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Tue, January 31

Nominees Ho!—9:18 AM

The "Academy" has graced us with yet another sloppy list of Oscar nominees. We at onebee were considering boycotting the Oscars this year, in protest of the unforgivable dual snub of Steve Martin for Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. (Name me five better adaptations released this year! AMPAS sure didn't!) But we have a soft spot for Jon Stewart, and we also like our streets nice and unrioted – a condition unlikely to endure if the onebee Oscar Pool were to miss a year.

So, with one award left to root for, we'll be there. Here's hoping Best Supporting Actress is an easier category for Ms. Adams, because Best Actress is certainly more appropriate. My hope is that she'll get a lot of votes from lazy Academy members who just pick the first name alphabetically. (Thank God, Yodelin' Zeke wasn't nominated this year.*)

But, God help them if someone else should win that category. Especially if it's Rachel Weisz. Only two years after the LOTR sweep, that might just be enough to turn me into a suicide bomber.

* I know – Dennis Miller Ratio. My apologies to the rest of you.

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Sat, January 28

Junebug on DVD—11:29 PM

Seriously, don't miss it. This page contains links to Amazon and Netflix. Click on either one; you'll be glad you did.

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Back to the Movies—11:17 PM

Shopgirl. The first movie I've seen in the theatre in almost a month. (Almost two if you don't count The Ringer – which, again, I don't.) And it's a repeat! (Although, of course, there's no movie I'd be happier to see a second time.)

The interesting thing is how great I felt in the car on the way back home. For one thing, my mom loved it as much as I do, so that was a pleasant validation. But also, I realized that I feel somewhat incomplete if I stay away from the movies for so long. Between my Xmas trip, preparing for the move, and the move, this has probably been my longest drought since I was old enough to head to the movies on my own – a tradition that began with a fondly remembered trip to A Few Good Men.

I know a lot of people whose movie attendance dropped off at some point (usually due to their kids), and they all say that after a while you don't miss it. Based on what I've learned from this experience, I think I'd miss it. I think I'm the sort of person who enjoys the moviegoing experience too much (even with those motherfucker theatre-talkers). I wouldn't be able to drop it. I really just like going to the movies. Ask anyone who's been astonished (read: appalled) at some of the films I've chosen to see in the theatre.

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Fri, January 27

The Final Push—11:50 AM

Sorry for the late update - no Wi-Fi at the office yet (!) and I'm not about to start editing my website with vi (1/8 of you know what I'm talking about), so I had to wait until I had some free time at home with my laptop to fix the onebee timezone (now EST!). It sounds simple, but you'd be surprised how your free time evaporates when you move in with roommates.

Friday

We'd had some nice dinners at the Grand Canyon and a delightful steak dinner with authentic creole gumbo in Longview, Texas – made all the more delightful by an after-dinner bout of Ms. Pac-Man. But when we reached Vicksburg, Mississippi, it was clear that the "fucking around" portion of our culinary odyssey had concluded. We found an adorable restaurant called Borrello's on Washington street, just down the way from the historical district and the Coca-Cola museum. I had a lobster ravioli with pesto, and immediately lapsed into a food coma. Laney had an authentic shrimp po'boy large enough to feed a family of nine. Not to mention the sweetest, fizziest fountain Coke east of the Mississippi (1.5 miles east, to be exact), and a crab cake appetizer with more crab in it than most actual crabs. Borrello's: very highly recommended.

We took in a few overcast views of the Big Muddy, and pressed on through Jackson, then southeast towards Mobile, Alabama. There, we encountered more rain, and more impressive food. We ate at a restaurant named Pillars, housed in an old 19th century mansion, and offering a special described thusly: Queen Filet Mignon, butterflied, stuffed with cream cheese, and topped with king crab crumble. (Or something like that, I fell asleep halfway through.) Unfortunately, we were still stuffed from our lunch, so we had light appetizers and sushi. My crab rangoon were delicious, and my spider roll sushi was served on a thick slab of gently chilled marble. Wow.

Saturday

Unfazed by a morning drizzle and a late-night four-car pileup on the interstate just across the street from our hotel room, we enjoyed a brief driving/walking tour of historic Mobile architecture before hitting the road. Once we were in the car, it was a day of mostly driving, driving, driving – but we did stop for one early soda coup at a rest area in the western tip of the Florida panhandle, where I scored vending machine Mello Yello and Sunkist in the same stop. Lunch was less successful: we patronized a Burger King drive-thru so I could introduce Laney to their new chicken fries, which I'd sampled on my last road trip. In a hurry, we neglected to double-check our bag after the window attendant handed it over – sure enough, back on I-10, we discovered the honey mustard sauce had been omitted. We were too far away to turn back, but rest assured a strongly worded letter is in the works.

