Fear and Loathing in Antwerp

And then sometimes you find yourself in Antwerp, with good friends from Philly and the most wonderful ms. thingk, wandering the diamond district on the Sabbath, when all is closed. It’s a beautiful and under-rated city, even in the cold november rain. Complete with its infamous port where the spoils of the former Belgian Congo once arrived. My guests reminded me of the excesses of Belgian life; waffles, beer, french fries, and – ouch my teeth – chocolate. I usually don’t remember these things as I go about my seasonal family business in Brussels, but today I had some of each (cept no waffles). The other themes that dominated the visit were Paul Rubens the Belgian impressionist vs. Paul Rubens the big adventurist. I’d say that for today, PeeWee won… as nocoins repeatedly screamed about the secret word.

Ms. Thingk brought up a good discussion topic as I was dozing off, leaning in her direction, on the train home: Male vs. Female main characters. She asked me if I could name my favorite male actor and then mr favorite female. Of course I named Denzel, Dustin Hoffman, and Ralph Fines.. but then when it got to females I got choked up. I tried to do the usual Natalie Portman, which she rightfully pointed out – is typical. But otherwise, I struggled to name Carrie Anne-Moss and Dame Judie Densh. Ms. Thingk’s point was the fact that men stick out as main actors more than women. And how if you have a film, the best way to market it is to have a male in the lead role. While if you put only women in the lead roles, it gets dubbed a “chick-flick,” thus limiting the audience. I wondered about this… now I want to go around seeing how fast people can name their favorite actresses.. just to see if I’m the only involuntary-sexist-film-lover.

Other shocking news… ms. thingk will be leaving for DC in a month. Joining the capital crew… who knows, she might become the next wonkette or – gasp – washingtonienne.

Today’s Sounds: Decemberists – Castaways and Cutouts