Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dallas Summer Musicals at Fair Park presents "Wicked"

The family went to see the musical Wicked this past Sunday, yes it was my asked-for-Father's-Day gift...NOT, but it was the only day we all could go.

Before commenting on the actual performance, I must comment on a few other things to begin with.

First, the parking situation was somewhat atrocious. It's actually despicable that the DSM hasn't become a little more organized after so many years. We usually leave a little earlier than we did this day but we were still 30-45 minutes before the posted start time of 8 p.m. I don't know the exact street but we entered the gate that is down a ways to the right of Music Hall if you are looking at Music Hall from...
interruption...Shit!...hang on...let me look this shit up!
...Okay, our path to Music Hall followed this route Parry Avenue merge to Robert B Cullum Blvd turn left on Grand Avenue then left on S. 2nd Ave. This map will help to visualize.

In the past, we would park in the DSM Guild Parking because the wife was a member but she no longer is. We could have still parked there if she would have remembered her mirror tag but she didn't so we had to park in General Parking. Once we were directed into general parking it was pretty much a free-for-all. Luckily we found a space just before they were all taken up but the rest of the poor suckers were driving around looking for spaces that were not there. The problem is that the parking "guide" just kept funneling the people in without even knowing the place was full. It didn't affect me directly (almost did) but I still felt like they needed a better system of knowing when their parking lot is full so as to not cause a giant cluster fuck of cars driving around for no solution other than to just exit and try the exterior parking areas around Fair Park.

Second, the lack of information and guidance once inside Music Hall and waiting to be able to get seated was unacceptable. I'm not sure if there was some technical issues or what but relaying information to your PAID customers would be a very good thing. It was about 15 minutes until the stated showtime of 8 p.m. when the doors to seating area were still locked. At 10 minutes, then five minutes 'til, the doors were still closed and locked. Right about 8 p.m. there was a somewhat inaudible announcement in regards to the starting of the show. I couldn't hear it on the stairs to the highest seating area, which are for exit only I found, but someone answered my inquiry. They said something about the doors will be opening shortly and to make haste to your seats so the show can [FINALLY] get started. After the mad rush to the seats, the show began without warning (no dimming and brightening of the house lights) at around 8:20 p.m.

Third, intermission. You can't fail at intermission unless you have something like four women's restrooms for something like 500-1000 women needing to use the can at the same time. The downstairs women's restroom had a line down a hall, up the stairs and one more level of stairs up. I'm not sure exactly how many restrooms they have in Musical Hall but I feel like it could do a better job, especially since I bet the Winspear doesn't have this problem (I'm just assuming so if I'm wrong, my apologies). The men's room isn't such an issue. Luckily, I didn't have to use it but it seems that the men that did were in and out in record time compared to their lady counterparts. Anyway, we headed back to our seats earlier than most during intermission because the lines (again not well thought out) for the snack bars were way too long. I was sitting in my seat for at least five minutes when the lights began to dim to dark and the music began to play with Oz characters dancing and singing on stage to start act two. The issue: there were no warnings that the act was about to start. No announcement over the PA and no dimming and brightening of the house lights. I found that kind of rude even though I was already seated. There were people who were still trying to find their seats as the place faded to black. Unacceptable!

Overall the show was pretty awesome. I didn't know the story of the musical. I knew it was loosely based on the Wizard of Oz but that it wasn't the Wizard of Oz the musical...not at all! The stage design, scene changes, costumes...well everything...was eye-catching and cool. I really dug the wizards prop. It was pretty cool to see. Also, the transformation of the monkey to a winged monkey was pretty interesting the way it was done and somewhat freaky.

The story line was very creative, in my virginal opinion. It was an interesting way to spin the stories of the lion, the tin man, the scarecrow, the tornado, the death of the "wicked which," and I guess just all of it. Very creative.

It seems the night we attended that the understudy was performing for the Elphaba lead. She was phenomenal. I don't know if it was just the music fell well within her vocal range or what but she hit the highs, the mids, and the lows without a hitch. Sometimes, her singing resonated in my ears and made me think, "Damn!" After the show, the wife said she heard from a friend that the understudy has apparently been outperforming AND getting better reviews than the lead. I don't know how the lead performs but that's got to not be good news.

