Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let the Statue Parade Hi-Jinx Begin!

I was downtown today for the first time since the human statues went up, and I was not disappointed. Driving up Atlantic, I was thrilled to see a statue of a little girl swinging on a stop sign who looks like she might fall into the road. That's gonna fool some people and give them a scare, and that's my favorite part of the human statue parade. I love having my mind messed with; I love a shot of drama on a hum-drum drive around town. (No, Trump Crane, that's not a hint for you to mess with me by tossing chunks of metal down at me. Stay the F away from me.)

Outside the Ferg, I saw my first instance of people playing jokes with statues. A man crouched behind the statue of the guy with the camera, made bunny ears, then sprinted back across the busy intersection to a large crowd of his laughing friends! Yes! Mayhem! Danger! Statue Parade, you rock!

Downtown again later today, at the same Ferguson intersection, I saw a person sitting on a bench who I was sure was fake. Nope, he was real. A moment later, on my green light, five people jaywalked right in front of me by the camera guy. I actually honked at them because they were ambling and sipping sodas as if they were at a carnival, rather than jaywalking in one of the busiest intersections in the city. I swear, with the line between fake and real being so blurred, pedestrians feel they can do whatever they want. I like this element of chaos even though it's annoying.

I passed the Marilyn Monroe statue outside the Avon Theatre. Don't forget the Marilyn Monroe Look-Alike Contest Tuesday, June 10. Round up your friends, talk a few of them into wearing a halter dress and a blond wig, and meet at Capriccio at 530 for dinner and drinks. Pre-contest party at the Avon at 615, contest at 7, then a showing of the movie Some Like It Hot. Only complicated thing: you have to submit a contest application by June 4, but you can do it online. Go to the Stamford Downtown website, click "Event Calendar", and scroll down. I think there is a singing portion of the competition, so it's pretty involved, but t
here are cash prizes! I'm going to try to get some friends to do it. I have one friend who I think might do well.

As I left the downtown area, a banner announced the Live at Five Thursday concerts coming up. Stamford, I feel you gearing up! I'm hearing non-residents talk about the concerts, and Stamford, we are getting so famous!

Related Stamford Talk Posts:

--March 27, 2008- "Human Life-Sized Art Downtown," in which I tell you why the human statues are too much for me to handle.

--May 26, 2008- "Stamford, NYC, Trump's Looming Cranes," in which Stamford residents weigh in on our very own Crane of Danger.

--May 23, 2008- "Falling Metal at the Trump Parc Site: I'm Angry," in which our very own crane finally attacks

--April 5, 2008- Sat AM: "Looming Crane and Road Closings," in which I take another swipe at the crane

--December 6, 2007- "Target Under Attack by Trump Parc?" in which I first bring up the possible danger of the Stamford crane

This guy on the bench is the one I thought was a statue, because he was sitting very still, and his skin tone looked a little odd, just like the statues.
Click here to read more.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Everybody's Fine Filming at Stamford Hospital

I probably won't go check this out, but if anyone sees anything interesting, please email or post a comment! I imagine the set would be pretty closed, but...

This is the movie with DeNiro and Barrymore, but I don't know who is on set today.
Click here to read more.

News of the Weird in Greenwich: Principal Suspended Over Minor Cupcake Dispute

Cupcakes are always a hot topic for adults. I, for one, go crazy for cupcakes because I have them so rarely. I can't help but think the parent who set in motion a Greenwich principal's suspension was similarly crazed by the cupcakes that he insisted on delivering directly to his daughter's classroom.

Evidently, school rules say parents should not deliver things directly to a kid's classroom in the middle of the day. The parent leaves the item and the kid comes to pick it up. That's what the principal told the Dad who was bringing the treats for his daughter's 9th birthday.

I really can't tell from the article, but it looks like the problems arose when the dad left the school and then, later in the day, saw a new document on the school website titled "Birthday Celebrations" that was added right after he left the school. I guess the dad feels singled out now, but can I just say...

This is so going to be a case of one person ruining the cupcake fun for everyone!
You know that from now on, birthday goodies will be banned from schools.

OK, but back to the subject of the principal. Why is he being suspended? I have no clue. I just posted under the Advocate's useless comments system: "There MUST be more to the story than adding a cupcake rule to a website... or else why would the principal be suspended?" (It's useless because I can't follow the discussion via comments to my email- I have to go BACK to the webpage. Fine for one article, but what if I'm trying to follow comments on several stories from the week? Do I have to keep the pages open in my browser? Clutter! Advocate, you are making me work too hard, and no real discussions get going on your site.)

There must be some gossip here... were heated comments exchanged? To me, this looks like a weaselly way to get rid of a principal, because what district/school suspends a person for something so minor? They must have already had it in for this person, because this situation is ridiculous.

The cupcake drama is so much more interesting than the latest Stamford Public Schools drama, which involves coming up with a brand new redistricting plan. I think there might be some more drama there- the Stamford Times seems to imply that the board basically gave up and handed it over to the superintendent to think of a plan. Whatever. I cannot spend any more brain cells on that topic. Maybe I'll wait until a follow up article comes out and then write about the fact that after almost a year, the Stamford School Board has alienated 1/4 of the district's elementary school parents by threatening to close their kids' schools.

Admit it Stamford... are we a little jealous that the biggest thing Greenwich Schools have to worry about is cupcakes?

Related Advocate Article: "Principal's Suspension Puzzles Parents." This is the initial article about cupcakes in which, oddly, a school official is quoted as saying the principal was suspended because of "serious allegations." Everyone I spoke to about that yesterday assumed it was something horrible like stealing, using the school property for personal purposes, or an affair with a teacher! But no... it was... cupcakes?
Click here to read more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Best Caipirinhas of Mi Vida at Avenida in Greenwich

Stamford, I cheated on you with Greenwich Avenue tonight, and it was fantastic!

I’ve been craving a good margarita, and gosh knows there’s no place for that in Stamford. The husband rejected my Boxcar Cantina suggestion but agreed to go to Avenida, a place on the Avenue I've not yet been to. Not only were the margararitas good,-- “No flavors,” they informed me-- we ran into old, fabulous, riotous friends, who, turns out, were ordering caipirinhas even better than the ones I had in Brazil. Oh- and there was insanely good live music starting at 930.

