Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein is a book that I've been aware of for a while due to it's popularity. I obtained a copy from Dann a few weeks ago and set to reading it a few days ago as I had nearly gone through everything I had to read at work.
The story is told from the perspective of a family dog named Enzo. As the novel begins, Enzo is nearing the end of his life and looking forward to his perceived rebirth as a man. Before his death he tells his life story with his owner Denny, a skilled racer, and the family that is formed over the years. The novel is clever in it's narrative and approach and the author certainly knows how to pull on the heart stings of the reader. At times extremely sad, the book finishes boldly and more satisfying than anything I've read lately.
I wanted to like the book more than I did. I appreciate the wonderful characters, especially the narrator, Enzo, and the themes of life that parallel racing, but I knew the direction the book was going to take early on and I felt it to be a little contrived. It's a book I would definitely recommend but it's not my cup of tea. Be prepared to have your heart pulled heavily by this novel even if the plot is a little by the numbers. The tearful finished to the novel almost makes up for the shortcomings.
That which you manifest is before you.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Or if you prefer the movie quote:
I think I prefer the quote from the book. Someone argued on another web site that Lecter would never drink anything as pedestrian as a chianti.
So I finally filled out my census survey from the government this morning after being harassed by several pieces of mail reminding me to do so. Now I know why the operation costs so much! It was easy to complete, it took me about two minutes. If you haven't filled out your form do so, it's the law. Or don't. I was reading that many people are not filling out the surveys as a kind of revolt against the government, usually in conservative leaning states/districts. Keep it up morons. Lose money for your state/district or even worse lose representation in Congress via a shift in Representative seats, there's only 435 of them to go around to the entire country.
"An Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct." Article 1, Section 2, the Constitution.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Somehow he had obtained the cigarettes from China. Odd and random huh? The cigarettes were fine, it worked out very well, no one had to leave the beautiful rooftop view and no one turned into a communist after smoking the pack. For the rest of the night all I could think about was a variation of a Margaret Cho bit, "this is not the cigarette of my people!"
Bosso Nova is an awesome destination for some after work drinks. They have great appetizers and the view of downtown from the rooftop sitting area is spectacular!
Definitely check it out; however, don't make the mistake of correcting the server's Spanish as my friend Cris did. We were treated to a visit from the manager as though there was some kind of problem! I shit you not. Like me or my friends would ever cause a problem in a bar...
"The calamity-prone residents of 28 Barbary Lane are at it again in this deliciously dark novel of romance and betrayal. While Anna Madrigal imprisons an anchor-woman in her basement, Michael Tolliver looks for love at the National Gay Rodeo, DeDe Halcyon Day and Mary Ann Singleton track a charismatic psychopath across Alaska, and society columnist Prue Giroux loses her heart to a derelict living in a San Francisco Park."
The third installment is definitely my least favorite entry in the series thus far (there are still three more books). While the characters are still endearing (curious that some major characters from previous books were missing), the storylines become even more incredible than in the two previous books. A large portion of the book deals with a mystery surrounding the tragic end to the infamous Jonestown mass suicides. This portion of the book takes up a lot of the narrative and is wildly over the top. Perhaps the thirty year old events would have been more interesting to read at the time of publication, the early 80's.
Overall I did enjoy the book, once again I appreciate Maupin's writing style and his ability to create wonderful characters. I also like the progression of the book's timeline, as now we are entering the 1980's. Recommended for fans of the series or Armistead Maupin. While there are still more books in the "Tales" series I don't think I'll be reading them any time soon but eventually I'll be happy to return to 28 Barbary Lane.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Iguana is located on NW 9th in Midtown between Broadway and Oklahoma. We were told by the host that their kitchen stays open until around 10:30 PM on weeknights which is fantastic as it can be hard to find somewhere decent to eat after the basketball games during the week. I believe she also mentioned the bar stays open even later. We were seated at a small table in the bar area which was nearly full. The experience was great, the music was up loud and the service was fantastic. We were taken care of by no less than three servers/bartenders at any one time. The food was also fantastic. We just sampled a couple of different appetizers. We tried the Salsa Bar appetizer which is a sampling of four of their salsas, tomatillo (verde), coral snake, citrus habenero, and smoked tomato salsa. We also ordered queso but it wasn't nearly as yummy as the selections of salsa. Finally, Dann and I also shared the Tri Pepe's Mini Tacos. Chicken with pico de gallo, jicama, guajillo aioli in tiny crisp taco shells. Very satisfying. You can also choose to have beef or tilipia tacos as well or mix and match.
Going to Iguana was kind of a last minute decision in our haste to find something still open later in the evening. The food is truly fantastic and inexpensive. With all we had to eat with a couple of beers, the tab was around fifteen dollars apiece. Highly recommended. If you like Mexican food, cold beer, and a fun environment with some of the best service around, this is the place to be.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Rejoice liberals and progressives, this day has been a long time coming! In fact some form of universal health care has been discussed or proposed since the time of Teddy Roosevelt. This Congress and President has accomplished something that Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton all failed to do, pass and sign into law meaningful health care reform that will nearly be universal.
The bill isn't perfect, I certainly whined about it over the last year! Putting that aside, it's a great start and a truly historic day! Get ready for law suits and bat shit crazy psycho talk by conservatives leading up to the mid term elections. It's time for progressives to stand up and vigorously defend what they've done over the last year! If progressives run away from their record, they lose. What has been done today and over the last several months is a good thing. History will say that.
