Friday, February 27, 2009

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

There may be a simple reason for the bout of ill-temper I've experienced recently, as most clearly evidenced by the Oscars rant. They've taken Seinfeld off the air.
Somewhere in my mind I knew this was bound to happen; it was inevitable, as they say, like death and taxes. However, now that it has actually happened I find myself rather ill-equipped to face life. Television is now a vast tundra with no hope of respite.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nothing pleases me

What a strange and underwhelming experience it has been. Let me start with the truly bad: see exhibits A1 and A2 above. On the left we have one Miley Cyrus, wearing what looks like a clump of vaguely poisonous upside-down mushrooms. And on her left we have Jessica Biel, who, not to be outdone by a mere stripling such as Cyrus, steps into a piece from Prada's latest pillowcase-cum-handtowel collection.

Moving on from the horror: just about the only blasts of color were provided by the reliable Freida Pinto, and Natalie Portman. Although Freida's Galliano gown is:
  • reminiscent of Drew Barrymore's at the Golden Globes
  • missing a sleeve OR has a sleeve where no sleeve is needed, and
  • giving her an unflattering straight shape,
I am so grateful that it is an actual color as opposed to some shade of gray or white, I will forgive. Natalie too is quite pretty in her lilac Rodarte number-although that Alicia Keys had to go and steal her thunder by wearing a dress of the same shade. The reason Keys lost was because she wore a wig.
Marisa Tomei kind of stood out in a grand and dramatic pleated Versace creation that she wore with aplomb. And then, Cruz, who has vowed to displease me on every occasion by trying to make us forget that she is, in fact, freaking cute, by wearing something just plain dull. The skirt part of her dress reminds me of stage curtains. And let us not go into the
Finally, Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive. Note the relentless lack of color, but at least the gown has some sparkle. It's a flattering shape, Freida take note, and the hem falls about in a most fetching way. Here I will give an honorable mention to J. Aniston for not turning up in black, instead boldly opting for--gasp! off-white! Still, despite this radical departure, her Valentino frock was less pretty than Anne's, so she does lose out.
So, that about sums it up. I could include Heidi Klum in her orangeish and stiffly poky frock, Nicole Kidman in (what else) pale cream and feathers, Reese Witherspoon in a menacing-looking blue and black thing, Marillon Cotillard in a menacing-looking blue and black thing, and the Jolie in her joke jewelry and snoozy black billowy gown, but I will not. I'm too bored.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have always been notoriously unimaginative about naming things. Take, for instance, the first pet I can remember having- a dog named, what else, Doggy. Although no one in the family has directly accused me, I am positive it can have been no one else who named that unfortunate creature. And now, the latest semi-pet in my life is a dog named Eyes. This is because he has the most striking and singularly amazing pair of peepers I've ever seen. Eyes is master of his own destiny and comes and goes into our lives as he pleases. He will leap and nuzzle if he is in a good mood, or hungry. He openly grimaces if you give him food that he doesn't approve of, like plain dog food. If it involves meat, he approves.
Then there is the black and white mutt who has a way of cocking his head and keenly observing the German Shephard in the neighbor's house. I tell you, it's almost human. So I've named him IQ. The other day I caught IQ deliberately aggravating the German Shephard and then running away to hide around the corner. I'm surprised I didn't see him snickering behind his paws. Oh, the poor German Shephard is called Rocky, by the way. (Maybe I should come up with something more fitting, no? Smirk.)
And the last canine of note is one shaggy thing I've seen lolling in the park under the flowering trees. He has a beautiful, luxuriant caramel-colored coat. And he has a big head. So he is now known as Bighead Todd.


PD James was someone I once read in my early youth, and the stark, dark tone of the novel left me a little scared. Or was that Ruth Rendell? It had an incident where a boy falls into a manhole and dies after long, slow days of misery. Shudder. Anyway, on a weekend, mid-morning, post-coffee wandering at Blossoms, when I saw a dark, fat volume with PD James across the front, my hand reached for it with inexorable force. The novel is called "Devices and Desires" and is proclaimed by the back page blurb as Ms. James at her finest.
Now the last book I read was Shantaram, and a more contrasting tome to that three-ring circus I could not have picked. After Shantaram's often wildly lyrical passages, PD James' austere style is something of a relief, almost. The only thing the two novels share is a strong sense of place. And can any place be more different from Bombay than Norfolk?
So in Devices and Desires, a serial killer nicknamed the Whistler is at large. But wait! Things cannot be quite so simple. In the prim little village of Lydsett, in the shadow of the nuclear power station, even more sinister events are afoot. Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh is not in charge of the case, interestingly.
I must commend PD James once again. A fine, restrained sense of observation, a very prim and English sense of humor, and a spare and precise style of narration. I am, once again, a fan of the murder mystery.
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