Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Tale of 10 Meats

This year Midge and I went out for Easter Brunch by ourselves. For the last 10 years, her parents have taken us out to a fancy downtown hotel (The Benson) for Easter brunch, where we eat with her parents' longtime family friends and their kids. It's a very fancy affair, and we stuff ourselves silly. But this year, Midge's parents are in Las Vegas over Easter. They paid for us to go by ourselves, and it was much different than before. When you have a large group, they put you at a big, round table in the ballroom upstairs. A bunch of light spills into the room from high windows, and all of the food is on a 60-foot-long stretch of table. Since it was just the two of us this year, they sat us downstairs at a table for two. All of the food was broken up over several islands. But the real difference was that we were alone. Now don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my wife. But I've come to enjoy the annual socializing of Easter brunch. We're making up for it later this month with brunch somewhere else, but it won't be the same.

My whining aside, here's the highlight of the brunch: I ate 10 different kinds of meat. 10!!! Here they are, in no particular order:

4.Smoked Salmon
4.Crab Legs
5.Halibut (plus the mystery meat it was stuffed with)
7.Prime Rib

I haven't eaten that well (or that much) in a long time. I give the brunch 8 easter eggs out of ten. The other two eggs are for Marisa's missing parents.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"The Bank Job"

So the wife and I went and saw "The Bank Job" this weekend, just one of several things we did on a busy weekend. On Friday, we went over to our friends' new house. It's not exactly in the part of town that we want to live in, but it's close. It's on a really busy road, so we were kind of skeptical. But it turns out, it's a cool house. It's small, basically four rooms with a bathroom in the middle, but it's got great old Portland style. Also, it's more than a house; it's a compound. In the backyard, they have an 8x10 freestanding bedroom/study/writing shack. It's heated and wired for electricity. The previous owner turned the garage into a recording studio, which is convenient since our friends are in a band. We were impressed.

On Sunday, we went out for a matinee with Midge's parent, "The Bank Job." It's a good heist movie, based on a supposedly true story. A bunch of low-level crooks get sucked into a scheme to rob a bank vault in 1970 London. What they don't know is there are incriminating photos inside the vault that the government wants. The "how are they going to do it?" stuff is interesting, as is the historical insight. Midge's mom says a lot of it rung true. On the whole, I liked it. The beginning is a bit muddled, as it tries to pack too many elements and characters together quickly. But once the dust settles, the plot advances nicely, and the characters don't feel flat, as they often do in these kinds of movies. I was pleasantly surprised, and I always like Jason Statham, even though he does star in an awful lot of crap. The other thing I liked about this movie: boobs. If you like women's bare breasts, this movie is for you!

I give this story six bouncing boobs.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Work Schedule

My work schedule changed slightly last week, and I'm trying to take advantage. From 4:30 to 5 I have almost nothing to do, but can't leave early. Hopefully for all of us that will lead to more blogs.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Breaking Bad

Midge and I have taken to watching a new show on AMC, called "Breaking Bad." It's a really phenomenal show, about a high school chemistry teacher who turns his considerable talents into producing high-grade methamphetamine. It stars Bryan Cranston, who most of us remember as the dad in "Malcolm in the Middle." And while he was great in that show (although I was never crazy about it), Cranston is a much more versatile actor than the parameters of that show would reveal. He was great in Seinfeld as Tim Whatley the dentist, and had excellent turns in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Little Miss Sunshine."

His character, Walter White, works two jobs to keep his family afloat, until he learns he has lung cancer. He runs into a former student, a burnout named Jesse who now makes meth. The two strike up an unusual partnership, with Walt making the meth, and Jesse moving it. They run into some trouble on the way, with both forced to make gut-wrenching decisions when it comes to their new criminal enemies. Equally difficult are the problems Walt faces at home. His pregnant wife and teenage have no idea about the drugs, and don't learn of the cancer until a few episodes in.

This show is dark, to be sure, but generates honest and unexpected laughs. The writers take advantage of the absurdity of situations and character quirks to not only make you smile, but make the characters feel more real. As the show progresses through episodes, you see Walt grow from a meek, beat-down man resigned to mediocrity... into a decisive man who does what he must to preserve his family and sanity. Have I mentioned this show is funny? I think I did.

I give this show four tweakers and a big ol' bag of meth.

Monday, March 10, 2008


It's been nearly a month since I posted. Sorry about that. Since nobody really reads this thing, I don't suppose anyone missed my musings. But here we go anyway.

I saw "Be Kind, Rewind" this Friday. Directed by Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "The Science of Sleep"), and starring Jack Black and Mos Def, it's a quirky comedy about a Passaic, NJ neighborhood store. In typical Gondry fashion, the laughs are doled out with a healthy dose of heart, but not in the corny, Renee Zellwegger eye-scrunching way. Jack Black becomes magnetized, accidentally erasing all of the VHS tapes the store rents to neighbors. The store's owner (Danny Glover) is away, trying to learn how to modernize his operation. He left Mos Def in charge, and now he and Black have to figure out how to keep things afloat. When Glover's friend wants to rent "Ghostbusters," they decide to refilm the movie themselves, to hilarious effect. One after another, they recreate popular movies, getting new fans along the way. The story moves on, but that's the gist of it.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie. I was hoping for more laughs. The ones they delivered were great and unexpected, but Gondry focused a lot on the plot. That's understandable, and I think that it worked. I always enjoy Jack Black and Mos Def, and I think their personalities mesh really well. Overall, I give this movie remakes of Die Hards 1-3.