julie told me of a weird dream she had last night involving my family and i, something about painting watercolors, owning a bed and breakfast, throwing tree trucks for entertainment, booby traps, and one giant telescope.
she told me how she was sick since this weekend, and how her voice was now raspy and deep. somehow this all lead to an invitation to go christmas treet shopping, and shortly after i got dressed and fired up a packet of poptarts in the toaster oven, julie arrived to come pick me up.
in the car i heard her voice, which sounded completely different from her normal voice, in what she described as "marge simpson" like. she wanted to get a mini-christmas tree for her apartment, and meticulously browsed the piles of mini-christmas trees piled up in the
parking lot of wellington flowers
in malden. the tradition of min-christmas trees, julie revealed to me, is that they're actually just the tops of regular trees, chopped so they look miniature. finally she was able to find one she liked, after much product comparison. the miniature, which was $8, was just $4 shy of a regular sized christmas tree. the last week before christmas, trees apparently are at a bargain price.
in need of a pot to hold the tree, we drove next door to the great land target, where she bought a metal bucket (instead of a ceramic pot she originally wanted), while i bought my very first christmas present of the season, a dozen more to go. even though it was the middle of the day, the target was unusually crowded, the onslaught of christmas shopping turned on high.
with time left for more adventuring, we drove to lincoln, to the decordova museum, where julie wanted to buy some stuff from the gift shop. there were many cool items there, i was more attracted to the manufactured odds and ends instead of the plethora of handicrafts. i had never been to the decordova museum before, despite the fact that i lived in belmont for most of my life, just two towns away. lincoln has always seemed like a waste land to me, not worthy of visiting. we debated whether or not the town of lincoln was named after the president, and whether other lincoln towns are named after the president as well. "we must honor our slain president somehow, i know, let's change the name of our town to lincoln!"
after julie dropped me off back in cambridge, i took the t and made my way into boston, to the st.paul street stop on the green b line, to visit manny, see his office, and to go see lord of the rings 2 afterwards. i actually saw a condo on st.paul street in brookline back when i was house hunting, a very nice property with a lovely parking space. it just wasn't in the cards i suppose, otherwise i'd be home by now! the commute wasn't so bad even though it was on the infamous green line, i like getting out and mingling with the common folks once in a while.
after the office tour, we took the train to boylston, where we went to the loews boston common theatre to buy tickets for a 7:30pm showing. sold out! and every other showings after that. after going through a few potential scenarios of what we should do next, we ended up going to north station, to take the commuter train back to west medford, where we'd try to buy tickets directly from the loews fresh pond theatre, and then grab some wings for dinner. while waiting at the station for our train to be called, i saw andrew morse walking by. "andrew!" i shouted. after a brief chitchat, he said he had 3 minutes to catch his train, and we said good bye. when the lane number was called, there was a mad rush of people through the sliding doors to get a good seat on the train. if you can believe this, a day of firsts, this was my very first time riding the commuter rail. there was a station in belmont center, but i never got a chance to ride it. now, something like 20 years later, i was finally getting an opportunity.
in 10 short minutes we arrived in west medford (manny let me use an expired old ticket he still carried around), where after a quick stop in manny's condo (where he gave me two christmas presents), we drove to fresh pond, where all the shows for LOTR2 was sold out except for the 10pm one. we bought tickets and went to wing works to get wings. we thought it'd be cool to open a LOTR themed wings place called "lord of the wings" with flavors like "balrog hot." i ordered the three 3 selection sampler (14 pieces), with gourmet, rochester, and honey barbecue, while manny just had the 14 pieces of gourmet. after a short wait, we got out order and headed over to my place, where we ate our wings while watching a tank documentary on the discovery channel.
we headed out to the theatre before 9pm, and by the time we got there, there was already a line forming to get into the 10pm showing. after the 3 hour long movie was over, manny drove me back to my place.
how was the movie? i still think equilibrium has the best action sequences of the year, the fights in LOTR2 were on a more massive scale, though definitely putting epic battle movies like braveheart to shame. the miniature fighters didn't look fake is what i'm saying. i didn't like the cgi gollum, it felt like shades of jar jar, although the cgi for gollum was much better, final fantasy cgi, there were times when gollum did seem kind of real. but maybe it's just me, but i spent a lot of time trying to see if i could tell the difference whenever cgi gollum was on the screen. maybe if his eyes weren't so abnormally large, i'd have an easier time accepting cgi gollum. i'm such a cgi character bigot. also, occasionally it was hard understanding what he was saying, sounded like daffy duck at times, all throaty lisps. when did gimli the drawf become the comedic relief of the film? there were definitely more light moments, but i think only because LOTR2 itself is such a serious movie, the army of good versus the army of evil basically. but why gimli? is it like that in the book? i don't know if the movie in itself can stand as a good story. you definitely had to have seen the first one in order to get a sense of the second i think, although you could probably watch it just by itself as an adventure action film. and i don't think i'm spoiling anything when i say that gandalf reappears. gandalf the white, instead of gandalf the grey? manny told me it was some sort of wizard hierarchy, which makes sense now (gandalf seems more powerful in his white incarnation), but the movie doesn't really clarify that point. i just figured he had some sort of near death experience beauty makeover, which supposedly is pretty common with magic folks.