Friday, October 30, 2009

Best Never Out of the Fight

Today was an awfully good day--worked hard, found some interesting documents, went to the Momofuku cookbook release party, got my cookbook, and came home to the first episode of season four of Friday Night Lights--but I'm going to bed a little blue. Because that's how this premiere left me, proud of but sad for Coach Taylor. Now that he's coaching the underfunded and clueless East Dillon Lions the show is in some serious Bad News Bears territory. I will fall asleep tonight wondering where this show's going to go this season, last season ended with me thinking "Wow, we're headed for some absolutely Shakespearean territory here..." and now we're in it, we're beginning it. I think this season will have us yelling at our TVs more than any other season, cursing the decisions made by some and cheering for the actions of others. This week's heroes? The new kid, Landry, Sears guy and absolutely, positively, more than ever before Tammy Taylor, who this week plays the role of a benevolent Lady MacBeth.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Best LOL!

It's a t-shirt.

Best These Wild Things. What To Think of Them.

Above photo stolen from the flickr of a fellow who's lens collection and talent in using such I very much admire.

This Where the Wild Things Are movie, mostly I didn't flat out like it...but I've been thinking about it. I've been wondering what the purpose of that movie was, what the point was, who it was for. This was definitely not a children's film, oh man, I'd never take a kid to see Where the Wild Things Are. They'd come home acting so horribly rambunctious. The movie would give them too many ideas of ways to tear around the house or backyard, I'd rather kids come up with mean little dirtclod games on their own. But is this movie for adults? Do adults need a movie to remember that it's sad and lonely to be a kid when I think we'd rather grow more nostalgic for our youth by the day. Is that the point of WTWTA? To take all the grown ups that said "Oh, a Wild Things Are movie, how wonderful! I loved that book so much in my idyllic idealized childhood, this movie will be such a wonderful, glorious stroll through the joy and innocence of youth!" and then shock them with the site of a confused, unhappy childhood and remind them of all the confusion and unhappiness in childhood? I don't know.

But I can say there were definitely five things I liked about this movie. One, the heartbroken, gut-sobbing face of Max when he emerges from his demolished igloo. Two, when Carol says to Max (I paraphrase) "This is all yours...except for that hole...and that stick...but everything else is yours!" Three, the flowers coming out of the fort. Four, Bob and Terry--everything about or featuring Bob and Terry was great, they appealed on the level I think we all hoped the movie would appeal. Finally, five, in the very last seconds of the film, when Max gets home and wolfs down his dinner and the last thing he has is that piece of chocolate cake (and this all happens so fast, dinner is probably 6 seconds long if anything at all) and I couldn't help but thinking: "That's a good feeling, the feeling of having some chocolate cake that your mom gave to you."

So that's a bit of my thoughts on Where the Wild Things Are.

Oh, and I can't believe how that guy had his arm ripped off. Sheesh!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Best a Holiday Approaches

And Collin strikes once more!

Best Just Click These

Holly was over a while ago ~ Went and saw Seth and Jonathan in Brooklyn ~ Chipotle after the panda run-in ~ Visited Bird Jail ~ Sunday at the Met ~ Halloween Evidences

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Best These Are the Three Things I Know About Brazil

1. That it is my favorite other country.
2. That it is nearly overrun with monkeys.
3. That I'm going there Nov. 21-29.


Best Old Friends Bumping Into Each Other

Panda: "Ali? What are you doin' in town? Can I get my picture with you?"

Ali: "Sure, whatevs."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Best And Then I Read These

I finished Ulysses back at the beginning of September and dove right into the rest of the literary world.

The first book I read was "Letter to His Children" by Teddy Roosevelt. The title of this one pretty much says it all. I don't know that I've ever encountered a more delightful book in all my days and if you only ever read one book by or about this president, I suggest you pick this one. The entire text is available online, that's pretty cool. See?

If anyone should have ever had a twitter, it was that Theodore.

I received the book on loan from the J. Butler Collection. Here some of the text and illustrated are demonstrated to me at the time of lending.

Then I read the new Pirates! adventure, "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Napoleon."

I guess it had been about three years since my last Pirates! book. I don't know, were they all this funny? The Pirate Captain retires from pirating after losing the Pirate of the Year competition to raise bees on St. Helena. Everything is going pretty well there until Napoleon shows up. Jealousy, rivalry, and hilarity ensue.

Finally, I got a little serious and read Thomas Pynchon's new new book, "Inherent Vice."

I was very startled to see a new Pynchon book out so soon after Against the Day, a book that I've really found myself reflecting upon fondly since I read it last year and mildly longing to revisit. Inherent Vice is pretty much as straight-forward a book as Pynchon could stand to write, a detective story set in the Los Angeles beach culture early early 70s (essentially the end of the 60s). While Against the Day was like a 5000 page book crammed into 1100 pages, Inherent Vice is a 180 page book stretched out to close to 400. Really, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, it's only all right and I don't strongly recommend it to anyone except Pynchon fans who were planning on reading it anyway.

