Ask Gail: Academy Awards Edition

Oh, the Oscars. Along with birthdays and the Superbowl, the Academy Awards is one of those once-a-year, can’t miss events. At least for anyone who loves critically-acclaimed movies, glitzy Hollywood stars, sing and dance numbers, and Meryl Streep. Thankfully, Gail loves all four.

This year’s Oscars were especially exceptional. For the first time in the Academy’s history, a woman took the Oscar for Best Director home. And not just any woman. The award went to The Hurt Locker’s director Kathryn Bigelow — James Cameron’s (a.k.a Mr.Avatar-big-CGI-movie-man) ex-wife.

Although “Avatar” was an impressive commercial success, not many were shocked when “The Hurt Locker,” which has been called a “near perfect war film” since its 2008 release, took the Best Picture award. Other winners included Jeff Bridges (or, as most Brown students call him, ‘The Dude’) for Best Actor, Sandra Bullock for Best Actress (who won another kind of award the night before), Mo’Nique for Best Supporting Actress, and Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor. Continue Reading


Ask Gail: Olympic Edition

Tonight marks the end of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. All eyes were on the Men’s Hockey Final game, which pinned the USA underdogs against the Canadian home team. The whole thing seemed reminiscent of another hockey battle 30 years ago, thought at least this Olympics’ possible “miracle” didn’t have any anti-communist undertones.

Canada quickly took the lead in the game, scoring twice in the first half. USA scored in the second half , bringing the score to 2-1, yet as the clock wound down it seemed like Canada had secured he goal. Alas, it was in the game’s final seconds that the US team evened up the score, bringing the game into a climactic overtime.

The highly anticipated match was, of course, displayed on the Ratty big screens, and you can guess who was checking out the score between card swipes. During overtime, the gold medal was anyones fair game, and Gail offered some encouraging words to Team USA.

As much as I love or northern neighbors, I hope the USA wins the gold medal. Even though our team is young, they’ve done well so far, and I believe they can do it.

Minutes later, the Canadians ended the overtime and took the gold, proving that Canada is better than America—at least as far hockey goes. Despite the defeat, Gail showed true American sportsmanship and had some kind words for Canada.

I guess if we had to lose to someone, I’m glad it was to them. USA still did an excellent job and I hope the show good sportsmanship. The Canadians are very good at hockey and have been a wonderful host country.

So that’s it for Vancouver 2010. The USA hockey team will have to wait another four years to battle for Olympic gold. You only have to wait till dinner to greet Gail!

— Ana Alvarez


Ask Gail: V-Day Edition

On Valentine’s Day, one normally hopes to be eating dinner in a chic Thayer restaurant across from that significant other. But for the most of us, a good-ol dinn at the Ratty will suffice for the 14th. And let’s be honest, what’s sweeter—candies and cards or Gail’s smile? Exactly.

So what does Gail think of this Hallmark Holiday? Adorable? Overrated?

“I think [Valentine's Day] gives you a reason to be a little whimsical and put a little ‘zing’ into your relationship.”

Gail, who thinks of Cupid’s Day as a “nice” holiday, appreciates flowers above all other Valentine’s Day gifts. But, Gail is not one to be preoccupied with how many flowers are lavished on her.

“It’s still about giving rather than receiving.”

So, next time you are alone on Valentine’s and wonder when Cupid’s arrow will strike your heart,keep Gail’s words in mind and shoot out an arrow yourself. A smile back to Gail is always a good start. Happy Valentine’s Day!

—Ana Alvarez


Ask Gail: DADT edition

Contrary to popular belief, Ruth Simmons is not the most lovable personality on campus. And in the never-ending Ratty vs. V-Dub debate, the Ratty has one thing the V-Dub can never get.

Yes, you all know her and you all love her. It’s Gail.

Gail McCarthy, lifelong Providence resident, has been a staple of Ratty life for the past six years. She’s brightened your day, one card swipe at a time. Now, every week, we will take the most controversial news stories and throw them out to Brown’s most beloved BDS employee.

This week: Obama’s call to end the highly criticized “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

We asked Gail her opinion. Here is what she thought:

“I think that is wonderful. It’s taken way too long. Nobody should be judged whether they are [gay] or not. Everybody’s a human being first.”

Well said, Gail!  Think about that next time you go to the Ratty.

— Ana Alvarez