Sunday, March 07, 2010


The Academy Awards are just wrapping up as I write this. Thankfully, "Avatar" did not win Best Picture as many thought it might when the nominations were first announced. The momentum for "The Hurt Locker" has been unstoppable lately and it wasn't too surprising that it claimed the top trophy.

They say that to truly be the best picture, a film should also win the award for best director. Kathryn Bigelow proved that old adage true tonight. Another old saying is that before it goes on the stage, it has to be on the page. In my opinion, the best picture winner should also have picked up one of the two screenwriting awards earlier in the night. "The Hurt Locker" won for Original Screenplay. "Avatar" wasn't even nominated in a writing category.

As has become my new favorite pastime during award shows and major sporting events, I enjoyed reading and posting comments on Twitter. Here are a few things I wrote during the Oscars tonight:
  • I'm glad Sandra Bullock won. Meryl Streep should have won last year for "Doubt." I can't even remember who beat her.
  • In Memoriam, a/k/a the awkward smatterings of applause
  • Woohoo! My favorite part! In memoriam!!
  • Sarah Jessica Parker as a clothes horse? Unfortunate choice of words.
  • All night the live audio at the Oscars has been bugging me. Is something wrong with their stage mic?
  • Wait, you're telling me that Avatar was NOT nominated for best adapted screenplay based on the movie "Pocahontas" by Disney?
  • My wife & I are considering paying the $6 for "A Serious Man" via On Demand
  • What award did Joy Behar just win? I'm confused.
  • "Logorama" looks like one of those maps you get from the car rental agency or the motel when you go on vacation.
  • If each death from 2009 gets this much time, it's going to be the longest "in memoriam" segment ever.
  • I saw it, I'm just saying Academy is over its SciFi quota RT @clydetombaugh if you don't think "District 9" deserved Best Picture nod...
  • They have the guy from "Star Trek," which should have been nominated, introducing the film that likely stole Trek's spot.
  • Best picture of the year, "Up," just won its award.
  • Squirrel!
  • NPH steals the Oscar gig!!
  • Why don't they have TV pros asking the questions? RT @MarkNagi Kathy Ireland throwing softball questions is like Verne interviewing Tebow

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

come along, kiddie-winkies

Before the Oscars each year, my wife and I try to see as many of the nominated films as we can. Some years we see a lot, some years hardly any. We haven't made it to very many this year. Of the best three movies I saw in 2009, only two were nominated for best picture. I liked "Up," "The Blind Side" and "Star Trek." I'm not the only person who thinks "Star Trek" was robbed of a nomination, especially since the category was unnecessarily inflated to ten films. I thought "Julie & Julia" and "District 9" were good but not better than "Star Trek."

Last Sunday, we went to see "The Lovely Bones." Supporting actor nominee Stanley Tucci was beyond creepy as the perverted serial killer. However the movie itself is not good. As I wrote on Twitter, it would have been better with a little less "Lovely" and a little more "Bones" or "CSI" for that matter. The CGI sequences of the girl stuck between heaven and earth drag on and make the movie seem way longer than it is.

We intended to go to the movies again today. We checked Fandango and found that the films we most wanted to see had already left the theaters. It occurred to us that it would be cheaper to stay home and check the On Demand menu for an HD movie. Although I get a discount on my Comcast subscription, new movies like "Inglourious Basterds" cost me $5.99, same as anybody else. It was worth it. We would have spent more than that at the concession stand alone.

I don't get why Christoph Waltz is nominated for best supporting actor instead of lead actor. His character, Hans Landa, is central to the entire movie. He is the connecting link between the multiple story lines and gets plenty of screen time. They must have thought he couldn't beat the best actor nominees, which is a shame. Landa reminded me of a scary character from my youth. His evil ways had some similarity to the Child Catcher in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

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Monday, February 01, 2010

bowled over

That wasn't so bad, was it? Something I have been hoping for since 2006 happened last night. The Pro Bowl filled the football void on the Sunday before the Super Bowl.

I can't be the only one who liked the change. Ratings for the game were way up and I heard on NFL Network that the highest ratings for the game were in football-crazy New Orleans, which had no players on the field. Some people, like WATE's Mark Nagi, objected to the lack of Saints and Colts players in the Pro Bowl. I wonder how many Super Bowl players skipped the Pro Bowl in past years because they were too banged up to play again so soon.

