Sunday, April 18, 2010

Moving on

I moving my blog over to Word Press. Check me out there.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"What Just Happened?" and "I Feel Like I Ate the Sun!"

"Survivor" and "Modern Family," two of my favorite shows were new last night, and I think they both deserve a little shout out.

The 20th (!) edition of "Survivor" has had me hooked from the beginning. I must admit that I had stopped watching the show regularly the last few seasons, but having some of the best players from the last 10 years return for this "Heroes vs. Villains" edition was a brilliant idea.

Last night's episode had the players scrambling when they discovered that both teams were headed for Tribal Council to each vote a member off. It was kind of sad to see Colby (a favorite of mine from season two) seeming to give up, and watching Russell (pictured, right) try to outplay "Boston" Rob was just great freaking tv. Both Tribal Councils were surprising as to who was finally sent home (no spoilers for those who haven't seen it), and I totally agreed when a member of the villains tribe stated "What just happened?".

The "Starry Night" episode of  "Modern Family" was another great mix of storylines with characters Cameron and Gloria (Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara, left) having dinner together, father and son Phil and Luke (Ty Burrell and Nolan Gould) working on Van Gogh school project, and a astronomy outing with Jay, Mitchell and Manny (Ed O'Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Rico Rodriguez). The acting is great, with my favorites being Burrell, Stonestreet and Rodriguez, and the writing top notch. Some of my favorite lines last night were, "Everybody is stupid, except me," "I feel like I ate the sun" and "My mouth is asleep like at the dentist." I find myself laughing out loud every week and can hardly wait for the next new episode.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Breaking Bad" and Birthday wishes

How do I put in words how much I love this tv show? Season three started this past Sunday, and the AMC drama is back with a vengeance. From the opening moments when people were oddly crawling on the ground, to that incendiary finale, I was totally hooked.

Bryan Cranston is nothing short of superb as a former chemistry teacher, now drug kingpin. Watching his Walter White change over the last two seasons has been fascinating. I also really enjoy Anna Gunn as Walter's wife Skyler. She's more than just a wronged woman and protective mother. Also, hats of to producer, Vince Gilligan (he used to work on the "X-Files"). He's steering this show in incredible and strange directions, making it so much more than just another drama. Whew!

 And...a big "Happy Birthday" to my niece Kira! I can't believe how the time has flown. I remember the cute little eskimo-looking bundle that came in to the world 20 years ago today (see photo at left) and contrast that with the lovely, tough, fast talking young woman I see today. Good job, Jenny and Kirk. She is quite amazing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Oscar, Oscar! Who Will Win?"

For some reason the silly little ditty that Billy Crystal sang when he hosted the Oscars is going through my head today. Yes, it's Oscar night, and tonight should (hopefully) be a different sort of show.

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin are hosting the 82nd Annual Academy Awards and I'm not sure what to expect. They both can be funny, but for three-plus hours? Adam Shankman, whom I've come to love as a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance?," is a co-producer of the show. Let's hope the dance numbers look great.

I'm hoping for wins by Christoph Waltz, Mo'Nique, Kathryn Bigelow, Sandra Bullock (sorry, Meryl), Jeff Bridges and "The Hurt Locker" in the major categories, but there's nothing like a good ol' upset. And I hope "Avatar" cleans up in the technical categories, it certainly deserves that. Best picture? Not so much.

Time to go prepare. I started watching "The Hurt Locker" last night and need to finish before the ceremony starts.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friends, photos and lots of TV

Dinner with Frank was a success! So nice to just sit and chat with a friend about all sorts of stuff (theater, movies, tv, friends). We were there for about two hours. And hey, the chop salad at the Broadway Grill is great (I liked the look of the lights in the pic at left).

Friday was a fun adventure with the lovely Danielle Barnum. I've worked with her twice as an actress (the pic to the right is Danielle in "Seussical" and she was also the lead in the aforementioned "Jane Eyre"), but only recently discovered she is a freelance photographer. Since it's been almost ten years since I last had some headshots, I figured it was time. We met in Fremont near Theo's Chocolates, and even though it was raining, she knew all sorts of great places (coffee shops, doorways) to take some pics. Now comes the process of picking out the new shot. She does good stuff, check it out at Danielle Barnum Photography.

On to TV. The new season of "Survivor" is a ton of fun. The cast is comprised of villains and heroes from previous seasons. It's fun seeing Jerri, Colby, Boston Rob, Coach (and yes, even Russell) back playing the game. I've recently discovered the series, "Weeds" on DVD. Mary Louise Parker is wonderful. She makes the show for me. I'm deep into season four now. Just watched the season finale of a new favorite, "Men of a Certain Age." Great work from the three leads, Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher. It seems like an odd trio, but they work very well together and the writing is just superb.

I'm off to check out the new location of Forza Coffee near the Seattle Center. They opened today at 8:14 a.m. in memory of the police officers killed in Tacoma last Nov. Caffeine-ahoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mixed assortment: More theater, missed appointments and a roast.

I went to the preview of "Footlight Frenzy" at Renton Civic Theater last week. A capable (if maybe a bit too manic) backstage farce in the mold of "Noises Off." My buddy Alan Wilkie directed, and friend-since-college-days Eric Hartley did a nice work, but the hands-down best part of the show was David Roby as the meek stage manager of the show-within-the-show. He did some of the most amazing physical comedy I've seen in a long time. David was in "The Producers" last fall and was the ASM for "1776" at SMT a couple years back. Excellent stuff, Mr. Roby.

Over the weekend I went down to Tacoma Little Theatre and saw "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks." Nicely directed by Frank Kohel, and performed by Sharry O'Hare and Micheal O'Hara. All three are good friends and the script was clever. After the matinee I headed over to Mom's for quick bite and came back to the theater for a roast/tribute to Sharry. Funny, funny stuff (and in all honesty some great moving moments too) with a lot of Seattle/Tacoma-area theater folks there.

I worked with Sharry in the musical "Two by Two" back in 2000 at RCT, and first worked with Micheal many years ago at the Performance Circle in Gig Harbor while doing "Chicago."

Was supposed to meet Frank twice over the past week for lunch. He missed this first time because he was sick, I missed the most recent time because I simply forgot. We're attempting to meet for dinner Thursday. Fingers-crossed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

What a nice day. I found a lovely alternative to the way I usually want to spend this holiday (Hint, it involves cowering in a corner cut off from all communication).

I drove down to Mom's in Tacoma and helped her out with household stuff, then we drove up to Jenny and Kirk's place for what has become a lovely tradition, a Valentine's dinner. All the kids were there (Kira made a brief appearance before heading out with some friends), some of Kayla's friends and Kirk's Mom, Shirley.

Nice chat, some poetry reading and storytelling, exchanging of cards...and food. Sister Jenny always does such a great job with the dinner.

Then the drive back to Tacoma (with a quick phone call from Mom's brother, Dick and his wife Betty) where we watched the last part of the "The Amazing Race" premiere on tv. Good stuff.

Nice day. Good food. Lots of Love.