new and noteworthy tv: 8/11-8/17

August 9th, 2014


For those of you not in the CIA know, a legend is like an undercover persona, sure I’ll take a look, and for the rest of you more reality.

  • Monday: Shark Week (Disc, various), Candid Camera, Series Premiere (TVL, 8pm), The Approval Matrix, Series Premiere (Sund, 11pm)
  • Tuesday: 4th and Loud, Series Premiere (AMC, 9pm), Below Deck/Singles Project, Season Premiere (Brav, 9/10pm), Sisterhood of Hip Hop, Series Premiere (Oxy, 9pm), Cement Heads, Series Premiere (A&E, 10:30pm)
  • Wednesday: Legends/Franklin &  Bash, Series/Season Premiere (TNT, 9/10pm), The Wahlburgers, Season Premiere (A&E, 10pm)
  • Thursday: Braxton Family Values/SWV Reunited, Season Premieres (WE, 9/10pm)
  • Friday: Four Weddings, Season Premiere (TLC, 9pm)
  • Sunday: Rachel vs. Guy/The Great Food Truck Race, Season Premieres (Food, 8/9pm)

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.

procrastinator posted in tv | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

bruges, amsterdam, copenhagen

August 7th, 2014


So you’ve heard about the impetus for some of my trip planning and a week’s worth of activity, check out this post if you missed it. But wait there’s more! Before and after the cycling I spent some time on our bookend cities, plus while I was there seemed like a good time to dip my toe into something Scandanavian. I’d been to Belgium before but not to Bruges (Brussels only) or the Netherlands or Denmark, fun! I booked flights and hotels ahead of time, SFO to Amsterdam to Copenhagen back to good ol’ SFO. Upon arrival to Amsterdam with the help of a nice guy at the train ticket center, two transfers and what felt like a million hours later, the fun could begin.

Upon arrival and a quick taxi ride in Bruges I checked into the lovely Fevery Hotel. The location was good, breakfast included plus jellybeans offered in room, a bit outside of the city center but just a short walk. And the front desk gave some lovely recommendations. Most notable recco was my map marked for a stroll through sites including churches, canals, windmills, and my first Belgian beer of the trip at the oldest pub Café Vlissinghe. In some ways Bruges was my favorite city in that it was the most charming and unlike other cities, though of course that trades off for lack of some of the perks of a big city. As noted it’s walk-able, though put on a cushie comfort shoe because it’s all cobblestones which it turns out is murder on the foot. I also enjoyed the canal tour, you don’t necessarily see anything you wouldn’t on foot but the perspective and the historical narrative are a nice way to spend the time. Three days was really enough to feel like I saw things. I picked up one of the museum passes which gave access to the Groeningemuseum as well as a series of other options. And don’t miss the climb up 366 stairs for a great view of the city and Belfort itself. Not covered by the pass but totally worth it was a Picasso exhibit which showcased some great pieces of his and some peers. And a stroll through the main market square and the two key shopping blvds Zuidandstraat and Steenstraat didn’t leave me empty handed. And yes chocolate, fries, and waffles.

Post cycling and upon arrival to the harbor at Amsterdam we had a nice view of Nemo as well as the Maritime museum, though neither got an inside visit from me. A taxi to drop stuff at the bizarrely ‘hip’ and modular CitizenM hotel, which was a little too far out of downtown but right on an easy rail line. The main city area is walk-able but it’s extensive enough that you don’t necessarily want to walk it all every day so a one or three day pass makes on-and-offs the central transpo that much easier. About four full days in Amsterdam can be enough and too little. I had a little museum overload as I tried to take in the biggies Van Gogh, Stedelijk, and Rijksmuseum which were all well worth the visit. Each day post museum it was on to strolls through neighborhoods and parks as well as ordering meals back in restaurants, mmm pastries and apple pie, and another canal tour. Shopping could of course also be found around the neighborhoods and the Nine Streets area again didn’t leave me empty handed.

