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To Kill A Mockingbird at Studio Arena: A Masterfully Cast Masterpiece

02.04.2008 @ 2:10 PM in Lifestream
TKAM_1.jpg Studio Arena presents to you -- produced by Road Less Travelled Productions -- To Kill a Mockingbird, running from February 2nd, till Sunday the 24th.
  • The story, based on the best selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel contains some of the most memorable characters in American literature – Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, and the children – Jem, Dill and Scout. This compelling piece speaks to the very heart of American integrity, while raising questions about racism and prejudice. The story, told through the eyes of a young girl is filled with moments of discovery as she uncovers the secrets that her neighbors and community hide. This production stars Doug Zschiegner as Atticus Finch and Dee La Monte Perry as Tom Robinson. It is directed by Scott Behrend, Founder and Artistic Director of Road Less Traveled Productions.
Opening night brought forth one of the longest and most deserving standing ovations I've ever seen at Studio Arena. Why we clapped so hard, hooting and hollering like Cher was on stage? its easy: the cast gave everything into their roles. This was a hard production to pull off because the story is so common; everyone has their own idea of what the characters look and sound like. TKAM_2.jpg Every character was cast with perfection. I wondered how they managed to find a child so small to play Dill, till I realized that Joseph Westphal ("Dill") is a Lukemia survivor. Amazing talent was also seen from Doug Zchneigner ("Atticus"), whose furrowed brow and upright stature accurately portrayed the conviction that Finch lived his life with every day. TKAM_3.jpg Tickets are on sale now, priced $25-65.00.

Superbowl: Hulu makes watching the Superbowl obsolete.

02.04.2008 @ 11:18 AM in Culture
sbads2008hulu.jpg I didn't watch the Superbowl. The Giants won though, right? Thats nice, I'm sure it was fun, I'm sure you all drank too much beer and woke up a bit sick from diving in the community dip bowl where everyone's grubby fingers (yours included) double dipped all night. Germs are tasty eh? Anyways, the only draw, well what used to be, was the halftime show, movie trailers, and Budweiser ads. Well, Paula Abdul bit it hard this time, the Bud ads aren't what they used to be, and the movie trailers aren't anything new if you saw any movie in the past month. Now, Hulu, freemium online video "snacking" service, has put up all 56 ads for your viewing pleasure on their site. the downside is that you have to register for a free beta invitation, but I've embedded some of the more interesting ads in this post. Click after the jump to view them. Audi: R8 Godfather Coca Cola: Coke Floats FedEx: Carrier Pigeons Wanted: Trailer Wall-E: Trailer LifeWater: Thriller Amp'd: Boogie Jump

Sai One: Valentine’s Day Contest

02.01.2008 @ 3:14 PM in Buffalo
saionevday.jpg With February now amongst us, that means that Valentine's Day is in just two short weeks. With that said, Angel has a drawing over at his store for a V-day bundle worth about $125! The rules:
  1. Head down to Sai One (818 Elmwood, across from the Lexington Co-op), and take a gander at the glass jar full of Hershey Kisses.
  2. Guess the amount of Kisses in the jar and write the number down on a slip of paper with: your name and your phone or email address, which ever gets a hold of you first. Slip it in an envelope and go about your business.
  3. On February 13th, Angel will pick the entry with the closest (or exact) number to the actual count of the Kisses without going over. In case of a tie, a random draw will decide the winning slip. You'll get a ring or a ping, and you can pick up your prize.
The prize:
  1. One-of-A-Kind Spring handbag, made especially for the contest.
  2. Angel's custom Chocolate body line: lotion, body wash, and bath salts; all infused with the rich and lucsious scent of chocolate.
  3. A Sai One red Ladie's Tank/Panty set.
No purchase necessary, just head over and take a guess. Since the drawing is on the 13th, that gives you the opportunity to gift this as well if you win, making you look super special with your lady and possibly securing third base. saionebagwhite.jpg

