Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Oscars 2007:
The Live-Blogging Event

Welcome everyone (veteran readers and first-timers alike!) to A RAMBLER'S RAMBLING and my first ever attempt at a live-blog, an up-to-the-minute update on everything the OSCARS. It is finally February 25, 2007 which means that the biggest night in Hollywood is upon us and it wouldn't be me if I didn't have an opinion on everything that occurred at the Kodak Theatre.

So this is how it's going to work:

I'll be posting as much as possible (as often as possible, I should say). The way you will be able to read the most recent post is by hitting the refresh button to get the most up-to-date version of the page. . . Get it? Got it. Good!

I'll be starting a little before 1700. . .

AND AWAY WE GO!!!!!!!!

1630: We're a half hour away from the OSCARS! Does anyone else find the combination of George Pennachio and Richard Roeper a little odd? Pennachio is way too "star struck" and asks the most long, tenuous questions. Roeper, as much as I like him, is just a complete tool. I miss Roger Ebert. . . Get better soon Roger!

1633: More Pennachio nonsense and Roeper just called him on it. . . I love it! The main man, Clint Eastwood, is looking at Pennachio like he is an idiot. Behind those sunglasses, those old eyes are rolling. I guarantee it!

1636: While we're at commercial, let me throw out a couple of predictions. . .

- Best Picture: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (it's the dark horse and I think will surprise everyone just like CRASH did last year!)
- Best Director: Martin Scorsese for THE DEPARTED (it's his year!)
- Best Actor: Forest Whitaker in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
- Best Actress: Helen Mirren in THE QUEEN
- Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (the surprise of the night over Eddie Murphy - - NORBIT's release honestly hurt Eddie!)
- Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson in DREAMGIRLS (although an Abigail Breslin or Adriana Barraza upset would not surprise me at all!)

1641: Eddie Murphy looked like he wanted to attack Richard Roeper for his vehemently rough review of NORBIT. . . I'm telling you, this Red Carpet thing is just asking for an actor to go off after he answers the same question for the fifty thousandth time!

1644: Ryan Gosling is awesome! He has a huge career ahead of him and also gets many points for his "Shut up already!" look at George Pennachio. . . and then old Penny started yelling at Peter O' Toole like a five-year old wanting a lollipop. I have never said this before, but can Ellen Degeneres please take the stage!!!

1648: More predictions. . .

- Best Cinematography: CHILDREN OF MEN
- Best Foreign Language Film: PAN'S LABYRINTH
- Original Screenplay: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
- Adapted Screenplay: THE DEPARTED

1653: I want to meet Marty Scorsese! I hope against hope that he wins tonight!

1656: Yay!! No more George Pennachio! It's Oscar time baby!!!

1700: Intro time. . . references to HAPPY FEET, BORAT, CARS, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, THE QUEEN, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. Hmm. . . no laughs though. . . Wait!!! I thought the telecast began at 1700!!! Dammit!!! Now we have to suffer through another half hour of interviews. . .

1705: Well since I don't care about what Jennifer Hudson is wearing, allow me to complete my list of the (major) predictions. . .

- Film Editing: BABEL (although I hope it wins nothing!)
- Art Direction: DREAMGIRLS
- Sound Mixing: DREAMGIRLS
- Costume Design: MARIE ANTOINETTE
- Original Score: THE QUEEN
- Original Song: one of the DREAMGIRLS songs (that's me bailing out and taking the odds!)
- Animated Feature: HAPPY FEET

1714: Will Smith is straight up the coolest guy in Hollywood. And that Jaden kid already has his composure and I love how he already has a disgust for this whole interview/Red Carpet process. I think he just wants to sit down and eat some popcorn. . .

1720: Well, I'm going to do a final bathroom stop before the real deal begins (which hopefully is at 1730). . . And what's the over/under on length for this bad boy? We gonna hit four hours again? I'm thinking 225 minutes. That's just a guess though ha ha!

1730: Ok, now here we go!!! I have my fingers crossed for not only my movies (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, THE DEPARTED) but also that Ellen does a good job. I wanted either Jon Stewart again, Stephen Colbert, or even Conan O' Brien, but I have high hopes for Ellen.

1733: Love this intro!!! BABEL director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu says that they may have gotten too many nominations. . . I agree!!! Alan Arkin is very cool. Leo is the most underrated, overhated actor in Hollywood. More funny, touching moments. . . Best intro since last year!!!

1740: So far, so meh. Two successful jokes and just an ongoing same-joke monologue. Ok, we get it. It should be stressful for them, but wait, why? They already did the acting thing. Now they're just sitting there listening to you struggle. Dangit Ellen!

1741: "8th nomination, right Peter O' Toole? Well, you know what they say, third time's the charm!" - Best joke yet!

1744: Steve Carell is the funniest man on the planet. Let's just get that out of the way right now.

1745: I don't think a wonderful choir singing "Hallelujah" is going to make the losers feel better. . . just a guess. . . and now the first envelope!!! It's for art direction. . . I picked DREAMGIRLS, but I'm not sure. Watch, PAN'S might win. . . Yep, it's PAN'S LABYRINTH. I shoulda picked that the first time!!!

1750: Um, why are those aerobic people who make up the car in that one commercial (their bodies conform together to look like a car) moving behind this screen. . . O, it's an OSCAR award! I get it (what the hell!!!). So far, it's pretty disappointing. . .

1754: Will Ferrell's hair is funnier than his song. . . wait! There's Jack Black!!! He made it better (and the Mark Wahlberg execution was pretty funny - - he is bad ass right!) and wow, now there's John C. Reilly! On a scale of 0 to 10, this gets a solid 6.5 - - it had the opportunity to be INCREDIBLE!!! Now we have the Makeup nominations. . . (CLICK is nominated and that is absolutely ridiculous for that film to even be mentioned here) Winner is PAN'S LABYRINTH just like I predicted. . . Uh oh!!! PAN'S is gonna win everything!! (O wait, it didn't get any significant nominations. . . hmm)

1800: They should just let Jack Black and Will Ferrell host this thing. . . Now the new kids in Hollywood (LMS' Abigail Breslin and little Will Smith, Jaden) present the Animated Short Film Oscar. . . They're both cute - - - shame on the Academy for exploiting them! (Not really, but seriously, how are these kids so damn successful already!!!) Some short film called THE DANISH POET wins. . . yeah, still never heard of it.

