Monday, January 30, 2006

Colonic is the Watchword

This post is not for the faint of heart. Consider yourself warned.

Sometimes, for shits and giggles (yes, that's on purpose), another co-worker and Ie njoy yanking the chain of a third co-worker. In the process of inventing an elaborate story about how he was obsessed with losing weight and exercise, my co-worker found this article in The Guardian about a reporter who takes an enema holiday in Thailand. The reporter takes the trip and has to write a first-hand account about his seven day fast and the many enemas he endures for a cleansing of his large intestine.

The shit that comes out of these people - terrifying. In one instance, a man dislodges a marble that he had swallowed as a child 22 years earlier. If this is all true - color me creeeeped out. I had no idea that so much undigested food could stay in your system.

Anyway, I forwarded the article onto Kate, whom I knew would get a kick out of it. And indeed she did. So much so, that she decided to do her own cleansing fruit fast (without the icky enemas). She has promised to give me hourly updates as she begins the fast.

Meanwhile, Dr. Weil says it's all hooey. He points out that because the entire lining of the colon sloughs off every day and regenerates, the idea of toxic residue buildup is impossible.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Your HBO Update

The good news first. HBO has already decided to renew Deadwood for a fourth season. For those of you keeping score at home - the third season hasn't even aired yet. Now the bad news. The third season won't be airing until June. Originally the plan was to put it on after The Sopranos, but the execs at Hobo decided they'd rather give a bump to their new series Big Love, about a polygamist and his three wives.

But hey, at least The Sopranos will be back soon.

Speaking of polygamists, this weekend's installment of This American Life was about what it means to be a woman. One of the chapters dealt with a Mormon woman who is in a polygamous marriage (her hubby has seven other wives) and part of her pro-polygamous marriage thoughts is based on ideals of feminism. It was actually a really interesting argument and I thought a lot of what she had to say was totally reasonable. What I really liked about her - she said she didn't think polygamy could work for most people. When I read Under the Banner of Heaven last year, I was disturbed by how polygamy is forced onto so many people in the fundamentalist Mormon movement. That was anything but this woman's opinion. Anyway, between that piece, and The Hens, it was a very enjoyable hour of TAL.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I don't need civil liberties cause I'm the President

I caught this driving home from work - it's a piece that All Things Considered did on the President's speech regarding domestic "surveillance" (read: spying) at Kansas State University. What struck me was how he phrased it. He said "I'm mindful of your civil liberties, so I had all kinds of lawyers review it." "Your civil liberties." Aren't they "your" civil liberties too, Mr. Pres? Also, having "all kinds of lawyers" review your plan doesn't make me feel better. Why? Because I am a lawyer and do you know what lawyers like to do best? We like to find loopholes so our clients can do what they want within the "confines" of the law. It's our thing. Is lawyers reviewing your shitty plans kind of like when Alberto Gonzalez reviewed the torture plan to figure out a way around the Geneva Convention? Yeah, not comforted. Thanks for the effort.

Lazy Saturday

For the first time since before Christmas, I had the opportunity this past Saturday to listen to This American Life and Car Talk. And let me say that TAL was pretty fantastic. Occasionally the theme they use to unify all the stories doesn't necessarily work. But here it di. The theme? My Big Break.

The first part, regarding a comedian couple who gets their break on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 is both comical and surprising. The second part about the guys who made a mint by creating the "Yankees Suck" t-shirt that all of Boston wears, and then go off to make a difference in Iraq, naturally had me in tears. And the final piece about the little boy who gets a chance to please his mom and get rid of his abusive father is both laugh-out-loud funny and poignant.

Oh, This American Life. How I missed you. And Ira Glass? You are so my NPR boyfriend.

Shochu, is it really you?

As I've mentioned before on this blog, my girl Kate is getting married soon. As her maid of honor, it is my duty to throw her the ultimate in shindigs - the bachelorette party. The evening promises to be fun, and I have started to look into restaurants. The problem? It's not always easy to find a place in NY where even picky eaters can find something, that is big enough to a group of 12 or 15, that is reasonably priced, and has quality food. On top of that, Kate would really like a Japanese restaurant.

