There is no better feeling than taking a stroll through the college campus and not seeing a single soul. If you need to stop for a moment and ponder whether you might be the last living human being in Chautauqua County, you know that it's after graduation day and this town is ours, all ours. Not only is it summertime as far as college students are concerned, but it's going to actually feel that way starting today. Get out there and enjoy it!
Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month is the very beautiful and talented Donna Reed. On Wednesday, May 26, four of her war-themed films will be on TCM in a mini-marathon, starting with "From Here to Eternity" (1953) at 8 p.m., followed by "They Were Expendable" (1945) at 10:15 p.m., "See Here Private Hargrove" (1944) at 12:15 a.m., and "Faithful In My Fashion" (1946) at 2:30 a.m.
Season and Series Finales:
It's time to say goodbye. Season and series finales are upon us, with some fan favorites finishing up, such as "Lost" and "24." ("24" fans can take solace in plans for a movie, as long as it doesn't go the way of the long-ago proposed "Arrested Development" film).
Some finales will be unexpectedly final. Networks just brought down the gavel on numerous shows, including "Heroes," "Flashforward," "Law and Order" (after 20 seasons), The CW's lousy attempt at revamping "Melrose Place," and just-started series "Happy Town" and "Romantically Challenged." And yet, "One Tree Hill" survives. It is one of life's greatest mysteries. Knowledge acquired through dedicated viewership of "The Twilight Zone" leads me to believe that a member of the cast or a producer has struck up a deal with the devil this is clearly the only logical explanation for why that show is still on the air.
I'd wager that some of the better new series that started in fall 2009 receiving the ax are casualties of the Winter Olympics hiatus. For a show like "Flashforward," with a complicated plot that involves closely following each episode and collecting clues, taking a few months off just while it was starting to get good was bad news.
Some series have hope of being rescued by other networks, such as "The Ghost Whisperer" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine." For many of the cancellations, though "Gary Unmarried," "Better Off Ted" good riddance.
Here's a guide to this week's TV finales essentially everything on TV is ending within the next seven days:
Tonight: "Grey's Anatomy" (two-hour drama-fest), 9 p.m., ABC; all NBC Thursday night comedies; "CSI" at 9 p.m. and "The Mentalist" at 10 p.m, both on CBS; "Bones" at 8 p.m. and "Fringe" at 9 p.m., box on Fox.
Friday: "Ghost Whisperer" at 8 p.m., "Medium" at 9 p.m. and "Miami Medical," all on CBS; "Kitchen Nightmares," 9 p.m., Fox.
Sunday: "The Simpsons" at 8 p.m., "The Cleveland Show" at 8:30 p.m. and "Family Guy" at 9 p.m., all on FOX; "Celebrity Apprentice," possibly with a miraculously-recovered Bret Michaels, 9 p.m. on NBC; and most notably, the two-hour, sure-to-be-mind-blowing "Lost" series finale at 9 p.m. on ABC, followed by Jimmy Kimmel's "Lost" special at 11:30 p.m.
Monday: "Chuck" at 8 p.m. and "Law & Order" at 10 p.m., both on NBC; the dramatic three-hour conclusion of "24," 8 p.m. on FOX; all four Monday night CBS comedies, followed by "CSI: Miami," 10 p.m.
Tuesday: "Dancing with the Stars," 8 p.m., ABC; "The Biggest Loser," 8 p.m., and "Parenthood," 10 p.m., both NBC; "NCIS," both regular and Los Angeles varieties (8 and 9 p.m., respectively), and "The Good Wife," 10 p.m., all CBS.
Wednesday: "American Idol," 8 p.m., FOX (finally! Worst season ever); "Criminal Minds" at 9 p.m. and "CSI:NY" at 10 p.m., both CBS.
The summer season on the lake has officially begun! Walleye Willie's has power hour every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m., with $1 hot dogs and cheeseburgers. Live music for this weekend includes the following: 3 Amigos on Thursday, White Chocolate on Friday and Category 5 on Saturday. Each Wednesday is Phat Matt's outdoor barbecue, with ribs, chicken and pulled pork, with music as well. The Clarion's Dockside Cafe and Bar officially opens Thursday with happy hour prices all night long. Friday is Hospitality Night, with drink specials from 5 to 7 p.m., and free hot dogs and hamburgers grilled by Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey himself. There will be live music by Big Tone. Saturday is the Clarion's Budweiser Party from 5 to 7 p.m., with specials and prizes.