1804: Now it's LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM. Are these films ever shown in theatres? WEST BANK STORY wins and that's cool for this guy. I'm glad!! Holy crap!!! Jack Nicholson shaved his head!!!!!!! He steals everyone's thunder and he may not even try! Unbelievable!!!

1807: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, a Best Picture nominee, gets its little feature intro thing. This is the only one of the BP nominees that I haven't seen. . . I struggle with foreign films, sorry. I love Eastwood though. Peter O' Toole is legendary and all, but Clint Eastwood is actually two years older and still looks like someone you shouldn't mess with. The man IS Hollywood!

1812: Ellen just tried to regain some props. Didn't work. . . Now these people who do sound effects with their own noises and voices and whatnot prove once and for all that they need to only be heard and not seen.

1815: Sound editing joke is funny just because, wait for it, Steve Carell is involved!!! Sound editing Oscar goes to. . . LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. Another one right for me!

The little goat guy from THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (James McAvoy) and the rebellious 7TH HEAVEN daughter (Jessica Biel) present for Sound Mixing. How is PIRATES getting nominated for so many things. . . I said DREAMGIRLS would win. . . and IT DID! I'm on a roll everyone!

1822: First big nomination of the night!!! Best Supporting Actor time. I said Alan Arkin would upset Eddie Murphy. Honestly, I wish Mark Wahlberg would win (and even wish that Dustin Hoffman were nominated from STRANGER THAN FICTION) but I just don't want Eddie to win. With NORBIT out, I don't think he should win. . . The winner is Alan Arkin!!! I am so excited!!!

1825: What the hell is going on with this interview thing by Ellen? Didn't we already get enough interviews?!?!? Kudos to Scorsese for going along with it, but still, I'm already sick of Ellen. And I had such high hopes! . .

1827: Those crawly people are back again forming the penguins from HAPPY FEET. . . Sure it's interesting and original but WHAT THE HELL!!!

1830: THE DEPARTED just got it's feature thingy. I loved that film. I might just watch it again tonight because it's so amazing! That honestly is more of a nod towards LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, which I find to be a better movie. I could just watch THE DEPARTED over and over, that's all. . . Now we segue to the song "Our Song" from CARS being peformed by James Taylor. . . I have never understood this part. Can't they just play a sample of the song like they do with the scenes before the acting awards (although, the scenes they chose on the Best Supporting Actor one were rather questionable - actually, now that I think about it, that was probably the only line that Marky Mark spoke that could have been put on national television ha ha!).

1833: I'm kinda half expecting/waiting for Ellen and Melissa Etheridge to kiss after she finishes this song. . That could be a way to get the crowd on your side, Ellen! (Just to note: I'm not asking for it or anything, but I just think that's exactly what Hollywood wants on a night like tonight - - lesbians kissing - - - - On a side note, this song sucks! Since when does a global warming documentary need a song sung by a pop singer. . .).

1836: Algore (yes, one word) and the Oscars. . . Hmm, never thought I'd type that sentence. . . He is pretty popular, though. At least we know who voted for him 7 years ago. And is Leo gonna hump his leg? Seriously, I love Leonardo Dicaprio, but he was all over the always-boring former VP. Funny joke with him kinda announcing his candidacy for 2008. I'll give him some credit there. . .

1843: Even Ellen's old jokes are falling flat. . . She was a bad choice. So is Cameron Diaz's hair in fact. She's presenting the award for Animated Feature. I liked HAPPY FEET more than CARS and MONSTER HOUSE looked pretty childish. . . the winner is the Penguins that Heather loved so much! It was a lock considering the "Oscars going green" thing. . .

1847: Now we get another montage. This one is about writers. I guarantee a rant if there is no mention of ADAPTATION, my all-time favorite film. . . ok good, there was a quick glimpse of Nic Cage! Quick cuts of CAPOTE, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, and ED WOOD, all of which I loved. Jack Nicholson is fun at all times! Just a thought. Another thought is that Tom Hanks, I'm glad you cut your hair ha ha - - Adapted Screenplay time. These are my favorites since I am a fledgling screenwriter (well, kinda). I love what they're doing with presenting these nominees. It shows the immense amount of blocking and other parts there are to writing a screenplay. . . the winner is THE DEPARTED! I'm so glad - seriously, though, with this winning a few awards and LMS winning a few, I really don't know what is going to win the biggest award. I say, if LMS wins Original Screenplay, it does everything.

1855: Chris Connelly (or whatever) just created the cheesiest moment ever, resulting in Tom Hanks going "Lots more fun!" in a line that sounded like it belonged in THE DA VINCI CODE. Hmm. . . I guess we have two more hours of fun then. . .

1900: Another botched Ellen joke with the baby carrier thing holding the Oscar. Just a bad follow through. . . Nice follow through though for the lead-in to the Costume Design award by Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. Plus, now we see a practical use of Meryl Streep's talent and straight-facedness (yeah, I made that up). Is it weird that these two actresses were in one of these films? Maybe it's just me. . . I picked MARIE ANTOINETTE but I'm thinking now that maybe DREAMGIRLS might win. . . plus this whole thing with the PRADA girls presenting makes me wary. . . but MARIE wins! Am I incredible or what!!!

1905: Manny (shout out to you sir!) and my boy Tom Cruise presents some humanitarian award. . . It's nice when the unknowns get some accolades. O, and I was wondering if they could have shown Nicole Kidman when Tom was announced. That would have been DRAMA! . . I think this lady is reading from the teleprompter though. Kinda awkward.

1910: There's Ellen in the crowd again. . . and it's still lame. Ooh, a MYSPACE joke! How original! Do you think Spielberg is just humoring her? I say yes. So is Clint. I think he wants her to run back to the stage right about. . . now! Gwyneth Paltrow is now presenting the award for Best Cinematography, but gets to say the words "YOUTUBE" and "cell phones". That's not cinematography Oscar writers!!! I think CHILDREN OF MEN will win cuz I hear nothing but good things about that aspect of the film. I loved THE ILLUSIONIST though and would not mind if it won. It won't. Glad it got nominated, though. . . the winner is PAN'S LABYRINTH. That's the third win for this film, which many say is actually the best film of the year. I'm still not interested. . .

