Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-07-30 Entry: "Films and Shopping"

Continuing the efforts not to fall further behind (Saturday 20th)...

I actually managed an early start on Saturday - I'm not sure how that happened, but I was wide awake fairly early, so perusing the guidebook (and realising jeans really weren't going to cut it at work in this heat) I decided to try and make it to the nearer of the two malls listed.

Cue more scary driving on the wrong side of the road. I didn't make too bad a job of it, although the surface is so uneven in places that I did find myself bouncing into the air on occasion (just me, not the car... I wasn't driving that fast!). I did manage to make it without any wrong turnings, and then just had to pick somewhere in the sprawling car park... which was practically empty so I got a good spot near the doors (although, as it turned out, there were doors all around the place so it wasn't really that impressive a feat).

So I embarked into the mall - and it was closed! Okay, it's 9:30am so it's fairly early, but it's a Saturday... don't Americans shop on Saturdays? It turned out that they do shop, but not until at least after 10am... I guess the drive into the city from the ranch takes a couple of hours?

But I walked and walked, and wandered around a bookshop (which was apparently allowed to open earlier as it sold coffee, and you need your six cups of coffee after driving from the ranch before you consider shopping). I found a cinema (eventually - it was at the far end to where I parked) and I planned the afternoon's viewing (hey! I'd only been in the country twelve hours and already I was planning films, but we're notoriously behind the US for release dates and I didn't really want to miss a couple of them).

Then I bought some clothes (couple of pairs of light trousers, couple of polo tops at obscenely cheap prices). I made up for the cheap clothes by buying a new razor (mine decided it wasn't going to work in a US power socket, when it had happily complied the last time I was here). The new razor is supposed to be intelligent, so I'd guess that it'll decide to kill the crew before we reach Jupiter. Or it'll give a really good shave...

Taking my purchases back to the car (and finding out that, yes, I could still find the car in the carpark, and yes, it was obscenely hot out) I was free to indulge in mindless filmage.

For those of you who've realized my taste in films is pretty terrible, and if I'm in the right mood I'll enjoy anything would be better reading the slightly more acerbic commentary from Columbine

And first out of the gate was "Reign Of Fire" - if you wanted to see the definitive "dragons wake up after millenia and ravage the earth and man has to fight back with modern day weaponry" film, then this would be it. The dragons were cool, Matthew McConnaughy (spelling?) was bearable, and I can safely say I didn't recognize the other lead actor. There were a couple of flaws (Well, Columbine spotted a couple of flaws, I didn't) but it got a general thumbs up.

Then I had a fight with a music store while they tried not to accept my travelers cheques (I needed CDs for the car).

Then I made the mistake of watching "Men In Black 2" which wasn't as good as the first one. Don't get me wrong, it still had some laughs (and the line from one of the trailers, "Let's go get you the last suit you'll ever wear... again" ranks as my favourite), but it didn't really have the Tommy Lee Jones / Will Smith interplay that made the first one so great. And what was with Rip Torn in the fight scene?!

So, disappointment aside, it wasn't a bad afternoon. Then I decided to drive home and bash the car against a kerb... fortunately it just left a scraped hubcap rather than major damage so it could have been worse, but I dread to think what'll happen when I take it back...

This entailed me going out to find a bar and attempting to drown my sorrows (well, not really, I panicked briefly, and then decided to worry about it in a month when the car goes back). I did find a bar though - and after pleasant catfish, I indulged in some beer, insulted the national sport (although, how anyone could consider baseball a sport is beyond me), and chatted to the bar staff. I presumably got horribly drunk but I don't really remember (and I'm fairly sure I escaped the hangover as I haven't had one yet - must be a US thing...).

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