I finally finished The Adventures of Augie March!!! This is one long fucking book. And it is one great fucking book. I recommend this book to anyone who likes good books, humans, or eagles. If you don't like any of these things, stay away. This book is bursting with life. It's like you can see it breathing and twitching and sweating when you put it down. It has the most fully realized characters I've ever read. The Grandma Lausch character is a force of nature. I lost steam in the last couple of hundred pages, but that's OK. Even if you only read the first three hundred (which fly by) you have read a great book. And, in a habit ingrained in my by my mother, I must point out, written by a Jew!
Also recommended, although not nearly as highly, is the movie Assault on Precinct 13. A must for John Carpenter fans only. The music he writes for his movies cracks me up every time. In particular in this movie during the suspenseful parts he just holds one piercing note on the synthesizer until you think you will lose your mind. There's a part where a character starts whistling and we were joking about how funny it would be if he whistled a John Carpenter "tune". This movie made me realize that John Carpenter knows when he is being funny. I don't want to give away the part that made me realize it, but it involves a game of "one potato, two potato" to decide who will take on a dangerous task. I guess I did just give it away. This makes me think that the interminable fight scene in "They Live" may be an intentional joke. Another thing to note, there is a foxy seventies chick who strongly gives the impression of a young Jerri Blank (from strangers with candy). She is wearing a hideously unflattering outfit that involves a PEACH SWEATER WITH A BELT AROUND THE WAIST. It's a total Jerri Blank outfit and she has Jerri Blank feathered hair, too. This makes her scenes funnier.
I took Grace to Moxie last night for her birthday. Have you forgotten about Moxie? Don't forget about Moxie, it's good. They had a million specials, which is kind of their thing. We ordered a special appetizer, which was shitaki mushrooms stuffed with chicken and covered in phyllo dough. I think feta was involved, too. I was starving, so the first few bites were delicious, but I almost immediately realized that somehow this combo of flavors made the appetizer taste exactly like a chicken corn dog. That was kind of an unpleasant realization. The bread they give you is great. They offer all their wines by the glass, from a list of about 20. It looks like they charge a standard 8 bucks for a glass, but I could be wrong about that. It is nice that they have so many wines by the glass, but a cheaper house wine would be good. I got an Abundance Pinot Noir from Sonoma and I liked it. A lot of the menu items and specials sounded good, but I had planned on the meatloaf so I stuck with that. Grace got the jambalaya, also a normal menu item. The portions here are enormous, so if you want to have a meal that feels really fancy without being too pricy, you should come here and just order entrees. You don't really need a salad or appetizers to be full. And if you frontload on wine before you get there (come to think of it, I didn't ask about their corkage fee, but that could be the way to go) you will have an economical yet romantic dinner. I know there was a lot of romance in the air between me and Grace, but it was probably just the lighting. The meatload (ha ha that's a typo but I'm leaving it in) is 13 bucks and it's really about three pieces of meatloaf, with horseradish mashed potatoes, carrots and squash, asparagus, and a little bit of pickled red cabbage that's delicious. The meatloaf is so tender and juicy, I wish I knew the recipe. Grace's jambalaya was spicy and flavorful. It was mostly giant chunks of chicken and sausage, with very little shrimp or rice. It could have used more rice. It was way better than the gumbo at Celestins (I know that gumbo and jambalaya are different, but they are mixed up in my mind). There was enough for at least two meals. Try this place sometime if you haven't. The owners are nice and chatty. There's a Moxie jr. way down on H street that I'm intrigued by. Has anyone been there?