Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Movies I've Seen

(2007 Releases)

Click on the link for my review:

















17. ONCE









26. HAIRSPRAY (x2)





31. 3:10 TO YUMA



















50. JUNO









Monday, February 25, 2008

Jimmy's "Revenge"

You may recall a couple weeks ago that Sarah Silverman announced on her boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel's show that she was, ahem, sleeping with Matt Damon. Well, last night on his post-Oscars show, Jimmy got his revenge with the help of guest — and Matt's best bud — Ben Affleck, not to mention a boatload of big names (watch for the cameos by Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford). Check it out.

Not to state the obvious, but if this has any shread of truth (and yes, yes, I know it's a big joke), then that certainly paves the way for me and Ms. Garner.

Labels: ,

Good Show!

What can I say about this year's Oscars? It was the best, most enjoyable show in quite some time. The winners were spread out across a few films (even The Bourne Ultimatum won three), and most of the winners spoke very well. Of course, I was very happy about Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova winning Best Song for "Falling Slowly," the song from Once (and I loved what Glen and Marketa had to say — and that Marketa got a second chance to speak), and I liked that There Will Be Blood won not only for Best Actor but also for Best Cinematography. I liked the "surprise" of Tilda Swinton winning Best Supporting Actress for Michael Clayton too; that category could have gone any one of four ways, with all four deserving of the award. But really, my favorite part of the show was not Jennifer Garner (surprise!) or even Keri Russell but Jon Stewart, who simply rocked as the host. He had so many great lines, he had a lot of confidence, he was hip and cool, and he just did a really nice job. I loved when he came back from a commercial break and was playing Wii Tennis. (Here's a link to the text of his very funny monologue.) The show felt like it moved very quickly, even if it did last about 3:17, and I just had a great time watching. I even enjoyed the montages — especially the Bee one (me! me! me!). Props to Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen for their presenting. And on the subject of Jen Garner, no one knows what was up with that Gary Busey ambush, but here's how he defended himself. So, another year over. Now onto a new year of movies.

Labels: , , ,

He's Still the Man

I've written previously of my great respect and admiration for George Clooney — not a man-crush, but a real appreciation for the man — and if you want further proof of why I think he's just so damned cool, all you have to do is read Joel Stein's article in the new Time magazine. Here's the scenario: Clooney accepted an invitation to have dinner at Joel's house, and the two (plus Joel's wife) downed about four bottles of wine, ate near-raw rack of lamb, and clearly had a great time over the course of about five hours. Oh, and when an alarm of some kind went off, Clooney went all through the house to look for it. (If you follow the link, you can watch the video of him doing so.) Well ... color me jealous. How I would love to have been at the table with them, or to have the opportunity to hang out with George myself (with or without his girlfriend). Read the article and I'm sure you'll feel the same.

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Whoa ... Pretty Woman

People, look at this photo and tell me now you understand why I'm just a little obsessed with Jennifer Garner. Wow. She looks amazing. Click on the photo for a much bigger version. (Thanks to Jen-Garner.net.)

Labels: ,

Great with Social Cues

This is from Saturday's back-from-the-strike, Tina-Fey-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live:

Labels: ,

Prime Time

If I could eat every single meal — alright, fine, every single dinner — at Ruth's Chris Steak House, I would be a very happy man. (I'd probably also be really fat.) Iceberg wedge salad with lemon basil dressing. (Mmmmmm.) Filet mignon, medium, served on a sizzling-hot plate, with a dollop of butter to make it extra juicy. (Oh-my-God-beefy-goodness.) Shoestring potatoes, seasoned just right. (Yum.) Chocolate explosion cake. (So good.) I love love love love love this restaurant. Just thinking about my meal Saturday night makes my mouth water. When can I go back?

