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Love those unscripted Oscar moments!

Gosh that was a boring Oscar telecast. Turned it off before it was over. Sorry to disagree with my friend Hank: This one stunk. They're usually disappointing and tedious, to be sure, but the production numbers and montages didn't do much for me, the double-emcee format slowed the pace, all the winners were predictable, and everything felt a little flat. Or was that just me, in my post-vacation daze?

All Oscar telecasts are required to have unscripted moments. This one had just the one, when my former Miami Herald colleague Elinor Burkett, the producer of the short documentary Music By Prudence, interrupted the director's acceptance speech and launched into an incomprehensible speech of her own. I had no idea what she was saying, but I'm sure whatever it was made perfect sense to her. Much bad blood between Burkett and director Roger Ross Williams, we later discover. She claims that, when the winner was announced, Williams' 87-year-old mother tried to block her with a cane, and he outran her to the stage. That's what we're talking about when we refer to "unscripted moments."

Here's what Burkett told Salon:

"What happened was, the director and I had a bad difference over the direction of the film that resulted in a lawsuit that has settled amicably out of court.

"But there have been all these events around the Oscars, and I wasn't invited to any of them. And he's not speaking to me. So we weren't even able to discuss ahead of the time who would be the one person allowed to speak if we won.

"And then, as I'm sure you saw, when we won, he raced up there to accept the award. And his mother took her cane and blocked me, so I couldn't get up there very fast."


From the boodle this morning, here's kguy [formerly kurosawaguy] with an homage to the Victor Flemings of the world:

I flipped by and saw Bigelow win and win again. Skipped the rest. This is very good for her because she'll get funding to make more films. More good ones.

So many of these folks can't seem to identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

Cameron writes only slightly better than George Lucas, but he keeps writing his own stuff anyway. And the problem with his films is always always the writing.

Sandra Bullock can act, but she picks bad scripts. Maybe that will change now and she won't feel she has to do dreck like Miss Congeniality and All About Steve to keep her career going.

Clooney makes everything look so easy that no one thinks he's working, sort of the Robert Redford syndrome. Maybe if he played an addict or some sort of Bad Lieutenant (Harvey Keitel version) type of creepy character, he'd get some respect. After all, it worked for Denzel.

Then there's Tarantino. IMHO the best thing he's done was Jackie Brown. Why? He took a good story by Elmore Leonard (one of my faves) and he stuck close to the original. Tarantino can write for sure, but he is so wrapped up in his grindhouse fanboy shoot-em-up chop socky mentality that he doesn't seem to ever go beyond that comfort zone. I'd love to see him direct a Jane Austen film. I'd love to see Spike Lee direct a Hemingway biopic. So many of these folks have talent but are not encouraged by the system to expand their range.

Victor Fleming was a Hollywood director in the middle of the last century. Here's a portion of his filmography covering the 20 years 1929-1949-

Joan of Arc (1948)

A Guy Named Joe (1943)

Tortilla Flat (1942)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Gone with the Wind (1939)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Great Waltz (1938) (uncredited)

Test Pilot (1938)

Captains Courageous (1937)

The Good Earth (1937) (uncredited)

The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935)

Treasure Island (1934)

Bombshell (1933) (uncredited)

Red Dust (1932) (uncredited)

Renegades (1930)

The Virginian (1929)

And what do we see? Epics, westerns, biopics, fantasy films, romantic comedies. foreign legion adventures, bodice ripping potboilers, and Spencer Tracy as a Portuguese fisherman. Fleming could do all these things because he was a professional and because he was not concerned with picking and choosing projects, he was concerned with doing the job.

Kguy, doesn't Spielberg cite Fleming as an inspiration?

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 8, 2010; 9:04 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Oscar! Oscar!
Next: Bad to the bone in Miami


We sort of half-watched the show for a while last night, mostly becuase there was virtually NOTHING ELSE ON. I agree - the whole thing dragged, the hosts didn't work well, the jokes were mostly flat, and the one production number we saw (dancing to music themes) had nothing going for it. I'm just going to read about it in the paper next year (assuming we still have a paper).

Posted by: ebtnut | March 8, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow. That's really petty and mean.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Burkett should have taken the hint and not opened her mouth. Her incoherent and rude behavior on live TV did her no favors.

Posted by: simpleton1 | March 8, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

JA thanks for saying what I was thinking. It was indeed the Most Boring Awards show ever. The segment where the one-time co-workers of Nominees personally vouched for their award-worthiness was ludicrous.

Posted by: msew | March 8, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

I read a bit and talked with friends on the phone last night. It was very cozy and rewarding.

Was there something on the telly that I was supposed to have seen? It sounds like a group of "too much attention is never enough" people decided to pat themselves on the back live and in color.

That's their life. It isn't mine. When I pat myself on the back I do not expect them to put their lives on hold to watch.

Dear Mr. A, I would much prefer hearing about your vacation or the NASA budget than celebrity comings and goings.

Carry on, y'all. Someone let me know when we're done with the Oscar postmortems.

Posted by: MsJS | March 8, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The "Oscar Moments" picture gallery on the front page notes that Kathryn Bigelow accepted the Mest Picture Oscar.

No, I did not commit a typo when I typed that.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

MsJS....But, maybe if you were wearing a backless gown with awesomely ugly designs and could dislocate your shoulder to do it... we SHOULD put our lives on hold and watch you pat your back?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

My feeling about the Burkett thing is that if you're a journalist -- not a Hollywood person -- and you get a chance to get up there and say something, you HAVE to do it right and represent for all the other little people who tap at a keyboard. And the guy Mark Boal was great -- perfect. He's the screenwriter for Hurt Locker (original screenplay). And Burkett -- well ... you saw it. And if you didn't see it, you can find it on YouTube. Maybe it wasn't as awful as I thought. But I doubt it.

Posted by: joelache | March 8, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, s_denizen, for informing us that the Kit had changed--around 10 a.m. Here I am going on about Colin Firth's incredible preformance in "A Single Man" at the end of the last Kit. Not to mention Heilemann and Halperin. *l*

Posted by: laloomis | March 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of people who tap at a keybord, does anyone remember exactly Robert Downey Jr.'s remark about people, moles, who tap at keybords? Said in jest...

Posted by: laloomis | March 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I flipped by and saw Bigelow win and win again. Skipped the rest. This is very good for her because she'll get funding to make more films. More good ones.

So many of these folks can't seem to identify their own strengths and weaknesses.

Cameron writes only slightly better than George Lucas, but he keeps writing his own stuff anyway. And the problem with his films is always always the writing.

