Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

No Outlet…No CO!

February 15, 2011

Yesterday was the big day, time for the final inspection on the addition and first the plumbing passed, then the fire inspection passed. The building inspection was momentarily in jeopardy because of the fan tray; because a revised drawing wasn’t included in our pack of drawings (though all other revisions are) but the inspector happened to remember when it was framed out when he was here for the rough inspection back in the summer. As far as the electric, we failed and the cause is one…COUNT IT…ONE outlet on that brick wall, but that fix is in the works and may be taken care of as early as this week.

Ariel took the day off to deal with the inspections and after they were finished trickling in over the course of about 2 hours beginning an hour after they were first scheduled, (and I had over half my day under my belt) we decided to celebrate our near victory and went to see a double feature. Well, not in the traditional sense–then again, is anything in the traditional sense these days?–it was more like two movies for the price of two movies. We saw Black Swan and The Fighter.

I intended to stop work at a certain time but time got away from me and by the time we got ready to go and get there, we missed the opening credits of Black Swan, but not too much that we couldn’t piece it together. I’m not sure I liked it as much as I hoped I would, though I loved the head-trippiness of it, the parallels of her thought processes that lead to her triumphant finale. If I did come away with one thing from it, I think I may now have to dip my toe (so to speak) into the world of ballet and find a production of Swan Lake. It is, after all, a Tchaikovsky work and I’m always up for a Tchaikovsky event, though I’ve never been to the ballet. I gave the movie a 7.

After that we had about 20 minutes to kill, which, in movie house language is really 45 by the time all the coming attractions and commercials and turn off your cell phone reminders play and we sat crunching on our popcorn while the minutes ticked away. What I got out of The Fighter was something totally unexpected. Sure, I’ve seen Marky Mark in a few pictures and have always enjoyed his acting, but I never expected to be so emotionally taken by a boxing movie. The last time that happened was when I saw The Champ with Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper (I still haven’t seen the Jon Voight/Ricky Schroeder version). “You were my hero, Dicky” “I was. I was,” was just one of the poignant moments that got me. But the greatest quote concerning The Fighter came from a woman who was sitting behind us after the movie was over: “I didn’t like it, there was too much fighting.” I gave it a 9.

And that’s all I got for you. Tomorrow I think I’ll tell you about this past weekend; I just have to figure a way to make some of my descriptions “family friendly” otherwise it could become my shortest blog of all time.

Red Cabbage

December 6, 2010

What do red cabbage, dinner at McCormick and Schmick’s and Burlesque all have in common? It’s how we spent this past Friday night. Oh, where to begin… ?

In spite of having only three days to work last week, because of the tail end of the Illinois trip, I managed to squeeze in long hours Wednesday and Thursday so Friday wouldn’t be a “full” day. We needed new shirts for the company Christmas party next weekend so it was off to the mall, first to see Cher’s new movie, Burlesque, but also to go to Macy’s for our shirts afterward.

But, by the grace of Goodness, we made our 3:30 showing of the movie and here’s where the day started that vortex of oddness. The theater at Bridgewater Commons, AMC Theaters has been renovated to a dine-in movie theater. Tickets are an additional $10 to cover that amount of whatever food you might order and then you pay the balance. Remember that story I did a while back about the mobile movie theater in England? Well, it would have worked for us on Friday because we were the only two in the theater.

I don’t know who started the rumor that Christina Aquilera was so bad an actress the movie would become an instant cult classic, but I have to say, I was surprised. For what her part was, she carried it off. Even more than Cher did in some scenes who came across stiff and robotic. I’d say plastic, but that would be rude. The plot was thin and there were too many offshoot subplots, but for the most part it was enjoyable. I even found myself wanting to applaud after some of the musical numbers.

