Friday, December 29, 2006

Movies and Murder

One thing that I left off from my post covering Christmas Eve is that my parents gave me a DVD of Buckaroo Banzai, from my Amazon wishlist. My Dad, AE and I watched it that night, since I had not seen in it at least a decade and I was eager to watch it again. It is one of the few movies that I've seen ten times or so. I'm not sure that AE agreed that it is one of the greatest movies ever made, but I'm confident that she'll only need to watch it a few more times.

I had Monday and Friday off, since they were Duke holidays, but I had decided to work Tuesday through Thursday as an experiment. When I worked for IBM, I had to use up all my vacation at the end of the year, because the days didn't roll over. Now I have the opportunity to save up to two year's worth. Now that I've tried it, I'm not sure it's worth saving the three days. There's something to be said for having a whole week off and getting plenty of sleep each day, even if I would have had to handle a few pages during my time off. The cafeterias on campus weren't open either, so I had no reason to go outside at lunchtime, since I just had leftovers to heat up in the microwave. At least I tried it.

Tuesday night, my parents watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I thought it was an interesting movie and some parts are very funny. One startling thing was that it actually shared two cast members with Buckaroo Banzai, Christopher Lloyd and Vincent Schiavelli.

I can't think of anything remarkable that happened on Wednesday.

Thursday, after work, my dad and I went to Tonali, which had been recommended by AJ. Based on his recommendation, I even recommended it to numerous people without having actually gone there myself. The owner/chef was the sous chef at Four Square and it serves unusual Mexican fare. Unlike Four Square, the prices are inexpensive. They do not have any sort of liquor license yet, which may be a concern to some. I had some mashed potato pancakes with some greens, which were good. My dad had a paella special, which I thought was very good. For dessert, we shared dulce de leche creme brulee, which was fantastic. It was easily the best creme brulee I've ever eaten. Their menu changes every week, so I look forward to trying many other dishes in the future.

As I was getting ready to go to bed last night, I noticed a huge spider (2 inches in diameter?) in the middle of my bedroom floor. The encounter with the black widow really set me back in terms of my arachnophobia and I've ended up calling my dad to come to the rescue twice since then. That's a very high number of large spiders compared to the previous two winters here. This time I was determined to handle it myself. It was time to transform into Lenore the Spider Killer.

I quickly determined that using a plunger was not an effective way to smash a spider and it got away. Next, I decided to try using one of my reachers (or "arm things" as I like to call them) and that was much more accurate, but it still got away and crawled under my secretary desk. I whipped out my LED flashlight and looked underneath the desk from my bathroom. From there, I could actually see its eyes, glowing blue. I got my binoculars from the great room and then looked again from my bathroom. Combined with the light from the flashlight, I could see it really well. Eventually it crawled behind one of the legs of the desk, so I wasn't sure where it was exactly. I waited, because I knew I would have a hard time sleeping knowing it was there. Approximately 22 minutes later, it crawled out into the room. I was fast enough and accurate enough with the reacher that time.

Today my parents picked up take-out sushi from Kurama. As always, that was wonderful. Kurama still has the best sushi in the area, in my opinion.

AE and I went to Shanghai for dinner. We had soup, steamed pork dumplings and shared an order of ma po tofu. I was actually somewhat disappointed in the ma po tofu, because I think that Eastern Lights's version is far better. Fortunately, I was already pretty full from the soup and the dumplings. We went to Kroger afterwards and I resisted buying a DVD of the Princess Bride for $10. That's another movie that I've probably seen ten times and not in the last decade, but I figure I can always get it from NetFlix if I feel like it. AE also found a bottle of "Seasoning" that we thought was amusing.


  1. Ah, see some of us already knew that the plunger wouldn't work. Check out the lyrics at (the full lyrics are about halfway down the page). I recommend the song, too. :)

  2. I think there was even more potential for success in the song, since it was up against a tub instead carpet. I was also trying to whack it instead of trap it. Definitely appropriate and funny lyrics, though. :)