Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Squid Mixes: Cuban Manhattan

A Cuban Manhattan is a variation on a Perfect Manhattan, switching out the whiskey in favor of dark rum.  I got the idea from Wikipedia.  As a test for this month's featured bitters, I switched out the Angostura bitters for molasses bitters.  

The result was okay.  I missed the whiskey but it was a pleasant experiment.  The bitters brought a smoky flavor.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Star Wars Comics: X-Wing Rogue Squadron #11-14, Devilworlds #1, Shadows of the Empire #5-6

My Recent Reads

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #11: Battleground: Tatooine, Part 3
Originally Published August 14, 1996
Writers: Michael A. Stackpole and Jan Strnad
Artist: John Nadeau
In-Story Timeline: 4 ABY

  • The Twi'lek Firith Olan is the only one who knows where Jabba the Hutt kept his hidden cache of stolen Imperial weapons.
  • Rogue Squadron is eager to find the cache before either the Imps or the gangsters get their hands on them first.  Thus, Olan is a key figure in their plans.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #12: Battleground: Tatooine, Part 4
September 11, 1996
Stackpole and Strnad/Nadeau
  • A troop of Imperial Special Forces soldiers, betrayed by the Imperials in the last issue, team up with Rogue Squadron in order to find the cache of weapons and stick it to the bad guys.
  • The story arc concludes.  The good guys win.
  • Winter and Tycho smooch.  They've been building up to this for a while.
  • Wedge finds a new gig for Elscol.  She'll lead a liberation army on Tatooine, armed with the newly recovered weaponry.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #13: The Warrior Princess, Part 1
October 1, 1996
Stackpole and Scott Tolson/Nadeau

  • Surprise!  Rogue pilot Plourr is a princess!
  • Eiattu 6 wants her back to help bring peace to her war-ravaged planet.
  • Understandably, she's a little uneasy about the prospect.  Last time she was there, she narrowly escaped the murder of the entire royal family.
  • She also is promised in marriage.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #14: The Warrior Princess, Part 2
December 1, 1996
Stackpole and Tolson/Nadeau
  • Plourr's betrothed, Count Rial, isn't such a bad guy.  He's a good pilot, too.  He helps Rogue Squadron in a scrap with the Imperials.
  • What are the Imperials doing on Eiattu 6 anyway?
  • We meet Harran, Plourr's brother and leader of People's Liberation Batallion who are not so keen for the old power structure to be reinstated.
  • Actually, Plourr feels the same and she tells the nobles she's not inclined to support their return to dominance.
  • Harran, meanwhile, is not the altruist he seems - more inclined to play everyone off of each other for his own self-interest.

Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds #1
August 21, 1996
Stories previously published in Marvel UK's Star Wars magazine
Writers: Alan Moore, Steven Moore and Steve Parkhouse
Artists: John Stokes and Alan Davis
Multiple eras

  • This issue collects four stories from the UK's fan mag:
    • "Dark Lord's Conscience"
    • "Dark Knight's Devilry"
    • "The Flight of the Falcon"
    • "Blind Fury!"
  • Yes, the writer noted above is the Alan Moore, he of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc.  He wrote the first and fourth stories in the collection.
  • The stories are good but not exceptional.  "The Flight of the Falcon" offers an alternate story for how the Millennium Falcon comes into Han Solo's possession - non-canon, obviously.

Shadows of the Empire #5
September 4, 1996
John Wagner/Kilian Plunkett
3.5 ABY

  • Lando saves Luke from bounty hunters and they get away in the Falcon.
  • Leia is falling for Xizor but Chewie helps her come to her senses.
  • Chewie gets away but now Leia is being held captive.
Shadows of the Empire #6
October 1, 1996
John Wagner/Kilian Plunkett
3.5 ABY

  • The boys rescue Leia and destroy Xizor's castle.
  • Vader learns that Xizor was the one who placed the second, death bounty on Luke.  Displeased, Vader destroys Xizor's, presumably killing him as well.  (Worth noting, it is his last appearance in the timeline - so far).
  • Boba Fett fends off his competing bounty hunters and successfully delivers the frozen Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt.
  • The Shadows of the Empire story ends just in time for the events of Return of the Jedi to begin.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Star Trek: Identity Crisis

Episode: "Identity Crisis"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 4, Episode 18
Original Air Date: March 25, 1991

La Forge is reunited with an old friend.  Lieutenant Commander Susanna Leitjen has come aboard and she's worried.  Years before, they were both part of an away mission on Trachannen III and recently, the other three members of the team abandoned their current posts and returned to the planet, not to be heard from again.  Naturally, she is concerned she and Geordi might be next.

