Friday, February 29, 2008

Early Mother's Day Present

Here in England, we're celebrating Mothering Sunday this weekend. I know this because I saw the £5 flower arrangement with daisies and carnations at Somerfield today. (Obviously, this is a gift for someone who feels ambivalent, or perhaps even hostile, toward his or her mother. But I digress.)

This morning, like many other mornings, we were running late to try to get out the door and to school on time. Luckily for me, I had very thoughtfully left my trousers I wore yesterday on the floor, and my sweater from three days ago on our chest, but had no time to brush my hair. I'd like to say that I made a quick prayer to myself that no one would notice, but that would be a lie. I just don't care that much what people in the playground think.

In any case, I was quickly lacing up my red Converse while sitting at the bottom of the stairs when Thing Two approached.

"Mom?" he asked, as I braced myself for some last-minute request, like cupcakes for 30 children.

"You look SO BEAUTIFUL today," he said. 

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy 40th Birthday, Mr. MarathonMum!

A very happy birthday to Mr. MarathonMum. It's a big one, because it ends in a zero. But we're going to celebrate in a very low-key way, as per Mr. MarathonMum's instructions. Besides, we did a big blow out for his 30th, when I surprised him by organizing a party and having his whole family fly in to celebrate with us. (And it was a good thing I did it, too, because we moved to London nine months later.)

In the spirit of all things birthdays, here's my list of what I love most about Mr. MarathonMum:
1. His patience
2. His love of obscure music (which he has passed on to Thing One and Thing Two)
3. His confidence (ditto)
4. His intelligence 
5. His pizza.

Happy Birthday to you! May there be many more.

New look MarathonMum

After spending so much time on my blog on Sunday night/Monday morning, I was ready for a change. I was getting a little bored of the dots. I know the dots had only been around for about a year, but what can I say, I'm a fickle person. 

For those of you who checked the blog yesterday, you saw a different layout from this one, but in the end, I decided it was just too boring, so I went with this blue one. I've also added some pictures and some links. The good people at Blogger have made it much easier to reformat blogs now (as opposed to three years ago when you had to get down and dirty with HTML), so I suspect I'll be messing around with it much more. 


Monday, February 25, 2008

4:47 a.m.

So that's it. I have to say, in summary, the Academy Awards show wasn't very exciting this year. No really fab dresses. No drunken acceptance speeches. No mishaps. It might have been a snooze fest except for the fact that I took a Disco Nap. 

But I have to say I'm thrilled that they finished 30 minutes earlier than last year. Something to shoot for next year.

So after 46 posts (four fewer than last year, but with 30 minutes less of material) but no cups of coffee or chocolate chip cookies to sustain me, this is MarathonMum signing off.

This might be "No Country for Old Men" but it also is "A Country for Tired Women," so I'm going to bed.

4:40 a.m.

Mr. Movie picked "There Will Be Blood" for Best Director (and Best Picture) but I'm putting money (well, not literally) on "No Country for Old Men." Fantastic film. Incredibly violent, sure, but I haven't been in so much suspense in a movie for a long, long time. 

And I'm right. I love being right. Just ask Mr. MarathonMum. They just showed the Mrs. Coen's (Frances McDormand and the other Mrs. Coen.) They didn't win Best Picture for "Fargo"-- they only won screenplay for that. So they're already up one award for "No Country for Old Men" since they've already got two statues (each!) tonight.

Best Picture goes to, as expected, "No Country for Old Men." Now they have an Oscar for each hand! And a spare in case they lose one! How lucky is that?

4:38 a.m.

Two awards to go, so it's possible that I'll get to bed before Mr. MarathonMum's alarm clock at 5:15 a.m. 

Bloody hell. Daniel Day Lewis is 50 years old. God he looks phenomenal. Props to him for that, it's got to be said.

4:28 a.m.

Oh! Hey!! We're in the home stretch!! Only three awards left!!! (You can tell I'm tired by my excessive use of the exclamation points).

Next up: Best Actor. 