Stache: Epoch Fail

02.01.2008 @ 2:14 PM in Buffalo
stache.jpg In case you haven't noticed, Stache has vacated yet another building on Elmwood (830). Here's the official word from Sweet and Dirty's Myspace blog:
  • Well its official, Stache is Goin,Goin Back,Back...Home thats right Erin and I have made the decision to merge Stache back with Sweet and Dirty. For some reason it happened again, I was made an offer i could not refuse. So HUGE! It's an amazing feeling to go back to job security and a PAYCHECK! I've loved every min of having a store and thank you to everyone that supported me! I'm having a big sale on pretty much everything in the store thats not bolted down and then if you want to rip it down go for it. So holla at ur boy for more info, I'll be here. thank you from the bottom of my heart! Joe
In other words: FAIL. Why would anyone take up the "offer of a lifetime" to move from your own independent branded store, on the 800 block of Elmwood no less, to your (ex?) girlfriend's chick store in the back corner of her shop? In, my opinion, Stache is over as a standalone store because Joe didn't have the skills or the care to run his own shop. His hours were off and on, and many time the "open" sign would be lit, but the door locked and no one to be found. In fact, I was never able to make it into his store (on 830) to shop because it was always  "closed." stache3.jpg The sad thing was that his store was actually pretty sweet. From the few local handmade lines that he carried to the American Apparel basics, I think he could have made it work if he was a bit more dedicated to being IN the store and OPEN. You can't sell shit with your lights off. Sweet and Dirty was the start, off Potomac next to Sunday Skate and BMX; Erin (along with her mentors, I'm sure) made it a success. Now, she paid it forward and gave her man his own start, only to have him close two stores and slink back to a corner in the back. I hope Erin has learned a lesson from this: If your lover is bored and wants a piece of your success, give him a job, not his own store.

More Office Mess, This Time With Eye Candy

02.01.2008 @ 12:41 PM in Lifestream
plumber.jpg They moved the chaos into my  room for the better part of the morning. I get in, pipes are everywhere, a layer of dust has settled on my desk and i'm greeted by the not so furry crack of the plumber. I try to avoid the sight of "coffee grinds" dripping down my wall, but the smell of old pipes and what they used to contain is unmistakeable. I'm not too sure how much longer I can handle the environmental disruptions, noise pollution and sweaty contractors coming in and out. They say that today is the last day for plumbing in my room, and later next week someone else will be in to put up a plywood barrier for concrete. I hope he's cute.

