Saturday, January 21, 2017

Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

This program is described as low-key. Rotten Tomatoes rates it 100% while their audience score is 95%. Netflix viewers rate it 4 stars. I rate it 5 stars. Netflix blurb:
Patrons of an otherwise mundane Japanese diner find simple yet profound connections with one another bsed on the shared love a particular dish.
Mundane diner, indeed. The diner is classical Japanese. This type of place is everywhere. It is eternal. Not only do you get the great visuals of truly great food in preparation, impressive useable ideas for yourself, simple with fantastic ingredients is always the best, you get great storytelling besides.

The first show opens with scenes of modern Tokyo slowing down for late night but still brilliantly lit and quite active. The action is brought down to tiny hole-in-the-wall diner described in scant incomplete detail portions of the whole where we see a purposefully simplified menu offered. The fresh cut vegetables pan fried combined with noodles and broth and your mouth is watering for a simple bowl of soup. The cook serves his customers straight from a tiny kitchen out to a surround counter. The space is very intimate. There is no avoiding your neighbor, no separate tables.

A man sitting with a woman mentions his weight consideration. A woman, his wife presumably, chides him for making excuses every time he orders soba but he still orders the same soba anyway. Then a second woman enters, a cab driver, and she orders her soup without noodles. Very odd. She doesn't want the carbs late at night.

The man turns out to be a late night radio host. He mentions the strangeness of the woman ordering a soup dish intended for noodles but without the noodles. He derides her choice as simple vegetable soup. But that odd choice attracts attention and discussion between the customers and soon enough everyone is ordering the soup bowl without noodles.

The characters connect by the bits and pieces they share at the counter in the diner. The cab driver listens to the radio host as she is driving. The radio host recognizes her from his childhood. She looks like an actress who played on Ninja Squad, his favorite childhood television show. He wrote to her back then and she sent him an autographed picture of the squad. He saved the picture this whole time and brings it into the diner to show the regular customers. They agree the taxi driver does resemble the photo. He mentions this on his show.

She hears him in her cab. He's stirred unpleasant memories. She wasn't a very good actress, but her captain defended her back then. She spoke about how she was the worst actress of all the ninja squad. She was typecast thereafter and got out of the business. I didn't suit her. She'd like to have all that kept in the past. She's pleased with her life now as a driver.

Next the radio host is in her cab apologizing for stirring unwanted memories. He's willing to drop it. She has light brief touching discussions with other diner customers who console and counsel her. She faces her past.

The radio host received a surprisingly heavy response to the mention of the vintage television show Ninja Squad. He started a fan site online to handle the traffic.

Through discussion with diner patrons, the cab driver recalls back then, she came to work early one day to discover cloths spread across the floor leading to her captain wearing her costume. He was shamed and cowering on the floor at the wall curled in a ball devastated at being discovered. His secret was out. He couldn't face her. He admitted to her that he always wanted to be a girl. But from that exposure they became friends and the captain who had defended her as a poor actress became his defender in life. Along the line they were separated.

A female dressed unusually enters the diner with an even more unusual friend. Observing the discussion about this mess of unwanted memories being dredged up and roiled by radio exposure, on the opposite side of the U shaped counter one  quips to the other, "Men. They're all alike. They're like children."

The story develops at a snappy pace. The unusual woman is the taxi driver's one-time ninja squad captain, now in full bloom transition and full confidence. Next he's with the host on the radio dressed extravagantly as female and introduced to the radio audience and reliving the ninja character, repeating the television show's mantra of fighting evil, but he's doing that in full drag, but the radio audience does not know that.

The show ends with all the Ninja Squad cast at the diner in their old power ranger type uniforms of various colors and helmets piling in and seating themselves around the counter filling the space of the diner.

It is a surprisingly beautiful story and nicely told. Had I known I'd be reading so much on Netflix I'd have bought a larger screen. Much more so than cable or over the air. The subtitles on this show are a bit too small for me. I need to move the whole thing in a little bit closer. I put the show on my watch list right off. I recommend giving this show a chance. I think you will like it. Plus you'll get great ideas for your own dinner. And the cook shows in bits and pieces how they're put together. Apparently this show began life as manga and developed to this. It's been a successful show in Japan.