And then on to Copenhagen. Hotel Alexandra was in a great location and I again took off on foot for a walk through shopping areas to the Nyhavn for a beautiful view and a much needed meal and cold bevvie. Available but skipped this time was another canal tour. I will admit that two plus weeks in my energy was maybe starting to wane. But with a new city to stroll, more sites to see, more museums to hit I was mostly up for the challenge. I’d also been restauranting pretty well along the way and with world famous Noma not being an option (booked well in advance) and the prices being more significant than anticipated I still somehow made due. Favorite find was the Torvehallerne, an in/outside market with meals and meal fixings aplenty, and plenty of good restaurants to be found in the Meatpacking District. The shopping surrounding the main strip of Strøget as well as on the main bits of Istedgade continued to offer lots of options for purchase and just plain pretty design views. And of course museums, both the Statens Museum (located in a great park area) and the Designmuseum were worth a look. The highlight though was heading just outside the city for a day at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the landscape, architecture, and art are worth the visit and I could and did spend all day between viewing art inside and out and just looking at the beautiful coast view past amazing sculpture, and of course eating.

For more check out my Pinterest boards for mapped sites for BrugesAmsterdam, and Copenhagen.

procrastinator posted in lifestyle | 4 comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

new and noteworthy tv: 8/4-8/10

August 3rd, 2014

the_knick_screenshotOutlander a time travel romance? based a book series might be worth a peek as is Soderbergh’s latest Knick with Clive Owen as a doc at the turn of the century, but maybe a pass on Partners not sure Grammer and Lawrence can save it. Also will take a look at G&O the girl group duo (some compare to Flight of the Conchords but who could hope…) and Morgan Spurlock looks at the Sins with another spin off of Summer Heights High (whatever that is) with Jonah.

  • Monday: Bachelor in Paradise, Series Premiere (ABC, 8pm), Partners, Series Premiere (FX, 9pm), Jersey Belle, Series Premiere (Brav, 10pm),
  • Tuesday: CMA Music Festival (ABC, 8pm), Hollywood Hillbillies/Celebrity Legacies, Season/Series Premieres (Reelz, 9/10pm), Hard Knocks, Season Premiere (HBO, 10pm)
  • Wednesday: Top Chef Duels, Series Premiere (Brav, 10pm)
  • Thursday: Extreme Guide to Parenting, Series Premiere (Brav, 9:30pm), Garfunkel & Oates, Series Premiere (IFC, 10pm), Seven Deadly Sins, Series Premiere (Show, 11pm), My Big Family Renovation, Series Premiere (HGTV, 11pm)
  • Friday: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Season Premiere (CMT, 9pm), The Knick, Series Premiere (Cin, 10pm), Jonah from Tonga, Series Premiere (HBO, 10pm)
  • Saturday: Outlander, Series Premiere (Starz, 9pm)
  • Sunday: Teen Choice (Fox, 8pm), Gym Rescue, Series (Spike, 10pm), Shark After Dark, Season Premiere (Disc, 11pm)

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.

procrastinator posted in tv | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

new and noteworthy tv: 7/28-8/3

July 27th, 2014

The Honourable Woman

As usual more reality this week celebs and magic, and a reportedly good new suspense miniseries with Maggie Gyllenhaal.

  • Monday: 2014 Young Hollywood Awards (CW, 8pm), Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Series Premiere (NBC, 8pm)
  • Tuesday: Raising Asia, Series Premiere (Life, 10pm), The Unexplained Files, Season Premiere (Sci, 10pm)
  • Wednesday: Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Series Premiere (CW, 8pm), Sharknado 2 (Syfy, 9pm)
  • Thursday: The Quest, Series Premiere (ABC, 8pm), The Honorable Woman, Miniseries Premiere (Sund, 10pm)
  • Friday: The Killing, Season Premiere (Net, 12:01am), Masters of Illusion, Season Premiere (CW, 8pm), David Tutera’s CELEBrations, Series Premiere (WE, 9pm)
  • Saturday: Hell on Wheels, Season Premiere (AMC, 9pm)
  • Sunday: WWE Wrestlemania (NBC, 10pm), Long Island Medium, Season Premiere (TLC, 9pm), RichKids of Beverly Hills, Season Premiere (E!, 10pm)

