Blogs > Ivan Lajara

Daily Freeman Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about journalism, living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"I'm not there" still here

Alert online readers might have noticed that the movie review in Preview today for Bob Dylan's fractured biopic, "I'm Not There," has five videos:

* A movie trailer (different from the one posted here a week ago);
* A clip by Batman, I mean, Christian Bale, as Dylan, performing "The Times They Are A Changing'" (they are, The New York Times just fired some people for the holidays - Ouch!)
* Another one with Heath Ledger as Dylan, on why women can't be poets (double ouch!)
* And two snippets with Cate Blanchett, one in which her character expresses her feelings and, my favorite, one with a mean exchange with a reporter (triple ouch!).

The movie, which was the darling at the Woodstock Film Festival, is playing at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck.

Enjoy

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Two news items worth ONE MILLION DOLLARS! (and one worth $1)

$1 million winner in Mass. lottery on probation for bank robbery, not allowed to gamble

BOSTON (AP) - The winner of a $1 million lottery scratch ticket may not be so lucky after all: He's a convicted bank robber who isn't supposed to gamble.


Timothy Elliott faces a Dec. 7 court hearing over whether he violated his probation when he bought the $10 ticket for the $800 Million Spectacular game at a supermarket in Hyannis.

Elliott was placed on five years' probation after pleading guilty in October 2006 to unarmed robbery for a January 2006 heist at a bank on Cape Cod. Under terms of his probation, he "may not gamble, purchase lottery tickets or visit an establishment where gaming is conducted, including restaurants where Keno may be played."
...
No. 2


This photo, supplied by the Aiken County, S.C., County Sheriff's Office, shows a fake $1 million bill, which a man tried to use to open an account in a Aiken, S.C, bank Monday, Nov. 26, 2007. Alexander D. Smith, 31, was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery after he walked into the bank and tried to open an account by depositing the fake $1 million bill, said an Aiken County Sheriff's spokesman.(AP Photo /Aiken County,S.C., Sheriff's Office)
...
The AP found it necessary to say that the bill does not exist, because I guess there are people out there who would believe it.
...
Which reminds me, I have a bridge to sell you (really):

SOLDIERS GROVE, Wis. (AP) - The Kickapoo River bridge is a big structure with a small price tag: one buck.

Village officials fear the nearly century-old bridge, which hasn't hosted traffic in 31 years, will collapse into the river and want to get rid of it quickly. Village board member Vicki Campbell said they hope high scrap prices help attract a buyer who may want to sell the bridge's steel parts.
"With the steel prices what they are right now, we thought this was an opportune time to sell it," Campbell said.
...
The kicker?

They previously tried a similar offer, Campbell said, but the buyer backed out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Attack of the immigrant

From a front-page Monday story:

"The report released Monday by the Fiscal Policy Institute said that immigrants contributed $229 billion last year to New York state's gross domestic product — or 22 percent of total output. While almost three-quarters of the state's 4 million immigrants live in New York City, researchers said their contributions are crucial to the economic success of the entire state." (emphasis mine).

From an unscientific online Freeman poll on today's A3:

Are immigrants important to the economy of upstate New York?
Yes: 31.5 percent
No: 68.5 percent

I hope, then, that none in the 68.5 percent needs a doctor (a third in Upstate New York) or a teacher (one in five upstate) or a roof or a garden or an apple or a Life editor (one).

...

Next poll: Is the sky blue?
I can't wait for the answers.

Award-winning headline

"Ulster Tomorrow plan to be delayed until next year"

The lead is better:

"KINGSTON - 'Ulster Tomorrow,' the much awaited strategy/action plan for revitalizing the county's economy that was due in mid-November, won't see the light of day until January."

As Mark Twain said, "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

I've actually been waiting for a headline like this (as in "Ulster Tomorrow meets today") since the group came to light. I'm sure there will be more.

Friday, November 23, 2007

About those toys

The New York Public Insterest Reseach Group released its annual hazardous toys list, called "Trouble in Toyland" (which would be cute if it wasn't serious) just in time for you to freak out if you are doing your shopping today.

Have fun.

Gobble, gobble

"Norman the turkey will live past Thanksgiving, rescue group says"" was a headline in the Thanksgiving edition of the Freeman.

I was reading that as I was ironically eating turkey yesterday.

I began to think about the birds that made it, and those who didn't.

Here is one that made it:



The Associated Press reported that "May," above, was pardoned by President Bush at the White House on Thursday. The bird here is riding atop a float as she serves as honorary grand marshal of the Thanksgiving Day Parade on Main Street in Disney's Magic Kingdom on Thanksgiving Day. Which is understandable. I would also go to Disneyland if my life was pardoned or if I were to win the Superbowl.

Here is one turkey that didn't make it, as reported by the Associated Press:



Rachel Portnoy, 17, center, said the turkey "exploded" after her father, Rich Portnoy (behind Rachel), had taken out of the oven the 72-pound dressed bird.

Let me repeat that: A 72-POUND TURKEY.

Rich Portnoy has an annual contest with his sister, who lives in Virginia, on who has the biggest turkey. Rich was victorious this year (duh!), with a 59-week-old turkey the family bought from an area farmer.

The family gave the bird a nickname: "Barry Bonds."

