One glorious Saturday

I’m getting a little twitchy, and it may be the caffeine, but I think it may be the mess that is my apartment. I realized tonight that I had lunch out every day this week (including what has become the ritual Saturday afternoon trip to Papa Keno’s for some Don Ho (pizza with spinach, broccoli, pineapple, sliced almonds, and ricotta) and diet Pepsi and dinner out almost as often. When did I realize this? When submitting my student loan payment, but of course.

Today I strolled Mass from one end to the other, during the game when things were fabulously dead. I bought only a tiny blue bunny for my new nephew (labor to be induced on Feb. 6) and two cute cards. I also realized that despite living in Lawrence for 3.75 years now (is that really possible?), I have yet to do many of the things that both locals and alumni (there’s a wide difference) would swear by. I have never been to the Bottleneck or the Jazzhaus; I have never been upstairs at Henry’s or, come to think of it, have I been to any bar on Mass; I haven’t attended a concert at Liberty Hall or at the Granada (unless you count The Sellouts); I’ve never eaten at Teller’s (though I’ve been to the bar, but only for the Italian Tavolo); and I’ve never been to a Jayhawk basketball game.

But I do have favorite coffee places and favorite restaurants, a favorite park, a favorite bookstore, a soft spot for Sylas and Maddy’s, etc. I have been to Starbucks (- 20 Lawrence points) but I felt guilty about it (+10) though I couldn’t tell you why (-5). On and on and the point is, I still like it here.

Speaking of things I ended up liking that I wasn’t sure I would, last night I saw film #3. Tristan and Isolde with and her husband. The crowd looked to be about what the movie was originally aiming for — teen and pre-teen, majority female and reluctant males. Roger Ebert gave this movie a surprisingly positive review, and I find that I agree with him. I was expecting much worse — dressy, showy costumes, much more drippy dialogue, incongruous character actions, etc. Instead the film did a good job of staying pretty grounded: though Tristan, as the favored “son” of Lord Marke, did get dressed up in neat war outfits, the colors were always drab and he also always had dirty fingernails. The rooms and the castles and (this is my favorite detail) the boats were small and dark, not at all luxurious, and gold never really seemed to flow. I even liked the tournament scene, where Tristan fights with his fellow Britons to win the hand of the Irish princess, because it wasn’t a grand splashy affair with men wielding shimmering swords and winning golden trinkets (though I did feel a bit like I was getting hit over the head with the boxing references — oh, is this like modern day boxing? Really? With the spitting in the buckets and the corners and the cutmen-friends and everything?) I wasn’t troubled by the performances — solid, non-star-making work. I expected James Franco to be worse than he was, and the only thing I really hold against him here is a tiny death groan at the end that pulled me right out of what was otherwise a good scene (OK, that and . He somehow pulled off the “I’m an excellent warrior who goes all soft around this woman” thing — case in point, delivering the line “they would say ours was the love that brought down a kingdom” without making me laugh. Sophia Myles played Isolde as an emotional but also thoughtful woman, without resorting to either weepiness or, for lack of a better term, frigidity. The script helps, here, because she’s never called on to collapse helpless at anyone’s feet.

In fact, I expected this movie to be more about the dramatic “love will save us” type speeches, and it really wasn’t. Mostly good restraint all around. Best example: the scene in the dungeon jail between a silent Tristan and a raging King Marke (and the follow-up scene with Marke confronting Isolde, and then hearing the full story from her and reacting only subtly, very good acting by Rufus Sewell). The few parts that I didn’t enjoy were the parts thrown in almost as a necessary nod to the genre (tragic teen romance movie) that the movie was aiming for: keeping Tristan’s shirt off during most of his early scenes with Isolde and the elaborate wedding dress and celebration (as I’m sure will note). All-in-all, though, not a bad film.

Now I’m trying to psych myself up to see King Kong, and so far, I haven’t succeeded.

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9 Responses to One glorious Saturday

  1. next_bold_move says:

    I still need to leave my review for this movie in my journal, but I am struck by how similar our days were: we, too, walked downtown for a long while and had lunch at Papa Kenos. Very odd that we didn’t run into each other.

  2. drenilop says:

    I also realized that despite living in Lawrence for 3.75 years now (is that really possible?), I have yet to do many of the things that both locals and alumni (there’s a wide difference) would swear by.

    Ditto here for Ann Arbor – never been to a Big House football game, never been to the Arb, never … You’ve got things you like, special stuff about your town, and I don’t have even much of that. My idea of a favorite coffee shop depends on what I’m in the mood for – chai, latte, caramel frappuccino, hot chocolate – rather than anything about atmosphere. Most of the time I’m at chain restaurants, though I do find I like Big Ten Burrito (a local shop) more than the other two chain places around campus.

    And that’s about the extent of my Ann Arbor experience. Sad, no, after 4.5 yrs??

  3. kepkanation says:

    I was there from about 11-11:30 or 11:45. I’ve become a Saturday morning regular at that place. It’s so tasty. I was home by 1, I think, and then the napping began.

  4. kepkanation says:

    How large is Ann Arbor? I picture it as being huge because I picture Michigan (the university) as being huge.

  5. drenilop says:

    UM is about 37,000 students. The town itself is about 70,000, I think. When everyone’s here during the term, I know the population goes up to about 110,000-120,000 … someone joked once that you could put almost the entire population into the Big House if you wanted to.

  6. next_bold_move says:

    You were up and out way before us, then. There was much lolly-gagging around on our part before we made it downtown, so I think we were eating lunch at 2:45 or so….

  7. starstraf says:

    Sellout sometimes plays JazzHouse (the only time I have been there)
    Sunday Brunch at Tellers is worth doing
    I’ve never been to a basketball game

  8. kepkanation says:

    Oo, Sunday brunch at Tellers — is it a buffet type thing, or do they just make a good breakfast?

  9. starstraf says:

    Buffet
    Brunchs around town
    Tellers
    Herford house
    Mercelis’
    Road house

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