Tag Archives: awkward

Anguished English Awkward Calendar

There is nothing and yet everything to say about this.



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83rd Year of Oscar Moments

I think we can all agree: the Oscars were more than a little boggling this year. The hosting team of James Franco and Anne Hathaway was oddly calibrated—to say the least. To say the most, they were awful and Billy Crystal should have just taken over half-way through when he came on stage to do that weird Bob Hope thing (which everyone could have done without, frankly).

Hathaway’s first moments onstage should have included the disclaimer: “I took uppers, he took downers! Isn’t it exciting?!”

Here is my disclaimer: I am not a Hathaway fan to begin with. Let that inform your reading as you will.

The opening montage was entertaining for very few reasons:

  1. It probably irritated Leonardo DiCaprio.
  2. Alec Bladwin had an Ambien juice-box.
  3. OK, the Social Network bit was pretty entertaining. Fine.
  4. Morgan Freeman subtly acknowledged that much of the world’s population wishes he would narrate their lives: “Alec likes me to narrate his dreams; says I have a soothing voice.”
  5. At the end, Morgan Freeman and Alec Baldwin both wondered who on earth Franco and Hathaway were.

That is five entertaining moments (and a couple horrifying ones such as the True Grit and Black Swan bits) in the part of the show that involves the most prep-work and was taped ahead of time.

You know what I miss? The Gilligan’s Island montage from 1998—the year of Titanic—when Billy Crystal was still hosting. He was entertaining. It starts here with the pre-taped montage and continues here on-stage with the Gilligan theme song parody, and then a When Harry Met Sally musical love moment found in As Good As It Gets sung to “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” There’s even Hello Dolly redone for The Full Monty.

So good (also you get to see Gloria Stuart all crazy glammed up). That is how it is done.

I digress. Back to the present.


Little moments of note:

  • Franco’s grandmother informing the audience that she had just seen Marky-Mark was passable; Hathaway’s mother telling her to stand up straight was not.
  • Gone with the Wind tribute helmed by Tom Hanks, bolstered by an explanation of the ultimate Best Picture trifecta of Oscars, not won by a single film since Titanic, won for the first time by Gone with the Wind: Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography. I love Gone with the Wind, so I was on board for hearing some of the score and the Tara backdrop… but maybe it was unnecessary.
  • The four hundred hours it took Kirk Douglas to present Best Supporting Actress to Melissa Leo just has to be mentioned. It was arduous, it was a ridiculous and it was creepy. Kirk: please do not ever publicly lust over someone my age ever again. Anne: Do not ever “you-are-the-master”-bow to anyone in public ever again. Melissa Leo: Just because Natalie Portman said “asshole” at the SAG awards doesn’t mean you should drop the f-bomb to one-up her at the Oscars.

  • At least Leo’s faux pas created a diversion from the presenter-death that preceded and followed. We all know that Justin Timberlake is hilarious. Those of us who enjoy That 70s Show reruns while everyone else is at work know that Mila Kunis is pretty funny lady. Why was their banter the kiss of death? How was it possible? No one saw that coming.
  • Toy Story 3 wins for adapted screenplay? Adapted from what? The two preceding films? Mr. Potato Head? Cowboy make-believe play of the past 150-odd years? Theodore Roosevelt’s original Teddy Bear? What?
  • Blah, blah, Aaron Sorkin wouldn’t shut up and kept repeating names.

  • The seventy-something screenwriter for The King’s Speech, David Seidler, explained that, “My father always to me, I would be a late bloomer.”
  • What in the name of all that is holy was that musical number by Anne Hathaway. Stop talking, stop singing, leave Hugh Jackman alone, stop warbling about Wolverine.
  • Russel Brand “translating” Helen Mirren’s French introduction for the Best Foreign Film award, which included the supposed assertion that she played a queen way better than Colin Firth played a king. While Firth’s discomfited face was entertaining, all I could think was: Poor Dame Helen. This is what it has come to. I am sorry.

On to moments that deserve or just require full clips:

Remember that time Harry Potter movies—to the chagrin of the younger generations—do not win Oscars for awesomeness? Well, the ‘young and hip’ 83rd Oscars really hit the right note when they revealed an auto-tuned montage of ‘youthful’ movies with the most hilariously awkward scene in Deathly Hallows, Part I.

In re-reading that paragraph I am chagrined at the lack of a universally accepted sarcasm font for rants. You will just have to figure it out yourself.

And like, really, Twilight, really? Who was paid-off to have that embarrassment to humanity included in an already embarrassing montage. At least Deathly Hallows, Toy Story 2 and Social Network were nominated for things.

It did make me giggle. I will admit that. But it is not something I want to giggle at during the Oscars. On YouTube? Sure. Kodak Theater stage? No thank you. For the millionth time I ask: where is Billy Crystal?

Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law had one of the more lively presenter exchanges. You have to give them banter chemistry. It was laced with some mild ungainliness at the start, but overall one of the better duos. Unfortunately the clip cuts out before Downey informs the audience that Jude Law no longer has a ride to the after parties, in case anyone is interested.

