The Unbearable Banishment: December 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

did i say 28? i meant 29

I snuck in one more play before the year wound down. CB and I saw Saturn Returns at Lincoln Center.

It had an interesting premise. One character is played by three different actors representing three stages in his life, each stage being 30 years apart (the time it takes Saturn to make a complete orbit). The same actress played his wife in the early years, his daughter in the middle years and his home care nurse in the latter part of his life, so she was on stage throughout and did all the heavy lifting.

The early years were too melodramatic, he was too unlikeable and needy a character in the middle years, but there were some genuine sparks when the eldest of the three actors walked on stage. That character had the best lines, but I think a bigger reason is that he was, by far, the most accomplished actor of the three.

* * *

I haven't seen much of 7-Year Old Daughter this past week. Her cousin, who is a mere six weeks older than her, is here visiting. She got here last Friday and is staying at my in-laws house. The two of them are pretty close, so they've been spending all their time together over there with no need to have a dad around mucking things up.

I understand all this but I don't really like it. I usually read to her at night before she goes to sleep but I've only read to her once in the past six days. I miss her.

Poster credit: Jane Fisher


Monday, December 29, 2008

greetings from Asbury Park

Through a set of circumstances not interesting enough to mention, I found myself in a club in Asbury Park, New Jersey on Saturday night watching three hardcore bands. All three bands looked and sounded like Black Flag. There was moshing! I thought mosh pits were passé, but apparently the either never went away or are all the rage again. There was even a girl mosh pit. They're all very polite. Did you know there's a mosh pit etiquette? By the end of the evening there was blood on smiling faces.

Good Christ, it was loud. Wimp that I am, I put little balled up pieces of cotton in my ears, thus preserving what’s left of may already damaged hearing.

I understand tattoos. I have a tiny one on my shoulder. Ear piercing is centuries old. If you feel the need to have your breasts enlarged, don’t let me stand in your way. I’m pretty much okay with all the different forms of body mutilation that are intended as a fashion statement and/or an act of rebellion. What I cannot abide by is earlobe stretching.

I didn’t understand it when I lived in the East Village years ago and I think even less of it now. I’m surprised to see that its made its way to the suburbs—Asbury Park is full of them. It’s not as bad as a crystal meth epidemic, but I wish they’d go away.

All of the body mutilation procedures mentioned above can be reversed. They can get rid of tattoos. Earring holes and piercings seal by themselves for lack of use. But I don’t think there’s a way to undo an earlobe ring. Is there? What does your ear look like when you take that stupid thing out at night? Do they hang down to your shoulders? Ick.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

it looks like a terrible idea on paper

Just imagine pitching the following idea to a Broadway producer: We’re going to take an early Alfred Hitchcock espionage film from 1935 and turn it into a stage comedy. The cast will consist of just four people and three of them will have to play over 100 roles. Along the way we’re going to reference every Hitchcock movie made.

Well, against all logic, it works beautifully. We saw The 39 Steps on Broadway.

This was playing in London when I was there a year ago and I didn’t get a chance to see it then but, miraculously, the same cast that was in the London show is intact here in New York. Generally, they don’t bother to import a show unless they’re sure it’s going to succeed, so I had an inclination that it was going to be worthwhile. The tsunami of good reviews helped.

It’s a funny show but also a bit of an acting tour de force. Change a hat, change a character. I see a lot of small, downtown black box theater and I can assure you that not every actor can pull this sort of thing off. Some of them have a hard enough time getting set inside ONE character!

* * *

This is probably my last show of the year. When I review the list of plays I’ve seen in 2008, it looks like it was a pretty satisfying year for theater. 28 shows. Not bad. The counter resets to 0. When I get tired of the long, late train ride home to New Jersey I’ll stop going but until then I’m going to take advantage of living out here.


Friday, December 26, 2008

am i the crazy one?

The three principal movie reviewers from The New York Times have selected their 10 best movies of the year. I've never even heard of most of their selections, much less saw them. And I try to pay attention to that sort of thing.