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.

procrastinator posted in tv | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

tour de…

July 24th, 2014


So I’m sure you’ve all heard me talk about my passion for cycling. No? No you haven’t. Though I do tune in for much of the Tour de France, most of my athletics are of the watching variety and I haven’t been on a bike for greater than a decade. But my latest vacation planning coincided with members of my family not being able to take a bike/barge trip with some friends of theirs and they generously offered me their spot.

The trip was organized by a 75th birthday celebrant and he and his wife were on a greater cycling endeavor benefiting Tradart Foundation. They chartered the trip for our group of about 25 through Cycletours and the route was seven days of cycling from Bruges to Amsterdam with daily cycles averaging out to around 43k a day. The barge would house us for the duration of the trip meeting us at each finish point and offering a place to decamp for the week, as well as enjoy breakfast and dinner, plus fixin’s for packing a lunch to eat on the road.

Bruges to Amsterdam here I come! Wait, bike trip? Now while one could, and some did, take the trip via barge sans bike, it was clearly set up as a bike trip and I wanted to see if I could embrace experiencing the sites on two wheels. After much training (a couple weeks at the gym and one outdoor bike ride of about 22 minutes) I was planning to do the first short day and then perhaps not cycle again.

Fortunately for me the trip was not only mostly flat but much of it was on dedicated bike paths (or other less trafficked options) with multiple breaks for regrouping, resting, snacking, and scenery. And most importantly the ebike was my savior. Ebike you say? Much as I wanted it to be a scooter you had to pedal the whole time (no pedal no movement) but each pedal was made a touch easier and more productive than without. Cheating some called it, but those of us who took the option were thrilled that it allowed us to enjoy what otherwise we wouldn’t have experienced.

I accomplished many things on my bike. Biking on cobblestones. Biking in the rain. Biking on cobblestones in the rain. From pavement to bricks to dirt to gravel to grass, cities, traffic, train tracks, roundabouts, bike roundabouts, 180 degree turns, drafting (not a good idea if you’re not tour level), stair ramps (not great with the extra heavy ebike)… to name a few. I am not yet ready to ride with no hands and to do things like texting on my bike, ah kids today, but I was overall feeling more comfortable with my bike skills.

By the end of the trip my thighs were sore, my left knee was achy, and my tooshie was done. Was the seat comfortable? Probably, and no, not at all. I was told that the third day would be the worst but the fourth it would get better and not sure better was good enough. Padded shorts are a necessity but can’t solve the issue that a person is not meant to sit on a bike seat for hours and days on end.

And while I don’t know that I’ll do another one there’re a few logistics to consider, I’ve talked to a friend who does other cycling tours and they’re all obviously set up very differently. We all rode together in a group which could get challenging for pace, communication, and sheer number of riders. But sticking with our guide and having a daily sweeper assigned ensured none of us got lost along the way (which totally would have happened even with maps). Plus a group of cyclists with our bright yellow panniers was sort of a warning sign to others which in a couple of traffic situations came in handy.

There were a couple of points where some folks were encouraged to go and ride ahead (I chose to stretch my legs with the quick team) and one day where past a point there were two route options to get back (I chose the short route where you could take a ferry to tour a castle). No SAG wagon meant we brought our gear in our panniers and once committed were committed to the whole ride (thankfully no serious injuries). And being in a chartered group of friends and family meant it wasn’t all folks who would normally sign up for a cycling tour so we had a wide range of cyclist skills and interests. For me, our logistics and the terrain made it a perfect first tour.

