552 miles... 1 million more smiles.

My Recent "Tweets"

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The First Amendment

Like most Americans, I'm kind of split on the whole issue of "freedom of speech." I think we should be able to express our opinions, no matter how unpopular they are.

My second year in grad school, a friend of mine and I took a little field trip to Lansing, and got pepper-gassed on the steps of the Capitol Building. See, we'd found a flyer stuffed into a book in Central's Park Library, it said that the KKK was planning a rally on the Capitol steps. Now, as much as I hate to say it, I support the Klan's right to free speech, because the First Amendment supports it... HOWEVER, I also believe I have the unalienable right to protest the Klan. So we were standing across the street, peacefully chanting something inane like "Go Away, K-K-K" when the cops pepper-gassed us.

Well, once again, some bonehead has decided to express a very unpopular opinion... Greensboro city commissioner Billy Yow is selling racist T-Shirts on the web. He says they're not racist... they just express his dissatisfaction with the NAACP.

The shirt depicts a cartoon-like character standing under a confederate flag, and urinating on the letters "NAACP."

Does he have a right to sell these shirts? Hell, yes, he does. But I'd like to see him wear one out in public. I think there are a lot of people who would exercise their own "right to expression" right upside Billy Yow's head.

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Opening Day

You know, it's not every day that you can wake up in the morning, safe in the knowledge that the New York Yankees are in Last Place!!!!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Spring Is Here!

And, no... I'm not talking about opening day. But while I'm on the subject, when the hell is Major League Baseball going to stop this ridiculous habit of "opening" the baseball season in Japan? The baseball season is starting in about four hours from now, at 5:00 a.m ET (7:00 p.m. in Japan.) The Yankees will play the Devil Rays in Tokyo. That means, for example, that A-Rod's first official at-bat as a Yankee will be while 99% of the Yanks fans are in bed, sawing logs. Sure, play some exhibition games in Japan, but let the freakin' first game of the season be a little more accessible to baseball fans in North America.

But back to my subject... spring. Saturday and Sunday morning, Cory and I planted flowers. A window box of begonias on our patio, a basket of impatiens in the front yard. We have much more planting to do, but it's a start. Of course, three of my window boxes in the front yard got stolen last year... so I'm not sure how many more things I want to put out front.

Those of you up north, if it seems a little odd that I'm planting flowers already... think about this... I planted my impatiens on March 5th last year.

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Still Bitter After All These Years

So, Cory got to go to the Duke/Xavier game at the Georgia Dome last night while, and as if that wasn't bad enough... his seats were phenomenal. Tenth row. So while I was sitting at work, Cory was sitting next to a freakin' Congressman. Seriously.

Check out his blog for more details.


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Sunday, March 28, 2004

Look Out! More Figure Skating!

Poor Michelle Kwan. First the ISU hoses her because people were cheering too loudly and she couldn't hear her music... then some half-naked freak in a tutu comes out and scares the bejeesus out of her before she skates her long program.

Sad, sad, sad.


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And More Bad News

St. Joes lost to Oklahoma State. I knew my little run of luck with those wacky kids from Philly would have to end sometime. It was a heckuva ride, though. I still have three of my final four left... we'll see what happens tomorrow, though. I'm afraid to ask any of you to pull for a particular team, though... it didn't seem to help today. sigh.

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Good News/Bad News

Good news first... I miscalculated the launch date for our new 10pm newscast... so I get a one-week reprieve before the you-know-what hits the fan.

The bad news? I still don't get to go to the Georgia Dome with Cory tomorrow. Boo! Hiss!!!

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Friday, March 26, 2004

Warning: Girly Sports Discussion Ahead!

