Archive for September, 2006

I Beg Your Parton?

But Liz, you ask, what on Earth is there to do in Orlando besides go to Disney World and watch little children in Crocs run around terrorizing Central Florida with their sticky ice cream hands and uncovered coughing mouths?

Good question, dear readers. While I was on my epic vacation, I wondered the same thing. Thanks to a giant rack of brochures in the game room of the Marriott Grande Vista Orlando, my question was answered in a prompt and thorough manner. And the answer is there is Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede to do. According to the brochure, it’s Orlando’s most fun place to eat! Hmm, well. I’ll be the judge of that!

The Dixie Stampede is a force to be reckoned with. Where else can you sit in a giant arena sipping soup from a bowl (because spoons were not an option) while watching a real live herd of smelly buffalo stampede across a football-field sized floor before your very eyes? And let’s not forget the seating arrangements – one side of the arena was for “The North” and the other side devoted to “The South”. Yes, that North and South! The evening was full of events like pig racing (adorable!), bareback ostrich racing (uncomfortable!), and audience-participatory dizzy bat races, where each competitor represents either liberal elite Yankees or country bumkin Confederate-lovers. And anytime your side won, you got to taunt the other side with cheers and raise your “Dixie Stampede” foam fingers while eating a whole rotisserie chicken without a knife (knives also were not an option). If I remember things correctly from my AP history class, it was exactly how the real Civil War played out. But then again, that was an exam I got a 2 on so I could be wrong.


And all this for just $45.99 each, plus the $30 Glennis and I spent because the souvenir picture we got was “signed” by Dolly herself and who can pass that up? Oh right, Dolly Parton is somehow responsible for this whole hillbilly mess of a good time, and at the end of the show, the lights dimmed (if only I could say the same of the buffalo aroma) and a giant screen with DollyVision was lowered, and she sang a song about how it’s ok to joke about being from the North or the South but really, we’re all the same when you git down to it so – hey! those aren’t my eyes, y’all! Look up here, I’m serious!- so three cheers for the red, white and blue!

Oh and did I mention that my dad and brother picked us up afterward in a rental minivan? That might also be worth noting, just to flesh out this vacation for you.

Anyway, I told you I would be the judge of fun, and I hereby declare that what with the political tension, the rodeo trickery, the unlimited Pepsi products and the piglets that could jump miniature hurdles, this really is Orlando’s most fun place to eat. dixie


P.S. For Glennis’ near-identical account of the evening (which I didn’t know she wrote until now), click!

Music News and Reviews

Steven Tyler Gets a Grip on Hep C

Would These Hips Lie?


A Really Convenient Truth.

I went to a preview for an amazing show at Ars Nova called Truth last night. No, wait. Let me say first that My Theatre Companion is a saint who gets dragged around as my plus-one to all sorts of events, most of which are too bad to sit through yet don’t offer an intermission to silently slip out during. Those events are the low points in our relationship, the things that are held against me or used as barter that I apparently still need to pay back. On top of that terrible track record, Truth was our second theatrical event in one day. And when we got there they said it was two hours with no intermission. At this point, I started feeling guilty, not because I thought it would be unbearable, just because that’s my natural reaction whenever he and I become members of an audience. The theatre is the place where I gamble with my relationship and I am about one Fringe Festival away from losing it all.

Truth was the show that won him back, friends. My Theatre Companion and I sat there for two hours but it felt like ten minutes, it was so good. Mike Daisey is a writer and monologuist, a word that I’m still not sure has a hard “G” sound or not. I kept thinking during his show “Wow, this guy is like The New Yorker meets Gawker”, come to find out, every bit of press he gets describes him as “a cross between __ and __” or “so-and-so meets whatshisface” so hooray for unoriginal thinking! But of all the press he’s gotten, my description of him is like what The Seattle Times said about him mixed with what the Village Voice thinks of him.

