Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Restaurant: Switch Restaurant and Bar

So the other night I was able to check out a new place downtown called Switch Restaurant and Bar and though the place was pretty empty that night, it was pretty darn good. I had the prosciutto and mozzarella gallette as well as baked lobster and crab puff appetizer and they were both terrific. Evidently they also do breakfast on the weekends so I am sure I will get back there soon.

Plus it is way cool on the inside and has patio seating in the back alley…

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Review: Movie: Vantage Point

So I went and saw the movie “Vantage Point” last night; I had mediocre expectations and it actually turned out to be fairly decent. It has non-stop action, but the cooler thing was that it keeps showing the same event from the perspective of different people who were involved. I guess I like movies that take an interesting method to delivering the story; another example is a movie from ten years ago with Gwyneth Paltrow called “Sliding Doors”, where the story splits into two possible story lines near the beginning and switches between the two stories throughout the movie, obviously reconciling at the end. Or “Memento”, which was shown out of sequence.

I know it is weird for some people to have to THINK while at a movie, but give it a shot sometime; you might like it.

Review: Play: “Almost, Maine”

So I went and saw the play “Almost, Maine” yesterday with my friend Darcy; it is a series of sketches in a small town in Maine in the middle of winter, all of which deal with relationships of one type or another. It started a little slow but was pretty good the rest of the way through; I’d suggest you go see it, but yesterday was the last show!

One great sketch was a girl who shows up at her long time (eleven year) boyfriend’s house in the middle of the night needing to end the relationship because it is not going anywhere. She wanted back “all the love she had given him”, and she had “all the love he had given her” out in the car to return to him. She went and got it from the car, which consisted of a HUGE pile of huge brightly colored bags that looked like laundry bags. When she asked for “her love” back from him, it was a tiny little pouch the size of an apple. She was surprised it was so small, and then after a lot of interesting discussion about love and relationships, he explained that he had taken all the love she had given him (which actually a lot) and put it into this very tiny package.

Which turned out to be a ring.

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Review: Book: Give It Up!

As many of my friends know, I am somewhat minimalist when it comes to “stuff”. I like some toys and gadgets (TiVo, iPod, cool phone, etc) but I don’t want anything that I have to fix, dust, or store in boxes. To that end, I found a book at the library called “Give It Up!” about a woman in New York who decided to spend a year giving up different things for a month each to see what impact it had on her life.

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I have listed the categories and how I feel about each:

January, Alcohol: Would not be a big deal (but the author was a bit of a drinker, if you catch my drift); I only drink maybe once every week and a half anyway and then only have a few.

February, Shopping: Again, not a huge deal for me because my desire to not have “stuff” causes me to not buy “stuff” much unless it is needed or consumable.

March, Elevators: I live in Phoenix.

April, Newspapers: I don’t read them and I don’t watch the news. If something BIG happens, I’m sure a friend will let me know as they are heading east in their SUV to escape the explosion at the west side Palo Verde nuclear power plant.

May, Cell phones: WHY should I give this up again?

June, Dining out: Okay, now I am screwed. I eat out ALL OF THE TIME. I used to cook a lot when I lived in Moon Valley, but there are so many cool little food places downtown right by my house that I have admittedly gotten lazy about cooking. Let’s just move on to July…

July, Television: RATS! Foiled again. I certainly could watch less television (I have a TiVo Series 3 with TWO tuners so I can watch a recorded show and record two others at the same time!), and last week I actually did so. I turned off the TV Sunday night, put the remotes in a drawer where I had to make a POINT to go get them and did not turn on the TV until late Thursday night. And it seems as though I missed almost NOTHING, so I am going to try this again this week and see how that goes. I am so impressed with friends who don’t have cable SL, JB, EL, ML, you know who you are!), but I am not ready to do that yet!

August, Taxis: See entry “March, Elevators”.

September, Coffee: I only drink a cup a day in the morning and that one is decaf. The creamer I put in (aka liquid sugar) probably doesn’t help though.

October, Cursing: Fuck that shit. Actually, I do try not to curse, especially around people who I feel may be uncomfortable with it. Get off my ass! I’m fucking working on it!

November, Chocolate: Not a big chocolate eater anyway. Especially after grabbing a square of Ghiradelli BAKING chocolate from my friend Mary’s pantry and popping in my mouth. It actually takes a good ten seconds of chewing to realize that a mistake has been made.

December, Multitasking: Hard to imagine stopping that as I am listening to NPR, writing this and running some stuff for work. Tell you what, I’ll stop texting while driving, since that is illegal now anyway…

Review: Restaurant: Stax

So I went and caught “The Savages” at Camelview this weekend and afterward ended up at a (relatively) new eatery on Scottsdale Road just south of Camelback. It is called Stax, and seems to be known for appetizer-sized burgers (including beef, ostrich, buffalo, duck, etc) as well as some cool sides like tater tots (go tots!), mac and cheese and sweet potato fries. It was filled with Scottsdale trend-igentsia but other than that it was pretty good.

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