All in all, I was glad I traded a little discomfort for what was a wonderful new experience. You see the variety of cities and landscapes in a way you never would if you flew or trained straight from Bruges to Amsterdam, and it was beautiful. It was also a lovely group of people who all encouraged and entertained one another. And as each day was completed it was a joy to be greeted by our barge and fellow travelers moving from happy hour to dinner to share our tales, enjoy what turned out to be delicious food, and hear about the next day’s adventure. Our tour guide even invited us on his unofficial but informative post meal evening constitutional through town each evening.

For more adventures tune back in for my post on Bruges, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen which I’ll get around to as soon as I finish unpacking. Update: Finally unpacked, I guess, so check out the post here.

procrastinator posted in lifestyle | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

new and noteworthy tv: 7/21-7/27

July 20th, 2014

manhattan-key-artA little more reality including the latest Runway (I think we’re almost only a season behind) and a new age of atomic drama from WGN.

  • Monday: Hotel Hell, Season Premiere (Fox, 9pm)
  • Tuesday: Food Fighters, Series Premiere (NBC, 8pm), Face Off, Season Premiere (Syfy, 9pm)
  • Wednesday: Soundclash, Series Premiere (VH1, 9pm), Who Do You Think You Are, Season Premiere (TLC, 9pm), BAPS, Series Premiere (Life, 10pm), Restaurant: Impossible, Season Premiere (Food, 10pm),
  • Thursday: Project Runway/Undone with Amanda de Cadenet, Season/Series Premiere (Life, 9/10:30pm)
  • Sunday: Masterpiece Mystery!: Poirot, Season Premiere (PBS, 9pm), Escaping Alaska, Series Premiere (TLC, 10pm), Manhattan, Series Premiere (WGN, 10pm)

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.

procrastinator posted in tv | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

new and noteworthy tv: 7/15-7/20

July 17th, 2014


A couple new comedies to check out including undoubtedly slightly off kilter FX with relationship shows Married and The Worst. USA tries its hand at more anti heros with doc for hire Rush and successful family man turned escort in Satisfaction and a touch more odd science with genetic baby raising Lottery and the docudrama Gunslingers. Nothing looks noteworthy but might be some decent summer fare. And of course more reality.

  • Wednesday: My Wild Affair/Sex in the Wild, Series Premieres (PBS, 8/10pm), The Divide, Series Premiere (WE, 9pm), Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project, Series Premiere (VH1, 10pm), Virgin Territory, Series Premiere (MTV, 11pm)
  • Thursday: Untold with Maria Menuounos, Series Premiere (E!, 8pm), Dating Naked/#candidlynicole/Leann & Eddie, Series Premieres (VH1, 9/10/10:30pm), Don’t Be Tardy, Season Premiere (Brav, 9pm), Rush/Satisfaction, Series Premieres (USA, 9/10pm), Married/You’re the Worst, Series Premieres (Fx, 10/10:30pm)
  • Saturday: Cedar Cove, Season Premiere (Hall, 8pm)
  • Sunday: Flipping the Block, Series Premiere (HGTV, 9pm), Gunslingers, Series Premiere (AHC, 10pm), The Lottery, Series Premiere (Life, 10pm)

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.

procrastinator posted in tv | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

new and noteworthy tv: extended edition

June 27th, 2014


And by extended I mean a little more time, a little less information. The procrastinator is spending a moment away from the computer over the next few weeks so wanted to call out a few noteworthy starts in lieu of a more comprehensive weekly list. Television is unpredictable so be forewarned that the early version might also be a little less accurate.