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 22, 2008

Drink Up

It may be the middle of the winter, and we may be bracing for a big storm here in Boston, but hey — why dwell on the negative? Today, February 22, is National Margarita Day so drink up, y'all! A recent survey by tequila maker Tequila Don Julio shows that Americans are split nearly even on how they prefer their drink: 51.4% opt for frozen while 48.6% order their cocktail on the rocks. (That's essential information you can use at parties this weekend. Thanks to the company's PR folks for passing it along.) However you choose to imbibe, and wherever you choose to do it, I say enjoy.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

So Close, and Yet ...

Dear Cat,

Just thought I'd write to say I hold you personally accountable for the fact that Jennifer Garner and I are not together right now.

As you know, Ms. Garner holds a special place in my heart — despite her already having a husband and a child — and when I heard the news that she would be filming a movie, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, not just in Boston but right on South Street in front of Les Zygomates, a short walk from our office, you knew what a big deal this was for me. At last, this would be my chance to meet the former Ms. Sydney Bristow in person and profess my love to her. You agreed to walk with me at lunchtime today to check out the set and that was very nice of you to keep me company. And how exciting was it when we got there and we could just walk around and see it all — the lights, the cameras, the New York City cabs, and even better, the fake snow and Christmas decorations. (It was Christmas, Cat! My favorite time of year! How perfect!!) Suffice it to say, I was giddy. Jen was nowhere to be seen, but she would be out soon, and I would see her acting right there a few feet in front of me. How cool is that??! All the fates were aligning; it was actually going to happen. Jen would see me from across the street, watching her, smiling my adorable smile, and she'd be too distracted to even look at her costar, the shirtless wonder himself, Matthew McConaughey. She'd stop filming, would walk right over to me, we'd introduce ourselves, I'd say something witty and charming (of course), she'd smile and laugh, all the other bystanders would wonder who this random guy in the crowd was, but they'd be so overcome with emotion watching us and our love blossom that they'd burst into spontaneous applause, and, well, the rest (including Ben Affleck) would be history. We would go off and live happily ever after, in Newton. I was thisclose to making my dream a reality. Oh man, it was actually going to happen ...

... And then you asked me to leave, and you denied Jennifer and me a love that would have inspired others. A love that was fated in the stars. A love that was destined for greatness. Why did we have to leave?? Were you really too cold standing there on the sidewalk? Was the production assistant really that rude to you when she asked us to move over? I was hungry too, but some things are more important than lunch. I missed my chance at true happiness. You broke my heart, Cat. And now, Jennifer Garner and I will never be together. I hold you responsible for this tragedy. ;-)


Labels: ,

Something Strange in the Neighborhood

Back in the day, I fancied myself an amateur filmmaker. I made these really bad films where I played all the parts — for example, He's a Wonderful Salesman, a cross between Death of a Salesman and It's a Wonderful Life, where Willy Loman is shown (by an angel named Mar-T) what life would be like if he was never born. Of course, my sister helped, and I'll always remember her immortal line, "I feel a breeze."

Anyway, I thought of those movies while watching Be Kind Rewind, the new movie from the mind of Michel Gondry, the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's a truly strange and random movie about two guys in Passaic, New Jersey: one, played by Mos Def, who works at a video store, and another, played by Jack Black, who hangs around the store. One day, Black's character is magnetized (don't ask) and he accidentally erases all the tapes at the video store. So the two decide to recreate the movies in their own amateurish way, starting with Ghostbusters and Rush Hour 2. And these remakes — the "Sweded" versions — become so insanely popular that they have to make others — including When We Were Kings, 2001, King Kong, and Lord of the Rings.

Yes, the remakes are absurd, and the making-ofs are very amusing. The whole film has the look of a low budget, amateur production, making it all seem very authentic. Black and Mos Def throw themselves into their roles, and keep the tone silly. Danny Glover and Mia Farrow, of all people, fill out the cast, giving it a little "weight" and substance. It's probably safe to say you've never seen a movie quite like Be Kind Rewind, and it's not exactly great, but it has some really inspired moments and scenes that make it worth recommending. You'll likely never look at Ghostbusters or Boyz n the Hood the same way again. So, I'm giving Be Kind Rewind a B.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gonna Buy Me a Condo

Well, it took a bit of back and forth, and of course it's still subject to inspection and all that good stuff, but a deal has been struck. So, I'm buying a condo. Woo hoo! I'll never have to mow de lawn ... I'm gonna get me the t-shirt, wit' the alligator on!