Our tickets were on the baseline this time. Not great, but it was interesting to watch the game from a new perspective.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Kansas (National Champion Pick)
Of course I'll be watching Oklahoma State closely but I don't have them advancing past the first round. In any event, go Pokes!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Saramago is very descriptive in telling the hellish nightmare the quarantined people go through while being locked up in the abandoned mental facility. There are some heavy and disturbing events that progress as the situation deteriorates. Most of the observations are told through a doctor's wife who has somehow managed to avoid the blindness epidemic but in order to be with her husband, she has faked her own blindness and thus becomes an anchor for not only her husband but in parts for the entire quarantined community. The novel is very powerful and is a metaphor what for what true animals the human race really can be.
Highly recommended. The only downside I can see some having with the novel is the way in which it is written. The novel was translated from Portuguese so it has a European flavor to it and Saramago's writing style is unusual as well. The narrative doesn't incorporate line breaks for dialogue so everything is neatly compressed within sometimes long paragraphs. Though the style is a little different, I never had any problems following the story or dialogue by various different characters at one time.
I also believe the novel was made into a movie of the same name but I've never seen it.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
The best thing about the zoo? Riding the animal sculptures with your friends:
It also helps to smuggle in a flask of Captain Morgan...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Again, the chapters are very short, consisting of a couple pages in length. The stories of the main characters are funny, endearing and at times can be sad. Though some of the plot devices can be a little over the top and some of the characterizations can be mellow dramatic, I really enjoyed this book and series thus far. I look forward to starting "Further Tales of the City" in the near future.
Highly recommended for it's great characters and easy read. Some may be turned off by the soap opera quality of certain aspects of the stories but this is probably more of a problem of format where each chapter was first published in chronicle form and not as a whole in a novel.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
Have you guys seen President Obama lately? He's in some serious need of some Chapstick or Carmex or something! I kid. Riddle me this (oops, wrong Batman villain)? The photo above has been circulating for some time now and I don't get it. What does the Joker have to do with being a socialist? Why do liberals cry that this unflattering picture is racist?
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry from North Carolina wants Congress to tell the U.S. Treasury to replace former President Ulysses S. Grant on the fifty dollar bill with former President Ronald Reagan. Here are five reasons why Reagan's legacy shouldn't be honored in this manner:
- Supply side economics. Reagan's philosophy that cutting tax rates for the rich would increase revenues and eliminate the federal deficit. The debt tripled during his time in office.
- Reagan was a snitch for the FBI during the McCarthy era communist witch hunts.
- The deregulation of many industries under Reagan's watch, including the banking industry. That turned out to be a good plan, eh?
- The explosion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Reagan did little to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. In fact he never once said the word AIDS publicly. Can you imagine the beating President Obama would take if he completely ignored the H1N1 flu epidemic?
- Ketchup is a vegetable. 'Nuff said.
There are many other issues I have with the Reagan legacy but I just don't have the dexterity to type all day! I also think that Congress would be better served working on more important issues rather than who graces our paper notes. If they must pursue passage of this kind of legislation they should start by removing Andrew Jackson (President Trail of Tears) from the twenty dollar bill, just not with Ronald Reagan...
I first read this story at The Huffington Post.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
*There is conflicting information on the Internet on who originally said this phrase. I've always thought it to be Dean Martin but some sites credit the quote to Frank Sinatra. Anyone know for sure?
Really? House Bill 2780 passed 87-7. Really? I guess they think third time's a charm?
What a waste. We have major problems in Oklahoma, like most of the rest of the nation, and our legislature is dicking around with bills to restrict abortions? Another case of big government conservatives allowing the state into one's personal life. Sadly that includes Democrats in the state of Oklahoma as well.
Read the full article at the Daily Jokelahoman.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
In spite of not knowing much about Chelsea Handler, I really enjoyed the book. It's a collection of essays written about different periods in her life from youth to her 30's. She writes very well and some of the stories are hilarious. I especially enjoyed her chapter dealing with her trip to jail in Los Angeles for a DUI, something I could relate to recently. Her stories involving her father are also humorous as well.
Recommended for some light and funny reading. She is also the author of "My Horizontal Life" and a new book, "Bang Bang" due out March 9th. If I run across her other books I'll definitely check them out.
Nintendo also revealed a relase date for the game, May 23rd, 2010.
There was also some information about Metroid: Other M but I haven't been able to find any new media. The game will launch on June 27th, 2010! Two blockbuster titles by Nintendo to enjoy this summer is outstanding news. I haven't read any news about the next Legend of Zelda game so I'm thinking it has to be Nintendo's big game for the next holiday season.
Service. The girl waiting on us wasn't very nice. She didn't do anything wrong really, she just came across as a bit bitchy and clueless. It takes a lot for me to have a problem with service in a restaurant having been there before as a manager, server, and bartender. Oh and silverware is always nice addition to any meal.
Food. Nothing to write home about. I had the country breakfast which consists of eggs, bacon, and biscuits and gravy. Everything was unremarkable with the exception of the gravy which was yummy. I believe Dann tried to order the crepes a la florentine but they were out.
Drinks. Big problem. Part of the enjoyment of going out to eat for brunch is being able to enjoy a mimosa or bloody Mary. When we arrived and joined Jenny and Blaze we were informed by the girls that they were out of champagne and to not order a bloody Mary as they just ran out of Zing Zang mix (it really is the best). Whatever mix was used for their bloody Marys was florescent red and looked a little gross. No brunch drinks? No problem, they have a nice beer selection. Dann and I order Pacificos. We were brought one, the last one in the restaurant. I order a Hoegaarden, the server leaves and comes back empty handed, they're out of Hoegaarden. I order a Newcastle, the server leaves and comes back empty handed, they're out of Newcastle. Finally I have to settle on a Bud Light draft. Nice.
I was told by all at the table that Picasso's has a much better dinner menu. I'll probably check it out at some point and hopefully they'll be able to restock their inventory in the meantime.