Archive for February 24th, 2013
Okay, so I didn’t intend to do this and had no plan on writing a live commentary transcript of the Oscars…but a few friends surprised me and apparently we’ve found a live stream via ABC.com and Oscar.go.com. I believe the actual show will livestream and not just this pre-show stuff.
So, since we’re going to watch it anyway I might as well comment on it.
If you want to watch too, you can click HERE for the stream
This is really shocking to me because I didn’t think that ABC and Disney were with-it enough to livestream this on computers…because I thought they were obsessed with ratings on the tee-vee Nielsen “boxes” out there. But, frankly, more and more people are moving away from having tee-vees and just livestreaming. I’ve been doing that since 2009 and will never go back.
702pm CST — Hilarious. George Clooney is there with some random woman on his arm. He always has “some girlfriend” with him who is always gorgeous and has a very tentative grasp on English, but trademarked deer-in-headlights looks. I love that straight women can’t tell he’s gay…like he’s cast some magical spell that blinds them. The same spell, incidentally, that Rock Hudson and even Liberace cast in the past.
Anne Hathaway comes off so classy and charming in interviews. She’s a lovely young lady. And then moments later that Jennifer Lawrence takes the microphone and says, “Yo, yo, yo, whaddup, yo!”. And pretends to be a street person from a ghetto”. I’m sure she’s a nice girl too…but, really? No one has taught her how to behave like a lady in public. One day, years from now, she’ll cringe at how stupid she made herself look.
The feed we’re watching is the “Backstage Pass Red Carpet” thing. There’s some young girl and a gay guy talking. Which is kind of the only people who care about this show.
I have to say something…and I almost can’t believe it because I think he’s such a jerk in real life…but Ben Affleck is looking hot these days. I love him in the beard, and the wig he’s been wearing the last year looks great on him. You can’t even tell it’s fake hair. I just wish the guy would stick to being an entertainer and would keep his political views to himself.
708pm CST — Another gay man who women think is straight…Hugh Jackman. He has both a wife and a longtime boyfriend in Australia.
Honestly, I think I am going to note every single one of these guys in this transcript as they pop up on the screen tonight. See how many you can spot yourself.
The reason I think it matters is because these guys get involved in political activism…and they have agendas that they don’t reveal to their fans. I think anyone involved in politics needs to be upfront with people, and to acknowledge all of their allegiances. Guys who are closeted in Hollywood need to toe certain lines and do things that the Gaystapo Dons force them to do. And when election season rolls around these guys head out as foot soldiers for the Left’s messaging department…which makes me believe that they need to be open about who they really are and where their loyalties rest.
Guys like Aaron Shock and Lindsay Graham and Dan Rutherford also need to come out of the closet too, because they’re actually elected officials…but actors who moonlight in the political sphere have the same responsibility to be out and open. And I don’t think we should keep their secrets.
713pm CST — It’s kind of fun to be watching this and not giving a damn who wins anything. I have no emotional vested interest in any of this.
I must note that I really like Seth MacFarlane. He’s the kind of straight guy that I have always thought was cool. He’s juvenile and crass sometimes, but he’s just so cute it’s endearing…and I love how well he enunciates and how he delivers lines. He’s a great impressionist and voice talent…and it’s amazing what he created in terms of a tee-vee and animation empire using his imagination.
If you don’t know this already, MacFarlane also almost died on 9/11. He was scheduled to fly from Boston to LA on one of the hijacked flights…but something his assistant did kept him from making the plane. And the guy really seems to always make the most of life after that near-miss.
What a nasty, rude, and snobbish woman Halle Berry appears to be. She just totally snubbed the people who wanted to interview her on the red carpet. Anne Hathaway and others were very nice, but not her.
In case you’ve never been there, the theater they host the Oscars in is right at Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood. It’s a really great complex that was built on a corner…and it’s just ingeniously designed. There’s a mall in there and a big open courtyard and it’s really stunning. The rest of the area around Hollywood is pure trash…but that Hollywood and Highland development is great.
720pm CST — they aren’t switching over to the show feed, it’s still the red carpet stuff even though everyone is inside. I’m starting to get scared they aren’t really going to show the awards, but will just keep showing people standing there outside…which is kind of funny.
It’s amazing how big Twitter has become, and I still don’t really understand it. They have this whole metrics thing happening where people are predicting the winners based on Twitter feed activity. I should really take that as the final nudge that makes me take time to really figure out how to use that and appreciate it.
It seems to be a great resource for polling and market research.
Apparently, while the show is on they’re going to have random people talking…and I think they will show the people right after they win but not the show itself.
So I might have to take back that thing I said about ABC and Disney being smart about streaming this show…since they might actually still be stuck in the past after all.
That obnoxious Sherri Shepherd from The View is going to be on. She’s the one who said once that she doesn’t know if she really believes the Earth is round because she’s never seen it from space with her own eyes.
725pm CST — Okay, on Oscar.Go.Com camera they actually let you play director and you can choose the veiws from different cameras….which is interesting. They just showed Reese Witherspoon rubbing her shoulder and complaining about her dress itching, but she didn’t know she was on camera. I kind of love when that happens.
They’re also trying to get some of these fools to use the “Thank You Cam” feature…so that they can leave the stage and then go backstage and thank all the people they want to read off a list, starting at childhood and then working their way through everyone who works at the talent agency that represents them. This is another thing that’s supposed to get these people to stop using their time on the stage to read off boring lists of names.
Honestly, if you have one chance to stand up before a billion people and say something…talk from your heart and say something about love and life and being a positive person and working hard at things that mean something to you. Don’t read a list of names. Be original and memorable, even it’s the first and last time in your life.
731pm CST — this is so surreal and random. This Backstage Pass Award Show thing is ABSURD…it’s totally not allowing us to see the actual show, but instead we get to see Sherri Shepherd and some guy talk about what they are seeing on the show. It reminds me of being in a foreign country and someone is telling you what’s being said on tee-vee there, because the people on the screen are talking in gibberish. And then I tell you what I’m hearing these people say. This is either the dumbest thing ever or it’s super-fun. I can’t decide yet.
That Sherri Shepherd has a big bop of hair on the top of her head…can’t decide if it looks like a tumor or some kind of pastry she keeps up there. They’re showing the audience reacting to Seth’s monologue. You can almost hear Seth talking, but he’s drowned out by Sherri. ”Seth’s telling a joke. They’re laughing. Nicole Kidman looks kind of amused but doesn’t get the humor. She’s Australian”. It reminds me a little of being in a movie theater in Florida where someone is saying ‘What are they talking about?’ and another older person shouts back “SHE SAID…blah blah blah”.
Sherri: ”They are listening intently. They are concentrating”.
The other man is unknown to me, so I’m just going to call him something. His name is Larry now, since he’s sitting there with Sherri.
I just realize how much Sherri looks like Star Jones before she went on that crash diet.
Sherri: The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!
I have no idea what she’s talking about. She just said someone won “The Bathroom Award” for something. What???
739pm CST — they are talking about Best Supporting Actor.
Something that’s always bothered me about Hollywood is that they pick certain people and then fawn over them forever. Like Tom Hanks or Robert DeNiro. Sherri and Larry are fawning over DeNiro now. That means they will save fawning over Tom Hanks for later.
