Sunday, February 27, 2011

Top 10 Famous People with Speech Differences

Congratulations to Academy Award WINNER “The King’s Speech”
Winner Best Original Screenplay David Seidler
Winner Best Director Tom Hooper
Winner Best Actor Colin Firth
Winner Best Picture

1. James Earl Jones, actor he was the voice of Darth Vader
2. Joe Biden Vice President of the United States
3. Bo Jackson Football and Baseball Star
4. Tiger Woods professional golfer
5. Marilyn Monroe actress
6. Carly Simon singer
7. Charles Darwin British naturalist
8. Bruce Willis actor
9. Marion Davis actress and mistress to W. R. Hearst she was big in silent films and was not excited about the “talkies”, yet she had no problem acting in those films.
10. John Stossel former 20/20 anchor, now with Fox news. He is a spokesperson for SFA (Stuttering Foundation of America).

Stuttering is commonly thought to be associated with anxiety but there appears to be no connection. It also has no reflection on a person’s intelligence. Stutterers commonly seem to have increased fluency when talking in unison with another speaker, copying another's speech, whispering, singing, and acting or when talking to pets, young children, or themselves. Other situations, such as public speaking and speaking on the telephone are often greatly feared by stutterers, and increased stuttering is reported. There are many treatments and speech therapy techniques available that may help increase fluency in some stutterers; however, there is no "cure" for the disorder at present.


Websites of interest:
stutteringhelp.org
stuttertalk.com

Friday, February 25, 2011

Top 10 Songs About Winning and The Stars

Perhaps a song or two that will cross my mind when I collect my Academy Award.

  1. I’m Winning Santana
  2. Hooray for Hollywood Doris Day
  3. Everybody Is A Star Sly & The Family Stone
  4. Simply the Best Tina Turner
  5. Fame David Bowie
  6. What a Feeling Irene Cara
  7. Starstuck The Kinks
  8. Winner Jamie Fax featuring Justin Timberlake
  9. I Feel Good James Brown
  10. Thanks for the Memories Bob Hope and Shirley Ross.  Bob Hope hosted the most Academy Award Ceremonies 19. He never won an Oscar.

Good luck to all the talented nominees!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Top 10's Academy Award Selections from DelcoTopTen

 
My picks, I will update the winner after the awards ceremony  February 27th

Congratulations to the WINNERS!

Actor in a Leading Role
  • Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
  • Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
  • Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
  • Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”  my choice WINNER
  • James Franco in “127 Hours” honorable mention
I stutter with this selection but I believe Colin Firth gave an amazing performance.  An actor who did not make the list is Mark Wahlberg for his performance in The Fighter.   The movie is up for Best Picture. Anything he has been involved in seems to be successful and although he himself does not stick out, he seems to always be the glue that holds it together.  Wahlberg truly seems like a good guy but this was not always so, from what I have read. Firth I have been in love with his work since Bridget Jones’s Diary. He was the logical choice.

Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Christian Bale in “The Fighter” my choice WINNER
  • John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
  • Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”
Christian Bale is the hottie that played handsome and suave Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight?  I didn’t even recognize him.  He gave a superb performance in “The Fighter” and he better win.  This film is a film within a film and perhaps HBO will show High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell again about boxer Dicky Eklund and his brother Mickey Ward.
Actress in a Leading Role
  • Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
  • Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” my choice WINNER
  • Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”
I personally found the movie a little too psycho but Natalie Portman’s performance …attitude…raised the barre…basic movement,  intensity,  choreography.  The woman just has talent.  Natalie Portman was born in Israel and has dual citizenship in the United States and Israel.  She attended Harvard University and studied psychology.  Her paternal great grandparents died at Auschwitz and her Romanian-born great-grandmother was a spy for British Intelligence during World War II.  All information which I read at wikipedi says to me she is extraordinary an not just another pretty face, She is also an advocate for animal rights and has been a vegetarian since childhood.
Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Amy Adams in “The Fighter”  my choiceTie
  • Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
  • Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” my choice Tie Winner
  • Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
  • Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”
Too tough a call for me on this one but I would love to see Amy Adams (the girlfriend) and Melissa Leo (the mother) duke it out in the ring from The Fighter.  They both had very strong performances. Helena Bonhan Carter was a truly royal wife who stood by her man but I must say her voice as the mother squirrel narrating the short film animation “The Gruffalo” was also a great performance. Hailee Steinfeld stood out as the one with the True Grit in that film and I did not see Animal Kingdom.

