Celebrity Fit Club 4 cast Tuesday, Feb 28 2006 

Featuring:

Sally Struthers! (Remember that South Park episode about her?)

Jennifer Tilly!

Shar Jackson!

Lisa Welchel!

PHIL MARGERA!!! (Love that man!)

Corey Haim!

Vince Neill!

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Double Restaurant Review Sunday, Feb 26 2006 

What a weekend….I can’t believe it’s Sunday.

Mike and I tried a few new places this weekend. On Friday night, we went to Ristorante Luce down the street from his place in Hamden. It was very nice, Italian, AMAZING desserts. We had crabcakes for an appetizer (a special), then I had bucatini amatriciana (but if my memory serves me right, it’s supposed to be MATRICIANA), he had a seafood risotto, and for dessert I had a “magic cube” — a cube of layers of milk and white chocolate mousse with a cherry center, covered in dark chocolate, with berries. Delicious.

And last night, we tried out Saint-Tropez Bistro, down on Sanford St. in Fairfield, next to O Bar and Archie Moore’s. It’s really too bad that I hadn’t discovered this place until nearly the end of my time in Fairfield! It’s expensive, but it’s some of the BEST French food I have ever had outside of France. We started with a Roquefort and pear tart with a baby spinach salad with dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar (for me), escargots in a light tomato and garlic sauce with pastry (for him — I’ve gotten him hooked on escargots!), and for the main course, I had a pan-roasted rack of lamb and he had a black angus steak. For dessert, I had the best creme brulee I’ve ever had in America, and Mike had an Ile Flottante — surprisingly, it was square. I’ve had it once before, in France, and it basically resembled a giant softball. A delicious giant softball, of course.

I don’t feel like making separate posts, so here are a few other things — Mike and I watched War of the Worlds (taking care of 3 more Oscar nominations on my list, making it 58/109), which was okay (I’m not a big fan of aliens-destroying-the-world movies, but I liked how Boston was viewed as the ideal safe haven!), and on American Idol, I guessed THREE OUT OF FOUR of the people to be sent home correctly!

AND Mike got some good news at work — they’re making him a portfolio manager, which is surprising because they just told him that they weren’t going to because they figured he was going to leave soon. This will give him some great leverage for his second interview in Boston on Tuesday. We started looking at some apartments and condos for him — he’s thinking of buying. There’s this church in the South End that’s been converted into condos — it’s SO COOL! Imagine living in a church and having those long, tall windows! It’s very nice on the inside, too — lot’s of space, new appliances, etc. Mike’s just excited about getting flat-screen TVs.

That’s all I can think of — now to continue my Sunday of doing NOTHING when I should really be reading for class or writing my story….

Who would have ever known? Thursday, Feb 23 2006 

Yep, that would be Angelina and Billy Bob sitting right next to Brad Pitt just a few years ago. If we’d known then what we know now….

Source: Faded Youth

American Idol Week 1 Thursday, Feb 23 2006 

Oh God, I LOVE ME SOME AMERICAN IDOL!!!

I’m rooting for Mandisa for the girls, and Chris for the guys (with Taylor for pure entertainment value), but tonight, ELLIOT — where have you been?!?! He was awesome!

And another thing: Brenna has been reminding me of someone incessantly, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. And now I have it: maybe it’s the raspy speaking voice, maybe it’s the overall demeanor — this girl is Jenna Amicucci!

My predictions for who’s going home this week: Becky (the average get ignored!) and Heather for girls, Patrick and maybe Bucky, maybe Bobby.

For now, here’s something I found on Television Without Pity, written by JuneCsEvilTwin. It brilliantly sums up the auditions.

Dear David:
What the fuck was that?
(Signed)
Freddie Mercury

Dear Bucky:
What Freddie said.
(Signed)
The Dead Guys from Lynyrd Skynyrd
cc: The Living Guys From Lynyrd Skynyrd
bcc: Bo Bice

Dear Will:
You need to sing that song at least an octave higher. BTW, whatcha doin’ later?
Love,
Michael J.

