12.31.2007

Hmmm...what's going on here?

As I mentioned, we went to Madame Tussaud's wax museum last week. I have the pictures posted on flickr.com, which shows you how many times each pictures has been viewed. I don't usually get a lot of views on my pictures, but something strange is happening with these wax figure pictures.

To wit:

Will Smith viewed 2 times

Tiger Woods viewed 3 times

Johnny Depp viewed 7 times

and...

Jennifer Lopez viewed 116 times?!?!

What is that?!

12.29.2007

Catching up on movies

On Christmas night, my family and I went to see Denzel Washington's new movie, The Great Debaters. Oh wow--it was fantastic! The cast was perfect, each actor did an amazing job, the story was intriguing and heartfelt, and we definitely left the theater on a high. I highly recommend this for everyone. Denzel and Forest Whitaker are two of the best actors out there. In this movie, Denzel says so much with just a grin or stern look. He's amazing.

Tonight, Debbie and I went to see The Savages with Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. This movie was very good too, but it left me feeling a little depressed. It's about a brother and sister who have to find care for their father, who has dementia. My mom's and uncles are going through the same thing with my grandmother now, and it also got me thinking about the days when my sister and I might have to care for our folks. That's a sad thought, but the movie was really good. Laura Linney and PSH are two more great actors. They are always good, and didn't disappoint in this movie.

On DVD I watched Sherrybaby with Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress last year. This was the only Best Actress candidate I hadn't seen before last year's awards show. The movie is about Sherry, a prison parolee trying to make her way back in the real world. Maggie G. is another great actress, and her nomination was well-deserved.

Madame Tussaud's comes to DC

My family and I went to the (relatively) new Madame Tussaud's wax museum in DC on Wednesday. We practically had the place to ourselves, probably because of the holidays and the fact that it a cold and rainy day. We'd been to the museum in NYC, so it wasn't completely new, but the DC exhibit focuses more on politics and has different celebrities. We had a lot of fun.

Here are some examples:

Debbie with Tricky Dick

J. Edgar Hoover

Evander's Ear

Johnny Depp

Jennifer Lopez

Click here for more

12.23.2007

I finally saw Juno

I've been wanting to see Juno for weeks and finally went last night. I loved it. In case you don't know, it's about a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant and decides to have the baby and give it up for adoption. Ellen Page (who reminds me a lot of Janeane Garofolo) was fantastic and deserves all the award nominations she's received and is going to receive. The movie was heartfelt, but not sappy and it was funny, but not silly. I loved everything about it. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner play the couple who are going to adopt the baby. Seeing Jason Bateman and Michael Cera (most recently from Superbad) in the same flick prompted me to pull out one of my all-time favorite DVD sets, Arrested Development, when I got home. (Michael Cera played Jason Bateman's son.)

I think I'll have my own little AD marathon today. SmileyCentral.com

12.20.2007

Is anyone else watching....

...Clash of the Choirs? The title of the show is so hokey, but I've really enjoyed watching it this week. In case you don't know, it's an American Idol-style show where five musical celebrities went back to their hometowns, held auditions, and put togteher choirs of 20 people each. Each night this week they've come on to perform live, and then good ole America votes for who they want to win. The five celebrities are Patti LaBelle, Michael Bolton, Kelly Rowland, Nick Lachey and Blake Shelton. Each choir is hoping to win $250K for a charity of the celebrity's choosing. These choirs are really good.

I missed most of the first show and only saw Blake Shelton & Patti LaBelle's groups perform--both were good, but Patti's group was outstanding. I figured they should just stop the competition right then and there because they just blow everyone else out of the water. On the second show, Kelly's group got voted off--I never saw them perform, so I can't comment on whether or not that was the right decision. Last night, Michael Bolton's group was voted off--I do think that was the right decision. They just weren't as strong as the other three remaining groups.

I think tonight's the finale. All three groups are phenomenal, but I really think (and hope) Patti's group is going to win. The competition is tough though. For example, Nick Lachey's group sang Flight of the Bumblebees--a capella! That was VERY impressive. I'll have to check later to see if I can find that on YouTube--it's just too hard to describe how they used different syllables to sing the notes.

UPDATE: I found a clip--here it is:


NOTES: After this performance was over, Blake Shelton said something like, "I don't want to be too critical here, but I didn't understand a word of that!" Funny! Also, the chick standing next to Nick at the end? He was her first kiss! Aw...don't they make a cute pair?


