Sunday, August 14, 2011
This weekend featured a LOT of eating. On Friday night, a Pakistani coworker had invited my labmates to join her for the fun part of Ramadan- breaking the fast at sundown. We went to a Lebanese restaurant that does a special set menu service for Ramadan. Diners are seated at 5:30 to tables spread with an impressive array of appetizers. See all that food on the table? That's just the first course. About ten minutes later, the call to prayer is played, signaling that it's time to break the fast, and everyone digs in. Traditionally, dates are eaten first to get blood sugar up. The mains course included lots of slow-cooked meats and kebabs. The food was so good it almost made up for the fact that the restaurant is alcohol-free.
On Saturday, I stuck with the Subcontinent culinary theme and went to lunch at an Indian colleague's house- she had made biryani, chicken curry, mushroom curry, salad with yogurt, and two types of bread. Face stuffing ensued. I tried traditional Indian lime pickles, which have some much red chili on them they no longer resemble limes in any form, and I actually really liked them- I am a fan of spicy foods, and these hit the hot spot without venturing into pain territory.
Saturday night I saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I saw the trailer a couple of months ago and it looked like the type of movie that could go one of two ways: it could be dreadful, like comically awful, or it could be really good- there was no way it was going to be a "meh, mediocre" type movie. I think feel squarely into the Really Good category, minus a couple of over-the-top scenes towards the end (the chimp riding a horse? come on now.). The science-heavy plot was interesting and the special effects team did a great job with the chimps- they seemed real rather than computer-generated, and they did a great job of giving them personalities without dialogue. I must confess that I haven't seen any of the Planet of the Apes film and all I really know about them is Charlton Heston and the Statue of Liberty scene, so I likely missed out on all sorts of nuanced references to the series. All I can say is that I'm glad my line of research involved bacteria rather than apes.
In other entertainment news, I finished the third and final book in the Hunger Games series. The style of books two and three is similar to the first, and I'll leave out plot descriptions so I don't spoil things for anyone. The third book is the darkest of the three and proceeds at a frantic pace until the ending, which seems to come about suddenly. I adored the characters and was dying to know how the story would end, but at the same time I didn't want it to be over. Now I can look forward to the movie- I had avoided reading about the casting because I didn't want it to influence my mental picture of the characters, but now it's kind of fun to see who will be playing different roles