Dear Sway:
Let’s make a deal. You return my shoes, I return your testicles.
Love,
Grandpa

Dear Ms. Billingsley:
I understand you speak jive. I saw it in a movie. What does “dawg, that was da bomb” mean
Sincerely,
Kevin Covais

Dear Gedeon:
GATORRRR!
(Signed)
John “Bluto” Blutarski
cc: Otis Day
P.S. Shut up, Simon.

Dear Elliott:
Not bad.
(Signed)
Stevie W.

Dear Elliott’s Dad:
So there you are! Get back here!
(Signed)
Jason the Embalmer

Dear Chris:
What Stevie said.
(Signed)
J. Bon Jovi

Dear Bobby:
What Freddie said.
(Signed)
Barry M.

Dear Ace:
Cease and desist. Now.
(Signed)
Constantine Maroulis’ lawyer
cc: G. Michael

Dear Taylor:
You GET “Levon”? NOBODY gets that song! Not even us! You sure sang it purty, though. Whatcha doin’ later?
(Signed)
Elton and Bernie

Dear Mr. Soprano:
How much to have Elliott, Gedeon, Ace, Taylor and Will whacked?
(Signed)
B. Gether and S. Scott

Triple Oscar Film Fest Tuesday, Feb 21 2006 


With the Oscars right around the corner, I’m scrambling to finish up seeing as many nominated movies as possible. I’m concentrating on films with at least two nominations or one major nomination (acting, director, picture, screenplay). At this point, I am able to judge on 55 of the 109 nominations (excluding live action short, animated short, and documentary short), and 30 of the 40 major nominations! I also recently completed two full categories: Best Actor and Best Original Song. Last night, we picked up Hustle & Flow, Junebug and got The Constant Gardener on demand.

Hustle & Flow was this year’s winner at Sundance, and it’s not hard to see why. Terrence Howard plays a small town pimp who decides to change his life for the better by becoming a rapper. His performance is the stuff the Oscars were made for. He’s incredible, and you can truly see his character, DJay, become transformed through the power of art.

The other performances in the film are excellent, which was nominated for a best ensemble SAG award — the only film nominated that isn’t nominated for a best picture Oscar, alongside Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash and Good Night and Good Luck.

Funny story. About ten minutes into the film, I sighed and said to Mike, “I can’t understand a single word they’re saying.” Mike looked at me in disbelief, then started laughing so hard he turned five shades of red and purple. He couldn’t believe I was serious. Come on — they were in the South! We had to put the subtitles on so I could follow the plot. Mike cracked up every few minutes just thinking about it.

Next, Junebug. This movie was delightful — I read Roger Ebert’s review, and he remarked that this is a rare dysfunctional family comedy that actually has people using realistic dialogue. A newlywed art gallery owner travels from Chicago to North Carolina to woo an older, eccentric painter and visit her new husband’s family, who live half an hour away. The husband’s brother has a very pregnant young wife, and she is bubbling over with kindness and a brand-new attachment to her sister-in-law, while the rest of the family is pretty stoic for the most part.

Amy Adams’ performance as the pregnant woman, Ashley, has won the Sundance Award and most of the awards this season, but since none of them have been very prominent (mostly city critics’ awards), she’s seen as an underdog. Her performance is bright and gives meaning to all the other characters. I’d be pleased if she won.

Third, The Constant Gardener. A British diplomat living in Africa learns that his young wife has been murdered while driving out on the road. He sets out to investigate, and finds a conspiracy involved with a company disguising tuberculosis drugs as tester drugs for the third world, testing on people who wouldn’t be noticed if they died.

It’s complicated, so I’ll stop there. But I really enjoyed the cinematography, and the film editing most certainly deserves its Oscar nomination. And Rachel Weisz’s performance is very, very good as the wife, who appears only in flashbacks. She’s won the two most prominent awards for best supporting actress — the Golden Globe and the SAG. I’d say that the race is between her and Amy Adams, but I wouldn’t be surprised if vote splitting occurred and Michelle Williams took home the Oscar.

