Other People’s Posts: Last Night I Saw “The Hateful Eight”

Ok, actually I haven’t seen it yet, but I hope to.  What the title refers to is a hilarious summary/review of the movie that my best friend, Arin, wrote for Medium.com

I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to post something here just about every day.  Of course, since writing a blog is not my full-time job, I can’t say I’ll be able to post fully fleshed-out original material every day.  Sometimes it may be just a picture I took that I like.  Maybe a list or two.

As my first attempt, I will simply share with you this link to Part I of the ridiculously funny article Arin wrote about her experience seeing The Hateful Eight.

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Last Night I Saw “The Hateful Eight” – Pt. 1/2

If you enjoy it, please read Part 2, but beware of SPOILERS! Because she basically recounts the plot of the entire movie.

I’m sure you’ll see why the author of this wonderful bit of comedy is my best friend and one of the only women who consistently makes me cry from laughter.

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From when Miss Delaney (now Miss Delaney-Curtis) showed up at my front door on my 30th birthday weekend! What a gal!

Have at it!

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The Pop-Up

It has been a little slow around here lately.  Rainy winter weather and work have kept me rather isolated.  I’ve been doing quite a lot of cooking, but because this is not a food blog, I will spare you the details.

I’m no food-writer, and since I know people that are, I’m aware of how inappropriate any kind of restaurant review or blog post would be.  Besides that, Max has forbidden me from ever going public with my thoughts about any particular restaurant in any other than the most lay of fashions.  Which is totally appropriate, I think, since we are so encircled by the service industry these days.  That said, being that we are constantly surrounded by San Francisco food culture, almost everything we do involves a food component these days.

Last weekend we attended the pop-up restaurant project of a young chef who used to work with Max. He and his girlfriend will be moving out of state soon, so he is using this time to refine dishes and concepts for his eventual brick and mortar restaurant.  He is testing his vision without the investors and the risk and seeing if it works.  He serves a multi-course menu at his home with his girlfriend and two others working service with him.

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Photo credit to Andrew Cheng.

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Photo by Andrew Cheng

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Of course, this is not a new idea.  Max and I have been going to pop-ups for years.  Though, it wasn’t the first of its kind, one of the innovators of the pop-up restaurant was Ludo Lefebvre.  We got in on it pretty early when he first appeared at Bread Bar on Melrose.  Oh man, we thought we were pretty cool!  We’ve rightly kept up with Ludo as he went on to host several more pop-ups and then, more recently, to open his brick and mortar restaurants Trois Mec and Petite Trois in Los Angeles.

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At one of the later pop-up dinners with Ludo and some friends.

We next starting taking interest in a pop-up in Downtown Los Angeles hosted in the chef’s loft.  It was a lottery system to get invited, but as it turns out, you kind of needed to know someone.  We fell-in with the LA food crowd and attended quite a few of Chef Craig’s dinners.  Eventually, I hosted Max’s birthday at a dinner of Craig’s, which was a really neat thing to be able to do.

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Me and some of the ladies at Max’s pop-up birthday dinner.

And the friendship eventually spawned a work-relationship, which involved Max hooking Craig up with my mother-in-law’s museum for his first museum-based pop-up event.  I was lucky enough to attend. He later went on to host his pop-up all over the country in some very high-profile spots.

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Craig’s first pop-up at SMMOA

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What a cool space to eat!

Max has even had a pop-up of his very own!  It was called BRK Dining, and Max and his friend also named Max hosted dinners out of other Max’s condo in West Hollywood.  It became quite successful and continues on today, obviously without husband-Max.  I would often help serve or do dishes.  BRK was a really fun project for Max, and it introduced him to the concept of curating guests and to the art of service.  (FYI-if you ever go to one of these fancy-shmancy restaurants, know that they have Googled the shit out of you.  They know where you work and have probably checked out all your social media accounts.)  It even ended up getting them a little press!  Pretty exciting stuff!

