Monday, May 31, 2010

Orgy Of The Flesh

Churrascaria is a term referring to a Brazilian type of BBQ where the meats are grilled on long skewers, delivered to your table and portions are sliced directly onto your plate.

At Green Fields you get to partake of this tradition, enjoying a wide variety of freshly grilled meats along with a buffet table that alone is worth the price.

My favorites from the buffet were the oxtail stew and the fried bananas. It was all just awesome, and not at all like what you'd expect from a typical American buffet. There were no mashed potatoes, or similar type of filler food. It was all traditionally Brazilian: various concoctions of fresh produce, salads, seafood and soups.

Then there are the meats. This is what you come here for. Freshly grilled, carried to your table, still dripping with juices.
As the waiter approaches, he'll announce what he's got: rib eye, chicken legs, pork ribs... maybe some rabbit or quail... the offerings are near endless... and you'll just tell him 'Yes' or 'No'. If 'Yes', he'll slice directly from the skewer onto your plate.
A little green paddle at the end of your table signals the waiter to approach.
If your plate is full, flip it to yellow, and they'll leave you alone for a while til you flip to green again.

At green, the meatfest begins all over again. If you don't eat fast, you'll find yourself buried in BBQ before you can flip back to yellow.
It was all very good, and probably the best roasted chicken I'll ever have, but I'm still partial to the beef ribs and flank steak: tender, juicy... and ubiquitous.

If you ever get the chance, give the churrascaria experience a try. This was about my twelfth trip. It's a little pricey for casual family dining, about $30 per, plus drinks, but for a 'night out' you can't beat it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

They Can't Stay Cute Forever

I encountered Tully at some gay blog where he was making friends and discovering his true self expanding his intellectual horizons.

What it's been, like five plus years or something...?
Today, he's adding another wrinkle, and growing up way too fast for my preference.
He's too far away to buy him a drink, so I offer him this instead.
(Tully, I dont know if you've heard these guys yet, but you'll need to get yer hankie out for this one.)

Enjoy, my friend.

Happy Birthday!

*if you don't normally click on posted videos, I encourage you to make an exception for this one. It's the best version I've ever heard of one of western civilization's most classic folk songs.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Missing The Obvious?

So, I'm not really following this oil leak story all that closely. I don't have to as its seems to follow everywhere I go to the saturation point.
Fine, whatever...

And lately I hear they are trying to plug the leak with mud.
Yeah, mud.

Aren't oceans water bodies held up with earth? So, we got a leak, under the water...
a leak surrounded by earth that is saturated with water. (What I've always called 'mud' since I was a kid).

Wasn't there mud there, where the hole is, before they drilled a hole in it?

Seems strange to me that it's taken 5 weeks for them to think of this mud filling idea?
A full tanker of juice tipped over and exploded on a major freeway just in time for Memorial Day weekend traffic.

My 45 minute commute took over three hours.

I am happy to be home.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The death of a loved one seems to bring out the bitter spitefulness in those same people who, if anything, should be drawn closer in their grief.

But no.
Instead, opportunities to settle old scores rear their ugly heads.

I'm gonna spend my last damned penny, burn all my shit, and wander off to die telling no one.

My last will and testament will be a screaming big "Fuck all of you, bitches!!!!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No FAIL Here

It looks like I'm going to get at least a little part of my way.

What I previously requested.

This could be fun.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flying Still Sucks

I am forever amazed at the lack of service and all around 'Happy to serve you!' vibe that infests the airlines today.

I decided to ditch the usual Delta, and try with American and Continental this time. American Airlines took me to Raleigh, North Carolina via Chicago. The seating was still as cramped as Delta, but at least the seats themselves were made of cloth.

Delta not only shoehorns your ass into a teeny,tiny seat. The also make sure that seat is covered with plastic upholstery. Treating you like shit isn't good enough for them, so they add a puddle of butt sweat to your indignity. Can you say "Uncomfortable"?

The return trip was provided by Continental Airlines, via Houston. Full disclosure: my family has an ugly history with Continental, going back to the strikes of 1983-84 when my dad lost his job when a 35% pay cut was being forced on him. Basically, it was union busting move of making them an offer they had to refuse.

Not only were the seats just as tiny (but cloth), the service staff was the rudest I've have ever come across... anywhere.
It was clear from the moment you arrived at the ticket counter that you were not welcome there. But at least they dropped all pretense that a passenger had any dignity to begin with.
Knowing where you stand from the get-go makes the assault easier to accept.

