Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reviewed: Dirty Dishes by Cynthia Rowley

After my wedding it was only about 6 months before all those beautiful dishes our friends and family bought for us started cracking and chipping and looking like hell. In fact, MACY’S, you jerks, I should probably be reviewing your shoddy craftsmanship (ahem, the Cellar) instead. Especially after I even nerded it up by taking the time to write you a letter and then you insisted it wasn’t your problem. Huff.

So, just two years later when we had to replace our dishes we went with the brighter whites collection from Fish’s Eddy, which is a fantastic place to get quirky and classic dishware, or hunt through their exhaustive vintage stuff for some unique finds. I couldn’t resist, while I was there, snagging a set of the Cynthia Rowley-designed “dirty” coffee cups, adorned with half-naked ladies lounging around the top.

Bright white with a fancy gold border-line where the lovely chicks lie exposing themselves, the cups are sweet little conversation pieces in my cupboards. Unfortunately, Joe is opposed to the idea that all of our dishes have naked ladies smiling back at us, but I’m hoping I can sneakily expand my collection.

93 Stars. To top it off the whole collection is currently 50% off.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reviewed: Now What? By Ann Patchett

As it is nearing May and the time for graduates is upon us, Harper’s has done us a big ol’ favor and published this book. Now instead of buying Dr. Suess’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go, moms and dads across the nation have a new option. The book is the published essay of the commencement speech Ann Patchett gave at Sarah Lawrence College, tricked out with some “life-pondering” photography.

I should disclose that I’m a huge fan of Ann Patchett. I met her a couple years ago in Tallahassee and she is not only an amazing writer but a really lovely, charming lady as well. The essay is a perfect example of what I like about her—that she’s honest, unflinching and humorous and perfectly describes the post-college malaise so many of us find ourselves in. The essay caters to our kind, and by that I mean you, Gen Y, with your whiny find-yourself-self-involvement. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not criticizing—I’ve got it, too. Gone are the days of emerging from youth to suck it up and go to work in the coal mines. Now we get to ask ourselves, where do I really belong? Ugh, it’s atrocious. I sometimes get tired of myself.

So I was, of course, shiny-eyed with recognition at Patchett’s admission of too many years of wandering lost, waitressing at TGIFriday’s, trying to figure it all out. The essay is something us crazy kids should read, if we’re anywhere between 20 and 30, but the package it comes in, on the other hand, might make you want to poke your eyes out. I suspect that, to stretch the page count, the publisher stuck in as many inspiring images as they could. I mean, the amount of illustrations and photographs used to demonstrate for us dummies the idea of indecision (e.g., footprints in the sand going around in a circle, a lone figure standing before a giant maze) is really astounding.

The essay alone earns 90 stars. The packaging it comes in is so atrocious, I give it 4 stars. Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, don't let me dissuade you; it will make a nice graduation gift.

Update: I just realized that, including the cover, there are no less than 3 pictures of mazes in this book.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reviewed: August Rush

I really wish I didn’t—I truly wish it wasn’t true—but I watched this incredibly ridiculous movie this afternoon and enjoyed it. I don’t know, maybe I have diabetes or something, because this is the most idiotic movie I have seen in a long time and that means something coming from me; I once sat through feardotcom in the theater. But I’m the kind of person that, for the sake of a good story, I can usually suspend my disbelief easily. I do it willingly. It may be one of my only positive character traits.

In order to enjoy this movie, here’s what I had to convince myself of: when you are unconscious your dad can forge your name on your newborn’s adoption papers and then tell you your kid is dead, The Julliard School will take a runaway kid under their wing without calling the police because he’s a music prodigy, The Julliard School will then get that crazy runaway kid his own concert with the New York Philharmonic in Central Park, and if the dude who unknowingly impregnated his true love doesn’t know her last name in 1995 he can pine away for eleven years and then suddenly very easily find her address on the internet.

This is a bad movie. Yes, I liked it but I also like Young Guns 2.

27 Stars. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is gorgeous. I saw him at Jacques-moi’s in New Orleans about four years ago and he was bouncing around the bar looking all coked up. He looks better now.