Wednesday, September 27, 2006

All About Gerard

I love Gerard Butler! Have you seen his movies yet? (especially The Phantom of the Opera?)

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In the past two weeks, GB has had two movies come out on dvd (unfortunately not in theaters): The Miracle Match (aka The Game of Their Lives) and Beowulf & Grendel.

I saw The Miracle Match last week and absolutely loved it. It tells the story of the 1950 US World Cup soccer team. They hadn't a chance against the professional teams fielded by other countries, but the scrappy American players pulled off what I have heard described as the greatest upset in World Cup history. I enjoy sports, so the soccer aspect of the movie was fun. More importantly, the film was very patriotic and family-oriented. Gerard plays Frank Borghi, the keeper (goalie). The movie also stars brothers Louis and Costas Mandylor, Zachery Bryan (the oldest brother from the tv show Home Improvement), Wes Bentley, John Rhys-Davies (aka Gimli from LOTR), and Gavin Rossdale (singer and husband of Gwen Stefani). It was excellent and moved me to tears.

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I haven't yet seen Beowulf & Grendel, but I have read the epic poem it was based on. From what I have seen (photos, etc.), the scenery is breathtaking. (Not to mention Gerard.)

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Buffalo News: Butler did it---

With his striking good looks, irresistible Scottish brogue and magnetic old-Hollywood screen presence, you would think Gerard Butler would be an international superstar of paparazzi-obsessive proportions.

The fact that Butler is a darn good actor and a funny guy who isn't above making fun of himself only adds to his appeal.

So what gives? Maybe it's that Butler takes on flawed characters and roles that defy typecasting - not the usual Hollywood thinking. He's equally at home in wonderful "small" films like "Dear Frankie" as he was in the big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera," or taking on Angelia Jolie in "Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life."

Butler's two newest films to arrive on DVD again show the diversity of his projects. One is an inspiring true story with mainstream appeal; the other is a visually stunning movie based on an eighth-century poem.

I highly recommend The Miracle Match. It is a movie the whole family can watch together and cheer during.

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Absolutely gorgeous. And that Scottish brogue . . .

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OotP Photos!

Pictures from the set of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix have been surfacing on the internet. They look great (and the boys have cut their hair!). You can find a number of them here.

Included are pictures of Umbridge (with her kitten plates!).

HP and OotP is my favorite of the first six books and I hope the movie is excellent. The film comes out

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Ron, Harry, and Hermione

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Friday, September 22, 2006


Finally, finally, finally, news on Josh Groban's brand new album, out in stores 7 November!

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The legions of Josh Groban fans will slumber no more as Reprise Records announced today a November 7th worldwide release of the hotly anticipated "Awake", the follow up CD to the mega star's previous two albums, the self titled “Josh Groban” and the multi- platinum "Closer" which collectively sold well over 13 million CD’s.
Groban's 'hands on' approach in the creative process of "Awake" is reflected in several Groban penned and produced songs along with musical contributions from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dave Matthews, Glen Ballard, Eric Mouquet, John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) Marius DeVries, David Foster, Imogen Heap and Herbie Hancock.

"Awake's" 13 new songs including the just released first single, "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" show the Grammy nominated Groban's tremendous growth as a vocalist, producer and songwriter since he first appeared on the musical landscape.

"I learned from touring that my fans are really open-minded, musical, intelligent people and I feel like they want to come on this new journey with me. The music still sounds like it's coming from my heart and my soul and my voice. That is always the most important thing to me. My goal on "Awake" was to create the music and find the best people to help me create it," commented Groban.

With a lineup of stellar producers including Marius DeVries, Guy Sigsworth, Glen Ballard and David Foster, the album contains songs in Italian, Spanish and of course English. An early stand-out, "February Song" with Josh on keyboards came to the 25-year-old Los Angeles native on a sleepless night. “I wanted to write a song that melodically and lyrically represented the craziness I felt in that moment in the dark dark space. I walked over to the piano and it just came to me in a half hour in the most magical way."

