Archive | 11:30 pm

Back on the Market

9 Dec

It’s almost January 1, which means not just the beginning of the year, but also the month that I plan to resume my condo hunt. When I started the search over the summer, I was real excited about it, in the same way I get excited about most every other new thing in my life. But damn, this article in Sunday’s Boston Globe sure does make the process seem a lot less fun than it was over the summer.

Putting the ‘Dys’ in Dysfunctional

9 Dec

When I see a movie like Margot at the Wedding, I can’t help but be thankful that my own sister isn’t a blunt, insensitive, unsupportive, bitchy, insulting, manipulative woman like the title character here is. As played by Nicole Kidman, she may be more of a villain than, say, Darth Vader or The Devil Wears Prada‘s Miranda Priestley. Her weapons are words, and when she arrives for her estranged sister’s (Jennifer Jason Leigh) wedding, she gets under everyone’s skin. Margot isn’t in town for the wedding; she’s there for a bookstore appearance with a man she’s cheating on her husband with. She hates the groom (Jack Black). She doesn’t keep secrets. She says all the wrong things and leaves emotional distruction in her wake. Noah Baumbach (who also wrote and directed the excellent The Squid and the Whale) has made a film that will ring true with anyone who has family (i.e.: everyone). It makes you laugh and cringe, sometimes simultaneously, and at 92 minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome — though it does end sort of abruptly. This character piece is light on plot (not a bad thing in this case) and features some great performances. I’m giving it a B+.

Bright Guy, Big City

9 Dec

So yeah, I took a couple days off from work last week and spent them down in New York.

And for the first time in a long while, most of the time was spent in the city, playing tourist.

Here are some snapshots from the weekend.

O Christmas Tree: Bean, meet the Christmas tree at 30 Rock. Decided to get my Christmas on, so I spent a bit of time at Rockefeller Center trying to take the perfect picture of the big tree (after all, it’s never too early to start working on next year’s A Very Marty Xmas CD). But as I kept learning, it’s hard to take a picture of a lit-up tree at night. My damned camera didn’t seem to want to focus. This one here is probably the best one I took.

Number one or number two, it’s completely up to you: Best thing ever was Charmin’s second annual, temporary, free public restroom next door to the Virgin Megastore in Times Square. That’s all it is. You go up a tall escalator, wait on line, and you get to use one of the 20 or so toilets. They were spotless (cleaned after each use), colorful, and the attendants were having such a good time helping out that it was hard not to smile. As marketing gimmicks go, this one was pretty fun. And it was really convenient, because at the time, I really had to go.

People watching: Mitzi, Fetus, and I had a very very very minor celeb sighting Thursday night when we spotted Danny, from the New Orleans cast of The Real World, in the Times Square Toys ‘R’ Us just wandering around. And it occured to me how none of the current viewers of that show must know who he is. I think I also saw Andre 3000 from OutKast there. Oh, and Sean Dugan, an old college roommate, was on the same train into the city on Friday, but we didn’t get a chance to talk. And though she’s also on Broadway these days, in Cyrano de Bergerac, you’ll be happy to know I did not stalk wait for Jennifer Garner outside the stage door.

Flame on: Turned a corner at 9th and 44th on Friday and saw this taxi on fire. No one seemed to know how or why it happened. And while I knew the thing could have exploded at any second, for a change I did the stupid thing and got out my camera to take a picture, instead of running for cover. (What?! It’s not like the other people doing the same thing were any smarter than me.) Thankfully, the NYFD showed up just in time and put the fire out.

Show time: As I’ve previously mentioned, seeing Spring Awakening was unexpected. Here’s why. After lunch with Anna on Friday, I decided to hang out in Times Square and go to a couple places, then head back to meet up with Mitzi, Jason, and Fetus for dinner. Long story short, a couple guys on the corner of Broadway and 44th were selling discounted tix to a few shows, including Spring Awakening. Of course I was skeptical, and I did some background checks, even asking a cop a few feet away if he knew if the guys on the corner were scalpers. As it turned out, they were totally legit. So I took the chance, changed my plans, and saved $40 on top seats (12th row center) for what ended up being an awesome show. Money well-spent, even if at the time I felt like I was a total sucker buying Broadway show tickets from a random guy on the street.

Hmmmmm…:Believe it or not, I so enjoyed the day and a half that I spent in New York City that for maybe 15–30 minutes I actually thought about moving there. The cold winds snapped that thought out of me quickly enough, but I suppose that only goes to show you how good a time I had in the Big Apple. I need to do stuff like this more often.