Monday, May 31, 2010

Some Movies I Like That Have Numbers in the Title

  • 5th Element
  • District 9
  • 50 First Dates (though this one should really be called 50 First Kisses)
  • The 6th Sense
  • 3 Days of the Condor

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An Epic List in Honor of New York City

And in Anticipation of our Upcoming 10th Trip to NYC

Years We’ve Been:
1. 1998
2. 2000 (that was just me, T went by himself in 2002)
3. 2001
4. 2004
5. 2005
6. 2006
7. 2006 (yes, twice)
8. 2007
9. 2009

What We Did:
1. Stayed at the Algonquin
2. Rode the Staten Island Ferry
3. Visited MOMA, pre-renovation
4. Visited MOMA, post-renovation
5. Visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art
6. Went to the top of the Empire State Building
7. Saw JFK, Jr. (1998)
8. Visited the Whitney
9. Ran into somebody I knew
10. Bought cheap clothes on Broadway
11. Walked through Central Park in the snow
12. Ice-skated in Rockefeller Center
13. Squeezed my way through Times Square
14. Visited the Brooklyn Museum of Art
15. Visited the Frick Museum
16. Visited the Morgan Library
17. Saw Coney Island
18. Went to the old Yankees Stadium
19. Went to the old Shea Stadium
20. Visited the Studio Museum in Harlem
21. Visited the Neue Museum
22. Visited the New Museum
23. Bought cheap jewelry on St. Marks Place
24. Went to the Brooklyn Flea
25. Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge
26. Went to the Cloisters/Ft. Tryon Park
27. Tried takoyaki for the first time
28. Visited the Cooper Hewitt Museum
29. Visited the Guggenheim Museum
30. Visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage
31. Visited the Museum of the American Indian
32. Saw an International Gay Pride parade
33. Went to an International Food Festival
34. Went to conferences (I’ve only been to 1, Toby has been to 8)
35. Had dim sum in Chinatown
36. Had Italian in Little Italy
37. Had Indian in one of those tiny mirrored restaurants on, what is it, Avenue A? Or 1st Ave?
38. Visited the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
39. Visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral
40. Visited Ground Zero
41. Ate at the Stage Deli
42. Ate at the Carnegie Deli (maybe?)
43. Ate at Aquavit
44. Ate at Nathan’s Famous @ Coney Island
45. Toured the Art Students League with a staff member
46. Took a tour of public art in the subway
47. Saw Neil Diamond singing outside on the Today Show
48. Toured Bushwick, in Brooklyn, with an artist who has a studio there
49. Visited Chelsea and tried to visit every gallery
50. Decided to get married
51. Visited the International Center of Photography
52. Visited the American Folk Art Museum
53. Visited the Jewish Museum
54. Watched people learning to salsa outside at Lincoln Center
55. Went to the South Street Seaport
56. Went to Grand Central Station and said, “It’s like Grand Central Station in here!”
57. Relaxed at Bryant Park
58. Visited the New York Public Library
59. Visited 2 people’s homes and 1 person’s studio
60. Ate at the Applejack Diner!

Still Haven’t:
1. Visited the Statue of Liberty
2. Eaten at Papaya King (or Gray’s Papaya) (probably both)
3. Gone to the new Shea Stadium (do they still call it that?)
4. Gone to the new Yankee Stadium and boo the Yankees (in my mind)
5. Visited the Drawing Center (may have already done this, but don’t remember so I'll do it again)
6. Gone to the Russian Tea Room, Tavern on the Green, Serendipity (should I bother with these?)
7. Seen the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
8. Taken one of those double-decker tour buses
9. Run into Tim Gunn on the street

Will Probably Never:
1. Go to the Theater (we’re not theater people)
2. Visit the Statue of Liberty (I’m not interested in spending my whole trip to NY in a line)
3. Ride a carriage through Central Park

Now y’all make a list of what we should do for visit #10!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


(There is a list in here, I promise.)