Mr. Movie tipped Greenwich's favourite son Daniel Day-Lewis to win. "I'm going to vote for the Greenwich guy," Mr. Movie said. (DDL even thanked Greenwich in his BAFTA acceptance speech. Will he do it again?)

Everyone else thinks he's going to win too. He carried "There Will Be Blood" from start to finish. You couldn't take your eyes off of him. 

There's Helen Mirren in her fabulous red dress. It's the sort of thing I would wear, if I were an Oscar winner. But alas, I'll sit here in my PJs instead. 

There's DDL (sorry. it's late and his name is long.)! 

Johnny Depp was also very good in "Sweeney Todd." Who knew he could sing? And of course, there's our man George, but I think he knows he's not going to win.

As expected, DDL wins, but he just gave George a handshake and a kiss. Lucky DDL, for both the win, and being able to kiss George Clooney. It's got to be said that you have to be incredibly secure in your masculinity to wear TWO hoop earrings. Or be a pirate.

I should also say that DDL grew up in a house about 400 meters away from MarathonMum HQ. 

4:19 a.m.

On to Best Original Screenplay.

Mr Movie tipped "Ratatouille" to win. Again, it's one of the few Oscar nominees he's seen.

Oh. The stripper wins it! (Diablo Cody-- no word on whether that's her real name or her stripper name.) Kudos to her, though, because she's the first person tonight to thank and acknowledge her fellow nominees. She just snatched that winning envelope from Harrison Ford's hands and practically ran off the page. I think it's because she didn't want to make a spectacle of herself.

4:11 a.m.

Tom Hanks just walked out, though this year it appeared that he did not walk out swearing at someone or something, like he did in 2006.

This is cool. They're letting some U.S. military people introduce the nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject, as well as name the winner.

Mr. Movie had picked "Sari's Mother", But "Freeheld" actually won.

Gotta give props to the makers of "Freeheld" who seem to be working moms. Hooray for them! It's a 38-minute movie. I doubt LoveFilm is going to have it to borrow. We once met a nominee for this category in Chicago. He had been nominated for a film about making paper. Seriously.

Long-form documentary now. Mr. Movie picked "War/Dance" because he loved the dancing. Actually, no he's never seen it, and never have I. "Taxi to the Dark Side" wins. Mr. Movie is now 6-14.

4:07 a.m.

Amy Adams put her boring green dress back on, but the mystery remains unsolved: Did they make her dance in that last Enchanted song?

On to Original Score, which goes to "Atonement," which will probably be its only win of the night. Mr. Movie had picked "Ratatouille."

Here's a question: Can we wrap this up within the hour? Only time will tell.

4:02 a.m.

Oh! Time for the "I See Dead People" portion of the evening, introduced by Hilary Swank. Maybe that's why she's wearing black. I'm putting money on Heath Ledger being last. Let's see.

I forgot/didn't know that Jack Valenti died this year. I'm surprised they didn't put him last. Or Igmar Berman, for that matter. It'll be Heath for sure then.

And I was right again. It was poor Heath.

3:52 a.m.

Mr. Movie is now 5-11 on the night.

They just brought out the other winner for Best Song. That's got to be unprecedented. 

Now on to Best Cineamatography. Roger Deakins, who was nominated twice for "The Assassination of Jessee James" and "No Country for Old Men" swore in a recent interview that he wasn't going to win, but he knew who would. Let's see.

Maybe he was. It went to "There Will Be Blood," which was Mr. Movie's choice, so he's now 6-11 on the night.

3:49 a.m.

John Travolta is presenting Best Song. I just spent the better part of the last five minutes trying to determine (a) how many categories have been announced and (b) if they really made Amy Adams dance through "So Close." 

"Once" just stole Best Song from the three from "Enchanted." Well done to them.

3:42 a.m.

Penelope Cruz is going to present, and I'm willing to bet it's for Best Foreign Language Film. Wow. Right again.

Mr. Movie picked "The Counterfeiters" from Austria to win this one, but only because he saw a poster for it in the Tube the other day.

