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Helena (nuttier than squirrel turds) Bonham Carter

I was in college when I saw the movie A Room with a View. It was my first experience with a Merchant Ivory production. I loved the periods, costume and set direction and scenery of their films. I would cry just at the sheer beauty. What a sap I was! Then throw in some Puccini opera on the soundtrack- I was in love (sniff, sniff).

1990 or 1890 - big poofy hair was in.

This was my first exposure to Helena, who played Lucy Honeychurch. I thought she was lovely. That big mess of curly, dark hair. I wanted to wear an Edwardian dress with a big hat and stroll on green lawns of English estates. I had some long skirts and button down shirts in my closet. My then roommate- Ginhee- made me purge my ‘prairie looks’ as she called them. She didn’t understand my Merchant Ivory penchant for fashion. Well, I don’t blame her. By the way,  Merchant Ivory is two people not one. Ismail Merchant and James Ivory produced and directed a bunch of films in the 90s that I was obsessed with that all had the same style of culture, art and repressed passion.

Now Miss Bonham Carter wasn’t always perfect. It was reported that she cheated on Emma’s (Thompson) then husband Kenneth Branagh while they filmed Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Shame on them!

Poor Emma. But now Helena is with Tim Burton and they make the perfect couple.  Cooky meets crazy!

A match made in creative crazy heaven.

I loved Helena in Harry Potter as Bellatrix LaStrange. How perfect for her. Bellatrix eats the same squirrel food as Helena because she’s nutty too!

Bellatrix- this girl definitely poops squirrel turds- dontcha think?

Of course, last year, Helena’s portrayal as the Queen mum in The King’s Speech was poignant, loving, and completely devoid of any craziness.

2011 Best Picture; The King's Speech with Colin Firth

Who else can do the red carpet like Helena? It would be disappointing if she showed up in a ‘regular’ couture look.

I wasn’t a fan of Sweeney Todd. (shh, don’t tell her that.)   But I loved her as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. Nothing beats the line, “I love a warm pig for my aching feet.” And who remembers her stint on Miami Vice? Ha! Betcha you forgot that.

I love everything she does down to her mismatched shoes. I probably wouldn’t let her babysit my kids, but I would love to do tequila shots with her and Tim. How fun would THAT be? Johnny Depp could show up too.

She has been nominated for an Academy Award twice. Maybe one day she’ll win. Or maybe not. I doubt she cares.

Thanks for keeping it real Helena.

Last year's Golden Globes and the mismatched shoes. Hey- they were the same brand, just one of each color.

Bow down to greatness- Oh Meryl, I’m betting on you.

I’m hearing that the Oscar buzz this year is Viola Davis may win for Best Actress for The Help. That’s great and all….but….. Meryl, Meryl, Meryl- needs. to. win.

I know Meryl has won before. But she is so frickin’ fantastic all the time. She has won twice- Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer and Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice. That was 30 years ago!! She’s been nominated practically every year- from A Cry in the (dingo ate my baby) Dark, to The Devil Wears (bitch Miranda Priestly) Prada. She leads most ever nominations with 17 total. 17 for crying out loud!

Accents, prosthesis, nudity or disabilities are pretty much a shoe-in for winning. Aside from the nudity part, Meryl has completed all these criteria.

In the movie Iron Lady, she wore some serious dental prosthesis. Ding ding. Winner.

Viola has been around a while too.  With some starts on NYPD Blue, Law and Order, she even costarred with Meryl in Doubt. She even worked with George in Syriana. Oh, I’m sorry- George Clooney. We are on a first name basis. AND Meryl and George did voices for Fantastic Mr. Fox. It’s all a 3 degrees of Hollywood separation thing.

Then there’s Rooney. She is a long shot to win. But I always appreciate someone’s devotion to their craft. Her transformation to Lisbeth Salander was astounding. Nipple piercings? Computer hacking skills? Visiting an autism center?  Her nomination should be an honor in this stage of her career. Just please Rooney- please don’t turn into one of those Kristen Stewart types where you look completely uncomfortable with your fame, pretend to ‘endure’ the fashion thrown at you for free, say that you owe it all to the fans but look like someone is giving you a colonoscopy every time you are interviewed. Anyway… you get the idea.

