More on “300” — From Esteemed New Yorker

David Denby writes, in the April 2, 2007 issue of the magazine:

Based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller, the movie is a porno-military curiosity — a muscle-magazine fantasy crossed with a video game and an Army recruiting film. The director, Zack Snyder, poses the Spartan heroes against the horizon or along the crests of mountains under roiling skies. The softening colors of blue and yellow have been filtered or drained out of the palette; the dominant remaining color is the molten brown-gold of bronze shields. The action is prolonged in agonizing slow motion, only to snap to hyper-speed and then to a full stop, leaving nothing moving but the fountain of blood spurting from a decapitated body.

In Tehran, after pirated copies hit the streets there a few weeks ago, the movie was quickly denounced by an Iranian government spokesman as an act of “psychological warfare” that was intended to prepare Americans for an invasion of the country.

Strange But True III

You probably won’t believe this, loyal blog reader, but in spite of all, self *did* consent to have dinner with Dearest Mum, niece, “Fave” Tita, and Real Fave Tita at A Tavola in good ol’ RWC this evening.

Dearest Mum wanted somewhere upscale, like in the City (“that nice Brazilian restaurant Tito M took us to a few days ago”), but self said I wouldn’t be able to join them all the way there, as still had many many papers to grade by tomorrow morning.

Then, Dearest Mum wanted Osteria in downtown Palo Alto. Offered to make the reservation. “For 8,” Dearest Mum said. Self called, and restaurant’s only opening for eight was at 5 PM.

Informed Dearest Mum, who, unflappable, then responded, “OK. Call niece and tell her.”

But, but, I stammer. That’s only one hour from now! What about Tito M — isn’t he at work still?

Dearest Mum trills sweetly, “That’s OK, he will make himself available.”

Self tells her, “OK, why don’t you call niece; I have to finish grading or I won’t be able to join you.”

Dearest Mum says, “You want me to call? So much trouble. Let’s eat somewhere else.”

Which is how self ended up suggesting A Tavola, where son, hubby and I had such a fab New Year’s Eve dinner, a few months ago.

Volunteer to pick up niece. Niece dressed to the nines, making self feel even scruffier (self was too lazy to change out of jeans and t-shirt). Arrive at A Tavola. Curiously, Dearest Mum and rest of the party are not yet there, even though Dearest Mum called self’s cell ten minutes ago, saying they were already waiting for us.

Oh well! Niece and I settle down at bar, order “Cadillac Margaritas.” Catch bartender giving niece sidelong glance, but thankfully does not card her. We have our drinks, all the while conversing about 300. Niece saw it with Stanford chum who pronounced movie offensive and “racist.” Self, on the other hand, found it “poetic” and “beautiful.” But, after strenuous argument with niece, was forced to admit the bad guys were uniformly dark-skinned. “Aren’t Iranians somewhat light-skinned?” I say. We go on in that vein.

After an hour, niece and I are getting *quite* inebriated. Where are they? Decide to give Tita a call. You’d never guess where they were, dear blog reader!

(Pause for dramatic effect).

They were in Milagros, the restaurant across the way. Already starting to dig in to heaping plates of burritos.

“Where are you?” Tita inquired.

“We are in A Tavola,” self replies.

“Where is this?” hear Tita in urgent whispered conversation with the others.

Hear Dearest Mum go: “I thought this was A Tavola.”

Shrieks, as they all realize their mistake. In 15 minutes, arrives a strange procession at door of A Tavola: Dearest Mum, assorted Titas, and two waiters bearing two trays of burritos.

To say A Tavola management was *upset* would be quite an understatement, dear blog reader. Oh, am forgetting that one of the waiters also came bearing a huge pitcher of margaritas, only half full.

Never underestimate the determination of Dearest Mum!

All I can say, dear blog reader, holding my aching head, is — I can’t believe she’s leaving tomorrow, and I haven’t even given a thought to my reading in San Diego State, the day after. In fact, self doesn’t even know what time flight to San Diego is leaving. Think self will just collapse on the plane, maybe order more alcoholic beverages.

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