Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Latest Trend in Rude Behavior

The other day I was at the register checking out of the Dollar Tree around the corner as a mid-thirties to early forties man walked in with his two boys who must have been around eleven or twelve. This man had his Android phone blasting some sort of hiphop music as he walked around the store cutting in front of people and dawdling blocking the front door where people were trying to get past him to exit. He was completely oblivious to how rude and inconsiderate his playing his loud music in the store was, as it contrasted with the music the store had piping in throughout the building. He also didn’t seem to understand the etiquette of not standing directly in front of the door to wait for someone. I left the store annoyed and thinking what a rude role model he was for those boys.

At the time I thought it was just one man who was clueless to being courteous and having social responsibility when living in an organized society. I was wrong. Since then I have come across several other people, both men and women, who felt it was acceptable to walk around with their music from their phone or MP3 player blasting in a store, restaurant or public facility. What is this new trend of rudeness? I look at it as an extension of the long running trend of blasting the car radio so that people can hear it from a mile away, which is totally illegal, but seems to happen more frequently than not.

It is one thing to have your music playing with your headsets on so that only you are affected by it, but to interrupt other people’s conversations, environment, or day by forcing them to listen to your blasting music is unacceptable. This is comparable to a smoker walking up and blowing smoke in someone’s face; completely rude, inconsiderate and inexcusable. Think of the head ache and racket that will ensue if everyone walks around doing this; multiple types of music blasting over each other in one contained space. No thank you.

I refuse to believe that our world is transitioning into such a self-absorbed society that we do not consider public etiquette and only care about our own desires. Let us nip this new trend of music blasting in the bud. If you want to listen to your music in public use your headsets, do not expect everyone else around you to want to listen to your jam with you. Provide a positive role model for the younger generation who is watching to help them know how to behave in public. Let us bring back civility and consideration into our everyday world before it is too late.

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Jonny Depp, the Very Definition of Bohemian

I’ve been in love with Jonny Depp ever since I was a teenager and he was on “21 Jump Street”. I was devastated when the show was canceled, because it would mean no more getting to see his lovely face every week. And, it seemed that once the show ended so did he. I am not much of a celebrity stalker and never have been so if it is not on the main screen or massively publicized I have little knowledge of what a star is doing at any given time. Jonny disappeared from my life and I moved on, until his sudden reappearance in major box office hits like, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, “Edward Sissorhands”, and a plethora of other famous movies that would shoot him into superstardom and enlighten me as to his true talents.

Since this time of adolescence I’ve gone on to watch his movies and hear the tabloids speak of him on topics such as the way he moved to France because it was alright to smoke pot there, or the break-up with this woman or that woman. But, my real affection and adoration of him comes from his interviews and quotes.

“You can close your eyes to the things you don’t want to see, but you can’t close your heart to the things you don’t want to feel.”            – Jonny Depp

It seems as he has matured that he has developed a wisdom and style that didn’t present itself in his early years. He’s left behind the persona of a sullen James Dean, and taken on a whole new honest and open image. He appears to live his life from the heart with a sense of responsibility for himself, family, and mankind. He does not care what people think of how he dresses or if they disagree with his opinions. He admits to making mistakes in his life, accepts them and moves forward. The roles he takes are those of substance, art, or creativity, and he isn’t afraid to give credit to others where credit is due. He lives life to its fullest and loves deeply while creating works of art, and thought provoking theater experiences. I know many of you are probably remembering his last few “Pirates of the Caribbean” films wondering what I am talking about, “thought provoking”. I’m speaking of the overall portfolio of his work. But, if you think about it, even those movies create conversation and thought over if any of the activities and stunts in them could really happen, or if the costumes were truly era specific, etc. So, I stand by my statement.

I’ve never met Mr. Depp, and doubt I ever will. These impressions of him are simply from what I see of him on screen, in interviews, and from tabloid covers. But, it is these impressions that make me think of him as a true bohemian.

