Sunday, March 9, 2014

Burial Rites

Haunting and starkly beautiful, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, tells the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person executed in Iceland.

A book review in 25 words or less....the beginning of series.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rock of Ages - The Movie

Worst. Movie. Ever.  Seriously.  Worse than that awful bend-the-bullet Angelina Jolie movie, worse than Dirty Dancing Havana Nights. Worst movie ever.  So much awfulness I don't even know where to begin.

For the record, I did enjoy the musical.  It wasn't high-art; but it was a fun walk down memory lane and as a bonus I made a new friend who also walked Sunset Boulevard in the 80s.  Win-Win.

The movie, however,  GOD-AWFUL.  Despite the warnings issues by everyone who reviewed it, I was still not prepared for the reality of this mess.  The opening sequence bad. The collective first ten minutes were so horrific I would have walked out if I hadn't been so curious about Tom Cruise - Rock Star.

The reviewers are correct, he is the best thing about the movie, by far.  Although, that's not saying much.  Tom was good and maybe that is was pisses me off so much.  Tom seemed to be going somewhere with his portrayal of Stacee Jaxx.  There was a possibility of a decent, maybe even good movie there.  But even Tom Cruise cannot fight a poorly developed (completely undeveloped) plot, caricatures instead of characters, a frantic musical mash up and choreography so bad it belonged in a spoof of the movie.

Yes, Tom Cruise makes a very convincing Rock Star and his voice sounded great.  However, it is not worth subjecting yourself to the rest of this schlock.

Although, to be fair, I left before it was over.  Start time changed and I had to pick the dogs up from the adoption center.  Maybe it got better....but I seriously doubt it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Beware the Hyperbole

Recently, I was reading the opening of what I thought was an article in Fast Company.  After re-reading the first paragraph several times trying to make sense of it, I stopped to check the byline, thinking "this is not typical Fast Company style; there is way too much hyperbole." 

Ha - no buy line, but there was a subtle notice at the top "Special Advertising Section".  You almost fooled me, Montreal.  I might have read the "article" if you hadn't worked so hard to convince me how awesome you were in a single, convoluted sentence.

Monday, June 4, 2012



Knee slapping Funny.

I am not a fan of Jack Black or the typical Jack Black movie. I have no issue with him, just not my taste in funny.  This, however, is a huge exception.  Hilarious, witty, sly and smart.  

Based om a true story, Bernie is definitely worth seeing and quickly.  While Jack Black, Shirley McClaine and Matthew McConaughey do an excellent job, the resident of Carthage, Texas, steal the show. I haven't laughed that hard in ages, this despite the fact that I was so tired all I really wanted to do was sleep.

Three thumbs up!

Friday, June 1, 2012

This Means War

The DVD for This Means War came our recently.  I saw it in the theater, but haven't managed to post the review, yet.  Sad.

It is a great movie.  Okay, maybe "Great" is a bit of an overstatement, but it was a lot of fun.  I wasn't expecting much, but I really enjoyed it.  Frankly, I was mostly interested in the company and of course, the pie.  (Tempted out of the house by Rhonda from TheBSCafe with a movie and a trip to The House of Pies.)

Reese Witherspoon was endearing and watching her torture herself as she vacillated between the "bad boy" and the mature man was a lot more fun than it sounds.  The story is actually a bit more complicated than that but there was also plenty of action to keep it (or you) from taking the story too seriously.

Chelsea Handler's married-with-kids suburbanite was almost as entertaining as the "who will she pick" main story.  If you missed it in the theater, pick up the DVD or stream it, whatever.  It's worth your time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012



verb (used with object)
to pay no attention or too little attention to; disregard orslight: The public neglected his genius for many years.
to be remiss in the care or treatment of: to neglect one'sfamily; to neglect one's appearance.
to omit, through indifference or carelessness: to neglect toreply to an invitation.
to fail to carry out or perform (orders, duties, etc.): toneglect the household chores.
to fail to take or use: to neglect no precaution.

According to

Yes, I have been neglecting this blog.  It's very least to me.  However, I am cautiously optimistic that the craziness of the first part of the year has been at least partially tamed, so I'm taking another shot.   

Thanks for sticking with me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reserve -

the act of keeping back, withholding, or setting apart.

After leaving work one recent Friday afternoon I picked up a colleague and drove to Dallas.  We made fairly decent time, pulling into the Hyatt (Downtown Dallas) a little after 9:00 p.m.  It had been a long day and the next day promised to be longer, kicking off with an 8:00 a.m. breakfast, followed by an all-day conference, finished up with the four+ hour drive back to Houston.

Suffice it to say, we were tired and very much looking forward to good night's sleep.  I'd called the hotel the night before to confirm our reservation for two double beds, explaining that I was traveling with a colleague, arriving late and really needed two doubles, NOT a single king.

I was assured by the very friendly customer service representative that I didn't need to worry that my reservation was for a double and the room would be ready for us, regardless of how late we arrived. Just to be safe, I checked in online first thing in the morning.

(I'll bet you can see where this is going.)

However, when I checked in we were given a king.  At first we protested and were told that room type was a preference and they did not reserve specific room types.

(Yes, we were living a Seinfeld episode)

Apparently, all they could do for us was a roll-away.  When pressed the front desk associate explained that all she had available were Kings. So we decided to bite the bullet and take a second room.  Wait, no, they had no other rooms available, they were completely sold out.  At this point we were incredibly frustrated because she'd just said they had kings.  Fine, we'll take the roll-away.  (What else could we do.)

As we turned away from the desk, we ran into two fellow Houstonians attending the same conference.  While we regaled one of them with our tale of woe the other proceeded to check in and we heard her ask if she could switch her double for a king because her roommate had cancelled. Sure, the very helpful young man responded, no problem.  WAIT A MINUTE!  I thought there was  nothing available but Kings?  Sure enough, she was getting a double.  The gentleman helping her (actually helping her) quickly assess the rather volatile situation unfolding in front of him and had the rooms switched and new keys in our hands before we really knew what happened.

When confronted by this new set of facts the girl who swore there wasn't a double in the hotel just looked at us and then walked away.  Not that I blame her for that, what could she say. She'd just been caught flat out lying to us.

But, I will never set foot in that hotel again.  EVER. (Despite the fact that the management offered us a free upgrade for our next stay after we complained. A free night might have bought you another shot, but a free upgrade?  Hardly.)