Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!!

Thought I'd sign in for one last time in 2005. Been having a great time on vacation, and we had a wonderful holiday. I don't know that I can really sum it all up now, but we got lots of great stuff, spent a lot of really good time with friends and family, and overall had a really wonderful, memorable holiday.

Amy & I are going to Shadowbox for their Shindig tonight, as is the tradition. Laurie & her guy are going with us as well, which is a 100% increase over our group size from last year, so woo-hoo for that. Hopefully we can drum up more folks for next year, but the price tag isn't as great as it was when we were winning the table in the Fireball auction.

Anyway, hope everyone had a happy holiday and wishing everyone a happy & safe new year.

See you in '06...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bird Flu

Pretty sure I have the bird flu. Or SARS, or West Nile, or whatever the paranoid "all must fear" bug of the moment is. At any rate, it set in pretty suddenly on Monday, got significantly worse yesterday, and seems about the same today - though today I have OTC products with which to mitigate the horrible suffering.

Add onto this the fact that at my doctor's appointment on Monday, I had my blood drawn. The guy had trouble finding a working draw and stuck me all over both arms and one hand. I'm not typically a hard draw, nor am I typically weak-headed, but I damn near passed out. I guess I turned all green and white and sweaty. They gave me a teeny juice-box and some crackers and had me rest for a bit, then another lady came and got all they needed in one poke. Go figure.

So yeah, not exactly having a great week so far. I DID manage to finish almost all my X-mas shopping. I'd be done if I hadn't gotten so damn sick. Just need to pick up two very quick & minor things, and of course wrap everything, but that shouldn't be too tough.

Hoping I recover enough to still make the Lunchbox show tomorrow. I don't forsee it being a problem, provided I keep well-medicated. We're also hoping to catch the Xmas at 2Co's show again either tomorrow or next week, but I'm thinking I'll wait until tomorrow to try for it, to see how I'm feeling (and if they're sold out). If you're interested, let me know.

  • Mega-insano crackpot conspiracy theory of the moment: Dave Chapelle and the Dark Crusaders
  • Check out Year One, a webcomic marvel comics parody done all kiddie style.
  • I'm very sad that Morning Sedition was cancelled. Now where am I going to hear the latest on the NeoCon Death Cults and the ChristoFacist Zombie Brigade? Seriously though, Maron brought the funny, and he'll be missed on my drive in.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hoopla'd !!

Hit up Easton last night for Shadowbox's Holiday Hoopla 05. I have to admit, I was worried going in, because it sounded like there was a lot of duplicate stuff, and although it hadn't bothered me that much last year, I was hoping for more new stuff this time around.

Well, there was definitely a lot of older stuff, but I thought it was freshened up enough and they had enough new stuff added in that it made for a great show. I'd definitely recommend it, even if you have been to a Hoopla before, and even moreso if you haven't (there may not be a better time to get your first Shadowbox experience than during Hoopla!). While there we booked up for the Lunchbox on Thursday, and opening night of Sex at the Box '06 (1/5). You should come join us. We're also going to the Shindig for New Years, if you haven't already made plans. You know you want to...

Also fun was a new food menu at Shadowbox. All the old favorites are there, but they also added in a BUNCH of new stuff. They've got a full bar now (including all sorts of different boozes, for those that care about that kind of thing), but also ravioli, the lunchbox BBQ chicken sandwhich, fancy godiva hot chocolate, and a phenomenal (nay, crack-laced) beef tenderloin sandwhich.

Just one quick link to leave for now: I challenge you to check out Cute Overload and NOT say "Awwwwww" at least once.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Holiday Spirit

I guess we finally drug ourselves into the holiday spirit this weekend, and got the tree and decorations up on Sunday. I'm still not quite there yet. I was in the same boat last year, and I can't figure out why. What's keeping me from being all Christmasy these days? One of the biggest complications of the whole thing is that it makes it a big-time chore to do the X-mas shopping when you're not really feeling the season. Maybe I need an egg-nog IV or something. I could tie myself down and subject myself to 24 hours of It's A Wonderful Life, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and small children a-wassailing my sanity away. Not like I have a choice to wait any longer - we're in full XMas mode this week: Holiday Hoopla Wednesday, the work "holiday luncheon" on Thursday, a friends' party on Friday, and Amy's family XMas on Saturday. YOU WILL BE MERRY.

Still, I do want to get over the Grinch thing here. XMas At 2Cos is phenomenal this year, and we actually saw that back on 11/30, so that helped a lot. I don't have quite the same high hopes for Hoopla, unfortunately, as it appears to be 100% recycled stuff, except for (I'm assuming/hoping) the Santa Babies. We'll see how it goes tomorrow I guess.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Power Of Spin

Check out this alernate Shining trailer.

