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  1. Post-surgery, your mind is starving for stimulation, but also post-surgery, when you get tired, you get tired almost instantaneously - it comes on within minutes if not seconds. For this reason, think "Short Shorts" and the collection of Stefan Zweig stories, "The Royal Game, and Other Stories," is perfect. Just today, I re-read "The Three Hermits" by Tolstoy out of "Short Shorts," and I'm currently re-reading "Amok" from Zweig, before embarking upon "Letter from an Unknown Woman." I laud Zweig as my #1 author of the mid-20th century. When I finish "Letter from an Unknown Woman," I'm going to watch the eponymous film. Looking at this on a fresh mind (if you can have a fresh mind with a fever at 4 AM), I'm pretty sure the pun is "Rules / Rulers are meant to be broken." The "Broken Foot" was probably an attempt to tie it into your situation, and while clever, doesn't seem to be reconcilable with the second photo.
  2. One final memory: The new restaurant is called Royal Nepal Restaurant, but don't count out Shakthi's owners, Stanley and Ramani Perera, who have been in the restaurant industry for twenty years - they imply, fairly strongly, that they'll be back anew.
  3. I almost went - or, should I say, "I almost called" yesterday, Saturday, based on this Google Search: but it looked somewhat suspicious - 12 AM just didn't sound right - and I ended up not going downtown. (Someone from Mirabelle should check this out - may as well get these types of things correct as quickly as possible). Welcome back, Frank and Aggie.
  4. I would too, *but* my meal at P&P was my favorite meal I had in the U.S. in 2016 (I didn't go to Métier) - any thoughts on that comparison?
  5. Folks, I'm hopeful we can discuss the plans without using the R-word or the D-word; if not, maybe it's best to stay on the sidelines, and maybe Trump is right: ObamaCare will implode going forward, and renegotiation will be forced back to the surface. Meh, I thought we could do this, but maybe we can't. And just as I type that, zgast comes up with something that might prove me wrong. I get it that this is, in reality, a partisan issue, because there are two proposals, each being owned by one of the parties. I do get it, but let's not make it a partisan issue *here*. There's so much that I don't know about, and would love to learn, but let's please keep this discussion based on truth and not belief. Science and not faith. Issues and not political persuasion. Nobody of good conscience wants to see anyone else be sick or impoverished - can we start here? This doesn't mean those things aren't going to happen; it just means you don't want to see them happen. I can easily see someone worth $100 million saying, "Screw you, leave me alone, I can take care of myself." But that's not a solution, and people aren't going to stand for it. This is exactly how rulers, dictators, tsars, and kings get overthrown by force, and it's how dynasties come to an end. My brother is a physician (and without making *any* reference to my brother), there are simply too many people taking too much money out of the medical profession, whether they're physicians who don't accept insurance and charge $700 for a consult (I'm pretty sure I could list a dozen of them for you in the DC area off the top of my head), or big pharmaceutical companies charging $2,000 a month for medications needed to treat chronic issues. Clearly, there are two types of people working on this lake: The type pouring water into the lake, and the type hauling water out of the lake, and I think a lot of people hauling water out of the lake are using really big trucks - because they can, and they do so with zero guilt. And I'm not just talking about wealthy people - there are people taking ambulances to the ER when their kid has the sniffles because it's free for them. Also with zero guilt. I was a Big Brother, and I witnessed this with my own eyes, and simply could not believe it. I actually heard a mom recount to me her having called 911, and having an ambulance come and take her and her child to the ER, for something that was almost surely a common, mild, respiratory virus, because she didn't have a car, she didn't have health insurance, and she would have had to pay for a bus and also for a doctor's visit; instead, they got free transportation and free treatment (and free unneeded antibiotics). This was the first time I'd ever heard of such a thing, and the concept was so foreign to me that I didn't even know how to react, but who am I to judge? I don't live in a housing project, and I'm not on federal assistance - some of these people (and this was probably twenty years ago) essentially had no money at all, and very little hope of getting any. I know a pediatrician who tells me that 90% of his patients don't need to see him. Also (and this is probably over ten years ago), parents were demanding antibiotics for their kid's runny nose, and becoming openly furious when told the child doesn't need any (of course, it was the medical profession who did the same thing with antibiotics that they're now doing with opioids - same thing, different generation. Wait and see: The same "professionals" who got people dependent on opioids are the ones who will pull the rug out from underneath them, without any type of soft landing for the patients - all to cover their own asses. There are *so many* propaganda videos out there, making doctors and pharmaceutical companies look like saviors and saints, and patients look like liars and drug addicts (I'll be more than happy to share some). The level of defensive medicine being practiced right now is unbelievably high, and it's only hurting patients. Everyone wants the best possible care, but nobody wants to pay for it. Physicians are afraid to take any risk, because of blood-thirsty malpractice attorneys, and patients all too willing to use them.
