Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A day of decadence

I finally got the financial aid check today. To celebrate, and relieve a little stress, I spent some money today. I did not spend a lot but I did spend more then I have spent in the last 3 weeks. It felt great. As a result of the spending I have a few things to review. Let's start with the latest culinary creation from McDonald's!

I had been seeing emails and web ads about McDonald's new Angus Third Pounders for a few weeks now. I have to tell you that everytime I look at a picture of them I feel the urge to have a burger. The marketing is pretty appealing but would the taste equal the image? I went to McDonald's and ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger meal. I had visions of a tasty burger being complimented nicely by some wonderfully salty french fries. To my great disappointment the french fries were not fresh and the enjoyment was sapped from them. They were not exactly cold but they were close. Nothing disappoints like bad french fries. Not even knowing that they were boiled in beef fat before getting frozen, then shipped before being boiled again could cheer me up. Normally knowing how horrible these fries are for me really helps but the luke warmness stole that dream from me. I turned my attention to the burger and took a moment to take in the sight. An important factor of enjoyment is the look of the burger and I needed to take it in. The burger was a little off center as were the toppings. That was to be expected as I had watched the idiot behind the counter point out something to someone with the same hand that held my burger. Irritation caused by the memory of her waving my burger around flashed through my head as I looked at the off kilter burger but it was still an enticing sight. I picked the burger up and took a bite. I tasted nothing but bun. I was more then a little irritated at that moment but I readjusted my mind set and took another bite. I tasted the burger but nothing else. I was trying not to feel like the endeavor had been a waste of time. I took a sip of cola and picked the burger back up and hoped it had flavor this time. I had purchased a bacon cheese burger for a reason and that was the flavor. The third bite gave me what I was waiting for. A perfect mingling of cheese, burger, bacon, ketchup, mustard, and onion. I did not set the burger down this time and as soon as I had swallowed I took another bite. This bite had an overwhelming flavor of pickle. It was not the neon green slices I normally found in a fast food burger but more like a real pickle. It was interesting to taste that flavor but it was almost overwhelming. I looked at the burger while I chewes and I thought "there is something missing". I started looking at the picture on the ad they used for a tray liner. They had the three options lined up for me to gawk at and that was when I saw what was missing. The burger did not have lettuce or tomato. In fact, it is marketed without lettuce and tomato in the picture but sitting next to it is a cheeseburger with a beautiful tomato slice and lettuce leaf. I had somehow assumed it would have these and I was a little bummed to have them not be part of the party. As I sat there, wondering what McDonald's was thinking, I decided that I was going to review the burger. I set the burger down and looked at it for a moment. I examined the burger itself and saw that it looks like a pan fried burger and kind of like a boiled burger. If you cook a burger in the skillet the fat bubbles out and turns grey and stays connected. If you have never pan fried the burger you might not have seen that as the grease falls into the fire on a grill. I know that McDonald's doesn't have a grill; so I am not sure why I was surprised. Either way it was nicely browned and tasted pretty good so I picked it back up. I decided not to examine too much further and to just focus on the taste. After all I had spent 6.69 on the stupid meal (should have just bought the sandwich considering the terribleness of the fries) and I was pretty hungry. As I kept eating, the burger started tasting saltier and at a certain point it seemed all I could taste was salt, pickle and onion. The last straw was the last piece of bacon. I had not looked at the bacon before I dove in. I had stopped doing that years ago; for some odd reason they always undercook the bacon for my tastes but if I don't look I don't know and I can enjoy it. This piece of bacon just did not have the texture down and it stopped me from enjoying that bite. At that point I abandoned a quarter of the burger and 3/4of the fries. The fries were that bad. Overall my suggestion is that if you are at a McDonald's the new Angus burgers are worth trying. Perhaps your McDonald's won't be filled with incompetents (not likely but you can hope) and the burger will be evenly seasoned, the bacon will be crisp, and the french fries fresh. Perhaps if that had happened for me I would have been more excited about the experience. Either way the burger left me wanting and I will not go out of my way to get that burger again. If I have a craving for a good fast food burger I will find a Carl's Jr.

After I ate the burger I hopped on a train and went downtown to see the movie Moon. I had read a friend's review and decided I needed to see it and it was worth the trip. I am not going to review it for you as I think you should read the entry that inspired me: http://focoproject.com/2009/08/movie-review-moon/ My recommendation is to not look at any other reviews besides his because he manages not to tell you what happens. Not knowing what happens was pretty fun when the stuff started happening.

