Tuesday, February 24, 2004

JOHN DERBYSHIRE'S GREATEST FEAR
"This is a victory, not only for our state, but for America," Festa said. "Simply allowing consenting gay adults the same rights as heterosexuals was never the point. By forcing everyone in the state into a gay marriage, we're setting the stage for our more pressing hidden agendas: mandatory sodomy and, in due time, the legalization of bestiality and pedophilia."

(Lovin' me my Onion.)

GOTHAMIST, WONKETTE;
WONKETTE, GOTHAMIST

Oh, lord. Soon, nowhere on the Internet will be safe from pandas!

It's Panda-Monium!

The Bachelorette: The Panda Edition

Here's how TRL likes its pandas:



Fun Panda Fact: "Panda meat is unpalatable and hence little subsistence hunting occurs." (So remember: hunt pandas for the fun of it, not for sustenance.)

Okay. I'm done communing with nature now.

GASP!
I've been remaindered!

GASP! again: I'm apparently semi-responsible for 98 Degrees fan fiction.

This can't be right, can it? I think I'd better lie down.

THE DEFINITIVE 9-11 THEORY
Rudy Giuliani, out hustling votes for a future presidential campaign accepting an honorary degree in Norman, Oklahoma, has now learned the truth: al-Quaida was not responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks... but Wal-Mart was!

In related news, Halliburton has set up a field office in Bentonville, Arkansas. Developing...

EDWARDS '04: 'YEAH, I GUESS.'
Heh. This is, like, one week old, but I guess I'm not getting around BlogWorld much these days. Anyway, Allah is bestowing blessings, of sorts, on presidential candidate John Edwards.

I expect to see these posters held proudly at the Democratic National Convention.
(Via The Kicker)

Monday, February 23, 2004

HERE COME THE GROOMS?
Don't get too excited, Bradykins. It's still far too soon. But how did I miss this op-ed piece in last week's Daily News?

"It's legal for gays to marry in New York"

(Via Sullivan)

Friday, February 20, 2004

HITTING ME WHERE IT HURTS
From: XXXXXXX@rcn.com
To: famousauthorrobbyrnes@work.com
Subject: read it immediately
Message body: you are a bad writer
Outlook blocked access to the following potentially unsafe attachments: textfile.exe


Great. Now even virus-laden spam is dissing me.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

ALEX, I'LL TAKE "EUPHEMISMS" FOR $500
My hometown paper has an obituary today for a beloved radio personality. Now, death-of-radio-personality-in-medium-sized-market should result in a mundane, touchy-feely article, and this was. Fortunately, reading just the first paragraph paid off with the money quote:

"Friends of Bill Klein describe the WHAM-AM (1180) entertainment reporter as exuberant, over-the-top and dryly funny, a Nathan Lane-esque character with encyclopedic knowledge of Broadway theater, musicals and film."

Nathan Lane-esque?

Why, whatever could they mean?

Oh, wait! Reading on a bit, I see exactly what they mean:

"Mr. Klein was devoted to his mother, who died in 2000."

Er... so they mean that Nathan Lane is devoted to his mother, right?

Right.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

MATCH.COM ATTEMPTS TO READ MY MIND
I had some time to kill tonight waiting for Michael to finish doing whatever he does for a living and meet me for post-work cocktails. So I happened to stumble upon a Physical Attraction Test created by those lameasses at Match.com (via Hit or Miss), and one thing led to another, and, well...

Full disclosure: the following results don't necessarily reflect the physical attributes of Bradykins, which... er... means that they must be highly inaccurate. (No one noticed me sweating, did they? Good.)

Match-dot-com writes:
Thanks for taking Match.com's Ph.D.-formulated Physical Attraction Test, a revolutionary development in the world of relationships. This scientific system will help you narrow your search for those who are truly compatible with your physical preferences.

Below is the summary of your report. To view your complete test results, click here.
Or click here to search for single Match.com members who you'll find physically attractive.