1916: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE gets presented (kinda) by those crawling aerobic people. . . it's still weird and I don't like it!

1920: I love ROBERT DOWNEY JR!!!!!!! He is my favorite actor of all-time because of his ability to create incredible characters and also because he can make fun of himself and his storied, rough past. . . This visual effects category makes me laugh. PIRATES, POSEIDON, and SUPERMAN. Are you kidding!!! PIRATES will absolutely win. . . and it does. This one was as in-the-bag as Helen Mirren and Forrest Whitaker. . .

1923: Ken Watanabe is smooth. Just a thought. . . Another montage. This one is of foreign films because it's the 50th anniversary of that award being a part of the process of the Oscars. . . Not that it matters, but how many of these have been seen by the casual moviegoer? I'm going to count the ones I have seen. . . For me, there were only three, the overrated CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON; the incredible ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, and the brilliantly beautiful 8 1/2. I don't know what that says, but that was a long montage nonetheless. . . Go ahead and add PAN'S LABYRINTH to that last. It's a shoo-in. . . O snaps!!! Germany's THE LIVES OF OTHERS wins in a huge surprise! I don't know what to say really. Congrats to you, sir!

1932: The crawly aerobic people thing is getting more and more annoying!!! And now, we're recognizing SNAKES ON A PLANE on this night. . . Wow. For the record, George Clooney is freakin' awesome and could own all of Hollywood if he wanted to. . . Best Supporting Actress time. I think Jenn Hudson will win just because she is such a success story and all. The upset of this award would be Adriana Barraza who gave the only good performance in BABEL. . . the winner is Hudson. Congrats to her. Think about it, not too long ago she was auditioning for Paula freakin' Abdul and now she is kissing George Clooney on the cheek and talking to millions of people at the Oscars. Very cool indeed. I still don't want to see DREAMGIRLS. . . Beyonce looks like she wishes it was her. Cat fight during their performance? Maybe those aerobic people can re-enact it later too!!!

1940: Now we're watching the feature for BABEL, one of the most tortorous films I have ever seen. The director said in one of those pre-show interviews that the reason some people don't like this film is because they don't like to tap into their emotions. Yeah, whatever. I cry every time I watch CRASH and AMERICAN HISTORY X. You are now dismissed, sir.

1942: Now we get to the Documentary Short award, which for Joe Oscar means absolutely nothing. It's a shame that these films aren't promoted better because I'm sure some of them are fantastic. . . THE BLOOD OF YINGZHOU DISTRICT wins. Don't you feel better now that has happened? . .

1944: Jerry Seinfeld is still funny. Always. I think they should let Jerry Seinfeld host the rest of this thing. Wait, why does everyone who presents have to be better at this thing than Ellen? He is presenting Best Documentary and rocked the house and I want to meet him tomorrow. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH is the sure-winner, although I have heard that JESUS CAMP is really good. I will end up renting both. . . the winner is Algore and his global warming pic. Congrats sir! Now this Guggenheim guy is going to hump Algore's leg. He has such a power of these people! They are all just nodding like little bobble heads! Whether or not global warming is real or not, he's still boring, and that is reason enough for me to say "No" to Algore!

1950: Clint Eastwood looks a little weaker up on the stage, but I still hear "Do ya feel lucky punk?" when I look at him. He is ever-frightening, but in a very gentle way - - - another montage. This one is for the scorer (I think it's right Clint!) of some 400 total films. That record alone is incredible! I just hope they don't show all 400!!!

1956: They didn't, but they showed a great many. . . Now Celine Dion (huh?!?!?) is singing a song this guy wrote or something. She kept looking to her right while she sang. She's weird. I get that she has a great voice. But she's not a great performer! She stood in one spot and did not move! I think this year's Oscars telecast is one of the most boring ever! I don't think they want that many people watching for some reason. They're saying "Go watch the movies we're honoring, not our show!" I wonder if AMERICAN IDOL or GREY'S ANATOMY would have more viewers if put up against this telecast. . . Now the guy they're honoring can only speak his native language, which I think is Italian. I'm no dialect expert. . . How lucky that Clint Eastwood speaks that language though! What would they do? Wow, the Oscar producers really didn't think of everything when they planned this night. . . I told you Clint's the man!!!

2002: I just checked, and it was Italian. That was sweet when he dedicated it to his wife Maria. Old people in love are the best!

2006: Hugh Jackman makes me feel very self-confident. He's good looking. . . Best original score time. I guess the guy who did THE QUEEN has never won after countless nominations (kinda like Scorsese and O'Toole). That's why I picked him. . . the guy from BABEL won. Damnit. If you hadn't noticed already, I don't like that film!!!

2009: Wow, Ellen is back. I had kinda forgot about her. . . It was nice. So this telecast is supposed to be cut back in order not to be over four hours. But they're really ruining the whole thing. Now they have a dignified Academy member in fast forward. Whatever. . .

2011: Boring Tobey Maguire and dumb Kirsten Dunst are presenting Original Screenplay. This one will decide the Best Picture race. If LMS wins, it takes Best Picture. If BABEL wins, it's either BABEL or THE DEPARTED. If it's PAN'S, then it's completely up in the air. . . the winner is LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE! I'm telling you right now, this film is gonna win everything!

2016: Crap. Those aerobic people are back forming the devil high heel from THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. This is just as disturbing as that Propel ad where the sports players pop out of the water. . . Chris Connelly speaks so fast and ridiculously that I'm not sure what his purpose is. . . Does anyone know?

2020: "Film star, recording star, and a reason to have high definition television" - this is how J. Lo is presented. Really??? That's flattering? Probably not. . . Now it's time for the DREAMGIRLS to sing. Finally some life will be on the stage. . . I don't like this song either. Beyonce looked like a fembot from AUSTIN POWERS in that first song and now I can tell the multi-platinum artist feels very upstaged by the newcomer Hudson. Even this performance is unimaginative and uninspiring. Too much scream-singing by Beyonce. We get it. You have a powerful voice. . . Does anyone else want one of them to have their voice crack? . .

