Monday, December 31, 2007

Ringing in the New Year with Sweeney Todd

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year. I definitely had a great year, and I'll be ringing 2008 in low-key, since that seemed to work for me last year. Looking forward to a brand new year full of happiness and (hopefully) prosperity. Wishing the same for everyone else as well.

Got to catch the newest Johnny Depp/Tim Burton flick this weekend - Sweeney Todd, and it is a gory one! Most of the singing talent was impressive, Depp included. Probably the least experienced was Helena Bonham-Carter, but she pulled off an Eliza Doolittle-like sound that actually worked for her character. Sacha Baron-Cohen made a splashy appearance in an otherwise dreary scenario, and his character also goes out with a bang (or should I say, spray?). Definitely NOT a movie to take the kids to - it is gross, violent, and did I mention gross? Once Todd has his routine down of disposing of his victims, it is stomach-wrenching to watch them hit the floor. The young boy is quite good in his part, and Alan Rickman is great as always. Depp seems a little stiff at times, but his sullen expressions are chilling when he is with his victims, and hilarious during Carter's character's fantasy song. He seems to be using the same accent as his Captain Sparrow character at times, though. All in all, it was a good movie, as long as you have the stomach for it!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone had a merry Christmas and has a safe and happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Geez, I didn't see this coming...

Pamela Anderson files for divorce after two months

And the idiocy continues...

Pam and Rick are back on!

(This is all in the same day, people).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Finally saw the Toadies...

After my last final of the semester last night, I joined a group at Hard Rock Cafe for some drinks and appetizers before the Toadies concert at Verizon Theater. Our waiter was very nice, but it does seem like they purposefully hire people who look like they are in a band to wait tables there, and whomever the bartender was - he was awful. The drinks were poorly mixed, took forever (the food came out before the drinks did) and one of them came out in a glass so cracked we were afraid it would shatter at the table.

As for the show, I was glad to have the opportunity to see them live, since I missed them prior to their break-up, and also the farewell tour earlier this year. They do play a very good live show, and the fans were eating it up. Lots of moshing, lots of crowd-surfing; some songs incited some lighter-waving, and LOTS of people were singing along. It was good to see the fan appreciation - hopefully it will encourage them to work together again in the future. Anyway - a really good show, but it seemed like the two brief encores were a little forced. I would go see them again - if they manage to get back together.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dane Cook at Toyota Center

Had some very good seats to the Dane Cook show at the Toyota Center on Friday night - 17th row on the floor! I had no idea his following was so pronounced, and it was my first time to hear his live act. A few problems I had - the tickets said 7:00 pm, and he didn't take the stage until about 7:45. Although there were a lot of people still trickling in, it would have been nice to have at least an opening act to entertain us if he didn't plan to come on stage until almost an hour after we'd been sitting there. Also, does every venue absolutely have to scalp you on everything? I had already shelled out a pretty penny to be there, and the Toyota Center has the gall to charge $7.00 for a lousy Miller Lite? I so enjoy taking it up the rear from corporations...

As for the act - it was very good. I like his storytelling style, and he has a really honest perspective of the inner workings of the pseudo-adolescent male mind. It is really good insight on what your boyfriend/sig. other is thinking about at any given time. Although I did hear from several people there that he used some old material, he apparently had a lot of new also, and combined his best stuff for about a 1 1/2 hour set (encore included).

After the show we dropped by my friend Matt's for his yearly Christmas party and drank some really good beer. Now if I can just finish my Christmas shopping...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Caught a couple of new flicks this weekend. On Friday we took in a fabulous steak dinner at Texas Land & Cattle, and then headed over to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to watch American Gangster with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Although the movie was very good, we made the mistake of going to the late show, and this film is LONG. We were falling asleep by the end of it, and didn't leave the theater until after 1:00 am. It seems they tried to make it a little of everything: cop movie, action movie, drama, love story, etc. It ends up feeling a little like overkill by the end, and you end up just waiting for it to end. It also didn't help that the movie cut off twice and we had to wait for them to turn it back on, but we did get free movie passes out of the situation.