Favorite Qualities
Your photo choices suggest a man over 45 is probably getting a little old for your tastes
You seemed interested in dating a man at least 25 or older
Very handsome men
Wide, square chins
Long and narrow "rectangular" faces
So-called "Mesomorphs," with square chins and wide faces

Favorite Looks
Some may call one of your types "Pretty Boys," but all you know is that they're gorgeous. The combination of classic good looks with small noses, beautiful eyes, and full lips is hard to resist. These guys tend to be clean shaven, have clear skin, and get good hair cuts. They're taking good care of themselves so they can be "pretty" just for you! [Well, you and the 1 in 3 men (33%) that are also after them!]

We call another type of guy that you seemed to consistently like "Pups." Their look goes with a certain loveable, puppy dog appeal. They're nice-looking guys, but they are imperfect enough to be approachable. Their big eyes and goofy smiles convey warmth and kindness. Like puppies, these guys can be a bit awkward and clumsy, so be prepared to have a drink or two spilled on you! Only about 1 in 10 men (11%) are attracted to this unique type, so they'll be flattered that you appreciate their charm.

Favorite Face Type
So-called "Mesomorph" faces obviously appealed to you. These faces can be shaped like a square or a rectangle, but are most noticeable because of their strong square jawline. The chins are clearly prominent from the front and side, and have crisp angles defining the sides of the chin. No sunken chins for you! This is by far the most masculine face type. Often, you'll also find strong, manly noses and beefy lips with this face pattern as well. About 41% of other men especially prefer men with this face type.



There. Now you know one more factoid about Famous Author Rob Byrnes.

A FEW POLITICAL THOUGHTS, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
A couple of my friends who lean to the right -- namely him and him -- are having a bit of fun with various aspects of the John Kerry campaign.

The Boi notes that although Kerry is winning primaries, he's polling less than 50% of the vote. Now, I don't consider that surprising -- or, really, noteworthy -- in a campaign with a number of first-tier candidates, but I suppose you have to frame your argument with whatever tools are at your disposal. Even if, in this case, those tools would be a broken plastic sandbox scoop and WD-40.

For the Boi, I would only nod to this article, and add that at least when people aren't vote for Kerry, they aren't protesting with a vote for... Bill Wyatt?

Meanwhile, Michael sees a Democratic party leadership and media elite offering up Kerry as a sacrificial lamb. I think it would be a good idea to direct him here, for starters, to remind him -- and a lot of other people -- where the Rush to Democratic Salvation was just days ago. I'd also point out that the early endorsements -- the ones that propelled Kerry and John Edwards from also-rans to viability -- didn't come from the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Guys, you know I love you. And I haven't committed my vote to Kerry or any other candidate (although I can think of a few people I won't be voting for.) But you don't have to rush to make your case. Not just yet. Wait until there's a real case to be made.

In return, I promise not to start a 'Draft Bill Wyatt' campaign in New York State.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

FOLLOW UP TO PREVIOUS POST
'Cause you see, if I could guest-blog at the BoiFromTroy's site, I could post things like this on it. And you know I'd never post links to silly news stories on TRL. Nuh-uh.

Her gift for Valentines? Stop looking at porn!!!

(INSERT SOUND OF HEAD BANGING AGAINST WALL HERE)
For the next few days, I am supposed to be a guest blogger over at the BoiFromTroy's site, while he's across the pond making Tony Blair regret his alliance with the USA. But I gots me a problem: I can't seem to access his site for the purposes of offering wry, witty observations about life and the human condition... or even the inane crap I post here on my own site.

Do any of you Movable Type users know if there's a secret I should have asked BFT before he jetted off? Like... do I maybe have to download MT to my computer? I can access the Main Menu, and I can edit my profile and set up 'bookmarklets', and I can compose an entry, but I can't figure out how to post it. Is it me? Am I stupid (please restrict your answers to this specific situation)? Or did the Boi forget something? (Yes, that must be it! Let's blame him!)