Has anyone been watching the World Figure Skating Championships? I didn't catch much of it (the Red Wings were playing the Avalanche on ESPN, and the NCAA Tournament was on CBS... I have priorities, after all!), but I was very impressed by Brian Joubert's costume. He won the European championship last month skating to music from "The Matrix," and he took the silver medal last night. I didn't even like the last two Matrix Movies, but Joubert's costume itself could have taken at least the bronze. He probably got penalized for not having a puffy shirt, though.

By the way, Michelle Kwan is getting the big shaft-ola at the Worlds.

Oh, and speaking of the Red Wings, I think Manny Legace should start in net for the playoffs. Hell, they've won three cups with three different goalies... why stop there? Considering he spent much of the season as the backup's backup, he's the best in the biz. He needs to stop giving up those late goals, though. Every time I watch the Wings, he gives one up in the final two or three minutes of the game. It's like nobody bothers playing defense, and they're just watching the clock.


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NCAA Tournament Update

Last night's picks went fairly well... Yes, I'm one of the weirdos that actually picked St. Joes to advance past the sweet sixteen. I got three out of four correct on Thursday, with the one game I missed being the Alabama/Syracuse matchup. But I'm perfectly OK with the Crimson Tide rolling into the Elite Eight, since it gives me something to cover on Saturday night.

Tonight, though, my bracket could come crumbling down. The pool leaders and I have selected many of the same games, but there's a little disparity, and most of our differences could be resolved tonight. So think happy thoughts for UAB, Georgia Tech, Duke, and Xavier.

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Words Cannot Describe...

How bitter I am right now.

Cory just called me, all excited, because one of our station's big muckity-mucks just gave him tickets to the NCAA Regional Final in Atlanta on Sunday night. That's right... while I'm at work anchoring the 6 & 11 sports, my boyfriend gets to go to one of the coolest sporting events of the year. Without me. And you thought that one of the perks of working as a sportscaster was getting to do cool things like the NCAA Regional Final. Ha.

I'm trying very hard to be happy for him.

Of course, I can't take Sunday night off, so Cory's trying to figure out who to take to the game with him, since we don't have any friends in this town (and we've lived here for 2 1/2 years. Don't believe anything you ever hear about "southern hospitality.").

I feel awful, because I should be happy for him, but I was obviously very angry when Cory called to tell me his big news. What can I say? I'm selfish.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Little. Yellow. Annoying.

The first day of spring has come and gone, and yet its evidence still remains. Like clockwork, as the first day of spring arrives in Columbus, a yellow film appears on all items left outdoors. You first notice that your car isn't quite as shiny as it was the day before. As you draw closer, you realize that everything around you is coated with tiny yellow specks of pollen. You want to wash your car, but you know that tomorrow, it will only be worse.

To be quite honest, I've never seen anything like it anywhere else I've lived. The pollen is thick enough to write "Wash Me" on the back of a car with your finger.

Of course, being the genetic freak that I am (you name the malady, it's in my gene pool), the arrival of the fresh coat of pollen does nothing for my health. My eyes have been so itchy that I've had to forsake contact lenses for the last several days. They're so bloodshot that I look like I have pinkeye. I've blown my nose so many times that it's raw. Today, I finally succumbed, and took an allergy pill. Big mistake. I've been falling asleep standing up for the last several hours and I'm a little delirious. If this didn't make any sense, I apologize.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Big Brother is Watching

Before you sign that check and send it off to Al Sharpton... keep in mind the Freedom of Information Act and the Federal Election Commission. They know all.

You can actually find out who your friends and neighbors are supporting, using the Fundrace 2004 Neighbor Search. For example, I know that a pair of prominent coaches at a major university in my proximity are $2000 donors to George W. Bush. I also know that the Baldwin Brothers have shoved a few grand at various Democratic candidates (big surprise there, I know). Jalen Rose contributes. So does Jason Sehorn. And George Steinbrenner? He supports Bob Graham.

Nosy? Too much time on my hands? You betcha.

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NCAA Update

I'm still alive in our pool at work... I haven't lost anybody in my final four yet. Compare that to Cory, who has lost three of the final four teams... including his choice for national runner-up (Kentucky) and his would-be national champion (Stanford).