The thing with “movie stars” is that they really just play the same part over and over again…and usually they are just playing a version of themselves.
People are loving Seth MacFarlane as host according to Sherri and Larry. I have no idea if he’s really funny, because ABC is not streaming that. They keep saying on this Backstage Pass Show that “If you have access to a tee-vee you would know…” and the like. I think it’s kind of hilarious that in 2013 I don’t have a tee-vee and that 80% of my friends don’t either.
They now have Jess Kagle from EW.com on…who I think invented those exercises for ladies. I think almost every man who works for EW.com is complete garbage but the women who write over there are pretty funny. The guys are just tools, though, especially the gay ones.
745pm CST — Okay, this is really funny. Whenever the telecast goes to commercial, they turn out the lights in the auditorium. Then people race from their seats and go running to the bathroom. You can see all this on the “Audience Cam” on this Backstage Pass Show. When someone gets up and runs, a “seat filler” comes and takes that person’s place so there’s no bald spot in the audience.
It’s really enjoyable to watch these weirdo feeds like this. Much better than the actual show.
They are pushing some kind of Oscar APP that has all sorts of things on it…Oscars.com and download something on backstage pass. I don’t know how to do any of this stuff because Justin’s in charge of all this tech.
So they are showing a little of Seth’s opening number. He’s so cute. He reminds me of Justin, actually. Justin can sing and dance and has a beautiful voice…he’d be great on the radio, too, but he has stage fright.
749pm CST — Okay, I kind of like Sherri a little more now. She just told a story about how nobody can tell Octavia Spencer and her apart, and that in Hollywood she gets mistaken for her all the time. She said that last year a very big star came up to her and said “You are going to take this Oscar home tonight” and Sherri hugged her and was crying and saying “And when I do I am going to hold it in the air and you will know it will all be because of you”. I kind of love that. I love messing with stupid people like that.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR = Christophe Waltz for that Django movie.
I’m never going to see that thing. Too violent. It’s like that Inglorious Bastards movie. I just don’t want to watch blood and hear swearing and deal with any of that. If I want to experience it, I can ride the Red Line train here in Chicago.
The audience is clapping and I guess that Christophe is giving his speech. Sherri just called Samuel L. Jackson an “Uncle Tom”, but I think it’s in relation to his role in the movie and not her personal feelings of him.
That Christophe Waltz guy is talking and he stutters and stammers in real life. Not sure if he’s nervous or if he just does that. He seems so weird.
754pm CST — so, they are in a commercial break again and everyone’s sitting in the dark.
They’re showing the backstage areas that people walk through after they win…and it looks like just another hotel ballroom area/conference setup. Sometimes I don’t know how I feel about everything really being not all that special behind the scenes…because really all of this celebrity stuff is fake and everything ends up being no different than a setup at a local hotel near you. Politics is like that too. All of these elected officials are really just people, and ultimately their offices are no different from the office you work in. The same personalities exist and the dynamics are the same.
757pm CST — they are showing Helena Bonham Carter, who just dresses like a slob all the time. She’s the new Cybil Shepherd. That classless Jennifer Lawrence was just talking and laughing loudly while someone was talking on the stage. Apparently she was raised by wolves or something.
They are talking about Seth MacFarlane’s movie Ted…which is really funny. It’s course and vulgar and I never thought I’d like it…but I watched it when I was sick and it was so funny it made me feel better. And, during one part of the movie, they showed local newscasts from around the country in the 80s and they had one broadcast set in Cleveland…with a period-perfect 80s background of the skyline, which I thought was a fun shoutout.
800pm – that Christophe Waltz guy speaks little English…he’s German…and he’s being interviewed by that Jess Kagle from EW….who looks just like Christophe. So Jess made a joke about them being “bookends” and Christophe had a very harsh, Teutonic response of “Vee are not ends. I must read book to now first how am end”. Totally lost in translation.
I’ve never much liked foreign people. I find them grating. The media LOVES them because the media likes to indulge them like small children…but I don’t like all the fumbling and the accents and the nervous laughter because they don’t understand. It’s such a time waste. Learn English, and then let’s talk.
803pm CST — some cartoon people were talking about the cartoon that won, but they’re not telling me what the cartoon was. Was it Wreck it Ralph? I like that movie. Justin loved it because it was about video games.
They have George Clooney on now and he brought a flask and is drinking from it. He’s such trash. What’s hilarious to me is the guy is wearing a full gray beard tonight…and he brought another beard in as his date.
Hilarious…but Octavia Spencer actually dressed like Sherri Shepherd and vice versa tonight. They really do look like twins.
808pm CST — I actually really like watching the show via this “Backstage Pass” thing on ABC. It makes me feel like I’m in the control room working the event. I’ve never felt comfortable being in an audience…I prefer being backstage at an event, working it. So this is kind of the experience I am used to with stuff. Sitting in a seat and just watching is weird for me. It’s so much more fun to be on staff at something and to be part of putting on the event…not just being a guest sitting there.
Watching it this way also minimizes all the things that are grating about the show when you watch the actual broadcast. You’re seeing all the backstage stuff but none of the actual show.
Paul Rudd is there now…looking super hot. He’s such a nice guy.
That Melissa McCarthy is horrible though. She’s the female Chris Farley. I just can’t stand her. All she does is make gross-out jokes and use her weight as a humor crutch. Apparently, years ago she played a sweet classy character on Gilmore Girls…but now she’s reduced herself to just being the loud, pig in movies for comic relief. Like the parts that Chris Farley would be playing if he was still alive and had a sex change.
Like the Pie has won a few awards now…which was apparently about a bakery somewhere.
815pm CST — that Larry guy who is there with Sherri is annoying. He’s one of those typical “California guys” who are entertainment reporters. Such a tool.
Sherri and Larry are plugging the Samsung Galaxy tablet products now. Justin and I have a Kindle Fire that his mom gave us after she got her new one…and it is nice to read books on it. I never thought I’d like that, but it’s really fun. And when I was on bed rest I played the Angry Birds Star Wars and the Plants vs. Zombies games and enjoyed those. It’s such baby steps withe me and technology though. It’s just hard for my brain to get into this new stuff.
That Larry guy is so dumb…he just said the Oscar statues are solid gold. Dummy, they are plated. A solid gold statue that size would be a million dollars in gold.
Apparently Larry’s real name is “Cameron”, which is so fitting. But I’m going to keep calling him “Larry”.
821pm CST — they have a video playing of some guy who does the abridgement of books. John Carr, best animated short, was his name. It was so random.
They’re playing the JAWS theme to get people off the stage when they are rambling.
Nicole Kidman looks HORRIBLE. People, don’t ever get plastic surgery. You never look right afterwards.
She’s not as bad as Melanie Griffith or Meg Ryan these days, but she’s getting scary.
823pm CST — now they are doing a “Bond retrospective”.
I actually miss the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies. Those were silly and fun. I don’t like the Daniel Craig ones. They are too bleak and dull to me. It’s just like the new Batman movies that Chris Nolan made. I like the Tim Burton cartoony movies…but not too cartoony like the Joel Schumacher ones.
Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy are up on stage with the people who won for Brave…so I guess that Brave won the animated movie award. I don’t think I will ever watch that. Cartoons are so hard for me to sit through. The only reason we saw Wreck it Ralph was because Justin loves video games….and I remembered games from NES and the arcades when I was a little kid. The Brave animator wore a kilt and Sherri keeps asking what’s under his kilt. Honey, if you need to ask then you won’t know what to do with it.
The Avengers guys are going to come out. Chris Evans is a total babe. He has a gay brother too, who is even more handsome than him.
Man this show is funny. Sherri and Larry have no idea what’s going on and they have no real idea who is winning either. I love it.
I think someone is singing on the stage now.
“Do something crazy!’…the photographers are shouting at the people who have the statues after they win. The photographers always want people to make weird faces or kiss the awards, etc.
There’s an announcement, and then the people come out so the photographers can be prepared.
Sherri is talking about how she wants to have relations with Channing Tatum, but that Robert Downey JR. is sexier because he went to prison and prison is sexy to her. We’re learning a lot about this Octavia Spencer lookalike tonight.
Larry says he needs ice water so they have to have a break now.
830pm CST — Samuel L. Jackson wore a red velvet jacket…..and the guy who won the visual effects award is with him. That guy has freakishly long white hair like a monster. One Avenger is missing, Chris Hemsworth. Sam Jackson looks like a pimp according to Sherri.
Man, can Chris Evans wear a suit. Robert Downey Jr. is the luckiest man alive. He has had so many second chances. He’s like Hollywood’s patron saint of do-overs.
What’s really funny is that Sherri and Larry don’t have a tee-vee either…so they have no idea what’s happening in the auditorium.
They are finding out what’s happening based on Twitter. Twitter really is like the big thing now apparently.
When I say that, it sounds like I’m talking about moving pictures or areoplanes.
Samsung sponsors this live feed so every 30 minutes either Sherri or Larry says something like, “I just can’t believe how great this Samsung Galaxy is” etc.
Yawn, that Anna Karenena won the best costumes…but you just know that whatever movie has the flounciest period dresses is going to win the costume design award. I just envy people who know how to sew and make things like that. A friend of mine in LA, Leah, met me for lunch once and she stepped out in this gorgeous 1950s coat that was stunning…and she made it. It was so pretty that if you’d have wanted to buy something like this it would be $2,500 easily. But she made it. I wish I could do things like that. But, they don’t teach boys to sew in school and I never thought to learn on my own.
841pm CST — Les Miz won best makeup. That’s a movie I will never see. Too depressing. When I was in high school, Les Miz came through Cleveland and I ended up seeing it four times because different groups I was in all got tickets and I had to go. That was too many times to see that show in a week. I’ve had my fill for good on that one.
Sherri said that Jennifer Anniston is wearing a prom dress. I just keep thinking, ‘Why is Jennifer Anniston even there?’. She would make more sense being at a prom.
I’m kind of at the point with this where I just want it to be over.
Can I make it through to the Best Supporting Actress award?
Do I even care?
Honestly, I don’t. I kind of want to switch this off and put “House of Cards” on Netflix.
848pm CST — they showed this really cute featurette of the “Mominees”…the mothers of different nominees. I really love seeing the moms of these different people, and how they are so proud of the kids. So great.
Sherri was making fun of the little girl’s name from “Beasts of the Southern Wild”…Quackzhenloreece Wallis or whatever the heck that is. The girl’s mother’s name is Qualyindria. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The book Freakonomics has a whole chapter on this, and what names like this do to children…or how the names are the manifestation of the upbringing. Giving a child a name that’s hard to pronounce is just stupid…because the kid will have to forever correct people. Why do that to the kid? I’ve seen a lot of people calling the little girl “Alphabet Soup Wallis”…and who needs that?
Will Smith is actually going to put her in an all-black remake of Annie, which is a shame because there should be new things written with good black characters…not just taking an older story and making “the black version of it”. This is more of Hollywood being racist, because they don’t see black people as worthy of having their own original characters. Instead, they make “black Wizard of Oz”, “black Honeymooners”, “black Steel Magnolias”.
It’s like constantly throwing black people scraps…and the Left just loves it, thinking “that’s good enough”.
Sad, sad, sad.
900pm CST — You know, I’ve lived in Chicago for 8 years now…but I still think of time in EST and I have to remind myself that I’m “an hour behind”. This is especially funny when watching something broadcasting from LA, because they are two hours behind me and three hours behind Cleveland. I just keep trying to remember how much longer the show will go on…and I think it’s over around 11pm EST, which would be 10pm CST….so an hour left of this.
Twitter is apparently loving Seth MacFarlane…and they are happy that “Like the Pie” won awards.
I can just barely hear Jennifer Hudson singing from Dreamgirls. I actually really like her and a friend of mine here in Chicago knew here when she was growing up. There’s a truly awful show called Smash on NBC that’s a train wreck, but they brought Jennifer on this season and she’s so good. She’s good in everything she does and appears to remain a nice person. So, I love when she gets kudos. It makes me sad that Whitney Houston never had a big movie career and an Oscar and all that. Whitney’s voice was better than Hudson’s…and I think Whitney was a better actress…but Whitney had her demons and was brought low. So tragic. Someone is going to get an Oscar for playing her in the next few years too. Just watch.
904pm CST — they are talking about that depressing French movie Amour winning best foreign film. That’s another one I’ll never see. It’s about dying and someone wearing diapers. If ever there’s a day when I am feeling too happy and need to be depressed I’ll just drive around the southside of Chicago awhile and look at all the neglect and ruin. I just don’t like to watch depressing movies.
People are upset that they’re playing the JAWS music to shut people up who ramble in their speeches. I remember years ago they actually tried to bribe people with plasma TVs when those first came out. If you went out there and you spoke for under 30 seconds or whatever you got a plasma TV, but if you went 31 seconds or more you forfeited the TV. It didn’t work and they never tried that again. People just wanted to read those lists of names.
Personally, I think the second they name more than two names in a row they should turn off the microphone and maybe even open a trap door.
They are talking about that Silver Linings Playbook….which is one I will probably rent for like $2 on Amazon Instant.
I really, really love that streaming video. Instead of going to the movies and dropping like $25 or $30 between Justin and myself, I can watch something for $2 or $3 and can even pause and rewind when Justin talks through parts.
Mark Wahlburg and Ted the Bear are in a little clip. Ted really was funny. Shockingly vulgar, but funny.
There’s apparently all kinds of things happening on stage that Sherri and Larry know nothing about…..so it’s like watching an alternate universe broadcast of this show.
917pm CST — That Larry is so stupid. He doesn’t know the difference between sound mixing and sound editing. Mixing happens on set…but editing is done in post-production.
Halle Berry wore her spacesuit to the Oscars. She looks ridiculous.
It is really funny to hear Sherri talk about Octavia Spencer. They keep showing Octavia in the audience and Sherri narrates like she’s having an out of body experience. I love it.
There’s apparently a tie for the next Oscar. I think it’s Best Supporting Actress? Maybe?
It’s a cool story that Anne Hathaway’s mother played the role of Fantine in the first touring company of Les Miz.