Gah-lenda was very good too once I realized that her performance was supposed to be the way she was the ditzy blonde. I didn't get it at first but then it hit me and I understood. :-) I kept wanting to see that Chenoweth girl.

Fiyero was a pretty good performer. He had a voice, to me, more fitting to the liking of John Travolta's Danny Zuko in Grease. He just had that kind of sound to his singing. The thing that was missing was his chemistry with Elphaba. I didn't feel like he really was all into her as the story stated but that could just be me and not knowing if there is a difference between "movie connection" chemistry and "musical connection" chemistry. I just know that you could see/feel an attraction from the Phantom with Christine in the movie of Phantom of the Opera.

I would definitely recommend seeing this musical (in Dallas until June 27th if tickets are still available). I'm not a big musical person but the last really good one I saw was Miss Saigon at the Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas some 5-10 years ago. I still talk about it on occasion and I will do the same with Wicked.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I didn't know he was in "Licence to Kill"

I was channel surfing today because nothing new was on TV really worth watching. I came across G4 and they were playing the old Bond movie Licence to Kill (which by the way is misspelled unless that's the Brit spelling). Funny thing is I saw two actors that I didn't know were in this movie...but it has been a long while since I've seen it and I can't say this was a "must see" movie for me!

First, can you tell who this is? He's much younger and more thin than he looks these days but he still has the same face, gestures and mannerisms.

That's right. That's Benicio Del Toro. I didn't realize he'd been "around" so long which means he's pretty old now.

The other one is Carey Lowell. Yep, my babe, A.D.A. Jamie Ross from Law & Order. I didn't realize she was old now too.

Don't get me wrong. She's still smoking hot now as she was then. I just lust after my harem girls. I don't really investigate their life history.

Funny thing in the movie though is that she wasn't as attractive when she had her hair down and not slicked back like in the picture (inset). When she slicked her hair, she went from "nice" to "DAMN!"

End transmission of randomness...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fried Ice Cream at Cafe Brazil

First time I've had it...fried ice cream of any kind, anywhere. It was pretty good!

Two thumbs up!!

Sent on the Super Jay Network from Super Jay's BlackBerry®

Why aren't valid offers of clean-up assistance being accepted for the BP oil spill?

From an article on Pegasus News:
The banker has 12 skimming vessels specifically designed to remove surface oil from the Gulf that are immediately available and at least 13 more that can be made available over the next few weeks.

Click here for article while it lasts.
I mean seriously! Isn't some valid help better than no help? Is BP wanting to be so secretive that they would much rather continue the toxicity pumping into the Gulf versus help stop or siphon it off? And technically, the Gulf of Mexico (at least the part being affected I guess) is "owned" by the U.S.A. so the U.S. government should be forcing BP to accept all measures of quality clean-up assistance.

I mean they went to Kevin Costner and James Cameron. Why the hell not companies that actually have things that can assists NOW!?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

In the news 06/17/2010

I would have punched her face too and then some. I don't know when this happened but it was on the YouTube most popular page. What I see in the video posted is nothing wrong that the police officer did other than let the situation escalate almost completely out of his control. Before the chick, who isn't even really involved until she shoves the cop, gets popped, you can see some male holding her back. He apparently was the smart one out of the three. What pisses me off more is that women think they shouldn't deserve the same retaliation as men. If a man had swung at the officer, they would have just turned this into a black "racial" thing instead of a black, female racial thing. Again, why the fuck the NAACP has to get involved is beyond me. It wasn't a racial thing. It was a stupid mother-trucking human being thing. Black or white wasn't the issue. It's just complete ignorance and stupidity! Just like all the YouTube comments...I would have punched her and punched her and punched her and had lunch and then come back and punched her some more. Oh, and yes, if it was my mother or daughter, I would definitely think differently. Then if I saw this video, I may get a little more perspective on what went down. After, I would probably punch my mother/daughter/wife in the face too for embarrassing me not just in town but on the World Wide Web!

In a story from Dallas News,
"I thought that was a racist move on their part to have that picture of a little black boy with his head in a trash can," Wallace said.

Click here for the article while it lasts.
Okay, why does the NAACP or any "black" agency always have to cry, racism!? That was my first thought when I saw this article and photograph...that someone was going to blame racism. My immediate thought after was not that the situation screams racism. It screamed a little bit of stupidity on the librarian's part but racism? Puh-lease! Reading anything into this other than a good idea with a bad marketing plan gone bad and you are the reason America is so jacked up these days: the dumb are getting dumber and the rich are profiting off the dumbness!

