Hotter With a Beard: Joaquin Phoenix Edition

Picture taken from a story about Joaquin’s announcement at a Paul Newman memorial that he is retiring from acting. I wonder if he said that he was pretty sure there is more to life than being a really really really ridiculously good actor and he plans on finding out what that is. I bet you didn’t even think he knew was a eugugolizer was.


Is It Too Late to Change My Vote?

Yesterday, while I waited in a growing line at a Renton Subway, I overheard an irate man talking to the cashier/only sandwich artist in the joint, about Obama’s nefarious plans to tax small businesses until they go under and then give the money to black people. BLACK PEOPLE! Of all the people to give money to! I can’t believe there isn’t more press about this.

The cashier asked the man where he read about this conspiracy. “The internet,” he explained. She asked him to specify which sites. “Several different ones,” he specified. It’s pretty hard to argue with such prestigious sources. He assured her that her job would be safe because Subway is not, as far as he knows, a small business. However, everyone else is SCREWED! Wow. I had no idea Barack Obama was so evil. Small businesses are the foundation of democracy and black people definitely don’t need any more of our hard earned money.

That settles it. I’m moving to Renton where the people make more sense.

So I Went to Italy…

It was a honeymoon of sorts as it was where the Mister and I had wanted to go in June, but that was peak season and so expensive. I did a little research and learned that everything we wanted to do would be half the price in October. So we went to Mexico then (Also off-season. I guess that’s our style.) and made plans to do the big trip in the fall.

It was the perfect idea. Not only is everything more affordable, but the weather is perfect. It was 75 degrees and sunny every day. It only rained the day we arrived and the day we left. There were still a lot of tourists in the bigger cities but it wasn’t overwhelming. We were still able to do everything we wanted to do. And we brought some friends with us. Continue reading

NFT Radar: the Tin Hat

Simply put: the Tin Hat is a Ballard hipster bar. But it’s not hipster in that annoying, competitive way. It’s hip because it just is, from the front room to the bathrooms. The menus are all printed with retro design covers. There is plenty of velvet art. There are diner-style signs everywhere boasting cheap eats and they mean it too. There’s pinball and a fun movie playing silently on the TV to fill in the rare awkward silence that might crop up (or even to distract you from a conversation… even the most engrossing discussion can be disrupted by the sight of killer dolls or Patrick Bateman’s chainsaw phallus). The music is a mixture of hipster favorites and unpretentious pop. Sometimes spun by a DJ, other times a house playlist, they will play a rare Husker Du track, but are not above tossing a Squeeze song on right after. Everyone can feel welcome here, and the cheap happy hours make it even easier. And no need to put off breaking the seal here. Both the men’s and women’s restrooms are full of visual goodies like pinup girls, old cigarette ads and Tom Selleck in a speedo. It’s square to be hip!

512 NW 65th St 98117

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Pizza Pi

I have been a vegetarian for 16 years. In that time I have never gone vegan for one reason: Cheese. There’s just no suitable substitute. There are acceptable soy versions of milk and rice versions of ice cream. But that orange nacho sludge at 7-11 seems more real than any vegan cheese I’ve ever had, even realer… than cheese itself. So a vegan pizzeria is a risky venture. Of course vegans will love it. They will claim it tastes “just like pizza” the way I claim grilled Portobello mushrooms taste like steak. But they are meaty and flavorful and that’s good enough for me. The Pi chefs certainly know how to make delicious food. Their rustic crust recipe, the basis for most menu items, is salty and satisfying. Their topping options are wonderful (though they inexplicably include pineapple in everything). If you have bad impressions of the place, blame the old owners. The new ones know that you have to keep regular hours. But if you’re not vegan, and like cheese, this isn’t for you. If, however, you just like good food, forget the whole pizza concept and just enjoy the menu for what it is.

5500 University Way NE 98105

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

This Is Lipnicki

This kid never stops amusing. He’s apparently entered his Glamor Shots Cowboy phase:


Thx dlisted.

“You Never Write…”

I know, I know. But it’s because I’ve been in Italy for the last 2 weeks. As one would expect, it was amazing. More to come on that. And lots of pictures too.