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Gardening Toils

Well, my annual futile attempt at having flower beds began today. I planted more bulbs and some wild flower seeds after digging as many of the indigenous, overpowering weeds from my flower bed as I could. I have the worst soil on the planet, and invasive weeds and indigenous grass from hell, but I am determined to have flowers to enjoy in my yard eventually. After 5 years of this dance, I at least have a handful of tulips and 6 Peonies that come up every year. Of course the Peonies only get about 9 inches high when they are supposed to get 3 feet tall and they have never bloomed, but hey! It’s a start. Oh! I do have a handful of wild flowers that I planted 8 years ago, that come up every year and they are getting thicker each year. LOL…. My grandfather would be embarrassed by my outcome, but proud of my persistence.

Growing up spending weekends with my grandparents, watching my grandfather grow anything he planted in his half acre backyard garden, he made it look so easy. Not that it didn’t look like hard work watching him stand out there digging and planting, roto-tilling, picking and pruning, but from the side lines it looked like all you had to do was plant what you wanted to eat, water it daily and wait until it was large enough to harvest. It wasn’t until I was grown and trying to grow tomatoes in Colorado clay and sand that I realized how much of an art form gardening is. My grandfather understood this. He was a farmer from Arkansas who had been raised tilling the soil and harvesting the rewards of his efforts from a very young age. I only wish I had picked up a few more of his tricks so that I could carry on his marvelous green thumb. I miss you Pappah.

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Upscale Done Wrong J&J’s House of Prime Rib

My best friend recently took me to J&J’s House of Prime Rib in Parker, Colorado for my birthday dinner. Neither of us had been to this venue and we were eager to try it out. J&J’s menu is arranged like that of an upscale steak house, which would be fine if the surroundings and food quality backed it up.

If you are going to charge $30 for a 10 oz prime rib and a cluster of snow crab (basically a half a crab) and a salad as your special, then the food better be top quality and there should be ambiance. This meal and location had neither. The interior of the restaurant was simple and clean, but the expected touches were missing, there were no table cloths, the seating was basic padded wall booths and wooden tables that you would see in any Chili’s or Applebee’s and our table kept shifting every time it was touched.

I ordered the special, and my friend ordered a 10 oz, prime rib with a Caesar salad, and we shared an order of wine and leek sautéed mushrooms. Our Caesar salads turned out to be a pile of romaine lettuce ribs piled up with a splash of Caesar dressing poorly mixed in, and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese and croutons; all the ingredients were there, but the execution failed. For the most part until we got to the ribs of lettuce in the middle there was really no dressing to be found and the cheese simply feel to the plate. This dish would have been much more successful had the ribs been chopped into bite sized pieces and the salad tossed correctly. As for the mushrooms, the taste was there, although I think it would have been better had there been a little less or smaller chunks of leek. When someone puts a Crimini mushroom in their mouth they expect to taste the earthiness of a Crimini mushroom, not a mouth full of onion. The flavor of the prime rib was good however the cut of meat was very fatty. I left at least 2 oz. of fat sitting on my plate and inadvertently ate another ounce of fat trying to get the meat separated from the marbling. I think my crab was anorexic. For all the battle to get the shell apart there was very little meat inside of the 4 leg portion and the meat in the body was uneatable.

The server was very sweet, attentive and probably the best part of the experience. My only recommendation to her is to be a little less nervous. She was so flustered that it seemed she had a hard time getting out what she wanted to say, and then accidentally splashed very hot Au Jus on my arm. A little more confidence is all she needs though to be a top notch server.

Over all this steak house has potential to be a good little neighborhood eatery, but it is far from the upscale high end restaurant it is trying to pass itself off as.

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My Original “Sister” Review

When I reviewed the movie “Sister” at the Denver Film Festival in 2012 for OffToTheFilms, I was asked to modify my original review as I was too blunt for their site. So, now I’ve decided to post my original review for anyone who wants to see it. To see what was posted on OffToTheFilms you can click here.

Sister Falls Flat

Sister is a story about a 12 year old boy who steals from the rich tourists at a high end ski resort in order to keep a roof over his and his sister’s head, and food on the table. This dramatic story line screams with potential, but eventually falls flat. The only scene in the whole movie that has a spark of intensity is the relationship twist, and even that is left flat and incomplete.

This sad story line redundantly drags out with little progression. There are some well formatted artistic shots in this film, however the over use of this technique only stalls the progression of the film’s story that much more without adding much to the overall effect of the film. Some of these scenes confuse the message at times with an underlying incestual vibe to them.

