Saturday Night Serenade–Rough Week

It was a rough week, friends.  In the span of eight days, we lost three very talented people.

When I heard that David Bowie was gone, I couldn’t believe it.  He just seemed like someone who’d always be here, a curious, artistic soul who happily adapted as time moved forward.  Fortunately for us, he left a brand new album.  It seems prophetic, I suppose, because although he knew he was dying, we didn’t.

I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman and I’ll tell you now, I never saw a second of any Harry Potter movie.  He was terrific in Sense and Sensibility, and an utter asshole in Love Actually.  But I loved him in Galaxy Quest, a parody of Star Trek, where he made fun of himself as a serious actor.  If you haven’t seen it, you really should.

I think The Eagles were the first serious band I ever loved.  Pretty sure my Bay City Rollers phase in elementary school doesn’t count.  Glenn Frey was always my favorite Eagle.  Back in 6th grade, when we were too cool for school, we didn’t want to play at recess.  That was for little kids.  Instead, G.A. Smith and Bobby Burns would bring their guitars out and we’d all sit in the shade and listen to them play Eagles tunes.  I always wanted to go see them in concert.  Guess this is the closest I’m going to get.

And one more, because I couldn’t resist.

Happy Saturday night!

 

Date Night–A Walk in the Woods

No, we didn’t go hiking for Date Night.  Instead, Saturday night Mr. R. surprised me with tickets to see the Robert Redford/Nick Nolte film at the fancy-pants movie theatre.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I can’t see going to a movie at a regular theatre ever again.  I’ve been spoiled by being able to choose our luxurious leather recliners online when we order the tickets.  I’ve been spoiled by friendly and efficient wait staff greeting us and taking our orders, only to return moments later with glasses of wine and an elegant cheese platter.  It’s the high life, I tell you.

On the downside, there was a woman in front of us who slipped off her sandals and put up her feet.  Shed of their coverings and propped up right there in front of God and everybody were, without question, the ugliest feet you’ve ever seen.  Mr. R. took a photo as proof but since this a classy blog, you won’t see the picture here.

But I was excited to see the movie, A Walk in the Woods.  I read the Bill Bryson book a lifetime ago, way back when I was married to my nightmare, and I loved it.  It’s the true story of Bryson, an American writer who lived in the UK with his family for years, and had recently moved back to New Hampshire.  Determined to reacquaint himself with his home country, he found a willing partner and set out to hike the 2,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.  The book is at turns humorous and heartfelt and the movie is the same way.  If you’d like a break from movies about robots, superheroes, and shit that blows up, you’ll like A Walk in the Woods.

I also recommend reading the book because like so often is the case, the movie can’t tell the whole story.  While you’re at it, I actually recommend any of Bryson’s books.  He’s sharp and witty with a dry sense of humor and a keen sense of observation.  And by the way, he knows that’s a grizzly bear on the cover of the book.  It’s a joke. Get it?

Another of my favorites is A Short History of Nearly Everything, the very title of which reflects his tongue-in-cheek pomposity.  It’s a terrifically informative and fun read.  So with this Date Night post, you get a two-fer–a movie review and a book review.  Plus a reminder to try out the fancy pants movie theatre in your community.  You’ll never look back.

Date Night Extraordinaire–Part 1

Last night was one of the best date nights we’ve had in a long time and Mr. R. deserves all the credit.  It was he who said, “Hey, let’s go see that new Judd Apatow movie, Trainwreck,” to which I said, “Okay.”  Movie-wise, it really was his turn to pick since the last movie we went to see was Fifty Shades of Grey, which he hated.

wpid-20150718_162722-1.jpgAnd so it was that he went online to see where it was playing.  Turns out, it was at the new luxury theatre in Jupiter, Cinepolis.  I’m not going to kid you.  Tickets to the luxury side (half of the multiplex is still regular) are not cheap.  Prime time shows will cost you $19.75 while matinees are two dollars cheaper.

But it just so happened that we had a $25 Fandango gift card.  We chose the 4:45 showing and that meant we paid the matinee price.  Ordering our tickets through Fandango, we only paid $13.50 for both of us (includes the online fee).  AND we chose our reserved seats when we ordered them, so we didn’t feel the need to rush to the theatre, worried that we wouldn’t find two seats together.

