Friday, March 24, 2017

Dark Matter

What if Dolph Lundgren had chosen to do his Fulbright scholarship at MIT in chemical engineering instead of moving to NYC with Grace Jones? Have you ever thought about that? Maybe we would have a cure for cancer but not Showdown in Little Tokyo? Before you answer that, remember Drogo from Rocky IV is the one that says..."I will break you." So, I mean, I think the answer is pretty clear.

Dark Matter is a sci-fi book of what-ifs.  What if I hadn't married my spouse, taken that job, gone the that school, taken that route to work?  Definitely, a first world problem. I doubt if some poor guy in Bangladesh living in tin shack collecting honey from trees in tiger country is thinking...."You know, I wonder if should have taken that movie role...but you know....I just didn't think a movie about a boy wizard would be that successful."

There is a little theoretical physics, specifically quantum mechanics, in this book which is the nice thing about theory--we don't know....I mean, it could happen.  There is one logical flaw that was a bit irritating but necessary for the plot I suppose, but this book doesn't overwhelm you with science or give you math problems like The Martian AND not one boob joke in this book. Not one. So this was not written for precocious 14 year old boys. This book is pretty short, and a bit of a page turner and it is soon to be movie (Blake Crouch is a screenwriter anyway).  I liked it I thought it was entertaining but I know someone who thought it was meh, and I thought...that's a reasonable view too.  

Ok this cocktail has nothing to do with the book, but it's spring and I want to drink this so why not? Tequila Honeysuckle: 2 ounces blanco tequila, 3/4 ounce honey syrup (this is just simple syrup but with honey instead of sugar) and 3/4 ounce lime juice. Combine in a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime slice.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ghost Talkers

Life is stressful enough so maybe you want a mystery that has a supernatural element but maybe you don't want any heavy lifting? I'm not going to judge you. They say you should try to get out of your "bubble" these days. Lately, I've been like, I've heard your viewpoints and it's making me want more of a bubble. I'm ready for a "boy in plastic bubble John Travolta" type of existence. Give me a never exhausting supply of coffee and books and I'm all set. Plus I can fart with impunity.

Ghost Talkers is a lot like a Maisie Dobbs' mystery but with magic. I think the Masie Dobbs series is a little more sophisticated and this is more action-based. It's nothing special but if its a chilly spring day and you want to get away for a while with a cup of coffee and a cookie, it's better than a kick in the teeth. What an endorsement!

I guess you could say this is a female empowerment book but also not really. Our protagonist, Ginger, is constantly getting harassed by men (on "our side" of the war) or they are just outright trying to physically attack her. She shoots one dude but she has to have a man take over her body via channeling so that she can actually pull the trigger. Crap. So that was disappointing. She is the hero but ... poop.

Ginger is an American but half British--something like that so why not drink an American Cup which is an American version of the Pimm's Cup?: 1&1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth, 1/2 ounce of gin, 1/2 ounce of bourbon, 2 dashes of orange bitters. Muddle a lemon orange and lime slice, shake the remaining ingredients and strain and pour into a Collin's glass (or any tall glass).  Top with the best ginger beer you can find.  I would bet this tastes good with that cookie I'm dreaming about.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Night Film

I've been watching a lot of 80's movies lately. That was before the actors got all ripped with personal trainers and on-site nutritionists. Both the men and women were as slim as sticks. Their diets must have been cigarettes dipped in liquid cocaine. Everyone wears high-waisted jeans which, even before the use of spandex, seemed particularly good for kicking. Bras were optional. It's been fun.

If you are Stanley Kubrick fan or a horror movie aficionado then Night Film will be a more enriching experience. Wow, that sounds super snobby. I've been watching William Defoe getting kicked in the nuts so take that advice with a grain of salt. This has been optioned to be a film but hasn't been made yet....or ever. Hey, the movie option paycheck gets cashed either way.

Marisha Pessl gets a lot of hype. I had an attitude about her first book: "let's hate this over-hyped book with some unusual writing conventions." But actually it was pretty compelling.  Night Film also has a "multi-media" arrangement, i.e. fake newspaper clippings, which honestly doesn't add a thing.  Let's get a young model to pose as a crime victim. Bad idea. But, don't let that stop you. As far as thrillers go, this one is much better than average, it's smarter. Not Godel, Escher Bach smarter, let's not go nuts here....just not for idiots. Luckily this skips the now trite supermodel pretty sociopath femme fatale. Can't the killer have a weird mole or a lazy eye at least?

Why not drink a Blood Orange cocktail to go with this horror themed mystery? Vibrant Sunrise: 1/3 of a blood orange muddled, 2 oz of a London dry gin, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. lime juice, dash of agave syrup, (they want a cayenne and salt for rimming the glass--proceed with caution), muddle the blood orange in a shaker with the gin, juices and agave and ice. Shake and pour over ice and garnish with a blood orange wheel.