Friday, June 23, 2006

And God said...let there be Legos!

This site has contructed hundreds of scenes from the Bible out of Legos. It's both hiliarious and oddly fascinating. Of course, the Catholic schoolgirl buried inside of me secretly loves Bible stories, especially the ones I remember vividly from the book I was allowed to read during Sunday Mass, "Little Ones Listen to God".

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My man Junior

My beloved Reds are in town this week playing the Mets, and here's a nice column from The Daily News that semi-sings Ken Griffey Jr's praises. (Yeah, I almost cried when the Reds traded for him and brought him home; that is, before he got hurt for his next four years in what??)

It's the only time all year I'll probably see them, so here's to hoping they keep up the pace and end up in the playoffs for the first time since 1995. One positive and interesting note: thus far this year, the division-leading Cardinals are 5-12 against the Reds and Cubs.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yankee or Reb?

Here's an entertaining little quiz that will tell you just how southern you are, based on how you pronounce certain words. Me?? I'm 46% Dixie. (And, p.s., always a sucker for boys who call me "Darlin'"...)

Monday, June 19, 2006

O Dr. Ralph

I had the pleasure on my birthday last Wednesday of seeing the 79-year-old Dr. Ralph Stanley perform in downtown Manhattan. Dr. Ralph is considered to be the father of mountain-style bluegrass music. His decorated career spans over 60 years, beginning with his brother Ira in the Stanley Brothers to becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry to numerous awards to over 200 albums to his acceptance in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

Due to a threat of rain, the concert was unfortunately moved indoors to the swanky auditorium of Stuyvesant High School, where we were crammed into seats and forced to shush ourselves throughout the performance. Bluegrass seems to me to be made for outdoor venues where that "high lonesome sound" can float through the air to listeners. I had high hopes for hearing Dr. Ralph's glorious old-time voice while sitting on the Hudson riverbank on a hot summer night eating meats and cheeses, but it was not to be. The bonus of being indoors was that I was able to meet the man himself, and get a signed CD offa him for a steep $20. And if anyone deserves my $20, it's Dr. Ralph...

Tres Chicas, including Caitlan Cary formerly of Whiskeytown, opened the show and bored us to tears with their samey-sounding sounds. Pleasant enough voices sung by girls in bad dresses but a total snoozefest. Dr. Ralph took the stage around 8:15 and led his Clinch Mountain Boys through a set that was heavy on the sales pitch and light on the music. Dr. Ralph has that Grand Ole Opry/classic country persona that seamlessly melds the music with the product so that you don't realize you are in the middle of a commercial until he's almost done with the cornball patter. At least the only products heavily pushed here were CDs from all 6 Clinch Mountain Boys members.

Since I last saw Dr. Ralph 5 years ago, he's noticeably aged (and underwent triple bypass surgery last year). For most of the set, he stood back or sat down, just behind the band in his red-and-black western shirt, and let the other members take turns singing leads (including 45-year-old son and heir apparent, Ralph II, and his 13-year-old grandson, Nathan on mandolin). He said allergies had, disappointingly, made him hoarse for much of the tour. You can tell Dr. Ralph is slowing down some, and touring the 200 days a year or whatever he used to do is rougher on him than it used to be.

That said: catch the man while you can. He's a national treasure and one of the true originals.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Geek Had It Coming

From today's New York Times coverage of a tourist from Texas who was stabbed randomly on the C train yesterday:

“He’s a smart, very bright kid,” his aunt said. “He’s not violent. He’s pretty passive.”

She described her nephew as a big science fiction and fantasy fan who used to collect Star Wars paraphernalia.

Poor guy, his mention in the paper of record also brings up his obsession with the Dork Arts. I'm sure he'll live that down with his friends and family, um..... never.

P.S. He's going to be okay and they nabbed the guy who was running amok stabbing people without provocation. At least he helped reinvigorate that early 90s vibe of "NYC is a SCARY place" by committing random crimes against tourists that are guaranteed to generate loads of media coverage.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Traveling and eating are about letting things happen...

...So says Mr. Anthony Bourdain, the best-selling author of Kitchen Confidential, among other titles. As much as I want to dislike his arrogant puss, the man talks some serious sense about food. Arrogance is always more tolerable when the person is dead-on about their topic. His No Reservations show on the Travel Channel is always entertaining, high on the gross-out factor (sharing a still-warm raw baby seal in Northern Quebec with an Inuit family), and highly recommended.