Wednesday, January 24, 2007

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

First Oscar noms impression:
Take that, Dakota!
Yay, Olive!

More to come!

Monday, January 15, 2007

It was this fortnight a year ago, when Goliath destroyed David. And everyone was happy.

Aussie Open time! The forgotten Slam! The too-soon Slam! The Slam I would LOVE to go to! The Slam that will forever be remembered as the time Justine Henin-Hardenne so ungraciously quit in the finals. In a lovely twist of fate, dare I say irony, Mauresmo quipped, "I was ready to die out there today," while JHH quit for a tummy ache. It is also the time when the Pot is back-to-back annoyed by another long post of mine. The summer heat, the injuries, the somewhat long interim between seasons, it is unpredictable all around...or is it? Deep.

The Impossible Chase against Roger Federer, Year #4, can begin. Gentlemen, be ready to fail.
Men Top Quarter: Top Seeds: #1 Fed. #7 Tommy Robredo, #11 Baghdatis
Potential Spoilers here: #24 Juan Carlos Fererro, #18 Richard Gasquet and unseeded Gail Monfils and Feliciano Lopez.
All Federerer. Interesting quarter match up which was last year’s final against Baghy, who, with his entourage of insanity, will take out Robredo.
Quarters: Fed over Baghy.

Second Quarter: Top Seeds: #4 Ljubicic (who just lost) #6 Roddick
Spoilers: #16 David Ferrer, #22 Domink Hrbaty, #24 Marat! And unseeded Vince Spadea and Mardy Fish (who knocked out Ljubicic
With Ljuby out on top, I will go with Ferrer to make it to the quarters. On the bottom (hot!) Safat will take out Roddick in Round 3 in an amazing match. But Safin pulls it together well and I think Andy is gonna crumble.
Quarters: Safin over Ferrer

Third Quarter: Top Seeds: #3 Davydenko, #8 Nalbandian, #12 Haas (hotness)
Spoilers: #29 Malisse, #21 Tursonov and unseeded Max Mirnyi and Oliver Rochus
Kind of a snoozer of a quarter with no one very well known, and the top seeds are not set as making it through to the latter stages of tourneys. Perennial favorite of mine Tommy Haas, now is your chance! But I don’t see it happening, sadly.
Quarters: Tursonov over Haas

Fourth Quarter: Top Seeds: #2 Nadal, #5 Blake.
Spoilers: #15 Andy Murray, #19 Hewitt (hometown) and unseeded Ginepri.
Potential tough first rounder for Blake against veteran Carlos Moya and Nadal is up against the man who almost knocked him out of Wimbledon, hot American Robert Kendrick. Nadal should fall early, the problem is, there is no one of worth until Murray in the round of 16. Blake will step it up first week.
Quarters: Murray over Blake.

Semis: Fed over Safin; Tursonov over Murray
Final: Fed over Tursonov. I guess

Big Babes of Tennis: Start your engines. A Justine free Slam! :-) And the start of the Open-Era without Lindsay Davenport (a goodbye to her to come)
Top Quarter: Top Seeds: #1 Sharapova, #8 Schnyder
Spoilers: Up and comers #13 Ivanovic, #12 Chakvetadze, and homegrown #24 Sam Stosur (who I love) and Alicia Molik, surprise quarter finalist two years ago.
Watch the prettiest round of 16, Sharapova over Ivanovic. Schnyder is tricky but getting up there. She will fall earlyish
Quarters: Sharapovs over Stosur

Second Quarter: Top Seeds: #4 Clijsters, #6 Hinigis, #9 Safina
Spoilers: #19 Na Li – watch for her! Could see her causing damage.
Hmmm, I am lost here. Safina who has positioned herself to be on the brink of a big win at a major recently beat Hingis. Clijsters, a somewhat nonentity in slams lately just won big twice. But she is shaky
Quarters: On a limb: Safina over Clijsters

Third Quarter: Top Seeds: #5 Petrova, #3 Kuznetsova, #11 Jankovic
Spoilers: SERENA! #16 Sharar Peer
Kutzy will do nothing, come on NADIA! Jankovic who looks like a total bitch has had an amazing start to the year. She almost took out Justine in the US Open semis. I can’t root against Nadia. She will take out Serena in a gritty performance, then annoyingly fall to Jankovic.
Quarters: Jankovic over Peer

