Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year....

Forget Christmas.... it's award show season! I love award shows. I have no real explanation as to why, but I do. The dresses, the movies, the "oh I'm so happy for you (daggers in my eyes)" reactions when people don't win.... Tonight is the kickoff party to the season-- the Golden Globes. I am watching E's Red Carpet pre-show as I type and the catty comments are already flowing from my mouth. (FYI: The one shoulder dress and the big bow on one shoulder (sometimes in conjunction) has yet to go away. ) The Globes are known to be more low-key than the Oscars or other shows mostly because everyone is sitting at tables and drinking profusely. I totally buy this theory because the more they drink, the more loosely they talk, and the more fun it gets. It. Is. Fabulous. Ricky Gervais ( or as my son calls him "the Night at the Museum guy) is hosting again and spent most of last year with a glass of scotch in his hand, so I expect this year will be just as entertaining.


HELENA BONHAM CARTER HAS COME IN CHARACTER AS BELLATRIX LESTRANGE HAIR AND ALL. Ok, so I don't think she did, but holy buckets she looks like a trainwreck including non-matching shoes. Rock. On.

See! Entertainment at it's highest!

So instead of giving you my winner predictions (which are almost always wrong), I am going to tell you who I want to win instead.


Best Picture Drama: Don't really care but I am leaning towards The Social Network.

Lead Actress- Drama : It's a tie between Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams. I think Natalie Portman has a better chance, but I gotta give Michelle my Dawson's alum love.

Lead Actor- Drama: Colin Firth. I love me some Colin Firth.

Best Picture Comedy: Alice in Wonderland

Lead Actress- Comedy: I like Anne Hathaway, but I don't think she will win.

Lead Actor- Comedy: Johnny Depp for Alice. Although he is nominated in the same category for the Tourist as well.

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3 will win and rightfully so, but I loved How to Train Your Dragon.

Supporting Actress: This is a tough one, but I really want Helena Bonham Carter to win now just so I can see her ensemble again.

Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush


Series- Drama: Since LOST isn't nominated, I don't care, but let's give it to the Walking Dead zombie show just for fun.

Lead Actress- Drama: Julianna Margulies.

Lead Actor- Drama: Michael C. Hall, but I do enjoy looking at Jon Hamm.

Series- Comedy: Modern Family. That show never fails to make me laugh. Did you see the flash mob episode? Glee can be the runner up, but (sorry to my friend Amy) it is starting to get on my nerves a little because it just tries too hard.

Lead Actress- Comedy: Lea Michelle because everyone else ALWAYS wins. (Does that make it a little better Amy?)



Lead Actor- Comedy: Jim Parsons. Runner up: Matthew Morrison's hair. (Totally stole that from Sue Sylvester.)

Mini-Series: Don't really care.

Mini-Series Actress: Claire Danes will win, but I really loved Romola Garai in the new version of Emma.

Mini-Series Actor: Dennis Quaid. He played Bill Clinton in The Special Relationship. If you haven't seen that movie, you should.

Supporting Actress TV: Jane Lynch, but would be equally happy with Sofia Vergara.

Supporting Actor TV: This one is TOO hard. Scott Caan, Chris "Mr. Big" Noth, Eric Stonestreet, Chris Colfer, and David Strathairn?!?! Not picking.


Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are on! Do not believe the Enquirer. He looks great! AND just said he's cancer-free. Yay for him.

OK. I could probably do this all night, but I will stop now. So here's to the beginning of award show season. May you all be blessed with bowls of popcorn, Snuggies, a bottle of wine, and your remote in hand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What the World Needs Now is Love... and Harry Potter

I just finished watching the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shooting and President Obama's speech at the service. I have to say that I was extremely moved and actually got a bit teary during the speech. I know a lot of people will say that it's all political, that Obama is using the tragedy for political gain, blah, blah, blah.... but many of the points that he touched on really resonated with me.

