Friday, September 26, 2008

It Continues ...

David Letterman continued beating up on John McCain last night. Enjoy!

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Sorry to go all politics all the time all of a sudden, but this short clip of Sarah Palin's recent interview with Katie Couric was just too good to let slide. If you support this woman, I'd like to know why. She can barely answer a question.

And just in case you missed it, here's a transcript of the clip. (Thanks to David Poland.)

COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jews for Obama!

This clip is NSFW and not kid-friendly either, so watch when you can turn this up and hear every word. Join me and Sarah Silverman on the Great Schlep. Get your bubby to vote for Barack Obama!

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

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Where's McCain?

I love David Letterman. Check out this clip from last night's show. McCain was supposed to be Dave's guest, but he bailed at the last minute, leaving Dave scrambling and not the least bit happy. "Hey John, I've got a question: Do you need a ride to the airport?" Wow ... Dave's true colors really came out during the show, and he replaced McCain with my boy, Keith Olbermann. Anyway, I love this clip. It's classic Letterman. Enjoy.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best. Campaign. Slogan. Ever.

Just saw this at Jeff Wells' site and wanted to repost here. Obama should have someone somewhere take this image and plaster it all over the country. This is awesome. Maybe I'll make my own posters. Oh boy, I can't wait until an unprepared McCain has his ass handed to him Friday night. Barack Obama is the man.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh, The Places He's Gone

I've always had a fondness for Waldo. You know, the bespeckled wanderer and star of the Where's Waldo? series of books by Martin Handford. Back in the day, I was a little obsessed. I collected the books. Most of my college admissions essays tackled the same theme: that I was very much like Waldo, an explorer who still hadn't found what he was looking for. Freshman year (and maybe sophomore year too) of college I had a poster of Waldo in the Land of Waldos on my dorm-room wall. And when my hair was longer and parted like so, people used to tell me I looked like Waldo. (No, I never did dress up like him for Halloween. I knew you were going to ask.)

Why do I mention this now? Well, Sunday was Waldo's 21st birthday. The first Where’s Waldo? book was published on September 21, 1987, and since then, Waldo has sold more than 46 million books worldwide. Sure, over the years, as I've grown up (snicker, snicker), Waldo's been less on my mind, but to this day, I enjoy the hunts and think of Waldo as someone I can still identify with. Like him, some days I'm lost and some days I'm on a journey. Some days I stick out in a crowd, and some days I blend right in. Wherever Waldo goes, he's got a smile on his face and he's waving. You never know where Waldo will turn up; he's like Matt, that guy who goes all around the world dancing. I actually have a picture of Waldo on my cube wall at work. And though my glasses and hairstyle are different than they were when I was 17, I can still see a slight resemblance.

So as Waldo turns "legal," I just wanted to wish him a (belated) happy birthday. If his travels ever bring him to Boston, I hope we'll go out for a drink so he can tell me all about the places he's been and the people he's seen. I can only imagine the stories he'd tell.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Here's ... Joshie!

If I had to pick a highlight of last night's Emmy Awards — well, it probably wouldn't be this. But Josh Groban's medley of 30 TV show theme songs was just nutty and random enough to merit posting a clip here. After all, it's not every day you see a serious singer like Groban reduced to such corniness.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

He's Back

Just a quick plug to let you know that Brad Meltzer, who I've written about here and here, will be in Boston Monday night to read from and sign copies of his new book, The Book of Lies. He'll be at Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner at 7 p.m. You know I'll be in attendance. Will you be there too?