I also wonder if those who didn't like the change were expecting a real football game. The Super Bowl players weren't the only ones missing. The AFC had to go deep into their roster to find a starting quarterback. It didn't matter, the game was fun to watch and AFC quarterback Matt Schaub turned out to be the MVP. Because of the physical nature of the sport, a football all-star game is probably less intense than a baseball all-star game. Well alright, let's say less intense than a basketball all-star game. No matter, the Pro Bowl is glorified two-hand touch anyhow.

As a Redskins fan, I thought I wanted the NFC to win. Yet, I was unhappy when an Eagles quarterback connected with an Eagles receiver for a touchdown. When a Cowboys quarterback was intercepted, ending any hope of an NFC comeback, I was pleasantly amused.

My gripe is that the NFL scheduled the game opposite the Grammy Awards. I would have preferred to watch the Pro Bowl before the Grammys. If I still lived on the West Coast, I guess I could have done so. However tape-delayed award shows are another pet peeve of mine. Some of us equate major award shows with major sporting events. The audiences for the Grammys and the Pro Bowl are not mutually exclusive. The Grammy ratings showed an increase too.

The 2011 Pro Bowl will be played in Hawaii, which probably means another evening start in the Eastern time zone. Let's hope that the higher ratings last night keep the pre-Super Bowl void filled with football. I still like my idea for a Consolation Bowl between the teams that lose the conference championship games. Anyone else?

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

a charm

When the call never came, I assumed that my two-year run as one of Knoxville's favorite bloggers had ended. I was very happy and thankful to learn this morning that I was mistaken. In the East Tennessee's Best poll that will be in tomorrow's paper, my humble blog made the top three for the third consecutive year. My sincere thanks to all who voted for me. Congratulations to this year's winner, public relations powerhouse Cynthia Moxley and to the other runner-up, the anonymous Knox Animal. I feel foolish for not reading their blogs before tonight.

Here's a little secret about the News Sentinel readers' poll. When you win, they generally contact you in advance and arrange for a photo session. Last year, the late Clay Owen took my picture at Patrick Sullivan's. In 2007, when I was a runner-up, they called me and asked if I wanted to buy a self-congratulatory ad.

A few weeks ago venerable photographer J. Miles Cary came to the radio station to take a picture of my morning show co-hosts and me. It was our first win in the Best Local Radio Personality category after being runners-up in the past. Last month I saw something on Twitter about Saul Young taking a picture of some food at the Creamery Park Grille. I realize now that it was for their win in the Best Sunday Brunch category.

Speaking of Twitter, the new poll reflects the times by honoring East Tennessee's Best Local Tweeter. The winner was the very same Cynthia Moxley. Runners-up were Jeremy Floyd and Jimmy Holt. I am going to try following Cynthia and Jeremy as of tonight. I've been following Jimmy's tweets since seeing him at Chick-Fil-A on Labor Day. That's how I knew when they tried to sell him an ad for being a runner-up.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

just to be nominated

The Oscars have been awarded and my score is five winners and five losers. I only saw ten of the nominated films, five of which won an award. Now that the pressure to see the nominees is off, I can probably wait until the other five films that interested me show up on one of the HD movie channels. I saw "The Visitor" on Starz the other day and thought it was pretty good.

Here are the five winners I saw:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Slumdog Millionaire

The five losers I saw:
Iron Man
Tropic Thunder
The Visitor

And the five still on my "to do list"
In Bruges
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
The Wrestler

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Monday, February 16, 2009

force of habit

In an effort to see at least some of the Oscar nominees before the awards ceremony, my wife and I watched "Doubt" this afternoon. The story takes place in 1964, before people became aware of the failings of an organization which is built on the forgiveness of sins but exists in a society that requires justice and demands vengeance.

The film is set at a fictional parish in the Bronx within walking distance of the Parkchester neighborhood where my mother grew up. Most impressive was Meryl Streep's perfect accent. She sounded exactly like my Aunt Marion, with maybe a dash of Aunt Grace thrown in. The parish school is run by the Sisters of Charity, an actual order which has put information about the movie on their website.

The first time Father Flynn did the sign of the cross during Mass, I absentmindedly crossed myself along with the onscreen congregation. In that scene, Sister Aloysius hits a disruptive child on the back of the head. I wanted to her to do the same thing to a disruptive audience member at the Regal Downtown West Cinema 8.

