Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maria Semple: "Where’d You Go, Bernadette"

Smart, sweet, and funny, 
Bernadette captures the zeitgeist 
of 40-somethings and their children

Maria Semple
     Where’d You Go, Bernadette was a big deal in 2012, but the capsule descriptions I read sounded sort of shallow.  Plus, it was being compared to Gone Girl, which didn’t make much sense since it was described as comic.  Maria Semple was

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Blue Ash Café

It's in the middle of the city's recreation center

Bets Working the Cafe Counter
      I've kept a secret since last fall. There's a small cafe located in the Blue Ash Recreation Center that serves some of the best lunch fare in that area.  It's simple from the ordering system to the menu to the pricing.  It's all made with love by Bets and her cashier partner to make your day just a little more special. The other surprise is in the quality of the food

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Some Recent Milestones

Talent exploding through a multitude 
of works = Genius in retrospect

   Two milestones this week were reminders of watershed eras in American and world popular – Shirley Temple Black’s death and the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  

Shirley Temple
   Shirley Temple was the most famous American child at the age of six, driven by a stage mother desperate that her little girl would be a movie star.  There were a number of women with this psychological need in that generation, the most

Friday, February 14, 2014

Alice Munro

Wow, a Nobel Prize winner 
that many North Americans have read

Dexter with Carried Away
     Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last fall and it took me by surprise because (1) I thought the Nobel committee seemed very antipathetic in 2008 to the U.S. and a lesser extent to the Americas, though it tried to rectify that

Monday, February 10, 2014

Two Views of "Nebraska": Spending Time with Ordinary People

Eric's View of Nebraska

     Alexander Payne’s Nebraska fortifies his reputation as this generation’s Frank Capra.  He takes the little guy and presents him, eccentric warts and all, in a way that simultaneously humanizes and satirizes his niche in his

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Another Beatle Anniversary

February 9, 2014 marks 50 years 
since their American debut

Meeting Ed Sullivan
      The Ed Sullivan Show was America's guide to pop culture for three decades.  If one appeared on his weekly Sunday night program, then there was cause for one to be noticed.  If that included a telegram prior to your performance from Elvis and his manager, Col. Tom Parker, then there was definitely going to some conversation on Monday morning at the office and school.  After weeks of anticipation, The Beatles would make their first of 3 consecutive appearances as they criss-crossed 22,621 miles across North America on their first tour here. That was all in a little over a month that sold 453,950 tickets.  For a front-row seat the cost was $4.

      The No. 1 song on Billboard's chart the week of February 1, 1964 was "I Want to Hold Your Hand".  For their first live performance in America, they chose to perform "All My Loving" to screaming female teenagers in the Ed Sullivan theater and across the country for those poised in front of their black & white TV sets.  For the three performances, they received a whopping $10,000.   It all became a life-changing time in our history that if one was lucky enough to experience first-hand, one can never forgot it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NuVo at Greenup

The new basilica for serious foodies

Dexter Enjoys the Serene Dining Room
     NuVo at Greenup serves a three to nine course table d’hôte menu at an extremely reasonable price (currently $35-$60).  It focuses with laser-like intensity on specific ingredients to produce food that is superb.  Wine pairings with those courses are available for $25-$45, which is a deal, almost a steal.  We really enjoyed NuVo when it was in Newport about four to five

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Super Bowl Concerts

Renée Fleming flawless, Queen Latifah sweet, 
Bruno Mars deserved the spotlight

Renée Fleming
     Yes, we knew Renée Fleming was a great choice to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” when it was first announced.  She delivered like the pro and leading American opera soprano that she is.  We laud her for repeating ‘the brave’ and hitting that high note from ‘free’ for a second time.  The NFL should ask her