Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Cooking with Blobby

So, I'm not a brussel sprout fan per se.  I've avoided them most of my life, but part of that could be blamed on my mother's cooking / preparation of them. 

But a decade or so ago, friend George, made some good Asian-inspired ones at dinner which I liked very much. 

And in DC, I've had Kung Po Brussel Sprouts from two different restaurants and each better than the last. Even 710 at them on our last trip and was wow'd by them. 

So, to make Thanksgiving more palatable in terms of the blandness of mashed potatoes and turkey, I attempted - and it was just that - making Kung Po Brussel Sprouts. 

There are lots of ingredients, no matter which recipe you try - and there are tons of them out there - but it's not really overwhelming. It's just at a meal like Thanksgiving, it comes down to timing.

Oh - and I didn't even get all the ingredients in this picture:  I missed brown sugar and cornstarch.  Actually, I might have mixed / matched a few recipes so, that's on me. 


  • 2 lb Fresh Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 T Sesame Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T grated fresh ginger*
  • 1 T Cornstarch
  • 1/2 c Low-Sodium Soy Sauce (Shoyu)
  • 1/2 c Water
  • 2 T Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 T Hoisin Sauce**
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Garlic Chili Sauce (or any hot sauce)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flake


  • 1/3 c Roasted Peanuts, chopped
  • 2 Green (spring) Onions, chopped


Trim the sprouts - take off hard outer layer leaves, and cut in half.  Mince the garlic and ginger ahead of time. You'll thank me for that. 

Preheat oven to 425F (Conventional), or 400F for Convection/Fan.

In a bowl, drizzle the sprouts with the olive oil, then scatter them over a large, rimmed sheet pan. Salt and pepper the oil-coated sprouts. Then place in oven for 20 minutes until they are tender and begin to crisp. I did not take a pic of that - but it took longer than 20 for me to get them semi crisp. 

While sprouts roast, make the sauce. When the sprouts finish, preheat the oven to the “Broil” setting

In a small (2-qt.) saucepan over medium heat, warm the sesame oil. Add the minced garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.

Add the cornstarch (I made a slurry with water in the recipe) and stir. Then add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and chili sauce. Season with 1 tsp salt (??????????)  1/2 tsp pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flake. Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer. 

Simmer 3-5 minutes, until the sauce thickens

Add the sprouts to the saucepan.  Coat completely. 

Pour back onto baking sheet.  Place them under the broiler for 2-4 minutes - watching so they don't char too much, though you do want them to char some. 

Garnish with green onions and chopped roasted (unsalted) peanuts. Sesame seeds, if you like too. 

The verdict?   It was ok. Nothing more. But I'd do things a bit differently. 

I had some low sodium soy sauce but used up the full sodium amount for the first cup.  Don't do that. USE low sodium. I think I wouldn't salt the sprouts or the sauce either.  The "just ok" review came from the entire thing being too salty. 

I might add more brown sugar (or the hoisin) to balance the sodium levels, but if you cut back to salt, don't overdo it on the sweet. 

Also, due to the turkey - the rack wasn't close enough to the broiler, in my opinion. I wouldn't have liked the sprouts crisper. 

Still this isn't necessarily a one-and-done for me. It just takes tweaking and I like to mix up the greens we eat at dinner. 

* This recipe didn't call for ginger. Others did. I figured it wouldn't hurt. It didn't. 
** Didn't have it, so didn't use it. But I think it would help, as it might cut the sodium a bit. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

My Music Monday

Technically, today's selection is a cover of a cover.  It's just that there was a never truly a popular version to decide to record another version. 

Betty Harris recorded "Trouble with My Lover", an Allen  back in 1968.  Maria Muldar (yes, the "Midnight at the Oasis lady) in 1994. 

It has been resurrected by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. 

Allen Toussaint (who produced "Lady Marmalade" for LaBelle) wrote the song, and Plant & Krauss covered another one of his songs 14 years ago on their first release. 

"Trouble with My Lover" is a highlight for their new disk. Actually, this live version from Steven Colbert's show is close to, but better than, the recorded version. 

I sit in awe and try to figure out how Krauss sings as she does.  She's the star here, maybe right behind the band. Plant never over-reaches and his backing vocals are just that. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Let Me Entertain You

It seems it is possible to separate a man from his art.  Such is the case with Stephen Sondheim. 