While there, we discovered they were showing a sneak peek of The Golden Compass the following night, so we decided to come back. This time we ate in the movie, and it was yummy. Watching this film reminded me of Stardust, Narnia and Eragon. It seems like they are searching for the next Harry Potter with this new crop of fantasy movies derived from popular children's novels. It also doesn't help that it is being touted as an athiest movie because of the author's beliefs. Children are smarter than we give them credit for, and if you attach your agendas to something to try to make them swallow it, they will resent you for it. That being said, and looking at the movie in a strictly objective way, it fell short for me. The girl was very good in her role, and the scenery was fantastic, but sometimes the CG animals were way too CG, and they could have made the story feel more complete rather than preparing you for the inevitable trilogy that MUST follow any moderately successful movie nowadays. Frankly, it makes me as weary to wait for the next installment as it did to watch the end of Eragon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving and all that stuff...

Wow, long weekend, lots of stuff happening. Started out with the holiday, of course. Lots and lots of food and hanging out with the family. Probably put on a few pounds, but whatevs. Friday we headed over to the Marq'E to see Beowulf in 3-D, and the early show was sold out, so we killed some time at the Dave & Buster's that used to be Jillian's. The entire shopping center over there looks like a cemetary of shops that once were. It's disappointing that they put so much money into that center, and it seems that nothing can stay open except Cafe Adobe and the Cinema.

Let me start off by talking about the Dave & Buster's. It is not located very far from the other, bigger, and better location on Richmond. You would think they would provide excellent service to ensure they will remain open. However, each employee we came across was rude and indifferent. I'd rather drive to the other location and get a better experience. It is nice that they have lowered the price on the games, and the tickets you win on some of the midway games can be conveniently counted and put on the same card you have for gameplay.

Next we headed to Cafe Adobe, a place that I have had bad experiences at before, but usually at the other Westheimer location. This time was fine, but I can't figure out how they run their service. Our waiter seemed to be overloaded with tables, and he had a team of lesser-experienced people running food out for him. Why not train everyone equally, and have good service for each table without the long wait? We only ordered drinks and an appetizer, and we were there over an hour and a half.

Now for the movie: I was very pleasantly surprised. I was skeptical because previous all-CG movies I have seen have left me wanting, but this one, perhaps partially because it was in 3-D format, worked beautifully. The characters were not as wooden as I expected, and the creatures were extremely intense. The Grendel character was a surprise, and you really feel for him as you do for Gollum in the LOTR movies. If you are debating on seeing this movie, go see it in 3-D before it is gone from the theaters. You won't be disappointed.

On Saturday morning we headed out to the Renaissance Festival once more on the last weekend, but it was very cold, very wet, very muddy, and not very fun. The folks that work there were doing their best to put on a cheerful face for the few that showed up, but it wasn't working to keep the crowd there.

Yesterday evening was full of merrymaking for our friends Betsey and Mandy who were having a dual birthday celebration. We started off the night at Chuy's Tex-Mex restaurant on Westheimer, and it was crowded as usual. The service was good, but the poor girl was so overworked that she kept forgetting drinks and such. It took a very long time to order, but the food came out in a reasonable amount of time, and it was good. They do need more servers for their busy nights, though.

After dinner, it was on to the Mezzanine Lounge, a sports bar that has numerous large flat-panel TVs, and several lounge areas. Our group settled in an upstairs lounge, and we were so very Texan and boisterous that we offended some Kansas fans who were trying to watch a football game in peace and quiet... at a sports bar. Well, I can't say we felt very sorry for them, and they looked a little silly waving their stalks of wheat around anyway. Since our group was large, we were treated to some free drinks, and the birthday girls got some huge fishbowl birthday drinks. I actually got one too because the bartender made an extra, and they handed it to me since my birthday had been fairly recent. We had jello shots and cupcakes courtesy of the birthday girls, and watched Kansas and Missouri battle a close game.

Finally we ended the night at Etro Lounge, a bar just off Montrose that specializes in retro music. The club is decked out very cool, and it isn't too big or too small, and if you like 80's music, the DJ is terrific. We had a great time dancing, drinking and hanging out. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Second City at UH Homecoming

If you were one of the lucky few to catch the (free to students) $5 show at U of H last night, then you were treated to some excellent entertainment by the Second City touring company. Second City is based out of Chicago, and is a mostly improv group that began some of the great comedic talents like Bill Murray and Tina Fey. I had the honor of being friends with one of these multi-talented people, and was able to catch the show after my evening class. Unfortunately, it wasn't given the advertisement it should have, so there were a lot of empty seats. The only reason I knew about it was from my friend in the show. The show was part of the UH Homecoming celebrations all week, and only got a blurb of a mention on the website.