Always look for the spin - how is this or that being edited and presented and spun to bring you in? Where's the bias? Something students writing research papers need to learn WAY sooner than they do these days...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Money, Football, and Jesus

I guess it was a decent weekend. Saturday night we went to Amy's holiday party at the dean's house. The house was a bit up Riverside drive in the hills, in what is obviously a ridiculously expensive neighborhood. There were a number of insanely large houses there, and the dean's was no different. For the first good clip while we were there, I was afraid to sit down or touch much of anything for fear that an ill-placed smudge could place us irrevocably in debt. Eventually I did settle down and relax a bit... after all, we probably make at least as much as the people paid to clean the place, right? To paraphrase Mel Brooks, "It's good to be the Dean".

Really brief football update for the weekend... as predicted OSU and Notre Dame will play in the Fiesta Bowl. No great surprise there, though I'm glad the rankings worked out so that we don't have to hear how Oregon was screwed. The cursed fate of the Browns continued this weekend as well, as not only did they blow a decent lead to the Leftwich-less Jaguars, they also lost yet another first round draft pick to injury.

Since the Browns don't get televised anyway, Gary and I went to see Sarah Silverman's movie Jesus Is Magic on Sunday. It was a pretty funny movie - though she definitely didn't shy away from taking swings at just about everyone and everything - no taboo subject left unturned, no viewer left unoffended (except me, because again, I think I'm too jaded to this stuff). It wasn't gutbustingly funny, but a good time, and I'm glad we went. Gotta love the Gateway Theater - probably saved a drive out to Drexel East.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

RENT, Thanksgiving

Ok wow, I've got too much to say in one blog here. I guess I'll throw out what I can for now and either forget the rest (highly likely given my memory) or finish up another time.

So Amy, Randy, Heather & I saw RENT last Wednesday. Amy & I got there early and ate dinner at the Ugly Toona Saloona. It's kind of an odd place, as it's definitely very much a bar atmosphere (like Adobe Gilas), but they have a lot of seafood options... priced as you would expect for seafood entrees. I tried to keep more on the inexpensive side, so for the meal I just got a burger (as did Amy), but I had to try the Shrimp & Lobster Bisque. It was pretty tasty -- not as good as, say, Lindeys or the Ocean Club, but still good stuff. Judging by that at least I wouldn't be afraid of trying their other seafood dishes.

So yeah, the movie. I definitely enjoyed the movie. It didn't blow me away like I was hoping for, but it was good. Not quite as faithful of an adaptation as Phantom, but still pretty good, and the fact that it was most of the original cast was awesome. VERY cool seeing all those folks that I'm used to hearing from the original soundtrack - they all did a great job, and contrary to a lot of worries folks had, Roger (Adam Pascal) was really the only one who looked a little old, and it was only REALLY noticeable in one scene. I liked a lot of the visualizations added ... flashbacks to Roger & April meeting and such, images of the life support folks disappearing, the TVs in Maureen's show, Maureen flirting with the secretary while Joanne and Mark meet with Alexi... etc. I really missed a lot of the "in-between songs" singing... and just like in Phantom, the converted a lot of sung dialogue into regular spoken stuff. Which was kind of unsettling because 1) it was wierd knowing what they were going to say and 2) the spoken dialogue still rhymed, and people just don't SPEAK in rhyme... Also, cutting out a lot of the in-between music resulted in a number of the songs feeling more stilted, losing the flow. Some of the changes they made in pacing didn't make a whole lot of sense either. I mean, I can understand rewriting things (especially when you cut some stuff - you have to reinsert what was important there somewhere else), but why stretch out the beginning stuff? I don't see why Maureen's show had to be moved back, etc. Just odd. Another thing which I noticed in Phantom and here again in RENT. The movie felt REALLY LONG. Even with the stuff they cut out, there's just something about taking a show which typically has a 15-minute intermission and cramming it all together...
So yeah... good but not great. Definitely no substitute for the absolute awesomeness that is the stage version, but I'll surely get the DVD anyway. It'll be a nice option since the show's not always playing nearby. (It's coming to Columbus next year... April 22-23... Amy's due date is 4/20. Cruel fate indeed). If anyone else out there saw it, I'd love to hear what you thought.

Thanksgiving was a good time - parents and Amy's mom came over and we ate here. I think we may be nearing double digits on the number of times we've used the nice china in the past 5 years ;) . Almost out of leftovers... which is probably good, because a week is pretty much pushing it on leftovers anyway.

I think that's enough for now.
  • SAD NEWS: 2Cos is closing 2/25/06. Going to be extremely sad to see it go - there's been a lot of great shows there and we'll miss it quite a bit. That said, with those financials, I can definitely understand the decision, and if I had to choose, I'd much rather see Shadowbox continue and keep going strong. Meanwhile, the current Christmas at 2Co's show is awesome - the best XMas show they've done. Lots of great music, some really funny bits, and of course, gotta love the Christmas Queenies.
  • If caffeine is good for your memory, why is mine so shitty?
  • If Lists of Bests were still updating, this would have been a great addition: Empire's 50 Greatest Independent Films. A good list, and I've seen a lot more of them then I expected.