Yeah. Stamford, I adore you, but where are your Latin restos? Oh? They’re in Port Chester? Well, can you bring them to Stamford?

OK I am seriously off to bed because I have again been told I’m very unpleasant when I don’t get enough sleep.

Oh. BTW. Avenida is where trendy Bleu (that's "Bluh" to you non-French speakers) used to be, and they still have those freaky see-through bathrooms that go opaque when you close the door. Live on the edge! I did, and no one appeared to have seen me doing my business.

Now, Greenwich, I love you, but I have to say, sometimes you are so Greenwich! For God's sake. Tonight I was sitting near a woman in white jeans, a royal blue tie-around tank, patent leather royal blue stilettos, and a matching royal blue patent leather purse! And huge Chanel sunglasses! There were so many blonds with blue eyes in Tori Burch flats and tunics with brown roots showing... more than usual. More than usual, Avenida. I've worked in Greenwich for ten years, and even this was overwhelming to me. And the men. Y'all are just gorgeous, but you're so Greenwich. It's stunning. It's astonishing. It's out of this world.

Sometimes you're too much, Greenwich, but you've got good margaritas.

Good night. Buenas noches. Buena sera. A domani. Hasta manana.

Here's the NYTimes review of Avenida.
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Music at Monster B's Tonight! UPDATE: I Went and It Was Good, But Now the Durkins' Gig is Over

Original Post, 6:30 pm: And I know for a fact that Stamford Talk will be there 915-1015. She has a 10:30 curfew, but has been inspired by Blog Stamford's vow to visit all of Stamford's bars by Labor Day... Jen Durkin is playing and I hear her band is very good!

Update, 10:57 pm. Ha ha! That was me laughing at the fact that I sat alone for an hour at the bar. If you were one of the people who rejected me, no worries. I got to talk to the band, plus I like to test myself occasionally to see how I do alone in public places. No, seriously, I do! I did OK this time. Not the best, because I didn't work my magic and make new best friends, but I did get some good face time with some (husband, earmuffs!) cute musicians.

Unfortunately, this was the Durkins (Jen is the lead singer, John the drummer, they're siblings) and Friends last night gigging at Monster B's. However, Johnny's band the Cosmic Jibaros (that's them on the right) are at Two Boots in Bridgeport this Sat, May 21. From the Fairfield Weekly site: "Local cross-cultural legends the Cosmic Jibaros combine the intensity of rock and roll with an infectious Latin beat. This nine-piece Bridgeport band prides itself on the groove, and almost half the group plays some sort of percussion instrument including Deep Banana Blackout drummer Johnny Durkin. Lead guitarist Darien Cunning adds jazz and soul to the mix without overpowering the vocals of frontman Ricardo Reyes. He sings his politically charged lyrics, primarily in Spanish, to an audience that's usually nothing if not entranced. Two Boots, 277 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport. 9 p.m. $5. (203) 331-1377."

So, we're back on the hunt for good live music in Stamford, and I don't mean cover bands. I don't want to hear songs I can sing along with. I just want to listen and appreciate. Tonight at Monster B's, Jen and Johnny had 5 others playing with them, including Rich Zirkowksi, bassist, and Darien Cunning, guitar. The music was really good and I hated to leave. The band started a little late, maybe 10:15, so I did not get to hear much before I left at 10:34. Not a bad night overall! The Blueberry Blue Point beer was tasty.
Click here to read more.

Stamford Restaurant Review: Twenty

I finally went to Twenty, the new resto/bar/lounge on the corner across the street from Black Bear. It's where the old Park Place Diner used to be. I was dubious; I don’t know many people who have been, and I had heard only vague and confusing things on Chowhound. The one short discussion thread about Twenty contained a mixed brunch review and an exchange about whether or not Elvis pancakes were on the menu and if a chef had or had not returned. I went, though, in the name of Stamford Talk research. Happily, the food was pretty good. Even my picky-eater husband said, “I’d go there again.”

When we arrived at 7pm on a Wednesday and the place was totally empty, I felt even more scared about the food, but we sat down. The place is really lounge-y and cool looking. We got two appetizers: the mozzarella in crust was better than the coconut chicken, which was a bit burnt and dry.

The menu is very creative. It’s American food with exotic twists. For example, one entree is pan-roasted Atlantic salmon in an apple cider gastrique over herbed couscous and wilted spinach. Entrees are $19-29, but we only did apps, salads and burgers.

The food was not great, but it was good. I got a delicious latina salad with avocado and a cilantro vinaigrette. My husband’s ho dad burger was on a huge brioche with bacon, and my friend’s bourbon burger was on an English muffin and definitely tasted like bourbon. Each burger came with a choice of parmesan or sweet potato fries. On this first initial visit, I’d rate the food as good. It was tasty and original, American while still being interesting. If you want a burger, it’s certainly worth skipping Black Bear and giving Twenty a try. You can see the menu at Twenty’s incredibly annoying website. Click "music off" to get rid of that awful, awful squeaking sound.

We were the only people in the restaurant for a good 30 minutes before a young couple came in. I’ve heard the place is hopping on the weekends, so I’ll go back on a busier night to check out the crowd and try more food. I feel a little gypped that I only got to see the food and not the crowd. (I just had to spellcheck ‘gipped’ and realized it’s spelled with a y. It must come from the word gypsies, right, because of the stereotype that gypsies steal? Funny how I have used that word and never known where it came from. My Apple dictionary widget says the word is of unknown origin, but tactfully tells me, “[Probably short for Gypsy.]")

I’m happy because I knocked one more place off my “Eat at Every Place in Stamford” list. I still need to try Monster B’s and go back to Bella Luna on Hope St., because I’ve only been there once about 8 years ago. We ate at Market again last weekend. Food was OK but not flawless. We laughed when our ‘fried squash blossoms’ app arrived as one blossom that we had to cut in half! I give that meal at Market a “pretty good,” just like I gave Twenty. I finally ate at Dragonfly with a friend last night, and I'll give that a "very good" so far. Overall, Market gets a "very good," because the other two meals I've had there were great. My "excellent" ratings go to Duo and Napa.
Click here to read more.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Stamford, NYC, Trump's Looming Cranes

Welcome back from what I hope was a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. I spent Saturday shopping at the Stamford Mall; both my sis and I needed more work clothes. We made a rare voyage to Norwalk (husband's idea) to see the new Indiana Jones (horrible) and eat at Kazu (awesome). On Sunday, my sis moved into her NYC apartment and we spent Sunday and Monday walking around the city. It was lovely to be outside and lovely to leave Stamford only because it makes me love it even more when I return.

