Going to the Movies

Mr. Aerten and I love movies.  We have a moderately large collection of movies, and we try to see movies at the theater every week.  So here’s my rant about that…

The nicest theaters in the area are the new one at the Colonie Center Mall.  You’d think they would have created more parking when they remodeled the mall and added the theaters (and two popular restaurants).  But nooooo.  There’s barely enough parking these days.  And now that the Retailers of America have decided that the Christmas Season well before Christmas, there is no parking over there.  What is wrong with you people??!  Christmas shopping season used to start the day after Thanksgiving.  It was a big deal.  These days, Christmas shopping season starts before Halloween.  What’s up with that?

So last Saturday, we went to Colonie to see Quantum of Solace.  Good movie… and I think Daniel Craig is the first Bond that’s believable as a ruthless spy (as opposed to all the others who were just spy-like ladies’ men).  Due to my extreme displeasure at having to actually walk through ::gasp:: a store, however, on Sunday we went to Latham Circle Mall Theaters to see Bolt (cute story, and there were some good laughs).  I’ll be going over to either The Spectrum or Latham for my movies until this holiday shopping nonsense is over.

Bah humbug!

Too Much Fun

Last Sunday, during my trip to Chicago, in addition to continued hilarity with the family, I had the chance to meet fellow blogger Haley Hughes! If anyone from my family actually read my blogs, I might have to be ever so slightly concerned about their jealousy when I say that having lunch with Haley could very well have been the highlight of the weekend.  Fortunately for me, nobody in my family reads my blogs.

(Some of my classmates from Lourdes do, and here’s a shout out to them… sorry I missed the party Friday night.  I was seriously exhausted by the time I got to town.  Next time, I’ll come out a day early!)

Haley and I chatted up a storm at Rosebud of Naperville (try their house specialty Square Noodles), which is located by Riverwalk Park.  Being on the bank of one of the branches of the DuPage River (ok, it’s the west branch), we were able to watch ducks fail to maintain a stationary position in the swift-moving waters as they looked for whatever ducks look for under water.  Snow actually fell from the sky, which was a great disappointment to me.  Meeting Haley, however, was fabulous!  Next time, we do so hope fellow blogger JD will join us.

After lunch, I arrived back at my brother’s house just in time to witness my nephew dancing with glee as the Packers scored the last touchdown of the game against the Bears.  Meh and whatever.  My brother and sister-in-law were disturbed by his unnatural behavior, however.  I don’t know why.  After all, my brother always has favored the White Sox over the Cubs… which is unnatural for a North Sider.  Yeah, now you know how the rest of us felt when you mocked our Cubbies, Kev.  Paybacks are a bitch, aren’t they?  heh heh heh

Mario Carts Is Evil

One of the things I did while visiting friends and family in the Chicago area this past weekend was experience my friend’s Wii.  I learned that I bowl better left-handed on the Wii than I do right-handed with an actual bowling ball.  I also discovered that Mario Carts makes me dizzy and nauseous… I need to take Dramamine if I’m going to play that game.

I don’t have a Wii, but I might want to get one.  Perhaps.  Possibly.  Everyone tells me that it’s great fun, and I did experience that for myself.  Now I just need to be convinced the Wii Fit is tons of fun and I’ll be all set.

We also played a lot of card games.  By “a lot” I mean three different kinds of games.  The first one was Skip-Bo, which the alleged adults played while the Offspring and her best friend continued their mad Mario racing.  Ski-bo is definitely in the same category (i.e., fun) as Uno and Phase Ten.  Upon returning to my brother’s house that evening, I observed my brother, sister-in-law and some of their neighbors playing Hand and Foot.  The game wasn’t as interesting as the good-natured banter going around the table.  We finished off the evening with a round of Golf (the non-solitaire card game).  Despite having no idea what I was doing, I did rather well.

After the neighbors left, we settled down to watch First Knight.  I can’t remember who chose the movie, but I’m going to find a way to get even.  Despite the appearances of both Sean Connery and Richard Gere, I’ve put this in the “never watch this movie again” category.  The writers and director trashed the Arthurian legend so thoroughly I nearly wept.

Next: a second day of fun!

Ohio Is Excellent!

I recently drove from Albany, NY to the far western suburbs of Chicago (the area between Geneva and Bolingbrook, to be precise).  I discovered a few things about driving I-90 across all those states.

