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Wild At Heart

Wild At Heart

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I used the time to do some cleaning around the apartment and catch up on some movies (Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets) and TV shows (Smallville, Eureka). I just finished the series "Pushing Daisies" which has become a favorite of mine. It only lasted 2 seasons on ABC but it was a very unique and well written program. "Pushing Daisies" centers on the life of Ned, a socially bereft pie-maker gifted with the mysterious ability to bring dead things back to life by touching them. There are a couple of conditions to this somewhat unusual talent which Ned quickly learns. If he revives something for more than exactly one minute, something of similar "life value" in the vicinity drops dead. Additionally, if he touches the revived person or thing a second time, it falls dead again, this time permanently. The story starts when a private investigator, Emerson Cod, accidentally discovers Ned's gift and offers him a proposal: Ned will temporarily bring murder victims back to life, allowing Emerson to inquire about the circumstances of their demise, quickly solve the case and split the reward money with him. Things get complicated when the first case involves Ned's childhood crush, Chuck (played by the lovely Anna Friel) which he brings back and doesn't retouch keeping her alive. The rest of the series has the group solving murders while playing the love triangle between Ned and Chuck who love each other but can never touch and Ned's waitress Olive who pines for Ned. This is a lovely fantasy inspired show which I am glad I was able to watch on video and amazed I never saw it when it was on. If you get the opportunity to see this spectacular series, please do so.

Dinosaur fans must be excited that 'Walking With Dinosaurs' returns to Detroit. This wonderful live event is based loosely on the BBC TV series features a number of lidfe sized animatronic and costumed dinosaurs (including the huge Brachiosaurus and of course a Tyrannosaurus) set to the narration of an on set paleontologist named Huxley. If yourt kid loves dinosaurs, this is a once in a lifetime event that they will cherish forever. I saw this last year and was just amazed by the sheer production quality which balances both fun and eductional info. The event takes place down at Cobo Arena from Dec 29th thru Jan 3rd. Check out for more info about the show.

The Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl put out a decent game in front of a record-low 30,311 fans as Marshall scored 21 quick points based on a Andre Booker 58 yard punt return and 2 Martin Ward TD runs. Ohio seemed to find itself after a 75 yard fumble recovery return by Shannon Ballard just when it looked like Marshall was about to score again. The half ended when Marshall didn't convert a 4th and short instead of going for a field goal. Coach Minter admitted he made a mistake in that choice but luckily for Marshall it didn't come back and bite them. Ohio did make things interesting at the start of the third with a 8 yard pass from Theo Scott to Terrence McCrae and then a field goal to make the score 21-17 which also ended up being the final score. Other points of interest include line judge Sarah Thomas becoming the first female to officiate a college football bowl game and the fact that their was no Little Caesar's pizza for lunch for the press at halftime. They had cookies and popcorn but one would think a Bowl Game named after a pizza company would have pizza!! Maybe next year!! I also got to meet Lloyd Carr who is looking pretty good these days.

The concert season is winding down and not much is on the horizon except a bunch of local bands playing at a number of venues around town. I have put together a few of the standouts for me. A few days are missing because nothing stood out.

Tuesday 12/29 - Never Shout Never @ St Andrews Hall

Thursday 12/31 - Pop Evil w/Giftus and Mansfield Park @ Crofoot, The Octopus w/Silverghost and a bunch of other local bands @ The Magic Stick, Von Bondies and Hard Lessons @ Hyatt Regency, Kevin Saunderson @ Vain Ultra Lounge, Howling Diablos and Paper Street Saints @ Magic Bag, Jeff Daniels @ Purple Rose Theatre, Polish Muslims @ Berkley Front, the Sights and Friendly Foes @ The Loving Touch (Ferndale), Chenille Sisters @ The Ark, the Muggs @ PJ's Lager House

Saturday 1/02 - Jeff Daniels @ Purple Rose Theatre, Motor City Josh @ Callahan's

Monday 1/04 - Liz Larin @ Got Rocks Ultra Lounge (Birmingham)

Lastly I will just say that while I am not officially reviewing Avatar (I missed the press screening so I had to pay with my own money to see it - yeah I know, poor me), I chose that as my holiday movie this year and it was impressive enough to make me want to hype it a bit. The film while not overly impressive in it's overall story does manage to tell a story about human greed and environmentalism well enough not to be overly annoying. Basically, the year 2154 has the RDA corporation mining a valuable mineral called unobtanium on the planet Pandora which is a lush, Earth-like (if you live in a rain forest) environment. Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi), the administrator, employs former marines as mercenaries to provide security while Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic former marine, arrives on Pandora to replace his murdered twin brother as an avatar. The avatar are bodies sculpted to look like the natives so we can try to blend in a get a peaceful resolution to hostilities, like the biggest deposit of the matel is under their home city. Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) is the head of the Avatar Program. On a mission, Jake is lost in the field and is saved by the female Neytiri (Zoë Saldaña) who after a sign brings Jake back to Hometreeand is forced to instruct him the Na'vi way of life which is based on the idea that all life is connected (inthis case their are real connections to both anilams and plants). Jake falls in love with the people and starts to work against the exploitation of the othe rmarines and risks his life to save this planet. While the story, which reminds me of Native American parallels, doesn't rise far, the FX left me speechless. These are the most awe-inspiring effects I have seen since the first dinosaur sequence in Jurassic Park and it never lets up. What really makes it are the details such as having little bugs and birds in the corners of every scene to give it a very realistic feel. I saw this is 3D and it was really worth it. This is what 3D should be about. If you love blockbuster movies, you cannot miss this on the big screen. A very big A+ in my book.

Well, that seems to be it for the week. I hope I'm not forgetting anything so have a wonderful New Years if I don't see you before that. Also don't forget the US Census coming up. We are still looking for a lot of people to help us work it and we are testing almost every day between now and February. I will be doing tests at 10AM and 12:30AM and the Pontiac Library tomorrow (12/29) and at 10AM at the Pontiac Michigan Works on Wednesday (12/30). Feel free to stop on by to take the test, esp if you are looking for work. Don't waste time. The test time takes about 1- 1 1/2 hours and make sure to bring ID if you stop in (either passport or drivers license/social security card). If you can't make those dates or places, call the US Census Bureau toll-free number at 1-866-861-2010 or go to detroit. The website does have practice tests for anyone interested. If you are looking for work, make sure to give the Census a try.

Happy New Year - Rock Out