February 1st, 2007


(no subject)

Barrywep wanted more grocery news, so here goes: On the way back from watching movies Tuesday, I stopped off at the 57th St. Associated for the first time in ages to pick up prepared foods, and found they had Minute Maid light raspberry passion. Only the pricey stores seem to carry it. When I came out of the subway, snow was falling in thick flakes. By morning, it was pretty much gone.

I still haven't defrosted the freezer.

Someone left a copy of the "Wordplay" companion book on the laundry room book exchange shelf with the crosswords blank. Humph, they didn't want to keep the book forever? When I checked again a week later, the book was gone.

I have a new goal: oldest Stamford winner (or finalist). Mimi Raphael was born in 1926, so I am already older than she was when she won in 1979. However, research shows Doug Hoylman was 56 when he last won in 2000 (also his last time in the finals), so I have a few years to go before I can beat him. I was very happy with last year's comeback, but just don't know if it's possible to get up there again. Speed solving is MUCH more difficult when you get older.

I'm working through RH Sunday Mega Omnibus, Volume 1. It's sort of old, it's possible I already did some of these puzzles, and in general it's not the best practice for Stamford. I've done most of the recent quality books, and I'll have to see if there's anything left to practice on besides what I download daily. Games mags? I could do the Maura puzzles in the piles of unread New York Magazines. This may not be a banner year for practice.

My recently bar mitzvahed nephew Jeffrey will be here this weekend with his drama class. They have a packed schedule of shows, tours, and meals already ordered and paid for, so I'm not sure when I'll see him. I have their itinerary and may pop by as the group is leaving a show or sitting in a restaurant.

Movies movies movies:

"The Trials of Darryl Hunt": Documentary about the justice system at its worst. The movie felt a tad long.

"The Illusionist": I really liked this story of a magician in old Vienna. I saw this at a screening, and would probably benefit by running the last few minutes (where all is revealed) slowly on DVD.

"Brothers of the Head": I thought this would be a riot like "The Rutles" or "Spinal Tap" (two huge favorites), but this mockumentary about conjoined twin rockers experiencing the excesses of the '70s was ultimately dark.

"Stephanie Daley": The movie Amber Tamblyn was promoting when Tyler just missed meeting her at Sundance last year. It's about a teen accused of killing her baby. I was surprised the landscape I assumed was the Rockies was shot in upstate NY.

"Steel City": not Pittsburgh but Alton, IL, where a dysfunctional family struggles to make ends meet.

"American Gun": I was surprised this got only 39% on Rotten Tomatoes, since I liked it very much. The movie has several unconnected threads concerning guns and violence, including the effects of a Columbine-like school shooting on the survivors.

Books books books (or at least books books):

"The Dancer" by Leland Cooley: the last of the showbiz novels I kept confusing with each other. Leya Marks is one of these perfect women you see only in novels: gorgeous, can dance, can sing, can act, can do no wrong. Eh.

"A Sign of the Eighties" by Gail Parent: I adored the author's "Sheila Levine..." though I don't know if it has stood the test of time. This is a more recent novel about New York Jewish neurotics who encounter Astra Rainbow, a pure and innocent midwestern child of hippies. Not bad.