Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Grab Bag On the Menu

I didn't mention it in the review, but of course my wife and I went to see Pompeii at the Alamo Drafthouse, which we still think is ultra-keen. In fact, I'm quite sure that the seatside service of beer and snacks greatly enhanced the viewing experience of what clearly was an otherwise forgettable flick. As we continue to revisit that temple of cinema-and-gastronomy we are also refining our overall approach. The first couple of times we felt almost obligated to order full meals during the movie, what with the menu being right in front of us. But my wife has found that fare a little bit disappointing, so for this most recent trip we ate an early lunch at home and then when we were watching the movie we limited ourselves to a big bowl of popcorn and a shared soft pretzel. And a split order of Buffalo wings. And some chocolate chip cookies. Still think we came out ahead, there.

(Bonus points for the pre-show once again, as well. We didn't get to the theater excessively early but we were in time to catch a crazy foreign gladiator flick trailer, a vintage Muppet Show skit featuring Rowlf as emperor, a very young Sylvester Stallone as a gladiator, and a human-sized lion puppet/costume (with Sly and the lion singing "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", man the Muppet Show was the best), and the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon with Yosemite Sam as a Roman centurion working security at the Circus Maximus. Good times.)


From the vanity plates archive: So on Wednesday I had to drive into work (there was yet another tragic VRE-striking-pedestrian accident that shut down the morning service) and of course that was the day it snowed a bit around here, so traffic was ungodly and it took me about three hours to get to my office. That was a lot of time to stare out the windshield and check out people's DMV-approved self-expression. A couple of standouts:

1 - ROHIRIM As always, it's nice to see custom tags that don't simply reference the make/model/color of the car in question. I also tip my hat to any and all Tolkien references, moreso when it's a fairly deep cut. Rohirrim, just to make sure everyone's following along here, is Tolkien's ethnic group term for the folk more commonly known as the Riders of Rohan, from The Lord of the Rings. (Not sure if the dropped middle R on the license plate was because the proper spelling wouldn't fit, or because someone else had already claimed the 8-character version.)

2 - WIZZWIT For maybe half a second, my rush hour-addled brain thought that I could add a Dark Crystal reference to the above-cited Lord of the Rings shout-out, and if I had managed to spy, say, a Dragonlance vanity tag (TAKHISIS or something) I would have had the geeky fantasy trifecta. But then I realized I was thinking of Fizzgig.

Part of what helped me get over my momentary wishful thinking was the extremely large Eagle's head decal plastered across the WIZZWIT car's rear windshield. It was in fact the logo for the Philadelphia Eagles, the presence of which helped the tag fall into place as a cheesesteak reference. But it did occur to me that the decal had no words whatsoever, just the image of the stylized bird's head, no reference to the team name or their home city. So to someone with only passing familiarity or less with the NFL, who had never been to the Pat's-Geno's epicenter of Philly food culture, man, that car would just be baffling.


March is here! Which means the baby's first birthday is not far off. My wife and I have already begun discussing his birthday cake, as well as how much of it he will actually eat. Normally this would be the kind of thing we would make a friendly wager on, but in this case we are both on the same side, expecting that the baby will at a minimum eat more of his cake than either his brother or his sister did on their respective first birthdays (and possibly more than both of them put together). The little guy was a tad overwhelmed at his party, and way back then my wife and I had been both slow and circumspect to introduce him to solid foods. The little girl was deeply skeptical of her first cake, as she tended to be deeply skeptical of most new things at that age. But the baby is full of good-natured gusto, and we dump the same grown-up food the rest of the family is eating on his highchair tray with reckless abandon; the other night he ate what I'm pretty sure would have amounted to an adult portion of cheese tortellini. The cake really doesn't stand a chance, I reckon, but I will be sure to report on the proving or disproving of that assumption in a few short weeks.

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