It’s my blog and I’ll post about Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars if I want to

So Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscars.

She also won an Oscar (for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Silver Linings Playbook – called it!) but she also won the whole damn show. And the Internet. Seriously.

The entire world has gone Jennifer Lawrence crazy – myself included. I have had a long (but very inspiring day) so I’m going to just post pretty pictures, videos and GIFs of Jennifer Lawrence. You’re welcome. (And I’m welcome too).

On the red carpet:

Jennifer-Lawrence-Oscars

“Is there food here?” 
starving

food

Oh my god, it’s Bradley Cooper!

jennifer_lawrence_oscars_reactions_bradley_cooper

At the ceremony:

Sexy. I wish I was this confident.

Jennifer-Lawrence-Oscars-Faces

Her name gets called:

Jennifer-Lawrence-Winning-Oscar

And then it’s everyone’s worst nightmare… Jennifer Lawrence falls at the Oscars.

fall

But she managed to shake it off where most of us probably would have curled under our chairs and died…

Jennifer-Lawrence-Oscars-GIF-Trip

At her winners’ press conference:

As she walked up onto the podium, a photographer apparently told her to watch her step…

Jennifer-Lawrence-Middle-Finger-Oscars

Then…

onpurpose

When asked what went through her mind…

eff

And I love this… This would be me!

shot

In fact, her whole damn presser is worth the watch if you have a few minutes to spare. She is so cool.

At the parties:

Gets ambushed by her family:

Jack Nicholson crashes her interview (I love her “Oh my god!”)

In fact, the Oh my god is worth a GIF of its own. And with that, good night.

jenniferjack2

Advertisements

Six years.

Every year I’ve written something profound on missing my father, on this – the day that I always think of as the day that we lost him. 22 September was the day he vanished – was thrown into the coma from which he never woke.

Today, I can’t. I’m too heartbroken. Too tired. Today, will just be brief reminder to the world that this amazing man lived. Loved. And was – and is – loved so, so much.

You can read last year’s tribute here and a brief “things I learned from my father” post. One day – not today, I don’t think I can do it – I will write the full story for this blog. It’s a story that needs to be told.

Here, instead, is a picture of my mom and dad taken sometime in the 70s. If I have half the marriage they did, I’ll be happy.

Image

On Harry Potter… And me

Harry Potter book collection

A stack of Harry Potters. Pic by Alan Edwardes, flickr.com

A few days ago, I saw a tweet about a super-cool Harry Potter DVD boxset. Like, seriously, Warner Bros. pulled out all the stops for that. It was the full eight-film collection plus bucket loads of special features spread over 31 discs, a kick-ass box and concept art and stuff and more stuff… (Check it out here)

Anyway, the wonderful tallulahlucy and I started chatting about the books – how we’ve probably read them a thousand times between the two of us, and we got to chatting about our favourites and least favourites… And our firsts. Which I thought would be super-cool to put out in blog form.

But basically, it boils down to this – the Harry Potter series defined a very large part of my life. Pretty much from the time I was about 13 to… Well, now I guess. That’s a good 12 years, and I intend to pass Ms Rowling’s novels onto my future children. The Potter series was there through some of the darkest times in my life. And in fact, if I ever feel myself down in the dumps for an extended period of time, I open up at The Philosopher’s Stone and start at “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much…”

My first 

My first ever Harry Potter novel was The Prisoner of Azkaban. My grandmother had bought Azkaban and the Chamber of Secrets for my younger brother (who, at 9, was more into cricket and comic books than novels). I grabbed Azkaban first, and fell in love. I, like positively millions of children (and adults!) across the globe, wanted to be a part of Harry’s world. I remember very clearly sitting in a patch of sunlight streaming in through the window into the TV room and reading as Harry tried to escape the Ministry on the Knight Bus… And being thrilled to discover there was a real Neville Longbottom.

My favourite

I think The Goblet of Fire has to be my favourite – and, in my mind, it’s also the most important Potter book, because of the sudden turning point. It’s not purely because Voldemort returns – though, obviously, that helps – but it is the abandonment of the relative innocence of the first three novels in stark contrast with the complexity of the emotions and the issues of Goblet of Fire. I still get goosebumps with this novel.

My least favourite

That’s not to say that I don’t like it, it’s just that of all of the novels it’s the one that I love the least. The Chamber of Secrets. I loathed Gilderoy Lockhart’s character and I found all of the “Harry is the Heir of Slytherin” thing quite tiresome. I still have some favourite moments of the novel, of course, and it introduced me to the delightful Dobby… And while at first Chamber of Secrets seems relatively disconnected from the narrative of the first six novels – we find out in Deathly Hallows that it isn’t quite so.