I am really curious as to my own motives lately for continuing to give network series a try, when they are more and more likely to be yanked off the air before a satisfactory completion. I’m talking to you ABC, whose takebacks reminded me of how upset I still am with NBC about My Name is Earl. And Fox, I see you trying to slink out, but you are also in trouble.

Here are just a few series off the top of my head that have been canceled in the last few years, THAT I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF WATCHING:

  1. Flash Forward – will end without any answers to anything. Thanks, ABC.
  2. Eastwick – almost had closure at the end of the season, but then introduced new characters as though I was going to get to keep watching it.
  3. My Name is Earl – seriously, NBC. This show had been on a couple of years, and ended with the discovery that Dodge was actually Earl’s son, and Earl Jr was not Darnell’s son. For future reference, NBC, that is not how you end a story.
  4. New Amsterdam – had some interesting twists that could’ve been explored more. Most importantly it had really attractive actors, which just isn’t something you find on cheap reality shows.
  5. Surface – this show was all about mysterious creatures that, unsatisfyingly, remain mysterious.

Sure, a TV series is “free” entertainment, and is similar to Facebook in that I feel weird complaining about something not working right when it’s not something I’m paying for. But let’s face it, I am invested emotionally. I don’t have a ton of free time, but I choose to park it in front of the TV when I can for some decent storytelling and a little escapism.

And no, these are not the best shows. They are admittedly pretty silly, but they all had something good about them that kept me coming back, including continuing storylines in which the characters were looking for answers.

Now I’m looking for answers. Mostly, why do I continue to invest time in something that could end without warning, and without closure?

I am tempted to say that I will not try any new network shows, that I will wait to see if they pan out and then possibly get them from Netflix. I am tempted to say I will not watch anything on network TV, except maybe Craig Ferguson, CBS Sunday Morning, and the occasional episode of House. But would that change anything? The networks don’t care what I do.

My feelings about this are culminating right here at the end of Lost. In a world more catered to my tastes, TV series would be designed in this way: a story arc that has a certain amount of time in which TO TELL THE WHOLE STORY, instead of either being cut short or dragging on forever (ER). In lieu of that ever happening, I will probably watch the last couple of episodes of Flash Forward while wondering why I bother.

And just in case anybody’s been watching Parenthood? I like that one, too, so don’t expect it to last long.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nurse Pinning Ceremony by the Numbers

  • Newly pinned (graduated) nurses that I know: 2 (One of my 24 favorite first cousins, Amy, and my sister-in-law, Tina, whose ceremony we attended last night)
  • Nurses pinned last night: 103
  • Kids sitting behind us being loud during the ceremony: sounded like 8, but may have only been 3
  • Male nurses being pinned: 12 (yay, male nurses!)
  • According to the program, new nurses with the middle name Lynn, the most popular middle name of the evening: 6
  • Female nurses named Randall: 1
  • Moments in time: One Moment in Time, sung for the graduates

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Top 25 Favorite Books of All Time

Inspired by Brooke Foy's project for UrbanArt at Cordova Library/Bert Ferguson Park for which she is constructing huge concrete books of various titles into a maze and benches, I have put together a list of my top 25 books (not in order):

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
2. Bluebeard, Kurt Vonnegut
3. Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
5. Fair and Tender Ladies, Lee Smith
6. Devil's Dream, Lee Smith
7. The Pleasure of my Company, Steve Martin
8. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
9. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
10. Suite Francais, Irene Nemirovsky
11. Skinny Legs and All, Tom Robbins
12. The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan
13. Emma, Jane Austen
14. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
15. The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
17. The Florentine Papers, Thom Palmer
18. Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
19. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
20. Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich
21. Tracks, Louise Erdrich
22. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
23. About a Boy, Nick Hornby
24. Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
25. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, JRR Tolkein

P.S. I made this list about two months ago, and some of these surprised me as I typed them. I'll just take my word for it.