Whoo-Hoo! Mr Movie is right!! He's up to 5-12 (I think).

3:31 a.m.

Nicole Kidman is here. My god, are those DIAMONDS? If so, she must have several extra security men tonight. I didn't get a good look at the baby bumb, and it's hard to see because of the microphone. It has to be said, though, she just doesn't know when to stop with the plastic surgery. Her face just doesn't look real.

This is Honorary Oscar time. Snooze. 

3:28 a.m.

Renee Zellwegger (spelling. I know, I know.) is here to announce "Best Editing," for which Mr. Movie picked "Into the Wild."

"The Bourne Ultimatum" wins again. It might walk away with the most awards for the night. At this point, it's got three to "No Country for Old Men" two. 

3:24 a.m.

By my count, we know the results of 11 categories, and we still have 13 categories to announce, along with the requisite "I See Dead People" portion of the evening. I think we're going to beat the 5:17 a.m. watershed, but I sincerely hope not.

Why in God's name do they feel it necessary to show all of the past Best Picture winners? Isn't that what IMDB is for?

3:16 a.m.

How you can tell the writers have been on strike:

Jon Stewart opened up by playing Wii tennis with some young girl (didn't catch who she is). Seriously? Couldn't you just introduce Colin Farrell?

Another song nominee, this one from "Once," which I haven't seen. Happy to report that I have been able to resist the siren song of both (a) coffee and (b) chocolate chip cookies up until now.

Also, since we're sitting through the song, you might be wondering what your Oscar hostess is wearing. Well, it's beautiful-- a custom made Vera Wang gown in blue. Gorgeous.

Oh wait. That was in my fabulous parallel life. I am in fact wearing oh-so-fabulous jimjams from our friends at Nick and Nora, topped off with a sweatshirt from the boys at Pine Street Carpenters. Lets give it up for the Dolan brothers!

3:10 a.m.

I find myself studying Forest Whitaker's eyes to see if they're-- there's no other way to put this-- wonky. Having watched "The Last King of Scotland" again this weekend, I didn't know if the eye thing was for his performance of Idi Amin, or if it's something else. Seems like it was for the role.

Unusually Mr. Movie picked Ellen Page to win this category.

But Marion Coiltiard wins it! And she gives Forest a big hug. She seems so genuinely happy, you have to be happy for her. Unless you're Julie Christie.

This also means that Cate Blanchett got two nominations and walked away with nothing. Bummer for her. She enthusiastically clapped for Marion, though, so maybe she didn't care.

Oh no! Claudia Winkleman said we're only at the half-way point! How can that be!!

2:58 a.m.

It seems to me this ceremony is much zippier than last year, so I went back and checked, and indeed, it seems as though we've done several more awards so far. 

Now we're on Best Sound Editing. Mr. Movie picked "The Bourne Ultimatum" (though I'm surprised he didn't pick "Transformers."

Hooray for Mr. Movie! He got this one right! We're up to 4-5 in his picks. Oh no! Something is going wrong with the sound while they present the sound awards. Oh, the irony.

Now we're on to Best Sound Mixing. Mr. Movie picked "Transformers," which I think includes Kevin O'Connell, who has been nominated 19 times and has never won. When pressed if he thought "Transformers" really could be an Oscar Winning movie, he confidently said, "Yes."

Could it be? Could "Transformers" be an Oscar-winning movie? Alas, no. This one goes to "The Bourne Ultimatum" too. 

Speaking of which, "The Bourne Ultimatum" means I can never walk through Waterloo Station without looking around for trained assassins in the moving advertisements.

Mr. Movie is now 4-6 in his picks. We've got 14 categories to go, but we've got a Big One now: Best Actress.

2:51 a.m.

Next song performance, and now I have an answer: Amy Adams ISN'T going to have to sing all the songs from "Enchanted". Kirstin Chenowith is singing "How Does She Know."

She's got musical experience, soshe can walk through this big song-and-dance routine, though I am quite worried about the supportive string that's keeping her dress on. If it were to snap, that would be something for future clip retrospectives! Sadly, the dress and the string stay in place.

