This is an odd car – basically a 4WD minivan with a nose. The body of the car is surprisingly low for the type of vehicle. One steps out and is surprised the ground is so close. That makes getting in and out easy, but there’s no real value in the 4WD then…
Inside it has the appearance of being faux luxurious. The seats are pseudo leather, the dashboard black and squishy… the stereo is pretty standard chevy lame. No auxilary input and the XM radio thing seemed to be stuck on 4 channels. One was amusingly listed as POTUS08 and was non-stop election news.
The car has a squishy suspension but a moderately powerful engine. There was an unexpected amount of wind noise in the cabin, perhaps one of the window seals wasn’t quite all there.
I’m staying at the Sheraton Delfina
Hotel in Santa Monica. It’s a very nice hotel – not quite as dramatic through the lobby as some, the rooms are comfortable and the views are good. The shower was a bit weak though and the AV system is nowhere near as cool as the Holiday Inn on King in Toronto.
Odd thing, the local high school football field was right next door so I woke to the sound of the marching band trying to figure out Eleanor Rigby.
Rental car review
This Pontiac G6 came with a retractable hard top, one of those solid roof things that folds itself away in the trunk… more or less filling it. One has to choose between having the top down and having something in the trunk – there’s a small amount of room, a thin slice of trunk space under a retractable cover that can be filled and the roof still retracted, but it isn’t accessible with the roof down.
The car itself is fine – fast enough, fairly quiet, decent stereo. Nothing super sporty though. The handling is a bit slushy. A lot of these inexpensive american convertibles have floppy frames after the roof connections are cut. The GT seems a little more responsive than that other convertible rental mainstay, the Sebring, which torques around enough front to back that you definitely feel it. The GT is just a little floppy.
Fun enough driving around LA and the trip was short enough that keeping my luggage in the back seat wasn’t too much of an imposition.
Dinner with Chris and Mona.
We ate dinner at the Supperclub
in San Francisco. The food was good – a prefix menu in normal and food-challenged versions. During the meal the staff provides entertainment, such as this lovely opera star.
We were there on a night when a company had a special event in the main room so us regular diners were consigned to the smaller private room.
One reclines on bedding to eat, which is fine, though the provided table spaces are not sufficient for the plates and the resulting arrangements are a bit clumsy.
The food was excellent and I’d go back on a normal night.
The New York Times had an article about the trials of the survivors of Ike in Texas. Pretty dramatic, but nothing highlights the malevolence of a storm than an allusion to tossed salad:
“Outside, the peninsula was under siege. Flooding and winds moved beach houses onto the highway, tore off awnings and walls, and rushed straight through houses and businesses, leaving their roofs intact but their insides tossed into a salad of clothing, furniture and debris.”
Continue reading “Tossed like a Salad…” »
“The best new restaurant” in Toronto.
And, indeed, very good.
The Last Command is the 1928 silent movie staring Emil Jannings as the Grand Duke of the Tsar’s army and tells the story of his last battle, his capture, escape, and eventual demise in Hollywood as an extra in a film close to his own life.
It is the best silent movie I’ve seen – I genuinely enjoyed it, and I rarely connect to older films, let alone silent ones.
Part of the magic was the performance of the Alloy Orchestra – they are really exceptional and it was a treat to hear their score.
A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema is not as promising as the title would suggest. It is a wonderful collection of clips of various movies that are far more effectively tied to together cinematically than they are philosophically. Slavoj Zizek narrates a discussion of his apparent discomfort with sex, shame at being male, and hatred of his parents as if they were universal neurosis somehow illuminated by cinema. I found his critiques and comments on the films and directors generally interesting and compelling. His generalizations about the motivations for sex, arousal, libido, etc were pretty silly. Comparing the marx brothers to the Id, the Ego, and the Superego… hmm… I found Bataille’s Erotism: Death And Sensuality better thought out, if equally inapplicable to people not plagued with some serious issues.
(Friday, Aug 29 2008 Telluride Film Festival)