Sunday, February 22, 2009

Technical Difficulties - Oscars

We had a "technical difficulties" song at camp to distract the kids while we tried to figure out what was going wrong with the computers. I would sing that song to you now if I could.

For some reason I don't understand, I am suddenly having trouble getting the pictures from my camera to my computer. I have been taking pictures and when I have time to sit down and figure out what's going with my software. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow. I have the pictures... promise!

Also, the Oscars are tonight. Not that things really matter, but they're interesting. I entered my office Oscar pool and really could use that money. Fingers crossed, guys.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pic of the Day

I finally made it to the film forum - only 6 short months after moving here. I got to see my first Godard film in a theatre. It was "Made in USA" - a movie somewhat based on the Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) novel The Jugger. It's not available in the US on DVD because the producers nor Godard ever actually paid for the rights to the story by Westlake.

Film Forum, Houston Street, West Village, Manhattan


Pic of the day - Yesterday's

This is the pic for 2-18-09. I didn't get home until very late, but I did take this picture last night on my way home. I was too tired to make this picture upload.

You may have to click on this pic and make it big to realize... there is a suit of armor guarding this store!

7th Ave, Park Slope Brooklyn.

(I didn't get the cross street because I was on the phone with Ian and not paying attention.)


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pic of the day

Roots Cafe
18th & 5th, Park Slope, Brooklyn
This is a painting by Jake Nelson. He painted it on stage during his friend's show, and it now hangs in Roots Cafe.
I promise to leave the neighborhood tomorrow so the picture will not be from 18th & 5th.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I live in New York City, the most photogenic and interesting of all American cities (yeah, that's right. Suck it, St. Paul!) I've decided to take a picture every day and post it on this blog here. It may be a sign, a cool building, etc. Who knows?

This is a mural on the side of the Eagle Provision grocery store. I wish that stupid pole wasn't in the way.
(18th & 5th, Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Young Frankenstein & Fire & Delays. What a Great Night.

Thursday morning I receive a text from a friend in town interviewing for jobs. Suzanne asks I want to attend a Broadway show that night, and I tell her it has to be cheap. Then I get one back saying it’s her treat since she already bought the tickets.

Young Frankenstein. 8 o’clock.

One’s first Broadway show is a bit overwhelming. I’m not sure where the theatre is or what to wear. My roommate Allison (who works in fashion) suggests shirt and tie, but no coat. I arrive at the theatre to find I’m a bit overdressed compared to the rest of the crowd. However, I’m fine with this. It’s theatre. One should dress up. I wore a suit to the Shakespeare Festival back in Alabama, so Broadway should warrant at least a tie, no matter where you call home. At least I’m looking like a slack jawed yokel like the guy next to me. Shorts? Sneakers? Jersey? And the rest of the country looks down on Southerners. At least I can tie a tie.

Once settled into our seats, we begin the wait for the show. Someone comes out on stage and informs us they are having computer problems and asks for 10 minutes. Suzanne and continue chatting, sometimes with a thick New York accent sporting woman next to us. The same man comes out and asks for 10 or 15 more minutes. A transformer on the street is causing problems.

During this wait, Suzanne and I are asked a question you never want to hear in a theatre: “Does it smell like something is burning?” our neighbor asks us. Unfortunately, it does. The fire alarms do go off temporarily. (Cue “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre” joke.) Suzanne then notices the theatre is smoky. No one is leaving, so we don’t either. I guess we’re those people who stay behind during natural disasters assuming the best. (At least we’d get interviews on CNN… if we survived.)

As it turns out, the kabob stand in front of the theatre has caught fire and filled the building with smoke. At least it’s not us. This may be why the monster is so afraid of fire. It really makes things happen later than intended. Suzanne and the temporary neighbor assure me this is not normal. This has never happened, and they’ve both been to dozen of shows. I guess they don’t realize I think this is fantastic. This is a great first Broadway experience, because I have a story for parties. I’m an English major. I live for that.

Finally, they ask for a few more minutes and the show starts around 8:45.

The show is great, though I, as a Broadway virgin, have nothing to which I can compare it. The sets are huge and beautiful and fast changing, and the cast is funny and can sing. Igor certainly steals the show. (The song "He Was My Boyfriend" is still stuck in my head.)

