Distractions of a Monday: Last Night’s MTV Movie Awards, Among Other Things

Watched the MTV Movie Awards last night, and of course, self cannot keep from sharing a few of her thoughts, even though she hasn’t finished packing and cleaning the house and watering the garden and answering her mail and lavishing Bella The Ancient One with an excellent breakfast and planning for her next UCLA Extension class (which begins right after she gets back from Venice):

Rebel Wilson is a hoot!

Bradley Cooper got 10x more hot!

Tom Hiddleston was such a suave Brit!

Zach Quinto was in a powder-blue suit!

Chris Pine lost weight!

Logan Lerman looks like a girl!

Amanda Seyfried had on a wonderful dress!

Emma Watson had on a not-wonderful dress!

The best spoof was the one at the beginning, with James Franco!

The next-best spoof was the one featuring shaved-head Anne Hathaway singing in Les Miserables while Rebel Wilson did her funky bits behind her!

Kerry Washington was gorgeous!

And now, only 32 more pages to go of Don Quijote!  And self can finally return it to the library and pay her fine.

On p. 701, Don Quijote is sighing over having to give up being a knight errant, when he and Sancho encounter Doña Rodriguez’s footman, Tosilos.  After a short exchange, they part ways with the footman, and Don Quijote tells Sancho:

” . . .  do you still think he’s a real footman?  How can you?  It has slipped your mind, apparently, that you saw Dulcinea transformed into a peasant girl, and the Knight of the Mirrors turned into our friend Samson Carrasco, all accomplished by the magicians who keep hounding me.  But tell me:  did you ask this Tosilos, as you call him, what has happened with Altisidora?  Has she wept over my departure, or has she already forgotten all those loverlorn thoughts that, when I was there, so afflicted her?”

“What was on my mind,” replied Sancho, “kept me too busy to worry about nonsense.  My God, my lord!  Is this the time for your grace to start examining other people’s thoughts, especially the amorous kind?”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Hello Monday (First Monday of June 2011)

It’s officially summer.  But it is still cloudy here, in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In fact, self can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times she’s seen sun, the past week.  Which is fine, since she really doesn’t think she wants to be gardening that much:  she’d rather read.  And write.  And send out.  And troll the web.  And think deliciously dark thoughts about every subject under the sun.  And then be regaled by Mark Twain (late last night, almost the last episode self read from Roughing It, was about how the narrator was conned into buying a recalcitrant horse.  No matter what mood she is in, she has only to read a page or two of Twain before surrendering to the most boisterous guffaws)  Hearing these regular explosions of laughter from the bedroom, hubby must wonder if self has gone crackers.

This past weekend, self :

  • Saw a movie (“X-Men:  First Class,” which was a vast improvement in terms of acting, coherence, editing — well, in terms of just about everything else —  over the previous film in the franchise.  Michael Fassbender makes a great Magneto, and self finds James McAvoy’s “I-am-so-intently-reading-your-mind” finger extensions intensely fascinating).
  • Was treated to one of those ridiculously cheap but filling breakfasts at The Broiler Express in San Carlos (Would you believe two eggs, two sausages, and two thick slices of French Toast for just under $5???).
  • Was given chicharon by self’s # 1 enabler (hubby) —  not the Safeway kind (Those are almost pure air), but the one sold at 7/11, in small packages that contain only about 20 pieces (Thank God, otherwise where would self’s arteries be?)
  • Made desultory chit-chat about the MTV Movie Awards (Which, after last night, self almost never wants to watch again.  How many years in a row do we have to keep watching the “Twilight” movies beat out competition like “Inception” for Best Fight???  Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a suit, climbing on a ceiling, loses to R-Patz tearing Bryce Dallas Howard’s head off?  Puh-LEASE!  Although, self must say, Bryce Dallas Howard looked so lovely last night in her bright, cotton-candy pink gown and her teensy baby bump.  Kudos, too, to Blake Lively for her aqua blue dress with the fabulos-o cut-outs.  But boo to Emma Watson who, despite having a great figure, and the cutest short haircut imaginable, kept her shoulders hunched pretty much the whole time she was presenting her award).

She also sent stories out at a furious pace.  And self does mean furious.  Her “Return” key clicked so often, she thought her fingers were on fire.

Why this sudden mania for sending out?  It’s all the fault of that Submishmash!  Ever since journals have started using it, it has become all too easy for writers like self to check the progress of their submissions, every day if they feel so inclined.  A few days ago, self saw that several of her submissions were “In Progress.”  And, as she hates surprises, she figures she’ll just consider all the “In Progress” stories as Rejections already.  That will save her having to obssess over them this week.  (Unfortunately, that did mean she had to research which other journals she felt like submitting to, and that took an uncommonly long time —  in fact, hours —  because of course one has to read the Submission Guidelines and also a couple of pieces of sample writing.  Not that that wasn’t fun —  reading the sample pieces of writing, that is.  But, really, dear blog readers would be amazed how much time can be eaten up by perusing a literary web-zine!)

