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Monday, November 12, 2007

The Monday Briefing -- With no set agenda, here I am just typing away...

* So the cat's out of the bag with the plot of next year's Star Trek movie now online. Huge spoilers in the link, be warned. I'm of a mind to think this could be a very good movie. I do hope that all the "Shatner's not in it" talk is a bluff, though, and that he gets to play J. Tiberius at least one more time. His Shatnerverse Kirk novels are really good reading, too, if you're into that sort of thing, which I have to admit that I am.

* Currently reading Kevin Smith's My Boring-Ass Life, a collection from Titan Books of Silent Bob's navel-gazey blog postings. It's compelling reading in its way; there's no question that the guy knows how to make the mundane interesting. But make no mistake, I'm a third of the way into the book, and it is pretty mundane stuff -- what we ate and where; orgasms he had and whether they were solo or with his wife; who's hanging out at his house on any given day. If you're into Smith's movies and his sort of mega-mensch bigger-and-smaller-than-life persona, you might enjoy it too. I'm up to the point where he's acting in a Jennifer Garner movie called Catch and Release, and I was interested enough to check out the movie. It's a bit sappy, but with some sharp moments, and Smith is very good as one of the surviving friends of a guy who died an untimely death and left behind his wife-to-be and a secret or two that come to light over the course of the movie.

* I also watched, as a result of Smith's book, the Jason Mewes-leading film Bottoms Up. You might remember it as a movie that Paris Hilton "acted" in. Unlike the other movie, Bottoms up is pretty much Teh Suck. I gave up about halfway through it. I like Mewes as Jay in Smith's movies, but I couldn't sit through this movie to save my life.

* I read the new Betsy and Me collection from Fantagraphics Books over the weekend. It collects all of the newspaper strips by Plastic Man creator Jack Cole that he created in the months before he killed himself. Critic RC Harvey writes a good, informative introduction that hints at the secrets that must have tortured Cole and ultimately led him into the woods with a rifle, but far more interesting is the subtext that develops as you read the strips themselves and compare and contrast with the known facts of Cole's life. Betsy and Me is a slim collection, but it's must-reading for anyone interested in the history of comics.

* Had a great night Friday night with my wife and some mutual friends. Lora picked me up about from work and we went over to Davidson Brothers, a small, classy brew pub in downtown Glens Falls to have a quick drink with my boss and one of the radio station's salespeople. After about a half hour we had to get going because we had reservations at a swanky bed and breakfast about 35 minutes from Glens Falls. We went using station trade, since I could never afford dinner there. We got there about 5:35...we were early, but we were the only people there for dinner, so we got in right away. No one else was there for dinner the whole time we were there, although a group of sorority sisters from 30 years ago arrived late in our meal for a reunion weekend they are having, they are staying at the inn. Very movie-like, I thought.

The dinner was pretty much the best I've ever had. After we ordered, they brought out a small plate of crackers with an eggplant/fennel dip that was quite tasty. Could have used about five times as much of it as they brought out, but you could tell by portion sizes alone that the chef knows exactly what he is doing. After the crackers, they brought out Lora's french onion soup (the real thing, with expensive smelly cheese on it) and I had a chopped salad that had field greens, walnuts, blue cheese crumbles and pear slices and was quite delicious.

Lora got fettuccine alfredo for her entree, and we both enjoyed the handiwork of a chef and staff that actually cared what they were doing and did it well.

I got a NY strip steak au poivre with cracked peppercorns on top, an almond-slivered rice and a huge piece of fresh broccoli. Steak was very possibly the most flavorful and tender I've ever tasted; I'd say more, but I am starting to feel like a food perv.

Lora was shocked when I suggested dessert, but as I said "It would be insane not to see what they do for dessert here." We both got cheesecake, which was either made there or by some gourmet bakery not far away (Nuns of New Skete in Cambridge is a local gourmet cheesecake bakery, I'd guess it was from there). Presented with raspberry and chocolate sauce around the plate and one succulent strawberry sliced thin on top of each of our slices. I'm sure I didn't need it, but at least it was Friday. As I like to say, "Friday is pie day."

After dinner, on the way back home, I called my friend Tim to see if he was going on his second date with a girl he met online that Lora coincidentally works with. I had a feeling he would blow it off if he could (shy and nervous), so I wanted to give him a push. Did THAT ever work; it ended up that the four of us met at the jazz bar downtown that I have been trying to get someone to go to with me for the last year and a half. Lora and I had two drinks each, Tim and Kim had one each and mostly bickered and flirted throughout the two hours we were there. It was like Tim meeting his female equivalent and being aggravated and turned on all at once, and the same on her side, and there the two of them were. God only knows where that goes from here.

The jazz band was really good -- five guys, guitar, stand-up bass, drummer, bongo player and sax -- and they did some numbers I knew and some I didn't, and the last one they did, there was this extended jam at the end where they were just SMOKING -- the whole bar shut up and watched in wonder, and when it finally came to a close, they stood there grinning at each other like idiots in amazement -- I don't think they quite knew they had it in them -- and someone shouted out, "What are you gonna do after THAT?!?" and the whole band cracked up. It was funny and amazing at the same time. Tim and Kim left, and then Lora and I did the same maybe five minutes later, and it was kind of neat because the band was right by the front door and all of them said thanks to us for hanging out and have a good night and like that -- I guess because we were closest to them in the whole place they had taken notice of us sitting there and enjoying their work.



Blogger Roger Green said...

"With no set agenda, here I am just typing away..." - whereas, I almost NEVER do that.

This is to say that you will like tomorrow's post. I'll practically guarantee it.

13 November, 2007 13:09  

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