Animated Feature Film
  • “How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
  • “The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
  • “Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich  my choice WINNER
In all fairness, I have not seen the other films.  They both looked interesting in previews.

Art Direction
  • “Alice in Wonderland”  my choice WINNER
    Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
    Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
  • “Inception”
    Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
  • “The King's Speech”
    Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
  • “True Grit”
    Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
I did not see Harry Potter.
Cinematography
  • “Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
  • “Inception” Wally Pfister my choice WINNER
  • “The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
  • “The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
  • “True Grit” Roger Deakins
Costume Design
  • “Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood my choice WINNER
  • “I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
  • “The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
  • “The Tempest” Sandy Powell
  • “True Grit” Mary Zophres
Directing
  • “Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
  • “The Fighter” David O. Russell my choice
  • “The King's Speech” Tom Hooper WINNER
  • “The Social Network” David Fincher
  • “True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Documentary (Feature)
  • “Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
  • “Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic my choice
  • “Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs WINNER
  • “Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
  • “Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
More people should watch the Gasland documentary, especially if you live in a state where gas drilling is taking place Pennsylvania is a BIG one.  HBO still has it OnDemand check it out, it will certainly make you take notice about the safety issues surrounding it and you and me.
Documentary (Short Subject)
  • “Killing in the Name” Jed Rothstein
  • “Poster Girl” Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block
  • “Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon WINNER
  • “Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger my choice
  • “The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
Random pick. I did not see the film.
Film Editing
  • “Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
  • “The Fighter” Pamela Martin
  • “The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
  • “127 Hours” Jon Harris my choice
  • “The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter WINNER
All these films should be awarded for editing but I chose 127 Hours because it held me.  I felt trapped like the character but also felt hopeful he would figure it out.  I did know the ending going in and the whole time was on the edge of my seat wondering how is he going to get himself out of this dilemma?

Foreign Language Film
  • “Biutiful” Mexico my choice
  • “Dogtooth” Greece
  • “In a Better World” Denmark WINNER
  • “Incendies” Canada
  • “Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria
I have not seen any of these films just a guess.
Makeup
  • “Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
  • “The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
  • “The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey  my choice WINNER
A guess.
Music (Original Score)
  • “How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
  • “Inception” Hans Zimmer
  • “The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
  • “127 Hours” A.R. Rahman my choice
  • “The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross WINNER
Just as a side note the microphones used in the King’s Speech we the actual ones used by King George VI, they were discovered in the vaults of EMI music.  The microphones were not seen in the film, those scenes were shot before the score was recorded. That is pretty cool in itself.

Music (Original Song)
  • “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
  • “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
  • “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong my choice
  • “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman. WINNER
My own selection from 127 Hours is “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers even though it is not an original score or original song.  It’s placement in the movie is perfect.  It was a lovely day, who knew it would turn out so catastrophic and life changing. The use of this song was just perfect in my mind.  I am also a big Dido fan so if I have to live by the rules I choose, “If I Rise” from 127 hours.


