Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Musings - NBA Playoffs Edition

Cloudy Monday smiles to all of you! Let's Muse.

Had occasion to catch Let The Right One In this weekend. It is one of the most extravagantly haunting films I have ever seen (think Son of Rambow meets the Sixth Sense, directed by Atom Egoyan), and I'd recommend you check it out on DVD, but...

In short, the DVD is a mess. The default setting is badly overdubbed English, which sounds as though it is being performed by Toucan Sam. So you have to go to the main menu and change the settings. If you are the kind of person who refuses to read subtitles, well, this should interest you.

Once you get to the subtitles, you see a compromised version of the film. I'm late to the ball on this internet debate (spoilers in link), but the film's distributor, Magnolia, decided to ditch the film's original subtitles, and go with a cheaper rendition.

To that end, and after issuing a hissy, barely coherent, statement blaming bloggers for making a big deal out of nothing, Magnolia decided to revert copies to the original cinematic format hereinafter.

A black eye for Magnolia, but not for this wonderful film. For what it's worth, so much of the film is visual that even the most incompetent translation would render a great cinematic experience.


In her Christian argument for Christian Taxation, Episcopalian spiritual guru Diana Butler Bass offers her assessment of the joy taxes:

I don’t love parting with the money, but I kinda like it. That check is a bargain — roads, schools, medical care, social security, and the freedom of living in the greatest country in the world. It is patriotism by checkbook. Why should I hate it?

If only Stalin had the Episcopalian church, we'd all be comrades.


Narrowly averted a dining crisis on Saturday. Hiep Thanh of Brooklyn Center is not ready for prime time. For starters, nobody greets you at the door, or otherwise acknowledges your existence. After grabbing menus and seating ourselves, a bedraggled waitress (in shorts and tennis shoes) offered us water.

My wife attempted to order stir fry, and was told that stir fries are only served before 2 pm (?). I asked for a recommendation, and she suggested the roasted duck soup, but noted that they were out of duck (there were roasted ducks hanging in the deli... Apparently, those were just for show). At that point, we decided it was time to move on for greener pastures...


...And greener pastures were found! Sweet Basil of Brooklyn Park is a bit of a gem. The mock duck was excellent, as were the pork dumplings. I ordered my seafood soup and papaya salad spicy, a request which they took VERY seriously. If I'm breaking a sweat, you know it's hot. The dishes were sufficiently nuanced, such that less fiery iterations should have plenty to recommend them.

I was further impressed by the ambiance, which, for a Brooklyn Park strip mall, was surprisingly accommodating.


Over dinner, my wife made the following announcement:

"My mom wanted to let you know she got the peas in from Canada. They're ready to go."

Now, you know how I am about peas, but why do we import them from Canada, and why is this noteworthy?

Always up to surprises, Canada; with respect to peas especially so, I guess.


Blogger Jerad said...

I appreciated your thorough and well-reasoned response to Diana Butler Bass. That sort of thinking should take you straight to New York Mills.

I will unironically second Sweet Basil, though. That place has quality food, and judging by your report, the ambience has improved significantly since last I went.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Why does a poorly considered reflection on taxes deserve a well-reasoned response? Her argument is that taxes are a bargain by virtue of the fact that they pay for things. DBB is too intelligent to argue so dishonestly.

As far as the ambiance of Sweet Basil, they still have the schlocky strip-mall inverted door scenario, if that is what bothered you. That said, papaya salad for $6? You couldn't make it yourself for twice that. Double date night?

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kevin,

I so miss your wit and wisdom on the GP blog. Please do return as we do need to keep up our quota of jerks who post there. It is simply no fun scouring the Internet to find your asinine comments about me and others. Please keep your comments in one place where all can see them.

By the way, happy belated tax day.


2:21 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

While I find amusing the image of Diana Butler Bass firing off blog comments to strangers in the middle of the night, I think it's time for comment moderation to go back on.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Jerad said...

Double indeed! First, lemme check the "Entertainment" coupon book to see if Sweet Basil is represented again this year.

3:00 PM  

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