But what a great performance! I take my hat off to these guys who throw themselves out there with skeleton scripts and audience prompts to determine what course their skits will take. A few of the skits had some stumbling blocks, but for the most part they had the audience rolling with their antics. If you ever get a chance to see these guys live, GO! It is like watching a live episode of "Whose Line is it Anyway?". Just hilarious. And a shout out to my friend Anthony who rocked his performance!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ren Fest Almost Over...

I always like to attend the Texas Renaissance Festival at least once every year, because it is such fun to people-watch all the interesting folks who dress up. This year, I was one of them, and had it not been slightly hot and muggy, it would have been excellent! The fair has been enjoying terrific weather this year, so the crowds have been large. At the midpoint of the day, it even became difficult to walk through the wide pathways due to all the people. As usual, there were the bar wenches with their cleavage cinched up to their chins, and there was the occasional fairy, barbarian, pirate, and especially kilted Scotsmen, since the theme for the weekend was Scottish Highlands. Only two weekends left for the fair for those who haven't been yet this year - next weekend is the barbarian theme, and Thanksgiving weekend lasts Friday through Sunday with a Christmas theme. I highly recommend the boysenberry mead, located at the Greek Agora, as well as their wonderful gyros, and I can't go out there without munching on a turkey leg! The wine tasting is a lot of fun, and there are several terrific shows besides the joust and the impressive fireworks show at the end of the day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Halloween!

We went out on Saturday night to the annual Halloween Bash, held this year at BUS, the bar across from Minute Maid Park. It was definitely Halloween, grown-up style, with a $25 cover charge which included draft beer, jello shots, and some concoction I did not sample called "witches' brew". Just about everyone there comes in costume, and there are the standard costume contests, but they also do couple and group themes, so it gets interesting to see how creative people have been. There were a group of smurfs, some Pac-Man characters, lots of pirates, firemen/women, pimps, witches and vampires. The most interesting guy costume had to be the 8 foot tall tampon (painted red, of course) who was carrying around a bucket of regular-sized tampons to give out. The ladies, although less outlandish showed more skin, so it was a chilly walk through downtown. I like the way this party is advertized, with the emphasis on safety - they suggest close accomodations, they list cab companies on the web site, and offer free non-alcoholic drinks to all designated drivers. We had a great time, and I hope to go again next year!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Venting about The Cure and Toyota Center

I had 14th row floor tickets to see The Cure at Toyota Center last night. Perhaps it is my own fault for my over-utilization of my Ipod (due to the fact that Houston has crap radio stations playing the same mundane bull over and over), that I somehow missed the news that the concert, and moreover the entire North American leg of the tour, had been postponed. It was only after searching the web for the directions and opening act that I happened to find the news posted on a random goth blog, and then on The Cure's own website accompanied by one of the lamest excuses I have ever heard to cancel a tour: to tweak their upcoming album. So here I am sitting at home after skipping class, and my fiancee has requested off work, to go to a concert that is not happening. What ticks me off most is that despite the fact that I spent a large amount of money on these tickets, I was not informed by anyone via e-mail or otherwise, that the event had been cancelled and how to go about being reimbursed. When Coldplay was scheduled to play at the Woodlands back in the fall of 2005, and we were hit by Hurricane Rita, the concert was rescheduled to a reasonable later date, ticket buyers were contacted even in the midst of a city evacuation about reimbursement, and they smoothed it over with much finesse. This situation was handled poorly by the band, the Toyota Center, and the ticketing agency. The concert is rescheduled for June of next year, and I have no intention of going to see them again. Too bad since I have been a fan for so many years, but this is no way to treat loyal American fans. Only by reading the fine print on the band's web page did I find that reimbursement can only be attained until November 1st - not much help to those who bought tickets for the end of October, and are not notified of the cancellation. So I have to navigate the red tape of both of these companies to even get my money returned. What a pain in the ass - wish I had a cure for that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Elizabeth Returns

