We went last night to dinner at Snuffer's in Plano, the local version of the traditonal Dallas hamburger place. Snuffer's is a restaurant with real burgers and baskets of fries, an antidote to chains of every kind, although it is now a kind of chain. But the Snuffer's was filled with people, all apparently 33 and yet somehow dressed as if they were at a Summer pledge drive of a college fraternity and a college sorority. I am not good with waiting interminable lengths of time for a hamburger, so we headed down the street to Vincent's Steaks and Seafood.
Vincent's is an old-fashioned place, built on quiet atmosphere, a menu from the 1940s, and staff that apparently has worked there since paleolithic times. I am sure somebody has had to wait for a table in Vincent's perhaps during a Christmas during the Second World War, but in general, it's an easy table in a down to earth but somehow restrained place.
I was disappointed that the flounder steaks were not available, in part because I wanted one, but also in part because my vague impression is that January is when Gulf flounder is caught and thus in season. I settled, though, on a grilled trout, while my wife went with a snapper almondine. The bread pieces there are little snippets of French bread, lightly toasted with a bit of cheese. We spoke together of the cabbages and candlesticks and kings things that make up our day as we ate. I pointed out that a woman across the restaurant looked just like an older version of a woman in my high school class, but I knew it really wasn't, and my personal shyness would have in any event made my seeking her out to say "hi" roughly as likely as the chance that I would bring a live toucan into the restaurant.
We decided to go to a movie. The movie whose start time was most congenial to our schedule was "The Aviator". I had resisted this movie, a bit, thinking it like to be too-too, all artificial star turns. I was wrong. Although the movie has not one but a half dozen star turns, we found it captivating and thoroughly enjoyable--a larger than life, larger than screen good old-fashioned Hollywood epic. Of course, any movie in which Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale appear tend to "sit well" with me, but the real feats in this film included wonderful cinematography, great direction (with a "just enough excess" approach not customary to Scorsese), and a screenplay that really works. Like all movie fiction, the result transforms the facts into a clever and ambiguous fairy tale.
Today I hope to work a bit, to rest a bit and to put more things on eBay. My chess books are one by one selling, reducing my inventory of things. I want to reduce my book count altogether, though, and thus may have to deliver many to Goodwill soon.
I also want to write some poetry, as I'm getting in a creative mood again.