"I feel like I won the World Series," said Ron about finding the large bird, fitting it in the oven and then tasting the flavorful turkey, which hopefully didn't have any steroids.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A 'Thanksgiving' trailer

Remember Quenting Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's double feature "Grindhouse"?

Between the two horror-homage/parodies there were fake movie trailers, one of them for "Thanksgiving," directed by real director Eli Roth ("Hostel")

Here is the EXTREMELY RATED R trailer for the parody.
(You don't have to hit "play," but I know you will, so enjoy it. Just make sure you're not eating).



...
Rodriguez also did a very funny fake trailer for "Machete" which will actually become a movie in a year or two. He is also working on two sequels for "Sin City."

Nice.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Imus is back, and Levon is happy


The Daily News reported yesterday (on page 73, found by Freeman colleague Dwayne Kroohs), that Woodstock's Levon Helm will be at the new "Imus in the Morning" show (on 77WABC) in New York City on Dec. 3. Yep, Don Imus, of "nappy-headed hoes" fame.

Tickets are $100. But all proceeds will be donated to the Imus Ranch for Kids With Cancer. So don't feel bad.

Check out Imus' site or Helm's for more details.

And no. I'm not going to get into the whole Imus controversy (the Freeman had an editorial cartoon today) because I don't care about shock jocks shocking people with one shocking statement out of hundreds that apparently were not shocking (they were, and very much so).

3's company


The end is begun, again.

The Woodstock-based band 3 (led by Joey Eppard, center, the son of Jimmy and brother of Josh) plays with Counterfeit Disaster in a homecoming concert Saturday at 9 p.m. at the Bearville Theater on Tinker Street. Tickets are $18.

And on Feb. 19, The Metal Blade band is set to re-release its sophomore album "The End is Begun" with a bonus track and DVD. The bonus track is a spin on the classic Pink Floyd song, "See Emily Play" (That was Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd).

The bonus DVD will feature live performances of the songs˜Monster," "Bramfatura" and "Amaze Disgrace" (all songs from "Wake Pig") from a show from Worcester, Mass. Production videos of the songs "All that Remains" and "Alien Angel" will also be included on the bonus DVD.

for more info on the band, visit http://www.theband3.com/. Or become the band's "friend" at www.myspace.com/3.
Visit http://www.bearsvilletheater.com/ or call (845) 679 4406 for more information about the concert.
...
The photo, by the way, was taken by former Freeman photographer Daniel McCabe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Movies, movies, movies

A trio of movies with local connections are playing around the area soon:

"Racing Daylight": Shot in the Hudson Valley and starring Oscar-nominated actor David Strathairn of Dutchess County and Melissa Leo of Accord.
Here's the gorgeous teaser trailer (in Quicktime). The movie plays at Vanderlin Hall at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge at 7 p.m. on Nov. 29. Writer and director Nicole Quinn, also a local, and producer Sophia Raab-Downs will present their film. The showing is free. Sweet.
Visit http://www.racingdaylightthemovie.com/home.htm for more information on the movie and UCCC's web site for more information on the screening.

"I'm Not There": The main course at the Woodstock Film Festival about that former Woodstock resident called Bob (played by six different actors, including Cate Blanchett and Richard Gere) crosses the river and makes it to Upstate Films in Rhinebeck this weekend. Visit http://www.upstatefilms.org/ for dates and times. Here's the trailer.




"Romance & Cigarettes": Former SUNY New Paltz drama student John Turturro's weird musical starring James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Christopher Walken and part-time Ulster County resident Steve Buscemi also plays at Upstate Films this weekend.
Here's the trailer in Quicktime.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back with a vengance

Not really. I just wanted to write that.

I've been off the news, actually, a habit which proved quite hard for me to quit.

I relapsed a number of times -- one time on Election Day to find out who lost (I'm mean); when I heard some horribly unreliable account of a grenade a block from my house; to find out what the heck is going on in Pakistan (darn Musharraf!); and a host of other inexplicable times when I just had to know what was going on.

So now that we're close to Thanksgiving and I'm back in the game, I can let you know about THE TOYS THAT WILL KILL YOUR KIDS THIS SEASON!

Not really (I told you I was mean). Actually, what's going on is that The New York Public Interest Research Group is to release its yearly report on hazardous toys tomorrow in New Paltz. Details are here.

Hope is all well, and that Sleepy Cat below kept you warm.

Because I won't.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I'm out

I'm going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks.
Since I've become some sort of souless source for useless information, I'll leave you with Sleepy Cat, one of the most famous celebrities on YouTube.




AWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

I'll come back now and again to bore you some more.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Heroes

From the wire...

"NEW YORK (AP) — When Debbie Parkhurst choked on a piece of apple at her Maryland home, her dog jumped in, landing hard on her chest and forcing the morsel to pop out of her throat. When the Keesling family of Indiana was about to be overcome by carbon monoxide, their cat clawed at wife Cathy's hair until she woke up and called for help."
"For their nick-of-time acts, Toby, a 2 1/2-year-old golden retriever, and Winnie, a gray-eyed American shorthair, were named Dog and Cat of the Year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals."
...
I couldn't help but notice that those animals' actions resemble those of my own cat.
Although, now that I think about it, my cat likes to claw my face, not my hair, and he doesn't care if I'm sleep or not.
He also likes to jump on my chest, but so he can get closer to my face.

I know, he's as cute as they come.

Before I forget, the story also mention that "five humans were honored" at the event.

But nobody cares about that, right?