Additionally, Groban recorded a suite of two stunningly haunting songs where he harmonizes with longtime idols Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The first song, the Groban/Dave Mattthews penned "Lullaby" is sung a cappella and the follow up, the South African song, "Weeping" which Josh first heard on a trip to South Africa.
You can hear the first single, "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" at Josh's website (lyrics at Grobania). I must say, I love it and could already listen to it for hours and hours! That gorgeous voice!


A Josh Groban tour for 2007 is expected to be announced shortly.

Catch Josh on TV! Tune into ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday, November 8th to see Josh perform two songs! He will also be a guest and perform one song on Regis and Kelly on Friday, November 10th!
Which are your favorite Josh Groban songs?

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One has to love those Byronic curls!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Just in time for Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest comes out on dvd on December 5!

USA Today: DVD places the loot in 'Dead Man's Chest'---

Industry observers expect the DVD of the year's biggest movie to easily be the year's top seller, beating another Disney title, The Chronicles of Narnia, which was released before Easter and sold more than 11 million DVDs in the USA alone.

"It's definitely a repeatable movie that people will want to own," says industry analyst Tom Adams of Adams Media Research. He predicts sales of 12 million to 13 million for Dead Man's Chest.

The sequels only fuel renewed interest in the movies that came before. During Dead Man's summer theatrical run, the DVD of the original Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl shot back into the top five on the national DVD sales chart nearly three years after it was released.

"That's likely to happen again with the DVD release of the second one," Adams says.
What will it feature?
The Dead Man's Chest DVD will come out in both a single-disc edition ($30) and a two-disc collector's edition ($35).

Both DVDs have bloopers and commentary from writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who also are writing the upcoming movie.

The collector's edition also comes with 10 featurettes, including a profile on Depp, an inside look at the movie's premiere on Disneyland's Main Street, a photo diary from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a feature on how Disneyland's popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction became the basis for a movie and an extensive making-of documentary.

For the DVD, Bruckheimer worked to be sure the special features give audiences something fresh.

"We wanted to give people more than they saw in the theater, a little insight into the filmmaking process," he says.
I can't wait to get it and watch all the extra features.
The third film is expected to open May 25, on Memorial Day weekend.

And by Christmas 2007, expect a DVD release and a boxed set of all three films.
Ahhh! A BOXED SET of ALL THREE!?!?! Better start saving!

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Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day! I love pirates (of the Captain Jack variety).

Time to put on lots of black eyeliner, gold hoop earrings, and Talk Like A Pirate!

Get a Pirate name here.

Songs to sing here.

I also recommend watching Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, which is one of my favorite movies.

You can read my review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest here.

The Talk Like A Pirate page has lots of great suggestions, ideas, and things to do. Have fun visiting!

You can read A Lady's Diversions in Pirate Speak here.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

New Tolkien Novel?

Sort of.

AP: Unfinished Tolkien work to be published ---

NEW YORK - An unfinished tale by J.R.R. Tolkien has been edited by his son into a completed work and will be released next spring, the U.S. and British publishers announced Monday.

Christopher Tolkien has spent the past 30 years working on "The Children of Hurin," an epic tale his father began in 1918 and later abandoned. Excerpts of "The Children of Hurin," which includes the elves and dwarves of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" and other works, have been published before.

"It has seemed to me for a long time that there was a good case for presenting my father's long version of the legend of the `Children of Hurin' as an independent work, between its own covers," Christopher Tolkien said in a statement.
Fabulous news for Tolkien and LOTR fans.

Crossposted at A Lady's Ruminations

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Little RR!

My favorite Food Network personality and cookbook author Rachael Ray has a new television show! It starts tomorrow on ABC and you can find out what time it will be showing where you live on the official site, which is here. Lots of fun things on the site.

It looks like it will be a really fun show and not so serious and "I know what's best" like lots of talk shows out there. Rachael is fun and entertaining. Plus, there'll be cooking every day!