I like this episode.  For starters, this is a far more satisfying female interaction than La Forge had with Leah Brahms in "Galaxy's Child."  Evidently, there was initially a plan for romance between La Forge and Leitjen but the writers thought better of it.  It was the right choice.  The platonic friendship between the two is both healthy and credible.  Also, the way La Forge uses the holodeck to unravel the mystery of what happened on the original Trachannen mission is very cool.  

A couple fun casting notes.   The two non-Geordi aliens in the climactic scene were played by Brian Phelps and Mark Thompson, two LA disc jockeys who were also on set to interview cast members for their radio show, The Mark & Brian Show.  Meanwhile, Ensign Graham was played by Mona Grudt, the reigning Miss Universe at the time.  The episode was her only appearance.

Acting Notes

Maryann Plunkett played the role of Lt. Cmdr. Leitjen.  She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts.  She graduated from the University of New Hampshire.

Most of her work has been on stage: a consistent theme for guest stars in the fourth season.  She won a Tony for her lead role in Me and My Girl in 1987 and has performed in the plays of Richard Nelson for many years.  Big screen gigs include Claire Dolan and The Company Men.  Apart from Trek, she made television guest appearances on Matlock, Miami Vice and Law & Order, among others.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

On the Coffee Table: A Small Town in Germany

Title: A Small Town in Germany
Author: John le Carré

via Wikipedia

A Small Town in Germany was published in 1968.  It was le Carré's first spy novel to feature neither George Smiley nor "The Circus," the author's fictionalized version of MI6.  The small town in question is Bonn and the story focuses on the simultaneously exposed and insular nature of diplomatic life in the Cold War capital of West Germany.  Leo Harting, a long-time German employee of the British Embassy, has gone missing.  It is feared he has defected and sold sensitive material to the Soviets.  The truth, of course, turns out to be a lot more interesting.

It's a good book, though I can't say I enjoyed it as much as the Smiley books I've read.  Alan Turner is the protagonist this time.  He's an official in from London to investigate the Harting case.  He's good at digging in the dirt but not good at all with the social niceties required in this embassy world.  He's quite violent with women which makes him impossible to like, even for the reader.

That said, I made some important personal connections with this volume.  First, I've actually been to Bonn.  During my family's big Europe trip in 1984, we stayed with some family friends, indeed an American diplomatic family.  So, I can attest to the strangeness le Carré describes.  Bonn was the least German place we visited in Germany, the area where they lived virtually undistinguishable from any American suburb of the era.

Worth noting Bonn's most important connection to world history, unmentioned in the book: it was the birthplace of Europe's greatest musician, Ludwig van Beethoven.

Also, my father was in the American foreign service himself in the late '60s, though in Asia rather than Europe.  As such, I was keenly aware that the social scene he described in Bonn probably wasn't that different from what my parents were experiencing on the opposite side of the world.

If anyone is keen to read everything le Carré ever wrote, the book is fine.  Otherwise, it could be skipped in between The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Squid Mixes: Grape Crush

A grape crush combines vodka, Chambord and lemon-lime soda (I used Sprite) in a shot glass.  You slam the glass on the counter, then drink it down before it fizzes over.  I got my recipe from The Architecture of the Shot by Paul Knorr.  Despite having no grapey ingredients, it is supposed to look and taste like grape soda.  We both agreed that it did.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Star Wars Comics: Shadows of the Empire #2-4 , Splinter of the Mind's Eye #4, X-Wing Rogue Squadron #9-10, The Golden Age of the Sith #0

My Recent Reads

Shadows of the Empire #2
Originally Published June 1, 1996
Writer: John Wagner
Artist: Kilian Plunkett
In-Story Timeline: 3.5 ABY

via Amazon

  • Prince Xizor is the new baddie in Shadows of the Empire.  He's an underworld kingpin and the Emperor has enlisted his help in crushing the Rebellion.
  • Vader, however, sees Xizor as a rival.
  • Luke, Leia and Chewie head to Tatooine to save Han from Jabba the Hutt.

