Archive | April, 2007

No Disaster

30 Apr

Chances are good that you haven’t heard much (if anything) about Jon McLaughlin, or his album, Indiana, which drops today. I first learned about Jon back in February when Ali’s Blog linked to two songs off the album. I especially liked “Industry,” so I’ve been waiting to hear more. And now today is the day. Jon’s one of those piano-playing singer-songwriters who sing catchy melodies. I suppose he’s not unlike Gavin DeGraw, though I’ll admit Jon’s got a somewhat generic and not terribly unique sound. Still, I like what I’ve heard enough to recommend it. So if you like this sort of thing, check out the two tracks at that blog. And if you like them, give Jon’s entire CD a chance, as I’ll be doing (via iTunes for $7.99). And as extra incentive, here’s the video for his other single, “Beautiful Disaster.”

Totally Legal

30 Apr

Thought I’d put up a link to my story in the new issue of Continental magazine. As you can see, it’s the cover story and it’s about Laura Bell Bundy, who plays Elle Woods in the new Broadway adaptation of Legally Blonde. Reviews of the show (which opened Sunday night) have been mixed, but some critics (like the ones at Variety and The New York Times) say it’s a lot of fun and that Bundy gives a very good performance. A year ago I interviewed LaChanze, who won the Tony for her performance in The Color Purple. In 2004 I interviewed Idina Menzel and then she won the Tony for Wicked. (I had an off year in 2005 when Sutton Foster didn’t win for Little Women). Will my pick win this year? You can count on me to keep you in the loop, though not as obsessively as I did with Jennifer Hudson. For now, here’s a link to my Laura Bell Bundy story. Enjoy.

Just Not Worth It

29 Apr

I saw after the Sox–Yankees game today that a company called Big Time Bats is selling a commemorative framed photo set of Dice-K’s first start at Fenway. Considering he lost that game, I’m not sure why anyone would want to spend $120 to remember it. Sure, Dice-K pitched his best Fenway start to date that night (remember, today is only April 29), and had Felix Hernandez not been so good, we might have actually won that game, but still … I’ll spend $120 when Dice-K does something worth remembering. (Alright, fine. Maybe I won’t spend the $120. But I’ll remember the accomplishment just the same. After all, I haven’t been so kind to him so far.)

For the Kids

29 Apr

As Robbie Williams would say, we were “doin’ it for the kids” today. Despite cooler, wetter weather than last year, WalkAmerica was still a good time, and it was all for a good cause. I walked with eight of my coworkers (to support our client, Continental Airlines, which is an official sponsor of WalkAmerica) and we all did it within two hours. That’s not bad, considering it was a loop from the Hatch Shell, down Storrow Drive to Western Ave, and then back down Memorial Drive to the Museum of Science, and back to the Hatch Shell (a total of about 6.5 miles). And yes, there was Montilio’s cake waiting for us when we got to the finish line, so that made it doubly worth it. I’m pleased to say I raised $468, which is $118 more than last year (why 18? click here for that answer), so let me take this opportunity to publicly thank all who contributed. (If you still want to donate, you can. Just click here.) Now I can take a load off and relax before it’s back to work tomorrow.

Shut Up

28 Apr

It’s embarrassing to think that when I was in college, I used to really like a cappella music.

I liked it so much that freshman year I actually went to other campuses to see various groups in concert — Tufts’ Beelzebubs, for example.

Thankfully, by junior year I came to my senses and realized that a cappella was not all that. I suppose the same can’t be said for those who were actually in those groups.

Well, those people (not me) are the likely target audience of Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, a movie about a group of friends who were all in an a cappella group in college and who reunite 15 years later to sing at one of the guys’ weddings. Continue reading

That’s So Exciting!

28 Apr

For your weekend viewing pleasure, check out this clip (from FunnyorDie.com) of Alec Baldwin giving Dora the Explorer a call.

I’m Walking. Yesiree I’m Walking

24 Apr

If you haven’t heard yet, Wednesday is the first annual Start! Walking at Work Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association.

The purpose of the day is to promote a culture of physical activity in the workplace, which will help people live longer, healthier lives. (No word if that longer, healthier life includes more time at work.)

Apparently, we’re working 164 more hours a year than in previous years, which leads to more sedentary lives. Blah blah blah.

So on Wednesday, at exactly 2:41 pm, you’re supposed to get up from your desk and walk.