I still need a few things to go my way to get me in the clear, though. First, Oklahoma State and Pitt have to lose. The sooner, the better, as far as I'm concerned. Then, St. Joes, Georgia Tech, and Duke have to win, win, win. It also wouldn't hurt if UAB could beat Kansas like they did Kentucky. The Blazers' star player is from just up the road in LaFayette... I'll think happy thoughts for Mo Finley for the next few days.

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Cory's been monopolizing the computer the last few nights, so no blogging for me. Not that I've had much to blog about... mostly work-related stress that I can't bitch about here... but it's the thought that counts.


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Saturday, March 20, 2004

Too Bad I Stopped Taking Piano Lessons

Time for the personality quiz of the week...

You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmmm... "Frequent bouts of neurosis?" Yep, sounds about right.


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The Fleecing of America

I can't decide if this is irony, hypocrisy, or just plain stupidity:

The Bush/Cheney re-election campaign is selling fleece pullovers for $49.95. The pullovers are made in Burma.
Funny thing, though: Burmese goods were banned by Bush last year because of its military dictatorship and its tendency to use sweat-shop labor. Violators of the import ban are subject to fines and jail, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Ummm... Whoops.

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News Flash

Apparently, being a reporter is a sucky job. Thank you, Jeff Gordon... or should we call you "Captain Obvious?"

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NCAA Tourney Update

Cory and I are both in a tie for 3rd place in our work pool. Well, technically, we're in a tie for 7th place, because there's a two-way tie for first, and a four-way tie for second... but let's not get too picky, all right?

Out of 32 first-round games, I got 25 correct. Not too shabby, I suppose. I'll have to kick things into high gear if I want to win this puppy, though.

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Check, Please

For maybe just the third or fourth time I used Blogger's spell-check function while making a post. (I wanted to make sure I spelled "innocuous" correctly).

I find it interesting that "blog" and "blogging" are not in Blogger's dictionary.


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Getting Personal

Those of you that read this blog regularly have figured out there are some things I don't talk about. I try not to talk about my co-workers (unless it's something fairly innocuous), because I know that some of them read this. I don't talk about job-hunting, because I don't need my co-workers-- or my superiors-- knowing if I'm looking for another job. I also try not to talk about personal things going on in other people's lives, because I don't want to invade their privacy.

That's the difficult part for me. I generally use this blog as a sounding board for my "issues:" A forum to vent my frustrations about things that upset me, to share my views on things that are personal for me, and on occasion, to ask advice from my friends.

Twice in the last month, I've gotten bad news from some people very close to me. News that impacts me personally, and that breaks my heart for the people involved.

Essentially, that's why I haven't blogged much in the last several days. When something upsets me, I tend to obsess about it. I can't think about much else for days on end, and I can't think of anything witty or entertaining to blog about. Tonight, I'm going to make an effort to find things to write about, just to keep my mind off the things that are bothering me. But please understand if I don't blog much in the near future. I promise, I'll get back in the swing of things soon.

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

March Madness

I've been neglecting the ol' blog again... sorry.

Today marks the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. The last three years, I've had the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament off, and that means I've spent those two days sitting in front of the TV like a zombie, staring at college basketball games, holding my brackets in one hand and a yellow highlighter in the other. It isn't pretty.

Today, I really need to do laundry. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to break away from the TV long enough to go to the laundry room. I'm going to try, though. Wish me luck.

