Friday, February 27, 2009

Speling 101....I mean Spelling 101

This post is dedicated to my friend, Wanger who likes to poke fun at all the typos in my blog.

Did you know, that in 1908, a very special organization called the Simplified Spelling Society was formed? It's currently called The Spelling Society.

The society was formed to raise awareness of the problems caused by bad spellers (like me) and to help reform said bad spellers.
So, stop pretending you're dyslexic (I never do this!) and listen up! There is help for us bad spellers. And it may make you feel better if I post a list of famous bad spellers that went on to lead VERY productive lives?
More on that later.

The English language is extremely complex--just ask an ESL student. We English speaking people tend to take for granted how difficult our language is to learn. In fact, English students take twice as long as French, German and Italian speaking students to learn to read and write. The problem is, for every rule, there are 20 exceptions (I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean). Remember English class back in your school days?
Also, what about the differences between 'English' English words and 'American' English words? How confusing must that be for people just learing our language? They can spell colour like this or the wrong way; color. ;)

According to Vivian Cook, author of Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary, there are at least 20 most commonly misspelled words. He has created a site where you can take spelling tests and see how you do against others.

Btw, Wanger: I scored 14/20 on the spelling test. Ha! See if you can beat that!

So, just because you can't spell doesn't mean you can't be a success. As promised, below is a list of 'famously' bad spellers:

  • John F. Kennedy & Mrs. Jackie Kennedy (who was an editor, btw and I don't have to mention what her husband did for a living, do I?)
  • Dan Quayle (another politician--he spells potato with an 'e' at the end)
  • Deborah Franklin (wife of Benjamin Franklin who liked to add another 'e' to very; verey)
  • Emily Dickinson (some of her misspelled words: extacy, Febuary, independant)
  • Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brother's has recently admitted to being a bad speller (teenage girls everywhere now think illiteracy is 'cute')
  • Albert Einstein (not only was he told he could not spell, most teacher's dismissed him as mentally 'slow' when he was a child)

Feeling better yet?

I was going to write about Wanger's dirty little secrets to get back at her but I let her know I wouldn't do that for fear of inducing sleep. But hey, if you're having problems falling asleep, I have the perfect antidote for you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

3rd Annual Oscar Report

The 81st Oscars graced televisions across the world last night with the usual star-studded red carpet, elaborate stage, surprises (though, there weren't many this year) and disappointments.

I watch the Oscars EVERY year without fail from beginning to end. I think I started watching this show in utero. To some people, this event may seem irrelevant, a waste of time and money (especially now during this recession) but I think it's important that we have events like the Oscars and The Grammy's. What would we be without art in our lives? What would we talk about over dinner or at the water cooler if not for movies both good and bad?
Artists (actors, painters, writers, singers etc.) are an important part of our society and human culture. Speaking of artists, can I just start by saying (without judgement from anyone) that I screamed and jumped up and down last night when they called Sean Penn's name for Best Actor? Milk was one of my fave contenders this year and I knew the Academy would not be able to ignore another strong performance by Penn. Sure, Mickey Roarke was fantastic in The Wrestler. Sure, everyone loves a good come-back story but sorry Mickey; none of the other nominees had ANYTHING on Penn this year.

Actually, last night I got my way many times! ;)
Kate, oh Kate! She finally won her first Oscar. Though I wasn't crazy about The Reader (LOVED the book) she played a really tough part and made it look easy. She's a great actress and truly deserves her Oscar. I loved her speach last night because it just seemed so real and unrehearsed--and she was just so grateful. And just look at her; isn't she a gorgeous woman? Her fashion choices rarely disappoint as she always looks elegant and very, very classy.

So, it was the year of the little Indian movie called Slumdog Millionaire. For us smart people the saw the film, we knew it would make a clean sweep in just about every category it was nominated for. What a great movie. It has all the elements of a classic; heartache, humour, adventure and charm. It's no surprise that among the many categories it won, Best Picture was one of them. And just look at some of the cast members; how cute are they?

Well, I hate to admit it but I fell prey to the undeniable charms of Brangelina last night. You can't help but look at these two in awe. They are both stunning creatures but together they make a ridiculously fabulous couple.

Angelina Jolie has really grown up; she no longer feels the need to look like Elvira. Remember what she looked like when she won for Girl Interupted? You don't? Let me remind you:Boy, what a long way she has come. She looks like she appreciates her beauty now.
And Brad, well what else can be said about him? He's a big hunk of loin-quivering masculinity.

Did anyone see my Cate? Cate Blanchett that is. Where was she? The Red Carpet was not the same without her; a fashion icon. Perhaps she knew that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button would lose in almost every category? Those of us that sat through the three-hour movie knew this, too.