2:41 a.m.

Time for the Technical Awards Summary. I think I now know who has to sit in the upper decks of the Oscars. It must be the Technical Awards Winners.

We really are getting through this fast. We're on Best Adapted Screenplay. Mr. Movie picked "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

Bummer. Wrong again. It went to the Coens for "No country for Old Men."

Poor Josh Brolin tried to give a hug to the second Coen, but he kind of got rebuffed.

I might have to stop keeping Mr. Movie's tally. He's lagging far behind.

Now some joker who I don't know-- probably the president of the Academy-- is jabbering on about something.

2:35 a.m.

It's Best Supporting Actress clip time, and there she is: Maureen Stapleton! (though not me. The other one.) Hooray!!

Time for the Best Supporting Actress award. Mr. Movie boldly picked Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone." 

Tilda Swinton looks genuinely surprised, which is sweet, but her dress is still atrocious. She thanked her agent, which I hate, but she just did a funny joke about George Clooney wearing his Bat Suit under his normal clothes.

Mr. Movie is now 3-6 for the night. He was doing so well! Now, not so much.

2:32 a.m.

Barry the Bee, from "The Bee Movie" is presenting, "Best Animated Short Film." Mr. Movie picked, "Even Pigeons Go To Heaven," (only because he likes the Mo Willems Pigeon books) but it went to "Peter and the Wolf" instead.

Mr. Movie is now 3-5 for the night.  

2:25 a.m.

Keri Russell is introducing another Best Song nominee, and this is one of the ones that is NOT an "Enchanted" song. 

They're a Gospel choir from Harlem, but I'm not sure why they thought it was a good idea to have people sitting there in a fake congregation. It's possible the fake congregation are singing, too. Though they might just be clapping along.

Owen Wilson is here! Hooray! Nice to see him up and around. 

He's doing the "Best Live Action Short Film." Mr Movie picked "At Night". Sadly, he wasn't right. It went to "Le Mozart des Pickpockets," putting him 3-4 for the night. It's quite an International Night. His acceptance speech is in French. I can tell you he said, "Thank You Very Much."

2:21 a.m.

Finally! Something useful from a Sky Premiere commentator! One of them (don't know her name), speaks Spanish so she was able to translate Javier's acceptance speech. Basically, he thanked her mother and his grandparents. 

Jon Stewart just introduced an Oscar tribute to "Binoculars and Periscopes." Oh! Wait! They included Night Vision Goggles from "Silence of the Lambs." They should have had a fact-checking department.

2:16 a.m.

Jennifer Hudson (looking lovely in white) is here to present the first acting award of the night: Best Supporting Actor. 

Mr. Movie picked Javier Bardem for "No Country for Old Men." I have to say, Javier is lovely with a haircut. Watching the clips, I am reminded as to how amazing Hal Holbrook was in "Into the Wild."

As expected, the Oscar goes to Javier Bardem. He just shook hands (rather than shoot them with an air gun) with Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. He just said something to his mother in Spanish. Sadly, my four years of Spanish isn't enough to translate for you, MarathonMum fans.

Mr. Movie is now 3-3 with his choices. 

I'm also wondering if Thing One will hear me and come down to join me for the Oscar broadcast. I told him if he woke up in the night, he could do it, but I doubt it'll happen. 

2:13 a.m.

Cate Blanchett just presented Best Art Direction. I like her purple dress but the necklace doesn't really work here.

Meanwhile, I'm having an e-mail conversation with my friend Kathy Q about The Rock. She doesn't know why he's there, either. They have a great phrase for that here. It's called, "Punching Above Your Weight." 

Why do they insist on showing all of these old clips? It's just making the show longer.

2:10 a.m.

They're whipping through this stuff. We're at Best Art Direction.

Mr. Movie picked "There Will Be Blood," which was a favourite for him tonight (he picked it to win Best Picture and Best Director too).

Sadly, he is now 2-3 because it went to "Sweeney Todd."

2:07 a.m.

