January 18th, 2008

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Snow! Possibly!

I'm going to go ahead and get the linkspam out now--I'll post about Cloverfield when I get back from the movie tonight. I really don't think we'll have power or connectivity issues until tomorrow, if at all, but I find that preparing for things tends to prevent them, in a superstitious way.

For y'all wondering why a prediction of five inches of snow would send Birmingham into a (gleeful) panic, here's a few things that I don't think that Northerners, Westerners, or non-Americans are aware of: for one, winters in the South can hold steady at 40 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with a few dips down to the 30s or below, or perhaps none at all. We've been having a pattern this winter of an extremely cold week (19-20 degrees) followed by a week in the 60s and 70s, then a couple of days of rain and thunder. Then the cycle starts back up again. One year I got a faint dusting of snow on my birthday, and that was big news. Schools have actually been closed for a 60% chance of flurries. New anchors still refer to WINTER STORM '93 in ominous tones. If we have snowplows and de-icers, I sure as hell haven't ever seen them, although my mother reports that trucks full of sand are stationed in the streets around UAB Hospital--because people will need to get in no matter what.

We don't know how to drive on ice or snow because we don't get any. Well, sometimes we get a little ice, but life pretty much shuts down because we don't know how to drive on it. The 5:00 news actually had a helpful checklist of driving tips this afternoon ("Drive slowly"). Furthermore, Birmingham is wonderfully hilly--I don't want to say "mountainous," precisely, but we do have the Red Mountain Expressway. We have tons of bridges and valleys and twists and curves. And a city full of people who don't know how to drive on ice. Plus, we're a very treesome area; even downtown has trees along the streets (it's very attractive). So you have all these ancient trees piled up with snow. And then dead branches break off. And they fall on your roof and your car and your power lines. And then you have exposed power lines lying around in the street. Actually, in the old neighborhood where I grew up, you'd see entire trees fall over during a big snow (say, six inches). I remember when our street was closed off because a giant tree was lying across the road. Another tree actually fell over so completely that its roots were completely aboveground, like giant woody tentacles. And this was a very middle-class, close-to-[suburban]-downtown, American Beauty-type neighborhood. We're not talking farms here.

I think we'll be totally fine. Mom did the weekly grocery shopping this morning before she went to work, just to be safe. Sister Girl opens Panera tomorrow at crack-thirty, but we're hoping they'll close the store. I don't think we've actually had significant snow at this house (we moved here in 2001), so I don't know if the power lines are more reliable here; it's equally woodsy, though. We've never had trouble with pipes, though, so we have all the hot baths we want, and a gas-log fire. No gas range--my mother's been wanting one, like we had at the old house (she had it put in because--wait for it--branches were always taking down the power lines), but other than that, we've got batteries and candles and lighters and lanterns and what-have-you. My internet connection is finicky, though, so I don't know that I'll have that, even if we have power. We'll see. I'm curious to see how it shakes out, but I'm not terribly concerned. It's usually more inconvenient and hilarious, and maybe a little tiresome than anything.

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1. I really liked it. I kind of thought I'd come out, like, FUCK YEAH HATERS, WHAT NOW?!, but... well, it was not an ideal viewing experience. We'll get to that.

My mother really wanted them to cut the surprise party stuff and put in MOAR MONSTAR, but then... she would. I'd read reviews that complained about the banality of the conversation in the first twenty minutes, but... dude, I thought that was the point. (How many parties have these people been to lately?) I thought the whole point was, these people are just as banal and chatty and gossipy as we are, and it's a just another normal night for OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! DID YOU SEE IT?! IT'S HUGE!!1!

Speaking of which, you see way more of the monster than I expected. Collapse )

3. This was the closest I have ever come in my entire life to getting up, walking up to the back of the theater, and telling someone to SHUT THE FUCK UP. There was a gaggle of young teens--thirteen or fourteen years old, maybe? About a dozen of them--to my upper right, and then another clutch, a bit older, to my left, lower down, and Sister Girl nearly got up to administer a beatdown herself. The group behind us was the worst: "Ewwww, a NUDIE PART!" (there was no actual nudity); "That was a BAD WORD!" ("douchebag"). There was a long silence in the last, oh, fifteen minutes of the movie, which they spent shrieking inanities (this was the point when Sister Girl actually whipped her head around and half got up out of her seat). The reason I didn't get up--I actually was tempted to just turn around and bellow at them--was because I didn't want to look away from the screen, much less go get a manager. And the fact that I hate confrontation and still wanted to actually fuck their shit up should suggest how deeply obnoxious they were, and I didn't even want to do that to the preteen girls giggle-gossiping and texting their way through Order of the Phoenix.

4. You know how people joke about Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons? Hand to God, I actually saw him tonight. He had two buddies with them, all three of them with carefully nurtured stubble, and as they left the theater, I heard him say, "If they had really done the research, they would have known that an EMP [there was an EMP?] would have erased the entire tape."

5. The Star Trek trailer is bullshit. Don't even bother, if that's what you're going for. It's a bunch of guys in goggles soldering the Enterprise together. There's no footage at all, and it lasts about five seconds.

6. I stayed for the after-credits thing, but I have no idea what it was (I mean, I read somewhere what it was supposed to be, but I couldn't actually hear it) because the Lower Leftketeers WOULD NOT SHUT UP. JESUS H. CHRIST, YOU WAITED THROUGH THREE HUNDRED YEARS OF OVERWROUGHT MONSTER OPERA TO SEE THE CREDIT COOKIE, AND THEN YOU TALKED THROUGH IT? "Hey! Run that back!" STAB STAB STAAAAB.

I actually liked the overwrought monster opera. I'm just saying.

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