In the end, Broadway may be overpriced and Times Square an unholy tourist ridden hell hole, but it’s worth it. Just make sure the kabob cart out front is fire proof.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To Have Bogey and Bacall on the Big Screen

Imagine - if you can, I know this is difficult for some - being a fervent Woody Allen fan. Now imagine, and this may be even harder, being that same Allen fan in Alabama. Recently I drove from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham (1 hour) just to watch “Vicki Christina Barcelona.” (It was well worth it, and not just for the over-hyped, transatlantic lesbian kiss between Johanson and Cruz.)

Part of the reason I love Woody Allen is that I love the movies. The classics: “Casablanca,” “Citizen Kane,” “The Godfather,” “8 1/2” and “To Have and Have Not.”

Unlike Allen I didn’t grow up in an area where I could see these films in their original big screen glory. (Of course, given Allen’s neuroticism and sexual frustrations, perhaps not growing up in Brooklyn was ultimately a good thing.)

Finally, I have made the northward move from ‘Bama to Brooklyn, and I had the chance tonight to see Howard Hawks’ “To Have and Have Not” in a real theatre, with a real audience and real (really) salty popcorn. It's a movie I own and have seen, but never like this. The BAM Rose Theatre is in the middle of Hawks film festival, which means I may soon be broke.

No offense to Bose and the new fabulous home theatre systems from major tech companies (I’d still like to own one if anyone is feeling generous), but these movies are meant to be seen in uncomfortable seats in cold theatres surrounded by happy strangers. The names involved in this production are too big to be contained in a television: Howard Hawks. Humphrey Bogart. Lauren Bacall. William Faulkner. Ernest Hemingway.

Bacall has never looked sultrier than she did on a giant screen. Bogey never more badass. Hawks' direction never seemed more sure. The audience certainly took notice.

Seeing this film with a live audience changed my perception of it. The movie was much funnier than I remembered, and I have the laughing, paying public to thank for reminding me. Bogart's reaction to Bacall's famous "whistle" line generated several belly laughs, causing a big smile to find its way to my face. Bacall's impersonation of a character flirting with Bogart's Captain Morgan (yes, Captain Morgan) also drew laughs, reminding me this familiar scene is genuinely funny.

I love my DVDs. I love that I can pull out Jean Luc Godard’s “Breathless” or Allen’s “Manhattan” and watch them on a cinematic whim. However, if I have chance to either on the big screen, I’ll be sacrificing a few meals to pay to see them the way they were meant to be seen - large, loud, bright and beautiful. The experience is priceless, and we should take advantage of every chance we get.

Let's Do This!

So I've decided to start blogging again. It's true. It's been a while since I've done this (over a year if you look at the previous post.)

But I'm back, baby! And in New York! 

I'll be posting about movies, music, life in NYC and my constant job search.


Sunday, August 05, 2007


Avett Brothers
My favorite CD of the year so far. Fantastic.

Straw Man Politics: or Why I Vote Nader Every Election

This presidential race is making progressively more uncomfortable with modern American politics.
Have you ever heard of the straw man argument? Basically, if we are debating two different sides of an issue (and by the way, since when are there only two sides to every issue? Some issues have multiple views.), I would repeat your argument in a way that is misinterpreting what you say, making it easier to defeat.
This race is full of straw man debates. The first and most noticeable was Guiliani's ridiculous attack on Ron Paul in the South Carolina Fox "News" Debate. This is on YouTube if anyone cares to view it. Paul discusses problems with American foreign policy over the last few years (extending back to the Clinton years), and how this contributed to a society that wanted to attack us. And did attack us. Guiliani (and Fox News "moderator" to loosely use the term), changes what he said. Paul was discussing foreign policy mistakes, and Guiliani restates his statement as blaming America for the attack. This was a cheap tactic to score political points and works against the best interest of debate.
Guiliani is satisfied to over simplify the situation to a soundbite just to score cheap points with hawkish neocons.
Is this the kind of leader we want? A man willing to ignore important information just to please a part of his base?
In the most recent debates, Romney changes Obama's remarks regarding meeting with foreign dictators. (Though to be fair to Romney, Clinton changed them first. He was just following her lead.) He said Obama would agree to sit down and have tea with our enemies, when this is not what he said at all in the CNN debates. This is exactly what Clinton said when she conveniently re-worded Obama's point in order to make him sound naive. In case you didn't catch that though, she was more than willing to call him naive directly.
I'm deeply troubled we have reached a stage where these arguments fly, and the American people are content to watch politicians attack and lie about each other, rather than find out who is most qualified to lead this country.
Based on their behavior in the campaign, I would never vote Guilian, Romney or Clinton if this is how they choose to conduct themselves.
It's looking like I will be voting for Nader again...