The Song that Shuts Down Idiots Every Time

So in the last 24 hours, we’ve learned that actress Renee Zellweger doesn’t look the way she did back when Bridget Jones’ Diary or Jerry Maguire came out. Many people have been making it their mission to say exactly what they think about the plastic surgery she’s “obviously” had on her face. In some photos, she doesn’t look radically different, at least not to me. In other photos, especially ones taken from the side or with her head angled slightly, she doesn’t quite look like the Renee of years gone by.

All the fuss and snark lead Renee Zellweger to respond to reporters, and her response focused on how she has changed her life and its impact on her appearance.

“My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy,” she says. “For a long time I wasn’t doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn’t allow for taking care of myself. Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion. I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things.”

I don’t doubt the truth of this. Being an actor – an Oscar winner at that – has got to be exhausting. While getting big awards must be very cool, there’s a lot of work that goes into getting nominated for one, not to mention actually winning.

But that’s neither here nor there. The reality is she is a grown-ass woman and she can do whatever she wants. She can shun Hollywood and go live in a hut on a tiny island in southeast Asia. She can dress like a lumberjack and walk around pretending to be Paul Bunyan. She can adopt a couple kids and raise them as ninja warriors. Whatever she wants to do, it’s her life, and if she decides that driving a 18 wheeler, moving to Latvia, or – brace yourself – getting plastic surgery is going to make her happy, then more power to her.

So this song is for Renee & anyone else out there who’s living their life on their terms. If there’s a point in your life when you’re contemplating a major change, but you’re nervous about what others may think or say, listen to the song. If you feel so inclined, sing it to your critics and detractors at the top of your lungs, and include several hip thrusts to emphasize the most applicable lyrics.

Hey HEY Hey! What’s Happenin’? I’ll Tell You What’s Happenin’…

Yes, it’s been over 2 weeks since my last post. I haven’t been that quiet since…well, since I was in the womb. Yesterday my friend Johnny Rocket gave me grief for being so quiet, and so in a fit of rebellion against the forces that think I’m no longer blogging, I am posting. You happy now, Johnny?

Let’s rewind to February 25. The Oscar party was a smashing success, even if my predictions did not turn out to be correct. (The Departed won Best Picture and Happy Feet won Best Animated Feature.) I had a few cocktails, met some nice people, sang aloud loudly with Big Red to the Dreamgirls medley, and had a fabulous time. Everyone that attended our party seemed to really enjoy themselves, which was our ultimate goal.

True to Mercury retrograde form, I had more issues with my Internet connection. Again, I called Charter for help, and once again, I got the automated attendant that wanted to help me. But I finally found a way to bypass the system and get a tech support person. The conversation went like this:

Charter: Let’s see if I can get you back online-

Moxie: Oh no no no, we’re not going there again. Wait for help.

Charter: I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Tell me again what the problem is. If you can’t connect to the Internet, say “can’t connect”-

Moxie: You can’t help me! Wait for help!

Charter: It sounds like your signal is weak. Let’s try-

Moxie: No no no! You stupid bitch! Wait for help!

Charter: I’m sooo sorry, I didn’t get that.

Moxie: Oh sweet Jesus.

Charter: Let me connect you to a technician. (Series of clicks, then a tech is on the line.)

Apparently all I needed to do was call on the name of the Lord to reach tech support. Who knew Jesus was so techno-savvy? Actually, I bet T-Wizzle did. She knows everything. At least that’s what she keeps telling me.**

Last Monday I went to my French language Meetup group. Whenever I go to these meetings, I get very quiet and focus mainly on listening. But that doesn’t really help me become fluent, which is my ultimate goal. I want to be fluent in French so I can go to France and visit one of my childhood friends, who lives in Brittany with her husband & 2 kids. But just sitting and listening to other people speak en francais doesn’t do me much good if I can’t communicate beyond Je m’appelle Moxie and Je voudrais un bouteil du vin blanc.* The truth is that I know how I learn best: by reading a textbook, listening to a teacher pronounce the words, getting examples of how to use the words, taking notes, and trying it myself. So a class may be in order. Next step: manifesting the coin to go take a class.
Last Wednesday I hosted a girls’ night at my place. Three friends, including Big Red, came over with French-influenced treats and drinks, and we noshed and watched Marie Antoinette. I have been obsessed with Marie Antoinette since I was 7. When I went to England & France as a kid, my parents bought me a little Marie Antoinette doll. I pretended my hand was a guillotine and beheaded the doll on a regular basis. Yes, I was an odd child.

This past Saturday I went to see 300 in IMAX. Wow, what a spectacle. And that was just the line to get into the theater. The movie was very good – I expected the worst when it came to violence and gore, but it was fairly manageable. What made up for all the gore was the great story and the men. I could not stop staring at those fine-looking Spartans. There is nothing like an army of ripped, half-naked Spartan warriors to get a girl all ferhoodled. To the person that cast the men in this film, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Seeing the film in IMAX adds some intensity to the film, especially during the love scene between Leonidas and his queen. You’ve got to have a very positive body image to agree to having your nakedness displayed on a 7-story movie screen. I, for one, am thankful that Gerard Butler is open to baring his ass and abs. Thanks, Gerry, you made my night.

