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Oscar Snubs

I don’t always agree with the Oscars (actually, I often disagree), but often I can understand who won, as they are worthy. For example, I’d have picked Don Cheadle over Jamie Foxx last year, but Foxx was more than worthy for his performance in RAY. What I have below is a tri-fecta: I went back over the last dozen years with help from the Oscar Guy (and does this dude ever deserve a shout out), to find the Top Five Oscar Omissions, as well as the most glaring snubs (broken down into people and movies).

Top Five Oscar Omissions

#5 HOTEL RWANDA not nominated for Best Picture (2004) - The best film of the year, and the most important, and they couldn't nominate it.

#4 James Cameron not nominated for best Screenplay (1997) - I know revisionists like to bash TITANIC, forgetting how big it was, but how can a film garner 14 nominations and not the screenplay?

#3 HOOP DREAMS not nominated for Best Documentary, or even Best Picture (1994) - The Best Documentary of the decade, ignored by the Academy. Now the Documentary is a big deal, but back then they went out of their way to trash it.

#2 Djimon Honsou not nominated for AMISTAD (1997) - The only reason this isn't #1 is because all the nominees that year were so worthy. But I don't care. Honsou carried a film that should have been nominated for Best Picture, and carried it in a way that has rarely been achieved. It's a remarkable performance, and one that shouldn't have been ignored.

#1 THE USUAL SUSPECTS not nominated for BEST PICTURE (1995) - Also, where was Richard the III? At least that film was small, but THE USUAL SUSPECTS was a big hit. You're telling me THE POSTMAN, BABE and APOLLO 13 (all films I enjoyed) deserved to be nominated and THE USUAL SUSPECTS didn't?


Honorable Mention: Martin Landau over Samuel L. Jackson (1994) – Landau is so good in ED WOOD that I hate to mention this, but Jackson in PULP FICTION? I can live with this though because at the Cannes Film Festival Jackson got Best Supporting Actor….but they don’t have a Best Supporting Actor! They created an award just for him and his performance. You will know my name is Samuel L, when I lay my vengeance upon thee!

#5 Russell Crowe over Tom Hanks (2000) – I don’t think Crowe’s Maximus role was all that, and when you compare it to Hanks in CASTAWAY? The only reason Hanks didn’t win this was his two previous wins. You know, I can think of at least three performances better than the two he won Oscars for. I think Hanks needs his own top ten list.

#4 Mira Sorvino over Kate Winslet (1995) – I like Mira Sorvino’s performance, but there’s no comparison. Kate Winslet takes her role in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and crafts a total woman, and she’s on screen almost the entire film.

#3 Gwyneth Paltrow winning best actress over Cate Blanchett (1998) – I just saw Paltrow in PROOF, by the same director. She’s ten times better there, and actually deserves a nomination (that she didn’t get). A nomination for this role is fine, but winning over Cate Blanchett’s ELIZABETH? I don’t think so.

#2 Tommy Lee Jones (THE FUGITIVE) over Ralph Fiennes (SCHINDLER'S LIST) (1993) – We all loved Tommy Lee Jones as Gerard in THE FUGITIVE. That “boat house, dog house out house” speech is a classic. But have you seen SCHINDLER’S LIST? Ralph Fiennes’s performance is scary in a new dimension. One of the ten best performances of the decade shouldn’t have been overshadowed by Tommy Lee Jones!

#1 Helen Hunt over anyone (1997) – I’m sorry, but there is no way her character in AS GOOD AS IT GETS deserved an Oscar. Everyone expected it to be Judi Dench for MRS. BROWN, or I would been happy to see Kate Winslet get a win for TITANIC, but Helen Hunt? Disgraceful.

Top Five Oscar Snubs (Movies)

#5 A BEAUTIFUL MIND over THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING or MOULIN ROUGE (2001) – MIND was a great film, but no way was it in the top five for the year. FELLOWSHIP was clearly the best film, but if the argument is you’re waiting for the third one to get done, why not give Best Picture to MOULIN ROUGE?

#4 CHICAGO over THE TWO TOWERS, THE PIANIST or GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002) – I’m still upset about CHICAGO, a perfectly fine film, winning best picture. 2002 was such a great year…take your pick on what would be better.

#3 GLADIATOR over CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON or TRAFFIC (2000) – I admit it, I got no love for GLADIATOR. But even if you’re on of the legion of fans, you can’t seriously think it’s better than CROUCHING TIGER or TRAFFIC, can you?

#2 FORREST GUMP over PULP FICTION or THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994) – I get that FORREST GUMP captured the imagination of the people, but come on! The only argument you can possibly give is that there were two powerhouse movies you could choose. Personally I’d choose PULP, the third best and most important film of the decade, but I am not blind to the SHAWSHANK argument, a fantastic film in its own right.

#1 SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Best Picture over SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998) - The further we get from this the more angry I am. SHAKESPEARE was a wonderfully fun movie, a good time, all light and airy. PRIVATE RYAN changed the way movies were made. Watch them back to back and then tell me you don't want to throw up.

Through her Daughter's Eyes

{I asked one of the Official Sisters of the Hyperion Institute (Elby) to do the Top ten list today for Mom's birthday. This is what she came up with}

Top 6 Favorite Meals my Mother makes:

My mom is a good cook, but not one of those mothers that slaves over a meal and makes a point about being a great cook. Her food is good under miraculous circumstances. She’ll call home from work, ask me to tell her what’s in the freezer or the barren cabinets (the same cabinets I had been scrounging all day), give me a few instructions and suddenly BAM! Dinner for six. Here are some things I remember her making that stand out to me even now.

#6 Macaroni and Cheese -Even when we hadn’t been grocery shopping in ages, and we kids were home in the summer eating all the food, we usually had Macaroni and cheese. My sister and I could both make it by the time we were four, but it was mountains better when my mom made it. I don’t think she ever realized how highly we praised her for this skill.

#5 Breakfast -Making breakfast for dinner is the greatest idea, and it was always great when my mom treated us to this. She could give you a hard boiled egg, cut up with a hint of butter and you would think the clouds parted and heaven smiled down upon you. Convincing her that I am the one that DOESN’T like onions in my eggs is a routine as she rarely gets food aversions matched up with the right child, but still scrumptious. My dad shows his flair off by giving us his special orange juice, made in the blender. Mmm breakfast.

#4 Chicken Stuffing -This is a dish with rice on the bottom, then chicken breast, then stuffing all covered in a delicious cream of chicken soup. Its so good I believe we made it for Thanksgiving one year (somewhat blasphemous). This meal has united us as a family.

#3 Tuna Salad -This is once again a case where my mother makes something regular, that most people can make, but it is so much better when she would make it. I would try on my own and ask her for directions. I was always so surprised that she never needed to measure anything, or even worried about having all the important ingredients like celery or grapes. It was always great.

#2 Party Mix -This might not seem like a meal, but it is the way we eat it. My mom makes Party Mix (a.k.a. Chex Mix) usually once a year on New Year’s Eve. There’s a giant pan in the oven roasting nuts, cereal, deliciousness, and she usually looks the other way when she asks us to stir it for her (this involves pilfering a cup for personal consumption, even though we are supposed to save it).

#1 Shrimp Curry -This is bar none the best meal I could ever want, and the best thing my mother makes. Some of you have heard of the glorious mountain of rice, the shrimp curry base, then the plethora of toppings (chopped bacon, mandarin oranges, peanuts, tomato, hard boiled egg, bananas, coconut). I know what you’re thinking; it seems rice and curry wouldn’t go well with this assortment of condiments, but the combination will leave you staggering. Write to her and ask to come over the next time she serves it. [Hyperion’s Note: Mom made this last night, and it’s still as good as Pirates doing Shakespeare]

Top Ten times my mother ever saved my life

#10 Giving me my own room -I had my own room once my eldest brother went away to college, but before then were ten of the hardest years of my life sharing a room with my sister. Those of you who knew my sister when she was younger know this is not an easy topic to discuss. We fought like cats in a sack constantly, and I always felt I DESERVED my own place. In the fourth grade my mom turned a kind ear to my rants on the subject, and turned the upstairs den into My Room. It didn’t last long as we moved shortly after. Also it was not ideal: there was a section of the wall that was open and overlooking the living room, and the bathroom that connected to the den also connected to the master bedroom. Still, it was my sanctuary and very important to me and she let me have it.