Dwayne Johnson is presenting. I had some time between commercials to read that he is actually The Rock. 

He is presenting the Best Visual Effects, and it goes to "The Golden Compass," which was Mr. Movie's choice.

He picked it to win because, "It was filmed in Greenwich."

I would say that's a pretty good visual effect.

2 a.m.

Amy Adams changed from her green dress into something not as nice, but perhaps easier to sing in. She's singing the first Best Song nominee, "The Happy Working Song." I wonder if they're going to make her sing all three songs from the movie? 

Mr. Movie has predicted that this will be the winner. It's getting a rather tepid response from the audience, though. Doesn't bode well for his pick.

1:55 a.m.

Oh no! Poor Brad Bird just got cut off by the music. I bet that would happen to me too.

Katherine Heigel, wearing a gorgeous red dress (though not as nice as Anne Hathaway's), just admitted that she's "incredibly nervous" and she looks it. That's sweet.

Best Makeup Category: Mr. Movie picked "Pirates of the Carribbean." 

He said, "You know, 'Pirates of the Carribbean' is Disney. But I can't see it because it's scary."

Sadly, Mr Movie is now 1-2 because "La Vie En Rose" won.

1:52 a.m.

Best Animated Feature award. This is the first time since the category has been introduced that we have NOT seen all of the nominees. The odd French one, "Persepolis" hasn't been released here, I think.

Mr. Movie picked "Ratatouille" to win. This is the one category that he actually has an educated opinion about. And he was right!

Mr. Movie is now 1-1 in his Oscar picks.

1:44 a.m.

George Clooney is back. Hooray. It was a pump fake, though because I thought he was going to announce the awards.

Oh, no. It's the first of many (I'm sure) clip jobs. This is why I'll be up until 5:15 a.m.

We're having some technical difficulties at MarathonMum HQ because for some reason I can't cut and paste Mr. Movie's Oscar choices. But he made some bold choices. For Best Picture and Best Director, he went with "There Will Be Blood."

1:40 a.m.

Wesley Snipes, who just barely escaped prison, is sitting with Spike Lee. 

A nice short monologue. This bodes well for the night.

Costume Design! I still haven't run through Mr. Movie's Oscar Picks, but for this category he picked: Sweeney Todd.

Bummer. Mr. Movie is 0-1. The Oscar went to Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which I still haven't seen.

1:30 a.m.

The intro is some sort of CGI thing with clips from all sorts of movies. People are chering, bbut I don't know why. It seems sort of lame to me. 

This is the 80th Annual Academy Awards. Does this mean because it's a number ending in 0 I'm going to have to 

Jack Nicholson is in the front row. He's ALWAYS in the front row. Does he only agree to go to the Oscars if he gets a front row seat? And why does John Travolta get such a good seat?

Jon Stewart just made a good joke that if Vanity Fair wanted to show respect to the writers, they could invite them to the party. He's not standing behind a podium this year. Bold Move, Mr. Stewart!

Julie Christie is wearing an AIDS ribbon. I know she hasn't worked in a long time, but didn't she get the memo? They haven't worn those ribbons in at least 10 years.

I love how Jon Stewart laughs at his own jokes. I can relate. I laugh at my own e-mails, which is like my very own Oscar monologue.

He just told us how to come up with our own stripper names: the name of our childhood pet, and the street we grew up on. So if you're wondering, MarathonMum fans, my stripper name is...Hammy Wetmore.

1:28 a.m.

I just checked our Live Coverage from last year, and it appears that it did not start until 1:30 a.m. I am trying to decide if it would be a good time for some coffee, but it seems too early. 

More filler. Claudia Winkleman, who I know you've never heard of, is hosting the Sky Coverage. As luck would have it, Mr. MarathonMum and I were at a British Press awards show a few years back, and Claudia Winkleman was there. I only remember because she was wearing a white pants suit and it was November. 

Oh, thank goodness. It's REALLY starting now.

1:20 a.m.