Forget the movies based on comic book heroes, how about one that actually existed? And a woman, at that! I absolutely loved the first film with Cate Blanchett, and although this one is like it in many ways, there are a few differences as well. It is much more grand, probably because she is now settled into her monarchy, and the opulence that goes along with the title. There are larger than life scenes, like the sea battle and the attempt on her life. Every frame of the film is beautiful, and the story is riveting. It is made all the more so due to the fact that you are constantly telling yourself that it all really happened. I loved the portrayal of the Spanish King Philip - it was just desperate and evil enough with a dash of comical. They don't really go into the particulars of the Spanish Inquisition, only the ominance of it. However, the torture suffered at the hands of Walsingham was bad enough - I would not want to be on his bad side. As always, Cate is wonderful, as is Geoffrey Rush. Clive Owen seems a little stiff in his role as Raleigh, but "sails" through it well enough. Okay, enough cheesy puns for today. Go out and see the movie!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Paul Van Dyk at Warehouse Live

I braved yet another Wednesday night to the club gods to see Paul Van Dyk, who has been one of my favorite DJs for a long time. I was not sure what to expect, since I had been disappointed before with both Paul Oakenfold and DJ AM, but this show was fantastic! He took the stage at 8:00 pm, and was still going strong by the time we left (he was not scheduled to leave the stage until 2:00 am!) Even though the crowd was sparse in the early hours, he was connecting with the audience, and playing really lovely sets. The show took place at Warehouse Live, a large concert venue close to downtown. We had VIP tickets, which probably would have been really useful later when Van Dyk left the stage, because we got word that he would be in the VIP area afterward. Also, the drinks are cheaper and the bathrooms are cleaner and less crowded in the VIP area - both plus factors in my book. By midnight the place had filled up with an interesting mix of people, but everyone there was having a genuinely good time, the music was upbeat, and there was a really nice vibe going on. All club-light paraphernalia was being confiscated at the door and on the dance floor in case it was snuck in, and there were no nutty ravers to be seen. There was also no smoking allowed inside, which gave the room a much fresher feel than a normal club atmosphere. All this combined with some really great music and crowd interaction with the DJ, and it was truly my favorite club DJ experience to date. I would see him again in a heartbeat!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Eastern Promises

Didn't have a very busy weekend considering I'm in the midst of exams, but I was able to catch a flick this weekend. Eastern Promises is the new Viggo Mortensen drama in theaters, but it hasn't been getting much press, probably because of its graphic content. His other movie of similar style, A History of Violence, was treated in the same way by both the theaters and most audiences. However, it won't be too much for anyone who can sit through an episode of The Sopranos. Yes, there is violence. Yes, there are bones breaking. Yes, there are nude/sex scenes. Yes, it is disturbing at times. This is not a pretty film, but it is very good. I listened to several women in the bathroom after the film griping about how graphic it was. However, none of them said it was a bad movie, and none of them complained about seeing Viggo in all his naked glory (its about time we get some gratuitous male nudity after all the unnecessary boob shots in filmdom). People were walking out with a look of shock, but none could say the movie didn't stick with them in more ways than one.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

DJ AM at Rich's

We went out on a school night to Rich's last night to see DJ AM, better known as Nicole Richie's ex-boyfriend. We got there early in club time - 10:30, and the place was pretty empty. The opening DJ was still spinning, and doing a pretty decent job, even though there weren't enough people out to justify venturing onto the dance floor.
DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) came on without being announced, but you could tell the music selection had changed. Rather than stick to electronica/trance/normal club remixes, he incorporates a lot of different music genres into his playlist. I'm not necessarily saying that is a good thing. While it is interesting to hear "Sweet Home Alabama" transform into generic 80's pop music, and then into Justin Timberlake, it makes it difficult to dance to. By midnight the place was filling up fast, and by the time we left, shortly before 1:00 am, there was no elbow room. Unfortunately, the music seemed to be getting better as the night went on, and had it been a weekend, I would have gladly stayed to find out. As it was, I was not very impressed by his Hollywood credentials, and even though he has partied with Paris Hilton, I preferred the guy who opened for him. Perhaps he uses these types of venues to try out new things on the crowd. However, I watched him for a while, and while he was very involved in what he was doing, he never raised his head to see the reaction of the crowd when they paused puzzlingly at the strange mix of music. You have to play to your audience, even if you are a Hollywood big shot. Definitely not worth the $20 per person cover charge.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Today's Headlines

Wow, some of the headlines from CNN are making me go, "huh?"... I mean, who is writing this stuff, and I hope they are getting a good laugh out of it.

