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now that was a weekend. ~55 hours in chicago, illinois.

  • the shedd aquarium was great, if for no other reason that it contains otters, funnest animal alive
  • the art institute blew me away with how much impressionist art it had
  • i’d forgotten how much i love ribs
  • don’t believe the hype. giordano’s pizza is the worst i’ve ever had, hands down
  • i could do the architecture boat tour a dozen times and not get tired of it
  • one day, when i have money, me and my credit cards are gonna take a little trip down the magnificent mile
  • the restaurant at the fairmont hotel serves the best $15 waffle i ever et

jaysus

i mean, i knew what to expect, but i wasn’t expecting that! cirque du soleil, tout le monde. if you ever have a chance to go see it, go see it. i saw this year’s installment, varekai, and by all reports it’s not even as good as some of their previous work, but it was enough to make me say, “holy shit!” more than a few times.

forget the “traditional” circus with all the animal torture. sign me up for people shooting across the room into giant white fabric slides, sparks flying from blades in a high-speed spinning swordfight, guys doing 30 consecutive sitting backflips and acrobats falling 30 feet as they unravel themselves from a giant net any day.

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103 hours of fun!

  • one of the guys from great big sea was on my flight to halifax
  • met marney for lunch at your father’s moustache. the lemon pepper chicken rocks and beer is only $4!!
  • after a stroll around the waterfront to see buskerfest and dinner at the (original) granite brewery, i eventually make it to the prince george in time to see the fireworks. they were originally intended for the previous monday but weather had delayed the show. i could see them perfectly from my south view of the harbour. and the hotel room was free!
  • saw an episode of trailer park boys being filmed at spring garden and queen
  • checked out the dalhousie campus to see what had changed. they’ve been messing with howe hall, my old residence. hung out in the quad.
  • spent hours in the public garden (had to fend off mormons at the entrance)
    • saw 8 ducklings waddling along in a line
    • saw 2 turtles in the water. the ducks kept running them down.
    • saw a hawk or osprey snatch a fish out of the water (!)
    • saw a family get swarmed by ducks and divebombed by pigeons
  • drove back to the farm with tim and al (who can only be described as delightful)
  • ate so much barbequeued meat, belated-birthday-cake and pie that i still feel full
  • caught some local theatre, ate some fresh blueberries, played with niece & nephew & cat & dogs, enjoyed the fresh air
  • my dad likes songs i sent him by the white stripes, jeff buckley, spiritualized and moby, making him much cooler than most people i know 40 years his junior
  • flew home last night, had dinner with Nellie & Amy before ames leaves town for good
  • came home and slept the sleep of the dead
  • woke up this morning resentful of being back, and yet craving thai

why hadn't i watched these before?

two movies which i’d never seen until this past week, for some bizarre reason or another:

  • ferris bueller’s day off: despite being a john highes product (the main reason i’d stayed away before), i thought it was good. funny and informative (i’m going to chicago later this month, so it was nice to get a tour). battabattabattabattasaaa-wiiiingbatta
  • swingers: this movie was so very, very money. as with made, i hated vince vaughn for the first half hour, but grew to like him a bit. the whole scene with jon favreau leaving messages on nikki’s answering machine had me halfway between hysterical laughter and sympathy pains. i was yelling, “no, don’t call her again!” at the tv. thank god no one was here.

LOTR

dang, if i’d known there were no decent extras (at least, nothing you couldn’t find on the net) on this 2-disc DVD set i’d have just waited for the 4-disc set coming in november. i’ll probably buy it anyway.

congratulations, new line & alliance atlantis. i am your consumer. your marketing scheme has worked perfectly. well done.

yet more movies

see, i disconnected my cable for the summer, and i discovered this great new video store, and my video list was getting out of control…all this explains why you keep seeing so many movies discussed here. as if anyone’s actually reading this anyway…