Jeez, this buying real estate thing sure is fun.

(no, there's nothing to see. just listen to the song.)

Labels: ,

From My Perspective

First, the good news about Vantage Point: despite what you may think, the trailer doesn't give away the entire plot. So that's a nice surprise. And also, there is about 20 minutes of a good movie here. The problem is that the film's main gimmick of watching a presidential assassination from multiple points of view grows really tiresome really fast. Just when the film starts to pick up momentum and you want to see what will happen next, you're rewinded back to the same starting point only to watch the same scene unfold again. And again. And it's not like every replaying adds a new layer to the story. Rather, you just meet someone else who was there. This isn't Rashomon. When, at about an hour into the movie, the story begins again and then keeps on going, that's when the action really kicks into gear and it gets pretty exciting, especially during a fast-paced car chase through the streets of Salamanca, Spain. But there's some lame dialogue, and the impressive cast of actors (including Forest Whitaker, William Hurt, Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, and Sigourney Weaver) is pretty much left high and dry. Weaver in particular gets introduced first and then basically disappears. Wish I could recommend this movie; I actually liked the trailer and had high hopes. Alas, it's another waste of 90 minutes. I give Vantage Point a C-.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Have I Got a Show for You

Just a quick TV PSA: A filmed version of the recent Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company, which I saw and loved, will be making its television debut Wednesday night on your local PBS station. Check the local listings for the station and time in your city. Here's an excerpt from the opening number. If you can't watch the show Wednesday, don't worry: it's going to be repeated a few times over the next couple weeks. Or just set your DVR. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Labels: ,

Now I Feel Old

I've heard from more than a few friends who've been through it that buying real estate makes you feel more like a grown-up than anything else. And then there was that day last summer when I was having back pain and felt old. And we all know how much I've hated the college kids these past few months. So maybe I'm sending out the wrong message on this blog about my true age, because when I got home tonight, what did I have in my mailbox? A membership application to join AARP. No kidding. If you're out there reading this, it's important that you know I'm just 33 — not 50, and certainly not anywhere close to retirement. But I wonder what would happen if I sent this in ...


Quick Thoughts

After the rain stopped, Monday was a really nice day.

Teflon-coated pots are excellent. One of the best inventions ever.

I wish I had given Gossip Girl more of a chance and hadn't given up on it after the first episode.

We're negotiating, and I should have a decision on the apartment on Tuesday. I'm now feeling more 65-35 as far as excitement and nervousness go.

Ben & Jerry's Crème Brûlée ice cream is so so so good.

I'm rooting for a There Will Be Blood Best Picture upset on Sunday.

There's something about seeing baseball players practicing down in Florida, smiling, happy, with the sun shining, that makes everything all right.

Are you on Facebook? Why not? Sign on and let's be friends.

Days off would be more enjoyable if there was something good on TV in the morning. At least on Saturdays there's three hours of repeats of 90210 and two of The O.C.

Which is the more annoying instrument to listen to: violin or the flute?

I don't think there's any movie in theaters right now that I haven't seen that I want to see.

My early American Idol favorites are Amanda Overmyer, a.k.a.: the rocker nurse, and Michael Johns. Kristy Lee Cook is cute, but she won't get past the top 8. And David Archuleta is overrated. And anyone who sings "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" will never win, much less make it to the top 12.

Sometimes when scrolling through the names and numbers in my cell phone I'll come across Bubby and I'll be tempted to call. I wish I could.

Next week, March 1 to be exact, marks the 11th anniversary of the day I moved to Boston. Still the best decision I've ever made.

I own way way way too many books, CDs, and DVDs.

Can't believe I still haven't finished The Year of Living Biblically.

Kupels went and raised their prices, and in so doing went from being a great deal to a total rip-off.

When I move, I think I'm going to hire a cleaning person to come regularly.

Some movies I can watch over and over and never get tired of them. The Shawshank Redemption is one of them.

Long weekends are great ... until you have to go back to work the next morning.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Making an Offer They Can't Refuse. Hopefully.

Well, folks, it's with mixed emotion that I tell you I've made an offer on a condo. If you know how indecisive I can be, you know this is a very big deal. Hell, it takes me a while just to buy a pair of pants! So it's probably no surprise that I'm feeling about 75% scared/nervous/uneasy/stressed and 25% excited about the whole thing. But it's all good, and I think once it all settles in and if the offer is accepted and it all goes forward, then when I'm sitting in my new living room in early April (!!!) I'll be happy with the decision. And I don't say that simply because I came home to 110 this afternoon to hear my next door neighbor playing her violin again. But that certainly makes me happier about the prospect of moving.

So what's the deal? Well, a week ago I went to an open house and saw a place I liked. Over the course of the week, I saw it twice more. It's just over the border in Newton, right across from B.C. So yes, it's right at the beginning of the B line. But that's the biggest negative about the place. On the good side, it's a recently refurbished building, with an awesome kitchen, washer/dryer in the unit, air conditioning, enough closet space, thick walls, plenty of windows and sunlight, and extra storage. Oh yeah, and a garage parking spot. (Score!) There's a public golf course right next door, and on the opposite side, White Mountain Creamery. Thankfully, I'd also have access to a fitness center that will be finished this summer. The apartment itself was being used as the model for the building, so it's already painted and looks nice. And believe it or not, it's right in the sweet spot of what I wanted/expected to pay, or maybe even a little less. So yeah, if it all works out, I think this will be a really nice place to live.

But now I have to wait to see if my offer will be accepted or not. And if it is, then it's all going to move very quickly, and by April 1 I should be a condo owner. Woo hoo! Ugh. Stay tuned.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love and Hate

Longtime readers of this blog know I generally like Valentine's Day. My theory is that if you're not in a relationship, you should spend the day doing things you love. For example, going to a favorite lunch place, or doing a favorite activity, or listening to a favorite CD, or watching a favorite TV show, etc. etc. After all, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

But for fun, this year I thought I'd post a classic '90s music video that might sum up what some other people feel about this day (and for the record, doesn't reflect my current state of mind). So for all those people, I say enjoy. For everyone else, here's wishing you a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Destination Anywhere

If you learned one day that you could teleport anywhere in the world on a moment's notice, where would you go? Paris? Rome? The South Pole? And would you use this power for good or for evil? Whatever your choice, I hope you don't choose to go to a movie theater to see Jumper, a movie about a guy (played by Darth Vader himself, Hayden Christensen) who can teleport anywhere he wishes. When he's 15, David Rice (that's Christensen's character), learns he has the skill and he decides to run away from his unhappy life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and head to New York, where he robs banks and travels the world, and becomes a spoiled, selfish brat. But Rice has never gotten over his childhood crush, Millie, so eight years later he returns home to find her. Lucky for David, Millie has grown up to look a lot like Summer Roberts (yes, Millie is played by the lovely Ms. Rachel Bilson). And they live happily ever after.

Yeah, if only. You see, hot on Rice (and all Jumpers)'s trail is Samuel L. Jackson, leader of the Paladin organization, whose goal is to kill Jumpers — deemed too powerful to exist. Thankfully, Rice meets Griffin (Jamie Bell), another Jumper, who is trying to take down the Paladins. And somewhere in this plot is David's mother (Diane Lane), who abandoned David when he was just five years old, but who has some unexplained connection to the action.

