What WOULD Joni Do?

Random thoughts and other ramblings

Monday, November 19, 2007

Move along, nothing to see here...

The newest incarnation of the blog has moved.

Over here.

The Joni Blog.


Same stuff, different place.

And hopefully, a little more consistently.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar? Already?

In the last few years, it seems like there is just too much going on in February. We already had Valentine's Day, President's Day, Black History Month and weather that makes it too cold to leave the house. Then, they go and start dragging out the football post-season so that we have the Super Bowl in early February instead of late January. Then there is TV sweeps, where every network drama claims that each episode is an "event" and pretends that they are gonna kill off the main character, but instead wimp out and kill some minor player, like the main character's mother who was dying anyway. Then, they cut a month off the entertainment award season and we have the Academy Awards in late February. So, there is just no freaking way I can see all the movies in time to make an educated stab at my annual predictions. But that probably never stopped any member of the Academy or Media Critic, so why should it stop me?

This year, it pretty much feels like the acting awards are preordained going in. Forest and Helen for being a 'King' and Queen respectively. Jennifer and Eddie for Dreamgirls. For director, looks like it will be Scorsese finally. There is a 60% shot that a song from Dreamgirls will win best song, and I'm thinking that those Prius driving, Hollywood kooks will vote Al Gore's movie as best documentary, even though to some it seems the film might be better categorized as fiction. But then again, that didn't stop them from awarding Michael Moore the same award a few years back for a film far more fictional. For best foreign film, I don't see how Pan's Labyrinth can't win, although since it was the only foreign film entry I actually saw, I guess I'm a bit biased on that one. And finally, I'm hoping that Kevin O'Connell will win the best sound mixing award for "Apocalypto." While this may seem an obscure addition to my usually acting centered predictions, poor guy has been nominated an astounding 18 times without winning. And you just know he's probably getting really sick and tired of the Susan Lucci jokes.

But back to the acting awards. This year, all of the favorites are also my personal favorites, so it doesn't feel like there is too much to say. But that never really stopped me before, so here goes:

Best Supporting Actor -
Alan Arkin was loads of fun in Little Miss Sunshine, but I really think that Paul Dano as the mute by choice brother in the same film was the one that really deserved a nomination the most. Dijmon Hounsou seems to be consistently good in all he does, so he will probably have more chances in the future. I just love that Mark Wahlberg is nominated, and I'm so happy for him that I'm not even going to call him the name I really want to. He probably doesn't have a shot in Hell tonight, but he'll look hot on the red carpet, so I'm good with that. Hollywood loves a great comeback story, and while many are pointing to Eddie Murphy as the comeback kid, it really is Jackie Earle Haley with the sweetest comeback story of the year. A child actor that went from the Bad News Bears to relativeobscurity in Texas post puberty, his story touches the heart a little more. Cause there is a difference between coming back from leaving acting because Hollywood forgot you and had no use for you once you outgrew your cuteness, to coming back from making 40 bad movies in a row, and pickng up hooker transvestites while your wife is waiting at home with your 5 kids. I think if there is an upset tonight, this will be the one. And it would be an upset that no one would be upset about - except maybe Eddie. And seriously, I think it will be Eddie anyway. Just hope he gives us a good speech - either funny or touching - but not just a quick thank as he rushes off the stage.

Best Supporting Actress -
Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi, both nominated for Babel will likely split any vote from fans of their film. Both probably share the "honor to be nominated" spot for this year. Cate Blanchett already has one, so no one will feel bad not voting for her again. And, while cute as a button, Abigail Breslin will basically be remembered for dancing funny. If that was all it took to win an Academy Award, my college boyfriend Greg would one already. That leaves the favorite going in, Jennifer Hudson. I really hope she wins, but I do wish that everyone (and I'm talking to you, ladies of The View) would shut up with the comments about how Simon Cowell supposedly kicked her off of American Idol and how he should feel stupid about that. Cause if you all recall, Jennifer made it into the Top 12 (which Simon has control of) but she lost out when America started voting (which Simon has no control over.) Therefore, we/America are the reason she lost, and we were wrong. Deal with it, give the girl her Oscar, and lets all move on.

