Tuesday, October 31, 2006

For Your Consideration - Official Trailer!

Christopher Guest's new film "For Your Consideration" opens on November 17 in DC, Seattle, NY, Boston, Chicago and other major markets. Mony will have to wait til the 22nd to see it....

Hmmm. The 17th. That's a Friday. I certainly won't try to see it over that weekend.
Perhaps I'll take the day off, instead.

I heart Judi Dench. She (along with helen mirren) gives me hope for the future.

And after reading this, I've decided to add her to my list of dream dinner guests.

"James Bond actor Daniel Craig has a large penis, according to his 'Casino Royale' co-star Dame Judi Dench.

The British actress caught a glimpse of the hunky actor's impressive appendage as he was getting dressed in his trailer which was situated opposite her own.

Dench, who plays secret service boss M in the new movie, told Britain's Daily Star newspaper: "It's an absolute monster! Maybe I shouldn't have said that. How uncouth of me!"

Uncouth, indeed. Nothing you say could be uncouth, dame judi!

Monday, October 30, 2006

another weekend blows by...and the house is still a pit. I do have a bit of an excuse...saturday morning, about 9, the phone rings. I thought it would be BJ, as we were planning to get together to do some shopping later in the day.

Instead, it was Cinda, our real estate agent in Florida. Asking me if I was sitting down, with a large cup of coffee, a pen and a pad of paper....because we had a contract on the house.

I replied "No, I'm standing up, half dressed and just out of the shower (tshirt and sweater ok for the the outside worldm the rest, no!), and without a cup of herbal tea. Can you ring me back in five minutes?"
So, I hustled off to throw some water into the coffee maker (which I use mainly for heating water these days), threw some sweats and socks on so I wouldn't freeze on the phone, and found paper. And finally a pen. All writers who never have anything to write with at home raise your hands!

She rings back, and tells me the offer. It's about 15% less than our asking price, and about 10k less than the appraisal. But she reminds me that at this time last year, about 80 homes had sold in pelican cover. To date this year? 12. The buyers are from NYC, and are new enroute to sarasota. The already own in the development, but wanted something first floor, and on the water. They've made the offer sight unseen, though they do know the neighborhood.

I tell her we need to talk with RLK and NKK...and that I'll ring Nancy and see if she's available for a 3 way call. RLK lives in LA....too early to call.

I get Nancy, we talk with Cinda, and decide that making a counter offer is a good move. We settle on a price that equals the appraisal, plus the costs of new tile, carpet and painting. All we have to do now is tell RLK about the offer, and make sure he's standing by his fax machine. We hang up with Cinda preparing the counter offer, and us awaiting a long fax with the original contract and the counter.

I proceed to call RLK. Leave a message on his cell. Leave a message on his home phone. And his office. Send an email to his office, which I know bounces to his blackberry.
Call NKK to get the exact prices for the carpet, tile and painting. We remember him saying he was going to Tokyo for a little holiday, and then right to St. Louis for something having to do with his alumni board at WU. We think that trip was last week.

Decide that I should probably try calling Lisa's cell. But I don't have it! NM does, but she's in Paris. What to do? Call Charles!

He doesn't answer, so I leave a messge. He rings back in 5 minutes. From Philadelphia. He's gone to his first homecoming at Penn. Having a great time, and wants to chat, chat, chat. Tells me his dad is in Tokyo until Wednesday. But he does have a skype number (you know, that use your computer as a phone thing...).

I call it, and leave a message. Then , knowing he prefers Starwood hotels these days, I use my powers of deduction, and decide to call the Westin Tokyo. Where it's about 1 am. A lovely voice answers the phone in Japanese. But that doesn't scare me....my travels to Tokyo taught me that most hotels have an english speaking operator on duty. And this woman switches to english without losing a beat.

Lisa answers on the first ring. Starts telling me all about the trip. I see dollar signs, as I calculate the cost. Finally, she tells me RLK is in the bathroom (and we all know about japanese toilets, don't we???), and hands the phone over.
I protest: TMI, TMI! Too much information, but that doesn't stop him from opining about the state of modern japanese bathrooms.

Finally get him to listen to me, and he says he'll call back from the computer link. When he does, I call Cinda, and we've got another three-way call going. There's a bit of a satellite lag, but I (rather sharply, I must say) tell everyone to just speak slowly, and one at a time.
Business finally taken care of, and I repeat what we've decided: Here's the counter offer. Cinda will fax the original offer, and the counter to me and NKK. At this moment, she will only fax RLK a fact sheet...as he can read the whole thing upon his return. We hang up.

