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Oh man, that was cool. CBGB just took me for my birthday present: we got to drive around the Distillery District on Segways for an hour! It’s a tour run by these guys, and after a few minutes of instruction and a dopey safety video, we climbed on. After a few second of shakiness we learned to just trust the things; within five minutes we felt pretty comfortable. Half an hour later we were zipping around corners, riding with no hands, cranking it up to the second speed…it was awesome. I could have played like that all day. We told them they should really rent them over on Centre Island where you had more trails and fewer obstacles (i.e., tourists) per square foot.

I want one. So does Nellie, though at $6,000 a pop, I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon. But if you have $59, I highly recommend going down there for the hour and giving it a try.

Silver City

Being a big fan of John Sayles, and a bigger fan of George Bush mockery, I had some high hopes for Silver City (imdb | rotten tomatoes); alas, it bit. It had all kinds of potential, but ultimately wasted a perfect reproduction of Bush’s bumbling naiveté by Chris Cooper. His was the only inspired performance; the rest of the actors seemed to just phone it in. And so did the screenplay. Was it political satire? A whodunnit? A love story? A comedy? Not sure. It was a mess with a few stray nuggets of competence, like the last four seasons of Friends. Pass on this one, watch Eight Men Out or Lone Star instead.

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It was my birthday yesterday. And not just any birthday: ’twas my champagne birthday. I turned 30. I am now officially in my fourth decade. Not that it means a great deal to me; I’ve never been one to obsess about my age — lord knows I don’t miss anything prior to 20 — so I’ve been quite happy to age thus far. Not that I could do much about it if it upset me, I s’pose.

But it did mean a great deal to me that some friends came out with us last night, to wish me well in a manner more to my liking: no gifts or singing or whatnot, but a quiet and relaxed evening of enormous food and easy laughter. I’d never been to Morton’s, despite wanting to try it for years, so the nine of us had steaks the size of our heads (except the vegetarian and his companion, who probably weighed less than my steak anyway). T-Bone, who was still feeling shaky after her own birthday extravaganza the night before, not only polished off a huge steak and some wine, but ordered a chocolate soufflé meant for two people. For those of you who haven’t met her, she’s about the size of my left leg, so this was not unimpressive.

Of course, all this only happened because my sweet wife planned & organized it all. She showed me a good day from start to finish: big greasy breakfast at a nearby deli on Bay Street and lunch at the Rebel House, a bottle of 21 year old Macallan Fine Oak, and of course the dinner with friends. She’s something, that one.

She’s also dawdling. We were up until 2 again, and apparently we’re heading out this morning with CBGB (they won’t tell me where…grr), but she’s not exactly catlike & efficient today, so it’s looking like I won’t be ready to go on time.

Oh well…I knew it when I married her.

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Tonight there was a party at the home of the delightful, delicious, delovely T-Bone and Stanzi. We didn’t know many people, but I did meet someone I’d wanted to meet for some time: a friend of a friend who works at my favourite newspaper. She was wonderful (one of my favouritest things is meeting smart, charming people), as were many others in attendance. Seriously, though, I don’t think I’m attractive enough to attend any more of their parties; everyone else was hot. I felt like brown shoes in a tuxedo shop. Still, it was fun to be there when T-Bone’s birthday rolled over into my own.

And now…I need water & sleep. It’s technically my birthday already but I’d prefer to not be nauseous for the awake part.

What is it with me and disaster movies?

We saw War Of The Worlds (imdb | rotten tomatoes) last night. It was pretty good, actually; granted, any movie that does great special effects of mass destruction appeals to me. There were a few unnecessary sections and the ending was a little abrupt, but the action was pretty much nonstop, and I thought they did a good job of recreating all the old WOTW imagery (the tripods, the early 20th century hydraulics, etc.) without making it too cartoonish.

Ha ha…As I write this, the Porno For Pyros song “Pets” is playing on my Nomad. It’s about aliens coming to Earth and enslaving humans. Ha ha ha. Funny.

It’s not high art, but it’s a good summer movie.

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I laugh at the fact that, even though everyone has a computer in front of them, some people still have enormous dictionaries and clunky calculators sitting on their desks. From one little box in my Firefox toolbar I can do complex math, search with any engine, look up a word on dictionary.com or wikipedia, find a cd on amazon or cddb or a movie on imdb, find the weather in any city, get a stock quote…just about anything.

And don’t even get me started on printing…

Music at work

This was a good idea. I’ve started brining downloaded albums (which I like to call ‘previews’) to work with me so I can give ’em a listen and suss out what’s worth buying. Yesterday I decided to buy the new Constantines and took a pass on the Jason Collett disc; today I have the new Dandy Warhols disc Odditorium Or Warlords Of Mars and Underwater Cinematographer from The Most Serene Republic. So far I’m happy enough with the DW disc that I’ll buy it. I had no time for Welcome To The Monkeyhouse, but I like this return of spaciness they’ve undergone.

I’ve only skimmed through the TMSR disc, but at first listen it was pretty good. [update: on second listen, no it isn’t.]

Ear To The Ground

Where was I when all this started happening? Europe? Nova Scotia? Up my own ass? There’s a lot of good music on this bill…enough that I’d consider checking it out if it weren’t smack dab in the middle of the film festival.

Sleater-Kinney, The Hidden Cameras, Tricky Woo, Joel Plaskett, The Organ, A Northern Chorus, Death From Above 1979, …As The Poets Affirm, Final Fantasy, Frontier Index & The High Dials…that’s pretty impressive. And they say there’s more coming.