Sunday, January 24, 2010


Last Thursday The Wife & I celebrated our 18th anniversary by driving to Palm Springs, along with Lily...

Little did we know, when we booked our room, that we’d be driving through some of the more intense desert rainstorms to have hit southern California & Arizona in quite awhile. Stretches of the drive along I-10 were a bit hairy, & the roads in Palm Springs were flooded like canals.

We had a blast, though—the rain gave us an excuse to stay in the room & eat carry-out, though we did venture out to Sherman’s Deli (twice!) & Matchbox Pizza. We also timed our visit to the Hyatt’s grand-re-opening after a snazzy remodel, so as guests we were invited to the party Friday evening, where I feasted on raw oysters, sushi, shrimp cocktail, cheese & bread & an array of desserts, including really delectable green-tea panna cotta, which The Wife said was “what I’d imagine a golf course tastes like.”

Friday night we also watched the last Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. In addition to a superb performance of “Long May You Run” by Neil Young, it included the spectacle of a giant sloth skeleton spraying beluga caviar out of a hose onto a Picasso. Something tells me not to expect anything that extravagantly weird from Leno’s show.

We also watched the movie An Education...

It stars Carey Mulligan as a gifted suburban-London schoolgirl who, in 1962, becomes involved with an older man, a skeevy dodgy petty art thief & blockbusting real-estate agent played the ever-annoying Peter Sarsgaard, never better employed. Scripted by Nick Hornby, it’s a watchable little coming-of-age picture with fine period detail & funny performances by Alfred Molina & Cara Seymour as Mulligan’s parents.

The Wife also got this pic from our balcony, of snow on the mountaintops like powdered sugar on a bundt cake:

My pal Mark sent me the link to this ten-part (!) video review of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It’s by some guy from Milwaukee named Mike Stoklasa, & despite some gratuitous sick n’ twisted humor, it’s a masterpiece of incisive, common-sense criticism—it should be taught in film schools.

WGN America has been showing episodes of Barney Miller Sunday evenings. What a freakin’ awesome, original, beautifully-acted, ahead-of-its-time show.

I read recently that Dennis Farina, who was a cop in Chicago before he became an actor, said that in his opinion Barney Miller was the most realistic cop show ever on TV. I’d love to think that this was true—that real-life cops are these reflective, soft-spoken, tirelessly courteous, open-minded, generous-hearted people. I hope they’ve been role models to some real cops.

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