Friday, June 19, 2015

(Almost) Living the pre-Internet life

A thunderstorm brought a great deal of sound and fury to my neighborhood Thursday night, and as it was winding down it ran away with all Internet and cable TV access at my house.  My provider of these services, Time-Warner Cable, decided that no one could fix my house until Monday at noon at the earliest.

So, I am (almost) living the pre-Internet life.

Frankly, it sucks.  No email.  No Web browsing.  No cable TV.  I never think much about how heavily I count on all of those, particularly the first two, until I am without them.

Okay, I must admit that I can do email and browse at slower speeds and on a smaller screen on my phone, but am I a savage, to be reduced to this?  Surely not.

I eagerly await the return of the intertubes.  Until then, if you email me, don't be surprised if I take a long time to answer.

(For those wondering, I'm writing this away from home, because doing a blog entry on my phone would be barbaric.)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What's your favorite line from The Big Lebowski?

A group of us went to the Colony Theater last night to catch the latest in its Cool Classics series:  The Big Lebowski.  The film is so full of great lines and wonderful performances that I have trouble picking a particular favorite, but I'm in a sarcastic mood, so I ended up settling on the Dude's comment to the thug who drops his bowling ball:

Obviously you're not a golfer.
Tied for second for me are two quotes from Walter:
You want a toe?  I can get you a toe, believe me.  
Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax....
The Coen brothers were definitely at the top of their weirdness game when they wrote this one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Punk strangeness under the stars

Last night, a small group of us went to the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh to see three groups, each of which puts a punk spin on a particular style of music:  Mariachi El Bronx, Gogol Bordello, and Flogging Molly.  The temperature was in the nineties when we arrived, I didn't know the first group, and I barely knew the music of the second (but liked what I'd heard), so I wasn't at all sure how this would go.

I had a great time.  As Sarah has often observed, live music has a special power.  Sometimes at concerts, I close my eyes and let it wash over me, while most of the time I find the performers fascinating to watch.

Due to work, I missed the short set from Mariachi El Bronx.  I hope one day to give their music a listen.

I caught all of the music from Gogol Bordello and Flogging Molly, and I greatly enjoyed it all.  I honestly can't say which band I prefer, but both were energetic and never slowed for the times they were on stage.

If you never go to live concerts, you're definitely missing out.  Give one a try sometime soon.

For a little taste of the tunes from these two bands, try these two videos.

Gogol Bordello's "Start Wearing Purple" was one of the last pieces they performed, and they rocked the house with it.

Flogging Molly's "Seven Deadly Sins" was a song I already knew but is great each time I hear it.

I would happily see either band again and recommend both.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pondering the eternal questions

Sometimes, I simply cannot resist the urge to consider the weightiest of weighty matters.  The question before the house today is one of the toughest:

The whiz, or provolone?

Consider your answer carefully.

Monday, June 15, 2015


A post-dinner, last-minute decision took a small group of us the other night to see Spy, the new Melissa McCarthy movie.  I'm not a huge fan of hers--her movies usually make me cringe at the awkwardness and the fat-woman humor--but I'd heard from two people that it was supposed to be quite funny.

I'm happy to report that not only do I now agree with those recommenders, I also found it one of the funniest films I've seen in quite some time.  McCarthy does what she does, but she does it particularly well here.  What makes the film, however, is the combination of the writing and the extremely strong performances of the supporting cast members, particularly and surprisingly Statham.  He's been funny in the Crank movies, but here he brings all the intensity of his action-hero performances to bear on screamingly funny dialog.

From the trailer, you're bound to think you know the plot, and you probably do know its basic shape--but that's not what really matters.  This one is all about the ride, the way writer/director Paul Feig and his wonderful cast turn a formula into a film that's fun from start to finish.

The next time you need to laugh, check out Spy--and do stay for the credits.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rock the Kasbah

is a movie I have to see.  The trailer hooked me in the first five seconds of Bill Murray's opening speech.

If the film can live up to the insanity of the trailer, I will be a happy man.


Blog Archive