Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Tony bought us this for Christmas and its a lot of fun. I think it was an attempt to get me into the X-Box, which I am not a fan of. He only plays NBA 2K9 and Madden 09, so I really shouldn't complain. But he gets so into those games, its the athlete/coach in him. I'm a dancer and Tony thinks he is, so I've had fun challenging him with this. It's actually really a hard game. You really have to keep a beat and know the music to do well. There are sensors in the mat that you 'dance' on and the dogs just didn't get what we were doing. Lane especially kept wanting to stand/sit on the mat, smell the mat. He always has to be in the middle of it all. Lennox is cool usually with just checking things out once, then he's happy as long as he has his spot on the couch. Off to Dance, Dance some more...
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"My name is Harvey Milk and I am here to recruit you." What a great community activism movie this is! Makes you wanna go out and get something done. The acting is incredible in Milk, most of the characters were gay and showed the struggles they faced 30 years ago. The feeling that you have in this biography of Harvey Milk's life after 40 is wonderful and full of life. I wasn't aware that in the 1960's homosexuals didn't have many rights and could be fired from jobs for their sexual preference and even beaten and killed, with not much being done by the authorities and politicians. The story takes place in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco and follows the elections that Harvey Milk participated in being a gay rights activist running to be a politician. Sean Penn, James Franco, Emile Hirsch , Josh Brolin and Diego Luna create a talented ensemble cast. I had to come home and look up each of the actors profiles to see what other movies they were in. You get lost in their characters. I was especially impressed by Penn and Hirsch. A serious subject, but presented in a lighter manner for this Best Picture Nominee.
Wow, two snows in one week! This snow is hanging around longer, although the actual snow fall was gone early this morning. Lane loves the snow and makes Lennox chase him. Catch me if you can..Lennox then goes and gets a ball and has Lane chase him, its really cute, just not fun wiping their feet off everytime they come back in. :(
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Kelly, Chris and I attended the finale of Botero at the Brooks Museum. Tony and I are members and we aren't doing a very good job of using our membership. This is only the third time I've used it since buying the membership, and Tony hasn't even made it yet! Oh well, we have 9 more months to see if we remain members for the years to come. I really like the Botero exhibit. Botero's style was a little comical if you ask me. Fernando Botero grew up in poverty in Medellin, Columbia. He was born in 1932. There was no art museum in Medillin, so Botero learned about art through the church and whatever books or magazines he could find. One of his major influences was Pablo Picasso. He financed his trips to Europe by local art exhibits. He the studied art in Europe that he only saw in books and magazines in Columbia. His style is to change the size of the human figure. This is why his people are so large but have small features. He thought this made them more important.
We also got to participate in an exhibit by Colombian artist and activist Edwin Gil. He had Colombian people paint their hands and put a print to make a Colombian flag. He had non-Colombians (us) paint their hands yellow and put a print and sign for around the flag. The project is called Home Sweet Home. He did the project once with the American flag and this is a representation for the Colombian flag. It is to promote peace to the land.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I just read where Girl Scout cookies are shrinking. Lemon Chalet Cremes, I don't think I ever sold nor ate these, whew!, are smaller in size this year. And the boxes with Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos and Tagalongs are going to contain fewer cookies. Whew, looks like Samoas, one of my faves are safe :) The reason for these changes are the escalating costs of flour, oils and cocoa. Did you realize that in 1933 a box of Girl Scout cookies cost 23 cents? They sell for $3.50 today. I used to love to sell these when I was a Girl Scout and was top seller almost every year. Now, who woulda thought that? I've never been competitive :)
After my last post I wanted to put up some pictures of Lennox and Lane. They have been absent from the blog for awhile and needed some presence on here. Last Tuesday, Inauguration Day, it snowed, my boys played and played all while it lasted about 3 hours. Here are my boys in Memphis's first snow of the year.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Well I don't even know how to start with this one. It wasnt on my Oscar list, but some friends asked us to go with them. I think by the previews you can tell Clint Eastwood is the main character, the old, mad, mean neighbor that hates everyone because of some tragedy he has had in his earlier life. Clint plays Walt, a Koren war veteran that has major issues with Asian people because of his experiences in the war. He uses racial slurs throughout the entire movie. Mainly ones I was not familiar with, most were aimed at Asian people. The movie was set in Detroit. I was not familiar that there was a large concentration of Asians in Detroit. I am familiar with the huge Middle Eastern community in Detroit, but not a single Middle Eastern person in the movie. Hmong people were the main Asian group of this movie. They were described by the main character as Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai people. So anyway, Walt calls them racial slurs the whole time, even after befriending them. I didn't care to hear the slurs the entire time, but what bothered me most was how hilarious the audience found it. I mean he used the words over and over and they were silly sounding, but after the fourth or fifth time hearing the silly slurs, the audience still found it super funny. In one scene Walt says something like 'We used to stack bodies of people (insert slang) like you and use them as sand bags". The crowd was roaring with laughter. I had to lean over to Tony and ask, "Is this funny?" He wasn't laughing.
