austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

If I had a pair of eyes on the back of my head

bunny_hugger woke up before I did, but she had provocation. My parents forgot she was in the study and printed out something on the wireless printer. Printing without seeing the room the printer is in is the kind of luxury wireless printers inspire, although in this case, it inspired in her uncertainty about whether she should take the printouts out, or whether someone would be coming in. My parents remembered belatedly where was someone theoretically sleeping in there and shied away from coming in. I'm still not sure how the impasse was resolved.

Our idea for breakfast, or lunch if you go by the clock, was to visit the vegetarian restaurant we'd discovered in December while looking for hors d'oeuvres. They did really good stuff with making imitations of meat out of vegetable matter. I was pretty sure I remembered the way, but bunny_hugger had her satellite navigation thingy too, and we let that take us on the same freakish path to get on the Interstate that it took us on back in December. I had forgotten that freakish path, though, and wouldn't have thought to take it without the navigator's suggestion.

I was right about the details of getting out there, although in the last few stages the navigator wanted us to take a different set of roads. My guess was it didn't know the quicker way into the strip mall's parking lot, but even when we were outside the restaurant it wanted us to be a couple streets over. We were crestfallen to discover the 'CLOSED' sign on the door. But bunny_hugger went up and read the fine print, finding the restaurant was not closed for good but had merely moved a few blocks over --- the navigator knew what it was doing after all. What it did not know was that the restaurant would not open in the new location until April, leaving us still hungry.

Ah, but, next to the closed restaurant was also a sushi restaurant, and that should do well enough for lunch. It did, too, despite some confusion on my part about the difference between cucumber, avocado, and cucumber-avocado rolls. It seemed like a pretty light crowd for Friday lunchtime on the shore, but it was a pretty dismal, rainy day with a lingering chill in the air, too. Still, it was a good if runner-up choice for lunch.

Our next stop for the day was something nearby, and something for which I had printed out Google Maps directions. bunny_hugger's satellie navigator disagreed about where it was. With its triumph on the closed restaurant fresh in mind we took its direction instead. It was right, although we started to doubt it when the last half-mile it promised seemed to take far to long to finish.

I'm going to leave a little hole in this report because where we went deserves a fuller discussion and that turned out to be of staggering length, so I'll make that a separate entry.

Afterwards, we came back in the direction of home with the goal of getting to a theater nearby. It's actually the theater where we saw G-Force back in September, and Sherlock Holmes around New Year's, but that's nothing to seriously hold against it. We wanted to see Alice in Wonderland, particularly in 3-D, and with the plans we already had for Saturday and the fact that Sunday would involve our getting back to the airport in time, this might be our only chance to see it. We figured we had a good chance at getting there for the 5:30 showing, and we arrived with just a few precious moments to spare for that. We'd have to hope for a lot of trailers. As the showing was actually 5:00, we would have needed more trailers than they offered. Fortunately what we thought of as the 7:00 showing was actually 7:30 (in retrospect, 5:00/7:30 was a more plausible schedule than 5:30/7:00), so we figured we could get dinner and then go to the movie, and we bought our tickets and got 3-D glasses early.

Right by the theater is a Jersey Mike's, good for hoagies, and several diners; there's also an International House of Pancakes, though, and we'd both been in that odd mood in which we felt like rather wanted to go to that. Neither of us had been to one in years and wasn't this an excellent chance to fix that? I had, possibly against the strict wisdom of a vaguely defined diet that took me out of the Obese range into solidly Normal according to body mass indices, the cheesecake pancakes. They're more pancakes with cheesecake-y bits embedded in them, but you know, they work. Cheesecake would be a recurring theme of the week.

We returned to the theater and got ready with a large popcorn, sodas, and even --- in a burst of indulgence far out of character for me, whose theater-snack imagination generally ends at the popcorn --- a bag of Reeses Pieces. And as we moved towards the theater we realized the bad idea in seeing a movie at 7:30 pm on a Friday night, in that there would be hordes of teenagers all over the place. I'm fine with teenagers, but that is an age where I expect diminished impulse control and awareness of others, so we were bracing for a possibly loud and distracting fellow audience when the lights went out.

That's not that we were in the theater and the lights were dimming for the show to start, understand. It's that the power went out for a few seconds, and came back up only slightly. In fact, in the theater the far-overhead house lights were lit, yes, but so dimly as to illuminate nothing but the house lights far overhead. While we were able to find seats by the reflected light of the silent screen, it wasn't easy, and there was no sound.

After a few minutes of an apparently endless loop of theatrical teasing, and a very loud teen behind wondering if anyone had complained about the missing sound, I went out to ask anyone responsible I could find whether they were aware there wasn't any sound. They were aware. Apparently, someone had hit a telephone poll, knocking out power in the area, and while they were coming back up the system hadn't put together picture and sound yet. I went back to sit down and listen to the very loud teen complaining regularly about this, even after I said --- admittedly without turning to face her --- that they were aware.

Despite their awareness, they weren't to do anything about it, and after about a quarter-hour of soundless pictures they came out to announce they couldn't show anything tonight, and they started giving out free passes, and would everyone please leave. bunny_hugger and I waited, eating popcorn and drinking soda, before leaving the theater, the better to avoid the rush of teens leaving all at once. While we lingered, talking, we weren't the last ones out. The last ones out were a couple using the time and interruption to kiss.

We weren't anywhere near done with the popcorn as we exited the theater and figured at least we could get more butter while finishing that off. It turns out the butter-flavored oil dispensers out front are electrically powered, and the emergency power system extends to lights and air conditioning but not to butter-flavored oil dispensers. We struggled on eating the popcorn as it had been buttered to that point, at least until theater workers came around warning that the fire department wanted everyone out.

So what to do with the evening? We considered the Barnes & Noble in the mall, but it also looked closed or semi-closed, like all the other shops in the mall. The Sports Authority's main sign, for example, just had the right half of the logo/words lit, and the Jersey Mike's looked closed despite it not being that late. We also saw flashing lights of the official-authority kind and supposed this was the result of that utility pole accident.

Therefore we drove off closer still to home, and went to a completely different shopping mall with a Target and another Barnes & Noble; we missed the bookstore and instead wandered around Target, considering their spring wares and extensive bunny-related merchandise, and also buying some 12-packs of soda since we had after months finally run out, back home. When we actually got home, with some popcorn and some of bunny_hugger's soda still unfinished (!) it turned out my mother had bought a half-dozen 12-packs of soda too, so we're well-stocked for the next couple months.

At some point we'd see a movie, possibly even Saturday night as we planned it then. That plan would go quite wrong, too.

Trivia: Toothbrushes using nylon bristles were introduced to United States markets in 1938 under the brand name Dr West's Miracle Tuft. Source: Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design, Henry Petroski.

Currently Reading: Beyond The Wild Blue: A History Of The US Air Force, 1947 - 1997, Walter J Boyne. Ah-hm. Yes, certainly the eleven-day bombing campaign of Operation Linebacker II proves that if only the United States had really really wanted hard enough we wudda won the war in Vietnam. Also McNamara was a big whiny spoilsport with his un-American obsession on asking ``does this project achieve a worthwhile goal at a reasonable expense'' even when they already sunk hundreds of millions of dollars and years of time into something without getting any nearer successful completion.

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