My wife said that they used the modern arrangement of "Holy God We Praise Thy Name" instead of the old-school version of the tune. Also, they had the priest deliver his sermons following a hymn instead of right after the gospel proclamation. Several scenes are so theatrical that you can't help but be reminded that the film was adapted from a stage play. There were also a couple of times when the camera is tilted on an angle, just like when a villain's lair was shown on the old "Batman" series.

I hope Viola Davis wins for Best Supporting Actress. There was one emotional scene that should clinch it for her. It's the one where her nose starts running. I may feel differently after I see "The Wrestler," but for now I'm pulling for Viola.

I came out of the theater whistling "Blame it on the Bossa Nova," which is featured during a small scene in the film. It reminded me of an interview I did with Emily Procter when I had a show on the Comedy World Radio Network. At the time, she had a part on "The West Wing." I was rather smitten with her Ainsley Hayes character because of a well-known bathrobe bossa nova scene. I tracked down a copy of the song, which wasn't quite as easy then as it is now, and played it for her during the interview.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

cupcake, gonna have a cupcake

In celebration of my major award, I went only partially Elvis today. First, I stopped by Pilot to get a free copy of the News Sentinel to send to my mother. The print edition of the East Tennessee's Best section has a nice portrait photo of me next to the Best Local Blogger description.

At lunchtime I found myself driving past a BBQ joint I have been wanting to try. Pup's Pit is a small building tucked into the corner of a used car lot on Walker Springs Road. I ordered a pulled chicken sandwich with a mixture of mild and hot sauce. The combination gave me the perfect level of spicy heat, however the flavor was too ketchupy. Before eating the sandwich, I ate a little piece of chicken without any sauce. It had a good smoky taste. Next time I will have them leave off the sauce and put on my own when I get home.

As promised yesterday, my celebratory dessert was a Graceland cupcake from The Cupcakery. The banana cake was topped with peanut butter icing and a slice of dried banana partially dipped in chocolate. It was fine, however I would have liked it better if it had banana icing too. The clerk told me that the Pumpkin Harvest cupcakes in the same case had a cinnamon icing and a piece of ginger snap on top. Generally speaking, the Cupcakery's cupcakes look perfect but could benefit from more icing. I like icing.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

thankyou, thankyouverymuch

Does your Friday morning routine include a stop at a convenience store? Maybe you can pick up an extra copy of the News Sentinel for me. I want to send copies to my mother, my grandmother and some other relatives. Remember that local Pilot stores give away the paper for free on Fridays during high school football season. Although I'm sure they would enjoy reading a preview of the Catholic at Fulton game, I actually want Mom and Grandma to see Clay Owen's photo of yours truly that will be included with the results of the News Sentinel's annual readers poll.

If you voted for me in the East Tennessee's Best survey, I sincerely thank you. Your votes in the Best Local Blogger category were enough to give me the edge over hundreds of talented local bloggers including the next two top vote getters, Richard Allen and Dave Foulk.

A year ago, I was very surprised to make the top three. You may recall that I placed second, behind Barbie Cummings. "Local Blogger" was a new category last year and I thought that some of the other bloggers might rally their readers to vote in the new poll. I'm all the more complimented that I won without having to ask. The blurb that accompanies the results is really, really nice:
There isn’t much Frank Murphy hasn’t done. You’ve probably heard him on radio station Star 102.1 as one-third of the popular Marc & Kim and Frank Show. He and his wife have done radio commercials for LA Weight Loss. He’s a member of Einstein Simplified, a comedy improv group that performs weekly in Knoxville. He was a judge on “Warehouse Warriors” on the DIY Network. He also likes to nap. A lot.

When he’s not doing all that, Frank writes on his blog. He’s been doing so since August of 2005. He writes about life, love, the Tennessee Valley Fair, swimming, Knoxville-turned-Nashville band Jag Star, body farms, fireworks displays, going to the movies, his love of the world’s largest things, shopping for tuna and fat-free salad dressing at Food City, and the latest on his quest to visit all 50 states. You know, all your favorite stuff.