Best Picture
  • “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • “The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers WINNER
  • “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers my choice
  • “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
This was so difficult to decide because each of the movies were so different and gave a unique perspective and message.  I don’t know how they decide at the Academy, especially when the stories are true.  Each of those characters deserves an award for allowing their stories to be told. If I have to make a choice it is purely personal.  The day I went to see 127 Hours I must admit my serotonin levels were down and the subject matter seemed a little depressing to me but I came away from that film with a very positive uplifting feeling.  It was a struggle for this guy and you were there right along with him but he kept his faith and his composure.  I was most impressed and inspired by the story.
Short Film (Animated) a preview of all at select theaters change zip code to find a theater near you.
  • “Day & Night” Teddy Newton a Disney/Pixar film had I not seen the others naturally I would have chosen this one but….
  • “The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang honorable mention, great story and fabulous animation
  • “Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe great message and oh so true.
  • “The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann, my choice WINNER when I saw this film it made me think…no one uses their imagination anymore, they simply don’t have the time…how sad.  This film sparked my imagination, there is a magical place for everyone.
  • “Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois very cleverly done I thought.
Short Film (Live Action) a preview of all at select theaters change zip code to find a theater near you.
  • “The Confession” Tanel Toom
  • “The Crush” Michael Creagh
  • “God of Love” Luke Matheny WINNER
  • “Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt my choice
  • “Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite
Until I went on the websites and check these films out, I would have chosen Wish 143.  It was interesting what the boy really wished for in the end.  I think it is something we all wish for.  I chose “Na Wewe” and it was in the running from the very beginning.  I saw all these films on the same day.  This was an intense short film. The message to me was the people fighting and killing don’t know the difference between the Hutu, U2 or the Tutsis.  Hotel Rwanda gives a good background on that. The original idea for this film came from Jean Luc-Pening who had an experience similar to the movie.  He was an agricultural engineer who was shot point blank by military on patrol and was left blind from the injury he sustain.  The movie does not follow his horrendous misfortune but the story does stem from his experience. I do find it strange that it is listed as a comedy.  Na Wewe means You Too in Kirundi perhaps where the humor comes in.  If you see the film then that would make sense.

Sound Editing
  • “Inception” Richard King WINNER
  • “Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
  • “Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
  • “Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger
Sound Mixing
  • “Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick WINNER
  • “The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
  • “Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
  • “The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
  • “True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Visual Effects
  • “Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
  • “Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojansky and Joe Farrell
  • Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb  my choice WINNER
  • “Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
I have not seen all these films but I chose Inception because even though I didn’t understand the movie it made me wonder.  How did they do that?

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
  • “127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy my choice
  • “The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin WINNER
  • “Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
  • “True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Just an incredible true story and the retelling I thought was very well written.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
  • “Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh my choice
  • “The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy &; Eric Johnson;
    Story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy; Eric Johnson
  • “Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
  • “The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler WINNER
This film left me so depressed when I saw it and then I starting thinking about how people are so co-dependent on other people and how some seem to care they really only care about what they want to care about and usually that is their own surroundings.  People often do blame other people for their own misery too instead of taking full responsibility for their own actions.

I am curious if anyone else saw the shorts.  It was my first time seeing the Live Action and Animation Shorts and I was knocked out by them all and have a new respect for them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Top 10 Takes on The Kodak Theatre Home of the 2011 Academy Awards

1. The Kodak Theatre is located in Los Angeles, California just off Hollywood Boulevard. It is a busy area full of tourists, shops and just down the street from the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where the cemented signatures, footprints and handprints of the stars are.


Grauman's Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard

2. The Theatre is nestled in a shopping area among shops, and kiosks in an open air mall. The large Oscar banners you typically see in the background are covering up the businesses located there.

Entrance to the shopping area from Hollywood Boulevard which will be covered in "The Red Carpet".


3. As a tourist, no photography is permitted inside the theatre. They are very serious about that and only groups of 20, I think it was. Turn off all cell phones and put away your cameras. You are given a post card of the inside of the theatre at the conclusion as a “thanks for the memories” and obeying the rules.



4. It seats 3,332 according to The Kodak Theatre website, Wikipedia says 3,401 people. It appeared smaller then I imagined. The Academy has over 6,000 members. Who gets a seat on the “big” night? Nominees of course are guaranteed a seat as well as presenters and their guests the rest are determined by a lottery system from what I read. I just know I did not receive an invite. Tips from ehow on “How to be a Seat Filler on Oscar night”.


Inside The Kodak Theatre a sourvieur received after taking the tour.


5. The building opened in November 2001. It is owned by CIM Group and Eastman Kodak paid $75 million to have its name associated with it.



Film crew on break or I am sure I would have been discovered.
 