To understand how much more Inherent Vice could have thrilled me, please take another look at my reaction to Against the Day.

At this moment I'm reading Brideshead Revisited and enjoying it plenty. After that I have a couple notions as to what direction I may take my reading, but no firm decisions have been made. It'll either be a biography or some dense and troublesome work of fiction.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Best Learn Something. Maybe. If You Feel Like It.

I saw that new movie "An Education" last night. It started out real good, but by the end it was pretty much just "all right."

The best parts are:

  • The Music. Lots of real good early 60's/late 50's rock and soul songs I'd never heard before.
  • The Look. Lots of real cool early 60's British clothes, cars, furnishings, locations, dancings, etc.
  • The Actors. The cast was just great. I especially liked the scoundrel's buddy's girlfriend. Turns out she was kind of dim.
  • The way the scoundrel wins over the girl's dad. Perhaps the most entertaining element of the tale.
  • That the movie isn't as creepy as you might fear it would be--being something of a Lolita story, but with a smaller age difference. Not that it's without creepiness. I do not mean to say that.

The not best parts are:

  • The Third Act. You know things aren't going to go well when a movie is about a scoundrelous guy in his 30s dating a 16 year old girl. I braced myself for something sinister, but the big reveals are pretty non-dramatic. What starts out as pretty interesting winds up a rather neatly bundled morality play. The movie starts like an episode of an excellent hour-long primetime drama but ends like 30 minute sitcom.
  • The Moral: If you were wondering, it seems to be "Stay in school" and "16 year olds don't know everything they think they do."
My boy Roger really liked this movie and he provides a link to an article telling the story of the true story this movie was based on down at the bottom of his review.

One More Thing: If you've seen the movie--Do you think the woman that the girl visits near the end of the movie is the same woman that was crossing the street in the rain at the beginning?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Best Curious Coincidence

This is from my lobby, or the airlock right before my lobby where you buzz in. Our buzzer number is 136 and our apartment is listed under "Barnes." The "Brigham" family has buzzer 171. "Barnes" has been listed right beneath "Brigham" by the powers that be. The result? Potential for 12 months of wrong-buzzing unless you know my middle initials are not "MS."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Best At Last My Last Ulysses Post

The most famous Guitar Hero song is easily “Through the Fire and the Flames” by Dragonforce from Guitar Hero III. But the thing about TTFATF is that it isn’t part of the Guitar Hero III game per se, it is only unlocked by beating the final boss and is first played over the end credits of the game.

Similarly, the most famous chapter in Ulysses is easily Penelope, the famous 8 sentence, 45 page interior monologue of Molly Bloom. But, as with “Through the Fire and the Flames”, by the time we reach Penelope the “story” of Ulysses is over. Leopald Bloom and Stephen Dedalus have spent their day walking through Dublin, met in Nighttown, shared a cocoa in the kitchen of the Bloom home, and gone their way and now Leopald himself is asleep. Basically now what we’ve got is Molly laying down some magnificent stream of consciousness hammer-ons over the end credits to Joyce’s book.

And while TTFATF is one of Guitar Hero’s most difficult songs (I’ve heard it suggested that “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on expert is even harder) I consider Penelope one of the easier chapters in Ulysses. Yes, it is page and page and page of punctuationless mindwanderings, but you always know that it’s Molly who is speaking here and that she’s speaking about whatever she cares to think, and nailing down the speaker in any passage, I’ll always argue, is the key to understanding Ulysses.

I just picked that picture because whatever. And no Penelope quote because just because.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best I Did Not Write a Post on Culture or Anything Last Night

But I did get over 8 hours of sleep, which was pretty cool.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Best World Exclusive

Like I said last week, this week is a week of music, literature, film and other culture at Steady Mobbin'. We're kicking it off with the World Exclusive release of National Geographic*'s newest mixtape--The Danger Mix. Just click the link below and it's yours:

"Danger Mix" National Geographic

Said NG of this menacing mix: "Danger Mix is a bit unrelenting. Maybe a little mean even. I had all these tracks I really liked, but might not have seemed instantly "party-time" or "I know how to dance to this." Faster tempos or odd beats. (Brand New Funk is of course an exception to this - that song is so good.) I thought I'd try a bunch of 'em in a row. No respite. Just keep them coming."

Said I of the mix: "I agree with how you've described your mixtape. It is also the quickest 42 minutes I've ever encountered. So good work and I appreciate being grabbed by the collar and roughed up a bit."

Further info/resources related to National Geographic work can be found here (his MyScape has links to a couple more excellent mixes that I've given many a visit on my ipod):


*a.k.a. Keith Paugh, the same Keith Paugh with the clothing company.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Best In Case You Haven't Seen It Yet

One critic said: "I thought parts of the video had kind of doubtful...uh... it was morally doubtful. Especially the part where you were moving your.... rear around. But at least you weren't moving any other parts. But more so what I the was inappropriate was the part where you snatched your underwear. That really implied....uh, an inuendo."

