Thursday, July 21, 2005


The new Dodge Charger.


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Wedding Crashers

Maybe one of the funniest movies of the past 5 years.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (sans Ben Stiller THANK THE LORD) team up for an absolutely riotous buddy comedy / romantic comedy. There was a point during the movie that I actually thought I was going to choke because I was laughing so hard.

I read an interesting review that posed itself as a feature piece in GQ about Vaughn, Wilson, Stiller, Will Ferrell (whose cameo is actually pretty funny-WAAAAY funnier than Anchorman- but not nearly the funniest part of the movie), and Luke Wilson. Essentially, what the author of the article said was that out of all the movies that these guys have done together, Wedding Crashers is clearly the best. It went on to talk about how their movies are formulaic, but they continue to dominate the box office so why should these guys do anything else?

That's a good question. I, for one, am a bit tired of Ben Stiller and was pretty psyched to NOT see him in this movie. It was infinitely better because of it. Vaughn and Wilson have great on-screen chemistry and Vince Vaughn delivers his lines better than anyone. His timing is perfect and he gives his best performance since Swingers.

The supporting characters in the movie are terrific as well. Rachel McAdams shines and is an up-and-coming star who has finally shirked her teen-comedy jinx and is starting to get better and better roles. Christopher Walken was, well, Christopher Walken. I mean, he's Bruce Dickinson. And he's gotta have more cowbell. Newish-comer Isla Fisher is great as Vaughn's psychotic love interest and one of my favorite Alias characters, Will (Bradley Cooper) is so believable as the ultra-male, in-the-way, dominant boyfriend, that I almost disliked him.

Overall, I loved this movie. Sure, Owen Wilson isn't exactly believable as a romantic lead, but Vince Vaughn more than makes up for Owen's shortcomings in this flick.

My IMDb rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Happy Anniversary Alli!

5 years ago today, Alli and I pledged our lives to each other. The day was perfect, the service was perfect, everything was perfect (it was a bit hot, but who's complaining?).

Now, 5 years along, my love for my wife grows every day. She is my best friend, the one that I lean on when things are rough, the one I count on for support, and the one that I can't sleep without.

So today, on the 5-year anniversary of our marriage, I dedicate this post to my wife. Here's some stuff about her you might not know:
  1. She is a sucker for a good love story.
  2. If she could have Chipotle every day, she would.
  3. Her love for Chipotle is only eclipsed by her love for chocolate (and me, of course).
  4. She is a talented artist, designer, dancer, friend, sibling, daughter, and wife.
  5. She once had a hole the size of a quarter in her upper lip when she got hit by a golf ball while working as one of those beverage cart girls. Subsequently, the management company now requires all beverage carts to have protective plexiglass (woulda been nice to think of that BEFORE!).
  6. She has been to the hospital TWO consecutive summers for issues that are still not entirely explained to us by doctors.
  7. She can sleep anywhere.
  8. She makes KILLER bean burritos.
  9. She is a semi-vegetarian, but doesn't really like vegetables.
  10. Her favorite type of food is Mexican (without question).
  11. Her favorite artist is Georgia O'Keeffe.
  12. Her favorite musician is Sarah McLachlan.
  13. Her favorite actress is Gwyneth Paltrow.
  14. She was a dancer in high school, college, and professionally...EVEN THOUGH she never had any professional training (she was good, too).
  15. She has beautiful eyes.
  16. She could easily be an interior decorator.
  17. She likes coffee (I hate it), but not necessarily to wake herself's more about the experience of drinking the coffee than it is about the liquid itself.
  18. She has no idea how much I love her.

OK, so that was fun. Now, since it is our 5-year anniversary, I'm going to share 5 of my favorite memories with Alli (in chronological order, not a complete list):
  1. Our Kansas City vacation that we took during finals week at Graceland where I kidnapped you and we went out on the Plaza.
  2. Our kiss after we saw the movie Great Expectations.
  3. Our wedding. As I mentioned before, there's really nothing I would change about that day. It was so wonderful and memorable and five years later, it is still fresh in my mind.
  4. The night we decided to paint the basement at 8p.m. and stayed up late all weekend finishing it. That was fun.
  5. Our trip to Santa Fe ranks very high on the list. What a better way to celebrate our 5-year anniversary than with a terrific relaxing trip!

Happy Anniversary, honey! I love being married to you and I look forward to making many many more memories.