It’s rare if a day goes by when Frank doesn’t update his blog. It’s also rare if a day goes by when East Tennessee isn’t reading it.
It's appropriate to acknowledge Jack Lail for sending a lot of hits my way earlier this year by linking to my post about Coed Naked Bar Hopping. That entry also got several clicks from the gang at The Sunsphere is Not a Wigshop (who reviewed this week's Einstein Simplified show, by the way). The follow-up post was linked to by Michael Silence.

Speaking of Michael's excellent blog, I got a laugh when the newspaper's photo department emailed me to arrange a meeting, they wrote:
Hey Frank,
KNS readers have voted you ET's Best blogger. Michael Silence was robbed. Can we get a photo of you in action sometime soon?
I think I just might celebrate my victory with a Graceland cupcake. The peanut butter icing and banana cake treat is the featured flavor this week at The Cupcakery.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

the tribe has spoken

The highlights of last night's Primetime Emmy Awards for me were Josh Groban's medley of TV theme songs and Jimmy Kimmel's presentation of the award for best reality host. Groban showed a sense of humor about himself that was only hinted at in Jimmy's infamous Ben Affleck video. He used his operatic voice to sing "The Simpsons" and comedic voices to sing lyrics from "South Park" and other shows. Thankfully in this day and age, the video clip is only a click away.

I so wanted the five nominees for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program to be eliminated one by one. Jimmy made a joke along those lines by saying that they were each "in the bottom two." I thought I was going to wake my wife with my laughter when Jimmy said that the winner would be revealed "after the break." And then really did go to commercial. Because "Survivor" is the granddaddy of the genre, it made sense that Jeff Probst would win. Over the years, his questions during Tribal Council have become a more and more important part of the show. However it's still a little weird that he always says the exact same things when "immunity is back up for grabs" or when he'll "go tally the vote." Phil Keoghan deserved a nomination for "The Amazing Race," which has won the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program six years in a row. Of the five nominees, I would have voted for Tom Bergeron. He consistently exhibits grace and wit under the pressure of a live show.

It sounded like they almost muted the sound of the audience during the "In Memoriam" segment. So often the photo montage of the deceased at awards shows becomes a referendum on their popularity based on the amount of applause they get. They probably should have eliminated the laughter and applause from the original clips too. Just play the sappy music while showing the faces and names of the departed. Do you think they showed George Carlin twice on purpose or by accident? He was both the first and last person in the montage.

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and "30 Rock" all deserved their awards. Although as Fey pointed out, the wrong episode won the writing award. The voters chose to honor a script that mocked the government rather than a funnier script that poked fun at a '60s-era comedy writer. I guess they couldn't honor Tommy Smothers and drag out some "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" cast members and then give an award to an episode with Carrie Fisher as an out-of-it writer of a show just like those. By the way, how uncomfortable were you during the "tribute" to "Laugh In"? That should have been prerecorded and edited. And rewritten. Or omitted. There were enough other stars who griped about their bits being cut due to time. They should have cut that awkward moment instead.

As much as I like "Dexter," I was still delighted to see Bryan Cranston win for "Breaking Bad." His victory was a mostly unexpected surprise. As I wrote back in January, his performance is riveting.

I'll admit that the Emmys were mostly forgettable. Perhaps a better show would be the Tubey Awards from Television Without Pity. It's fun to see who they pick as their favorite and least favorite characters. They hit the nail on the head by saying that Maya from "Heroes" is both the most unwelcome new character and the character most in need of being killed off. I guess we'll see if that happens when "Heroes" returns to the NBC schedule tonight.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

just a Broadway baby

The Tony Awards are a week from tonight. I thought they had already passed until I saw a listing for them in the "What to Watch" column in Entertainment Weekly.

In my entire life I've only seen two shows on Broadway and one of them shouldn't count. My high school prom date and I went to see a legitimate play called "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" It wasn't very funny and there was no sign of Colin Mochrie or Ryan Stiles. My first Broadway experience came when my parents gave me a pair of tickets to "Beatlemania" for my birthday. I had asked for the tickets because of the constant commercials on New York television. It's more of a concert than a play. Worse yet, I bought the original cast album.

At a recent family reunion, I met a precocious relative who has already seen about twenty-five shows on Broadway. He reads and and The New York Times for theater reviews. Oh yeah, he's only eleven years old. Nothing I could write here would do him justice. Instead please enjoy a nine minute podcast interview with him. Like me, you can listen to him in slack-jawed amazement.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

of ice and men

The two most interesting stories from Oscar night had nothing to do with the awards themselves. One happened before and one after.