Now, I can't mention Brangelina without mentioning Jennifer Aniston. It's like these three are always going to be linked together; poor Jenn. Not only does she have to resort to dating Jon Mayer, she showed up to the Oscars last night looking like ass. What was she thinking? Or perhaps she's given up? Who wants to compete with Angelina Jolie anyway; it's a losing battle.

She looked like she just stepped off the beach. No wonder she didn't walk the Red Carpet. Hideous! Even Mario Lopez walked the Red Carpet! What the F*** was he doing there?

What would the Oscars be without a good host? Well, it would be the 2005 Oscars hosted by Chris Rock.

This year the Academy chose Hugh Jackman to do the hosting and I think he did a great job. It must be a difficult job. There's so much pressure. Anyway, I didn't know Hugh was so uber talented. He can sing and dance and even act; a triple threat, indeed. His opening number was engaging and funny; reminded me of the good old days when Billy Crystal was host. I miss Billy! Hope he comes back soon.

I love it when celeb couples show up looking fabulous! (Like Brangelina above) This is part of their job; they need to look good for us poor souls that can only watch this event on TV. How dare they show up looking like crap? Hello! Russell Crowe! Are you listening???

Here are some of my faves from last night:

Diane & Josh: can't get enough of these two. They always look elegant. I heard they like to argue and fight and throw things at eachother; you would never know it in this photo! I have a bit if a crush on Josh these days ever since No Country For Old Men. I think he's underrated.

Seal & Heidi: these two make me sick. They're just too gorgeous and happy!! SJP & The Ingrate: I like watching these two walk the Red Carpet because they are like the odd couple. She's charming and enthusiastic (she was wearing a Dior gown last night that made my jaw literally drop) while he looks as though we should all be kissing his ass because he's soooo talented and he's on Broadway and he's more interested in the 'craft'. Please! You were Ferris Bueller for Christ's sake! Get over yourself.

Pheobe and The Kline: Remember Pheobe Cates? That raven-haired, beautiful 80's star? She had so much potential but opted for Mommyhood over Hollywood. She's still so lovely. I love it that these two are still together. Red certainly was a popular colour last night.

Last but not least; Sean & Robyn: this couple has always been mysterious and intriguing to me. Robyn is still so gorgeous, isn't she? She'll always be my Kelly from Santa Barbara! ;) And Penn, well, I just love him and everything that he does. He just oozes sex appeal, intelligence and talent. I'm so glad they 'kissed and made up' after their little split last year.

All in all, it was a good night. Nothing really surprising happened; the Academy had it easy this year. The writing was on the wall: Slumdog Millionaire deserved EVERY award it was nominated for, Sean Penn is a revelation, Kate Winslet proved again that going ugly for a part pays off, Heath Ledger deserved that posthumous Oscar and Penelope Cruz proved she CAN act--in her own language, though. ;)

Note to God: If I'm allowed to come back in another life, would you please use this mold? Thanks! xo

Friday, February 20, 2009

How Did I Survive These People?

When I was six months old, I fell off the freezer. The story goes; my Mom placed me in my little chair, sitting atop the freezer while she was doing the dishes. Apparently, I got a tad overzealous with the rocking action my chair endulged me with and flipped out, hitting the floor, directly on my knees. When I heard this story (just the other day) I was pleased to know that I could blame my bad knees on my parents! Horrah! Like a lot of other ailments and shortcomings in my life, I blame my family. It's wonderful.
God only knows how many other stories of neglect my parents have stashed away. Just waiting and anticipating the right moment (like Thanksgiving dinner) to share their horrific tales of parenthood.
Here are a few more 'events' from childhood that force me to ponder; am I a cat?:
  • When I was five or six years old, I almost drowned. I did it again at the age of about eight and then again at the age of sixteen (can't blame them for that incident) while vacationing in Mexico.
  • At the age of seven, I came down with Mononucleosis and ended up in hospital for about two weeks. At the same time, I had to have my tonsils out and then hemorrhaged shortly after the doctor sent me home. Let's just say, for Christmas that year, I wasn't wishing for new toys.
  • When I was four years old, my Dad left me in his truck for a split second while the engine was running; I grabbed the gear stick and threw it into reverse. All I remember is my Dad and his friend chasing the truck, trying their best to stop it before it crashed into the car behind me. They were successful and VERY lucky. Or am I the lucky one?

My parents had me when they were very young and very stupid and probably very high. Like most other occurences in the 70's, I wasn't planned. I like to think that they did their best but when you know NOTHING about babies, how do you know what your 'best' is?

Each and every time I go to visit my parents I say the same thing: how did I survive you people?