Sandra Bullock can act, but she picks bad scripts. Maybe that will change now and she won't feel she has to do dreck like Miss Congeniality and All About Steve to keep her career going.

Clooney makes everything look so easy that no one thinks he's working, sort of the Robert Redford syndrome. Maybe if he played an addict or some sort of Bad Lieutenant (Harvey Keitel version) type of creepy character, he'd get some respect. After all, it worked for Denzel.

Then there's Tarantino. IMHO the best thing he's done was Jackie Brown. Why? He took a good story by Elmore Leonard (one of my faves) and he stuck close to the original. Tarantino can write for sure, but he is so wrapped up in his grindhouse fanboy shoot-em-up chop socky mentality that he doesn't seem to ever go beyond that comfort zone. I'd love to see him direct a Jane Austen film. I'd love to see Spike Lee direct a Hemingway biopic. So many of these folks have talent but are not encouraged by the system to expand their range.

Victor Fleming was a Hollywood director in the middle of the last century. Here's a portion of his filmography covering the 20 years 1929-1949-

Joan of Arc (1948)
A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Tortilla Flat (1942)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Great Waltz (1938) (uncredited)
Test Pilot (1938)
Captains Courageous (1937)
The Good Earth (1937) (uncredited)
The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935)
Treasure Island (1934)
Bombshell (1933) (uncredited)
Red Dust (1932) (uncredited)
Renegades (1930)
The Virginian (1929)

And what do we see? Epics, westerns, biopics, fantasy films, romantic comedies. foreign legion adventures, bodice ripping potboilers, and Spencer Tracy as a Portuguese fisherman. Fleming could do all these things because he was a professional and because he was not concerned with picking and choosing projects, he was concerned with doing the job.

Posted by: kguy1 | March 8, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

But MsJS, we all know that what Joel does on vacation must *stay* on vacation.

Regarding the Oscars, I didn't think they were *that* bad, but then I went to bed less than half way through.

The thing about the Academy Awards, I guess, is that they are trying to do at least three different things that are often mutually exclusive.

First, of course, they are giving out awards. And as anyone who has sat through an award banquet knows, be it for your kids at school or coworkers at work, these things are tedious. As in sensory deprivation tedious. As in needing to work really hard to suppress the desire to stand up and scream "Please for the love of all that is holy make it stop!!"

Of course, that last bit might just be me.

The point is, award banquets are dull by nature. Especially if everyone is well behaved.

Second, this program is one great big advertisement for movies that still have considerable earning potential. Hence the clips and chitchat. But just like those endless previews they show in theaters, this can get a bit boring. (Especially since Don LaFontaine isn't with us anymore to say "In a world..")

Finally, this show is a Gala Celebration of Hollywood and the Beautiful People Who Work in the Magical Business of Film. Hence the production numbers, superfluous honors, and reaction shots.

Perhaps predictably, the first and last functions are becoming outsourced. The number of awards actually shown is shrinking, as is the length of the speeches. Instead we have pre-award events and that "thankyou cam" in the back.

And, as we all know, much of the celebrity gawking is occurring on the red carpet before the ceremonies, or at the parties afterwards.

Which leaves the advertising for films. In other words the show itself is increasingly becoming a de-facto infomercial. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But I think they need to be honest about it, if only in the interest of time. If it hadn't been for his unfortunate death, I suspect the Academy Awards would one day be hosted by Billy Mays.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 8, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

You actually watched it?



Posted by: jamshark70 | March 8, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The really awkward thing about the Burkett interruption is that most people, I assert, didn't know who this person was. It just seemed like some random crazy lady who butted in and said a lot of stuff that was hard to follow.


Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 8, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice to see you explain the director's pov. Mr. Williams told Salon: “Only one person is allowed to accept the award. I was the director, and she was removed from the project nearly a year ago, but she was able to still qualify as a producer."
As a woman and feminist I was outright disgusted by her behavior. That had NOTHING to do with being a feminist and everything to do with a seriously flawed and crude psyche. She was out of line, obnoxious, embarrassing and frankly I can't imagine anyone ever opting to work with her on a project ever. Short version, UGH! What a self serving shmuck.

Posted by: cometzbb | March 8, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Mr. A, I offer the possibility that it's your expectations of what you wanted her to do as a fellow journalist that we're talking about here.

Unless she was specifically encouraged or advised to "represent for all the other little people who tap at a keyboard" in her acceptance speech by fellow journalists and consciously chose to blow y'all off, she represented no one but herself as producer on the stage.

I do not defend her behavior, but rather gently suggest that maybe the journalist community, of which you are a valued member, is being a bit oversensitive about it.

Wilbrod, as a wheelie, a backless number would be wasted on me. And I have marvelously limber shoulders so patting myself on the back has always been a breeze. I still don't expect anyone to stop their lives to watch.

*sending cheery thoughts about each of you to the boodle whilst foraging for more coffee*

Posted by: MsJS | March 8, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

RD, actual awards banquets are only bearable where alcohol is served. If enough alcohol is consumed generally, one may witness fascinating unscripted moments, off-dias and on.

I agree with your assessment of the show: trying to be many things, it succeeds at none. It does, however, provide a great venue for fancy dress. There aren't enough of those any more, and I think we should applaud the Academy for their efforts to provide a yearly fashion showcase.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 8, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

That was an awkward moment when Burkett came up. Had no idea what was going on.

I think it helps to drink or at least have a festive party of your own while watching. And of course it's one big ad for the movies nominated, and movies in general. I think having all the other award shows televised now takes the surprise out of the Oscars, at least it did this year.

kguy, thanks for your take. I suppose the studio system back then had something to do with the variety of movies Fleming directed.

Posted by: seasea1 | March 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I saw much of the thing, unlike my usual plan to just see who won next day. When Steve Martin fails, it's bad.

Here's an interesting mission to Phobos that may not get much U.S. coverage even if it launches on schedule: not invented here.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I had no idea who that woman was and thought she was rude. Whatever her position, she did herself no favors.

Posted by: Fan035 | March 8, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Except for the caning by Granny, it doesn't sound like I missed much. I'm so glad that I passed my time getting some much needed sleep.

Posted by: JoStalin | March 8, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I went to bed pretty early but then followed the Oscars action on Twitter. It was funny to see what folks were reacting to immediately.

Like apparently some costume woman said in her acceptance speech that she already had two Oscars?

Within a matter of seconds, these Tweets appeared in my timeline...

Wait, that British costume designer said, "I already have two of these," meaning Oscars? F*#& you!!!

