Saturday, June 16, 2012

Live music shouldn't be Muzak

The one feature of last night's single-source supper that I did not like was the way the organizers handled the music.  The musician, a soft-voiced folksinger, sat off in a corner with a single speaker set low enough that everyone could easily ignore him as he sang--which is basically what the crowd did.  He might as well have been an iPod.  The gig had to suck for him; I sure hope they paid him well. 

I didn't like it all. 

If an event is going to feature live music, as far as I'm concerned, the audience should be listening.  Sure, some will prefer to talk, but they should move to the back of the venue and do so quietly. 

The event would have been even better had the organizers introduced the musician partway into the time of drinks and socializing, let the man play a set as we all listened and applauded after each song, and then told us all it was time for dinner.

If they do this again, I hope they consider this advice. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

A single-source supper evening

The recipe couldn't fail to entice me: 

1) Take great vegetables and meats from a single local source, Eco Farm.
2) From that fine beginning, have Chef Aaron Vandemark of Panciuto, perhaps my favorite local restaurant, create a complete meal.

2) Add a focus on and free book from the fine folks at Daylight

3) Serve outside, with live music, under twinkle lights and, as the evening wore on, the stars. 

4) Top with a showing of short documentaries from various photographers whose work Daylight has produced. 
This single-source supper looked like a sure-fire bet, and it was. 

The menu was amazing:
* warm corn soup with salted whipped cream and caramel popcorn (trust me, it works)
* salad of greens and Aaron's homemade dressing
* farfalle pasta and fried green tomato salad
* pulled pork sliders with cucumber pickles
* squash and cornbread casserole
* Aaron's homemade sausage
* succotash salad
* chocolate pie

You can see all of those on my plate.

The copy of the most recent issue of Daylight was lovely and worthy of continued contemplation.

That's how almost a dozen of us spent our evening. 

I can't wait for the next one.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fuck the Michigan state legislature

Read this Jezebel article.

Now, let's think about this.  In a move to rush through its august houses a reprehensible bill about abortions, a topic that even the most ardent pro-life advocate would have to admit involves women's bodies, this assortment of spineless male asshats indefinitely banned State Representative Lisa Brown from speaking because she used the word


Oh, you may be saying, perhaps her usage was out of line.  First, how can that be?  The term is not pornographic; it is an accurate name of a body part.  Second, here is what she said:
I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.
I'm embarrassed and infuriated that my state recently passed its reprehensible, homophobic state constitutional amendment.  If I lived in Michigan, I'd be way past ashamed.

Hell, I'm ashamed for my gender now.

What a bunch of asshats.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The first video from the upcoming new Gaslight Anthem CD


I do love listening to these guys. I can't wait for the CD.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Coming August 7th on Blu-Ray

is one of my favorite fun movies.  If you know and like it, you'll want the Blu-Ray print.  If you don't know it, you definitely need to check it out.

I have, of course, already pre-ordered it. 

Oh, yeah:  The film's soundtrack is also awesome.  Here's just one example tune.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lessons from a dentist visit

You'd think I'd learn.  I've been going to the same dentist for about thirty years, so I should have gotten good at it.  Apparently, though, I've managed to fail to learn a few key lessons, and so I required reminders at my appointment last week.

1) You do not have to brush your teeth as if you were fighting an enemy.

I attack my teeth when I brush.  I figure that, like the rest of me, they need to be tough to survive.  This is, as it turns out, not a good strategy and not healthy for one's gums.  Fortunately, my gums are strong--as are my teeth, which are about as tough as stones, so I have few fillings or other problems.  Nonetheless, I must learn to be gentler on my gums and teeth.  The dentist suggested I try holding the toothbrush with only three fingers.  My instant reaction was that my three-finger grip strength must get stronger. 

Maybe it's me. 

2) Having the world's worst gag reflex is not a good thing.

One piece of the cleaning powder hit my tongue during the whirly-brush tooth-brushing part of the process, and I did my best imitation of a ten-pound cat hacking up a twenty-found furball--but louder, and with bugging eyes and clenched fists. 

We clearly need to keep that crap off my tongue. 

3. Gripping the arms of the dental chair so hard that you rip off the covering is also not a good thing.

I don't like going to the dentist.  (Does anyone?)  I try to relax.  Despite those attempts, however, my lizard brain sees the encounter as a battle, and so it dumps some adrenalin and prepares me for combat.  I channel that energy into my hands.  The chair suffers.

I did my best to tuck it all back together so no one would notice.  With luck, they won't.

4. I will always miss rinsing on my own. 

When I was growing up, after a bit of working on your mouth, they'd let you sit up, sip water from a cup, swish it around in your mouth, and spit it into a sink.  You, the patient, were in control.  You could rinse as much as you wanted, and you got the bonus of seeing what was coming out of your mouth.  (Admit it:  you're curious, too.)

Now, they use the little water squirter to spray some water where they think you need it, and then they suck it back with the suction hose.  They're in total control.  Where's the fun in that?

In this case, the old ways were better.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I've been quite excited about seeing this film since I first heard about it.  Consequently, I went to the early evening show tonight with high hopes, even though friends had told me the reviews were not generally good.

I left the theater with decidedly mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I had a good time.  Prometheus is great fun, well-paced, and visually stunning.  I was never bored, and each frame of the film was lovely to behold.  The actors also generally delivered good performances.  Noomi Rapace continues to grab your attention each time she's on screen, Charlize Theron did the best she could with a caricature of a character, and Idris Elba was, as always, wonderful despite his very small role.  The best performance in the film by far, though, was Michael Fassbender's portrayal of a very fussy android. 

On the other hand, at no point during or after the movie could I allow myself to think, or the entire thing would begin to fall apart.  We're spending a trillion dollars on a two-year space mission, so of course we will pick so-so experts in each field and never think at all about how compatible the crew will be.  We're scientists in an alien atmosphere, so of course the moment the carbon dioxide level looks tolerable, we'll take off our helmets; we're not the sort to worry about airborne contagions.  We'll then take off our gloves and use our bare fingers to touch everything that squirms.  And on and on.  At no point can you allow yourself to think what this mission would actually be like.

Despite all those flaws, though, as I noted above I left the film happy to have seen it.  If you are willing to suspend not only your disbelief but also all sense of reason and logic, definitely check out Prometheus.  If, however, you can't enjoy a nonsensical movie, give it a pass. 


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