Having begun on I-10 the previous Friday, it was fun to return to it again for the last leg of the trip. It led us to I-95 and into Jacksonville, and suddenly I was driving familiar streets again, which was a weird feeling since I'd never driven them in my car before.

Laney's boyfriend Brian met us at home, grilled us some delicious chicken, and played poker with us until 2 am.

Sunday

A blur. I think I had lunch. Also a much needed massage.

This Week

Some additional real estate shopping with my tireless and affable agent. Training on AutoCAD at the office. Catching up on TiVo. (Courting Alex, sadly as disappointing as expected; Emily's Reasons Why Not, canceled already?! No!) Duke, 80; Virginia Tech, 67. Work continues on the swimming pool. (We were supposed to get water today, but the workers gave up waiting for the final layer of concrete that they had to add first – even though it arrived five minutes before they left.)

Photos to come!

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Fri, January 20

Moving Faster—12:03 AM

To silence all the haters out there who are saying our stops are too close together, we decided to make some serious progress today. So, we bent Texas over our knee and made it our bitch – crossing it all in one 10+ hour driving marathon. (In other words, we messed with it.) This involved fun things like a visit to the DQ for cool treats, as well as not-so-fun things like being pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for driving 77 in a 70 while displaying California plates. (We got off with a warning, but it meant I had to be extra careful for the rest of the day, because I damn sure wasn't going to give any money to the Texas government.)

Texas was as hateful and awful as you'd expect it to be. Big rig drivers, perfectly docile and polite just moments ago, immediately morphed into lane-hogging asswads upon crossing its border. Previously attractive roadside terrain became featureless, flat desert. We got out as fast as we could. (We did have a lovely dinner at Johnny Cace's in Longview, including scrumptious steaks and a first-rate creole gumbo.)

Now we're in Shreveport where we've already made a friend – the desk clerk at the Holiday Inn whom we bantered with as we registered for our room. (The clerk at the Jameson Inn down the street was far less amused by our antics, as well as my attempt to finagle a "Jameson Discount." We'll try again in Mississippi.) I've instituted an all-Britney channel on the iPod in recognition of our visit to the home state of the starlet-turned-baby-factory. We'll see how long it lasts tomorrow.

***

PS – Happy thirty-xxxth birthday, Brandon!

PPS – Mom, call the spa and reserve me a massage for Sunday afternoon. 10+ hour driving marathon!

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Thu, January 19

Highlights from Day 5—8:44 AM

Just a few of the things that happened on today's part of the cross-country trek:

  • Waking up in Sleepy Bear's Den. There's just no way not to think of an animated teddy bear in a nightie.

  • An early start. That wasn't easy! But make-em-yourself Belgian waffles in the motel lobby sure helped.

  • NW New Mexico Visitor Center. It always feels good to check one off the life list, even if it isn't your life list. Also, we saw cute jackrabbit bunnies doing their morning chores.

  • Visiting the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array (VLA), west of Socorro. This site was heavily featured in the beginning of Contact, one of my favorite movies, so Laney and I could run through the (frigidly windy) walking tour shouting "W9GF0!" at the top of our lungs. I was really impressed that the VLA people – who have actual science to be doing – took the time to set up a nice walking tour and share a look at their facilities with the public.

  • Old Town Albuquerque. Exactly what you'd expect, complete with sassy, greying little ladies with creative haircuts minding curio shops and chatting exhaustively with their customers. Delicious Navajo Taco Plates!

  • Duke: 81; N.C. State: 68 – still undefeated!

  • Running out of gas in the middle of the night just east of Cuervo, NM, because two gas stations noted on the AAA Trip-tik within 30 miles were closed for the night. After a chilly wait in the car (we passed the time loading pictures into the laptop), a nice man and his beflanneled little boy brought us some gas and sent us on our way. (It would've been so much more poetic to run aground in Truth or Consequences, but it wasn't on our route.)

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Wed, January 18

onebee Road Show Update—7:22 AM

I realized I forgot to mention that Monday's Grand Canyon visit wasn't the whole deal. We got in kind of late, so we only spent a few hours there before bedding down for the night, and returned on Tuesday. We had a great time visiting a number of overlooks and exploring the canyon, then did a short hike down towards the base of the canyon before heading out of town.