Oh and then there’s Glenn. Glenn, how have you NOT won yet? After Fatal Attraction I was mesmerized. After Dangerous Liaisons I was enchanted. What can you NOT do?? The Victor/Victoria Albert Nobbs get up is superb.

Michelle- your portrayal of Marilyn is spot on. Dawson’s Creek you are far from. You will have a promising career of many more nominations, I promise. You will win. Just not this year.

How to choose one? (courtesy therepublika.com)

Everyone in this category this year is deserving. But my money is on Meryl. Votes are cast. Couture is being pressed. Jewels are on loan. Meryl will probably show up wearing something understated with a big clunky necklace. Her hair swept up casually and not even wear much makeup. And she’ll look stunning like always. Because she knows she’s awesome. Right? I mean- she’s Meryl.

Belle of the ball, the Titanic of Red Carpets, and what you didn’t see on TV.

I want to think I was the belle of the ball, but it was Adele. She reigned supreme and deserved it.

Damn, she's adorable!

There are three parts to this blog:

  • Leaving for the weekend by myself with girlfriends
  • Attending the Grammy’s civilian style
  • My usual color commentary of all things celebrity and frivolous.

I will also add some disclaimers:

No I did not meet any celebrities per se, and I got the privilege to attend the Grammys because a friend’s dad gets the tickets through his work.

Being away for a weekend:

When mama is gone for 4 days it’s enough to have the children fed and kept happy. Forget any household chores getting done, laundry, vacuuming… Now there’s 4 days of chores waiting for me to do. Which means it will take me around a week to catch up at the speed I get through them. Which means since I never get caught up in the first place; for the next month I will be doing the previous week’s chores. We’ll be glad if there’s clean socks and underwear for everyone.

Attending the Grammys civilian style:

What I mean by this is, these important events that rich and famous people get to attend usually come with borrowed couture, loaned jewels, hair and make up teams, chauffeurs, handlers, assistants…

When you are just a regular person trying to pull yourself together for attending a black tie affair, it’s hard! I’m not complaining. No. BUT, dang it, false eyelashes are a bitch to apply and the cheap Target SPANX knock-offs rolls up on the leg seams giving you a ‘ribbed’ look you didn’t intend.

Plus, us gals all followed the strict small print on every ticket and memo we received, banning cell phones and cameras. With the warning that they would be checked by security. To avoid this pain in the ass (and yes, I did think of shoving my phone in my knock-off SPANX to sneak it in, but they put you through metal detectors and that would have been embarrassing for me to reach up into my waistband, lifting the muffin top, to reach my phone if I got busted.); we left our phones in the car.

Here’s some foreshadowing for you- yes, we regretted leaving our phones in the car. More on that later.

I have never attended an event of this magnitude or prestige. There’s people lining the streets of LA near the Staples center, lanes and lanes of limos and town cars, spray tan, platform heals and LOTS of cleavage. LOTS of cleavage.

We parked in the garage, walked around to the entrance. And flashed our tickets. We were given Red Carpet access. Yes, I tinkled a little in my knock-off SPANX to be actually on a Red Carpet. Yes, I felt somewhat giddy. But I soon learned, there are two types of Red Carpets. If this Red Carpet was the Titanic- there’s first class and steerage. And I was on the side with Jack, not Rose. So that means, no life jackets, no boats. I would have sunk. But anyway… When you are steerage class you walk BEHIND the backdrops and ropes of where the celebs do their poses for photogs and you can peek around to see folks getting interviewed, until they tell you to move along for some stupid fire code. Yeah, yeah, the fire chief doesn’t want fifty of us crowding around to see if we can spy Beyonce (who was not there by the way). For the record- I don’t blame folks now for wearing sunglasses on the red carpet. Those lights are freakin’ bright. The Grammy red carpet is under a tent, so it seems to magnify the spotlights and flashes. It’s like a Yen Lui studio on crack.

