Mmmmmmm. Disappointment.

I am not certain which is more interesting, a restaurant that rises far above my expectations, or one that fails them miserably.

We cased Rocklands for months. The joint moved from within the Carpool to its own independent location, and we cased it for months waiting for it to open because the food at the old place was sublime. But I knew we were in trouble when we walked in and there was a line to order at the counter, and when she told me I would have to wait at the bar for my glass of Malbec. The first rule of restaurant management is: Don’t screw up the drinks. Most patrons will give you some leeway on the food. But don’t ever screw up the drinks. To me, making a cat walk across the room to go get them and then to carry them himself, yeah. That’s screwing up.

We take our number and sit, me with my wine, she with her water. She fills me in on her recent trip to Amsterdam. Soon, the food baskets come over. The food is cold and gross. My pulled pork is grisly. The mac and cheese is a tiny serving in a cup. Her brisket doesn’t taste quite right. We get home, and I ask the dog if I can bum some of her chow. It was gross. Really gross.

Orpheus

God damnit, I wish Orpheus wasn’t going out of business. But they are.

Go over there and buy some shit now, okay?

As if you need coaxing. It was packed today when I was there, and I dropped fifty bucks. On vinyl. $20 was on an unopened Zappa “Tinseltown Rebellion.” I also got Weasels on vinyl and some other shit. I’m just sad about it. Please don’t let them put an Olive Garden there.

Happy Babaversary

Two years ago today, I stayed home from work to listen to the Howard Stern Show. It is something I wish I could do every day. But it was vital that on that day I have my ears glued to the sound system. It was 1-9-06, the show’s first day at Sirius.

For the entire weekend, the show had been running a “lub-lub” heartbeat sound. I fell asleep that night before with this playing in the background because I was convinced they would do something in the hour leading up to the show. They did. At 5 a.m., the heartbeat’s tempo doubled. It was so utterly cool that I nearly wet the bed.

The first voice you heard at 6 a.m. was that of Mr. George Takei, the Sirius Show’s Official Announcer. Takei proved to be the single most delightful addition to the show, and that delight increases exponentially with each appearance. The show, that first show on the satellite, was amazing and worth working that day from the Arlington Satellite Office. It is why Stern makes the best radio in the world. From time to time, he doesn’t just put on a radio show. From time to time, he creates an event, one you remember for the rest of your life. For me, it’s the Cleveland Funeral and the “BabaBooey To Ya’ll” phoner to Peter Jennings during the O.J. slow-motion chase (which I fondly refer to as “the day that news media and entertainment media merged to become a singular, nebulous, useless blob of poop.”) 1-9-06 for me adds to that swelling list.

I recently defended Stern on a family listserv. I mentioned that the little southeast Kansas hamlet of Pittsburg, Kan., had been mentioned on the show. An aunt replied that she was curious about what Stern said, though she can’t stand Stern any more than she can stand Ann Coulter. I replied: “…comparing Stern to Coulter is like apples and schoolbuses. He is a brilliant, funny, insightful human being, one of the finest broadcasters in history. She is a shrill hateful broken airhorn that randomly spits turd juice and fire.” The reply and the main charge often leveled at Stern is that he is a “misogynist.” This is a charge that does not make sense to me, since an ACTUAL misogynist, Don Imus, was recently welcomed back to the airwaves with open arms. Admitedly, it is hard to defend to women who use words like “misogynist” segments like this morning’s “Playboy evaluations,” whereby a few young ladies offer their bodies up for meticulous scrutiny by a panel of yucky men. But hating Stern for that is like amputating an arm for a hangnail. That stuff is not the whole of the show, and it is not even the show at its best. Besides, from the standpoint of human rights, if you really insist on taking him seriously in that way, Stern is actually more enlightened than one might think. (There is a pop-up on this link that may not be entirely work-safe. But the article is very cool.)

Anyway. It is hard to believe it’s been two years already and that we only have three more to go. I often say that being a Stern listener is the funnest thing in life that I do. What better thing is there than doing something that guarantees a belly laugh every single morning?

Juno and Jack Black

1) Go see Juno.

2) Hopefully, you’ll not only see the best movie of the year, which is Juno, but you will also see previews for Jack Black’s new movie, Be Kind, Rewind. Just the preview had me laughing my fool head off.

3) Go see Juno.

I'm Rooting For Seattle

“I kind of had gone through these four years and I found myself sayin’, ‘Hey, Lord, you know, I really want to win football games and wind up coming out of this with a platform that I can honor you,’ ” Gibbs said. “That’s what I was trying to say to the Lord. And it really caused some soul-searching for me because I realized probably in there that I was probably kidding myself and kidding the Lord.

“What I was doing was probably wanting it a lot for myself and not really being honest with the Lord,” he continued. “And I think I needed to ask him for forgiveness on that. What I should be sayin’ is what he wants. I should be sayin,’ this is what God wants, not what I want.”