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30 January, 2008

Actors I never know the name of: (1) Steve Zahn

My memory sucks. I watch a lot of movies and get to see many actors. Many of them I forget consistently. Steve Zahn is one of those. So, having watched Daddy Day Care at the weekend and mastered his name and face I present a salute to the man. Here are some interesting facts:

Mother's name is Zelda Zahn.

Lost 40 pounds for his role in "Rescue Dawn".

Has two children, Henry and Audrey, with wife Robyn Peterson.

Is an avid fly fisherman. Owns a farm in Western New Jersey.

Is an accomplished singer/guitarist. He played lead guitar and sang in "That Thing You Do! and played guitar and sang in Saving Silverman.

Weekend Conundrum

It's mid week but I'm already thinking about the weekend. One has to plan ahead! This time of year always seems to be a lull at the movies and this week is no different. I plan on seeing a matinee but I'm left with few options. I have narrowed it down to four:

1. Juno - Comedy/Drama - Tipped for a few Oscars and gets a great rating on imdb. Plus: It's a comedy. Minus: It's a drama.
2. Untraceable - Crime/Thriller - Looks like an average thriller. Should be a good pace but has had questionnable reviews.
3. Strange Wilderness - Comedy - Saw the online trailer for this movie with Steve Zahn and laughed hard. The TV advert isn't so hot. It has Steve Zahn in though. Probably going to be incredibly silly. Steve Zahn features.
4. The Eye - Horror/Thriller - A remake of a Chinese film should spell success. I'm not so sure Alba can pull this one off though. Has a great premise but I really doubt this will deliver.

So, please, I'd like to hear suggestions. I'm leaning towards Juno (so I can be more prepared to shout at my TV during the Oscars) or Strange Wilderness so I can laugh a lot.

26 January, 2008

Thai House - Dunbar, WV

I had heard of the Thai restaurant in Dunbar a while back. I think it was probably through the old West Virginia Bloggers board. As far as I can remember it had some pretty good reviews, so on a trip back from Charleston a little while ago Ms Allclick and I decided to give it a try. A spur of the moment kind of thing. Our only problem was that we didn't know where the heck it was. Just that it was in Dunbar.

"Well Dunbar isn't that big" I said with a smile "Will we find it easily."
So, we drove through what I presume is the downtown area looking for it. On our first and second pass we found nothing so we pulled over at a hotel. One of those big chain things. I ran in and spoke to the *ahem* charming, older lady at the front desk. She looked like she may have never left the hotel in at least 40 years and had spent most of that time frowning.

"Hi, I'm looking for the Thai restaurant in Dunbar, do you know where it is?" (they surely isn't more than one Thai place in Dunbar so I thought she would know immediately.
"Let me get the phone book out, son" she wheezed in between cigarette pulls.
"Well I"m not sure of the name of it so I don't think the phone book will help." I said.
"You sure you are looking for a Thai place? We have a Chinese buffet just over there. That's it for Asian food."
"I'm certain it's a Thai restaurant."
"Son, there are NO THAI RESTAURANTS IN DUNBAR. We got a Subway, Mcdonalds, Captain D's and that Chinese but there are NO THAI RESTAURANTS IN DUNBAR."
I thanked her for her time and left.

So we ventured out again, driving away from the center of Dunbar. Ms Allclick spotted a gas station and suggested as a last long shot we asked for directions. I hopped out again (a little more slowly this time) and enquired about the elusive Thai restaurant.
"Ohh, sure honey. It's just up the road. Take a right just there" She pointed to a road I could see out of the window. "It's 'bout a mile down there and over the ridge".
Sure enough, there is was. A Thai restaurant in Dunbar.

It looked like a cozy joint from the outside and the inside. We soon discovered two problems. One you really should have a reservation for the place and two you really should have cash to pay for your meal. We waited nearly an hour for the table but it did give me a chance to learn some interesting new songs playing on the TV in there. The food was fantastic. Authentic, tasty and a good portion and price. The service was a little slow as they only have two front staff and one staff in the kitchen. I believe it's a Husband and Wife who own and operate the restaurant. The wife is the chef and the husband handles the phone, seats people, serves food, drinks, takes orders and everything in between. They had some help from a younger kid and I believe they were missing one member of staff that night. But the service wasn't bad enough to deter us going back. With a reservation.

On the way home I considered dropping off a take-away menu at the hotel but I doubt even that would have convinced her.

24 January, 2008

Who needs sleeping pills?

