Tuesday, June 22, 2004

These Are The People In My Neighborhood

A new Chinese Restaurant, CHINA DRAGON, has opened up around the corner. I like to frequent their fine establishment and it's gotten to the point where they recognize me when I phone in my order and carry on great conversation while I go in to pick up my food. Yesterday when I went in they threw in a FREE DESSERT! How cool is that. I feel like such a part of the neighborhood now. It was a cool adventure and a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

And speaking of the people in my neighborhood, I have become hooked on a Broadway musical that I have never seen. Those of you who know me know that I am into acting, but most of my knowledge is in movies. I haven't seen many musicals and even fewer plays. There is a new musical, though, that is at the same time a biting satire on "Sesame Street" and current events. I'm a huge fan of parody (but only when it's done right...lame parody is just...well, lame (are you listening, Apologetix??)) but the fine folks who put together "Avenue Q" are geniuses. I saw a small bit of their performance during the Tony awards and I was like "Hm." I did a search online and downloaded a couple of songs to test it out and was hooked. The next day I went out and bought the CD (not all people who download songs are evil, eh?) and I can't stop listening to it.

If you're able to get up to NYC, check this show out. "The Lion King" used to be the Broadway show that I "had to see" but I believe the animals of Africa have been bumped by some foul-mouthed puppets from New York.

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Terminal

The weekend is over and the results are in. "Dodgeball" was the highest grossing movie of the week, smashing it's opening-weekend competition, "The Terminal" starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg.

I didn't get to go see "Dodgeball" (but believe me, I want to) but I did catch "The Terminal." I've read some reviews and seen some reviews on TV and some of them have been less-than-flattering. Please let me take this time out to encourage you to ignore those reviews and check it out for yourself.

I hate to tell people to go see movies because when people tell ME that a movie is amazing and what have you, my expectations are always really high and inevitably I am disappointed. I don't want to do that to you. But I do want to encourage you to check it out. Tom Hanks does an amazing job and by the first 5 minutes, I forgot that I was watching "Tom Hanks."

Two fun things to talk about after the film is over:

1. It was inspired by actual events. If you pass it off as "oh that could never happen," then know this. There is a guy (I believe from a middle Eastern country) who has been living in a French airport for the last fifteen years.

2. You'd think they had to shut down parts of an airport in order to film everything, but they actually REBUILT AN AIRPORT TERMINAL inside of two huge airplane hangars, and you'd never know. Amazing.

But now I'm ready to grab life by the ball....

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Office Depot: Smarter Than Me

A couple of days ago I went to Office Depot to buy some mailing envelopes. Upon checking out, the cashier told me that if I called the number on my receipt and took part in their customer service survey, at the end of the phone call I would be given a secret code that would give me $5 off my next purchase at their fine establishment.

I thought that was awesome. Each pack of envelopes that I got was about five bucks, and since I knew that I would probably be going back soon for more, that meant that one of the packs would be free. FREE I SAY!!

The time had come to purchase more and I went back today. On the way there I had it all figured out. I'll buy two more packs, one of them will be free, and then I'll take THAT receipt, do the survey thing again, and get another $5 off and go back for two more in a few days where one of them would be free and so on down the line. I had found a loophole (kind of like the pudding tops and free air miles in "Punch Drunk Love") and I would soon be swimming in free mailing envelopes! The genius of my plan!!!!!

But this time when I checked out I just got a regular dumb old receipt with no option of a survey. Just an itemized list of my two packs of envelopes.

It seems the marketing geniuses at Office Depot are one step ahead of me. Well played, Office Depot. Well played.