Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another night and another movie...The Man Who Cried (2000) (R)

Here is the Netflix' description..."The "it girl" of the indie scene, Christina Ricci is Suzie, a Russian Jew adrift in the world after her father leaves the family to make a fresh start in America. Immigrating to England, Suzie flowers into a no-nonsense showgirl who eventually ends up in Paris (on the eve of World War II), where she soon becomes involved with Cesar, (Johnny Depp) the head of a small band of gypsies."

This could have been a great movie, but the editor failed to make the movie come alive. The scenes are cut in all of the wrong places and you have to make a mental shift on your own to try and regain the story line. The colors are garish and more disturbing than dramatic. And the movie ends in a rush, a most improbable rush as the heroine suddenly...well, I can't tell you if you haven't seen the movie. 5 stars? No, try 2 stars.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


OK, I will try some reviews here. Starting with the review of a movie recently watched.

“Elizabeth” (1998) (R) this is what Netflix said about the film.

“Cate Blanchett plays England's Queen Elizabeth I, a young woman who took the throne of a Catholic country, declared it Protestant and then ruled successfully for 45 years. But a unified England came at great personal cost, as the young queen sacrificed any chance at true happiness. Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes and Richard Attenborough co-star in this riveting depiction of absolute power and its human toll.”

First, let me tell you that you will need to re-acquaint yourself with the story of Elizabeth before you watch the movie. The cast is superb and the photography is stunning, but the actors quite often speak in whispers, and if you miss the crucial whispered clue, you will be saying, “What? Who is that? What’d she say?” quite often.

Don’t let the fact that you need to know your history put you off watching this film. It’s really quite good. Oh, I almost forgot. There is a lot of violence, gruesomely displayed. Those were violent times, you know. But if you can watch those ridiculous C.S.I. television shows, this will be a piece of cake.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

No, I haven't stopped eating, but I am out of ideas or thoughts for this space. More later!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pumpkin Nook
Yesterday we took another dozen small pumpkins to Little Red Hen Nursery and added to their spectacular collection of colorful pumpkins. That leaves us with about half a dozen pumpkins for our own consumption. So I was browsing the web for some good pumpkin recipes and ran across this site; all you ever wanted to know about pumpkins, including a cookbook. My plan is to make some pumpkin soup and I will let you know how it turns out...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Update on Teaz Me...the Chico tea house.
I went there today after my walk in the park and ordered the Ooolong Caramel tea. I was a little disappointed as it wasn't very hot. I was hoping to read the newspaper and sip on it, but since it was only warm to begin with, it was soon gone. And then I decided to try their rice bowl for lunch. It's a little pricey at $8.45, but I figured I should try it at least once.

The bowl arrived and it was a great presentation; lots of color and the square bowl looks pretty classy. Besides the chicken, there was carrot slivers, pickled ginger, paper thin cucumber strips, sprouts and avocado slices. All combined with a wasabi ginger sauce over a bed of rice. The chicken is advertised as Sweet Chili Chicken, but I felt it should have been called Very Salty Chicken. Too bad! That ruined what could have been a very good dish.

The service was great, but the food was so-so. I guess I will have to try it one other day but I will order the Summer Roll ($4.95) and see how the sushi stacks up. So far, the restaurant has some negatives to deal with; they open too late in the day. (11 AM) And their menu is far too limited.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pazzo Ristorante - Welcome!
This is the restaurant in Portland where Jill and I had our carb loading dinner on the night before the race. Now I had been here before, in fact it was in 2001, when Laurae and I had come for the marathon, so I already had an idea of what the menu consisted of.

We decided to go to dinner about 5:30, hoping to beat the crowds. Wrong! When we arrived we were told that there was a 3 hour wait! But...there was immediate seating in the bar area. We opted for that and I scanned the bar looking for a small table for two. Not one was vacant and so it was up to the bar itself, not my favorite place to be. The bartender was a most gracious host though and quickly made us feel right at home within the confines of his domain. Place settings arrived and bread was served while we looked at the menu. (It's a very impressive menu and worth downloading the .pdf file from this site to read it.) I chose a chickpea pasta with lamb ragu and mint, while Jill chose a black and white ravioli with salmon, spinach and lemon sauce. The dishes arrived in short order and we tasted. Good. I also sampled the ravioli and wished I had made the same choice; it was excellent. The pasta with lamb was good, but it didn't have that special flair that the salmon imparted to a pasta dish.

Since we were in "race mode", we didn't order anything else, just the pasta, but I remember having a more complete dinner in 2001 and it was delicious...I'm sure it would have been again. So if you're ever in Portland, try this restaurant for the food, the service and the ambiance. Moderately priced as well! I would give it 4 "Raviolis".

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar...Portland, Oregon.

This was the scene of our "victory" dinner after after the marathon. It's located in a less than ritzy neighborhood, (The Salvation Army and the Rescue Mission are close neighbors.) but it's worth the trip. This was my second visit to the restaurant and I chose the same dish that I enjoyed on my first visit, back in 2003; the Commander's Stew. A rich stew of oysters, clams and shrimp, combined with plenty of butter. The others in our party had Alaskan crab and crab cakes, plus an order of clam chowder.

Prices aren't bad at all...remember, it's a low rent district and the restaurant has been here for close to 100 years. Take time to look at all of the memorabilia on the walls.

Here are some links to learn more about the restaurant...I would give it 3.5 clams out of 5.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Teaz Me Tea Bar & Asian Cafe
Of course they have a web page...why didn't I look here first?


Yesterday, our day was filled with errands and we went from one end of Chico to the other. And while heading back downtown, I decided to stop at a restaurant we wanted to try out. (We had stopped there earlier in the day, but they were closed and didn’t open till 11.) The name of the restaurant is Teaz Me and it’s a tea bar with somewhat limited, but very interesting food service offerings.

A tea bar? Yes, they serve all kinds of tea and in all sorts of exotic ways. They serve it both hot and cold. The large tea menu, 34 items, quickly had me debating with myself, but I finally decided on a Steamed Oolong Caramel Crème while Laurae decided on a cold drink, a “Tropical Madness”. For entree’s, the menu has a large rice bowl and a salad bowl. There are also a couple of sushi rolls available, plus some Asian themed appetizers. Since we had already eaten lunch elsewhere, we passed on the food and went outside to the shaded tables to wait for our teas. It was quite pleasant outside, though the view from this area isn’t the best…the parking lot for the Morning Thunder Café. But you can glimpse the trees of Bidwell Park from here and so not all is lost.

The tea was delivered to our table promptly and it was quite good! At the same time, we enjoyed hearing some modern jazz being played nice and low. I can see that we will be trying more from their menu…perhaps a Summer Roll, with Chili Chicken & Fresh Basil?

After that pleasant interlude, we headed down to the university box office to redeem the gift certificate that the Kelly’s gave me for my birthday. We decided to see Joan Baez in concert on December 7th. Joan is one of our favorite artists and seeing her perform (live!) has always been one of my dreams. Thanks, Kelly’s!!