Thursday, November 23, 2017

I'm truly thankful

Every day, I try to remember all the great gifts I enjoy, all the people who have made that possible, all the breaks I've gotten, and I am grateful.  Today is a good day to give thanks, but so is every other day.

If you're reading this blog entry, the odds are good that you're either a friend, a reader of my books, a fellow foodie, a fellow movie fan, or perhaps several of those things.  I thank you for your support, and I hope your day is a good one. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The top five U.S. restaurants I'd most like to try

Today.  The list changes often.  Right now, though, it's easy and remarkably consistent.  I exclude from it all the restaurants where I've already eaten, because at least I've gotten to taste their food once.

5.  Per Se

Though Thomas Keller's New York interpretation of his flagship French Laundry has been the subject of some controversy in the last few years, it still makes my list.  I've been a fan of Keller's food for years, and my one meal at The French Laundry was exceptional, so I'm itching to try Per Se.

4.  Masa

I've heard so much about the sushi and service at Masa that I've wanted to try it for years.  Having experienced The Araki in London, I now understand just how amazing sushi can be. 

3.  Le Bernardin

It's a testimony to the top two places on this list that one of my dream destinations, Eric Ripert's amazing seafood restaurant, is in third place.  I've tremendously enjoyed Ripert's menus at the Cayman Cookout and at Blue by Eric Ripert, and Le Bernardin is supposed to be even better.

2.  Vespertine

This new restaurant made Grant Achatz grin like a kid on his Instagram.  Everything I've read about it sounds like it's both a strange experience and a source of amazing food.  I'm ready to go.

1.  Eleven Madison Park

Currently the number one restaurant in the world in the influential best 50 rankings.  Three Michelin stars.  Chef Daniel Humm, whose food I've loved at past Cayman Cookout events.  If I had the time and could get a reservation, I'd fly to New York City just for this one meal.

I hope one day to get the chance to visit all of these fine places.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Party lunch at the Cincinnati airport

A bit over a week ago, I went with a colleague on a one-day trip to and from Cincinnati.  On the way back, we stopped at a chili place in the airport because, hey, chili mac.

Indeed, it was tasty, though I may have overdone it with the hot sauce.

Click an image to see a larger version.

The chili was lurking under the spaghetti in the classic style.

While in line for this special treat, we couldn't help but notice this ad from the same fast food stand.

What I like to imagine is what it would take for me to be at the airport, walking by this stand, and suddenly need a giant box of 10 "Coneys" (which proved to be hot dogs smothered in cheese and chili).  Maybe a call from home that we've been invaded by a gang of young men?  Maybe just the worst stress day in history and a sudden and overwhelming urge to eat myself into sickness?

Whatever the cause, I have to admit that I would love to come strolling into, say, PT carrying a giant box of 10 Coneys and saying, sorry, they're all for me.

That would not be a productive day. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Searching for that perfect holiday present?

Search no longer.  Head over to LYG, pick up a t-shirt, start a conversation, and help change the world.

Wait for Black Friday to do it, and you just might save a nice chunk of money.

Yes, that's insider info:  as I wrote in an entry back in late April, Bill and I started and own the LYG business.  Our goal, as you can read at more length in that blog, is to help make the world a better place by building better businesses.

Yes, LYG is a for-profit business--in our dreams.  Right now, we're far from making any money on it, but if we ever do make a profit, half of all profits will go to charity.

Check it out.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Black Panther looks awesome

I saw this new trailer for the first time in the theater before the showing of Justice League.

I'm now more eager than before to see this film.  I hope it lives up to its trailers.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Justice League

Critics are panning it to the point that it's only 39% on RottenTomatoes as I write this.  Director Zach Snyder left when it was nearly done, and Joss Whedon stepped in to finish it.  It continued the look and dark feel of Batman v. Superman.  This movie has a lot going against it.

It is also a hot mess in many ways, from worse CGI than a movie of this magnitude should have, to achingly bad lines appearing at key moments, to the obviously tacked-on bits that Whedon included to make the film more fun and to give us more Gal Gadot.

I still enjoyed it.  In fact, I generally had a good time watching it, though I couldn't help but groan at some of the more painful bits. 

The reasons I enjoyed it are many.  I'm a sucker for superhero movies.  The heroes are fun even when they're dopey.  Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman are cultural icons with staying power for a reason.  Even when two of the three show few emotions beyond contempt and determination, we still have Gal Gadot's always charming and inspiring Wonder Woman.  The story moves right along.  The battle scenes are not as hectic as in its predecessor.  Most of the small bits of human drama are at least competently done by cast and directors alike.

Is it as good as Thor: Ragnarok?  Absolutely not.  Should Zach Snyder get to do another film in the DC universe?  Absolutely not. 

If you're in the mood for a superhero movie, though, you'll have at least a decent time with it, and, I have to admit, I'm almost always in the mood for a superhero movie. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thoughts on re-watching Batman v. Superman

Tonight, a group of us watched the extended cut of Batman v. Superman in 4K, HDR format on a great 4K, HDR TV. 

I liked the movie more the first time than most others did, and I liked this version more than the original.  It's a little bit more coherent and flows more smoothly, despite being over three hours long.

Watching it in this format on a great TV was entirely a better viewing experience than seeing it in the theater.  There, it was frequently so dark and muddy as to be unpleasant to watch; this time, it was always crisp and clear, even in the darkest scenes.

The way the movie treats its two protagonists remains its greatest weakness.  You can almost never like them, and that's a shame, particularly with Superman.

Gal Gadot is still the best part of the film.  The screen lights up every time she's on it. 

No movie needs as many endings as this one has. 

On balance, I recommend this version over the original, particularly if you can watch the high-def version on a TV capable of showing everything in the source material.


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