Who knew that rock stars had excellent taste in reading material? Well, at least one does (actually, two, if you count Stephen Christian from Anberlin). Singer-songwriter, Jon McLaughlin recommended "The Time Traveler's Wife" to me a couple of years ago. He had just finished it and told me that it was one of the best books he had ever read. Of course, I went straight to Powell's that day and bought it. I read it in one weekend and it is one of those books that stays with you long after you have devoured the final page.
If you, like me, loved "The Time Traveler's Wife", then you'll probably be happy to know that the author, Audrey Niffenegger, is coming to Portland(Beaverton, actually) on Monday, Jan. 25. She released a new book last October, called "Her Fearful Symmetry". It's a ghost story and a love story. It's about obsession and relationships. It's darkly funny in places and is full of delicious little gothic details about the most famous cemetary in London (in which, Audrey has led tours). Audrey told me she didn't plan on making it into a movie, like "The Time Traveler's Wife", but you will see a movie in your head while reading it. Audrey will discuss and read from "Her Fearful Symmetry" Monday night (Jan. 25) at 7pm at Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing.
I talked to Audrey Niffenegger about "Her Fearful Symmetry" last October. Click below to listen.
Yes....every restaurant in town has a special NYE dinner tonight. Yes....every club in town is having a dance party of some sort. If you're looking for some different way to celebrate the last day of 2009, as well as a day off of work & school tomorrow, here are some ideas!
C'mon....you know tomorrow, you're going to break out those workout dvds you got for Christmas and start working on your New Year's resolution to get fit. I know. I've been there and will be working out right there with ya! ;-) So, why not enjoy one...or two...or many tastes of something you may not taste again until....well, Valentine's Day. Haha! Seriously, Pix has some truly mind blowingly good desserts and FREE is a really good price. You have to buy a glass of something bubbly (and yes, soft drinks count) at PIX tonight to qualify for one of the free Chocolate Buffet tickets. They will start handing those out at 11pm. Click the link and scroll down for more details!
I had these guys on my show, back when I was doing Celebrity Playlist daily. It was one of my favorite interviews because they were so fun...we were laughing the whole time! I tried to "stump" them by throwing really random suggestions at them and they turned everything I threw at them into something funny. In the show, improv teams compete against each other for points. You get to be a part of the show by shouting out suggestions for the scenes they act out. It's family friendly, tickets are pretty affordable, and they are doing several shows tonight at 7pm, 9pm, and 11pm. BTW....if one of your New Year's resolutions is to be funnier in 2010, then you should check out their improv classes, by clicking this link.
Yes, they were a bit before my time (and probably yours, too), but who doesn't love a Beatles song or two....or many? When you see this show, you are reminded of just how many Beatles songs you love. I saw this on opening night (the same night the snow created the commute from hell) and I was admittedly in a bad mood when I sat down in my seat at the Keller Auditorium, but the vibe changed as soon as they started playing these classic songs. It was fun watching all of the people my parents age dancing and having a good time, but there were a lot of people my age & my daughter's age twisting and shouting right a long with them. Everyone left with big smiles and I decided there is no better cure for a bad day (or bad commute) than a large dose of loud Beatles music. Seriously. This show is all ages fun......and a MUST if 2009 left you with a need for some cheering up. :-) Tonight's show is at 7:30. Click here for details.
SEE A MOVIE!
Ok....this is highly unscientific, but according to my facebook friends' status updates, "Avatar" in 3D is a must see. I've been surprised at how many very different types of people are raving about this, too. I'm planning on checking it out myself this weekend. I've been seeing a lot of positive comments about "Precious" as well, though you are pretty much guaranteed a good cry. I can recommend "The Blindside" as a football movie that's really about relationships, so there's something in it for everyone. I want to see "Fantastic Mr. Fox", as I love Wes Anderson movies, Roald Dahl stories, and George Clooney. It's playing at the Fox Tower and getting some great reviews. Check out the trailer below.
GO TO HAWAII
Of course, if you want traditional NYE fun, like dancing and toasts of bubbly, then there are lots of parties all over town. Check out Willamette Week for a pretty full listing. My personal fave is the WXYZ bar at Aloft Hotel Cascade Station. They are right on the Max line, so you can party hop, then hop on the Max to ride out to Aloft, party some more, then take advantage of their AWESOME NYE package. 99 bucks for one of their very hip, very cozy rooms, plus champagne....PLUS, the chance to WIN A TRIP TO HAWAII! I've been to many events at Aloft and it is always good times with fun people. P.s If you want to stay an extra night and watch the Rose Bowl game on their big screens (or from the comfort of your room), they will give you a GREAT deal on the second night stay...59 bucks! Here's the link for more info! When you call the hotel, ask for their NYE Party package.
I can't believe the Holiday weekend is almost over....BUT....that always means the Holiday Party season is just getting started and that is one of my fave times of the year! I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving, wherever you were....and incredibly happy celebrating with whomever you celebrated with. We took a quick trip back home (for me, anyway) to California. One of the most exciting parts of the trip was getting to visit Yosemite National Park for the first time. Ken Burns' recent PBS special on the national parks had us counting the days until we could visit in person....and we could not have asked for more gorgeous weather! I'll post some pics below....btw, I was VERY thankful I took that photography class at PCC Community Ed.....highly recommended!
p.s. Yosemite National Park is also highly recommended....next time, I am camping there!
p.p.s. There are more pics on my Facebook page....if we aren't already friends, friend me!