Rach is my cooking role model! I have all (most) of her cookbooks. I get her magazine. I love her shows on the Food Network. What I really love about 30 Minute Meals, in particular, is that Rachael shows you how to time things. I think that is the hardest part of cooking for me: getting everything to finish at the same time. I use my 30 Minute Meal cookbooks all the time. Seriously, whenever I am going to make dinner, the first thing I do is go through my RR cookbooks. I have found a ton of new favorites in them and the other recipes all look good, even if I don't usually like some of the ingredients.

Rachael rarely uses really expensive ingredients and everything is pretty easy to find. If it is something a bit more pricy or unusual, Rachael tries to use it in several recipes, so it is worth the expense/experiment.

Rachael is hilarious and so completely herself! She is always laughing and very full of life. Oh, and one of my favorite things about her is that she always says, "If you prefer this or have this instead of that, go ahead and use it!" Very refreshing because some chefs (MS, anyone?!) seem to think that only certain, fancy, expensive, or items of food you don't like are acceptable.

If you haven't seen Rachael's Food Network Shows, you should really watch her new talk show. I think it looks like lots of fun!

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Don't Lose That!!!

What a near miss for Book 7! Can you imagine if it had been lost?!?!

AP: J.K. Rowling challenges airport security---

LONDON - J.K. Rowling says she won an argument with airport security officials in New York to carry the manuscript of the final "Harry Potter" book as carry-on baggage. Had security agents not relented, the British author said on her Web site, she might not have flown.

"I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't — sailed home probably," she wrote. The posting was dated Wednesday.

The 41-year-old author had participated in an Aug. 1 book reading for charity with fellow writers Stephen King and John Irving. Security was drastically tightened after Aug. 10 when British police said they had intercepted a plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

"The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven.

"A large part of it is handwritten and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the U.S."

Eventually, she added, "They let me take it on, thankfully, bound up in elastic bands."
How much damage would a manuscript do???

Also, this tidbit:

Rowling said she was still considering two possible titles for the last of the boy wizard's adventures.

"I was quite happy with one of them until the other one struck me while I was taking a shower in New York," she wrote.

"They would both be appropriate, so I think I'll have to wait until I'm further into the book to decide which one works best."
Can't wait to know!

You can find J.K.'s website here.

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Monday, September 11, 2006


At my political blog I am honored to remember Betty Ann Ong. Please, take a moment to read about this heroic woman.

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Betty Ong was a Flight Attendant on American Airlines Flight 11.

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We must NEVER forget.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Pirates Grab $1 Billion

BBC News: Pirates is third film to top $1bn---

The Pirates Of The Caribbean sequel has become only the third film to make over $1bn (£536m) at the global box office.

Dead Man's Chest, which stars Johnny Depp, had sold $1.003bn-worth of tickets as of Friday, said its distributors Walt Disney.

This makes it the third highest grossing film of all time, behind Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King.

A third film, At World's End, is set to be released next May.
Oops, the BBC has a punctuation error in that last sentence. The 3rd Pirates movie will be called "At Worlds End." More on that here.

You can read my review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest here.

Buy Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl here and support my blogs! :)

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

House Rules Its Opening Night

E-Online: A Very Hot "House"---

Scurvy hasn't been this big since the Great Famine.

The third-season premiere of House, featuring a diagnosis of the vitamin C deficiency, was watched by an estimated 19.4 million, Fox said Wednesday.

The Tuesday opener was up 22 percent from last year's kickoff, and up 13 percent from last year's overall season average.
[. . .]
Come October, however, most of the [Fox's] series, House included, will be off the air for a full month, waiting out the baseball playoffs and World Series.

If the sports-induced hiatus doesn't break its momentum, House could emerge as TV's top-rated medical series. Last season, in a close race, it was beat out for the title by Grey's Anatomy. But this fall, ABC's M.D. entry is moving to a new night and time opposite CSI, TV's top-rated anything not called American Idol.
The next new episode of House airs on Tuesday, 12 September at 8pm on Fox.

Official House site here. Lots of great stuff, including fabulous "House-isms."

Blogs for House

Season 2 came out on DVD on 22 August.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Which Wallflower Are You?

I finally took the "Wallflower" Quiz at romance novelist Lisa Kleypas' website (You can take it here.

