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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Dinner tonight at a lousy Italian restaurant. 
16th-Jan-2006 08:12 pm
Winter
The bruschetta looked like toasted Wonderbread, the minestrone could've come out of a can, the veal had the taste and consistency of a wet sponge, and the red sauce would've been BETTER had it been from a jar. Suffice to say that we were not impressed. How do they get away with this shit where there are so many GOOD, comparatively priced Italian restaurants nearby? How do they turn a profit? Are there people out there who can't handle quality???

Anyway, here's today's book. Another recommendation from Breakfast in Bed:

Malloy, Brian. The Year of Ice. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2002.
Summary: In the wake of Kevin Doyle's mother's (accidental?) death, Kevin learns that his father has been cheating on his mother and that his mother knew about it. Angry about that, and, coupled with feelings of isolation stemming from his homosexual feelings, he uses a fantasy of romance with a (very heterosexual) classmate to escape. His father has an affair with two women, manages to get the one he marries pregnant, and then disappears when he learns that the baby is to be born with severe birth defects.
Comments: This is dick lit exemplar, and Kevin's voice, though at times quite repetitive, is 100% believable. As per usual chest-thumping male, the depiction of women is deeply ambivalent, and the protagonist (and perhaps the author as well) seems to be fighting the temptation toward derision, even though he is obviously most aware of the various civil rights movements and histories of the world. He might also be anti-abortion--it's hard to tell. The whole Catholic/Irish-American/immigrant thing was interesting at times, but bellyaching about your differences from the "average" American when you're white too strikes me as a bit presumptuous. In any case, I feel rather bad for Kevin; he lies in bed dreaming of fairytale romance and even marriage and eternity with one person, and by the end the message seems to be that nothing lasts forever...when, meanwhile, he hasn't even had ONE boyfriend yet! Way to deflate the poor kid's expectations, doncha think? *sighs* The language of the novel itself is quite accessible, but though it is structured to cover Kevin's 18th year and his move from high school into college, I noticed that things accelerate considerably toward the end, as if the writer himself is eager to be done with it. (No surprise that this is Malloy's first--and only, as far as I know--novel.)
Notes: hardcover, 1st edition, out-of-print; trade paperback edition available
Rating: 5.5/10 - A strong beginning, but it peters out to near-mediocrity at the end.
Comments 
17th-Jan-2006 01:20 am (UTC)
Glad I chose the Thai ^_~
17th-Jan-2006 01:21 am (UTC)
I wouldn't have taken you there. There's always Alfonsos, and there's also this awesome, expensive Italian restaurant on 206 called Acqua, or something like that. We went there the first time on Christmas Eve, and the food was FABULOUS. ^__^
17th-Jan-2006 01:26 am (UTC)
Okay, Thai first, and then a good Italian place the next day ^__^
17th-Jan-2006 01:39 am (UTC)
We could work our way through cuisines from nearly every continent (except Africa...I think) right here in Somerville, for that matter. ^^;;;
17th-Jan-2006 02:02 am (UTC)
Indian would be nice too, I haven't had Indian food in ages ^_^
17th-Jan-2006 02:19 am (UTC)
We've got an Indian restaurant, too, but I've never had Indian food, and I would have no idea if it was good or not.
17th-Jan-2006 02:25 am (UTC)
I've only had it a couple times, I wouldn't really know if it was good or bad either ^^;;
17th-Jan-2006 02:27 am (UTC)
Well, there is actually a pretty large contingent of Indians in the area, so I should hope that they'd go for authenticity.

The Mexican food here is top-notch, and I know it--it tastes just like food I had in Mexico. ^__^
17th-Jan-2006 02:43 am (UTC)
Cool, we follow the Indians ^_~ I do like Mexican.. Actually, rice and beans is one of my diet staples; cheap, easy, and yummy ^__^
17th-Jan-2006 02:58 am (UTC)
You know, I don't really have any particular "staples." I could never eat just one thing all the time; my tastes change at whim and also with the seasons.
17th-Jan-2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
My tastes change a lot too.. I've been eating this a lot since summer though, I got it as a Lean Cuisine meal and thought I can make this better myself.. I probably don't make it properly, but it's cheap, easy, and healthy, and all cooked in one little pot ^_^
17th-Jan-2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
Rice and beans can be quite filling, but it doesn't give me as much protein as I really need per meal, so I don't eat that all that often. ^^; I need to get near 20 g per meal, or I'll be short for the day. *sighs*
17th-Jan-2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
Gotta get extra because of the stomach thing? ^^
17th-Jan-2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
I'm supposed to get at least 60 g...but I usually shoot for fifty, and since I only eat two meals a day plus snacks, well, you can see how the numbers break down. ^^;;;
17th-Jan-2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
I don't even know how much I get, I just try to get some ^^;;
17th-Jan-2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
Protein deficiency is rare because virtually everything we eat has SOME protein in it. I have to be careful because I can't eat that much before I start gaining weight--and I have to count even grams of protein. >_< Life sucks. At least I don't have to worry so much about vitamins.
17th-Jan-2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
I read something about doctors starting to see patients who had gastric surgery learning to "out eat" the bypass ^^;;; I guess nothing is perfect...
17th-Jan-2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
That's entirely possible. The surgery only strictly restricts intake for the first 6-12 months or so. After that, you have to watch what you eat like a normal person. (After that, the surgery functions on an enzymatic level--you don't crave food like normal people.) It just so happens that I have a very slow metabolism and in general can't eat that much before I start to gain weight.
17th-Jan-2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
The surgery only strictly restricts intake for the first 6-12 months or so

Wow, I didn't know that.. I would think that the experience of the surgery would be enough to keep anyone on a diet though ^^;;
17th-Jan-2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
You'd be surprised. :P Some people do gain the weight back after surgery. People forget trauma as a coping mechanism. After all, if women remembered the pain of childbirth, they'd never have more than one kid, right? ^^;
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jan-2006 01:45 am (UTC)
*laughs* If you're busy finding puns in my journal entries, you've got WAAAY too much time on your hands...
(Deleted comment)
17th-Jan-2006 02:30 am (UTC)
Well, glad to be of service then!

But, you know, I'm not as well-read as all that. Nowhere near where I'd like to be, though I've been making a particular effort as of late.
17th-Jan-2006 01:57 am (UTC)
Wow, bad Italian in New Jersey? You'd think they'd have been driven out of business by now. New Jersey is the home of Italian food.
17th-Jan-2006 02:18 am (UTC)
Johnny Carino's. I think they might be a chain--sort of like the Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill. If you ever see one, just pass right on by. *sighs*
17th-Jan-2006 02:23 am (UTC)
Chain stores are horrible. You'd think they'd avoid Jersey though, there are too many really good Italian places and people don't tolerate the bad stuff.
17th-Jan-2006 02:26 am (UTC)
They seem to sprout up hand-in-hand in the same lots along with Walmart and other big-box stores, unfortunately. Maybe they prey on people who come from elsewhere and don't know better. *sighs*
30th-Jan-2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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