Monthly Archive for December, 2014

Little Red Wasp restaurant review

I visited the Little Red Wasp yesterday as part of an excursion to Ft. Worth. Since I took the TRE from Dallas and got off at Ft. Worth’s Intermodal Transportation Centerstation, The Little Red Wasp was one of the closest establishments to the station that I wanted to try.

I had the Crispy Chicken sandwich, which is just like the menu states, a sandwich that requires a knife and fork to eat. The sandwich was a spicy breaded fried chicken breast on a sub roll stacked with a spicy coleslaw that had jalapenos. It came with a side of chips. The sandwich was taller than it was wide, and it had a 6 inch stick going through each half just to keep the sandwich from falling apart. The coleslaw was the spiciest slaw that I’ve ever eaten. Removing a few of the jalapenos helped calm down the heat, but just the creamy addressing alone had a reddish color to it that probably contained in part the source of the heat. After having ordered the appetizer of chips and ranch dip, which was very good, I could not finish the second half of my sandwich. I enjoyed the leftover half the next day for dinner. The chips were potatoes chips that are made there, hot and greasy, and the dip was ranch dip that tasted extremely fresh. The beer selection on tap was limited to about six beers, but the selection was excellent. The waiter gave me a nice little cardboard box that folded close to put my leftovers in, but that solution did not work out carrying it in my backpack. So, I received one of those quasi-disposable plastic tupperware boxes that they use for carry-out orders, and that worked out great, especially considering it squashed some of my sandwich down, which the staff verified is normal procedure for this sandwich, and that kept my sandwich together during transport. I was happy.

I’d definitely come back again, but first I’ll explore the rest of Ft. Worth some more.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 movie review

A couple weeks ago, I saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 at the movie theater on opening night. I went because it was a date, and I may brag that I was a thoughtful date because I bought the tickets several days in advance, which at this theater made a difference because seats are assigned. I locked in a great pair of almost center seat. Being a sound geek, I always want to sit in the center to get the best sound stage perspective, aka sweet spot. The production on this film was great, as I would always expect of a film of this caliber.

MockingjayPart1Poster3.jpg

3rd teaser poster for the film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Licensed under Fair use Wikipedia

The Hunger Games series attracts a crowd younger than me, but overall it is a pretty good franchise because kind of like the 1990s TV show La Femme Nikita, it depicts the struggle between being oneself and trying to sustain that while an oppressor tries to take that from you. That concept probably is universal because in almost every culture people imagine a life they dream of and actually live a different life. That struggle to close that gap between the two is relatable to everyone with a pulse, and that struggle is probably one of the closest examples to essence of what it means to be human.

So, considering the target audience of this franchise, I was quite surprised how dark and traumatic this film was, spanning the realities of war to severe mental illness. Basically, the entire film takes place in an underground city built inside of a bunker designed to withstand heavy bombing. In one scene where the bombing actually begins to take place, I was pleasantly surprised and equally yet appropriately disturbed that when all of the citizens were rushed down into the bomb shelters, we could hear the screaming of all of the citizens during each explosion. It really made me think that this is reality for many people in the world today, regardless of who is foe or friend. People experience this fear all the same when a bomb rumbles the very ground and roof of your personal space, and yet we do that to each other. Fortunately, I’ve never had to experience that.

I really like how openly the characters discuss the creation and staging of propaganda. It almost feels satirical or educational in comparison to what happens on our news outlets today.

All of the characters show development in this series from the previous installments. It almost feels like that while Katnis, the main protagonist played by Jenifer Lawrence, hangs on to her identity the best she can, the other characters around her also begin to get more in touch with their own true identities.

I’m not a great critic of acting, but I’ve been told that one of the most difficult things to act is to act like if you’re acting. In the first act of the film, Katnis is asked to act in a propaganda clip where she delivers lines in various rigid ways, like one would expect from an under privileged girl of a coal miner who has no acting training or experience. It was fun and painful to watch Jennifer Lawrence deliver this, and that’s what made it seem so good.

Perhaps this installment is like a well written children’s show, lots of fun on the outside with fairly important messages underneath that a wise parent could bring up at the dinner table to make a lesson or two on life.

In conclusion, this film and series isn’t for everyone to indulge in, but most folks can find something to take away from this.

Why good leaders make you feel safe — Simon Sinek’s TED Talk

I always love a good TED Talk, and although this one is a little short on enthusiasm and flare, the message here is worth hearing, especially if you work in a group environment or organization of any size. What makes a good leader is something that has interested me ever since I reported to leaders. One thing that is well pointed out in this speech is that leadership is not the same thing as authority. Simon Sinek states in this presentation that is is possible to be the highest rank of authority and not be a leader at all, and it’s also possible to be in the lowest ranks with no authority and be the true leader of the group.

A good leader makes you feel safe, and that doesn’t only make good logical sense, it is biological. It is in our cells.

The leader is key to a group because “the leader sets the tone.” Good leaders grow the group. They nurture, educate, encourage, and build confidence within the group’s individuals. I don’t know if I agree with the one organization that Simon Sinek uses as an example where the never fire anyone for performance because I’ve worked for an organization like that, but I guess this organization only hires people who are really passionate about the field. This was an enlightening presentation.