Oddly, it was sad to hear the news of his passing, but you know, he was in his 90s. 

Personally, I think it was the soon to be released Steven Spielberg's version of West Side Story that probably did him in. It's Spielberg, so there are probably aliens in it.........Anita and Maria being the illegal ones!   .....but there are probably some outer space ones too. 

While I can't imaging having a hit right out of the gate, like West Side Story, being your first real work....how does one top that? 

In my head, one doesn't. And didn't. 

If you've read me for any length of time, you'll know I'm no fan of Sondheim's work that isn't West Side Story - and let's face it, half of that was Leonard Bernstein's. 

Save West Side Story and Gypsy, most of his work was past my parent's musical collection. Oh yes, I can comment on Broadway musicals at large and 710 will make fun of me for knowing them all, yet still refusing to go see (most) of them. It might be nature, but trust me, nurture is in there. One doesn't know the scores to scores of Lerner & Lowe or  Rodgers & Hammerstein, et al, and get off the exit ramp to Heterosexualville.   ....at least not unscathed. 

And yet, I have seen two Broadway productions of his works:  Assassins and a Little Night Music. And I saw the film Into the Wood.  All left me undazzled and quite bored.  The big draw of the night at Assassins was peeing next to Jeff Goldblum. That certainly left more of an impression than Neil Patrick Harris' singing.   ...or the music and lyrics. 

Still, I have also seen a few PBS specials on Sondheim. He is (well....was) an incredibly interesting man. Well spoken, educated, articulate and somewhat charismatic. But his work didn't do a thing for me. 

I mean........like.....almost at all. 

Still, there are no real talents like him currently.  Whomever wrote Diana: the MusicalProm?   Probably super-duper horrid and definitely horrid, respectively. 

So, I liked the man, but not his work. And I can say this in his favour, at least he wasn't Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

Song by: Jules Styne & Stephen Sondheim

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Happy Together

Rejoice Sophie fans - she makes herself known in this holiday week's episode. 

To air out his privates, the man needs TWO ottomans. 

Soph has been loving the white fleece lately. I think it is soft a cushy for an aging princess. 

....but some times she needs time away from you-know-who

There is a 'resident' cat in the wood where we walk sometimes. He's friendly and lets me pet him. 
He's certainly not afraid of Shep.  I've named him "Larry". 

She's ok with him being on the sofa, as long as it's not her spot. 
The tongue thing is adorable. 

Post T-giving dinner hang-out.  They were only semi-scavenging. 

Song by: the Jam

Friday, November 26, 2021

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).

Fourteen years ago, to the month, I reviewed the first album from Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand

It took 14 years to release their second disk, Raise the Roof.  ....and that's ok. 

The first release was an unlikely pairing - and it kind of worked, it kind of didn't. I thought it would be better if they harmonized on the songs the other would take lead vocals, but that didn't happen much or producer, T Bone Burnett didn't mix the disk as well as he might have. My opinion of course. 

I've always been a Krauss fan, but somewhere, I never developed that Led Zeppelin gene. Sure, I knew Plant's voice and music - mostly due to my age, gender and race. Yes, those demographics are all prominent and necessary in that last sentence. 

On the surface Raise the Roof doesn't deviate tons from the first outing. Same producer, many of the same backing musicians and some overlap in songwriters. I do feel Burnett did a much better job on production and the song choices seemed to flow a lot better. There are more blending of the two voices than on Sand, and it all seems less forced. 

Both singers have their moments - Plant does no better than "You Led Me to the Wrong". The song itself is good, but he doesn't overdo it there and Krauss' fiddle is as mournful as it's ever been.  Krauss shines on "Trouble with My Lover". 

Krauss really doesn't have a bad track here.  Actually, neither does Plant. 

I'd say where the album truly shines - and kind of what I expected (read: hoped) initially from Sand - are the two opening songs "Quattro (World Drifts In)" and the Everly Brothers' "the Price of Love" (which is almost unrecognizable from their version - as you'd expect). 

I would say the closest likeness this disk has to the first is "Can't Let Go" (which is song Lucinda Williams did back in the '90s, but is NOT a Lucinda Williams song is, no matter what the press writes), and "High and Lonesome" (which is the only original song on this disk). 

