Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Even A Little Mustard & Bread'd Be Nice

I MAY BE misquoting the line from Jimmy Buffett's "Cheeseburger in Paradise,"but I am not entirely sure it matters. First of all, Buffett was singing about the kind of incongruity one very typically encounters in the islands of the end of South Florida, despite all the rhetoric describing starving modern sailors at sea. I never researched it, and I am not entirely sure Mr. Buffett has ever espoused the back story himself, but I feel pretty confident he heard someone ironically remarking that, here so-and-so was in Paradise, and what does he order? A CHEESEBURGER. I am, in fact, having the  last mango in Paris. Again, I don't know if Monsieur Buffett ever had a mango in Paris, but I fell pretty sure he'd understand the reference. This year's mango crop has been fantastic. I have butchered and eaten easily a half dozen over the course of the last month, almost always in the service of a ploughman's lunch. (The avocado crop was tremendous this year as well, which I firmly believe is the Universe's way of apologizing for not letting me make a trip to California this year.)
So this is most definitely today's lunch. In many ways, it's nothing special: the black olives are just black olives, the brie is from St. Louis, the turkey is the same stuff I put on the Cobb salad sandwich, and the bread rolls are very generic dinner rolls. (Of course, the mango is mango, and the mustards, well, one is from the Stage deli in New York, one is Plochman's Kosciusko, but the third is just basic coarse mustard from a local grocery chain.) Still, woof! Quite the spread, and filling me up.

SPEAKING of filling one up! This was last night's movie. The Wifey suggested putting it on because the other one we currently have from Netflix is John Carter, and, she said, she wanted to see that one. (And she was in the process of making a sausage and cabbage soup, so not sure she would be able to keep up with the details.) Talk about filling! And I'm not talking about the movie!
Yes, the sausage and cabbage soup was wonderful and filling. It's good to have basic peasant food not and then. The Real Steel flick was alright, too, but it wasn't anything that would ever stick to your ribs. Just about everything about it was generic and calculatingly crowd- pleasing (even the crowds, which were drawn to be despised as bloodthirsty red-state louts and lauded as noble, root-for-the-underdog, red-blooded Americans). Still, for all that, it was way better than it had any right to be. For crying out loud, even the tag line-- Courage is stronger than steel!-- is calculated bullshit. Courage is not stronger than steel. Ask anyone who's ever been run over by a tank. Oh, wait! You CAN'T! They're DEAD!
But still, by the time of the final, ridiculous, David-and-Goliath fight between giant steel robots, both of whom succumb to punch drunkenness at various points in the bout, the Wifey and I were both on the edge of our seats. Metaphorically speaking, of course-- our couch has no edges. Our couch is so comfy, it has horizons.

This is the move the History Channel has been playing in memory of Neil Armstrong. Which is fine, as far as it goes, except it's not really about Neil Armstrong. It's about Buzz Aldren being a prickly character whose father needled him endlessly-- get it? Prickly? 'cause he was Needled? HA! Of course, it is a kind of fascinating piece, for various reasons, not the least of which is it mixes lots of live-action recreation of events with documentary footage from the events in their own times, and even a swath of the music Pink Floyd played for the BB C's coverage of the lunar landing. But, along the same lines, it's kind of a mixed bag. It feels at various times like it was rushed through production, that James Marsten's wonderfully nuanced performance as Aldren was cut with water, and that voice-over narration was added after the face to turn what was intended to be a nuanced character study into a capsule period piece. GET IT! CAPSU-- Oh skip it.
But I can't recommend it. This sort of thing takes years of experience, and you make one mistake with any of the componentry anywhere along the line, then there is a pretty good chance you ain't coming back down from that cold, cold rock in the sky. Although so long as you start with a good cheese, you'll be fine. Wow. That describes all three, the meal and both movies, in one grand slash. And yet I feel nothing.

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