Anne just won the Oscar…and it was not a tie….so I don’t know what Sherri and Larry were talking about with a tie.
I just adore her. I really do. She is a classy, sweet, young lady. And she knows how lucky she is and how charmed a life she’s leading. She is so humble and sweet.
You know what’s interesting is that many years ago when I worked at a hotel in Cleveland we’d have all sorts of celebrities come through. The ones who ALWAYS were the nicest were the ones who were either old stars who’d had long careers or people who ended up having long careers. All the ones who were snobby and demanding and nasty are nobodies right now. So, when I see Anne Hathaway I see someone who is going to have a very long career and do a lot of interesting things…and I bet she never, ever loses the sweetness.
931pm CST — They’re showing Hugh Jackson eating popcorn. It’s funny, the show is so long they have to eat in the commercial breaks to keep blood sugar up.
Sherri has succeeded in winning me over. As they were eating the popcorn, she was making munching sounds and saying “Oooh, this is some good popcorn. I gotta eat it all up! It’s so good!”. It was hilarious.
Argo won for film editing. I actually liked the movie, and not just because Affleck looked sexy all up in that. I got to meet the Empress of Iran once when she was in Chicago years ago and years before that I met an Iranian author who wrote the book Daughter of Persia. I know Argo is mostly fiction, but it was a great and fun story. It’s the kind of movie I can watch again and again.
I saw Zero Dark Thirty and thought it was nothing special. I was mainly just shocked it ended up not being an Obama propaganda film. I really thought it would be. And I didn’t like that the Jessica Chastain character was made to be like this Buffy the Vampire Slayer figure…and NOBODY wanted to catch bin Laden but her, and everyone was all “Alright, we’ll get him…but just shutup about it!”. Ridiculous. I saw the movie with a good friend in a GIANT theater though and so it was a fun and memorable movie experience…but I don’t think it’s worthy of any awards and I won’t be watching it ever again.
That Skyfall movie was forgettable too. Justin liked it. We saw that one in theaters too. He plays that Adele song over and over again. I still keep thinking Skyfall is about a satellite, but that was Die Another Day.
938pm CST — Anne Hathaway is very Audrey Hepburn tonight. But with a little more spunk.
One thing I never get is Adele. I have nothing against her, but they keep saying “Adele is amazing!”. I think she’s okay. I wonder if a lot of the media praise is because Adele is heavy-set. And so they feel a need to praise her. This is like how the media feels a need to overly praise anything a black person does…which has the net effect of really lowering the bar and cheapening the really great achievements of talented black people. Don’t call Adele amazing unless she really is…and I’ve just heard better than Adele.
Anne is having her pictures taken…and as she’s standing there she’s about to tear up…she’s so touched. It’s very sweet. Sherri is shouting at her, ‘Show us your booty girl!’. ”That’s yours momma”. ”Lookit your diamond bracelet you are a walk-in mansion”.
Oh, Sherri. You are too much. But not in a bad way.
945pm CST — So Larry just did another plug for Samsung and he said something like, “Look at all this great technology that Samsung has provided”. Sherri wasn’t feeling it but was contractually obligated to say something nice about Samsung so she was mumbling that, “Yah, they hooked us up, all up in here. They sure did. All technological and everything”.
So, they just showed Halle Berry chomping on popcorn like a goat.
And then Sherri spotted Bradly Cooper and was talking about “Do you think he is back with Zoe Zaldana”….Sherri, honey, Bradley’s gay. Another one that straight women can’t seem to spot. Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Zac Efron, John Travolta, Tom Cruise….it’s not that hard to spot.
1000pm CST — someone just suggested I checkout Nikki Finke’s coverage of the event because she has a tee-vee and can see what’s happening (unlike me)…and I just love Nikki Finke. Her site is Deadline.com.
If you don’t know her, she’s hilarious…and Hollywood hates her, because she calls people out on being stupid all the time. She’s really careful in what she chooses to do…but when she goes after something, she can just destroy someone or something. She is a force. And I get almost all my entertainment news from her and her team. LOVE them.
I think I read on Deadline about what a nasty pig Tommy Lee Jones is. Apparently, he’s hated in Hollywood…because he is so nasty. He was Al Gore’s roommate at Harvard.
Salma Hayek is such a moron. She’s wearing a Halloween costume again. One of my favorite things that they ever did as an in-joke at the Oscars was once many years ago when they had Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz present an award together. I think it was for something with sound. Neither of them speak English, despite both living here for many, many years. Salma and Penelope had to read off cards, and I think the cards were written in Spanish…and they had to translate in their heads. Both of them struggled with the segment, and parts of it ended up like “Me think this am good”. They sounded like cave people, and they just stared blankly ahead like morons. It was unintentionally hilarious. So much so that it just had to have been done on purpose.
10005pm CST — they’re doing the In Memorium part. Back in the 80s and 90s Sigourney Weaver used to host this part a lot. Then for a while they’d play Donna Summer’s “Con Te Partiro”, but they’d have Andrea Boccelli sing it with Charlotte Church. Andrea Boccelli’s gay too, by the way.
Sherri’s saying that after Norah Ephron died she sent her a recipe. That’s kind of creepy. I hope she meant that she left it to her in a will, not like a ghost sent it. Because would you really want to make something the ghosts told you to make? Maybe it’s poisoned because they are lonely and want you to join them.
Sherri said: Oh, that Ray Bradburry. He made some of those science fiction works.
I just checked Nikki Finke’s transcript and she says that MacFarlane is making jokes about Christians. Not cool. And I appreciate not having to listen to that.
1006pm CST — Daniel Radcliffe is on with Kristen Stewart. He’s adorable, and I think he is straight but because he is so little that’s why he’s not an aggressive guy. Plus he’s British. I saw him in Equus on Broadway and it was worth every cent. That Kristen Stewart is dreadful. She always looks like she’s in such a bad mood. She never smiles and always has dirty hair. I just don’t get her.
Apparently Barbara Streisand sang.
I never understood the appeal of that woman…but a friend told me there is some book about her early days that changed his opinion on her. I forget the name of the book, but want to read it.
I still laugh at the legal concept of “The Barbara Streisand Effect”…when Streisand tried to sue someone because she didn’t like that he was photographing the California coast, which included her Malibu home. She sued to shut that project down, but only ended up giving the project way more exposure than it would have had if she hadn’t sued to stop it. So, the moron ended up hurting herself by lashing out at the photographers. Idiot.
The funny thing is that very rich people or big companies make this same mistake all the time. They get to this place of arrogance where they think they have high paid lawyers and can do whatever they want…but they don’t understand the PR nightmare they cause themselves.
I still don’t know what “tie” they are talking about. What tie? They keep saying that someone tied for an award…but I don’t know who.
1015pm CST — Adele won for Skyfall…and then backstage was talking about how she needed to go to the toilet. She has a surprisingly low-class accent, like a dockworker on the Thames. This is also the kind of thing that are media thinks is so much fun…but I just don’t like listening to that, “Allo, Guvna, I fancy a trip to the loo” garbage. It’s really great she’s comfortable in her own skin and she doesn’t feel the need to conform in terms of appearance, but can you not talk about having to use the bathroom in front of a global audience? Do we really need to share all this?