This begs the question: Can it be true that the best movies of 2008 are small, unknown, independent and foreign features that are seen by very few, or are the reviewers in The New York Times a bunch of pretentious jack-offs who are afraid to lose their “cool-kid” status if they select something mainstream?

Heath Ledger in a nurse’s outfit doing that Chaplinesque walk while a hospital explodes in the background. I thought that was a pretty great moment and it deserved mention.

* * *

The following sentence is from The New York Times film critic A.O. Scott’s review of The Spirit:

"Unfortunately whatever natural charisma he may possess is disguised by his hat, his mask and the murky shadows of the mise-en-scène."

Is he kidding with that stuff? Does he think that mise-en-scène has seeped its way so deeply into the mainstream lexicon that we’re all aware of its meaning? He’s a jack-off.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

i, tourist

In yet another blatant attempt to get 7-Year Old Daughter to look beyond the noise, filth and insanity of New York and see it for the shining jewel on the hill it is, I brought her into the city for some holiday tourist hijinks.

We met Nurse H for dinner at a diner. We ate at the Stardust Diner on Broadway and 51st. The food was ghastly, but it has its charms. The waiters and waitresses have musical theater aspirations and they take turns singing with a wireless mike. The singing goes on constantly from the time you walk in until the time you pay for your overpriced food. Some of them can carry a tune but I suspect that most of them are going to be working at the diner for a long, long time. That’s showbiz! You can’t give up your dream, even when faced with your own mediocrity.

The three of us hoofed two avenues over, past Radio City Music Hall, to look at the big Rockefeller Center tree. It was glorious! I do it every year and I never get sick of this stuff. Honestly! When I get tired of doing this sort of thing I’ll move.

Daughter’s favorite display is the snowflakes splashed across the façade of Saks Fifth Avenue.

I prefer the Cartier holiday bow wrapped around the Cartier mansion just a few blocks north of Saks.

A big New York City Merry Christmas to all!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

career advice from Mr. Bukowski

Charles Bukowski is the master of laying it all out. Here, he talks of writing. But you can easily apply this advice to just about anything. Music. Acting. Painting. Accounting. Anything.

so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it

unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be so like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in

there is no other way.

and there never was.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Philip Seymour Douche Bag

Before I get to the meat of my post, allow me to establish my bona fides. The acting community has no greater patron than Yours Truly. In 2008 I saw 28 plays. Better than two per month! The only people who saw more plays than I did were theater critics. I’m a fan of Mr. Douche Bag—I mean Mr. Hoffman. Back in 1997 I saw him in a small play about the doomed Space Shuttle Challenger called Defying Gravity and in 2000 I was lucky enough to see him and John C. Reilly in Sam Shepard’s True West. I’ve seen most of his films—even the obscure ones like Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. I like his work a lot.


The New York Times Sunday Magazine cover article was a fluff piece on Philip Seymour Hoffman. In it, Mr. Hoffman says:

…for me, acting is torturous, and it’s torturous because you know it’s a beautiful thing.

In the same article, Dustin Hoffman is quoted as saying this about playing Jamie Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey Into Night on Broadway:

It nearly killed me.

I can't stand listening to actors prattle on about how dangerous their work is. And I don't think they're speaking in metaphor. Do you know what can nearly kill you? Patrolling the streets of Kandahar. Do you want to see some torture? Visit your local ER and/or ICU.

Do you know what I really love? When actors talk about the characters they play as though they actually existed. It’s fiction. It’s not real.

I will continue to patronize the theater. I love it too much to abandon it. But sometimes I wish actors would spend more time outside of the thespian community and acquire some perspective.

Know your lines and don't bump into the furniture.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

visiting another old friend

I paid my annual visit to the Morgan Library to see an old friend; the handwritten manuscript of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

A Christmas Carol
in Prose:
Being a Ghost Story of Christmas
by Charles Dickens
The Illustrations by John Leech

They put it on display every Christmas. It can be argued that our modern notion of Christmas can be gleaned from these handwritten, barely legible pages. I don’t know why I get a chill every year when I see this manuscript but it never fails.

