Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Best Book of Monday

A long time ago I would read books and say what I thought about them here. With the Bar behind me, I’ve decided to read books again. As you may or may not know, I’m up in the mountains of Utah with my family and this is an excellent setting for book reading. I’m progressing at a nice book a day clip (this is easy when you pick books around 200 pages in length). Let me tell you a little about my first book…

My first book is “After Dark” by Haruki Murakami. Someone had left it in the dresser in my Mom’s room. I’ve read a decent number of Murakami novels and short stories over the last 9 years and got a little tired of how the stories always seemed to be about a quiet loner who goes home to make noodles by himself while listening to jazz before eventually meeting and sort-of falling in love with a woman suffering from some form of mental illness. And also, sort of weird things would happen, too. But even though Mr. Murakami’s stories were so often the same to me, they were well written and familiar, so I thought I’d give him another go and I’m glad I did.

“After Dark” tells the tale of one night in Tokyo, it’s one of those “handful of characters with intersecting storylines” stories. [Our handful of characters: 19 year old girl with a prettier sister, the prettier sister, a young trombonist with a love of the law, an ex-professional wrestler turned Love Hotel manager, the Chinese Mob, a workaholic, and a television] The tale is told in very cinematic language with an emphasis on what the reader is “seeing” and from what vantage point along with Murakami’s typical stressing of what music, exactly, is playing in each scene. The end result: as I read this book I thought “Please, please someone make this a movie!” Murakami’s descriptions created such perfect images in my mind that I couldn’t help but demand to see them for real.

There’s a handful of references to French New Wave cinema in the story (first they are strictly of the sort that require the reader to be in the know but later these references are unveiled and explained for those who wouldn’t have caught them in the first place [not that I’m asking for a medal for having noticed them earlier]) and the story itself follows the manner of a Goddard film (as far as I’m familiar with them). It ends with only a few of the night’s curiosities explained well, plenty of threads remain loose, but the reader should still feel satisfied…after all, it was only the story of one night, and only so much can happen in one night.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Best Longer Version of the Story

Friday was Michelle's birthday. She took the day off and we were to celebrate the special day in a very free-form manner. We decided to take the old hop-on/hop-off double-decker tourbus tour of New York because, come on, don't tell me you haven't seen the bus go by and wondered what they were talking about up there, right?

Also, I was hoping a day of tourbussing would result in an armful of bus-riding selfpics and shots of Manhattan zooming by, like these:

When we got downtown we decided to hop-off the bus for a swim at the public pool. During our swim (and quite, quite unbeknownst to me) a clever fellow pried open the bottom of my locker and stole my jeans along with my wallet, keys, and cellphone. But he didn't get my watch or camera! SO, as you can guess, this caused some problems, some serious problems, with my ability to adequately execute my plans for Michelle's birthday. Most of the rest of the day was spent running around (me in my swim trunks looking like I absolutely, positively just did not care) cancelling credit cards and ATM cards and wondering if Jeff had a key to may apartment.

See, Jeff had spent a few nights at my apartment recently and, at that time, had an apartment key in his possession. So I gave him a call (from Michelle's phone, obviously) to see if he still had that key. His answer: "Quite possibly."

Somewhat encouraged, we met him at his temporary home at the Cipriani Condos on Wall Street. Upon arriving, Jeff offered us a melted ice cream bar.

After going through almost all of Jeff's pants, we were able to find my house key, which was very good news. Then a bit of time was spent enjoying Jeff's fine corporate housing...

No microwave? Really?

I don't know for sure, but I think that Jeff prefers this space to my futon. But that's just a guess.

After that it was back to the tour bus (which I had to talk my way onto a few times as my ticket was in my pants, too) to try to salvage Michelle's big day. Burgers were eaten, presents were opened, DVDs were watched...it turned out well enough (all things considered), if I may say so myself.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Best Short Version of the Story

Yesterday I got my wallet, keys, cellphone, new book of stamps, and jeans stolen.
That's why I'm not returning your calls. The situation is being slowly resolved. Also, I'm about to go to Utah to be in the mountains. So, generally speaking, I'm going to be a little hard to get a hold of for the next bit.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Best of 2008

Doesn't this just make you feel good?