I was wishing Northwest flew to North Carolina. I took Northwest last year to Minneapolis. It was quite nice by comparison. The seats were roomier. Big plus there. And for me, that's about 90% of the whole experience.

Whatever happened to "Fly The Friendly Skies", "The Proud Bird" or "The Only Way To Fly"... company mottos/ad slogans from the good old days when the airlines used to compete for your business?
(Need blanket,sir? How bout a pillow?)

Now it's just "Get in, sit down, and shut the fuck up".

I hate flying.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Last year I enjoyed a five-day, worldwind tour of the Twin Cities region, along with a great time shared with many of the local blog community.
The main occasion, as most remember, was the wedding of Ben and Faith. I was seriously hoping to keep a promise to return this year, but resources kinda prevent that.

Instead, circumstances will take me to North Carolina this week for another wedding. This time it's my brother putting on the ball and chain, and I get to laugh at him in person. Sucker!

I'll be out for a few, will back soon enough, but with a little luck I may be posting before then if I'm bored and within arm's reach of a keyboard.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'll Drink To That

While most of Washington was focused on Tuesday's election results, the House was busy doing something else: Passing a resolution about beer.

House Resolution 1297, sponsored by Rep. Betsy Markey, supports "the goals and ideals of American Craft Beer Week."

"We've got quite a number of microbreweries and entrepreneurs that are creating jobs, and we wanted to celebrate that this is a craft," Markey told POLITICO.

"I think beer has been a tradition since this country was founded," said Markey. "We wanted to celebrate entrepreneurship — and good beer!"

Markey is obviously partial to brews from her home state of Colorado, but she won't claim a favorite.

"You can't just have one," said Markey. "It really depends on what mood you're in. Sometimes, I like a light beer — I might want a Skinny Dip — or otherwise prefer a heavier brew."

The real question is: Why would anyone vote against this?

"It does seem like a no brainer," said Markey.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And No Bacon,Either

“I’m not a real religious person, but I’m somewhat religious. And I’m just wondering if God is telling us he doesn’t want us to drill offshore,” he said. “And right before that we had that coal mine disaster in West Virginia where we lost 29 miners,” as well as repeated mining disasters – “seems like there’s one over there every week” – in China.

“Maybe the Lord’s tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal. I think maybe we ought to just leave the coal in the ground and go with solar and wind power and geo-thermals where it’s applicable."


And maybe God really wants us to live like the Bible way: in tents, without indoor plumbing, baby back ribs, television or internets.

But that would kinda suck.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Robin Hood 2010

In this latest retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, we have Russel Crowe as Robin Longstride who finds his way back home to England after ten years fighting in the Crusades.

Upon his arrival he assumes the identity of a fellow soldier who was killed, and sets about doing Robin Hood type things while wooing the Lady Marian, the widow of the man he's masquerading as.

All is not well in the kingdom as the people, and nobles, suffer under the King's cruel and confiscatory taxation policies. This is where the Robin Longstride becomes the eventual Robin of the Hood. He steals from the King, battles a French invasion, impresses The Lady, and becomes a hero of the people... all within two hours.
Not a bad list of accomplishments if you stop to think about it.

A little warning: this is not the jaunty, feather hatted Robin Hood of previous legend. This is more of the gritty, leather and chain mailed, mud soaked Robin we never heard about about. Sort of a prequel to the installments. He doesn't become Robin 'Hood' til the end.

The battle scenes are epically filmed, violent, very much along the lines of Gladiator and other such movies. Many scenes seem borrowed. I was reminded at various times of Excaliber, Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart, Rob Roy, Flesh and Blood... the list goes on to the point that I can't remember them all.

And that is part of the problem. Though every scene in the movie is well done and gritty in it's realism, I was never able to immerse my thoughts into what was happening on the screen before me. I couldn't 'lose' myself in it.
Instead, all it did was remind me of other stuff I had already seen. Something about the flow not quite flowing. Maybe it's hard to get swept away in stagnant waters?
All I can say is that the sense of fantasy and romance that you'd expect from a medieval epic just didn't spark the fires of my imagination.

Another bitch: I understand the need to have medieval Englishmen speak in a fucked up manner of accented, poetic English. But that shit don't work when you can't hear them clearly. Too much cryptic mumbling of fucked up English made some dialogue hard to understand.
I'd say it killed much of the movie. Maybe that's where the magic and imagination went? Too much effort spent trying to decipher the code of fucked up English?
I don't know. I just know that I was wishing there were some subtitles along the bottom so I could keep up what they were saying.
I see plenty of subtitled stuff, so I'm used to gazing along the bottom, and I found myself looking for it several times, and then had to remind myself that I wasn't in one of 'those' movies. But it felt like it. What's that tell ya?

