Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rain, Rain

Blogger: Natasha
(photo credit: Sarah Nicodemus)

Rain, rain, go away.

Surprisingly, the amount of rain we've had so far this year is not the most abnormal weather statistic on the precipitation pattern over the past few months- the number of days we've had rain is. We've had 33 days of rain since May 1, when 20 days is closer to average, according to the National Weather Service Forecast Office.

Still, Tulsa has had over 15 inches of rain since May 1. That makes this rainy season the sixth wettest ever.

Yuck. A big group of Tulsans and I planned to head to Philbrook after work Friday to catch a showing of Breakfast at Tiffany's on the lawn. I even considered making a huge basket of fried chicken. Unfortunately, the event is likely to be rained out - unless "rain likely" and "60%" is local TV news talk for partly cloudy. We shall see. If the sun doth shine, come join us! We'll be in the north garden.

You know...maybe gray skies aren't always so bad after all:
From the roof of Utica Place, the mixed-use development just south of Utica Square. Photo credit: Sarah Nicodemus

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Completely Subjective Survey: Come on Down

Blogger: Chester

We’ve all seen those irritating-yet-magnetic bulletin surveys on Myspace (yes, even I have a Myspace page). Heck, you might have even filled out one or two yourself. Seems to me, many people like the idea of being interviewed. I’m here to give you yet another chance to speak your mind.

Follow that link to a Tulsa survey Natasha casually passed around on Myspace. There’s still only a few questions, and you get to remain anonymous.

Don’t get the impression that we’re trying to be objective and use standardized surveying methods on this thing. We know the answers to our questions will come from a certain demographic with its special set of interests and opinions. We’re just curious as to what the people who happen upon blogs such as this one are really thinking about Tulsa.

Here are a few answers (some are interesting and funny, others are pretty sobering) to the survey Natasha passed around on Myspace, all answered by current Tulsa area residents. We mixed up the order of responses to maintain respondent anonymity. We also corrected Myspace-esque spelling and punctuation errors:

What's your favorite thing to do in Tulsa?

  • I’m a fan of the Riverwalk lately. I just like to sit out there with friends.
  • Utica Square
  • Laserquesting
  • photographing downtown

What's your best kept secret about Tulsa?

  • Probably the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants, like Teri’s Coney Island, Claud’s Hamburgers and Café Ole. That and you can get a pizza for $5 at Domino’s on Mondays.
  • blue dome district bars
  • Center of the Universe is downtown. The 15th floor of the Petroleum Club Balcony...awesome view and with the breeze, simply divine.
  • no one knows it's me but i beat everyone one at laserquest every time

How many times do you drive Memorial in a week?

  • Very few. It’s not on my regular route.
  • at least 2
  • rarely, thank god
  • 1

How many times do you dine in Tulsa in a week?

  • Probably five or six.
  • 1/2 to 1
  • 1
  • many, if QT counts

Of which geographic area of Tulsa do you have the least favorable opinion? Why?

  • north side, cause it's skank
  • The north side because it’s scary, and the area of Peoria between 41st and 61st because of Hispanic gang-related situations. I generally stay away from places where I might get shot.
  • north Tulsa obviously, it's so run down and a lot of drug users/gangs...
  • it's too flat everywhere
Sorry we haven’t been doing much of Tulsa lately. The people who work on this blog have been very busy with jobs and families as of late, and I’ve been stuck in a fishbowl. Keep checking back. We’re bound to find some trouble sooner or later.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Cycling + Pizza = Thumbs Up, Tulsa

Blogger: Natasha

Tulsa Tough

My husband, my sister and I made it down to the Brady district to Tulsa Tough this weekend.

Tulsa Tough cyclists zipping down Brady Saturday in a women's division race.

Tulsa Tough, the cycling event described by a billboard visible from Saturday’s goings-on as “That thing they do in France – only in Tulsa,” is a joint initiative of the Tulsa Sports Commission and the Tulsa Wheelmen. The event began Friday after work in the Blue Dome District, continued Saturday morning at Main and Brady, and coasted into Sunday at 13th and Riverside until sometime after 3 pm.

