Monday, February 23, 2009

Grand and Glorious Awards Show

“Too much of a good thing can be …wonderful,” Mae West once declared. That describes how I felt last night while watching the 81st Annual Academy Awards show. What a grand and glorious showbiz celebration!

Much of the credit goes to host Hugh Jackman for his wonderful song and dance numbers. Besides being “the sexiest man alive,” he’s a consummate entertainer. I loved it when Hugh announced that Mamma Mia! (my favorite film of 2008) has now surpassed Titanic in money earned throughout the United Kingdom -- and I cheered when he shouted, “The musical is back!” at the end of that splashy, sensational Baz Luhrmann tribute to film musicals.

Without a doubt, this year’s Oscars® show turned out to be the best one ever. It was well-organized, informative, glamorous and -- like Mary Poppins -- practically perfect. Here are some of the highlights for me:

Queen Latifah performing a tender rendition of "I’ll Be Seeing You" while clips of actors and other film personnel who passed away during 2008 flashed on the big screen behind her.

Steve Martin and Tina Fey showing off their marvelous comic talents as presenters of the screenplay awards. “Don’t you fall in love with me,” Steve warned Tina when he sensed she was staring at him.

Kate Winslet, in her acceptance speech, teasing fellow nominee Meryl Streep by saying, "Suck it up, Meryl.”

Winner of two music awards for Slumdog Millionaire, A. R. Rachman, explaining that in a world where the choice is between love and hate, he chose love.

All the Slumdog Millionaire folks displaying such pride and joy with each of the eight awards won by this impressive film.

Danny Boyle, who beamed throughout the entire evening, giving a most heartfelt acceptance speech for his Best Director Award (Slumdog Millionaire) and commending the Academy for putting on such a terrific show.

I couldn’t agree with you more, Danny. Bravo to everyone connected with the 81st Annual Academy Awards Ceremony.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Miracles Can Happen

With A Place Called Angel Falls, new author Robin Lynn Grasso offers readers the touching story of how a teenage girl overcomes loss and feelings of depression through the miraculous power of faith. Once you start reading this novel, it’s hard to put down.

Clearly, Grasso must have faced tremendous obstacles in her own life. Because she fills the pages of her story with such poignant descriptions of her heroine’s emotional distress, I don’t think it could have been written with such depth unless the author knew something about suffering. Considering Grasso wrote A Place Called Angel Falls when she was sixteen years old, this book is something of a miracle itself.

A Place Called Angel Falls introduces us to Rose Lovett, who was once a happy and hard working high school student. But a car accident changed all that. Rose’s mother died as a result of the crash, and Rose is having great difficulty adjusting to life without her beloved mom. She hates going to school now, and even resents it when her friends and teachers ask how she’s doing. She can’t relate to her father, who has his own way of dealing – or not dealing – with his wife’s death. She has no appetite, finds it hard to study and questions her faith. Then one day Adam, a new student, enters Rose’s school and takes her under his wing. It’s inspiring to read how Adam helps Rose regain her faith and her natural joy. Their interactions by a lovely waterfall are especially well-written.

Many high school students going through problems similar to those dealt with by Rose Lovett should find this book helpful as well as fascinating to read.

To find out more about A Place Called Angel Falls, go to

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Hugh Jackman Goes Bollywood?

I love the idea of Hugh Jackman hosting the 81st Annual Academy Awards Ceremony, to be televised Sunday night!

Many viewers won’t care who wins or loses the Oscars® this year. They’ll just be happy to see Hugh (be still my heart) take center stage.

What would I like to see this multi-talented entertainer do on Sunday’s show? Perform the rousing Bollywood number from Slumdog Millionaire. What a treat that would be for Hugh Jackman’s many fans!

Break a leg, Hugh.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Premio Dardos Awards

“Awards don’t mean much to me anymore,” teased Meryl Streep as she accepted a Best Female Actor Award from the Screen Actors Guild last Sunday night. Everyone in the audience laughed, for it was obvious Streep was absolutely delighted to receive her newest trophy. And I’m equally delighted to be the recent recipient of a Premio Dardos award from ZeBee and his boss Joy Delgado at Zooprise Party/Fiesta Zoorpresa. This award is given “in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.” Check out the others honored by clicking on this link:

Premio Dardos (Italian for “prize darts”) recipients must accept the award, mention and link back to the person(s) bestowing the award, then pass the award on to 15 additional individuals. What a wonderful way of recognizing work that adds value to the Web!

It’s my great pleasure now to bestow the Premio Dardos Award on the following talented people who help make cyberspace such a fascinating place.

Lillian Brummet (
Darla D. of Books & Other Thoughts (
Denise Cassino (
D. J. Heinlein (
Kim ScrapTuMyLu (
Lady Tink (
Cynthia Leitich (
Michele at Reader’s Respite (
Cheryl Malandrinos (
Philip Recchia and Deborah Ng (
Shana at Literarily (
Olivia Wilder (
Yvonne Eve Walus (
Stephanie Weil (
Fausta Wertz (

Congratulations to all the worthy recipients!

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