Oddly, the Target version (do people really go to Target to buy music still that they get a special disk?) has a cover of a Lucinda Williams song from her last disk with "You Can't Rule Me".  I'd love to hear that, but not enough to go to Target or buy a CD.  ....and I haven't found it on-line yet. 

So, I was reluctant to buy Raise the Roof, because I was not really impressed by Raising Sand, but Krauss will get me to buy just about anything. I'm glad I did. It's not a perfect disk, but it's solid and not really a bad song amongst them. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thank You

Ahhh. This day again. 

The 24 hours of monochromatic eating. All the Fall colours will be included - brown, off-white and green. 

It's been four years since a 'traditional' Thanksgiving dinner. Three years ago we were in Paris not having turkey. Loved it. 

Then of course, last year was just the two of us and more of the same this year. 

My sister did invite us down to join them on a trip to Florida for Thanksgiving.  But ugh - Florida. 

Granted, I haven't been back to Siesta Key for eons and I do miss it there, but ugh - Florida. I cannot abide by their governor and their lack of any Covid protocols. Adding holiday travel and by air just sealed the deal to stay put. 

She already texted me about seeing some guy we'd seen as kids at the beach. He was always VERY tan. Always with a beer. So when she said, "the Beer Guy is here", I knew exactly what she meant. And who she meant. He has to be in his late 80s at this point. 

Today will just be at home with a small turkey breast and some sides. There might be a Cooking with Blobby post coming your way from something I'm attempting to cook, should I not fuck it up..................and maybe even if I do. 

Still - a year for thanks, I guess. Still employed. Relatively healthy. Great friends. And well.........no holiday with my family.   .........you know, "due to Covid".   <wink>

Hope you enjoy yours as well. 

Song by: Dido

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think.      

Oh, I know this isn't real (right??), but give it to me.   It's funny. 

And honestly, both KY and Krispy Kreme could stand a little cross branding, no?  And none of this is out of the realm, right? 

Donuts and lube ARE both warm & sticky.   ......so, there is no false advertising there. 

Technically both are hole glaze(d). 

It is the 'doctor recommended' that makes this look like a fake. I mean, had it said "Joe Rogan recommended", sure, slap a seal of approval on that sucker and up the price.  Aaron Rodgers and his former male roommate probably bought the stuff by the case - especially if Rogan endorsed it. 

....well, that and the butt sex. 

They don't call 'em 'doughnut holes' for nothing. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Now and Then

You can dress is up anyway you want to, but in the past decade or so, Ohio is not really a purple state. It's red. 

We haven't had a democratic governor since Ted Strickland left office a decade ago. The next democrat was two decades before that. 

I couldn't tell you -or find - when (if?) the democrats ever controlled the state house or senate. 

But no. That wasn't good enough for the scum suckers in the GOP. Nope. 

Call it Gerrymandering. Call it Redistricting. Call it Cheating. 

Not only did the GOP redraw the maps of who represents where - they couldn't even leave what little blue there is (not was........as it's still there) and redraw the lines. 

It reeks of impropriety. And naturally, they got away with it. 

Sure, there were lawsuits. The judge overseeing those lawsuits?  The son of our republican governor. The same governor who'd have to sign these changes. 

......and he did. Partially because the son refused to recuse himself from the case. 

I did mention reeking of impropriety, didn't I? 

I hate this place. 

If state republicans were having a holiday parade, I might drive me SUV through the route at high speed. 

I'm a white male. I'll just say I was a medic. Worked for Kyle. 

Song by: the Smithereens

Monday, November 22, 2021

My Music Monday

Covers of Covers, 'tis the theme. 

I'm finding I have a lot of covers that went on to be covers, but not as many that are the covers of those covers. 

Eurythmics is an example. They covered "am & Dave's "Wrap it Up", but the Fabulous Thunderbirds kicked their version up into the charts about four years after Annie & Dave. 

Rachel Sweet is another one. Oddly, she seems the first to cover the Velvet Underground's "New Age" a decade after they recorded it. And it would be another decade before the like of Tori Amos or Peter Yorn would touch it. 

That said, Sweet did have some good covers, probably of covers:  "I Go to Pieces" or "B-A-B-Y".  But she also tried and semi-succeeded at the attempt for a commercial breakthrough with a cover of "Everlasting Love". 