1026pm CST — that means it’s 1126 in Cleveland. I remember as a kid when the Oscars would be on I’d be long in bed already, but in high school I’d stay up until 1130…and I’d always be asleep before Best Actor and Actress and Picture happened.
Some weird little guy won something, I think Argo…and he was SO STRANGE….they had him in the backstage Thank You Cam area and he reminded me of a serial killer.
Sherri just made a comment about “Clooney feeling his beard” right at the moment that he put his hand on his date’s leg. SO FUNNY.
Tommy Lee Jones is eating candy.
I’ve been wondering why that Kerri Washington from Scandal is there, but she was in that Django movie. I love the show Scandal, by the way. Forget the weird political stuff that Washington says whenever she can…the show is great.
Tarantino is all disheveled and looks like he’s been drinking.
I like Pulp Fiction, but I never liked anything else from him.
Sherri’s saying on Twitter that everyone loves that Tarantino was drunk. I can’t stand drunk people. They’re just exhausting and boring to me. And the worst part is that the next day they refuse to admit how bad they were the night before. I don’t believe they don’t remember their bad behavior.
Supposedly there is just 36 minutes left in the show.
Richard Gere is getting his picture taken with Adele. It’s so weird to see him looking like he’s 80 with shock white hair. Remember when he was married to Cindy Crawford? So funny. Straight women believed that one too!
Here’s something I didn’t know: the Oscars are engraved at the Governor’s Ball party after the show. The statues are blank when they are given out…and at the party the people go to an engraver’s station and get it engraved, so they don’t have to wait to take the statues home. That’s interesting.
Ange Lee won for Best Director. He should have won for Brokeback Mountain.
I never saw Like the Pie. There are a bunch of animals in it like Jungle Book. I like animals and everything but I don’t want to watch a whole movie about them. Going to the zoo once in a while is enough.
Sherri’s reading off Twitter reactions again. Do you know what historiography is? It’s the study of how history is recorded and presented…and it’s fascinating to me thinking about how Twitter and Facebook are going to affect historians in the future…because more is being documented than ever before.
Adele was holding the Oscar in front of her face and Sherri yelled at her to move it. What’s so fascinating is that Sherri and the other media people go out of their way to say how beautiful Adele looks…but it’s that thing they do where they really think she’s fat but they know they can’t say that, so they shift heavily to the other side and compliment her. They did this same thing with that Gabby Siboudebe from Precious two years ago as well. ”She’s so beautiful! We love her!”…but the tone in their voices give them away.
1042pm CST — Best Actress. They’re making fun of Quacktoeticktockshone Wallis’ name again. Her, the French old lady, Jessica Chastain, Naomi Watts, and Jennifer Lawrence are up for this.
Jennifer Lawrence won. She fell onto the ground. Not on purpose. That must be embarrassing.
Nikki Finke at Deadline is saying that Stephen Spielberg is hated in Hollywood. I’ve heard that over the years too…that he’s just an ass to deal with. He should really have like 8 Oscars by now….but people just don’t like him. The Oscars are really a popularity contest and the people who vote hold all kinds of grudges.
BEST ACTOR — Daniel Day Lewis. First Oscar win for an actor in a Speilberg movie. I never liked Daniel Day Lewis. I don’t know why, I just don’t like him. I have not seen Lincoln all the way through and doubt I ever will. I got like 20 minutes into it and didn’t like the special effects and all that vampire stuff.
Plus, Sally Field is still Nora Walker to me and her as Mary Todd is just Nora in a Halloween costume.
I really wish I remember who said they were going to do this, but years ago there was someone who said she was going to wear vampire fangs…and when she lost the award she was going to snarl at the camera…because they make the losers sit there and be polite and clap for the winners. That would have been funny.
Sherri is talking about some move called “Who’s Your Cabbie” that she made and all of three people saw.
1053pm CST — Michelle Obama is there….why?
Just think of the taxpayer money that was sunk into this appearance. Inappropriate.
And I think it’s hilarious that a lot of straight people can’t tell she’s wearing a new wig. She’s always worn a wig, but the “bangs wig” is the newest one. I actually like it on her, to be honest. She still wears the ugliest clothes I’ve ever seen…but this wig is nice on her.
Wow, Ben Affleck is hot. And that is an awesome wig on him, better than Michelle’s.
Turns out Michelle was not there…just on tape. Sherri and Larry were confused.
BEST PICTURE is coming…
I don’t remember George Clooney being in Argo. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it…and let me know if you see George Clooney in it. I swear I don’t remember him in there, but I watched that when I was sick and so maybe I just wasn’t paying attention or was on too many pain meds that day.
I think it’s hilarious that everyone hates Spielberg. Apparently, they really like Affleck though…and him not getting a Director nomination was a big oversight because people thought he was a shoo-in, and so they didn’t vote for him.
That’s it for the show.
I have no idea what the real telecast was like, but the Backstage Pass Award Show was wonderful. It was a lot of fun to watch this like I was in the production booth. Such a neat experience…and in the future I really recommend you try it too. Sherri and Larry were funny…sometimes unintentionally. The last thing I heard her say before I closed the feed was that she always thought that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were brothers, for real brothers. This woman is hilarious.
QUESTION for COMMENTS: What did you think if you watched the show?
[ NOTE: If you do want to watch the Oscars, but don't have a tee-vee...then EW.com is a good place for coverage. If you follow this link, they have a really well-put-together "dashboard" that has a live commenting feature and a little video screen that I think will show the awards ceremony. Right now they are just showing the pre-show stuff...and maybe ABC won't let them show a live feed of the telecast itself, but if they don't then EW will have a running play by play and screenshots of the event. I've never seen a "dashboard" like this before and really like what they put together. ]
So, tonight is “Oscars Night”….which is technically one of the “High Drinking Holidays” here in Boystown; these are either lesser-known or essentially gay-specific “holidays” that straight people almost entirely ignore, but gays relish as excuses to get dressed up funny and then drink like crazy. There will no doubt be buff twenty-somethings painted gold and dancing on tables in shiny Speedos…meant to represent Oscar itself. The more talented drag queens in town will channel the ghosts of the great stars of the past, so Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Gloria Swanson, and others could walk the Earth yet again tonight…albeit with an extra part or two tucked away somewhere that they never had in life. A handful of bars will show the entire four hour telecast, which is technically illegal and against ABC’s broadcasting rules…but the day the entertainment industry will ever sue a gay bar for copyright violations is probably the day after I personally win an Oscar for something myself.
I have absolutely no interest at all in watching the Academy Awards this year…just as I haven’t cared about the awards or the ceremony itself in a good number of years. That’s not how it always was for me, and in fact when I first moved to Chicago I participated in “Oscars Night’ along with a lot of other guys in Boystown. I even went to a few of the fundraising events where we had to dress up as a characters from movies…and enjoyed being Kevin Costner to my friend Althea’s Whitney Houston in our The Bodyguard tribute…or Marty McFly in the year 2015 for a Back to the Future group outing I was part of, back in 2005 or so.