I immediately draft an email to NKK and RLK, repeating the offer, the counter offer, and the next step. Which includes a paragraph specifically for RLK. It says something like : I know you're a lawyer, but here is exactly what Cinda wants you to write in the note. Please use this wording about agreeing with our counter offer.

The fax arrives. I'm out. NKK has to go out, so we agree to meet on Sunday to sign and fax back. RLK emails that he got my note. Great!

Sunday comes and Cinda tells me she hasn't heard back from RLK. I email him. A few hours later, I get a response from him that includes the note he sent to Cinda. In which he states he hasn't gotten the contract, just the fact sheet. And that the counter is ok with him.

Sigh. All I had asked him to do was parrot what I'd written. Because that was the wording Cinda requested. But that would mean reading the email I sent. So, I answered him, explaining again what he was supposed to do...and did a cut and paste of my original note.

Off to NKK's. Sign everything and prepare to fax back. 2 hours later, we end up faxing it to the staples a half mile from CInda, as her fax machine just doesn't get the idea that it's supposed to receive our message.

I hear back from her later that day: she applauds the fact we signed and initialed in all the right places. The first time. That doesn't usually happen.

Now, we wait.

Friday, October 27, 2006

OMG! how did this happen? Me, ms-any-excuse-to-eat-cake, forgot to celebrate the birthday of this blog!

Let's return to those thrilling days of yesteryear....

i think i need a new avatar, but i'm not feeling very clever. Any ideas?

on to more important things: I have been remiss regarding posting photos from the show last Saturday. Mark had his pix online by Sunday morning, I feel so slug-like. Just let me drown in a puddle of beer and put me out of your misery.

In the meantime, check out these two happy guys: Max and JDG.

This was post guitar lesson, I think. Perhaps the recent japan tour is responsible for the sans shoes effect, perhaps not. I know my habit of shucking shoes the minute I come in the door deepened after my first visit years ago. Though I must admit I haven't yet acquired toilet slippers*.

Just a warning. In case you're walking around my house. Which isn't likely until I dig out from all the crap that's piled up over the past few months.

* surely you've read about the "ugly americans" who visit japan, and make the error of wearing their inside slippers into the bathrooom, instead of swapping them for the (usually) garish, plastic slippers ONLY for use in the bathroom. Don't forget to change back, once you step near the threshold.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Horrors! I am shocked, I tell you. Shocked! Can you believe the following?????

Peter O'Toole smuggled vodka into Oscars!

Tuesday, October 24 2006, 12:55 BST - by Ben Rawson-Jones
Peter O'Toole threatened to walk out of the 2003 Academy Awards because no alcoholic drinks were available.

According to IMDB, the 74-year-old screen icon only stayed at the event after some vodka was covertly brought in, even though he was due to pick up an Honorary Oscar.

Speaking about the event, O'Toole revealed his reaction when told that only fruit juices and water were on offer in the bar: "I said, 'All right, I'm f**king off. I'll be back.' A man with earphones said, 'No! No!' Eventually this vodka was smuggled in."

when sidney omarr died, the washington post had to find a new astrology column. It's written by Holiday Mathis, who offers some of the weirdest horoscopes I've ever had the pleasure to read. just about a year ago, I shared a wonderful one.

The one today ranks right up there:
GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Your life is usually like a buffet banquet that you freely peruse. But today is more like a sit-down dinner at a friend's house. You didn't choose the food, and you're not sure what's coming, but you like being served.

This is not the same writer found on the Post website. If you'd like to hear what's in store for you, leave a comment, and I'll share.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

i'm here, i'm here. Just swamped, which is not my usual state.

What i didn't share about last week was that i woke up friday with my first migraine in about a year. And did I have any meds? Well, maybe I did, but all i took was advil becasue I just kept thinking "it's a regular headache and will stop." FOrgetting that I've pretty much sworn off advil, as i think it gives me rebound headaches....which probably explains why it lasted so long. Instead of advil, I've gone back to plain ol' aspirin. Except for migraines, when I should be using the imitrex.

It peaked during the show on Saturday, and then i rapidly came back to life. All thursday I kept smelling "smoke," and I think I've got to remember that as one of my warning signs. Of course, I was around smokers, so maybe it was really just that! I guess I won't know til next time....I do remember thinking i was very sensitive to smells friday and saturday.

oh, who the hell knows.

time to head out and buy a new pair of gloves. It was about 42 when I left the house this morning, so I went to the drawer searching for gloves. And found them: 3. 2 black, 1 brown. All right handed.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

another whirlwind week. JDG is in town, I had lunch with him on Wednesday, Mark too. He's staying at mark's, and has told mark "thanks for loaning me your family." Seemed happy at lunch, and also at the Thursday show....though mark says today has been kind of rough due to the setting of the show in baltimore last night. In a bowling alley. An active bowling alley. I'm hoping things are a bit brighter now, and all will be well for the show tonight.