As I zipped up 95 today on the way home, I caught my first glimpse of Stamford and felt a rush of love- what fun things will I do here this week? Then, I realized I was catching a glimpse of Trump Parc and the teetering crane! You again! I thought. You, hovering over the trees and the roads. You, dropping chunks of metal through car roofs. Anytime I go toward Target or the train station, it's you, totally in my face!

I'm not sure why I have not yet seen angry letters about last week's crane incident in the Advocate. Is the topic just too obvious? Not to freak you out, but click the following link for pics of last winter's crane accident at Trump Soho that killed a worker. Two Trump crane incidents within six months of each other? Not cool!!! I hope Stamford's fearless leaders (who is that? Malloy?) have this under control. Click here to see a pic of the hole the falling metal caused when it crashed through the truck's roof on Broad St. You know, the road where we all drive every single day.

To end on a positive note, I'm going to have a moment of meditation for crane safety: ................ done.
Click here to read more.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Farlanders Filming at Remo's on Bedford St. Today

According to, "Farlanders is filming at Remo’s, 35 Bedford St in Stamford, CT. This may be your one of your last chances to catch Farlanders in CT as the production moves to the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ next month."

Cool! It's a gorgeous day, so I'll swing by to check it out before (finally) getting my butt to the gym.
Click here to read more.

Falling Metal at the Trump Parc Site: I'm Angry

What the heck?!??!? I knew this was going to happen! I'll post more this weekend, but I KNEW something was going to go wrong at Trump Parc. I see that crane teetering every damn day on the way to work. Guys, we are sitting freaking ducks. I am going to avoid Washington Blvd. from now on so I am not killed by falling debris. Any of us could have been hit by that! Screw you, Trump Parc.

Article: Driver injured as metal falls from Trump Parc
By Jeff Morganteen Stamford Advocate 05/23/2008

STAMFORD - A 10-pound piece of metal fell 25 stories from the Trump Parc construction site Wednesday morning, ripping through a truck's cab and striking the driver in the right shoulder, police said.

The piece of construction material left a 6-inch-wide hole of mangled metal and torn insulation in the middle of the Crystal Rock water delivery truck's roof. The driver, a 34-year-old Monroe man, suffered minor injuries. He was waiting at a red light on Broad Street, about to turn left onto Washington Boulevard at about 7:30 a.m., when the metal smashed through the truck, police said.

"A foot more to the left and it would have hit him in the head," said Rick Macari, location manager at the Crystal Rock office on Long Ridge Road. "The important thing is he's OK."

The driver was treated and released from Stamford Hospital three hours later, according to police spokesman Lt. Sean Cooney.

"He's lucky to be alive," Cooney said. Police and Macari would not provide the driver's name.

A compliance officer from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been investigating the accident since shortly after it occurred, said Robert Kowalski, area director of the administration's Bridgeport office. Kowalski said he could not provide details about the accident's cause because it is still under investigation.

Trump Parc, the 34-story glass-and-steel tower at Broad Street and Washington Boulevard, will house 170 luxury condominium units; it has been under construction since last May. F.D. Rich Co., one of the building's owners and developers, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

An official from the tower's builder, George A. Fuller Co., said the company is looking into the incident and still awaiting details from its own investigation, said Chief Operating Officer Paul Slaney.

Mayor Dannel Malloy, who in March called for more construction safety after a crane collapsed in New York City, said the city will aid Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators if needed. "Hopefully, the contractor is sitting down with the supervisor and having some major discussions about this," Malloy said.

The fallen object appeared to be a piece of bracing used when construction crews pour concrete, Cooney said. Similar objects were found caught in the construction site's safety net, Cooney said, but one must have fallen through or missed the net. "It's par for the course for the smaller pieces of debris," Cooney said. "Little pieces come off, but nothing that would cause any damage. This is the first incident of this degree that I'm aware of." After the driver was hit by the object, he approached a police officer directing traffic at the site, who saw the hole in the truck's cab, Cooney said.

Macari said he saw the oblong metal object on the cab's floor when he visited the accident. "Something like this you never expect to happen to you," said Macari, who visited the accident Wednesday morning. "What are the odds?"
Click here to read more.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thanks to Good Friends, I Saw More Stars!

After dinner at Capriccio (I know I sound like a broken record, but there are like 70 healthy and affordable menu items), 2 friends uncomplainingly agreed to walk over to the Farlanders set on Summer with me.
"God, it got cold."
"I am chilled to the bone." But they didn't say, "Can we not go?"

We arrived at the corner right across from Dragonfly Lounge, the gothic-looking bar where they're filming. A stream of people dressed in black were crossing Summer. "OK, lunch! This way, people!" they shouted, distracting me from my friend, who was hissing, "Look left! Look left!"
Me: "Huh?"

I turned toward where she was eye-gesturing, and Maya Rudolph and John Krasinki were strolling toward us. I tried not to stare, but I wanted to get a good look, so I kind of glanced at them, then away, then at my friends, and repeat. Maya, John, and another actress my friend recognized were looking down, as most people would do if they were used to being stared at. They got a fair distance away and I took a picture.
"You should have taken one when they were coming toward us!"
"No way! I only took that one because I have the blog. I'm not gonna take one in their face." We got into a philosophical discussion about that, then we went clothes shopping at Target. Click on the pic to see it bigger.

John K had hideous facial hair. Maya was in a big long coat and Uggs, and John seemed like he was totally into her. Me: "'Cause he did- he was talking her ear off. Did you see that?"
"Mmm hmmm," my friends just said. I just read this rough draft to them, because now we're slumber partying.
Friend 1: "Actually no, because I was afraid to look."
Friend 2: "Yeah, it was a playful 'ha ha ha' kind of conversation."

Maya does not seem to like the elements. When Mommy Kelly saw her on the Vine St. set, someone was holding her umbrella. I feel her pain; I hate being cold. She's a pretty small woman, 5'6", and John K is not over 6 feet. They were both much smaller than expected. I speak to you from a height of 5'8".

