remember PRINCESS DIARIES?)

Oh it's just a happy day

. . . whenever Alec Baldwin shows up. Also, I'm loving this intro to the movies with Hathaway and Franco. REALLY GREAT.

The Halle Berry interview

So the interviewer asks Halle about her dress, her feelings about Lene Horne, the Oscars, etc. But of course what we REALLY want the interviewer to ask her is if all the stuff in the STAR is true. Or at least I know I do.

Keith and Nicole

Keith: I have an idea!

Nicole: Tell me!

Keith: Let's wear our bangs exactly the same way!

(Blogger's note: I'd like to carry on with this, but Christian Bale just showed up looking like Abraham Lincoln, which i find oddly distracting.)

Sandra Bullock

Well. There's sort of an elephant in the room here, isn't there? We're all remembering how gorgeous she looked last year and how much she loved her husband Jessie, who sat in the audience with tears in his eyes. And then it all blew up just a few days later.


JT and Tim Gunn make a handsome couple. Excellent grooming, gentlemen!

Natalie Portman

Okay. I have Natalie Portman issues. Every time I turn around I see her in another movie trailer, including THOR. Is there not another actress in Hollywood these days? Is she the only one allowed to make movies?

I still haven't gotten over the report that she was making out with Sean Penn the night he won the Oscar for MILK. Ew. Sean Penn.

And now James Franco is onscreen, acting like a dope. I like him, but he's acting like a dope. I think.

Jennifer Hudson

Looks super sleek and trim. Good for her! But I loved her chubbier self, too.

Commercial interruptions

Am I the only one who thinks that SOURCE CODE and THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU look like the same movie? Except that one stars Jake Gyllenhaal and the other stars Matt Damon? Or maybe THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU married GROUNDHOG DAY and SOURCE CODE is the love child.

Robert Downey Jr

White tie. White shirt. Platform shoes. I totally went to the prom of '74 with that dude.

Reese Witherspoon

I like the retro hairdo she's rocking--a little Jane Fonda, a little Ann-Margaret. Also EMERALDS. Also, I like the lady in the background making crazy eyes. Never change Crazy Eyes Lady. Never change.

Mark Wahlberg

I LOVE HIM!!! But next to this interviewer he looks tiny. Like a tiny fighter.

Annette Bening

I sort of love her, but she looks like she's just one color--hair, dress, etc. Plus which she also matches Warren Beatty's hair. Also, does Warren seem kind of wacky to you? Like Annette is secretly praying he won't suddenly start telling fart jokes on the red carpet?

And here's Valentino wearing a LOT of bronzer. Anne Hathaway looks very pretty, I must say. I like the roses cascading off her butt.


Hard to recognize Matthew Mcconaughey when he has his shirt on.

Okay. We're gonna give it a try . . .

In the interest of full disclosure it must be said that I am watching the Oscars in my pajamas. Which I have been wearing since 4:00 this afternoon. So the point is this--virtually everybody we're watching on TV will be better groomed than I am. Still. Hoping for full-on star wackitude.

Oh wait a minute. I can truthfully say my hair looks a lot better than ScarJo's hair right. ScarJo! For the love of heaven find yourself a comb!

We'll see

. . . about the live-blogging tonight, actually. My computer is suddenly moving at the speed of sludge. I'm afraid I've picked up a virus somewhere. BLECH!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


So I will be live-blogging the Oscars tomorrow night. Woot! (Or whatever.) See you on the red carpet.

Today's Trib Article

What does your ringtone say about you?

Find out here

Friday, February 25, 2011


Sally at TKE loaned me an ARC called ELEVEN by English comedian Mark Watson. Early reviewers compare the book to novels by Nick Hornby, whom I adore. NICK HORNBY! I ADORE YOU! Anyhoo, I was waaaaaaaaay excited to read it--which is why I probably ended up liking ELEVEN as opposed to loving it. Sometimes it's hard for a book or a movie to live up to our desires for it.

Still, I appreciated the book's cleverness--Watson takes a handful of random characters and shows how they are connected in surprisingly profound ways even though they don't realize it. He also demonstrates how lives influence one another--how the human community is just one big giant organism. And the last scene? Truly moving.

It's snowing today. Gotta find myself another book. Would you mind posting suggestions? What's the last book you read that you really loved?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poems and other matters

Last night in my book group we reviewed Garrison Keillor's anthology GOOD POEMS and there were a few people in the group who just were not feeling the poetry love. Which is fine. We all have our individual tastes. Like I was saying to Sara Z the other day, I feel like the last American standing who has NOT read THE HUNGER GAMES. Why? Because I'm just not a fan of dystopian fantasy. So there you have it.

Still. What I realized last night is how much I love poetry, how nourishing I find it, how happy I am that people write and share it. My world would be a more dimly lit place without it. So carry on, my poet friends. You make me glad.

