Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

1) This was an even shorter week at work! But I still managed to accomplish a bunch of stuff. Enough about work.

2) My parents drove in Wednesday afternoon. I met them at their hotel downtown and then we drove up to my place and got dinner at Leona's. It was delicious as usual. We got a different type of bruschetta (a word that that's not in FireFox's dictionary apparently) that was delicious and I got the Romano chicken and pasta. My parent's split a pizza and I took the leftovers of mom's spinach pizza and had it a few days later. Mmmm... Then we went to the grocery store and got all the stuff for dinner the next day.

3) We decided not to do a turkey this year, because it's such a hassle. Instead we had salmon - we still made the mashed potato casserole though. We also had asparagus and the mashed hash browns and what not. Everything was wonderful, I was eating left over potatoes for a week. It was a relatively simple, delicious meal.

4) J-P and I played through a good deal of New Super Mario Brothers Wii. We occasionally helped one another out, but mostly we got in the way of one another's jumps and threw each other into enemies (and vice versa) stole power ups. It is totally awesome. The penguin suit and helicopter mushroom are great and the levels have been fun and only occasionally obnoxious.

5) Thanksgiving night I stayed at the hotel with my family. They were in connecting rooms, so we had the doors open while we each did our own thing (J-P and I were on our laptops, mom was quilting and dad was watching TV) while being together. And I got to sleep in a bed with a ridiculous number of pillows and have the breakfast buffet with my parents in the morning and then take a nap while they went shopping on Michigan Ave.

6)In the hotel room I finished reading “Seymour an Introduction,” which I had been working on for the prior week. Now I’ve read all of J.D. Salinger’s published work. It’s too bad that Catcher in the Rye is his most famous work - I think it’s his weakest. His short stories and novellas are much better. Franny and Zoey is probably the best, it is the best expression of the themes he explores in all his work. But I think Nine Stories and Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters are also great and I recommend them.
Seymour an Introduction though, well, I think it might be my favorite, but I don’t necessarily recommend it. If you read all his other novellas and are not turned off by the slowness, lack of action and indulgences of the narrator, then you can consider it. Basically it’s a narrator let loose, with only scraps of story to anchor him. Because I am fascinated by any character who is even remotely aware of the fact that they are a character in a story, narrators have always fascinated me as characters. This is why Halloween is my favorite song from Rent. Of course it’s rare that narrators ever spend a lot of time ruminating about themselves and their status as narrators. Usually they get on with the business of telling the story and sometimes disappear altogether as the story goes on. So for me, Seymour was a rare treat, but I can see how others would find it tedious and frustrating.

7) I also finished Angel season 3 that night. I have to say, it was an excellent season. Much of that is due to Amy Acker and Andy Hallett being around a lot, but I also thought that the arcs all played out nicely and there were a lot of good individual episodes as well. When I finish with Angel I’m going to make a guide of what episodes are worth watching (mostly for Lila’s benefit) and right now season 3 is the only season I would recommend as a whole with a few episodes skipped as opposed to vice versa.

8)On Friday we went to see “A Serious Man.” It was pure Coen brothers from start to finish. Meaning there were a lot of crazy characters in funny situations, a healthy helping of music and dream sequences, moral gray areas, and while there was certainly progress, it ends without closure. I recommend it.

9)Then we went to Glenn's Diner for dinner. My parents had eard about it on the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It is a unique mix of diner food and fresh seafood. I got one of the menu items that spanned the divide – the Apple Jacks encrusted tilapia. It was delicious. I would definitely go there again. My parents and brother went back to the hotel and then made their way back to PA in the morning. It was a nice couple of days with them and then I had a full weekend left.

10) Had a relaxed weekend in which I a) watched Mysterious Skin. I totally dug the ambiance of the film, the music and colors were phenomenal and the performances were good too, but it’s not really a pleasant movie to watch. b) finished animating the new NNN video c) went to Paul and Stephanie’s to eat raisin thing and watch the last 3 episodes of the Wire. The Wire is awesome and I recommend it with every fiber of my being. It is some of the television I have ever watched. I won’t say it’s the best because it’s hard to compare it with Arrested Development for instance, they are such different types of shows. Watch them both.

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