6. Inside a special room within a plexiglass case you can view an Oscar statue awarded to Kodak. No photos allowed.
This was the only star I spotted on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Had circumstances been different I may still be in LA.



7. During the tour, you can look down on the famous stage from balcony seating and just imagine the excitement. Our tour was not permitted down into the regular seating area nor were we allowed on the stage.
Outside the Kodak Theatre looking from a level above.




8. Bleacher seat reservations along the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards seats were over September 22, 2010 but that still leaves plenty of time to plan for next year.

I believe this is the general area where all the stars are interviewed.  I was wearing sunglasses and a big hat and still went unnoticed. Perhaps I should have worn a designer gown.


9. “Members” of the Academy vote first by category for the nominees, which means members of a particular category such as actors, directors, and costume designers, nominate their peers and then every one in the Academy can cast a vote for the winner. I believe every one can also nominate Best Picture. Who are these members? Check the website for the short list at oscars.org. I am not sure if you can vote for yourself.



10. The Oscar statuette officially called the “The Academy Award of Merit” stands 13 ½ inches tall and weighs 8 ½ lbs. The designer was Cedric Gibbons, chief art director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the sculptor was George Stanley a Los Angeles artist. Its design is a knight holding a crusader’s sword, standing on a reel of film. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy (actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers). The cost to make an official Oscar seems to be a secret, it is made of gold but the distinct honor of being rewarded for your work we all have felt that, hopefully. It’s priceless!

I have never received an Academy Award but have lived long enough and seen enough to never say never. I have had the distinct honor however, of presenting an Oscar to our Tour Director this summer. She led a group of 50 people on a trip from San Diego to San Francisco over an 11 day period. I did get to see some of the most spectacular places the west coast has to offer and the additional stories told by some one who has been on the inside. Our tour director is in the process of producing her own movie, it takes a lot of work and I wish her well. The Award of Merit I presented to her was not an official Oscar. I purchased hers for $10 at the Farmers Market in LA but the appreciation and sentiment that goes along with that award was shared by the majority of group.

When she receives her official Oscar, I'll reveal her identity in that I have recognized her talent first.


I have seen a lot of the films that have been nominated this year. I will share my picks tomorrow. Of course my opinion does not warrant any reward, but most of the films I saw the old fashion way in a theater, we still have a few classic ones around especially in the city. I always stay while the credits are played as well, to acknowledge all the people involved in a production that often are not singled out as the best but have certainly earned recognition. If they do not win an Academy Award, I am still in awe of the talent and imagination they all possess.

What do we have in common?  She never won an Academy Award either but she certainly had talent.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top 10 New Reality TV Show

Who wants to be President?
The Rules

1. Number of contestants 10

2. No political party affiliations to be known.

3. Questions can be called in on an 800 number.

4. Votes each week on the best answers.

5. A twelve week process. President elect on final week.

6. Panel of non-discriminatory judges determine the validity of the question. (Supreme Court?)

7. Candidates have one week to solve or have a solution for a national crisis.

8. Contestants can phone a friend or professional on a particular topic and seek counsel.

9. Special interest groups are permitted to advertize during commercials which will pay for the process. No candidate may endorse these products.

10. A team of lobbyist would be in charge of production.



Okay so it doesn’t seem exactly fair but it is better exposure and would probably get more attention as a reality television show and would have more people taking about politics the next day and being more aware of the issues. I got the idea last week when I heard “The Donald” will decide by June if he is interested in throwing his hat in the presidential candidate ring. It may cause a few cheers if he walked in the first day and said to everyone “you’re fired”.



Imagine the “Undercover Boss” would be a “Survivor” if he could “Keep up with the Kardashians” it would be “An Amazing Race” to see “America’s Top Model” on “Project Runway” riding on an “American Chopper” and seeing that the “Models on the Runway” are “Police Woman” in “The Real World” with “Real World Road Rules and Challenge”, “The Contender” as he and his “Big Brother”, “Get the Big Break” on “Dancing with the Stars” and by being “The Next Food Network Star” or possibly “Top Chef” becoming the next “American Idol” and proving that “America’s Got Talent”!