On Sunday night I mentioned that I was looking to see Stuart Weitzman's million dollar shoes on the red carpet. It's become an annual tradition for him to adorn a pair with diamonds and let an actress or nominee wear them to the ceremony. Diablo Cody was fitted for the shoes but decided at the last minute that wearing them would ruin her street cred or something. I think it backfired on her. She looks more foolish now than if she had just worn the pumps. Maybe she'll offer a better explanation in her next Entertainment Weekly column. I cannot believe that a pop culture maven like Diablo never heard about the million dollar shoes. I've known about them for at least six years.

On Monday morning, a couple of the entertainment blogs and I were all about Jimmy Kimmel's star-studded music video with his new pal Ben Affleck. It aired on his post-Oscar special, which will be repeated Friday night. The rest of the world caught up last night and today. There are great articles about the making of the clip in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, People and on

On the same day that Jimmy's show is the most talked-about late-night program, Bill Carter writes in the New York Times that ABC is interested in hiring Jay Leno. Boo! Carter says that if ABC landed Leno, he would replace "Nightline." I guess that means Jimmy could be pushed to 12:30. Boo! Fortunately there are a couple of other deep-pocketed suitors also interested in hiring Jay when his NBC contract expires in January 2010. There is also enough time for "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to continue gaining momentum and to solidify its place in the late-night lineup. By the time all is said and done, Carter will have enough material for a sequel to his book "The Late Shift."

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

thank the academy

The Oscars are always must-see TV at our house even though I've seen hardly any of the nominated movies this year. In the past, my wife and I have made an effort to see the films nominated for the major awards. With the price of gas and everything else going up and money getting tight, I am reluctant to shell out cash for movie tickets, much less the concessions.

Lately some movies I had wanted to see in the theater have been showing on a plethora of HD channels. In the past month I've seen "Children of Men," "Pride" and "The Astronaut Farmer." None of them won any Oscars but I enjoyed them nevertheless.

I won't attempt to live-blog the awards like they're doing at Best Week Ever and elsewhere. However, I noticed a few things worth mentioning. Did Steve Carell actually curse when pretending to be upset that he was presenting the animation award instead of the documentary award? One of his "shoots" sounded like the real deal to me.

During the dead celebrity tribute, I always feel embarrassed for the people who don't get applause. Some of the deceased get carryover applause by having their name announced right after a popular actor or actress. Shouldn't they mute the microphones during the annual montage?

I thought I saw Knoxville Catholic High School alumnus Cormac McCarthy in the audience when the Coen brothers won the adapted screenplay award. Yes, it was him. They pointed him out when "No Country For Old Men" won Best Picture.

All night long I've been trying to catch a glimpse of Diablo Cody's shoes. I read that she was going to wear the million dollar pair from Stuart Weitzman. Why do I care? One year, Stuart's publicist hired me to help out during Oscar week. According to her blog, Diablo has mixed feelings about wearing them. Oh yeah, she won an Oscar for "Juno," one of the few nominated movies that I saw.

Hey, the "I Drink Your Milkshake" guy won! I look forward to seeing that movie next year when it's on HBO or Showtime.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

thanks for your vote

The official results of the East Tennessee's Best Readers Poll were in this morning's Knoxville News Sentinel. Because I knew my name would be in the paper as first runner-up in the voting for best local blogger, I thought it might be nice to pick up a few extra copies for family members. I flipped to the Favorite Pastimes section and looked for my category. The fact that I had gotten more votes than world famous super blogger (and second runner-up) Glenn Reynolds of was overshadowed by the picture and description of the winner. The page was dominated by a large photo of Justis Richert, also known as Knoxville-based adult performer Barbie Cummings. Her now-defunct blog was voted number one. I won't be sending a tear sheet to Mom or Grandma.

I also won't be going to the awards luncheon to pick up my certificate. I wanted to go, like I did five years ago. I even emailed Jack Lail asking if he knew the date of the ceremony. I got a reply from the paper's marketing department. They offered to send my award to me. It turns out that the banquets have been discontinued due to poor attendance. Maybe they could have gotten more people to show up if they could guarantee that Justis/Barbie would be there.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

how is this possible?