I didn't travel up to baltimore, I went over to the birchmere to see guy clark. Who's looking quite well himself....much better than he did in April. He sounded wonderful, as usual.

Slaid Cleaves was the opener, and we spent an hour or so catching up. I had this irrational sense of pride while watching him on stage....how many years ago was it that we sat around dreaming of that stage? 5? 10 is more like it. Anyway, it was wonderful to just hang out and find out what the plan is these days. I told him my advice was now free, and to pick my brain anytime. And even better than free is the fact that my advice is likely to be much better than it was when we were working together. I'd like to think I've picked up a few tricks in the passing years!

And yes, Mony----ronda did show up at the Amsterdam gig. I guess she's back in Austin today, just in time for the Stones show. Or was that last weekend?

I've wasted much of today straightening out some computer problems (the pc, not the mac), doing some wash, reading the paper, and trying to ignore a booming headache.

Sound check is at 530, I told mark i'd show up around then, but it's more likely to be 630 the way I'm moving. Cross your fingers that things go well....i want to see Jon Dee leaving town happy.

Monday, October 16, 2006

many of us learned long ago that the reward system really works.
So, here's your reward for getting through another Thanksgiving with the family....

on sale now at amazon for 27.99. Purchase during the presale and they'll match the lowest price offered between now and the sale date of the tuesday after thanksgiving. I'd give you the exact date, but I can't figure it out at the moment.

Interesting photo, btw. Denzel, front and center. It's been eons since I've seen the first season, but I seem to remember Mark Harmon being the best known actor in the cast.

My first thought was: this is very funny! Then I switched to: this is kinda sad.

You decide. From the AP

"Bill Murray created a small sensation in the Scottish town of St.
Andrews, joining Scandinavian students at a late-night party and even
helping to wash the dishes, a newspaper reported Sunday.

In the movie "Lost in Translation," Murray plays a lonely middle-aged
actor in Japan who befriends a young American woman and goes partying
with her.

And in what The Sunday Telegraph said was life imitating art, the
56-year-old Murray joined up with 22-year-old Norwegian student Lykke
Stavnef, who took him to a house where a student party was in full

"Nobody could believe it when I arrived at the party with Bill Murray,"
Stavnef, a social anthropology student, was quoted as saying. "He was
just like the character in 'Lost in Translation.'"

The newspaper reported that Murray met Stavnef at a bar where he was
drinking with fellow golfers after playing in the Oct. 5-8 Alfred
Dunhill Links Championship in St. Andrews with other actors.

To Stavnef's surprise, Murray accepted her invitation to a party and
accompanied her and her friend to a party, the newspaper said.

She said she was first concerned when the apartment had no clean
glasses left, but that Murray was happy to drink vodka from a coffee
cup and also helped wash dishes in the cramped kitchen.

The Sunday Telegraph article was accompanied by a photograph that
appears to show Murray, dressed in a checkered shirt and a brown vest,
washing a metal pot at the sink.

As news spread around the city that Murray had turned up at the student
party, the house became crowded with people wanting to meet the star of
"Ghostbusters," the article said.

"He was joking with me about reheating some leftover pasta and how
drunk everyone was," said partygoer Agnes Huitfeldt, 22.

Tom Wright, 22, another college student, said "the party was
overflowing with stunning Scandinavian blondes."

"He seemed to be in his element, cracking lots of jokes," Wright said.
"It was the talk of the town the next day."

Shortly after doing the dishes, Murray left the party, the students
said. "

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I am back from a lovely couple of days on the road with the Greencards. they had a festival in southern VA, so after the DC show Friday, Carol hopped into my car, they boys in the van, and we sped off. A comedy of errors awaited us at the hotel: one room fine, another room fine, the room C and I were sharing was so smoky that it smelled like it hadn't been cleaned in six years. The minister of hotels went back to the front desk, worked his magic, and came out with keys for two rooms! C's was fine, mine, well, we think there was someone still there. Or perhaps they'd left and the room hadn't been turned over. We saw a few scary things from the window: a crumpled sock, pulled out drawers in the dresser and nightstand, and a half empty bottle of lotion bedside.

Soon the minister came back with another key, and after checking the room out, turned it over to me. by then it was close to 330, and they had to be on site by 1030, so it was lights out.

