Last night, I finally went for dinner with fellow foodie (and, more importantly, fellow sweet tooth) Nia. I say “finally” because we’ve been meaning to get together for a while now but the girl is: a) busy, b) very popular, c) trying to avoid me, or d) all of the above. Anyway, we were originally scheduled to hit that really popular Italian restaurant with the great desserts, but I ended up going the other week and was underwhelmed so we ended up going to the ever-excellent and always dependable Q4 (aka Quattro). Great timing too as the kitchen had just acquired a new pizza oven. Our meal –
Anyway, a great night. I’m confident that next time we can work our way up to four desserts.
Hey, I don’t know about the rest of you, but if this World Cup has taught me anything, it’s that cheating pays off. Whether it’s faking an injury so that a player from the opposing team gets sent off, or blocking an opponent’s winning goal with your hand to stave off elimination, it’s A-Okay because more often than not you’ll be richly rewarded with anything from an unfair advantage to an undeserved win.
Finally finished another anime series. Claymore was, in my humble opinion, a giant waste of time. We chart Clare’s progress as she strives to exact her revenge for Theresa’s death, going from one extended battle sequence to the next in which our heroine, time and again, is seemngly mortally wounded only to make a miraculous recovery and best her opponent. When she finally faces off with the dreaded Priscilla, she defeats her and…decides to let her go. Hell, even the other claymores who spend the last two episodes trying to kill Priscilla suddenly change their minds at series’ end. A few peripheral characters die, ultimately nothing is accomplished, and everyone goes their separate ways no doubt to reconvene for season two and go through the motions again.
I HAD planned to check out Baccano next but because Funimation, in their infinite wisdom, ensured I was unable to fastforward through or skip the Baccano trailer at the beginning of my Claymore disc 1, I’m already sick of the series and want nothing to do with it. Guess I’ll just be going with Akemi’s choice then. Lucky Star it is!
I’ve finally booked a hotel for my Tokyo trip. As much as I love staying at The Peninsula, I wasn’t able to get any sort of preferred customer rate, so I’ve decided to go with The Imperial instead. I stayed there once, many years ago when I was traveling with Fondy. The service was impeccable. I recall one afternoon we came back to our room to find an enormous fruit basket awaiting us and a note that read: “The maid was cleaning your mini-bar fridge when your apple fell to the floor. Please accept this fruit basket as an apology.” Seriously. It’s older than The Peninsula, but quite majestic and, more importantly, located in the heart of Ginza. Also, my fellow traveler Ivon Bartok will be staying there as well which should make it easier for me to ensure he gets in okay after a night of heavy drinking.
A reminder that we have two weeks before discussion begins on July’s Book of the Month club pick: Alastair Reynold’s House of Suns. I’m about two hundred pages in and loving it. If you’re a fan of science fiction (and something tells me most of you are), then do yourself a favor and pick it up. You’ll also be supporting a fellow fan of the Stargate franchise: http://approachingpavonis.blogspot.com/2010/05/stargate-atlantis.html. Also, for all of you in the U.K., here’s how to claim your free copy of House of Suns: http://approachingpavonis.blogspot.com/2010/06/give-it-away-now.html. But be quick!
And while am it, let me again remind everyone that we’ll be doing August against this year and, as a result, will also be doing an August Book of the Month Club discussion. We’ll be chatting about Daryl Gregory’s The Devil’s Alphabet. Check out his book (http://www.darylgregory.com/devil/Default.aspx), his blog (http://darylgregory.wordpress.com/), and his awesome entry in the upcoming superhero-themed anthology Masked (http://www.amazon.com/Masked-Lou-Anders/dp/1439168822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278209463&sr=8-1) along with my modest contribution to the kick-ass collection. Which reminds me – we’re doing September as well this year so I need to select September Book of the Month Club candidate. What’ll it be… What’ll it be…
BTW – Some great natsukashii moments, gang. Keep ’em coming!