Monday, November 20, 2006

Notes From All Over

My Idea of Hell
David Blaine has a new stunt planned. I really don't know what to say other than I'm so glad I'm not David Blaine.

Mmmm, dim sum
Can't be beat as a Sunday treat. The five of us plus BIL and SIL got out of there for $60 plus tip. My only complaint is that some of the cart-pushers walk up and say inquiringly, "Octopus?" while others say something in Chinese. And we are willing to learn the Chinese names, but no one will provide both names for a thing in a single session. My assignment for next time is to learn the Chinese name of "Shark fin dumpling" because we couldn't secure any this time. But we thought we had learned the name of the bun with the creamy yellow filling--Dan Tot--only to be presented with a tartlet crust holding what seemed to be basically a raw egg. When we finally secured the item we had been thinking of, we asked what it was called. "Mexican bun," we were told.

Oh, and we all tried chicken feet. Simultaneously, for bravery. And now we never have to have them again. I'm kind of disappointed. I had hoped that we would discover that we adored chicken feet, and then we could get all kinds of street cred with the cartfolk. But it was not to be. Chicken feet are a lot of fat, and a lot of barbecue sauce, and a lot of small, uncomfortable, hard-to-manage pieces of bone and connective tissue.

Literary Lions
I happened to catch wind of the fact that last night's Simpsons would feature Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen (to my delight, Tom Wolfe and Gore Vidal also appeared), so I made a point of watching it and let the kids watch with us. I haven't watched the Simpsons for many, many years. It is still funny. Something for everyone--slapstick, satire and allusion.
I laughed hardest at the banner above the entrance to the "Wordloaf" conference: "Warning, Philip Roth may be moody." Do we think perhaps Mr. Roth declined a spot on the show? Although I also enjoyed Bart's enthusiastic summing-up of a day of Vermont sight-seeing (esp. given that I've spent some time in Middlebury): "Lisa, we learned so much! Did you know that candles are made by losers?"
This morning NSLR asked, "Can we stay up to watch the Simpsons every Sunday night?" "Well," I said, "You can if it's particularly educational." "What was educational about last night?" "All the literary figures."
S: What are literary figures?
MV: Writers.
NSLR: Right, like Tom Wolfe. And those other guys.
MV: Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen.
M: And Rice.
I had no clue what she was talking about, and then R. reminded me that **SPOILER Chabon said to Franzen, "You fight like Anne Rice!" END SPOILER** It was peculiarly like the seemingly random but actually relevant things that Sunny Baudelaire says.

What Have We Learned?
TomKat's wedding proves once and for all that Armani does make a "novvy blue tuxado."

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