Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Coretta Scott King, 1927-2006

Behind every great man, there is a great woman. And how.

Rest in peace, Mrs. King. And be sure to tell your husband that we appreciate everything he did - and everything you both continue to do.

Monday, January 30, 2006

My Oscar nomination predictions! (Or, how wrong will I be this year?)

Yes, I'm back after a month full of work and unrelated distractions. And what better way for me to begin again with what my friends have come to know as my annual frequently wrong predictions for the Academy Awards nominations. It's this time of year that I become, temporarily, an honorary gay man when it comes to my obsession over the flood of award shows that infests the popular culture. And the Oscars, for all their high-mindedness and arrogance, are the granddaddy of them all. So I've been doing this for a while now - sometimes in actual print for pay, but always for my posse of close buds. Now that I have a blog, I'd thought I'd share.

There are many ways to do this, and I've done most of them. Often I will list my picks in terms of locks, likely-to-be-nominated, and darkhorses - the best way to hedge my bets (i.e. cheat without cheating). This year, I'm feeling frisky, even though for the second year in a row this is a case of knowing who's likely to win the whole thing but not necessarily the challengers who will lose to the winners come Oscar night. Nevertheless, they're only predictions. It's not like I'm putting money on this stuff or anything. Thus, my ideas for the major categories. Tune in to E! or your local morning news tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. et/5:30 a.m. pt (!) to see how wrong I really was.

Brokeback Mountain
Good Night, and Good Luck
Walk the Line

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Terrence Howard, Hustle and Flow (I just have a feeling about this one. Even though the genres are completely different, this has Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean written all over it.)
Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck

Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger (This may be more wishful thinking than anything. I'm perfectly prepared for this one to go to Keira Knightly or Charlize Theron instead. See, I'm hedging again!)
Dame Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica (!!!!)
Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
Ziyi Zhang, Memoirs of a Geisha (There a touch of make-up about this one, as in "We should have nominated you for Crouching Tiger - sorry!")

George Clooney, Syriana
Matt Dillion, Crash (Either him or Don Cheadle - or maybe both)
Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man (See Ziyi Zhang above, i.e. Sideways)
Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
Bob Hoskins, Mrs. Henderson Presents

Amy Adams, Junebug
Maria Bello, A History of Violence
Scarlett Johanssen, Match Point
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardner
Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain

Woody Allen, Match Point (More of a celebration that Woody can still make movies than anything else)
George Clooney, Good Night, and Good Luck
David Cronenberg, A History of Violence (Again, wishful thinking)
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
Steven Spielberg, Munich

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Update on Mozart's skull - or is it?

Well, it wasn't quite the debacle of Al Capone's vault, but ... well, click on the subject line to fine out.

And meanwhile, the corpse of Salieri still has an complex.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

American Hero ...

There are those who complain that the term "hero" is overused and thus has lost some of its meaning. In fact, we don't use the word nearly enough. Part of that it because you can never have too many heroes these days, but another part is that many who do heroic things in this culture go unnoticed. Of course there are heroes putting their lives on the line in Iraq and such right now. There were heroes on 9/11, heroes currently working on our local police and fire departments. You would hope that every mother and father would be a hero to their kids, and a few still are, I guess. And then there are heroes like Hugh Thompson, who do the right thing and pay the wrong kind of price for it.

Hugh Thompson died yesterday at the age of 62. Sad to say, I didn't know who he was until the obits started rolling on Friday. Click on the subject line above to learn about another side of heroism.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Just call him Scarface ...

The National Enquirer is reporting that Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, already have named the male child currently subletting Paltrow's womb. This is a story of some note considering the colorful record the couple has when it comes to bestowing names onto their offspring, as big sister Apple can (and will) attest to. So what will the world be calling the upcoming tot? Capone. Apparently this was Martin's idea, so I guess the name could have been Clocks or X&Y or something like that. But do you ever wonder what names these two give their pets?

Bring me the head of Amadeus Mozart!

Yep, scientists are trumpeting that they may discovered ol' Wolfgang's dome, and will reveal the DNA results during, naturally, a documentary/reality TV show that will air in Austria this coming weekend. Word is that Owen Wilson is in preliminary negotiations to play the skull in an upcoming movie.

Click on the subject line to read the complete article.


It's a new year, a new day for all involved with this shiny blue marble of a planet, and the folks at The New York Times are going for that feeling of renewal and restart by washing out our smelly mouths with a story about - cuteness? Yeah, click on the subject line to be whisked to a land of fluffy pandas and precocious penguins - and scientists determined to figure out what makes one thing cute and another thing not. Now, I love cute. Just yesterday I saw a squirrel and a rainbow at the same time, and you can't get much cuter than that. But I would hope scientists would be dealing with stuff like, well, cancer and AIDS and famine and the like instead of the obvious, like why fuzzy is wuzzy.

Penguins are cool, though.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hey, look at that ...

... it's 2006.

A new year. A new chance.

Let's not screw this one up, shall we?