The new Bond film comes out in less than a month. If you have children, you’ll get to see it when I do: sometime next year once it has been released on DVD. Also due for release soon-ish, The Spy Who Loved Men by Clare Mulley. I’ve never read Mulley and make no claim that her prose is deft or that she is capable of insight, but her choice of subject matter commends her to me greatly.
The spy in question, Krystyna Skarbek, a.k.a. Christine Granville inhabited a clandestine realm where secrecy held primacy and anonymity might well serve as the best indicator of ability. If she did expect a memorial, it might have been for spreading propaganda behind Nazi lines, or for smuggling money and explosives. It might have been for humming a tune from Frankie and Johnny that she and one of her lovers were fond of as she walked around a prison she believed he was being held in in preparation for execution. When he responded, she bribed her way to the Vichy warden and let him know clearly and without doubt what fate would befall him when the allies reclaimed France. He let her boyfriend, and all who were scheduled to die with him, go. It might have been for the glorious quote extolling the hand grenade, “With a pistol you can defend yourself against, at most, one person. With a hand-grenade, against five, perhaps ten.” Instead it was a lunch with Ian Fleming that insured her immortality as the inspiration for Vesper Lynd. I like to think that after lunch Granville told all her friends that Fleming was an “unspeakable boor,” because he kept calling her sub a grinder.
3 oz. Gin
1 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. White Lillet
Large Twist Lemon and Submerge
Bond’s last words in Casino Royal were, “The bitch is dead now.” It was martinis from then on.
Hate Week! The phrase “Third Saturday in October” hangs on as the moniker of preference for the Alabama/Tennessee game despite that since 1992 it is usually played on the fourth Saturday in October. That mitigates a misstep of mine. It does not fully absolve it. In January of 2002 my bride to be made certain nonrefundable arrangements involving churches, banquet halls, bands, and caterers. I would like to stand back and blame my wife for a mistake made in her incunabular days as an Alabama football fan, but that would be lies and dirty, dirty trickeryhood. I just didn’t think about it. It’s called the “Third Saturday in October” isn’t it?
So I was that guy who got married on, not just a football Saturday, but a rivalry Saturday. I was girded by the fact that as the most interesting game of the week we had the premier 2:30 CBS time slot and we weren’t getting married until 7:00. All would be well. An ascendant Georgia team stole the national spotlight the week before. CBS exercised its rights under their contract with the SEC and bumped us in favor of the Georgia/Kentucky game. Did we end up in the 11:00 am time slot? No. We kicked off at 6:45. My seven o’clock Catholic wedding lasted until halftime and my suffering friends saw the last two quarters crowded around a tv in the back bar of B&A Warehouse. For the record, it was our first win in eight years. We (and by “we” I mean “I”) considered renewing our vows during the next years game to keep the streak alive.
So this is hate week, where all decent Alabamians shun the kindness innate to those blessed enough to be in residence in our fine state and paint wide swaths of truth over the chain gang uniform wearing “football fans” to the north. I have ceased name calling and now just yell “Kiffin!” and roll around laughing. For your edification, I give you the master of hate week at the height of his powers:
He hates pumpkins! That’s a fan.
Man vs. Food on The Travel Channel is just not for me. I can’t understand why anyone would spend time watching a man describe how greasy/bad for you food A is and then make pained faces as he tries to eat unnecessary quantities of said food. That said, there are times to marvel at gastroexcess.
An astute and no doubt handsome reader has sent me a few shots from a vacation in Hilton Head where he encountered the War Dog.If you can’t make that out, it says, “The last word on hot dogs…ever. We take a large all beef hot dog, stuff it with cheddar cheese, wrap it with bacon, dip it in beer batter and fry it. Then we put it in a toasted roll and cover it with chili, a blend of cheeses and onion…Pow!”
There are angels that hover over the shoulders of menu writers and graphic designers insuring that occasional gems are scattered about for the amusement of the masses. the caption directly under the War Dog description is just one of those gems: “Choices which are low in fat and calories are indicated by [crashing spitfire clip art]. Guaranteed to keep you in tip top shape.”
Etc. I just finished my first catering gig and so am establishing myself bit by bit as Birmingham’s premier catering disorganization. Got me a Cheapo Brinkman smoker to make it go so expect smoked things in the future. I haven’t decided how to modify my smoker yet, but assume if there is a power drill involved, I’m doing it… Bloomberg bans big drinks for the public good, next day cuts ribbon at Donut Shop opening. Attorneys against Bloomberg, please don’t blow this… Kind of touched on this with the Man Vs. Food bit above.