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

"She's a Joke and a Farce"

From last night's Real Time with Bill Maher:

How some people can still be undecided in this race is beyond me.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Ahoy! ( yet again)

Hey there, Mateys! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day. But you already knew that, didn't you? I've written about this glorious holiday in the past, so rather than be repetitive or redundant — lest you make me walk the plank — I'll just link you to the old post. Say it with me: Arrrrrrrgh!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Praise Be to Al

Oh happy day. Oh so very happy day. It’s a big deal in my world when a new lunch place opens because even though I like my favorite places (like Sam LaGrassa’s or the former Kingston Deli, for example), I do get bored. Today (or maybe it was yesterday), a new place opened on the corner of Essex and South streets, Al’s South Street Café. If that sounds familiar, it’s because there’s also an Al’s State Street Café. This is absolutely fantastic news. What’s so great about this new place? Well, both Al’s Cafés are owned by the same people who own one of my all-time favorite lunch places, the Italian Café on Broad Street, which I used to go to all the time when I worked at Faneuil Hall and now go to every once in a while on “special” occasions. So now, because the places share the same menu and food, it’s like having the Italian Café right around the corner and I don’t have to decide it’s worth the walk. Woo hoo!

To celebrate Al’s opening — and I suppose I should mention that I didn’t know about the Italian Café connection until I got there — I headed on over today for lunch. I only had a half-second to get past the excitement about what it was, because there was a huge noisy crowd of hungry workers to deal with. There were separate lines for hot and cold subs, and a mob of people waiting to pick up their orders. I was unlucky enough to stand behind a non-English speaker who had no clue what she was doing and didn’t understand when I asked if she had ordered yet or was waiting to pick up. When her order was ready, they called her number three or four times and she still didn't get it. (And I wasn't feeling charitable enough to tell her.) Anyway, I ordered a large steak pizzaiola, which is a two-foot-long sub of steak, marinara sauce, and cheese on excellent bread (strangely, it's French bread, but no matter). It only cost $7 and you’ll probably be happy to know I was unable to eat it all. But it was gooooood, and so worth the discomfort it'll cause my stomach later this afternoon. Folks, I like to think I know good lunch places, and Al's is a great lunch place.

Someone I work with’s eyes practically popped out of his head when he saw how large my sandwich was and how good it looked. Suffice it to say, we’re going back tomorrow.

Oh happy day!

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Well Shut My Mouth

Alright, that's it. I'm done talking about the Red Sox. First I write that the season may be over, and what do they do? They get better and climb back into first place. And then when they do that, I acknowledge it right here and of course, they reverse course just as quickly. So this will be my last Red Sox post for a while, until the team definitively wins something and my posting can't affect their fortunes either way. At least publicly, I'm going to start rooting for Tampa Bay — in the hopes that my blog becomes a jinx for them and not for the hometown team. Sorry, Sox!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Now That's Funnye

As it turns out, Barack Obama is related to a rabbi (through marriage). Rabbi Capers C. Funnye Jr., who is Michelle Obama's first cousin once removed, leads a mostly black Jewish congregation on Chicago's Southwest Side. Her paternal grandfather is the brother of Funnye's mother. According to this AP story, the Obamas have never attended services at Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in the city's Marquette Park neighborhood, where Funnye (pronounced fuh-NAY) presides, but the Rabbi and Michelle have become closer over the past decade. Funnye attended the African Methodist Episcopal Church growing up, then explored a number of other religions before converting, the story reports. You can read the rest right here.


What a Stupid Thing to Say

Alright, so either my blog is sort of powerful in a reverse-jinx sort of way, or maybe I'm just a moron. On July 31, after yet another disappointing game, I suggested that it may be time to declare the Red Sox season over. Well, today is September 16 and the Sox have woken up back in first place after beating the Rays last night — and pretty easily, too. So color me stupid. I never fully gave up on the team, but a month and a half ago it really wasn't looking too good. I'm happy to take my lashes for being wrong on this one. The Sox have gotten hot at exactly the right time this season. Go Sox!


A League of Morons

Oh well. The Coen brothers' latest, Burn After Reading, is a bit of a disappointment. Their last film, the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men, was a brilliant but awfully serious affair, so I don't blame them for wanting to tackle a trifle like this one. I just wish it had the laughs and charm that a similarly light comedy like, say, the totally underrated Intolerable Cruelty did.

At least those two films have one good thing in common: George Clooney, who here stars as Harry, a womanizing charmer, who gets involved with Linda (Frances McDormand), a woman seeking money for four body-enhancing surgeries, who works at a gym with Chad (Brad Pitt), a dim-witted trainer who happens upon a CD filled with the security secrets of Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich), a former CIA analyst who is writing a memoir about his life in the agency, and whose wife (Tilda Swinton) is also involved with Harry. Got all that? It's a twisty plot that meanders and doesn't really ever go anywhere (intentionally), mostly because the characters are all basically morons.

