Thursday, August 23, 2012

Date Night!! Restaurant and Movie Review.

Last night, my daughter hosted a last blowout of the summer sort of thing at my house for a couple dozen teenage girls. Pam and I took advantage of the chaos to have a Wednesday date night. It started at Yen Ching. We have been going there for dinner since the year we got married. It is one of the constants of our lives. We go there, without a reservation, and no matter what time of day or night, we get seated in never more than 5 minutes. Every night we order the same thing. I order orange beef and Pam gets crispy honey shrimp. We share the dishes over fried rice, with an egg role for an appetizer. It's always perfect, the most predictably reliable meal in the city of Richmond. The lighting is soft, no music blares from the ceiling, so conversation is easy. There's a cheesy little Chinese sculpture with a fountain in the middle of the dining room which provides soothing back ground noise. The waitresses all speak very broken English, but the service is efficient. Very poor selection of beer ( Heineken and Tsingtao ) is the only drawback to an otherwise wonderful and relaxing dining experience. The bill always comes out to $35 or so. We left full and content.

After dinner I suggested some truly mindless entertainment...the latest Will Ferrell movie, The Campaign. The presence of Ferrell on the marquee guarantees a level of raunchiness and crudity that I normally try to avoid. But tonight, I was in the mood for a laugh at the expense of our democratic process, and figured, who better than Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis to provide just that? I was not disappointed. It was very raunchy, very crude, and a rather even handed send up of both political parties. Imagine what a Congressional race in a rural North Carolina district between John Edwards and Jesse Helms would look like..and you've pretty much stumbled upon the plot of this picture! Throw in lots of bourbon, blonds and bad guys ( Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow play the scheming billionaire "Motch" brothers ), and you've got yourself a Ferrell vehicle extraordinaire. Silly, juvenile, and embarrassing...the same three emotions I grapple with when confronted with real campaigns. Perfect. I spent $20. I've spent more money on dumber, not too bad.

When the final credits ran it was still only 9:40. Kaitlin's party was scheduled to run until 11. We drove around aimlessly for awhile before deciding to throw caution to the wind and brave the great teen aged girl invasion. We walked in the house and found that nothing was on fire, no policemen had been called by irate neighbors, and Molly ignored our entry into the house, enthralled as she was being the center of attention of the roughly 10 girls in the family room. Actually the girls were well behaved, adorable, and amazingly neat. Kaitlin clearly adores them and the feeling seemed very mutual. It brought back lots of memories of the nights where there were 30 or so kids in our house, 10 years ago. Back then we didn't care so much about the furniture, since they had already destroyed it anyway. My kids were much louder, hungrier and more destructive. Wait..that's because half of them were boys! Walking in my house last night, I realized how much I miss the chaos and tumult of teenagers. Sounds crazy, but it's true