Everything You Need to Know About The Fourth of July

On July 4th, the United States of America will celebrate its Independence Day. If you were born in America or live there now, this is the perfect occasion to celebrate the country in all its glory. Not sure what the holiday means and how to celebrate? Western Union has got you covered! Take a look below to learn everything you need to know about the Fourth of July.

The History

All the way back in the year 1776 on July 4th, the United States was formed. Back then there were not 50 states, but thirteen colonies that claimed their independence from Great Britain. One of the country’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, drafted the Declaration of Independence and the rest is history. The country grew and grew to where it is today and Jefferson would go on to be America’s third President!

The Meaning

The historic meaning behind this amazing holiday is one of freedom and independence. It is a special time for Americans to recognize how fortunate they are to live in “the land of the free,” as it is sung in the Star Spangled Banner, the United States’ national anthem.

How To Celebrate

The Fourth of July is quite an exciting and spirited time in the United States! One of the biggest ways to celebrate is by watching a colorful firework display at your local park or stadium. These beautiful fireworks light up the sky with colors of red, white and blue and help make the Fourth of July celebrations memorable for the entire family.

Before the firework display however, the real fun begins! Many families will take a stroll to the beach or head to the park for a mid-day barbeque. Others might find themselves entering a watermelon-eating contest or visiting a local Fourth of July parade, full of live music, cyclists and fun!

 

What to Eat

We mentioned that many families celebrate with a big barbecue and it is a feast you will surely remember! Some typical dishes you might find at a Fourth of July barbecue are hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, with a side of corn on the cob and Coleslaw!

For dessert, this is a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles and cook up something fun and festive! Many will bake fruit cakes in the shape of the American flag, while another fun idea is to enjoy red, white and blue popsicles that are fun to look at and even better to taste!

No matter how you celebrate today, the Fourth of July is all about spending time with family, friends and loved ones. It’s important to celebrate your country’s Independence Day and recognize the significance of your culture and its history. If you are recognizing the Fourth of July, make sure it’s full of family, fun and fireworks, too! How does your country celebrate its Independence Day?

27 Ways To Overcome Lack Of Ambition

Ambition is defined as the desire and determination to achieve success. The definition of “success” may vary from person to person and culture to culture, but the message remains the same: it’s important to have goals and the determination to complete them.

The Truth about Ambition

We all sometimes lack ambition. Even the most successful people in the world experience periods of failure and doubt. But they eventually succeed because their ambition reemerges, even in the wake of failure, rejection, and disappointment. Although it can be easy to fall into the trap of defeat when you encounter setbacks, ambition is not about never failing, it’s about getting up when you fall.

 

Ambition is not an inborn trait. It can be learned and cultivated, the same as any other positive trait. A lack of ambition can certainly be overcome. The possible irony, though, is that overcoming a lack of ambition requires a certain amount of ambition itself. After all, you’re creating a goal with the determination to follow through and achieve that goal. Happily, seeking out ways to improve your ambition is a step in the right direction!

27 Ways to Help Overcome a Lack of Ambition

In addition to resolving underlying issues, there are some steps you can take toward improving your ambition, or creating ambition where there previously wasn’t any. These steps may be completed on your own, or under the guidance of your mental health provider.

  1. Find a Mentor.

Finding someone to look up to whose success closely matches what you hope to achieve can help you find the drive to keep chasing your goals.

  1. Make Your Goals Visible.

Whether it’s a Pinterest board, index cards, or a whiteboard, create some form of visual representation of your goals so you can see exactly what it is you’re working toward.

  1. Stay Active.

Staying active improves confidence, mental acuity, and physical health-all things that can help you stay sharp as you work toward your goals. Find an activity you really love and stick with it.

  1. Give Success a Try.

f you’re feeling short on motivation, try accomplishing some of the steps you need to take to succeed. If you hope to secure a position writing for a major publication, visit your favorite coffee shop and spend the day writing. If you hope to have a family, ask to babysit for a friend.

