Sunday, May 27, 2007

Beware the Number 3

A warning to all thinking, feeling, sentient beings:

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES go see the ill-conceived third installments of Shrek or Pirates of the Caribbean. Not that I expect most of you to have even considered it, but I give the warning just in case someone says to you "Hey, I enjoy computer animation and Mike Myers- let's go see the new Shrek." or "Hey, I enjoy swashbuckle-fests and sea monsters, and have learned how to close my eyes and cover my ears whenever Keira Knightley is onscreen- let's go see the last Pirates movie."

I would elaborate, but i really don't feel like using up my vocabulary to describe the heights of folly and depths of stupuidty that were reached in these films' conceptions and executions. If you want a hint as to how absurd, frustrating and jaw-droppingly non-sequitor Pirates 3 was, consider that I had to use "Happy Feet" as a reference point. (And if you don't already know that "HAPPY FEET" is the worst film ever made in the history of cinema, then feel free to give me a call: I can give at least a three hour lecture on the tangential wanderings of sexism, racism, dogmatism, non-entertaining xenophobic rants of the anthropomorphized singing penguin movie made by the guy who wrote "Mad Max".

But at least there was a salvagable experience from last night's unfortuante 10:40 viewing of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"- which should also have been recognized as the harbinger of doom that it was:

So Cabe and I headed down to Bellevue (suburbia) for the late night show. We parked in the mall parking garage, but since it was after ten, all the stores in the mall were closed. So, you could still walk through the mall to reach the theaters, but every store had it's fence gates down, and I couldn't help but be reminded of the zombie film classic "Dawn of the Dead" (though I've only seen the new one, which I enjoyed thoroughly) wherein a group of ill-fated humans set up camp in a mall and try to survive the onslaught of crazed zombies that are marching outside the mall gates. As we wandered through the labrynthine, shiny-floored corridors of the Bellvue galleria, I couldn't help but expect a hockey stick-wielding zombie to jump out from behind a water fountain and eat both of us alive.

Well, we made it to the theater without being killed. But the movie let out at 2am (it's freaking 3 hours long!) and we headed back through the mall to reach the parking garage. The mall doors were open, so we got in just fine and started walking through the now even darker and more ominous corridors. Eerie light jazz played overhead, and pregnant mannequins looked on as if to say "Beware- None who enter here ever depart". At far ends of walkways, we could see silent, isolated cleaning folk pushing janitorial carts- like specters doomed to walk the halls of the galleria for all eternity. They made no eye contact with us, not even glancing our way as if to say "Why are you two walking in an empty mall at 2 in the morning?"

We finally made it to the parking garage doors, and surprise, surprise, they were locked. "Let's try upstairs." Locked. By this point, I'm wondering whom I would call if we were locked in the mall all night. Who would come get us? Does one call the police? Were we breaking the law if the doors we entered were open in the first place?

The irrepressably intrepid-spirited Cabe led us on from floor to floor, door to door, refusing to turn back and go out the way we came, which I would have done from the get go, being that I was convinced that every second lost was one step closer to death and eternal internment in mall-purgatory. Escalators we had just come up. would be turned off by the time we backtracked. I was sure even the door we came in would now be locked. The zombies were going to get us. It was all over.
But finally, after about ten minutes of spooky mall marching, we made it out from an employees-only delivery hallway, which brought us right to the car. It was one of the most surreal experiences ever, which was helped in no way by the Terry Gilliam-esque hallucination sequences in the movie we'd just watched. Also not helping, was the creepy escaltor wall-wiper man who walked right by us once like a ghost, whom we later had to ask for help in getting out of the building. I seriously believe that mall is where souls of the damned reside to be tormented for all of eternity. And they probably have to watch "Shrek 3' and "Pirates: At World's End" three times a night. Don't make the same mistake they/we made!

Monday, May 21, 2007

What to Believe?

"Some things just aren't meant to be"
"Nothing Lasts Forever"
"If at First You Don't Succeed, try, try again."
"If it came from and outlet mall, be prepared to replace it within six months."

What you see here, are the sad remnants of my brief venture into the world of feminine accesories,specifically of the reproduction-baroque-Marie Antoinette-redux variety. Yes, my wondrous-shiny fake pearl and pewtar wristwatch committed suicide last night, and you would to if you were forced to be on the wrist of someone while they heave a 30lb trash bag full of coffee grounds into a dumpster on a rainy Sunday night. Sadder even, is that said watch had to be carried home in a plastic food-handler's glove.