Okay, back to the dine-in movie experience. Our usher, who turned out to be our waitress, walked us through the ticket buying process which is done at an automated kiosk at the front of the theater, on the mall side of the bar. Yes, bar! She explained the ticket price, etc. We got to our theater, number 6, just in time before the movie began and even though we got to choose our seats at the kiosk, we really could have any pick inside because, like I said before, it was just the two of us, in larger than necessary seats (think a smaller version of your own comfy recliner) with more leg room than I afford myself even at home and our waitress.

In the dark, we hurriedly perused the menu while the opening credits rolled on the screen in front of us and we each ordered a beer and an appetizer. We didn’t want to fill up too much because we’d be having dinner later on. Each seat comes with a cup holder, a menu, a swivel tray and a set of silverware rolled up in a napkin.

Even though we were the only two watching this blockbuster epic, it still seemed a silly concept. I mean, throughout the movie, the waitress kept coming to us to see if we were “okay” and we had to turn our attention from the screen to answer her. At one point, I moved my silverware across the tray and it clanged a little and I thought to myself, if this was a theater full of people and someone else had clanged their silverware, I’d have lost my mind! And if it were a theater full of people, it would be so chaotic with wait staff attending to everyone, who could enjoy the already overpriced movie?

So, for me, I’ll take a bucket of popcorn and a soda and just let me watch my movie in peace.

So, after the movie we…. whoops….come back tomorrow to get the next chapter in this Twilight Zone-ish Friday night experience.

It Was Kind Of Like Airmail

November 8, 2010

It was as though I had validation late Friday afternoon–on the blog I wrote that morning–when we took in an early evening showing of the new Robert Downey Jr. movie, Due Date. Including the two of us, there was 7 people in the Loew’s MegaSuperUltraTwentyScreenPlex. We really could have gotten away with the Sol Cinema. Then, about three quarters of the way through the movie, a group of five ushers came in and with all the available empty seats in the theater, they apparently detected the look on our faces, obvious even in the dark, that we would have much rather been a party to their plans for after work, so they sat in a “group” in the two rows directly in front of us with the fifth wheel alternating between rows at regular intervals. That’s okay, they’ve seen that movie before, they wouldn’t miss anything. The lambs! Good movie, however; not a blockbuster by any means, but an enjoyable romp for any Robert Downey Jr. fan, with one or two overly-exaggerated moments the movie really could have done without. But, it was funny and touching and at least twice it brought a tear to my eye.

Saturday, as I said was Ariel’s mother’s seventy-ninth birthday party and the staff of Tony Da Caneca’s in Newark ran the event like clockwork, getting us started at 1 and had us caked and coffeed by 5 so Ariel and I could make our way to the city for Brian Regan. Naturally, because we allowed the three hours to accommodate sitting in theater traffic, we breezed right in, through the Lincoln Tunnel and up to our hotel (we’d be going out afterwards with some friends and didn’t want the extra burden of driving home). The Marrakesh, up on 103rd Street is a bit of a ramshackle place, done in, as you might suspect, Moroccan decor. The room was clean and comfy, which is always a plus and the entire bathroom could fit in my new shower stall. I especially enjoyed the ‘you’re my F’ing ho, you done me wrong with my bro’ rap music that blared in the lobby and no one, except me, seemed to be a little perplexed by that. We taxied all over the city, back and forth between our 2-star digs (according to Priceline–hey!, it served its purpose!) and our destinations.

Brian Regan was hysterical, the entire audience was roaring with laughter, well, except the woman in front of me who practically instantly upon taking her seat next to her stocky bodyguard–looking, crewcutted leather jacket wearing companion, fell asleep. Huh? And then she’d wake up periodically, like when the rest of us especially enjoyed a particular joke and erupted in laughter and she’d kind of howl (I guess to fit in with the crowd), put her head back on his shoulder until the next time she felt like joining in.

Outside, Ariel discovered a call had come in from Lou. He, his son and the HVAC guy were going to be at the house by around 8am. Of course we weren’t home, so Ariel reviewed how he’s be able to get in.

We tipped a few beers, and then a few more with our friends after another back and forth to the hotel to change into comfy party clothes and then by 4am we were back in our room.

