Mike Beversluis

Friday, July 29, 2005

Tipping point

So, a couple of things:

1. Eric and Laura were in town. $20 and 100 degree/70% humidity says they're the last family members to visit me here in DC during the summer.

2. Jack Black was in an episode of Nothern Exposure. Weird. He was thinner then, as was I.

3. I am mean, and so is my boss Steve (actually, "snarky"), and we're getting married next week. So says Laura, the Supreme court can rule on this later (don't ask, don't tell)

4. I went out to eat alot the last week, here are a couple of reviews:

a. Jaleo is three for three; try the caramelized sweet onions with bleu cheese and pine nuts, also the wild mushroom dish. There are a lot of Tapas restaurants that aren't Tapas - it seems like the new Thai, where anything asian starts serving chicken satay. In any case, I never feel like spending the money for the actual amount of wine you're supposed to drink, certainly not with the 400% markup, and those two are teatotallers, so it's not like authenticity-streak was gonna get very far with us anyway.

b. Chipotle is the Target of mexican fast food.

c. Tono Sushi is exactly a place to go for $1 happy hour sushi.

d. Lebanese Taverna is tasty with sizes that are exactly how much you should eat even if you don't think so at the time.

e. Cafe Toulouse has a nice brunch.

f. Miss Saigon in Georgetown: eh.

g. The food court in the old Post Office is much less insane than the food courts elsewhere on the mall.

h. I was thinking to start a blog that reviews McDonalds.

5. Ray's in Gaithersburg has over two hundred sandwhiches on the menu, of which I've tried three and found them tasty. Or is it Roy's. Either way the place looks like a strip club from the outside, but it's not. Oddly hard to reach, due to Gaithersburg's retarded street layout.

6. Starting over again with the numbers: I still don't know what it is, but East Coast grocery stores just suck. It's a combination of high prices, unfresh produce, iffy meat and seafood, cramped stores, and slow-mo checkers. This might be entirely artifact, but the visitors felt the disturbance in the force also.

7. I was also thinking to start a blog reviewing restaurant reviewers: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" etc.

8. Carlos Mencia is burning through his standup material pretty quickly: Arab jokes? Check. Beaner jokes? Check. Mexican in California, Puerto Rican in NY, Cuban in Miami? Check. Dumbasses working at fast food cause they got D's in school? Check. The West Hollywood thing was new for him, but ran like a "Houndouran" Dave Atell. The spread = the number of episodes of the Ben Stiller Show.

9. I bought some Johnston and Murhpy shoes from a blunter than stone Brit:
10. Yeah, that's enough for now. Ten seems like a number to stop at, as I wouldn't want to get all blogged out.

P.S. hipsters still suck.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

That first attempt wasn't very good, so lets try again: Mike's Andy Warhole post #2

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Monday, July 25, 2005

My brother in law's hypothesis

The British, in particular, like Donnie Darko because they identify with Frank the Bunny Rabbit's teeth.

My take: Jesus people, they're called orthodontists.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

My Warhol post

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a post

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Monday, July 18, 2005

LA Confidential - what I did not like about it

Hi ...
a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to see "LA Confidential"; they tell me that this movie made Russell Crowe popular. It is a wonderful movie under many respects; the atmosphere is richly and powerfuly recreated ...

There is, however, in my opinion, a big defect in the plot which makes it irritating and has left me with the impression of having been swindled: the plot consists in the uncovering of a hidden reality, with a hint that the story-teller has a knowledge of the reality that is beyond the reach of the listener.

I find this an "abuse of omnipotence" and a gratuitous and (of course) convenient way of telling a story - but it does not make much sense to me: the narrator knows the hidden reality only because he can invent whatever he wants.
An example of what I say is in the behaviour of the police chief, Dudley (a big SPOILER follows)




















who apparently keeps the threads of the various hidden activities so well that he can prevent any move of any other character without almost the need of his doing anything for a big part of the movie (it seems that it is necessary for him only to call the other guys "boyo" and he will obtain the desired effects); and then he finds himself and almost suddenly alone, and he has to start killing people to keep his organization afloat.

In reality the fact that he domiantes the situation for a long part of the movie has nothing to do with his experience, but a lot to do with the arbitrary decision of the narrator not to let anything happen (as long as the narrator himself is happy that things go well ...).

In synthesis, the narrator hints that he is representing reality, but he does not care to keep things in the realm of possible; the perception that I am left with is that behind the plot there is no substance and no possible reality.

other books and movies share in this defect ... and for the one which do not, a big point in their favour.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Buy Japanese

Hi, how's it going?

Well, I've been busy, but I'll say a couple of things now: 1) Although I'm American, and although I own a Honda whose paint has peeled off due to a manufacturing flaw, it has been my measured experience that Japanese products meet their specifications, whereas with other products of other countries of origin, you are rolling the dice.

Which got me to wonder - I walked by a Pontiac G6 the other day, which is an unremarkable if surprisingly inoffensive car, and wondered, how good would an American car have to be before I would pay the same amount for it as an Asian car? I think European cars are overpriced, even if nice, (BMW & Volvo, yes - MB, Jaguar, Saab no. Fiat? Are you kidding me? I'd buy Russian first.)(Sorry "John Sardus", although I guess Sardianian doesn't count, huh?)(Sorry Filipp, you commie)

So, I am largely prejudiced against American cars, as I suspect are many Americans. For more on this idea, I suggest you go visit Robert Farago, who goes into far more detail in his GM death watch.

That said, I would still buy a low end American pick-up, but no way am I paying 50k for some gussied up dinoburner. Sorry Dad, but I wonder about that Suburban. I'd love a straight six long bed plain old short cab 4x2 with cloth or vinyl seating, just like Sam Walton used to drive. And I would drive it too, with a straight bill baseball cap which I would wear without a single once of irony. And I would pick up 4'x8'sheets of AC grade plywood, which I would take home to my garage/workshop for Hank Hill like projects. Goddam hipsters ruin everything.

2) I am reading for fun, and MarkHelprin's "Memoir from Antproof Case" has been really, really good so far. Certainly on the 1 page scale, where his stylistic touch is simply genius. And I mean, all-time genius grade. We'll see if this evaluation holds up in the long-page limit. Ironically, his protagonist is insane and hates coffee, which I have drunk while reading his rants.

3) Google Maps simply rules, and I have spent the last few lunch breaks looking for cars I have owned on the North American continent, since the keyhole photos were taken at different periods. What you say? Why no link? Gee, why don't you Google for it, you lazy bastards.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

TCM thought for the day

Is Our Man Flint a cheesy Bond knockoff, or just getting to the point quicker?

Both?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Boston Haiku

Mom still knows what I mean

Logan International,
One kludge on top of another.
What a clusterf***.

45 buck flight,
40 dollar taxi ride,
You can do the math.

Boston's T is cheap,
Washington's redline costs more,
but it's urine-free.