Feb 28, 2007

Far Out

Had soooo much fun last night.

A local artsy-type cinema in my town had a Big Lebowski party for no real reason than to get a bunch of us fans drunk and screaming and laughing at the film on the big screen.

$15 cover charge gave us admission along with a one-year subscription to Pulse magazine (whatever that is) and all-you-can-drink White Russians! Awesome! We even had a pre-party at a friends house where we drank...you guessed it...White Russians!

There is a drinking game that is played to this movie where you try to drink a White Russian every time the Dude drinks one. It's not easy, my friends. I've tried it. Whew!

Anyway, it was a blast. I was never one for the midnight Rocky Horror experience, but seeing one of my favorite films with 150 or so other fans was a hoot and a half. I laughed more last night than I did in any previous viewing of the film, and I've seen it a lot!

They plan on doing things like this more often. Last month they had a sing-along to the musical episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I missed it. And if you know anything about me or my obsession with all things Buffy, then you know I was crushed. I, sadly, didn't find out about it until the night it played. Late that night. Dammit!!

Back to last night. Fun, fun, fun. Can't wait to see what they do next month.

PS - any comments about my love for all things Buffy will not sit well with me. You are warned.

Feb 26, 2007

Praising Silverman!

OK, so I kept my promise and didn't really watch the Oscars. Well...most of it. I was visiting with Gia at the restaurant and they had it on the TV, so you could say that I did see some of it. The Will Ferrell/Jack Black/John C. Reilly song number was pretty funny. Especially when Ferrell deferred to Mark Wahlberg, admitting he could kick Will's ass...that was funny!

But not nearly as funny as the 2007 Film Independent's Spirit Awards, which also aired over the weekend. And the reason it was so funny was the host...the lovely and talented Sarah Silverman.

OK, that may not be the best pic of her. I search for pictures on the Internet pretty much the same way I search for parking spots at the shopping mall. First one I see...I grab it!

Anyway, she was hysterical and the show was fantastic. It was witty, irreverent and exactly what the Oscars should be. They had stars like Minnie Driver and Rosario Dawson singing tribute songs about Best Film nominees to the beat of 70's pop classics. I couldn't find any youtube links for them, but they are great.

And the whole show will be replayed a number of times on IFC this week, so catch it just to see Sarah Silverman doing a joke about fucking her favorite cheese. It's well worth it.

My God! Jimmy Kimmel???????

Feb 22, 2007

Oscar bzzzzzzz

Sorry...must have fallen asleep when typing the title. Meant to say "Oscar buzzzzzzzzzz"

Damn! Keep falling asleep. Probably because I'm more bored than ever with the "spectacle" of the Oscars.

I actually have seen two of the films that are nominated for Best Picture this year. That's almost a record for me. I have seen The Departed, which I loved, and Little Miss Sunshine, which I thought was a nice little film that doesn't belong in this category. It was fun, but c'mon folks. Not the stuff of greatness.

I would like to see both Babel and Letters from Iwo Jima. I've tried to see Babel with Gia, but she is not-so-secretly in love with Gael Garcia Bernal so she wants to see it alone. Hell, I just wanna be around afterwards so she can take the passion she feels out on me.

I'm not proud.

And I think that Clint Eastwood is a fantastic director and Ken Watanabe is a very good actor, so Letters from Iwo Jima seems interesting. Especially seeing it from the Japanese point of view. Very few American movies deviate from the "God Bless the USA" attitude that pervades Hollywood. Way to go, Clint (you tough guy, you)!

As for The Queen, well the most praise that I have heard about it comes from my mother. So it's not way up there on my "must-see" list, if you know what I mean.

As for the rest of the major awards I have one thing to say. Yawn!

Leo, Ryan, the Fresh Prince and that slack-eyed monster going against a legend of the business in Peter O'Toole. Wow! Actually, I feel bad for the "slack-eyed" comment now. That wasn't nice. Forest Whitaker is actually a pretty great actor. So are Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling, for that matter. But Will Smith? Again? C'mon!

And the women? Aren't Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet nominated just about every year? And Penelope Cruz has about as much soul as my CD collection.

None that is.

So who cares about those awards.

I'm more interested in Jackie Earle Haley winning Best Supporting Actor and Martin Scorsese winning Best Director. That would be something. I especially love how everyone is treating Scorsese this year. We all feel soooo bad for him, having never won an Oscar. Boo-fucking-hoo! C'mon folks, his life isn't so bad. We should all be so deprived. That being said...I'm still rooting for him. He made After Hours, after all!

No, I haven't seen Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children, but that won't stop me from rooting for him. I've you can't place the name of the actor it's because he hasn't worked in years. He was the pock-mark-faced, long-haired teen of The Bad News Bears and Breaking Away. Two great movies from the 70's. I just think it's awesome that Kelly Leak is nominated for a huge award!

So, I probably won't watch the festivities come Sunday. Hell...it might be until Tuesday or Wednesday before I actually find out who the winners are. But I'm out there rooting for ya, Jackie Earle! Kick ass, Moocher!

Feb 20, 2007

Flat Tuesday

Don't you hate it when you are looking forward to something in the worst way...and it turns out to be shit.

Had a so-so Fat Tuesday celebration last night. That makes me sad.

Gia and I went to one of our favorite restaurants fairly close to where we live. They were having a Mardi Gras celebration, so we figured it was as good a place to go as anywhere. Drink specials, New Orleans-stlye menu and a live band playing some jazz and the blues to get us in the mood.

Unfortunately, they underestimated the draw of folks going out on a Tuesday night in the middle of February for a night of booze, eats and music because they had only one waitress working and no bus-folks. So everything took a reaaaaallllllyyyyy lonnnnnnnng time.

