Restaurant Reviews: Metropolis Cafe and BoJo’s Boardwalk Cafe

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Rachel

We tried two new restaurants during our Staycation. Here are my reviews of each restaurant experience.


Metropolis Café:


We arrived around 1 for a late lunch. The restaurant was empty, so we were told to go ahead and seat ourselves. We were quickly approached by a waitress who got our drinks quickly (water for me and a black & tan for Derrick).


We were excited to see calamari on the menu, and we always have to order it when we see it. Though it was really good, with a light batter and subtle flavoring, I would not recommend this particular appetizer for “calamari beginners”. Very often people are grossed out by the texture of squid. I am not. But it had an olive oil coating underneath the fried batter that made it feel much more tentacle-y in your mouth than other kinds of calamari.


I’d been craving a gyro for months, so of course I ordered myself one. The lamb/beef meat came with lettuce and tomatoes on a pita. The sauce was on the side, which I appreciate, but it was difficult to spread on the pita because the pita was loaded with goodies. It was delicious and came with a side of curly fries, which might be my favorite curly fries ever.


Derrick ordered a kabob platter with steak and chicken. It came on a bed of basmati rice with some pita triangles off to the side. He thought the chicken was a hit. He did wonder if the seasoning of the dish as a whole was a little limey. The next day, we were able to use his leftover steak and veggies in a breakfast scramble, and the flavors worked well with eggs.


BoJo’s Boardwalk Café:


After being turned away at PJ’s because they were “closed”, we headed across the street to BoJo’s. We were meant to end up here, and I’ll always regret not going there earlier.


We happened to arrive during happy hour, when drinks are half priced. Derrick got two Sam Adams in bottles. Strangely, despite their large beer selection, they don’t have beer on draft. I got a “Week on the Beach” drink, which was a pineappley drink very similar to the Pineapple Express drink I had at Planet Hollywood on our honeymoon. When I asked the waitress about the drink, she didn’t know exactly what was in it, so she went and talked to the bartender and brought me back the whole ingredient list.


Derrick and I both ordered the Admiral Platter, which seemed like the best deal for us wanting to try a variety. The Admiral Platter comes with the fresh catch of your choice ( I got salmon and Derrick got mahi mahi), shrimp, scallops, lobster cake, and two sides (I got salad and fries, and Derrick got steamed veggies and fries). Our meals were wonderful. I think the scallops really stole the show. They were big and juicy—four bites each. We’ve only ever had scallops like this at Fripp Island. Who knows where they came from—not Lake Sinclair!


The service was wonderful. Quick too—Derrick and I were out of there in 45 minutes, even with our drinks and feasts! BoJo’s has a great, relaxed, lake-house atmosphere, and it’s definitely the best seafood option in Milledgeville.

Shopping Review: Villane’s Jewelry & Unique Accessories

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by Rachel

As part of our staycation, Derrick and I wanted to go in all of the downtown shops we’ve ignored during our two years in Milledgeville. We explored Red Door Antiques, Auntie Bellum’s Antiques, The 42nd Floor, and Villane’s. I’ve decided to review Villane’s, since it is the only store I purchased items from, and because the shopping experience has bothered me more the more I thought about it.


Outside, there was a sign that said purses were 40% off. When we entered the store, one of the employees was having a conversation with another customer about how they were considering getting rid of their purse section and expanding their jewelry section. Derrick and I started in the front and worked our way to the back, but I was very excited by some of the first earrings I saw at the front of the store. They were small flower studs, and I’d been eyeing a similar pair on Etsy, though these were metal and the ones I’d been looking at were plastic. The flowers were in all colors of the rainbow, so I chose an aqua blue pair and then decided that I should also grab a purple pair. The earrings were $3 each, so I was getting two different pairs of earrings that I could wear with different colored outfits for only $6—a steal.


The store’s jewelry selection is really nice for Milledgeville. There were lots of owl necklaces, elephant pieces, and trendy scarves. There was a cool snake bangle that I tried on. There were some nice sea horse earrings that I considered buying. Everything was reasonably priced.


But my check-out and after-store experience keeps me from thinking that I’ll ever return to Villane’s. I tried to make small talk with the check-out woman, explaining that I’d wanted earrings like this for a long time. She was only concerned with how much the similar earrings on Etsy cost (no biggie; at least from a business standpoint, her interest made sense). When I handed her the earrings that I’d picked out, she reached over to the side of the counter and grabbed a “master earring sheet”, and she pulled off an aqua pair and a purple pair from this sheet, wrapped them in tissue, and put them in a little bag. I thought it was strange because I’ve never bought earrings and seen this happen, but Mom told me this does happen occasionally.