No matter how many times I replayed the voice mail message, it did not change. "Hey Frank Murphy, this is Sherry Long from the Knoxville News Sentinel. I wanted to let you know that you placed first runner-up in the East Tennessee's Best Readers Poll for the best local blogger." She went on to ask if I wanted to buy an ad in the October 19th special section announcing the winners. I called her back to explain that my blog doesn't generate any money, it's just a hobby. Maybe I should accept some ads. Any thoughts?

Obviously I am very happy about the news that I am now an award-winning blogger but I am also quite surprised. Make that shocked. First of all, thank you for voting for me. I really did not see this coming especially since there are so many great blogs in this area that get a lot more page views than I do. I'm chagrined that I didn't cast a vote for myself because I didn't think I had a chance of winning. In the past I have tried to drum up support for Einstein Simplified in the Metro Pulse poll, always to no avail.

It's been five years since I was invited to the East Tennessee's Best award luncheon. In 2002, I was fortunate enough to win a runner-up award in the morning radio duo category less than a year after moving to Knoxville. I may have gotten the wrong idea that winning was easy. I appreciate it more this time. Thanks again!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

batmobile lost a wheel

"One Knoxville media personality" is a media label used by Terry Morrow yesterday in his review of the Emmy Awards. I'm pretty sure he's referring to me and I'm thrilled about it. In context, the whole sentence reads as follows:
As one Knoxville media personality cracked to Tele-buddy on Monday: The Emmys paled next to even some commonplace affairs like the People’s Choice Awards.
Also more entertaining than the Emmys is the coverage of the award show on the gossip blog Crazy Days and Nights. They supposedly had an actress texting some dirt from inside the ceremony. They followed that with some juicy blind items about the backstage goings on. I'm a new reader to CD&N. I first heard of it about two weeks ago when I found a link to the surprising Old Hollywood story of an award winning actress who was really a man. The answer to the mystery was revealed today. TV's Joker is also involved.

The topic of media labels came up in January, 2006 when I found one that would amuse my friend Bean. The mention was in my review of "Carved In Bone." Meanwhile, Bean and his wife are vacationing in Italy this week. He's been sending me occasional emails from his i-Phone including one of his wife waiting in line at the Sistine Chapel and one of his new Pope snow globe.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

first b.r.a.

So what if it's a new twist on the old chain letter? So what if it's just another type of meme? I won an Blogger Reflection Award and I'm happy about it. D.O.M Dan has chosen to award my efforts this Labor Day weekend. In 25 months of blogging, I have now received exactly one award and one meme. Dan gave a posthumous award to Bean's Blog, which I also miss a great deal. I accept this award and thank Dan for his gracious remarks:
My final award goes to Frank Murphy. I discovered Frank’s blog while reading Bean’s Blog. Frank posts everyday, and I think that alone is deserving of an award. Frank is a man of faith whose posts are many times about his family, sometimes about his town of Knoxville, sometimes about his life experiences and travels, and although I don’t often leave comments, I read it regularly.
Rules of participating:
1. Copy these rules.
2. Reflect on five bloggers and write a least a paragraph about each one.
3. Make sure you link to this post so others can read it and the rules.
4. Leave your chosen bloggers a comment to let them know they've been given the award.
5. Put the award icon on your site
East Tennessee is a hotspot for blogging. Four of my five award recipients are from the Volunteer state. First, I choose to award Shots Across the Bow. Rich Hailey gave me the nudge I needed to start blogging in the first place. His political and social commentary rings true with me almost every time. He recently wrote that the way to get teenagers to stop wearing their pants ridiculously low would be for their parents to start wearing them that way.

About two months before I started my blog, I went to a party at Rich Hailey's. That's where I met Les Jones and his wife. I started reading his blog and found a lot of things I was interested in and only a few that I wasn't. I choose to award Les.

Frank Strovel somehow found my blog and posts an occasional comment. I began reading his regularly and I have linked to it several times. Blogging is not a competition, yet I sometimes feel like I've been scooped by Frank's fine efforts. Especially when I first learn of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" news on his site. Left of the Dial receives my next award.

Byron Chesney has multiple sites. His Knoxville Trivia Blog is a regular read for me. He had a great post recently about the lawn sprinklers running at a local utility office during the drought. Obviously I especially enjoy his posts about the local TV news. For that, he gets an award.