  • Monday, 6/30: Under the Dome, Season Premiere (CBS, 10pm)
  • Tuesday, 7/1: Time Scanners/History Detectives, Series Premieres (PBS, 8/9pm), Biker Battleground Phoenix, Series Premiere (Hist, 10pm), Drunk History/Nathan for You, Season Premieres (Com, 10/10:30pm)
  • Friday, 7/4: Fireworks!
  • Saturday, 7/5: My Dysfunctional Family, Series Premiere (CMT, 10pm)
  • Sunday, 7/6: Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, Series Premiere (CMT, 9pm), Witches of East End, Season Premiere (Life, 9pm)
  • Monday, 7/7: Ice Road Truckers, Season Premiere (Hist, 10pm)
  • Tuesday, 7/8: Finding Carter, Series Premiere (MTV, 10pm), Restaurant Startup, Series Premiere (CNBC, 10pm)
  • Wednesday, 7/9: American Muscle, Series Premiere (Disc, 9pm), Beverly Hills Pawn/Mansion Hunters, Season/Series Premieres (Reelz, 9/10pm), Extant, Series Premiere (CBS, 9pm), The Bridge, Season Premiere (Fx, 10pm)
  • Thursday, 7/10: Hollywood Scandals/Celebrity Damage Control, Season/Series Premieres (Reelz, 9/10pm), Welcome to Sweden/Working the Engels, Series Premieres (NBC, 9/9:30pm), Leah Remini, Series Premiere (TLC, 10pm), Pawnography, Series Premiere (Hist, 10pm), Ridiculousness/Snack-Off, Series Premiere (MTV, 10/10:30pm)
  • Friday, 7/11: Hemlock Grove, Season Premiere (Net, 12:01am), Almighty Johnsons, Series Premiere (Syfy, 10pm)
  • Sunday, 7/13: The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Season Premiere (Brav, 8pm), Ray Donovan/Masters of Sex, Season Premieres (Show, 9/10pm), Game of Crowns, Series Premiere (Brav, 9:15pm), Lone Star Lady, Series Premiere (A&E, 10pm), The Strain, Series Premiere (Fx, 10pm)
  • Monday, 7/14: Backpackers/The Seed, Series Premieres (CW, 8:30/9pm)

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.

procrastinator posted in tv | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

sf to do list?

June 23rd, 2014


A friend has a friend in town and as we started to talk about all the things that we think a visitor should do, we also started admitting some of the things we hadn’t done ourselves. San Francisco is a great city, but it can also be an expensive city to live in, and in order to justify that I think one should take advantage.

We agreed that we would each come up with a list of ten things that we had done that we think should be done in the city. My list is neither comprehensive nor necessarily the list I would make any visitor do, that should be customized based on their interests, but ten things I would do (or to be honest ten categories of things I would do).

So whether you’re entertaining, you’re planning a staycation, or just trying to get out (in no particular order):

  • Eat out: This could be my list one through ten but good food in unique neighborhoods is one of the best ways to experience the city, depending on where you’re from you’re most likely not experiencing good Mexican, good sushi or crazy fresh produce. Check out the SFGate Top 100 for reference.
  • Drinks outside: Ok this is a touchy SF recommendation because you can’t do it on most days, and it’s probably more enjoyable to locals than to anyone else because of the constant chill and few great opportunities, that said there are some great places to experience; if you’re on a particularly cold day you should still go to one of the bars where you might find a quality mixologist (same can be said for our fancy coffee, I tend to lean Blue Bottle if I have the choice). Maybe try Yelp for some options.
  • Golden Gate Park: The options are endless, but honestly for me nothing is better than seeing bison mid park, except perhaps the view of tulips and a windmill as you come to the beach.
  • Window shopping on Hayes Street: A few other streets would do, Fillmore, Mission, etc., but visiting a neighborhood with non-chain boutiques will have a little something for everyone, it’s worth shopping but when the prices are prohibitive a good window shop will do, and then perhaps some food or a drink (and if it’s nice outside!).
  • Museums: I’m a member at SFMOMA and normally recommend that for a pop by even if there’s no major exhibit in play, Blue Bottle coffee on the rooftop sculpture garden is a lovely way to take a break, the food at the cafe is tasty, and the museum gift shop is always stocked with a good selection of jewelry and paper goods as well as books aplenty; that said SFMOMA is shutty for now (though you can catch a modified gift shop nearby and misc art around town) so take a look at what’s showing at de Young which just so happens to be in Golden Gate Park.
  • Take a ferry: It is the Bay Area and what no better way to experience the bay than taking one of the ferries to Sausalito or Tiburon or wherever, get a bite, get a drink, enjoy the view.
  • Ferry Plaza and weekend Farmers Market: The Ferry Plaza was redone some time ago and is a bounty of boutique foods, and the Farmers Market takes it to a whole new level so come hungry and with cash, and perhaps coordinate with a Ferry trip.
  • Crissy Field stroll to the foot of Golden Gate Bridge: I don’t do this a ton but I can’t argue that this stroll isn’t worth it for the view, bonus points if you’re walking a pooch who appreciates the sand and water.
  • Walking tour: Mission Murals, downtown open spaces, you can find a tour on anything you want or didn’t know you wanted do a quick search and it’s worth a good afternoon.
  • Events: San Francisco Lit Quake/Crawl, City Arts and Lectures, Open Studios, and Porchlight are only a few of the opportunities awaiting you, it’s a city of interesting people and culture and there is always something going on somewhere.

