Yesterday we went to Jersey City "to return to my basic self," as Mama put it, meaning "to eat oily, fatty, delicious Filipino foods" at Max's of Manila. According to the menu, Max's was started right after WWII, when this dude Maximo served coffee, steak, and fried chicken to his American serviceman friends. Truly, friendship is the mother of innovation, because urban myth has it that Max's fried chicken is deep fried in pork fat. Doesn't that sound awesome? Excuse me while I quiet down my heart palpitations. We also had pinakbet, lumpia, and halo-halo, which is like the Holy Grail if the Holy Grail were filled to the brim with crushed ice, ube ice cream, coconut shavings, and sweet beans. Then we went to Red Ribbon, and at my repeated chanting of "discipline, discipline!" Mama only got two slices of cake (ube and mango) instead of two entire cakes, which was her impulse.
Then we hustled to make it to the trains before rush hour hit. From Journal Square we hopped into a PATH train to Newark Penn Station, where I had time to go to the bathroom. A lovely double-decker NJ Transit train pulled up and we zoomed into double seats, but were distracted by the conductor screaming, "This is the local, local, LOCAL train! It will make all local stops! The express is right behind us!" Mama insisted that we get on the express, so we trooped out. I saw a butt-ugly train on Track 3, opposite us, and checked the monitor, which said, "5:02 pm NJ Transit to Trenton, Track 3," so we got on. Haha, fail. It was an express, yes -- but heading to Jersey Ave., which if you check out this map is barely past halfway to Trenton, where our car was parked. Mama was giggling about the irony of it all -- we'd have to get off at Metropark, and then wait for the same train we'd gotten into in the first place before ditching it for an express. My iPhone died at Metropark station, so I amused myself by playing all the ring tones on Mama's phone so she could choose which one she liked best. She ended up with the default Nokia tone (tanaNAna-tanaNAna-tanaNANANAAAAA), probably because it wasn't an obnoxious techno one.
We made it home and turned in early. Birthdays are fun. And exhausting.
Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!
Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.
There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.
Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…
Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:
The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"
Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.
The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…
Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.
The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.
The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…