Latest News
YouTubers, comedians mock O.J. Simpson .... um, did you expect them not to?
Student Tasered at Kerry event .... freedom of speech, anyone?
Ticker: Rapper 50 Cent weighs in on W.H. race .... can someone tell me why this is news?
Dragster disintegrates in flames at 310 mph .... who was driving, Wile E. Coyote?
WSB: Armless man quizzed in neighbor's death .... do I need to comment?
Man puts rattlesnake in mouth, gets bitten .... call Darwin Awards, we have a runner-up
WDSU: Expert: Sirens irritate killer bees .... great, now we can piss them off even more!
No testimony from ex-Spears bodyguard .... when will this mad circus end?
Prostitution plan zaps buyers, not sellers .... could we get a great big helping of DUH this morning?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Everybody's Talking: Britney's a Hot Mess

I don't make it a point to watch the VMAs every year, mostly because MTV doesn't actually show videos any more (and I LOVE the fact that Timberlake made a point to say that twice!), so I have no idea which ones are worth winning. But I heard the hype, and watched while putting together some new bedroom furniture, and it delivered on the entertainment factor. I knew it would be interesting when the first thing we see is a close-up of Britney Spears' very bad hair extensions. Poor thing... her performance was, in a word, laughable. It amazes me that these girls can surround themselves with yes-people and ignore the blatant fact that everyone has stopped being a fan (not that I ever was). After the lip-synching, jiggling, tripping, and being helped around onstage by her dancers, the performance was followed up by a scathing bunch of jokes at her expense. So now all the gossip is about the fight between Tommy Lee and Kid Rock, Kanye West's temper tantrum, Paris Hilton leaking the fact (that we already knew) that Christina Aguilera is pregnant, and the really good performances by Chris Brown, Alicia Keys, the Foo Fighters, and others. All the gossip blogs are a buzz...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

After finally going to see The Bourne Ultimatum this week (pretty good flick, and nice way to round out the trilogy), we ultimately got to the long weekend, on which my birthday sometimes falls, as it did this year. I spent part of it in the great metropolis of Beaumont, and hung with family before going out on the town with some old friends on Saturday night. We started the night at Floyd's, an odd name for a seafood restaurant, but very tasty fare. The restaurant used to be Don's, but has since taken on a new name, a new feel, and better food. Floyd loves to walk around amongst his patrons and speak in his very unique Cajun-slash-street slang. He is quite a character, and the food is fabulous. Had we not stuffed ourselves on my own grandmother's amazing seafood gumbo, we probably would have eaten much more. Afterwards, we headed over to Comedy, Texas and saw three stand-up acts that were all very good. The group was not done yet, though. We headed over to the grand opening of Cadillac Slim's, a new pool hall/bar/club that before the end of the night was looking a lot like Coyote Ugly, complete with girls dancing on the bar. Although we lost some of our group after that, a few of us went over to Pacesetter to finish out the night. Apparently it is the after hours place to go, because it got more crowded after midnight and beyond. It was a late, late night, but a lot of fun. All in all, a good birthday, even if we missed the Goo Goo Dolls/Lifehouse concert because we were still hung over from the night before!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stardust and Social

Went out on the big town last night and enjoyed the new movie Stardust with Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro. It was an okay movie - not on the same level as Pan's Labyrinth or 300, but a decent fantasy flick filmed in some really gorgeous scenic locations. Claire Danes plays a rather bitchy fallen star at first, but she eventually gets a little easier to bear by the end of the movie. Not nearly her best work, though. The newcomer/main character played by Charlie Cox was done well, but the best part goes to DeNiro for his cross-dressing pirate captain.

Later in the evening, we met some friends at The Social, over on Washington between Yale and Heights Blvd. The DJ was good, although he played a lot of retro stuff, and there was new decor. Lots of pretty people packed the joint, and it was very good for people-watching. There is no dance floor any more, but plenty of patio space, two bars, and lots of wait staff. The valet guys were very nice, even though the $10 charge was steep, it pays to not have to park and walk for blocks - also, everyone got to see me get out of my new car!! We also got our picture snapped by some guys from the Houston Press, and here is the link to see it!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Don't Mess With Marcellus Wallace

Damn, dude...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Talented Friends

In the last week I've seen a few friends performing around town and I just wanted to give a shout out to them so maybe others can catch their performances as well. Although the show has finished its cycle, my friend Natalie played one of the leads in a musical called Sideshow, and the entire cast was really terrific. The show featured two ladies playing Siamese twins trying to break out of the sideshow and into vaudeville. The production company belongs to Natalie's husband, and I hope to see more from them soon.

