Sunday, July 22, 2012

the spicy enticer, nostalgic perfumes & tableaux, repressing outrage

the most un-renovated joint in provo
i'm sure those of you who attended byu in the '80's will remember this joint, a place we might call the most un-renovated dining establishment in provo, maybe tied for first place with tommy burger.

christian can't stop cracking up over the name "spicy enticer"
christian and i, moved by the hot day & not being all that hungry & perhaps a sense of chow-houndary or nostalgia, decided to eat dinner here.  also, christian can never get over the hilariousness of the names of their erotically nomenclatured sandwiches, especially the spicy enticer, sized according to your desires at four, six, eight, twelve inches and up.  (they even have a special bread pan that can make a hoagie sandwich up to seven feet long.)

sandwiches are plopped on the table in their excellent 70's era hoagie brown bags
we were only into four inches that night.

if you took down all the garfield posters, there would surely be white rectangles beneath every one of them
i've eaten at the sesuous sandwich, since, i don't remember when, but starting early enough in life that i didn't notice how odd it was that no one in g-rated provo seemed to bat an eye at the overt suggestiveness of this place.

i fear they won't survive the gentrification. we'll see how much humor, nostalgia, and hoagie craving the residents of provo really have in them.
anyway, we have thought about going here many times in past year.  downtown provo is undergoing a lot of changes with the ginormous and architecturally monstrous nu-skin complex going in and the new provo temple being constructed out of the old provo tabernacle.  is the sensuous sandwich going to be shiny enough for nu-skin?  appropriate enough for white-cardiganed temple workers or patrons to drop in for a post session snack?  who knows.  so get it while you can.

the threshold to sensuous sandwich:  anybody ever heard of karl's?
my sandwich was tasty enough, though an hour after dinner my entire body was leached of moisture from the mound of salty cold-cuts, and i had to quench my yawning existential thirst with a pepsi, though i try not to drink soda any more after weaning myself of a 2 x 44 oz a day diet coke habit 3 years ago.

this nostalgia dive segued nicely into a trip to the dillard's perfume counter at the mall.  i'm looking for a new scent, and the chanel chancel fresh that was the perfume vendor's "all time favorite" reminded me of the maroon-bottled lauren by ralph lauren i used to wear (along with every other byu girl) in the '80's, jean nate of the 70's, and lolita lumpicka of the '90's.  all scents i wore in past decades.  i liked the chanel, but didn't fall in love with it.  i wanted to try tom ford's white oleander, which i've enjoyed before, but never owned, but they didn't carry it.

then we continued delving into our shared decades past by finally seeing wes anderson's moonrise kingdom.  i had to keep putting it off because my midterm portfolios took so much longer to grade than i thought, and christian got really impatient.  i don't know why, because he hates wes anderson.

i have more patience with anderson, and can simultaneously enjoy and be irritated by him.

christian's take is this:  "too precious,"  "too much going on," and "not enough going on," "too obsessed with retro technology," "too many tableaux," "too much accessorizing," and "too weirdly obsessed with eroticizing children."

i pretty much agree with him on all points, but i think i also enjoy all of these things, and am a little more comfortable with excess for its own sake, with over-indulgence, than christian is.

& i, too had a love affair with my portable record players, both the fischer price plastic records and later, the vinyl that we played over and over (one only had a few records back in the day, right?) only rather than benjamin britten's a young person's guide to the orchestra, we listened to peter and the wolf, the carpenter's, donny osmond, the byu fight song, and puff the magic dragon over and over again in our '70's kelly green basement.  the more forbidden records, like the doobie brothers (naked people!) and fleetwood mac were studied and listened to at my neighbor's house with his, to me, naughty and glamourous teen-aged siblings.  also, my dad played handel's water music every sunday on a reel-to-reel, and i listened to my suzuki violin method records every day when i practiced, and learned to love bach that way.

so, yeah, i get how much wes anderson loves his vinyl and his reel-to-reels and his radios.

(i wonder how my own children will react to the britten in the film?  they used to listen to a young person's guide to the orchestra every night in bed on cd.  what memories will it evoke for them?)

i concur with much of christian's criticism, but, i mean, who doesn't love those high-necked 60's dresses with knee socks and "sunday school shoes"?  who doesn't love britten's noye's fludde performed in a quaint church by felt-becostumed child-birds?

i especially admire how anderson works with only a whiff, the faintest whiff, of exposition and manages to tell an entire story with character arcs, a plot, and everything, however minimal.  loved how the entire love story and plot was conveyed in the 30 seconds of epistolary cuts after about 30 minutes of build up.

some of the editing was stunning and virtuosic, like in the end where the action suddenly builds into a whole bunch of jumps and cuts and images with really cool layering of sound and music.

the tension between minimalist characters, dialogue, and plot and maximalist sets, sounds, and themes is also interesting and engaging to me.

or perhaps this is just a testament to how culturally dull my immediate environs are at the moment.

i felt a guilty sense of indulgence at how much i enjoyed the film, while still not 100 percent sold on it.


& then, also, a simmering feeling of rage.

as a teacher, a mother, a poet.

at seeing things go wrong for not one damn good reason in our most recent murderous massacre.

but i have to keep quiet for now.

for some reason i just can't handle a discussion about this at the moment.  i've been talking about these issues with students for more than twenty years, trying to understand why emotion trumps reason & evidence in their thinking at least 90 percent of the time,

and still not understanding the excuses so many of them offer for allowing such easy access to destruction and rampage.

i've already said too much.

i'm very angry, and not ready to discuss with calmness or hear any other point of view about this at the moment.



i should keep my mouth shut.

but i can't.


  1. Never keep your mouth shut! I love how much time you spent discussing Wes A here! I know others who have the same problem with him, but I like stylized stuff.

  2. Brian and I spent many a date night in the 80s at Sensuous Sandwich, and he still loves to frequent it to this day--ALWAYS getting the Spicy Enticer. You are right. Time stands still in that place.