Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I already miss the Hamptons

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Food Tour of New York

The last weekend in July, Adam and I took a much-needed trip to the East Coast. We reunited with friends and family and (forgive me, but) it felt so good.

It's no secret that I'm post-dating this blog post, so I'll just give you the highlights. The food highlights:

Friday, Manhattan
Katz's deli for bagels, shmear and lox
Chinatown for bubble tea
Midtown for people watching at gourmet deli where sandwiches cost $12
Pinkberry for yogurt under 200 calories
One of Ray's Original Pizzerias for a slice
Shabbos dinner with Pearl & Meyer, Adam's gparents

Saturday, The Hamptons
breakfast: bagels, fresh OJ
lunch: crabcakes, fresh guacamole, clams, shrimp
dinner: surf & turf on the beach, s'mores at the beach campfire

Sunday, The Hamptons & Manhattan
breakfast: bagels, fresh OJ
lunch: more crabcakes, more fresh guacamole, more shrimp, and the best french toast EV-ER [I've decided french toast not made from challah bread is a waste of time.]
dinner: CAN WE CONSUME ANYMORE? yes, sushi. New Yorkers are the reason the tuna supply is dwindling.

P.S. It took a week for my normal eating and digestive routine to return, lending credence to the theory that your stomach does, in fact, expand.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Facebook pics

Check out my new album.

Summer Blockbusters: Bruno vs. Harry


In the last week, I've seen two of this summer's most widely anticipated movies. For me, Harry comes out on top.

First, Bruno. The sequel to Borat was "eh, good I guess, not great." Beware of the gratuitous male full frontal nudity, and the thin plot made it difficult to accept that you had paid to see this movie as opposed to watching clips from the Ali G. show on your computer at home. Also, the Bruno character wasn't as likable as Borat, so the gag jokes were just for shock without any character development to redeem or substantiate it.

The best part about the Bruno movie? I thought the guerrilla marketing was hysterical. An assless chaps clad Bruno landing balls-first in Eminem's face at the MTV Movie Awards? Vundervul. ("Wonderful" with my German accent.)

For me, Harry takes the cake. Maybe I'm biased. (Ok, I'm biased.) But I thought the sixth installment was really fun, entertaining, and maintained the integrity of the series. A lot of the reviews have focused on the teenage romances portrayed in the film, and I thought it was a bit much as a major theme, and yet I totally enjoyed it.

It's also just a delight to watch the characters age on the screen. Hermione is hot! Ginny Weasley, not so hot. It's fascinating to think these were once kids who were cast at age 11 without anyone really knowing how they'd turn out as actors or looks-wise. And, to the best of my knowledge as only a casual Potterite, none of the actors have been re-cast. For the first time, there were moments in this movie when Daniel Radcliffe produced some really good acting bits.

From a Washington Post review, which I couldn't agree with more:

It's hard to blame "Half-Blood Prince" screenwriter Steve Kloves or director David Yates for focusing on the romance. After all, as young-adult adventures go, the sixth book in the Harry Potter series is awfully light on the adventure, offering only one action sequence at the end of its exposition-packed 652 pages. It must have seemed a daunting challenge to adapt for an audience of casual moviegoers who don't know a quaffle from a bezoar. The film's sacrifice of Horcruxes in favor of hormones yields some comic highlights: The three leads, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Emma Watson (Hermione), give their most charming performances to date. Ron is particularly funny under the addling effects of a love potion, and Hermione is sad and sweet in a moment of romantic disillusionment, sitting at the bottom of a set of stone stairs, conjuring a flock of twittering birds to circle above her head.

All of which is to say that "Half-Blood Prince," with its romantic triangle (square? pentagon?), its Quidditch high jinks, its gorgeous production design and its bang-up final action sequence, might be the most enjoyable Harry Potter movie yet for people who don't particularly care about Harry Potter movies.

Monday, July 13, 2009

We've been going to a lot of concerts lately

Saturday night, Adam, new friends, and I went to the Minneapolis music festival, Basilica Block Party. If Rock the Garden was for hipsters, Basilica Block Party was for high schoolers. Judging by the amount of kids in braces without wristbands, I'm guessing the median age in attendance was 16. Although, considering Matt Nathanson was performing, I'm not sure why I felt surprised to feel so old. After all, I saw Matt Nathanson when I was 16!

The concert headliner was Counting Crows, who I actually do like. Their song "Anna Begins" makes me want to have a little cry and then exclaim about the beauty and pain and selflessness of love.

Snap her up in a butterfly net and pin her down on a photograph album.
I am not worried cause I've done this sort of thing before.
But then I start to think about the consequences,
And I don't get no sleep in a quiet room and

This time when kindness falls like rain
It washes me away. And Anna begins to change my mind.
And everytime she sneezes I believe it's love and,
Oh lord, I'm not ready for this sort of thing.

In fact, (forgive me Adam) the whole concert was quasi-romantic despite the crushing crowds. Between Matt Nathanson and the Counting Crows, I was in a total music vortex of Rachael's Taste in Music circa 2003. The music that--as a high school girl, who only had crushes on guys and was dreaming of her own Adam--made me believe that love was out there and would someday happen to me. And then, here I was in 2009, listening to that same music with my boo!

Reverse Telecommuting

This is a clever phrase that refers to when you do stuff you should do at home while you're at work. I balance my bank account, call the dentist, renew my library book, and YES write blog posts. See above.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Boo Northwest Airlines!!!!

Today's the kind of day where you feel like nothing goes your way. I don't know how many guys can relate to this, but girls, you know the feeling where you're on the cusp of crying all day and you almost wish you'd stub your toe or something just to finally burst out in tears? Maybe blame it on PMS? Ugh. Today, that is me.

So even though I should just be quietly taking deep breaths, I want to make a bit of a public service announcement to hopefully save someone else the trouble I currently find myself facing.

Scenario: I'm going on a business trip in August to a big conference in Orlando. I was also invited to go on vacation with Adam's family that same week, so I am splitting my time between Hilton Head and Orlando. My company had already booked my roundtrip airfare from Minneapolis to Orlando when I got the green light to take my vacation, so I planned to go directly from Hilton Head to Orlando rather than return to Minneapolis for my original flight to Orlando.

Here is the problem: If I skip my first flight from Minneapolis to Orlando, Northwest will cancel my return flight from Orlando back home. To "cancel" would mean owing them at least $250 in fees! I know I'm upset, but is this not outrageous?? They want to charge me a fee to change my flight, a fee to reprocess my ticket, and the difference to pay for whatever a one-way ticket costs. All that for me to not! even! fly! with them!!! Wow, writing this, I am still angry.

What you should learn from my mistakes: Don't plan on skipping a flight if you also plan to catch your return flight. The thought didn't even cross my mind, and now I will pay dearly for my assumptions.

Please send happy thoughts.

A Prairie Home Companion

We went there. We did this. It was grand. It was quintessential Minnesota. And, most importantly, after long waiting, disappointment, chasing, elbowing out other patrons, and paying $7, I performed the ultimate daughterly duty by procuring for my dad a slice of famous beepop a reebop rhubarb pie.

Family for the Fourth