2026: The final song of their three-song presentation is the best of the three, but that's only because all three of the girls sing and they have a choir behind them and a pretty smooth cat singing with them. That one should win; "Patience". . . Ellen just said "I would hate to follow that" for the second or third time. GET. NEW. MATERIAL. O well. The winner for best original song is. . . the Melissa Etheridge song from AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Unbelievable. . . She just thanked her wife and four children. The Bible belt just turned off the Oscars. . . "We're not Republican or Democrat. We're not Red or Blue. We are all Green." . . . Um, no. Thanks for the idea though!

2034: Back from a commercial break with the feature on LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Great great film. I might watch that again tonight. . . (yes, I know I said that about THE DEPARTED, but whatever). . . Now Will Smith is up to present a Michael Mann-directed tribute/montage to movies about something. I don't know, I really wasn't listening to Smith. He is entertaining, sure, but when he is talking about whatever those Oscar writers produced, I can't pay attention. . . I like this montage actually. But, like I said, I'm not sure what it's about. . . I just found out it's about how America is presented in films. Why??? I think Michael Mann asked to do it and the Oscar guys were like, "YES". Maybe they thought it would have a point. . .

2040: Kate Winslet (always beautiful) is now presenting the last of the semi-major awards, the one for Film Editing. I picked BABEL to win this one, although I think THE DEPARTED could take this one. It should. Watch out for a win by UNITED 93 after that American montage, though. . . the winner is. . . THE DEPARTED! Yes! Down with BABEL!

2044: Jodie Foster is now on stage. We only have the four major awards left (actor, actress, director, and picture) but she is here to present the montage of IN MEMORIAM like always. . . let's see who wins the audience clap-o-meter award. . . First, it was Jane Wyatt, no wait, now it's Don Knotts. Actress Maureen Stapleton and actor James Doohan get heavy applause as well, but it's Peter Boyle and Robert Altman that ultimately take the cake (and no, this is not disrespectful - - ).

2051: Ellen makes a time joke and then a "My bad" joke. . . Weird. Philip Seymour Hoffman is here to award the Best Actress. It's Helen Mirren and everyone knows it. How does she feel, I wonder. I can't imagine the security and the confidence she must be feeling right now. . . Judi Dench is not there tonight - she, even she knows it! . . . I think I want to see this LITTLE CHILDREN movie. It looks pretty darn good. . . and the winner is Helen Mirren, of course. She's graceful and happy and giddy and respectful and honoring and tasteful and humble and just plain wonderful. I really like her. . .

2056: Now, after a brilliant actress accepts an award, what else could we have but those stupid aerobic people. Ridiculous. . . What's even more ridiculous is Chris Connelly again with his absurd "Stay tuned" speech and recap of the night. Get. Off. The. Screen!!!

2100: Ellen is vacuuming! O wait, that's not funny either. Strike ten. You're out. . . Now it's Best Actor time and another obvious choice. It's gonna be Forrest Whitaker for his portrayal of Idi Amin. If Leo was nominted for THE DEPARTED, then maybe that would work. If the Oscar guys want O'Toole for nice' sake, then I would not be surprised. Congrats on the nominations Will Smith and Ryan Gosling! I think you both will win at a later date. . . the winner is. . . Forest Whitaker. Congrats!

2104: On another note, Reese Witherspoon is very beautiful and Ryan Philippe is an absolute idiot! . . Whitaker is choking up. . . good job sir!

2106: Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg (the original "Three Amigos", apparently) are presenting Best Director. Please please please please please let Scorsese win!!! If he doesn't I will scream obscenities at the TV, I promise! The winner is. . . MARTIN SCORSESE!!!!! That has made my night, and as long as BABEL does not win Best Picture, the awards portion of this show will be a success in my eyes. . .

2109: The man is a genius! He's funny, sweet (so how is he so violent!), and very, just, cool! I hope they don't play the music to send him off. Let him finish! Sweet, they did!

2111: The feature for THE QUEEN is on now and I'm sure the Best Picture award is not far behind. . .

2112: It's BEST PICTURE TIME!!! Who is gonna win? I'm going with LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, but it's truly either that, THE DEPARTED or BABEL. . . Please not BABEL. . . Diane Keaton is annoying. . . I'm actually nervous right now. . . Jack is still cool with his shaved head. . . The winner is. . . . . . . . . THE DEPARTED!!!!!!! I feel bad for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, but I'm so glad that BABEL did not win. . . I'm so happy for Marty! They just had this shot from behind Scorsese who was standing offstage looking at the producer who is speaking and he is so cool! Dangit! This guy cannot do anything wrong, really. . .

2117: That's it! Ellen is saying goodnight (it's brief, thank God) and everyone is getting ready to PAR-TAY!!! THE DEPARTED wins the night with four wins with PAN'S LABYRINTH winning thrice and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, DREAMGIRLS, and AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH winning twice. . . What a night! . .

2118: Now I say goodnight. . . It has been an absolute blast to attempt this live-blogging thing, and I am sufficiently exhausted now, thank you very much. But now, I must write two articles about this show since it is fresh in my head. . . Congrats again to the winners and to Ellen who hosted for her first and last time! Bring on Stephen Colbert!!! It's been an honor and a pleasure to do this - - I hope you enjoyed it!

At the end of the night, my predictions looked like this: I got 14 out of the 21 that I attempted to guess (I didn't even try to act like I knew the Documentary Short nominees). Also, I was two minutes off on the running time (227 was the end total) and I take great pride in being so close on that one. . .

All in all I would say it was an unpredictable (thus exciting), but ultimately extremely boring telecast that had a few highlights. But in the end, the entire show was a success because one Martin Scorsese took him his first ever Best Director Oscar and that's enough for me!

And finally, here are some links to some other running diaries or articles about this year's Oscars. . .

Nikki Finke
EW's Live-Blogger
Mike Morrison

Until later - - -

It's Finally Here!!!