Shadows of the Empire #3
July 1, 1996

  • Jabba's goons attack and capture Luke but they leave him alive.  He's not sure why.

Shadows of the Empire #4
August 7, 1996

  • Apparently there are two separate bounties out on Luke: one from Vader requiring he be taken alive and one for slightly less that he be dead.  As yet, the patron for the second bounty is unknown.
  • Meanwhile, rival bounty hunters attack Slave I, hoping to bring Han Solo to Jabba the Hutt themselves.  Boba Fett successfully fends them off.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye #4
June 25, 1996
Terry Austin/Chris Sprouse
Based on the novel of the same name by Alan Dean Foster

  • Luke wins his fight with the Coway warrior, thus earning his respect and a banquet invitation for the whole gang.
  • Vader spoils the party, attacking the Coway village.
  • Luke wins his duel with Vader by default when the latter trips over his own severed arm and falls into a dark pit.
  • Obviously, Vader must get out somehow in time for the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
  • The Kaiburr crystal is obtained and Halla gives it to Luke.
  • Fun series - quite faithful to the book.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #9: Battleground: Tatooine, Part 1
June 25, 1996
Michael A. Stackpole and Jan Strnad/John Nadeau

via Amazon

  • Rogue Squadron is off to Tatooine.  With Jabba the Hutt's death, all of his stolen Imperial hardware and weapons is seemingly up for grabs.  The Rogues must claim it for the Rebels before anyone else can get it and use it against them.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #10: Battleground: Tatooine, Part 2
July 2, 1996
Stackpole and Strnad/Nadeau

via Amazon

  • The devoted know the name Biggs Darklighter, Luke's buddy growing up on Tatooine.  He joined the Rebellion before Luke and was killed during the Battle of Yavin.  In this issue, we meet his father, a criminal warlord in his own right.
  • Darklighter has an important data disc.  Winter and Tycho go undercover to try to steal it but in the midst of the heist, it's stolen out from under them by a band of Rodians.

Tales of the Jedi - The Golden Age of the Sith 0: Conquest and Unification
July 31, 1996
Kevin J. Anderson/Chris Gossett
5,000 BBY
  • A new Jedi-archive story begins, set yet another 1,000 years before the Ulic/Exar Kun saga.
  • The new heroes are Gav and Jori Daragon, the young adult children of two supply runners who have just been killed.
  • As much as I admire the purpose of Tales of the Jedi in expanding the history of the galaxy far, far away, I don't think I'm up for investing in a whole new story.  
  • My exploration of Star Wars comics is taking sharper focus.  I prefer stories with the original characters in more or less the original timeline.  Also, the Rogue Squadron series offers something a little different, breaking away from the broader Jedi/Sith narrative, bringing in the grunt soldier perspective - something I often enjoy in any idiom.  At least so far, any series beyond those have trouble drawing me in.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Star Trek: Night Terrors

Episode: "Night Terrors"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 4, Episode 17
Original Air Date: March 18, 1991

The Enterprise has drifted into an area of space where the crew are all suffering from sleep depravation because they are unable to achieve REM and therefore dream.  Well, actually, Deanna can dream but she's only having nightmares.  And, of course, Data is unaffected - always a key when these sorts of stories come up.

"Night Terrors" is a notoriously bad episode.  The premise is fine but the pace is glacial.  In fact, before editing it was even slower and they had to trim just to fit into the time constraints.  The result is just plain boring: the unforgivable sin of science fiction.  We do get the benefit of one genuinely scary scene when Dr. Crusher hallucinates all of the bodies in the morgue sitting up at once.  Otherwise, this one's mostly forgettable.

Acting Notes

John Vickery played the role of Andrus Hagan, a Betazoid advisor aboard the USS Brattain and that ship's lone survivor when it was discovered by the Enterprise at the beginning of the story.  Vickery was born November 4, 1950 in Alameda, California.  He graduated from UC-Davis as a math major before going to the UK to study acting at Drama Studio London.