I don't know what's happening, but I'm guessing that people are hustling to their seats. Sky Premiere is doing filler-- clips and interviews with the nominees-- and E! is talking to some legal guy about Britney Spears' visitation hearing. Yawn.

More fashion! But I know for a fact that it's a clip from earlier. Heidi Klu, who's wearing a gorgeous red dress from John Galliano, just told Ryan Seacrest that she's not wearing a bra, but she is wearing panties. File that under TMI (Too Much Information).

There's all sorts of screaming. Heidi just told Ryan that George Clooney has just arrived. Like I said, this was taped earlier. 

Maybe things don't really kick off until 1:30 a.m. This is torture.

1:02 a.m.


It's starting! It's starting!! Oh, wait. Not yet. Sky Movies is filling airtime with people you (nor I) has ever heard of, talking about the Oscars.

My questions for the night:
1. Are Angelina and Brad there?
2. Will the celebration be somewhat subdued, given the Writers Strike has just settled?
3. Will Ratatouille win?
4. Will Heath Ledger be the last actor honored in the list of "Those Who Passed This Year" (I thought it'll be either him or Robert Altman, but I just checked, and he died in 2006.)
5. Will I see any mice in the early hours? (Back in the days of working for, one of the overnight editors would always end her notes with the number of mice she saw in the night. I fear I might have to do the same here at MarathonMum HQ, though we haven't seen one in a while. But I think I just heard something. I will stomp the floor to make them scurry away, if need be.).

12:58 a.m.

Renee Zellweger has short blond hair! It looks great, but sadly for her, I don't think she's had anything to eat in a long time.

It's almost time for the Big Event. E! has signed off, as has Sky One. Time to switch over to Sky Premiere, for which I signed up specially. 

It doesn't look good for my night, though. The on-screen TV guide tells me they've allowed until 5:30 a.m. for the coverage. I nearly lost the will to live last year when it ended at 5:17 a.m., so my only hope is that it'll end earlier this year.

12:49 a.m.

Ah. Now THERE's Ellen Page. And she's wearing, you guessed it, Black.

Honestly, people, would a little bit of colour kill you? It's the biggest night of your career. Live it up!

Ryan Seacrest just asked Casey Affleck who he was tugging, and it turned out it was his wife, Summer.

Hillary Swank looks much happier this year. She also looks incredibly fit. She just admitted that she ate some carrot cake on the way to the Oscars. Gotta love that. She also probably hasn't eaten all week, so once she had the dress on, she probably figured, What the hell. Let's eat something.

Viggo Morgensten has a huge, bushy beard. I wonder if he's already started filming "The Road"? (Time for a quick IMDB check) Damn! I'm good. In fact, according to IMDB, they ARE filming "The Road" right now. 

12:43 a.m.

We're still on Oscar Pre-Game coverage. I have to say it's been pretty lame so far. Maybe it's dragging because everyone is waiting to see a pregnant Angelina Jolie.

Jennifer Hudson is wearing white. At least she didn't bring back the bolero/Judy Jetson jacket from last year.

It turns out that Amy Adam's dress is actually dark green. Who knew?

Mylie Cyrus again! She's in Valentino, so you've got to give her props for choosing a classy designer.

Colin Farrell is here with his mother. She looks younger than him, though I'm willing to bet she's done less drugs.

12:37 a.m.

"She does a look that girls at home can do."

Um. No. As hard as I might try, I will not be able to replicate Cameron Diaz's look. Because I am not Cameron Diaz.

Marion Cotillard may have learned her lesson from the BAFTA's and she's not wearing anything "Too French." She's wearing Jean Paul Gaultier. So French, but not too crazy.

12:30 a.m.

Helen Mirren, last year's Best Actress winner, is talking to Ryan Seacrest. She's got a nice red dress on, but she didn't say who made it. I like the sleeves-- they're all jeweled up.

Now he's talking to Jessica Alba. You can tell she's keeping her due date a secret, because she's being all cagey about how far along she is ("I'm in my third trimester"), and when exactly her due date is. She just told us who made her dress, but then he asked her if she's going to be breastfeeding. That was for all the men in the audience, obviously.

