In addition to the Road to Bali and a great documentary on Cleopatra (the bizarro, almost-half-a-billion-in-adjusted-dollars, Elizabeth Taylor–Richard Burton movie), we watched Elf. I was surprised that my mom didn't know who Zooey Deschanel was, so I looked her up on imdb to see what else she was in, and I found out that...
1. There's going to be a remake of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!
2. She's going to play Trillian (wow, that's perfect), Mos Def is going to play Ford Prefect (even better), and Marvin will be voiced by the guy who played Willow and the Ewok Wicket (wha?).
First, I was busy working so I could take three days off, then I was down in Bend for Thanksgiving, sans computer (thanks a lot, hard-drive-crunching TechTools). So it's been a long time. And here you've been stuck with Rammstein—which ain't all bad, but it's not much entertainment for two weeks(!) away. I apologize. You now have my undivided attention.
Bend was fun, but weird, given the aging of the grandparents. I was reminded of another Fleda-ism: When my grandmother (Fleda) wants my grandfather (Moye) to make her a martini (gin, on the rocks) or a Jim Beam and Diet Coke, she might say (often ending with a tired sigh), "Say, Moye, would you be willing to make me something wet?"
She's not always all there, which makes me sad, esp. because I think mostly pain-killers are to blame, so what do you do? If I had to choose between pain and slight incoherency, I know what I would—and often do—choose. But she's there enough so that we can all still have a mostly good time when we're there. We did the traditional T-Day activities, eating in the Whispering Winds dining hall (with a rockin' green bean casserole, you know that), watched movies (including the Road to Bali, which is way funnier than you might realize or remember), and I installed SP2 and some spyware-hunter program on my grandfather's computer. I had no idea what I was doing (owning a Mac, I don't really know anything about viruses—just about faulty logic boards), but fortunately I had written at length for Microsoft on the MANY BENEFITS OF WINDOWS XP SERVICE PACK 2, so I knew if it did anything even close to what I had claimed, my grandfather would be in good hands.
The two big finds from the weekend were my grandmother's high-school yearbook and my great-grandmother's hand-written recipe index cards—expect to see shots of some of those soon, like "Hush Puppies (Ga. Style)," "20th Century Pound Cake," and "Cup Cakes (Bertie)." There's even a card for "Ant Poison (deadly poison)"!
The yearbook was for Rome High School, when she graduated in 1938:
Note the excellent nicknames. And the Scribblers-possessive-apostrophe Club! She was also the class prophet...
... being responsible for predicting what would happen to everyone in the class. My grandfather (who went to HS in Birmingham, AL) said his class prophet predicted he would become a violin teacher—not an Army officer and chemical engineer. But he does plays the violin! Fate cannot be resisted. My grandmother said that the foxy class poet (class poet?) was also a pilot and died in the war as a WAC. Sadly, that story inexplicably devolved into a rationale for why my grandmother voted for Bush.
The best thing about the yearbook, though, was finding out that she performed in the senior class play... in blackface, as Liza Lee, a colored maid who solves a mystery. Wow:
I can't stop thinking about politics, whether it's Gregoire's narrow lead, Bush's purging of "disloyal" "liberals" in the CIA, my irritation at learning that Kerry is sitting on $45M from the campaign (hey, that's my money!) and is resisting reform in the DNC, the new GYWO2, or the appointment of Condoleeza as my new secretary of state (at which point my brain went BOI-oi-oi-oi-oi-oi-oing).
But no political posts here... sort of... for a little while. But do read, if nothing else here, TPM's great take on the Dem's problem with messaging.
So instead (am I done not talking about politics, already?), today's Putative.com Feature Crossword (thanks to X-Entertainment, via MeFi):
This is my favorite piece from surfing the show gallery, titled "Babesaurus"—which is, alas, already sold. But go check out the show! It looks great. Sadly, I'll miss the opening, seeing as it's at the same time as Kristen's Ruby Room fund-raiser (bowling at Leilani Lanes, starting at 6:30p, in case yr looking for yet another thing to do Saturday night).
