The Good, the Bad and the Oscar (goes to…)

This year’s Oscars impressed me – much thanks to Seth Macfarlane. Though he’s been getting back lash for a few jokes poking fun at Jews and women that may or may not have pushed the envelope, it was a stark improvement from the slanderous material of Ricky Gervais. A little gratitude people…

The majority of the ceremony Macfarlane delivered witty quips and light-hearted jabs at the nominees (and the man can sing!). Here’s a quick recap – a brief taste – of some of his genius last night.

I was extremely happy when…

Adele won for Best Original Song – she has now collected a Golden Globe, a Grammy and an Oscar… in the first two months of 2013.

The cast of Chicago reunited after 11 years, complete with a performance of “All That Jazz” by CZJ (she’s still got it…)

Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor, he’s now the only person in history to have won the award three times. And how does he respond? He jokes about how he was supposed to star as Margaret Thatcher in “Iron Lady,” and Steven Spielberg’s first choice to play Lincoln was actually Meryl Streep. And he finishes the acceptance speech by thanking his mother (the perfect man? yes, yes he is)

Winners who spoke too long were cut off by Jaws music. I don’t know who came up with that one, but that’s award-worthy in itself.

Jennifer Lawrence tripped on stage as she goes to accept her Best Actress Oscar, reminding us that we’re all human, and proving she’s one grounded girl (pun intended). In fact, when the audience gave her a standing ovation, she said, “I know the only reason you’re doing that is because you feel bad that I fell, so sit down!”

Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a dentist-turned-bounty hunter in Django Unchained. His character is unarguably the most adorable, lovable, admirable man who kills people for a living to ever exist.

Channing Tatum DANCED!!! (with Charlize Theron…but really, who cares?).

And I was extremely pissed-off when…

Lincoln lost like every award imaginable. Lincoln got NO love. Well, it got some. It went 2/12 (Best Production Design and of course DDL). That’s just WRONG, in my opinion.

Anne Hathaway starts off her acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar with “It came true!” Maybe because I’m a writer, and I abhor cliches, I couldn’t stomach that one, but I’m sure the other %99.99999999 of the viewer probably found it endearing. Plus if I were on TV in front of 40 million people, I’m sure I wouldn’t be so eloquent. But I guess no one’s even listening to you when you’re wearing a dress like THIS:

The orchestra swallowed every performer whole. You could barely hear Adele and Norah Jones, who can croon with the best of ’em, over the roar of violins and trumpets. It didn’t matter for Jennifer Hudson who would sing over a nuclear explosion if she had the chance.

They had Michelle Obama announce the Best Picture award. I’m not trying to get political, in fact, that’s exactly what I’m criticizing. Politics has no place in show business, but unfortunately, they’re now infused and I don’t anticipate a separation – ever. I get that the majority of Hollywood is so liberal they’d cut off their right hand to prove it, but really people, can’t we let it be for one night?

Overall…

Pros > cons, and I can honestly say it was the best Oscars telecast in a few years, AND I can’t remember the last time the show ended when it was supposed to. Bonus points for that.

Et toi?

Nincompoop

When Kelsey first proposed “nincompoop” as the Wednesday word, I was a bit taken aback. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d heard someone use that word—it sounded so foreign! But as the week progressed, I found myself using it in conversation (much to the surprise of my unsuspecting friends). After a few days of throwing the word around in casual conversation, I decided to do a little research into it’s origin. I needed only to click around on the internet for a few minutes to realize that there isn’t one hard or fast conclusion about where the word came from. In fact, it seems as though every etymology-obsessed blogger has a different answer.

Before delving into a history lesson, we’ll cover the definition and current usage of the word. Merriam Webster defines nincompoop as a “fool, simpleton.” Urban dictionary defines a nincompoop as “a silly, no brain, fool.” On a side note, I also learned from that nincompoopery is a word too—try working that one into conversation this week!