I am sure I have missed a few and there is always room for more in reality.
What ever happened to Hogan’s Heroes and the I Love Lucy well written type shows?

If I want real I watch Discovery or National Geographic and PBS still puts out some quality programming.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Top 10 What is the deal with President's Day?


  1. George Washington, the first President of the United States, birthday is observed on the third Monday in February between February 15 and 21.  Even though he was born on February 22, 1732 according to the Gregorian calendar. He opted to begin observing this date when the Gregorian calendar was adopted by the English Colonies in 1752.

  1. He was also born February 11, 1731 based on the Julian calendar in use by the British Colonies at the time of his birth.  He was born in Colonial Virginia.

  1. Washington’s Birthday was declared a “federal” holiday in 1879 by an act of Congress. He was the first American citizen to have a federal holiday commemorating his birthday.  Martin Luther King is the only other individual to date. Columbus Day celebrates his arrival to the Americas.

  1. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Act, an act of Congress amended the federal holiday provisions of the United States Code moving the observance of “certain” holidays to Mondays. Hence, Washington’s Birthday, February 11 (Julian calendar), nor February 22 (Gregorian calendar, which we follow) will never fall on the third Monday in February between February 15 and February 21.

  1. Because of this change in day, many people now refer to this holiday as Presidents Day and consider it a day honoring all American Presidents.  There has never been an official change in the name.  It is still considered a celebration of the birthday of George Washington.

  1. Constitutionally, there are no “national holidays” in the United States because Congress only has the authority to create holidays for federal institutions and federal employees and for the District of Columbia. There are instead federal holidays, state holidays and city holidays. In the state of Pennsylvania, the third Monday in the month of February is known as President’s Day.  You can click on this Wikipedia link to find out what is celebrated today in your state. The majority of states call this Washington’s Birthday “federal holiday”, President’s Day but there are a few who exercise their rights as free and independent states of the United States and calls it as they sees it, so to speak.

  1. Since 1893, the U.S. Senate has observed Washington’s Birthday by selecting one of its members to read Washington’s Farewell Address. Senator Ronald Burris from the state of Illinois will read it this year on the official birthday February 22, at 2pm. Only last year have I myself ever read this amazing document.  It was written so many years ago by one of the most revered Presidents of the United States. There are so many great lines in this document. I hope the assembly of elected officials is paying attention to the wise words. Check out this fascinating piece of history.  It is available online. Google it! We do live in a changing world BUT this still makes sense.

  1. Four United States Presidents were born in February, Ronald Reagan, February 6th, William Henry Harrison, February 9th, Abraham Lincoln, February 12 and George Washington, February 22nd. There are no other official holiday’s to celebrate any other President’s birthday but here is an official list of all Presidential birthdays.

  1. In the United States, a federal holiday is a public holiday recognized by the United States Federal government. Non-essential federal government offices are closed. All federal employees are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive holiday pay for that day in addition to their ordinary wages. Often schools are closed making this a long weekend. Typically this is not a paid holiday in the private sector and the original intent to make Monday holidays a family extension to enjoy time together did not exactly pan out. Workers are forced to take a personal day or sick day to be home with their children or pay some one to watch them if a relative is not available.

  1. Presidents’ Day is widely used to advertise “special” prices during a certain period with the confusion of exacting who, what, when and where we are celebrating. It has also been known to be President’s Week and or Presidents’ Week.

Me? I am still trying to figure out would I be older or younger if I follow the Julian calendar.  Age is just a number right? After all these years, I would imagine George is grateful to be acknowledged at all and we should certainly acknowledge, the world we live in with all its freedoms would be a different place had he not been born and stepped up. We should also recognize any male or female that is willing to take on that challenge. It is a hard job that rarely gets the kudos it deserves.

Happy Birthday tomorrow February 22, to George Washington someone had to take that first step and be a leader! He certainly handled it with honor and valor.


