How's It Feel To Want?

So I think the host at Bennigan’s was a little retarded.

We walked in after having seen Batman Begins. We had eaten only popcorn for dinner. We were hungry and just this close to grumpy.

And so we walked in and said two, nonsmoking. And he looked at us and appeared to have some problem understanding that there were two people who wanted to sit in the nonsmoking section, as if he thought there were four of us. Then, he told us to wait a minute because all his servers were on the floor, which was odd because he could walk and there were a lot of empty tables in the restaurant.

So then, as he was seating us, he asked us if we wanted a booth. Sure, we said. That would be great.

Oh, he said, well, we don’t have any booths. Would you like to sit at this table?

I think this kid may be in the wrong business.


Ebert and Roeper nailed it right on the head regarding Batman Begins. This is the one where they finally get it right.

I loved Burton’s first one with Nicholson as the Joker. I loved it, but I couldn’t help but feel that they hadn’t quite gotten it right. They tried too hard to walk the line between the two camps of Batman aesthetics, is it the campy campy of Adam West and Burt Ward, or is it the hard gritty “bats-no-shiv” of Frank Miller? The compromise was interesting, and fellow Kent State alum Keaton surprised the heck out of me as an effective Batman/Bruce Wayne. But the first Burton effort and all the subsequent movies insisted on keeping the camp.

Batman Begins approaches the myth with the goal of making it as plausible as it possibly can. Sure, you have to suspend disbelief to some extent, but it’s not as wide a chasm as has been with the Batman movies of the ’90s. This movie more effectively drums up the most obvious theme: He’s not imbued with superpowers given to him by a new yellow sun or some horrific freak accident. He’s just a man with a lot of resources and a drive to do what’s right. This superhero gets his super strength by doing a lot of pushups.

Even if you’re not a fan of the Batman story, you probably should go see Batman Begins. One advantage of successfully humanizing Batman and Wayne is that it makes this the most accessible of Hollywood’s efforts to live-action it. This isn’t just a Batman movie. It’s a movie, and when you come out of the theater from it, you’ll feel like you’re supposed to feel when you’ve seen a movie. You’ll feel tired, full of popcorn, sticky-shoed, and a little stupid. And, for at least ten minutes or so, you’ll be convinced that you can leap across rooftops and fight injustice in Gotham City. So, um, you might want to have someone watch you for a little while.

Marvin Hamlisch ROCKS!

Just got back from Wolf Trap seeing Marvin Hamlisch direct the National Symphony Orchestra through a ton of Broadway classics. It was fun. That “Morales” song always makes me choke up.

We took a bunch of wine and buckets of chicken. Before the show started, Cousin Jane saw the dude tuning the piano onstage and recognized him. She borrowed a cell phone and called him.

Yep. Called him while he was onstage tuning the NSO’s piano. That was cool. If you saw the piano tuner waving to the crowd before the show, he was waving to us.

It wasn’t bad either that we got VIP passes because Aunt Kathy knows somebody. I mean, that little ticket gets you a close place to park, a clean, close place to pee, and free wine. Mmmmmm, wine and chicken and Broadway.

It’s a nonstop week this week, with Grandma Pryor in town. More family doos tomorrow night, then other things. Go, speed racer!

The Ocean Breathes, Um, Salty

The strangest thing I’ve seen in a long time occurred at the Modest Mouse show at DAR’s Consitution Hall Thursday: Several songs in, Issac and company launched into “Ocean Breathes Salty,” and two of the four or five frat boys who were in front of us high-fived.

Something mad wrong with that. Wronger was how a few of these boys hung on each other through the show. I’m guessing there’s been at least one drunken unintended blowjob among them. You know. “Oh, man. I was so drunk…” Unless, of course, I misjudged, and these were actually some very, very out gay boys, likely to be heading for Chaos right after the show. Just wasn’t the vibe we got. Boys. Admit it. Come on out. Really.

Fry-day morning got out of bed and had a nice breakfast with my woman. We then ran home and she watched me pack. Yes, I’m a procrastinator. At least, I would be, but I reckon it can wait until tomorrow. Then I ran her home and zipped up to Seven Springs for the Mitchell Family Reunion. Seven Springs is lovely, people. Just lovely. And, it was both nice AND weird to see all these cousins. ‘Specially Ms. Carrie, who was one of my few adopted summer siblings. She is as sweet and nice and incredibly unjaded as she ever was. In fact, I think she was more jaded when we were teens. Does that mean that she went and grew up, while I didn’t bother? Probably.