I guess it all sounded cool. And after all, the movie was directed by Doug Liman, whose credits include Go, The Bourne Identity, Swingers, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith — all good, fun, exciting movies. Surprisingly, there's none of the zip found in those films here. But I don't necessarily blame Liman. Instead, I blame Christensen, who is without a doubt one of the worst actors working today — if he can even be called an actor. His stiff performance and almost monotone delivery of the lines conveys almost no excitement at all. He only emphasizes how lame some of the dialogue is. But worse is the fact that he has, like, zero chemistry with Bilson. Come on, man, she's smokin'! Christensen must not read GQ. (Of course, he gets the last laugh because the two are dating in real life. What a bastard.) Anyway, Jumper features some relatively cool effects and Bell is certainly the most engaging member of the cast (one wonders if he should have played David), but overall this is a pretty stupid flick.

Now, after all that, you may be wondering where I would go if I could teleport. The answer is easy: Portland, Oregon, so I could see Erin and explain to her that even if a movie is free, and even if it's only 88 minutes long, and even if the cast includes Rachel Bilson and Diane Lane, going home to watch American Idol is always the better option. I'm giving Jumper a C-.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Wanna Be Like Youk

Kevin Youkilis has always been a good role model, but now, with his totally-worth-it new contract — he got a one-year deal for $3 million, up from $424,500 — I just have one question: How do I get myself a raise like that?? I'm clearly in the wrong line of work.


Yes, Yes, Yes ...

Congrats to Amy Winehouse for winning five very well deserved Grammy Awards and basically making the 3.5-hour show worth watching (or at least 10 minutes of it). If you missed the show, I've posted her performance of "You Know I'm No Good" and "Rehab." Enjoy.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Yes I Did

A while back I posted a Hillary Clinton video. So, in the spirit of equal time, here's the Barack Obama music video.

Labels: ,

No, No, No ...

Amy Winehouse will not be attending the Grammy Awards this Sunday. This is terrible, terrible news for folks like myself who were rooting for her to be there and win all kinds of awards. Hopefully she'll still take home a few trophies, despite her recent troubles and her absence from the ceremony itself. And hopefully she'll get past this stuff and will be well enough to write and record another album. I still love Back to Black, but I want to hear more.

Update: Hooray! Now it seems Amy will be performing after all — by satellite. Yes, yes, yes!

Labels: , ,

Take a Break-fast

As an addendum to yesterday’s post about National Pancake Week, I’ve learned today that we are now smack-dab in the middle of National Hot Breakfast Month. (Thanks, Louise, for the tip!) At FoodReference.com, you can get confirmation of this and you can get an entire year’s worth of food-related days. Today, for example, is National Fettucine Alfredo Day. Over at Whole Foods’ Web site (where they also confirm this is a legit observance), you can listen to a podcast and get all kinds of ideas for “making a tasty, toasty breakfast.” (Incidentally, February is also Chocolate Month, National Snack Food Month, and Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month. Who knew?) And on that note, I suppose the only thing to say now is ... eat up!



Vince Vaughn does a solid for four up-and-coming stand-up comedians in Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show. The film is nothing more than a document of Vaughn's tour, during which the five-man troupe played 30 shows in 30 nights all across the country. Unlike, say, Jerry Seinfeld's Comedian, which had a lofty purpose of trying to bring meaning to the life of a stand-up, or even, say, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, this film doesn't seek to do anything but give exposure to these four rising talents and show the group having a good time performing. Along the way, you meet the guys' families (which tries to explain where their comedy comes from) and hang out as the guys prepare to take the stage. Special guests appear, including Jon Favreau and Justin Long, plus Peter Billingsley (from A Christmas Story), who is not only one of the film's exec producers but also Vaughn's best friend. Some of the comedy hits and some misses — Ahmed Ahmed seems to be the most consistent performer — and there's an extended section about the guys supporting victims of Hurricane Katrina (the movie was shot in the fall of 2005) that is a bit of a downer, but mostly, this is a fun film. Is it as funny as the trailer would have you believe? No. Is it worth running to the theater to pay $10? No. Is it as bad as Vaughn's most recent comedy flicks, The Break-Up and Fred Claus? Thankfully, no. But if you're a fan of stand-up, this is an enjoyable 100 minutes. I'm giving VV's WWCS a B.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