Here’s who I got to see:

Ryan Seacrest (despite everyone calling him short- newsflash, most men in Hollywood are under 6′, he’s very handsome.)

Billy Ray Cyrus

Paris Hilton (she looks like a lollipop in a dress)

Kathy Griffin (plastic surgery doesn’t look as scary as it does on TV)

Rebecca Black (Friday song girl- she’s cute)

The cute little girls from Ellen that wear the giant pink tutus (SO cute)

Some R&B singer I didn’t know the name of

Some Rap artists I didn’t know the name of

Kelly Osbourn (hair color is still really weird, but kind of cool)

Tia Carrere (her plastic surgery DOES look scary in person)

Chris Harrison of the Bachelor

What I didn’t know that while I was on the red carpet so was:

Bruno Mars
The Band Perri
Corrine Bailey Ray
Esperanza Spalding

and a bunch of others that I must’ve missed with all the backdrops and reporters blocking my view.

I got three compliments from ushers (not THE Usher) on my dress. At least someone noticed!

The Staples center does not open any bars or cocktail lounges prior to the event. Apparently someone thought it was a school carnival and was selling Diet Coke, Red Vines, Smarties and popcorn. Um- ‘scuse me, this girl needs a gin and tonic.

So we sat in our seats with just a bottle of water, a Lara bar I smuggled in my purse and some gum. And no phones. Did I mention, no phones? We felt like one of our limbs had been removed. No texting, no posting on Facebook braggy status posts, no quickie pics of Kelly Osbourn in her 360 glam cam station for the E! network. Nothing.

This is where being a celebrity must come in handy. You get your phone and I’m guessing as many gin and tonics as you want.

When we saw all the other rule breakers with their phones and cameras we were kicking ourselves for being such goody-two-shoes. Where was the enforcement people??? There were people taking pictures and video left and right and no one seemed to care! Next time- if there’s a next time- I am bringing my phone.

If you saw the show on TV- here’s what you missed:

The set for Katy Perry’s performance had 4 ice sculptures but by the time it was her segment one had already crashed to the ground and broken in a million pieces during a commercial break so they had to quickly clear the stage and roll with it. Not that it mattered to have three instead of four.

Fergie’s awful orange dress (or as Emma texted me later that night- ‘Chinese New Year gone wrong’) glowed in the dark. I’m not sure how, but you could spot her all the way across the Staples center even in the dark.

I watched Paul McCartney during every commercial break get up and shake hands, give kisses and pose for pics. Not with us of course, but the fancy people. Still- what a guy.

Glenn Campbell seemed confused and almost wandered off the stage before starting to sing. But God Bless him, cuz Rhinestone Cowboy was THE most favorite song of my 4 year old existence. If Crystal Gayle came out on stage, my friends would have had to get a stretcher for me.

Hot chicks play banjos.

Paris Hilton likes to wander around calling attention to herself for no apparent reason.

Tony Bennett’s gray hair is as visible across a room as Fergie’s orange dress.

Jennifer Hudson was pitch perfect in person for her Whitney tribute and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

The Cold Play number in person was a lot cooler than on TV because they gave us these bracelets that were remotely activated to blink and light up to the music while they played. After the number, they were useless. But I continued to wear mine throughout the evening hoping Chris Martin was going to send me some morse code signal through them.

The Staples Center likes to keep things on the chilly side. We were snuggled up under our dresses and wraps while some a/c was wafting from above. Good thing it was dark, because everyone would have seen our SPANX with our knees tucked under our chins for body heat.

I got to brag to my husband that I was in the same room as Kate Beckinsale. Of course, I was 200 feet from her, but when will HE ever be in the SAME room as her?? Even if that room is 10,000  square feet.

The Nicki Minaj number sucked in real life as much as it did on TV. Fail.