My strongest Potter reaction

I had two very strong reactions to two points in the novels, but one comes out hands down – Cedric Diggory’s death in Goblet of Fire and Voldemort’s return. I remember putting down Goblet of Fire and going outside to help my mother hang up the laundry, my head still positively reeling from what I had just read. “Cedric Diggory’s dead!” rang on a loop in my teenage brain – I was astounded. Secondly, of course, would be Sirius’ death in Order of the Phoenix. The idea that he just disappeared through the veil – no body, no goodbye, nothing – well, that just slayed me. And Harry yelling into the mirror, so sure that Sirius would respond… Well. There were tears.

My Harry Potter family

I often credit the Potter novels with getting my brother to fall in love with reading. We used to discuss the novels while I was home from school, and dissect the smallest details. (“What did she mean by a look of triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes?” etc etc) We saw all of the movies – I remember my parents taking us to see The Philosopher’s Stone in 2001… We had ice cream just before and I wore my favourite red dress. Potter was a connection to my grandmother… She bought us all the novels – she knew how much I loved them – and would, in fact, order them well in advance so we didn’t have to wait too long.

And then… My father. Well, he enjoyed the films, I knew that much. But when he was in his coma, after I had read him The Hobbit and abandoned the idea of reading him my setworks (I didn’t quite see him enjoying Mansfield Park, though I thought that at least some Dickens could have gone down well, if he tried) I started reading him the Harry Potter novels. In Jwaneng, when he was in the private room, I would arrive after lunch and read to him all afternoon until we had to leave at six, then came back and read for a little more from seven until we were kicked out again.

When he moved to the house in Ladysmith… Well, his nurses scared me. A lot. I always felt horribly judged, so I stayed away. In hindsight, they probably judged me more for seeming to never visit… But from four-thirty until six, when there were no nurses… Well, that was our time.

I was halfway through The Goblet of Fire, I think, before he died.

Iconic Oprah moments

I wrote a 15 Great Oprah Moments piece for work – but here are MY favourite moments. Now, I don’t particularly like her (though I don’t really dislike her either) – but there’s no denying what she’s done for women in the industry. With the final ever episode airing in the States today (here in South Africa we’ll probably get the final episode in about 5 years time!) I decided to take a look back at some of the many, many moments that made Oprah Winfrey an icon.

America’s most racist town: In 1987, Oprah travelled out of her studio to Forsyth County in Georgia, where white residents had made it known for years that black people were not welcome. One man, Dennis, said he was “afraid” of blacks coming to the county. He also used the word “nigger” repeatedly as he spoke to her. Oprah was hailed for remaining calm at the meeting and not being drawn into responding. Years later, the man contacted Oprah – saying he was “the bearded man” from Forsyth – and told her that he no longer uses the word.  Defending his use of it, however, Dennis said, “I spoke from what I had lived and that’s all anybody can do.”

The Wagon of Fat: Oprah’s struggle with her weight has been famously documented. In 1988, Oprah tried “Optifast” – a fasting and supplement programme – which she thought would be her “final answer” to her diet battle. For four months she didn’t eat a single morsel of food – and dropped around 30kg to just under 66kg. She squeezed into a pair of tight jeans, pulling a wagon full of fat – representing the weight she had lost – onto the stage. However, two weeks after starting to eat real food again, she had picked up almost 5kg again. How she didn’t realise that the weight was going to spring straight back is beyond me – but I suppose it was the 1980s and dieting pretty much equalled starvation at that point.

Oprah and the Fat Wagon

Oprah and the Fat Wagon

An eye-opening experiment: I love this idea so, so much. I would have loved to have been there. In 1992, Oprah set up an experiment with diversity expert Jane Elliot to prove the power of discrimination. When the audience arrived for the taping, they were separated into two groups based on their eye-colour – although they weren’t told why they were split. The blue-eyed people were pulled out of line, told to put on green collars and were treated badly by show staff. The brown-eyed people were asked to step to the front of the line, given coffee and doughnuts and treated respectfully. The segregated audience was then told that brown-eyed people were smarter. The blue-eyed people were visibly upset at being discriminated against, while the brown-eyed people became smug and bought into the idea that they were superior. The idea behind the experiment – to prove how arbitrary judgements based on skin colour are, and how susceptible we are to prejudice and misinformation.

More after the jump…


Continue reading