Over the past week there has been a lot of finger pointing about why this happened and where the blame belongs. Is it the fault of Sarah Palin, the tea party movement, or conservative political pundits whose rhetoric sometimes touches on taking action accompanied by violent imagery? Do we need stricter gun control laws? Do we need to arm our congresspeople and random civilians so potential shooters can be taken out before they cause extreme collateral damage? We can go back and forth all day placing the blame, but let's remember that at the center of all of this are six innocent people who died. They died, as Obama pointed out, exercising their First Amendment rights of expression of free speech and to assemble peacefully. In the end, this isn't a Republican or a Democrat issue, it's an American issue -- a human issue. Why were John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, or Mohandas Ghandi assassinated? Why do people do what they do? Who is to blame?

Maybe instead of playing the blame game and wondering why, we instead need to focus on what we can do to make things better? This whole discussion really made me think about Harry Potter. That's right, I said Harry Potter. ** WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT READ HARRY POTTER AND DO NOT WISH TO KNOW PLOT POINTS, DON'T READ FOR AWHILE... ;) ** Throughout the entire Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling focuses on the power of love and how that power in turn empowers those who embrace it. This theme of conquering love is a common one in literature, but I think it is especially important in Rowling's books. Harry is protected by his mother's love when she is killed by the evil Lord Voldemort, sacrificing herself so that Harry will live. When Voldemort then tries to kill Harry his curse does not work and actually backfires upon Voldemort himself. As the series progresses many people that Harry loves are hurt or killed standing up for what they believe in and protecting the people they care about. In the series' climax, Harry has to face Lord Voldemort again, this time as an adult, and defeats the "Dark Lord". Why? Like his mother, Harry is willing to sacrifice himself to protect his friends and loved ones. This sacrifice, this capacity for love and the humanity of it all is something that Voldemort doesn't understand and it is ultimately his downfall. Just love -- what a concept.

The late 1960's and early 1970's were a turbulent, volatile period in the history of the United States. A seemingly endless war was raging half a world away. People were upset, angry, protesting (sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently), and not even trying to listen to what others had to say. Sound familiar? The music of that era was a huge format for communicating social and political messages. The slightly cheesy but extremely popular song "What the World Needs Now is Love" was written in 1965. Just love, man. Just love.

If you want to go there, almost all major religions acknowledge the power and importance of love. The Bible (the book of my chosen religion) says in 1 Corinthians 8-13:

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love.

In his speech tonight President Obama said the following:

"Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.

"If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.

"And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, it did not, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation, in a way that would make them proud."

Well said, Mr. President. You know what else I think would help a lot? Just a little bit of love.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And So It Begins....

I have been meaning to blog for awhile now. No, really! I've even had a couple of "practice blogs" where I create the page, post a few times and then let it fall into cyberspace oblivion. This time I am determined to do better. I guess this is all part of my 12-step New Year's Resolution Uber-makeover plan. Ok so maybe it doesn't have 12 actual steps (yet), but I really want to start doing a few things just for me and this blog is one of them.

As I was trying to come up with a blog address earlier, I wanted something that would sort of reflect what this page is going to be all about. The problem was I wasn't exactly sure what this page was going to be all about. The address I chose, "expeditionofexpression" happened for a couple of reasons: almost every other combination I chose was already taken, my English degree gives me the unofficial right to use big words, and the big one -- my whole life really seems to be a journey of words. Most of my interests and passions revolve around words, communicating, and expression. I was an English Literature and history major in college. I am currently a librarian. I love to read. I love to write. I love to talk. I love stories whether they come from books, movies, or history.

If I keep this up (and if you stick around), I will probably be talking about my family, particularly my 5-year old son and the ups and downs of single parenting. I recently found out I have Type II Diabetes. At 31, this was kind of an life-changing, earth-shattering diagnosis. I am learning more and more about it each day and adjusting to my new way of living, so you can bet there will be a little about that. I will probably post some book reviews or at least thoughts on things I have been reading. I may even fill you in on some of my genealogical findings because even though it's mostly my family I will talk about, some of their stories are kinda cool (and if they aren't I'm sure someone will tell me... ;) ).

The other purpose of writing this blog is to get me to do just that -- write. Writing is something that I have always loved to do and something that (like a lot of things I enjoy) I have let fall between the cracks. I am hoping by just writing on this blog each day or so it will help me get back into the habit of writing regularly. So here goes nothing! Let the journey begin.