If you have any thoughts, comment away. If not, well... Sorry about that, Boi! Maybe next time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

KEEPING MYSELF IN PERSPECTIVE
My novel The Night We Met is, I like to think, well-written and fun. But it's not Great Western Literature and it's not going to save your live.

That's why I think this is hysterical:

PSYCHOHELP: The secrets of counselling & psychotherapy revealed through literature.

Damn. I had no idea I was so profound. I'd better re-read myself.

KEEPING OUR DECADES STRAIGHT
Is it just me, or didn't the 1970s end on December 31, 1979?

Yeah, I thought so.

So why is this picture of something that happened 343 days into the following decade included in a book titled "New York in the 70s"?

Just wondering. I do that too much, sometimes...
(Via Kottke)

THE ONION TAKES ON GAY MARRIAGE
How many times I have I heard most of these comments... and the people weren't joking.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

AH, SENTIMENT!
It's almost Valentines Day, and what better way to celebrate true love than with poetry by D-NASTY:

Shall we to the suburbs, my love?
Let us have two children!
So fair and blonde,
So pleasant and polite:

A slut and an asshole.



Damn, but don't I feel all a-tingle!

Monday, February 09, 2004

IF THERE'S A THIRD STORY, IT OFFICIALLY BECOMES A TREND

CINEMA-GOERS 'RIPPED OFF' ON POPCORN PRICES (Via Fark)

Movie Popcorn Pioneer Dies at 85

I HEART THIS EXPERIMENT
The science at Cockeyed.com keeps coming. Just in time for Valentines Day: "How Much is Inside Conversation Hearts?"

Highlights: the semi-scientific list of messages on candy hearts, and the last sentence.

MEMO TO: ANYONE PUT OFF BY YESTERDAY'S POSTS
FROM: FAMOUS AUTHOR ROB BYRNES


Yes, I meant it. No, I'm not turning terminally serious and pissy. But now it's Monday, and it's time to start having fun again!

I mean, all those Archbishops should still go straight to hell, but in a fun way!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

THE 'F' WORD
In my earlier post relating to a particularly venal comment by a Roman Catholic Archbishop, I initially used the 'f' word. When I related this to both my roommate and Bradykins, they urged me to get rid of that word, and I did. I'm not sorry I did that, but... well... maybe a little bit.

Here's the thing: I'm afraid too many people have bought into the old line that only stupid people with limited vocabularies use profanity. A lot of us have heard that since we were kids, but it's a lie.

Profanities can be very powerful. They can punctuate a statement, or express frustration, or express an thought far more sincerely than typing a mere "I disagree with you strongly, Archbishop O'Malley."

The 'f' word... the 's' word... whatever. They are the way real people talk.

To the extent I discuss anything too heavy here -- which will probably be minimal -- I'll probably keep those 'bad' words to a minimum. But I do believe a good 'fuck you' every now and then serves a purpose, so, despite my capitulation tonight, you are all on notice that I am quite willing to use the 'f' word with clergymen, congressmen, and anyone else who pisses me off.

I respect people who find the word offensive.

And they shouldn't use it on their own blogs.

ONE QUICK AND FINAL THOUGHT ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE
I have largely stayed out of the debate over gay marriage that's erupted in the wake of last week's Massachusetts court ruling, because I recognize that my mind is totally closed to the point where debate only frustrates me. If I hear one more person use the 'God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve' line, I'll scream. Honestly, people, that is a cliche that now has crossed the border into self-parody! Get a new line!

But I do have to toss out one comment, directed at those who worry about the fragility of marriage in modern culture. Those are the people who argue that the tradition and concept of 'marriage' and 'family' are under assault from widespread divorce, teenage pregnancy, unmarried couples living together, absentee fathers, dinner in front of the television, Neal Bush, Britney Spears, the diminishing role of religion, abortion on demand, and so on and so forth. Their argument boils down to this: traditional definitions of marriage and family are already in such a state of instability that allowing homosexuals to marry will add one more nail to the coffin... the final destabilizing factor that will destroy those institutions forever.