The acting is well done, although the dialog is sparse in many areas. Even though the majority of the dialog is written in French, the subtitles are easily followed. The intensely dramatic characters in this deeply emotional film are not fully fleshed out in a way that truly grips the viewer’s heart. As sympathetic as the viewer may feel for the plight of the main character, the use of dramatic photography in place of gripping dialog misses the mark.

The story never hits a climax and simply continues on in a repetitive motion. If “Groundhog Day” had a poor, mistreated cousin this might be it. Although, the repetitiveness of this film is not through repeating the same day over and over, each day in this film seems to have the same theme, go up the mountain, lie and steal from the rich, get caught, and go back down the mountain with a few variations. Sadly though, unlike the main character in “Groundhog Day”, the main character in this film doesn’t seem to catch on, although we will never know with the incomplete, unsatisfying conclusion of the movie. The viewer is left feeling like they just wasted an hour and 37 minutes that they will never get back with no actual sense of closure as this film just stops. I give this film 2 stars out of 5, and it only gets that because of the acting.

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Steel Magnolias Remake or Break?

Is it really necessary to remake a movie like “Steel Magnolias”? This is a movie that has been seen by almost everyone. It is an award winning classic that won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Drama Movie. When a movie is an award winning classic such as this, is it worth the expense of remaking it? Remaking a movie that is already as successful and popular as Steel Magnolias seems redundant and unnecessary.

As much as I adore Queen Latifah and have enjoyed watching her in movies such as “Last Holiday” and “The Secret Life of Bees”, I have a very difficult time picturing her in the same role as Sally Fields in Steel Magnolias, and placing a little known actress such as Condola Rashad to play the role of Shelby that Julia Roberts has already perfected just seems silly. The publicists are calling it a “Fresh spin” on the movie because it has been remade with an African-American cast. This so called “Fresh spin” on a classic seems to me to be a waste of money and lack of creativity on the part of the remake creators. Granted the new version has some quality actors such as Phylicia Rashad and Queen Latifah, but the cast cannot compare to Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, and Olivia Dukakis that made up the previous cast and those are just the women. If you add in the male actors of Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard and Dylan McDermott, how can a remake compete?

When remaking a movie of this caliber and popularity it is impossible for the viewing public not to make a direct comparison between the movie they love and the remake. With that said, it is difficult to understand why anyone felt that this movie needed to be remade simply due to skin color. “Steel Magnolias” is a movie about a family’s struggles and loss that transcended skin color and touches all those who watch it because of the depth of the story which is losing a child. That is a story line that skin color has nothing to do with. Every parent can relate to how they would feel if they lost their child. Now, there will always be the conversation of which did you like better, the black version or the white version, which takes away from the true meaning of the movie itself.

The new remade version of “Steel Magnolias” is scheduled to air as a made for TV movie on October 7,2012, on Lifetime. Click the hyper link above to see the movie trailer.

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Crossroads Theater’s Rocky Horror picture Show Review

For all of those last minute planners looking for something fun to do this Friday evening following Halloween, check out the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” live performance at the Crossroads Theater in Denver. Although, it is instantly apparent that this is not remotely comparable to the movie version with its minimal costumes and non-existent sets, the twisted naughty sense of humor as the almost satirical performance along with the casts creating their own sound effects keeps the audience laughing and engaged.

Overall the singing is adequate with some performers meeting the challenge better than others, but the performances are entertaining. The live music is worth listening to and the decision to do a “Victor Victoria” style “Frank Frankfurter” is one of the best decisions they could have made to pull off this role.

All too often theater houses attempt to compete with a well-known cult classic with their performance only to fail by comparison. The Wit Theater Group’s choice to handle things in a more satirical adult humored fashion was the right choice, as it is this decision that makes this show a hit and worth watching.

A few notes to anyone interested in seeing the production, this is a limited engagement performance with the last showing being on November 1st, and is a small theater so there are no bad seats in the house. Warning, Google and GPS are way off on their directions so make sure and give yourself enough time to find the venue. Google sent me six city blocks in the wrong direction of Colfax, and the couple next to me said that their GPS had it all wrong as well. There is limited parking in the underground lot to the back of the theater, but all other parking is by the curb.

Being a big fan of the movie it took me a few songs to get past comparing, but once I did I had a great time with the interactive format and the lively characters. It was a great way to spend Halloween with my College age daughter.

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