How to Lose Fans and Alienate Audiences

There is probably an audience for “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People”. I’m just not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s the same as the Dane Cook audience: People who enjoy watching jerks be jerks, have a small moral revelation, get the girl they want, reject her and then get the other girl. Though Cook’s last couple of movies with this premise didn’t fare so well at the box office so I don’t have high hopes for the success of How to Lose Friends. Not that I necessarily WANT it to succeed. The Simon Pegg fan in me does, I suppose. I love all his work with Edgar Wright such as “Spaced”, “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”. But apart from a couple of Star Wars references and Gillian Anderson, there is none of that Simon Pegg here. Yes, I realize he’s ACTING. But he’s acting like a total douche.

how to lose friends and alienate people posterBased on the memoirs of Toby Young, “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” tells the story of SIDNEY Young, an obnoxious, usually bumbling, self-centered “journalist” with dreams of making it big in the celebrity profile circuit.

But it’s not just the character that’s the problem. Without any prior knowledge of the book or the story, I had no idea what the hell Sidney’s deal was. Was he a party crasher? A paparazzo? A star effer? A LOOKYLOO?! (By the way, is lookyloo a magazine industry term? Because EVERYONE says it. A LOT). It wasn’t until Sidney was offered a job at a “Vanity Fair”-type magazine (for being really good at sneaking into places, I think) that I realized he was supposed to be a journalist.

This movie is all over the map. At times it’s a silly slapstick comedy with Pegg in a latter-day Steve Martinesque role. There is a even a pig gag. Apparently, pigs are the new monkeys. At other times it’s (an attempt at) a biting commentary of pop journalism and Hollywood ass kissing. At still other times, it’s a romantic comedy in which the leads are (HELLO!) obviously with the wrong people and true true love is right in front of them.

OK, so Sidney’s serious, lesson-learning montages show potential but the mess that is the rest of the film is just too, well, messy. And stuck in the middle of this big pile of pig slop is poor Kirstin Dunst. Let’s talk about her character, shall we?

Kirsten Dunst plays Alison, Sidney’s other love interest. The ones he’s really supposed to be with once he realizes that Megan Fox, the Hollywood starlet his loins yearn for, is actually a vapid windbag. Alison also works at the magazine and has a mysterious boyfriend for whom she waits in bars having ordered him a White Russian, while she hand writes her novel into a journal. Of course, her mystery man never shows and Sidney always seems to be there to help her feel really bad about it. If she’s waiting for Lebowski, he’s probably out looking for his missing rug. It really tied the room together.

I really like Kirsten Dunst. She’s fantastic in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I just like her snaggletoothed ways in general. So it pains me to see her play a character like this. Somehow she manages to do it with grace, but she’s still a lonely, pathetic girl with awful, awful taste in men. OK, so I guess it’s the same character she played in Spotless Mind. But a good script apparently makes that character seem more relatable.

SPOILER ALERT!! But who cares. If you’ve ever seen a movie, you know what’s going to happen.

dunst and peggSo for the first half of the movie, Alison hates Sidney. And rightly so. He’s an ass and he says horrible things to her. She calls him “loathsome” and she’s right. So for some reason, I had hopes that she wouldn’t end up inexplicably falling in love with him. Maybe he with her. But she would reject him and live happily ever after with Lebowski or even just become a single, successful novelist. Anything but falling in love with the loathsome Sidney Young. But nay. The obvious and inevitable does happen. Without explanation. It just switches suddenly because it’s the third act and it’s time for Sidney to stop being a dick and realize he loves Alison. And since things don’t really work out with Lebowski after all, she’s single and therefore available to date someone she previously hated. That’s just the way women are, you know.

Were there any saving graces to this movie? Well, Jeff Bridges is kind of entertaining (Yes, Lebowski actually IS in this thing. But it turns out he’s not the mystery man). Megan Fox is pretty good as Sophie Maes, the aforementioned vapid Hollywood Starlet who loves to be the center of attention and can’t resist the opportunity to make her nipples hard in front of an entire party. But I’m pretty sure Megan Fox isn’t acting. What else? Um…The lady behind me who was shocked by everything was pretty funny. A cry of “OOOOH JESUS!!” erupted every few minutes. I think those were the only times I laughed. And I guess the pig was kinda cute.