Friday, November 26, 2010

Dante's Paradiso

For the past few years I've had my Thanksgiving meal at Legal Seafood.  After all, those Plimoth Plantation people probably ate a lot more fish than turkey.  But this year Rosemary and I decided to try Dante, a restaurant in the Sonesta Hotel.

PRIMI: Rosemary had the wild mushroom tart with goat cheese, frisee, mizuna, and aged balsamic.  We expected a tiny pie, but it was  a layer of puff pastry with the ground mushrooms and goat cheese on top.  Since I am frightened of wild mushrooms, I had a salad of seasonal greens, cucumber yogurt, and red wine vinaigrette.  They put all the dressing on the plate and made a dome of greens on top.

SECONDI:  We both opted for the turkey dinner with stuffing, potato puree, sweet potato fries, maple Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and gravy.  Even though the turkey was free-range, it was fat enough to be tender.  They twisted pieces of turkey skin and (I think) fried it to make tasty turkey sticks.  Everything was tasty, in fact.  The Brussels sprouts were good, but I prefer them plainer, since I like the BS flavor.  I've loved Brussels sprouts since childhood, when I pretended they were miniature cabbages.

DOLCI:  Four thin slices of pie: apple, pumpkin, chocolate pecan, and ricotta.  A small dish of salted caramel and chocolate ice cream.  The pumpkin was different from what I'm used to.  It had a thin layer of frosting on top and some kind of confection layer underneath the pumpkin layer.  The ice cream had a caramel taste, but I couldn't taste any chocolate.  Maybe they changed their mind.

The whole tab including wine, coffee, and tip was $220.  Ouch!  Pricey, but very good.

UPDATE:  This is what Chuck and Jerry had for breakfast.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Chris pointed out this shot: an aging jack-o-lantern on a Thayer Hall lintel.

And variations.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We've Gone Over to the Dark Side (of the Year)

Now that Daylight Savings Time is in effect, it's dark when I finish work.  I feel like I should just go to bed.

This is what it looks like from my office window shortly before five.  By the time I leave, the creatures of the night have begun to emerge.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Menopausal Misnomer

I see from my PubMed searches that the medical community is now calling hot flashes hot flushes.  I approve the change.  I didn't recognize my first hot flashes for what they were, because of that word flashFlash, streak, lightning, glare, dazzle, instant, split second.  This is what hot flash implies.

Sela Allen

But what actually happens is a gradual heating-up and cooling-down of the head and chest lasting a few minutes.  When I first noticed the change, I thought I was getting a fever, since my face got flushed, "But, no, it's better now.  Uh oh, it's back."  Finally I had the hot-flash-ah-ha moment. 

The above graphic makes the process clear:  hormonal flux trips the on switch of the Heating Element, which slowly heats to its maximum, then turns off.

You can buy all sorts of items claiming "They're not hot flashes, they're power surges."  I don't know why a power surge is better.  Perhaps the word power is felt to be so good, that it hardly matters that power surges blow out your electronics, and that you buy surge protectors against them. The promoters of that slogan probably are thinking of something like Sela Allen pictured above; but real menopause is not like that.
Menopause tchotchkes are fine; I have several myself.  But they shouldn't  be too silly.  We are old enough to know better!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

One Venus; Two Moons

Last Saturday I saw 20 Million Miles to Earth, one of those classics I hadn't seen, in a colorized version.  (There are many sci-fi and camp classics I haven't seen and some I'll never see.  I'm not a camp-expert manqué who needs to speak authoritatively on every flick in the genre.)  William Hopper, aka Paul Drake, crashes his rocket in the sea near a Sicilian village.

He and his plucky crew had been exploring Venus, but he and a Venusian creature are the sole survivors of the crash.  The creature is still in its egg, but it quickly hatches and grows to enormous size.  The action shifts to Rome.  The big green Venutian and the Italian army battle in the streets and do significant damage to the Forum and the Colosseum. Naturally, they had to kill the creature at the Colosseum.
I liked the colorization.  The olive green army cars were especially attractive.  William Hopper's hair was the color of ripe wheat.

Next I had dinner with Mary at the Café Luna, an appropriate choice since we were going to see Moon for the Misbegotten afterwards.  So we did see Moon for the Misbegotten afterwards, as per our plan, at the Central Square Theater.  We both enjoyed the performance and thought the acting was great.

Then it was about 11pm, and I was surprised to see the number of people standing in line for various restaurants.  But I am usually not on the street that late.  We saw some excellent costumes including a guy wearing a horse's head.  He was smoking, and the cigarette would light up the head.