  • lawrence of arabia: i can see why my brother called this his favourite movie. god, the locations were just incredible…all the desert shots, the sunrises as beautiful as they are sure to mean death. it annoyed me that movie producers ever felt they had to cast white men in arab roles (alec guinness as prince feisal? anthony quinn as auda abu tayi? right.
  • bottle rocket: probably would’ve liked it more if i could stand owen wilson. but i can’t. luke, yes. owen, no. only time i laughed was when kumar (kumar pallana, who appears in all of wes anderson’s movies) said, “who was that man?”. and i laughed a lot.
  • eight men out: i’d seen it years ago, but i didn’t appreciate it back then. i couldn’t really follow the plot, and i didn’t appreciate how good the actual ball was compared to other shite baseball movies. john sayles is a pretty talented guy; he directed and played ring lardner.
  • do the right thing: typical spike lee. not bad, not great. some characters compelling, some annoying (yes, yes, just like real life, i unnerstand), all overdone. rosie perez was and is a medical marvel, able to be extremely sexy and phenomenally annoying at the same time.

also saw signs this weekend. man, it’s fun to watch a scary movie in a huge theatre where people freak out. blair witch was even better for that (the four girls in front of me who covered their eyes, stomped their feet and mumbled “ohmygodohmygodohmygod…” for the last 10 minutes were priceless), but signs was funny too. weird to see people so scared and then laughing out loud 5 seconds after. go see it.

more movies

  • bullets over broadway: normally i hate woody allen movies, but this one was pretty funny. john cusack and jennifer tilly were good, but dianne wiest was great. shh…don’t speak. don’t speak!!
  • othello: strangely, i’d never read othello or seen it in play/movie format…except for seeing “O” last year, but that was a tragedy for different reasons. william shakespeare must look down fromw whatever perch he’s sitting on these days and just thanks his lucky stars for kenneth branagh. the guy’s amazing.
  • blue velvet: o. ver. rate. ted. man, what a disappointment. i should’ve known better than to take everyone’s word for it that this movie was a classic. it came out in 1986. nothing that came out in 1986 can be a classic. dennis hopper and kyle maclachlan were just annoying, and what the hell was going on with dean stockwell? gah.
  • bob roberts: laughed my ass off. “right is right, left is wrong”. it’s such a great parody of american politics and media shortsightedness. rent it. memorize the songs. you’ll hear them (spoken, maybe, not sung) over the next two years or so.

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i’m just getting up from the nap i needed to recover from the weekend i just had. a long delay, a short flight, a quick meeting with a new family member, a special bitter, goldmember, good timing, a surprise, a sleepless night, a beach, a redneck town, a huge party, fireworks, earplugs, champagne & orange juice, a drive home, a barbeque, some primo family time, a drive back, lobster dinner (i had hamburgers), strawberries, an early night, an earlier morning, a short flight, a cab ride, a subway ride, a half-assed attempt at work, a nap, an order for chinese food.

you’re now caught up.

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ok, before this rain started, it was so damned humid outside that i’d be walking along and all of a sudden feel a drop of water form on my face. not sweat, mind you, the air was just…shedding water. it was funny, all these people on the sidewalk looking up to see if the windows were being washed…

more movies

  • the apartment: oldie with jack lemmon and shirley maclaine – who, incidentally, was kinda hot when she was young – was pretty good, actually. not having grown up with movies of the era, i always find the acting kind of wooden, except for lemmon who was always brilliant. not bad, movie-wise.
  • heavy: i’ve been meaning to see this for years. i was surprised to have recognize evan dando right away, since ‘ve never seen him on screen before. must’ve been the voice. liv tyler was really good, better than in everything else she’s done short of stealing beauty, deborah harry was good, shelly winters was good and pruitt taylor vince was amazing. i noticed how they made every male other than victor a complete asshole, but what was with the airplanes all the time?
  • i shot andy warhol: a little disappointing; lily taylor was incredible, but the movie itself was only so-so. not great, not terrible.
  • josie and the pussycats: believe it or not, i loved it. i had no idea it was all anti-corporate, and whther it worked or not doesn’t matter so much. i laughed all the way through. i love parker posie. i LOVE rosario dawson. and rachel leigh cook (now). and if tara reid would justlay off the makeup…anyway, it was good. dujour means seatbelts!!