Saturday, August 5, 2017

Bat Out of Hell: The Musical

Well, that happened.

Click an image to see a larger version.

Yes, as a long-time fan of this great album, Steinman's music, and, embarrassingly, Meat Loaf, I could not miss this show once I knew I'd be in London.

The reviews called the show correctly:  great songs (we knew that), a cast that did them justice (some were weak, some were merely good, but the lead was extremely strong, and no one sucked), lots of spectacle, and a weak story to hold it all together.

When the cast broke into the finale number ("I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That)"), I have to admit that the show had won my heart and even brought a tear of joy to my eyes.  I was particularly happy to see that in addition to the two main male-female couples getting together, the choreography included male-male, female-female, and even a poly (three people) group celebrating their love.

Love is love, folks, and the more we celebrate it in all its forms, the more we acknowledge that we are all free to love anyone of any type we want, the better the world will be.

I would have bought a cast CD if there was one, but, alas, it does not exist, so I opted instead for a program.

While roaming the streets for a while after the show, I came across this lovely establishment.

It almost made me wish I drank alcohol.

As happy coincidence would have it, over on an edge of Covent Garden, a street singer was doing a passable cover of Neil Young's "Hey Hey My My."  I enjoyed hearing "rock and roll will never die" not long after watching a rock musical.

Finally, for the many folks who sent me notes asking what I would do now that Coca-Cola is phasing out Coke Zero, I'm happy to report that here in London I am already embracing the future.

It's pretty much Coke Zero, a little softer but not different in any way I care about.

So, I'll be good on the soda front as the Coke people make this brand change.

I had planned to end the blog there, but after an early dinner--I do plan to crash hard tonight--I emerged from a nearby Indian restaurant just in time to catch this amazing sky.

The pink area in the middle was the star of the moment; I fear my phone photo does not do it justice.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Bandwidth over the Atlantic--sorta

I started this entry from my seat on an American Airlines flight to London from RDU.  I was greatly enjoying the bandwidth I had purchased (at way too high a price) and marveling at my ability to catch up on work email, write a blog, and so on, all while hurtling at 556 mph across the Atlantic.

Then it started bouncing.

Then it stopped.  No warning, just gone mid-trip.

Had any part of the purchase process warned me that I'd get only two hours for my large expenditure, I would have opted for the two-hour pass.  I foolishly assumed, however, that the existence of four-hour and full-flight passes meant the bandwidth would remain available for those longer times.

Ah, well.  It was good while it lasted.

I'm finishing this from London, where I arrived exhausted, more than a tad smelly, and with a severe case of headphone hair.  Fortunately, in all of these traits I was not alone; Heathrow was full of us.

It is good to be back in London!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A work project put this song in my head

Fortunately, I have always liked it.

It's great to have a job that causes you to think about rock songs you like.

No, I can't tell you why work took me to this tune.  You'll just have to trust me that it did.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Heading to Helsinki

Early evening this Friday, I'll head to Europe for about two and a half weeks, a time centered around the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) in Helsinki. This event is the first WorldCon in Finland, and it's also my first trip to Finland--or any Scandinavian country.

I don't know yet what, if anything, I'll be doing officially at the con, but I'll definitely be going to the usual events, some panels, and so on.  If you're also going to be there, drop me a note if you'd like to get together, and we can try to make that happen.

Sandwiched around the con will be some time in London and in Edinburgh--my first trip to that city and to Scotland.

I will, of course, report on my adventures here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Food bomb away!

Tonight, I took a friend and client, who had said he was quite hungry, to downtown Durham to grab an informal meal at Geer Street Garden. I've had many fun dinners there, and on nights as mild as tonight, it's a pleasure to eat outside on their patio.

Because my companion was so hungry, we ordered an appetizer:  "the Pile." This beast contains fried chicken, french fries, jalapenos (we asked the kitchen to omit those, because my friend doesn't prefer spicy food), bacon, melted cheddar cheese, and gravy. You also get your choice of sauces; we opted for cheese and a few others.

When it arrived, I remembered why I haven't ordered it since the first time I went to Geer St.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Wow, is that an enormous, greasy, and absolutely delicious belly bomb!

Two of us managed to eat less than a third of it, and I expect we'll both pay soon for our sins.

You can actually eat quite healthy food at Geer St., but I have to say that if you want a plate or two of incredibly hearty, stick-to-your-ribs chow, you should absolutely check it out.

If only they had a nap room on the premises.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A song I'm listening to a lot lately

I think a lot about a fight we all must wage: the battle against the baser part of our natures. It's no surprise, therefore, that this song speaks to me and is on heavy rotation for me right now.

I like to believe that humanity will win this fight.

Some days, though, that belief is stronger than others.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Atomic Blonde: flawed, but exactly what I wanted

A group of us watched the movie the other night, and all of us left the theater having enjoyed it--but we all also agreed it had a lot of flaws.  Despite those flaws, however, it was exactly what I had hoped it would be:  stylish, rough, and full of Theron being the toughest person in recent action films.

If Jason Bourne didn't feel bad about what he did and never hesitated to initiate the action, and if he put more of himself into every punch, you'd have Theron's Lorraine Broughton, the Atomic Blonde of the film's title.  Theron stalks through this film like an animal on the hunt, and in many ways she is always hunting.  She's fine in the still scenes, but she's at her best in action, kicking butt and taking hits with pain but an unstoppable determination to continue the fight.

Having said that, the film's flaws are many and easy to spot.  The plot's final reveal does not stand up to scrutiny; you just have to go with it.  The violence is way, way over the top and beyond what any real person could take--as is typical these days in action films.  Worst of all, the slow scenes that are supposed to be tense and build to more tension never work as well as they should.

None of that matters, though, next to the pleasure of watching Theron work.  Add to that the spectacle of James MacAvoy chewing the scenery in his most fun role in ages, and you have a film that I heartily recommend for anyone seeking an action flick.


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