Tuesday, January 31, 2006

George Clooney gets four Oscar nominations!

RandomReality is blogging bright and early this morning because of wonderful news! My Fantasty Boyfriend, George Clooney, received FOUR Oscar nominations! HEE!

His movie "Good Night and Good Luck" is one of the Best Picture nominees. George got nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Syriana," (a good movie although I still don't exactly know what was happening in it); Best Director and Best Screenplay. SHRIEKK!

Right now, I am telling you all NOT to call me on March 5 during the Oscars unless you wish to hear incoherent burbling and squealing from me.

Now, if I only I can meet him in the next few weeks and convince him to take me to the Oscars as his date. Hmmm. How to do that. Must ponder.

Russell Crowe was shut out of the Best Actor category for "Cinderella Man," even though he was very, very good in the movie.

Here are the nominees for Best Picture: "Munich," "Capote," "Good Night and Good Luck," "Crash" and "Brokeback Mountain." I feel very hip and in-the-know because I saw them all.

My friend Karen saw "Brokeback Mountain" last night and this is how she sums up the cowboys' tormented love: "If they can't be together, at least their shirts can." (You gotta watch to the end of the movie to get that. Hee.)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My review of "Brokeback Mountain"

At first, I vowed NOT to see "Brokeback Mountain," because I resented feeling obligated to do so. I like to discover movies on my own, thank you very much, instead of having Hollywood shove them down my throat. For instance, I didn't see "Schindler's List" until YEARS after it came out.
But this weekend, I caved. I felt I needed to see "Brokeback Mountain" since it is now part of the cultural zeitgeist. I am all about the cultural zeitgeist.
So here is what I thought:
There are a lot of sheep in this movie. LOTS of sheep. In fact, the sheep took up like the first 30 minutes. There is a lot of wrestling in this movie. Since the characters are so repressed, they tend to wrestle and smack one another as a form of foreplay. Later, there is punching in the mouth. So sheep, wrestling and punching take up a good chunk of the fist part of the movie.
Nice scenery. Good acting. Compelling story. But eh, I am not so sure it is THE best movie of the year. I saw "Munich," "Cinderella Man" and "Capote" and thought they were all better.
"Brokeback Mountain" breaks a lot of ground and all that. It is also quite depressing so don't go see it in a melancholy mood. It deserves the hype its getting, but again, I am not so sure it is THE best movie of the year.
The sheep would probably disagree.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Memorial for former Sen. Gene McCarthy

A lot of you know that I am friends with my 85-year-old doppelganger named Catherine Foley Quigley. (Or maybe I am her doppelganger) She is also a writer and is the coolest senior citizen I know. Her ex-husband was the brother-in-law of former Sen. Gene McCarthy, the 1968 presidential candidate.  Catherine was friends with McCarthy's wife, Abigail. Abigail died in 2000 and Gene McCarthy died a few weeks ago. The McCarthy's had separated in 1968 but never divorced.
Here is Catherine's report on the memorial service for McCarthy, a unique voice in American politics:
Last Saturday I attended the Memorial Service for Senator Eugene McCarthy at the National Cathedral on Wisconsin Avenue in DC. Although he was my ex-brother-in-law, his family always considered me as part of the family; and his oldest daughter Ellen, who planned the memorial, specifically invited me to the service.
It was simply a glorious occasion, and I am still recovering from it. My three sons and daughter-in-law flew down to honor their uncle, and with my daughter Eileen, our family was well represented.
Showers and 50 degrees had been predicted, but instead, an overcast sky held back the rain while we drove down to the cathedral. I wore my black and white checked pant suit with my small, red L.L. Bean cloche. Our instructions were to be in the Rare Book Room, to the right as you enter the cathedral, by 10 a.m. Anxious for a parking spot, we arrived at 9:30 and parked beyond the construction in front.
The family group quickly grew. What fun to meet Gene's children, two daughters and a son, and their children and cousins. I carried two cameras, my new digital and a "throw-away."
Suddenly, about 10:45 a.m., former President Bill Clinton materialized with his Secret Service detail fending off people who got too near him. Immediately, a rippling excitement flowed around the room while he, grinning, stopped to autograph the elegant programs. I told him that I had voted for him.  (But I didn't mention how stupid I thought he had been by getting entangled with Monica you-know-who.) He grabbed my hand, leaned forward to within an inch of my left cheek, caught my eye, and exclaimed, "Thank you. THANK you.THANK YOU! I felt that he appreciated my vote that had elected him President of the United States. Of course, I was busy snapping my cameras; and most of my pictures turned out great.
At 11 am, the Leader signaled for our family group to proceed into the nave of the cathedral. My oldest son Tim escorted me. We paused momentarily, and I had a flashback to June 25, 1945 when I had been present at Abigail's and Gene's wedding at the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota. Then, I looked around at the 800  people gathered in the cathedral last Saturday, and I realized that I was the only person there who had also attended his wedding so many years ago. I felt this a special blessing.
During our slow walk down the aisle. I was stunned with the beautiful altar, the magnificence of the cathedral, the whole ambiance. I loved it! Actually, I was blown away. And I am just now recovering.
Six long rows of comfortable seats were reserved for the family in the right section upfront. Tim and I sat at the middle-aisle end of the fourth row.
One of Gene's nieces had  married Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary of our youth. Peter and his daughter performed several times during the service. The congregation joined them in several songs. So I sang with Peter Yarrow that morning.
The service lasted three minutes short of two hours, but it was so beautiful that I wanted it to go on and on and on. Several times I tried to think what kind of a comment Gene would make about this wonderful service.
  Three Catholic prelates sat with the Bishop of Washington, an Episcopalian, and the service was non-denominational. Of course, President Clinton stole the show with his tribute to Gene. But the other speakers were excellent, too.
The music was superb. "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Copeland electrified me, and I tingled. After the service,  we faced a chilling wind for about a block across cobblestones to the St. Albans gym for the reception. Many familiar politicians were schmoozing, reminiscing about the '68 campaign.
My sister Mary whispered to me," I think I'll join the Episcopalians. They know how to put on a great show!"
A former campaigner walked through the crowd handing out "McCarthy" buttons from that old campaign of thirty-eight years ago. A harpist performed background music of Irish songs and other favorites. I complimented her and added, to her amusement, that her "Barcarolle" by Hoffman was the first piece I had learned to play on the violin.
Bookmarks were handed out, and immediately became collectors' items. I recognized the familiar "McCarthy " above a dove with "Peace" solidly below, a Shah drawing used during the '68 campaign. Below this was Gene McCarthy's poem, "The Road from Emmaus."
 The words are simple but reading them slowly I felt Gene had given us another gift with: "I walked alone from Emmaus; met a friendly company upon the road, heard soft voices, felt the warmth of love and passed on." 
-- Catherine Foley Quigley