My friends and I were so damn psyched because we didn’t have to wait around to see anything good. Walk up, movie stars, all done. We got lucky.

Keep those movie updates coming... let’s see what happens tomorrow!

Here are two pictures of the set on Vine St.
The first is when there was no filming and I took a random picture:

and the next is a blurry one from when there was major set lighting going on:

I feel bad the quality of these photos is so poor, but oh well. There's only so much you can do with a camera while steering.

Click here to read more.

Farlanders Filming at Dragonfly Tonight

From "Farlanders is filming at the Dragonfly Lounge in Stamford, CT. One of our readers, Nick, spoke to one of the workers who said they are filming tonight and that at least John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph will be there. He also said that the movie will take place in Montreal so they are trying to turn the restaurant into a Montreal one." Cool! I have not been in Dragonfly yet; I've been there when it was the Playwright.

I walked by the Vine St. Farlanders set yesterday and 7 men were standing outside the house doing nothing. I stood on the sidewalk for 40 seconds, looked at them, looked away, raised myself up on my tipppie-toes to try to look casual (wearing my movie set outfit of jeans and black shirt), craned my neck to look in the door when it opened (saw bright blue light from all the huge outdoor lights trained on the house), then strolled away. You can't even stand in the street, like I did at the Everybody's Fine Shippan house, so you absolutely cannot look like you are not a stalker at the Vine St. set. I'll put a pic of the Vine St. house up when I get home today.
Click here to read more.

Snap! Stamford DUI Roadblock Criticized

I always wonder why the police warn about roadblocks in advance. The only benefit is to make me excited about the upcoming drama. Yesterday's Advocate announces a roadblock for tonight downtown. In today's Advocate, a letter writer rips the idea to shreds in a succinct four sentences. My summary: roadblocks are highly publicized, so people can avoid them. Enforcement money is better spent on roving patrols; a DOT official states that roving nets ten times more DUIs. Therefore, the roving patrols roadblocks (typo, sorry!) are a waste of tax money. I can't argue with that logic!

Although, is it possible that the roadblock warning causes people to drink and drive less? In any case, if you're out tonight, you'll probably see some roadblocks, so don't be doing weird things in your car.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Filming on Vine St. in Stamford!

Sorry for the delay in posting; it's too rainy anyway to get very good access to the set. If you get a chance this evening, drive by Vine just by the corner of Newfield Ave by the JCC. Farlanders, starring Maggie Gyllenhall, Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski, is filming! Thank you to readers for sending tips via the DeNiro post! I would have otherwise had no clue, so I really appreciate it.

I drove by and didn't really consider stopping; it's rainy, no one else is outside, and I'm assuming all filming is happening indoors. There were huge lights blasting onto both the front and back of the blue two story 70's-era colonial. I actually forgot my camera today, so I couldn't even get a paparazza-like shot even though I drove by four times. For some reason, this week's film sets are not showing up on the website I check for those tips, so if readers could email if you see anything, that would be great, and we will totally, eventually, get ourselves a story.

I will try to get info up sooner during the day next time. I'm adjusting to going back to full time work while still doing the part time work I was doing before, so I don't have my new daily routine under control yet. Being busy sucks because it means I am disorganized and therefore grumpy. My mind is very scattered, so if I don't have time to regroup on a regular basis, things go bad. Real bad. But I think they are getting better. I took a good nap on my (home) office floor yesterday from 530-630pm. Refreshing! Ha! I have to laugh at myself. I am just pathetic.

I'll get more details on Farlander up soon but right now I am off to eat at Capriccio, site of the only affordable healthy interesting food in Stamford. I always get the Mia salad with grilled portobello, sundried tomatoes, and chicken.
Click here to read more.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Stamford Skatepark: Organized and Online

Forget the cherry trees. So far, the skatepark is one of the most interesting subjects I’ve found in Stamford. It has an active online community and a nice website. There are great pics and gossip on the chatboard. And, they have t-shirts, but keep your hands off, because I am trying to score one of the last few smalls left.

The chatboard is good reading. Some threads offer insight into Stamford politics, like this one about the budget surplus, or another that wonders why the Advocate didn’t mention the park on opening day.

There’s a thread about whether or not the new skatepark manager will enforce the helmet rule, and another one in which the manager herself posts and starts a discussion about helmets and park access. I like to show off Stamford, so I liked the thread about why Stamford rejected hosting a national skateboarding event.

The skateboard site is one of the few true community sites I’ve found. It’s a place where people discuss interesting things on a regular basis and make things happen, whether it’s a skateboarding expo or a BBQ (last Sunday). I think we are building some community here with Stamford Talk and the other kickass blogs in my blogroll, so let’s keep this shit up. Maybe we can be as intense as the skaters or even join forces. (More later on why the Advocate’s new comments system fails miserably in any attempt to build community, but here’s my rough draft about it.)

One other fabulous thing about the Skatepark is that a couple of the guys are photogs/videographers. Bill Helene is regional director of Skaters for Public Skateparks (see their cool site) and has hundreds of pictures of the skatepark at photobucket. Just click on the album titles to the left to see recent ones from Stamford. The pic at the top of the post is from Bill's April 6 album. He has tons more artful pics, but I liked this one because you see Stamford in the background and get a sense of the size of the park.

Scott Frosch, a video producer from Norwalk, has pictures at his blog Frosch-Frog (dude, are you French?) and in one post mentioned doing a documentary on the skatepark, which I think is a superb idea. He also has a hilarious spoof video on American Idol/horror movies called "Sparks" up at vimeo. It's much higher quality than youtube, and made me laugh out loud. "No, I'm not crying. I've just got something in my eye."

If you haven’t done so yet, go take a look at the park. There are benches inside the fence you can sit on. You can drive your car up, park easily, watch for a few minutes, and hit the road. It’s not an involved procedure. I'm lucky because I am a woman and we don't look as pedophile-y as a single man sitting on a bench. One of the many good things about being a woman! We can get away with so much more.
Click here to read more.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I Finally Saw DeNiro on Set!

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeay! I finally saw a famous actor on a film set! DeNiro is a surprisingly trim little man, but what I care about is how cool the crew is. They are intense and focused, but they seem like they're happy to be here. They're obviously the best of the best if they’re working with Bob. You know. Bob.