Sandra Bullock was probably the best presenter of the night, calling out each of the nominees for Best Actor with solid pacing, humor and personality, including haranguing Jeff Bridges for having won last year and yet having the gall to be nominated again this year.

She sternly commanded Colin Firth’s attention—”Colin, Colin, right here”—resulting a typical move by Firth, my favorite little moment of the night: a bashful wave up to Bullock. This was soon followed by Firth’s admission that he was experiencing “some stirrings, somewhere in the upper abdominals, which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves, which as joyous as they may be for me, would be extremely problematic if they make it to my legs before I get off stage.”

But it all starts when we got to see Hathaway admit on air that people are definitely making a drinking game out of her hosting, as she introduces Bullock.

Colin Firth, you are fantastic. And I have enjoyed all of your acceptance speeches this season.

Natalie Portman gave her usual list of thank yous from previous appearances in past weeks, emphasizing thanks to her parents for teaching her to be a good person, etc. What I enjoyed about this one was her inclusion of the film people “who no one ever talks about, that are your heart and soul everyday;” she went on to thank her make-up and hair people, costume designers, dressers, camera operators, and first AD all by name. Classy touch.

And now, the moment that many a poorly programmed DVR lost: the “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” New York PS 22 Chorus finale with all the winners, and best of all a way too hyped up Anne Hathaway reflecting on how dreams really do come true, while James Franco is all like, whatever, I have no idea how I got here or why.

My favorite part is when Hathaway goes all cheerleader at the end and start high-fiving all the kids. I tweeted on their behalf:


P.S. For more Oscar recap laughs, head to the Tallulah Morehead Huffington Post rant.

P.P.S. For Academy Award fashion reflections, see my post from yesterday.

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The Black Keys Were Howlin’ for Shaun White (or something)

Since Words to Bumble has been in a frenzy of obscure winter sports for the past week… well, why not keep it going with something new, ridiculous and only mildly related to winter, compliments of Shaun White—the snowboarder formerly known as the Flying Tomato—and The Black Keys.

The Black Keys’ music video for “Howlin’ for You” is presented like a theatrical trailer for something that pretty much only guys would want to go see.

Fair is fair.

At 0:23 White shows up in a sex scene which ends with his one awkward line: “That was amazing.”

It’s pretty funny.

You are welcome.

This came to me via a newly discovered UniversalSport.com blog that I wish I wrote: Mr. Universe.

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Four Continents: Mirai Nagasu & Jeremy Abbott Strike Back

The Four Continents figure skating competition serves as a counterpart to the European Championships, bringing together athletes from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania in a warm-up for the upcoming World Championships in March.

Mirai Nagasu/ UniversalSports.com/ Wally Santana/ Associated Press

Mirai Nagasu and Jeremy Abbott of the U.S. both suffered disappointment at Nationals this past January, where neither delivered a strong enough free skate (after Nagasu led and Abbott stood in second coming out of the short program competitions) to represent the U.S. at Worlds in Tokyo next month.

Nagasu was swept back by Alissa Czisny, despite a solid long program that still garnered her a bronze finish; Abbott suffered a couple falls and could not stand up to the positive energy behind Ryan Bradley, coming in just off the podium in 4th place.

Of course, bronze and one step off the podium—in the great scheme of things—are not to be sneezed at, but Abbott was the defending champion (and fourth place is always rough city in medal sports) and Nagasu has serious demons to battle whenever she leads in the short.

So basically, this Four Continents competition took the place of Worlds for Nagasu and Abbott this season.

They made the most of it.

After a strong short program that landed her in fourth position, Nagasu finally hit the perfect Memoirs of a Geisha free skate that has eluded her all season, winning her the bronze behind Miki Ando and Mao Asada (World Champion) of Japan, leading the American women at Four Continents.

The aerial view of a spin element around 1:45 is a neat vantage point not generally shown. The whole program was delightful and the expression on Nagasu’s face at the end because she knows it, is priceless.

Mao Asada & Miki Ando/ UniversalSports.com/ Reuters

Yay, podium!

Also the announcer accidentally proclaimed that she was representing Japan before a hasty correction was made. Hello awkward.

Abbott came out of the men’s short program in second position and delivered his season’s best in the free skate (148.98, 225.71 total), likewise landing himself on the podium with a bronze medal, the leading American man.

I love that Life is Beautiful free skate. Love it.

Sandra Bezic agrees, calling it “one of the most beautiful programs I’ve ever seen.”

Like Nagasu, Abbott prevented a Japanese podium sweep, standing behind Daisuke Takahashi and newcomer Yuzuru Hanyu.

Hanyu, Takahashi, Abbott/ UniversalSports.com

So, dear Mirai Nagasu and Jeremy Abbott: Way to strike back. Words to Bumble ❤ you.


