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Oscar Fashions 2009

Oscar Fashions 2009For years, as soon as the Academy Awards show started, millions turned off the TV.

After the excitement of the red carpet fashions, the actual show was a blatant bore. Enduring three hours of "I-want-to-thank-fill-in-the-blank" speeches in the hopes of catching a single moment of authentic emotion simply wasn't worth it. Life is short. The Academy Awards show was loooooooong.

One way to bump up those TV audience numbers is to keep the fashions of some stars under wraps, or at least out of the cameras' view finder, until they hit the stage to present. It worked. I, for one, tuned in for the first time in more than a decade and well, I would just like to thank the Academy. The speeches of the presenters to the actors and actresses were intimate and genuinely moving.

Or else a lot more people deserve those little gold statues.

Now, about those fashions . . .

A lot of women like that dirty bad boy look but, come on Mickey Rourke. Even real wrestlers take showers. Wash the hair. Button your shirt. Ditch the pinky ring and reserve the shades for actual sunshine. Other than that, he looked practical attractive.

A paper fan, an accordion and kilt walk into a bar -- and walk out looking a lot like Marisa Tomei's dress by Versace. That gown was completely drunk with pleats.

Two shoulders, like heads, are usually better than one. But not at this year's Oscars. Like First Lady Obama, several actresses, including Kate Winslet, went for single shoulder dresses.

Sarah Jessica Parker lives a Cinderella life and has the froufrou wardrobe to match. Her Oscar dress was too big in some places, not big enough in others. Let's just say her Fairy Godmother apparently granted her two rather obvious wishes.

Start with simple material. Give it a few new twists and turns. Add a beautiful actress and -- voila! -- you have an Oscar worthy script, er, I mean gown. Alicia Keyes, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman and several other actresses wore this latest trend from the fashion runways, bolts of fabric manipulated into dresses. Outdoors, Portman's dress looked an icky shade of pink but in the theater, the color appeared more subdued. On the other hand, Freida Pinto's electric blue dress lost its vibrant oomph indoors. Lighting is everything, darling.

Those in the fashion industry are fond of declaratives such as "The trend for statement necklace cannot be ignored." Several actresses favored these "statement necklaces." Some necklaces stated, "I am hideously large, garishly colored and, yet, insanely expensive." Amy Adams is a doll but her necklace looked like a technicolor cartoon from the animated parts of "Enchanted."

Nehru collars are the new neckties.

Neckties are the new bow ties.

Hugh Jackman is the new George Clooney.

Eddie Murphy, Jack Black and Bill Maher need to know that bitterly pointing out that one wasn't nominated for an Oscar is never becoming of a gentleman or a panda. And, if this article isn't nominated for a Pulitzer, I'm going to stomp my Prada-shod foot!

Was that really the same woman who once wore a vial of blood on a chain around her neck, smooched her brother on the red carpet, and gave millions of television viewers the heebie-jeebies sitting next to Brad Pitt? Was Angelina Joile only acting crazy back then? Or is she only acting normal now? Either way, that girl deserves an Oscar. She is "The Changeling." And those green drop earrings to match her cat-green eyes were elegant.

Animal prints always look better on animals.

Penelope Cruz wore a 60-year-old vintage Balmain gown that has more past lives than Shirley McClain.

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Central Maine Power

Central Maine Power

Bangor, Maine, Also Affected as Storm Plays Havoc with Central Maine Power

Central Maine Power has been greatly affected by a major Northeast storm which has left nearly thousands of homes without power.

Jim Brogan has written an article, "Northeast Storm Cuts Central Maine Power: Nearly 100,000 Without Power," in The Post Chronicle that reports at least 83,000 homes and businesses are without power.

The article goes on to say that in addition to the power outages that Central Maine Power has experienced, Bangor Hydro Electric has 12,200 customers without power.

In checking in with the Central Power Website, it is reported that the company is working hard to get service back to people. Unfortunately homes without power now numbering 129,150.

John Carroll, a Central Maine Power spokesperson, indicated that the company is addressing the problem in three steps.

They are making sure that there is no danger at the damaged sites. The next thing that they do is to assess the damage to their equipment so it can be repaired and will remain running.

The last thing that they do is get the service back to the consumer.

Something that I did not know was that people who have their own generators must make sure that they are properly installed or they could actually feed back into the major company system and break it down.

One other reminder is not to go near downed wires.

For a look at how power is restored step-by-step, visit the Central Maine Power website and connect with "Restoration." I have linked to that page.

The storm has continued to move north and has left snow and cold in its wake.

Most areas that are anywhere close to north have experienced power outages at one time or another. In fact in my city they can even occur during summer storms.

I have found it is always wise to have plenty of blankets available as well as at least a few canned goods as well as a flashlight and radio that use batteries.

Today there is a little extra help in that cell phones are so popular it aids most people from being stranded.

For those of you that may be in the Central Maine Power area, you may call 1-800-696-1000.

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Free Fat Tuesday Pancakes

Free Fat Tuesday Pancakes
Paczki a little heavy for your taste? How about pancakes? And IHOP’s giving them away Tuesday in anticipation of Lent.

From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., IHOP, also known as the International House of Pancakes, will serve short stacks in exchange for a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network. Like the paczki fried dough enjoyed by the Polish on Fat Tuesday, the English herald the beginning of fasting during Lent by eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, according to the chain.

Since the IHOP fund-raiser began in 2006, the company has raised almost $2 million for children’s charities. In 2008, IHOP served 1.5 million free pancakes, equal to a stack 12 miles high.

For more information or to locate an IHOP, visit

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Brian Mandeville Told To Retire

Brian Mandeville Told To Retire
Northeastern University football player Brian Mandeville received devastating news on Friday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis during routine physical examinations. The star tight end, who missed a third of his senior season with knee injuries and even survived a brain tumor while in college, was told by combine doctors that he has a heart ailment, effectively ending his football career.

Mandewille was diagnosed with an abnormal heart valve, which is not considered life-threatening, but the problem could become dangerous under the strenuous training regimens of the NFL.

“I told him his health and well-being is what’s important,” Northeastern coach Rocky Hager told the Boston Herald. “I don’t know if that means he’ll continue in a career in sports, but then everybody’s career in sports eventually comes to an end. But I think he’s so well grounded and his parents have done a great job raising him and he always has the right attitude.”

Mandeville caught 63 passes for 863 yards and seven touchdowns in 33 games, worthy of earning first-team All-New England honors. Northeastern’s I-AA football program went 2-10 last year and hasn’t had a winning season since 2003.

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