Update on the restaurant we went to while trying to reach Mystic: apparently I misunderstood. My father had seen a billboard for the restaurant we went to, and pointed it out to me and my mother, and added the mention that they had been reviewed (favorably) in The New York Times. My mother took this to be the first step of my father asking in his passive-aggressive fashion to go there, or he could just sigh the rest of the afternoon and mention how we didn't go there. So turning off wasn't part of a process of recognizing that we would be in for a relatively late lunch if we stuck to the original plan for driving up.
It was a fine restaurant, though, and gave me the chance to finally get some crab cakes. I'd been trying for a couple of restaurant trips now to get some, but had hit a curious streak of this being the one day of the week they don't make crab cakes or similar weird restrictions like that. (I didn't know restaurants would have ``crab cake-free Tuesdays''.) By ``crab cakes'' on the menu they meant ``cake'', but since it was a large patty such as you might get from two or three normal-size cakes blending together that didn't bother me. Setting the cake, the french fries, and the cole slaw on different small plates kind of threw me, as it fought against the sort of meal-item rotation I do with my plates (it's really stupid and you shouldn't ask; the important thing is I was slightly off my game), and the cole slaw was for some reason brought out as an appetizer.
At my aunt and uncle's place, we arrived late enough that it didn't feel worth going out to anything more that day, so we stayed in eating sliced carrots and celery and whatnot in dips until it was time for dinner. Well past that, we watched a rental DVD of 300, which my uncle -- who spent much of the sixties in the United States Army, and thus in some southeast Asian nation or other -- loved. The rest of us, well, we had a hard time believing we were supposed to take this seriously. 300 struck me as what happens when you grow up thinking Steve Reeves Hercules movies were in earnest. They can't have meant it seriously how every Spartan was better with projectiles than Mister Incredible was, could they? And anytime a scene was in danger of being a bit serious they'd fast-forward the spear moving and slow-motion it digging out tons of flesh, making it as silly or fatuous as possible.
I won a delightfully nasty glare from my uncle and admiration from my aunt and parents by answering some goofball line like ``Men will die like men'' with ``Hamsters, they'll pretty much remain hamsters.'' Don't tell them I'm pretty sure I nicked it from Crow T Robot.
Trivia: DuMont television's last original program was a 6 August 1956 telecast of a boxing match from New York City's Saint Nicholas Arena. Source: The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, David Weinstein.
Currently Reading: Gnarl!, Rudy Rucker.