Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I didn't go see Julie and Julia this weekend like the rest of the world. The film I did see, people had told me was like 2001 Space Odyssey. It wasn't. Sure, it took place off-planet and there was a talking computer involved but that is where the similarity ended.

The story line is clever and it will ambush you somewhere mid-film. I think just the title gives the impression that this will be about sci-fi space exploration, possbily involving high technobabble and perhaps aliens that need a good thrashing. Not even in the right ballpark. Juxtaposition of the waning humanity of corporate ethics and the rising humanity of a systematically oppressed population define the ballpark.

Filming style is great; some of the moon-to-earth scenes are simply beautiful. Choppy, grainy segments capture an expected reality of traversing the moon's surface on foot and vehicle. Framing of Sam Rockwell in the particularly emotional scenes was tight and angular, tweezing even more tension out of an existing hand-wringer.

Sam Rockwell does an outstanding job, considering he is only person on film for 2 hours. I've heard his performance in this film compared to Tom Hanks' in Cast Away. Kind of, but Sam Rockwell plays two characters simultaneously, both different personalities and motivations, both come across in a frighteningly believable way.

So far, post Oscar, Moon is my favorite film - brilliant.


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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If (Mercy > Law) Then

It wasnt well received in theatres and I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as the original, but I did. The filming style is modernized, the storyline is pushed forward 50 years to something more salient to the region and time but the questions this film poses are still as thought-provoking now. 50+ years later we still asking but no closer to answering the better-or-worse questions posed in 12 Angry Men. Fate boxing Choice, Situational Ethics, The Uncertainty Principle, Intuition dueling Reason. And of course, the ever popular Upholding The Law vs. Showing Mercy.

These are good questions. Its not necessary to answer them but it will be forever necessary to ask. We are, and in this case, we are asking them in Russian.


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Sunday, August 09, 2009


I decided what Im doing for XMAS break this year. It will involve leaving the country, zip-touring over city and forest (that would be wire flying), coffee, pre-Columbian art and beaches. Anyone know where yet? :)


Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Catching you up.

The parents came to Houston for a visit. They just came to see me this time, not the collection of friends they made in their 10-year stopover before moving on to New Orleans. It was fun! We did a small culinary tour of Houston, which included Frenchy's fried chicken at my dad's insistence. He liked.

While return visits to SOMA, Voice and T'afia were wonderful, the big winner from the culinary tour was new-to-us, Reef, a comfortable but sophisticated seafood venue in Midtown. I could go on about the menu and what we tried but the menu changes. If available try the Yellowtail Ceviche with Mango, Avocado and Smoked Paprika. This is awesome; the lime marinade imparts a clean, crisp flavor which then folds into complex layers with the addition of creamy avocado, earthy smoked paprika and sweet mango. The novelty item here is the fried mac and cheese. Right, lets just take an already heart bomb side dish and fry it up. Good but its soooo heavy!


The weekend following a group of friends and I went to see the touring Cirque in Houston, Saltimbanco. This was my 4th Cirque and I have to say one of my favorites. Definitely not the same drama factor as O at Bellagio but very enjoyable just the same. Saltimbanco is a stripped down Cirque with no integrating theme with a much lighter presentation. There were the requisite high-flying acrobatics but there were some very one-off acts that were fascinating!

Other than that, the work and school thing is going well!

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