Ack, it’s late….I would definitely recommend all three of these movies, with Hustle & Flow being my favorite of the three. Just make sure you get the subtitles.

Avenue Q Date Tuesday, Feb 21 2006 


For my Valentine’s Day gift, Mike took me to see Avenue Q yesterday. And WHAT a SHOW! I’m a bit “eh” on musicals for the most part, especially the cheesy ones (NOTHING can make me sit through Mamma Mia!), but this was one that I wanted to see.

Basically, it’s Sesame Street for adults. A bunch of muppets and real people live on a street in a bad but cheap area of New York, and they go through the beginnings of their post-college lives. The show starts with a recent college grad (named Princeton) singing, “What can you do with a B.A. in English?” It gets crazier from there — the songs at the beginning are the funniest part of the show, with titles like “It Sucks to Be Me” “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” Me and Mike’s favorite lyrics: “The internet is great….” “FOR PORN!”

After that, we got dinner at The View at the Marriott, which is the only revolving restaurant in New York. It was a dizzying sensation to see the outside of the room spinning independently from the inside, but you just have to focus on what’s outside. The food was great — I FINALLY got to go to a restaurant that served an amuse-bouche! (It was a tiny cup of split pea and chorizo soup.) Then I had lobster bisque and filet mignon, and a key lime tart for dessert, with a glass of champagne. SO good. I love going out to really nice restaurants, and I’d definitely recommend this place.

As we were eating dessert, the restaurant was revolving around the W hotel — and on the top floor, Mike and I saw the beginnings of group sex! I saw it first and yelled, “Naked lady, naked lady,” pointing to the window….and then we realized that it was THREE women, all various degrees of being clothed, and a man! They went into what appeared to be a shower, or maybe it was just a partition. But they really had no qualms about keeping the blinds open!

Overall, it was a very nice day….a romantic time in the city….GO SEE AVENUE Q. It is absolutely HILARIOUS (I have never laughed so hard at a musical) and it’s so weird and deranged that you have to see it to believe it. Don’t listen to the music or read the lyrics beforehand, though. Except for this little snippet.

Ethnic jokes may be uncouth,
But you laugh because they’re based on truth!
Don’t take them as personal attacks —
Everyone enjoys them, so just relax!

Match Point Sunday, Feb 19 2006 


Wow. You have to see this movie. This is completely unlike a Woody Allen film. It’s borderline film noir, and you identify with the evil characters. An Irish tennis player begins dating his rich friend’s sister, while his friend dates an American aspiring actress. The outsiders have the goal of becoming part of the rich family, but they can’t deny their attraction to each other. And I’m going to stop there, because a movie like this is better when you go in knowing nothing about it.

In a nutshell — you’ll be holding your breath the whole time. This is the least Woody Allenesque Woody Allen movie ever. You’ll identify with characters in ways you won’t predict. If I could sum it up with one word, it would be LUCK. Remember that.

And a footnote — I questioned Scarlett Johansson’s decision to go blonde a few years ago, but after seeing this, I can’t imagine her any other way. She looked GOOD.

How cute is this?! Saturday, Feb 18 2006 

Probably the cutest picture I’ve ever seen of Brad and Maddox.

From Pink is the New Blog, obviously.

Boston vs. New York Saturday, Feb 18 2006 

I don’t know how much of this he wants me to say to the online world, so I’ll just give the minimum. Mike had an interview in Boston yesterday, and it went really well, and he’s got a second interview already. It’s ideally located (State St.), Mike LOVES Boston, and the company is based in PARIS….which means that there could be possible travel to there or their other awesomely located offices.

So we started talking about Boston, which he visited with me over break, and HYPOTHETICALLY about what would happen if he got the job. Particularly to where he would live.