So, last week, Jim gamely agreed to join me as I tested out Megu on Thomas Street. About two months ago, Jim and I had dinner at a place he had heard about from a co-clerk called Yakitori Totto. YT is a Japanese grill and the food is really solid. Unfortunately, it's also rather small and they don't take reservations, so I didn't think that would work for Kate's party. At YT, I tried shochu for the first time - shochu is a distilled Japanese liquor. I didn't think much of it. But my evening at Megu got off to a hopeful start when I decided to give it another go with their "shochu smash." Yummy. It was a very nice drink - definitely tasted the shochu, but as the bartender told me, the restaurant infuses all its own shochu with different fruits.

Jim met me at the bar, and after a drink, we went to our table. The downstairs dining room is very large, has a beautiful lighting scheme, and a reflecting pool in the center of the room with a large ice sculpture of the Buddha. Rose petals are scattered on the surface of the pool and an enormous bell inscribed with Japanese print hangs over the Buddha.

Our reservation was for 7pm and the dining room was only half full. By the time we left, it was closer to capacity. We sat and admired the room for a few minutes before our waiter came over to talk with us. The waitstaff at Megu all wear suits and could easily pass as Maitre d's. Regardless, our waiter was tremendously knowledgeable about the voluminous (and I do mean voluminous) menu, had no problem making recommendations when we asked for his opinion, and was generally attentive and pleasant. As he suggested, Jim and I opted to order several dishes and share them.

We split a spicy salmon belly roll and a kebob of kobe beef in garlic sauce to start. The roll was served with fresh wasobi. And by fresh, I mean the waiter walked over with the wasabi root and a grinding stone and mashed us up some wasabi. I've never had wasabi that fresh before, and let me assure you - it was entirely different and better than the tube. Big surprise. Next up came the shrimp in a kanzuri cream sauce. That was pretty darn spicy and had a more Thai kick to it.

Next up - I ordered one piece of uni (sea urchin) because that's Kate's favorite and I had better made damn sure that the uni is good, and Jim had a piece of mackeral.

Jim: What does it taste like?
Me: Tastes like the sea. Yours?
Jim: Tastes like I went down to the sea and licked the wharf. In a good way.

Suffice it to say - all of the fish tasted very fresh.

Following that came the Bara Scatter Sushi. And that was my one complaint regarding the food. While I liked the scatter sushi, I was not prepared for what it was. According to our waiter, in Japan, not everyone knows how to make sushi, or has the money for the fish. So, they will buy a variety of fish cut it up into small pieces and mix it up in a large bowl of rice. And that's what we got. It was actually quite yummy, and it was really a rather large serving. Jim and I kept hoovering it down, but it took quite awhile to get through it all.

None of this stopped us from ordering dessert - a sweet little chocolate gateau filled with chocolate cream, strawberries, and Japanese bean, with a side of green tea ice cream. It was definitely the highlight of the meal for me. After stuffing ourselves, we sipped some coffee and people-watched.

Me: Seems to me that a lot of the people here are Euro....
Jim: Say it. Say it!
Me: trashy.
Jim: I would say that it serves a varied European clientele looking to make a splash and Japanese businessmen accompanied by their.... dates.
Me: Awww come on, say it!
Jim: Well, I'll just say that the most expensive thing here is not on the menu.

Jim and I spent the rest of the time doing what we always do - chatting and amiably arguing over completely random and diverse topics, including, but not limited to, how the Chinese characterize the spiciness of food, the area of the brain that is stimulated by cute animals and children, and Rudolph Guiliani.

So, in summation, Megu is really quite trendy, had a beautiful space, attentive staff, good food, and good people watching. But for the cost, I'm not sure the food is quite as strong as it should be. While we left quite stuffed, our wallets were certainly lighter. I feel confident in saying that I will not daydream about any of the dishes at Megu the way I daydream of the grilled chicken livers from Yakitori Totto (seriously. un. believable.) So the end decision is not to have Kate's bachelorette party there and I am, sadly, back to the drawing board. It's too bad - the space would have been perfect and while it was crowded and bustling, I never had any trouble hearing Jim. The miracle of acoustics.

Recommendations are always welcome.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Retirement Home for Assassins

When I was in law school, Wendy talked me into joining a book club. Seemed like a bit of a mistake, I mean, I barely had time to read all the cases I was assigned. But a book a month on top of that? It wound up being a great thing for me. Aside from enforced interaction with non-lawyers (just plain good for the soul), it also introduced me to two of my favorite books - The Life of Pi and The Red Tent.

Anyway, we used to meet close to Union Square. I haven't spent too much time in that area since book club. But on Saturday night, Wendy and I headed into Union Square to see The Matador - it's limited release and it's only playing at two theaters in Manhattan right now. The film was soldout for the time that we planned on, so we opted to have some dinner and catch a later showing.

