Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More on Garden State and other random ramblings

First thing first, boycott Bistro Lepic!! Don't trust those who tell you this is the best French restaurant in DC. Uptight, snotty, overpriced, small portions, bad service, BAD FOOD!!!!! I can't believe we paid $65 for literally manure that didn't fill our stomachs. And you call that gourmet food? I think it's time for us to teach these overrated restaurants a lesson. Trash your Zagat! Use your head, senses, and taste buds. Be real to yourself. Don't let the decor and the table cloth's color fool you. If you don't understand what the waiter says when he introduces the specials, chances are he doesn't know what he's talking about. If you want real food, there's Maria's (Hong Kong style western food) or Mosaic (yummy waffle sandwiches) in the new Congressional Mall that'll knock your socks off. And much cheaper too.

I'll probably see Garden State again. Superfans may call it "the film of our generation." That's an overstatement. I think it's this year's surprise hit. Some people point out it resembles Ted Demme's 1996 sleeper hit Beautiful Girls starring Timothy Hutton and guess who? Natalie Portman. There's no coincidence Zach Braff picked Portman for the role of Sam. I want to write more about the movie because it gets stuck in my head for a couple of weeks now.

But there's nothing to write about. I just need to be there when it happens. It's happening.

I remember I once wrote an article about "campus cult figures" at Cornell. It was a hit! And I became a cult figure and then a fading politician until I joined the Model Congress in the spring of my senior year and chaired a conference with some really bright high school kids. Then I realized there's something that keeps my engine going. I gave a moving speech at the end of the conference regurgitating cliches like "I once was lost but now am found" and got some well-deserved applause. It was a heartfelt speech and I meant every word of it. And then life went on.

Sometimes a relative's funeral does it. Or a high school reunion. Or just seeing beautiful things happen at the blink of an eye. Old people playing chess in gardens, young people playing solitaire admist blowing winds. Street bums yelling and screaming the blues like Big Joe Turner. Someone playing Joni Mitchell-esque guitar singing like Joni Mitchell or trying to sound like Ani Difranco without realizing she's out-of-date and no longer a symbol. Someone playing a Bach fugue or a Vivaldi variation on a cello making an old lady reminisce the old days when she used to hold hands with her lifelong husband while viewing falling autumn leaves...or snowflakes, cornflakes, people who behave like flakes...

For me, it's a damned Model Congress conference.

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