"Well, I already have TWO of these..." Really, lady? Don't worry about appearing greedy worry about appearing "nanh-nanh-nah-nanh-y"

"I already have two of these." Damn, b!tch. You had me with that dress, but like... Rude?

wow... really, costume lady?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. I felt I was enjoying a little light entertainment that I don't need to get all high-minded about. I enjoyed looking at the fashion, and that bizarre Burkett moment was great. I didn't have high expectations, so felt no disappointment. And hey, Helen Mirren was in the room!

Posted by: Yoki | March 8, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yep. The costume design lady commenting that she already had two of these was a poor choice. Made her look ungrateful and somehow above it all.

Posted by: Hillman1 | March 8, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

MSJs, ask MrJs if his eyes think if a backless number would be wasted on you.

Sometimes it's about having the right audience, really.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of a clueless woman who maybe should think before she speaks...

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

For anybody interested, online guestbook for my brother is here.

Posted by: Yoki | March 8, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The NYT Arts section is calling this a Kanye moment.

I went to bed halfway through; I watched to make sense of Boodle commentary. Seems they could use some of our ideas to make it more interesting. How about AI type public voting next to the Academy's? Maybe a dance off?

Posted by: -dbG- | March 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod, MrJS is always my right audience. His eyes are the best. Always.

Posted by: MsJS | March 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps costume lady meant that The Academy should expend some of its beneficence on other souls not yet so lucky as herself.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Accidental timing, Yoki. I care far less about the Awards than I do about you.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 8, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Yoki. I consider it an honor.

Posted by: MsJS | March 8, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Kguy, thanks for the great comment -- I've added it to the kit.

Posted by: joelache | March 8, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Whatever her excuse, Ms. Burkett made a fool of herself on nationwide (worldwide?) TV, that's a huge punishment in my opinion. When I first saw her, I was waiting for security to come take her away - wish they had!

Posted by: badsneakers | March 8, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, absolutely the studio system had a great deal to do with everybody's career in that period. Ford did westerns. Cukor did women's pictures. Minelli did musicals. Curtiz did swashbucklers. Fleming was a fixer. He got called in to get 'er done. Hence he got his name on GWTW and Oz both in the same year.

My point, if I had one, was that present day film production is so devoid of originality, so prone to remakes and sequels, etc. because the studio heads and the money men and women who have a say in what gets made and what does not are almost exclusively interested in $$$$$$$$$$. They in turn are constantly trying to package creativity, and way way too often the creative folks go along. Why are there 3 Matrix films? Not because the Wachowskis had anything more to say after the first one. Warners told them that they could have 10% of all the money in the universe if they made two sequels and they said "Uh, sure!"

Posted by: kguy1 | March 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Kguy, I know your point about Victor Fleming was mainly about a journeyman director who could handle just about anything. But look at the source material they gave him! Out of 16 movies, three Nobel laureates, plus two classics by Robt. Louis Stevenson, plus classics by Maxwell Anderson, Frank Baum, and Owen Wister. That’s eight classics right there out of 16. Then look at the screenwriters he got:

Joan of Arc (1948)—based on Maxwell Anderson’s play, and his screenplay

A Guy Named Joe – Dalton Trumbo (one of the greatest screenwriters ever; one of the top 3? 5?)

Tortilla Flat – Steinbeck’s novel; John Lee Mahin’s screenplay

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)-- Robt. Louis Stevenson; John Lee Mahin plus two uncredited writers nominated for Oscar for adapation

Gone with the Wind —screenplay: Sidney Howard, credited, with uncredited contributions by Ben Hecht, Oliver Garrett, Jo Swerling, John Van Druten

The Wizard of Oz writing credits: L. Frank Baum’s novel, then Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Alan Woolf, but then look at the uncredited writers: Irving Brecher, William Cannon, Herbert Fields, Arthur freed, Jack Haley (actor: Tin Man), E.Y. Harburg (songwriter; he and Harold Arlen won the Oscar for Best Music), Samuel Hoffenstein, Bert Lahr (actor: Cowardly Lion), John Lee Mahin, Herman Mankiewicz (boy genuius, won the Oscar for writing Citizen Cane, FCOL), Jack Mintz, Sid Silvers.

The Great Waltz --Sam Hoffenstein (who was uncredited above in the WoOz, and uncredited for Jekyll, above, and also wrote the earlier 1931 Jekyll)

Test Pilot – Vincent Lawrence, credited; Howard Hawks, uncredited, plus John Lee Mahin (see WofOz), and Waldemar Young, based on the memoir by a *real* test pilot, Navy. Lt. Cmdr. Frank “Spig” Wead, who became a screenwriter who wrote 35 screenplays including “They Were Expendable.”

Captains Courageous (1937) Kipling; screenwriters John Lee Mahin (see above), Marc Connelly (Pulitzer for play “The Green Pastures”), and Dale Van Every

The Good Earth (1937) (uncredited) Pearl Buck

The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935)—the aforesaid Marc Connelly

Treasure Island (1934)—Robt. Louis Stevenson; John Lee Mahin (see above) with uncredited assist by John Howard Lawson (blacklisted Hollywood 10, #2 Communist in Hollywood cell, cofounder of the Writers Guild, and a great screenwriter, though thoroughly dark pink)

Bombshell (1933)—John Lee Mahin and Jules Furthman

Red Dust (1932) Screenwriter: guess who? John Lee Mahin

Renegades (1930)—Jules Furthman (ex-ink-stained wretch, co-wrote screenplays for Mutiny on the Bounty, To Have and Have Not (with Faulkner), Rio Bravo, The Big Sleep, etc.)

The Virginian (1929)—Owen Wister’s famous novel

John Lee Mahin worked on screenplays of EIGHT of these 16 movies. He also worked on or wrote entirely: North to Alaska, The Horse Soldiers, No Time for Sergeants, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, The Bad Seed, Elephant Walk, Mogambo, Quo Vadis, Show Boat, The Yearling

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 8, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, a comment added to the KIt! I.. I don't know what to say. Well first I'd like to thank Joel and the Washington Post for making this all possible. Then of course there is my lovely wife Dr. Kguy and my dear daughter Kurosawachick- couldn't have done it without you guys. And I must thank my parents who took me to the movies as a kid, and my great idol Akira Kurosawa who has inspired countless other comments on my part. And I cannot forget to thank...