On Saturday night we ventured out to Katy and caught a friend's band playing at FBI II. The band, Last Man, went on second to last, actually. They have a good metal sound, but it comes across as slightly Rage Against the Machine as well. They also used the Deftones as a comparison to their sound. Give these guys a listen, as they will be playing at Fitzgerald's next weekend.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Potter Mania 2007, Vol. 2

By some miracle, I managed to finish reading The Deathly Hallows before anyone could spoil it for me, and I was enthralled by this last volume more so than any of the others. Perhaps it was the hype, or the fact that all the puzzles would finally come together in this one, but I have to give it up to Rowling for putting out a very exciting last chapter to our favorite boy wizard. To anyone who hasn't read it yet, go do so before someone gives away the ending. You won't be disappointed! I hope the movie does it justice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm in Trouble Now...

After months of agonizing over it, I finally broke down and bought an RX-8. It is little, red, SO cute, and rides like a dream. Someone finally bought my old car, and after I test-drove this one, the decision was made for me. Now I just have to keep from getting any speeding tickets so I can afford the note! Loving the speed...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Potter Mania 2007, Vol. 1

Yes, I was in the theater at midnight last night with all the other crazies to see the new Harry Potter movie, and yes, my book 7 is pre-ordered. This movie was good, to be sure, but as any fan of the book would be, I was irritated by the changes brought about through the translation onto screen. The Luna Lovegood and Delores Umbridge parts were well-cast, and both actresses did very well. All three of the main characters have come such a long way in their acting, and it shows on screen. Radcliffe most especially is coming into his own and will surely have a strong career after the last two movies are finished. The beginning of the movie worked well for showing his range, as did his struggle at the end (which was not in the book, but seemed to work fairly well for the movie). One annoying aspect for me was that Ron seemed to be mumbling through most of his lines. It may have been the loud theater, but most of what I could hear was quite funny, and I wish it would have been clearer. Oh well, that's why I always buy the movie and watch it at home as loud as I want. Now I get to fight sleep all day at work until I can crash blissfully as soon as I get home today.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wet Weekend, Watching Movies

Saw some very cool movies this weekend. Two at the theater - the new Transformers movie, which is a Michael Bay action-fest, and 1408, the new John Cusack thriller. Transformers, despite the occasional cheesy line, was definitely worth seeing, especially on the big screen. It was packed with car chases, explosions, and the usual action flick fare, but the CGI was done very well, and it was done tastefully enough that many brought their children in to see it. I was also pleased to hear some of the old voices from the cartoon series. Lots of fun to watch, and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. As for 1408, I spent most of the movie jumping out of my seat. John Cusack plays a cynical writer who stays in a haunted room of a hotel, and from the moment he checks in to the end of the movie, I was jumping, closing my eyes, and even yelling out loud at one point. I haven't jumped like that in a movie since The Ring. Finally, I was able to snag a copy of The Fountain from my local Blockbuster, and it was such a beautiful film. It is visually stunning, with a lovely soundtrack and a very interesting take on the story of creation as to how it applies to many religions. I'll probably end up adding that one to my collection. Hope everyone had a drier weekend than mine.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dramatic Chipmunk

I've already sent this to just about everyone I know, but I'm not tired of watching it. It's claiming to be the funniest 5 second video on the internet, and I'm bound to believe them. The music makes it even more hilarious, so make sure you have the sound on. The expression on this little guy's face is priceless!!!

Dramatic Chipmunk (really a prairie dog, but who cares - be sure to check out the remixes, too!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What a Way to Go...

Naked couple falls to their deaths from roof of building in South Carolina. You gotta wonder what the heck their families are going to say in the eulogies. If this one doesn't end up in the Darwin Awards, I don't know what will.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Still Got It!!

I started the summer out the right way - attending a concert on the lawn at the Woodlands. The concert tickets were a Mother's Day gift to my mom, who attended with me and my boyfriend. It was a double-header of excellent veteran performers: Chris Issak and Stevie Nicks.