Yeah, I was scared too.

I want to carry Bruno Mars’ babies. Okay, not really, but I would carry his Cabbage Patch dolls for him or his golf bag, or whatever he wants me to carry for him, he’s so cute. We’ll just forget about the cocaine incident a year ago through airport security, shall we?

And lastly- Adele sounded SPECTACULAR in person. Hands down it was her night and everyone knew it.

It was my night too.

I’m sure I will be writing endlessly about my Grammy weekend. But this is all I got for now. Enjoy.

Oh and yes, I did get my gin and tonic later that night. Two in fact.

Afterwards at the restaurant. I'm the one in blue. See my gin and tonic in front of me. Oh wait- it's empty.

My ridiculous and frivolous review of the Golden Globes that is completely unneccessary.

Let me just say that I told you so. Whatever I have said, the big money reviewers and writers will say the same thing. If you even bother to read them.

So I’ve had several vodka tonics,  I can’t be responsible for content:

What was with Madonna? Can she thaw just a little bit please? Since when is the Material Girl so freakin’ serious? When she went up to accept her award for best song for W/E, a movie which she also directed, she was stoic, silent and calculating in her words. I thought someone died. Or she was going to dedicate her award to something important. No, she was just pontificating in her fake British accent. How I wish she would lighten up. Or remove the stick up her ass.

Best line of the evening:

When Seth Rogan comes out with Kate Beckinsale and says, “I’m Seth Rogan, and I am hiding an enormous erection.” To the commencing of giggles from Kate Beckinsale and she couldn’t read the teleprompter. I will confess, James would probably concur. He wouldn’t say so though on TV for millions to hear.

Best presenting duo-

Tina Fey and Jane Lynch. Carry on…

Hottest presenting duo

Channing Tatum and Jessica Alba

Movies I haven’t seen, but need to-

The Artiste

The Descendants

  • Congrats to Octavia Spencer for winning for her portrayal in The Help. That movie was so many things. And I think she feels the same way too. Way to go and she had a wonderful quote from Dr. King in her speech.
  • Shame on NBC for putting a short leash on Ricky Gervais. What are you afraid of? He only says what we all think.

Favorite Anglophile Thespian:

Kate Winslet. Beautiful, poised, talented and always real.

Old fella still Rockin it:

Sydney Poitier. Damn he’s distinguished.

Older woman still Rockin it:

Helen Mirren (second favorite Anglophile Thespian)

  • I love me a video montage of an actor’s career. Morgan Freeman is a stud. From Electric Company to Invictus. God love him.

Skinniest woman that I want to hate but hey, if it’s her metabolism that makes her so thin after three children then okay:

Angelina Jolie

  • Kudos for Modern Family and Sofia Vergara’s acceptance speech.

Worst dress on a hot woman:

Jessica Biel decided to wear her wedding dress to Justin Timerlake with her Spanx briefs showing.

Actress who always acts like she’s not expecting it, but deserves it every year:

Meryl Streep

Actress who still does her Jazzercize DVD’s even though she’s like 90 years old:

Jane Fonda. Can’t deny that she’s still hot from the neck down.

  • okay so The Artiste won instead of Bridesmaids. Whatever. I guess it’s cinematic or something. Nothing beats Melissa McCarthy in the bridal shop. Period.
  • Apparently I have to see Shame. Michael Fassbender can play golf without a club according to George Clooney.
  • Dear Harrison Ford: Please remove your earring. You are not in college or in a garage band. Thanks.

I guess before the Oscars I will be seeing the Descendants. I think it’s going to win Best Picture. I said it here first.

Mahalo.

Forty is the new everything

I’m a little bit giddy, a little bit nervous, and kinda paranoid all at the same time.

Here’s why:

My girlfriend Christin and I are going to the Grammys. Yeah. The real deal. Where Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett and LMFAO are all in the same room. It will be our early 40th birthday present to ourselves. Our friend Jennifer is taking us. She’s got some awesome connections and a super awesome dad that’s how we got to be so lucky.

