Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sticking to Our Favorite at Oakley Pub & Grill

The Lively Interior

      Paul introduced us to the Oakley Pub & Grill a few years ago.  He knew it as a work lunch spot, but we started joining him in the evenings.  The menu is the same all day long with daily specials and a featured beer at reasonable prices.  

Grouper Sandwich and Unique Slaw
The attraction for us was their Grouper Sandwich.  It's served grilled, blackened or deep fried on marble rye bread with chopped lettuce, tomato, onion and tartar sauce.  It's generous

Friday, June 22, 2012

Topiary Park: Taking Columbus' City Parks to the Next Level

Topiary Park in Columbus, OH
      James T. Mason, an artist teaching at the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, had a vision in the late 1980's to create a topiary park based on George Seurat's 7' x 10' painting of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
The Seurat Painting
The post-impressionist masterpiece is a familiar one permanently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago that took Seurat two years to complete.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Can Only HBO Offer & Pull Off An Epic?

Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen
     We saw Hemingway & Gellhorn, starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman, at Paul’s because he’s getting HBO even if only temporarily.  It’s the type of romantic epic set against tempestuous times that used to be Oscar catnip (think The Year of Living Dangerously, Reds, Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, etc.), but now isn’t released because it’s not tightly focused on a specific character or social issue (almost any indie movie) or doesn’t involve superheroes or book series’ characters (almost any commercial movie).  Paul was disappointed that it wasn’t released in cinemas, but I

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Intouchables: Even the French Love Middlebrow Froth

      It may seem peculiar to label The Intouchables (translated as Untouchables), a movie that features a tetraplegic multimillionaire ‘froth,’ but it fits.  Neil thought it sounded intriguing because it’s one of the biggest hits to come out of France.  The plot involves a white, rich tetraplegic (Philippe) and his developing friendship with his black, ex-thief care worker (Driss).  It’s been pretty much loved everywhere around the world except in the U.S.  Some critics have charged that it smacks of Uncle Tomism.  I’m not sure why two men of different ethnicities and economic classes having fun together is such an offense politically, but I guess I’m either not looking deep enough – and, as I’ve said, this is a superficial movie – or I choose not to look at everything popular with a chip on my shoulder.

Philippe and Driss On a Wild Ride
     This is basically a buddy movie and it proceeds smoothly and without much ingenuity or originality.  I guess it can’t be too original because it’s revealed that it’s based on a true story.  Why that matters at all is beyond me since this is

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bangkok Terrace: On the Edge

The Flowered Blue Ash Streets
Welcome Diners

      We were 12 characters in search of a restaurant after completing a few days of pulling off a regional conference.  Our group was mostly from out of town so Shelley and I were wanting to impress them with our local cuisine.  There were budgets, individual tastes, location, and schedules to factor in with our choice.  At last, Bangkok Terrace in Blue Ash was the winner (at least from our perspective).

The Comfortable Contemporary Interior
      Arrivals were intermittent.  Shelley and I showed up in the second group to a table tastefully set amidst the contemporary

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ruth Rendell: The Fairest One of All

Also read Ruth Rendell Upstages Two Recently Acclaimed Writers at:

     Ruth Rendell has produced over sixty novels since 1964 in three different series:  the Wexford/Burden police procedurals that take place in Kingsmarkham, a smaller English city in the home counties; psychological suspense novels that focus on various pathologies set in seemingly ordinary circumstances; and the Barbara Vine novels that are usually historical in setting and also furthest from the bread and butter tropes of

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Is Andrew De Leon America's Susan Boyle?

Andrew De Leon vs. Susan Boyle
      We've waited for someone to take center stage on America's Got Talent and morph themselves into an instant celebrity.  Such was the case when Andrew De Leon first appeared on June 5th as a heavy metal teen goth make-up artist, fan of Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, and poised to

Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Unrivaled Cincinnati Reds Experience in the Diamond Club

Dexter Joins the Fun as Rosie Dances
      Looking for the ultimate Cincinnati Reds baseball game experience?  Then check out the Diamond Club on your own, or wait for friends to ask you to join them.  We were fortunate to have Pete and April invite us to a recent Friday night game.  

Diamond Club Lounge
      Specifics are laid out on the Reds official website, but I still didn't know what to expect exactly.  Entry was through a private entrance in the garage where your parking is reserved.  The Diamond Club Lounge decor is modern sports bar and restaurant with a circular layout and light fixtures mimicking a catcher's helmet.  It's a scene right out of a Las Vegas casino.  As one might expect, attire is anywhere from

Monday, June 4, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: The Return of the Literate, Middlebrow Romantic Comedy

Dexter Listens to a Scene with Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor
     A colleague of mine recommended Salmon Fishing in the Yemen a couple of months ago because of Kristin Scott-Thomas, but I hadn’t liked the previews much – it seemed perversely eccentric, plus I’m not a huge fan of Ewan McGregor.  However, more friends kept saying they’d seen it

Friday, June 1, 2012

"The Avengers"— Fun, Fast, and Fantastical

Dexter Investigates the Destruction with Hawkeye and the Hulk
      I didn't grow up with Marvel comic books.  I'm not sure why.  I remember seeing them at the newsstand, but none of my friends were in to reading them either.  So when Ann and Woody asked me to see The Avengers with them, I had to