Same Time Next Year

Netflix is fun: it enabled us to watch the old Alan Alda/Ellen Burstyn film Same Time Next Year. The movie was based on a play, apparently. It was a bit overly sentimental, but it had some really good moments. Seeing the characters change over 25 years was pretty interesting, although the changes seemed exaggerated compared to "real life".

Evan Almighty

I got to watch Evan Almighty on my flight back to NY. Again, no sound, so I had to guess at the plot: which wasn't too hard. There were a few hilarious scenes; probably worth getting on DVD, but I'm glad I didn't pay to see this movie in the theater.

Trilogy flight

On a cross-country flight I got to watch (without sound, since I wasn't going to pay for bad movies) Spiderman 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

Neither was particularly interesting except as a diversion from a long flight. Spiderman in particular seemed pretty bad: it was an utter mess of storytelling, and I couldn't even hear the sound! Or maybe the lack of sound made it obvious how bad the movie was...

The Pirates sequel was harder to follow without sound, but the basic storyline didn't really matter much anyway. Lots of crazy plotlines and backstabbing, with some over-the-top action sequences.


I quickly watched Jet Li's Fearless. Like most kung-fu movies, it was overly sentimental with a pretty predictable plot. Some good fighting, though! And apparently it is loosely historical in nature. I wouldn't have felt good paying $10 at the movie theater to watch it, but on DVD it wasn't too bad.

Justice League

I skimmed through the rather lame Justice League: Paradise Lost DVD. Some mildly entertaining video adaption of the comic, but it wasn't actually very good. They have really depowered Superman, and the annoying bickering between Green Lantern and Hawkgirl was kind of stupid. Oh well, I didn't actually expect much, but I was hopeful.

NYC drive-in

We walked by a fascinating little place: a 6-person drive-in theater (complete with convertible) called GrandOpening. Really interesting!

Mexican food in NYC

We ate at Mole, on the Lower East Side. Outstanding food! They had some "holiday" food to celebrate September 15, which is when Mexico began its revolution against the Spaniards in 1810. One dish was a Chiles en Nogado that was wonderful to eat. I wish I could remember the names of the other dishes. They made a guacamole at table-side that was excellent!

The Brave One

I've been seeing ads for The Brave One recently. It looks like one of the WORST movies ever made. What really irks me about this movie is that it portrays a New York City out of the 1970's. New York City is one of the safest large cities in the country, if not the world. So why make a movie where it looks like there are frequent violent crimes? Someone really hates New York at Warner Brothers.

Organic food thoughts

I've been contemplating why organic, vegetarian food is a "better" choice. Reading Peter Singer's books really convinced me to eat less meat. The book To Buy Or Not To Buy Organic really bothered me, though: the implication of many books of its ilk is that any pesticides (and similar poisons) are bad, in any amount. However, we've been using pesticides pretty consistently throughout the 20th century, and not everyone gets weird diseases due to pesticides. It does seem like certain kinds of diseases seem more prevalent, but there is certainly no proven link between tiny doses of pesticides and diseases (like cancer) late in life. Now, that doesn't mean there isn't a link, but it makes me really uncomfortable when people argue that there must be a link. I think the real reason to avoid pesticides (when possible) is that they are typically linked to monoculture farming and environmental degradation.

Deadwood Season 3

Wow: the end of Deadwood. I think this some of the best TV I've ever seen; pretty comparable to Battlestar Galactica in quality. Great writing and acting, with some fascinating characters. I'm really disappointed that the series is over, but what can you do? Rumor has it that there will be a movie to wrap things up. Ian McShane is spectacular as Swearengen!

Howl's Moving Castle

I watched Howl's Moving Castle, which is a beautiful movie. I haven't read the book, so I can't evaluate the merits of the movie versus the book. However, I enjoyed the weirdness of Hayao Miyazaki. Quite entertaining, if odd and slightly predictable.

US Open

I figured that since I live in NYC, I should go see the US Open at least once. A friend was psyched to go as well, so we trudged out to Flushing Meadows for some quarterfinal matches at night. Fantastic stuff!

Venus Williams beat Jelena Jankovic in the first match, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4). It was a seesaw battle, and I really thought Jankovic would win. Venus was attacking, attacking, attacking, and was really sloppy: if she had been consistent she would have destroyed Jankovic. Venus missed lots of shots: low 1st-serve percentage and lots of unforced errors. She did dominate the 2nd set: she broke Jankovic in almost every one of her service games by being aggressive. Venus took control of the 3rd-set tiebreaker quickly, and the match ended pretty quickly.

The Federer-Roddick was riveting tennis, and really close: closer than the score of 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 6-2 would indicate. Roddick had the first break point chance of the match (erased) in the second set. No double faults in the entire match for either player! You had to feel bad for Roddick after the match: he played his heart out, and hit some amazing shots and serves: but Federer was just better...

Roddick serving to Federer

The ultimate pure food

We ate a vegan/organic/raw restaurant called Bonobo's Restaurant, just south of Madison Square Park. The food (particularly the coconut/bell pepper soup) was fantastic, although certainly it was not cheap. For the quality of the ingredients, though, it was understandable: certainly the preparation didn't involve any cooking!


Did you know that the plural of "opus" is "opera"? Ah, Latin.

Anyway, Opus is a wonderful play written by a Oberlin-trained violist who became a playwright instead of a musician. I thought it was wonderfully written, in a style that reflects how people talk in real life. A fine cast, and we were lucky enough to see it on closing night: there was a long wait list to get in!

Organic or not organic: that is the question

Whether to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous pesticides, or...well, a sad joke. Cindy Burke's book To Buy or Not To Buy Organic goes into why organic doesn't mean what it used to. Big agribusiness has started to co-opt the meaning of the term, and the overheads to certification are becoming onerous to small farmers. How sad. This book is good for telling you what non-organic foods definitely should be avoided, and which have low levels of toxins. Definitely worth a read, if a little extreme at times.