Coupla observations:
  1. I've always thought it would be so cool to have Patti LaBelle as a friend. Still do. I think this started when I heard her on the radio talking about the first time she met Prince. He invited her to his home, and she cooked spaghetti for him--she said he needed to eat!
  2. I'm not a fan of country music and had no idea who Blake Shelton was until this show, but I must say, I'd like to know more about him now. He is a funny, funny guy, and he's not too hard on the eyes. :o)
  3. The hostess has commented to the teams that were voted off that there's a big surprise for them tonight. I suspect ALL of the charities are going to get something. That'd be in the Holiday spirit.
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I finally finished Eat, Pray, Love. I truly enjoyed the first section where the author spent time in Italy. The other two sections, when she was in India and Indonesia, were rather slow to me. I tried to explain to Debbie that I think it's because the author is SO spiritual and was really on a spiritual quest with meditation and prayer every day, and I just couldn't relate to that at all. I think she's a great writer, but the last two sections kind of dragged for me.

Not sure what I'm going to read next. I was going to read Empire Falls, but I don't think I'm in the mood yet.

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My friend L recommended a DVD movie called The Best of Youth -- it was apparently an Italian mini-series, mainly about two brothers and the different paths their lives take over the span of 40 or so years. It was a 2-DVD, 6-hour show, and I really enjoyed it. The shots of Italy were beautiful, the cast was great, the story was good...very poignant. It was a good recommendation, so now I'm passing it along to you.

12.18.2007

Bookmark this post for the next time you need a laugh

My mom sent me this video--I've watched it at least 10 times so far...this little guy is soooooooooooo cute! I LOVE his laugh. Enjoy!

12.10.2007

Can you tell me how to get to Avenue Q?

On Friday I went with Debbie and some friends to see Avenue Q at the National Theatre in D.C. I didn't know much about it, other than it featured Muppet-like characters, and I had absolutely no expectations going in. And I can say now that it's a great show.

Basically, it's sort of a parody of Sesame Street with adult themes such as entering the workforce, racism, getting an apartment, being different, falling in love, promiscuity, avoiding commitment, hangovers, Internet porn, discovering the world and finding your purpose. There are human characters along with the puppet characters. Trekkie Monster talks like Cookie Monster and is in love with porn. Rod and Nicky are like Bert & Ernie--and, Rod's a repressed gay Republican. Lucy the Slut has long blond locks ala Miss Piggy. The puppet handlers appear on stage. TV screens drop down periodically to show little cartoon lessons. If you grew up watching Sesame Street, it would all seem very familiar. Oh, and it's pretty raunchy! There's a VERY racy scene between two of the puppets!

Some of the songs are hilarious--such as "It Sucks to Be Me," "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "The Internet is for Porn," and "Schadenfreude." Here's a clip of "It Sucks to Be Me" that the Broadway cast performed on the Tony awards:



I'm glad we got to see it--we had a good time. (Though, the guys of our group didn't seem to care for the love story that was part of the show. One of them commented that the second half of the first act suddenly became a chick flick. I completely disagree--it was just very sweet. Plus, this is a guy who hates musicals--of course he's going to find something to complain about. We're not really sure why he goes to the shows with us. He must love our company.) :o)

My friend L, who's in her 50's, saw it and didn't care for it much. Her theory was that it targets a different generation. Sure enough, that's exactly what it was--the writers geared it toward people who were reared on Sesame Street. I haven't had a chance to compare notes with L, but I suspect I will have related to much more than she because those puppet characters were so familiar. I'm looking forward to talking to her about it.

12.01.2007

Apologize

No, I'm not apologizing for anything--I didn't do anything! I'm here to write about the One Republic song, "Apologize" that I'm in love with. I saw them on Jay Leno a couple months ago and thoroughly enjoyed the performance, with the cello and all. Then Timbaland spiced it up a bit and put it on his album--love that version too.

When I had dinner with Debbie tonight, she reminded me that Danny and Anya danced to the song early in the most recent season of So You Think You Can Dance. I'd forgotten all about that. Their performance was wonderful, and the choreography to the song was amazing and so fitting to the lyrics. I told Deb I'd find it on YouTube, and guess what? I did!