Day 123 – Gravity

I’m a bit late to the game on this one. Gravity is definitely a movie worth seeing. I am not convinced it needed star power to work; no-names would have worked just as well as Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Using them just seemed a little gratuitous in retrospect.

Other than that, it’s a remarkably simple and tense movie.

All but the last few minutes takes place in space. Great black spaces with almost nothing in it except for our big blue marble. And great special effects… fire in space looks absolutely terrifying.

Actually, space looks incredibly terrifying. And painful. The number of times this movie involved slamming hard into metal surfaces without any brakes leaves the impression it’s remarkable astronauts ever return to Earth at all.

Blue Marble
Blue Marble

And yet, for me, the backdrop of our planet was almost the most captivating part. Seeing the lit outlines of civilization across the globe made me feel an intense urge to travel near and far. To go places. Dark and light. It probably taps into the same part of my brain that likes walking at night.

I get that fairly easily though.

When I watch a movie set in New York in winter, all I want is to own a loft apartment in New York over Christmas. When I watch a movie on the beach of a tropical island, all I want is to stay in a cabin on the beach. When I watch a bond movie, I want to go almost anywhere and everywhere.

As long as there is WiFi to blog in between.

Raw Fish Slices
Raw Fish Slices

I was trying to remember all the feelings while I was watching the movie, but then I had dinner and I think I forgot most of the nuance of what was on my mind.

I like sushi train; I like being able to pick just as much as I need to feel full. I briefly considered going to Criniti’s, but I think any meal from there would have been too large before even getting to dessert.

A Small Dessert
A Small Dessert

Which would have been a shame, because I love dessert.

There was a long queue at Max Brenner, but the post-movie conversation was a great distraction. I again exercised restraint and picked a relatively modest dessert. A praline platter with a selection of chocolates.

As I was waiting outside with my number, the staff showed up to ask me which chocolates I wanted. I asked her to surprise me. She checked if I had any allergies, which is a comforting sign. And I was not disappointed. But then, is chocolate ever really disappointing. Even average chocolate is still pretty good, isn’t it? Or was that sex?

All in all, a great thought-provoking and appetizing evening.

Day 36b – Sushi & 7 Wonders

I feel bad about the rushed post earlier, but between leaving work a little later than anticipated after getting stuck chatting to a co-worker, then going via Michel’s and only just making it in time for a coffee, and finally taking pictures of the moon for a place-holder, I was really in a screaming rush to get to Ken to celebrate Wednesday in the usual style.

The moon picture took a little more fiddling than I would have liked, because I actually edited two exposures together; one that showed the street scene well, and another that showed the detail on the face of the moon. I wanted to do a better job, but Paint.NET was just not doing the Photoshop trick quite as well as I had hoped.

Chopsticks
Chopsticks

It was again a small Wednesday; Sin, Cal and Jen have been piking on us for a while now. Just Abbey, Ken and myself. Normally we start Wednesday with cheese and drinks before we move on to dinner, but because dinner didn’t come to us tonight, we decided to start with dinner instead.

We had our brisk walk to the Sushi restaurant over discussions of impending holidays and unanticipated bunnies.

Menu with Sample Pictures
Menu with Sample Pictures

We had been to a different Sushi restaurant a few doors down some significant while back, but tonight was a new adventure. The menu was helpfully illustrated (see above), although that did make it harder to pick. There were too many delicious-looking choices available.

We decided to go with the share-for-the-table approach so that we could sample a broader choice of wares.

Edamame
Edamame

Salted peas are always a favourite. I think the ones we had in the other Sushi restaurant were actually a little better than these (in my opinion), but nonetheless… you can’t go too far wrong with these, unless you try to eat the peels as well as the contents.

Main Course
Main Course

Our main selection was a collection of Sushi and Sashimi… all good. That’s really all I can say about it. I’m not sure exactly what all the types of fish were, but they were all delicious and I’m sure that is the main point in this case.

I did suggest early on that we probably needed more. Abbey and Ken were sceptical on account of cheeses as-yet uneaten. In the end I convinced them that we needed at least one more dish, and the thin-sliced beef we got was very good as well.

I almost forgot to mention the sake. Ken reckons it’s not the best he ever had, but I don’t think I’ve had better myself. It was a bit hot though… I had to start pouring the flask wrapped in my napkin because it was burning my fingers. The first shot was really a little too hot, but the second shot was just right.

Cheese Platter
Cheese Platter

Normally I feel gorged by the time Wednesday is over… I always eat too much. Thanks to the warnings over dinner of impending cheese, I think I have avoided that trap this week.

The blue cheese we had was interestingly sharp and light… but it didn’t go at all with the fruit paste we had (apricot and pistachio). The brie was typically brie-ish?… briely?… The blueberries were a little tart but delicious. The strawberries were a little watery, but sweeter than I expected from the Coles special-of-the-day.

Kanonkop
Kanonkop

And then there was my victory wine from Peter… which was very delicious. We really need to make a point of sampling some more African wines. I’ll have to get some suggestions of labels to hunt down from Peter… *hint hint comment?*

The wine was quite potent though and I had just shared a large flask of Sake with Ken, so I really had to stop myself after a glass or two. Still had to drive home afterwards! The down-side of having Wednesday elsewhere.

And then… time for a game over tea…

First Wonder: Babylon
First Wonder: Babylon

7 Wonders is a pretty fast game for up to 7 players. Everyone gets a specific wonder at the start of the game with its own special abilities. Everyone gets a hand of 7 cards. Every turn you play a card from your hand and then pass the rest either left or right. A game takes about 30-45 minutes in my experience.

I started the first game with Babylon… the middle ability suggested I should try to collect scientific structures, and I really thought I was going well all the way through. Alas, KenAbbey pipped me at the post with his military victories.

Second Wonder: Olympia
Second Wonder: Olympia

The second game I started with Olympia. This time collecting civilian structures and military victories seemed the best approach. Alas, I should have pressed the military angle harder, because but for one loss to Ken in the second round I could have been the winner. Again Ken took the prize.

I really thought I had it in the bag when I gleefully deprived Ken of military options in the third round, and saw Abbey build a guild card that I was going to be able to copy for free and make more points on that she would.

I’m sure all that sounds like gibberish to anyone that doesn’t know the game, but let me assure you… it’s a lot of fun.

I don’t think 7 Wonders is on the list, but if you’re ever curious about less typical board games, I can really recommend the TableTop series on YouTube with Wil Wheaton as host. The premise of the show is that Wil invites friends over and shows you how these games play.

My personal recommendation for newcomers would be Ticket to Ride because it’s very easy to learn and the rounds play very quickly so you never sit around waiting for very long. (Unless you play with Ken, but that’s just how that goes)