Besides, how the hell does the mother know, the kids know or anyone know for that matter, which "little, black boy" this is as don't they all look alike?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Atlas Shrugged...a movie??

I saw a post at GeekTyrant in regards to the book Atlas Shrugged becoming a movie.

I recall this book being assigned to read in my 9th grade economics class. The paperback was roughly measured like a 5x7 and at least two inches thick. I think it was something like 1100+ pages of smaller-than-normal print. I remember the teacher assigning pages/chapters for reading at the first of the year and said we'd have pop quizzes on what was read. I think the first quiz had a class average of 20%. The second and third quizzes were about the same. Out of frustration the teacher told us "C'mon guys! You really need to be reading this!" The problem is that she already had the reading and quizzes as a low percentage of the overall grade. So, getting a 20% average on the quizzes would only affect like 5% of the overall class grade.

Her little pep talk still didn't affect the majority of the class. The nerdy ones (3 out of 30 students) remained diligent in their reading and quiz taking. The slackers, me included, continued with not reading and getting bad quiz grades. Eventually, she said that she'd just make the reading of Atlas Shrugged extra credit. So, those that already did the reading benefited more and those that didn't read, didn't have to worry about failing the quizzes.

Other than my own personal story of how boring the beginning of the book was, my only other memory is the characters of John Galt and Taggart (I don't remember which Taggart, just the last name).

So, anyway, long story short. I have no effing idea how this is going to become a movie when at least 27 people (I'm sure more since she taught more than one economic class) in the 80s couldn't keep interest in this boring novel! It's not like it's The Great Gatsby!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Email humor 06/14/2010

BP just capped the oil well.

They put a wedding ring on it, and it stopped putting out.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cafe Express breakfast is passable

We decided to go to Cafe Express this morning for breakfast. Apparently, Cafe Express is added breakfast to the menu. After experiencing it firsthand, I think they have a lot of work ahead of them or they should just quit before they even get started. The entire family agreed.

First, let me say that I have never been a big fan of Cafe Express. I think they are overpriced for their food - amount given and quality. That being said, I have had their turkey spinach burger and while it's not awe-inspiring it is a decent burger. Really, I only go because the wife like's to go but even she is a little jaded at their price versus food quantity/quality. Usually when we go now, we will split the turkey burger with a side of sweet potato fries because it's like $10. We share the burger and aren't overstuffed but sometimes aren't fully content either.

Second, knowing my lack of enthusiasm to pay so much dinero for so little food, the only reason we went to breakfast today was because they mailed me a coupon for a buy-one-get-one breakfast "entree" to help promote their adding breakfast to their lineup. The only problem was the wife and I were going to BOGO but then the kids wanted to go so we actually had to pay for an extra "entree." It was more like a buy-two-get-one free but what am I going to do when the kids want to go too?

Okay, all that being said, we got to the restaurant and looked over their breakfast menu as we've never seen it before. The pictures of the items looked pretty good but don't all pictures. Have you ever seen a Big Mac look like the advertisement when you actually get one? Or even a Nachos Bellgrande look just like the picture on the menu? Didn't think so but we knew this.

Anyway, the wife and I ordered the Scrambles Chipotle Chicken ($6.99) and the kids each ordered French Quarter French Toast ($5.49 x 2). I got a coffee, the wife a beverage, and the kids water (although they filled some tea to give the water a little flavor).

About ten minutes later, the wife and I got our "entree." I keep quotationing entree because it really isn't what I'd consider an entree. It's more like an appetizer. The portion serving was quite disappointing. The presentation was blah and the flavor was bland. The sliced chicken strips were dry and some of the ends of the strips were very dry like a jerky texture. The scrambled eggs were, well, scrambled but they didn't burst (or even squeak) with taste and flavor. The bacon bits were scarce and I didn't know there were any until they sort of fell off from...somewhere...when I took my first bite. It said it came with cilantro but I can't even recall if I saw any...maybe it was hidden or the order before mine got it all. All this came on top of a "bed" of diced potatoes -- if I puzzle-pieced the dices together, it'd probably be the size of a half deck of cards. The chipotle part of the "entree" was a supposed chipotle-flavored salsa. The wife and I both agreed that our vision was more of a smothered sauce on the chicken strips or spread over the "entree." The "entree" came with a slice of wheat "toast." I didn't have any of the "toast" because it didn't seem toasted to me. It was basically one slice of wheat bread that you can get at the grocery store and this one slice was cut into two triangle pieces. Overall the "entree" lacked any presentation, flavor, taste or need-to-tell-others wow factor. For $6.99, I would expect more. It was almost like being at Rusty Taco again with their lack or vision and sustenance.