It's Oscar day ladies and gentlemen, and I am going to be writing (well, typing) like a fool today!

My plan for the remainder of the day is as follows (it is presently 1425):

- Finish this preview post
- Change my TV (it's on college basketball right now) to ABC 7 at 1500 for all of the pre-show ceremonies and whatnot to get some last minute insider information
- Prepare myself for the busy night ahead

Ok, so why is this night going to be busy? Well. . .

Once the Oscars begin (1700) I am beginning my busy day of writing. There are a couple things I have to do and one thing I kinda want to do. I have to write two articles about the Oscars for the paper and they really need to be done no later than tomorrow. Edited and everything. Article placing is happening this week for a publishing date of the first week of March. Plus, this is going to be the featured piece on my entertainment page, so it needs to be good! One of these articles is going to be a recap-type article in lieu of a column with a list of winners (that's boring). I will write it with a little bit more pizzazz to make it entertaining. . . The other article is going to be an impressions/opinion article on the Oscars as a whole (and some of the individual awards). I'm looking forward to that one :D

The thing I want to do would be a first for A RAMBLER'S RAMBLING. I want to do a "running diary" or, as the pros call it, "live blogging" for the Oscars. Essentially, what it would entail is me doing a play-by-play of sorts for the entire Oscar telecast. It's a lot of work, but honestly would help me recall my thoughts when I was writing the articles later. I will be commenting on everything, from Miss Degeneres' hosting to who looks atrocious to what's going to win (that's how I'll do my predictions) and much more. SO. . .

If you want to be involved in reading it, all you have to do is sit down and watch the Oscars and hop on to this site. I will be publishing the same post over and over again but each time there will be another entry with a different time (e.g. 1710: The Kodak Theater must be as dark as every other room Jack Nicholson enters because his trademark sunglasses are on as always!).

You can see what it will be like. . . It might be really cool or it might suck. Who knows?

So stay tuned for that, or you can just read this on Monday in its entirety. . . I just hope someone enjoys it!

Have a great Oscar Sunday!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Losing, Life Lessons, and Listlessness

As the clock ticked down toward 00:00 in tonight's CIF Quarterfinal matchup between the Number 1 seed Whittier Christian HS and our Desert Christian Lady Knights, I realized something for the first time and it hit me hard:

Basketball season is over.

Yep. The girls miracle season finally ended at the hands of a bigger, rougher, not-much-better team 51-39. Our girls probably played the best game of the year tonight but shots just didn't want to fall (we only scored 13 points in the second half after only trailing by one at halftime) and they got a couple more bounces, calls, and everything else that led to victory. Bummer.

It was sad to see the season come to an end. I really enjoyed being an assistant coach. Like I told Chris on Monday night after bowling, I would not trade all the money I could have made at Johnny Carino's (where I probably would have stayed had this basketball thing come up) for the opportunity that Mr. Thomas gave me. And as I watched my coach in the last huddle of the season (with 1:15 left in the game and our team down by double digits) I realized what attracts me to wanting to be near this man: The word quit does not exist in this man's vocabulary. He will fight to the end of everything and I believe that completely. If I can learn how to do that, I will most assuredly find more favorable results in my life. I took this voluntary opportunity to learn anything I could about basketball and coaching from the man who taught me so much. I ended up learning more about life and how to be a man than about a sport featuring an orange ball. I am ever-grateful for the fact that I have known this man since I was in fifth grade (summer basketball camp ha ha) and that I was able to learn from him. In the many times that I have sat and stared at my apathy with disdain, I look at him and wonder how he gets through it all with an unflinching, never-doubting faith that can never be shaken. It's incredible to have seen this man thank God for kids he didn't have over four years ago. Then I witnessed him gain not one, but two children (one through adoption and one through conception). For years he had faith that he and his wife would be blessed with children. And for years, people probably looked at him like he was crazy. Well, it is actually the rest of us that are crazy. If we all had just a hint of the faith that leads this man to be the man he is, then the world would be an incredible place. Too bad. Either way, I am proud to call the man not only my coach (he will always be "Coach" or "T") and my friend, but a true hero (just scroll down on my MYSPACE profile!) for me. I am ever-thankful that I have grown to know him like I do and I only hope that I get to know him better in the years to come. Much love and thanks to Mr. Devin Thomas!

After saying all that, it's difficult for me to complain about my petty issues (not enough sleep, a lack of Heather, and no desire to do homework). So I won't.

Now that basketball is over, I need to find something else (and fast!) that I love and hook on to it. I love basketball and my involvement in this past season was perfect for me. It got me through three months of time in the snap of a finger. It also preoccupied me from the fact that I have very little money, I rarely see my girlfriend, and I am quite possibly moving out of the house in less than six months! So as you see, I need to find a hobby or something that is going to provide me with blinders so I don't fall into more pity parties regarding my listlessness.


I need to face my listlessness head-on and I need to find cures for my present difficulties. That's really it. . . I guess only time will tell if I can do just that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On a much lighter side, I have some quick hits for you regarding everything under the sun:

- Don't go see GHOST RIDER. Very disappointing. Not even a little bit entertaining (Except for the unintentional comedy throughout the entire film!). Bummer.

Grade: (D+)

- The MVP is back! Steve Nash has scored a total of 27 points and dished out 25 assists in the last two games combined (in around 30 minutes each night). The result: two wins by double digits. We're back baby!

- I edited my BABEL review with a fine-toothed comb and it looks much nicer heading to print. Disregard the poorly written parts from my last post. They got changed :D

- OSCAR preview. . . soon! Before the show (Sunday) for sure! HAHA

- I have my long day tomorrow at school (0930-1850 straight through). Dangit. . .

- I'm trying to work out seeing Heather this weekend. . . I might surprise her Saturday night (shh :D )!

- Phoenix in 10 days. Portland in 14!

Well that's good for now - - -

Have a good Thursday!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Above Average

I just wanted to post a quick thing instead of my usual WEEKEND GRAB-BAG, mostly because it's midnight and I have to be up in eight hours to go to school. . .

BUT. . .