He did well with the big TV space opera franchises of the era.  This was his first of five appearances on various Star Trek series and he also made several appearances on Babylon 5.  He has strong stage credentials, including originating the role of Scar in The Lion King on Broadway.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Squid Mixes: Purple Haze

A purple haze combines Chambord, citrus-flavored vodka (I used lemon) and lemon-lime soda (I used Sprite).  I got my recipe from The Architecture of the Shot by Paul Knorr.  Obviously, I couldn't make it or drink it without thinking of the song.

This is meant to be a layered drink and as you can see from the photo, that didn't work out so well this time.  It's definitely going to take some practice.  According to the recipe, one should drink it through the straw in one go.  We didn't do that.  After the photo, I mixed it with the straw.

The result is quite sweet.  Chambord, a French black raspberry liqueur, is a new product for us - essentially liquid candy.  As my wife says, it's the sort of drink that fools you into thinking you're not drinking alcohol.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Star Wars Comics: Tales from Mos Eisley, X-Wing Rogue Squadron, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Heir to the Empire, Shadows of the Empire

My Recent Reads

Tales from Mos Eisley
Originally Published March 26, 1996
Writer: Bruce Jones
Artist: Bret Blevins
In-Story Timeline: 3 ABY

  • A one-shot collection of Grimm-like tales starring the frequent visitors to everyone's favorite hive of scum and villainy.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #7: The Phantom Affair, Part 3
April 1, 1996
Michael A. Stackpole and Darko Macan/Edvin Biukovic and John Nadeau
  • The Rogues are trying to buy a cloaking device from the Mrlssi and the Imperials are doing their best to get in the way.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #8: The Phantom Affair, Part 4
May 1, 1996
Stackpole and Macan/Biukovic and Nadeau
  • The story arc comes to a close as tensions mount between the Rogues and the Imps as well as between the academics and the more progressive students on Mrlsst.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye #3
April 23, 1996
Terry Austin/Chris Sprouse
Based on the novel of the same name by Alan Dean Foster

  • Luke and Leia defeat the wandrella that was ready to eat them in the last issue but now they're trapped in an underground network of caves.
  • Darth Vader arrives on the planet and takes over the search for Luke and Leia, and also the Kaiburr crystal.
  • When Luke and Leia finally catch up with the rest of their party, they find their friends have been captured by the Coway, an underground tribe.
  • Luke must defeat the Coway's best warrior and as the issue comes to a close, the fight isn't going his way.

Heir to the Empire #6
April 30, 1996
Mike Baron/Olivier Vatine and Fred Blanchard
Based on the novel of the same name by Timothy Zahn

  • Thrawn attacks Sluis Van but our heroes fend him off, with an assist from Rogue Squadron, a nice tie-in with a concurrently running series.
  • Heir to the Empire comes to a close.  Dark Force Rising is up next.

Shadows of the Empire #1
May 7, 1996
3 ABY - 3.5 ABY

  • Shadows of the Empire was a multimedia campaign including a novel, comic books, a video game, trading cards, a music soundtrack and a toy line.
  • The story is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, making it an interquel, a new word for me.
  • We join the tale immediately after the conclusion of Empire.  Luke is still reeling from the shock of Vader's revelation and getting used to his new prosthetic hand.
  • The Emperor is recruiting underworld help to support a final crushing blow to the Rebellion.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Star Trek: Galaxy's Child

Episode: "Galaxy's Child"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 4, Episode 16
Original Air Date: March 11, 1991

Dr. Leah Brahms is actually coming aboard the Enterprise!  In "Booby Trap," La Forge created a holographic simulation of the warp drive engineer and promptly fell in love with her.  Now, he meets her in the flesh and she doesn't exactly live up to his expectations.  Meanwhile, the Enterprise has encountered a new space travelling species.  In fact, a newborn imprints itself on the ship after our heroes accidentally killed its mother.

The new life encounter story is good.  The Geordi/Leah story is profoundly awkward.  Geordi handles his disappointment very poorly and then digs even deeper into the hole when Leah discovers the holodeck program with herself in the starring role.  We are meant to feel sorry for Geordi and forgive him for his missteps rather than holding him accountable for his inappropriate and unprofessional presumptions.  The truth is, Leah is right to be offended and our old buddy Geordi should have to suffer the consequences.  She's entitled to kick his ass and should have been given more rein to do so.

