Stuff on Plates and Stuff on Screens


-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस --

I don't have a lot of spare time at work this week so I need to try and get through the goings-on of my weekend quickly.

I can't remember what I did on Friday evening. This always happens! Damn it! I could swear I did at least something, even if it was small, to give Shobhit a point of the Social Review -- oh wait! I remember now! We went out for dinner.

I totally intended to make dinner that night, and was just about to get started when Shobhit got home, from a rare 40-hour week at his job (up to that number just due to it being the holiday season), and he declared he wanted to go out. Part of it was a desire to get a few monologue books from the Capitol Hill branch library to help prep for a callback audition he had scheduled for Sunday, and the library was to close at 6:00, all of about half an hour after he got home.

So he changed real quick, and we walked to the library. And then we had dinner at La Cocina Mexican Kitchen, one of very few businesses on Broadway that has remained been since I moved to Seattle twenty years ago. Yesterday Laney and I tried to remember as many as we could, and as I suspected, you could count them on one hand: La Cocina Mexican Kitchen; the 76 Station on the north end of Broadway; Joe Bar Coffee & Tea (across the street from the old Harvard Exit Theatre -- now closed); some other business Laney mentioned that I'm for some reason forgetting. The DeLuxe Bar & Grill only just now occurred to me. So I suppose in all likelihood there are closer to ten (or more?) businesses on Broadway that have been there 20 years or more. But you see my point: the business corridor there has undergone massive changes. (One change I actually love: with the exception of Pagliacci Pizza and Dick's Burgers, which are both local businesses, all fast food chains that were there when I moved to Seattle are gone from Broadway: Godfather's Pizza closed ages ago; so did Jack In the Box; so did Taco Bell. Even the Mexican joint on Pine, a block off of Broadway, isn't a national fast food chain. This is one aspect of all the changes people keep bemoaning that I consider an improvement.)

Anyway! Shobhit and I shared the veggie fajita dish and it was . . . decent. Of all the Broadway businesses to last so long, La Cocina kind of surprises me. I never found their food to be particularly special, to be honest. It's not bad, but not special either. Still, Starbucks closed their location on the corner right next to them, and we saw a sign on Friday saying La Cocina was going to expand their bar into that space. So, Laney and I will go there for Happy Hour one of these months. People on Capitol Hill must love Mexican food. Granted, Torrero's on the second floor of Broadway Market closed to make way for Gold's Gym's expansion through that entire top floor, but Dilettante Chocolate's closure about a block from there made way for Añejo; Rooster's is not even half a block from that location; La Cocina is one block south of Añejo. Three pretty major Mexican joints in the space of two blocks.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस --

There's actually not a huge amount to catch up on for the rest of the weekend, although I feel like I did plenty. Granted, at home, virtually all I did was watch TV -- mostly finishing season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with Shobhit, which I found delightful. I liked it better than the first season. They're both pretty contrived when it comes to the plotting, but the dialogue, and the choreographed staging of the scenes, are both fantastic.

On Saturday I went ahead and took myself to the 11:25 a.m. showing of the 25th-anniversary re-release of Schindler's List, which I had only seen a couple of times before. It's not the kind of movie that is eminently re-watchable, but I would agree it's pretty essential viewing -- even if it is still very Spielbergian in its execution, somber though it may be. The end is a little overwrought and melodramatic in a way I'm not convinced was necessary; the horrors of the Holocaust speak for themselves. (In fact, I thought a lot about how that movie barely scratches the surface of those horrors, and there are already plenty horrors onscreen.) Also, I had never seen it in a movie theatre.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस --


-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस --

Yesterday was even more movies in a theatre, only this time the Braeburn Condos theatre: a Barbra Streisand double feature with Laney. First was Funny Girl, for which Laney clearly has a very strong nostalgic affection. She said her mother loved that movie and they watched it a lot when she was a kid. With that sort of attachment to it removed for me, I found the movie . . . okay. I did recognize a few pretty famous things from it: "Hello, Gorgeous!" being the first line of the film; the song "Rain On My Parade."

