People often ask me, why did you decide to study German in school, rather than French or (the far more geographically reasonable and useful) Spanish? Ultimately, it came down to two things that most middle schoolers would understand: 1. I wanted to be “different,” in what I assumed would be a cool way (I don’t know just go with it) and 2. I was a total daddy’s girl and my dad taught German and knew the language from having lived there, so I hoped it would bring me closer to him and make him proud. I have to say, it was a really good decision, because 16 years later, it’s the skill that got me a job at the company where I now work, and it may end up being my passport to bigger and better things later on (I’ll keep that vague at this point). It also allowed me to enjoy the yearly trek to Wurstfest in high school. I had never been, but was promised there would be beer and that we’d play Spades, so I was in.
The only greatness in this movie is in the title. It’s more like The Decent at Best Buck Howard that Zack Kinda Liked and Caitlin Hated*. We get a lot more Colin Hanks than Tom in this movie where Colin plays the assistant to John Malkovich’s magician**. Tom produces the movie from his Play Tone production company. On paper there’s a lot of elements we’d love. You’ve got Malkovich playing a self-important past his prime magician, a lovable Colin Hanks doting on him and getting involved with Emily Blunt***. Plus small parts for Adam Scott as the fired assistant, Steve Zahn as a weirdo with a great mustache, Tom Hanks as the stern father and a bunch of talk show hosts playing themselves. Oh, and super randomly there’s Clap Your Hanks and Say Yeah playing themselves****. So, what’s not to like? Welp, even Tom’s two scenes playing his real son’s father can’t save this one from being forgettable and pointless. I actually liked it well enough, but Caitlin hated it*****. Let’s get into why…
*So, so much.
**This didn’t bother me — I’m quite a Colin fan and I think his work of late has been really fantastic. This movie just didn’t give him anything to work with.
***The least believable, most-forced couple I have ever seen.
****I’d like to pat myself on the back for this discovery. I recognized those brilliant, wide foreheads from a mile away.
*****You’ve never heard of the writer for this garbage film before. That’s because his other credits include Venomous (tagline: there is no antidote), Sonic Impact featuring Ice-T, and somehow Paul Rudd in 2 Days. This guy HAS to know somebody. Continue reading
I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday this year. After finding out I had arthritis in my foot, I wanted to schedule the surgery to fuse the joints as soon as possible. I wanted it to be after Halloween, since I was excited for our costumes, but I figured a long weekend over my birthday weekend would be a good time to do it. That way, I’d get to have a long relaxing weekend at home and would hopefully be healed in time to walk around LA, Vegas and San Diego for our January trip. Still, that meant no going out or drinking or Fun Fun Fun fest* on my birthday, as has been the plan every year since I moved to Austin. I told Caitlin I really didn’t want to do anything, but she insisted on doing something special** and she ended up making it one of my favorite birthdays yet.
*This was the hardest pill to swallow.
If anything, I’m surprised it took us this long to dress as Stevie and Lindsey*. Caitlin’s been pushing for it for years, often dressing like Stevie on non-Halloween days**. I was worried I couldn’t pull off Lindsey and that no one would know who we were. Of course, Caitlin pulled off a perfect Stevie. I think I did a decent job with Lindsey***. And it may not have been our most recognized costume, but we loved doing it and those who got it really appreciated it.
*SOMEbody was not thrilled to dress as “a guy from the 70s” (what he thought everyone would think he was dressed as), which is really why it took us this long. I knew that the coolest people would get it.
**She’s one of my heroes, what can I say.
***You were great! Continue reading
I was trying to come up with a clever opening for this important post. I did Google searches for songs about fifth anniversaries and all I found was a depressing David Bowie track* and a really awful-looking musical. Oh, and this twee number from Noah and the Whale. Ok, that last is actually pretty cute — feel free to play as you read through the rest of this post. Anyway, Zack and I hit our 5 year anniversary from the day we met on October 10, and he took the occasion to surprise me with an amazing resort getaway for the weekend, and reminded me of just how lucky I am to have rode on his shuttle bus.
*This song fits a lot better in Rob Sheffield’s book about his wife who died after just five years together.
For the third year in a row, we headed to the Circuit of the America’s race track for a stacked night of stand-up comedy. Caitlin and I bonded over our love of music festivals, but I’ve found myself getting even more excited about comedy festivals lately* and this one is a special one-day treat. You get two legit arena headliners in Aziz and Schumer, three theater-level comedians in Jeselnik, Thune and TJ Miller, a couple up and coming comedians you may not know, but are more hit than miss and it’s hosted by the Roastmaster General himself, Jeffrey Ross. All that packed into 3.5 hours makes Oddball a must every year for us, so we were happy to return for the third year of the touring fest.
*I don’t think I’ll ever make this claim, but I have definitely felt expanded by the comedians that Zack has opened me up to. There’s enough love in my heart to go around to various artistic endeavors.
Our comedy-loving friends, Madison and Katie, came by to pre-game the show with sandwiches and fries from Sputnik washed down with pumpkin beer*, as we talked and half-watched the second half of the A&M-Bama game. Once it was clear A&M wasn’t coming back and we’d drunk all the pumpkin beer, we hopped in the car, much to Scooby’s chagrin, and headed to the race track.
*And Coke for the ladies, since I am still recovering from a cold and Katie has a bebe growing in her body. Continue reading
Caitlin and I both missed this enjoyable Hanks movie when it came out and the more I read about it, the more excited I was to see it. It’s Hanks’ only movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman*, was written by Aaron Sorkin and is the last movie the great Mike Nichols ever directed**. I’d guess Caitlin shied away from it because she’s not a Julia Roberts fan*** and the word “war” in the title might have scared her off, but I have no excuse for never having seen it. I’m glad we did.
*Such a bummer, as their chemistry was really excellent.
**I didn’t realize that! I also didn’t know he was married to Diane Sawyer. Not sure how it’s relevant here but I found it interesting.