We stopped next at the Meteor Crater site outside of Winslow, Arizona, but balked at the $30 it would cost for both of us to enter. Then, entering moments before closing time, we made a mad dash through the Petrified Forest before catching a beautiful sunset on I-40 as we screamed towards Gallup, NM. (Safely, of course.)

By some random chance, we ended up with the "Sleepy Bear's Den" room at the Travelodge in Gallup (referring to the Travelodge corporate mascot). The room was all decked out with Sleepy Bear memorabilia for the little ones, and we made the most of it.

Update: The photo upload is choking Travelodge's WiFi network, so we'll have to wait with Tuesday's photos. Hopefully we can find a Starbuck's in Albuquerque. Stay tuned!

Update 2: The WiFi at the Holiday Inn in Tucumcari is much better – so pics from Tuesday are now up!

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Mon, January 16

onebee is moving to Florida!—9:41 PM

(More on that later.) In the meantime, after an awesomely memorable (and profitable) send-off weekend in Vegas, the sister and I bade farewell to the last of the LA peeps and set off across the country. We took it easy today, visiting the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post new pictures from the road, depending on the Internet availability in our various hotels, motels, and roadhouses. (Tip of the hat to Holiday Inn Express for including free broadband!) (Wag of the finger for not providing WiFi.)

PS – Isn't it great to know that, in an increasingly confusing and unstable world, the Golden Globes can continue to be so completely meaningless?

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Fri, January 6

Close Call—9:30 AM

I watched the premiere of Four Kings on the "throw Seth Green a bone" program, because nobody watches a KoMut show without having a special reason. (Those guys are the scourge of prime time. I'm madder at America for making Will & Grace a hit show than I am at them for electing Bush in '04.) The show is exactly what it looks like in the ads: a Friends/Seinfeld buddies-in-the-city show, but with all obnoxious "off-kilter" guys who say random things and pay each other to climb into laundry dryers.

Halfway through the show, my heart stopped. The hot girlfriend of the head obnoxious guy (played by the same dude who was the head obnoxious "off-kilter" guy in Committed last year) is played by Kiele Sanchez. Kiele Sanchez happens to be sitcom kryptonite for me. I watched an entire season of Married to the Kellys (with Breckin Meyer!) because she was the female lead.

Fortunately, Head Obnoxious Guy breaks (spoiler alert) up with her before the end of the pilot episode, so I can safely never watch this show again. She was by far the only watchable part.

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Wed, January 4

Me? Football? Me??—9:25 PM

Give it up for the USC Trojans! They had a nice winning streak going, and although they were felled by some dumb mistakes tonight, they still put on quite a show. (And, while you're at it, give it up for me giving a damn about that! It just kind of worked out that I happened to have nothing else to do today, and my sister reminded me the game was on.) From both teams, a lot of compelling football.

Also, how much do I love Pete Carroll's hair? I can't explain it, but I'm obsessed with that untamed, silvery coiffure. I want to marry Pete Carroll's hair – or, at the very least, spend a long weekend in Vermont with it.

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Last Night's Scrubs—11:10 AM

All in all, not a great kickoff to the latest season of one of TV's funnier comedies. Not one of the "intern's POV" shots was funny, the stories of both episodes were wildly fragmented, and Elliot's arc was a huge, elaborate diversion just to tell the same old Elliot story. (No one respects her, she makes a move to get some respect, it seems to be working, but in the end she fails, reduced to a whimpering "frick"-spewing frenzy.) I can't see the value in separating her from the others, unless they're planning to edge her character out of the show – which would result in the cancelation of my TiVo Season Pass and possibly a boycott of NBC altogether.

I'm sure the show will improve – it has before – but what a lackluster way to start the season.

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Tue, January 3

Product Recommendation—4:00 PM

It'll be a little bit longer before I'm back up to my pre-holiday prolificness, but I wanted to share with you one little discovery I've made:

The Lean Cuisine Microwave Panini

Delicious, quick prep time, and there's even a fun little construction project involved in the preparation. I swear, if they could deliver these things pre-sliced in a diagonal direction, it would be the perfect sandwich.

Plus, it's Lean Cuisine, so you know it's better for you than, say, a salad. Which means – you guessed it – twice as many Oreos for dessert!

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