Before her release (and a duet with Rex Smith!) in 1981, "Everlasting Love" had been done by Love Affair (twice!)....and you know that version (or one of them) and in '73 by someone named Carl Carlton (his parents had to have hated him). 

Sweet and Smith were on the same record label at the time and both had the song as a co-joined release. It was PR assistant's dream and you know a kind of nightmare for listeners. 

I mean, it's not bad, but I had liked Sweet for year and well, she had some indie cred and this just reeked of a publicity grab.  Not to discredit Rex Smith, but..............c'mon.......he had a minor hit, but the draw for sales was he was co-host of Solid Gold.  He was a name. She wasn't. 

Here's now much of a name she wasn't..........her name doesn't even appear in the YouTube title of the video.   


Sunday, November 21, 2021

a View to a Kill

I took off Thursday and Friday for some mental health days. 

We had an idea of going down to a state park to relax in a cabin and go hiking. Neither one of us was horribly committed to the idea, and the thought of being in a cabin with snow seemed...........less than ideal. 

Yeah, I'm a freeze baby, but the reality is: you can only hike so much in the snow and woods with a dog. And since we didn't plan-plan the trip it seemed a would be bust. 

Last time we did this it was nice, but we still didn't plan well with supplies et al, and there ain't much around these parks for which to go for a food run, so we made this partial week a stay-cation. 


It was easy and cheap - that's about all I'll say about that. However, we did go hiking each day. Locally - some farther out than others. 

But between Thursday and Friday it snowed. Not SNOWED, like meteorologists predicted. Our supposed 5" became less than 0.5".  That made Friday's outing a bit more............well, precarious. 

As you all know by now - over the last four years or so, I've become a falls risk. 

The trail 710 picked was snowy, muddy and leafy. I just turned to him at the top of the slope we were about to decline and said, "you know, you could just shoot me. No need to James Bond this death with elaborate schemes that never seem to work out in the end for the villain."

At least he laughed. Or knew I was onto his plot. 

Still the image is reality. I trailed.......on the trail. I'd say it's illogical, but it's not - any more, I second guess many of our walks. This could be on where, the conditions, my shoes, the weather - or any mix. I won't say I'm afraid of falling (again), but it's burned into my psyche. 

Our neighborhood walks are great, but I'm usually on the street while 710 & Dog are on the sidewalks. The slate sidewalks, that out of nowhere can become super slippery. Oh, I've slid and caught myself before the need to tip over. The street is a safer bet.  I can only imagine what the neighbors think we can't be near each other for any host of reasons. 

I wasn't grumbling on this hike or anything, but 710 said I should take in the beauty. 

I had to tell him, when we walk in the woods on sloppy / slick / muddy days, THIS is my view.

Yup, it's at the ground. Most all of the time. 

There might be birds, blue sky and sites to be seen, but that's for when I'm standing still, not when mobile. 

Admittedly, it's a horrible annoying way to exist, but I find myself second guessing any way I walk unless it's sunny and dry.......and even then...........sometimes. And it's not like I fall all the time. It's only been four times in four years, but each has been painful and / or expensive. It tends to give one pause. 

Clearly, I made it through the hike.

Ironically, when we came out of the woods to where we parked, there was a park ranger and an ambulance, both with their lights on. 

Alas, some poor soul didn't make it out alive.  I mean, I'm assuming............

Song by: Duran Duran

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Gonna Fly Now (theme from Rocky)

There was no dogs and cats last week - not really.  12 of 12 was last Saturday and sure you got quick glimpses, but not the full on shots. 

Day at the park. 
Every weekend has two days at a park. He's a well-traveled pooch. 

Less traveled, but more comfortable - Sophie in the center of the bed....and our universe. 

Waiting for me to return to the car. 
We are very much a pack. 

This is Rocky - one of our new next door dogs. 

Poor Rocky - so cute, but a bit high strung. This goes on each time we walk out / in the drive. I feel like we are the ones disturbing our new neighbors. 

I love when Sophie wants to control me holds hands with me. 

I was edited out of the pic, but we are all three on the sofa - two asleep. 
Sophie has another set of stairs - and a throne - at his location. 

Song by: Bill Conti

Friday, November 19, 2021

Cooking with Blobby

Yet another cooking segment. I'm on a roll. Just mixing it up week by week, trying new stuff because I'm bored with the old. 

