Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frightening Pumpkin Spice Mania

It's not all that scary when you stick with tradition

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Patch
      Fall arrives each year when I walk through our local Trader Joe's and realize that the store has been overtaken with Pumpkin and Pumpkin Spice products. When did pumpkin

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pistol Annies: Hell on Heels

Their first album is a primer 
on graduating the school of hard knocks

     Our loyal followers probably remember that we highly regard Pistol Annies’ second album, Annie Up, released earlier this year.  I was talking about them and that album to Kaylee and she said, “Yeah, I really like them, but I preferred

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Used to Be Darker

Kim Taylor displays her excellent 
musical (and acting) chops, but she 
deserves more from this uneven movie

     I wish we’d seen more of that darkness or, rather, the back-story to the movie.  Matthew Porterfield, the director and co-screenwriter, has a great subject for a movie:  a middle-aged married couple who are both talented musicians have

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Captain Phillips

A factual action adventure tale 
serves as an allegory for world conflict

     Paul Greengrass continues his run as the best action director of movies that are either based on actual events or feel as if they could be.  His Bourne movies felt like an update of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, not the glamorous

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ariana Grande: Yours Truly

The latest graduate of the Ms. Jackson 
Academy of Independent Congeniality

Ariana Grande
     What would a generation or two of American female pop stars be without children’s TV shows?  Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and now Ariana Grande started on Disney or Nickelodeon shows

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Food Trucks Galore

A festival that’s actually a celebration

Dexter Checks Out the CIncinnati Street Food Festival
     This was the second year of the Cincinnati Street Food Festival in Walnut Hills on McMillan Street.  There were seventeen trucks participating with beer from microbreweries.  The neatest thing was that it wasn’t overwhelmingly huge and

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Enough Said

What does a woman want?  
Does she trust herself to know?

     Nicole Holofcener has written and directed some of the most compelling serious romantic comedies of the past seventeen years, beginning with the loose, laid-back Walking and Talking (1996) and she continues that streak with the delicately calibrated exploration of middle age and

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Holtman's Brings Their Donuts to OTR

Will Busken's and Servatii's have some competition?

      Holtman's has been a name that has been thrown around when anyone in this area discusses donuts.  We had never had their variety until we were picking up some food for Dexter at Pet Wants and noticed they are now across the street from them on Vine Street in the Gateway Quarter.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rapture, Blister, Burn at Ensemble Theatre

Tough, smart, and funny, this comedy 
examines middle age envy with compassion and vigor

     Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn merits the strong production directed by Lynn Meyers at Ensemble.  It’s a high comedy in which the ideals of the academic set in a New England college town conflict both hilariously and

Friday, October 4, 2013

Armistead Maupin’s Mary Ann in Autumn

Like a reunion, it’s comforting but reminds us of mortality

The Set for Tales of the City on PBS
     When Tales of the City was first broadcast as a mini-series on PBS in January 1994, I went ahead and read the whole collection of 28 Barbary Lane novels.  At that point, there were six, published between 1978 and 1989.  A couple of times