Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Magazine

I'm now accepting suggestions for my next magazine subscription. Last year's magazine was Ode, but it's shallow and silly and advertises cigarettes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Movie

I watched Casino Royale last night. Good flick. Judi Dench had bed-head in every scene.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Wine Kitchen

We wandered into a den of deliciousness yesterday (and the day before), the Wine Kitchen on King Street in Leesburg. Yum. Good wine.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Brief Book Review

Okay, so, Raymond Carver. I finished reading Cathedral a few days ago. Overall, he's not my kind of guy. Almost all the stories are plotless and uninteresting. The writing is plain. People live their (usually semi-bleak) lives and go through their days and wives/mothers abandon the family and husbands/fathers drink heavily and sometimes it's hard to find a job and so on.

There's very little action in the stories. In one scene a child was hit by a bus, and I cheered (I really did) because finally something happened. But generally people have dinner and do a lot of smoking and maybe even go somewhere in the car from time to time. If I can get "slice of life" from life itself, why would I go to literature, or any art? A minor exception was the title story. It featured interesting interactions between people and a main character that bordered on likeable.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Carver, Almost

I'm one story away from finishing Cathedral. I should hold off until I finish to deliver a final verdict about the writing of this Raymond Carver fellow. Yes, I'll hold off.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tonight's Plan

I'll be sipping beer this evening at Broad Street Cafe's 7:30 pm open mic night. Jordan Okrend's playing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Book

My friend Melissa has a children's book out. Go have a look.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Movie

Last week I watched Paris, je t'aime, a collection of 18 short movies set in Paris. Most were very good, a few weren't. My final recommendation vote for the whole thing is: Yes. Good. I like. I recommend. Worth a rental.

Tom Tykwer did one that stars Melchior Beslon (he had a very good minor part in The Princess and the Warrior), Steve Buscemi's in another (he doesn't say a word, but he's still excellent), and Elijah Wood stars in the dumbest short film of the collection (okay, okay, if you're swept up in all this recent vampire foolishness, you might like it). Wikipedia sums it up nicely.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Music

Occasionally I like to nourish my high-brow side. To that end (hee hee), I present the Singing Butts. The Brahms Lullaby is particularly exquisite. Here's their YouTube promo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Video Time

It's time for some YouTube fun.

Ricky Gervais and Elmo have a chat.

Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong sing.

A good Pink Panther scene.

The Marx Brothers mirror scene.

A Fawlty Towers classic.

Stay away from those related links. You'll waste hours.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friends

I had a very superstrong movie recommendation from a friend today for Shattered Glass. Anyone else seen that? It's now next on my Avid Video (I wish they had a Web site) list.

And in the next few days I'll be picking up Raymond Carver's Cathedral from the library. I hope the book (and my friend's recommendation) aren't part of the movement that feels fiction has to be bleak, depressing, and "serious" to be considered good. Downers suck. I promise to report back.

A third friend this morning delivered an excellent synopsis of the movie An Education. The premise of a man picking up, in his car, a 16-year-old girl who's waiting out in the rain was a bit much for me. (Come on, I mean, "...his car is warm aaaaand dry..." Enough already.) After hearing this, I assured my friend I had no intention of seeing the movie and she could confidently tell me the whole story--including the ending. She did a good job. I now know exactly what happens, and it's checked off my list. Vanity Fair ran an interesting article.

If I didn't have friends I'd never read books or see movies. Here's to friends.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reading

While waiting for an oil change at Mark Jacobson Toyota (and thank God one doesn't have to interact with this Mark character himself when one goes for service), I ran into (in to?) a friend who strongly recommended the writing of Raymond Carver. I've never read his fiction. If you have, I'd be tickled if you'd weigh in.