I started talking about all the neighborhoods and describing them, but then I realized that I could just compare them to neighborhoods in New York!

Here are the comparisons that I thought of. (Note: I’m not doing it financially, since everything in New York is SO much more expensive than anywhere else.)

Cambridge = Greenwich Village. There are nice parts and less nice parts (West and East Village, plus the whole area where RENT takes place), and Washington Square Park/the NYU area is completely analagous to Harvard Square and the Harvard area!

Beacon Hill = Upper East Side. Old money, blue bloods, expensive, great view of the Common/Park. Of course, nowadays, there are a lot of younger people moving in, but the atmosphere remains.

South End = Chelsea. Somewhat funky. Very gay.

Mattapan = wherever’s the worst part of Harlem. Someplace where you REALLY wouldn’t want to spend time if you had the choice, and where you’d be the only white person around.

Dorchester = Washington Heights. Not nearly as bad as Mattapan/worst part of Harlem, but with a lot of bad areas, and more mixed racially. Also, surprisingly on the rise, probably to become a new powerful neighborhood in a decade or so — I think Dorchester’s going to explode one of these days, in a good way.

Back Bay = Upper West Side. Definitely a well-to-do area, but trendier and younger than Beacon Hill/Upper East Side.

North End = Little Italy. If only because guidebooks refer to the North End as “Boston’s Little Italy.” Also, Chinatown = Chinatown.

Theatre District = do they call it the Theatre District? Times Square, Midtown, that area. Lots of theatres.

Financial District = Downtown. Where all the business takes place, and all the tall buildings reign.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. The thing is, Boston has something that New York really obviously lacks — a hybrid area of the urban and suburban, like Brighton, or the richer Brookline or even the poorer Somerville. And New York doesn’t even have an Irish neighborhood, which is interesting in itself.

I’d really like to know what you think about this — leave me some comments!

How to get free cheesecake Saturday, Feb 18 2006 

Last night, Mike and I went out to Friday’s. I’m not a big fan of the place, but we’ve been eating at really nice/weird/decidedly focused places, and sometimes you just want nothing but potato skins, buffalo tenders and burgers with some Sam Adams to wash it down.

Anyways, we were sitting in the bar/lounge area, but it was taking a while for our appetizers to arrive — WAY too long. The waitress kept coming by and apologizing, saying they had a new system and it’s been making the food come out at weird times. Now, I know what I meant when I told guests that we had a new system and we weren’t used to it yet — that’s server vernacular for “I forgot to put in your order and am praying you didn’t notice.”

The food came — good stuff, we even ordered more to take home, which we’re going to eat this afternoon once he gets out of his meeting with his classmates — and then the manager came over, saying that our waitress had told him that we’d been waiting for a long time. He apologized, thanked us for being so nice to her about it, and asked if everything was going okay.

And I found myself giving him a little smile and saying, “It’s nothing a little free dessert couldn’t cure! That Cinnabon cheesecake looked pretty good….”

I can’t believe I said that.

And THEN the manager goes, “Sure! One slice or two?”

Mike and I were stuffed, so we just looked at each other. Then the manager goes, “How about one for now, and one to take home?”

“YES!” we replied. And it came, and it was delicious. We thanked our waitress when she came back, and told her that we both used to be servers, so we’d been there. (STILL, I’m 99% sure she was lying about why it took so long. But it was fine.)

From working in a restaurant for so long and going out to a lot of restaurants lately, I’ve been observing the actions of restaurant employees a lot more closely. The moral of this story? If you’ve been through a mediocre experience, don’t be afraid to ask for a little something, particularly if 1) you’re talking to the manager, 2) you’re a girl and 3) he’s a guy. You never know what you could get for free. 😉

I can’t believe how early it is! Friday, Feb 17 2006 

8:49 here and I’ve been up for two hours already. Can you believe it?