The next movie, though, was What's Up, Doc? with Streisand and Ryan O'Neal, and I have to say -- I cannot think of another film from the seventies that is funnier. I had seen it once before, again from Netflix but with Shobhit. Neither of us had any idea how funny it was when we put it in to play, and I can still remember us both laughing our asses off at it.

I had thought I saw it the first time a decade ago -- close, but not quite: it was February 2011. Here's what I wrote about it at the time:

Well, it only took me my entire lifetime up to this point, but I finally discovered that when Ryan O’Neal was in his prime, that guy was gorgeous.

He co-starred in the 1972 screwball comedy
What’s Up, Doc? with Barbra Streisand, a woman I’ve always thought was an excellent actress but has been kind of hit and miss with her film roles over the years. Some of her movies have been great; some have been kind of crap. Honestly, a 1972 film billed as a “screwball comedy” did not leave me with high hopes; I don’t remember what inspired me to add What’s Up, Doc? to my queue although Netflix’s “best guess” was that I would give it 3.5 stars out of five.

That’s actually what I would give it if I could, but Netflix doesn’t allow half-star ratings. So, I gave it four stars. The movie was patently silly, but clearly both self-aware about it and unapologetically so; as a result, I laughed quite a lot. It had a surprisingly good script. I could imagine Shobhit really enjoying it; he usually likes that silly kind of humor.

Hey, I think I may have realized why I added the movie to my queue – I’m pretty sure at one point I added titles I had not yet seen to my queue that were from the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest Comedies, on which this film ranked #61.

Anyway, Barbra Streisand was 30 when this movie came out; Ryan O’Neal was 31. And I found O’Neal mesmerizing just by virtue of his beauty. I think if I were a teenager in the early seventies I might very well have had a poster of him up on my bedroom wall.

Streisand – eh. I’m not sure I get the whole Gay Icon thing with her, but maybe it’s because I’m too young; it’s probably similar to why younger gay guys are all about Lady Gaga today and don’t see the appeal of Madonna. Mind you, she did a great job in the movie, but I was always much more interested in looking at O’Neal. And of course Streisand sings a couple of times in the movie. Am I the only person distracted by the weird way she moves her lips when she sings? I suppose it could be argued that her singing talent makes up for it.

A lot of times I find her characters really irritating, and I think in this movie she’s even meant to be irritating, but somehow I managed to find her endearing. And she certainly has good chemistry with O’Neal (and Medeline Kahn, nearly unrecognizable here in her first major film role, is great), and they have good comedic timing. I just found the movie all around to be a wonderfully pleasant surprise, as it was compulsively entertaining. I really wasn’t expecting that.

. . . And, guess what? This is fascinating: I guess Shobhit never watched it with me after all. I was just so sure he would love that movie, over time my brain convinced me I had watched it with him. Well, hopefully he watches it now: when I came up from the movies with Laney yesterday, I gave him the disc and said, "Before I send this back to Netflix, you need to watch this. You're going to laugh your ass off." It is a screwball comedy, after all -- lots of physical humor that he tends to love. And I don't often like screwball comedies, but this one was superbly executed.

Now that I realize he never saw the movie after all, I am going to make it my life's mission to make sure he sees it. He's going to love it! I can already imagine him hurting himself laughing.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस --

Oh! I almost forgot -- before the movies with Laney yesterday, Shobhit and I drove down to Hudson for brunch. That place is becoming one of our favorites. We split one full omelette and one slice of deep fried French toast, which was delicious. And, because of that, Shobhit gets a Social Review point for yesterday. I thought about inviting him down to watch What's Up, Doc? with us but he's been coughing incessantly and it would have been a distraction. He still needs to watch that movie, though.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस --

We had our semiannual fire drill today. The weather has been curious . . . we all went outside at 10:30 this morning, and it was overcast and cold. It's up to 47° now as I type this, but much of the skies have cleared: I sat and chatted with Ellen M, who does basically my job for the Meat department, at the table in the kitchen as we ate our lunches. The view of the Sound, with the sun out and reflecting on the water, was spectacular.

I have lots of work to do this week though so I have to get back to it.

-- चार हजार चार सौ चालीस --


[posted 12:34 pm]