My thoughts on the All-Star game from Sunday (one word: anti-climactic), the first half of the NBA season (Dallas is tough; the West as a whole is tougher), the upcoming OSCARS (please, please, please don't let BABEL win!), the girls basketball team (we're going to the Quarterfinals!!!), and my room (it's clean!!!) will be coming shortly. I promise.

Until then, I wanted to post two things.


I went bowling tonight and boy did I bowl well!!! This had to have been one of the best nights that I've had and in ended with my new best game ever. My scores from tonight are as follows:


That's a 177 average, which is between 10 and 15 above my usual average (I'm a solid 160 bowler as of now)!!! I am very excited and you should be too :D


Here is the entire movie review that I wrote for BABEL. It's negative, so don't be shocked :D

O and the definition of versimilitude is "the appearance of being true or real". You'll understand shortly. . .



As I sat in the darkened theater watching the torturous, seemingly never-ending Babel¸ I wondered aloud why the talented cast (including the rugged, still handsome Brad Pitt and the pale, shower-deprived Cate Blanchett) and filmmakers carried such a disdain for moviegoers like me. The only answer I was provided with was the continuous nonsense that permeated the screen that made me wish I was in the next theater over!

The problem with Babel, director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s second feature-length American film (after 2003’s 21 Grams), is that it tries too hard to be too many things. The film is political (look, a Middle Eastern family was involved in the shooting of an American!), scandalous (the deaf-mute Japanese girl has image issues and can only think of sex!), and political again (illegal immigrants trying to cross the border!).

Babel is essentially a “wannabe Crash”. You might remember that brilliant film from a year ago that took everyone by surprise and took home the Oscar for Best Picture. The grandiose aspect of Babel is what separates it from the tightly-wound, personal film about the role of racism in a city like Los Angeles. Simply put, the worldwide stage is too large for this film.

The truth is that a fine film could have been made out of any one of these intertwining stories. For example, the heartbreaking (and Oscar nominated) performance by Adriana Barraza as the Mexican immigrant nanny could have been made into a sufficient and equally political film as Babel.

Instead, we are shown each of these many stories in five to ten minute blocks and then hurriedly transported across the globe to someone else’s story. The editing is choppy and the screenplay is weak, which is a shame considering all of the big names involved.

Consider this fact: the entire film revolves around a central event that is not believable. Moviegoers are supposed to believe that a wealthy, Southern California couple would allow their two children to be left in the care of an undocumented Mexican immigrant while they toured the African country of Morocco. I just cannot find the verisimilitude in this sequence of events!

Plus, is the film not entitled Babel after the biblical Tower of Babel, the place where all of the global languages were supposedly begun? The only part that involves miscommunication is the American tourists in – get this! – a foreign country! No one should expect to go to Morocco and have a multitude of English-speaking residents greet them with waving and flowers. How utterly ridiculous!

The critics seem to be quite torn, with a true “love it or hate it” atmosphere surrounding the film, now out on DVD (so now you at home can make up your own mind). Babel is a film that thinks it is important and thinks it is saying something worthwhile. In all irony, however, the film’s message and purpose seems to have been lost somewhere along the line in translation.

Grade: D

So, is it any good? Is it above average? Ha ha :D

Gotta be up soon, so I'm hitting the hay. Goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cancelled Class, Cantankerous Critics, and
Charles the Colorful Communicator

I love alliteration!!!

Well it's Thursday night and I am again out of school until Tuesday (that's five days people!) which alone makes me a very joyous individual. I am not really enjoying the semester thus far. So because I'm not really enjoying everything, some of the smallest things have made me happy/excited/etc. . .

I was at my Human Sexuality class this morning and that went by way too fast (it always has). I then went to Journalism for an hour or so and then ducked out to "work on my articles" which of course means go home, eat lunch, and watch Monday's STUDIO 60 via my wonderful TIVO. I then headed back to school at 1415 for my Racism 101 class (really Sociology 110, but from what I said last time, this has become the new title). As I approached the classroom door, I noticed a few pink slips of paper taped to the door. Could it be?!?!? Yes!!! Class was cancelled (just for today)!!! This was the first time in my four semesters at AVC that a class of mine had been cancelled. Cy has had countless classes cancelled and I have always been envious. Now I know what the feeling is like. And you know what? It feels great!

So I went home to procrastinate on my Crapspeare homework (another name change to a class) and I began writing a film review for BABEL, a film I saw last week. I will be covering the Oscars (not in person, dangit! - I'm not that important yet!) for the EXAMINER and to do so, I felt like I needed to see all of the BEST PICTURE nominees. I began seeing the films I had yet to see last week. I saw BABEL (review preview - you like that? - shortly) and then this week I went and saw THE QUEEN (quality made film, not very entertaining, Helen Mirren is really good). I only have to see LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA before the Oscars air on the 25th. That will be next week. . .

Ok, so BABEL. Here's a review preview just for you:

"As I sat in the darkened theater watching the torturous, seemingly never-ending Babel¸ I wondered aloud why the talented cast (including the rugged, still handsome Brad Pitt and the pale, shower-deprived Cate Blanchett) and filmmakers carried such a disdain for moviegoers like me. The only answer I was provided with was the continuous nonsense that permeated the screen that made me wish I was in the next theater over!"

Yeah, so I didn't like it. In fact, I hated it! I'm sure expectations are to blame, but I was just so disappointed that a film I had so anticipated crapped out completely. More to come on this when I preview the Oscars next week. . .

I then went to Crapspeare for the longest three hours ever. This class is so unbelievably boring and it's simply because I would prefer not to be there. I feel terrible for my thoughts on the class because not only do my peers practically worship ol' Bill, my teacher would marry the man if he was reincarnated I'm sure. So I can't really display my disdain, and I'm not. I guess I just have to stick it out. . . it's gonna be difficult!

O yeah, well in Journalism today, I was told by my new teacher (Professor Charles Hood) that the "best film critic out there " is Anthony Lane of the New Yorker. So I went to a site with a bunch of his reviews and read up on his work. My take on him is that he is witty and intelligent. My issue with him is that he is TOO witty and TOO intelligent for his own good. He is good, don't get me wrong. But I still prefer good ol' Roger (once this Mr. Lane puts an e-mail of mine on his website, then maybe I'll reconsider ha ha)!

