News, Views, Happiness Pursued

The Society Page

by | Mar 31, 2019

The better weather last month was welcome, but slow to arrive. Even after the snow stopped falling, the wind was reluctant to let you take your hat off.

On the final night of February I entered the intimate embrace of Blue to see the funk band Basilisk. Basilisk consists of Kyle Friday and Tyler Quist (who was absent on this evening) swapping keyboard and guitar duties, Stu Mahan on bass, and Dan Boyden striking up the drums. There were guest appearances by MC22, who spit some hip-hop mayhem, and saxophonist Brian Graham. The music was masterfully improvised, reminiscent of the soundtrack for a chase scene in a 1970s action movie. It made me want to go play cops and robbers again! Blue is full of tables and chairs, a layout that sadly does not invite dancing. This restriction was more keenly felt as the pulse of Basilisk’s music got pumping, beckoning me to abandon the wheelchair and get my feet tapping. I also like to savor the ladies, but the club’s perpetual dimness darkened that prospect too, so I let my libido take a nap and enjoyed the music undistracted. Is this what they call a Pyrrhic victory?

The following week I went to the Nickelodeon to see Captain Marvel. All the Marvel movies open with a sequence of shots of their heroes doing hero stuff. In a fitting memoriam, the sequence in this one featured all the cameos of recently deceased Marvel comic-book writer and movie producer Stan Lee. I’m not usually a fan of the soft touch, but that one felt appropriate.

Captain Marvel is set in the mid-1990s, so it got points for nostalgia, and Brie Larson, who played Captain Marvel, is super hot, so the movie also got points for its casting. Overall, the film was a fun swirl of high-energy adventure with only a few splinters causing minor irritation. The first was when our hero suited up to fight alien spaceships and donned a head guard with a goofy Mohawk on it that made her look like an extra from a Mad Max movie. The second thing that bugged me was that when she was flying around in space blasting starships out of the sky, she somehow was able to breathe the nonexistent air. I can accept the idea that she’s Captain Marvel and thus has all these jazzy superpowers, but being able to breathe in the vacuum of space is a step too far.

Attendance at this showing was surprisingly sparse, but there was a group of girls watching the movie and I was glad to see the Marvel franchise giving them a hero to whom they can more easily relate. Samuel L. Jackson played a younger version of his character, Nick Fury, and it was fun to see Fury back when he still had hair — and a more lighthearted outlook on life.

There are a lot of things I just don’t get (romance, status, financial security), but fortunately I don’t have the luxury of stressing out over such doleful trivialities. Good food and good friends are the primary ingredients in my recipe for contentment! On Friday, March 15, I was in the middle of a five-night Flask Lounge binge and my belly was in the mood for adventure. Though I am a lame vegetarian, a brief Internet search told me that BRGR Bar, on Brown Street, in the heart of downtown, had a few meat-free treats for me to eat, so I decided that would be the setting for this month’s gastronomic excursion.

When I arrived at the restaurant I was pleased to see my friend Trixie was hosting that evening, and though the mood was well tempered when I got there, she said the scene had been a bustling madhouse earlier. There were a few groups of people there, but I didn’t feel too out of place hiding behind my essential prop (a book). The menu had an appetizer of ricotta-stuffed sweet-potato tots that caught my eye and demanded to be tried. Expectations are a killer. I like to eat, and I pride myself on not being a fancy person, so when the waitress brought me a dainty little plate with five measly tater tots artfully arranged upon it, I thought that maybe God was getting back at me for mocking him so enthusiastically. Each tot was placed in its own areola of cilantro aioli, and though they were indeed super tasty, for seven dollars I wished the serving were more substantive.

Next I got the Earth Burger, a big lentil-and-quinoa patty garnished with fried portobellos and succulent walnut pesto. The burger set me back another $13, but I had no regrets. Lastly, I got a key lime pie shake for $6, and though the cost set off some alarms, the shake was also damned tasty! With a full belly and an empty wallet, I said goodbye to Trixie and went to Flask, where I saw Trixie again a few minutes later.

Seasons turn and weather churns, so set your sails and embrace the burn! #SPRINGISFINALLYHERE!!!

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