Stolen from AICN

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Best Have I Ever Posted a Game Before?

If you're waiting for your copy of 80's Guitar Hero, this is sort of a substitute:

Games at Miniclip.com - Up Beat
Up Beat

Keep the rhythm and rock the party!

Play this free game now!!

For about a minute I had the game imbedded in this post, but that was a disaster.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Geeze, I'm away from the internet for a whole day and Lindsay Lohan gets high on elephant tranquilizers and kills a man.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Best Super Brief Review, IV

Have you flown JetBlue lately?

These "apple pie" cookies they've got now are DELICIOUS! And on sale, too!

And if you were wondering when this blog was going to start being 'good' again, I'd say definitely no earlier than Thursday.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Best Fine Dining

Because we’re fancy, Mom, Dad, Emily and I went and had dinner last night at the Panera Bread Co. Oak Park’s elegant neighboring village*, River Forest.

*Yes, I am from a village. The Village of Oak Park. We have a Chief instead of a Mayor. What? Is that weird to you?

Now let’s play a game. First, divide our group of 4 up into 2 teams: The Males and the Females. Now, guess which team ate dainty salads for dinner:

And which team had hearty sandwiches: (scroll down for answers)

Did you guess Salads = Men

And Sandwiches = Women?

Also, there was a cheese and mushroom pizza (except it wasn’t called a pizza, it had a corporate name that evoked freshness and crispiness)

Mom took these pictures of me looking like this

Before she told me I need a little of this

All better!

This is my Mom and Dad. But you probably figured that out in the first picture.

OK, ‘bye!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Best Pick-Me-Up

Feeling a little down? Boss won't get off your back? Probably nothing a few clicks of the Random Kitten Generator can't fix.

UPDATE Or better yet, how about a few (dozen) rounds of Kitten War?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Best Low-Res Job Prospect

From about 6th Avenue and 14 1/2 street:

Now this is an opportunity.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Best Super Brief Review, III

Inspired by Pete's review I checked out Grand Sichuan on St. Marks a couple of weeks ago. I ordered the Chong Qing dry and spicy chicken. It was dry. It was spicy.

Only see a mound of peppers? Look closely, there's some chicken in there.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Best Super Brief Review, II

Nirvana Live at Reading Festival '92. This one doesn't even take a complete listening to like.

Readers, what do we think of Nirvana? Sometimes I cannot help but wonder to myself if there will ever be another band like them...or has there already been as influential and direction-changing band since them? OR, are you of the opinion that Nirvana is no big deal?

Best Super Brief Review

If you don't like it that's because you haven't listened to it three times yet. That's what it takes. Three listens.

And why is Madison Square Garden where you have to go to see your favorite bands that used to rock the Hammerstein (or Roseland)? The White Stripes, Morrissey, Muse, and now Interpol? Come on, you guys.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Best For-The-Win

Rock Band will feature "Enter Sandman."
Sorry, Guitar Hero 3.


Best Barnes Family Holiday

Dates and numbers are a big deal to my Mom, she’s always pointing out when a date adds up in some neat way or something. The biggest occasion for her is when the numbers are all the same…you know, like the 7-7-7 that just happened.

Whenever the date lines up that way my Mom celebrates thusly: She makes a chocolate cake with white frosting and writes the date on it in blue. And then she takes her picture with it (and typically includes her family in said photo). She’s got photographic evidence of this holiday going back to 7-7-77.

So, anyway, this year, in honor of my mother, I celebrated 7-7-7 as well as I could in New York with a trio of Magnolia cupcakes…(I don't know everything about baked goods, so I wound up topping these with gross gel instead of frosting)

And here’s the official picture of me and them…

So, yes, that’s how you celebrate these sorts of things in the Barnes Family. Come back to Steady Mobbin’ around 11-11-11, it’ll probably be the hugest triple-date celebration ever!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Best Bombs Bursting In Air

I know everyone put their fireworks pictures up a few days ago, but I was too busy writing a treatise of the Transformers to be able to. So here's my batch of blurry explosions. I had the good fortune of watching the Fireworks from Waterside Plaza, because that's where Dave lives. Pretty much had the absolute best spot for the fireworks in all of New York City, right on the water and directly across from the central Macy's launch-barge. Pretty unbeatable.