So between freaking out, figuring out what I’m going to wear, making hair appointments to cover my roots, waxing (I don’t really wax) and telling the hubs he’ll have the kids for a whole weekend on his own, the back of my mind is going through the- ‘does this mean that with something this good, the universe will even the score and something bad will happen?

I know. That’s awful. How cynical of me. Good things happen to people, regardless. Bad things happen when  nothing good has happened. So why do I think because I get a stroke of good fortune, misfortune will come knocking?  Because I’m normal. Or fu*#ed/normal. The new normal.

So on top of all that, yes,  I’m turning 40. In August. But still, it’s there. On the calendar. Like a root canal. Or a pap smear appointment. But it’s also kind of super awesome. Why? Because I feel like now the best is yet to come. Even if the universe wants to settle any scores,  my life is way better than it was 20 years ago. Hell yeah. My twentieth birthday was spent going to my retail job, living in my cramped apartment, a few friends to make me feel special, no bars yet- I didn’t have a fake ID (too much of a goody-two-shoes) and no boyfriend. Now a boyfriend shouldn’t make you need to feel complete. But come on, let’s be real- I was a girl with needs. The need to be romanced, kissed on the neck, kissed on the lips, and snuggled. (More than that, but my mom reads my blog)

The plan is for me and the family to be in Europe with friends in August for my 40th. That’s pretty fantastical. Expensive. But fantastical. Of course, I’m stressed because I don’t have passports for the kids yet. And since the new law requires all of us to go in person so James knows I’m not kidnapping our kids to New Zealand, it makes for a difficult time getting us all together to the appointment, at the Post Office, on a Saturday. Or I’m just procrastinating because it doesn’t sound like fun to get a passport.

So yeah. My 2012 is going to be excellent. Like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. But I doubt there will be time travel.

So the Grammy’s. I promised Emma I would  try and get a picture of Nicki Minaj.

I’m sure the next 5 weeks (FIVE WEEKS!) will be full of outfit questions and other babblings.

Yay me. And Christin. And Jennifer. Happy Birthday to  us.

Emma's favorite. I can't understand a word she sings. Emma says that's probably because I'm old and a parent.

My favorite. Maybe she'll sing to me.

I promise you, I didn’t eat my children this weekend.

But I was thinking of it. Not because they could be delicious, but because I felt like a honey badger and wanted to tear apart everything that was driving me nuts this weekend.

I was PMSing. (Ew, Ew, Ew) James is going ‘la la la la, I can’t hear you’. I mean, that had to be it. Otherwise, I was just a BITCH.

I had my first migraine in a loooong time. I usually don’t get them now that I go to acupuncture. It’s like magic that I don’t have them anymore. I even had a treatment on Friday. And I still got a migraine. Holy shitballs, it wasn’t fun.

I had a holiday party on Friday night to attend. Totally fun. Love hanging out with my girls. I got to dress up cute, wear Spanx and heels and feel all girly girl. So it was good. Then Saturday morning woke up feeling not so great.

Things I observe when my left eye has what feels like a knife stuck in it (that’s how a migraine feels, for those that don’t know):

  • The spy gear that my son has that sets off an alarm whenever someone enters his room sounds like an air raid. Horrible. Awful toy. This will be going in the donation box by accident for sure.
  • Everything my poor husband did drove me to drink. We bicker in the car. But when I feel like I did- we don’t just bicker, I rip his eyes out. Okay, I just tell him every turn he’s made is wrong. But in his book, I might as well rip out his eyeballs. Or stick pokers in his ears, then he wouldn’t have to hear me.
  • The cat litter is out to get me.
  • The laundry procreates like rabbits in spring.
  • My pants don’t fit. Even with Spanx.
  • Words with Friends starts to feel like it’s out to get me.
  • 30 kids at a birthday party with a pinata is like watching one of the Kardashians get a bikini wax. It’s loud, irritating and not a pretty sight.