Fourth Quarter: Top Seeds: #2 Mauresmo, #6 Dementieva, #10 Vaidisova
Spoilers: #14 Schiavone
A relatively kind draw for Mauresmo, who I don’t see stepping it up like last year.
Quarters: Mauresmo over Vaidisova

Semis: Sharapova over Safina; Jankovic over Mauresmo
Finals: Sharapova over Jankovic

Sunday, January 14, 2007

GLOBIES! Golden Globe Predictions, 2007

Time for the Globes! Best awards show of the year... it truly is a fun ceremony. Take notes, Academy. Take notes. I am very happy with these pics. Tomorrow night, I will not be. Bonus tho....The Pot said he may come over to watch! I bet he forgot.
Here we go...

Motion Picture – Drama
The Departed
Little Children
The Queen

Rooting for: Departed. Against: Babel. Spoiler: Departed. Winner: Queen.
As of yesterday, I didn’tt see The Queen winning this big. Changed my mind. Think the foreign press will award it. Rather weak noms, however.

Actress - Drama
Penélope Cruz
Judi Dench
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Helen Mirren
Kate Winslet

Rooting for: Mirren. Against: Winslet (sorry, the movie sucked). Spoiler: None, but Cruz could be fun? Winner: Mirren. Hands down Mirren, and her speech will be glorious and witty.

Actor - Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Peter O'Toole
Will Smith
Forest Whitaker

Rooting for: DiCaprio (Departed) Against: SMITH! Spoiler: Whitaker. Winner: Smith.
I don’t think I can even comment here. I just don’t want Will Smith to win. Forest Whitaker is consistently, quietly amazing. Peter O’Toole is a living legend. DiCaprio is now a viable adult cinematic heavyweight, robbed of awards in the past, mind you. Will Smith will get jiggy and be a tool.

Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine
Thank You For Smoking

Rooting for: Little Miss. Against: Devil. Spoiler: Borat. Winner: Dreamgirls
Little Miss Sunshine was the best time I’ve had in a movie theater in a long time.

Actress - Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening
Toni Collette
Beyoncé Knowles
Meryl Streep
Renée Zellweger
Rooting for: Collette. Against: Zelweggs. Spoiler: None. Winner: Streep.
Yes she was devilishly fun in the first half, but she wasn’t the lead. After seeing Little Miss a few more times, I can appreciate Colette’s role a bit more, but she got the short end here.

Actor - Musical Or Comedy
Sacha Cohen
Johnny Depp
Aaron Eckhart
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Will Ferrell
Rooting for: Eckhart. Against: Depp. Spoiler: Eckhart. Winner: Borat.
Borat will give a fun speech. But it is nice to see Aaron (Company of Men) Eckhart here.

Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza
Cate Blanchett
Emily Blunt
Jennifer Hudson
Rinko Kikuchi
Rooting for: Blunt! Against: Babel twins. Spoiler: Blanchett. Winner: Hudson
Wasn’t Emily Blunt really funnier than Streep? No? Ok. I am willing to like this American Idol loser, but she was on American Idol, which I hate and she loses points. Shouldn’t Blanchett be the formidable powerhouse in this category among 4 other unknowns? I guess her victory will be a couture one.

Supporting Actor
Ben Affleck
Eddie Murphy
Jack Nicholson
Brad Pitt
Mark Wahlberg
Rooting for: No one. Against: Pitt. Spoiler: Wahlberg. Winner: Nicholson.
A surprisingly blah category for me. Where, oh where, is Alan Arkin? Hell, even Paul Dano!??!

Foreign Languge Film
Letters From Iwo Jima
The Lives Of Others
Pan's Labyrinth
I just find this category surprisingly main-stream this year. And wanted to point that out. Rooting for Pan’s Labyrinth! Winner: Letters. Maybe Mel will win and get booed. Remember, alcohol is served at the Globes…

The Departed
Little Children
Notes On A Scandal
The Queen
Rooting for: Departed. Against: Little Children. Spoiler: Queen. Winner Departed.
Even as I watched The Departed, I marveled, “What genius wrote this?” Well, maybe I didn’t use the word genius, but someone smart sure did. It was crafty. The writer used a lot of notecards spread out over his work area, so give him an award! Little Miss Sunshine? Everyone's favortie story of the year.