To which I respectably reply: bullshit.

That assertion sounds a lot like this one, to my ears: "We men have alreeady screwed up politics and government. Can you imagine how much worse things will be if we allow women to vote?"

Free clue here: marriage is not a zero-sum game. If I marry Bradykins, it will not harm my brother's marriage, my father's marriage, my mother's marriage, or your marriage. No one is proposing that churches be forced to sanction gay marriage. No one is going to force heterosexuals to take same-sex partners. Your fears are unjustified.

Allowing same-sex partners who love each other and want to make that ultimate commitment to marry will only strengthen the institution of marriage.

Oh, one other thing: my mind is closed on this matter. You can comment, if you choose, but don't expect debate here. You will not change my mind.

UPDATE: My point is proven by a the remarks of a Roman Catholic Archbishop. Ignorant + Celebate = Relationship Expert, of course:

Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said the rally was not about "hatemongering," as some critics have charged.

"We are here because we are concerned about marriage and about family," he told the cheering crowd. "Good strong marriage and family are good for our country, for society."


Let me, the agnostic, remind the religious expert (albeit of a church that's turned a blind eye to sexual molestation for decades, if not centuries) of a major biblical theme: get the plank out of your own eye before you worry about my speck, Father.

Oh -- and when was the last time you had a rally to condemn sexual molesters operating under the auspices of your clergy? Never? I didn't think so.

Let me tell you something, Archbishop O'Malley: gay people who love each other and want to marry are far more morally sound than Catholic priests who take advantage of children in pursuit of immature sexual gratification. And they are far more morally sound than a Catholic church hierarchy that tries to hide a pedophilia problem under tens of millions of dollars of payoffs and settlements.

You're supposed to lead people in morality. You have failed.

Friday, February 06, 2004

THE FAMOUS AUTHOR'S CLOSE FRIEND: THE FAMOUS CHEF
Country boy Michael Vernon has discovered that he has been the victim of identity theft! Apparently, some random chef has stolen his name and is serving up delectable Asian-ish food. I would guess this is all part of a plot to evade the wrath of the law (in the form of advocates for the ptomaine-stricken), and stick Michael with the liability. Time will tell.

Or maybe... Hmm. Michael's boyfriend 'Andrew' is Asian. Maybe this is an inside job...

"I HAVE NEVER HAD SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH ANYONE"
Ow.

I mean, I know that Catholic priests aren't supposed to have sex, but there's something about that quote that seems so sad and pathetic.

Yet another reason why I'm not a Catholic priest. Along with the fact that I'm not Catholic or even religious.

PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS WINE CONTINUES TO IMPROVE LIFE EXPECTANCY*
Corkscrew May Help in Stopping Strokes

(* - But only if you stop reading at the headline.)

TRL: AS ALWAYS, AHEAD OF THE CURVE
In an entry dated October 1, 2003 I warned of upcoming cutesy drinks named after the presidential candidates. (Click here and scroll to "Not Necessarily the Next 'In' Drink).

Now Roll Call* reports about a drink called... the Deantini.

You read it here first, folks. As always.

(* -- Sorry. No link is going to Roll Call, 'cause even the free two-week trial subscription requires you to give up far too much personal information. You'll just have to trust Wonkette.)

Thursday, February 05, 2004

HOW I JUST MISSED ENDING UP IN GAWKER
While the kids at Gawker (well... while the kid at Gawker) were/was busy cutting and pasting New York Social Diary's list of the lunch crowd at Michael's, the NYSD entry immediately above it was the truly important item.