I don't think I am overly sensitive, but it really offended me. I was trying to step back and decide did the audience find it funny bc there isn't a huge Asian influence here in Memphis? And they kinda thought it was okay? I would say the largest minority group are African Americans here in Memphis. There were black characters in the movie, but not once was the N-word used. So my thoughts are if the N-word was, would the audience still be laughing out loud? Was it bc Asian slurs aren't common so it was okay to laugh? Its not okay to target any single group at all. I know I was very, very uncomfortable in this movie with the audience reaction and I am Middle Eastern. Tony didn't like it and he is African American. My Caucasian friends that also saw it, enjoyed the movie and found the slurs funny. One of my friends even called me of the the silly slurs when walked out of the movie. He meant it in a funny tone and wasn't aiming it at me in particular, but does that make it okay, bc it was a funny word? I haven't stopped thinking about that movie and the audience reaction since. I guess I have been on this 'Obama High' and have just been so happy that this country is changing and moving in the right direction, so this just slapped me in the face. I'm curious if anyone else has seen this movie and if they noticed this. I got on some message boards and read some of the Gran Torino comments and 3 or 4 people said the exact same things I did, they found it odd that the audience found the slurs so funny. I caught myself looking around and 95% of everyone in the theatre was Caucasian. This wasn't my normal theatre either, we saw this movie at the Paradiso, which is in East Memphis.
I would love for everyone to travel to a place, country, whatever it might be and be a minority for a day, a week a month and just notice how it feels. I don't know if this would help people, but I just cant think of anyway to put it. Making fun of someone bc they are different just isn't funny. Gosh, this sounds like I'm talking to some children...
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tony, his boss Daniel, a client of his and I went to the Grizzlies v. Detroit MLK game on Monday. After parking on our way to the Forum we literally almost got ran over by Brandy. It was one of those weird moments were we were just walking along in front of the Westin and there she was in our face. She is MUCH prettier in person than I ever remember her to be. She has a great figure and a great complexion. She sang before the game and did a mini concert at halftime. She was pretty good, but I was never a huge fan. Dr. J was also honored at halftime. We sat up pretty high, Tony's client gave us the tickets, so no complaints here! Of course the Grizz kept it close during most of the game, but ended up losing at the end. We came back to Cordova and at some yummy Osaka for dinner afterwards..
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Well we saw it. Kinda like a 2 hour 60 minutes if you ask me. Lots of GREAT information, I learned so much, but a lot of just talking and talking. Excellent acting, but no action. I see why its up for all the awards, but I also think I would appreciate it more if I was alive at the time. I actually had some sympathy for Nixon at the end..kinda felt sorry for him a little. He was kinda portrayed as a little crazy and a little pitiful. After the movie we went and tried Rain. It is a new sushi lounge down the street. So now we have like 6 Asian themed restaurants in less than a mile from one another. I guess Asian cuisine does well in Cordova. We sure love it all. Rain opened (softly) on Tuesday and doesn't have a liquor or beer license yet. They have been waiting on that and plan on being ready for that next week. We met one of the managers, Van, he gave us the grand tour and we learned he is our neighbor..small world..
Ok, I'm not happy about this at all, and I'm my heart goes out to this dignitary and his family. But if one more person says something about my dogs turning on me, or how I should get rid of my dogs when I have kids...or how little dogs are better for families than big dogs..I might explode..or put this article in their face..ALL dogs need to be watched out for.
Ok, so Oscar nominations were announced. I still need to see a few movies...
The Visitor (never heard of it)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (too many people say its slow!)
The Wrestler (not even released in Memphis)
Tropic Thunder (must rent)
Revolutionary Road (my parents didn't like it)
Rachel Getting Married (trying to convince Tony this isn't a chick flick)
Frozen River (never heard of it)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (not sure where I can find this)
Bonus if I see Happy Go-Lucky and In Bruges....
I like to see everything and I will do my best to see all of these by February 22nd..I will review all those that I do see on here by then..wish me luck :)
UPDATE: Just found out Best Buy has Tropic Thunder, Frozen River, Vicky Cristina and The Visitor...
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Sometimes I think I shoulda been a restaurant reviewer. If I weren't so picky I might apply and moonlight as one, but I always have the chef remove things from the dish and make it my own. Recently we have been eating out a lot. I love to try new Memphis restaurants, sometimes I like to go with older ones too :) Last month we ate at two good ones.
Opus is located in the FedEx Forum and is a buffet style restaurant that overlooks the court. It is a great place to go before the game and maybe even catch some of it if you seats aren't too good. It is located on the Club Level, but I don't think you have to have Club Level seats to eat there. We bought a package at Sip Around the World and it included dinner there. It seats 350 people, but the best seats are along the edge. They had everything from fresh seafood to Asian Cuisine to pork tenderloin and a salad to match every dish that you chose. That was my favorite.