My results were as follows:

You're most like:

Lillian Bowman

You are high-spirited and stubborn to a fault, but also loyal and extremely loving. You secretly long for a man whose strong will is a match for your own. People tend to tread lightly around you, to avoid provoking your infamous temper.

You would rather have a few, very close friends rather than a wide circle of lesser known acquaintances. However, you will go to any length to protect and help the ones you love. And when the right man comes along, you and he will be the most powerful pairing imaginable. Get ready for fireworks!

Best trysting place : outside in a rose-filled garden
Most flattering color: blue
Best Feature: your long, well-toned legs
If you don't know who the "Wallflowers" are, then you should read Lisa Kleypas' Wallflower Quartet Series:

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House Premiere Tonight!

Don't miss the Season Three premiere of the fabulous show House tonight on Fox at 8pm. I have seen some commercials and it looks, as always, very interesting and great. Hughh Laurie is awesome.

Season 2 came out on DVD on 22 August.

Don't forget to visit Blogs for House for the latest House updates (but don't do it right now, unless you want to see what happened in the Season Premiere---I hate spoilers, so I won't look!).

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Most Beautiful British Woman

I love Gone With the Wind, movie and book. Vivien Leigh is one of my favorite old-time actresses. She was perfect as Scarlett O'Hara, as she had an air of aristocracy down to her bones.

AFP: Vivien Leigh most beautiful British woman---

LONDON (AFP) - British actress Vivien Leigh, the star of Gone with the Wind, has topped a poll published for the most beautiful British woman of all time, ahead of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kate Moss.
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Leigh, who died in 1967, was ahead of Elizabeth Taylor -- born to American parents in Britain -- in second place, and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in third.

Princess Diana was in fourth place . . .
Interesting to see that a woman who died almost 40 years ago placed first, ahead of Princess Diana, especially.

Some Vivien Leigh pictures:

This last one if probably my favorite costume from Gone With the Wind.

Wasn't she beautiful? I do wish I could look just like that. :)

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Monday, September 04, 2006

A Billion for the Pirates

From Reuters: "Pirates" nears historic $1 billion mark---

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Scoring a ninth consecutive weekend as the most popular movie at the foreign box office, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is poised to become only the third movie to gross more than $1 billion in global ticket sales.

The worldwide box office for the Disney sequel stands at $993.7 million, of which $579.5 million was generated internationally. The $1 billion mark should be exceeded by Friday, the company says.

The global record is held by 1997's "Titanic" (global boxoffice of $1.8 billion), while 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" ended up with $1.1 billion.

The foreign box office total for "Pirates" was enriched over the weekend by an estimated $11.6 million from 49 territories.

Topping the list were France, an estimated $2.4 million in the sixth weekend for a total of $46.5 million, and Japan, $1.6 million for a market total of $78.4 million.
Bravo for Pirates! I am so happy to see such a great film doing so very well.

You can read my review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest here.

Buy Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl here and support my blogs! :)

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The Closer Marathon is On!

Oops, I meant to post about this last night. One of my favorite television shows is The Closer, on TNT during the summer. This past summer was the second season. Kyra Sedgwick is fabulous as LAPD Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson and the rest of the cast who make up her Priority Homicide Squad are great. The season finale is tonight and TNT is showing the whole second season of the show all day today, leading up to the finale (official website with great stuff here).

The Priority Homicide Squad is tasked with taking charge of high priority or profile cases. Brenda is "the closer" and somehow always manages to get a confession out of a suspect. She was brought in from Atlanta and given the position of Deputy Chief, which rankled longtime members of the LAPD, who don't appreciate an outsider taking over. At first most members of her squad disliked her, because of her outsider status and her way of doing things, but by the end of the first season, they all appreciated and respected her.

The Closer always has interesting cases that end differently than one would expect based on the early assumptions. The officers who make up Brenda's squad are hilarious, quirky, and just really great characters. I laugh every single episode.

If you have never watched The Closer I recommend turning on the marathon today. You can buy the first season at

One of my absolute favorite episodes is on at 1pm (PST), "To Protect & To Serve." Provenza and Flynn are hysterical.

Go watch it!

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