Friday, July 30, 2010

The return of the best thing I've ever done

(note: I started writing this oh, almost two weeks ago. It's been sitting for a while, waiting for me to finish. Sorry for the delay. For a look at one of the things I was working on in the interim, check this out - I ate at Jack Stack Barbecue - The Staff)

Yesterday, wanting to get out of the house, I decided to make it a Flenker day. Just about everyone was out of town, so instead of my usual brunch with my usual people, I headed to Chez Elle on my own, one of my favorite places in town in one of my favorite areas of town. Seriously, if I stay in Kansas City, I'm going to move over to the west side. There are some amazing eateries (Chez Elle, Blue Bird Bistro, and Fresher Than Fresh Snow Cones, in addition to a few places I haven't tried like Westside Local, Los Alamos Market y Cocina, Lil's on 17th, and the list probably goes on and on, all within a couple blocks), and just a nice neighborhood. Come on and visit, I'll show you around the area.

After polishing off my Jambon crepe (ham, spinach, pesto, mozzarella, so so delicious, and devoured before I could snap a crappy cellphone picture), I needed a cool place to kill a hot afternoon. Since it was still a little early to hit the bar, I decided to catch a $4 showing of Inception. (who am I kidding? I would've gone to the bar, but I really wanted to see the movie. I know nothing of this "too early" excuse I've given.)

Inception had been getting a lot of press, and a lot of praise. I wanted to be sure to see it before A) it got too built up in my head and then failed to live up to expectations and B) I had it spoiled. So what am I going to do here now? Hype it up and possibly spoil it for you. If there are any blatant spoilers, I'll try to preface them with a warning. Just be wary if you haven't seen it. Actually, stop reading this, and go see it. If you go right now you'll probably get the matinee price still.

So. Inception. It's about dreams, stealing ideas from dreams, folding Paris in half, planting ideas in dreams, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt kicking ass. I don't know if there's much I can say about it that hasn't been said (that's what I get for waiting to publish something about a movie that came out two weeks ago), but I side on the "WOW THAT WAS AWESOME" side of things. People who don't agree probably didn't get it. OK, I don't really think that way for the most part, though I'm sure that's part of the criticisms out there. Some want a movie to be nicely wrapped up with a little bow on top, with everything explained to them. Honestly, there are many times when I want that, too, I'm not saying there's no merit in them. But, you know, sometimes it's not so bad to leave something up to your interpretation, or for you to continue to think about the movie after you leave the theater. This is what Inception does. I walked out thinking one thing about the ending/whole thing, but after letting it sit for a while, came up with a different feeling towards it. I've read a few reviews of it, some theories about what happened, and talked with friends. That's what a good "thinker's" movie should do. Lead to discussion.

That being said, I'm going to have to whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment of one Drew Magary, from his Deadspin post Inception Was Great, Now Please Stop Talking About It, Assholes:

If you saw Inception and liked it, just do yourself a favor and never read about it. Ever. Because, like "Lost" or the finale of "The Sopranos", you'll be just be drawn into this long and annoying debate full of questions that don't have any answer because the person writing the movie or show purposefully didn't want to supply them. The movie rocks. The bullshit factory it's generating? Not so much.

So there you go. Now, before I get grouped in with the "Lost" fanboys and girls, I'll just go right to the money shot -

That's right 5 Flenker Thumbs Up. It's a pretty excellent movie.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Innovation strikes

Not sure this song exactly fits with this post, but screw that, it's awesome. A new song from Stars - "Fixed" (Live on KCRW)

Exciting times ahead, for both me and all of you. Well, I should say the one of you reading. Some new projects, some personal goals have been set, and the release of NCAA '11.

One of my new projects finally has some content posted. Lady and gentleman, I give you both, Chris Goes Hoggin'. This will a place where I put up some reviews of barbecue joints from around town or wherever my travels might take me. There's not much there right now, a look at Hayward's Pit Bar B Que, but keep checking back. I'll probably bet a link up somewhere here soon. If you like barbecue and me, you'll like this.