I seem to struggle for good, witty, clever titles with my blogposts of late, but despite that i'd like to talk about sleeping pills today so it's fairly apt. It was a pretty surprising thing to me, turning on the TV here and finding adverts for prescription drugs. It's probably one of the few things that is advertised on television that you can't actually just go out and buy on your own. It's banned in the UK but I don't really think it would take off much anyway as doctors aren't bothered by pharamacutical drug reps. they just use what the literature says. I suppose. I'll have to ask one. Anyway, I have seen a whole host of these adverts now. Viva Viagra always makes me smile. One I saw recently for sleeping medication kinda bothered me though. Especially as someone interested in the mental health care profession. I wish I could remember the name. It wasn't Advil or Tylenol PM. Something stronger I'm guessing. The advert shows that it doesn't matter what is keeping you up late or causing you problems sleeping, just take this pill and you'll go right to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Now I'm sure that some people really do just have trouble relaxing and getting to sleep without any environmental factors. But I believe that a large majority of people are probably up because they have problems to worry about, concerns, or issues. Simply taking a pill to help you sleep won't make these problems disappear overnight and I think that is what the drug company is praying on. The quick fix. My suggestion would be to try some relaxation techniques, stop putting pressure on yourself to get to sleep then own up to and accept your issues before you try and deal with them. Happy sleeping!

19 January, 2008


It's been a fairly long time since I went to see a big movie on it's opening night. There tends to be more of an atmosphere when you are in a crowded cinema. Every funny moment has a louder laugh, every scare has a louder jump. Cloverfield had a surprising amount of the former and less of the latter. The plot is basically that a monster has appeared in New York trashing buildings and attacking people. For all you monster movie fans out there you won't be disappointed. The monster aspect of the movie was terrific. The human storyline to the film is not as good. But in this type of movie it's not supposed to be. The camera work does make you a little dizzy by the end as your eyes struggle to focus constantly but it adds to the "realness" of the movie and is a great way to tell the story. Ignore the plot holes, the name of the film and the lengthy intro and go see a great modern monster movie.
On another note. Arthur's in Downtown Huntington is terrific. Put some nice clothes on, make a reservation and head down there. Especially if you like fresh seafood.

18 January, 2008

8 days

Wow, 8 days since I made a blog post! My apologies! It's been a hectic week so please forgive me. I'm sure next week will be busy too but I aim to get a few more posts completed before at least the end of January. Perhaps I should have added "more blogging" to my list of new year resolutions. That would also have to include reading blogs as I have also neglected this over the last 8 days. I hope I didn't miss anything too important.

You will be pleased to know that my resolutions are still going strong. Well at least some of them are. I'm 90% through my first short story and am taking part in more exercise that I did 19 days ago. I hear it takes about 4 weeks for a routine to stick so I better keep at it.

Till next time.

10 January, 2008

A Blogging New Year

Thanks to all my readers. Both all of you are much appreciated! I like to take time out now and again to promote my fellow bloggers. So everyone who commented on my first post of the year now gets a sales pitch from me. I don't know if that is a dream come true for you or your worst nightmare. I know that I rarely click on others list of blogs on their sites so here are some i'd like to highlight:

Destination Unknown - Yes, I have mentioned this blog a few times but it's still a staple in my early morning routine, almost as important as brushing my teeth and eating cereal. Red Zeppelin says all the things I want to say but in a much more interesting and articulate way.

The Film Geek - If you live in West Virginia and you haven't heard of this blog then you should be deeply ashamed of yourself. He sometimes talks about movies, but usually reveals great stories about himself and his experiences and then ties it all into a meaning...of some sort. I'm almost certain it was mentioned in the State of the State.

Jennyville - For some reason I haven't add this delicious blog to my blog list! It's a great blog to read. Candid, honest, and downright funny. She usually has some awesome pictures of animals as'll see what I mean. Check it out....wait, i'm not on her blog list either!

The Glamorous Life of a Hausfrau - I normally wouldn't read a blog that is so descriptive but this has so much charm and personality to it I just can't help myself! It's not too wordy and each post is well thought out and considered, with plenty of humor and great observations.

A Sour Apple Tree - Chris James writes this tremendously funny blog. Sometimes he talks about food, other times it TV. Football is mentioned a lot... and politics. End result? A great mix of topics and opinions but in a very witty way. He puts effort into his posts that is rarely seen including his cooking experiences, awards, and state slogans. If your stopping by his blog, ask for the small towel...

It's difficult to sum up an entire blog and by extension a bloggers "personality" but I hope I did y'all justice (well at least to some extent). Happy New Year!

08 January, 2008

New Year - New Me

Well it's 2008. A year that seemed somewhat futuristic to me not long ago. Yet still no flying cars. What's the deal with that? I hope someone is working on it. My title says New Year - New Me. I guess it really should say "New Year - Same Me saying new things". I've got a few plans on how to change this year. I'd like to be fitter, richer, smarter, better read, and more organized, motivated, and challenged. I feel optimistic at the moment despite my almost complete lack of action thus far. Being back to work will help I'm sure.

I think one of the hardest things is that making New Year resolutions are easy. The making part that is. All of us know ourselves the best and can think of at least one thing they would like to change. So that part is healthy and helpful. Sticking to the resolutions is the tricky part and it's the issue of accountability that makes it so. As I'm the one making the changes I only have myself to answer to. And sometimes I can bargain with myself and get out of exercising or saving money. So, maybe this year I'll try and get someone else to report to. Like a personal trainer for the soul. I'll add it to my growing to do list...

Plans for this year:

Write a short story

Exercise regularly

Find an internship

Read more non-fiction.

That should do it for now.