The cool thing about Tulsa Tough is that it wasn’t just a sporting event. There was plenty for kids to do, and concerts put on by local acts filled the gaps between races. Lots to eat and drinks were close by, as well.
From the Tulsa Tough Web site: Saturday’s races offer something for all skill levels and run through the heart of the historic Brady Arts district. Saturday is designed for the whole family with races, rides, kids events, activity zones and more.
While I can’t say cycling is exactly my thing, I will say that it’s a real rush when a pack of who are obviously top-notch athletes whizzes by.

More exciting to me than the racing was the activity along Brady. Lola’s was packed, as was Caz’s Chowhouse across the way – and not just with hot guys in Spandex. Spectators with dogs and kids in tow spent money on drinks/dinner at the Brady restaurants and event vendors, then lounged along the street.

Spectators get in on the action during Tulsa Tough Saturday at Main and Brady.

What a hip thing to bring to Tulsa, were we could use more health and exercise cheerleaders. Thanks to Tulsa Tough for making spectators ignorant about cycling feel welcome. It’d be great if we could bring gigs like this to downtown every weekend during the summer – ones that combine food, music, spectator events and a range of activities, all outdoors and amongst downtown buildings. I couldn’t think of a better first act for that series in the sky than Tulsa Tough.


After we busted out of the Brady district, several of us headed south to Bixby for some Chicago-style pizza at Savastano’s, just east of 111th and Memorial.

We walked in at around 7:15, and the place was packed. All of what was probably 25-30 tables were occupied. Though our party of five didn’t have to wait long for a table, we were still pretty impressed at the reputation of this place that to the unknowing passerby looked like any other hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

We started with cheese pizza bread, which was just okay. We decided on a large, deep-pan Sears Tower pizza for dinner.

My little sister Kacie is about to attack this Sears Tower pizza from Bixby's Savastano's.

The pie had a 2” crust stacked with cheese, sauce and pepperoni. Though our posse came complete with two hungry guys, two girls who know a thing or two about how to put away food, and a ravenous 7-year-old girl, we still had four slices to take home with us.

Our pizza was amazing. I don’t know how authentically “Chicago” it was, since I know nothing about Chicago or its pizza. What caught my attention was that the sauce tasted homemade, the pepperoni was really fresh, there wasn’t the ridiculous overload of cheese that happens at a lot of chain pizza places, and the crust was second to none.

Party Brenda: "Yummm!!!"

No one in our group had any complaints about the food. We weren’t crazy about the service, though. Savastano’s looked to be staffed exclusively with Bixby high school kids working through summer break, looking more to find a cure for the summertime blues than to timely refill my glass of Diet Pepsi. The kids who ordered water seemed to fare better on refills, for whatever reason. And, we had to ask thrice for silverware for the late-arriving Party Brenda and our friend DJ Ryan.

I think these oversights could have slid off our backs had the waitstaff been chipper and welcoming. Problem was, they weren’t. Before I could ask if anyone else felt as if the employees wanted us to hurry up and leave, Ryan piped up with, “These people don’t make me feel very welcome.”

We all agreed we will definitely give Savastano’s more of our business. The pizza is unlike any other we’ve had in Tulsa, and there are several other pies we’d like to try. But, we’ll probably carry out next time. I’ll miss looking at the cool Chicago stuff on the walls as I eat, but I suppose I could make a trip to the poster sale at Hobby Lobby, pick up a print of the Sears Tower, grab a 2-liter bottle of Diet Pepsi and call it a day.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Clue with TYPros at TPAC

Blogger: Natasha

The Tasha Does Tulsa crew went to see Clue last night with TYPros at the Liddy Doenges Theatre in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center downtown.

The players in Clue, now showing at the TPAC. From left to right: Mrs. White (Randy Chronister), the detective (Alicia Lees), Mr. Green (Jeff Gaffen), Miss Scarlett (Jessica Elliot), Natasha Ball, Professor Plum (Carl Mark Osborn), Mr. Boddy (Patrick Hobbs) and Colonel Mustard (Ed Dill).