I have Mike’s car for the day….I dropped him off at the New Haven train station almost an hour ago. He has a job interview today — in BOSTON! It’s at 75 State St., which is a really cool building (the tan one with the geometric top). I know he’ll do well. It sounds like a great job….with offices in London, Brussells and Paris….which means there COULD be a chance for a transfer abroad…. 😉

Last night we went out to eat at The Blue Pearl, a fondue place in New Haven. It is DEFINITELY a place worth checking out. They have great cocktails (I got a creamsicle martini, which was really good!), and we had a four-course meal of fondue — for only $25 each!

After the bread with bean paste (whenever I eat that, it always reminds me of Acqua al’2 in Florence), we started with a savory fondue: gruyere and roasted red peppers. We were given white and brown bread, cucumbers, green apples, grapes, and crackers to dip. Next was a small arugula salad with a vinaigrette that I really liked. Then the surf and turf fondue, which was grilled chicken, grilled steak, grilled shrimp, and spicy andouille sausage with a cayenne and Cajun sauce to dip it in. The final course was a dessert fondue: we chose a Belgian chocolate and amaretto fondue, and it came with marshmallows, lady fingers, banana bread, apples, and dried apricots.

New Haven really has a good restaurant scene. We’re trying to hit up all the good ones before we leave Connecticut in a few months.

Since it’s so early in the morning, I’m taking advantage of it. It was nice to see a slightly lilac sky, and it smells SO nice outside — I love the smell of early spring. I’m doing my laundry right now (believe it or not, a few people are doing theirs as well), and I have a Dogwood meeting at 10, but I want to do what I always miss out on….I want to get BREAKFAST at McDONALD’S. I always miss out on that! But perhaps I’ll hit it up as soon as I switch the laundry.

SNAKES ON A PLANE! Wednesday, Feb 15 2006 

One man.

One plane.

And lots of SNAKES.

Samuel L. Jackson: “We got motherfuckin’ SNAKES ON A PLANE!”

I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE.

For now, the imagined trailer, courtesy of the very funny jim-1000 on imdb:

New Line Logo flashes up on screen.

(Sounds of a plane taking off and a snake hissing)

Cut to: montage of religious imagery (crosses, crown of thorns, serpents, etc)

Voiceover guy: “In 2004, a film was released depicting the final hours of one of the world’s most powerful icons.”

(Words like “Faith”, “Sacrifice”, and “God” flash on the screen)

Voiceover guy: “His journey, his pain, his sacrifice…helped millions of movie-goers to reconnect with their faith.”

Voiceover guy: “But…however great his suffering – that man never had to deal with…”

Cut to: Samuel L. Jackson standing in the cockpit of the plane holding a microphone.

Sam: “We got SNAKES ON A PLANE!!!!!”

Quick cuts of snakes exploding out of overhead bins, a boa wrapping itself around the pilot’s head.

Cut to: A snake slithering up the back of a seat and through the cushions.

That Fat Albert guy screams: “Something just bit my *beep* ass!”

Cut to: Hottie flight attendant and Jackson standing in the galley.

Hottie Flight Attendant: “How are we going to kill them?!”

Sam Jackson: “You got any of those coach meals left?”

Cut to: An arrogant looking rich white guy is using the bathroom. He sees something in the blue water. He leans to look into the toilet and a snake bursts out of the water to rip his throat out.

Cut to: Sam kicking a snakes head into a first-class video monitor (which is showing the film “Anaconda”) and destroying it.

Cut to: The hottie flight attendant (now only partially clothed) and Sam Jackson (shirtless) find an area filled with hundreds of eggs.

Hottie Flight attendant: “What are those things?”

Sam Jackson: “You ever hear of the mile high club?”

Cut to: Sam, bruised and bloody jumping into the baggage area. He screams “Let’s roll, bitches!” (overhead shot). As he falls, he’s firing twin Uzis at hundreds of snakes that fill the area beneath him.

Voiceover guy: “In 2006. Terror has been carried on.”

Cut to: Sam Jackson trying to do something with the landing gear. A massive snake rises behind him. (Snakes POV) as Sam turns around and punches it.

