Friday, March 31, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


I don't care how many villains he might choose to play--for me, Cary Elwes will always be Westley. "A farm boy, poor and perfect, with eyes like the sea after a storm." I mean, really; no normal woman would turn down someone this good looking, especially when he's staring you in the face and uttering the words "As you wish."


Mandy Patinkin has, to his many credits, one of the all-time great lines in modern American movies: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." He's also a talented singer and dancer (he's been all over Broadway) and is currently plying his trade in Criminal Minds, an interesting look at the cops who deal with the crazy criminals show. His resume alone would ensure a great conversation, but that wicked sparkle in his eyes would be a lovely dessert.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Yep, Still Blind

So I go to the eye doctor today and find out that, surprisingly, I'm not as blind as I feared. In fact, my eyes are getting better. It's probably the calm before the storm, as my husband and friends who are doing the hold-the-page-at-arms'-length thing will attest, but it was a nice perk anyway. New contacts are great--no more blinking and dryness, slightly sharper vision. That was fine.

New glasses--OUCH. Three hundred bucks I wasn't wanting to spend. Then again, I haven't bought glasses in, say, five years, so I'm not only on the bad prescription, I'm behind the fashion eight ball, too. So I'm trading the bronze Laura Ashley frames with the degrading scratch coating for some new Bebe frames and thin, expensive, disguise that she's blind as a bat lenses. Could be worse. Could be in progressives.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


Dierks Bentley is just adorable. He's definitely on the "cute" end of the spectrum rather than the "hot" end, but who wouldn't love a giggle or two whilst rolling in the hay? Plus, he's a curly. I'm a curly. We could connect on a primal level right there (trust me, you folks with straight hair have no earthly idea what it's like). And he has a sly sense of humor. Watch a few videos here if you don't believe me (I recommend "What Was I Thinkin'" and "Come a Little Closer"). I know what I'm thinkin'.


Jeff Foxworthy was probably the guy who got you in trouble in high school for laughing in algebra class. He's best known for his "You might be a redneck" schtick (my favorite: "If your mother doesn't remove the Marlboro from her lips while telling the state trooper to kiss her ass, you might be a redneck"), but he's dead on with his observations about marriage and kids as well. Dinner with Jeff would be a hoot.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Books and Cooks: The Secret Life of Bees

Swinging back to the South again for this month's selection.



Reading this book is like peeking into my past: South Carolina setting, family issues, search for self, African-American women. Sue Monk Kidd does a great job on place, for a Georgian. She's definitely driven down I-85 past Greer, SC, the home of the giant "butt on a stick" peach (that peach orchard bit, unfortunately, wasn't completely original), and she understands the heat and humidity like a native. We loved the characterization of Lily and her relationship with Rosaleen, primarily, but also with the "calendar girls" (August, June, and May Boatwright). The relationship she develops with Zach was handled beautifully and realistically for the time and place and curiosity of the two characters. The Church of Mary women had an engrossing way of viewing the world and its passages. And who wouldn't appreciate a wailing wall in their own backyard?

One issue I have with the book is the issue I'm having with lots of literary fiction--especially the "coming of age" type--set in the South. Does no young woman grow up with normal people around? Do they all have abusive fathers? Are they all poor and misunderstood, clinging to life in a sea of alcoholism? I mean, what happened to fathers like Atticus Finch? I didn't have an Atticus at home exactly, but Daddy was firmly in the Atticus camp and had nothing but disgust for men like T. Ray Owens.

I'm beginning to develop--not disgust, actually, more like disdain--for either writers or publishers who perpetuate the lie that Southern people are backward racist idiots. I know some backward folks, I know some racists, and Lord knows I've run across plenty of idiots (many of them transplants), but they are hugely outnumbered by decent, intelligent people. Sure, we Southerners have our issues, but let's face it: we have bragging rights. The South produced Faulkner, Williams, Welty, Twain, Conroy, O'Connor, Walker, Wolfe, and To Kill a Mockingbird. There's not a literary tradition anywhere in the US that can touch it.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Pilates Part Deux

Pilates class again tonight, step one in the "Build a Better mimi" program. Whole different ballgame than the first class I took, which was all on the mat. This time, we get giant rubber balls, stands, stretchy cords. Fun, but I bet I have trouble climbing stairs on Wednesday. By Thursday, when I go to yoga class, I may no longer hinge properly. C'est la vie. All in the name of beauty. Or weight loss. Or both. Hey, if I can get the instructor's physique (she's ripped), it'll be worth it. Of course, I'll be about a decade older at that point, but anything's better than the current view. I don't have to be ripped. I'd settle for visual confirmation of muscle at this point.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


There. I've said it. I know he's older, and I don't care. He's interesting. He has a face you can study. He's smarter than hell (who else could pull off Edward R. Murrow and make it convincing? And get an Oscar nod, hello?). My David Strathairn "thing" probably kicked off more than a decade ago when I was watching The Firm. He played the hero's brother. Tom Cruise played the hero. Tom did his usual scenery-chewing, running, and teeth-flashing, and David stole the show as the convict brother, Ray. I decided then if I could choose between the two, I'd pick Dave. Still would. Tom will forever be a boy dancing to Bob Seger in his underwear. David is a man. All man. And if I were fabulously lucky, all mine. For a million reasons, not the least of which is his sly portrayal of Whistler in Sneakers, an all-time favorite, David Strathairn gets the invite.