For some goals, well, there's the usual get in shape. Yeah. And play more music. The big 3-0 is just about 6 months away. Some things are floating around in my head that I'd like to get done by then. Nothing really major, but yeah. Just your typical stuff that I think most people my age feel. Good times.

Here's one goal that I accomplished tonight. My own creation (I'm claiming the invention of it until I find otherwise, I've already got people working at patenting it at Panchero's), the Quesarrito.

Step 1, make a quesadilla, using two tortillas

Steps 2-6 (repeat as necessary)

Step 3 cook up some steak, mushrooms, onions, rice, and red peppers. Place on top of quesadilla, with some salsa

Step 4 Roll into a Quesarrito

It was delicious. Of course it was. This is something I'll make, oh, once every six months. If that. But damn, it was tasty.

So mark that one off the list. I'll let everyone know more stuff as it comes up. Until then, make yourself and your friends a Quesarrito, but don't forget where you heard about it first.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Reflections on 23

I've been going back through some of my older posts, just checking stuff out, reading stuff from a time when I would somehow write kind of decently, years and years ago. I might have been funny at one point. No idea where that came from. Anyways, I realized that while I've gone over the drunkest I've ever been, I don't think that I've discussed the first time I imbibed to the point of intoxication.

It was the halcyon days in the year of 2004. I was... in college, the second time around. I was a little bit of a late bloomer, which is just a nice way of saying a loser. My 23rd birthday was approaching, and I had never had a drop of alcohol. Not for any real reason, just didn't want to. (At first I thought I was straight edge, because why not? Then I saw Ian MacKaye speak, the man usually credited with coining the term "straight edge," and he said that he didn't want it to turn into a movement, so to speak, and that he didn't consider himself "straight edge." Not that this was the reason I eventually started to have drinks, but it was something that stuck with me. ANYWAYS, that's neither here nor there, just an aside.) This all changed, as many things did, my first year in Iowa City.

So, for my birthday, I decided to go out, and break my seal, so to speak. The bar is long since gone, being shut down multiple times for serving minors. Ahh, every Iowa City bar. My first drink? A Long Island Iced Tea. I heard it was a good "bang for your buck" drink, and had it in my mind that it tasted like iced tea. Damn, was I disappointed when I found out it tasted like fucking lighter fluid. I powered through like a champ, and had others order drinks for me all night. People were too nice, I only did one shot the whole night, and it was something like "oatmeal cream pie." It was delicious, I'm sure.

Most of the night is sort of a blur, if you can imagine. But for the first time in my life, I was drunk. I can remember the moment I realized it. I was sitting at the table, had gone through a few drinks, and was sort of let down that I wasn't feeling anything. Then, I got up to use the facilities. It hit me. It was awesome.

Of the drinks I had, I can only recall a few. The Long Island. Something called "The One" (I asked the waitress if it was The One as in Keanu in the Matrix or Jet Li's The One. I am hilarious.) An amaretto sour. The oatmeal cream pie shot. And an Alabama Slammer. (There were other drinks, I swear. But, early off, I'm afraid that I was a girl drink drunk.)

Other happenings from the night that were pieced together:
  • Our waitress may have been hitting on me. She also may have been in her 40s
  • I offered to prove to my ride home that I wasn't gay. She was pregnant.
  • I made my first drunk dial ever, to Bob Ley. Outside the Lines was on at the bar, I called and left a message, saying that Dennis Erickson was going to return the 49ers to glory, and would join Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson as the only coaches to win an NCAA championship and Super Bowl (what can I say, I was drunk)
  • I blamed society for driving me to drink
  • I vomited. It was red, because of that damn Alabama Slammer. I was really theatrical about it, loud, since some roommates were watching a movie within earshot
  • I cleaned up said vomit immediately, laughing the whole time
  • Came out of the bathroom and said "Never again. Never drinking again."
  • That lasted less than 24 hours.
Obviously, it was a GREAT time. The best part was not being hungover at all the next morning, even when I had to wake up around 8 to head to my mom's and celebrate my birthday with her. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I had been introduced to my first liquor crush that night - whiskey. But alas, that's probably another story for another day.