Not faulting our server. She was great and did what she could. But the food seems like it was prepared in a rush and it wasn't up to their standards. The band was good, though. Gia even knew a couple of the guys from days gone by. Cool.

Here's what we had:

Some Abita Purple Haze beer while we waited for our table. Very yummy and it fit with the theme of the night, so okay...good start.

Once we sat, I ordered a Cyclone (which is a fruity New Orleans type of drink that I've never heard of) and G had a cajun martini, or her version of it at least. Then we ordered some appetizers. Oysters for the girl and a toasted barley and onion soup for yours truly. Too bad that we had to wait over half an hour to try them. Once they arrived, my soup was okay but Gia's oysters were a bit offish. So so sad.

Then we had a mini Craw Boil for an intermezzo. Whole crawfish, potatoes and andoulle sausage in a spicy broth. Except that the broth was kinda tasteless which kinda ruins the whole Craw Boil thing. Who ever heard of a bland crawfish boil?

Finally our dinners arrived. Catfish with creamed collared greens and sweet potato beignets for Gia, and a shrimp and mussel etouffe for myself. Mine was pretty yummy, although the mussels were a bit weird in an etouffe for my tastes. Gia's dish was pretty bland....so that sucked.

Anyway, we gave the dinner a C, C-minus on a whole. Actually the band helped bring it up by half a grade, so there was some saving grace.

Now we know to punch our weight with this place and stick to going there on regular nights. Special menu nights apparently throw them out of whack.

One highlight of the night was the owner of the joint who got up and sang a few songs with the band. She brought some game and could really belt out a Bonnie Raitt song.

It's just too bad she didn't think ahead to bring another server to work with her instead.

Feb 19, 2007

The Big Fella

Try as I may, I just can't seem to take a good picture of Syd. He's sorta like the elusive Yeti in that there are many reports of his existence, but not alot of tangible photo evidence.

This one was taken with him perched on my chest. The fact that I was able to maneuver around all 25 pounds of him and actually take a picture is astounding to me. I swear that he was looking right at me the milli-second before I took this shot. Swear to goddess!

Here is another one of the big boy. Once again, hard to see and the flash went off in his eyes so he looks downright crazy. One of these days the perfect shot will emerge.

Feb 12, 2007

A Million Chimps

I've never really been much of a music snob. I like all kinds of stuff, and I think that is pretty well reflected on what I've put on my iPod. A little country, a little hard-core, some ska, some pop stuff, a bit 'o the blues...lots of genres.

I don't really know everything about any one artist or kind of music like some people do. As much of a Parrothead that I am, my buddy can destroy me in a game of Jimmy Buffett song/album trivia. And I'm pretty well versed in most of the punk bands that were popular in the early-mid 90's, but an expert by no means.

I guess I like to think of myself as eclectic when it comes to music.

That being said, my sister took a look at what I have been listening to recently on my iPod and she said something to the effect that a million chimps banging away on a million iPods with all the songs in the world at their disposal would never come up with the playlist of stuff that I listen to.

You decide. Here are the last ten songs off a random playlist from my collection:

1. Lived in Bars - Cat Power
2. Midnight on the Murder Mile - Carter USM
3. Cowboy Coffee - The Mighty, Mighty BossTones
4. Ruby Soho - Rancid
5. Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack
6. Overkill (acoustic) - Colin Hay
7. Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger
8. Asleep at the Bar - Easy Big Fella
9. Oh! You Pretty Things - David Bowie
10. Bella's Birthday Cake - Five for Fighting

Nothing really weird or obscure on that list. OK, Carter USM (the Unstoppable Sex Machine) was a band I was into back in the early 90's and Easy Big Fella is a band that I only have heard on a Ska compilation album about drinking.

But the rest of the stuff is pretty mainstream.

What are you listening to?

Feb 7, 2007

"Now what?"

I've got a few "guilty pleasure" films that I watch over and over again. They are not great films, in fact they aren't even good films. They are bad films that I just love for one reason or the other.

Road House is definitely one of them. Terrible movie, yet I watch it every time it is on. Best of the Best is another. Can't get enough of that one.

But my biggest guilty pleasure movie of all time is probably Deep Rising starring Treat Williams and Famke Janssen. But not only them. There are also some hired guns played by Wes Studi, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis and Djimon Honsou. Some of my favorite character actors!

The plot is nonsense. A bunch of mercenaries headed by Studi are hired to do a wreck job on the world's largest ocean liner. They hire a boat captained by Williams to do the job, but before they arrive at their destination the liner is taken out by large sea creatures (some offshoot of the Archaea Ottoia).

Wackiness ensues.

My favorite and most bittersweet part of the movie? It's the shirt that Treat Williams is wearing during most of the film.

You see, I had the same shirt many years ago and it was my favorite piece of clothing of all time! It was a blue and green tartan button down shirt (the pic above is in black and white, but trust me) made by Eddie Bauer some years ago.

I wore the hell out of that shirt. It was sooooo comfy! It was that shirt you own that you wear right away as soon as you've washed it. Went with everything that you owned. Warm enough (with layers) to wear in the winter and light enough to wear on a cool summer night.

And I really did wear it out. I remember the last time I wore it. It was on vacation in North Carolina at a beach house. It had basically fallen apart from so much wearing and washing that I was forced to cut the sleeves off and wear it that way.

I wore it pretty much the entire week on vacation after which I think I gave it a Viking funeral. Or I threw it on a bonfire at the request of my entire family. Something like that.

Anyway...I miss my favorite shirt. I'm watching "Deep Rising" right now and remembering all the good times I had in that shirt. Sigh.