Also at the Morgan on permanent display is one of their Gutenberg bibles.

This is one of the first books ever printed, folks. It changed civilization. The Gutenberg bibles were the first books to be produced on a moveable type letterpress in 1455. Prior to this, books were handwritten; usually by celibate monks hold up in monasteries. Herr. Gutenberg’s invention lead to the spread of education. And porn.

There was a bonus exhibit! The original early drafts and watercolors used for the first editions of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff. I wouldn’t have gone just to see this exhibit specifically but I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful these drawing are.

Friday, December 19, 2008

the smoke gets in your eyes. and hair. and clothes. but in a good way.

I spent a very manly evening at Hudson Bar & Books way down yonder on Hudson Street at Horatio with R, esq. This would be Holiday Spirits #4. R, esq. is another lost soul who I communicate with regularly but don't actually get to see very often. Like most lawyers, he works. A lot.

Hudson Bar & Books is a cigar bar. Smoking has been run out of town, so walking into a bar and encountering a cloud of cigar smoke is a bit unsettling. The testosterone practically drips off the walls and seeps down onto the copper-topped bar.

This bar is so damn masculine that they play nothing but James Bond movies on the small TV in the corner. Last night they had You Only Live Twice on a loop. I was able to watch it one and a quarter times. The back room of the bar is a library. Nobody reads there. It's just drinking and smoking. The books are for show. And a pretty show it is, especially for an old bookman like myself.

There are women in the crowd but, generally, it's a bunch of guys sitting around puffing cigars. They have a cigar menu and a whisky menu. No food. I don't make a habit of smoking cigars but when the occasion calls for it I am happy to imbibe. I always end up smoking a stogy or two when in Vegas.

4 glasses of Dewar's (2 straight up, 2 w/ soda) + 4 Dunhill cigars = $147.63 And that's without the tip! No food, remember. Just alcohol and tobacco. Even for New York that's preposterous. Well...that did include the Bond movie.

* * *

I got down the the Village a little early and had a cup of chili at this utterly charming bistro.

Next door to the bistro is the house I going to own someday.

That wreath is hung in their living room window. It looks out onto a quiet, pretty block in the heart of Greenwich Village. *sigh*


Thursday, December 18, 2008

gay divorce

I met C for a very tall Ketel One and cranberry (actually, two) at the beautiful Playwright in midtown Manhattan. If you’re counting, this would be Holiday Spirits #3. Click on that pic of the restaurant. It's a lovely place.

I’m a cheap drunk and I was loopy by the end of the evening. C is yet another friend who I talk to on a fairly regular basis but have not seen for many months. I love the holidays! It’s the greatest excuse ever for calling an old, absent friend.

The bad news I got from C is that she broke up with H, her girlfriend of 14 years. I’ve known C for over 20 years. When I first met her, she was a bass player and lead singer in her own band and also a hired gun with a few other bands. She was part of a group of musicians I hung out with. I remember spending countless evenings trolling East Village bars listening to her and my other friends play. None of them ever broke out and made a living with their music, but those magic nights took place during a period of time that I now think of as the best years of my life. To have my own apartment on the Lower East Side of New York City when I was single and carefree with no responsibilities or obligations to anyone except my landlord was a dream. This was a pre-gentrified East Village. It was dark, drug infested and dangerous. I don’t want to romanticize what it was like. Some of it was quite ugly and I don’t pine for the “old days” as many do.

When I first met C, she had an insanely jealous girlfriend, L. When C and I would go out for a bite to eat or to see someone’s band play (it was never anything more than that), L would get on her bike and follow us around the neighborhood. She would ride one block behind us, wait for us to leave a restaurant or bar, and follow us to the next venue, always keeping her distance. C would laugh at her and then they’d get into a terrible row later when she got home. She said that the great make-up sex kept them together a lot longer than they should have been.

I remember when C first met and started dating H. The three of us would go out to dinner together and they often referred to me as a “breeder.” Well, the gay community needs its breeders and I am happy to oblige them. I am deeply saddened to see them part company.