The french "toast" was not ready with our order. They said they'd bring it to us. What could be the hold up with french "toast?" I'm sure it had to do with the "toast" needing to be cooked unlike our pre-cooked chicken on our "entree." About 7 minutes later, a "chef" came by our table to ask if we were waiting on two plates of french toast. I said, "Yes," and he left and came back with two plates. He set one each in front of my kids and left. No "Enjoy!" or "Is there anything else you might need?" Nothing!

Anyway, the french "toast" sort of looks like the picture (left). The main differences would be they had maybe two slices of strawberry and three blueberries. I don't recall much powdered sugar if at all and I know there wasn't any garnish for overall presentation. The kids thought the "toast" was good after the first few bites. A few more bites and the perception changed a bit. The "syrup" was more like a molasses. It was very, very sweet and a little overwhelming after a while...and that's from kids who LOVE sweetness. The outside of the "toast" was crispy and flavorful but the farther to the center of the "toast" it was more of a gooey, soppy bread mess. I'm not sure if this is the way it was supposed to be but it wasn't as appetizing to us. The kids ate around the core and I finished it off because I don't waste food, ever, especially at these prices. There were pecans on the "toast" but it was like they were more minced than chopped. The kids came away with thoughts of, "The syrup is too sweet," and "I wish they had more fruit toppings," and "They were good until you got near the center." The "toast" looked more like an odd-sized/shaped hush puppy. I'm not sure if that's what is meant by "french quarter" but we prefer our french toast to be cooked a little more through.

So, we left with these final impressions: french "toast" over the chipotle (dry) chicken anyday, BUT...we will never have breakfast at Cafe Express again unless they really improve. I know they are just starting the breakfast menu but with so many options in the area, a restaurant new to the breakfast menu must hit the ground running instead of walking or it will be a wasted venture very quickly!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mortal Kombat Rebirth

I've been reading about a possible new film based on Mortal Kombat. I finally found a clip (again from somewhere where I'd give credit but I found it this morning and emailed it to myself to post about later and I've forgotten where I got it).

Anyway, it seems that there is a maybe and maybe not on this movie but with someone putting this much effort into a "trailer" clip I would think it is more of a maybe. But that's just me.

With actors like Jerri Ryan (I think was playing Sonya) and Michael Jai White as Jax, I find it hard to believe this was a non-studio put together trailer. But what do I know.

So, here's the link to the trailer while it lasts.

I think I just threw up a little bit

I can't even post the picture of this book's cover without getting a little nauseous.

But, I can share with the rest of the blogosphere! ;-P

"The Nastiest 'Cookbook'"

Telephone books

Do these even get used anymore? I think these have been sitting on my porch for about a week now. I'm just too lazy to pick them up and take them to the trash in the back of the house. I'll probably do it by this weekend but should I really have to?

I don't know when the last time was when I cracked open the Yellow Pages. That's what Google, Yahoo and now Bing are for, right?

AT&T save some fucking trees and company cash. Stop printing these and start lowering your mobile rates and shit! You could also save in labor costs as you wouldn't need those scary child-kidnapping-looking vans driving around the neighborhoods and the guys running them to the doors/porches!

If someone actually still uses/needs these, you should work with them to get on the Internet and learn how to use it for business/phone searches.

I'm tired of seeing these on my porch when I don't use them!

Sent on the Super Jay Network from Super Jay's BlackBerry®

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A "gift" from a coworker

Should I be offended or upset of the reality?

Now You Know And Knowing Is Half The Battle!

Email humor 06/09/2010

You will probably have to click on the image to enlarge it for (better) reading. I found this somewhere on the WWW and I'd give credit if I remembered where it was. I downloaded the image like six hours ago and have done many things since there. Anyway, enjoy.