Overall, it's decently average, but a welcomed diversion from the current discharge of comic book/super hero crap that's been haunting the silver screen the last couple of years.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pet Peeve

If all the cars bearing N.O.T.W. were N.O.T.W. my commute time would be reduced by 25%.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Acts Of Violence

It seems a little off to review, and hopefully share, a film with a bunch of readers who will never see it. But then again, how many of you have seen anything based upon something I had to say about it anyway. (Except maybe... Brian?)

I've wondered this a few times.

A half-hearted attempt to discover what others had to say have left a goose egg. Seems nobody has seen it, or was bothered to write about it.
Imagine that...
A film that has won awards at three festivals... and nobody has anything???

Flyn (Il Lim) is an Asian-American doctor married to the brutally raped Olivia (Leelee Sobiesky).
One by one, he hunts down those responsible, kidnaps them to his secret warehouse place, and brutally kills them using his martial arts expertise. After brutalizing them, of course. It's a beautiful thing. It really is.

In between the acts of violence, the movie takes you on a journey through his relationship with Olivia. Olivia doesn't know what he's up to. He lies, he hides it, he always leaving the home and not coming back for several hours, making up some bullshit excuse about getting lost or something.
She's not totally buying it, but is at a loss to help him.
She urges him to seek help. Things haven't been the same between them since 'the incident', but their love, sweetness and devotion is obvious.
Seemingly, she's managed to put it behind her. She's moved on.
He can not.

And so it goes.
Another killing.
Another trip home.
Another tortuous dialogue between the lovers.

And this is the most aggravating part of the film: the dialogue. It's distant. It's connecting, but not connecting, at the same time.

I'm wondering: who the hell wrote this damn thing?

The fight scenes are cool; all wrapped around a topic I can get behind: blood vengeance. Alone, this would have been a typical fight flick. Mediocre, yeah, but who sees fight flicks for the superb dialogue anyway?
Instead, it runs deeper than that.
Something is off. Flyn is too emotionally removed from his actions. There isn't that snarling anger in the face of the enemy. Instead, he's cool. Calculated. Matter of fact.
He chats briefly with his victim, and then calmly says "I'm going to kill you now".
He's almost not there.

There are a few plot holes. Like, how did he get a surveillance tape copy of his wife's kidnapping, yet the cops weren't able to identify anybody involved?
Other than that, it all comes together in the last 10 minutes, in a way that I didn't expect.

This is Il Lim's first film, co-written and co-produced with Leelee Sobiesky. He also directs.
I've never heard of him before. I'm assuming he's some sort of super extreme martial arts type dude. He's got great moves.

This is a good movie. Not a great one, but very good. I'd place it next to 'A Girl In A Swing' from way back in the mid-80's. It was similar in the way much of what you saw didn't make sense til you got to the end.(Sorry, I know damn well none of you have seen that one.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Took Mom to pay respects to my sister today. It's been two years this weekend, so Mother's Day will always feature suckage around here.

The place was packed, with muchos la raza tailgating paying respects of their own.
Now, write this down, and file it: Whatever happens to me in the future, I hereby request that I am not be laid to rest near a Mexican.

The BBQ's and the beer I can handle. And the companionship might be nice. But it's the boom box mariachis that I can do without.

Thank you.

An Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It

I thought I was going to see a standard issue Death Wish movie but nothing about this is standard issue.

And nowhere close at all to Jody Foster's "Chick Wish" of a couple years ago, so just put that one out of your head (I'm still wishing I could).

Check out the trailer: Acts Of Violence

I would especially like Brian, Amanda, and maybe even RW take a look-see sometime this week, and we can discuss my upcoming review.
Anybody else is free to see it too, of course, but this movie is more for the film buff, and not for everybody.

Very limited release, in the art house genre. You have to look for it. And in my opinion, be it ever so humble, this one needs some attention.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day Of Prayer

Some controversy lately concerning the National Day Of Prayer. I know some Christians were frosted at the President's not taking part, at least publicly, last year.

I guess he's changing his ways this year, a little bit maybe? I'm not paying that close attention.

And then there is this court ruling that says the National Day Of Prayer is unconstitutional. That's funny, coming from a court system that uses oaths made upon Bibles as official swearing-in ceremonies.
It's bullshit to say that Congress can declare such inane things as National Dairy Goat Awareness Day, but National Day Of Prayer is off limits when chaplains are on the federal payroll, "In God We Trust" graces our currency, and references to the Creator embellish our founding documents and national monuments.
Now, all that aside...
As a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever...