Maybe it's winter starting to set in and I need new comfort ideas. Chicken is easy enough to make, in almost any form (well, maybe not fried!), but for the most part it needs umph, as it's a little bland on its own. 

The recipe is called Spicy Glazed Chicken Breasts. 

It is slightly misleading. While I added spice, it didn't come through in this, but when / if there's a next time, I can tweak and do a little better. As Ina would say, you always try out recipes before you serve them to guests................not that we're really having folks over in a pandemic. 

So.....here we go...........


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1½ to 2 pounds total) 
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
¼ cup sliced almonds  *
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
 Kosher salt 
2 tablespoons tomato paste (preferably double concentrate) 
½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes 
1 tablespoon lemon juice

*Sorry - I don't like the smell or taste of almonds. They had to go. 

Pat chicken dry and pound to an even ½-inch thickness with a heavy skillet or meat pounder.

In a large (12-inch) skillet, combine the oil, almonds and garlic. Season with salt, then set over high heat. Once the mixture starts to sizzle, reduce heat to medium and cook, swirling occasionally, until light golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the almonds and garlic to a paper towel-lined plate. (Keep the oil in the skillet.)

Set the skillet over medium-high. Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt, then add to the skillet and cook until browned underneath and opaque halfway up the sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and transfer the chicken to a plate, seared side up.

I can't stress the patting dry. We didn't and I think it thwarted the chicken from browning as it should. 

With the skillet still over low heat, add the tomato paste and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up browned bits, until the paste is a shade darker and starts to stick to the skillet, 1 to 2 minutes.

Return the chicken, as well as any accumulated juices, seared side up to the skillet, cover, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. (The moisture from the chicken will keep the tomato paste from burning, but if you’re concerned, add a teaspoon of water as a preventative measure.)

Uncover, add the lemon juice, then flip and drag the chicken through the tomato-lemon glaze to 
coat all sides.

Transfer to plates, spoon over any remaining glaze and sprinkle with the fried almonds and garlic.

Yeah, that last pic doesn't really sell it. The dish wasn't really oily, but that image wouldn't have you believing what I'm saying. 

I don't think there was enough red pepper flakes to make it spicy. I'd add more. The garlic on top was a nice touch, but the double concentrate tomato paste honestly made it a lot like chicken parmesan without the cheese. 

The recipe is a solid foundation, but I think there is room for improvement. It made for good leftovers. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Criminal Intent

Besides being a Grade A dick of a politician and inciter of violence to a colleague, this "man" is a fucking dentist. 

Take a close look at him. Really look at that pic. 

Now, imagine him putting his fingers into your mouth.  ....and paying him to do it. 

........I'll leave you with that for a moment. 

For what it's worth, the House voted to censure Paul Gosar. Save for taking him off two committees, it's all very meaningless. 

His crime - for the record, when academics breakdown the end of civilization as documented here and there in this blog - was creating an anime style video that depicts him murdering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden. 

The video shows a a character with Gosar's image wielding a sword to kill a character with the image of Ocasio-Cortez. 

His "rebuke" at the censure hearing?   "no threat was intended", said he. 

Even he can't stand by his own shit.  JFC dude, you made the thing and posted it, at least stand behind your actions - right or wrong. And you know it wasn't even the first draft / version. But you were a fucking pussy and deleted the video. Why? Thought it wasn't a good idea to have it in the first place? 

It's not your conscience, because it's doubtful you even have one.  You're a GOP house member and dentist from Arizona.  Three strikes.....right there. 

Of course, save 2-3 GOPers, none voted to censure him, so........of course they stand behind the big bad white man. Because they all think it's ok. 

Liz Cheney - ugh! - voted to censure him. I hate giving her credit for anything. So did Adam Kinzinger - the only GOP guy who has balls (well, I'm guessing Liz has a pair.....literally), so of course he's not seeking re-election, so a much more conservative GOP guy - yes guy! - will take his place.  

David Joyce - a 'tard from my area in Ohio - voted "present"......whatever the fuck that means. I guess Liz has won his balls in some late night poker game. 

Whatever Gosar's intent, some stupid asshole would easily take up the cause to kill AOC. The GOP was SO up in arms about her dress that said 'tax the rich' but look the other way to a threat to kill. 