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, we can move on to the more interesting stuff. Some say that nincompoop has its origins in latin (shout out to all you latin scholars) and the phrase “non compos mentis” which translates to “not of sound mind”. Others claim that the word comes from French, and was derived from the phrase “ne comprend pas,” meaning he does not understand. A third theory is that the word actually comes from the dutch phrase  “nicht om poep”  which translates to “the female relative of a fool”.

Another common argument is that the the word is tied to biblical roots. The word sounds strikingly similar to the name of a biblical character, Nicodemus, who naively questions Jesus Christ in the gospel.

From what I gather from my cursory internet search, there has been hot debate over the true etymology of the word since in first came into usage in the late 1600’s. Today, the debate rages on, and the truth about the origin of the word remains largely uncertain. However, there is a growing school of scholars who believe that the word may simply be an invented word– in essence, a combination of silly sounds and parts of words thrown together. Still, the stories make for an interesting google search. So next time you’re stuck in an awkward dinner table conversation (and you’ve already discussed the weather), ask people if they know where the word “nincompoop” comes from. Try tossing out some of these theories- or even invent your own!

 

 

My Top Pick(s)

After scanning through the many WordPress Themes, I’ve decided that my favorite is Sight. Not only is it fresh and clean looking, but everything on the page pops…in the good way, I mean. Plus, I absolutely love the slideshow at the top that highlights some of the important posts, as well as the layout of all the preceding entries.

I also browsed around at some of the previous Minor in Writing students’ portfolios and there were a few that stood out to me. One in particular, is Jordan Korn’s blog: She incorporated her love for cooking with her passion for writing. I just love the way she formatted her site, with tab names such as, “About The Chef,” “Side Dishes,” and “Dessert,” each as a metaphor for a particular topic within the Minor in Writing portfolio. So creative!

 

Okay, clearly I wasn’t quite sure if we were to post our favorite WordPress theme or student blog…so I decided I’d just give you both! Enjoy!

I Can Hear The Waves Calling Me Now…

 

Aaaah, the mighty Spring Break is almost upon us. We know this because the CCRB is packed, “spring wear” ads have taken over your browsers although it’s the dead of winter, and my entire sorority has decided that it is totally okay to skip dinner. The constant blizzard in our faces on our way to class is the big guy’s way of telling us, “Seriously, get out of here.” I don’t know about you, but man, am I pale.  I crave the hot, beating sun on my face, my iPod blasting, and that quick, cool breeze from waves crashing only a few feet away. Aaaah, yes. Spring Break.

But I’m curious, what do you think is the perfect break? I am pretty certain that partying from 10 am ’til dusk on a beach with every recognizable Facebook Friend is not everyones ideal choice of  a getaway. Truthfully, I’m usually the one who desires getting as far away as possible from the “scene,” but I figured I am only in college once. I didn’t go on my senior trip’s spring break back in high school…so, going to Mexico will be a crazy, new experience (eeeek). Anyways, how would you define your perfect getaway? Is it relaxing? Is it adventurous? Is one better than the other?

 

 

Can Funny Be Sexy?

Being funny is typically considered a masculine quality. The funny guy tends to be the life of the party. The funny girl tends to be traditionally “unfeminine.” The funny girl is the overweight girl, the ugly girl, the you fill in the blank girl. The funny girl is associated with something other than the norm. While there has definitely been a lot of progress for women in comedy, as I was exploring different sources for my sources, I kept pondering this idea: why don’t people associate funny with “sexy” or “femininity”? Yes, we can turn to all the traditional bullshit of “women aren’t funny” or “women weren’t thought of as funny for so long, so you have to break the stigma,” but there has to be some other modern-day reasons for it.

Is it just too intimidating for a women to “have it all?” Is it too threatening for a woman to be able to pull a man down with her words, the way that he can pull a woman down? I feel like now that it is 2013, we have definitely gotten over the SHOCK FACTOR that women can be funny, but still female comedians face a certain level of judgement that is definitely not universal.