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Playboy Horror

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 by Rachel

Since tonight Lifetime will be airing the “Hef’s Runaway Bride” special, I decided it would be the perfect day to watch The Telling for the first time. Though The Telling isn’t officially Playboy-endorsed, it stars many recognizable Playmates and features Hugh Hefner’s mansion as a sorority house. I’d seen The Telling referenced in several Girls Next Door episodes, as Bridget Marquardt produced the movie. This was a movie that I never had high expectations for, but I figured would be a fun, silly, straight-to-video watching experience.


The Telling is filmed in the anthology tradition of movies like Creepshow and The Twilight Zone. The movie is framed by the story that, in the final round of recruitment, a sorority accepts new pledges based on how scary their scary stories are. The pledges tell three stories. In the first, a woman struggles when her boyfriend moves his ex-girlfriend into their home. But she soon realizes that her competition isn’t with the ex-girlfriend, but with a doll. In the second, a washed-up/too-old actress accepts a horror role, unaware that this role will be her last. In the third, three friends stuck at home make prank calls. When the prank caller strikes back, they don’t know who they can trust.


My favorite of the three sections was the second, starring Bridget. Bridget has always been my favorite of the Girls Next Door, and, though her acting isn’t anywhere near Oscar-quality, she does a good job in this “dialogue-light” role. But the reason why I like this section the best is because it is where the movie tries to experiment, with lighting, with filming, with a psychedelic absinthe scene, with a dinner table seated with masked guests. This is where the movie really tries to make itself special, and I wonder if this section alone could’ve been expanded and made for an exciting 90 minute movie.


Though The Telling isn’t necessarily successful as a horror film, it is obvious that the people who made it knew a lot about horror films, with the frequent references to its predecessors. The Telling isn’t supposed to be scary (though I did jump once), and it was exactly what I thought it would be. If you’re going to be nitpicky about the film’s quality, actors, dialogue, and predictable plot, sit this one out. If you like Playboy-related stuff, like horror and you have a sense of humor, watch it. This movie kept me entertained.

Movie Views of the Past 2 Weeks

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 by Rachel

Maybe this can become a reoccurring column. Movie watching is a regular activity in our house, but I definitely pick up momentum in the summertime.


Suspiria: My first Dario Argento film. Worth watching for the set design, music, ending, and, of course, a brief appearance by UDO KIER


Opera: I watched Opera on the recommendation of a stranger’s tweet. I liked Suspiria more, but Opera is worth watching for the death scenes and the birds!


Eat Pray Love: Beautiful scenery, but I have a hard time getting behind a heroine who cannot figure anything out for herself and has to be told what to think/do.


Raging Bull: As far as boxing movies go, I like Rocky and The Fighter more. But the Boogie Nights –esque ending, De Niro’s bizarre physical transformation, and the beautiful Cathy Moriarty are what made this an enjoyable afternoon watch.


Fire in the Sky: A man gets abducted by aliens in Snowflake, AZ (only 2 hours away from Flagstaff). In AZ, Derrick worked with a man who knew the abducted man. What I really enjoyed about this movie wasn’t the abduction, but the focus on those who are left behind.


Father of the Bride: I’ve never seen this before, strangely enough! I wish I’d watched it during the wedding planning process. Steve Martin’s physical comedy (especially around the pool) made me too nervous, but I enjoyed watching a bride wear sneakers, just like me!


Exit Through the Gift Shop: We don’t normally go out of our way to watch documentaries, but this was a really interesting one. The question of “what is art?” is what takes over this film, when we see a bongo-cans man really lose it as he attempts to become an “artist”.


The Great Buck Howard: A mentalist from Johnny Carson’s day attempts to revamp his career. Watch it to see how John Malkovich shakes a hand. Strange stuff and good cast here.


Lies & Illusions: I’ve never seen the last third of a movie go so horribly wrong. I don’t know what happened! The beginning (especially the animated opening credits), concept, and even Christian Slater’s acting really work, but everything eventually falls apart.