I don’t think my lost interest in the Oscars is all that attributable to getting older or a “been there, done that” jade towards life…because I’m still as psyched for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, other holidays as I am every year. It’s just that movies are no longer as big a part of my life as they used to be, and I just don’t think Hollywood itself is all that relevant to my world.
My boyfriend Justin’s down in Arkansas visiting his parents this weekend and it’s one of those blue sky days here in Chicago with the sun shining brightly, melting all the snow, so it would be nice to get out of the apartment and watch the Oscars somewhere, I suppose…but I just don’t want to sit through it and would rather spend the evening catching up on books I’ve been meaning to read and trying another attempt to perfect my recipe for kung pao chicken (so it’s actually not-too-spicy-for-Justins). Whenever Justin’s out of town I make things for myself that he either doesn’t like or that are too-spicy-for-Justins (as he calls it), and I try to tame things down so that in time they can be Justin-approved favorites.
If he was here, he’d be scoffing at the Oscars because this is a tradition that he and his mom have…where they have a pressing need to pee all over a lot of things. The two of them very much enjoy going on for hours about how much they don’t like something, but they never of course realize how much power they give these things over them…or how wallowing in negative energy is just plain bad for their souls. His mother, CarolAnne, calls here at least three times a day (morning, noon, and night!) to go on about how terrible this or that is…and so I picture the two of them huddled by a flickering tee-vee in Eureka Springs, Arkansas tonight jeering at the screen…and maybe tossing handfuls of popcorn at the set as the two of them watch all four hours of the thing they supposedly both hate.
I’ve talked about this before, but one of the things that I really find dangerous about the Internet is the way it brings out real nastiness and negativity in a lot of people…particularly those who are anonymous and hide behind screen names. If you bop around to various conservative sites today, you’ll find a lot of angry and sometimes near-apoplectic people going on about how much they hate Hollywood or how they just despise actors and actresses and the political views these people have. It’s exhausting to even read this…and so cliche, too, because it’s the same things they go on about year after year; really, it’s like picking up the phone and hearing CarolAnne on the other end and wondering what day it is because a recorded message would be less repetitious and reliable.
While I do believe the Left has won the Culture War and that conservatives are foolish not to appreciate the ongoing role that Hollywood plays in Democrats’ hold on power, I just think being hateful and nasty towards anything or anyone is just wasted energy. There are plenty of things out there that I don’t especially like…but instead of hating them I just mock them relentlessly. Ridicule, and the act of getting others to laugh at a particular entity, is a far more effective strategy than just repeating the same screed you used the last time opportunity afforded you a chance to “vent” about how terrible this or that really is.
So, the Oscars mean nothing to me anymore…but I don’t hate them…and I don’t hate the people who hand out these awards or who receive them. I just think the whole thing is ridiculous at this point and whatever magic the ceremony had for me was lost long ago. I realized this morning that I had never properly charted out the WHY of all this…or bothered to think about at what point the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lost me as a fan and viewer. I love absurdity and enjoy terrible singing and dancing and shows that go on and on without edits or endings…so the Oscar telecast used to be right up my alley, down to the post-telecast shower I’d take before heading to bed where the bottle of shampoo would no doubt become a makeshift award while I thought for a moment or two about what I’d say to a billion people if I ever had the chance to be up on that stage.
I realize today that there are Five Reasons why the Oscars mean nothing to me anymore…and also that I’ve come to see the Oscars as one of the most virulently racist events on our national calendar.
The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet — PART THREE: Can Carpet Be the Canary In A Depressed Economy’s Coal Mine?
[ Click above to embiggen: Are these stains really mold-spotted canaries in the coal mine indicating we're in a global Depression? ]
If you’ve been following “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” you’ll know that on 2/20/2013 I arrived at the downtown Chicago offices of the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson for a four o’clock appointment I had with Scott M. Gilbert, one of Hinshaw’s young partners, only to find the carpeting in the reception area to be the filthiest I’d ever encountered…and that’s including the gray, poorly-made carpeting I’d seen in Eastern Europe as a kid or the dirty flooring I remembered from the movie The Lost World: Jurassic Park, where very foolish people went to this island that had been years-ago abandoned by an even more foolish corporation engaged in cloning dinosaurs (but the dinosaurs got loose and, among other inconsiderate things, ruined all the carpeting in the abandoned office buildings and labs on the island). I think that movie was supposed to be set somewhere off the coast of Costa Rica, so the carpets were covered in black mold, mushrooms, and nests of all sorts of tropical-climate creepy-crawlies…but it still looked fresher and more inviting than the mystery-stained beige carpeting at Hinshaw & Culbertson in Chicago where, I presume, dinosaurs have never been set loose. I guess it says something about how terrible The Lost World was as a movie that the thing I remember most about it is its stained carpet, because that film really was a stinker. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what lasting impression is left on Hinshaw & Culberston’s actual clients by this filthy carpet.
I’ve received a lot of letters the last few days from people who wonder why I’m so fascinated by the filthy carpeting and extremely unsanitary washroom I found at the Hinshaw firm…and the immediate answer is that bizarre things like this have always fascinated me because I believe they are clues to something we’re missing in the bigger picture. I’m Catholic, and I believe the Holy Spirit nudges us all here and there, wherever we’re supposed to go…and sometimes I think that when something so absolutely bizarre as “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” is dropped in my lap I’m supposed to learn something from it or help someone who’s involved. In this case, the jarring experience of stepping into the reception area of a supposedly prestigious Chicago law firm in a high-rent skyscraper smack dab in the middle of the Loop and finding the public areas to be poorly maintained and absolutely filthy set off my natural mystery-solving radar…because it made me wonder just how bad things are in our current economy that a firm like Hinshaw would allow its waiting-area carpeting to become so filthy and would essentially let its men’s washroom degenerate into what could easily moonlight as a set for the next Saw torture-porn movie (which, for some reason, are flicks that always seem to have long stretches of plot centered in filthy bathrooms..from which guys like Cary Elwes desperately try to escape).
My mind keeps jumping around to all sorts of movies and tee-vee shows in this particular case, because I’ve just never experienced a waiting-area or washroom this filthy in real life. Many years ago, I worked in a hotel while I was in college and our corporate office would have closed the place down for immediate renovations if we allowed our lobby to become so filthy; even if we were struggling in the dead of winter with 90% of the rooms in the hotel vacant and very little money coming in, we’d still make sure the lobby carpeting was spotless. That was back in Cleveland, where we seemed to have not only more snow and slush than I’ve ever remembered in Chicago…but the wintery precipitation would always be a black, tar-like sludge thanks to the steel mills that still belched dark smoke into the air around the city and the water table that would spontaneously combust if conditions were right (such as someone dropping a match into the river or even looking at the Lake funny). Since Hinshaw & Culbertson’s lobby in a mild, dry Chicago winter was filthier than that of a heavily-trafficked hotel in downtown Cleveland (which was a favorite shortcut for homeless people to use when getting from a pandhandling free-for-all park to the Justice Center for their court appearances), I’m inclined to believe the Holy Spirit intended for me to see this filth and inspired me to contemplate what it means for our country at large.
I truly believe, as a part of my faith, that there was a reason I was meant to be sitting on that couch and left alone by Mr. Gilbert for so long with nothing else to do but stare at and photograph the filthy carpeting in that lobby.