I made some posters...

It's hard making arguments in poster-length chunks but I have been seeing so many Occupy Democrats memes lately that I thought my head would burst at the stupid.

Tell me what you think.  Please tell me if I have spelled words wrong.  
And I'd love to get ideas for more, so put suggestions in the comments!

More below the jump break.  


Ashley Judd recited a "Beat poem" at the Washington Women's March called "#NastyWoman." Intrigued, I looked for the original. I couldn't find the text but I did find a reading by the teenaged poet, Nina Mariah:

Where did the "Beat" label come from? Perhaps one of our beret-wearing readers can help me, daddio.

My first thought, as a codger, was:

Beatniks and politics, nothing is new
A yardstick for lunatics, one point of view

The song that went viral for The Strawberry Alarm Clock in 1967 was not sung by the drummer, but instead by 16 year-old Greg Munford, who was attending the recording session as a visitor.

Full lyrics after the jump. Test your knowledge/memory

"You wake up in 2117. What's the first thing you Google?"

Reddit top comments...

Go to Reddit and say... I am from 2017, woke up in 2117 somehow. Ask Me Anything.

I'd google my name.

'What the fuck happened in 2017 that ive just woke up 100 hundred years later!?!'

Is Jaromir Jagr still active? And what new movie is Keanu Reeves going to be in?

"When did WWIII occur?"

If Betty White is still alive.

Has pitchfork technology gone too far?
And then smile as no results come up

Did Emily dip her iambic pentameter in both Walden ponds?

The secret passions of Emily Dickinson revealed 

New York Post By Barbara Hoffman January 21, 2017 

For someone so notoriously reclusive, Emily Dickinson got around. She wrote heartfelt letters to both men and women, clipped flowers and magazine articles, and spoke her mind, at least in poems.
Only 10 were published, anonymously, in her lifetime — out of around 1,800 discovered in her bedroom after her death in 1886. Fiercely private and prolific, she’s long been a mystery: the woman in white, gardening by moonlight. So it’s thrilling to see hard evidence of her life, right down to a lock of her auburn hair, at the Morgan Library & Museum’s new show, “I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson.”
Nearly 100 letters, photos, books and artifacts that rarely leave Amherst College and Harvard University’s archives are finally on view here, including a lovely family portrait of a 9-year-old Emily, with her older brother, Austin, and younger sister, Lavinia. There’s even a musket used by Amherst students, who aimed to join the Union soldiers during the Civil War, and whose shooting drills Emily probably heard from her bedroom. And while the Morgan’s left a few copies of her poems to leaf through during the show, you’ll probably end up wanting to read more. This is shaping up as a great year for the “Belle of Amherst,” who never married and died, age 55, in the home in which she was raised: In April, we’ll see Cynthia Nixon play her in the film “A Quiet Passion.”

"Women’s march baffles women attending Trump’s inauguration"

"Women who cheered President Donald Trump and danced at the inaugural balls in Washington on Friday said the Women’s March scheduled for Saturday has them baffled and indignant that one group would presume to speak for all women."
“I think it’s great, do your thing, but I just don’t know what they’re doing it for. They’re talking about rights, women’s rights, but what rights are being taken away from any women?” asked Susan Clarke, 50, who came to the capital from Charlotte, North Carolina, and wore a blue, bedazzled “Tar Heel Deplorable” shirt. “I don’t understand what the point is.”

The demonstration, which is billed as the Women’s March on Washington, is expected to draw 200,000 people Saturday to the same route as the president’s inaugural parade. Similar marches are planned in more than 600 cities around the world.

At least 15 women interviewed by McClatchy said they objected to the name of the demonstration.

“They can protest, it’s their right, but don’t call it the ‘Women’s March,’ ” said Ellie Todd, 23, who drove to the inauguration with two friends from Spartanburg, South Carolina. “That makes it sounds like it’s a big unified thing, when really they’re picking very divisive issues and protesting against Trump – who by the way is now our president – instead of for something that would bring us all together. It’s not all women.”

