Mission Accomplished

I did it. On my fourth week of doing kettlebell reps and reverse chin-ups twice a week, I did my first 15 proper chin-ups. That's a major accomplishment for someone who has never had any upper body strength to lift my weight before.

Now, once my scraped back heals, I can get back to learning how to effectively escape from side control. These days I seem to spend a frustrating, tear-producing amount of time with someone's shoulder and 80kg weight painfully rammed into my neck and jaw. And I am sick of the discomfort.

Anyway, back to entertainment type stuff, I'm a bit mentally out of it today, having stayed up late last night to watch the Academy Awards broadcast on MNET (Oscarwatching is an annual TV tradition in my home). There's commentary on the show all over the Internet and blogger universe, so here are just a few of my off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts:

I wish they'd scrap the whole red carpet interview thing. It's just so horribly artificial. The interviewers demonstrate no sincerity and the interviewed stars clearly couldn't care less. The Oscars should be about the movies, not about highlighting the sycophantism and vapidness of Hollywood. That's a reality I don't want to see. And if that means scraping away the glamour, photographers and red carpet poses, I'm all for it.


I thoroughly enjoyed the dance troupe who visualised a number of the nominated films... as well as Snakes on a Plane.

Host Ellen DeGeneres started off a bit flat, but she clearly wasn't helped by a vile intro sequence (with intervied nominees) that felt completely humourless if you remember Billy Crystal's hilarious 'inserted into the movies' montages. But DeGeneres got better, and probably more comfortable, as the show progressed, putting her self-deprecating brand of humour to excellent use.

My favourite presenting sequence of the evening? The Devil Wears Prada's Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt presenting Best Costume Design. Both actresses slipped into flustered assistant mode when they spotted Meryl Streep in the audience. The grande dame of American cinema, proving her excellent sense of humour and timing, transformed immediately into Devil's bitch-boss Miranda, with simply a tilt of her head and a narrowing of her eyes. Fantastic.

And how awesome was that Melissa Etheridge song for An Inconvenient Truth? It's the first Best Original Song in recent years to really deserve the accolade.

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