What I really liked about Clue was that our show was different from each of the others that will run each night until Saturday. The play turned out one of 216 possible ways: Miss Scarlett killed Mr. Boddy with the wrench in the conservatory.

No one slights Miss Scarlett with a ring beset with cubic zirconia and then dumps her for Mrs. Peacock, who confessed to retaining Joan Rivers’s plastic surgeon, and gets away with it.

The soon-to-be-offed Mr. Boddy was in charge of the show from the start, which I thought was pretty interesting since he was dead for a good part of it. He explained the rules of the game at the beginning of the show, thank goodness. I’d never played the board game (don’t gasp – it’s been done).

Mr. Boddy asked three audience members to choose from three decks of oversized, hand-drawn Clue cards whodunit, with what and where. The card selecting process was exciting and suspenseful, but nothing can distract and disarm an audience like booty dances by Mrs. White and Miss Scarlett.

Maybe 10 people in our audience guessed the correct murderer, crime scene and weapon. A few of the people I came with knew Miss Scarlett had done the deed and that she used the wrench, but none of us managed to translate the room clues correctly.

The music and singing were fabulous. The dancing was good enough, but no one was as charming as Mrs. White. My favorite parts of the entire musical were during this certain song when the stage went dark, pulsating lights like those in a dance club came on, the music went trance-techno, and the characters broke it down in a beat dance for 5 seconds or so. This only happened twice, but I still went home very happy.

None of last night's winners were, from what I could tell, with the TYPros group. Guess the TPD won’t be knocking on our doors anytime soon.

My amateur comments on the thespians and characters:
Mr. Boddy (Patrick Hobbs) – I want this guy to hang out at my house and just talk about stuff. Great voice, great delivery, semi-strange character. I’m sure Patrick didn’t have much say in how his lines were written, though.
Detective (Alicia Lees) – I could tell by talking to her briefly after the show that this girl is probably one of the nicest people in the world. The character was totally strange and needlessly paranoid, but Alicia performed with confidence and skill.
Colonel Mustard (Ed Dill) – I want to squeeze the man who played this character. Whose idea was it to plague Mustard with this strange disease where he mistakes human beings with inanimate objects (he called Mrs. Peacock a rake, an audience member an antique, Mr. Green a green bean)? Rather than add charm to the caricature, the “ailment” totally jumped the shark. Not funny. Bad writing!
Mrs. Peacock (Elizabeth Alpert) – This woman can sing. Omigosh. And, her face is great. Each of her many facial expressions were extremely well pronounced. Where’d this lady come from, anyway? I hope to see her in something again soon.
Miss Scarlet (Jessica Elliot) – I was sad that Jessica’s microphone was on the fritz for the first half of the play, because I missed a few of her lines and parts in songs that I’m sure were great. I loved the accent, which made me want to go home and watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit right away. I wonder if the accent was her idea.
Professor Plum (Carl Mark Osborn) – Actor had a great look for this part. I had trouble hearing him most of the time, though. I totally fell for what the detective called his “whimpy” Thoreau pick-up lines. I’m easy, I guess.
Mr. Green (Jeff Gaffen) – This character, who mismatches clichés much like the hilarious bar tender on The Boondock Saints, really rubbed me the wrong way, but that wasn’t the actor’s fault. I thought Jeff was a little over-emphatic at times, but when I put myself in that actor’s position, I can totally see how he’d think he’d have to over-act to convey the smarminess of the character.
Mrs. White (Randy Chronister) – This is one of those rare times when the perfect actor is matched to the perfect role. I loved how his peek-a-boo ballet dance made the male audience members shriek. Not only does Randy look great in fishnets and an apron, but he can also peg a high note like a pro.

If you’re tired of what Professor Plum would call the “intellectual, complex” theater, check out Clue. Like the latest Disney movies, it’s childlike without being childish and comes complete with light-hearted, not-so-subtle sexual innuendo.
Related Posts with Thumbnails