After hemming and hawing over what type of food we wanted, we finally headed towards Friend of a Farmer on Irving Place. FoF is a little country type of restaurant, which I had been told years ago by Willis served a great brunch. Unfortunately, the line for the brunch is always out the door and down the block. I lack that kind of patience, so I've never eaten there.

Dinner, as it turns out, is also a pleasant meal to partake at FoF. Wendy got her steak, and I had a nice piece of salmon, off the specials. And to Wendy's delight, they had apple cider. I, naturally, had some wine.

The decor is cute - the Times called it precious, and not in a complimentary sort of way. But fuck the Times. I swear, we can't all eat at Per Se or Le Bernardin every damn day. Anyway, the decor is like a little country home. And as long as the food is solid, what's so bad about that?

Wendy: The decor here looks good for you.
Me: Are you suggesting that I look better in very dim lighting?
Wendy: Yes.
Me: Thanks.
Wendy: Also, the rose wallpaper goes well with your coloring.

I think I speak for both of us when I say that the highlight was dessert. We both ordered the warm fudge brownie, but I had mine a la mode. Wendy does not approve of a la mode - she feels it compromises the integrity of the chocolate. I like a little vanilla to cut the sweetness of the chocolate. Anyway, the brownies were ginormous, warm, and had big chocolate chunks in them. Delicious.

After dinner, we headed down to the movie theater and saw The Matador, which stars Pierce Brosnan (Wendy's boyfriend if he were twenty years younger) and Greg Kinnear. The premise is that Pierce is an aging assassin who suffers from panic attacks and Greg is a down-on-his-luck businessman. The two strike up a conversation at a bar and it goes from there. It was funny and quirky and I'm giving it a thumbs up. It's nice to see Pierce send up his James Bond persona. And there are a few priceless lines. As Pierce says at one point, "I look like a Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning after the navy's left town." Well, I hope I never have to use that line personally, because all the dim lighting in Friend of a Farmer probably couldn't cover that up.

Wendy and I haven't spent time together in New York in quite awhile, so it was fun to get outside the confines of Jersey with her. Not that I have any desire to replace The Village Coffee Shop, but it's fun to try new things. Especially when the new thing involves a large chocolatey brownie.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Fried Sweats

Jeeves, this one goes out to you, for getting on my case about posting about fried twinkies.

Thursday night was poker night, but this one differed - we all headed out to Brooklyn Heights because Philly graciously offered to host us in his newish home. You may recall that I have mentioned Phil and his lady friend's new home - which has a killer view of the lower Manhattan skyline.

Poker was the usual jovial event - I finished down a couple of bucks on the night, had a couple of great wins, a couple of bad beats, and I'm pretty sure Gordy was the big winner, though Philly did win the tournament. The view from Phil's bay window continues to be killer. And I got the best parking spot in all of BH - right in front of Phil's apartment building. In my life, I will probably never again get such an awesome parking spot anywhere. I did consider leaving my car there for the rest of my life and just walking back to Jersey.

Anyway, when we're at Gordo's we usually order dinner from Two Boots or Wogie's. From Sharif's there's Blondie's. Phil pulled out the menu selection, and we all agreed on The Chip Shop - a British fish & chips restaurant. And as usual, everyone turned into a starving Irish kid and we ordered too much food. Sharif and I both ordered the cheddar cheese and onion croquettes with chips. Jeeves and Mike had the fish and chips, Phil and Gordy both got chicken curry. On top of that, we ordered a chip butty (basically fries on buttered bread), deep fried macaroni and cheese, deep fried Reese's peanut butter cups and deep fried twinkies.

Kids, there is such a thing as too much fried food. I didn't order the fish and chips because I feel I'm ruined for the dish since I went to Ireland. But the cheddar croquettes were not what I expected - they really were just a piece of fried cheddar cheese.... and I did not detect any onions in the mix. As for the deep fried mac and cheese, well, it was a large ball of fried mac and cheese. Not sure how else to describe it. I don't think I would order it again. Rajeev and Mike gave the thumbs up to their fish and chips, though we thought for quite awhile that the restaurant had not given us vinegar or tartar sauce. No tartar sauce for fish and chips? Icky, in my opinion. It turns out the bag with the condiments was left sitting next to the front door. I blame Phil.