Best Anniversary Gift

If you were going to get me something from Tiffany's, I'd take these cufflinks. They look like they say "taco."

Return of the Eating VI: I'm Thankful for Columbus Day Momofuku

There were some texts, there was some schedule consulting and soul searching, and there was a decision: I ran out of the office Monday to grab some Momufuku with some dear ladies fixing to try it out.

So yes, that would be three Momofuku meals in a week. Just like I used to do.

(One thing: Did you know they've named the Midtown Momofuku? It's going to be called "Ma Peche" which I think means "My fish.")

Some of these pictures look so much better if you click them.

We had: three orders of pork buns, two rib sandwiches, the market greens, the beef tendon, a plate of pickles, spicy rice cakes, the pho, and pork shoulder.

Beautiful hands, smaller than raindrops, ravaged the spread faster than a camera could be drawn.
That's Bryndee. You knew that, right? And that's Holly.

Doesn't it look like Helen was going to interview me? I bet I could ace any interview if it was at the Ssam Bar. Especially if they asked me how the pig's head is prepared or what they served for lunch a year and a half ago.

Karen and Andria. Champs.

And look, here's two more pictures for the "Wait, is the camera focused? Yes, Brigham, I can focus a camera" file.

That's Melissa, by the way.

Karen is Canadian. Hold on. She's also an Arizonan, but she used to be a New Yorker. And do you know what I learned? Columbus Day is also Canadian Thanksgiving! Which makes sense, what would Canadians be more thankful for than Columbus discovering the United States of America, right? Right? Or is Canadian Thanksgiving when you're supposed to be thankful for a Canadian? Well, okay then. I'm thankful for Ryan Reynolds. How's that?

Final course: two slices of the new peanut butter and jelly pie. The pie is actually the jelly, grape filling on a Ritz cracker crust, the peanut butter is there on the plate.

I can't explain it exactly, but lunch was like a real triumph. I sort of left feeling like the coach from A League of Their Own. Does that make sense?

Here ends my Return of the Eating series. Next week I'll be focusing on Music and Literature and Maybe Film. It's going to be great. You won't see a single plate of food.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best I Don't Know Guys

This Wild Things movie looks a little "meh" to me. You go see it and let me know if there was a point, or if there's any joy in it.

However, trailer #2 of the Fantastic Mr. Fox makes it look pretty good.

And this article about the making of that movie makes Wes Anderson sound like a real special guy.

Best If You Go to La Casa Tonight We Will Not Be There


A group of ravens is referred to as a congress or an unkindness. The most famous unkindness of six ravens at the Tower of London are employees, kept on staff at the expense of the British government. There are claims that the ravens were decreed to be kept by King Charles II to prevent disaster, or that they had been placed near the Tower in order to dramatize execution proceedings. These days they're kept around for tourists, and they are fed well (for ravens) on a diet consisting of raw meat, bird formula biscuits soaked in blood, whole rabbit, eggs once a week, and occasional pieces of fried bread.

Ravens are fairly vicious by nature, so the Tower's Ravenmaster must bond with them over a period of six weeks when they are fledglings. These birds are so vital to the Tower's image that several fledglings are kept as understudies for the six working birds as they die, even though the average raven lifespan is twenty-five years. The current raven roster at the Tower consists of Gwylum, Thor, Hugin, Munin, Branwen, Bran, Gundulf, Baldrick, Fleur, and Colin.

Well I hope you dine on eggs and fried bread in Bowling Green tonight.

Best Return of the Eating VI: Sushi Yasuda

Big news, guys: I've got a new restaurant that I'm going to be talking about all the time. Sushi Yasuda on 43rd Street. I'd read plenty saying it was the best sushi in the city short of Masa and tonight I finally went with my brother-in-law, Cory. From the moment I stepped inside--or perhaps half a second earlier than that--I knew I liked it. Impeccable service plus a great space plus the best sushi I've ever had plus a rather agreeable price equals I will be back. Soon.

We sat at the bar where the chefs were friendly and helpful. This is how I ordered:

This is what I ate:

Fluke and Tuna.

Rainbow Trout (from Idaho!) and Salmon.

Pompano and Triple Tail.

Orange Clam Himo and Bonito.

Squid and Shrimp.

Egg Custard and Uni.

Spanish Mackerel maki.

Everything was the best I'd ever had, but the standouts were the fluke, the bonito, the squid, the uni (that's sea urchin, it was absolutely amazing, melted almost instantly upon my putting it in my mouth), and my Spanish mackerel roll. 12 pieces, 1/2 a roll, $36. Ridiculous.

Okay guys, only one more Return of the Eating to go: an exciting surprise of a meal from earlier in the week. Tomorrow.