Monday, October 29, 2012

Celeste and Jesse Forever

This is a funny, smart and very good romantic comedy with an element of melancholy that is rare in this genre (at least in the USA). It wasn't a success at the box office but a lot of critics liked it. The bureau chief was not familiar with Rashida Jones but she does a wonderful job as Celeste and also co-wrote the script with Will McCormack who plays the very amusing drug dealing friend. Andy Samberg of "Dick in a Box" fame plays Jesse. He is very good playing against his usual snarky type. It's the story of a couple who are best friends since high school, got married and are now getting divorced although they keep not finalizing it. There are a few things in the movie that don't work but by and large director Lee Tolland Kreiger did a very good job. I don't think it's still in the theaters but will surely hit Netflix soon.

Listening Post

The bureau can function as a fire spotting station but last night it was a listening post. The bureau chief and Madame Le Chef were eating dinner and checking the computer for the score in the 4th game of the World Series when we heard the city give an enormous roar. The computer had not updated yet but we knew the Giants had just won the Series. We went out on the back deck. The city was covered with a medium fog but people were screaming and setting off fireworks into it. There was joy in Mudville.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Odd Objects from the Archive

I haven't seen any films that I want to talk about so I've dusted off some photos from 2003. The bureau chef has been informed that this is called an anvil cloud and not a mushroom cloud.

A closer view.

The Bay Area has a strong tradition of car art. This is one of the most Baroque examples I've come across.

A detail.

Until we visited Santa Monica in 2003, I did not know there was a tradition of churches and other organizations putting up religious displays along the beach at Christmas time. The use of store mannequins and chicken wire to keep out the bums, is a nice touch.

An angel in an internment camp.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Tomato Question Illuminated

Eventually someone was going to examine the question of why so many tomatoes are so tasteless and awful and how that came about. Well, as Walt Kelly said, "We have met the enemy and he is us".

It turns out that that in their urge to make tomatoes a uniform shape and a uniform red, and therefore more shippable and more salable, tomato growers bred out what made them sweet and delicious. We still have the previous tomatoes and we call them heirlooms. Here is an example of a particularly tasty one.

At the bureau we have spent the later summer and early fall rigorously testing the deliciousness of these odd shaped objects by cutting them up and applying salt, pepper, chopped shallots and olive oil.

We are happy to report that they are very delicious.