In part of his show, he describes some students in a storytelling class he taught as having a need to wrap their stories up neatly at the end. The whole “That was the summer I learned the meaning of true friendship” kind of ending that most elementary school book reports end with, but that you should try to avoid as a grown-up. So to prove that I learned something from his show, I’m not going to end this the way I normally would. You know, by writing something like “This show was great and that’s the Truth” or “Truth be told. . .Thursdays and Saturdays in October!”. Everyone, but writers and solo performers especially, should see this show. It makes me want to not write crap. If everyone sees it, maybe we’ll all be inspired to not write crap and, in some small way, that will make the world a better place.

And that’s really how I’m ending it. It’s killing me, but it’s how I’m ending it.


The only Fergie I care for is the redhead on Weight Watchers.

I had to review the new Fergie album for the new gig and terrible doesn’t begin to describe it. As I put it before, she’s famous for peeing in her pants, but she’s going to be even more famous for pooping out this album. UGH. I never review things I don’t like, for fear of hurting people’s feelings and I think criticizing other people’s art and passion is a little jerky. But for real this album is tainted like bagged spinach.

In other news from last week:

Supernova ordered to make name less stellar

Madonna confesses on a dancefloor

Cinema Blend

Some music news for yous to peruse (not one but twos!) over a few brews. On a cruise. A cow moos. Have a good Rosh Hashanah, Jews.

I am so Dole-Whipped

Just got back from Disney World and boy is my imagination tired! There is a lot to say about the World of Disney and its four glorious theme parks, efficient shuttle buses and perfect business model of marking up prices. While I will get into the gritty details eventually, I have to mention the best, most delicious, most not-to-be-missed part of the park, the snack stand in Adventureland where you can purchase a pineapple float. Just before you hit the Toblerone-loving Family Robinson, you’ll spot it.
Heaven, thy name is Dole Whip Pineapple Soft Serve! A treat so delicious and mysterious, it even has it’s own Wikipedia page! A treat so desired that it is even sold in bulk on ebay! It’s not even regular soft-serve, it’s a non-dairy, soft, whipped sorbet that is culled gently with sweet Orlando breezes and soothing Disney Cast Member whispers from the prison of the soft serve machine, only to delicately balance atop a lagoon of pineapple juice. I’m a fake-pineapple-flava lovah. Love the clear Gummy Bears. Love tropical popsicles. Love Aloha Pineapple Jell-o. All of which are available in my local grocery store. But alas Dole Whip, the treat that Disney-related message boards refer to as “a wonderful tropical delight” and “the shiznit” can only be found at Disney Parks and at the Dole plantation in Hawaii.


Until we meet again, Dole Whip, we’ll always have that spot right between the Enchanted Tiki Room and The Jungle Cruise.

I don’t care what Bush thinks, Evolution is pretty awesome

And since I’ll be gone for the next 2 weeks, one last tidbit for you to savor in my absence, my review of Evolution, the Journey tribute band.

Labor Day Haikus!

A six-day weekend and only four movies watched. Kind of a failure of a weekend, I say. The rest of the time I was outdoors walking around, breathing fresh air and (do not tell any of my family or fellow native Massholes) taking in a Staten Island Yankees Vs. Oneonta Tigers game. I can’t believe I actually clap, clap, clap-clap-clapped after “Let’s go Yankees!” It was a momentary lapse of judgement, just some minor league pity! That’s all! While I could probably fill half a dozen haikus with lush descriptions and anecdotes of Scooter the Staten Island Yankee, that’s just not what I do. On to the reel poetry…

Little Miss Sunshine

Greg Kinnear is a
Man with a Van and a daugh-
ter who moves and shakes.

Downfall downfall

Nothing says “Happy
Labor Day!” like the final
days of The Fuhrer.

24 Hour Party People

Sigh. My new-wave dream
come true. Where Mondays were both
so Happy and Blue.

Working Girl mel

She had a head for
business, a bod for sin, and
a voice for neither.

More me, more of the time

My latest venture into hard hitting journalism, music reporting for Cinema Blend.