There are some good reaction shots, and McDormand and Pitt seem to be having the most fun, but for my money, the best part of the entire movie is the last five minutes, when J. K. Simmons and David Rasche's characters try to make sense of it all. I think the Coens needed to put their characters in the film earlier and more often because their deadpan confusion is hysterical and the only thing in the film that really works. Burn wants to be zany, wacky fun, but it's only mildly amusing. I'll take Clooney's Everett McGill or Miles Massey over Harry any day. So rank this one with the Coens' The Ladykillers remake as a subpar Coen brothers movie. As I said: Oh well. They can't all be Fargo or O Brother, Where Art Thou? I'm giving Burn a C+.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Diet Sucks a Foot-Long

You knew this one was coming. Michael Phelps hosts the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, and among other things, they make fun of how much he eats. The jokes are predictable, but I still enjoyed the skit.

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I Invite the Media to Grow a Pair

Welcome back, Saturday Night Live. And of course, welcome back, Tina Fey. No surprise, Fey's Sarah Palin impression is dead-on. This skit was really great last night.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Remembering When It Was Dry

Watching all the news coverage last night of Hurricane Ike battering Galveston, Texas, I couldn't help but remember my trip down to the island this past February and wonder just how much of what I saw was still there. The Hotel Galvez, where I stayed, is/was right on the water, and I'm sure it took quite a beating — along with plenty of other hotels and buildings, which were so nicely restored after the Great Storm of 1900. I wonder if things are alright in the Strand, including at La King's (where Ernest Torres made the great taffy), and I hope all the nice folks I met back in February who took such great care of us (like Jackie and Jim) are okay. And hopefully people like George Mitchell, who threw one hell of a party for Mardi Gras, are also safe.

So today my thoughts are with all these people and places. If you want to see my pictures from the weekend, just click on that link. And if you'd like to read about my trip, click here. Otherwise, let's all hope the city and its residents are alright and that they will recover from this storm.

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Hey Mo!

So ... have you heard about Movember? It's a campaign to raise awareness for prostate cancer (which affects one in six men, according to the PR stuff I received this week). Get it? They're literally changing the face of men's health. Anyway, I am totally going to do this. After all, you know how much I just love growing a goatee. But wait — this is totally different. We're talking Tom Selleck– and Alex Trebek–style facial hair here, not Ben Affleck. I'd love to get some other folks to do this too. Who's with me? You have a month and a half to decide and to prepare your friends and family for your changed appearance. I'll check in about this at the end of October.

And don't think that just because you're a woman that you're excluded from the fun. Remember the patron saint of the "Mo Sistahs" ... Frida Kahlo. If she can grow a moustache, then so can you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Few Moments with Sarah

If you just can't wait to watch Sarah Palin's interview with Charles Gibson tonight on 20/20, here's a sneak preview:
See more Gina Gershon videos at Funny or Die

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Sunday, September 07, 2008


When I was looking to buy a condo, one of my priorities was that it have an actual kitchen, with counter space and room to cook (yes, I really shot for the moon on that one). And believe it or not, in the past two weeks I've actually made great use of my kitchen. Last week, I made a baked French toast that was really tasty and totally easy to make. That was a good warm-up. Yesterday, I made whoopie pies completely from scratch — that means no cake mix, no pre-made icing, no easy way out. I mixed the flour and the eggs and the cocoa powder and all the other ingredients all on my own, and made a nice mess in my kitchen. The pies were a challenge at times — my mixer got a good workout — but the end result was worth it. Suffice it to say, they went over really well with my friends. The recipe came from a recent issue of Hannaford supermarkets' Fresh magazine. If you're so inclined, I highly recommend making — and eating — them.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