This was another stone to bear. I’ve received an extraordinary amount of really bad news over the past four weeks; terrible things that I’ve not mentioned here because they’re too personal. I am stunned that so many bad things can happen in such short order. And right before the holidays when there’s suppose to be so much joy in the air! What gives? When will it end? How much more can my family take? I feel the punishment, but I can’t connect the crime.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

death may be your santa clause

The threat of death must be one of the oldest methods on the planet used to draw a crowd. Apparently, they don’t think that being able to ice skate in the middle of Midtown Manhattan in Bryant Park is enough to attract the tourists. They hired a pretty girl to entwine herself in a white scarf, suspend herself from a balloon and perform an aerial ballet.

It’s a crazy stunt! She performed a Pas de Deux (the balloon was her partner). It was all very lovely, but she was working without a net and really could have slipped out of her wrap, fallen and cracked her head wide open in front of a gaggle of out-of-towners.

At nightfall, they light the tree. That structure you see in the background is a temporary restaurant that will be disassembled in January when the rink comes down. There's a bar on the ground floor or you can walk upstairs and have dinner while looking down on the skaters as they gracefully float by and clumsily fall on their asses. I don’t want to get all Oprah on you but I wish you could see everyone’s face. Everybody is so happy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

holiday spirits #2

I met M for a holiday hot toddy. We went into one of those loud Manhattan after-work bars that are packed to the rafters with the young lions and lionesses of finance and law. At one point in my life, I enjoyed frequenting these places but now I find both the venues and the people inside them nauseating. Much of my nausea is rooted raw envy. They are all young and good looking with a hopeful future wide open in front of them, whereas I am merely good looking.

This is another phase in my annual holiday tradition of reaching out and getting together with friends who I have not seen in a while. M and I have emailed and spoken over the phone but the last time we sat down and broke bread together was June. It was nice to raise a glass with him. I highly recommend this course of action for everyone. Think of someone you haven’t seen in a while and give him/her a call.

* * *

Have you ever followed someone's blog and then, all of a sudden, they just stop posting? Do you ever wonder what happened to them? Was it something bad or did they simply get bored with blogging? What is the respectable amount of time to wait before removing them from your reader?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

more cell phone jammer shenanigans

I had a live one on the train home. My cell phone jammer was carrying a full charge, so it was causing major disruptions in service when switched on. She didn’t stand a chance, the poor dear. She restarted her Blackberry three times, finally lost her temper and—I’m not making this up—started to bang it against the train window.

“…but I want to talk RIGHT NOW!

Waaaaaa. Where's my ba-ba? I want my blankee. It was delicious. It was the best one yet. It was better than the guy who held his head near the floor of the train to get better reception.

* * *

Am I the only one on the planet who finds Mozilla Firefox unstable? Am I the freak?


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Best. Santa. EVER!

Down the street from my house is a two-story brick building that, many years ago, was a warehouse. They gutted it and created separate retail spaces in that "up and coming neighborhood" sort of way, and it is now occupied by little knick-knack stores and specialty clothing shops.

Every Christmas, Santa visits. I've seen TONS of Santa's over the years—including the Santa at Macy's, who is supposed to be the Authoritative Santa—but nobody can touch this guy. He's fantastic!

Just look at this face!

I'm tellin' ya, this guy IS Santa. You have to be in his presence to appreciate his "Santa-ness." That's a real beard. And he's jolly, to boot! But he doesn't smell of weed or alcohol, so it must be his nature to be happy. Freak.

Friday, December 12, 2008

hanging bard

This is my favorite ornament on our tree. It’s an effigy of William Shakespeare. To his right is Big Ben. I have a thing for England. Always have. I wish I were there right now…

P.S. Is it:

"I wish I was there right now"


"I wish I were there right now"?

My useless grammar check says either way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

city sidewalks wrapped in holiday cheer

Store windows are a pretty big deal in New York. Designing window displays is an actual profession out here and the penultimate store window display each year is the series of holiday windows at Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. People anticipate their unveiling and queue up in line nightly to view them. It’s been a New York holiday tradition for over 80 years.