Meanwhile, the fish still lives. Oh yes. The fish lives on.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another reason, perhaps

This morning I was thinking about a conversation I once had with Orin, an older gentleman who used to work at the Sinclair by my house (back in the day when it WAS a Sinclair). Anyhoo, Orin looked exactly like someone's Mormon grandpa with his hearing aid, his glasses, and his neatly trimmed gray hair. I only mention his appearance because of the unexpected turn our conversation took. Here's how it went down.

Orin: Hi, Ann. Did you have a good weekend?

Me: Of course. Football and chicken wings were involved. What's not to like? What about you? Did you have a good weekend?

Orin: It was interesting. I opened my Third Eye.

Me: (surprised) Wow. How did that go?

Orin: Well, I have a headache now.

Remembering this conversation made me smile. It also reminded me of another reason I write: people surprise you. And me, I love surprises.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Apparently I should have been anxious about this, too . . .

getting Channing Tatum's name mixed up. It IS Channing Tatum, isn't it?


I had a nightmare last night.

I dreamed that my old piano teacher signed me up to play in the Gina Bachauer competition. So there I sat in the audience, waiting for my turn, wondering if I'd practiced enough (the answer was "no") and also why I was wearing grey anklets with my party shoes. I also wondered if I'd shaved my legs (another "no").

Suddenly the woman sitting next to me started mocking the contestants and also suddenly I started wondering if she would mock me, too (the answer was "yes") because I was going to perform "The Spinning Wheel," which I hadn't practiced. And then I realized I didn't even have my music with me. And that I needed to run home in my grey anklets and my party shoes to find my music in my impossibly messy house.

I was SOOOOOOOO relieved to wake up this morning.

But I do wonder what I'm SOOOOOOO anxious about?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Eagle

Ken, Q and I are holed up here in St. George because we wanted to get away from winter for the Prez Day Holiday. Except that it's snowing here too . . .

So we've been doing indoor things like playing cards and going to movies. Yesterday we saw THE EAGLE, which I enjoyed a lot. It's kinda old school in terms of its production and themes. The movie does not rely on special effects the way so many action/adventure films do now. You get the feeling that it's all really mano a mano up there on the screen, which is kind of cool.

The movie also has a non-ironic approach to the subjects of honor and courage, both physical and moral. In a way I felt like I was watching something that could have been made in the fifties (except that the film is much grittier-looking), and quite frankly that was refreshing. No doubt this is due to the fact that The EAGLE is based on a book (THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH LEGION) written in the 1950's by the wonderful children's and young adult author Rosemary Sutcliff, who had a long and fabulous career.

And finally, it must be said, that Tatum Channing is way way way WAY easy on the eyes. Thank you, Tatum Channing, for putting on a short skirt and thereby making this girl happy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On the road

Occasionally the kids will say that Dylan, my third son, is most like me. And this is tragic news on the fine motor skills front, because neither one of us is capable of finessing anything that requires small movements and also patience--hence our trouble hooking up the GPS this morning before the two of us took off for San Diego. Dylan and I sat there in front of the Chevron like FOREVER, trying to plug the wire thing into the GPS thing and guess what. Neither one of us could do it. So FINALLY I said to Dylan, let's tell the Gas Station Girl we'll pay her a dollar if she can plug the wire thing into the GPS thing.

Finally! Miracle! We managed to do it for ourselves! So there's one dollar bill that Gas Station Girl will never see.
Meanwhile I have another place to add to my list of Places that Still Sell Single Cans of Dr. Pepper: the Valley Wells rest stop located in the Mojave Desert. Thank you, Valley Wells!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Blog Feature: Fish Death Watch!

So Phil dropped by yesterday and noticed I have a new fish, which I bought impulsively, because I am mostly an empty-nester now and apparently somewhere in the recesses of my head a new fish = a child. And also it must be said that sometimes I buy impulsively.

Anyhoo. Phil goes really? That fish will be dead in mere days because, Mom, you always kill fish, and people I took this as a challenge. It was almost as if Phil had slapped me across the face with that fish (which wouldn't have hurt because the fish is like 2 inches long, so don't worry) and challenged me to a duel. Game on, I said.

Every week I'll give you an update on the fish, and we shall see what we shall see.

Monday, February 14, 2011

With a nod to Valentine's Day

So what are your fave love songs? Including fave love-gone-wrong songs? (I was thinking about this as I ran in Liberty Park this morning, listening to "Now That It's Over" by Everclear--a clearly awesome breakup song. Love love LOVE how angry it is.)

