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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Painting with the broad brush.

Your Aardvark has Obeyed the Barns and Birdhouses, and has Seen Rock City. The Dread Dormomoo and he went to Chattanooga (apparently the only place where they can get awa' and have fun.) this weekend. We went with the Dalkhes, and had a spiffulous time (the spelcheker did not even try  with "spiffulous".) squeezing through rocks looking for gnomes and deer, and marveling at the wonderful beauty at this VERY non-tourist-trap tourist destination. We even braved the Temple of Doom style rope bridge (the "Swing-Along Bridge"),  180 feet of acrophobic nightmare with a beautiful view, none of which himself appreciated, being fixated on the back of the head of the guy ahead. Sorry, no personal pictures.

Overall, the place is one of breathtaking splendor. It earns the Aardvark's Touron Seal of Approval.

Friday night upon arriving, we made arrangements to meet the Dalkhes at Portofino's, a classic Greek-run Italian restaurant. Their Alfredo is worth the trip, even from Schenectady. 

We ate at the City Diner Cafe, natch, and also the Teriyaki House on Ringgold Road (whose white sauce is legendary!) It is in an old Pizza Hut building, so the gag writes itself. It is not a Japanese Happy MealTM Benihana knockoff. The food is prepared in the kitchen, and comes out as a delightful surprise. Himself had Hibachi Steak and Shrimp, the DD having Hibachi Steak. Om nom noms abounded! Breakfast Saturday was at the Diner, Aardvark: Eggs Benedict and Grits (only in the South! PLUS the Hollandaise was outstanding.)) DD: Eggs, Bacon, Homefries. Breakfast Sunday, Aardvark: French Dip Sandwich and Fries (It was 11:30 AM, K?) of which only half was eaten, and your Aardvark retired, beaten. It resides in the fridge, beckoning....The DD had The usual, but with grits.

Dr. Who was on telly after Teriyaki house, and afforded the opportunity to see last week's premiere, AND the new episode this week. It appears to be breaking the Matt Smith mode of "Whose life does the Doctor screw up this week?".

A good time was had by all, and the drive home was full of chatter. One thing that came up was the Dread Dormomoo's feeling of being cheated if she reads a novel which has no Import, no Great Theme, whereupon the 'Vark coined the term "Zombie Novel", that which has action but no soul. Endless spy thriller series seem to fall in that mode, as do most of the pulp novels that have passed before his 'Varky optics.

As tedious as the novels one is assigned in school can be, they have a point, a moral if you will, that which one may take away after the read without feeling it a total waste of time. Silas Marner details the evils of greed, and the Need to Have Others in one's life. The Scarlet Letter examines sin and guilt in the context of Puritan morality, and shows how the most moral among us may be caught in the web (among manifold other lessons). Tom Clancy's doorstops open the door onto the fell vistas of international politics, military might, and spies, with personal heroism normally tilting the scales..

Matt Helm and Fu Manchu, on the other hand....

(It has been said that The DD and the 'Vark have never had a frivolous conversation in their lives.)

Over all, a very good time.

NEXT MONTH: Lake Winnie!


Michael W said...

If you're looking for an acrophobic nightmare, I highly recommend Royal Gorge in Colorado.

The Aardvark said...

Trust me, I am NOT looking for another!

This was essentially a non-spoken challenge. The guy in front of me was the husband of the family that we went with. He has...issues with heights. I wished to see the bridge, but he stepped out onto it. The D.D. and the others were behind me. What was there to do otherwise? There were two moments where I thought I would seize up and not move another centimeter. One of those was when someone behind us jumped a little and made the bridge undulate. I was really quite alarmed.

Michael W said...

"Matt Helm and Fu Manchu, on the other hand...."


Well, so much for the Michael Wolff Book-of-the-Month Club.

The Aardvark said...

Michael, there is a time for meat-and-potatoes. There is also a time for Milky Ways and chewing gum. One may not derive much nourishment from the latter group, but they are enjoyable nonetheless.

I must admit that I have never been able to get into the Fu Manchu series. The school secretary at Porter Gaud tried to get me into them as I recall (she was also a cousin to Whit Bissell!). I HAVE tried!

Michael W said...

"I must admit that I have never been able to get into the Fu Manchu series."

Rohmer is something of an acquired taste. I tell you what, though, if you really want to hack your way through a literary jungle, try Peake's "Gormenghast" series.

The Aardvark said...

Turgid prose, eh? I shall have to.

What did you think of the TV treatment?

Michael W said...

To be honest, I felt the television treatment was nicely cast, but it lacked the all-conquering oppressive feel of the books. The predominant colora should've been black and grey all over.

Remember the Frank Zappa song "The Torture Never Stops"? The line about how the walls of the ancient dungeon sweat big greenish drops? That's the sort of feel the Gormenghast television adaptation should've aimed for.

The Aardvark said...

Rather like the DREADFUL Disney treatment of "A Wrinkle in Time". Camazotz had COLOR. It should have been greyscale. IT's puppet came across with a Prof. Harold Hill vibe. Too much color all around.

Michael W said...

Oh God, don't get me started on that adaptation of "A Wrinkle in Time". That should've been a genre triumph. Instead it came out wrong, wrong . . . all wrong.

Rather like that wretched 1988 adaptation of Asimov's "Nightfall".

The Aardvark said...

I was especially unhappy with the bargain-basement Nathan Lane wannabe "dragging" his way through the "Happy Medium" role.

I ALWAYS wanted Billy Mumy as Charles Wallace.

I do not recall the "Nightfall" adaptation. Perhaps it is a mercy, then.
Here was my take on "Wrinkle:


The Aardvark said...

But Michael, one BRIGHT spot in "Nightfall": Alexis Kanner!

He was the "Hippie" No.48 in the Prisoner finale.

Dem bones, dem bones....

Michael W said...

You know how I prove to people just how bad "Nightfall" was?

It doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry.