It’s Mid-April 2009!

Catching up on blogging, as we fall behind yet again…! Time flies too quickly.

–> Any recent movie viewing? umm… well, I’m waiting the opening of the Star Trek movie. The cast looks hot; it’s J.J. Abrams!; and so, how bad can the movie be? … early opinions make it sound exciting. Well, we’ll see!

Awhile ago, I did watch “Confession of a Shopaholic.” I haven’t read the books by Sophie Kinsella, but I thought the movie was a fun little thing – nothing to tax the mind and the NYC filming locations were great. Actress Isla Fisher is talented, and my crush on British actors – via actor Hugh Dancy – continues unabated. Fisher and Dancy at least were quite watchable.

–> Any recent books read? I thought that Mark Bittman’s “Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating” – with Bittman Minimalist style recipes! – was a fascinating read. I recommend it. Now, if only I could eat less processed food as Bittman suggests…

–> NCAA Basketball season is well over. I was not quite right about the NCAA Final Four or the Final Twoo, or the Final One – UNC. At least President Obama got it right.

–> Time flies so quickly, with the holidays gone and past. But, some interesting articles:

NY Times article on Jewish cuisine with a Mexican touch (or maybe Mexican food with a Jewish touch?) – well, I’m not exactly big on Mexican food, but I just find the concept of kosher Mexican (Mexican kosher?) food for Passover to be fascinating; stuff that celebrates the diversity of the Americas is just cool to me.

Plus, so… no one really knows where the Easter Bunny came from, except maybe it was to assimilate or co-opt those pagans and their fertility festivals? Hmm… At any rate, I loved the photo (I insert it below) Yahoo had originally with the linked article – a zoo polar bear trying to eat the chocolate bunny. Awww!

Polar Bear

Peeps!!! Curious WaPo contest. Those people in DC are a bit… imaginative… check out the accompanying slide show in the linked page…

Really intriguing article: apparently, the way to save Mangalitsa pigs, a breed of Hungarian pig, from extinction is to eat them (i.e., create a market, to encourage the continuation of their breed – and they’re apparently best when raised the old-fashioned way, on a nice farm and all).

However, what really amused me was the NY Times photo of the pigs:

Mangalitsa pigs; image from NY Times, 4/1/09,

Very furry/woolly pigs, I must say.

–> Other articles of interest:

NY Times’ A.O. Scott on how maybe it’s time for the short story revival, in the age of the Internet…hmmm… novels can be a bit unwieldy to read on-line w/o a Kindle or other e-reader; maybe there’s something to this; but short stories are not very easy to write, that’s for sure.

–> It’s the return of baseball! … Why is it that opening day of baseball season always makes hope spring eternal, even for one day? Well, on that note, we have the new stadiums in NYC. Interesting architectural analysis of the new stadiums and how they seem to fit their respective teams’ personalities – upright dignity of the Yankees; umm…something else with the Mets (looser; friendlier; imitative of outerboro Brooklyn/Queens traditions) (well, I’m going to still try to root for the Mets, but it’s been real hard the last 2 years; I haven’t felt quite at home with seeing Citifield on tv; maybe it’ll feel different actually visiting the place).

–> Recent tv viewing?

Early this month, I watched the “ER” series finale – grim, powerful yet quiet, and a reminder that life and death continues, whether we like it or not. Rachel Green, the late Mark Green’s daughter, returns; John Carter is back – and wistful about the changes and the status quo. I thought it was sad that his marriage was on the rocks (they couldn’t give him one bit of happiness?). I could have lived without the unnecessary guest stars (the bit about the feuding bride and her new mother-in-law was just stupid). But, it was a nice “ER” way to go, with returning Drs. Weaver, Benton, and the two women of Mark Green’s life, Elizabeth and Susan (and the guest stars of George Clooney and Juliana Marguiles a few weeks before that was sweet and just not a big deal – in the ER manner – without the exploding ambulances and murderous helicopters – yeah, I could live without that too). Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker had a nice blog post on; some nice analysis by NJ Star Ledger’s Alan Sepinwall; and Time’s James Poniewozik calls it an end of an era of broadcast network tv; a farewell to Chicago hospital shows (yep, I remember “Chicago Hope” and the 1990’s era of tv). Sigh.

Ah, and the return of “Fringe”! Boo and hiss to American Idol for going overtime and messing up the time slot for “Fringe two weeks ago (AI was slightly better this week, but still…). EW’s Ken Tucker got all bullet pointsy about the good stuff of Fringe’s return. And, this week’s episode was creepy and disgusting (I so now am more disgusted than ever by maggots; plus the Monster of the Week would have been more creepy if they simply didn’t show the whole thing at all – CGI ruins the creepiness, I say). Thumbs up about putting FBI Agent Charlie Francis in danger (and… his character’s happily married? What? Guess he and Agent Olivia Dunham really are Just Friends). Dr. Walter Bishop, for a mad scientist, does have some morals (emphasis on “some”; his merely feeling guilt doesn’t quite reform him yet). Peter Bishop having a “thing” for Olivia’s sister? Um… ewww. Do they have to go there? Maybe they need to develop the sister character more, but she’s not interesting to me.

“Life on Mars” (series) finale – was so not a good twist on the original British “Life On Mars” finale. Sam’s life in 1970’s New York and 2008/9 New York… was all in his mind? And, I never expect a show to take its title literally; so, no, I didn’t think Sam would be on Mars. Really. NO.

“The Unusuals” premieres – interesting quirky show. I’m not sure how much ABC plans to stick with it (shows that come after “Lost” don’t have it easy) – but we’ll see.

“Lost” – Miles’ back story is revealed this past week. Sweet stuff.

Okay … so just in time for the new Transformers and GI Joe movies, they’re going to release dvds of the 1980’s cartoons? So what else are they going to bring back from my childhood? The Care Bears? The Smurfs? God Forbid – the Snorks? If they make a live-action or CGI animated movie of “My Little Pony,” then it is the end of civilization as we know it.

Closing this post with this:

I must be in a mood to be back on board with the Trek thing; it must because of the upcoming movie. Nonetheless, this was a nice video – brings a tear to the eye in remembering years of good stuff. (I’d embed the video, but this is a long post already! But, really, see the video – the fan did a great job).

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