How might the same story have been told more effectively?  The basic idea of reality failing to live up to fantasy is a good one - true to life.  But the story could have been about Geordi growing to appreciate Leah for who she truly is rather than endlessly whining about who she isn't.  Intellectually, she's every bit as impressive as he thought.  Why not have the story be about that?  He can't "have" her but maybe he could respect her anyway.

It was an opportunity bumbled and it's too bad.  Geordi stories don't come around so often.

Acting Notes

Lanei Chapman played the role of Ensign Sariel Rager.  This was her first of four appearances.  Chapman was born January 23, 1973 in Los Angeles.  She made her screen debut in a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial at age 13.  She graduated from Dartmouth as a Spanish major.  She taught kindergarten before she decided to pursue acting full-time.

Her biggest role was the lead in the short-lived series Space: Above and Beyond.  Apart from Trek, she had guest appearances on Seinfeld, The Wonder Years and China Beach.  Her highest-profile film credit was for White Men Can't Jump.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Squid Mixes: Red Baron

The Red Baron is a shot combining vodka, orange juice and grenadine.  It is named for Manfred von Richtofen, also known as the Red Baron, a German fighter pilot in World War I, the very one Snoopy is always trying to shoot down in the Peanuts comics.  Visually, it is a Tequila Sunrise in miniature.  I got my recipe from The Architecture of the Shot by Paul Knorr.

The result is quite pretty.  My wife tasted mostly vodka.  She tasted the other ingredients but didn't feel they had a forward role.  I didn't have that problem, though that may have more to do with our preferred consumption techniques.  I take the down-in-one approach whereas she, a reluctant participant in this shot business, tends to sip.  Mixing properly isn't necessary my way.  It probably is with hers.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Star Wars Comics: Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Heir to the Empire, The Sith War, X-Wing Rogue Squadron

My Recent Reads

Splinter of the Mind's Eye #1
Originally Published December 26, 1995
Writer: Terry Austin
Artist: Chris Sprouse
Based on the novel of the same name by Alan Dean Foster
In-Story Timeline: 2 ABY

via Amazon

  • Splinter of the Mind's Eye was the original backup plan.  Just in case Star Wars didn't succeed at the box office with its initial cinematic offering in 1977, Lucas wanted a low-budget sequel in his back pocket.  Of course, we all know now that things played out quite differently for the franchise but Splinter was still published as a novel and, in fact, provided important cornerstones for the Expanded Universe.  My review of the novel can be found here.
  • Due to this history, inconsistencies with canon material are abundant.
  • While on a diplomatic mission, Luke, Leia and the droids crash land on Circarpous V only to find an illegal imperial mining operation there.
  • Once there, they meet Halla, a Force-sensitive woman who agrees to help them if they will join her quest to find the Kaiburr crystal.
  • The issue ends with our friends getting in a bar brawl with some of the miners.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye #2
February 27, 1996

  • Luke and Leia are arrested by the Imperials for brawling.
  • Captain-Supervisor Grammel's attention is drawn by the crystal shard Luke got from Halla.  He contacts the regional governor who recognizes Leia, too.  The governor contacts Vader.
  • Halla helps break them out of jail, along with the two enormous and friendly Yuzzem in their cell.
  • The full party sets off in a stolen swamp crawler towards the Temple of Pomojena to find the crystal.
  • This month's cliffhanger: they are attacked by a wandrella.

Heir to the Empire #4
January 2, 1996
Mike Baron/Olivie Vatine and Fred Blanchard
Adapted from the original novel by Timothy Zahn

  • Luke escapes from Karrde's base before Admiral Thrawn arrives to "interview" him.  Mara Jade catches up with him, though and makes him her prisoner.  Somehow, she has stripped him of his Jedi powers and his lightsaber.  She hates him but Luke still doesn't know why.  Fortunately, she needs him alive.
  • Han and Lando arrive.   They make friendly with Karrde.  They don't know where Luke is yet and Karrde is being coy about it.

