Larry & I had the opportunity to attend an Academy Awards party at Ken’s house in Los Feliz – “Ken” being Mila’s brother who I’ve known for pretty much all of his life. He’s done well for himself and has a great house in the hills of Los Feliz and as you can see in the pics below, the view is REDONK. It was a lot of fun to watch with this group of people and while I ended up doing terribly in my predictions for most of the lesser awards, when it came to Best Picture, I ended up deciding to pick Moonlight as I figured the awards would get split between Picture and Director, and when Damien Chazelle won Best Director, I thought I was looking good. Then La La Land is announced as the Best Picture, and while I was happy with that result, I also know plenty weren’t, and it also hurt my ballot (not that it mattered, I lost hard). But then, that craziness of ‘oh yeah, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong envelope’ occurred and it was like, oh shit, are you kidding? Not just because that was an insane thing to have happen at the Oscars…but also, my employer is the one who looks to have been responsible for it happening!! EEEK……. and throughout the news cycle today, it definitely doesn’t look like that assessment is changing anytime soon. I can’t imagine anything else happening besides THERE WILL BE BLOOD. This is one of those cases though where shit doesn’t have a downhill option to go….the 2 partners who are there are the only ones allowed to know who won, so anyone else who was associated with helping is in the free and clear as nobody else has that comprehensive picture…and weren’t there with the envelopes. Girl, this is gonna be a rollercoaster, just saying.
The minute-by-minute breakdown of the shocking "Moonlight"/"La La Land" best picture mix-up https://t.co/MPjpzqIjWH
After yesterday’s amazing Super Bowl performance by Lady Gaga, I of course had her on repeat today. She does have a great catalog of fun songs to pick from now that she’s a few albums deep…in fact, I just bought something from her official store so I could get access to buy early tickets to her upcoming tour. She announced her “Joanne” World Tour after the performance and I am finally ready to go to her show. There’s a performance at the Forum on Aug 8, so here’s hoping I get some of those tickets!
Anyway, here’s hoping this video lasts a while of her performance at the Super Bowl – pretty damn great.
In the meantime…my favorite Lady Gaga tracks – not coincidentally, she certainly put most of these in the show, as they really are freakin great:
POKER FACE: The song I first loved from her, and which made me a fan. So great.
BAD ROMANCE: This song is unbelievably great. The video is just as fantastic. Eminently singable and makes you wanna scream and dance and all of it. A quite enjoyable song to play on Rock Band too.
BORN THIS WAY: Fucking great LGBTQ anthem and very strange video, gotta say. And even though it’s compared to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” for musical reasons, I still say, “Girls, you’re both pretty”.
TELEPHONE: Her and Beyonce kill it on this track. I really really really thought Beyonce was going to make a surprise appearance at the Super Bowl when Lady Gaga started singing this song.
AMERICANO: By far the song that is so not a hit but I fucking love the shit out of this song. I still wish I knew choreographers and had the motivation and time to have figured out a flash mob dance to this song at our wedding last year. It would’ve been epic. Could have then led into the Hava Nagila horah dance. Le sigh.
Anyway, there are so many great songs in her catalog, although I will say I think my favorites are from her first albums, The Fame, The Fame Monster, and Born This Way. I can listen to those albums all the way through and be wildly entertained. Joanne is growing on me, while ARTPOP is really disappointing.
In other random news, Larry bought me a Christmas present that just couldn’t get here on time due to supply issues: a signed copy of La La Land‘s soundtrack on vinyl (signed by the composer, Justin Hurwitz!). Sooooo lucky to have a wonderful husband as him!
Last night’s celebration with Rekha back on the West Side was a blast, but man, it was tough to get up and at ’em this morning. A touch hungover. Took a lot of water to start feeling normal again. It all happened because I mixed wine with hard stuff, and yeah, rookie move. So not only was today spent trying to recover from a hangover, I also was working from home. Fun day.
Golden Globes were fun – La La Land kicked ass and took home a lot of the awards, Meryl Streep was bad ass as usual in her speech, and then we watched the Bright Lights documentary of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and now I’m just done. It was a wonderful look into their lives, but just so goddamn sad in retrospect.
Anyway, I’ll try to download my pictures from last night and get them up this week, as there are some good ones. It was a good time out and about in the world. It was also nice to wander around Santa Monica a bit.
There isn’t an official video nor is the movie clip found online anywhere yet, as hello, GO SEE THE MOVIE. But some enterprising person spliced together scenes from a lot of La La Land trailers, a Dancing with the Stars performance inspired by the scene, and some video with Emma Stone in it and she’s dancing around the Queen Mary with a bunch of hot sailors. The editing is really quite a lot of fun, gotta say. So until the Blu-ray of the movie is in my hot little hands, this will do quite nicely!