Television Series - Drama
Big Love
Grey's Anatomy
Rooting for: Big Love, I think. Against: Lost. Spoiler: Heroes. Winner: 24
Why are TV dramas not doing it for me? Friday Night Lights is amazing. AMAZING. And soon to be cancelled? Thought it would get some recognition here, though.

Actress Television Series - Drama
Patricia Arquette
Edie Falco
Evangeline Lilly
Ellen Pompeo
Kyra Sedgwick
Rooting for: Falco. Against: Arquette. Spoiler: Falco. Winner: Sedgwick
Don’t’ care. But 3 out of the 5 of these women are boredom incarnate. Why is no one seeing through Arquette's fluke win? She doesn't belong. Go Mrs. Soprano. She always gives a fun speech anyway.

Actor Television Series - Drama
Patrick Dempsey
Michael C. Hall
Hugh Laurie
Bill Paxton
Kiefer Sutherland
Rooting for: Hall. Against: Keifer. Spoiler: Keifer. Winner: Laurie
Kyle Chandler? Friday Night Lights coach!?!?!? I just wanted to give him a shout-out. He was on Homefront, the best show ever, which was cancelled way before its time. Again, Laurie for speech value.

Actress Television - Musical Or Comedy
Marcia Cross
America Ferrera
Felicity Huffman
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Mary-Louise Parker
Rooting for: Cross. Against: JLD (I hate her show!) Spoiler: Parker. Winner: Ugly Betty
Yes, the globes, in particular in the TV categories reward young, new talent. Betty will give a cute speech I think. Marcia Cross will look gorgeous.

Actor Television - Musical Or Comedy
Alec Baldwin
Zach Braff
Steve Carell
Jason Lee
Tony Shalhoub
Rooting for: Carrell. Against: Shalhoub. Spoiler: Shalhoub. Winner: Baldwin
No one is reading anyway. Go Michael Scott!

Television - Musical Or Comedy
Desperate Housewives
The Office
Ugly Betty
Rooting for: Office! Against: DH. Spoiler: Betty. Winner: Office
I am encouraged that the Housewives already seem to be past their prime. No one can dispute the brilliance of The Office. Young, fresh Betty can do well here though.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pass this station right by

Before I bashed the NY area radio station(s) that I hate listening to in the morning, I decided to give my least favorite group of radio personalities one last chance to show me that their show has some redeeming quality. I tuned in today during my drive. I turned to a different station about 38 seconds later.

So who are they? None other than Elvis Duran and the Morning Zoo on Z-100 in New York (and, unfortunately for Southern Florida, on Y-100.7 in Miami). And why do I dislike them so much? Well here are a few reasons.

First, they DO NOT broadcast from the "top of the Empire State Building" (aside from maybe having a transmitter there). Their studios are in the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Be proud you're from Jersey, don't diss it.

Second, Elvis Duran is a 40-something year old man who somehow thinks he's still in his 20s. Elvis, sweetie, you're not, ok? The "comedy" bits that he puts on the show really border on the ridiculous. Greg T eating dog food? Greg T and Skeery Jones sharing a spagetti-eating kiss? Come on, Elvis! I used to like you when you were on in the afternoons and Z-100's format was more alternative than its now 13-year old girl music. But the ridiculous antics (although I acknowledge a lot of people in the NY area must like them given the ratings) I just can't handle.

Third, the supporting cast is more annoying than anyone on radio. Hell, I'd listen to David Lee Roth -- or even Wake Up With Woopie -- instead of these people. For example, the previously mentioned Greg T "the frat boy." What are you, Greg, like 30 now? You're not a "frat boy" anymore, buddy. Cut the stupid "frat boy" stunts down to a minimum. Skeery Jones, same goes for you. I just can't listen to Danielle Monaro -- she has a voice that is worse than nails on a chalkboard. Carolina Bermudez just seems to be a useless piece of this program. And her attempts at "phone taps" (themselves not really all that interesting) are pitiful. Girl, you're not an actress. Froggy -- um, nothing bothers me more than stupid fake radio names. I don't really have anything bad to say about John Bell, except that I question his judgment for working with this group. And finally, Garrett (pictured above). You're Monkey Boy's competition for cutest guy in NY morning radio.

I've said my peace.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Radio Channel Surfing

Since my current commute to work involves a lengthy car ride some mornings, I've spent a lot of time rolling through the radio dial looking for something interesting time-wasting music of talk to listen to. Over the past few months, I've formed some opinions about the radio personalities in the New York area. Now I'm going to share them.