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Monday, March 15, 2004

Strange Encounter

Here is, verbatim, a conversation I had today at the Library:

Librarian #1: I know you! You're my weather lady.
Me: Um... ha, ha. Actually, sports.
Librarian #1: Oh, right. That's right. Sports. Channel Three, right?
Me: Um... actually, I work at Nine.
(Librarian #2 turns and stares at us with a smirk on her face)
Librarian #1: Yeah. I knew that. I watch both stations.
Me: I'm just glad to know that someone out there is watching.
Librarian #1: I can't think of your name, though. Alex, right?
Me: No.
(Librarian #2 starts laughing)
Librarian #1: Oh, Alex was before you. Who are you? (note: I don't know who "Alex" is)
Me: (I tell her my name)
Librarian #1: (not embarrassed at all that she's gotten it wrong three times now) Oh, that's right.
(Librarian #2 realizes she better jump in, and tries to diffuse the situation.)
Librarian #2: You know, TV doesn't do you justice. You're so much prettier than on TV.
Me: Ummmm. Thanks.

Welcome to my life. Everyone in this town knows they know me, but nobody's quite sure how they know me. Some people think I'm their neighbor, some people think I'm their kid's teacher, some people think I work at the Wal-Mart.

Once they realize who I am, they always feel the need to remark about my appearance. Here's the thing, though. I don't want to hear that I look prettier, taller, or thinner in person. Yes, it's nice of you to say... but it's like telling a teacher that she seems much smarter in person than she does in front of a class. I make my living (such as it is) on television. I don't want to know that I'm a better me on my day off than I am at work.

On the other hand, I've run into people at the store on a Thursday morning when I'm looking my worst: sweatpants, glasses, no makeup, greasy hair. Most people either don't recognize me, or at least they have the good sense not to say anything to me. Not everyone, though. Usually, it's sweet little old ladies who say to me: "Wow, you look so different. You always look much nicer on TV." That always makes me laugh, and I say something like "Now you know why I don't work the morning shift!"


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Oh, the Madness!

A couple of co-workers coerced Cory into running our station's NCAA Tournament Pool this year. He, in turn, asked me to help him with it. It's already turned into a major pain in the patoot... we've been on each other's nerves all night, trying to figure out who we should ask to participate, and who would be offended by (gasp!) an office pool.

All that, and I still haven't even pondered any of my picks yet. I suppose I'll be using my super-secret formula again this year... last year it produced Syracuse over Kansas in the Championship game. Pure luck, I know... but dance with who brung ya, right?

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Saturday, March 13, 2004

Three Cheers...

For the Nimrods!

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Speaking of Evil and Unnecessary...

Haven't we had enough of Justin and Janet? For God's sake, the Superbowl fiasco was more than a month ago.

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A Correction

In the past, I've expressed pretty strong feelings about cell phones. Specifically, that I hate them. They're evil and unnecessary.

But even I have to admit that this is pretty cool: Some random woman in NYC got a cell phone, and ended up with Chris Rock's old phone number. So, yes, I still think cell phones suck. However, if you must be tied to your friends and co-workers with a wireless umbilical cord, have a little fun with it.

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Friday, March 12, 2004

Damn Yankees

Glad to see that A-Rod's $50 kabillion salary is going towards a good cause.

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3 Months, 10 Days

Time to start the countdown to the new Stephanie Plum novel, Ten Big Ones. The first half of chapter one is posted on Janet Evanovich's website. So far, I'm not too impressed, but when you have nine books with the same characters, there's a lot of recaping in the first few pages. I'm sure it'll get better.

By the way, Sue Grafton's new Kinsey Millhone novel, R is For Ricochet won't be out until September.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Only In Georgia...

...would someone try to pass off a million-dollar bill at a Wal-Mart. Thankfully, the Wal-Mart employee was smarter than the would-be counterfeiter.

My favorite part of the police report: "Alice tried to pay for the items with a couple of Walmart cards, but she only had $1.82 on one card and fifty cents on the other card. That is when Alice asked if they could change a million dollar bill."

By the way, who rings up a bill of $1600 dollars on a trip to Wal-Mart? I know... you go in there for just one thing and you end up with a full shopping cart.

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Attention Hockey Players

Protect your knees. The Indianapolis Ice has a new goon.


