another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ribs and Rats

Naperville Ribfest and Ratatouille. This is the (somewhat late) weekend update; now including July 4th!

It's July 4th and I'm ... sitting in the monitoring room at work. Well, I set the schedule so I have no one to blame. I scheduled myself today primarily to be a nice guy and not disturb some other's holiday. I'm not such a nice guy that I took all the shifts today, though, just the 3pm - 9pm. We did make a 4th-style lunch, though. I grilled some brats and burgers, as well as some grilled onions for the brats, Kathy made pasta salad and egg salad, Ryan got the chips (and some other stuff, including extra brats) at Jewel, and Kalen made a flag cake (which I'll have a piece of later).

Saturday, Ellen, Kalen, Matt, Ryan and I went to Naperville Ribfest. Kathy wasn't feeling up to going, and since it really was mainly a excuse for meat-eaters she was just as well off not going. We picked up half-racks of ribs from four different places with varying results, but so that we each had at least one rib from each and some extra. We decided one place had the best meat (Sgt. Oink's, I think) and that another (Texas Outlaws?) had the better sauce. And that the last place we went (billed as an electric barbecue) had decidedly inferior meat that was just too chewy and not flavorful -- probably not enough time spent cooking.

We left Ribfest and headed to the Cantera AMC 30 for Ratatouille. We knew that it would be a close call whether we got into the 5:45pm digital showing, but we made it with a few minutes to spare and the theater not too over packed. We must have gotten some of the last of the good seats, but the seats down front where you have to look upward were mostly empty. Anyway, if you haven't seen Ratatouille yet, it's well worth seeing. The animation is quite good (and the digital projection probabaly made it look that much better, though I'd have to see the standard projection for a source of comparison). Remy (the rat/hero) is great, as is Chef Gusteau (who is ... well, that's a spoiler). The human lead (Linguini) remains pretty much a cipher through the whole movie, which is the one downside of the movie, and the plot line involving him isn't tremendously involving. Once we get past that, though (which is much of the middle of the story) and get to the climax of the movie, it's just marvelous. Ellen said she doesn't think she's ever heard me laughing harder in a movie (and Matt was right with me in that), and the emotional climax was touching and affected the last character you would expect.

So, that brings me to Sunday: Ellen and I went to the Cubs game with Bob and Diane, an old high-school classmate of Bob's (and band-mate of mine). A lovely time was had by all and the Cubs won a good game. Bob and Diane took Ellen and I back to our car (left in Forest Park, by design) and they drove on to Missouri Valley (Diane back home, Bob for a visit with Mom).

Monday - work, including a couple hotline calls (one false alarm, one not serious), and a monitoring session I covered for a sick cow-orker. Tuesday, nothing exciting except Ellen's news. Today -- I've already covered. Tomorrow -- well, we'll see.


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