TITLE: “Snakes on a Plane”

TRAILER GUY: SNAKES ON A PLANE.

CUT TO: An old senile white woman sitting in first class.

Old senile white woman: “Why are they allowed to have snakes on the plane?! They didn’t even let me bring my little Walter into the cabin!”

Cut to: Cargo area. A tiny dog (Walter) barking in a cage as a python smashes its head through it.

CUT TO: 2006.

How It Went Wednesday, Feb 15 2006 

Well, last night’s Valentine’s Day festivities went very well! Mike picked me up and we went back to his place, first stopping to pick up some groceries. Since I can’t afford ANYTHING at this point in my life, I decided to make him dinner. The only thing on my list that I couldn’t find was mascarpone cheese, which they apparently have in the Fairfield Stop & Shop, but not the Hamden one.

So we went back and turned on American Idol as I cooked. I made insalata caprese (tomato, mozzarella and basil salad), chicken verdicchio (chicken with lots of lemons and marinated artichoke hearts over pasta) and raspberry sorbet with raspberries (which was also supposed to include the mascarpone cheese). And it all came out really well, which I was relieved by.

And Mike got me two things, even though I told him NOT to get me ANYTHING for Valentine’s Day — a new bottle of Victoria’s Secret Pink eau de parfum, which I thought was discontinued, but you can still find online, and tickets to Avenue Q for Sunday! I’m excited for both. And on Thursday we’re going to this fondue place in New Haven that Mike Willis told me about a while back.

So — American Idol. I can’t believe Simon took back those annoying, bitchy Brittendum twins! I’m sure it wasn’t his idea. I did hear that they weren’t put into the final 24, so it would be really sweet if they got SO FAR and were cut off at the very last moment possible. As for favorites so far, I like Paris Bennett and Chris Daughtry….those Rat Pack guys were AWESOME, and I like that guy who sang in one of the twins’ groups that got bitched at by whichever twin it was.

Later, we watched $40 a day, which was focusing on Rome and Florence! I got a few tips for Rome — apparently the best places to eat at are in Trastevere, but I heard that it’s always crowded. And FLORENCE — oh my God, I was so glad to watch it! The whole time, I kept saying to Mike, “That’s near my apartment. That’s near my apartment. Piazza della Signoria that’s the fake David that was covered in scaffolding PONTE VECCHIO oh my god that’s my bridge in the distance!!” Rachael Ray went to Il Latini for dinner, getting only the three bowls of soup (ribbolita, pappa al pomodoro and a beans and rice soup), and THEN went to Acqua al’2 for dessert, getting the assaggi di dolci!

It was a great night.

And now I have to go get measured for caps and gowns among other senior activities, and we’re singing at convocation later today — UGH! I hope we have a place to sit this time.

More Valentines! Tuesday, Feb 14 2006 




Here are some lovely valentines from Gallery of the Absurd, easily one of the best celebrity blogs out there. The artist, 14, creates hilarious drawings of celebrities. (My personal fave is pregnant Britney on the cover of Vanity Fair last May or so.) Here are three of my faves — check out the site for a lot more!

In honor of Valentine’s Day Tuesday, Feb 14 2006 


Check this out — Law & Order: SVU Valentines. They’re ingenious. Here are a few.

Well, I’ve been up long enough to check a few away messages, and there are a few distinct types — the overly mushy message to the significant other, the neutral/general happy wishings, the people who are evidently sad that they don’t have someone but try to cover it up, and the people who just let it hang out how upset they are.

For the latter, lighten up, people! The world isn’t out to get you. Believe me, so far I’ve only had one Valentine’s Day when I was involved with someone, so it’s not like I don’t know how it feels. When you air your unpleasant emotions in public, do you REALLY think that will make someone want to be with you?

And for everyone else, have a great day, and I have a big box of candy in my apartment that I can’t possibly finish myself, so come on by if you’d like some!

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