I ate a lot and drank a lot of good wine. It was good. I’m trying to whisper family reunion success secrets based on my experience with reunions on the other side of the family. But, there’s a basic difference: That family reunion involves Pryors. However, I have got one basic truth forward regarding family reunions. Have them annually only if you want them to fail. Once every two years, baby. That’s the trick. Once a year is too much, and besides, it doesn’t give people enough time to build up their stories. Well, here’s to hoping this is the start of a new, longstanding tradition.

Sigh. I have to go to work tomorrow.

Narcolepsy Is Funny. Daschunds Are Funny.

A narcoleptic daschund? That’s a HOWL.

Speaking of funny, on this board of geeks I’m on (yes,, someone posted the following query: “What is your favorite joke? Difficulty: Must be G-Rated.”

So, someone posted this excellent joke: Two muffins are in the oven, baking. One muffin turns to the other and says, “Man, it sure is hot in here.” The second muffin replies: “HOLY COW! A TALKING MUFFIN!”

So soon a bunch of weisenheimers are posting lame evolutions of said joke. So, I couldn’t help but pitch in.

So, there are these two beef anuses in an oven, that is, two anuses that have been butchered out of two cows, because, you see, in some parts of the world, broiled cow anuses are really where it’s at. And so the one beef anus says to the other beef anus, “Man, could life get any worse than this? Not only did our portion of the embryo grow to be the anus of a cow, but then it turns out that some guy comes along and saws us right out of that cow’s ass and slaps us onto a cookie sheet and into an oven. Man, I don’t know how our lives could be any more disgraceful.”

“Well,” says the second beef anus to the first beef anus. “You could be Colin Powell arguing President Bush’s case for war in Iraq before the United Nations.”

Whereupon, the first beef anus says, “Oh, sweet merciful Jesus, you are correct. There but for the grace of God goeth I, bitch!”

Two minutes later, I chimed in with, “Wait. I think I told it wrong.”

Movie Pitch

I’d like to see a movie like Freaky Friday, only they’re identical twins, so neither one of them learns a damned thing.

Update: I reckon this is somewhat a good line. My housemate Karen didn’t get it, but it nearly made beer come out of Jessica’s nose. It’s nice because for some reason I just woke up with it. I woke up and there it was. Unfortunately, you only get one of those every six months, and that ain’t enough to let you sit at the wall wit’ a notepad. However, if any of you fokkers wanna buy it, drop me a line. Five dollah.


Movin’ Fast, Movin’ Slow

On a liberal listserv I’m on, someone recently asked, as a general polling question, if we “believe in UFOs.”

My reply was something like this:

Strictly speaking, the question itself is inaccurate.

If you see something traveling in the sky but you don’t know what it is, it is, by definition, an Unidentified Flying Object. There is, actually, no question that UFOs exist. They do. Technically speaking, the Frisbee® you don’t see coming is a UFO until it bonks you in the temple.

A question can be raised only if you suspect that the UFO in question might actually be piloted by little green men.

The question, “Do you believe in UFOs,” and the adoption of the term “UFO” to directly refer to space visitors is a prime example of linguistic evolution through lazy thinking. What folks actually want to ask is “Do you believe that aliens from faraway worlds visit us periodically?”

Long Live The Dead Guy

I don’t know if I was trying too hard yesterday to be the jaded city fella and former newspaper reporter. I think maybe I was trying too hard. Probably.

I mean, it’s not every day on your walk to the subway that there’s a dead guy lying on a bench.

I assumed he was dead. That would explain the white sheet the cops had put over him and all the yellow tape. It would also help explain all the people gathered around looking at him.

I refuse to rubberneck. No matter what. I don’t rubberneck. In my little life I’ve had an adventure or two that have managed to drive that need right out of me. Nothing major or anything, you know, a loose nutball shooting up my college campus, a sheriff’s manhunt, being told on any particular day to run out and photograph a car accident, crazy Elvis impersonator insisting on doing karate for ya, stuff like that. Besides, poor fella. It’s bad enough he died like that, he doesn’t need a bunch of strangers hanging around gawking.

So, I kept walking. What the hell, it’s good blogfodder.

Fire Good. Meat Good. Good.

Last night as we did the week before to celebrate the remembering of our warriors, my people and I, we made the fire, and we lay meat on the fire, and we let the meat cook on the fire for awhile, and then we removed the meat from the fire, and we ate the meat. The meat was good. Grunt.

(The fact that we had a nice shiraz with the meat, tabouli and slaw from Whole Foods with the meat and creampuffs for dessert kinda takes the caveman right out of it, doesn’t it?)

After the eating of the meat that had been cooked on the fire (on an official Simpsons Weber grill, no less), we watched Saved. It was the second time I’d watched this fine film. It was nice.

Weekend good. Grunt.