austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

That's how they did it when I was just a kid

For Sunday we had an exceedingly modest clash of priorities.

One of the things bunny_hugger and I love doing together is going to movies. She's an avid movie-goer; I think I accidentally went a decade without seeing anything in the theaters even though I almost always enjoy the experience. I just have this mental glitch that keeps me from connecting ``I should go see that movie before it leaves theaters'' to ``Therefore, I will leave the house and go to a movie theater now'', and she does great things in helping me overcome that glitch.

And we had a flurry of movies at least somewhat appealing to us for the week around New Year's; the first choice by common agreement was Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. She was very interested in it despite expecting to be disappointed. I was more curious and free of the chance of disappointment: I've never read any Narnia books, and all that I've seen of the previous movies was what was playing in DVD stores while I picked over the wares. But we figured Sunday would be a good day for a movie, and for this one particularly.

The other priority was that my mother wanted to take us out to dinner, specifically to The Cheesecake Factory, as she'd picked up a gift card there and wanted to use it for something a bit more special than ``I don't feel like cooking'' without making too big a deal of the gift card. Sunday would be the best day for my parents, too, so they were hoping to have dinner slightly on the early side so as to avoid the expected dinner rush.

There's a movie theater near the Cheesecake Factory, so that could be scheduled together pretty well. We'd need to go to the earlier showing, and accept starting dinner a tiny bit late. We also fretted unnecessarily over our plan to use a pair of movie coupons bunny_hugger had acquired, since the coupons explicitly didn't cover the cost of 3-D, and that particular theater was showing it in 3-D. It turns out we just had to pay the surcharge for the glasses.

Anyway, the movie I found pretty good, enchanting in several spots, although I could sense where things seemed to have been worsened by the translation to screen and the imposition of a gather-the-plot-tokens quest on a book I understand to be more episodic. bunny_hugger confirmed this, particularly in some major changes in the circumstances of Edmund being a dragon. The movie shows plenty of that being cool and just a few traces of it hurting, which I gather is about the exact opposite of how C S Lewis was trying to write it.

We got out from the movie at just about the minute we were supposed to meet my parents, but since the movie theater was in the same mall/box store/box store complex as the restaurant and we had maybe a two-minute drive over there including finding parking I didn't think it worth calling to say where we were. Besides, I'd left my phone in my messenger bag, in my car. By the time we got to the car it seemed really ridiculous to phone that we'd be late, but I did hear my phone ringing and try to answer it only to have the phone refuse to answer ... I don't know what happened, but I'm really pretty sure hitting 'send' is supposed to answer the call, which makes no semantic sense, but it's consistent with the other phone functions. I tried calling my mother back, to get her voice mail, and warned her that by the time she got this message we'd have entered the restaurant, which was true.

My parents had, I think, not placed reservations because no Cheesecake Factory-class restaurant has taken reservations since 1979. But it was fairly packed and we had a while of standing around in the loud, somewhat crowded waiting area while we weren't sure what the range on their little pagers was. So we chatted some, and talked about impressions of the movie, and my mother explained the most likely reason I'd never read Narnia books while growing up: they just weren't around in the late 70s, not that she noticed, so I missed the wave of reprintings that bunny_hugger had caught. Sounds credible to me.

This turned out to be everyone's first experience with a The Cheesecake Factory, and we did have a pretty good dinner even if the attendant was personable to the point I was left faintly nervous. There's trouble when you have natural shyness overcoming things. We did figure the cheesecake was the real feature, naturally, and found that their dessert menu is indeed roughly the length of the Parkway and had enough options as to be slightly intimidating. The slices were also enormous in that modern restaurant ``if they can finish the meal there must not have been enough food'' style; while my parents split a slice bunny_hugger and I both took home about half our desserts.

My parents went directly home; bunny_hugger and I had thoughts of wandering around the mall for a while amusing ourselves first. We got to a good start in Borders, particularly in realizing that a book of DC Comics covers was pretty much the same book that you'd get if you could turn Superdickery into a book, and in looking through that How To Draw Furries book. (They don't give any tips on raccoons, but rabbits get some representatives, as do sparkle dogs.)

But we'd barely got started before the store announced they were closing. So pausing only a bit to look over an e-book system that neither of us had ever heard of and that we couldn't find an actual model of in the display we yielded to the schedule and set back off for home again.

Trivia: The recoinage of English currency under Isaac Newton completed by 1699 remade the nation's whole stock of silver coins, a total of £6,840,719, at a total cost of about £2,700,000 (largely reflecting lost metal in clipped coins which were accepted for recoining at face value). Source: Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career Of The World's Greatest Scientist, Thomas Levenson.

Currently Reading: Skyways: A Book On Modern Aeronautics, General William Mitchell. Mitchell's belief that bombers will always get through may have been justified in the days when radar wasn't even imagined, but it's still ``did I fall into an alternate universe?'' territory to read how the benefits of aircraft carriers are ``mythical'', since ships are so vulnerable to planes and you couldn't support enough airplanes to make an aircraft carrier worthwhile. Oh yeah, 1930.

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