Thursday, 27 November 2008

Total number of celebrity sightings: 8

We went to a taping of the Graham Norton Show last night. It was so much fun. He is so funny!! Also, I was really amazed by how great he is at his job. It's an hour long show on tv. Obviously, it's not actually that long because of commercials, but I was really expecting for it to go longer than it actually did. I figured there would be stops for technical issues or if something didn't get filmed the way they wanted. There was nothing like that. We got in to the studio and got our seats, it was all very organized. The warm-up guy came out and explained a bit about how it would go. Then Graham came out and talked to the audience for a few minutes. When he finished he said, ok the next time I walk out we'll be starting and that was it. The show started & they filmed straight through. No issues at all. It was quite impressive.
On the way to the show we were talking (I went with Mary Anne and our housemate Helen)
about who we thought might be guests. We all agreed we didn't really
care we just wanted it to be someone we recognized. Imagine my 
shock when Graham said, "If I said the name Witherspoon..." Oh my gosh! Reese Witherspoon! Ms. I-played-June-Carter-and-totally-got-to-make-out-with-Joaquin-Phoenix. I did have a crush on her for a while but I've gotten over it. It was still really cool to see her though. She's teeny tiny (of course) and she had these a-mazing shoes on. 

Oh yeah...he had another guest. Paul O'Grady. I'm actually not very familiar with him. I know he hosts a show here but I don't have a tv so I've never seen it and don't really know anything about it. He was pretty funny. It was a really great show to watch. It airs in the States
on Saturday nights if you have BBC America. Definitely check it out. Graham is really funny. 

Stephen Lynch...yeah THAT guy

Last Saturday we went to see Stephen Lynch. For those who are not familiar with his work he's a comedian from America. The thing is his act is all songs that he's written. Really crazy, disturbing, obscene songs that are HILARIOUS. 

It was a lot of fun. He played Shepherds Bush Empire which is an amazing venue. Outside there is a traditional marquee that you just don't see a lot of in the States. Before the doors opened they had 2 lines and both were stretching clear to the back of the building. It was insane. You would have thought the Killers were playing or something. 

Stephen was geat. He did a lot of new material (hopefully he'll have a new cd out soon). I loved his song Waiting, about waiting for the results of his AIDS test. Yes, these are funny songs. He did old favorites like Craig Christ, about Jesus's lesser known brother. There was the Little Gay Robot song, which is really more of the beginning of a song he has yet to write. He brought out his friend David Josesberg to do the song Dirty Sanchez. 
The crowd was pumped. It was like we were at a Man U game the way the guys in the balcony were screaming. It was a lot of fun. Exactly what we needed to take our minds off of school work for a while. For the encore he came out and did Special Ed which is probably his most popular song. You know the one, 'Special Ed. Momma dropped him on his head. Now he thinks he's a piece of bread.' Yes...he's THAT guy.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Total number of celebrity sightings: 5

Noel Gallagher of the band Oasis

I was back in our old neighborhood, Marylebone, wandering around and stopped in the health food store I used to get my soy milk from. I turned around and in walked Noel. He went straight to the back of the shop, grabbed two fists full of energy bars and took them to the counter. He was perfectly polite to the girl who was working there. He was wearing dark jeans and a red shirt. I did have my camera with me but I thought I might look a little suspicious taking pictures of banana chips or hazelnuts. 

Total number of celebrity sightings: 4

Former Mrs. Paul McCartney, Heather Mills

I nearly ran into her on Oxford St. She looked very business-like and had her hands full of shopping bags, all stuff bought with Paul's money no doubt. No...I didn't knock her over or kick her. I did, however, find this really unflattering picture of her which I think is awesome! 

Oh my darlin, Oh my darlin, Oh my darlin, CLEMENTINE

I  gave up chocolate 3 weeks ago. I gave up sodas 1 week before that. Sodas really haven't been too bad. Chocolate has been have to know how much I love chocolate...but I haven't had a single bite or drink. I have however developed another addiction. I can't stop eating clementines!! Yes, the little mini-oranges if you will. I can't be certain if I've ever had one before but this is what I know: I haven't eaten an orange in more years that I can count because, frankly, I don't like them much. As far as fruit goes, citrus is rather far down on the list. I do love orange juice but only if it doesn't have pulp. So I have no real explanation for my new clementine fixation (I'm eating about 6 a day) but it is an improvement from chocolate I suppose. 

