New man on the team

A few years ago I found in a closet two old school Kool-aid packets of the greatest flavor of all time: Great Bluedini. I told myself I’d drink one on the day I turned 30. Done. The other I’d drink the day I brought my first born home from the hospital. That’s today.


Oscar night

It has come to my attention that another Oscar night has come and gone. Whoops.

Of the 60 or so movies nominated for awards this year I had seen exactly two: Blue Jasmine and The Great Gatsby.  Whoops.

Though completely unfamiliar with the films involved, I had no trouble determining which of them would take home awards: movies about slavery, movies about gay men. Ta-da! Thanks, predictable Hollywood. See ya next year!

House of Cards Season Two

I have now seen Season Two of House of Cards in its entirety, and I’m happy to say it lived up to its hype. Last year I called the show something along the lines of The West Wing… if it were written by Woody Allen’s slightly more cynical and conservative twin. This season was more like The West Wing presented by the writers of Breaking Bad.

Two thumbs up.

The future of cookies

Kudos to the folks at Oreo cookies for leading us, yet again, into the future of snack foods. In stores now is something called the “cookie dough Oreo,” a delight one wonders why it took until 2014 to develop. Well, better late than never. And proof yet again that we are in fact living in the future.

Unbeaten no more

You can blame me for placing a jinx on the Orange of Syracuse this week, who lost their first game of the season Wednesday. A few weeks ago I ascribed their winning season to weakened competition from their new conference, the formerly venerable ACC. Well, surprise, surprise, SU’s first loss would come at the hands of Boston College… a former Big East team! #bigeastforever

The Year 2084

Last night I had a dream. It was the year 2084. And I was still playing gigs at nursing homes.

As I proceeded through my usual set of Sinatra, etc. the residents kept shouting out for Katy Perry and Hannah Montana.

I heard a man shout “Hey Ya” and thought that was a little better.

Then I realized he was having a stroke.

Political movies: Highs and lows

In the past week I have seen three political/historical movies of varying levels of “enjoyability.” Most interesting was how they did not at all match my expectations.

I first viewed George Clooney’s new World War II vehicle, The Monuments Men. I had high hopes for this movie, having been interested in the subject (the return of artwork stolen by the Nazis to its rightful owners) for many years. I have seen many documentaries on this theme, perhaps too many, as the first half of the film I noticed historical inaccuracy after historical inaccuracy. I also didn’t realize going in that the movie is a comedy. It is. Sort of. Regardless, halfway through the film I put all this aside and just enjoyed the movie as a story, and I was in fact pleased by the end. At least a B plus (marks off for my being too excited walking in).

At the other end of the spectrum is Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a film I expected to hate and refused to see in the theatre, but thoroughly enjoyed at home on DVD. Unlike The Monuments Men, which is probably 50% fiction and 50% fact, The Butler is 99% fiction. No matter. It’s a great story, and is not as soppy and politically correct as I feared. Fondly likened to a black version of Forrest Gump, I recommend it strongly.

And finally there is Bill Murray’s Hyde Park on Hudson, a “movie” about Franklin Roosevelt’s relationship with his cousin Daisy and the king of England (the relationships are in no way similar). I’d say this one is about 90% fiction, but that implies that there is any kind of story here at all. There isn’t. And this was one of the worst movies I’d ever seen. It makes Broken Flowers look like Casablanca and Ghostbusters look like Citizen Kane. Though I suppose the less said the better. Just… don’t. That is all.