We seemed to forever be tightening budgets and cutting costs when I worked at the hotel, and that was in the late-90s before the Dot.com implosion. Things got especially tight after 9/11, because millions of people were spooked off flying and hotels lost massive amounts of bookings (mostly related to canceled conventions, but also due to people finally making the leap to working from home and video conferencing instead of flying for business all the time). I was the head of security at the hotel and I think my department’s budget was cut to the point where I had to start buying printer ink and other office supplies with my own money, since the hotel couldn’t afford any of it and was reeling from a massive cash crunch due to the sudden downturn in the industry (thanks to “the religion of peace”). And, yet, the hotel was still always spotless, the carpets were forever clean, and the men’s washroom sparkled.
I think we would have had to be on the brink of closing down the hotel for the General Manager to have ever tolerated filthy carpets or unsanitary washrooms in that building. Literally, if everyone was laid-off due to budget cuts and it was just the GM and a few other managers left on the payroll, that guy would have had his sleeves rolled up and would have brought his own bucket of suds from home to make sure the carpet was clean and presentable to our guests. There just doesn’t exist in any realm of my imagination an image of my old hotel’s carpeting ever being allowed to become as filthy as that at the Hinshaw & Culbertson national corporate headquarters.
And this scares me, because I wonder if it’s a sign that we truly are in the economic Depression that I’ve believed we’ve been in for some time. If a large and supposedly prestigious law firm like Hinshaw & Culbertson seemingly no longer has the resources to keep its lobby carpeting clean and to tidy up its washroom, then I wonder how many other businesses in Chicago could be running on fumes. If things are really this bad in our economy that a place like Hinshaw can’t seem to afford the basics (like proper housekeeping and sanitation of their offices), then how long is a firm like this going to stay in business? And what does that mean for all of the people who count on this place being there…and all of us taxpayers who’d have to shoulder the unemployment benefits or welfare if big layoffs follow the filthy carpets and neglected maintenance of these offices?
I’m scared this filthy carpet is a canary in our economic coal mine and the filth I found last week in a waiting room is an alarm that big firms and other large employers here in Chicago might be dominos teetering on oblivion…and that we could have another massive corporate die-off like we had in the Dot.com crash and the financial apocalypse of 2008 that George Soros rigged to secure Barack Obama’s election.
Don’t forget that the Obamacare penalties and stifling requirements are set to hit employers hard in January of 2014, so we have less than a year until businesses coast to coast need to start carrying the burden of covering health insurance for millions of Mexicans who broke the law and came here for handouts (at the President of Mexico’s urging, of course, because these people then became our problem…not Mexico’s). I’m really wondering if a big firm like Hinshaw & Culbertson is allowing its carpets to get filthy and its washrooms to go uncleaned because it just doesn’t have the resources available to take care of this stuff anymore…and if staffing cuts or reduction in hours directly linked to Obamacare could be a reason for this.
It’s a real shame, too, because all the workers I met at the Hinshaw firm when I was there seemed like very nice people. I especially felt bad for this one firecracker of a receptionist they had, who was an elegant older black woman in a gorgeous cream suit with a shiny, gold rhinoceros broach on her lapel. There she was, so friendly and charming she’d easily be played by Viola Davis if this was a firm in a John Grisham movie…so clearly taking great pride in her personal appearance and doing an excellent job…but the poor woman was forced to sit at a reception desk that was essentially this tiny island of tidiness in a sea of unkempt, dingy, filth. It was like going to see the best movie that’s come out in years (starring your favorite actress), but the theater you ended up watching it in was weeks away from being condemned by the health department and torn down…kind of like that old movie palace in Detroit that’s on its last legs as a ramshackle parking garage. It’s a very disconcerting and uncomfortable feeling to watch someone you instantly like have to force a smile and carry on the best she can, while being visibly embarrassed by the surroundings in which she has to work. I really felt badly for this nice lady because she reminded me of one of my friends’ moms…and I’d hate for them to have to work in a place that was so dirty.
As I waited and waited for Mr. Gilbert to figure out where we were going to have our meeting, all I kept thinking about was “Why on Earth did these people let their offices get so dirty?” and “Why can’t they clean these carpets?”; after investigating this for the last several days the terrifying conclusion I think I’m forced to reach is that it’s because they just can’t afford to keep the place clean anymore.
Honestly, I don’t know what something like this means for our country (and businesses that YOU might work for), but I hope you’ll give me your input in comments below. A few days ago I actually reached out to Ann B. Davis, the actress who played “Alice Nelson” on The Brady Bunch because I wondered if she could give us any cleaning advice that I could then pass on to Donald L. Mrosek, J. William Rogers, and Mr. Gilbert at the Hinshaw firm — but I have not heard back from Ms. Davis yet. At 80-something, I don’t know how often she writes back to strangers asking for cleaning tips (or how much she really learned while playing “Alice”) so I thought about anyone else I might possibly know who has ever dealt with stains as pronounced and prodigious as those I found in the waiting area of Hinshaw & Culbertson.
And then I realized that many years ago I had a chance encounter with a true cleaning expert while working another job I once had in Cleveland….and so I decided to write to her for help today as well.
VIA US MAIL — 2/23/2013
Ms. Ponce Kiah Marchelle Cruse Evans
aka “Heloise”, The Conqueror of Stinks and Stains
San Antonio, Texas
I’m sure you don’t remember this, but I met you many years ago while working at the Brentano’s bookstore in downtown Cleveland’s “Galleria” mall, back when there was still a bookstore in there and the building was itself still used as a mall (for the last few years, it’s been a largely-abandoned “urban farm” with hydroponic tomatoes haphazardly soaking in buckets and little bugs correspondingly flying around…but the latest cockamamie scheme is to turn it into a giant YMCA gym and flood the whole lower level for a swimming pool…which is sort of the screwball type of pipe-dream solution to a longstanding problem that makes Cleveland forever next in line to invest in monorails at some point; honestly, all that’s missing in my former hometown is a Krusty Burger and a dance number inspired by “The Music Man”).
I remember all of our home improvement and gardening books being in the rear of the store, back in those days when people still went to bookstores and “Amazon” was most recognizable as a river in South America that few in Ohio had the slightest inclination to ever visit in person (“Why do we have to get on a plane and then deal with Spanish-speaking people when we have a perfectly good river right here in Cleveland…and ours can catch FIRE! Bet that Amazingzon can’t do that and so it isn’t all amazing after all” would have been essentially the attitude you’d find in Parma, especially). “Dot Com”, back then, was also more likely to be associated with the perky wife of a shop teacher or plumber, whose buddies no doubt ribbed him mercilessly for a last name that lent itself to riffs on “Commie” (or even more vulgar jabs, if locker room barbs switched a vowel in the “Com” and took us into PG-13 territory). In Cleveland, this sort of banter amongst straight male friends is called “funnin”, with the “g” missing like that (because it’s a Cleveland thing). I don’t get it, and I never did, which is largely why I’m gay and live in Chicago now.