The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made: An hour long documentary. Since each movie is only addressed for about a minute, it’s enough to give you a taste of each film without spoiling any major plot points. Derrick had actually seen a few on the list (Howard the Duck & Troll), but I hadn’t. Ed Wood reigns supreme here.

Daria never needed a boyfriend.

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 by Rachel

I just finished watching the complete series of Daria, plus the two movies Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet? This is a DVD set that I’ve been waiting for and wanting for years. And now that I’ve got it? I’m sure of only one thing—Daria never needed a boyfriend.


The first two seasons are solid. These are the ones especially that I remember when I think about the good-ole-watchin-Daria times. These are the ones with gym class, Trent-crushing (my all-time favorite episode with Daria piercing her bellybutton to impress him), and general witty banter. When we got to season three last week, Derrick and I played Monopoly. These episodes weren’t worth watching with 100% attention, and many of them were blatant fillers (for example, the musical episode, which was unnecessary, unfunny, and unfitting to the show).


The biggest change happens in between seasons three and four. First, the “filming” changes. The animation is visibly different, as the “camera” moves differently with character motions, in addition to simpler changes like bolder lines of character drawings. If you don’t notice or aren’t bothered by the bolder lines, watch out for when Quinn’s shirt changes from the short-sleeved happy face tee to the long-sleeved butterfly shirt. This one single unnecessary wardrobe alteration represents how unnecessary all of the other alterations were to me.


Second, Daria gets a boyfriend. The show shifts from a more episodic formula (i.e. Seinfeld) to a sitcom formula (i.e. Dawson’s Creek). You can’t just pick up an episode anymore. There’s an actual plot that revolves around the love triangle of Daria, Jane, and Tom. And, for the most part, I don’t care! Yes, Tom’s a smart guy, sort of a slacker, and he’s sometimes witty and funny, but I never understand Daria’s initial attraction for him. Because I don’t buy this, I don’t buy a relationship that carries on through seasons four,five and through the two movies. I never needed a love interest—this wasn’t why I liked the show. I understand that Daria was growing up and that sometimes antisocial outcasts DO get boyfriends (we know I did!), but why Tom? Could he have been a teeny bit more likeable? And why did he stick around so long?


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Mini Movie Reviews

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 by Rachel

Generally, I watch at least one movie a day. This will probably go up since now I’ve got a batch of personal narrative papers to grade. Movies in the background help me survive grading. Especially scary movies do wonders for reducing my stress. We have a fantastic movie collection, and I could go a year without repeating a movie. Maybe even two years.


We don’t really rent movies. We don’t do the Netflix thing. Generally speaking, if we want something and know we’ll watch it more than once, we just buy it. Since we didn’t have a good cable setup in Flagstaff, we did decide to splurge the extra 7 bucks or so a month for the HBO/Cinemax package, which I think has been really worth our while. Not only do we watch Hung, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm (starting next Sunday), but I get to watch new movies all the time. I just wanted to give you some quick mini-reviews of the movies I’ve watched in the past week.


Charlie Wilson’s War: A movie that starts with a Vegas hottub nails it. I’ve had Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on the brain, as I saw it for the first time over 4th of July weekend. So since I’d watched that relatively recently, it was fun to compare the ideal politician to one who’s a little rougher around the edges. Charlie Wilson loves his booze and women, and you can’t help but love him for his good intentions. Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman were wonderful. Julia Roberts..meh, kind of disgusting as a blonde Texan.


Unknown: I seriously thought the cable guide was screwed up when I saw this title, like it hadn’t loaded the information for this movie properly. The synopsis said Reservoir Dogs meets Memento. I’d even throw Saw into the mix there. Five guys wake up in a room with amnesia. Who are the kidnappers? Who are the victims? Wonderful cast includes James Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Jeremy Sisto, Peter Stormare (i.e. Pancake’s House from Fargo), and Chris Mulkey (from Twin Peaks). Probably not the most sophisticated or original movie, but I liked it.


The Secret Life of Bees: It’s been probably eight years since I read the book, but it’s one of my favorites. Watching this movie made me want to reread it, which I think a good adaptation should do. I was particularly impressed by Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson. This isn’t the kind of movie where you think CGI would matter, but I’d like to say that the bees looked really real. This one made me cry. Wonderful characters/acting all around. Oooh, and the photography/colors. This is a movie that makes me love being in the South and want to paint my house pink. I think Dakota Fanning redeemed herself for War of the Worlds with this one. I think she’s going to be beautiful when she’s 30.