Wouldn't it be better if all the churches and temples and whatever just co-ordinated among themselves to hold vigils or prayer meetings in a display of national/cultural unity on one particular day of the year without the government needing to get involved?
Will God hear our prayers more clearly because Franklin Graham is praying with federal blessings?
Does anybody need any President to serve as national imam, even if only for a day?

True Practice, True Faith and True Intentions cannot be decreed. I think these things are better encouraged, and they should be, by those who truly feel them.

And not by politicians who would just soon sell their own souls for power and influence as readily as they would preen for approval from the faithful.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Racists Exposed

OK, so there's this boycott of Arizona going on.
Whenever an economy gets pinched, who suffers first?

It's the laborors at the bottom of the skills chart.
People with less money don't pay for car washes, and start mowing their own lawns. Those with higher means let the nanny and housekeeper go.
Many times to be replaced with a wetback who will do it cheaper then the previous immigrant.

You ever seen a bidding war among lawn mower pushers? I have. And it gets even nastier when there aren't enough lawns to go around.

No traveling to Arizona means nobody needed to change the sheets at the hotel, or bus the tables in the restaurants.

So, it looks to me like the brown people, even the legally documented ones, are most likely to get hurt.

The economic downturns don't check for papers. The boycott is racist. And those calling for it are racists.

Monday, May 3, 2010

No Comment

I'm borrowing an idea from RW, because sometimes the stories write themselves:

Mother defends breastfeeding her five-year-old

A mother who still breastfeeds her five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son has defended her actions as "what nature intended".

Stella Onions, 45, said children should be weaned naturally until their baby teeth fall out to help fully develop their immune system.

She breastfeeds Josephine, five, and Zac, three, and said despite it making some people feel uncomfortable, the health benefits are vital.

"Lots of studies have been done and in general babies fed on formula are more likely to get gastric infections and urinary and respiratory problems.

"Some studies even suggest that there is an increased risk of certain childhood cancers.

"Also women who don't breastfeed have a higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

"When you breastfeed your body releases a feel good hormone which calms the mother and current research is investigating if it helps with post natal depression."

Mrs Onions, from Ludlow, Shrops, said she had time to feed her children because she home schools them, and said their friends think nothing of it.

She said: ""My children's friends have seen them at my breast. They both come and ask for 'Mummy milk'. But nobody says anything bad about it.

"Nature sorts it out for you. When children lose their milk teeth between five and eight years, their jaw shape changes slightly and they lose the ability to suckle. That is when their immune system is fully developed.

"So nobody is going to be breastfeeding teenagers."

The issue of older children being breastfed was lampooned in the television show Little Britain, where a grown up man constantly demanded milk from his mother's breast.

But Mrs Onions insisted children should be weaned naturally for as long as possible.

She said: "I grew up in South Africa where the women see breasts as something to feed your children with, not something sexual.

"Some people are squeamish about it, especially in public, but you wouldn't throw a blanket over a sheep feeding a lamb in a field would you? It's what nature intended."

She has designated one breast for each child - the right one for Josephine and the left for Zac - and while they use to feed together they now drink separately.

She is now campaigning to get more mothers to breast feed and plans to launch a magazine to be distributed to ante natal clinics.

She added: "I am not trying to make mums feel guilty about not breast feeding, but you can't ignore study after study."


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back To The Eighties

This is semi-similar to The Hangover: Forty-something friends come together in an attempt to relive their youth while chasing booze and broads.
It all starts when one of the buddies attempts suicide and the other two decide to take him, and themselves, off to some mountain resort, the same one they visited 20+ yrs ago.
Back then it was a happening place, but are surprised to find it has become rundown and slummy. Definitely not the party heaven of their memories.
While hot tubbing the first night, and electrical malfunction occurs, and they four are transported back to 1986.

Up to this point, the movie is a bit of a drag.

Now things get interesting, as they try to figure out how this happened, and most importantly, try to get back.
It now becomes 'Back To The Future'-ish. They don't want to change history, (or do they?), so the friends make sure the do everything they did that fateful night back in 1986, (or do they?).
If you were cognizant in the 80's, you will love the musical score, the flashbacks to hair metal, and the awful fashions.

And I realized last night just how goofy the fashions were. This movie has it all down to a 'T'.Pathetic, you all were. Yes, you.
And you all should be ashamed of yourselves.(Not me, as I refused fashion at birth and have held true to myself ever since.)
It's a good movie, a great time, and, like I said, you'll love the music.