Sunday, November 30, 2008

Endeavor Is Back

The space shuttle Endeavor made a text book perfect landing this afternoon. They completed their 16-day mission to continue improvements at the International Space Station. It's hard to explain, but watching this video just makes me smile.

Welcome home, Endeavor. Congratulations on a job well done.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


There are moments in my life when I see one example after another of irony.

There are moments of my life when I see irony upon irony, gift wrapped with an ironic bow on top.

And then there are moments like this where I struggle through so many levels of irony that it pretty much makes my head explode.

The thing is, I'm probably the only person around who fully appreciates this one. I'm not expecting anyone else to.

More than anything else, I just wanted to post this note on my blog - where it will have a day and time stamp - so this way I can come back to it at a later date and say, "See. This is what I meant."

Anyway, it's Thanksgiving Eve. I'm late for the bar already. Good night, everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was the kind of weekend that I really needed after a hellish work week.

The coolness began on Thursday actually, when I skipped out on Detroit Synergy's Third Thursday event at Pewabic Pottery so I could head to the Gem Theatre for the 2008 Preservation Awards. I was lucky enough to accept an award on behalf of the Friends of the Book-Cadillac Hotel. The FoBC was honored for their work in historic preservation advocacy through education.

The whole thing was just a tad bit ironic because a) I skipped out of an event at Pewabic Pottery to go to the awards banquet and b) the award that I accepted included a custom piece of Pewabic Pottery.

Yes, there was irony in the air that evening.

As an added bonus, the food at this banquet was simply top notch - and there was an open bar. I lost track of how many gin and tonics I had that evening. All I know is that when it came time to give an acceptance speech, the sober people told me that I managed to do a decent job with it.

Of course, when the event was over, I decided that I still didn't have enough alcohol in my system. And so I went on a quest for another round.

I poked my head into Hard Rock, only to discover that the place was packed. Katrina the Kick Ass Bartender was serving and this really good band was playing. (If I was a tad bit more sober then I might have remembered their name, but I don't.)

I eventually ended up at the Woodbridge Pub - where I spent the rest of the evening talking to a bunch of people from the awards banquet that I was at earlier. (Somewhere there was a band playing, "It's A Small World After All".)

Friday, of course, was the tree lighting in Campus Martius Park. Before the tree lighting, though, there was eating, drinking and general merriment at a friend's apartment in the Kales Building.

And then the tree was lit.

And then there was even more eating, drinking and general merriment throughout downtown Detroit. We started a Roast - which is inside the Westin Book Cadillac and is rapidly becoming my favorite restaurant.

From there, everyone migrated to Cliff Bell's where some woman that I've never met before suddenly started crying for reasons that I still don't understand. (Other people that knew her better comforted her and soon she seemed alright - so I didn't worry too much.)

I briefly popped over to Park Bar, but then quickly went back to Cliff Bell's where the band was wailing and crowd was happening.

And that was my Friday.

Saturday was Carly's birthday party at Bookie's. The place was packed. I felt like a sardine, but I got to hang with some folks that I haven't seen in months so all was good.

A part of me wanted to spend Sunday on the coach, but I got tickets to a fundraiser for the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy. This was another event with really good food and beverages. (I swear, historic preservationists always find the best food and booze on any budget.)

Plus, it was in the Buhl Mansion in Indian Village. This is an amazing home. I wish I could afford to live there.

Chuck Brodsky
performed a concert in the living room of this home, which was almost as big as my house. I had never heard of him, and frankly rolled my eyes when I herd that he's a folk singer, but he was really, really good. He played a lot of songs with a baseball theme to them so that fit with the evening.

The only real downer to the whole evening came when someone tried setting me up with a woman who was literally old enough to be my mother. She was divorced with a daughter my age and everything.

A shudder went down my spine at that thought.

Luckily, I was able to extract myself from that situation rather quickly.

Anyway, suffice it to say, this was a really great weekend. Now if only I didn't have to deal with the work week again.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Toasting Roast

I've been wanting to try Michael Symon's new restaurant Roast ever since I met him and saw his menu. I had drinks there during the Access Detroit event, but they weren't officially open so no food at that time.

However, I took a date there last week and I have to say it was unbelievable. One of my friends from school, who relocated to Cleveland, has raved for years now about how good of a chef Michael Symon really is. I used to think she was exaggerating, but now I know that - if anything - she was underselling it.

Anyway, the atmosphere is unbelievable, the service is impeccable and the food is even better. Michael Symon is known for his meat dishes. However, if you go there, I will simply say this: no matter what you order, get a side of their macaroni and cheese.

Heck, you could just order a couple of sides of his macaroni and cheese and make a meal out of them. He makes it using goat cheese and it is really, really good.