What Gosar & Co won't expect though is, should it happen, yes, there will be glee on the Right, but they won't and don't anticipate the martyr affect. This will not work out for them in the long run. But that said, with all the gerrymandering going on in this country, the Dems won't have a chance of winning a House seat for the next 10-20 years. 

Song by: Robyn 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021


I married this dude 11 years ago. 

Oh, stand down. I didn't marry a 12 year old, you pervs!  There are laws preventing me from doing that.................now. 

Actually, 710 might have been in high school when this pic was taken? It's doubtful there are marching bands in middle school. I don't know for sure - my primary and secondary schools didn't have one at any level of education. 

If I'm being honest, I have no reason to write about year 11. It's represented by "steel".  I suppose 710 is strong as an ibeam to put up with the likes of me, so it seems appropriate. 

11 is just the marriage years, of course. There are two dozen more years (+1) on top of that.  .....you know, just to see if we were compatible.  .....the jury is still out on that one. 

We probably wouldn't have lasted this long had he kept up with his saxophone playing. At least one supposes. We don't know what we don't know.  .....though I totally know. 

Still, an anniversary, on a Wednesday, during a pandemic, screams "make something at home!", which we probably will. We already went out once this week - in public, why tempt fate? 

Low key is how we like it, so it will be dinner and hanging out reading or maybe put on the tv. I have two new books that need their binding cracked, and they're not gonna read themselves.........mostly because they're not audiobooks. 

As 710 pointed out with this pic, he was the original Howard Wolowitz (sp). 

......but in a drum major marching band outfit.

Song by: Rogue Wave

Tuesday, November 16, 2021


Oh. My. Yahweh. 

We went to a movie theater on Sunday!!! An actual building with seats, a screen and - ugh - people!

I know, right? 

The last time we did that was 19 months ago

We had made the decision last week to go see the French Dispatch - last week, but the weather was so beautiful, we opted to hike and take in the beautiful (then) November temps and cloudless (then) skies. 

Then friends - and usual movie-going companions -  David & James texted to see if we wanted to see the movie. I asked them if they were sure they didn't want to see Clifford the Big Red Dog, and it was a resounding 'no'.  I did poke a bit and respond back, "I bet if Wes Anderson directed Clifford, you'd insist on seeing it".  I'm not wrong on this. 

I will say, our usual independent theater was not the one of our choosing. I love patronizing them, but this is times of Covid and I was hoping to be more selective in the seating than this establishment could potentially provide.  As it would turn out - only 19 people would be there..........present company included. 

For any of you who have seen a Wes Anderson movie, he works with a core cast of actors - most of them making an appearance here....Jason Schwartzman (though is a co-writer), Jeff Goldblum and F. Murray Abraham being three of the exceptions. Then there are the actors who have only shown up once or twice..........Saoirse Ronan being one of them.  ...and the kid who wonderfully played the bellhop in the Grand Budapest Hotel.   Oh - and Owen Wilson is here too. I mean, they can't all be winners. 

If there was a one word review for movies, this would be:  Exhausting. 

Anderson movies are all about the detail.  The teeny tiny detail - and it comes at you quickly and all. the. time. It is non-stop. 

The movie revolves around a literary type magazine, which is eponymous to the movie title. Think the New Yorker, but fake. They talk about the writers and focus on three (?) of them and the stories they are submitting to edition in question.  As you'd expect, some segments are better than others. 9

I LOVED the first segment with Adrian Brody, Benicio Del Toro and Léa Seydoux. Oh don't get me wrong, Tilda Swinton and the possible one line that Lois Smith had are great, but it's carried by the first three I mentioned. Part of Swinton's character (which is great) comes off a little Cheri Oteri as Barbara Walters without the speech impediment. That's not a bad thing.....just not horribly original, which is usually a trait of an Anderson film. 

The second segment, to me, was the weakest - which is a shame because I love Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet. The idea of a revolution isn't a new one and if there were to be drawn parallels to recent times, they miss the mark or fall flat. 

The third segment shines too......mostly because Jeffrey Wright. But more than any of the three, it's quintessential Anderson.  The story is good, but Wright makes it - and possibly the movie. He arguably has the largest part and the most dialogue in the entire film. Still the segment has the mediums (multiple) for which Anderson is known. 