I really like Professor Hood. He is incredibly smart and his vocabulary is ridiculously large (imagine Dr. Roland - for you DCSers - but more words!!!). He is funny and he knows a lot about pretty much everything. And he is going to do just fantastic as the new advisor for the EXAMINER. On the first day of class, in order to hear our writing styles, he gave us this handout and told us to continue the story:

". . . it's 3 pm, and Blossom has just learned that Nick slept with her sister the night before. She's curled into a forest green armchair in the bay window of a Venice bungalow. The phone lay unplugged at her feet next to a pair of discarded red patent leather heels. "Sin City" graphic novels and vintage pulp fiction with lurid covers are stacked on a battered cherry side table. "The Long Goodbye" rests in her lap like an omen, and Blossom considers her losses."

That's what he gave us! I loved it and this was how I continued the story:

". . . it's 4 pm, and Blossom has now learned that it was simply juvenile rumor-spreading that had produced the tale of her sister's lustful affair with Nick. She is seated in the cushiony, leather-bound booth at Johnny Rocket's that Nick and she had frequented the summer before. The neon lights flash slowly as the scent of french fries and chocolate milk shakes fills the air. Her red high heels, which now house recently painted bright pink toe nails, elegantly long toes, and silky feet, move up and down the leg of a young man not even eighteen. Rumors or not, Blossom was now free.

. . . it's 5 pm, and Blossom is now seated alone in her lava lamp-filled bedroom. Her efforts at making "take me" eyes at the young football player had surprisingly failed. The leather jacket-wearing, constantly mirror-hunting sample of a boy had pushed her away. She could not believe it! Who did this jock think he was?!?! It didn't matter now. The now plugged-in telephone sat as quiet as the table it rested on with no ringing in sight."

Well I was happy with what I produced and so did he. He now has entrusted some responsibilites with me and has claimed to trust me with meeting some deadlines on some dates that I can't control (the Oscar recap/impressions article of mine is due right after the airing, which is actually ten days after the due date for articles). I appreciate that, plus I love to hear the man talk. His stories are long, adjective-filled, and entertaining as anything out there. I am grateful to have had so many great professors at AVC and Professor Hood is just one of the many that I hope to make sure I keep in contact with in the future.

On another note, the guys basketball playoff game was last night. I did my announcing thing (which I enjoyed immensely yet again) but lo and behold, the guys lost in the first round for the fourth straight year. I was happy to do the announcing though and I am probably going to do it again for the girls on Saturday night for their game. I was told by several different people that I quote had a calling end quote and that quote I was quite good at that end quote.


Other than that, I have a pretty busy day tomorrow. I work from 1000-1600 and then I'm heading down to see Heather (Friday night traffic! Woohoo!!!). A friend of hers and the girl's boyfriend are going to the ESPN SPORTS ZONE at Downtown Disney for a post-Valentine's Day shindig and Heather wants to go. So I'm going. It will be a long night, but I'm looking forward to seeing my wonderful lady yet again. I always do!

Well I think that's it for right now - - that actually turned into quite a long post!

I'm hoping to produce an NBA midseason report (the All Star Game is this weekend) and an Oscars preview over the next week or so. So stay around for that and keep looking for updates. I'm trying to post as much as possible (this has been a good week for the ol' blog!) so tell your friends about the site and remember to stop by occasionally :D

Goodnight for now - - -

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reservations, Racism, and Rebates

So I am regretting that I said I would post tonight, because I'm kinda tired right now.

It's been a long day. I was asleep last night a little after 0100 and was awoken (awakened?) by my evil phone at 0800. I was at school from 0930 (Human Sexuality - great, great, awesome, incredible class!) until 1230 (got out of Journalism early - not much keeping me there). I headed home, ate some leftover pizza, and then went to BEST BUY to make a couple purchases. I had about $17 left on my gift cards but I spent another $40 because of the, well, really good buys that the place offered. I bought the released-today THE DEPARTED, one of the best films of last year (after another partial viewing tonight, I am upgrading the film from a B+ to a solid A), the great documentary SUPER-SIZE ME ($6!), THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (a deal and a half at $10), and then two CDs (Corrine Bailey Rae and Gnarls Barkley!). I was out of there in time to make it back for Sociology class at 1415. . . why I went, I'll never know.

This class is ridiculous. Sure, the teacher just sits there and rambles on and on about racism and how everything in the world is racist (more on that later). But that's not why. The entire grade in that class is based on our attendance/participation, an oral group report, and a 25 page research paper. That's it! No tests (she couldn't - the lectures have no semblance or order) and more ridiculousness besides that. But the most bizarre thing is Prof. Stryker and how everything in her world is apparently racist. Today, the following things were listed as racist:

- Math books
- Apples and oranges
- the film KING KONG (old or new was not specified)
- everyone in the class ("we all believe in white supremacy")
- animal laws

And that's just a sample. Odd. Whatever. . .

I then went to practice. The guys play tomorrow night like I said yesterday. I hope they're ready. . . The girls seemed way too relaxed, but they don't play until Saturday, so I guess that's ok. . .

But tonight was all about arranging my trip to Portland. The Associated Collegiate Press National College Newspaper Convention is being held on March 8-11 at the Marriot in Portland, Oregon and I have been given the opportunity to go. And as Heather said to me when I was thinking about it, "We must take every opportunity at this stage in our life". I agree. So I'm going. The cool thing is that AVC is going to be paying for it :D . . . but not yet. I have to pay up front (which I did) and then I'll get reimbursed about six to eight weeks after I get back. That works for me. . .

So this convention. It's gonna be workshops, classes, keynote speeches, and the like for two straight days. But I'm stoked! I am really looking forward to this chance to "get ahead" of my peers and maybe learn a thing or two about journalism in the process :D

But now I'm really tired and I work at 1000 in the morning. . .

O and if you want to check on Heather, here is a recent update on her MYSPACE BLOG.

Guys playoff game tomorrow night. 1930. Big stuff. I'm announcing. Be there :D

Goodnight - - -

Monday, February 12, 2007

For Blogging's Sake!