An Amazing Race

Apparently, we’re right in the middle of National Pancake Week. Who knew? I guess the good people at the National Association of Pancake Lovers — if such a group exists — just aren’t as organized as those at the International Ice Cream Association. In fact, a quick Web search produced conflicting results for when this happy occasion is. So I’m sticking with this one, which looks just reputable enough for this kind of occasion and ensures that I still have a few days left to celebrate.

Some history: Pancake Week is actually grounded in ancient tradition. During the Middle Ages, it was common practice to prepare for the austerity of Lent by purging the pantry of foods like eggs, butter, and milk, which were considered a luxury. These ingredients were often used to make big batches of pancakes. To this day, many communities around the world feast on pancakes all the way through Shrove Tuesday — also known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras — before the season of moderation begins on Ash Wednesday (which, if you didn’t know, is today). In fact, another name for Fat Tuesday is Pancake Day. (I’m not making this stuff up, folks.)

(Alright, so that last paragraph would seem to imply I’ve missed this happy holiday. Yet another reason to refer to this site as my reference.)

Also from the “who knew?” file: The town of Olney, England, has been holding a Pancake Race every year. Legend has it that the race’s origins stem from a day in 1445 when a housewife was cooking the family’s traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes. The church bell began to ring, summoning the townspeople to service, and the woman was so anxious to get there on time that she ran outside still holding her skillet — pancakes and all. Each year at the race, contestants line up, skillets in hand, waiting for the "pancake bell" to ring. Then they toss pancakes in the air, catch them in their skillets, and race 415 yards to the church. When they reach the finish line, they must toss their pancakes one more time. After the race, everyone attends church services and then enjoys a community pancake party. Yesterday’s race was won by Web designer Amanda Brear, who ran the course in 1 minute, 9 seconds, beating her 23 other competitors. Amazing stuff. And it’s not without a rivalry: A competing Pancake Race has been run on the same day each year since 1950 in Liberal, Kansas. Yesterday, Amanda Curtis, an 18-year-old high school student, ran the race in just 1 minute, 6.3 seconds — even though she was battling the flu. Over the years, Liberal has won the bi-city competition 33 times and Olney has won 25 times, with one draw in 1980 when the course in Liberal was blocked. Take that, you wacky Brits!

I’m determined not to let this holiday pass by without a little celebration, even if it is belated. Next week, on February 12, IHOP will be celebrating National Pancake Day by giving out free pancakes to all customers. Yum. So even if no one can quite agree on which day or days this holiday is taking place, at least we can all enjoy a free stack of this yummy goodness — no racing necessary.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Marty at Mardi Gras

I'll have plenty more experiences this year, but chances are good that few will be as cool or as fun as standing on a Mardi Gras float throwing out beads to thousands of people yelling and screaming for more. That's exactly what I was doing Saturday night in Galveston, Texas, home of the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country (after the one in New Orleans, of course). It's estimated that 250,000 people were out along the parade route — rich, poor, black, white, young, old, etc. — and there were times when it was truly overwhelming seeing so many people cheering and clamoring for these cheap beads. It was totally fun targeting people in the crowds and tossing beads to them. Or watching adults push past kids to grab the things. Or holding off until someone "deserved" the beads. Man o man, was that a good time. The parade stretched for about two hours, and it went by in a flash. It was a bit more family-friendly than the celebration in the Big Easy (and most of us on the floats were wearing tuxes or evening dresses), so there wasn't much nudity or debauchery — but there was some, and yes, I threw beads in those directions.