Anyhoo. Thinking of you all. Hoping your day is a good one.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


So, okay, it's not Christmas, although I still have my clock out that plays Christmas tunes. More about that later. Possibly. But I feel inclined on this Sunday morning to share a piece of a letter written by Fra Giovanni in 1513 to a friend during the Christmas season. I found it originally in a book by Tasha Tudor, and it has since become something of a personal credo. Here it is.

I salute you.

There is nothing I can give you which you have not, but there is much that while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy.

And so at this Christmastime, I greet you, with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Ken called awhile ago to say that Mubarak has not resigned but that Jerry Sloan has. AND I'M SAD ABOUT THIS.

Okay. Please continue posting life mottos for my pillows. Thank you.

This says it all

So I was talking to my brother Jimmy this morning who told me that his father-in-law is famous for shaking his head and saying, "Life is just one damn thing after another."

I love that! I love it so much I want to embroider it on a pillow and then put that pillow on my couch.

Feel free to share your favorite sayings. I might put those on pillows, too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When you have a son who wants to be a family therapist . . .

. . . you tend to have conversations about things like "parenting styles." And here's what my family decided about me--I parented like a stay-at-home dad. Apparently the kids were in their rooms playing video games while I was in my room playing video games.

Maybe there's a column in that.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Never mind

. . . not watching Glee. I hate to say this but Lea Michele just kinda bugs me. Not her fault. I own the problem.

Off to watch "The IT Crowd" instead.

Next year . . .

. . . I'm totally gonna live-blog the Super Bowl so I can discuss how EMBARRASSING it must be for all those boys to show up at the same event wearing the exact same outfit. Looking forward to that.

Right now I'm trying to decide if I should go read a new YA novel about a teenage Sherlock Holmes called DEATH CLOUD (I think) or watch GLEE. Feel free to advise.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Red velvet

Before I get to the subject at hand, let me just say that I've appreciated your kind words. Honestly, I've been SUCH a whiney baby lately--a big old buzzkiller--and where's the fun in that? So thanks for putting up with me. Truly.

Meanwhile, red velvet. I'm always on a quest for a yummy red velvet thing ever since Kathy Allsen made a red velvet cake for my birthday when we were seniors in high school. I thought it was the best, most exotic thing I'd ever tasted (this was 1974 when you could only buy two kinds of cheeses at the grocery store in Provo, Utah), and I've sort of searched for that first blissful taste ever since.

But here's what I've discovered--red velvet often disappoints. It's frequently too dry. Or not flavorful enough. Or so shot through with red food coloring that the only thing you can taste is the dye. So now whenever I eat a red velvet thing, I steel myself for the inevitable heartbreak. Which is what I did yesterday at the cookie shop on third west formerly known as MY DOUGH GIRL (now appearing as RUBYSNAP). The cookie of the month is a red velvet thing and guess what. It was good. Kinda cake-y, it must be said, but that I don't mind.

Yay! Find the right cookie and life is (almost) good again!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Freaking seals

This morning started off with an e-mail from agent Tracey, informing me of another rejection. It's the kind of rejection I often get--the editor loves me, loves the book, etc. etc. But in the end, the manuscript just isn't special enough. For the record I WOULD BE A MILLIONAIRE IF I COULD GET PAID A ROYALTY FOR EVERY TIME I'VE BEEN TOLD BY EDITORS I'M NOT SPECIAL ENOUGH. But whatever. In my heart I know I'm special. And that you're special. And that we're all special because we're all God's very special, special children. So at least there's that.

At any rate, I've been trying to figure out how to make myself more special. For awhile I thought the answer was to write a paranormal romance, so I labored away for awhile on a selkie story, and honestly it was kind of good. But in the end I couldn't finish it because every time I looked at myself in the mirror I went I am writing a freaking book about a freaking girl WHO'S IN LOVE WITH A FREAKING SEAL. And then I would ROCL. And for the record, writing a love story involving seals is way hard when you're ROCL-ing.

Wow! I feel better now! Writing in CAPS is v. therapeutic!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A poem for the day

I found this in GOOD POEMS, selected by Garrison Keillor. (Love that volume btw. It's a collection of poems Keillor has read on air, so by necessity the selections are accessible, musical, and image-driven.) Anyhoo! This seemed to be a good poem to share on an arctic day like this. When Kathy and I went on our walk at 5:30 this morning, we said how our world looked like a photo negative with bare lawns and streets skimmed with a fine drifted snow. I ask you. How beautiful is this world?

The Sixth of January
by David Budbill

The cat sits on the back of the sofa looking
out the window through the softly falling snow
at the last bit of gray light.

I can't say the sun is going down.
We haven't seen the sun for two months.
Who cares?

I am sitting in the blue chair listening to this stillness.
The only sound: the occasional gurgle of tea
coming out of the pot and into the cup.

How can this be?
Such calm, such peace, such solitude
in this world of woe.