Friday, January 30, 2009

Are You Kidding Me with this America?

Recently I've seen in the tabloids the headline "Is Jessica Simpson Fat?" Really America? Do we have to keep chastizing celebrities for gaining a few pounds? And what do we really mean by fat? She's not a size 2, so therefore she must be fat? Seriously is there anyone out there looking at this picture who thinks that Jessica Simpson is anywhere near fat or even obese? At most she's maybe gained ten pounds, as most people do over the holidays.

Secondly that outfit wouldn't flatter anyone, not even Heidi Klum. She's wearing high-waisted jeans with two belts. Not a good look for anyone. Frankly after seeing these pictures, I would fire my stylist, if I were her.

But don't we have more important things like the Middle-East imploding and the economy being in the toilet than to pick on poor Jessica Simpson because she ate too many buffalo wings at Cowboy's game?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Last Templar

I started watching this last night after I watched the SAG Awards, and now I'm sorry that I did. Oy, what a horrible adaptation of a best selling novel. It was like watching an extended episode of the TV series BONES but without the wit and acting talent. If the Templars knew all the crap and conspiracy theories that have come up around their demise, they would probably roll over in their graves.

The other problem is that this storyline is old. We've all seen the DaVinci Code and read other books that feature the same storyline of an ancient secret having to do with Jesus. We pretty much know where this storyline is going from the minute Dr. Vance mentions what the Templar treasure might be.

For someone who went to Harvard and speaks Chinese fluently, Mira Sorvino comes across as a bimbo who likes expensive shoes in this TV mini-series. There is nothing about her mannerisms or attitude that suggests that she is an archeologist with a PhD. She screams Valley Girl. Scott Foley comes across a little better, but the banter and sexual tension is done much better in BONES. All you have to do is watch any episode, and you can see how this TV miniseries could have been done better.

And Mira Sorvino, if your agents think that your career would suffer from doing Dancing with the Stars and not this, you should fire your agents.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Scandalous Women nominated for Lady Blog Award

My lovely agent just let me know that my other blog Scandalous Women has been nominated for a Lady Blog Award in the Pop Culture/Entertainment Category.

The voting ends January 26th, so please vote and vote often!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something's Rotten in the State of New York

Sorry I've been such a bad blogger, but I'm deep in the job search, since I can't live off the $405 that New York States offers per week for unemployment. And I just read that the state is so broke now that they are borrowing money from Washington to pay unemployment claims! Yes, 500,000 people in this state so far this year have filed claims. And we don't even pay as much per week as NJ, CT or Massachussetts. NJ pays almost two hundred dollars more per week than NY. I take back all the awful things I've ever said about NJ. At least I'd be able to live off unemployment if I lived there. NY has not raised the unemployment check rate since 2000 people! And they defeated a bill to raise it last year.

New York sucks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hail to the New Chief!

I sit here writing this as I listen to our new President give his inaugural speech on BBC America (I had to watch it again). Despite the fact that I have crappy dial up service, I felt that I had to weigh in on such a historic moment, a moment that I wish that my parents could have lived to see.
My paternal grandparents were British citizens, born in Barbados, who came to this country to have a better life for their children. In fact, my grandfather didn't become an American citizen until after my father and uncle were born. And now almost a hundred years after my father was born, an African-American man, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, and a young woman from Kansas, is now the 44th president of the United States.
The first President to be born in the 1960's, a president of my generation (how ironic that he was elected the 44th President, the year that I turned 44!). There are no words to describe how I felt standing downtown on Wall Street watching the ceremony on the jumbo screen. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried watching him stand so calmly in the capitol building waiting to be announced. And how I loved listening to Aretha Franklin sing "My Country tis of thee" sung to the tune of 'God Save the Queen,' which funnily enough BBC America didn't pick up on (the commentator called it our national anthem. Ah, no, that would be the Star Spangled Banner).
I looked through the crowd hoping to catch a glimpse of the lovely Leanna Heiber and her significant other, who won tickets to go to the inauguration through Chuck Schumer's office. I was also interested to see that members of Congress gave the new first family gifts. I wonder what New York got the Obamas!
I only have two quibbles. 1) Given how many Starbucks there are in the Wall Street area, they couldn't have sprung for some hot chocolate for all of us who were standing outside? and 2) if George H. W. Bush who had hip surgery could toddle his way to the inauguration, Dick Cheney couldn't hauled his ass out of his wheelchair.
God save our new President Barack H. Obama!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lost in Austen

Just by chance I happened to notice in Entertainment Weekly that the Ovation Channel was going to be showing the four part series called 'Lost in Austen' on Sunday and Monday. I had heard about this series which is about what happens when a modern London woman stumbles into the world of Pride and Prejudice by mistake.

I have a confession to make. While I loved the book P&P and all four movie/TV versions of the story, I am not one of those people who read Austen paraliterature. Meaning the many sequels that have been written to P&P about everyone from Elizabeth's sisters, to Bingley and Darcy's sisters to various cousins. There is even a mystery series starring Elizabeth and Darcy. As well as a host of other books that are continuations of Emma, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility (no one seems to write sequels to Northanger Abbey!).

So I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this story, but funnily enough I loved it. It was clear that the screenwriter had great affection, not only for the book, but also for the wave of Darcymania that was created when Colin Firth played Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries. The story is pretty simple. Amanda Price has a boring job, and a lout of a boyfriend, who proposes by popping the top on his lager can and presenting her with the ring. She adores P&P which she has read many times, primarily for the reasons that most of us do, the language, the costumes, and the manners. One day she opens her bathroom door and finds Elizabeth Bennett standing in the bathtub. Apparently there is a door that goes from her world to the modern world. Amanda is intrigued and walks through only to find the door shut behind her and no way to get out. While she is trapped in the Regency world, Elizabeth is in the modern one.

Amanda can't believe that she has stumbled into the world of P&P. When she is discovered by Mr. Bennett, she tells him that Elizabeth has gone to Hammersmith to write. Soon everything that can go wrong can wrong. Mrs. Bennett immediately hates her, Wickham isn't as bad as he's made out to be, Bingley is still a wimp, and Jane finds herself married to Mr. Collins! And to top it all off, Darcy falls in love with Amanda!

I won't give away the ending but this was an amusing way to spend my weekend. The series should be out soon on DVD in the states and I would recommend renting it. Jemima Rooper was great as the perplexed Amanda who finds Darcy a little bit more than she can handle at times, and Gemma Atherton, who also appeared in Quantum Solace and Tess of the D'urbervilles, is a worthy addition to the list of actresses who have played Elizabeth Bennett. I thought that Elliot Cowan who played Darcy had the hardest act to follow, that of Colin Firth and Matthew MacFadyen in the recent movie and I thought he was fine, just haughty enough but he showed a nice vulnerability. It was nice to see Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Bennett, and Alex Kingston as a more human Mrs. Bennett.

It is no Masterpiece but a pleasant way to spend a few hours in Austenland.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Organ Moaner

I just read this article in the New York Post and I thought I would share it because it was just so outrageous and sickening. Yesterday, while flipping the channels, I had head a bit about it, but I thought the anchorman had to be joking but he wasn't. It's like a bad episode of Law & Order. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if ended up on one of the Law & Order shows.

"She stole his heart, but it's his kidney that he wants back.

A Long Island surgeon who dumped his wife after she allegedly had a steamy affair wants her to give back the kidney he lovingly gave her, or fork over the $1.5 million he claims the organ is worth.

"I saved her life and then, to be betrayed like this, is unfathomable. It's incomprehensible," said Dr. Richard Batista, 49.

"I feel humbled and betrayed and disregarded. This divorce is killing me."

Batista, a vascular surgeon at Nassau University Medical Center, claimed his wife left him after getting physical with her physical therapist.

He said the couple married on Aug. 31, 1990, in "a very nice, lavish wedding," but two years later, the relationship began a "slow downward trend."

Since he filed for divorce in 2005, he said, she has made it increasingly difficult for him see their three children.

"The main reason the doctor is doing this is because of how he's been treated in this case," said Dominic Barbara, Batista's lawyer.

They are asking for the $1.5 million as part of the distribution of assets based on a medical expert's estimated value of the kidney.

"In theory, we are asking for the return of the kidney," Barbara said. "Of course, he wouldn't really ask for that, but the value of it."

Dawnell Batista, a physician's assistant at Winthrop Hospital in Garden City, had her first kidney transplant as a baby, with her father as the donor, and a second one years later, from her brother. Her body rejected both kidneys.

Her husband then donated one of his healthy organs to her in June 2001.

"There's no greater feeling on the planet" than to save a life, said the surgeon, who lives in Ronkonkoma.

But Dawnell's new lease on life left her with a wandering eye, he claimed.

Within two years of the lifesaving transplant, he said, she suffered a knee injury during a karate class - then hopped into bed with her physical therapist.

Even worse, she flaunted her romance - once leaving her lover's clothes in the family laundry, he claimed.

The physical therapist, David Cazalet, vehemently denied the accusation.

"We're friends - we've never had an affair," he insisted, calling Batista a "big monster."

"I feel bad for her because he's a wackadoo," he said.

Dawnell Batista's lawyer refused to comment.

"She's a wonderful person," said her mother, Cynthia Carroll.

A brother, who asked that his name not be used, said, "You expect the worst from a bad person."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Bachelor: What the Hell?

You know I forget how desperate some women can be until I watch another episode of The Bachelor and then I remember, and I convince myself that I will never, ever act that way around a guy. Seriously reading a dude a poem that you've written? Telling him that you have created a vision board about him? Reciting statistics from his MySpace page? (Well that one actually worked because Shannon the Stalker is still on the show). I get that you need to stand out when you are one of 25 women on the show but come on? Nikki got the first impression rose for not seeming desperate.

And what was the point of making the women put the name in a box of someone they wanted booted off and then keeping the woman who got the most votes? Personally, I would have refused to do it, because it could get nothing but ugly because of it. Loved Megan calling the girls assholes on TV!

And what is this about Deanna coming back and telling Jason that she made a mistake? Jason has said in interviews that he didn't know that Deanna and Jesse had broken up until halfway thru filming, so when did she just pop up? And is she sincere or just looking for 15 more minutes of fame.

Seriously just when I think I'm done with this show, it sucks me back in.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone! Wow, 2009, who would have thunk it? In less then 18 days we will be inaugurating a new President and I can't wait. So far this year, I've already had to take my new laptop into the shop to have the hard drive fixed. Thank god for flash drives! My proposal for my non-fiction book is 96% finished and ready to go off to lovely agent. And I spent a glamorous New Year's Eve with the always lovely and delightful Hope Tarr (hurry out and buy her book now!) out in Brooklyn at the Montauk Club.
We met a lovely woman who made her own evening gown from a vintage Vogue pattern. This dress was so fabulous, you would have thought it was couture. We also got to watch many people dance the Charleston like it was 1929 and not almost 2009. The 1920's are my favorite period of 20th Century history, so I was right at home. I didn't even mind not having anyone to kiss at midnight this year.
Yesterday, I just relaxed and watched a marathon of the TV series Bones on TNT. I really like this show, and for once it doesn't bother me that the TV Bones bears almost no resemblance to the fictional Bones in Kathy Reich's books. Probably because she's a producer on the show, so she had some say in how they translated her creation into the TV version. Made a lovely veggie burger for dinner and then retired to do some research for my other blog.
Extremely mellow.