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Saturday morning I slept ’til noon.  Then, since I didn’t really have a plan for the day, I took my time getting up and out of bed.  Close to two hours, just looking at my phone and considering options.  Finally made myself brunch.  Two hot dogs with sauerkraut and some potato salad, which doesn’t sound like much but was exactly what I wanted.  I’ve been buying these no-fillers, no nitrites dogs, of which there are a lot of options lately, most of them labeled “natural” hot dogs, which of course is ridiculous.  Dang it if they aren’t yummy, though.

Got into my car and headed toward town, still with no plan.  If nothing called to me by the time I got to the university, I figured I’d just drop off a few plastic storage boxes for my personal stuff.  We’re moving offices in two weeks, supposedly, and the company is moving up to three boxes of work-related stuff but not personal stuff, which we’re all supposed to take home since we won’t have any room in the new space for personal stuff.

As a little office experiment, I’ve been putting jigsaw puzzles on this unoccupied desk, so people who need a little break could come relax their brains a bit and work on something collaborative and fun.  I was about to head back out when I realized there was nothing I’d rather spend the next hour or so doing than immersing myself in the puzzle, so that’s what I did.  Probably not the best idea, spending time in the office like that when I wasn’t doing any work, but it was just an hour.  Or two.

I actually did do some tidying up, which I consider work-related, and then I knew what I wanted to do.  I drove to the zoo, paid for parking, and walked around Waikiki for a bit.  I remembered that there was this ramen spot I’ve been wanting to try for a few years, in King’s Village behind the KFC.  They’re closing King’s Village at the end of January, alas, so I figured this was my last chance.

Double alas: many of the businesses there have already cleared out, including the ramen joint.  It’s too bad.  In a neighborhood where things look typically the same, King’s Village really stands out as something interesting and fun-looking.  I’ll miss its Hogsmeade-like walkways and alleys.

Now my heart was set on ramen (despite having driven into the area at first interested in Italian; I’m easily distracted), so I went over to Kalakaua Ave, the main drag along the actual beach at Waikiki, and took at look at Momosan, Masaharu Morimoto’s ramen spot.  It was surprisingly casual and reasonably priced.  I’d found my dinner spot.

I ordered the gyukotsu, a ramen served with a braised short rib.  They only make 20 per day and what the heck?  It was the priciest item (I think) on the menu but it was a day for indulgence.  There were other ramens I was actually more interested in, so I’ll be back.  I also ordered a side of gyoza, because you have to when you’re trying a new ramen spot, and a glass of the Morimoto Soba Ale.  When I asked the waitress to tell me about it, she said “It’s a beer.”  And when I asked why it was a soba ale, she didn’t know.  I ordered it anyway and it was very good.

Oh wait a minute.  The expensive item may have been a shot of the Yamazaki, and I was tempted but decided I’d rather have the beer.

It was a nice dinner on the lanai so I could people-watch (there’s no better place on this island than Waikiki for people-watching).  I wandered about Waikiki a bit more after the meal, hoping to burn off enough to make room for dessert, but I just didn’t have the room.

I made it back to my car and drove aimlessly about for a little while, then went home, staying up late to watch The Breakfast Club, a new Criterion Collection edition I just picked up as a present to myself.  I also got The Princess Bride from Criterion, and they are both wonderfully done.

Went to bed after returning a few text messages from well-wishers, and this is how I turned 50.

Holy freaking cow.  50.

Review: Aquaman

Aquaman (2018)
Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman. Written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall. Directed by James Wan.

There was a point at which I almost said aloud, “This is completely ridiculous. How in the world am I supposed to believe any of it?”

Then in the very next second, I had a flash of some of my favorite movies, many of which would be unbelievable in any world outside the worlds created for them, for an audience ready to believe them. The Harry Potter movies, which I love, are in a fantastic world right against the real world. If I could accept the fantasy of Hogwarts, why not of Atlantis?

This is when my entire movie-watching self simply relaxed. I popped some Junior Mints into my mouth and eased comfortably into a world where a man speaks to fishes and his half-brother rides giant seahorses. Perhaps I’m ready to give The Shape of Water a try, now that I’ve seen and enjoyed Aquaman.

It’s a big, dumb, super-enjoyable movie, kind of a refreshing break from the darkness and ponderousness of DC’s recent films. Let Superman have his fortress of solitude and Batman his cave; Aquaman will do fine with a few enormous tankards of beer with his homies in the neighborhood bar.

Arthur Curry (the alterego I didn’t know Aquaman had) is the product of a romance between a lighthouse keeper in Maine and the queen of Atlantis. His half-brother, who sits on the throne in Atlantis, rallies the other undersea kingdoms for a war against the humans of the surface. To intervene, Aquaman must find the trident of his ancestor kings, so he might defeat his brother and claim his place as ruler of the sea.

Aided by Mera, a princess from another sea kingdom, and of course all the creatures of the sea, Aquaman chases the legend of the trident in something of a Temple-of-Doom manner. It’s all rather predictable but getting there is entertaining. The acting is fine, highlighted by Nicole Kidman and Amber Heard. Jason Momoa as the prince of Atlantis is like a better-looking Thor with slightly less acting talent.

It works for me, and it pretty much accomplishes exactly what it intends: brain disengagement and an escape from the sad ruminations of daily living, and who couldn’t use a bit of that?

7/10
70/100