The Lord & Taylor holiday windows do not display merchandise. They are painstakingly detailed scenes of vintage holidays of yesteryear. There are a lot of moving parts and animatronics. I would describe the color palate used as “violent.” It takes a lot of detailed work by a team of artisans to put these windows together and in this high-tech age, they seem quaint and innocent.

You can click on that first pic and it will blow up. I have no idea why the others won't and am too lazy to look into it.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

holiday spirits #1

Each Christmas, I make it a point to reach out to friends who I haven’t seen in a long time and meet them for a festive holiday cocktail or two. Or three. The great thing about Christmas in New York is that all the fine (and not so fine) drinking establishments get dressed up with cheap-o lights, fake trees and stuffed Santas. I love it.

I met E at St. Andrews for a dram of Balblair. The bartenders wore green and red kilts! I first met E in 1980 when I was in the U.S. Coast Guard. That’s a long time to know someone! We only get together once or twice a year but it doesn’t matter; once we sit down it’s as though no time has passed. There aren’t many people in my life like that. I can count them on one hand. Friendships like that happen organically over a long period of time. They can’t be manufactured. Of course, the fact that we always meet over a few good, stiff drinks probably has a lot to do with the longevity of our friendship.

* * *

I had some time to kill before meeting E so I ducked into the International Center for Photography.

The upstairs exhibit was Cornell Capa's photos of political dissidents, missionaries, the plight of indigenous tribes and the Attica prison uprising. On the other hand, the exhibit downstairs was the work of Susan Meiselas, which included photo essays of political upheavals in Central America.

It seems that every time I visit the ICP, the exhibit is centered on politics and oppression. Or, if you will, The Politics of Oppression. The previous exhibit I took in was Robert Capa and his photos of the Spanish Civil War and WWII.

I’m going to boycott the ICP until they mount an exhibit that treats photography like the art form it is, rather than just a tool for disseminating news and political viewpoints. I’ve had it with black and white blow-ups of dead bodies. How about a nice Elliott Ewritt retrospective?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

all by himself

I took the number 6 local down to Bleecker Street…

…and saw Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me.

One man shows are dangerous affairs. They can be breathtaking, but they can also be painful to watch. Have you ever watched someone die on stage all by himself? It’s one thing to sit anonymously in a dark movie theater and suffer through a bad movie, but watching someone die on stage in an intimate playhouse is very personal. Fortunately, that was NOT the case here, thank God almighty, but it wasn’t what I expected, either.

The best one man (or one woman) shows are when someone tells a story from many different viewpoints. Watching an actor seamlessly and convincingly morph from one character to another is magic. This was not that kind of show. Mr. Birbiglia is a professional comedian and what he has done is inject some dramatic passages about some medical problems he had to overcome into his stand-up act and is calling it Off-Broadway. It’s not a bad show at all. I think he was trying to go the Spaulding Gray monologue route. I've seen Spaulding Gray. He ain't no Spalding Gray.

The show is having quite a successful run and got a nice write-up in the New York Times. I laughed along with everyone else but I’m not sure it’s fair to call it a one man show. It's stand-up.

During the show, Mr. Birbiglia mentioned that he uses Google Alert to monitor media and blog traffic about himself, so there’s an outside chance that he might actually stumble across this, which is pretty disconcerting. I liked the show. I’m just not sure it’s fair to sell it as theater.

Beforehand I got a quick bite at bite. It's a quirky outdoor food kiosk that juts out onto Lafayette Street and Bleecker. There are a few bar stools under a heat lamp on the sidewalk, but no indoor seating.


Monday, December 8, 2008

oh, tannenbaum

I read a lot of posts about how difficult it is to get into the Christmas spirit. The older you get, the more illusive it is. I can assure you that these two are not having any problems embracing the holiday.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I took the number 7 train one stop into Queens, got off at Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue and walked up Vernon Boulevard through a light drizzle to attend the opening of an exhibit by friend and artisté Sharon Florin at the Art-O-Mat gallery. She recently joined 7-Year Old Daughter and me for an afternoon at MoMA. It seems every time I see her it’s in conjunction with an art exhibit. You want to keep people like that in your life. They’ll help prevent you from becoming dull.