Posted by: kguy1 | March 8, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

*Orchestra playing LOUDLY...*

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

kguy --


Posted by: -ftb- | March 8, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Saw this in comments on CNN:

According to Daily Variety, Burkett and Williams jointly won and shared the Award: Winner: "Music by Prudence" --An iThemba Production; Roger Ross williAms and Elinor Burkett.

If true, while she came off badly, I think those who tried to deny her recognition look even worse. I'd love to see footage of the mother's cAne move.

Posted by: -dbG- | March 8, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, thank you for the link to the online book of condolences. Mine is there.

Posted by: -ftb- | March 8, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Huh. Glenn Beck says he takes Vyvance
which Wiki says is basically Dexedrine.

Claims he has ADD.

This explains so much.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, your point segues into another of my many Hollywood hobby horses- 75 years ago major motion pictures were drawn from classic literature. Today they come from comic books.

And now I must return to expressing my gratitude to the many who have contributed so much to this moment. Thanks to Apple for making this fine machine, and to my boss for allowing me to use it to comment, to Pepco for virtually uninterrupted electrical service, to my dog Mick for his ultra-canine love and devotion, and...

Posted by: kguy1 | March 8, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Sandra Bullock was the first person to ever win both an Oscar and a Razzie in the same year.

At least they were for different performances.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 8, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So did Ayn Rand. I'm starting to see a pattern.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Pity her? She sounds sociopathic to me, same as when I first heard about her. No thanks.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I believe Sandra Bullock was the first person to ever win both an Oscar and a Razzie in the same WEEKEND, as well.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't implying that, Wilbrod. (Unless you were actually refusing to pity Sandra Bullock, the non-sociopath.)

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Razzies as well as the Independent Spirit Awards (big winners: Precious and Crazy Hearts) are always held Oscar Weekend. Kinda like the Slam Dunk Contest and the NBA All Star Game.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 8, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Oscars for flicks for grown-ups 'stead of 14 year old boys!? boring!

Too little boom-boom. Too few limbs blowing off. Too little blood spewing! Too much diaglogue like Real People talk.

You reviewers all 16 years old or what? Of course you can be 16 mentally but about 35 as the crow flies, y'know?

Posted by: mftill | March 8, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Is it just on my screen, or does it -still- say on the WaPo Opinions page that the Ombudsman will be returning March 1?

*checking calendar again*

Hey, Mr. A made the front page again.

mftill, I have to confess your 2:11 post is the youngest (mentally speaking) I've read all day. But take heart. There is still a lot of daylight left and someone may roll by with less to say than you.

Posted by: MsJS | March 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

More on Victor Fleming here:

Posted by: joelache | March 8, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Bob S., hearkening back to a past kit-- this may be a good reason why marriage shouldn't be contractual.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Wilbrod, I read that last week. Pretty depressing.

Posted by: bobsewell | March 8, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, the article you linked to was kind of "pity this nutso." I liked the point that "we all become weak," and how Ayn imploded on her ideas of her superiority.

But like I said, sociopath.

Sandra Bollock's doing fine, I believe.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

That she also did speed is just no surprise. How could she stand herself otherwise?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for telling the truth.

I couldn't last through the opening monologue (dialogue?).

Posted by: familynet | March 8, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It's one of my back-burner projects, logging amphetamine psychosis with particularly right-wing craziness. The talented writer Lester Bangs just called it "amphetamine fascism" and sort of took it for granted. The non-overlap cases tell a story too, I think. Jim Jones, David Koresh, didn't start out particularly right wing. In the part of the Venn diagram where others DO intersect, being amphetamine crazy AND right-wing, there's a LONG list.

Posted by: Jumper1 | March 8, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Yes, speed makes you feel like superman, narrows your focus, makes your thoughts a little less coherent, while making you more irritable and impatient with "weaknesses." Sounds... familiar.

I say you're onto something. Keep digging and write an article or a book on it.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Alec Baldwin's post today on the Huffington Post explains a bit about the show last night...

"Hosting the show is an odd experience because you're out there, but it isn't about you. Steve Martin and I worked rather hard, along with the writers and producers, to make sure our contribution did not detract from the primary purpose of the evening, honoring the highest achievements in film. We tell some jokes and show some clips, but the night belongs to the great talent in that room.

"...Here are some of the things I will remember about last night's Oscars..."

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

What's all this about the Oscars? Did I miss something yesterday while bathing the cat?

So, here's my solution to the mutually-exclusive aims problem: Make the broadcast longer. Much longer.

The problem is that the broadcast is too short to show the interesting part, the action, so all they have time for is the denouement. They have to get the action, the politicking and promising and backstabbing, on the screen.

Take the members of the Academy and their personal assistants and personal trainers, along with the casts and crews of the films, and put them in a cruise ship anchored somewhere off San Pedro. Toss in an assortment of agents and PR types, papparazzi, press, and hangers-on. Give them all cellphones with cameras. Put a bomb with a one-week timer in the hold of the ship and seal them all in on Monday before the awards. Get the editors from Lost or Survivor to edit down the day's video for a one-hour broadcast each evening. Give them Sunday evening starting at 6 for the final live broadcast - but the bomb can go off anytime between 6pm and 6am. Award winners get coptered back to shore; everyone else has to count on the lifeboats and personal flotation devices.

Now that's Entertainment.

Posted by: j2hess | March 8, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

'Speed makes you feel like Superman' sounds like the beginning of a tall tale about jumping out windows trying to fly.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 8, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Hi LiT! Forget to mention this morning that Daughter and her friend ALSO made ice-cream-cone cupcakes yesterday! With sprinkles!

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

DC's had sprinkles too! Well, some of them. Some had choc chips, some had sprinkles, some had m&ms. (Red velvet cake)

I'm glad others found the story as funny as I did. The girl cracks me up every single day. I'm so very lucky to have such a goofball of a child.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 8, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Ice-cream-cone cupcakes with (*gasp*) sprinkles????

Oh, you guys!


Posted by: -ftb- | March 8, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Creativity is a wonderful thing! When I made red velvet cupcakes last week, I never even thought about putting sprinkles on them. And there are plenty in my pantry! I guess I need a DC...

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

What ISN'T better with sprinkles?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Pork chops.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 8, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

LiT: How about dried apple sprinkles or fried onion sprinkles on them pork chops?

Posted by: MsJS | March 8, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Sandra Bullock was wonderful in Speed.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 8, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Speed 2 on a boat, not so much.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 8, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Back after a busy day working outside, just an incredible day here, 14c and sunny - it is going to be hard when the temps go back to normal.

I had the Oscars on but didn't pay a lot of attention can't say the show held my interest.

