1. Do I ever enjoy black and white movies -- and today I watched, for the first time in my life -- Billy Wilder's great exploration of the psychological impact of murder, Double Indemnity (1944). The story is solid. I thoroughly enjoyed the guilt-stricken Fred MacMurray (anyone else think that in this movie he looks kind of like Warren Beatty?), the bulldogged determination of Edward G. Robinson, and Barbara Stanwyck's portrayal cold-hearted greed. Most of all, however, I enjoyed the way the movie was shot, the low light, the beautiful shadows, whether of human figures or of inanimate objects like Venetian blinds. Often I enjoyed the movie as a series of photographs, gorgeous black and white pictures, portraying the shadowy nature of the world of this movie. Who knows? Maybe I'll luck out and the nearby AFI Silver Theater will have a film noir series one of these days -- or maybe another movie theater around here will -- or a university. I'd love that.
2. The Deke and I had a great party at a most enjoyable Old Town Alexandria haunt called Bilbo Baggins. If this joint had any kind of thing related to The Hobbit going on, I missed it, but what I did not miss was eating and drinking my very favorite way. The Deke and I went for tapas. I love tapas. We had two different cheese plates, a plate of oxymoronic jumbo shrimp, and a plate of Thai calamari. I could have sat there and eaten more tapas all night long. I enjoyed my beer selections, too. I opened with a black and tan made with Victory Irish Stout (Nitro) from Victory Brewing in Downingtown, PA and Bilbo Baggin's Lager of Lancaster Brewery, PA. Then, on the recommendation of Statesboro, GA beer lover Scott Garner, I drank a bottle of delicious Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA from Athens, GA and closed out our party with the incomparably delicious Sofie from Goose Island in Chicago. Since leaving Eugene and our great parties at Billy Mac's, Cornucopia, and 16 Tons, this was our best party yet and encouraged us that we have many great parties to come in this area where we have moved.
3. The Deke and I closed out our fine evening by joining Kurt Wallander as he faced the murder of an elderly couple, local xenophobia, betrayal within his work place, killing a menacing neo-Nazi, his father's increasing Alzheimer's, his own diabetes, and his own inward discomfort when he meets his daughter's new Syrian boyfriend. It wasn't that fluffy of a way to end the evening. It was terrific. Things are never simple or easy for Kurt Wallander.