Pictured:
The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier is a war memorial located in Washington Square in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The memorial was built in 1954 and features an eternal flame and a statue of George Washington gazing toward Independence Hall. There is no fee to visit and pay your respects.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Top 10 Race Car Driving Songs

Daytona 500 February 20th 2011

  1. The Boys Are Back Tin Lizzy
  2. Drive My Car The Beatles
  3. Life in the Fast Lane Joe Walsh
  4. Dead Man’s Curve Jan and Dean
  5. Road House Blues The Doors
  6. I Love NASCAR Cledus T. Judd & Toby Keith
  7. Fast Car Tracy Chapman
  8. Rockin Down The Highway The Doobie Brothers
  9. Start Me Up Rolling Stones
  10. Gentlemen Start Your Engines Grateful Dead

Anyone have one to add?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Top 10 Things That Melt

1. Snow (it’s happening)


2. Ice Cubes

3. Butter

4. Popsicles

5. M&M’s chocolate

6. Brain Meltdown (thoughts and ideas)

7. Wicked Witch (water does the trick)

8. Sugar in a beverage

9. Emotions (your heart can melt when something touches you).(stress and anger eventually dissipates)

10. Calories when you exercise

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Top 10 NASCAR Terms for the Rookie

1. Banking The sloping of a racetrack, particularly at a curve or a corner, from the apron to the outside wall. Degree of banking refers to the height of a racetrack's slope at the outside edge.




2. Drafting The practice of two or more cars, while racing, to run nose-to-tail, almost touching. The lead car, by displacing the air in front of it, creates a vacuum between its rear end and the nose of the following car, actually pulling the second car along with it.



3. Groove Slang term for the best route around a racetrack; the most efficient or quickest way around the track for a particular driver. The "high groove" takes a car closer to the outside wall for most of a lap, while the "Low groove" takes a car closer to the apron than the outside wall. Road racers use the term "line." Drivers search for a fast groove, and that has been known to change depending on track and weather conditions.



4. Handling Generally, a race car's performance while racing, qualifying or practicing. How a car "Handles" is determined by its tires, suspension geometry, aerodynamics and other factors.



5. Loose (Also referred to as "free" or "oversteer.") A condition created when the back end of the vehicle wants to overtake the front end when it is either entering or exiting a turn. In qualifying mode teams walk a fine line creating a setup that "frees the vehicle up" as much as possible without causing the driver to lose control.



6. Pit Road The area where pit crews service the cars. Generally located along the front straightaway, but because of space limitations, some racetracks sport pit roads on the front and back straightaways.



7. Pole Position Slang term for the foremost position on the starting grid, awarded to the fastest qualifier.



8. Short Track Racetracks that are less than one mile in length.




9. Victory Lane Sometimes called the "winner's circle." The spot on each racetrack's infield where the race winner parks for the celebration.



10. Daytona 500 is the race that opens the NASCAR season. Winning does nor deem you the greatest driver of the season but it is a coveted prize to win.

I also like to hear when they say someone is a lucky dog but I don’t understand what it means.

All these terms and their meanings can be found at NASCAR.com



Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified for the first pole position this year 2011.

During the third lap of the Daytona 500, Sunday February 20th, Daytona International track officials are working with the broadcast partners to go silent on the third lap of the Feb. 20 race to honor the memory of Jr’s. father.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001, ten years ago. Fans will also be asked to stand and raise three fingers on that lap for Earnhardt. Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove car #3.



It was very tragic what happened to Earnhardt Sr. Is it time to let Jr. be his own man without trying to live in the shadow and expectations of his father?

Where would Jr. be without Sr.?


Ryan Newman won the Daytona 500 in 2008.  It was his only win in the 2008 season. It was not a banner year for me either. I don't think Ryan Newman paints his toenails. This photo was taken prior to his win.  His signature and footprints were later added to the Daytona Champions Walk of Fame.


The pictures in this blog were taken at Daytona International Speedway in 2008 a few weeks before the big race when all was quiet. It is a huge entertainment event.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Top 10 Grammy Winners 2011

 
(Familiar to me and a sampling from the past)

  1. Record of the Year 2011 Need You Now Lady Antebellum. Need You Now also won for Song of the Year, Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group with Vocals, Best Country Song, and Best Country Album. In 1970, Simon and Garfunkel won Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year with Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

  1. Best New Artist 2011 Esperanza Spalding (on the faculty at Berkley).  She is 23 years old and new to me.  I like her sound. In 1970, Karen and Richard Carpenter won.