Best Actor -
Who would have ever thought that a former Mousketeer, the Fresh Prince, the football player from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and TV's Growing Pains' version of Cousin Oliver would all be up for an Oscar against Peter O'Toole? Or that after being denied Oscar 7 previous times and being 75, normally a gimme in Hollywood, that O'Toole would not be the favorite among this group? Still, he could pull it out, but I really thing tonight's long denied winner will be in the Directing category. I love Will Smith (I mean, who doesn't?) and I am sure he will end up with an Oscar in the years to come, but I'm not feeling that this is his year. While I hear that Ryan Gosling was really really good in his film, I can't imaging that he will slip through as the winner either. My wish for him is that he looks really hot on the red carpet, and that his girlfriend doesn't wear that awful pink streak she's been sporting lately to the event. Leonardo DeCaprio could squeak in this year based on having two great performances (although only nominated for one) this past year. But, as he is to play Teddy Roosevelt in a Scorsese film set to release in 2008, I think he will have another, better shot at Oscar with that roll and director. In fact, I'll call it here - Leo wins in 2009 for playing Teddy Roosevelt. Finally, that leaves us with Forest Whitaker. I've loved him forever. I cried when he died in the Crying Game. He moved me as a criminal in Panic Room. He scared the living crap out of me in as the stalkerish victim of hospital neglect on ER recently. I would really really love to see him win. My only wish is that he have a speech prepared this time. His loss of words at the Golden Globes was touching, but when he replayed it at the SAG awards, it was just sort of awkward. So please, Forest, take a cue from the ladies and have a list of thank yous stuffed up your sleeve with the Kleenex.

Best Actress -
Judi Dench has won before and will probably win again one day before its over. Just not this year. Meryl Streep has won before and probably will again one day too. Just not this year. Plus, they don't normally award anyone for a comedy except in supporting rolls, a fact for which Mira Sorvino, Whoopi Goldberg and Marrisa Tomei are still thanking their lucky stars. Poor Kate Winslett. She's not gonna win either. In fact, I worry that she will end up like Peter O'Toole 40 years from now, nominated over and over but not winning until she is old and gray, when she finally either receives an honorary one or wins over more deserving performances simply because she is old and we need to honor her for a career in full. I despise Penelope Cruz. Really, she bugs me to the nth degree. She will probably show up to the awards with her, uhm, friend Selma Hyack on one side, somebody else's recent ex-boyfriend or soon to be ex-husband on the other, and her hair piled up on top of her head like she's just had it done by Truvy from Steel Magnolias. Needless to say, I don't want her to win. And thankfully, even if she had a chance, there is probably no way that Helen Mirren won't win. I like her a lot. And she will probably make a great speech. Forest Whitaker, take note.

Best Picture - This is the one award that really seems up for grabs. The Departed and Letters from Iwo Jima both seem like movies that could hold up as Oscar winners in the years to come, and I think either could win. Although, it does seem unlikely that a Japanese subtitled film would win. While I haven't seen Babel, I've been told by several who have that it was a very difficult film to watch, and I think that could be its undoing in this catagory. The Queen just doesn't seem big enough of a film to win. Therefore, I'm going with Little Miss Sunshine. The scene with Olive and Dwayne after he learns he will never be a pilot - her with her head resting on his sholder, that unspoken moment between the big brother and little sister - it reminded me of my own big brother, and how much I love him. And sometimes, we should just acknowledge a film that makes us laugh a little, cry a little, and remember why we love our family.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Kitty Cat and the Jackass: How I spent my Friday

I spent most of Friday at the hospital getting a bunch of tests run. I've spent the last two months with unexplained nausea, vomiting and abdominal pains. My doctor gave me some medication, but it hasn't really helped me to improve very much. Then, to make matters worse, in the last week, I began developing all the symptoms associated with kidney stones. Wheeeee!

None of it was fun, but the CT scan was the worst. Especially since I am somewhat claustrophobic and super squeamish about having an IV anyway.

Before they do the scan, you have to spend about 2 1/2 hours drinking cups of what looks like apple juice but tastes like ass. Every 45 minutes they bring it around and you have to down the whole cup. At least I was able to keep it down. The other lady in the waiting area with me kept getting sick off of it, and so she was ultimately having to drink more.

