Archive | January, 2009

“When I Drive on Campus, I See Money”

31 Jan

A videographer for visited the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis today and compiled a video that shows a) an increased number of visitors, b) sadness/anger/frustration on the part of those visitors regarding the closing of the museum and the possible sale of its collection, and c) protest signs hung in the entryway.

Thought I’d share a link so you can watch if you’re interested. Continue reading

Tube Tops

31 Jan

Generally, I try to stay inside when it’s cold out. I’m not a skiier and I can’t get too excited about many winter activities. But Saturday, I jumped at the chance to go tubing — even if it meant an hour-long trek up to Amesbury. I layered up, putting on jeans and sweatpants; a tshirt, hooded sweatshirt and a hooded winter coat; and of course, gloves and a scarf — not because I needed protection from getting banged up or anything, but because it was damned cold out! But it was worth it.

The Amesbury Sports Park charges just $20 for three hours of tubing, and though we only stayed just over two hours, we still went up and down seven times — more than enough. Some hills were thinner and faster than others (I was told they’ve clocked a speed of just under 60 mph on the fastest ones), but no matter if we went tandem, on a wider path or a thinner one, if we went feet first or lying on our stomach, if we faced front the whole way or if we were spinning around, it was a great time. None of us went so fast that we couldn’t break and ended up on Route 495, so that’s good. None of us got hurt. And, truth be told, it wasn’t even that cold; the layered-up thing worked quite well. Would I run back to Amesbury to do this again? No. But now that I’ve done it, I can spend the rest of the winter nestled safely and warmly on my couch (under my Slanket, of course).

Ready for BRUUUUUUUUCE !!!

30 Jan

“We want it to be a 12-minute party,” Bruce Springsteen said during a press conference on Thursday to talk up his performance this Sunday during the Super Bowl halftime show.

“The idea of the show is, you are going to the Meadowlands, you get lost on the way. You are watching your clock, ‘Damn, the show is starting right now.’ You stop at a bar to get some directions, and the bar gets held up while you are there. So that takes another 45 minutes to get out of there. You come back and you miss your exit on the turnpike, and you are driving to get back around. And so you make it into the stadium 2 hours and 48 minutes into the show — that’s what you are going to see: the last 12 minutes.”

And to think … I was already looking forward to Bruce before. Now I’m even more excited.

It’s Here!

28 Jan

A year ago, two guys in my office made a big deal about something they had found called a Slanket, which was apparently a blanket with sleeves.

And when one of them had his Slanket shipped directly to the office, and he wore it, we gave him a hard time for the way it looked on him.

Well, fast forward a few months and suddenly that Slanket didn’t seem like such a bad idea after all. So, I asked for one for Hanukkah and I’m excited to tell y’all that it finally arrived today (yes, a bit belatedly). Continue reading

Bloom Is Off the Rose

27 Jan

I’m not much of an art fan — heck, I practically sprinted through the Louvre and wasn’t all that impressed by the ICA — but the news yesterday that Brandeis, my alma mater, will be closing the Rose Art Museum still came as a real bummer.

I think I can count the total number of times I’ve browsed through the museum on one hand (if I even need that many fingers), but I’d like to think that when I was a student, I still could appreciate the value it added to the campus.

I was arts editor of the Justice and I wrote or edited stories about the Rose often. Each time, the passion with which people would discuss the collection or a new exhibit was inspiring. (One exhibit involving an entire tree was particularly memorable for me.)

So to hear that the university will not only be closing the museum, but will also be selling off the entire collection — one worth around $350 million and including works by such artists as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein — seems to me like more than just the end of an era.

The Rose is a campus institution, and a much-respected cultural landmark in the Boston area. Its shuttering creates a real void in the art scene, and also lessens the cultural significance of Brandeis itself — a school that has played host to such greats as Leonard Bernstein.

As Justice writer Daniel Orkin wrote in today’s issue, “While the Rose may not be as profitable as any of our famed butter-substitute-generating research labs, it remains an absolutely vital component [of] our history, prestige and identity as a respected institution of learning and as a celebrated center of art and culture.”

I hope that before the doors are closed for good this summer that I’ll make it back over to the campus to give the Rose one last look and pay tribute to an overlooked gem that will definitely be missed.

Update: If you want to join the cause, click here: Save the Rose Art Museum, or join the Facebook group.

Put a Ring on Mayberry

23 Jan

I love this. Kudos to Party Ben for his editing (and thanks to EW’s PopWatch for the tip). If you want to download the track in MP3 format, click here.

I’m Already Yawning

22 Jan

So the Oscar nominations were announced today. Wanna watch the announcement? Here you go:

What’re my thoughts? Well, I’m not excited. For one thing, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is waaaaaay overrated. Some categories are largely as expected, based on previous awards nominees. Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, for example. But others had their share of surprises, and not good ones. The Reader, which I still have yet to see, got a slot for Best Picture instead of the very worthy The Dark Knight, which I was really pulling for and which had a legit shot at a nomination based on nominations by the Producers, Writers, and Directors Guilds. I’m also really really surprised by the omission of Bruce Springsteen and Jamie Cullum from the Best Song category for their contributions to The Wrestler and Gran Tornio, respectively. I was really looking forward to both performances on the telecast. And what’s with two of the only three Best Song nominations going to Slumdog Millionaire? I also think that not nominating Dark Knight for Best Score was a huge omission. And does Angelina Jolie deserve her Best Actress nomination (for Changeling)? No.

Truth be told, there’s nothing about the nominations that really gets me excited for the ceremony this year. At this point, it’s pretty safe to say Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay, and that Mickey Rourke and Heath Ledger will win too. Otherwise, I could really care less about Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress this year, and many of the other categories. I really hope Benjamin Button doesn’t win many of the 13 categories it’s nominated in. And more importantly, I hope host Hugh Jackman is good, because otherwise it could be a very, very, very long night for me when the awards are handed out on February 22.

Too Much Change Needed

21 Jan

Alright, so not all was worth celebrating on Inauguration Day.

Eager to have a keepsake, I stopped off on the way home from work to pick up the Globe‘s special Inauguration Extra. After all, on a day like that, despite the Web and the decreasing interest in print media, you still can’t replace the tangible reminder that a newspaper provides.

I expected the Extra edition to be the day’s paper, but with an updated version of the front section. Instead, it was just an 8-page recap of the swearing-in ceremony itself, with the full text of Obama’s speech, some analysis, and a compilation of some of his previous speeches.

But that’s it, just eight pages.

What’s worse, it cost $2, which, if you don’t know, is $1.25 more than the entire daily paper.

Yes, I bought it anyway, but I felt like a real sucker.

A Great Day in America

20 Jan

Keith Olbermann looks back on the day (after a brief snippet of Joe Biden at one of the balls) … {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 425px;} .msnbcLinks a {text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px;} .msnbcLinks a:link, .msnbcLinks a:visited {color: #5799db !important;} .msnbcLinks a:hover, .msnbcLinks a:active {color:#CC0000 !important;}

Hail to the New Chief

20 Jan

“The time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.” {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 425px;} .msnbcLinks a {text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px;} .msnbcLinks a:link, .msnbcLinks a:visited {color: #5799db !important;} .msnbcLinks a:hover, .msnbcLinks a:active {color:#CC0000 !important;}

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