#9 Planning my graduation party -My mom gets excited about my graduation, my senior pictures, my awards ceremonies, things we all roll our eyes about when our mothers make a big deal out of our accomplishments. I never felt better, though, than at my Graduation/18th Birthday party when she decorated in entire room in a massive picture collage of me. My friends and relatives could not stop ladling attention on me! Her friends from church came, showing me with gifts, and the party even included a limo ride. I didn’t expect all that or deserve it.

#8 Ordering my cap and gown for my college graduation -I am nothing if not a procrastinator. I seem to have even more trouble when something needs to be taken care of. During my senior semester of school I was burdened with classes, job interviews, parties and socializing, and all those pesky details like ordering a cap and gown for graduation. I missed the first deadline by about a month; luckily for me so did half the senior class. They extended the deadline, but it was still hard for me to get on top of it. I gave her the information and she made sure I got it.

#7 Getting me my first job -I was so frustrated with my mother when she came back from the mall one day telling me she had talked to the owner of a candy store and might have found me a job. Looking back on it now, after job hunting on my own, I realized what an incredible hook-up that was. I got a job I stayed at for more than a year without having to sell myself, to look scared yet determined as I inquire to the store owner if he is hiring, all that. AND it was at a CANDY STORE.

#6 Bringing in barbeque chicken and southern style food for a class project -My honors English class in the tenth grade assigned a book for each of us to read and then present on one day in class. I moved to the school after the selections so I was assigned Absolam, Absolam! I don’t know how many of you have read Faulkner, but this is not the book to introduce you to him. There’s a streaming narrative, characters you can’t keep straight, especially if you put it off and have to read all 350 pages in three days. I had an entire class period to discuss a book I was clueless on. I sold my mom the idea of her making a barbecue meal for my class while I would come up with costumes for them all to get them in the “feel” of the book. It totally worked. I dressed them up, we feasted on food, and I had about 7 minutes to give the class an overall gist of the book (aided by my English teacher, who seemed to forget during her second plate of barbeque chicken that she should not have been helping me).

#5 Bribing the DMV -When I moved to Ohio I was sort of lost in the shuffle when it came to getting my license. I already had a learner’s permit, but Ohio law says you need to hold an Ohio permit for another six months and take Driver’s Ed. This was the worst news I could hear. She convinced the DMV to waive the six month waiting period and let me get my license upon completing Driver’s Ed. She brought in muffins to the DMV to seal the deal. That’s one cool lady.

#4 Bringing my cats to school for my speech on animals -I was new to the school and my speech teacher was a real piece of work. I knew having my cats there would be excessive but it would help distract from how nervous I was, and it meant a lot to me. I didn’t convey this to my mom, I just asked that she round them up, put them in carriers, bring them to school, take time out of her day, and deal with their disgruntlement at being caged and brought to a high school. I had no doubt she would do it, and neither did she.

#3 Helping me move out of college -I hate packing, and I was out of town right before graduation for Senior Week in Florida. As soon as we got back we had department parties, graduation speeches, etc. I came home at 3:00 am on graduation night instead of staying out with my friends because I had not finished packing. Instead of packing all night like I had planned, I fell asleep and woke up moments before my family was to arrive to move me out. Luckily they were a few hours late, but there was still so much to do. I had five roommates and all of them had moved out earlier. This left me to clean the entire place. My mom came in and took charge of the situation like only a mother could. She kept me upstairs packing while my siblings carried my stuff to the car; she packed my entire kitchen and cleaned it for me, and stayed the course until my four hours of work became less than two.

#2 Anytime she ever brought me anything ever -One of the benefits of my mother staying at home for our childhood, or working part time at our church, was that she was always accessible. Anytime I was sick she could come get me. More importantly, she brought me things I forgot. I would say a low estimate of how often she bailed me out would be eighty-seven times. Permission slips, lunch money, homework, my red shirt for our talent show line dance—whatever it was, she was a super hero in saving my life. She was never reproachful for my forgetfulness. She never chided me that this would be the last time she helped me out, or even told me I needed to be more responsible. It was a safety net that I routinely benefited from.

