Archive for February, 2010

Ready to do some more voting?

When the Oscar nominees were announced, I posted a poll for everyone to sound off about which film should win the best-picture award. I’m thrilled to see that, so far, one of my favorite films, District 9, is leading the pack with 30 percent of the votes.  Go prawns!

As promised, here are some additional choices you can make … although, I’m sad to say, no one will actually listen to us when it comes time to hand out these awards.  Sorry.  That’s just the way it is.

More polls for additional Oscar categories coming soon!  And, yes, you can still vote for best picture.  Simply go to POLLS and vote to your heart’s content!




Word for Thought: doldrums


What it means: a state of inactivity or stagnation; a dull, listless mood

This word comes from the region called “the doldrums,” also known as the equatorial calms, an area of light and changeable winds around the equator. This low-pressure zone can be found in parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The low pressure is created as air rises, due to the heat at the equator, and then descends again as it hits the horse latitudes. The area affects the trades winds, and its instability can give rise to squalls and hurricanes.

Why I chose it: After using this descriptive word many times, I still appreciate its imagery and metaphor. Who hasn’t felt the ennui of drifting immobility and the tempestuous rage it sometimes can produce? Languorous and creative, all at once!

A New Year, a New Look for Z’s Blog

Time to get BOLD and BRAVE in 2010!  Even if it is just with the color of my blog.  Hey, come on … baby steps are good for all kinds of change.  I’d love to know what you think about the new face of Z’s Blog.  Can’t wait to hear from YOU!


What it means: nautical term for a container with the day’s water supply in it; the modern connotation is gossip, news, or idle talk

The rumored (yup, pun intended) origin of how we use the word today is this:  In days of old, an open cask or keg (called a butt) would be placed on the deck of a ship at sea, near the hatch (skuttle).  Sailors would gather at this watering hole to chew the fat.  Sounds suspiciously like the office water-cooler.

Why I chose it: It rolls off the tongue, just like idle chatter.

I hereby declare that I am able to admit when I was mistaken and just being stubborn.

Having developed a healthy distaste for mega-hyped movies, I waited this long before seeing Avatar … and I only broke down and went to the theater because I plan to see all the Oscar-nominated Best-Picture candidates (six down, four to go).

Well, if you are like me and have not yet seen it (and you don’t have a general aversion to exciting, partially-CGI blockbusters), I’m here to say, “Go now; you’re in for a treat.”

There have been a gazillion reviews, so I won’t belabor the point – just a few comments.

To me, it’s basically a twenty-first century version of Dances with Wolves, with a touch of The Matrix, The Mission, and Lord of the Rings.  Though the story is nothing new, the packaging is gorgeous.

For an action sci-fi flick, the characters are fairly well developed.  The notable exception is Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who is a pretty one-dimensional ass throughout.  Presumably, in a good-vs.-evil story, you must have someone to despise unequivocally.

Naturally, the acting talent in this movie helps its success tremendously.  All the principal actors are excellent in their roles.  Special recognition should go to Giovanni Ribisi, who makes an unlikeable character complex – even though the lines weren’t written for his character (Parker Selfridge) to eventually show that there’s a human being hidden somewhere inside his corporate soul, the masterful actor manages to convey it through his eyes and expressions.

After hearing several stories about people getting physically dizzy after 162 minutes of 3D thrill-riding through the primordial forests of Pandora, it’s something I was wary about.  However, I personally found the pacing and the juxtaposition of the human and Na’vi worlds in fine balance.

My only real gripe?  The cheese factor of calling the ore the humans are mining unobtanium.  Really, people?  Really?

It almost hurts me to say it, but James Cameron has redeemed himself in my eyes (Ouch!), and Avatar gets a big two thumbs-up.

Mood:  humbled and euphoric

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