TBG I read a live blog of Palins speech in Calgary - it was not kind - the description of the women in attendance was quite funny and the audience took except with the moderators (Conservative Senator and former journalist Pamala Wallin) attempt to get some harder hitting questions in.

I want to see Bush, Palin and their ilk take on a more than less friendly audience - say in Toronto or any university in Canada outside Alberta. Now that would be fun.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 8, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm now done (mostly) with the first masterful draft of a complaint, which I think we're going to try to file this week. So now I can plotz for a minute or two.

I do like Sandra Bullock. She's got a glint about her, and she's not too awfully girly-girl. One of her earlier pictures was (I think) The Web (about Internet terrorism, I think), that I thought was okay-good (as opposed to okay-bad or okay-awful or okay-stinks).

I mean, *she* was great in it, even if the movie wasn't as great as she was.

What were we talking about?

Oh, yeah.


Posted by: -ftb- | March 8, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It's funny... there are actors who I see and think I feel like I know them, and it usually turns out they grew up (or lived a substantial part of their life) in the DC or Northern Virginia area. Sandra Bullock is one (my cousin tutored her while they were students together at W-L high school in Arlington).

Alexandra Wentworth is another I pegged right away (the hilariously funny actor married to George Stephanopoulos). Lauren Graham, too.

And while SNL's Jason Sudeikis moved to KC as a child, I knew right away he was from Fairfax. We do have an accent here... some kind of cross between southern and northern. I definitely hear it.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse


Can't post to the A-blog from my computer. Can, obviously, from my husband's. At the end of last week and knowing tht the Academy broadcast would end late, he took the day off, and updated security software on my computer mid-morning. In early afternoon, I couldn't post. A-blog error wants me to register at, and when I do, the repsonse keeps looping, asking me to register, reregister, re-reregister.

When to Help and passed the info about cookies etc. over to him. He worked for an hour on it--no luck or success. He/we were taken away from the problem by an early dinner since I'm off to Trinity in a few minutes to hear an anthropologist speak.

Anyone have any ideas? Would have liked to post this afternoon about women/war, starting with meeting, ever so briefly, Catherine Robb in Austin.


Posted by: laloomis | March 8, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Joanne Simpson, driving force behind the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, passed away recently:

She did pretty well for choosing to work on a subject appropriate for a "little girl" to work on.

Posted by: ScienceTim | March 8, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

We got out the grill tonight, for our pork chops! And it was warmer outside than in! There is hope for spring, I'm so grateful for it.

Thirddottir reports that after a walk this afternoon, both the twin boyz took their clothes off and ran around the house in their diapers. I guess they were hot and needed to cool down!

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Did you put sprinkles on the pork chops, slyness?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

It is a horrible remnant of my youth that whenever I hear the phrase "pork chops" I keep thinking "and apple sauce."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 8, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Darn, TBG beat me to it.

RD, I too think of applesauce with pork chops, even though I usually cook them with white wine and Dijon mustard, garlic, what have you. Sometimes I throw some apple slices in there too.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 8, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

No sprinkles on the pork chops, just vinegar barbeque sauce. They were fiery (and good)!

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

RD, funnily enough I'm the exact opposite. Whenever I read "apple sauce," I think "pork chops."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | March 8, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I, too, suffer from long-term pork-chop/apple-sauce comingling syndrome from my youth, Padouk. And I'll take it one step further. My grandmother always said you need apple sauce with pork roast or pork chops "to cut the grease." To this day, whenever we have apple sauce with anything, my wife races me to see who can say "to cut the grease" first, a kind of weird mocking homage to my grandmother (who always shopped at the supermarket pronounced Akka-mee).

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 8, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I think this says it all:

Posted by: RD_Padouk | March 8, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Pork chops, apple sauce and elbow noodles. Regular fare in my childhood home. And plenty of parmesan cheese on those noodles. And eventually the noodles and applesauce become one.

BTW.. Son of G is now home for spring break. He went upstairs to say 'hi' to his sleeping sister and she whined and covered her eyes. Moments later, he heard a small voice come from her room... "Hey.. wanna go out and get some cheesburgers?"

So they are now on a Quest for Cheeseburgers.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no. Pork wants sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 8, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Depends on how you prepare the pork chops. Mom used to season them with garlic, pepper and oregano, fry/saute them in Crisco and then sprinkle lemon on them. The tartness of the chop cried out for the sweetness of the apple sauce.

It was such a treat, too, because Mom never cooked anything greasy.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Veering briefly back on-kit, I always enjoy the Oscars, silly though they may be. A lot of it is the fashions. I'm intrigued that in spite of all the expertise deployed, so few of the women seem to hit the right note. I missed Penelope Cruz, who I understand dressed spectacularly, but I saw and liked Anna Kendrick. I liked Sandra Bullock, too,
including the brunette version of Veronica Lake hair.

Above, the boodle touched briefly on one of my favorite betes noires, Ayn Rand. I guess I'd be better off not commenting for the most part, but I'm not sure that sociopath is the right characterization. Screwed up, yes. But what she wanted from life and from people was pretty transparent and overt.

Most people who get a charge out of Ayn Rand when they are young end up hauling her works to the used bookstore along with all the other grocery bags filled with college paperbacks. Her writings, though voluminous, are basically simple to follow and produce a nice illusion that you understand deep things.

Posted by: woofin | March 8, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Blackeyed peas and steamed cabbage accompanied our pork chops tonight. That just seemed to be the right combination to me.

Posted by: slyness | March 8, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

chops and applesauce, sprinkled with cinnamon have been one of my favourites since childhood. a local sauce is called carolina treet, and is pretty good as well, despite being on the other end of the taste spectrum, classic sweet v. sour.

Posted by: -jack- | March 8, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm with TBG on this.

My old eastern-Ontario-born-and-raised grandmother always served pork with applesauce, and my up-by-their-bootstraps/aspiring Euro-jet-set c. 1967 parents repudiated it.

I always serve applesauce with roast or grilled pork. It is just good and delicious and somehow, right.

Posted by: Yoki | March 8, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Think we had applesauce with pork as well, but applesauce is one of those textures I find very difficult to eat, love apples but have a difficult time with applesauce.

I also remember the horseradish that was served for those that liked it with roast beef, again not a fan.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 8, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

You know, now that pork can be cooked rarer, I bet Mom's old Pork in Crisco would be delicious. Gotta try that soon.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

And while we had the very mid-century American pork chops, apple sauce and elbow noodles, there was also always a bowl of yogurt or tzaziki on the dinner table, too.

What a country!

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

dmd, I might be able to save you.