I think this might actually be the start of a culinary war between Michael Symon and the guys from Slow's B-B-Q in Corktown over who has the best mac and cheese. (Damn, I'm getting hungry just thinking about those two places.)

Oh, and when it comes time for dessert, Michael Symon introduces a number of tempting treats with chocolate.

Most of the entrees are in the $30 range. They are a bargain for what you're getting. (Although, Mr Symon: if you read this, please don't use this post as an excuse to raise all of your prices.)

All in all, in my opinion, Roast is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion - or to celebrate an ordinary occasion with that special someone.

25 + 1

I was flipping through GQ this month. They have this special feature on "The 25 Sexiest Women in Film of All Time". Needless to say, it piqued my interest.

I was glad that they included some of the great classic beauties that most people have forgotten about. This includes actresses like Anna Karina and Ursula Andress.

I was also glad that they had a healthy dose of women who are currently working - and still hot. The include notables such as Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Halle Barrie and Penelope Cruz. All of them clearly deserve to be on that list. (Especially Jessica Alba, who I have mentioned a dozen or so times on this blog.)

However, I was surprised by one glaring omission for the list: Keira Knightley. I mean, come on, GQ!

How can you have a list of "The 25 Sexiest Women in Film of All Time" and not include Keira Knightley?

Those eyes. Those lips.

Blah! If I ran GQ, Keira Knightley would be on every list of incredibly hot women.

But then again, if I ran GQ then Frank's Rule of Sushi would also be mentioned in their pages on a recurring basis.

Oh, well. At least they were kind enough to include Keira's BFF Sienna Miller.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Heroes Has Gotten Weird

It's official. Heroes has taken so many weird turns this season that some of its fans are starting fall of the train.

I was talking about this over drinks with a friend of mine; wondering what the folks at NBC should do about this. In my alcohol-induced brilliance, I came to the perfect thing that would cause the show's rating to sore to never before seen heights.

All they need is to work a jello-wrestling match into an episode or two; one between Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere. It doesn't even matter why those two characters would wrestle in jello. All that matters is that they do it.

Now, I know that there will be some skeptics who will simply say that a) I'm a pervert and b) that no one really wants to see jello wrestling blonde beauties on the show.

I have no rebuttal to the first part of that response. Some truths are simply self-evident.

However, I have to say that there is a growing demand to see Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere wrestle in jello. To illustrate my point, I respectfully submit a few key finds - all provided courtesy of "the Google" as our out-going (but not fast enough) President likes to say.
  • When it was first announced that Kristen Bell was going to join Heroes back in August of last year, one of my fellow television bloggers practically demanded a jello wrestling match between her and Hayden Panettiere in order to settle the eternal question of which one of them was hotter.
  • In July of last year, the folks over at News Toob were inspired to write a poem about Kristen Bell wrestling in jello.
There have even various on-line discussions about who Kristen Bell could take in a jello wrestling match, such as Kristen Bell vs. Brianna Lynn Brown. (It's advantage: Kristen, by the way.)

So, there you have it.

To everyone at NBC:

Your fans are demanding it. Please write a jello wrestling match between Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere into an up-coming episode of Heroes.

Your ratings will thank you.

P.S. If you're not sure how to work a jello wrestling match into one of your scripts, please feel to call me. I'm available to replace any of the writers that you've fired.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Book Cadillac Hotel in the NY Times

The New York Times published a glowing article yesterday about the recently reborn Westin Book Cadillac Hotel.

The article referred to 700 people gathering to celebrate the hotel's transformation; an event that the Times referred to as a civic catharsis. I wonder if it was the Access Detroit event or the opening gala they referred to.

I'm not sure if the phrase "civic catharsis" adequately describes either event, though. A catharsis involves purging emotions, usually through some type of art. Unfortunately, as I talk to people in and around town, I still encounter all of the same negative emotions about Detroit after the hotel's opening as I did before it.

What the hotel's rebirth does do is provide a working model of how large, derelict structures can be revitalized. It provides a template to follow; one that shows up how to revitalize our community and to create sustainable jobs in the process.

The challenge, of course, is for Detroit to repeat this success with other vacant properties around town. Now that we know how to do it, the challenge is for us to keep doing it until our city is fully revitalized.

Regardless, it's nice to see that I'm not the only person who is impressed with the place.

49 Out of 51

A little over a week ago, I predicted the results of yesterday's presidential race on a state-by-state basis. As it turns out, I was right in 49 of my 51 predictions.

I called Florida for Senator John McCain, but he lost by approximately 2% of the vote. Quite frankly, I knew I got that one wrong as soon as Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced that he wouldn't attend the McCain victory party in Florida.

I also called South Carolina for now-President Elect Barack Obama. He lost that state, however, by a rather decisive 9%.

In the end, I proved to be 96% accurate. That's not too bad, if I may say so myself.