Recently we have definitely seen examples of just how sexy funny can be. Think: Sara Silverman, Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler. And yes, Sarah Silverman may be a little too raunchy for your taste, but think about what she does and what she is saying, putting personal taste aside. While this is not entirely what my final project is about, I think this is a large component. Physical appearance is something that has both positively and negatively effected women of all types. Sometimes it helps a woman to be pretty, sometimes it hurts her. Sometimes it helps her to not be attractive to get ahead, sometimes it pulls her back.

I have uploaded two readings to Ctools, which I will send out an email for and I have one source reading below (well, it is a YouTube video, sorry Ray!) that I think will help you get a good idea of what my project is all about. One of the readings is an excerpt from the book “We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy.” The other reading is a case study about Sarah Silverman and how big of an impact that she had on female stand up comedians of the 2000s. Again, these will be posted on Ctools since I don’t want to get in trouble for copyright issues. It’s always a good idea to stay out of legal trouble.

This video clip is of Janeane Garofalo and if you don’t know who she is…it’s about time you learned! Janeane basically led the alternative comedy movement of the 90s, a movement that focused more on storytelling and the “everyday-ness” of life than on structure jokes. While she did not make the movement happen completely by herself, Janeane is largely responsible for this movement taking off and for the comedians of the 90s taking over different venues, such as coffee shops and theaters, as the comedy club craze of the 80s began to wind down.

Norovirus, Go Away!

Last Saturday began as any normal day:  I woke up feeling well-rested for the first time all week, slipped on my running gear, and enjoyed my heart pumping healthily in rhythm with my feet pounding pavement for the next five miles.  Came home, showered, ate breakfast.  Was on my way to a rehearsal an hour later, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  On the Northwood bus.  I needed to get off.  right.  now.  It was that swallowy feeling that happens…right…before…and you keep swallowing…and it’s getting harder to swallow, heavier, thicker…

I made it to Pierpont, and then lost my breakfast.  Thank God the bathroom is right inside the building.  I would have never made it.  The odors of Panda Express inspired me on my way.

My rehearsal was cancelled because one of the other girls in the rehearsal had been in a car accident that morning…(another story entirely.  She was okay, the car wasn’t…)  I bought three bottles of ginger ale, called in sick to work, and waited an agonizing and cold twenty minutes for the next bus back home.  Barely made it home before I had to visit “EARL!” on the big white telephone again.

I was completely restless.  Just when I thought I may be able to lie down for more than five minutes, my stomach began auditioning for the circus again, right inside me.  Twists, turns, backflips.  I threw up twelve more times that afternoon.

My boyfriend came over a couple hours later to check on me.  “How about some ice cubes?” he asked.  Seemed easy enough.  Nope.  Ice cubes made me throw up.  Sips of water made me throw up.  My stomach was completely tired and empty, and yet I was still throwing up.  Six more hours went by before I was completely dehydrated, dizzy even from the three steps to the bathroom.  I simply could not function like this any longer.  I called my doctor, who said I needed to go to the emergency room.

The hardest part was getting into the car.  My stomach felt like it was splitting in half, and standing up was only encouraging it.  My boyfriend put together an overnight bag for me and assured me that the hardest part of this whole thing would be getting to the car, and that he would take care of the rest.  “You can do it Hoff,” he said over and over, until I finally held his hand and got down the steps and out into the freezing cold with my barf bowl in front of me like a shield.

I threw up in the waiting room, and I threw up on the way to the room.  I was the pathetic girl with crazy eyes, wild unbrushed hair, and a purple bowl, being wheeled around in a wheelchair by her poor boyfriend.

I finally got into a triage room after twenty minutes of waiting, and the nurse was a complete bitch.  She took one look at me, and the first thing she said to me was, “If you have the stomach flu, you don’t come to the ER.  You stay at home, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and then feel better after a couple days.  You dragged your poor boyfriend here for no reason.”  I tried to explain to her in my feeble voice that this was not just any stomach flu, that this was something much more evil than that, completely wiping out my mind, body, and soul.  She rolled her eyes.  When I kept throwing up, she finally took my blood pressure.  “Oh my God,” she called out to the other nurse in the hall.  “Get her into a room.”