  1. Build Up Support.

If all you see around you are people who are not pursuing their goals, you’re unlikely to pursue your goals either. Try to find friends who are also working toward their goals.

  1. Practice an “Abundance Mindset.”

Practice cultivating the mindset of abundance. See a failed relationship as just that: a single failed relationship. See a setback at your work as what it is: one setback. An abundance mindset believes there are always more to be had and always the possibility for improvement.

  1. Learn Yourself.

Personality and aptitude tests can offer a lot of insight into yourself-your motivations, your drives, and your pitfalls. Knowing yourself well can help you kickstart the desire to move forward when you’re in the midst of low motivation.

  1. Use Envy Well.

Instead of getting stuck in the mire of envy, allow it to fuel you. If you envy your friend’s recent cruise, start saving to go on your own. If you envy your sibling’s ability to purchase their dream home, sit down and determine what you need to get yours.

  1. Cultivate Your Talents.

Everyone has something they’re good at. Even if your talents don’t immediately seem impressive (“Who cares if I can juggle?”), there’s likely to be some grain of usefulness or joy in your abilities.

  1. Find a Need.

If you’re struggling to find motivation, look outward at how you can improve the lives of the people around you.

  1. Make Your Own Meaning.

Before you can truly and effectively chase success, you need to determine what exactly that means to you. Some people measure success by the money they make, while others measure success by the amount of time they’re able to devote to their loved ones or hobbies.

  1. Recall Your Triumphs.

Keep your triumphant moments close by for the days you feel you’ve lost all motivation. Recalling your successes can help you leave a funk behind and move forward in working toward your goals.

  1. Look Up to Someone.

Unlike a mentor, who is personally involved in your life, find someone whose successes you can admire from a distance. This could be someone who shares a similar background-someone who left poverty behind, for instance-or someone who shares your goals-such as someone who has worked their way to the top of their field in academia.

 

 

  1. Leave Negative Self-Talk Behind.

Negative self-talk may seem like merely speaking to yourself realistically, but it serves no function other than tearing yourself down. Instead of using negative speech when speaking to or of yourself, use clear and objective language. For instance, you can change “You’re no good at anything!” to “You struggled at work today, and that’s okay. You’ll try again tomorrow.”

  1. Respect the Process.

Success is a process, not a destination. There will always be another obstacle and another hill, so try to enjoy the process as it happens.

  1. Create a To-Do List.

Writing down everything you need to accomplish in the next day or the next week can help you free up some much-needed headspace, and can lend a sense of accomplishment to your day each time you get to check off another task.

  1. Daydream!

Imagine what your life will look like once your goals are realized. Although you should not live in fantasy, occasionally indulging in the imagined fruition of all of your hard work can be healthy and motivating.

  1. Use Your Passions.

Find things you’re passionate about, and see how they can help you work toward your goals. If you’re passionate about painting, but yearn for a career as a teacher, you can combine the two and work toward an art teaching degree. If you’re passionate about cooking, and hope to work in corporate law, you can use cooking as a means of decompressing and relaxing when your workload has grown too great.

  1. Seek Out Motivation

Motivation won’t always come to you-sometimes, you have to chase it. If you don’t feel like getting up in the morning, reward yourself with a trip to your favorite coffee shop. If you don’t want to complete the paper for your class, consider all the stress-free time you’ll have once the paper is finished.

  1. Leave Your Comfort Zone.

Comfort zones might feel safe, but they can also stagnate growth. Instead of living in your comfort zone, push yourself to adopt new challenges and try new things. The worst you can do is fail.

  1. Commit to Learning.

Learning is not something you leave behind after your diploma or degree. Every single day, spend some time learning something new. Read the paper while eating your breakfast, listen to a podcast on your commute to work, or even just ask a friend or coworker to tell you something new.

  1. Just Take One Step.

Put one foot in front of the other in pursuit of your goals. It doesn’t always have to be a giant step, such as moving across the country. It can be merely researching the cost of that move. Remember: planning is part of the work.