No-Spin Zone

I love it when people don't realize that the camera may be off, but the microphones are still on. Here are Republican consultant Mike Murphy and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan on MSNBC talking about what an awful choice Sarah Palin is for John McCain's running mate.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Meltzer Just Blows It Completely

I've written in the past about why it is that I like Brad Meltzer, and since he's got a new book out now, I thought I'd give him a quick plug here. I always knew the guy had a real sense of humility, but now I know he's also got a nice self-depreciating wit — as evidenced by the following video. It's a compilation of little leaguers and senior citizens reciting some of the barbs that have been thrown at Brad. It's pretty funny. I got an advance copy of Brad's new book a few weeks ago and I'm just under halfway done at this point, so I'll hold off on giving any form of review for now. Instead, I'll say grab a copy for yourself and let me know what you think. The book is called The Book of Lies, it's about what the Cain and Abel story and the creation of Superman might possibly have in common, and it's available at bookstores everywhere. Heck, the book even has a soundtrack. (Really.) Brad will be at Brookline Booksmith on Monday, September 22 at 7 p.m. I'll see you there. For now, enjoy this video.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back to the Peach Pit

It's finally here ... September 2, a.k.a. 9/02, the day of the new 90210's premiere. I've got a lot of love for the original series — I watch the reruns every weekend, I own the first three seasons on DVD (because when the cast went to college, the show started its long descent), and I like to drive by the Walsh house whenever I go out to L.A. So suffice it to say, I'm quite excited to see the new series tonight.

That said, my expectations are low. What I'm hoping for is that the old-timers, like Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty and Joe E. Tata, are so popular that fans are more fond of them than the new kids, so the show becomes more like 90210 Classic, and soon all the old cast comes back — even those who've stated they have no interest in returning. Will that happen? Probably not. But I'm eager to see Kelly and Brenda, as well as the new Peach Pit (it's now a coffee shop, apparently, but Nat is still there. And by the third episode, one of the main characters will be working there too), and to watch Jackie Taylor fall off the wagon again. I hope we'll learn the answers to important questions like what's up with Steve and Andrea, is Val still a bad girl, did Brandon track down and marry Emily Valentine, and are Jim and Cindy still living in Hong Kong?

I'm rooting for this new 90210, and hoping it will be good — not just so-bad-it's-good good. The show airs tonight from 8–10 on The CW (yes, it's a two-hour premiere episode). My DVR is set just in case, but you know I'll be watching in real time. Woo hoo!


Monday, September 01, 2008

Give Me Some Leather

If the traditional third anniversary gift is leather, then what do you give someone for his third blogiversary? I'll let you worry about that. Me, I'm going to give myself a big ole pat on the back. After all, when I posted my very first post way back on Sept. 1, 2005, I never once thought I'd have the discipline to keep this going a year — much less three. I didn't even know what I was going to write about. In that first post, I wrote: "Could be long, rambling entries like this one. Could be reviews of movies or TV shows, comments on albums I buy, rants about things and people I don't like. Could be short, one-line entries, or they could just be a photo. Maybe I'll need a gift idea and I'll put that out to y'all for some suggestions. I don't know." I'd say I was pretty dead on about that mix, and the unpredictability of what topics I'd cover in the 990 some-odd posts I've written. And so, here we are. I thank you for reading.

The past year in Martin's Musings has been a good one. has brought increased traffic to my site time and time and time again. There were the obvious highlights — including my condo purchase, the birth of my niece Abby, the seemingly endless frustration of my violin-playing neighbors, and the World Series win by the Red Sox — and it's fun to look back now and read how I documented those events here.

And yet, if there was one post that was read more than any other during these last 365 days, I think it'd have to be my review of I Am Legend. (Yes, really.) Thanks to the magic of Google, people from all over the world have been finding my site when they've done a search for the movie title and "Emma Thompson." Go ahead and do it; you'll see my blog right up there as the number two result. (Another popular search: "Cautionary Whale")

Who knows what the next year will bring. But as long as my life stays interesting and blog-worthy, you can be sure that I'll keep this an active site for your reading pleasure. Thanks again for joining me thus far. I hope you'll stick around.

Happy September 1

Well, maybe not happy ...

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