Hillary Swank is wearing... you guessed it... black.

12:24 a.m.

Gary Bussey is the one who was yelling at Ryan Seacrest and poor Jennifer Garner. I think he was drunk or high or both. I think we have to give props to Laura Linney, who got Jennifer Garner out of there. I wonder where Ben Affleck is? Is he home babysitting?

E! likes Jennifer Garner's whole look, but they're dissing the black too. 

There's Javier Bardem and he brought his mom. Oh, you have to love that. And he got a haircut (though I'm not surprised). 

Cameron Diaz has gone for blush pink, too. I think she learned something from the bride look of last year. (Thought that might have been at the Golden Globes).

Tilda Swinton, who is beautiful, is wearing a black sack. There's no other way to describe what she's wearing.

12:16 a.m.

As a special treat this year, I had Mr. Movie [Thing Two] make his Oscar choices.

But wait! Back to E! Some strange guy keeps yelling at poor Ryan Seacrest. They just told us who it is, but I've already forgotten.

Keri Russell has a blush pink dress on, but I can't decide if I like it. Kristin Chenowith has another (yawn!) black dess on. Pregnant Jessical Alba, (Sue Storm to everyone in this household) is wearing a burgundy dress, which looks good.

Wait! I was wrong! The woman who I thought was Ellen Page was actually Mylie Cyrus (I've just misspelled that, but I have to say, I don't care). I know she's some sort of pre-teen phenom, but beyond that, I don't know anything about her. This Cyrus girl is talking about wanting to be a "True Artist". You've got to be kidding.

12:11 a.m.

I just realized why they keep showing Patrick Dempsey. Of course! He was in "Enchanted", which was nominated three times for Best Song.

I also know that Sky One is being incredibly lame and it's not really live. I know this because they happen to be standing next to Ryan Seacrest. The stars stop to talk to Ryan (I know who he is this year, which is progress), and then they talk to Sky One. But when I jump over to Sky One, they're not on it. Where's their sense of adventure? Why are they editing these interviews? That is disappointing, as is Sky One's coverage, to be honest.

12:05 a.m.

Juno, I mean, Ellen Pge is wearing a nice red dress, but it's not as stunning as Anne Hathaway's. I suspect she had some sort of stylist coaching her because she doing all sorts of poses and making weird faces. But she looks a lot nicer than she has in any other picture I've seen.

Dwayne Johnson is talking to Ryan Seacrest at E! Who the hell is Dwayne Johnson?? And he's presenting, Ryan just told us. Talk about punching above your weight!

James McEvoy and Anne-Marie Duff are talking to E! This year they seem to know who he is. I guess that's what a nomintion (Which he got last year) will do for you. They even Id'ed Anne Marie Duff, but I guarantee they had to ask someone. She's a big stage actress here, but I bet Ryan didn't know who she is. They're both very witty in a British sort of way. Anne-Marie Duff has a stunning blue dress on, and looks lovely.

I'm noticing lots of black dresses this year, which is making me sleepy, even at this early hour. 

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Live Blogging from the Oscars

Yes, MarathonMum fans. I've taken my Disco Nap and I'm ready to go. It's Oscar Night 2008!!

As it's been for the last two years, I'll be live blogging the event in order to stay awake. Stars! Dresses! Speeches! Who could ask for more?

And who better to kick off the night than our man George Clooney? The man for whom All Women Over A Certain Age have a crush. How could you not love a man who comes over to dinner and then goes up into the attic with a flashlight when some sort of an alarm goes off and he wants to find the source?

(Our man) George was nominated as Best Actor for "Michael Clayton", which we watched last night. It was a fantastic film, but I don't think it'll beat "There Will Be Blood" or "No Country for Old Men." Nor will George win, we think. That honour will go to Greenwich's Favourite Son, Daniel Day-Lewis.

At the moment, I'm toggling between E! and Sky One. Sadly, it's hard to hear on Sky One, and E! seems to have more actual Red Carpet coverage, which is key at this point in the night, because I just want to see the dresses. 