We pulled into the driveway and the first thing we saw was the dead and mangled deer on the lawn by the curb. The second thing we saw was an empty space where my mailbox used to be. Then, in pretty much the following order, we saw the actual box part laying in front of my next door neighbor’s house, the post on the sidewalk ACROSS the street…across FOUR lanes of traffic and my lawn, on either side of my driveway, torn to shreds. Not exactly the view we were anticipating.

But Lou and crew.2.1 was there and had brought in the police officer’s card that had been attached to the front door with slight detail of what had happened: vehicular incident involving mail box.

Come to find out from my next door neighbor, a young man, mid-twenties, (obviously speeding like a bat out of Hell, the way they do on my street) had veered to avoid running over a dead dear in the road, jumped the curb, took out my mailbox (and lawn) flipped his car and slid, on his side until his car came to rest by my neighbor’s driveway. The driver, fortunately, escaped without a scratch. Luckily I had brought my mail in Saturday morning before we left.

So, now we’ll deal with police reports and insurance claims and seeing if I can get the post office to deliver my mail to my door until we can get a new mailbox put up. Lordy, and this is only Monday.

Dancing On Wet Cement

July 27, 2010

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah, cowering under my sheets, hiding against the cool air blowing on me from the AC while the outside temperature was in the low to mid 50’s! I didn’t have a blog yesterday because I ran out of time trying to get my act together and I wanted to update you on the progress on the house and tell you what I thought of the movie we saw over the weekend. Well, no time like the present.

We saw the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie, “Inception” and, oh man, was it a chore to get through. The premise was quite interesting, infiltrating others’ dreams and putting ideas into their minds. That’s the basic thing. And since that particular premise, the ‘what if’ thing (like where do wrinkles go when they fall out of your clothes) is near and dear to my heart I thought it might be interesting to see, in spite of all the computer graphics today’s movies are so rife with. I understood everything that was going on, it’s not the plot got complicated, but it was just dragged out rather tediously to the point of distraction and several people leaving the theater. I actually thought about it and as it turns out, so did Ariel, but I chose to hang around to see how it all played out. The final analysis: I was unimpressed.  Afterwards, though, to make it up to ourselves, we stopped in at 5 Guys for burgers and it was pretty much close to closing time. 5 Guys ROCKS!

Saturday came and so did the Lou Crew, at 7:30 as promised and the digging began. And so did work on the front stoop. It was falling apart and we’re having it redone, refaced to match what will be the exterior on the addition.

Speaking of the addition, yesterday was the day the cement was to be poured once the inspector came to yay or nay the footing (and the roof, finally!). Lou had gone to pay the cement people and during that time, the inspector came. I got on the phone and was assured Lou was 5 minutes away. While I spoke to (and tried to stall) the inspector, he failed the footings because of what amounted to a smudge, a misplaced line on the plans. Kind of like when I got my Atlas tattoo and the artist followed the design exactly, right down to the mark from where something had been erased. He later fixed it and unless you’re looking, you’d never see it. But the inspector was in too much of a rush, in spite of my going over what he told me a couple of times just to buy some time for Lou to get back, and he wouldn’t talk to him over the phone, and the last saving grace was that he had to inspect the roof. That entire procedure was walking the length of the house in back, then in front and it passed. In the time span from when he left and Lou got back, the two could have passed each other in the driveway.

I met the lovely Mrs. Lou who brought the guys lunch. Lou didn’t want to risk not being around a second time. The inspector returned about 2 hours after he said he would (thankfully) and he got convinced the plans were correct, that figures from previous pages could not equal what he originally thought they should  and that errant line was just an errant line. The cement truck came, the cement was poured and then later, a load of cinder block and bags of cement was delivered.


And lastly, my query to my agent in waiting is ready to go the second I see she has updated her status on her webpage. I had this incredible idea of how to drastically change it up, to really pack a wallop from the get go. So, tick, tock, tick, tock…….