When I don't have any applesauce (and I too am not generally a fan of soft-slippery, usually much better with crunchy-savoury), I make a browned mixture of apple-onion slices to serve with lovely pork; more caramelized and sauteed-crisp than stewed.

I cannot abide puddings and custards.

Posted by: Yoki | March 8, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Dibs on Yoki's puddings and custards!

Posted by: seasea1 | March 8, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I do not serve apple sauce with pork but I often braise pork chops in the oven over a bed of apple slices. So the apples turn into apple sauce mixed with pork fat. Same difference.

CECI, the international aid NGO with a big Haiti slant reports in a letter to its donator that they received over 8 million dollars in donation. Absolutely amazing. They have their sight set on the future of Haiti already, they do not wish to rebuild the slums hanging on the steep slopes around PaP.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 8, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

You can have them, seasea1!

Posted by: Yoki | March 8, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: laloomis | March 8, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh sh!t! There's a test? And I didn't study.

Posted by: -TBG- | March 8, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Pop quiz!

Me neither.

Posted by: Yoki | March 8, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm just going to close my eyes and tick.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 9, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

In my house, pork chops mean rice, soy sauce and green beans. Not that applesauce and mac-n-cheese don't sound good too.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

rule 13 explicitly prohibits testing, in any manner, past 9.30 pst.

Posted by: -jack- | March 9, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

jack, first this,

and then this, my best song ever,

I've got the low-down dirty living in a small town blues

That was me in Revelstoke, and wishing to get back up into the city.

Posted by: Yoki | March 9, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I made a terrible mistake with my commond-v.

try this

Posted by: Yoki | March 9, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

rainforest! yello!

Posted by: Yoki | March 9, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Well then darlings, I am wishing you all a good morning.

Posted by: Yoki | March 9, 2010 4:32 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: rainforest1 | March 9, 2010 4:47 AM | Report abuse

My internet line keeps dropping for the pass week. It gets worse as the day progresses. I think I'm going to go mad soon.

Posted by: rainforest1 | March 9, 2010 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Hello all...

I'm sorry to say it's my turn to ask for some Boodle mojo. NukeSis, who so delightfully hosted NukeSpouse and I almost exactly two years ago, is dealing with the aftermath of a horrible skiing accident. Major knee damage, rods and pins, one surgery done but more coming. Good thoughts and positive energy are most appreciated right now.


Posted by: Scottynuke | March 9, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. K-guy, I agree with your post about creativity and selling movies. Movie people want to make money, and if by chance, they hit on creativity, well it's all good, but the number one cause is money. Now days that pretty much sums up most things.

Almost time to get ready for school.

Mudge, Scotty, Lindaloo, Yoki, Martooni, and all, enjoy your day.

Slyness, it was beautiful and warm yesterday, and today is suppose to be even better. I've put it off long enough, time to get started on this apartment, cleaning that is. The mind is willing, body not so much.

Posted by: cmyth4u | March 9, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I only got a 78 on the test. I completely blew the second essay question. And I didn't think some of the fill-in-the-blank questions were fair, since the info came from the optional reading list stuff.

Anybody know what the answer to #22 was? I looked over at bc's paper, and he had "42" as the answer, but I don't think that's right. yello had "Carrier Dual-Thermostat Model 19P, with a bilateral duct system." And I'm pretty sure that was wrong, too. (He had erased his first answer, "anime lesbian teens.") Scotty's answer was "A fine granulated mixture of cobalt-191 and uranium-237." I thought the answer was "Matisse," but I don't have any confidence in it. CqP's answer was "placket," whatever the hell that means. I couldn't see Yoki's paper, but I saw her counting on her fingers trying to convert liters to tablespoons. No help there.

kguy, funny you should mention movies made from comic books. The book I'm reading (re-reading) on the bus is William Goldman's "Adventures in the Screen Trade," written in 1982, and in it he bemoans that's years Oscar nominations, and movies in general being made from comic books: Superman, the Hulk, Batman, etc. But then he extrapolated, and added a bunch of other movies that although they weren't adapted from real comic books, were essentially "comic book" in nature: kind of shallow, fast-moving adventures and shoot-em-ups without any depth or substance. (He puts his own "Butch/Sundance" in the same category.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | March 9, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Major Mojo to NukeSis, although I am probably not the best source for dispelling skiing injuries. Hope she recovers in time to hit the slopes next season.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

My test results:
Blood pressure 118/70
Cholesterol: 184
Total cholesterol to HDL: 4.3
Testosterone: 310

I'm a little worried about that one.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Healing Mojo off to NukeSis.

Posted by: dmd3 | March 9, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Morning all, I managed to sleep a little late. Oh well, it was a lovely dream about being in London.

Cassandra, I hope you get the cleaning done quickly! Always a pain, to have to keep the place neat.

Snuke, so sorry to hear about your sister, I'll remember her in my prayers.

Yes, it's supposed to be another nice day here. The temperature is above freezing at 7 ayem, another harbinger of spring.

Ham biscuits, cheese grits, fruit, hot and cold beverages on the ready room table. Enjoy, folks!

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

42 is always the right answer. It's the question that is tricky.

And speaking of anime lesbian teens (or a reasonable approximation):

Not *entirely* work safe, but the premise of Dirty Pair is hilarious. The titular duo, Kei and Yuri, are interstellar cops that tend to leave a wake of destruction in their path, hence the undeserved sobriquet.

Now back to analyzing Sailor Moon for subtext.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

And that clip was from the 90s reboot of the franchise. The original 80s era shows had more of a Roller Disco In Outer Space vibe to them, seen here in the Italian translation:

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. There is enough light at 05:30-06:00 to eschew the flashlight/beacon for the Ancient One. The male cardinals have started their territorial songs and the goldfinches have started put some yellow on their grey winter plumage. Yes, Spring is coming.

Ouch Scotty, this sport thing is really dangerous. Good luck to the NukeSis with the pins, rods and physio. Been there with the Fungi and there were a few unpleasant epuisodes...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 9, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle! Speedy recovery wishes to NukeSis. Above freezing all night, with a short period of rain. The lingering scent of eau de skunk in the yard is this morning's new sign of spring.

Going to see my favored gubernatorial candidate, RT Rybak, at a meet-and-greet this afternoon. Technically I'm an uncommitted delegate to the state convention, but as I told people at the caucus "uncommitted does not mean undecided."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | March 9, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! Yesterday's rain left deep puddles and happy blooming daffodils. They are seeing some bright sunshine this morning, though we're told thunderstorms are on the way. As soon as I can get in the yard again I have some serious digging and drainage projects.

