Friday, January 11, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 01/10/19: Pend Oreille and Pizza, George Smiley's Keen Work, Zags Dismantle Pacific

1. Around 8:15, I blasted out to Ed's house and we piled into his pickup and bolted over the hill to Coeur d'Alene. Ed ran an errand and we each at a cafe au lait and scone at Starbucks and then we met Stu in the Shopko parking lot, shoehorned ourselves into Stu's pickup, and rocketed up to Bayview on Lake Pend Oreille. Stu has a boat in Bayview. We strolled down to the slip where it's docked and Scott checked this and that and ran both engines for a while, just to make sure they were running and to give them some action after sitting idle for a while.

We left Bayview and headed to Northwest Pizza Company in Hayden and each ordered ourselves a pie. Looking over the menu, I was reminded of a day back in July of 2012 when I ate a meatball pizza pie at John's of Bleeker St. in Greenwich Village. I knew the pizza here at Northwest Pizza wouldn't be baked in a coal-fired oven and that its thin crust wouldn't be crisp and black in places like John's of Bleeker St., but I wasn't looking to duplicate my Village pizza experience. No, I was simply happy that Northwest Pizza Company offered a meatball pizza, so I ordered an eight incher and enjoyed it a lot, both in the present moment and as it transported me back to my first week ever and my first pizza pie in New York City.

2. Back home in Kellogg, I had enough time to watch the last three episodes of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy before going over to Christy and Everett's to watch the Zags play the Pacific Tigers. As the complicated plot of this story developed, its many strands slowly made more and more sense. I loved the acting and the writing in this mini-series. While there were a few moments of characters lashing out, most of the action and speech was reserved with fear, anxiety, anger, betrayal, impatience and other bubbling emotions stirring underneath the surface calm of these middle-aged and older intelligence agents and others in their orbit. The genius of the writing is in what characters leave unsaid, how they speak about matters indirectly, and how George Smiley (Alec Guinness) is able to piece together fragments of conversation and bits he picks up in his interrogations and written files and figures out the way the intelligence service is being betrayed from within.

I have to return the DVDs of this mini-series to the library right away, but one day I'll get my hands on them again and watch it all a second time when I'll have a better understanding of the whole story's arc and can experience the things I missed when I first viewed it. I am also going to give the movie a look, the one made several years ago with Gary Oldman playing George Smiley.

3. Tonight Gonzaga hosted Pacific at 8:00 and I went over to Christy and Everett's and watched the game until about 9:30. Gonzaga swamped Pacific 67-36. Pacific's team was painfully outmatched by Gonzaga. Early in the game, the teams were tied 10-10, but by halftime, Gonzaga had built a 34-15 lead and the embarrassment was on. Gonzaga's team rightfully aspires to go deep into the NCAA tournament in March, but I don't see how playing a team like Pacific and the other weak teams in their conference does much at all to advance those aspirations. On Saturday, the Zags play at the University of San Francisco, a 12-2 team who has won its first two conference games and has defeated both Cal and Stanford of the once mighty Pac 12 conference. Will the Dons test Gonzaga? It's hard to say, but I know I'll be strolling next door to find out.

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