A bike run and benefit for Cathy Colquitt will be held Saturday, starting at the First Ward Falcon Club with 11 a.m. registration. The 70-mile bike run departs at 1 p.m., with $10 single and $15 with passenger. The party to follow starts at the Falcon Club at 3 p.m., with live music by Passion Works, Rinky Dink, Tara Graves, Last Chance and special guests. Admission to the festivities is either free or $5 for draft beer and refreshments. Call Ginger at 410-0073 or Carolyn at 649-9355 for more information.
41 West will feature live music by Trio from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday.
The next film in the Opera House Cinema Series is Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," with showings Saturday at 8 p.m. and Tuesday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. Say what you want about Polanski's personal life but the man makes a good movie.
DRINK OF THE WEEK
If I feature a drink here, it's traditionally alcoholic. I'm making an exception this week with this Coffee and Donut Shake. Not only is it delicious, but it combines the breakfast of champions (and fuel of OBSERVER editorial staff) into a single drinkable form and it also sounds really soothing for this sore throat I have (and if you follow this column, you know that my immune system is completely useless). I think you could add some Bailey's to it; my sister disagrees and feels that it would water the shake down too much.
Coffee and Donut Shake (recipe from Brian Boitano of the Food Network)
Ingredients: 1 pint coffee ice cream; 1 1/2 cups milk; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate; 1 cake doughnut, crumbled.
Directions: In a blender combine the ice cream, milk and vanilla extract and blend until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate and crumbled donuts with a rubber spatula. Pour into glasses and serve.
Results, courtesy of my sister, Hilary, master chef:
The shake does have a nice flavor, but the texture can vary depending on how you handle the ingredients. I finely ground my donut half to put in the shake, and crumbled a little extra as a topping (think crumbles the size of feta cheese crumbles). The crumbles had to be eaten with a spoon like the thicker part of the shake, and it was delightfully reminiscent of birthday cake and ice cream. The finely ground donut crumbs in the shake got a little mealy as the shake got melty, so the shake must be consumed quickly.
The recipe also called for chopped chocolate - I used mini chocolate chips so I could enjoy the shake with a straw, but the mini chocolate chips were just the right size to really clog the straw.
A genius marketing ploy would be to promote coffee and donut shakes to law enforcement agencies in warm weather - since both ice cream sales and murder rates increase in the summer, officers on the beat could really appreciate consuming their favorite snack in cooling liquid form as they try to do murder investigations in sweltering temperatures. It could be like Go-gurt for cops.
The Coffee and Donut Shake has more than twice as many calories as a coffee and donut, and more than twice as many grams of fat.
Coffee and Donut Shake has 35 percent daily value of calcium, whereas coffee and a donut has 1/10th of that.
Edy's coffee ice cream has 30mg of caffeine per 1/2 cup! Starbucks coffee ice cream has 60 mg per 1/2 cup ... I had it in my grocery cart, but it's way fattier than regular ice cream.
A 10 oz. cup of coffee has 120-300 mg of caffeine, so, a coffee and donut shake has about 50 percent less caffeine than a regular coffee and donut!
WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS
I am so sick of Facebook's shadiness with their privacy policies. If I don't want my information to be available to the universe, that should be my choice, and keeping it that way shouldn't be so complicated that you need a doctorate in social networking to figure it out. A lot of people feel the same way and are attempting to organize a "Quit Facebook Day" on May 31 (quitfacebookday.com ) or a Facebook boycott on June 6, but seriously, I think this is all talk, no action. Facebook is like crack, clearly evident in the most obnoxious episode of MTV "True Life" I've ever seen, entitled "I Have Digital Drama." The guy can't put down his smart phone to bowl. It's insane. Anyway, my point is, Facebook doesn't care about your privacy, it sucks, but they're not going to do anything about it and neither are you. Let's just continue to complain about it because it feels so gratifying.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Give her the dish on what's happening at firstname.lastname@example.org.