Random Thoughts: New Bakery / Deadliest Catch / Erasure

You'll Never Walk A Scone If you haven't popped in to check out the new Bakery-by-the-Lake in the former insty-prints on 3rd St. in Cd'A, you just gotsta do it. I've been in twice just to grab some goodies to go, and the goodies were great. A good scone is a wonderful thing and they have many varieties to choose from. So far, I've tried the pumpkin scone and the orange-cranberry scone and they were huge and delicious. With a fresh cup of coffee it's filling enough to be breakfast and for a buck and half, the price is quite right. Also, I had a chocolate cookie that was exactly the same as mom's and that's pretty friggin' good. I also sampled a piece of fresh baked sourdough bread and *wow* - it was moist and perfect, as good as the best San Fran could offer. One suggestion: the seating area could use a bit of cozying up - all they have is a handful of cold square tables and stiff chairs in a room devoid of personality. Some plants and a bookshelf would do the trick. I Love Watery TV Death I typically only watch TV late in the evening in bed for an hour a two before I drift off to slumber. I get caught in certain things and they develop into a craze: "America's Next Top Model", "Top Design", "What Not To Wear", "I Love New York", anything brainless competition style reality show involving glamour girls and/or bitchy fags and I'm rapt. For some odd reason lately, I am so caught up in something totally different: "The Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. (No, not "The Deadliest Snatch".) It's a gritty documentary series about commercial crab fishing boats in Alaska. For some reason, it's so fascinating to me that these people risk their lives and work 20-hour shifts in the worst possible environment imaginable, all to earn a meager living and bring a little crab to my dinner plate. Nearly every episode, someone dies a grizzly death, pulled suddenly to a watery death by catching a limb in the loop of a rope, or being sucked in by a wave and lost forever into the night sea. One episode I watched, the entire fishing boat sank and only one guy survived. Like any close-knit group of people, they have a ton of in-dramas and personal issues. they have fights and breakdowns, situations often brought on from lack of sleep and being overworked. It's quite entertaining. I've said before I think I must have died a watery death in the deep ocean in a past life, because I've always had a morbid fascination with deep and wide bodies of water. It's not a phobia per se, and it may be partly due to seeing the movie "Jaws" when I was too young, but I'm very uncomfortable near deep water and huge ships and cargo boats turn me into a nervous wreck, even standing next to them. You won't catch me ever playing shuffleboard on the deck of a Carnival cruise... There Are Times When I Would Scream Til I Was Blue Erasure's 40th (!) single "I Could Fall In Love With You", like each and every one of their many hits, is an earworm from listen number one. It's a hi-energy, high camp technicolor stomper and their best new single in years. The last few studio albums have been a little on the introspective, mellow side, but the new single and the rest of the new album Light At The End Of The World sees Vince and Andy getting back to business, making fun and bubbly synth pop of the finest caliber. Andy pulls his usual witty songwriting trick - on the surface it's a straight-up love song, but the lyrics are oblique and witty enough to be interesting and open to interpretation. Erasure has stuck to the same musical recipe since their earliest beginnings in 1985. In fact, to the casual listener, it's nearly impossible to date a particular song. Any given Erasure song could have been released in 1987, 1997, or 2007 with little discernible difference. It seems like Vince Clarke will never run out of catchy pop melodies for Andy Bell to warble diva-liciously atop. Having seen them live back in the heyday of the Wild! Tour, I will always picture Vince as a mad scientist frowning from behind an assortment of vintage synths and Andy as a naughty little boy in green-sequined lycra and riding across the stage on a huge mechanical swan. It was nice to hear their songs taken out of the electronic context and performed with a full band in country and western style on last year's Acoustic Tour as documented on the brilliant live CD/DVD On The Road To Nashville. They were able to prove that their songs were strong on their own, without the whoosh and whir of production and gizmos. Trends come and go, but Erasure remain stoically the same, they are like a rock, a true old friend you can always count on to be there. Cheers to Erasure for sheer longevity and for cooking up another classic and addictive new record!

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I recently started watching that show too. It is oddly fascinating, isn't it?
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