I wasn't done with my decadence yet. I had an urge to see the movie Orphan. I have been thinking of seeing it for a while now and had even cashed in all my coins to make it happen but had not made it to the theater yet. You see I wanted to go to the theater that, oddly enough, is like a block East and two blocks North of the theater Moon was playing at. I wanted that theater because their non-matinee is 8.75 when all other theaters are 10.50. The matinee of Moon cost 8.25 while the matinee of Orphan was 7.75 (same theater company). So I had been waiting until I was at that theater at the right time. The last 3 times I was near the theater the movie had already started and their was over an hour to wait. I am not great at waiting and the lack of money in my pocket (those previous 3 times) helped me to know that there were not a lot of time killing options.

The tag line says "There's something wrong with Esther" and the minute you see her you know that. This girl is wearing clothes better suited for the rich snobby girl on the Little House on the Prairie tv series. She is definitely different; in a creepy way not a fun, let's play with the imaginary aliens kind of way. Never the less, a family that is not quite over their demons and their losses decide she is perfect. You see this family already has a son and a daughter but lost a baby during delivery. Their actual daughter is deaf and doesn't utter a peep in the movie so perhaps she is also mute. The son looks like he was made to sulk. The parents meet Esther during a visit to an orphanage and immediately like her. They take her home and welcome her there with open arms, but it seems nobosy else has met her until then. At first there seems to be a dynamic set up where everyone in the house but the older son loves this girl. Once again, I found myself wondering 'why?' because this girl gives off a mega-weird vibe. Esther immediately bonds with the little girl and they seem to be inseperable. Esther even learns sign language to communicate better with the little girl and I guess one might feel comforted by that. Of course not if you have seen the previews. It isn't long before Esther's evil side is revealed and she has shoved another girl off some playground equipment. To be perfectly honest I was totally happy when that happened because that particular girl had been quite repugnant. In fact it was that scene, the scene shown in the previews, that made me like Esther. Suddenly I was hoping that the review I had read, prior to seeing the film, that talked about the surprise ending was suggesing a surprise ending more along the lines of Uninvited. Of course to get that reference you would have to be one of the 12 people who has seen Uninvited. Either way Esther has just gotten started being evil. I did not completely anticipate the twist at the end... in fact I probably caught on like 5 seconds before the movie expected you to catch on. Then again maybe I caught on right where everyone else did. Of course I have decided it must have been the 5 seconds earlier then everyone else because it sounds better. You know somehow not super cocky but better... ;) I enjoyed this movie. It was not great or groundbreaking. If you are not a horror/suspense person then there is no need to rush out and see it but if you like these kind of flicks you should see it. Do yourself a favor don't read anything about the twist and see if you can beat my "5 seconds before the twist is revealed" record. As I said, during the movie I started liking her. Evilness and all. I almost wanted her to get away with it but that little deaf girl was adorable and I knew I had to root for her. There is no way a cute little deaf girl could live and Esther could live at the end of a movie like this. The movie is not without faults. The fiorst is that somehow Esther is not in trouble for pushing a girl off the jungle gym. The girl breaks her leg and tells people she was pushed by Esther but nothing happens. I am fairly certain that wouldn't happen. You can't be accused of pushing someone off the jungle gym and then just get out of it. Most of the plot relies on the disfunction of the family to allow for nobody to trust each other. If you think too much about that part this story gets a litle far fetched but don't think; just watch.

The nicest thing about seeing Orphan was the walk to the train. I decided to stop into Powell's on the way. I picked up a book and sat to read a little bit of it. I was not the only person reading over there and I was thinking I might stay. Suddenly a couple came in. I would say they were older then I am and probably older then my older siblings as well. The woman was talking really loudly and they sat right next to me. They both took out laptops and she kept yapping the entire time. I was annoyed by this because there is another side that has more tables and computers already set up. It seemed like they should have sat there as that seemed more of a place to do it at. I was feeling annoyed by her non-stop yappiness so I kept making eye contact with her, in an effort to shame her, but she kept talking. I have begun to wonder if people can be shamed anymore.... The worst part was her partner was not listening to her and she was not on a phone. This guy wasn't even humoring her with an occasional "mm-hmm" but she kept talking. Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I got up and left. As I walked the remaining blocks to the train stop I envisioned having Esther around to kill her off. It was very satisyfying.

Anyway I am back on a budget tomorrow.


Nancy said...

I liked the mushroom swiss and the deluxe one, but I haven't tried the bacon cheeseburger variety. I'm not big on bacon, so it doesn't interest me at all. I was actually pleasantly surprised by these burgers as they didn't really have that mcdonald's taste to them.

Michael Williams said...

Thanks for the info. If I get around to desiring another one I will try the mushroom swiss one or maybe just the deluxe one.