January 29th, 2014

krazy koati

You are the moves you make; take your chances win or lose

After thinking it over we decided not to go into New York City a second Sunday in a row. Fatigue was part of it. Not being able to get in touch with bunny_hugger's brother to find what his schedule was like was more of it. So, yes, mid-afternoon we got texted by him to see if we were coming into town. It was too late to, which is a shame, but means we'll just have to try to get up there in summer all the more.

We did instead go to Jersey Mike's, for lunch somewhere we could eat without raiding the dwindling stores back at my parents', and from there to the Book Garden. The most curious thing we found there was a slender paperback from the late 80s promising to have hilarious answering machine messages. If you're old enough, you remember people who made hilarious answering machine messages, dimly, because you stopped talking to them. The book contained not just reams of unfunny jokes --- some of them literally second-grade joke book stuff with a ``leave a message'' jammed into the text somewhere --- with a pile of unfunny sketches at the end. Really: they offered scripts that you could use, with parts for multiple actors and recommended sound effects, to use you answering machine to make sure people stopped associating with you. It was with effort that I resisted the powerful urge of this ironic treasure.

We did have somewhere to go for the evening. I'd wanted to see Gravity, and bunny_hugger knew I'd wanted to see it, but somehow we'd never made the leap into ``let's go see Gravity today''. This made a good little Sunday evening with not much to do and I'd found a theater outside Trenton playing it at a reasonable hour. It turned out to be nearer the Book Garden than I thought, and despite the satellite navigator weirdly guiding us through residential streets still under that horrible slush that comes from imperfect plowing, we got there with an hour or so to hang around. We ended up hanging out at a Dunkin Donuts, because while the ambiance of a Starbucks might be better for just hanging out an hour or so, the one my satellite navigator tried taking us to no longer existed. I need new maps.

The theater --- in Hamilton, where I'd gone for many Rifftrax live events because it was close to work and a pretty good spot --- was not renovated like the one outside the Freehold Raceway Mall was. I mention this because of something I failed to discuss in the trip to see Frozen. The Freehold Raceway theater had made us pick assigned seats, a practice that bugged me a bit back when I was in Singapore, and I was fully prepared to ignore whatever seat we had picked except that sure enough people came around to fill the seats we might have gone to. The seats were also pretty ridiculous, stuffed reclining chairs that I couldn't figure how to make recline until the closing credits came on (and then only managed to do by accident). Admittedly they're comfortable and there's plenty of space, but there's also nowhere to tuck your heavy winter jacket especially if there's no empty seats by your side or in front of you, and while I haven't any complaint about the cupholders you're still stuck putting your popcorn in your lap. And as bunny_hugger noted, making people think the theater is even more like their living room is probably not going to have good effects on getting people to shut up and put their glowing rectangles down for the length of a movie.

The Hamilton theater had none of that nonsense. It had good stadium seats, sure, but nothing assigned, no recliners, just good spots to go watching the movie. It was showing Gravity in 3-D, which is probably good cinematically but was a bother because I failed to notice that in the listings and bunny_hugger wore her regular glasses rather than contact lenses. It turns out the polarized-lens 3-D glasses do fit tolerably well over her glasses, though.

Gravity was a good choice for a 3-D film, though, since so much of what 3-D does well is to add depth to a scene and all those scenes, including those very long takes wedded together, have a lot of depth to offer. It's also a relentless movie, an hour and a half of tension that just doesn't get relieved and I didn't realize how exhausting it was going to be. We enjoyed it, despite getting worn down, and were particularly satisfied that one moment where it looked like the film was going to get insultingly-dumb-yet-commercial turned out not to be so.

We returned home, for what would be our last night at my parents' home and barely a week before it stopped being their home, and watched a Columbo episode that the Tivo grabbed off MeTV. bunny_hugger printed her boarding pass, as she was to fly back home the next day, and we got ready as best as we could predict for the terrifying emotional cocktail which would slam us Monday. I was not ready.

Trivia: David Garrick, 18th-century Shakespearean actor and manager of the Drury Lane Theatre, is credited with ending the practice of reduced admission fees for theater patrons who leave early. Source: Know-It-All, A J Jacobs.

Currently Reading: Coming Of Age In The Milky Way, Timothy Ferris.