  1. Best Pop Performance 2011 By A Duo or a Group With Vocals Hey Soul Sister (Live) Train.  I am more a fan of Drops of Jupiter and Calling All Angels is a good song as well. In 1970, Best Pop Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus was won by The Carpenters for Close to You.

  1. Best Pop Instrumental Performance Nessum Dorma Jeff Beck. In 1980, Best Rock Instrumental Performance Police (Stewart Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers),  Reggatta De Blanc

  1. Best Dance Recording Only Girl In The World, Rihanna. First year of this award 2002 it went to Dirty Vegas (Ben Harris, Paul Harris, Steve Smith), artist. Ben Harris, Paul Harris & Steve Smith, producers for Days Go By.

  1. Album of the Year Arcade Fire, The Suburbs. In 1976, Stevie Wonder won Album of the year for Songs in the Key of Life. A great song from that album Love’s In Need of Love Today as well as As.

  1. Best Rock Song Angry World Neil Young. In 1980, the Best Rock Performance, Male Vocalist went to Billy Joel, Glass Houses. Don’t Ask Me Why was on this album.

  1. Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Bittersweet Fantasia. In 1985 Aretha Franklin won for Freeway of Love.

  1. Best Americana Album You’re Not Alone Mavis Staples. In 2009, the first time Americana Album was a category Levon Helm, artist. Justin Guip, engineer/mixer, Larry Campbell, producer won for Electric Dirt.

  1. Best Contemporary World Music Album Throw Down Your Heart, Africa Sessions, Part 2:Unreleased Tracks. Béla Fleck. In 1991, the first year of this award Mickey Hart won for Planet Drum.

This is just a sampling that I was able to find links to on YouTube. As always, I respect the artists and their work and find it sad so many have to ruin it with such negative comments or foul language that doesn’t belong. The Grammy Awards have been around since 1958.

A full list of nominees and winners can be found at grammy.com.

How do you hear of new music?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Top 10 Love, What is it all About, Love?

1. Cupid is often the symbol of Valentine’s Day along with the heart. Cupid in Roman mythology was the god of love. The legend of his love life with Psyche was not as simple as shooting an arrow. The story of Cupid and Psyche is said to mirror the popular tale of Beauty and the Beast.


2. Love is patient, love is kind…. (1 Corinthians 13:4) if you haven’t been to a wedding and heard this psalm it is often used or preached for and to newlyweds. Actually it should be noted that at times you will lose your patience and no one wants to be cruel but it does happen.


3. “Love means you never have to say you are sorry” was a popular line from the 1970 movie “Love Story”. It is a very sad story and you can’t help but fell sorry for the couple. Is it true, love means you never have to say you are sorry? It is better to say “I’m sorry” then to hear “I’m sorry that I ever met you”.


4. The lovebug, is a member of the family of march flies. It is also known as the honeymoon fly, kissingbug or double-headedbug. If you feel that you have been bitten by the love bug, it is simply not so. This species' reputation as a public nuisance is due not to any bite or sting (it is incapable of either), but to its slightly acidic body chemistry. It can however cause a little tickle if it lands on you and crawls some where on your body.

5. Love does not appear in my World Book Encyclopedia instead it refers you to emotion and sexuality.

6. Love, Look What You’ve Done To Me is a great song by Boz Scaggs. If you are acting a little crazy, you can always blame it on love.
7. What would you do for love? Well that is an unending list isn’t? We have all done things that we can’t even imagine we are capable of, just for love.

8. Which is the greater accomplishment in life to have loved or to have been loved? They are both pretty special.

9. Love can be found in the online dictionary and it is pretty extensive. I have read it; feel free to browse the link yourself. I still find that it doesn’t cover half of what love means.

10. The truth of the matter is, love is very complex and I am not sure anyone has a clear definition. Each and every unique heart has its own perception but there is no denying, it is real.



Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you get to feel the love each and every day.