November 30th, 2007


6/4 Star magazine

Best Beach Bods 2007: I misread a description of Kate Bosworth as "positively pimpworthy" - oops, "pinupworthy."

Scarlett & Ryan Getting Hotter!: Johansson's friend gushes, "Ryan is a fountain of knowledge and ideas, and he’s a real inspiration to Scarlett because he doesn’t want to just act. He wants to branch out and grow artistically." Is there anyone who's satisfied and doesn't feel the need to grow?

High-Maintenance Mario Acts Up!: Mario Lopez reportedly was paid $35K to appear at a health expo, where he was allegedly uncooperative, made people wait, brought along 10 pals, and asked for take-out boxes from the VIP lounge. I'd behave for a lot less.

Re Anne Heche: If you write a memoir titled "Call Me Crazy," don't be surprised when your divorcing husband accuses you of bizarre and delusional behavior.

Edited to add: They ask the crossword contest winners what they'll do with the $250 prize money, which seems silly since it's not enough to do anything life-changing. The winner in this issue says he'll spend it "renewing his Star subscription." I think he's kidding.

Does Finland have fins?

Overhead on the C train (but not good enough to submit to Overheard in New York):

How come the countries are called Greenland and Iceland when Greenland is ice and Iceland is green?

Juno and Diablo

After working at the Times Wednesday night, I walked down to the 24-hour main post office to mail out a book. If I knew I'd be in the same location the next day, I could have waited.

Early Thursday morning, I saw that IFP had a screening that night of "Juno" at the 34th St. AMC Loew's (half a block from the post office) and decided to go. It's been nominated for some Spirit Awards and I'll be voting again this year. I like this theater because there's stadium seating and I've never found the sound too loud.

The movie began with a young girl taking multiple (positive) pregnancy tests and engaging in witty dialogue with the pharmacist. In fact, all the characters were articulate and witty and didn't sound like any people I know. It reminded me of the one episode I watched of "Gilmore Girls" which turned me off with its constant clever banter.

The movie itself was absorbing, sucking you into the dilemma of a pregnant teenager in an unidentifiable town (the credits revealed it was filmed in Vancouver) who decides to give her baby to a yuppie couple. The situations are bittersweet and not entirely predictable.

Afterward, EW's Karen Valby interviewed the screenwriter, 29-year-old Diablo Cody (not her real name). The first thing the author said was that some people criticize the characters as being overly articulate and witty (the Hollywood Reporter called the movie "reveling in dialogue that is artificial yet witty and articulate"), but these actors actually were just that way. I don't know about the actors, but the author certainly was. She talked about being discovered blogging, and writing a book about being an unlikely stripper ("Candy Girl"). I felt way too uncool for the room.

Further research showed that former midwesterner Cody is quite the Hollywood it girl these days, with several projects pending. She was just named one of EW's 50 Smartest People. I bet she gets swag, too.

Yeah, I'm probably jealous even though I'm not a writer and I'm too old to be an it girl.

Mostly Merv

I watched a slew of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" episodes.

Yay, they now not only introduce the spoilers but give them occupations.

Cringeworthy clues:

TV's drama with Susan Dey, "L. ___" (ALAW)
These people are sometimes grand (PARENTS)
Sharp ridge (ARRIS) (this is in RH2, but most people would guess ARETE)

Good wrong guess:

Like a lot (ACRED) (after ADORE was eliminated; they wanted GO FOR)

Bad wrong guesses:

"Catchy" anagram of "parts" _ _ A _ _ (people guessed STRAP, STRAP, and blank)


Ellyn Ritterskamp (former WWTBAM and "Jeopardy!" contestant, Ritterskoop on those shows' boards) was stuck at the podium of doom and purposely misspelled answers to become a spoiler and take the good podium and win. She didn't complete the final puzzle, though.

Final puzzle was missing RO_/_OPSE (C). Contestant didn't know either one, but was able to guess right after 2 passes and 1 wrong answer.

Final puzzle was missing R_HR/DOUBLED_TY (U). The contestant was doing well up to then, tried different letters in R_HR, and finally realized what was going on when the longer clue was read.

Bad final:

I didn't have much faith in a particular contestant up to that point, and she did not disappoint, inexplicably spending time saying "Please" before each clue and passing on things like "They're new to a field or activity" TYRO_ (even if you don't know this word, what letter could that possibly be?).

* * *
I watched two "Cash Cab: After Dark" episodes. One twosome elected not to do the final challenge and at $1850, would have set a record had they won. Some of the contestants seem drunk, which maybe is the point.

Rerun of "The Daily Show": It's much better when these are current, but there was a funny spoof on "Laguna Beach." Sienna Miller was promoting "Factory Girl" and Jude Law was never mentioned.

Speaking of "Laguna Beach," I watched an episode, where everyone graduates. One girl gets a Bible and another a car. Fast forward to "The Hills" where we see Spencer's sister and some drama in clubs. I fail to see the appeal of Justin/Bobby.