Pepsi Stuff SuperBowl ad w/ Justin Timberlake

01.31.2008 @ 4:10 PM in Lifestream
pepsi.jpg Tomorrow, that is Feb 1st, you will be able to start banking those little codes you've been finding under your Pepsi caps. Unlike previous Pepsi/music giveaways, this is a points based system: 5 caps get you a DRM-free song courtesy of Amazon Mp3 Downloads. There are other prizes in the mix, and other things to save up for, like trips, hdtv's, clothes, and money. The Superbowl marks the official launch of the campaign; take a look below of the commercial featuring Justin Timberlake getting knocked around NYC. and here's the officicial press release from Pepsi on the whole deal
Pepsi Stuff Kicks Off on the Super Bowl PURCHASE, N.Y., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Pepsi and are teaming up on Pepsi Stuff, a massive collect-and-get program where consumers can download the most DRM-free MP3 music available anywhere. Four billion specially marked Pepsi packages will allow people to collect points and redeem them for music from Amazon MP3 that can be played on virtually any digital portable device (including iPod®), organized in any music management application, or burned to a CD. Beginning February 1, consumers purchasing Pepsi products can “bank” their points on and redeem them for music on Amazon MP3. Amazon MP3 offers Earth’s Biggest Selection of a la carte, DRM-free MP3 music downloads, with over 3.25 million songs from more than 270,000 artists. Five points earn consumers one MP3 song download from the libraries of EMI Music, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, Warner Music Group and tens of thousands of other music labels. Pepsi’s biggest promotion ever makes its debut on the Super Bowl. “MP3 music is the future of the industry and Pepsi Stuff is an accelerator,” said Danny Socolof, President of Las-Vegas based MEGA, Inc., which facilitated the Pepsi/Amazon alliance. “It will help more people discover legal DRM-free music downloading sooner than they might normally have. It’s also likely to draw in music fans who are not as familiar with digital downloading, which can help build a healthy future for the music business.” “We are excited to team up with Pepsi and reward millions of Pepsi Stuff participants with high-quality DRM-free music downloads from major and independent labels, playable on virtually any device, and an easy downloading experience that doesn’t require special software,” said Bill Carr, Vice President for Digital Music and Movies. “Pepsi Stuff gives consumers choices — many choices: from the prizes they select, to the music they want to hear, to the device they want to play it on,” said Cie Nicholson, SVP and chief marketing officer, Pepsi-Cola North America. “We’re also broadening the prize pool to include Amazon Unbox TV downloads, electronics, apparel, DVDs and CDs. We’re offering up to $1 billion in prizes, making this the largest promotion we’ve ever done.” Participants can also enter a daily sweepstakes for the chance to win trips to events like the Super Bowl, the MLB All-Star game and the Daytona 500, as well as for cash and many other big prizes. Consumers may sign up now to be reminded when the promotion begins at Pepsi has a long history of marketing through music, beginning with the first advertising jingle ever broadcast nationwide in 1940 and spanning the ’60s and ’70s with the Pepsi Generation. In the 1980s Pepsi began developing relationships with some of the world’s biggest recording artists and featured chart-topping songs in marketing campaigns, concerts and commercials. It’s a strategy that continues today, including recent associations with superstars Kanye West, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Green Day. Pepsi Stuff will be executed across the entire Pepsi trademark: Pepsi-Cola, Diet Pepsi, Diet Pepsi MAX, Pepsi ONE, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry, Diet Pepsi Jazz, Diet Pepsi Lime and Diet Pepsi Vanilla. It will be supported by an extensive marketing campaign that will include TV, radio and outdoor advertising created by BBDO NY. TracyLocke (Wilton, CT), Pepsi’s promotional agency of record, has been instrumental in the development and ongoing execution of the program. About Amazon MP3 Amazon MP3 is Amazon’s DRM-free MP3 digital music store where every song and album is playable on virtually any digital music-capable device, including the PC, Mac®, iPod®, Zune®, Zen®, iPhone(TM), RAZR(TM), and BlackBerry®. Amazon MP3 offers Earth’s Biggest Selection of a la carte DRM- free MP3 music downloads with over 3.25 million songs from more than 270,000 ar

I shoulda called in

01.31.2008 @ 10:45 AM in Lifestream
upstairsbathroom.jpg Today is the big day in the beginning of the upstairs bathroom renovations at my agency. I'm all for it; I'm tired of the "dirty water" leaks that happen from the mens room upstairs that ravage my lab and damage my computers. The renovation plans should take about two weeks to complete. New urinals and stalls, and accessible everything. The old set up had a step up to three open wall-style urinals, which is what at this very moment, a jackhammer is trying to eradicate. I'm a patient guy, very patient. I'm also a martyr. I've taken about 4 Excedrin and I'm calmly sipping green tea while the sounds of destruction echo above me ALL DAY. If you would like a sample of my madness, hit play below and turn up the volume while you bang your head on the wall. Viva la Breakdown! [audio: ]

