Tom Hanks Project – “Cast Away” Review

18 Nov


“Cast Away” may very well be Hanks’ greatest acting challenge to date. To carry a film where you’re the only one on screen for hour-long stretches at a time is one thing. To somehow make a friendship with a volleyball pull at the heartstrings is a true accomplishment — to say nothing of the complete body transformation he went through for the role. Hanks pulls off the challenge well and starts the decade with an incredibly compelling movie that netted him his fifth best actor nomination and is one of our favorite roles of his. Even if it took weeks to get Caitlin in the mood to watch it.
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The Fart Bet

16 Nov

fartzCaitlin and I were driving home from our usual weekend fro-yo stop a few weeks ago and somehow the topic of farts came up. Specifically, how often I farted in front of Caitlin. I said it probably happened a couple times a week and she insisted it was more or less a daily occurrence*. I put my money where my butt is and told her I bet I could last until my birthday (then three weeks away) without farting in her presence**. I could fart in the bathroom or leave the room, but if we were sharing a common room and she heard or smelled a fart, she won the bet. As for the stakes? If I won, she’d have to bake us something aromatically pleasing, like cinnamon buns. If she won, I’d have to buy her two candles. She considered this a win-win for obvious reasons. So, who won?

*I mean. A couple times a week??? Who was he kidding.

**My thought: “This will be the easiest money I’ve ever earned, metaphorically speaking.” Continue reading

Zack’s 30th Birthday Surprises

11 Nov


Planning my birthday since I’ve been in Austin has been super easy. Just go to Fun Fun Fun Fest and maybe get a meal with friends. Caitlin, being the sweetheart that she is, wanted to do something extra special for my 30th. I found out that she started planning this even before my 29th. Caitlin telling me, “Don’t look at my phone this weekend!” was the only clue I had about a birthday surprise. That actually helped narrow it down quite a bit*.

I figured it had to be an out of town visitor, since why else would who she’s texting with be a clue as to the surprise**. With Andy and Jordy in Baltimore for a wedding and my dad having just visited, I hoped it would be my sister Suzy. She’d yet to visit Austin, but she’d just traveled to Vegas the weekend before. Surely, she wouldn’t be able to come all the way from Jackson Hole, Wyoming just for my birthday.

*I really wanted to try to not say ANYTHING about anything, but 1) Zack looks at my phone a lot, as would anyone who is curious when a “ding” goes off, and 2)Just like Zack with the engagement surprise, the closer we get to surprising the other person, the worse we get at keeping it from them.

**I don’t understand why he jumped to this conclusion – if it were me, I would have just thought, got it, don’t look at texts because there *is* a surprise. I don’t think I said anything about, “Don’t even look at who it is!” Whatever, he outsmarted me here.

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Rock Love Wedding Cake

4 Nov

triplecakeOne of our favorite treats during our trip to New York City this summer was Crack Pie from Momofuku’s Milk Bar. Consistently melt-in-your-mouth delicious and endlessly addictive, it was wheat-and-sugar-based perfection. We also loved their frozen yogurt* varieties, and I adored their Confetti Cookies, which were moist and gooey amazingness. They could do no wrong — so when we realized that they also crafted absolutely gorgeous, unfrosted-on-the-outside wedding cakes, we felt confident that we’d found our bakers for our wedding. First, we “had” to do a** tasting.

*The cereal fro yo is ridiculously good. I don’t understand how they capture that taste so well.

**Let’s be real. Caitlin wanted to do *a* tasting every month. It would be a great idea to have a monthly tasting it wasn’t $50+ for shipping

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Halloween 2014 – The Muppets go to Qui & out drinking

2 Nov



How good was Caitlin’s costume? She got in full costume and make-up while I was sleeping Friday morning and when she woke me up, I was genuinely startled. I did a double take and was completely taken aback*. After we laughed at my reaction, she went to work in costume** and I saw a double feature of “Birdman” & “John Wick” before getting into costume by the time she got home.  After four years of being rock stars that required an explanation for most people to know who we were, we had our most successful costume to date being Janice and Floyd Pepper from the Muppets band***. It was the most labor intensive costume I’ve ever done and Caitlin went all out with a full body suit and we both used face paint for the first time. Once we were in costume, we had a delightful romp around our neighborhood, starting with the candy tasting menu at our favorite restaurant, Qui.

*I wish I could somehow share the mental snapshot I have of Zack’s face when I woke up him. Wide, unfamiliar eyes and a barely-open mouth with a deep breath in. It was hilarious/I felt kind of bad about it.

**I frightened a lot more people at work.

***We definitely got recognized a lot more easily, but I still found myself explaining to more than one person, “No, I’m not Jem.” “No, I’m not Sick Blossom.” “No, I’m not a Cheeto.” Continue reading

Rock Love Wedding Ring

25 Sep


ringzWe’ve already gotten into the venue and the proposal and the string quartet, but let’s go back to where it all began. The ring. This ring took quite a journey before I put it on Caitlin’s finger May 23rd. My dad bought the diamond from “my jewelry guy Frank Pollak on 47th st. in NYC” in 1984 for my mom and promised it to me when she passed away. My sister had been wearing it as a necklace the past couple years, ever since her wedding, but when the time came to propose, she sent diamond along to our old family friend to get it appraised before Caitlin and I could find the perfect setting for it. Continue reading

Double Date at Oddball Fest 2014

22 Sep

oddball2014In a night full of big laughs from some of the best comedians in the world, some of the biggest laughs came from a seemingly unspoken bet among the comedians to see who could get the ASL performer to sign the most obscene phrase. What’s the sign for “squirting?” (the one thing Whitney Cummings won’t do.) How does the sign for “Cumming” differ from “Cooming” (a phrase Louis C.K. supposedly says to freak women out.) And how do you even begin to sign for “Vaginer,” the word Louis CK thinks sounds better and more actionable than the proper word. I apologize, what’s the sign for “I’m getting ahead of myself.”

After we adored last year’s inaugural Oddball Comedy Festival, there was no question we’d be back for this year’s fest, especially once we saw last year’s favorite Hannibal Buress and the rest of the stacked line-up. We brought a couple of oddballs dear friends along with us. It was especially fitting to take Madison and Katie, since I met the couple at Moontower Comedy fest earlier this year, and we’d seen both Marc Maron and host Brody Stevens there together as well. Last year, Austin was treated to the first night of Oddball on a Friday night, which gave it a fresh, kinetic vibe. This year we got the final night of the tour, on a Sunday, which made for more of a subdued, honed-in, victory lap of a show*, but a joyous one at that. Let’s get into it.

*There was definitely not enough drinking happening in the audience, making for a sleepier Sunday set. Continue reading


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