I’m sure I could come up with any number of options but these won’t do you wrong. What are would you do?

procrastinator posted in lifestyle | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

new and noteworthy tv: 6/23-6/29

June 21st, 2014


Taxi Brooklyn sounds ridiculous but rumor has it the chemistry in the cop drama adds a little something though time will tell as with the premise of legal chemistry on Reckless. Speaking of chemistry who would miss Tori and Jenni together again, ok it looks dumb as does the personal chef half hour pairing but sometimes the lighter fare works, and for other nostalgia Girl follows the next generation of the family (from Boy Meets World). Tyrant as FX’s latest offering is of course worth a look as is the latest where did the people go drama Leftovers.

As to our new reality fare, oh CeeLo… but if you like your real estate and you like Miami or nudists there’s something for you; Fat is more about cars than fat while Oprah’s Operation is Haiti focused. And of course dance studios are rescued as is plastic surgery, who could argue with that? And of course Wimbledon starts this week so tune in for the fortnight.

  • Monday: Street Outlaws/Fat n’ Furious, Season/Series Premieres (Disc, 9/10pm), Operation Change, Series Premiere (OWN, 10pm), POV, Season Premiere (PBS, 10pm), Teen Wolf/Wolf Watch, Season Premieres (MTV, 10/11pm), Ceelo Green’s the Good Life, Series Premiere (TBS, 10:30pm)
  • Tuesday: Abby’s Studio Rescue, Series Premiere (Life, 9pm) Botched, Series Premiere (E!, 9pm), Next Great Baker, Season Premiere (TLC, 9pm), Covert Affairs, Season Premiere (USA, 10pm), Sullivan & Son, Season Premiere (TBS, 10pm), Tyrant, Series Premiere (Fx, 10pm)
  • Wednesday: Big Brother, Season Premiere (CBS, 8pm), Young & Hungry/Mystery Girls, Series Premieres (ABCF, 8/8:30pm), Million Dollar Listing: Miami (Brav, 9pm), Wilfred, Season Premiere (Fxx, 10pm), Taxi Brooklyn, Series Premiere (NBC, 10pm)
  • Thursday: NY Med, Season Premiere (ABC, 10pm)
  • Friday: Girl Meets World, Series Premiere (Dis, 9:45)
  • Saturday: America’s Cutest Dog, Season Premiere (AnPl, 10pm), Buying Naked, Series Premiere (TLC, 10pm)
  • Sunday: Last Tango in Halifax/Endeavor/Vicious, Season/Series Premieres (PBS, 8/9/10:30pm), Reckless/Unforgettable, Series/Season Premieres (CBS, 9/10pm), The Leftovers, Series Premiere (HBO, 10pm)

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation other than those underlined. Times noted are typically PST.

procrastinator posted in tv | no comments »
AddThis Social Bookmark Button