Phil and Gordo's chicken curry looked really good and they both enjoyed their meal. But the piece de resistance was the fried dessert. The peanut butter cups were nice, but Sharif and Rajeev made the right choice with the deep fried twinkies. I'm not normally a fan of the twinkie, but when it's deep fried, served with some confectioner's sugar and a strawberry compote? Un. Believable. I'm going to be dreaming about that twinkie till the next time I get to have one.

After the meal, we went back to cards, and our problems began. When I was in law school, the guys used to talk about a phenomenon called "the meat sweats." It occured after a trip to White Castle or a dinner of rodezio at Iberia. Barbeque is also a perveyor of the meat sweats - I've had some serious meat sweats after dinner at Indigo Smoke. Well, I'm here to tell you there is such a thing as the fried sweats. I think we all felt pretty queasy after the meal - duh, I mean the paper the food was wrapped on was soaked through with grease.

I don't care. That twinkie was worth it.

Go Banana!

Because she is a fan, dear friend, and has given me and my blog multiple shout-outs in the last week, I would be remiss if I did not mention that Liana Banana has started her own blog called Carwash Blows. Carwash is her term for multiple sclerosis, as she explains comically.

She also reminded me that Nikka Costa rules. So I'm listening to a little "Like a Feather" right now. And like me and the Banana, Nikka is in the redhead club. Go us!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sorry, George

So last night was the Golden Globes. As with most awards shows, I was disappointed, though I do have to say that the Globes sticks to its time period and doesn't bog you down with too many painful moments.

I'll begin with a disclaimer - I have not seen Brokeback Mountain and therefore cannot comment on whether it should or should not have won. But I felt strangely sad about Good Night, and Good Luck getting shut out. I shouldn't say strangely - I really enjoyed the film when I saw it and it's stuck with me since then. But it's a sincerely American movie - I am not entirely sure how much the foreign press would appreciate its commentary on patriotism, dissent and bravery. That being said, it was one of the best movies I saw last year and I hope it at least gets a few Oscar nods. Good job, George Clooney.

I was pleased that Rachel Weisz won for best supporting actress in The Constant Gardener - in many ways she is that films emotional core and Ralph Fiennes turn would not have been nearly as poignant with another actress in the role.

As for TV, well, Lauren will totally hate me for saying this because she loooves Hugh Laurie, but I was pulling for Ian McShane, aka Al Swearengen, naturally, and in the alternative, Wentworth Miller. But I was happy about Lost winning for best drama. But why wasn't Deadwood nominated? Deadwood is sooo ignored. It pisses me off.

So that pretty much sums up my thoughts on the Globes, though now I have a major urge to see Walk the Line. For some reason, despite all the awards, I'm still not in any rush to see Brokeback - maybe because it looks like a weep fest, and I'm looking for more complex emotions than just "Isn't it sad? They love each other but they can't be together! Why, cruel world, why???? Can't you just accept them?" I know, I'm a horrible mean bitch. Next on my list, though, is Munich.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Enemy to None

This morning, Marketplace Morning Report did a little piece on Benjamin Franklin, and reminded me that today is Benjy's 300th birthday. I love Benjamin Franklin and the piece on him was chock full of interesting facts about him. Marketplace reminded me that, aside from a scientist, patriot, and intellect, he was also a businessman. Franklin and Alexander Hamilton were the only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who were born poor. And by the age of 40, Franklin had made enough money in the printing business to retire and pursue his myriad of interests.

For more information on Ben, I recommend the Marketplace piece, or you can read about him in his wikipedia article right here. Trust me, I love Thomas Jefferson, but I really think Franklin deserves a monument in DC - he represents all that is great about the founding of our country.

"Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none. " --Ben Franklin

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Read the Times So You Don't Have To

Before our sojourn into the very cold night, Pablo and I were supposed to meet up at Mustang Sally's on 7th Ave. Sally's is a good place to watch a game - they have a giant projection screen and a great number of flat screen TV's to boot. Plus, the owner and almost the entire staff are from Ireland, and it's always fun to be served a Murphy's stout by an Irishman. And watching part of the Pats/Broncos game was enjoyable, even though I didn't really care about the outcome.

Anyway, while waiting for Paul, I read the Escapes section of the Times, which had been left on the bar. Apparently Portland is the microbrewery capitol of the world. I seem to recall Philly saying something about this after his trip there this summer, but I can't remember. I recommend you check out the article - it's informative and makes me want to go to Oregon.