#1 Sharing her car with me ever since I could drive -Not every teenager gets a car from their parents when they start driving, and I knew I didn’t have the money to buy my own. There was still plenty of room to feel relative deprivation however, as most of my friends had their own car. She gave me a key to her car and told me we could share it. I got to drive to school just about every day and go wherever I needed or wanted, while she bummed a ride from my dad and did without. I never really showed my gratitude to her, especially considering the fits I threw whenever I couldn’t drive, but this was a big sacrifice on her part. It gave me autonomy and freedom. It gave me and my sister a time to bond, just us kids going to school each day. It gave me friends (when you have a car, you are beloved). Thanks, mom.

Little Known Facts about my Mother

Tomorrow is my mom's actual birthday, but she likes to say you celebrate a birthday week, not just one day, so I thought I'd get things rolling by revealing the ten most little-known facts about my mom:

#10 You know that Bon Jovi song Shot Through the Heart? She's playing rhythm guitar in the video.

#9 She and her three sisters were the original Marx Brothers.

#8 Mom once beat Gary Player in a Skins game in South Africa (though in fairness to Gary, she was playing from the Ladies' Tees).

#7 You know that 1 out of 5 Dentists who refuses to chew Trident? Brainwashed by my mother.

#6 Every time you hear "Girl from Ipanema" in an elevator? It's always her playing it.

#5 She once killed the president of Paraguay with a Spork.

#4 Mom invented the Internet.

#3 She owns 324 pianos, 503 giraffes, and 36, 412 snowmen. (But she always wants one more.)

#2 At night Mom dresses up in a patriotic leotard (with cape!) and thigh-high boots to fight crime.

and the number one little-known "fact" about my mom.....

#1 Along with Stephanie Powers and Mary Tyler Moore, one of the co-founders of the North American Academy of Ninjas. Yes, that's right: Mom's a Ninja, so watch your step when you hate on me.

up next: more of my mother

Another Birthday Wish

Gracie had a birthday yesterday too, but I didn’t want her to be shortchanged, so I gave her Thursday all to herself.

I met “Gracie” up at Denny’s. She’s quiet, almost shy…the type of girl where you might be led to think she doesn’t have a whole lot to say. Then you get to know her…and wow. There have been nights when I came home from writing and couldn’t get something she said to me out of my head. I’d chew on it for days.

#10 She has nice shoes – I only included this because it was Gracie’s contribution, but the more I think about it, the more it is a nice quality. Gracie always looks her best, but not in a Madison Avenue fashionista way or some kind of Club-whore. It’s a refined look, but beautiful in the sophistication. Last night her hair was all curly and she had this cool shirt on; Gracie always has clothes on I never see on anyone else. I like a woman with her own sense of style and who can look nice without it being ostentatious.

#9 She’s quick to pick up on a running Joke – Gracie will clue in on some inside joke and take up the reins without asking. That kind of timing is indeed rare.

#8 Positive Snarkiness – Gracie has a sense of humor that runs like an undercurrent beneath the waves. If you’re not looking for it you might miss it. However, when it does come out, there’s a sharpness to the wit and always catches me by surprise, in a good way.

#7 Compassionate Healer – Gracie’s profession is massage, but it goes deeper than that. She obviously cares about the well-being of those around her, and her willingness to help in anyway she can is obvious.

#6 Cultivated Perception – Gracie understands people. And when she doesn’t, she goes out of her way, makes a true effort to do so. That kind of empathy is hard to come by these days.

#5 Antithesis of Narcissism – We live in such a “me” world, but Gracie seems to leapfrog that. She’s not self-effacing, just interested in other people, and very non ego-centric.

#4 A Joy at the little things – I didn’t have my normal bag (which always has gifts), so when I found out it was her birthday all I could find was this hard square piece of foam that’s meant to hold the integrity of the pocket. I gave it to Gracie and she started playing with it, her face positively lighting up when she found out she could make the foam fly if she pressed down on just the right spot. That kind of contentment in small matters is a treasured trait, to me.

#3 Values the Continuity of Relationships – Many people look at relationships like strip-mining; getting what they can out of the people and then moving on. Gracie looks at it more like sustainable growth. Whether it be with family or friends, being connected with Gracie becomes a life-long event.