  1. Believe in Yourself.

You can do hard things! You can change your life. Even when circumstances have given you a rough run, believe you are bigger than your background.

  1. Ask for Help.

When it becomes too much-you’re overworked, or the demands on your time are too much to handle-ask for help! Bring in a trusted friend, a family member, or a coworker, and lighten your load. There’s no shame in teamwork.

  1. Do Your Research.

Blindly following your dreams can be dangerous. If you move across the country to pursue acting, only to find that you would have to work three jobs (jobs you do not have) to afford a single studio apartment, you’re putting yourself at risk. Instead, identify what steps you need to take to move toward your goals, and take the necessary time to achieve them.

  1. Evaluate What Is Important to You.

Sometimes goals shift and needs change. Perhaps your relationship is more important to you than the career you’ve always imagined. Perhaps your career is more important than the family you wanted. Give yourself the space to change your plans as you go along. Few things kill motivation as effectively as rigidity.

  1. Work On Yourself Daily.

You’ll falter. You’ll lose hope. But keep working on yourself! You’re the person who will be with you every step of the way, so make sure you’re cultivating traits and behaviors that you like and can be proud of. Watching yourself become the person you’ve always dreamed of is a powerful motivator.

 

Fill Your Heart with Christmas – A special holiday post

Merry Christmas!

This time of year is the perfect time to reflect and show appreciation. Christmas is a time of giving, I want to give my love to everyone. I am truly grateful for all of my readers, family, and friends that have and continue to support me in my journey. Honestly, I could never have done it without you all.

Take some time this holiday season to be appreciative of those who work when they should be with family and friends, those who are away from those they love, and those who sacrifice for our needs.

 

Among all the memorable events of the year, Christmas is one of the most-awaited festivals. And preparation for this day starts much before the day arrives.

People start planning for the festival, buying gifts for friends and family, making travel plans, preparing cakes and selecting the Christmas Tree and the festivities add warmth to the cold December days.

Christmas Day, which is celebrated on December 25, marks the birth of Jesus Christ. Given the importance of the day, prayer sessions are held in churches and people’s houses from the night of December 24 itself.

The true meaning of Christmas is giving and sharing the love and reaching out to those who have touched our lives. It is a time to count our blessings and be grateful for them. You have touched my life in so many ways, and I thank you for being a wonderful friend. I wish you the best of Christmas.

As you celebrate Christmas, make wonderful memories that will linger in your home, make great friendships that will last a lifetime and may this season filled with peace and joy. Have a merry Christmas.

 

Focusing on “We” Instead of “Me”

Getting your first leadership role is exciting, isn’t it? There’s the office with your name on the door. Being invited to meetings once closed off and mysterious. Getting to make the big decisions. People asking for your advice.

Heady stuff that sends the wrong message to people who think being a leader is all about them.

Being a leader is a little bit about you, but mostly it’s all about others.

One of my first bosses told me that it would be impressive performance metrics and my contribution to the bottom line that would determine my success. It took a while before I understood that his advice about results was only partially right. Managing just to the numbers only gets you so far.

A few epic fails highlighted the reality that results don’t miraculously deliver themselves. They’re delivered by people. Treat people well, they deliver—and everyone succeeds. Treat people like crap and, well, results falter.

Listening with the eyes and the heart, not just the ears and the brain, requires a deeper level of paying attention and understanding. It requires we hear the heart and soul. ~Kouzes and Posner, The Leadership Challenge

My way of describing the inclusive reality Kouzes and Posner defined was leading with your heart and managing with your head.

Inclusive leaders know the value of balancing opposing goods, rather than labeling one right and the other wrong. Inclusive leaders deliver results and maintain relationships. They watch both the bottom line as well as employee satisfaction and engagement. They think about today and five years from now.

How do inclusive leaders pull off this balancing act?

They are curious.