The exhibit is a series of paintings of Long Island City, where her studio is located. All of her paintings are architecture-centric. Ironically (or, perhaps not!) many of the beautiful old structures in Long Island City that she painted have since been torn down and replaced with something less dignified. Architecture preservationists are begging her to refrain from executing any more paintings of the neighborhood before it completely vanishes.

Actually, that’s not true. That’s a joke.

Here are a two of my favorites. This is the tile mosaic of the Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue subway stop.

And this is the Queensborough Bridge reflected in a skyscraper. No, that's not a photograph. It's oil on canvas.

Here’s her website. Her paintings of Manhattan make me want to live there. Again.

Friday, December 5, 2008

random new yorker

Girl in a fool's cap by Macy's, Thursday, December 4th, 10:10 p.m.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

reason #539 to hate hollywood

Yesterday, the Independent Spirit Award nominees were announced. The prestigious award honors those who, through grit and determination, found a way to make movies outside the studio system where financing is scant.

Nominees for top honors this year include Jonathan Demme (director of the megahits Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia), Jenny Lumet (daughter Sidney Lumet, director of the megahits The Verdict and Dog Day Afternoon) Anne Hathaway (star of the megahit The Devil Wears Prada, and megabomb Get Smart) and Debra Winger (star of the megahits Urban Cowboy and An Officer and a Gentleman).

Those names represent the very essence of studio independence, don't you think?

This just whets my appetite for the annual Academy Award jerk-off festival.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Nothing says "It's Christmas time in the city!" better than some festive holiday lights. And I can't think of a better use for those tiny white lights than to decorate some scaffolding outside a construction site.

That took some time! Doesn't it just warm your heart? This scaffolding is on 6th Avenue one block south of 34th Street by Macy's. The area is choked with tourists and here in New York City, we like to put on our prettiest face for the out-of-towners during the holidays. Do you suppose the scaffolding is similarly decorated in the Bronx and the dicey parts of Brooklyn? It's not likely.

* * *

I just passed a gentleman in an elegant business suit walking down 42nd Street between Madison and 5th Avenue who was carrying his leather briefcase in one hand and shaving with an electric razor with he free hand. For real! That’s an EXCELLENT example of multi-tasking during your morning commute.

IIIIIIIIII love New York…

Monday, December 1, 2008

hemingway lite

Did you know that Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, lost a satchel full of his early manuscripts in a Parisian train station in 1922? The satchel was never recovered. It was a traumatic event for poor ole' Hem and he wrote about it on several occasions throughout his life. Imagine that.

This morning I accidentally deleted a post that I was going to tighten up on the train ride home and post in the evening. Believe it or not, as bloated and ill-punctuated as my posts are, I read through them at least once prior to posting. That way, I only appear to be functionally illiterate instead of completely ignorant.

* * *

I’ve learned to expect very little from any movie that’s made for children. That’s fair. I’m not their target audience. But once in a while a kid’s movie will sneak up on you and be unexpectedly satisfying. Did you see Kung Fu Panda? Fantastic. The animation was beautifully rendered and Jack Black gave a reserved performance (as opposed to his usual manic, over-the-top shtick). The opening dream sequence is a marvel and the title sequence wins the silver medal. (The gold medal for title sequences goes to Catch Me If You Can. It’s a minor work of art.) Did you see The Incredibles? Another winner. Those guys at Pixar are friggin’ geniuses.

I took 7 Year Old Daughter to a piece of celluloid junk called Bolt. Horrible. It was ugly to look at, the story was insipid and the two main characters were voiced by Hollywood asswipe John Travolta (In real life he’s a pilot, so when he had a son he named him Jet because God forbid the kid steals any attention away from him.) and Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus is a 15 year old who, in interviews, sounds like a 35 year old and posed provocatively in Vanity Fair. With her father. Ick.