Marathon Man: Just finished watching it 15 minutes ago. I came in 15 minutes late, but I think I caught up okay. Roy Scheider was a nice surprise, since the only people I cared about coming in were Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. Honestly, I watched this movie only out of curiosity and wanting to see the dental torture scene. The whole movie is worth that torture scene and Dustin Hoffman’s running. Fabulous!


If you have any specific questions about these movies, I’m happy to answer them! Minireviews don’t leave much room for spoilers.

Changeling (A Movie Review)

Sunday, September 6th, 2009 by Rachel

You know when you’re walking in a crowded hallway or on a sidewalk and a woman walks past you. And she has that certain nostalgic déjà vu kind of smell. Maybe it’s baby powder. Maybe it’s her shampoo or too much perfume. I’m not sure. But it brings a strange sensation to your nose. Today I put on my pumpkin lotion. This makes me feel Halloweeny. I wonder what I smell like when I walk by people.


I watched Changeling for the first time on Cinemax last night. This is a movie that I planned to see since I saw trailers for it. I love Angelina Jolie, and her Oscar nod wasn’t a bad endorsement either. When Dad gave me his review, saying that it was a too long movie in which Jolie says “I want my son” over and over, I believed him. (Though I was reminded of the SERIOUSLY disappointing movie The Forgotten ::shudders:: ) I came into this movie with really no expectations. I wanted to be entertained for a couple hours and I was. It was okay. I probably won’t watch it again.
And since Halloween’s on the brain, one of the most exciting performances in the film was the character of Detective Lester Ybarra by Michael Kelly. I remember him as C.J. in the Dawn of the Dead remake. Phenomenal actor on all fronts. I would cast him in anything.


But back to the movie. Ultimately, it was the title that disappointed me and gave me a false impression. This is a movie about a mother’s struggle with the corrupt and incompetent LAPD in the 1920s. There is no magic in this world. This is a world of random acts of violence and violation upon those who live in it. There are no changelings, only victims and liars.


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H2: BLAHHHHH (A Movie Review)

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 by Rachel



We had the worst possible Halloween II seeking experience ever. I taught from 9-10:45, raced home to eat lunch and figure out what earliest possible showing we could attend. We decided that since the local Milledgeville theatre doesn’t play matinees during the week, it would be worth the 35-40 minute drive to Greensboro, GA’s new fancy theatre to see Halloween II at 2 (how perfect!). We left the house around 12:30 because of rainy weather. Arrived at Spotlight Theatre around 1:05, but drove around for the next 10 minutes or so just in case we’d arrived too early. At 1:15, we entered the theatre and bought our movie tickets. We explored/wandered/thought for a little bit, then at 1:20, got some popcorn and one bottle of Dasani water. At 1:25, we went to the ticket guy (a senile old man), who tore our tickets and mumbled that we were in theatre #2.


We went to theatre #2 as instructed. We sat there and watched the lamo pre-movie trivia that always plays before movies. 2:00PM comes around. Nothing. But there were only a few other people in the theatre; they were probably just waiting for it to fill up a little more before starting the movie. We waited, and around 2:07, they started playing commercials and then trailers. These scary movie trailers (including The Stepfather and Zombieland) continued until 2:25, when I saw those fateful words: Peter Jackson Presents.


WHAT? This is a Rob Zombie flick!!! Peter Jackson would not be involved in any way! No way! No how! We grabbed our popcorn, umbrella, hoodie, purse and thingies and ran out of the theatre immediately. Now, before you think complete asses of us, remember that this is a new theatre. There were no neon signs displaying the movie above the door entering our theatre. We had only to go on the word of the ticket tearer alone and the info on our tickets…which unfortunately we never thought to check. When we arrived at the ticket counter, Derrick explained that we had been directed to the wrong theatre. When one lady said “but it’s only 15 minutes into the movie,” I almost freaked out…. “15 minutes?!? Lady, do you know how many people have died already?” I didn’t say that, of course, but that’s what I thought. Thankfully the manager refunded our money, and we drove home in the rain, knowing that we would have to watch a 7:00 showing of Halloween II.


WARNING: Before you continue, be aware that there are SERIOUS spoilers concerning the movie and its predecessor Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween. I don’t want to ruin a movie for anyone, but most of my criticisms about the movie do concern Rob Zombie’s motive for making the film, the way the plot was handled, and the ending of the film.


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