While I know that I can't begin to express the pain or suffering that anyone in England might be going through right now, I wanted to reflect for a moment.

I had the privilege of traveling to London with my family during the summer between my junior and senior years in college. I have always been intrigued by the British culture and my visit to London only enhanced my affinity for all things English (seriously...I just want to walk around saying words like "bollocks" and "wanker" all the time...I just sound wrong when I say them).

The people of London are courteous and kind, willing to assist the many tourist that visit their country. The same probably could not be said for our fine country and certainly could not be said for their main competitor in the Olympics race (yeah, Chirac...HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW!).

What I do know is that the people of London and of the United Kingdom will likely experience a similar rejuvenating patriotism that our country experienced in the months following 9/11. I hope that the leaders of the world respond respond rapidly to these terrorists. I know that these attacks will only steel the resolve of the free world to bringing democracy to the world and justice (whatever that may be) to those responsible.

I, myself, look forward to visiting England...hopefully sooner rather than later so I can pump some of those tourism dollars back into the fine English economy.

Cheers, England. We here in America wish you well.

Santa Fe!

Sunday, Alli and I got back from Santa Fe.

What a trip. Over 30 hours in the car for 4 days of absolute relaxation.

After work on Tuesday, I went home to take a nap and woke up around 10 p.m. to leave on our trip. I wanted to get there early in the day instead of later, so Alli and I decided to drive through the night. It would have been better had I been able to sleep more on Tuesday after work, but we did it, only stopping for a brief 2-hour nap in the parking lot of the Colby, KS Wal-Mart at about 4 in the morning. Didn't sleep too much, but the eye rest was worth it.

Once we got into New Mexico, we decided to take a little detour through the mountains to the Northern New Mexico town of Taos. Taos is, in a way, like a mini version of Santa Fe. It is committed to the art scene and the style is very much the same. There is also skiing in the winter months and it even has its own share of celebrities (Julia Roberts, Donald Rumsfeld).

Taos itself wasn't that impressive, but the drive from the main Interstate (25 South) to Taos along New Mexico Highway 68 was amazing. Winding roads along the Cimarron river made the 3-hour trip completely worth it.

After lunch and walking around the town, we left Taos and drove down to Santa Fe, a short hour-and-a-half drive down the Rio Grande. More stops along the river to watch rafters and to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. Once we arrived, we checked in to our hotel and promptly took a nap, waking up to walk around the town and eat dinner at a subpar bar and grill because everything seems to close really REALLY early in Santa Fe (seriously...a lot of places were not open past 5).

The next day was devoted to the spa. Best massage I've ever had.

Friday was all about art. The first place we visited was the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. O'Keeffe is Alli's favorite artist of all-time so this was a real treat. A great thing about this visit was that I was finally able to figure out what my favorite O'Keeffe work is. Since Alli is enamored with her as an artist, it was important to me to figure out which one I loved.

"Autumn Trees - the Maple"
We also visited Canyon Road, Santa Fe's street of art galleries. Almost 200 galleries make their home on this one street (Santa Fe is the 2nd largest art market in America only to New York) and the work varies from traditional Native American art to landscapes to contemporary artists like Man Ray and Picasso.

It was neat to see a community that celebrated art as much as Santa Fe does. I know that it was inspiring to Alli.

Our hotel was fantastic. Not only did it have a terrific staff (most specifically, our concierge, Michael), but they include a free breakfast buffet (not continental...a full breakfast) and their hotel bar has pretty good food for the money ($2 chips and salsa, $4 burgers).

On Saturday, we woke up early and went for a short hike in the mountains. After that, we went to the Santa Fe Farmer's Market, where we saw a lot of really neat fresh stuff, like the raw honey that Alli bought, and the hippies playing hand-made instruments.

We also walked around the town and saw the oldest active church (and house) in America. It was a lazy day, a nice end to our trip that we rounded out with a visit to Tomasita's, a great restaurant where we had fantastic chalupas and really HOT chips and salsa.

The drive back went pretty quickly and was interesting because right before we got out of New Mexico, we saw a hot air balloon race. Then, when we were almost home, we hit a storm that was pretty tame, but had some spectacular lightning. It was a great trip...extremely relaxing, yet I was still somehow exhausted from it (possibly the 30+ hours in the car).

If you are interested in learning more, check out my flickr set from Santa Fe.