When we disembarked from the floats, the "real" party began. One of Galveston's biggest boosters is George Mitchell, who owns three of Galveston's nicest hotels, and has contributed much to build up the area. I tried to find out why Mardi Gras was such a big deal in Galveston, of all places, and I was basically told it was all because of Mr. Mitchell. And wow. The man is almost 90 years old but he sure does know how to throw a party. Great food, dancing, music (by the Mambo Kings), etc. etc. When we rode past his Tremont House hotel, confetti was pumped out and the scene was so exciting and unreal. I'd never experienced anything quite like it. I kept thinking to myself that it must have been similar to what the Red Sox experienced during their victory parade.

The theme of Mr. Mitchell's post-parade party was Havana Nights, so the food, the decor, some of the attire (i.e.: those who weren't in black tie) all followed accordingly. In attendance were all kinds of Houston society folks (in some ways, Galveston is to Houston what the Hamptons is to New York), so it was a real classy affair. I went up to Mr. Mitchell at one point — he was easy to spot because he was dressed in a white suit with fake sideburns — and I told him, "Hell of a party, George. Hell of a party." I'm telling you, I can't remember the last time I had this much fun.

I was in Galveston (on a press trip) to stay at one of Mr. Mitchell's hotels (the Hotel Galvez), to learn about his other properties, and to experience just a little bit of what Galveston has to offer. (Cool story: I'd actually stayed at the Hotel Galvez before, nearly 18 years ago when I was on one of those cross-country bus tours 16-year-olds go on. Needless to say, it's changed a lot since then and it is now a very attractive property, situated right on the Gulf.) Over the course of the weekend I got to see taffy get made from scratch at La King's, ate some great food (including sea bass, which I had never tried before), saw plenty of historic homes and buildings, learned about the Great Storm of 1900, and more. One highlight deserving special mention is that I got to meet and speak with Gregg Stafford, who was performing at the Tremont House Friday and Saturday nights, and whose rendition of "Silver Bells" was on A Very Marty Xmas 2007. Nice guy, and not only did he appreciate that I knew who he was, but Gregg told me where I can find an entire album of Christmas music featuring him and the Heritage Hall Jazz Band, so I'm going to check that out. And it should be noted that the Tremont House was one of the cooler hotels I've seen, with all the rooms decorated in black and white.

Of course, I took plenty of pictures throughout the weekend. Not that I have many of the Mardi Gras proceedings because I was a bit preoccupied at the time. But the memories of that experience, of passing by Fish Tales and the Strand with the hordes of people on balconies and in the streets while a marching band played "The Sweet Escape" and other songs behind us, will stay with me for a long time (as will the beads, which weighed down my suitcase so much it was labeled "heavy" when I picked it up at baggage claim). I hope I'll get to be in the parade again. Stay tuned for more about the trip in the pages of Continental magazine some time in the future. Or click here to see my photos. And happy Mardi Gras everybody!

Labels: ,

Monday, February 04, 2008

How Do You Like Them Apples?

If you don't already know, Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman have been dating for more than five years now. Sarah was on Jimmy's show last week to present him with this video she made for his 40th birthday. Check it out. Good, good comedy, but it's NSFW so watch with headphones on.
(And thanks to EW.com for the tip.)


Bizarro Super Bowl World

In an alternate universe — the same one where the Cleveland Indians are the 2007 American League Champions, perhaps — the New England Patriots are the 2008 Super Bowl Champions. Where is this bizarro world, you ask? It’s in Nicaragua, Romania, and several other countries around the world. I received an e-mail press release this morning telling me that all the t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and other stuff that had been printed up before last night’s game that had the Pats as Super Bowl Champs will be donated to a company called World Vision, which will be distributing them to families in extreme poverty around the world. Apparently, after last year's Super Bowl game, the Chicago Bears apparel was distributed in Zambia in southern Africa, as well as in Chad, Chile, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Romania, and Zimbabwe. So, next time you travel around the world, you may come across a place where the Pats did actually win the 2008 Super Bowl, just as they should have. And, now you know what happens to all that stuff after a big game.