#2 Embracing the Spectrum – Gracie is one of the least affected people I've ever met when it comes the full spectrum of human emotions. So many people are afraid of the darkness, somehow thinking it makes them bad or evil to even acknowledge them. Gracie embraces the idea that with Joy comes sadness, with kindness comes cruelty. I think that she understands these emotions are part of us makes her less likely to be those things to other people. (Hyperion wrote about this a little bit in #279 The Beauty of Sadness.)

#1 She expects good things – Saying someone is positive might seem like not a big deal, but it so is. How many people do you run across (perhaps even in the mirror?) who just expect bad things to happen. They almost seem happier at the misfortune; it’s like they crave the pain. Gracie has figured out a way around that. I asked her if the last year of her life had been the best, and she wasn’t sure, saying it had been very positive, but there were so many great years. I asked her to make a top ten of her best years, and she said she didn’t know if she could, not because she couldn’t come up with ten years (that would be most people), but because there had been so many great years, how could she choose? That kind of openness doesn’t just come from luck or personality. We have to look to see the positive in our lives—it’s there, but we often try to ignore it. That Gracie doesn’t says so much about her. In this way above all others, I wish I could be more like her.

A big Bear Hug

Today is the birthday of a couple of friends. I wanted to take the time to highlight their best qualities.

First up is my friend Bear, well-known to the Hyperion Nation. Bear has appeared in numerous columns, and is a contributor to Monkey Barn. I thought of all his good qualities and came up with Some of them were sort of synonyms, but I still had over 20, which meant paring it down was tough! But this is what I came up with:

#10 Capable of handling the ball – When Bear came up to visit me we went to church. We got separated, and I was a little anxious, wanting to make sure he was comfortable. Silly me. I looked over to see Bear doing just fine. I’m not saying it’s a bad trait if people are too shy or not confident or whatever to handle a social situation without holding their hand, but it’s so nice to know that whatever situation we came into Bear was going to do just fine by himself (which left me free to pursue the honeys, and that’s a friend).

#9 His family – Technically his family didn’t spring up from him, but Bear likes to point out they wouldn’t be nearly so great without his positive influence in their lives. Bear’s mom and dad have always accepted me into their home like a surrogate brother, which is comforting. And, his mom would always offer me something to drink (one thing Bear himself can’t quite seem to learn. He always says that once you’re family you get your own drink. Hater.) Bear’s dad was in our Fantasy Football League, and was a lot of fun. He took all the good-natured ribbing with grace (the first year he was a bit….green), and was pretty cool about the message board, which with a lot of guys can get…well, you know. Then there’s Bear’s twin brother Mandela (who, in a strange coincidence, shares a birthday). Obviously as a twin the two are tight, but Mandela has never been territorial or uppity about Bear having other friends outside their circle. He’s one cool dude himself. Bear also has twin sisters…..but I better quit right there. I can take Bear, but if he gangs up with Mandela and Papa Bear….let’s just say I didn’t just hang out at Bear’s house for the stimulating conversation and great food. Wowsa.

#8 Generosity – This covers so many areas. For example, you know those friends you go to dinner with, and then you cringe when the bill comes, worried they’re going to leave some crappy tip, which is a reflection on you? I love being out with Bear, knowing he’s going to treat the staff well. This generosity extends to other areas. There have been times when I needed a loan, and there was never any question from Bear. Or if I’m short on cash, he wouldn’t hesitate to pick up dinner. Of course, generosity goes to more than money. It also includes time. One time I needed Bear to cash a check for me, and on the way he got a flat tire. It was a huge ordeal for him, but after dealing with it he still came all the way over across town to help me out. That’s generous.

#7 Quick to play along – We can be at a restaurant, or just hanging with friends and family, and I’ll start in on one of my complicated jokes, and Bear will instantly play along, riffing right alongside of me. He gets it, and doesn’t need a nudge to jump right in. With my sense of humor it’s tough to find a comedic partner, and to have someone who can so effortlessly get involved—even after months apart—is a special thing.

#6 Dependable – So many people in this world are flakes, I can’t even exclude them from my life (there’d be no one left). But it’s nice to know you can count on someone. When Bear tells you he’ll do something, he’ll do it. When he tells you he’ll be there, he’ll be there. It’s a comforting thing, knowing there’s one fewer person to worry about.