Total number of celebrity sightings: 3

Nicholas Roeg
Director of: Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth
He was at Filmstock
   chatting w/ Justin

"Fully Stocked" indeed!!

I’m a week late with this. All I can say is I’ve been busy with school work. Maybe not the best excuse but it’s all I’ve got. We went to FIlmstock for the closing weekend. It’s so amazing to go to Luton and feel right at home. Everyone is really great to us. 

The second weekend @ Filmstock is mostly documentaries. There were some really amazing ones like Naming Pluto, about the woman who named Pluto (the planet not the Disney dog). 99 to 1: Ovarian Cancer and Me, about a woman dealing with her cancer diagnosis. For Tomorrow, about a young entrepreneur who goes to Argentina seeking relaxation and instead discovers extreme poverty and decides to do something about it. 1 Giant Leap, is an amazing look at philosophy, music, and artistic and spiritial inspiration around the world.

We also had a chance to see Nicholas Roeg talk about his career and watch his latest feature, Puffball.

One of the best films we saw (and I’m really not just saying this) was Neil and Justin’s Clandestine. It’s this wonderful short that I don’t think I could even begin to describe because I just don’t think I could do it justice. If you ever find yourself in Luton or in the presence of Justin and/or Neil, ask about it. You won’t be disappointed.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Not "fully stocked" ...yet

I know I've mentioned before my friends, Neil & Justin...who live in Luton...and do a film festival every year called Filmstock...and are just all-around great guys. I've known them for almost 3 years and have never had the good fortune to be in the UK during Filmstock. Until now. 

Filmstock kicked off one week ago. We were there for opening night and stayed through the weekend. This is by far the best film festival I have ever been to. Okay, so it's the only film festival I've ever been to...and they are my friends but, ignore all of that. This is not a massive event when compared to Sundance or Cannes but I dare you to find a festival that has as much heart as this one. It started 9 years ago with two guys who shared a love for film and that's still true today. You won't find any flash or celebrities walking red carpets. You walk in the door and you're greeted by a smiling face, sometimes 2, one of which is usually Neil. When you go in to watch a film Justin is the one running the projector. They haven't given the reigns to's still theirs as much as it ever was and always will be. 

Opening night was a film called Choke starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston. VERY good. (I'm not telling you about it...Go see it!!) The remainder of the weekend was devoted to shorts. Filmstock is a "hardcore" festival as one of the directors put it. From Friday night to Sunday night there are 12 different sessions, each one showing 9 or 10 short films. In addition they screen a few features. After a weekend of this you'll be thinking 3 things...1-My ass hurts! 2-Can I watch a couple of those again? 3-How the hell did Neil & Justin narrow down thousands of submissions? (I couldn't have done that). Yes, in that order. 

I could go through and list all the shorts that I watched and loved and what they were about but you'd be here for another 20 minutes (if you are in fact still here). So I'll just mention a few of my favourites. 

Blood Actually*The Tourist*Angel*Nightwalking*Thirteen or so Minutes*Mr. Lux*Canbury*Arcadia*Whatever Turns You On*Albert*Out of the Holes of the Rocks*Hikikomori*Cheeese

As much as I enjoyed the films, the best part of the festival had to be meeting so many great people..and creative people at that! I really felt in my element. I met people who were not filmmakers but were so much fun to hang out with (Jo and Sarah!) and I met filmmakers who were just fantastic to talk with (Alex, Declan, Jeremy, Branden, Jonathan, and Adam). 

I really wish I could have stayed all week (it doesn't end until Sunday) but I had classes to go to. At any rate...SO MUCH FUN!! I really enjoyed it..."9 times" (and then some). 

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A look at what some of the publications here ran last week


The race [METRO] issue

One of the (many) local papers, Metro, ran this picture on their front page a day before the election. We had to dumpster dive, ok ok recycle bin dig, to get a copy but we really wanted to have it. All along I was hearing people say, "If Obama were white there'd be no question." I love that someone chose to address the issue in such a blatant way. We all know by now the election went the way it was supposed to go but how sad is it for America that everyone else in the world could see what a great number of Americans could not? 