I owe Jorge BIG time for the tip on Everybody's Fine filming at the train station. I didn't go to the station to see the filming; coincidentally, I had to pick up my mom tonight at 630 pm on Amtrak from Virginia. I didn’t see any film crews when I got there, which was OK with me, because it’s easier if I don’t have to finagle my way up to a set and figure out how to justify blowing off the people in my life so I can spend an hour or two doing something totally useless... totally useless, but therefore so very freeing and enjoyable.

My mom’s train was running an hour late, so I plunked down, opened the laptop, did some writing and people-watched. I saw a lady in green stiletto mules reading The Secret, a woman with a gigantic butt licking a popsicle stick (like, a 400 calorie Dove Bar popsicle) and a blonde 8 year old in a white tennis skirt and pink sweater.

Then, I sensed someone striding by faster than normal and carrying no bags. I looked up to see the set manager I had run into when I went to the North Stamford location. I asked where they were filming and he unenthusiastically told me they were in the bus area. (I must seem like a run of the mill hanger on, plus he didn’t know I was there waiting for my mom, so he probably had an Uma Thurman moment.) I zipped on down and picked an unobtrusive place to watch.

The DeNiro double was sitting on a covered bench at a bus stop under I-95. After much waiting and the setting of the sun, the double got the hell out of the way and DeNiro strode on to do his stuff. A fake bus conductor came out, saw DeNiro sitting alone, and told him he missed the bus. Then DeNiro walked off with his rolly suitcase. It looked sad. I feel bad for men waiting for buses alone.

Anyway, it was awesome. Pedestrians didn't mind being rerouted on the way to the station and seemed excited about the movie. Stamford drivers behaved relatively well. The Stamford police on set were deft as ever, balancing the importance of keeping the set organized and safe with being relaxed at a cool event.

I wished I could have stayed longer, but I had to bring my mom (and sister who came home on the 9pm train) home. I wanted to go back out to watch some more, but my husband forbid me because supposedly I’ve been acting bitchy recently because I stay up too late blogging, watching Friday Night Lights and doing crossword puzzles. I love staying up late, and I really wanted to go out again and be outside and watch DeNiro try to catch a bus labeled “Salt Lake City.” But no. I have to wake up at 6am and go make money while maintaining a good mood. Damn you, real life, damn you.

Oh. I totally should have worn my black shirt. I stuck out like a sore thumb in my white tank and cropped seersucker jacket. Since I was being discreet, I didn't take any pics once things got going. The few pics I took could not be worse if I tried. Here is a bad picture of the set, pre-sunset and pre-anything happening:

A few of my other movie posts:

--April 20, 2008- Movie Stars in Town: Let's Keep in Touch!
--April 22, 2008--
Cast YOUR Lot at a Stamford Casting Company
--May 1, 2008--
I Finally Saw Some Movie Action!
--May 2, 2008--
Gray Day, Bad Mood, Everybody's Fine in Stamford
--May 14, 2008--
Everybody's Fine Filming at UConn Stamford
Click here to read more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Boring Beer Column in the Advocate: Why?

I don't mean to be a b!%@h, but every time I see the Advocate's "What's Brewing" column, I am severely disappointed. A column about beer! Cool! Oh, wait- it's jibberish about technicalities of beer brewing! Parts of it read like a chem textbook: ...partly because hop utilization - a measure of the alpha acids and other components they release into the brew as it is boiled - increases with the size of the batch.
How many beer connoisseurs are reading the Stamford Advocate for their news? Maybe two. So why does the Advocate host such a specialized column?

Well, the byline reads "By Jim Zebora Greenwich Time Managing Editor." Ah. I see. Clearly, he gets to write this because he is an editor, not because the column has great value for Stamford and Greenwich. Sure, I’m a little bitter because I don’t have my own column, but if “What’s Brewing” were more interesting, I would have no opportunity to complain.

I don’t care that Back in the years of plenty, I could sometimes buy a pound of bittering hops for $8, and noble hops could be as low as $1 per ounce. Today, homebrewers are seeing three- and fourfold price increases in this essential ingredient. This is almost as boring as talking about gas prices! Come on, this is beer! Let’s have some fun while we’re getting all intellectual.

Here's my column about beer. Notice how fun and approachable it is. I'll admit that it's light on facts, but if I were writing a column, I'd do more research. This is just off the top of my head:

Howdy, Stamford! The weather is getting nicer, and summer beer season is starting. A Guinness on a chilly evening will still hit the spot, but for your all-purpose beer, it's time to go light. Bud Light and Amstel Light are standbys, but go international with some Blue Moon Ale from Belgium or Brahma beer from Brazil. Brahma would go beautifully with a nachos appetizer at happy hour. It also comes in a cool curved bottle.

See how I've related it to the readers?

Beer column continued: Look at these awesome owl beers! You can get them all at Duo, my favorite Euro-Japanese place. At 8 bucks (9? I forget) these ain't cheap, but they're a treat. Each one has a very different flavor, and they are made from rice. The New York Times liked the Red Rice Ale, but I myself preferred the white. If you do decide to try all of them in one evening- well, just don't do that. My favorite: the Espresso beer! Have it closer to the end of the meal, or at happy hour. It's like Guinness with a coffee kick.

See how practical my column is? Jim, for gosh's sake, give us some personal stories. What's your fave beer? At what restos did you drink beer this week? What's the craziest beer you've ever brewed? It's a nice tidbit that The hop flowers are sometimes used in original form, but processing them into pellets gives greater yield, and also makes them easier to ship and store, but Jim, I'm not picking up the Advocate for that minutae. Entertain me!
Click here to read more.

Everybody's Fine Filming at UConn Stamford

I can't get out of work 'til 4 ish but if someone could check it out and perhaps even bring your camera JIK (that's short for just in case- I'm not against lol style ok?) that would be awesome. I went to the EF set last Friday and it was a little boring, but if I have faith that if I keep going, something interesting will happen to me.

When I was at the EF set in Shippan on Friday, I saw no stars, but I had a great chat with a really nice cop. I got to hear them yell, "Standby!" and "Cut!" while filming went on in the house. Here's a pic of that house; I drove by Saturday and took a paparazzi-like shot of it. I was playing it too cool during the filming to pull out my camera. I was the only civilian there and I think people thought I belonged. I was wearing a black shirt (did that on purpose), so I fit right in. I'm sneaky. Sneaky, but very, very discrete. You can trust me.