Walk anywhere, I suppose. Take a lap around the office. Or walk outside. Just walk somewhere.

And why, you may be asking, is this happening at 2:41? Well, according to the AHA, adults may gain as many as two hours of life for every one hour of regular exercise. (That’s their joke, not mine.)

And there’s your PSA for the day. Continue reading

Dice-K Not O-K

23 Apr

I’ve been accused by a couple people of being a little too hard on Dice-K. Well, Sunday night the guy allowed six runs and eight hits. That’s six runs. And eight hits. Is that really what we (again with the “we”) paid $103 million for? That’s the kind of performance I expect from Julian Tavarez — not the guy who is supposed to rewrite the rules of how major league pitchers pitch. I stand by my opinion that the guy shouldn’t need this much run support. If he’s really all that, he should be lights out from the start. Strikeouts, schmikeouts. That’s not the stat that really matters in the end. It’s wins and losses. And even though he got the win on Sunday, as Jon Miller and Joe Morgan both said on ESPN after the game, he needed “considerable help.” It’s the morning after Dice-K’s first start against the Yankees, where he recorded the win, and we’re not even talking about how well he pitched. What does that tell you? Perhaps more discouraging is that with each start, Dice-K is getting worse and worse. Soon it’ll be tough to make excuses about “the line” and how his performance was still impressive despite the loss.

I’m not saying Dice-K has to be Superman, or that he has to pitch a perfect game every time. But he should be more of a sure thing (like Jonathan Papelbon is in the bullpen), and shouldn’t be the losingest pitcher on the staff. It’s only April, I know, and if Dice-K gets better I’ll change my tune. But right now, I’m just not impressed.

Women Problems

22 Apr

How I wish In the Land of Women was really a porn film, like it sounds like it should be. Then it might have had a better plot, for starters. Instead, this film — the story of a guy (Adam Brody) who deals with his model girlfriend dumping him by heading to Michigan to take care of his grandmother — is a real mess. It’s got a whole bunch of clichés, including a wacky old grandma and the family across the street that’s full of problems (cancer, an extramarital affair, estranged mother-daughter relations, a precocious younger sister). It’s got a hip soundtrack (at least it does for half the movie) sure to attract the young’uns. It’s also got, in addition to Brody, Meg Ryan and Olivia Dukakis in lead roles. What it doesn’t have is direction, focus, or anything really worth recommending. It doesn’t even have a poster or a marketing campaign that accurately reflects what the movie is really about (then again, considering I was unsure of the plot, maybe this film is just unmarketable).

I’ve seen ItLoW described as a cross between The Graduate and Garden State (yes, your assumptions about the implications of that are true), but if the comparison was accurate, then this would actually be a good movie. I’m sorry to say the best thing about it — alright, fine, the two best things are the first five minutes and the last five minutes. Problem is, the good joke in the first five minutes has already been spoiled in the trailer. And the last five minutes have such promise that you wish the film had gone down this road much earlier and that the actress with a surprise cameo had been around a lot longer. Oh well. I don’t remember when I’ve yawned more, wondering when the movie was going to end. And when the lights came on, I turned to Stephani and asked, “What was that?” Yeah, I really didn’t like this movie all that much. I’m giving it a D+ (the plus is only because I liked the last five minutes that much).

We All Scream

22 Apr

It’s no surprise that after such a beautiful day, J.P. Licks was the place to be last night in Coolidge Corner. It seemed like everyone — jubilant Red Sox fans, parents with young kids, couples on date night, high school girls with little fashion sense, families, pets, etc. — was getting a scoop, and the line was out the door for much of the time that Joe, Marie, the twins, and I were there.

So how thankful was I that there was plenty of entertainment to go along with my soft-serve. No, I’m not referring again to the high school girls. I speak of the folks who tried in vain to get into the perfect parking spot in front. We’re talking premium rock star parking, with plenty of space to slide in. First there was a young lady who totally didn’t cut the wheel correctly, and who just had to answer her cell phone while parking — and holding up traffic, I might add. Her first try, she was still a couple feet from the curb. And after two tries, she just gave up and drove away. She was followed by an older couple who undershot it and actually bumped into the car behind them before leaving their car jutting out into the street and getting out — ignoring all the people who were watching and saying under their breath, “Bad parking job. I can’t believe they’re going to leave it like that.”

Why watching inept parallel parkers never gets old, I just don’t know. But on this spring night, it was great fun.