One boss I had worked very hard to fulfill the unrealistic expectation that he had every answer. Two sentences into describing a problem to him, and he had the solution—without bothering to ask a single question. Other bosses of mine had the inclusive thing down pat. They were knowledgeable and knew where to go to find answers to what they didn’t know. They openly asked questions, invited debate, poked holes in the status quo, and encouraged those around them to do the same.

They trust.

That know-it-all-boss-with-zero-curiosity didn’t realize it, but he was conveying to his team that they were without skills, knowledge, and the ability to figure things out for themselves. Inclusive leaders surround themselves with bright, inquisitive people and trust them to do their job.

They explain.

At one company, my boss assigned me the project of improving customer service. When I asked for specifics, he told me that since I had to ask, I obviously wasn’t as smart as he had thought I was. Because he couldn’t or wouldn’t or both clarify his expectations, my finished project didn’t please him, and everyone lost.

They listen.

Organizational development and management consultant Peter Drucker said, “The most important thing in communications is hearing what isn’t said.” Employees perceive reality through their own filters, values, and biases. Deeply, empathically, and actively listening to what employees say—and don’t say—enables inclusive leaders to expand their perspectives, thus entertaining diversity of thought, opinion, and experience.

They care.

Years ago, a woman told me her boss treated her no differently than the file cabinet in the corner—both utilitarian objects there to do a job. Isn’t that a sad story? Inclusive leaders keep both logic and emotion in their management toolkits. They know both are necessary for success, satisfaction, and engagement over the long-term.

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin. ~Hermann Hesse, poet and novelist

If asked, would those around you describe you as being curious, someone they trusted, a thorough explainer, a good listener, and a leader who cares about them as a person? Would they say you’re inclusive and can balance opposing goods? Ready to find out?

10 Things Exceptionally Successful People Do on the Weekends

It is one thing to be successful and it is another thing to be exceptionally successful. But to attain a high level of success, you have to be willing to put in the work. Because the theme of the modern-day careerist is this: How do you get more done in less time?

So while a lot of people see the weekend as a time to hang out and relax, exceptionally successful people have a different idea of how Saturdays and Sundays should be spent. Here is how they spend their weekends to set the tone for a week of crazy productive work.

1. They wake up early.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to wake up at 3:45 a.m. every morning. Including on weekends. It’s wrong to assume because it’s the weekend, you need to stay in bed until midday. Successful people still get up early because they know time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted, no matter what day it is.

2. They read.

You cannot negate the power of reading. Eimantas Balciunas, CEO of Travel Ticker, says, “Reading and staying abreast on what happens in the travel industry puts me in a position to discover those things the competition apparently may have ignored!” By reading and expanding your knowledge, even and especially on weekends, you are better informed to approach your tasks for the week.

3. They spend time to reflect.

As Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” And successful people follow that philosophy, using the weekends to look back at what worked and what didn’t. By reflecting on your week, you can focus on the improvements you need to make on Monday.

4. They make time to pursue their interests.

Successful people know that chasing success shouldn’t mean they have to forget their favorite hobbies. The weekend offers you the opportunity to be creative, whatever it is you like to do most in your spare time.

5. They give something back.

Alexey Chuklin, founder and CEO of Write!, says, “I can use the weekend to give back by showing I am a part of a community.” And in the book Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, author Thomas C. Corley discovered that 70 percent of successful people give back at least five hours every month.

Related: 16 Rich Habits

6. They disconnect.

Successful people know they have to carve out downtime where they put away phones and don’t check emails. The weekend is the most ideal time to seek a break, even if it’s a small one.

7. They connect with their family.

Weekdays might not offer busy successful people enough time to spend with their family and friends. So the weekend can be the opportune time to catch up.

8. They stay in shape.

Exercising can be refreshing. Not only does it strengthen your mind, it gives you the opportunity to clear your head and embrace fresh ideas for the new week.