#5 Positivity – I’m not saying he’s a pollyana, but Bear is a positive person, which is ten times better than being a negative person. How many of your friends are just negative, tearing down any idea you come up with, finding fault, assuming the worst. It gets old, you know? I mean, he has his bad days, but he tries not to get down about it, and I’m telling you, it’s a lot more fun to be around a positive person than a negative person.

#4 Adventurous – Bear has uprooted his life on several occasions to do something completely different. I like that spirit. He’s up for good ideas, whether it’s a road trip or a good game of Trivial Pursuit. He’s changed careers more than once, and doesn’t let the nay-sayers get him down.

#3 Interested in Things – You know me; I’m a fountain of knowledge, and I get passionate about new stuff I’ve learned. Sadly, very few people in my sphere care about it. They don’t want to learn, to make the effort. Bear is always interested in new things. They don’t scare him. He’s like a sponge, wanting to soak up as much knowledge as possible. That’s such a great trait.

#2 Enthusiastic Support - Bear is a realist, pragmatic even (which was #11 when I set up my list), but he’s still supportive of great ideas. I love running new stuff by him, getting his take. I know I’ll get thoughtful analysis, including possible pratfalls, but I also know he won’t criticize the idea out of hand or be negative. Many of my accomplishments have been achieved with his help, or at least knowing he was supportive and behind me. Good stuff.

#1 He can go toe to toe – I love sitting around and discussing new ideas, but it’s hard to find people who are willing or even capable of slugging it out on a high level. Not Bear. He’s always up for a good debate. What’s better; while he has definite ideas and beliefs, he’s not so stuck to them that he’s unwilling or unable to be convinced otherwise. I don’t mind someone convincing me I’m wrong, but it can be very frustrating not to have someone just as willing. I know not a lot of people care about discussing the great ideas of society, but I do, and I love that he does too.

There you go. Happy Birthday big guy. I don’t want to short-change my other friend, so I’ll save her for tomorrow.

Julia Roberts

I am most definitely NOT a Julia Roberts fan. In fact, one of my favorite jokes goes, “Julia Roberts walks into a bar, and the bartender says, ‘Why the long face?’” To me she’s not sexy, doesn’t have a great deal of range, and her angry look just gets old.

So I didn’t think she even had ten good performances. However, in an effort to be fair and noble, I looked over her roles and actually found ten that I liked.

Julia Roberts movies I haven’t seen (and so can’t put on the list): Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolias, Flatliners, Dying Young, Mary Reilly, Michael Collins, Runaway Bride, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Mona Lisa Smiles


#10 The Mexican - She's pissy and needy, but I like the interaction with James Gandolfini

#9 Ocean's Eleven - Actually, the more I think about this one the more I hate her performance, but I don't feel like doing more research, so I’ll leave it on the list

#9 (Actual) Closer – Though I don’t like this movie, I do like Julia all nasty. She’s not that great at it, but at least she tries.

#8 Sleeping With The Enemy – I Julia left me I’d party, but I like her wounded innocence

(even in a slinky black dress, the sight of Julia makes Hyperion yearn for some Brokeback Mountain-time)

#7 Ready To Wear – Sweet and goofy, and she and Tim Robbins have great chemistry

#6 The Pelican Brief – She’s absolutely clueless, even if you buy that she’s the only one who could figure out the connection. The scene where she takes that guy’s hand right before he gets shot? Good times.

#5 Hook – I prefer jealous Julia in this film than her bitch in MBFW

#4 Everyone Says I Love you – Julia sings! She does leave Woody Allen, though, so that sucks.

#3 I Love Trouble – I’m almost ashamed to like this movie, but why can’t Hollywood make more old-fashioned movies like this, with witty banter and man vs. woman.

#2 Pretty Woman – I get pissed at this movie for glamorizing prostitution, but even I have to admit that Julia has a charm, an innocence, and dare I say it (if you repeat this I’ll deny it) a sexiness? At least from that piano scene. Hell, I even like her singing Prince in the tub. What can I say?

#1 Erin Brockovich – I remember seeing this with my dad, right before dinner at Carrabba’s (sniff sniff), and we both agreed that it was Julia’s best performance ever. (And it’s not just the push-up bra, which his itself one of the best inanimate objects in history.) Julia is crass, rude, straight-forward, and from what I can tell, gets the real Erin Brockovich dead on. And while I’d have given the Oscar that year to either girl from Crouching Tiger, they weren’t even nominated, so I can’t get too mad Julia won one.

