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Day 3 in NYC: Biking in Central Park, the WFMU Record Fair & Greenwich Village

10 Jun

catcityOur Saturday day was pretty planned out, but our night took on a life of its own. We didn’t know if we’d see Hedwig or spend the night at The Comedy Cellar, but we knew we had a forecast of sunshine, a record fair to go to and an afternoon biking around Central Park ahead of us. Ha. Plans.After being frustrated by a slow start to Friday where we didn’t leave the hotel until after 1** , I got out nice and early Saturday for a bike ride around our neighborhood while Caitlin got ready. Taking advantage of the free bike rentals at our hotel, I headed down 5th avenue, made it as far as Washington Square Park, did a lap around and picked us up some Starbucks.***

*Somewhere, the Universe laughed at us.

**Zack hid his frustration from me — thankfully — and I luxuriated in a slow start to our day on Friday. I wonder how we’ll do on our “all-relaxation, all-the-time” honeymoon we’re planning? Over/under on how long before we get stir-crazy?

**If this is how it will be to date a triathlete, count me in forever. No rushing me while I get ready and delicious coffee as I walk out the door? Yes, ma’am! Continue reading

Day 2: Rock Love Austin on Broadway

5 Jun


rocklovephantomAfter a wonderfully full first day in NYC, we decided to take it a bit easier on our second day. We slept in, read the New York Times, watched some TV in bed and took our time getting ready. Our first outing of the day wasn’t until a 1 p.m. walk down the street to get a couple slices of pizza (and a coke for $5, what a deal*). We had a pretty wide open plan for Friday, and even though Plan A fell through and Plan B wasn’t all we’d hoped, we still had another great day in New York.

*It wasn’t jaw-droppingly delicious pizza, but for $5? Damn good!
Continue reading

The Proposal

26 May

horserideThe plan was set. We’d go to our favorite restaurant under the guise of meeting with the owner to discuss catering our wedding*. The owner would lead us to the back room where our favorite local band would surprise Caitlin by playing our song. I’d give my speech and get down on one knee to propose. Then a pedicab would pick us up from the restaurant and take us to a horse and carriage ride which would end at a surprise engagement party where we would celebrate with family and friends. The night would conclude across the street at the W hotel, where champagne and chocolate covered strawberries would be waiting for us in our room on the top floor. It was meticulously planned. I’d confirmed every aspect multiple times. The 30% chance of rain from earlier in the week was down to 0%. I’d thrown Caitlin off the scent**. Everything was in place. And then it wasn’t. I was up early, having not slept well all week, and was excitedly mass e-mailing my family about the proposal plan, when the last e-mail I was expecting to come in arrived in my inbox:

Dearest Zack,

We’ve closed the restaurant.  I had hoped to resolve our issues and reopen, but it looks like we are going to close for good.  I’m so sorry.  I only wish you and Caitlin the most wonderful future.  I know this throws a huge monkey wrench into your plans and I am truly sorry…

*This is 100% what I thought was happening on Friday night.

**I was basically convinced the proposal would happen in New York City, which we’ll be visiting starting Wednesday.
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Tom Hanks Project – Apollo 13 Review

7 May

apollo-13-tom-hanks-poster11 years after Ron Howard helped launch Tom Hank’s career in “Splash,” they leave the shores of 1980’s NYC and go to the moon via Houston in 1970. There’s no denying “Apollo 13″ is an exceptionally well made film. It looks beautiful, especially in the Blu-Ray version we watched, and has numerous great performances. I was surprised to see that Hanks didn’t get an Academy award nomination, while Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan did in their roles as the head guy at NASA and Hank’s wife*. The movie itself won best sound and editing Oscars and also scored nominations for everything from best picture to screenplay, effects, and set direction. Hard to argue with any of those, even if we didn’t think Quinlan and Hanks had much chemistry. As strong as the movie may be, we didn’t connect with it, at least on this viewing. We got caught up in the story, but it felt more clinical and methodical than other Hanks movies we’d seen several times before. And it doesn’t score all that well on our metrics.

*WHAT?! Quinlan got a nod??? Pshshsh. She was fine, but the romance was NOT there at all. We’ll get to that. Continue reading

Tom Hanks Project – “Forrest Gump” Review

29 Apr

Forrest_GumpThis movie is as close to perfect as it’s gonna get. I remember a time in the mid-90s when it was so over-quoted that it was easy to get burnt out on it. And there are plenty of film fans who think it was a dopey, lightweight movie that stole all the Oscars that should have gone to “Pulp Fiction” or “Shawshank Redemption.” I don’t buy it. Even though I knew every beat of the movie after dozens of VHS viewings in my childhood*, I was amazed at how it could still affect me and how much I loved every minute of re-watching it with Caitlin for the first time. Spoiler alert: I’m throwing out 10’s for the first time. A bunch of them.

*I only saw this classic once all the way through, so I’d forgotten a lot, which was almost a happier surprise for me — I got to see it with fresh eyes and be delighted all over again. Continue reading

Tom Hanks Project – “Philadelphia” Review

17 Apr


Let me explain this to you like you’re a six year-old*. Philadelphia is a tough watch. You’re going to feel all the feels watching Tom slowly die from AIDS. You’re probably going to cry**. You’re probably going to shake your head at the homophobia. Especially coming from Denzel. You may get a bit of a happy ending, but not really. Emotional weight aside, this is a damn good movie and Tom rightfully earns his first Oscar for it. We’d been dreading this viewing for quite some time***, but a great sad movie doesn’t make me as sad as a terrible funny movie. I felt better after this than I did after “Volunteers.” 

*UNGH! Brilliant film reference opener. I just have to call this out because UNGH!!

**Check your pulse. Is it there? OK, you’re going to cry.

***Hence the late posting here. We couldn’t bring ourselves to watch this over the weekend. Continue reading

Dusting off our Win & Regine Costumes for Arcade Fire

14 Apr


A month after we dressed up as our favorite living rock couple for Halloween, we purchased pit tickets for their April show. We had five months to get hyped up about our 4th Arcade Fire show together*, with three hours of build-up to get our expectations sky-high. Maybe too high. Sure, my hair looked more like Macklemore than Win. And yes, songs that moved us to tears last time got us jumping**, but didn’t stir up that magic feeling inside us. But it was still a special night. We had extensive conversations about “Six Feet Under” with new friends we met before the show. We were two arms lengths away from Win again. We saw our favorite songs off our favorite non-Beyonce album of 2013 performed so brilliantly that we fell even deeper in love with them. We heard some deep cuts we never thought we’d hear live. It wasn’t the perfect show, but with a Funeral heavy set-list, two sweet covers and everything from Rick Perry TV heads to a Disco Ball man and getting to see Caitlin be Regine’s Reflektor shaking her ribbons, it was pretty darn close to perfect in my book.

*Individually, I’ve seen the band 7 times now, and Zack has seen them 5 times. We’re fans, to say the least.

**More like shuffling, really, given the amount of room we had to move. Continue reading


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