So what now? Do i take this as a sign that wrist jewelry and I should part ways forever? Was the watch offended that I only looked at it's sparkles and never actually used it to tell time (because I can't read clocks)? Or is there a deeper meaning here in regards to my femininity? The juxtaposition of a snapping wristband sending faux pearls bouncing along the floor of a theater concessions kitchen where bleach buckets and URNEX abound, causes one to wonder if perhaps my wrist is not the best place for pretty things to be. Has my environment won the battle over whether I continue my slow return to the world of high heels and picnic dresses- the world I left behind somewhere in the late 90's- or am i doomed to jeans-and-t-shirts-ville, where i've had uneasy citizenship for quite some time. Can i not live in both? And what about the fact that I've always been allergic to the basic metals used in earrings, and thus, can only wear them about two days a week? Must I face the reality that perhaps, I'm not allowed to dress up?

Maybe I should just replace my watch and not wear it when I'm working.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Release the Erudition!

I was about six years old, the first time I remember giving a correct answer to a Trivial Pursuit question. I was headed up for bedtime, and my parents were playing with guests at the kitchen table. Stopping by to say goodnight, I heard "Which ear, the left or the right, has better hearing?" and I offered the correct answer (no idea which one anymore) and received laud and honor from the amused adults. Oh those glorious days of precociousness...

Since then, I've sought various ways of feeding my love and obsession for all things trivial and factoid-oriented. It's hard nowadays to find an eager Trivial Pursuit crowd. Even more so, it's hard to function in daily life when every word someone says triggers a cultural, historical or literary reference that you feel physically compelled to mention outloud, even though you know you'll be met with silence and or/revulsion. But there's something inside that just says:"Mention How 'Le Petomane' was not only the middle name given to Mel Brooks' character in 'Blazing Saddles' but is actually the name of a 19th century French vaudeville artist who used self-contstructed plastic tube contraptions to play music with his farts, and how the popular juggling group 'The Flying Karamazov Brothers', whom you and your family have seen perform dozens of times since the early 80's, even back when the guys were just touring rennaissance fairs and your mom changed your brother's diaper on the back of the wooden stage they were performing on, how they wrote a play about Le Petomane and performed it at the La Playhouse in the mid-90's, during the time that you had regular season tickets that you purchased for yourself with your babysitting money and were definitley the theater's youngest individual subscriber at age 12, and how the play was quite creepy and political and not what fans of the FKB were expecting and thus, no one has heard of the play since, except when you mentioned its existence to Bill Irwin while you were having lunch with him and talking about the play he was writing about George L. Fox,

the 19th century New York performer who was one of america's first celebrity box-office breaking comedians, but who eventually went insane and died poor and crazy."

It's hard to have a lot of info floating around that you can't do anything with other than alienate or bore people with esoteric, erudite, obtuse references. (note broing, alientating habit of regularly using words like erudite).


At last, there's a sport I can really get behind, and a team sport, at that! It has everything I could ever want in an evening: pubs, trivia questions and refillable soda. I've been saying it's as close to being a professional poker player as I'll ever get, insofar as it involves paying money to compete for more money while sitting at a place where people come by and ask you if they can get you another drink.

I've done it two weeks in a row so far, and by cracky, it's fabu! (And at Jabu's Pub in lower Queen Anne). So to celebrate this new part of my life that I've waited all my life for, here are some questions that have come up the last two weeks, and if you've got time, listen to the episode of This American Life that I linked below, I resonated with it intensely. Take an hour break from whatever you're doing, pull out some crayons, and doodle on paper while you listen to the splendiferous Ira Glass and his cast of genius correspondants as they talk about themes of Quiz-ness in our daily life.
This American Life
#326 Quiz Show

Pub Quiz (feel free to answer in comments section- answers will appear eventually)

category: Talk Show Hosts
Which talk show host began her career starring in John Water's 'Hairspray'?

category: Random Animal Facts
What is the largest member of the deer family?

category: 80's movies
What film had Michelle Pfeiffer laying across a piano singing "Makin' Whoopee"?

category: Eddie Murphy Films
In which film does Eddie Murphy play an FBI negotiator?

category: Sharks
true or false: the thresher shark's tail is as long as it's body.