My milkshake continues to bring the boys to the yard. During a night of karaoke a couple weeks ago, I had a nice time hanging out with Joe (not his real name), a bad-ass-looking dude that turned out to be very warm and friendly, and well-read too. Last night I had a strange experience where a married man I’ve known for a couple of months propositioned me, claiming he had an “open relationship” with his wife. I admit, the attention was flattering. But to have a fling with someone who’s married wouldn’t help me achieve my goal to have a committed, loving relationship with a wonderful man. And I don’t think his wife would appreciate it much, either. I turned him down.

Okay, there you go, Johnny, a blog post. I hope you enjoyed it – and the same goes for the rest of my readers. I’m off to have a little wine and watch “Lost”.

*Translated: My name is Moxie and I would like a bottle of white wine.

**For those of you keeping score at home, that’s Technology 3, Moxie 2.

Pre-Oscar Buzz

I’ve been working on the details for an Oscar party. Nah, nothing like the Governor’s Ball or Vanity Fair’s big blowout at Morton’s. But it’s a pretty big deal for those of us that have been planning it for the last few months. We have a private room in a local restaurant, and tons of prizes we’re raffling off throughout the Academy Awards. Now all we need is the people to show up, so say a little prayer for us, will ya? Thanks.

This year’s Oscar races are quite interesting. With a lot of very strong performances, it’s hard to predict who will win. What makes this year even more interesting is that Mercury is retrograde.

As we already know, Mercury is a trickster. He loves to play jokes and quite frequently, his sense of humor is not that funny, especially to those people who have their cars break down on the freeway. (Yep, Mercury rules automobile trips.)

Mercury was retrograde during last year’s Oscars as well, and look what happened: everyone thought Brokeback Mountain was a lock for Best Picture, and instead Crash won. And remember how many plot points in Crash were focused on cars? Good one, Merc, you had us all fooled. We should have known better.

So based on this, I’m going to predict the following wins: Babel for Best Picture, since it’s all about being able to communicate (and Mercury rules communication), and Cars for Best Animated Feature, for obvious reasons. In a few hours, we’ll see if I’m right.

The Moxie Awards, Oscar Edition

Yeah, I know, this is a couple weeks late. I’ve been a moody f—er, what can I say?
This year, I did some prep work before watching the Oscars, mostly in the interest of a better blog on the event. Not only did I pull out a scorecard from one of the entertainment mags that I get, I also bought some fancy-schmancy crackers, olive tapenade, and a bottle of pinot grigio, to enjoy while watching the show. I tell ya, the wine certainly helps during the boring parts. Now on with the Moxies!

Best Set Design – Kodak Theatre stage
I was very impressed by the set for the Oscars. The movie marquee that announced the presenters, winners, etc.; the old-school box office in the middle of the stage; the columns strategically placed–all of it was very classy and captured the “Return to Glamour” theme.

Best Seat Assignment – Jack Nicholson
His acting hasn’t necessarily gotten better over the last few years and yet he has such a reputation in the industry that he can line up A-list, 20-something talent to sit next to him at the Oscars. I can just hear him on the phone with his publicist: “Get some young hot p—y to sit next to me. NO, not Lara! Someone that is actually WORKING!”

Best Gimmick-Ridden Acceptance Speech – TIE: Nick Park and Steve Box (Wallace & Gromit); Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau (March of the Penguins)
Park and Box come up wearing these god-awful bowties and have miniature ones to put on their Oscars. Then the Frenchies that made the penguin flick come up carrying stuffed penguins. Both were pretty weird, but I think I would give the Moxie to the French guys, just because they were trying very hard to accept the award en Anglais.

Vive les penguins!

Best Upset – Crash as Best Picture
Honestly, I thought Jack was going to say “PSYCH! It’s Brokeback Mountain!” after he announced that Crash was the winner. He barely looked at the envelope, plus he always looks like he’s stoned or drunk, so it’s possible he was making it up.

Best Tribute – Reese Witherspoon on June Carter Cash
Not only did she say very sweet, loving things about her costar and family, but she also made excellent use of her character’s actual words: “I’m just trying to matter.” This is why it’s next to impossible to hate Reese. It’s also un-American to hate her, if Jon Stewart’s mock Oscar campaign ad is to be believed.

Best Pseudo-Extemperaneous Introduction – Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep
For a completely scripted speech they did a fantastic job of illustrating the quirkiness that is a Robert Altman film. This is why they are both such phenomenal actresses.

Best Beating of a Dead (Animated) Horse – Disney/ABC
Okay, okay, we get that you make animated features. Could you please stop with having characters from your last cartoon present an Oscar? It’s not cute, it’s retarded. And it takes away a presenter slot from someone like, say, the Olson twins.

Best Performance by Pimps ‘n’ Hos – “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”
Who knew that pimps and hos could dance in addition to strutting? And I find it admirable that someone found it in their heart to get them off Hollywood Blvd. for a night. Extra kudos to the ho that looked like Rainbow Brite. Apparently it’s hard out there for a washed-up Saturday morning cartoon character, too.

Best Use of a Blow Dart – Orchestra member during Tom Hanks’ instructional video

T. and I have been talking about blow darts for more than 2 years and how they are the perfect tool to shut anyone up anytime, anywhere. Apparently someone overheard us because now the blow dart is a common motif in TV commercials and now, a sketch on the Oscars. Either she and I need to stop talking so damn loud or we need to talk to people who will give us money for our brilliance.