What I usually end up listening to is 95.5 PLJ's Scott and Todd in the Morning (a/k/a The Big Show). Why? Well, there are two reasons -- they do a fairly good job (the music is ok, the jokes and parodies are usually funny, the phone scams are normally hysterical, the conversations somewhat interesting) and the rest of the morning shows on NY-area radio are just downright painful to listen to. Let me explain.

First the good. Scott Shannon is somewhat of a radio legend, being in the business for decades. The guy knows a lot about radio (he's in some halls of fame and I think was named something like the biggest and bestest radio guy ever by Billboard Magazine), a hell of a lot about music and, with his current complement of co-hosts and side players, does a pretty good job of keeping listeners tuned in. I'll admit, I didn't listen to Scott when he was heading up the "Z Morning Zoo" on Z-100 back in the 1980s -- it was a little painful. But when he came back from California to MOJO Radio (some stunt PLJ used back in the early 1990s when Shannon took over the morning show), I gave him a chance and have been a somewhat loyal listener since.

Now Todd Pettengill, Scott Shannon's co-host, is an absolutely integral part of this show. The guy is f**king hysterical -- something I never knew listening to him on Albany, New York's Fly 92.3 when I was in college up there in the early 1990s (hey Todd, remember the "Smart Deal Network" TV commercials you did? They always seemed to be on when we'd come home drunk from Daps). His phone scams are great. The parody songs he creates are, most the time, brilliant. His general banter during the show usually gives me a laugh. With that said, I have to admit that I could not listen to his Saturday Night at the 80's show. Todd, I think you're great . . . but the lame jokes, the canned phone calls and the different voice you used when taping that show just didn't do it for me.

As for the rest of the "cast," I'm liking them all. Patty Steele, I'm glad you left Z-100. I didn't think I'd ever get over Naomi Diclemente's departure, but you filled her shoes well. Joe Nolan adds some great humor -- most the time at his own expense. He does a great sounding traffic report (even if he leaves out most the roads anyone cares about). Bill Evans was also a great addition to the show. The weather guy can be funny and he always wishes me a "great day." Now Brad Blanks can be a little hit or miss with me. Some of the antics the show pulls with him I don't find much humor in (i.e., Elmo) but I guess someone likes it. His celebrity interviews and spelling bees are usually pretty funny though and he does add some humor to the show. "Jersey Girl" Diana I've grown to like over the year and love her soft and sexy commercial voice when she's hawking Dove or Home Goods crap. And last, but not least, Monkey Boy -- probably the cutest guy on radio in all of New York. The guy is funny, quick with a comeback, knows his sh*t when it comes to movies and TV and has a funny laugh. Anytime you want to come hang in Asbury Park at Paradise, Monk, let us know!

Although I've been pretty positive in this review, that doesn't mean that I don't turn the dial, particularly on a commercial break, when a lame song from yesteryear is playing or when one of their games or bits has just gone on a little to long. And by no means do I like everything that PLJ has to offer (ahem, WHY WHY WHY did you bring back lame Rocky Allen?). But the Big Show does entertain me.

Ready for what's bad about New York radio? Well . . . its coming in the next post.

Monday, January 08, 2007

This bartender can breathe fire, but can he do pirouettes?

As we kick off 2007, I, your lowly Kettle, will start the year on both a positive and a selfless note. I am going to wish someone well and root for this person to unequivocally have a spectacular year. This person will not be a female tennis player; it will not be a hot, male tennis player; it will not be someone in anyway connected to winning Oscars, even! (Which may secretly upset him, but I don't know.) The person I will quietly root for, from afar, is none other than Chris, who some of you may know more informally as Pixie-Bartender.

Why Pixie Bartender, you might ask?
1. On a whim, when he thinks no one is looking, he will do a pirouette behind the Copper Bar! Usually he can do it successfully, as well!
2. When he gets a shout out from a large drag-queen, he will give a beauty-pageant-contestant, cupped wave to the crowd! Again, when he thinks no one is looking!
3. He often wears silver pants.
4. He was there for me during my really messy drinking years. But he never looked down on me scornfully. He was always more intrigued, perhaps beguiled. Thanks, Chris!
5. He often calls me "sweetheart" and gives fun drink discounts.

And for these and many many more reasons, Pixie, get out of that silly insurance gig, and have a fabulous '07!

Now, Aussie Open and Golden Globes to come!

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