But it’s Sunday night and I’m coming out of my tunnel.

Other than the lady on TV during the football game saying the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are world class performers, I’m all good. Nothing can bother me. (Knock on wood.) The kinks are worked out. My head is back to normal. The children are alive and well (I didn’t eat them, or even merely nibble on them). The husband hasn’t taken away my lipstick allowance, so that must mean he still loves me.

I’m ready for Monday.

God help me.

Glee — ‘coming out’, ‘first times’ and more parental anxiety…

I let Emma (11) watch Glee. Owen, (8) does not. He doesn’t want to. And I’m so glad for now!

It’s not really his cup of tea- all that dancing and singing (snooze) and then there’s the kissing. And that’s just disgusting to an 8 year old boy.

Some parents would object to the content of Glee. It’s not all singing and dancing. It covers homosexuality, teen pregnancy, adultery, bullying and sex. Lots of undertones of sexuality.  BUT- – if you think your child isn’t mature enough for it- don’t let them watch it. But do we need to ban a show? Really people? Isn’t that the idea of parenting? I don’t let my children watch Family Guy either. I think it’s rude, offensive and vulgar. Inappropriate? Very much so. Does it have any value? No.  I think Glee does however. If it offends you- don’t watch it. But for the millions out there that gain insight, feel acceptance from it, or are just entertained by it, it’s a quality show.

I asked myself if I was comfortable with letting Emma watch a show where teenagers come to grips with their sexuality. Where teenagers realize they’re gay, and dealing with coming out to their parents, their peers and their crushes. And my answer is- yes. If there’s a vehicle of positive examples of children trying to understand all those feelings that jumble around inside of them during the teen years, then what is wrong with that? I watch it with her. We discuss the topics. If I’m uncomfortable with her seeing something, I ask myself why? She knows about the birds and the bees. That’s just the mechanics, I realize that. Nuances and romance and innuendo are entirely different! But talking about these things is what opens doors. It’s what brings children closer to their parents. Helps them trust us as confidants. It doesn’t fill their head with salacious thoughts of going out and losing their virginity!!  And isn’t it better they are talking to YOU than just the kids at school? Or they overhear disgusting ‘locker room’ talk on the bus ride or in the cafeteria? Face it- it’s out there. And some of it is shocking. So if Emma is equipped with an understanding of what is disrespectful vs. respectful and compassionate, then I don’t care if she’s 11 or 20.

Some conservative groups want Glee off the airwaves. (http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/11/08/glee-teen-sex/)

Not just because of homosexual story lines, but teen sex story lines where 16 and 17 year-olds are talking about their ‘first time’. Yes, technically they aren’t adults. They have adult raging hormones though! And if you’ve ever seen a Glee episode, there’s a lot of talking, but not a whole lot of ‘doing’. You see characters kiss, embrace on the bed, sit on the bed talking. Yes some things are implied. But yes, the characters are clothed. Most of the time the characters rethink their emotions- decide not to go through with something. Think of themselves first instead of acting out in the moment or for peer pressure. These are all things I want my children to do. Seeing the discovery process of young adults who make those important decisions can have a lasting impact. And I think for the  better more than for the worse.

We saw the Glee movie in the theaters. A lot of it was fan testimonials. There are so many kids out there that felt Glee saved their lives. They needed something to relate to, something to help them know that what they were going through was ‘normal’.

I feel I’ve been so lucky that Emma and I talk about almost everything. No topic is really off limits. She trusts me. I honor that trust and continue to do what I can to nourish the ‘talks’ we have. I hope those talks don’t end. Especially as the boyfriends start to line up!!

Thankfully, right now Owen is still in the girls are gross stage. When that changes it will be James to take the lead. Right babe? Owen is quite frank with his ‘body talk’. He asks questions and points out anatomical things for me. (Some I don’t want to know!) But I always react with respect, integrity and understand his sensitivity. He is much more private than Emma, but as long as he knows he can share when he’s ready, I’m here. And so is James. Oh thank goodness!