Meadow in Yosemite Valley
One of a family of deer that we saw on the way out of the park
Yes, I sat on the ledge of that rock wall to get the shot....and NO, I did not look down!
I have to say it....I love Sela Ward! I think she is an amazingly beautiful, classy, intelligent woman. I also remember being puzzled when she, at age 35, lost a role in a James Bond movie because she was "too old". I mean, this woman looks better in her 50's than many women decades younger. It didn't seem fair or right to me. When I had a chance to talk to Sela this week, we talked about the shelf life of a beautiful woman in Hollywood and a documentary that Sela did that exposes the lengths women go to to try to fit in with our youth-obsessed culture.
We also talked about her new movie, "The Stepfather", which opens today. Yes, it's a scary movie....but there's lessons in there for a smart, beautiful woman (such as yourself!)
If you know me at all, you know that when I get one of those rare "I have the house & tv all to myself" days, one of the first things I do is watch a Tyler Perry movie. Yes, I know I am probably not his target audience, but I love the family & friend drama that this man puts on the screen. His movies always make me cry....and then feel good at the end. I can't explain it, but it's great stress relief for me.
Sooo....when I got the opportunity to talk to Tyler Perry this morning, you'd better believe I got my butt out of bed at 5:30 to take his call. His new movie, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" opens today, so we talked about that, of course. He also talked about....what performing in drag as Madea taught him about how tough it is to be a woman....what it was like to be working with Janet Jackson on the day she learned her brother died.....and why he gave 65 preschool kids from Philly an all expenses paid trip to Disneyworld.
I'm surprised they had time to call me, since they've been all over tv (Today Show....E!.....Chelsea Lately) this week. Of course I had to ask about Kourtney's big news (baby coming near Christmas!)....and a few other things I've been wondering about while watching them on tv (cheesiest pickup lines guys have used on them....why America is so interested in what their family does)
I liked them! I especially liked their stories of the freak shows they encountered while living in Miami....and how they turned the tables on creepy guys....Enjoy!
P.s. Their new show "Kourtney & Khloe take Miami" premieres on E! at 10pm this Sunday!
Whew....what a busy weekend! There is something about the sunshine that makes me try to fit about a week's worth of activities into the weekend!
Friday night....we took advantage of the sunshine and went for a long bike ride! My quads are still feeling it, but it was totally worth it! Afterwards, we relaxed and I read some more of "Shanghai Girls" by Lisa See. It was really hard to put this one down and I can't wait to finish it! This book is set in Shanghai, where these two sisters lead a very priviledged life, until their dad (who has a gambling addiction), sells them as brides....on top of that, the Japanese invade. They barely escape Shanghai with their lives and begin a new live in Los Angeles with their arranged marriage husbands. Live in L.A. kind of sucks for them, as their father-in-law treats them like slaves and second class citizens....but they have each other....and a plan....Love this book!
Saturday- Got up to pull weeds in the garden....once again, my quads are not loving that action, but the garden looks lice and I think we are going to have tomatoes very soon! Yay! After we got cleaned up, we went to the Best Of Oregon Food & Wine Festival....Great food and wine! Plus, we enjoyed a nice, long chat with Rich, the winemaker at Viento. Rich has us convinced that we need to visit Hood River soon. We followed that up with dinner (and crazy old Mexican sci fi movies) @ Trebol. Yummy! I recommend the halibut w/ plantains!
Sunday - I have been wanting to see "Confessions Of A Shopaholic" forÂ a while and it's finally out on DVD, so I popped that in and we all watched while enjoying some low fat ice cream sandwiches. The movie is really cute and the soundtrack is great. Isla Fischer plays Rebecca Bloomwood, who grows up with frugal parents and thinks that she can shop her way into the cool kids crowd. She ends up with 12 credit cards and a nasty shopping addiction. When she gets laid off from her gardening magazine job, she is willing to take whatever job she can get...which happens to be for a money magazine, where she gives money management advice, depsite the mess her finances are in. She spends a lot of the movie ducking debt collectors and responsibility before a crisis she can't avoid (and a very public humiliation) force her to realize that money cannot buy happiness and the best investment a person can make is in relationships with people we care about. It won't win any Oscars, but it is aÂ cute movie with great clothes and an even better message! I had a chance a while ago to interview Joan Cusack (who plays Rebecca Bloomwood's mom) about the movie. You can check that out below!
We have company coming for the 4th of July weekend, so I have MUCHO yard & housework to do, but I'm hoping to steal a few hours to catch a new movie or two. Everyone I know is raving about "The Hangover", but the top of my list is "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. What can I say....I love the chick flicks and I can't say I'm sorry about that, haha!
I talked to one of the stars of "The Proposal" today....Oscar Nunez. If you watch "The Office", you've seen him many times. He talked about what it's like to be naked on the big screen....his real-life Michael Scott type boss.....and what the "Office" cast is really doing on those computers when it looks like they are working. You can listen in the player on the home page or below.
I'm also hoping to finish reading "Dune Road", the new book by Jane Green. So far, it is really good! It's about a woman who is starting a new life and new career after a divorce. She soon discovers that her new boss is not what he appears to be when she stumbles onto a big secret! I interviewed Jane Green this week and we talked about the new book (of course), her addiction to gossip blogs, and her passion for cooking (esp. vegan cooking). Check it out below!