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Living the Dream

Cory recently blogged about ESPN's Dream Job. Now I feel the need to go on a little rant that I've been saving for a rainy day (Actually, it was sunny today. I meant that metaphorically).

For those of you that don't know the show, I'll try to explain "Dream Job." It's a reality show, but instead of auditioning for a recording contract (a la "American Idol") or for a romantic partner (a la "The Bachelor"), the contestants on "Dream Job" are auditioning for a one-year contract as an anchor on SportsCenter. I can't get into much more detail, because I've never actually seen the show.

The reason I've never watched the show is that I'm completely, horribly, undoubtedly opposed to it in every way. Why, you ask? Let me explain.

As an employee of an ABC affiliate, I'm not legally eligible for any contest that ESPN offers (ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney). And it's my understanding (and I could be wrong here) that nobody with television sportscasting experience is eligible for the "Dream Job" contest.

To paraphrase one contestant on a "Dream Job" promo that aired on ESPN, "I'd do anything to get the Dream Job and anchor SportsCenter."

Oh, really? You'd do anything? How 'bout this, then? You go to college, get a degree in broadcasting, start at a small market television or radio station, pay your dues, learn to do everything... write, report, shoot video, anchor... then work your way up in the business for 20 years before you get a shot at a national telecast? Would you do that???

I know dozens of phenomenally talented sportscasters who are toiling away in crummy small markets, just waiting for one shot at getting to a medium-size market like Toledo, and a freakin' SportsCenter job is just falling into the laps of these reality show goobers.

Ahhhh. I've vented. I feel much better.

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Saturday, March 06, 2004

Women's Hoops Update

The Louisville Women's basketball team eagerly awaits a bid to the NCAA tournament. Not too shabby, since one of their players was playing while she was eight months pregnant!

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Brush With Greatness

As you may have read on Richard Burkard's blog, the last couple of days, I've been shuttling back and forth between Gwinett and Columbus, covering the Georgia High School Final Four. It's been a pretty exhausting couple of days, made more exhausting by the fact that the Columbus Lady Blue Devils missed out on the state championship by just four points.

But there's always a silver lining... my bangs don't look nearly as bad as I originally thought (Richard documented it for posterity's sake).

I also met one of the greatest college basketball coaches of our time. No, not Bobby Knight, thank goodness. And no, not Mike Krzyzewski, either. Gino Auriemma of the National Champion Connecticut Huskies Women's Squad was in attendance at the Gwinnett Civic Arena. Turns out he's never had a chance to see Columbus blue-chip Ketia Swanier play in person... and since Ketia's signed with the Huskies for next season, it's always nice if he knows what he's getting into.

So, once we spotted Gino in the crowd, Jack Rogers (WRBL's Sports Director) and I climbed up into the stands to ambush him for an interview.

Now... and I'm sure that this will stun you... a lot of coaches can be real asswipes. Reporters (like me) ask them ridiculous questions before games, stupid questions after games, and we're always second-guessing them. I always brace myself whenever I'm about to interview a coach, especially when the interview isn't set up in advance.

Gino was friendly, smiled, shook our hands, learned our names, answered our questions, and was very charismatic. He also had great things to say about Ketia (she'll be the fastest guard they've ever had at UConn). Of course, it didn't hurt that we were asking him softball questions. I still wouldn't want to interview him, say, after the Huskies 70-game winning streak was snapped... but he gets an "A" in my book.

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Thursday, March 04, 2004

Laundry List of Grievances

Actually, just one complaint: Our apartment complex has (I'm guessing) about 200-250 units. And yet, the laundry room has three working washers and two working dryers.

What's up with that?

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Pop Quiz, Hotshot!

In the spirit of March Madness, I'm giving each and every one of you a little exam. Don't worry, it won't be hard. The questions come from the final exam of Jim Harrick, Jr.'s Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball at the University of Georgia.