Sorry all - -

But I did say that I might have less time for blogging. . . so you can't say I didn't warn you!

Either way, it's Monday night and I'm going bowling very shortly (leaving in about twenty minutes). But I wanted to let you in on a couple things real quickly, and then I'll update again tomorrow night (I promise).

- School. Wow. I hate it! I have four classes. One is unbelievably wonderful and awesome (PSYCHOLOGY 212 - Human Sexuality), one is everything I knew it to be despite the emergence of a new teacher with new motives (COMMUNICATIONS 123 - Newspaper Production), one is ridiculously boring but could ultimately be informative due mostly in part to the role of a 25-page research paper (SOCIOLOGY 110 - Race and Ethnic Relations), and the last is tedious, not my cup of tea, and will possibly be the cause of my untimely death (Honors ENGLISH 236 - Shakespeare's Comedies and Sonnets). I have two teachers I really like (the first two classes, naturally) one that I find intriguing (the Sociology teacher, a large black woman that remains seated at her desk the entire class period, but when she makes herself laugh, she somehow reminds me of Mom-mom, my grandmother!) and another that I know loves her subject and I admire so much for that, but I cannot get myself psyched up for the class (that Shakespeare class is three hours long, once a week - it's tough to get through). I have 15 weeks left. And no, I'm not counting :D

- It's playoff time for both Desert Christian basketball teams! The guys are playing on Wednesday night (at home) against Valley Torah, a school I can only assume is Jewish, which is interesting because my final high school game was a loss at home to Yeshiva High School, a Jewish high school from Los Angeles. The girls get a bye into the second round and will play Saturday night at home. I will definitely be announcing the guys game on Wednesday night (show up - starts at 1930) and possibly doing the girls game too. I'm torn between being on the bench for the game or announcing. I'll ask the girls what they would prefer :D

- Grammys were cool. Justin Timberlake is an incredible performer. I'm gonna buy that Corrine Bailey Rae CD. She's cool. O and Gnarls Barkley is not what I thought. I'm interested. . .

- Steve Nash is hurt. So are our chances of winning the first place spot in the Western Conference. Dangit. Get better soon Steve. You are the MVP - our performance without you should be enough to prove that!

- I love spending time with Heather, whether it be in Target ("Why are there so many people here?!?!"), helping her with laundry ("Why does it smell like vomit outside the guys' dorm rooms?"), or eating in the bar at El Torito ("I'll be watching her."). All those quotes were said by one of us this past weekend while I was with her. So were these: "I love you", "Don't go", and "Don't make me use the brush!". I guess you have to be us to understand it all. But what you all can figure out is that we are still good and looking forward as always. . .

More tomorrow, including when I'll be going to Phoenix, Lake Powell, and Portland (!?!?!?) - - -

Intrigued? I bet you are!

Later all - - -

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Blue Horseshoes over the letter "C"

Not a huge post here, but I did want to establish some sort of consistency with my blog here, seeing that I start school on Tuesday. . .


and posts may become fewer and farther in between. . .

But I hope not. Because I like to think that I have all kinds of readers that are just waiting for my new posts (yeah, that's probably not true, but whatever).

Either way, I had a pretty good weekend after a pretty busy end of the week. I worked Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings at the FL and decided that I am definitely going to find another job in addition to the FL. My hours are at a minimum (labor at the store is really high and all of our hours are being limited) and I need money, pronto. I guess I'll be looking into my phonebook for people I know that could pull some strings to get me in somewhere. That's what I'll be working on these next couple weeks. . .

On Friday night, Aimee and I hung out with the Coens from Orange County. That's right, we got completely caught up on THE O.C. and are now ready to watch the final three episodes whenever they air on television. You see, I started watching the show when it began some three or four years ago. I then got Aimee hooked not too long ago and helped her locate the first couple seasons so that she could get caught up. We finished season 3 together when it aired and have been watching TIVO'd episodes of the current season when we have time. We watched three back-to-back-to-back episodes on Friday. It was fun and not only are the episodes getting better (this season has been pretty tedious) but it was enjoyable to hang out with the sister. She's great!!!

Heather came home Saturday afternoon and we met Cy, Justin, Emily, and the recently singled Mallory (sorry Mal!) at MISO'S, a sushi place in Lancaster. I have never tried (nor have I ever desired to) sushi, and Heather was determined to get me to try it. So I did! I ordered a teriyaki chicken meal that included four California Rolls (weakling sushi, but hey, that's me!). I did it! I ate it! It wasn't great. It wasn't terrible. I would eat it again, but it will never be my first choice when deciding where to eat out. But I did something new and adventrous!

Well the reason we went was for Cy's birthday, which was Monday the 29th. My best guy friend, Mr. Serrano got us all together and we had a really good time. We were cracking jokes at each other, embellishing recent funny stories, reminiscing about middle school and high school memories, and altogether enjoying each others' company. It was good to be together again, all of us. We ended up going over to Cy's house and playing CRANIUM (a board game in which we pitted guys against girls - both teams won one game) and KENT (a card game that, according to my wonderful Heather, is "very similar to SPOONS"). We didn't depart his casa until almost 0200, but it was a lot of fun and I believe that everyone enjoyed themselves.

Today was SUPER BOWL XLI (or 41 for those who don't know your Roman Numerals. . .) and it featured the Indianapolis Colts (Blue Horseshoes) and Chicago Bears (letter "C") in a true offense versus defense matchup. Even though I had picked the Bears to win the Super Bowl before the season began, I had a feeling that the Colts would win, even predicting a 30-20 victory for Peyton Manning and crew. Well the final score was 29-17 Colts, so I wasn't too far off! It was a crazy game (turnovers galore!) but an entertaining one. Congrats to Manning for getting something that critics said he'd never get, and congrats to Lovie Smith and the Bears for a great season - - so close, yet so far away!

Well I'm still sick (coughing like crazy - my mom thinks I have bronchitis) and I'm exhausted (only three hours of sleep last night) so I'm gonna hit the hay. Do well this week and I'll update you after my days at school


Goodnight all - -