Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday Outings

Friday December 28, 8:15 p.m.

The one sure thing about the Holidays, other than gaining weight, is the intense ritual of meeting up with friends and family. Did the Kinton thing on the 26th, and today I met up with Shard for lunch at the Madison Avenue Pub. Especially on a cloudy and cold day like today with all that snow on the ground, the Mad is a great place to meet for talk, beer and lunch. As usual, the two of us talked at length about movies and the writing process.

Shard brought up something that author Stephen King had written in his book about writing. Apparently, King has no love for the adverb. As an English teacher who would defend the sanctity of the Past Perfect Tense, for even an author like King to pooh-pooh a major grammatical ingredient irked me. However, I don't think it's that King wants the adverb to be banned. He just feels that the adverb is too much of a crutch for bad watered-down writing.

Case in point:   The old man with a cane walked haltingly down the street.
                          The old man with a cane shuffled down the street.

Now, if I ever do get around to writing that great Japanese-Canadian novel, I will use the adverb...but sparingly. There are plenty of amazing verbs out there, too.

The menu rather led me astray, though. I ordered my usual wings....the menu has been updated and re-worded. I saw the options for the chicken wings as "1 lb" and "2 lbs with fries". Well, I used my mental conversion meter of fajitas and thought that the one pound would be enough and order fries as the side item. My waitress seemed a bit nonplussed by my order since she thought I was making my decision based on the cost....which wasn't the case at all. As it turned out, my 1 lb of wings was smaller than what I'd ordered in the past. The 2 lbs was my normal order. Lesson learned. I may head back there next week for penance. But I did tell Shard that I would take him to Kinton next time since he has yet to try the ramen there.

And despite having taken my cold medicine before leaving the apartment this morning, regrettably, my nose was still running like a broken faucet all throughout our lunch. Luckily, Shard and I have known each other far too long to care really. Still, it was uncomfortable to have to reach for ragged Kleenex every thirty seconds for a nose that felt swollen inside.

Tomorrow will be a mega-outing. I'll be meeting my old friend from my Japan days, The Satyr, for lunch down at a Chinatown institution, Kom Jug Yuen. He's been back for the Holidays for about a week but his family lives quite a ways north of Toronto. And then later on, I'll be meeting up with Automan and his group for dinner. Apparently, earlier in the day, the group will be splitting into two with one team catching "The Hobbit" and the other team seeing "Les Miserables" at Silver City. I've already seen one and I have no interest in seeing the other, so I will be catching them after their viewings. As for "The Hobbit", the word on the street about this 48 FPS gimmick seems to be rather negative. I was OK with it but I won't be crying in my beer if it did get the hook.