Now You Know And Knowing Is Half The Battle!

In the news 06/09/2010

I found something funny in a Dallas Observer article I was reading today. It was actually pressed on June 3rd. The story was about a serious topic but in my infinite wisdom, I found some humor in it.

On page 7 of the artcile, in the middle of the 9th or 10th paragraph depending on how you count them, there is a line that says the following:
"...a government yard protected by barbed wife."
Now, it may not be funny to all, but it's just something that changed the tone of the article for me up until that point.

Oh well...back to reading the last page or two.

Steak and over-easy eggs for lunch

Cooked by yours truly!

Sent on the Super Jay Network from Super Jay's BlackBerry®

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Stupid drivers post #10

Do stupid drivers really think that the more they ease forward at a traffic light the faster the light will change?

There is a reason they paint this really wide white line. It's called "The Stop Here Dumb Fucker" line! And most lights have this crazy knack of usually changing quicker when you are ON this line versus behind it or over it. Sometimes it really doesn't matter but the light definitely doesn't change faster the more you ease over and beyond the line.

In fact, you look more like a dip shit for easing forward instead of just waiting for the light to change! Especially you clinically fucked up drivers that ease so far beyond that you are 1/4 the way into the intersection!

If you reflect upon how stupid you are or were, you'll maybe realize that the extra few inches (feet in some cases) didn't help you get to your destination any quicker.

It did make some random person waste his precious time posting about your dumb ass and you are never going to know. But it made me feel better letting the world know of your stupidity and hopefully learn from it. It's a down right dirty shame I don't have a picture of you or your vehicle. I think I'd exceed the Internet's bandwith with pics of ALL the stupid drivers.

Sent on the Super Jay Network from Super Jay's BlackBerry®

Monday, June 07, 2010

2010 French Open Women's Champion - Francesca Schiavone

It's two-day old news now but Francesca Schiavone is the 2010 French Open Women's Champion, and deservedly so. She defeated Samantha Stosur, who also had a very good tournament.

The match was just as close as the score suggests, maybe even closer. It was one of those matches where every point counted and it would only take one slip up for either person to lose.

What's funny is that the article talked about how "The No. 5-seeded Stosur beat four-time champion Justine Henin, top-ranked Serena Williams and former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic en route to the final" but made no mention of Schiavone's road to the final making it seem like Stosur had the more difficult draw.

Schiavone, the now #6 seed (#17 before her French Open title), had to beat #12 Na Li, #30 Maria Kirilenko (who took out defending champ #19 Svetlana Kuznetsova), #3 Caroline Wozniacki, and #5 Elena Dementieva (Dementieva retired after the 1st set but the play was still tough).

Although the playing was pretty good and there were times of anxiety, I really didn't care who won. It was very nice to see and hear a tennis final that did not have screaming. Schiavone does have a (deep and manly) grunt but it wasn't distracting or annoying. It was one of those grunts that you could feel her tension in each shot while at the same time putting her all into it.

The male pig inside me slightly preferred Stosur because she's not as manly. I mean to have those legs wrapped around me in a vise! But then, she's got some bulging biceps that are a little...scary. Her coach says that Stosur has never done any bicep exercises. I find that a little full of bull with the size and definition of them but how narrow is he categorizing a "bicep" exercise? Know what I mean?

Then I look at Schiavone and I find her not unattractive. I mean she has sort of an eye-catching look to her. If she was endowed with a little more breast tissue maybe she wouldn't be as manly looking. During the presentation ceremony, she had her hair without clips and she actually wasn't too bad looking. The wife agrees that there is something about her that is appealing. Just look at the photo, she looks pretty. Maybe it's because she's full of elation, I don't know.

Speaking of the ceremony, I must say I was very impressed by Schiavone's speech, especially near the end in regards to Mary Pierce (who, in case you didn't know, has big boobs).

After they had already taken the microphone and started moving for the photo-ops, Schiavone requested the microphone back and complimented, flattered Mary Pierce by saying something like, "It is an honor being up here with you." It is her moment in the spotlight and she was respectful enough to make it a point to complement a former French Open champion.

You go Schiavone!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Email humor 06/03/2010

Stop yelling across the house...

Now You Know And Knowing Is Half The Battle!