Up next: Something Valentinsey

Peruse my Picks (Pretty Please)

I’m not sure how this came up, but for some reason Dragon and I started listing the best of the Double P names. Before long we had enough for a good and bad list, and here you go:

Honorable Mention: Paula Poundstone – I enjoy her comedy, but the cloud with the child abuse scandal is hard to ignore. My understanding is she was cleared, but until I know the whole story I can’t put her in any category.

Top Five Bad “PPs”

#5 Peter Pettigrew and Pansy Parkinson – One wonders if ol’ J.K. had a run in with a P.P.

#4 Pontius Pilate – One could argue that without him you’d all be going to hell, but I mostly object to his O/C complex about hygiene

#3 Peter Peter (Pumpkin Eater) – Anyone else think his name is a sly metaphor? Well, regardless, it’s just another case of the Man trying to keep womenfolk down. Or in this case, in. Plus, now I have that stupid piano song stuck in my head. (And if you’re still not sure, check this out.)

#2 Pied Piper – I plan to write an entire story about this dude one day. He just gives me the creeps.

#1 Pol Pot – Sure he killed millions of his own people and gave “red” a bad name, but he takes a nice B/W photo, eh?

Top Ten Good “PPs”

#10 Power Puff (Girls) – I know nothing about them except that it’s a good way to talk to ten year old girls (at least according to Koz)

#9 Piper Perabo – I’ve liked her since COYOTE WILD (and you should have seen some of the choices on Google Images for her. Yowza.)

#8 Pink Panther – He don’t talk much, but he sells a mean piece of insulation.

#7 Peter Parker – To this day it upsets me that no one has made a “he flicks his wrist and white goo appears” joke.

#6 Parker Posey – For a while in the ‘90s it was the law that you couldn’t make an independent film without her. I’m in favor of that.

#5 Peter Piper – Dancing peppers….maybe they are “magic” peppers, if you know what I mean.

#4 Pablo Picasso – I was going to put him in the “bad” list for be a legendary “user” of women, but then I remembered chicks like that.

#3 Peppermint Patty – Does anyone else think Marcy was gay for her? Nonetheless, I liked this broad. I’d like to see her pop up randomly on other cartoons without a hint of explanation.

#2 Peter Pan – The best of the Peters, which is saying something. Tink got awfully jealous. Hmmm….

And the number one PP is…..

#1 Porky Pig – Let’s be honest: I end with him for basically one reason….

That’s all, Folks!


In conjunction with Monkey Barn's big Super Bowl Party Recipe Extravaganza (SBPRE), I wanted to do a football related top ten list. However, it was a lot harder than I thought. Still, I came up with a few gems. Feel free to print them out and then impress your friends with your arcane knowledge. Chicks love that stuff.


#10 Most football players are temperamental. That's 90 percent temper and 10 percent mental. ~Doug Plank

#9 You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four. ~Dan Birdwell

#8 Politics is like football; if you see daylight, go through the hole.
John F. Kennedy [Didn't this describe his entire life?]

#7 The reason women don't play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public. ~Phyllis Diller

#6 If you're mad at your kid, you can either raise him to be a nose tackle or send him out to play on the freeway. It's about the same. ~Bob Golic

#5 When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team. ~George Raveling

#4 The American people are sheep. They're comfortable, rich, working. It's like the Romans, they're happy with bread and their spectator sports. The Super Bowl means more to them than any right. - Jack Kevorkian

#3 Men are clinging to football on a level we aren't even aware of. For centuries, we ruled everything, and now, in the last ten minutes, there are all these incursions by women. It's our Alamo. ~Tony Kornheiser

#2 Watching football is like watching pornography. There's plenty of action, and I can't take my eyes off it, but when it's over, I wonder why the hell I spent an afternoon doing it. ~Luke Salisbury

And our #1 football quote involves a quarterback explaining how Ned Flanders led him to the Lord....

#1 An athlete : Ned Flanders here showed me that there is more to playing football and sleeping with lingerie models.
Homer [murmuring] : Professional athletes! Always wanting more.

I expect you to use that some time during the big game! Enjoy the recipes and your weekend.