Another smart guy (as usual), and someone who's willing to tackle nearly anything. Danny Glover can do funny, serious, and downright furious. Plus, he's willing to speak out. It takes some serious cojones to take on NYC cabdrivers, but he's done it. He's an actor and activist, and that always makes for great dinner conversation.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Irish Yoga

(Yoga at the Crack O'Dawn, get it?)

I show up at our local Y on the recommendation of a good friend who is able to go to yoga class twice a week at 6 am. Six am doesn't work for me normally since I have to be at work at 7:10 on weekdays, but this is spring break. So I go.

There's a sub. The sub is a guy. This is new.

Class wasn't too rough. He's definitely a new-agey kind of guy, willing to let us work it out at a leisurely pace. I did discover that even at the crack o'dawn, I think I like a class with a little more energy. Pilates was good. Power yoga is better. If I'm whipped and feel wrung out at the end of an hour, it was a good hour. I just don't think I'm up for Bikram. Wrung out and dehydrated (Bikram studios are heated) is how I spend much of my summer, so I can get that for free doing yard work in midday in August.

Back to afternoon classes. It was fun to flirt with dark, but I think I'm an end of the day gal when it comes to yoga.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


I unabashedly admit that I am wild about Russell Crowe, even if he does fly off the handle and throw diva fits and telephones. Australian. Talented. Sexy as all get out. Plus, who can resist a man who can utter a line like "On my signal, unleash hell" and not sound utterly ridiculous? Or who named his first rock band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and his second The Ordinary Fear of God? Best yet, he seems to have his head on straight where it matters:
"I'd move to Los Angeles if Australia and New Zealand were swallowed up by a huge tidal wave, if there was a bubonic plague in Europe, and if the continent of Africa disappeared from some Martian attack." Sounds about right.


This guy reminds me of the kind of person who'd be a howl to go out drinking with. He's not particularly handsome, but he's cute enough. He chooses very interesting roles (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Boogie Nights, Twister, Almost Famous, Flawless, and his Oscar turn in Capote), which leads me to believe he'd be as interesting to have dinner with.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar, How I Love Thee

Confession: I am an Oscar slut. As in, I love watching the Oscars. Love the suspense, love the catty comments over the dresses, love tearing up at the "In Memoriam," love the whole overblown spectacle.

And I really loved Jon Stewart as host. He can crack me up with a lifted brow, so imagine how easy I am at a good joke. Case in point: "Bjork was trying on her Oscar dress, and Dick Cheney shot her" or the Oscar countdown: "Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars. Three Six Mafia, one Oscar." Plus, he didn't go overboard with the Brokeback Mountain humor (although the opening bit with Billy Crystal and Chris Rock in the tent was classic). The political ads for Best Actress were fun, too: "I just don't feel comfortable with any of this during a time of war" [poking fun at the foreign-sounding names of the nominees] and "Judi Dench put my eye out!"

I fell in love with George Clooney all over again during his charming acceptance speech ("Academy Award winner, Sexiest Man Alive 1997, and Batman George Clooney died in a freak accident..."), and Reese Witherspoon has cemented herself as my #1 favorite blonde (and that's saying something, since I'm not partial to blondes). Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin played off each other like they've spent their whole lives as next door neighbors. And is there anything better than scads of handsome men in tuxedos (Jake Gyllenhaal, anyone?).

I want to look like Salma Hayek, dammit. Or Keira Knightley. Or maybe I just want their stylists and a magic weight drop.

Nothing like the Oscars to fuel my IMDb obsession for another year. Time to stack up some movies in the Netflix queue!

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Bed List/The Dinner List


I have to admit that the first time I saw Terrence Dashon Howard, in The Best Man, I didn't pay much attention to him. Who could blame me, with Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut taking up screen time? Since then, though, TDH has grown on me. As in, Hustle and Flow some of that my way, won't you? Those eyes...yum. That gorgeous Give us a ring, won't you? I'll do my best to make it less hard out there for ya, pimp.


One of my goals in life is to Win Ben Stein's Money. Well, technically, was, since the show's no longer on, but I digress. You have to admire a guy who graduated at the top of his class at Yale Law, has written for scads of really impressive magazines, and uttered one of cinema's all-time great lines: "Bueller? Bueller?" This would be a dinner that would carry over into lunch the next day, given the wide range of topics he could discuss. Don't believe me? Check out his website for yourself. "Anyone? Anyone?"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Go Ahead, Homegirl!!

Great news! My good friend Katherine Garbera's newest book is a Barnes and Noble Featured New Release. Check out this cover:

I don't know about you, but this firefighter reminds me of Nick Lachey. That's a good enough reason to get hot and bothered. The book lives up to the cover promise, too. Like a hot read? Give Katherine some love.

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