I seriously thought about reserving my final award for a blog that I haven't discovered yet. Perhaps you readers would suggest some new ones for me to try. But that would be a cop out. Ken Levine's blog has become hugely popular and doesn't need any help from me. Similarly, I have disqualified professional blogs by very talented newspaper writers. Instead I'll give my fifth award to Perry Simon. He and I will never root for the same sports teams but I can still appreciate his fandom for teams I really dislike. Add to that his vast knowledge of radio and I'm hooked.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

did get fooled again

Between TiVo and online streaming, it's getting harder to miss your favorite TV shows. Yet I missed one of my favorites on Sunday night through no fault of my own. When the bloated Oscar telecast finally ended 53 minutes behind schedule, I manually reprogrammed my TiVo to record "Jimmy Kimmel Live" with a couple of minutes of wiggle room on either side. Today when I sat down to watch Jimmy's post-Oscar special, I was extremely disappointed to find that our local ABC affiliate did not carry it, even though the TV listings said they would. After the Oscars, their local news was followed by an old episode of "CSI Miami" which was followed by that night's edition of "The George Michael Sports Machine." Instead of Kimmel, I got Caine. Jimmy's post-Oscar special must have been pretty good. It's supposed to be repeated when he goes on vacation next week.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

get to the good stuff already

After looking forward to the Oscars for weeks, both my wife and I are having a hard time staying awake for them. The HD broadcast looks good but we're an hour and forty-five minutes into the show and they've only handed out one major award so far. Eddie Murphy (no relation) got robbed. The other supporting actor nominees were all deserving though. Why not alternate between the popular and technical awards? The live bloggers at Popwatch and Best Week Ever are doing a good job of describing the boring parts without falling asleep.

Jimmy Kimmel has a post-Oscar show on ABC tonight, which I will record. I was thinking about recording the "Ellen" and "Live with Regis & Kelly" post-Oscar shows tomorrow morning but my interest is waning. Here's a note to my sleepy wife: click here in the morning to see some of what you're missing right now.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

hooray for Hollywood

The movie review in my favorite magazine says that if you love "Entertainment Weekly," you will love "For Your Consideration." It's another comedy from the same people who did the very funny "Best In Show." This time they make fun of "Oscar buzz," the industry's speculation over who will get an Academy Award nomination. However this time they don't use the "mockumentary" style that I love so much. I enjoyed the movie but some of the satire rang so true that it made me a little sad, especially toward the end. I would have rather left the theater laughing than feeling bummed out. I still liked it better than Betsy Pickle did.

I promised to tell you how I have participated in some Oscar hype myself. The now split public relations team of Weissman/Angellotti once asked me to book a then little known writer/director/actor as a guest on the Mark & Brian show. Their pitch convinced us to have Billy Bob Thornton come on to promote "Sling Blade." It would be great if our listeners bought tickets to go see the movie but they were really trying to reach any Academy voters in our audience. We made Billy Bob promise to return if he won the Oscar. He showed up the morning after still wearing his tux and carrying the trophy.

During my unscheduled hiatus from radio in 2001, publicist Roger Neal would occasionally hire me for odd jobs. He had me escort celebrities down the press line at the Saturn Awards. I delivered stuff to fashion stylists like Phillip Bloch. I babysat camera crews from CNN and Entertainment Tonight. The most interesting task was working the Stuart Weitzman hospitality suite during Oscar week. Stylists would come by to get free shoes for their clients to wear to the Academy Awards and/or any Oscar party where there would be a camera and an opportunity to tell a reporter whose shoes they were wearing. A few actresses showed up to claim their shoes in person.

I wish "For Your Consideration" spent less of its time on the set of "Home For Purim," the film within the film, and more time on the all the stuff that happens after a movie wraps. As the announcement of the Oscar nominations neared, the characters were briefly interviewed by radio deejays and TV hosts. The satire seemed sharpest when skewering shows like "Access Hollywood" and "Good Day L.A." Both Jane Lynch and Fred Willard were letter perfect in their roles as the hosts of "Hollywood Now."

The filmmakers were willing to parody the moviemaking process but they went too easy on the actual awards. They missed an opportunity to spoof some of the lesser award shows like the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards. They could have ridiculed all the free stuff given to nominees and presenters. But if they did that, they may have found themselves empty-handed when award season comes around in the Spring.

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