Itta Bena is a fun spot that doesn't do too much advertising. At first they were totally word of mouth, now I see them advertised in Skirt a lot. They even had a coupon which we used last month. We went once this summer and once last month. I would suggest going later than earlier with a reservation if you like to people watch. I know they have specials now and this is what they have. Don't hold me to it..
Sunday 2 for 1 steaks (which are delicious)
Monday 1/2 of bottles of wine
Tuesday $30 3 course meal
I would say the last time we went the crowd was a little older, but its still a fun spot downtown. Valet is available and its in a great spot right off Beale even for just a drink.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We watched history today at the Civil Rights Museum today. There was a watching party there, that opened at 10am.I got there around 10:15 and they were turning away people at the door. How could this be? I drove all the way down there and I wasn't going to get in? Several media people were walking right in as they were filled to capacity. I saw a group go around to the back, I followed them and walked right in. Most of the time if you act like you should be there, then people leave you alone. We were escorted in the theatre room. I stood in the back of the theatre room and remembered Kelly and her coworker Chris were coming to meet me. I sent her a quick text to just tell them they were with a Polish newspaper, just make up one I said..walk right in. Obviously Chris knows several newspapers in Poland and didn't need to make one up, as he is from there. It worked, they got in. We were the only 'white' people in that room. So that was a different feeling in a way, in a way not, we were all there for the same reason. Everyone was gracious and clapped politely when President Bush came out, cheered loudly when Aretha Franklin came out and cheered and chanted and even screamed when they saw the Obamas. Also when the Chief of Ceremony told everyone at the Inauguration to rise, well everyone in Memphis rose as well. CNN and ABC were doing live feeds from there and at one point I could see Kelly and I on the screen during the ceremony. Very distant and in the back of the room, but stillcool nonetheless. The ceremony, the speech it all was wonderful to see. I really liked how the speech reached out to everyone, all races, all religions. As we were leaving Kelly and I got interviewed for the local Fox news station, maybe we will be on TV tonight..Now its time to watch the parade..I can't remove my eyes from CNN, I guess I'm not working out today...
Monday, January 19, 2009
Happy MLK day to everyone..I just feel like I am trying to soak in as much of this history as I can. I would have LOVED to be in DC this weekend and tomorrow. I'm having to settle to be in the city where Martin Luther King was shot and killed. Memphis has made some major strides, but most of the city is still pretty segregated. Tony is usually the only black person most of the places we go. He never complains, but I really try to make sure we do lots of diverse things, that's how I have been my entire life anyway. We have the National Civil Rights Museum here and Tony, Kelly and I are going to meet and watch the swearing in and other inauguration activities. We watched one of the specials on HBO yesterday from the Lincoln Memorial with performances from Will I Am, Sheryl Crowe, Beyonce, Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder, Usher, U2....Tiger Woods, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Carrell, Jack Black, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington all spoke. It was amazing how happy everyone seems and the crowd was full and going wild. I just don't remember either watching or being into this with George W.
We went to Hooter's yesterday to watch the NFC and AFC Championships. I'm excited about the Super Bowl matchup..Ok, since when do little girls under 10 years old, have their birthday parties at Hooter's? There were THREE parties all with cake, balloons and singing THREE times by the entire Hooter girl's staff. Now we are getting so desperate in finding places to watch games these days. I am a MAJOR TV snob, Tony is too! We have two HD Plasma and LCD TV's, one is a 52" and the other is a 42". Clear as they can be, you can almost see every blade of grass on the football field during the games and that's how I like it! We paid a lot for these TV's so sometimes we just like to stay home and watch the big games, but sometimes you gotta get out and socialize and watch the games. Well Mary Ruth has been talking about Hooter's for sometime now so we decided to join her last week, they have TONS of TV's and most in HD. Probably the best set up in our area, and a HUGE bonus, NONSMOKING! Very rare to find a nonsmoking sports bar with good TV's here in Memphis. So Hooter's I guess is taking on a family environment, hence the kiddie parties. I mean nothing is wrong with it I guess, but what little girl requests a party at Hooter's? I mean are they making invitations now with boobs popping out of a shirt or something? Or more kid friendly like with an owl or something..??...Oh and by the way, the girls look NOTHING like any on the website or in the calendars...but an upgrade from the Hooter's girls downtown on Beale.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Andrew Micheal opened on October 31st of last year, so they haven't quite been open 3 months. Its a great spot for getting together and having some really great food. We have been twice now and look forward to going back. We know Michael and his wife Katie so it makes it an even more wonderful experience to go..I love the duck, the ravioli and the gnocchi is a must! The restaurant is located in a house on Brookhaven Circle, across the street from my old favorite (closed) restaurant, Caspian. Go out and support your locally owned restaurants and try Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen!