Yesterday morning, we packed up the family and traveled the hour or so it takes to get to civilization. Our mission was clear: A viewing of Beauty and the Beast, to be followed by a Chinese buffet lunch. The mission was a success and the day went well. The Chinese buffet turned out to be much more than just Chinese food, as it also had a sushi bar. Those of you who have been following along at home will remember that I have sorely missed sushi since moving to a rural area, so far away from any ocean to speak of. Well remembered, well remembered. My craving has been satisfied, for the moment.
It’s astonishing that we traveled for an hour and paid a combined total of eighteen dollars (Sunday matinees still exist, it turns out) to see a film we have owned so many times. The wife used to own Beauty and the Beast on video, a number of times, plus the DVD/Blu-Ray combo we only recently purchased. We’ve watched out Blu-Ray copy of the film a couple of times since its release, which was only a couple of months ago, yet we still deemed it a necessary goal to see it again on the big screen. It’s one of the wife’s favorite Disney films and, truth be told, one of mine as well. I was afraid it would seem dated, but it holds up surprisingly well. All of the animation is still beautiful, the voices are still delightful, and the songs still have the capacity to get stuck in your head for days. In case you were wondering, we skipped the 3D presentation of it. We hemmed and hawed and mulled it over for a long while before deciding it simply wasn’t worth paying an additional two dollars and risking a headache just to see LeFou flying toward us –after being punched by Gaston– in Disney digital 3D.
The restaurant we went to was a place called Chen Garden in Willmar, MN and it was fantastic. The food was very well done, the sushi was surprisingly fresh for being served in the mid-west, and watching the Teppanyaki chef work his magic over the grill was entertaining. We had a wonderful time and if you find yourself in the area, you should check it out.
A quick pop into Best Buy, to purchase a flash drive (and some anime box sets, because why not), then it was a nice drive home. All in all, it was a very relaxing Sunday.
If you’re a fan of Arrested Development, and want to mock someone by imitating a chicken like your favorite character, but you’re just not sure how, here:
You’re welcome (coo-coo-ca-cha).
Quentin Tarantino has released a list of his top eleven films of 2011 and there are some surprising placements. For example, he lists Green Lantern and Green Hornet, both films universally panned by both critics and movie-going audiences, as films he enjoyed (though, to be fair, I enjoyed them too, in a sick way). He also listed Drive in his “Nice Try Award” category, which is shocking to me, as Drive seems like the sort of movie he would truly enjoy (keep in mind, I’ve not yet seen it myself), unless it’s far different from the kind of film I’ve been led to believe it is.
Warren Ellis has written a great post, detailing the art of comic book scripting. It’s such an informative read. Here.
Meanwhile, Harlan Ellison gives a brief –but insightful– interview here.
Reading it made me happy to be reading another Harlan Ellison interview, yet sad by the finality of its tone. Harlan is sick, we know that much, and we know that, in his words, he doesn’t have a lot of time left in this world. To hear him talk about his regrets regarding not writing enough, not writing as much as he could have, is a sad thing.
While in Willmar, we stopped at a little book shop in the mall (we’re able to see a movie, enjoy an Asian feast, and buy books all in one location. God bless America.), and I picked up this:
Years ago, a good friend gave me the gift of a book of Robert Frost poetry and I treasured it. I’m no expert on poetry, nor am I pretending to be, but I’ve loved Frost for a long time and while I’m sure my old book of Frost poems is hidden away safely inside a box in California, it does me absolutely no good there. And so, I purchased this, to hold me over until I can reclaim my old one. I’ve been flipping through it, scanning pages, reading passages here and there. It feels good.
I’m also writing this on a brand new computer. I’d forgotten how nice it is to use a machine that actually works properly and doesn’t take hours to load content, even over broadband. I’ve also forgotten how quiet a computer can be when it isn’t ancient and on its last legs of life.
The weather has been a roller coaster ride, here in Minnesota. We’ve gone from sunny days with temperatures of 60F, to a wind chill that brings it all down below zero, in the span of a few days. They say snow is coming, a warning that is repeated week after week, most times with no results. We’ll see if there are truth to the rumors this time.
I’m exhausted, so I think I’ll stop writing –both this blog post and the other thing I’ve been working on that I won’t yet tell you about– and get some sleep.
I’m leaving you with a clip from the film Dreams with Sharp Teeth, a documentary on Harlan Ellison that came out a few years ago. I’ve probably talked about it here before, in fact I’ve probably even posted this clip before, but it bears repeating, so there you go.
If you haven’t already seen the film, I suggest you do so. If you have never read any of Ellison’s work, I suggest you do that, too. The man is a powerhouse of science fiction literature and one of those larger-than-life personas that are not easily forgotten. Think of him as Hunter S. Thompson if he had never had a drop of alcohol or done any drugs. Yes, I know it’s hard to imagine.