Tabree Restaurant: Plans

01.29.2008 @ 11:09 PM in Buffalo
astoria.jpg First off, I'll really miss Astoria (423 Elmwood). We never had enough time to prepare; with a shady hasty announcement (two days prior) to staff and patrons that their last day was New Years Eve, I managed to get in for the final supper and spend that last moment with the best cajun-grilled porkchops I've ever had. days later the paper was up and word that a French Bistro called Tabree was going to replace it. However, a "swift transition" it has not been. Its been almost month, and I've seen the lights on plenty of times, moving shadows cast against the privacy paper, but never enough to get a good glimpse of progress. Till now. An accidental (maybe?) gash in the paper granted me a peek and a few photos, including one of the renovation plans.. tabree1_web.jpg
  • It seems they managed to rip up all the old booths and cleared out the partition to the kitchen. On the far right side a bar will go, and the front facing kitchen door will be relocated to the adjacent side. From what it looks like, there will be 27 indoor dining seats, bar included, with the front window areas converted to booths. Patrons of Astoria will notice that the center dividing booth will be rebuilt, extended, and split up into two tables of four and one two seater by the wall
tabree_web.jpg [would you like a larger peak? click above to embiggen] Aside from the bar in the main dining area, the security doors made of wood and the new booths, there doesn't look to be too much more change from the original set up. I have no idea what a French bistro will offer, but they have a bar so I'm all for it. I just hope they can hurry it up. Though I'm excited for a new place to eat on Elmwood, I know Tabree won't be anything like Astoria. It was Lolo and Dimmer, Chris and Goldpenny that made Astoria memorable, not to mention the incredible food. So many good times were had. I even met Angel for the first time in the back kitchen; I have Astoria to thank for helping me cultivate some of my best friends on the block. Oh well, here's to new memories and some good food, eh?
  • Update: I heard in a roundabout way that the owners plan to open in April, which is a lot longer time than even I expected. However, I also heard of some very interesting plans to create a giant waterfall in the patio area.

The Hirsuit Fashion Pursuit

01.29.2008 @ 11:28 AM in Lifestream
Costello_Tagliapietra_pulse.jpg The dresses created by designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra are flowing masterpieces, cut from the most elegant and luxurious cloth, draping and forming with perfection to nearly every body type. The designers on the other hand, prefer a bit less expensive and more practical approach to their own personal fashion:
The two met at the now-defunct club Sound Factory in 1994 and have been together, personally and professionally, ever since. Back then, Costello was doing costumes for Madonna's trippy "Bedtime Story" video - "I think that's kind of why I wanted to start helping," says Tagliapietra. They live and work in a modest, 1,000-square-foot railroad apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, a third-floor walk-up. Their current intern - coincidentally, they say - looks exactly like they do: a burly, bearded young man in jeans, a flannel shirt and suspenders, more rustic lumberjack than refined couturier. "We've always sort of dressed alike," says Tagliapietra. "The only thing more comfortable than jeans and flannels are pajamas," Costello says. "And I'm not gonna wear pajamas to a nightclub." "Suspenders are more comfortable than a belt," adds Tagliapietra.
Angel had shown me this article yesterday from The Post that featured "the boys." I've seen and swooned over this handsome couple for ages. Half as much for their good looks, I'm more amazed at their success in an industry that simply defies the "bearish" nature. Perhaps that's why they are still relatively unknown for their incredible work.
The boys themselves - Costello is 46, Tagliapietra, 33 - have their own theories as to why they remain largely undiscovered. "I think part of it is money," says Tagliapietra. They are looking for backing; until then, it's just the two of them designing a 28-piece collection twice a year. They can't afford to hire a full-time pattern-maker or a seamstress, and have no financial safety net. Since debuting in 2005, they've been sold in a handful of stores around the world - but even if they got a bump in orders, they lack the means to produce at a faster pace. Aside from their financial constraints, Tagliapietra is stumped. "Who knows why?" he asks. Costello, too, is perplexed: "I still don't understand how we do these delicate dresses with such meaty paws," he says, chuckling softly.
They work 14-hour days - 20 in the run-up to Fashion Week - and when they have free time would rather go to dinner with friends than network. And they are painfully aware that some of their less talented peers have surpassed them in name and brand recognition by cultivating the right fashion-world contacts and celebrity friends: "It's hard," says Tagliapietra, to watch other young designers cut deals with Target while they struggle. Last year, they were approached by Lord & Taylor's parent company, which offered $1.5 million for a 70 percent stake in the line. Ultimately, the deal fell through: "We just wanted fair control," says Costello.
Meaty paws and a look a like intern? "Coincidentally?" Sure.

A Cub and his Maracas

01.28.2008 @ 1:50 PM in Technology
Something about a tubby yet muscley cub playing a near obsolete console in his skivvies brings some warmth to my heart, and my pants. NSFW if you can't stand a few briefs shots of a hot furry ass playing Samba de Amigo on a Sega Dreamcast. [youtube width="600" height="501"][/youtube]