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A BRK dinner prep

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Max getting mic’d for an interview about BRK

Through BRK and Twitter, Max connected with a VERY young chef in his teens, but already quite accomplished, named Flynn.  Love Flynn.  He offered his sous chef services to BRK and started putting on his own pop-up out of his parents’ house in Los Angeles and other restaurant spaces.  Max worked with him as his wine dude whenever possible.  Flynn went on to work at some great LA restaurants, then traveled to Europe and staged at some of the greats, before heading to NY, where he resides currently, to open his pop-up there.

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At one of Flynn’s dinner at his home.

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From one of Flynn’s dinners at the restaurant space, Tiara.

I guess I know a thing or two about pop-up restaurants.  If you follow food and ever have the opportunity, I think going to these types of events is an awesome way to find a chef you love and get to follow them from day-one.  I, myself, have watched as some of these pop-up chefs go on to great notoriety, and can say I was there “back when”.  We certainly have had a lot of fun following some of our favorites around to all these different locations over the years!

P.S. This post spans a lotta years! I had a lot of fun going back through the photo archives looking for all of these pictures.  Know that this is a mere sampling! haha!

What I’m Watching: Parenthood & Trainwreck

I maintain a lot of lists.  They ease my mind.  But my favorite lists to work my way through are definitely the lists of television shows and movies that I want to watch.  I’ve had some great love affairs with items from those lists-The Sopranos, The Wire, Parks & Recreation, to name a few.

I’m in the midst of a deep, deep love affair, you guys.  It is distracting.  I think about it in my sleep and can’t wait to finish working for the day so I can dive deeper and deeper into this new world.  I’ve started watching Parenthood.

Ya know, it’s funny.  When the show was on, my mom was a big fan and she would recommend it to me often.  I guess there is a storyline at some point involving a recording studio.  My mom always thought I’d get a kick out of watching that, what with Max working in music at the time.  I don’t know if it’s the same plot line or another, but Max’s cousin’s band is also featured at some point.  I never did watch it.  I thought it might be too sappy.  I can’t say I was wholly off-base there, actually, but I was very, very wrong to think it wasn’t also wonderful.

So here I am, years later.  The series ended this year.  And I finally caught on.  I cannot get enough Parenthood in my days, in my life!

The story focuses on a family-a husband and wife, their 4 adult kids, and their grandkids.  And the cast! Crazytown. Some great people like Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Peter Krause, and Craig T. Nelson (remember Coach?  My dad really liked Coach).  Every character is lovable and every character is flawed.  Sometimes I think I relate more to Kristina Braverman because she is a little anxious and she probably also keeps lists of TV shows she needs to catch-up on.  Sometimes I think-No-I’m more like Julia because she is an attorney who has to navigate professionalism and family.  And that’s the great thing-the experiences are relatable and that is true for each character across the board.

The show tackles issues that touch many families when you look at that many generations.  They deal with autism, racism, infidelity, drugs, romantic relationships, and all the rest, but above all, the show is about family and love.  At the end of each episode, whatever drama occurred over the last hour, your heart is warmed.  That feel-good feeling is addicting!

What can I say? If you haven’t seen Parenthood, you should start now! Or at the very least, add it to your list.

The other thing I’ve got to rave about is the movie Trainwreck, still currently in theaters!  Go!

I’ve been following Amy Schumer for years now.  I can’t say I followed her closely, but I was aware of her status as a Comedy Central Roast regular, I had seen her stand-up specials, and irregularly watched her sketch series on Comedy Central.  So clearly, I always thought she was funny, but I did not see her blowing up like she has.  I’m glad she’s caught on like she has because it allowed her the opportunity to write and star in her first feature film Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow, another steady favorite of mine.

The movie is basically a typical romantic comedy, but with the gender roles reversed.  If Amy met the perfect man, these are all the ways she would go about fucking that up.  Her love interest is the always-hilarious Bill Hader, as a sports medicine doctor.  The movie makes you uncomfortable (in a good way), shoves some truth down your throat, and a few times had me laughing uncontrollably.  Like a squeal.  Like no air.

I mean-don’t take the kids or anything, but go see it even if you are like me and don’t get to the movies much.

Side note to this story: I went to see Trainwreck by myself because Max doesn’t like going tot he movies, and Mark Zuckerberg was at my 5PM showing.  Boo-ya!  First SF celeb sighting.  It’s not LA, but good show, SF, good show.