Chris was extremely charismatic as usual, garbed in wild-colored suits (one of which he ripped in the seat during his romp thru the audience), and trading barbs and jokes with his band.

Stevie as well put on a really good show, complete with flowy scarves and lots of twirling in place. She gets a little personal about the stories behind the writing of the songs, but it was a lovely show, and they are both still very good at holding an audience in the palms of their hands. It was a nice day and evening out with my mom, and she enjoyed it as well.
Life is really good... it's good to be in love.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Across the Globe

Just returned from my first visit to the Middle East. Just between Saudi Arabia and UAE is a tiny country called Qatar, which happens to be growing very quickly. I spent a week in the capital city of Doha visiting my friend, and was surprised to find it quite westernized. Driving from the airport I passed a Chili's, McDonalds, Burger King, Applebees, Dairy Queen, and a Hardees among others. The English-speaking television stations run episodes of Dr. Phil, Oprah, CSI, Medium, Entertainment Tonight, and numerous other shows and movies we are used to seeing here. All in all, it was an eye-opening trip, and I really enjoyed it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Two Morons

I set my TV as an alarm, and I was rudely awakened this morning by two morons screaming at each other. After I realized I was not having a bad dream, I looked over and saw Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera (two of my least favorite people) going at it like a couple of pit bulls. I just have to ask - why are these two idiots on TV, and who values their opinions about anything?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Back from the West

Just returned from a wonderful California ski trip to Tahoe. If you can afford it, the area is great for skiing as well as having plenty of other entertainment. It's a short drive to Reno, and there are a few top ski resorts surrounding the lake. I was at Heavenly, probably the most popular in the area, and the runs are nicely laid out so all the green runs are in one area, and several black runs take up one side as well. Beginners shouldn't be intimidated by the number of blue runs - they are very user friendly and wide. Although the first few days of skiing were good, a winter storm came through the Sierras and dumped 2 feet of snow overnight, giving us a nice powder day before we left.
On the way to Tahoe we saw the Giant Sequoias, which are magnificent! The road up is full of twists and turns, but is certainly worth the drive. There is a considerable amount of conservation that has taken place in the area, since the area was heavily exploited beginning in the 1950s. The park is the home of the largest living thing on earth, (and probably one of the oldest) a mammoth tree named General Sherman.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Back to the Movies

I don't see the point in keeping a reviews blog since most of the movies I watch are on video (no one likes going to the theater alone). I may post on an exceptional one every now and again here, but that's it. I have seen two exceptional movies in the last week and a half, and I just wanted to comment on them both. Neither movie is for the faint of heart.

Pan's Labyrinth is enjoying a resurgence at the theater after winning a few Oscars, and it seems to be doing well in the American cinema despite the fact that most Americans can't abide subtitles. This is no, I repeat, NO child's fairy tale. It is dark, twisted, and shows a side of humanity we don't like to think exists. There are two plotlines in the movie, and both are equally compelling, even though one is more fanciful than the other. It is a grown-up version of Down the Rabbit Hole, and be prepared for it - they hold nothing back in this one.

The other movie I have been waiting on pins and needles to see opened today. 300 is the story of the legendary Spartan army of 300 men that took on thousands of Persians. The story is by the same graphic novelist Frank Miller, who is responsible for Sin City. This time, a younger director is at the helm, and the picture is both epic and lovely, reminding me much of Gladiator. The battles are beautiful to watch, more like a dance than fighting, if you can stand the spattering of blood. The movie is shot in a sienna tint, making the bloody scenes less gory somehow. The mythical characters are all hideous and distorted, not brilliant like the old stories of Greek mythology. For me it was all over too quickly, and I was left wanting more. This is definitely one for the library.

Until summer, I'll probably keep patronizing my local Blockbuster - the crowds and the cost are too much to see every worthy movie at the theater. I'm patiently awaiting the big ones, like the third Spiderman, and the next Harry Potter movie, but a few interesting gems seem to be popping up, like Angel A. Enjoy a good one this weekend.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The TIme has Come...

Just a reminder to all to be sure and take down your Christmas decorations before they stop being cute and start being obnoxious.

Resolutions for the new year: no more loser boyfriends, have to go skiing at least once this year, and finish what I begin.