Also, segment three has Liev Schreiber. Sure, I'm disappointed he has to shill for Mattress Firm, but lord, that voice. He could read the phone book and I'd pay to hear it. 

For me, the French Dispatch wasn't an out of the park hit, but this might a film you have to see a few times to even grasp some of the visuals and dialogue.  But it was nice to get out and see a movie in a cinema. 

That all said, we will see when we'd go again. Ohio's Covid cases per day are back on the rise. 

....and we made my made-up goal.  That is sad. Tons of movies on any streaming service, we should have hit that number in July.  It comes down to laziness on our part. And let's be honest, we hit 2-3 bad ones right out of the gate in January........so that kind of made me a bit gun shy.  There is still 1.5 months to go, who knows what it could bring. 

2021 Movie Count / Goal: 15 of 15 

Song by: Grateful Dead

Monday, November 15, 2021

My Music Monday

Covers of covers is the name of the game.  

This one isn't tough, though it is.  Tom Waits' "Downtown Train" has been covered by everyone and his mother.  Or at least by Everything But the Girl. 

Actually, the most successful cover is by Rod Stewart, I believe. Still Bob Seger, Patty Smyth (minus Scandal) and any number of others. 

So, who is covering who covering who, exactly?  

I've opted to go with the one cover on Mary Chapin Carpenter's debut disk. 

Technically, Carpenter's version isn't a cover of a cover I suppose. Her was released in 1987 (Waits originally released in '85).  Smyth's came out in '87.  Stewart and Seger two years after that. 

I'd say I'm quibbling, but in reality - none of you care. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Happy Ending

It's cold here all of the sudden. Thursday I was walking at lunch with blue skies and and low 60s.....in November. Today we never got out of the 30s and it was snowing. 

I can't really complain. We made it until mid November before it got chilly. 

Other November changes - to which I alluded yesterday - I have someone replacing me in my former job. One of them. Well, one job. It's now former. When I took my "new" job 18 months ago, I ended up keeping my other too. 

On paper, it is two full time jobs and one salary. In reality, it is one full time job, and one shitty coverage of another, to which I couldn't provide enough time and attention. Still with one salary though. 

This last week, I tried to on-board him while doing my full-time job. The latter suffered, as I really do need to get him up and running on the other one.............and to kind of extricate myself from the role. I know it will take weeks to do that, but there there's light at the end of the tunnel. 

I also alluded to in my 12 of 12 about a new foot place. 

Yes, I was drinking. And yes, I went across to see if I could make an appointment for sometime over this weekend. But.I wasn't drunk. 

Yesterday was my appointment. The new place is smaller, lower keyed than the usual one I had been using. And they are WAY nicer. And about the same price. So, I think I've officially found a new pedicure palace. 

Yes, you get a drink with this service, but I didn't take it, as I had a 10:00 appointment. Next time it's at 16:00, so I can start easing my way into drinking into the happy hour, dinnertime and beyond hours. 

My new nail / foot technician was nice. She asked some questions to generate some convo, but nothing where it was annoying of that either of were, or needed to be, chatty. Best of all were no massage chairs. 

Other places use those and maybe it is just me but they are SO uncomfortable. Granted, I've never had a massage, but I don't believe they movements those chairs make mimic what a human person would do. And I know for a fact the chair won't give me a happy ending.  


Song by: Joe Jackson

Saturday, November 13, 2021

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 139th 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Erik is back and I think he's picking up 12 of 12 again.      

04:39.  Running my third report of the morning. 

04:49.  Getting ready for a.m. walk......with his shadow watching. 

06:22. Grabbing my gear for work. And a wrap. 

06:32. A.M. caffeine. 

09:22. T.C.B. Everyday. 

......and then I might have gotten distracted by work and didn't take another picture until.....

16:24. Bidding adieu to my 2nd office. 
There is finally a new 'me' for my second job. 

16:35. Beer. But which one??

16:39. The 'new me' in blue. 
And a farewell to the rest of my old team. 

18:16.  Bringing home dinner. 
Because I had two beers and didn't want to cook. 

18:22.  While waiting for my food, I made an appointment to get my feets done tomorrow. 
.....and yes, the place is more bar than salon.  Go ahead, say it with me, "salon". 

18:33.  Driving home. 

22:46.  Pre-heat the bed.
It's going down to low-30s. Need to warm those sheets before I get in between them.