Heir to the Empire #5
March 12, 1996
Baron/Vatine and Blanchard

  • Luke learns why Mara hates him.  She was the Emperor's "Hand" and lost her position when (as she believes) Luke killed Palpatine on the Death Star.
  • Han and Lando discover Karrde had been holding Luke prisoner.  But now that he's escaped and lost in the wilderness with Mara, there's nothing to be done.
  • The Noghri get through to Leia but she fights them off, also taking one of them prisoner in hopes of learning more about what's going on.  She convinces him to take her to his homeworld.

Tales of the Jedi - The Sith War #6: Dark Lord
January 16, 1996
Kevin J. Anderson/Dario Carrasco, Jr.
3996-3994 BBY

  • Ulic helps the Jedi defeat Exar Kun on Yavin 4.  However...
    • Kun sends one of his Massassi warriors into an isolation chamber beneath the temples, setting up a comic strip story set nearly 4,000 years later.
    • In their effort to defeat Kun, the Jedi trigger a massive fire which incinerates the entire room.
    • While Kun is defeated, he is not killed, though the Jedi don't realize that.  Thus, the door is open for a sequel.  Eventually.

X-Wing Rogue Squardorn #5: The Phantom Affair, Part 1
February 13, 1996
Michael A. Stackpole and Darko Macan/Edvin Biukovic
  • Wedge and friends discover an historical revisionist group, the AEA, who seek to deny that the Battle of Endor never happened and the Rebellion never defeated the Empire.

X-Wing Rogue Squadron #6: The Phantom Affair, Part 2
March 12, 1996
Stackpole and Macan/Biukovic
  • Wedge must persuade the Mrissi to sell their cloaking technology to the New Republic rather than the Imperials.
  • One of the negotiators for the Imps is Loka Hask, a pirate who killed Wedge's parents.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Star Trek: First Contact

Episode: "First Contact"
Series: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 4, Episode 15
February 18, 1991

An important away mission has gone wrong.  Riker was supposed to be on reconnaissance on Malcor III, a world on the brink of discovering warp technology.  The Malcorians are nearly ready for first contact, the initial introduction to the Federation and, through them, the broader, inhabited galaxy.  Instead, Riker is injured and lying in a hospital.  His cover seems likely to be blown at any given moment.

"First Contact" is a fascinating episode.  We know already, from "Who Watches the Watchers," that the Federation keeps an eye on pre-warp civilizations but until now, we don't know how much about how the initial encounter is supposed to go.  Granted, our Enterprise heroes still manage to screw it up but that's really not the point of the story.  Instead, we see that even with the prerequisite technological advances, the Malcorians still aren't quite ready from a cultural standpoint.  There's a broader life lesson in there, too: just because I'm ready for you does not mean you're ready for me.

"First Contact" is unusual in the franchise in that it is told from the perspective of an "alien" world seeing our friends as the outsiders.  A few weeks back, we had a discussion in the post comments about the fact that there's not yet been a Trek series told from a non-human point of view.  Perhaps a first contact narrative could be a good launching point for such a series.

Acting Notes

Bebe Neuwirth has a wonderful cameo in "First Contact."  She plays the part of Lanel, a Malcorian eager to help Riker but even more eager to have sex with him, always having wanted to make love with an alien.  The role was written with Neuwirth in mind and Jonathan Frakes loved working with her.

Beatrice "Bebe" Neuwirth was born December 31, 1958 in Newark, New Jersey.  She started ballet at age 5, then fell in love with musical theater when she went to see Pippin on Broadway at 15.  She went to Julliard but didn't stay long.  She took acting classes at the YWCA and found work in local ballet and theater but the big time was coming.

She got her first Broadway role in A Chorus Line in 1980.  She won her first Tony in a revival of Sweet Charity.  In truth, she probably could have been a star on stage alone for years but the highlight role of her career came on television as Dr. Lilith Sternin Crane on Cheers and, later, Frasier.  Lilith brought her two Emmys - the second in 1991, in fact.  A second Tony would come in 1997 for Chicago.  On the big screen, the Jumanji franchise has been especially kind to her.  She was in both the original film and the sequel Jumanji: The Next Level.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Bitters of the Month: Molasses

Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar refining process.  Rum, then, is produced from distilled molasses.  As such, it seems natural to me to pair Fee Brothers Molasses Bitters with rum for a test run rather than my usual gin.  My wife turned up her nose at the idea but I thought the result was quite nice, reminiscent of gingerbread cookies.  

This one definitely has some possibilities.