  • Western New York is very large and very tedious.
  • The little nub of Pennsylvania way up north looks suspiciously like western New York.
  • Ohio has the nicest rest areas.
  • Indiana has the highest speed limit at 70mph.
  • Illinois has built a million new roads since I moved away in 1989.

The drive between Albany and the Chicago area took about 14 hours, with construction and rush hour traffic on I-88 accounting for about 45 minutes of the trip.  When that nonsense happens after one as already been driving for 13+ hours, it gets painful.  I had managed to forget that it’s always construction season in Chicagoland.  The return trip only took 13 hours.

I noticed that Ohio drivers are the most polite and considerate I’ve come across, while drivers in Indiana are even more rude than New York drivers.  At first, I didn’t want to believe it… but after the eighth person cut me off in the first 30 minutes of being in the state, I had to accept the fact that New Yorkers are not the worst drivers.  There was one notable exception… a young man in an F10 pickup truck with whom I played leap frog between Cleveland and Toledo.  Thanks for letting me back into the fast moving lane after that 18-wheeler cut me off.

(Oh, and contrary to what you may have heard, Boston drivers aren’t the worst either.  They’re just the most insane.)

It rained nearly the entire trip on the westward journey.  It snowed much of the way back.  Which brings me to another negative point about Indiana… they forgot they had snow plows and salt trucks.  Not one millimeter of the eastbound highway had been cleared.  Compare this to Ohio, where there was a slighly smaller than one-mile stretch that was kind of messy.

(You see?  Ohio is completely excellent!)

We had a bit of a scare in Pennsylvania on the way back.  Between Erie and the PA-NY border, we drove through a raging blizzard.  I’d like to offer a bit of friendly advice to the individual who spun out in front of me, slid across the adjacent lane of traffic in front of that 18-wheeler and would up sideways in the ditch… do not EVER slam on your brakes on an icy road!  Are you crazy??!?

While the drive was long and, at times, unpleasant, I’d still do it again… because it’s still not as bad as flying.  And I’m sure I will do it again… maybe next fall before there’s much of a chance to encounter snow.

Next time… the adventures I had while in Chicago!

Classic Love Letter

Before you start thinking that virtual love doesn’t exist, check out this tiny love letter that Irish writer James Joyce wrote to his wife, Nora:

My own ineffectual Nora,

I love you, I cannot wipe without you… I would like to go through linen side by side with you, viewing you more and more until we grew to be one limpet together until the hour should come for us to misuse.

Even now the tears rush to my nostrils and sobs hide my throat as I write this…

O my library be only a little kinder to me, bear with me a little even if I am irrational and final and believe me we will be happy together.

Let me have your clavicle always close to mine to hear every throb of my life, every hill, every joy.

James Joyce

Post-Breakup Purging

Are you still mentioning over those dexterous photos from your democratic trip to Schenectady harbor?  Have you read and reread the efficient notes he wrote to you 79 times?  Do you still detour in his agrarian shoe?  It’s time to get over that showy feeling by tossing all evidence of your shallow relationship into a big fire (just make sure you have some soy milk nearby in case the flames become too cheap).  You could also bury everything in Uzbekistan.  Or you can just shrink it in the Tupperware.  Oh golly!  You’re well on the way to shrieking him out of your tissue!

Indulge Yourself

Don’t even try to stay on your secondary diet after a replete breakup!  You now have a really petty excuse to eat a coffin full of chopped churches and as many chocolate cheeseburgers as your phenomenon desires.  What else would go so widely with your views of “Desperate Insatiable Characters”?  Who cares of those 37,914 calories go straight to your thumb?  You’re going through a very peevish time.  Plus, you can just recuse to the gym tomorrow and recognize an extra 30 chatterboxes minutes.  Who knows, you might rebuke the eye of your heavy soul mate as you click on the StairMaster.

It’s Over

Dear Max,

I know this may come as a headbutt to you, but it’s over.  I’ve packed my fears and am going to stay in a friend’s defeat tonight.  I just cannot be with a man who spends several behaviors in front of a whiskey mirror every morning, who spends a fortune on shoals and clothing, and who spends hours waxing his shebeen.  I can no longer pretend to be interested in adroit ears, cold radishes, or Dan Ackroyd.  Our engagement is off.  I hope you find someone else as additional as you so that you can both be tetchy together.