Brewster\’s Millions

Reviews of Music, Movies, Books and Culture

The Midnight Cafe (For Real)

Posted by midnightcafe on September 25, 2007

I am proud to announce that after many months of talking about getting some real webspace, I have actually got some real webspace.

It took a long time, a bit of sweat and luck, but I have no (hopefully permanently) moved to

themidnightcafe.org

Yes, I know, the “the” is kind of annoying.  I wanted “midnightcafe.org, or .com or .whatever” but all of those were taken.  So I had to add in “the.”

Mark you calendars, add in your book marks, commit it to memory.

I’m in.

PS  I know it is incredibly bare right now.  I just got it and am excited.  I suppose I should have waited until I had actually done something to it to impress you lot.  But I couldn’t wait.  Keep your eye on it though, for it shall be spit shined soon.

Posted in Blog | Leave a Comment »

Sorry For The Delay, But…

Posted by midnightcafe on August 30, 2007

I know everyone expected lots of updates about my adventures in China by now.  The thing is Chinas firewall has kept me from logging into WordPress until just now.  Temporarily I have moved the blog back to the blogger blog at the midnitcafe.

I really do plan to get my own webspace soon and that should get rid of all this nonsense.  I know I’ve been saying that for ages now, but I would say within 6 weeks it will be a reality.  Our first pay check comes tomorrow but it will be very small.  The next pay check will be at the end of September and hopefully by then we will have all our reimbursements too which means mad cash.  I swear I’ll invest in real space then, OK?

Until then check out the blogger blog.  Or maybe if this sucker keeps letting me in I may go back here.

Posted in Blog, China | Leave a Comment »

The Shanghai Cafe

Posted by midnightcafe on August 10, 2007

I have created the new China blog, The Shanghai Cafe. (Yes I know that’s a dumb name, but it declares where I am, and ties it to the Midnight Cafe.)  This blog will be for daily posting of my everyday life.  From time to time I will post longer, more interesting pieces and for those I will co post them here, as well as Blogcritics.  Actually I’m hoping to do a weekly post for them.

At the moment I do not have an internet connection (I’m using my sisters right now) so posts are very sporadic.  But by the end of next week we should be in our apartment and have internet so things should jump up then.

Also, China randomly blocks a lot of websites and for now both blogger and wordpress are two of them.  I can still post, but I cannot actually see the page nor can I make comments.  I have found a way to anonymously view the pages, but still cannot figure out the commenting.  So, if you talk to me and I do not respond just blame China and not me.

Obviously, it will still be a bit before Brewster’s Millions is really gaining new posts too.

Posted in Blog, China, Life | 2 Comments »

All My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready To Go

Posted by midnightcafe on August 5, 2007

We leave Monday. As in a little more than a day from right now. As in really, really soon.

We’ve packed, unpacked, and packed our bags again and again. They are weighed and measured and we think everything is exactly right. Yet we are still taking some back up bags in case our carry-ons are too big, or we need to drop some stuff onto our parents.

Though I’ve been really nervous all week, I’ve been very calm today. I think I’m just ready to get it all over with. I’m sure butterflies will come tomorrow, but for now I’m good.

We will have internet access in China, but it will be spotty for a little while. We’ll be in a motel for a few days when we arrive, and my sister is connnected, so I know I’ll be e-mailing, and I’ll probably slip in a blog somewhere, but it may take a couple of weeks to get settled and have internet in our apartment. Thus Brewster’s Millions will not be updated a lot.

I still don’t have a name for my China blog, so suggestions are still welcome. My wife suggested taking the name from those crazy signs they have in China where they have completely butchered the English language translation. I like the idea, but have yet to see one that was short enough for a URL, funny after a couple of listens, and made some sense as an ex-pat in China blog.

See you in a few days.

Posted in Blog, China | 2 Comments »

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows And Me

Posted by midnightcafe on August 2, 2007

Yar! There be spoilers ahead.

My first memory of anything Harry Potter was during my first few days at the credit card company I used to work for – or rather the first couple of weeks as I know my training period was over. I walked into cube-land and my trainer was propped up in his little space reading one of the Potter books. He sort of sheepishly smiled at me, admitted he was reading a “kids” book, but added that it was really easy to read, and he needed something breezy to fill his time at work.

This was a call center, you understand, and there was always some dead time while the dialer dialed looking for a real, live person to talk to.

I obviously knew about Harry Potter then because I understood what book he was reading, and the reasons he was a little sheepish about it. It is funny now to think any adult might be embarrassed about reading a Potter book, as it seems all of us have now read most of the series.

A year or two or three later I went to a midnight release party at Borders for one of the books. I’m guessing it was Prisoner of Azkaban, but it might have been the fourth one as my memory and knowledge of release dates is fuzzy. I still had not read any of the books, and only went because some friends had invited me, and it seemed like it might be fun.

It was. It was hugely crowded in the middle of the night and everyone sort of lingered around feeling the great amount of buzz in the room. There were kids dressed up as Harry and adults dressed up as Dumbledore. It all seemed strange and weird and fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Books | 5 Comments »

CNN Has Security Video Footage Of I-35 Bridge Collapse

Posted by midnightcafe on August 2, 2007

I know I’ve been absent a lot this week. Turns out preparing for a year in China takes a lot of work and stress and inability to write coherently. Actually I have a bit on the last Harry Potter book, but it continues to grow in length and needs a good deal of editing (kind of like the book, actually.) I finished the bit on HP as one can see, though it is too long and could still use some editing, I decided to let it fly anyway.