Much mojo to NukeSis. Yowtch.

Mudge, the Ivansclan got "seven" on #22, and all the rest as well. As yellojkt says, the answer is easy, but the questions are tricky.

Posted by: Ivansmom | March 9, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Major mojo to NukeSis, ScottyNuke. I hope she recovers quickly, and is back to kicking your backside again soon.

Test? I haven't taken it yet - you want me to fill *what*? From *here?*

kguy, I appreciate your comments re. Cameron and Tarrantino and other writers and directors. The tough part as I see it, is that people will give them vast sums of money to do "their thing" as opposed to something different. Financially, "their thing" is viewed as a safe investment, versus a risky move. As great a movie as Jackie Brown is, it was regarded as a box-office flop at the time, IIRC. And then he went back to do the successful and lucrative Kill Bill series, didn't he?

I think Cameron's been even more risk-averse (and marketing/merchandising-friendly) from an artistic perspective, which has given him access to staggering sums of money for his high-tech projects. It's Lucas' model, and it's working.

It *is* a film industry, after all.

Well, there's my $.02 on the topic.


Posted by: -bc- | March 9, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

And Mudge, I am *so* embarassed that you saw what I'd written for that test answer. I thought the question was, "What kinds of videos do you think you'd find on the person on your left's harddrive?"


Posted by: -bc- | March 9, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Boy did I mess up. I put the Peace of Nicias.

Wishing a speedy recovery and good painkillers to NukeSis.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 9, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Back in business as of late last night.

Krl Rove hat a sit-down this morning with Matt Lauer on the NBC morning show, essentially, to promote his new book, out this week, I think, titled "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight."

But will the Rove literary effort knock "Game Change" from its golden pedestal, since "Game Change" as of last Thursday night, had been at the #1 slot on the NYT bestseller list for six weeks and is now in its 12th printing? Our paper on Sunday showed "Game Change" still at #1, so perhaps the Heilemann-Halperin book has now resided at the #1 position for seven weeks?

The book talk at the LBJ Auditorium last Thursday night was sponsored by three entities: the Texas Book Festival (that issued the invitation I received and there is some back story here), Evan Smith's Texas Tribune, and the Center for Politics and Governance, LBJ School of Public Affairs. There was an image for each sporsoring organization that alternated on a large screen behind the stage as the program began. *A heartfelt thanks here to Evan Smith and Tanya Erlach, director of events at the Texas Tribune, for their help.*

So, it came as a great surprise, at 6:12 p.m., when the event began with a woman taking the stage. She spoke briefly and introduced Smith, Heilemann and Halperin, who then took their seats in comfortable chairs. Since I hadn't expected anyone other than the three gentlemen on the stage, I think it took a moment for the fact to sink into my brain that the woman at the podium Thursday night was Catherine Robb, LBJ's granddaughter.


Posted by: laloomis | March 9, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Hey Snuke -- NukeSis gets my Mojo, as well. Heal up there quickly, SnukeSis!

Back to the grind. And it ain't coffee . . . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | March 9, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Snuke, all my mojo going to your sister. I know about knees from #2, not fun! But on the plus side, #2 is doing fine now, no more jogging, but otherwise good.

Beautiful day again here, not quite as warm but I'll take it. Two more days of doggie care 'til Mommy comes home - yipee! Altho' he has been fun (mostly).

Posted by: badsneakers | March 9, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

After the program, that went long, concluded on Thurday night, I, with my husband in tow, made a beeline not for the authors and Smith, who had come down from the stage to meet and greet the individuals in the reserved first three rows of the auditorium--donors I assume to the LBJ Library and Museum, but to Catherine Robb, to introduce myself and shake hands.

Catherine, as the Web reveals, is an attorney in Austin. She is quite tall, quite lean, and attractive. I informed her that I was Rev. Thomas Hooker's distant great-granddaughter and that I also had been a Teacher Corps intern. I told her I was very thankful that her grandfather's Teacher Corps program had enabled me to get an advanced education. She was pleased to hear the story, as pleased as I was to share it.

What I did not mention was that a fellow Bakersfield High student, he a member of the Class of '68 (I, the Class of '69), had died while serving in Vietnam. The front of the auditorium Thursday night while talking to Catherine Robb was neither the time and the place. I'll compare the situation Thursday evening to meeting Wendy Gramm in the produce section of our local HEB a handful of years ago. Wendy minutes later needed my help finding the holiday eggnog at the rear of the supermarket, and as much as I wanted to ask her questions about Enron, the occasion wasn't right. See the A-blog archives.

If Catherine Robb is only 32, then she was born only about 5 years when the VietNam war ended in 1973, the same year her grandfather died after leaving office in 1969.

Here's some background on Catherine Robb. The web certainly has more than the links I'm providing below.

This is my far the more interesting link as it explains an event held at the LBJ Ranch near Johnson City last April. My favorite presidential historian Doug Brinkley was one of the presenters. The emphasis is on LBJ's legacy of education.

Catherine Robb provides a nice segue to our very early afternoon activity on Friday, after we checked out of the Holiday Inn at noon, #62 on the current issue of Texas Monthly's bucket list.

Posted by: laloomis | March 9, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, y'all.

Warm muffins, coffee and OJ on the table.

*wondering why I'm thinking pork chops for breakfast*

Oh, carp! I cut class and missed the quiz. I guess "the dog ate my homework" excuse won't work here. Bummer.

Snuke, the CasaJS mojo gun is aimed at your sister and set to "speedy recovery".

Posted by: MsJS | March 9, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

SCC: five years after...NOT five years when

Posted by: laloomis | March 9, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Aw, man, Scotty, sorry to hear about Nukesis. I met her at your wedding, right? I think she was sitting across from me and over one seat. Faxing the entire supply of emergency mojo stored in the bunker mojo locker (slyness, will you put in a requisition for re-supply? We're going through the stuff at a record clip, unfortunately.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 9, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Scotty... thoughts and mojo heading your sister's way this morning. Hope she's feeling good soon and heals up completely and quickly.

Son of G drove me to work this morning after a nice breakfast. So glad to have him home. And I will be just as delighted to have him leave at the end of the week, I'm sure.

Have I been mudged yet?

Posted by: -TBG- | March 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Sending Boodle Mojo to NukeSis. I hope she is feeling better very soon.

Posted by: Moose13 | March 9, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

On Friday morning, in front of the huge picture windows in our hotel room, I had to read every single listing on the Texas Monthly's bucket list before I hit the very next to the last one, #62.