Around 1994 or so, you were in Cleveland for something (maybe you came to see the house from A Christmas Story, because the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame was not open yet and those are often the only two reasons people willingly come to Cleveland) and somehow found your way to my Brentano’s…where a customer excitedly raced to the register to tell me that “Some woman with white hair is writing in all of your books!”. I think I was mad at my manager Laurie for making me work that day when I was supposed to be off, so I took my time investigating…but, sure enough, there you were sitting on the floor with a Sharpie and a smile, beaming “I’m Heloise!” as I approached. ”I’m Kevin,” I told you, and then asked if you were okay or if I needed to call someone to help
restrain you. That was a nicer way of my asking if you had escaped from someplace, since you were too nicely dressed and friendly to be a vagrant…and your penmanship was just lovely. “I’m Heloise!”, you repeated…which made me wonder if that was, in fact, the only thing you could say.
But then you flipped a book over and held your photo up to your own head and I realized you were just being incredibly nice and autographing the copies of your books we had on our shelves (instead of simply being a very pretty white-haired lady with a Texas twang who vandalizes in the home and garden section of upscale bookstores that no longer exist). We didn’t have much interaction after that, since I had work to do up front and you were busy writing your name a bunch of times with a marker on the floor, even though no one asked you to do that.
I believe one of those books was called “Heloise Conquers Stinks and Stains”, or something like that. Looking over my own resume and list of life achievements, I’m jealous of your conquering of both stinks and stains, whereas I’ve thus far only managed to mildly irritate a few people here and there and publicly shame those with filthy carpets.
That’s actually why I’m writing you today, because it’s not like we promised to stay in touch all those years ago when we met in Brentano’s. As I’m sure you’ve been following, this week I launched an investigation into “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”…which I was drawn into on February 20th when I arrived at the law offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson in downtown Chicago and was floored by the filthy, stained carpeting in their reception area. Later, when I needed to use the men’s room, I discovered standing water on the floor, clogged toilets with feces floating in urine, smears and grime on the water-splashed mirrors, and lights flickering overhead like in a torture-porn horror movie (such as those in the film series Saw, which has about a dozen installments at this point…but has never featured a men’s room as gross as the one at Hinshaw & Culbertson). Needless to say, there were a great many stinks in that washroom…but none that you couldn’t conquer, if your books are to be believed.
Part of my investigation into “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” is figuring out why, exactly, this law firm allows its waiting area to be so filthy and why its men’s room is so unsanitary (and full of stinks!). That’s really something I doubt you’ll be able to help with…and I already have a letter in to the firm’s Senior Partners basically asking them why this is happening. Since I have yet to hear back from any of them (due, no doubt, to it being February and I bet a lot of people get divorced after Valentine’s because husbands give lousy presents most of the time and that starts fights), I’ve prayed on the matter and have decided to operate as a Good Samaritan, concerned citizen, and local busybody to see if I can find any cheap and affordable cleaning tips that could “conquer” the stains and stinks that I discovered in the offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson.
There are some very nice people working there, including a very friendly woman with a rhinoceros pin on her jacket and another nice lady with white hair like yours, only she wears it “up” more and is kind of heavy-set. That lady was sweet and when she saw me staring at the stains in the carpet and taking pictures of them with my iPhone she mouthed “It’s so embarrassing!” as she hurried through the room with a bunch of papers. I don’t really know any of the people working there besides this really nice lawyer named Scott M. Gilbert, but they all seem like good and polite people who deserve a clean office and stain-and-stink-free working conditions.
I ordered your book “Heloise Conquers Stinks and Stains” and I’m asking my readership to pick up a copy too…because I really believe in you (even though I could never remember or pronounce your real name if my life depended on it) and you’re technically the first published author I ever met, if you don’t count Patricia Highsmith, Madeline Albright, Erma Bombeck, John Grisham, or Maya Angelou (all of whom I met before you at various, separate events while in high school, but the story of meeting you on the floor in Brentano’s while you were writing in the books is much more interesting than running into Bombeck at the Phoenix airport or whatever).
Since it takes a few days for Amazon to ship a book and it will be about a full week before I’d be able to find the time to read all of it, I was wondering if you could just look at the pictures I’ve enclosed of the filthy carpet in the Hinshaw & Culbertson law offices and then give me some quick pointers on how these people can clean up their stains. I did not take pictures of the unsanitary and poorly-maintained restroom at this firm (because there was a Hispanic man in there from the Blue Plate Catering Company changing his clothes and I didn’t want to either embarrass him or make him think I was posting the photos to Grindr or Scruff or whatever without his permission); come to think of it, though, since stinks don’t really photograph even if I took pictures of the restroom it would just be shots of water on the floor and feces bobbing in urine…and there’s enough of that on the Internets if you really need to see it to be of help in this case. In a cartoon, the animators would have drawn green, wavy lines depicting the stinks in there…but I don’t know how to use photoshop and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how to do that.
I plan on passing along any advice you can give for cleaning the filthy carpets and tidying the men’s washroom to the Senior Partners at Hinshaw & Culbertson the very next time I am in their offices for a meeting with Mr. Gilbert, so I bet you’d have a week or two to get back to me before I’d have another appointment there. No doubt, they are anxiously awaiting my return so that I can help them with all their problems.
Before I close I do want to thank you in advance for your help in providing some advice to Hinshaw & Culbertson on how to clean their stains and stinks…because I suspect they might not have a lot of money to spend on things like cleaning, since they allowed the carpeting to get this bad and they leave the washroom so filthy in the first place. You are a very busy columnist, author, and Conquerer of Stinks and Stains…and your writing has brought a lot of joy and good in this world. I almost want to suggest it’s time for a sequel to your book, which could be written cover-to-cover about how to clean up the stains and stinks in a law firm such as Hinshaw & Culbertson. I don’t want to tell you how to manage your own successful brand, but I’d call it “Conquering Stains & Stinks Part Two, the Sequel, Written About the Filthy Lobby and Men’s Room at A Chicago Law Firm” if I was you. But, then again, I never was good at finding simple, rolls-off-the-tongue titles for things. You are no doubt better at that than me. But, wouldn’t it be a hoot if you’d team up with John Grisham and maybe even do a book together on all this? The next time I run into him at something I’ll try to connect the two of you (though I only saw him that once, twenty years ago, so I don’t know how long a wait this would be).
With thanks in advance for your help in this important matter regarding stains and stinks found at Hinshaw & Culbertson’s Chicago offices,
HB NOTE: ”Heloise” is probably my favorite source for household hints outside of the “FlyLady” forums and eBooks and things my grandmothers or my friend Abbey taught me back in Cleveland. Amazon.com has a big selection of Heloise books, on all sorts of topics. Her tips really work, and she really was a super nice lady when I met her twenty odd years ago…so I assume she’s still just as nice today. I have no idea if she’ll write back or if she has the time to help solve “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet” but stranger things have happened with my investigations for this site.
QUESTION for COMMENTS: What tricks have you used to remove filthy stains in your own carpet or conquer stinks in the washrooms of prestigious law firms you’ve visited that have neglected their cleaning duties?
What other experts should we contact for more assistance with our investigation into “The Mystery of the Filthy, Filthy Carpet”?
To read the rest of this “Mystery”, click HERE.