I will zip over to the UConn set as soon as I can even though it's a major pain to park and walk over.

Click here to see all of my older posts about movies filming.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saltwater Grille: Confession (and, Countdown to Summer)

In the early days of Stamford Talk, I wrote a review of Saltwater Grille down in Shippan. It was not a glowing review. I said that the service was spotty and that the setting sun made dining on the deck almost unbearable. A few weeks after I posted, I started to feel bad. I did not want a popular place to know I was trashing them. I also thought maybe they'd want to advertise with me in the future.

Recently, I read a discussion about whether it was ethical for a blogger to remove old posts that he/she no longer felt were high quality or reflected what they thought. I realized that I was firmly against removing posts. A blog is WEB LOG. It's a record of your thoughts on a certain day. It's not supposed to be a... book or something to be edited. Once it's up, it's up. I knew I needed to put the SWG post back up so I was not a hypocrite. Here it is, completely unedited. Summer's here, and it's time for expensive seafood. I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you about SWG.

I now know:
a) it's OK to criticize things that are not great- that's a key function of a blog or any type of writing, and
b) advertising is so a non-issue for this blog. This blog is about opinions, not about pleasing people who want to use Stamford Talk's wild success for their own benefit.

I guess I have worked out my Stamford Talk ethic... Say what I think about Stamford. Try to make it relevant to readers. Keep including my personality even though that can be intimidating when it's not just friends and family reading. Don't trash people without giving balanced opinions. Find and rely on trusted readers and other bloggers. Don't see blogging as competing with other bloggers. It's about community.

Blogging about Stamford is awesome. Stamford Talk is approaching 9 months old this month. I'm gonna have a big bash at the end of August to celebrate the one year anniversary, and you all are invited.
Click here to read more.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Life in SoFa: Cheap Labor, Traffic, BMWs

There’s an interesting article in the Fairfield Weekly called "White Wash: An artist-housecleaner sounds off on the Fairfield County wealth gap." The gossip Jodi Strmiska dishes on her clients is ordinary, but I liked hearing a personal story about commuting down here to do service-related jobs.

A few things about Stamford jump out at me. First of all, notice how our beloved Stamford is left off her map: In coastal Fairfield County, the line between rich and poor is drawn along a south-north axis. The highest concentration of wealth exists in southern towns like Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, whereas the highest concentration of poverty and near-poverty exists in northern cities and towns like Bridgeport, Stratford and Shelton.
Stamford, you're an anomaly, and I like that about you. I want you to improve some of your problems while retaining your "I'm different" attitude. Let's work together to be a place in SoFa (oooooooooooh I just made that up!!!!!!!!!) that retains a diverse population. As many readers commented in last week's post "What's the Biggest Issue Facing Stamford?", ordinary people have trouble affording homes in Stamford. Even families making well over $100,000 a year find it hard to buy a home comfortably and are forced to move to Norwalk. Hence another post I have planned, "Can Stamford Talk afford to stay in Stamford?"

I find the rich-poor divisions Strmiska portrays depressing, but I know they're true. It's the nature of the FC: The service economy, which employs the majority of working poor in Fairfield County, insures the perpetuation of the suburban gated-community and the urban ghetto. They have to commute to Greenwich or New Canaan to their jobs as nannies, housekeepers, landscapers or contractors, and come home to underfunded Bridgeport or Stratford, towns that often mean one thing— a bedroom— to the day-laborers who are the backbone of the service sector in Fairfield County.

Yup. We can bitch about day laborers and traffic on 95, but those are natural results of the way this area works. C.R.E.A.M.! ("Cash Rules Everything Around Me," Wu-Tang Clan song) I hate to say it, but sometimes it feels like cash rules a whole heck of a lot down here. I think one of the area's biggest challenges is how to live here and not get
a) too focused on material goods
b) too down that you can't afford the beautiful things other people have.

I never thought I was a material person, but now that my Civic and I are getting older, I find myself craving a BMW 6 series. I can't afford that car, but I want that car, because I see some beautiful ones in my gym's parking lot at 6am. That car has started to look normal- and, in my fantasies, attainable- to me. That car is not normal, and this area is not normal. We have some very, very, very rich people around here, and we have a lot of poor people. I'm in the middle and I feel pretty damn lucky about that.

If it's hard for adults to keep perspective, it must horrible for kids. If I were a poor kid in Stamford, I'm not sure how I'd deal with seeing other kids driving nice cars, using their iPhones and talking about fancy vacations. If you have money, this area is awesome; there are so many ways to spend it. If you don't... well, you're stuck on 95, living in an ugly apartment, and unable to enjoy a lot of the activities around here. Thank goodness Stamford has some beautiful parks, the free summer concerts, and... uh, that's pretty much all the free stuff around here, right?

Can you imagine living in this area with no money?

Related Stamford Talk posts:

March 3, 2008-- Illegal Immigrants: Not Job-Stealers, but Subject to Raids and Arrests in Danbury

February 24, 2008-- Stamford Day Laborers= Criminals?

February 22, 2008-- Day Laborer = Illegal Immigrant?
Click here to read more.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stamford Police Parade: I Missed It

A reader sent photos and a description of the Stamford Police's parade to honor fallen officers. There was also a benefit at Thirsty Turtle to raise money for a fund for the families. This upcoming week is National Police Week, but some officers I spoke to said that Stamford did the parade a week early because a lot of the officers go down to DC for the big parade.

As my boyfriend and I were walking to Republic Grill last night down Bedford Street, we ran into a huge commotion around the police station. We heard bagpipes, saw cops on horseback and saw a huge procession of cops and cop vehicles. There were a bunch of police dogs, one of which was about to hurl himself out of the police car while he was barking at people. There were cops on segways, which was pretty hilarious...sorry I didn't get a picture of that! I saw police departments from Stamford, Bridgeport, Darien, Greenwich, CT,....New Rochelle. Mount Vernon, some place in Rockland County, NY,....Boston and Framingham, MA, and even Newark, NJ. Click on photos to see larger view.