In other neighborhood news, how did I not know this? Happy hour every night but Sunday, 6 to 8pm, at Caffe Bella. It's $1 off draft beer which means... 75-cent Pabst pints. If you're reading this between 6 and 8, hopefully you're no longer reading and instead there's a you-shaped, Roadrunner-style smoke-cloud sitting by your computer right now.
My friend Jason just moved to China, as a tea-shop-sitting-around-in, karaoke-singing, fried-corn-eating, novel-writing Microsoft bride. While not shaking my fist to the east and yelling, "Damn your fortunate hide, Jason!" I've been keeping up on his spanky new blog. I love this story about subtitles on a pirated Napoleon Dynamite dvd:
This one was different, though. It didn't have the right words. Not even close, as a matter of fact. Our best guess is that it was originally subtitled in Chinese, and then someone who didn't know English turned the Chinese subtitles into English subtitles with the help of the dictionary. Needless to say, it was not exactly correct.
Here's what I mean. The first spoken lines of the movie were as follows:
"Last week, Japanese scientists placed explosive detonators at the bottom of lake Loch Ness to blow Nessie out of the water. Sir Cort Godfrey of the Nessie alliance summoned the help of Scotland's local wizards to cast a protective spell over the lake and its local residents and all those who seek the peaceful existence of our underwater ally."
That was subtitled as:
"Last week, Japanese scientist the bomb set offs the to throw to pull the gram inside the lake for is strange the sea in the watering to fry out. Holland's the you call when the sorcery teacher of the ground improbity give the lake with be the ground resident to descend the cursing of still have the allies of having to support the nautical mile peaceful."
I really didn't mean for the blog to ever become Political Roundtable (nor did I expect my hits to grow and grow even after the election, but there you have it). I'll continue posting political stuff as it catches my attention, but I really need a brief breather from national politics. And I don't have much to add right now beyond the idea that I'd like to see a shift towards states' rights, libertarianism, true conservatism, Progressive Federalism, whatever you want to call it. Hey, even the managing editor of Reason (everybody's favorite libertarian mag) is on my side:
Since Election Day, a series of satiric proposals for blue-state secession have been floating around the Internet. Here's an idea for liberals looking for a more realistic political project: Team up with some hard-core conservatives and make a push for states' rights and local autonomy. If you have to get the government involved in everything under the sun, do it on a level where you'll have more of a popular consensus. Aim for a world where it won't matter what Washington has to say about who can marry who and whether they can smoke after sodomy.
This idea has legs. Even, if joshingly, on the right: Declaration of Expulsion: A Modest Proposal—It's Time to Reconfigure the United States.
So anyway, the Taco Bus!
This won't be that exciting to anyone living in San Francisco or Yakima or anywhere else where good Mexican food is common, but we've got a Taco Bus! On Rainier, just past the old Chubby and Tubby (that's south of Lowe's, on the other side, if C&T is before your time). Have Tom and Jill been trying to tell me about our taco buses for years now, or am I just imagining? I think maybe I just never figured out where one of them was until Bethany gave me the proper prodding. (In the form of a free lunch, since she's actually writing about the bus for money—not, like me, for mere love.)
So you can order outside through the window...
... or, much better, step up into the bus...
... and eat *inside* (inside the bus!) along a counter by the window:
This is an adobada and an asada taco next to pollo and carnitas sopes— all for $1.50 apiece, and way too much food. Of course that didn't stop me from then getting the very best thing on the menu (so far, that I've found), a chicken mulita, which hits the proper meat-cheese-tortilla proportions as delicately as a good ice cream sandwich balances graham with cream. (Plus, as you might notice, you can also get a tamarindo Jarritos, a must for any serious Mexican snack.)
It's cheap, it's old-school Mexican, it's really, really good, and I'm going to go have lunch there again *today* (I'm lookin' at you, Blightner and Dalton and Jill). Here's the menu if you want to plan ahead: