Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 12/23/19: Cooking and Spiffing, *Knives Out* Delight, Champagne Cocktails

1. I would be spending the night in Spokane tonight, so I needed to slow cook the pork shoulder that had been marinating for the past twenty-four hours. I am cooking Pernil Assado for our Brazilian Christmas Eve dinner. I'll finish roasting it on the afternoon of the 24th. When I leave the house, even if it's just overnight, I like to come home to as clean of a house as possible, so I laundered my sheets and put clean ones on the bed; I vacuumed; I cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom. I left Kellogg about an hour or so later than I originally planned, but I left happy, happy that I completed the second stage of cooking the Pernil Assado and happy that the house was spiffed up. 

2. I rented the upstairs of one half of a Victorian house on 12th and South Oak in Spokane. I got settled in and Kathy summoned me to meet her and Mary at Mary's house and we would head to River Park Square for a bite to eat and a movie. 

I hadn't eaten at a Panda Express since one afternoon a few years ago at the Baltimore Washington International Airport, and I decided to give terriyaki chicken, Shanghai beef, and chow mein noodles a try. The food was fine, but I had a similar response this evening that I had at the airport: I won't stop everything to pile in the Sube and go have dinner at Panda Express -- but I would return in another pinch.

We went to the movie Knives Out at my request. 

I wanted to watch a fun movie, a romp, a movie filled with almost cartoonishly awful people and I wanted to watch a murder mystery with countless twists and turns get solved by an eccentric detective.

Knives Out was all of this and more. 

What I didn't know I'd see was a movie that, to me, simultaneously relished the murder mystery genre while also making light fun of it. 

I completely committed myself to this movie and the commitment paid off. I laughed, felt light-headed with delight, and gave myself over to the movie's absurdity and to the great fun the actors were having. I loved seeing Don Johnson again. Toni Colette was a delight. I was once again thrilled by the range of Michael Shannon. I left the movie wanting to watch every movie Daniel Craig has ever made -- starting, I think, with his other recent turn as a southerner, Joe Bang, in Logan Lucky. I love Jamie Lee Curtis. Christopher Plummer knocked my socks off. Ana de Armas has my full attention -- I will seek out past and future performances of hers.

Do I recommend you see this movie? I don't know. All I know is that I enjoyed its cast of first-rate actors having a ball with a snappy script, an outlandish story, a roller coaster ride of awfulness (with the exception of one character), and a tongue in cheek homage to the old-fashioned parlor murder mystery and that I see myself watching this movie repeatedly.  

3. After the movie ended, I got up my nerve and asked Mary if she might be willing to serve the three of us an after movie cocktail at her house. She happily agreed to. She fixed the three of us a champagne cocktail blending a sugar cube, orange bitters, and champagne and it was terrific. We had fun talking about the movie and all kinds of other topics and by about 11 or so we went our separate ways after a very fun evening. 

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