  6. I'm really glad the Dining Guide helped you out, but now, 5 1/2 years later, make sure you check it again before going.
  7. Many of you know that Alaska Airlines purchased Virgin America last year for $2.6 billion, making it the country's fifth-largest airline (probably larger in terms of land coverage!) They have now announced that the two will merge into one brand - this Forbes article is a good place to start. "Why Virgin America Will Soon Cease To Exist" by Lauren Gensler on If you're an existing Virgin America frequent-flier member (like me), you have the option, in 2017, to convert 1 point to 1.3 miles on Alaska Airlines program; if you wait to do this, the points will be automatically transferred in early 2018. This is the important thing: It's not clear to me whether they'll be automatically transferred at 1 to 1.3, or at 1 to 1, so why risk it? Do it now. "Alaska Airlines Is Killing Off the Virgin Airline Brand" by David Goldman and Jon Ostrower on Personally, I'll miss the safety-announcement song more than anything - I do hope this gives Alaska Airlines some east-west coast routes.
  8. None of these are extreme spoilers, and I don't think reading this will ruin the film for you, but just to be safe, I'll mark the entire post: *** SPOILER ALERT *** Guess who "Sex and the Single Girl" stars? , Yeah, well, I betcha didn't guess this! Or maybe you did. And why not give musical credit to where it's due? Oh my goodness! The opening music (when the credits end and the film starts) sounds like it's straight from the 1970s' TV series, "The Odd Couple." Well, this film had it beat by a good eight years. And I mean, it sounds *so* much like "The Odd Couple" that, if you watch the film, you'll chime in and agree with me. Ha! I just looked up Neal Hefti, who wrote the music for both, and I didn't know this until I after I heard the similarity - nailed it! Hefti absolutely plagiarized from himself (as many composers do). Hmm, that opening business meeting implies what needs to be done with Well - maybe my heirs can take us to those depths; I'm content to live poorly and with respect - now, if I can figure out a way to modify my estate so I can prevent this from happening - I want my descendants to suffer as much as I have. Ah yes, Managing Editor of STOP magazine, Bob Weston (Tony Curtis) is going straight for the jugular of Dr. Helen Brown (Natalie Wood). Dr. Helen Brown is livid at being mocked by Bob Weston as being a 23-year-old ... (what will it be? strumpet? trollop? harlot? The S-Bomb?) This is the moment she cuts off the man reading the article in front of her peers: What is the dreaded epithet? A 23-year-old ... Virgin! Hey, this movie is 55-years-old, man! Not bad! Natalie Wood is pissed at being called the dreaded V-word! God, if I had only known, thirty years ago, that *this* might have worked, I could have saved thousands of dollars in dinner checks, movie tickets, bar tabs, etc. You know, Tony Curtis was an extremely handsome man, right? I wonder where he's going with this angle. "I'll bet this kid has been giving flying lessons," he says about Dr. Brown, "and she's never been off the ground." And, as a parallel story, Frank and Sylvia Broderick (Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall) are enduring a strained (to say the least), ten-year marriage, even though at their lavish anniversary party, you get to see them dance to Count Basie and his orchestra (I thoroughly object to the name "Basie" not even being found in the Wikipedia article about the movie), even though they're fully credited in the film. Ugh, I'm not even halfway through this movie and it's getting really stupid (I'm referring to the scene at the pier, where everybody falls into the drink) - it's turning into a "screwball comedy" which is the last thing I want to see. Hopefully, they just decided to have a few campy moments, and it will reset itself, but after these past five minutes, I don't know what to think, but I am not in the mood for this type of corny slapstick - I don't mind cornball comedy, but I'm in the mood for some character interaction, which is mostly what we've had up until this point. So far, I'm left asking myself why they got Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall to waste their talents on this film, but maybe they'll do something worthwhile in the second half. Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood are about as expected, which means "moderately acceptable, but nothing profound" (although Wood has never looked more beautiful). Well, this movie is 3/4 over, and we appear to be done with that brief, unfortunate foray into slapstick, and are back to character interaction (and lots of mistaken identity - we're at the "three Mrs. Brodericks" part) - I know exactly how this movie will end, and I, well, let me watch the last half hour before saying any more. I hope they paid Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall well for playing in this film. Ah! Lauren Bacall's "Yeah, he's about to pass away" line, which she just now said, was priceless! This film was a nice look at Tony Curtis (aka Bernie Schwartz) and Natalie Wood in their primes, with lots of dialogue and mid-range close-ups (not face shots, but waist-up shots, so you got a really good feel for them). Likewise Henry Fonda, Lauren Bacall, Count Basie, Mel Ferrer, and a few others such as Fran Jeffries, all beautifully filmed in Technicolor. It's of the "Divorce American Style" genre of comedy, and if you like one, you'll probably like the other. Definitely a product of its time (perhaps five years ahead), it remains a dated time-capsule of the sexual revolution, and could be considered "charming" or "cloying" depending on your viewpoint or mood - it was a little bit of both for me. I'm glad I saw it, but I can recommend it only to people trying familiarize themselves with the actors or the period; not to people seeking a great movie to watch, or to have a rollicking good time. There are certainly moments of wit and cuteness, but this comes across as a movie trying to capitalize on a "movement" by getting out in front of everyone else (which, ironically, is one of the major themes of the film). "Sex and the Single Girl" is worth a watch if you're trying to learn about specific things, but in almost every category, no matter what your category is, you can find a better movie to watch. That said, if you want to see Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis at their max-hottest, this is the movie for you. *** SPOILER ALERT FOR REAL *** Also, the "anti-car-chase" scene near the end is just terrific, and genuinely funny - it's the highlight of the movie. Incidentally, the final year the U.S. minted silver dimes, quarters, and half-dollars was 1964, so all of these were silver when this was filmed. It was fun seeing the toll-booth operator get a 1940 quarter (worth about $3.50 in today's money). Interestingly, inflation alone would have made twenty-five cents in 1964 worth nearly $2.00 in 2017 dollars, regardless of its silver content or numismatic value. The cars all left a quarter without even slowing down, and it's *very* funny that the fourth car left a Silver Certificate $1 bill while taking back three quarters in the man's hand as change - all without slowing down one iota (they must have been going 70+ mph). Farcical, of course, but still very funny. and nobody in 1964 could have possibly understood why this was so funny, because it happened in a blink-of-an-eye, and to understand it, you have to stop, rewind, re-watch, stop, rewind, re-watch, etc. And Bob Weston's (Tony Curtis') 1935 Bentley 3½ Litre Oxborrow & Fuller Continental Open Tourer (license plate: PSU 698, which I don't think is coincidental) was one *sweet* piece of scrap metal (Trivia: Rolls Royce acquired Bentley in 1931): And while the traffic officer on the motorcycle is passed by all these flying cars, he decides instead to pull over an uncredited Burt Mustin who's smugly driving about 20 mph, and says, "Where's the fire?" This has *really* gotten silly at the end, and this scene has gone over the top - if it was a farce before, this anti-chase scene makes it The Comedy of Errors, and the movie is better for it, because it's really well-done. I really can't believe I'm saying this, but the last twenty minutes has turned "Sex and the Single Girl" from a mildly amusing period comedy into a hilarious farce - you'll have to gut out the first 1'30", but the last part of the movie is worth it, or at least it was to me. This turnaround was incredible, but I have to issue a disclaimer and say that my taste in humor runs towards the puerile (slapstick, dirty jokes, etc.) But to me, this film went from a "decent little comedy" into twenty minutes of something special, containing parts akin to "the crowded cabin scene" in "A Night at the Opera" which may be the single funniest moment I've ever seen in a movie. You've got to make time to watch the anti-chase scene at least twice, and unfortunately, unless you watch the first 1'30", it just won't be as good.