9. They build momentum.

Successful people don’t settle for average. They are always focused on excellence by keeping up the momentum. The weekend is a good time to put things in perspective and gain clarity, to refocus on your most important goals.

10. They plan for the upcoming week.

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has an insane work ethic—he works 16 hours Monday through Friday. But he makes sure his schedule allows him to take off Saturdays, and he uses his Sundays to plan for the upcoming week.

How do you spend your weekends?

Fathers & Daughters – Michael Bolton

“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right.”

 

Fathers & Daughters – Michael Bolton

Lyrics:

If I could catch a star for you
I swear I’d steal them all tonight
To make your every wish come true
And every dream for all your life

But that’s not how the story goes
The world is full of perfect plans
If there’s a promise that I broke
I know one day you will understand

When times are hard I know you’ll be strong
I’ll be there in you heart when you’ll carry on
Like moonlight on the water, and sunlight in the sky
Fathers and daughters never say goodbye

An Angel I will read to sleep
Gave me one dream of my own
So learn to love and spread your wings
And find the one to call your home

When times are hard I know you’ll be strong
I’ll be there in you heart when you’ll carry on
Like moonlight on the water, and sunlight in the sky
Fathers and daughters never say goodbye

When times are hard I know you’ll be strong
I’ll be there in you heart when you’ll carry on
Like moonlight on the water, and sunlight in the sky
Fathers and daughters never say goodbye
Fathers and daughters never say goodbye

Audio & Video Produced by Boyce Avenue
Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Adam Barber
Directed by Alejandro Manzano & Adam Barber
Filmed by Adam Barber & Fabian Manzano
Edited & Colored by Adam Barber
Cello by Isaac Mingus
Violin by Joy Chatzistamatis
Video Assistant: Blake Gregor

Dedicated to My Dad- I Love You and Miss You So Much!

“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.”

=========================================================================

Title: In The Arms Of An Angel-Sarah McLachlan

Dedicated to My Dad- I Love You and Miss You So Much!

 

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance

For the break that will make it ok

There’s always some reason to feel not good enough

And it’s hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction oh beautiful release

Memories seep from my veins

They may be empty and weightless and maybe

I’ll find some peace tonight

 

In the arms of an Angel fly away from here

From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie

You’re in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

 

So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn

There’s vultures and thieves at your back

The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies

That you make up for all that you lack

It don’t make no difference, escaping one last time

It’s easier to believe

In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness

That brings me to my knees

 

In the arms of an Angel far away from here

From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie

In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

 

You’re in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

 

 

 

Mihran Kalaydjian Playing Tribute To My Parents Melody

 

 Mihran Kalaydjian Playing On Piano
  {Tribute to My Parents Melody}

 

 { Tribute to My Parents}

 
Mihran Kalaydjian Playing ” Tribute to My Parents Melody” 
Written by Swila Bathool
Melody: Tribute to My Parents Melody
Producer: Samer Khoury & Sami Abdo
Location: San Diego, La Jolla
Recording & arrangement: Paramount Studios

A Tribute To My Parents

Guider to light, you are to me
You opened my eyes to what I see
You taught me that the salt is taken from the sea
You taught me, how to make the devils flea

You showed me the right way
You didn’t bother me falling even in a bay
But lent your hands and helped me say
Failure is the stepping stone to success you may

Poured in me the pure inner light
You showed me how to reach into height
Pray and obey the Lord of Might
Taught me what to do before my Flight

You showed me to choose the right one
You encouraged me even in fun
Build my talents, and even then run
To tighten the ties and get them done

You said no to what is wrong
Scolded me not to keep it along
Didn’t stop me from singing a song
To be patient and the way is long

I am the most dutiful one to you
Helped to build my character, by giving the clue
Taught me failure and how to get through
As a toddler, you repeated to me that the sky is blue.
Love you O my dear Parents!

