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.

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.