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Yes we did!

My fellow Americans...
You have restored my faith.
You have brought me to tears.
You have shown the rest of the world
that we are opening our eyes.
We needed a change and
a CHANGE has come.

Thank you!

Monday, 3 November 2008

I'm on the wagon...

The chocolate wagon. I have this horrible addiction to chocolate. Go figure, huh? So what do you do when you have an addiction like this? Go cold turkey? OR would it be cold chocolate dipped turkey?  It won't be easy. There's chocolate EVERYWHERE! Have you noticed this? Take a look around. I'm sure you'll find some. 

What makes this whole process even more fun...I'm off [diet] soda too. That one I actually started a week ago. It hasn't been too bad. Also, I've done the chocolate thing before. I gave it up a couple years ago for lent. Yes me, the non-practicing Catholic girl gave it up for lent. I stuck to it too. I don't really have a time frame to work with right now. Just doing it. I'll see how long I can go. Maybe Christmas...maybe new years...maybe my birthday...maybe easter :) But then...why put a limit on it? Why not just give it up and be done with it. Maybe some day, when I'm a recovering chocoholic I won't have cravings for that fudge brownie that seems to be haunting me. 

Here goes...Day 1, no chocolate COMPLETE. I'll talk to you again in a month when I'm PMS-ing again ;) 

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I wish I knew how to quit him...

I saw a video clip the other day of Joaquin Phoenix being interviewed. He told the reporter he was announcing his retirement from acting. The reporter laughed it off which only seemed to irritate Joaquin so he left.

A few people emailed me (knowing the torrid crush I've had on Joaquin for years) to ask how I felt. Would I still be faithful or would I cast him aside because he's slightly weird? The truth is I considered it. I thought, maybe the time is ripe for a new celebrity crush. I do have this David Tennant fascination right now. The guy who plays Chuck is quite handsome. Jack Osbourne is a good lad. And, honestly, I'd watch Ewan McGregor read the phone book for 5 hours.

The more I thought about it the more I realized I can't. I can't give up on Joaquin. We've meant so much to each other (she says tongue firmly in cheek). I've loved him since I first saw SpaceCamp (that's right, I said SPACE CAMP) 1986. He was going by Leaf Phoenix then.

True there were others between then and 2002 when he was in Signs. And my love didn't exactly reach epic heights until 2005 when he was in Walk the Line BUT...I adore him. Craziness and all! I don't care if he retires. I still have his fantastic oeuvre to get me through the lonely years without him. So, whatever he's doing (music, directing, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door) I will be here to support him. Until the day I meet the man I will eventually marry at which point, it'll be a tough call.

I suppose I could post the aforementioned interview but I'm choosing not to. I want to leave you with a clip of Joaquin at his best. Until we meet again...

My momma voted...have you?

Or are you waiting until Tuesday? I hear there's been massive turn outs for early election this year. Everyone wants in on the action. This is a good thing. Unless people are turning out to vote for the old guy because the thought of an African American in the White House scares them, in which case y'all should just stay home. 

We can't continue down this road anymore. We've been on it for 8 years! Where's the GPS? Someone find the exit!! 

There can not be people in the US who honestly believe Dub-ya did a good job. Of course there are people in the US who honestly believe an African American in the White House would be a scary thing...and I call those people ignorant. We need change! Desperately. John McCain (and a whole lot of other republicans) like to think the US is the biggest, baddest country out there. Guess what, McPAIN, we're not! It's a great big world we live in and your arrogance has not gone unnoticed. It's far less likely other countries will be bombing the US because of Barack's skin color and more likely they'll be doing it because of some stupid thing that came out of your mouth. Or out of the mouth of your joke of a vice president. 

For the record, I voted. I received my absentee ballot and mailed it off more than a week ago. Most people I know have already exercised their right to vote...even my grandparents...and they're in their 80's! If you haven't...GO! Tuesdays the day. Go early. Show the rest of the world we aren't a nation of slackers who will vote for a guy because he looks like he'd be fun to have a beer with. Or vote for another guy because he chose Caribou Barbie as a vice president. 

**This rant brought to you by the right to speak my mind because I voted**