I am all about those low-flying aircraft. Yes indeed...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

PRIMARY UPDATE
or, MORE COLE PORTER
(AND, NO, YOU DIDN'T ASK FOR IT)


Memo to: Dr. Dean

From: Democratic Voters

(ahem. mi mi mi mi mi)

It was just one of those things,
Just one of those crazy flings,
You were one of those men,
Who pulled the heartstrings...
Just one of those things.

We bought into all the hype,
We thought, maybe, the time was ripe;
A trip to DC
On primary wings...
Just one of those things.

If we thought a bit
'Bout the end of it,
Before we started pledging our vote;
We'd have been aware,
That our love affair,
And Dubuque
Both were remote.

So... goodbye, Doc, and I'll bet
You wish you were in the Senate,
It was great fun...
But it was just one...
Of those things.

UPDATED ALTERNATE (AND BETTER) FINAL VERSE, 'CAUSE YOU DID ASK FOR IT:

So... goodbye, Doc, and sweet dreams,
Here's hoping you regret those screams;
It was a great show,
But it was so...
One of those things.

(Coming next week: the next loser. Or something.)

(The big surprise: I know Gershwin, too!)

...AND THEN, SUDDENLY, CAMPAIGN 2004 TOOK A SURPRISING TURN!
Yes, folks, the campaign for the 2004 Republican nomination is suddenly up in the air! It could very well be a brokered convention in New York City this summer. Stay tuned.

Former Actor Challenging Bush in Primary

WMDs.
ECONOMIC POLICY.
WAR.
JOBS.
TERRORISM.
RICIN.
THE HALF-TIME SHOW.

The FCC has announced that it will investigate the entire Super Bowl Half-Time Show. Not just the two seconds of Janet Jackson Breastage Exposure (which would be ridiculous enough), but the entire seven-hour extravaganza.

I don't know about you, but I'll sleep a little bit better tonight...

Monday, February 02, 2004

A HUMBLE REQUEST FOR TECH HELP, PART II
A handful of you might recall that a few months ago I tossed out a request for advice. True, no one responded, but this site is slightly more popular these days, so I thought I'd try it again. Here goes. Don't be shy.

For the past few years, I've had a website -- RobByrnes.com -- hosted by Yahoo. For some reason, though, Yahoo is not accepting my updates to the page, rendering it essentially useless. (Not to mention the fact that I've never been able to send mail through the site... but that's another bitch for another day.)

In short, I need a new host. And I'd like your recommendations.

It is also imperative that I keep the domain name, since it's now mentioned on tens of thousands of book jackets and promotional materials. I know that it's possible to move the domain name to another host, but if you've done this, I'd appreciate your insight.

And then there's this blog. I would like to fold it into the future redesigned RobByrnes.com site (on the new host, of course). Fortunately, Blogger makes that transition fairly easy (or so it seems), but if anyone can share their experiences with me, I'd appreciate it.

Deep down, I know that none of this stuff is the heaviest of lifts, but I'm not very technical, and I'm a bit scared of jumping from the frying pan into the fire, so your knowledge and experiences would be helpful, if only to point me in the right direction.

Let me add that I'll also love you forever, if that will make a difference.

DON'T GET AROUND MUCH



create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

I'd credit the source, but I bookmarked it a few days ago and no longer remember. And in any event, almost everyone else has posted this by now. Ah well...

Friday, January 30, 2004

POST, DELETED
Earlier in the week, I posted a rant about the BobQuits.com project that, in retrospect, I regret. A bit. In re-reading that web site, I think I misread a few things, and possibly got the wrong impression about a few other things. My intention was not to denigrate sincere and nonjundgmental efforts to help smokers quit, so -- in the spirit of believing the sponsors are indeed sincere, nonjudgmental, and realistic about quitting --I think it's best to delete my post and wish 'Bob' my best.

(Damn. And I really wanted to end the week with humor. Maybe I'll have an inspiration in the next 75 minutes...)