How many players are allowed to play at one time on any one team in a regulation game?
a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5

How many halves are in a college basketball game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

How many points does a 3-point field goal account for in a Basketball Game?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 3
d. 4

What is the name of the exam which all high school seniors in the State of Georgia must pass?
a. Eye Exam
b. How Do The Grits Taste Exam
c. Bug Control Exam
d. Georgia Exit Exam

In your opinion, who is the best Division I assistant coach in the country?
a. Ron Jursa [sic]
b. John Pelphrey
c. Jim Harrick Jr.
d. Steve Wojciechowski

Not surprisingly, every student in Harrick's class got an "A."

I should probably add that Jim Harrick Jr. is no longer employed by the University of Georgia. In fact, he's the reason that the school voluntarily withdrew itself from postseason play last year.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Not Everything's So Beautiful, Though

For the first time in a very, very, very long time, I trimmed my bangs too short. They've been way too long for several weeks now, and I definitely overcompensated this time. Crap.

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Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

Again, another amazing day. We're supposed to reach 80 degrees today, tomorrow, and Friday (and unlike the 80-degree weather we'll have in a few months, it isn't humid at all right now!).

Not too shabby, huh?

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Time To Gloat

It was truly gorgeous outside today. 75 degrees and sunny.

That is, it was gorgeous until 3:55, when I left the station to shoot a high school baseball game. Suddenly, the clouds were out in full force. Still, not a bad day.

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The Oscar Grouch

Ok, I'm a day late and a dollar short on this one. Let me begin my big Oscar rant by asking: Whose idea was it to make the Academy Awards a month earlier this year? It was terrible! How do you win an Oscar pool when everyone knows who's going to win every award. So "Boo" to February Oscar ceremonies, even if it's on "Leap Day."

My second Oscar complaint: Why, oh why, did they stick three "Best Song" performances back-to-back-to-back? I could hear remotes clicking across the country on that one. I've got no beef with Alison Krause, Sting, or Elvis Costello... but my God, could that have been any more boring? And then, to have the two more lively musical performances scheduled for later in the show just enhanced the obvious poor planning. If you must bunch them together, at least stick one of the more perky numbers in the middle to keep people from falling asleep. I was glad that Annie Lennox won, though. She's a class act.

Ok, on to the fashion. Let the sniping begin.

Nicole Kidman: How 'bout next year, you bring a larger purse and pack a freakin' sandwich in it! She looks so pathetic that Ethiopians would probably offer her their only meal. By the way, did anyone else fear that the front of her dress would fall down at any moment? I did.

Renee Zellweger: Ok, we all know that I really dislike her. She's too squinty, too pouty, and to me, her Oscar was the only surprise of the night. The dress was beautiful, but not on her. The added Bridget Jones weight has made her already broad shoulders even meatier, and the cut of her gown made her look like a linebacker.

Another broad-shouldered broad, Jennifer Garner: See, this is what you're supposed to do if you're built like a boy. Asymmetrical neckline, ladies. Learn it, live it, love it. Oh, and her lipstick matched her dress perfectly.

Samantha Morton: Nice try. It wasn't bad, but in my estimation, it wasn't good. The gown had a nice style, but a really weird color combination. Nothing on her seemed to match. Oh, and I was afraid her top would fall down, too. I like straps.

Marcia Gay Harden: Could that color have looked any better on her? The "Fashion Police" didn't like her, but I thought she looked spectacular. For God's sake, she's very pregnant with twins. She should get an award just for getting out of bed! (By the way, why did I think she was married to Ed Harris? Turns out he's married to Amy Madigan. Has been for two decades.)

Uma Thurman: Last year, I said she looked too glossy. This year, she looked like a tablecloth. You'll have to take my word for it, since I searched for half an hour and never found a single picture of her wearing her grandmother's curtains. Seriously, who dressed this woman? Christian Lacroix? Somebody might want to check his prescription.

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