It was cold and quite windy when we set off a few hours later. We finally found our way onto the grounds, only to be met by five people with five different ideas on where the van should be parked. Once that was settled, the band headed for soundcheck, and i helped out by getting the merch checked in and sorted. A couple of weak cups of coffee (or decaf) later, they were on, and I was taking pictures....a few of which will show up later.

I thought it was a good set, the band was somewhat satisfied. The audience agreed with me, and all afternoon I was treated to sight of extremely nice people coming up with congratulations. What a nice bunch of people. But they weren't pushovers, they knew their music!

more later...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

did anyone else break a sweat when blogger was down this am? It kept telling me I didn't exist.

I needed to fill that time usually spent reading too many blogs, so I walked down to the Caf to buy a very weak cup of decaf. And I was immediately glad I did, because I heard someone utter one of my favorite arrested development lines in response to some silly demand imposed by mahoghany row (i.e., the big bosses): "I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

i'm here, i'm here. Back from san francisco, where i attended hardly strictly bluegrass 2006. A great FREE festival in Golden Gate Park, this year featuring: elvis costello, jimmie dale gilmore and butch hancock, emmylou harris with a bunch of great dc musicians: john starling, jimmy gaudreau, and mike auldridge; richard thompson, tim o'brien with sister mollie o'brien, the austin lounge lizards, and more. I enjoyed it, as did about 350,000 of my closest friends.

The best part? Walking into the park and almost being hit by a plastic water bottle. Why? because that bottle was tossed by my friends louis and kathy, who were in from boston. What are the odds of running into someone you know in a crowd that size????

The second best part of the trip? Well, seeing my friend michelle was pretty cool, as was a finding a great (and cheap) chinese/vietnamese restaurant on geary downtown. Driving up to calistoga for a mudbath monday was also near the top. hanging with ann, talking with butch, mingling with the lizards, all good stuff.

But what I'll remember most is my uncontrollable glee while watching the brill bbc series "life on mars." it's the story of a police officer who is hit by a car, and wakes up in 1973, working as a detective in manchester.

What happened to him?
# Is he in a coma?
# Is he insane?
# Has he fallen back through time?
# Is there a fourth possibility?

Gritty, wonderful characters, and some of the best use of music I've come across in years. Absolutely perfect.

Here's the official bbc website.

Unfortunately, they couldn't secure all the music rights when the dvds were produced, so the home version isn't quite as good. The substitutions work, but it's just not how the producers intended. (just as it is with the current syndication of WKRP. Losing the original songs lessens the episodes.) In fact, I just told lee that the last ten minutes of episode 4, starting with when they bring in the Stones "Wild Horses" is just about the most perfect ten minutes of TV I've ever seen. The stones didn't give the OK, so the scene just falls short of perfection on the dvds.

Interestingly, paul mccartney gave the ok for the use of "live and let die" (it's used brilliantly, I must stay) after seeing the show. Perhaps when the final run is over, and a complete boxed set is released, things will work out. I can't imagine the Stones not loving this....

8 episodes, fantastic acting, engrossing story.Characters so good that the a recent newspaper poll named the second lead (not the star character, his supervisor in the plot) one of the "ten best television characters ever in britain.

I've gotten through 5 episodes and am sad at the thought of only three more. There's another season scheduled for this year, and then that is it. finito.

The kind of tv we don't make here. David e Kelley is going to make an american version, and he'll ruin it. Everything will be tied up in cute little packages. People will look to perfect.

Do whatever you must to find this series. Don't watch it on BBC America. They've chopped ten minutes out of each episode to make it fit....and that ruins everything. Not to mention the loss of tension with a commercial break every 90 seconds.

(if you need help with this mission, contact me.....)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I used to enjoy watching the food network. But in the past year or so, it's started to bore me. I finally figured out why: it's too pretty. and no food.

of course, it took Bill Buford, Anthony Bourdain, and the New Yorker to drive that point home to me.

"Anthony Bourdain lamented when I spoke to him. “The Food Network is weeding out the Old Guard real-chef cooking shows like missing Molotovs—‘Molto Mario,’ Sara Moulton.”

go here for the gory story.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I don't think any more needs to be said about the following....but go ahead and say it!

Monday, October 02, 2006

i can not believe that I actually "done drug"* my big ass camera to nashville, and never took a picture. The award show snap was from mony, who may one day treat us to her thoughts on the event.

*actual phrase overheard in an elevator at the Renaissance Hotel, Nashville. I believe the exact usage was "well, he done drug it here, so he might as well pick with it." I doubt this guy was planning to pick his teeth, as a few were missing. So I'm presuming they were talking about the big bass he was carrying. I'm not talking about a fish, btw. (maybe I should have said, "I ain' tawkin' 'bouw no fish 'ere.")