MY NEW ZIMBABWEAN FRIEND WRITES
You may be surprise to receive this Email from me since you do not know me personally. However, I would like to introduce myself. I am Jack Fish Junior, the son of Doctor. Simon Fish. Who was murdered few months ago in Zimbabwe, as a result of land dispute? Before the death of my father (Dr. Fish)he had taken me to Amsterdam and deposit the sum of Fifteen Million United States dollars... You know how the rest of the spiel goes.

What I'd like to know is: if the father's name was Simon, how did Jack become a 'Junior'?

Whatever. I can ask him in person after I fly to Amsterdam for our one-on-one meeting to seal our deal.

"MR. HASSELHOFF, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!"
(Via Gawker)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

THE WAY MY MIND WORKS, VOLUME 46
Someone should have really thought to give Spalding Gray GPS for Christmas.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

AT WORDS POETIC I’M SO PATHETIC…
or, WHAT COLE PORTER WOULD HAVE WRITTEN IF HE WAS ALIVE TODAY AND A GAY BLOGGER IN MANHATTAN AND LINKING LIKE CRAZY ONE WEDNESDAY NIGHT JUST BECAUSE.

OH, AND IF COLE HAD A LOT LESS TALENT.


Guy #1:
You’re the top,
You’re an Appletini;
You’re the top,
You’re a Howard Deanie;
You’re a go-go boy
Who’s a so-so toy at Splash;
You’re a Missed Connection,
Bob Dole’s erection,
You’re Anil Dash!
You’re divine,
You’re the staff of Gawker;
You’re the line
Between ‘fan’ and ‘stalker’;
I’m diptheria
At Siberia,
I’m pop!
But, if baby,
I’m the bottom
You’re the top!

Guy #2:
No, you’re the top,
You are Paris Hilton;
You’re the top,
You’re… um… Charlene Tilton?
You’re news I don’t miss,
Thanks to Gothamist,
And Jen;
You’re the goddess Isis,
You’re Marie’s Crisis,
You’re Ambien!
Thou art swell,
You're the "Bridge… Down Under,”
You’re Michele,
Blogging A Small Wonder;
I’m a blogger who
Blogs through Blogger, who
Can’t stop,
But, if baby,
I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

Guy #1:
No, you’re the top (goddamit!),
You are Aaron Bailey;
You’re the top,
You read Kottke daily;
You’re the clever pen
Wielded now and then
By Lance;
You’re a third-floor walk-up,
A blog they talk up,
You’re true romance!
You’re a nose --
No, you’re rhinoplasty;
You’re the prose,
Of the great D-NASTY;
I am nothing more
Than a cheap link-whore,
Who's GOP!
But if, baby,
I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

Guy #2:
No, I said that
You’re the top,
You know frequent fliers;
You’re the top,
Like Elizabeth Spiers;
(Doesn’t rhyme with Spears,
Britney
: have no fears,
You’re safe);
You’re Posh Happy Hour,
Giff Miller’s power,
You’re Calvin's waif!
You set the time,
And you never grovel;
You’re sublime
As a Rob Byrnes novel;
I’m a worthless bloke, or
A Bloomberg smoker,
A prop;
But if, baby,
I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

Later that night, Guy #1 and Guy #2 finally realize that they have no option but to indulge in a night of mutually unsatisfying frottage, and the next morning decide to try to remain friends. That experiment lasts seventeen hours. Now they nod politely when they run into each other, then talk behind each other's back.

This post brought to you with apologies to the two bloggers to whom I didn’t link. And with further apologies to Cole Porter’s Ghost.

Starting tomorrow: no more caffeine or wine, or combinations thereof.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

BRINGING NEW MEANING TO THE TERM 'PITCHERS AND CATCHERS'
I'm Not Gay, Baseball's Porno Star Pitcher Says

(Did our favorite Gay Republican Sports Fan know this?)

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

NUMBER THREE REVEALED!
They die in threes.

First went Ann Miller.

Then Captain Kangaroo.

Then... no, sorry, Helmut Newton didn't count.

And now... Number Three.