We found the theatre lobby to be very upscale with lots of small tables and a large full-service bar at the luxury end.  Bypassing the snack bar because , we moved to the right side of the lobby, the luxury side, while the regular theatres were to the left.  Mr. R. showed the ticket girl his phone, having had the tickets texted to him, and we were on our way to Theatre 4.

wpid-20150718_163538.jpgUnfortunately, they were still cleaning and we had to wait for a long while, but when we finally entered we quickly found our large, fully reclining leather seats among the few that are there.  The luxury theatres only seat about 70 guests and the majority of seats are in pairs.

wpid-20150718_164133.jpgMr. R. and I sank into our seats and fiddled with the controls until we figured out how everything worked.  By the time we had our feet up, we knew there was no turning back, no possibility of ever returning to a regular theatre experience.

wpid-20150718_163710-1.jpgOnce we were comfortably ensconced in seats C1 and C2, we checked out the menu to see what we might order.  I immediately went for their Private Label sauvignon blanc, sans the little green fly.  And being a creature of habit, I chose popcorn, which was really fresh and good, not some old, popped-a-hundred-miles-away-and-shipped-in-last-week crap.

wpid-20150718_165517-1.jpgMr. R., being adventurous, chose the cheese and fruit plate.  There were several different kinds of cheeses, grapes, apple slices, dates, spiced walnuts, and a variety of crackers.  All of these were cheerfully delivered to us by the server who was responsible for our row.  And this was before the movie started.  Throughout the movie if we wanted anything at all, we pushed the little button on the armrest and our wishes were granted.  It was awesome.

Now the movie…

If you’re familiar with Judd Apatow’s work, you know what to expect.  The humor tends to be a bit crass so it’s not for the easily offended.  Trainwreck is about a millennial magazine writer, played by Amy Schumer (who incidentally wrote the script), with serious commitment issues.  Her “sort-of” boyfriend is played by pro wrestler John Cena.  Have you even wondered how John Cena looks naked?  Imagine no more; he’s pretty much like the action figure of He-Man, sans the blond pageboy.

Schumer’s character Amy is assigned to write an article about sports medicine specialist Aaron, played by Bill Hader, who becomes her new love interest.  Both Schumer and Hader are likeable as are the cast of supporting players, not the least of whom is the surprisingly funny and heartfelt LeBron James of NBA fame.

One of my favorite scenes has James, flanked by Chris Evert, Matthew Broderick, and Marv Albert in cameo appearances,  performing an intervention on Aaron, who James believes has gotten in too deep and too fast with the hard-partying Amy.  The cherry on top is Albert’s play-by-play narration of the intervention.

Bottom line, we really liked Trainwreck.  It was a funny and sometimes poignant story, punctuated by moments of hilarious (if crass) humor.  If you liked The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and This Is 40, you’ll enjoy this movie.  And I’ve become spoiled; I’ll never go to a regular movie theatre ever again.

Now after the movie…  (to be continued)

Oscar Night

We don’t go to many movies.  They aren’t exactly great for date night.  When you go to a movie you sit in the dark and you don’t talk for a couple of hours.  When we do go, I like to go for cocktails after so we can talk about it.

Another problem with going to the movies is that I tend to treat a movie as an interactive event.  I like to shout at the screen: No, don’t go in there, that’s where the bad guy is!  You dumb ass!  We usually do our movie-watching at home when they come on cable or Netflix.

Mr. R. is not generally a fan of movies.  He puts them in two categories: those he watches (meaning he liked them, like Little Miss Sunshine), and those I make him watch (meaning he hated them, like The Descendents).

So that being said, we haven’t seen most of the Oscar-nominated movies.  That won’t stop us from watching the awards show.  More correctly, it won’t stop me from watching it.  Mr. R. just humors me.  He’s good like that.

We have actually seen one Best Picture nominee: The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Okay, we saw it because it came on HBO, but still, we saw it.  I’d like to highly recommend this movie if you haven’t seen it.

It’s a strange, odd, quirky little film, which is right up our alley, really.  If you’re open to that kind of story, where you have no idea where it’s going but you’re happy to be along for the ride, you’ll like this movie.

It’s one of those stories that begins at the end and tells the story in recollections, not unlike Ammadeus.

The stellar cast includes Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson.  These amazing actors pop up unexpectedly as new characters are introduced.

IMDB describes the plot like this:  The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.  They don’t exactly make it sound riveting, but trust me, it’s interesting.  Visually, it’s cool, too.

So, tonight I’ll be sitting on the sofa with my popcorn and sauvignon blanc, rooting for Grand Budapest.  And DVRing The Walking Dead.  Priorities, people.

Mr. R.ism: Funny. He Doesn’t Look Dudeist.

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“Guess what?” Mr. R. exclaimed after we got home from work yesterday.

“I have no idea,”  I replied.

“You’re looking at an ordained minister,” he said, flashing a huge, satisfied grin.

“Ordained minister?” I questioned. 

And that’s when he produced this certificate.  My husband, Mr. R., joins over 220,000 ordained ministers of Church of the Latter-Day Dude.  He is, in fact, an ordained Dudeist Priest.  Meaning that he can legally officiate at weddings and funerals in most jurisdictions. 

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This description comes directly from the official website of Dudeism, dudeism.com:

Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism. An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.

 

The Dude, of course, refers to the Jeff Bridges character in the Coen Brothers genius classic film, The Big Lebowski.  If you’ve never seen it, drop what you’re doing and watch it right now.  No, seriously, go watch the movie. 

And, if you’re in the market for someone to marry you or bury you, I just might know someone.  Plus, he can really pull a room together, man.  The Dude abides.  

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