  9. I can see no better introduction to Axios (Mike Allen's new news company) than to start off by watching "Jonathan," featuring Sean Spicer and our own Jon Karl, unless you see it on Jon's Facebook page itself.
  10. "How the GOP Health Care Failed Without a Vote" by Veronica Stracqualursi and Adam Kelsey on This is a historical thread about an issue of significant national importance; not a partisan thread, except whatever partisanship exists by its very nature. Please reply thoughtfully - it's perfectly fine to discuss the bills themselves, their contents, the implications of this, etc. For example, if someone wanted to draw a parallel between Trump saying "The Democrats now own ObamaCare" and, in a reverse situation, a Democratic President - who just retracted a bill because (s)he couldn't get the votes - saying "The Republicans now own Climate Change," or, "The Republicans now own Mass Shootings," and back up the assertion up with some substance, that would be perfectly legitimate. Likewise, President Trump asserting that he acted as a "team player," yet he didn't get a single Democratic vote. What, exactly, did he do to show that he was acting as a "team player?" And, on which team was he playing? See, "teams" involve an "us vs. them" mentality, which is inherently partisan. Larry Bird was the ultimate team player, and you can bet that in every single game he played, he wanted to crush the life out of his opponents - especially Magic Johnson and the Lakers. So, can anyone produce some evidence that President Trump was representing "Team USA" as opposed to just "The Republican Team?" If so, please lay it out for us - I'm not familiar with the contents of the bills. Let's keep this discussion on a high level - there's too much fighting and name-calling on the internet, and I believe we can do it. And if not, we at least have this marker as a historical record of an important news event.
  11. This is a *great*, entertaining article about the nasty state of sleep paralysis. I've had sleep paralysis precisely once in my life (I had just taken a new prescribed drug, and one of the rare side effects was sleep paralysis). Fortunately, I didn't have any demons in the room with me, but I was absolutely, positively awake with full, coherent thought; yet, completely unable to move. Had I been dreaming, I have no doubt that whatever I was dreaming I would have also "seen," but couldn't have done anything about - thank goodness I wasn't. "The Strange Case of the Phantom Pokemon" on I have had a couple interesting (not scary) instances of incorporating my dreams into my waking state - I remember in college, my alarm went off, and I propped myself up on my elbows, trying to wake up. I lay there for a minute, looking around, and all of a sudden, I saw this spider, as crystal-clear as anything I've ever seen before, walking down the side of my bed (note: at this moment, the periphery around the spider was blurred, so I'm pretty sure I'd started to fall back asleep, but I wasn't there quite yet). It startled me, and my eyes got as wide as saucers - interestingly, everything stayed the exact same, except things in my field of vision became extremely clear, and the spider simply ... vanished - it was actually pretty cool. And I've been hypnotized, legitimately hypnotized, precisely once in my life. It, too, was an *amazing* experience. And from within the deepest recesses of my mind, I learned something which turned out to be absolutely true (in my opinion), and I never once before thought of this; in fact, I had always thought the exact opposite - so the professional hypnotist helped me to uncover a piece of information that has served me very well during the past thirty-or-so years (another interesting thing is that it took a couple of days for the process to unfold).
  12. Christine, do you know who the individuals are responsible for the lists? (The individuals are (to me) far more important than the publication - when it comes to restaurants, there's really no such thing as "corporate knowledge" - it's the individuals who either are good, or aren't (which is exactly why you're our LA Forum Host, btw - likewise Josh in Houston.)) We're damned lucky to have both of you.
  13. For those fans of Caravaggio, Moby Dick, and Hagar the Horrible: These two brothers - part of the Zeon underground movement on planet Ekos, were named "Abrom" and "Isak." Curious if any diehard Trekkers have ever picked up on this (it's kind of blunt-force obvious, but I don't see anything about it online.) In case anyone doesn't know, both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are Jewish, and I guarantee filming this episode was bittersweet for both men. Ah! "Jewish Themes in 'Star Trek'" by Rabbi Yonasson Gershorn