TWO WORDS NEVER BEFORE FOUND TOGETHER IN THE SAME PHRASE: "BYRNES" and "PHILOSOPHER"
In case you ever wondered, according to the Ethical Philosophy Selector my personal philosophy for ethical living seems to match the following:

1. Aristotle (100%)
2. Aquinas (93%)
3. Spinoza (86%)
4. Epicureans (83%)
5. John Stuart Mill (80%)
6. Stoics (74%)
7. Jeremy Bentham (74%)
8. Kant (72%)
9. Ayn Rand (63%)
10. Jean-Paul Sartre (61%)
11. Nietzsche (56%)
12. St. Augustine (50%)
13. David Hume (49%)
14. Cynics (34%)
15. Nel Noddings (34%)
16. Ockham (34%)
17. Plato (32%)
18. Thomas Hobbes (27%)
19. Prescriptivism (24%)

I think I'm going to create my own ethical philosophy: Byrnesism. Will you follow me?
(Quiz via BoiFromTroy)

WE HAVE OSCAR NOMINATIONS TO BE JUDGMENTAL ABOUT!
As you undoubtedly know -- being the smart person you are, what with reading TRL and all -- the Academy of Motion Picture Popularity Arts and Sciences announced the Oscar nominations this morning. With virtually no time to think about it, here are my predictions:

Best Picture Nominees:
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "Lost in Translation," "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," "Mystic River," "Seabiscuit."

I saw "Mystic River" and thought it was over-rated. I didn't see any of the other movies. However, I confidently predict that it's the Year of Asia in American Cinema, which means that "Lost in Translation" will win, because it's set in Japan.

Best Actor Nominees:
Johnny Depp, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"; Ben Kingsley, "House of Sand and Fog"; Jude Law, "Cold Mountain"; Bill Murray, "Lost in Translation"; Sean Penn, "Mystic River."

Sean Penn: "Mystic River": see above. Since that was the only movie in this category that I saw, based on my prediction that it's the Year of Asia in American Cinema, Bill Murray should have a tangential edge for being nominated for a movie set in Japan. But remember that Ben Kingsley was once "Gandhi," and plays an Iranian in "House of Sand and Fog." Therefore, this category is too close to call.

Best Actress Nominees:
Keisha Castle-Hughes, "Whale Rider"; Diane Keaton, "Something's Gotta Give"; Samantha Morton, "In America"; Charlize Theron, "Monster"; Naomi Watts, "21 Grams."

Charlize Theron was awesome. I didn't see anyone else. Winner: Theron.

Best Supporting Actor Nominees:
Alec Baldwin, "The Cooler"; Benicio Del Toro, "21 Grams"; Djimon Hounsou, "In America"; Tim Robbins, "Mystic River"; Ken Watanabe, "The Last Samurai."

Tim Robbins: "Mystic River": see above. I didn't see anyone else. Winner: Ken Watanabe.

Best Supporting Actress Nominees:
Shohreh Aghdashloo, "House of Sand and Fog"; Patricia Clarkson, "Pieces of April"; Marcia Gay Harden, "Mystic River"; Holly Hunter, "thirteen"; Renee Zellweger, "Cold Mountain."

Marcia Gay Harden: "Mystic River": see above. Is this Aghdashloo chick Asian? Never mind: in this category, Renee pulls an upset, because everyone still loves her performance as Roxie Hart in "Chicago."

Best Director Nominees:
Fernando Meirelles, "City of God"; Peter Jackson, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"; Sofia Coppola, "Lost in Translation"; Peter Weir, "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"; Clint Eastwood, "Mystic River."

Clint Eastwood: "Mys---".. ah, that's getting boring. Sofia Coppola takes the Oscar here, not only because it's the Year of Asia in American Cinema, but because the Academy also wants to encourage her to stay behind the camera.

Best Foreign Film Nominees:
"The Barbarian Invasions," Canada; "Zelary," Czech Republic; "The Twilight Samurai," Japan; "Twin Sisters," The Netherlands; "Evil," Sweden.