The article from the Advocate says there were 40 police departments represented. The mayor spoke eloquently about the ceremony to honor those police killed in the line of duty. The police station had a black drape over its front doors as well. It was a pretty moving thing to see. A bunch of people were lined up across from the police station to stand and watch. I took these 2 pictures of the scene from my cell phone, but you can get an idea of the amount of officers and horses there were.

I'm sorry I missed this. I think Stamford Police do a great job of keeping our city safe. I've got a post started about them, but I always seem to find other things to write about! I just put that on my lists of posts to write, which also includes:
Recyclable Bags in the FC
Gossip Girl and Stamford Talk
Stamford Skatepark Gossip
Can Stamford Talk Afford to Stay in Stamford?

So much to write, so little time.
Click here to read more.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Newfield Ave Starbucks Was Mean to Stamford Talk

There are no good vibes emanating from the not-yet-open Starbucks! I'm not bitching for no reason; trust me, I like fancy lattes. But this store has gotten off on the wrong foot with me. As of now, I'm boycotting it in favor of Beldotti's Bakery, a few doors down.

On Thursday, I saw people sitting at tables inside, so I popped my head in. Six people in Starbucks shirts glanced sideways at me, then ignored me. "Not yet," one of them said without making eye contact.
"Oh! When?" I said. No one looked at me. They all glanced at one woman. I guess they were employees in for training.
She muttered, "Maybe Saturday..."
"Great! I'll spread the word!"
A split second of silence.
"OK," someone responded lifelessly as the woman muttered, "But maybe not."

I stepped out the door with a "Huh?" look on my face. So, I'm spreading the word, but the word is, don't rush off to the new Starbucks. They seem like they hate us.

Instead, try Beldotti's Bakery, just a few doors down from Starbucks. I checked out their coffee Friday morning; they have an arsenal of coffee dispensers with many different Green Mountain flavors. There are also piles and piles of stunning pastries, which is probably why I hadn't yet been to Beldotti's in the 1.5 years I've been in this 'hood. I avoid baked goods. The staff at Beldotti's is extremely nice and the cakes are pretty. I'll eat their pastries just to spite Starbucks. A sign outside says that Beldotti's has espresso, but I have not tried it.

My sister and I stopped by Beldotti's Friday evening so I could get a pic of the outside. We ogled the cookies, cakes and pies and bought a loaf of poundcake for $5.75. Five doors down, there were some youngish people smoking outside the Starbucks. They were all dressed in black and looked too young to be employees, but my sister informed me that one guy was wearing a Starbucks cap turned backward. I don't have a good feeling about this place. I saw one person walking around inside who looked like he was trying to get the place ready, but I don't think the Starbucks will be open on Saturday.
Click here to read more.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fairfield County Happy Hour at Monster B's

I am very curious about Monster B's. I meant to post about it on Stamford Talk, but I think I only posted about it at Chow. It's a new Stamford bar that I know nothing about, but I think it might have good music. Tonight (Thursday May 8) at 7pm, the Fairfield County Happy Hour Club is getting together there for what I am sure will be a total flirting drunk-fest. (That's the impression I get from the pics on their website.) I can't go because I'm sick, but you all should go and report back to me.

Here's what I know so far about Monster B's:

From the looks of the site, they DO have good music. Jen Durkin (Wednesdays) is well known and her friends are talented... Thurs is open Mike, and they have music Friday and Saturday. AND, I bet they have free parking. I can't picture where the place is, but I'm sure I can find it.

That's a pretty bold move to face off with Jimmy's Seaside's- I mean, Seaside Tavern's- Wed. Open Mic!
Click here to read more.

Movie Location Alert!!! in Shippan

Everybody’s Fine is filming near 45 Westcott Rd in Shippan. Click read more to see a map.

View Larger Map

I'm home sick from work, so of course I'm not going to drive down there. That would be crazy. Absolutely crazy. Bonkers insane.

Although, I mostly just have a sore throat. And, I was going to go to the grocery for chicken soup and nutrient-laden vegetables.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What's the Biggest Issue Facing Stamford?

Me, out of the blue to a friend: So, what do you think the biggest issue facing Stamford is?
Friend: The Towers of Death. They're dead space. (Referring to the two round, low-income high rises smack in the middle of town.)
Me: But people live there.
Friend: I know, but think about it. It's valuable space wasted. There's no retail, no public spaces. It's the middle of downtown, but I wouldn't want to park there at night.

I'm not sure if those towers are our biggest problem, but we all think they are hideous. If I wanted to get deep into it, I'd talk about Stamford's crazy extremes of rich and poor and our changing real estate needs, but that's too much for my allergy-riddled brain. We all read the same newspaper articles, but what's your personal take on the subject? What's the biggest issue facing Stamford?

If you vote for taxes or real estate as a big issue, try to make it spicy and dramatic. I find anything related to math boring*, but if you get emotional, or give concrete examples, I can comprehend.

I vote for the issue of schools being OK for young families. Like the two towers, that issue encompasses taxes, housing, and socioeconomics. Good schools reflect a population that wants to invest in a place and stick around to make it the best it can be. In the recent news, the Stamford schools say to prospective home buyers, "Maybe you should buy in Fairfield and just take the train!"

*Off topic: I used to do fine in math, but now it makes me feel nauseous. I took a look at the SAT Math a few months ago and truly felt like throwing up. It looked incomprehensible. I also feel sick when I listen to the Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, and a certain a cappella group from my college. It's not rational; it's a physiological reaction to the sound/idea/association. I can't explain it, other than to say I am very attuned to music. For example, my husband can easily tolerate a bad song on the radio, but I instantly freak out and have to change it.
Click here to read more.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The New Seaside Tavern (The Old Jimmy's!)

Last Wednesday, I forced my husband to go on a "Stamford Talk Adventure." First we cruised Cove Beach and took this pic of the boat dock, where anyone who wants to can drive their car straight into Long Island Sound. Go for it!
Then, we checked out Seaside Tavern, the new name of Jimmy's Seaside. Jimmy's is/was best known as one of Stamford's few live music venues. The new owners plan to continue the live music and place more emphasis on the food. I, personally, am not rushing to go try food at a place that is not known for its food, but please, if you have, post a review. I do hope the music continues, because the place can get pleasantly hot and crowded when a good band is playing.