There’s been some fun few days during this holiday break, and that was helped a lot by Michancy coming down for Christmas. She got here on Friday the 23rd, and that night we went out to Flapper’s Comedy Club in Burbank in the midst of a heavy heavy rain storm. These were tickets that Larry had gotten for free and we were this close to abandoning it and staying in, but we somehow found the willpower to just go. We got an Uber to make it easy on all of us, and did have plenty of wine before and during the show. The kind of cool thing that did happen at Flappers is that we got there at 7, and the actual “show” (Jokes for Jews, no joke) started at 8, so there was a warm-up act. At first I couldn’t roll my eyes harder as it was a woman singing while playing her banjo….and then I started hearing her voice more clearly and then really looking at her. It was freakin’ Deven Green! Or maybe you’ve heard of her as Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian?
Oh man, she is absolutely awesome in this character and has a whole slew of other topics if you choose to go down that rabbit hole. But this one about abortion is my favorite – especially the line, “bottoms up, hooker!” Deven Green also did some hilarious voiceovers on a series of videos that Brenda Dickson made back in the 80s, and if you can find them, great, but likely you won’t. So it was a happy accident and surprise that we got to see her in person. She’s very musically talented and was a lot of fun to watch and sing along with. I did get a brief chance to tell her how much I loved her work, so I feel like that was all worth it.
Alright, here are the pictures from that day of Michancy’s arrival –
Friday, Dec 23, 2016 – Michancy Arrives
The next day we included culture as part of the day’s activities before we got to real work on making food for Christmas Day, so we drove nearby to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. It’s a fabulous museum, convenient for us, not all that expensive, and has a wonderful collection of art without being overwhelming. I think it gets lost in the shuffle of LACMA, the Broad, or the Getty(s), but Norton Simon stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these museums in terms of quality. Highly recommended!
A big part of why I wanted to get over to the Norton Simon was that they had Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” on loan from the Chicago Art Institute, and I am always excited to go and see Van Gogh if I can. It turns out this is actually the 2nd of 3 “The Bedroom” paintings that Van Gogh did.
There were quite a few other Van Gogh paintings there as well, but one that really caught my attention is one called “The Mulberry Tree.” It’s quite arresting and I couldn’t help but be transfixed by it. I ended up buying a copy of it for my mom as a Christmas gift to go along with some of the other Van Gogh prints she has.
Probably the best thing of the visit though was wandering around near the end of the visit around the Dutch / European wing and coming face to face with what is most certainly Larry’s doppelganger in portrait form. It was quite shocking to see it and I had to have Larry take a picture with it. I’m not wrong:
The artist did his own portrait and while you can look around at other portraits of him, they really don’t look much like Larry. I think he was very generous with himself and that speaks highly of Larry. It also seems like this is a definite costume contender for Halloween 2017.
Anyway, after that nice excursion, we grabbed a late lunch in Eagle Rock and then came back for the evening and watched Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Die Hard, as one does for Christmas. Larry made amazing latkes, and all was well in the world.
Saturday, Dec 24, 2016 – Norton Simon and Other Adventures
One of the things we did that night was open our gifts – Larry got Bingo Bronson and a brand spanking new Apple Watch, while I got some of the Philips Hue lights I’ve been coveting for a long long time. Believe me when I say those things are so freaking cool. You can change the color of the light to pretty much anything, and it’s fantastic.
On Christmas, we went over to Mom’s house, as did Stacie & Trent. It was a lot of fun – we played some games (Tower of Terror Jenga & Apples to Apples), ate a lot of good food, danced a lot, and overall enjoyed Christmas day. We also watched my episode of Jeopardy, as Stacie hadn’t seen it. Funny enough, I made Michancy watch that again on Friday, I think. I’m definitely starting to get that out of my system? Although each time I watch, I still am utterly compelled by the whole thing. And I still don’t know the answers to many of the Earth Science questions. 🙂
Sunday, Dec 25, 2016 – Christmas with the Fam
Michancy ended up leaving the next day in the afternoon. We were mostly recovering from all the wine that had been consumed over the last few days and didn’t do much of anything – I played (and finishing, later that evening) Uncharted 4, Larry & I watched Midnight Special, which was certainly an interesting movie but I’m not sure all the build up we had for it was warranted?
Since then, I’ve had the chance to clean up the house a bit, go see La La Land again (still fantastic and as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first time I saw it), play a lot of The Witcher 3 (good god, that game is so good and there’s so much good stuff to do in it), and today I went and rode the Gold Line again, this time from Sierra Madre Villa and on out to its new terminus in Azusa, then back.
I’ve got my list of tasks to work through, some of which include getting these pictures out, maybe finishing up the honeymoon pictures FINALLY, as well as extending our lease another year. Yep, not moving after 2 years this time. Too many things up in the air right now to be moving and spending all that money to do so.