Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Week That Was...

Any period of time that is leading up to a holiday always knows how to drag on endlessly. This is the first Sunday in awhile that I'm not sad to see end. The weekend being over is sweetened by an upcoming short work week. Hooray!

While the country collectively perused their Pinterest boards and planned what to chow down on over Thanksgiving, this is what else was going down in the world.

Ham and Turkey

Watching itty bitty hands grabbing a little pumpkin pie and a wee turkey and gobbling it down is all anyone could want this Thanksgiving.

Political Roundup

There is still plenty of drama to come out of D.C., even after the recent elections that caused a shake up in both the House and the Senate. President Obama took to the airwaves on Thursday night to announce an executive order he has planned that will make changes to our countries current immigration laws.

He voiced some very practical terms, acknowledging that there are a large amount of illegal people living in the US. It is senseless that the only plan is kicking them all out. They are here, so we've gotta make it work somehow. Republicans didn't see it that way, and controversy arises. Was everything Obama suggested a perfect plan? Or does it account for every situation? No and no. But at least it's something that is moving in the right direction.

Obama's speech was focused on the lack of voting done by congress in the last couple years, but the Senate was actually working on a bill this week. This vote was about the Keystone Pipeline.

Either I've been completely zoning out on this topic, or it came out of nowhere, because I had to do some research. SO, what is the keystone pipeline? It is a pipeline that already exists, running from Canada through the US to Oklahoma. The vote was to expand the pipeline to the gulf coast. Some say it would create jobs, the other side said it would harm the environment. That's always the debate, right? Either way, the senate voted the bill down. After the failure, it seems like this topic is dropped...for now at least.

The Life Of Nichols

I love him for the film, but Mike Nichols was way more than just the guy who directed The Graduate. When I wrote about him the day he passed away, I really only mentioned his other fine moments as a director. Frankly, that's because I only knew of him in that role.

All week through reading other features on the iconic man, I learned a lot about him. Before going behind the lens, in the late 50s and early 60s he could often be found doing comedy bits with Elaine May. They had three albums and would perform on late night shows, as well as tour around the country.

Most importantly, Nichols is one of the few that could illustriously say they had an EGOT! I wonder if he had a necklace that proclaimed his achievement?

Let's break down that EGOT -  

E: Emmy  for Best Directing of both Wit (2001) and Angels In America (2003).

G: Grammy  for Best Comedy Album, An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May (1961).

O: Oscar for Best Directing of The Graduate (1967).

T: Tony for...he won 9 times! Best Directing of Barefoot in the Park (1964), The Odd Couple (1965), Plaza Suite (1968), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1972), Annie (1977), The Real Thing (1984), Spamalot (2005), and Death of a Salesman (2012).

Holy cow amazingness.

The Big Bucks

Earlier this week, a Georgia O'Keefe painting sold for 44 million dollars. The piece, "Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1", set a record for the biggest sale for work done by a female artist.

It's gorgeous and all, but where would you hang this kind of expensive piece of work? More than likely it will end up locked up in a safe or in a museum, but it's just more fun to imagine the person who bought the painting hanging it in their hallway or bathroom like it's no big deal.

Top 'O The Box

Once again Katniss and the gang are dominating movie ticket sales. The Hunger Games 3 and 1/2, aka Mockingjay Pt. 1 came out this weekend and is on top of the box office with the largest movie opening of the year.

Reviews haven't been as stellar as the other installments, but really, what can you expect from chopping a book into two movies? Everybody just wants to know how it ends! The movie company doesn't mind - they'll just be rolling in their giant pile of moolah.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

As the coldest November morning since 1976 fell over the entire country last week, all 50 states dropped below freezing. Yes, even Hawaii and all those other places that are believed to have hot weather 365 days a year.

This was all part of the cold front that brought over seven feet of snow to the area of New York around Lake Erie. The snow storm made everyone aware of the possibility of "lake-effect snow", something I have never heard of. Excuse me while I put on my lab coat to explain the science: when cold air travels over long bodies of warmer water, vapors of water can be picked up. That water then freezes and is deposited as snow in the closest area surrounding the lake. Buffalo was the lucky winner this time around.

It has been devastating for that region of the country. At least thirteen people have been reported dead and many have found themselves trapped in their cars or in their homes. One such lucky group was the band Interpol, who live tweeted the storm while being stuck on I-90. They were there for at least 40 hours, but had booze and food to keep them warm.

We have learned a lesson today: always travel via a luxury bus loaded with snacks, as that will be the best place to ride out any emergency situation.

Ugly Christmas Tree

"If there was a squirrel right now looking for a place to live in the winter, it won't even go into the tree."

Folks in Reading, Pa. are acting just like you and your family at the time of year when everyone gathers to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Some like the bushier type, others strive for that perfect triangular shape, and some just want a tree with a little more character.

We can all agree though that if the branches are already falling off, that's not a good sign. This is why the people of Reading are upset with the 50-foot spruce the city decided to put up this year. Besides branches falling off, it does look like the tree has had a hard life, now featuring many thinning limbs.

At first this story seems ridiculous - don't these people know the real meaning of Christmas? Those kids in Charlie Brown land turned a slumped over stick into the perfect tree, because, after-all, everything in life is just how you decide to look at it.

But if the town wants to raise money for something better, all the power to 'em. It is a little sad looking.

Until next time.

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