The Morning After…the Oscars

While most people are now buzzing about how incredibly boring James Franco was as the host last night at the Oscars along with Anne Hathaway, despite all of her dress changes and his, I’d like to discuss something a little more positive. Forget the chatter about Melissa Leo dropping the F bomb during her acceptance speech or the incredibly uncomfortable moment of award presentation by Kirk Douglas! So, what is one to do?

I’m glad you asked! Let’s do something fun and take a look at the nominees for Best Picture in their book form: 127 Hours, Black Swan, Social Networking, The Fighter, Inception (House of Leaves is a book similar to the film, Inception), The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, Toy Story 3,  True Grit, and Winter’s Bone. And the winner for Best Picture in the year 2010? The King’s Speech won! Yeah for language!!

Advertisements

Perfect Chemistry: Too Perfect or Just Right?

I saw the book cover and shuddered at the perfect couple in the perfect embrace. Puulease! But after I recovered from my initial repulsion to the cover, I did the unthinkable. I picked it up, flipped it over, and read the summary. Yep, I actually gave it a chance. That’s when I realized that it actually sounded like it might be a good read and that I’d have to give it a try. So glad I did ’cause it was a great modern twist on the classic star-crossed lovers’ tale.

What was the recipe for success? Equal parts rich, popular, beautiful girl named Brittany (what else?!) cooked at a low simmer with sexy, bad-boy Alex who knows that most females can not resist his sultry charm.

The spice in this story comes from the fact that both of these two soon-to-be lovebirds both harbor dark secrets behind their masks of perfection. Brittany goes to school each day all the while trying to hide her less than perfect home life that includes  parents who don’t get along and her mentally disabled sister that she lovingly cares for. Then there’s Alex Fuentes who’s from the South side of town, running from rumors of drug abuse, and gang violence, when in reality he’s desperately trying to protect his younger brother from these very real threats. Once this is established, the couple are partnered up in class which results in an immediate clash.

It’s only after Alex takes a bet to get Brittany to fall for him, that he actually does ends up falling for her. Now we have the couple who, moments ago couldn’t stand the sight of one another. The result is a couple who can’t stop staring into each others eyes. Capitalizing on this attraction, the author, Simone Elkeles, takes the reader on an emotional and bumpy ride, breaking stereotypes left and right. Elkeles also alternates chapters between the perspective of Brittany and Alex, giving the reader a glimpse into each character throughout the story, which is a nice technique and kept me caring about these two. So, buckle up and hang on for a ride full of sexual tension and sarcastic banter. You’ll know it’s true love and that this book is perfect!

Check out Elkeles’ website for more about her writing and book trailers by clicking here.Still not enough for you? Check this song out. She’s a big-time talented fan who created this song about Perfect Chemistry packed with teenage angst!

Would You Do It for Love?

How spontaneous do you think you really are? Would you participate in a flash mob with enough encouragement? This is a fun snippet displaying one person’s amazement which quickly turns to jealousy when someone very close to them decides to participate in a flash mob without telling them. Not to hurt but to surprise…somehow it backfires. Be careful what you choose to give your loved one this coming Valentine’s Day. Maybe some chocolate and a good book would be a yummy and surefire choice!

Super Bowl XLV – Super NOT!

What’s not to like? Family, friends, food, fun, music, commercials, and of course, football…right? Try not!

To start with, we knew who would win and who would lose even before the half-time show. How did we know, you ask? Well, ’cause Jenny said so! Now you’re asking, “Who’s Jenny?” Well, she is the most famous of pachyderms at the Dallas Zoo. The reason for her notoriety is her uncanny ability to pick the winner of  the Super Bowl. When Jenny was given the choice between two logo encrusted watermelons, Jenny stomped the Steelers and declared the Packer’s victorious.

The next thing I have an issue with is that  if I calculated my age in “football time” with all of the timeouts, penalties, instant replays, and two-minutes warnings, I’d not only be older than Methuselah, I’d be dead. Ugh, even the coin toss seemed to take forever.

Then we have a professional singer messing up the National Anthem. When asked about the flub she responded by saying how nervous she was, that she’d been singing it since she was seven, and  “I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through.” Hmmm…you wouldn’t make it through the first rounds of the Hollywood auditions on American Idol if you forgot the lyrics. Enough with the excuses Christina!

But wait, there’s more. We had the Black Eyed Peas lecturing the President of the United States on the current state of education and unemployment in America with the lyrics; “Obama, let’s get these kids educated / Create jobs so the country stays stimulated”.

This is from the same band who produces such hits as, “Let’s Get It Started” (originally titled “Let’s Get Retarded”) in which they called on the audience to “get stupid.” Hmmm….talk about the peas calling the kettle black…

But then there were the commercials and thank God for the commercials!

Go Vader!

Rosanne pulling a Betty White

And last but not least, Ozzy asking a most excellent question…what the *&#%$ is a Bieber?

Now, if you’re still with me after all that, congrats, you’re hardcore. And just in case you didn’t watch the game, the Packers did win 25-31…So, go Packers and Aaron Rodgers with his MVP and brand new Camaro!

A to the Mazing!

When I came across this “drawing” I thought, ‘no way…that’s a photo!!’ So I did a little more poking around and found that this particular artist, Raja Cenna, actually has a video of the three+ hours that it took her to draw this image of Lady Gaga.

So, next time you can’t find your iTouch, your parents won’t let you play any video games, there’s nothing on TV, your leg is broken, or no one is texting you back…don’t despair. Life is not over! You actually have time to draw. Here are some more drawings created by teens that you can also use as inspiration. Then, if you need a little more help (and your computer is in the repair shop) visit the Burlington Library where we have an entire section of books about drawing. Just know that the library is there to help you find your A to the Mazing self!

Hey! Why Do We Do What We Do?

The human brain is amazing and as scientists try to understand it better they often just walk away shaking their heads not understanding it any more than they did before they started.

Below is a great video demonstrating our inability to walk in a straight line when blindfolded and exploring the question, why can’t we walk in a straight line? For more books that explore interesting human behavior there are some great titles below that are worth checking out.