53: Words- “Restaurant Impossible”

8 Sep

Robert Irvine isn’t someone to mess around with. He’s a hulking sort of dude who doesn’t profile as a serious chef and restaurateur. That said, “Restaurant Impossible” is a kinder, gentler “Kitchen Nightmares” void of F-bombs that often focuses on the human side of restaurant failures. Two days, 10Gs and magic happens

Restaurant: Impossible



53: Words- The Booth at the End

5 Sep

In “The Booth at the End,” Xander Berkeley is a metaphysical commodities broker of sorts who sits at an LA eatery and grants people wishes in exchange for the completion of a “task.” Rob a bank and you become prettier; blow up a diner and your husband regains sanity. Compelling at every turn.

The Booth at the End: Behind the scenes

53: Words- Improv Comedy

5 Sep

We sat through a tortuous session of improv comedy the other night. Bad d*ck jokes by the gross complicated by poorly timed, vapid tête-à-tête. My conclusion leads to the difficult-to-attribute quote: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”  The Groundlings and Second City is way over here- everyone else- don’t quit your day jobs.

The Groundlings – Tapped # 1

53: Words “Fun & Games” by Duane Swierczynski

3 Sep

Duane Swierczynski smiled and handed me an autographed copy of “Fun & Games” at the big bookshow. To date, one of my top reads of 2011.  Charlie Hardie, an ex-Philadelphia cop of sorts with a bad case of PTSD, stumbles upon a group of cleaners who specialize in righting wrongs.  Thrill ride ensues.

Reading Duane Swierczynski’s Fun and GamesMulholland Books


53: Words “Even” by Andrew Grant

3 Sep

Tommie Aaron. Ron Allen. Casey Affleck. Lesser brothers of star siblings. Andrew Grant is to Lee Child. “Even,” is David Trevellyan–Jack Reacher minus machismo + British pedigree.  Setup is crisp. Middle meanders and hits potholes. Ending -solid and sequel worthy. Not the real thing but a good step-Child.

Andrew Grant Interview | CrimeSpree Blog

53: Words Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon (Austin, TX)

2 Sep

Proudly self-proclaimed hole in the wall that features amazing music, lots of cold beer (no hooch) and a chicken that, on a Sunday afternoon, does its business on a bingo card to the delight of onlookers. Looks like a neighborhood church from the outside but the praise inside is reserved only for the music.


53: Words– Pocket-47 by Jude Hardin.

31 Aug

Nicholas Colt: Lynyrd Skynyrd meets Mike Hammer by way of Jeff Foxworthy. Pocket-47 is a compelling thriller that starts off strong before taking a few odd turns but hitting its stride again for a solid finish. This is one novel that begs for a series featuring this offbeat Southern gumshoe.

Pocket47 – Get your copy today! | Oceanview Publishing

Jude Hardin Pocket 47 We celebrate the newest title to join Oceanview's extraordinary list of innovative works! Pocket47 by Jude Hardin is now available wherever fine books and e-books are sold.

Publish Date: 02/07/2011 11:19


53 Words: “Crazy, Stupid Love”

30 Aug

Movie alchemy: One part “Love Actually,” one part “Dan, In Real Life.” Stir, bake for 118 minutes and you have a summer gem. Steve Carell is the tempered clown, a gifted comic actor who knows just how far to go for a laugh or a tear. Jonah Bobo is a brilliant young talent.

Crazy Stupid Love – Official Trailer [HD]

53 Words: “Come Dine with Me”

30 Aug

“Come Dine with Me” (UK) The TV setup of setups: strangers hold nightly dinner parties for one week and select one to win a pile of cash. The banter– sometimes cheeky often downright pie-in-the-face funny. Comedian David Lamb, drier than July in Arizona, offers riotous narrative. TLC tried a rip off and failed.

Come Dine With Breakfast Part 2 (Breakfast, 24.12.10)

First, Sian Williams and Bill Turnbull are doing the cooking, then in Part 2, it’s Susanna Reid and Charlie Stayt. Who will win the Come Dine With Breakfast Christmas Challenge? Stay tuned to find out! (C) BBC 2010

53 Words: Talkups

30 Aug

A talkup is the arcane art of saying a bunch of often disconnected words during a song’s intro on the radio with the express goal of talking over the music until the very second actual lyrics begin. If you are on the money, you hit the post. It’s a lost art.

For example, the talkup on the song below would require one to talk jibbrish for about 12.5 second. Try it.

Merry Clayton – Yes (Extended Version)