© 2014 Paramount Studios  All Rights Reserved

 

My 2014 Oscar Mixed Review

Mihran Kalaydjian, CHA

Consultant, Strategist, and Writer

The 2014 Academy Awards have come and gone, with 24 statues passed out onstage in Los Angeles Sunday night (March 2). Now, some will say that those lucky folks who rode home in their limos clutching a little golden man at the end of the night won, but we all know the truth: trophies don’t winners make. In a night of dresses, dancing and Adele Dazim (?!), it’s what the audience thinks that really makes up a triumphant victory or devastating loss.

Not that it didn’t deserve to win, but I bet half the Academy members who voted for 12 YEARS A SLAVE never saw it.

The only other suspense of the night was whether Pharrell Williams was going to wear his hat, which tells you all you need to know about this Oscarcast.   Long, dull, and safe with some musical numbers tossed in to distinguish it from C-SPAN.

Welcome to my 18th annual bitchy-but-fair Academy Awards autopsy; helped out this year by the comedy writing team of Annie Levine & Jon Emerson.

There has been less Oscar buzz this year than any I can remember. Not surprising when a Reuters’ poll found that two-thirds of Americans have not seen ANY of the Best Picture nominees.  Of course that will all change now as throngs race to theaters to see 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

More on the show in a moment, but first – the traditional nod to the KTLA Red Carpet oozefest hosted by Sam Rubin and Jessica Holmes who now weighs less than her microphone.  Sam is the king of hyperbole.  At one point he said, “Now I’m joined by the biggest star of all, Al Roker.”   Oh well, at least he didn’t mistake him for Samuel L. Jackson.

Hey, I’m just glad he didn’t tell director, Steve McQueen that he loved him in THE GREAT ESCAPE.

Other favorite Sam moment – saying to Leonard Maltin: “Any surprises that you anticipate?”

Ellen was a big improvement over last year.  Of course, after Seth MacFarlane, Sacheen  Littlefeather could have done a better job hosting.

I thought her monologue was quite funny even if Liza Minnelli didn’t. Liza with a Z did not seem to enjoy being mistaken for a female impersonator.  She once beat the shit out of her husband for less.

Ellen’s bits with the audience were less successful. Don’t expect magic when you take selfies and pass out pizzas.   The Oscars are not the place to wing it.

Winner Jared Leto managed to acknowledge Ukrainians, AIDS victims, and his agents. As he walked to the stage I was hoping the announcer would say, “This is the fourth nomination and first Oscar win for Jesus Christ.”

Annie observed that Julia Roberts looked like she had left a napkin in the front of her dress.

Meanwhile, Pharrell Williams showed up in a tuxedo and shorts. Come on, dude. It’s the Oscars, not O.G. Mad Eye’s funeral.

Oscar drinking game: Take a swig every time someone says “journey” or “dream.” By the first J.C. Penney commercial you’ll be blitzed.

Highlight of the night was Darlene Love belting out her acceptance speech for 20 FEET FROM STARDOM. She got an impromptu standing ovation.

No standing O for Karen O however. As Jon said: “It was like open mic night at a coffee shop.” Especially when every other singer killed it.

John Travolta is now officially a moron.  He had only two things to do.  Dye his hair any color found in nature and pronounce Idina Menzel.  He could do neither. How do you get Adele Dazim from Idina Menzel? And this idiot has a pilot’s license?  Holy shit!

As expected, Idina Menzel lit up the room with “Let It Go.” Was there ever any doubt that would win Song of the Year? For one thing – people have heard of it.  Only downside:  expect it to be covered by every AMERICAN IDOL contestant for the next five years.

Chiwetel Ejjiofer, Barkhad Addi, and June Squibb lost, but I’m sure the Academy figures they’ll all be nominated many more times.

Since when does Bruce Jenner go by the name Goldie Hawn?

Women wore a lot of beaded metallics this year. Thank goodness the rain stopped. It’s hard to return gowns once they’ve rusted.

Between Anne Hathaway’s short hair and metallic breastplate, it’s like she came as Ivanhoe.

Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech was lovely and heartfelt.  But too long.  And she didn’t sing it.  Did anyone else notice her play off music was from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?”

The three inevitabilities of life:  death, taxes, and Jim Carrey won’t be funny.

I think Matthew McConaughey won as much for TRUE DETECTIVES as DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. My partner, David Isaacs, said it best: He put on a shirt and became an actor.

What was with those pointless “hero” montages?  “Hero” in Hollywood is just a euphemism for “movie star.”

How to win the award for Best Editing — Cut your movie down to 90 minutes.  That’s why GRAVITY won, Marty.

BAD GRAMPA and THE LONE RANGER were pretty much shut out.  But so were AMERICAN HUSTLE and CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.

The set looked like the old Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.

In a successful attempt to make the show gayer than the Tonys’, they saluted the 75th anniversary of WIZARD OF OZ complete with Liza Minnelli in attendance. It was also the 75th anniversary of GONE WITH THE WIND, but that would have looked like the Academy was taking the opposing view of 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

Pink did a nice job with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  Who knew she could sing without a trapeze?  But that’s not the only song in WIZARD OF OZ.  They could have featured “If I Only Had a Brain” and had John Travolta sing it.

Ellen came out dressed as Glinda the Good Witch.  It was the first time anyone has ever seen her in a dress.

Where was Steven Spielberg to celebrate the achievements of his fellow artists?  Oh right.  He wasn’t nominated.  Not there.

Bizarre moment of the night was Liza Minnelli hugging winner Lupita Nyong’o.  Liza must’ve thought she was Diana Ross.   Or her manicurist.

Jon said this about Tyler Perry: This is the first thing he’s presented that wasn’t Tyler Perry.

Anna Kendrick, Amy Adams, Kristen Bell, and Jennifer Lawrence were beyond stunning.

When Glenn Close started her preamble to the In Memoriam segment, she seemed so uncomfortable I thought she was introducing the writing categories.

I never understand why the audience applauds during the passing parade.  It’s like when someone on Facebook posts that their mother just died and you click “like.”

How can the Academy say it’s too late to include Sarah Jones in the main body of tributes because she died two weeks ago and there was no time, yet Harold Ramis died a few days ago and he was included? Instead, they slipped her name in while going to break thus giving it the same reverence they give to promos for THE CHEW.

Bette Midler sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” but why?  It was after the In Memoriam segment. This is supposed to be a solemn tribute not the 11:00 showstopper.

It still kills me that THE INVISIBLE WOMAN was nominated for Best Costume Design.

Harrison Ford is now too old to go on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.

Could Charlize Theron possibly look any more bored if she was at the Aetna Insurance Actuary of the Year Awards?

Goldie Hawn introduced 12 YEARS A SLAVE with a smile so big you’d think she was announcing the Powerball Lottery winner.

Spike Jonz won for Best Original Screenplay. If they writer who is suing him for plagiarism wins, does he get an Oscar too?

Oscar nominee Julie Delphy said the Academy was ” 90 percent white men over 70 who need money because they haven’t done anything in a long time.” Shockingly, she lost. The only person in America who picked her in his Oscar pool was John Travolta.

Kim Novak will always be identified with VERTIGO. First the movie, and now it’s what you get when you see all the face work she’s had done.

I was thrilled that Cate Blanchett won.  But now that someone thanked Woody Allen again on an awards show, expect five more moral charges to surface.

As usual, the show ran way late.  But hey, we needed to see a montage of cartoon characters, Bette Midler singing an oldie, nine Best Picture nominees (with seven being schmuck bait), Ellen taking pizza orders, Twitter updates, sketches of the new motion picture museum, meeting student filmmakers, going through Lupita Nyong’o purse, and the umpteenth salute to WIZARD OF OZ.

The post Oscar parties had to be more fun. I can just imagine John Travolta approaching one of the producers of 12 YEARS A SLAVE  and saying: “So what is the movie about?”