Ironically, if it's the Year of Asia in American Cinema, the Asian film will have a disadvantage in the Best Foreign Film category. Plus, everyone is going to confuse it with that godawful Tom Cruise movie, which I didn't see. That's why I predict that "Evil" will win. Because who doesn't like a cryptic, slow-moving Swedish film?

Best Adapted Screenplay Nominees:
Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman, "American Splendor"; Braulio Mantovani, "City of God"; Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"; Brian Helgeland, "Mystic River"; Gary Ross, "Seabiscuit."

Prediction: "Mystic River" loses, and it's a four-way tie for the Award.

Best Original Screenplay Nominees:
Denys Arcand, "The Barbarian Invasions"; Steven Knight, "Dirty Pretty Things"; Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds, "Finding Nemo"; Jim Sheridan & Naomi Sheridan & Kirsten Sheridan, "In America"; Sofia Coppola, "Lost in Translation."

Having already been rewarded with a treat to stay behind the camera, Sofia Coppola will not win this category, 'cause the Academy is already growing concerned that she's starting to think she's all that. Even though it's the Year of Asia in American Cinema. Instead, the winner will be Steven Knight for "Dirty Pretty Things," a touching movie that manages to mix the plight of illegal immigrants with a tawdry organ-harvesting subplot. Oh yes -- and one of the characters is Turkish, and Turkey is in Asia. Yay. Plus, I actually saw "Dirty Pretty Things."

Best Animated feature Film Nominees:
"Brother Bear"; "Finding Nemo"; "The Triplets of Belleville."

"Brother Bear"? What the hell was that? No one wins in this category.

Best Original Score Nominees:
"Big Fish," Danny Elfman; "Cold Mountain," Gabriel Yared; "Finding Nemo," Thomas Newman; "House of Sand and Fog," James Horner; "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," Howard Shore.

I saw "Big Fish," and this was, like, its only nomination (Albert Finney was robbed!), so it will win.

Best Original Song Nominees:
"Into the West" from "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," Fran Walsh, Howard Shore and Annie Lennox; "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" from "A Mighty Wind," Michael McKean and Annette O'Toole; "Scarlet Tide" from "Cold Mountain," T Bone Burnett and Elvis Costello; "The Triplets of Belleville" from "The Triplets of Belleville," Benoit Charest and Sylvain Chomet; "You Will Be My Ain True Love" from "Cold Mountain," Sting.

I don't know these songs. (Of course, I also don't know "Hey Ya!", so take that for what it's worth.) But I'm intrigued by a T Bone Burnett/Elvis Costello collaberation, so I think they'll take the Oscar.

Best Documentary Feature Nominees:
"Balseros," "Capturing the Friedmans," "The Fog of War," "My Architect," "The Weather Underground."

Let's see. "The Fog of War" was about Robert McNamara, who engineered a war in -- where? that's right -- Asia. But it would be unseemly to honor a documentary about him in the Year of Asia in American Cinema, so I'm betting that the statuette will go to a documentary set in that other exotic locale, Long Island. Winner: "Capturing the Friedmans."

Best Documentary (Short Subject) Nominees:
"Asylum," "Chernobyl Heart," "Ferry Tales."

Honestly. Why do they even bother?

Honorary Academy Award:
Blake Edwards.

I predict that Blake Edwards will win.

Tune in next month to see how accurate my predictions were.

Monday, January 26, 2004

RETURN OF ME
So, in case you haven't been listening to the national news and are therefore in the dark, I spent the weekend in DC visiting the boyfriend. It was all good... even all that snow we had to plow through at 5:30 this morning on our way to the train station, so that I could make it to work by 10:00.

I'm playing catch-up with the weekend right now, so I really can't be bothered with being too informative or clever. [Insert your nasty-yet-obvious comeback here.] But let me leave you to ponder this until I have some free time:

Ewwwwww