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Some stuff worth checking out

So, I’ve come across some good…stuff (better word?)…recently.

Frozen River. One of my dad’s coworkers recommended this indie thriller about a Ray, a destitute mom struggling to support herself and two sons in upstate New York. After her gambling-addicted husband takes off with their savings, she tries to make ends meet by smuggling illegal immigrants across the Canadian border. While full of suspense, the plot is very believable, taking a grim look at people living in dire situations.

W. Drea and I rented this one last night – Oliver Stone’s semi-satirical but understanding account of the life and times of George W. Bush. I have to wonder how the Bush family and administration feel about having their likeness impersonated before their eyes. It’s a little weird to watch a biographical film about people who are still living, and events that like, just happened. But in any case, Josh Brolin and Richard Dreyfuss are dead ringers for Bush and Cheney, almost on par with Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin. In fact, most of the major roles are pretty well-acted (except Condoleezza Rice, who was portrayed as more annoying and far less intelligent than I think she is). For all the opinions circulating about Bush, he is an interesting public figure, and definitely one worth making a movie about. If the film’s portrayal of his approval-hungry relationship with his dad is accurate at all, some of Bush’s shortcomings can be empathized with. Of course, it’s hard to tell how much creative liberty was taken, but the movie is entertaining and intriguing in any case.

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. A memoir of his time as a ranger at Arches National Park, this book covers everything from floating down canyon rivers to dead body removal to the social scene in remote Moab, Utah. It was published in 1968, about the time interstates and dams and RV’s began changing the landscape of the American West. Interspersed with his personal accounts are harsh criticisms of the Park Service, excessive tourism, and the general domesticating of American wildernesss. Particularly poignant was his eulogistic account of exploring Glen Canyon, which is now underwater thanks to a dam. Abbey was eccentric, a radical environmentalist for sure, but this “nature narrative” is a fascinating read filled with sarcastic humor and interesting insights.

Prospekt’s March by Coldplay, the EP of extra material from the Viva la Vida sessions that’s every bit good as the album itself! Every track on here is solid, except maybe the version of “Lost” with Jay-Z, which I think is only okay. To think that Coldplay left these gems off the album! With Viva la Vida clocking in at only 10 tracks, I think they should have just included them. In any case, Prospekt’s March is $6 on iTunes and worth every penny!


Filed under: Books, Movies, Music, , ,

O, Canada!

For those who are unaware, I have a road trip addiction. To me, there’s no better vacation than a week or two on the open road, preferably somewhere far away. I get a certain thrill out of plotting a route on a map and taking it, hoping for the best.

So naturally, after our epic road trip out west last summer, another one is in the works for this summer. We’ll be taking our beloved Prius up to Canada, ya know, to get “oat and aboat”. Should be fun, eh? *Insert other lame overused Canada joke.* We plan to spend some time at Niagara Falls, maybe tour a few Ontario wineries, visit Toronto, and eventually make our way over to Quebec to experience some quasi-French culture. I hear Montreal is the closest thing to Paris on this side of the Atlantic (except without all the snootiness.) So I’m psyched.

In the meantime, I’ll be practicing my verbal slaughtering of the French language. According to Trip Advisor, the Québécois appreciate it when tourists attempt to speak French, even if the end result is as atrocious as my efforts will certainly be. I have a cursory ability to communicate in Spanish, assuming it’s always the present tense and everybody is “I”. But I’m useless when it comes to French. I’m not exaggerating when I say the total sum of my experience with the language comes from Home Alone. “Kevin, you’re what the French call les incompetents.”

Step aside, Kevin. The Ackermanns are coming to Quebec.

Filed under: Travel,


Hey everyone! Just wanted to take a minute to welcome you to my blog, and to thank you for dropping by. This is where I’ll be sharing my day-to-day (or, perhaps more realistically, week-to-week) with any and all in the blogosphere who want to read. I can’t promise it will always be interesting, but I love writing, so thanks in advance for obliging! Be entertained, be encouraged, just…be. Ah, so deep.

Filed under: Blogging