And the winner isn’t . . .

82nd Annual Academy Awards - "Meet The Oscars" New YorkWhat do these actors have in common: Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Harrison Ford, Kevin Bacon, Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, John Malkovich, John Travolta, Ralph Fiennes, Ed Harris, Gary Oldham, Andy Garcia . . .

. . . and these actresses: Barbara Stanwyck, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Maureen O’Hara, Emily Watson, Jean Simmons, Laura Linney, Miranda Richardson, Annette Bening, Glen Close, Sigourney Weaver, Marsha Mason, Brenda Blethyn, Mia Farrow?

Yes, they have all NOT won an Oscar. Quite a list. (Oh, and Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton were nominated many times but never won. Then there’s Julie Walters, the list of losers goes on and on).

The handing out of the statuettes to the luvvies for 2015 took place last month. No real surprises.

Eddie Redmayne won best actor playing Stephen Hawking. Julianne Moore won best actress playing a character with Alzheimer’s disease.

Hmmm. One almost sure way of nabbing an Oscar is to play a character with a disability: Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot; Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man; Colin Firth stuttering in The King’s Speech; Holly Hunter as a mute in The Piano; Marlee Matlin, a deaf actress playing a deaf character in Children of a Lesser God; Jennifer Lawrence with mental health issues in Silver Linings Playbook.

And who selects the winners? The 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Membership is by invitation only. And most of the members are based in the United States. So that’s all right then.

I read somewhere that a lot of the ageing members don’t get to see the films and often ask their maids what they thought of them before they send in their votes.

But for all the unfairness of the system I enjoy the stars dressing up for their (they hope) big night. And then there are the speeches and the tears.

In writing this blogpost I’d like to thank my agent, my wife, my cat . . .

Musical Monday: Procol Harum

Lunching with my daughter

Chicken and Thai rice lunch 24th February 2015

There are many reasons why I’m lucky to have a lovely daughter like Princess Perfect, not least because she’s a talented and inventive cook. She loves conjuring up lunches and dinners and cakes and whatever.

She is in the second week of her half-term holiday so it’s just her and me at home during the day until Her Royal Frogness returns from work in the evening.

Today PP found a recipe on the web (a favourite pastime) then adapted it to her own modifications: Chicken and Thai rice. It was actually a recipe for brochettes but we don’t have any sticks.

So, she cut up lean chicken into chunks. She prepared a concoction of honey and soya sauce and heated this in a pan then mixed in the chicken chunks.

The chicken was placed on a bed of Thai rice. And then we sat down for lunch together. Delicious. We’ve even kept a portion for The Frog Queen who can heat it up tomorrow for her lunch.

Get yourself a daughter like this while stocks last!

Musical Monday: Lesley Gore

Tucking into Japanese grub

It was Brainbox’s 21st birthday yesterday and to celebrate, after giving him his presents at his apartment in Vincennes, we ate at our favourite Japanese restaurant; as birthday boy it was my son’s choice.

We’ve been going to Sakura in Vincennes for years – since my son was quite small. And the waiter who served us last night was the same guy from when we first ate at the restaurant. He told me he’d worked there for nearly 20 years.

And so to the food, which was perfect comme d’habitude.

Miso soup.

Miso soup.

My son's sensational sashimi dish.

My son’s sensational sashimi dish.

Grilled chicken raviolis.

Grilled chicken ravioli.

Dumdad's mini-sashimi dish; he also had a selection of meat brochettes as part of his menu.

Dumdad’s mini-sashimi dish; he also had a selection of meat brochettes as part of his menu.

Princess Perfect's maki selection.

Princess Perfect’s maki selection.

The Frog Queen's sashimi dish.

The Frog Queen’s sashimi dish.

Some of the brochettes that were part of PP's and DD's menus. Yummy.

Some of the brochettes that were part of PP’s and DD’s menus. Yummy.

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Bon anniversaire Brainbox!

21st birthday

Musical Monday: Moby