The Stanford Archives await, and also Rick’s ice cream, available now at a small café in the Arrillaga Alumni Center (which happens to be only a five minute walk from the Archives)

In the meantime, as she is in absolutely no hurry to get dressed, she peruses a back issue of The New Yorker (Self still hasn’t renewed:  self, when will you ever get off your high horse and DO IT?).  This is the issue of 23 May 2011.  Here are two books self is interested in reading after perusing the “Briefly Noted” section:

A Singular Woman by Janny Scott:

Here’s an image that was given wide play during the 2008 Presidential Campaign:  Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, as “a batik-skirt-wearing hippie girl who, in an effort to fill in her son’s racial identity, daffily supplied him with Harry Belafonte records and took him to see Black Orpheus.”  Well, of course she was more than that.  Read this biography to find out more about this complex woman.

The Uncoupling, a novel by Meg Wolitzer

The only reason, frankly, self wants to read this book is because of the reviewer’s verve.  Here’s one example:   Stellar Plains, the setting of Wolitzer’s latest novel, is an unremarkable New Jersey suburb, where wives rave about a grocery store as if it were a sex club and a night out means dinner at Peppercorns, with “its long, looming salad bar that made you remember that there were choices in life.”  Isn’t that just the most fab sentence, dear blog readers?

Stay tuned.

A Few Thoughts on The 2009 MTV Movie Awards

Self has been watching the MTV Movie Awards since the very first year.  She loves the categories: “Best Fight”, “Best Kiss”, “Best Villain”, etc etc

Following, a few of her thoughts on the evening:

First of all, who is Zac Efron’s stylist? Because Zac’s hair looked like “poetry in motion” 🙂

* * *

By the way, was anyone paying attention to Zac Efron when he went on-stage to receive his award? Self is willing to bet: no one.  Since every one in the audience must still have been so mesmerized by the sight of Bruno’s naked butt descending on Eminem’s upturned face.

*  *  *

And, who knew Zac Efron could be so effortlessly funny? As he was when doing his spiel during the Ben Stiller “Generations” Award?

Self, what is with you and Zac Efron? Don’t you remember, you hate “High School Musical”!  Right, let’s turn to something else, such as:

Chris Pine! What a cutie! Even in a sweater, self noticed his biceps were nice and firm!

*  *  *

If self were Ben Stiller, she would be depressed about receiving an award called “Generations.” Also, Ben Stiller, fire your hair stylist. You looked like you were wearing a wig.

*  *  *

The cameraman’s favorite of the evening (judging by the number of close-up shots): Cameron Diaz

*  *  *

So everything was “Twilight”, “Twilight”, “Twilight.” Who decided to focus on Vanessa Hudgens’ face, every time “High School Musical” was nominated in the same category as “Twilight”? And, yeah, she did look rightly disappointed whenever her film lost. Can any one blame her?

Her dress was cute, though:  waaay cuter than Kristen Stewart’s.

*  *  *

Self kept trying to figure out who the oldest person in attendance was:  J. J. Abrams?  Will Ferrell?  Jim Carrey?  Kiefer Sutherland?  Ben Stiller?  The dudes from upcoming movie “Hangover”?  Sandra Bullock?  Cameron Diaz?  Boy, self felt old.

Dear blog readers will have to content themselves with this short recap, for it is imperative that self conserve her energy for tomorrow’s encounters with Dearest Mum.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Some Thoughts Following the 2008 MTV Movie Awards

Self wants to know:

  • How could Matt Damon and xxxx assassin not have won for Best Fight? (Instead there were two young dudes in a movie nobody saw — some boxing movie)
  • And how, how could “Transformers” have won Best Movie– @#!??
  • And what happened to the collage of movie spoofs that used to open previous award shows?

On the plus side:

  • Self got to see Ed Norton (looking slightly stiff, slightly disconcerted, but still very dapper in a spiffy brown suit).
  • Self got to see Johnny Depp accept an award — twice!
  • Self got to thank her lucky stars that she was not Sarah Jessica Parker, who seems condemned to wearing ridiculous designer shoes (see: foot torture) for the rest of her life. Woman, would it really hurt your image so much to be seen in low-heeled shoes for a change?

Since Robert Downey, Jr.’s “Ironman” was honored with “Best Movie of the Summer So Far”, here’s a quote from The New Yorker review of said movie, which appeared in the May 5, 2008 issue:

In the past twenty years or so, Robert Downey, Jr. has gone through the following stages: a good young actor with a melancholy smile; a good young actor who was also a drug addict, jailbird, and insurance risk; and now, no longer young, an actor who may become the first genuine hipster star since Robert Mitchum and Marlon Brando.

David Denby

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