Meanwhile here is some interesting footage of that collapse.

Posted in News, You Tube | Leave a Comment »

RIP: Ingmar Bergman

Posted by midnightcafe on July 31, 2007

the_seventh_seal.jpg

I’ve only seen a few of Bergman’s films, but everyone has left a lasting impression. Wild Strawberries is up there in my list of greatest films ever made, but the Seventh Seal and its chess game with death contains so much imagery that it is what I always think of when I think of Bergman.

To tell the truth I didn’t realize the old man was still alive, but finding out about his death now, brings a pain to my heart. The ever lovely Lisa McKay has a nice write up over at Blogcritcs.

Posted in Movies, News | 2 Comments »

Movie Review: The Simpsons Movie

Posted by midnightcafe on July 30, 2007

In the local paper’s review of the Simpsons Movie it stated it was just like the show, only longer. After reading it I said to my wife, “I hope it is like the show during the early seasons, and not so much like the last few years.”

It is pretty obvious I am a fan of the show. I talk about it all the time, I quote it regularly, I’ve pretty much based my life philosophy around Homer Simpson, and I practically reviewed the entire 18th season right here.

When the Simpsons are good, there is nothing better on television, and even when they are bad they are good for a few laughs. Unfortunately, since about season 8 they have been steadily moving towards the latter end of that statement. The show has moved from a cutting edge satire with an underlying heart that made it not only incredibly hilarious, but a rock solid piece of story telling. These days it hangs on by throwing a million gags out at once.

Sometimes those gags are brilliant, but all too often they make me laugh and then immediately forget them. And the show really lacks the heart it used to have. There is still a lot of cheap sentiment thrown in, but the storylines are so off the wall and jagged, that the sentiment falls flat.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Movies, The Simpsons | Leave a Comment »

Dreamin’ Songs – “Cherish” By Madonna

Posted by midnightcafe on July 30, 2007

200px-madonna-cherish-5328.jpgI admit it. I liked Madonna when I was a boy. I’ll even admit I had something of a boyhood crush on her. Or maybe it was boyhood lust, I don’t know.

This was pre-married to that Brit who used to make interesting, funny, violent films until he got married to an aging pop star and dropped completely off the map. This was pre- way over the top kinky sex and bad teeth Madonna. This was even mostly pre- pushed the envelope way too far with a big, expensive photo book that everyone talked about but no one bought Madonna.

No this was when Madonna was mostly known for her excellent pop music and her pushing the envelope (but not too far) videos. As a kid I dug her catchy singles, and her risqué (but not too risqué) profile.

“Cherish” came in the latter part of my favorite period Madonna (her next album would be the too kinky, too weird, not very interesting Erotica where I lost all interest.) It is a decent, if not all that memorable little tune, but one I still keep on the dial when I find it on the radio.

It is the video, however, that I remember most. It was shot in beautiful black and white by glamor photographer Herb Ritz. It is essentially Madonna dressed in a low cut, short black dress cavorting in the ocean with a little mer-kid. She looks stunningly gorgeous and appears to be having a great deal of fun. Mainly though I liked the low cut, short dress in the ocean part. Madonna was always good at showing some skin in those days, and as a pubescent boy I was always willing to watch.

I don’t have the slightest idea why this song popped into my head this morning. I don’t believe I have heard it recently and lawd knows I don’t really listen to Madonna anymore, but there it was, and here it is.

Posted in Dreamin' Songs, Music, You Tube | 1 Comment »

The Top Five: John Cusack Movies

Posted by midnightcafe on July 30, 2007

n2256225079_32323.jpgRandomly, and not very often I have posted lists on this blog. I love lists, to tell the truth of it. I know they are kind of pointless, and they don’t shed any light on anything, and they generally have no meaning outside of those who are posting the lists.

But I love them still.

I love trying to decide what my favorite anythings are (and this is really hard as I don’t really believe in favorites – I mean how does one choose between vanilla and chocolate, caramel and fudge, Ichi the Killer and Kill Bill, Wilco and Ryan Adams, Kurosawa and Scorsese?) But maybe that is why I love lists, they let me choose lots of cool stuff without necessarily choosing a favorite.

Anyways, several months ago I created a Top Five group for Facebook. Have I mentioned I am on Facebook? Have I mentioned how much better it is than myspace? No? Well then you are cordially invited to be my Facebook friend and to join the Top Five.

What is the Top Five you ask? Basically it is me asking for your top five…whatevers and then you providing a response. Discussion ensues. I ask a new question every Sunday and participants answer whenever they want. The Facebook group thing updates the group page whenever someone answers a questions, so even if you answer a question that is months old, it comes right to the top giving everyone an opportunity to read and respond.

We’re pretty small right now in terms of numbers, and even more so in terms of response. But I thought it would be kind of cool to start posting them here. Feel free to join the group and respond on Facebook, or to simply add your own answers in the comments.

I’m starting with the first one, which was posted way back in March, and I hope to update the blog regularly with the old ones, and then every week with the new ones. That’s where it gets tricky as people do answer very randomly. I may have to keep myself a few weeks behind so that everyone has a chance to answer.

Without further ado, here is the question of the week.

What are your favorite John Cusack Movies?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Movies, Top Five | 5 Comments »

 
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