Ah! First beautiful dress of the night. Anne Hathaway has a beautiful red dress on. I love it. I didn't catch who it was from, but it's totally the type of dress I would want to wear. 

Sadly, I have no co-host with me this year, as Amazing Anne who joined me last year on the sofa, couldn't make it this year. She has to fly out to Istanbul in the morning, and that would be difficult to do if we have to stay up until 5:17 a.m., like we did last year. I can guarantee I won't be as funny by myself. But given that I have a readership of one for Oscar Night, I'm not too concerned.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Duper Tuesday

Yesterday was Super Duper Tuesday. Why was it Super Duper, you ask? Because:
• We voted in the Illinois Presidential Primary. Isn't the Absentee Ballot a beautiful thing?
• It was also Pancake Day, a joyful British tradition (see above). 

First, the presidential primary (with photo to follow). Even though we haven't lived in the U.S. for nine years, we still get to vote. We also get to file annually with the IRS, so if anyone complains about the first statement, I retort with that salient fact. Thing One, Thing Two and I have been discussing the presidential race frequently, talking about the positions of the candidates and who they are. One afternoon before the Iowa caucuses we sat down with a big newspaper spread showing pictures of all the candidates. I pointed to the Republican side of the spread and said, "We don't care about that side. We're Democrats."

Thing One is most impressed with Barack Obama's environmental positions, and because Thing Two does whatever Thing One does, he feels the same way. The feminist in me made sure that they understood that there was no reason why a woman couldn't be president. 

So yesterday before we went off to our Pancake Day party, we sat down with my absentee ballot and I showed them how it worked. It was like our very own "Super Duper Tuesday" (as the BBC called it) polling place. I also had to explain that it will be a long time before we know who the next president will be.

Following the voting, we set off for the party, where the boys got to flip and eat traditional British pancakes, which are more like crepes and do not resemble American pancakes at all. Pancake Day is a big deal in England-- all the supermarkets have a large display of ingredients because they assume nearly everyone will eat one that day. 

The boys had their fill of pancakes at the party, followed by general merriment and joy. And that, my friends, made for a Super Duper Tuesday.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Four Things (Or, A Cheaters Post)

My friend Camilla sent this to me a few weeks ago. As I would like to post, but also have many things to do today, I'm going to answer these questions and consider it "posting." Sure, it's cheating, but it's also an excellent way to waste time at work, for those of you who'd like to cut and paste the "Four Things" and then e-mail them to friends.

Four movies I will always stop and watch when surfing (even though I've seen them hundreds of times):
1. The Thomas Crown Affair (with Pierce Brosnan)
2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. The Sure Thing
4. Sixteen Candles 

Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. "Investigator" for an EPA subcontractor
2. Winery tour guide (in Bucks County)
3. Summer camp counsellor
4. Journalist

Four places I have lived:
1. London, England
2. Chicago, Illinois
3. Youngstown, Ohio
4. Doylestown, Pennsylvania
(But I am always, first and foremost, a Proud Jersey Girl)

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:
1. Lost
2. ER
3. The Daily Show 
4. Spooks

Four Places I have been (for more than a month):
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Princeton, N.J.
3. France (though the 30 days were not consecutive)
4. Italy (ditto to above)

Four People who I e-mail regularly (in no particular order):
1. Mr. MarathonMum
2. Anne P.
3. Kathy K.
4. Kirstin M.

Four Favourite Things to Eat:
1. Mr. MarathonMum's pizza
2. Chocolate cake
3. Sushi
4. Indian from the Mogul

Four Places I would Rather Be Right Now:
1. Anywhere warm and sunny
2. In NJ, celebrating the Giants' surprising victory
3. In Italy.
4. Anywhere with my three favourite men.

Four Things I Am Looking Forward to in 2008:
1. Our Fab Family Trip to celebrate our Big Birthdays this year. 
2. Working on and finishing a long-held goal.
3. Being healthy enough to run and be happy.
4. Running a half-marathon in October.