They finally came around to take me back at about 2:00 p.m. Because I had been sick the evening before and skipped dinner, I hadn't had a thing to eat over 24 hours. That, combined with the bright fluorescent lights, and probably some anxiety on my part, contributed to the mother of all dizzy spells, and as I stood up to go back to the scan room, I pretty much blacked out and hit the floor. Thankfully, the hot technician reacted pretty quickly and saved me from busting my face on the floor.

Hot Technician finally gets me to the scan room in one piece. I then get the pleasure of having an IV. I have fat arms, pale skin and very thin veins located deep in my arms, so they never seem to be able to find a good vein on the first try. The most it has ever taken is four sticks. Fortunately, they called in the lady that is the best in the building, and she got me on the first stick. Nevertheless, I still have a bruise the size of an orange on my right arm. Still, I know it could have been worse.

When they do the scan, you have to be positioned flat on your back with your arms raised straight out above your head. For some reason, when I get in that position, I have trouble breathing - its like my throat closes up and I start to choke. Then to make it worse, they strap you down across your midsection so you can't move, and then they all leave the room. Then it seems like an eternity until the machine starts chugging and the scan begins. So, there I am - tied to a table, choking, and feeling like I can't breath at all. I sort of lost it slightly, and so they decided to have me sit up until they were ready to start the scan.

Once they get started, I try to convince myself I'll be OK. As I'm being moved in and out of the tube having the initial scan done, I'm trying to keep my eyes closed, think happy thoughts, visualize positive things and assure myself it will be over in a few minutes. Then, after a few scans, another technician who apparently is unaware of my previous semi-freak out, comes in to inject the contrast dye into the IV. I ask her how much longer before it was all over, and she coldly says, "You still have a long, long way to go." As I later figure out, her idea of a long, long way to go is actually only 5 more minutes, so thanks for needlessly adding to the impending freak out sweetie.

So, the contrast is injected into the IV, and it was really weird how I could actually feel it as it went through my body - how my arm got really cold where it went in, and the cold crept up my arm towards my neck, then down into my chest and heart. And then, when it hit my heart, I suddenly got really really hot, and felt like I was wetting myself. I wasn't, it is just a side effect that they warn you about. But it still feels weird. Now, add to all this that my arm suddenly starts cramping up, my throat closes to the point where I can no longer swallow, and its like I forget how to breath through my nose. At this point, my anxiety level reaches maximum levels. We're talking full blown anxiety attack, heart racing, crying, etc. I felt like such an idiot, but I just couldn't help it. Hot Technician was really kind to me and talked me through the next few minutes as best he could. He had a great soothing voice. He probably has a future career as a phone sex operator.

When I'm finally stable enough to leave, HT walks me out past this old woman waiting to be taken in for her scan. She starts yelling at him that she didn't know why they were bringing me out to see her, that she had never seen me before in her life and she didn't want to see me now. He said, "Ma'am, she is just another patient, she's not with you," and the woman goes, "Damn right she isn't, you jackass." Then she told me that I looked like a kitty cat. And after my stupid freak out episode over something so simple, I did feel like a bit of a pussy, so I guess she was on the money with that one.

As HT and I parted ways, he said with a wickedly cute smile, "Bye kitty cat, take care of yourself. "

I bid him a "You too, jackass."

It was a cute moment.

Yeah, he's probably gay.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Resolutions - A Review

So, last year's resolutions - How'd that turn out for me?

1. Lose more weight (84 pounds was the goal.) Yeah, pretty much blew that one. Although, I didn't gain any weight - I just held steady for the whole year. And really, in the last two weeks, I have had a quick burst of weight loss. I lost 6 pounds on the trip to London cause I hate their food and cause for some odd reason, 1,000 year old towers and abbeys do not have elevators - just lots and lots of steps. And lost another 4 in the two days before New Years due to some kind of stomach flu. So, 10 pounds down is a weight loss, so I'll take that as a win. I just didn't cover the point spread.

2. Travel more often. Let's see - went to Los Angeles, Dallas, Las Vegas three times, and a trip to London with my nephew. So, fewer destinations, but more trips overall - and definitely more distance covered. And every trip was a good one - so bonus points for that!