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Wish RandomReality a Happy Second Anniversay

My friend, Maureen, the intrepid reporter, spotted that this blog was created two years ago. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for reading RandomReality and to announce that gifts of chocolate are appropriate for this anniversary.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

RandomReality fills out one of those silly surveys!!!

Welcome to the 2006 edition of getting to know your friends. What you are supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it onto a new e-mail that you'll send. Change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to a whole bunch of people including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends, if you did not know them already.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 10:30 A.M.
2. Diamonds or pearls? MUST I CHOOSE?
3. What was the last film you saw at the movies? 'MATADOR" VERY QUIRKY AND AMUSING
4. What is your favorite T.V. show? LOST
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? CEREAL WITH MILK AND OJ
6. What is your middle name? SARAH
7. Favorite cuisine? JAPANESE
9. What is your favorite chip flavor? POPCORN RATHER THAN CHIPS
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? U2'S "HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB"
11. What kind of car do you drive? 1999 VW BEETLE
13. What characteristic do you detest? RACISM
14. Favorite item of clothing? MY HOODIE FROM OLD NAVY
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where you go? IRELAND
16. What color is your bathroom? BORING BEIGE
17. Favorite brand of clothing? WHATEVER IS ON SALE
18. Where would you retire to? FLORIDA - EXCEPT DURING HURRICANE SEASON
19. What was your most memorable birthday? 21 WAS PRETTY MEMORABLE
20. Favorite sport to watch? NO SPORTS. ICK SPORTS
21. Farthest place you are sending this? ENGLAND
22. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? SUZANNE, CAUSE SHE JUST SENT IT TO ME
23. Person you expect to send it back first? CHRISTINA, BECAUSE SHE LIVES FOR THESE QUIZZES!!!
24. Goal you have for yourself? MEET GEORGE CLOONEY
25. When is your birthday? FEB. 18
26. When is your anniversary? HAVE NOT YET MET/MARRIED GEORGE CLOONEY
27. Are you a morning person or a night person? YOU HAVE TO ASK THIS?? NIGHT.
28. What is your shoe size? 6. ARE YOU BUYING ME SHOES?
31. What did you want to be when you were little? A WRITER
32. What are you today? A WRITING TEACHER
33. What is your favorite candy? DARK CHOCOLATE
34. What is your favorite flower? ROSES
35. What is a date on the calendar you are looking forward to? ARBOR DAY, AS ALWAYS
36. If you could have one wish what would it be? SEE QUESTION #24

Thursday, January 5, 2006

The Oscars

Yippee! Jon Stewart is going to host the Academy Awards this year on March 5!

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

SNL rap video: "Chronicles of Narnia"

This is a funny rap video made by two of the comedians on "Saturday Night Live." It is very retro-Beastie Boys, although the lyrics refer to cupcakes and Mapquest. Oh and Matthew Perry. Hee.