Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 06/02/15: Drive to Columbia, Divine Greek Wine, Pacino and Depp and Bob Weir

1.  First thing this morning I drove up to Columbia, MD to take care of some business and hoped the whole way that I had left Alexandria early enough to compensate for the volume of traffic on the Beltway.  I did.  I arrived just in time -- in fact, about five minutes early -- for the appointment and was pleased with resulted from this meeting.

2.  Upon my return to the Diaz home, with a quick stop in Greenbelt to check on the corgis, I went to a Greek/Italian restaurant a short distance away and enjoyed a lamb and beef gyros with a side Greek salad and enjoyed the Greek red wine I ordered more than I can ever remember enjoying a wine.  All I can say about it is that is that when I lifted it to my nose, I could smell the presence of berries I enjoy so much in the red wines I enjoy, but this one also faintly reminded me of my favorite single malt scotches over the years.  It might have been the most welcome presence of the barrel it was aged in, I'm not sure, but, whoa!, I loved this glass of wine.  Rachael, who was my most friendly and helpful server, recommended I come back when they have their Greek Merlot on. She assured me that if I loved this Greek red, I'd also enjoy the Greek Merlot. I almost requested an email notification, but thought better of it.

3. I relaxed into the evening by firing up the Diaz's Netflix subscription on TV and watched the rest of Donnie Brasco and then dramatically switched gears and watched the documentary, The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir. Regarding Donnie Brasco: I appreciated how deftly Al Pacino played the role of Lefty, a man who is faced with the existential dread that his life as a Mafia soldier and hit man hasn't really amounted to much and who invests what's left of his heart and soul into guiding Donnie Brasco along in the mob life. But, this, too magnifies the futility of Lefty's life because Donnie Brasco is an undercover agent for the FBI and investing in Donnie turns out to be helping assure his, and his Mafia family's, own downfall.  Johnny Depp's performance as Joe/Donnie deeply impressed me, especially as he became so entangled in the life of the Mafia that he became less and less sure of his identity.  The movie itself, how the story was pieced together, how it moved from episode to episode, left little impact on me.  As good as the actors were, the story's development didn't work well for me.

I poured myself a Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA and watched the Bob Weir documentary and it moved me -- in fact, by the end of the movie I was tearing up. I expected to, and I did, love hearing the bits and pieces of Grateful Dead performances.  I enjoyed listening to Bob Weir talk about what he worked to accomplish as the Grateful Dead's rhythm guitarist, especially when he explained what he learned from listening to McCoy Tyner playing piano in tandem with John Coltrane, and began to experiment with jazz inspired chords and rhythms as he played in tandem with Jerry Garcia. It was Bob Weir's life after the death of Jerry Garcia that moved me.  He matured.  His grief deepened him. He filled the void left by the death of his best friend in ways I won't give away, but that, according to this movie, have brought him deep happiness and serenity.

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