When I was there last week, Seaside seemed just like Jimmy's. The house jam band was setting up for open mic, a yuppie-ish after work crew was wrapping up its happy hour, and some un-yuppies were playing pool. Jimmy's- I mean, Seaside Tavern- is a good place to go for a beer without feeling like you need to impress anyone. Its myspace page has the menu and a list of upcoming bands. There are also loads of pictures from the Seaside Tavern opening night party that are worth a gander.

Related Stamford Talk post:
Sept 2007: Hallelujah: Open Jam on Wednesday
Click here to read more.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Starbucks on Newfield Ave

I pulled into the Newfield Green shopping center last week and spotted a new Starbucks under construction. Uh, cool, because it's right around the corner from me, but are there really that many people driving past there on the way to the train in the AM? And are there really that many stay-at-home moms and work-at-home-people in Belltown to sustain the store? The High Ridge Starbucks, right by Borders and the Merritt on-off ramps, obviously has the better location. I like expensive lattes once in a while, but I don't want an abandoned, second-rate Starbucks in my neighborhood.

We'll have to see how it plays out, but I think a Starbucks in that location is out of place. It's right beside a laundry mat (or did it replace the laundry mat?). Laundry mat does not = Starbucks. If you are gonna buy 4 $ coffee, you are gonna have a washing machine. Maybe it reflects a diverse 'hood... but I think it reflects a lack of understanding of who shops in that area. I'm at that grocery all the time, and my fellow shoppers and I are not the 5 latte a week types.

I wonder where the next Stamford Starbucks will be... I'm predicting in the Shop Rite complex by my NYSC (border of Greenwich, West Main). The people at my gym are tooooooootally the 5 latte a week types. I'm a one latte every week or two type. I'm a socio-economic chameleon.
Click here to read more.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Gray Day, Bad Mood, Everybody's Fine in Stamford

Despite some grump-inducing incidents* and conditions today, I drove out to North Stamford to see what I could see on the set of Everybody's Fine. I saw some posh homes and four big white equipment tractor trailers, and not much else. All the filming was being done indoors in a white, modern home. I strolled down to the cul-de-sac and took a picture of the house before I even saw another human being, but then a few people appeared to investigate who I was. Click on the picture to see a bigger image.

On the drive up, I was thinking, "I need something interesting to come of this, because I'm in a really bad mood." I didn't expect it though; I was only hoping, because I didn't want to set myself up for a let down. I'd say the reality met my expectations. The only thing that exceeded them were the crew members and set people I met (probably not the correct terms for their jobs). They were much friendlier than I expected. After some chit-chat, they nicely told me to buzz off. I can respect that.

Here are a few pics of Barrymore and DeNiro on set in Stamford last week.

I am so excited to check out another set in the future. Now that I've done it once, I'm feeling more confident about invading other people's spaces. I don't care about seeing stars; I just want to see some action in this town.

*One upsetting incident was the clerk at the convenience store by Sabatiello's and Capriccio being rude to me. I needed batteries for my Stamford Talk camera because I was going to drive up to the movie set.
Me: "Do you have batteries behind the counter?"
He says not a word and points to the batteries behind him with no expression on his face.
"Oh!" I decide to let it go; maybe he just has a bad personality. "I'll take four AA." I get out my credit card.
"Ten dollars minimum."
Now I'm growing angry. You can at least smile and add an ounce of life to your voice, because guess what, I'm in a bad mood too, but I'm making an effort. I don't feel well, and this man is pushing me over the edge. "I don't have any cash," I growl, snatch my Republic Grill take out menu off the counter, and stomp out the door.

I am never going back there again. The owners/clerks at the convenience store right by Margot's in Bull's Head are much nicer. Now it's confirmed that they are my candy/battery/milk store of choice. I'm going to ask my husband to boycott the Bedford St. store, and maybe you will, too. Let's destroy mean people.

Another upsetting incident was a cop saying, "C'mon, move it!" to me as I was driving past the Trump Parc construction site, which as usual, was causing traffic delays. I was engrossed in watching a man hook up a bundle of metal rods to a gigantic crane about 20 feet from me. I wanted to wait and see if the load would lurch perilously over the road, but my one second hesitation was too much for that cop. "Move it, move it!" he shouted. I screamed an obscenity that he probably heard through my closed windows as I sped off. That was just before I drove up to the movie set.

I'm going to go get a lime green manicure at Zen Spa and Nails to boost my mood. Please forgive my grumpiness today. It's nothing a little nail polish can't fix.
Click here to read more.

Movie Action in Way North Stamford

Everybody's Fine is filming in WAY North Stamford today at 32 Wallenberg Drive. Here's a map:

View Larger Map

I'm home sick with a sore throat, but maybe I will take a drive if I can summon some energy! I got a taste of fame yesterday; evidently that was Kate Beckinsale in the film truck I saw. I really don't feel great, though, and I'm not just saying that because a lot of my coworkers read this blog!

Tip via the blog On Location Vacations.
Click here to read more.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Finally Saw Some Movie Action!

I left work early and decided to follow up on a tip received earlier in the day on Stamford Talk: that a film crew had been spotted at Curley's. Coming down Wash. Blvd., I saw a police motorcycle slowly coming north with a cavalcade of vehicles behind him. I whipped out my Stamford Talk camera (always at the ready!) and snapped, as it passed, a flatbed truck with some black equipment on the front and a car on the back. Another car drove right beside the flatbed filming into the driver's side window. Cool!

Of course, I timed the shots perfectly so I got the front of the truck, the end of the truck, and totally missed the car on the flatbread (flatbed!) that probably contained Barrymore or DeNiro. Oh well. When the film comes out, we'll see if there's a car scene with Wash Blvd. slipping by in the background. Thanks for all the great movie tips; keep them coming!

I got to Curley's and the film crew was packing up. On the way home, I was so tired that I let a cement truck come out in front of me, and the person behind me honked in annoyance. Dude, get a grip. We were stuck in traffic anyway so what is the big deal? Even though you whipped around me in a big huff, I ended up right behind you
after the cement truck pulled into the Trump Parc area. These poor, stresssed-out drivers are seeming more petulant and juvenile by the day. Do my Stamford Talk Zen strategies put me on a higher plane... or am I just too tired to get angry? Click here to read more.