A surfeit of dot-com entertainment? On_Line The Movie ("a story about people watching people," premiering at Sundance) and Downloading Sex ("the TV incarnation of the website," a HBO/Nerve.com co-production) and e-Dreams ("a behind-the-scenes look at.Kozmo.com," now playing in NYC) and Dot Con ("investigates the financial forces behind the unprecedented rise and seemingly overnight fall of the Internet economy," from PBS).
When a new bar/restaurant named The News Room opened in downtown Minneapolis (in one of those nice areas on Nicollet levelled for skyscrapers), of course my friends and I had to investigate. It has accidentally become a regular hang-out, despite the fact we all hate it. (This is very common in the Midwest -- we love to hate more than anyone, I'm sure of it.) City Pages reviewed The News Room this week, and pretty much says all the things we've said. Dara calls the place "completely insane, but strangely inspiring," and the food is "without question the worst food I've had in a restaurant in at least three years."
Every year, I try to make it back to the UND Writer's Conference, which is probably the biggest cultural event in the Red River Valley. The event has given me the opportunity to hang out with some cool writers -- August Wilson, Tim O'Brien, Yusef Komunyakaa, Peter Matthiessen, Joseph Skvorecky, Sherman Alexie -- and enjoy the company of college friends. The film festival associated with it is also quite an experience. I just found out that Stephen Ambrose was asked to attend this year's conference. The Grand Forks Herald has the story. (Thanks to Jaimee, who's gonna love that pic and wonder where it came from, for the link.)
In other literary North Dakota news, Dave Barry is paying a visit. (Here's GF trying to be funny.) Of course I have a corporate conspiracy for why Barry is visiting North Dakota: the Grand Forks Herald is Knight-Ridder owned, and Tony Ridder of course pays his checks at the Miami Herald. I'm sure backdoor connections set up this visit.
"America's first reality sitcom," The Osbournes, starring Ozzy Osbourne.
The FlashForward2002 website has just launched. I went to last year's NYC conference, and haven't decided about this year's San Fran show.
Gimme, gimme, gimme: MiniUSA.