3. Still nothing to see here.

4. Get a new and improved job.Managed to do that within the first 2 weeks of the year. Earning a little more money, and learning a lot. Not sure it is the right fit for long term, but am trying to pick up all that I can so that I can leverage it into something even better.

5. Sell old house for my asking price. Move to new house.Had to come down off the asking price by a few thousand, but it all worked out perfectly. Sold the old one and then closed on the new one within a week of each other. Now, if I could just finish unpacking all those boxes.

6. Spend more time with the people I that love and that love me back. As opposed to spending more time with people I am trying to make love me. Or somesuch. I think I did a better job of this in 2006. I could still do better, but I know I've made progress.

7. Completely read at least one new book a month. Does completing a book with 100 Suduko puzzles count as completing a book? Well, even if it does, I'm still not calling a win on this one. I think I totally completed about 5 books. I have about 25 at the foot of my desk that are half read. We'll hold onto this one for 2007.

8. Become more active in my community. Not really done this, but to my credit, our Home Owner's Association Flake/President keeps cancelling all the meetings at the last minute. Not that I had always planned on attending anyway, but you know.... Yeah, blew that one.

9. Write more. I guess after 8 years of writing professionally, I needed some down time from that. Plus, I was made to rewrite the instruction manual in my new job, so that sort of ruined the 'no work writing means more personal writing' theory.

10. One life improvement/resolution to be named later. I don't think I ever named this one. So, I'll name it now. Learn to cook. I've done that this year - at least somewhat. I mean, I haven't set the smoke alarm off in like months.

I think I'm gonna call that 5 wins/3 losses/1 tie. Not a great season, but probably good enough to keep me on as coach for another year.

I'll probably come out with my game plan for 2007 in a few days. And again, I'm guessing that "Stop Procrastinating" will already be eliminated from the list by the time I get around to writing it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

First and Last

The Firsts...

1. First real best friend
Bill Emeott.

2. First school
Mrs. Hendry's Kindergarten.

3. First cell phone
I have no idea what make it was, but it was big and bulky.

4. First funeral
Probably my grandfather's when I was 5. Don't remember it, but I'm sure I was there. First that I remember was his mother's funeral when I was about 10.

5. First pet
Fuzzy - an orange tabby cat that really belonged to my brother, but he shared.

6. First big trip
Before I was born to Los Angeles - Disneyland. After I was born - to somewhere in Tennessee. My Dad worked for an airline, so there were a lot of trips - big and small.

7. First fight
I'm a lover, not a fighter.

8. First celebrity crush
Either Donny Osmond or Bobby Sherman

9. First time out of the country
Germany, Austria and Switzerland when I was 20.

10. First job
Sales clerk at Rich's department store

11. First car
1963 Fire Engine Red Chevrolet Corvair

12. First myspace friend
My sister-in-law Carrina

And The Lasts...

13. Last person you hugged
My nephew Reid

14. Last car ride
Home from Circuit City yesterday.

15. Last time you cried
At work last week.

16. Last movie you watched
I can't remember. I think maybe it was Walk the Line on HBO.

17. Last food you ate
Thanksgiving leftovers - some turkey, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes.

18. Last item bought
Digital camera from Circuit City

19. Last shirt worn
A grey t-shirt that is getting way too big for me, but is just so comfy

20. Last phone call
To my Mom and Dad

21. Last text message
I don't type with my thumbs. Last one received was from Ali wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving.

22. Last thing you touched
Uhmm - that would be the keyboard as I typed this. Before the computer, probably the Tivo remote

23. Last funeral

24. Last time at the mall
A few months ago - like maybe July, when my Mom and I went to buy a new bed at the Sleep Number Store. I use to work at the mall. I hate the mall.

25. Last time you were excited for something
Currently excited about an upcoming trip to London.

26. Last person you saw
My next door neighbor Tammi out in the yard with her puppies.

27. Last thing you drank
A Diet Coke

28. Last time you were really honestly happy?
Dang - that's really sad that I can honestly not remember. I need to work on that.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Excuse me. Do these Skubbs come in Svart?

How can one go to Ikea, purchase no single item more than $5.99 and still end up spending $142.73?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Organizing New Home: Step 1

Gather all books on organizing your life, home, work, etc.

Throw books away.

Use empty space created to lay down and take nap.