And today, I brunched with Lynn - she and her hubby had a fire going, and they made me pancakes, eggs, and bacon. The final piece that made me drop down on my knees and ask to be their adopted kitchen gnome? They let me sit around and read their paper. The Sunday Times had an entire Oscars section. Nicholas Kristof had an interesting op-ed piece about the status of women in India, but you can only read it online if you're a Times Select member. And for Jersey diners, Cafe Monet in Millburn sounds intriguing....

When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

Last night I braved the wind and rain to hang out with Pablo in NYC. We wound up over at a bar called Dusk where the Upright Citizens Brigade, where Pablo is a member of various classes and groups, was having a fundraiser. Dusk was good for two purposes - people watching and the jukebox. No, the jukebox was not an mp3 player like at Hi-Fi, but for a plain ole jukebox, it had an interesting selection. I was tickled when Paul and I walked in the door and Basement Jaxx's "Romeo" was playing.

Anyway, here's a quick story about the people-watching. After making fun of a girl who bore a strange resemblance to Nicole Richie, I noticed a woman who was wearing slouchy boots like these, except in beige. I hate those types of boots - they look very 1986 to me. And of course, she had her jeans tucked into them. In my opinion - not hot.

When Paul went to fetch drinks, Slouchy Boots Woman was sitting at the bar, drinking a Rolling Rock.

Pablo: Can I have a screw driver and a glass of water, please?
Slouchy Boots: That's the best drink order I've heard all night. (turns to her friend) This guy is keepin' it real.
Pablo: Ummm, okay. Thanks?

When Pablo repeated the story, all I could say was "What?!?!" I couldn't believe someone would actually say that. And what's so special about a screw driver and a glass of water?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I love my irrational thought processes.

There were rumblings this week that despite my new computer (which I loooove.... see how I'm blogging on a weekend???) I was being a bad blogger. It's true, Anhabelle has much more faitfully updated Ben's blog than I have mine. I have several excuses/reasons - 1) work sucked this week, and as such, I did not read anything interesting, nor did I have any interesting thoughts. Seriously. 2) I had a head cold. So all I did when I got home was eat and watch TV. I even skipped poker this week. 3) Updating a blog is a lot of work, and it's not fun work when you find yourself in situation 1.

And finally, I had PMS. Need I say more? During a few days a month, I will irrationally twist everything and I'm too busy being paranoid to do much else.

So, since I did nothing good this week, I'll give you a quick rundown of what TV I watched:

Scrubs is finally back on and on Tuesdays at 9pm there is a back-t0-back chunk. Despite my sore abdomen (from all the coughing) I laughed my ass off. Wednesday - Lost. Pablo thinks Lost sucks this season, but I think it's been gaining in momentum in the last 4 episodes. Unfortunately, I forgot about Project Runway, but no worries because it was repeated on Thursday! Seriously, could Santino possibly be more evil? And has anyone else noticed the resemblence to Rasputin? Also on Thursday, I watched My Name is Earl (I have a soft spot for Jason Lee and Jaime Pressly, who knew she was so funny?) and was treated to a seriously malicious and funny guest spot by Jon Favreau. For those not in the know, Jon directed Elf and Zathura, and starred in (and wrote) Swingers.

And last night I finally got around to watching my Netflix arrival - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Not quite as touching or as seamless as Royal Tennenbaums, but fantastical, well-acted, funny, and interesting in its own right.

See? I told you my week was boring.

Before I forget, I saw Match Point last weekend - it was excellent and I'll have more thoughts to post tomorrow.

I wish I were the food critic.

New York Magazine jsut came out with its top 101 restaurants. The only two restaurants to get five stars? Le Bernardin and Masa. Number three? Per Se, where co-worker K and I have decided to completely splurge and eat at the end of March. Number six is Babbo, which as you will recall, I loved. Though, I do agree it's four-stars, not five.

They chose Aquavit as number 9. I ate there during restaurant week with Anhabelle, Gena, et al., and I'm on the fence. The thing is, an upscale restaurant isn't going to bring its "A" game during restaurant week. I thought Aquavit was interesting, but frankly, I think my dad's Swedish meatballs were better. and if my dad's cooking beats your restaurant, you have no business in the top 10.

FYI - Nobu has dropped down to number 40. Ouch.

Anyhoo, Jim and I are hitting Megu this week as an experiment - I'm supposed to try it out and see if it's a good spot for Kate's bachelorette party. See how I suffer for my best girl?