They drew my blood, ran a few tests, pumped me with bags of Saline and doses of Zofran through an IV.  My boyfriend sat by me and held my hand, trying to make fun of an old NCIS re-run on TV and make me laugh.  I could not relax, but I felt sleepy and hyper at the same time.  I laughed uncontrollably in delirium, and then cried hysterically in fear.  Back and forth, I was in a state of pure mania and pain that was too severe to feel anymore.  I was sent home seven hours later in a rather numb state, still able to only drink tiny sips of water.

The night and the two days that followed my trip to the hospital were very long and completely restless.  I had a fever and the chills on top of all of my stomach problems, and  I could not sleep or eat for fifty-five hours straight.  My head pounded.  It was an epic battle.  I lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling, feeling like I was going to die.  My stomach churned threateningly and relentlessly; my muscles weakened quickly.  I had to call my roommate on her phone in the middle of the night, one room away, because I almost passed out.  I had a choice: drink some coke and throw it back up, or pass out.

I officially forgot what “normal” felt like.  Not until Day 3 of Recovery could I move enough to even get out of bed on my own.  And even then, it took five minutes of small step-by-step muscle motions.  You lay in bed long enough, and your muscles completely lose their mobility and strength.  Add severe hunger and sleep deprivation to the mix, and you’ve got some serious recovering ahead of you.

Today is Sunday, eight days after the sudden attack. I am finally just beginning to feel slightly like myself again and ate an entire slice of pizza today!  Quite possibly the best slice of pizza I’ve ever tasted in my life.  That was definitely the sickest I have ever been in my life, and this entire week has felt like a trip to hell and back.  I have been rehabilitating, rejuvenating, and trying to make sense of what happened to me.  After falling that uncontrollably, (and deathly) ill, it’s impossible to go right back to my normal routine without some amount of reflection.  If I had been able to lose 12 pounds in a week one month ago, I would have rejoiced.  But two days ago when I saw that  suddenly-unhealthily-lower number on the scale, it disturbed me and frightened me.

Norovirus is deadly and dangerously contagious, especially throughout college campuses.  So please, take this as a Public Service Announcement to WASH YOUR HANDS!  Before and after preparing food, before and after using the bathroom, before and after doing anything.  Be careful and take care of yourself.  Get enough sleep, eat your greens, take your vitamins, and exercise.  It’s that time of year when all-nighters seem like a good idea, and energy drinks seem like the one and only elixir of life.  But listen to your body, take care of it, and listen to your limits!  You do not want to end up in the emergency room.

 

 

 

Is it the class or the teacher?

I’m sorry that this is extremely random, but this is the beginning of my attempt to make as many thought-provoking posts as possible, and I just spent 15 minutes thinking about what to write, and this is the best that I was able to come up with – What’s more important to you when taking a class: Loving the material or loving the teacher?

Disclaimer: Feel free to stop reading if you’ve already had enough of this.  Pretty sure I would have stopped after the first line.

Anyway, if it were up to me, I would choose to have a great teacher.  I think learning about areas of interest is extremely important, but I think the teacher has the ability to make you love or hate the subject matter in just about any case.  In my experience, I’ve found that I typically either really like my teacher or really dislike him/her.  There really isn’t much middle ground for me.  I think part of this is just my personality, but the point is that if you don’t like your teacher, odds are that the class is going to be miserable.  I can’t recall any class that I’ve ever taken where I loved the teacher but had a negative overall experience.  A few good qualities that I look for in any teacher include a sense of humor (good job, Ray), organization and clarity, motivating, understanding, and passionate.  Obviously, mastery of the subject matter is always crucial, and it never hurts to have someone who occasionally lets you out early (Ray – you may want to work on this a little, but you’re still a great dude).

Thoughts?