Filed under [Obscure] Winter Sports

Halfsies Are Sartorially Unacceptable

Kanako Murakami/Skate America/UniversalSports.com/Getty

Jeremy Abbott/UniversalSports.com/Junji Kurokawa/Associated Press

This should not be allowed to happen. Someone needs to talk to people like Jeremy Abbott and Kanako Murakami, who think that wearing half of one costume and half of another stitched together is OK.

It’s not a real thing.

It’s not a thing.

I am not even going to make jokes about ‘oh hey did you run out of black velvet halfway through?’ (like those Universal Sports fashion slide show folk). I am just going to say that you are hurting my soul.

Really. Stop it. Pick one.

You both look ridiculous. And I like you both, but I cannot condone these eyesores.

Stop the madness.

Stop it.

Kanako Murakami/UniversalSports.com/Toru Yamanaka/AFP Getty Images

Sidenote: Murakami obviously got some feedback about her Mask of Zorro costume, because she changed it from red to lavender… why, why, why did she not change the whole thing instead of just half?

I am boggled.

And Jeremy, wearing half a sports jacket cannot be comfortable.



Filed under Commenting, Really., [Obscure] Winter Sports

Word of the Week: Incongruous


Because it sounds mathy, sciencey and pretentious even though it just means “not in harmony or keeping with the surrounding or other aspects of something,” AKA just a way of being awkward. Like lots of figure skating costumes and dressing up to go out in extremely cold or wet weather.


Use it.

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Happy Easter: I Hate People, Especially in the Subway

[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″]
After a heady night of live-tweeting the annual television broadcast of that cinematic masterpiece The Ten Commandments, it was time to head uptown for some church-going followed by Easter brunch and fun. The sun was shining, the breeze was warm, the F train behaved itself beautifully and I even made a delightfully timed transfer to the B/D, which is where all the trouble began.

First of all, I cannot even tell you whether I was on a B or a D train because on the weekends such minutiae  are immaterial to the MTA, which prides itself on ever-changing weekend routes and schedule, an utterly inaudible public address system and a malevolent sense of whimsy regarding the fate of its passengers.

This is a rant.

So there I am–listening to some Bishop Allen on my iPod, fully reflective sunglasses still propped on my nose despite the undergroundness, brunch supplies safely stowed in a large tote– just minding my own business. At Columbus Circle the long and foreboding announcements make their appearance. I pause the music and attempt to decipher the message, which indeed did sound a lot like a recent New York Magazine reconstruction:

“”Ladies and ____lemen the ___ stop will be ______erhorn. To repeat, the ___ stop will be Broad____ . If you are traveling to ____lin Street _____ now and ____for the ______ train on the ____bound track.”

The train continued to idle as the driver repeated his instructions a few times and I slowly came to what I thought was a sense of clarity regarding my transport destiny. My understanding was that my train would run express to 96th Street and then switch to local service. My destination being 103rd, I thought to myself, “Perfection.”

Mind you, the train is still idling inexplicably and the announcements are droning on and on as more passengers enter the subway car. Also keep in mind that according to New York Magazine, the D train is one of the top three worst lines for announcement clarity and that overall 55% of subway announcements are unintelligible. Note it.

An older man boards my car, looks right at me (you remember, the girl listening to her ipod, reading a magazine and wearing sunglasses so as not to be disturbed) and asks, “Is this training going to 96th?”

At first I ignored him since clearly I was not to be interacted with, but once I realized that for some reason he had chosen to discuss the matter with me, I confirmed.

Downhill, downhill, downhill.

The train did not stop at 96th. It did not stop at 103rd. It did not stop at 110th. It did not stop until 125th Street. As the B/D zoomed through 96th the old man got up, walked over to my seat where I was thinking, “Oh crap, good thing I was running early because this is mucho unfortunate,” and started to scream at me about subway direction etiquette.

In case you are wondering, subway direction etiquette involves not lying to people whose days you are clearly trying to sabotage. Clearly. Nevermind that it was an honest mistake, nevermind that he had chosen to ask an unapproachable person for information, nevermind that the MTA is notoriously useless on the weekends and unintelligible in general, and lastly: nevermind that I too had obviously missed my stop and would have to backtrack (along with half the passengers on the train based on what happened once we pulled into 125th Street and all crossed platforms together).


Might I add that I did in fact apologize, even though clearly one asks strangers for weekend subway advice at your risk.

The topper?

A lady sitting across the way turns to him in the middle of his rant and says, “Oh yes, we’re going to 125th Street, you’ll have to go up the stairs and cross over to the other track.”

She had been sitting there through the entire slurry of announcements, had clearly noted that not only was I mistaken but that I was accidentally misleading this crazy old man and had not said a word, until the opportunity to be uppity about it came along.

I hate people.

On the upside, a C Train showed up almost immediately and I made it to my destination on time. On the downside, my Easter morning was no longer idyllic, but just an average angry New York weekend-subway-riding fiasco.

Then in my attempt to be a good person, I went to church and almost passed out due to the horrendous over-use of incense. Thanks.

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