Oddly, #63 on the list was: Appear on the Cover of TEXAS MONTHLY. Nope, no interest in that.

We wanted to do something in the Great Austin area, close to our hotel, if possible. During previous excursions to Austin, we had explored downtown, walked the greenbelt along the river, taken a Capitol tour.

So, even more odd, #62 on Texas Monthly's bucket list was a visit to see those who had kicked the bucket.

Or, as child actor Haley Joel Osment said in the 1999 movie "Sixth Sense": "I see dead people." I would see dead people--dead people's graves.

#62 See Stephen F. Austin in Austin (as it appeared in the magazine)
A well-preserved state secret--hiding in plain sight--is the Texas State Cemetery, a place every Texasn should discover firsthand. It's located just east of downtown Austin, between Seventh (where we had driven earlier that morning to see if we had any desire to eat at Cisco's and to learn if Smith, Heilemann and Halperin were inside. It was while driving along Seventh around 9 a.m. that I glimpsed the graveyard over my left shoulder as we sped by..we weren't speeding, but trying to take in so many new sights seems as though one or one's spouse is speeding) and Eleventh streets, a beautiful and tranquil sprawl of hills, dales, and pastures [???], pleasantly shaded and amazingly alive [???]. A walk through the cemetery's 21 acres is a trip through time, our state revealed in all its greatness, courage, tragedy, and pomposity [*l*]. You'll see the grave of Stephen F. Ausitin, with its bronze Coppini statue, as well as the final resting places of more-contemporary Texas leaders like Ann Richards, John Connally, Barbara Jordan [whom author Jared Diamond debated during his college days and to whom Diamond and his partner lost], and Allan Shivers. But this isn't just a place for politicians: Also buried here is Willie "El Diablo" [The Devil] Wells, who played in the Negro Leagues and is perhaps the greatest shortstop who ever lived.

--more, later today--

Posted by: laloomis | March 9, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

laloomis, Catherine is closer to 40, and while I can see how Texans would want to claim her as LBJ's grandkid, Virginians and Washingtonians understandably see her as Chuck and Lynda's middle daughter (she was a small child when her grandfather died, so he probably wasn't that much of an influence on her.) I'm sure her friends probably just see her as Cathy.

Checking out of a Holiday Inn is on the bucket list? Dude, here I thought I needed more excitement....

MsJS, you can always say you took the test, put it with the rest of them on the corner of the desk just like you were asked, and if the teach lost it from there, well, that can't possibly be on you, now, could it? Then ask her to look again for it at home, and try to seem a little put-out that it's missing.

Posted by: LostInThought | March 9, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I got that one wrong. The answer was "invisible zipper" not placket. You know, they are right: go with your first instinct.

Mojo with wings and a coupon for custom tailoring of pants to get through the cast days, NukieSis.

Tiny lavender snow crocus out, flanked by thick fingers of daffies and other bulbs yearning to breathe free. And, in the back behind the garage -- tiny but thick bunches of snow drops. Perhaps I will remember to move them where I can see them; only been 14 years.....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | March 9, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Not yet, TBG...I know the feeling. Having the Geekdottir home has been delightful, but I won't be upset when she goes back to Bama.

Okay, Mudge, I'll see what we can afford in the mojo line. Stuff's expensive, dontcha know? I've been buying the premium, but I think we'll have to go down to the choice to stay within budget. Unless you want to transfer funds from the boodle beverage line item to the mojo line item. Let me know...

Posted by: slyness | March 9, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I knew I was over-thinking it, CqP.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | March 9, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

New kit!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | March 9, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Slyness & Mudge, I'd prefer primo mojo if that's OK with the rest of you.

LiT, I have, alas, been informed my absence was noticed. I can only hope she loses everyone's test papers before she posts the grades tomorrow.

Posted by: MsJS | March 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Wanting to eat some local color, I spent hours on analyzing all the breakfast choices. I rejected a few places because they were vegetarian and I knew my companions were carnivores.

I narrowed it down to Cisco's and Juan In A Million because they were both between the hotel (for the first time we weren't in stumbling distance from the tequila and tattoo district of Sixth Street) and the client. Since I was driving I chose Cisco's despite my companion's worried look as we drove east into the barrio.

My Droid GPS GoogleNavigate app took us right there with no incident. We parked on the street which was good because the sign on the front door warned us not to park in the auto body shop lot adjacent to the building because we would be towed.

Inside, the few people at the tables near grille told us to go back to the other dining rooms which were cooler. The tables were wood-grain veneer covered rectangles with randomly mismatched chairs. We chose one near the front. Our waitress and server were both short heavy-set women in their late 20s or early 30s who spoke flawless but heavily accented English. They both were dressed entirely in black. One was wearing a tee shirt with the logo of the restaurant and the other just had a plain black blouse with black cotton slacks. Since neither had visible tattoos, I had no idea whether they were part of the local goth scene or just flaunting their impeccable Latina fashion sense.

One of the walls had an old poster featuring a bearded guy in a trenchcoat flashing a statue that was titled 'Expose Yourself To Art'. I told a long involved story about a boss I had who looked just like the guy in the poster and had hired a future Playboy model sight unseen.

The migas are the specialty of the house. Migas are a scrambled egg variety with onions, cheese and tortilla chips mixed in with a side of salsa sauce. I ordered mine with the side of fajita but without refried beans. The quarter pound of fajita meat was stringy but well-marinated flank steak with a side of lime. Since I was the only one ordering the fajita they brought me a steak knife.

The waitress asked if we wanted tortillas or biscuits, so we went with the biscuits since I had read good things about them in the plentiful online reviews. They mostly lived up to their hype. I didn't truly expect them to be 'as big as hubcaps' but they were nearly the size of curling stones only infinitely lighter. A squeeze bottle of honey was the only condiment supplied but it was sufficient.

-more -

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Two group of businessmen sat at the family style long table near us. One group including a guy wearing a cowboy hat unironically. I tried to eavesdrop but the acoustics of the place were too poor. However, I was very disappointed to hear them answer "both" to the biscuits or tortillas question since it was not made clear to me that that was an option. I would have loved to have tried a basket of the freshly made flour tortillas.

Dinner tonight is still up in the air. After the bodyshots incident at Coyote Ugly last time, I am loathe to go back there with people who have camera phones. My ears still redden when I think of the the sexually explicit sobriquet the bartendress gave me, even writing it in chalk on the bar in front of me so that she could refer to me by it for the rest of the evening.

-more (much later)-

Posted by: yellojkt | March 9, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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