A Good Yarn

Monday, February 11, 2008

Packed with Fun

What a great week last week was. I mentioned in my last post how great the Obama rally was. Afterwards, we tried the new Japanese place downtown, Musashi. I thought it was good, but not great. They have a really large menu, with lots of different things, so it would be a great place to with a big group. I had a bento box, which included soup and salad, an appetizer, teriyaki chicken, a sushi roll and tempura chicken. The serving size was very generous too. So, it was a good value. My brother got a sushi platter, which was really beautifully presented. I enjoyed everything, but if I'm downtown and I'm choosing, I'd prefer Nami or Origami. It's definitely worth a trip if you are with a group, want a good portion size or the location is ideal for other plans.

Last Sunday was of course the Super Bowl. And what a game. We really had fun. We watched at Buffalo Wild Wings and I won the grand prize drawing, too. Unfortunately, it wasn't a big screen tv or a trip to the Pro Bowl. It was just a MGD lighted sign. I never win anything, though, so I was excited just to hear my name called.

Then of course we had the caucuses on Tuesday. Another amazing night. I could not believe how crazy it was. I've caucused probably a half dozen times or so and I've never seen so many people before. Long backup on the roads getting there, huge lines to get in the door. I really feel like people are hungry for change and hungry to play a part in that change. Awesome! Let's just hope it doesn't revert to politics as usual by November.

I saw a few movies over the last week, too. I saw a documentary that is nominated for the Academy Awards:

This is really a remarkable film, but boy it was sometimes hard to watch. It's about the U.S. policy on torture. It starts with a taxi driver in Afghanistan who is turned into the US military as being suspected of driving for some rebels who shot at a military post. While he was in custody he was beaten to death. Turns out he was completely innocent and the people who turned him in were the ones who shot at the military post. Ooops. The same people who ran the prison in Afghanistan were sent to Abu Graib and I think everyone's pretty aware of what happened there. A lot of the ideas of how to "interrogate" terror suspects at Abu Graib originated from policies at Guantanamo Bay. It's so embarrassing and depressing to know that my government is doing this. The director of the film also directed "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room". If you saw that film, you know his style. You're never in doubt as to what his viewpoint is, but he presents it in a very calm, rational way, giving the other side the opportunity to make their case. The author of the famous "Torture Memo", John Yoo is interviewed pretty extensively about why torture is legal and why the Geneva Convention doesn't apply to "enemy combatants". There are also a number of interviews with the soldiers who worked at the prison in Afghanistan and at Abu Graib. They're really open and honest and the message is clear that this is not just "a few bad apples", but a policy instituted at the highest levels (see Vice President, Secretary of Defense and Attorney General). I would highly recommend this film, but be prepared for it.

Not quite as impressive was:

Diane Lane plays an FBI agent who specializes in computer crime. She mostly tracks down identity theft and copyright piracy. But she gets a tip about a website where a kitten is killed (I know, it's horrible). So she ends up heading an investigation into this website where the killer moves on to people and the more people that log onto the site, the faster the person is killed. It's a pretty gross concept and the torture is not entertaining. I was almost drawn in by the thriller/mystery aspect and Diane Lane's great performance, but then in the last act, it turned incredibly stupid and the very last shot is just corny as hell, so I can't recommend this.

Talk Cinema this week featured another foreign film, this time from Beirut, Lebanon:

Sweet movie about the lives of a group of women living in Beirut. Sort of an artsy version of a chick flick, but I really enjoyed it. You got to see a little bit about what life is like for women living in Beirut, but it was really subtle. The lead actress also wrote and directed the film and she didn't hit you over the head with the messages. The actresses were just gorgeous too.

I'll save the rest of my week for another post. I did actually do some knitting and I got a fantastic gift in the mail.

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