Organizers have insisted that the march isn’t an anti-Trump protest but rather a rallying cry for women’s issues and a range of liberal causes that could be threatened by the Trump administration. The event’s policy platform covers issues such as racial profiling, climate change, abortion and LGBTQ rights. The official website lists 177 partners including Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP and Voto Latino.
A rebuttal...

Churchill Returns To The Oval Office

I never realized that it looked like a man craved from crude oil -- even in higher resolution. No wonder Obama kept it out of sight. Anyways, it's good to have him back in spirit.

The contents of our heads

A couple of things caught my attention today that are somewhat related and finally coalesced to single entity.

An item on the Gateway Pundit, one of my favorite rabble rousing sites has a series of tweets that anti-Trump people wrote about Barron Trump.

Barron Trump, oddly has my full attention. He fascinates me for his life experience being so extraordinary. I imagine what it is like to be him. As you know he's ten now and he'll be eighteen by the time this phase is over. We will observe him at this critical growth period and I expect he will be impressive. And it's not just me interested either.

The tweets that Cristina Laila picked out for her piece at Gateway are scraped from the bottom of the barrel, the astringent precipitates that she saw. And this is a very good reason for nice people to abandon that platform. It's the place where people allow their ids full reign while others allow their ids to flap around untethered. Apparently responding to a photograph of the First Family walking down Pennsylvania Avenue. Sometimes Barron's attention is outward to the crowd, other moments his attention is on the street underfoot. He is somewhat in his own internal world while smack center focus of the most amazing events imaginable. His very real outer world is exceptional while his mind is a boy still forming. A sampling:

* Barron Trump counting the minutes until he climbs a clock tower with an assault rifle.

* Are the bookies taking bets on when Barron Trump gets a serious drug addiction and Donald Trump to die (including assassination) in office?

* Barron Trump will be mutilating cats on the White House lawn in like two weeks.

* Barron is going to pump off in every White House bathroom.

And worse. Much worse.

Annie Lennox lyrics on another subject come to mind.

This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I'll never tread
These are the dreams I'll dream instead
This is the joy that's seldom spread
These are the tears...
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head

Very funny, Guys, you always were just so amusing. Here is a glimpse of a real person contrasted with fiery uncensored projections of him, a young person playing with his nephew during a monumentally important event and the little game in the background between a preteen and an infant is so engaging, so universal, that it is picked up by foreign news agencies across the whole globe.

It's A Givhan That She's Racist

WaPo's Robin Givhan moves from: It's OK to refuse to dress the First Family to: Ralph Lauren is possibly the nation's most bipartisan American designer, in less than two weeks.  I think that signals progression in a closed mind.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Johnny Nash

The idea is nicked from Ace's sidebar.

I learned something. I always thought the lyrics say, "all of the dark clouds pass me by" but the girls are right, they say, "all of the dark clouds had me bind."

They're doing Johnny Nash and the chorus. The girls have separate and shared parts.

"Obstacles" is a large "X" formed with both arms, as "block," here the girls show "river" intending to show a winding road. Its the same sign as "path" or "street" or "way" (formed with two "W's").  So you'll see "winding way" immediately before a straight "way."

They're adorable. They're having fun and they're cute.

A lot of beginners try their hand(s) at this song and do rather poorly. 

Trigger Please!

There was a long history of bestiality scandals rocking Hollywood. From the very beginning there was the sad case of Clara Bow with her Cocker Spaniel. Maureen O' Sullivan having sex with Cheeta which resulted in the birth of the simian Mia Farrow. Gloria Swanson and Joseph Kennedy. And of course the cautionary tale of Fay Wray that was later fictionalized in her most popular film.

Nothing was a pervasive and secret as the Hollywood subculture of pony boys. You see many of the stunt men and extra's in the Western serials were actual broken down cowboys from the salad days of the Old West. They were still alive in the beginnings of Hollywood and they had long turned to equine solace on those lonely days on the prairie. It became a cynical subtext in many westerns where the Hero was more in love with horse than the ingénue. The fact was they were trying to hide the truth in plain sight. It was the love that could not neigh it's name.

Why all are the lib douchenozzles complaining about Kellyann's outfit?

I thought it was cool.