Excuse me, but I think I just died a little inside.

Matlock was updating his resume this week and he asked me how I would describe what we do. I paused and thought about it for a moment before answering: "Destroying the world, one development at a time." He laughed and I laughed, but I was only half in jest.

Despite the name of this blog, I prefer to not talk about work, mainly because a) it sucks; and b) it's probably not such a good idea - I'm pretty sure the powers that be would not like it. That being said, I will explain that the work I mostly do revolves around land development. Not everyone there does that.

The truth of the matter is, I don't hate being a lawyer. I actually kind of like it. But I do rather hate being a firm lawyer and I know I can't do it for the rest of my life. Anyway, the point of this post was to talk about homogenization blahbetty blah, and not how I want to spend the next 30 years.

At the end of December, one of my favorite bars in NYC closed - The Blind Tiger was old and divey, with an impressive selection of beer (cask ale!) and whiskey. The BT closed, not because it wasn't well-known or well-subscribed, but because the landlord opted not to renew their lease - he's turning the upper floors of the building into luxury condos and is opting to let a Marc Jacobs store open up where the BT once was. Awesome.

The 2nd Avenue Deli, which I honestly have never been too, also recently shut down after the landlord jacked the rent. I can't say whether it's a loss or not, but it was there for 50 years and there's something to be said for the character that a mainstay adds.

Meanwhile, out here in Jersey, it's just more townhouses and strip malls. I was driving down Franklin Ave the other day and noticed a giant luxury townhouse complex going up across from the golf course in Belleville. In Long Branch, the local government wants to take away the modest houses and let a developer role into town.

One of my bosses remarked to another attorney that he had driven across several states with his family over the summer and noticed that towns were looking more and more alike - the housing, the chains, so on and so forth. I've never been a super anti-gentrification person. I can see its pros, honestly. But the homogenization - I just can't stomach it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Irreplaceable One That Got Away

Last summer, while home one steamy night, I watched Before Sunrise, which was on cable. Before Sunrise starred Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy and two early twenty-somethings who meet on a train and spend one perfect night together, walking the streets of Vienna.

The movie came out in 1995, when I was a depressed and cranky teen. I thought Ethan Hawke was disgusting and greasy and I was annoyed by attractive women like Julie Delpy. So I never saw it. Then in 2004, the sequel, Before Sunset, came out to rave reviews. But since I had never seen the original, and I still found Ethan Hawke greasy and disgusting (plus, I love Uma Thurman and he done her wrong!) so I skipped it.

Well, after the trip to Vienna, I was intrigued. And indeed, in terms of capturing the beauty of a European city, it definitely does the trick. But more than that, it really captured the essence of what a typical man and woman in their early 20's thinks about life and love. First, it converted me to a total Julie Delpy fan. She's beguiling. And second, even though I still think Ethan Hawke is icky, I think his acting in the film is quite good.

So tonight, I was tickled to catch Before Sunset on cable. And I do believe I liked it even more than the original, probably because of my age and because it's more bittersweet. You know I'm a bittersweet junkie.

The first thing one must accept about these films is that they are very talky. If two people walking through a beautiful city and talking about life (Vienna in the first, Paris in the second) is enough to send you into a coma, skip it. Much of the dialogue was improvised by Delpy and Hawke, who really inhabit these character. Delpy's Celine is so lovely, human, nutty and honest, and Hawke's Jesse is so funny, silly, cynical, and heart-broken. It's nice to see these characters, 9 years later, as Jesse has become more hopeful and less cynical, and Celine has become more self-protective and less naive. I think both these actors have a love for their character, and that's imbued in the portrayal.

At one point, Celine explains to Jesse that she rarely gets involved with men anymore because it hurts too much when the relationship ends - she misses people for longer. Why? Because she remembers the little details about them. She says, "You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details." At some point in these two movies, one of the characters will say something that completely hits the nail on the head for you specifically. That line was it for me.

Anyway, if you've got an hour and a half to kill, I recommend the dark chocolatey sweetness of Before Sunset.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Why won't God smite Pat? Please?

Will someone please tell Pat Robertson to shut the fuck up? Seriously. The Hugo Chavez quote was silly and gave me a chuckle, but this is out-of-hand. Does he think that everyone who falls ill is being punished by God? So.... I guess that means Ronald Reagan was being smote when he got Alzheimer's?